Affirmation Part 3 of 3. Gurudeva developed an affirmation for his married devotees and just finished editing it just a few weeks before his mahasamadhi. Bodhinatha shares this affirmation with everyone and talks about its meaning. We need to communicate the major decisions of our life to our guru. The most common problem among initiates communicating with the Aadheenam is not sharing the major decisions every time. The same problem happens with writing notes to the inner world beings - there are gaps in the asking for help.
Gurudeva developed an affirmation for his married devotees and finished editing a final version of it about 6 weeks before his Mahasamadhi. He was inspired by the monks' affirmation. The monks have an affirmation that we repeat every morning of our kulam days, the days we don't have retreats, we all gather. We first worship in Kadavul at 5:30 and then we have a meditation in the Guru Peedam. But, before we start the meditation we do an affirmation. We do it three times, not 50 or 100. It is very long, 3 times is long enough.
This one I am going to read. 3 times is definitely long enough for the families here. So you are not trying to do the same thing as the short one. The short one is like you don't have any muscle and you are really trying hard to rebuild it. You don't have any confidence, you are really trying hard to rebuild it. This is more when things are going along fine and we are just making sure they continue to go along fine, reminding ourselves of what we want to do and what our goals are for our family. It goes like this.
"We, the ..... (last name of the family)." We will call ourselves the Shivam family. We are all part of Siva's family.
"We, the Shivam family, beseech the grace of Panchamukha Ganapati to manifest His five shaktis of peace and harmony within our home and to joyfully fulfill the goals of grihasta life, as outlined in the 365 Nandinatha Sutras. We dedicate ourselves individually and together to work closely with Gurudeva in every aspect of our lives. Knowing that bonding is essential, we hold daily family meetings and Monday Home Evenings to cooperatively solve problems and create a loving, uplifting atmosphere in which each member develops discipline, responsibility and the spirit of divine service. We remain close-knit and cultivate unity by talking together about the experiences of our day, extending our affection and harmony to all other families of our church. We take time for training and we value mistakes as opportunities to learn. To us, the guest is truly God, welcomed and honored with heartfelt hospitality. Through our thoughtfulness, care and compassion, we allow an abundance of gold to accumulate within our home. We tithe our income monthly and tithe our time weekly in the service of our noble Saiva Siddhanta Church. We are filled and thrilled with the cosmic energy of God Siva, creatively alive and in tune with the universe."
Isn't that nice? Very inspiring.
Some of our members have this, at least, the previous version and I got a question on it recently. This is a very sincere member and he was reading it literally. "Working closely with Gurudeva in every aspect of our lives," and visualizing himself sitting there at his email all day long, trying to tell us what was going on in his life. It is very time-consuming to share your life. So he was saying, "What exactly does this mean? How many hours a day am I supposed to sit here at my email or whatever and share my life?"
So we wrote back, "It was good hearing from you again, as to how often and what detail to communicate. As you have already realized, detailed communication takes time even via email. Therefore, it is not really practical to do except in dreams." Things happen quickly in dreams, you can tell your whole life in a second in a dream. "What is practical, is to be sure to communicate on important items. This is really what Gurudeva meant."
Important items to communicate on are,
1. Medium and large decisions which have options. For example, starting a new business, selling a home and moving to a new city, having a major illness treated, selecting a college for a son or daughter.
2. Second area, a tendency one wants help to overcome, such as excessive worry or anger.
3. An aspect of Saivism where you feel your understanding is not complete.
Those are off-the-top-of-my-head examples of major items in someone's life. The reason it is important is, how what we do in major situations (and there aren't that many major decisions in one's life) really impacts greatly how the karma works out, how the karma flows, what we end up experiencing. There are just a few decisions: choice of a career, choice of where to live, choice of this, choice of that, influence our life more than anything else. Therefore, wanting the karma to flow as smoothly as possible, it is shared with the Aadheenam.
One of the common problems - or probably the common problem, is a better way of saying it - in communicating between the Aadheenam and initiates, is that sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't. There are gaps.
Going along, initiate is asking everything and then we don't hear for six months and find out, "Oh, we moved, we changed jobs, we did this, we did that, here we are again." There are gaps. It is very hard to give good advice when there are gaps.
