Sloka 37 from Dancing with Siva What Is the Nature of the Charya Pada? Charya is the performance of altruistic religious service and living according to traditional ethical conduct and culture, by which the outer nature is purified. It is the stage of ...

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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 192

    Sloka 37 from Dancing with Siva

    What Is the Nature of the Charya Pada?

    Charya is the performance of altruistic religious service and living according to traditional ethical conduct and culture, by which the outer nature is purified. It is the stage of overcoming basic instinctive patterns. Aum.


    Charya, literally "conduct," is the first stage of religiousness and the foundation for the next three stages. It is also called the dasa marga, meaning "path of servitude," for here the soul relates to God as servant to master. The disciplines of charya include humble service, attending the temple, performing one's duty to community and family, honoring holy men, respecting elders, atoning for misdeeds and fulfilling the ten classical restraints called yamas. Within a strong society, one performs charya whether he wants to or not. Young or rebellious souls often resist and resent, whereas mature souls fulfill these obligations most naturally. Right behavior and self-sacrificing service are never outgrown. The keynote of charya, or karma yoga, is seva, religious service given without the least thought of reward, which has the magical effect of softening the ego and bringing forth the soul's innate devotion. The Tirumantiram explains, "The simple temple duties, lighting the lamps, picking flowers, lovingly polishing the floors, sweeping, singing the Lord's praise, ringing the bell and fetching ceremonial water--these constitute the dasa marga." Aum Namah Sivaya.

    Lesson 192 from Living with Siva

    A Story of Heartbreak

    Here is a letter a discouraged Malaysian Hindu girl wrote to her parents just before she attempted to end her life at age eighteen. One of the main reasons she cited for this attempt was too much pressure coming from her parents. It was published in the Malaysia edition of Hinduism Today.

    "Dear Mom and Dad: You'll never understand why I did this. Never. In your opinion, you always did what was best for me. You always knew what was best for me. You always believed I was your naive, irresponsible little girl who always needed your hand to hold on to. You thought it was necessary to use the sharp edge of your tongue to keep me on the right track.

    "But that was the biggest problem--you were the ones who chose that track for me. I never had any say in my own life. Did you realize that that right track became a psychological prison for me? That your leading hand became a set of chains for me? That the sharp side of your tongue got to be a barbed wire that was continuously lashing out at me? No, you never did.

    "You have said many things to me when you were angry, and you always excused yourself by saying that you weren't in your senses when you said them. But did you realize how much those things could have hurt me? No. You never even thought about it. How about if I called you a b . . . . when I was angry? Would you excuse that with the same reasoning? I think not.

    "Didn't you ever stop to think that maybe I should have some say in what I wanted to do with my life? You decided which college would be the right one for me to attend and what academic field I should go into. The college, of course, had to be the most prestigious and elite one, so you could brag to your friends about it. You never thought that maybe I wanted something more than school and books, but that was never important to you. You only wanted me to achieve academically so your friends would be duly impressed. That was the same reason that you wanted me to become a doctor. I didn't want anything to do with it.

    "You never realized that maybe I had wanted a social life, to make real friends for once in my life. When I told you that, you scoffed at me and told me that we Indians were so much superior that we didn't need to deal with them. There was never anything in my life that you let me have any control over. When I finally met someone who meant something to me, you two couldn't handle the fact that maybe someday I would learn to control my own life and rid myself of your manipulations. So, then you decided who it was that I was going to see and who it was that I didn't. You forced me to break the first real relationship that I ever had in my life. I was constantly harassed by you about him. You told me that I was disgracing the family name. '...what would everyone say?' You destroyed everything for me. This 'relationship' between us is nothing but a farce. And there is no reason to continue it. I have searched for some way to escape you, but I have come up empty handed. And now, unable to do anything else, I want you to understand the meaning of 'empty handed.' Always remember that you can only control someone for so long. Now you must live with this guilt. I hope you will never be able to forgive yourself."

    Isn't that sad? Yes, very sad. Fortunately, the young woman lived through this ordeal. In contacting the editors, knowing her letter would strike a chord in many youth, she cautioned that she now knows suicide is not the way out. She firmly believes that all things, no matter how bad they seem at the time, can be lived through. She allowed the publication of this very personal letter in the hope that her battle with suicide would help others--parents and children--deal better with problems before they reach hopelessness.

    Sutra 192 of the Nandinatha Sutras

    Fasting For Health And Penance

    Siva's devotees may fast for twenty-four hours on water, herb teas or fruit juices each Friday or twice a month on pradosha. Longer fasting, such as a festival penance, is done only with the guru's or a doctor's sanction. Aum.

    Lesson 192 from Merging with Siva

    Becoming Aware of Energy

    Become aware of the totality of Being. This does not take a lot of time. The easiest way, the simplest way, is to be aware of the spine and the energies within the head. Locate the consciousness of energy. Be aware of energy. When you are aware of energy, you automatically forget what you were previously aware of and it fades away. You leave the consciousness of the instinctive-intellectual area of the mind and move into superconsciousness. If you can remain totally centered in awareness of the energy within your spine and the energy within the head, you become aware of the same energy within everybody and everything you see. You are immediately in a superconscious state when this happens.

    Therefore, the simple goal is, stay in this consciousness of energy for the rest of your life. It is just that easy, but it is not quite that simple to accomplish, because you have already trained your awareness to move into other channels of the mind, and it will do that automatically as soon as you cease to be aware of the energy within the spine. Then you forget that you are a superconscious, immortal being and begin to think you are only temporal. You may begin to think that there is a past, or that there is a future, and begin to feel that the eternal now is an insecure time. You may find yourself beginning to lean on other people rather than on your own spine.

    When you discover this happening, then begin to meditate. Go deep within yourself again and find superconsciousness. Seek the company of people who center their awareness within. This will make it easier for you to do so. Being around people who center awareness in the external areas of the mind is difficult because they draw your awareness into the external areas of the thought strata.

    People who really value awareness being "hooked," shall we say, into the inner areas of energy, and have studied that function of energy, draw your awareness into it. When this happens, you begin to see from inside out. You actually see from the inside of everything that you look at to the exterior of it. You look at a tree. You first see the energy within the tree. The bark is the last thing you see. When you are in an outer consciousness, first you see the bark of the tree and then you intellectually surmise that there must be energies within it because you happen to notice that a leaf is growing and assume that it must be alive. How awkward awareness is when it is stumbling around in the external area of the mind. And how smooth awareness flows freely when it is dynamically cruising into inner layers of inner space.

    We shall now compare the superconscious mind to an onion of seven layers, each interior layer more subtle than the outer ones. 1) Experiencing the consciousness of the eternity of the moment, as if the world was revolving around you; 2) Experiencing a cosmic energy, a divine force, flowing through your external mind which is more real to you than the external mind itself; 3) Experiencing hearing voices singing, music playing--the divine sounds of the flute, mridanga, vina and tambura--while in meditation or early in the morning just before awakening; 4) Experiencing seeing the faces of Gods or devas, or a rishi's face, looking into yours while in meditation or early in the morning just before awakening; 5) Experiencing the peace and inner poise of the all-pervasive Satchidananda; 6) Experiencing the anandamaya kosha, the body of the soul, as it comes into conscious union with the physical body; 7) Experiencing being on the brink of the Absolute, Parasiva, the void, having lost consciousness of the physical body and of being any of the five states of mind. These seven states of superconsciousness are only a few, to be sure, of this vast area of mind.


    Click for details on Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami's next mission, so you can meet him.


    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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