Sun aspecting the Nakshatra Surya Upagraha

A practical post today on using the Sun aspects of the nakshatra or the Surya upagraha.

Eventually all astrologers have to learn the nakshatra and use them in their readings. If you can master any one of the Chakra, like the Ashtapadmadalachakra or especially the Sarvatobhadrachakra, you won’t even need to calculate dasha and stuff. These chakra are capable of giving both subjective as well as objective types of results.

The Sun is the source of all power. He is the specific ray which connects you to the Eternal Light. And he is considered to be malefic by nature so the nature of his results will always be kroor (post here). Even in regular life the Sun is bearable only briefly ie the early mornings and late evenings. If you go out under his light at other times of the day he will make you hot, uncomfortable, sweaty and finally give you a sun-stroke. Similarly in the horoscope the Sun’s energies are favourable only in certain positions.

This is the same concept with the Gayatri mantra. It is the light of the internal Sun. I always say that it has prachand oorja, ie a very highly humongous energy. Similarly Soham, its core strength is extremely condensed dense indescribable. Gayatri is the seed of this creation, you will know the creator through his creation. And Soham will take you directly beyond creation. In my blog I never recommend Gayatri Anushthan, that would be too much for regular householder type of people. Very few are capable of absorbing the quantum of energy generated in Anushthans. But a simple mental recitation is gentle suitable for everyone. Again do this only if you feel love, respect and faith for the Gayatri mantra in your mind. Mantras immensely magnify, highly energise and pointedly reflect back to you the intention you recite them with. This is true for any mantra you practice, do it only if you feel 100% convinced about it.

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Back to the topic, the nakshatra, ie the lunar mansions, that the Sun aspect are sensitive points in the chart. These are also called the Surya Upagraha. They all give malefic results which are rough on the mind/ body. Here you have to consider 28 nakshatra in sequence including Abhijit nakshatra (post here). 

1. Bhukampa upagraha is the nakshatra that the Sun occupies. Bhu means earth or the material plane and kampa is shaking violently. So anything connected to this Nakshatra will give malefic results and will manifest as an inherent instability. There will be an inherent dissonance between you and the energies of this nakshatra. Events created by this nakshtra will shake you to the core and generally cause turmoil in your life. This will be generated by personal selfishness, self-ego and an inability to consider others point of view. 

2. Vidyunmukha upagraha means the mouth of electrical storms, it is the 5th nakshatra counted from the Sun. This nakshatra will give malefic results related to children, students, creative endeavours, intelligence, etc. Children are the most precious expression of the creative power and sometimes Vidyunmukha can give truly tragic results. Mental stress in personal life and wherever way you use your intelligence and genius. Remedy for the issues here is Shanti puja for the Sun himself. 

3. Shool upagraha is the 8th nakshatra counted from Sun. Shool means means a pointed spear, sorrow, stabbing pain, death etc. It can cause physical harm, like accidents, surgeries and other serious trauma in life. Specifically it can cause problems to the spouse, business partner, spiritual practice, income from business etc. Remedy for this is the Shanti pujas etc for the Moon.

4. Shanipat upagraha is the 14th nakshatra from the Sun’s position. Shani is ‘slow’ and pat means ‘fall’. This indicates that danger will be huge, slow but unstoppable, will loom in the distance for some time and then arrive when you least expect it, something like an avalanche or a landslide. This is a karmic thing and cannot be completely neutralised. You will be immobilised. Acting to get out of this situation will also be difficult. Whatever this nakshatra indicates in your life, it is better to be aware of it and take corrective action in time. Remedy for this issue is the Shanti puja and other remedies for Mars

5. Ketu upagraha is the 18th nakshatra from the Sun. Its nature is nebulous, unexpectedly piercing and you may not be aware of what this nakshatra is up to even when you are going through situations created by it. Relatives from the spouse’s side will either cause problems for you or suffer because of your actions. Enemies, diseases, debts, demands for service etc are more active under the Ketu upagraha. Remedy for this issue is the Shanti puja and other remedies for Mercury.

6. Ulka upagraha is the 21st nakshatra from the Sun. Ulka means a meteor, so this nakshtra will cause small stinging incidents in your life making you miserable for extended time periods. This hits most on the finances, there will be a resource crunch. You will receive wrong advice which will get up into trouble. Your support systems, luck, peers, patrons, life philosophy etc will fail to support you. Remedy for this is Shanti puja and other remedies for Jupiter.

7. Mahakampa upagraha is the 22nd nakshatra from the Sun. Mahakampa means  a very high level of violent tremors, discordant vibrations of the highest type. It gives inauspicious results, causes damage to the social standing, social prestige, public image etc. Issues in profession, disagreements with the boss and loss of job or reduction in salary. Expected gains do not materialise and you have to work hard for limited returns. there will be disagreements with your family and friends. Remedy for this issue is the Shanti puja for Saturn.

8. Varja upagraha is located in the 23rd nakshatra from Sun. Varja is something not allowed to you, something denied to you, omitted from your life. This Nakshatra causes harm in business, in spiritual practice, in partnerships, issues with spouse, separations and divorces. Relatives will cause problems or suffer problems because of your actions. It can be very inauspicious. Remedy for this issue is the Shanti puja for Venus.

9. Nirghata upagraha is located in the 24th star from Sun. This word means whirlwinds or thunderstorms. It causes all around negatively stemming from your own ill considered actions. It will encourage you to do immoral, unethical activities like cheating others etc. It can hit all aspects of life from emotional to physical, professional to personal depending on the nature of the nakshatra. Remedy for this issue is the Shanti puja for Rahu.

Their names are the names of natural disasters. So the idea is that you cannot do really much about them. This much is from the standard texts which you can simply open and read. 

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Now to apply these concepts to your chart. Open your chart and find out these nakshatra counting from your birth Sun nakshatra. You will get your list of 9 birth Upagraha.

