Assurance of Moksh 18-66 Bhagvat Gita Part-2

This is a continued post from part 1 here.

This shlok is from the 18th chapter of the Bhagvat Gita, the 66th verse. These verses from 63 to 72 are the gist of the entire Gita. The Sanskrit Bhagvat Gita is a sutra. Each line needs a thousand more to make its meaning somewhat clear. (Compare what I have written in my earlier post and translations like these available on-line “abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear”.)

  • सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज |
  • अहं त्वां सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुच: ||
  • Sarva-dharmaan parityajya maam ekam sharanam vraja
  • Aham tvaam sarva-paapebhyo mokṣhayiṣhyaami maa shuchah

(To know what a Sutra means in the philosophical sense, this is a link to a ok English translation of the Adi-Shankaracharya’s Sanskrit commentary of Badarayan’s Brahma Sutra. If it makes sense to you, do buy it, a paper copy is necessary for learning anything well.)

Advaita 18-66 Bhagvat Gita Part-2

I was born in a family which had a Sat-guru by tradition. He taught Dhyan with the Soham mantra, gave discourses and also told us to read books. The Dasbodh (Marathi), The Jyaneshwari (Marathi), Yog-Vashishth (Sanskrit), various Upanishads (Sanskrit), the Mahabharat (Sanskrit), Bhagvat Gita is a part of the Mahabharat, Ramayan (Sanskrit) etc. So the practice of the Pran and the practice of the Mind both was simultaneously on. Both together are essential for progress. Doing just one of the two will not give its full results. (I would recommend these books published by Gita Press as they are very affordable, adequately translated into other languages and easily available.)

A personal incident. Once the Devi told me to perform an Anushthan (a count) of the Nav-avaran mantra. My Sat-guru allowed it for some reason. This I did alongside my Dhyan. Then exactly one year later to the day, while doing Dhyan, I clearly heard the first half of this Bhagvat Gita shlok 18-66 ‘Sarva-dharmaan parityajya maam ekam sharanam vraja’, repeated three times.

I pulled out the commentaries on the Gita, thought deeply on it, dissected the words, pored over its intention. It was a clear cut direction. I had repaid my energy debts to everyone including the Devi. (Will write a post sometime on the real nature of the ‘gods’ and ‘deities’ of Sanatan Dharma). That day I stopped doing all other forms of puja/ mantra jaap and focussed just on ‘Soham’. My Dhyan had expanded, beyond the formal asan, Soham was on at every waking/ sleeping/ dreaming breath. This 18-66 verse which my Sat-guru had specifically pointed out brought everything into perfect focus. I was to get rid of the binding that I had put on my practice. Now it was to progress beyond the 3 times a day Dhyan and go beyond the Asan. Now onwards every breath had to be Soham with awareness, 24 hrs a day as a continuous process.

Advaita 18-66 Bhagvat Gita Part-2

Spiritual practice is like school. You complete one grade, toss out the old text books and learn new ones. From your playschool till your Ph.D. you learn deeper things. Every activity/ mantra can take you upto a certain level. Once you cross this level, it changes its form ie you stop doing that specific activity and do something else more intense. You will get clear signals when you pass the grade, so the transition is quite natural.

If you continue doing the old mantra/ activity out of habit or obstinacy or your failure to understand or your fear to change. Or your obsession with the illusion called creation. If you do not change and adapt to your new energy levels, you will harm yourself.

  • Eg you begin going to a Sat-sang where like-minded people sit together, sing bhajans, listen to discourses, a group activity. You do this once a week or so.
  • Next step, you set up a personal puja-ghar/ altar and do moorthi-puja, put flowers etc and focus on this moorthi. Now your group activities reduce, eventually stop, you enjoy your personal pujas more.
  • Then you start a formal mantra jaap eg Gayatri, Navavarna or any other mantra given to you, generally three times a day in sets of 108 repeats.
  • Or if you are directly given your Dhyan-mantra, the mantra is now Soham. (Some people use OM or Hamsa. I have no personal experience with either of these, my Guru taught me Soham, but these too are said to be powerful).
  • Then you start doing Dhyan, focus on your third eye, start internalising. You sit for 2-3 times a day on your Asan. Your Dhyan-mantra generates more power.
  • When Soham gains power, all the outer pujas, mantras, even Gayatri or the Navavarna mantra-jaap etc eventually stop.
  • And finally Soham is on 24hours in all your waking/ dreaming/ sleeping states.
  • Then the Bhagvat Gita shlok 18-66 starts operating.

Soham-Dhyan might seem insignificant to begin with but it has immense power as it is linked to your very breath, it is an ajapa-mantra. The Ajapa-mantra (Soham or Hamsa) are the only way to realise the Eternal. You want to realise yourself as you naturally are. You desire to experience your basic natural condition. And the most natural thing you do is to breathe, but you are actually unaware of your breath. Your breathing is not natural as it is linked to your emotional states, ie your mind. If you are upset, happy, angry, tense, etc your breathing changes its pattern. Ever wondered how it would be if your mind were plain, calm, still and immersed in its Own Self? The mantra linked to your breath are always on whether you are aware or not, the Ajapa-mantra. And the Breath is nothing but Pran. If you destroy the effect of the Mind on the movement of your Breath/Pran or if you bring your Mind to its perfect pristine state, you can experience your basic natural state. So the Ajapa-mantra, Pran, Mind and Breathing are all interlinked. Focus on one of these, control one of these consciously and you control them all. So it is logical that these Ajapa mantras are the only ones powerful to take you to your essential natural state.

Advaita 18-66 Bhagvat Gita Part-2

The verse 18-66 is in two parts.

‘Sarva-dharmaan parityajya maam ekam sharanam vraja’.

