Gratitude and the Sun

In your journey through life, gratitude is the first auspicious quality you have to recognise within yourself. Krutajnyata कृतज्ञता is the Sanskrit word loosely meaning gratefulness, gratitude. Krutajnya कृतज्ञ isto be grateful’. Gratitude is the fundamental way in which you change yourself. If you cannot feel grateful then you are always going to be unhappy, your spiritual progress will be blocked and auspicious things will not come your way. Feeling gratitude in some way opens up every positive quality within you.

कृतज्ञ is a compound word composed of kruta कृत and ज्ञ jnya. Being grateful कृतज्ञ means you understand that positive work that has been done for you. You recognise that some auspicious activity has been performed for you. You acknowledge that you have been given some help. Something good has been made available to you and you know it. You realise that you have gained a prize by some blessings. You are aware that some vital action has been accomplished for you. You know that  you have received something precious. You experience this magic of receiving and this elevates your soul. This is being कृतज्ञ. If you cannot experience this uplifting emotion then nothing will go right for you and if you are in trouble you will remain there. Gratitude is the basic energy which helps you from the inside out. It is your choice to feel grateful कृतज्ञ, so choose to recognise this emotion.

I am still getting so many comments with personal details. I have already written about the sure-shot remedy to all your material problems in this post here. If you cannot do even this much for 5mins daily then here is a even tinier 30sec daily practice. Do this much at least. You are doing this for your own self. If you do not do it, no one but you yourself are going to suffer. Do this for 21days and it will become a lifetime habit.

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When you wake up in the morning, go to your window, look at the skies. If your window faces the east, you will see the golden disc of the Sun blazing in the sky otherwise you will see his sun-rays lighting up the world. Look at him, his sun-rays and his light with your open eyes. Fold your hands in a Namaskar. Feel his golden power entering your body, mind and soul. Thank him for being there in the sky, giving so freely of his energy. He is so utterly beautiful, pure shimmery gold. Feel his beauty, his strength, his warmth on your face. If you know any Sanskrit mantra you can recite it mentally or express your gratitude in any language you are comfortable in or just keep your mind blank, be in the moment. Relax in the pure energy he is showering over you and the world before you. Do this very simple thing as you wake up and you will change yourself from the inside out. Just for 30 seconds, daily.

There are so many deities you can pray to, use as a focus for your intention, then why the Sun? The Sun is special, he is different. He is the consciousness you can actually see with your own eyes. You cannot see Brahmadev, Vishnu, Sarasvati, Ganapati, etc with your open eyes. The other deities are worshipped in their derived forms, eg in form of Vigraha or Moorti.  They are visualised in the Sa-gun forms. Eg Shankar is visualised with attributes like a beautiful man, brilliant skin color, blue colored throat, Trishul, sitting in Kailas etc. You offer kumkum, turmeric, flowers, Akshata, coconut etc to this Moorti and thus do your daily puja. This is the simple way of worshiping the Parabrahma in the Sa-gun form. More difficult is Sadhana of the Nir-gun form of the Parameshwar. When you do your Soham mantra, you are doing the most subtle Sadhana of the Nir-gun Advaita itself. You are focussing on the pure conscious energy directly. But all this might not make sense to those people who are still struggling on the spiritual route.

So the easiest Sadhana for everyone, irrespective of anything, is to focus on the Sun. Surya is the only ‘pratyaksha devata’. He is the only symbol of the radiant consciousness which is actually visible to everyone always. You just focus on the visible golden sphere of the visible Sun. (later as you go deeper within, he will show you more subtle aspects of himself. Nature of the Sun post here)

  • प्रत्यक्ष pratyaksha – manifested, explicit, visible, direct, can be sensed, can be perceived, self-evident, real, actual, immediate, clear, etc.
  • देवता Devata – image of the Parameshwar, moorti, divinity, radiance etc.

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There are atheists or people who do not follow Sanatan Dharma or ‘modern’ people who do not believe in the Non-dual Consciousness. But even these people have to believe in the Sun visibly shining in the blue skies. If not in the spiritual sense then at least in the material sense? He is responsible for Life on Earth. His power maintains the planet Earth and us on it. All the processes on the Earth from the water cycle, plant life, animal life, everything depends on the Sun. If there were no Sun, there would be no Life.

We understand the concept of Time, Kaal with reference to the Sun. Colors, light, warmth, all concepts that we know are in relation to the Sun. Everything that we understand or do has the Sun as the reference point, either subtly or visibly. Without the Sun in the skies, we are nothing.

