MANUAL FOR SWAMIS Copyright 1969, 1985, 1994, 2004, 2011 by Sri Goswami Kriyananda, Cover art copyright Rebecca Romanoff All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the publisher. Published by The Temple of Kriya 1925 W Division Street Unit 6, Chicago, IL 60647
We have tried to make this swami manual functional so that parts needed to be spoken are in bold.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
RITUALS 1. INTRODUCTION 2. BAPTISM 3. THE MARRIAGE RITUAL 4. THE MARRIAGE RITUAL SUPPLEMENT 5. THE HOUSE BLESSING 6. THE DEATH-REBIRTH LITURGY 7. THE FUNERAL SERVICE (WESTERN APPROACH) PRAYERS 8. PUBLIC PRAYERS 9. PRAYERS OF VARIOUS WORLD RELIGIONS 10. GAYATRI MANTRA PRIESTHOOD INFORMATION 11. ASSISTING THE SICK 12. CREDENTIALS
RITUALS 1. INTRODUCTION
Om Tat Sat Om—Aham Brahmasmi Every year witnesses the advance of the mystical message of yoga. Thousands upon thousands of new souls understanding the message find deeper meaning in what they have heard. Therefore, every year new swamis should be trained, and older swamis constantly retrained to meet the ever growing need. The method of training and the type of labor should be adapted to local conditions, yet there is a need to coordinate a general plan. Although Kriya Yoga has a set of basic thoughts, ideals, techniques, and values, these should be modified to meet local conditions. However, there should be no basic change in our fundamental values. There is no rigid order to the ceremonies performed by the swamis of the Temple of Kriya, yet it is very desirable that unity be maintained in the general plan and form of worship. The forms in this manual are not to be construed as being absolutely essential. They can be reshaped. However, it is wise to follow the basic, significant factors to insure an orderly and sacred service. It is the wish of the Guru that the mystical yoga message of Kriya be taught in the entire universe by divinely chosen messengers. The message is the message of health, happiness, and Samadhi. The message is the message of love, light, and the life divine. Since the Illumination of Babaji, the great fountainhead of the Kriya Lineage, he has carried forward this work in the world by chosen messengers through whom the Lord speaks to mankind, and also ministers to their needs. God has many temples, churches, mosques, synagogues, and centers which have a divinely appointed ministry to bring the message of human happiness: the message of ever greater love, light, and life to all. Persons appointed of God have been chosen to watch with diligence the ancient teachings, the ancient laws, that they shall not be corrupted by mankind, but shall remain true and pure; so that they might more fully, swiftly, and harmoniously promote the health, happiness, and illumination of mankind. To be identified with such a movement is indeed a joyous, wondrous privilege. The call to the ministry of the Kriya Yoga Lineage is a high, noble, and holy calling. The Divine calls you to this exalted office. No soul taketh this honorific office of himself, or of herself, for the initiative comes not from without, perchance not even from within, but surely from above. And indeed, as the call comes, the heart of the messenger readily responds. You are made messengers according to the Will of the Divine which is given to me for you. As messengers of the Divine you are to fulfill your appointed labor. The light of the world that shines, shines forth in celestial brilliance revealing mankind’s foolishness, mankind’s ignorance and, yet, the greatness that lies deep within mankind’s being. As messengers of the divine message, it is for you to turn inward in deep meditation and prayer, seeking the sanctification of the Spirit, seeking the ennobling of the Spirit, seeking the illumination of the Spirit— not so much for yourself, but that you might more fully and completely reveal to mankind the glorious message and meaning of Life. Your efforts are not to be confined to the few where the light of understanding is already abundant, but also unto those places where the light has not yet been seen, understood, or appreciated. Walk forth. Walk on. Walk on, but walk gently, softly, surely, and wisely. As messengers of meaningfulness, radiate rays of light from your effulgent Solar Disk of compassion and of understanding. The Lord’s messengers are symbolized by the seven chakras. To these messengers He gives the keys of the kingdom, that these chakras might be opened in ever greater abundance, glory, and bliss. Do not bind mankind. Do not force mankind. Simply, harmoniously, and surely deliver the message of Truth. Deliver the message of wisdom. Deliver the message of understanding. Guide. Direct. Do not confine. Do not bring fear. Bring hope. Most importantly, you are to bring the light of Truth. Deliver the message that each sentient life-form is a spark of God, and thus each entity has dignity, worth, beauty, and greatness, not only in the eyes of the Divine, but in the eyes of all mankind who can see. As swamis, let your hearts glow. Flame the inner spiritual light. Seek to arouse those who are dead to new hope. Seek to transfer those who are living the nightmare, into the dream of beauty. Seek to arouse greater appreciation of love, wisdom, and life. As ministers of the Divine, you represent the Life Divine in life, as in service. Therefore, in all things that you do, whatsoever they are, do them with gentleness, with love, with compassion and indeed with dignity. Be a good and faithful instrument in the Divine hands, knowing full well that from goodness, only goodness can come. As an instrument, become ever more unselfish, yet do not crucify yourself. As an instrument, you should become ever more joyous, but not ridiculous. As an instrument, you should become ever more loving, but not foolish. Know well that your task is to teach. Your task is to deliver the message. You are not responsible that they learn, but that they hear. Teach wisely and truthfully and you will have fulfilled your mission. The rest lies within time and the karma of each soul. Allow me to repeat your divine destiny: You are to teach. You are to deliver the message. What is the message? The message is that each sentient life soul has a right to happiness. Each soul, each sentient being, has a pathway in which s/he can find, in this lifetime, that happiness. No soul will suffer damnation. The message is that the Divine is good and the universe was created from Him, and thus all is good. There is no inherent sin from our forefathers. There is a difference between sin and ignorance. Ignorance can be removed by Knowledge and Insight. The human spirit can grasp and comprehend Knowledge. With Knowledge comes one’s divine birthright: wisdom, happiness, peace, harmony, illumination, tranquility, serenity, love, and equanimity. In your life and in your work, exemplify the teaching that you teach. In the search and struggle to deliver the message, you will come to feel the need to come closer to communion with the Divine. It is through this communion that deeper understanding and spirituality unfold. However, this does not totally remove the obstructions of the outer world. I repeat: Your purpose is to deliver the message. Their purpose is to grasp and comprehend. Your responsibility as a swami is twofold: to make disciples of those who in your spiritual insight are ready, and to teach those disciples in order to bring them to the altar of cosmic consciousness. Your work is not finished until those disciples who are brought to the altar of cosmic consciousness in turn spread forth the illumined life by teaching, and help to dispel the darkness and ignorance in this world. Your purpose is to teach, that other teachers in turn might teach, until the whole world is ablaze with the light of cosmic consciousness. What is a swami? Know well that a swami is a soul of the Divine. Knowing this you will understand that swamis are men and women filled with dreams and hopes, frailties and aspirations, but nonetheless, men and women of the Divine. In view of the solemn responsibility of this sacred calling, I suggest that you of the holy commission guard your own soul. Take heed unto yourself. Seek out your own Illumination with ever greater diligence. Walk surely. Walk cautiously. Walk swiftly. Walk with dignity. Consecrate your body, your spirit, and your soul to your divinely appointed task, that the world might hear the message of happiness and Enlightenment—and find it. Om tat sat Om.
Baptism is important because it is a mystical rite, a ceremony, an awakening force, a sacrament, a dedication to a life of happiness. It is a purifying ritual used to pass on the consciousness of bliss, happiness, peace, and wisdom. Baptism gives responsibility to the upa-gurus (the god-parents) to immerse the child into the laws of life, love, and bliss, and to make that child aware of the laws of wisdom and foolishness. The upa-gurus are only responsible for insuring that the child is exposed to these laws. Only the soul being baptized is responsible for what s/he does with the knowledge of the laws of life. Baptism is the transference of the spark of the spiritual light from God, through you, to the soul being baptized. It is often a preparatory ritual for Initiation. Baptism can be given to anyone: a newly born child, or even one from whom the spirit has departed. (Note, however, that Initiation can only be given to a person who is incarnate. Although the Initiate must be of an age to understand the meaning of the ritual, and it must be performed with her/his sole volition, this is not so with baptism, which may be and often is given at the wish of the parents or a guardian). Prior to the baptism ceremony it is advisable to meet briefly with the parents and/or guardian. At that time they should be asked by what divine name they wish the child to be baptized. Should they have difficulty answering this question you may wish to offer several names of the divinity to assist them. Ofttimes, they will simply ask that the child be baptized 'in the name of God'. You should also ask the parents and/or guardian if they wish a symbolic sacred thread (Yajnopaviita) to be used (given) in the ceremony, symbolic of the three sacred duties. This yajna thread should only be used when requested by the parents or guardian. If an adult is being baptized, there are several questions which should be asked in the pre-baptismal session. They are:
Do you believe in the mystery of life as well as the path of mysticism?
