Leaving the Body Behind

The most recent talk from Sadasivanathaswami is now available on YouTube, edited by Divyesh Pillay.

SivaSiva App Officially Released for iOS and iPad

The SivaSiva App provides structured mobile access to the vast resources on our websites. Modules provide quick access and interaction with content related to Saivite Hinduism. The app also provides a gateway to our media collections. There are also interesting tools for your spiritual life, realms of practice, study, fun and upliftment, portals to our rich culture and philosophy for a mobile generation.

Click here to go to the iTunes App Store to download the app to your phone or computer.

We value your input. Please share with us what you feel will be useful for your personal life, practice, spiritual and cultural growth. use the "Feedback" option at any time to send us bug reports or ideas for future versions. Version 1 is just the beginning.


Overview

"SivaSiva" is a revered mantra from South India naming the divine within all. This app is a portal to the ancient, profound wisdom and rich culture of that tradition, retooled for the 21st century. It seeks to reach today's mobile generation who seek to understand Eastern metaphysics, find spiritual roots and enjoy authentic spiritual experience.

SivaSiva offers inspirational quotes to uplift your day, awesome photos and art, access to an extensive audio library, YouTube videos and more. Version One has tools for practice and study. Use the app to learn the basics of Saivite Hinduism by diving into the Path to Siva book, which is resident in the app even if you are off line. Read the daily Master Course lessons and practice Color Meditation. The entire current issue of Hinduism Today magazine is available inside the app. Quotes from books give you instant access to their source. A journal tracks your history. Tap favorites to come back to them tomorrow. Have fun with the word-puzzle and learn key concepts at the same time. SivaSiva is a tool for all those who seek daily spiritual upliftment.

The SivaSiva App is follows the model of the popular Asian "Megaapp" — which is like going to a giant super mall, a one space in which many needs are met. It is one large app that serves multiple needs that once would take many small apps.

A big challenge and requirement for this app comes from the age and interest levels of our users, who range from 14-year-olds who know little about Hinduism, all the way up to 80-year-old devotees who are knowledgeable and dedicated Saivite Hindus steeped in the tradition. Currently we have little content for small children. This will change in future versions, as we find ways to add modules that meet the "fun" requirements of both adults and 8-year olds at the same time.

Sometimes the question is asked, "How is this different from your website?" The answer is that users have limited time to choose from a vast wealth of content, and this app uses a strong "push" model that offers access to the culture and teachings without requiring users to search for things. It also offers in-app content that the user can access while offline without a connection. The SivaSiva app is a curated approach to content delivery, tailoring access to the needs of a mobile generation

Ten Yamas

THIS ONLY WORKS ON DESKTOP WITH A KEYBOARD in Safari and Firefox. Not Chrome. We will release a tap-to-move version in the future.

Please enjoy this fun little game about the 10 Yamas, our spiritual restraints in Hinduism. It is these restrains which make up step one of ashtanga yoga. Harnessing our actions and thus reactions, that we may stop creating more karma and eventually calm and quiet our minds. This leads us to keen observation and self reflection. This game should work in both Safari and Firefox. let us know what you think in the comments.

The Fine Art of Meditation

From Gurudeva's Merging with Siva Lesson 254 Meditation is A Fine Art Meditation is a fine art and should be approached in the same way the fine arts are approached. That’s the way we teach meditation at Himalayan Academy, as a fine art. The artist-teachers are not running after the students. You don’t learn a fine art that way. You go to your teacher because you want to learn. You might go a long distance. You want to learn, and so you study. He gives you something to work on. You go away and you work on it, and you come back having perfected it. That’s how we expect Academy students to progress along the path. Something has to happen on the inside, and it usually does. ¶Controlling the breath is the same as controlling awareness. They go hand in hand. During meditation, the breath, the heartbeat, metabolism—it all slows down, just like in sleep. You know, deep meditation and deep sleep are extremely similar. Therefore, the practice of prâ∫â yâma and regulation of the breath, the prâ∫as, the currents of the body, should really be mastered first. In the very same way, the dancer doesn’t just start out dancing. He starts out exercising first. He may exercise strenuously for a year before he begins to really dance. The pianist doesn’t sit down at the piano and start with a concert. He starts with the scales and with the chords. He starts by limbering his fingers, by perfecting his rhythm and posture. Meditation has to be taught like one of the fine arts. It’s only the finely refined person who can really learn to meditate. Not everyone who wants to meditate can learn to meditate. Not everyone who wants to learn to dance or to play the piano can learn how to really, really do it. We need this preparation of the physical body so that the physical and emotional bodies behave themselves while you are in a deep state of meditation. ¶Your breath will slow down until you almost seem to stop breathing. Sometimes you do, and you’re breathing with an inner breath. You have to educate yourself to that so it doesn’t make you fearful and bring you out of meditation with a jerk and a gasp, which can then inhibit you. You can get fearful in meditation. So, good basics must be learned for one to become a deep meditator. You can spend hours or years working with the breath. Find a good teacher first, one who keeps it simple and gentle. You don’t need to strain. Start simply by slowing the breath down. Breathe by moving the diaphragm instead of the chest. This is how children breathe, you know. So, be a child. If you learn to control the breath, you can be master of your awareness. ¶The sense of bhakti yoga, a sense of devotion, is extremely important on the path. Unless we have a great bhakti, a great devotion, we can easily be shaken from the spiritual path. It’s the fuel that keeps us motivated. If we prepare our room before meditation by lighting an oil lamp or candle, a stick of incense, or only setting out a few fresh flowers, it puts us in a state of readiness; and for any serious thing that we do, we must prepare. If you’re going to cook a fine meal for a special guest, you take a bath first. You prepare yourself; you get ready. You get mentally, emotionally and physically ready. Meditation is the same thing. Physical preparations have their effect on the mind and emotions, too, turning awareness within and creating a mood and environment where there are fewer distractions. If you would prepare for meditation as exactly and precisely as you prepare yourself in the external world to go to work every day, your meditations would be much improved.

Gurukkals Visit Monks

Sivasri Shanmugam Sivacharyar -- son of late Sivasri Sambamurthy Sivacharyar of Kaaligambal Temple, Chennai -- and Sivasri Sundaramurthy Sivacharyar -- principal of the Saiva Agama Pathashala -- came to the monastery recently and paid their respects to the monks. Wonderful conversations were had that detailed future plans for the Iraivan mahakumbhabhishekam and spreading the culture and tradition of Sanskrit to the next generation. These two powerful priests are working with the digitized Agama project and moving that mission forward at their centers.

We thank them profusely for visiting and uplifting us all with their wonderful vibration.

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