SLOKA 109 FROM DANCING WITH SIVA
WHO ARE THE PRIESTS OF SIVA TEMPLES?
Adishaiva priests are the hereditary pujaris, who care for the temple and conduct its varied rites and rituals as humble servants of God. They are trained in the complex arts of worship, generally from a young age. Aum.
Every temple has its own staff of priests. Some temples appoint only one, while others have a large extended family of priests to take care of the many shrines and elaborate festivals. Most are well trained from early childhood in the intricate liturgy. Siva temple pujaris are usually brahmins from the Adishaiva lineage, though in certain temples they are not. These men of God must be fully knowledgeable of the metaphysical and ontological tenets of the religion and learn hundreds of mantras and chants required in the ritual worship. When fully trained, they are duly ordained as Sivacharyas to perform parartha puja in a consecrated Siva temple. Generally, pujaris do not attend to the personal problems of devotees. They are God’s servants, tending His temple home and its related duties, never standing between the devotee and God. Officiating priests are almost always married men, while their assistants may be brahmacharis or widowers. The Agamas explain, ”Only a well-qualified priest may perform both atmartha puja, worship for one’s self, and parartha puja, worship for others. Such an Adishaiva is a Saiva brahmin and a teacher.” Aum Namah Sivaya.
LESSON 109 FROM LIVING WITH SIVA
MERGING INTO THE SELF GOD
When one looks at the Earth and the Sun, one thinks more of the Earth than of the Sun, which is so far away. Traveling through space toward the Sun, the Earth fades into a distant speck and one contemplates the Sun as it looms larger and larger as he draws nearer and nearer. There is no intellect here, you see, for the intellect is connected to the Earth in its exterior ramifications of worldliness. The devotee’s path is to merge into the Sun. The devotee’s path is to merge–in the totality of his awareness, willpower and life force–into the Self, God, Siva. Siva is the ancient name of the Self, God. Mystically, Shi is the Absolute state. Va is the All-Pervading Self flowing through the mind. It is only when the devotee, through yoga disciplines under the direction of his satguru, traverses the thought strata of his mind that he begins to experience what he has been learning philosophically. Then the Sun, his Siva, the Self God, blooms paramount before his vision. Earthiness, worldliness, humanness, instinctiveness fade into a speck within his memory patterns; and like the astronaut hurtling through space toward the Sun, awe-struck as to the impending annihilation of the remnants of his identity, the devotee piercing his inner depths awes at the magnificence of Siva.
This then brings willpower into its crowned usage. The transmuted force of the divine will of the devotee compellingly guides the last remnants of intellect and passions, and in total surrender, when confronted to respond, he voices, ”I know not. Siva’s will be done.” The will of Siva–the totality of all force that is active, quiescent force and nonforce as found in Shi and Va–begins to take over the dharma and the karma and floods through the being of the devotee on the threshold of Reality. And so, while in a dual state of assuming some personal identity, he states, ”Siva’s will be done,” as his new and most refined sadhana of giving up the last of personal worldliness to the perfect timing of the infinite conglomerate of force and nonforce within him. This he says as a mantra unto himself when he sees and hears in the external world. But when eyes and ears are closed, through the transmuted power of his will he merges into the samadhi of Va and Shi and Shi and Va, experiencing Reality as himself and himself as Reality.
SUTRA 109 OF THE NANDINATHA SUTRAS
THE BRAHMACHARI PATH
Siva’s men devotees choosing not to marry may take up celibate life, keeping simple vows and wearing white. To be a swami candidate, they must begin an 8-to-12-year period of monastic training before the age of 25. Aum.
LESSON 109 FROM MERGING WITH SIVA
THE MEDITATIVE PERSPECTIVE
Someone asked, ”What happens in a person’s daily life when he first starts to meditate?” Many things can and do happen to you when you first start to meditate. For instance, your friends may think that you’re withdrawing from them. They’ll say you’re afraid of the world so you’re trying to get away from it all by meditating. Other people will quickly congratulate you and say, ”You’re finally on the path. We’ve waited a long time for you to find the path.” Then you’re taken into a certain social group who are also on the path, who have long since stopped meditating but do appreciate it when you do! They will talk to you so much about the path, they will finally get you to stop meditating, too. All sorts of things will happen to you.
The best thing to do when you begin meditation is to live in a good environment, among good people. Meditate alone and don’t talk about it to anyone except the person who is helping you on the path. Do it inconspicuously, privately. It’s an inner process, so it should be performed alone. Then only inner things will happen to you, and your outer life will become better and better and better. You’ll get into a blissful flow with life–a perfect timing in your outer life. You will find yourself standing in the right place at the right time, every day. You will be in the energy flow with life, guided by your intuition. All the wonderful things that you should be experiencing on this planet will begin to come to you.
By changing yourself, you don’t necessarily outwardly alter world events. But you do find where the world is and that it is functioning just as it should be, in a perfect balance of adjusting forces. From his position at the pinnacle of consciousness, my guru, Yogaswami, saw the harmony of life. From the top of the mountain looking down, you 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. Yogaswami looked at the universe from the inside out and saw that there is not one thing out of place or wrong. You can gain that perspective through meditation, which releases the human concepts of right and wrong, good and bad, easy and difficult. This is the perspective you find on the inside of yourself.
Man is in a perfect state of being right now. The great sages and rishis found this truth. They were not more perfect than their contemporaries, just more aware. You are perfect this very moment. You are all that you will ever be. If you don’t see it that way, then you live in a difficult state of affairs, striving toward perfection and being imperfect along the way.