Light of Understanding, Self Control
Merging for Siva
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2022-10-11
Gurudeva teaches about meditation, the light of superconscious spiritual perception, the radiance of the soul. Dispel all doubt. With devotion, in a state of humility, seek through intuition the transformation of the instinctive mind into the light. See everyone as Siva. All is accomplished through the Deity's grace, the light of the soul in your life. As a preliminary step toward the experience, visualize the inner light of awareness. Take away the mental pictures, then with your third eye you can see before you the beautiful inner light full of energy as found in the Shum Mamsani and Mambashum. You can quietly hear with your inner ear. You are on the path to immortality. "Guru Chronicles",
Master Course Trilogy, "Merging with Siva", Lesson 64. "Tirukural", Chapter 13. Yogaswami, "Words of our Master."
Good morning everyone.
We are continuing our "Merging with Siva" series, going through the chapters of "Merging with Siva" in the chronological order in which Gurudeva gave them which is quite different than the order they are ordered in the book. They are ordered in the book according to a certain logic that Gurudeva gave them, different subjects at different times, not in the same order. So we are up to, no we're starting a new chapter, here we are, starting a new chapter, Chapter 10, entitled "From Darkness to Light" given in 1965 at the San Francisco Temple.
So those of you who were aware of the sixties, this is the introduction here that comes from "Guru Chronicles," talks about the 1960's. Flower Children in 1964.
"American television and magazines showed the world the first hippies and flower children in 1964, as the psychedelic movement and drug era reached its stride. Its Mecca was a tiny, previously unremarkable neighborhood in San Francisco, it's Mecca was a tiny, previously unremarkable neighborhood in San Francisco called Haight-Ashbury, just over a mile from the Sacramento Street Temple. Because of the nationwide news coverage given to the hippie movement and this district, young people from across the U.S. began pouring into the area.
"It was a curious feature of the birth of the drug era in America that no one quite took it seriously until it was almost too late. When Gurudeva saw the number of youths arriving in the city and the continuing national news coverage, he arranged a meeting between the mayor's staff and the representatives of the various religions and social workers who were ministering to the problem. As a result, the San Francisco Chronicle carried a series of stern articles by the mayor and others warning young people intending to migrate to the city for the drug culture to stay away.
"In the early years of the hippie movement, no one in America knew quite what to make of it. Gurudeva was well aware of its inner implications and dangers and spoke out against it, but even he had not foreseen how it would mushroom out of control across the country."
There's more to come; I cut this section up into pieces so we can save some for next time. But it marks a big shift in Gurudeva's talks. Why is that? Well in the fifties and the earlier sixties, Gurudeva's speaking to a group that's older, western metaphysical individuals. So, probably entire group, or 90% of the group is over age fifty or sixty. They've been studying metaphysics with different teachers and now they're studying metaphysics with Gurudeva. And they're not that oriented toward meditation. More oriented toward metaphysical principles, living a better life and so forth. But this young group is more oriented toward meditation so Gurudeva starts talking more about what you experience in meditation and that's what we'll be looking at in Lesson 64:
"The Light of Understanding
"People speak of the 'light of understanding.' Before the bright light of spiritual perception is experienced, the light of understanding must be laid as a foundation of philosophical training and appreciation--learning to understand life, for instance, through action rather than reaction. The purified, integrated mind, so perfected in its own understanding, lives in close communion with the soul radiance so that light becomes the constant experience of the mind. It is this to which the yoga student aspires. Living in the light, everything that formerly was hidden becomes revealed. Answers to questions that you had been pondering for many years become instantaneously unraveled in the light of the superconscious."
So my comment:
Elsewhere in "Merging with Siva" Gurudeva makes this comment on spiritual perception: "The first sadhana, therefore, is to always hold the overview and cling in your memory to the intuitive flashes that come as a result of your practices. These intuitive flashes come from deep within and are the only thing that should be remembered, for this is your jnana, your insightfulness, your own wisdom, breaking through."
We have a couple of quotes from Yogaswami on this idea. From "Words of our Master":
"The book is within you. Turn over the leaves and study."
"It must come from within. Don't rely on book-knowledge. Trust the Self alone."
"Don't read books - It is in you."
And a phrase in Tamil for the experiential knowledge gained by spiritual practices: "Anupava unarcci."
Back to the text:
"But the mind has a way, in its instinctive, intellectual nature, of casting shadows over the natural radiance of the inner light. Doubt is the by-product of the intellect's inability to cope with light. When a person depends upon memory or reason for meaningful answers, the mind will break down in doubt. Only when the higher elucidation of the intuition is sought is doubt dispelled.
"When the instinctive mind becomes lifted in to the light, a person is strong enough to be kind when he could have become angry. He generates enough spiritual power to be generous when he might have reacted selfishly. Disciplined periods of meditation nurture a magnanimous and benevolent nature. Such being is naturally in the light of the supreme consciousness. His great strength is humility, a shock absorber for the malicious experiences in life.
"Humility makes one immune to resentment and places everything in proportion and balance within the mind. A person lacking in humility does not give the appearance of being firmly rooted and poised within himself. At the other extreme, the arrogant person who lives in the shadows of the mind presents a pitiful picture of insecurity and incompleteness."
What are some keys to being humble. Certainly, not thinking you and everyone else is their personality is one of them. When you focus on personality, you don't want to be looked at as less than others and therefore need to act to keep yourself at least equal with them. When seeing everyone as ?iva, then everyone is already equal, solves the problem. There is no need to protect and promote your personality. A second key is acquired through devotion to the Deity to the point where every accomplishment was only possible because of the presence of the Deity's grace in your life.
