Attaining the Ultimate

Merging with Siva, Lesson 320


Hindu scripture: The knowledge God has put into all souls. In meditation go deep enough to have realization of the deepest truths. The experience of Satchidananda is available right now. The householder path is the path of people; the renunciate path is the path of your Self. There's no scripture that surpasses what you'll find inside yourself. In Saiva Siddhanta devotion (bhakti) is the the beginning, the middle and the end of the path; jnana is the outcome of realization. "...all who strive have done powerful preparation for their next life." A multi-life practice.

Master Course Trilogy, Merging With Siva, Lesson 320

Unedited Transcript:

Good morning everyone.

This morning we are not reading from Path to Siva, first time in about two years is it? Been focusing on the 68 lessons of Path to Siva and we completed it. Good for us! So we need something new and haven't chosen another large project at the moment. So, for the time being I'm just using the Trilogy lessons of today or a recent day. And, I'll choose a project after we get back from Innersearch. This is from recent Merging With Siva, Lesson 320.

"Attaining The Ultimate

"In other words, the practice of yoga well performed produces the jnani. The yogi has the same experiences, if he is successful, and comes out with the same independent knowledge which, when reviewed, corresponds perfectly with what other jnanis discovered and taught as the outcome of their yogic practices. This kind of knowledge surpasses all other knowing and is the basis of all Hindu scriptures..."

That's an important point. We're working on a Publisher's Desk. It's titled, I submitted it with, with something like "The Mystical Perspective of Sanatana Dharma," right? Something like that. Currently being edited. And this is one of the points it makes. What is the Hindu scripture? Every religion has a scripture. What's the Hindu scripture? Well this is telling us what the Hindu scripture is. It's the knowledge that's within the soul. That's the Hindu scripture.

Who wrote the Hindu scripture? Well, God put it there. God put the knowledge into the soul. So, Hindu scripture is within all souls and it's the highest form of knowledge and when we tap into that knowledge we can write down human scripture. That's what this is saying.

"...This kind of knowledge surpasses all other knowing and is the basis of all Hindu scriptures. The jnani is a rare soul, a highly evolved soul. He speaks of Truth from his experience of it and gives it a personal touch. As Shri Ramakrishna said, you go into yourself a fool, but through the practices of yoga you come out a wise man. That is the jnani--the knower of the Unknowable..."

So, Gurudeva's concept of jnana and the jnani is of course, shared in the Saiva Siddhanta philosophy that jnana isn't a seperate path in Saiva Siddhanta; it's not the jnana yoga of Vedanta. Jnana yoga is based on scriptural study. We once had the great, well renowned shall we Advaitin, Dayananda Saraswati visited us. Remember? It was a long time ago. And, of course, what was his advice? You must learn Sanskrit. He's practicing jnani yoga. And if you want to practice jnana yoga you have to be able to read the Upanishads in Sanskrit. If you can't read the Upanishads in Sanskrit it's like not being able to sit cross-legged. It's very hard to practice meditation if you can't sit cross-legged. So if you don't know Sanskrit you can't be a jnani yogi. But that's a different concept than jnana in Saiva Siddhanta. Jnana in Saiva Siddhanta as this text points out is the outcome of realization. The outcome of the practice of meditation.

In meditation you go deep enough to find the knowledge that's within the soul, which is within every soul. You go deep enough to have realization of the deepest truths, as Gurudeva says, the unknowable. And you come out of that realization a jnani. So you can go in a fool but you come out a jnani. So it's the, it's based on inner realization, it's not based on any scriptural study because there's no scripture that surpasses what you'll find inside yourself. That's the best scripture.

"The yogi who is in the process of yoga, who has not graduated to God Realization, is not yet a jnani, though he has all kinds of realizations along the way, some sustained, others yet to be sustained..."

That's a very good point. Something that's, is not in the popular concepts. Popular concept is you sit under a tree in meditation, then you become enlightened and that's it. You're enlightened, right? You had your profound experience. Beginning and end of path. But this is saying: realization sustained and not sustained. So, if you realize the deepest truth yesterday what do you have to do today? Realize it again, right? And what do you have to do tomorrow? Realize it again. And what do you have to do in between. Not drop too low in consciousness so you can't realize it the day after. So, you have to be able to sustain it. That's the key that's not understood.

I remember e-mailing a, someone who had wonderful profound experience with Gurudeva when he was young. And he said: "Well why didn't that just do it?" And I said: "Well what do you afterwards." And he said: "Well, well let's not talk about that." Think this was the 1960's or something, so he lived typical 1960's lifestyle. He was, got involved in after his realization he didn't sustain it. And he understood that. He said: "Oh, that's, that's where I got off track, I just thought that was enough, didn't matter what I did after that."

But, the first realization is not the end of the path; it's the beginning of a new path, right? It's the same path but it's like moving from high school to university. You're still studying but you're going about it in a much more serious way and you're studying much more advanced material. So the first realization is like a graduation and then you have a new set of disciplines you need to uphold. So that's sustained.

I'll read that again.

