River of Life, Developing Vision, MWS Part 6
Merging with Siva
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2021-10-14
The three rivers inside of us: Ida is the Ganga of the lower world, pingala the river Yamuna, and between ida and pingala is sushumna, the subtle river Sarasvati. Ganga sadhana: Release thought after thought from your subconscious mind. Listen to the river saying "Aum Namah Sivaya, Sivaya Namah Aum." Learn to concentrate the mind through observation which Gurudeva describes as the first awakening of the soul. Look back slightly, remember the space of consciousness you were in then and you'll be able to see the progress you have made. "Flow with the river of life and merge in Siva's ocean of oneness."
Master Course Trilogy, Merging with Siva, Lessons 27, 28.
Good morning everyone.
Continuing with our "Merging with Siva" series, River of Life which is a talk given in 1957. So we're starting with some material, it's not in the lesson, that's about the three rivers inside of us. This is a scriptural quote first that's in the Merging with Siva, Sukla Yajur Veda; Trishikhi Brahmana Upanishad.
"Ida is the Ganga of the lower world, pingala the river Yamuna, and between ida and pingala is sushumna, the subtle river Sarasvati. It is said that to bathe in the confluence of the three rivers leads to the Great Result."
Trying to see what the great result was in Sanskrit but I couldn't find it. Interesting to know.
Then we have Gurudeva, the same idea:
"The ida nadi is pink in color. It flows down, is predominantly on the left side of the body and is feminine-passive in nature. The pingala nadi is blue in color. It flows up, is predominantly on the right side of the body and is masculine-aggressive in nature. These nerve currents are psychic tubes, shall we say, through which prana flows from the central source, Siva. The prana is flowing down through the ida and up through the pingala, but in a figure eight. The sushumna nadi is a straight line from the base of the spine to the top of the head. The ida and pingala spiral around the sushumna and cross at the third chakra, the manipura, and at the fifth chakra, the visuddha, and meet at the sahasrara. This means that there is a greater balance of the ida and the pingala in man's will center, the manipura chakra, and in his universal love center, the visuddha chakra, and of course at the great sanga center, the meeting place of the three rivers, the sahasrara chakra.
"The sushumna nadi, flowing upward, is the channel for the kundalini sakti, which is white. It is the cool energy, as white contains all colors. When the kundalini rises, which happens almost imperceptibly under the guru's watchful eye, consciousness slowly expands..."
So that's a good point there to comment on. Some teachers are trying to get the kundalini to rise quickly. Gurudeva's saying: Let's get it to rise almost imperceptibly, which of course means slowly.
"...The novice only knows of the subtle yet powerful spiritual unfoldment when looking back to the time the practices were begun. Now he sees how life was then and how now his soul's humility has overtaken the external ego."
That's a good goal, "...soul's humility taken over the external ego."
So it's saying that if you just look back slightly, when you're in this process, it looks like you haven't made any progress because the progress is happening so slowly, so naturally. You don't actually realize it's there. You have to look back a few years, 2,3,4 years, remember the space of consciousness you were in then and you'll be able to see the progress that you have made.
"Through breathing exercises, meditation and the practice of ha?ha yoga, the ida and the pingala the aggressive and passive odic forces, are balanced. When they are balanced, the chakras spin all at the same velocity. When the chakras spin at the same velocity, they no longer bind awareness to the odic world; man's awareness then is automatically released, and he be comes conscious of the actinodic and actinic worlds."
"Those chakras at the crossing of the ida and pingala are the more physical of the chakras, whereas those it skips are energized by the sushumna itself. When the yogi is really centered within, the ida and pingala then blend together in a straight line and merge into the sushumna, energizing all seven chakras, and the older soul slowly, very slowly, slowly begin to energize the seven chakras above the sahasrara. When this happens, he no longer thinks but sees and observes from the ajna chakra between the eyes. He is totally consciously alive, or superconscious. It is only when his ida and pingala begin functioning normally again that he then begins to think about what he saw."
End of the introductory material.
Then we get the River of Life, Saturday, Lesson 27:
"Performing Ganga Sadhana
"Close your eyes and visualize a river flowing into the sea, and see yourself holding on to the bank of the river, and the river flowing on past you. Now let go of the bank of the river and flow down with the river and merge into the sea of life. Feel yourself, right at this instant, living in the here and now. Holding on to the river bank, we hold the consciousness of time and space. Holding on to the banks of the river of life is to recreate within you fear, worry, doubt, anxiety and nervousness. Detach yourself from the banks of the river and again be free. Love the banks as you pass, with a love born of understanding, and if you have no understanding of the bank, study your attachments until you do.
