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The Master Course

The lesson of the day from Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami's trilogy: Dancing with Siva, Living with Siva and Merging with Siva


Lesson 322

Sloka 12 from Dancing with Siva

How Do Saivites Regard Other Faiths?

Religious beliefs are manifold and different. Saivites, understanding the strength of this diversity, wholeheartedly respect and encourage all who believe in God. They honor the fact that Truth is one, paths are many. Aum.

Bhashya

Since the inner intent of all religions is to bind man back to God, Saivite Hindus seek not to interfere with anyone's faith or practice. We believe that there is no exclusive path, no one way for all. Saivites profoundly know that God Siva is the same Supreme Being in whom peoples of all faiths find solace, peace and liberation. Nonetheless, we realize that all religions are not the same. Each has its unique beliefs, practices, goals and paths of attainment, and the doctrines of one often conflict with those of another. Even this should never be cause for religious tension or intolerance. Saivites respect all religious traditions and the people within them. They know that good citizens and stable societies are created from groups of religious people. Saivite leaders support and participate in ecumenical gatherings with all religions. Still, Saivites defend their faith, proceed contentedly with their practices and avoid the enchantment of other ways, be they ancient or modern. The Vedas explain, "Let us have concord with our own people, and concord with people who are strangers to us. Ashvins, create between us and the strangers a unity of hearts." Aum Namah Sivaya.


Lesson 322 from Living with Siva

Guidelines For Prayers

We are reminded not to ask for services that the devas would normally provide, such as "Please help me," or "Please bless me, devas." These services are automatically performed by the guardian devas of each devout individual without asking. When not responding to requests, the devonic sangams send their pranas, with thoughts of help and healing, through the guardian devas of the devotee. They literally flood the guardian devas with pranas to be used by them to glorify the home and protect their wards in daily life in the physical world. This is a service given without asking. It refers to the flow of pranic energy to the devotee, as opposed to getting permission. To receive such blessings for yourself and to receive blessings to start a project are two different things.

Devonic helpers often do know what a devotee needs, but they are admonished by the dharmic law that requires that they must be asked before steps toward fulfillment can be taken. They are controlled by the worthy law of noninterference in the lives of those who do not pray. Prayer simply means politely asking. This ancient law is: "The devotee must first take one step toward the guru. Then the guru will take nine steps toward the devotee." Many guardian devas connected to the sangam groups of devas are inner-plane gurus of karma, and when asked they will fulfill their nine steps quite willingly and abundantly.

Clarity is essential for the devas to fulfill the petitions to the lasting satisfaction of each devotee. For complex issues, the explanations may need to be lengthy. Names and addresses of the various parties involved should be included. Along with your prayers, you can send typed documents, copies of contracts, etc., to clarify the subject. In this way you can make sure that the Gods and their devas are aware of the details of your prayer and understand your need fully.

Mail or fax your prayers to a temple that knows how to handle prayers through its sacred fire. At our temples we regularly receive and accept prayers for the sacred fire from members of the Hindu religion, for they have Hindu guardian devas who are prepared to help with their needs. Non-Hindus have guardian devas of other traditions and are not encouraged to write prayers to the Hindu devas. Prayers for the sacred fire can be sent to Saiva Siddhanta Church, Kadavul Hindu Temple, 107 Kaholalele Road, Kapaa, Hawaii, 96746-9304 USA. Write "prayer" on the outside of the envelope. All prayers are absolutely confidential, never read by the temple priests. It is traditional to give a gift of gratitude if a prayer is answered to your satisfaction, but not before. If you feel inclined to send a love offering with your prayers, for previous prayers answered, be sure to keep it outside the sealed envelope containing your prayers, as that will be placed into the sacred fire unopened.

One word of caution: it would be weakening to depend entirely on the inner-world devas to do everything for you. There are many, many things that you can do yourself to overcome difficulties and carve a positive future. They say, "When the will rises and commands, even the Gods are willing to obey." You have to use your willpower first, and try your very best to do the very best that you can. Then you get all the devonic help available. Don't just send in prayers and say, "Live my life for me, inner-world beings. I am not going to do anything. I will just sit back, put my feet up and let you do everything for me." It does not work that way.


Sutra 322 of the Nandinatha Sutras

Remaining Above Corruption And Control

Siva's monastics never compromise their ideals or rules for material or political gain, nor come under the control of the rich or influential. Vows prohibit them from being told what to think, say or do except by their order. Aum.


Lesson 322 from Merging with Siva

When the Quiet Comes


In order to really meditate to the depth of contemplation, and not merely to quiet mind and emotion and feel a little serenity, you have to be a member of a religion that gives the hope of nondual union with God, that teaches that God is within man, only to be realized. Meditation, if it is to lead to jnana, must begin with a belief that there is no intrinsic evil and encompass the truth of karma, that we are responsible for our own actions. Such meditation must be undertaken by a member of a religion that gives a hope of a future life and does not threaten failure with eternal suffering, should failure be the result. Such meditation is possible, in fact required, of those who follow the Hindu Dharma. Hence, the practice of yoga is the highest pinnacle within our most ancient faith.

If you go through the entire holy scriptures of Saivism, you will not find our saints singing hymns to Adonai, Yahweh, Buddha or Jesus. Our saints told us to worship God Siva, the Supreme God, to worship Ganesha first before worshiping Siva, to worship Lord Muruga. In the old days, there were millions of Siva temples, from the Himalayan peaks of Nepal, through North and South India, Sri Lanka and what is now Malaysia and Indonesia. Everyone was of one mind, worshiping Siva together, singing His praises with a one voice. As a result, India was spiritually unified. It was then the wealthiest country in the world. The worship of Siva will give you wealth. The worship of Siva will give you health. The worship of Siva will give you knowledge. The worship of Siva will fill your heart with love and compassion.

The Saiva Samayam is the greatest religion in the world. The Saiva Samayam is the oldest religion in the world. The Saiva Samayam has yoga. It has great temples, great pandits, rishis and scriptures. All the saints who sang the songs of Siva told us how to worship Siva and how we should live our Saivite lives. We must all follow those instructions. In singing those songs to Siva, Siva will give you everything that you ask for. He will give you everything that you ask for, because Siva is the God of Love. Our saints have sung that Siva is within us, and we are within Siva. Knowing that, fear and worry and doubt are forever gone from our mind.

When the mind has resolved all of its differences through worship, penance, dharana, dhyana, then the inner which is stillness itself is known. Then the inner is stronger than the outer. It is then easy to see every other person going through what has to be gone through during his or her particular stage on the path. Opposites are there, but no opposites are seen. This is why it is easy for the wise--made wise through spiritual unfoldment--to say, "There is no injustice in the world. There is no evil, no sin."

We only see opposites when our vision is limited, when we have not experienced totally. There is a point of view which resolves all contradictions and answers all questions. Yet to be experienced is yet to be understood. Once experienced and understood, the Quiet comes. The karmas are quiet. This is the arduous path of charya, kriya and yoga resulting in jnana. This is the path of not only endeavoring to unfold the higher nature but, at the same time and toward the same end, dealing positively and consciously with the remnants of the lower nature. Following this spiritual path, we find ourselves effortlessly replacing charity for greed and dealing with, rather than merely suppressing, the instinctive feelings of jealousy, hatred, desire and anger.

     



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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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