In that regard, I was responding to a gap that occurred. Here is an email I sent recently on how to maximize the support of the inner world. Sometimes also, initiates are very concerned about getting the support of the inner worlds, sending notes to the devas and everything and other times they just immediately make a decision. Shift jobs, do this, do that, without any sharing at all. So, we are trying for consistency in that regard as well. To get the full guidance and blessings from the inner worlds, (this is an email), it is good to do the following before making every important decision:
1. Send a note to be burned in the Kadavul homa, which is burned a minimum of 72 hours before you need to make a decision. 72 hours is a minimum, longer is better, much better. The idea is, there is a writing from the devas which says, "You send us a note. Even though we act on it immediately, the result does not manifest in your world for 72 hours." An example we have given in the past is you look up in the sky and you see the stars. You are looking into the past. There is a time delay. It takes a certain amount of time for what is up there to get here. Light from the sun takes so many minutes and so forth. Stars take years, light years, there is a time delay. So we need to give notice, plan ahead 72 hours.
2. Include in the note a number of specific options. For example, in this case other job possibilities. Do not just ask if you should take this one job or not. Again, that is advice from the devas. "I have a job opportunity; should I take it?" Not the ideal way to express it. The ideal way to express it is, "I have a job opportunity here. I am also thinking of doing this, thinking about doing that and this might manifest as well, then something is going on over here." Give all the options that are really under consideration and don't just ask "Yes or no" on one option.
3. Do some special Ganesha worship, ideally at a temple. That helps us approach it with better timing, ideally perfect timing and with greater wisdom and less emotion, when we involve the worship of Ganesha first.
4. You can, in addition to this, ask my opinion after you have done all the above. Sometimes I get asked first. It is better to ask me last, after all of that has been done.
If you follow these steps then you can be assured you have done what you can to solicit the help of the inner worlds in your decision making.
The way Gurudeva taught us is, not to be passive. "God Siva, Gurudeva, devas, tell me what to do." That is being passive. We are not trying to be passive here. We are not trying to be helpless. It is a partnership. It is like husband and wife, they share things. It is not that one is trying to be passive by sharing. It is a partnership, so you share. Husband and wife share, talk over things before doing something. Business partnership, you share, you talk things over and then you make a decision.
So this is a partnership between us and the inner worlds. We share, we talk things over. Because the inner-world beings, Gurudeva, the devas, the Mahadevas are all working with us on the inside. We want to keep them informed and enable them to help and participate in our life. But, we don't expect them to tell us what to do. We just expect them to help us make a better decision, to help us be in the right place at the right time, whereas we might be in the wrong place. So, help it all work out better than it would without their support.
As we mentioned before, continuity is particularly important in delicate matters, sharing all the major events such as a serious illness. Quite often there is a reluctance to share the problem in the first place, as well as the tendency to not be consistent in sharing important details. Of course, we don't give specific medical advice. We can make sure a variety of opinions are being sought and the full range of treatments are being considered.
This is explained in Sutra 193. "Siva's devotees know wellness is balance. If the imbalance called illness occurs, they apply self-healing, then resort as needed to such arts as ayurveda, acupuncture, chiropractic, allopathy, pranic healing or massage. Aum."
That is the idea there, that like in anything important you don't want to rely on one opinion. In particular, we found that sometimes the opinion of one Western physician might not be that close to how we look at it. It might be but it might not. So a couple of opinions in any serious issue, in this case talking about medical issues, is very valuable. From different traditions - Western opinion, Eastern opinion. At least, get three opinions like you would in any other important matter. You would not just get one opinion. And then look at the various options for treatment. Sometimes a combination of treatments can be helpful in solving the problem and not just one.
The key there again is consistency in communication. That is the major point we are making. Major medical issues, major employment issues, things like that. It is good to share and when we get a note, we always print it out and bring it to the Sun One homa and burn it to make sure that in case the devotee didn't do that, make sure Gurudeva and the devas have that knowledge and can keep continuity. That is what I call it, keeping continuity with everyone's life, in all aspects.
Have a wonderful day.
Aum Namah Sivaya.