The Darshan Sashtra in Sanatan Dharma

As students of philosophy already know, there are 6 thought processes with which the Eternal can be visualised. These 6 philosophies are the Darshan दर्शन shastra शास्त्र.

  • Darshan means seeing, knowing, opinion, discernment, examination, observation, vision, experience, presence, intention, appearance, dream, prescience, aspect, contemplation.
  • Shastra means instruction, teaching, book, treatise, manual, discipline, rules, advise, science, direction, art, etc.

The 6 Darshan Shastra based on the Ved and are,

  1. Poorva Mimansa Sashtra by Rishi Jaimini
  2. Nyaya Shastra by Rishi Gautam
  3. Vaisheshika Sashtra by Rishi Kanad
  4. Sankhya Shastra by Rishi Kapil
  5. Yog Shastra by Rishi Patanjali
  6. Uttar Mimansa Sashtra by Rishi Vyas aka Badrayana

Darshan shastra is an advice or a direction which you should follow in order to experience, observe, know, see, contemplate… but what? What should you be observing? These Darshan Shastra are of the Sanatan Dharma, so you observe the only real thing possible. The only Reality. And this is Your Own Self. You are the only real thing in your universe. You are required to experience your Self because there Is nothing else but You. You are Everything. These six Darshan shastra are a way of first intellectually understanding and then experiencing your own self. They all take you to Moksh.

You are the non-Dual, the Advaita, the Nirvishesh Brahma. The intelligence which cannot be described in the words of these created universes. You are the Parabrahma, the beyond awareness, the highest consciousness. But you carry a baggage of karma and start thinking yourself as Amit, Priya, Rajesh and Mihir. This is Maya. The 6 Darshan shastra are tools in your hands, you use these to know yourself again as the Advaita. You are beyond this illusion of creation, you are the Creator, the Eternal. But what you observe depends on your ability to contemplate, to remain still. If you train yourself to see even deeper into your self, you will experience even subtler aspects of your immense self. The most pin-point focus will finally allow you to know yourself in your entirety. The Darshan shastra are guidebooks which guide you to yourself.

The Darshan Sashtra in Sanatan Dharma

Maya is everything that surrounds the Atma/ soul, and tries to keep it unaware of its true reality. Ma-not, Ya-this, so Maya means ‘not this’. But what it actually is, cannot be described. So Maya cannot be proved to be neither an illusion nor a reality. The Mind is an agent of Maya, very highly changeable and highly skilled at creating illusions.

  • A very simple example. I get a phone call. I hear only a voice. The mind takes over, identifies the voice as my brother’s, adds his face, form, his room etc in my imagination. Triggers the love I feel for him and makes me feel as if he is right in front of me. The only thing actually there is a voice in my ear. My mind used this information and worked like crazy to create an illusion for me. I experienced the entire package of ‘brother’ from just a voice over the phone.

This is Maya at work. Most of us are exclusively into experiencing Maya. The Darshan shastra help the spiritual aspirant glean the atom of the real Self around which Maya has enveloped itself. Every Darshan Shastra discusses Maya in some way or the other. And how to ignore its charms and focus on the real Self.

Not everyone is qualified to be a spiritual aspirant. Some souls are more into enjoying the game of creation as per the soul evolution level. A spiritual aspirant is qualified by two essential qualities Vivek and Vairagya.

  • Vivek is the Discerning Intelligence. The ability to focus on the root of the matter. It is the incisive sharpness which can get to the innermost core.
  • Vairagya is the ability to decisively discard everything which is interfering with the Vivek.

Vivek and Vairagya work in tandem, you need both to achieve higher levels of spiritual progress. As you progress, these two qualities also get more refined. Only when you have the intelligence to focus on the real Self and discard every illusory thing, do you gain the Self.

The Darshan Sashtra in Sanatan Dharma

All Darshan shastra teach you to know the constant yourself and to ignore the changing illusions of the created worlds. Now what is ‘constant’ and what ‘changes’? A couple of very simplistic examples,

  • Eg. Your eyes are open, you see the room you are in. The pink walls, the blue curtains. Now you close your eyes, the room vanishes. Was this room ‘real’? Or was the room just an experience, dependant on the physical sense organs?
  • Eg. You have been deaf from birth. You do not know how music sounds like because you does not have the ability to experience it. You think that music is just some words and notations which you can read. But then modern medicine helps you hear with your physical ears. You gain the ability to hear music, classical, raga, blues, reggae, country, all of it. You revise your earlier view and now say that music sounds are ‘real’ not just words. Your frame of reference has changed because you gained the ability to experience.
  • You do not believe in Siddhi-s, you are very ‘rational’ and ‘logical’. Then one day your Uncle decides to give you a demo and sitting next to you in the sitting room, drinks all the milk kept in the fridge in the kitchen. (My Uncle actually did this, I was in my early teens. He just kept on drinking from his glass and the milk kept in the fridge vanished.) 

