Transmutation and the stages of life
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2009-10-06
Subtopic: Transmutation of energies and the four stages of life: 0:6:49 Subtopic: "Desire is Life": 0:6:49 Subtopic: Analogy of how to direct desire and energy: 0:6:49
[Bodhinatha chants] Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru Devo, Maheshvaraha. Gurusakshat,Parabrahma, tasmai shri gurave namaha.
Subtopic: "Desire is Life": 0:6:49
Good morning. There's some good material in today's Living with Siva about lifting up our energies. I thought I'd read a few things and then read that. This is from Saivite Virtue. "One does not suddenly reach a point where desire just goes away. Desire is life." So that's what we want to remember. "Desire is life." That's a very simple concept to remember, but very profound one. "Desire can be directed according to the personal will. Living life according to basic spiritual principles is your sadhana. Through sadhana you can gain mastery over all the forces of your mind and body."
This is from some of my material. Desire, fulfillment, pleasure, loss, pain, suffering--that is the cycle of seeking happiness in outer things, be they possessions or people. What is the solution? Some say "give up desire. Desire is what is causing the whole problem. It drives us to get what we want, and when the happiness of that getting eventually wears off, we start all over again with a new desire." So if you can get rid of desire, you solve the whole problem, right? Gurudeva looked at it differently. He said, "Desire is life. And the reason we desire things is because we are alive. Desire is energy expressing itself." The only way you can get rid of desire would be to get rid of life. Even if the physical body has passed on, even if we don't have a physical body, we are still alive, still active, creative, and motivated by what? Desire. So trying to get rid of desire is not really a solution to the cycle of desire and fulfillment. Instead, Gurudeva suggested uplifting our consciousness and changing what we desire. That is how we solve the problem, by channeling or transmuting our energy, desiring things that are more refined. Instead of desiring just to make ourselves happy, we desire to make our family and friends happy too. That is a higher desire.
Subtopic: Transmutation of energies and the four stages of life: 0:6:49
So then to today's lesson which is what this relates to. It's talking about training children to lift up their sexual energy, but the concept is much broader than that. "There are two main areas that parents can feel free to speak about with their boys and girls as they are growing up from a very young age. These are prana and the chakras. Once children have a clear idea of what prana actually is, and what the chakras actually are, they will be confident in lifting up the sexual pranas into the higher chakras when puberty is upon them. You who are parents know that this prana will increase within your physical body until you are about forty years of age. This is the interesting part. After that the prana increases in power in the mental body until you are about the age of seventy. Then the prana continues to increase within the spiritual body. Carefully explain time and time again to your children that it is up to them to control their prana, their life force, which is the total energy of their body. Until forty years of age this is done through"--so this is the part that's quite specific. Gurudeva says until forty this is how you handle your prana and raise it up. From forty to seventy this is how you handle it, and after seventy, so, three different systems. "Until forty years of age this is done through education, exercise, and hard work. After forty until seventy this is done through study, caring for those younger than themselves, community service, and additional education. After seventy, this is done through worship, sadhana, tapas, and deep meditation."
So that's very interesting. In other words, it recognizes where the prana naturally is. The prana is naturally strong in our body until age forty. It doesn't mean that the day after our fortieth birthday, everything changes. You know, of course it's a gradual process and it can be different for some people. slightly earlier or later. But the general concept is, up until forty years of age, we need to work hard, exercise. The energy is related primarily to our body so we have to really use it through the body. I always enjoy watching small children run around, which frustrates their parents no end when they're sitting in front of me. 'Why can't my children sit still?' Well, because the mind isn't developed. They have nothing to do with their energy except use it up through the body. So they have to run around. Of course they run around. They're alive, so their energy comes out through their body, and only when they're older can they sit still and use up energy through the mind. So this is saying up until forty, we're primarily oriented to energy going through the body; after forty, then it starts to go up till seventy, it goes more through the mind. We're primarily a mental being at that point, so we can use it up in other ways and start being of service to others. That's the time when we're supposed to know something by that age--around forty-eight. Gurudeva usually says, by then we know something and we can pass it on to the younger generation. It's a responsibility; it's a new duty. We don't have that duty until we get up to that age. At that age, what we've learned we need to pass it on. And then after seventy the energy is not even in the intellect strongly, it's in the spiritual body, the soul. So we just need to do purely spiritual activities to keep it there.
"When explaining the chakras to your children, refer to these force centers as lovely flowers within them that need to be fed by their vital energies. Teach them to breath deeply and lift the energy from the lower chakras to the higher ones and hold it there, as if to feed and water these flowers. Teach them that the chakras are also rooms of consciousness, and the energy we put into the chakras awakens this consciousness and makes us very alert and intelligent."
So that takes the idea down to a very practical level, which is one of the beauties of Gurudeva's teachings. He gives us the concept: "desire is life"--you can't really give up desire because desire is life; and then he gives us very specific practices for channeling desire or channeling energy. He doesn't just leave it in the philosophical realm--"desire is life." Very practical.
Subtopic: Analogy of how to direct desire and energy: 0:6:49
One of the analogies I developed, most of you have heard it--it's the water spout, water faucets on a long pipe, what you would find at a temple, sometimes you find them at a temple so multiple people can wash their hands and drink water at the same time. So you have fourteen faucets coming off a pipe, so what's going through the faucets? Water, right? It's the same water. So the faucets, of course, are the chakras. The idea is by how we live we control which faucets the water comes out of, but it's still the same water. That's the interesting part. We tend to think of it as different when it comes out the lower chakras than when it comes out the higher chakras, but it's not. It's just water. So how we live determines which chakras it comes out of, which faucets it comes out of, and that's why what we do is so important. And every other chakra is tied together. The three in the middle tied together one set is willpower, memory, and anger are tied together. A common cause of anger is when our will is frustrated. We are trying to do something and it doesn't work, so we swear and get angry. It's tied together. We're somewhat negative and we're thinking a lot, and if we think too much, we end up in fear. It's an introverted state. Willpower, memory, and anger are extroverted; thinking, reason, and fear are introverted. If we go up further, we get cognition, which is also introverted, similar to reason, but uses intuition. The idea is it kind of takes away the stigma of good and bad, up and down. Gurudeva in one of his writings--I thought of looking it up but I was already walking toward the temple this morning--there is no good and bad; there is no up and down, would be a perfect quote for this idea.
We tend to say, 'well if the water flows out of this faucet, that's bad. I'm a bad person. If the water flows out of this faucet, I'm a good person.' But that's not really helpful, because it takes away our ability to change. We want to be focusing on the ability to change rather and say, oh I'm usually angry and fearful, lustful, jealous, say what can I do, you know, to close that faucet and open this one? What do I have to do? Focus on changing, instead of who we are by making it qualities in our selves, which are negative, you say 'okay, well I just turn this faucet off, turn this faucet off, turn this one, turn this one on. You know, it's still the same energy flowing through the same person. It's just that we've shifted the amount of energy flowing through each chakra. It takes away this idea of bad and good which isn't helpful. It's a question of what can I do if we find that energy is flowing through a chakra we don't want to, what can I do to close that off and open up another one. That's what we want to focus on, not the fact that it is there which we don't want it to be, but how do we get it to go through something else that's higher. So that's what Gurudeva is giving, is a suggestion there.
So we'll read them one last time. "Until forty years of age, this is done through education, exercise, and hard work. After forty until seventy, this is done through study, caring for those younger than themselves, community service, and additional education. After seventy, this is done through worship, sadhana, tapas, and deep meditation."
Have a wonderful week.
[End of Talk]