The Body of the Soul
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2007-11-26
Focusing on the soul: It is becoming and being, slowly maturing, it's essence already identical with God Siva. You, as awareness, can move from one state of consciousness to another. A Gurudeva story: He was so attached to the soul body that all He touched would turn to light. Experiencing imkaif daily, the monks attract to stay, inner plane beings of the parampara. The way to approach meditation in Shum is to have realistic goals. Control thought, harness reactions, intuition then is more available.
Good morning everyone. This morning's talk is based on "Merging With Siva" lesson of a few days ago. Lesson 224.
"Soul Body, The Real You"
"Within all seven aspects of man lies the body of the soul, the actinic causal body, anandamaya kosha, the real you. The soul body has a form, just as the astral body has a form, but it is more refined and is of a more permanent nature. It is this body which reincarnates, creating around itself new physical and astral bodies, life after life after life. This process matures and develops the body of the soul. Hence we have old souls and young souls, depending on the maturity and unfoldment of the soul body, or depending upon the number of lives or the intensity of maturing experience which the individual has passed through."
So this is focusing on the soul body and it's maturing process through many many lives. So sometimes the concepts get confused so, of something maturing and changing over time and something already existing. So, one of the phrases I use to distinguish is: "Being verses becoming." So becoming, it's in the process of happening, there's something changing. Being, it already exists. So, in Gurudeva's teachings we have both. We have the maturation of the soul which is a slow and steady process and we have the fact that the essence of the soul is already identical with God Siva. So that's what I call being, that always exists. So we have a becoming and a being both going on at the same time. So it's a useful way of distinguishing.
"The body of the soul is pure light, made of quantums. It is indestructible. It cannot be hurt or damaged in any way. It is a pure being, created by God Siva, maturing its way to Him in final merger. The body of the soul is constant radiance. Its mind is superconsciousness, containing all intelligence, and is constantly aware, does not sleep and is expanding awareness as the soul body matures. For the soul-realized person, awareness travels through the mind as a traveler travels from city to city, country to country, never caught in any one area for longer than necessary, always consciously conscious of awareness in consciousness at every moment. The body of the soul lives in the eternity of the moment, simultaneously conscious of past and future as a one cycle. The true nature, everlasting secure personal identity, is realizing oneself as the soul body. This is truly finding our roots, our source, our indestructible, ever-maturing soul."
So one of the major ideas in this paragraph is the idea of awareness traveling from one place in the mind to another and it's a key idea in Gurudeva's teachings and in our particular practice of meditation. So, to explain that, the non-mystical approach to our state of mind is: We are our state of mind. This morning I'm happy. Yesterday I wasn't as happy. I wonder if I'll be sad this afternoon, you know. The happiness and the sadness, that is us. We are that. We don't think of ourselves as being separate from that and we certainly never get the idea in mind that we can change it just by wanting to. So in the non-mystical approach, we end up in a state of mind, a state of consciousness usually because of external circumstances. If people are nice to us, we end up in a positive state of mind. If people are giving us a bad time today, things aren't gong well, then we're in a negative state of mind. We're, our state of consciousness is being created or our awareness is being moved to the place in the mind by how people are treating us. It's a common experience. So, what Gurudeva is saying is: Well, that happens but you also can move; you as awareness can move from one state of consciousness to another. So, that's an important idea.
A comparison I sometimes us is one that we understand about health. When we get sick, we get well again. It doesn't last forever. So we're used to that process. OK, the body is temporarily sick. Takes a week or something like for a flu. Flues are popular this time of year in this hemisphere. So, we get the flu and it takes a week to get over it and we're used to that process. We feel ourselves coming down with the flu and we go through the experience and we know we're going to come out of it and we do. We're back to where we were before. So, but when we get into a state of mind we don't think of it that way. We tend to think: Well I'm just here. We don't think of coming out of it like we do with a physical problem. But we can if we end up in a problematic state of mind because we've been facing difficulties in life, difficult challenges, things aren't going well; we do have the power to come out of it in a short period of time.
"In the years that follow complete illumination, or realization of the Self, in obtaining a stabilized nirvikalpa samadhi, a body of pure, actinic, golden energy, the svarnasharira, begins to form. I experienced this happening to me in 1955. At that time there was only enough odic force to hold the physical body together in material activity. This new actinic body is built through the consecutive practice of nirvikalpa samadhi on a daily basis, which forms one of the highest disciplines of siddha yoga."
So, I remember some stories Gurudeva shared of that time, a long time ago. And it would be nice to get them in our biography on Gurudeva, I think, one of them, the short one or the long one. But, he was so identified with the soul body that he had a problem. Like he'd pick up something, like pick up a trash can to take it out, he would, everything would turn to light. Him, the trash can and everything. Just by picking up something. And only the densest material could be seen, something like made out of lead, or, he said he could see that. And he even drove in that condition sometimes; I don't know how he could manage to do that. [laughs] Driving along everything turns to light. But, he said the car, only the densest part of the car would be visible. So, interesting problem when that's going on, so those were those times.
