Putting Gurudeva's Teachings to the Best Use, Part 1

Bodhinatha holds a class during Gurudeva's mahasamadhi observances about Gurudeva continues to live on in all of our lives since his mahasamadhi. Part 1 is about how Gurudeva influences us from the inner planes. We can continue to attune ourselves to Gurudeva through reading his books. When we do this before sleep at night we will probably be with Gurudeva in the inner planes during sleep.

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Questions? Bodhinatha is the successor of "Gurudeva," Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. If you have questions on subjects about spiritual life you will find answers in Gurudeva's books and teachings. Learn about ways to study these teachings by visiting The Master Course site or writing to mastercourse@hindu.org.

Unedited Transcript:

Good Morning, everyone!

I thought I would start this morning's class with a brief review of our Opening talk, we gave a couple of days ago.

Some of you were not here. So, it is good for those who were not here, plus some you may have forgotten already what was said. So many things happened between then and now!

Of course, it was Aslesha which I thought was interesting for the first day. It was Yogaswami's nakshatra, so we received Yogaswami's blessings on the first day of our Mahasamadhi Observance, a good sign.

I went on to mention that usually when a memorial observance is held for a great person, the total focus is on the past. "He did this, he did this, he did this, he was a great person."

In the case of Gurudeva, in the case of any Satguru of course, we want to honor his accomplishments. It is even more important to focus on the ways his influence continues to live on in the lives of his devotees, how he lives is more important than what he did. Then, we went through the three ways I chose to talk about how Gurudeva lives on.

The first one was by influencing us from the inner planes and it is one of my perks! I get to receive some very wonderful email all the time, very inspiring. Sometime three or four members of a family will write in the same day, each one telling about a dream of Gurudeva that they had. The whole family was in the kitchen once with Gurudeva. So three or four members of the family sent me email about the same dream without knowing the other one did. Get to hear about some wonderful dream experiences. I chose two emails to share.

The first one is from a student who is just studying on her own. So we don't really know her. She is not that close, never been here. This was in 2002, she wrote in and said, "I just wanted to let you know that ever since Gurudeva had his mahasamadhi, I have experienced an acceleration in my spiritual understanding and especially in my practices. I really feel I am being helped by Gurudeva's energy now. Have others said they are experiencing this as well?"

Of course, lots of people have said that and the way that I sometimes respond when someone asks about that aspect is that everyone who is practicing sadhana is moving forward through their karma. But they are moving forward more quickly. Their spiritual progress has been accelerated by Gurudeva on the inside. He is accelerating the progress. Depending on how much energy we are putting into our sadhana, our progress is accelerated accordingly.

The other way I like to explain it is, like Gurudeva is there on the inside pulling each of us toward the state of consciousness that he is in. So how close we get depends upon us, but he is there. He is like pulling on a rope, we are tied on the other end of the rope. He is pulling on the rope to test each of those who are studying his teachings and pulling us toward the state of consciousness that he is in. So consequently, we are able to experience deeper states of consciousness now than we were before. How all that works I don't attempt to explain but that seems to be the result, whatever the process.

There is a second email. This one is particularly nice from one of our Church members.

"I was walking with Gurudeva along a path through green hills with beautiful trees and flowers like at the Aadheenam. I said, "Oh, Gurudeva! It is so nice to see you. It seems like things are changing. How do we remember you? I wish you were here still."

Sound familiar? You probably say that too, a thousand times.

Gurudeva said, "I am here as long as there is someone, even one person, reading my writings or sayings, I will be here."

So that is a very interesting point. I made sure I didn't lose that email, in the thousands of emails. There are six thousand emails in my 'sent'.

It shows the importance of Gurudeva's writings and how he is connected to his writings. He didn't say as long as someone is standing in Kadavul or as long as someone is worshipping at Iraivan, as long as someone is here or there. It is not being in a place, it is studying his teachings. Of course, we can do this from anywhere. We don't have to be here to study Gurudeva's teachings. As long as we are studying Gurudeva's teachings, we are tying into him and he is tying into us. So that connection stays there and grows stronger according to the amount of effort we put into it.

Consequently we are very fortunate to have the Master Course Trilogy which provides all the teachings and for someone, like me, if I lift all three it provides some exercise as well! The idea of working from the inner planes is the theme that Gurudeva lives on because he is working with us from the inner planes.

