Devotion Is a Prerequisite for Realization
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2012-12-21
Acquire, cultivate and perfect devotion to God before sitting to meditate. Meditation is intense, dynamic when approached in its depth. Theism leads us into Monism, realizing our inner Oneness with God. [commentary on Self and Samadhi]
Good morning everyone.
Going to read for a few minutes from our most recent book: "Self and Samadhi."
"To attain even the permission to perform yoga one must have the grace of Lord Ganesha and the grace of Lord Murugan. Lord Murugan is the God of the kundalini, of the advanced yogic practices. Unfoldment all happens within the kundalini and the chakras within our subtle bodies. Once a profound relationship is developed with Lord Murugan, then with the guru's permission and guidance, true yoga may commence. Otherwise no matter how long one sits in meditation, no matter how hard one tries, it is just sitting, it is just trying. There is no fire there, no shakti, no power, no change. It is the Gods who control the fire and at this stage help the devotee immensely, bringing him closer and closer to the supreme God, Siva. Quite often the yogi in his deep internalized state may see in vision the feet or form of God Siva before he begins to blend into the mind of God Siva, called Satchidananda. It is God and Gods in form that help us to find the formless God."
The idea there is quite distinct from how meditation is taught in many places today by many teachers. In the Patanjali's Yoga Sutras he uses the term Ishwara Pranidhana. In our own Niyamas it's Ishwara Pujana. So it means roughly the same thing. Pranidhana means devotion to God and pujana means of course doing puja. So we acquire devotion to God. And in Patanjali's system that's part of the second step. The asanas come as the third step. So even before we've learned how to sit, do various postures, we're supposed to cultivate devotion to God, right? In the traditional system.
But how many modern teachers of meditation focus on that? Perfect your devotion of God before you even bother to sit to meditate. That's basically what the system says, otherwise, there'll be no fire; it won't work. You'll just be sitting. In Gurudeva's approach to meditation, say it the other way: In some approaches to meditation it's used simply as a way of calming down, being quiet. When you sit to meditate it's almost like having a time-out for your child. You know, let's quiet down here. You got all excited. Let's quiet down; let's be calm. Well of course, if you're not calm that's good. But that's not supposed to be the sum-total of meditation. It's supposed to be a dynamic state. As Gurudeva says it's very intense, very dynamic when it's approached in its depth in a performed way.
Therefore, what I'm pointing out is even the classic Patanjali's Yoga System is a form of Monistic Theism. It's a form of Theism, worshiping, cultivating devotion which leads us into Monism or realizing our inner Oneness with God. Part of the traditional system; it gets left out these days.
So, thank you very much.
Aum Namah Sivaya
Have a wonderful day.