“ahamasmi prathamajaa Rtasya . puurvam devebhyo amRtasya naa bhaayi . yo maa dadaati sa ideva maa vaaH . aham-annam-annam-adantamaa-dmi . aham vishvam bhuvana-mabhya-bhavaam . suvarna jyotiH"
"I am the First-born; the standard of Divine Truth; I exist before the Gods. I am the womb of immortality. He who gives me away; he alone preserves me. I (who am food) devour the consumer of food. I am the Divine golden Light which shines in the Sun.”
- Taittiriya Upanishat
“aham rudraaya dhanuraa-tanomi brahma-dvishhe sharave hantavaa u .
aham janaaya samadam kRnomyahaM dyaavaa-pRthivii aa vivesha."
"I am the bow of Rudra (the Divine Destroyer) which destroys all. I am the power of destruction that destroys the human condition. Throughout the world, I save the people from sorrow. I pervade the Earth and Heavens. I rise within the hearts of men, who also pervade the Universe and bear my power of protection and creation.”
- Devii Suuktam: Rikveda Sanghita 10.125.6
Svamiji teaches that the goal of human life is to Realize God. Swamiji teaches that the highest Realization is direct experiential JnAna (Knoweldge) of the consciousness pervading all things. All things are moving toward the full manifestation of the latent Divinity within.
Everything and every event is in perfect harmony with the benevolent will of the Lord. People choose, however, to judge these events as “bad” due to ignorance. By their own judgment and attachment people condemn themselves to suffer. This binds them to ignorance and turns them against the Divine which is perfect in all things. Those who seek to see the Lord's blessing in the course of all things open themselves to endless opportunities for growth and success; they embrace the Divinity in all and open eventually to their own Divine capacity.
Everything in the world contains a spark of the Divine creator including each human soul. Humans are unique, however, in their ability to realize and utilize this Divine Shakti (spirit / power) for the advancement of peace and prosperity for all. By developing an attitude of selfless-service empowered by compassion, humility, and devotion, humans transcend the bonds of material existence and inherit sovereignty and all Divine attributes. By disassociating from the false perceptions of ownership and separate existence, they become filled with experience of the Reality of the union of all things. For this realization, people must cultivate spiritual dispassion and steadiness of mind which remains peaceful despite the many ups and downs of life.
When the mind is trained to be unaffected by the perception of personal pleasure and pain, ananda (transcendent bliss) is attained. This bliss that is held by that Siddha (master of reality) becomes a light for all the world. That attainment is the highest fulfillment of the scriptures; it is the destiny that all is progressing toward; and it is the greatest accomplishment possible for humanity.
Realization is possible only by offering the individual will to the Divine will. The individual will arises from the mind's confusion as it responds to the experiences of the senses with fear, attachment, and judgement. This leads to selfish actions which perpetuate and deepen the bonds of delusion upon the soul which does not see that the true source of its pain is the apparent (though not actual) seperation from its Divine source. The Divine will works selflessly for the highest good of all creatures. Its nature is always peaceful and knows no sorrows. This is not abandoning one's nature (each realized Saint has had a very different personality), but overcoming one's attachments and faults for the enactment of the individual soul's highest potential.
Swamiji teaches that the source of sorrow is the self-serving desires that arise from the illusion of duality. Disease, poverty, accidents, injuries, and even societal tragedies are caused by people lack of sensitivity (to the nature of themselves and others) and their acts of violence and intolerance toward the world of God's creation. The aatman (the True Divine Self) is not bound by the delusion of separation. The Self remains in a state of transcendent bliss and experiences itself to dwell within all things. The aatman does not associate with any particular qualities of human nature. It has no limiting sense of ownership or identity. It is eternal and fears no demise. It is satisfied by the experience of the pure being which pervades all things. The jiiva (embodied soul) associates with the objects of the five senses. When this association is clouded by intellectual and emotional judgements, the jiiva suffers with the fluctuations of the material world. It identifies itself by the experiences of the senses and intellect. It remains bound by its desires and seeks vainly to control its experiences. Because it relies upon external things for satisfaction it becomes pleased and troubled as the external things come and go from its scope of perception. This is made evident by the fact that people often suffer about loss which is not actual but only perceived. A man might suffer just as much to only hear that his wife has expired as he would if she had actually expired. In this light it is clear that the goal of human existence is to ease pain and suffering for themselves and for humanity by seeking internal fulfillment which comes only with knowledge of the True Self concealed within the layers of thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and perceptions.
