Guru Parampara and Responsiveness
Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami , 2014-07-07
A class given by Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami during the 2014 Mauritius Innersearch. He discusses the importance of this particular innersearch as well as the power of the Guru Parampara. He talks about the importance of harmony and responsiveness. He talks about one wanting a Guru who is fully engaged, involved and responsive in his Shishya's life. He illustrates this through his own personal life story of how Gurudeva was there to protect and look out for him even in his dream state. Also, through examples and a story he explains the need to maintain harmony , and resolve all conflicts and expressing gratitude towards each other. He also introduces the "who I am makes a difference" exercise for the group to perform together.
Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru Devo Maheswara, Guru Sakshat, Para Brahma, Tasmai Sri Guruve Namaha.
I think you come down little bit.
Om Nama Sivaya, it's how wonderful we have come together. This is the portrait that I expected from when monk were getting ready to fly off from Hawaii. I had my team, we had started having daily meetings of all the things were happening, you know. We have had 24 inner searches, this is the twenty fifth, but this one is may be the most important one of all.
In terms of nurturing our worldwide fellowship, in terms of strengthening the spiritual park, in terms of bringing together Gurudeva's shisyas from so many countries, and we never had that before, when usually we have inner search we fly off to some place where we are total strangers, nobody knows us.
And[uh] we know ourselves,and we have great time to ourselves but this is so different and so wonderful to have all of you here, the Mauratian shisyas here , to have the spiritual park, and didn't we have the grand morning, you could just see out the sea of people we have,and just eyes were big and all hopes were high and were seeing their Guru and the problems probably temporarily dropped away and they will come back tomorrow [laughter, chuckles]. Swami gave his beautiful song and talk and cheered them all up and made them realize that you can make yourself happy. It is possible if you have the tools, and if you have the will to do it you can make yourself happy and Gurudeva gave us as you all know all the tools that we need, and in fact that one of his, the parting commands to us on Kauai on those days in November 2001. He said I gave you all the tools, spent my whole life developing the tools, engineering the tools, gave you the tools. Now, it's up to you to use them.
It's nothing to have the tool. We have the, if you have tools, if you have the best tools in the world hanging on the wall and if you don't use them or know how to use them they are of no use to you.You can have the most profound teachings in the Trilogy books, and if they just sit on the shelf and you don't apply them to life, they are useless. Totally useless. What's useful is putting them in effect. What is useful is doing our sadhanas, following Gurudeva's beautiful teachings, and following them when things are good and following them especially when things are not so good, and we really have to lift ourselves, lift our spirits little bit more than we are used to.
We are so happy to be here and wanted to do couple of things this afternoon together [uh],at the, the first part is wanted to tell you story[Chuckles]. It's a Gurudeva story. Some of you heard the story and [uh]forgive me or [uh]tell me if I get it right[laughter in background]. This is a story that to me it was important to me [uh]in my young monks life because it deeply impressed me of how different a Guru is than an ordinary human being.
[uh]You know you have Gurus, the various kinds, you have Gurus who are extremely knowledgeable, and there are like academicians almost, they know 7 languages, and they know all the scriptures, and they can read the Bhagavat gita forward and backwards. And they are brilliant in that way and they are Gurus, and then you have gurus who are of hermits and they don't want even to talk to you and they don't mind if you come forward and offer a lime or touch their feet. But they are not interested in engaging with you and they are, they are engaged in their own innner life, just like [uh]Chellapaswami. He was great guru but don't try to go close to him[laughs] he will throw a rock at you [laughter in background], chase you away and then there is enlightened Gurus like our Gurudeva , special breed of guru[uh] , enormously full of Siva I would say[laughs]. He sort of become Siva by his Sadhana, and by his by his immersion in the inner light, immersion in self within[uh], he becomes Siva and he becomes all of us in that process. As soon as you become Siva, you become the whole thing, you become everything.
