Mauritius Talk on Siva--Part 1
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2002-09-12
Bodhinatha is preparing a talk for his trip to Mauritius on the topic of parents as the first guru of their children. He is also preparing a talk on God Siva for the people of Grand Bay in Mauritius, as he will be talking at a Siva temple there. He gives us highlights of these two talks here.
Preparing this morning's talk, I was reminded of something Gurudeva used to do on occasion, go back far enough. He would be talking to the monks in the morning and getting awfully fiery and dynamic and we would wonder, "Gee, what did we do wrong? I thought everything was okay and all of a sudden Gurudeva was fired up." Then you realize that tomorrow he is giving a talk to such and such group. He is actually getting ready to get fired up at them, so you have to not take it personally and realize that he is just talking to the ethers and not to you personally.
So I thought, I would try the same here. But it is not a fiery talk, it is just a very gentle talk. Getting ready for the trip to Asia, it is coming up September 4th. So, starting to think about talks that will be given along the way. We are passing through Malaysia on the to and from Mauritius and then we are also passing through Singapore on the way back. But the trip is primarily for Mauritius. The idea is that most of the members in Mauritius are not able to come here, whereas in Malaysia and Singapore, a lot of the members do come. Every few years, they come regularly.
We are feeling a need, particularly with Gurudeva's Mahasamadhi and all, to strengthen our ties with the members in Mauritius. We plan to go there at Ganesha Chaturthi time this year as well as in subsequent years and focus on them. It is a wonderful time for the Mauritius members there, with the Panchamukha Ganapati mandapam in place. On Ganesha Chaturthi, I don't know exactly how many people but it is in the thousands, come to worship Ganesha there at that time every year. So it is a natural time for a public talk and a nice event, slipping right into the timing. Ganesha Chaturthi in Mauritius is a public holiday. That is a nice turn maybe someday, we will have a Hindu public holiday in the US. Deepavali or something, was Gurudeva's vision to be a holiday in the US, every year.
Along the way we are giving talks. One of the talks which we are giving on the way to Mauritius, in Kuala Lumpur at a Mission gathering is on 'Parents as the first Guru'. As you know, we printed up that little flyer which has the nine parenting points and so you might hear some about that in the next talk or two before we go, warming up for that. I will also be giving that talk in Mauritius. This talk here is designed for a temple in Grand Bay, which of course is where Sivakumaran and Kavita live. It is a Siva temple there and one of the Trustees of the temple, Mr. Perumal has generously given us his new bungalow, that is on the beach there in Grand Bay. Two rooms in his new bungalow for free for the stay. So we will be seeing the members, not in a hotel but right there in a private bungalow, which is very nice of him. He has invited us to speak at the Siva temple there as well, which Gurudeva visited and I believe we donated a kodimaram, . I will have to brush up on that before we go.
This talk is a very simple talk about Siva, trying to address any common misconceptions, because this will be a gathering of people in the Grand Bay area. It is not designed for our members, not a high powered , sophisticated talk. It is designed to be translated into Creole. So, here goes.
There are some who say that Hindus believe in a trinity of Gods. Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Rudra or Siva the destroyer. But of course, this is not true. The truth is that Hindus believe in a One God, who performs all three of these functions - creation, preservation and destruction. Of course, to Hindus of the Saivite denomination this one supreme Being is known as God Siva. In addition to these three acts of creation, preservation and destruction, God Siva also performs two more actions which relates specifically to the soul.
The first of these actions is that He hides Himself from us. That is very interesting, although He pervades the entire Universe, though He pervades us, He is within us, we cannot find Him. How is that? He has hidden Himself from us and this of course, is His action of the veiling grace. We cannot see Him, even though He is everywhere. A simple analogy is the parents and children. It is as if to a young child the mother and father are playing hide and seek. They have hidden and it is the object of the child to find the mother and father. They have hidden themselves from the child. It is a game, just like that.
The second of these two actions is that He eventually shows Himself to us. This of course is called His revealing grace. It is like the child successfully finding, in the game of hide and seek, the parents who have hidden themselves.