July 18, 2018 - Lesson 97

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Sloka 97 from Dancing with Siva

What Are the Primary Festivals to Siva?

Mahasivaratri, Siva's great night, venerates Parasiva. Krittika Dipa celebrates the infinite light of Parashakti. Ardra Darshana invokes the blessings of Parameshvara-- Lord Siva Nataraja in His blissful Cosmic Dance. Aum.


Mahasivaratri is the night before the new-moon day in February-March. We observe it both as a discipline and a festivity, keeping a strict fast and all-night vigil, meditating, intoning Siva's 1,008 names, singing His praise, chanting Shri Rudram, bathing the Sivalinga and being near the vairagis as they strive to realize Parasiva. On Krittika Dipa, the Krittika nakshatra in November-December, we honor--with oil lamps everywhere, village bonfires and special temple arati--God Siva as an infinite pillar of light. This is an important festival in Murugan temples. On Ardra Darshana, during the Ardra nakshatra of December-January, Lord Nataraja receives elaborate abhisheka and is beseeched for yogic union, prosperity and matrimonial success. He is again lavishly invoked on the Uttaraphalguni nakshatra in June-July and on four other days each year. Special monthly days for Siva worship are the two 13th tithis, called pradosha. The Vedas proclaim, "The Lord, God, all-pervading and omnipresent, dwells in the heart of all beings. Full of grace, He ultimately gives liberation to all creatures by turning their faces toward Himself." Aum Namah Sivaya.

Lesson 97 from Living with Siva

Control Of Breath

Control of the breath, to be learned properly, might take months or even years. That's all right. If you were learning to play a musical instrument, it would take months or even years to perfect the basic principles of making chords and putting chords together into a melody. There is no hurry. Hurry is the age we want to bypass when we meditate. The control of the breath is exactly the same as the control of awareness, so it is good to be patient in the early stages and perfect each element of practice.

As we learn to breathe rhythmically and from the diaphragm, we also release tensions in the solar plexus. We learn to be spontaneous and free on the inside, and life force runs through us in an uninhibited way. We achieve and learn to maintain contentment, santosha. All of these things come through the simple techniques we practice while in meditation. But the practice of meditation is not the end. It is the total being of man that is the end to be sought for--the well-rounded, content, spontaneous being that is totally free.

After you have quieted the body, and the breath is flowing regularly, close your eyes. Close your ears and shut off the external sense perceptions. As long as you are aware of sights and sounds on the outside, you are not concentrated. It is a fallacy to think you have to find a totally silent place before you can go within. When your senses are stilled, you don't hear any sounds. You're in a state of silence. You don't hear a car that passes, you don't hear a bird that sings, because your awareness has shifted to different perceptions. It helps, but it's not necessary, to have a totally silent place. This is not always possible, so it is best not to depend on outer silence. We must discover silence within ourselves. When you are reading a book that is extremely interesting, you are not hearing noises around you. You should be at least that interested in your meditations.

Having thus quieted the outer forces, we are prepared to meditate. Just sitting is not enough. To meditate for even ten or fifteen minutes takes as much energy as one would use in running around a city block three times. A powerful meditation fills and thrills us with an abundance of energy to be used creatively in the external world during the activities of daily life. Great effort is required to make inner strides. We must strive very, very hard and meet each inner challenge.

Sutra 97 of the Nandinatha Sutras

Being Modest With Other Men

Siva's married women maintain a kindly and modest reserve toward all men, be they young, older, single, married, divorced or widowed. They shower all their love and attention on their husband and family. Aum.

Lesson 97 from Merging with Siva

Awakening Willpower

This is why you were born. The one and only reason why you are existing in your material body is first to unfold into your clear white light, then penetrate deeper and deeper, touch into the Self, become a knower of the Self, Satchidananda, and then deeper still into nirvikalpa samadhi, Self Realization, preparing for the next steps on the classical yoga path--moksha, freedom from rebirth, and vishvagrasa, merging with Siva. You will soon realize that you create the mind in any way that you want, that you are master of your mind. To become master of your mind, you must realize that understanding is fifty percent of control of the mind, and you have to work at it as an accountant would work to balance his books, as a musician has to work to master his instrument.

To know yourself is why you are on Earth. You were born to realize the Self. You are not here to make money, to clothe yourself or to entertain yourself. These are incidentals. You are here on this planet to realize the Self God, and the only way to experience Self Realization is to awaken within you a dynamic, indomitable, actinic will. To do this, the steps are: first, find out what and where the willpower is. Everyone has it. Willpower is that quietness within, that serenity that is likened to a light so bright that you cannot see it with the physical eyes. Second, learn to use this actinic will. Begin with little things that you do. Become satisfied with everything that you do. To you, it must be a work of art, even if it is just drying a dish, cleaning a floor or painting a picture. Your work must satisfy you, and if it does not satisfy the inner you one hundred percent, you must use your indomitable willpower and keep striving until it does.

You must become a perfectionist unto yourself, but first decide what your standard for perfection is. You must control the quality of your work. Take on no responsibility that you cannot handle. By doing this, you will find that you have much more control over the physical body and emotions than you ever thought possible. You will begin to demonstrate to yourself your powers of control over material creations, the physical body and the emotions of the instinctive area of the mind. Demonstration comes as you use your indomitable willpower.