The jiiva serves (itself without knowledge of itself), and deepens the sense of separation from the Lord. Embodied souls associate with their beliefs and feelings about the world. For example, if a man thinks that he is stupid he may limit himself in many unproductive ways. He may act stupid and avoid attempting all actions which could upset his low expectations for himself. Many scientific studies have indicated that there are many things which can be done to increase intellectual capacities (including hearing Sanskrit mantras). The person who acts in a stupid way, because he believes himself to be stupid will not work to increase his intellectual achievements. He will suffer according to his own perceived limitations but because of his inaction which arises from the delusion of free will. The free will of the ahamkara (the ego of the separate self) seeks only to preserve its own delusion. It keeps itself bound by its nature and its actions. It feels the pains of separation and seeks God outside itself. It prays to the sky and views the Lord as a distant mystery.
The jiiva is however in reality united with Shiva (the Lord). It true nature pervades the world, and stands apart from all things with limitless power and satisfaction. Every capacity of God (the creator, preserver and destroyer of all) is latent within all things. In the cave of the heart, there is boundless bliss, omniscient wisdom, and omnipotent strength. This Divine nature is awakened by the saadhana (spiritual striving) that leads the consciousness toward the divine quality of Prema (Pure Love). Though qualities of Divinity manifest in those who practice spiritual austerities, the individual soul is never truly separate from the Lord. This is why we say that humans realize God and not that they become God. For the seeker who is bound by the stains of their cruel and selfish deeds, the Lord serves as a Loving Mother working constantly and diligently to free children from the suffering of their own creation. As they work to purify themselves and to bow their will humbly at her Holy feet they come closer to Her Divine qualities. When the stains of their actions have been completely burned by the intensity of their Love for Her, then Her nature is all that remains in their human hearts. They serve the world selflessly and bring light to the world as living human emanations of Her glory.
“Shiva sarvagatam prema param satyam parah shivah."
"God Shiva is immanent love and transcendent reality”
Swamiji emphasizes realization of God within all by the spiritual austerity of sannyas (renunciation). The term “sannyas” has been widely misunderstood as repression of material urges, but repression will not lead to lasting or meaningful spiritual development. Spiritual renunciation does not denote the denial of any aspect of humanity, but rather the perfect acceptance of all qualities in the natural world. Sannyas is translated to mean "throwing down" and wrongly interpreted by many to constitute the physical action of self denial. True renunciation arises from the acceptance of the Divine self and the recognition of Divinity within all individual attributes of God's perfect creation. Sannyas could also be translated in another way. The Sanskrit root "Sam" means "without passion" and "Nyaasa" means "consignment to the mind." True sannyas is not a physical practice of abandonment but a pure, nonjudgmental acceptance of Divine Nature which is manifest in all nature. Spiritual attainment can not be had by the mere “throwing down” of things of the world. It must rise of its own accord as a natural result of association with the Divine in all circumstances. The soul does not progress toward the Lord by the denouncement of the Lord's perfect world, but instead by focusing the desires on Divinity. The soul experiences Divinity by practicing acts of bhakti (devotion), upaasanaa (service), puujaa (worship), pathana (study), dhyaana (contemplation), daana (charity), and kaarunya (compassion). These actions purify the consciousness from the stains of ignorance arising from the mis-perception of duality. When the Love of God is strong, the Lords grace will cleanse the consciousness from all avidya (mis-perception). It is natural for the Soul who is pure to Love and serve even those enemies who wish to kill him. When a spirit of compassion for all creatures and a constant practice of spiritual service to humanity is cultivated through saadhana the soul will then abide in its natural state of perpetual fulfillment. When the soul is motivated by pure Love, other desires drop away like ripe fruit from the vine. When the instinctive desires and sorrows of the mind have been stilled by practice then the Divine Light will shine radiantly from within the stillness of the heart.
