Tilak, applying it on the forehead

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

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 When we have a bath and the body is made wet, the aura is withdrawn into the body.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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tilak-5.jpg

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

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

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

 

Tripur, Tripurari, Tripursundari

A story today.

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

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

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

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

Shiv then stood immobile on this chariot with the missile ready on his bow. The three cities, Tripur, came into alignment for that one instant in thousand years. He then sent this missile against the three cities, burning and reducing it to nothingness. The name of the fire which burnt the Tripur was called Yug. Then Shiv marked his forehead with the Tripundra (the three horizontal lines) with the ashes of the Tripur and danced his Tandav. Shiv is called Tripurari, (Tripurasya ari) the enemy of the Tripur.

Tripur, Tripurari, Tripursundari

This day when Shiv destroyed the Tripur is celebrated now as the Tripurari Pournima. This is the full-moon day in the month of Kartik (November). On this full-moon day, the Sun is in the Vishakha Nakshatra. The Moon can be in three possible lunar mansions, in Bharani or Kritika or Rohini. If it is in Kritika and conjunct Jupiter it becomes a very rare Mahapournima, perhaps this happens once in thousand years! However worship of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiv is performed on Tripurari pournima and it gives very auspicious results.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tripur, Tripurari, Tripursundari

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tripur, Tripurari, Tripursundari

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tripur, Tripurari, Tripursundari

Pushpadant – expanding point (this is a paradox)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tripur, Tripurari, Tripursundari

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yug – time

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

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

 

Tripur, Tripurari, Tripursundari

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

24 Tattva, essences of existence

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

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

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

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

A individual soul consists of 24 distinct attributes/Tattva.

Screenshot 2019-07-07 at 11.26.22 AM

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

24 Tattva, essences of existence

Aham-kaar

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

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

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

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

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

The 25th tattva is the Purush who does not take part in this game of Prakruti, but just witnesses.

24 Tattva, essences of existence

So when you get on the path of re-experience, you dissolve these tattvas. This process happens when you start your spiritual practice, Dhyan and only during this time when you are sitting on your Asan. When you are manipulating pran and then kundalini you are not completely in this manifested world. You are exploring the way back, you are in the energy of the joint/Sandhya.

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

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

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

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

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

24 Tattva, essences of existence

 

 

Maa and Sanskrit

I am from coastal India, used to live right next to the sea but now I live in the Himalaya, I look outside the window now and I see oak forests. Here people speak Hindi and the word that they use for their mother is ‘maa’. Having learnt Sanskrit since I was a child, ‘maa’ for me is negation, ‘no’. ‘Maa kuru’ is ‘do not do it’. ‘Maa gaccha’ is ‘do not go’. It sounds very strange to hear children addressing their mothers ‘maa’. Why would an entire population call their mothers ‘No’? I asked a local pandit and he said ‘we call the Devi maa so the mother is maa’ or something quite confusing, he was not sure himself.

All languages are derived from Sanskrit. Devbhasha Sanskritam is in-built, its sounds and the way its letters are written are created by the perfect movement of pran/vital energy/kundalini along the Brahamnadi around the energy vertices/Chakra of your body. To those who can see, it is so visible, for those who cannot see it yet, best try to see your aura as the beginning step.

In Sanskrit, the mother is called Mata.

  • ‘Ma’ sound means the act of Creation, creating Illusions, hiding something and also the knowledge related to the Hidden.
  • ‘Aa’ means the one who directs, heals, removes sorrow etc linked to Ma.
  • ‘Ta’ means the depths of hidden darkness, that which is not illuminated as yet and the strength and power of flowing energy.
  • ‘Aa’ is again the one who directs, heals, removes sorrow etc now linked to Ta.

So a mother/mata in Sanskrit means so much more, which cannot be fully described. But the terrible intensity of Maa is tempered by the Taa sound. The intensity of ‘maa’ is in fact kept hidden by the ‘taa’ sound. Thus for the human mother, Mata is better.

