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The Two Paths of Hinduism

Blue in the outer aura. Pure devotion does not contain the grey of fear. See dharma properly: duty and obligation first, then meditation. The family path we can't renounce. The four stages of life; natural changes occur with age.

Unedited Transcript:

Guru Brahma. Guru Vishnu, Guru Devo Mahesvara, Guru Sakshat, Parabrahma, Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha.

We've been looking at color for the last few weeks. In particular how color relates to the aura, human aura. Human aura is in two parts, if you remember, two conditions. One is what Gurudeva calls the outer aura which is constantly changing according to our state of mind. Our current state of mind creates colors that are within and slightly around us. And then the inner aura is congestions from that past that are relatively fixed, they, they don't change on a daily basis. What causes them to change is if we resolve something from the past we get rid of one, goes away, or if we add a new problem from the present we get a new one. But it doesn't change very frequently.

"Blue represents the religious, or spiritual, phase of mentality. That is to say, it stands for that part of the mental activities which are concerned with high ideals, altruism, devotion, reverence, veneration, etc. It is manifested, in its various hues, tints and shades, by all forms of religious feeling and emotion, high and low, as we shall see as we proceed.

"The interesting group of astral colors represents the varying forms and degrees of religious emotion, 'spirituality,' etc. The highest form of spiritual, religious feeling and thought is represented by a beautiful, rich, clear violet tint, while the lower and more gross phases of religious emotion and thought are represented by the darker and duller hues, tints, and shades until a deep, dark indigo is reached, so dark that it can scarcely be distinguished from a bluish black. This latter color, as might be expected, indicates a low superstitious form of religion, scarcely worthy of the latter name. Religion, we must remember, has its low places as well as its heights -- its garden grows the rarest flowers, and at the same time the vilest weeds. High spiritual feelings -- true spiritual unfoldment -- are indicated by a wonderful clear light blue, of an unusual tint, something akin to the clear light blue of the sky on a cool autumn afternoon, just before sunset. Even when we witness an approach to this color in nature, we are inspired by an uplifting feeling as if we were in the presence of higher things, so true is the intuition regarding these things.

"Morality, of a high degree, is indicated by a series of beautiful shades of blue, always of a clear inspiring tint. Religious feeling ruled by fear is indicated by a shade of bluish gray. Purple denotes a love of form and ceremony, particularly those connected with religious offices or regal grandeur of a solemn kind. Purple, naturally, was chosen as the royal color in the olden days."

So you can see here by the way he talks about color that relates to religion. Hinduism isn't supposed to make you fearful but some people become fearful anyway, though they're Hindus. But Hinduism doesn't try for it and that fear is the gray. Even the Tirukural has verses to motivate people who are only motivated by fear.

Superstition is easy to identify. It's something thought to be true but which has no scriptural basis. If you worship Siva you'll lose your husband. So, you'll become a renunciate and walk off to the Himalayas. What scripture says that? Of course, no scripture says that. That's how you know it's superstition. It's a statement taken to be true but it's not true because it has no scriptural basis.

So we can see the goal here in terms of religion and devotion is a pure, pure devotion not containing fear or any sense of superstition related to fear.

Moving on to today's lesson. It's a nice one and the two tie together, the Dancing With Siva lesson and the Merging With Siva lesson.

"In the Hindu tradition there have always existed among men a few for whom the world held no attraction and karmas were on the wane. Some are solitary mendicants. Others reside with their brothers in monasteries.


"Certain men are by nature inclined toward realization of the Self, and disinclined toward desires of family, wealth and property. Some among them are sadhus dressed in white. They are anchorites living in the seclusion of distant caves and remote forests or wandering as homeless mendicants, itinerant pilgrims to the holy sanctuaries of Hinduism. Others dwell as cenobites assembled with fellow monastics, often in the ashrama, aadheenam or matha of their satguru."

That's distinguishing two kinds of monks and they are quite distinct in what they're trying to do. Cenobite is living (which is us) is living with other monastics and coordinating with other monastics to accomplish something; there's a mission involved. Anchorites are just doing their sadhana as a single individual and not trying to relate to other monastics. So two kinds of approaches.

