SLOKA 3 FROM DANCING WITH SIVA
WHAT IS MEANT BY ”DANCING WITH SIVA”?
All motion begins in God and ends in God. The whole universe is engaged in a whirling flow of change and activity. This is Siva’s dance. We are all dancing with Siva, and He with us. Ultimately, we are Siva dancing. Aum.
The world is seen as it truly is–sacred–when we behold Siva’s cosmic dance. Everything in the universe, all that we see, hear and imagine, is movement. Galaxies soar in movement; atoms swirl in movement. All movement is Siva’s dance. When we fight this movement and think it should be other than it is, we are reluctantly dancing with Siva. We are stubbornly resisting, holding ourselves apart, criticizing the natural processes and movements around us. It is by understanding the eternal truths that we bring all areas of our mind into the knowledge of how to accept what is and not wish it to be otherwise. Once this happens, we begin to consciously dance with Siva, to move with the sacred flow that surrounds us, to accept praise and blame, joy and sorrow, prosperity and adversity in equanimity, the fruit of understanding. We are then gracefully, in unrestrained surrender, dancing with Siva. The Vedas state, ”The cosmic soul is truly the whole universe, the immortal source of all creation, all action, all meditation. Whoever discovers Him, hidden deep within, cuts through the bonds of ignorance even during his life on earth.” Aum Namah Sivaya.
LESSON 3 FROM LIVING WITH SIVA
BY EXPERIENCE WE EVOLVE
A family provides toys for the children to make them happy. Siva provides karma and dharma to all of us to make us happy, to bring us closer to Him. He created an expanding and contracting universe and eventually absorbs all in the great dissolution of the cosmos. He gave birth to all souls, our rishi-saints tell us; and we are evolving back into His image and likeness, they further explain. The toys of experience help us in our evolution, keeping us entertained so that we can learn and grow and experience our karma, dharma and other basic cosmic laws. Just as the children can laugh joyously as they play with their toys, or break them and cry or throw them at one another, hitting and hurting each other, we too can avoid duty and dharma, make karma, hurt ourselves and others, or help ourselves and others as we play with our own evolution, strengthening ourselves, learning and growing wise.
It is natural to forget about God, but there are many helpful ways that we can avoid distraction, that we can remember to keep seeing God Siva everywhere. One of the practical ways to bring God Siva into the midst of all this is to keep repeating His name. Do japa when you find yourself forgetting, when you just can’t see God at all, let alone everywhere. Repeat ”Aum Namah Sivaya.” When life becomes difficult or strained, say to yourself ”Siva Siva” or ”Aum Sivaya” or ”Namah Sivaya.” Mentally put it all at His feet. See Him in everyone that you meet or confront, regardless of the circumstances. He is there as their life force, but you just need to quiet the mind to see. Smile when you feel unhappy with someone and say to yourself, ”How nice to see you, Siva, in this form.” Animals, beggars, princes, politicians, friends and enemies, holy men, saints and sages are all Siva to the soul that loves God. He smiles and thinks to himself, ”How nice to see you, Siva, in this, another of your many forms.”
Nobody can think of Siva in His formlessness. This, above all, has to be realized, and then the realizer has to realize that he has realized the Formless. The truth is that precious few will realize Parasiva, though many can and will realize Satchidananda, even in their later years or at the moment of death. The fullness of lives of experience experienced, the performance of prior goals perfected, would lead a soul to the burning desire to accomplish the ultimate goal. For each person on the planet, the immediate pattern is clear. Once it is fulfilled, the next step appears naturally. It is the same force of desire that accomplishes all of this. The desire of a mother to take care of her children and to be a good wife, the desire of the father to support his family, the desire of a scientist to discover, the desire of an athlete to excel, the desire of the yogi to merge in oneness with Siva–it is the same force of desire, transmuted through the chakras as they awaken, as the soul evolves. It is that same desire that finally draws the seeker to know That which is timeless and formless, That which is spaceless and causeless. Be patient. It comes in the course of time to all. It comes. It will come. Be patient.
SUTRA 3 OF THE NANDINATHA SUTRAS
SEEING SIVA’S ENERGY IN ALL
Siva’s devotees bask contentedly in Siva consciousness, seeing the pure life energy in every person, animal, bird, reptile, fish, insect, plant, tree and even microscopic intelligence as Supreme God Siva Himself. Aum.
LESSON 3 FROM MERGING WITH SIVA
DEFINING THE DESTINATION
How can we know when we’re ready to know the Self? How do we know when the soul is spiritually mature? When we begin a journey and clearly define our destination, then we must begin from where we are, not elsewhere. Clearly defining our destination requires knowing where we are, requires determining whether or not we want to go there at this time. We must ask whether we have the means, the willpower, to get there. Are we ready to leave the world, or must we fulfill further obligations in the world and to the world? Have we paid all of our debts? We cannot leave the world with karmas still unresolved. Perhaps we desire something more, some further human fulfillment of affection, creativity, wealth, professional accomplishment, name and fame. In other words, do we still have worldly involvements and attachments? Are we ready for the final journey life has to offer? Are we prepared to endure the hardships of sadhana, to suffer the death of the ego? Or would we prefer more pleasures in the world of ”I” and ”mine”? It is a matter of evolution, of what stage of life we have entered in this incarnation–is it charya, kriya, yoga or jnana? When the soul is spiritually mature, we know when we’re ready to know the Self.
When one is bound down by his past karmas, unhappy, confused and not performing with enthusiasm his dharma–be it born or chosen–making new karmas as a result, his lethargy results in despair. The camel walks slower with a heavy burden and stops if the burden is still heavier. The burdened have no sense of urgency, no expression of joy. They have stopped. They are standing on the path holding their troubles in their hands, unwilling and unable to let go.
Worship of Lord Ganesha sets the path of dharma. Go to His Feet. He alone can perform this miracle for you. He will release the mental and emotional obstructions to spiritual progress. He will remove the burdens of worldliness. To live the perfect life of the grihastha dharma, of family life, brings as its fulfillment the all-knowing bliss of Satchidananda, realizing ourself not as formless Parasiva but as the pure consciousness that sustains and pervades all forms in the universe. Yes, there is a sense of urgency on the path of enlightenment, but only when we are unburdened of karma, only when we are walking the path of dharma. Only then can true yoga be practiced and perfected.
All Hindus without exception believe in reincarnation. In each birth we must fulfill more goals leading to the one ultimate goal which after many births well lived will loom before us as the only goal worthy of striving for in this lifetime. All other desires, all other aims and ambitions pale under the brilliance of even the thought of realization of Satchidananda and Parasiva.
In fulfillment of our duties to parents, relations and the community at large, become a good householder, be a good citizen, live a rewarding physical, emotional and intellectual existence. These are the natural goals of many. Once this is accomplished in a lifetime, it is easy in future lives to perpetuate this pattern and evolve toward more refined and more difficult goals, such as gaining a clear intellectual knowledge of the truths of the Agamas and Vedas, most especially the Upanishads, and establishing a personal contact with Lord Siva within His great temples through the fervor of worship.