Are Souls And World Essentially Good?
Path to Siva Commentary, Lesson 24
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2017-05-12
The world does contain suffering; it's this way for a reason. If the world was perfect why would we want to transcend it? We're not all in the same place in consciousness. We don't divide the world into good and bad. Everyone is divine on the inside. The soul is pure actinic energy flowing through the seven chakras below and the six chakras above the muladhara. Hindu society is designed to help everybody come up in consciousness. It takes many lives.
Path to Siva, Lesson 24.
Master Course Trilogy, Dancing with Siva, Lesson 47
Good morning everyone.
This morning we have:
"Path to Siva, Lesson 24: Are Souls and World Essentially Good?
"All souls are essentially good, for their inner nature is divine. Each soul is created by God Siva from Himself. Siva's nature is pure love. So, goodness, compassion, understanding and joy are natural qualities of the soul. Wisdom and pure knowledge are the intrinsic nature of the soul. The world, too, is God's flawless creation. All is in perfect order and balance. Since God is everywhere and in all things, there can be no place for evil. Evil is often looked upon as a force against God. But we know that all forces are God's forces, even mean, hurtful actions. This is sometimes difficult to understand when we see the pains and problems caused by people against each other. Looking deeper, we see that what is called evil has its own purpose in life. Yes, bad things do happen. Still, the wise never blame God, for they know such things are the return of our self-created karmas, tough lessons that help us learn and mature. The nature of the world is duality. It contains each thing and its opposite: joy and sorrow, goodness and evil, love and hate. Suffering cannot be totally avoided. It is a natural part of human life that causes much spiritual growth for the soul. Knowing this, the wise accept suffering from any source, be it hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, famine, wars, disease or personal tragedies. Suffering offers us the important realization that true happiness and freedom cannot be found in the world, for earthly joy is bound to sorrow. Having learned this, devotees seek a satguru who teaches them to overcome suffering through understanding and acceptance. The world is the bountiful creation of a benevolent God, who means for us to live positively in it, facing karma and fulfilling dharma. We must not despise or fear the world. Life is meant to be lived joyously. "
So the answer to the question is: yes. Are souls and world essentially good? Yes! But this is an issue to many people. I get asked this question on a regular basis. Recently it was...she was about ten years old, I think. Had a number of good questions. Everybody in the family had excellent questions. The father, the mother and the ten year old daughter. And she asked something like: Why is there suffering in the world? Why do bad things happen in the world?
And my answer was something like: Well it, the world is the way it's supposed to be. No one said it wouldn't have suffering or bad things in it. The issue is to expect that it doesn't have suffering or bad things in it. Once you realize that the world does contain suffering, it does contain events that we wish didn't happen, then we have an understanding of it's nature. So we need to accept the world as it is. It's this way for a reason. One of the reasons is as mentioned toward the end is: If the world was perfect, why would we want to transcend it? Boy, this is bliss. I just can't wait to be reborn and do it all over again, you know. This is so wonderful here; every day is perfect. There's no sorrow, no disease. Obviously, we're not supposed to think that way, right? We're here for a limited time, the shorter the better. And then we're supposed to move on and stay in the inner worlds. So it's not supposed to be a perfect place. That's the answer toward the end.
There's a good explanation on evil in Dancing with Siva which I copied over here. Just says the same thing it does here but it explains it in a little more depth. Limited here to a few, not very many words.
"People act in evil ways who have lost touch with their soul nature and live totally in the outer, instinctive mind. What the ignorant see as evil, the enlightened see as the actions of low-minded and immature individuals."
This is telling us we're not all in the same place in consciousness. Some individuals are in a lower or basic consciousness. Some are in a more intellectual consciousness and some are in a more spiritual consciousness. As I mentioned before the Tirukural addresses all three groups. The spiritual gives motivation. You should do this for this reason. Gives a different motivation to each group. For the spiritual group it says: You should do this because it's the right thing to do. This is the highest way to live. It's the only explanation given. To the intellectual group it says: If you do this you'll get wealthy. You'll benefit your family for seven generations. Oh, that sounds good. That's reasonable. And as for the low minded it starts to scare them. It says: If you don't do this, if you do this, boy. If you do this you're really gonna suffer. It tries to scare them into doing it. You know, fear motivation. So, which works, for that group.
So three types of motivation, within Hinduism, within that scripture. Addressing humanity. And that's one of the qualities of Hinduism it addresses the entire gamut of humanity. From the simplest person to the most sophisticated spiritual person. There's teachings in Hinduism for everyone. Sometimes that's described as: Well why is Hinduism so complex? And that's one of the reasons is there's something for everyone in it. You don't try and do everything. You look for the part that applies to you at this point in your soul evolution and do that. Ignore the rest when it comes to practice.
