Energy of the bamboo plant and Anteyshthi

Someone asked me if we should not use Agarbatti in pujas as it contains a thin sliver of bamboo. He thought bamboo to be inauspicious because it used for laying out the dead bodies for the Anteyshthi Sanskar. This is faulty thinking as leaving the physical body and its subsequent Anteyshthi is not an inauspicious activity. In fact Anteyshthi is a Sanskar, the ‘right and auspicious action’.

(I am from Konkan. The houses in our villages are built in large plots, wadis, surrounded by trees and bamboos. We use bamboos in several ways and also the young shoots/rhizomes are eaten in a curry. We do not consider it to be inauspicious.)

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I encourage everyone to learn to see auras. It is a useful skill as it gives you a basic idea on whether the person, object, place, ‘haunted’ places, sound or even the thought process you are being exposed to is positively or negatively charged. And you can then act accordingly to protect yourself or open yourself more to the energy. You can also monitor your own aura and take corrective actions in time.

If you can see auras or even sense the energy of objects, do check out the aura of a live bamboo plant or a cut bamboo stick. It is a unique plant on the energy levels, ie its aura is completely neutral. Its energy does not interfere, overlap, impinge or influence the auras of other things put on it, through it or the activities and energy events going on around it etc. No other plant has this sort of energy property.

(Kusha grass or Darbha grass also has unique energy properties, but it is used in activities involving living humans)

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The Anteyshthi is the last Sanskar, the most important one. This compound word can be understood as ‘the Ishti of the Antah’.

  • Antah – agreeable, handsome, nature, condition, inside, presence, proximity, whole amount, certainty, settlement, death, end, destruction, final, term, boundary, edge etc.
  • Ishthi – sacrifice, fruit, desire, request, wish, endeavour, something that is wanted or needed, invitation, acceleration, impulse, order, despatch, seeking. etc

Put these above word meanings together to get an idea of the grandness of this event on so many levels.

Even after the jivatma exits from the shell it is still subtly linked to it. The Anteyshti uses this link to power the individual soul and gives it the generated energy for moving out of the Martyalok, the physical world and reaching the Pitrulok, dimension of the departed jivatma, safely. It is a very precise process and the slightest energy interference can cause issues for the individual soul’s journey. The jivatma is already tired after living on the Martyalok for so long and wants to go to its deigned dimension as soon as possible. Several intense mantra are performed on the discarded body by the heir to generate maximum energy during its dissolution by Agni. It is a yajnya, ie an evolution of the highest level. The Anteyshthi is an auspicious process, the energy generated is positive. The fire is the conscious Agni who ensures protection. The Shmashan, ie the place where this is happening is a high energy place, ie it is the residence of Bhagwan Shankar and its energies are equivalent to a Devalaya. 

Thus the bamboo mat on which the body is laid out is the perfect container for this purpose. This specific requirement of the Anteyshthi, ie energy neutrality for the dead body is fulfilled only by this bamboo mat.

In fact bamboo is known to be a thermal insulator. Compressed bamboo sheets are used as building material in cold areas. Do learn to see auras and see for yourself how this ‘thermal insulator’ material is in fact an ‘energy insulator on so many levels.

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Ever wondered why the flute, Vamshika is so soothing? Why its music can stir deep emotions in your heart? Or trigger long lost memories from your past? Or show you flashes of your past lives? The inherent energy neutrality of the bamboo plant is the reason why bamboo flutes are so powerful. The emotion of the flautist, the power of the Saptasvar, and energy the melody is expressed by the Vamshika, as it is. Music from a bamboo flute is pure in that sense and impacts you in a way no other musical instrument can. If you are in a really contemplative mood, or want to use music consciously for its power, listen to flautists who play Bharatiya Raga on bamboo flutes.

(I find the native American flute music played by native Americans to be the most evocative. It is a strange mix of sadness, pain, betrayal, longing and yet pure beauty.)

