May 31, 2020 - Lesson 49
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Sloka 49 from Dancing with Siva
How Can a Benevolent God Permit Evil?
Ultimately, there is no good or bad. God did not create evil as a force distinct from good. He granted to souls the loving edicts of dharma and experiential choices from very subtle to most crude, thus to learn and evolve. Aum.
From the pinnacle of consciousness, one sees the harmony of life. Similarly, from a mountaintop, we see the natural role of a raging ocean and the steep cliffs below--they are beautiful. From the bottom of the mountain, the ocean can appear ominous and the cliffs treacherous. When through meditation, we view the universe from the inside out, we see that there is not one thing out of place or wrong. This releases the human concepts of right and wrong, good and bad. Our benevolent Lord created everything in perfect balance. Good or evil, kindness or hurtfulness return to us as the result, the fruit, of our own actions of the past. The four dharmas are God's wisdom lighting our path. That which is known as evil arises from the instinctive-intellectual nature, which the Lord created as dimensions of experience to strengthen our soul and further its spiritual evolution. Let us be compassionate, for truly there is no intrinsic evil. The Vedas admonish, "Being overcome by the fruits of his action, he enters a good or an evil womb, so that his course is downward or upward, and he wanders around, overcome by the pairs of opposites." Aum Namah Sivaya.
Lesson 49 from Living with Siva
Living in God's Home
The ideal of Ishvarapujana, worship, is to always be living with God, living with Siva, in God's house, which is also your house, and regularly going to God's temple. This lays the foundation for finding God within. How can someone find God within if he doesn't live in God's house as a companion to God in his daily life? The answer is obvious. It would only be a theoretical pretense, based mainly on egoism. If one really believes that God is in his house, what kinds of attitudes does this create? First of all, since family life is based around food, the family would feed God in His own room at least three times a day, place the food lovingly before His picture, leave, close the door and let God and His devas eat in peace. God and the devas do enjoy the food, but they do so by absorbing the pranas, the energies, of the food. When the meal is over, and after the family has eaten, God's plates are picked up, too. What is left on God's plate is eaten as prasada, as a blessing. God should be served as much as the hungriest member of the family, not just a token amount. Of course, God, Gods and the devas do not always remain in the shrine room. They wander freely throughout the house, listening to and observing the entire family, guests and friends. Since the family is living in God's house, and God is not living in their house, the voice of God is easily heard as their conscience.
When we are living in God's house, it is easy to see God as pure energy and life within every living form, the trees, the flowers, the plants, the fire, the Earth, humans, animals and all creatures. When we see this life, which is manifest most in living beings, we are seeing God Siva. Many families are too selfish to set aside a room for God. Though they have their personal libraries, rumpus rooms, two living rooms, multiple bedrooms, their superficial religion borders on a new Indian religion. Their shrine is a closet, or pictures of God and Goddesses on the vanity mirror of their dressing table. The results of such worship are nil, and their life reflects the chaos that we see in the world today.
The psychology and the decision and the religion is, "Do we live with God, or does God occasionally visit us?" Who is the authority in the home, an unreligious, ignorant, domineering elder? Or is it God Siva Himself, or Lord Murugan or Lord Ganesha, whom the entire family, including elders, bow down to because they have resigned themselves to the fact that they are living in the ashrama of Mahadevas? This is religion. This is Ishvarapujana.
It is often said that worship is not only a performance at a certain time of day in a certain place, but a state of being in which every act, morning to night, is done in Siva consciousness, in which life becomes an offering to God. Then we can begin to see Siva in everyone we meet. When we try, just try--and we don't have to be successful all the time--to separate the life of the individual from his personality, immediately we are in higher consciousness and can reflect contentment and faith, compassion, steadfastness and all the higher qualities, which is sometimes not possible to do if we are only looking at the external person. This practice, of Ishvarapujana sadhana, can be performed all through the day and even in one's dreams at night.
Meditation, too, in the Hindu way is based on worship. It is true that Hindus do teach meditation techniques to those who have Western backgrounds as a mind-manipulative experience. However, a Hindu adept, rishi or jnani, even an experienced elder, knows that meditation is a natural outgrowth of the charya, kriya and yoga paths. It is based on a religious foundation, as trigonometry is based on geometry, algebra and arithmetic.
