Curses or Blessings are energy

Curses or blessings are an energy charged with intention. In case the intention is auspicious then it would be a blessing and obviously an intention linked to an unfavourable result would be a curse.

Curses शाप are possible in the current age. A curse is an imprecation, malediction, constraint, prohibition, restriction or a ban. An intention designed to cause negativity, suffering or harm to the recipient. And at low levels, this happens a lot. Eg your maid mentally curses you because you made her do extra work without pay, or you swear at that taxi driver who overcharged you. These low level curses are a part of the daily grind, at max they will make you feel bad briefly but will not cause much/ lasting harm.

Blessings ie Ashirwad आशीर्वाद are also possible. A very basic eg, you feel grateful to your spouse for something he does for you and this warmth in your heart is also a blessing, a positive energy which goes to him from you. Or your parents and elders give you blessings when you touch their feet, chunks of positive energy. These benedictions add to the generic shell of positive energy surrounding you.

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But then there are the high powered curses which do cause genuine harm. Here are a few examples,

Curses powered by mantra siddhi and hurt emotions – Someone who has been living a very Satvik life, doing daily pujas and Sadhana, following the directions of the Guru, a high level spiritual aspirant.

  • Such a yogi level person in rare circumstances can still lose his temper. If he lashes out and curses someone in a fit of rage, then what he has said will happen to that person. His spiritual merit / punya powers this curse and causes harm to the recipient. His own merit also gets reduced a bit by this outburst. 
  • Another possibility is that this aspirant can, in rare circumstances, feel deeply hurt by someone else’s behaviour. And though he consciously may not say or do anything, the pain gets transformed into a curse for the other. This energy causes great harm to the recipient and also drains the spiritual merit of the aspirant. eg. I know such a person who cursed her own daughter in a fit of intense emotional pain and she suffered for years. Obviously the aspirant too suffered. 
  • So it is essential that a genuine aspirant first learn to control his own mind, reduce his sense of personal self-ego, only then increase the intensity of his sadhana and his energy levels. 
  • And if you are a regular person, then make it a point to avoid needlessly angering or hurting such high level aspirants. If you cannot respect them, keep away from them.

Curses powered by mantra siddhi and desire for power – There are aspirants who perform anushthans ie targeted rituals with intention for mantra siddhi and eventually achieve it. But their objective is not self-realization, rather a desire for material power and fame by using the power of this mantra.

  • Generally these practitioners do pujas for others for them to achieve their goals. They charge their clients money. If these people intend maledictions, they consciously channelise the power of their mantra energy they have gained to amplify the negative intentions. These intentions may be unethical or immoral but this does not matter to this practitioner as he is chasing money. These pujas damage the client, the recipient and also the practitioner. 
  • Astrologers who give scary predictions on purpose to create repeat clients fall in this category. When an astrologer reads someone’s chart, he is using the power of his own 5th house and the client’s 9th house to do so, ie this is a function of the astrologer’s Mantrasiddhi and the client’s Purvapunya. But rather than reinforcing the client’s 9th house he is using the power of his 5th house to damage it. This causes suffering to the client and the practitioner both. 
  • Such type of practitioners often die bad deaths. 

Curses powered by rituals which involve killing birds/animals – The lowest level of practitioners are those kill living beings and use the energy released by their physical death to power intentions of causing harm. People approach these ‘tantriks’ and pay them to get this sort of work done. Unfortunately these examples are extremely common and cause damage to the recipient, the practitioner and the people who get this ritual done. (If you are a practising astrologer, never read charts of people who do these things.) In Sanatan Dharma, you cannot kill another being and use its death energy like this, it is the worst karma possible. The only Bali permissible in Dharma is breaking a coconut with intention. And people do this too! Power their curses by breaking coconuts with negative intentions. One tip is to never eat ‘prasadam’, especially broken coconut, offered to you by people whom you do not trust. 

(A curse from a Satguru. I have seen only one example of this in my life. Needless to say, this will be the most inauspicious thing possible, from which there will be no escape.)

Then are the curses from your past lives carried on this life, which can be seen in the horoscope, eg I wrote on the Sarpashapa. And the curses from your past lives connected to your negative karma, eg if you mistreat your mother now, its possible that you will get the combination for a Matrushapa in your next life’s birth chart.

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But even after someone creates a curse energy, it is not necessary that it will affect the target in the way he intends. Two houses, the 5th and 9th in the chart, protect in conscious and unconscious ways.

The 9th house is the house of Purvapunya. So curses will not affect much if,

  • If you have a strong 9th house at birth. Then this protection will be for a life time, there is a higher ability to passively resist negativity. Your own merits, punya from your past lives work as a shield around you all the time. But remember that with every attack you resist, this merit gets used up bit by bit.
  • You are undergoing a favourable dasha period or a significant transit of a strongly placed planet. Especially if this planet is connected to the 9th house, (ie owns it, in it, aspects it, or is conjunct the 9th owner or aspects him), then your ‘timely luck’ factor is active. Here, the overall time is favourable for you so even if the energy of the malediction touches you, it will not do much harm. At max it might manifest as some minor health issue like nausea or typical dreams etc. Or you will be given sufficient warning in time so that you can do something about it. And it is quite possible that the negativity recoils back to the person who sent it to you in the first place. 
  • If you have an extraordinarily strong D9 navamsha chart.

The 5th house is Mantrasiddhi. The conscious efforts you make to enhance your own energy. So, again the curses will have limited effect on you if, 

  • you are doing your own spiritual practice regularly and have generated significant reserves of power, ie you are reinforcing your own 5th house continually with your own actions. In this case you will simply absorb whatever it was, ie burn it by your energy, or briefly suffer something minor or send it back. Doing this also consumes your energy but as you do your regular practice you continue to replenish yourself.

The solution for all this cursing stuff is the same, increase the power of the 5th house by your own actions, ie do your mantra pujas. Or trigger the power of your own 9th house by doing ritualistic pujas, going to pilgrimages, doing tarpan for your ancestors and acting as per your Guru. Both these houses feed energy directly into the personality, the 1st house. This is the power of the Dharma trikon. You cannot be really harmed by someone with a energy level lower than yours. Or if you have more power than the stuff which was sent against you. This is the function of the Dharma trikon as a whole. 

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Next, the blessings, ie Ashirwad. Only someone who has significant energy reserves can give blessings. As in cursing, giving blessings also depletes the energy reserve. These are chunks of energy which move from you to the recipient. 

  • A real Satguru has enormous power, ie he is the Advaita itself. But he will never ever give ‘direct blessings’, ie he will never say specific things like, ‘you will get married soon’ etc. He will use generic words like Ashirwad, Kalyan, Shubh, Sukh, Shanti, Prasanna etc, that too rarely. These words give the recipient a chunk of auspicious energy. What is to be done with the energy is the decision of the recipient. He will never interfere in the disciple’s free will, his choice of actions. One extreme example with my Guru, someone was asking him for clear cut directions for changing his job. He finally said ‘do whatever you want but do not forget why you are doing it’, he did not give him a clear yes/ no answer that he was insisting on. 
  • Genuine Yogis may give specific blessings or give specific guidance etc, again in rare circumstances. But these words also drain them of their own merit/ punya. In all my interactions with such higher-level Sadhaks, I have never seen this happening. In fact some of the Yogis I met, would not let others even touch their feet. Genuine Yogis also use generic words for giving their rare blessings.
  • So be careful if someone claims to be a Guru or Yogi and gives you directions regarding your life ie the business, job, marriage etc part. Or gives specific blessings for material gains. To gauge the genuineness of this person always evaluate the type of ‘blessings’ that they give to their disciples. 

Again, not everyone can receive such blessings from Yogis or the Satguru. The thing is that when a Satguru uses a word like ‘Ashirwad’, the quantum of energy that he sends is extraordinarily high. The recipient needs to have an equally high capacity of absorbing and assimilating it. And the mental stability to use it in a sensible way. So again only if you have a strong 9th house and overall Dharma trikon will these sort of blessing energy be give to you. 

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So in life, do not feel scared of random people cursing you, most of them do not have that reserve of power to do so. And do not get swayed by random people blessing you, not many have the capacity to do so. Do your own regular spiritual practice, keep reinforcing your own energy, that is always the best option. 

Mantra pujas the dos and don’ts

I wrote about practicing the Gayatri mantra daily and there were several questions, thus this generic post.

Everyone above the age of 6yrs should take up one mantra or stotra as a life time thing. ie Recite it every day during your daily puja routine. Choose this as per your convenience and inclination but dedicate yourself to this mantra, your life line for this lifetime. When you do a mantra jaap regularly, you are actually working very hard, focussing your mind, body and soul on this mantra daily for a few mins. This regular practice adds up over your lifetime. Eg exercising daily for 15mins is more sensible and useful than working out once a month for nonstop 24hrs. The mantra is pure Intelligence, it magnifies the work you have done on it and reflects it back at you.

The quantum of energy does not matter as much as your conscious control over your own Mind does. Read this line twice. 

Eg. someone I know, does intense jaap of Navavaran mantra but without the necessary lifestyle to be able to absorb such enormous amounts of energy. This has affected her negatively, her mind has become unstable. Generating power from intense mantras is dangerous if you cannot control it.

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Sadhana is something that genuine aspirants, Sadhaks or people with a genuine ascetic bent of mind do. They will invest time, energy and sacrifice several things in this process. For doing Sadhanas, you need combinations for asceticism in your chart. Intense Sadhana creates Nivrutti in the mind of the aspirant, ie detachment from the material, from the Game of Creation, from the Lila. This intensity is not for everyone. And, in fact, it is not even necessary for everyone.

So when it comes to spiritual practice, do only that much which you can easily do. You should feel happy when you do it. If you ever feel that it is a burden, review and reduce the practices. Rather than trying for ‘high power’ mantra which others recommend, do what you feel is the best for you even if it is for a few minutes, eg do it for 3 repeats if you feel 108 repeats is too much. But do something daily.

Generally gruhast ie householders do not do such Sadhana. What we do is, perform our daily puja and sometimes Anushthans, ie a targeted pujas. Daily puja would be something quite brief, 10mins max, generally lighting a deepak, putting tilak, putting flowers and doing Arti of the family gods. Daily pujas do not have many rules and are simple. Anushthans are more intense and last for a few days. eg I might intend to do a Gayatri Laghu Anushthan, ie 24000 repeats of the mantra in 9 days of the Ashwin Navratri. In these 9 days I will be bound by several restrictions. I will follow these rules to safely channelise the energy I generate with this mantra into my body. As a householder we are used to certain habits which we cannot continue when we take up targeted Anushthans. The rules vary in the different Anushthans but there are common themes. The first restriction will be on food, ie tamasic foods like non-veg, brinjal, heavy pulses like masoor, highly oily food, very spicy food, alcohol and other addictive substances, food cooked by others etc will stop. Eating ghee, milk from desi cows, eat food you cook yourself, keeping to yourself, not speaking much, not touching random people, shaking hands etc or travelling in crowded public transport will not be possible, physical intimacy with your spouse will stop for that time. Sticking to the schedules determined by your Anushthan will be necessary. You have to discipline your body first, this discipline will then more inwards as the mind gets disciplined. Thus you will get the results of the Anushthan.

