February 20, 2017 - Lesson 314
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Sloka 4 from Dancing with Siva
How Can We Learn to Dance with Siva?
Dance is movement, and the most exquisite dance is the most disciplined dance. Hindu spiritual disciplines lead to oneness with God through self-reflection, surrender, personal transformation and the many yogas. Aum.
To progress on the path, we study the Vedas, other scriptures and our guru's teachings and make every effort to apply these philosophical truths to daily experience. We strive to understand the mind in its fourfold nature: chitta, consciousness; manas, instinctive mind; buddhi, intellectual mind; and ahamkara, ego or I-maker. We perform japa, meditation and yoga each day. Such spiritual discipline is known as sadhana. It is the mystical, mental, physical and devotional exercise that enables us to dance with Siva by bringing inner advancement, changes in perception and improvements in character. Sadhana allows us to live in the refined and cultured soul nature, rather than in the outer, instinctive or intellectual spheres. For consistent progress, sadhana should be performed regularly, without fail, at the same time each day, preferably in the early hours before dawn. The most important sadhanas are the challenges and practices given by one's guru. The Vedas caution, "The Self cannot be attained by the weak, nor by the careless, nor through aimless disciplines. But if one who knows strives by right means, his soul enters the abode of God." Aum Namah Sivaya.
Lesson 314 from Living with Siva
Approaching The Temple
Devotees ask, "Why do we circumambulate the temple?" When we come to the temple out of the world, off the street, we are often shrouded by negative vibrations, which can actually be seen in our aura. Our nerve system may be upset, especially now, in the technological age, when we often suffer from stress and strain, the insecurity of so many changes and the rapid pace of life. In order to prepare ourselves to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, the great mandapa inside, we walk clockwise around the temple very slowly. In this way we prepare our mind. We consciously drop off worldliness, letting the sufferings go, letting all disturbances leave our mind the best we can, and trying to reach deep inside of ourselves where peace exists eternally. We become as celestial as we can during the time we are walking around the temple, so that we can communicate with the celestial beings within the temple.
A Siva temple marks an agreement between God Siva and the people on the Earth as a meeting place where the three worlds can consciously commune. It is the home of Lord Siva and many of the other Gods. Specifically sanctified, it possesses a ray of spiritual energy connecting the First World with the Sivaloka. My satguru, Siva Yogaswami of Sri Lanka, proclaimed, "O Lord, O Primal One who gives blessings to devotees, who has become the embodiment of Love, O Supreme Lord, Transcendent One who dwells in the temple, make me to live here like a God. In this world we may acquire a multitude of siddhis, but never stray from bhakti's path, nor disobey the words of bhaktars." A holy Siva temple must be approached with great reverence and humility, as God lives in the temple. Go into the temple as you would approach a great king, a governor, a president of a great realm, anticipating, with a little trepidation, your audience with Him.
The worship in the temple creates the culture in the land. The worship in the temple creates the wealth of the land. The worship in the temple creates the obedience to the divine law of God Siva, the Saiva Dharma. The ancient Tirumantiram conversely warns, "When in Siva's temple worship ceases, harm befalls the ruler, scanty are the rains, theft and robbery abound in the land" (518). The greatest temples in the world are the homes of God Siva, and within them there are private rooms and sanctums for Lord Ganesha, Lord Murugan and others of the 330 million Gods of our Saivite Hindu religion. Pray to God Siva. Flock to the Siva temples, and God Siva will reward you, each and everyone of you, abundantly, as you perform His worship.
We just visited the great temple of Chidambaram, where God Siva dances. The priests at the temple had their inner sanctum, the garbhagriha, scientifically tested. Scientists from the West came, made certain measurements and found that the inner sanctum was not only radioactive, but it also had the highest level of gravity on the planet. Yes, things are very heavy in the inner sanctum, much heavier than any other place in the temple or the surrounding area. And it was radioactive. This great power has been built up by thousands of years of worship there.
Why are Americans converting to the Saivite religion? Because they have actually seen these mystical things happen, even in the new temples that are being constructed in the West or in their own meditations. They have actually seen the God come and hover over His First-World image. They have actually felt the rays of shakti coming out of the sanctum, cutting through their body, cutting through their aura, and their mind being cleansed and their whole life, even the atoms of their body, being inwardly changed. Therefore, the Americans, who want everything, also want the greatest of all things--the blessings of God Siva.
Sutra 314 of the Nandinatha Sutras
Dreams Are To Be Forgotten
My devotees do not indulge in remembrance or interpretation of dreams, unless as a special discipline from their guru. They intentionally forget their dreams and positively concern themselves with waking life. Aum.
Lesson 314 from Merging with Siva
The Power of Prostration
Prostration at the holy feet of the satguru has been performed in Hindu India and Sri Lanka for thousands of years. It's an ancient custom and a very valuable one, because it separates the people who can prostrate from those who cannot. It separates the deeper souls from those still going through the intellectual and instinctive areas of the mind. It allows the aspirant himself to know where he is on the path, and it allows the satguru to know at a glance, without thought, where the seeker is on the spiritual path by the emanations out of the spine as he prostrates himself face down before him.
Prostration issues forth definite energies when done before the guru or the temple Deity. The ego is naturally subdued, humility strengthened, and the soul of guru and disciple enjoy deep rapport in that moment.
Saiva Siddhantins have always had blind bhakti for God, Gods and guru. Their mothers and fathers are often included and showered with the same feelings of love. They are by nature very sweet people. Jnanaguru Yogaswami had this to say about guru bhakti: "Guru bhakti is the greatest blessing. Cherish it and relish it and be refreshed! Advance on the path of dharma. Call on the name of 'Shankara Siva.' Know that there is not one wrong thing. And proclaim that all is truth. Seek for the grace of God. Repeat 'Sivaya Namah.' You must realize Self by self. In you will peace and patience shine, and you will be your own support. Let 'like' and 'dislike' be snuffed out. Ponder not upon past karma. Resolve to kill the 'three desires.' "
Devotees often transfer to their guru whatever feelings they have for their mothers and fathers. This does not mean that they cease to love their mother and father when they accept a guru. It means that if they have problems at home, they will have similar problems with their guru. If they love and honor their parents, they will love and honor their guru. Devotees who have true bhakti are filled with love for all beings. Their children will never upset them. They care for their pets and love their mother and father. They do not go to a guru to escape unhappiness at home. They go to a guru because their mother and father have taught them all they know, and now they must move onward. Even in this move, the parents' blessings are sought to either follow the family guru or another. This is the traditional way. This is Saiva Siddhanta.
There are emanations that come out of the spine wherever the individual is functioning, different types of instinctive, intellectual feelings or those of superconsciousness. The meditator works with those forces. He transmutes his energies to the crown chakra. You must work diligently to get there, and then you have it for eternity. This is the great heritage that is your right to receive by living on this planet.
Transcendental beings, who have nerve systems so highly developed that they do not need a physical body in which to function and help those on Earth, can give a vital and a vibrant darshan which will help and stabilize you on the path. Delicate, subtle actinic beings that have once lived on the Earth and, just like you, have meditated, worked with their forces, attained Self Realization, brought forth darshan and finally dropped off the physical body, vowing to serve the people of the Earth. Hindus call them devas, Gods or Deities. All of them are right here, because everything is in one place. Everything of a same or similar vibration is in one place in the akasha. The great actinic bodies of all these evolved beings are right here. You can invoke the darshan of the Gods, too, if things really get rough for you on the path up the spine. These devas or Gods visit various temples at auspicious times, traveling in the akasha loka, which is close to time-space consciousness.