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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is a somewhat technical post. Someone requested me to write on this mantra so I took my time over it and its typical grammar. I will follow the grammatical meaning Shabd-arth and extrapolate it to the essence of the mantra Bhav-arth, all strictly within the framework of the grammar.
The Maha mrutyunjai mantra is from the Rg ved 7th Mandal. It is the 12th shlok in the 59th sukta. So I opened my copy of the Rg Ved and and tried to understand what this sukta says. (If you can afford and feel like, get the 4 Ved Sanhita-s published by Yug nirman yojana vistar trust. These are translated by Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya and Shrimati Bhagvati Devi Sharma, the set costs about Rs 1400/-)
The Rishi of this sukta is Vasishtha-maitravaruni. The deities are the Marut and the Mrutyu vimochani Rudra. Chhand, ie the meter of prosody is the Anushtup.
The Marut are the energies of the breath, fierce winds, storms and war. And this word also means god, gold and beauty. Marut are the conscious energy of movement, change and vital energy/ pran. Rudra is the deity associated with the Marut as they both rule over the area between ‘the Earth and the Sun’, ie the Mooladhar and the Sahasrara chakras. They are sort of a link between the physical foundation and the heights of the conscious. Rudra is also said to be the father of the Maruts, so can be considered to be the brilliance of the pran energy. He is the reason due to which changes occur in the substance of the pran, which cause further cascading changes in animated beings. The energy which causes change can also be used to consciously direct the change and if needed also be used to stop the change from occurring. Thus Rudra and Marut together are a formidable force.
As I had mentioned in my post on Kaal here, ‘change’ is an illusion. Perception of change depends on the perspective. (eg If you stand at the center of a merry-go-round, your position does not change, even if it spins around you. But if you ride on the play-horses here, you will be swinging around till you get dizzy.) To exit this illusion of ‘apparent change’, we have to consciously use the power of Marut and Rudra. And this is precisely what we are doing in this Sukta which includes the Mahamrutyunjai mantra.
Let’s briefly examine the framework of the Rg 7-59 Sukta,
In the first 1-10 shlok-s, ‘we’ are invoking the Marut, fortifying them with power, requesting them to increase our strength, to destroy all our enemies, to be with us in happiness, to support us with their presence.
In the 11th shlok, we are inviting the Marut to come to our Yajnya with ‘Yajnyam Marut Aa Vrune’. This is the first mention of ‘Yajnya’ in this sukta.
So the background is that we are harnessing the power of the Marut, the vital energy and now exhorting them to provide their these energies to the Yajna, ie the evolution towards the Self. We are increasing the power of our vital energy/ pran and fortifying ourselves for the final evolution. And are preparing ourselves for taking the decisive step towards the highest evolution.
Then the 12th shlok of this sukta is the famous Maha mrutyunjai mantra.
The Maha mrutyunjai mantra written as per the anushtubh chhand, ie 4 lines of 8 syllables each.
Trayambakam yajamahe Sugandhim pushtivardhanam | Urvarukam eva bandhanat Mrutyuh mukshiya maa amrutat ||
The form of this shlok in the Sukta does not start with the Om, but when we do sadhana with this mantra we have to begin the mantra with Om, else it creates imbalance.
The grammar of the words used in the Maha mrutyunjai mantra. Writing a bit on this to emphasise the beauty of the Devbhasha Samskrutam.
Tryambakam – neuter gender, nominative and accusative singular
Yajamahe – root verb Yaj यज् (1UP /AP) present tense, plural, first person
Sugandhim – neuter gender, nominative and accusative singular
Pushtivardhanam – neuter gender, nominative and accusative singular.
Urvarukam – neuter gender, nominative and accusative singular.
Iva – indeclinable
Bandhanat – neuter gender, ablative singular
Mrutyu – masculine gender, nominative singular
Mukshiya – root verb मुच् Much (6UP /AP) benedictive, first person singular (a very typical verb form)
The nouns are in three forms. So we have three options of subject/ object nouns. 1. neuter gender, nominative and accusative singular. 2. neuter gender, ablative singular 3. masculine gender, nominative singular
The indeclinables are Iva and Maa
Both the verbs in this mantra are from the ubhay-pad category, but their atmane-pad forms are used. Thus it is clearly indicated that the fruit of these actions directly go to whoever has acted in the first place. From these verbs, it is understood that the mantra is recited by ‘us’ or ‘I’. The doer is the first person, initially in the plural in ‘yajamahe’ and then in the singular in ‘mukshiya’.
So with the first verb yajamahe, ‘We’ are getting the fruits of this evolution which ‘we’ are performing in the present tense.
And in the second verb ‘mukshiya’, it is the benedictive mood. So ‘I’ am giving ‘myself’ this blessing that by the result of this action ‘I’ will be liberated. This is a rare form of the verb found only in Vedic Sanskrit.
Now if you just look at these words and their grammar it is obvious that the way the mantra is traditionally translated does not fit the words. I am assuming that there are two sentence structures because there are two verbs in the mantra, yajamahe and mukshiya. Also in Sanskrit, more than the order of the words in the sentence, the grammar is paramount in conveying its sense.
So let’s understand what is being said.
Om is the moorti of the Advaita. Om is the energy which is accessible in the created universes and yet is ‘nearest’ to the highest Consciousness. A sort of a bridge from the illusion of creation to the Reality of the Non-dual. Om is composed of four parts of which three are accessible in the created universe, ie the states of Jagruti, Swapna and Sushupti, represented by the akshar A, U and M. The vibrations created by the 4th part ie the Bindu help the spiritual aspirant realise his Self. At the lowest level of consciousness you are aware only in the Awake-Jagrut state. As your consciousness expands you become aware of your Dream-Swapna and later Deep-sleep Sushupti states. And as you progress even more, you are able to dissolve these three states related to the creation into the 4th part of Om, the Bindu. Once this happens you are Enlightened, ie you have achieved Moksh, you experience yourself as the Non-dual Advaita. Whenever you do any mantra jaap you must start with Om, this channelises the power of the mantra in a safe and conducive way for you.
The trayambakam are the three states which are seen or perceived. ie the Jagruti, Swapna and Sushupti, thus the trayambakam are often commonly considered to be the ‘three eyes’. These trayambakam are the fluid energies which generate these three different types of experiences. As one experiences does one exist, so we can say that these three, Jagruti, Swapna and Sushupti, are the three perceived states of existence. Only when these three states of existence are ‘sacrificed’ does the fire of internal Self become visible. These three states are to be merged into the Light of the Self or ‘sacrificed’ in the fire of Awareness, which in this mantra ‘we’ will be doing.
In this sentence the doer is not specifically mentioned, ie there is no subject noun but as the verb ‘yajamahe’ is in first person plural, the subject is implied as ‘We’. The mantra describes a dynamic situation where these three states of perception are made to continually evolve, ie their energy levels being increased by ‘our’ conscious efforts. Here the doers are in plural. The three fold states of lower levels of consciousness ie Jagruti, Swapna and Sushupti avastha are continuously evolving by the action of multiple doers. Ie the doers of this act are still perceiving themselves as the multiple and are working with multiple states of existence, duality is perceived to exist.
Sugandhim is used as an adjective of Tryambakam. These three states, Jagruti, Swapna and Sushupti bear only a very small quantity of the Highest Consciousness. These three states are exactly ‘perfumed’ with the tiniest part of the most Excellent awareness. These three contain the highest virtue of the Eternal Beautiful, but just a hint of it, as it should be. These are the emanations of the Advaita and at their essence are also the Advaita. Something like a perfume exuded by a flower, the three states of existence are exuded by the Eternal. Just as the smell of a flower is at once both the flower yet at the same time apparently separate from it.
Pushtivardhanam is used an adjective of Tryambakam. These three states are continually being nourished and their levels of animation are being promoted by their link to the Eternal. They are thriving, developing, increasing their levels of awareness only due to this connect to the Highest. They are continually expanding, enlarging, extending, upgrading themselves. They are completing themselves by their link to the Awareness. All this is happening because ‘we’ are evolving the Tryambakam to begin with.
Finally Urvarukam is used as an adjective of Tryambakam but with the use of the indeclinable ‘Eva’ it has a subtly different meaning. This word causes a lot of confusion as it commonly means a cucumber or a melon. But vegetables have no place in a mantra focussed on the highest Consciousness. Broadly Urvaruk उर्वारुक can be understood as the result when the catalytic energy is acting on the foundation. And in Sanatan Dharma whenever we talk of a catalytic energy we mean the eternal consciousness. In this mantra, Urvaruk is the great fire of consciousness which burns within the depths. The blazing Sun. The bountiful extensive great ocean of consciousness.
When we, by our efforts, evolve the three states of perception, we realise that these are mere emanations rooted in the Bindu ie the 4th state of Om, ie the Eternal Advaita. They are simply ‘fragrances’ of the Non-Dual flower. Thus we merge ourselves into the Non-dual.
The first part of the mantra deals with how the three states of perception are consciously made to evolve and gain more and more of the essence of the Eternal, to come very very close to the Eternal.
So by ‘our’ efforts we are bringing the Tryambakam almost to the level of the Urvarukam. But then what comes after this stage? This is in the second sentence in this mantra.
Now the second part, ‘Bandhanat Mrutyuh mukshiya maa amrutat.’
Bandhanat, means ‘separated from the bindings’. We all believe that we are bound to our existence through different attributes, the Gun – Satva, Raja, Tama, Avastha – Jagrut, Swapna, Sushupti or even identities like Rajan, Priya, husband, wife, mother, father, child, teacher, student, the karmic ties which bind us. Our belief in these ties is so strong that we are unable to conceive our Eternal nature, this is also the cause of existential sorrow. Thus we take on lives after lives, searching for the true Happiness, trying to find the Self.
Mrutyuh is a noun in the masculine nominative singular form. There are several meanings for Mrutyu. Death or the deity of Death, ie Yam are the usual ones. But Mrutyu also means the secret of existence, ie the Para-Brahma. And also Maya, Vishnu, Kali, Kama-dev, samsara and the hunger ie desire. Interestingly, relevant to our mantra, Mrutyu essentially is ‘the evolution which is rapidly completed’.
In the first part we saw that the 3 states are still evolving continually by the action of multiple doers. In the second part, the verb ‘mukshiya’ is the benedictive singular first person. The plural doer has now become singular. With the evolution of the three states, the non-duality has started asserting itself.
So this “Bandhanat Mrutyuh mukshiya maa amrutat” will mean the following,
The ‘evolution which is rapidly completed’ will now most assuredly be separate from all bindings. This secret of existence will be released from all bondages. The concept of desire (which causes more ties) will be unyoked from all concepts of ties. The idea of Maya and Creation will be cast aside. Satva-gun will be discharged (Satva gun is the last one to dissolve in this involution process) etc. ie, the singular doer is now assuring himself that the direction of the evolution will most assuredly take him to himself. This is an intention expressed in the positive sense. ie release from bindings.
At this stage the doer ‘I’ realise that I am non-dual, there is no one but me and I have no attributes, I am almost there, so I use my intention to consciously ‘bless’ myself. Only I can bless myself, as there is no one else but me. I bless my own Self with this benediction. ie, ultimately everyone has to intend his own evolution. To evolve spiritually or to remain stuck in the ties is a decision that everyone makes for himself. If you want to play the Game some more or if you want to realise the Self, this is your own choice your own intention. You are always blessing your own self in this sense.
This ‘rapid evolution’ will most definitely not be separated from immortality. It will not be cast away from the Light. It will not be abandoned by the Eternal. ie, singular doer is now assuring himself using the negative clause too. That he will never be separate from the Advaita. He will always remain conscious of his Eternal Light and aware of his Non-dual nature.
It is interesting that the mantra reinforces the blessing using the positive ‘Bandhanat Mrutyu’ and negative intention “Maa Amrutat’ both. Somehow these two intentions are balanced by the benediction ‘Mukshiya’ that is placed between them. It makes the structure of the mantra very elegant.
