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Pancha Ganapati's Five Shaktis

Part 4 of 4 - Bodhinatha finishes his moksha ritau address for 2002 by talking about the nature of the Pancha Ganapati festival and how each of Ganesha's five shakti's builds on those prior to it.

Unedited Transcript:

Turning to Pancha Ganapati, the first day of Pancha Ganapati today. Open House is tomorrow, is it? How many people do you think you will have? A few!

Tomorrow is our Annual Open House for the Mission, here and everywhere else. I think, it is chosen the same day. I know I was just reading Mauritius announcement this morning before coming, their Open House is today and we are delegating out all their duties.

Gurudeva's idea is once a year we open up and invite our neighbors and friends to the Church activity. It shows we like them, we are like them, we are not strange, we are not a cult, we are not different and in many ways our basic values are similar to theirs. It is a way of bonding and lessening any sense of separation or differences. Open House once a year.

The monastery is naturally developing its own Open House, the timing of which seems to fit best in Guru Purnima activities. We are thinking of having another Open House like Gurudeva held a couple of years ago, with the Mayor and so forth. Another Open House in July for the monastery.

Pancha Ganapati, our five-faced friend, five darshans. It fits in nicely with the concept of anger because the first shakti is of course, the vibration in the home. In our case here,the vibration of the monastery. It is a very tangible object. We cannot see it because it is astral. But we can feel it. If it is upset, we sure know it. You walk into someone's home and you can feel the vibration right away. You are very sensitive, particularly if you have never been there. You tend to feel it more objectively because it is the natural part of the instinctive mind to check out something new. It is like a cat walking outside a door, you know how cautious cats are. "Should I go out? What is out there? Maybe I won't. Maybe I will. The big decision of life, should I walk through this door?" They change their minds sometimes and come back in!

So, like being a cat walking into someone's home. You know, we are sensitive to the vibration which is the first shakti. How does it feel? Does it feel harmonious? Does it feel upset? Does it feel religious? Does it feel crude? What is the feeling in the home?

Of course, argument, anger mess it up. It creates a rocky vibration. You walk into a home in which argument happens a lot, you will feel it in your solar plexus. It will slightly upset you. If you are involved in argument then of course, it really upsets the solar plexus. But just walking into a vibration where argument regularly takes place, we can feel it, definitely feel it. So, that is the first shakti.

We need the vibration in the home to be harmonious for anything more subtle to work. So we cannot expect the third shakti of wealth to work out well if the first shakti is upset. If the home life isn't going along well, it shrinks our wealth in some way. At least the opportunities to acquire more wealth diminish. Likewise, the opportunity to acquire more wealth expand when the first shakti in the home is stronger.

For someone who is financially oriented, one example. To go into the home and start an argument is like taking fifty dollars out of your wallet and burning it! You are throwing away your wealth. You may not realize it. But, that is what is happening. Diminishing your wealth.

Then, the first three having to be going well in order for culture to manifest. It is like if people are totally involved in feeding themselves, clothing themselves, housing themselves, that takes up all the time. Then there is no time , no energy left over to do more cultured things, to be involved in music, singing, dance. Our life has to be going well so that the basics don't consume all our time and the problems of our life don't consume all our time. There is enough sublimity, there is enough financial abundance then we can think about culture. Then eventually we become religious.

The idea is we need harmony in the home. We need absence of anger and argument in order for our spiritual life to advance. Even for our material life to advance, we need that in a significant way.

Of course, this does not mean there should be no disagreement. We are not saying everyone should look at everything the same way. We are saying disagreements should be handled in a cultured way. Disagreements are fine. It is not natural to look at everything the same way all the time.

But it is how disagreements are handled, that is the important thing. Are they handled by getting angry, by getting nasty with one another, by sulking, by becoming silent? Are they handled in a cultured way? Sit down have a cup of tea together, smile, talk it out and work out the problem without any emotion coming up.

One key to handling it in a cultured way is trying to respect everyone else's opinion. Giving as much importance to their opinion as you give to your own opinion. Of course we value our own opinion. It is ours, right? It is usually the best or always the best, however we look at ourselves. Or maybe it is never the best, if we don't have much self confidence. But normally, people think their opinion is pretty good. If we give the same amount of value to everyone else's opinion we are discussing things with, that is a good key to handling it in a cultured way.

We are off on a wonderful Moksha ritau, a wonderful journey together through the next four months. Have a wonderful day and week.

Aum Namah Sivaya!