Hold a balance between thinking of ourselves as an immortal soul and realizing that we make mistakes or we would not have been born on this earth. Awareness of being alive means that we are all aware of God. God is in each of us as our Life. Sarvajnanottara Agama, revealed by Lord Siva to Lord Skanda, has similarities to Gurudeva's teachings. Claim that perfection deep inside; put aside limiting concepts that we are different from God.
First item is from our monthly newsletter, just came out. That's, if you're wondering what the items wrapped in the cloth are that's the newsletter mailing. We bring it in to get blessed in the temple during our homa before it goes out. So this in the the newsletter in Gurudeva's section.
" We are immortal souls living and growing in the great school of earthly experience in which we have lived many lives."
It's easy to think about the school of earthly experience in a very positive and abstract way until some major experience in our life doesn't go right. Then. all of a sudden, we lose track of the great concept of the school of earthly experience and we're just feeling sorry for ourselves cause we made a mistake. Things didn't work out right.
But, if we keep the overview in mind -- as Gurudeva mentions in a number of different lessons -- the point of going through experiences is to learn from them. So, everything's not supposed to go right. Human nature is such that we expect perfection from ourselves. We expect nothing to go wrong. That's the way life is supposed to be. Everything's supposed to be perfect and smooth. But, if any of us were perfect we wouldn't have been born in the first place. That's the idea is: Perfect beings don't get born on Earth. Each of us has at least one thing to fix, one thing to improve, one need to learn from experience and probably a lot more. But, that's the idea. And we need to hold that balance between thinking as ourselves an an immortal soul and realizing that we make mistakes and things don't work out right. So, the two concepts together comprise the whole.
By thinking of ourselves as an immortal soul it needs these experiences to mature spiritually. Then we have the ability to look at them in a positive way. We don't just get discouraged by them or we don't just feel imperfect or flawed and that other people are better than us because they don't make all these mistakes.
Well there's a lot of wisdom in this first line.
"Vedic rishis have given us courage by uttering the simple truth, 'God is the Life of our life.' A great sage carried it further by saying there is one thing God cannot do: God cannot separate Himself from us. This is because God is our life. God is the life in the birds. God is the life in the fish. God is the life in the animals. Becoming aware of this Life energy in all that lives is becoming aware of God's loving presence within us. We are the undying consciousness and energy flowing through all things."
So all of us are aware of being alive, right? So that means all of us are aware of God. That's what Gurudeva's saying; it's that simple. We just don't identify it as God. We think: Well that's being alive; that's all it is. I mean, it's nothing important. Just the sense of being alive. But the sense of being alive is another name for the Presence of God. We just don't have the terminology flexible. We look at it in one way, whereas if when we look at it in a metaphysical way: It's God. God's in each of us as our life.
And when we can see that life in others it helps us get along with them. It's when we don't see the life in others that we tend to have arguments and dislike them and so forth. If you go deep enough you see the soul nature; you see the Life. And therefore, you're inclined to get along with people in a better way.
"Deep inside we are perfect this very moment, and we have only to discover and live up to this perfection to be whole."
This is an important point in Gurudeva's teachings. He says it a number of different ways. This is perfection; he's talking about perfection. He also says: You are already one with God, you just haven't realized it. That's another way of saying the same thing. In other words, something doesn't have to happen for us to be one with God. We're already one with God. All we have to do is find that part of us that is already one with God. We're just not looking in the right place. It's right at the core of the soul. If we can get to the core of the soul that's the part of us that is already one with God. We don't have to do something. Nothing has to happen. We just have to find it, learn how to get in there.
"Our energy and God's energy are the same, ever coming out of the void."
I was asked a few months ago to explain the difference between Parasiva and Parashakti. And, it was on Skype I was asked so I gave an answer. But, I thought about it afterwards. I said: That answer wasn't, that answer could be better, shall we say. That answer could be clearer. So, I thought about it and I came up with the analogy of a shower. Cause we're all used to... (thank you; cold white rice from India, dribbles out, subsequent week.)
We're all used to a shower concept. So, we have a shower head and water coming out of a shower head, right? Very simple idea. Now if you make the shower head invisible and imagine water is still coming out of it, that's the analogy. We have, our life energy is coming out of a void. It's not a thing; it's a void. So, how can something come out of nothing? Well that's for everyone to figure out. Can't really explain it; it's logically a contradiction. But, it's experientially a reality. Well, that was the best I could come up with. Imagine just energy or water coming out of nothing. How could it do that? But there it is. Just right there.