Now ‘Maa’ is actually a name for the Devi. She hides, creates illusions and later grants its knowledge too. It is mentioned in the Shri Sukta, shlok/verse 3, one of the attributes of Devi is ‘Maa’. (Laxmi tantra has a very extensive chapter on Shri Sukta.) Devi is the energy of the Ultimate Consciousness/Parabrahma which is used to create the Universes. We all are the Ultimate ourselves, temporarily here to enjoy the fun-fair of Creation. This Devi/Illumination, energy is considered feminine as it creates, the cosmic mother. She has used the Maa attribute of Herself to conceal the true nature of every soul/Jivatma here. The energy of Maa is negation, and it negates our true nature, temporarily. She is Maa in all possible ways,

  • मिमी – The action of formation or creation using precise measures.
  • मीया – The act where Creation is fixed
  • मिति – The one who pervades everything. Everything that we see is produced from Her, the creative power of the Ultimate.

Now when you are done playing and want to remember your reality, re-experience yourself, what happens? The power of Creation, Devi, uses her attribute of negation, ‘Maa’, now to negate the bindings of karma and her own initial binding of Kundalini to release the Jivatma. Thus you realise your true self. Here is two negations making a positive.

The energy of the sound Maa is so vast and indescribable, it was used to make you forget your true nature. Now when you start your spiritual practice and want to realise yourself again, Maa then negates your human existence, it disconnects you from the manifested. (Addressing the human mother as ‘maa’, though very prevalent in North India, is not a good idea from the energy of the sound/intention point of view.)

‘Om Maayai namah’ is a mantra from the Shri sukta which grants all that you desire.

Maa is Devi, magnificent in Her power of Negation.

Maa and Sanskrit

 

Kundalini activation?

In 99.99 % of humans, the kundalini and its interlocking structures are described as being “asleep”. And there is very good reason for this. We are linked to the manifested universe and sense of self identity, this happens because the brahmanadi is closed shut with the interlocking locks of the Kundalini.

Defination of Graha from the Suryasiddhant

The kundalini is a restrictive force put upon your soul so that you remain unaware of your Real Self. Despite all scriptures shouting out that we are all Parabrahma, we still consider ourselves to be Rita, Priya, Amit, Manish etc, this is because of the lock called the Kundalini. When the Kundalini unlocks, energy starts coursing through the Brahmanadi. This then reaches the top of the head at the Dwadashant and dissolves the illusion of the Universe, there is nothing called ‘you’ and ‘me, there is just one single consciousness, called ‘Parabrahma’.

Most of us are into rajasic (energies pulling towards the objects of the manifested universe) and tamasic (dull dampening dense energies) energies and thus shut themselves away from this extraordinary energy within themselves. There is nothing wrong about keeping away from the locks of the kundalini. You are here to enjoy the attractive objects created by Mahamaya for your entertainment. If you become aware of yourself, you will not find anything engaging in the manifested universe. You are enjoying this part of your journey because the kundalini locks the door to the brahmanadi. The Kundalini locking system is of Mahamaya Herself. The brahmanadi is the route to Parabrahma, the long road home!

(You are the Parabrahma the Ultimate, the creative force of Parabrahma is called Mahamaya. Mahamaya designed this Universe as a game in which parts of the Parabrahma called Jivatma manifest for the game/Leela. Mahamaya is like the dancer who performs for the observer, the Parabrahma. Once the performance is over, the observer stops observing and the performer stops performing. The Leela is over!)

The kundalini restricts your sense of personality, thus it is a lock, a fierce deadly serpent guarding the final treasure of self awareness. There are people who engage in regular spiritual practice, dhyan, meditation, breath control, mantra, jaap, homa, energy work, Yog, pious activities, charity from the heart, reading books like Bhagwat gita, Devi Mahatmya etc, following a real Guru’s directions etc. In these people the locks on the kundalini may be accessible or partly open. In some whose faith/Shraddha in the Guru/Parabrahma is so complete that even the kundalini locks may be opened. And in the very few, (maybe 5-10 people in the entire human population) by the krupa/blessings of Devi Mahamaya, the Brahmanadi may be completely active and they might achieve self-realization / Moksh.

When the kundalini lock opens, the force of  the real self-identity which has been suppressed for so long rises in a rush and also with violence. If the mind, body and the personality is not trained to accept this energy, it can easily damage to such an extent that it will take several lives to recover. But generally this force does not erupt unless everything is ready. Doing ill-considered ‘kundalini activation’ practices are not advisable.