Here you have to interpret the Surya upagraha in two ways,

  1. as per the birth position, their effects will last for a lifetime. 
  2. from the Sun’s transit ie from his current nakshatra position in the skies. This will keep on changing every 13.2 days. (The Sun covers 1 deg per day.)

First for the birth positions. Let’s open our example chart. Aleister Crowley, 12th Oct 1875, 11: 42pm, Leamington Spa, Britain. He is dead and has a reasonably well-known life, happening on several levels, a good study subject.

Birth chart Aliester Crowley

So as per this birth chart,

  1. His Sun is in Chitra. So Bhukampa is Chitra
  2. Vidyunmukha is Jeyshtha
  3. Shool is Uttarashadha 
  4. Shanipat Uttarabhadrapada 
  5. Ketu Krutika 
  6. Ulka Aradra 
  7. Mahakampa Punarvasu
  8. Varja Pushya 
  9. Nirghata Ashleysha 

So the first layer of interpretation is that whatever these nakshatra mean to him in his life will be afflicted by the nature of the Surya upagraha. Try to match the keywords (post here) of the nakshatra with the qualities of the Surya upagraha as per the list above. This will mean finding out the houses in which these upagraha lie.

  • eg Jeyshtha nakshatra lies in the 5th house so the energies of Vidyunmukha will be seen in some of the results derived from the 5th house.

The next layer of interpretation – find out if any of the houses are completely afflicted by the Surya upagraha. Calculate the bhav madhya, ie center of the house of each house. As we are using the simplest equal houses concept in our studies this is rather easy as each house is 30deg in width. Check if the mid-point degree of any house falls in any of these Sun’s Upagraha points.

  • In our example chart the rising degree, which is the bhav madhya, central degree for the 1st house falls in the Mahakampa Sun upagraha point, subtly spoiling the significations of the 1st house.

The third layer of interpretation. Check the birth planets affected by the Surya upagraha.

  • Venus is in Chitra – so the things signified by Venus will give him inauspicious effects as defined by Bhukampa. So for his lifetime, equitable love, business partnerships, profits in business etc natural significations of Venus will be afflicted by a core of instability. His personal ego will not let these endeavours succeed as they should. In this chart, Venus rules the 4th and 11th houses and sits in the 4th, so the comforts of a home, support from tradition, gain in life, company of like minded friends etc will be afflicted by Bhukampa. 
  • Mars is in Uttarashadha – so the results that Mars gives will have shades of Shool. Natural significations of Mars, ie actions taken with courage, bold initiatives, his siblings/ brothers etc will cause him pain and sorrow. In the chart, as the ruler of the 10th and 5th houses, sitting in the 7th house, Mars will give him piercing pain from the professional life, social life, partnerships, money will be short, children and students will disappoint etc.
  • Rahu is in Uttarabhadrapada – the results that Rahu would give in life would have the flavour of Shanipat. Events triggered by Rahu will fall on his head like an avalanche and cause severe distress. Most of these will stem from his own moral turpitude, trust in unworthy people, non-support, conflicting life philosophies, trying for things which he can never have, wasted efforts, acting under illusions or delusions etc.
  • And finally the ascendant degree itself is in Mahakampa – so his entire personality and the environment that he would have moved in would be under the subtle effect of Mahakampa, ie Pushya nakshatra. If you go through the life history of this man, this one reading is sufficient to describe his entire life.

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Next to analyse the transits using the Sun upagraha. 

Currently the Sun is in Poorvaphalguni nakshatra, so the current Surya upagraha are,

  1. Bhukampa is Poorvaphalguni 
  2. Vidyunmukha is Swati
  3. Shool is Jeyshtha  
  4. Shanipat Dhanishtha 
  5. Ketu is Revati
  6. Ulka is Krutika
  7. Mahakampa is Rohini 
  8. Varja is Mruga
  9. Nirghata is Aradra

So for our sample chart analysis,

1. Check if any of Crowley’s birth planets are in the transiting upagraha.

  • Vidyunmukha is Swati – Swati has Jupiter in his birth chart. So temporarily the Jupiter related activities will suffer the inauspiciousness of Vidyunmukh upagraha.
  • Shanipat is Dhanishtha – This nakshatra is occupied by Saturn in the birth chart so Saturn connected things in Crowley’s life will give him the Shanipat type of result temporarily.

2. Check if any transiting planets are in the Crowley’s birth upagraha. 

  • Currently the transiting Venus is in Chitra nakshatra. This is the Bhukampa upagraha for Crowley. So Venus related things in his life will temporarily gain the Bhukampa flavour.

3. Check if a transiting planet is occupying a transiting Upgraha. This will be common for everyone living on earth at this point of time. 

  • The current position of Jupiter in the skies, he is transiting in Dhanishtha. So the things connected to Jupiter in life for everyone will be subtly affected by Shanipat. 
  • The current Rahu is transiting in the Mahakampa upagraha. So for everyone including Crowley (if he were alive now), Rahu is causing subtle effects of the mahakampa type. 

This is briefly how to make use of the Nakshatra in predictions. The birth chart analysis will give somewhat subjective results. For objective and precise results, do use the transit positions. Advanced students should ideally start their own sample charts collection and make their own observations to learn astrology systematically.

The Surya upagraha describe the nature of the results expected. This you cannot change, but you can reduce the intensity by taking the remedial actions, doing the Shanti pujas, your personal practice etc (index page). The final outcome of these results will depend on the power, nature and function of the planet affected. Finally to absorb this event and to convert it into positive growth is a function of the ascendant sign, ascendant lord and the birth Moon. 

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Adopt the Gayatri mantra routine

The Gayatri mantra is an all-round remedy for all issues in life and everyone above 6yrs of age must recite this mantra. It should be a part of everyone’s daily routine. 