"These monks, both anchorite and cenobite, may live with no formal vows or take certain simple vows. When initiated into the order of sannyasa, they don the saffron robes and bind themselves to a universal body of Hindu renunciates whose existence has never ceased. Scriptural doctrine states that the two paths, householder and renunciate, are distinct in their dharmas and attainments, affirming that true renunciation may not be achieved by those in the world even by virtue of a genuine attitude of detachment."

And the Merging With Siva lesson continues the same thought:

"To renounce the world (This is talking about the family person.) To renounce the world may not be possible, but if he were to continue seeking for total transformation, the world would renounce him. The family would find their newly acquired mendicant incompatible with their desires and goals. The wife would find her spouse more interested in himself than her, with difficulties in maintaining income, continuity of family duties, distaste for work in the world, and the desire to retire into mountain caves, or at least a peaceful forest. All these thoughts, desires and feelings manifest in deserting family duties, or grihastha dharma, and its penalty is bad merit and breaking the vows that fulfill that dharma. So, you can see the dilemma that entangles stepping over the fiery line without the proper preparation, qualifications and initiation."

So this isn't so much an issue these days but it used to be an issue, more back in 1960's and somewhat into the 70's, for example. The two paths in Hinduism were confused. Those in the west pursuing Hindu thought who were married, many of them were living as if they were Sannyasins and not trying to acquire wealth and not trying to maintain a family and not focusing on raising children properly and so forth. The two dharmas got confused. These days it's not so much an issue but still it's important to keep it straight. Think the case which manifests most is when a married person gets very interested in mediation. Where it's meditating in a, following some practice, say two hours a day or so. They don't keep their duties straight it doesn't work right. Because they're looking at their spiritual practice of meditation as their spiritual life, as their duty. And quite often, this leads to neglecting the spouse and the kids. So the spouse and the kids are even more important than the meditation in terms of duty. That's how it has to be looked at; their needs come first. You know, if they have needs maybe we can't meditate two hours today. We have to think of them and raise the kids properly and so forth.

I know of some practitioners of transcendental meditation that got into that confusion. So the transcendental meditation which is really to be admired, in one sense, that's so disciplined. You know, two hours a day, three hours a day whatever it is. Many of them are very, very disciplined in maintaining an intense meditation practice. We also know of some who have neglected their family in the process because they don't see dharma properly. They think their meditation as their spiritual practice. What's important and they're neglecting their family. So that's not the idea of Hindu dharma. It's a distortion of Hindu dharma. We have to maintain all our duties, all our obligations, all our support for our family members and then, with the time that's left over, then we can meditate. Not the other way around. There if we meditate a lot of the day and then if there's any time left over we pay attention to our family; that's, that's backwards. (Yes it is. Big smile, yes? You like attention.)

So, that's the point Gurudeva's making is you know, we need to keep the two paths straight. The monastic path is where renunciation can take place but the family path we can't renounce. There's a wonderful statement by Swami Vivekananda. Someone must have asked him, you know, "Isn't it wrong to earn money?" You know: Isn't money worldly or something?

He said: "Absolutely not. It's the householder's duty to become rich."

That's what he said cause we need rich householders to build temples, to do this, to do that, to do that, to do that. Is very strong and it shows the dharma, you know, the difference. The sannyasin doesn't want any money but the householder should accrue as much money as is easily accruable with the dharma, dharma we have and use that money to advance the religion and other charitable activities as well as provide for one's family.

And our duties naturally change over, according to our age. That's the other point is that duties aren't constant through life. And naturally, in the family situation there's an adjustment. Constant adjustment over the years between husband and wife, between parents and their children that takes place and there's a natural introversion. So, it's more natural in one's later years. When you put a number on it, it's 72 is the sannyasa ashrama. It's more natural in one's later years to put more time into mediation and pilgrimage and being apart from one's spouse a little more than in earlier years. It just naturally happens. And, that also is a part of grihastha dharma that's help, that's made clear by the concept of the ashrama. So we see the four stages of life: student, married, elder advisor and renunciate. See those ashramas, there's a natural change in the relationship, a natural change of duties that takes place. To understand that is helpful in terms of fulfilling dharma and keeping the family relationship going well.

Aum Namah Sivaya

[End of transcript.]