Though there are many who dress in robes and carry out practices of spiritual austerity, there are few who have mastered the practice of renunciation. The sannyaasi is a Swami (Master) of all things, because he is a master of his body, mind, and intellect. When his karmas (action) are subdued by the constant dissociation from the sense of ownership and separation, he gains knowledge of the interconnectedness of all things. Such a master possesses power to control the elements of nature as effortlessly as he moves his hand. Nature, the elements, and the planets verily bow to his will, because his will has become merged with Divine iccha (will). Whatever word that Master speaks shall be fulfilled, because all of the power of creation, preservation, and destruction is awakened within his speech. The Swami is not a master because he has sought or gained some control of the world, but because he has risen beyond the world by developing perfect santosha (contentment) and aavaanam (acceptance / bowing). The constant detachment from doer-ship skews awareness from the limiting capacities of the material realm and unites the soul with Divine iccha (will). There are no bonds to the power at the command of such a lofty Master. This Divine capacity dwells in the hearts of yogis and saadhus and in householders. It is realized by the practice of honoring one's dharma (duty and obligations).
The consciousness of the accomplished yogi seeks always and only to associate with the Lord- though that yogi remains in the world. He eats food for the body, and continues work in the physical world. The material pleasure and pains have no bearing upon his consciousness though, because his identity remains apart dwelling in a state of internalized bliss. For him, each moment contains absolute fulfillment. Such is his state of transcendent bliss, that no worldly temptation or torment has any power to sway his impervious, blissful state. His inner nature has been transformed and he, himself transforms the world. That master walks in the world as a manifestation Divine Light. He experience of the world is complete.
The knowledge of the scriptures cannot be discerned by intellectual contemplation. For true spiritual awareness the intellect must be transcended. The Realization of Mahaatmans (highly realized / great souls) is a Light to the world. The consciousness of such an Avadhuuta (one who has “shaken” off the bonds of the world) facilitates prabodha (awakening) and diikshaa (quickening / initiation) for the spiritual seeker. The mere darshan (sight) of such a saint enlivens the kundalini shakti (latent power of spiritual awakening) and elevates the vibration of all it touches toward the state of highest spiritual union. This Guru is the mouth of God; he is the literal hands of God; and he is in fact God Himself. So complete is His union with the formless absolute, that He is worthy of worship. The highest Guru is the Aatma (Divine Self), but only the Sat guru shall put the seekers in contact with that One within. The Lord dwells in all things, but this is especially apparent in the Guru. The vision of the Lord which the Guru has attained is the transmittable experience which constitutes the true teaching of a Guru. The disciple sees Divinity in His Guru and he becomes opened to the Divine capacity within through the catalyst of the Guru.
Though it is possible for some to gain some spiritual insight from practice, only the most dedicated students are able to rise above mental and material attachments to realize God. It is a very, very difficult task, usually requiring years of consistent and dedicated practice to conquer the ahamkara (the ego / the I-maker). This requires the grace of a living Guru. Just as a spark is needed to set even the most apt kindling to flame, the spark of divinity living in the heart of the Guru is needed to kindle the fire of Divine being within the heart of the student. The Guru's presence speeds the process and opens the ardent student to realizations previously unimaginable. The Guru is a guide and companion on the path. He sees the next step the devotee must take because he has completed the journey himself. He never seeks students or asks them to do anything they do not desire for themselves. He simple waits for the students to ask, and leads them toward their own highest individual potential as they desire. When formal bond is made between the Guru and student, when that Guru provides Diikshaa (spiritual initiation), the student becomes enveloped by the grace of the Guru. Obstacles on the path begin to disappear, and steady progress becomes possible. Though a student may practice with skill and devotion for years, his efforts will remain relatively fruitless until he earns the grace of the Guru. A strict Guru will have very few students in this age of Kali (Darkness) but the time he spends with those few dedicated seeker will yield great results in the realization of that blessed few. The Guru's work multiplies in the hearts of the siShyas (the students) as they work to spread their Gurus Light by serving humanity and nature with selfless dedication and constant vigilance.