Of the Sun and the Moon

Achieving final Moksh requires that in one single lifetime, you first access the outer locks to the Kundalini lock, open them, then access the Kundalini locks, open them, then manipulate the vital energy/pran into these structures, then increase the flow of pran into the Brahmanadi, open each and every one of the 6 locks of the Shatchakras in the spine, clean them out, saturate them with pran, then work on the chakras in the head, clean them out, balance them and saturate them with pran. After all this clean up of the channels using pran, the energy of self-realization (this is different from pran) will move out of the basal point kundalini lock into the brahmnadi, then through these cleaned out 6 chakras, then the chakras of the head and complete its circuit at the Dwadashant. All this in one single life time, in one body. If you die, you will be born again and again start from the first step, and yes progress will be faster till you reach your previously achieved point.

In some individuals the kundalini unlocks and releases the final energy of self realization before the pran is done clearing its way. This happens when they engage in some ill-considered energy practice. This can result in trouble of the worst degree. The force of self-realisation will then stop or get stuck and wherever it is stuck, this load of energy will cause manifold problems in the chakras near it. So best is doing your regular spiritual practice, do your regular actions every day and leave the final outcome to Her.

Now the biggest question. What will you achieve after all this? If you think you can show off to your friends and on social media that you have ‘wakened your kundalini’, you are sadly mistaken. There will be no wow! effect for others, you cannot show off because there will be no others left. There is just You in all your magnificence.

So first understand why? Why would you want to leave this fun fair and its entertainments? Do you think you can endure this experience? No identity, no home, no parents, no husband/wife, no children, no earth, no nothing, no food, no air, nothing at all but still everything! beyond everything? Paradoxes and mind-benders, which cannot be explained just experienced. Btw your mind will also stop working, as mind is an agent of Mahamaya. Being in the moment can be quite scary, no future, no past just one present instant! Time does not exist and neither does space. Is this what you really want? You will Be You.

I have put a picture of 2-D Shri Yantra and its 3-D version Mahameru, these exist within your spine. Now can you visualise this geometry in multiple dimensions? Can you visualise and then experience yourself as a hyper-dimensional geometry? The beauty of your own energy is so utterly perfect, you will not feel like coming out of your Dhyan. But is your mind ready to to see all this? Most of us are in denial over what we cannot sense with our 5 senses and here is the Universe waiting to reveal itself to you within yourself!

We are told over and over again that we are the Ultimate, the Paramtattva, but are you confident that you are this Para? Your confidence and faith/Shraddha will be tested at every instant of your journey.

If you are even micro-attached to even an idea, the locks of the Kundalini / the Chakras will not be opened and there will be blocks. All ideas are Mahamaya’s, even the idea that you have to become the Parabrahma! Now here is a mind-bender, you have to be confident that “you are Parabrahma” not think that “you want to become the Parabrahma”.

Once the Kundalini locks are open you are leaving the realm of the Mahamaya. Kundalini is just the first lock, there are several more locks on the way.  It may take one lifetime or several lifetimes, once you have glimpsed this you cannot stop. This is also equivalent to ‘death’, the final death of illusion. You will lose your worldly identity, for your friends and family you will be incomprehensible. You also will find them to be strangely limited, shallow and unreal, made of paper!. Sometimes you will feel that the ground does not exist or the sky has vanished. It will be strange but normal. If She is generous, the energy of self-realisation will rise in one smooth stream from the base to the top without stopping. It is quite complicated, so there is just no need to think about it and worry yourself. Do you know how your brain works? The exact stuff related to neurons and chemicals? No! Similarly there is no need to think about all these complexities of energy. Just leave it, it will work on its own perfectly. It is conscious Intelligence.

But you know why, really know why you want this, with every atom of your being, then know your route is available, you just have to walk it now. Do your regular Dhyan.

It is a difficult path going back home, but everyone is moving towards it slowly or rapidly. Kundalini is not a prize for doing Sadhana, it is just the first lock in the series of locks which when open allows you to complete your Sadhana and go Home.

