Lesson 11

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Sloka 11 from Dancing with Siva

What Is the Nature of Saivite Theology?

Saivism proclaims: God Siva is Love, both immanent and transcendent, both the creator and the creation. This world is the arena of our evolution, which leads by stages to moksha, liberation from birth and death. Aum.


Saivism is a unique religion in which God is both manifest and unmanifest, dual and nondual, within us and outside of us. It is not strictly pantheistic, polytheistic or monotheistic. Its predominant theology is known as monistic theism, panentheism, or Advaita Isvaravada. Monism, the opposite of dualism, is the doctrine that reality is a one whole or existence without independent parts. Theism is belief in God and the Gods, both immanent and transcendent. Saivism is monistic in its belief in a one reality and in the advaitic, or nondual, identity of man with that reality. Saivism is theistic in its belief in the Gods, and in God Siva as a loving, personal Lord, immanent in the world. Saivism expresses the oneness of Pati-pashu-pasha, God-soul-world, encompassing the nondual and the dual, faithfully carrying forth both Vedanta and Siddhanta, the pristine Sanatana Dharma of the Vedas and Saiva Agamas. The Tirumantiram states, "Shuddha Saivas meditate on these as their religious path: Oneself, Absolute Reality and the Primal Soul; the categories three: God, soul and bonds; immaculate liberation and all that fetters the soul." Aum Namah Sivaya.

Lesson 11 from Living with Siva

Ahimsa: Noninjury

The first yama is ahimsa, noninjury. To practice ahimsa, one has to practice santosha, contentment. The sadhana is to seek joy and serenity in life, remaining content with what one has, knows, is doing and those with whom he associates. Bear your karma cheerfully. Live within your situation contentedly. Himsa, or injury, and the desire to harm, comes from discontent.

The rishis who revealed the principles of dharma or divine law in Hindu scripture knew full well the potential for human suffering and the path which could avert it. To them a one spiritual power flowed in and through all things in this universe, animate and inanimate, conferring existence by its presence. To them life was a coherent process leading all souls without exception to enlightenment, and no violence could be carried to the higher reaches of that ascent. These rishis were mystics whose revelation disclosed a cosmos in which all beings exist in interlaced dependence. The whole is contained in the part, and the part in the whole. Based on this cognition, they taught a philosophy of nondifference of self and other, asserting that in the final analysis we are not separate from the world and its manifest forms, nor from the Divine which shines forth in all things, all beings, all peoples. From this understanding of oneness arose the philosophical basis for the practice of noninjury and Hinduism's ancient commitment to it.

We all know that Hindus, who are one-sixth of the human race today, believe in the existence of God everywhere, as an all-pervasive, self-effulgent energy and consciousness. This basic belief creates the attitude of sublime tolerance and acceptance toward others. Even tolerance is insufficient to describe the compassion and reverence the Hindu holds for the intrinsic sacredness within all things. Therefore, the actions of all Hindus are rendered benign, or ahimsa. One would not want to hurt something which one revered.

On the other hand, when the fundamentalists of any religion teach an unrelenting duality based on good and evil, man and nature or God and Devil, this creates friends and enemies. This belief is a sacrilege to Hindus, because they know that the attitudes which are the by-product are totally dualistic, and for good to triumph over that which is alien or evil, it must kill out that which is considered to be evil.

The Hindu looks at nothing as intrinsically evil. To him the ground is sacred. The sky is sacred. The sun is sacred. His wife is a Goddess. Her husband is a God. Their children are devas. Their home is a shrine. Life is a pilgrimage to mukti, or liberation from rebirth, which once attained is the end to reincarnation in a physical body. When on a holy pilgrimage, one would not want to hurt anyone along the way, knowing full well the experiences on this path are of one's own creation, though maybe acted out through others.

Sutra 11 of the Nandinatha Sutras

The Lion-hearted Ones

Those who live with Siva fulfill life's purposes by placing heavy demands on themselves from within themselves, never shirking their duty to religion, family, community or planet. Jai, they are the lion-hearted. Aum.

Lesson 11 from Merging with Siva

No Good, No Bad

Each experience that we have is a good experience because it molds us. It shapes us, just like an artist would mold a piece of clay. From an ugly hunk of clay can emerge a divine being, molded by the artist. In that same way, the experiences of life, even those that boomerang back on us and those we think are terrible, mold us. But they only mold us quickly and benefit us tremendously if we hold our perspective as the inner man, the timeless man, the immortal being. Only in this way can this happen. That's the attitude, the thoughts we must have, as we go along on the path of enlightenment.

The mere fact that you want Self Realization in this life means that you have been through hundreds of thousands of experiences. You have been nearly everything that there is to be on this planet. And now, in your last lifetime, you are finishing up the experiential patterns that you didn't handle in a life prior.

Life is a series of experiences, one after another. Each experience can be looked at as a classroom in the big university of life if we only approach it that way. Who is going to these classrooms? Who is the member of this university of life? It's not your instinctive mind. It's not your intellectual mind. It's the body of your soul, your superconscious self, that wonderful body of light. It's maturing under the stress and strain, as the intellect gives back its power to the soul, as the instinct gives back its power to the soul, as the physical elements give back their power to the soul and all merge into a beautiful oneness. In this way, the beings of the New Age are going to walk on Earth. Each one will have light flowing through his whole body and he will inwardly see his body glowing in light, even in the darkest night.

The good-and-bad concept should be thrown out with a lot of other things, including the up-and-down concept. There is no good; there is no bad. You don't raise your consciousness, nor do you lower it. These are just concepts that have come in by various philosophers who tried to explain these deeper teachings the very best that they could. What is bad is good, and what is good is good. And a higher state of consciousness and a lower state of consciousness, they don't exist at all. We simply hold a certain perspective of awareness, and we look out, and we go in.