Start learning astrology systematically

People today are interested in astrology. There are casual enthusiasts and then there are the really genuine students who want to learn it in detail. If you want to really learn and practice astrology, either for your personal growth or as a profession, you should understand that it takes time. It takes 3 yrs to get a basic graduation degree and 4yrs for a professional one! So you should consider this much time as the basic minimum to learn astrology to the level of getting your predictions correct. It is a life-time learning process and you will learn with every chart you analyse. There are several government Universities which offer a B.A. in Astrology at quite reasonable fees, some of them offer distance courses too. Here you get a certificate so this might help in your professional practice.Start learning astrology systematicallySelf-study is necessary, you will need to read books, some of the essential authors are,

  • B. Suryanarain Row (The oldest. I think the first astrology author in modern times, books are in English.)
  • B.V. Raman (son of B. Suryanarain Row. I grew up on his books and the Astrological Magazine, English books)
  • Gayatri Devi Vasudev (daughter of B.V. Raman and a very good writer herself, writes in English)
  • J.N. Bhasin (has written several books, most are available in English and Hindi)
  • K.N. Rao (very logical. Apart from the combinations, also discusses the theory. You can read some of his books like a story, are a delight to read)
  • H.N. Katve (all of his books are in Marathi. If you know Marathi you should read them .Extensive knowledge. Some books are translated to Hindi.)

Their books are in very simple and easy to understand language. Most of them have written beginners books for introduction to the fundamentals of astrology. Several of their books are available on archive.org, I would suggest you download a few, see which ones you like and then buy them. These are quite inexpensive at Rs 200/- max. Having a paper book in your hands means you can make your notes in it, or add your own observations, stick notes in it. Soft-copies and software are very useful, but paper and pencil also are needed. At some point of time you will have to read at least two classics Bruhat Jataka and Bruhat Parashar Hora Shastra. There are other classics also, but these two are necessary. These above authors use these classics and some have written commentaries on them. You can read these later when you are a bit advanced in your study.

Earlier reading Panchangam and learning maths was very important. We had to calculate the positions of the planets etc using the panchamgam and only then could we draw up the horoscope. Today with the advent of software and online horoscopes, learning maths has become optional. For software Jagannath Hora or Parashar Light are the best, but they are professional level paid software. For android ‘Hindu calendar’ by developer ‘Alok Mandavgane’ and for iPhones ‘Drik panchang’ by developer ‘Adarsh apps’ is quite adequate to begin with. In the settings, put in your location and the Lahiri/Chitrapaksha ayanamsha.

So from my point of view this was the basic minimum for learning Jyotish in depth. Now the actual study, this is broadly in three parts.

  • Analysing the charts, at least the birth chart, moon chart and the D-9 Navamsha chart.
  • Analysing Dasha – Generally Vimshottari Dasha is used. There are more Dasha systems, but first learn Vimshottari.
  • Analysing transits – comparing the present placement of the planets in the sky in relation to their at-birth positions

Start learning astrology systematically

Analysing the Charts

Get any one of the beginners books you like. Read it through cursorily, get an overview first. Now pinpoint 10 keywords for every sign/ house/ planet. And in the software input your own details and see how your birth chart looks like. When learning astrology you need to do the practical stuff by reading charts, just reading the books wont be enough.

  • Start doing a house by house analysis or your Birth Chart. E.g if the ascendant/ first house is Capricorn, look up the keywords of Capricorn and its owner Saturn. See if these link up with your actual personality. Do this very cursory analysis for each of the 12 houses.
  • Then do the 9 planet analysis, (we do not use Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, they are not graha). Eg. Saturn is placed in 5th house, Taurus sign. So how does he behave, look up the keywords, analyse how they are expressed in your life.
  • Then do a house-lord analysis. Eg Saturn as the lord of the 1st house is placed in Taurus sign 5th house. Analyse how the finer details are now being filled in. Do this for all the 12 houses.

(There are videos available on Youtube. Since I haven’t seen any of them I cannot recommend any. But I would stress this, first read these books of senior astrologers. Then listen to youtube videos. These senior astrologer’s experience is very valuable, thus their books. My relatives don’t make me see their charts, they get after my Dad. Dad has been an astrologer for more years than I have been alive, experience always matters.)

Moon chart analysis is neglected these days but it gives valuable insights into the emotional behaviour of the person. Turn around your chart so that the Moon’s sign takes the 1st house place. Now see how the planets and ascendant sign align with the Moon. Eg. One relative has her Moon in 6th house. She is always uncomfortable. The ascendant sign is placed eighth from the Moon. So her personality/environment and her emotional comfort are adversarial to each other. If you can see these things in the chart and also in the person in front of you it adds to your confidence.

Use your books, write notes and stick them in the books. Making notes helped in your college. It is the same, you are learning a new subject.

After you are comfortable with all this you can go on to divisional charts. Open your software and only if you have the exact birth time, open your Navamsha or 9th Divisional Chart on your software. Check which signs/houses the planets shift to as compared to the Birth Chart. (I will write a separate post on this soon). This is a full analysis in itself and requires time. There are technically 16 important divisional charts, but exact birth time to the minute is generally not available, so D-9 is generally enough. (Generally birth time does differ upto 5 mins, ie the nurses may not record 10:33am exactly but rather record 10:35am)

Then practice some more.

Get your parents horoscopes, your grandparents, brothers/ sisters/ uncles/ aunts etc horoscopes, people whom you know already and can observe for years later. Do this analysis for their charts. (You might not be sure of their exact to the minute birth time, so do Birth Chart and Moon chart analysis). Especially charts of any close relative who is beyond 60yrs. They have lived their lives and you can use them as the perfect study subjects. They will be willing to talk to you about significant events in their lives. If you get 15 charts to follow you are in a good place. We generally know about our relatives behaviour, mind-set, marriages, children, jobs, financial position, social status, health etc. So a full-rounded study of the charts is possible. Take your time over this very basic study, these 15 charts are your foundation. You can increase your collection as you get more subjects. Just maintain them, number them etc. If you can follow them upto their deaths it will be a complete study. (My Dad still has his hand-drawn charts collection from 50+yrs ago.)

Keep referring to your books. Doing this analysis, gradually your concepts of directional strength, combustion effects, retrograde movement, planetary war, exalted/ debilitated, etc will get clear. Take your time over this analysis. Keep adding finer details and take notes. Tally your analysis with the personality.

Most people prefer studying celebrity charts, I don’t. My clients are the regular human beings with regular problems. Celebrity charts are not typical charts, they have combinations which give extreme results and only in one direction. e.g notorious criminal, freedom fighters, film stars, politicians. Their charts are extraordinary from only one angle, rest of the life aspects are often in bad shape.

And read your books and write the important observations you make.

Start learning astrology systematically

Dasha analysis

Now to level up, in your software, there is a section on Vimshottari Dasha, Check out which Mahadasha and which Antardasha is going on for your own chart. I have written about analysing Dasha generally and planet-wise in my previous posts. You will need to do this once in few months to 1-2 yrs. You can also do it for your sample charts and observe if the analysis matches the actual events in life.

You studied so hard for school/college, this is no less! You are learning to predict the future and understanding the past.

