The Siva temple is the abode of God Siva and Gods and the precinct in which the three worlds consciously commune. It is specially sanctified, possessing a ray of spiritual energy connecting it to the celestial worlds. Aum.
The three pillars of Saivism are the temples, the scriptures and the satgurus. These we revere, for they sustain and preserve the ancient wisdom. Siva temples, whether they be small village sanctuaries or towering citadels, are esteemed as God's home and consecrated abode. In the Siva temple we draw close to God Siva and find a refuge from the world. His grace, permeating everywhere, is most easily known within the precincts of the Siva temple. It is in the purified milieu of the temple that the three worlds commune most perfectly, that devotees can establish harmony with inner-plane spiritual beings. When the spiritual energy, shakti, invoked by the puja permeates the sanctum sanctorum and floods out to the world, Saivites know they are in a most holy place where God and the Gods commune with them. Within most Siva temples are private rooms, sanctums, for Lord Ganesha and Lord Karttikeya, and shrines for the many Gods and saints. The Vedas explain, "Even as the radiance of the sun enlightens all regions, above, below, and slantwise, so that only God, glorious and worthy of worship, rules over all His creation." Aum Namah Sivaya.
After you have practiced meditation for some time, your inner vision will become keen and clear. For a while there may be the feeling of arrival, that you have at last conquered life's cycles, that you are pure now and free at last. But soon, layer by layer, your past will begin to unfold itself to you as your subconscious mind shows you in vivid, pictorial form all the vibratory rates you have put into it in this life. Like a tape recorder, it begins to play back the patterns and vibrations of previous cause and effect.
Since some of these memories and actions may not have been complimentary, you may try to avoid looking at them. The more you avoid facing them, the more apparent they will become. You might think that everyone is seeing them, but they are not. This natural phase of spiritual unfoldment can be a pitfall, for these associations and attachments of the past seem temporarily attractive as they pass before the mind's eye. Old desires, old friends, old and comfortable habits you thought were gone now come up to tempt awareness, to pull it back into a seemingly desirable past. This event should not be taken too seriously. It is natural and necessary, but you must avoid a fear of the process, which, in order to stop the unpleasant feedback, often brings people to stop their efforts at meditation. This is not the time to stop meditating. Nor is it the time to avoid the past. It is the time to fully review each year of your life that led you to where you are now.
As you remain inwardly poised, watching the images of life but remaining detached, they gradually fade away, leaving awareness free to dive ever deeper into superconscious realms. This sometimes intense experience brings you into renewed desire to live the kind of life that does not produce distorted images. You become religious and consciously shape up your lifestyle according to the yamas and niyamas, so that the reverberation of each action is positive in the subconscious. You have seen the uncomplimentary results of living according to the moods and emotions of the instinctive mind and the senses, and that experience has taught a great lesson. In reviewing life according to this new guideline, you may change your profession, your address, your diet and values. You will undoubtedly find new friends, for it is essential to associate with people that are of good character. Choose your friends carefully, but don't get too closely attached. People clinging to people is one of the biggest deterrents to the life of meditation.
Generally as soon as someone gets on the path and starts meditating, he wants to tell everyone else how to do it even before he has learned himself. This socializing never produces inner results. Keep your meditation abilities and activities to yourself. Don't talk about inner things with anyone but your guru. When it comes others' time to turn within, they will do so naturally, just as you did. That is the law.
Siva's widowed followers may remarry, provided it is a spiritual union, astrologically compatible, blessed by their preceptor and their religious community. If they remarry, they are no longer considered widowed. Aum.
We carry with us in our instinctive nature basic tendencies to break these divine laws, to undergo the experiences that will create reactive conditions until we sit ourselves down and start to unravel the mess. If we are still reacting to our experiences, we are only starting on the yoga path to enlightenment. As soon as we cease to react, we have for the first time the vision of the inner light.
What do we mean by this word light? We mean light literally, not metaphysically or symbolically, but light, just as you see the light of the sun or a light emitted by a bulb. Even in the Abrahamic scripture, it is given, "When your eye becomes single, your whole body shall be filled with light." You will see light first at the top of the head, then throughout the body. An openness of mind occurs, and great peace. As a seeker gazes upon his inner light in contemplation, he continues the process of purifying the subconscious mind. As soon as that first yoga awakening comes to you, your whole nature begins to change. You have a foundation on which to continue. The yamas and the niyamas are the foundation.
On the spiritual path to enlightenment, each of your decisions is going to be a basic decision, based on your knowledge of the laws of the mind. You must be aware that if you have not been tested by life through breaking its laws, you will in the future be so tested. You have to be aware that each test is an opportunity for either failure or success, and it is all up to you. Circumstances will always present opportunities for failure, and your reasoning mind will always be able to say, "I could have done nothing else under the circumstances."
Often, even under the circumstances, advanced souls are able to take the more difficult course through the natural exercise of humility. Decisions of this nature direct the conscious mind to the recognition of natural inner security. When you fail one of life's tests, all you can fail is yourself, the Self within you.
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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.