Sun, the Surya, is the original Jyotirlinga. He is auspicious, pure, the brightest light that we all see always.

  • Jyoti ज्योतिः is brightness, fire, eye, celestial realms, dawn/Sandhya, lightning, life etc.
  • Linga लिङ्ग is image, token, power of generation, power to cause change, spot, sign, reason, proof, a invariable mark which proves the existence of something, evidence, conclusion, mark, movement etc.

We all believe in the power of the Sun in some way or the other. It is only irrational and illogical people who perhaps don’t. Sun is the visible source of energy in every way possible. So acknowledge this strength, be grateful to him and give him this 30 sec of your undivided attention daily.

I have written a lot on the Sun. He is always available in front of you and his worship is the easiest, ie you offer him Arghya, plain regular water. It takes just 1 min to offer him Arghya. What could be more simpler? But if you feel this to be random superstition, then at least accept that his warmth keeps the Earth and you alive. You are here on the earth and you can see the Sun in the skies. Be grateful for this fact. Acknowledging it is just 30sec of your time daily. This is the beginning of gratitude, कृतज्ञता, your first step towards real understanding.

The tiniest things done with positive intention have tremendous cascading results. In Sanatan Dharma, practice is given prime importance. And no spiritual practice is small or big, all are valid paths. Choose something simple and do it daily. Keep reminding yourself of your pure connection to the Divine. Practice so that you Experience. Experience so that you can Transcend. And know that you are the Advaita yourself.

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Today is a special day for me so thought of sharing this simple practice.

Daily pujas

A short post.

Someone asked me what daily pujas should a follower of the Sanatan Dharma aka Hinduism perform. This can become a complex answer depending on individual inclinations and family traditions etc. Sanatan Dharma allows all sorts of variations, the only requirement being that your inner self, Conscience, Antaratma should be satisfied. But because there was a question, here is a simple routine which you can consider adopting/ adapting.

Lunar eclipse midnight 5th - 6th  June 2020

In the morning,

  • First is to wake up before sunrise, freshen up, have a bath etc. Put a tilak (post here) on yourself.
  • Exact sunrise is for the morning Agnihotra Homa, compulsory for householders. (This post) You require desi cow’s cowdung cakes and ghee made from the desi cow milk, earlier these items were easily available but the so-called white revolution has made the desi-cow, ie cows with a prominent hump very rare. This is an irreparable loss (post here). If you do not have these items from a desi cow you cannot do the Agnihotra Homa.
  • Next is to give Argya to the Sun. (This post) 
  • Then do pujas of your household deities. The simplest procedure is something like this. Light a Deepak (post here) and incense. Wash the deities moorti-s with clean water, dry them, put kumkum, saffron, sandalwood, bhasma, flowers as per availability. Offer some naivedya/ food to the deities. Do an Arti with camphor (post here) etc. (There are specific arti/shlok/stotra etc to be recited while doing this but you can keep it simple and say a prayer in the language you are comfortable in.)
  • Then recite the Gayatri mantra (post here), ideally 108 times. “Om, Bhuh Bhuvah Swah, Om Tat Savitur Varenyam, Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi, Dhiyo Yo nah Prachodayat, Om” ॐ भूः भुवः स्वः । ॐ तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यम । भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि। धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात॥ ॐ You can use a mala (post here) to count or use your fingers (post here). Reciting it mentally is ideal.
  • After all this do your Dhyan with your Soham mantra. (post here).

Then comes midday.

  • The Gayatri mantra is to be recited again, ideally 108 times and mentally. Most of us are in office at this time, so if you can take a 10 mins break, you can do this sitting at your office desk itself.

Then is the sun-set.

  • Before the actual sun-set, light a Deepak/ incense before the household deities.
  • In Hindu houses, there will be a Tulsi plant (post here) in the house, so keep a deepak in front of this plant.
  • Again Arghya is to be offered to the setting Sun at the west horizon.
  • The exact moment of sun-set is the evening Agnihotra Homa.
  • Then 108 times Gayatri mantra jaap.
  • Followed by your evening time Dhyan.

If you are in office at the sunset time then obviously you cannot do all this. But try to do the Gayatri mantra jaap at least. Take a 10mins break and do it sitting at your desk.

Night time, before going to bed. Listen to the Ratri sukta (post here) or, if you can, recite it. It will protect you as you sleep, reduce nightmares, sleep paralysis, astral attacks etc so that you can actually rest.