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Common householders/ gruhast, cannot channelise much power, ie the entire ocean cannot be poured into a small cup. Householders are tiny cups, highly insufficient to hold the power of the mantras in their full-fledged form. So gruhast people are encouraged to slowly increase their capacity with all these festivals we have in the Sanatan Dharma. And we have a festival practically every fortnight. As you do the pujas associated with these festivals throughout the year, every year, you are actually training your mind. In Sanatan Dharma we have a plethora of options. You can choose your favourite deity, source of faith as per your wish. The beauty of Sanatan Dharma is that no one can compel you. You are responsible for your own actions and are required to follow your own Conscience at all times. We have the most beautiful life possible, genuinely happy from the inside. Our festivals are the backbone of our society. We worship pure nature, ie the Samudra Sea on Narali pournima, the Mountains on Govardhan puja, the Sun on Makar sankranti or Ratha saptami, Dawn and Dusk on Chatt puja, the Moon on Kojagiri pournima etc. We worship our Rivers, Sarasvati, Ganga, Yamuna, Narmada etc as our mother, we adore them. We worship animals with equal fervour eg Snakes on Naag Panchami, Bulls on Pola etc and plants eg Banyan tree on Vat Savitri. We worship human like deities ie the embodiments of the three Gun, Satva Vishnu-Laxmi, Raja Brahmadev- Sarasvati, Tama Shankar-Parvati with the rest of the pantheon. We even worship Mathematics with the same devotion, the Shri yantra and the other yantra are complex geometry. We revere sound, light, vibrations, energy. We recognise Divinity embedded in every aspect of creation. We worship Intelligence because we intend to recognise that same Consciousness inside us.

In my blog I have mentioned a few stotra, mantra, sukta which can be taken up as a regular practice. This practice helps still the mind. If the mind is still, you are more Aware, more focussed on the Real. I have written briefly about several including the Amrit sukta, Shri Sukta, Purush Sukta, Mahamrutyunjai mantra, Gayatri mantra, Guru stotra, Teekshna Damshtra Bhairavashtakam, Chakshushi mantra, Navavarna mantra etc. And referred to several books like the Ved, Upanishad, Vijnyan Bhairav Tantra, Ramayan, Mahabharat, Devi Mahatmya etc. All mantra (except the Ajapa mantra and Om) are generally linked to a ray from the Eternal, ie a deity, an Aware Intelligent Consciousness. Eventually all merge into the same Eternal Advaita. It is so elegant.

I have written on Soham, the Ajapa mantra which my Satguru ‘gave’ to all his disciples, the easiest option. It gives control over the Mind, slowly and steadily with every breath you take. You gently train your mind to become aware of the most natural rhythm in the world, the rhythm of your own breath.

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Now for some specific dos and don’ts for women in general life. Two events in life are very stressful for women, the menstrual phase of the monthly cycle and the pregnancy.

I wrote a detailed post here on the restrictions during the menstrual phase of the monthly cycle, do go through it.

Next, during pregnancy, there are mantras and stotras which you can recite or listen for your and your baby’s well being during this time. Here your body is doing enormous amount of work. The astral bodies of the mother and child are highly intertwined.

  • So doing any sort of practice where you channelise mantra with your breath while sitting on the asan is not advisable. ie you can recite the Gayatri 3 times with your daily puja routine but do not sit on your asan and do a 108 jaap of the mantra with the breath. Or you can mentally recite Soham to relax your mind, but do not sit on your Asan for targeted 108 Soham sadhana. 
  • Then eclipses. If there are any eclipses visible in your town when you are pregnant, you must be very alert. Best would be to sit in front of your puja ghar/ altar and read something eg the Bhagvat Gita or recite or listen to mantra and stotra while the eclipse is on.
  • The Sutak time. In case there is a physical death in your close family ie this is the paternal family or after marriage husband’s paternal side of the family for married women, then from the day of the death till the pindadana on the 13th day, the dimensions of the spirits and humans, ie the Pitrulok and Martyalok are interconnected. This affects everyone in the family. If this event occurs in the same house you live in, try to keep away from the Anteyshti related activities as much as possible. A pregnant woman should not go for condolence visits to relatives or friend’s families, her husband can go if it is necessary.
  • The Natak time. Similarly if a new baby is born in your close family, then from the birth to the name ceremony day, again the dimensions are interconnected as the soul gets settled in his new life. This too is an intense time on the energy levels. A pregnant woman can see this new baby born in her family on the day of its Naamkaran sanskar.

Ideally a woman should stick to the daily pujas till the baby is 6 months old at least. Do not attempt Anushthans or other targeted practice during this time. This is the time when the baby is still absorbing your energy, ie breast feeding, and you are also working hard. So first focus on what the baby needs and on rebuilding your strength. After you do the Annaprashan Sanskar for the baby, if you feel up to it you can increase the intensity of your spiritual practice.

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For men, the life is interconnected with the Gayatri, as every boy above the age of 6yrs is entitled to the Yajnopaveet Sanskar. This means wearing the Yajnopaveet sutra for a life time and doing Sandhya Vandanam, ie Gayatri puja three times a day. Ask your father or paternal relatives for any restrictions or dos and don’ts as this often varies from family to family. If your parents have not done the Yajnopaveet Sanskar for you but you really want to do the Gayatri mantra in a formal manner then you can do a simple intention on an auspicious Sunday, consider the rising Sun as your Guru and start. Do this only if you really feel and your conscience agrees with it. Never do anything against the Antaratma, the inner voice. At the very least you can recite this mantra even once a day when you do your daily puja.

Generally for major Anushthans, if there is a Sutak or Natak period in your close family then you will temporarily stop your Anushthans till this period is on.

Then there are several dos and dont’s which vary from family to family. This is mostly linked to the culture and the family deities. eg in my family we never wear black colored clothes, as the family deity does not like it. So you will have to ask the elders in your paternal family or husband’s paternal family for any such typical things.

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The only requirement for a follower of Sanatan Dharma is that you have faith/ Shraddha in something. This can be in an external source, there are so many options. Or if you prefer, you can put your faith in your own Divinity, ie directly focus on the Eternal, the Advaita that you yourself are. Do not compare yourself with other’s. Don’t ever think that someone is doing so much and you are doing so little. This concept does not exist in Sanatan Dharma. Each one of us is an unique individual, but all linked to the same eternal foundation. We, the followers of Sanatan Dharma, adore Pure Intelligence in every way possible. Every route is acceptable, it only depends on the practitioner’s inclination and conscience.

Choose the best day for conception or IVF

Someone wanted to know the best day for starting a new baby through IVF ie a suitable Muhurt/ auspicious time for the introduction of the embryo into the mother’s womb using the IVF procedure. This is a pertinent question in today’s context with several couples opting for the IVF process. And these same concepts will be useful vven if you are starting a baby in the natural way. 

This post is for beginners who can at least read the Panchangam ie at least read the names for the following five items from the Panchangam app applicable for the location and time under consideration.

  • Tithi – ie the lunar day which is counted from the Amavasya/ no moon day or Purnima/ full moon day.
  • Vaar – the 7 days of the week, these are to be seen from sunrise to sunrise (not midnight to midnight).
  • Nakshatra – the lunar mansion occupied by the Moon
  • Karan – a calculation related to 6deg separating intervals between Sun and Moon in transit 
  • Yog – also a calculation for the distance between the Sun and Moon in transit

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Conception, natural or artificial, is the same concept. The seed, ie either sperm in the natural process or the embryo in the IVF process, is introduced in the body of the mother. It is desired that the baby forms perfectly inside the mother and be born after a complete term. It is also desired that it give happiness to both the parents. This is an new endeavour in so many ways and you want success and auspiciousness from it.

Today conceptions are random events, as couples do not know or understand the value of choosing the ideal day to get intimate. But as per Sanatan Dharma, first the ideal day is to be chosen through calculations, a Garbhadhana Sankar is to be performed and then the couple should get intimate. The individual soul of the future baby is first formally called and energised by the mantra of the Sanskar. This ensures that of the few potential baby-souls hovering around the parents-to-be, only the most auspicious one is allowed access. Ideally the Garbhadhana Sanskar is to be repeated before every conception. (Today this this Sanskar is performed only once on the day of the marriage itself.) Even today, people who know Jyotish do choose the day for conception, do some puja for the new baby to come and then engage in intimacy. 

We can use the same principles for choosing the day for conception via IVF. This will depend on your doctor, ie if you are allowed to choose this time as per your preference. You can consider the time when the embryo is introduced into the mother’s womb as the time of ‘conception’. If you choose a high energy time frame for your IVF procedure, you will, with time, be a parent of a happy, healthy and auspicious baby. 

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So with this brief background, the auspicious times for natural conception or artificially via IVF are,

  • Tithi – Pratipada 1st, Dvitiya 2nd, Trutiya 3rd , Panchami 5th, Saptami 7th, Dashami 10th, Dwadashi 12th or Trayodashi 13th 
  • Nakshatra – Rohini, Uttaraphalguni, Uttarashadha and Uttarabhadrapada ie the fixed or Dhruva nakshatra will help the conception ‘fix’ strongly into the body of the mother. Of these Rohini and Uttarabhadrapada are the best ones. 
  • Days – Thursday and Friday are better than the rest, Wednesday is also suitable.
  • Yog – Ayushman, Saubhagya, Sukarma, Vruddha, Dhruva, Harshana, Siddhi, Shiva, Siddha, Sadhya, Brahma and Indra are preferable.
  • The best ‘moveable’ Karan would be Taitila, in addition Gara and Vanija are also good options. You can use Bala and Balava karan in a pinch. Of the fixed Karans, only the Kimsthughna can be considered but only if there is no other option.

Try to match the maximum of these 5 conditions as per your constraints.

And take 10mins to do this small puja / mantra on the day you choose for the conception, natural or IVF. This will improve both your energies and the energy of your future baby and take care of any malefic influences operating at the moment. Do this with the intention of getting a happy, healthy and auspicious baby.

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And for somewhat advanced students,

The best option would be Amrit. But Labh and Shubh are also good for this process. In this do check if your chosen Choghadiya does not overlap with the Vara vela, Rahu kaal, Kaalratri, Kaalvela etc negative times as shown by your app, as these will add some tension to the process.

In the natural process both parents can use the Swar shastra to shift the Swar in their bodies. If done properly, it can ensure that you get the child of the sex you want. If you are doing it the artificial way through IVF, your wife can change her Swar to ensure the ideal environment in her womb for accepting the embryo, here the sex of the baby will not be as per your choice as the father does not have an active role at this point of time.

  •  If you know how to read the houses of the horoscope

Then refer to this post for choosing a good time for planned birth ie Caesarean section. You can do this same analysis to get the perfect time for your conception, either natural or assisted via IVF. The chart of the conception event is called the Adhana chart. You can try to give your future baby an ideal Adhana chart. And later when your baby is to be delivered, in case you have to go for a Caesarean section, you can refer to this post again to choose the best possible time. This post assumes that your doctor has given you a time frame of 1-2 days for choosing your preferred time for delivery.

Then you can open your Panchangam app and see if it is auspicious ie Sampat, Kshema, Mitra or Paramitra. This will ensure that you and your spouse are in a happy frame of mind during the process. If you both are happy then naturally the energy of the process will be positively affected.

There are even more things, but this much is enough for a beginner to be aware of. This improves the chances of having the baby of your dreams.

