March 26, 2015 - Lesson 348

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Sloka 38 from Dancing with Siva

What Is the Nature of the Kriya Pada?

Kriya is joyous and regular worship, both internal and external, in the home and temple. It includes puja, japa, penance, fasting and scriptural learning, by which our understanding and love of God and Gods deepen. Aum.


Hinduism demands deep devotion through bhakti yoga in the kriya pada, softening the intellect and unfolding love. In kriya, the second stage of religiousness, our sadhana, which was mostly external in charya, is now also internal. Kriya, literally "action or rite," is a stirring of the soul in awareness of the Divine, overcoming the obstinacy of the instinctive-intellectual mind. We now look upon the Deity image not just as carved stone, but as the living presence of the God. We perform ritual and puja not because we have to but because we want to. We are drawn to the temple to satisfy our longing. We sing joyfully. We absorb and intuit the wisdom of the Vedas and Agamas. We perform pilgrimage and fulfill the sacraments. We practice diligently the ten classical observances called niyamas. Our relationship with God in kriya is as a son to his parents and thus this stage is called the satputra marga. The Tirumantiram instructs, "Puja, reading the scriptures, singing hymns, performing japa and unsullied austerity, truthfulness, restraint of envy, and offering of food--these and other self-purifying acts constitute the flawless satputra marga." Aum Namah Sivaya.

Lesson 348 from Living with Siva

Beware of Detractors

Every nation, village, organization, society and even small group has certain goals to accomplish, ideals to live by and a mission it seeks to fulfill. But every organization and group, large or small, has something else as well: detractors. They are usually friendly, kindly, sociable and fun to be with. They're often intellectually bright and more sophisticated than most. They can be the life of the party, the ones who get things going, serve the prasada and talk a mile a minute. They are often popular, welcomed onto every committee and board of trustees, because people feel their energy and inspiration will implement the objectives of the organization, be they building a temple, promoting a publication, saving the rain forests or reorganizing Hindu society into traditional ways of life, culture and arts.

Their special social skills promote them quickly through the ranks. Once in an influential position, they speak wisely on subjects irrelevant to the central purpose of the organization. Given the chance, they can turn a not-so-wealthy ashrama into an up-and-coming business, thus diluting the original holy impulse of selfless, humble service. Of course, they do perform worship, but in most cases it is not genuine, and just enough to keep them in with a religious group. Given a project, they may balk or procrastinate--delaying a mailing to the point that when it arrives it is useless, or refraining from doing it at all. They are never without a good reason for their actions, having been educated in the venerable "Book of Excuses." At meetings they are quite competent to tell in compelling terms why a project that all wish to manifest is not possible. They are equally capable of making everyone question the mission of the organization and their part in it. They politic to redefine the group's chartered purpose, to make it fit into their own ideas. These rajas of reason have many ruses to discourage others from fitting in, and will go to great efforts to bring up irrelevant alternatives and possibilities which cloud the group's thinking and undermine its commitments. All this may seem overstated, perhaps over-generalized, but from my experience I assure you that it is not.

These, my friends, are detractors. Though they may appear to be allies, they are not. The worst of them, I would say, are guided by asuric forces which seek to undermine, erode and create confusion. Detractors also endeavor to control and then stifle the religious leaders--the swamis, pandits, priests and the guru--by setting schedules as to whom they should or should not meet, what they should and should not say. If they can, they will cleverly edit a religious institution's written works into oblivion and relegate the founder to being a feeble figurehead, a mere picture hanging on the wall.

