All experiences are good experiences, necessary to get us here. Awareness of aspects of ourselves that are constantly changing is a liberating perception, breaking our chains to mundane areas, detaching from instinctive and intellectual to go into superconscious. The greatest challenge facing youth today is the lack of relating to the devotional side of Hinduism. Daily practice, daily vigil, moves us forward spiritually.
Commentary on Merging with Siva, The Master Course, Lesson 21.
From today's Merging with Siva, Lesson 21.
"On Earth to Realize the Self
"Look through your entire life and make a memo of each major experience in this life. Then surmise how many major experiences you have had for the last ten lives. All the accumulative experiences have brought you to the point where you are now, ready to turn inward and realize your infinite being. They have all been good experiences. The reactions to the experience has also been good. It brought you to the point where you are, ready to sit down and say to yourself, 'Who am I? where did I come from? where am I going? What is the power of That which has never changed, which I am and can feel in every cell of my body? Where does the clear white light come from? What is the underlying power of pure consciousness out of which awareness emerges? All of this and more, too, you will ask yourself and get answers from within yourself, as you, your awareness as the lotus flower begins to unfold. Always try to remember the reason why you are here. You're here to separate awareness from that which it is aware of and gain your own independence, your liberation, from the instinctive area of the mind.
"When we're in it we believe that everything we're going through is us."
The first point is certainly a major one and sometimes there are challenges to adjust to it that all experience we've had are good experiences. Sometimes we're critical of ourselves, of what we did. And kind of cling to that. And clinging to that makes us feel imperfect and flawed. But Gurudeva's point is: Well, that was necessary to get you here today. And you're here today, right? That's what counts. We kind of have to find out what we don't want to do before we find out what we really want to do. So, we found all that out. Find all the different experiences we had for the past ten lives, major experiences. We don't want to go through those anymore; we're happy to be where we are here. They were necessary to get us here.
An important point is, in looking at the past, is to separate awareness from that which it is aware of. Otherwise, as Gurudeva says here: "We believe that everything we're going through is us." And that's always a problem because emotionally we're up and down, intellectually we're clear minded and we're confused, alternately. So, to think that that's us, again, is fairly limited. But to realize that that's simply what we're aware of and we're the awareness that's aware of these aspects of ourselves that are constantly changing, then that is a liberating perception.
"The intellectual area of the mind--when we're attached and in it strongly, we believe that that is us, also"
So we have to be careful in that regard as well. Once we free ourselves enough from the past and the ordinary attachments, positive and negative to it, it can create new attachments in the intellect. We've got more energy, more clarity of mind. Now we can create a whole new structure to get attached to. And, computers and all of that help us ramify in the intellectual way. So, we want to remember that that's just the intellectual aspect of the mind, it's just thinking process and it's not really the deepest aspect of us either.
"When we're in the superconscious area of the mind, awareness is detached from that which it is aware of. We see ourselves as the traveler traveling through all areas of the mind, not getting stuck in any one. Then we're here to go in, to take awareness off the surface of the Earth into outer space, or out of the instinctive and intellectual areas of the mind, into pure superconsciousness, into the clear white light, so it permeates every cell of the body."
That's the goal of being detached from instinctive and intellectual is to go into the superconscious. Not simply to be detached but, okay we've broken our chains to these more mundane areas and now we're able to look within in a deeper way.
"We here to realize the Self, have that one dramatic experience where everything that we thought was things is turned upside down, and our whole perspective afterwards changes. That is the purpose for living on this Earth. That is the purpose for being here this very moment. That is the purpose for my speaking to you in this way, to impress upon you very thoroughly that you are here for Self Realization, walking on this planet. Get it. Direct all your energies toward it, and then the tremendous power of desire will be for the one goal, not for the many goals toward which desires usually flow. When that happens, Self Realization will come to you. It'll be very easy. One day, you will be Self Realized."
One of the beauties of Gurudeva's teachings is the combination of theoretical and the practical. Sometimes in Hinduism you just get the theoretical. Talking about that you are God and all these great things about yourself but it doesn't give you a clue as to how to move toward that experience. So, that's okay, we need inspirational writings. But, we also need the practical writings which tell us what we should be doing. So it's interesting the Sutra of the day is on doing something.
