December 18, 2014 - Lesson 250
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Sloka 95 from Dancing with Siva
Are There Rites for the Wisdom Years?
Entrance into the elder advisor stage at age 48, the marriage renewal at age 60, and the dawn of renunciation at 72 may be signified by ceremony. Funeral rites, antyeshti, solemnize the transition called death. Aum Namah Sivaya.
Hindu society values and protects its senior members, honoring their experience and heeding their wise advice. Age 48 marks the entrance into the vanaprastha ashrama, celebrated in some communities by special ceremony. At age 60, husband and wife reaffirm marriage vows in a sacred ablution ceremony called shashtyabda purti. Age 72 marks the advent of withdrawal from society, the sannyasa ashrama, sometimes ritually acknowledged but never confused with sannyasa diksha. The antyeshti, or funeral ceremony, is a home sacrament performed by the family, assisted by a priest. Rites include guiding the individual's transition into the higher planes, preparing the body, cremation, bone-gathering, dispersal of ashes, home purification and commemorative ceremonies, shraddha, one week, one month and one year from the day of death, and sometimes longer, according to local custom. Through the antyeshti, the soul is released to the holy feet of Siva. The Vedas counsel, "Attain your prime; then welcome old age, striving by turns in the contest of life. May the Ordainer, maker of good things, be pleased to grant you length of days." Aum Namah Sivaya.
Lesson 250 from Living with Siva
The Joy of Mysticism
Then there is the joy of the mysticism of Hinduism. It is the world's most magical religion, offering worlds within worlds of esoteric discovery and perception. The inner worlds are what Hindu mystics tell of in the greatest richness and freedom of expression that exists on the planet. Mysticism in Hinduism is more out-front than in all the other religions of the world. As a result, it is enjoyed by more of the people in our religion. Mysticism is discussed more broadly and not limited to a few great souls or a handful of pandits. The mysticism of Hinduism is for all the people; yet, too, in its esoteric aspect it is protected at its core and kept sacred by being kept secret. How grand is the Hindu mystical tradition, with its sadhanas and yogas, with its wealth of understanding of the etheric bodies, of the nadis and the chakras, of the aura and the pranas, of the various states of consciousness and levels of existence, and so much more. No other religion on the Earth can ever begin to equal Hinduism's mystical teachings; all that wealth is the rightful inheritance of each Hindu.
The Hindu enjoys all the facets of life as transmuted into a religious expression in art. The Hindu's art is a religious art--drawing, painting and sculpture of the Gods, the devas, and the saints of our religion. The music is devotional and depicts the tones of the higher chakras, echoes the voices of the Gods; and the dance emulates the movements of the Gods. We are never far away from sights, sounds and symbols of our religion. A mountaintop represents Lord Siva; a hill represents Lord Murugan, Karttikeya; and sugar cane fields represent Lord Ganesha. Everything that one sees on the planet represents something religious. Art is not merely for egotistical and existential self-expression, but for spiritual expression, done consciously in service to the Divine. That is why one seldom sees or even knows the name of the artist of the great Hindu artistic creations. The artist is not creating in order to become famous or rich. He is surrendering his talents, serving his Gods and his religion through his art, and his art takes on a certain sacredness.
One great joy that the Hindu has is the appreciation for all other religions. Hinduism is theocentric, that means God-centric, whereas most other religions are prophet-centric, revolving around the personality of some living person or some person who once lived in history and interpreted religion to his culture in his time. Hinduism has no founder. It was never founded. It has neither a beginning nor an end. It is coexistent with man himself. That is why it is called the Sanatana Dharma, the Eternal Path. It is not one man's teaching or interpretation. It is not limited to a single facet of religion, but consists of the entire spectrum, seen in its various components as if through a prism. It does not say that this religion is wrong and this one right. It sees God everywhere, manifesting all the great religions. The Hindu can appreciate Buddha without becoming a Buddhist. He can understand Jesus without becoming a Christian. Therefore, the joys of all the religions of the world become the joys of the Hindu.
But as Hindus, we must first think of the joys and happiness within our own religion. Consider our blessings. Come closer to the Gods of our religion. The many Gods are in the Western world now and have circumferenced the planet with their shakti of radiant rays that penetrate with spiritual power, bringing harmony and culture, balancing out the dharma of the planet.
Hinduism is such a great religion. All practicing Hindus are very proud of their religion. Unfortunately, these days too many born into the religion are not all that proud to be Hindus, but this is slowly changing. Hindus are now welcoming into their religion others who are, of their own volition, adopting or converting into the Sanatana Dharma. They are proud enough of their faith to want others to share its wisdom, its mysticism, its scriptures, its broadmindedness, its magnificent temples and its final conclusions for all mankind. To all Hindus, who today are found in every country on the Earth, I say: Courage! Courage! Courage! Have the courage to know beyond a doubt that Hinduism is the greatest religion in the world. We must be proud of this.
Sutra 250 of the Nandinatha Sutras
Customs For Receiving The Satguru
Siva's devotees, upon the satguru's entrance or arrival, cease worldly activity and conversation. They rise, rush forward to greet him, offer him a seat of honor and expectantly await his instructions. Aum Namah Sivaya.
Lesson 250 from Merging with Siva
The State Of Resolve
When you hear the high-pitched sound "eee" in your head, your karma and your dharma are at that moment well balanced in this life. This is reassuring to know, as is the fact that if you persist in this state for an exceedingly long period of time, you would come into the realization of the experience of God. However, as you doubtless have already experienced, distractions you have set into motion teasingly bring awareness into another area, and almost without your knowing it, the high-pitched "eee" sound has faded and a thought has taken its place.
When you are in a state of resolve--and resolve is the key word here; this means you have resolved the major karmas of conflict--good fortune and all the emotions arise, both generated through understanding the awakened philosophies by the practice of yoga and the results obtained. Then the karmas of the head chakras begin to unfold, resulting in these sublime feelings. These karmas are only experienced after many Parasiva experiences, but they are felt before as a blissful impending future. It is from these karmas the word bliss derives. Only beyond the beyond the beyond--within the vastness within the heart and core of the universes, when space turns to spacelessness, time stops and maya's endless cycles are no more--are there no more karmas. Maya's endless cycle of creation, preservation and dissolution are karmas in the manifold creations of this process.