Detractors are something to be deeply concerned about. Don't hope that they will one day turn around and be defenders of faith. They won't. By divine, dharmic law, devotees who are dedicated to the goals of their group are wrong to associate with detractors, who often seek to replace the religious agenda with a social one. Rather, they must be dissociated from and seen as foes to the forces of dharma, antagonists who do not allow others to preserve the thrust of the founder's goals. Every group should rigorously test each one within it to determine who is vowed to fulfill the goals of the organization and who will hamper them every step of the way, resist and refuse to fit in fully, and politic to cause others to do the same. Their favorite mode of operation is the erosion method, continually taking up time, even if it's only five minutes today and eight minutes tomorrow. Their presence is always a burden, as they deter, delay and inhibit the mission by their remarkable irrelevancies and intolerable subtle obstinacy. Asuric invasion comes through such detractors, who rely on anger, pouting, gossip, backbiting and emotional upheavals to get their way. Once having been admitted into the central fold, they employ these means of motivation even more openly than before, to the utter distress of devotees who are humbly striving to follow dharma and to fulfill the stated mission of the organization. Now, I am not saying these are all necessarily bad people, though some are definitely there to intentionally infiltrate, dilute and destroy. Others may have, in their own minds, perfectly good intentions and may be entirely unaware of their negative effect on the group. But that does not excuse them. It is important to stress that for religious service to be effective, there must be absolute group harmony. For words to go deep and lives to be changed for the better, everyone's pranas must be flowing together on an equal wavelength. All must be kindred in their vows and unified in their determination to fulfill the goals of the ashrama, society, temple or mission.

The big question remains: how to get rid of detractors once they are discovered. Quite probably they have made many friends, are tied into key projects, have contributed a great deal of money and gained a position of control. If detractors are discovered, don't confront them. Don't accuse them. Don't try to persuade or convince them to be different. Don't expect them to change. Be persistent in maintaining the original goals of the institution. Uphold the dharma and be unified with those who are loyal. Quietly let the detractors go their way, or into another group that is more suited to them. Without them, the mission will soar. Religious organizations must not tolerate domination by wealthy or influential patrons or members who do not support the shared goals. An indigent widow's single rupee in the hundi and a billionaire's one million should have equal weight in the minds of the trustees.

Sutra 348 of the Nandinatha Sutras

Males Serve My Mathavasis

My Saiva monastics are all males, our ancient tradition ordains. When they visit homes, temples or ashramas, all service to them, such as meals, travel assistance, laundry and visitor hosting, shall be carried out by males. Aum.

Lesson 348 from Merging with Siva

Yoga Adept's Special Pattern

These first laws of reincarnation dealing with the astral plane governed by the powers of the first three chakras seem to be quite valid when man is living in his instinctive mind. However, when he passes from the physical body through the will, cognition, or universal love chakras, he comes into a different reincarnation law. He then is living on two planes at the same time and, according to this theory, would have representative bodies on both planes. His evolution on the physical plane would be quick, since his only physical, conscious expression would be a small animal, perhaps a little bird or cat or some extremely sensitive animal. This creature would represent and polarize the advanced soul's instinctive mind on the physical plane while he evolved at an accelerated pace on vast inner planes. This dual existence would continue until such time as the process of reincarnation was intensified and the vibration of the Earth was strong enough in his mind to pull awareness back dynamically to another human life. This might take years, and it might take centuries.

In a sense, this mystic would be held through the power of the higher chakras in a very subtle force field and only touch into physical consciousness sporadically by using different bodies of animals and people for a few minutes or hours to contact the Earth. He would not necessarily be conscious of doing this. His awareness would exist predominantly on the inner planes.

This is one reason we find some of the Indian religions forbidding the killing of animals of any kind. They believe an animal may be a great saint or jnani who has passed on. Nonkilling of animals, especially cows, is widely observed in India even today. Of course, many consider such a theory senseless, ridiculous, fraught with superstition. However, we could look at everything which we don't yet understand as superstitious until we comprehend the intricate mechanism of the laws of the governing force fields.

Another postulate of this theory is that an advanced being living in his inner bodies, having left consciousness through one of the higher chakras, would be working out a certain amount of karma by helping others who are still in physical bodies to work out their karma. For various reasons, this being would not be able to return to Earth consciously. What, then, would cause him to reincarnate? It would be the intellectual clarity and spiritual intensity of the mother and father in the process of conception or planned conception. They would have to reach very deeply into the inner planes in order to provide the channel for a high reincarnation, whereas couples cohabiting in lust or free-for-all sex more or less take potluck off the astral plane. This indicates briefly an ancient but neglected law: that the parents--through their love for one another, through their devotion and through their states of consciousness during the days of conception--attract to themselves either old souls or young souls.

Generally, the soul, at the time of conception, chooses the body he will inhabit but does not actually enter the womb until the infant body takes life and begins to move and kick. Similarly, on the physical plane we may buy an acre of land and plan the house we wish to live in, but not actually move in until months later when the house is completed.