 

Shri sukta, first verse

(There was a request in the Contact section for more posts on Kundalini, activation and the myths related to this topic, thus writing these posts. I hope these are useful to you.)

The story of Hreeng, Durga Saptashati

Another of my favourites, Devi Mahatmya or Durga Saptashati. This is collection of about 700 mantras each one of them very powerful, very cleverly disguised as a story on how Devi Mahamaya kills negative entities/Asurs. It is just like the terribly beautiful Devi wearing her hair in 2 plaits and going to kindergarten wearing a pretty polka dotted frock. This book is more appropriately translated as “The story of Hreeng”, the beej mantra of the Devi, very terrible and utterly beautiful. In north India, people are scared to even keep a copy of this in their houses which is beyond my understanding. (I keep a copy at my bed-side).

So most would know that this book is read like a story during the Navratris and there are pujas involving mantras from this book which can be very beneficial. But for normal people who do not have so much time here are a few quick ways in which you can make use of these mantras most effectively.

The story of Hreeng, Durga Saptashati

 

First and foremost before you use any mantra from this collection, read the Siddhakunjika stotra once, and then recite the navavarna mantra, ‘Om Aing Hreeng Kleeng Chamundayae Vicche’ 108 times. Use your fingers to count the 108. Now this mantra is so utterly powerful that you can use it to create trouble for your enemies or gain Moksh for  yourself or anything else you desire. So treat it with proper respect, pay attention to the pronunciation. Do this on a Friday evening in the bright half/Shukla paksha of the month if possible when you do it for the first time. Any  mantra to be used from Devi Mahatmya should be sandwiched between ‘Om Aing Hreeng Kleeng Chamundayae Vicche’, for it to be of any use.

Now here is the pdf of the Gita Press version of the book with the translations in Hindi, turn to page 263 in this book. This is a list of some of the mantras which you can use in your daily life listed with what they can be used for. This is how you should be using them. Eg, For removal of enemies and troubles it is simply given as, “Sharanagata deenarta paritrana parayane sarvasyarti hare devi narayani namostute”. This is to be recited like this, “Om Aing Hreeng Kleeng Chamundayae Vicche” once, then “Sharanagata deenarta paritrana parayane sarvasyarti hare devi narayani namostute” recited 108 times, followed by “Om Aing Hreeng Kleeng Chamundayae Vicche” once. This sandwich pattern is called, “samputit”.

I have used small sections of this book to do Homa. I love Tantrokta Ratri Sukta it resonates very deeply with me. I have done Homa using this mantra several times. For doing homam/yadnya you should add “swaha” to the end of every couplet/shlok/mantra and drop a drop of ghee in the sacred fire/Agni. (My son loves eating the vibhutis from my homa. He is like an indicator, if I have done the homa with single minded attention and love for Devi Mahamaya it tastes wonderful if not then it tastes bad!)

Then a rather secret way of using the mantras from the book. But gives an unbelievable boost of energy and a life time of asset. You start with the Siddhakunjika as usual. Then choose your intention mantra. Eg. For removal of enemies as above, it is, ‘Sharanagata deenarta paritrana parayane sarvasyarti hare devi narayani namostute’. So you will alternate this intention mantra and the mantra in sequence from the book. Be ready to speak continuously for over 4 hours, cannot stop, cannot drink water and cannot get up. But you will have no enemies for a life time. If you do not have any specific problem that you want the Devi to address, you should recite, “Om Aing Hreeng Kleeng Chamundayae Vicche” as your intention mantra alternating it with each mantra from the book.

Our ancient seers have left us with such an awesome legacy! The understanding that everything is energy. If you can manipulate your energy you can be always happy and healthy. One of my cousins is a homeopathic doctor, if he falls ill, rather than taking his medicines, he just visualises himself taking the medicine and is back to his healthy self in the morning.

You have everything within you, all the 108 elements, and your body knows what it needs and also can make it for itself. Your body mind and soul can repair yourself in all possible ways. It just needs energy and intention. Use the mantras from this book and don’t be scared of the Devi. She is your Mother, ask anything of Her, pester Her, demand to be picked up in Her arms. She loves you, Love Her in return!

 

The story of Hreeng, Durga Saptashati