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Positive Change through Observation

Green in the aura; a balance between two extremes. Look a little harder into other people and recognize their good qualities. Change requires observation. Negativity can be overcome. Confidence can be built systematically over time.

Unedited Transcript:

Good morning everyone.

As you may recall we're going through the colors that are in the back of Merging With Siva, reminding ourselves of some of the subtleties. Started with red and then we did yellow and today we're up to green.

"Green is a peculiar group, consisting as of course it does of various combinations of blues and yellows, tinted and shaded by white or black. Even skilled occultists find it very difficult to account for the fact of certain green shades arising from the spiritual blue and the intellectual yellow. This is one of the most obscure points in the whole subject of the astral colors, and none but the most advanced occultists are able to explain the 'why' in some instances. To those who are fond of analysis of this kind, I will drop the following hint, which may help them out in the matter: the key is found in the fact that green lies in the center of the astral spectrum, and is a balance between the two extremes, and is also influenced by these two extremes in a startling manner.

"A certain restful green denotes love of nature, outdoor life, travel in the country, etc., and also, slightly differing in tint, the love of home scenes, etc. Again, a clear, beautiful, lighter tint of green indicates what may be called sympathy, altruistic emotion, charity, etc. Again, illustrating variety in this group of astral colors, another shade of green shows intellectual tolerance of the views of others. Growing duller, this indicates tact, diplomacy, ability to handle human nature, and descending another degree or so blends into insincerity, shiftiness, untruth, etc. There is an ugly slate-colored green indicating low, tricky deceit -- this is a very common shade in the colors of the average aura, I am sorry to say. Finally, a particularly ugly, muddy, murky green indicates jealousy and kindred feelings, envious malice, etc."

I like the lighter ones myself.

We're definitely in the world -- I mean time of blogs -- and one of the e-mails that I received... One of the monks was pointing out that this man (a non-Hindu) was commenting on Pancha Ganapati on his blog. So I thought I'd read from that, first I'd read the first day of Pancha Ganapati from Gurudeva's description then read how he responded to that. I thought it was interesting.

"The family sadhana for the first day of Pancha Ganapati is to create a vibration of love and harmony among immediate family members. The day begins early, and the entire family works together to design and decorate the shrine with traditional symbols, rangoli, lamps and more. Then a grand puja is performed invoking the spirit of Pancha Ganapati in the home. The sadhana of the day now begins. The family sits together for the purpose of easing any strained relationships that have arisen during the year. They make amends one with another for misdeeds performed, insults given, mental pain and injuries caused and suffered. When forgiveness is offered to all by one and all, they speak of another's good qualities and resolve that in the days ahead they will remember the futility of trying to change others and the practicality of changing oneself to be the silent example for all to witness. Gifts are then exchanged and placed unopened before Pancha Ganapati. As family harmony is important to all Hindus, this sadhana must be taken very seriously."

Then we get the blog:

"My family is rather disjointed. (He says.) I have disagreements with my dad over the way things are done, and with my mother over how she sees the world and the people in it. I don't care for some of the decisions my brothers have made, and I'm still waiting for my sister to come home and grow a spine. So, this is a good day to consider the good points they all have - my father's quest for tranquility and harmony in the home, my mother's quest for knowledge and wisdom. My brothers have their good qualities - one does what he can to preserve his own family, while the other seeks a better relationship with God. My sister is amazingly intelligent and has always pursued learning and scientific exploration.

"All of these people have had moments of stress with me over the past year. My job today is to forgive and forget; drop the old issues that make me cranky, and try to see where I can improve myself to enhance those relationships. While it's not convenient to sit and talk about transgressions this way - not to mention that we're all Western-bred, the unfortunate quality of self-defensiveness, prevalent, in our behaviors - it is always convenient to re-assess myself in the light of what these people offer and recognize what I can do to make things better between us."

Isn't that nice? I thought he caught the spirit quite nicely just from the literature.

So what came to my mind is the one we: "The glass is half full." So rather than half empty, of course, we know that means we're looking at the positive aspect of the situation rather than the negative one. So I think the same thing applies to people. I don't know if we could say the person is half full; have to give that some thought but the idea is there. You know, we tend to see the negative in people and ignore the positive more than we should. Just as the same as we see the negative in a situation rather than the positive. So I think the idea of the first day of Pancha Ganapati is to look a little harder into the other people we know and recognize their good qualities which we take for granted. And let go of some of the criticism of qualities we don't like that much. Recognize the ones that are there and how much, how productive they are and to the family or to the monastery, in the case of monks, and by placing the person in that way.

Gurudeva used to point out: It's a matter of habit that we develop over time. How we, our initial reaction to a situation. And that habit may change at some point in our life. For example: It could change during our teenage years, that's a major time of change. Before then we may have been more positive than after then. Somehow situations in life, our parents, hearing them react a certain way over and over, can change our natural reactions. But, it's good to watch and see. When you're faced with a challenging situation, also known as a problem, a challenging situation that you're not sure you can handle or definitely you can't handle easily; what's your reaction? Are you negative? Do you think you might not do it successfully or are you positive. Do you think that: Oh, this is going to be a little challenging but I'm sure I can do it.

So if it's negative it can be changed. That's the point. No one has to be a negative person. It's something, we're not born that way, you know, something we pick up at some point in life, if we do have that habit, and we can change it? How do we change it? Well first we have to see it. That's why Gurudeva says: "Observation is the first awakening of the soul." If we don't have observation we can't make much progress. Observation comes from refraining from excessive talk. Excessive talk of course means successive. Doesn't mean any and all. Society, social situations require that we talk. But if we talk excessively we're lessening our ability to observe ourselves. And a lesser ability to observe ourselves means we don't see those qualities then as clearly that we could change and improve. So, through observation we can identify the quality that we would like to change and then we can, through Gurudeva's teachings, figure out a way to change it.

Vasana Daha Tantra can work if it's related to specific incidents in the past in our life or in lives of our family members that we're holding on to. So we can let go of those.

Affirmation can help, power of affirmation. Using an affirmation which builds confidence.

It's an important quality for those who are raising children or influencing grandchildren to watch in the children. To see if they're, if when challenged they react positively or negatively. And if we see some negativity we need to work with the child to overcome it because it can be overcome.

Example we use in the write-up on then nine qualities to develop in children. One is called: Profound self confidence, I think it is, profound self confidence? Positive self concept, profound self confidence. Yes, profound self confidence can be built in a child and the example is: Teaching carpentry. Help a father systematically over ten, fifteen year period, teaches carpentry skills to a son, you know, if he knows that, for example, and gradually gives more and more difficult tasks to do. Then that's a way of building self confidence in a child in a systematic way. You, you give something a little more difficult, a little more difficult, systematically, over time and that builds confidence.

Likewise children need to be monitored at school to force things that didn't go well. A classic one is getting up in front of the class to give a talk and doing poorly, right? Then we never want to get up in front of a class again and give a talk. So, if that happens we have to know it happened. You know, the parent has to be close enough to the child to know something's wrong when the child comes home and to get the child to explain. And then, in that case, you could have the child practice at home giving talks to you and practice somewhere else and get a positive concept in the mind, a few of them, to offset the negative concept.

So, that's the idea there. that confidence is something that can be built. And likewise, if we find we react negatively to challenging situations that can be changed as well. Just have to be observant enough of ourselves and of children to see the qualities in the first place.

So, thank you very much.

[End of transcript.]

Photo of  Gurudeva
We have one duty to perform, which is to pass our religion on to the next generation, the next and the next. And how do we do this? How is this done? It is done by causing the children to memorize the precepts of our scriptures.