February 11, 2016 - Lesson 305
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Sloka 150 from Dancing with Siva
What Are the Views on Mahapralaya?
Monistic theists hold that at mahapralaya, cosmic dissolution, all creation is withdrawn into Siva, and He alone exists. Pluralistic theists hold that world and souls persist in seed form and will later reemerge. Aum Namah Sivaya.
Pluralistic Siddhantins contend that after mahapralaya--the withdrawal of time, form and space into Siva--souls and world are so close to Siva that, for all practical purposes, He alone exists. Actually, they say, both world and souls continue to exist, not as things, but as "potentialities." As if in a deep sleep, souls, now in a bodiless state, rest. Individual karmas lie dormant to germinate later when creation again issues forth and nonliberated souls are re-embodied to continue their spiritual journey. Monistic Siddhantins believe that souls persist through the lesser pralayas of the cosmic cycle, but hold that only Siva exists following mahapralaya. There is no "other," no separate souls, no separate world. The universe and all souls are absorbed in Siva. Pasha--anava, karma and maya--is annihilated. In the intensity of pre-dissolution, when time itself is accelerated, all souls attain complete maturation, losing separateness through fulfilled merger with Siva. Yea, jiva becomes Siva. The Vedas boldly decree, "By His divine power He holds dominion over all the worlds. At the periods of creation and dissolution of the universe, He alone exists." Aum Namah Sivaya.
Lesson 305 from Living with Siva
Unity at the Mountaintop
If we return to our analogy of the mountain peak, the path to it, religion, would be likened to a well-trodden trail. There are many people all along the way to assist in times of need. There are also those few in each religion who have walked the entire path, reached the summit and can lead others along the way. Those pursuing yoga, philosophy or mysticism separate from the foundation of day-to-day religion are like lone climbers treading through unknown territory, up unknown slopes. Theoretically they too can reach the summit. But realistically they do not. Mountain storms, unforeseen precipices, dead ends and untold other dangers and detours eventually claim such would-be seekers. Many fall into the crevice of intellectual rigidity and arrogant argumentativeness.
The path of dharma, which is India's word for religion, is the sure and proven path. They call it the eternal path, Sanatana Dharma. True religion does not discount mystic experience. Every true religion has produced its mystics. And it is here where religious unity is realized. The Zen master, Christian mystic, master of Kabala, Sufi mystic, Shinto shaman, Hindu sage and Taoist recluse can all speak of unity. They can all look into each others' eyes and see no differences, but only oneness of spirit. For there is but one mountain peak that rises above the clouds. And all true seekers, regardless of their religion, must find their way to this one summit within themselves, sometimes transcending the religion of their birth. In mystic experience lies the unity of all religions.
Vedanta is an attempt to describe the experiences of the mystic. But how many actually attain to these final heights of realization? Many speak of them, but in the final analysis, too few ever reach them, for very few are willing to go through the rigorous efforts of purification. Few are willing to face each fault and weakness in their nature. Few are willing to take their scriptures, their spiritual leader's words and their own intuitive knowing to heart and apply and practice their religion every day, every hour, every minute. But this is what it takes. It takes this kind of dedication, this kind of unrelenting effort.
The mystic whom we see poised on the peak of God Realization is the man who once faced each experience that you now do. He didn't skip them or go around them. He had to deal with the same doubts, the same fears and the same confusions. He had those same experiences where all seems against you, and you seem so alone and ask, "Why am I the one who has these unsolvable problems, these totally confusing situations?" He didn't give in to that abyss of doubt. He threw himself at the feet of God when all seemed beyond hope. And hope appeared. He persevered, tried his best, made the decisions that made the most sense in spite of unclarity--and all the while continued his sadhana, continued his spiritual practices, until one by one the veils of confusion faded and clarity became constant. He is the man who strived so hard on the little things in life, as well as on the great challenges. He simply did--not spoke of, but did--what you know you should do. We are the carvers of our own future. God's grace, His love, is always blessing us in our efforts.
Sutra 305 of the Nandinatha Sutras
Living The Sublime Tamil Saiva Culture
All my devotees are encouraged to adopt the gestures, attitudes, customs, ways of worship, dress and refinements of Tamil Saiva protocol. They learn by living and studying with traditional Saivites. Aum Namah Sivaya.
Lesson 305 from Merging with Siva
Sensitivity To Darshan
Darshan from a great soul, like the pollen of the flowers, can stimulate healthy sneezing and cleansing if one's subconscious happens to be congested. Call it, if you like, an allergy to flowers. Some people have allergies to gurus, too. The guru's darshan lifts repressed subconscious patterns that have been out of the flow of the cosmic pattern of regenerative life, bringing them up before one's conscious attention. Instead of feeling wonderful, the visitor to the garden feels miserable, as the fire is brought up from within, releasing his awareness to view the polluted state of the subconscious mind.
Some people are more sensitive to fragrance than others. Others are so selfless and sensitive, they can become the fragrance itself for a time. In such a person, the rose smells sweet through every pore of his body. He is not in the least aware of any subconscious congested area of the mind. He sits in the garden and goes deep into meditation on the subtle fragrance of the flowers. The same principle relates to the unfolded soul. Darshan pours forth from within the unfolded soul just as fragrance flows from the rose--stronger at some times than at others because some devotees are more in tune than others. For them, the room begins to ring and vibrate. Some people are so sensitive that when a great soul comes to the same town, they feel his presence. This shows their inner attunement to the constant flowing power of the darshan.
Everyone has some feelings radiating from within, but they are emanations that fluctuate. Because you feel these vibrations coming from them, you can intuit how they are feeling. They do not emanate a constant or a building flow. It is a fluctuating flow of emotional, or astral, energy. The darshan I am explaining is really the energies flowing from the deeper chakras, sahasrara and ajna, the seventh and sixth chakras, or psychic force centers, in the head, through the kundalini force within the spine. These energy flows do not fluctuate as the emotional odic-force energies do. They go on day and night and night and day through the illumined soul. Those devotees who are in tune with the guru can feel his physical presence when he enters their town because the darshan gets stronger. And it feels to them more ethereal when he is farther away.
These energy flows are very important to study, because it is possible to draw and enjoy a great darshan from an illumined soul if you approach him in just the right way. If you can become as a sponge when you approach him, you will draw out inspiring talks and gracious blessings from him. The Hindu is conscious that he is drawing darshan from his rishi or his satguru, just as you are conscious of drawing the perfume of the rose into your body. When approaching a soul who is known to give darshan, be in the same area of the superconscious mind that you feel he must be in. The guru does not have to be necessarily functioning in that same area. He could be externalized in consciousness at the time. This is not important. It does not stop his darshan at all. The guru, feeling you draw the darshan, would immediately go within and enjoy it himself. Once darshan is there in him, it is always there.