Analysing transits

The next thing is getting a sense of transits. Start with analysing the Moon’s effect on yourself. I have written about it in this post. Keeping track of the Moon transits will get you in the habit of referring to your Panchangam/Software everyday. Observe and analyse your emotions and behaviour. Now you are a student of human nature. So be dispassionate and critical. Keep your own notes. Take 3 months over this to get your own interpretation of how the Moon affects your moods. After this you should try predicting how your day is going to be. This small daily prediction boosts your confidence. Eg one of my relatives, Moon in the 6th house, ie the ascendant sign is counted eighth from the Moon. (Ascendant sign represents the head, transit Moon in the sign eighth from the birth Moon creates stress and changes in pressures of body liquids.) She always gets a splitting head-ache when the Moon transits her 1st house.

You can similarly analyse other planets transits. Especially the transits of Saturn and Rahu/Ketu and Jupiter, are longer in duration should be studied. The Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars move quite fast, like 1-2  months per sign. These do not have very drastic effects either (unless one of them is your ascendant sign ruler), so you can take up their transits analysis later on.

This is a brief frame-work on understanding the horoscope and the past and present situations. To do this confidently will take time, so study for 1hr every alternate day at least regularly.

Now predictions,

Some senior astrologers write out a full life report. It requires time, a week perhaps, and a very good understanding of the potential of the horoscope to give results and the future transits and dashas in which these results can be expected.

But generally clients have a 3-4 questions which are about current situations or the near future, which can be answered easily. I have written a few posts on these topics. And of course there are books which you should refer for more details. You can start taking questions from your sample chart relatives after about 6months of personal study. This will help you gain confidence. For professional clients I would suggest only after 3yrs of study.

(It would help immensely if you do regular Gayatri mantra Jaap. This will increase intuition, sharpen intelligence and grant protection.)

Learning astrology is always useful, you get to know a lot about your own self and also about others. And it has its spiritual side too. So why do you want to learn it? Think a bit on this too, it will motivate you. Life is quite short with so many things to do. Astrology/ Jyotish just like any other subject requires time, interest and study. Start with something simple and build upon it. Wishing you all the best in your pursuit of Illumination.

 

Start learning astrology systematically

(This post was in response to this comment I received in the contact form, 

“Sir, I am highly shocked the depth of your knowledge in this aspect. I wasn’t a keen follower of astrology but I am interested in it. So sir can you please suggest me, where can I get in depth knowledge of it. (It would be highly appreciated if you could teach me.) Yours sincerely, A fan of yours”

Dear Reader, Thank you for the compliment you have given me. I value your asking me to teach. But you see, astrology in the sense it should be taught and learnt requires a face-to-face teacher, which I cannot do. However I encourage you to start reading something on the topic and at least some self-study on the lines of this post. If there are any questions I can help you with, I will genuinely try. All the best to you in your studies.)

 

Secrets of your Shadow Chhaya Sadhana

I am sure as a child you must have enjoyed playing with shadows. In a dark room with a single candle making imaginative shadow shapes with your hands? Or in the evening, making shadow shapes on walls with your friends. Those were good uncomplicated times. Today’s kids wouldn’t have even seen their shadows. They are in school the whole day! Sometimes I wonder if they suffer from Vit D deficiency?

Now shadows. When I was a child, it was an enjoyable pass-time to stare at the shadow for a minute, we would purposely stand in scary poses with arms raised and all. And then look in the sky and see the large shadow/after-image looking back at you. An enjoyable scare perhaps and it felt like magic. Now imagine my surprise when I grew up and read in a book that this is actually a spiritual practice and is called ‘Chaaya Sadhana’!

Chhaya छाया is a Sanskrit word and means shade, play of light or color, resemblance, reflection, blending colors, reflected image, etc. One of the two wives of the Sun is named Chhaya the other is Sanjana (Also called Sandhya or Usha).

  • These four names have much deeper meanings. Sanjana means the connecting point between the two. To know what these ‘two’ mean you should start your spiritual practice. Sandhya is the joint, if you can find your way out from this Creation maze, it is from here. Usha is the aura of the internal Sun. Chhaya is the reflection of the internal Sun which you see at your third eye.
  • And in common usage Usha is the light we see before sun-rise, ie, morning twilight. And Chhaya is the light that we see at evening twilight.

Sadhana साधना means accomplishment, performance, diligent practice, to propriate, to worship, to adore, to subdue, to find the solution to the conflict, establishing the truth, the agent, the reason, the means, the materials, the perfection etc.

Secrets of your Shadow Chhaya Sadhana

Not much is written about Chhaya Sadhana but there are couple of books in Sanskrit on Swar-yog in which it is mentioned. The basic practice is as follows,

  • Get your Sushumna active first. Either by doing pranayam or shift the nadi physically. Later you can shift the nadi just with your conscious intention. If your Pingala is active when you do your practice your mind will not be able to concentrate. And if your Ida is active when you do your practice your body will face some discomfort in sitting/standing for so long. So Sushumna should be active when you are doing any mind-focussing practice.
  • Stand in the morning sunlight, about 1hr after sun-rise. The light should not be too intense and the skies should be clear. Wear light/thin clothes. (Yogis do it wearing the basic minimum)
  • Stand with your back at the sun so that your shadow falls straight in front of you either on the ground or on a wall. Remember that the shadow should be seen in its entirety.
  • Stand, straight arms at your sides and focus at the neck of the shadow.
  • Mentally recite the mantra “Hreeng Parabrahmane namah” ह्रींग परब्रह्मणे नमः 108 times. You already know how to count on your fingertips so be precise with this count. This will take 3 mins max.
  • Now close your eyes, put your hands over your eyes so that it is dark. (technically a Mudra is performed here, but it is not for beginners). You should see the after image of your shadow in your closed eyes. Here the shadow gets projected on your third eye chakra. Be in this pose for 2-3 seconds.
  • Open your eyes and look into the clear blue sky. The after image of the shadow will be superimposed in the sky. Now you will use this image to analyse yourself.

If you are already doing some spiritual practice (mantra with the breath), you will see the shadow’s after image as it should be seen within a few days. If you are starting from nil, it might take upto 6 months.

The books say that the following are the interpretations.

  • Left upper arm absent: misfortune to the spouse
  • Right upper arm absent: misfortune to a close friend
  • Both arms absent: misfortune to some close relative
  • Head missing or the entire shadow is very faint: one’s death can occur soon
  • Any other body part missing: personal misfortune or illness of that part
  • An elongated body part can indicates good fortune.

The colour of the image

  • A completely black or dark blue image – personal misfortune
  • A yellow image – personal illness
  • A red image – mental stress and deep rooted mental problems
  • Many colours mixing together –  development of intuition and good progress in spiritual practice.

First on what is actually happening when you concentrate your mind like this on your own shadow. You can do this on clear full moon nights also when the moon is bright enough to cast a shadow. It becomes an even more powerful experience on such nights. But first practice it in daylight, else you might end up scaring yourself at night. Any sadhana requires complete control over mind and body, but it doesn’t come in one day, but keep practicing regularly, most of the things I write about take very little time. If you choose to do this sadhana, it will take 5 mins of your time, no more, but everyday.