It is significant that the deity, conscious and aware intelligence linked to this mantra is the ‘Mrutyu vimochani Rudra’. Rudra means the vibration, change or brilliance. Vimochani means the act of release, liberation, casting away. Mrutyu has several meanings as above. Try to think on what the ‘Mrutyu vimochani Rudra’ really implies.
This mantra is all about how the energies of the Marut-s and the Mrutyu vimochani Rudra are being utilised by the spiritual aspirants to evolve the limited consciousness which thinks it to be separate from the Eternal to reach the highest pinnacle of Self awareness, the Advaita.
There are absolutely nil vegetables in this mantra and we are not worshiping any god nor propitiating any deity with this mantra. There are no deities in Sanatan Dharma, we Hindus adore pure consciousness, we adore our own form, the highest Conscious Intelligence. I create my Universe for the Game I play, for this I first create a mind, this now runs in the ten directions creating further elaborate illusions for my Game. When I am done playing, I dissolve the Game. This requires that I train the mind, stop it from running in the ten different directions and focus it on the one single Bindu that really Is. As I dissolve the mind, I see Myself.
This post is a very rudimentary way of understanding this mantra. If you want to really experience it, do its Jaap, ie 108 times mental repeats at least once a week. Or do its Homa. Or listen to its Ghana-path, its spiralling energies looping in your mind. This Maha mrutyunjai mantra is very useful for all issues in life, if you train your mind with its energy, it will act as an all-round remedy for all your problems.
Adishankaracharya, when he wrote Shivah शिवः in his compositions, he used this to mean the eternal auspicious non-dual Advaita. Eg In the Brahmajnyanavalimala he ends it with ‘Shivosmyaham’ शिवःअस्मिअहं. Or in the Nirvan shatak he ends every verse with ‘Shivoham shivoham’ ‘शिवःअहंशिवःअहं’.
Today is Vaishakh Shukla Panchami, we celebrate Adi Shankarcharya’s birth anniversary today.
Also someone commented that Adishankaracharya wrote on the Advaita yet worshipped the deities by composing beautiful stotras in their honour. Apparently someone thought that the ‘Shiv’ he writes about is the deity Shankar, the embodiment of Tamo-gun (post here).
Adishankarcharya was a Sat-guru. In brief his life story is this. He took Sanyas at the age of 8yrs, then studied under his Sat-Guru at the banks of the Narmada till the age of 12yrs where his Guru said that he was ready, ie Jivan-mukt, the Advaita. He wrote his brilliant compositions, his Bhashya-s, his books on the Advaita, everything on the pure Jnyan till the age of 16yrs, all this in just 4yrs. He wrote about Himself as he was a realised Seer, a Sat-Guru. Then he toured Bharat giving discourses on the Ved(4 Ved-s, Vedanta, Brahmana, Aranyak) set up the 4 Maths in the 4 corners of Bharat, each one dedicated to one of the 4 Ved-s. Not deities, but to the Ved-s. The Ved-s are ‘worshipped’, read, taught and learnt even now in these Maths. He was/ is the highest Parmeshwar himself.
His work is not fully comprehensible to aspirants who are still on the path. Do not assume that he worshipped Shankar or any of the other deities of the Vedic/ Pauranic pantheon. These deities are a part of the manifested creation, ie in the domain of Mahamaya. He was/ is the Advaita, beyond the reach of Mahamaya. Also he wrote in the Devbhasha Samskrutam. So what he wrote and what you understand will be different. He, an Atmajnyani Mahapurush, ie the Advaita itself, and you, a sadhak, an aspirant. When you really understand what he has written, you will also become the Advaita.
Shivah शिवः has the following meanings in the Devbhasha Samskrutam, auspicious, bliss, benign, friend, kind, gracious, favourable, etc. And if you had to break down शिवः to get at its root energy it is something like this.
The true and pure emotion that you feel for your inner self, when you recognise yourself to be this highest state of consciousness. This constant state of this purity. The transcendence achieved after apparent duality is resolved to be a superficial illusion. The discarding of the illusion of duality so that you dwell in the eternal constant, unchanging, non-dual, unborn state that you really Are.
The Advaita is called ‘Shivah’, ie ‘the highest auspicious’. (In some parts of India, the personification of Tamo-gun is called Shiva which causes confusion. I am from Maharashtra, in Marathi language we refer to this deity generally as Shankar or Mahadev not ‘Shiva’.)
In this context, all of us at our core are Shivah. But we want to play the Game of Creation so we have no awareness of this fact. We have purposely put filters over our perception which do not let us recognise our essential eternal auspiciousness. We conceal our Shivah nature. The energy which animates us all is the same energy which animates the Tri-dev, Brahma-dev/Sarasvati, Vishnu/Laxmi, Shankar/Parvati, Indra,Agni and the other deities of the pantheon, every one of the 33 Koti devata, the Rudra, the Aditya, the Devi Lalita Tripursundari, Mahamaya herself. They too are all Shivah. Everything is Shivah. This essential auspiciousness शिवः is the only thing which really exists, the concepts of you, me, deities, Mahamaya are hollow, superficial, illusory.
This is the Nirvan Shatak.I will expand the meaning of just the last shlok.
अहं निर्विकल्पो निराकाररूपो | विभुत्वाच्च सर्वत्र सर्वेन्द्रियाणाम् | न चासङ्गतं नैव मुक्तिर्न मेयः | चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् |
All alternatives, all variations, all options have gone away from my nature. All forms have dropped away, dissolved, vanished into nothingness like mirages dissolve. I exist as the basis of everything. I am the potential of existence. I exist as the covering of everything. I pervade all the organs of action and sense, ie I pervade the tattva-s of creation. I am all that Is. I do not have anything attached to me, nor do I cling to anyone. I am not the concepts of liberation or realisation or enlightenment. I cannot be measured in anyway whatsoever. I am the nature of the blissful intelligence. I am the eternal consciousness. I am the auspicious Advaita. The highest auspicious Advaita Am I.
This is the Brahmajnyanavalimala which I have referred to several times. I will expand the meaning of just the last shlok.
I am the light amidst. I shine within. I am the illumination seen in the inner eye. I am the Eye and I am the Light. I am the brightness which shines forth. I am the divinity which is always apart. I am the light of the eternal which illuminates the eternal. I am away from the transient. I am the eternal flash of lighting. I visibly shine with all power. I am the self-evident fire. I am the blazing flame, superior to the best. I am higher than the highest illumination. I am the radiance which gives power to fire. I myself am the celestial brilliance of the self. I am the eternal blazing flame of consciousness. I am the spontaneous light. I am the self-illuminated light. My nature is light. The highest auspicious Am I.
When you recite either of these compositions you are clearly invoking the pure Advaita within.
Now a bit on the word ‘Aham’. In grammar, it is the first person singular of ‘asmad’, ‘I’. In Sanskrit it means something like – I, self-radiance, indeed, verily, I grant, it is true, surely, certainly.
‘Aham’ broadly means the sense of the self. What you exactly understand your ‘self’ to mean. Your comprehension of what you are. What you experience your self to be? This is ‘Aham’.
Now at the lower levels of consciousness you understand yourself to be Rajiv, Anita, a boy, a woman, a professional, a home maker, a father, a grandmother, a human, confined in a body, having 5 senses, awake, going to work, sitting down to dinner, being born or dying etc. If you think of yourself as something like this, it is a very very limited sense of self. You are experiencing a very limited fraction of your immense Self. This is the ‘aham’ which represents the root cause of ignorance, the ‘ahamkaar’ which is the root cause of existential sorrow. When you put your ‘aham’ in words like this you are still playing the Game, your personal Lila.
But in your spiritual path there will come a time when you will think and experience yourself as the geometry represented by the Shri Yantra. You will experience your consciousness as the multidimensional Shri Chakra. You will see yourself at the central Bindu of this geometry. This is the first tangible step where you will know that the ‘aham’ is much much more than these simple words can define. You will now move towards experiences which cannot be described in words. And at one point you will transcend all these experiences too. This is the state where when you say that ‘Chidanandah roopah Shivah Aham’ or ’Shivah Aham asmi’ you will mean it completely.
If any of my readers feel this post resonating in your hearts, you are on a very high level of understanding, continue on your path. And even if not, its ok to continue thinking of ‘Shivah’ as Shankar or Vishnu or Brahmadev or your source of faith or whatever generates positive energy in you. Everyone should freely worship the energy they are drawn to. No one can judge you but yourself. You choose for yourself. No one can force you. Only you are aware of what you experience.
But this is not what Adishankaracharya intended when he wrote these lines. When he talks about Shivah शिवः he talks about the Advaita. Listen to his these compositions and with the Light of the Advaita, when the time comes, you too will experience what शिवः indicates towards.
This is my favourite Bhairav stotra. I use it often to get rid of negative energies or entities around me. And to recharge my personal energy. Its energies are Ugra, intense and can be terrifying if you are not prepared to understand that you are much more than just the physical body.
This is the audio
And I have written very briefly on the meaning of the verses using the regular meanings of the Sanskrit words, nothing too esoteric, else I would have to write a book on it. This is the beauty of Sanskrit (Devbhasha Samskrutam), a palimpsest, layers and layers of meanings.
Eg Teekshna तीक्ष्ण means pungent, vehement, sharp, also peppers, resins of certain plants like asafoetida, a few trees are called teekshna, sea-salt, rude, rough, poison, keen, iron, inauspicious, hot, haste, harsh, fiery, death, battle, ascetic, weapon, acid, zealous, severe, etc. But what ‘teekshna’ means in this stotra is a matter of understanding as well as experience. Reference to Context. The context is all important.
This stotra is in eight shlok/ verses. Each line begins with a beej mantra. The lines have to be understood in context of the beej mantra which precedes it.
This is a description of the Bhairav, the auspicious one, the fearless one, the terrible, formidable, the highest of the high. He is considered to be an Ugra energy, he will take your sense of tiny individuality firmly and finally merge it into the highest ie himself. He is the destroyer of creation or more correctly he is the one who remains after all creation is annihilated. He is the protector of the Kshetra, ie he protects the seat of the highest divinity within you. Thus he is the ‘nearest’ to the Kshetra (to understand the concept of ‘near’ read the Bhashya on the Mandukya by Adi Shanakracharya). This is the Bhairav of the Vijnyan Bhairav Tantra who helps you reach that highest state of attribute-less-ness which you really are. He is the Shivah, the ultimate auspiciousness itself, ie the Advaita.
(Bhairav is not the personification of the Tamogun (post here). Often the personification of Tamo-gun, is also called Shiv, causing endless and unnecessary confusion.)
The stotra beings with the sound of the Damaru which is the sound of OM. When you play the Damaru there are binaural beats created which create a subtle sound of Om. Om is the creation (pravrutti) or the moorti of the Advaita (nivrutti). Every stotra has to begin with the sound of Om, so here they have creatively used the Damaru to create the vibration of Om. Om is the conscious intelligence which is the thing of this manifested universe which is closest to the Advaita. Thus Om can be considered to be a Moorti of the Advaita.
Yang – This is the beej mantra indicating the omnipresent, the eternally pure and auspicious one. Every beej mantra recited correctly ends in the ‘ng’ sound (in this recitation they are not pronounced correctly, but the person reciting it has done it with a pure intention, thus there is power in his voice). The ‘ng’ akshar is the enchanting awareness, beautiful intelligence and the attractive consciousness which controls the power of sound ie vibrations.
He is the sustainer of the forms. He sets the ten directions as per the proper geometry as per the correct rules, ie creates and sustains the universe. The ten directions are the conscious Dasha Mahavidya (post here). He creates the conscious energies who organise the perceived universe. He sets this geometry, situation and objects into motion. He causes them to shake, tremble, vibrate, ie exist. He causes them to apparently change, ie he creates Time. He is everything that exists, all concentrated together. Everything that you see is drawn from him. He is the comprehensive description or a compendium of everything.