The student who wishes to realize the Truth of the scriptures, must make humble the ego which binds him. It is the nature of the ego to struggle to keep him bond. The seeker must be bold and humble. When a student wishes to learn music, he comes to a Guru who knows music and bows himself to the will of that teacher. As he practices music that student becomes a masterful musician. When a student wishes to gain knowledge of God, he comes to the Guru and strives eagerly to fulfill that Guru's will for him. As he practices spiritual service and dispassionate compassion toward all he becomes a master of spiritual knowledge. Victory is sure for those who bow humbly at the feet of a qualified teacher. It is very important for the student to find one teacher and bind themselves to him. This connection is a powerful protection and assistance on the path laden with treacherous pitfalls. The student shall study the Gurus teachings by fulfill the Gurus instruction beyond their own expectation, and gradually moksha (liberation) shall be theirs. He should cultivate Love of God and Love of the Gurupaadukaas (The holy sandals of the Guru). He must be fearless to follow God's will for him, as his Guru teaches them to be aware of this. Like the light of a candle fills the four corners of a dark room, the Grace of the Guru bring light to the Divinity in all things. This light awakens our highest potential, buried deep in the heart like a seed. Peoples' faults are burned away by the flame of his Tapasya (austerity). The presence of even one such God-Realized Soul, uplifts the consciousness of all humanity and changes the course of human history irrevocably.
The student must always return to the Guru's feet, because the bonds of Maya (illusion) will draw the consciousness back into darkness. The successful student returns to the Guru's feet again and again. When he is ready to rise into the True identity of his divine union, the heart will burn for the Guru. The Guru's grace will envelope him. This grace will transform that flesh into Divinity, it will shield him from the worries of the world, and Unite him with Saccidaananda (Eternal Truth-Knowledge-Bliss). Like a wave on the shores of a beach that settles back into the infinite ocean, the vaasanaas (mental fluctuation) shall settle and merge into the Infinite Mind of God. Like the pure white ash that remains after a blazing fire, his consciousness shall be transformed into Divine Love. Like a drop of water falling into a great river, his individual (dual) nature shall be shed as he merges completely with the pure awareness flowing through all things. His boundless freedom and bliss shall ring to the ends of the universe as he moves unhindered by space and time and matter. He will be worshiped by the devas (angels) and mahaadevas (Gods) for his union with the Brahman (Formless Absolute). It is the destiny of each soul to live in peace knowing this.
"I am not the mind or the intellect,
Nor am I the ego nor intellect;
Neither am I the ear, the tongue, the nose, the eyes;
Neither the sky nor earth nor light nor wind am I;
For, I am Pure Consciousness which is Bliss,
Siva is in me and I am Siva."
-- Atma Shatakam by Adi Shankaracharya
The mere presence of an awakened Soul will heal all sorrows and transform human consciousness. This will happen when the student has worked very hard to adequately prepare himself by rigorous tapasya (spiritual penance / austerity). The grace of the Guru is complete and offered always, but the student must be pure to receive the Gurus grace. A glass that is full of muddy water will not hold pure water. The mind that is full of desires and judgments can not hold the Pure awareness of God. For the aspiring student, saadhana (spiritual practice) is a battle with the lower (human) instincts. He lovingly and patiently develops steadiness of mind, by redirecting it toward God within. When his efforts open his consciousness to the grace of the Guru, that grace awakens the higher perceptions. The student must desire this very much. In fact he must desire this with such singularity of intent, with such constant attention, that no other desire remains. Like the animals in spring frantically seek mates, he must seek the hidden Lord, in his heart. With great sacrifice and passionate longing he should call out to his compassionate Lord. The Lord is very easy to please and will help all who call, but the ahamakara (ego) is a very stubborn and deceptive entity. It seeks to destroy all hopes of spiritual progress, because it seeks to preserve itself. But even that primal animal instinct of self-preservation will be melted by the Love of the Lord.