In all these examples ‘you’ are the same. The experiences varied depending on the conditions. And the conditions were also changing. But this ‘one self’ who was experiencing was unchanging. The 6 darshan shastra help you to experience this, your unchanging ’one self’.

Each Rishi has expounded his hypothesis, the analysis and logic on the nature of existence, the nature of the created worlds, the nature of the soul and the nature of the Eternal Intelligence. Each Darshan Shastra has its own method of deriving things. But common to all these six, is that the Eternal is the Advaita, non-dual, indescribable, unfathomable, attribute-less, observer etc. Each one of these six philosophies give different analysis but in the end their objective is the same. ‘To Be’. Moksh.

Most importantly, each of these six are not complete in themselves. They are not self-contained thought systems. Their scope and purpose is the describe the Eternal Intelligence.

  • Eg. Suppose the objective is to describe an elephant. I start by describing its head. Someone might start by describing its tail first. Yet another might start with his feet. A fourth person starts by describing its anatomy. Finally someone will say that it is a conscious animal, ie talk about its energy.

All the six Darshan Shastra mutually supplement each other. Singly they are neither final nor complete. They are meant for different groups of people who start at different levels of mental and spiritual levels of understanding. All the Darshan Shastra are based on the Ved so they are all describe the Advaita.

The Darshan Sashtra in Sanatan Dharma

Poorva-Mimansa is more concerned with how to live a morally and ethically correct life. This is from where the philosophical evolution begins. To perform ones duties, to take up responsibilities regarding the personal self, the family, society etc. On the spiritual levels, to gain auspicious merit /punya, through personal self-sacrifice and also religious practices involving the society, like public yadnyas etc. Worshipping the moorti of gods and deities, going for pilgrimages, doing charity etc. But this is not blindly following rituals etc. It is understanding the value and power of the the mantra/ pujas and their link to intention and energy of the deepest sort. You can perform anything and everything if you know the correct mantra and the correct way of using the mantra. This can be as simple as getting a job to achieving Moksh.

A practical approach is emphasised here. This certainly does not mean that Rishi Jaimini was unaware of the Advaita, he was a Rishi, ie a self-realised Seer. This Shastra is more designed for householders who have to perform a duty towards mankind in general. Those who have started to understand the essence of truth and are working with the practical aspects of using it in the material life.

I consider this to be the first stage on the spiritual path. You realise that there is something beyond the material. You start using energy to influence the material. You see the practical effects. This is your first step in understanding the pure energy that you really are. And remember that spiritual progress is carried over from several lives. Someone at the Uttar-Mimansa stage has already gone through all the previous stages of understanding and expansion of the consciousness in his very many past lives.

If the Nyaya Shastra stops at the concept of atoms it does not mean that Rishi Gautam was unaware of the Advaita. He was a Rishi, he was a Jivan-mukt. He clearly states that the soul is different from the material and then goes on to describe the material with all sorts of hypothesis and evidences. But with Nyaya he is addressing those students whose interest and level of understanding is on the basic levels. He talks about logic, proofs, calculations, hypothesis etc. Something like our current idea of maths, algebra, logic, probability, calculus, geometry, quantum physics, etc, technical subjects which require a significant level of understanding and intelligence. To create a hypothesis and then to write proofs which prove or disprove this hypothesis. Logic and reasoning is used to pick out the valid from the invalid. Nyaya is how debates on the logical level are arranged so that both the proponent and the opponent gain true understanding on the highest intellectual planes.

Vaisheshika Sashtra is an extension of the Nyaya, where every subject is broken down to its roots. The transition of the material worlds into the invisible atomic and sub-atomic particles and the laws which govern these is the basic idea of the Vaisheshika shastra. ‘Atoms’ in Vaisheshika are not the atoms of physics, these are the Param-anu, these are the basic constituents of the pancha-mahabhoot. Then the nature of the individual soul, time, space, directions etc is elaborated. The Shastra is very deep as the constituents of every thing imaginable, from color, taste, mind, tendencies etc are now discussed. Here the concept of reality is narrowed down even further. The ‘proof’ of reality is pruned down even further. Creation is broken down into even more subtler bits, we reach the roots of ‘energy+intention’. We consider tangible and non-tangible subjects, like senses, tendencies, karma and impressions in depth.

