First Day of Pancha Ganapati
Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami , 1998-12-21
Gurudeva talks about control of the mind, how can we control thoughts, the 5 parts of the mind, finding a teacher, and starting at the beginning. Gurudeva tells us that learning to meditate is a professional art. Sitting and watching your thoughts is very different than meditation. Prayer is talking to the devas and the Mahadevas.
Today at Kauai Aadheenam, December 21, the first day of Pancha Ganapati. The Hindu festival of this holiday season of the year is for five days. Today is the first, when close family and friends come together and share gifts in joy and happiness. We have a big picture, statue of Pancha Ganapati all decorated with lights, receiving all the gifts that close family and friends give to Him, to later be given out to the children from Lord Ganesha, Himself on the fifth day.
Visitors are here today. Janaka and Bhavani Param back from India, where their son, Param Jothi married a lovely girl, Deepa. He first had to become a brahman and have his upanayana sacrament and then the wedding sacrament followed. It was a wonderful ceremony, about 350 people mostly all relatives of her family joined. Janaka and Bhavani have been members of Saiva Siddhanta Church for about 30 years. They prayed to Lord Siva for a son to become a Saiva Swami some 25 years ago and today, he is one of our Saiva Swamis.
Prayer is a wonderful advent in life. Have you ever prayed and your prayer has been answered? Prayer is different than affirmation because prayer is talking to Devas and Mahadevas. Devas are angels and Mahadevas are big angels and the Gods. In the Hindu pantheon of Gods, there are over 330,000,000. That is quite a collection of Gods, isn't it? One for every department of life and there are many, many, many helpers.
We talked to 80 - I think it was 80 - wonderful people at Loganathan Sivam's Koan Gallery in Los Angeles, who all gathered together to look at the new book, 'Lemurian Scrolls', and study it. Some had been reading 'Dancing with Siva'. Well, they asked a lot of questions. I was on the telephone talking through a big speaker amplifying system at Koan Gallery. We had a wonderful time together and we invited each and everyone there to come to our Cyberspace Ashram everyday. We would also like to invite you, the Koan Gallery congregation, to join me in June on an Innersearch Travel Study Program that Himalayan Academy, our school, is conducting on a ship going from Vancouver to Anchorage, Alaska. When we get off the ship we are going to dedicate a Lord Ganesha temple in Anchorage, Alaska. Lord Ganesha is settling down in that cold, cold place to warm the hearts of all the Hindus in Alaska. It will be, eventually, a very important place of pilgrimage. We don't have the land yet. So He will settle down in someone's very large home or rent a facility until the land is purchased and a beautiful temple built for Him.
Well, everyone, some of the questions that came up today at Koan Gallery. Very, very interesting. We talked about meditation, controlling the breath, controlling the mind. All the standard questions that beginners ask. "How can we control thoughts that go in and out of the mind?"
There are five states of mind. The conscious mind, the subconscious mind, the sub of the subconscious mind, the superconscious mind and its subconscious, the sub supersconscious mind. So the question is, "How do we know what area of the mind we are aware in?"
Well, first we have to study the mind and we have to do beginning practices. To meditate is like learning a fine art such as dance, music, or painting. We don't just pick up a paint brush and begin to paint. We don't just begin to dance without a lot of training. We don't put a violin under our chin and start to play. No way can that ever produce music. We have to start at the beginning. You have to find a teacher who is patient, and kindly, who will help you, encourage you, and also discipline you.
You also have to be open to correction and criticism. Now, all professional people like criticism. There is not one professional person that just soaks up the praise and then resents criticism. Because it is unprofessional. That means a lot, being professional and unprofessional.
So learning to meditate is a professional art. As professional as standing at an operating table, making that first cut and then proceeding until the operation is complete and the person is within the healing process. It is not sitting and closing your eyes and watching your thoughts. When you sit, close your eyes and watch your thoughts, you are in the intellectual mind. That is very different than the perceiving area of the mind, where you perceive, you know, but you don't think.
We went into all these various and varied subjects. That was a wonderful time talking to each and everyone of you at Koan Gallery and thank you for inviting me. We are looking forward, Loganathan and Yatrika, for our next gathering. Maybe we can make it monthly.
Well, I will be seeing you again tomorrow and send in your questions. If you want to travel with me to Alaska, well ... up, up and away to Vancouver! Then we sail away to beautiful Anchorage among the glaziers, the polar bears and the big, big fish called whales.
Aum Namasivaya everyone, tune in again tomorrow to Cyberspace ashram, Today at Kauai Aadheenam. It will be the second day of the Hindu festival, Pancha Ganapati.