In Part 3 of his Mahasivaratri talk for 2002, Bodhinatha quotes from Living with Siva on "the mission of the mission." A dynamic band of devas in the inner worlds guides and assists our monastic order, and it has been building up and guiding our lineage from its very beginning over 2,000 years ago. Bodhinatha goes on to talk about the importance of realizing the Self as a daily practice for the monks, about the Saiva Swami Sangam, its mission and way of working together, its vows, ideals, service and sadhana. He also welcomes two new yogis. Bodhinatha ends by saying that now is the time to realize the Self. Don't put it off!
There is a wonderful 'Living with Siva' lesson which talks about Parasiva. It came out some time in the last few days. I thought I would read it. It is called 'The mission of the Mission'.
"A legacy of devas from the entire parampara accompanies our monastic order, providing silent, unseen inner guidance and
protection for old and young alike. As long as at least one person within the entire group of mathavasis is going into and coming out of Parasiva once a day, the doorway to the Third World remains open to the hereditary entourage of devonic forces that has been building up for over two thousand years. This is because the brahmarandhra, the door of Brahman at the top of the head, remains open when Parasiva is daily experienced within a mathavasi community. It could be the oldest monk or within the youngest. This great realization occurring time and time again within someone day after day keeps the door of Brahm open for the entire prana chakravala of monastics, keeping vibrantly strong the inner, actinic connection with all gurus of our parampara, as well as the other sadhus, rishis and saints who have reached these same attainments, and with the sapta rishis themselves who guide our order from deep within the inner lokas."
This huge amount of wisdom is just sitting there, in the 'Living with Siva' lesson that has multiple facets. Of course, the one that stands out the most is the idea that someone needs to realize Parasiva everyday within the monastic community. It shows the importance of having meditations to try and do that. It also shows that it does not just fall upon one person. It does not even mention the Guru here. It says, "It might be the senior monastics or it might be the youngest monastic." It is everyone's duty to give it a try. We all share in this responsibility of trying to realize Parasiva every time we have a morning meditation. We have a morning meditation on our kulam days from about six to seven in the morning. It is during that time we all try to realize Parasiva and we hope at least one made it. Two or three is safer in case one fell asleep or something!
It puts a different perspective on Parasiva. It doesn't look that optional or it doesn't look that far off or doesn't look like the end of the path. It looks like this is something we should be doing everyday like cooking lunch. This is an important part of monastic life. It is not something special.
It puts it in a very nice perspective and then it shows how much help is going on on the inside. It is interesting, one of the sishya wrote in recently. He asked for some advise and I gave him some advise. He was reflecting on it and he said, "You know, it is starting to feel like I have two gurus. Is that okay to feel I have two gurus, Gurudeva on the inside and you in the first world?"
I said, "Sure, that is fine but why stop at two? You can keep counting, you know. Yogaswami is still there and that is at least up to three. If you keep going, you will get four or five." How many are there actually on the inside working with each of us? That is a very good question, something we haven't thought about a lot. Of course now, we are.
This points out in a very broad sense that there is a lot of help going on, on the inside, that comes along with the Parampara. As long as the monastic community upholds its disciplines and keeps the Aadheenam's vibration up, all this help on the inside will be there, not for just the monks but for everyone who is participating in the Parampara to benefit from in their lives, both spiritual and material.
It goes on, "My Saiva swamis, or Natha swamis, are distinguished by their orange robes, gold Natha earrings and three strands of rudraksha beads. They are the Saiva Siddhanta Yoga Order, known as the Saiva Swami Sangam when they gather in ecclesiastical conclave. The sangam does not follow the protocol of unanimous decision. Rather, it works in intuitive
one-mindedness to carry out instructions from the Kailasa Peetam, our spiritual seat of authority, to better the Saivite mission and the individuals dedicated to its success. These sannyasins are not looked upon as individuals so much as an integrated council, assembled and working in unison to perform a holy work as Sivanadiyars, servants of God Siva. Guided by the satguru, the Saiva Swami Sangam forms the ecclesiastical body of our Hindu Church which works in a humble way to protect the purity of the faith among all Hindu sects, through inspiring publications and other means of encouragement. Specifically, our Order's mission is to protect, preserve and promote the Saivite Hindu religion as embodied in the Tamil culture, traditions and scriptures of South India and Sri Lanka. Our monastic order follows the cenobitic pattern in which monastics live in community and work together toward common objectives. Sannyasins of this order are not wandering sadhus or silent contemplatives, known as anchorites, rather they are members of a brotherhood working closely and industriously with their satguru and with their brother monastics. At the time of sannyasa diksha, each has accepted the mission of the Kailasa Parampara as his own: to protect and perpetuate Saivism; to serve Hindus the world over; to provide, teach and disseminate scripture, religious literature and practical instruction; to promote temple construction and to exemplify the dignity and enlightenment of our Nandinatha Sampradaya. Living under lifetime vows of renunciation, humility, purity, confidence and obedience, these sannyasins are bound to fulfill their unique role in the Saivite culture of religious exemplars and staunch defenders of the faith. Their ideal is to balance outward service, Sivathondu, and inward contemplation-realization, Sivajnana, for a rich, fulfilling and useful life."
That gives a very nice description of our tradition and one reason I read it was we have the privilege of accepting two yogis this evening. You may have noticed some yellow being worn. Yogi Mahadevan and Yogi Japendranatha have taken up the Yogi staff of tapas, in preparation for, possibly, sannyas.
It is a wonderful pattern that Gurudeva has established of working together. It is one of the reasons we are able to do so much, and one of the reasons even Gurudeva was able to do so much because he had a good support team. It is the reason we are able to continue on all our activities. There is twenty-four of us working together very closely to fulfill the different aspects of the Mission that Gurudeva set in motion.
Last but not least, "Now is the time". Now is the time for what? When it comes to realizing Parasiva and even Satchidananda, now is the time. We tend to put it off and say, "I am not ready. I am unworthy. I am too busy. We tend to put it off. But it doesn't work in the way that something matures. In other words, it is independent of the maturity of the soul. It doesn't correspond in a direct way. Something happens in your karma and you have a realization. You can't predict it. So we want to be careful not to put it off by thoughts like, "I am not ready. Well, maybe when I am older, maybe when this happens, maybe when that happens ..."
Now is the time, could be this very moment. Maybe it just happened. You don't have to put it off. It needs a different attitude than we are used to in spiritual life, where we tend to think, "Well, I am making slow and steady progress. Everything is going along nicely and this is good, this is great." That is just a spiritual soul body maturing, going along quite steadily, making progress, this is good.
When it comes to realization, it doesn't work that way. For the deeper realizations you step out of time. It is not maturing, it is there all the time in the essence of the soul, if we can somehow claim it. If our meditation is intense enough, our mind is pure enough and we can claim it, why not claim it now? Now is the time.
Aum Namah Sivaya.