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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

Lesson 350

Sloka 40 from Dancing with Siva

What Is the Nature of the Jnana Pada?

Jnana is divine wisdom emanating from an enlightened being, a soul in its maturity, immersed in Sivaness, the blessed realization of God, while living out earthly karma. Jnana is the fruition of yoga tapas. Aum Namah Sivaya.


The instinctive mind in the young soul is firm and well-knit together. The intellectual mind in the adolescent soul is complicated, and he sees the physical world as his only reality. The subsuperconscious mind in the mystically inclined soul well perfected in kriya longs for realization of Siva's two perfections, Satchidananda and Parasiva. Through yoga he bursts into the superconscious mind, experiencing bliss, all-knowingness and perfect silence. It is when the yogi's intellect is shattered that he soars into Parasiva and comes out a jnani. Each time he enters that unspeakable nirvikalpa samadhi, he returns to consciousness more and more the knower. He is the liberated one, the jivanmukta, the epitome of kaivalya--perfect freedom--far-seeing, filled with light, filled with love. One does not become a jnani simply by reading and understanding philosophy. The state of jnana lies in the realm of intuition, beyond the intellect. The Vedas say, "Having realized the Self, the rishis, perfected souls, satisfied with their knowledge, passion-free, tranquil--those wise beings, having attained the omnipresent on all sides--enter into the All itself." Aum Namah Sivaya.

Lesson 350 from Living with Siva

The Path of Commitment

Commitment is a big word and a very scary word to many people nowadays. The word commitment means responsibility. The word commitment brings up our willpower. Many people think the word commitment is too limiting. We can sum up commitment in one word, dharma. The path of dharma is the path of one commitment after another commitment. In between the commitments is fulfillment of the commitment, which is another word for duty. We are here to realize God Siva within ourself. We are here to resolve all the karmas we put in motion in past lives. We are here to manage our affairs so properly that eventually we do not have to come back into a physical body anymore. This takes tremendous commitment, and our great Hindu religion gives us the knowledge of how to be committed.

If your religion is not manifesting daily in your life, then basically you don't have a religion. You just have some sort of Indian culture which will eventually go away and be replaced with another kind of a culture, because it doesn't really matter to you. Someone asked me recently, "How do I know what to be committed to?" The answer: "What do you believe in?" Belief is a magical thing. It's like a vitamin; it permeates your whole system. A belief can be taken away and another belief can replace it, or the belief can be strengthened through commitment. Be committed to your beliefs, or find beliefs that you can be committed to, then build on them. Then you will leave your footprints on the San Marga of time. Otherwise, you are just sitting in one place, making no progress. Nothing is happening in your life. The karmas aren't working right, and you are not able to face life.

If you feel, day after day, that you are in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing, then I would say you are a being who is fully committed to the spiritual path. If, day after day, you feel you don't know whether you are in the right place or not, and things are always "happening to you," that you are like a little boat on the great ocean of life being tossed around, here and there, then you should look within yourself and find out where you stand on the scale of life itself. What are your basic beliefs? What are your basic commitments? Ask yourself.

There are many things to be committed to. Youths should be committed to an education that prepares them for what they plan to do in the future. Mothers should be committed to raising their children, making them good citizens, though some mothers don't care whether their children are good citizens or not. They just don't care. They are not even committed to raising their own children. They give them over to somebody else to raise: "Here, you do it." Day-care centers are opening up all across the nation, though statistics show that children educated in day-care centers are terrible students when they get into school--discouraged, undisciplined, unruly students. Husbands should be committed to raising up their family, taking care of their wife and children. That is a commitment that they have to fulfill. If they don't fulfill it, they are making an unworthy karma. But many husbands are not even committed to that.

Commitment and dharma are just about the same. Dharma brings law and order into life, gives us rules to follow and guides us along. Where does commitment come from? Commitment comes from the soul. The intellectual mind is going this way and that way all the time, controlled or antagonized by other people's opinions most of the time and by how society is thinking. Commitment comes from the soul. It is a quality of the soul which you can teach to the next generation. Another quality of the soul is observation. Still another intuitive quality of the soul is creativity, which should be encouraged in every child. Through commitment, the soul dominates the intellect and the intellect dominates the instinctive mind. This is religion in action. This is living with Siva.

Sutra 350 of the Nandinatha Sutras

The Tradition Of Moving In Pairs

My Saiva monastics, whether in or outside the monastery, perform ministry only in pairs. They never travel alone. Exceptions are made in dire emergencies and for those on the nirvana sadhaka path. Aum Namah Sivaya.

Lesson 350 from Merging with Siva

To Die a Conscious Death

If you were to die at this very moment, where would what you call you go? Where would your awareness be drawn? The laws of death and reincarnation tell us that your awareness would go into various refined force fields of the mind, similar to some states of sleep, according to where you are in the mind at the time of death. By a similar law on this plane, when a wealthy executive and a mendicant enter an unfamiliar town, one finds himself lodged at the finest hotel among other businessmen of his caliber, and the other is drawn of necessity to the slums. The entire process of reincarnation is the inner play of magnetic force fields.

Should you reincarnate now, you would undoubtedly enter a force field which would approximate where you are inside yourself, unless, of course, you had broken through barriers into a force field different from the one in which you are now living. In other words, to use an analogy that can also be applied to states of instinctive, intellectual and superconscious awareness, if you were living in America, but had your mind centered in the force field called France, owned things imported from France and spoke fluent French, you would undoubtedly reincarnate in France and act out that drama to its conclusion.

Reincarnation and karma in its cause-and-effect form are practically one and the same thing, for they both have to do with the pranic forces and these bodies of the external mind. The sannyasin's quest is Self Realization. To make that realization a reality, he always has to be conscious consciously of working out these other areas. Why? Because the ignorance of these areas holds and confuses awareness, preventing him from being in inner states long enough to attain the ultimate goal of nirvikalpa samadhi.

Little by little, as he goes on in his esoteric understanding of these mechanics, he unwinds and reeducates his subconscious. He conquers the various planes by cognizing their function and understanding their relation one to another. This knowledge allows him to become consciously superconscious all the time. He has sufficient power to move the energies and awareness out of the physical, intellectual and astral bodies into sushumna. Then the kundalini force, that vapor-like life force, merges into its own essence.

It is therefore the great aim of the aspirant on the path of enlightenment to live a well-ordered life and control the forces of the mind that propel him into cycles of life and death. He must strive to gain a fundamental knowing of the life-death-reincarnation processes, and to be able at the point of death to leave the body consciously, as a matter of choice, depending upon the consciousness leading to the moment of transition. He must throw off the false identification with this body or that personality and see himself as the ageless soul that has taken many, many births, of which this is only one, see deeper still into the total unreality of life and death, which only exist in their seeming in the outer layers of consciousness, for he is the immortal one who is never born and can never die.


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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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