Among the qualities lauded by the scriptures to be useful for the seeker to develop, Swamiji teaches that kaarunya (compassion), bhakti (devotion / love of God in all things), and vinaya (humility) are most important today. Among these he believes that none will better serve the people of the modern world than (dispassionate) compassion. He teaches people to serve God in the world with compassionate detachment. He instructs his students to become ready for awakening by developing unconditional Prema (Love) and compassion. By serving and Loving God in all things people will destroy the selfish desires that lead to miseries. They will ease the sufferings everywhere they go, and become peace makers. They will raise the sorrows of the world toward blissful fulfillment, as they walk closer to the goal of their hidden heart, moksha (liberation).
Prema (Love) is the nature of God; that is the source of support and salvation; and that rises in those who serve the world with selfless compassion. Divine Love (Prema) is not to be mistaken for kaama (worldly desire, pleasure, or lust). Prema is a pure sort of Love, like the unconditional Love of a mother for her child. It does not desire, but simply accepts and gives of itself. It is fulfilled by given and as such never seeks. Like a candle which burns itself to give light. Pure Love is the nature of the Lord, which pervades and supports all the worlds. It is the nature of the Aatma (self). And it is the effect of spiritual practice. When a person feels burning Love even toward their sorrows and pains and enemies, then spiritual service has yielded Prema. Spiritual seekers should seek this siddhi (mystical power) alone; to condition the mind to react to every person, creature, and circumstance with pure Love. This does not mean to condone or encourage what deeds are admonished as cruel and unjust. This Love is not idle, apathetic or passive; it is the force that motivates the actions of creatures, men, and societies. It is the principle that all the worlds bow to. It is not diminished as it gives of itself, as a candle does not get dimmed by lighting another candle.
“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.”
- Jalal ad-Din Rumi (Sufi Mystic)
Siddhi is a word that means “attainment.” In terms of spiritual practice the term siddhi refers to all manners of mystical or latent abilities that become awakened or developed through the process of spiritual practice. Because there is much misunderstanding about this esoteric subject, it makes sense to define the word "mystical". Webster's Dictionary defines "mystical" in this way “spiritual: of or relating to an intimate knowledge or direct communion with God.” It is interesting to note that the word mystic comes from the Greek root “mu” meaning to conceal (it is also relates to musterion, implying shutting the eyes, or closing off the gross, physical senses). As such, “mystical” can be understood to mean “direct cognition of the subtle or hidden nature of God, that comes from spiritual contemplation;” that is to say that through redirecting the external senses of perception toward the subtler awareness within. It is interesting to note that the word mystical is also related to the Greek and Latin words for spiritual initiation. Every religious tradition has had its saints and mystics (people with direct cognitive knowledge of God). Intellectuals has often concealed and questioned the teachings of the mystics. The Eastern traditions have more often valued the teachings of the mystics and have structured their mainstream traditions around the principles expounded by those greet RiShis (sages / seers). It is customary in the East for elders to be bowed to with reverence, a tradition which is very difficult for the Western mind to grasp. It is natural for the Eastern cultures to benefit from the wisdom of the Sages and Gurus, because they have honored their great wisdom. People all over the world have great interest in mystical sciences and occult knowledge. At this time of mystical awakening for the world, it is very important for the budding occultists and mystics in the to turn to the time honored wisdom of the East. The wisdom of the Sages can save much pain and needless suffering for the wise mystics who choose to heed their warnings. It is not the nature of the ego to overcome its own limitations. A teacher can lead a person to the realization that he himself has attained. The mystical sciences should not be used toward worldly achievements unless this achievement is peace for all the world and spiritual realization.
People of the East understand their duty to support the saadhus (renuciate seekers), and there society benefits from the wisdom of such dedicated servants of God. It has been the teaching of Gurus in the East to warn about the dangers of the siddhis (mystical attainments) of saadhana (spiritual practice). Maataa Bhaarata (Mother India) has been so gracious to Her saadhus that many paramahamsas (Great Souls, unstained by the world) have risen from Her womb. So common have the miracles of the Saints been for the Peaceful nation of India, that the power of saadhana (spiritual practice) is a common belief and experience for the people there. They cannot doubt the Truth of the scriptures, because they have seen it in action. Intellectual people are full of doubts, by comparison. They have not fed their saadhus, and they have not been fed by their saadhus the spiritual vision that their role is unique to offer.
