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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 184

Sloka 29 from Dancing with Siva

Why Are We Not Omniscient Like Siva?

The three bonds of anava, karma and maya veil our sight. This is Siva's purposeful limiting of awareness which allows us to evolve. In the superconscious depths of our soul, we share God Siva's all-knowingness. Aum.


Just as children are kept from knowing all about adult life until they have matured into understanding, so too is the soul's knowledge limited. We learn what we need to know, and we understand what we have experienced. Only this narrowing of our awareness, coupled with a sense of individualized ego, allows us to look upon the world and our part in it from a practical, human point of view. Pasha is the soul's triple bondage: maya, karma and anava. Without the world of maya, the soul could not evolve through experience. Karma is the law of cause and effect, action and reaction governing maya. Anava is the individuating veil of duality, source of ignorance and finitude. Maya is the classroom, karma the teacher, and anava the student's ignorance. The three bonds, or malas, are given by Lord Siva to help and protect us as we unfold. Yet, God Siva's all-knowingness may be experienced for brief periods by the meditator who turns within to his own essence. The Tirumantiram explains, "When the soul attains Self-knowledge, then it becomes one with Siva. The malas perish, birth's cycle ends and the lustrous light of wisdom dawns." Aum Namah Sivaya.

Lesson 184 from Living with Siva

The Sad Truth Of Hurtfulness

I have been asked, "Should parents never spank a child?" Of course, one should never spank children, ever. Those who are spanked are taught to later punish their children, and this is a vicious cycle. Have you ever seen an animal in its natural habitat abuse its offspring? Does a lion cause blood to flow from its cub, a bird brutally peck its own chick, a cow trample its calf, a whale beach a disobedient calf? How about a dolphin, a dog, a butterfly, a cat? It is only humans who become angered by and hurtfully, sometimes lethally, aggressive toward their offspring.

The wife-husband relationship is where it all begins. The mother and father are karmically responsible for the tenor of society that follows them. An ahimsa couple produces the protectors of the race. Himsa, hurtful, couples produce the destroyers of the race. They are a shame upon humanity. It's as simple as that. It's so crucial that it needs to be said more than once. "Himsa, hurtful, couples produce the destroyers of the race. They are a shame upon humanity."

A five-foot-ten-inch adult beating on a tiny child--what cowardliness. A muscular man slapping a woman who cannot fight back. What cowardliness! Yet another kind of cowardliness belongs to those who stand by, doing nothing to stop known instances of harm and injury in their community. Such crimes, even if the law does not punish, earn a lifetime of imprisonment in the criminal's karma, because they always know that they watched or knew and said nothing. This sin earns lifetime imprisonment in their own mind. Beating a child destroys his or her faith. It destroys faith in humanity and therefore in religion and in God. If their father and mother beat them, whom are they going to trust throughout their whole life? Child beating is very destructive.

Innocent children who see their father beating their mother or their mother spitefully scratching their father's body after she emotionally shattered his manhood by provocative insinuations, threats and tongue lashing have at those very moments been given permission to do the same. Of course, we can excuse all of this as being simply karma--the karma of the parents as taught by their parents and the karma of the children born into the family who abuses them. But the divine law of karma cannot be used as permission or an opportunity to be hurtful. Simply speaking, if hurtfulness has been done to you, this does not give you permission to perform the same act upon another. It is dharma that controls karma. It is not the other way around. In Hinduism, the parents are to be the spiritual leaders of their children, not the mental, emotional and physical abusers of their children.

Those sensitive children who see their mother and father working out their differences in mature discussion or in the shrine room through prayer and meditation are at that moment given permission to do the same in their own life when they are older. They become the elite of society, the pillars of strength to the community during times of stress and hardship. These children, when older, will surely uphold the principles of dharma and will not succumb to the temptations of the lower mind.

Sutra 184 of the Nandinatha Sutras

Guardians Of Earth And Her People

Siva's devotees who are scientists concentrate their energies on bettering the world, conserving its resources and enabling humans to live in harmony with nature and one another. They are noble examples to mankind. Aum.

Lesson 184 from Merging with Siva

Fathoming the Unfathomable

Yes, two different reactionary thoughts of a similar vibration sent into the subconscious at different times under similar psychological conditions create a third, different subconscious happening. This happening registers in the subsubconscious and continues to vibrate there until it is dissolved and reabsorbed within the subconscious itself. If psychological structures build up as problems in the subsubconscious and are not resolved, they can inhibit or hold back the superconscious. One then easily feels depressed and subject to many lower emotions. Then the concept that one is a self-effulgent being seems quite distant, indeed. When the subsubconscious build-up is problem free, superconsciousness is there, bringing success and well-being.

The subsubconscious concerns us primarily as the state of mind which relates to congested subconscious force fields, or vasanas, caused by two similar intense emotional reactions at psychological moments. The resultant deeply suppressed emotions are puzzling to the seeker because, unless he is able to resolve through periodic review his subsubconscious, he may find them welling up from within him unbidden, and he knows not why. The subsubconscious influences us when we are encountering an experience similar to one that caused one of the two component reactions. This releases highly unexpected emotional responses, inobvious reactions and new behavioral patterns, some positive, some negative. The hybrid formation continues to react within the subsubconscious mind until resolved. Once understood, the mystery is gone. The vasana loses its emotional power. To a very great extent, it is the subsubconscious that harbors our subliminal aspirations, self-esteem, impulses toward success, neuroses and overall psychological behavior.

An example of this state of mind is as follows. A young man goes to an office party and accidentally spills coffee on his suit. Being a gentle, shy man, he becomes embarrassed and emotionally upset when everyone turns to look at him. Many months later, he attends his sister's wedding. In her excitement at the reception, she accidentally spills tea on her beautiful new sari. She is naturally embarrassed. But it is a psychological moment for him, intensified by his attachment to his sister, and he becomes more embarrassed for her than she is for herself.

A year later he discovers that each time he attends a social gathering, his solar plexus becomes upset, his digestion is affected, he gets a headache and has to leave. The fear mechanism, stimulated by the subsubconscious mind, is protecting him from another upsetting condition among a group of people. This continues for a number of years until the subsubconscious, in a semi-dream state, reveals itself to him and he sees clearly how the two reactionary thought patterns, caused by the dual experiences, met and merged and gave rise to a different conscious experience--the indigestion, the headaches and the dread of being among people. Once the obstacle was resolved in the light of understanding, he would be able to be among people in gatherings without these ill effects.


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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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