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 When we have a bath and the body is made wet, the aura is withdrawn into the body.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.

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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.

 

Rahu Ketu analysis, if placed in the 5 /11 axis

Rahu and Ketu are completely astral graha, They do not have any existence in the physical dimension. They have no material results on their own. They influence the material only through the other planets they are linked to. Their actual results are almost completely astral in nature, they are the ‘desire to experience’ and ‘apathy to experience’ and represent the flow of experience throughout your several lives. Any placement of Rahu and Ketu will be influenced by the nature of the sign he is in, the owner of this sign and his power to give results and the other planets who conjoin/aspect Rahu/Ketu. The lunar mansion/ Nakshatra occupied by them also gives valuable insights into their effects.

There are two ways of analysing Ketu. Of these, how he will manifest his energy in your life will depend on the other planets, signs and houses.

  • One is disconnection from the individual self, detachment from the sense of self. He just experiences without any judgement. eg no children
  • And the second is no limits. This Ketu energy can increase scope as it is unimpeded by barriers. eg lots of children and child-figures like students.

The 5th and 11th axis deals with your personal intelligence and interaction with the outside world. This is perhaps the most important axis when it comes to energy, an incredible amount of energy is generated and used in this axis. So if you want to be good you can be really be the best and if you takes a bad turn you can be the worst of the lot. The karmic axis of Rahu-Ketu in this 5th/ 11th axis can create the most excellent human beings at one end of the spectrum or the worst ones, nothing in between.

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Ketu in the 5th house

A strong Ketu here can confer a lot. Formal education may be in breaks or strangely disjointed with you taking random courses without a clear direction. Education is generally affected. If the 5th lord and the ascendant is well placed the education would be extensive but the use and awareness of what has been learnt formally would be limited.

This placement of Ketu drives the mind and its mental capacity inwards and you would be generally involved in esoteric stuff. Astrologers, spiritualists, occultists, tantriks are quite to be expected with this Ketu. Your intellect is enormous, Ketu is diffuse and separative, a paradoxial state. So the intellect can spread over and yet be incisive. But what exactly should you do with this intellect will be resolved only after midlife. Till then you might be considered to be a bit eccentric. You have very original and quite shocking ideas. These ideas will not materialise into reality unless Ketu is influenced by other planets.

The self-ego also is strangely fluid, you will be ego-less But at the same time know who you are exactly internally. May not express it though. Ketu in the 5th means that you have experienced these keywords of the 5th completely in your past lives and you have the deepest learnings associated with this house with you. But you will not be aware of it, if you can consciously focus it will be made available. But ‘consciously focussing’ and ‘headless Ketu’ together can get a bit difficult.

With love affairs two extreme things may happen depending on the other placements. No affairs, no relationships with humans and the search for a non-physical sort of a relationship with a deity or the higher self. Or no affairs but a formal marriage with limited physical contact. Or the other extreme, mindlessly into several relationships /marriages/affairs which are never satisfying. These relationships would be karmic in nature and you are quite passive about these.

Ketu in 5th makes you the shadow of your more outgoing husband/wife. The spouse if often from a different social/ cultural background. You don’t know how to have fun, most avenues of entertainment lose their attraction very fast. Your spouse can be a politician or someone very well-known in public, very passionate and visible. He is quite conscious about social position, recognition, gains, wealth etc. You on the other hand are not bothered about all this material stuff. You understand its importance, you move about in such environments but you are not moved by all these things. You might have to face losses because of your disinterest. You are your spouse’s shadow here, always present but never really seen. And you don’t mind it! 

Children will be few, pregnancy and childbirth (if female) will be especially difficult. The children will be highly intuitive themselves. The eldest child especially may show occult talents or may have special needs. However this is rarely a ‘disability’ as far as his behaviour in society is concerned. But you might sometimes feel discomfort caused by his behaviour. You rarely punish your children/students, you observe and think very differently, your parenting style is a bit eccentric but can be genius. However this can as easily turn to negligence.

If you choose to venture into the spiritual, you will have limited real students. However you are a good teacher and can teach students with special needs, handicapped children, or students of the esoteric.

You are not bothered with expressing your creativity. There is no pride or no ego related to your creative output. (Should never gamble.)

There is one observation here, the 5th house indicates the physical heart. So there may be some medical conditions if aspected by malefics. Take care of your upper back too in such a case. (This in rare cases if there is support from the rest of the horoscope can allow the Kundalini to rise.) But as Ketu is completely astral his main effect is to create a sense of sadness, grief perhaps. You are psychically detached from divine love or perhaps the word is self-love? but you never know that you yearn for this sort of love. The essence of love? A sense of undefinable loneliness prevails over the Ketu of the 5th house.