So, this is also talking about the monastic discipline of experiencing nirvikalpa samadhi on a daily basis which in the Shum language we call imkaif. So that's part of the goal of our morning meditation is to, at least for some of the monks, to experience imkaif on a daily basis. And there's a writing it says: When that's done then the whole inner world, the whole assembly of inner plane beings that come along with the parampara are attracted and stay because of that practice. So, it keeps the inner world power attached to us. So it's, which is important.
"However, it should be mentioned that the first great attainment to be striven for by the aspirant is the experiencing of inner light, which is taught to family people and renunciates alike, implying that he has enough inner dominion and control over the intellect that the radiance within the head or body is actually seen. This implies also a working control of the manipura (or third) chakra (of willpower) and a conscious awareness of the working of the anahata chakra of cognition, allowing a burst of actinic energy to the vishuddha (the fifth) chakra of love."
So that's one of the experiences we focus on in our basic meditations that we teach to everyone, is experiencing inner light. And it's really well documented in the basic 12 Shum meditations which are called the mamsani and we're publishing a book on that, it's almost finished, which keeps that material alive. We haven't published a book on Shum for quite a while but it's very useful in understanding Gurudeva's concepts about experiencing inner light. "The next step for aspirants is what is known as 'touching into the Self.' When this occurs, the soul body is released, made completely autonomous, so that they can then be trained in its conscious use and control. It is in this body that they attend higher plane schools and communicate through vibration with others in the soul body. From then on, it is for them to train with the guru personally so they learn to use and control this. With this control and altered consciousness, they eventually come into a sustained realization of the Self, nirvikalpa samadhi, in this or a future life, for the next phase on the path to merger is to make ready and then sustain renunciate life in the truest sense becoming a Natha sannyasin.
"It must be said that many frustrate themselves by seeking realizations beyond their abilities, while not accomplishing the realizations that are within their abilities. We must remember that savikalpa samadhi relates to the anahata and vishuddha chakras, sustained by a purified intellect and a dynamic will. Whereas, nirvikalpa samadhi is of the ajna and sahasrara chakras and those above and is sustained by complete renunciation of the world to the point where the world renounces the renunciate. These are the venerable sannyasins."
So that brings up an important point about having a realistic goal in meditation and not thereby, and thereby not frustrating ourselves by seeking realizations beyond our abilities. So, that's the right way to approach meditation in Shum, whereby, we have various goals along the way and if we achieve them we should be happy. In other words, one of the first major goals is experiencing the spiritual energy in the spine. So, if we experience that, we should feel we had a good meditation, successful meditation, even if that's as far as we go inside ourselves. Cause we don't want to feel frustrated. But then, we can try and go deeper, and try and go deeper, and try and go deeper. So, it's a combination of experiencing the easier inner goals, feeling satisfied by that, but still trying to go deeper is a wise approach to meditation.
"Control of the mind builds the intuitive nature. By directing the flow of thought, perceptively discriminating between actions, aware of attending reactions, the yoga student soon learns the use of his actinic power. In order to hold an expanded consciousness, this power must be brought into use, and when it flows through the intellect, it automatically changes the chemistry of the intellect while it begins to build the intuitive nature."
So that's focusing on control of the mind and pointing out two aspects of that, one is directing the flow of thought. So being able to do that, being able to keep our thoughts on what we want them to be on is an important practice. And, as we mention often in Gurudeva's teachings, the ability to do that in meditation is strengthened by doing it in our external actions. The two realms are not separate. So if we keep our mind on what we're doing and trying to do a good job on every project that we are doing, if we finish what we start, we're disciplining the flow of thought in the external mind and then when we sit down and meditate that ability to control our thought is present in mediation as well.
Then the other point Gurudeva makes is aware of attending reactions so, said another way, getting upset. Reactions are getting upset about something. So, life does upset us; we have to be realistic. Can't say never get upset. But, the idea is to be aware of our upset and try and minimize it; try and end it as quickly as possible; don't prolong it. You know, we've become disturbed and we obviously can't meditate, can't even concentrate very well and so we need to get over that upset or get through that reaction as quickly as possible. So we won't go into how to do that but that's an important part of Gurudeva's teachings. And when we can do that, when we can control the flow of thought and harness our reactions then our intuition is more available. As Gurudeva says here: "Changes the chemistry of the intellect while it begins to build the intuitive nature." So, our thinking is more attuned to our intuition and therefore, we're able to come up with solutions from our intuition now and then that we wouldn't have previously.
"Reverse your thinking about yourself. Feel that you come out of timelessness, causelessness, spacelessness. Visualize the pure radiant body of light, the being of the soul, the 'I Am,' the 'Watcher.' Then around that is formed the intuitive mind, and around that is formed the intellect. Then the chakras come into view, governing the highest to the lowest states of mind, and the ida, pingala and sushumna currents. The instinctive nature is formed around this, then the human aura, through which thought forms are created, then the vital health body, and then the physical body."
So this is a very interesting practice or interesting idea to: When we think about meditation, we usually think about going in. So we're starting with the external and we're going in step by step. But this is saying: Come out step by step. You can come out and experience many things on the way out and that it's a very interesting meditation to do.
So, thank you very much.
Aum Namah Sivaya
[End of Transcript.]