Secrets of your Shadow Chhaya Sadhana

The combination of the mantra and the shadow and the sun/moon light creates a stillness in the mind. As the mind goes still, it sees beyond the simple light-shadow. It now sees the ‘shadow’-image cast by the movement of pran in your body. The shadow is something like a ‘photography negative’ of the body. When you are seeing the shadow on the wall, then seeing it at your third eye and then seeing it projected on the backdrop of the blue skies you somehow make it a ‘positive’ image again. Basically you see your pran-mai-kosh. If the pran/vital energy is not moving properly in a particular part of the body, it will cause illness there. So if the shadow looks thinner or vanishes from a body part you should be careful. Do healing on that part.

As far as the predictions from the book go about the misfortunes/ death I haven’t experienced such severe misfortunes (thankfully!) like these till date. But yes if the shadow gets ‘thinner’ for some body part I do feel pain. e.g. I tore the ligaments of the knee, that shadow-part got slightly ‘thinner’. You can correlate this with your body’s aura reading too, it will match. But the predictions apart, it is a very uncomplicated exercise which helps the mind expand.

You are superimposing your shadow-self on the skies. Can you understand this statement? You are linking your pran-mai-kosh to the Sky, to the Limitless. This exercise increases the pran flow in your body, both the quality of pran as well as the smoothness of the pran flowing in your nadis. The sky is a wonderful thing. Do you even turn your face up and look at the sky? Do so. Clear blue uninterrupted blue, limitless. All the pran/vital energy of the Universe just there looking back at you. Just looking at the clear blue skies balances the Saturn of your horoscope, makes your karmic leads easier to bear, Forget the esoteric, this uplifts the mind, relaxes it and wipes off looping thoughts from your psyche.

If you continue this exercise, you will be able to experience not only the pran-mai-kosh but also progressively the Mano-mai-kosh, Vidnyan-mai-kosh and the Anand-mai-kosh. Ultimately this will also lead to Samadhi and the ultimate knowledge of the Soul.

(There are other uses of this practice too. I had written in some post about the real tantriks being able to create a shadow to go and do their work. This is one of the ways of creating such a shadow.)

As a kid, playing the ‘shadow game’, I never knew that I would be doing this as an Chhaya Sadhana when I grew up! Indeed every action you do, leads you towards your Self. It has been quite helpful too, so once in a while do check up your shadow. It is also a good way to soak up some extra sun-rays. It might sound very simple and childish, but it is a very powerful and full-fledged spiritual practice in its own right. It alters your perceptions of Time, Space and pulls you on your road to yourself.

 

Secrets of your Shadow Chhaya Sadhana

 

(Whatever I write about is obviously from some text or the other, I do not claim that originality. Whatever could be written about, all Tatva-gnyan, all Sadhana, ie all knowledge and all practices possible have been written down by our ancient Seers/Maha-Rishi. But yes, the experience which I had from practicing them is my own. So practice yourself and experience your own too!)

Naming your baby, the astrologic twists and turns..

Being blessed with a baby is a life-time event. When you hold your bundle of joy in your arms you know that your life has changed for ever. You are now a mother/father and you feel all the happiness, responsibility and it’s a mixture of emotions!

After the baby is born, the most important question becomes naming him/her. The 12th day of life is when the baby is named, the Namkaran Sanskar. Here almost everyone in the family jumps in with a name, right from the grandparents to the uncle/aunts to the brothers/sisters of the baby, everyone wants their choice of the name to be given to the baby. But luckily we have Jyotish and the astrologers. By invoking their authority the parents can avoid the more out-landish names and at least choose one of their choice!

Naming your baby, the astrologic twists and turns..

The baby is to be named on the basis of the Nakshatra occupied by the Moon at the time of birth. It is no big deal, this table below is available everywhere. So why this post? And why refer to an actual astrologer? The table is quite clear. But have you seen the alphabets? Eg if the Moon’s nakshatra is Ashwini you have a choice between the starting sounds ‘chu, che, cho, laa’. Rather difficult to find names beginning with these!

But apart from these literary problems there are more serious reasons why you should not directly copy paste from the table.

You should not name your child as per the Moon’s nakshatra syllables if….

The Moon occupies a dushamsthan, ie if he is in the 6th , 8th or 12th houses in the birth horoscope. (Some astrologers will also consider the 3rd house to be equally bad). A Moon in a dushamsthan is already under stress. The baby will be suffering losses, catastrophic changes, demands for service, medical conditions etc linked to the Moon’s agents. If you name him as per the Moon’s nakshtra it will amplify the effects on him/her.

If the Moon is conjunct malefic planets or heavily aspected by malefics. The Moon is unable to give his full benefic effect. The malefics restrict him and there will be issues related to the Moon’s agents in life.

The Moon is under a heavy influence of the Gandant placement. Here the Gandant effect is going to affect the baby’s early childhood, so avoid naming him/her with the same syllables.

Now find out the father’s and the mother’s birth Moon sign. You already know the baby’s. See if there is a 6/8 axis operating between the baby’s and the mothers’ birth moon signs. And also is there is a 6/8 adversarial axis between baby and the dad. (Good astrologers will also check the 2/12 axis) Eg. Baby has Aries moon, mother has Pisces moon and father has Virgo moon. So baby-mother is 2-12 axis and baby-father is 6/8 axis. As it is the child is going to have a slightly antagonistic relationship with the parents because of this placement. The emotional understanding between them will be slightly off. They might feel a bit emotionally uncomfortable with each other. It is not a problem but a slight under-current will exist. To reduce this effect, avoid keeping the baby’s name from his moon Nakshatra syllables.

Naming your baby, the astrologic twists and turns..

So if not the Moon’s nakshatra then which one? Here are the options,

The Nakshatra of the rising degree. Eg if the rising degree is 2deg Aries it is in Ashwini nakshatra. So you are basically enhancing the energy of the rising degree /ascendant degree. However if the ascendant sign/1st house is suffering the same issues as above with the Moon nakshatra then avoid this one too.

The Nakshatra of the atmakarak planet. For this check which planet has the highest number of degrees in the chart. ie which planet as advanced maximum into his sign. Use the syllables of the Nakshatra that this planet is placed in as another option.

Finally the last option, choose the Yogkarak planet’s Nakshatra or the Nakshatra of the best possible benefic planet for the chart.

And if possible give him/her a name which has a meaning in itself. Ie a name derived from Sanskrit. It is his own personal mantra, so let it be a word of inherent power.

There is another thing, to avoid any family member feeling upset, the parents let everyone name their baby, so at the end of the naming ceremony there are 3-4 names tagged to the baby. The parents then finalise the name when the kid is registered in school. This is a waste of the power generated during the naming ceremony rituals. It is a Naamkaran sanskar, compulsory for Hindus. Choose one name and give it to the baby with all the intention and power generated in the ceremony. Don’t let your relatives overpower!

Now, you are grown up and you realise that the name you are given does not resonate with your horoscope. There are two options, one is to change your name which might be a complicated legal process. Second is to choose a nick-name starting from the appropriate syllable. Do as you feel is convenient. But when you choose your new name, do this small exercise. Write your name 108 times on a piece of paper with full concentration and intention. The name change will be more auspicious.

A name is power. Your mom calls you by your diminutive names but when she really wants your attention she uses your full name. And the effect is electrifying, you get all alert and ready for what will come next.

So I guess the poet was wrong when he said that ‘a rose by any name!’.

