Lesson 307

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Sloka 152 from Dancing with Siva

What Is the Lofty Kailasa Parampara?

The Kailasa Parampara is a millennia-old guru lineage of the Nandinatha Sampradaya. In this century it was embodied by Sage Yogaswami, who ordained me in Sri Lanka in 1949 to carry on the venerable tradition. Aum.


The authenticity of Hindu teachings is perpetuated by lineages, parampara, passed from gurus to their successors through ordination. The Kailasa Parampara extends back to, and far beyond, Maharishi Nandinatha and his eight disciples--Sanatkumara, Sanakar, Sanadanar, Sananthanar, Sivayogamuni, Patanjali, Vyagrapada and Tirumular. This succession of siddha yoga adepts flourishes today in many streams, most notably in the Saiva Siddhanta of South India. Our branch of this parampara is the line of Rishi Tirumular (ca 200 bce), of which the first known satguru in recent history was the Rishi from the Himalayas (ca 1770-1840). From him the power was passed to Siddha Kadaitswami of Bangalore (1804-1891), then to Satguru Chellappaswami (1840-1915), then to Sage Yogaswami (1872-1964) of Sri Lanka, and finally to myself, Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-). The Tirumantiram states, "Thus expounding, I bore His word down Kailasa's unchanging path--the word of Him, the eternal, the truth effulgent, the limitless great, Nandinatha, the joyous one, He of the blissful dance that all impurity dispels." Aum Namah Sivaya.

Lesson 307 from Living with Siva

Monism Without Theism?

Every monist, in deep or superficial conversation, will occasionally admit that the Ganga is a sacred river and Mount Kailasa is a sacred mountain. In admitting that, he is also somewhat of a theist at the time. Hindus believe that the Ganga and Kailasa are the ultimate temples. Most monists want to have their ashes put in the Ganga when they die. Every Agamic priest will tell us that Mount Kailasa is at the top of the head and at the top of the world. He will explain this is where God is, in and above the sahasrara chakra. This knowledge is right within the puja liturgy he chants. Therefore, when we find a monist who hides the fact that he is somewhat of a theist, we must question if his monistic outlook is sustained only by his intellectual abilities, clichÚs and cogent arguments.

Yes, following monism without theism makes it rather difficult to reconcile all life's experiences. But there are very few true monists. Many monists will not pass by a temple without a silent pause, even though they will argue that no one is home there. For the rare, nonreligious monist who goes deeply into monism and truly experiences it, theism comes up from within as a reward. This happened to Swami Vivekananda, who denied the reality of the Gods and Goddesses all his life, then changed his belief when he had a vision of the Goddess, Shakti, in the last days of his life.

To truly understand theism and monism, each should be taught separately, by the same teacher. The student is never given permission to make a choice between them. When each has been understood and there are no more questions, the teacher will blend them together in the mind of the devotee by requiring the practice of external and internalized worship. The theistic discipline is the external worship, and the monistic is the internal worship.

We are on the safe path of yoga when we are able to internalize the external worship. Otherwise, without this ability, devotees often just perform intellectual, mental gymnastics which result in no attainment whatsoever. Their nature begins to harden rather than soften. Their philosophical discussions become more rigid and unyielding. By blending monism into theism and theism into monism, the nature of devotees becomes soft and loving, as the spiritual unfoldment begins. They become wise and helpful to others as the maturing of their spirit progresses. Such persons have compassion for another's point of view, and all of the fine qualities of the soul come forward to be enjoyed and seen by others.

Monistic theism is a very detailed map of consciousness which has broadness and philosophically accepts all states of consciousness. The monistic theist does not turn away from the external world. He knows that Siva's perfection lies everywhere within it. He attempts to expand his consciousness into the perfection within all three worlds. He attempts to experience the harmony of all of nature. He attempts to be one with Siva's perfect universe, to live with Siva. The monistic theist is the perfect Hindu in all respects.

Most Vedantins are able to totally describe the country, or area of consciousness, in which they are residing. But because they do not practice much yoga, they are not all-pervasive enough in consciousness to understand the other countries on the planet, or other areas of the mind. For this reason their maps of the mind are relatively incomplete. Some draw lines into squares and shut out what they don't understand. Monistic theists draw lines into circles and take in the entire universe, including everything within everything.

Sutra 307 of the Nandinatha Sutras

Self-mastery Through Introspection

My devotees study the five states of mind: conscious, subconscious, sub-subconscious, subsuperconscious and superconscious. They let go of negative attachments and become master of mind, body and emotions. Aum.

Lesson 307 from Merging with Siva

Relationship With a Guru

A child living with his family who does right by his family in honoring his mother and his father reaps a reward--for that mother and father are going to gladly see to all his needs in the emotional, intellectual and material world. But if the child negligently begins to play with the emotions and intellect of his mother and father by not living up to their expectations, they will be relieved when he is old enough to leave home and be on his own. During the time he is still at home, they will, of course, talk with him and work the best they can with the negative vibrations he generates, as their natural love for him is a protective force.

As it is with the parents, it is much the same with the guru. A devotee coming to his guru who is evolved, honest and able is first asked to do simple, mundane tasks. If they are done with willingness, the guru will take him consciously under his wing for a deeper, inner, direct training, as he fires him to attain greater heights through sadhana and tapas. This darshan power of the guru will then be constantly felt by the disciple. But if the disciple were to turn away from the small tasks given by his guru, he would not connect into the deeper darshan power of the satguru that allows him to ride into his meditations deeply with ease. If the devotee breaks his flow with the guru by putting newly awakened power into intellectual "ifs" or "buts" or--"Well, now I know how to meditate; I don't need you anymore. Thank you for all you've done. I've learned all you have to offer me and must be on my way"--or if he merely starts being delinquent in his efforts, then the guru-disciple relationship is shattered.

Still a certain darshan power goes out to him, but the guru no longer consciously inwardly works with him as an individual. He knows it is too dangerous to work with this fluctuating aspirant, for there is no telling how he might take and use the accumulating power that would later be awakened within him. The satguru makes such a one prove himself to himself time and time again and to the guru, too, through sadhana and tapas. Sadhana tests his loyalty, consistency and resolution. Tapas tests his loyalty as well as his personal will, for he does tapas alone, gaining help only from inside himself, and he has to be aware on the inside to receive it. A wise guru never hesitates to put him "through it," so to speak.

A guru of India may give tapas to a self-willed disciple who insisted on living his personal life in the ashram, not heeding the rules of his sadhana. He may say, "Walk through all of India. Stay out of my ashram for one year. Walk through the Himalayas. Take nothing but your good looks, your orange robe and a bowl for begging at the temples." From then on, the guru works it all out with him on the inside for as long as the disciple remains "on tapas." Maybe the guru will be with him again, yet maybe not; it depends entirely on the personal performance of the tapas.

This, then, is one of the reasons that it is very, very important for anyone striving on the path to first have a good relationship with his family--for the guru can expect nothing more than the same type of relationship eventually to arise with himself or between the aspirant and some other disciple. As he gets more into the vibration of the guru, he is going to relax into the same behavioral patterns he generated with his parents, for in the ashram, many of the same vibrations, forces and attitudes are involved.