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Rahu in the 11th house

If Ketu is placed in the 5th house naturally Rahu would be in the opposite 11th house, 180degrees apart..

Rahu in the 11th house from the ascendant is a wish come true perhaps? Rahu in the 11th the house of gain, would have created ambitions in the initial life but Rahu comes to his maturity only after 48yrs of life. And the 11th is an upchaya  उपचय house, gives better results with age. The 11th is the house of gains, extended like-minded groups, markets, foreigners, luck, relationships with large groups, mostly impersonal type of relationships.

Rahu here desires social recognition, social mobility, often political power, a wide circle of friends, corporate networking, community participation, profits and gains, is very ambitious. Uses unconventional methods to rise but this rise can be sustained only if some benefic planet influences Rahu. Even if there are intermittent falls, Rahu uses them as opportunities and manages to rise again. He challenges the conventional always so in the 11th house he has infinite potential to showcase genius and also to manipulate. Rahu has the ability to merge in every group in a very fascinating manner. He accepts everyone into his circle, irrespective of class, creed or mind-sets.

But is important to remember that how-much-ever Rahu strives onwards the Ketu in the 5th house grants an unfocussed intelligence, an eccentric genius, there is detachment here. So if Ketu is more powerful than Rahu in your chart this factor can cause more falls in the material perspective than material gains. If your 5th house occupied by Ketu is not supported by other solidifying benefic aspects, you will not be able to make the most of Rahu’s capability. Rahu in the 11th makes one ruthless and grants a complete disregard for rules, conventions and regulations. Plus out-of-the-box thinking. You are actually a philosopher who also has the confidence and ruthlessness to act. You can strategise very well and also keep secrets. Can prosper in business, especially import/export related. Material earnings will be quite good in any case. There might be awards and prizes too.

If you try to gain using Rahu’s powers of illegality, breaking the rules, pretending, cheating and posing, your fortune will not last. So after a rather dissatisfied first half of life, the second half can fulfil desires. But what desires? The frustration of the first half of life and the maturation of all planets will have changed your mind-set. Spirituality would have set in and changed the type of desires which Rahu will then fulfil. This 5/11 Ketu-Rahu is considered exceptional for spiritual growth also. The personality tries to find its balance between the individual self-ego and the unlimited Consciousness. This combination can grant an outwardly simple ego-less plain personality, well-known in public life, a high social stature, is wealthy and also is involved in deep esoteric activities. (Something like a saint who is also a king, perhaps?)

The mother’s and father’s families are often a source of problems. Brothers and extended families are generally troublesome. Children display occult abilities or in rare cases can be specially abled. Spouse is a social climber, a politician or a successful businessman. Friends are also exotic, fascinating but not really life-time friends, they also are a bit odd, occultists and astrologer type, not really bff material! So there exists potential for invalidation from all relationships. ‘Validation’ is an important component of any relationship. This is always missing. Satisfaction is missing from every aspect of life, personal or the extended.

Sometimes complete destruction is necessary to rise again spectacularly. This placement sometimes reflects this as the first half of the life goes in a haze. The second half is more vivid and happy. Things will move after Rahu and Ketu attain maturity. You will see a marked change in your life during the age of 42-47yrs.

If you have Ketu placed 5th from the birth Moon and thus the Rahu 11th from Moon, the results will be as per the above except the context will be exclusively on the emotional planes.

Ketu Mahdasha and Rahu Mahadasha as per the Vimshottari system, will be quite happening periods. Especially Rahu-Ketu sub-period and Ketu-Rahu antardasha will be quite karmically heavy-duty. Their sub-periods in the other planet’s Mahadasha-s also will burn karma fast. Their transits are also quite slow with 1.5yrs in each sign, (right now they are in Capricorn /Cancer) so keep a look out here too. Periods heavy with Rahu/ Ketu energy will grant profits and gains but after their periods are complete these gains too may erode. 

Doing mantra -jaap of Rahu and Ketu on Tuesdays/Saturdays and especially during eclipses is very beneficial. In fact you should aggressively use every eclipse which occurs, not let even one single event pass by.

