Temples, Monasteries, Peace


A temple helps you be a more peaceful person, live more deeply inside and into our soul nature. Harmony in the home leads to greater tolerance in the community. The emanation of darshan from the aadheenam creates an inner vibration, radiates out, uplifts those who are connected to the monastery. And, their karmas go more smoothly.

Master Course, Dancing with Siva, Sloka 70.

The Guru Chronicles, Chapter 17.

Saivite Shastras (Ref. Saiva Dharma Shastras, Chapter 1:26)

Unedited Transcript:

Good morning everyone.

This is from Dancing with Siva, Sloka 70.

"How Can Peace on Earth Be Achieved?

"Peace is a reflection of spiritual consciousness. It begins within each person, and extends to the home, neighborhood, nation and beyond. It comes when the higher nature takes charge of the lower nature. "

Pretty simple. I remember at the Australia Perth Kumbhabhishekam. I included something on that in my talk as there were members of the government there. Western Australia Government. I wanted to make a point that they would clearly understand. How Hindus look at the importance of the temple. That was the idea. Okay, we're building a temple; we're opening a temple, with the importance of it to the Hindu community.

So, I did this same idea. It helps the individual be more peaceful. Having a temple you can go to helps you be a more peaceful person. Basic idea, having a temple. Life can challenge us and we lose our center, come disturbed about this and that. If there's a temple we can go to it's easier to regain our center, pull ourselves back together then if we don't have one.

And if things are going well, then it helps us live more deeply inside ourselves into our soul nature. So brings greater peace to the individual. And what happens when the individuals are more peaceful? The home is more harmonious. If you have individuals who aren't peaceful they won't create a harmonious home. So, we have to have peace in the individual in order for the home to be harmonious. Even if just one of the two spouses is harmonious, the other one may not be able to draw him or her into the argument. They'd be an argument of one person, if at least, if at least one person is harmonious. Ideally both are harmonious.

So we have harmony in the home, greater harmony in the home and when we have greater harmony in the home, as this lesson points out, it leads to greater tolerance in the community. As it's leading to find fault with others and blame things on other people when we ourselves are disturbed. We're looking for a scapegoat. So, it helps the whole community just having a place of worship for Hindus. The whole community will be a little more tolerant. More harmony in the home, less domestic violence calls. Save on money.

So it definitely...but it starts with the individual, and you know, when you hear these statements about world peace: Oh, I want world peace, this and that. They don't start with the individual usually. It's doing something outside and it's not very effective. Cause, it's like raking the leaves, here. You know, all the leaves. Oh it's perfect. The path is totally clean. Two days later it's covered with leaves again, right? So it's, you try and create world peace externally, it can't last. It's like trying to straighten a dog's tail, as Yogaswami liked to say. You know it just will revert to the way it was cause there's no basis for it. Whereas, if you start with the individuals and they keep remaining peaceful then you have a permanent change as long as they keep seeking peace on a daily basis.

Doing some research in The Guru Chronicles, a story of our line of gurus. I was looking for something on Yogaswami for a Powerpoint presentation I was doing. And I came across this story which I had forgotten about. I thought I'd share it:

"Chenkaladi Sivathondan Centre is directed toward service. In the plan drawn up according to Yogaswami's wishes there was another temple-like structure on the western side. This was to be used to house celibate students and recluses. Recluses who had religious knowledge and knowledge of other arts, who were well experienced and of good conduct, were to reside there and teach others like them.

"Fertile fields were obtained in which the acolytes were to work hard, cultivate food, and thus be useful to others. This Sivathondu would help in getting rid of their egoism, helping them to forget the 'I' and live in unison with the 'we.'

"Swami said that men who grow in this atmosphere will have bodies that exude good religious conduct and faces exuding the strength of mental peace. He visualized them meditating in the hall, under the trees, amidst the fields, guiding the world through their silence, while sitting, walking and working. The fulfillment of the idea of Yogaswami's... The fulfillment of this idea of Yogaswami's depends on those who are prepared to sacrifice themselves fully in the pursuit of Self Realization. Yogaswami expressed that it is not the aim of the Sivathondan to indulge in propaganda, to press people or to go about lecturing."

Of course, it's same idea but in a different sense. We're talking about how the individual, by being peaceful, makes the whole more harmonious which makes the community more tolerant.

So this is saying, if you have a monastery like that, you're influencing people likewise: "...guiding the world through their silence, while sitting, walking and working."

Meaning the vibration of the monastery that they would they create by just being there, doing their meditation and their service and all, would uplift others. Particularly, those who knew of its existence. So, it's an interesting idea: That, just by having a place with a religious vibration, you can uplift. You don't have to run around and meet everybody in person and talk.