(So whoever asked the question in the contact form, Yes names are important on the spiritual front too and all the best and blessings for your baby.)

No 

Nakshatra

First Letter of Baby’s Name

Ashwini अश्विनि

Chu, Che, Cho, La चु, चे, चो, ला

Bharani भरणी

Lee, Lu, Le, Lo ली, लू, ले, लो

Krutika कृत्तिका

A, E, U, Ea , , ,

4

Rohini  रोहिणी

O, Va, Vi, Vu , वा, वी, वु

Mrugashirsha  मृगशीर्ष

We Wo, Ka, Ki वे, वो, का, की

Aardra आर्द्रा

Ku, Gha, Ing, chh कु, , ,

Punarvasu पुनर्वसु

Ke, Ko, Ha, Hi के, को, हा, ही

Pushya पुष्य

Hu, He, Ho, Da हु, हे, हो, डा

9

Ashlesha आश्लेषा

De, Du, De, Do डी, डू, डे, डो

10 

Magha मघा

Ma, Me, Mu, Me मा, मी, मू, मे

11 

PoorvaPhalguni पूर्वफाल्गुनी

Mo, Ta, Ti, Tu मो, टा, टी, टू

12 

Uttraphalguni उत्तरफाल्गुनी

To, Pa, Pe, Pu टो, पा, पी, पू

13 

Hasta हस्त

Pu, Sha, Na, Tha पू, , ,

14 

Chitra चित्रा

Pe, Po, Ra, Re पे, पो, रा, री

15

Swati  स्वाति

Ru, Re, Ro, Taa रू, रे, रो, ता

16 

Vishakha विशाखा

Ti, TU, Tea To ती, तू, ते, तो

17

Anuradha अनुराधा

Na, Ne, Nu, Ne ना, नी, नू, ने

18 

Jyeshta ज्येष्ठा

No, Ya Yi, Yu नो, या, यी, यू

19

Moola मूल

Ye, Yo, Ba, Be ये, यो, भा, भी

20  

Poorvashadha पूर्वाषाढ़ा

Bhu, Dha, pha Dha भू, धा, फा, ढा

21

Uthrashaada उत्तराषाढ़ा

Bhe, Bho, Ja, Ji भे, भो, जा, जी

22

Shravan श्रवण

khi, khu, khe, kho खी, खू, खे, खो

23

Dhanishtha धनिष्ठा

Ga, Gi, Gu, Ge गा, गी, गु, गे

24 

Shatataraka शततारका

Go, Sa, Si, Su गो, सा, सी, सू

25

Poorvabhadrapada पूर्वभाद्रपदा

Se, So, Da, Di से, सो, दा, दी

26

Uttrabhadrapada उत्तरभाद्रपदा

Du, tha, Jha, Da  दू, , ,

27

Revati रेवती

De, Do, Cha, Chi दे, दो, , ची

 

Naming your baby, the astrologic twists and turns..

(A personal experience, my name is quite long, Tejaswini. It was given to me by my Guru. He did the Naamkaran when I was a baby. But because it was so long my family members rarely called me by the full name, they used a diminutive. Later when I grew up, I faced some problems in my spiritual practice. So my Guru was like eyes rolled up, exasperated, ‘no one calls you by your given name! How do you expect to succeed?’ So then I got everyone to call me by my given name and a lot of things fell into place! The name does carry power.)

Curses in the horoscope?

There is some information on the Internet (source of all knowledge these days!) about cursed horoscopes or shapit patrikas. It sounds more terrifying than saying that there are ‘malefic influences’ in your horoscope. And there was a question on this topic, so here is my take on this. Curses are real but are rare! For a curse to take hold there are two things required, intention and power. Power can come from personal spiritual practice or black magic or spirits or intense emotions and such-like.Curses in the horoscope?Scene one – You know you have done something against your conscience. The other person is in torment because of some action of yours. He lashes out in pain and intends ill-will for you. This requires a significant chunk of energy, which his pain supplies. This is most commonly seen in cases where wilful abortion has taken place in some past life and the would-be baby curses. Here in the present life, the 1st, 5th or 9th house is spoilt which denies children, denies guidance from ancestors, health is affected, society does not support and you are never very successful in life. Rebalancing this karma requires a bit of ritual and things as you will have to make it up to the other person.

Scene two – Here your conscience is clear, you haven’t hurt anyone but still you are suffering. Eg you are doing well and your neighbour is jealous. He goes to a tantrik ‘black’ magic practitioner and sends ill-will your way. Or as simple as cook something with all his ill-will in it and invite you over for dinner! You can call this a type of ‘curse’, as it is directed negative type of energy. You will need to shield yourself and protect yourself which is relatively easy. Regular cleansing the house and your person will keep such ‘curses’ at bay.

Scene three – you are supposed to do some action as per your Dharma which you did not. Maybe in some past life, rather than taking care of your aged parents, you ignored them. This is technically not a curse but an unpaid debt amplified by the pain that the parent felt. A post here for the simplest possible remedies.

Scene four – Cursed by a Guru. I have seen this only once in my life. For this there is no solution. If the Guru has said that you will become a stone and be like that for thousands of years you will have to go through that experience and only then be reborn in a conscious body. Rarest of the rare cases almost never seen in practice.

Now from the horoscope, if someone tells you that you have been cursed in your past lives and are suffering because of that in the present life, don’t get scared. There are malefic energies in the chart, planets and also the houses. There are always going to be some areas of life which will give you trouble. There is absolutely no reason to label these troubles as ‘curses’ and stress yourself out. And each one of us has given and received ill-will, or ‘curses’ if you will. Someone grabs your seat in the bus, you are tired and you mentally ‘curse’ him! You are suffering right now and he will also suffer later because of your ill-will.Curses in the horoscope?You might have been told that if Jupiter afflicted with Rahu it is a curse from a brahmin. If the Sun is afflicted by Saturn its the curse from the father. A Moon afflicted by malefics, it is a curse from the mother from the past life etc. It may be because of a curse or not, we do not know this in the present life. But we do know that such combinations are problematic. A Moon afflicted with malefics will cause damage to the mental /emotional comforts and also cause medical issues to the eyes, body fluids, blood etc.

Generally we know that the malefic influences in the chart are

  • The natural malefics – Sun, Rahu, Ketu, Mars, Saturn
  • The functional malefics – owners of the 6th, the 8th and 12th houses. Also the Kendradhipati combinations if applicable to your chart.
  • The 3rd, 6th, 8th and 12th houses. The 3rd is a rather typical house can go both ways. The 6th, 8th and 12th are the usual houses of turmoil/ dushamsthan.

These all are expected to behave badly and they do, but we don’t call them ‘curses’. But then neither do we call our well-placed benefics as ‘blessings’. These are,

  • The natural benefics – Moon, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter
  • Functional beneficsYogkarak planets and the owner planets of the 1st, 4th, 5th, 7th, 9th, 10th can be counted on to give auspicious results.
  • The 1st, 4th, 5th, 7th, 9th, 10th houses.

The human mind is a cryptic thing, it is attracted more to negative things. If something is going wrong, we think we have been ‘cursed’, we refuse to take responsibility and work to set it right.

Serious problems are created when,

  • the normally malefic influences over-power the chart and
  • the normally benefic influences are unable to give auspicious results.

