Sixty-eight lessons based on Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswam’s Master Course Trilogy for passing our tradition on to the next generation, and the next. . .

1 Who Am I and Where Did I Come from? S ï1 3 Q ñ óJ õ ö ó 1 Pï S 1öï ïòï 1 1I )öï 1Qï S

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different from Siva, our source. We live within His boundless ô

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õ3L Sô 3ôô ô ^3 õ ôT ô ô õ ôK S eekers ask: “who am i and where did i come from?” they

inwardly know they are more than just another person with a par- ticular name who was born in a certain place. They sense that they

are more than their body, mind and emotions. They want to understand, “Did I exist before I was born? Will I exist after death?” The answer given in Saivite Hinduism is that we are each a divine soul on a won- drous journey. We are an immortal body of light that has lived many lives, had many bodies and personalities. Gurudeva explained, “When the soul has had enough experience, it naturally seeks to be liberated,

Our Vedic rishis have assured us that “God is the Life of our life.” We are all beautiful children of God Siva. Deep within, we are one with Him this very moment. We came from God, live in God and are evolving into complete unity with God. Siva created each of us in a perfect state, but we have to discover that perfection within us to be whole. By seeing the life energy in all creatures

and in all people, we are seeing God Siva in action. By drawing close to God, we draw nearer to our immortal soul. Siva is all and within all.

GURUDEVA: When we realize that we have come from Siva, the way back to Siva is clearly defined. That is half the battle, to realize we came from Siva, live in Siva and are returning to Siva. Knowing only this much makes the path clear and impels us to return to Him, to our Source, to our Self.

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to unravel the bonds. That begins the most wonderful process in ô S õ 3

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path. Of course, the whole time, through all those births and lives and deaths, the soul was undergoing a spiritual evolution, but unconsciously. Now it seeks to know God consciously.” Our soul S 3

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of every day. Appreciating the gift of life makes us want to do the best we can, improve our character, serve others and live a spiritual life. Know- 5

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dharma. Like a marathon runner, Sô 3 3

ish the race. Having good, religious friends helps us stay on the path. If we mix with a worldly crowd, we may lose our way. The Tirukural tells us, “As water changes according ô 3

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so a man assimilates the character of his associates.” Friends who are good Hindus will help you most of all. If you befriend a person who is dishonest or mean, his example will lead you into trouble. If you befriend someone who studies hard and is kind and helpful, their example will inspire and uplift you. Some people poke fun at religion or make mis- chief and resist authority. They do not know the real purpose of life. They waste their time and cause pain to others. Wise teachers advise us to be nice to everyone, but make close friends only with those who will help build good character and set positive patterns for the future. The Tirukural tells us, “Purity of mind and purity of conduct, these

two depend on the purity of a man’s companions.” Fol- lowing our religious path is made easier when we are part of a satsang group with shared values and goals. Such companionship helps keep our sadhana strong, ô3 ô

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times in life. As Gurudeva often said, “The group helps the individual and the indi- vidual helps the group.”

s saivite hindus, we know this life is precious and are thankful for it every moment

24 What’s the Value of Spiritual Friends?

to share online. Friends ï

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GURUDEVA: Make friends with those who are on the path. Be with fine, positive people. Don’t be with negative, complaining people who have no relationship to what you are doing on the inside, or who are criticizing you for what you are doing.

Hardcover, ISBN 978-1-934145-72-2, $15.00 Also in popular e-book formats Available at:

ath to siva presents all of the

important teachings of the Saivite religion. It is written with youth in mind, but is also ideal for anyone wanting

a condensed version of Gurudeva’s 3,000- page Master Course. Each illustrated lesson is short—just one or two pages—but packed with K

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to questions about God, Lord Ganesha, Lord Murugan and the devas—how they can help us in our lives and how to contact them through ô

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clear explanations of karma, dharma and reincarnation, and how to use japa, meditation õ

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will learn the best ways to live in order to achieve your most important goals. The lessons include insights on home life, getting along with others, religious tolerance, vegetarianism and caring for the environment. They cover challenging philosophical areas, like death and dying, sin and evil. These short essays will provide a clear understanding of Hindu practices, beliefs and philosophy and give you a deep comprehension of life that few people have. The book was designed as a tool for teachers and for parents with youth, a focus text for exploring Hinduism together. Discussing one lesson a week can keep the family conversation going for more than a year.

all images: shutterstock unless otherwise stated

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