July 25, 2016 - Lesson 104
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Sloka 104 from Dancing with Siva
How Does One Attend a Siva Temple?
Approaching with deep reverence, we begin our worship with Ganesha, circumambulate the temple and proceed to the main sanctum for puja. After receiving the sacraments, we sit quietly before taking our leave. Aum.
With offerings in hand, leaving our shoes outside, we enter through the gopura, or temple tower, wash hands, feet and mouth, and seek blessings at Lord Ganesha's shrine. Next we follow the outer prakara, or hallway, clockwise around the mahamandapa, central chambers. Inside we leave our worldly thoughts at the balipitha, or offering place, then prostrate before the dhvajastambha, temple flagpole, and worship Nandi, the sacred bull. Next we circumambulate the central sanctum, garbhagriha, usually three times, returning to its entrance for worship. During puja, we stand with hands folded or in anjali mudra, though according to temple custom, it may be proper to sit quietly or sing devotional hymns. After the arati, or waving of the camphor light before the Deity, we prostrate (ashtanga pranama for men, and panchanga pranama for women) and rise to receive the prasada, accepting them in the right hand. We walk around the garbhagriha one final time before taking our leave. The Vedas affirm, "If a man first takes firm hold on faith and then offers his sacrifice, then in that man's sacrifice both Gods and men place confidence." Aum Namah Sivaya.
Lesson 104 from Living with Siva
I would like to tell you about one of my students and his experience with the discovery of the superconscious state of the mind. When I first met him, this young man told me that he wanted to be a composer, to write music. He wanted to compose more than anything else in the world. He had just graduated from a university with a degree in music, and he had learned all the accepted, intellectual rules for the composition of music. But he wasn't entirely satisfied with being told how to compose according to certain mechanical laws. He wanted his music to flow through him without a thought. One day I said to him, "Sit over here at the piano and get in touch with your superconscious through diaphragmatic breathing. Now, find a chord with your right hand. Write it down. You are a composer aren't you? You are a composer now, not fifty years from now. The superconscious mind that you are contacting works in the eternity of the moment, not tomorrow. Subconscious is yesterday, superconscious is immediate, now." So he wrote down the chord that his fingers found. "Now write another chord," I said, "and then another and then another."
We finished a page of music with the right- hand staff, and I asked him, "What about the left hand? You don't have a complete piece of music with only the top bars filled in. "Well," he said, "I would have to work out the left hand according to what I have already written with the right hand." "No you don't," I replied, "Let the superconscious work it out for you. Make your first chord with your left hand now, without referring to what your right hand has done." He exclaimed that the sound of the two hands together might be terrible, but I insisted that he continue writing the chords with the left hand until the entire page was finished for both hands. When I asked him to play what he had written, he laughed and put his hands over his ears but obliged, "All right, if you insist...." "I do," I said. He played what he had written. It was a difficult piece of music, but there was no discord whatsoever. I congratulated him, "Now you are a composer. You created that piece superconsciously, without consciously knowing how you put the tones together. But you had sufficient faith in yourself to do it. In the same way, you must always depend upon yourself in the eternity of the moment to be able to accomplish whatever you set out to do."
The next day, he was right on time for his appointment, and he wanted me to help him compose from his superconscious again. "No," I said, "I am not going to be a composing machine for you; you will have to find your inspiration from within. It is time you put your yoga laws into practice now and attain concentration and meditation." He tried and he tried, but somehow his subconscious kept getting in the way. It told him he wasn't a composer anymore. Then I realized that his present conditions were a little too easy, and he was finding too much security in the conscious mind. Since his next step was to stabilize himself as a composer and find the ability at will to create inspirationally, I sent him on a very difficult mission: to resolve the negative karmas in his subconscious that were blocking his superconsciousness. As his major tool, I gave him the maha vasana daha tantra. I told him that he could not come back until he fulfilled all the conditions of the mission and began to compose again as he wished. He was reluctant, because he would have to leave all of his current friends for a time. But being a sincere and determined student, he went out and successfully fulfilled his mission. In the process, he had to suffer through all of the things in his subconscious mind that had been bothering him since he was a small boy. In doing so, he lifted many of the blocks that had been a part of his subconscious for years, until one day his higher faculties completely opened to him, and music poured through him almost as fast as he could write it down.
Sutra 104 of the Nandinatha Sutras
Widowhood's Inner Opportunity
Siva's devotees who are widows or widowers happily throw themselves into yoga practices. Though their loss is great, so too is their opportunity for religious service and the attainment of the highest spiritual goals. Aum.
Lesson 104 from Merging with Siva
Changing Your Circumstances
You change your own circumstances all the time, whether you know it or not. Even your mind is different today than it was a week ago. The various experiences you have brought to yourself have made it that way. The point to realize is that you can gain an intricate control of the various things that change in and about you. Lean the thoughts and feelings of your creation in the right direction, and discover how quickly your circumstances will change their direction. This is the secret of self-control. This is the practice of yoga. Try it, and lose the habit of concern, for concern is only a by-product of a part of the mind being out of control.
What does the world offer us but an opportunity for action? It is the reaction that we sometimes get surprised by. The circumstances of your life are either pushing you toward greater understanding, if you are aspiring to realize the real Self, or they are pushing you toward confusion, if you have a tendency to react animalistically, making the personal self predominant. When personal concerns become the most important things in life, you are bound to suffer under the emotion of resentment, and resentment is just a confused state of mind.
The unfortunate thing is, resentment tends to attract even more circumstances worthy of even more resentment. So don't bother to resent, because you are only making yourself inferior to the person or the circumstance that you hold resentment for. That is right. Resentment, in all its heaviness, places your consciousness beneath that of the person you feel is imposing on you.
Be equal to whatever you meet! That is a better way to react to life. It is accomplished simply by meeting everything in understanding, by demanding understanding from within yourself. And if you feel that everything happening to you is a play of universal love and you are able to maintain that consciousness of universal love in yourself, then you are beyond the happenings of the world. Lifted in consciousness, you can see through and enjoy all the states of consciousness. The circumstances of your life will reflect this change.
Watch for those small incidents that imperceptively get under your skin and create an eruption a few days later. Little things that do not contribute creatively to your life are an indication that there is some kind of subconscious disturbance that you have not resolved. Look your nature right in the face in meditation, without squirming, and you will discover what the little disturbances are, some issue over which you are rationalizing, a small resentment or worry that is keeping a part of your mind confused, and thus necessarily, most of your circumstances confused.