Path To Siva: A Catechism for Youth
Lesson 67 -- How Can We Be Strong Saivite Hindus?
Gurudeva taught, “Once we have chosen and accepted our faith, it is then our spiritual duty to learn it well and live by it as a wholehearted, contributing member of a faith community so that we pass it on in a vibrant way to those who come after us, the next generation.” To be strong Hindus, first we must learn our religion well. This means gaining a good understanding of the philosophy, the culture and the subtle mysticism. Second, we must live by it fully. This means having a solid commitment, a good character, and putting its principles into practice. For us, this includes adopting the gestures, attitudes, customs, ways of worship, dress and refinements of Tamil Saiva culture. The third step is passing our faith along to others. We all live in mixed societies, interrelating with people of varied backgrounds. You may find yourself being asked about your Hindu faith. Some questioners may have no religion. Others may reject religion and believe science has all the answers. You may be confronted by their questions: “Do you worship cows?” “Why are there so many Hindu Gods?” “Why do you wear the dot on your forehead?” Prepare yourself by studying the answers to such questions. Respond with confidence and kindness. Assume that the person really wants to learn. Yes, some may want to harass you, or turn you to their view. If you sense this is the case, smile and dismiss yourself without engaging further. You can also share your faith by conducting classes or sharing at public gatherings. In summery, we each stand strong for Hinduism by being good Hindus. Gurudeva has given us the tools in his Master Course Trilogy, Dancing, Living and Merging With Siva. Using these tools of philosophy, culture and yoga, we can defend, explain, protect, preserve and promote our Saiva faith.
Last November, Amsterdam-based artist Pieter Weltevrede began work on painting a Lord Nataraja in his fantastically creative style. Recently Pieter sent us the finished work which is the result of countless hours of creative genius.
"O God of mercy who performs the dance of illimitable happiness in the hall of inconceivable intelligence! The Rig and other Vedas are thundering forth in words announcing to us that all are thy slaves all things belong to thee all actions are thine that thou pervades everywhere that this is thy nature. Such is the teaching of those who though they never speak yet broke silence for our sake."
Karunakara Kadavul 6.3
Photos of some of our recent guests who all had an opportunity to have darshan with Satguru. Satguru is often asked many wonderful questions by visiting pilgrims. For those closely associated pilgrims and students who have darshan with Satguru it is always a good idea to prepare and write down any questions you have in advance.
As the Kularnava Tantra states: "Many are the gurus who like lamps offer light in a house. But rare is the Satguru who illumines the village like the sun. Many are the gurus who are proficient to the utmost in the Vedas and shastras. But rare is the Satguru who has attained Parasivam. Many are the gurus on earth who give what is other than the Self. But rare is the Satguru who brings the atma to light. Many are the gurus who rob sishyas of their wealth. But rare is the Satguru who removes the afflictions of the sishya."
A deeply spiritual group visited recently, spending a few morning hours at the monastery. They belong to the Center for Spiritual living whose founder Earnest Holmes created the Science of Life back in 1926, a philosophical and scientific path drawn from many sources. Their beliefs include the perfection of the universe the infinite presence of consciousness and the love and goodness of all and more.
They walked through the sacred gardens stopping here and there to marvel then chanted "Aum Namah Sivaya" together for four minutes at Iraivan Temple. They asked Sadasivanatahaswami a lot of great questions about ahimsa how does one become a swami what does "Namah Sivaya" mean and such.
This is their third year to hold a seven day retreat on the island and each time they have visited the monastery.
Aum Sivaya and Namaste everyone the monks started the phase with our regular Rudra homa and talk from Satguru. The talk audio and transcription will be available soon.
Stay tuned in the slideshow for a surpise visit from a family of devotees that are near and dear to the monastery.
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