SLOKA 7 FROM DANCING WITH SIVA
WHAT IS THE DEEPLY MYSTICAL SAIVA SECT?
Saivism is the world’s oldest religion. Worshiping God Siva, the compassionate One, it stresses potent disciplines, high philosophy, the guru’s centrality and bhakti-raja- siddha yoga leading to oneness with Siva within. Aum.
Saivism is ancient, truly ageless, for it has no beginning. It is the precursor of the many-faceted religion now termed Hinduism. Scholars trace the roots of Siva worship back more than 8,000 years to the advanced Indus Valley civilization. But sacred writings tell us there never was a time when Saivism did not exist. Modern history records six main schools: Saiva Siddhanta, Pashupatism, Kashmir Saivism, Vira Saivism, Siddha Siddhanta and Siva Advaita. Saivism’s grandeur and beauty are found in a practical culture, an enlightened view of man’s place in the universe and a profound system of temple mysticism and siddha yoga. It provides knowledge of man’s evolution from God and back to God, of the soul’s unfoldment and awakening guided by enlightened sages. Like all the sects, its majority are devout families, headed by hundreds of orders of swamis and sadhus who follow the fiery, world-renouncing path to moksha. The Vedas state, ”By knowing Siva, the Auspicious One who is hidden in all things, exceedingly fine, like film arising from clarified butter, the One embracer of the universe–by realizing God, one is released from all fetters.” Aum Namah Sivaya.
LESSON 7 FROM LIVING WITH SIVA
EVERY TEMPLE MADE OF BRICK
How strong you must be to find this Truth. You must become very, very strong. How do you become strong? Exercise. You must exercise every muscle and sinew of your nature by obeying the dictates of the law, of the spiritual laws. It will be very difficult. A weak muscle is very difficult to make strong, but if you exercise over a period of time and do what you should do, it will respond. Your nature will respond, too. But you must work at it. You must try. You must try. You must try very, very hard. Very diligently. How often? Ten minutes a day? No. Two hours a day? No. Twenty-four hours a day! Every day! You must try very, very hard. Preparing you for the realization of the Self is like tuning up a violin, tightening up each string so it harmonizes with every other string. The more sensitive you are to tone, the better you can tune a violin, and the better the violin is tuned, the better the music. The stronger you are in your nature, the more you can bring through your real nature; the more you can enjoy the bliss of your true being. It is well worth working for. It is well worth craving for. It is well worth denying yourself many, many things for–to curb your nature. It is well worth struggling with your mind, to bring your mind under the dominion of your will.
Those of you who have experienced contemplation know the depth from which I am speaking. You have had a taste of your true Self. It has tasted like nothing that you have ever come in contact with before. It has filled and thrilled and permeated your whole being, even if you have only remained in that state of contemplation not longer than sixty seconds. Out of it you have gained a great knowing, a knowing that you could refer back to, a knowing that will bear the fruit of wisdom if you relate future life experiences to that knowing, a knowing greater than you could acquire at any university or institute of higher learning. Can you only try to gain a clear intellectual concept of realizing this Self that you felt permeating through you and through all form in your state of contemplation? That is your next step.
Those of you who are wrestling with the mind in your many endeavors to try to concentrate the mind, to try to meditate, to try to become quiet, to try to relax, keep trying. Every positive effort that you make is not in vain. Every single brick added to a temple made of brick brings that temple closer to completion. So keep trying and one day, all of a sudden, you will pierce the lower realms of your mind and enter into contemplation. Then you will be able to say: ”Yes, I know, I have seen. Now I know fully the path that I am on.” Keep trying. You have to start somewhere.
The Self you cannot speak of. You can only try to think about it, if you care to, in one way: feel your mind, body and emotions, and know that you are the Spirit permeating through mind, which is all form; body, which you inhabit; and emotions, which you either control or are controlled by. Think on that, ponder on that, and you will find you are the light within your eyes. You are the feel within your fingers. ”You are more radiant than the sun, purer than the snow, more subtle than the ether.” Keep trying. Each time you try you are one step closer to your true Effulgent Being.
SUTRA 7 OF THE NANDINATHA SUTRAS
ACCEPTING OUR KARMA
Siva’s devotees accept all experiences, however difficult, as their self-created karma, without cringing or complaining. Theirs is the power of surrender, accepting what is as it is and dealing with it courageously. Aum.
LESSON 7 FROM MERGING WITH SIVA
A PATH OF LOVE
We have been walking through the path of the many Saiva saints on our garden temple lands. Together we have looked back through history and seen real people, living real lives, doing pragmatic things, sometimes foolish things–some even hurtful. There were workers among them, royalty, housewives, yogis, businessmen–a spiritual community divided by caste, but with one thing only in common. They all loved Siva. That is their heritage. That is their message–that there is hope for all of us on this path to Siva, hope of attaining His grace. These men and women will be remembered as they were for thousands of years. On this path, you don’t have to be a great rishi or a highly trained yogi. You don’t have to be a great philosopher. You don’t have to know Sanskrit. Just love God, which is the Life of the life within everyone. And to realize that God is the Light of the light within everyone, you have to be very simple, very uncomplicated, so that obvious realization can manifest through your conscious mind, through your subconscious mind, through your superconscious mind.
It’s very simple: the energy within our body is the same energy that pervades the universe, and it’s all emanating right out of Lord Siva. It’s very simple: the light that lights our thoughts, that light doesn’t care–it has no preferences–whether it’s a good thought or not a good thought. That light is illuminating every thought. Take away the thoughts, and you realize that you are just light.
The path of Saiva Siddhanta, as you all know, is a very simple path. It’s the path of love, a path of devotion, which makes you want to be self-disciplined, because to maintain a feeling of love all the time, you have to be self-disciplined. You don’t discipline yourself to attain the feeling of love. You attain the feeling of love and then you want to discipline yourself because you love the discipline, because it brings more love.
The path of Saiva Siddhanta is worshiping God on the outside and realizing God on the inside, and when the two come together–transformation! That means that you’re different than you were. You have different desires. You have different motivations, different goals in life, because you’ve been transformed. You look at your previous life and you say, ”That’s another person.” Why? Because you have found something real on the inside of you. Thoughts on the inside of you–they’re not real, they’re always changing. Feelings on the inside of you–they’re not real, they’re always changing. Siva on the inside of you is right there–never changes. Those of you who hear the nada, it’s the same inner sound, morning, noon and night, 365 days a year. The light that lights your thoughts, 365 days a year, twenty-four hours a day, is the same. It lights up your dreams also. And the energy of your body–all coming from Siva.
Siva is so close to you. The Nayanars, the saints of Tamil Saivism, teach us a great lesson. They did so much wrong, but they survived with just the love of Siva, and maintained that love without anything getting in the way of it. Of course if you love Siva, obviously you have to love everyone else. Love brings forgiveness. Love brings understanding. Love brings feeling.
I thought the great guru Satya Sai Baba had something very insightful to say to his disciples, ”If each one of you love me, then you all love each other.” All Saivites of the world love Siva. They all love each other, and they love the Vaishnavites, the Shaktas, the Smartas, the tribal Hindus and everyone in the world, because Siva’s energy is working through everyone in the entire world–plants, trees, animals, fish, birds. It’s so simple. The object of the lesson is to make yourself a very simple, uncomplicated person. Aum Namah Sivaya.