If you are worshiping properly, if you take worship to its pinnacle, you are in perfect meditation. We have seen many devotees going through the form of worship with no communication with the God they are worshiping or even the stone that the God uses as a temporary body. They don't even have a smile on their face. They are going through the motions because they have been taught that meditation is the ultimate, and worship can be dispensed with after a certain time. Small wonder that when they are in meditation, their minds are confused and subconscious overloads harass them. Breathing is irregular, and if made regular has to be forced. Their materialistic outlook on life--of seeing God everywhere, yet not in those places they rationalize God can never possibly be--contradicts their professed dedication to the Hindu way of life.
Yes, truly, worship unreservedly. Perfect this. Then, after initiation, internalize that worship through yoga practices given by a satguru. Through that same internal worship, unreservedly, you will eventually attain the highest goal. These are the Saiva Siddhanta conclusions of the seven rishis who live within the sahasrara chakra of all souls.
Sutra 49 of the Nandinatha Sutras
Compassion And Straightforwardness
All devotees of Siva practice daya, compassion, conquering callous, cruel, insensitive feelings toward all beings. Maintaining arjava, they are straightforward and honest, renouncing deception and wrongdoing. Aum.
Lesson 49 from Merging with Siva
Perhaps the biggest battle in the beginning stages of practicing attention and concentration is the control of breath. The beginner will not want to sit long enough, or not be able to become quiet enough to have a deep, controlled flow of breath. After five minutes, the physical elements of the subconscious mind will become restless. He will want to squirm about. He will sit down to concentrate on the flower and begin thinking of many other things that he should be doing instead: "I should have done my washing first." "I may be staying here for a half an hour. What if I get hungry? Perhaps I should have eaten first." The telephone may ring, and he will wonder who is calling. "Maybe I should get up and answer it," he thinks and then mentally says, "Let it ring. I'm here to concentrate on the flower." If he does not succeed immediately, he will rationalize, "How important can breathing rhythmically be, anyway? I'm breathing all right. This is far too simple to be very important." He will go through all of this within himself, for this is how he has been accustomed to living in the conscious mind, jumping from one thing to the next.
When you sit at attention, view all of the distractions that come as you endeavor to concentrate on one single object, such as a flower. This will show you exactly how the conscious and subconscious mind operate. All of the same distractions come in everyday life. If you are a disciplined person, you handle them systematically through the day. If you are undisciplined, you are sporadic in your approach and allow your awareness to become distracted by them haphazardly instead of concentrating on one at a time. Such concerns have been there life after life, year after year. The habit of becoming constantly distracted makes it impossible for you to truly concentrate the mind or to realize anything other than distractions and the desires of the conscious mind itself.
Even the poor subconscious has a time keeping up with the new programming flowing into it from the experiences our awareness goes through as it travels quickly through the conscious mind in an undisciplined way. When the subconscious mind becomes overloaded in recording all that goes into it from the conscious mind, we experience frustration, anxiety, nervousness, insecurity and neuroses. These are some of the subconscious ailments that are so widespread in the world today.
There comes a time in man's life when he has to put an end to it all. He sits down. He begins to breathe, to ponder and be aware of only one pleasant thing. As he does this, he becomes dynamic and his will becomes strong. His concentration continues on that flow. As his breath becomes more and more regulated, his body becomes quiet and the one great faculty of the soul becomes predominant--observation--the first faculty of the unfoldment of the soul.
We as the soul see out through the physical eyes. As we look through the physical eyes at the flower and meditate deeply upon the flower, we tune into the soul's vast well of knowing and begin to observe previously unknown facts about the flower. We see where it came from. We see how one little flower has enough memory locked up within its tiny seed to come up again and again in the very same way. A rose does not forget and come up as a tulip. Nor does a tulip forget and come up as a lily. Nor does a lily forget and come up as a peach tree. There is enough memory resident in the genes of the seeds of each that they come up as the same species every season. As we observe this single law and pierce into the inner realms of the mind, we see the flower as large as a house, or as small as the point of a pin, because the eyes of the superconscious mind, the spiritual body, can magnify or diminish any object in order to study it and understand it. To know this, to experience this, is to develop willpower to transform oneself into the knower of what is to be known. Yes, willpower is the key, the must, the most needed faculty for spiritual unfoldment on this path. Work hard, strive to accomplish, strengthen the will by using the will. But remember, "With love in the will, the spirit is free." This means that willpower can be used wrongly without the binding softening of love, simple love. Say in your mind to everyone you meet, "I like you. You like me, I really do like you. I love you. I truly love you."