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Next, these are the times when you must never attempt conception.

  • Eclipses – here the Sun or the Moon are eclipsed, so these times are not favourable on the energy levels. You are supposed to do some mantra puja etc during this time to make the best use of this energy.
  • Sankranti days – ie the day a planet enters into a new sign. Sankranti is a time for doing pujas, mantras of that planet, giving dana etc and not for indulging in intimacy. (For the Moon, his transits are quite fast at 2.25days per sign, so the preferred Nakshatra for him are mentioned above)
  • 45mins before and after sunset, sunrise, midday and midnight. These are the Sandhya times, where the energies are not suitable for starting a new life. You are supposed to do your regular Gayatri puja during this time.
  • 10days since the birth of a new baby to a close family member on the paternal side ie the Naatak period. And 13 days since the death of a close family member on the paternal side ie the Sutak period. During these two time frames, the spirits of the ancestors have access to this dimension and this interferes with the conception, ie entry of a new baby-soul in your body. I have seen 4 cases of my close family/ friends doing this, it ended in a miscarriage for all 4.
  • Days when you see bad omens around you. There is an entire Shakun shastra on this. But simply put, if you see something that upsets you deeply, then it is a negative omen. And if you see something that makes you happy it is a positive omen. eg you think of having a baby and you notice a small child walking by, this would be a positive omen. or you think of starting a baby and there is an accident on the road in front of you, this would be a negative omen.

Bringing a new baby into your life is always a big responsibility, so it will help if you take adequate precautions before initiating the process. If you are considering starting a baby, either naturally or artificially through IVF, do give yourself and your spouse an energy boost by choosing the right time so that you get a high energy, auspicious baby in the near future.

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Daily pujas

A short post.

Someone asked me what daily pujas should a follower of the Sanatan Dharma aka Hinduism perform. This can become a complex answer depending on individual inclinations and family traditions etc. Sanatan Dharma allows all sorts of variations, the only requirement being that your inner self, Conscience, Antaratma should be satisfied. But because there was a question, here is a simple routine which you can consider adopting/ adapting.

Lunar eclipse midnight 5th - 6th  June 2020

In the morning,

  • First is to wake up before sunrise, freshen up, have a bath etc. Put a tilak (post here) on yourself.
  • Exact sunrise is for the morning Agnihotra Homa, compulsory for householders. (This post) You require desi cow’s cowdung cakes and ghee made from the desi cow milk, earlier these items were easily available but the so-called white revolution has made the desi-cow, ie cows with a prominent hump very rare. This is an irreparable loss (post here). If you do not have these items from a desi cow you cannot do the Agnihotra Homa.
  • Next is to give Argya to the Sun. (This post) 
  • Then do pujas of your household deities. The simplest procedure is something like this. Light a Deepak (post here) and incense. Wash the deities moorti-s with clean water, dry them, put kumkum, saffron, sandalwood, bhasma, flowers as per availability. Offer some naivedya/ food to the deities. Do an Arti with camphor (post here) etc. (There are specific arti/shlok/stotra etc to be recited while doing this but you can keep it simple and say a prayer in the language you are comfortable in.)
  • Then recite the Gayatri mantra (post here), ideally 108 times. “Om, Bhuh Bhuvah Swah, Om Tat Savitur Varenyam, Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi, Dhiyo Yo nah Prachodayat, Om” ॐ भूः भुवः स्वः । ॐ तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यम । भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि। धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात॥ ॐ You can use a mala (post here) to count or use your fingers (post here). Reciting it mentally is ideal.
  • After all this do your Dhyan with your Soham mantra. (post here).

Then comes midday.

  • The Gayatri mantra is to be recited again, ideally 108 times and mentally. Most of us are in office at this time, so if you can take a 10 mins break, you can do this sitting at your office desk itself.

Then is the sun-set.

  • Before the actual sun-set, light a Deepak/ incense before the household deities.
  • In Hindu houses, there will be a Tulsi plant (post here) in the house, so keep a deepak in front of this plant.
  • Again Arghya is to be offered to the setting Sun at the west horizon.
  • The exact moment of sun-set is the evening Agnihotra Homa.
  • Then 108 times Gayatri mantra jaap.
  • Followed by your evening time Dhyan.

If you are in office at the sunset time then obviously you cannot do all this. But try to do the Gayatri mantra jaap at least. Take a 10mins break and do it sitting at your desk.

Night time, before going to bed. Listen to the Ratri sukta (post here) or, if you can, recite it. It will protect you as you sleep, reduce nightmares, sleep paralysis, astral attacks etc so that you can actually rest.

For women specifically, they are exempted from all this for the 5 days of the monthly cycle. During this period, the chakras are moving anti-clockwise, the movement of the pran is affected, there is destruction going on in the body and you should rest it out.

For children below 6yrs there is no compulsion to do anything. Doing namaskar to the family deities and to the parents/grandparents should be taught and they can observe their parents do the daily routine. When the child becomes 6yrs old, he/she should be taught the Gayatri mantra. And now onwards he/she can also give Arghya to the Sun, do pujas etc. Gayatri mantra is most important. Initially the child can recite it 3/27/54 times as 108 times might be difficult to begin with. (In Hindu families who follow the Sanskar-s, boys will wear the Yadnopaveet sutra now onwards.) For Dhyan, it can be started after 6yrs if the child can understand how to do it. Initially he/she can do it for 3/27/54 counts as 108 times may be too tedious to begin with. (I started with my Dhyan-mantra when I was 2yrs old.)

This is the very basic minimum that a person following the Sanatan Dharma aka Hinduism should do daily. Obviously you must add other things as per your personal/ family traditions. And is also possible that you might not be able to do even this much… Follow your conscience always and in all ways.

Judge a true Ascetic from the horoscope

Then is some confusion regarding which deity to worship.

Every family has its own family deity, so you should have his/ her moorti in your puja-ghar. This is necessary. Unfortunately some people do not know who their family deities are. So first try to find out, ask your paternal grandparents or anyone from your father’s family if they know. Or trace your ancestral village if someone there knows. Married women worship the family deities of the husband’s family.

If you cannot trace your family deity, then as a second option you can worship a deity you feel drawn to. Devi Sarasvati, Devi Laxmi, Devi Parvati, Bhagwan Shankar or Bhagwan Vishnu or their Saumya-roop/ gentle forms are better. Avoid their Ugra-roop/ terrible forms, unless you are sure that you can assimilate their fierce energies. Eg Saumya roop for Bhagwan Vishnu would be Shri Krishna, Shri Ram, and Ugra-roop would be Shri Narasimha, Shri Varaha etc. Get small silver moorti-s (post here)  of the deities you wish to worship, about 2 inches in size is best. (If you have any specific family tradition regarding moorti-s then follow that.)

In Sanatan Dharma, all married women worship Shri Ganapati, Devi Annapurna and Shri Baal-Krishna (Baal is his child form). This reduces hardships, ensures prosperity in the family and most importantly increases auspiciousness from the children.

Judge a true Ascetic from the horoscope

There is some misunderstanding about the pujas of Brahmadev. Popularly people believe that Brahmadev was cursed! But the actual reason is that we humans are so degraded in this Kali-yug that we are incapable of performing his pujas. So generally Brahmadev is not worshipped in households. Brahmadev is the potential energy, the stability of Raja-gun. His wife, Devi Sarasvati is worshipped in the form of the Gayatri Mantra.  (However in special anushthans, eg Yadnopaveet sanskar, he is worshipped in a typical form created using Darbha grass. It looks like this.)

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As the Kali-yug deepens, humans will become even more damaged and the simplest pujas will also stop being available. What we are seeing now is just a prelude. The genuine Tantra has already vanished. The yantra-s are on the verge of being forgotten. Most of the mantras are gone. The fundamental Pranav Mantra Om itself has been corrupted, people have converted it to meaningless sounds. When we stop our daily mantras, we actively destroy ourselves. Even the DNA gets damaged. Mantras in Sanskrit are the only way of protecting our DNA. It is essential for everyone above the age of 6yrs to recite the Gayatri mantra daily. It is especially imperative for the boys who have the more delicate Y-chromosome in them.

And if this was not enough, we have accelerated the damage to ourselves. Various pollutants in our food/ water/ air. The electro-magnetic pollution of radio-waves, discordant sound, negative thought patterns and the rest of it is creating a vicious cycle which will drag the human race even lower. Injecting unknown animal proteins/ DNA into our bodies. (If you are from an immunology background, am sure you can comprehend the dangers of contaminated cell-lines, latent retroviruses from the DNA of animals used in cell lines, the possible danger of the future m-RNA based vaccines.) DNA damage is irreversible, there is no solution for genetic damage in modern science.

The only way of protecting our DNA, body, mind and emotions and also repairing them is Mantra. So adopt a simple puja routine daily if you can. It will help you live a more healthier and happier life. (Despite writing all this, I am sure that only those who have a strong 9th house will actually be able to do any of this.)

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Temples in India where I have been to

Since I wrote on the 9th house and the deeper meanings of travel and pilgrimages, I got a question on how many temples, pilgrimages, I have been to. I had never really listed them out so was a fun exercise for me and perhaps an interesting reading for you.

