Gurudeva's Spiritual Visions, Intuition
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2010-06-13
Innersearch Kauai 2010 class. Gurudeva's vision of God Siva, Swayambhu Lingam, San Marga: 0:5:2; Personal visions are possible. : 0:9:33; High points of puja.: 0:11:18; Experiencing the Deity as spiritual energy.: 0:13:25; Inner and outer you.: 0:17:33; The high spiritual attainments of the soul are our potential. : 0:22:1; Intuition, inner sounds.: 0:27:14; Vision or dream.: 0:30:13
So, the first one is awakening intuition and seeing God so we're going to the booklet we put out on "Gurudeva's Spiritual Visions." And if you haven't seen it it has 14 short stories, some of them very short and about Gurudeva's different visions, intuitions and mystical experiences. Okay, for, peak your interest. We drawing two of them today and talking about intuition in general.
So the first one -- a logical choice -- has to do with Gurudeva's vision of God Siva here. And the story begins, reading from the booklet:
Gurudeva was in his room at Kauai's Hindu Monastery in a state of deep sleep.
"He was in one of those profound states of slumber that are neither awake nor full of dreams, his conscious mind fully absent. In this clear space above physical consciousness the 48-year-old satguru experienced a three-fold vision that would be the spiritual birth of the great Siva citadel called Iraivan Temple, and its surrounding San Marga Sanctuary. "
So, to quote Gurudeva:
"One early morning before dawn a three-fold vision of Lord Siva came to me. First I beheld Lord Siva walking in the valley."
So, these are paintings by Manivel and the basis for what the portrait, what the mural artist in Kerala will be using. But the quality he's going to come up with will be ten times better then [...??] which is a very simple water color kind of style.
"One early morning before dawn a three-fold vision of Lord Siva came to me. First I beheld Lord Siva walking in the valley. Then I saw His face peering into mine. Then He was seated on a large stone his reddish golden hair flowing down His back. That was February 15, 1975. Upon reentering Earthly consciousness I felt certain that the great stone was somewhere on our monastery land and set about to find it.
"Guided from within by my satguru, I hired a bulldozer and instructed the driver to follow me as I walked to the north edge of the property that was then a tangle of buffalo grass and wild guava. "
So this was 1975 and the back part we'd only purchased, I think, in 1973. It was totally overgrown. You couldn't even tell what was there. It was totally overgrown primarily by wild guava trees.
"I hacked my way through the jungle southward as the bulldozer cut a path behind me. After almost half a mile, I sat down to rest near a small tree. Though there was no wind, suddenly the tree's leaves shimmered as if in the excitement of communication. I said to the tree, 'What is your message?' In reply, my attention was directed to a spot just to the right of where I was sitting. When I pulled back the tall grass, there was a large rock--the self-created Linga on which Lord Siva had sat. A stunningly potent vibration was felt. The bulldozer's trail now led exactly to the sacred stone, surrounded by five smaller boulders. San Marga, the 'straight path' to God, had been created. An inner voice proclaimed, 'This is the place where the world will come to pray.'
"San Marga symbolizes each soul's journey to liberation through union with God. This was the fulfillment of the quest for a vision. What the future might hold which led me and my followers to the lovely Garden Island of Kauai, held as most sacred of all by the Hawaiian peoples long, long ago. It is alongside the sacred Wailua River leading to the top of Mount Waialele, that this place of pilgrimage is being built, a temple of of kaivalya, granting freedom from the past and a vision for the future. The temple's 700-pound, 50 million years in the making crystal icon is a kalpaka (spiritual wish-fulfilling) ever-giving Sivalingam. So many blessings await each pilgrim. None is ever neglected. "
Subtopic: Gurudeva's vision of God Siva, Svayambhu Lingam, San Marga: 0:5:2
End of story.
Sometimes we make lists of special qualities and always at the top of the list is this one which is:
To have such a powerful vision of Lord Siva as the initial impetus for a temple is one of Iraivan temple's unique and important qualities.