Sang – This is the beej mantra for the one who is the true reason for everything, the one who is the single true description of everything. Also the enchanting intelligence controlling the power of vibrations.
He is the conclusion, ie he remains always. The manifested creation is dissolved back into him. He contracts everything back into himself. He stops the illusion of apparent change. He annihilates duality. His is the energy of the fully expanded Sahasrara chakra, its ‘luminous petals’ stretching infinitely, encompassing everything. The illusions of karma and memories are powered by his energy. The energies of creation flow from the highest point ie him. His highest illumination is reflected off his highest point by his power, this radiance is seen in the third eye during spiritual practice.
Dang – This is the beej mantra for the one who causes increase by granting sustenance. Also the one extremely pleasing to visualise. The enchanting energy controlling the power of vibrations.
He is the depth of this created multitude. He is the only attainable one. He is the deepest sign. He makes all imperfections leave. All unnatural, artificial, misshaped agitations are annihilated by him. All diseased incompleteness is removed by his granting the true intelligence of the source. He makes all energies flow strongly upwards, ie towards the highest apex, towards himself. He is the one who cuts through all bindings strongly and decisively with his sword of light. He is also the mouth of the terrible single pointed energy which devours the illusion called creation.
Pang – This is the beej mantra of the one who destroys all forms of alternatives, duality, blocks and illusions. The enchanting energy controlling the power of vibrations.
He destroys all forms of evil ie notion of change and duality. All inauspiciousness, trouble, harm, wickedness are nullified, the biggest harm being ignorance of the self. Pran, ie the vital energies are reined in, inclined towards, course towards, are channelised by, always continuously, perpetually, eternally, by such a Kshetrapal Bhairav.
Kam Kam Kam kaal pasham Druka Druka drudhitam jwalitam kamadaham
Tam Tam Tam divya deham, pranamata satatam, Bhairavam Kshetrapalam. (2)
Rang – This beej mantra indicates the one who burns, increases internal energy, grants special and unusual benefits. The enchanting intelligence controlling the power of vibrations.
He is beautiful, sweet, beloved and auspicious by nature. He uses the energy of sound to play this sport called creation. His attractive form is hidden. He is the subtle pivot of manifestation. He is the fiery, sharp single point, the terrifying energy of time which destroys all illusions and ignorance.
Ghang – This is the beej mantra indicating the one who grants all auspiciousness and stillness. The enchanting energy controlling the power of vibrations.
He is the sound of the bow string which launches the self towards the Self. He is the power of the vowels of Sanskrit and also the power of vibrations itself. He proclaims his presence with the eternal sound. He is auspiciousness, stillness, also the thundering, roaring, deep energy of the Naada. (Om is created from the Naada, post here).
Kang – This beej mantra takes away all dangers, duality and poisons. Also grants blessings and boons for positivity and welfare. The enchanting non-dual awareness which controls the power of vibrations.
He is the edge of Time, the boundary till where Time/ Space can exist. He is the fetters which tie the individual soul to fate. He is massive energy at the entrance of the Sushumna. He keeps the Sushumna inaccessible, tightly closed. He is also the fortress of the Eternal. He is the established, fixed, certain, complete, consistent, whole. He is the eternal fiery radiance, always burning. He destroys all illusory enjoyments, pleasures, desires, purposes, longings and also the subjects/ objects of such desires.
(Time or Kaal is relative. We measure time in reference to changes that we see around us. In Jyotish we measure Time by the movement of the Sun, the Moon, the Nakshatra, Jupiter and the time from sun-rise to sun-rise. These are the 5 types of calculations for ‘year’ that we use in Jyotish. Actually there are 9 ways of measuring Time, of these 5 are used in Jyotish. And there is nothing called ‘Time’. Kaal is a matter of observing one type of change against another type of change, it is basically a series of changes. Might write a post on Kaal.)
Tang – This is the beej mantra which grants all material and subtle things required for true prosperity and is always radiant, true, pure and pleasing. The enchanting consciousness controlling the power of vibrations.
He is manifest as a splendrous divine, beautiful, heavenly, auspicious form. Pran, ie vital energies are reined in, inclined towards, course towards, are channelised by, always continuously, perpetually, eternally, by such a Kshetrapal Bhairav.
The third shlok
Lam Lam Lam Lam Vadanatham La La La La lalitam dirgha jivha karalam
Run Run Run rundamalam ravi tama nighatam tamra netram karalam
Nam Nam Nam nagnabhusham pranamata satatam Bhairavam Kshetrapalam. (3)
Lang – This beej mantra indicates the one with the highest radiance covering all including the the sport called creation. Also the enchanting energy controlling the power of vibrations.
He is the single point of the apex. He is the act of creation of vibration and also its cessation. He is the entrance of the Sushumna. He is the brightest shining extent of creation. (Sushumna is the brightest thing you can see, the light of a million suns and the coolness of a million moons is the actual experience here) He is the graceful, delightful game created by desire. He is the deepest aware energy inherent in all vibrations, ie all changes, ie Kaal. He is the unchanging substrate underlying all apparent change. He is the tongue of fire and the terrifying understanding of Time which burns all illusions.
Dhung – This beej mantra indicates the one who destroys the illusion of duality, poison, heat of passion and impulse. The complete, abundant and prosperous one. The one with all strengths and the essence of everything. This beej mantra allows the removal of all troubles and allows one to endure in difficult situations. Also the enchanting awareness controlling the power of vibrations.
His form is obscured. His greatness cannot be precisely described. He is dark, ie he has no attributes which can be described in words. His truth is great, unusual and cannot be exactly determined. (Experiencing him is experiencing that the creation is an illusion. This can be a terrifying thought for spiritual aspirants). He is extraordinary, diffused yet apparent. He is certain, evident, real, extensive, spread all over. He is the form of a strange powerful, tremendous, conscious radiance.
Rung – This beej mantra indicates the one who one who burns, increases internal energy, grants special and unusual benefits and has all possible strengths and is the essence of everything. The enchanting consciousness controlling the power of vibrations.
He is the destroyer of all fake, fraud, artifice, illusory also the gun (post here). He especially destroys the Satva gun (the Raja and Tama are absorbed in Satva again during the course of your spiritual practice. Satva is destroyed by him so that you reach the tri-gunatit avastha, ie Advaita). He removes the darkness which surrounds the internal Sun, ie he provides true aware illumination. He is the third eye, is the depth of the radiant eternal fire burning here. He destroys the illusions of the created worlds with this fire.
Nang – This is the beej mantra indicating the one who is ever still, silent, peaceful. It grants the ability to enjoy the game of creation and also attain Moksh. The enchanting intelligent radiance controlling the power of vibrations.
He is uncovered, ever new, ever fully visible always. Pran, ie vital energies are reined in, inclined towards, course towards, are channelised by, always continuously, perpetually, eternally, by such a Kshetrapal Bhairav.
The fourth shlok,
Vam Vam vayuvegam natajana sadayam Brahma saram param tam
Mam Mam mayi rupam pranamata satatam Bhairavam Kshetrapalam. (4)
Vang –This beej mantra indicates the one who makes everything travel, ie go through its life-cycle in time/ space and also travel towards the Eternal. Also attribute-less, enchanting energy controlling the power of vibrations.
He is the speed of the Pran vital energies, ie he controls the Pran. He is the impulse which drives the Pran to fulfil illusory desires, ie causes changes in the Pran. He also gently bends the Pran within each living being to reach the zenith, ie curves the Pran towards himself. He is kind and compassionate, the essence of the highest divine. He is the main point knowledge and the real meaning of wisdom. He is the energy of consciousness, the substance of intelligence. He is the eternal of the eternal.
(Karma at the very basic is the change in the flow of pran. These changes are caused by intentions. So be very careful about what you intend in life)
Khang –This is the beej mantra for the one who causes tremors, agitations, disturbance, excitement in everything, ie puts everything into motion. Also omnipresent enchanting energy controlling the power of vibrations..
He is the one who dissolves, annihilates the three worlds, (Bhuh Bhuvan Svahah) also the three states of Jagruti, Swapna and Sushupti. He is the terrible tremendous radiance of consciousness. He is the one who can be apparently moved, yet is immovable.
Chang –This beej mantra destroys everything , ie self-ego, all living beings, all individual souls, the panch Maha-bhoot (post here). The fierce, terrifying and formidable enchanting awareness controlling the power of vibrations.
He apparently creates this universe through vibrations but he is essentially still. He is apart from the movement of matter, objects, worlds and creation. He is beyond limits, beyond extent, beyond creation, beyond place or position.
Mang –This is the beej mantra indicating the one who is One, Advaita. Also the one consciousness which enchants all rivals and enemies and controls the power of vibrations.
He is the form of Maya, illusion, unreal, conjuring, deception, enchantment. He is ‘not this’. Pran, ie vital energies are reined in, inclined towards, course towards, are channelised by, always continuously, perpetually, eternally, by such a Kshetrapal Bhairav.
Ang Ang Ang Antariksham, pranamata satatam, Bhairavam Kshetrapalam. (5)
Shang –This is the beej mantra which grants all auspicious benefits of positive actions. The most pure auspicious enchanting intelligence controlling the power of vibrations.
He is Om, all mantra, all vibrations, all sound. He is abundance prosperity and every thing. He is the kundalini which has reached its goal. He is awareness. He is dazzling, pure, without attributes, without blemish, beautiful, bright, illumination. He is the perfect and complete radiance of the realization of Moksh.
Mang – This is the beej mantra indicating the one who is One. Also who enchants all rivals and enemies. The enchanting energy controlling the power of vibrations.
He is the greatest superior teacher, the Sat-Guru. He is the one who makes the kundalini free from the muladhar and carries her up along the seven chakra towards himself, the highest point. He is the secret mantra which perfectly and constantly brings the kundalini away from her limited set of lower chakras towards the apex.
Yang –This is the beej mantra for the omnipresent, eternally pure and auspicious one. The enchanting consciousness controlling the power of vibrations.
He is the protector of auspiciousness. He is the lord of all jiv-atma, individual souls. He possesses all prosperity, all worlds, all five mahabhoot all creation. He is the pivot, the pin around which the universes are bound. He is separate from the worlds yet his energy is subtly felt throughout. He is hidden in every bit of existence. This is his game, an amusement for the living beings who inhabit the worlds. He is the understanding of the most highest Intelligence.
Ang – This is the beej mantra indicating the power of attraction. That essence which is always pulling towards the Self. The omnipresent, eternally present, ubiquitous one. The enchanting consciousness controlling the power of vibrations.
He is the awareness pervading the ‘emptiness’ of space. Everything is filled with the consciousness that is him. Pran, ie vital energies are reined in, inclined towards, course towards, are channelised by, always continuously, perpetually, eternally, by such a Kshetrapal Bhairav.
Khang – This beej mantra indicates the one who causes tremors, agitations, disturbance, excitement in everything, ie puts everything into motion. Also the omnipresent enchanting awareness controlling the power of vibrations.
He is the sharp change in perception once you cross over the sword-like sharp boundary of the manifested creation. He is the one who stops the illusion of change. He destroys the concept of ‘division’, ie he is non-dual. He is eternal. The pain which one might feel in knowing that the creation is illusion is immediately converted into the realisation of the Eternal Truth.He is the destroyer of that destroyer Time. He is the end of death. He is without attributes. He is the sharp sword who strongly breaks the illusion of creation.
Kshang – This beej mantra indicates the one knower of the essence who exists in the manifested creation as well in the unmanifested consciousness. The form of the highest flame which radiates true illumination. The enchanting consciousness controlling the power of vibrations.
He is the intense impulse for self-realization which seizes the individual soul, jiv-atma. He intensely burns the illusions around the jiv-atma. He completely destroys the concept of individual soul, ie the jiv-atma is completely consumed in his violent irresistible force and is completely absorbed in him. He is the blazing, fiery, burning flame of awareness, intelligence and consciousness.
