Supreme God Siva has created all the Gods and given them distinct existence and powers, and yet He pervades them wholly. They are separate but inseparable. At the deepest level, nothing exists apart from Him. Aum.
God Siva is the Supreme Being, the Lord of lords. He alone prevails everywhere. Not an atom moves except by His will. Ganesha, Karttikeya, Indra, Agni and all the 330 million Gods of Hinduism are beings just as we are, created by Lord Siva and destined to enjoy union with Him. The Gods are souls of high evolution. They are very old and mature souls, mighty beings who live in the Sivaloka. Though neither male nor female, they may be popularly depicted as Gods and Goddesses. The devas are benevolent beings of light abiding in the higher Antarloka. They help guide evolution from their world between births. The asuras are demonic beings of darkness, immature souls who temporarily inhabit Naraka, the lower Antarloka. Devas and asuras are usually subject to rebirth. We worship Siva and the Gods. We neither worship the devas nor invoke the asuras. Karttikeya, Ganesha and all the Gods, devas and asuras worship Siva. The Vedas explain, "From Him, also, are born the Gods, in manifold ways, the celestials, men, cattle, birds, the in-breath and the out-breath, rice and barley, austerity, faith, truth, chastity and the law." Aum Namah Sivaya.
A legacy of devas from the entire parampara accompanies our monastic order, providing silent, unseen inner guidance and protection for old and young alike. As long as at least one person within the entire group of mathavasis is going into and coming out of Parasiva once a day, the doorway to the Third World remains open to the hereditary entourage of devonic forces that has been building up for over two thousand years. This is because the brahmarandhra, the door of Brahman at the top of the head, remains open when Parasiva is daily experienced within a mathavasi community. It could be within the oldest monk or within the youngest. This great realization occurring time and time again within someone day after day keeps the door of Brahm open for the entire prana chakravala of monastics, keeping vibrantly strong the inner, actinic connection with all gurus of our parampara, as well as with other sadhus, rishis and saints who have reached these same attainments, and with the sapta rishis themselves who guide our order from deep within the inner lokas.
My Saiva swamis, or Natha swamis, are distinguished by their orange robes, gold Natha earrings and three strands of rudraksha beads. They are the Saiva Siddhanta Yoga Order, known as the Saiva Swami Sangam when they gather in ecclesiastical conclave. The sangam does not follow the protocol of unanimous decision. Rather, it works in intuitive one-mindedness to carry out instructions from the Kailasa Pitham, our spiritual seat of authority, to better the Saivite mission and the individuals dedicated to its success.
These sannyasins are not looked upon as individuals so much as an integrated council, assembled and working in unison to perform a holy work as Sivanadiyars, servants of God Siva. Guided by the satguru, the Saiva Swami Sangam forms the ecclesiastical body of our Hindu Church which works in a humble way to protect the purity of the faith among all Hindu sects, through inspiring publications and other means of encouragement. Specifically, our order's mission is to protect, preserve and promote the Saivite Hindu religion as embodied in the Tamil culture, traditions and scriptures of South India and Sri Lanka.
Our monastic order follows the cenobitic pattern in which monastics live in community and work together toward common objectives. Sannyasins of this order are not wandering sadhus or silent contemplatives, known as anchorites, rather they are members of a brotherhood working closely and industriously with their satguru and with their brother monastics. At the time of sannyasa diksha, each has accepted the mission of the Kailasa Parampara as his own: to protect and perpetuate Saivism; to serve Hindus the world over; to provide, teach and disseminate scripture, religious literature and practical instruction; to promote temple construction and to exemplify the dignity and enlightenment of our Nandinatha Sampradaya. Living under lifetime vows of renunciation, humility, purity, confidence and obedience, these sannyasins are bound to fulfill their unique role in the Saiva culture of religious exemplars and staunch defenders of the faith. Their ideal is to balance outward service (Sivathondu) and inward contemplation-realization (Sivajnana) for a rich, fulfilling and useful life.
There are two other groups of monks within our monasteries: the yellow-robed yogi tapasvins and the white-robed sadhakas, living under renewable two-year vows of humility, purity, confidence and obedience.
Siva's monastics support sadhus, yogis, swamis and gurus of other orders, male or female, even if their beliefs differ, as long as they promote the Vedas, the Hindu religion and the renunciate ideals of monasticism. Aum.
The Self is timeless, causeless and formless. Therefore, being That, it has no relation whatsoever to time, space and form. Form is in a constant state of creation, preservation and destruction within space, thus creating consciousness called time, and has no relationship to timelessness, causelessness or formlessness. The individual soul, when mature, can make the leap from the consciousness of space-time-causation into the timeless, causeless, formless Self. This is the ultimate maturing of the soul on this planet.
Form in its cycle of creation, preservation and destruction is always in one form or another, a manifest state or a gaseous state, but is only seeming to one who has realized the Self. Siva in His manifest state is all form, in all form and permeating through all form, and hence all creation, preservation and destruction of form is Siva. This is the dance, the movement of form. No form is permanent. Siva in His unmanifest form is timeless, causeless, spaceless--hence called the Self God. Hence, Siva has always existed, was never created, as both His manifest and unmanifest states have always existed. This is the divine dance and the mystery revealed to those who have realized the Self.
The soul merged out of Siva as the Self in His timeless, causeless, spaceless, unmanifest state and from Siva as the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer in His manifest state of all form. The core of the merger between these two states, or the apex, causes a cell which breaks loose another cell, thus spawning souls. Each time the Being of Siva goes from His manifest to His unmanifest state, it spawns a soul.
Where the Shakti unites with the unmanifest and Siva unites with the manifest, this natural process, which continues even into the sahasrara of man, is the core from whence creation comes.
Each God has a vehicle through which he is represented--Ganesha the mouse, Muruga the peacock, and Siva rides in man. The origin of man--being spawned from Siva, the birthless, deathless God--therefore, is as a pure, taintless soul. After thus being spawned, the soul goes through a maturing process. This slow growth is in three basic categories: karma exercises, anava clouds, maya distorts. This classroom of these experiences finally matures an intelligence free enough from the bondage of the classroom of anava, karma and maya to realize its own Divinity and at-one-ment with Siva as a taintless, pure soul. This, then, is the foundation, after once attained, for final liberation, Self Realization, to be sought for.
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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.