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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 111

Sloka 111 from Dancing with Siva

Is Temple Worship Only for Beginners?

Temple worship is for all men and women at every level of spiritual development. Its meaning and experience deepen as we unfold spiritually through the stages of service, devotion, yoga and enlightened wisdom. Aum.


We never outgrow temple worship. It simply becomes more profound and meaningful as we progress through four spiritual levels. In the charya pada, the stage of selfless service, we attend the temple because we have to, because it is expected of us. In the kriya pada, the stage of worshipful sadhanas, we attend because we want to; our love of God is the motivation. In the yoga pada, we worship God internally, in the sanctum of the heart; yet even the yogi immersed in the superconscious depths of mind has not outgrown the temple. It is there--God's home on the earth plane--when the yogi returns to normal consciousness. So perfect is the temple worship of those who have traversed the jnana pada that they themselves become worship's object--living, moving temples. Yea, temple worship is never outgrown. The Vedas give praise, "Homage to Him who presides over all things, that which was and that which shall be; to whom alone belongs the heaven, to that all-powerful Brahman be homage! From Fullness He pours forth the full; the full spreads, merging with the full. We eagerly would know from whence He thus replenishes Himself." Aum Namah Sivaya.

Lesson 111 from Living with Siva

Conscious Comprehension

You have of course comprehended something at one time or another. You have a certain power of comprehension latent within yourself, the power to grasp, to encompass with the mind. It is an all-knowing state. In spiritual unfoldment, thinking is not enough. You have to comprehend the yoga path and the steps on the path. You have to comprehend your own nature. That is why in the study of yoga we work to clear the subconscious mind as one of the first steps. Then you can comprehend the subconscious state of your own mind. When the subconscious is comprehended, it no longer holds power over you. It does not have the ability to influence your life by itself. Many people think they comprehend things which they do not comprehend at all. Others do comprehend, but they do not maintain a consciousness of their power of comprehension, or a consciousness of what they have comprehended. By not doing so, they become vulnerable again to the instinctive states of the mind. By holding a consciousness of comprehension, on the other hand, the higher states of mind, the realms of intuition and perception, remain open while living in the everyday world, even while facing some of the reactions of the subconscious.

There is a story told about a great spiritual teacher, a satguru, who lived in India many years ago. In his small group of disciples, two were in perfect harmony with the mind of their guruji. They could easily comprehend everything that he had to say. The yoga master used to send them on long trips, traveling all over India doing good for other people. When they returned, they found they were able to grasp and master even deeper actinic controls and laws and powers. The continuity of consciousness does not stop. In other words, the continuity of spiritual unfoldment for the chelas did not stop in the satguru's absence.

However, other disciples who were not in absolute actinic harmony with their teacher, even when they were with him, found that when they were away from him for a few hours they would quickly lose their comprehension of the spiritual path and teachings that were quite natural to them while they were in the radiance of his vibrations.

Have you ever been with someone and found yourself able to understand things of a deeper nature better in his presence than when you are away from him? His actinic vibration opened your actinic force field, harmonizing and quieting your odic forces. Such people unfold in you a certain power of comprehension. But unless it opens up your own actinic force field permanently, the power is really temporary, and when you are away from the vibration, it closes up again. Just so, the students who were in harmony with their Indian satguru traveled all through India maintaining their consciousness of comprehension. They were in full control of that power, for a jnana yoga master, or satguru, can effect a permanent actinic awakening for his chelas.

Sutra 111 of the Nandinatha Sutras

Considerations For Matchmaking

Siva's followers arrange the marriages of their children, seeking sameness of lineage, astrological compatibility, harmony of the two families, total consent of both boy and girl and, foremost, their satguru's blessings. Aum.

Lesson 111 from Merging with Siva

Knowing Who Is the "I Am"

Even a great soul faces difficulties, but he does not take them personally. Generally people take problems too personally by identifying closely with them. When they experience anger, they are angry. When they experience bliss, they are blissful. The mystic identifies with the experiencer instead of the experience. He sees himself as pure awareness that travels in the mind. When he is in San Francisco, he is not San Francisco. Similarly, when he is in anger, he is not anger. He says to himself, "I am pure energy. I am the spiritual energy that floods through mind and body. I am not the body, the mind or the emotions. I am not the thoughts I think or the experiences I experience." Thus, he molds a new identity of himself as a free being who can travel anywhere in the mind. Such a person is always at the top of the mountain.

We have to examine this concept of who we are. When we begin to totally feel all right about ourself, the meaning of the word I begins to change. I no longer means the body of us. I means energy, awareness and willpower. Soon we gain the total truth that we are living in the body, but we are not the body we live in. Examine the word I and honestly see what it means to you. Does it mean the physical body? Does it mean the emotions? Does it mean the intellect? Does it mean the spiritual energy?

When we forget who we are, who we really are, we live in a consciousness of time and space, and we relate to the future, to the external us, to the past, and to our subconscious internal us. This can be rather confusing. Most people are therefore confused and seek to distract themselves in an effort to find peace. A conscious awareness of now only comes when we remember who we really are. This doesn't mean we cannot plan for the future or benefit ourselves by reviewing experiences of the past. It simply means that we always remember that we are the essence of all energy, the source.

Return to the source. Merge with Siva. At the source there is always peace. The key to this entire practice is to become consciously aware of energy. In this constant remembering we have the feeling of being the center of the universe, with the whole world functioning around us. To be fully anchored in the knowledge of the source of our being, the eternal now can and must be a constant experience. It's easy to live in the now if you work with yourself a little every day and concentrate on what you are doing each moment.


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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