January 26, 2022 - Lesson 289

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Sloka 134 from Dancing with Siva

Are There Other Types of Sacred Texts?

India's lofty philosophical texts expound diverse views in exacting dialectics. Yoga treatises unveil the mysterious path to ultimate samadhis. Intimate devotional hymns disclose the raptures of consummate Divine love. Aum.


In addition to the epics, legends and supplements to the Vedas and Agamas, there is a wealth of Hindu metaphysical, yogic and devotional writings. Considered foundational are the early texts defining the six philosophical darshanas: the sutras by Kapila, Patanjali, Jaimini, Badarayana, Kanada and Gautama. Hailed as leading occult works on yoga, asanas, nadis, chakras, kundalini and samadhi are the Yoga Sutras, Tirumantiram, Yoga Vasishtha, Siva Sutras, Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati, Jnaneshvari, Hatha Yoga Pradipika and Gheranda Samhita. Widely extolled among the bhakti literature are the Bhagavad Gita, Narada Sutras, Tiruvasagam, the Vachanas of the Sivasharanas and the hymns of mystic poets like Surdas, Tukaram, Ramprasad, Mirabai, Andal, Vallabha, Tulasidasa, Tayumanavar, Lalla, Tagore, Auvaiyar and the saintly Nayanars and Alvars. The Bhagavad Gita explains, "As a blazing fire reduces the wood to ashes, O Arjuna, so does the fire of knowledge reduce all activity to ashes. There is nothing on earth which possesses such power to cleanse as wisdom. The perfect yogin finds this knowledge in himself by himself in due time." Aum Namah Sivaya.

Lesson 289 from Living with Siva

The Power Of Appreciation

I have faith in human integrity, in that unfailing "still small voice of the soul" which each who listens for can hear. We are essentially pure souls temporarily living in a physical body. We can and should use our God-given gift of free will encased in love to make a difference in the world today, even if it is in a small way. All of us making the same difference together do so in a big way. Shishyas should be grateful to their gurus, husbands to their wives, wives to their husbands, parents to their children, children to their parents, students to their teachers and teachers to their students. It's far more effective to praise others and appreciate what we have than to find fault and complain about what we don't have!

Gratitude and appreciation are the key virtues for a better life. They are the spell that is cast to dissolve hatred, hurt and sadness, the medicine which heals subjective states of mind, restoring self-respect, confidence and security. Shall we review them one at a time and consider a practice, a sadhana, for each?

First, gratitude. It is a feeling within the heart that we cannot suppress for long when overcome with abundant memories of all the good that has come into our lives. Most often, people remember the bad happenings, perhaps because they make the deepest impressions in the subconscious and are not expected. Good happenings are expected and therefore tend to be overlooked.

The sadhana here is to take out paper and pen and list all the good that has come into your life during the past five years. The list will grow as memory is stimulated. Should it not be possible to think of even one good thing, then write the affirmation several times, "I am a spiritual being of light maturing in the ocean of experience." Soon a good memory will come up, followed by more. Feelings of loving appreciation will begin to flow toward those who participated in the good times. Forgiveness then wells up for the bad times. Amazingly, on the day I was writing down these thoughts about gratitude, a Kauai islander handed me a paper on which was written the following wisdom from the Catholic mystic, Meister Eckhart: "If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough."

Now let's look at appreciation, turning our thanks toward the people in our lives. The sadhana of appreciation is to approach those you are grateful to and tell them, to their face, while looking deep into their eyes, how much you esteem and value them. Be specific. Find details to share so they know this is not a shallow compliment. Explain what each one has done to inspire this loving confrontation and convince each in turn that you are sincere. The look of a full smiling face, eyes shining and heart full of love, perhaps followed by a big hug, is convincing enough in itself. Words of appreciation are words people do not often hear. These loving confrontations do not happen nearly often enough among friends and relatives in today's world.

Loving appreciation is a life-changing force just waiting to be used. Express appreciation to community leaders, business associates, spiritual mentors, family members and friends as often as you can. Loving appreciation is a magic formula that works both ways. When we commend another, we are automatically uplifted.

Sutra 289 of the Nandinatha Sutras

Sage Yogaswami's Profound Hymns

All my devotees revere as sacred scripture the songs and sayings of Satguru Siva Yogaswami, called Natchintanai, which embody the teachings of our lineage, commanding one and all to "Know thy Self by thy self." Aum.

Lesson 289 from Merging with Siva

Kundalini Out of Control

There are three channels through which the spiritual energies of the kundalini can rise. The one recommended is the sushumna. The other two are to be avoided. When the kundalini shakti flows outside of the sushumna nadi into and through the ida nadi on the left side of the spine, which corresponds to the left sympathetic nerve system, it is fragmented into other smaller and more sensitive nerve currents connected to the organs of the physical body. It produces heat within this formerly cool nadi network. The person becomes overly emotional, feminine in nature, talks a lot, often has hurt feelings, cries at the least provocation and engages in other emotional behavior patterns that center around the personal I-ness. Such persons always want to help others, but rarely actually do. This heat, though astral, is felt in the physical body in the solar plexus. When provoked, it angers, and is always quick to defend the personal ego in saving face. Similarly, when the serpent power flows up through the pingala nadi and into the sympathetic nerve network on the right side of the body, the person becomes overly intellectual, very masculine in nature, talks little, has steel nerves and patterns centering around the conquest of others through intellectual debate. He is prone to long silences, holding in emotions, and to secret patterns of behavior to stimulate or satisfy base desires. In other words, he is not open, smiling, friendly, companionable. In either case, the kundalini shakti rising through the ida or pingala can move upward only to the vishuddha chakra and no farther. This is the impasse.

The misdirection of the kundalini happens most often to the less disciplined, those more eager for attainments on the fast track, those not under the watchful eye of the satguru. Nevertheless, the novice feels a dynamic awakening of power. This heat, produced by the kundalini shakti flowing through either of these two nadis of the sympathetic nerve system, can and often does produce jerks in the body, spine and neck.

More often than not, the jerking body, twisting neck and the "I now know it all" attitude are taken for a highly spiritual experience and even validated as such by certain teachers. But it is as if we were driving on a rocky road, thinking it to be a smooth highway. It is an unusual experience, to be sure, building the personal ego into something it was never intended to be. When this happens to a devotee, the wise guru or swami recommends that all spiritual practices be immediately stopped. Japa should be stopped. All pranayama except the simplest regulation of the breath should be stopped. Reading scripture should be stopped, worship of all kinds should be stopped. Anything other than wholesome, humbling karma yoga, such as cleaning bathrooms, should be stopped. Growing food should be encouraged. Bare feet on the ground and at the same time hands in the dirt is the best way to bring the rampant kundalini down to the muladhara chakra. Once it is down, it can be directed up through the right current, but only when the devotee does not have conflicting patterns in his life.

Unlike the subtle movement of the divine serpent power through its proper channel, the sushumna nadi within the spine, its misdirection may reflect a dramatic change in the nature, turning the once humble student into an ego giant, either overly emotional and self-centered or intellectually argumentative; both types are not self-reflective in any way. From a perhaps once shy person, we now have a "Come to me, I will fix you, repair you, inspire you, for I am aware," or worse, "I am enlightened." Once the spiritual ego has taken over, some even claim to have attained more than their teacher. They don't need a teacher anymore. For them, the guru is on the inside, and their heated discussions, emotional outbursts and challenging positions, eventually take their toll on their own being.