Sloka 69 from Dancing with Siva Is Vegetarianism Integral to Noninjury? Hindus teach vegetarianism as a way to live with a minimum of hurt to other beings, for to consume meat, fish, fowl or eggs is to participate indirectly in acts of cruelty and ...
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The lesson of the day from Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami's trilogy: Dancing with Siva, Living with Siva and Merging with Siva

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Lesson 69

Sloka 69 from Dancing with Siva

Is Vegetarianism Integral to Noninjury?

Hindus teach vegetarianism as a way to live with a minimum of hurt to other beings, for to consume meat, fish, fowl or eggs is to participate indirectly in acts of cruelty and violence against the animal kingdom. Aum.


The abhorrence of injury and killing of any kind leads quite naturally to a vegetarian diet, shakahara. The meat-eater's desire for meat drives another to kill and provide that meat. The act of the butcher begins with the desire of the consumer. Meat-eating contributes to a mentality of violence, for with the chemically complex meat ingested, one absorbs the slaughtered creature's fear, pain and terror. These qualities are nourished within the meat-eater, perpetuating the cycle of cruelty and confusion. When the individual's consciousness lifts and expands, he will abhor violence and not be able to even digest the meat, fish, fowl and eggs he was formerly consuming. India's greatest saints have confirmed that one cannot eat meat and live a peaceful, harmonious life. Man's appetite for meat inflicts devastating harm on the earth itself, stripping its precious forests to make way for pastures. The Tirukural candidly states, "How can he practice true compassion who eats the flesh of an animal to fatten his own flesh? Greater than a thousand ghee offerings consumed in sacrificial fires is not to sacrifice and consume any living creature." Aum Namah Sivaya.

Lesson 69 from Living with Siva

Redirecting Sexual Desire

Brahmacharya literally means Godly conduct, which in practice and by tradition means celibacy, complete abstinence from sexual relations. Brahmacharya is practiced traditionally by: 1) monastics; 2) young persons living at home with parents prior to entering marriage or a monastery; 3) single persons living alone in the world; and 4) married couples who observe celibacy in later life, generally after age sixty. In our traditional and strict organization, the formal title brahmachari (or brahmacharini) is used only by single men (or women) who have taken lifetime vows of celibacy under the auspices of our Saivite Hindu Church.

To aid in fulfilling the principles of purity, the devotee commencing this discipline is encouraged to take a vow of celibacy and purity, known as brahmacharya vrata. In fulfillment of this solemn oath, the individual vows to value and protect purity in thought, word and deed, and chastity in body, and to sublimate and transmute the sexual energies and the instinctive impulses of anger, jealousy, greed, fear, hatred and selfishness. In our Hindu Church, all young persons take such a pledge and promise to remain virgin until such time as they are married, preferably to another Saivite Hindu by arrangement of the parents of both families and with the blessings of the satguru. The sacred cord is worn around the waist to betoken this solemn oath. The formal study of the Saivite religious teachings is begun under an authorized catalyst and with the supervision of parents. The parents share in his oath and accept full responsibility to see that it is fulfilled. As the fourth yama, or restraint, brahmacharya is emulated in married life in the sense of fidelity, confining all sexual thoughts and expressions to one's spouse.

Brahmacharya is transmutation--the changing of a grosser form or force into a finer one. It can be likened to the boiling of water into steam to give a greater power. As the fluids are reabsorbed by the bloodstream, the actinic force of them feeds each of the seven chakras in turn. The Tirumantiram states, "If the sacred seed is retained, the body's life does not ebb, and great strength, energy, intelligence and alertness are attained" (1948). Transmutation of the sacred fluids does not mean to suppress, repress or inhibit.

Just lift your arm. It took energy to lift it. If you were tired, it took even more energy than usual. This energy does not come from a power plant outside you. It comes from within you, of course. Your stamina, the actinic glow in your eyes, the radiance of your personality--these are all manifestations of energy, of your creative life force. And so are the male and female reproductive fluids. They comprise aggressive and passive forces drawn from the pingala and the ida currents within the soul body. They are sparked with pure spiritual force from the door of Brahman, at the core of the sahasrara chakra. When correctly channeled, the subtler forms of this creative energy are the essence of artistic, intellectual and spiritual expression. Those who practice transmutation awaken many latent talents from within. It becomes second nature for them to create and express, being in tune with the essence of creative energy.

Sutra 69 of the Nandinatha Sutras

Respecting Earth's Plants And Animals

All Siva's devotees refuse to acquire or condone the use of endangered plants, animals or products from exploited species, such as furs, ivory, reptile skin, tortoise shell, or items produced using cruel animal testing. Aum.

Lesson 69 from Merging with Siva

The Yoga Break

The yoga break is a break in time in which one may penetrate the eternity of the moment. It is practiced in this way. If you find yourself nervous, upset, confused, drained of energy, lie down on the nearest flat, hard surface, not a bed or sofa, for they will not offer the proper support to your spine. Stretch out, preferably on the floor, take a deep breath and command your body and your mind to relax, to release, to let go of all thoughts and tensions of the moment. Don't bother trying to make your mind blank, but simply visualize yourself floating, relaxed on a cloud buoyed up in space, as it were, apart from all the problems and tensions of the Earth. Your eyes are closed, your hands are relaxed by your side, and as you inhale, gently lift the stomach muscles so that the lower part of the lungs fill with air before the upper part of the chest does. Visualize a powerful light flooding into your solar plexus as you breathe in, charging all the batteries of the nervous system, filling your body and mind with energy and positive will. As you exhale, feel this light energy diffusing into every part of your body, filtering down through the legs, through the arms, out through your fingers, up through the top of your head. As this light floods and fills your body while you breathe out, it expels ahead of it all the bothers and tensions of the day. After a few minutes, your breathing will have gained a deep rhythm. You will feel the life force within you build, and you will be regenerated through the lifting of the spiritual force within your own body. With the inrush of new energy you will feel inspiration returning to your mind, for as the body relaxes, so does the mind relax. If you are especially tense before you begin the yoga break, your muscles may relax quickly, and they will sometimes give a little jerk or twitch as the nervous system disentangles itself. By the time five minutes have passed in the prone position, with your mind solely occupied with the rhythm of your breath and the visualization of the physical body floating on a cloud--filling itself with light as it inhales, distributing the light throughout the body as it exhales--you may feel the inrush of energy flooding through you as if a hose had somewhere been opened. The yoga break gives perspective in the middle of the busy day, when your mind tends to become tensely narrowed by details.

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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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