May 21, 2024 - Lesson 39

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Sloka 39 from Dancing with Siva

What Is the Nature of the Yoga Pada?

Yoga is internalized worship which leads to union with God. It is the regular practice of meditation, detachment and austerities under the guidance of a satguru through whose grace we attain the realization of Parasiva. Aum.


Yoga, "union," is the process of uniting with God within oneself, a stage arrived at through perfecting charya and kriya. As God is now like a friend to us, yoga is known as the sakha marga. This system of inner discovery begins with asana--sitting quietly in yogic posture--and pranayama, breath control. Pratyahara, sense withdrawal, brings awareness into dharana, concentration, then into dhyana, meditation. Over the years, under ideal conditions, the kundalini fire of consciousness ascends to the higher chakras, burning the dross of ignorance and past karmas. Dhyana finally leads to enstasy--first to savikalpa samadhi, the contemplative experience of Satchidananda, and ultimately to nirvikalpa samadhi, Parasiva. Truly a living satguru is needed as a steady guide to traverse this path. When yoga is practiced by one perfected in kriya, the Gods receive the yogi into their midst through his awakened, fiery kundalini. The Vedas enjoin the yogi, "With earnest effort hold the senses in check. Controlling the breath, regulate the vital activities. As a charioteer holds back his restive horses, so does a persevering aspirant restrain his mind." Aum Namah Sivaya.

Lesson 39 from Living with Siva

Hospitality And Fullness

Hospitality is a vital part of fulfilling dana. When guests come, they must be given hospitality, at least a mat to sit on and a glass of water to drink. These are obligatory gifts. You must never leave your guest standing, and you must never leave your guest thirsty. If a guest were to smell even one whiff from the kitchen of the scented curries of a meal being prepared, he must be asked four times to stay for the meal. He will politely refuse three times and accept on the fourth invitation. This is also an obligatory giving, for the guest is treated as God. God Siva's veiling grace hides Siva as He dresses in many costumes. He is a dancer, you know, and dancers wear many costumes. He will come as a guest to your home, unrecognizable. You might think it is your dear friend from a far-off place. That, too, is Siva in another costume, and you must treat that guest as Siva. Giving to Siva Siva's own creation in your mind brings the highest rewards through the law of karma.

Even if you think you are giving creatively, generously, looking for no rewards, but you are giving for a purpose, that karma will still pay you back with full interest and dividends. This is a positive use of the law of karma. It pays higher interest than any bank. This is not a selfish form of giving. It is the giving of the wise, because you know the law of karma, because you know the Sanatana Dharma--the divine, eternal laws. If you see a need that you can fill and have the impulse to give but recoil from giving, later, when you are in need, there will be someone who has the impulse to give to you but will recoil from giving. The wheels of karma grind slowly but exceedingly well the grains of actions, be they in thought, emotion or those of a physical nature. So, one can be quite selfish and greedy about wanting to practice dana to accumulate the punya for the balance of this life, the life in-between lives, in the astral world, and for a good birth in the next incarnation. The practice of dana is an investment in a better life, an investment that pays great dividends.

We are not limited by our poverty or wealth in practicing giving. No matter how poor you are, you can still practice it. You can give according to your means, your inspiration, your ability. When the fullness has reached its peak within you while preparing the gift, be it arranging a bouquet of freshly picked flowers, a tray of fruit, counting out coins, sorting a pile of bills or putting zeros on a check that you're writing, then you know that the gift is within your means. Gifts within your means and from your heart are the proper gifts.

Sutra 39 of the Nandinatha Sutras

The Gross, Subtle And Causal Planes

Siva's followers all believe in three worlds: the gross plane, where souls take on physical bodies; the subtle plane, where souls take on astral bodies; and the causal plane, where souls exist in their self-effulgent form. Aum.

Lesson 39 from Merging with Siva

The Power of Observation

Observation is the first faculty to appear in the awakening of the superconscious regions. Observation, when perceptively performed, is cultivated by abstinence from excessive talk. Talk dissipates the energies of the aura and of the vital body of man. A mystic generally does not talk very much, for his intuition works through reason, but does not use the processes of reason. Any intuitive breakthrough will be quite reasonable, but it does not use the processes of reason. Reason takes time. Superconsciousness acts in the now. All superconscious knowing comes in a flash out of the nowhere. Intuition is more direct than reason, and far more accurate. Therefore, the mystic does not ask many questions or enter into lengthy conversations.

Ponder over this and apply it to yourself. Take this into yourself and feel it is for you. Do not feel it is being shared with you to simply know more about the mind and its processes. Apply it to yourself, for you are on the spiritual path toward merger with Siva. Begin to feel that observation is one of your finest faculties, one that you most cherish. It is the first faculty of the awakening of your superconscious. Mentally say to yourself many times, "I have good observation. Therefore, I am superconscious." This will help you to program your subconscious to accept the fact that, yes, you are a superconscious being, not a temporal being that is only on this planet a short span of years and then disappears forever. Remember, your powers of observation are cultivated by abstinence from excessive talk. That is all you have to do to begin with--be more silent and observing, not wasting or dissipating this most vital power. Some people on the spiritual path cannot wait to talk about their meditations even before they come out of them. They really should stop doing this. It lessens their vital energies and proves to perceptive people that they are not superconscious beings.