So, when I read that it reminded me of a verse in the shastras, Saivite Shastras we call it. It's a book that describes a monastery. Said a similar thing. " ...as is..." The first part of the sentence isn't here.

"... as is the mere existence of the Saiva Siddhanta Yoga Order enough to fulfill the purpose of the Order. Anything done outside of the emanation of darshan, that is of the nature of grace."

In other words, the primary activity here at Kauai Aadheenam is simply creating a vibration. In the terminology of the Saivite Shastras is the darshan. Having a strong darshan or having a strong inner vibration, that's the primary task. What does my Kulam do? It creates the inner vibration. It uplifts those who are tuned to the monastery. I think that's a good answer to the question.

We had a young man here recently who was interested in monastic life. And he was looking at it from the viewpoint of a common pattern in India. You go to a monastery for a few years, maybe six years, get trained, become swami, then go off on your own and teach. Monastery of one. There you are, off in the world. One person teaching. So he kind of had that pattern in mind, which is natural. Happens a lot in India even where it's not supposed to. It's so strong the idea of just going off on your own.

Whereas here, the idea is to stay together. Not to do anything in particular other than to create a strong vibration. If there's time to do something else after that we can do that too. But, first of all we'd have to create the vibration. People who come here should feel the vibration which they do. You know, we've been here since 1970 so that's 46 years. Forty-six years as of February. Long time. As people ask, this is a beautiful place?

I say: "Yes we've been here 46 years and it still looks that way to us too. " Every day is beautiful in a different way. Sometimes it rains beautifully, sometimes it's sunny beautifully.

So that's the idea and a very important point that he primary purpose of the aadheenam here is to create a strong inner vibration. And that, in itself, influences the life of anyone who's connected to it. That's the point. That's going into second shakti, second darshan, radiating out and influencing those who are connected. So, they are naturally connected and naturally uplifted. And their karmas go more smoothly as long as the vibration here is strong.

So, other parts of the shastras say interesting things.

"In the Order's history... Early in the Order's history, the darshan came strong and almost disappeared at times. (Inner force field, come into the temple and you can't feel it.) But later, as each individual adjusted himself to the shastric flow, the darshan became constant, strong and steady. Only when the physical plane permeates orderliness and does not precipitate confusion can the darshan flow in this extreme continuity."

The next chapter talks about keeping the place clean.

But that's interesting. You know, in the early years, the darshan was strong and then would almost go away. Oh, I remember a story on that. Long long ago, far far away story.

When we first started in the San Francisco center. Gurudeva wasn't living there during the week. He was living somewhere else. So, he'd come there for the weekend activities and then he'd go away on Monday. So the vibration was, you know, was there on Sunday, you know, flying high, and then at Monday, after he went, boom. So went away. Cause it was all His vibration.

The place didn't have a vibration of its own and the other monks were all just beginners so they couldn't create a vibration. So, totally dependent on him.

But here is not dependent on any one individual. It's strong enough, it's well established enough that it's just, keeps going, as long as we do our pujas every day, our meditations and so forth. Vibration stays strong.

So there's one last statement on that.

"The darshan was strong and fulfilled its purpose...The new Saivite culture began to bloom or surrounding each monastery, as the darshan more and more fulfilled its purpose of stabilizing the intensity of Saivism in the minds of the families and surrounding community."

Next sentence is the one I wanted.

"Even other religions, such as Buddhism, began to flourish in the darshan radiations from the Saivite monasteries. A great harmony was felt by all, under and guided under the systematic dissemination of encouragement and discipline through the monastery's senior group. "

Isn't that interesting? Even Buddhism gets a benefit from us. It's not really that different.

We had some Thai Buddhists. Did they come and have a ceremony? The Thai?? Yes the Thai Buddhists, Thailand. The Thai people go to both Buddhists temples and Hindu temples. And a story in Hinduism Today done by our correspondent was, when asked. They said: "Well we go to the Buddhist temple for purely spiritual benefits but we go to the Hindu temple because the Gods help us in our daily life."

So they worship Ganesha for material benefit. So, they're very used to worshiping in Hindu temples and there's no Thai Buddhist place on the island and they don't, they're closer to Hinduism than they are to Japanese Buddhism. So, they come here occasionally for ceremonies. So, this was for the birth of a new baby. Like a naming ceremony. But we just gave an archana. You know we don't want to give a namakarana then the question comes up: Is the baby Buddhist or Hindu?

That's a good question. I don't know the answer. If they attend an archana we're safe, you know. The baby is not Hindu.

So, have a wonderful day.

Aum Namah Sivaya.

Photo of  Gurudeva
Are we ready for the final journey life has to offer? Are we prepared to endure the hardships of sadhana, to suffer the death of the ego? Or would we prefer more pleasures in the world of "I" and "mine?"
—Gurudeva