Jnana in Saiva Siddhanta
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2010-10-24
Jnana in Saiva Siddhanta is realization achieved through raja yoga. A realistic goal is to move forward in steady and consistent improvement in meditation. As long as we are trying we haven't failed. Intuition has a different sense to it than our normal thoughts; it comes in a very cold and clear way. It's always functioning. Identify it for what it is as it is generally of no value if we don't act on it.
"Dancing With Siva."
"What Is the Nature of the Jnana Pada?
"Jnana is divine wisdom emanating from an enlightened being, a soul in its maturity, immersed in Sivaness, the blessed realization of God, while living out earthly karma. Jnana is the fruition of yoga tapas.
"The instinctive mind in the young soul is firm and well-knit together. The intellectual mind in the adolescent soul is complicated, and he sees the physical world as his only reality. The subsuperconscious mind in the mystically inclined soul well perfected in kriya longs for realization of Siva's two perfections, Satchidananda and Parasiva. Through yoga he bursts into the superconscious mind, experiencing bliss, all-knowing and perfect silence. It is when the yogi's intellect is shattered that he soars into Parasiva and comes out a jnani. Each time he enters that unspeakable nirvikalpa samadhi, he returns to consciousness more and more the knower. He is the liberated one, the jivanmukta, the epitome of kaivalya--perfect freedom--far-seeing, filled with light, filled with love. One does not become a jnani simply by reading and understanding philosophy. The state of jnana lies in the realm of intuition, beyond the intellect. The Vedas say, 'Having realized the Self, the rishis, perfected souls, satisfied with their knowledge, passion-free, tranquil--these wise beings, having attained the omnipresent on all sides--enter into the All itself.' "
The key idea here is that, is the Saiva Siddhanta concept of jnana. That's what this is talking about. Jnana is a very general term in Hinduism, just means wisdom, jnana. And one of the practices in Vedanta is Jnana Yoga. Jnana Yoga is a meditation based on scripture. Scriptural reflection and meditation. So, you're starting with scripture -- the Upanishads -- and reflecting upon the meaning of it.
But jnana in Saiva Siddhanta is just realization achieved, not through reading scripture and reflecting upon it, but achieved through raja yoga or meditation. So, that's what Gurudeva's stressing here. "It is when the yogi's intellect is shattered that he soars into Parasiva and comes out a jnani."
So, a yogi becomes a jnani through realizing Parasiva, through realization, through experience. It's not based upon scriptural study. One of the reasons Gurudeva stresses this: "One does not become a jnani simply by reading and understanding philosophy," is that sometimes, those on the path of Vedanta get stuck in the intellect. And understanding philosophy through the intellect. They get stuck there -- not the profound swamis but just the regular followers -- because it is a path that involves scriptural study and because the world is very intellectual these days, it's easy to end up in the intellect only.
(Audio missing for short portion:)
[Bodhinatha reads sutra 195 and talks about how physical exercise not only helps with our physical health but also contributes to our mental and spiritual sense of well-being. He talks about setting realistic goals in for our spiritual life. For example, it is normal for spouses to have arguments from time to time. We might say to ourselves: "This year I will not have a single argument with my spouse." But, that may not be a realistic goal.]
(Audio picks up from here.)
A more realistic goal is improvement. If we have ten arguments a year right now, let's get it down to five. You know, we get it down to five let's try and get it down to two. You know, we just move forward realistically. Otherwise we get the sense we're failing. Whereas actually, we're improving but we're not looking at it the right way. We set the goal too high.
Meditation is the same way. If you set your goal too high you get the feeling that you're not doing well. But the goal is to improve, steadily improve. It's like anything else. We want steady and consistent improvement. That's called progress.
Or, in other words, the only failure is to fail to try again. You know, we don't want the sense: Oh, I failed. Just cause we did something we were trying not to do. The failure is to stop trying not to do it. As long as we're trying to break a bad habit, trying to improve, then we haven't failed. We fail when we stop trying.
I was trying to find a quote from Benjamin Franklin. I didn't quite find the quote I wanted but was a good one here. It says, I guess he was trying to do an experiment.
He says: "I didn't fail the test; I just found one hundred ways to do it wrong."
He's still trying. In other words he hasn't given up. He's still trying to solve the problem and now he's going to try the hundred and first way, the hundred and second way, a hundred and third way and he has the right attitude. He can't think of himself as failing; he's just finding all the ways you can't be successful at it.
The "Nandinatha Sutras" for the day:
"Siva's devotees keep strong and healthy by exercising at least one half hour each day through such activities as brisk walking, swimming, dancing, salutations to the sun, hatha yoga and vigorous work."
So, we all know that; sometimes we don't do it. But very important. Not just for the health of the physical body it also just keeps us, would you say: It keeps us dynamic in our mind. We're more alert, able to handle experiences that come to us in life with more centeredness when we exercise. When we don't exercise it's easier to get a little emotional when we respond to something that we don't want to have happen.
As you know, the key is: Whatever happens, if you're able to accept it, you don't get upset about it. It's wishing it didn't happen that's very upsetting. I wish this didn't happen. Why did that have to happen? Why did this person have to do that? If we can accept that it happened then we don't get as bothered by it.
Then this goes on in the Merging with Siva. Talking about identifying intuition. Well, I'll just read that cause we talked about it not that long ago.
"But I might add that that first impulse must have registered itself as cold and clear, direct and profound. Only if it did would it have indelibly imprinted itself within your memory patterns, clear and sharp, thus distinguishing itself clearly from all warm, emotional feelings that appear to be reasonable and totally in line with the current pictures of the day."
So, intuition comes in a very cold and clear way. It stands out that way once you learn how to figure out what's cold and clear. Just has a different sense to it than our normal thoughts. And our normal thoughts tend to follow certain patterns. Whereas, intuition would break the pattern. We'd be thinking about something in a different sequence or in a different way then we normally do and that way gives us a clue it could be an intuition.
And then, Gurudeva gives us this important point: "Though we often use the terms 'unfolding intuitive faculties' and 'developing intuition,' they are only used in an effort to encourage the aspirant on the path to work within himself in subduing his intellect so that he can actually observe the already functioning totality of the intuitive area of the mind. "
That's the important point is: It's always functioning; we're just not aware of it. Or, even if we're aware of it we don't clearly identify it for what it is and therefore, we don't act on it. Our intuition is generally of no value if we don't act on it.
Thank you very much.
Have a wonderful day.
[End of transcript.]