Rahu is the engine which drives your chart and Ketu is the last guard-cabin. The desire to experience and apathy to experience. In energy-terms these are the influences which push your perfect internal energy -geometry out of shape. Life is all about experience and energy, so analyse these two astral tendencies, Rahu-Ketu carefully in your chart, they reveal your deepest motivations.

 

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Have written about Rahu in the 5th and Ketu in the 11th house in this post.

Vastu your home, the simplest and prettiest remedies

Our houses are our shelters, our homes, we live, eat, sleep and rest here. It is very important that we take care of our home so it can, in turn, take care of us. ‘Vastu’ means not just the physical house, but conscious energy and it’s flow in your house. The house takes on the energy of the place that it is in, and also the energy of the people living in it. I have written about houses in some of my earlier posts. Ley lines, one about haunted houses and how to interact with your house etc.

Vastu-shastra is the science of ‘living houses’, the energy of the house should be conducive to the people living in it, Houses built as per vastu-shastra are more full of positive energies. But today getting a house with perfect Vastu is quite impossible. I have lived in several houses in my life and every one of these had some issues. e.g one had a toilet in the north direction, had to demolish it; one had the kitchen in the north, we couldn’t eat anything prepared in this kitchen, had to demolish it and construct a new one in the south-east. But luckily I always lived in houses not apartments so could do the re-alignments. But if you live in apartments you cannot realign the rooms, you have turn to Vastu remedies.

Keeping your home neat and clean is one thing, am sure all of us do the dusting, brushing and washing up quite regularly. But there is more. Here are the simplest remedies, which you can use in your house. These are beautiful things which will be ornamental as well as help you rebalance the energy of your house.

Pyramids

These are the most popular ways to rebalance the energies of your house. I keep a small clear quartz pyramid in every room of my house, on the north or east side is best. It works by balancing the energies of the room and also amplifying them, two-in-one. I recharge them once a month, by washing them in salt water and recite the Shri sukta over them. But then I love the Shri Sukta, so use it for everything, I recite it even when I cook food. You can use any Vastu mantra or even a simple ‘Om Vastupurushaya namah’ or even play this by Uma mohan in the background in your house. Or you can use any Vedic mantra including the Gayatri mantra to recharge these pyramids. Or if you cannot for any reason recite these, make a chi-ball, think of your source of faith, express your intention for a happy and energy-filled house in your words and visualise the chi-ball being absorbed in the pyramids. This always works.

When you go to buy the pyramids, hold them in your hands for a bit, some will feel ‘right’ to you, buy those. There are various sorts of ‘energised’ pyramids available in the market, you can use these too, but they will be a bit more expensive than this single pyramid method above.

Vastu your home, the simplest and prettiest remedies

Mirrors

Mirrors are a variant of the pyramids. The sides of the pyramids reflect energy in four directions, mirrors also reflect energy but in one single direction. Hang your mirrors on the east and north walls as possible. Just remember they should not reflect your bed as you sleep in it.

Sea-salt 

Wipe your house with water in which a fistful of sea-salt has been dissolved, it will remove the negativity. Cleansing your house regularly will address a lot of problems associated with misaligned energies too. And if there is any specific corner of your house which feels especially misaligned, keep a glass bowl full of sea-salt crystals in that part of the house, these crystals will absorb the negativity. You can dispose them in running water and replace them once a month.

Tumbled clear quartz

I love clear quartz. It is useful for everything. If you want, you can buy a bag-full of tumbled clear quartz, will be cheaper than the pyramids. Then charge them. Make a chi-ball, focus on your intention for a happy house and visualise the chi-ball being absorbed in the crystals. Keep them in a pretty bowl in your rooms, in the north and east sides. Recharge them once a month. If you feel like you can also use pink quartz. Tumbled crystals can be used for several things so if you buy a bag-full you can use them in several ways.

Vastu your home, the simplest and prettiest remedies

Peacock feathers –

These work beautifully. Have written about them in my post on ley lines. Put a bunch of these in your rooms preferably on the north and east sides if possible. Peacock feathers will get rid of evil eyes, negativity and enhance the positive flow of energy in your house.

Shri-yantra or Meru

This is the ultimate geometry and if you are doing a puja of this geometry or using it for your spiritual practice e.g. tratak, the energies of your house will be already in a very good shape. The highly positive energy of the geometry expands out. If you do puja over it sincerely, these energies are amplified even more. I have observed that the energies of my house are so relaxing that guests start feeling sleepy!

