Sloka 131 from Dancing with Siva Do Smriti and Sacred Literature Differ? Hindu sacred literature is a treasury of hymns, legend, mythology, philosophy, science and ethics. From among this vast body of writings, each lineage recognizes a select ...

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Lesson 286

Sloka 131 from Dancing with Siva

Do Smriti and Sacred Literature Differ?

Hindu sacred literature is a treasury of hymns, legend, mythology, philosophy, science and ethics. From among this vast body of writings, each lineage recognizes a select portion as its secondary scripture, called smriti. Aum.


While the Vedas and Agamas are shared as part of every Hindu's primary scripture, shruti, each sect and lineage defines its own unique set of smriti. The sacred literature, punya shastra, from which smriti is drawn consists of writings, both ancient and modern, in many languages. Especially central are the ancient Sanskritic texts, such as the Itihasas, Puranas and Dharma Shastras, which are widely termed the classical smriti. In reality, while many revere these as smriti, others regard them only as sacred literature. Smriti means "that which is remembered" and is known as "the tradition," for it derives from human insight and experience and preserves the course of culture. While shruti comes from God and is eternal and universal, the ever-growing smriti canon is written by man. Hinduism's sacred literature is the touchstone of theater and dance, music, song and pageantry, yoga and sadhana, metaphysics and ethics, exquisite art and hallowed sciences. The Vedas inquire, "In whom are set firm the firstborn seers, the hymns, the songs and the sacrificial formulas, in whom is established the single seer--tell me of that support--who may He be?" Aum Namah Sivaya.

Lesson 286 from Living with Siva

The Dalai Lama's Example

Speaking of nonretaliation, the peace-loving Dalai Lama, exiled leader of Tibetan Buddhism, is setting an extraordinary example of not striking back at antagonists. He has campaigned relentlessly for political assistance for his people's cause since 1959, when at age fifteen he fled across the Himalayas and into India for help. Even today he approaches the Chinese with care and respect, though he never forgets China's armed takeover of his nation in 1957 and the extermination of 1.2 million Tibetans by 1972. This humble being has never failed to exemplify the dharma of compassion, advocating "the kind of love you can have even for those who have done you harm." He once wrote: "My enemy is my best friend and my best teacher, because he gives me the opportunity to learn from adversity."

If there were anyone who could justifiably lash out in a vindictive way, it would be the Dalai Lama; but he has chosen a higher path. We listened to him appeal for Tibetan autonomy over the years at international conferences in Oxford, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro and Chicago, where he never deviated from his posture of love, trust and compassion, with full confidence that the divine law will finally manifest a righteous outcome, an agreeable solution. He also acknowledged that this persecution is a karma that his own people set in motion in the past. He is setting a noble pattern in the international arena, where spiritual people can forge, and are forging, new principles for a global dharma.

On an individual level, all can strive to give up the urge to "get even," heeding the Vedic admonition, "Here they say that a person consists of desires. And as is his desire, so is his will. And as is his will, so is his deed; and whatever deed he does, that he will reap" (Shukla Yajur Veda, Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.5. upr, p. 272). Every belief creates certain attitudes. Our attitudes govern all of our actions. Belief in karma, reincarnation and the existence of an all-pervasive Divinity throughout the universe creates an attitude of reverence, benevolence and compassion for all beings. The Hindu or Buddhist who is consciously aware within his soul knows that he is the time traveller and may incarnate, take a body of flesh, in the society he most opposed in order to equalize his hates and fears into a greater understanding which would result in the release of ignorance. The knowledgeable Hindu is well aware of all these possibilities. The mystery is no mystery to the mystic.

Ahimsa, which the Dalai Lama exemplifies so courageously, is certainly not cowardice; it is wisdom. And wisdom is the cumulative knowledge of the existing divine laws of reincarnation, karma, dharma and the all-pervasiveness and sacredness of things, blended together within the psyche, the very soul, of the Hindu.

Sutra 286 of the Nandinatha Sutras

Our Scriptural Bedrock, Vedas And Agamas

All my devotees recognize that the primary scriptural authority of our Nandinatha lineage derives from the Saiva Agamas and the four noble Vedas, which include the Upanishads. Ours is a Vedic-Agamic tradition. Aum.

Lesson 286 from Merging with Siva

The Unfoldment Of Humanity

This is the story of man's evolution through the mind, from the gross to the refined, from darkness into light, from a consciousness of death to immortality. He follows a natural pattern that is built right in the nerve system itself: memory, reason, will, direct cognition, inner light perceptions of the soul, which awaken a universal love of all mankind; psychic perceptions through divine sight; and the heavenly refinement of being in the thousand-petaled lotus.

During each age throughout history, one or another of the planets or chakras has come into power. Remember when the Greek God Cronus was in supreme power? He is the God of time. Mass consciousness came into memory, or the muladhara chakra, with its new-found concern for time, for a past and a future, dates and records. Next the mass consciousness came into the svadhishthana and its powers of reason. Reason was a God in the Golden Age of Greece. Discourse, debate and logic all became instruments of power and influence. If it wasn't reasonable, it wasn't true. Next the chakra of will came into power. Man conquered nations, waged wars, developed efficient weapons. Crusades were fought and kingdoms established during the period. Our world was experiencing force over force. Direct cognition, the anahata chakra, came into power when man opened the doors of science within his own mind. He cognized the laws of the physical universe: mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy and biology. Then he unfolded the mind sciences by penetrating into his subconscious mind, into the chakras where he had previously been. With man's looking into his own mind, psychology, metaphysics and the mind religions were born.

Now, in our present time, the mass consciousness is coming into vishuddha--the forces of universal love. The forerunners of this emerging Sat Yuga, popularly called the New Age, are not worshiping reason as the great thing of the mind or trying to take over another's possessions through the use of force. They are not worshiping science or psychology or the mind religions as the great panacea. They are looking inward and worshiping the light, the Divinity, within their own body, within their own spine, within their own head, and they are going in and in and in and in, into a deep spiritual quest which is based on direct experience, on compassion for all things in creation.

As the forces of the vishuddha chakra come into prominence in the New Age, it does not mean that the other centers of consciousness have stopped working. But it does mean that this new one coming into prominence is claiming the energy within the mass consciousness. When this center of divine love gains a little more power, everything will come into a exquisite balance. There will be a natural hierarchy of people based on the awakening of their soul, just as previous ages established hierarchies founded on power or intellectual acumen. With that one needed balance, everything on the Earth will quiet down, because the vishuddha chakra is of the new age of universal love, in which everyone sees eye to eye, and if they do not, there will always be someone there to be the peacemaker. Look back through history and you will see how these planetary influences, these great mind strata of thought, have molded the development of human society.


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These daily Master Course lessons are drawn from Gurudeva's 3,000 page trilogy on Hindu philosophy, culture and metaphysics, available in the full-color volumes of Dancing, Living and Merging with Siva at our Minimela online store.

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