So if your chart-specific benefic planets/ houses are unable to give beneficial results you might be labeled as ‘cursed’ in your past lives. Most severe would be if the Dharm trikon, the 1st, 5th and 9th houses, is blocked by malefic energies. And second is if there are problems to the kendra houses, 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th.

If you have some planets placed in inauspicious positions there are several ways you can set their energies right. I have written about them in several of my posts.Curses in the horoscope?But if you are required to know the ‘why?’, rest assured it will be shown to you. But you will be shown it only when you have the capacity to understand it in the right perspective. Perspective comes only when the mind stops imagining and starts analysing logically (so do some spiritual practice!). I have had clients who wanted to know ‘Why is this thing happening to me?’. But what will the client do with knowing the ‘why?’. I have seen that it often increases the trauma. I can sometimes see flashes of past lives of my clients if they are very intense about their question. One client was suffering from a rather cryptic eye disease (Ketu with Venus, in D-1, Venus mahadasha, Ketu antardasha) and was really scared. I saw that in some life, he was blinded and used as an oracle, I could even smell the sulphurous chemicals around his past self. The trauma was very bad and this current illness was the last fading impression of that event. But there was no point in telling him this as it would have disturbed him even more. So I just told him the best possible remedy and the time frame by which it would get resolved. That was enough to reassure his mind.

Let’s not go into why these planets are placed in the chart like this. They just are. Yes, they are linked to your actions in the past, but at this moment you can’t really do anything about those actions. Now onward.

Whatever your chart is, it is because of your own actions, your own intentions, your own karma, not someone else’s ‘curse’ or ‘blessing’. Accept this first and then go about changing it. If you have made it, you can easily re-make it. It is easy. Take your power in your own hands. The power to intend and act.

Think of the chart as the resource you have been given, look to your assets and also be aware of your failings. There are simple and complicated remedies which you can try to make things better for yourself. See which ones you are attracted to. Regular spiritual practice is an all-in-one remedy. These remedies always work, because you are doing them for your own self. You are acting with intent. Always remember that the remedies are ways to channelise your intention. So strengthen your intention first. Remedies are the tools, you are everything.

There are troubles and problems, some low intensity, some high intensity, but you can always balance them out. Do not label them as ‘curses’ and make things more difficult for yourself.

 

Curses in the horoscope?(This post was in response to this comment I received in the contact form.

“It is very empowering to read your posts. I have been told that I was cursed in my past lives. Please help in understanding what curses are and how to get rid of them. Would be very helpful. Thank you.”)

Health tips from Swar yog

Swar means the the tone, sound, voice, air breathed through the nostrils, 7, etc. ‘Swar yog’, means the conscious power of the vital energy/pran that you are pulling in with your breath. Your pran is your best friend. Now if you are able to use this power consciously you will not only progress on your spiritual path but also live a happier, healthier physical life.

Spiritual growth is everyone’s right. There are several paths which suit people of different temperaments but the destination remains the same. Broadly the paths are of two types Tantra and Yog. Yog is to wilfully avoid the physical experience and focus only on the core inner practice. Tantra is to experience everything with awareness, thus remain immersed but yet apart, ultimately transcending it all. Both require complete control over the mind and the body.Health tips from Swar yogSwar yog is analysing the quality of your breathing and recognising the rhythm of the pran that you are pulling in. You adapt your behaviour/actions as per the power of the pran. It is different from Pranayam. Pranayam is controlling pran and then using it.

There are 3 swar, and they flow through the Ida, Pingala and Sushumna in a rhythmic pattern.

For perfect health, Ida and Pingala must alternate approx every hour or 1.15 hrs. Both should be open for equal durations. And during the point when they change, the Sushumna should active for 2-3 minutes. i.e. one nostril will feel alternately blocked and then for 2-3 minutes both will feel open. If this is rhythmic then it means that the brain is being utilised equally. If this is not happening in regular rhythm, the body/mind will fall ill, i.e. one part of the brain is over-stressed. If the Left nostril/Ida is open for more time it means a problem which has its source in the mental processes. If the Pingala/right nostril works more than is should there is an imbalance in the flow of vital energy/pran in the physical body and you will fall seriously ill within the next 6 months. You can time your Ida/Pingala durations and if there is a problem address it by consciously shifting the swar (refer post here). Eg. Digestive problems, respiratory problems, impotency, ‘cold’ linked problems are linked to excessive Ida flow. Pingala over-active means problems related to heat, ulcers, acidity, muscle pains, high blood pressure etc. (This post on nature of medical problems)

When you sleep at night, try sleeping on your left side, this will keep the body warm and resolve digestive/respiratory problems. If you are feeling cold, or suffering from ‘cold’ related ailments, sleep more on your right side till the ailments sort out. Sleeping on the back for extended periods is not advisable.

Health tips from Swar yog

The flow of Swar is linked to weather too. If the weather is hot dry, Pingala flows more. In cold rainy weather Ida is more dominant. The Indian season/Rutu ‘Sharad’ is the best as the Swar cycle is best balanced during these two months. When the Sun is in the odd signs, Pingala tends to dominate. And when the Sun is the even rashis, Ida tends to work more. There is a very intimate link between Jyotish and Swar. Especially when you get clients for Prashna kundali, you are required to be aware of your personal swar movement. A lot of your answers can be given from this itself.

For women in the reproductive age group, the swar cycle is unbalanced for the first 3 days of the monthly cycle. Sushumna works more or a combination of Sushumna/Ida overpowers Pingala. The body gets tired and you simply droop. So take rest during these days. From the 4th day of the cycle the swar rhythm somewhat regularises. Always remember if your Swar cycle is disrupted for more than 3 days be alert as you might fall ill soon.

For simple illnesses you can try this simple technique. e.g you have a sudden headache, check which nostril is active and immediately change it to the other one. You will feel relief. If you are getting feverish, close down the Pingala nadi and activate the Ida, your fever will go down. It always works.Health tips from Swar yogNow, you can easily check which nostril is active, one will feel ‘open’ and the other ‘blocked’. You can also blow on a mirror. Have you ever checked how your exhaled breath looks like? So take a mirror, keep it 2 cms away from your nose and exhale normally. Look at the shape formed on the mirror. If your Ida is active, left side of the exhaled moisture will be larger, if Pingala is active then the right side will be larger and if the Sushumna is active both halves will be equal. If you keep track of the shape of the exhaled air over time, things can get more interesting.

The five-elements, the Pancha-Bhoot, are also active in the body in a particular rhythm and their activity is reflected in the shape of your exhaled air! If you are already doing some spiritual practice you will be able to instantly see these shapes. Spiritual practice controls the mind so the flow is smoother, so the shapes are more defined. Else you will have to practice something and then observe the shapes and study them for a couple of months. The five cycle in a fixed manner through the Swar cycles. Some practical uses,

Akash tattva in the Swar – small scattered dots. Happens only for 4 minutes so you might not see this pattern in your study. Its significance is limited to spiritual practice. Relax, take a few deep breaths, enjoy the inner nothingness. If you attempt any physical/mental activity during this period, you will be unable to focus. If by a rare chance Akash occurs when Sushumna is active (max 30 secs). You can bless/curse, do any spiritual practice, read any chart, intuition/power is extraordinarily high.

