These days, heros are often rock stars, athletes or actors, but there is, indeed, a class of souls of a higher calling. For century upon century, Hindu society has been uniquely inwardly oriented, ever intrigued with the deeper realities of existence, fascinated with the search for Truth, the control of mind and realization of the Self, God, within, through the practice of yoga. Thus, it honors the great rishis, gurus, sants and mahatmas as the greatest heros of all. These are beings who walk with God and hold truth in the palm of their hand, who seem to know everything, because they do, because they have discovered the source of all knowing.
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These days, heros are often rock stars, athletes or actors, but there is, indeed, a class of souls of a higher calling. For century upon century, Hindu society has been uniquely inwardly oriented, ever intrigued with the deeper realities of existence, fascinated with the search for Truth, the control of mind and realization of the Self, God, within, through the practice of yoga.
Thus, it honors the great rishis, gurus, sants and mahatmas as the greatest heros of all. These are beings who walk with God and hold truth in the palm of their hand, who seem to know everything, because they do, because they have discovered the source of all knowing. Though perhaps rare, such awakened beings still walk among us today. All too often amid the pace of modern life, humans are too busy to recognize and honor these pure souls until after they have departed this earthly stage.
Only in their absence is their greatness apparent to many, in the vacuum of their prodigious presence, which had filled with faith and courage the voids of doubt and discouragement for everyone they touched. Around ce , a scripture was recorded, called the Kularnava Tantra, that pours forth exaltation to such spiritual lights and admonishes seekers to raise slumbersome eyelids and recognize their glory.
Among its messages is that the guru is like a deep well from which one can and should draw forth wisdom and blessings, taking advantage of his rare presence, his radiant darshan, to advance oneself on the spiritual path.
This tantra of guru devotion and protocol gives guidance that is as practical and poignant today as it was when first scribed on palm leaves and etched in stone long, long ago. The Kularnava Tantra is an important and authoritative text of the Shakta Agamic tantra tradition and a major statement of Hindu spiritual thought. It focuses unequivocally on the quest for God Realization calling on us to leave aside our attachments, our desires, our misapprehensions and to live a divine life, a holy life, on this Earth and seek for the Self within.
The original, first translated from the Sanskrit and published in English in , contains 2, verses on many profound subjects, of which a small fraction dealing with the guru-shishya teacher-disciple relationship are excerpted here. This translation was completed in by Sri M. Pandit and Sir Arthur Avalon in north India. The selected verses have been slightly edited for this presentation.
The scripture opens with a single question posed by Shakti, the Mother of the universe, as to how all souls may attain release from sorrow, ignorance and birth. Lord Siva answers, speaking out the verses of the Kularnava Tantra. Foreword Worship of The Holy Feet The uninitiated may wonder why the feet of holy ones are so reverently worshiped in the Hindu faith. According to tradition, the totality of the satguru is contained within his feet.
All nerve currents terminate there. The vital points of every organ of his bodies inner astral, inner mental and soul are there. Touch the feet and we touch the spiritual master. Mystics teach that the big toe on the left foot exudes the most grace. The vibration of the satguru can be subtly felt through gently touching his sandals. In deep spirituality there is little presumption of ego. All that one hopes for, all that one prays for, all that one strives for is to touch the Divine in the most modest of ways.
Worship of the feet epitomizes this humble attitude. Devotees worship the feet of the guru as the feet of God Siva, the attainable attainment, seeking to partake of, absorb into themselves, the vibration of their guru, ultimately to become like their guru, who has realized his oneness with God Siva.
Our beloved Satguru, Sivaya Subramuniyaswami wrote, "Practices to advance spiritual unfoldment include prostrating before God, Gods and guru, full body, face down, arms and hands outstretched, and in that act, total giving up, giving up, giving up, giving up.
What are these devoted ones giving up? By this act they are giving the lower energies to the higher energies. It is a merger, a blending. When one is performing this traditional devotional act, awakening true prapatti, it is easy to see the lower energies from the base of the spine, the muladhara chakra, rising, rising, rising up the spine through all six chakras above it and out through the top of the head.
Thereafter, these devoted ones, having been transformed, are able to uplift others, to harmonize forces around them that they work with day after day after day, year after year after year. This total surrender, prapatti, is the meaning of Siddhanta. This is the true meaning of Vedanta. The combination of both, and the pure practice of prapatti as just described brings out from within the deeper meanings of Vedanta, the Vedic philosophy, without having to depend on the path of words, lectures and debates.
Devotees are admonished to choose their guru carefully, forsaking all previous beliefs, religious inclinations and aspirations and adopting his revelation of the Sanatana Dharma as their own. There is yet another meaning of the holy feet. When a person walks upon the Earth, only the feet touch the ground. Similarly, when God and guru contact the Earth, it is the esoteric feet, the lowest part of consciousness, which make that contact. This, then, becomes the locus of communion with the Divine.
Call it Siva. This Parabrahman is formless, stainless, one without a second, changeless, beyond the highest. This Mahesvara is all-knowing, all-doing, sovereign of all, self-luminous, without beginning or end. All embodied souls, jivas, all the born creatures, are portions of Me, like sparks of the fire.
But human birth is the most important, for it is then that one becomes awake, aware of his state of bondage and the necessity of release. Humans have a self-will and are not totally subject to the impulses and drives of nature, as are other creatures. But not all are aware of the precious opportunity afforded by human birth, which is truly the ladder to Liberation. The Self is to be realized only here in this life.
