The Temple of Divine Energy -- St. Petersburg, Russia
Existence is a composite of unlimited forces, powers, and entities. We see spirit everywhere manifesting in all forms and beings. All is spirit, even those things we designate as not spirit, or 'matter.' Spirit is the essence, the life and being of all that exists. All spirit is related, for it is of the same primal essence. All things float within the fundamental power of the love of the supreme. All energetic acts performed by any being anywhere has an affect on all, for energetically there is only one of us. Although one, we are individuated (or differentiated) according to the unique manifestation of our desires in the choices we make.
It is possible to conceptually discuss god by giving the supreme the male gender and separating or distinguishing [him] from all others as the greatest, most powerful, omniscient, omnipotent, and so on. It is also possible to see the supreme as the sum total of all that is, without differentiation from anything else or any other being. One could also see all beings as part of the supreme and integrated within the energy of the supreme totality of all existence. However, this sum total of all does not exist on its own as an independent entity as it is not a being or an independently existing unit in any useable sense of the term. We may visualize it as a concept to help us understand infinite energy, but it is more advantageous to describe the supreme in terms of the complete whole as all beings and all things fit comfortably within this description.
That essence which links all things is spirit for everything is spirit in essence. Spirit is everywhere manifesting throughout all space and multi-dimensional existence. The complete whole includes the devas, or beings that live in those dimensions not usually perceivable by us. They are instrumental in adapting existence to the multifarious requirements of we who are manifesting organic life forms in this physical realm. The complete whole is supported by and energized by the supreme divinity that all are related to. All are within that supreme divine personality, yet no part of this complete whole exists independently of any other part, and no part is all that is needed. All are related within that complete whole where everything is connected and interdependent. There is indeed only one of us.
We can know this to be true, but our experience of this truth is far more important to us who are conscious spirit. When we feel ourselves alone, separated from other spiritual beings or disconnected from the supreme divinity or the supreme divinity's expansions and manifestations within space and time, we do not feel whole. To feel whole we require to feel the consciousness of all within that whole. Starting from our present state of our expanded self-awareness, we can reach out to and connect to those in our everyday world, and then continue to connect to more highly evolved energetic beings in our own perceivable dimensional space, and then further to those outside this dimension, the devas, who have powers of incalculable capacity and the cosmic responsibility to make things work properly in the universe.
These devas are always ready to support, assist and co-operate with us, and they respond well to our invitation for them to do so when to tune to their energy, respect them as individuals, and appreciate them for what they are and what they can offer. As the devas are expansions of the supreme divinity, connecting with them naturally includes the potential to connect to those most powerful beings to whom the devas are connected. By creating connection to these universally significant energetic beings who embody the overarching quality of celestial love and selfless service, we may rapidly experience our completeness within the complete whole by tuning our energetic frequency to the energy of the source of these devas, the supreme divinity.
When we are in a higher, more aware state of consciousness, we can directly experience the inter-connectivity between all of us by seeing the inescapable connection between the energy we emit and the energy we absorb. The negative energy we send out becomes the negativity we receive, while the positive and loving energy we send out returns as a nourishing loving energy that helps us flourish. Learning to appropriately reciprocate love with divine beings opens the doorway to exquisite inter-dimensional relationships. By feeling the relations between ourselves, all beings and all things around us, we realize that we are all connected. This insight is the essence of spiritual evolution, and to facilitate our coming to this momentous realization, the supreme divinity and the devas manifest their spiritual essence in form. These forms, called deities, are energetically one with these divine personalities, for they have chosen to fill their deity forms with their spiritual energy to make it easy for us to connect to them, energetically perceive them, accept them as they are, and reciprocate with them with our love. Therefore these manifested forms become the vehicles by which their energy can interface with our existing senses and thus be perceivable by us. After all, if perception of these divine beings was exclusively limited to those who could directly see, feel, and relate to them, few, if any, would contact them.
The complete whole wishes to always feel itself whole, for that is the natural and true situation of existence. Whenever this natural state of balance is lost due to the neglect of the individuals within the complete whole, this perturbed condition inspires the whole to find its complete balance again. Regaining the natural state of balance begins with each spiritual entity's conscious awareness of all other parts of the whole, and continues with each entity's experience of the energetic balance provided by the supreme divinity. It is the responsibility of each unit of existence to remain awake to the spiritual oneness that we share and that we are.
Considering this, divine beings wish to be of service to us by imbuing the deity form with their energy to provide a place for their refined spiritual frequencies and our presently disharmonious energy to easily meet. They allow us to tune to their highly refined spiritual energetic vibrations that generate the impetus for us to expand our consciousness through spiritual awakening and provide the strength and capacity for us to do so. The divine beings welcome this awakening as it contributes to the natural state of balance within the complete whole.
