February 08, 2016 - Lesson 302
Are you on a different lesson? Enter the number, click "Get My Lesson":
Sloka 147 from Dancing with Siva
What Are the Two Views on Creation?
Monistic theists believe that Siva creates the cosmos as an emanation of Himself. He is His creation. Pluralistic theists hold that Siva molds eternally existing matter to fashion the cosmos and is thus not His creation. Aum.
Pluralistic Siddhantins hold that God, souls and world--Pati, pashu and pasha--are three eternally coexistent realities. By creation, this school understands that Siva fashions existing matter, maya, into various forms. In other words, God, like a potter, is the efficient cause of the cosmos. But He is not the material cause, the "clay" from which the cosmos is formed. Pluralists hold that any reason for the creation of pasha--anava, karma and maya--whether it be a divine desire, a demonstration of glory or merely a playful sport, makes the Creator less than perfect. Therefore, pasha could never have been created. Monistic Siddhantins totally reject the potter analogy. They teach that God is simultaneously the efficient, instrumental and material cause. Siva is constantly emanating creation from Himself. His act of manifestation may be likened to heat issuing from a fire, a mountain from the earth or waves from the ocean. The heat is the fire, the mountain is the earth, the waves are not different from the ocean. The Vedas proclaim, "In That all this unites; from That all issues forth. He, omnipresent, is the warp and woof of all created things." Aum Namah Sivaya.
Lesson 302 from Living with Siva
Vedanta, the Mountain Peak
As we progress on the spiritual path, we must have a clear intellectual understanding of the map leading to the eventual destination, as well as what is required to prepare ourselves and to take with us to complete the journey. To begin, we shall discuss Vedanta and Siddhanta, monism-pluralism, advaita-dvaita and the traditional part that yoga plays within the midst of Hindu Dharma.
Vedanta is a philosophy and an ideal. It sets its sights on the mountain peaks and declares emphatically these heights as man's true abode. Life as we normally live it, says Vedanta, is based on ignorance of our true nature. We are like pedigreed animals wallowing in the mud, believing we are swine, divine beings thinking ourselves to be mere humans. But once we recognize our true nature, we will rise up from the mud and leave behind, forever, our previous ignorant ways. Vedanta does not budge from its vision. It sees no excuse for the nonattainment of its ideals. No human weaknesses are recognized as reasons for falling short of the goal. They are but challenges.
Vedanta sees all men as equal. It makes the same declaration of truth to all men, regardless of their varying capabilities. Vedanta tells the instinctive man, the intellectual, the spiritual man, the man at the gallows and the man speaking from the pulpit each the same message--that he himself is the Truth that all men seek, that this world of experience and the role he is playing in it are based on ignorance of his true nature, that he is himself God, the Absolute.
Vedanta is the word of sages who have spoken out their realized truths, not based on needs of individual disciples or attached to a practical means of reaching followers. Vedanta is simply the goal, the final truths that man can attain to. The lofty Himalayan peak rises far above the surrounding country, breaking through the clouds, standing alone in silent declaration of its majesty. We may see this peak from a distant valley. We may know and learn much about it. Perhaps we even desire to reach this peak ourselves. Yet it remains so distant, giving us no clue of the path which could lead us to it. This is Advaita Vedanta in its purity--a mountain peak truly majestic, but so far aloft that for most it can only serve to inspire awe and deference toward heights that are out of our reach.
Vedanta, as an ideal and philosophy, can and perhaps should leave us just where it does, with a vision, a grand vision, a grand vision of our potential, but a vision without a practical means of reaching it. The practical means, the carefully thought out and guided approach, belongs to another field of experience. And this we would call religion. It is the duty and purpose of religion to recognize the lofty goal, recognize the realistic capabilities, potential and present state of those seeking the goal, and provide a sensible and safe path toward that goal--a path that can take the strong to the final heights and yet not leave the weak on treacherous precipices along the way. Religion is the path, the only true path.
Sutra 302 of the Nandinatha Sutras
Music, Art, Drama And The Dance
All my devotees are encouraged to perfect a cultural accomplishment, be it a form of art, singing, drama, dance or a musical instrument of Siva's ensemble--vina, mridangam, tambura, cymbals and bamboo flute. Aum.
Lesson 302 from Merging with Siva
Training from A Satguru
Several thousand years ago, a yoga master was born from his own realization of the Self. He was born from his search within, where he found Absolute Existence deep inside the atomic structure of his being. This master's realization came as he controlled the mind and penetrated through it to the very core of its substance. After Self Realization, his mind opened into its fullness of knowing. This knowledge he then imparted, as needed, to the students who came to him curious or eager to solve the philosophical and metaphysical puzzles of life. The first esoteric universities formed around the master in this way. Other masters have since come and gone. Each in turn battled and conquered the fluctuating mind and penetrated into the depth of being. Students gathered around them in a most natural sequence of events. Each master brought forth from his intuition the related laws and disciplines needed so that they, too, might attain Self Realization, emkaef, as it is called in Shum, the language of meditation.
This is known as the guru system of training. It is personal and direct. An advanced devotee is one whose intuition is in absolute harmony with that of his master. This is the way I teach, not in the beginning stages when my devotees are probing the subject matter for answers, but after they have conquered the fluctuation of the patterns of the thinking mind. When they reach an advanced level of control and rapport with me, they have become shishya, dedicated their lives to serving mankind by imparting the teachings of Advaita Ishvaravada--the nondualistic philosophy of the Vedas, the basic tenet of which is that man merges into God.
Advice can be given freely, but unless the seeker is dedicated to the path of Eternal Truth, it is taken only on the intellectual plane and quoted but rarely used. Therefore, the wise guru gives challenges--spiritual assignments known as sadhana--advice, spiritual direction and guidance merge with the aspirant's own individual will. This causes daily, recognizable results from actions taken to produce accomplishment physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. Each seeker sets his own pace according to his character, his ability to act with care, forethought, consistency and persistence in the sadhana given to him by his guru.
There are five states of mind. Each one interacts somewhat with the other. The conscious mind and the subconscious mind work closely together, as does the sub of the subconscious with the subconscious, and the subconscious with the subsuperconscious. The superconscious is the most independent of them all. Being the mind of light, when one is in a superconscious state, seeing inner light is a constant experience of daily life. To attain states of this depth and still function creatively in the world, a solid training under a guru is requisite.
The power to meditate comes from the grace of the guru. The guru consciously introduces his student into meditation by stimulating certain superconscious currents within him. The grace of the guru is sought for by the yogis and is well understood by them.