If the first question is affirmative, then the next question is:
Do you realize that despite its pleasure and pain, the goal of life is to gain wisdom?
Do you vow to spend your life seeking to improve your mind, to increase studying, to dive deeply into the source of the mystery of existence?
Since these are personal questions it is wise to ask the person being baptized whether they would like these questions repeated as a part of the baptismal ceremony. Their inclusion in the ceremony is up to the individual. If they are included, they should be asked at the beginning of the ritual.
This is often the first ritual in this lifetime in which a soul will participate. Therefore, it is important to insure that the baptismal service is warm, inspiring, and uplifting! Generally, the order of the baptismal service is:
1. A short prayer 2. Singing or chanting 3. A short sermonette on the meaning of baptism 4. The baptism itself 5. A special blessing to the person being baptized 6. A general blessing to all present
In the baptism, six things are generally used for the ritual: Honey Water and/or kum-kum Flowers Fire (candle and/or jyothi light) Incense String
The lighting of the candle and/or a jyothi light signals the opening of the ritual. The fire has two symbolic meanings. It is a symbol of warmth, and also a symbol of removing the darkness of avidya. In the baptism, six things are generally used for the ritual: Honey Water and/or kum-kum Flowers Fire (candle and/or jyothi light) Incense String
The lighting of the candle and/or a jyothi light signals the opening of the ritual. The fire has two symbolic meanings. It is a symbol of warmth, and also a symbol of removing the darkness of avidya.
Next, light the incense from the jyothi light or candle. The incense symbolizes the subtleties of life. There are subtle planes of consciousness within each being that can be tapped. As the incense lifts upward, as it ascends, it reminds us that our life should always be turned upward, in beauty, sensitivity, and Wisdom. Incense symbolizes the subtle qualities that exist in all beings, but which do not always rule their lives. As we turn our minds and lives upward, we turn towards the Reality of Life. After the candle has been lit and the incense is burning, the name of the child or adult should be mentally intoned or recited out loud. You may wish to have some brief conversation with the parents and/or guardian to ease any discomfort or nervousness.
Then a short prayer is appropriate, invoking the name of the divinity chosen by the parents or guardian, asking that the Light of the Life Divine be illuminated within the child. A few minutes of music or chanting are helpful to set the tone, and to relax people so that they can begin to meditate. A short sermonette on the meaning of baptism follows. (Be aware that the child being baptized may easily become restless.) From here there are seven stages, symbolically related to the awakening of, and the enlightening of, the seven chakras. These symbols begin at the base of the spine, the Saturn chakra, and move upwards to the Sun center.
EARTH: Honey. A small drop of honey is placed on the lips or tongue of the child or adult. It is to remind that soul and everyone that his/her new life should be sweet, noble, and nourishing.
WATER: Water. Water is sprinkled or sprayed on the heart and head of the child or adult. You can dip your hand in the water and touch the heart and head. Or place a flower in the water, and use it to sprinkle water on the child. (Be aware of the clothing which the person is wearing; avoid ruining them with water stains.) Water is the symbol of the awakening of the mind to study, and to the fruits of life.
FIRE: A jyothi light or candle. If using a candle, move your hand over the flame to warm it. Then place your hand over the eyes of the child or adult, and move it up and over the crown of the head. If using a jyothi light, wave it at the level of the eyes of the child or adult, and also higher. This is a symbol of the awakening of the spiritual eye and cosmic consciousness.
AIR: Voice. Mantra is directed to the heart chakra of the child or adult. The mantra can be silently or verbally chanted. You can chant it alone or have the entire assembly chant it. It can be the 12-Lettered Mantra, or ‘Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantih,’ or any other appropriate mantra suggested by the parents or guardian.
Ether: Silent meditation. At this time take a few moments for silent prayer and meditation. As you move from the base of the spine up to the Mercury chakra, it is your responsibility to produce in yourself a state of upa-samadhi. Stilling the mind, you must produce in yourself the deepest, quietest mind state you possibly can. The stillness need only be for a fraction of a second. After maintaining this state of stillness, the following prayer (or one of your own choice) may be said:
‘By the grace of the Divine, O _______ (first name of the child or adult), may the day and night endow thee with faculties to embrace and assimilate the Wisdom that thou hast acquired from the past, by learning and listening. May Life bestow on thee an all-embracing and eager intellect! May the effulgent Sun and the reflective Moon illumine thy understanding to attain knowledge and retain Wisdom! Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantih.’
You are now moving from the Mercury chakra to the Sun center and up through the Thousand-petalled Lotus. During the entire ritual you should be moving towards a deeper and deeper state of balance. At this time you should attain the deepest state of stillness and balance you can. Move that state of upa-samadhi into your right hand, which is raised in the Om mudra. Reach across to the child and touching the Ajna chakra say:
'My beloved, in the name of (the chosen name of the Divine) I baptize thee into the mystery of Life. May the mystery that is of the Divine bless each cell of thy being and enliven each petal of thy mind. May peace, tranquility, serenity, equanimity, harmony, joy, and Wisdom be yours, and may you share them with all.
'May we all find Wisdom and joy; may we all share these gifts with each other.'
If the use of the yajna string has been requested the following should be performed: Before you pick up the yajna string, balance your mind, as described above. Place this balanced awareness into the string. The yajna thread is formed and placed around the child only after your mind has been stilled. It is usually soft white string. The yajna thread is formed by first wrapping the string three times around the hands of the father or godfather, which are about seven inches apart. (However, it can be wrapped around the hands of any person.) It is always wrapped clockwise. The symbolism is that nothing in this world is gained without sacrifice. Only through sacrifice and service is anything gained. The string is threefold, indicating that the mind, body, and soul are linked together. Tie it and bless it, by placing at the knot either a few drops of water or kum-kum. Then take the string and place it on the right shoulder of the child or adult being baptised, as the left arm is raised up. The string will be hanging to the left side. After placing the string, proceed with the words of the baptism as described above. This placement of the string has significance in two ways: The string is at a right angle, signifying that it is at a right angle to the spinal column and that the child can therefore be independent of the spinal column. It symbolizes the right way, and is an affirmation of the right way. (With a child, the string is removed immediately after the ceremony for safety purposes.) If the baby or child is restless, it would be best to have the string placed in its right hand. (Again, with babies, the thread is removed after a few seconds, and given to the father or godfather. If no male person is present, give it to the mother, or god-mother.) Flower petals. You can now pick up the flower petals and sprinkle them over the child’s head. Flowers are a symbol of nurturing and the food of life. If you so choose, after sprinkling the flowers, you can turn to the mother or woman saying,
‘Feed this child. Feed this child spiritual food.’
Then turn to the father or man saying,
‘Protect this child. Protect this child from difficult karma.’
You may then wish to bless the parents and/or guardians by sprinkling a few flower petals over their heads. (All members of the baptismal party should be sprinkled with petals.) A minimum of three petals per person should be used. However, the more petals, the better. A general blessing of all present concludes the ceremony. (This is a skeletal outline of the ceremony. You can add to it or modify it to fit the situation at hand.) Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantih.
