May 28, 2018 - Lesson 46

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Sloka 46 from Dancing with Siva

Are Souls and World Essentially Good?

The intrinsic and real nature of all beings is their soul, which is goodness. The world, too, is God's flawless creation. All is in perfect balance. There are changes, and they may appear evil, but there is no intrinsic evil. Aum.

Bhashya

The soul radiates love, is a child of God going through its evolutionary process of growing up into the image and likeness of the Lord. Goodness and mercy, compassion and caring are the intrinsic, inherent or indwelling nature of the soul. Wisdom and pure knowledge, happiness and joy are the intrinsic nature of the soul. Can we believe the soul is anything but goodness itself, purity and all the refined qualities found within superconsciousness? When God is everywhere, how can there be a place for evil? The soul is constantly one with God in its ever-present Satchidananda state at every point in its evolution. How, then, arises the concept of evil and suffering? Anava, karma and maya, the play toys of the soul, are the source of this seeming suffering. Like a child, we play with the toys of anava in the playground of maya, fall and are bruised by karma, then run to our loving Lord for solace and release into spiritual maturity. The Vedas pointedly state, "As the sun, the eye of the whole world, is not sullied by the external faults of the eyes, so the one inner soul of all things is not sullied by the sorrow in the world, being external to it." Aum Namah Sivaya.


Lesson 46 from Living with Siva

Faith in Tradition


The intellect in its capacity to contain truth is a very limited tool, while faith is a very broad, accommodating and embracing faculty. The mystery of life and beyond life, of Siva, is really better understood through faith than through intellectual reasoning. The intellect is a memory/reason conglomerate from the lower nadi/chakra complex. Its refined ability to juggle information around is uncanny in some instances. Nevertheless, the intellect is built upon what we hear and remember, what we experience and remember, what we explain to others who are refined or gross in reasoning faculties. What we remember of it all and the portions that have been forgotten may be greatly beneficial to those listening, or it may be confusing, but it is certainly not Truth with a capital "T."

There are two kinds of faith. The first kind is faith in those masters, adepts, yogis and rishis who have had similar experiences and have spoken about them in similar ways, unedited by the ignorant. We, therefore, can have faith that some Truth was revealed from within themselves, from some deep, inner or higher source. The second aspect of faith is in one's own spiritual, unsought-for, unbidden flashes of intuition, revelations or visions, which one remembers even stronger as the months go by, more vividly than something read from a book, seen on television or heard from a friend or a philosopher. These personal revelations create a new, superconscious intellect when verified by what yogis and rishis and the sadhus have seen and heard and whose explanations centuries have preserved. These are the old souls of the shuddha avastha, being educated from within out, building a new intellect from superconscious insights. Their faith is unshakable, undaunted, for it is themself. It is just who they are at this stage of the evolution, the maturation, of their soul in the shuddha avastha.

One of the aspects of faith is the acceptance of tradition rather than the questioning or doubting of traditions. Another is trust in the process of spiritual unfoldment, so that when one is going through an experience, one always believes that the process is happening, instead of thinking that today's negative experience is outside the process. However, it is not possible for souls in the irul pada, stage of darkness, to trust in the process of anything except their need for food, a few bodily comforts and their gaining the abilities to adjust transparently into a community without committing too many crimes for which they would be severely punished. They gain their lessons through the action-and-painful-reaction ways.

It is difficult and nearly impossible for those in the marul pada, stage of confusion, to have faith in the process of spiritual unfoldment and trust in tradition, because they are developing their personal ego, manufacturing karmas, good, bad and mixed, to sustain their physical existence for hundreds of lives. They will listen to sermons with a deaf ear and, after they are over, enjoy the food and the idle chatter the most. They will read books on philosophy and rationalize their teachings as relevant only to the past. The great knowledge of the past tradition, even the wisdom their grandparents might hold, is an encroachment on their proud sovereignty.

