Shakti – The Divine Power of God
“The female deities we worship in Hinduism are Shaktis, divine powers. Though we worship them outside, they are really powers lying within us. Some of you may know from the Kali temples and their worship, how the Shakti expresses itself in visible form. People jump, dance, sing, walk on fire and say things. The Shakti is seen in a very expressive way. But the Shaktis operate at various levels. When the yogis go deeply into meditation, they invoke a higher Shakti within bringing bliss and intoxication inside.
The divine power of God that we see in those female deities are powers within you. We worship these deities to invoke those powers inside of ourselves. The goal of worship is to become the deity. In any worship, the goal is to become one with the deity and feel the power of the deity in you.
In worshipping Shiva, we are given the mantra ‘Shivoham’, meaning ‘I am Shiva.’ Our devotion has to reach the level where we actually feel that we are Shiva. We begin by worshipping Shiva outside not realizing we are worshipping the power that is really within us.
As we continue in the worship, we begin to feel this power inside until we ourselves begin to say ‘Shivoham, Shivoham, Shivoham’ and when we sit we feel like Shiva, when we talk we feel like Shiva and when we walk we feel that Shiva is walking. That is when we become the deity. This power of God we worship in so many different ways lies inside of us.
Tonight in kirtan (chanting the divine names) you have the opportunity to feel the power that comes up so easily inside you by chanting, music and song. I want you to respect this power when it arises within you. It is God’s power inside of you. Respect it, honour it and you will see it will rise even more within you. This Shakti is on a journey from the base of the spine to the top of the head.
In some worship there is much shaking and moving when the Shakti begins to move up. Some may feel that they are at the height of worship when this energy comes to them…but it is the beginning of worship. All the siddhis you see at that particular level are in the beginning of your worship. As the energy gets higher and higher, you become more drawn within to the Maha Siddhi or the Great Siddhi - Self-realization - is the greatest Siddhi.
The Great Ones
The energies of the great self-realized beings are so high, so deep inside. Their minds are so absorbed in the Self that they never want to interfere with the scheme of things. When you go for healing they only bless you because they do not want to interfere with the Karma. If you take that blessing with you and make use of it, your own good karma would work.
When you come and have a prayer or a desire for something, all the Great Beings do is bless you but there is a lot of Shakti coming from that…and your faith in them brings about a miracle. The greatest beings are so absorbed inside that they never want to change the world around. The world changes around them without them doing anything. They are in that Maha Siddhi. It is said that the Siddhi becomes the servant for those who live in God’s Consciousness completely. They have to do nothing, everything miraculous happens around them.
As the energy moves higher and higher within, you become more and more quiet…the body shakes less and less. The bad kriyas stop and they become more subtle and internal. Kriyas are the expression of the Shakti when it begins to cleanse you.
The greatest beings are so absorbed inside that they never want to change the world around. The world changes around them without them doing anything.
It can happen as intellectual kriyas where you wrestle with problems inside of you, emotional kriyas where you cry and laugh, physical kriyas where you dance, jump and you might feel heat in the body. All these kriyas come within you but the deeper you go within, the more subtle they become.
If you feel the power within you while chanting and meditating this evening, observe it. If the hands start to clap by themselves, that is one of the kriyas. If a sweet, joyful feeling comes within you, that is one of the kriyas - the heart center opening. If you begin to cry, let the tears come - that is a kriya for cleansing. If you begin to laugh, let the laughter come. If you begin to breathe heavily, in and out, let it happen. This beautiful energy knows exactly what you need for its upward movement. Let the energy flow and you will feel the movement from the base of the spine traveling along the spinal column to the top of the head.
There are seven centers inside where the Shakti moves. The Shakti begins its journey at the base of the spine and goes to the second chakra, called the Swadhisthana Chakra, just above the sexual organ, then to the navel, called Manipura Chakra, to the heart, called Anahata Chakra, to the throat, called Vishuddha Chakra, to the eyebrow, called Ajna Chakra, then to the top of the head, the Sahasrara Chakra.
These are real! I have experienced all of these in my spiritual practice. That is why it is a joy for me to share, because it is very, very real for me. When you begin to experience the shaktis within you, a whole new world opens. And these shaktis can be awakened inside of you just by chanting.
When the Anahata Chakra wakes up, you have so much love within you. You do not beg for love anymore. You feel so loved and sweet inside and the whole world appears to be full of love. Wouldn’t you like to feel like that? We all are looking for love and begging for love but when this opens up we feel this sweet, sweet love inside of us.
When the throat chakra opens you feel power from your voice. You feel so much power inside of you when you talk, that people have to listen. Sometimes you see when you talk that your voice has no power. You feel weak, you cannot say anything, you feel ashamed to talk sometimes, you feel powerless because this chakra is not open. When opened, you feel so much power to speak, sing and communicate.