3. THE MARRIAGE RITUAL
By law, only ordained swamis are authorized to perform a marriage ceremony. Before performing a marriage ceremony, each swami is responsible for knowing the laws of the state and country in which the marriage is to be performed. The laws and procedures vary significantly from state to state, and country to country. It is incumbent upon the swami to be sure that s/he is properly registered and legally empowered to perform the marriage, and also insure that all the legal procedures relative to the marriage are followed. In some places a swami may perform the ceremony in a church or temple, but the marriage document must be legally signed by the district registrar. In some places, only a swami who has a registered temple or church in that district can perform a legal marriage. In other places swamis cannot perform a marriage ceremony, for it is recognized as a state function. In such cases, after the proper legal functions have been performed, the swami generally retires to the home of the bride and performs the religious ritual. In some states in the United States the bride and groom are required to have a blood test before the issuance of a marriage license; in other states it is not required. This at one time was mandatory, but has now changed from state to state. Before performing the ritual of marriage, the swami is required to see and examine the marriage license issued by the county to be sure that it is legal. Generally, the marriage license is good for only 30 days after being issued by the state. Under no circumstances should you proceed with the marriage if there is any doubt as to its legality. In most states, two witnesses are required to witness the marriage. In this case the marriage license often contains a place for two signatures. In some states, the witnesses sign a marriage certificate; in other states, the church record book is signed; in some states both are signed. You can only perform a marriage ceremony in the county from which the license has been issued! For example, if the marriage license has been issued in Cook County, you cannot legally perform the ceremony in Will County. It is wise to closely examine the license before the day of the ceremony. The marriage license, along with the certificate properly made out, must be returned to the county clerk within 30 days by the swami who performed the wedding ceremony. However, this also varies from county to county, and the swami should be sure to check the requirements. In all cases, after being properly filled out, the marriage license should be returned to the state the very next day. Keep a xeroxed copy of the completed license for your records. A copy should also be sent to The Temple of Kriya. In most states, it is illegal to give a copy of the marriage license to the bride and groom! They can obtain their legal document by writing to the state (its department of health). However, it is customary for the swami to give the married couple a certificate of marriage at the time of the marriage. In some states it is required. (Please note that the marriage certificate is different from the marriage license discussed above. Marriage certificates can be purchased from various religious supply stores, or from the Temple.) The swamis of The Temple of Kriya should conscientiously refuse to officiate in the marriage ceremony where it is obvious that the marriage is hasty or clearly ill-advised. Before agreeing to perform the marriage ceremony, it is advised that you carefully discuss the responsibilities of marriage with both the bride and groom. This should be, if at all possible, before the wedding day. It should be obvious that any person who is in a highly emotional, irritated, or unself-disciplined state should not be married at that time. To repeat: After performing the marriage ritual, you are legally responsible to register the marriage with the state. If you fail to do this, most states have a fine of $100 or more. The fine is trivial compared to the legal complications that could arise in a contested court case as to the legality of that marriage!! Be aware. Beware. Whether the wedding is held in a home, a temple, or elsewhere, the atmosphere should be relaxed, warm, and auspicious, radiating love. Wherever the wedding is performed, it should be done with dignity and simplicity. Generally, church weddings are considered public, and in addition to those present by invitation, they may be attended by any and all who wish to be present. Attendance at a home wedding, however, is only by invitation. When a wedding reception is held other than in a temple, attendance is by invitation only. You should communicate with the bride beforehand regarding those things she feels to be important concerning her wedding. The question of color of dress, flowers, malas, whether she should stand, sit, etc., is to be determined by the bride. Care should be given to instruct all who will partake in the wedding ceremony so that no embarrassment arises. It is important that the wedding not be heavily rehearsed, so that the experience will be new and spiritually meaningful. In a society such as ours that is extremely heterogeneous, the wedding should be planned with taste and according to the circumstances of the parties involved. Therefore, The Temple of Kriya has a prescribed ritual ceremony with well-defined principles to guide that ritual. Generally, the things needed to perform a wedding ceremony are:
Incense 5 bananas Water Coconut with milk in it Ceremonial hammer Bowl Honey Flowers Flower petals Drinking cup Mixing spoon Brick or a square-shaped stone Candles or a jyothi light
The nuptial ceremony usually begins with the bride and groom taking seven steps together, symbolical of uniting the seven chakras, and thus sharing their future life on all seven planes. Soft chanting and/or music usually follows, giving a chance for the minds to become quiet. A short prayer as well as a benediction usually follows. The candle or jyothi light is lit just before the ceremony begins. Three sticks of incense are then lit and waved before the presence of the bride and then the groom. Generally, the bride is to the left of the groom, but either side is acceptable. The bride can decide. The incense is then stuck into the bananas. (The unlit incense should be stuck into the bananas before the wedding in order to make the holes and to be sure that the incense does not break. If it does, replace the incense sticks.) As the wedding begins, with the incense lit, as its vapors slowly ascend, the following statement is made:
‘Lord, as this incense does rise to meet Thee, as it does expand out into the world, so let the love of these souls lift and unfold toward you, in greater expansion of unselfish love. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti. Let there be peace, peace, peace.'
A short statement is then made about how each person should be strengthened for the forthcoming joy, as well as the forthcoming challenge. A statement should be made to the effect that holy matrimony is one of the greatest blessings that the Divine has given mankind. Following this there should be a short statement about how marriage is one of the greatest pathways for the development of spiritual discipline in one’s life, for it offers one the opportunity to increase one’s own unselfishness. Two pathways in the marriage ceremony are now open. The first is the more formal pathway in which the two souls declare their intention to be married. The swami then asks if there is any just cause why the two may not lawfully be joined together. The couple are then asked if they will take each other as husband and wife.
The second path is the realization that the two do wish to be married or they would not be there, and therefore need not be asked again. Thus you can move along in a more harmonious tone rather than in a questioning manner. Next, you ask the bridegroom to take hold of the bride’s hand and repeat after you saying:
‘I take hold of your hand for good fortune. I take hold of your hand for good fortune. I take hold of your hand for good fortune.’
Now ask him to repeat:
‘I take hold of your hand for good fortune so that with me you may attain to old age.
Now ask the bride to take hold of the bridegroom’s hand and ask her to repeat the following:
‘I take hold of your hand for good fortune. I take hold of your hand for good fortune. I take hold of your hand for good fortune.’
Now ask her to repeat:
‘I take hold of your hand for good fortune so that with me you may attain to old age.’
You then say to both of them:
‘May you not be separated. May you reach your full years! May you find happiness!’
Turning to the bride you say:
'Flourish thou. Flourish thou without fierce looks and without harming your husband. Be of peaceful mind and of great splendor. Be devoted to God and be the bringer of happiness.’
Turning to the groom you say:
‘Flourish thou. Be gentle, be kind. Be compassionate. Without harming your wife, be of peaceful mind and of great splendor. Be known as the giver of happiness.’
You then say:
‘Infinite Lord, endow this bride with excellent good fortune. Infinite Lord, endow this groom with excellent good fortune.'
It is at this point that you hand the coconut to the groom, along with the ceremonial hammer. Explain to him that he does not have to crack the coconut with the first blow. Once the coconut has been cracked, he inverts it and allows the coconut milk to flow out into a ceremonial bowl. While giving him the coconut, you remind those joined together that it takes three to make a marriage: the bride, the bridegroom, and the sacrifice. This act is a sacrifice, symbolizing the waters of life, both human and spiritual, and blesses their bodies and minds with the fruitfulness of earth and spiritual things. In the bowl, you should have already mixed three spoonfuls of honey with some water. The coconut milk flows into this. Now, remind the bride and groom that marriage is the bringer of sweetness and goodness in life. You then mix the water-coconut juice three times with a swirling motion. The mixture is then decanted off into a chalice. The chalice is now handed to the bride and as she sips of it, you ask her,
‘Is it sweet?’
She will nod or affirm that it is.
You then say,
‘So shall your life become sweeter.’
It is often the custom of the swami to taste the coconut juice first to ensure its sweetness. The sweetness of the coconut juice is symbolical of the sweetness of the marriage. Occasionally, more honey-water might need to be added. This is done without fuss or concern. The chalice is then given to the bridegroom and he sips it. You then ask him:
‘Is it sweet?’
He affirms, and you reply,
‘Be sure that through your efforts and unselfish love that you make your marriage and your spiritual pilgrimage even sweeter.’
The benediction and blessing of the marriage are then given. Following this, the banana containing the incense is broken off, and a very small piece is given to both the bride and the groom, which they eat. If the coconut has been broken in half in a circular hole, a small piece of banana is placed into the cup shape, and some coconut milk added. This is considered extremely auspicious and fruitful. You now ask both bride and groom to mentally repeat the following. Speak these words aloud, warmly, slowly and meaningfully:
‘Having taken seven steps with me, become my friend, become my friend, become my friend.
May we two who have taken these seven steps together, become companions. May I have your friendship. May I not be separated from your friendship or you from mine.
With utmost love for each other, gaining luster, with peaceful minds, enjoying together our food and those invigorating things, may we walk together and may we take our resolves together. May we make our minds united! May we make our bodies united! May we make our lives united, of the same vows and of the same views.’
You now turn to the groom and ask him to repeat aloud to the bride, the following words:
‘I am the words and you are the melody. I am the words and you are the melody. I am the words and you are the melody.’
Now turn to the bride and ask her to repeat aloud the following words to the groom:
‘I am the melody and you are the words. I am the melody and you are the words. I am the melody and you are the words.’
If there are rings, they may be exchanged at this time. The bride and groom now stand, if they have been seated. In front of you is a brick. The groom helps the bride place her right foot upon the brick, and says to her:
‘Come along with me, O woman of pleasing words. Step upon this stone. Be you as firm as this stone. Overcome our enemies.’
As she holds her foot upon the stone, the swami should indicate the necessity and the importance of the woman’s part in the stability and unfoldment of the marriage. It is usually at this time that the swami asks,
‘Do you have this man (his name) to be thy wedded husband, to live together in the sacred state of matrimony? Will thou love, honor, and cherish him forsaking none.’
The same is repeated by the groom. However, he does not place his foot upon the stone.
‘Do you have this woman (her name) to be thy wedded wife, to live together in the sacred state of matrimony? Will thou love, honor, and cherish her forsaking none.'
The swami then says:
In so much as (her name) and (his name) have consented to be joined together in holy wedlock and having witnessed the same before the Divine and this assembly, I, a swami of The Temple of Kriya, by the authority of God, so pronounce thee, the words and the melody, I do pronounce thee one. May your life be filled with beauty, joy, tranquility, serenity, equanimity and harmony. May your lives unfold and be an asset to each other, and to all mankind.’