There's a very precise way when looking at this phrase: ...low-minded and instinctive individuals. That's the seven chakras below the muladhara. And one way of thinking of human being is: The soul is pure actinic energy. Everyone's soul is pure actinic energy. But it expresses itself through the chakra system. Generally we just talk about fourteen, the seven below and the seven above. Of course, Gurudeva sometimes mentions there's seven way up there but those are so refined that he usually doesn't do anything but say they exist. Kind of, that's something we need to know a lot about.
But these fourteen are very useful. Well, lets start at the bottom and work up. We can see where a low-minded person is. Where there's...What's the lowest state of the low?
"Patala: Malice and murder. A virtual hell of hate, hurting, killing for its own sake without remorse. Reason rarely reaches this region."
Tala means region. So they don't have the, all end in tala, region, realm, consciousness. So that's pretty low, right? ",,,killing for its own sake without remorse." It's one thing to kill and have remorse afterwards. It's another thing to kill and not feel anything, not feel any remorse. So that's as low as you can go.
"Mahatala: Consciencelessness. Blindness to higher impulses prevails. Guilt, compunction, even fear, are foreign. Criminality is life."
So criminal. Go down to criminal consciousness. There's no conscience that you're doing something wrong. Good criminal doesn't feel he or she's doing anything wrong. That allows them to do it with full abandon, not reigned in by conscience.
"Rasatala: Selfishness. An imprisoning veil of 'me' and 'mine' blinds the natural instinct to care for others. Every action is for personal gain."
Now we're getting a little more high minded. We're just overly self-centered. We're not getting violent. We're totally self-centered. We're not thinking of others. And of course, all children start out with some sense of that. And then we have to raise the consciousness to care about other people.
"Talatala: Prolonged confusion. Perversions replace natural joys. Negative karmas compound and stiffen the flow of awareness. Reason warps."
"Sutala: Retaliatory jealousy. Wanting what others have and preoccupation with what one is not gnaws at the mind, instilling ill-will."
So this isn't simply jealousy, which is not that bad if you're jealous in a small degree but this is "retaliatory jealousy." It's so strong, you know, we have to do something about it. If you're jealous of a person we have to make sure that person suffers in some way. So this, he loses their privilege. Retaliatory jealousy.
Then we get up into the ones that are more common in our realm.
"Vitala: Raging anger. Dark red-black streaks emblazon the aura when awareness enters this furnace of instinctive fire and then injures others."
This isn't simply anger, it's raging anger. Raging anger means you totally lose control. That's when men start punching holes in the wall. So it's such an emotional state you can forget it the next day. You just, you lost control. So your normal faculty isn't there even to remember clearly what you did.
"Atala: (Just one down.) Fear and lust. As awareness slips below the muladhara into fear, indecision stymies ambition and a licentious lifestyle dulls the pranic sheath."
So fear is a, something that's, can be overcome just by understanding it. Where, we're one chakra down from where we want to be. We don't want to, we don't want to go below the muladhara. That's why, how we start the Shum meditation. We just seal it off.
If we go below the muladhara, how do we get out of fear? Well we have to stimulate the muladhara, right? So, that's one reason memory practice is important.
I remember one mother was talking to me about, the child was about six or seven. The child was fearful on a regular basis. And I said: Well don't worry about, you know, at this age. The boy, he should work out of it through going to school and memorize it. That should stabilize consciousness above the fear. So even by the time the boy was age ten I would think there shouldn't be this fear problem. And there wasn't. It worked. Just going to school naturally stabilized the consciousness above fear.
So that's stimulating the muladhara through memory. Learn a new song, memorize new recipes if you like cooking. Learn something new. Memorize it clearly.
Worship of Lord Ganesha is also useful to stabilizing one self above the, in the muladhara chakra so that we don't fall below. That's why Lord Ganesha's first. If consciousness is below the muladhara not much benefit from many practices, they're too subtle. We won't feel anything, you know. We're not in tune with the more subtle energies. We need to stabilize ourselves in the muladhara consciousness, in the deeper practices to have the full effect.
So that gives the sense and therefore, when we think of individuals who are in these really low states we can't think of them as evil because the soul is in there. The pure actinic energy is in there it's just flowing through the lowest of the chakras. We have to help them come up in consciousness is the whole idea. We need to help everybody come up in consciousness. We don't divide the world into good and bad, this and that. Everybody should come up in consciousness. That's the Hindu point of view. So it takes many lives and the Hindu society is designed to encourage that to happen. So we don't label someone cause everyone is divine on the inside. We just understand where they are, what they're doing and try and help them come up a notch or two in consciousness in this lifetime.
Thank you very much. Have a wonderful day.
Aum Namah Sivaya.