So the Bamboo plant is definitely not inauspicious, it is one of the purest materials. And if you want to use agarbatti for your pujas, go ahead, its all good.

 

Tie a black thread as a shield

There was a question and I felt that a small post on this would be useful. You can charge a black thread with intention and tie it on your body. It is a sort of an amulet. This is how you do it.

  • You will need about 1m black thread. Choose one which is neither too thick or too thin and can be knotted securely. 
  • Do this on an amavasya (ie a no moon day) or any Tuesday or Saturday is also acceptable. 
  • Do this after you get ready in the morning. Sit in front of your deity, light a deepak, incense etc, do your daily puja as per your schedule. Specifically pray to your deity for protection.
  • Then hold the thread in your hand, intend that your deity will now protect you with this thread.
  • Mentally recite the Durga Saptashloki from the Devi Mahatmya. There are 7 shloks in this.

॥ श्रीदुर्गासप्तश्लोकी ॥
ॐ अस्य श्रीदुर्गासप्तश्लोकीस्तोत्रमहामन्त्रस्य । नारायण ऋषिः । अनुष्टुपादीनि छन्दांसि ।
श्रीमहाकालीमहालक्ष्मीमहासरस्वत्यो देवताः । श्री जगदम्बाप्रीत्यर्थ पाठे विनियोगः ॥

ज्ञानिनामपि चेतांसि देवि भगवती हि सा ।
बलादाकृष्य मोहाय महामाया प्रयच्छति ॥१॥

दुर्गे स्मृता हरसि भीतिमशेषजन्तोः स्वस्थैः स्मृता मतिमतीव शुभां ददासि ।
दारिद्रयदुःखभयहारिणि का त्वदन्या सर्वोपकारकरणाय सदार्द्र चित्ता ॥२॥

सर्वमंगलमांगल्ये शिवे सर्वार्थसाधिके ।
शरण्ये त्र्यम्बके गौरि नारायणि नमोऽस्तु ते ॥३॥

शरणागतदीनार्तपरित्राणपरायणे ।
सर्वस्यार्तिहरे देवि नारायणि नमोऽस्तु ते ॥४॥

सर्वस्वरूपे सर्वेशे सर्वशक्तिसमन्विते ।
भयेभ्यस्त्राहि नो देवि दुर्गे देवी नमोऽस्तु ते ॥५॥

रोगानशेषानपहंसि तुष्टा रुष्टा तु कामान् सकलानभीष्टान् ।
त्वामाश्रितानां न विपन्नराणां त्वामाश्रिता ह्याश्रयतां प्रयान्ति ॥६॥

सर्वाबाधाप्रशमनं त्रैलोक्यस्याखिलेश्वरि ।
एवमेव त्वया कार्यमस्मद्वैरि विनाशनम् ॥७॥

If you cannot recite it then you can also listen to it. But do try to learn it, just 7 lines, and is very useful.

  • With every shlok you recite, tie 1 knot randomly into your thread so as you finish reciting there will be 7 knots in total on the thread.
  • Blow on the thread and visualise the energy of the Durga Saptashloki mantra entering the thread.
  • Hold it in your cupped hand, focus on the Devi Chamunda for a bit.
  • Your thread is ready. Tie this thread on your (or your loved one’s) right ankle or wrist or around the neck.
  • Wrap it a few times on the wrist/ankle and fasten it using three knots.

I recommend the Durga Saptashloki because it carries the power of the entire Devi Mahatmya. It is also the easiest way to protect yourself. You invoke the Devi Chamunda in her fiercest aspect to protect you. In addition to wearing this thread, if you can recite the Saptashloki daily or at least on every Tuesday and Saturday, it will make your shield more powerful.

If you have faith on some other mantra to protect you, then you can use it. But be very clear on what mantra you are using. It should be in Sanskrit and from some standard reference book. However the procedure for charging and tying it remains the same. Recite the mantra in your mind and for every shlok tie a knot on your thread intending that its energy enters the thread and remains there as a knot.