  • This is what the spiritual aspirant is directed to do. “Leave all concepts of your limited self, your limited understanding, duality, illusion of creation, artificial conditions you have imposed on yourself, needless complications arising out of the artificial bindings you have created on yourself. Experience the Eternal within yourself, hold on to this realization that you yourself are the Advaita.”
  • This the spiritual aspirant has to do. And the Gita’s teachings as a Yog-shastra for controlling the Pran and the Tatva-jnyan for taming the Mind will be used.
  • This is an order from the Advaita to the aspirant. If the aspirant succeeds in doing this, only then does the second part of the shlok come into operation.
  • This half verse 18.66 was a clear order from my Sat-guru. “To now search for the Eternal within. To follow only what he had taught ie Soham. To use only the Soham with all my strength, this one single route.

“Aham tvaam sarva-paapebhyo mokṣhayiṣhyaami maa shuchah”.

  • The Nirvishesh Brahma assures you, the spiritual aspirant, that It will bless you with the highest liberation. But you cannot claim Moksh unless you actually do what you have been directed in the first part.
  • If you keep desiring a husband/wife, children, money, etc stuff linked to the material and not intensely focus on your single route on your single Sat-Guru on your single mantra, you will not reach that non-dual Truth. Your very existence should burn with this deepest intention of seeing Yourself. This is the deepest Illumination you are asking for, your very soul wants to light up with the intensity of a million Sun’s! 
  • The instant your intelligence casts away all forms of duality, all connection with the illusion of creation is severed by the conscious awareness. All material desires are extinguished, you see your pristine self, this is Moksh.
  • There is no coming or going anywhere, just the magnificence of Existence.
  • The Advaita gives this blessing but only if you perform your part first.

On the practical side, this means that the pattern of breath in and breath out also changes. ie Kumbhak increases, expands. This stillness in between finally leads to the state of Avaitya. This is the exact thing which Bhairav repeatedly says in his Vignyan Bhairav Tantra. Whichever book you read, they all say the same thing.

This verse also means that ultimately there can be only one Sat-Guru. If you are following 5 different religious leaders/ spiritual teachings, discard all but the one who really inspires your confidence. There can be only one spiritual practice, especially so when you are so near your goal. So if you are observing 10 different types of practices, discard all but the one which gives you the maximum intensity. If at this point you refuse to obey the clear directions coming from your higher self/ Sat-guru, and still continue with your several activities or listen to several Guru-s, you will harm yourself.

If you are at the initial experimental stages of your practice you can definitely try out several systems, or listen to several Guru-s discourses, but when you are in the last 100m lap, this cannot be. You will focus on one mantra, follow one Sat-guru and reach the Advaita. You are now committed to your destination. No desires linked to the material will be entertained by your higher self even if superficial desires pop up once in a while they will be quashed. You will discard the material by its very roots, rid yourself of the very foundations of duality and focus on the Maam Ekam. And the very clear assurance of the Nirvishesh Brahma powers you.

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The point being that to finally Realise, you have to give up every vestige of the manifested creation. You cannot have both at the same time.

Eg A story of Ramkrishna Parmahans. He was a devotee of Devi Kali and she would appear before him in his spiritual practice. His Guru Totapuri, a Naga Sadhu, was a realised Soul. He would get angry when Ramkrishna would talk about the Devi Kali in his visions. He would tell him to take a sword and cut her down only then would he Realise the Self. This Ramkrishna was unable to do. So, Totapuri made Ramkrishna sit in front of him and told him to meditate. As Devi Kali appeared in his vision, Totapuri took a piece of glass and made an actual cut on Ramkrishna’s forehead. This action of the Guru removed Ramkrishna’s last link to the creation ie Devi Kali and triggered his Self-realisation, at that instant he became a ‘Paramhans’.

Now finally, the real beauty of this shlok. This is the only one in the entire Gita, where the Advaita uses the word ‘mokshayishyaami’. This is a very rare word (I have written about its grammar in the previous post). It is used only once in the entire Gita and in this one shlok. The intention of the Advaita, the assurance! This shlok is the most unique, the most special one in the entire Gita as It is giving you Its blessing! What more does the jiv-atma/ individual soul need?

I could write an entire book on this one shlok, it is so profound, both for the practice part and also the philosophy part. This is the gist of the entire Gita. The highest Intelligence is specifically telling you what to do, there is no ambiguity at all, no baffle with fluff. And if you do it, then It is guaranteeing you that It will grant you the highest illumination! You will realise Your own Self as the Nirvishesh Brahma.

 

Advaita 18-66 Bhagvat Gita Part-2

(This is my last post on deep spiritual practice. Nothing needs to be said more on this topic after this 18:66 Bhagvat Gita. I will not write more on this unless there is a specific question from my readers)

Assurance of Moksh 18-66 Bhagvat Gita Part-1

I got very positive feedback on my previous posts on the Bhagvat Gita shloks. Some of my Dad’s friends told him that I write well, which made him happy. And my husband gave me one of his rare compliments.

So today here is the beautiful 18-66 shlok, possibly the most beautiful shlok of the entire Gita.

  • सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज |
  • अहं त्वां सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुच: ||
  • Sarva-dharmaan parityajya maam ekam sharanam vraja
  • Aham tvaam sarva-paapebhyo mokṣhayiṣhyaami maa shuchah

Let’s see how basic Sanskrit grammar and meanings work with this verse. These words have deep philosophical meanings. But I will stick to the basic word meanings. I love Devbhasha Samskrutam, so in this post have added some grammar related stuff to bring out its subtlety (If someone gets inspired to learn it, it would be truly wonderful).