And puja of the Meru /Shri Yantra is very simple, recite the Shri-sukta once, or recite ‘Om Shridevyai namah once/thrice/108 times, and apply one tilak of red Kesar/saffron or red vermillion at its center dot/bindu. If you can blow the conch during this puja, it will be even better. I light camphor arti after the pujas and also keep a sesame oil lamp lit in front of my Meru 24×7.

Vastu your home, the simplest and prettiest remedies

Plants

Indians, Hindus are required to keep a Tulasi plant in the center of the house. You can keep it in the east or north direction as an alternative. This plant is linked to Shri Vishnu, the energy which protects and maintains prosperity. It is satvic in nature and generates a very bright silvery/gold aura around it. The woman of the house takes care of it. i.e. waters it in the morning and lights a small lamp in front of it in the evening. If she does it with love and positive intentions the plant also responds by increasing its energy, thus the whole house benefits. It is another way of harnessing your intentions. As the plant grows so does prosperity. The plant is highly medicinal, especially for cough/cold, drinking a tea made of its leaves is very helpful. You can drink a spoonful of the juice of the leaves. I never give my son cough syrups, as tulasi leaves are the best and safest cure.

Fresh cut flowers are also a good way to increase the energy of your house if you can afford them.

In India, we tie a garland made of fresh mango leaves and marigold flowers on the entrance door of the house. Both these are high energy items and they stop the negative energies from entering your house in the first place. This arrangement is called a ‘toran’.

Vastu your home, the simplest and prettiest remedies

Rudraksh beads

This is something which you can consider if you are suffering from negative energy as well as evil eye from others. Hang a single rudraksh bead at your front door, it will stop negative influences from entering your house. (I hang an entire rudraksh mala at my front door.)

Photos

These are a very easy way to add cheer and positivity to your house. Natural sceneries, waterfalls, flowers, bright images, colorful pictures, geometric patterns, can be hung on your north or east walls.  You can use pictures of solid things like mountains, e.g. Kailash, on your south or west walls. Do not use depressing and dark images which represent struggle, disaster and pain. Also avoid pictures of animals. If you want, you can keep pictures of departed parents/loved ones, but only on the south walls.

To keep the Vastu of your house is good shape requires not only physical alignment with the Vastu shastra, but also requires that you consciously interact with your abode. The process of of building the house and the alignment of the rooms is not in our hands, as most of us live in apartments now! But this second part where you consciously increase the energy of your house is definitely something you can do!

So here were a few easy and inexpensive ways in which you can add energy to your home.

 

Vastu your home, the simplest and prettiest remedies

8th house Dushamsthan

The 6th, 8th and 12th houses of the chart are called the Dushamsthan, of these the 6th is considered the most turbulent as it is linked to the awareness and the resolution of Karma/bondage. The 12th is dissolution of the manifested. The 8th is then catastrophic transformations of identity where the physical, emotional or spiritual identity undergoes a rapid, forceful and often traumatic change. The death of the physical body is the most extreme change which is seen from here. This is the energy of the Rudra, from the 33 koti devatas who make up your body. Catastrophic changes to the body/ mind /soul, always lead to very intense progress on the spiritual levels.

Every sort of ‘Shock’!

Broadly the 8th house from the ascendant governs the situation of physical death, longevity, hidden assets, legacies from the dead, secret knowledge, mysteries, secrets of all forms, undiagnosable diseases, the act of childbirth, the movement of pran/vital energy in the body, occult, tantra, openings of every sort, evolution/involution, cycles of destruction and creation, disappearances and re-appearances, powerful but invisible transformations. Unplanned, unlikely, unanticipated, emergencies, upheavals and meltdowns. Self-destruction coupled with rebirth. And ultimately the potential for recovery, reinvention and reactivation.

8th house Dushamsthan

Energy (Prakruti) cannot be destroyed, it can only change from one form to another. The principle of Parinam from Sankhya shastra is the essence of the 8th house’s dynamics. The 8th house counted from every house will indicate the potential for transformations related to the keywords of that house. So e.g. if you are looking at the marriage aspects of a chart, also analyse the 2nd house (counted eighth from the 7th), for secrets and changes to the married state. Then the 8th house from the birth Moon should always be analysed. It indicates emotional turbulence and the threats to the stability of the mind and emotions, intimidation and abuse.

The 8th house is never very visible, just like the natural 8th sign of the zodiac Scorpio, it has unfathomed depths. The 8th is a part of the Moksh trikon with the 12th and 4th houses. It facilitates ‘release’. So unless you focus on it specifically, you will remain unaware of your occult potential.