Ideal would be to recite the Gayatri mantra mentally 108 times, 3 times a day, ie dawn, midday and dusk, at the three Sandhya times. Simple mental recitation takes 10mins, you can do it wherever you are. But for some reason, if you cannot do 108 repeats, at least recite it 1, 3, 27, 54 times. It is a mantra, but you can even think of it as a prayer to your internal divinity or as a way of invoking your inner light or consider the Devi Gayatri as your mother, or whatever makes sense to you, even a song! but do recite this. It is the only way you can protect your Sva-dharma, your internal foundation, the philosophy you live your life by.

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The Yajnopavit Sanskar is a compulsory rite for Hindus where the person takes a life time Sankalp to perform the Gayatri puja three times a day for a life time. This indicates the essential role of the Gayatri mantra. (These days, very few boys from Brahmin families take up this intention.)

But everyone can do this small self-initiation for the Gayatri. Start on a Sunday. Wake up before sunrise and get ready. Face east, look at the rising Sun, see the power of the Gayatri reflected in his light. Offer him some water, vermillion, flowers etc, request help and support and start your practice with the Gayatri mantra. Put your entire faith/ Shraddha in it and continue this for a lifetime. Recite it yourself and encourage your family members and friends to do so. Everyone who thinks of themselves as a follower of the Sanatan Dharma must do this practice, now more than ever.
The Gayatri is the mother of the Ved, it is the Ved-mata, its the source of all mantra, all power is from it, all intelligence is born of the Gayatri mantra, it is pure consciousness. 
I have written several posts on the Gayatri mantra like,

The Gayatri mantra

Gayatri Mantra, Devi Sarasvati, Raja-gun and Agni

(use the index page or the search bar for more).

(For women, no jaap, pujas etc for at least 5days of the monthly cycle as the body is undergoing controlled destruction post here)

The Gayatri mantra is the Adhar-stambh ie the pillar which supports in every way possible. For every other mantra to be effective the Gayatri mantra has to first give its support. eg if you do some Graha shanti pujas but are not doing Gayatri jaap in your life, the Shanti puja will not give full results. The Gayatri mantra is essential for everything. It is mentioned in the Rg Ved (3.62.10) and it’s Seer is Rishi Vishvamitra. Vishvamitra means, ‘Vishvasya Mitra iti Vishvamitra’. Thus Vishvamitra is the friend of the universe, the Sun of the underlying intelligent consciousness, the Illumination within everyone, the all pervading Consciousness. Thus the Supreme intelligence itself has Seen the Gayatri mantra. Thus the power of this mantra.

I am stressing on the Gayatri as a daily practice for a specific reason. Yesterday I thought of writing a post on the upcoming Rahu’s transit into Krutika nakshatra. I started analysing the transits of the other planets etc during this period and felt worried. I abandoned that post and decided to write this short one instead. Focus on the solution.

In the present context, the supreme importance of the Gayatri mantra is the Rg ved rk 3.53.12 which says this, ‘Vishvamitrasya rakshati brahmaedam bharatam janam’. In simple words, ‘This Highest Consciousness of Vishvamitra, ie the Gayatri mantra, continually protects the people of Bharat’. All people who follow the Sanatan Dharma, wherever they may reside on the earth are the ‘people of Bharat’.

Given the situations which might come in the future, it is imperative that everyone invokes the Gayatri mantra. If each one of us does our individual routine with the Gayatri mantra, the collective will also gain its protection.

Om, Bhuh Bhuvah Swah
Om Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yo nah Prachodayat,
Om

ॐ भूः भुवः स्वः ।
ॐ तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यम ।
भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि।
धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात॥

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Gayatri Mantra, Devi Sarasvati, Raja-gun and Agni

There are three basic attributes Gun गुण, Satva, Raja and Tama. The Prakruti, ie the active energy who creates all the manifested is composed of these three building blocks. These three Gun form her ‘body’. When these three are perfectly balanced there is no creation. It is only when there is a spontaneous imbalance in these three, does further creation start. The entire creation is composed of the three Gun ie the Prakruti and this all exists within her. (The top-most dot of the Shri yantra is the unmanifest Ultimate and the next equilateral triangle represents the three Gun getting out of balance and creation starting.) So if you want to know your true reality, the three Gun have to be brought back into perfect balance by conscious use of pran/ vital energy.

Gayatri Mantra, Devi Sarasvati, Raja-gun and Agni

The conscious energy of Satva is called Vishnu/ Laxmi and this is linked to the Sun/ Surya. Vishnu is considered to be potential energy and thus masculine. Laxmi is the active principle thus considered feminine and the wife of Vishnu. The Raja gun has potential energy called Brahmadev and active energy called Sarasvati who is his wife. Raja Gun is connected to Agni/ Fire. The Tama gun is similarly linked to Shiv, his wife Shakti and the Moon/ Chandra.

These three Gun mix, suppress, produce, exist, support, separate, unite, recombine with each other in every way possible and in varying proportions to create the manifested reality. All things you see in this universe are created, maintained, evolved/destroyed because of these interactions. These three Gun are inter-linked and yet independent of each other.

  • Satva is the essence of intelligence, consciousness at all levels, it is linked to the deep pleasure of knowing that you are the Ultimate, it illuminates.
  • Raja is energy of motion and is linked to pain, it activates. This ‘pain’, is the pain which one feels when one is convinced that he is separated from the Ultimate.
  • Tama is the inertia of solidity, dullness and indicates delusion, it restrains.

If you study the process of creation, the Satva and Tama by themselves are inert, they are incapable of working by themselves. They are animated by the Raja gun. ‘Movement’ is the real reason creation occurs. Raja gun is the intelligent energy of movement. (What is the source of the spontaneous initial movement is something everyone has to experience for himself as it cannot be described in the language of the manifested creation. It was ‘before’ creation occurred.)

