August 26, 2016 - Lesson 136

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Sloka 136 from Dancing with Siva

What Is the Holy Namah Sivaya Mantra?

Namah Sivaya is among the foremost Vedic mantras. It means "adoration to Siva," and is called the Panchakshara, or "five-letters." Within its celestial tones and hues resides all of the intuitive knowledge of Saivism. Aum.


Namah Sivaya is the most holy name of God Siva, recorded at the very center of the Vedas and elaborated in the Saiva Agamas. Na is the Lord's concealing grace, Ma is the world, Shi stands for Siva, Va is His revealing grace, Ya is the soul. The five elements, too, are embodied in this ancient formula for invocation. Na is earth, Ma is water, Shi is fire, Va is air, and Ya is ether, or akasha. Many are its meanings. Namah Sivaya has such power, the mere intonation of these syllables reaps its own reward in salvaging the soul from bondages of the treacherous instinctive mind and the steel bands of a perfected externalized intellect. Namah Sivaya quells the instinct, cuts through the steel bands and turns this intellect within and on itself, to face itself and see its ignorance. Sages declare that mantra is life, that mantra is action, that mantra is love and that the repetition of mantra, japa, bursts forth wisdom from within. The holy Natchintanai proclaims, "Namah Sivaya is in truth both Agama and Veda. Namah Sivaya represents all mantras and tantras. Namah Sivaya is our souls, our bodies and possessions. Namah Sivaya has become our sure protection." Aum Namah Sivaya.

Lesson 136 from Living with Siva

The Home As a Temple

This working together of the home and the temple brings up the culture and the religion within the family. The family goes to the temple; the temple blesses the family's next project. The mother returns home. She keeps an oil lamp burning in the shrine room on the altar to bring the shakti power of the God and devas into their home. This is only one of the beautiful practices of her religious stri dharma, so sensitive and so vital to the furtherance of the family and its faith. All this happens because her astral body is not fretted by the stresses and strains of a worldly life, not polluted by the lustful thoughts of other men directed toward her, causing her to live in the emotional astral body to ward them off, or be tempted by them. She is not living in the emotional astral body. She is living in her peaceful soul body of love, fulfilling her dharma and radiating the soulful presence called sannidhya. She was born to be a woman, and that's how a woman should behave.

If she does not do her dharmic duty--this means the duty of birth--then she accrues bad karma. Every time she leaves the home to go out to work, she is making kukarma. Yes, she is. That negative karma will have its affect on her astral body and on her husband's astral body and on the astral bodies of their children, causing them to become insecure.

The Judaic-Christian-Islamic idea of just one life, after which you either go to heaven or to hell gives the impression that time is running out. Some even think "you have to get everything out of this life, because when you're gone, you're gone, so grab all the gusto that you can." This has given the modern Western woman the idea that she is not getting everything she should, and therefore the man's world looks doubly attractive, because she is just passing through and will never come back. So, living a man's life is very, very attractive. She doesn't want to stay home all the time and not see anything, not meet anybody, go through the boredom of raising a family, taking care of the children. She wants to be out with life, functioning in a man's world, because she is told that she is missing something. Therefore, you can understand her desire to get out and work, start seeing and experiencing life and mixing with people, meeting new people.

The traditional Hindu woman, however, does not look at life like that. She knows that she was born this time in a woman's body--this soul has taken an incarnation for a time in a woman's body--to perform a dharma, to perform a duty, for the evolution of the soul. The duty is to be a mother to her children, wife to her husband, to strengthen the home and the family, which are the linchpin of society. She knows that the rewards are greater for her in the home. She knows that all she is missing is a man's strenuous work and responsibility, that her stri dharma is equally as great as a man's purusha dharma, even though they are quite different by nature. Because she knows these things, she fulfills her dharma joyously.

Sutra 136 of the Nandinatha Sutras

Nurturing Children, Meeting Daily

Siva's followers use astrology, tradition and wise counsel to cultivate each child's inherent talents and higher nature. They hold family meetings daily to share, plan, express love and discuss issues with mutual respect. Aum.

Lesson 136 from Merging with Siva

Karma and Consciousness

The Hindu does not have to die to have a final judgment or to enter into heaven, for heaven is a state of mind and being fully existent in every human being this very moment. There are people walking on this Earth today who are living in heaven, and there are those who are living in hellish states as well. All that the Hindu has to do is go to the temple. As soon as he goes to the temple, to a puja, he is contacting the divine forces. During the puja, he is totally judged by the Deity. All of his karma is brought current, and he goes away feeling good. Or he might go away feeling guilty. That is good, too, because then he performs penance, prayashchitta, and resolves unseemly karma quickly.

It might be said that every day that you go to the temple is judgment day. Isn't it a wonderful thing that in our religion you can either go to heaven or hell on a daily basis, and the next day get out of hell through performing penance and ascend to heaven? The Hindu sees these as states existing in the here and now, not in some futuristic and static other-worldly existence. There are certainly inner, celestial realms, but like this physical universe, they are not the permanent abode of the soul, which is in transit, so to speak, on its way to merger with Siva.

It is not necessary for the Hindu to wait until the end of life to become aware of the results of this particular life. Because he knows this and does not wait for death for the resolution of the results of his accumulated actions and reactions in life, his evolution is exceedingly fast. He lives perhaps several lives within the boundaries of a single lifetime, changing and then changing again. If he errs, he does not worry inordinately. He merely corrects himself and moves on in the progressive stream of human evolution. He is aware of the frailties of being human, but he is not burdened by his sins or condemning himself for actions long past. To him, all actions are the work of the Gods. His life is never static, never awaiting a judgment day; whereas the Western religionist who believes there is an ultimate reckoning after this one life is spent is piling up everything that he has done, good and bad, adding it to a medley in his mind and waiting for the Grim Reaper to come along and usher in the Day of Judgment.

Hinduism is such a joyous religion, freed of all the mental encumbrances that are prevalent in the various Western faiths. It is freed of the notion of a vengeful God. It is freed of the notion of eternal suffering. It is freed from the notion of original sin. It is freed from the notion of a single spiritual path, a One Way. It is freed from the notion of a Second Coming. Why, I think some of the devas in this temple are on their, let me see,... 8,450,000th coming now! They come every time you ring the bell. You don't have to wait 2,000 years for the Gods to come. Every time you ring the bell, the Gods and devas come, and you can be and are blessed by their darshan. They are omniscient and omnipresent, simultaneously there in every temple on the planet as the bell is rung. That is the mystery and the power of these great Gods who exist within the microcosm.