  • Sarva – many, entire, various, whole, together, complete, manifold, different, water, all, each, universe, every (Sarvadharmaan is a compound word)
  • Dharmaan – (masculine accusative plural noun) ‘to’ right, devotion, character, law, observance, essence, established, firm, thing, religion, mark, decree, rule, practice, morality, character, foundation etc.
  • Parityajya – (imperative mood, second person singular verb) abandon, omit, give up, renounce, give away, distribute, forsake, disown, disregard, leave behind, get rid of, go beyond, come out of, abandon.
  • Maam – (neuter, accusative singular, noun) ‘to’ ego, individual soul, I,
  • Ekam – (neuter, accusative singular noun) single, one, exclusive, alone, excellent, sincere, truth, chief, unity
  • Sharanam – (neuter, nominative and accusative singular noun) protection, succour, guard, asylum, help, defense, home, water, shelter, refuge, rest or ‘to protect etc’.
  • Vraja – (imperative mood, second person singular verb) If used as a noun, cow-shed, cloud, fold, movement, several, road. But as verb it means ‘to go’
  • Aham – (neuter nominative singular noun) singular, ‘I’
  • Twam – (neuter accusative singular noun) singular ‘you’
  • Sarva – meaning as above. (Sarvapapebhyo is a compound word)
  • Papebhyo – (neuter dative and ablative plural noun) ‘Paap’ means wretched, vicious, evil, villain, crime, ill-luck, vice, inauspicious, low, harm, trouble, guilt, misfortune.
  • Moksha-yishami – This is a very rare form in Sanskrit grammar. The verb is first person, singular, benedictive mood. The verb is a ‘naam-dhatu’, ie a denominative, made by using a noun as a verb. Moksh, a noun, is used as a verb. It is an assurance or a blessing, it literally means ‘I (noun) Moksh (verb)’ something like ‘I dance!’
  • Moksh – freedom, liberation, solution, emancipation, release
  • Ma – negation of the highest order
  • Suchah – (masculine nominative singular noun) pure

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Krishna is the Advaita Nirvishesh Brahma. Maam, Ekam, indicate the non-dual intelligence which cannot be described in the language of the universe. ‘Krishna’ word is often translated as ‘black’, but it really means something which has such attributes which cannot be seen by the senses of this creation but only experienced by the soul.

Interesting fact, when you are in space, you cannot see the Sun or the Stars shining in the sky. The pretty colored images of galaxies and stuff from NASA are rendered using filters. The self-luminous bodies are ‘black’. You can sense the radiation emitted by them, but your eyes cannot see them. We see the self-luminous Suns/Stars from the earth because the all-enveloping atmosphere acts as a filter and gives them that white-gold color. In outer space, the only things visible to the eyes are the planets and the satellites which reflect light from these self-luminous Suns. So if you were in space would you say the Sun is ‘black’ in color?

We believe ‘Krishna’ to be a man driving a chariot or the supreme ‘god’. But that is because of our filters of perceptions surrounding us. If we ever cross this conditioning, this karma bindings, the layers of unintelligence around us, the all-enveloping ignorance, we would experience Krishna as the Nirvishesh Brahma, his true ‘black’ nature. But to come out of those filtering layers we need to generate energy to propel us out. And the only way we can generate the energy is to do our Dhyan, focus on our Dhyan-mantra. Till then, in our ignorance, we will strongly argue that the Sun is gold-white in color and Krishna was either a man or a god!

Arjun is the brilliant streak of lightning, the conscious intelligence of the individual soul. It is the awareness of the mental processes of the spiritual aspirant. The lightening momentarily flashes from the dark skies and is submerged back in the darkness. So does the individual soul flash briefly and is again absorbed in the darkness that is Krishna.

The very last chapter of the Bhagvat Gita is very subtle. Especially the verses from 63 to 72 where Krishna concludes his teaching. These shloks contain the gist of these 18 chapters and must be mediated upon again and again to get their depth.

Advaita 18-66 Bhagvat Gita Part-1

So basically, Krishna speaks to Arjun,

“There are several types of foundations which you use as a support in this universe. So many concepts bind you to this illusion called creation. The entire set of preconceived notions which you follow eg your religious and moral codes. The various practices and ideas that you have bound yourself in. All the things which you think are necessary for yourself. Your thought patterns, emotions, philosophies, ideas, mind-set, everything. The body, the body processes, the mental patterns, the spiritual activities, the things you feel necessary for your body/mind. All the stuff of the material world. The plurality of things. The differences in everything. The various reasons you act and react. All your desires which make up your sense of self. Even the very act of your breathing!” (Sarvadharmaan)

Krishna continues and orders Arjun,

“All this as above is to be discarded. Get rid of the illusion that is ‘duality’. Come out of your idea that you need support to exist. Get rid of all the notions in which you have bound your intelligence in. Remove all pre-conceived notions regarding your own sense of self. Give away completely, the very concept of duality. Let go of all the reasons for your actions, stop creating new karmic bindings. Utterly release all desires linked to this creation. You are not connected in any way to these illusionary things, release them from your consciousness. You are not bound to the illusion called the universe, release this idea of creation. To disregard the differences between the various aspects of creation is the real step to true understanding. Understand that what you really are, does not require any sort of support from the creation.” (Sarvadharmaan parityajya) 

Then Krishna continues,

“There is only Advaita, the non-dual consciousness. The most exclusive, singular, unique, intelligence, not dependant on anything, highest, purest, truth, source etc. There is no polarity, no movement, no change, no duality, no illusions, no difference, no conflict.” (Maam ekam)

Now the Sharanam part can be understood in two ways, it is the nominative as well as the accusative singular noun form.

  • The nominative way. ‘Maam ekam sharanam’ (subject) vraja (verb)
  • Krishna orders Arjun, “The One Singular Protection should be approached by you. You should go to the Singular Intelligence. Seek its experience. Be in its shelter. Understand that the Advaita is the only refuge. You come from the non-dual Intelligence and are absorbed again in it. Realise the Non-Dual. The outward duality of forms is irrelevant as the source of all is the Only Non dual.”
  • The accusative case is this. Maam ekam (subject) vraja (verb) Sharanam (object).
  • Krishna orders Arjun thus, “The One Singular Protection should be approached by you, to shelter in yourself. Realise that the Advaitya is actually inside yourself. After you realise this, you should to hold on to this realization. Rather than going here and there in search of the Advaita, you should know that it is inside you. Recognise that you are not separate from the Eternal. There is no duality in this, you are the Eternal and the Eternal is you. Experience this Unity between you and the Eternal. And remain ever in this realization. The Advaita is your refuge, your home, your real position, and it is right within you.”