"The yogi who is in the process of yoga, who has not graduated to God Realization, is not yet a jnani, though he has all kinds of realizations along the way, some sustained, others yet to be sustained..."

So, there's a lot in those words.

"... The yogi is seeking, striving, changing, unfolding, trying with all his heart to become, to know his ultimate goal. When the merger has become complete, when two have become one, he is no longer a yogi, he is a jnani..."

So, that's like moving up to the next level of sadhana.

"...When the student graduates from college, he is no longer a student, he is a graduate. The merger of which I speak is Parasiva, to be experienced by the sannyasin who has turned from the world and into himself.

"There is yet another realization which can be described as experiencing God Siva as Satchidananda, as light and love and consciousness. This also may be achieved through yoga. When one experiences this expanded state of being, this cosmic consciousness, he comes back knowing he has had a fantastic experience, but no jnana persists, for he has yet to attain the Ultimate..."

[Rain is audible on the roof of Kadavul Temple]

Rain is good, right? Rainy season. Our plants need rain at this point.

So I'm going to talk about this idea on Mahasivaratri but I'll mention it here. One of the barriers to the deeper inner experiences such as experiencing God as Satchidananda is we think something has to happen before that can occur. I'm not experiencing Satchidananda now something has to happen; I have to change myself in some way before I can experience Satchidananda. Otherwise, I'd be experiencing it now, right? Something in me has to change. But that's not a helpful way of looking at it. You can spend your whole life trying to change something that doesn't need to be changed. Better to think of it as the experience of Satchidananda is available right now. You just have to find it.

One comparison I gave was, you buy a new house, an old house with an attic with junk in it from the previous owner, and, you live downstairs and eventually you get more acquainted with the house and you start cleaning up the attic. And then one day you clean it up enough and you find 'Oh there's a door there' and you open up the door and guess what? There's something very valuable behind that door. But, it was there all the time, right? It was available to you the first day you moved into the house but you didn't find it. So, that's like Satchidananda, it's available to you right now but you just, you didn't find it cause you didn't look in the right place. So that's the important idea is nothing has to change within you to find Satchidananda; you just have to look in the right place within you. And that's, in our tradition that's why we have the Shum language. It helps you look in the right place or gives a map. Gives a map of the inside so you can move from one place to another.

"...Family people can attain this second state through diligent effort, and even attain to Parasiva at the point of death, or before if the path of renunciation is entered upon fully after life's obligations have been fulfilled. But there are few, very few, who have attained the highest of the high, Parasiva, after having been householders, having fulfilled their family dharma, freed from any and all worldly endeavors, plunged into total, total, abandonment of spouse, family, friends, associates of all kinds, taking no disciples, shunning devotees and forever living alone on alms, to seek the highest of the high..."

Not many people want to do that. But some do. It's kind of, their soul draws them to it.

But, looking at the statement another way, I'll tell you a story.

There's a Hindu couple, probably in their late 60's. So they had children and grandchildren. And the wife asked me: "How can I give up desire?"

So I found over the years, don't answer a question without finding out exactly what the person means because you may give an answer that doesn't come close to actually what they're thinking about. Said: Well what do you have in mind? What, what, what is desire?

She said: "Thinking a lot about the grandkids." That was her concept of desire which she had to give up.

I said: "That's not desire; that's duty." Like a mother. You know, you know a mother's duty is to worry that her daughter isn't married when she's twenty-four. You know, that's a duty. It's not desire. And, it's, it's an interesting point. Somehow Hindu teachings aren't clear or she wouldn't have that idea in her mind. She's read something about giving up desire. It hasn't been explained according to the two paths.

Giving up desire was nicely explained there in how a householder man can give up all these things and live like an aesthetic, that's giving up desire. But if you following the householder path you're supposed to fulfill your obligations to others. Said another way: The householder path is the path of people. The renunciate path is the path of your Self. Very different. So the path of people means you're constantly thinking about family and friends and fulfilling your duties to them. That's what you're supposed to be doing. It's not a question of desire. It's a question of fulfilling your obligations as a householder to family and friends. Whereas the renunciate's given that up to do other disciplines. So, if he thinks about family and friends that's inappropriate. But if the family person doesn't think about family and friends that's inappropriate.

So, we don't want to mix them up. But somehow in modern Hinduism it's gotten a bit mixed up. Family people think they should be more like monastics. Kind of frustrated that they're not but it's missing the point.

The story I like to tell, you've probably all heard it too many times, but it's still my best story on it is: The family in Malaysia wanted children for a long time and finally, when the wife was about 39 they had twins. Remember the story? And after the twins were about two years old she wrote to me and said: "You know my sadhana is not very regular any more, is that okay? " After the twins had been born and taking care of them. I wrote back and I said: "Taking care of the twins is the sadhana of highest priority." Remember that? So somehow there's this concept that taking care of the children we have is not a spiritual practice. But in Hinduism it is a spiritual practice for householders. It's fulfilling our duty. We created children; we have to take care of them until they're fully grown.

