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Mahasivaratri, Get into Touch with Intuition

Merging with Siva

"Siva's followers all believe that Lord Siva is God, whose Absolute Being, Parasiva, transcends time, form and Space..." Intuition, when you are awake, is 'cold and clear, direct and profound.' ...Intuitive flashes come from deep within for this is your jnana, your own wisdom breaking through. Open your inner book. Watch what you are thinking. Think about the past and future only if there is a productive reason to go there. Figure out how to "Find your inner Being, That which has never changed. That is your very Self and That is God..." Yogaswami: "Waves arise in the ocean; so waves of thought arise in the mind. Yoga is to control thoughts as they arise. Be still 'summa' in an effortless way". Merge into the Ultimate Quiet."

Master Course Trilogy, Merging with Siva, Lessons 155,156. Patanjali's Yoga Sutras 1:2.

Unedited Transcript:

Good evening everyone. Happy Mahasivaratri.

Start with the email message that's going out for Mahasivaratri. Kind of has our standard information:

"Mahasivaratri, Siva's great night, is the night before the new moon day in February-March. We observe it both as a discipline and a festivity, keeping a strict fast and all-night vigil, meditating, intoning Siva's 1,008 names, singing His praise, chanting Sri Rudram and bathing the Sivalinga.

"Generally Hindu festivals are near the time of the full moon. Such times are natural for seeking the blessings of the Deity to enhance our family and professional activities--our outer life. Mahasivaratri, however, is at the time of the new moon and it is a festival where the blessings of Lord Siva are invoked for turning within and experiencing our inner self. In fact the idea is to go as deeply within as possible. Gurudeva describes it as a time for "being near the vairagis (renunciates) as they strive to realize Parasiva (the Self)."

"The first belief of the Twelve Beliefs of our Saivite Creed speaks of this as well: 'Siva's followers all believe that Lord Siva is God, whose Absolute Being, Parasiva, transcends time, form and space. The yogi?silently exclaims, 'It is not this. It is not that.' Yea, such an inscrutable God is God Siva. Aum'

"Gurudeva wrote about the need to be able to move awareness nimbly for this realization to occur: 'The Self (Parasiva) is so simple. You have to be so simple to realize the Self, not simple-minded, but so unattached. Awareness has to be able to move so nimbly through the mind, like a graceful deer going through the forest, so deftly through the mind, that none of the sticky substance of the mind, so to speak, sticks onto awareness and holds it steadfast for a period of time. And only with that agility can you move awareness in quickly to the Source, in on itself, until you come out having realized the Self. It is an experience you come out of more than go into."

End of the email. And then we have some text from "Merging with Siva" Lesson 195. Talking about intuition:

"Here's a fine example of the use of intuition. You have often been in a situation in your own mind where you felt a subtle, direct impulse from deep within you as to how you should proceed. Most probably you denied it as fantasy and commenced in a logical way to fulfill your impulses and desires from previous patterns of experience, only to find that you would have traversed agonies and confusions had you followed the subtle impulse of direction which was rejected to enhance established patterns of procedure. But I might add that that first impulse must have registered itself as cold and clear, direct and profound. Only if it did would it have indelibly imprinted itself within your memory patterns, clear and sharp, thus distinguishing itself clearly from all warm, emotional feelings that appear to be reasonable and totally in line with the current pictures of the day. ?In current events, most people guide their lives on prior reasonable patterns. This knowledge is only prophetic. It has absolutely no relation to the other courses of action entered into by intuitive decision, which in turn would encase man's individual awareness into the strong, dynamic super conscious being that he ever was, is now and always will be."

Gurudeva has given us an excellent key for distinguishing if something is an intuition. Dreams, it's harder to tell but when you're awake it's easier to tell because you can judge it more clearly by comparing it to your normal way of thinking which Gurudeva describes as warm emotional feelings. So intuition, when you're awake, it's 'cold and clear, direct and profound.' And that's how you can distinguish it as being an intuition and not just a fancy or imagination.

So, intuition is very important in Saiva Siddhanta. And as you know Saiva Siddhanta consists of the four padas: charya, kriya, yoga and jnana. Each of the four padas is further subdivided into four subpadas. (And I could challenge you to rattle those off, but I won't.) Charya in charya, kriya in charya, yoga in charya and jnana in charya, so forth. Thus you can see that each of the four padas has a jnana subpada. That's the point. Jnana refers to the experiential knowledge gained by the practices and in Tamil is called 'anubhava unarcci.' So, that's what Gurudeva is talking about. 'Anubhava unarcci,' intuition.

Gurudeva gives this insightful statement about the jnana stage of the four padas:

"The first sadhana, therefore, is to always hold the overview and cling in your memory to the intuitive flashes that come as a result (of your practices). These intuitive flashes come from deep within and are the only thing that should be remembered, for this is your jnana, your insightfulness, your own wisdom, breaking through."