Houng – This beej mantra indicates the one whose essence is the power and beauty of sound, speech, words, vibrations. Serene, resplendent and pure controller of everything. The one without attributes. The enchanting intelligence controlling the power of vibrations.
He is the roaring thunderous consciousness which creates the Om, ie creation. His presence is announced by the involution of the Om into the even more magnificent Naada. In your spiritual practice, he becomes evident when the Om is absorbed back into the Naada. His denseness, solidity, is manifested only when space/ time is destroyed. The enchanting energy controlling the power of vibrations.
Vang – This is the beej mantra for the one who makes everything travel, ie go through its life-cycle in time/ space and then towards the Eternal. Also the attribute-less enchanting consciousness controlling the power of vibrations.
He plays the game of creation by apparently creating several living beings. He has devised this sport for the amusement of these living beings. Pran, ie vital energies are reined in, inclined towards, course towards, are channelised by, always continuously, perpetually, eternally, by such a Kshetrapal Bhairav.
The seventh shlok,
Sam Sam Sam siddhiyogam sakala gunamukham devadevam prasannam
Sang – This is the beej mantra indicating the one true reason for everything, the one who describes everything. The enchanting energy controlling the power of vibrations.
He is the supreme union of understanding, fulfilment, prosperity, intellect, fortune etc with enlightenment. He establishes the complete attainment of perfection. He is the source of the three gun, Satva, Raja, Tama. He is the vibrations which create the material world. He is the divinity which energises all sense organs. He is the auspicious bright Light which is the source of all radiance. He is lucid, serene, true, pure, pleasing, kind, just, distinct, tranquil and gracious.
Pang – This is the beej mantra indicating the one who destroys all forms of alternatives, duality, troubles, blocks and illusions. The enchanting awareness controlling the power of vibrations.
He is the source of Time, ie he causes the illusion of change and the ability to sense this illusion. He is the opening where the kundalini resides. The centre of strength. He has within him, men, vibrations, worlds, Suns (post here) etc who are all destroyed and re-created in a cyclic manner. His true form is veiled behind the three eyes (right – Sun, left – Moon and third eye – Agni).
Aing – This is the beej mantra for the one absolutely pure and faultless essence. All the individual souls are dependant on this one essence. The enchanting aware energy controlling the power of vibrations.
He is the owner of all possible prosperity and auspiciousness. He has dominion, supremacy, sway over all. He is uninterrupted, perpetual, constant and eternal. He takes away fear as surely as a sharp sword can cut. He removes the biggest disease ie ignorance. He is filled with radiance. He is the complete, strong, auspicious, perfect, full, entire, contented, abundant, excellent Emperor of all. He is the unknowable cipher. He is always in his own form. The individual soul, jiv-atma is a form of His own splendour.
Roung – This is the beej mantra which burns, increases internal energy, grants special and unusual benefits. Also indicates the ultimate controller whose essence is the power and beauty of sound, speech, words ie vibrations. The enchanting consciousnesses controlling the power of vibrations.
He is the original untamed, unsullied, pure form. He is the formidable fierce irresistible Radiance. He is the fire and also the cold. Pran, ie vital energies are reined in, inclined towards, course towards, are channelised by, always continuously, perpetually, eternally, by such a Kshetrapal Bhairav.
The eighth shlok,
Han Han Han hansayanam hasitakalahakam muktayogatahasam
Hang – This is the beej mantra of the one who is the essence of everything. The power of vibrations. The pure, unmodified source. The enchanting energy controlling the power of vibrations.
He rides the Hamsa mantra, ie achievable after the use of the Ajapa mantra. He has surpassed, defeated all the sources of turbulence. All sources of disagreements, imbalances, arguments, fights, quarrels have been effortlessly neutralised by him. All bindings and associations have been released by him. He scorns the concepts of fake, fraud, illusion, tricks, action, attachments, etc. All unions and combinations dissolve in a easy manner by him.
Dhang – This is the beej mantra which destroys the illusion of duality, poison, heat of passion and impulse. indicates the one who is complete, abundant and prosperous. Having all types of strengths and being the essence of everything. The enchanting energy controlling the power of vibrations.
He is in the form of the guide seen at the third eye, conducting the individual soul, jiv-atma along a twisted route, towards the highest of the high point towards the root of all creation. He finally decisively unites the jiv-atma who has take a single pointed fixed pledge to realise itself with the highest apex experience ie the Advaita.
Tang – This is the beej mantra which grants all material and subtle things required for true prosperity and is always radiant, true, pure and pleasing. The enchanting energy controlling the power of vibrations.
He is the sound of the sword which cuts off the sense of individual ego and limited self-pride. He dissolves the Om back into the Naada. He dissolves the three Gun back into the perfect base of everything that he himself is. He takes away all illusory desires, impulses, intentions etc. He removes all pride, sense of self-ego, arrogance and individual ego.
Bhrung – This beej mantra finally silences the individual self-ego. It illuminates the eternal in the living beings. It alleviates the illusion of separation. It grants eternal calmness, peace and contentment. It is formidable strength which strikes terror in all inauspiciousness. Its energy encourages the internal flame, increases the internal fire and grants special and unusual benefits. Also the enchanting energy controlling the power of vibrations.
He is the lord of all existence, all individual souls, all living beings, the five pancha-mahabhoot, all worlds, all creation and everything. Pran, ie vital energies are reined in, inclined towards, course towards, are channelised by, always continuously, perpetually, eternally, by such a Kshetrapal Bhairav.
I bow down to that one who is the lord of all individual soul, jiv-atma-s, the five mahabhoot-s, all property, all worlds, etc. The holder of all that there is.
I bow down to that one who is the possessor of all that has concluded.
I bow down to that one who is the destroyer of all illusions of change. Time is measured in terms of change.
(Change means that there are two things, two states ie duality. He is the destroyer of the illusion of duality.)
I bow to the one who wears a garlands made of pure awareness and the conscious energy of vibrations.
Namah Kalika premalolam karalam
I bow down that one who out of love (for the seeker, spiritual aspirant), lights up the dark blackness visible at the third eye by a flash of conscious lightening.
(Thus the Kundalini enters the cavernous opening of the Sushumna and in one sweep merges with the Bhairav at the Sahasrara. Thus destroys the illusions of creation and realises the non-dual, Advaita.)
Namo Bhairavam Kashikam Kshetrapalam
I bow down to that one fearless one, the most high, eternal Non-dual awareness. The protector of the highest awareness. The sustainer of the eternal consciousness. The self illuminated, Radiant. The Advaita.
(Kashi when used in the esoteric context is the third eye. The Ajnya chakra is the Kashi-kshetra of the body you reside in. The individual jiv-atma resides here in an ashtapadmadala chakra ‘behind’ the Ajnya chakra or the Kuthastha (post here))
Namah means more than just ‘bow down’! This word means something like the Ultimate power which is the paradox of illusion and wisdom united together. Depth of stillness and flowing movement together. The eternal unborn one in solitude.
I sometimes recite this beautiful Teekshna Danshtra Bhairavashtak endlessly. Listen to it on a loop for days from time to time. It enchants my mind, silences it, removes all negativity, energises my soul. I was doing this for the past week, immersing myself in it, so thought of writing about it in brief.
(I have used images of the Shivlingam in this post. Again, the Shivlingam is not connected to the personification of the Tamogun. The Shivlingam is a visual moorti or sign or mark used for the Advaita.)
In your journey through life, gratitude is the first auspicious quality you have to recognise within yourself. Krutajnyata कृतज्ञता is the Sanskrit word loosely meaning gratefulness, gratitude. Krutajnya कृतज्ञ is ‘tobegrateful’. Gratitude is the fundamental way in which you change yourself. If you cannot feel grateful then you are always going to be unhappy, your spiritual progress will be blocked and auspicious things will not come your way. Feeling gratitude in some way opens up every positive quality within you.
कृतज्ञ is a compound word composed of kruta कृत and ज्ञ jnya. Being grateful कृतज्ञ means you understand that positive work that has been done for you. You recognise that some auspicious activity has been performed for you. You acknowledge that you have been given some help. Something good has been made available to you and you know it. You realise that you have gained a prize by some blessings. You are aware that some vital action has been accomplished for you. You know thatyou have received something precious. You experience this magic of receiving and this elevates your soul. This is being कृतज्ञ. If you cannot experience this uplifting emotion then nothing will go right for you and if you are in trouble you will remain there. Gratitude is the basic energy which helps you from the inside out. It is your choice to feel grateful कृतज्ञ, so choose to recognise this emotion.
I am still getting so many comments with personal details. I have already written about the sure-shot remedy to all your material problems in this post here. If you cannot do even this much for 5mins daily then here is a even tinier 30sec daily practice. Do this much at least. You are doing this for your own self. If you do not do it, no one but you yourself are going to suffer. Do this for 21days and it will become a lifetime habit.
When you wake up in the morning, go to your window, look at the skies. If your window faces the east, you will see the golden disc of the Sun blazing in the sky otherwise you will see his sun-rays lighting up the world. Look at him, his sun-rays and his light with your open eyes. Fold your hands in a Namaskar. Feel his golden power entering your body, mind and soul. Thank him for being there in the sky, giving so freely of his energy. He is so utterly beautiful, pure shimmery gold. Feel his beauty, his strength, his warmth on your face. If you know any Sanskrit mantra you can recite it mentally or express your gratitude in any language you are comfortable in or just keep your mind blank, be in the moment. Relax in the pure energy he is showering over you and the world before you. Do this very simple thing as you wake up and you will change yourself from the inside out. Just for 30 seconds, daily.
There are so many deities you can pray to, use as a focus for your intention, then why the Sun? The Sun is special, he is different. He is the consciousness you can actually see with your own eyes. You cannot see Brahmadev, Vishnu, Sarasvati, Ganapati, etc with your open eyes. The other deities are worshipped in their derived forms, eg in form of Vigraha or Moorti. They are visualised in the Sa-gun forms. Eg Shankar is visualised with attributes like a beautiful man, brilliant skin color, blue colored throat, Trishul, sitting in Kailas etc. You offer kumkum, turmeric, flowers, Akshata, coconut etc to this Moorti and thus do your daily puja. This is the simple way of worshiping the Parabrahma in the Sa-gun form. More difficult is Sadhana of the Nir-gun form of the Parameshwar. When you do your Soham mantra, you are doing the most subtle Sadhana of the Nir-gun Advaita itself. You are focussing on the pure conscious energy directly. But all this might not make sense to those people who are still struggling on the spiritual route.
So the easiest Sadhana for everyone, irrespective of anything, is to focus on the Sun. Surya is the only ‘pratyaksha devata’. He is the only symbol of the radiant consciousness which is actually visible to everyone always. You just focus on the visible golden sphere of the visible Sun. (later as you go deeper within, he will show you more subtle aspects of himself. Nature of the Sun post here)
प्रत्यक्ष pratyaksha – manifested, explicit, visible, direct, can be sensed, can be perceived, self-evident, real, actual, immediate, clear, etc.
देवता Devata – image of the Parameshwar, moorti, divinity, radiance etc.
There are atheists or people who do not follow Sanatan Dharma or ‘modern’ people who do not believe in the Non-dual Consciousness. But even these people have to believe in the Sun visibly shining in the blue skies. If not in the spiritual sense then at least in the material sense? He is responsible for Life on Earth. His power maintains the planet Earth and us on it. All the processes on the Earth from the water cycle, plant life, animal life, everything depends on the Sun. If there were no Sun, there would be no Life.
We understand the concept of Time, Kaal with reference to the Sun. Colors, light, warmth, all concepts that we know are in relation to the Sun. Everything that we understand or do has the Sun as the reference point, either subtly or visibly. Without the Sun in the skies, we are nothing.
Sun, the Surya, is the original Jyotirlinga. He is auspicious, pure, the brightest light that we all see always.
