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Putting Gurudeva's Teachings to the Best Use, Part 2

Bodhinatha continues his Gurudeva mahasamadhi observances class with this part on how Gurudeva continues to influence us by his teachings. All who continue to put into practice the teachings he gave us, he continues to live through that. One of the hardest things to do is to receive a set of teachings and follow them. Next, Gurudeva continues to live through the core mission activities. The core is the monastery and the monks. He documented very well how we the monks, initiated members and students should live. Exercise - Take a look at the personal advice you may have received from Gurudeva. Are you putting it all into practice, or are you neglecting to follow some of it?

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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

Unedited Transcript:

The second topic. Gurudeva continues to influence us by the teachings. All who continue to put into practice the teachings he gave us, he continues to live through that.

As I mentioned, one of the hardest things on the spiritual path is to receive a set of teachings and follow them. It is kind-of, like going to the doctor. You go to one doctor and he tells you something. You do it for a while and you get tired of doing that. It did not really work. So, you go to another doctor and get some other advise. You do that for a while, that does not quite do what you want. Go to a third doctor. You know that pattern? Whereas, of course, you would have been better off following the advise of the first doctor more fully.

In the same instance in spiritual teachings, the mind likes to practice them for a while and then wants something new. "This is hard work, maybe if I get another technique it will be easier."

Like getting hard instructions from the doctor, "Lose 20 pounds," and you say, "Oh no! Better go to another doctor, this is too difficult."

So, anyway the idea is that it is important to practice. One of the things we are going to do when we finish this review is look at the personal advise we received from Gurudeva. We will have a little exercise on that, because it is very important to not to forget the advise, the personal advise he gave us.

Of course, there is the general teachings. But, all of us here received some kind of personal advise at one point in our lives or many points in our lives. We want to look at that advise and see if we are following it or not. We will come back to that at the end.

Following the teachings is the second way in which Gurudeva lives on. The third way is through the core Mission activities.

Of course, the core of the activities is the Aadheenam and the monks here. One of Gurudeva's strengths was to document everything. He loved to create guidelines and rules and codes. So, for the monks we have all kinds of codes to follow. The Nandinatha Sutras have lots of sections for the monks and the Saivite Shastras and the Monastic Vow books.

Then for the initiated members, most of the guidelines for the initiates are in the Nandinatha Sutras. For those who are studying Gurudeva's teachings without being initiated, of course, the guidelines are given in the Master Course Trilogy. By following the guidelines that he gave us, we are perpetuating the mission in a very nice way.

The last point I made was, in summary. Quite often when I am sitting here, pilgrims come in and chit chat and talk and they say, "Oh, Gurudeva's presence feels so strong. When I was in the temple it was like he was right there." People would walk back and forth on the property and say that. So the comment I like to make is that, to those of us that live here, the monks, it always feels like Gurudeva is in the next room. You know you go in the next room and of course, he is in the next room. In that way, he is always in the next room. He feels that close. He is there but some how in that room. If you go there, he is not here, he is in the next room!

That is a quick summary of the Sun One talk, there is a more causal commentary.

We need our pencil and paper, we are going to do a ten-minute exercise.

Many of us here today, in fact probably all of us, have been blessed by having received specific personal advise from Gurudeva, based upon his deep insights into our nature and karma. We need to reflect and make sure we are continuing to put all his advise into practice in our daily life. Perhaps we are neglecting to follow some of them because he is no longer scolding us, right? That always helped!

Therefore, we want to take ten minutes or more to reflect on all the advise you have received.

Take a piece of paper and divide it into two columns. You can fold or draw a line down the middle, divide it into two columns. On one side, it is for the advise you are following and the other side is for the advise you are not.

Try to write down in the appropriate column all the major, we are not talking about small things, all the major advise you have been given and particularly we are trying to see what helps you point out to yourself, any major advise you have received that you are forgetting to follow.

The reason for this is that often the key to solving the problem in our life have already been given to us in the form of personal advise from Gurudeva. However, the problems continue simply because we have not continued to implement his advise.

We will take ten minutes. I am going to do it, too.