My note –

Pari-tyajya is used to make the act of removing or giving away very intense, right from the roots. Some people actually leave the material world, become an ascetic, a Sanyasi. They forsake the foundation of human society, cut off all possibilities of any desire of the material ie take Sanyas and do their further Sadhana in complete singular isolation. They seek the Advaita and this is their driving intention, deepest desire, the only possible desire. This happens only if the horoscope allows it. And for most aspirants who reach this level, there is always some type of an isolation provided even if they live on in the society.

Advaita 18-66 Bhagvat Gita Part-1

The Nirvishesh Brahma, Krishna then continues,

“I will give to you the solution for your misery, ill-luck, inauspiciousness, low energy, etc. As well as liberate you from the wretchedness, trouble, harm etc that you are under. Not knowing oneself is the biggest evil, I will release you from this. You are ignorant of your own reality, I assure you that I will remove this misfortune and ill-luck from you. I will give to you the Realization of Advaita. This is my assurance and my blessing. (Aham tvaam sarvapapebhyo moshayishyami)

As per the grammar used, Krishna addresses Arjun as Shuchah ‘pure one’. The correct way of looking at these words, ‘Maa Shuchah’ would be, “Pure one, No!” Arjun is the bright and pure lightening flash of intellect. The Maa is the negation of Arjun’s behaviour till now ie his obsession with duality and him being unable to realise the overarching Advaita. Maa is also Prakruti which hides Arjun’s true nature. Krishna calls him the ‘Pure one’ and admonishes his past behaviour with the highest negation ‘No!’.

My notes –

I have seen ‘Ma Shuchah’ being translated as ‘do not grieve’. But Shuchah शुच: is a nominative masculine gender word, it means ‘Pure one’ as the subject. The imperative verb form for ‘do not grieve’ would be ‘Ma Shoch/ शोच’.  It cannot be understood as the ‘Grieving one’ either, as the noun which means grief or sorrow is शुचा, it is a feminine noun, its nominative singular would be शुचा shuchaa.

Sanskrit has one specialty, the word sequence in a sentence is not relevant at all. The declination cases of the nouns and the moods of the verbs are important. The intention of the speaker and the context of the situation, the gravity of the words and the ability of the listener to understand gives the meaning relevant to him.

The energy of the word ‘Maa‘ is negation, and it negates our true nature. The simple negation would be just ‘na’. Maa is a particle in grammar so fitting it in the sentence requires a background of philosophy of the Gita. “Maa’ in itself is also a name of the Prakruti. So when Krishna uses Maa here, it is an independent word with a wealth of meaning, something like “No!” more like an admonishment.

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Sanskrit is a very subtle language, that is why I love it so much, layers of meanings. A small example, let’s look at this part again in a different way, Aham tvaam sarva-paapebhyo mokṣhayiṣhyaami. 

  • Why is Aham tvaam used like this? These words seems incongruous in a verse dedicated to Advaita. But see, Aham tvaam, I-you is the basic duality! When I believe I am different from you, does duality start. The root of creation is duality, this ‘I-you’.
  • Aham tvaam is followed by sarva-paapebhyo. ‘I-you’ is the very foundation of duality. And this actually is ‘all of the misfortune’. So here Aham tvaam does not refer to Krishna – Arjun as I – you. The Advaita is referring to the concept of duality embodied by ‘I-you’. This concept is the source of all inauspiciousness. This illusion of separation is the reason we cannot Know our own Reality, an evil thing indeed.
  • It says further, mokṣhayiṣhyaami. This can be understood as ‘I be Moksh’, I act Moksh, I cause Moksh, I regard Moksh, I play the part of Moksh, I make Moksh, I use Moksh, I apply Moksh, I wish Moksh, I desire Moksh, I assure Moksh. I Moksh.
  • The very presence of Advaita in itself is all this assurance.
  • It Itself is Its own blessing to Itself! A mindbender isn’t it?

The Bhagvat Gita is a practical manual Yog-Shastra and a philosophy Tatva-Jnyan designed perfectly to attain the state of the Advaitya. For a spiritual aspirant both practice – Dhyan and philosophy are needed together to bring the Pran and the Mind into control. Doing just one without the other does not work well.

It is only when the conscious-intellect of the individual crosses all concepts linked to the material universe and illusions of its superficial separation from the Eternal, that it really begins to understand itself. It was wallowing in its sense of individuality, its own tiny ego, in its individual soul. The entire purpose of the Bhagvat Gita is to turn the direction of conscious-awareness to the highest possible, the Advaita, the Nirvishesh Brahma. It is involution of the highest degree, a pure flash of the highest intelligence is generated by the spiritual aspirant himself which illuminates his own Reality!

(have continued this in my next post)

 

 

Spiritual practice, Marathons and Wins

A parable. Suppose.

You know you are a marathon runner, your life entire purpose is to run this 120km marathon. You train relentlessly for ages. You read books on perfect practice and learn from the experiences of the other runners who won. You eat proper diet, you work-out, build your mind, body and soul, practice the strictest austerities. Stick to your schedule, deny yourself the temptations and desires which make you weak or use up your energy. You set your soul on fire, again and again choosing this same path for several lives, making your intention stronger deeper.

You search for the perfect coach. You meet pretenders who try to steal your energy or use your strength for their selfish purposes or try to misguide you. After several such episodes, you finally find the one single perfect trainer. He is the only One. He has run the 120km marathon himself and won spectacularly. The power of his Win is shining in his aura. He tests your resolve and preparation before taking you on as his student. Then he gives you his perfect secret coaching and oversees every aspect of your practice. You practice under his guidance, you know in your inner most heart that this coach and this method is the only way you crack the race.