This thread will need to be replaced in about 3 to 6 months depending on the intensity of the evil eye that might attack you. This is how to do it. First prepare a new thread as above and tie it on your wrist/ ankle/ neck. Then use scissors to cut off the old thread. Dispose the old thread in running water or under some green trees where generally no one will step on it. 

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Sleeping under the night skies

The current human population is disconnected from the skies and the celestial bodies in it. We are indoors all the time, inside the office during the day and within the house at night. In fact thanks to the PU soles of our shoes we have lost all connection with the Earth too. The ancient cultures would honor the Sky Father and the Earth Mother and there was a perfectly deep reason for it. The Skies guide us and the Earth supports us, even today, but now we are unaware of their presence in our lives. 

Till very recently, we would regularly walk about under the Sun, his energy would directly enter our body, mind and individual souls. Now, with our heads buried in our screens, we rarely look up at the skies and the direct sun rays do not fall on our bodies. Technically the best time to be under the Sun is at sunrise or sunset. But we simply do not look up to him anymore.

At night the situation is even worse with the intense dust and light pollution. We have completely forgotten that the Moon, the Stars and the inky black night skies even exist above us. Children living in the cities are the most unfortunate ones in this respect. They do not know how beautiful the night sky is. And this disconnect is messing up everything on so many levels.

Earlier, during our grandparents generation, sleeping outside, ie on the terrace of the house was a regular feature. People would sleep outside on those typical cots with the coir netting. I remember when I was a child, whenever we visited my native village or my Guru’s Math, sleeping under the night sky was so exciting, magical. My Dad would teach me the Nakshatra visible above. Even today, I try to maximise my time under the night skies (as the weather permits) and point out the graha and Nakshatra to my son.

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As per Sanatan Dharma, we are required to sleep outside for one night under the full Moon of the Ashvin month (Kojagiri/ Sharad Purnima). The Moon is nearest to the Earth on this day and his power is very strong and auspicious. We fast during the day and at night we offer the Moon a sweet milk based Naivedya and drink it as a prasadam (desi cow milk with saffron, sugar etc boiled for hours under the Moonlight, it is called Basundi). 

Sleeping under the night skies is one of the best remedies for balancing the Moon and easing the Mind related issues. And it is not possible anymore for most of us. Thus the increase in mental issues, depression, anxiety etc. This emotional imbalance is a direct effect of this unprecedented change in our lifestyle. We have deprived ourselves of the soothing and supportive rays of the Moon and Nakshatra.

So here is what you can do. Try to be under the light of the full Moon, Purnima for a few hours, once a month. If you can sleep outside under the skies for the entire night, it would be the best thing. Also try to be under the night skies when the current Moon transits your birth Moon Nakshatra, ie once a month. Then during the Ashwin Purnima, try to be under the Moon for as long as you can, this will be once a year. Even if you can do this much it will be a very big support for your mind. As you lie under the night skies, try to locate the 27 nakshatra and the other important stars in the skies, it is a fascinating exercise. 

There is one important Star, Tara, whom we have completely forgotten in the recent times. It is visible only in the northern hemisphere, ie the Pole star, Dhruv tara. At present I am getting several questions on Reiki. An interesting Reiki factoid is that Mikao Usui’s family emblem is the emblem of the deity Bodhisatva Myoken, the Dhruv tara personified. This symbol combines the Sun, Moon and a Star or more correctly the Bindu, in a very beautiful manner.

Dhruv tara is the embodiment of the highest realm of consciousness. So as you drift off to sleep under the night skies do focus on the North star for a few minutes. Doing Tratak on the stars is a very useful exercise, and the Dhruv tara is perfect for the purpose. 

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(My readers want me to write simple posts).