So here is the story. It's an inner search story.So we are on an inner search. This has another inner search that happened in 1970, how many years ago is that 34? 44 ? 44 years ago when I was just 2 years old. [Laughter in background]. And we were, it was called inner search Tahiti Ceylon. That was the name of it and so the inner search took about I think about37 inners searchers went with Gurudeva to Tahiti for 9 days. And then after days we flow over to Ceylon now Sri Lanka. And spent the rest of time about 2 weeks in Sri Lanka. Wonderful Journey, wonderful Journey. And it was Gurdeva's second visit back to Sri Lanka after his 1940s time with Yoga swami. We had gone in 1969 and he wanted to go right back and was so trilled what he saw there, and we went back and my job was to what Senthilnathaswami is now doing and so I was the coordinator. So we went to Papeete in Tahiti, it's a little island and I had arranged for us to stay in a really nice. It was CLUB med resort[laughs]. Anybody who knows about club med is sort of a high end resort that makes you look like a native in this case, and so what they had built was dozens of little cottages like you could call them as they were almost round and each cottage took two people in it , this is all part of the story and they had a thatched roof and they were right on the water and some of them were in the water. You wanna cross a little bridge to go to your room. And inside the room you felt like you were Polynesian princess or prince. It wasn't a bed it was like a hammock or a fancy cot like a, like a tribal person tribal king might have and all of the decorations were like that like a tropical. And Polynesian and it had a little kitchennette over on one side and all of the walls 360 degrees were screened windows .So, if you looked out this side you could see the Ocean and if you looked out that side you could see the mountains. Very charming place.
So, Gurudeva had his cot about where you are sitting Ganesh, I had my cot on this side of the room a little bit further, and [uh] I was , we went to sleep and I started having a dream. To this day, I don't remember dreams that are 40, 44 years old but this one I do. So, in this dream I am driving down a big 16 lane highway in Los Angeles with a, in a Cadillac, white Cadillac convertible. [Laughter], fancy, fancy.
And I am [uh] a in the passenger seat, and he driver is this big,big man. If you were a physical man, he would be a like 7 foot 5 or something like that. And he had a bald head just like you have [laughter]. oh, Thank you. A black outfit with a little like Guru collar and a big gold pendent hanging on black outfit, which was kind of 1970s style, I suppose[laughter in background]. But what was impressive about this man in this dream was that he was so charismatic,he so powerful, he so well-spoken so articulate. And he seems to own everything.He said, we are driving, he says I own all those skyscrapers over there and I own that film studio over here, we are driving and he is telling me all of this and I am looking up at him and I am thinking my this is such an unusual man. Just so, I never met like him before. So then he stops the car and we go up the top an elevator, up the top of big building and up in this building we on this penthouse floor and all windows looking out of Los Angeles and he was saying I own that and that's mine, that's mine and that's mine. Obviously, he was very rich and proud and he wanted me to know all of this.
So I am standing there, scanning all of his entire Kingdom, and all of a sudden something happened to me that I never happened before and never happened since. Only one time in my life, so I am laying there and Gurudeva is lying there and I opened my eyes, but I was still dreaming. This is really strange. And usually, we all have this experience that we dream and then we go through little magic transition or land and mind a little outside and we are not dreaming, but the dream is there but we are here.