So only a few temples built in modern times have that. We're not unique of course in, the Flushing Ganesha Temple in New York is one we know about. The story's written up in the Ganesha book. In a way a charming story. But, there aren't very many. So if the Deity comes, God Siva comes or another Deity comes, and a temple is built upon that fact, it gives the temple a head start is what I call it. Not that other temples are left out, it's just it has a certain amount of energy all at once to start with. Whereas you have to just build by daily pujas slow by slow, this has a lot to start with and therefore has a head start.
Similarly Kadavul Temple has a vision of, Murugan came with his Vel. That's in the book as well. If any of you don't know that story, so Kadavul Temple has a head start as well.
This is a nice story. Pilgrim came and talked to me in the Guru Peedam, that's the normal pattern as someone who's coming particularly for a few days. They go out and they worship and see Iraivan Temple and come back and then before they leave they talk. Find out what happened. And he said, what impressed him was, he'd been to many places in India where famous visions had taken place thousand years ago, fifteen hundred years ago or something. But here, it had taken place just in the last couple of decades. You know, this was a place where this type of experience was happening in modern times and he felt that gave it a special quality.
Well, we'll have, that's my sideways question, huh? Like that?
This is Palaniswami's new graphic format. I couldn't possibly create it. He created it and so I know enough about it to put in new type. So, if it's a question it'll look like that.
So, did anyone have a, as I said we're trying to go back and forth here and get some comments. Anything you learned from the story of Gurudeva's vision of God Siva which you'd like to share?
[Question is asked, inaudible:]
[Bodhinatha then responds:]
Yes this is how, what Gurudeva saw. Siva can of course, dress himself as he chooses. With, that's my understanding it's supposed to be accurate of what he looked like.
[Question is asked, partly inaudible:]
[...??] Gurudeva, intuition, vision [...??] problem believing in my own vision.
[Bodhinatha then responds:]
Is it imagination or is it vision, right? There's ways to tell.
[Question,comment is asked, inaudible:]
[Bodhinatha then responds:]
Well on the simple side it shows that visions of God Siva in his personal form are possible which is not something that won't happen, Shows you it's a possibility. We'll talk about that more later.
OK, you're warming up; that's good.
Subtopic: Personal visions are possible. : 0:9:33
Oh, this is my usual statement. Some of you have heard it three or four times. I'm sorry but some of you haven't heard it so at least it's not long.
So, of course, if we took a survey and said: How many here have seen God Siva in that way, you know, we wouldn't get a large number. So, obviously it's a way that most of us don't experience God. So, therefore, we have to be careful to think: Oh I can't experience God because I haven't had that experience. So, the simplest way to have an experience of God Siva or the other Deities is in the temple and through the murti, you know, particularly after a special puja. Those of you who aren't used to that practice such as the Nataraja special puja this morning you feel an energy coming out, an uplifting energy coming out through the murti. If you go outside, come back in, you can definitely feel it. Even if you don't attend the puja you can come afterwards and you can feel it. It's tangible; there's a certain energy there particularly on a special day such as this morning for the Nataraja.
That's so that we have to call that experiencing the Deity. It's the Deity as sannidhya or radiance. And if we're attending the puja then it's easiest to feel that right at the high point and that particular puja this morning there's two high points. Sometimes the first one is stronger than the second one. First one is when the curtain opens. And the different lamps are being passed. That can be actually stronger than, high point's supposed to be the end. Don't ask me why the one in the middle can be stronger but sometimes it seems that way.
Subtopic: High points of puja.: 0:11:18
So, anyway, this morning's puja there's two high points and that's when easiest to experience the Deity as spiritual energy. And the analogy, which works well here in Hawaii, and even more so in Malaysia -- it's very hot in Malaysia. If we go outside on a sunny day, close our eyes, we can feel the sun's rays. And if I were to ask you: Are you experiencing the sun? And you had your eyes closed you'd all say yes, right? No one would say: I'm not experiencing the sun; my eyes are closed. No we'd say we're experiencing the sun. How are we experiencing the sun? We can feel it. We can feel the energy, the heat, the light. We can feel it on our skin even though our eyes are closed.