"Holding a Daily Vigil
"Worshipers of Siva perform a one-hour daily vigil, ideally before sunrise, in a clean, quiet place, after bathing and donning fresh clothing and holy ash. This vigil is optional on weekends and when traveling or ill."
So that's the method. Very important part of Gurudeva's teachings is our daily one hour vigil.
It's very interesting. I was giving thought to what is common among older children and youth today when they get into high school years and university years. Before then, Hindu kids have more free time and able to, there's a family puja every day, they're able to attend at least part of it and participate in religious routines of the family. But you get up to that point schedules at school are different and study can be quite extensive in one's free time. So, they stop coming to the family puja and end up not doing any practice at all in many cases. End up going through high school and going through university without any daily practice. Of course, daily practice is what moves you forward spiritually. So, very interesting challenge to address.
I've noticed it in a number of our families in Asia. The kids when they get up to high school age they're so busy they just, they don't do anything religious anymore. They don't have time in Mauritius to come to the spiritual park on Sunday even though it's once a month cause they're in private study in what are called tuition classes. They're studying privately. They don't even have time for that once a month event.
So, I wrote up something, we were talking about this at the Hindu Students Association leadership seminar. Talking about this area. The reason it came up, they asked the question. And the format of the weekend is couple of months beforehand they send in questions. And then we create answers for the questions. In that they were trying to have what we say be of maximum relevance to what they're interested in. Otherwise, you can miss totally where the university students are and where you are. You just spontaneously present things, it doesn't necessarily relate to them at all. Better chance if they ask the questions and then you answer them.
I think this question was something like: What is the greatest challenge you see facing Hinduism in the world today and is it the same in all countries? Something like that. That could be a book, right? Trying to answer that one. So the answer I gave, I think surprised them. I said: The lack of relating to the devotional side of Hinduism is the greatest problem today. In other words, Hindu youth, not just in the U.S., but in India, normally don't find the temples that valuable. An exceptional youth who does.
And, even in India, the current statement we hear is, among university graduates is: I'm spiritual; I'm not religious. Of course, what does that mean? I don't go to the temple; that's what that means. Religion equals the temple. Hinduism is the temple. So, I'm spiritual; I'm not religious.
And then the second point I made was, the lack of a daily practice. And the lack of understanding the benefit of a daily practice. Is also related to the challenges facing Hinduism today. There's not much practice going on.
So I created a ten minute vigil to try and compensate. Give me ten minutes right? Everyone can put in ten minutes. It's in draft form; it hasn't been edited yet. But the idea is just ten minutes a day. Starting in the early teenage years. The parents help instill that as a strong habit. Then their kids, when they're in high school and particularly when they go away to university will default to this practice because it's become a habit and it's become enjoyable. Whereas right now, they often, they go away and then they don't do any practice for 4 to 8 years while they're at university. So the practice is, if I can remember it, starts of with the... Oh yeah, that's it.
Devotional part, where you chant nine names of the Deity, say Lord Ganesha. And you offer rice, takes about a minute. Do an affirmation such as: "I'm all right right now." " I can, I will, I'm able to accomplish what I plan." Do an affirmation for a minute. Then you chant Aum as is described in Loving Ganesha for two minutes, you know, with three parts of the body are vibrating. Then you study for five minutes. You read some Hindu teachings that you can relate to and you find inspiring.
So that's ten minutes a day. We have a very specific version we're writing up for our own youth in the Church to follow whereby the reading is, the schedule changes each ritau. Because as you know Gurudeva liked variety in life. So, every ritau it changes a little bit. The affirmation changes and the, what you're reading changes. So you, one you switch Dancing with Siva, to Living with Siva to Merging with Siva. What reading according to the ritau. So, we're going to write that up and encourage parents to help their children establish a pattern of daily worship. It's realistic. Hour a day vigil, half an hour a day vigil isn't realistic. That age, we're hoping ten minutes seems, seems doable.
So, have a great day.