Sloka 14 from Dancing with Siva
What Is the Nature of Life for Saivites?
To the Saivite Hindu, all of life is sacred. All of life is religion. Thus, Saivite art is sacred art, Saivite music is devotional music, and the Saivite's business is not only his livelihood, it is his service to man and God. Aum.
Each Saivite is unique in his or her quest, yet all seek the same things in life: to be happy and secure, loved and appreciated, creative and useful. Saivism has an established culture which fulfills these essential human wants and helps us understand the world and our place in it. To all devotees it gives guidance in the qualities of character so necessary in spiritual life: patience, compassion, broadmindedness, humility, industriousness and devotion. Saivism centers around the home and the temple. Monastic life is its core and its power. Family life is strong and precious. Saivism possesses a wealth of art and architecture, traditions of music, art, drama and dance, and a treasury of philosophy and scholarship. Saivite temples provide worship services daily. Scriptures give ethical guidelines. Satgurus offer advanced spiritual initiation. These three--temples, scriptures and satgurus--are our pillars of faith. The Vedas implore, "O learned people, may we with our ears listen to what is beneficial, may we see with our eyes what is beneficial. May we, engaged in your praises, enjoy with firm limbs and sound bodies, a full term of life dedicated to God." Aum Namah Sivaya.
Lesson 169 from Living with Siva
Marriage Is Forever
There is a breakdown that has been under way among Hindus for some time all over the world. Complaints as well as suggestions come in daily to my publisher's desk. These are some of the typical problems: mothers are no longer teaching righteousness, Vedic Dharma, worship and puja to their children, for fear their little ones won't fit into the alien cultures in which they are living. That's one. Fathers are no longer taking their sons into the family business or profession, but giving them choices of their own, for fear of being regarded as the "dominant" parent figure and not fitting in with the society in which they are living. That's another. There are more.
Children are orphaned in their own homes because the minds of both mother and father are in the work-a-day world in which the children play no part. Kids content themselves within the asuric realms of video arcades and TV. Families have given up dharma and even the hope of moksha, liberation from rebirth. Instead, they are immersed in the insatiable search for artha (wealth) and kama (enjoyment) and the many other magnetic pulls, so that they, too, are able to blend into modern society.
Hindu people, we are told in many e-mails, have almost all become passive followers, with few active leaders among them. No one wants to stand out over another, lest he be harshly criticized and put down. Many moderners fear openly affirming the dharma if it conflicts with modern society. Society as we know it today is the doctrine of materialism governed by anarchy. Lay down a rule, and someone will break it, no matter what it is. Are we in the Kali Yuga?
There is one institution that there is still hope in saving. It has been cherished in scripture, in living cultures, in all the major religions for thousands of years. It is the precious institution of marriage. It is the binding, contractual agreement between a man and woman who have come together to take on the responsibility of birthing, raising and educating a new generation. How are we going to have a brave new world, a new world order, a new age, based on anarchy within the family itself?
Yet, here, too, Hindus are taking their examples from those who do not understand or observe dharma; they are seeing divorce as a solution instead of a problem.
When the institution of marriage breaks down, everyone suffers. We see this happening all around us. A husband and wife bound by holy sacraments are psychically attached to each other. To separate for a month, a week or even for a day can be painful on the part of one or both. They reach out to one another during the time of physical absence in dreams and longing. How painful then is their permanent separation? How much anguish does it bring to their beloved children, whose wounds never really heal? And how is it that only the priest, a person who invokes God and the Gods, can sanctify a marriage, and that a court judge, a man of the world, can cancel that divine contractual agreement? Impossible. Only in the Kali Yuga.
A long and joyous life is theirs who remain firmly on the faultless path of the control of the five senses. There are still a few elders left today who speak out, whether listened to or not. Their fire of righteous indignation, their love for dharma, is making an impression upon the younger generation and their parents alike. We appeal to these elders to take courage and proclaim the ancient values, whether their children and grandchildren listen to them or not. Some part of them will be hearing. Preach the dharma. There is little to lose and much to gain. We appeal to elders to speak against divorce, to patiently work to harmonize matrimonial tensions and diffuse difficult family situations.
Sutra 169 of the Nandinatha Sutras
Treatment Of Employees And Servants
My devotees treat servants and employees honorably, as they would members of their own family, never neglecting or taking advantage of them. They provide conditions that are safe, healthful and uplifting. Aum.
Lesson 169 from Merging with Siva
Not Getting Bogged Down
When we live in the conscious mind, we are aware of other people's ideas. We listen with our ears, we see with our eyes, we feel with our fingers. We are involved in our physical senses, functioning instinctively as far as the physical body goes. We are functioning intellectually as far as our education goes, and we are dealing and working vibrantly and vitally in the world of external form. We can live in the conscious mind and be aware of that area of consciousness life after life after life after life, because the conscious mind is ever changing, perpetuated by its own novelty. One thing or idea leads us to another, and then on to another and another and another. We listen to people talk, and we want to know what they will say next.
The conscious mind is very curious. We taste something and we want to taste something else. We see something and we want to see something else. We feel something and we want to feel something else, and we go on and on, completely dominated by our five senses. This domination by the senses makes up the totality of the conscious mind. These five senses are constantly active, as energy continually flows out into the external world through them. The conscious mind makes up what is called the external world, and the external world is the conscious mind. We are all participating in making our own conscious mind as we go along through life.
Though the conscious mind is only seeming, it is very real while we are in it, as it glorifies in adding to itself. This process is called the intellect. As concepts and partial concepts are added one after another, the average person develops his or her intellect, and if it is not balanced by inner knowing, it holds the person firmly in the external realms of consciousness. Many people are trained to think, having had their conscious mind programmed in such a way, that the superconscious mind is nothing but a farce, that it doesn't exist at all, that the only reality is the external world, and pleasing the external senses is what life is all about. They are coached to believe that anything of an inner life or an inner nature is just pure fantasy, imagination, which only weak-minded people believe in. Many people live this way, with their awareness bogged down in the conscious mind--believing reality to be outside their physical body. The object of spiritual unfoldment is to transcend the conscious mind into superconsciousness and beyond.