Pure soil and its use in pujas

The purest soil that you can get is the soil from the termitaria. Termites are very common in the forests of Sal, Shorea robusta or in  other tropical and temperate forests. In healthy forests, they build a huge number of termitaria, one at almost every 10 sq.m. I live about 1hr away from such forests so I always have a supply of its pure soil in my puja room. If you come across such termitaria, keep a small block of this soil in your house. When harvesting the soil, choose a block which seems to be abandoned by the termites and sincerely thank the termites for this gift. This soil is a living energy, auspicious, pure and is used for several pujas. It has the highest capacity to absorb mantra etc recited over it and has the highest ability to reflect their power back to you. It is a solid stable energy and the results of this puja will give similarly solid results which will act as a foundation for several auspicious things in life.

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The most common use of this soil is in making a Parthiv Shivlingam for pujas. As the lingam is created using soil, Pruthvi, it is called Parthiv. Shiv pujas performed on such a lingam made of generate very high levels of power. Try to perform such a puja on every monthly Shivratri or at least the Mahashivratri night or on the Mondays of Shravan month. The best time to perform such pujas is the 4th prahar of the night.

This soil is also to create a moorti of the Naag on Naag Panchami day for pujas. Also use this soil to create a moorti of Hartalika Devi for her pujas on Bhadrapad Shukla Trutiya. Or to create a moorti of the Devi for the Mangala Gauri pujas on the Tuesdays of Shravan month. This soil is the ideal material to create Ganapati moortis for Bhadrapad Shukla Chaturthi. During Diwali, some people do pujas of Devi Laxmi moorti created out of soil.

In case you do any of these pujas do use the termitoria soil to make the moortis, you will feel the difference immediately. Use turmeric, vermillion, saffron and bhasma to add color to the moorti. Unfortunately we have switched to Plaster of Paris for making such moortis eg Ganapati Puja moortis are all made with this non-living chemical material. It has no power to absorb the mantra pujas being done on it and no ability to reflect it back to the devotees. Avoid using this material in your moortis for pujas. They are very beautiful are of little use in the energy sense.

After doing pujas this moorti or the lingam made of termitaria soil is put in flowing water, ie its actual Visarjan, is done. This ensures that the residual energy of the mantra is released into the water. Water is the repository, ie the collective memory of everything that gets deposited into it. So when such a Parthiv moorti is deposited into water, its auspiciousness, the power of the mantra recited on it and the pure intentions of the devotees all merge into the waters of that area, increasing the overall auspiciousness of that water and eventually the land. We eat food produced from this land and drink water from these water bodies. Returning the energy back to the soil and water in gratitude is inbuilt in our way of life.

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And since we are on the subject of insects and the purity of their homes, one Guru once told me why we put out sugar for black ants. It is not only as a gesture of gratitude but wherever there are black ants, Sakshat Dharma is present in that place. Black ants are the embodiment of Dharma. You can test this. If you live in an area where people live according to Dharma you will find these small sized black ant-hills scattered around the place. And in localities where people have adopted Adharma as their way of life, there will be no black ant hills. So here is one more practice which you can adopt if you feel like it, putting out some sugar for black ants once in a while.

In fact the Naag panchami puja is supposed to be done on site, ie at such a black ant hill or the termitaria. You are supposed to go to the wild / forest areas to perform these mantra for the Naag. 

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There are no superstitions in Sanatan Dharma, just a heightened awareness of energy dynamics and the intentions powering us all. This is why this is called the Eternal Foundation and everyone must try to stick to it as much as possible.

Deepavali Utsav of Sanatan Dharma

A very short post on Deepavali.

Deepavali or Deepotsav is not a tradition nor a ritual nor a celebration nor a way of life.

Deepavali is Dharma.

Every follower of Sanatan Dharma is required to follow these specific Dharmic activities in these days. These days are overloaded with energy which must be channelised into our lives, our bodies, minds and souls in a positive way. You have to invoke energy of the highest levels, call on the Eternal Consciousness and generate positive intentions. The power of this time, space and the mantra power your intention and turn your desires into reality. This happens only once a year so make the most of it.