(It is very interesting to go through the concepts of Nyaya and Vaisheshika shastra, our Rishi’s were so comprehensive, they have left out nothing. All our so-called modern knowledge and theory have already been elaborated by the Rishis. But we have forgotten to read our actual mother tongue Sanskrit, so rarely does anyone go through these books.)

The Darshan Sashtra in Sanatan Dharma

Till now, we studied the nature of the manifested creation, its rules and laws. Both Nyaya and Vaisheshka elaborate at the level of the individual soul, ie the Jiv-atma ie the ‘soul+karmic baggage’. If the student has understood this much then he can go onward to the next study course, Sankhya.

The Sankhya. Sankhya starts where Vaisheshika leaves off explaining. Sankhya takes you from the level of the manifested creation and takes you to the unmanifested creation. Most people who read cursorily on this philosophy, take away an erroneous idea that it advocates duality as Sankhya is more popularly linked to the Purush-Prakruti duality. Just because the Sankhya Shastra elaborates more on the Purush-Prakruti concept it does not mean that Rishi Kapil had not realised the Advaita. The concept of Advaita is evident in the first principle of Sankhya ie ‘Sat karya siddhant’. So understand this concept in depth before jumping into the middle of it.

(‘Sat karya siddhant’ is the basic principle of all Darshan Shastra. It explains how things or energy or intention or anything transforms from one form to another. This transformation is only as deep as your ability to perceive the change. At the deepest levels you realise that there is essentially no change.)

The source of everything is called ‘Pradhana’ in Sankhya, ie the most important, the primal energy, this is Non-dual. The Advaita first creates duality by creating individual souls/ jivatma. Further duality is created, this is called the Purush-Prakruti duo. Then Sankhya then takes us onward into the Purush-Prakruti. Describes the qualities of the Purush who is the catalyst or the pivot. Then into the 24 tattvas of the Prakruti, her three Gun. Rishi Kapil explores in fascinating depth how an apparent duality is created from a Non-Dual Pradhana. Then goes on to describe the Prakruti in an ultra-incisive logic. If you do your puja of the Shri Yantra/ Meru sincerely you will actually experience this in your Sadhana. Sankhya elaborates in depth upto the Purush-Prakruti duality.

Yog Shastra follows Sankhya. And it is very crisp, lucid. One good book in English is the commentary on the Patanjali Yog sutra by Swami Vivekananda.

  • Yog योग means connection, union, total, gain, efforts, action, opportunity, meditation, seeking the divine, method, use, yoking, fitting together, discipline, wealth, attention, sum, remedy, property, application of intention, harnessing.

Your spiritual practice in Sankhya allowed you to understand the Purush-Prakruti duality, ie all forms of duality and appreciate the underlying non-duality in everything. But now you have to also experience this state of awareness.

For this you have to perform Yog Sadhana. The fundamental premise of Yog Shastra is clear in the first line itself. ‘Yogah chitta vrutti nirodahah’. This means the ‘Yog’ is the destruction of the tendencies/ vrutti of the lower intelligence/ chitta (Chitta is a part of the Mind). There is only one Desire of your soul, ie to realise itself. The rest of the desires connected to the creation are illusory, so when they are silenced the innermost Desire is expressed and immediately fulfilled. So the Yog-shastra also leads to self-realisation ie the Advaita. The rest of the Yog shastra describes how these tendencies are to be destroyed and what will be the outcome etc. ie control of the Mind, the Ashtang Yog etc. If you do these properly you will reach the Samadhi stage. The process described in the first part of the Amrit Sukta occurs here. Bhagvat Gita is a Yog Shastra.

Here you are putting into practice the concepts described in Sankhya and preparing yourself for the leap of consciousnesses which will come with the understanding of the last Darshan shastra, the Uttar Mimansa.

Uttar Mimansa is also called the Vedant. The primary book is the Brahma-Sutra. The first line is very clear. ‘Athaato Brahmajinyasa’. So this study is meant only for those aspirants who are desirous and capable of understanding the Brahma, the Eternal Intelligence. A person starting on his studies cannot jump into the PhD level stuff, first school and college are necessary. ‘Atha’ means that it is not a new subject, it builds on the understanding which the student has already developed in his earlier studies on the Ved. He must be able to discriminate between the constant/ changeable. Must have developed indifference to the enjoyment/ endurance of Karma. Must be dissociated from the objects/ organs/ desires related to the senses/ actions. And most important, he must have an intense desire to Know the Self. If the student is nor clear on this then just reading the Brahma-sutra is not going to do anything for him. 