Jyoti ज्योतिः is brightness, fire, eye, celestial realms, dawn/Sandhya, lightning, life etc.
Linga लिङ्ग is image, token, power of generation, power to cause change, spot, sign, reason, proof, a invariable mark which proves the existence of something, evidence, conclusion, mark, movement etc.
We all believe in the power of the Sun in some way or the other. It is only irrational and illogical people who perhaps don’t. Sun is the visible source of energy in every way possible. So acknowledge this strength, be grateful to him and give him this 30 sec of your undivided attention daily.
I have written a lot on the Sun. He is always available in front of you and his worship is the easiest, ie you offer him Arghya, plain regular water. It takes just 1 min to offer him Arghya. What could be more simpler? But if you feel this to be random superstition, then at least accept that his warmth keeps the Earth and you alive. You are here on the earth and you can see the Sun in the skies. Be grateful for this fact. Acknowledging it is just 30sec of your time daily. This is the beginning of gratitude, कृतज्ञता, your first step towards real understanding.
The tiniest things done with positive intention have tremendous cascading results. In Sanatan Dharma, practice is given prime importance. And no spiritual practice is small or big, all are valid paths. Choose something simple and do it daily. Keep reminding yourself of your pure connection to the Divine. Practice so that you Experience. Experience so that you can Transcend. And know that you are the Advaita yourself.
Today is a special day for me so thought of sharing this simple practice.
I am writing this short post because of a question I received on Bali. Apparently someone thought that killing birds and animals is a part of Sanatan Dharma aka Hinduism.
The short answer is, No!
And if you ever kill animals/ birds thinking the ‘sacrifice’ will help you, you are in for a traumatic time. If you ever kill any living being, thinking that this ‘sacrifice’ will take away your problems or give you happiness, you will create horrible karma for yourself. Such killing is not allowed, ever. This is applicable to everyone irrespective of the faith he follows.
बलि Bali is a Sanskrit word and has several meanings like levy, offering, oblation, revenue due to the king, tribute, worship, gift, offering, power, strength, might, karma etc. There was King of the Asuras named Maha-Bali who was extremely wise, strong, generous etc. The root word is Bala बल which essentially means strength. When you give ‘Bali’ you are essentially powering your intention with this act of Bali. In Sanantan Dharma, if someone says that you should give Bali, it means that you have to offer a coconut. Only this one item, नारिकेल coconut, is Bali. Nothing else is acceptable as Bali, ever.
You go to any temple in India, or at the ghats/ banks of sacred rivers, you will find that the flower vendors there always have the coconut as a part of the puja flowers set-up on sale. When you go inside the temple, you will offer this, coconut, flowers, sweets, kumkum, turmeric, akshata, camphor, incense sticks etc to the deity with your prayers/ intention. The priest will generally break open the coconut and give you half of it as a prasadam. Or he will touch the coconut to the deity’s feet and give it back to you, you are now expected to break it at a designated place inside the temple. This one fruit has the capacity to amplify your intention, to add power to your wish and will help in getting it fulfilled soon. You can offer a coconut /Bali in a temple or in your home puja-ghar or at sacred rivers/ sea etc. Bali is also performed when you start something new for the first time or when you need added protection or an added boost of power. eg when entering a new house, or entering your new office, when driving a new car for the first time, etc. All auspicious activities are powered by a Bali of the coconut.
A brief procedure would be this.
You take a brown coconut which has water in it. This water part is necessary, so do check if you can hear the water sloshing inside the coconut. Then remove the excess fibres on it leaving a tuft at the point where its ‘eyes’ are. If you do not remove these fibres, breaking it with a single dash will be difficult. Stand in front of your deity. Keep the coconut in front of it. Pray for whatever it is that you want from the deity. Or wish for general happiness and prosperity. You can use Sanskrit mantra-s if you know them or speak in the language you are comfortable in. Just keep your mind clear and intention strong. Then apply Kum-kum, turmeric, unbroken raw rice/ Akshata, flowers etc, if you have these items, to the deity and to the coconut. Then hold the coconut in your hand. Express your wish again intensely in your mind. Then dash this coconut on the ground before the deity so that it breaks. It must compulsorily break in one dash. If it does not break then it is considered inauspicious. This requires strength, so this part is generally done by the men, father/ brother/ husband/ son or the pujari in the temple will do it. The water from the coconut will spill as it gets broken, if you can catch it in your palm, you can drink it as a teerth. Afterwards you can eat the coconut white as a prasadam.
A coconut is a scared object but obviously it is also used in the kitchen. Like I use 1-2 coconuts in my kitchen in an average week. But even if I am going to use it in a chutney or a curry, when it is being broken, my husband will say aloud the name of the family deity and break it cleanly in a single dash.
There are some videos where animals/ birds are being shown killed in the name of deities, especially Ugra-roop of deities, often Devi Kali. This does not feel right in the energy sense. I was watching a weird ritual on Youtube where Her Moortiwas drenched with the blood of these killed animals. The blast of negativity from the scene was unbelievable. So then I asked the Devi Kali Herself about this (even you can ask deities questions and they always answer). She clearly said that if you cannot give it life you cannot take its life. The energies of the animals/ birds who are killed are absorbed by Her Gana-s and not by Her. The Gana-s are the attendants of the deities and are capable of granting minor blessing, siddhi etc etc on their own. If you get caught in these minor things from the Gana-s you will never be able to focus on Her. This is a traumatic death of a living being, the energies are inauspicious so are more used for the maran, maaran, vidveshan etc types of prayog. This is a tamasic activity which cannot add auspiciousness. But people who do not know better indulge in this as it does give results. The energy of physical death is a powerful force which can be used for hurting others. But it is a power born of trauma and will eventually give only trauma. It always turns back on the practitioners themselves. Regular people like you and me should never get into these types of prayogs, they will turn on you later and give spectacularly horrid results.
In some cultures all over the world, mass killing of animals as ‘sacrifices’ is practiced routinely. This energy of traumatic death increases the negativity of these people and the place too. In fact it feeds the energies of dissonance, discordance and strife in the subtle planes around the Earth. And obviously create negative karma for those doing it.
So if you feel that you have to do a Bali, go ahead, dash a coconut and power your intention, it will always help. But never ever harm an animal/ bird thinking that its death will help you gain your desire. This is short term gain for long term pain.
There was a question “Is that the reason why the Veda samhitas have absence of some key devas and deities like Ganesh , Kali , mahavidyas , avatars of Vishnu. They have been lost or is it by design that rishis want us to explore them via indra?” and the answer became too long so posted it as a post.
A simple question and here is a longish answer.
First a bit about Sanskrit, the language in which all these texts, Ved, Vednant, Puran etc are written. One thing you have to remember is that Sanskrit, Devbhasha Samskrutam has no proper nouns. Am sure this sounds odd to you. So, a brief explanation,
Eg This sentence, ‘I am Samantha’. In this sentence ‘Samantha’ is a proper noun. It is a girl’s name and by this sentence you understand that I am a girl named ‘Samantha’. The word Samantha has no meaning in itself. Thus it is a proper noun. That is the end of it, no more meanings here.
Eg This sentence ‘I am Manish’. Here Manish is a Sanskrit word. It has a meaning in itself. Every word in Sanskrit has a meaning. Every word can be used as an adjective to describe something. If you think of ‘Manish’ as a noun, then you will understand that I am boy named ‘Manish’. But if you think of ‘Manish’ as an adjective then you will think that I am ‘someone who can be described as Manish’. There is a very big difference in these two levels of understanding. The Sanskrit word ‘Manish’ is a samas/ compound word, it is expanded to ‘Mansaya Isha iti Manish’. The simplest translation of this compound word would be ‘the Highest God of the Mind is Manish’. So our sentence ‘I am Manish’ completely changes its meaning depending on ‘Manish’ being understood as a proper noun or adjective.
Sanskrit is a highly esoteric language, it has layers of meanings. Understanding it depends on the capacity of the person who is reading it. Enlightened Rishi-s wrote these texts so there are secrets within secrets. That is why I always say never read Sanskrit books which have been translated into other languages. Or if you read them never believe that the translator has got the correct meaning of what the Rishi actually wrote. Best is to learn Sanskrit yourself.
Now if I write this same sentence in Sanskrit. ‘Aham Manishh asmi’, then here is what you get. ‘I, self-radiant, truth, certainly, surely, indeed, verily am the wisdom, reflection, intelligence, idea, desire, conception, power, master, strength, the Lord of the Mind.’ This is the power of Devbhasha Samskrutam. Now tell me can you ever trust ‘translations’ of Sanskrit texts?
So, if you can, think of our deities names as adjectives. Shankar means happiness. Shiva is the auspicious one. Ganapati means the energy which enters the individual souls and causes change. Nandi is intelligence. Laxmi is the one who has a recognisable sign. Sarasvati means the one who flows. Ganga is the one who moves very fast. Krishna means the unknowable blackness which pulls. Ram is happiness. Dev is radiance. Bhagwan is the one who has all auspicious qualities. Each of these Sanskrit words has several meanings in addition so every deity of Sanatan Dharma is more like a collection of attributes. The deities are not humans, even though we have got used to seeing them as humans. Deities in Hinduism are pure consciousness defined by some attributes. Their names are not proper nouns but are adjectives. Think of them in this way and you will get more insight into their real natures. (I wrote on meaning of the Navavarna mantra post here)
Now what is Sanatan Dharma/ Hinduism? To understand Dharma you have to understand the Shatdarshan shastra. I have written a post here on these 6 darshan shastra-s. It is not the work of one lifetime, but you carry on whatever you have learnt into your next lives.
Our ‘God’ is the highest conscious intelligence, non-dual, Paramatma, Parabrahma, Paramtattva, Nirvishesh Brahma, Advaita etc. This is the key deity of Sanatan Dharma, the only ‘deity’. You yourself are this Parabrahma. So essentially you worship your Self.
The Ved (Ved, Brahmana, Aranyaka, Upanishad),are the final authority for everything in our Dharma. The crowning glory of the Ved are the Vedanta, which deal with the Advaita in great clarity. The 10 major Upanishads with the Mandukya Upanishad occupy the highest place. The beautiful Mandukya has only 12 lines about the Om and the Paramtattva.
So now about Om. Om is also not the actual Paramtattva. Om is the nearest thing to it. Something like a ‘Moorti’ of the Advaita. A Moorti that you see in temples is made from stone, metal etc. But here you are required to visualise a Moorti made of conscious energy. Om is a Moorti of the Paramatma. You have to visualise Om with this intention and understanding. This is difficult for beginners on the spiritual path.
The course work has to suit to the student. You cannot teach a 1st std child, the syllabus of a PhD. Ved and the Vedanta is PhD course work.
In Sanatan Dharma the main texts are the Ved (Ved, Brahmana, Aranyaka, Upanishad), these have the highest validity, they are the source of everything. Then are the Itihas, histories, eg Ramayan, Mahabharat, the actual incidents are given in detail. They also have philosophy ie attaining Moksh and practical stuff like how to manage a kingdom (ever read the original Mahabharat or Ramayan, it is much much more than a simple story).These Itihas conform to the Vedic principles. Then we have the Puran-s. In these additional historical incidents are given, more philosophy, more practical stuff etc. And anything written here has to conform to the Vedic concepts and the broad outline of the Itihas. The 18 Puran-s written by Ved-Vyas are given more prominence in this category. And there are the several commentaries, Bhashya, treatises, practical work, more philosophy etc written on these texts by enlightened Guru-s like Adi Shankaracharya and others. This broadly is the corpus of texts available in Sanatan Dharma. Regular Hindus never read these texts, unfortunately.
All Shastra, all pujas, all yajnyas, all mantras are secretly hidden in the Ved. It is a huge huge repository of knowledge. eg the entire Shri Vidya which deals with the worship of the Devi Lalitatripursundari, the Maha-vidya-s etc is from the Ved. It is one of the many Vidya-s mentioned here. Another Vidya is the Chakshushi, I have written about it briefly in this post. All these Vidya-s will take you to the Parabrahma if used in the correct manner. Jyotish is also a Vidya.