The swami now showers the bride and then the groom with flower petals and offers the benediction. The assembled company then follow, showering them with flower petals. Before leaving the place of the ceremony, the bride, the bridegroom, and any witnesses should sign any necessary papers as required by law. It is extremely important that the marriage ceremony produce an innate feeling of beauty, of warmth, and of mystery — touching the inner most heart. That which begins in beauty must sustain itself in beauty. Your function is to begin the marriage with beauty, warmth, and dignity. It should always be light, warm, and meaningful to those being married, and to all present. It is up to the couple to sustain that beauty. An auspicious moment should always be chosen for the marriage ceremony. However, the couple will often choose the time, not asking, but telling the swami when they wish to be married. So let it be! Remember, external things and rituals do not marry a couple. It is their state of consciousness along with yours that make a marriage. As with all rituals, it is important for the swami to have a period of preparation and meditation prior to performing the marriage ritual. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantih.
4. THE MARRIAGE RITUAL SUPPLEMENT
In a more formal Western marriage, the following verse may be utilized or added:
‘If any man can show just cause why these two may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak or else hereafter, forever remain silent.’
If no objections are offered, the swami addresses the bride, the groom, and the company (if circumstances make it desirable), by saying:
‘Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?'
After receiving the response, ask the bride and groom to clasp their right hands together while the marriage declarations are being made, after taking the seven steps. The swami now asks the bridegroom,
‘And now, do you solemnly promise before God and in the presence of these witnesses, that thou (his name) will have this woman (her name) to be thy wedded wife; to live together after God’s ordinance, in the sacred state of matrimony? Will thou love her, comfort her, honor her, and cherish her? Do thou so declare?’
The bridegroom answers:
The swami then asks the bride:
‘Do thou (her name) have this man (his name) to be thy wedded husband, to live together after God’s ordinance, in the sacred state of matrimony? Will thou love, honor, and cherish him? Do thou so declare?’
The bride answers: ‘I do.’
Putting your hand on the joined hands of the couple, say,
‘In so much as (her name) and (his name) have consented to be joined together in holy wedlock, and having witnessed the same before God and this company, and therefore having given and pledged their troth to each other, and having declared the same by joining hands, I, as a swami of God and by the authority and law of the state of (name the state) do pronounce that you are husband and wife. What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.’
The bride and bridegroom then kneel (or if they stand, their heads should be bowed) while the following benediction is spoken:
‘May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace now and forever more.’
Remember, external things and rituals do not marry a couple. It is their state of consciousness along with yours that make a marriage. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantih.
5. THE HOUSE BLESSING
This ritual can be used for blessing a house, apartment, a building, or even a temple. A number of items are used such as blessed water, a candle, incense, mantra, etc. Each of these items and their related procedure follows the basic pattern of assisting in the removal of negative thought-forms, and producing new, positive, harmonious thought-forms. Whatever procedure is used, most of the windows and doors should be opened just a bit to allow the negative thought-forms to easily escape the building. (The windows and doors should be opened a bit, even if it is raining or cold outside.) There are a number of ways in which the house blessing can be performed. In the first method, blessed water is used. You can bless it yourself, or have someone else bless it. Blessing of the water: To bless the water yourself, put the water in a clean container. A new container is recommended. Using your right hand, bring the container with the water to your heart chakra and breathe Kriya: either major or minor. This will release a tremendous positive charge into the water. Also ask the Powers-that-Be to bless the water. Blessed water is water that has fire put into it, and therefore being like hot fire, when sprinkled or sprayed, it contains the power to dissolve away or to cremate negative thought-forms. The remaining negative thought-forms not touched by the water will withdraw from the building, seeking to escape the spiritual fire in the blessed water. Harmonious thought-forms are not harmed by the blessed water. As a matter of fact, the water acts as a spiritual magnet, drawing-in new, powerful, positive thought-forms from the region. One begins the blessing by going to the farthest point in the back of the building and lightly sprinkling or spraying a small amount of the blessed water on the floors. Hold a flower in your right hand, dip it in the water and sprinkle a small amount of water on the floors as you chant the proper mantra. In cases of heavy, or dark vibrations, sprinkle the water on the walls and ceiling. As you sprinkle the water, walk to the front of the room, dispelling all the negative thought-forms out through the windows and doors. The water is sprinkled in order to get the negative thought-forms to leave. Most of the time negative vibrations are stuck in the house or apartment because of people’s thought patterns. When thought-forms die, they become lead heavy and drop to the floor, becoming food for other negative thought-forms. It is suggested, therefore, that if a person moves into a building with heavy vibrations, the floor should be scrubbed right after the house blessing ceremony. This needs to be done only when there are very heavy vibrations, and is not necessary when dealing with lighter vibrations. The lighter vibrations will dissolve and disperse out of the windows with the water ritual. This procedure can be intensified by either mentally or verbally saying each time you sprinkle the water:
‘Depart, disperse, or dissolve away!'
Here one is mentally talking to the thought-forms, using a mental force to dissolve or disperse them. One should also sprinkle blessed water around doorways, archways, and especially at the front entrance of the building. This serves to bless and protect the area making it more difficult for other negative vibrations from the outer world to enter. This not only assists in keeping the old negative vibrations out, but in keeping the new, positive vibrations within the house, apartment, or home. You can sprinkle blessed water around the doorway or archway adding a meditative prayer. The aura around the entrance will bless everyone who enters. It will also harmonize their thoughts, assisting in bringing tranquility to the home environment. One may also kneel at an appropriate time saying a special prayer such as:
‘Lord of Life, come into this house. Let noble thoughts surround these rooms and harmonize the minds of all souls who enter.’
When the ritual is over, close the doors and windows from the front of the house to the back. This order is important. The candle procedure: A candle may also be used to further intensify the ritual. Holding the candle with your right hand, begin at the back of the building or apartment. Move slowly to the front of the building, using the candle to disperse all the negative thought-forms through the open windows and doors, bringing in good, harmonious thought forms. Generally, a white candle is used to neutralize the negative thought forms or negative vibrations. You can also use a candle with a color that will most effectively neutralize the negative feelings existing in the building. For example, a ‘red’ feeling may exist where there has been hatred or hostility. In this case, a green candle can be used to neutralize these hostile vibrations. Green symbolizes peace and tranquility. To intensify any procedure, use incense. One should use a light-fragrance incense such as rose or sandalwood. Do not use heavy incense. If you have any doubts, use a sandalwood or rose incense. It can be carried by the person requesting the house blessing. This person should walk behind you. No matter what procedure you use, there are two rooms that are vital. Give extra blessings to them. The first is the bedroom, and the other is the kitchen-dining area. Mantra can also be used. You can chant an appropriate mantra, not only forcing negative vibrations out, but bringing good, positive vibrations into the room. In the house blessing, or in a more formal blessing, you may wish to prepare a small amount of specially cooked food before hand, and share it with everyone after the blessing is complete. While eating, be sure to remember that this is part and not apart from the blessing proper. Keep your words positive and inspiring. While cooking food at your home, remember that the thoughts you think enter into the food that is cooking. This food becomes blessed food (Prashad). You and the house guests should partake of it. This blessed food now enters everyone’s body and establishes a high vibration, internally and astrally, benefiting and strengthening each individual against the negativities that may attempt to manifest. There is no magic involved in these procedures. They are rituals that affect the subconscious mind. They are all subconscious protective symbolisms. The symbolisms of the house blessing will help the minds of the people requesting it. These people will subconsciously remember the blessing, the water, the candle, especially if the candle (unlit) is left permanently in the bedroom or kitchen. Thus, through association, each time they walk into the room they will think positive thoughts, for this symbol will ever bring positive thought waves into their home or apartment. It is important to remember to use your right hand in performing the house blessing ritual. Why? Because the right hand is the hand of manifestation and you want positive thoughts to manifest in this world: a solar force. You want a positive solar vibration to manifest that will help cremate the negative thought forms. Near the end of the ceremony, while using the blessed water, be sure to sprinkle a little on those around you! If you are in doubt, there are a number of things you can do with the blessed water after you are finished with the ritual. You can give it to the plants, the animals, put it in your own food, or drink it – or save it for the next ritual. Om tat sat Om.
6. THE DEATH-REBIRTH LITURGY
This ritual requires four swamis. These are the:
1. Officiating Swami 2. Bridge Builder Swami 3. Way Clearer Swami 4. Gift Bringer Swami
If four swamis are not available, the Kriya Lineage may be invoked for the three mantra priests. There are five reasons for this death-rebirth liturgy cycle:
1. To clear away any hindrance 2. To deliver one last message 3. To comfort the living 4. To give greater awareness 5. To improve the rebirth cycle
The First Swami Chants the Liturgy The Second Swami Chants: Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantih. The Third Swami Chants: Om hum phat The Fourth Swami Chants: Om shim, shim, shim. 1. THE SWAMIS: Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti. Om hum phat Om shim, shim, shim
EVERYONE: Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
2. SWAMI: Om hum phat. And There Was Light! From Light to Greater Light....
3. SWAMI: May the Eternal Divine Light of the Great Spirit and the Holy Kriya Lineage shine forever upon thee _________ (name of deceased person).