When the eyebrow chakra opens you feel such strength of mind that you could sit for hours and hours and concentrate…and the mind is so powerful. When you want to transmit your thoughts, you just think of someone and you feel they are right here and you are talking with them. You can transmit your thoughts powerfully.
When this energy moves to the top of the head, you are so lost in devotion that the world seems to disappear. You are in beautiful oneness with God. When this Shakti inside begins to move from chakra to chakra it brings amazing and wonderful experiences.
Tonight, I want you to enjoy what is happening to you. Marvelous things will happen, if you open your heart to the movement of this great, beautiful power. All my spiritual experiences came through this power…mostly through chanting.
The Power of the Guru
For many years I had searched for God as a thirsty person looking for water. My thirst for God was quenched only after meeting Guru and being touched by the energy of Guru.
The power of Guru is magnificent. Guru has only to look at you and that inner Shakti can be awakened. Guru can only think of you and that inner Shakti can be awakened. Guru can simply say one or two words to you and your inner Shakti can be awakened. Guru can simply touch you and your inner Shakti can be awakened. That is how powerful Guru is. We all need Guru in our lives.
All the Gurus in the world ought to be honoured. We should never think that one Guru is higher than another. Every Guru is a servant of God, an instrument of God. They have come with a particular teaching and a particular blessing; let us honour all of them. They are all blessings to the world. Never think of who is higher or lower. Think that they are all instruments of one God, all servants of one God.”
A period of chanting followed which began by honouring all gurus, and Sri Vasudeva continued,
As we chant tonight I want all of you to become involved in the chanting, and become part of the chanting. Chant with your whole heart, your whole mind and your whole soul. As we chant the names of God I want you to feel the divine vibration that comes when chanting. The Sanskrit language is very powerful and all these words are blessed. All are divine sounds. I want you to chant these sounds and feel the power that comes from within you as you chant.”
Guided meditation followed.
He continued speaking,
Let this Satsang Continue – Do not Lose it
“Observe for a moment what you have gained from being here. If you analyze carefully, you will see that you are more silent within, there is more peace within you, you feel more of God’s presence inside of you. Would it not be nice to keep this all the time.
It is a challenge…facing the world with this feeling. I want you to try today to keep this feeling for as long as you can. What you feel now is always inside of you even in the worst of times, when you are angry, lonely or have low self-esteem, because this is the feeling of the soul, the Atman. Your soul or Atman is said to be Sachidananda, it is eternal, it is blissful being, consciousness always within you.
Anger is not me, pride is not me, greed is not me, jealousy is not me.
When the world challenges you, have the strength to say ‘anger is not me, pride is not me, greed is not me, jealousy is not me. They are in me but they are not me.’ It is the beginning of change the moment you think differently about yourself. When you cannot see the difference in yourself…that is when you get caught up, become consumed, drained. Do you see what happens when you become angry? You get charged up, hyper…and when you cool down, you are weakened and you tremble.
Anger, hate, jealousy and pride are your enemies, not your friends; they take away your peace, your love and your joy. When they visit you, they will visit all of you. Remember, they are your enemies, not your friends! You would not allow a burglar or a vagabond in your home, yet you allow anger, hate, greed and pride to be your friends. You dine with them and you sit with these feelings. See them as different from you, see them as your enemies!
Remain silent and reflect
As you go back to your cars remain silent and reflect, chant again or talk about it. Do not let the thoughts drift away to normal worldly thoughts. If you do the energy will drop. Keep this with you and the Satsang will continue. When you go to sleep tonight, let the chant play in your mind again and feel it inside your mind.
During the year I was a teacher at Palo Seco Secondary School I used to travel from Claxton Bay to Palo Seco. Every morning I would be at the taxi stand at 6:00 a.m. as it was almost an hour’s drive away. I would sit in the car and meditate with my eyes closed. At Carnival time calypso music would play on the car radio. While meditating I would hear the calypso rhythm playing but it did not matter to me. When I went to bed at night to sleep though, these rhythms would come back in my mind. I had not even thought about them much yet they were coming back - how subtle these things are inside.
The chants are deep within you
The chants you sang here tonight are deep within you. When you go to bed bring your mind back to the temple and replay them. See how they come back in your mind and enjoy that as you go to bed. You will wake up as a child, full of joy for a new day, as if you have a new life within you. Go to sleep remembering this.
As you mingle with each other and as you leave, remember that you can best keep this state in silence. If some of you have not met for awhile, speak in soft, loving tones, avoiding worldly talk.
Let us leave this temple with a beautiful feeling. Let us take it into our cars, and into our homes and see how the beauty of this Satsang will continue. My words to you are ‘let this Satsang continue.’ ”