July 28, 2014 - Lesson 107

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Sloka 107 from Dancing with Siva

What Is the Special Rite Called Archana?

Archana is an abbreviated form of temple puja in which the name, birth star and spiritual lineage of a devotee are intoned to the God by the priest to invoke special, individual, family or group blessings and assistance. Aum.


If we wish to receive the Deity's blessing for something special that is happening in our life, we may request an archana. This is arranged and paid for within the temple itself. We give a basket or tray to the priest, or pujari, upon which have been placed certain articles to be offered to the Deity: usually a flower garland, bananas and a coconut (carefully washed and not even breathed upon), holy ash, incense, camphor, rosewater and a contribution for the pujari. The pujari asks for our name, which we tell him aloud, and our nakshatra, or birth star. Then he asks for our gotra--the name of the rishi with which our family is associated. He then intones these, our credentials, before the Deity along with a Sanskrit verse. A brief puja, in which the 108 names of the God are chanted, is then performed specifically on our behalf and special blessings received. At the end, the pujari will return most of the offerings as prasada. The Vedas implore, "By your favors granted enable us, O Lord, once again to leap over the pitfalls that face us. Be a high tower, powerful and broad, for both us and our children. To our people bring well-being and peace." Aum Namah Sivaya.

Lesson 107 from Living with Siva

Inner and Outer Willpower

There are basically two aspects to the force of willpower. One controls our external life in the world and with those about us. The other controls our internal life, strivings and personal spiritual disciplines, or sadhanas. The externalized individual, who throws his force totally into the outer aspect of willpower, inwardly suffers nervousness, confusion and the lack of self-mastery. The devotee who throws his force totally into the inner aspect of willpower suffers total withdrawal from being able to face and cope with the forces of the world at large.

It is the total willpower, through both these two aspects of will, the inner and the outer, that the devotee seeks to develop within himself, with an emphasis on the internalized, spiritual processes of his being, for he full well knows that only in this way is he able to serve effectively in the world without being of the world in any way.

Willpower developed in this way brings forth the complete being of man to the foreground of himself. He no longer feels he has to sit and meditate to leave one area of the mind, through detaching himself from that area because of his sense of dislike of it, in order to go into another more desirable area. His free flow of awareness from the inner to the outer is but a short distance, so to speak, when the fulfillment of his sadhana has equalized the forces of the totality of his willpower.

Only the more evolved souls, through acute perceptions, can understand these analogies without confusing them into prior conceptions they may have had about the force of will. We must always try to grasp the totality of what is being said, from the overview, rather than endeavor to hassle with one individual concept or another. It is only through sadhana performed regularly over a long period of time that any of this knowledge becomes experiential reality in one's life. The first sadhana, therefore, is to always hold the overview and cling in your memory to the intuitive flashes that come as a result. These intuitive flashes come from deep within and are the only thing that should be remembered, for this is your jnana, your insightfulness, your own wisdom, breaking through.

It is only when one identifies his willpower as separate and a tool unto itself that he is able to move into the next phase, of discerning the difference between the primal life force within him and what it manifests. Then he can separate awareness from these manifestations, for he has gained the intuitive knowledge that he is the all-pervading life force in the universe. Once awareness has attained individuality and the devotee becomes the onlooker rather than identifying with what he looks upon, then he becomes full of the substance of the totality of the primal force which he experiences as willpower and is able to use this willpower in his daily life, which he experiences as awareness flowing through the mind. This shows the evolution of this awakening on the inner path.

Sutra 107 of the Nandinatha Sutras

Living Virtuously When Single

Siva's unmarried adolescent and adult devotees are all considered brahmacharis or brahmacharinis, bound to the wise restraints of chastity that tradition prescribes, whether they have taken a celibacy vow or not. Aum.

Lesson 107 from Merging with Siva

Lean on Your Own Spine

How can we stabilize the path on those days when it's just plain rough? The first thing to do on the path is to change our perspective of looking at life. Initially, as we come onto the inner path, we look at the map of the journey--we read books. A book is a map. We then make up our mind whether or not we want to make a change in our lifestyle and our perspective. Once we decide that we do wish to go on, a good way to begin is to reprogram the clay-like subconscious mind. Reprogram the negative habit patterns by firmly believing that you're really all right.

The second thing to accomplish is to learn to lean on your own spine. Everyone nowadays wants to lean on someone else. We lean on our families until they push us out into the world. Then we lean on our friends until they can't help us anymore. But still we keep on leaning. Then we lean on our therapist until we run out of money. This attitude of leaning on another is not the foundation needed for the delicate states of deep meditation to be sustained.

We have to lean on our own spine. But first we have to claim our spiritual heritage and feel "I'm all right, right now." By saying this and believing it, we pull the energies in just a little and become centered again. When we ask ourselves point blank, "Am I all right, right now?" we have to come up with a "Yes." Lean on your own spine. Feel the power in the spine. Feel the energy in the spine. The energy in the spine is not concerned with any fear or worry or doubt--not at all. It is a pure, powerful, blissful energy. Lean on it, and you will go crashing through into inner states of meditation. Things in the world will also work out right for you. You will be in the flow of life. You will have perfect timing. Beautiful things will begin to happen to you in the exterior world. Opportunities will open up for you where there were no opportunities before. People will become nice to you who ordinarily would not. All this and more begins to happen because mentally you are leaning on yourself, and people in general like you to do this.

Don't lean on a philosophy. Don't lean on a guru. Don't lean on a teacher. Lean on your own spine and that power within it. Then the guru can be some help to you, for you will obey his directions when he speaks. The philosophy begins to come alive in you, for you can complement it with your own inner knowing.