Monism Without Theism
June 21, 2013 Comments Off on Monism Without Theism
Every monist, in deep or superficial conversation, will occasionally admit that the Ganga is a sacred river and Mount Kailasa is a sacred mountain. In admitting that, he is also somewhat of a theist at the time. Hindus believe that the Ganga and Kailasa are the ultimate temples. Most monists want to have their ashes put in the Ganga when they die. Every Agamic priest will tell us that Mount Kailasa is at the top of the head and at the top of the world. He will explain this is where God is, in and above the sahasrara chakra. This knowledge is right within the puja liturgy he chants. Therefore, when we find a monist who hides the fact that he is somewhat of a theist, we must question if his monistic outlook is sustained only by his intellectual abilities, clichÚs and cogent arguments.
Yes, following monism without theism makes it rather difficult to reconcile all life’s experiences. But there are very few true monists. Many monists will not pass by a temple without a silent pause, even though they will argue that no one is home there. For the rare, nonreligious monist who goes deeply into monism and truly experiences it, theism comes up from within as a reward. This happened to Swami Vivekananda, who denied the reality of the Gods and Goddesses all his life, then changed his belief when he had a vision of the Goddess, Shakti, in the last days of his life.
To truly understand theism and monism, each should be taught separately, by the same teacher. The student is never given permission to make a choice between them. When each has been understood and there are no more questions, the teacher will blend them together in the mind of the devotee by requiring the practice of external and internalized worship. The theistic discipline is the external worship, and the monistic is the internal worship.
We are on the safe path of yoga when we are able to internalize the external worship. Otherwise, without this ability, devotees often just perform intellectual, mental gymnastics which result in no attainment whatsoever. Their nature begins to harden rather than soften. Their philosophical discussions become more rigid and unyielding. By blending monism into theism and theism into monism, the nature of devotees becomes soft and loving, as the spiritual unfoldment begins. They become wise and helpful to others as the maturing of their spirit progresses. Such persons have compassion for another’s point of view, and all of the fine qualities of the soul come forward to be enjoyed and seen by others.
Monistic theism is a very detailed map of consciousness which has broadness and philosophically accepts all states of consciousness. The monistic theist does not turn away from the external world. He knows that Siva’s perfection lies everywhere within it. He attempts to expand his consciousness into the perfection within all three worlds. He attempts to experience the harmony of all of nature. He attempts to be one with Siva’s perfect universe, to live with Siva. The monistic theist is the perfect Hindu in all respects.
Most Vedantins are able to totally describe the country, or area of consciousness, in which they are residing. But because they do not practice much yoga, they are not all-pervasive enough in consciousness to understand the other countries on the planet, or other areas of the mind. For this reason their maps of the mind are relatively incomplete. Some draw lines into squares and shut out what they don’t understand. Monistic theists draw lines into circles and take in the entire universe, including everything within everything. – Lesson 307 from Living with Siva, by: Satguru Sivaya Subramuniya Swami