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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 83

Sloka 83 from Dancing with Siva

How Strictly Must Children Be Guided?

Parents should be most diligent in guiding their children toward virtue, protecting them from all bad company and influences, being strict yet never harsh or mean, allowing them prudent freedom in which to grow. Aum.


Children are constantly learning, and that learning must be guided carefully by the parents. The young's education, recreation and companions must be supervised. They should be taught the scriptures of their lineage. Their religious education is almost always in the hands of the parents. They should be disciplined to study hard, and challenged to excel and fulfill their natural talents. They should be praised and rewarded for their accomplishments. Children need and seek guidance, and only the parents can truly provide it. In general, it is the mother who provides love and encouragement, while the father corrects and disciplines. A child's faults if not corrected will be carried into adult life. Still, care should be taken to not be overly restrictive either. Children should never be struck, beaten, abused or ruled through a sense of fear. Children, be they young or old, have a karma and a dharma of their own. Their parents have a debt to pay them; and they have a debt to return later in life. The Vedas plead, "O friend of men, protect my children. O adorable one, protect my cattle. O sword of flame, protect my nourishment." Aum Namah Sivaya.

Lesson 83 from Living with Siva

Alcohol in Moderation

Alcohol is a very misunderstood substance. Its original use in many cultures was limited to the priesthood, to enliven consciousness by restricting the activities of the conscious mind, so that the superconscious knowledge within the individual can flow freely, uninhibited by daily thought and concerns. In Japan, sake, a rice wine, is considered the potion of the poets and is served in Buddhist and Shinto monasteries to enhance the spiritual nature and diminish worldly attachments. The drinking of sake goes along with certain other practices of controlling the mind, based on a well-understood philosophy. In other cultures--Aztec, Mayan, Hindu, Christian and Jewish--wine is considered a holy sacrament.

Beer is a lesser potion, a drink for the common man, and does not fall into this category. Both beer and wine are produced from natural ingredients and through natural fermentation processes, whereas hard liquors are distilled. Another important difference is the concentration of alcohol. In beer the alcohol content is from 3 to 8 percent, and in wine from 9 to 18 percent, compared to hard liquors which are from 25 to nearly 100 percent. The latter our scriptures admonish us to not imbibe.

Man's religious traditions provide different answers to the consumption of alcohol. The Muslim faith considers it the mother of all evils, the most basic of human sins. The Jews, Christians and others consider it acceptable in moderation, and, in fact, provide wine as sacraments in their places of worship. In Asian societies, propaganda against alcohol is severe, primarily directed toward hard liquors, meaning those of high alcohol content, which tend to quickly craze the mind, punish the body and let loose the lower emotions. These include distilled home brews, such as arrack, bathtub gin, homemade rum and vodka.

In Hinduism there are traditions that are strictly abstemious, and there are traditions that are open to the use of alcohol. Especially the Saivas and Shaktas are more lenient in this matter and have no objection to the moderate, wise use of alcohol. In North India, for example, it is traditional in certain orders for Saiva sannyasins to drink alcohol. This is the tradition that our particular parampara has adopted and it is the custom that we follow today. If you are in a tradition which has a heritage of complete abstention, then you should follow it. If you are in a tradition which does not look down on drinking wines or beers, then you should feel free to follow that tradition.

Hindus of the Jaffna community explain that hard liquor, known as kal in Tamil, are the intoxicants prohibited in the Tirukural and Tirumantiram and which are to be totally abstained from, and that beer and wine, including honey wine, are referred to in the Vedas and ayurveda texts as beneficial for spiritual and religious life under the restraint of mitahara.

Sutra 83 of the Nandinatha Sutras

Kindliness Toward Women

Siva's men devotees never argue with women, antagonize, disrespect, tease or abuse them in any way. They are always kindly, protective, helpful and understanding, honoring the mother spirit within women. Aum.

Lesson 83 from Merging with Siva

Becoming Simple

When one begins to meditate, he should approach it dynamically, for it is becoming more alive. He is penetrating his awareness into the very source of life itself, for eventually he hopes to attain the ultimate goal, merger with Siva, the experience of the Self beyond all time, beyond all form, beyond all cause. The experience of Parasiva is attained only when one has become very simple, direct, uncomplicated. When a new nerve system has been built within this very body, strong enough to hold awareness within enough so that awareness itself can completely dissolve itself into its own essence, Satchidananda and Parasiva are experienced.

After that dynamic experience, man's heritage in this lifetime, one enters back into the mind which is all form--creating, preserving, destroying, completely finished in all areas of manifestation--and moves freely through the mind, seeing it for what it is.

Parasiva is the ultimate goal in merging with Siva, the realization of the Self in its totality. How does one know that one has experienced such an experience if you cannot speak of it, if it is beyond the mind, thought, cause, time and space? And yet one does know and vibrantly knows. There are various signposts. One is that one could go into Parasiva an ignorant person and come out wise. Another: the urgency, the goal, the quest is over. He loses something--the desire for Self Realization. Another signpost is that the Self, the very core of existence, is always his point of reference. He relates to the exterior world only as an adult relates to the children's toys. Parasiva is to be sought for, worked for and finally attained. But a lot of work must be done first.

Choose a time for your meditation. Sit up so straight and strong and dynamic that you feel you are at that very moment the center of the universe. Regulate your breath so precisely that awareness flows freely out of the realm of thought into the perceptive areas of the mind. Then begin meditating on the two forces, odic and actinic. Be like the spaceman high above the surface of the Earth looking at the odic forces of the cities. Look then, too, at the odic forces, the magnetic forces, that motivate your life within yourself and between people and you and things. Feel the actinic force flooding out from the central source of energy itself. And then turn awareness in upon itself. Simply be aware of being aware. Sit in dynamic bliss.

And in coming out of this meditation, next feel the power of the spine, vibrant energy flooding out through the nerve system, the hands, the arms, the legs, the head. Enter back into life joyfully, joyously.


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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