The deities residing within the St. Petersburg Temple of Divine Energy give us the opportunity to utilize their energy for our benefit. When we are in their temple, we may directly harmonize ourselves to their divine energy through spiritual tuning. They are eager and willing to arrange spiritually enlivening connections to those who come before them, to open themselves to them, and to accept them as they are without creating speculated impositions that cloud their being. Those who are aware of the divine energy available in the temple clearly see that the deity form is not an icon or a statue, for they feel the spiritually transmitted energy that flows from the deity. Since these deities are filled with the powerful flowing energy of the divine personalities whose energy they manifest, these visible and physically manifested forms are themselves one with the divine. They are divine.
In our Temple of Divine Energy, we have invited forms of the supreme divinity and their devas to share their lives with us. These deities offer us their love and reciprocate with us in ways we can accept. To help those unfamiliar with these forms in the particular Eastern tradition they manifest, we shall explain them more according to the way in which they share with us their energy than the specific culture within which these forms have manifested in previous eras. All cultures of the world have some form of spiritual awareness and according to their unique circumstances have developed a way of presenting their deities that relates well with their people. As divine beings want people to awaken their connection to them, making it culturally easy to do so is naturally sensible. Our temple has deities from the traditions of the East, yet we who have created the center are not from the East neither are we of the Eastern culture. Due to our taste and training, we accept the deity forms in this Eastern oriented manner but without prejudice to the ways of the modern world. Out of our desire to not mix together cultures or traditions in the same temple, we maintain a cohesive cultural presentation. There are other forms suitable for those who are of other traditions in other parts of our center.
All persons are welcome to comfortably connect to these deities without any pressure to believe in a particular tradition and without a need to dress or act according to any particular culture. Everyone is invited to take advantage of this facility as they wish with their own words or manners befitting their own unique spiritual energy and emotional patterns. Our desire is for you to experience the divine spiritual energy.
The Deities on the Front Altar
The tallest deities on the altar, Caitanya (to the right) and Nityananda (to the left), are the main deities. They are love personified and they offer their love to us without condition. By always extending a warm invitation to us, they make it easy for us to connect to them. Their energy and evolutionary message are extremely relevant. They are perfectly suited to the needs of our times and they always know the best way to inspire and nurture our energetic transformation into harmonically whole spiritual beings. They are the catalyst for our evolution and are intimately involved in the affairs of the temple. They allow us to take whatever time or experience we require to gradually integrate our physical, emotional, intellectual and energetic capacities into a complete spiritual being, balanced and awake to the reality of who we are and our environment. They do not encourage us to dream of the promise of future entrance into other forms of reality, neither do they challenge us to accept any other culture or time-bound thought process. They encourage us to be what we are, as we are, in the present moment, for it is in this moment that we shall connect to them. We can experience a mystical relationship with Gaura and Nitai when we accept them, give our love to them, and create an us-ness where our love meets theirs. When we experience such divine love, it becomes obvious that our previous actions throughout our many lives have simply been ineffective endeavors to experience this taste.
Lord Caitanya is unique within the variegated forms of the supreme divinity for he has all the benefic aspects of existence perfectly melded within one magnificent being of love. He is not a "he" in the traditional sense, for he is the combination of Radha and Krishna, the supreme Female and Male -- the primordial supreme divinity -- in one unique personality. When you connect to him with a harmonic awareness of the energy he offers you, it becomes easier to balance your personal male and female energies and thus come closer to spiritual wholeness.
In the last few millenniums, people have unfortunately defined god in terms of the male gender and gradually god has turned into the archetypical male with qualities that suggested within the worshiper dominance, intolerance, opulence, and righteousness. By neglecting the nurturing feminine aspect of the supreme, spirituality has become less nourishing and more of a chore. Therefore, re-establishing the balanced vision of the supreme as the perfect union of the male and female energies is a major step towards transforming the anger, frustration, and violence of the world today. Seen in this way, Lord Caitanya (called Gaura due to his golden color created by the combination of the darker color of Krishna with the whitish color of Radha) becomes a perfect harmonizing and integrating deity for man. Nitai acts as his relation, his expansion, his support, and offers to us direct connection to his love. Nitai allows us to contact all that is good and powerful within ourselves and strengthens that goodness by giving us confidence, stability, and courage. Together they are a wonderful team and connecting to their combined love is a powerful experience.