EVERYONE: Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
4. SWAMI: Bless us, O Lord.
EVERYONE: Om Shanti.
5. SWAMI: Bless __________, O Lord.
EVERYONE: Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
6. SWAMI: Bless this undertaking, O Lord.
EVERYONE: Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
7. SWAMI: O Effulgent Light of Life ... come to us! The Lord of Light be with us! Holy Divine Mother (Chandraji), Gather, center our Light! Meditate with us now, and also at the moment of our physical death!
8. EVERYONE: O Effulgent Light of Life, come to us! The Lord of Light be with us! Holy Divine Mother (Chandraji), Gather and help to center our Light! Meditate with us now, and also at the moment of our physical death!
9. SWAMI: Om. Light of our Light. Come to __________ ! Come to __________! Come to __________ ! Bless (him/her) with your Goodness!
EVERYONE: Om. Light of our Light. Come to _________ ! Come to __________! Come to __________! Bless him/her with your Goodness!
10. SWAMI: O Love of our Life — come to us. Lift, guide, protect and sweep clear our path! O Holy Kriya Lineage, come Thou forth. Clear _______’s spiritual path. Dwell among us continually. Come dwell with __________, now and also at the moment of our physical death. Let there be Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
EVERYONE: O Love of our Life — come to us.
Lift, guide, protect and sweep clear our path! O Holy Kriya Lineage, come Thou forth. Clear _______’s spiritual path. Dwell among us continually. Come dwell with __________, now and also at the moment of our physical death. Let there be Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
11. SWAMI: “So shall my Word be that which goeth forth ... It shall not return void. You shall go out with Joy and be led forth with Peace. Your Path is being swept clear NOW and always.”
EVERYONE: By mara (ignorance) are we ensnared, by Wisdom are we set free.
12. SWAMI: OM SHANTI, SHANTI, SHANTI.
EVERYONE: OM SHANTI, SHANTI, SHANTI.
13. SWAMI: Let us meditate, Oh! Lord let your Blessings descend upon ________. May his/her passing from Life to greater Life be harmonious, meaningful and joyous. Bless him/her and prepare him/her for a better life and rebirth!
EVERYONE: Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
14. SWAMI: Oh! Lord, Thou knowest better than I that which __________ needs. Grant that unto him/her now!
EVERYONE: Oh! Lord, thou knowest better than I that which __________ needs. Grant that unto him/her now! Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
15. SWAMI: Before the mountains were begotten, even before the earth and sky were wrought forth, we were with you, O Lord, hear our prayer.
EVERYONE: O Lord, hear our prayer — give unto __________ that which he/she needs. Grant it to him/ her swiftly, surely and most, most harmoniously! Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
16. SWAMI: The Lord God gladden our hearts by revealing to us the revelation of that which is to come.
EVERYONE: Blessed are all of God’s creatures for they shall have the Keys of the Kingdom. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
17. SWAMI: Oh! Great Spirit, Holy Kriya Lineage, Saints and Sages of all religions, you are the lights upon the path! Oh! Ye Powers-That-Be, hear our meditation.
EVERYONE: Oh! Great Spirit, Holy Kriya Lineage, Saints and Sages of all religions, we know that beyond the earthly temple there is a heavenly body through which we and __________ can function. Assist us to use it now! Assist him/her to use it now! Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
18. SWAMI: ____________, awaken to your new life in joy, in greater joy! __________, awaken to your new life in love, in greater love. __________, awaken to your new life with greater wisdom and understanding. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
19. SWAMI: __________, do this in the name of all that is holy!
EVERYONE: __________, do this in the name of all that is holy!
20. SWAMI: The swami now says to the next of kin: ‘Say to __________ what is important for him/her to hear, or for you to say, or silently speak it to him/her. Say that which is appropriate and in your heart.’
NEXT OF KIN SPEAKS ________________________ (aloud or silently).
21. SWAMI: Oh! Great Spirit, Saints and Sages of all religions, Holy Kriya Lineage, be with __________, be with __________, be with __________. Guide, guard and lift him/her up.
EVERYONE: Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
22. SWAMI: O Lord, grant __________ peace, love, wisdom and Victory!
23. SWAMI: Allow the perpetual Light of Grace to shine eternally upon him/her, and upon all souls.
EVERYONE: Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
24. SWAMI: Oh! Lord, may this soul and all souls find wisdom and victory.
EVERYONE: Om tat sat Om! 25. SWAMI: Oh! Lord, allow the life experience of today, to bring insight and wisdom and thus consolation and comfort.
EVERYONE: Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
26. SWAMI: ___________(name of person), we close this ritual now, but our prayers, meditations and thoughts are with thee — as are those of the Holy Kriya Lineage, the Saints and Sages of all Religions, and the Holy Powers-that-Be. They will guide, lift and protect you, now and always!
EVERYONE: Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti. 27. SWAMI: __________, awaken! Awaken! Awaken! __________, remember your good deeds of the past! __________, remember your good deeds of the past! __________, remember your past good deeds! __________, take hold of joy, of goodness and of wonderment.
EVERYONE: __________, awaken! Remember your good deeds! Find ecstasy! __________, awaken! Remember your good deeds! Find ecstasy!
28. SWAMI: _________, find ecstasy! Find comfort in your new Life.
EVERYONE: _________, in your new Life find comfort and joy.
29. SWAMI: __________, find 'comfort.’
EVERYONE: __________, find 'comfort.’
SILENT PRAYER — Each in his/her own fashion/tradition.
30. SWAMI: Beloved, what is the question all ask!
EVERYONE: Whence, whither and why! Whence __________?
31. SWAMI: From Goodness.
EVERYONE: Whither __________?
32. SWAMI: To God.
EVERYONE: Why, __________?
33. SWAMI: It is the Way of Wisdom.
EVERYONE: __________, be at peace. All obstacles are removed. Continue your journey unobstructed! Awake! Arise! Continue the Path!
34. SWAMI: Om Hum Phat (seven times and water) Om nrim, nrim, nrim, narasimhaya namah Om, Om, Om Om shim Om shim Om shim Om, Om, Om Om hrim, hrim, hrim Om ram Om ram Om ram Om aim Om aim Om aim
Om hum Om shim, shim, shim Hshim, Hshim, Hshim, Phat Shim Hum Hram Haim Om svaha Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
EVERYONE: Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti!
35. SWAMI: My beloved, we have done what we came to do. My beloved, we have done that which can be done, thus we leave the rest to God and Guru. We leave the rest to Lord and Lineage.
My beloved, return now to the earth plane. We shall meet __________ again at the right time, the right place, and in the right way.
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
EVERYONE: Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
This concludes the Death-Rebirth Liturgy. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantih.
7. THE FUNERAL SERVICE (WESTERN APPROACH)
For most people death is an unexpected and unwelcome visitor. No part of the swami’s work calls for greater resourcefulness and tact than in managing a funeral service, and dealing with mourners. On learning of the death of a member of your temple, a swami is expected to call at once and express his sympathies to the family, placing his total service at their disposal. You should inquire of the family as to their wishes in making arrangements for the funeral. When a person is not a member of your church, you still may officiate, but only when asked. This does not prohibit your calling by phone to express your sympathies, to ask whether the family needs anything, or if you can be of any help. The family of the deceased will sometimes have another ‘minister’ or a family friend take charge of the funeral service. This is fairly common so do not be offended. Always cooperate with such arrangements. If you do officiate, ascertain the time and place for holding the funeral service. Today, it is rare that a home is chosen. More often it is a funeral home. When and if instrumental or vocal music is desired, the swami should arrange this. It is important that the music or songs be appropriate and well-chosen for the occasion. Always ask if they have any special musician in mind and/or any special music. When a funeral home is chosen, it should be understood that the funeral director is in charge of all arrangements, with the swami cooperating. It is the function of the funeral director to take care of the physical aspects of the funeral and burial services, whereas the swami is expected to take charge of all the religious facets. In preparing for the burial service, you should arrange for a short obituary sketch of the life of the deceased unless the family does not wish it. This may be read during the funeral service. Many times when young children are involved, this portion of the funeral service is omitted. It should be emphasized that the funeral service is not the place for a long sermon or an attempt to display oratory elegance. The function of a funeral service is twofold:
1) To comfort the bereaved, and 2) To assist the soul in making a positive transition.
