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Who Am I and Where Did I Come From?

Path to Siva Commentary, Lesson 1

Bodhinatha introduces the new Himalayan Academy book "Path to Siva." "By seeing the life energy in all creatures and in all people we are seeing God Siva in action." The life energy within you is the closest thing to you. The basic challenge is overcoming anger. With enough bhakti, love of the Deity, anger is displaced. Accept what is as what should be. You have to go beyond light to be pure actinic force. The whole idea of the Life of life takes you within. Go deeply enough into the light, get beyond light, behold the pure Life.

Path to Siva; Lesson 1

Tirumantiram: Tantra 5, verse 1444

Unedited Transcript:

Good morning everyone.

Nice to be back at the Sun 1 homa.

Thought we could draw this morning from the book we're finishing up "Path to Siva." Path to Siva is taking the key concepts in the Master Course Trilogy and reducing them to sixty-eight short lessons designed for Hindu teens. So it'll be a really useful book for studying everything cause it's all in one place and the language is not too advanced.

Gurudeva has, when Gurudeva speaks the way he punctuates it, then going along and then we have a, you know, have to put in commas for the parenthetical and then have to put in an end dash because the idea changes here and it can be fairly complicated grammar. This is okay, one, two, three, four five period. You know. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight period. Very simple sentence structure. Some of the words may be, may have to be looked up but the sentence structure is very simple compared to how Gurudeva speaks.

Our first lesson is the same idea as the first lesson in Dancing with Siva. As you know I've made that point many times. That you would think a book called Dancing with Siva, the first chapter would be on Siva, right? No, the first chapter is on you. The first chapter is on you as a soul. As Siva being within you. So, it definitely starts off on a different direction than you would have thought it would intellectually.

"If someone starts on the spiritual path they ask: Who am I and where did I come from? They inwardly know they are more than just another person with a particular name who was born in a specific place. They sense that they are more than their body, mind and emotions. They want to understand: Did I exist before I was born? Will I exist after death?

"The answer given in Saivite Hinduism is that we are each a divine soul on a wondrous journey. We are an immortal body of light that has lived many lives, had many bodies and personalities. Our soul is created by God Siva out of himself like sparks flying forth from a fire. Like the sparks from the fire we are both the same and different from Siva our source. We live within His boundless creation, this unthinkably vast cosmos which is filled with His divine presence. Siva is the life energy in the birds, in the fish and in the animals. His being flows through all we see and experience. Our Vedic rishis have assured us that God is the Life of our life. We are all beautiful children of God Siva. We are already one within this very moment. We came from God, live in God and are evolving into oneness with God. Siva created each of us in a perfect state but we have to discover that perfection within us to be whole.

"By seeing the life energy in all creatures and in all people we are seeing God Siva in action. By drawing close to Him we draw nearer to our immortal soul. Wise men say: 'He is everything and He is in everything.'"

And then, each lesson has a quote from Gurudeva:

"Rishis proclaim that we are not our body, mind or emotions. We are divine souls on a wondrous journey. We came from God, live in God and are evolving into oneness with God."

If you haven't heard this before it goes a long way toward giving you a good concept of yourself, right? I'm a divine being. That sounds pretty good. I'm not my body, mind and emotions. I'm not which is inside of him, so to speak. Body, mind and emotions are, go through what they go through but the divine being within is perfect all the time. So, we want to identify with that divinity as the lesson is pointing out.

And then it gives the specific suggestion. Talking about God is the Life of our life. Very close in us, have you noticed? It got in closer to you than your life, right? Can you find anything that's closer to you than your life? No, right? The closest thing is your life. The life energy within you is the closest thing to you. It is you.

So, to say that the source of that is God, it's really putting God as close as you can to you, that's the point. That God can't be any closer. So instead of thinking of God in the external sense, this is, which is, has it's place in Theism. This is having us think of God as so close, the closest thing is God. Because God is the Life of our life.

Those of you who have explored Tamil dictionaries I'm sure have been impressed by the fact of how many theological words there are for Saivism in the Tamil dictionary. It's just kind of overwhelming. We just think, well I forget, I think it's called the ten possible relationships with the soul to God. It goes through all ten of them.

So this word is "uyirkuyir." Uyir is life or soul. So uyirkuyir is God. Or God as the Life of life. So there's a word for God as the Life of life which is uyirkuyir or Life of life, uyirkuyir.

So the Tirumantiram uses that phrase. I won't read the tome. It's going through the four padas starting with jnana. I'll read it and then we'll talk about it.

"Being the Life of Life is splendorous Jnana worship. "Beholding the light of life is great yoga worship. "Living life by invocation is external worship. "Adoration that displaces anger is charya worship."

So that last one, "Adoration that displaces anger is charya worship." Some reason our original translator, Dr. B. Natarajan didn't want to say that. So he fudged. But he didn't want to talk about anger. But that's what it says.

And, so the basic challenge that we face is overcoming anger. That's what it's telling us. That's the starting point. We have to really look at ourselves and ask: Are we getting angry? If we're getting angry a lot then it's obvious. If we're getting angry now and then it's not so obvious; we may not be seeing it.

This is making a very simple suggestion. With devotion, adoration which displaces anger is charya worship. So to overcome anger we need to increase our devotion. Sense of love of the Deity. Our love of the Deity is strong enough we won't get angry. It just displaces it. One thing moving another out. So anger is there, then say you have a bucket and you fill that bucket with enough devotion, the anger is displaced. Goes away. The two things are not compatible. You can't be angry and devotional at the same time. So you're displacing it.

Gurudeva also gives another key in Dancing with Siva. I think it's right up front there, maybe Lesson Two. It is the idea of dancing with Siva. Which is another form of devotion. Being able to accept what is as what should be. If you're not accepting the music you can't dance to it, right? You have to accept the music. Say: Okay this is the music, then I can dance with it. You have to accept it. So you have to accept life as it is in all it's imperfection and then move with it. So, if you don't accept it, that's one of the causes of anger. You're not willing to accept what has naturally happened to you because of past karmas. You're not willing to accept it. I don't want this. I don't deserve this. That is what you created.

So, we have to bend with the music. Accept the music, accept life as it is and then that reduces getting angry.

So that's charya.

"Living life by invocation is external worship."

So that's kriya. So that's the idea. You know avahana. You're giving life. You're bringing the Deity into the murti. So you, you learn to give life by, by external ritual. So that's of course taking you closer to the Deity.

"Beholding the light of life is great yoga worship."

Notice how I carefully I enunciate that. Cause easy the light of life, it's easy to say it too quickly and doesn't come out right. The light of life. What is the light of life? Well Gurudeva explains: This is inner light of course, not external light. What causes inner light? Inner light is the friction between actinic, or your life in it's original form and odic or grosser energy. So it's a friction. Two things are rubbing together, producing sparks cause they're so different. They're not the same. One is very subtle and one is gross and they're, the friction between them causes the inner light.

So, if you can see the friction between them, you're deeper into pure actinic force, so is the pure Life. Cause you know, say you're one half that and you're one half the odic and that's why you're seeing light. But light's not the highest experience, inner light, cause you've still got odic force present. As long as you're seeing light you haven't given up the odic force. You have to go beyond light to be pure actinic force. And so. you want to be the actinic force, or be the Life of life. So that's what jnana is.

"Being the Life of life is splendorous jnana worship."

Meaning, we're just the pure actinic force without anything else. There's no light present. We're beyond light. We're the original Life and then that life gets out into actinodic and odic. And then the process passes, you can see inner light. So you have pure Life which is actinic, mixed which is actinodic and gross which is odic.

In the tattvas they call it shuddha-pure, actinic; shuddha-ashuddha; pure-impure and ashuddha impure. So that's words in the tattvas for actinic, actinodic and odic, same thing. Gurudeva just invented his own words. As you can also say shuddha. Shuddha, shuddha-[ashuddha] and ashuddha are the three kinds of energy.

So today's interesting study, this whole idea of the Life of life. It definitely takes you within doesn't it. Takes you in and you can see how it, it's a core Saiva Siddhanta principle. It's right in the Tirumantiram. You know, you start just building devotion and act instead of anger. And then you learn to invoke life as kriya in the murti, and then you learn to behold (which means see); see inner light, see the light of Life. In our, in yoga to see the light. And then if you go deeply enough into the light, you get beyond light which is beholding the pure Life.

Being the Life of life. And just jnana-worship. So there's no duality there, you just are left pure Life.

So all that's in Lesson One. Sixty-seven more to go.

A wonderful day.

Photo of  Gurudeva
When your subconscious has been cleared of past reactionary patterns and reprogrammed thoroughly, you do not take exception to things that happen in the world.