But in this case, I was looking into this cottage room and I am still dreaming. I am thinking this is so weird, and suddenly across the room it was kind of a almost not quite full moon. So that was coming through the windows and the windows was allround this place, I can see Gurudeva, and Gurudeva has opened his eyes. And he is looking at me and I am looking at him and I am feeling very unusual and then Gurudeva says I want you to get out of the building[laughter in background]. So, I am thinking wait a minute. How does he know I am in a building?[laughter in background].I am still dreaming I am standing in the building and looking at him and he says, I want you to get out of the building right now. So my mind starts [uh]spinning, my intellect is trying to find traction. No one ever prepared me for this particular moment, no one ever told me anything like this was even possible. So, my intellect is just going round and round what is going on. How does one set up any and then finally I said Ah ha, I got it. So I am dreaming and in my dream and in my dream I wake up and I dream that Gurudeva knows what's in my dream and anything can happen in a dream. Right? no limits. So, I was satisfied put my head down , went back to my sleep back to my dream. So our morning pattern [uh] is , when we are travelling with Gurudeva I would try to get up early and make him hot cup of Coffee. He loved a hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning. So, I gone to the little Kitchen that was over there and made him a hot cup of coffee, and put it on the table and waited for him to get up and he got up and came over and I said, Gurudeva, I just have to tell up about his wild dream I had last night. I dreamt about you. You were in my dream and he said don't say another word. He said you know, you are a monk in my order now, and you have to be very careful who you associate with. That man that you were with in that dream. He is a very powerful but not a very positive force astral being. and people like that can influence your. People like that can change your mind. People like that have Powers. So you stay away from him. Even in your dream I don't want you to go near him[laughter in background]
So, now I holding a cup of coffee[laughter in background], I can't use the excuse I used last night, because I know I am awake[laughter]. And now I am really stuck, because it actual happened. He actually was inside my dream. Not only was he inside my dream, he inside my dream protecting me. I mean even a mother when she goes to sleep lets her child have her own dream [chuckles, laughterin background]. You stop protecting when you go to sleep, but here was Gurudeva , with all of his affection , all of his, his profoundness, following me into a dream that I shouldn't have been in that dream. That was his judgment; I should have been in a higher plane dream. That's what he saw, that in your dreams if you are living right, even your dreams are elevated realm and they are not instinticve, fearful, low minded dreams. They are very high dreams, and so he came into that dreamto protect me and that shows what does that show? So, I should say this. He never said another word about it to me. He never explained anything or asked me if I have any questions or anything like that, he just let it be and [uh].So, for the next two weeks every free moment I had I was as trying to come to terms with this, it was such a new human experience for me and so I came to a few conclusions.
One is the Guru's love is infinite and two is that there is no privacy in the mind. [Scary thought I know, No privacy in the mind. We seek that our thoughts are private right and if anything is private as your dreams no, there is just a one mind Gurudeva taught us, there is a one mind and some extraordinary souls have access to parts of that mind that we in our ordinary states don't have, but they do, They have these keys to the kingdom of consciousness and [uh] from that moment forward I was total convinced, profoundly convinced of one concept. Because it had become really for me, quite, quite real. That's the first story [Chuckles].
Selvam wants to know if anyone lost a camera, in the mini mela. No Selvam, it doesn't belong to anyone here.
Is it? Oh very good, you win the prize. SK [speaker in background inaudible, laughter in background]
Good, good. So the theme we are working in an inner search study with Bodinatha and me and other swamis is the guru parampara and harmony and I am going to add one this afternoon ,we haven't really talked about. Its about responsiveness. On the Guru parampara side, I am going to say what all of you know but it is important to continue saying this you are, we are also are also blessed to come on his path.
This is a rare and deep and wholesome and mystical path. It's a path of just not having a guru on the wall with a picture and a garland around him and you say om the guru I love you and know it's a path it has a Guru who can actually talk back. Yeah.Yesterday, one of the inner searchers told me that she had been with other Hindu groups in earlier years and she always wanted her guru to come to her home to bless her home. But the Guru didn't do that even though in her home she prepared a little seat like a Guru Simhasanam and everything was in readiness but it never happened. Then she came into Gurudeva's sphere, and one day Bodinatha walked in her door and sat in that little chair. That's the kind of the guru that you want, the guru who is really in your life who is inside of your mind and karmas and who know more about you than your best friend knows about you. Who knows things about you that you don't even know about yourself. [Chuckles]. You want a guru who is engaged with your live, involved with your life, responsive to your life. You write an email to Bodinatha you will get an email back. You write an email to the adheenam you are going to get an email back. It is guaranteed. It might be slow at some times maybe he is in Mauritius [chuckles, laugther in background] but you will get an email back and that's what you want. You want a guru who is real and is effective and involved and interested, and loves you and wants you to make progress on this path and in this life, and wants to be there with you when you are in trouble, and wants to be there to rejoice and celebrate when things go well.
