Forward by Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami
Among Gurudeva’s many accomplishments was his proficiency in Manipuri dance, one of the six classical dance styles of India. This fact led me to develop an explanation of Hinduism for seminars which compares Hinduism to dancing and also refers to Gurudeva’s Manipuri dance skills. I first ask the participants the question “How do you make progress in dancing?” Quite a few will immediately respond by saying, “Practice.” I then ask, “How often do you need to practice?” and again many give an immediate answer: “Daily.” I then go on to explain that Hinduism is exactly the same. Though reading books is important to intellectually understanding the philosophy, it is our daily practice that causes us to move forward on the spiritual path. The seminar then moves on to talk about the fact that no other religion contains such a vast wealth of spiritual practices from such elementary concepts as noninjury, truthfulness and honesty to the advanced yoga techniques of breath control and meditation.
One of the terms that Gurudeva uses to describe Hindu practices is tools. In fact, on the European Innersearch in 2001 he stated, “I have given you all the tools, and it is up to you whether you use them or not.” What Gurudeva was stressing is that contained within his core teachings, in his trilogy of Dancing, Living and Merging with Siva, we have a great collection of tools, a complete collection of tools, techniques to cause us to progress on the spiritual path. These tools were developed by Gurudeva over his fifty-two years of ministry that began in 1949. He is emphasizing that there is no need for more tools, more techniques—there is simply a need to use the ones we already have. In other words, there is a tendency of human nature to continue to seek after new tools and techniques, rather than use the tools we possess. Worry and unhappiness are two examples of everyday situations which can be solved by using one of Gurudeva’s tools. We know of individuals who have started to worry more about the future because of global terrorism, the Asian tsunami and recent destructive hurricanes in the US. Gurudeva’s tool to eliminate worry is to ask ourselves the question, “Am I not all right, right now, right this instant?” And answer, “I’m all right, right now.” Keep asking and answering until you strongly feel positive, selfassured and fine. For ending unhappiness, the tool is to make others happy, and you will be happy, too. When we focus more on others, and on helping them, our happiness increases automatically.
Gurudeva’s Toolbox for a Spiritual Life was created by the monks of Kauai Aadheenam as the 2005 mahasamadhi souvenir honoring his legacy of teachings. Those seeking his complete insights on any of these topics are encouraged to explore the Master Course trilogy where these excerpts were found. 58 color, illustrated pages.