Judge a true Ascetic from the horoscope

  1. Haat-Kalika temple, Pithoragad, Uttarakhand – Been here a few times. It is a yantra installed in a temple in the middle of the Deodar forests. The yantra is carved on a rock in the floor of the inner sanctum, it is beyond powerful. There is an additional moorthi of the Devi Kali, but the power is in the yantra. Most people do not notice it. It is beyond powerful, it feels like Kali Herself is standing there in all her magnificent terribleness. But so full of love. I have lost track of time whenever I have stood in this temple located in a valley of Deodar trees. In these mountains the separation between dimensions is very thin. You can sense the presence of other beings called Naag, Yaksha, Gandharva etc here (Similarly in the nearby temple of Kotgadi). Temples in India where I have been to
  2. Kasar Devi, Almora, Uttarakhand – You can feel golden pran radiating from a small tunnel into the earth. The people have placed a Moorti of Devi in front of the tunnel, most worshippers look at this moorti and ignore the tunnel and the energies whirling out from it. Very welcoming, loving and you feel it, a huge dense quantum of energy beneath the earth, it silences the mind. And you can feel the presence of other dimensional beings here too. This temple belongs to the Yaksha.
  3. Badrinath, Uttarakhand – This is one of the real Char-Dhaams of India, located on the west coast (the others being Somnath, Jaggannath, Rameshwaram). Been here thrice in this life. It is a black moorthi of Shri Vishnu. Very high energy and very gentle, a compulsory pilgrimage for all Hindus. River Saraswati flows here for a bit (Brahmakapal) and then vanishes underground. This is the place where the final death related rituals/ tarpan are performed for the deceased ancestors. The entire place throbs with energy, and those who can see auras can see the brilliant golden shine of the moorthi and also the entire village and the surroundings. Temples in India where I have been to
  4. Yamunotri, Uttarakhand – The origin of the river Yamuna in Uttarakhand. Another must visit location, the energy is awesome, shiny, sparkly. There is a temple here dedicated to the Devi Yamuna and the prasad that you get here is a small pouch of uncooked rice, you then dip it in the nearby hot spring, it gets cooked and you eat it with the blessings of Devi. It was the tastiest spoonful of rice I have ever eaten. Ice cold Yamuna and the boiling hot spring are a few meters apart. Nature is so cryptic!
  5. The Mahakumbh – I have been to Haridwar during the Brahmamuhurt of the Makar Sankranti at the start of the 2010 Mahakumbh. Ice-cold water. The Ganga is exceptionally loaded with pran during the Mahakumbh time, so a dip in these waters is a must for every Hindu. It can be a life-time recharge if you do it with intention. There is a Mahakumbh in Haridwar coming up in 2021, try to use it if you can.
  6. Gaumukh, Uttarakhand – the origin of the river Ganga at the base of the Gangotri glacier. Ganga wherever she flows, Devprayag, Rishikesh, Hardwar, Kashi etc. brings in her tremendous quantum of pran. As you go nearer to her source, the higher the energy of her waters. The Gangotri glacier feels like a chunk of gold and the the flowing waters rippling gold/ silver pran. Do visit it if you are physically able to, if you keep putting it off to the next year, chances are you will never visit. The Gangotri temple is on the way to Gaumukh and this too is a beautiful place. The entire Himalaya are a huge source of power and energy in itself.Temples in India where I have been to
  7. Kedarnath, Uttarakhand – The top of the mountain is the pyramidal Shivlingam on which the temple is built. It is mind-boggling, I think the entire mountain you climb is the lower part of the massive Shivlingam. The very top is worshipped in the temple. The temple was there for thousands of years, first the Pandavs worshipped here, it was renovated a few thousands of years ago by Adi Shankaracharya and then by Ahilyabai Holkar a couple of centuries ago. Been here twice, a must visit. You may not get to sit in the sanctum, but just sit outside the temple and soak everything in, if you do it with full intention, this ‘recharge’ will last a life time. Temples in India where I have been to
    • Then there is the Samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya nearby. One of the most important Rishi/ Sat-Guru is relatively recent history (a couple of thousand years ago). And you can feel his blessings/energy here.
    • Enlightened Gurus in Sanatan Dharm/Hinduism are special, after they discard their physical body, it is entombed above ground/’Samadhi’ and Anteyshti is not performed. When a soul attains moksh, it is not linked to the energy structure of the body, the brahmanadi has fused, the circuit is complete. The individual soul does not exist as it has realised itself as the Ultimate. The energy of anteyshti breaks the soul’s bonds to the physical body. But a real Sat-Guru has already broken this bond to ‘Creation’ by the energy of his internal fire, Dhyan. The real reason for the Samadhi system is different. It is a threat, if some common human fools others into believing that he is a Guru, his disciples will give him a Samadhi after his physical death and he will remain tied to the physical body, a ghost with no scope of evolution. The worst possible punishment.
    • This is an aerial view of the Kedarnath temple in deep winter, you can just see the top of the temple as the entire town is under snow. Our ancient Rishis identified Shiv-lingams and built temples in such locations several thousand years ago, it is mind-boggling.
    • Temples in India where I have been to
  8. Dhaari Devi, Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand – This is one of the fiercest Kali temples I have ever visited. The moorthi is just the head of the Devi, and She seems to shoot volcanoes from her eyes! I love Her in Her every mood, so enjoyed sitting in front of Her and soaking in her blessings. This temple is in the middle of the Alakhnanda river, and is energy-linked to Kedarnath, She is His Wife. Whenever people have tried to shift this temple for hydel power projects, Kedarnath has showed His displeasure, last was in 2013. They shifted the Moorthi and on that same day clouds burst bringing in disaster. Temples in India where I have been to
  9. Jageshwar, Uttarakhand – This is a Shivlingam in the Deodar forests of Almoda district. I think this is the Daruka-van Jyotirlingam as Deodar trees are called Daruka in Sanskrit. It is a very high energy location and is very beautiful too.
  10. Hemkund saheb, Uttarakhand – This is a pristine lake and a Gurudwara. The lake water is very high energy. It is said that Pandu from the Mahabharat worshipped the Devi here. Also Lakshman from the Ramayan did some pujas here. It is a hard trek, especially the last few kilometers, so you need to be physically fit. But you can also visit the Valley of Flowers which is near here, which is an added advantage.
  11. Vaishno Devi temple, Katra, Jammu & Kashmir – The deity of this shrine is a rock, which is a part of the mountain itself. Though this shrine is very famous, to me it felt like a regular Himalaya energy. The ‘density’ of energy was the same as any other Himalayan peak.
  12. Pushkar temple, Rajasthan – It is a very cryptic dense energy, not for everyone. There is a misconception that the pujas of Brahmadev is forbidden. But it is actually that the we, the current humans, are so degraded that we are incapable of performing these intense pujas of Brahmadev. Performing the Gayatri puja properly is in itself a feat for the humans of today, and so the puja of Brahmadev is another level altogether. There is an entire Brahma-tantra and all Rishis and Sadhaks of the earlier ages did pujas of Brahmadev to attain Moksha on a fast track. Today you won’t get anyone who understands the use of Gayatri-tantra! (Brahmdev and Devi Sarasvati are the stable and the kinetic parts of Raja-gun. If you consciously control ‘movement’, you Realise your Self.)
  13. Ashapura Devi temple, Bhuj, Gujarat – The deity in this temple is a huge rock, there is no separate Moorthi. This rock is placed in a temple. It is so utterly powerful that the few minutes I stood stupefied. Such tremendous energy. Something like the energy of the 10 Mahavidya Devi-s. If you are the slightest bit insincere she will cut off your head then and there. But if you are sincere she will pick you up in her arms like a mother loves a child and give you whatever you want. The entire area for kilometers was resonating with her energy. The rock does not seem to be from this Earth, more likely it is a meteorite, but very conscious, very very aware and very dangerous. Temples in India where I have been to
  14. Koteshwar Mahadev temple, Bhuj, Gujarat – A wonderful location on the sea-shore with extremely high levels of pran. The Shivlingam was also quite powerful gave off cool, peaceful pran. Loved watching the Dhwaj/ flag on the temple swirling in the wind. This is the last temple on the west coast, the land beyond is Pakistan.
  15. Dwarkadheesh temple, Jamnagar, Gujarat – This temple is dedicated to Shri Krishna, a lovely moorthi made of black rock. Highly energy and very calm gentle, soothed the soul. Do visit it if you can. But avoid the priests who try to try to fleece the tourists outside the temple. Keep your mind on your mantra and the deity in the temple. Try to mentally recite your mantra 108 times in the temple complex, while you wait in the lines etc. It is an energy rush. And around these temples and pilgrimage site you will also find petty pickpockets and such, so take care. It always surprises me that these people forget Who is watching them. Shri Krishna could give them anything they want but they are more interested in the tourists than the deity Himself.Temples in India where I have been to
  16. Naagath Shivlingam, Gujarat – This is near Dwarka and said to be one of the twelve Jyotirlingams. It is a newly constructed temple and is energies are average. In Sanatan Dharm/ Hinduism, a Shivlingam is not carried into a temple. A temple is always built over a Shivlingam. This means that our ancient Rishis/ seers, ‘saw’ the energies and identified stones which had the energy of a Lingam and constructed the temples over them. So, faith is one thing, but you won’t get the same energy benefit when praying in modern constructed Shiv temples.
  17. Somnaath Shivlingam, Veraval, Gujarat – I have been to this temple 4 times in this life and each time it is a home-coming. Very high levels of energy flow from the Shivlingam, very gentle and conscious. I can never pray for things in temples. What should I pray for? He knows everything. This is a must visit temple for all Hindus. Temples in India where I have been to
  18. Siddhivinayak temple, Mumbai, Maharashtra – Have been to this temple several times. It feels like he is angrier every time I see him. This Ganapati moorthi has his truck folded towards his right side. Embodiment of ‘nivrutti’, destruction of Illusion, destruction of the material and tearing apart of the veils of Maya, the highly disciplined Sanyasi, ‘Brahmachari form of Ganapati. If you are not prepared to leave Her ‘funfair’, praying to such a moorthi can be quite traumatic on the material levels. It is the same effect as blowing on a left-handed conch (Dakshinavarti). It will destroy the material and bring in the spiritual, in any way possible! In our homes we never keep a moorthi or photo of Ganapati with the trunk at the right side. In temples it requires specific pujas and there are several restrictions on what is allowed in such temples.
  19. Trayambakeshwar Shivlingam, Nashik, Maharashtra – Extraordinary high levels of energy. It is such an old temple, all stone. The stones of the temple have absorbed the energies of the pujas and are conscious themselves. The Shivlingam radiates huge chunks of energy but is not as peaceful as Somnath. The energies can be used for ‘destruction’ related pujas too. Shiv here is more serious, more turned inwards more intense. Temples in India where I have been to
  20. Bhimashankar Shivlingam, Maharashtra. This is located in a the middle of the forests, with a river flowing near it. All Hindu temples need to have a natural source of water at its north-east side, it is compulsory. This Shivlingam is a rather secretive energy. I think there must have been intensive practices of tantra, mantra, yantra in this temple. Perhaps no one knows or does this now, but the ancient past is felt in the energy of the temple and its stones too.
  21. Kailas temple, Ellora, Maharashtra – This architectural marvel is very famous, our ancient Rishis 3D printed in the igneous rock. But the Shivlingam! It is a good 5 plus feet tall and loaded with power, I went silent in front of its energy, the mind was completely silent. I wonder how the ancients knew that this stone under the hard lava stones of the Deccan plateau was the Shivlingam and they created the temple around it. It is the most fascinating Shiv temples I have ever been to. Ellora was called Elapuri earlier, the ‘town of the Devi’. Temples in India where I have been to
  22. Ghrishneshwar Shivlingam, Ellora, Maharashtra – This temple is very ancient, but felt low on energy, not what I expect a Jyotirlingam to be. I think that perhaps the actual ‘Jyotirlingam’ is the one inside the Kailas temple less than a km away.
  23. Siddhagiri Math, Kolhapur, Maharashtra – This Shivlingam has always showered me with love and ‘home-coming’ energies. Just like a father giving gifts to his child. Beautiful old temple and with routine pujas being performed. My Sat-Guru was the 26th Math-adhipati of this Math.
  24. Khandoba temple, Maharashtra – Located on a plateau of lava-basaltic rock. There are moorthis in the temple, but the energy comes from a yantra set into the floor of the temple. The mountain is alive with very intense energies. Exceptionally fierce. If you wish for protection and the energy to fight, he is more than willing to give it to you. He is the Kul-devata of most Marathi people so this temple is always bustling with people.
  25. Then temples in Goa, the more famous Shanta-Durga, Mangeushi and my mother’s ancestral god Narsimha at Veling. I always seem to sense an underlying sadness here. Perhaps my DNA picks up things. The Portuguese invaded Goa and killed the temple Brahmins and carried out an Inquisition here, killing most of the Hindus. Some Hindus and Brahmin priests escaped to Maharashtra and remained alive albeit as farmers and traders, some of them my mother’s ancestors. Narasimha temple, Veling
  26. Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu – it is a magical place, there was no need for a formal temple, the oceans themselves are alive here. However the temple inside is peaceful with gentle energy, it like the Devi is relaxed, watching the waters. Outside, the south-most tip of India, where 3 waters meet. It has to be experienced, the clean freshness is so deeply peaceful yet so full of high intensity energy. More white than gold pran, so much and so freely available!
  27. Thirupati temple, Andhra Pradesh – A very famous Vishnu temple (but I feel it more like a Shiv temple as per the energy, they are all ultimately the same!). Humongous amounts of energy. The lines are so long that they don’t let you stand for very long in front of the moorthi, but even standing in line within the stone walls of the temple is a high energy experience, been here twice.
  28. Jagannath Puri, Odisha – One of the Char-Dham-s, I have been here twice, a very enigmatic temple. The idols of the deities are one thing, but the real energy is from inside the ground under the sanctum sanctorum. I make it a point to sit down somewhere inside the temple and recite my mantras for 5 mins. What one sees in these 5mins in such powerful temples is indescribable. If you go here, do a Namaskar for the Sudarshan chakra on the temple top, it radiates huge power. Temples in India where I have been to
  29. Kamakhya temple, Guwahati, Assam – She is extremely no-nonsense here. She is not in her ‘kind-mood’. Visiting this temple is not for everyone. This was the first temple where I saw her in her really strange virakt mood, so has made a life-time impression on me. She is so beautiful.
  30. Vishveshwar, Kashi, Uttar Pradesh – The best part is that they let you touch the Shivlingam. Everyone should visit it once in a lifetime. Shiv is very kind here, its like coming back home. And also the Annapurna Devi temple nearby. The original temple was destroyed by the mughals. This  current Shivlingam was installed and this temple was built by Ahilyadevi Holkar. But I feel the power of the original Shivlingam also somewhere in this city. This entire city is pure, no other word, it is pure, bright very very clean on the energy planes. Temples in India where I have been to
  31. Lahiri Mahashay’s house in Kashi, Uttar Pradesh – I had a neutral view of him because I had read the ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ where Yogananda refers to him as his Guru and I know that the meditation technique which Yogananda’s Society is teaching is incorrect. When I went to Kashi, in front of Lahiri Mahashaya’s house, I touched the steps of the locked house and felt his strength. He was a Realised Soul, his students later distorted his teachings.
  32. Girnar mountain, Gujarath – The entire mountain is full of energy, I don’t know how such a huge mountain can even geologically exist in that flat place! If you ever travel to Junagad to visit the Gir National Park, do try to at least travel to its foot and feel its energy. There are very high number of spirits and beings from other dimensions here. In fact the first time I ‘saw’ these beings here.
  33. Datia, Madhya Pradesh – Bagalamukhi and Dhoomavati temple, both Devi-s are the Dasha mahavidya-s and are very very dangerously awake here. Visit only and only if you have a clear conscience, no more can be said, there are secrets here which are not for everyone.
  34. Ambabai temple, Kolhapur – This is quite powerful and the Devi is quite ready to grant blessings. But one must not really ask for anything in such temples, simply put yourself in her hands and let her decide the best possible for you.