Wants to be there with you, and be there for you, that's what you want. You see all the people who don't have a spiritual guidance and you know the confusion that they live with and the hurts that they live with and unresolved conflicts that they live with, the pains and memories and they don't have anyone to tell how not to do that. But you do. You do, you have guru who can teach you how not to get into those realms. So, one of those realms is strain and conflict between us.[coughs] Excuse me. Stain and conflict between us. I think you know that the monks don't love that inside the Monastery. Something comes up, we sit down before we put our head on pillow, we sit down and we[uh] talk about it. You know you said something this morning Siva that [uh] hurt my feelings, and then you say no I didn't. No, remember you said blah, blah, blah? You say, oh that was nothing, it was nothing but it hurt me. Well get over it. [Laughter]
Right? that's how people are with each other. But you and I have a commitment to not having those relationships, so what? So then we start talking. Then you say , maybe you are right I did say something, not quite what you thought, but close and then I say what did you mean by that, I didn't mean anything. You know I was distracted and kind of half-awake and didn't mean anything, I love you. Oh really?
Yeah, I love you a lot. Oh , I wouldn't have known but you said [laughter] I am sorry, and then you say the bug 'S' word sorry, you know I am sorry. Oh, I am sorry too that I misunderstood you. I should have find[?] know you a little because I know you I should have realized that you were little tired. Then talk like that until both of us feels ok about it. And then we go to sleep. That's how the monks do it. Now you can't all do that particular discipline necessarily, but what you can do and what you need to do and what you really should do with each other. I am talking about among the shisyas now, I am not talking about you and your boss, you and your neighbor, or you and the mean person at the mall, no. I am just talking about you among each other as Gurudeva's devotees.
You should not permit strains and hurts and conflicts, and competitions, also the business of competition. This kutambas , this competitive, this one is better that that one, no it's not that better than this one. They are better than anything in the world, you know. There is no need for us to have any of that one upsmanship going on in our life. No need of that, and if any get rid of that , see that's takes a lot of mental emotional real estate. Yeah. You only have so much real estate.You know, Couple of acres. [laughter]and if you use 1.75 of those acres for all of this business ,you only get to do good business only on a quarter of acres of mental and emotional real estate. So,we want not do that . How do you not do that ? You not do that by telling yourself that you are not going to do it and then living up to the promise. And when the next opportunity comes and someone says and ok you do this and [uh] and you say why are you telling me do this I should be telling to do that,well you get into those states of mind just stop. Just stop. and respond in another way, Of course I will do that , I am not threatened by who is in charge if this thing , I am here to serve. I am here for my Guru and I am here for Siva. I am not here to banter with you or compete with you. or you with me . I am here for a very pure purpose. Let's cooperate, let's get on with the business of spiritual life and building of spiritual park and building of our own internal spiritual park too.
So, I wanted get rid of all that competition and all of that conflict and all of that betterness . We are all equal in Bodinatha's mind . Every single one of in this room. There is no body who is better than or less than even one iota. They are all divine and equal, and we wanted to be that way with each other. Here is a great story I once heard in India. You wanna hear a story?
She likes stories [Chuckles].Here is a story . This is not a true story. First story was a true story[laughter]. There was a Guru who had a big Ashram, wonderful Guru, loving Guru and he had all his Shisyas come to his Ashram, and he was quiet popular and[uh] ended up with hundreds and hundreds of Shisyas serving and doing seva and Siva thondrum in his ashram but they [uh]didn't , they were doing what I was saying a minute ago we don't do. They were[uh], this one didn't like that one so would say a few back biting words to the Guru and would say , I saw him yesterday you know and he was over where shouldn't have been and he really didn't have and respect for you and [uh]I hate to say this [laughter], I really hate to say this and he tried to get him kicked out of the Ashram and all things were going on , all of the things you can imagine. and we don't have time to list[laughter in background].
So the Guru was very sad about this. He tried to talk to him and they just didn't get it. To them, they were with Guru and the closer they were to him [uh], no matter how far away someone had to be pushed that was their goal of life and that has that. So he got very frustrated and he started , went into meditation and he and he meditated on Siva and prayed to Siva ,for days and days and he had this little [uh] I have to solve my ashram. My ashram needs your love , in here Siva , this is not your love and, this is something else. So, at the end of the three day meditation, Siva appeared to him and Siva said , observing what you are worried about and I will do , I will help you on one condition. He said,what's the condition? I will help you on the condition that you, that I come to ashram I will be anonymous. You will not know who I am . So Siva will come to ashram but you will not know who I am ,even you will not know who I am. So if you accept that condition , then I will come. He said of course, please come to the ashram.
