November 12, 2018 - Lesson 214

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Sloka 59 from Dancing with Siva

What Is the Nature of Human Dharma?

Human law, or ashrama dharma, is the natural expression and maturing of the body, mind and emotions through four progressive stages of earthly life: student, householder, elder advisor and religious solitaire. Aum.


The four ashramas are "stages of striving," in pursuit of the purusharthas: righteousness, wealth, pleasure and liberation. Our first 24 years of life are a time of intense learning. Around age 12, we enter formally the brahmacharya ashrama and undertake the study and skills that will serve us in later life. From 24 to 48, in the grihastha ashrama, we work together as husband and wife to raise the family, increasing wealth and knowledge through our profession, serving the community and sustaining the members of the other three ashramas. In the vanaprastha ashrama, from 48 to 72, slowly retiring from public life, we share our experience by advising and guiding younger generations. After age 72, as the physical forces wane, we turn fully to scripture, worship and yoga. This is the sannyasa ashrama, which differs from the formal life of ochre-robed monks. Thus, our human dharma is a natural awakening, expression, maturing and withdrawal from worldly involvement. The Vedas say, "Pursuit of the duties of the stage of life to which each one belongs--that, verily, is the rule! Others are like branches of a stem. With this, one tends upwards; otherwise, downwards." Aum Namah Sivaya.

Lesson 214 from Living with Siva

War Toys And Real War

The subconscious mind consists of all of our memory patterns. Especially potent are those that are bound to emotions. It is a rather dumb state, for it records and holds only that which is put into it. These memory banks are like a recordable CD or DVD, which for a baby freshly born has nothing upon it at first. But with that first cry, the subconscious is activated and begins to record all the impressions. Those that get there first shape the experiences of later life.

Of course, there are positive and creative computer games, but not that many. More are needed. Perhaps there are among our readers programmers who could develop a series of games based on dharma. That would be nice. In the meantime, we may think a Nintendo game or a toy gun is harmless because it does not actually kill anybody. But what it does do is give permission to kill and makes psychological preparations to kill, and that is very dangerous. Survival and conquest by ruthless elimination of competitors become the inner goals. As their vocabulary develops, little ones are speaking of invasion, commandos, assault, combat, war, battle, destruction, using all the words of hurtfulness and violence. No wonder they argue and fight with sisters and brothers instead of getting along. That's what they learned from their heroes.

A Sri Lankan citizen told me a story that shows how war toys and real-life conflicts are not unrelated. For generations there were no war toys in the Hindu communities of northern and eastern Sri Lanka. But when the ethnic clashes began in 1983, guns became popular among kids. They played soldier in the streets, like the big boys, and when they grew up, moved on to real guns. Toy imports from Europe supplied the need, and soon many homes had a toy gun collection.

When the Sinhalese army moved through Tamil homes looking for hidden weapons, they were sometimes fooled by the realistic plastic guns. This caused them so much trouble, they took to beating the men of households that had toy guns. Soon the toys became less popular. The world of toys and the world of real war are not always separated.

Technology today, especially computer technology, the Internet, can enhance everything you want to do. It is not unlike the akashic memory banks of the inner world. Tuning in to the Internet, you can find out almost anything you want to know within a split second. We are communicating electronically and instantaneously with ashramas in the Himalayas and the jungles of South America. It used to take a letter one month to arrive, and we would sometimes wait two to three months to get a reply, if any ever came. Now we are communicating with Rishikesh, high in the Himalayas, and receiving e-mail back within a day, sometimes within minutes. The e-media has enhanced communication tremendously.

It has also enhanced pornography. It has enhanced terrorism. It will enhance anything that you want. It is up to you and your powers of decision to decide what you want to put into your subconscious mind and live with, perhaps for the rest of your life. We are not in the agricultural era anymore. We are in the technological age. We are in the communication age. It's the age of the mind, where the mind is in technology, working through technology. We can't change that. It's not going to go away. It is up to each individual to decide within himself how he wants to use the technology available to him.

The computer is just like the mind. It has memory, a certain amount of reasoning ability, a certain motivation. But it doesn't have the controls that you, as a human, are able to exert within yourself, such as willpower and the power of viveka, discrimination, which is so central to our religious tenets. Therefore, ask yourself, what is spirituality to you? What is important to you? What do you want to impress in your inner mind to perhaps manifest in this or your next life? You can use these tools to enhance what is important to you, and thereby benefit not only your own life but the lives of others.

Sutra 214 of the Nandinatha Sutras

Seeking A Natural Death At Home

Siva's devotees welcome life-saving medical interventions, but in their last days avoid heroic, artificial perpetuation of life and prefer not to die in a hospital but at home with loved ones, who keep prayerful vigil. Aum.

Lesson 214 from Merging with Siva

Tuning Up With Hatha Yoga

When we live in our personality, we are limited, but our individuality reigns supreme. A balance of actinic and odic forces running through the physical body bursts forth into individuality within the aspirant on the spiritual path. This cherished individuality, the feeling that you are the center of the universe, and your created world revolves around you, does not make one egotistical, but rather forms within the consciousness a deep humility, or a deep feeling of the realities of life, thus laying a solid foundation for meditation.

Hatha yoga is a science of perfecting the physical body through the use of certain postures, or asanas. In a deeper sense, it is a system of handling the physical body so that you are able to gain a conscious, actinic control of the odic forces of your subconscious mind. When the body is tuned up to a rhythmic pitch, you can single out the seeds of basic odic desires and destroy them.

The practice of hatha yoga places the physical body in different asanas in a regular, routine arrangement, so that the nerve currents in the body area are tuned up to a perfect pitch. No stretching, no straining, no pulling, no stresses. Once you have memorized the correct postures of hatha yoga in their progressive order, you will find that after practicing them for only a few minutes, your mind will be able to concentrate itself without any effort whatsoever. You will be in an automatic state of subconscious concentration because you will have no nerve strain to distract your mind or bottle up the odic force. You will find yourself more alive consciously, and much more alive subconsciously, than you have ever been before. A child can do most of the hatha yoga postures quite naturally. When you can, too, you will have that youthful freedom of mind flow again.

Hatha yoga, practiced correctly over a period of time, makes the mind so acute that you become able to "single out the seed of desire by disregarding all other corresponding erroneous thoughts." In other words, in the practice of this science alone, the yoga student begins to burn out congested seeds of desire from within without even thinking about them. As you become more and more perfected in hatha yoga, the odic forces, both passive and aggressive, become adjusted, balanced and controlled.

Through the practice of hatha yoga, the physical body becomes a perfect vehicle for the mind to live in. The tensions which have been built up through the years become fleeting, and the mind becomes actinically alive. This enables the yoga student, as he presents himself to the yoga master for personal training, to single out the seed of desire and, in the light of understanding, destroy it. This retroactively brings forth a great wisdom through the conscious use of the subsuperconscious mind. When this happens, you don't have to think to know. You know, and thinking is the result. Affectionate detachment from friends and relations is automatically accomplished, and a greater love for them flows in through actinic understanding.