People are awakening now to spiritual awareness. Belief in occult things is more common than it has been for centuries. The “mystical” insight is incomplete, though, because it has not benefited from the complete teachings sages / prophets. Many new traditions are arising from the ancient mystical traditions taken out of their proper spiritual context. These modern sciences are employed toward worldly desires of the ego. They are inspired by ignorance and perpetuate ignorance. They have been produced by the intellect, based upon the limited experiences of a few seeking seekers. The blind shall lead the blind deeper into darkness. Only the guidance of those who see shall provide shelter and success to those who seek. There are centuries of valid mystical teachings from all the various religions. All religious traditions are Divinely inspired and lead human consciousness toward the highest Truth. The individual chooses his faith based upon preference according to his nature. This is not wrong. It is the role of mystics to help people rise above their worldliness, while encouraging peaceful co-existence of religions by expounding the Truth from their direct experience of God. Religion is one through the eyes of the mystics, because they have perceived the deepest principle of Truth which are abundant in all religious traditions. It is important for a true seeker of God, irrespective of his religious path to cultivate love for himself; love for God, and love for all humanity. He must give himself in service to all.
It is not possible to derive a mystical teaching from a book; just as it is not possible to light a fire by reading a book about fire. To light fire, there must be a spark. To awaken mystical insight, there must be diikshaa (initiation). There are many psychics, healer, astrologers, intuitives, channelers etc, who have awakened a limited spiritual awareness. They have been satisfied by their delusions and they have been afraid to look deeper within themselves by admitting their faults and bowing to the transforming grace of the Lord. There is nothing wrong with this. This situation will deny those self-proclaimed mystics advancement, and it will bind them to suffering. It is necessary to re-evaluate one's progress at every step and it is necessary to abandon the sense of ownership, each time it is recognized with progressive awakenings. The wisdom of a Guru can make this much safer, easier, and quicker. It is not the job of a Guru to convert or convince, but only to instruct and empower the efforts of those who have found dedication to progress. Each step is individual and the paths are created by the students own needs and desires. Every spiritual attainment must be abandoned to the higher cause of God-realization. Every siddhi (mystical power) must be humbly hidden and used only toward the end of spiritual realization. The ego has a tricky way of making attainments and realizations a stumbling block to bring the mystic back to the material realm of desire. It is not possible without the guidance of a Guru to use such powers toward any end but personal confusion, suffering, insanity, or disease. It is not wise to forsake the absolute for its manifestations in the world. This is the disappointing reality for all who seek fulfillment in the impermanent manifestations.
"To become everything is not to become,
Rather, the way to become everything is not to remain whatever you already are."
- H.H. Mahamandaleshvar Shrii Yuga Purusha Swami Parmanandji Giri Maharaj
There are eight siddhis (mystical powers) list by the ancient shastras as follows
Animaa: reducing one's body even to the size of an atom
Mahimaa: expanding one's body to an infinitely large size
Garima: becoming infinitely heavy
Laghimaa: becoming almost weightless
Praapti: having unrestricted access to all places
Praakaamya: realizing whatever one desires
IShTva: possessing absolute lordship;
Vashtva: the power to subjugate all.
These and many other mystical powers occur naturally as a part of spiritual practice. Though many teachers instruct students to avoid such powers, Swamiji recognizes them as a useful part of spiritual growth. Certain siddhis are necessary to attain for the realization of the highest Self within. Many people possess siddhis already, but they have a misunderstanding about their proper application for the good of the world. They have allowed the siddhis to manipulate their wills and give strength to the ego. They must instead use these siddhis to uplift them from their selfish attachments. This is a very difficult path, but it is the only way for the people whose experience is already touched by these mystical capacities. Rather than seeking to heal (this assumes the imperfection of God's grace to the dis-eased), they should work to heal and offer the results to God's highest will (which may or may not amount to the change of any physical condition). They must work for what they desire, in the best ways they can imagine, but offer the results to the Lord's will. They must be brave to admit their mistakes and mindful to the deepening revelation of God's will for them. This is the only way to increase siddhis while coming closer to the selflessness that will grant liberation. When these mystics learn to redirect their powers from selfish ends toward God's will; the power of God active on Earth will increase. The works done through these siddhis shall give faith and experience of God to the people. People have many movies and books etc. about mystical topics and ghosts and angels. They are hungry for the spiritual experience that has been unique to the East for thousands of years. May the work of the healers and mystics fulfill this spiritual thirst as it brings them closer to the source of healing in their own hearts.