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35. Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. The name is in itself so evocative. The Hanuman mandir has very deep energy as if Hanuman himself is in deep Dhyan here. And of course seeing the moorthi-s of Shri Ram and his brothers in the new mandir was a very moving experience. I prayed for Shri Raam to come out of his child-form, ‘Ram-lalla’ form and assume his Raja Ram form, so that we can all experience Ram-Rajya once more. The banks of the Sharayu are also bursting with power and blessings.

36. Nimish-aranya Uttar Pradesh – This is a rather secretive place, very much on the map but with very cryptic energies. If feels like this place is not fully on this earth, the dimensions overlap here especially at the central pond, ie the Manomaya chakra of Brahmadev. The shakti-peeth of Devi Lalita here is also very radiant. However the temple priests are an utter nuisance, a disgrace, the worst I have seen till now.

37. Raja Ram temple Orchha, Madhya Pradesh – I had the fortune to visit this utterly beautiful place on the day which is celebrated as the marriage of Ram and Sita. The celebration here on this day is a must see.

38. Varahi Devi temple, Devidhura, Uttarakhand – The Ugra form of Devi Laxmi and Bhu Devi who is married to the Vishnu in the Varaha avtar is here in the form of a Shila. The Shila is never left uncovered, it is veiled with a red cloth always. And another moorti of the Devi Varahi is always kept locked in a chest. Its worshipped only once a year on the Rakhi Pournima, by one Brahmin who keeps his eyes blindfolded during the process. Its a very intense energy but still very gentle and loving. The Himalay is home to such terrific energies that I think people born and living in his shelter with Dharma are the truly blessed ones.

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Here are some of the well-known temples that I am sure you must be aware of. And there were several smaller ones and high energy places which I have not listed here as the post became really too long.

We are Hindus, followers of Sanatan Dharma, our ‘god’ is the Parabrahma, the Nirvishesh Brahma the Conscious Intelligence but these temples are necessary as they contain a small part of this Awareness. Pilgrimages are necessary for all spiritual aspirants and if you have the time and the inclination you  must do a Darshan here.

Learn Devbhasha Samskrutam aka Sanskrit

Devbhasha Samskrutam is the perfectly arranged language of Divine Light. (Do read my post on Beej mantra for more details.) I am writing this post as there was a question on how to learn Sanskrit. Devbhasha Samskrutam is called ‘Sanskrit’ in these modern times. It is the mother tongue of every conscious living being in this Universe. ’Conscious being’, is one who can see itself in a mirror and recognise itself. If you are aware of yourself as an individual person, you are ‘conscious’ of yourself. Eg a cat does not recognise itself as an individual, hence tries to attack its image in the mirror. But elephants, dolphins and humans are aware of their individuality and are conscious. It is a moral wrong, to hurt or murder a conscious animal.

  • Dev is divine, light, intelligence, consciousness, God, excellent, royal, play, etc.
  • Bhasha means definitions, speech, species, language, description, etc.
  • Samskrutam means ornamented, completed, blessed, pure, formed, initiated, refined, constructed, elaborated, made ready, finished, polished, sophisticated, perfected, as per the rules, prepared, sacred, etc.

It is the right of every human to learn Sanskrit. It is your and my heritage, the language that is intertwined with our DNA. Sanskrit perfectly describes every possible thing in this universe. If I wish to create something or manifest something with my intention, I need to know its real name, its perfect name, the name that describes it most perfectly. If I know this name, I can then use my intention etc to manifest it to create it. Sanskrit gives this perfect description of everything. Eg I want to experience “Moksh”. This Sanskrit word ‘Moksh’ describes every aspect of this experience. The English words like, realization, enlightenment, salvation etc do not even describe 1% of the Moksh experience. If I want ‘Yash’, then I can use mantras to create Yash in my life, Yash means much more than just – successes worth, pleasures, excellence, honor, respect, esteem, fame, favour, glory etc. Sanskrit words cannot be translated because there is nothing you can translate them into! You have to experience Sanskrit, the Devbhasha Samskrutam, as it touches your conscious as well as your sub-conscious etc selves.

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So to address the question. ‘How to learn Sanskrit?’

There may be institutes or universities near you which offer courses in Sanskrit either in distance education or in the classroom format do check them out.

And if you know any Indian language or English and can read/write in the Devnagri script then the best option is this. Distance learning from the Central Sanskrit University, formerly the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan. This Institution is under the HRD Ministry, Government of India. This is the link to its home page.

http://www.sanskrit.nic.in/index.php

I would strongly recommend everyone to opt for the 2 year distance learning course and sincerely study. Both Indian and Non-Indian people can register and learn. Do try to learn Sanskrit, your real mother tongue. There are other resources on this site which you can use to improve your knowledge of Sanskrit.

There are several videos on youtube where you can hear and see small stories in Sanskrit. This will help you get your pronunciation correct and understand the flow of the sentences. An example link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAEWFbi0H84k

Then you must get in the habit of reading something in Sanskrit everyday. The best option is Sanskrit Chandamama comics for children. This is the link to download them.

https://chandamama.in/sanskrit/

And this is a link to the only daily newspaper in Sanskrit. You can subscribe to it.

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If you and your friends/family are interested then learn it together. Also try to talk in Sanskrit. Start by adding small Sanskrit sentences in your daily conversations.

If you do this much you will be easily able to converse, read and write Sanskrit within a few months. It is your basic language, it is actually very easy to learn.

Later you might want to read the philosophical books of Sanatan Dharma/ Hinduism in Sanskrit. I would suggest you start with reading the Mahabharat or the Ramayan, Ithihas, in Sanskrit. Gita Press publishes both these in Sanskrit with a helpful word-word translation so it will be easier to understand. (I have all these books in my home, my Dad loves books and I too.) You already know these histories, so it will feel a bit easy on the mind and the philosophical stuff which comes in it also may be easier to comprehend.

Learn Devbhasha Samskrutam aka Sanskrit

The origin of Sanskrit is linked with the origin of this universe and naturally connected to OM. It is the source language, all the languages in this world have Sanskrit words in them. Every continent has spoken Sanskrit. All cultures have  a Devbhasha connect, some in the near past and some in the very ancient past. In India, Sanskrit is still spoken despite every attempt of the British to stamp it out.

Here are some examples from the modern and ancient world to pique your interest Names of rivers and places retain their actual origin better. Words in use in the spoken language tend to mutate faster. So,

  • Kings of the Mittani empire in ancient Mesopotamia had names like ‘Wassukkani’, which is simply वसु खानि meaning ‘a mine of wealth’ in Sanskrit. Another king was ‘Tvshratha’ which is the Sanskrit Tvashstra, ‘divine architect’ or Tvashrahta itself means ‘owning divine chariots’ in Sanskrit.
  • Kuru, Puru, Yadav, Sudav are clan names in Lithuania! These are pure Sanskrit words. The Kuru are the main clan on which the entire Mahabharat is written, Yadav, Sudav are also clans in the Mahabharat. Puru was a King in ancient Bharat/ India.
  • The Egyptian Pharaohs are connected to Sanskrit. eg Akhe-naten, is similar to Sanskrit Ek-nathan, it means ‘one-divine father’. Pharaoh Akhe-naten brought the concept of one-god in Egypt.
  • Karnak in Egypt is clearly a derivation of Konark  कोणअर्क meaning a ‘angle from the Sun’. There is a temple of the Sun in Konark, Odisha.
  • The river Niger starts at a place called ‘Sankari’, a pure Sanskrit word.
  • In America, the Guaalaga river in Andes is again pure Sanskrit ‘water going’.
  • I came across an interesting information on the name ‘America’. The Amer-Indians called it ‘Amerrique’. (‘The naming of America’ Jonathan Cohen, ‘The Caribbean writer and exile’ by Jan Carew). Vespucci’s name was Alberico and not Americo. He changed his name in a deliberate (and I would say, a criminal) act to steal the local native Americans of their identity. The Sanskrit link here is Amerrique is derived from ‘Marut’ which means the ‘land of gold’, which it was! Or the ‘land of strong winds’ which also fits it well. Or from ‘Meru’ which also means the ‘mountain of gold’.
  • The great river Volga. Volga is derived from Sanskrit Vigala, which means to melt and flow. Volga was known as Julaga earlier. This also is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘flowing water’.
  • ‘Gaia’ is said to be a Greek word for Earth,  but the word ‘Gaia’ has no etymological origin in that language. But ‘Gaya’ is a pure Sanskrit word, is a very important ancient/modern town in India where people go to perform final funeral rites of their departed ones. Gaya town has awesome energy, do visit it if you can.