This naturally leads to the question - How can we improve our ability to work with Gurudeva in the inner planes? What do we need to do? Did Gurudeva gives us any guidelines or suggestions on how to better attune ourselves to the inner plane?

Fortunately he did. I will read the quote, just to summarize the quote. The idea is the repetitions of mantras, japa yoga, just before sleep after relaxing the body through hatha yoga and diaphragmatic breathing.

He is giving three things - mantras, hatha yoga and diaphragmatic breathing - and if those are done right before we go to sleep, then that helps us go deeper in our sleep and go onto the inner planes. There is a nice quote that I wanted to read from 'Merging with Siva' on this.

"When japa is well performed and the sincere desire is maintained to transcend the forces of the physical body and enter into the astral schools of learning, the aspirant would have dreamless nights. A deep sleep would prevail, there may be a few seconds of dreaming just before awakening to which one should not pay any attention. That is the astral body quickly entering the physical. But a deep dreamless sleep is in itself an indicator that the purusha is totally detached from the physical forces and totally intact and functioning in the Devaloka. Himalayan Academy is an academy in the Devaloka in which Rishis of the Nandinatha Sampradaya teach, help and guide tens of thousands of devotees of God Siva who have been influenced by the words and teachings of our sampradaya."

Another suggestion Gurudeva makes is in the introduction of 'Merging with Siva', where he suggest that the daily lessons of 'Merging with Siva' are read before sleep each night. Why he choose 'Merging with Siva', of course, it is the most mystical of the three books. It tends to take us deeper in consciousness.

So I will make the same comment that I did on Sun One because it is important, even though repetitious.

You may think just because when you wake up and don't remember being in the inner planes, remember being with Gurudeva, that you were not. Some people think that. It is a natural assumption. "Gee, I don't remember being with Gurudeva. I don't remember being in the inner planes, therefore I was not."

Then you hear other people talking about their dreams with Gurudeva and all of a sudden a big green aura comes up, "Oh they are so lucky! They are with Gurudeva all the time" and you are never with Gurudeva.

But that is not the case. It is not quite so black and white. It has to do with the fact, the ability, shall we say, of some people to remember their dreams. Some people remember their dreams very, very well. But that is unusual , most people do not. They don't remember their dreams, not meaning the dreams just before you awaken. Meaning the dreams that started maybe at midnight or something, when you were really sound asleep. Some people remember them, others don't. Sometimes you will remember them if you wake up like at one-thirty or two in the morning. You might remember them because it was so recent. Just because you don't remember, it doesn't mean it didn't happen. So therefore how do you know it happened if you can't remember it happened?

Well, you have to ascertain the state of consciousness in which you are awakening. If you are awakening and you are kind of sleepy, you know you have to pull yourself together and have a cup of coffee or whatever before you can really think clearly, you were not in the inner planes.

But if you wake up and you are really energetic and dynamic and you feel inspired and kind of clear, chances are you were on the inner planes during the night. Because, that is the energy that comes from the inner planes, the same energy that comes from meditation.

So, if you wake up and feel like you have been meditating, it means you were in the inner planes. If you wake up and feel like you had some unusual dreams you wish you didn't have, unless they only lasted a short time, you were not in the inner planes.

How to figure out what was taught to you on the inner planes when you don't remember being in the inner planes is an even greater challenge. But it can be done. You just have to look for signs in your thinking.

What does that mean? Maybe you have a new idea, a new perspective, a new thought or a new understanding. Something is resolved all of a sudden and you say, "Gee, that does not bother me anymore. You have to look for something new. It would be intuitive, a new idea that is there which was not there before. If you find it, it came from the inner planes, it came from being deep within during your sleep. Because you don't get those kinds of things just in an ordinary dream state.

That is one reason the ideal is to wake up early because we avoid the ordinary astral plane dreams which become stronger right before and right after sunrise. For some reason, you are sleeping late because you just want to or you got to bed late and could not help it. You may notice that your dream state is kind of shallow and disturbed and more worldly and feels like people are intruding into your private state of mind. Well, that is because you are sleeping late. It definitely happens. So that is why in yoga practices, it is good to get up early if at all possible and you avoid those dreams. Also you are more attuned to the inner plane experiences. If you have had one, you can ferret it out more clearly without all that interference coming and kind-of fogging up the mind.

That is the point. Gurudeva lives on through influencing us on the inner planes.