The big day is here, today is the marathon. The big Win can possibly be in your hands before it is evening. You are aware of the surrounding stands, the track and the final winning line 120km away. You know why you are running, you have trained for this for so many lives, you know the philosophy, you have done the practice. The intention to Win fires your soul. You will keep this Sankalp-intention burning fiercely in your soul as you run. This Sankalp is the only thing that drives you, you burn inside desirous of the Win.

Spiritual practice, Marathons and Wins

(The track is the spiritual route running within this material creation, it is your way out. At the finish line is the Nirvishesh Brahma. You are the individual soul, the Jiv-atma, the coach is the Sat-guru, the Realised Teacher.)

You start off. Now you are focussed only on your route and your pace. The Win is still 120km away, it feels like it is on the other edge of the Universe. Your muscles start burning, your very pran/ vital energies are burning, you are consuming your potential, converting it to action. You run. Every step is powered by the constant intention, the purity of the Sankalp. You are convinced that this run is the right thing to do.

Your coach is at your side, always available, guiding you as you make your attempt, encouraging you, exhorting you to continue. Pointing out the typical features of the terrain, pointing out the possible pitfalls, helping you avoid them, reminding you of your strengths. So you run and run, doing your rigorous Sadhana. You have now run 119kms, you have burnt your resources in the process. As you run, you emptying yourself.

Now you are in the final 1km. The final moment of this illusion called life, the edge of the manifested Universe. You have trained for this for so very many lives, so much time, so much pain, so much effort, such discipline, it is all going to be worth it now, very soon. You can almost taste the victory. (Does this make you over-confident and careless or even more focussed and alert?, the choice is yours).

This is the most difficult and treacherous section of the course. There are hidden subtle obstacles. A stumble here can prove deadly, your soul is very vulnerable here, your body/ mind have reached the last reserves of your strength. Your coach at your side is very alert. The win is in sight, beckoning you, but you are not there yet. If you fail here, all this effort would be useless. The coach pushes you, encourages you to increase your efforts, to pull out every single drop of energy from your body/ mind/ soul. To focus on the prize but still to be extra alert.

Spiritual practice, Marathons and Wins

But remember your coach is Shukra-acharya, Venus, the most perfect teacher with the most cryptic tests. This marathon Win is not for the undeserving, it is only for the select few who have consistently proven themselves on every level, every single time. Your coach has run it himself, and he knows its value. In this last section he also will test you, test your soul deeply yet subtly to finally check if you are worthy of the win. He still has to give you his final most secret tip. Do you really have what it takes to receive this highest tip?

A pretty girl waves at you from the stands at the stands in the side-lines. Your attention from your spiritual route is diverted. You look at her, smile back, stumble and fall. Your attention caught by the material world again. You see your parents, your nephews/nieces, your buddies. You see a vision of you getting married, having children, being a big businessman, doing everything necessary for the family. You stop running and walk out of the race track, transfixed by the waving girl. You have made your choice.

Your coach has a cryptic look on his face, inscrutable. He vanishes. The finish line fades away and the race track gets obscured.

It is ‘game over’ for the spiritual route now. You lost your focus, you lost the test of Intention. Sankalp-shudhi, the clarity and purity of purpose was lacking internally. You got diverted by the materialistic desire outside the spiritual track, you failed the most subtle test, you lost and lost spectacularly. You have created karma and that too at the very end of the race!

(If you get caught in the material net, when you are very high up in your spiritual practice, you get more subtly and deeply entangled. The seed of this new karma, this loss of intention, when you have advanced so deeply into yourself, gets linked very deeply in your causal and astral bodies (post here). The deeper you travel within, you are required to be all the more alert, intense, focussed, steady, hold on tightly to your deepest Desire to know yourself)

This is a solo race, no one else can help you, but can only divert you. Did you think that girl would help you run your race? No she cannot, no one can. Your coach can guide but you have to run yourself. The girl in the sidelines stole your attention ie your energy and you lost, at the very last lap, so high up in the spiritual path! Running well for the initial 119kms is of no use, a waste, if you fail at the very last step and cannot win at the 120km finishing line.

But you are oblivious to all these repercussions. You go with the girl, create even more karma. Then you work through all those further inevitable results of that karma too. And so many lives pass in oblivion. (But internally the soul of the marathon runner is in deep torment. Self-castigation. It is praying for a chance to run again.)

Till one day you read a book on the Marathon and the Win. You realise that you are a marathon runner. Your soul is hopeful again. You want to run again, the desire to Win is lit within. You now have to re-start from point zero. You have burnt out all your accumulated resources remember? You have to gather everything again. Start from scratch, prepare yourself, convince your coach to take you on again, rebuild your body, mind and soul. Again several lives are used up in this process.

So much time, so very many lives have passed since your past ill-fated attempt. Now you are finally ready for your second attempt. This time you have specially trained your mind to maintain the purity of purpose, Sankalp-shuddhi. The day arrives, you start your run. You know what had happened in the past attempt, so this time you are solidly focussed. You run well, your coach guides you well, you intently listen to all his spiritual guidance. You are alert, you are in full control of your mind. Everything that will help you run well registers in your mind and you absorb it, use it. You reach the crucial last lap. Your last reserves are now being burnt.

Venus, your coach will now pose his final cryptic test. So this time he himself points out the girl in the side-line stands waving at you. But now you are so focussed on the spiritual track and the finish line that you do not hear his these words which are linked to the material realms. You have attained Sankalp-shuddhi, the purity and clarity of intention. Nothing in the material world in whatsoever form holds any attraction whatsoever for you. Not even the words uttered by your coach which are linked to the material. You do not allow anything from the material to touch you in any way whatsoever. You pass the final test. The illusions of the material have stopped existing for you. You are committed to the spiritual route and your intention is unshakeable. Shukra-acharya now smiles, you have satisfied him, passed his final test. He now gives you his highest secret tip and his highest blessings. This you listen and act on. You touch the final line and cross over into the Nirvishesh Brahma.

