As Lord of Obstacles, Ganesha wields the noose and the goad, icons of His benevolent power of preventing or permitting events to happen in our life. Thus, we invoke His grace and wisdom before any worship or task. Aum.

Lord Ganesha, the God of time and memory, strategically seated on the muladhara chakra, poised between the higher and lower chakras, stabilizes all sentient beings. He holds the architect’s plans of the divine masterpiece of universal past and future. Only good comes from Lord Ganesha, who by taking the form of an elephant distinguishes Himself from other Gods. The charya pada begins with His worship. He staves off misfortune for those who perform penance in His name. He guides our karma from within us through the timing of events. Before any important undertaking, we supplicate Him to clear obstacles from the path, if it be His will. This Lord of Obstacles prevents us from hurting ourselves through living under an incomplete concept or making a request unneeded or beginning an endeavor not well thought out. Before we petition Him, He expects us to use all of our faculties to arrive at the decision He would have made. The Agamas declare, ”These Lords who, it is said, on the pure path, attend to the various duties deriving from a higher realm of maya are at the prow of the effects of the higher realm of maya.” Aum Namah Sivaya.


The eighth yama is arjava, honesty. The most important rule of honesty is to be honest to oneself, to be able to face up to our problems and admit that we have been the creator of them. To be able to then reason them through, make soulfully honest decisions toward their solutions, is a boon, a gift from the Gods. To be honest with oneself brings peace of mind. Those who are frustrated, discontent, are now and have been dishonest with themselves. They blame others for their own faults and predicaments. They are always looking for a scapegoat, someone to blame something on. To deceive oneself is truly the ultimate of wrongdoing. To deceive oneself is truly ignorance in its truest form. Honesty begins within one’s own heart and soul and works its way out from there into dealing with other people. Polonius wisely said in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, ”This above all: to your own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, you cannot then be false to any man.”

The adage, ”Say what you mean, and mean what you say” should be heard again and again by the youth, middle-aged and elderly alike. Sir Walter Scott once said, ”Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” Mark Twain observed, ”The advantage of telling the truth is that you don’t have to remember what you said.” Another philosopher, wise in human nature, noted, ”You can watch a thief, but you cannot watch a liar.” To be deceptive and not straightforward is thieving time from those you are deceiving. They are giving you their heart and mind, and you are twisting their thoughts to your own selfish ends, endeavoring to play them out, to take what they have, in favors or in kind, for your personal gain.

Deception is the cruelest of acts. A deceptive person is an insidious disease to society. Many parents, we are told, teach their children to be deceptive and cunning in order to get on in the world. They are not building good citizens. They are creating potential criminals who will eventually, if they perfect the art, ravage humankind. To be straightforward is the solution, no matter how difficult it is. To show remorse, be modest and show shame for misdeeds is the way to win back the faith, though maybe not the total trust, and a smidgen of respect from those who have discovered and exposed your deception. Arjava is straightness with neighbors, family and with your government. You pay your taxes. You observe the laws. You don’t fudge, bribe, cheat, steal or participate in fraud and other forms of manipulation.

Bribery corrupts the giver, the taker and the nation. It would be better not to have, not to do, and to live the simple life, if bribery were the alternative. To participate in bribery is to go into a deceptive, illegal partnership between the briber and the bribed. If and when discovered, embarrassment no end would fall on both parties involved in the crime, and even if not discovered, someone knows, someone is watching, your own conscience is watching. There is no law in any legal code of any government that says bribery is acceptable.

There are those who feel it is sufficient to be honest and straightforward with their friends and family, but feel justified to be dishonest with business associates, corporations, governments and strangers. These are the most despicable people. Obviously they have no knowledge of the laws of karma and no desire to obtain a better, or even a similar, birth. They may experience several abortions before obtaining a new physical body and then be an unwanted child. They may suffer child abuse, neglect, beatings, perhaps even be killed at a young age. These two-faced persons–honest to immediate friends and relatives, but dishonest and deceptive and involved in wrongdoings with business associates and in public life–deserve the punishment that only the lords of karma are able to deal out. These persons are training their sons and daughters to be like themselves and pull down humanity rather than uplift mankind.
Worshipers of Siva practice basic yogas (bhakti, karma, hatha and japa) as their guru instructs, throughout life and more as life goes on. They know self-mastery yokes the fire within with That which quells the fire. Aum.


Meditate on a river. Follow it as a visual image from its source to the end where it merges into the sea. You can now clearly see where you have been clinging to the bank of life’s river. You will plainly see just how long you have been clinging to various attachments by holding onto fears, worries, doubts of the future and regrets about the past. Looking at attachment, we see how it holds the mind down–how it submerges personality. Attachment is a stationary thing. Attachment creates the personality. The popular concept of the intellect at this point would be to say, ”Well, then, according to this, we are not supposed to be attached to anything, or even have a personality.”

But I take this one step farther and tell you, become affectionately detached, for by becoming affectionately detached you absorb all the power of the spiritual force within you. When you absorb the power of the spirit through the body, you will be able to feel it flowing through your most subtle nerves. This vibrant spiritual force within you, vibrating through every cell of the body, quieting the emotions and bringing the mind into effortless concentration, is born of affectionate detachment.

Affectionate detachment is stronger than any attachment could possibly be, because attachment is created through unfulfilled desire, salted and peppered with fear. Fear of loss, fear of the unexpected, fear that life may not have much more to offer than what has already been offered, fear of old age, fear of harm, fear of accident–these are the fears which salt and pepper the unfulfilled desires. This is attachment.

To be affectionately detached–that is a power. That is a wisdom. That is a love greater than any emotional love, a love born of understanding, a love that merges you into the river of life and allows actinic force to flow within you so that you realize God.

We all still have those little attachments–the good ones, the need for love, acceptance and security. These attachments form the positive aspects of the subconscious. We want to free ourselves of all negative attachments, then use the subconscious positively, as a powerhouse directed by our superconsciousness.

There is a great wisdom in cultivated affectionate detachment. Let go of the past. Let go of the future. Be a being right now. Being detached does not mean running away from life or being insensitive. It makes us extremely sensitive. When we have the ability to let go, we are warmer, more friendly, more wholesome, more human and closer to our family and friends.

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