Uttar Mimansa culminates with you attaining Sadyo Mukti, ie you realise yourself as the Advaita.

The Darshan Sashtra in Sanatan Dharma

If you analyse, the Six Shastra’s are going in progressively deeper inwards. From the obligations that a householder has towards mankind and using energy to help fulfil these. To a detailed description of the material manifestation till the atomic and sub-atomic levels. The energy of the non-material part of the manifested creation. ie the essence of creation in terms of energy. Yog is where you train yourself to look beyond the material stuff around you and enter in the realm of pure energy and intention. Uttar Mimansa is the apex of the intellectual appreciation of the Self. The core of the Ved, the Advaita, is expounded here in great detail.

I chanced upon a commentary by Rishi Vyas on the Samkhya Pravachan Sutra which is written by Rishi Patanjali. Though these three Darshan Shastra, Yog, Sankhya, Uttar Mimansa discuss on the different aspects of the Advaita, they are essentially interconnected, as they are focussed on the energy and intention aspects rather than the material ones. Read the Bhagvat Gita, Vidnyan Bhairav Tantra and the Brahma Sutra together and you will understand what I mean here.

All Darshan shastra insist that the spiritual aspirant has to turn himself into a Sakshi, a witness, observer, catalyst, the pivot, within everything yet not connected to anything. Existence is perception. As you perceive, so do you exist.

These 6 Darshan Shastra were taught as full-fledged subjects in our ancient Universities like Nalanda and Takshashila. You cannot expect to understand them all in one go in one life. These are not just the words, these are Experiences. Poorva Mimansa is when you use your mantra to make things happen. Unless you actually see the atoms of your body separate, whirl around and again reassemble to create your material body again you cannot say that you have understood Nyaya and Vaisheshikha. Sankhya is when you see the stupendous Shri-Chakra whirling in infinite dimensions about a single Bindu, inside you. Yog is when you see your Kundalini move upwards and reach the Bindu within the Sahasrara. And Uttar Mimansa is the final culmination in Self-Realisation.

Ultimately whichever system you follow, whatever philosophy you subscribe to, you are following the Ved. Do your Sadhana as per your choice, you will reach the Advaita. You will enter Samadhi and your energy of self-identification, ie Kundalini will reach the center of the Sahasrara chakra and at the Bindu will merge into the Non-Dual. So follow whichever system which appeals to your thought process but do the practice regularly. You cannot experience the philosophy if you only read it through, you must practice. There is no other way to self-realisation except regular Sadhana.

(There was a question, so I have tried to reduce this highly intellectually demanding topic to a post. And it has become an exceptionally long post.. )

 

The Darshan Sashtra in Sanatan Dharma

Karma action fruits of action, Bhagwat Gita style

I use this one word repeatedly in my several posts, ‘karma’. Today let’s see what this word really means.

  • कर्म – karma – Action, work, activation, operation, labour, product, special duty, inevitable consequence of past acts, fate, effect, obligation, healing, medical treatment, motion, past acts, spiritual activity, position, calculations, object, result, performance, occupation, organs of sense/action, etc.

Then there is this very famous Shlok (47-2) from the Bhagwat Gita, I am sure all of you must have heard of it,

  • कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन
  • मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भुर्मा ते संगोऽस्त्वकर्मणि
  • Karmani-eva-adhikarh-tey ma phaleshu kadachana,
  • Ma karmaphala-hetuh-bhuh ma tey sangah-astu-akarmani

I saw this being translated in such an incorrect fashion that, finally I had to write this post. (classic example of a half-baked translation, “You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty”) (eye-roll!)

Karma action fruits of action, Bhagwat Gita style

Let’s first break down the words for easier understanding, Sanskrit is a palimpsest, one word has several hundreds of meanings, so