Radha and Krishna are not yet installed in their own forms on the altar in the temple but there are plans to do so; therefore we shall discuss them here. Although they are present in Lord Caitanya, seeing them in their individual glory is spiritually inspiring for they embody all that we value and thirst for in loving relationships. In this world, the relations between the male and female energies supports and resolves all actions. This fundamental principle permeates all existence in its sensual and progressive push of all development, and it is powered by the life force of these divine personalities. There is difficulty in discussing a division of these sources of energy from the complete whole, for by separating ourselves from them or them from us in any way is to tear at the very spiritual energetic fabric that is existence. Thus discussions of them as source and we as emanation, whether philosophically correct or not, somewhat cloud the reality of our oneness and our capacity to experience the inherent and unbreakable spiritual connection we have with the supreme divine beings, Radha and Krishna. We can easily create a strong and deeply moving connection with them if we tune to them by standing before their beautiful forms with our hands outstretched to catch their vibrant and encouraging love. Since their forms resemble their natural personalities, they make such connections easy by suggesting a harmonization of our natural sensuality with the spiritual loving relationship they have. Their integrated love is all encompassing and forges a unification of the two who are one in their love and who are characterized by their non-differentiated interests as lover and beloved.
It would be disharmonious to tune to them as the mother and father (or even master) of all existence for they do not exemplify the responsibility of parenting all creation. They are as teen-agers exploring and rejoicing in their youthful sensuality that flows like a volcanic powerhouse of passionate relationship. They attract all beings and forces within existence to remain compact within them, for they are the pivotal encapsulating supreme cohesion of wholeness that we feel and within which we blissfully remain. They are the ideal, the goal, the path and the refuge, and yet they infuse all situations with a laughter born of the joy of life. They share their every moment as the energy that supports all things, as they are the complete all-encompassing existence. We inspire and increase their love when we connect with them in a harmonious integration of our loving energy. Our integration with their loving frequency strengthens the continuously expanding patterns of loving interactions that incessantly work to restore loving balance within the complete whole.
Lord Nrsinghadeva usually remains on the altar in picture form. His form as half-man, half-lion is derived from his desire to protect his devotee from destruction. To us, he is the support of all activities and the constant reminder that we shall not fear. His love of us sends fear far away, for his presence is enough to give us strength and confidence in our being. Thus free from fear, we can love as we are.
Radha and Krishna are enjoying their youthful exuberance in their loving relations in their own dimensional space that is quite distinct from the physical world within which we act. Since they reside far from us, we are "locally: influenced by them through their expansions, Siva and Parvati, the Father and Mother of all entities who have chosen to accept this universal energy as their place of growth. Mother Parvati gives birth to our physical forms through her energy as Mother Nature while nurturing all by expanding her characteristic femininity to all mothers everywhere. Since Siva and Parvati are the embodiment of the potency of Radha and Krishna in this universe, they have a unique role in our development. Siva acts as the support and seed-giving father. He is both the supreme detached yogi and the energy behind all evolution by destroying the status quo and rearranging our universal field of activities to accommodate growth.
Siva and Parvati manifest on our altar as the Siva Lingam, which is the representation of their genitals in their function as the universal parents. Their own personal family is the archetypical example of all families by its love and compassionate understanding of all members of the family by a non-judgmental accommodation of the wide variety of personality, function, and desires that typically manifests in such a free environment. They have extraordinary children whose energies support the individuals and families of this universe in very specific ways.
These children stand together with their father and mother on the altar and a brief description of them follows:
Ganesha removes the obstacles that hinder us from advancement. He opens the door to our entering into other dimensions and directs our spiritual evolution according to our needs. He is the keeper of knowledge and it is through his inspiration that knowledge is disseminated. He records knowledge relevant to us and is expert at sharing it with us in a manner and at the time most optimal for our evolution.
Kartikeya is the God of War and stabilizer of the peace. He maintains order with his power and even minded capacity to create a balance of justice and righteousness within the universe.
The Deities who face the main altar or who will face the main altar:
Garuda stands at the back of the temple room, ready to carry the predominating deities to any destination they desire. It is on his wings they travel, not because they need them, but because of his desire to be of service to them in this manner. He is strong, powerful, undefeatable, and always ready to protect his lords. He is ready to assist those who desire to perform service to his deity.
Goddess Durga is an expansion of Mother Parvati who cares about the lives of those who live on Earth. If requested, she can bless all endeavors and fulfill all desires. She can heal, grant benedictions, and create wonderful situations for one she favors, but will destroy those who are wicked and cruel. She is incredibly powerful, yet can be the kindest and most loving mother to those who are sensitive to her energy.
Ganesha has already been explained above. Although he stands together with his family on the altar, his larger form has a special place facing the main altar in honor of his special capacity to bless our endeavors and facilitate our evolution.
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