In your spiritual practice when your Kundalini crosses the Vahni mandal, the circle of conscious fire, the Vishnu granthi/knot and moves beyond the Muladhar and Swadhisthan chakras, you gain control over the Raja Gun. You gain control over the energy of movement. Now onwards the movement of your mind, body, internal pran remains in your conscious control. If you control ‘movement’ in its subtlest aspects, you can control everything. You can now move things, thoughts, emotions, vibrations, gross and subtle things with precise control. Or precisely stop their movements. This is a very important step in your spiritual progress. After this, your path gets slightly less bumpy. In the Bhagwat Gita, this step is described as the fall of Bhishma.

  • It is only Raja gun which has the energy to overcome the inertia of Tama. The solidity of Tama can be harnessed only by Raja. If Tama is the delusion that you are separate from the Ultimate Reality, then this delusion is also powered by Raja. Higher the energy of inertia, lower is the consciousness, lower is the life-form eg stones and soil. All resistance to movement and the stability of mass is Tama.
  • Raja is necessary for the Satva to operate. Raja provides a substratum for Satva gun to project its intelligence on. Satva is conscious intelligence, but it still needs the energy provided by Raja to display its intelligence, to move! If Satva is the understanding that you are the same as the Eternal Reality, then this is also powered by Raja. If the consciousness is powered higher, the inertia is lower and this self-awareness is higher eg aspirants on the spiritual path. All conscious creatures are more Satva – powered.

When you observe some thing, look for inertia, energy and consciousness. One will dominate over the other 2, this will be its predominant Gun. Everything can be classified as Satva-dominant, Raja-dominant or Tama-dominant. Even thoughts, emotions, the subtle to the gross, the tangible to the intangible is dominated by one of these three. You can observe yourself to know more about your overall tendency. This requires a lot of personal introspection and the ability to focus dispassionately.

  • Eg a stone has high inertia, lower energy and lowest intelligence, so it is Tama dominant.
  • Eg a genuinely kind and gracious human being will have lowest inertia, he has reduced inactivity. His mind will be less prone to random fluctuation as he focusses on his and others higher selves. Thus he becomes Satva-dominant. (You become kind when you realise that you and everything else is essentially the same).

Gayatri Mantra, Devi Sarasvati, Raja-gun and Agni

Raja is the energy present in the universe and the energy in all the things present in this universe. The energy of multiple forms of life and things we see are all products of Raja acting on Satva and Tama. Evolution, transformation, change and all its aspects are Raja. Fire, heat, force, motion, kinetic energy, electricity, magnetism, friction, etc is Raja. The pran/vital energy flowing in you is Raja. Understanding this concept is very important for the spiritual aspirant. If you can control the Raja gun, you can control the direction of your evolution. You can control the movement of pran in your body. Raja gun is the kinetic energy at all levels of existences.

Raja is Agni. Agni is the conscious energy of fire and is responsible for all kinds of movement and transformations at all levels. So we worship Agni in all ways possible. The Sanskrit mantras which we use also are fiery, they transform, push, pull, change, move. In all our compulsory ‘Right-Actions’, Sanskar, Fire /Agni is the witness. For any ritual in Sanatan Dharm, the presence of Agni is essential. There are 16 Sanskars in Sanatan Dharm aka Hinduism. The first is the Garbh-dharan Sanskar where the would-be parents are charged with energy so that they can conceive a happy healthy baby. And the last is the Anteyshti Sanskar where the discarded body is given to the conscious energies of Agni/ Fire and the flowing waters/ Aap.

Now the foundational mantra of Sanatan Dharm is the Gayatri mantra.

Om, Bhuh Bhuvah Swah, Om Tat Savitur Varenyam, Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi, Dhiyo Yo nah Prachodayat, Om.

ॐ भूः भुवः स्वः । ॐ तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यम । भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि। धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात॥ ॐ

This mantra is linked to the Devi Sarasvati. She is the active principle of Raja-gun. When you recite this mantra, do its jaap, and ultimately repeat it for 27 lakh times, you gain control over the Raja gun, the active principle of energy, transformation, creation and change. This is the biggest tool which you can possibly possess! Armed with this mantra, go on and do your spiritual practice and see how things move or stop moving as per your conscious will.

For boys a ‘Anushthan’ is performed at the age of 6-7yrs, this is called the Upnayan Sanskar or Yadnopavit or the ‘thread ceremony’. This is a ritual with intention that the boy will perform the 27 lakh times Gayatri mantra repeat in his life-time. For girls on the 6th birthday, she is taught the Gayatri mantra and she is also supposed to recite this 27 lakh times. In these ‘modern’ time, we have clean forgotten to teach our girls and even for the boys only few families do all this. It is a very great loss to humanity.

Gayatri Mantra, Devi Sarasvati, Raja-gun and Agni

People say in spiritual practice, ‘increase Satva-gun’ and ‘keep away from Tamasic stuff’. But how? You cannot increase Satva just like that as it is incapable of movement by itself. It is a lump of energy just sitting there! And how to reduce tama-gun or keep away from it? It is also a lump of energy sitting there. You have to move! Movement and complete control on movement is essential for spiritual practice. You have to start everything by application of Raja-gun. And Gayatri mantra is the most powerful way you can use Raja-gun consciously.

So recite the Gayatri mantra at least 27 times twice a day! It takes less than 5 minutes. Try to consciously invoke the power of Devi Sarasvati in yourself. She is the intelligent energy of motion, of Agni. She is the junior school teacher who starts you on your spiritual route. if you pass her test at the Brahma-granthi, you will be promoted. She will be followed by Devi Laxmi at middle-school, here the syllabus will be Satva-gun. If you transcend this, you will be allowed entry into high school where the syllabus will change to Tama-gun. Devi Shakti teaches high-school. The college teacher will be Devi Lalita Tripur-sundari herself. Once you pass her exams you realise that all through you yourself were your own teacher, you were the syllabus and you are everything and more.

