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The Master Course

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 19

Sloka 19 from Dancing with Siva

What Is the Nature of the Primal Soul?

Parameshvara is the uncreated, ever-existent Primal Soul, Siva-Shakti, creator and supreme ruler of Mahadevas and beings of all three worlds. Abiding in His creation, our personal Lord rules from within, not from above. Aum.


Parameshvara, "Supreme Lord," Mother of the universe, is the eternal, sovereign one, worshiped by all the Gods and sentient beings. So loved is Siva-Shakti that all have an intimate relationship. So vast is His vastness, so over-powering is He that men cringe to transgress His will. So talked of is He that His name is on the lips of everyone--for He is the primal sound. Being the first and perfect form, God Siva in this third perfection of His being--the Primal Soul, the manifest and personal Lord--naturally creates souls in His image and likeness. To love God is to know God. To know God is to feel His love for you. Such a compassionate God--a being, whose resplendent body may be seen in mystic vision--cares for the minutiae such as we and a universe such as ours. Many are the mystics who have seen the brilliant milk-white form of Siva's glowing body with its red-locked hair, graceful arms and legs, large hands, perfect face, loving eyes and musing smile. The Agamas say, "Parameshvara is the cause of the five manifest aspects: emanation, srishti; preservation, sthiti; dissolution, samhara; concealment, tirobhava; and revelation, anugraha." Aum Namah Sivaya.

Lesson 19 from Living with Siva

Rules for Serious People

For virtuous individuals who marry, their experiences with their partner are, again, free from lustful fantasies; and emotional involvement is only with their spouse. Yes, a normal sex life should be had between husband and wife, and no one else should be included in either one's mind or emotions. Never hugging, touching another's spouse or exciting the emotions; always dressing modestly, not in a sexually arousing way; not viewing sexually oriented or pornographic videos; not telling dirty jokes--all of these simple customs are traditional ways of upholding sexual purity. The yama of brahmacharya works in concert with asteya, nonstealing. Stealing or coveting another's spouse, even mentally, creates a force that, once generated, is difficult to stop.

In this day and age, when promiscuity is a way of life, there is great strength in married couples' understanding and applying the principles of sexual purity. If they obey these principles and are on the path of enlightenment, they will again become celibate later in life, as they were when they were young. These principles persist through life, and when their children are raised and the forces naturally become quiet, around age sixty, husband and wife take the brahmacharya vrata, live in separate rooms and prepare themselves for greater spiritual experiences.

Married persons uphold sexual purity by observing the eightfold celibacy toward everyone but their spouse. These are ideals for serious, spiritual people. For those who have nothing to do with spirituality, these laws are meaningless. We are assuming a situation of a couple where everything they do and all that happens in their life is oriented toward spiritual life and spiritual goals and, therefore, these principles do apply. For sexual purity, individuals must believe firmly in the path to enlightenment. They must have faith in higher powers than themselves. Without this, sexual purity is nearly impossible.

One of the fastest ways to destroy the stability of families and societies is through promiscuity, mental and/or physical, and the best way to maintain stability is through self-control. The world today has become increasingly unstable because of the mental, physical, emotional license that people have given to themselves. The generation that follows an era of promiscuity has a dearth of examples to follow and are even more unstable than their parents were when they began their promiscuous living. Stability for human society is based on morality, and morality is based on harnessing and controlling sexuality. The principles of brahmacharya should be learned well before puberty, so that the sexual feelings the young person then begins to experience are free of mental fantasies and emotional involvement. Once established in a young person, this control is expected to be carried out all through life. When a virgin boy and girl marry, they transfer the love they have for their parents to one another. The boy's attachment to his mother is transferred to his wife, and the girl's attachment to her father is transferred to her husband. She now becomes the mother. He now becomes the father. This does not mean they love their parents any less. This is why the parents have to be in good shape, to create the next generation of stable families. This is their dharmic duty. If they don't do it, they create all kinds of uncomely karmas for themselves to be faced at a later time.

Sutra 19 of the Nandinatha Sutras

Guarding Against Instincts And Intellect

Those who live with Siva keep the mountaintop perspective that life on Earth is an opportunity for spiritual progress. They never lose sight of this truth by becoming infatuated with instinctive-intellectual pursuits. Aum.

Lesson 19 from Merging with Siva

The Habit of Being Constant

There are several ways we can make decisions, and there are guidelines to help us. There are basic principles that we can follow in life that other people have followed which helped guide their decisions along. It worked out fairly well, so we can follow basic principles, too. And we'll go in after a while to outlining some of these basic principles that help us make good, positive decisions, for we can learn by observing other people, the decisions they have made, the reactions and experiential patterns that follow. We can learn by observing other people.

The first faculty of the expression of the inner being of your immortal soul is the great power of observation, to learn through observation, as your individual awareness detaches itself from that which it is aware of. You have tremendous powers of observation, for you are a free spirit. You're just here on this planet to observe. And through your powers of observation, you can go through the experiential patterns of other people, by observing what they're going through, without having to go through them yourself. Some mystics live several lifetimes in one in this way.

Living by basic principles keeps awareness clean-cut, pure, direct and positive, out of the areas of the mind that are confused, unwholesome, unhealthy, areas that react back upon the nerve system of the physical nature. When we are clean-cut, our perceptions are precise. We make our decisions from an up-down point of view, and our path through life is guided by each decision that we make.

When we make a decision, it has its reaction. If we do not make a decision, that has a reaction too, for then decisions are made for us by circumstance, other people, situations or confusion. The confusion becomes so intense that finally we're forced into a decision. When we become accustomed to making one decision after another from an up-down point of view, our lives are guided in a systematic, positive, clean-cut, beautiful way. Who does the guiding? You do, with your awakened perceptive faculties.


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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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