Spiritual practice, Marathons and Wins

You can never be ‘satisfied’ with your spiritual practice. If you say you are satisfied, it is stagnation, it is a dead end. Once you start running, you cannot be satisfied with the way you are running. You have to remain alert, not complacent. The objective is to reach the final finish line. Till then anything can happen which can make you stumble and lose. Only when you have the Win in your hands, you have the solid permanent happiness and satisfaction, Param-anand and Param-trupti. If you are satisfied with your running style for the 119.9km, get complacent at the sight of the finish line, lose your single-point focus in the last 100m, trip, fall and break your ankle, would you be satisfied with your performance? Have you gained your objective?

It is all or nothing here in this solo marathon. Once you start running and until you Win your Realisation, you cannot be Satisfied. If you utter the word ‘satisfaction’ in between do re-check on what your Sankalp is really, how deep is your intention?

No Sat-Guru will ever tell you that that he is content with your practice. My Sat-guru would always tell us to practice even more Dhyan, to increase the Dhyan, to focus more and deeply on ‘Soham‘. Even he himself, till he finally achieved Moksh, ie Sadyo-mukti and became a Jivan-mukt, would sit in Dhyan day/night. Spiritual practice by itself is not a source of satisfaction, it can never be. There is only one Eternal source of Satisfaction. And the soul who has started running towards this Source cannot ever stop till it finally reaches it, Moksh.

 

Leo ascendant Integration

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.

4f29c4dbbe3846d70e9ebe52f0caf582.jpg

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

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.

 

The performer, catalyst and Creator

Hinduism/ Sanatan Dharma has very deep statements which cannot be understood but need to be experienced. My Guru would talk about things and we all used to listen. But it is only with practice that some of his statements are making more sense now.

There is only one origin called the ‘Nirvishesh Brahma’, the ‘intelligence where differentiation does not exist’ or Parabrahma, the ‘beyond intelligence’. This is the goal of each soul, your and my personal spiritual evolution leads here. This is the Ultimate Creator.

The first creation was duality, ie observer-performer energy was created. The Para creates infinite numbers of observer-performer pairs. The observer energy is called the Purush and the performer energy is called the Prakruti. Prakruti is said to be feminine as the energies are active, kinetic, capable of responding, changeable. Purush is said to be masculine as these energies are still and unchanging but are capable of eliciting a response. (The Purush and Prakruti are not a physical man and a woman, there is no sexism in the spiritual context.)

Only Advaita as discussed by Adi Shankaracharya is subtle and deep enough to pierce through all duality. It can take you upto the Real Creator, the Parabrahma. Advaita is referred to as ‘Non-duality’. It can be only expressed as a negation as what it really is cannot be described in the words of this creation, it needs to be experienced. This is the Reality which you and me actually desire to experience. Sankhya-shastra is a method analysing intelligence, energy, matter and the rest of it. This is a discriminative, rational, calculative and deliberate instrument directed to the understanding the Self. Sankhya is a prelude to the understanding of the Advaita.

The Prakruti is called Lalita, the one who plays the game. This game is of her devising, created out of her own energies, occurs within her and is not separate from her. The entire performance occurs within the energies of the performer. All creation theories or even modern science describe this Game that she plays, the secondary creation of the manifested Universes. These theories are limited to only Prakruti and the processes that go on with her body. These do not describe the Purush as they have not reached so deep within. And neither do they take you upto your reality, ie the Parabrahma.

Exalted and debilitated, Rahu, Ketu and Saturn

In my earlier posts, I have written about Prakruti and her active role in creating, maintaining, evolving and finally destroying the manifested. Whatever you see around you, your body, mind, environment, etc is all Prakruti. Now there is one twist here. Prakruti is described as being ‘Jada’ जड. She is without animation, insensate, still,  lifeless, paralysed, numb, dull, stunned, cold, apathetic as Jada means ‘matter without Intelligence’. She is capable of motion but incapable of initiating the motion herself. She does not have the intelligence or the consciousness. So why does the Prakruti start her performance?  What caused her to move, to start Playing?

The reason is the catalyst, the Purush.

The Purush has a very important role in all this Play. The Purush is called the ’Sakshi’ in Sanskrit. This word is usually translated to mean a witness or an observer. This is slightly incorrect as Devbhasha Samskrutam is a palimpsest, the deeper you go the more meanings you understand. Sakshi is a compound word ‘Akshasya sah’. Sakshi is the ‘intelligence which accompanies the Axis on which the individual soul exists’. Or the ‘self-awareness of the Pivot of the wheel of creation’.

Purush is Aware Intelligence.

The Purush is the catalyst. He, by his mere presence causes the Prakruti to start her performance. But the Purush does not interact with any other energy or get involved in any way. Purush is the ever-existing, steady, ever-pervading Intelligence. He doesn’t change and neither does he interfere. Manifested creation happens just because he exists. His existence is the reason why Prakruti goes about creating.

There are catalysts in every system, eg enzymes are catalysts in biology, they bring about all the cellular life processes but remain unchanged and unaffected. In chemistry, the neutrons are Sakshi, they do not participate but their presence makes things happen, eg electrons are captured by protons and chemical reactions take place. It is the same with the creation, Prakruti performs just because the Purush is there. Matter moves just because of the presence of the Purush.

In our usual life we all are actors, we perform. A very simplistic example, I interact with my son. I get cross and tell him to clean his room, he is irritated but cleans it. Both of us have changed. I was irritated, now I am satisfied. He was irritated, now he is tired. And a new reality has come to being, the room is clean. So two energies interacted and changed themselves and also changed the environment. This has happened within the realm of Prakruti. Emotions, physical realities which are capable of being changed are part of Prakruti and occur within her body.