There are so very many examples where words from Devbhasha Samskrutam can be traced in today’s languages. If you are interested, then do research for yourself, it is very rewarding intellectual exercise.

Devbhasha Samskrutam or Sanskrit is the mother language. I was taught it as a child and I continue to use it in my life. If I get time in this life, I really wish to work for another Ph.D in Sanskrit (I already hold one Ph.D in Zoology.) Knowing this one Mother Language, I can speak several Indian languages and understand even more. Hindi, Marathi, Gujarathi, Konkani, Bengali, Odiya, Telegu, Punjabi, Gadhwali, Kumaoni, even Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil! All very clearly have Sanskrit as the foundation. The Indian language closest to Sanskrit is Marathi. I often see movies from these other languages, it opens up options! Once I had to go to St.Petersberg Russia for some work, and was amazed to hear spoken Russian words sound almost like pure Sanskrit!

Do try to learn Devbhasha Samskrutam again, it is a very satisfying and enriching experience.

Learn Devbhasha Samskrutam aka Sanskrit

Tilak, applying it on the forehead

A ‘Tilak’ is a mark that a Hindu/a follower of the Sanatan Dharma wears on the his/her body. A average householder wears a tilak on his forehead first thing after having a bath.

When we sleep at night, our consciousness is drawn away from the physical body, ie the anna-mai-kosh. This physical body sheath is given just the basic minimum pran required to run the basic life processes. The individual soul/ Jivatma withdraws to the subtle body, the sookshma sharir during the dream state and deep sleep states. When you wake up in the morning, the consciousness again reanimates the physical body, but the sleep/ dream states have interfered with the body’s nadi/ pran wiring, it is seen in the aura, it is somewhat ‘blotchy’. When we have a bath and the body is made wet, the aura is withdrawn into the body. Now when we dry ourselves, the aura fans out again, you feel it’s warmth. Now this new refreshed body /aura /mind /soul needs to be reminded of its divine connection. So you put a tilak on your forehead at your ajnya chakra. The Ajnya chakra is the seat of the individual soul, this chakra controls the intake of the pran from the Universe and also the allocation of pran for the activities of the body/mind. This is the place where you have to concentrate on when you do your spiritual practice. So when you put a red tilak here you are literally energising your entire self.

Listing out these several types of Tilak-s used commonly,

 

A red dot between the eyebrows at the point of the third eye, ajnya chakra.

This red powder is called Kumkum. It is generally made by mixing ground turmeric powder and slaked lime with a drop of lemon juice. But this mark is really made by rubbing a strand of saffron/kesar in a drop of water. ‘Kumkum’ is a Sanskrit word which means saffron, Crocus sativa. This is the most potent Tilak, if you can afford the saffron strands, you should wear this on your forehead.

This red tilak is used by any person who wishes to acknowledge his higher spiritual self within himself or herself. It is used by both men and women who do puja of Devi, the feminine force who animates this creation. Married women compulsorily wear this on their forehead to indicate prosperity, ‘Shri’. A married woman is the Gruh-Laxmi, the sign of prosperity of the household. She wears this red tilak in recognition of her own divinity. There is variation of the red dot, the red crescent, with or without a round dot. This now represents the crescent moon that the Devi wears on her forehead and increases self-confidence, strength and aggression too.

Then there is a form of this saffron tilak which starts at the third eye Ajnya chakra and continues into the hair, till the top of the head, Brahmarandhra. It is a red line from the center of the eyebrows to the top of the head. It connects the seat of the individual soul, the third eye to the seat of the Ultimate, the Brahmarandhra, it links the two. If you use Kesar/saffron charged with mantra to draw this tilak your spiritual progress speeds up.

(For women the 5 days of the monthly cycle will again pop up.You cannot do pujas or anything on these days, so the modern world has the short cut of the sticker bindi! You can also use the red turmeric mix on these 5days)

The tilak is made even more potent by putting a few grains of raw unbroken rice on it. These rice grains are placed before the deity you worship and they absorb the energy of your puja mantra etc. When you wear the rice grains also on your tilak the energy here becomes magnified exponentially.

The Tripundra. Three parallel lines of Vibhuti/ Bhasma/ sacred ash, horizontally across the forehead.

Vibhuti is the greyish ash which remains when you do a homam. A homam is a small version of a yadnya. All Hindus are supposed to do the Agnihotra Homa every sunrise and sunset so there is ample Vibhuti always available. (A simple Homam does not need much. A small inverted pyramidal copper homa-kund, desi Indian cow’s cowdung cakes and its milk’s Ghee. The cowdung cakes and ghee is burnt in the homa-kund with accompanying mantras. The energy of the mantra enters the ash, the Vibhuti. This Vibhuti can be used in several ways. Often the vibhuti is applied as a simple dot at the third eye chakra.)

  • The three fingers, middle, ring and little finger of the right hand are used to draw the tripundra in a sweeping motion across the forehead. Those who worship Shiv will wear the Tripundra. The tripundra is also drawn on the body, the neck, the biceps, forearms, chest, navel etc.
  • A Tripundra across the forehead with a red dot at the third eye chakra. The red dot is of Kesar/Saffron and the Tripundra drawn using the Vibhuti. This is worn by those who do pujas of the Ugra (dangerous and terrifying) forms of the Devi Shakti. And for those who do puja of Shiv and Shakti together. It’s other variation is the Tripundra with the red vertical line connecting the third eye chakra and the top of the head.

Wearing a Tripundra is a a level-up. You have invited a specific type of energy into yourself. Shiv is the potential energy of the Tama-gun and Devi Shakti is the kinetic active form of Tama-gun. When you put their marks on your forehead you are clearly intending that you desire Moksh. The three lines are the three Gun, Satva Raja and Tama, the building blocks of the creation and red dot represents the combined energy of creation. (A red line represents your real self or connection to your real self.) You are using Vibhuti, burnt ash as to draw the Tripundra. This indicates that you want to destroy the three building blocks of creation and progress onwards. You want to dissolve creation and the creator both and go beyond them to your own Reality. The red dot is made with saffron charged with mantras. It is a big commitment. If you wear these marks on your forehead, you should be aware of your own actions and your conscience at all times. 

The Urdhvapundra. This mark is made by three vertical lines on the forehead. These three lines meet at the third eye chakra. This mark is to be made with sandalwood paste. Sandalwood has the effect of calming down the mind, it is easier to concentrate. The movement of the pran in the nadis becomes less turbulent and you can work better with it. Worshippers of Vishnu draw this on their foreheads. It can be drawn with the fingers or using a stick of the Tulasi plant (Ocimum sanctum). These three lines represent the three main nadis, Ida, Pingala and Sushumna which are connected at the Ajnya chakra. Sometimes the central line of the Urdhvapundra is drawn with red powder or more correctly with saffron. If the Urdhvapundra design is too complicated, a sandalwood dot at the third eye chakra can be applied instead.

Vishnu is the conscious potential of the Satva-gun, it increases the inclination of the aspirant towards the Ultimate reality. The red color is representative of Agni/ pran. Same as the Tripundra, the Urdhvapundra indicates that the three building blocks Satva-Raja-Tama have to be channelised, balanced by the active use of pran/Agni and one they are balanced the central dot of your internal geometry can be accessed. (Everything ultimately comes down to Shrichakra!)

So if you wear either of these marks linked to Vishnu or Shiv the seriousness remains the same. Satva and Tama are by themselves incapable of movement, it is only Raja-gun which moves them so that you can use their potential to move onwards on your spiritual path. You are reminding yourself of your commitment when you wear these special tilak marks.

 

Now how to put a tilak? The right hand is used always,

Ring finger – The best option for putting a tilak on everyone. This finger is called Anamika and is ruled by the Sun. It represents the Prithvi mahabhoot (solidity). It increases prosperity confidence, creativity and brings you closer to your internal divinity.

Middle finger – This finger is called the Madhyama, ruled by Saturn, represents ether, Akash Mahabhoot (ether).  It increases endurance and the capacity to work. It is rarely used alone, generally will be used together with the ring finger to draw an elongated type of tilak.

Thumb – this is called Angushtha and is ruled by Venus and represents the Agni mahabhoot. A tilak applied with the thumb increases valour, courage and mental strength.

Forefinger – The index finger is called Tarjani and represents the Vayu mahabhoot (air), it is also linked to the planet Jupiter. It is never used to apply tilak-s to a living person. Is used to apply tilak-s to a dead body at the time of cremation. A dead body is the discarded vessel, the spirit is now in the body created by only Vayu and Akash mahabhoot. So you are really intending that the energies of the tilak reach the spirit’s body by using this finger.

Little finger – this is called kanishthika and is linked to Mercury and the Aap mahabhoot (fluid). This finger is never used to apply tilak-s. It is highly inauspicious as it increases mental turmoil. If you know how, you can make someone go insane just by putting a tilak with this finger on his third eye chakra.

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In all Indian festivals and pujas, people put tilaks on each other. eg in Raksha bhandhan the sister puts a tilak on her brother. On the new year day, the wife puts it on her husband. If my women relatives come to my house, I will put a tilak on them. If they are men relatives, my husband will put a tilak on them. If you go to a temple the priest will put a tilak on you. It is all very usual and necessary.

But the point of the third eye chakra is very sensitive, so here are a few things. Do not let random people put a tilak on you. Do not put random stuff on here, eg vibhuti from unknown places can be dangerous. Do not put a black colored tilak on your third eye chakra ever. This will attract negativity into your energy system. Avoid chemicals. Most red powders sold as ‘kumkum’ are dangerous dyes, they will not do anything for your spiritual growth and you might develop skin allergy. The turmeric-slaked limestone (a very small pinch of choona) mix is safer, if you cannot afford saffron.

So do wear a tilak on your forehead. If you feel shy about wearing it throughout the day at least wear it for some time after you have your bath till you do your puja. It will energise you from the inside out.

 

What was Soma-ras exactly, alcohol?

One of my friends asked me this question. I know that there are ‘modern’ (in my view, ignorant) scholars who claim that ancient Indian Rishi-Seers ate non-vegetarian food and drank alcohol! Now I really don’t bother about random people saying things but my friend! So this post.

What is tantra? It is complete control on your mind as you attempt practices for gaining complete control on your own vital energy/ pran. You accept the experience with full awareness. And you desire to transcend this experience because you really to experience is your own self ie Moksh. And what is Yog? Here also you control your mind, attempt practices, gain complete control over the pran in your body. But you consciously deny yourself the experience of the manifested as you search for the Ultimate. You are determined to experience nothing but the Ultimate. Both routes are different but require control over the mind and the direction of the pran movement. The genuine practitioners are very different, if you sit near them you feel the ‘grace’, blessings, peace and strength.

Tantra or Yog, are the only possible ways for attaining Moksh. If you invoke the tantric aspect of your deity, you can move very fast on your path. But the pitfalls are extraordinarily dangerous and if you make mistakes, the repercussions are unimaginable. You are required to have complete control over your mind, emotions and actions. You cannot lose your focus in what you are doing, else you will be so badly damaged on the spiritual levels, that it will take innumerable lives to recover. There are several ancient tantriks who made mistakes and are stuck on earth (if ever you visit the ‘burning ghats’/ Smashan in Kashi/Varanasi, you will know what I mean)

All deities have their Tantric ‘variants’. The Ganapati who is considered the most ‘cute’, adorable deity has an extremely terrifying aspect called ‘Uddanda’. This form is with innumerable hands holding multiple weapons, all three eyes open, red with rage, wearing red garments, red aura, lots of ornaments, trumpeting the sound of ‘Om’, dancing the dance of destruction as he systematically destroys everything holding you back in your spiritual progress. If you do his Sadhana, it is like he is intently standing in front of you holding all his weapons, ready to decimate you if you make one single fraction of an error. If you manage to complete his Sadhana he will grant you endless energy, open your Kundalini locks, allow you Moksh and everything.