It is only when the soul reaches the maturity to enter the arul pada, the stage of grace, that the ability will come from within to lean on the past and on tradition, perform the present sadhanas, live within dharma and carve a future for themselves and others by bringing the best of the past, which is tradition, forward into the future. This transition is a happy one. Truth now has a capital "T" and is always told. The restraints, the yamas, truly have been perfected and are a vital part of the DNA system of individual living beings. Now, as he enters the arul pada, the niyamas, spiritual practices, stand out strongly in his mind.

The Sanskrit word astikya means "that which is," or "that which exists." Thus, for Hindus faith means believing in what is. Astikya refers to one who believes in what is, one who is pious and faithful. We can see that these two words, faith and astikya, are similar in nature. Faith is the spiritual-intellectual mind, developed through many superconscious insights blended together through cognition, not through reason. The insights do not have to be remembered, because they are firmly impressed as samskaras within the inner mind.

There is an old saying favored by practical, experiential intellectuals, "Seeing is believing." A more profound adage is "Believing is seeing." The scientists and the educators of today live in the marul pada. They see with their two eyes and pass judgments based on what they currently believe. The rishis of the past and the rishis of the now and those yet to come in the future also are seers. There is a thin thread through the history of China, Japan, India, England and all of Europe, Africa, the Americas, Polynesia and all the countries of the world connecting seers and what they have seen. This seeing is not with the two eyes. It is with the third eye, the eye of the soul. One cannot erase through argument or coercion that which has been seen. The seer relates his seeing to the soul of the one who hears. This is sampradaya. This is guru-shishya transference. This is Truth. This is shuddha. This is the end of this upadesha.


Sutra 46 of the Nandinatha Sutras

Noninjury And Truthfulness

All devotees of Siva practice ahimsa, not harming others by thought, word or deed, even in their dreams. Adhering to satya, truthfulness, they do not lie, deceive, betray promises or keep secrets from loved ones. Aum.


Lesson 46 from Merging with Siva

Progress Takes Discipline


When you go into a meditation, decide first what you are going to meditate upon and then stick with it. It is not advisable to habitually sit for meditation with no particular goal or direction, for we often end up walking in mental or subconscious circles. We have to avoid going into a meditation and then taking off into random or unintended directions, for this then can lend new vigor and strength to uncomely states of mind. You have to be very firm with yourself in meditation sessions. They are serious, not ponderous, but serious applications of life's force. They are moments of transformation and discovery, and the same care and earnestness of a mountain climber must be observed constantly if real progress and not mere entertainment is the goal. In the very same way, in the external world, if you begin something, you finish it. If you are working on a project creatively, you maintain your efforts until you bring it to a conclusion. It is such people who become truly successful in meditation.

You can learn to meditate extremely well, but will be unsuccessful if you don't approach it in an extremely positive way, if you allow yourself to get side-tracked on the inside once the inside opens up and you can really become aware of inner states. Care must be taken not to wander around in inner states of consciousness. You can wander in extraneous, unproductive areas for a long, long time.

So, you have to be very, very firm with yourself when you begin a meditation so that you stay with it the way you originally intended to do and perform each meditation the way you intended to perform it. This brings us into discipline. Undisciplined people are generally people whom nobody can tell what to do. They won't listen. They can't tell themselves what to do, and nobody else is going to tell them either! If you sincerely want to make headway in meditation and continue to do so year after year after year, you have to approach it in a very positive, systematic way. By not seeking or responding to discipline, you can learn to meditate fairly well, just as you can learn to play the vina fairly well, but you will never go much farther than that.

For many years I've seen hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people come and go, each one firmly determined to go in and realize the Self, firmly determined to meditate and meditate well. Many did, up to a point. Then they lost interest, became involved in the next social fad or just reached the depth equal to their ability to be constant and well disciplined. They are not anyplace today, inside or outside, for they undoubtedly reached the same barriers in their next pursuit and were compelled to seek another and yet another. I want to impress on you if you start a meditation, stay with it. Attack it positively. Go on and on and in and in and in.