Here is where the walls of creation break down and reform. The invisible comes out and suddenly you realise its significance. The 8th is intimately connected to the occult, tantra. Tantra is the study of constant change. For the physical self, the 8th house rules over death, surgeries, accidents, ‘cuts’ of every sort. For the emotional, it causes stress and separates. For the spiritual it opens up routes into the depths of the subconscious.

The 8th house also indicates the family of the spouse. The money, the wealth, resources of his/her family. Generally you do not know these things about your spouse’s family completely, so this links up with the secret nature of the 8th! Also the voice, speech, eating habits and wealth-accumulating habits of the spouse.

The 8th then indicates explorations, excavations, surgeons, shamans, tantriks, secret financial activities, scientific researchers, secret criminals, etc type of professions, which thrive on skill and an awareness of suspicions, intuitions and sensations from the internal.

8th house Dushamsthan

The planets occupying this house often incline an interest in the occult depending on their nature. Too many or strong planets here would indicate reduced interest in philosophy or organised religion and a deeper interest in spirituality or the occult. Their Dasha periods/ significant transits will be quite happening times. e.g. Saturn here will indicate it is the karma to do so, a Mercury will grant the boldness, necessary logic and skills to do so, Venus will grant the tantric knowledge and esoteric wisdom related to the occult etc. A special case would be the Moon placed in the 8th house.

If this house is vacant then look out for the transits or the dasha periods of the owner planet, this would be the time which would trigger its potential. This 8th house ruler is a very important agent of change in your life. Track his movement and the aspects of life he controls. He will cause sudden uncontrollable changes wherever he may be at birth or go in transit. But if you understand that he ‘transforms’ not ‘dissolve’, you might understand his actions better.

If by chance, you have the same planet ruling your 8th from ascendant and the 8th from Moon, be careful during his periods, e.g. Libra Ascendant with Moon in Pisces, Venus is ascendant lord, 8th lord, and lord of 8th house from Moon, thus the Venus mahadasha (20yr long) and his antardasha within other planets Mahadashas will be especially transformative. Similarly for Aries ascendent with Moon in Virgo be careful with your Mars periods. If you can navigate this period successfully you will benefit beyond imagination else the physical and subconscious body both will suffer.

It is important to remember that the 8th house is Shock and Change. How you go with the energy and participate in the process will determine how effective the 8th will be. A strong ascendant sign, ascendant lord and birth Moon are very important in this respect. If you are attached to your identity or have Saturn-like resistance to things unfolding around you, you will suffer more. And then is all about perception, if you are prepared for the change you will not be so shocked and if you are aware in advance you will not feel the sudden-ness. So the intensity of these events is reduced by a strong yet adaptable personality.

To navigate the 8th you will have to think like a hunter in the jungle, the shadows can contain a prey or a predator, so be prepared!

 

8th house Dushamsthan

Soul in the dream state

There are four states of existence, Awake – Jagruti, Swapna -Dream, Deep sleep – Sushupti and Turiya – the fourth state e.g. in deep Dhyan.

The dream state is an intermediate one between the awake (Jagrut) and the deep sleep (Shushupti) states. This is a joint (Sandhya) between these two states and is by itself a ‘state of existence’. The joint between two energies is always very important as the energies here are different and allow you to explore things which would not be possible in the two states themselves. The energy of the joint /Sandhya is called the Devi, ray of Light. All the texts insist on focussing on the Sandhya for spiritual progress and eventual Moksh.

The Dream state is called ‘Mayavat’, ‘similar to Maya’. Maya Maya is a Sanskrit word which is taken to mean ‘illusion’, which is incorrect. Maya means ‘not this’. Thus the dream state cannot be conclusively proved to be real nor can it be conclusively proved to be un-real.

The Kuthastha purush/ the individual soul has powered down the body-robot and has all possible energies at his disposal. The individual soul is the Creator of the Swapna state, ie you exercise the powers of creation in the dream state. Normally people get fantastic dreams where impossible things are seen and experienced. And for the dreamer, these things are very much real.

There have always been incidents where dreams have foretold the future. People see omens in dreams or some things from the past are made clear in the dreams. One of my clients would get dreams where he would be killed in a war with an arrow through his neck, he would feel the pain and wake up. The same dream repeating again and again. He went through a guided mediation session after which he remembered one past life as a Mongol warrior and came to terms with it. After this the dreams stopped.