There are very few genuine tantriks who do pujas of such forms of deities. This is a very arduous method of spiritual practice. This Sadhana is not a ‘short-cut’. The deity grants you energy which energises you from the depths of your soul to the aura which projects outside you. You are first made capable of holding the energy then the energy is given to you and the path will be difficult. But the fundamental premise of Tantra is experience without any sort of engagement. Your deity is an aspect of the Ultimate Reality. As you follow the path shown to you, you will see that not only you, but your deity also evolves. Hereto unknown aspects of his energy will be shown to you, you will experience. Everything essentially is the Parabrahma, the ‘beyond intelligence’. You are the Para, your deity is the Para. Your deity will finally show you this Para form of himself and yourself too. Here is when the deity, the aspirant and the Real all merge. Moksh.

Depression, what does the horoscope say?

But the point comes to this, a genuine aspirant will not do anything which will dampen/distort his energy, or make him lose control over his energy. It takes so much effort to gain one smidgen of control over your energy, you don’t fritter this away! By ‘energy’, I mean the movement of Satva-Raja-Tama, the three- Gun the basic building blocks. You use your pran consciously to control them. This is the goal of all spiritual practice.

In movies and in life, you will see ‘tantriks’, practitioners to be typically creepy individuals. Wearing weird clothing, lots of malas, beads, black tilak on the forehead and general creepiness. I have met some of these practitioners and there was a miasma of negative energy, dark-auras in their rooms and surrounding them. Very suffocating. You feel suppressed, scared and want to get up and run away. (This is not what a real knower of Tantra looks or feels like, I have met some of these too.) These ‘tantriks’ are those degraded individuals who indulge in the lowest forms of energy manipulations and and will do anything the client asks for as long as their payment is right. Mostly these have spirits bound to them who they use as slaves to perform their work. These are the ones who drink alcohol, eat non-veg food etc.

These practicioners have spoilt the reputation of Tantra. Looking for short-cuts and with very material wishes. If you know how, you can go to a cemetery where dead bodies are buried and capture yourself a spirit. A slave you can use. Such slaves are always ready to turn on their masters. Or if you know more (or foolhardy or over-confident), you can visit the aforementioned ‘burning ghats’ of Kashi and bind an ancient tantrik’s spirit. Here your slave is a skilled one (pishachya, brahmarakshas, vetal etc) and can do more. And if it gets a chance it will happily turn on you and cause even more damage. Or there is another option, to go to some place where there is no inhabitation and natural forests. Here you will find spirits linked to the other dimensions who visit these areas, especially on eclipses, twilights, no-moon days and full-moon days. You can strike your bargains and get them to fulfil your wishes. None of this is advisable, but those who are blind in their desire for material gains and power will do it. And later suffer, badly.

And this is not what Tantra really means.

These short-cut tantriks use some other spirit or being as their source of energy. They are not internally that spiritually evolved themselves. Their only ability is to control the spirits using ‘procedures’, rituals and mantra. These spirits desire base/ tamasic gifts, like alcohol, meat, drugs, or sexual contacts, which the tantrik will procure for them so that they will work for him. And one becomes what one associates with, so such a practitioner also eventually becomes such a degraded creature himself. Then while this spirit is associated with them, they experience the higher energy levels which cannot be sustained when their association is broken. So the energy flow has to be consciously brought down in his body too.

Eg you have wire which can carry a current of 50volts. Now you temporarily link it to a second wire so that now it can carry 5000volts current. But this linkage is not possible all the time, the second wire needs a break, say for 12 hours/day (spirits need this, else they go insane). So as the first wire is delinked, there is damage as the wire is not in itself capable of 5000volt. This damage is to be suppressed (it can be repaired only be personal spiritual practice, which these short-cut tantriks will not do). Also at the instant of delinking the residual 5000volts has to be brought down in an instant else it will fry this first wire. So these tantriks drink alcohol.

Alcohol in large quantities lowers down the movement of pran and also your ability to control it. (In the past, my office group had a couple of guys who really liked drinking hard alcohol. During office parties it was very educational to watch them. As they drank progressively larger quantities of alcohol, their auras would progressively get murky and shrink.) Alcohol brings down your energy immediately and this ‘downer’ lasts for a day or so. Non-veg food also acts in the same way and its effect is sustained for a longer time, for a few days. And sexual contact also does the same thing, intimately sharing energy, such tantriks will divert all the extra load into their partner, now both will suffer. If even some normal person does these activities as a habit, you can easily see the effects. His energy body loses its vitality. Alcohol and non-veg are tamasic in nature, the person’s energy will become still, dull, difficult to move etc. (I never advocate avoidance, once in a while, for social reasons, for emotional reasons, for medicinal reasons, for health reasons etc is ok. But mindless over-indulgence will harm. In meats, only fish meat is comparatively safe.)

Depression, what does the horoscope say?

‘Soma-ras’ needs to be explained now. Modern scholars opine that Soma is alcohol which our ancient Seers drank, which is the stupidest thing. Soma-ras is defined by the two great Seers/Rishi of Ayurved, Patanjali and Sushrut, they have written about it.

Soma is another name for Anna, the ‘essence of food’. Anna is the ‘material thing’ of this universe which you use to sustain your mind/ body. This stuff is capable of being disintegrated by Fire/ Agni/ Pran and converted to Pran. In modern terminology, Soma would be something like matter and Pran is somewhat like energy. They both are conscious, intelligent, inseparable and inter-convertible. Soma is considered to be a form of Shakti (the energies are ‘with Uma’) and Pran is considered to be a form of Shiv. Soma is dispersed, it cannot be focussed on. Pran is the concentrated energy, this can be focussed with intention pushed into the thinnest nadi of the body. Soma needs to be converted into Pran for it to be of real use. Now there is one typical nature of Soma powered Pran, it rises up with relatively little effort.

When you eat food, it enters your digestive system where the conscious fire of digestion transforms it. Some of this is absorbed and some part is ejected out. This absorbed essence of food is used in different ways, to sustain the Sapta-dhatu, to sustain the mind/Manas and some is converted to pran/vital energy. The ancient Rishi-s ate specific food which could be converted completely to Pran. This food is called the Soma. Ras means the essence. And Ras also means the infinite intelligent scalar field of unlimited energy. So ‘Soma-ras’ is the subtlest energy of the essence of food. If such a food is eaten, there would be nothing ejected and a big boost of pure pran. This food was eaten before entering into the deepest states of Dhyan-Sadhana. These states would be maintained for long periods of time, even years. Rishi Patanjai clearly says that there are herbs-Oushadhi, which can be used to deepen the Dhyan states and achieve Moksh. But we do not have the details with us (continuous onslaughts of invaders targeted our temples, which were our institutions of learning and the teacher, the Brahmins who knew. No wonder this age is called the Kali-yug, all real knowledge is lost to us.)

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If you find this difficult to believe, try this small experiment. The hypothesis is, if you eat food which has higher spiritual energy, it is more easily and completely converted to Pran. There would be very little matter ejected and your aura/ energy will improve. So eat a dal/rice for 3 days. The dal should be only mung bean dal (Vigna radiata). And the rice should be unpolished. Add one spoon ghee (made from Indian desi humped cow milk) and some sea-salt/ rock-salt and turmeric as per your taste. If you find it tasteless, put some jira/Cumin seeds or 1pod of elaichi/ Cardamom or a bit of ground ginger in it as it cooks. This is the most Satvic-energy combination, where you have protein, carbohydrates, fats, mineral, turmeric in one dish. See what effect it has on your energy.

So, to conclude, Soma-ras is the purest essence of food, which is not available to us now. It is definitely not alcohol. Alcohol downs your energy instantly. Our ancient Rishi-s did not eat tamasic foods. They were Seers, realised souls, or aspirants who were actively working towards realization. Some of us are also actively pursuing this goal. So if you can, try to reduce your non-veg/ alcohol intake and sexual activity to reasonable limits. Mindlessly indulging in these will reduce the quantum of your pran and also affect your ability to manipulate it.

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The Four Navratri and Devi puja

A quick post today on the Devi.

At present, this is the Hindu Ashwin month and the bright fortnight, Shukla paksh. The first 9 days of this month from the first day, Pratipada to the ninth day, Navami are dedicated to the worship of the Devi Shakti. She is the active energy of the Tamo-gun the wife of Mahadev-Shiv.

On each day, one of her forms is worshipped and on the tenth day, Dasera/ Vijayadashmi the puja comes to a conclusion. This puja is called the Nav-ratri, the nine-nights and also called Durga-puja. The theme is that Devi fought against the armies of the demons, killing their army-generals on each day and killed their King, Mahishasur on the tenth day. This story is described in the book Durga Saptashati/ Devi Mahatmya.

These nine day/nights are full of joy and power as everyone worships the Devi in whatever form they feel drawn to. If you are drawn to the Saumya forms you will worship these, Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kaalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidhatri forms of the Devi. Regular people should do pujas of only these forms of the Devi.

(The Ugra forms of the Devi are the 10 Mahavidya-s, Kali, Tara, Shodashi, Bhuvaneshvari, Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, Matangi, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi (Valagamukhi) and Kamala. Normal people should not worship these as these are quite Ugra, very strict and terrifying. Make one mistake in their pujas and you will be in serious trouble. There are some astrologers who give mantras of these Devi’s as remedies to clients. Avoid. It can backfire quite spectacularly.)

In West India, people play Garbha, it is a dance to songs in praise of the Devi. This is performed at night for the Devi. In North India people do puja of Vishnu in his Ram form at night and celebrate by enacting his Ramayan story in public performances called Ram-Lila. Which to my mind makes no sense as this period should be utilized to the max for personal spiritual growth. But then Garbha and even the Ram-Lila is good for the general public.

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Now a secret, there are actually 4 Nav-ratri in a year. All four of them have a different energy character. The real aspirant of the Devi will know how to use each one of them differently. The first 9 nights, Nav-ratri of the bright half, Shukla-paksha of the four months named Chaitra, Ashadh, Ashwin and Magh are brimming with energy. One should use them actively, not waste even one single night.

The navratri in Chaitra month (March-April) is full of solar energies. The energies go outward, radiate. You can feel the lightness and the golden radiance during these days/nights. Most people worship Ram/ Vishnu and some worship the Devi during this period. The Indian new year also starts with Chaitra, the first day of this navratri. (This was the day Shri Ram was crowned the King of Ayodhya as per the original Sanskrit Ramayan). This Navratri ends with Ram-navmi, dedicated to worship of Ram/Vishnu. The Devi is in a mature and happy form here. So any pujas you perform with her in mind are very successful.