Swamiji teaches that the way to God is for each individual to dedicate their strengths and gifts to the will of God. They should work hard and constantly by the nature of their talents and interests toward the will of the Lord for peace and unity of all creatures. Though he makes no claims about his own powers and does not display the siddhis of yoga: He does instructs his students to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons, fix the broken, and reveal the light of the Lord. He lovingly guides all who come selflessly toward the Lord's special gifting for them in this life and beyond. He welcomes their questions and offerings. He offers ashirvads (blessings) to the efforts of all in the world and bows to those who seek to overcome the trap of selfishness. He initiates his disciples after rigorous training and testing into the ancient mystical arts of the siddhas as transferred by His Gurus to him. He teaches that initiation is a great duty. It is not possible to live for one's self after initiation, the life and work must be dedicated to selfless service. It is the duty of the initiate to pass on the spiritual light which has been entrusted to him. He is like a candle which offers itself to give light to the world. This is not a path for most people. Most people are full of selfish desires. They should work to fulfill these in the world. When they have attained what they desires, the desires will subside. It is said that the desires of the people are fulfilled by the efforts of the Sannyasins and Saints who offer their lives to the mitigation of the karmas of society. Their spiritual practice eases tensions between countries and calms the forces of nature. Their prayers help to avert epidemics, wars, and tragedies of all kinds.
“Children, it is doubt and fear that has torn us away from true joy and immortality. However, that lost, forgotten joy can be regained if we just make the effort to be selfless. Immortality, which is our true state, can be rediscovered through the attitude of selfless love and selfless action. "
- Satguru Amritanandamayi Devi
Swamiji teaches approaching God through selfless service. For advanced and dedicated students he stimulates direct experience of God through the teachings of the Hindu Dharma. Though he does not ask for people to convert to any particular religion, his students willingly embrace his Hindu dharma through the process of ethical conversion laid out by his first Guru Subrahmuniyaswami. He believes that all religions are divinely inspired and each one has its unique merits in the quest for divinity. For a disciple it is natural to bring themselves in line with the traditions and customs of their Master. He practices and teaches from the experience of his Hindu faith but never claims that this is the best or only way to find God. He gives teachings and blessings to people of all religions and works to establish inter-faith harmony and understanding.
He recommends the study of the Shaastras (scriptures), Vedic chanting, puujaa (prayer ritual), yajna (fire sacrifice), dhyaana (meditation), tiirtha yatra (pilgrimage) and observance of utsavas (festivals and holy days). He encourages understanding of karma (action / natural law) and dharma (religious duty) through the Vedic practices of the pancha yajna (five daily sacrifices) and the 16 samskaras (traditional Hindu rites of passage). He places special emphasis on upayanam (sacred thread ceremony), vivaham (marriage), and sannyas (formal vows of renunciation). He initiates qualified seekers, regardless of gender into the study of the Holy Vedas and performs an equivalent version of upanayanam for women (without giving a yajnopavitam / sacred-thread but initiating them into the sacred Gaayatri mantra). He also recommends the ordination of qualified women as Temple priests (as his Guru Ammachi is doing in India). He works to propagate understanding and reverence for the Vedic traditions and respect for the Hindu people by making the ancient mystical knowledge of the Sages available to all. He teaches students to find the balance and stability needed to progress in spiritual practice, by helping them to understand and institute the principles of aayurveda (science of life / health), jyotisha shaastra (astronomy / astrology), and vaastu shaastra (science of space / direction etc.) in their lives. He guides his students as they organize teachings, charities, and healing work for the peace of the world. They work to support Swamiji's efforts to accomplish puujaas, yajnas, and kumbhabhishekams for the peace of the world.
Swamiji holds his disciples to a very high standard. Their desire to serve the Lord is deep and their progression toward their calling will be natural like a river which flows to the sea.
- Satguru Siva Yogaswami