For women specifically, they are exempted from all this for the 5 days of the monthly cycle. During this period, the chakras are moving anti-clockwise, the movement of the pran is affected, there is destruction going on in the body and you should rest it out.

For children below 6yrs there is no compulsion to do anything. Doing namaskar to the family deities and to the parents/grandparents should be taught and they can observe their parents do the daily routine. When the child becomes 6yrs old, he/she should be taught the Gayatri mantra. And now onwards he/she can also give Arghya to the Sun, do pujas etc. Gayatri mantra is most important. Initially the child can recite it 3/27/54 times as 108 times might be difficult to begin with. (In Hindu families who follow the Sanskar-s, boys will wear the Yadnopaveet sutra now onwards.) For Dhyan, it can be started after 6yrs if the child can understand how to do it. Initially he/she can do it for 3/27/54 counts as 108 times may be too tedious to begin with. (I started with my Dhyan-mantra when I was 2yrs old.)

This is the very basic minimum that a person following the Sanatan Dharma aka Hinduism should do daily. Obviously you must add other things as per your personal/ family traditions. And is also possible that you might not be able to do even this much… Follow your conscience always and in all ways.

Judge a true Ascetic from the horoscope

Then is some confusion regarding which deity to worship.

Every family has its own family deity, so you should have his/ her moorti in your puja-ghar. This is necessary. Unfortunately some people do not know who their family deities are. So first try to find out, ask your paternal grandparents or anyone from your father’s family if they know. Or trace your ancestral village if someone there knows. Married women worship the family deities of the husband’s family.

If you cannot trace your family deity, then as a second option you can worship a deity you feel drawn to. Devi Sarasvati, Devi Laxmi, Devi Parvati, Bhagwan Shiv or Bhagwan Vishnu or their Saumya-roop/ gentle forms are better. Avoid their Ugra-roop/ terrible forms, unless you are sure that you can assimilate their fierce energies. Eg Saumya roop for Bhagwan Vishnu would be Shri Krishna, Shri Ram, and Ugra-roop would be Shri Narasimha, Shri Varaha etc. Get small silver moorti-s (post here)  of the deities you wish to worship, about 2 inches in size is best. (If you have any specific family tradition regarding moorti-s then follow that.)

In Sanatan Dharma, all married women worship Shri Ganapati, Devi Annapurna and Shri Baal-Krishna (Baal is his child form). This reduces hardships, ensures prosperity in the family and most importantly increases auspiciousness from the children.

Judge a true Ascetic from the horoscope

There is some misunderstanding about the pujas of Brahmadev. Popularly people believe that Brahmadev was cursed! But the actual reason is that we humans are so degraded in this Kali-yug that we are incapable of performing his pujas. So generally Brahmadev is not worshipped in households. Brahmadev is the potential energy, the stability of Raja-gun. His wife, Devi Sarasvati is worshipped in the form of the Gayatri Mantra.  (However in special anushthans, eg Yadnopaveet sanskar, he is worshipped in a typical form created using Darbha grass. It looks like this.)

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As the Kali-yug deepens, humans will become even more damaged and the simplest pujas will also stop being available. What we are seeing now is just a prelude. The genuine Tantra has already vanished. The yantra-s are on the verge of being forgotten. Most of the mantras are gone. The fundamental Pranav Mantra Om itself has been corrupted, people have converted it to meaningless sounds. When we stop our daily mantras, we actively destroy ourselves. Even the DNA gets damaged. Mantras in Sanskrit are the only way of protecting our DNA. It is essential for everyone above the age of 6yrs to recite the Gayatri mantra daily. It is especially imperative for the boys who have the more delicate Y-chromosome in them.

And if this was not enough, we have accelerated the damage to ourselves. Various pollutants in our food/ water/ air. The electro-magnetic pollution of radio-waves, discordant sound, negative thought patterns and the rest of it is creating a vicious cycle which will drag the human race even lower. Injecting unknown animal proteins/ DNA into our bodies. (If you are from an immunology background, am sure you can comprehend the dangers of contaminated cell-lines, latent retroviruses from the DNA of animals used in cell lines, the possible danger of the future m-RNA based vaccines.) DNA damage is irreversible, there is no solution for genetic damage in modern science.

The only way of protecting our DNA, body, mind and emotions and also repairing them is Mantra. So adopt a simple puja routine daily if you can. It will help you live a more healthier and happier life. (Despite writing all this, I am sure that only those who have a strong 9th house will actually be able to do any of this.)

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