Mahasivaratri, 2003, Part 3

Mahasivaratri, Part 3 of 3, Being Still. Bodhinatha elucidates some wonderful quotes from Yogaswami on the theme of "summa iru," which means "be still" in Tamil, one of Yogaswami's mahavakyas, or great sayings, as well as some nice thoughts on the importance of controlling the breath in meditation.

Unedited Transcript:

I just pulled out of an old book, very old, some notes from Yogaswami's sayings, combining the various sayings from 'Words of our Master' on being still. Eleven different sayings.

"Practice remaining summa for ten minutes."

that is like just taking ten minutes time after a puja to find a quiet place and sit and worship Siva inside, that is the idea.

"Practice remaining summa for ten minutes."

"Without remaining summa, the mind is running here and there. That is its nature."

"Remaining summa is the best exercise."

"On the highest level, you do not have to control even the mind. Because to control the mind there must be a second. There will come a time when the mind becomes quiet by itself."

So, that is a nice insight into what stillness is. When we just quiet down the mind, stillness is there. It is just that the mind is an activity that covers up our inner stillness.

"The atman, the soul is summa. Movement is for the body and mind."

"Bliss will come if you remain summa."

"If you remain summa, the sound of voices outside will not reach you. When you come down you can see the world."

Here is another statement which is similar. He talks about like you have guests downstairs and nobody is upstairs in your house.

He says, "You just go upstairs and be quiet and then when you are done, come back downstairs."

So this is the same idea, come down and see the world.

"You sing and learn because you are unable to remain summa."

Sounds like Gurudeva there, a small scolding!

"There is nothing to know. Remain summa."

And the last one. "Meditation is silence."

As we focused on in our meditation, breathing is very important., regulating the breath. The breathing that Ceyonswami asked us to do is 9 counts in, hold 2, 9 counts out, hold 2. That is a regulated breath, the in and the out breath are the same length. Regulating the breath is the common practice for quieting down the thinking mind.

If you are sitting down and you are trying to meditate, you need to regulate the breath. If still the mind is running wild, keep going. Regulate the breath some more and eventually it will quiet down. Regulated breath has the ability to quiet the mind and help us experience the state of summa iru, being still.

Those are our thoughts for this evening, thank you very much.

Aum Namah Sivaya.