So, the guru so happy, he left his little quarter, his Kutir , and went out to his shisyas and he said I just had a wonderful conversation with Siva and he has promised to come to the ashram but he made one condition that even I or certainly not are gonna will know who he is . That was the announcement. So the next day, everyone , was being very careful.[Laughter in background]. Maybe you are Siva.[Laughter in background], I better be nice to you[laughter], or h no , maybe he is Siva and I think I will be nice to him too.So they started being nice because they were afraid of not being nice to Siva[chuckles]. This is the school of thought of be afraid of being not being nice to Siva. This is the school of thought of be afraid of god. So, after a few weeks of practicing this , Siva came to the guru , and said , ok I did my work. and then Guru said, which one were you? [laughter] After you can tell me now, no I can't tell you , now everything is the way you wanted , because why, everyone in the Ashram is looking at everyone else as seva. and just don't tell them that I left[ laughter] and so that's a wonderful story. If we can all do that which Gurudeva would be really thrilled, we really did that, then all of this business I was talking about earlier goes away, becasue we will look at each them as a divine, divine being , that what we wanted to do.
In my life I [uh]have little touch stone. anyone know what a touch stone is ? what's a touch stone? [speaker in background inaudible] , yes , exactly, so the old days , where they were trying to find out how pure gold was, they had something called touch stone [uh] they would run the gold[uh] and depending on the purity, certain colors[uh] would be scrapped off and, and it would show how pure it was . So ,I have a spiritual touch stone, thats [uh] to show how evolved a person is, so it's a really cool, I am going to a give you a little spiritual touch stone and you can always know how spiritual evolved someone is[laughter in background]. We should make this into an app.[laughter]. Little iPhone app , that would be the perfect scene. So this touch stone is [uh]gratitude , a really simple thing. When someone comes to Kauai Aadheenam and I talked to them, they talk to me if I find out in the conversations that they have no gratitude then I know they have no spiritual evolution to speak off .If I find theta they are full and overflow of thankful ness, then I know ah aha this person has come a long way on the path to the self, because gratitude is you get gratitude when you are full. you get gratitude when you are elevated. Some people thing that the best prayer that's ever spoken is just a simple thank you Siva. Thank you Siva., Every morning when I wake up, here is the first thing that comes out of my mouth every morning. Anbe sivamayam, satyame para Sivam. That's the first thing . Then I go to my little altar and I put some vibhuti on Siva's lingam and say thank you Siva, and then I put some on Gurudeva's holy feet , little sandals and say thank you Gurudeva, and the if I die right then then I am good[ chuckles, laughter in background]
Gratitude is such a powerful and [uh] underrated gift of force[uh] consciousness and you should all keep developing more and more gratitude for things and I am going to help you do that. Where are the ribbons?
So, long ago, I think it was twenty years ago now, a person started a movement, movements makes who you are makes a difference , and started a little movement , not meant to be a big thing[uh], but he started it,and the training was to tell people to appreciate people in your life of verbally , to express appreciation to people in your life and tell them that they are important to you, and you are glad to have them in your life , and she would ask that person to tell the next person and that next person to tell next person. So, it seems that in that process one person told a man at work you know I appreciate your presence in my life and that man went home and told that to his 14 year old son, and in telling it to 14 year old son, son , I wanted you to know, I don't often tell this because you are my son, but you are really important to me and I really love you and I am happy to have you in my life . And boy started crying life a baby, and he said you know dad I was just going to commit suicide, that was my plan , because I was so sad , sorrowful, and depressed in my life [uh]but this makes me want to re think that, and he kind of save that little boy's life but it is kind of simple thing of saying that thank you for being in my life.
So, we are gonna practice this right now.
Padmaja come up here. You have to pay attention, because you are going to have to do this. Sit right there. ok.