In other words, in each of the four padas: charya, kriya, yoga and jnana, there's different practices. So, in charya we would have charya, kriya and yoga. And in practicing those, the wisdom that comes is the jnana. And then in kriya we have another set of charya, kriya and yoga and the wisdom that comes from those different practices again is jnana or 'anubhava unarcci.'

So Yogaswami was very strong on this. Three quotes:

"The book is within you. Turn over the leaves and study."

� "It must come from within. Don't rely on book-knowledge. Trust the Self alone."

"Don't read books - It is in you."

So that one I have to explain. What he's trying to say is, once you get to a certain point you shouldn't just try and keep getting further knowledge out of books. Books can give you the basics. Yogaswami himself studied books when he was younger but at a certain point he set the books aside and was looking for the book that was within him.

Back to Gurudeva's text:

"Though we often use the terms 'unfolding intuitive faculties' and 'developing intuition,' they are only used in an effort to encourage the aspirant on the path to work within himself in subduing his intellect so that he can actually observe the already functioning totality of the intuitive area of the mind. ?In order to subdue the intellect, that conglomerate of thought patterns and established modes of procedure according to the culture of the day... (Isn't that a beautiful phrase? Intellect.) ...In order to subdue the intellect, that conglomerate of thought patterns and established modes of procedure according to the culture of the day it is first quite necessary to inwardly observe how one's acquired intellect actually functions. Observation is a faculty of the intuitive area of the mind, and this particular aspect of observation that I have just described comes into usage only after regular periods of meditation have been maintained over a long period of time."

Then we have a story which are the best parts. This is Markanduswami. Anyone who doesn't know who Markandaswami is, Yogaswami passed on in 1964 and we, Gurudeva didn't start taking us to Sri Lanka until 1969. So obviously we didn't meet, Gurudeva didn't meet Yogaswami [then] but one of his brahmachari disciples, Markandaswami - in Jaffna, if you're doing sadhana you're automatically a swami. So he wasn't officially a swami but cause he was doing sadhana he was Markanduswami. And we met him in his hermitage, very thin man with long white hair and beard, and he had one job: Talk about Yogaswami. That's all he did. Anyone who came he would talk about Yogaswami.

So this is a story he told us. And we got this story 1969,1970 around that time:

One afternoon at his hut, he described Yogaswami's approach to dealing with thoughts during meditation. He said, "Yogaswami said, 'Realize Self by self. You want to read this book, that book and all these books. The Book of Infinite Knowledge is here (pointing to his chest). You'd better open your own book.' The prescription he gave me to open that book is this: 'When you are in meditation, you watch the mind. Here and there the mind is hopping. One, two, three,.. a hundred. In a few seconds the mind goes to a hundred places. Let him be. You also watch very carefully. Here and there this mind is running. Let him go anywhere, but if he goes to a hundred places, you must follow him to a hundred places. (So that's the point, to come back to.) You must not miss even a single one. Follow him and note, He is going here; he is going there.' You must not miss even a single one. That is the prescription Satguru Yogaswami gave me to open this inner book. He said, 'Watch very attentively and learn to pick up things coming from within. These messages are very valuable. You can't value them. Realize Self by self and open this inner book. Why don't you open your own book? Why don't you make use of it? What an easy path I am prescribing for you!' "

This is a useful exercise in that many people who try and meditate are trying to stop thinking. And unless they've been meditating for a while they'll find out that that's harder than it sounds. We can't manage to stop thinking for more than a minute or two and then we start thinking again about what we're going to do tonight, what about tomorrow, what about this, what about that. So this is easier than stoping thinking. You just watch everything you're thinking about and that's also a form of mind control. You don't let the mind go anywhere without knowing that it's gone there. You'll be able to afterwards say exactly where the mind went cause you were watching it. So it's a concentration exercise and as Markandaswami says, if you do this you start to get in touch with your intuition. So, he's talking about the same thing that we were talking about previously.

Then I have a second commentary because Gurudeva's idea that is when many people hear about utilizing their intuition they think it's something they're not utilizing. They think they have to do something for their intuition to be turned on. "It's not there, I have to do something and then I'll have intuition." That's not what Gurudeva said, right? We use the terms unfolding intuitive faculties in developing intuition they're only used to encourage the aspirant on the path so he can actually observe "...the already functioning totality of the intuitive area of the mind."

So the question is, if our intuition is already functioning why aren't we aware of it? Very good question. The example I use for understanding that intuition is always functioning is soft music playing in the background. If the noises in the foreground are loud then we are unable to hear the soft background music, right? But it is still there even though we can't hear it. Our intuition is the same. The loud noise is of course our thoughts. It's not something external to us. They needed to be quieted so we can hear our already existing intuition. So that kind of makes it sound easier when we realize it's already functioning, it's just we just have noise that covers it up. And it's very quiet.