So back to the text:
"Seeking for God in the depths of one's being through control of the mind, control of one's thoughts, feelings and emotions, gives birth to the highest qualities of nature. This transformation begins to take place as the light of the soul becomes more and more apparent within the mind."
So Gurudeva's talking about self-control. It is an entire chapter in the Tirukural on self-control. I'll just read a few of the verses:
"Self-control will place one among the Gods, while lack of it will lead to deepest darkness.
"More imposing than a mountain is the greatness of a man who, steadfast in domestic life, has mastered self-control."
You've heard me comment on that before, its easy if you live by yourself to say: "Well I've got such great control." But when you have a spouse and three young kids its very hard to say "I've got great self-control." So, Gurudeva says you don't want to just be alone and not face challenges; you want to intereact with people even if you're not married so that you face the challenge of having to strengthen your self-control.
"Like a tortoise withdrawing five limbs into its shell, those who restrain the five senses in one life will find safe shelter for seven."
That's a very interesting statement, it appears a few times in "The Tirukural." What we do in this life influences seven future lives. That's what it's saying. For better or for the worse depending on what it was.
This is a great one in terms of words:
"The wound caused by fire heals in its time; the burn inflicted by an inflamed tongue never heals."
So, its showing the power of words to hurt someone. For some people what you say can hurt them much more than say hitting them.
So that's enough verses there, there's more but back to the text:
"The spiritual path is a constant turning within, turning the light of the superconscious into the dark corners and recesses of the mind. 'What is hidden shall be revealed,' and so it is on this path as man reveals the Self to himself. As you sit in meditation in a darkened room, practice directing your consciousness inward, to the center of your brain. If you are able to perceive light within your body, you are on the path to immortality. But should darkness prevail, work diligently each day to clear out resentment, jealousy, fear, worry and doubt from your nature. Then you can sit in a darkened room and be a being of light."
"This paragraph shows the importance of purifying the subconscious mind before striving for deeper meditations. This can take some time to accomplish. Some teachers of meditation leave this important step out. Gurudeva, on the other hand, gave it prominence by requiring all his new sishya to perform the "maha vasana daha tantra," writing down ten pages for each year you have lived that contain the unresolved events of that year and then burning it in an inauspicious fire. I remember when Gurudeva first created this sadhana, he fulfilled it himself and every morning first thing would write a few pages and burn them. He was 70 years old or sixty, his late sixties so that's a lot of pages times ten, right? And his approach was unique in that he could remember events from his earliest years where most people cannot do that. One year old, two year old, three year old. He could remember events from those years whereas most people say: "I can't remember anything first six years of my life." It's a blank. Not Gurudeva.
So the text:
"The next time you are in a state of worldliness--jealous, angry or feeling sorry for yourself--sit down and seek for the light. If you cannot find it, visualize a light bulb within your head or a flashlight at the top of your head shining down into it. Flash the light on and off mentally, and when the flashlight does not go off, even if you have mentally turned off the switch, then you know that you have the inner light. You will watch awareness move out of the darker area of the mind. It's a wonderful feeling, and it's a basic practice of the contemplative life of living two-thirds within oneself and one-third in the external world."
So my comment.
This presents a recurring theme in the "Merging with Siva" that to have the inner experience it can be helpful to first visualize it. So you want to see the inner light, to visualize it, to create it with your mind, (that's visualization) can be helpful to actually seeing it. However, it is important to keep in mind that visualizing is different than the experience, it is just a preliminary step toward the experience.
I've talked to some practitioners of meditation and they haven't understood that difference. They think that visualizing it is the experience. Just like, you know, the sun is coming up so you visualize the sun. You can do that but going out and seeing it is the experience. So, we always want to distinguish between the two.
"I'm often asked, 'Do I see light or do I just think that I am seeing light?' I reply, 'If you were in a darkened room, you would see light within you, just as you would see on the outside if lights were on in the room or you were in broad daylight. This is because you are seeing with your inner eye, your third eye, which you actually use all of the time. You use your third eye, for example, when you study your subconscious mind and see the memories of your past. The light around the memories is the inner light. If it wasn't there, you could not see your memories. Take away the mental pictures, and the light alone is before you. You will learn to consciously use the inner eye to see with as you spiritually unfold. All of a sudden, one day you will realize that you are seeing light with your third eye at the same time you are seeing physical things with your two eyes."
And the commentary:
Of course the idea of mental pictures, the light around them, and taking away the mental pictures is the first approach to experiencing inner light found in the Shum Mamsani and Mambashum. So this is 1965 before Gurudeva created the Shum Language. So he put that concept into Shum; that's the first way of experiencing the inner light.
"Here is a technique for learning to see the inner light. Open your eyes while seated in meditation. Follow the rays of light coming into your eyes and into your head until they are complemented with inner light rays.
"Contemplate light in the external world. Now close your eyes and look for inner light rays within your head. If you don't find them, open your eyes again and let a few rays in, so to speak. Close your eyes again and look.
"The inner light is so beautiful. It is firm, like a plasma. It is sometimes fibrous and full of energy. And yet, it is quiet and full of colors. You begin to see color, and in that realm you can hear color at the same time that you see color. You can hear sound and see color all at the same time, and you have the faculty to turn hearing on and to turn hearing off, because you hear with an inner ear. This is, of course, very useful in daily life. When you listen to people talking, you begin to know exactly what they are meaning because of your listening through your inner ear. When you look at people, you know exactly where they are in consciousness, because you are looking at them with your inner eye."
Have a wonderful day.