Sloka 105 from Dancing with Siva What Occurs Within the Siva Temple? Activities within a Siva temple vary from the daily round of pujas to the elaborate celebrations on annual festival days. Even amid large crowds, our worship is personal 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 105

    Sloka 105 from Dancing with Siva

    What Occurs Within the Siva Temple?

    Activities within a Siva temple vary from the daily round of pujas to the elaborate celebrations on annual festival days. Even amid large crowds, our worship is personal and individual, not congregational. Aum Namah Sivaya.

    Bhashya

    Besides the daily round of pujas, many other events take place within the temple: pilgrims offering vows, priests chanting the Vedas, processions, elephants giving blessings, garlands being woven, weddings or philosophical discourses in pillared halls, devotional singing, feedings for the impoverished, dance and cultural performances, ritual bath in the stone tank, meditation, religious instruction, and many festival-related events. Generally, there are seven times when pujas are held: at five, six and nine in the morning, at noon, and at six, eight and ten in the evening. The outer worship is approaching God properly, presenting ourselves acceptably. It is to offer our love, our adoration and then to speak out our prayer, our petition. The inner worship is to enjoy God's presence and not rush away, to stay, to sit, to meditate awhile and bask in the shakti, endeavoring to realize the Self within. The Vedas say, " 'Come, come!' these radiant offerings invite the worshiper, conveying him thither on the rays of the sun, addressing him pleasantly with words of praise, 'This world of Brahman is yours in its purity, gained by your own good works.' " Aum Namah Sivaya.


    Lesson 105 from Living with Siva

    Exercising Concentration

    There are many faculties of the superconscious mind just waiting to be tapped by you. Only by tapping into and opening your superconscious, creative powers will you ever come to know and realize your real Self. It is not difficult, but in order to open the higher or inner consciousness, you have to gain a perfect control of the thinking faculties of your mind.

    Concentration has to be practiced and perfected before meditation can begin. If you find that you are sitting and trying not to fall asleep for a half hour, you have only accomplished sitting and trying not to go to asleep for half an hour--and perhaps refraining from scratching your nose when it begins to itch. But that cannot be called meditation. Meditation is a transforming state of mind, really. A person once said to me, "Well, I concentrate my mind by reading a book, and when I'm reading, I don't hear a thing." This is not concentration, but attention, the first step to concentration. Concentration is thinking about one definite thing for a given length of time until you begin to understand what you are thinking about. What should we concentrate upon? Start with any solid object. Take your watch, for instance. Think about your watch. Think about the crystal. Think about the hands. Let your mind direct itself toward the mechanism of your watch, and then observe how your mind, after a few moments, begins to wander and play tricks on you. You may start thinking about alarm clocks or a noise in the street.

    Each time your concentration period is broken by a distraction, you must start all over again. Breathe deeply and coordinate all the energies of your body so that you are not distracted by an itch or a noise. Direct your awareness once again to your watch. Before you know it, you will be thinking about a movie you saw four weeks ago and living through all the fantasies of it again without realizing that ten minutes of your time has gone by. Be careful and gentle with your awareness, however. Bring it back to the object of your concentration in a firm, relaxed manner and say to yourself, "I am the master of my thought." Eventually, your awareness will begin to do just what you want it to.

    Once you are able to direct your awareness, without wavering, upon one object, you will begin to understand what you are concentrating upon, and you will find that this state of understanding is the beginning of your meditation. You are more alive in this state than you were in the noisy condition of your mind before you began to concentrate, and you come forth from your meditation a little wiser than you were before you went in.

    The next state of consciousness, which is attained when meditation has been perfected, is contemplation. In the contemplative state of awareness you will feel the essence of all life pouring and radiating through your body and through the object you have been meditating upon. When contemplation is sustained, the final step is samadhi, and that is finding or becoming your true Self, which is beyond all conditions of your mind, all phases of consciousness. Only after you have attained samadhi can you answer the question "Who am I?" from your own experience. Only then will you know that you are all-pervasive, and finally, in the deepest samadhi, that you are causeless, timeless, spaceless and that you have been able to realize this through a balance of your awakened inner and outer consciousness, a bringing together of the forces of your mind in yoga, or union.


    Sutra 105 of the Nandinatha Sutras

    Signs Of The Widowed's Intent

    Siva's widowed devotees not intending to remarry wear holy ash and the forehead mark of sandalpaste, but not red powder. Those wishing to remarry may wear jewelry, cosmetics and colorful clothing. Aum Namah Sivaya.


    Lesson 105 from Merging with Siva

    Learn to Assimilate


    People always tend to identify, instinctively, freedom with abandon. But the type of abandon that seeks personal gratification always gets you "tied up in a knot." Abandon instead your personal fears and desires by bringing your mind under the dominion of concentration in everything you do, and you, the real you, will become freed, released from the bonds of your own mind. Concentrate your mind when you are feeling confused, and you will bring peace to its disturbed states. Peace is control, and control is freedom.

    If everyone gave half as much thought to the digestive power of the mind as we do to our stomachs, there would be fewer asylums. Are you able to assimilate and understand everything you put into your mind? Or do you carry experiences with you for days, mulling over the past? Some of the things that you see, hear, read about or think about impress you deeply. Other things do not. What kind of impressions do you carve upon your mind? Turning our backs on everything that may be unpleasant to us is not the answer, but if you observe your reactions as they are taking place and then later, the same day, turn a calm, detached eye to your experience, you will reenter understanding through the controlled state of your meditation. Do not wait for muddy waters of the mind to settle down in their own good time when you feel confused. You will only hasten your evolution by making your mind silent and composed by using a dynamic willpower to restore order when you feel least disposed to do so. Draw upon your resources.

    People like patterns. The subconscious has a natural tendency to resist change. It is slow to realize that life is constant change. That is why it is so easy to fall into a rut. It requires a daring, spirited nature to call forth unused resources, to step out of the routine into a fuller and freer life. It requires daring to leave behind confused states of mind and bring forth new knowledge or wisdom from a meditation. Control is always silent power. Emotion, confusion, lack of control is noisy weakness.

    Learn to assimilate. When you are engaged in conversation, do as the wise men of India do--pause after a while and let your thoughts assimilate. Have a view of the direction in which your mind is going, and you will have a good control over the direction of your life's circumstance. Rely on the Self. Find the permanency within you that has never changed through the ages, and you will realize that change is only in the ever-changing mind. Control your mind to the nth degree and you will realize your own natural state of Being, beyond all circumstances--the Self. You will go through many different tests to prove your own realization to yourself. Face each test graciously. Welcome each test and welcome each temptation that shows you the strength of your will over the chaotic senses. You have only to quiet all things of the mind to realize your identity with the eternity of God Siva, the Spirit, the eternal Self within you.

         
     



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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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