But all this only after you first learn, understand and experience the Gayatri mantra in all its subtlety.

‘Saraswati namasyami, chetanam hrudi samsthitam’ सरस्वती नमसयामि चेतनाम ह्रदि संस्थितां  is how one of my favourite stotra-s on Sarasvati starts.

  • Sarasvati – Sarasvati is ‘celestial brilliance, intelligence flowing, movement, motion, power, expression’
  • Namasyami – Sarasvati is ‘the face, opening, entrance, presence of Ultimate.’ (The Ultimate is a paradox of illusion and wisdom united together. Depth of stillness and flowing movement together. The eternal unborn one in solitude)
  • Chetanaam – Sarasvati is ‘the consciousness, fire, awareness, conspicuously visible sentience’
  • Hrudi – She is the awareness ‘in the individual soul, in the the third eye Ajnya chakra, in the Center of this Ajnya chakra
  • Samsthitam – Sarasvati is ‘the foundation and conclusion’.

So Sarasvati is the flowing celestial intelligence of movement, at the opening of the route to the Ultimate. She is the ever alert fiery awareness at who is the foundation and also the conclusion of the individual soul.

The individual soul and its individual personal universe starts when Raja-gun spontaneously moves and creates an apparent separation from the Ultimate. Thus Devi Sarasvati is the energy who Creates. This duality ends when it knows its reality again at the conclusion of a process initiated again by Raja-gun ie Devi Sarasvati.

Gayatri Mantra, Devi Sarasvati, Raja-gun and Agni

(This is from the Sankhya, from Ayurved and some of my understanding and experience. I know that sometimes I write quite esoteric things which are not available on the Internet or elsewhere. It is my Karma to write, I do it for myself, to rebalance my karmic baggage. But if you are reading it, if it is your karma to read, then know that you should also actively try to practice. You cannot go onward in your spiritual practice just reading my experiences. So here is the Gayatri Ghanapath and its extended form. Close your eyes and listen to it. Feel its fire, its heat, its movement, let its rhythm move you.)

Light a Lamp, use the power of Agni

All Indian households will perform one activity compulsorily, light a Deep दीप ie a lamp in front of the household deities, or their object of faith, at least once a day. This is so deeply programmed in us that even if we do not really know why, we do it daily. Some households light the lamp twice a day at twilights, ie dawn/dusk and in some, like mine, it burns continuously. Akhand Deep, अखण्डदीप the infinite unbroken illumination.

Light a Lamp, use the power of Agni

Physical light is considered to be similar to the knowledge of Illumination. It primarily removes the darkness and confusion caused by ignorance. You know the true nature of things around and about you once they are brought to light. The ogre under your bed disappears when you switch on your bed-side light. This is a permanent and lasting awareness. Knowledge is the greatest wealth which never diminishes even if you give it to everyone. You and everyone benefits when you give. When you give of your wisdom and knowledge, both your and your student’s clarity increases.

But then if it is about just the light then an electric light should be be used for doing pujas. Keeping with the times, so as to say! And you will find plastic lamps shaped like the traditional ones with an electric bulb fitted in it. These do bring in light, but they do not have the spiritual connection that a traditional lamp has. In the Deep, we burn either ghee/clarified butter or sesame oil with the help of a cotton wick. This Light brings Life.

Now oil in the lamp represents our karma. (Eg A good remedy to balance out the energies of Saturn is to light a sesame oil lamp on Saturdays with full intention.) If you burn ghee/clarified butter in the lamp, it represents the Vasanas, the desires which make up your mind and which reside in your individual ego. The wick represents the self-ego. When you light the lamp with intention it represents the slow but sure burning of the desires and the karma which were linked to the self-ego. The oil burns and exhausts, finally the self-ego also perishes, ie the wick is also burnt out. All your negative tendencies are burnt in the fire of the Deep. The flame of the light always moves upwards, a subtle reminder that you should always rise upwards, away from the karma, desires and the ego. Kundalini herself is fire, she also has to rise. When your soul is finally illuminated with self knowledge you realise the Parabrahma.

Now the Deepak is also a tool. It reminds you to use your desires and karmic actions to actively burn your self-ego and turn all this into light. Take control of your mind where these desires reside, train your mind to desire self-illumination. Use your self-ego where your personal Will resides and make it work for the Ultimate realization. The desires and karma if harnessed correctly with the self-ego can work wonders. Then the Vasana/desire is converted to the right intention. The self-ego fed by the desire to perform the right action, changes its character. What desires you feed your self-ego with, decides your evolution.

Light a Lamp, use the power of Agni

Now, it is ideal if you can recite a mantra while lighting the Deepak, lamp. Mantra is an intention expressed in Sanskrit (Devbhasha Samskrutam). Every sound of this eternal language is linked to your internal chakras, so it works on the deepest levels on you.

You can recite any of the following mantra,

The Gayatri mantra, Om Bhuh bhuvah swahah, Om tat savitur varenyam, bhargo devasya dhimahi, dhiyo yo nah prachodayat, Om 

  • (detailed post with meaning here)

Om Deepajyoti parabrahma, Deepajyoti janardana, Deepo haratu may papam, Sandhyadeepa namostute Om

  • Om – Ultimate Reality.
  • Deepjyoti – The brightness of the lamp, the eye of illumination, intelligence, lightning seen at the third eye, life, fire, meter of prosody, time, the light which precedes self-realization, etc
  • Parabrahma – the unknowable Reality which cannot be described in the language of the created worlds. The ‘beyond intelligence’.
  • Janardana – the energy which excites, causes movement and changes other energies. ie brings about creation, maintenance and destruction of the created.
  • Haratu – request to take away, remove, carry, wear, destroy
  • May – of me, for me
  • Papam – inauspiciousness. (There is only one form of genuine auspiciousness, ie Self-Realisation. There is only one form of non-auspiciousness, ie Self-Delusion.)
  • Sandhyadeep – the internal illumination that you see at your third eye in deep Dhyan. or alternatively the lamp which is lit at dawn and dusk. Sandhya is the junction where real and unreal meet.