You should know that at this point of finality, only your feelings of consolation will bring solace to the bereaved. The swamis of The Temple of Kriya must not receive a fee for conducting funeral services. Something in this life must be free, and such offerings that may be given should be tactfully returned, immediately. This must be done in the most spiritual manner. Always refuse warmly and tactfully. Occasionally, however, not to accept the love offering will cause greater hurt. If this condition exists, accept and give it to a worthwhile charity. When you receive a call to conduct a funeral service some distance away where extensive travel is involved, it is proper for the travel expenses to be met by the next of kin. However, do not expect it. These expenses are considered part of the funeral expenses. The order and type of funeral service should be varied to suit the particular occasion. The sermon should also be prepared to meet the specific occasion. It is important to understand that one general message may not meet the needs of the varying circumstances and people in attendance. In the course of your life, as a swami, you will come to officiate at Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant services, as well as those more inclined to the mystical pathway. Therefore, you should know certain prayers, key phrases and vital events that are culturally important to these groups. Whether the funeral service be in the temple, a funeral home, or at the cemetery, it is wise to meet with the friends and relatives beforehand. It is at this time that a prayer is offered to comfort the mourners and words spoken to strengthen them in their time of need. It is generally proper for the swami to precede the casket as it is carried to the hearse, from the church, or to the grave site. When all are seated and the funeral director has concluded his function, the service is generally opened by organ music or by a song. The conclusion of the church service is always with a brief prayer. During the church service, a suitable scripture is read, varying and depending on the experience and age of the deceased, and the wishes and hopes of the family. In Western tradition, Psalms 90:1-4, 90:10 and 12 are often read:
‘Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.’
Job, 14:1-2 and 14:14-15 are also often utilized:
‘Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow and continueth not. If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, til my change come. Thou shalt call and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.’
I Corinthians, 15:51-56 is also often read:
‘Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption and this mortal shall have put on immortality, and then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’
A short biographical sketch of the life of the deceased is appropriate at this time. A brief address may follow, expressing the uncertainty of life, and also emphasizing the hope of certain victory over the last enemy: unconsciousness, which is death. I repeat: the function of the funeral service is to strengthen and to give fresh hope to the mourners. It is most important to speak in a language that will bring strength and comfort to the mourners! A prayer then follows in which thanksgiving is generally made for all that God has given to the deceased. Usually, in that prayer, one prays that we might all sense the brevity of life, realizing the vanity of earthly things and seek afresh happiness and wisdom. At this time, usually another song is sung and the church service is closed with the benediction. Here, the funeral director again takes charge. If it is proper, a group may sing or chant at the gravesite. As the casket rests above the grave and is being lowered into the earth, the swami reads the appropriate scriptures:
‘I am the Resurrection and the Life; he that believeth in me though he were dead, yet shall he live. Fear not, I am the first and the last. I am He that liveth and was dead. Behold, I am alive forevermore, and have the keys of the kingdom.'
'I heard a voice from heaven saying unto Me, right, blessed are the dead which die in the Lord. Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth, yea, sayeth the spirit that they may rest from their labors and their works to follow them.'
‘I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold a tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes and there shall be no more death; neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain for the former things are passed away. Amen.'
Just as the casket is being lowered into the earth, one can place a little earth or a handful of flower petals at the head of the casket, usually as the committal is read. In some places, the funeral director places the earth or petals at the head of the casket as the swami reads the committal.
‘For as much as God in His infinite love and wisdom has permitted our dear brother (or sister) to fall asleep, we do here tenderly commit his (or her) body to the ground in the sure and certain hope of a joyful resurrection and the return of our Lord in glory. Then shall this body be made like unto His glorious body, according to the mighty workings whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself.’
If a hymn is sung at the grave site, it should be sung at this point. You then close with a prayer and a benediction. Just before the benediction, it is wise to add something associated with the weather conditions. For example, if it is a bright day, speak of the brightness of the sun and the warmth that is life. If it is a rainy day, remind those present that water washes away ignorance and purifies, that one might live afresh. In cases where the deceased is known to be an atheist, definite assurance can still be given. You should do everything possible to comfort the mourners with the assurance that the God of love has infinite compassion. The following committal can be used:
‘For as much as God in His goodness and the outworkings of His providence has permitted our friend to lay down the burdens of life, we do lovingly commit his (or her) body to the ground, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, remembering as we do, that all the issues of life are in the hands of the everlasting Father of love and Father of compassion and that He has promised eternal life to those who love Him.’
If need be, please refer to the chapter on The Death-Rebirth Liturgy for a more extended funeral service, if this be appropriate. Om tat sat Om.
PRAYERS 8. PUBLIC PRAYERS
Prayer is an important part of every public service. Prayer and meditation are the gateways to wisdom and bliss. Prayers are words and thoughts that are uttered with a particular feeling (not emotions). Prayers are words uttered aloud or silently with balanced awareness. Prayer is sacred, and nothing that is sacred should be treated with indifference or with carelessness. No time or place is inappropriate for internal devotion. No position of the body is inappropriate. However, the most meaningful posture is the yoga meditative asan called the master’s posture. The Zen posture is also excellent. The essentials of prayer posture are: A yogic asan Spine straight, head level Abdominal muscles in and up, without tension Eyes closed with gaze centered at the third eye An attitude of reverence
When prayer is offered at a public function a one-knee kneeling posture is the most acceptable. When conditions or arrangements are such that this is impractical or impossible, it is appropriate for you and the congregation to stand with heads bowed while prayer is offered. This posture will not negate the force of the prayer. It is also appropriate to stand during a benediction when exorcising negative thought forms, or when consecrating an area which has muddy ground.
The content, length, and manner of prayer are extremely important. The prayers offered should be to the point and short. They should not be lengthy or tedious. Even a few minutes of public prayer is considered long. There are certain circumstances, however, in which the supplication of prayer may be longer. In times of urgent need, in times of supreme dedication, the prayer petition certainly can be of greater length. At these times, the prayer should be prepared with great diligence and offered with great fervency so it is inspiring. Prayers that are sermonizing are out of place! Sermonizing is for the sermon; chastising is for the counseling office. Prayers are for the upliftment of the soul. The best public prayer is the prayer that uses simple, easily understood language, offered with gentleness and warmth. Remember, there is but one God, though God has a million names and forms. In public prayer you may be asked to pray using a name of God that you do not commonly use. Do not be offended by this. Recognize that it is not blasphemy to bow to another man’s God-symbol. Each man’s God-symbol is the symbol of the Divine. Do not hesitate to bow your knee to pray to another man’s symbol of his Divine. Know that the God of Life dwells within each soul, and each soul tends to manifest the God of Life in his/her chosen symbolic form, image, or sound. In all public prayer, in addressing the Lord, use the more devout and solemn forms ‘Thou’ and ‘Thee.’ They are more appropriate and more spiritual than the common use of the English word ‘You.’ In public prayer, when praying with or for those in need, state their needs with simplicity. Pray with confidence. Recognize that to pray for others is a sacred privilege. You should not pray for foolish things. What is and what is not foolish? Surely, in the deeper realization of your soul, you are praying for greater and greater wisdom. Therefore, with the wisdom derived from prayer look within your soul to determine that which is foolish. Fill your prayers with compassion, tenderness, gentleness, and wisdom. Prayer is a movement towards communion with the Divine. It is a way by which your heart is softened and your mind made more receptive to Life’s message. Prayer facilitates communion with the inner spirit. In prayer, reach deep within your soul to the stillness of the spirit, that your tongue might stir and inspire souls to find peace, bliss, love, and insight. Move ever inward and upward towards subtler states of awareness. When entering the ‘pulpit’ or as you seat yourself upon your dais, offer a dignified silent prayer. It should be fervent and earnest, asking for help from the Powers-That-Be to:
1. Soften your ego, bias, loyalties, and prejudices so that you might become a balanced, clear state of consciousness. 2. Speak the right words in the right way to assist in helping those in need. 3. Draw your mind inward and upward into deeper, fuller communion.
If unable to find a prayer you feel is most appropriate, the following can be used:
‘O Lord, Thou knowest better than I that which they need. It is for that that I pray. I beseech Thee, O Lord, bring it into their lives swiftly, surely, and most harmoniously. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.’
When conducting a sacred service or ritual you are responsible for reaching deep within to center yourself and lift your vibration, in order to radiate the light of the Divine.
9. PRAYERS OF VARIOUS WORLD RELIGIONS
(For healing, blessing, and annointing in time of need or sickness.)
HINDU Prayer for Well-Being: Take refuge in the Word of Brahman; in the mind of Brahman; in the Breath of Brahman. I rely on His Sight and on His Hearing. Whatever defects I have in your sight, O Lord God amend! May You, O Protector of the world, bless me! O Lord, you are my body’s protector. Protect me. You, O Lord, You are the giver of life. Grant health, happiness, Wisdom and long life to me that I might be a blessing to others.
Rig Veda II: 28:
May the stream of my life flow into the river of goodness, may the bonds of my ignorance be loosened that I may be free. Let not the thread of my song be cut while I sing, and let not my work end before its fulfillment.
May the stream of your life flow into the river of goodness, may the bonds of your ignorance be loosened that you may be free. Let not the thread of your song be cut while you sing, and let not your work end before its fulfillment.
