June 27, 2022 - Lesson 76

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Sloka 76 from Dancing with Siva

What Is the Basis for a Happy Marriage?

A happy marriage is based first and foremost on a mature love, not a romantic ideal of love. It requires selflessness and constant attention. A successful marriage is one which both partners work at making successful. Aum.


While not all marriages must be arranged, there is wisdom in arranged marriages, which have always been an important part of Hindu culture. Their success lies in the families' judgment to base the union on pragmatic matters which will outlast the sweetest infatuation and endure through the years. The ideal age for women is from 18 to 25, men from 21 to 30. Stability is enhanced if the boy has completed his education, established earnings through a profession and is at least five years older than the girl. Mature love includes accepting obligations, duties and even difficulties. The couple should be prepared to work with their marriage, not expecting it to take care of itself. It is good for bride and groom to write out a covenant by hand, each pledging to fulfill certain duties and promises. They should approach the marriage as holy, advancing both partners spiritually. It is important to marry a spouse who is dependable, chaste and serious about raising children in the Hindu way, and then worship and pray together. The Vedas say, "Devoted to sacrifice, gathering wealth, they serve the Immortal and honor the Gods, united in mutual love." Aum Namah Sivaya.

Lesson 76 from Living with Siva

Restraining Television

Television provides so much of the mental diet of so many people today that it deserves special attention, lest it become a deterrent to a balanced, contemplative life. Television at its best is the extension of storytelling. We used to sit around and tell stories. The best storyteller, who could paint pictures in people's minds, was the most popular person in town. Television is also the extension of the little theater, and as soon as it became popular, the little theater groups all over the country became unemployed. It is the extension of the stand-up comedian, of vaudeville, drama, opera, ballet, all of which have suffered since television has become a popular mode of entertainment. In every country, at every point in time, humans have sat down and been entertained, and entertainers have stood up and entertained them.

Today, television has become an instrument to convey knowledge and bring the world together, set new standards of living, language, styles of dress and hair, ways of walking, ways of standing, attitudes about people, ethics, morality, political systems, religions and all sorts of other things, from ecology to pornography. This vast facility unifies the thinking--and thus the actions--of the peoples of the world. Today, at the flick of a finger with the magic wand, one can change the mental flow and emotional experience of everyone watching for the entire evening.

Saivites know that our karmas are forces we send out from ourselves--creative forces, preserving forces, destroying forces, and a mixture of either two or the three--and they usually come back to us through other people or groups of people. Television has afforded us the ability to work through our karmas more quickly than we could in the agricultural age. On TV, the "other people" who play our past experiences back to us, for us to understand in hindsight, are actors and actresses, newscasters and the people in the news they broadcast. Saivites know nothing can happen, physically, mentally or emotionally, but that it is seeded in our prarabdha karmas, the action-reaction patterns brought with us to this birth. Therefore, on the positive side, we look at television as a tool for karmic cleansing.

Saivites know that the object of life is to go through our experiences joyously and kindly, always forgiving and compassionately understanding, thus avoiding making unseemly kriyamana karmas in the current life which, if enough were accumulated and added to the karmas we did not bring into this life, would bring us back into another birth, and the process would start all over again. The great boon that television has given humanity, which is especially appreciated by Saivites, is that we can soften our prarabdha karmas very quickly by analyzing, forgiving and compassionately understanding the happenings on the screen, as our past is portrayed before us, and as we work with our nerve system, which laughs and cries, resents, reacts to and avoids experiences on the TV.

Television can be very entertaining and helpful, or it can be insidiously detrimental, depending on how it is used. Therefore, fortify your mind with a thorough understanding of what you are watching. Television works on the subconscious mind. This is an area of the mind which we are not usually conscious of when it is functioning, but it is functioning nevertheless, constantly, twenty-four hours a day. Television works strongly on the subconscious minds of children. If they watch TV for long periods of time, they begin to think exactly as the programmers want them to think. Responsible parents have to choose just what goes into their children's minds, as well as into their own minds. It is advisable to prerecord the shows you wish to watch, avoiding sexual scenes, obscene language and excessive violence; and even then be ready to fast-forward through inappropriate scenes that are found today even on PG-rated programs.

Sutra 76 of the Nandinatha Sutras

Gambling Is Forbidden

Siva's devotees are forbidden to indulge in gambling or games of chance with payment or risk, even through others or for employment. Gambling erodes society, assuring the loss of many for the gain of a few. Aum.

Lesson 76 from Merging with Siva

Consistency Is Essential

You can write many kinds of affirmations and use them for many different purposes, but remember, they are powerful. They should be carefully worded, and only used in a way which enhances your spiritual life. To be effective, they should be repeated regularly on schedule, five minutes in the morning, at noon and five minutes at night for seven days to begin with. You will surely benefit by the results you cause spiritually, emotionally and materially. The greatest emotional security is brought about through the affirmation, "I'm all right, right now," which quiets not only the conscious but also the subconscious instinctive fears, bringing forth an immediate influx of spiritual energy through the subconscious, giving peace and contentment to the entirety of the mind by expanding consciousness. As we expand our consciousness through the conscious control of spiritual energy, we become aware of new attributes and possibilities within our nature. Also, we become aware of the realms of knowledge within us that can be tapped during meditation, or the conscious use of the intuitive mind, to not only solve problems that confront us in our daily activity, but to derive creative solutions from the inner recesses of our own mind.

When you say to yourself, "I am all right, right now," you immediately bring the forces of the mind together. All fears, worries and doubts cease. An influx of spiritual energy fills the subconscious, and a sense of dynamic security permeates your being. "Tomorrow I shall wake up filled with energy, creatively alive and in tune with the universe." Say this several times to yourself and feel the spiritual force begin to move, the life force begin to move, within your body. You will wake up in the morning filled with creative energy, with a desire to be productive, to create. Answers to problems will be immediately unfolded from within yourself. You will experience finding solutions to questions that have been unanswered within your subconscious mind perhaps for years. A devotee having thus exercised this control over his mind to the point where when he commands the mind to be instantaneously creative, or puts a time limit on it--"Tomorrow I shall be creative, alive and in tune with the universe"--and his mind obeys, then has achieved a conscious cont rol of the intuitive forces of mind. He is truly all right, in every now.