February 19, 2018 - Lesson 313

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Sloka 3 from Dancing with Siva

What Is Meant by "Dancing with Siva"?

All motion begins in God and ends in God. The whole universe is engaged in a whirling flow of change and activity. This is Siva's dance. We are all dancing with Siva, and He with us. Ultimately, we are Siva dancing. Aum.


The world is seen as it truly is--sacred--when we behold Siva's cosmic dance. Everything in the universe, all that we see, hear and imagine, is movement. Galaxies soar in movement; atoms swirl in movement. All movement is Siva's dance. When we fight this movement and think it should be other than it is, we are reluctantly dancing with Siva. We are stubbornly resisting, holding ourselves apart, criticizing the natural processes and movements around us. It is by understanding the eternal truths that we bring all areas of our mind into the knowledge of how to accept what is and not wish it to be otherwise. Once this happens, we begin to consciously dance with Siva, to move with the sacred flow that surrounds us, to accept praise and blame, joy and sorrow, prosperity and adversity in equanimity, the fruit of understanding. We are then gracefully, in unrestrained surrender, dancing with Siva. The Vedas state, "The cosmic soul is truly the whole universe, the immortal source of all creation, all action, all meditation. Whoever discovers Him, hidden deep within, cuts through the bonds of ignorance even during his life on earth." Aum Namah Sivaya.

Lesson 313 from Living with Siva

Talking to God During Puja

Many have wondered what the priest is saying when he is chanting in the Sanskrit language, which is the language of the devas, the celestial beings. When he is in the shrine chanting and performing puja with water, flowers and other offerings, you may wonder about the meaning of those very complex rituals. The priest's craft is very important to the proper working of the temple in our lives. He must be pure and follow strict disciplines so that the Gods will be drawn to the sanctum. Through his chanting, he is speaking to God and the Gods, saying, "O God, I am going to perform this puja at such-and-such a temple located in such-and-such a place in your universe of forms, and this puja will be for the purpose of such-and-such. I hope that you will consider this worship auspicious and grace it, and that you will grant our needs and our wishes and bring good things into the lives of everyone in this community. I pray that we will please you with our worship, making no errors and forgetting nothing that should be done. But if we do, Lord, please forgive us and make the blessings of this puja just as powerful as if we had done it perfectly, without error. We beseech you to come to this temple and hover over the stone image with your body of light and bless the people. Thus, I am offering you rice. I am offering you fruits and flowers. I am offering you all the fine things that we have, so that you will come and stay for awhile."

The priest's initial chants are basically letting God know the place and purpose of this day's worship. He intones, "We hope we are pure enough in our performance of the puja that we sanctify the atmosphere here, so that you will come and be our honored guest in this temple." Then he bathes the Deity image, dresses the Deity in fine clothes, and worships the Deity so that the God from the Third World will come into this finite body in the First World, this body made of stone. Our bodies are made with bones, but we are not our bones. The God's body in the temple is made of stone, but He is not that stone body. His Third-World form is a body of light. He is a great soul, just as we are also souls.

During the height of puja, the God comes with all of His devas, His celestial helpers. They take the problems or concerns out of your mind, harmonize the currents of your body and dissolve all the problems for you. When that happens, you walk out of the temple feeling you have been blessed, having forgotten the concerns that you went in with.

If you arrange for an archana--an optional personal puja generally held in-between the main pujas of the day--the priest pronounces your name. He intones the name of your birth star, or nakshatra, and presents you to the God in a proper way. He says, "O Lord, this devotee humbly requests blessings for a particular problem or a special event. Please hear his prayers as he places them at your holy feet in the knowing that you will assist with the best possible outcome." "Would this work just as well if the priest chanted in English?" you might wonder. Yes, it would! In your mind you can talk to the God in English or in any other language, and He will understand. But the Sanskrit language has its own power, a spiritual vibration. It is a most ancient language, and far more subtle in its ability to communicate spiritual ideas and meanings. That is why it gives a good feeling to hear the ancient mantras, even if we don't understand them.

Sutra 313 of the Nandinatha Sutras

Shielding From Astral Forces

My devotees are under the satguru's psychic protection and remain untouched by negative occult forces. Those who are as yet susceptible to such afflictions should seek relief through puja, prayer and penance. Aum.

Lesson 313 from Merging with Siva

"Catching" The Darshan

The advanced yoga adept can go inside himself through the practice of mahayoga and awaken the flame at the top of his head and experience the five vibrations inside himself, deep within the psychic centers of the head, which is the inner temple. For the beginning meditator who has not done sadhana, this is difficult, and the outer temple and its darshan is a great aid. There are many catalysts on the path that aid in making you strong, so that you can lean on your own spine and bring through your own bliss. We must remember that the satguru is a helper on the path. His renunciate sannyasins are also sometimes helpers, too. The meditator should not lean on his guru or the other disciples, who may be stronger and more advanced in their sadhana. He must rely only on himself, lean on his own spine and unfold spiritually.

In the akasha, all form exists in all phases of its manifestation. A mystic sculptor can take clay or stone and bring forth an image of the satguru. As soon as he feels the darshan coming through the form, he knows he is nearly finished. Everything is in one place. It's only the physical two eyes doing such wonderful things as to make us think things are in different places in the conscious mind of time and distance. But everything in the akashic plane of consciousness is in one place. So, all the mystic sculptor has to do to get the satguru darshan is to make the form of the guru in the exact same way it already exists in the akasha when the darshan was the strongest at the highest point in his life on Earth.

In a similar way, one can receive darshan through a picture of the satguru. The darshan does not really come from the picture, but from the akasha where the inner guru exists. The picture only acts as a point of concentration, but enough of a focal point to tune the devotee into the akasha at the exact moment, which is "now," when that picture was taken or painted and the exact feeling of the darshan at that particular time and its accumulated effect up to the present moment. Then the totality of the satguru's darshan is felt.

In intellectually knowing how the system of darshan works in many of its various phases, it is easy then to participate in it, and by meditating on some of these principles that I have outlined, you can catch the knack of it.