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EditRA Summary of the Beliefs and Practices Of Hundreds of Millions Worldwide Who Follow the
Saivite Hindu Religion And Worship Lord Siva as Supreme God
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THE BELIEFS
 

1.

Siva's followers all BELIEVE that Lord Siva is God, whose Absolute Being, Parasiva, transcends time, form and space. The yogi silently exclaims, "It is not this. It is not that." Yea, such an inscrutable God is God Siva. Aum.

 

2.

Siva's followers all BELIEVE that Lord Siva is God, whose immanent nature of love, Parashakti, is the substratum, primal substance or pure consciousness flowing through all form as energy, existence, knowledge and bliss. Aum.

 

3.

Siva's followers all BELIEVE that Lord Siva is God, whose immanent nature is the Primal Soul, Supreme Mahadeva, Parameshvara, author of Vedas and Agamas, the creator, preserver and destroyer of all that exists. Aum.

 

4.

Siva's followers all BELIEVE in the Mahadeva Lord Ganesha, son of Siva-Shakti, to whom they must first supplicate before beginning any worship or task. His rule is compassionate. His law is just. Justice is His mind. Aum.

 

5.

Siva's followers all BELIEVE in the Mahadeva Karttikeya, son of Siva-Shakti, whose vel of grace dissolves the bondages of ignorance. The yogi, locked in lotus, venerates Murugan. Thus restrained, his mind becomes calm. Aum.

 

6.

Siva's followers all BELIEVE that each soul is created by Lord Siva and is identical to Him, and that this identity will be fully realized by all souls when the bondage of anava, karma and maya is removed by His grace. Aum.

 

7.

Siva's followers all BELIEVE in three worlds: the gross plane (Bhuloka), where souls take on physical bodies; the subtle plane (Antarloka), where souls take on astral bodies; and the causal plane (Sivaloka), where souls exist in their self-effulgent form. Aum.

 

8.

Siva's followers all BELIEVE in the law of karma — that one must reap the effects of all actions he has caused — and that each soul continues to reincarnate until all karmas are resolved and moksha liberation, is attained. Aum.

 

9.

Siva's followers all BELIEVE that the performance of charya, virtuous living, kriya, temple worship, and yoga, leading to Parasiva through grace of the living satguru, is absolutely necessary to bring forth jnana, wisdom. Aum.

 

10.

Siva's followers all BELIEVE there is no intrinsic evil. Evil has no source, unless the source of evil's seeming be ignorance itself. Saivite Hindus are truly compassionate, knowing that ultimately there is no good or bad. All is Siva's will. Aum.

 

11.

Siva's followers all BELIEVE that religion is the harmonious working together of the three worlds and that this harmony can be created through temple worship, wherein the beings of all three worlds can communicate. Aum.

 

12.

Siva's followers all BELIEVE in the Panchakshara Mantra, the five sacred syllables "Namasivaya," as Saivism's foremost and essential mantra. The secret of Namasivaya is to hear it from the right lips at the right time. Aum.

 


 

Affirmation of Faith:

God Siva is Immanent Love and Transcendent Reality.

Anbe Sivamayam, Satyame Parasivam (Affirmation in Tamil).

 

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THE PRACTICES
 
 

The Pancha Nitya Karmas

Pancha Nitya Karmas means "five constant duties." These traditional religious obligations, when properly performed, bring one close to the holy feet of our Great God Siva and fulfill the basic obligation we owe to our religion and ourselves. They are listed below.

1.

Upasana: Worship in the Home Shrine and Temple
The dear children are taught daily worship in the family shrine room - rituals, disciplines, chants, yogas and religious study. They learn to be secure through devotion in home and temple, wearing traditional dress, bringing forth love of the Divine and preparing the mind for serene meditation.

 

2.

Utsava: Holy days
The dear children are taught to participate in Hindu festivals and holy days in the home and temple. They learn to be happy through sweet communion with God at such auspicious celebrations. Utsava includes fasting and attending the temple on Monday or Friday and observing other holy days.

 

3.

Dharma: Virtuous Living
The dear children are taught to live a life of duty and good conduct. They learn to be selfless by thinking of others first, being respectful of parents, elders and swamis, following divine law, especially ahimsa, mental, emotional and physical noninjury to all beings. Thus they resolve karmas.

 

4.

Tirthayatra: Pilgrimage
The dear children are taught the value of pilgrimage and are taken at least once a year for darshan of holy persons, temples and places, near or far. They learn to be detached by setting aside worldly affairs and making God, Gods and gurus life’s singular focus during these journeys.

 

5. Samskara: Rites of Passage
The dear children are taught to observe the many sacraments which mark and sanctify their passages through life. They learn to be traditional by celebrating the rites of birth, name-giving, head-shaving, first feeding, ear-piercing, first learning, coming of age, marriage and death.



Yamas and Niyamas:
Hinduism's Code of Conduct

Ten Restraints, THE YAMAS

1.

Noninjury, ahimsa: Not harming others by thought, word or deed.

2.

Truthfulness, satya: Refraining from lying and betraying promises.

3.

Nonstealing, asteya: Not stealing, coveting or entering into debt.

4.

Divine conduct, brahmacharya: Controlling lust by remaining celibate when single, leading to faithfulness in marriage.

5.

Patience, kshama: Restraining intolerance with people and impatience with circumstances.

6.

Steadfastness, dhriti: Overcoming nonperseverance, fear, indecision and changeableness.

7.

Compassion, daya: Conquering callous, cruel and insensitive feelings toward all beings.

8.

Honesty, straightforwardness, arjava: Renouncing deception and wrongdoing.

9.

Moderate appetite, mitahara: Neither eating too much nor consuming meat, fish, fowl or eggs.

10.

Purity, shaucha: Avoiding impurity in body, mind and speech.



Ten Practices, THE NIYAMAS

1.

Remorse, hri: Being modest and showing shame for misdeeds.

2.

Contentment, santosha: Seeking joy and serenity in life.

3.

Giving, dana: Tithing and giving generously without thought of reward.

4.

Faith, astikya: Believing firmly in God, Gods, guru and the path to enlightenment.

5.

Worship of the Lord, Ishvarapujana: Cultivating devotion through daily worship and meditation.

6.

Scriptural listening, siddhanta shravana: Studying the teachings and listening to the wise of one’s lineage.

7.

Cognition, mati: Developing a spiritual will and intellect with the guru’s guidance.

8.

Sacred vows, vrata: Fulfilling religious vows, rules and observances faithfully.

9.

Recitation, japa: Chanting mantras daily.

10.

Austerity, tapas: Performing sadhana, penance, tapas and sacrifice.

 

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About the author

Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami [1927-2001]
Gurudeva was born in California and initiated into sannyas in 1949 by Yogaswami, Sri Lanka’s greatest sage. An architect of the modern Hindu renaissance and satguru to 2.5 million Tamil Saivites, Gurudeva established the first Hindu church in America, founded Hinduism Today magazine and built the only aadheenam and all-stone Siva temple in the West, on Kauai, an island in Hawaii. His successor and guru of the Saiva Siddhanta Yoga Order and Kailasa Parampara is Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami. These summaries are drawn from Gurudeva’s remarkable Master Course Trilogy, a daily study of Hindu philosophy, culture and metaphysics in 365 lessons. Visit www.gurudeva.org.

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