  • Karmani – ‘connected/together with karma’ ‘in karma’. Karma meaning as above.
  • Eva – really, moving, fast, going, exactly so, same, immediate, only, still, even, already, just so, merely, reason, habit, world, earth, usage, conduct, etc.
  • Adhikarh – position, passage, authority, office, influence, topic, ownership, to perform spiritual practices for merit-punya, power, property, right, claim, privilege.
  • Tey – addressing ’all of you’, a plural noun
  • Ma – negation of the highest degree
  • Phaleshu – ‘in the plural Phal’ – phal means consequence, fruit, profit, end of an action, effect, donation, interest on capital, result of a calculation, corrective action, gaming board, creation, point, seed
  • Kadachana – at any time, ever
  • Ma – negation of the highest degree
  • Karma-phala – the phala of the karma. Meanings as above.
  • Hetuh – argument, reason for inference, purpose, means, primary cause, impulse, mode, logic, motive, condition, cost, that which causes the bondage of the soul, external world and senses,
  • Bhuh – being, existing, becoming, springing, object, space, matter, universe, the conscious fire which causes motion/evolution, fundamental geometry, foundation
  • Ma – negation of the highest degree
  • Tey – addressing ’all of you’, a plural noun
  • Sangah – join, union, contact, merge, conflict, devotion, addiction, war, attach, wish, relationship, desire, clinging, attachments to the worldly things, etc
  • Astu – “may it be so”, This is a benediction, an ashirwad, the intention of this shlok.
  • Akarmani – negation of ‘Karmani’. karmani meaning as above.

Now let’s put all this together. There are very many meanings, you can put it together in the best way it makes sense to you. But here is what it means to me,

This shlok is addressed to everyone,

“All of you,” (Tey)

“Spiritual movement is the only reason for which all this creation was created. There is only one possible direction of spiritual movement, ie to attain the Nirvishesh Brahma).” (Eva)

“All this following is available to all of you – You have the power to perform spiritual practices for merit-punya. This is your privilege due to your position as the individual soul. You have a claim to move onward from the manifested world towards the Nirvishesh Brahma, this is because of your authority as a spiritual aspirant. You have a valid claim for experiencing the Highest Consciousness because you are passing through this created universe.” (Adhikarh)

“But all this above is available to you only when you are in the following situations and you perform as follows – While you are still obliged to accept the inevitable consequence of past acts/ fate. While you are doing your precise duty of performing the necessary healing of yourself (ie to bring your consciousness to the Highest.) While you are doing spiritual activity using your available organs of sense/action. While you are hard at work, moving your energies with intention. While you are result-oriented, working for your this very precise result, attainment of Nirvishesh Brahma.” (Karmani)

(My note – In simpler words, All this Adhikarh is not available to you in any circumstance ma kadachana, if you do not in your karma-created situations. ie As long as you are bound by karma you have these adhikar. ie once you are free of the karma these adhikar become meaningless to you.)

“Whenever you come to a conclusion of the situations described above. When you have ended your above actions on the ‘gaming board’ ie manifested creation. When you have with you the result of your corrective actions. When you, in your spiritual practice, reach the seed of creation. When the final culmination of your actions is touching the final Single Bindu-point. (Karma-phala)”

Then,

“The effect of your spiritual practice can never be a reason for binding your soul to this created universe. Your right action and its result cannot allow the external world to exist. Your special objective and its fructification cannot be the impulse for the space/matter to exist. The end of your obligatory action will not allow ‘motion’ of any type to exist. (ie you will achieve the state of the constant Nirvishesh Brahma). (Ma hetu bhu)

(My note: Your karma-phala can never be the hetu for bhu. If you perform as above, the bindings on your soul which tie you to this illusionary creation will stop existing. ie you will attain Your Realization.)

“May you all merge completely and in all possible ways into the state of Nirvishesh Brahma, Advaita where there is no concept of imbalance, no action, no fate, no effect, no object, no spiritual activity, no performance, no healing, no obligation. (Sangah astu akarmani)

(My note – The Advaita cannot be described in the language of this world thus is always described in negations.)

More on Eclipses and their astrological results

This is the true grandeur of this grossly misinterpreted Shlok. While doing anything with the Bhagwat Gita, always remember that is a Yog-shastra as well as a Tatva-gnyan. ie it gives the step-wise route to self realization and also the deepest philosophical foundation. Both are essential on your journey. The first commentary on this classic Gita was written by Adi Shankaracharya, it is a route to the Advaita, Nirvishesh Brahma, the highest Moksh.

If I do some Karma, I also need to be aware why I did it in the first place. What was my objective behind this action? What do I intend by this action? These are all the deepest philosophical questions which are essential and should be pondered upon. Eg. I earn a lot of material money, gold, jewels and then spiritual merit, auspicious benefits from my actions. Now it is all lying around in my house and in my energy bank. It is useless unless I know why I was gathering it in the first place and also how am I going to use it. My intention is paramount. My intention will ignite my spiritual merit and this fire will make my deepest Desire stronger. It is a self-feeding cyclic loop. The deepest Desire in my soul is to go back Home, to See my real face, to be truly Myself. Unless I have this intention burning inside me, igniting my very soul, all this spiritual activity is essentially useless just lying around.