The Agni Gayatri mantra. Om Sapta jivhaya vidmahe, havya bhadraya dhimahi tanno Agnih prachodayat Om

  • Sapta-jivha Vidmahe – First ‘seven tongued’. This refers to the seven chakras from the Muladhar to the Sahasrara, ie their conscious energies. These 7 chakras are the seven tongues of the conscious energy of life. The intelligence of the fire animates these. Then ‘to get, to know, to find, to understand’. You are asking the conscious energies of the fire to bring you the understanding of your internal energies.
  • Havya – means ‘an offering or to call’. Bhadra – ‘excellent, auspicious, great, gold, that portion of the Ganga which resides in the celestial realms,’ ie your Ida nadi. It means the one who carries the offered energies through your Ida nadi and distributes it to the conscious intelligence who creates your body/mind. Dhimahi – धीमहि is a verb in the present imperfect tense. धी/Dhi is Intelligence. This word indicates that Intelligence is never a stagnant closed end, it is in continuous motion even if it is in the present Moment. You are asking the Supreme to grant you that ever-evolving Intelligence of the present Moment. In short you are calling on the energy of the fire to take these energies inside you and build your body/mind.
  • Tanno (tan nah) Agnih prachodayat – Tan तन् means continuing, uninterrupted propagation. Nah नः represents the ultimate creative energy and also the power to accept and receive it. It allows the seeker to focus on the infinite, thus become infinite himself. अग्नि: Agni is the conscious intelligence of fire. The ability to comprehend, to work, to move, animate, knowledge, illumination, the light of the third eye, the Ajnya chakra.
  • Prachodayat means ‘to incite, inspire, urge, demand, excite, summon, proclaim, request, impel’. In short you are asking the conscious intelligence of the fire, ie the intelligence of the Ajnya chakra, by any means of action, to bring this experience to you.

Or finally. Om Shubham karoti kalyanam, arogyam dhana sampada, shatrubuddhi vinashaya Deepajyoti namostute Om

  • Shubham – eternal auspiciousness, Parabrahma
  • karoti – does, is
  • kalyanam – fortune, benevolence, virtue, generosity, beauty, happiness, gold, self-realisation
  • Arogyam – health, freedom from diseases, removal of afflictions. In the spiritual sense there is only one disease/affliction, ie self-delusion
  • Dhana – gift, wealth, valued object. There is only one such, ie self-realisation
  • sampada – to make complete
  • Shatru-buddhi – Shatru is hostile enemy. Buddhi is the tattva in which the desires/vasana reside. These vasana are normally hostile and inimical to self-realization. If you can destroy their hostility, you can get this Buddhi to work with you for self-realization.
  • vinashaya – to destroy to utterly annihilate. The inimical tendency of the Buddhi is annhilated, not Buddhi itself!
  • Deep-jyoti – conscious energy of Agni, Ajnya chakra
  • Namostute (namah astu te) – That infinite. That paradox of illusion and wisdom united together. That depth of stillness and ease of flowing movement together. That eternal unborn one in solitude. May that be!

And finally if it is too difficult to remember these mantras, just recite Om, three times, as you light your lamp.

Light a Lamp, use the power of Agni

When you recite any of the above mantras for Agni you are calling on all these terrible and terrifying forces which exist within your own self. You are giving them a safe and productive channel. This is the infinite power of Agni, it can be used to transform!

The lighting of the Deep, lamp at home is considered highly auspicious, it brings prosperity. And when you are doing this, for the 10 seconds, you are focussing very intensely on the wick, the match-stick and light. In spiritual terms, even one instant of intense focus is enough to bring self-illumination. The part is also the whole. So when you light lamp you are also lighting the lamp of true knowledge in yourself. The Agni/fire is called the Jata-veda, the ‘one who knows everything’. (A tip. If you have one pressing question on your mind. Light one Deep in front of your household deities before you go to bed. Think of your question and request the Agni to answer. You should get your answer in your dreams as you sleep.)

Agni is associated with the Raja gun of the Prakruti. Agni brings changes, it is linked to the potential energy of creation called Bhahmadev and the active principle of creation ie his wife Sarasvati. its conscious energy resides at the third eye, Ajnya chakra. This was the spiritual part of Agni.

When the energy of this Agni is differentiated, it also becomes at part of your internal constitution, ie in the panch-bhoot. It becomes differentiated and its tiny component resides at the Manipur chakra (Oudarya Agni), this takes care of your body’s heat, metabolism etc. Then there is the Aakaraja Agni which is present as the ‘heat’ in metals etc. Then the Divya Agni resides in the heavenly bodies, stars including our sun. And finally the physical Bhauma Agni which we see with your physical eyes as flames.

In Ayurved, Agni is associated with Pitta, it is heat. Its job is the transformation of food you eat and the pran you pull in from the Universe. And it controls all the psychic factors which drive spiritual evolution. If this Agni does not work properly you fall ill physically/mentally.

Now a few technical things. What to burn. It is ghee or sesame oil. For some typical rituals neem oil, mahua oil, castor oil, coconut oil is used. Do not use any ‘refined’ oil, it is a chemical product. The wick is made from white cotton fibres. (For doing some typical Devi pujas this wick is made bit yellowish by touching a bit of turmeric to it). You should make 2 wicks then make them one by twisting them. Never use a single wick. The lit wick of the Lamp should always be towards the east direction. Keep the lamp (should not be of steel/ iron) on a copper metal plate (don’t use a steel/ iron plate), keep a few grains of uncooked rice below the plate. 