Brahadaranyaka Upanishad I: 3, 28: From unreality, lead me to reality; from darkness, lead me to light; from death, lead me to conscious immortality.
From unreality, lead us to reality; from darkness, lead us to light; from death lead us to conscious immortality.
The Kriya Meditation of Wisdom: Oh! Infinite Lord, Thou knowest better than I that which the world needs. It is for this and this alone that I meditate. I beseech You to bring it into their lives surely, swiftly, and most harmoniously!
Oh! Infinite Lord, Thou knowest better than I that which I need. It is for that and that alone that I meditate. I beseech you to bring it into my life surely, swiftly, and most harmoniously.
Bhagavad Gita II, 27: Death is certain for all who are born, and birth is certain for all who die. Therefore, for what is unavoidable, be not distressed.
Bhagavad Gita VIII, 5-6; 10: And whoever at the end of his span of life, when leaving the body, remembers Me alone, he attains my own being; of this there is no doubt. Whatever state of being he recalls when at the end he abandons his body, to that state he attains, being ever assumed into that condition. If at death with steady mind, disciplined in love and the power of yoga, he locates his vital strength between the eyebrows, he will reach the supreme Person.
Bhagavad Gita XII, 7: Those whose thoughts are set on Me, I shall deliver from the ocean of ever-recurring death.
BUDDHIST Prayer at Time of Sickness or Death: We surround all people and all forms of life with infinite love and compassion. Particularly do we send forth loving thoughts to those suffering, in sorrow, or to those in doubt and ignorance. To those who are striving to attain Truth, and to those whose feet are standing close to the great change men call death, we send forth Waves of Wisdom, Bliss and Love.
Meditation of the Triple Treasure: I take refuge in enlightenment, the great pathway; I take refuge in the dharma of Truth, the great Teacher; I take refuge in the Guru: internal, eternal, great friend and companion.
Six-Character Name of the Buddha: Reciting the holy name of the Buddha can be chanted once or as many times as the person wishes: Namu Amida Butsu.
PROTESTANT CHRISTIAN Psalm 23: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul. He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies. Thou annointest my head with oil. My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Protestant Version of TheLord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, now and forever. Amen.
General Healing: Out of the depths I cry to You, Oh Lord, Lord hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my voice in supplication. God our healer, in this time of great need, bless (name) with Your grace. Restore health and strength. When and if dejected, offer hope. When and if afflicted, give patience. When and if alone, assure him/her of Your sacred Presence. O God of Compassion, grant Your healing gift to (name). Restore him/her to health and strength. Make him/her joyful in Your Spirit and ready to embrace Your Will. Comfort him/her with Your protection. Keep him/her firm in faith and serene in hope. Mercifully restore him/her to full health. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
For Surgery: Out of the depths, I cry to You, Oh Lord, hear my voice. Let Your ears be attentive to my voice in supplication. God our healer, in this time of deep need, bless (name) with Your healing grace. Restore him/her/me to health and strength. Make him/her/me joyful with Your spirit and ready to embrace Your Will. O God of compassion, our human weaknesses lay claim to Your strength. We pray that through the skills of surgeons and nurses, Your healing gifts may be granted to (name). May Your servant respond to Your healing Will and be always attuned to Your grace in praise. Heal him/her/me. Expel all afflictions of mind and body. Mercifully restore him/her/me to full health and enable him/her/me to resume her/his/my former duties. For You are the Lord forever and ever. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
When annointing a person, the following can be added: God of love, ever-caring, ever-strong, stand by (name) in his time of need. Watch over him/her who is in need of Your Compassion. Look after him/her in every danger, and grant him/her Your healing and peace. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Father in heaven, through this holy annointing, grant (name) comfort at this time. Father in heaven, You chose to share our human nature, and to heal the sick. Look with compassion upon Your servant who has been annointed in Your name with this holy oil, for the healing of the body and mind.
At Death: Let us pray. God of love, welcome into Your presence Your son/ daughter whom You have called from this life. Release him/her from all transgressions. Bless him/her with eternal light and peace. Raise him/her up to live forever with all Your holy saints, in the glory of the resurrection. We ask this through Christ our Lord. May only goodness and kindness follow him/her all the days of his/her life! We shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come. Lord, remember (name) in Your kingdom. Almighty and eternal God, hear our prayers for Your son/ daughter (name) whom You have called from this life to Yourself. Grant him/her light, happiness, and peace. Let him/ her pass safely through the gates of death, and live forever with all Your holy saints in the light You promised to Abraham and to all his descendants. Guard him/her from all harm, and on that great day of the resurrection, reward and raise him/her up with all Your saints. Pardon all transgressions, and give him/her eternal life in Your kingdom. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
CATHOLIC Psalm 23: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies. Thou annointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Act of Contrition: O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell. But most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with Thy help and Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.
Hail Mary: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art Thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Our Father - Catholic Version: Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Baptism of a Stillborn Child: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, come to (name). Put Your hand on him/her. I baptize thee in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Go forth Christian soul, from this world, in the name of God, the Almighty Father who created you, in the name of Jesus Christ, Son of the living God. In the name of the Holy Spirit, whose blessings were poured upon you. Go forth, tiny Christian soul. Live in peace. May your home be with God in heaven.
Can be added: God of all consolation, in Your unending love and mercy for us, turn the darkness of death into the dawn of new life. Show compassion to (name) in their sorrow. Be their refuge and strength to lift them from the darkness of their grief to the peace and light of Your presence and understanding. God of love, ever-caring, ever-strong, stand by them in their time of deepest need. Amen. (It is vital that the mother give a name to the baby.)
Prayer for the Sick: Father, whose Son accepted our suffering to teach us the virtue of patience in human illness, hear the prayers we offer our sick brother/sister. May all who suffer pain, illness, or disease, realize that they have been chosen to be the saints, and to know that they are joined to Christ in his suffering, for the salvation of the world. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Blessing: May the Lord be with you, to protect you. Amen. May He guide you and give you strength. Amen. May He watch over you, keep you in His care, and bless you with His peace. Amen.
May Almighty God bless you (making the sign of the cross), the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Annointing the Forehead: Through this holy annointing, may the Lord in His Love and Mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Annointing the Hands: May the Lord who frees you from sin, save you and raise you up. Amen.
JEWISH Shema: (Watchword of Israel): Hear, O Israel, the Lord Our God, the Lord is One. (Sh’ma Yis-ro-ayl A-do-noy E-lo-hay-nu A-do-noy E-hod.)
Praised be His glorious Kingdom for ever and ever. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words which I command thee this day shall be in thy heart. Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, speaking of them when Thou sittest in thy house, when Thou walkest by the way, when Thou liest down and when Thou risest up. And Thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be for frontlets between thine eyes. And Thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thy house and upon thy gates.
Prayer for the Sick: He who blessed our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses and Aaron, David and Solomon, may He heal (name). May the Holy One, blessed be He, have mercy upon him/her; strengthen and heal him/her; and speedily restore him/her to perfect health, both spiritual and physical; and let us say, Amen.
Job 19:23-27: Job said: Oh, would that my words were written down. Would that they were inscribed in a record; that with an iron chisel and with lead they were cut in the rock forever. But as for me, I know that my vindicator lives, and that he will at last stand forth upon the dust, which I myself shall see. My own eyes, not another’s shall behold Him. And from my flesh I shall see God. My inmost being is consumed with longing. This is the Word of the Lord.
Psalm 121: I lift up my eyes toward the mountains; whence shall help come to me? My help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. May He not suffer your foot to slip. May He slumber not who guards you. Indeed, He neither slumbers nor sleeps, the guardian of Israel. The Lord is your guardian. The Lord is your shade. He is beside you at your right hand. The Lord will guard you from all evil. He will guard your life. The Lord will guard your coming and your going, both now and forever.
ISLAMIC Call to Prayer: Allahu Akbar: God is the most great. (Repeated four times.)
All Islamic prayers begin with: Bismillah Al Rahman Al Raheem. (In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful.)
Prayer for the Sick: Allah, You are the curer who gives the cure, and no other can cure him/her, but Thou, Allah, the gracious, the merciful. To Thee alone do we implore for help to cure this sickness and bring (name) to a speedy recovery. Take all disease and affliction from his/her body. All praise belongs to Allah. We offer this prayer in the name of Allah. Let His will be done. Ameen.
Can be added to prayers: I offer this prayer in the name of Allah. Let His will be done. Ameen.
First Chapter of the Al-Qu’ran: In the name of Allah, the gracious, the merciful. All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds, the gracious and merciful. Thee alone do we worship and Thee alone do we implore for help. Guide us in the right path: The path of those in whom Thou hast bestowed Thou blessings, in the path of those who have not incurred Thy displeasure, and in the path of those who have not gone astray.
Recited at the Moment of Death: Everything belongs to Allah, to whom we shall all return…
Funeral Prayer: Allah, forgive all: those alive, those departed, those present, and those away; children, adults, male, and female. Give to them the highest rank in Your Paradise. Ameen.