Now if you look around you, there are also catalysts/ sakshi everywhere. These Sakshi do not engage with anyone else nor do they change, but events occur around them because of their mere presence. A very simplistic example again, I am at home just sitting and reading, my son comes home and because I am sitting there, carefully removes his shoes and puts them on the rack. I didn’t even look at him. But my mere presence, the catalyst, made him ‘perform’.

My Guru would say that I must bring in the ’Sakshi-bhaav’ into myself, ie bring into myself the reality of the Sakshi. He was telling me to be the unchanging center around which the whirl of creation unfolds. To change my perception from the ‘matter’ component to the ‘intelligence’ component. But how do I bring in this ‘consciousness’ within me? How can I stop being involved in ‘matter’. All my senses, my organs of action are oriented towards matter. I smell, taste, touch, move.. matter. I perceive only matter whirling around me.

The solution is to do Dhyan, when you sit still and focus only at your Ajnya chakra you are focussing on your personal consciousness. The Ajnya chakra is the seat of the individual consciousness. Once you identify with the fragment of the Ultimate consciousness within you rather than the matter swirling around you, your evolution gets easier.

Route from the Ajnya chakra to the Sahasrara and the Bindu within the Sahasrara gets easier. This is real evolution.

But when you are just starting your spiritual practice you cannot experience or imagine or visualise or even think of such subtle energies. So you start the ‘observe yourself’ thingie again by observing whatever is visible at your third eye during Dhyan. Dispassionately, you close your eyes and focus at your third eye. In the physical body, you, the individual consciousness, reside at the third eye Ajnya chakra. You start your practice of observing yourself from this chakra. Initially you see just darkness here. As your practice deepens you will observe yourself in all your increasing higher energy levels.

You have to traverse a distance of ’10 fingers’ from the third eye chakra to the top of the head. All this practice for this seemingly tiny thing!

The Sakshi is the pivot, the axis around which change occurs. The Sakshi is essential for evolution. Matter by itself cannot move. Intelligence makes it move, evolve. Consciousness is steady, it does not change, it remains constant, it is. This principle is applicable everywhere, from biology, chemistry to spiritual evolution. When you become your own catalyst, you further your own spiritual evolution.

 

More on Eclipses and their astrological results

Bhagwat Gita as Yog-shastra

Yog means union and shastra means a manual, rules, a step-by-step direction. Union of what? Of the body with the soul, of the soul with the Eternal, of karma with the soul, ‘union’ can be quite a wide topic. From the Sadhak’s point of view union means self realisation this is achieved after the union of the Kundalini with the Para-‘unknowable beyond’ Moksh.

There are several Gita-s. The Bhagwat Gita is recited by Krishna in the Mahabharat, it is in Sanskrit – Devbhasha Samskrutam. It is fundamentally an Advaita experience. The first commentary i.e. Bhashya on the Bhagwat Gita is written by Adi Shankaracharya. In fact before he wrote his Bhashya, the Bhagwat Gita was not very popular, as its real nature is extremely esoteric. This Bhashya clearly establishes the Gita to be a manual for attaining Sadyo-mukti i.e. experience Advaita/ Non-duality. This Bhashya is obviously written in Sanskrit. Most of us have lost touch with our real mother-tongue Sanskrit. Then the more recent commentary ‘Pranab-Gita’ originally in Bengali and available in Hindi was written some 150 yrs ago. Some of us can read these languages so this is very valuable. It also about Advaita. Read these commentaries if you want to understand what the Gita really means. Else read the actual Gita in Sanskrit. Even now in traditional Indian schools, the children are required to learn by heart the actual Gita shlok/verses. Even if you do not understand it, the original Sanskrit will go deep within and trigger changes.

Dhrutarashtra Uvacha, ‘Dharamkshetre Kurukshetre Samaveta Yuyutsavah, Mamakah Pandavashchaiva Kimakurvata Sanjay’.

The first verse of the Bhagwat Gita starts with ‘Dharma-kshetrae Kuru-kshetrae’. Now what is this really, the physical battle-ground? Perhaps yes, when you were a child and your Grandmom told you stories from the Mahabharat. But not anymore. You are a sadhak now, the meaning is different for you.

A quick re-cap. You are familiar with the energy structure of your body. There are 6 chakra, linked to your back, from the base of the spine to the center of the eyebrows, Muladhar, Swadhisthan, Manipur, Anahat, Vishuddhi, Ajnya. Then there are the six chakras in the head, Mula, Vama, Jeyshtha, Raudri, Sahasrara and the Bindu. The Kundalini is the energy of self-identification locked at the Muladhar chakra and it is supposed to reach the top-most chakra complex of Sahasrara+Bindu. Thus you achieve self-realisation or Moksh.

You also know about the 24 Tattva-s of creation. These are Prakruti, Mahat-buddhi, Ahamkar, Manas, the 5 sense organs, the 5 organs of action, the 5 panch-bhoot/ elements and the 5 tan-matra/ perceptions. I have written about these in my earlier posts. This is how your individual soul is created and the differentiated from other souls.

All this energy now forms your energy body and this is the Kshetra.

You know that there are the three Gun, Sattva, Raja and Tama. You, your body and mind are animated by the movements of these Gun. These three Gun are represented by the top-most triangle of the Shri-yantra. Now these three pervade throughout the energy body animating it. Their action divides the Kshetra into 3 parts.

The first part is the Karma-kshetra or simply Kuru-kshetra. ‘Kuru’ in Sanskrit means to act eg ‘kim kuru?’, means ‘what to do?’. So Kuru-kshetra means the ‘field of action’. This is composed of the 11 tattvas ie the 5 sense organs, the 5 organs of action and the Manas. This area is dominated by the Raja and Tama Gun. This part is connected to the actions related to the external world. You sense things, you see, smell, taste, etc. You also move things with your hands, legs and reproduce, create children etc. All this stuff is connected with the external world. These are infinite actions created by infinite permutations and combinations of these tattvas and animated by the Raja-Tama Gun-s in combination. The mind/ Manas is more dominant in this region and it decides what actions are to be taken.

