April 28, 2015 - Lesson 16

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Sloka 16 from Dancing with Siva

What Is the Nature of Our God Siva?

God Siva is all and in all, one without a second, the Supreme Being and only Absolute Reality. He is Pati, our Lord, immanent and transcendent. To create, preserve, destroy, conceal and reveal are His five powers. Aum.

Bhashya

God Siva is a one being, yet we understand Him in three perfections: Absolute Reality, Pure Consciousness and Primal Soul. As Absolute Reality, Siva is unmanifest, unchanging and transcendent, the Self God, timeless, formless and spaceless. As Pure Consciousness, Siva is the manifest primal substance, pure love and light flowing through all form, existing everywhere in time and space as infinite intelligence and power. As Primal Soul, Siva is the five-fold manifestation: Brahma, the creator; Vishnu, the preserver; Rudra, the destroyer; Maheshvara, the veiling Lord, and Sadasiva, the revealer. He is our personal Lord, source of all three worlds. Our divine father-mother protects, nurtures and guides us, veiling Truth as we evolve, revealing it when we are mature enough to receive God's bountiful grace. God Siva is all and in all, great beyond our conception, a sacred mystery that can be known in direct communion. Yea, when Siva is known, all is known. The Vedas state: "That part of Him which is characterized by tamas is called Rudra. That part of Him which belongs to rajas is Brahma. That part of Him which belongs to sattva is Vishnu." Aum Namah Sivaya.


Lesson 16 from Living with Siva

Debt, Gambling And Grief


I was asked, "Is borrowing money to finance one's business in accord with the yama of nonstealing? When can you use other peoples' money and when should you not?" When the creditors start calling you for their money back, sending demand notices indicating that they only extended you thirty days', sixty days' or ninety days' credit, then if you fail to pay, or pay only a quarter or half of it just to keep them at arm's length because you still need their money to keep doing what you are doing, this is a violation of this yama.

There are several kinds of debt that are disallowed by this yama. One is spending beyond your means and accumulating bills you can't pay. We are reminded of Tirukural verse 478 which says that the way to avoid poverty is to spend within your means: "A small income is no cause for failure, provided expenditures do not exceed it." We can see that false wealth, or the mere appearance of wealth, is using other peoples' money, either against their will or by paying a premium price for it. Many people today are addicted to abusing credit. It's like being addicted to the drug opium. People addicted to O.P.M.--other people's money--compulsively spend beyond their means. They don't even think twice about handing over their last credit card to pay for that $500 sari after all the other credit cards have been "maxed out." When the bill arrives, it gets added to the stack of other bills that can't possibly be paid.

Another kind of debt is contracting resources beyond your ability to pay back the loan. This is depending on a frail, uncertain future. Opportunities may occur to pay the debt, but then again they may not. The desire was so great for the commodity which caused the debt that a chance was taken. Essentially, this is gambling with someone else's money; and it is no way to run one's life.

Gambling and speculation are also forms of entering into debt. Speculation could be a proper form of acquiring wealth if one has the wealth to maintain the same standard of living he is accustomed to even if the speculation failed. Much of business is speculation; and high-risk speculations do come along occasionally; but one should never risk more than one can afford to lose.

Gambling is different, because the games are fun, a means of entertainment and releasing stress; though even in the casinos one should not gamble more than he could afford to lose. However, unlike speculation, when one is in the excitement of gambling and begins to lose, the greed and desire to win it all back arises, and the flustered gambler may risk his and his family's wealth and well-being. Stress builds. The disastrous consequences of gambling were admonished in the oldest scripture, the Rig Veda, in the famous fourteen-verse "Gambler's Lament" (10.34. ve, p. 501). Verse ten summarizes: "Abandoned, the wife of the gambler grieves. Grieved, too, is his mother, as he wanders vaguely. Afraid and in debt, ever greedy for money, he steals in the night to the home of another." This is not fun; nor is it entertainment.

