August 28, 2014 - Lesson 138
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Sloka 138 from Dancing with Siva
Is Initiation Necessary to Perform Japa?
The most precious of all Saivite mantras, Namah Sivaya is freely sung and chanted by one and all. Mantra diksha bestows the permission and power for japa yoga. Without this initiation, its repetition bears lesser fruit. Aum.
The Panchakshara Mantra is the word of God, the name and total essence of Siva. But to chant Namah Sivaya and to be empowered to chant Namah Sivaya is likened to the difference between writing a check without money in the bank and writing a check with money in the bank. Namah Sivaya is the gateway to yoga. Initiation from an orthodox guru is given after preparation, training and attaining a certain level of purity and dedication. The guru bestows the authority to chant Namah Sivaya. After initiation, the devotee is obligated to intone it regularly as instructed. This forges the shishya's permanent bond with the guru and his spiritual lineage, sampradaya, and fires the process of inner unfoldment. From the lips of my Satgurunatha I learned Namah Sivaya, and it has been the central core of my life, strength and fulfillment of destiny. The secret of Namah Sivaya is to hear it from the right lips at the right time. Then, and only then, is it the most powerful mantra for you. The Siva Samhita affirms, "Only the knowledge imparted by a guru, through his lips, is powerful and useful; otherwise it becomes fruitless, weak and very painful." Aum Namah Sivaya.
Lesson 138 from Living with Siva
A Feminine Incarnation
The Hindu woman knows that she is born in a woman's body to fulfill a woman's dharma, to perform her duty and not to emulate the men. The duty is to be a mother to her children and a wife to her husband, whom she looks to as her lord. She performs that duty willingly, as does the man perform his duty which arises out of being born in a man's body. The Hindu woman is trained to perform her stri dharma from the time she is a little girl. She finds ways to express her natural creativity within the home itself. She may write poetry or become an artist. Perhaps she has a special talent for sewing or embroidery or gardening or music. She can learn to loom cloth and make the family's clothing. If needed, she can use her skills to supplement the family income without leaving the home. There are so many ways for a Hindu wife and mother to fully use her creative energies, including being creative enough to never let her life become boring. It is her special blessing that she is free to pursue her religion fully, to study the scriptures, to sing bhajana and keep her own spiritual life strong inside.
Then there is the situation in which the wife is working for her husband in the home. This is not ideal, but it is far better than having her out away from her husband, under another man's mind. At least the family is working together toward a single goal, and the mother is there to care for the child and answer questions. Of course, if working in the home does not allow for closeness of mother and children, then it is to be avoided--if, for instance, the work is so demanding that the mother is never free to play with the young ones or is so pressured by her other duties that she becomes tense and upset. Otherwise, it is a positive situation. From the child's point of view, mother is home. She is there to answer questions, to make a dosai or say, "Go make yourself a nice dosai and I will help you." She is there with a kiss and a band aid for a scratch. She is there to explain why the grass is green, to tell a story, to teach a simple lesson in why things are the way they are. Mother is home, and that is very important for a young child. Yes, her prana in the house makes the house a home.
We are nowadays witnessing a big wave of change rushing to the shores of Hinduism in Colombo, Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, New York, Durban and London. I have seen it coming. Hindu women no longer feel they have to adhere to the old traditions. They are changing traditions. They adopt new ways these days. Now a Hindu woman can go out and work, especially if she lives in the city, and she is encouraged by family and friends to do so. She can neglect her family, and that is deemed all right, too. She doesn't have to fulfill her stri dharma. Staying home is old-fashioned, they say. I have been told that eighty percent of all Hindu women living in the West work in the world. Eighty percent! Apparently those who have worked for the demise of Hinduism have done their work quite well. Still, I am not worried. I know the nature of waves, and this one will ebb as soon as it reaches the height of its power, replaced by the greater power of returning to tradition.
Sutra 138 of the Nandinatha Sutras
Not Governing Through Fear
Siva's followers never govern youth through fear. They are forbidden to spank or hit them, use harsh or angry words, neglect or abuse them. They know you can't make children do better by making them feel worse. Aum.
Lesson 138 from Merging with Siva
The Potency Of Tradition
This is one of the reasons that religious tradition is very, very important. Modern existential thought tells us that we can do anything we want to; we don't have to follow tradition. Out of such a belief comes a great sense of loneliness, a schism between the individual and all his ancestors, all the generations that preceded him on this planet. Out of such a belief comes the breaking up of culture, society, religion and families.
Tradition allows you to go through life's experiences in a controlled way, rather than just throwing yourself into life and upon life without forethought and preparation. When you respect tradition, you call upon the collective wisdom of tens of thousands of years of experience. When you follow tradition, you share the solutions of untold problems, solved once perhaps before recorded history began in order that future generations might avoid them. Tradition is wisdom of the past inherited by the men and women in the present.
Our religion has a vast tradition, and not everyone can or does follow the entirety of it. There is the greatest freedom within Hinduism. You can choose to not follow tradition, but tradition is there to be followed when you choose to do so. Of course, we can take the path of trial and error, testing every single precept before adopting any. That is a tedious path which leads slowly to the eventual goal. By depending on our Gods, on our forefathers, on our religious ancestors, we move more swiftly along the spiritual path. In the early stages we tend toward untraditional ways. That is natural. Experience later shows us another way, and we begin to become traditionalists. This maturation comes to all souls over a series of births as they learn to perfect the intricate patterns of Hindu culture and religion.
There are certain traditions that can be broken up, that are lost and forgotten, covered over by the sands of time because they are traditions that men put in motion. Some traditions set in motion by people to solve certain problems at certain times have no relationship to our circumstances and in our times.
The Hindu tradition is initiated and administrated from the inner worlds, from the Devaloka. The Deities are the source of most tradition. They ordain the proper way to chant and the mantras to be used. They establish the language, the music, the dance, the systems of worship. Following the Hindu traditions better and better over the years attunes your mind to the great, positive mind flow of over one billion people on our planet.
Ours are the world's most ancient traditions. They are the most profound, based on an esoteric understanding of man and his purpose in life. Tradition guides experiences in life. It is a protective mind structure. Any experience that you have to go through is gently guided by this great mind structure. The old ways are world patterns that have come down through thousands upon thousands of years, which you have, in previous lives, lived through and known.