Kundalini and the Shatchakra

Then next part of the energy body is the Dharmakshetra-Kurukshetra. This is composed of the Sushumna which extends from the Muladhar chakra to the Ajnya chakra and includes the 6 lower chakras. This part of the energy body is controlled by the Ajnya chakra. Your individual soul resides in the Ajnya chakra. The Bhagwat Gita starts with this word and the first verse/shlok describes this region. This is the real battle-ground of the spiritual aspirant.

This region is dominated by Satva-Raja Gun-s. The lowermost area near the Muladhar chakra is pervaded more by the Raja-gun and the upper areas near the Ajnya chakra is more Satvik. This is the reason why starting spiritual practice is so difficult. The Raja dominated lower chakras, i.e. Muladhar and Swadhisthan, do not allow the mind to focus, there is always movement. These lower chakras are linked more to the field of action ie the Kurukshetra, so are susceptible to greater interference from the tattvas. The gross body moves, the pran moves and the mind also moves under the influence of external forces and it takes significant mental force to still them. Raja means movement. But if you persevere and battle it out here, your body and mind both start getting still and more sookshma/ subtle or fine. Later, things ease out as you approach the Satva dominated upper regions.

The Satva and Raja are in equilibrium at the Manipur chakra. This chakra is the location of the samaan vayu. It is when you reach this chakra that the Kundalini actually starts getting aware. Reaching the 10 petalled lotus of the Manipur is the crucial point in your sadhana. In the Gita this stage is described as the fall of Bhishma, which takes place on the 10th day of the war.

In this Dharmakshetra-Kurukshetra region the mind/ Manas and the individual soul/ Jivatma both operate. Your individual soul along with the mind together have control over the actions of this region. Here the 5 subtle perceptions, tanmatra reside. Also the 5 -bhoot, the conscious parts of the earth, water, fire, air and ether. These are the subtle tattva-s. These move outwards and power the sense organs and the organs of action. But when these subtle tattva-s turn inwards they illuminate the real self. If you consciously act here you can influence your mind as well as soul. This happens when you do your Dhyan with pure Om or either of the ajapa mantra-s Soham or Hamsa. Thus is the paramount importance of this Dharmakshetra-Kurukshetra region.

If the aspirant wishes to realise himself, he has to fight the battle here in Dharmakshetra-Kurukshetra. The tendencies of the Mind fight the tendencies of the Intelligence. The mind and the creations of the mind attack, there is no other word, they really attack, these are the armies of the Kuru.

The aspirant stills the flow of breath by pranayam, thus the flow of pran also starts getting regulated. Then pran is made even finer, ie extreme control over the movement of the pran is achieved. Thus you make this thinnest pran move in a controlled way into the Sushumna. While you are doing this the mind located in the Ajnya chakra also is required to be made still. These things happen simultaneously and spontaneously.

How do you thread a needle? It is the same concept, but here the thread/pran is a million times thinner. You cannot see it with your physical eyes. The eye of the needle is in fact a super-thin tube twisted and re-twisted in complicated knots. You are required to push your pran-thread through all these twists. It requires super-intense focus. Another problem is that you really don’t have the thread-pran available. Pran is being distributed by the Ajnya chakra to the entire body! Your thread is frayed! So first you have to collect the pran at one point. All this happens gradually as you do regular Dhyan. (My Guru, his Guru, his Guru-brothers all are very clear on this, if you do your Dhyan regularly as it should be done, you will achieve your goal within 2 yrs.)

And, the last part of your energy body is the Dharma-kshetra. This extends from above the Ajnya chakra and includes the 6 chakras of the head. This is the region of the Para. This is also called the Bindu Mandala of Shri-Vidya. Here the Satva-Tama Gun dominate. There Raja-Gun does not push things out of equilibrium. Here things are still, stable. The topmost Bindu is the abode of the Para in your own body. The residence of the Bhairav of Vidnyan Bhairav Tantra. Dharma also means the right foundation. This region is neutral in nature. If you reach this level in your Sadhana you move onwards by the inexorable pull of your own Self. Things don’t get easier but the pull is stronger. It is Sahaj/ spontaneous.

The Gita is highly esoteric. It took an entire post to write about just ‘Dharmakshetra-Kurukshetra’ and I haven’t even touched 5% of its reality. So read the original Sanskrit Gita, or the Bhashya by Adi Shankaracharya or the Pranab-Gita. For the real Sadhak there is no other option. Any other ‘translations’ of the Gita are ok for the beginner levels but are extremely misleading for the real aspirant. A commentary is only as good as the person who wrote it. A person who has actually practiced and experienced the Gita a Yog-shastra, is an authority, none other.

Every story in Sanatan Dharm aka Hinduism is about the Kundalini its movement and your eventual Moksh. Every single story. There are 3 very valuable books which detail the step by step process on Dhyan and spiritual progress. I keep these with me always for reference because these also describe what happens when you do practice.

  1. Vidnyan Bhairav Tantra
  2. Bhagwat Gita
  3. Devi Mahatmya or Durga Saptashati

The first is a clear precise manual. The other two are written as allegory-stories, but are quite understandable if you know Sanskrit. And they all describe the same thing. The words may be different but they ultimately mean the same.

Vishvam-aatma vinirgatam’. Creation has emerged out from the Singular Atma. A real sadhak does not worship a specific ‘deity’. Hinduism has several gods, goddesses, deities and energies which are worshipped. This is necessary for the initial steps into Sadhana. But a genuine aspirant does not worship a ‘form’, he is an Atma-sadhak, an aspirant of the Self. His goal is Sadyo-mukti. He desires to know himself completely, aatma-pratishtha, and is determined to attain Brahma-sthiti the stability of the Self.

 

Kundalini and the Shatchakra