These different texts describe the same Reality in different perspectives in different words which are suited to people of different mindsets. eg If you read the texts on Devi Lalita, it is given that the Devi just looked at her toe-nails and the 10 Vishnu-avatar-s manifested from here, did their work and again got reabsorbed in her. This is obviously different from what we popularly know about the Vishnu-avatar-s. In the Shiv Puran, there is a Shiv Gita which Bhagwan Shiv narrated to Shri Ram at Rameshwar before his war with Ravan. eg Bhagwat Gita, most people believe that this is the only Gita, the highest teaching. But if you open the Ishwar Gita, it is very similar to Bhagwat Gita. If you read the Shiv Gita, this is also similar and also has a Vishwaroop darshan. Then you read the Anu-gita which Krishna taught to Arjun after the war, and this is very different from the Bhagwat Gita which he taught first. There is a vast ocean of philosophy, spiritual practices, teachings, discourses in Sanatan Dharma. If you randomly read from here and there, you will get extremely confused.
In the past and even now, Dharma is facing a lot of challenges. The Dev-Asur Sangram, ie the constant war between radiant and dull energies is always on at different levels. It is still going on now and will always occur. Sometimes the Dev will have the upper hand and sometimes then Asur might seem to be winning.
There are numerous examples where our temples, libraries, universities and their custodian Brahmins were very viciously destroyed. The horror in Kashmir where specifically Tantra and its genuine practitioners were systematically wiped out over the last 500yrs or so. The oldest physical book of Valmiki Ramayan was burnt when the Britishers burnt the libraries in Kolkata about 200yrs ago. Tipu burnt ancient libraries, manuscripts and their custodian Brahmins in South India about 300yrs ago. More insidious was that the invaders injected nonsense in our books and are still doing it. People who do not follow Sanatan Dharma are writing translations of these texts with the express purpose of altering their meanings.
It is difficult to find authentic texts and more difficult to find a real Guru. Also we have forgotten our mother-tongue Sanskrit, thus are a highly confused directionless lot.
Back to Om. Vedanta clearly states the Om to be theParamtattva. Focus on the Om and you will gain that realization. The Ved describe Om and how it has manifested the universe from itself. Om is the first vibration, the first movement. The main deities described are the 33 koti devata ie the 8 Vasu, 11 Rudra,12 Aditya, Prajapati and Indra. They further create the universe and everything else in it. These are the backbone of the creation and they actually exist in our backbones, in the Sushumna nadi.
You create your own universe. This concept is also rather difficult for beginners to comprehend. I have put posts on using energy consciously, try doing some of these exercises to actually experience how you can create. Once you succeed at an ‘energy experiment’, your perception changes forever.
Indra as well as all the other Vedic deities are pure energy. They are not human figures. Now for the students who could not comprehend the highly esoteric Ved-s, more human looking deities was introduced in the Puran-s. All the energies were given human forms. Prakruti was given a Moorthi of the beautiful Devi Lalitatripursundari. The tri-Gun, Satva, Raja, Tama were given human forms so we have the Tri-dev etc. All these Puranic deities are also conscious energies, but described in more human terms so that we can relate to them more easily.
But every shloka, every stotra, every sukta in this vast ocean of Sanatan Dharma describes only the Advaita. This might be difficult for beginners to believe but eg. every one of the 1000 names in the Vishnu sahastranama are ultimately dedicated to the Parameshwar, from the first ‘Vishnu’ to the last ‘Sarvapraharanayudh’ all are linked to this Parabrahma. The Dasha-Mahavidyas are the energies of the 10 directions, the intelligence of space, their essential nature is also the Paramtattva (post here). Now open the Devi Atharvasheersha, She says ‘Aham Brahma swaroopini’ in the first line. If you open the Ganapati athavasheersha, it says that Ganapati is the ‘pratekshya tat tvam asi’ in the first line itself. ‘Tat tvam asi’ is a Mahvakya of the Ved. So all deities are essentially Parabrahma.
There is only one thing that is worthy of being known. That is Parabrahma and we do it through his Moorthi, Om. You are Om, I am Om, we worship Om and whatever we do or see is all Om. Eg In all stories/ allegories, you see that the Tri-dev are generally in Dhyan or in deep contemplation. Who are they doing Dhyan of? Who is the essential consciousness within them? In the Puran-s, it is mentioned that the Tri-dev did intense Sadhana to get to this position that they enjoy. Whose sadhana did they do? To become aware as ‘Indra’, 100 ashva-medh yajnyas are necessary, who are they dedicated to? So just think, to become aware as ‘Om’, what level of intensity will be necessary?
In our pantheon of deities and the humungous mass of stories/allegories, if you get into who was whose husband, whose wife, who was the father, who was the son, who came first and who came later, you will get very confused. The Ved say this same thing, the serious aspirant must focus on the ultimate reality, not on anything else.
You should not think of yourself as Indra or Vishnu or Shankar etc or any of the Vedic or Puranic deities. Think of yourself as Om, the Parabrahma. Try to explore and locate that Supreme consciousness within.
And finally to sum up this discussion.
Do what your Sat-Guru teaches you to do. Practice under the guidance of a Guru. Follow what he tells you. This is why the Sat-Guru in Sanatan Dharma is so essential. Without the blessings of the Guru you cannot do anything and cannot realise anything.
Eg if your Guru teaches you from the Bhagwat Gita of the Mahabharat. You will think of Shri Krishna as your adored deity. First as a Vishnu-avtar, then as you go deeper into him you will realise that the Gita talks about the Advaita. The real Krishna, who ‘pulls’ you inwards is the Advaita. The ‘unknowable blackness’ is again a negation of this created universe. Your Guru will help you experience this essential attribute of ‘Krishna’.
Eg if your Guru teaches you to worship Devi Lalitatripursundari. You will worship the Shri Chakra/Meru with mantras. Initially you might think that you are worshipping a beautiful Devi wearing red sari, jewellery, 4 hands etc. You might call her Mother, Maai, Aai, Mataji, Maiiyaa, etc but later you realise that her name Maa is most apt. I have written this post on this word ‘Maa’, it is a negation, essentially means ’No’. Her subtlest nature is a resounding negation of the creation you see around you. She is Advaita. This realisation will come at the highest levels of your sadhana.
Eg if your Guru teaches you Gayatri puja. You might think that you are worshipping a beautiful Devi with 5-faces etc with her Gayatri mantra. But later as the mantra pulls you inwards you realise that the ‘Savitra’ in the Gayatri mantra refers to the internal illumination. Your are worshipping your own Luminous Self. And this is the Advaita.
Eg if the Guru starts off with the pure Vedanta. This is a rare Guru and an equally rare student. You will then go directly to the Upanishad. He will teach you ‘na iti, na iti’, not this not this. Again the negation of the Maya of creation and the single pointed focus on the pure Om. Read about the Om, practice Om, experience Om and thus the Paramtattva whose Moorti Om is.
A Guru teaches what he has achieved, ie he can teach only what he has the ‘adhikar’ to teach. ie, a History teacher will teach History not Math and a 1st std teacher will not teach PhD students. If a Guru has practiced the Gayatri mantra he will guide you with the Gayatri mantra. If he visualises the Gayatri as a Devi in a red sari then he will teach you this same visualisation. If he has visualised the Gayatri as the Advaita then he will be able to guide you till this final destination. When you get blessings of a Sat-guru, the Atma-jnyani Mahapurush, the Jivan-mukt, ie the Parabrahma only then will you attain Moksh.
So choose your Guru very carefully. Guru is a force which pulls you towards your Self. And there are several pretenders who claim to have got enlightenment or claim to converse with the deities etc. Evaluate carefully before accepting someone as your Guru. If you do not have anyone around, try to follow some daily routine (post here on daily pujas). Get your own intention moving, desire to know your own reality. If you desire it, it will happen. When the student is ready the Guru will manifest.
So Dear Reader, this is a rather rambling answer to your question, see if it helps you in some way.
Devraj Indra, the king of dev-s. Let’s first look at these Sanskrit words.
Dev – deity, wish to overcome, desire to excel, prince, priest, play, sense-organs, king, divine, copy, cloud, offspring, radiance, divine light, resonance, etc.
Raj – sovereign, meter in prosody, radiant, shining, guidance, governance, etc
Indra – night, human soul, geometric figure, pupil of the eye, chief, first, excellent, ruler of the east direction, god of the sky, royal, the individual soul/ jiv-atma etc.
Indra is the hero, the warrior, the invincible King of the Dev-s. He is the enjoyer of absolute prosperity, Param-aishwarya. His other names are, Amrish, Devesh, Gyanendra, Mahendra, Purandar, Sachin, Shatamanyu, Satipati, Suresh, Svar-raj, Vajrapani, Vajrin, Vrittahan, Vruddha-shrava, Sutrama, Gotrabhit, Sunasheera, Purohuta etc. Now put these meanings together to get a glimmering as to who and what Indra really is.
Indra is the power who brings life on this earth in all ways possible. Indra controls the sense organs, by energising them with his power. His power is the power of the Jivatma directly linked to the Param-atma. On the esoteric levels, Indra is you, your individual soul/ Jivatma. The conscious essence that you are, is Indra. Your mind, body, soul, your existence. You are the hero of your world, Indra.
Indra is the ruler of the East/ poorva direction. He is the dawn of radiance. Also the ancestral energy most closely connected to the source.
Indra is the yajnya-palak. Yajnya is the continuous evolution of the individual soul/ jivatma. Every action you take is technically a ‘yajnya’. He protects you as you unceasing make efforts to attain the highest Param-Atma. He is the one who gets the energy of the main oblations/ havish offered in the Yadnya. ie when you perform any action you yourself get the main energy linked to that action. If you do good for others know that you are actually doing good for your own self. Conversely if you hurt others you hurt your own self first. Indra also destroys all those who obstruct the performance of yajnya-s. If you want to perform auspicious actions your internal Indra is the one who will help you. Shakra, he is the destroyer of discordant energy. Remember that yajnyas are essentially internal. You offer your Pran with the mantra into your own internal Agni. Thus Indra ie your individual soul receives this energy. There is no concept of an external ‘god’ in Sanatan Dharma. It is all internal, within you.
He is Lokpalak, the guardian/ ruler/ protector of the worlds including the Prithvi, Antariksha and Vyom. Without his support the universe cannot exist. He is the Marutvan. He controls the subsidiary deities called Marut-gan. They are 7 divided into further 7. आवहः Aavaha controls the movement of the earth. प्रवहः Pravaha is connected to the Surya mandala. उद्वहः Udvaha is the one who provides movement in the chandra mandala. सुवहः Suvaha for the luminous heavenly bodies. विवहः Vivaha provides motion to the graha of Jyotish. परावहः Paravaha provides movement in the realm of the Sapta-rishi/ Seven Seers. परिवहः Parivaha is the motion of the Dhruva mandala. These realms are not only in the external space but also within you. Do your spiritual practice to experience them.
The rakshak/ protector of the Dev-Lok, he guards the seat of the divine illumination. He is the Swarg-adhipati, he rules over and protects the incredible energies of the heavenly realms and its treasures. The Swarg-lok has the Ratna/ jewels which emerged out of the Samudra Manthan, these include the Kalpa-vriksha, Kaam-dhenu, Parijaat, Airavat, Amrut etc.
Indra is the Go-rakshak. He brought back the ‘Go’ when they were stolen by Asuras. Go is said to mean cows but it is one of the most complicated words in Sanskrit to understand and then experience, Go has hundreds of meanings like cows, thunderbolt, leather strap, stars, sky, skin, body, light rays, milk, hair, bow string, water, sun, singer, sense-organs, moon, medicinal plants, third eye, one who goes, billion, voice, speech, Devi Sarasvati, Vak, number 9, mother, earth, etc etc. Indra is the energy which protects the internal Go within you from the Asur/ discordant energies.
