Contemplations from the 21st lesson on the Shiva sutras.
Sutra 20: BIJAVADHANAM.
Nurture a seed and watch it grow.
Mahadev is in gentle repose in the lush surrounds of the richly cultivated garden of the Universal Soul. His Godly eyes are closed in the deepest meditation, and yet He lovingly surveys the cornucopia of this infinite, eternal garden of the Divine. His sacred heart beholds the manifold herbs, fruits and flowers; the myriad trees, shrubs and bushes, each having grown strong and beautiful in its own way. Shiva loves each aspect of this cosmic abundance as his own offspring, for they are all the yield of his caring, sagacious nurture.
A long, loud OMM issues from The Almighty and then His lotus eyes open wide and come to fix us, his studious acolytes, with a firm gaze above a serene countenance that is as loving as it is strict. “Behold the Universe, my garden!” He says.
“See all in it as it blooms and grows, dies, decays and is reborn. Enjoy its natural splendour with your senses, but realise this is no accident…no haphazard horticulture here! This cosmic riot of colour and fertility has been carefully guided and ordered; intricately engineered over a timeless span to manifest in the flawlessness you see before you. I have chosen, sown and fostered the seeds of all this vastness, I have dedicated energy and love in their cultivation. And this synergy of Gardener with Garden has engendered such profusion and perfection as you have come to know.”
Shiva pauses then speaks once more. “Dear ones please understand this process, I implore you to assimilate the prudence of this natural cycle and use it as the template for your own inner development. For indeed it is the case that the laws of the macrocosm hold just as true for the microcosm; if you seek to rest in your own internal garden with all you wish abounding you there, you must surely choose well the seed then nurture it and watch it grow!”
Here The True teacher’s meaning is crystal clear; there’s an earthy earnestness and an unsoiled simplicity to His message this week. In this Sutra He’s saying: know what you want in your garden, and proceed to sow the appropriate seeds. If you want an orchard in your garden then you better plant apple seeds, because if you plant lemon seeds you’ll end up with a lemon grove in the future. The clarity of mind and discrimination to know what future garden you wish to enjoy is an essential prerequisite for successful, soulful cultivation. Shiva’s saying be clear on what your highest ideals are, then stock up on the energetic seeds which will grow up into those very ideals. If you select the right pellets of potential to place in the fertile ground of your consciousness, then your ‘garden’ or your internal world, in the future, will be abundant in the plants and fruits your heart most desires…your highest ideals.
So with seeds selected and safely sown, says Shiva, we move into the critical phase of fostering the seeds through their growth. This period of nurture is delicate and painstaking and unless we are deft and dedicated here, our progeny will perish and our future won’t look so rosy. We must protect our young seedlings when they first appear above ground because the elements of frost, drought, wind and deluge will each, in their own way, threaten to wither, stifle or uproot a tender plant in its early days. Equally the elements of fear, doubt, ignorance and arrogance (to name but a few) can kill off the fragile beginnings of bright, new shoots inside of us on our path toward enlightenment. Thus here too we must be vigilant and attentive whilst still giving the garden space and air to flourish. This is skilful work requiring balance and discernment.
Not only are the elements of the weather, or emotions, a menace to the wellbeing and thriving of our junior plants but there are the risks posed by slugs, insects, birds and weeds, or the negative thoughts, words and deeds of others at a familial, institutional or societal level. Care must be taken to ward off unwanted incursions by these hungry pests and choking growths as they can spell the demise of many a fresh bloom before it has the chance to show the world its beauty. Beware your influences says Mahadev.
As our saplings gather strength and begin to bear more and more of the elements through a process of weathering, and also they become less susceptible to insects weeds and birds, we can turn more of our attention to ensuring they are properly watered and getting enough exposure to the sun’s light to allow for their optimal development. The water of Sadhana and the bright, nourishing light of conscious wisdom will, when generously applied, give rise to strong, fruitful inner plantations and yield fine, flourishing futures for those green fingered aspirants who synchronise with nature’s cycles and pulse, one with Life.
Daily watering (Sadhana) and regular exposure to sunlight (wisdom) will show profit for the gardener who seeks contentment, self-mastery, peace and poise.
Nurture a seed and watch it grow.
The gardener potters in his shed, his pocket full of seeds,
His hopes and dreams grow in his head, with few becoming deeds,
If only he would turn the fertile earth that makes his Soul,
And sow some seeds of Faith within, he’d one day reach his goal,
Of course he’d have to nurture them and water them with courage,
Then let the light of Consciousness shine on to help them flourish,
But if he kept his seedlings safe, away from frost and chill,
The Faith would grow up into proof, maturing well until…
The proof plant in the earth stood tall and strong by stem and root,
Then as the seasons turned the plant would bear its mellow fruit,
Now if the gardener picked this fruit and chose to look inside,
He’d find more seeds of faith which he could then spread far and wide.
~ by Elliot Donnelly.