Secrets of your Shadow Chhaya Sadhana

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

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

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

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

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

Secrets of your Shadow Chhaya Sadhana

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

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

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

The books say that the following are the interpretations.

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

The colour of the image

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

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

Secrets of your Shadow Chhaya Sadhana

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Secrets of your Shadow Chhaya Sadhana

 

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

Using your dreams to improve your health

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Using your dreams to improve your health

Tripur, Tripurari, Tripursundari

A story today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tripur, Tripurari, Tripursundari.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pushpadant – expanding point (this is a paradox)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yug – time

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

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

 

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

The Conch, Shankh

The Conch is one of the most auspicious symbols in Sanatan Dharm. ‘Shankh’ is a Sanskrit word which means, a meter, a mantra, temple, conch etc. Shri Vishnu holds a conch named ‘Panch-janya’ in one of his hands. ‘Panchajanya’ is a Sanskrit word which broadly means the ‘one born by the union of the five’. These 5 can mean the 5 tanmantra, the 5 Gnyan-Indriya, the 5 Karma-Indriya or the 5 Panch-bhoot or the 5 Kosh/sheaths of the body etc. This divine conch is one of the 14 jewels which came out of the Eternal Ocean of Consciousness (Samudra Manthan). All gods, goddesses, major warriors from Ramayan, Mahabharat etc have their own conches, each with its specific name. The Conch, ShankhThe conch that we use in our pujas is the shell created by the marine gastropod/snail Turbinella pyrum. These commonly found conches are all right handed, they coil dextrally, the aperture is towards the right side (Photo of the Shankh I use). These are used for all routine pujas and rituals and are blown in all auspicious ceremonies. The Shankh itself is also worshipped as a symbol of the Nada-Brahma, the creative power of the Ultimate Reality expressed as Sound.

Now there is the odd conch with the aperture towards the left side, sinistrally coiled. This is very rare and is not worshipped neither used for routine pujas. These are not used for blowing in auspicious ceremonies. This Conch represents energy moving inwards, it is destructive for the manifested. Just like the Swastik moving anticlockwise, or the Ganapati moorthi with his trunk coiled to the right, it represents involution, dissolution, Nivrutti. Only tantriks and people who know exactly what they are doing, will keep, worship, use and blow such a Shankh.

Blowing a Shankh requires that you pucker your lips in a typical way and have some lung power! Both men, women (except the 5 days of the monthly cycle) or children can blow it. However do remember that it requires some skill and lung power. Smaller conches are a bit easier to blow as lesser air is needed. There is only one note felt/heard when you blow, OM. Next time you blow your Shankh, keep your eyes closed and focus on your third eye. Initially you will see bursts of light, if you are on your spiritual path you will see the Shri yantra and as you advance, just the one Bindu. The cymatics of a conch-sound is the Shri-yantra. i.e. if you blow a conch in front of a liquid film or a sand film placed on a metal sheet which can freely vibrate, it will rearrange into the Shri-yantra. 

When you do your Dhyan and progress spiritually, there will come a point where you will hear the sound of the conch (Shankh-nada), it can be so deafening that you might feel that after hearing this you have gone deaf. But even in the initial phases of your spiritual practice if you sit in a silent environment you will hear a deep sonorous OM/conch-sound continuously throughout your Dhyan.

So if you have a conch in your puja ghar/home altar, use it actively. Blow it thrice everyday. The vibrations produced are ‘OM’ and are not only heard by the ears but felt in every part of your bodies (all the 5 sheaths). This sound entrains your bodies to the highest possible vibrational frequency of OM. And your soul feels refreshed as it is entrained briefly with who you really are. You will feel fresher mentally as well as spiritually. You will be healthier and fall ill less. This sound of the Shankh will also clean your house of negative energies.

Then the water stored in the Shankh acquires positive energies and can be used regularly. Keep some water in your Shankh overnight, this is one of the best ways to increase the vibrational levels of water. Drink it for overall health and vitality. If you have skin problems rub this water on the affected part. If there are hair problems, put this water in your scalp. Wash your eyes in this water to keep them disease free and your vision clear. 

The conch is a symbol of the Ultimate reality and is used to generate the sound of OM. It is an essential part of your puja ghar, so buy one and use it.The Conch, ShankhThere was a question on the Hindu deities, so answering it here.

There is a common idea that the ‘God’ of Sanatan Dharm/Hinduism is Shri Vishnu. It is incorrect. The ‘God’ of Hindus is Energy, i.e. Parabrahma or the Singular Intelligence. Creation of the individual soul+universe, is a game of the three Gun, personified as deities. (Your soul and universe is different from mine.) Raja Gun is the creator principle, Brahma ब्रह्म and Sarasvati सरस्वती. The passion/urge is Raja Gun. Brahma is the potential and Sarasvati is the active principle of Raja Gun. Then Laxmi लक्ष्मी and Vishnu विष्णु are personified Satva Gun who maintain equilibrium. The active and potential principles of Tama Gun are Shakti शक्ति and Shiv शिव, who cause involution/destruction of the created.

As Raja Gun gets spontaneously excited, it immediately puts Satva and Tama out of balance too. They are interconnected. As Satva gets unbalanced by the action of Raja, it manifests as Mahat-Buddhi. i.e. Mahat-Buddhi is created from Satva Gun, this is the basic foundation on which further differentiated tattvas are created. And Satva Gun is depicted as Vishnu and Laxmi.

There is this line from the Tantra-ukta Ratri Sukta, recited by Brahma, विष्णुः शरीरग्रहणमहमीशान एव च, this broadly means “Brahma and Ishan (Shiv), ‘take up’ or ‘put on’ a part of Vishnu’s body/ strength/ solidity/ lowered energy. This action is then seen as both the stillness and movement of the world”. i.e. Raja and Tama gun interact with Satva gun. When Raja and Satva interact, the world moves, evolves. When Tama and Satva interact the world stills, it is involution or ultimately Moksh. Here ‘world’ means an individual soul and his personalised universe. 

Neither of the three Gun are greater or lesser than the other, they are equal. To say that Vishnu is greater than Shiv or Brahma is the lowest of the three, is an unintelligent statement.

 

The Conch, Shankh

 

 

 

 

 

Venus and Mars placed in the 8th house

Venus placed in the 8th house.

This is a reasonably favourable placement but a bit typical. Venus and Mars get along quite well and he is comfortable in this house. But do check out which sign he is occupying and he is placed here as the ruler of which houses of the chart (i.e.where are Taurus and Libra placed?). This helps in in-depth analysis. Also the strength of the ascendant sign/lord, 8th house lord and Mars.

Venus here is the agent of hoards, relationships and balance in the house of sudden catastrophic identity changes. You can make the most of this combination by consciously initiating changes rather than having them suddenly forced on you.

You will be quite intelligent and well-known in society, but very few people will know the real you. You like discovering secrets, you enjoy this deeply, you are skilled at extracting information. And then you prefer hiding your real self. You will always have secrets and also know how to use them.

You do not follow established religion. You do your own esoteric /spiritual /occult practices and are quite good at these. If you are a woman these tendencies will be more powerful. All professions indicated by the 8th house are possible in this Venus placement, a doctor involved in childbirth or cosmetic surgery, confidential financial work, emergencies, disaster relief, mining and exploration, healers, occultists etc are all possible.

There will always be some irregularities in love affairs and marriage. Relationships may begin and end shockingly? Multiple marriages and secretive relationships are possible. The actual wedding event may be low-profile. The spouse may have occult tendencies or financial abilities which he/she keeps secret. Or the spouse may deliberately keep a socially low profile. If Venus is unable to give good results, the spouse, especially the wife, might suffer with medical problems or have a relatively short life. The spouse and in-laws will be generally charming, fair people. You will be on good terms with them. Spouse’s speech, voice, face and behaviour will be fair and balanced. However all your relationships will have something concealed which can cause problems. You always keep a part of yourself secret in all relationships, and simultaneously your partners will also keep their secrets. Venus in 8th is secretive but not dishonest (unless malefic influences). There will be issues because of this so always try to understand the other before taking a final decision.

Marriage and partnerships will generally give gains. You might marry for money! Legacies and inheritances can come in. However it would be good if you keep a monthly account of earning/spendings to ensure that your financial situation remains comfortable. You keep your financial dealings, money and properties secret. If Venus is afflicted you might engage in shady deals and financial crimes.

Medical problems can be of the blood, kidney, reproductive organs, diabetes, connected to liquids in the body. Death can occur in a highly spiritual place or in a place of pilgrimage. It is generally a long life with an easy death. If the horoscope supports, this Venus can grant Moksh or at least significant spiritual growth.Venus and Mars placed in the 8th house Mars placed in the 8th house.

Mars is the natural ruler of the 8th sign of the zodiac, Scorpio and always exerts his subtle influence on the matters of the 8th in every chart. The agent of life and death, placed in the house of death is not easy and requires careful analysis. A lot will depend on which sign occupies the 8th and Mars as the ruler of which houses is placed here (where is Aries and Scorpio placed). It is a challenging placement but can give good results.

Energy will be high and you perform well in emergency situations. You thrive on high energies. You need the buzz! If you do not get it from your environment, you will then create such energies yourself. But if you are placed in a tense situation you absorb it into yourself and can actually act a calming agent! So go out, engage in physical activity, learn contact sports, drive, feel your blood pounding, channelise your energies in such activities so that you do not explode! This placement labels you as a Manglik‘, so finding a life partner (Indian arranged marriage) can be difficult.

The moral compass may be weak, e.g. might resort to bribery, cheating or manipulate finances to increase wealth. You can gain wealth in from others and from insurance and other such financial schemes. You might be perceived as being untrustworthy and your friends, relatives and brothers can suddenly behave in a untrustworthy manner themselves. Will know several secrets about several things which may be legal/illegal. May be required to take decisions or act on such matters. (However if a debilitated Mars occupies the 8th, he turns into a manipulator and causes problems for himself and others.)

Personal health will be fiery, temper will be high and risk taking behaviour will be the norm. The movement of pran in the body’s energy channels /naadi is highly fluctuating and of high intensity. The body is susceptible to ‘heat’ diseases and diseases of the reproductive organs and blood circulation. If a woman, should take special care during pregnancy and childbirth. Surgeries can happen several times in life. Children will be lesser in number. Longevity is generally on the shorter side, but for this the strength of Mars, 8th house lord, ascendent sign and its lord will have to be evaluated together. Death will be linked to liquids in some way e.g blood disease, kidney/urinary problems, drowning etc or in ‘sharp’ incidents, accidents. However has abilities for energy-healing.

Is passionate, can have affairs before marriage and secretly after marriage. Spouse’s behaviour, speech, wealth, voice and face and his/her family are indicated by the 8th. Wealth tends to increase after marriage and you believe in financial security. If this Mars is well placed then it can be ok, but if you get such a chart for marriage matching do double-check. A badly placed Mars here (aspected by or with more malefics or debilitated, worst would be a Rahu -Mars combination here) can indicate a bad situation for the spouse in every way including physical health/ longevity. A sense of joy/companionship with the spouse will be absent. You tend to dominate your spouse, in-laws and family members.

A Mars in 8th will aspect the 11th, 2nd and 3rd houses. So gains and finances will be good as long as you take personal initiative and interest in them. There might be friction with the family/brothers. This placement is a tough one but if you can channelise your energy appropriately it can be managed well.Venus and Mars placed in the 8th houseThis above was the bare-bones astrological part which you can use for analysing  your horoscopes. But astrology is really Jyotish, the science of Illumination. So here is an esoteric dimension which might interest.

Venus and Mars together are very fascinating forces. Mars is life, death and rebirth, the karmic cycle in which the individual soul moves till he attains Moksh. Mars represents your taking on the body and also your leaving it. The signs Aries and Scorpio are linked in the adversarial 6/8 axis from each other.

Venus is the limit of experience, the limit of Maya. Venus is the natural Marak, he decides when you have completed your karma of accumulating treasures and fulfilled your karma-linked relationships. His two signs, Taurus and Libra are also in the adversarial 6/8 axis from each other. As these two signs are the essence of Maya, the 2nd and 7th houses of your chart also represent Maya. Once you complete your experience of Maya, you attain Moksh, so Venus is the real Moksh-karak.

If you analyse these 4 signs/houses together you will get an inkling of the tremendous forces Mars and Venus represent together. Mars through his natural rulership of the 1st house creates your personality, you are literally born here. You then act/use the energy of the 1st to create the wealth of the 2nd house. If you have acted with a sense of self, the 2nd will be a fruit of your karma (karma-phal), and will be added to your stored karma, i.e. agami/new karma adds to the sanchita/stored karma. If your actions do not have the ‘I’ tag, then this house will represent rebalancing of karma (you do not create more karma and are actively rebalancing the stored hoard).

Now while you are busy creating/rebalancing karma, the energy of your body gets used up. So as the potential of the 2nd house gets realised, the vitality of the physical body diminishes. When you completely realise the potential of the 2nd, you simultaneously completely finish off the vitality of the manifested body thus the physical body dies. Depending on what type of actions you were doing, you will have created more karma or achieved Moksh.

Now in the same way, the 7th and 8th houses also work together. The natural ruler of the 7th is Venus and that of the 8th is Mars. The 7th represents karmic bindings, the other function of Maya. You are required to create and maintain relationships equitably and fairly here. You may call these marriage or business partnerships at the material level, but nevertheless they are bindings on the spiritual level. This 7th house can represent the relationship between you and your body. And the deepest bindings which you have laid on your own soul (the 7 bindings of vice, virtue, weakness, power, passion, dispassion and ignorance). Or finally your relationship with your own Higher Self.

The 8th house represents changes in identity which are caused by complete upheaval. The 8th uses the energy of the 7th to power itself. You get into relationships, experience them, saturate yourself and then transcend. The experience-energy is of the 7th, the House of Change uses this to change you at very fundamental levels. If you have observed yourself carefully through your life, your deepest changes in self-identity are always linked to relationships. Mars as the agent of death/rebirth, uses up Venus’s energy of fairness and balance. And when the potential of the 8th is complete, the deepest relationship of your soul with your present incarnated physical body/environment is also complete and you leave it. Now on the spiritual front if you have experienced each of the 7 bindings to the fullest you transcend them and achieve Moksh.

 

Venus and Mars placed in the 8th house

24 Tattva, essences of existence

In Sanatan Dharm/Hinduism, you acknowledge the essential consciousness in everything.

There are things which cannot be perceived by the limited organs of sense. There are also things beyond the manifested, beyond the Panch-bhoot. Once you realise this, you will try to go beyond these limits of the gross.

When you eat a sweet, you experience it with your five sense organs. But what of the subtle energies of the sweet? (I and my colleagues went out for a really super lunch last week. It was prepared by someone with a really evil mindset, so I stopped after eating one bite, but it was enough to give me mild food poisoning. I cannot perceive this energy with my gross senses.) Can you experience the weight of a speck of dust? Or the blast of a supernova? No, you cannot, not with these limited senses.

So the objective has always been to go beyond the limits of the physical. The last frontier so as to speak! Ultimately the desire is the to re-experience the Soul and beyond it consciously. You are called the individual soul/Jivatma and you desire to transcend this and re-experience the Eternal Soul/Paramatma.

A individual soul consists of 24 distinct attributes/Tattva.

Screenshot 2019-07-07 at 11.26.22 AM

To recap, the Singular Parabrahma creates Duality, Purush-Prakriti. Prakruti is the first Essence of Creation/tattva, and is composed of the three Gun, Satva, Raja and Tama. When the balance between these 3 gun is spontaneously disturbed Creation occurs. First to be created is Mahat-Buddhi, the second tattva. The next to be created is the Aham-kaar, self ego.24 Tattva, essences of existenceAham-kaar

Now further. Raja-Gun again acts on Mahat-Buddhi and the 3rd tattva called Aham-kaar manifests. Whenever something has to be created, Raja-Gun, personified as Brahmadev and his wife Sarasvati, provides the energy. Aham-kaar, Aham karoti iti, is the personal identity, ‘I’, ‘Mine’, self-ego, individuality. It’s function is to bind the soul more tightly with self-referential behaviour.

In this ‘I’, reside the Vasana, वासना, the roots of desire. Vasana is also a Sanskrit word which means – longing, idea, imagination, regard, respect, confidence, false notion, liking, inclination, expectation, the present consciousness of past perceptions, impressions remaining unconsciously and Vasana is also a meter (Chhand छन्द) in Sanskrit prosody (so it is a sort of vibration ultimately). These ‘Vasana’ are created by interaction of the Gun, Satva, Raja and Tama with Mahat-Buddhi and Aham-kaar, all powered by Prakruti. These Vasana are linked to your past actions, your conscience has judged them. Those actions which were acceptable to your Antaratma/ conscience, their essences reside as ‘Dharm’ the correct foundation, and those which were against your conscience, are the ‘Adharma’ foundations of demerit. Both these foundations influence the ‘I’ and the Mahat-Buddhi above it. Vasana are the seeds of karma and are required to be rebalanced. (Prakruti powers all these actions and also differentiates her own self accordingly. All these things are happening within Her and are Her.)

Now Aham-kaar will evolve further, in two different ways. It will be modified by Satva with Raja. Ot it can be modified by Tama with Raja. It creates the Indriya as per the table above. These Indriya इन्द्रिय are the parts of the body, vigour, power, organs, senses etc of the body and also their ability to act/sense.

  • The power of the 5 organs of senses and power of the 5 organs of action are a total more 10 tattvas. These 10 combine to produce another distinct tattva called the Manas मानस (imagination, belief, thought, idea, view). 
  • The Pancha-bhoot are again 5 separate tattva and the 5 tan-matra are also 5 distinct tattva.

Thus the Prakruti and her energies make up the 24 tattvas of creation.

The 25th tattva is the Purush who does not take part in this game of Prakruti, but just witnesses.24 Tattva, essences of existenceSo when you get on the path of re-experience, you dissolve these tattvas. This process happens when you start your spiritual practice, Dhyan and only during this time when you are sitting on your Asan. When you are manipulating pran and then kundalini you are not completely in this manifested world. You are exploring the way back, you are in the energy of the joint/Sandhya.

So first you experience everything that you can with your senses, you have been doing this for several lives now. You sense the gross atoms and the molecules, the lowest manifested energy levels. You cannot go on eating sweets for ever after you get satisfied. There would be no meaning to such a life. So, you move on to the subtler and the subtlest things. But then to experience the subtle you need power the subtle senses.

So it first starts with the 21 lower tattvas merging back into the Self-Ego/Aham-kaar. In this phase you remember to sense and act directly through your ajnya chakra, using your intention and directly powering it from the pran from the Universe. I have written about small exercises where you can exercise your subtle energy, like seeing aura, telekinesis, distant vision, telepathy, seeing the future/past/parallel. These are just small reminders that there is more!

It may seem difficult when you are reading all this, but it is the easiest thing! You have the power of creation with you, so use this power. Create the intention that you wish to re-experience Your Real Self. The Prakruti will provide her energy to this intention.

In Sanatan Dharm, you will find most spiritual aspirants will have the Devi, the Goddess as their Isht devata. It may be Gayatri, Laxmi or Chamunda, these are the forms of the Prakruti, the tattva which actually forms the entire creation out of her energies. Doing Devi Sadhana always gives faster results. When you do a mantra-jaap linked to Her energy, you are giving a direction to her spontaneous release of her energy. This energy then drives your intention of Soham and takes you there. The process is faster if you do a mantra jaap in addition to the essential Dhyan.

But all said and done, your only work is to sit on your Asan, focus on your third eye and mentally recite Soham 108 times with your 108 breaths. (1/2/3 times a day as possible). It has to be a regular thing, every day (except for 5 days off for women in their monthly cycle.) This is all you need to do. The simplest things are the most powerful here. Once you are aware of the road, you will walk it spontaneously (Sahaj). Whatever pran has to be manipulated or Kundalini to be awakened, all of it will happen on its own under the direction of your Eternal Self.

 

24 Tattva, essences of existence

 

 

Guru Stotra, Guru defined..

Listen to this beautiful rendition of the Guru Stotra by Uma Mohan and read on.

Tasmai Shri Gurave Namah – Thus I bow down to that Shri Guru.

Shri is a Sanskrit word which means, wealth, prosperity, adornment, beautifying, radiant, Illumination, splendour, royal, rich, majesty, glorious, mighty, lustrous, grace, power,  auspicious etc.

Guru is a Sanskrit word which means, big, teacher, great, relevant, majestic, grand, significant, heavy, gravity, weight, respect, importance, dignified, elder, influence, valuable, difficult to understand, serious, potential, Seer, Sage, Rishi, chief, density, attraction and power.Guru Stotra, Guru defined..Om

1. Guruh Brahma Guruh Vishnu Guruh Devo Maheshwarah, Guruh sakshat Para-Brahma tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

The energies called Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar are the potential stages of the Raja, Satva and Tama Gun. (Their corresponding active stages are Sarasvati, Laxmi and Shakti). In the deepest stages of Dhyan your individual soul absorbs them and the three Gun come to a balance. (Topmost triangle of the Shri Yantra) Further, this leads to Moksh (Bindu). The Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar are the energies which help you reach the Ultimate thus they are ‘Guru’. Your Real Self /Parabrahma, i.e. Energy which Witnesses, also pulls you towards Yourself, thus it is a Guru.

The Guru is the Ultimate Reality. And likewise the Ultimate Reality is the Guru.

Such is the Guru.

2. Chaitanyam Shashvatam Shantam, Vyom atitam niranjanam. Naadbindu kalateetam tasmai Shri Gurave Namah

The Ultimate intelligence, consciousness, eternity, gravity, silence, stillness, eternal endlessness, the one without birth. The Naad, Bindu and the 16 types of Kala (read this post on creation) are manifested during creation, Guru is beyond these manifested things. Guru is the Reality which remains after you experience and transcend creation. The Ultimate reality is not these heavy-duty words, it is much much beyond that. The Guru is beyond this manifested Universe, he is the Eternal.

Such is the Guru.

3. Ajnyan timir-andhasya Gnyan-anjan Shalakaya, Chakshuh oonmeelitam yena tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

The darkest of the dark ignorance surrounds our soul/Jivatma. This state is called the ‘timir-andh’. This shlok/verse refers to the initiation of a disciple by a Guru (Jivan Mukt). During initiation you are shown a glimpse of the white/gold Being of Lightening. Your third eye and its surrounding nadi energy structures are  flooded with pran by the Guru, so that pran can start flowing and then Kundalini also can follow. This Lightening is your first glimpse of the Parabrahma. And your Guru shows it to you! At that extremely subtle energy level there is no difference between the Guru and the Parabrahma. This internal Guru which has been shown to you, now pulls you towards the Eternal. You do your Dhyan, now with the image of the target in mind. It energises you.

This shlok also refers to the final realisation where the energy of the ‘Guru’, finally pulls you in into Yourself in the deepest stages of Dhyan.

Such is the Guru.

4. Akhand Mandal akaram vyaptam yena characharam. Tat padam darshitam yena tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

When a Guru gives his initiation to his disciple, the region of the third eye chakra gets illuminated, becomes visible and the Guru nadi opens. Here for a brief fraction of an instant (which seems endless!) you get a glimpse of the Ultimate. The whole geometry of the endless dimensions. The Reality inherent in everything of this manifested universe and also in the Un-manifested. Only a Jivan mukt is capable of giving such an initiation. Now it is upto the disciple to practice what he has been taught and to see and experience this Illumination consciously again. As you start doing your Dhyan and it progresses, you see this Reality initially as a crescent moon shaped (Guru-pad) illumination. Thus a disciple sees the Guru-pad twice. Once a tiny glimpse during initiation and then the Experience during the Final Realisation.

Such is the Guru.

5. Sthavaram jangamam vyaptam yat kinchit sachar acharam. Tat padam darshitam yena tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

The Prakruti is the eternally in Spontaneous Motion animated principle, She Plays. The Purush is the inanimate Still Intelligence, He Observes. These two are pervaded by and created by that eternal Singular Reality. The Guru first shows you this duality and then the Singular Reality and how the Reality pervades all. The Guru is the strength to first show you, then make you experience and then transcend.

Such is the Guru.Guru Stotra, Guru defined.jpg6. Chinmayam Vyapitam sarvam trailokyam sachar acharam. Tat padam darshitam yena tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

The three states of Bhu, Bhuvar and Swah are linked to the three states of existence (Jagrut, Swapna and Sushupti) and also the three Gun (Satva, Raja, Tama). The Moveable Prakruti and the Still Purush. All these things are composed of the Parabrahma. In our present level of understanding we are under the impression that these differentiated states are somehow not the Ultimate. But the Guru energy makes you experience the Singular Reality pervading everything. So you perceive the Singularity in all these so-called differentiated stages. Everything is absorbed by, pervaded by the Universal intelligence.

Such is the Guru.

7. Yat satyena jagat sarvam, yatra pashena bandhiya, yada anandena nandanti, tasmai shri gurave namah

The manifested Universe is pervaded by one essential True Knowledge also called Para-Vidya. This energy called Prakruti binds this manifestation, slows down the energy and creates this Universe for you. And then finally the innate knowledge (Atma gnyan/Para vidya) gives Moksh in a clear incisive burst of eternal happiness. These are all the aspects of the Guru.

Such is the Guru.

8. Na Guroh-adhikam tattvam na Guroh-adhikam tapah. na Guroh-adhikam gnyanam tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

No tattva, i.e. essence of creation (there are 24 tattva of creation) can be more powerful than a Guru. i.e. the power of the Guru will break the binds of the 24 tattva. There is no spiritual energy (tapa = heat of spiritual activity) stronger than the Guru. i.e when you do Dhyan on the guru-pad (the third eye chakra which is later seen as a crescent moon in Dhyan), maximum energy is generated. The Guru is the final Realisation. The Guru is the energy of the Parabrahma which always pulls you. Thus the Guru is responsible for conferring Moksh.

Such is the Guru.

8. Man-nathah Shri Jagan-nathah Mat-guru-Shri jagad-guruh. Mam-atma sarva-bhutatma tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

The one who protects me is also the auspicious protector of all my creation. The greatness which is mine is also the greatness of the manifested universe. My Soul is the Universal Eternal Soul/Parabrahma. And all this is the Guru.

You are not separate from the Eternal. However this temporary feeling of separation is because you have created a universe for yourself. This verse/shlok reminds you that you yourself are the Eternal Reality.

Such is the Guru.

9. Chid-roopena parivyaptam trailokyam sachar acharam. Tat padam darshitam yena tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

This shlok is rather similar to (6) above, with one difference. Chid-roop here means first the ek-roop then the Para-vidya. When Prakruti manifested the Universe, she creates 7 types of bindings over herself. These 7 roop are vice, virtue, passion, dispassion, power, weakness and ignorance. Thus she Plays, she creates (Lalita). When finally she finishes her Game, she manifests Ek-roop, singular form, also called as Knowledge in herself. Thus Knowledge nullifies the bindings and stops her movement. Creation stops. Now this knowledge becomes more incisive and eventually the Ultimate Knowledge of Singularity manifests. The Guru illuminates the path which leads you from your limited individual soul to the Eternal Soul/Parabhrama. (This is the route from the Ajnya chakra to the Kutastha)

This is Guru.

10. Sarva-Shrutih shiro-ratna samud bhasita murghaye, Vedant ambuja Suryayah tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

All the Shruti /Ved refer to the ‘jewel in the head’, this is the seat of the Parabrahma, the Kutastha. The individual soul is allowed conscious entry here only when it attains Moksh. This is the Eternal consciousness which resides above the lotus of the Sahasrara chakra. The flow of consciousness (spontaneous movement of Prakruti) creates the eternal knowledge called the Ved (ek-roop and then atma-gnyan manifests). When you reach this end of this ‘flow’, you reach the end of the Ved and you reach your final destination, the Eternal Illumination.

All this is the Guru.

Guru Stotra, Guru defined..11. Gyanshakti-samaroodhah tattvamala vibhooshitah. Bhukti-mukti -pradata cha tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

If you remember my earlier post on creation, the three chakras Vama, Jeyshta and Raudri are linked to the three Gun and also the Kriya Shakti, Iccha Shakti and Gnyan Shaki. Now the Guru is above these Shakti’s, literally, the seat of the Guru is the Bindu!

Then when you dissociate Your Soul from the 24 tattvas of creation during Dhyan, i.e you offer them to the Guru. Then you are allowed to come closer to the source of the Guru. So in a way here, you offer creation to the Guru. You stop being the ‘doer’, and start being the witness. You stop creating new karma.

You are the Eternal, the Creation is an aspect of your own self called Prakruti. This is called ‘Bhukti’, division, possession, enjoyment. You divide yourself. Mukti is release. Release from karma, bindings, duality, ignorance etc. The energy called Guru is responsible for both division and release.

Such is the Guru.

12. Aneka-janma-sampraptah-karma-bandha-vidahine. Atma-gyan-pradanena tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

You have taken so many lives, have taken on so many karma, bound yourself, forgotten your Reality. The Guru breaks open these bonds on your soul/Jivatma by giving you the ultimate knowledge. The knowledge of the Self (Atma gnyan or Para vidya)

Such is the Guru.

13. Shoshanam bhavsindhoshcha prapanam saar sampadah. Guroh-pad-odakam samyak tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

The flow of consciousness i.e. life/creation, though pleasing is Maya, it can neither be completely real nor is it a complete illusion. So this ‘creation’ at the spiritual levels is always a binding. The energy of the Guru drys up this ocean of Maya, this then leads to you achieving the Essence. If you are able to absorb the essence of the Guru which is first visible at the ajnya chakra and then traverse the route from the ajnya chakra (Jivatma) to the Kutashta (Parabrahma) you attain Moksh. (Follow the energy of the footstep of the Guru!).

Such is the Guru.

Tasmai Shri Gurave Namah – Thus I bow down to that Shri Guru. Om

But Namah means more than just ‘bow down’! It is something like the Ultimate power. The paradox of illusion and wisdom united together. Depth of stillness and flowing movement together. The eternal unborn one in solitude. ‘Gurave’ means ‘in the Guru’. This power of ‘namah’ is ‘in the Guru’.

This is the Guru Stotra which defines the ‘Guru’ in the spiritual sense. There are many humans who pretend to be Guru and create followers for themselves, live a life of luxury. Having a Jivan Mukt as a physical human-looking Guru, face-to-face is very rare. So find your internal Guru, this energy is always available to us all, it is the route which starts from the Ajnya chakra. Do your Dhyan, focus on your third eye chakra and on your Soham mantra.

The Guru always exists.

Shri Samarth Sadguru Muppin Kadsiddheshwar Maharaj
Shri Samarth Satguru Muppin Kadsiddheshwar Maharaj

Tasmai Shri Gurave Namah – Thus I bow down to that Shri Guru. Om

For more, Guru Gita and the books by Jagat-Guru Shri Adi Shankar-acharya, especially his commentary on the Brahma sutra.

The Full moon day/Pournima of the Ashadh month (today), is the Guru pournima. Do your spiritual practice with the intention that the ‘crescent moon’ turns ‘full’. Guess that says it all!