ॐ दीपज्योतिः परंब्रह्म दीपज्योतिर्जनार्दनः।
दीपो हरतु मे पापं संध्यादीपः नमोस्तु ते॥ ॐ 

This week long Deepotsav starts with

Rama Ekadashi – Ashwin Krishna Ekadashi – Here we do pujas of Devi Laxmi in her form named ‘Ramaa’ रमा. This word means opulence, splendour, good fortune, wife, the one who is constantly engaged in happiness, also the one who constantly grants us happiness. We request the Devi to keep us always happy and ensure prosperity in all forms in our life.

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Govatsa Dvadashi – Ashwin Krishna Dvadashi – on this day we do pujas of a desi humped cow and her calf and we feed them sweet food, ie chapati with jaggery is also a good option. This is in gratitude for all that the cow does for us, from giving us her milk to energising our surroundings by her mere presence. Being grateful is the first step towards the divine, genuine gratitude is a rare emotion, so try to feel this today for the Go who nourishes us on so many levels.

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Dhana Trayodashi – Ashwin Krishna Trayodashi – on this day we do pujas of Bhagwan Dhanvantari. We request him to free us from all types of aliments, ie the Aadhyatmik, Aadhidaivik and Aadhibhoutik sources of pain, to keep us healthy and grant us Arogya, complete health and Ayusha, complete life. We also request him to grant us the Amrut, ie the essence of non-death.

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Naraka Chaturdashi – Ashwin Krishna Chaturdashi – on this day Shri Krishna killed Narakasur and freed the 16000 women who were imprisoned by him. The esoteric meaning is that we pray to the Eternal controller of the Mahapran of this Universe to energise the 16000 nadis in our body, to remove all blockages in them. To elevate our consciousness from the merely human to the Eternal. We request him to annihilate the Narakarur, ‘the dissonance/karma that the individual soul/ jivatma suffers under’. We request him to take up his Sudarshan chakra, ie use the power of time/space in motion, to remove all Adharma and to establish Dharma in our life.

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Deepavali Amavasya – Ashwin Amavasya – this is the biggest and the most powerful Amavasya of the year. The radiance that the Devi is clearly shines forth. Everyone must do pujas of the Devi in some form on this Amavasya. Depending on the cultural context, Devi Laxmi or Devi Kali or Devi Lalitatripursundari or any other form of the Devi Prakruti is worshipped on this day. This day comes only once a year, make the most of it.

The Chaitra month is the start of the solar year, so we worship Shri Ram in this month. Our new year still begins with the day when Shri Ram was crowned as the King of Ayodhya. As per the Valmiki Ramayan, Ravan was killed on Phalgun Amavasya and Shri Ram Rajyabhishek was on Chaitra Shukla Pratipada, a new era. So our new year even today is in remembrance of our King, Raja Ram. We reaffirm the King is always Raja Ram, none other. Then Ram Navmi is a celebration of his birthday also falls in this month. This month is the best for performing Satyanarayan puja. 

And exactly 6 months later is the Ashwin month. The lunar energies are at the maximum, so we worship the Devi in all her forms. We celebrate the Ashwin Navratri, the brightest energy of the Devi, either the Dasha Mahavidya are worshipped or the Nav-Durga. Vijayadashmi is the puja of Devi Durga as she vanquishes the Mahishasur, ie ‘the great dissonant energy of the limited self ego’. The Kojagiri Pournima of the Sharad Rhutu is exclusively for pujas of the Moon.

So Ashwin Amavasya is the day when the Devi is all powerful, listening and ready to give you what you desire if only you ask her. So make it a point to request and ask her to give you what you really desire.

ॐ शुभं करोतु कल्याणं | आरोग्यं धन संपदा | शत्रुबुद्धिः विनाशाय | दीपः ज्योतिः नमोस्तुते || ॐ 

Tripur, Tripurari, Tripursundari

Kartik Shukla pratipada.