Shri Krishna never told Arjun to randomly do his Karma/ Dharma without understanding and without intention on just ‘faith’. Sanatan Dharma/ Hinduism does not have anything called ‘blind faith’. If you take up some action do it only when you are clear about your objective, you are fiercely desirous of attaining it and are convinced that this very action will take you there. (And there is only one objective Eva)

The first attribute of a spiritual aspirant is ‘Vivek’, this is the wisdom to choose the correct option from several, the judiciousness of hoarding energy, the prudence of keeping away from harmful desires, the appropriate discretion, the right judgement,  and the intelligence to see the correct path when it comes before you and the courage to walk on it.

We all desire happiness-Anand, everything we do is essentially for happiness. My Sat-Guru would say, ‘do your actions but always be aware as to why you are doing them’. It is only when you ignite your soul with the desire, the intention and feed it with the fuel of your karma, do you reach that position of everlasting Happiness, Param-anand, the Nirvishesh Brahma.

 

More on Eclipses and their astrological results

(The worst sin-paap that the Britishers did, when they destroyed India, was to suppress the use of Sanskrit language, Devbhasha Samskrutam. Now the entire world is suffering as a consequence. The deepest tatva-jnyan, the essential knowledge and wisdom is in and only in Sanskrit. Sanskrit cannot be translated. Just doing spiritual practice is of no use unless you also understand the tatva-jnyan behind all of it.)

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

Kundalini piercing the 3 knots and the 6 chakra

The entire Shri Vidya is based on the geometry of the chakras and the movement of the Kundalini in your body. The Shri-chakra geometry is your energy geometry in perfect equilibrium. If you place all your chakras one above the other you get this Shri geometry. It is worshipped in 2D and in 3D in several ways to increase the personal energy. This diagram is the basis of the entire Tantra and all spiritual practice. Your Kundalini starts at the very bottom Muladhar chakra, and after curving through this complicated geometry it reaches the top central dot, Bindu. Only in deep Dhyan and by the pull of your internal Guru does the Kundalini move from its resting place. Else it will not stir and it is for your own protection. Only when you are mentally ready to accept, experience and transcend duality and illusion does it move. Kundalini is not some mystic power nor is it some prize.When it moves and ultimately reaches its destination you leave this Universe/Creation forever. As you realise your real self, you realise that the universes are all unreal. You realise Moksh.

This post is just to pique your interest. To actually experience anything of this sort you will need to practice Dhyan.

Tripur, Tripurari, Tripursundari

The Shri-chakra geometry is basically in two parts.

The topmost bindu, the central dot is the avyakta para form. The tiny dot within the central equilateral triangle. This is the unmanifested Beyond form or the Ultimate Intelligence. The Para, your real nature, the ultimate you. If your Kundalini arrives here you experience your own reality. This is your target.

The equilateral triangle around the central dot and everything around this triangle is the vyakta or aparaa form. This is the manifested creation or the unintelligent limited energy. Your body, mind, your universe etc is created outwards from this triangle (this post on the 24 tattva-s). This lower part is further sub-divided into 3 sections.

Vahni वह्नि mandal

The lowermost 2 chakras, Muladhar and Swadhisthan are the Vahni वह्नि mandal. The circle of Fire. To cross this mandal, you are required to transcend the Muladhar and Anahata chakras and then undo the Brahma Granthi/knot. Here ‘you’ means the energy of self-identification called the Kundalini. With every movement of the Kundalini your concept of Self is expanding yet becoming subtler.

The Vahni mandal is deeply linked to Raja gun. (You are composed of the three Gun.) Raja gun is the energy which creates illusions. It creates ‘Maya’. Fire is perhaps the greatest illusion, it is not technically matter nor is it completely energy. It exists, but shifts continually, you cannot pin-point the flames to a definite location. You cannot describe its color or shape, it is every changing. It transmutes, it consumes, it releases. Very fascinating. Brahmdev is the name of the conscious intelligence of the Raja-gun, represented by the Fire, Vahni. Here the Real and illusion, the material and the spiritual mix, you cannot tell them apart. This knot opens only when attachment to the illusion, the gross world is abandoned. The gross body is called the sthool-sharir which is composed of the anna-mai-kosh, the body which is linked to the material. (Your body is composed of 5 sheaths.) The reality or rather the unreality of this sheath is first experienced and then transcended here. Once the kundalini crosses this Vahni mandal, your consciousness can intentionally separate from the physical shell, eg you can consciously leave the gross body and travel using your subtle body.