So it's the same in the temple. Our spiritual eye, it's not actually closed, but we don't know to use it. Most of us don't know how to use it so it's the same as being closed. But there's a spiritual energy that's radiating out from the murti in the same way so we need to learn how to feel that energy just as tangibly as we feel the energy from the sun and in that way it's the easiest way to experience the Deity.
So, Gurudeva describes this:
"What is this shakti? (Meaning the energy.) It is being in the presence of Divinity. All holy men and women emanate all of these Shaktis, and you can, too, some stronger than others. Shakti is divine radiation from the Third World (causal plane) through the Second World (astral plane) into the First (physical plane). The astral body is in the Second World and lives inside the physical body. It is through the astral body that shakti is felt."
So, it's not the physical body that feels it; it's our astral or subtle body that is feeling this energy.
Subtopic: Experiencing the Deity as spiritual energy.: 0:13:25
So, we had an interesting experience in Kadavul in 1973, sorry in 1985. We had a re-concentration ceremony so it's called kumbhabhisheka. Either the first time you do it, the second time you do it, every time you do it is called kumabhabhishekam. But, if you're doing it, not the initial time, but any subsequent 12 year time it's actually a re-consecration. The temple's already functioning. Quite often is done when there's major construction going on. So in this case the priest took to pass the kumbhas, managed to put the energy of the three Deities into three separate Kumbhas, took them out and put them under the Banyan tree there.
So, the most amazing thing happened. The temple, which felt very sacred, all of a sudden lost it's sense of sacredness. Felt like a garage or warehouse. Got totally void of spiritual energy. Imagine the priest had managed to take all of the spirituality out of the temple, put it under the tree. Fortunately he didn't spill any [laughter]. I didn't kick it over or anything, we brought it back successfully a few days later, put it back in.
Gurudeva didn't like it. He said: "We're not going to do that again."
Cause, the energy is so strong, I mean, it can be very upsetting when we do that with it. Being a Siva temple. So, we haven't done it since. But it can, you know, it impressed my mind. There it was a sacred temple. There it was an ordinary warehouse and there it was a sacred temple a few days later. It impressed my mind you know exactly what the energy in the temple felt like because it went away, it totally went away.
OK, what's that say? Any experience to share of the Deity's shakti. Okay. Anyone care to share an experience of feeling the energy of the Deity? Yes...
The last time I was here I went to Lord Muruga pujas and the last one was very intense. And with energy. And I went home and I was at Lord Muruga like at sitting here I felt that same energy. It was like at sitting here for two weeks and then when I came back today and went in there I felt Him again, very intense. And you know...
That's it. That's it. Joan?
[Inersearcher shares, partly inaudible:]
... really interesting to me particularly the, you feel it in that some times of day are very present and it's very powerful...[audio fades out]
I'm busy somewhere else.
[Innersearcher shares, inaudible:]
Well yes, most of you were quite right in that experience. Yes?
[Innersearcher comments, partly inaudible:]
I paraphrased something that's was quoted in TAKA a few weeks ago. I feel like, sometimes I feel like I disappear for a bit. Like [...??] very safe place.
That's the inner you. Should be safe. It's actually you, you see, but you're in a dangerous place now. [laughter] You're in the outer you. See how we look at it backwards. We tend to identify with the outer us going within rather than the inner us coming out. So, that's what we want to work with, to turn around.
Subtopic: Inner and outer you.: 0:17:33
That was in the Shum. Remember the Shum description this morning? Gurudeva said: "You're inside; you are the energy. And then you open up your eyes and you look out."
OK, well that, got some good responses that's about all the time we have. Okay we have another story, Story 7. This was in Phoenix. So Gurudeva was in Phoenix this is somewhere, 1950's, 54 maybe. 52, somewhere around there. So Gurudeva started teaching when he was 30 in San Francisco. So this had to happen 2 to 4 years before then and that was 1957.
"While I was waiting in Phoenix deciding whether to open my organization there, I had another experience one day while driving my small car. My inner self told my outer self, 'Look at that sign.' (Meaning the street sign.) If any of you have been to Phoenix, you know it's totally a flat area, absolutely flat. There I was, driving around this big flat area where there were lots of houses and homes. 'Look at that sign. Remember the sign.' It was Spruce Street. I took not of the sign.
"Then I said, 'Okay, I'm just going to get into my inner Self.' Inner self said, 'Drive twenty blocks forward, turn left and drive ten blocks, turn right and drive five blocks, turn left, two blocks, turn around, back up, go ten blocks,' and on and on like that for about two hours as I followed the instructions. Then it said, 'Stop and look at the sign!.'"
What do you think it said?
Inner searchers respond:
[Bodhinatha continues:] "I was a believer in myself, an absolute believer in myself. "
So, any comments on that story?
[Innersearcher comment, inaudible.]
Oh that's a good point. Spruce St., huh. So this is, that's Yogaswami slapped on the back illustration. So there's four chapters on Gurudeva meeting Yogaswami in Jaffna, Sri Lanka in 1949.
So I had a chance to speak to a number of Yogaswami groups in the west. Largest group is in Toronto, it's actually 3 or 4 groups, they prefer to have multiple groups shall we say. There's a very large single group in Sydney, I've stopped too there and lot of smaller groups in London and other places. So, usually the talk tell some Yogaswami stories to try and relate and talked about Yogaswami being a great yogi, sitting for hours and when he was younger he'd even sit for days in deepest meditation. He'd sit for a couple of days and then get up and walk around, get the legs going again, have something to eat, come back and sit down for a few days.
So, it's easy, of course, talking to the group. Everyone says: Oh yes, Yogaswami and you know we can see here we are down here, there's a big pedestal and Yogaswami's up on the top, right?
So, what's wrong with that? Well, it's missing the point. Yogaswami's high spiritual attainments are also our potential, the spiritual destiny of each soul to be reached at some point in this or a future life. So, that's the point that's not obvious when I started, it's talking about Gurudeva's visions as well. We're not trying to say: Oh Gurudeva's great. You know, and put him way up there and we down here. You know, we do that in a sense but we're also wanting to acknowledge that that's our potential. We can also have that experience. Maybe not in this life but in a future life. We can have the same experience. Because the soul's pattern of unfoldment is the same for every individual it's not different. One soul isn't, you know, an orange tree kind of soul, another soul and apple tree kind of soul or something you know. The human soul is the same, we have the same potential. So if anyone has a vision, an experience, we have the potential to have that in this or a future life.
Subtopic: The high spiritual attainments of the soul are our potential. : 0:22:1
That's Ramana Maharshi they sat, Yogaswami went there to the ashram, Tiruvannamalai. They sat in silence, I forget how many hours. Neither one said anything, that was their communication. What's there to talk about?
So, Gurudeva makes this point in Clear White Light Chapter, Merging With Siva.
"Occasionally (That's it, Balinese artist, isn't his style interesting? Interested in art, you know, unique.) "Occasionally in a cross-section of the inner mind, when light merges into transcendental form, (In other words: you have light which is higher than transcendental form. So, when you're coming out if you could come from light into transcendental forms.) ... the young aspirant may view the golden actinic face of a master peering into his, kindly and all-knowing. He is looking at his own great potential."
Nicely said! In Bali, the first son is called, gets named Iwayan. So if you say Iwayan one third of the group of men would be called Iwayan. Cause use another name. He's Iwayan that artist.
So, that's what we want to keep in mind. That the visions, intuitions or other mystical experiences of Gurudeva are something that you can eventually experience. In holding this perspective, reading about Gurudeva's experiences, gives added motivation to your own spiritual striving.