"Learn to concentrate the mind so that you can study not from books, but from observation, which is the first awakening of the soul. Learn to study by practice. Learn to study by application. Become a student of life and live life fully, and as you merge into the sea of actinic life, you will realize that you are not your mind, your body or your emotions. You will realize that you are the complete master of your mind, your body and your emotions.
"There is a sacred practice you should perform to keep flowing beautifully with the river of life. It will be a challenge to discipline yourself to set aside the time, but it will benefit you. You must sit by a rolling river and listen to the river saying 'Aum Namah Sivaya, Sivaya Namah Aum,' as its water runs over the rocks. Listen closely to the water connecting to the rocks, and you will hear the sacred mantra of life, 'Aum Namah Sivaya.' Relax into the sounds the river is chanting and try to be in tune with the perfect universe. The cosmos is perfect, you know. Its laws are divine, its timing flawless, its design unique.
"While you are sitting alone by the side of the river being one with the perfect universe--the earth, the air, the fire, the water and the akasa, the mind--when a thought arises from your subconscious, something about your daily life, a problem or difficulty, pluck a leaf from a tree or bush, mentally put the problem into the leaf and place it into the river. The river will carry the leaf away along with the thought you placed into it. Then pluck a flower and humbly offer it into the river with both hands in loving appreciation for doing this great service for you. Perform this Ganga Sadhana each month, and you will advance on the spiritual path."
So I have a comment on that. Gurudeva's statement: "Learn to concentrate the mind so that you can study not from books, but from observation..."
So that's an important point that needs to be understood and Gurudeva's approach to the spiritual path looks at the purpose but limited purpose, to help us with the basic ideas, the basic concepts but to understand them we have to use observation which Gurudeva describes as the first awakening of the soul. So what are we observing? We're observing our own mind, we're observing the mind of others, we're observing life and we're trying to cognize it, to understand it with intuition.
So that was the first way to learn which is through observation. The second way to learn is learn to study by practice. So we need to practice many many years to make progress. We learn what to practice then we just put it into practice on a regular basis.
Then we have the next Lesson, 28.
"Siva's Perfect Universe
"Slowly, slowly, by performing Ganga Sadhana you will blend your external consciousness with our most perfect universal consciousness. While sitting by the river, close enough to touch the water, on a rock or tree limb, you are truly uninvolved with everything but yourself. You are now in tune with nature itself. Earth is there. Water is there. Fire is there. Air is there. Akasa is there. All the five elements are there. They are outside of you to see and feel, as well as inside of you to see and feel. The goal is to release that part of your subconscious mind that doesn't blend the within of you with that which is outside of you. You perform this blending by listening to the river murmur, 'Aum Namah Sivaya, Sivaya Namah Aum,' the sounds of Siva's perfect universe.
"This will not be an easy task. The quiet of the noise of nature will release thought after thought from your subconscious mind. So, when each new thought arises--a mental argument or something which has not been settled in your past, an appointment missed or an image of a loved one--gather up the pranic energy of the thought and put its vibrations into the leaf. To do this, hold the leaf in your right hand and project your prana into it along with the thought form that distracted you. Then release the leaf and with it the thought patterns into the river. Let the river take them away, while you listen to 'Aum Namah Sivaya, Sivaya Namah Aum' of the river as it does. Each time this happens, thank the river by humbly offering a flower with the right hand into the river in appreciation of its having absorbed the worldly thought. To show appreciation is a quality of the soul, something not to be ignored, and, therefore, a vital part of this sadhana.
"Sadhana is performing the same discipline over and over and over again. Just as we methodically exercise the physical body to build up its muscles, we perform spiritual disciplines over and over again to strengthen our spiritual, inner bodies. Perform Ganga Sadhana time and time again. You will rapidly advance. Remember, the outer river is symbolically representing the inner river of your own nerve system, life force and consciousness that flows through you night and day. So, even as you sit on this rock and look upon the water, in a mystical way, see it as your own superconscious energies, taking away these problems, worries, doubts, ill-conceived and unresolved experiences of the past. Flow with the river of life and merge in Siva's ocean of oneness."
So it's a very interesting idea there, the outer and the inner. Gurudeva says: "The outer river is symbolically representing the inner river of your own nerve system." So by working with the outer river you can actually deepen your experience of the inner river. That's the idea. And it's also, it's a positive way of handling distractions. Sometimes individuals in their meditation efforts can get frustrated by the number of distracting thoughts they have. When you have a thought, you're distracted by it and you feel frustrated. This is giving you something to do with that thought. Put it in the leaf, let it go away. So it's very specific in helping you eliminate the distracting thoughts.
So that concludes our first chapter, River of Life.
Have a wonderful day.
Aum Namah Sivaya Aum.