Soul in the dream state

In Sanatan dharm/Hinduism, the Seers/Rishi have often been given Mantra in their dreams. The Ramraksha stotra was given by Shiv to Rishi Vishvamitra in his dream state. This is one of the most powerful stotras and is often used to protect children in India.

Often your ancestor spirits will come in your dreams to indicate things and communicate with you. If you see some ancestor in your dreams frequently you should offer a chapati with some jaggery to a desi cow (cows with a hump on the back). This simple act sends energy to the said ancestor and the repetitive dream will stop.

The soul rebalances karma in dreams, as the experiences seen in the dreams are sometimes karma being experienced. You might see your child dying in your dreams, you feel the intense pain and the grief. And when you wake up you realise that you are not even married yet! But you have completed a significant karma of experiencing the death of your child in the dream state. Often astral travel happens and is one of the commonest methods of rebalancing karma while in the Swapna-awastha. But if you are astrally travelling too much take care of your physical body, do some spiritual practice to energise yourself, else you will fall ill.

Especially things related to ‘black magic‘, are seen more clearly in dreams. People who have ill-wishing put on them using black magic suffer these effects in their dreams too. If you get dreams of being buried alive and perhaps some ritual connected to you being performed in a cemetery (smashan), be alert. In your waking state take sufficient precautions to protect yourself on the energy levels.

And if you are strong enough you can remove the effects of ‘black magic/ ill-wishing’ more easily if you are aware and work in your dream state. You can recite mantras or even do rituals in your dreams. These are then not random dreams, you decide on the activities you are going to do. The more you progress spiritually the more you can control and use the dream state for energy work.

Now the astrological connections. People who have their 12th house, Pisces sign or ascendant sign/lord, or Moon associated with Rahu or Ketu can control their dream states easily. If this Rahu or Ketu is influenced /conjunct / aspected by Venus or Jupiter it becomes even more easier you will have access to the knowledge. Mars especially can help you remain unafraid and pro-active. Mercury will help in the technical stuff related to dream-control and activities. Saturn will make you work so hard in your dream state that your physical body will suffer. And a Sun influencing them will also help in giving self-confidence and more control over the creativity linked to the dream actions.

If you have nightmares, the simple Mantra ‘Govind’ will stop the nightmare immediately. ‘Govind’ is specifically for destroying nightmares, ‘Duhswapne smarh Govindam‘, from the Vishnu Shodash-nama stotra. Do this. Cup your right hand on the back of your head where your neck meets the head. There is a hollow at the base of the skull here (point where Sushumna bifurcates). And the left hand at the third eye/ Ajnya chakra. Intend very strongly that you will remember the Mantra ‘Govind’ in your dreams. Push this thought strongly into your palms and into your head. This will register in your subconscious. So the next time you are uncomfortable in a dream, your subconscious will remind you within the dream to recite ‘Govind’. It takes just this one word to stop the nightmare.

Another way of making use of your dreams is you keep a dream diary. Most of us remember the dreams as we wake up for a couple of minutes, then we forget. So keep a diary at your bedside and the first thing as you wake up write a few keywords from your dream in it. So even if you forget it, you will be able to remember it from the diary. So you can then make use of whatever your subconscious has shown you during the dream state/ Swapna awastha.

 

Soul in the dream state

The simplest spiritual practice

I have written a lot on spiritual practices, from Dhyan, Pranayam, simple Tratak to easy lifestyle changes which will go in very deep. But someone in the contact form wanted me to write on the simplest possible spiritual exercise. So here it is, Maun/Silence.

The simplest spiritual practice

Our ancients have practiced Maun/Silence and even today spiritual seekers often go silent for days on end. My brother stays silent for minimum 3 days at a stretch once in a while to recoup his energies. Maun is the easiest thing which everyone can practice. It is very easy, you just do not speak anything at all. If you can stay completely silent for one day of the week, it would be a huge achievement. It is easy, nothing esoteric, just stay silent for one day out of the seven, every week. You can do this on your weekly holiday. It is nothing special, you will do all your regular activities as you do them, but do not speak, under any circumstance do not utter a word. You can write notes to communicate.

Do you have any conception on how much energy you waste when you speak?

Speech is not just sound from your lips, it has very deep linkages with your energy body. I had written about the creation of the seed of sound, the way each Akshar links to your energy body in my previous posts. The three chakras in your head around the Bindu at the top of your head are called Vama, Jeyshta and Rudri but they are also the creation of sound. Sound in Sanatan-Dharma/Hinduism, is Shabda-Brahma, the vibrations of the Ultimate reality itself. The central Bindu is the seed of sound called Para-vak, the next three phases of sound called Pashyanti, Madhyama and Vaikari, these are linked to these 3 chakras set in a triangle in your head.