Vayu tattva in the Swar – oval shaped exhalation, for 8mins. Agitated situations so if you act without thinking you will get unexpected results. But if you act with balance and self-focus, this will work.

Tej tattva in the Swar – a triangular shaped exhalation. Occurs for 12 mins. This period gives mental agitation. Keep your opinions to yourself do not get into arguments. Keep away from sharp objects, you might hurt yourself.

Prithvi tattva in the Swar – The mirror is covered by the exhaled moisture as large amount of moisture is created. This continues for about 20mins, so you will see this pattern most commonly. Do some material type of work during this period, plan, think about something permanent physical thing. If you want to work on your health, take medicines or self-healing this is the perfect time.

Aap tattva in the Swar – this exhalation is seen as a half-moon shape. Occurs for 16mins. Things done during this period give immediate but changeable results. So do some actions which require movement.

So use your Swar. Sanatan Dharm/Hinduism is about practice and studying the self. You have to be aware of yourself. There is no pill which will do this for you, you have to do it for yourself.

Here is the easiest thing you can do. Be aware of the physical inhaling/exhaling. Whenever you get even one minute free at home or at your work, do this. Mentally recite ‘So’ as you breathe in and mentally recite ‘hum’ as you breathe out. You might think to be very silly and childish. But this simplest thing has the power of the Ultimate. Doing this you will remain aware of your breath. This is the first step which leads on to control of the mind. Ever seen a monkey’s behaviour? The mind is just like that monkey, always looking around, always agitated, picking up objects discarding them, jumping around for no reason, aimless but oh so very busy. This simple 1 minute So-hum is reining in your mind, one minute at a time. Do this for 21days and see the difference in yourself.

Modern ‘biorhythms’ are nothing but a crude version of Swar yog. Take care of your mind/body is these are the vehicles through which you exist on this earth. Being aware of the flow of the Ida/Pingala/Sushumna, the Swar is the first step to permanent health.

 

Health tips from Swar yog

Using your dreams to improve your health

There are four stages of existence, when you are awake, in deep sleep, in the dreaming state and the last one is the Turiya, the indescribable. Generally all of us experience the first three stages every day of our lives. Reality exists in all these  three states of existence. Neither of them is more ‘real’ than the other. In fact the spiritual texts consider the awake state to be a Dirgha swapna, an extended dream!Using your dreams to improve your healthDreams have always fascinated us, it is almost magical that we go to another world as we sleep. Most of us see 5-6 dreams every night. These are the ordinary dreams triggered by whatever you were doing during the day or what was on your mind as you went to bed. If your mind was in turmoil or emotions were agitated or you were more into material/sensual things, your dreams would be haphazard and disconnected. Or you might see too many dreams, thus disturb your rest cycle. (Your body/mind/soul rejuvenates only during the deep sleep/sushupti phase.) If you have had a peaceful relaxing day and were contented as you went to bed, your dreams would be less troublesome and you will experience more deep sleep time.

Dreams are special as you are both the actor and the audience. You feel the emotions of only the actor. You feel like/dislike and attraction/repulsion while acting out your dream. But as the spectator you are merely the witness. Thus the ancient Rishis considered the dream phase as an important component for creating the Sakshi-bhav, the mind-set of the Witness. If you can bring this witness-mind-set into your waking state too you have achieved your spiritual goal.

Your dreams are dependent on your personal nature and inclinations. If your mind has achieved steadiness you get prophetic dreams of events to come. People who do regular spiritual practice often get guidance in such dreams. You can see significant events from your past/parallel lives which have a bearing on your present situation. Sometimes you can see your past life’s self telling you what to do. Your sub-conscious mind can give you creative or intuitive hints during dreams. The dreams seen early in the morning are the most useful of the lot. This time before sunrise is called the ‘Brahma muhurt’ and is extremely auspicious. Your ancestor spirits often communicate via dreams. If you are exceptionally spiritually inclined, you can see deities or your source of faith in your dreams. In the Indian context seeing dreams of Rishis or Gurus is very auspicious. Often you will be given valuable guidance in such dreams.

If you can control your mind you can also control your dreams. If you have achieved this you can complete significant karma in this way. Then you take on the role of the puppeteer as you direct your actor/puppet self in the dream scenes. The potential of dreams in this respect is limitless.

You mind plays games with you. If you analyse the working of your mind, you will realise that your mind does only two things 1) Imagine and 2) Discriminate. An out of control mind prefers to ‘imagine’ more than ‘discriminate’. e.g. your boyfriend has vanished, phone unreachable. You wonder why. You think he has ignored you. You start feeling hurt. You get upset. You waste your mental energy. You don’t feel like eating dinner. You meet him the next day and he tells you that he was at the hospital because his grandmom fell ill. You are concerned and you both talk normally. Things are rosy and you feel in-love again! But do you appreciate that you let your mind drive you nuts just because it ‘imagined’ things? Keeping your mind in control starts with not letting it run wild imagining things, but forcing it to discriminate, analyse logically.Using your dreams to improve your healthAs per Ayurved, the science of life and the living, there are three tendencies of the mind and body, called Pitta, Vaat and Kapha. Each one has one of these in excess again depending on our horoscopes. You would be surprised to know that your dreams are also linked to these, if you have dreams of light/fire you are pitta dominant. You will experience ‘heat’ in your dreams. If it goes out of balance completely you dream horrifying scenes and your forehead can get hot. If you body is Vata dominant at that time, you will see scenes with sky, winds, flying in space. If you tend towards the Kapha your dreams will be of water bodies. An easy way to balance out your Kapha-Pitta-Vaat is this. If you know from your dreams that one of these is out of balance. Then for one minute before you go to sleep do this tiny thing, Sit comfortably, back and neck straight. Close your eyes, focus at your third eye/ajnya chakra and visualise the following.

  1. A red dot – Pitta dosha will be balanced
  2. A black dot – Vaat dosha will be balanced
  3. A white dot – Kapha dosha will be balanced.

In terms of the vital energy, the udan pran is responsible for vivifying the subconscious mind who creates our dreams. If you engage in activities which regulates udan pran you will see a difference in the dreams you see. Try it out!

If you are suffering from some medical conditions then keeping track of the dreams you see, can help in determining how the disease is going to unfold. Eg if you are suffering from cold and you dream of water, it means your cold is worsening. If you are suffering from diarrohea and dreaming of cold stuff will indicate that it is going to get worse. If you are suffering from problems of the lungs, and you see yourself running or in a windy area etc the condition will get worse. So use the power of your dreams pro-actively. If you are suffering from a medical problem, you can try this simple experiment. Choose one photograph of yourself from your healthier and happier times. You should be smiling and looking visibly happy/healthy. Keep this at your bed-side table and look at it for a minute or so before you sleep. Your sub-conscious mind will ‘remember’ this past healthy state and work to get you back to this. Try this for 21 days and evaluate for yourself.

Those few minutes before you sleep are very important. Whatever you do in these few minutes will have the maximum impact on your sub-consciousness. This will be replayed in your dreams. So use this time wisely. A couple more tips. You are in bed and falling asleep, try to visualise a silvery full-moon at your third eye chakra during these couple of minutes. This will increase your life-span. Visualise the gold disc of the sun for an energetic/youthful mind and body.