There's an interesting statement , recently I was looking up age difference, if a certain reason and usually you just think about age as, of becoming an adult relates to the frontal cortex, that's the way was talking to about [Rudy Conzi...??] one day. He's my teacher in those kinds of things. So he said: "The frontal cortex doesn't develop fully until you're age 24." And I'm saying: Well, guess what. The ashramas don't make you an adult till you're age 24. Not 21, 24. One to twenty-four you're a child, 24 to 48 you're a grihastha. So it's when the frontal cortex or your conservativeness, your ability to control things. You don't make rash decisions. You drive a hundred miles an hour up and down the road or something when you're 18, when you're 24 you wouldn't do that. But it said, the article said that that's frontal cortex, that's full emotional maturity, a man develops eleven years after a woman. So very interesting realization that maturity, emotional maturity develops later in a man than a woman. So, it's very natural to marry a man that's older than you are is the point. "...even following such a strict path, there are few, very few, who attain to Absolute Reality. But all who strive have done powerful preparation for their next life."

So that would be one of the questions: Well if I'm not a monk, why should I strive for Parasiva? Well the striving takes so long you've got to start somewhere. Start in this life, then you go in the next life, then you go next life; it's a multi-life task. Again that's something that's not understood. Sometimes older Hindus come in, they've gotten all fired up about realization because they're over 65. All of a sudden it's become urgent. "I have to realize God and achieve moksha. What shall I do?" So I try and calm them down say, you know, Hinduism is a multi-life practice. We have to think many lives; we don't think just this life. If we're thinking just this life, we may believe in reincarnation but somehow, you know, we're not sure. We have to realize it this life just in case our belief isn't correct. Some kind of Western thinking is that.

But Hinduism is relaxed, it truly believes in reincarnation. And moving forward in this life as much as we're able then moving forward the next life. So we need the ultimate goal in mind so we don't get side tracked.

Gurudeva says,I should do some talks on it some time. In Cognizantability: "The conscious mind in it's natural state is insanity."

What's that mean? It means if we're totally cut off from the within, just living in our external nature we can do all kinds of crazy things. We can get caught up in the insanity in all these side tracks. So we need the goal clearly in mind just to keep us from going off into irrelevant practices.

Satguru Siva Yogaswami also said: "'Lord Siva is within you. You are within Lord Siva. Lord Siva with all of his powers cannot separate himself from you.' Siva Yogaswami told us to go to the temple, to worship at the temple. He also told us to go within ourselves into Sivajnana. He did not tell us not to go to the temple. He did not try to break our faith. He tried to build our fath and make us strong. He guided us on the straight path, the path of the Saivite saints, leading us to the feet of Siva. Siva Yogaswami himself, though completely Self realized, went regularly to the temple, worshiped Siva there, then plunged within himself in the aftermath of holy puja, drawing near to Siva through meditation. He never advocated, nor has any traditional Saivite satguru advocated, that advanced devotees give up bhakti, give up the temple. No! Never! They taught that Siva is within and cannot be separated from you, but they also wisely directed us to seek Him and worship Him in the temple."

So that is a, again a distinction of Siddhanta verses Vedanta. Vedanta is the most commonly known philosophy and quite often it's just taken to be the Hindu philosophy. Usually it's a monistic or advaitic interpretation of Vedanta. And in that approach bhakti is looked at as inferior to scriptural study. What you want to do is scriptural study. You don't need to go to the temple. That's just for people who haven't taken up scriptural study. That's the default viewpoint. The Vedanta Society of Southern California, they changed their website, but, they used to have the, one of the most widely understood viewpoints on yoga on the website. I copied it off before they changed it. It goes through bhakti yoga, karma yoga, raja yoga and jnana yoga. It says you take up the one that suits your psychological nature.

So bhakti yoga, or the path of devotion, is for those who have an emotional psychological nature. Just for the emotional people among us. And jnana yoga is for the intellectuals among us. So which path did you choose, right? When this explained that way. It's like everyone would rather be called intellectual rather than emotional. So, it's kind of favoring the intellectual approach.

Whereas in Siddhanta, devotion is, it's the beginning the middle and the end of the path. It's not something you give up. It's not something you outgrow. It's not something can you do without. You just can't skip that part of the practice. You say: Well I'm not an emotional person, I'll start with the discipline after that.

How is it important? Well it gives us the necessary humility. We're born with a strong ego-sense. And that easily can be a sense of pride, a sense of superiority over some people. And, we need to rid ourselves of that. How do we do that? Bhakti is recognizing that the deity is smarter than you are. The deity has powers you don't have. So, you're acknowledging a greater spiritual being than you are and blending with that being. So in that process you're lessening the pride and you're becoming a more humble person. And you're also opening yourself up to a whole series of blessings which is another talk. That cause inner transformations that, very hard to achieve without that.

Thank you very much.

Aum Namah Sivaya. Aum Namah Sivaya.

Photo of  Gurudeva
This is the straight and certain path, the San Marga, leading to Self Realization--the inmost purpose of life--and subsequently to moksha, freedom from rebirth.
—Gurudeva