"We are all beautiful children of God. Each day we should try to see the life energy in trees, birds, animals and people. When we do, we are seeing God Siva in action. Aum Namah Sivaya."
As I'm sure almost all of you know our last trip to, trip included a week in India. And major focus of that was moving forward on our Saiva Agama project. Specifically, we're digitizing the libraries of the Pondicherry French Institute and the sister institution, The School of the Far East and then plus a few scriptures from Thiruvavaduthurai Aadheenam. And the project took us two and a half years. The team got up to six, right, at the end counting the leaf cleaners? How many photographs did we take? We took one million photographs and how many cameras did that require? We went through 12 cameras to take one million photographs. And so the entire collections, the ola leaves and plus some paper manuscripts and some books too were all digitized.
And the portion for the French Institute is on their website. And the whole collection we put on a one external drive and we gave it to fifteen prominent Sivacharya at a ceremony in Chennai. So Agamas are very much on our mind so I thought I'd read this from the Sarvajnanottara Agama. The introduction by our translator is Dr. Sabaratnam, senior Sivacharya, ex-professor who is quite knowledgable in the Agamas.
So he says:
"The Sarvajnanottara Agama is an exclusively unique Agama, holding a position of being an ultimate source of yoga and knowledge. It is not one among the 28 Primary Agamas from the Kamika to Vatula. Sarva means all. Jnana means the Agamas. Uttara means beyond or superior. The Agama which is beyond the list of 28 Agamas and which is superior to all other Agamas is significantly called Sarvajnanottara Agama. Whereas all other Agamas have been revealed to the Supreme Souls of the Pure Realm, Sarvajnanottara Agama has been directly revealed by Lord Siva to Lord Skanda from whom the transmission of this Agama has been coming down from time immemorial. Traditionally it is held in the lineage of Gurus that all the concepts of the Agamas are to be understood from the standpoint of the Sarvajnanottara Agama. This is the methodology of the Saivagamic studies."
That means it's important. right? Definitely important.
When we first met Dr. Sabaratnam a number of years ago he was getting used to, getting familiar with Gurudeva's teachings. And of course, he was already Sarvajnanottara Agama. And he couldn't help but tell us on a number of occasions, he was so surprised to find in Gurudeva's teachings the knowledge that you find in this Agama. And of course, Gurudeva never read the Agamas. It was easier for him to write a book then to read a book. Easier for him to bring knowledge out of himself rather than to try and understand knowledge that someone else is providing second hand. So, I thought I'd just point out a few of the similarities. This is just what we published in Hinduism Today; it's Chapter Two. Point out similarities in what I just read from Gurudeva and what's in the Agama.
"One who is with one-pointed meditation of such non-dual unity gets himself established within his own Self, always and everywhere. Being established within himself, he directly sees the Lord who is within every soul and within every object..."
Sound familiar? That's what Gurudeva was saying. We Siva as the Life of life within people, birds, animals and so forth. So, it's saying the same thing.
"...and who presents Himself in all the manifested bodies."
That's a nice way of saying it. God presents himself in all the manifested bodies. How? As the Life! As the Life!
"There is no doubt about the occurrence of such experience.
"Within such a yogi who establishes himself in absolute non-dual union with Lord Siva and who keeps himself free from all sorts of differentiating notions, the exalted power of all-knowing gets unfolded in all its fullness."
Free from all sorts of differentiating notions is the opposite of, well no. It's the same thing as what Gurudeva's saying: We are perfect this very moment. That's the challenge is to claim that perfection that's deep inside of us or to throw away all sorts of differentiating notions. Meaning how I am different from God. We have to put those notions aside. Those are limiting concepts in this particular meditation of finding that part of us that is identical with God. We have to put aside the differentiating notions.
One last verse:
"No other great attainment than the attainment of one's own Self is known here and elsewhere. So, by all means, the refined seeker should meditate on his own Self with the firm resolve: 'This Self of mine is indeed He who is the Supreme One.'"
Well that's the idea that that's the important thing to do. Is to realize the identity of ourselves with God which of course is a constant theme in Gurudeva's teachings.
A wonderful day.
[End of transcript.]