In the Ved it is said that Indra is the only one who drinks maximum amounts of Soma, Somapa. (I have described the nature of Soma in this post.) Essentially Anna is converted to Soma. Soma is further transduced into Pran. Indra consumes Soma, the purest form of conscious energy and then goes to fight his enemies. The esoteric significance of this is that only when the Jiv-atma has access to maximum amount of Soma can he create the necessary boost of Pran. This Pran will be then channelised into the Sushumna to fight the karmic imprints/ discordance within. Later this Pran will be used to activate the Kundalini, which will rise as a flashing thunderbolt.
Indra is mentioned in every allegory, every Ithihas of Sanatan Dharma.
Ramayan is about the ‘travels of Ram’ so naturally Shri Ram is the main hero. But the main deity mentioned maximum times in the Valmiki Ramayan is Indra. His name Shakra शक्र is mentioned 182 times, Indra इन्द्र 164 times, Mahendra महेन्द्र 95 times, Vasav वासव 74 times, Sahastraksh सहस्राक्ष 54 times, Purandar पुरन्दर 31 times, Shatkratu शतक्रतु 29 times, Vajrin वज्रिन् 25 times, Devraj देवराज 16 times, Pakshashan पाकशासन 11, Sureshwar सुरेश्वर10, Shachipati शचीपति8 and Maghvan मघवान् 6 times. In Ramayan, Indra first ‘kills’ Maruti by breaking his jaw and then later revives him and gives him the boon of immortality, makes him a Chiranjeevi. Indra gave Shri Ram his own chariot, charioteer, weapons etc during the war with Ravan. Indra brought back the dead Vanar-s to life when Shri Ram requested him to do so. Indra is very much a major part of the Ramayan.
Then when you study the Mahabharat, again there are several references to Indra. Arjun, the major actor of the Mahabharat, is the son of Indra. Arjun was created by mantras recited by Kunti. Kunti’s other name is Prutha, ie Earth. So then Arjun represents the creative power, the inherent divinity, the genius, the active intelligence, the projection etc, the ‘son’ of Indra which is materialised ie ‘brought by mantras on the earth’.Indra helps the Pandav-s several times, eg by ensuring that Karna gets cursed, by taking away Karna’s kavach-kundal, by giving the Pandav-s divine astra-weapons for fighting the war, protecting them from time to time etc. The Mahabharat is also an esoteric text. In this, Shri Krishna narrates the Yog-shastra Bhagvat Gita to Arjun. So the highest Consciousness (Param-atma), Krishna, describes to the genius of the limited consciousness (Jiv-atma), Arjun, how it can attain the highest Consciousness itself. This is the deepest secret within the Mahabharat.
My favourite Shri-sukta. As per the Laxmi tantra, Devi Mahalaxmi describes and gives this Sukta to none else but Indra. The Ved-s are majorly about Indra. If you read through the allegories and histories of Sanatan Dharma you will realise that Indra is the main pivot around which things happen.
Now I need to write a bit about the Ved-s and the Puran-s.
We have lost a significant portion of Ved, ie the associated Samhita, Brahmana, Aranyk, Upanishad texts etc are incompletely available now. But in what we have at this moment, Indra is without a doubt the most significant Vedic deity. Eg in the Rg Ved, 239 out of 1028 sukta are exclusively composed in his honor. Additional 27 sukta, where he is mentioned with other deities. The Ved describe Indra, his activities, his powers, his heroic achievements. Ved have no origin, there were directly seen from the Akash by enlightened Seers/ Rishi-s. The Vedic age was one of significant enlightenment where even general people were aware of the internal divinity/ Indra within them, and they would make active efforts using the Sukta-s etc to pull themselves higher towards the Param-Atma. The sukta-s dedicated to Indra were used to awaken/ energise their internal Indra. Now unfortunately we are not capable of using these as such and the knowledge too has hidden itself.
Then we come to the Puran-s. In these stories, other deities like Shankar (sometimes called Shiv), Vishnu Brahmadev come into focus. These three deities are the conscious energy of the Satva, Raja and Tamas Gun-s. The Puran were composed by Rishi-s, eg the author of several major Puran-s is Maharshi Vyas. Regarding Indra, in the Puran, there are mainly two recurring themes.
Theme 1 – Indra by his action/ inaction gets into trouble. The negative forces like Daityas, Rakshas-s, Danav-s etc attack him and the Dev-lok, the realm of Divine radiance is in trouble. He rushes to the Tri-dev ie Vishnu Shankar, Brahmadev and requests help. These three deities are generally shown to be in deep Dhyan or asleep, ie inanimate. Only when Indra comes knocking, are they roused and help him defeat his foes. If you analyse this, the only player who acts of his own volition is Indra. He commits mistakes, loses, does penances, wins etc. The several other players help/ hinder/ interact with him in different ways, eg by giving him blessings, weapons, taking avatars or by attacking, cursing him etc. (ie You have to use the energies of the Satva, Raja and Tama Gun to destroy the discordance within you. eg Satva-gun ie Mahavishnu will help Indra in making his Vajra.)
Theme 2 – A Rishi starts doing intense spiritual practice/ Tap. The fierce energy created by this Tap starts shaking the throne of Indra. He feels insecure and sends his Apsara-s to disturb the Rishi and break his sadhana. Sometimes the Apsara succeed and sometimes fail. The Apsara are turbulences in the stillness of the mind, but here these are controlled by Indra. Here Indra is operating at his dullest level of consciousness thus scared of the fire generated by Tapasya. He tries to stop the Tapasya so that he can continue to enjoy the illusion of the jiv-atma/ individual soul. (ie. If you are at the lower levels of spiritual evolution, then try not to get scared by the concept of spiritual practice. Initally the mind will fight it, but later will actively help you in your routine.)
What actually happened during the Puranic times was that the inner awareness of the general population decreased. They started losing touch with their internal divinity. Their internal Indra started getting into trouble, attacked more by negative forces. So the Gun-s, Satva-Vishnu, Raja-Brahmadev and Tamas-Shankar had to be invoked to help Indra. Here the level of the aspirant was lowered in the sense he could not directly invoke Indra using the Vedic suktas directly anymore. So the via media of the three Gun-s energy had to be used. So we have the typical puranic prayers to the Tri-dev. Indra, though shown to be less glamorous, still is the central theme. Indra will always remain the central theme, because he is the Jiv-atma, the player in the Game of Creation. You are the only hero, the only actor in your life, the rest around you only help/ hinder you.
And now we are in the Kali yug, so the internal Indra for most of us is generally overwhelmed by Asur forces, unable to counter-act them.
You are Indra. Puranic or Vedic? Or at a level even lower than the Puranic? Evaluate for yourself.
Indra, as per the Puran-s, is the son of Maharishi Kashyap and Aditi. He is thus the grandson of Brahmadev, ie Raja-gun. Kashyap is a Sanskrit word which essentially is the energy which makes visible or makes something brilliant. Aditi is literally the energy of manifestation, heaven and earth, speech, inexhaustible creative power, perfection, boundlessness, freedom, happiness, completion etc. So Indra is essentially the visible brilliance of the boundless power of manifested creation, which is in motion and is also capable of causing movement.
Aditi and Kashyap have 33 sons, ie the 33 koti Devata-s which exist within all of us. They are Indra, Prajapati, the 8 Vasu, the 11 Rudra and the 12 Aditya. (These are all within you, do click on these links to read about them)
Indra is married to Sachi. Sachi-pati is his name. Pati is the catalyst energy which acts on another substance and causes it to change. The word Sachi has several meanings like speech, skills, activity etc but it is also another name for Vak, Prajnya, Karma. This means that the power of the individual soul/ Jiv-atma enters the substance of Vak, Prajnya and Karma and causes changes in them, leading to further creation. Indra is more esoteric than people today realise.
Indra is the destroyer of several Asur forces including Vala, Panis, Namuchi, Shushna, Sambhara, Himarina, Vrittasur etc. He released Sapta-sindhu, released the Go, created the Agni etc. All these allegories are full of esoteric meanings. I will just briefly write on the esoteric theme of the killing of Vrittasur, you can explore the other allegories on your own if you feel inclined. This is from the Rg ved, 1.80.1-16.
Our minds are very low in consciousness, the several ideas, thoughts, desires, wishes which stir up the serenity of the mind are called Vritti. These Vritti cause turbulence, these are the barriers to self-realisation. Only when the mind becomes still, does the light of the Self dawn. Indra uses his weapon Vajra to kill Vrittasur. This in the esoteric sense means that when you have Indra on your side in your spiritual practice, you put a stop to the waves of disturbance rising in your mind. These waves are Asur, discordant. They stop you from your spiritual practice, cause distress, pain and keep you at a low levels of awareness. When Indra kills Vritasur, the spiritual aspirant starts resonating with OM.
Indra is the only deity who carries a Vajra in his hands. I read about Tibetan Vajrayana and was surprised to note that it is also called Mantrayan, ‘the travel of the Mantra’. One of the major deities of Vajrayana is Vajrasatva, he carries the Vajra and a bell in his hands. The Vajra is used to destroy the turbulence of the mind and the bell with its resonating sound of Om creates the resonance of Om in the aspirant. The Tibetan Vajrayana is deeply connected to Sanatan dharma, especially its practical Tantra/ Mantra/ Yantra aspect.
Now Indra’s weapon, the Vajra. It actually looks like a dumb-bell shaped object, about as big as can be gripped comfortably. It is said to create thunderbolts, which is accurate. Vajra was created by Vishvakarma from the Asti of the body of the enlightened MahaRishi Dadhyang specifically for Indra’s war with Vrittasur. The MahaRishi ‘donated’ his body, specifically his head, as a weapon fashioned only from its Asti could kill Vritasur. The fire of his Tapasya had made his Asti/ essence intensely powerful so if used as a weapon could easily destroy Vrittasur. And there is a proper definition for Vajra, ‘tapovya sa vajra asit’. ie Vajra is the essence, the fire of Tapasya, the radiance emitted when you perform intense spiritual practice. It is the thunderbolt flash of the ascending Kundalini. And Tapa in its essence is the discarding of vasana/ desires which is precisely what killing of Vrittasur implies.
There are endless allegories linked to Indra and his exploits. If you wish you can read them and try to glean their hidden meaning for yourself.
But one thing is true, you become aware of the internal Indra, when you perform your regular spiritual practice, by the blessings of the Param-atma. As per the allegories if you perform 100 Ashvamedh yadnyas you attain the title of Indra. Here Indra is the Vedic Indra, the hero Indra. If you are still at the Puranic or even lower stages of evolution you have to perform 100 Ashva-medh yajnyas to reach this level. Then there is a very confused concept of Ashva-medh going around these days. No one sacrificed horses! In Sanatan Dharma you can never never kill another living thing as a sacrifice, if you do you will create horrendous karma for yourself. Ashva is literally the external and the internal Sun. Medh means ‘essence’. So to first realise the essence of internal Sun, you have to work /act /perform yajnya, ie your regular sustained spiritual practice over several lives consistently.
Understanding and experiencing yourself as Indra is a very significant step in your spiritual practice. Every deity in Sanatan Dharma is there for a specific reason, there are no superstitions in Dharma.
I had to write this post as a response to an adverse comment on Indra. Disparaging Indra means disparaging your individual soul, your own jiv-atma. Who are you now? Indra, the Jiv-atma. What do you want to experience? Advaita, the Param-Atman. This is the secret of all spiritual practice.
Devbhasha Samskrutam aka Sanskrit is the original language of this universe. It derives from OM, the seed of this universe we exist in. Rishi Panini ‘saw’ its grammar from Akash and wrote it. Sanskrit is linked to your DNA and is the perfectly arranged language of Light. It cannot be translated as there is nothing you can translate it to. And just because someone has learnt to read/ write it, does not mean that he has understood the texts of Sanatan Dharma or its texts, Sanskrit has layers and layers.