Para-vak is pure One-ness, it has no form nor definition, it exists at the top Bindu of the Shri chakra. It is the state of Ultimate realisation, the seed form with all possible potential. Next is Pashyanti where the energy is lowered and differentiated. Pashyanti can be understood as the faintest glimmerings of an idea, the thought, the feeling/Bhava. Then is the Madhyama phase, here we know what it is that we are going to speak, we have the clear formed intention and sequence of ideas ready. Finally is the lowest energy version of all this, Vaikhari, the actual uttered words which come out of your lips. And of course when you utter the words you are drawing on your body’s individual chakras to power them.

If you can control the Vaikhari portion of this sequence, gradually you will retrace this sequence till you achieve Para-vak, the Ultimate realization. This process will not happen in one day, it will take its time and with routine practice, one day a week. Initially you will just maintain complete silence for a day. Over a few months you will realise that you are overall speaking less words, but whatever you speak has increased in intensity. Be careful after this phase starts as you can actually bless or curse with your words. Later you will realise that on your weekly silent day your mind has started becoming still, no thoughts seem to rise in your mind. Enjoy this when it happens, it will lead you to more things within yourself.

Closely followed by Maun/Silence is another simple practice, if you can do it. Do not touch anyone else for this one day of the week. Touching another living being transfers energy. If you are doing your spiritual practice, and you keep on touching others, this will make your higher self give away your energy out of Kindness. The more you isolate your aura, and do not allow it to mingle with persons of lower energy levels than yours, the faster you will progress. And there are lots of lower energy living beings around you as very few people do regular spiritual practice. The real Yogis would stay in isolation for just this reason.

So if you do both together, Silence + No touching others, together for one day a week, its effects on your energy body will be enhanced.

(And am writing this because I have done this myself. I went through a rather curious phase in life for a few years. I was living alone in a rather remote place, doing my job which had 2 days off per week. So practiced Maun/silence on these 2 days. Then we Indians don’t shake hands, don’t hug or anything like that, and most of my work colleagues were men, so despite regularly working in my organisation I was not required to touch anyone for extended periods. And I always observe my internal energies very closely. Not touching others for upto 3-4 months at a stretch, coupled with the weekly silence sessions was energy-wise awesome.)

Spiritual realisation an inherent part of yourself, you do not have to go anywhere to realise yourself. It is natural, effortless and easy, and a part of you. When you practice Maun, you are telling your innermost self that you don’t have to do anything, just Be.

 

The simplest spiritual practice

Virgo and Pisces, the most sensitive axis – Part 2

I have written about the Pisces half of this axis part -1 here. This is now about Virgo, ruled by Mercury, the sixth sign of the zodiac. If you have your birth Moon or ascendant in Virgo or a significant bunch of planets in Virgo, this is what you will be on the internal subconscious levels.

Virgo and Pisces, the most sensitive axis - Part 2

Virgo is very typical sign, generally not happy, (absence of ‘happiness’, but is not unhappy!), perhaps ‘plain’ is the word? Virgo represents the ‘imbalance’ created by the use of the divine intelligence by the individual soul/Jivatma. We, our soul is divine, the Ultimate Reality/Parabrahma, but whenever we act with the tag ‘I did this‘, the law of karma comes into force. Self-ego hides the divinity of the soul under the tightest layer of the Anand-mai-kosh or Karan-sharir and we think of ourselves as helpless humans at the mercy of a callous fate.

Virgo/Kanya is represented by a human female figure. Mercury’s signs are represented by human figures none other, his other sign, Gemini has two human figures. Kanya also means ‘focus’. Virgo, then in this context would represent the bindings on the soul created by Desire (subtle roots of desire).

Imbalance created by personal-ego gives rise to Virgo. Usually Saturn is considered to be the ‘karmic planet’, everyone is oh-so-scared of Saturn. But you if you want to be scared of your karma, you should be scared of Mercury and his Virgo. This sign represents that part of your total karma which you have decided to balance out in your current life. Saturn is the one helping you pay this off with discipline, order and method.