Then the Ashadh month is the monsoon (June-July). The Navratri which falls in this month is called the secret/ Gupt navratri, ordinary people do not even know about this. This period is highly conducive for all types of energy manipulations, tantra and secret pujas. The Devi is in her contemplative form here, rather serious and silent. Here her pujas are also secret and serious. If you worship a Ugra/terrifying form of the Devi this navratri would give you the best results. This is just for information, do not attempt these things without a proper Guru.

The Ashwin navrati is full of lunar energies so is the best for Devi puja. So if you really want to get that push, do not waste even one night of these nine nights. The Devi is in her benevolent form, ready to be pleased. So whatever simple pujas you perform with intention, she will accept as a doting mother does. This is going on at present and everyone is doing something special for Her.

Then is the Magh navratri (January-February). This is a highly auspicious period. On the fourth day/chaturthi of this navratri, Ganapati is worshipped. This is one of the best days in the year for any puja of Ganapati. (The other is the Bhadrapad Shukla chaturthi). Ganapati is the energy who allows the aspirant entry into the Brahmanadi. He is the pratham-pujya, the one who is worshipped first. Then on the fifth day-panchami of this Nav-ratri, the Devi in her Saraswati form is worshipped. This day is called Vasant-panchami and is exclusive for Gayatri mantra sadhana. The seventh day-Saptami of this navratri, is for worshipping the Sun, it is called Rath-saptami. These three days of this navratri are very powerful in themselves, all Hindus will do pujas on these days. But if you are performing some Devi puja in the background for the nine days, your power will be enhanced even more.

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So what Devi puja should you do? Most families/cultures have their own system for worshipping the Devi, so follow whatever your culture, home-tradition does. Some set up a kalash for the pujas, some will bring an idol of the Devi and then immerse it in the sea on the tenth day, some people fast etc. It is all very joyful and full of energy. Keep your intention clear and your faith pure.

But for the more serious aspirant, read the Devi Mahatmya /Durga Saptashati. Read it in Sanskrit, not some translated version. Even if you do not understand what you are reading the mantra-s will do their work. There are some rules on how to read it, in which order the chapters should be recited and the use of the Nav-avarna mantra etc. There are typical ways of reading it and also for doing other types of rituals using mantras from it, but these things are not for general people. So do not over-think and get confused. You should read the Devi Mahatmya just as you would read a book, from page one to the last page with full intention and faith. (Use the Gita press version of the book, Durga_Saptashati.) Or if you cannot read it (most of us have forgotten our real mother tongue Devbhasha Samskrutam), this is a very beautiful rendition by Premprakash Dubey, perfect pronunciation and voice, it is for 2hrs 20mins. Listen to it in its entirety, everyday of the Navratri if you can. Or if you cannot spare the time, listen to one chapter per day (something is always better than nothing).

Now again for the serious aspirant. The real Devi puja is always performed at night, from 9-pm to 3-am. This period is very useful for doing any sort of practice where you need to still your mind and focus. The dominating gun during this period is called the Vishuddha-Tama-gun. It is enveloping, still and very dense, so the mind cannot wander much. So when you give your mind a mantra and focus it will follow your Will more easily. Try it for yourself.

There was a question in the Contact form on using the mantras from the Devi Mahatmya book. Do understand that these are quite powerful and their detailed use cannot be described through a blog. But if you do even this much with intention, the Devi will give you what you desire and if you need to do more complicated pujas, She will arrange it for you.

Indian festivals are full of joy and happiness. There is energy radiating everywhere, whatever you do, do it with all your heart. Even if you offer Her one single flower with your full intention she will accept it. She is not outside of you, She is your own conscience. If you are satisfied with what you have done, so will She. So enjoy the Navratri and may the blessings of the Devi be on you.

(Edit: The names of the names of the 4 Nav-ratris are Kaal-ratri, Maha-ratri Moha-ratri and Darun-ratri. These are described in the Tantrokta Ratri sukta from the Devi Mahatmya. This is my favourite sukta, have listened to this rendition for hours on a loop and also performed its homa.)

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Karma of giving away energy

Our energy is always in movement as the universe does not allow stillness. You always move, your thoughts, your body parts, your mind, your vital energy/pran. If you are a part of the Universe, you have to be a part of the movement. You are always exchanging energy, when you speak to others, when you listen, when you eat food cooked by others, when others eat food cooked by you, when you sit next to someone in the bus, all the time. In our lives, we are required to interact with a lot of people, either directly in person or indirectly. When we touch other, eg hug, shake hands, or brush against each other in the train, ie the body touches, the intensity of energy exchange is higher. The heaviest energy exchange occurs when people are physically intimate with each other.

Combust and caizimi planets

A small experiment which you can try out. If you know to see auras, try seeing your and your loved one’s (husband/wife/child) auras interacting. Both sit about 2 feet away from each other and relax. Now in 5 mins or so, on your side where he is sitting, you will feel warmth on your bare skin. Your cheek and neck areas are more sensitive to this. If you focus on the 2 ft space between you two, will see tiny glittery bits separating from your aura, very gently swirling and being absorbed in his aura and likewise. These are very beautiful glitter, their movement is almost hypnotic. Auras of two people never mix, there remains clear boundary always. (I have seen the auras of two people mixing completely just like water-colors do, only once in my life.) The energy exchange is through these glittery particles. If you both are feeling exceptionally peaceful, ask your child to come and sit between you, he will fall asleep in 5 mins! This is the exchange of energy. You and your loved one are very comfortable with each other, so the aura exchange is beautiful, gentle, soothing. Aura exchange between 2 people on similar energy levels is always pleasant. But if this were some random stranger sitting next to you in a train the quality of the exchange would be different. And if it were someone tired, depressed and unhappy it would be even worse for you.

Some of us have an extra load on us, we are bound by karma to give out more energy than we perhaps receive from others. Eg a doctor has to touch people in pain, suffering from diseases. He not only diagnoses them but also gives a part of his energy to them. The higher self of the patient requests relief and the higher self of the doctor spontaneously gives. A psychiatrist has to listen to others suffering from unbalanced energies of the mind. A lawyer has to always argue, and listen to arguments, lie himself and listen to lies. All involve energy.

Everyone is bound by karma to serve. This ‘service’ you perform for others is the domain of the 6th house. If these others are on a lower energy level than you, oppressed in trouble, in pain, disturbed, then you give of your energy. Look at the horoscopes of professionals who are required to interact with the public in a big way eg doctors, astrologers, lawyers, teachers, counsellors, politicians, police-officers etc, you will note certain similarities. In the birth chart, where the rising sign/ascendant is the first house you will see,

  • A loaded 6th house, occupied or aspected by several planets. These planets determine your ‘partner’ in this energy service.
  • Or the lord of the 6th occupying important houses which define the personality and environment.
  • Or the Virgo sign occupying such important houses.
  • Or heavy duty planets influencing Virgo sign, wherever it may be placed in the horoscope.
  • Or Mercury being very prominent in the horoscope and under the influence of powerful planets.

And even in the birth Moon chart where the sign occupied by the Moon is counted as the first house, you will see these same combinations. In this Moon chart, the 6th house counted from the Moon represents the sufferings of the astral body and the service required of you in the astral planes.

I know a horoscope where the Moon himself is placed in the 6th house from the ascendant, so the physical environment of the person, especially during the childhood from 3.5yrs to 22yrs was spent travelling in trains everyday, causing a loss of energy by brushing against adults travelling. This person used to fall ill a lot in childhood, diseases related to ‘coldness’, as the energy of the body was being drained. Also his mother was a continual source of energy loss. Then Saturn was in the 12th house counted from the ascendant, ie placed in the 6th house counted from the Moon. This person was plagued by spirits and other dimensional beings always after him demanding, he could not deep sleep, was always roaming in the astral. This used to scare him, he lost a lot of energy this way too and also fell seriously ill.

So losing energy is a part of life and is also connected to your horoscope placements. But the thing is that you should be aware of what is happening and take corrective action asap.

Karma of giving away energy

I always emphasise grounding cleansing and shielding, wrote a full post on this.

  • Grounding is giving away the negativity to the earth, sort of ‘earthing’ oneself. This is very easy, walk barefoot on the ground for a few minutes once a day and its done.
  • Cleansing is like using energy directly or through tools like, lemons, sea-salt etc. Here you are actively removing the deep seated negative energies, evil eye etc using these tools, ideally once a week is necessary but you can do these cleansing methods daily too if you want to. (Peacock feathers, sprinkling Ganga water, sea salt, rice, pendulums, can be used daily.)
  • Every culture has a system of removing the ‘evil eye ie deep-cleansing. In India the most popular one is this. It is done on a Tuesday or Saturday evening. The oldest person in the house does it for everyone in the family and also for himself if required. He makes paper packets, a separate one for each person. Each packet has 3 dry red chillis, 3 pinches of sea-salt, 3 pinches of black mustard seeds and 3 drops of mustard oil. The intention is to remove the negative energy adhering to the person. This packet is waved over the head of the person 3 times in the clockwise direction and put in a fire. As it burns the evil eye is removed. I have seen that if the negativity was more, the packet burns up strangely and very fast. But this method is a bit harsh on the energy body, sort of scrubs it out!, so it is best performed just once a week.
  • Shielding is essential, you can use a chi-ball to create your energy shield or as I have described in this post on astral defense. This is a daily affair, will take maybe 30seconds in the morning and you can refresh it during the day if you feel like it. Then jewellery, if you can afford gold, silver or copper, you can infuse the metal with the intention to shield and wear it. Amulets are also a good way of combining shielding with fashion. Black threads are worn on the wrist or ankle etc. There are several ways to go about shielding yourself, choose one or a few which appeal to you.

People in high-contact activities should take more care of themselves. They should do activities which increase pran, I have listed these out in my earlier posts, eg sitting in the early morning sunlight, surya-namaskar, visiting high-pran, sea-shore, pine-forests, mountains, etc areas in their holidays, using oil for massage, eat fresh food, fresh vegetable and fruits are very good, keeping tulasi plants in the house. There are so many ways you can do this, just go through my earlier posts for several very easy ways. It is not very complicated either, try to remember/find-out what your grand-parents used to do, what kind of life-style they used to follow. Try to follow that as far as possible. This will be more connected to nature/vital energy and also appropriate to your home-culture also.

And the most important thing is to do your spiritual practice where you sit on your Asan, focus on your third eye chakra, count your breath, 108 breaths, use a mantra Om/ Soham or Hamsa with every breath (will take 20mins) and then sit in the same attitude for at least 10 more mins. Give yourself these 30mins at least once a day, it will replenish your pran from the inside out!

No one is exempted from this binding of the 6th house, serve / suffer, this is the way you have chosen to complete your karmic binding. The only people exempted and that too to some extent are those who choose to leave the society ie take Sanyas and are never seen in habitations again. The very very rare few. These Sanyasi’s choose to dedicate their energies to ‘stillness’. They still the movement of vital energy in their bodies, create a huge potential and then move. They, then, shoot up this pran and then the Kundalini through their Sushumna right to to the top and attain Moksh.

 

Quality of Life

(This post is a response to this comment from the contact form. ‘I often find myself in a dilemma when I read your posts because you stress upon not touching others and rightfully. I am a therapist by profession and live in a city. I work with children and adolescents and naturally offer handshakes and hugs. I also travel in public buses. I wonder if we are required by karma to share our energy with others? Especially the children in my case? How does one protect then, since certain circumstances cannot be avoided. Thank you for your sound advice’)