A simple example. There is this very common Sanskrit shlok in the praise of Shri Ganapati,
OM Agajanana padmarkam, Gajananam aharnisham, anek dantam bhaktanam, ek dantam upasmahe OM
It is generally translated as ‘Ganapati is the beloved son of Devi Parvati. Her face lights up with love for him and thus that radiance falls on him. Similarly the blessings of Ganapati fall on his many devotees who worship him with devotion.’
The pictures I have put in this post are of the soft-grey colored Shri Dhoomraketu Ganapati. This is his form in the current Kaliyug. He destroys the Ahamkara, self-ego, sense of individual ego and thus grants Moksh.
And this shlok also means this,
Om – is the seed of this universe, the pranav-mantra.
Agajaa would mean ‘the child of the mountain’, ie the Kundalini rests on the highest energy point of the Mooladhar chakra which is linked to the Pruthvi tattva. Kundalini or Devi Shakti is also called Parvati, the daughter of the mountain/ Parvat Himalaya.
Anan means face, access, door, entrance and its also indicates non-movement, non-animation etc. The Kundalini at rest is the Agajaa-annan. She rests/ sleeps with her ‘face’ blocking the entrance of the Sushumna.
Padma as I have mentioned in an earlier post, is the conscious energy of time-space and the rest of the dimensions. It also means lotus, chakras, a serpent, sinous movement, an elephant with its massiveness and can also indicate a complete merging.
Arka is the light of the internal sun of self-awareness experienced at the end of the twelve chakras, at the Dwadashanat. The ‘Light of the Self’.
Gaj-anan is the opening of the Sushumna located at the Mooladhar chakra. I have mentioned somewhere that Gajanan/ Ganapati is the deity whose permission is necessary for gaining access to the Sushumna. (Deity means conscious intelligence, there is no classical ‘god’ in Sanantan Dharma)
Gaja is earth tattva, the foundation from which the Kundalini will make her move. Or also the solidity, steadiness of your spiritual practice.
Aharnisham means continuously, constantly, steadily, day/ night. But it also means the illusion of the individual soul/ Jivatma being separate from the Parabrahma.
Anek-dantam-bhaktanam is ‘a separated point’. The best way I can describe this is something like the school physics experiment of interference of light waves. A single point is viewed as being divided into multiple points. The same point is ‘divided’ into many. How can a point be divided? Ask your physics teacher if he can explain. Or ask a quantum scientist and be amazed when he speaks of Sanatan Dharma.
Ek-danta means one single point or focussed concentration or the Ultimate realisation. Or the original point which is perceived as ‘a separated point’. The non-dual Advaita which is perceived as multiplicity.
Upasmahe is the verb, the past perfect tense of Upasna. This word has several meanings, but the most interesting meaning is to throw off, or to remove firmly. So this will mean the action of removing the illusion of the multiple points from the one single point. It is in the past perfect tense of the verb. So this action has already been completed. A paradox.
So this simple seeming shlok/ verse has completely different hidden depths. A real genuine Guru would be able to add more meanings and perhaps also grant the experience of this Shloka. See what you make of it?
So to address the question that someone asked me.
How genuine are the translated Sanskrit works? The answer is that someone understands something as per his level of understanding. And understanding depends on the level of experience. And experiencing Devbhasha Sanskrutam requires contemplation. You have to do continuous Dhyan over it to experience it. eg When you are doing your Dhyan with the ‘Soham’ mantra you are experiencing, understanding it. More you meditate on Sanskrit more deeply will you experience/understand it. Sanskrit is a palimpsest, layers and layers of meanings. So if you choose to read a translated book, choose after evaluating the translator well. And at least read the original Sanskrit shlokas/text if you can.
There were several questions on what happens during the menstrual phase of the monthly cycle in women, what should be avoided during this time etc, thus this post.
Before reading this, I want you to learn how to make a chi ball (post here)or learn to sense your chakras (post here) or learn to see auras (post here). Unless you can sense the movement of the chakras in your body, sense the direction of their movement etc, this post will be incomprehensible. Every theory should be proved by practice, else it is useless. So unless you learn to sense energy, ie pran, this post will remain essentially meaningless words.
Chakras move in a spiralling clockwise direction. By this movement, they power the naadi network ie send Pran through them. They go anticlockwise only in the following cases,
Women in the menstrual phase of their monthly cycle. This phase lasts for 5 days in general, sometimes 6 days. (For physical hygiene purposes, you can stretch it to 7 days max.)
Men, women and children who are suffering diseases where the body is getting terribly damaged very fast. Eg last stages of cancer and similarly fatal diseases, where the disease progresses so rapidly that there is net destruction of body tissues. (saw this several times)
Black magic intended to severely harm or kill can make your chakras go anticlockwise. (I have experienced this once)
When the chakras are clockwise, the Pravrutti cycle operates. The body builds itself, the tissues repair themselves, the mind is interested in the world, activities are performed. Some people call this a positive chakra movement. You wish to live on in your body and take steps to ensure that the body/ mind remains heathy and well. The clockwise direction is of evolution, growth, ie basically creation. That is why we draw the Swastik in the clockwise direction always. And the Shri Ganapati we householders worship has his truck to the left. And we blow conches of a typical shape, to increase the energy of Pravrutti around us. Its opposite is the Nivrutti where the energy is destructive in nature. (If you know how, you can use this Nivrutti energy for spiritual purposes ie to create detachment from the material)
In healthy, normal women from the age of avg 12yrs to 51yrs the body follows the reproductive cycle. There are avg 13 cycles in a year. One cycle is for an avg 28days. (28days in a lunar month.) And of these 28days, for avg 5 days the body self-destructs internally. Anticlockwise spinning energy is the direction of destruction. During these 5 days, the body is undergoing internal controlled destruction. The reproduction related tissues are being ripped off, there is loss of blood etc. If this sort of destruction has to occur, the body has to first set the chakras in the anti-clockwise motion. Destruction of this scale cannot happen with the regular clockwise energy. It is a highly precise thing. If you can sense the speeds of the chakras you will observe that the intensity is very high on the 1st 2nd days, slows down on the 3rd 4th days, is very slowly anticlockwise on the 5th or rarely 6th day. Then the chakras turn around and assume their regular clockwise motion.
The physical body becomes weak, the aura of the lower abdomen becomes very red often with black streaks. There is always pain and trauma in the physical body. Some women suffer backaches, cramps, nausea, stomach upsets, etc. The mind and emotions are affected, ie there is lethargy, disinterest, dissociation as nivrutti operates. Best option is, during this period, to rest, sleep and relax in whatever way you can.
The astral body shows the effects too, you absorb negative forms of energy more easily from others during this period. So you should not go to places which are haunted. There are entities here which can link into your astral body deeply and cause damage. You can get haunted by spirits if you go to isolated places near rivers or alone in forests, ruined ancient places or places where traumatic events have occurred etc.
During this time you should not go to events related to birth or death. As during this time, the barriers between our Martya-lok and the Pitr-lok are open. And you do not know what can latch on to you from the other dimension causing you harm.
During this period, you cannot do any sort of practice which manipulates Pran in the Naadi-s. No energy-related work of any kind, ie you cannot even remove evil eye during this period. No Yog-asan, Dhyan, Japa etc as you work very hard when you perform these activities. You put in a lot of effort trying to coordinate your breath, mantra, focus, posture etc in a very precise fashion. If you do such activities during your periods, you can subtly damage your Naadi-s. If the naadi-s get damaged, then their connected body organs will eventually get physically diseased.
During this period you cannot absorb clockwise energies around you. The energy generated during regular pujas, Arti, blowing conches, going to temples, etc is the clockwise one. So if you go to some place where such clockwise spinning energies are being generated you will face an energy backlash. Your chakras are going anti-clockwise. These two forms of energies sort of collide within you. If you are sensitive enough, you might feel nauseated, dizzy, feel like throwing up etc on the physical levels. So you should not go to temples, pujas, marriages, etc on these days. In fact if you have a separate puja room in your house, you should avoid going inside it till your chakras go clockwise again. So if you remain in environments where clockwise spinning energy is amplified by pujas/ worship/ mantras etc you are going eventually hurt yourself.
(Once I had gone to a local temple and a woman in her periods came and stood near me. Her energy was incredibly disturbing, her ‘smell’, ‘taste’ ‘feel’ was so bad, that I had to move away from her. About 6ft away was bearable. And then the deity was so enraged, She cursed her. And this woman had no idea what was happening.)
Never touch a Tulsi plant, it will die soon. All Hindu/ Sanatan Dharma followers will have this plant compulsorily in their homes. Tulsi carries with it the energies of Satva-gun, ie Bhagwan Vishnu and Devi Laxmi.
Earlier and even now, women avoid going to the kitchen in the menstrual phase. If you touch food, it will spoil its energy. Try touching fresh milk (not the liquid sold as ‘milk’ in cities) and see what happens. Or try setting curds with fresh milk. Or set any food for fermentation during this period, it will not set well. Ideally you should not cook for your family during these days. The energy of destruction whirring within you changes the energy of the food/ liquids you touch. This energy is distasteful and can actually be damaging to sensitive people.
In pujas, deities are formally invited, requested to sit, accept the offerings of flowers, clothes, saffron, sandalwood, mantras, camphor, arti, food, water, etc naivedya is offered to them. They actually absorb the energies of all this stuff which is offered to them. We do pujas of Saumya-forms of Bhagwan Shankar, Bhagwan Vishnu, Devi Sarasvati, Devi Laxmi, Devi Parvati, Shri Ganpati etc. We wish for prosperity, happiness, positive things in life, constructive things. So these deities are in their Pravrutti forms, clockwise energy. In a puja, the deities actually absorb the essence/ energy of the offering, amplify it and give it back to you as their ashirwad/ blessing when they formally leave at the end of the pujas.
If during the menstrual phase, you touch any item which is to be offered to them or stay in the same room where the pujas being performed, your anti-clockwise energies interfere with this process. When you touch an item, it’s energy goes anti-clockwise and they will not accept it. In fact, just your presence in the room is sufficient to change the energy of the stuff. Eg you eat only veg food, someone invites you with all respect and serves you only non-veg food. Naturally you are going to be upset and point it out to him. This is the same thing, but here because they are deities, they will curse you, your family and the brahmin who is doing the pujas. They will leave rejecting your offerings and this is an additional negative karma for all, including you.
Now if anyone from your family is doing intense pujas, regular Dhyan etc, you should not sit next to him/her in this period. Or if there is someone in whom deities come. If he/she eats food you prepare it will cause harm to him/her. In the first place he/she will not eat it or sit next to you, but you too should not insist. This causes distress and can result in actual rashes, allergy, indigestion, falling ill etc for him/her. This is negative karma for you, as you have, by your negligence, caused harm to a spiritual aspirant.
If you have taken any Sankalp/ intention to do some pujas/ mantra/ Dhyan every day, then these days are not counted in your practice. You will simply stop on the 1st day. Rest for the 5 days or upto 7days as necessary. Then on the day you are to resume your practice, have a full bath, ie put water over your head too. This ensures that the entire aura of the body is refreshed from top to toe. And then resume your practice. You do not have to do double or extra or anything to ‘make up’ for these rest days.
(I am a woman myself. I do a lot of Pujas/ personals spiritual practices/ anushthans etc. I cook food for my family, myself. My parents/ husband /son/ brothers also do heavy-duty pujas etc. There are several incidents which I have seen in my own family connected to this cycle. I have not written about them as they were personal in nature.)
Rebalancing karma is often accelerated in the menstrual phase of the monthly cycle. So I always consider women very lucky as they have this opportunity for 5days, if they understand and use its energy. Earlier women who knew tantra etc could use these energies of destruction, but now that knowledge is lost. So now all that you can do during these 5 days is rest, let the body/ mind recover.
Again, you must learn to sense pran, your chakras etc. Unless you learn this, you might not be able to really understand this post.