As a Virgo, you are internally aware of this karma you have created and perhaps that is why you have this perpetual plain attitude of ‘not-happiness’. You know you are unbalanced, you know things are unfair and perhaps harsh. The force of your entire personality and your environment is directed to this one point agenda of converting this karmic imbalance to balance. ‘Treasure’ for you is represented by Libra, you want to accumulate balance, fairness, relationships and partnerships. But remember Libra at the spiritual level defines the ultimate in balance and partnership. What you really want is, to balance your own karma and find the only real, permanent and most valuable relationship, your relationship with your own Higher Self!

If Virgos are unable to understand this basic thing about their inner nature, this karmic imbalance and misalignment can lead to actual psychiatric problems in life.

The entire force of the Virgo personality, will and action desires to convert imbalance into balance. You are a collection of unbalance, we all are, unbalanced karma, failed promises, ruptured relationships etc spanning so very many lives. This sign represents all this and you are required to set this balance right! You have chosen for you a task of enormous magnitude, but then you do have the necessary resources from your past lives. You use your personal vitality, fire and divine intelligence in one brilliant burst of focussed energy in this lifetime to achieve the treasure of perfect balance and relationship with the self.

You may have access to all material pleasures, but you know internally that getting caught in these amusements can potentially lead to more karma. The last thing you want is to increase the imbalance you already are under. You feel the pin-pricks of karma from your past actions and you are required to suffer through them now. Virgo, owned by Mercury has all the advantages of Mercury’s brains, analytical power, databases, skill sets, database management, power to infer, logical thinking, working with others, power to act and work tirelessly. You have the capacity to make it big on the material plane but still you prefer to serve. Working off your karmic load is on priority.

Virgo and Pisces, the most sensitive axis - Part 2

You are quite passionate, but express yourself in a very low key manner. Others might think of you as a martyr or an idealist, more into planning, directing, encouraging and motivating others to act, rather than acting yourself. You are wary of acting, as you worry about creating more karma however inadvertently. Your materialistic life fails to satisfy just for this reason. You are receptive and can sense ‘other’ things too, thus you can be good at divination. You have the ability to sacrifice yourself for others and are quite sensitive, ambitious and zealous. But as your nature is defined by imbalance, you might feel like you are walking a tightrope most of the times. If you take up some regular spiritual practice you will be able to divert all these internal things to the spiritual realm and live a more adjusted material life.

You seem a bit pessimistic to others, but this too has a reason. Having a heightened awareness of karma, you are ready to give up everything that defines ‘self-ego’. You are aware that self-ego leads to this tangled net called karma and you wish to annihilate your limited sense of self.

Your assets are the agents of Capricorn and Taurus. They are the 9th from and 5th from each other, and act as the divine intelligence and foundation for each other in a cyclic manner (trikon). And the challenges that you will face will be presented by the signs and agents of Scorpio, Aquarius, Aries and Leo.

Scorpio will make you want control over secrets, you want to use secret knowledge, explore forbidden and hidden things, learn skills of the occult, work in the esoteric and the tantric. You desire control over all types of energies including the pran/kundalini in your body. And you will have the courage and boldness to work with these strange things too. Aquarius will ensure that you will be flooded by demands for service from so very many many sources. You will have to serve, counsel, help, be there for, an astoundingly large number of individuals. If you choose to not serve them, you will be forced to suffer through a surprisingly large number of events related to disease, debt, cheats, enemies and losses. If you won’t give your energy through service, these agents will take it by force. The more you give away, conversely the more you will gain in terms of your desired objective – balance. Your practice of the secret spiritual then becomes extremely important for you to replenish your energies.

Aries will create a strange mix of beginnings and endings together. Every action you perform will strangely seem to be complete as soon as you start it, and it will change you very deeply. At the lowest levels you may have to suffer through accidents or surgeries. And on the energy levels you may be targeted by entities or spirits, or you might suffer because of faulty movement of pran/kundalini in your meditative states. But challenges are to be welcomed and used as stepping stones to rise higher. You have the fire within you. You thrive on change as every change is one step forward to achieving the ego-less state. As the personal ego dissolves in the Divine Intelligence, you come to the end of your cycle. These challenges will be on the inner subconscious and spiritual levels and will ultimately benefit you. But on the physical levels these will be seen to be harsh, hard and often traumatic. If you can understand why this is happening you will be better able to cope. However be careful of over-ambition, stay away from bad influences/company, try to work without expectations and routine work even though boring is essential so be regular and consistent as far as possible.

Your mirror, the fill-in-the-blanks is Pisces. It is a karmic partnership where an outwardly dreamy Pisces mirrors a rational Virgo and equally likewise.

 

Virgo and Pisces, the most sensitive axis - Part 2