Little closer, are you scared? Padmaja:No. [laughter] better not be.
Sadsivanathaswami: So I am going to tell you a little about who you are in my life, and[uh] then I am going to ask you to reciprocate, we are doing this to teach everyone here on how it works. You have really moved me, kind of deeply, because of you dedication, because of you sacrifices you made to come on this path and to embrace the Guru's teaching. That the fact you learnt Rudram on your own after you saw the monks chanting Rudram, and now you can sit there and chant rudram without needing notes, even Mrunal needs a his little IPad sometimes, the way you have raised your beautiful daughter, the way you arranged Bodinatha's visits to Texas, again and again and brought all of the inner faith groups to show the heart of Hinduism through Bodinatha's voice and Bodinatha's answer to the questions that the panel has asked and you gave that gift to Texas and I somehow think you have just begun to impact my life and I want to put the ribbon on your Sari that says "who I am makes difference" that will be ok? Padmaja: Sure. What an honor.
Sadasivanathaswami : Matches, Padmaja : Thank you ok. [Parts of talk inaudible]
Padmaja: Is it on. Yeah , no. Yes, ok. Senor, I am not really sure where do I start. but my personal journey and the journey of our family would not have been complete without you . [Umm] in so many ways you were always there, [umm]you have this loving nature always encouraging and so many ways I would think that directly and in directly you would encourage me to do [umm] things that I have never probably imagined could do so , in a way my own potential I didn't know that I had [umm]and I think all the credit goes to you and all other monks too, but especially felt very comfortable with you I don't know why, and I am sure so many of you can relate to that that somehow you have the knack of making people [umm]very comfortable in your presence. They open up and just say anything and everything to you [umm], so, that's an art you have an possess, which makes and helps us individually , so thank you for that , and you know that when I had my personal struggle, I think I came to you and I am not sure , I still look back and think about the conversation that we had [umm] and I don't know where I had the courage to say what I said but it was only [um] possible because you shared that [um]you opened up yourself so I could share that with you, so I think it was personally very important to move beyond that stage , so,[umm] and that you have a great role in that . It would not have happened without your assistance, without your encouragement [umm]and without your presence . I definitely appreciate my family's support, in everything you just described that I was able to do [umm]. I looked back 7 year or 8 years ago and my life was very different than what I do now. I completely and I gave credit to Gurudeva's teachings I think though I never I got to meet him on a physical plane [um] he has definitely a source of inspiration and I think the way I connect with you and Bodinatha and all the monks I never miss that part that I never go to meet him. I think he is alive very much alive very much for me as I see you and Bodinatha. As Guru tatwa, its flowing right there. My personal, whatever little I have been able to achieve was only because of you encouragement and I want to thank you for that.
[ Inaudible voice, claps in background]
Sadasivanathaswami: I did even mention all of her work getting Gurudeva's Trilogy into Gujarathi and translating the publishers desk every month and, and, and . So, now you know how it's done. Requires a little courage , little bit of openness. What I want is for the sadhakas, can you come? You may not know the person appreciating as well as Padmaja and I ,but that ok. So, what I would like you to do , three of you,is to pair everyone up. That will give 1:1 and that's a pair right?, then 1:1 that's a pair and then you get together like face each other and appreciate.
OM OM, I don't have to ask how that went[laughterin background] , wonderful to see such a enthusiastic appreciation for each other and then we can extend that to the whole world, appreciate each other. That was how Gurudeva lives as you all know, . You remember how Gurudeva said I love you,you love me , remember that ? Six little words and we wanna awaken that sense that we love everyone. There is no one that we don't love there is no one beyond our love and affection and appreciation. So take appreciation back out in the world and use it as a little touch stone if somebody is moaning and groaning and thinking that they don't have enough in life and you know that right where they are and if someone is like I am so happy today and so grateful to Siva and I have a Guru you know the you know they are far along the beautiful San Margi path.
Om Saha Nau-Avatu
Saha Nau Bhunaktu
Saha Veeryam Karavaavahai
Tejasvi Nau-Adhiitam-Astu Maa Vidvissaavahai
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih