Ganapati, his trunk, Pravrutti and Nivrutti

Change is constant. There can never be utter stillness in the manifested creation. There is always movement. The energy of the manifested creation is visualised as the Shri – yantra. The top-most triangle of this geometry is the Tri-gun, Satva, Raja and Tama. These three are in continuous movement which percolates throughout creation. This movement is of intelligence, consciousness and awareness, an actual flow of intention and energy, of desire. There are two possible directions to this movement. If this movement is directed towards the outer worlds, it is called Pravrutti, an evolution towards the material stuff, the soul desires to enjoy the charms of creation. If this movement is directed inwards towards the inner self it is called Nivrutti, involution or spiritual evolution. The soul desires to know oneself and attain Moksh. A soul cannot have both at the same time. You are either wrapped up in the material or directed towards the spiritual. Both together are not possible.😉

Ganapati, his trunk, Pravrutti and Nivrutti

Now let’s see what Ganapati’s trunk has got to do with Pravrutti and Nivrutti.

The figures that we see of our deities are an approximation of their real natures. It was not wild imagination that our Rishi-s/ Seers designed the moorti-s as such. There is a reason behind every feature of the figure, right from the mouse he is supposed to sit on, to the snakes placed around his navel and as a yadnopavit. Ganapati is depicted as a chubby human body with an elephant’s head. The face is a cute elephant’s face with the trunk coiling towards the left side. The tusk on the left side of the face is broken. This is the usual depiction, the left coiled trunk, left tusk broken. This is the relatively gentler aspect, the Saumya version. We keep this moorti in the house, the office or the car for worship. There are no special rituals needed for worshipping this Ganapati and he is quite the playful adorable cuteness he seems to be. He represents Pravrutti in this form. He will grant desires related to material desires quite happily. And if you want him to satisfy the spiritual calling, that too he will grant equally happily.

Then there is a rare depiction where he is shown with his trunk coiling towards the right, the right tusk is broken. This moorti is seen only in some temples where dedicated brahmins offer it worship as per strict rules, this depiction is never seen in personal worship or kept at homes. The Ganapati Moorthi depicted with his trunk coiling on the right side represents Nivrutti. This is the Ugra or fierce form of Ganapati and if you perform rituals connected to him, he will systematically take you deeper and deeper into your own self till you find your own reality within. His gifts will be the gifts of self-realisation, ultimately Moksh. But the route will be painful as it will involve removal of all the illusions of the material world. When a child realises that there are no fairies, there is pain, but he grows up. Similarly when you are made to realise that the mother, the father, husband/wife, son/daughter are all illusions there is intense pain initially. He is then the Vighnaharta in the real sense. Vighna is uncontrolled movement, sudden motion, impediment to progress, opposition to the understanding of Reality. Harta is the one who destroys. He will grant you the ultimate prosperity of self-realization. So if you worship Ganapati in his Nivrutti form and ask for material prosperity, he will grant it to you, but it will not be satisfying, as he will also make you realise its temporaries. As you have invoked Nivrutti, you will be made to move inwards sooner or later.

This right-trunk form of Ganapati is considered by some to be the tantric form of Ganapati, this is incorrect. A Vigraha/ Moorthi designed for tantric use is made in a very typical manner, in a very specific location using specific materials and with specific mantras. It can be right or left handed both depending on what use it is going to be put into.

Ganapati, his trunk, Pravrutti and Nivrutti

All the iconic symbols of Sanatan Dharm are available in the outward evolving Pravrutti or the inward moving Nivrutti form. eg The Swastik drawn spiralling in the anti-clock wise direction is again a representation of Nivrutti. Only tantriks and spiritual aspirants who know what they are doing will use this anti-clockwise Swastik in their rituals. Then the Dakshinavarti Shankh represents Nivrutti. It is called Shiv’s shankh and is never blown by householders. It is very rare and it is against the rules of nature, it is a mutation in the animal which makes it create its shell in the reverse direction. This type of conch is now being marketed as being Devi Laxmi’s symbol and will give endless prosperity. Someone I know was desperate and wanted to buy it for doing pujas on Diwali Amavasya. She wanted wealth and money. But this Shankh is the same energy as the right coiled Ganapati’s trunk. It’s primary drive will be to grant spiritual prosperity. Materialistic people might get money in the short-term, but ultimately they are invoking Nivrutti. Devi Laxmi will remove their illusions as to material wealth eventually and offer them the spiritual path if they dare to take it (to know the real nature of Devi Laxmi read the Laxmi Tantra).

The nature of Pravrutti is clockwise movement, it is spiral. And the nature of Nivrutti is also a spiral but anticlockwise. One simple experiment you can try if you want to. When you stir stuff, eg milk, do it in the clockwise direction and while doing so recite any mantra eg Gayatri mantra. Drink this. Do this once a day for 21 days and see for yourself. (And in the converse experiment, stir things anti-clockwise and if you drink them, you will get a tummy upset.)

Ganapati is also called Ek-dant (having one tusk) or Vakratunda (curved trunk). Now ek-dant also means ‘one focussed point’. And Vakratunda is literally how the opening of the Sushumna is like. The opening/mouth of the tube-like Sushumna is highly twisted and curved. Unless you are extremely focussed, single-point concentration you cannot navigate and enter it. Ganapati is the guardian of the Susumna. His Vahan is the Mushak, ie he is shown sitting on the mouse. Or he controls the Mushak. Mushak in Sanskrit (Devbhasha Samskrutam) is an air-hole or a very small opening, in this case it indicates the opening of the Sushumna.

So to conclude, Ganapati is not the playful cartoon that our TV has reduced him to. There is an entire tantra devoted to him. If you want to achieve Moksh, a basic puja of Ganapati at home is the first step. Keep a Moorthi of Ganapati with his trunk coiling to the left side, the Saumya form and at least light an oil lamp or an incense stick before him every day. He is the Vighnaharta, he will remove all obstacles from your path giving you your hearts desire.

 

Dasha Mahavidya and the 10 dimensions

The 10 Mahavidya are the terrifying aspects of the Devi, the Prakruti, the manifested creation. Their names are Mahakali (Kali), Tara, Tripursundari (Shodashi), Bhuvaneshvari, Bhairavi, Chhinnamasta, Dhoomavati, Bagalamukhi (Valagamukhi), Matangi, and Kamala.

Some people consider the Mahavidya-s into two divisions, as the less strict Tara, Tripurasundari, Kamala, Bhuvaneshvari, and Matangi. And the more terrifying Kali, Dhoomavati, Bhairavi, Chhinamasta, and Bagalamukhi. In my opinion all are equally terrifying and you should not do anything with them unless you are 100% sure of what you are doing. They are very deeply linked into your energy. If you mess up here, it will take you several lives to recover. They are not just idols or representations, they are all aware and very fierce, Ugra.

  • Dasha दश – 10, time period, fate, condition, perception, edge, position, pin-point, etc
  • Maha महा – great, huge, vast, light, joy, seed, intelligence, extreme, etc
  • Vidya – विद्या knowledge, skill, magic, mantra, gain, that which ignites, existence, to unbind or make free, pierce, the present instant, the combined act of starting, existing and the conclusion all together, etc.

This is how the 10 Mahavidyas were created. The story/allegory as per the Devi Puran. Devi Shakti/ Sati married Shiv against the wishes of her family and went to live with him at Kailas. Sati’s father Prajapati Daksh later planned a massive Yadnya at Kankhal, Hardwar but he did not invite Sati-Shiv to the ceremony. He didn’t like Shiv and after her marriage, didn’t want to see Sati either. But Sati wanted to go. Shiv was like, ‘you haven’t been invited so you shouldn’t go’. But Sati got cross, her logic being that Daksh was her own father, so why does she need an invite to go to her father’s house! Sati, in her rage, then created the 10 Mahavidya-s and they all surrounded Shiv and argued on her behalf. Ultimately Shiv gave in and told her to do whatever she wanted to, but there would be problems. And there were terrible consequences later. (There is a deep esoteric meaning to all this.)

Dasha Mahavidya and the 10 dimensions

These दश महा विद्या are generally taken to represent the 10 disha दिशा. They are considered to be 10 physical directions, east, west, north, south, NE, NW, SE, SW, up and down. This word दिशा means direction, region, scene, assignment, exhibition and most importantly, dimension. There are 10 dimensions of this manifested creation represented by the 10 Mahavidya energies. Each dimension is intelligent, aware, conscious and full of energy. The conscious energies of the 10 manifested dimensions are the 10 Mahavidya. The Bindu is the conscious origin of everything and beyond the concept of ‘dimension’. Now modern quantum physics and the string theory has also calculated that there are 10 dimensions. Physics has become metaphysics and will ultimately become Sanatan Dharma as the scientists get more deeply into the nature of intelligence and consciousness. The 10 dimensions ie the Dasha Mahavidya are a play of space and time plus awareness, intelligence and consciousness. Each one of them is roaring with power. It is a heady and exciting feeling to be face to face with their Vigraha where you can feel their energy pulsing.

The 10 Mahavidyas are not just the dimensions, they are the actual pran/ vital energy flowing in your body. The five main pran, are Pran, Apan, Vyan, Saman, and Udan. Their five sub-pran/ upa-pran are Kurma, Naag, Devdatt, Krkara and Dhananjai. I have written about the five main pran in my post here. The Dasha Mahavidya-s are present in your body as these 10 pran types and connect your mind/ body to the 10 dimensions of the manifested creation.

  • Mahakali and Tara are located in the lower part of the body below the navel and reproductive systems as Apana and Kurma respectively.
  • Shodashi and Bhuvaneshwai are Prana and Naag respectively and located in the upper regions of the body above the navel.
  • Bhairavi and Chinnamasta are respectively Udan and Devdatta and these move upwards, they are more prominent in the throat and upper parts of the body.
  • Dhoomavati and Bagalamukhi reside in the navel region and expand outward from it as Saman and Krkara respectively.
  • Matangi and Kamala reside in the upper parts of the body including the head regions as Vyan and Dhananjai respectively.

The vital energies are derived from the source called the mukhya-pran ie OM. (Your soul is connected to the Bindu/Om, but to reach there the dimensions have to be navigated and their energies made use of first.)

Dasha Mahavidya and the 10 dimensions

We exist in each of these dimensions and also in the central Bindu which is beyond these dimensions. The 10 Mahavidyas and the Om are all within you. Their derived pran are also flowing within you. When you stand in front of the Vigraha of the Dasha Mahavidya-s or recite their mantras or do their Sadhana, you are working on your own energies in a very complicated way. You are entraining your vital energies to the dimensions. You are entraining your pran to the highest energies possible. eg If you are doing Bagalamukhi sadhana you will be focusing on the Saman and Krkara vayu-s and intensely linking them to the highest possible levels.

Mahavidya Sadhana or tantra is a part of the Shri-vidya. If you succeed you get a massive one-up. Tantra is an aspect of spiritual sadhana which is very rare now. There are rare Guru-s who know how to perform these rituals correctly and with the precise intention. And there are the rare aspirants who actually need to do these type of sadhanas. Generally 99.99% of us do not need to do Mahavidya related practices. The regular shaant/ benign forms of the Devi, ie Sarasvati, Laxmi and Parvati are more than sufficient for regular householders like us.

The internet has several dowsy sites which give tantric mantras for vashikaran, ucchatan, stambhan, etc. (There are 6 types of mantras.) I saw a video where the lady was giving out some creepy mantra for hypnotising someone. Someone else was saying that you don’t need a Guru for doing Bagalamukhi Sadhana and stuff. Avoid these sort of sites and their so-called mantra, you might get yourself and your target both into serious trouble.

If you are interested in doing any Sadhana related to the Mahavidyas, first entrain your energies to the Navavarna mantra. A initial 9 lakh repetition of the Navavarna is essential, else you might not be able to handle the further energies you evoke. eg Mahakali is the foremost Mahavidya. She is depicted in a very fierce manner. Her dangerous form is Smashan-Kali and her somewhat milder but still terrifying form is Dakshin-Kali. She is always depicted unclothed ‘dig-ambar’ दिगम्बर. She literally ‘wears the dimensions’, ‘clothed in the energy of space-time and more’, ‘secret of the dimensions’, ‘defined limits of manifested creation’. She is also the ‘inner core around which the manifested creation is created’. (I know an incident where the aspirant did an extremely complicated ritual to call Her. She came and asked him what he wanted. But the aspirant was so scared just seeing Her, that he ran away.) These rituals are a potent but often fraught with dangers. A specific life-style has to be adopted, there are strict energy rituals, specific and very typical ingredients, typical locations, then the appropriate time for doing this, etc are needed. Even the yantra or moorti/ vigraha that you will use as a focus point has to be made in a specific way. If you can use the mantra, tantra and yantra the way it is supposed to be, any of these Mahavidya-s can grant you everything including the ultimate Moksh.

Every aspect of Sanatan Dharm is designed to take you to your own reality, to achieve Moksh. Even from Ayurved, Rishi Patanjali has written that there are certain herbs Oushadhi, which if used in the correct way can grant deepest levels of Samadhi and further Moksh. But we do not have the herbs, nor the detailed knowledge on how to use them now. And the mantra, tantra and yantra system is also not available so easily. So in this present ‘modern age’ it is best to stick to Gayatri mantra and the Soham/ Hamsa practice. Focus on the the Bindu which is beyond the dimensions. This might take years or even a few lives, but you will reach there. The concepts of Kundalini, Moksh, Mahavidya-s, etc are not prizes, they cannot be shown-off as achievements. So be very clear why you want to do all this first, your intention and resolve will be tested on every step of the way.

 

Nara Narayan and the Bhagwat Gita

The word ‘Narayan’ is a Sanskrit (Devbhasha Samskrutam) compound word composed of two words, ‘Nara’ and ‘Ayan’.

  • नर Nara is the eternal primeval spirit which pervades all creation you see around you. Nara does not just mean a human or a man or a male animal as it is commonly represented. It is a Sanskrit word and so has depths and layers of meanings depending on the context and the ability of the reader to understand. Nara is basically aware consciousness or intelligent energy. It is the same as the Kundalini.
  • आयन  Ayan is a Sanskrit word which means, movement, equilibrium, natural state, stable configuration, arrival, travel on a route, approach, the end of the journey etc.

Narayan is technically split as, ‘Narasya ayanh iti Narayanh’. So ‘Narayan’ can be broadly understood as the ‘equilibrium achieved by the Nara’, or ‘the end of the journey of Nara’, or ‘natural state of the Nara’ or ‘the goal of the Nara’, or the ‘Nara when he reaches his journey’s end’. Narayan has another meaning, ‘first offspring of the origin’.

Venus and Mars placed in the 8th house

(Ramayan means the ‘journey of Shri Ram’. This story/ allegory ends with the coronation of Ram, Ram-Rajya-abhishek. Most Indians are unaware that the Ramayan authored by Rishi Valmiki ends when Ram completes his 14 yrs of travel, comes back to Ayodhya and is crowned King.
All that stuff about banishing his wife, Sita and birth of his children Luv/Kush is not a part of the actual Ramayan.
Another astrological fact, Ravan was killed on Falgun Amavasya, the last day of the Hindu year. Ram returns to Ayodhya on Chaitra Shukla pratipada, the first day of the bright half of the Chaitra month. And he is immediately crowned King on that day. It was the tradition to start a new era with the coronation of powerful Kings so our new year begins on the same day as Ram-Rajya began so many thousands of years ago.
In your spiritual journey, Ravan is your internal self-ego. You destroy this self-ego as you merge into the central Bindu of the Sahasrara chakra. Ravan is the knowledge of the manifested creation, you will experience this completely and transcend this too. If you follow the Ramayan as your primary guide, the sense of self will take on the form of Ravan. Ravan is discordant terrifying vibrations of sound/energy. You destroy this discordance and bring your internal vibrations to resonate with the sound of perfection OM. Thus you achieve Sadyo-mukti.
The Ramayan describes the Dvaita form of philosophy and the Mahabharat the Advaita so Krishna is considered the Purna-avatar, one step more evolved than Ram.)

Now lets see what the Bhagwat Gita of Shri Krishna says about Nara and Narayan. (This now is my understanding of the Gita, as read from the original Sanskrit text and the commentary on it named ‘Pranav-Gita’.)

Nara is the potential energy of the framework on which these universes manifest. ie it is the Kundalini shakti of Shri-Vidya. Nara is aware intelligence. Normally in an average human, this awareness resides at the lowest levels of creation, ie it resides at the Muladhar chakra and pervades along the 5 lower chakras from Muladhar to Vishuddhi. These 5 chakras are linked to our 5 senses, hearing, touch etc. The function of this awareness here is, to surround pure intelligence/soul by ignorance. This ignorance is created by the 5 senses who bring in ‘subjects’. Eg taste, sound etc are called ‘subjects’. As this conscious intelligence called ‘nara’ is surrounded by subjective ignorance, it is blind to its Reality. As long as the Nara energy sustains this subjective ignorance, you are fascinated by the manifested creation and the subjects that your sense organs show you. In tantric terminology while your Kundalini is still below the Vishuddhi chakra you are called a ‘pashu पशु ’. You are separate from your own Reality.

Once you start your spiritual practice and continue it regularly, your kundalini will eventually cross these chakras one after the other. (The key is ‘regular spiritual practice’. One of my grand-Guru’s disciples, a Guru himself, Shri Nisargadatta Maharaj, wrote in his books that if one does Dhyan for even 2 years regularly the effects will be obvious. And it is true.)

A spiritual aspirant who has crossed the Vishuddhi chakra and reached the Ajnya chakra is now onwards referred to as a ‘Nara’, he is no longer a ‘pashu’. His consciousness has gone beyond the 5 senses of the lower 5 chakras and he has reached the seat of the individual soul at the Ajnya chakra. Now onwards, he will cross the distance of ’10 fingers’ dasha-angula and from the centre of the eyebrows, reach the top of the head.

The seat of the Parabrahma in your human body is located at the top of your head. Within the Sahasrara chakra there is the central Bindu, the location of the Nirvishesh Brahma, Advaita. This is the goal. The ultimate cannot be sensed by the 5 senses, there is no duality, there are no subjects and there is pure awareness or complete knowledge of the Self. This is non-subjective intelligence. The Nara awareness will cross the Ajnya chakra, through the Dash-angula-sthan and traverse upward till it reaches the Sahasrara and its central Bindu. This is where the ‘Nara’ evolves into the ‘Narayan’. The function of the Narayan awareness is to merge itself into the Ultimate Reality located at the Bindu. This is Moksh or attainment of the Nirvishesh brahma.

Dhanvantari, the God of medicine

In Hinduism/Sanatan dharm, there are lots of deities, demi-gods, forces of nature etc which are worshipped. Eg suppose you are a devotee of Ganapati. He resides at the Muladhar chakra. To get your Kundalini into the Brahmanadi of the Sushumna you need the blessings of Ganapati. So you meet him first on your spiritual journey. But if you read the Ganapati atharvashirsha, it clearly states that Ganapati resides at the Muladhar chakra but is also several other energies and also the source ‘Om’ ! This is a paradox then? Not so. We worship an intelligent consciousness. In Sanatan Dharm the keyword is ‘evolution’. Everything is a yadnya यज्ञ an evolution. As your consciousness evolves from the Muladhar to the Bindu, do not expect your adored deity to remain constant! There is no constant, it is all in motion. You will see your deity, Ganapati also evolving. As your consciousness becomes more capable of experiencing more subtle things, you will be shown them, you will also evolve. Ganapati will show you more subtle and subtler aspects of himself simultaneously, till he shows you his ultimate reality, and this will be your ultimate reality too. Thus the aspirant, the deity and the process of spiritual development all merge into the Non-dual.

So as per the Bhagwat Gita, the Nara at the base of the Muladhar chakra, evolves and finally realises himself as the Narayan at the top of the chakra geometry, at the Bindu. Nara is thus equated with Maya-shakti, the power which maintains creation. And Narayan is also called the Brahma-shakti the power which merges the soul into the Ultimate.

In Bhagwat Gita the primary dialogue is between Arjun and Krishna. (Secondary dialogue is between Sanjay and Dhrutarashtra, wrote about it here).

Here Arjun represents Nara and Krishna is Narayan or the Guru. Pure consciousness delivers the Gita to the consciousness bound by the subjective senses. But remember that this duality is only on the surface, actually both are the same. This realisation of non-duality is the gist of the Gita. The perceptions of desires, ie the ‘subjects’ are gradually removed by the influence of the Brahma-shakti or Narayan. The doubts of the sense-bound consciousness are removed by the pure knowledge delivered by Narayan. This dialogue, Gita, between Krishna and Arjuna is the solution of all the doubts of the Nara, so that he can evolve.

Here I will introduce one more word, ‘bhav’ भाव. It is a way of thinking, assumption, supposition, a supposed state. Arjun is ‘Jiv-bhav’, ie the assumption of the individual soul with its karmic baggage under Maya and is the assumption of a supposed duality. Krishna is the Atma-bhav, the assumption of higher intelligence or the Guru.  These are the two states of the Non-dual, the apparent duality. The atma-bhav guides the disciple or the jiv-bhav towards itself via the Gita. The Jiv-bhav evolves with the power of knowledge of the Self, until it reaches the the topmost Bindu where it merges with the Atma-bhav and realises Non-duality.

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Narayan is a mantra too. ‘Om Namo Narayanaya’ is a very potent simple mantra which you can practice if you feel like it.

If you are able to do this one tiny thing you will achieve Sadyo mukti of the Videha type. ie you will realise non-duality, Nirvishesh brahma at the instant of your body’s physical death. If you are able to recite this one word mantra ‘Narayan’ as your consciousness leaves your body, you will achieve perfect Moksh. However at the moment of exit, things get so confused that I am sure none of us will remember this.

If you think deeply, our entire life is in preparation for the exit from this physical body. We do our work, do our karma, follow our conscience, act as per our personal Dharma, do our spiritual practices etc, why? Just so that when we leave this shell, we gain access to the highest possible energy route out. Most of us are scared of physical death and thus we fail to capitalise on the energies of the most important moment that we have. (I can write so much more on this but it would be too much for the average householders who read this blog.) 

This post has again become a bit heavy, but we are discussing the Gita, the ultimate Yog-shastra. So do read the earlier posts hyper-linked within to understand it better. If you follow the Bhagwat Gita as your primary source of inspiration, do not just read it, also practice it. Read it in Sanskrit even if you do not understand. Sanskrit is linked to the energy of the chakras, it will do its job on your internal energy. Nara to Narayan is evolution, experience it.

 

Tripur, Tripurari, Tripursundari

Vigraha Moorti and idols

In these ‘modern times’ we have forgotten what a vigraha/ moorti means or what a real temple/ Dev-alaya feels like. There are very few left, most of us haven’t seen even one of these real moorti-s/ vigraha-s in our entire life and neither been to a real Dev-alaya.

We Indians are known for creating massive temples and moorti-s of our deities. The invaders, both Muslims and Christians, destroyed our temples and the moorti-s. In these past 1000s years we have lost a lot, but we still have several functional temples and the ruins of the others are a silent testimony to their grandness. The ancient Indian temples are made of black stone. We do not know how old our temples really are. There are estimates of course, but these are more on the lines of educated guesses for the simple reason that stone cannot be dated.

Our temples have the main deity as a Moorti /Vigraha. It is not an idol, an idol does not have any consciousness, it is ’empty’. The Moorti/ Vigraha is a conscious entity, it is aware, with intelligence. If you know how, you can request it to power your intentions, which it will.

Vigraha Moorti and idols

Modern Hindus feel it is a fashion statement to gift idols of deities. These generally are made of plastic and are to be apparently kept as ‘show-pieces’! Modern ‘interpretations’ of the images of deities. These are also idols, ‘empty’. In modern Indian temples, especially in North India and abroad, there is a new trend of fashioning the idols of the deities using white marble stone. The temple too is made of white marble stone. This idol is expertly carved and dressed up beautifully, quite attractive to the eye but ‘empty’. The temple also feels ’empty’ to me. White marble has no energy-value, it is incapable of absorbing the energy and neither can it radiate it back to the worshipper. This idol is made-up to look outwardly like the shape of the deity but it lacks the power of the deity. A idol made of white marble in a temple of white marble is not conscious, and of no use for the genuine aspirant. It is not a vigraha.

But there are still a few temples where the vigraha are aware and conscious. If you are lucky enough to ever visit them and experience it for yourself, you will know what I mean.

A Vigraha cannot be made just like that. How to make it, where to make it, when to start and finish, what material, which mantras to use, what tools and who should make it etc is a secret science. The Vigraha can be made in the shape of the deity with a human face, hands etc or it can also be a yantra. The vigraha-s will be made of black stone, metal or wood or anything else. This material and the entire process will be decided by a Guru. All this depends on the intended use of this vigraha. The carved image is then made conscious, ‘pran-prathishtha’ is performed. The Guru uses his own energy, amplified by the mantras to ignite consciousness in this specifically made shape, which then becomes a vigraha. This vigraha is now freed from the limits of its outward shape, it expands, becomes aware and it becomes a true reflection of the deity it represents. The part is also the whole, thus this shape created becomes a Vigraha/ Moorti. This process is most powerful when performed by a Guru. So the few temples in India where the Vigraha-s have been set up by genuine Guru-s are very important.

One exception is the real Shiv-lingam temples. The real Shiv-lingam stones are actually meteorites which are found on the earth. They are not shaped by human hands. A Guru identifies these stones and the temple is built over it. A real Shiv-lingam is never installed in a temple, the temple is built over it! I have visited the Kailas temple in Ellora, Maharashtra a few times, every time it takes my breath away. The Shiv-lingam is huge, I think it is 6 feet tall, and the energy is massive! This temple is exceptional as it was sort of ‘laser-printed’, from the top to the bottom. I really wonder at the Guru who identified this Shiv-lingam located metres deep inside the hard basaltic rock and the technology used to ‘laser-print’ the temple in this rock. This temple cannot be dated as it is completely of stone. If you live in India, or ever visit here, do go to see this temple and the Shiv-lingam for yourself.

Moorti-s in our ancient temples were for all aspirants of both paths, ie the Yog and the Tantra. Especially if the temple and the vigraha is of black stone and it is over 1000yrs old, it is an extraordinary thing. If you ever visit such a temple know that the deity is aware and conscious. We go to temples, do namaskar, offer sweets flowers and pray. The pujari/ priest gives us some sweets and flowers as the prasadam, we take it and come home. But if you are a spiritual aspirant, this is not making full use of the temple and its vigraha’s energy. If you do visit an active temple try to do the following,

  • Recite any mantra 108 times, depending on your choice and the type of deity. Eg Gayatri mantra or Soham– Dhyan are suitable for every deity. Shri sukta for all Devi temples. If you are worshipping Devi in her high energy form then Navavarna mantra, ‘Om aing hreeng kleeng Chamundayai vicche’, 108 times is the option. Mahamrytyunjai mantra ‘Om tryambakam yajamahe sugandhiṃ pushṭi-vardhanam, urvarukamiva bandhanat mrutyor mukshiya mam amrutat’, for Shiv temples. ‘Om namo bhagwate vasudevaya’ for all Vishnu and his avtar temples. For this take a small asan with you (a 1mX1m piece of silk is best), sit anywhere around the temple and recite your mantra, absorb the energies.
  • Second option, if you have money and the temple sincerely offers this facility. Request a small puja to be done in your name, pay the amount and do the ‘sankalp’. The temple will perform the mantra puja for you and send the prasadam etc by post.
  • And the third option, this only if you have sufficient resources and time. Do your own puja. Most temples which are specifically made for doing such high-voltage pujas will have rooms or ashrams around them. If you can book the rooms. Now engage 8 brahmins from a reputed school, eg Hardwar, Kashi etc. These brahmins should be knowledgeable and personally skilled and living a strict life as prescribed for them. Genuine Brahmins are very very rare in this period, you need to find 8 of this type. Take them with you to the temple, they will perform the puja for you. This sort of puja can take upto 5-10 days. This is the most complete use of the moorti’s energies.

Vigraha Moorti and idols

The moorti-s for dedicated tantric practices are again very different. They are often not placed in the main temple sanctum. Common householder people do not have the ability to see such moorti-s with their eyes, they might go insane. So such vigraha are either placed in a secret sanctum if they are very highly powerful. Or they are hidden, under masks made of gold or silver. Or decorated so heavily with flowers or sandal-wood paste, silk, etc that the actual moorti is not visible at all!

Here are some examples from some temples I have been to recently. In one temple, the moorti of Devi Kali was very beautiful and powerful, but there was something even more terrible in that sanctum sanctorum. A Shri yantra carved in stone by Adi Shankaracharya himself! Everyone was looking at the Devi’s vigraha and praying but the Shri Yantra on the ground before her hidden by flowers was the source of infinite power! There is a town called ‘Shri-nagar’ in Uttarakhand. It is called so because there is a Shri-yantra installed within the river bed here. Those aspirants who know how, will go to the river and do their practice near the water to channelise the power of the Yantra.

Another very famous temple known for a very terrible Devi from the Dasha Mahavidya-s. The Devi moorti on display is beautiful but it is not the real one made by the Guru. The real moorti of this Devi is in some inner room, not visible to anyone. But to those who desire to see her, she is quite visible in all her terrible intensity, if you close your eyes and request, you will see her in a very different way in your third eye. In one temple dedicated to Devi Dhoomavati of the Dasha Mahavidya-s, married women do not visit her as she will give them instant misfortune, extremely fierce and Ugra. All aspects of the Devi are not benevolent, some are terrifying for other types of purposes. The moorti was made by a Guru, so is bursting with energy. Even the moorti of Ayyappa at Sabrimala, where women in the fertile age group should not visit, is a tantric vigraha and will grant misfortune to such women who do. Similarly for the Shani vigraha at Shingnapur, it is the same thing. These are not idols, they are conscious Vigraha!

So the next time you go to a temple with a Moorti, do know that it is not an idol you are seeing, it is aware focussed consciousness. Looking back at you very intensely, so ask what you desire the most, you might just get it. The more powerful Moorti-s are very intense. Standing before them, or even in or outside such temples is a typical experience. It feels like someone has poured ice cold but refreshing water on you, the pran is intense, from the top of your head till your toes it enters every naadi, every hair stands on end. When you close your eyes and do your mantra jaap, you see things at your third eye, you don’t feel like opening your eyes, they feel heavy. You energise yourself at such places from the inside out. The Vigraha Moorti is a reflection of the Ultimate reality.

 

Vigraha Moorti and idols

 

 

To observe Oneself is Moksh

  • Sankhya tells us that the Prakruti is the manifested creation which is put in motion by the presence of the Purush. Purush is the Aware catalyst. Prakruti is the inert matter.
  • Advaita further tells us that the Purush-Prakruti is the fundamental duality which is Created from the Nirvishesh Brahma or Parabrahma, the Ultimate Reality.

Now onwards,

My Guru would also tell us to ‘observe the Self’. This is a fundamental concept of Sanatan Dharm. But what does ‘observing oneself’ really mean? Let’s use the Sankhya and further the Advaita to understand.

The Purush and Prakruti though outwardly differentiated are fundamentally the same. They both are created from the Para-Brahma, they both are its part. And the part is also the whole. Creation or the later manifestation process is more easily understood as a fractal geometry, it is not a linear progression.

Purush is aware but still. Prakruti is unaware but in motion. The Prakruti moves around the still, conscious pivot of the Purush. So when you as the Purush, observe you as the Prakruti, you observe yourself. This is the point where the illusion of duality finally breaks down. This is the stage of complete self-realization, the goal. Attainment of Nirvishesh Brahma, Sadyo Mukti.

But its a long road back so we have all this spiritual practice and stuff. All this practice so that you change your position, you change your reference point. You change your perception.

Saturn, the wrecking ball

A very simplistic example again. There is a sweet dish on the table. I see it and my son from the other room smells it. For each one of us, this sweet is a different ‘matter’. It is a visual for me and a smell for my son. Both of these perceptions are correct and and from the view of the person concerned, they are also real and complete. Now my son comes into the room, he sees it. When the experiencer changes his position his perception evolves. Visual has added to smell. The perception of ‘smell’ was complete in itself while he was in the other room. Now that he is in this room, the ‘visual’ adds to the experience, but it this not deny the ‘smell’ perception. Both are correct by themselves but taken together too they are correct. If you think deeply, it is actually a paradox. What is real or complete or illusion or incomplete cannot be defined with exactness ever. Now he eats the sweet. He has changed his point of view again, his perception now adds taste. His inner self  then experiences the intention with which I have cooked the food. His perception has moved from basic matter to energy. The perception has evolved from matter to subtle energy. Now if he can also experience the ‘conscious intelligence’ embedded in every particle of the food, it would be Moksh for him.

Every experience is transcended till the point where you reach Yourself.

The angle of perception, the point of reference is paramount. Change the position from where you observe. If you focus on your Ajnya chakra as you do your Dhyan you change your position, so your observation and experience changes too. As you do your spiritual practice, you will realise that you actually see, taste, hear, see etc sense directly from your Ajnya chakra. ie you can read a book even if you are blindfolded etc.

If you bring your awareness to the position of the ‘pivot of manifestation’, ie the Purush you will be able to see the Prakruti around you. She is of the form of the Shri Yantra, in infinite dimensions, whirling around you. You see the Shri-chakra in 2 dimensions, the Meru in 3-D, now can you imagine this perfect geometry around you in infinite dimensions? You remain still, this geometry is around you in all its magnificence. This is how the manifested creation looks like when you put yourself at the central Bindu. It is fascinating, you are observing yourself. And if at this point the last step, if you can with conscious awareness, realise that both the Purush and Prakruti is essentially the same, the whirl stops and you achieve Sadyo mukti.

Right now you are aware of the matter moving around you. You are immersed in the dance of Prakruti. You are located in this whirl, your reference point is from within the dance. You know yourself as the body, you are seated in your room and reading this on your laptop. All of this is pure matter, of the realm of the Prakruti. You are fully engaged in experiencing Prakruti and her creations. As you should, for all this is for your entertainment. So do enjoy it.

But then there comes a point when you want to stop all this play-acting and immerse yourself in the Reality. How long will you be engaged in ‘matter’? You are experiencing only one-half of the duality which was Created. There is the other aspect ‘the aware pivot’ which you have never consciously explored. You are not aware of the consciousness embedded in every dust mite, in every thought, in every emotion of this manifested. For how long can we be stuck in pure ‘matter’? We should try to experience pure intelligence also. Even modern quantum theories have grudgingly reached this conclusion that everything possesses a fundamental ‘intelligence’. They now call this quantum mechanics and try to develop theories of ’entanglement’.

India, Bharat, was, is and always will be a land of the Seers, Rishis. These Rishis went within, into the inner consciousness and achieved the goal of observing the self, experienced pure consciousness and beyond it. These are the examples who drive us, the spiritual seekers. This is why we adore our Rishi-Seers or the Guru. They are the Jivan-mukt, they show us that you can be the experience, the experiencer, the act of experiencing and more all at once! These are what we strive for, their example reassures us that we can also do this ourselves.

Eclipses in the horoscope, birth and transit analysis

There is a very cute story where Shiv and Shakti are playing a game of dice. As the game gets over, Shakti playfully covers Shiv’s two eyes with her hands. There is pitch darkness. But then his third eye opens and there is Illumination. This rather romantic story has very deep esoteric meanings. Purush and Prakruti are involved in the Game, Lila, manifested creation. Purush as the catalyst and Prakruti as the performer and the performance both. Prakruti at the end of the game, by her own actions, shuts the perceptions linked to her game. There is actually an instant of pitch blackness at a crucial point of your Dhyan. If you can cross this, the third eye does ‘open’ and there is the Illumination of the Self. This light brings to you the real nature of duality, you realise that both Purush and Prakruti are essentially the same. There is no duality at any level whatsoever.

This is the experience of Nirvishesh Brahma or Advaita or Para-brahma. You have achieved Sadyo Mukti and become a Jivan mukt yourself. You are now a Guru.

 

Using the Akshar, Mantra and Sanskrit

Sanskrit (Devbhasha Samskrutam) has the following sounds. These are called Akshar, which means that they are fixed, unchangeable, cannot be ‘interpreted’, their meanings and powers are perfectly fixed. This is the list of the 54 sounds. (I don’t know how to write them with the diacritical marks).

  • 14 vowels – a, aa, e, ee, u, uu, rhu, rhuu, lhru, lhruu, ae, ai, o, au
  • 2 support vowels – am, aha
    • अं अः
  • Gutturals – ka, kha, ga, gha, nga
    • क ख ग घ ङ
  • Palatals – cha, chha, ja, jha, nja
    • च छ ज झ ञ
  • Cerebrals – ta, tha, da, dha, na
    • ट ठ ड ढ ण
  • Dentals – ta, tha, da, dha, na
    • त थ द ध न
  • Labials – pa, pha, ba, bha, ma
    • प फ ब भ म
  • Semi-vowels – ya, ra, la, va,
    • य र ल व
  • Sibilants – Sha, Ssha, sa
    • श ष स
  • Consonants – Ha, LLa, Ksha
    •   ळ क्ष
  • Conjunct Consonants – Tra, Jnya
    • त्र ज्ञ
  • The sound of the Bindu or dot. (it is somewhat like ‘ang’, very very nasal)

The energy beauty of sounds

There was a question on what these sounds mean on the spiritual or energy front. You should read the Akshamala upanishad (its text is available on sanskritdocuments.org Or you can also refer to the Sharada Tilak for more information). Each sound /Akshar has a meaning and this small but important Akshamala Upanishad gives the meanings. Every Sanskrit Akshar links with your chakras and you will eventually experience their true power in your spiritual progress. When we speak, we cannot utter the consonants on their own. They have to be linked with a vowel to be uttered out loud. When you utter these sounds, Akshar, you are manipulating your body and mind energies using their targeted energies. If you consciously do this you can bless, curse or progress faster spiritually.

These Akshar are in Devbhasha Samskrutam, the perfectly arranged definition of illumination. Only Sanskrit Mantras are the effective, these have been ‘seen’ by Rishi/Seers and every mantra has the name of the Rishi who first saw it. There are some ‘modern gurus’ who propagate some ‘modern mantras’ of their own devising. Do not use these as you might hurt yourself on the energy levels.

Mantras work on several levels. When you utter them you are manipulating your physical body, it is a vocal exercise first. The mouth and the vocal apparatus directly affects your own ajnya chakra so first of all your own the Ida, Pingala and Sushumna are subtly affected. The vibrations move upwards through your nasal apparatus and are almost fully absorbed your your third eye, thus your entire body. Try this with the sound of ‘Ang’. Close your eyes, wear a eye-mask, and recite just ‘ang’ aloud, very nasal sound, drag the ‘nnnggg’, your lips remain open, and tongue presses against the palate. See the colors and patterns which you will see at your third eye. This ‘ang’ is used as the ending sound of every beej mantra, so that the energy of this seed sound is directly linked into your Ajnya chakra.

Then you are also fixing your mind on the meanings of the Mantras, so it a mental exercise. This lets your mind be absorbed in the beauty of the experience. This is the basis of “Laya yog’. When you hear the sound or rather experience its vibrations, it affects your internal energy structure. Words have inherent beauty, wonder if you have noticed? All this happens to you first, then to the listener. Our parents taught us to speak only auspicious things, speak the truth etc from our childhood onwards just for this reason. We modify our own energies by the simple act of speaking. Try this, choose one mantra, eg the Gayatri mantra or Soham, and whenever you are mentally or physically uncomfortable, just recite this mantra a few times in your mind, try to focus on your third eye as you do so. In less than a minute you will feel differently on both the mental and physical levels.

Mantras make things move, they are fire, embodiment of the Raja Gun, of Devi Sarasvati. She is depicted as playing the Veena, a musical instrument, this is nothing but the Sushumna. The Sushumna with all its chakras and its powers! Devi Sarasvati plays the Sushumna as one would play a musical instrument.

kalam-playing-veena.jpg
Dr A.P.J.Abdul Kalam, the highly respected Ex-President of India playing a Veena

First all the vowels, as per the effects they create, are considered to be basically linked to the Ida. However they are also connected to the Pingala and Sushumna as follows.

  • All the short vowels ऋ ऌ are also linked to the Pingala. These are considered to be masculine, of potential energy and steady. When we utter a short vowel it gets linked to the Pingala. All consonants when linked to a short vowel are link more strongly to the Pingala.
  • The long vowels link only to Ida. These are considered feminine or active or varying in nature. And when we utter a consonant with a long vowel it gets linked to the Ida.
  • The vowels are also linked to the Sushumna. These are considered to be genderless, they can neither be considered to be active nor inactive. A consonant with the vowels gets linked to the sushumna.
  • There are the two support vowels.
    • Am अं is linked to the Purush, the constant unchanging masculine witness. A consonant uttered with the ‘am’ or ‘ang’ ending gets linked to Purush. ‘ang’ makes it very intense.
    • Aha अः also called the ‘Visarga’ is linked to Prakruti or the feminine active principle of creation. A consonant uttered with the ‘aha’ vowel ending is linked to Prakruti.

All the consonants are basically linked more to the Pingala.

  • All the 25, gutturals, palatals, cerebrals, dentals and labials are considered to link to the Pingala.
  • However the semi-vowels – ya, ra, la, va, the sibilants – श ष स and the last three consonants –   क्ष  are linked to the Sushumna. and क्ष are very important Akshar are they are linked to the two petals of the Ajnya chakra lotus. And the is linked in the Sahasrar.

Even if you recite this Askarmalika ie the sounds of the Sanskrit alphabet once a day they are the easiest mantra possible!

In fact during the Yadnopavit, it is the Sanskar, the energy ritual where boys are taught the Gayatri mantra, they are first taught the Shiv sutrani, these are simply the Akshar in a very specific sequence,

  • अ इ उ ण्
  • ऋ ऌ क्
  • ए ओ ङ्
  • ऐ औ च्
  • ह य व र ट्
  • ल ण्
  • ञ म ङ ण न म्
  • झ भ ञ्
  • घ ढ ध ष्
  • ज ब ग ड द श्
  • ख फ छ ठ थ च ट त व्
  • क प य्
  • श ष स र्
  • ह ल्

This sequence is highly mathematical stuff, if you search there are numerous research papers on the beauty of this maths. This is the basis of the grammar of Sanskrit. Reciting this sequence generates very beautiful energies. Say them aloud and see for yourself.

Now a spiritual aspirant is interested in those sounds, Akshar which are connected to the Sushumna, so we have our list, the vowels औ अं अः and the consonants य र ल व श ष स ह. If you observe our Mantras they are more composed of these Akshar. These mantras drive the energy directly into the Sushumna.

Today is Diwali, the festival of Light. This is the Amavasya, the no-moon night of the Ashwin month. The Ashwin month is bursting with the energies of illumination, ie the energy of the Devi are extraordinary throughout this month. It starts with the bright fortnight, with the Navratri. Continues with the most intense full-moon, Kojagiri Purnima, the Moon is closest to the earth during this full-moon. Then the power again starts building  from the 11th day of the dark fortnight till the Amavasya, today. On this night, twilight onwards, pujas for the Devi in her Satvic –  Laxmi, Rajasic – Sarasvati and Tamasic – Shakti forms will give immense benefits. So do not waste this night, use its energies for Devi pujas. Practice and experience for yourself. The really serious practitioners will have prepared in advance for this night, there is so much you can do tonight if you know how.

Wishing everyone a very happy, prosperous and auspicious Diwali.

May the Devi bless every one of us!

 

Siddhakunjika Mantra

 

Tilak, applying it on the forehead

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tilak-5.jpg

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

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

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