10. GAYATRI MANTRA
OM Bhur Bhuvah Svah Om Tat Savitur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat
There have been many translations of the Gayatri mantra, but as you know, it is not the translation, but the mystical experience produced by the chanting of this mantra that is spiritually significant. One translation is:
‘Let us meditate on the glory of that effulgent Reality in whom the whole universe is projected. May it enlighten our minds.’
Another translation is:
'Let us meditate on the Lord’s glory who has projected the universe, Who is fit to be worshipped, Who is the embodiment of all Wisdom and Light, Who is the remover of all ignorance. May He enlighten our intellects!’
In this mantra four concepts are revealed. They are:
1. Meditation 2. Reality 3. A projected universe, and 4. Enlightenment
These are the concepts to be meditated upon and grasped through experience and intuition, not through analytics and analysis. In the ritualistic movement of Gayatri, there are four things you should ask:
1. What is meditation? 2. What is reality? 3. What is a projected universe? 4. What is enlightenment?
Some sages stipulate that the understanding of these four questions boils down to a realization that, ‘I am that Supreme Light of Lights which gives light to the intellect of consciousness.’ In the Gayatri mantra, there are five stops:
1. After the first Om 2. After Svah 3. After Varenyam 4. After Dhimahi 5. After Prachodayat
While chanting Gayatri, pause at each of these stops. Therefore you have:
Bhur Bhuvah Svah
Om Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi
Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat.
In the Gayatri mantra, there are nine names:
Om Bhur Bhuvah Svah Tat Savitur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya.
It is through these nine names that the Infinite Lord is worshipped and comprehended.
11. ASSISTING THE SICK
An important responsibility for each swami is to help heal the sick. This should be done by assisting, supporting and comforting them. When visiting the sick, extreme thoughtfulness and tact should be observed so that your visit becomes a real blessing. It should be remembered that the sick are often weak, and therefore you should not shake their hand vigorously, nor shake hands when your hands are cold. During inclement weather, remove any wet outer garments before entering the sick room. Seek to cooperate with the person in charge of the case as much as possible. It is unwise to attempt to take charge of the patient. Your position at this time is primarily as a spiritual advisor and consoler. Sickness is a karmic condition and once the karma activates, one must handle it as best that he or she can. Yogic techniques such as pranayama, meditation, asans and diet are best utilized to offset or soften sickness before it manifests, and to assist health once the imbalance has set in. When the body is sick, it has been brought out of balance, and often ways that are not the most natural are utilized to bring it back into balance. There will be times when the patient will ask for prayer and/or annointing. In this circumstance, use your intuition and understanding of the situation as your guide in establishing the external procedure. When utilizing prayer and annointing, it is essential that you have both spiritual preparation and that the inner procedure is set. The act of praying and/or annointing with oil is an extremely solemn function and should be done without rushing, with warmth, and with an air of spiritual dignity. Although all who are annointed are not subsequently healed, the key purpose of the act is to draw the patient closer to a state of peace and quietude so that healing energies can manifest, that insights and life direction may be seen more clearly. These awarenesses should be carried forth throughout this lifetime, and into the next lifetime. The question is often asked, ‘Shall I annoint that area of the body in which the infirmity exists?’ The answer is: It is better to annoint the Sun center which is the symbol of balance. A patient will occasionally ask that you annoint that area of the body in which the infirmity exists. If needed, a small quantity of oil can be placed on the area. The oil most commonly used is sandalwood. However, olive oil can also be used. Mixed with a little sandalwood oil, it will give a pleasant fragrance and can be very uplifting and effective. When one has had surgery or has open wounds, etc., the oil is not applied to the area directly, but to an area nearby. In this case, both the index and Saturn fingers are dipped into the oil and a circle is inscribed on the surrounding area. In a world of mixed religions, you may be asked to annoint or pray while people of other faiths are in the room. Although this should in no way lower your inward fervency, the choice of words is important. Do not hesitate to ask each person in the room to silently pray with you, in his/her own way, for the health, happiness, and healing of the patient. (In these circumstances, it is more appropriate to stand near the sick bed than to kneel where you would be out of sight. If comfortable for the patient, it is often meaningful to hold their hand during the prayers.) Alone with the patient or with other people, a period of silent prayer is first suggested. This is followed by your verbalization of a powerful invocation to draw the mind and consciousness of the soul closer to its healing powers. A short period of silent prayer or meditation follows. Then, saying, ‘I now annoint you,’ place a drop of oil upon the person’s Ajna chakra. Following the silent prayer, there should be silence in your soul, allowing time for the ennobling of the minds so that the power of the meditation and prayer will manifest. This should be followed with a brief prayer thanking the Divine for hearing the prayer, and for assisting the attunement of the mind to higher ideals. At the conclusion of the annointing, in your own words, tell the patient that you will continue to meditate and pray for their healing and increased insight. When a person is sick do not exhaust him with long periods of prayer. If the patient is not in critical condition, you might wish to read a meaningful passage from the Scriptures before the prayer period. You might also wish to discuss similar cases in which there have been healings and improvements, both because of science as well as because of spiritual healing. If the patient is critically ill, it may be advisable to shorten the prayer procedure to suit the circumstances, after which you should immediately leave the sick room, continuing your prayer and meditation for the patient in meditative silence. In some terminal cases, however, longer periods of silence or prayer in the presence of the patient are recommended. You must use your inner wisdom to determine what is appropriate for the circumstances. Where appropriate and feasible, you might fast for a day with silent prayer to accelerate the healing process. When this is not possible or feasible, the prayer should be turned over to a prayer group for their fasting, meditation, and prayer for the improvement of the mind and soul of the patient. Om tat sat Om.
The Temple’s work is to be safeguarded by responsible souls at every stage of its service to all sentient life-forms. The Temple, in its collective capacity, has the power to confer upon certain men or women the authority to represent and to speak for the Temple. This authority is represented by the granting of credentials, which are written commissions properly dated and signed by the directors of the Temple. The authority thus conveyed is neither personal nor inherent in the individual holding the credentials, but is inherent in the body granting those credentials and may be recalled at any time if sufficient reasons exist. Credentials granted are never to be regarded as the personal property of the individual, but as belonging to The Temple of Kriya. The individual is honor bound to return them upon the request of the organization. A list of the credentials authorized by The Temple of Kriya with a brief explanation follows: Ministerial credentials issued to ordained swamis. Crusader credentials issued to individuals who are carrying major responsibilities but who are not ordained. Instructor credentials issued to experienced individuals utilized in teaching, lecturing, etc. A ministerial license issued to those who are engaged in ministerial work and who are expected to be ordained in due time. A missionary license issued to those individuals regularly employed in the educational and medical fields. A lay priest certificate issued to self-supporting laymen who work under the counsel and direction of an ordained swami of this Temple. Neither this certificate nor the ministerial license, however, authorizes the holder to perform marriage ceremonies. Employment cards may be issued to individuals working for the Temple if deemed necessary or proper. Although the Temple may request the return of the ministerial credentials, it does not contain within itself the power to remove one from the priesthood. Priesthood is ordained of the Divine and of the Divine alone. Thus, no organization, no man, no woman, individually or collectively, has the power to remove from an ordained swami, the powers inherent in that office. This Temple has the right to issue honorary credentials to whoever it feels is entitled thereto. In any instance where the standing of any individual is brought into question, it is the duty of the Temple to as rapidly as possible clear away any uncertainties. In the case of the ‘fall’ of a swami, it is the sacred duty of the Temple to ascertain the true facts and, if in the eyes of the Temple, the individual has shown himself unworthy, there will be a request that his credentials be returned. It should be pointed out, however, that the returning of the credentials does not indicate the removal of swamihood for that person (as that soul forever remains a swami). If in the eyes of the Temple such actions do not call for the return of the credentials, disciplinary action may be taken that is mutually agreeable between the Temple and the individual. If no mutual agreement can be reached, further steps shall be taken. It is to be noted that although one may be requested to return his credentials, it in no way is a stigmata between his soul and God’s justice. It is clear that for the sake of the Temple, the individual should plan to devote his life to some other calling. When a swami has been defrocked or defellowshipped from the Temple because of an aberration of the responsibilities of swamihood, but who gives evidence of atonement, it is possible for him to be re-baptized and to have his credentials reissued. It is my hope as well as my deep prayer that those who might consider disfellowship, sincerely weigh other solutions to the problem. In the case of apostasy, on the part of any priest, whereby he or she falls away to the world, or identifies himself or herself with, or gives continuing support to, any activity subversive of this organization, it is to be recognized that he or she has by such disloyalty proved himself or herself unworthy of a part in the ministry of this Temple. It is suggested that ordained priests, lay priests, etc., should look to the spiritual preceptor for added training and guidance, especially before proceeding with major matters in their own ministry. This in no way should be taken as a command, but as a suggestion. OM TAT SAT OM
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