Dreaming is essential for mental, emotional and physical health. Dreams are an essential self-diagnostic tool. Keep a dream-diary at your bed-side table and write a few keywords as you wake up so that you will remember your dreams. Analyse your dreams over time, you will learn a lot about yourself. If you get negative dreams for extended periods of time, take it as a signal that something is going wrong and actively work to set it right.

 

Using your dreams to improve your health

Tripur, Tripurari, Tripursundari

A story today.

All stories from Sanatan Dharm/Hinduism are allegories and have hidden meanings which help you on your path to Yourself.

This story is about the Tripur. It is from the Mahabharat and also mentioned in the Yajurved. First the story in simple words.

There were three brothers named Vidyunmali, Tarakaksh and Kamalaksh, the sons of Tarak-asur. These three brothers did intense austerities, as a result Brahmadev was pleased. They desired three indestructible cities, one for each. But Brahmadev was like, ‘nothing lasts forever’, so the brothers added a caveat that the cities would be impregnable, indestructible etc and would be destroyed only if one single missile hit them all three at once. Brahmadev was ok with this and thus the brothers got their cities. They got their architect, Maya-danav to work on the cities and got the Tripur constructed. The three cities were more like planets, each moved in independent orbits. However the three cities would align with each other, just for one instant, once in a thousand years. These cities were unassailable citadels and ideal for waging war on others. So the three brothers went on a rampage and wrecked havoc on the Universe. Everyone in the Universe rushed to Vishnu for help. He came up with a solution, Shiv would fire the missile at the Tripur at that one instant when they would aligned, thus destroying them all at once. So for this task, the following stuff was sourced,

  1. Prithvi was the chariot.
  2. Gandhamadana and Vindhya mountains were the frame of the chariot.
  3. Shesha was the Aksha/ axis of the chariot
  4. The Moon and the Sun were the two wheels of the chariot
  5. Malaya mountain was the yoke of the chariot.
  6. Gandharva-s named Elapatra and Pushpadanta bound the yoke and the chariot.
  7. Takshaka the Naag was used to tie the chariot and its yoke, pins, etc together.
  8. The four Ved-s were the four horses who pulled the chariot.
  9. The six Vedang were used as the bridles on the horses
  10. Gayatri and Savitri were the reins
  11. Om was the whip
  12. The charioteer was Brahmadev
  13. The Mandara mountain was the bow
  14. Vasuki the Naag was the bowstring
  15. Vishnu was his missile.
  16. Agni was tip of the missile
  17. Vayu was the side balancer of that missile
  18. Yama was the tail-balancer of the missile
  19. Vajra was used as a whetstone to sharpen the missile
  20. Meru was the standard/flag which was raised on the chariot.

Shiv then stood immobile on this chariot with the missile ready on his bow. The three cities, Tripur, came into alignment for that one instant in thousand years. He then sent this missile against the three cities, burning and reducing it to nothingness. The name of the fire which burnt the Tripur was called Yug. Then Shiv marked his forehead with the Tripundra (the three horizontal lines) with the ashes of the Tripur and danced his Tandav. Shiv is called Tripurari, (Tripurasya ari) the enemy of the Tripur.Tripur, Tripurari, TripursundariThis day when Shiv destroyed the Tripur is celebrated now as the Tripurari Pournima. This is the full-moon day in the month of Kartik (November). On this full-moon day, the Sun is in the Vishakha Nakshatra. The Moon can be in three possible lunar mansions, in Bharani or Kritika or Rohini. If it is in Kritika and conjunct Jupiter it becomes a very rare Mahapournima, perhaps this happens once in thousand years! However worship of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiv is performed on Tripurari pournima and it gives very auspicious results.

Now the esoteric significance. This story is describes how you experience Moksh. A Sanskrit mini-translation of the words.

Sanatan – eternal, without beginning or end. The beauty of our Dharm is that it derives from the inner self. Even if the knowledge of the Eternal, e.g. books, temples are destroyed, teachers/brahmins/Guru are killed etc, it will rise again from the inner soul.

Dharm – foundation, solidity, firmness, virtue, ethics, merit, right, character. It is the right action that you are required to perform as per your conscience.

Tri – three. A lot of things in creation are in triplets. The three-gun, Satva, Raja Tama. The three bodies, Sthool, Sookshma, Karan. The three states of Existance, awake, dream state, deep sleep. The three tendencies in Ayurved, kapha, pitta and vata. The three forms of Gayatri mantra, Gayatri, Savitri, Sarasvati. The three Granthi in the path of the Kundalini, Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra Granthi etc.

Pur – town, fort, body, intelligence, initial creation.

Initial creation starts with the creation of Purush and Prakruti. Prakruti, the active principle, further creates the Manifested. Prakruti is composed of the three Gun, Satva, Raja and Tama. These are the tri-pur, the first created triad. These are seen in the Shri-yantra geometry as the top-most equilateral triangle below the bindu. In the body these are the 3 topmost chakras, Vama, Jeyshta and Raudri. The Bindu is the Prakruti, also called ‘Lalita Tripursundari’.

Lalita means ‘the one who plays the game’. Tripur is the tri-gun. Sundari means yellow, beautiful woman, a meter of prosody, the one who is equally divided, equal streams, equal creation, equal cleaving, equal ignorance. So now, ‘Lalita Tripursundari’ will mean the ‘One who Plays’ who is further divided into the three equal energies of the initial creation. Prakruti is composed of the 3 Gun. Satva, Raja and Tama are equal in strength. As long as they are in perfect alignment the triangle remains equilateral. When they get pulled out of alignment the triangle loses its perfection, ignorance is created and the rest of creation follows. This further creation caused by the action of Raja-gun/Brahma on Satva/Vishnu and Tama/Shiv.

If you want to shoot up your kundalini to the very top, the three Gun have to be brought into perfect alignment again.

Tripur, Tripurari, Tripursundari.jpg

Tarak-aksh – blind to the the Unfathomable which exists behind the Light. However covered by superficial shimmering light. (The Reality is hidden by the Splendour that it radiates.) In Dhyan you see the silver/gold lightening at your third eye, the trick is to not get enamoured of this light, as the Reality is concealed behind it.

Vidyunmali – covered by lightening but lacking the real internal lustre. Creation might look very pretty but it is quite insubstantial on the inside.

Kamalaksh – blind to real Prosperity, endowed with superficial wealth. We run behind the objects of the created universe oblivious to the real Wealth that spiritual practice can give us.

Tarak – liberator, saviour, darkness, meteor-light, eye, driver, float.

Asur – spirit, divine, sign of the zodiac, opponent of the light, cloud.

In all the stories there is a common theme, that an Asur rises up becomes powerful and creates havoc in the Universes. Everyone then rushes to the three main deities or their wives for help. The deity kills the Asur and peace is restored. However to understand these stories in the real sense, one has to remember two things,

1. nothing is inherently ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Everything just ‘is’. Your perception and your conscience labels something as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

2. Every action you take leads you to Yourself. You reach the limit of emotion, action anything, you reach the Ultimate. Kunti reached the limit of ‘sorrow’ thus found the Divine. Tarak-asur reached the limit of ‘evil’, thus found the Reality. Everyone’s path is different but it all leads to the Parabrahma. You can only choose your route, the destination is the same.

