June 28, 2016 - Lesson 77
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Sloka 77 from Dancing with Siva
Must We Marry Within Our Religion?
Tradition requires that the wife adopt the religion and lifestyle of her husband. Thus, Hindu women wanting to continue their family culture and religion will, in wisdom, marry a spouse of the same sect and lineage. Aum.
The mutual spiritual unfoldment of man and wife is a central purpose of marriage. When we marry outside our religion, we create disharmony and conflict for ourselves and our children. Such a marriage draws us away from religious involvement instead of deeper into its fulfillment. For marriage to serve its spiritual purpose to the highest, husband and wife should hold the same beliefs and share the same religious practices. Their harmony of minds will be reflected in the children. A man's choice of spouse is a simple decision, because his wife is bound to follow him. For a woman, it is a far more important decision, because her choice determines the future of her religious and social life. While his lifestyle will not change, her's will. Should a Hindu marry a non-Hindu, traditional wisdom dictates that the wife conform to her husband's heritage, and that the children be raised in his faith, with no conflicting beliefs or customs. The husband may be invited to convert to her faith before marriage. The Vedas pray, "United your resolve, united your hearts, may your spirits be one, that you may long together dwell in unity and concord!" Aum Namah Sivaya.
Lesson 77 from Living with Siva
Insights from Astrology
Astrology explores the stars and planets as they move in the heavens and their subtle effects on our physical, mental and emotional condition, mapping the ebb and flow of our karma. Astrology plays a very important part in every Hindu's life. An established family is not complete without their master of jyotisha. Guided by the stars from birth to death, devout Hindus choose a shubha muhurta, auspicious time, for every important experience of life. Astrology has been computerized through the efforts of brilliant jyotisha shastris of both the East and West. In our ashrama, we use jyotisha quite a lot to determine the best times to travel, meditate, begin new projects or just rest and let a harsh time pass. Experience assures us that astrology is a reliable tool for maintaining a balanced life and flowing with the forces of nature.
We take a metaphysical approach to the "good" or "bad" news or predictions that astrology brings from time to time. When unfavorable times arise which have to be lived through, as they all too frequently do, we do not carp or cringe, but look at these as most excellent periods for meditation and sadhana rather than worldly activities. Just the reverse is true for the positive periods. However, spiritual progress can be made during both kinds of periods. Both negative and positive times are, in fact, positive when used wisely. A competent jyotisha shastri is of help in forecasting the future, as to when propitious times will come along when advancements can be made. A positive mental attitude should be held during all the ups and downs that are predicted to happen. Be as the traveler in a 747 jet, flying high over the cities, rather than a pedestrian wandering the streets below.
For raising offspring, an astrological forecast can be of the utmost help. A baby predicted to have a fiery temper should be raised to always be kind and considerate of others' feelings, taught to never argue with others. Of course, good examples must be set early on by parents. This will soften the inclination toward temper tantrums. Fighting the child's natural impulses will just amplify them. A child of an independent nature should be taught early on to care for himself in all respects so that in the life ahead he will benefit society and bring honor to the family. So much can be gained by reading the chart when approached with the attitude that all that is in it is helpful and necessary to know, even if it seems to be bad news. Difficulties need not be bad news if they are approached as opportunities to grow in facing them.
We have for years in our monasteries lived by the Hindu calendar and system of time divisions known as Lahiri Ayanamsha Panchanga. All purnima, amavasya and ashtami days (full moon, new moon and the eighth day of the fortnight) are days of retreat. They are our weekends. To be in harmony with the universe, at least our little galaxy, it is important to observe these days for happy, healthy, productive living.
Sutra 77 of the Nandinatha Sutras
The Curse Of Bad Money
Siva's devotees, knowing that bad money is cursed and can never do good deeds, refuse funds gained by fraud, bribery, theft, dealing arms or drugs, profiting from abortion or divorce, and all dark, devious means. Aum.
Lesson 77 from Merging with Siva
All Knowing Is within You
"I will be what I will to be. I will do what I will to do." You can repeat these two powerful affirmations over time and time again and thus rearrange, restructure, the forces of your subconscious mind and create a great inner peace within yourself. Become acquainted with the spiritual energies and bring the forces of superconsciousness through your subconscious. This creates feeling, a feeling that you are what you say you are--positive, direct, full of life and energy and creative power. Your intuitive mind proves this through your conscious mind, not only through feeling, but you will find yourself acting out the part in all kindness and security, exercising the positive will of "I will be what I will to be" and "I will do what I will to do." Feel the spiritual force permeating the entirety of your body. You are the security of your statement, and you accept it into your subconscious mind. As the days go by, you will become more creative and more consciously aware of your spiritual destiny. Find your spiritual destiny for this lifetime.
The greatest thing that a devotee must learn is that all knowing is within oneself. Therefore, go to the great superconscious school within you and bring forth knowledge. In order to do this, be confident within yourself. In order to be confident within yourself, have no fear. In order to have no fear, say to yourself, "I am all right, right now." This will quickly bring you into the here-and-now consciousness. You will feel spiritual force permeating your body, and your intuitive state of mind will be active. Go ahead in full confidence that you are the knower of all that is known. This does not mean that you know everything that is to be known about the material plane, the emotional world of people, or what goes on within their minds. This means that you are nearing the source of all sources, that you understand the ultimate destiny of all souls--to unequivocally merge with Siva.
Spiritual destiny is manifested in the lives of those who stand out from the masses and actually do something, who live a creative life for the benefit of others. This last affirmation affirms an age-old truth and may be said several times before sleep and upon awakening: "I am not my body, mind or emotions. They are but shells of the infinite energy that flows through them all. I am this energy. I am its source. I am on my way to merge with Siva."