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Mauritius Trip Talks

Bodhinatha tells us of the theme for his trip to Asia coming up, focusing on the parents as the first guru, positive discipline, and that magically the sutra of the day today is about positive discipline. There will be a large event at our Spiritual Park in Mauritius the day after Ganesha Chaturthi. For this Bodhinatha is preparing a simple message on Lord Ganesha and how the worship of Ganesha helps us control our emotional nature.

Unedited Transcript:

We are off to Asia in a few days. This is our phase to prepare and then depart for Asia. We are looking forward to going there particularly in Mauritius, very few of the members, students and devotees ever come to Kauai Aadheenam. So it is a wonderful opportunity to see them all again and of course, everyone in Malaysia and Singapore as well.

I thought I would share this morning, some of the messages we are taking with us on our trip. The main message is, 'Parents are the first Guru' and that ties in, of course, with the Positive Discipline that we have been emphasizing for a number of years and the 'Nine Qualities' to cultivate in children. That whole area of the Nine Qualities comes out of Positive Discipline, because Positive Discipline has to be in place first, even to talk about this other area. These are like refinements or extensions of what can be done in a home where Positive Discipline is in use.

I was preparing this talk yesterday and always the first thing I do when I prepare a talk is, I look at Gurudeva's daily lesson. See what is there because it is amazing that the timing of the daily lessons and the events in life quite often coincide in a very interesting way. So of course, what would the sutra of the day be on? Positive Discipline! The main message of the trip. Just read that sutra, "Siva's followers direct children through affirmations, meaningful chores and rules that are clear and understood, teaching that mistakes are opportunities to learn and focusing on solutions instead of punishment."

What stood out to me in reading that, I read that many times, is the word 'rules'. I recently read the article by Tara and the schooling experience. What stood out to me was to establish clear rules. That was really fundamental to anything working right in the classroom. The rules needed to be understood and the consequences of breaking the rule need to be understood. Of course, those consequences had to be reasonable, could not be outlandish. So, having a system like that in place is totally necessary in order for a situation to use Positive Discipline. Anyway, I was impressed with the idea of rules.

We are taking this talk on the Nine Guidelines. We are going to give it in all three countries, our one dominant speech. We are going to even give it on television in Mauritius, for the television interview. We will get 'Positive Discipline', 'Parents as the First Guru' out there on television in Mauritius.

The Nine Guidelines, just to read them so we all have them in mind. They all begin with a 'P', remember that? The first word begins with a 'P and either the last word or the second to the last word begins with a 'C'. It makes it easy to remember.

1. Positive Self-Concept

2. Perceptive Self-Correction

3. Powerful Self-Control

4. Profound Self-Confidence

5. Playful Self-Contentment

6. Pious Character

7. Proficiently in Conflict Resolution

8. Parental Closeness

9. Prejudice-Free Consciousness

Those are our Nine Qualities. Certainly the largest gathering on the trip will be the gathering in Mauritius at the Spiritual Park, the day after Ganesha Chaturthi. For some reason, the public holiday is the day after Ganesha Chaturthi, I don't know why. But anyway, we are having a large event on that day, September 11th and should have well over a thousand people in attendance. Things for generating lots of attendance that day is being publicized and have some Government VIPs there as well, we hope.

We are working on a simple message for that situation. The Nine Parenting guidelines is too complicated. So we are working on one on Lord Ganesha, how the worship of Lord Ganesha helps us control our emotional nature, avoid the negative emotional states. This was written up in the Newsletter. Just like the Iraivan Building Fund has a Newsletter, which we all see, in Mauritius they have a Newsletter for the Spiritual Park. It doesn't come out monthly, it comes out every three months. In addition to the news and a list of contributors and activities coming up, there is a message from me that goes in it.

This is what went out in the last one.

"The worship of Lord Ganesha brings many benefits to those whose devotion is deep and who have learned to feel close to Him. You may be wondering what it means to feel close to Ganesha. It means He is a good friend with whom you share your life, its successes and shortcomings, joys and sorrows. He is to you a real Being who simply happens to not have a physical body. One of the benefits He bestows is to stabilize our emotional nature. His blessings can keep us from falling into the negative states of mind such as fear, depression, insecurity and anger. Ganesha's blessings keep our consciousness in the positive states of mind in the muladhara chakra and above. Truly, the Spiritual Park is an auspicious place for the worship of Lord Ganesha due to Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami's powerful vision of Ganesha bathing in the Rempart river.

Jai Panchamukha Ganapati."

That will be the basis for that talk. It is interesting, human nature is consistent throughout the world. We all have the same problems, we all have the same experiences, joys and sorrows, ups and downs. So I wrote this message about three weeks ago and had to find it three additional times to send it out on e-mail. People write in and say, "Help, help. I am having trouble with this. I am having trouble with that. What can I do?"

If it is something to do with emotional control, then I have been pulling out this message because it is just very good general advise. If you are having trouble with your emotions, going up and down, joy and sorrow, depression, anger, resentment, feeling upset about this and that, whatever, the worship of Lord Ganesha is a very good solution. But you have to feel close to Him, you have to have made Him a friend. Otherwise, it does not work.

We have another message we are going to work into that same event. This one we gave a while ago, a number of months ago. It is on 'Satsang'. "Participating in Satsang, a gathering of good souls on a regular basis, is very stabilizing to our religious life. We are influenced more than we realize by those we associate with at work, at school and elsewhere. Tiruvalluvar says in the Kural, "As water changes according to the soil through which it flows, so a man assimilates the character of his associates."

Another verse, "Even perfect men possessing the mind's full goodness are fortified by pious fellowship."

Every few months, I get an e-mail in which somebody says, "I have stopped my sadhana," , or "I have not been doing sadhana for years. What shall I do?" So it is that case.

"When an individual seeks guidance for a problem, not living up to the spiritual principles previous upheld, the advise given is to attend a Satsang regularly, as that will help catalyze them to resume one's spiritual practices.

In other words, you have to associate with people who are doing spiritual practices in order to sustain it, if you have stopped. If you are going along fine, maybe you can do it on your own. But if you stopped, you won't be able to start up again, unless you associate regularly with other people who are doing it. It gives you enough critical mass, so to speak. It gives you enough momentum to restart your practices.

Thus, it is particularly inspiring to see on the first Sunday of the month, public worship of Lord Ganesha at the Spiritual Park gaining momentum. Jai Panchamukha Ganapati!"

The members there, particularly the Kulapatis have been very inspired about having the first Sunday of the month special. On the first Sunday of the month, the members do a homa by themselves, a simple homa and the public comes. They do bhajans and give a talk in Creole. It is building up a nice attendance. Some people are very appreciative and they say comments like, "It is so nice to come and worship, where the people worshipping are religious. Those doing the homa are doing it in a very devotional way." They are not used to seeing it. That is a good testimony as to the sincerity of the members there, of their worship.