Okay, that's an interesting question: How to impress the mind that these experiences will be ours? Any suggestions how to break out of that natural putting the Guru up on a pedestal and ourselves down here. How can we break out of that and think about having the experience our self? Any idea?
Come here; listen to you.
Okay, that's a good one, yes.
Regular meditation, yes.
[Innersearcher responds, partly inaudible:]
I feel I'm reading the Master Course [...??] darshan [...??]
Yes, well if you read it in the right spirit that's what happens. The books aren't simply books, they're connected to Gurudeva. He has the ability to connect to the books he wrote. In a deliberate way.
[Innersearcher comments, inaudible:]
Plan the teaching. Yes, that's a very good point.
Okay, that was the most answers we've had.
Okay, so we're building vocabulary here. Gurudeva says he's getting instructions from his inner self. We can also call the inner self in Gurudeva's teachings: Intuition, superconsciousness, the inner voice. They're all synonymous terms.
The musical instruments are actually inner sounds, that's what Gurudeva's saying.
Instruments that duplicate these inner sounds, well I might as well read the whole thing.
"The sounds of the atomic structure of his nerve system, his cells, register as voices singing, the vina or sitar, tambura, or as symphonies of music. Instruments to duplicate these sounds for the outer ears were carefully tooled by the rishis of classical yoga thousands of years ago, including the mridanga or tabla, and the flute. He will hear the shrill note, likened to a nightingale singing, as psychic centers in his cranium burst open, and then an inner voice indicating to his external consciousness -- like a breath of air -- direction, elucidation."
So there's a chapter, those who are interested, Chapter 28, in Merging With Siva, all about this.
"Intuition day by day occurs spasmodically but it does occur. And systematically one can gear his observation of his own intuitional faculties and find out exactly when these intuitive functions occur within him. It is a well-defined fact that we have the faculty of precognition of coming events. It is also concurrently known that feelings of fear may precede impending danger. It is for the individual to disentangle and sort out within his own daily experiential pattern which is which. In this way he becomes knowledgeable in the great university of his own mind as to what is a daily intuitive occurrence and what is not."
Subtopic: Intuition, inner sounds.: 0:27:14
So I like to use analogies, this one again some of you have heard. It's the idea of background music. Everything is a file these days so we say, we have to say we're listening to an audio file, right? Least I know that much; I don't know the name of the file. You can't say a radio, you can say it was file. So, there's an audio file playing softly in the background and room is a bit noisy. So, we're not able to hear the music right? Quite obvious. The music is there but the noise in the room is significant so we can't hear it. So, our mind is the same way. Usually our mind is noisy. We're thinking about different things; we're distracted by other people.
So, the quiet inner voice can be guiding us but we don't hear it. So that's how we want to look at it; it's not something that we have to turn on. It's not something that's not there; it's something we have to become better at hearing through quieting the mind. So even though we're normally distracted certain situations break through. A mother and a small child, very powerful tie. So, this child's outside, the mother's inside, the mother can sense that the child's about to hurt him or herself and go outside. That's just the nature of that tie it's so strong; intuition comes through.
Well how do we distinguish between a genuine intuition and what is not? That came up earlier. The idea of a vision, you know, is it a vision or just a dream?
So, Gurudeva explains, he says:
"Desires come through feeling, warmth of emotion, as do thoughts, schemes, ways of manipulating the media forces for one's own personal benefit or that of a loved one. This is contrary to the power of intuition which runs cold... (So normal thoughts are warm, they have emotional component. This is cold, you know, like the computer is telling you something. Computer doesn't have any emotions.) This is ... cold and is direct, like a bolt of lightning in the inner sky or the subtle rainbow of an etheric aura which bypasses the processes of current thinking, giving answers before the question and solving problems before they have accrued."
Subtopic: Vision or dream.: 0:30:13
[End of transcript.]