Hinduism is not a religion, it is Sanatan Dharm, the ‘Eternal way of Life’. You follow your own conscience and know that the law of Karma prevails. (There is no superstition here. And one cannot explain a Ph.D level topic to a pre-school child. The child has to go to school first and study till he reaches that level. If someone wants to criticise this Sanatan Dharm, it is the same, do study first. ie Do your Dhyan regularly for 6 months, see what you experience, then if your conscience says it is ok, go ahead and criticise.)

So if you feel like it, do light a Deep, a lamp in your house. This will not just light up your house but also your life and your energy on all levels. Experience your energy for yourself.

Light a Lamp, use the power of Agni

 

Hindus worship Intelligent Consciousness

There is quite some confusion about what ‘God’, if any, is worshipped by followers of Sanatan Dharma, aka Hindus. We Hindus pray with equal intensity inside temples dedicated to various ‘Gods’, to trees, to coconuts/ areca-nuts, the earth, at the sea-shore or to a mountain, a stone, or a river. We revere animals, especially desi humped-cows and elephants with the same intense faith. Ravens are given their due importance. If we have a living Guru we will do his puja. We touch the feet of our elders with respect. We recognise the divine energy in everyone, we welcome strangers with a ‘Namaste’, which means we recognise the ‘Ultimate power who is focussed infinity’ in them. (Namaste is a Sanskrit word which means, the paradox of the Para. Union of illusion and wisdom together. Depth of stillness and flowing movement together. The eternal unborn one in solitude.)

Hindus worship Intelligent Consciousness

However different the external forms of the object of worship may be, the common theme is that we adore the ‘Parabrahma’. One might say he worships Vishnu, Brahmadev or Shiv but he will agree that he really worships the ‘Para’. The Para-brahma is the one beyond-para, the intelligence-brahma, who cannot be described in the limited language of this manifested world, the source of us all. For every Hindu the goal of life is to attain Moksh, ie to experience his own true nature. The individual soul/Jivatma takes several lives, creates and works out his karma. The law of karma is executed by the personal conscience-Antaratma. Whatever you act, think feel etc, this is evaluated by your own personal conscience.  You are your own judge of your act, you pass judgement also allot and demerit/ merit.

So the ‘god’ of Hinduism is the beyond, Para. And everyone of us is that same Para. Just we have forgotten our reality. Everything you see, feel, do etc is the Para which has taken on different forms. Follow whatever you choose. All paths lead to the same destination, enlightenment Moksh. The only difference between your own soul and the Universal Soul-Paramatma is the binding of karma.

Then the question is, if we worship one Singular Para, why this multiplicity of ‘gods’? Shiv, Vishnu, Brahmadev, Indra, Varun, Agni, Savitr, Prajapati, Shakti, Laxmi, Ganapati, Skanda, local gods, family gods, village gods, tree gods, mountain gods, the list is endless. The reason is that there is a multiplicity of human nature, each one is different. Some prefer worshipping a female-Devi deity, some prefer a child-bala form, a terrible-ugra form, a peaceful-saumya form, or the elements rivers- Aap, fire- Agni, etc. There is essential freedom in Hinduism, you can worship any form you choose. There is no compulsion to follow a rule-book. In fact there is no rule-book! You should choose the route which stills your mind’s chattering ’spiritual practice’ should be as per your inclination. And every route you choose will take you to the Source, because everything, including you, is a Ray from that same Source.

Our bodies, are composed of these different energies, the 33 classes of deities, the 5 elements Pancha-bhoot,  the 7 types of essences sapta-dhatu, the 5 sheaths kosh, the different types of vital energies/pran, etc.

Our soul, now that is different, it is Para.

Hindus worship Intelligent Consciousness

The Shri-chakra is my favourite yantra. It is easy to explain too because it is visual. You always focus on the central Bindu. This increases the intelligence levels which is an asset in material life. And acts as a guide map for the internal geometry to copy and set itself correctly. Each point and each line of the yantra is defined as a deity, ie an intelligent consciousness. When you stare at the yantra so many types of tremendous energies look back at you with intent attention. Each of these has a name (listed out in the Khadgamala stotra). All of these points and lines are conscious intelligence increasing in energy intensity. Eg the outermost deities will grant you Siddhi-abilities to manipulate time/space/energy, anima, garima, ishitva, vashitva etc. Siddhi are looked down upon by the really serious practitioners. (Eg my cousin 2000km away was in shock, it took 2 seconds of focus to set his energy and physical body right. But if I feed my ego with this, it will create problems in my practice, my focus will waver.) They all pull you towards themselves. But you should understand that that if you gain the whole, these parts will be yours by default. Gain the Bindu and everything below it is automatically yours. You should focus on the central dot always.


Devi Khadgamala Stotra

This Shriyantra is You! Your energy diagram, you are focussing worshipping adoring your own Entire Self. Liberation is not going to come from outside, it is within you.

Then as you intensely focus your mind, the deities/ conscious energies of the inner circles also offer you abilities. The concentration of your mind is tested to the extreme at every step. You refuse to get caught in their gifts and focus even more intently till you see just the center-most equilateral triangle and the central Bindu. (You will actually see it in your Dhyan, a downward pointing triangle, the brahmanadi within the Sushumna). This means you have reached the Satva-Raja-Tama gun.

Now the test of focus becomes very subtle, the triangle has to be perfectly balanced for you to enter the inner most Bindu mandala, the region of the central Bindu. The three Gun are the essential substance of manifestation. All three are equal in power and importance. All three Gun are equal and they sort of merge form and reform in random continuous motion. This motion is the cause of manifestation. You need all three in perfect balance.