Crossing this Fire-circle is very difficult as here you have to stop creating. If you look at your behaviour you are always creating, thoughts, ideas, emotions, tendencies, physical stuff, reading, writing, working, you create. And you are attached to these creation of yours. Stopping this creation and attachment to creation is extremely difficult. Not impossible but very difficult.

My Guru would say that Dhyan is necessary and ideally to be performed 3 times a day, ie in the morning, evening and once in the night sometime between 10pm-2am. When you begin your practice, you finish off one session in 30 mins, you get utterly bored, sitting, breathing and staring into the darkness between your eyebrows, mind wanders, the body aches etc. Later, maybe after 6months of this, you find that your mind is less diverted, your body is more supportive, your breathing is slower and you go on to about 45mins-1hr per session. The process gets enjoyable. Then after 1yr, you might see each Dhyan session going to upto 1.30hrs. There is deep internal intoxication (no other word). Later maybe after 2-3yrs of regular practice, it can stretch for hours, you will sit continue from 9pm – 5am, and your requirement for deep sleep and dream state will reduce and go to zero. All this varies from person to person, but the common theme is that you have to practice regularly.

You need to give time to yourself. In your life-time till now you have lived for thousands of hours, but have you given time to yourself? Time is the most precious thing you have and you have frittered it away on others. Try giving yourself these 1.30 hrs initially per day. It may not be possible for everyone because of genuine constraints but at least 30mins per day, one session daily?

You have to do Dhyan for some 500hrs to begin with at least, otherwise you will not see anything to do with pran or kundalini.

Who is a Guru?

Saura सौर  mandal

Back to our geometry, and the next 2 chakras. The Manipur and Anahata chakra-s make up the Saura सौर  mandal, the circle of the Sun. To cross this mandal you need to cross these two chakras and also undo the Vishnu-granthi or the knot of Vishnu. The concept of jivatma/individual soul as compared to your limitless Reality is the syllabus here. You are made aware of the unreality of the sookshma sharir or your subtle body. (The subtle body is composed of the Pran-mai-kosh, Mano-mai-kosh and Vidnyan-mai-kosh sheaths.)

The Sun represents the individual ego/ jivatma. Unless you give up the sense of narrow personal self, the experience of the greater Self is not possible. Here in the Saura mandal, the sense of attachment to the fruits of actions done by you is linked to your soul. Creation of new karma is possible only till the kundalini crosses this mandal. The new karma you create in your current life is called Agami karma which gets added to your stored karma. You can reduce the stored- Sanchit, karma by your spiritual practice.

The Vishnu Granthi, the knot of Vishnu opens only when attachment to the sookshma sharir or subtle body is abandoned. Vishnu is the intelligent energy of Satva-gun, this maintains the Maya – created illusion. Here you are taught the deepest wisdom linked to the Satva-gun. Not just taught, but also tested rigorously.

When you crossed the Vahni mandal, you understood, experienced and transcended your attachment to the process of creation and the attachment to the stuff you are creating. You transcended the illusion of ‘act of creation’. Now you do not desire new creations. But you are ‘someone’, you are Priya, Amit, a mother, a teacher, a son, you are scared of the dark, you like sweets, you are an Indian etc. You have all these impressions stored in your subtle-body accumulated from your past several lives. You are maintaining these impressions. When you attempt to cross the Vishnu-granthi you are shown these impressions to be the illusions that they are. All your notions about your limited sense of self are shown to you as being nothing, insubstantial.

To overcome some thing, you need to understand every aspect of that thing, experience it and transcend it. This journey of the Kundalini is just this process. The process can perhaps be painful or pleasurable. But both these mindsets cannot sustain in the understanding of the self. You are the Para, the beyond, you are complete in yourself, you don’t need the concept of happiness or any other feeling to describe your completeness. You are All there is. You are your own definition. It is rather a subtle understanding here.

In some cultures, the children believe that there is a magical person who comes once a year and gives them toys. The parents do not tell the child the truth unless he grows older and toys become irrelevant to him. Just like that, you are not shown the illusory nature of your material life unless you are capable of absorbing the intelligence in the way it should be.

Kundalini is an intelligent force, it will not move or do anything unless you are ready. There are some exercises on the internet which claim to move the kundalini, they are all fake. If by ill-luck you manage to ‘move’ the kundalini by force you are in for a very bad time, your body’s vital energy network will be short-circuited, the movement of pran will be affected, there will be physical illness and mental insanity.