On this day the husband gets gifts for his wife and she in turn blesses him with all auspiciousness. Children do namaskar to their elders and are given gifts / blessings on this day. Businessmen start their new financial year on this day, they do pujas of their workplace and of the account books. Devi Shri is willing to give all prosperity to all new endeavours started on this day.

  • Bali pratipada – In Dakshin Bharat, this day is for remembering Raja Mahabali. We think of him with gratitude and respect and request him to grant us his specific power, knowledge, wisdom, humility and his ability to completely surrender to the Eternal Divine. (River Narmada is the dividing line between Uttar and Dakshin Bharat)
  • Govardhan Puja – In Uttar Bharat, this day is celebrated as Govardhan Puja. The mountain Govardhan is worshipped, we request protection and nourishment from him. Also Shri Krishna is worshipped as the eternal protecter of Dharma.

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Yama Dvitiya – Kartik Shukla pratipada. This day is called Bhai dooj or Bhau beej. On this day sisters bless their brothers with all auspiciousness. The brothers get their sisters gifts and promise their protection.

This day is in remembrance of Bhagwan Yam and his twin sister Devi Yamuna. Yam is the ability to control and Yamuna is the ability to use this controlled power in the right way. These two are the children of Suryadev and his wife Devi Sanjana.

In Sanatan Dharma, the woman always has more power to give on the energy levels. And the men have more power to give on the physical levels. So it is her responsibility to protect her brothers, husband and children with her energy. And it is their duty to protect her in the physical sense. There is always a fair exchange of energy in Dharma. 

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During the Deepotsav, we cook sweet dishes with our own hands, offer them to everyone, share them with our relatives and loved ones. The house is decorated, garlands/ toran of marigold flowers and mango leaves are tied on the doors. Paper lanterns are hung outside the house. Earthen lamps with sesame oil are lit and placed inside and outside the house at the evening twilight. We draw Rangoli /Kolam outside the main door, these designs are from the mandala derived from the Shri chakra. The household deities are worshipped with all devotion. We wear new clothes, go to the local temple and offer our prayers to the deity who protects our town. Elders are respected and children are given gifts. Firecrackers are burst and there is a general feeling of happiness and exhilaration all around. These are beautiful days.

During Deepotsav we request our deities, ie Devi Ramaa, Shri Dhanvantari, Shri Krishna, Shri Yam, Devi Yamuna, Devi Mahamaya to establish Dharma and help us walk the Dharmic path. But this can happen when we also behave in a way that assures Them that we are serious about what we are asking. So if you feel it in your hearts, do this following scheduled Dharma everyday of your life, no exceptions.

  1. In the morning after you have a bath etc, give Argya to the Sun, ie a cupful of water poured in the direction of the Sun, with a simple ‘Om Suryaya namah’. Sun is the visible source of energy be grateful to him.
  2. For 5 mins, do the puja of your Kul-devata/ household deities, ie offer flowers, light a sesame oil deepak, recite your mantra or sing your favourite bhajan, ring the bell, blow the Shankh etc and put a tilak on your forehead. Kuldevata is the protector of your family, ancestors, children and your house, show your gratitude to him.
  3. Maintain a Tulasi plant in your house. In the evening, light an agarbatti/ incense stick before the plant and request Devi Laxmi to bring prosperity to your house. A living Tulasi plant is the establishment of Devi Laxmi, ie ensures prosperity and Satva gun in your life.

Do this yourself and encourage your spouse and children to do this much for Dharma daily. Also your relatives, nieces, nephews and other families and children whom you know. Each one has to to his own bit in establishing Dharma in our lives. If we follow Dharma ourself, the society too will follow it. Start on the Dharmic path, live your life as per Dharma and Dharma will protect you.

Thus praying that the Devi Mahamaya grants us all Dharma in this week long celebration of Deepavali utsav and establishes Dharma in our life.