If here you do not find it and work out the means for your Liberation, where else is it possible? It is possible nowhere else. It has to be worked out by yourself from within yourself.
The world you reach after the physical body is shed is determined by the level of consciousness reached while in the body. So, as long as the body lasts, exert yourself towards the goal of Liberation. Remember, the physical body does not last forever. Age prowls like a leopard; diseases attack like an enemy.
Death waits not to see what is done or not done. Before the limbs lose their vitality, before adversities crowd in upon you, take to the auspicious path. Therefore, choose, then worship a satguru. Worship his feet. Cherish the very sandals paduka which hold his feet.
All knowledge is founded on those paduka. Remember and cherish those paduka, which yield infinitely more merit than any number of observances, gifts, sacrifices, pilgrimages, mantra-japa and rituals of worship. It is these feet, when remembered, that protect in times of distress, danger or calamity.
Look toward the direction in which the lotus feet of the satguru lie and bow down to them every day with devotion. There is no mantra higher than that of his feet, no merit higher than his worship.
All fear of distress, grief, avarice, delusion and bewilderment exist only as long as one does not take refuge in the satguru. All wanderings in the ocean of births, called samsara, fraught with grief and impurity, last as long as one has no devotion to a holy Sivaguru. As the boon-giving guru gives the mantra in contentment and beatitude, try to please him with devotion, wealth, your very life. The shishya who has complete devotion, steady and constant, what has he to worry about? Moksha is in the hollow of his palm.
The sacred paduka of the guru are the ornament. Remembrance of his name is japa. Carrying out his command is duty. Service to him is worship. Why observances that emaciate the body? All the fruit anticipated from such austerities can be easily obtained by motiveless service to the holy satguru. Therefore, bear your karma for the sake of the guru. Acquire wealth for the sake of the guru. Exert yourself for the guru, regardless of your own life. Service to the satguru and his mission is fourfold: service with your own hands, service by wealth or through others, service by spiritual enthusiasm and service by happy feeling.
With your mind dedicated to selfless service, please the satguru. The fruit obtained is the same as from great rituals. Such service invites the grace of the Mother of the Universe.
In the service of the guru, either expressed or unexpressed by him, do not be unmindful. Be always in service of the guru, ever in his presence, giving up desire and anger, humble and devoted, lauding in spirit, upright in doing his work.
If service is accompanied by santosha happy devotion , it brings with it all fulfillment. Sins dissolve away and merit grows by leaps and bounds. From Chapter Three Guru Power When the entire universe is looked on as pervaded by the Sivaguru, what mantra can fail to achieve its purpose for the shishya? When the satguru is present, no tapas is necessary, neither by fasting nor observances, neither pilgrimage nor purificatory bath.
What he speaks is as scripture. Feel one with your guru and not separate from him, and do good to all as your own. Whatever is beneficial to yourself, term that beneficial to him. Whether moving or standing, sleeping or waking, performing japa or making offerings, carry out only the injunctions of your guru with your inner being dwelling in him. As in the vicinity of fire, butter gets melted, so in the proximity of the holy Sivaguru all bad karmas dissolve.
As lighted fire burns up all fuel, dry and moist, so the glance of the Sivaguru burns up in a moment the karmas of the shishya. As the heap of cotton blown up by a great storm scatters in all the ten directions, so the heap of negative karmas is blown away by the compassion of the Sivaguru.
Mantras 49, Para-prasada Mantra is bestower of all fruits 49, Saci-Indra, etc. Brahmajnana , Marks of a Yogi , Characteristics of Samadhi , Characteristics of Release while living , characteristics of a person in Samadhi , No difference between Jivatma and Paramatma , Characteristics of Dhyana , Characteristics of Yoga , Four states of a Sadhaka , Method of worship of the knower of the Truth , Form of Jiva and Paramatma , Place of Devata on the basis of distinction of eligibility , characteristics of a Yogi knowing the supreme truth , characteristics of kula Yogis , No Procedural restriction for a Kaulika , Behaviors of a Kula Yogi , Glory of a Kaulika , Fruit of Kaulika worship , Adverse effects of disregarding the knower of Kula , Procedure of charity to a Kula - Yogi , Following the practices of the Varnasrama and the aim of Karma , Eligibility for Karma yoga , Renouncement of actions by one non-eligible is prohibited , Only a Brahmajnani and the knower of Truth is free from Karman ELEVNTH ULLASA Pages - In the event of arrival of an unknown Kaulika , Time of worship , Duties regarding worship Request for nectar in the house of a Kulacarya , Rules regarding drinking of Kula-dravya , Behaviours prohibited in the Cakra , Loss by the contact of a Pasu , Duties of a Sadhaka , four kinds of wives of Guru , Prohibited women , Venerable women , Thing to be venerated when seen , Prohibited actions , All women are like mothers , About Kula-vrksas , Five actions and five sins prohibited for kaulikas , Speciality of Kaulas , Sinful actions , No sin in killing one who decries the Kula , Affairs of Sri Cakra are secret , Wrongs which bring the downfall of the Kaulikas , Importance of good conduct , Penance for the guilty Sadhaka , Acaras to be instructed thrice by the Guru , Liability of Guru for the sins of disciples Cakras , Mantras for which the consideration of Siddha etc.
Secrets from the Kularnava Tantra
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