Without Raja-gun you will have no movement. To set the unbalanced Gun back in balance you will need to use the power of movement with intention. This means you will have to understand Raja-gun in its deepest sense. So the defining mantra of Sanatan Dharm is the Gayatri mantra linked to the active principle of Raja-gun, Sarasvati. Every Hindu is required to recite the Gayatri mantra every day! Raja-gun acts on Satva and Tama and puts them out of balance initially. So Raja-gun will be used intentionally by you to bring it all back into balance again.

You will face these three as your kundalini enters the vama, jeyshtha and raudri chakras. (It is long route but because someone asked I am writing this.) If you practice regularly you experience this in a few years. The 3 Gun are represented by conscious energies called Vishnu-satvik, Brahma-rajasik and Shiv-tamasik. Each one of these are equal to the other, no one is bigger or smaller. All three gun are to be ‘defeated’ as they are a part of the manifested, your kundalini will move beyond them. They are not your focus point, just like the Siddhi-s you gain. You are not Vishnu, Shiv or Brahmadev. You reality is even more deeper than these. But they are important in practice. You need help, support, a crutch, these are the crutches. Your source of faith, your ishta-dev, your family gods, etc are very important as they are the support in your initial practice. As your practice deepens you will gradually link with the central Bindu directly. You leave behind the crutches as you learn to walk on your own.

Hindus worship Intelligent Consciousness

You become what you adore. You practice Dhanur-vidya, science of making war, stilling your mind, with single pointed focus, you will become a warrior. You practice tantra, you will become adept at it. You follow a criminal, you will become a criminal. You do mantra-jaap of Gayatri mantra you will find your internal Light. You follow a Guru you will gain Moksh. What you choose to follow is as per your conscience. Choose a route which appeals to you. But remember the law of karma operates so choose wisely.

The Vishnu Sahastranama is a stotra-mantra where 1000+8 names of Vishnu are given. It is from the Mahabharat. Bhishma recites it and tells Yudhishthir that it is the sure-shot route for Moksh. Each one of these names starting from Vishwam to Sarvapraharnayudha are tremendous. Vishwam means ‘everything’ also ‘individual’ and Sarvapraharnayudha means ‘the one who is ready at all times in all ways to fight’ (but fight what? The vagaries of the mind!). Understanding and experiencing one out of the 1000 words may take a life time as they are all paradoxes. I have recited it innumerable times (takes 30 mins) and done its Homa (takes 1hr). The burst of energy from this practice is infinite. Its energies are healing, even if you cannot recite, listening to it (I like this recital by Uma Mohan) also benefits.

Its phala-shruti which is read last is narrated as a conversation. Here Parvati asks her husband Shiv to reduce the power of this 1000+8 names into one word. Shiv gives this word as ‘Rama’ as being equal to the 1000 names. Then Krishna tells Arjun, ‘the real power of my 1000 names is achievable by the recitation of a single shlok ‘Soham’. So now can you imagine the power Soham has? To understand Soham you have to understand these 1000 Sanskrit words first, each is a mantra in itself. And conversely if you understand Soham you automatically understand the 1000 names! Either way you look at it both outcomes are same. You choose which path you prefer, destination is same. The last shlok said by Brahma is exceptionally awesome, “Namo astu anantaya sahastra murtaye sahasra pada akshi shirh uru bahave sahastra namne purushaya shashvate Sahastra koti yugadhaarine namah”, the energy of this one line!

What is ‘Krishna’? Bhagwat Gita is a Yog-shastra by Yogeshwar Krishna, it has to be practiced in Dhyan. To someone who does Dhyan, Krishna is the undefinable energy seen at the Ajnya chakra. This energy is the Guru/force which pulls the kundalini up to unite with the Kutastha purush. This energy connects you to Reality.

Read the Vignyan Bhairav tantra. Here Shiv/Bhairav, describes the practice which helps attain the state of Para. Every book on tantra is described by Shiv to Parvati. Even Jyotish is described by Shiv to Parvati. Recently am reading a Sanskrit book on Ramal-jyotish ‘Ramal rahasya’, it starts with this, Shiv telling Parvati to teach this only to deserving students! No one book/practice is greater than the other. If you can become a real Jyotishi you can attain Moksh via this route too. Every Vidya, every Shastra every Tantra and each type of Yog will lead you to yourself. There is nowhere else to go! But whatever you choose to follow, you have to practice regularly.

If you are inspired by Vishnu Sahastranam, the last name is Sarvapraharnayudha सर्वप्रहरणायुध​. Be prepared to fight, in every way, at every time, with all possible weapons, against all possible enemies. And there are several. If you are following the Bhagwat Gita route, you will meet the energies of the entire Kaurav army and Kuru warriors on the Kurukshetra of your Asan. Your final enemy will be your ego as Duryodhan. These stories Mahabharat or Ramayan or Devi Mahatmya actually happen in energy terms as you do your Dhyan.

In this life I have done pujas using Mahamryutunjai mantra, Gayatri mantra, Navavarna mantra, Shri-sukta, mantras/suktas/stotras from Devi Mahatmya, obviously I do Dhyan. The end result is the same, stilling of the mind. After you do your recital, homa, whatever practice, you have to sit motionless on your asan for at least 30mins. This stillness is of the mind too, only then it is really Dhyan. Whatever you experience in these minutes is your achievement, a few steps further on the road to Moksh.

Hindus worship Intelligent Consciousness

(There was this question. As my answer was too long posted it as a full-fledged post.

Hi, But Shri Vishnu Sahasranama is suggested by Bhishma in the presence of Shri Krishna in the Mahabharat for Liberation. Doesn’t this mean worship of Vishnu as the god among the trinity is superior? Or is it suggestive of worship of Sattva Guna for transcending the Gunas? Thank you.)