Brahmadev – conscious potential energy of the Raja-gun. This further creates the energies below the tri-gun. Brahmadev controls the Brahma-granthi which is located at the Muladhar chakra connected to the Prithvi tattva.

Vishnu – conscious potential energy of the Satva-gun, this balances between the creation and destruction (below the tri-gun). The granthi at the Anahata chakra is called the Vishnu granthi.Tripur, Tripurari, TripursundariShiv – conscious potential energy of the Tamo-gun. Tamo-gun is a highly cryptic one. The commonly understood meaning of tama is dull, discordant, dangerous, damaging etc. But there is something called ‘Vishuddha-tamo-gun’, Shiv represents this. Its quality is to still, to dampen, to smother. The time from 10pm to 2am at night is pervaded by this vishuddha-tamo-gun. If you are able to do your sadhana at this time you can progress faster. The granthi at the Vishiddhi chakra is called the Rudra granthi.

Prithvi – earth element of the Pancha-bhoot. The conscious energy of stillness, solidity and firmness.

Gandhamadan – the sound that the muladhar chakra makes. It sounds like a heavy buzzing of the bumble-bee. Literally it means one who is intoxicated by fragrance.

Vindhya – the one who aims single-pointedly for the experience which is desired

Shesh – the remaining energy which remains surplus after the creation. It is visualised as an elephant at the base of the spine and as the Naag/serpent bed on which Vishnu rests at the top of the spine. Shesh is the name of one of the ‘elephants who support the Earth’. Elephants are distinguished by their trunk ie sense of smell thus often associated with the imagery of the Muladhar chakra. The Muladhar chakra is linked to the sense of smell and to the prithvi tattva. Also if you want to access the granthi/energy knot at the base of the Muladhar chakra, you have to first face Ganapati in his terrifying Uddanda-Ganapati form. Thus poetically elephants can be described as supporting the Earth!

Aksh – axis, wheel, pivot, measure, dice, court, 5, balance, cube, weight, snake, soul, vehicle, religious knowledge, bones, blind person, senses. Sanskrit is a palimpsest, you have to know which meaning to use where!

Chandra – moon, left eye, Ida nadi, brilliant, pleasant, camphor, metre, gold. The energy associated with the Ajnya chakra. It is the sum of your existence, past, present, future and parallel.

Surya – sun, 12, pingala nadi, brilliant, gold, auspicious. The energy associated with the Sahasrara chakra. This is your self-ego, your first cut-off from the Universal Reality.

Malaya – a measure, mountain. Mountains are the energies which spike out from the Muladhar chakra. Himalaya is the tallest physical mountain, thus his daughter is called Parvati who wishes to marry Shiv.

Gandharva – ‘small in quantity but very fast moving’. These are a class of beings.

There are several beings who inhabit this earth, Yaksha, Gandharva, Naag, Rakshas, Danav, Daitya, Dev etc. These are found in places not inhabited by humans. In the Himalayas there are several ancient temples which were made and used by these beings. Eg the Kasardevi temple in Almora belongs to the Yakshas. The Kotgadi and Haatkali temples belong to the Naags. There is a Yakshavati river in Pithoragad (it is dying now), where the Yakshas would come every full-moon night. Even now there are several remote places in the Himalayas where it is advisable to avoid going, especially on full moon and new moon nights.

Pushpadant – expanding point (this is a paradox)

Elapatra – flowing constant (this is also a paradox). The Parabrahma, Ultimate reality cannot be described in the words of this manifested creation thus is often considered to be a paradox.

Takshak – craftsman, one who creates solid stuff from diffuse materials. This is the name of a Naag. Naag also represent the bindings of karma. You too act and create stuff. When you act with intention and self-ego you create karma. This is also linked to the way kundalini is locked above the muladhar chakra. Mountains and serpents are both connected to the muladhar chakra and represent the karma.

Naag – serpentine, elephantine, cruel, living in water, name of a vital energy/pran, ephemeral, metal, mating. Naag is also derived from Nag meaning mountain. Mountains are again associated with the imagery of the Muladhar chakra.tripur tripurari tripursundariVed – perception, knowledge, property, sacred, property, truth. If you do your Dhyan long enough you will be granted the knowledge of the Ved. You will literally hear them, these are the ‘Shruti’, ‘heard’.

Vedang – the six sciences which help understanding the Ved, shiksha, chhand, vyakarana, nikruta, kalpa, jyotish. These are related to the deepest understanding of Sound and Time.

Gayatri – meter of 24 syllables, Gayatri mantra, or more precisely the form of the Gayatri mantra which is recited at dawn.

Savitri – the conscious energy of the internal light which you see at your third eye. Also the form of Gayatri mantra which is recited at midday.

Om – your real name, the origin of this universe. It is created from Prakruti. It is one of the three possible options for mantras to be used in Dhyan, the other two being Soham and Hamsa.

Mandara – mirror, heavy, firm, heaven, chain of pearls, mountain, meter, a tree. Poetically Mandara (Erythrina indica) flowers are worn by Lalita Tripursundari. Actually her energy is of brilliant red color, you will find real tantriks always put a red tilak indicating that they worship Her.

Vasuki – the serpent/Naag which Shiv wears around his throat also ‘desire’.

Agni – 3, third eye, ajnya chakra, fire from the Pancha-bhoot, brilliance, gold. All deities linked to the tri-gun, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiv, Sarasvati, Laxmi and Shakti have three eyes, these have the conscious energies of Sun, Moon and Fire.

Vayu – desirable, vital energy, intelligent energy of the air. One of the panch-bhoot. This is the vital energy which flows in your body. You think you breathe oxygen, but in fact you are pulling in Pran, a type of Vayu from the Universe. Yogi-s do not need oxygen, they can live off pran directly.

Yama – flight, motion, incoming, driver, moral duty, rule, control, self-restraint, key, vibration. For any spiritual practice Yama in all its forms is essential.

Vajra – impenetrable, shaped like a dumb-bell, a form of the moon, spiritual practice. Indra (from the 33 koti devata) carries the Vajra in his hand. It continually generates the silver/gold lightening. This is significant as Indra is your individual soul, you yourself create the glittery veil behind which lies your reality. Sanatan Dharm is all about the individual and his experience. Top priority is to the one who experiences. And you can experience only if you practice. Give yourself these 20mins every day and experience it for yourself.

Meru – the backbone, zenith, the geometry of the Shriyantra in 3 dimensions. The Meru as a symbol of victory is raised on the chariot. This indicates that once the Tri-pur are destroyed the top of the Meru/ Bindu is achieved.

Yug – time

Tandav – The dance performed by Shiv which results in complete annihilation of the manifested. He destroys Apasmar, ie confusion of the mind by this dance and reminds you what you have forgotten. You have forgotten your real self.

You can now take the meanings and fit them into the story, see what you can make of it! But basically the gist of the story is that you have to take your missile/energy of self-realization, from the Muladhar chakra to the top of the Meru, only then will you remember your Reality. In this journey you have to take the help of so many things/energies which are at your disposal.

 

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(There was a question on the Tripur story so wrote this, my personal understanding of it. This is an important story, as it actually tells you how you have to go about freeing yourself from the Illusion around you. Each one of us will experience this same thing during Dhyan as we move onwards on our spiritual journey to the Self.)