ॐ असतो मा सद्गमय ।
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।
मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय ।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

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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 Char-Dhaams of India, located on the west coast (the others being Somnath, Jagannath, 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 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. 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.cave-temple
  12. Vaishno Devi temple, Katra, Jammu & Kashmir – The deity of this shrine is a rock, which is a part of the mountain itself. This shrine is very famous, to me it felt like a regular very dense concentrated Himalay energy.
  13. 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.)
  14. 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
  15. 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.
  16. 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. Been here twice in this life.Temples in India where I have been to
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. 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. I have been here a few times and it is always beautiful. Temples in India where I have been to
  21. 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.
  22. 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
  23. 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.
  24. 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. When I was a child my family would stay here for a couple of weeks, these are the most precious moments of my life. As I would get to see my Guru everyday and several times a day.
  25. Khandoba temple, Maharashtra – Located on a plateau of lava-basaltic rock. There are moortis 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 Kuldevata of most Marathi people so this temple is always bustling with people.
  26. Then temples in Goa, the more famous Shanta-Durga, Mangeushi and my mother’s ancestral god Narsimha at Veling. I always feel a deep rooted sadness whenever I go to Goa. Perhaps my DNA picks up things or remembers them. The Portuguese invaded Goa and killed the temple Brahmins and carried out an Inquisition here, killing most of the Hindus in gruesome ways. 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
  27. 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!
  28. 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.
  29. 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
  30. 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. Devi Sati in her Jal roop. She is so beautiful. The second time I was summoned by her, she was in a very different mood, all ready to give her blessings. Each time it was a home coming. There is a powerful temple of Devi Tara nearby which one should visit.
  31. Bhagwan Hayagreev Madhav temple, Guwahati, Assam – It is in a place called Hajo, a hour’s drive from the city. He is in a shila form, very powerful and aware. There is a pond nearby with turtles and fishes which are worshipped as the Matysa and Koorma avtars of Shri Vishnu. It is a must visit. The energy of this pond is similar to the power of the Manomaya chakra pond in Naimisharanya, very auspicious.
  32. 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
  33. 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.
  34. 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 moortis of Shri Ram and his brothers 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.
  35. Nimisharanya 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.
  36. Girnar mountain, Gujarat – 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 it was here. Been here a few times in this life.
  37. 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. She had summoned me twice in this life.
  38. Raja Ram temple Orchha, Madhya Pradesh – I had the good 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. Been here twice in this life.
  39. Ambabai temple, Kolhapur – I have loved this temple since I was a child, She has summoned me here several times, most significantly after I got married. She is quite powerful here and 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.f4c7215a-c501-4bab-99b8-29fd2985a387
  40. Devi Vajreshwari temple, Kangra Himachal Pradesh. This is a beautiful ancient temple spread over a large area. The Devi is in her shila form here, very caring and protective, it is a Shakti peeth. Apart from the power of the main temple, I saw immense two Peepal and a Banyan trees their branches touching each other in this temple complex. Their energy is stupendous.
  41. Devi Jwalamukhi, temple Kangra Himachal Pradesh. Again a Shakti peeth, Devi Sati is in her Agni form here, very intense. It is a must visit, but obviously you can come here only if she summons you. Interesting to see a Mimusops elengi tree right in front of the temple. In the south, the flowers of this tree are specifically offered to the Devi. If you go there, collect a few flowers from here to keep in your puja ghar. And remember to go to the temple of her Bhairav too, it is located some distance away from the main temple. This Bhairav temple felt like he was waiting for me and by doing Namaskar to him, I have achieved something that cannot be put in words. The love radiating from him was so intense.
  42. Devi Baglamukhi temple Kangra Himachal Pradesh. Devi Baglamukhi is very dear to me, she is just so protective, gentle and strong. (There are three main temples in Bharat, Datia MP, Nalkheda – MP and Kangra – HP). In this temple, she is in her shila form. There is also a Bankhandeshwar Mahadev temple with a huge 4 ft Shivlingam in the same complex.

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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 hereg. I keep adding more as I keep going to do Darshan at even more temples. Temples are energy banks, they recharge me on so many levels.

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 Tirthatan.