And we have Gurudeva's text again:

"True, our intuitive faculties do constantly mingle through thought sequences each day, but our ability to distinguish one from another is accrued only through regulated discipline of our individual power of awareness. Once an inkling of success comes in knowing intuition and how it differs from reasoning, emotional impulses and pre-programmed patterns within the subconscious, the contest is won. Then and then only we must persist to sustain this knowledge and dive deeper into the inevitable, all the time losing the future and the past, and loosening the reins of the intellect."

The idea of losing the future and the past may not be clear if you've not heard that before. And what Gurudeva means is we should not think about the past and future unnecessarily. Very interesting idea. Lots of people think about the past and think that's totally good use of my time, thinking about the past but Gurudeva's saying no, if you want be good at meditation don't just think about the past a lot. Only think about the past if there's a reason to. We're trying to understand something that happened a few years ago that we're still upset about, that's a reason to think about the past. So we don't think about the past and future unless there's a productive reason to go there, otherwise, we keep the mind in the present moment.

And we have the text again [Lesson 196]:

"When you begin to sense this changeless existence within, your intuition begins to awaken, and if you function through the use of your intuition you are able to clear many misunderstandings about the experiences of life. In this clarity, intuition is born. Right now you perhaps think you are the mind; you may feel remote from your Inner Being, but ask yourself each time you think you have found yourself, will this change? You will find that every image you hold of yourself is subject to change--even your soul, or your superconscious mind, is subject to change through evolution and, therefore, is impermanent. Only the Self, the very core, is eternally the same, eternally Real.

"Find your Inner Being through feeling; realize it is closer than your hands or feet, closer to you even than your breath. Your mind will want to leave this consciousness as soon as you attain it, but gently guide your mind back through the channel of concentration until once again you become rejuvenated, uplifted in the awareness of That which has never changed. That is your very Self, and That is God."

My commentary is: The idea here is that a part of you that exists right now is the changeless Self, Parasiva. Part of you is the changeless Source of all that exists. So again, it's already there, different from the common perspective: I have to do something to realize the Self, Parasiva. Because it's not there, otherwise I'd be aware of it. But that again is the wrong notion. It's there, just like intuition is there, you just haven't found it yet. You couldn't exist without it. You couldn't be alive without Parasiva being at the core of your being cause it's the sustaining power as we heard in the beautiful inspired talk by Gurudeva "The Self God."

So that's the power which everything that's going on in your superconscious, intellect, emotions, physical body, it all draws on that power. So it's there all the time. We just have to figure out how to find it.

Back to Gurudeva's text:

"Jnanaguru Yogaswami said, 'Search without searching.' (This is an interesting idea.) By this he meant that as long as we are searching for God in meditation, there are two--God and the seeker. He did not mean that we should stop looking for God, stop meditating or stop striving and live an ordinary life or give up sadhana. He was saying that to deepen your meditation, while seated in the lotus posture, doing pranayama, to deepen this state, stop looking and begin to realize that you are That which you are looking for. As long as there is searching, Parasiva has not been found, for searching is two, and It is one. But you must keep searching until It is found. How to attain That? Satguru Yogaswami said, 'Stop looking, and just be.' Give up consciousness which is seeing and registering that which has been seen. Become like sound, nada; just be and merge into the Ultimate Quiet. When the disciple is on the brink of the Absolute, the timeless Parasiva, twoness disappears in the overpowering presence of Siva, and consciousness is absorbed and annihilated in His transcendental Being, which is non-different from the disciple's. However, if the disciple continues looking for this experience and thus, in the act of his search, solidifies himself and the sought-after experience as two different things, he becomes the obstacle and the problem to be eliminated. In the end, the Great Mystery is known as one, as two, as neither one nor two."

So there's some useful information in "Patanjali's Yoga Sutras" that relates to this idea, searching without searching. Second verse, Chapter One:

"yogas chitta vrtti nirodhah

"Yoga is the restraint of mental activities."

So he's talking about restraint. Our minds are generally busy in one type of mental activity or another. (This is my commentary.) We are remembering events from the past, thinking about current tasks or theorizing about possible future events. The practices of yoga are designed to enable us to eliminate these mental activities altogether.

Then my comment on that is:

"Waves arise in the ocean; so waves of thought arise in the mind. Yoga is to control thoughts as they arise." [Yogaswami]

And then we get this description of what type of restraint are we trying for? The kind we're not trying for when I do it in the slides, I have a dog whose trying to rush forward, a leash and a person holding back. So, restraining the dog, right? with great effort. So, if we're restraining our thoughts with great effort that's the opposite of what we're trying to do. So what are we trying to do.

"On the highest level, you do not have to control even the mind. Because to control the mind there must be a second. There will come a time when the mind becomes quiet by itself."

And one last quote.

"Now we don't control the mind. We remain 'summa' still, with a controlled mind."

So we're trying to just be still in an effortless way rather than restraining these thoughts that are like an energetic medium sized dog.

Thank you very much.

Aum, Aum, Aum.

Photo of  Gurudeva
The Gods of Hinduism create, preserve and protect mankind. It is through their sanction that all things continue, and through their will that they cease. It is through their grace that all good things happen, and all things that happen are for the good.