So just do your Dhyan, your internal Guru will do the rest. Your job is very simple, just sit, breathe, focus and mantra every day, (either once/twice/thrice). When you attain the critical potential, things happen spontaneously. Your Dhyan is the process of cleaning up the road using the movement of pran/vital energy. When the road opens the kundalini will move on its own.

chakra-chart-min

Chandra चंद्र  mandal

Back to the geometry, the top one-third. This is the Chandra चंद्र  mandal, the circle of the Moon, composed of the Vishuddhi and the Ajnya chakras. To move onwards from here these two chakras and the Rudra Granthi is required be be navigated successfully. The energy body associated here is the Karan sharir or the causal body. Here you understand why you separated from the Greater Self in the first place. Why you have karma bound to your soul? This karan-sharir is the tightest sheath around the soul called the Anand-mai-kosh. The meaning of this sheath is rather typical, it means ‘the happiness you feel when you know that the game is near its end’, ie the eternal happiness of Singularity. As you cross the Vishuddhi and Ajnya chakras you finally transcend dualities and come within reach the Singular sense of self. Here you destroy the seeds of karma itself, you destroy the concept of ‘creation of creation’. You destroy the concept of ‘maintenance of creation’. Finally you destroy the concept of ‘destruction of creation’. The entire creation vanishes as if it never existed in the first place. The presiding energy here is the Shiv, the intelligence of Vishuddha tama-gun. The extra special pure energy of Tama-gun.

The Kundalini has to cross all these three mandal, in which it pierces the 6 lower chakras and these 3 Granthi. ‘Piercing’ is perhaps a wrong word to use, but Sanskrit words cannot be translated only experienced. All this happens within the Sushumna nadi, the thinnest energy channel of the body. Within this channel there are progressively thinner naadi-s, Chitrini and Vajrini. Nadi within Nadi layout. This thinnest nadi within a nadi is also called the Brahmanadi. This Brahmanadi is through, from the lowest Muladhar to the topmost Sahasrar+Bindu complex terminating at the Brahma-randhra at the top of your head. At every chakra and granthi this Brahmanaadi is twisted around itself in a very specific way. This forms the lotus/yantra of that specific chakra. Piercing the chakra means the energy moves smoothly through these thin complicated loops without damaging anything.

Till now the kundalini was in the region called Dharmakshetra-Kurukshetra in the Bhagwat Gita. To navigate this part you have to strive and focus, take efforts.

Bindu बिन्दु  mandal

Now after the Kundalini crosses the Ajnya chakra it reaches the last section where the Para pervades. You have destroyed your sense of your individual self. Now onwards the progress is more under the control of the internal Guru and your greater self. This region is called the Dash-angul-sthan, the space between the forehead’s Ajnya-chakra and the top of the head, the Brahmarandhra at the center of the Sahasrara chakra. This space is also called the Bindu mandal. It is also called the Dharmakshetra. The other remaining chakras of the head exist in this region.

This Brahmarandhra is the seat of true light of the self also called the Jyotir-lok, Satya-lok or Parabrahm.

In Shri-Vidya, the Mahakameshwar, ‘the great one who controls all desire’ resides here merged together with his ‘wife’ Mahakameshwari or Lalita Tripursundari, ie the Kundalini. Here Kundalini reaches her ‘husband’ Mahakameshwar, merges with him and thus attains Singularity. This means that in the Bindu mandal, the desire to create has not been expressed yet, both energies are one, they are not differentiated. The merged form is the Reality. There is no duality. When the Singular here differentiates into duality, she starts creating the world while he observes. Thus these two energies are known as the parents of the universe.

If you refer to the Bhagwat Gita, this Brahmarandhra is the abode of the subtlest yet tremendous aspect of Krishna. If you practice using the Vidnyan Bhairav Tantra as your reference book this is the abode of Bhairav. The non-dual, the Advaita. The same concept is discussed in Bhagwat Gita and the same is in Devi Mahatmya, and in both the backdrop is a War of terrific proportions. War and spirituality are an odd combination perhaps, but it is War, you fight your mind. In fact every story-allegory in Sanatan Dharm aka Hinduism describes this same thing in different words. The world and everything around you is a mixture of the real and the unreal mixed together. ‘Maya’ means ‘not-that’. Maya cannot be proved to be definitively proved to be real or illusion. Understanding then experiencing and transcending this is real Knowledge of the Self. This is Sadyo-mukti.

 

The Gayatri mantra

This post is partly in response to this comment I received in the Contact form,  (I read an article which mentioned about our age and chakras. Are chakras related to our chronology like one chakra is dominant or something? Also what is meant by opening chakras?)

It is a rather technical post so do read the hyperlinked posts, linked to the words in pink.

I have written about the ‘age and chakra’ part in my earlier post here.