These are the grave concerns behind our sutra that prohibits gambling for my shishyas: "Siva's devotees are forbidden to indulge in gambling or games of chance with payment or risk, even through others or for employment. Gambling erodes society, assuring the loss of many for the gain of a few" (sutra 76). Everyone really knows that the secret to winning at gambling is to own a casino.

Compulsive gambling and reckless, unfounded speculation are like stealing from your own family, risking the family wealth. More than that, it is stealing from yourself, because the remorse felt when an inevitable loss comes could cause a loss of faith in your abilities and your judgment. And if the loss affects the other members of the family, their estimation and respect and confidence in your good judgment goes way down.

Many people justify stealing by saying that life is unfair and therefore it's OK to take from the rich. They feel it's OK to steal from a rich corporation, for example: "They will never miss it, and we need it more." Financial speculation can easily slide into unfair maneuvering, where a person is actually stealing from a small or large company, thereby making it fail. The credibility of the person will go down, and businesses will beware of this speculative investor who would bring a company to ruin to fatten his own pockets. Entering into debt is a modern convenience and a modern temptation. But this convenience must be honored within the time allotted. If you are paying a higher interest rate because of late or partial payments, you have abused your credit and your creditors.

At the Global Forum for Human Survival in 1990 in Moscow, the participants began worrying about the kids, the next generation. "What are they going to think of us?" they asked. Is it fair to fulfill a need now, spoil the environment and hand the bill over to the next generation? No, it is not. This is another form of stealing. We can't say, "We have to have chlorofluorocarbons now, and the next generation has to face the consequences." The yamas and niyamas are thus not just a personal matter but also a national, communal and global matter. Yes, this takes asteya and all the restraints and observances to another dimension.


Sutra 16 of the Nandinatha Sutras

Giving And Gratitude

Those who live with Siva render to those in need help that is loving, selfless and free from all expectation of repayment. They are constantly grateful for all they have, never complaining about what they don't possess. Aum.


Lesson 16 from Merging with Siva

Awareness as A Lotus Flower


Be That which never changes. Then what happens? When we become this spiritual body and grasp that infinite intelligence of it, we're just in a state of pure consciousness and we come into the clear white light. We have a wonderful foundation, the only foundation necessary for Self Realization--at that point piercing the last veils of the mind, for even light is mind, and consciousness is, of course, the mind itself. And then we merge with the Self itself.

So, that is the path: experience, harnessing the reactions to experience, becoming the body of the soul, merging that body with the physical body after the instinctive and intellectual elements have been harmonized, coming into the clear white light, and then the realization of the Self. It's a beautiful path. It's a challenging path, and it's the path that you're on; otherwise you wouldn't be here listening to the story about the path.

See awareness as a lotus flower. The lotus flower goes through many, many experiences. A few weeks ago in Bangkok, on Innersearch, we drove out into the Thai countryside and we saw many, many lotus flowers growing wild. They're just beautiful. See awareness as a lotus flower. First awareness is a seed, and it's breaking out of the instinctive elements, the hard shell of the seed. But it's living right within the seed. It is dynamic life, at that very time, tuned in with the central source of energy. Then it breaks out and it becomes roots, and then awareness becomes a stem, becomes conscious of water all around it. Finally, the stem emerges above the water and awareness has leaves and a bud. It's still limited awareness, because it's not in its fullness. But as that awareness expands, it opens up into a beautiful lotus flower, then creates more seeds for more flowers. This is the path of awareness. Become acquainted with the awareness, that one beautiful, pure element of the soul, your superconscious body, which is easily found and easily discovered by simply closing your eyes and opening them and saying "I'm aware," not necessarily of what you are aware of. Close your eyes. Say, "I am aware." Awareness is closely identified to the realms of sight--hearing, of course, too, but more predominantly sight. As awareness expands and as awareness contracts, we find that we have power over awareness. It merely becomes a tool. The underlying power of awareness is the blissful state of the spiritual body of man, pure consciousness, the central source of all energies in its blissful, calm state. Meditate on awareness being like a lotus flower.