Using the Akshar, Mantra and Sanskrit

Sanskrit (Devbhasha Samskrutam) has the following sounds. These are called Akshar, which means that they are fixed, unchangeable, cannot be ‘interpreted’, their meanings and powers are perfectly fixed. This is the list of the 54 sounds. (I don’t know how to write them with the diacritical marks).

  • 14 vowels – a, aa, e, ee, u, uu, rhu, rhuu, lhru, lhruu, ae, ai, o, au
  • 2 support vowels – am, aha
    • अं अः
  • Gutturals – ka, kha, ga, gha, nga
    • क ख ग घ ङ
  • Palatals – cha, chha, ja, jha, nja
    • च छ ज झ ञ
  • Cerebrals – ta, tha, da, dha, na
    • ट ठ ड ढ ण
  • Dentals – ta, tha, da, dha, na
    • त थ द ध न
  • Labials – pa, pha, ba, bha, ma
    • प फ ब भ म
  • Semi-vowels – ya, ra, la, va,
    • य र ल व
  • Sibilants – Sha, Ssha, sa
    • श ष स
  • Consonants – Ha, LLa, Ksha
    •   ळ क्ष
  • Conjunct Consonants – Tra, Jnya
    • त्र ज्ञ
  • The sound of the Bindu or dot. (it is somewhat like ‘ang’, very very nasal)

The energy beauty of sounds

There was a question on what these sounds mean on the spiritual or energy front. You should read the Akshamala upanishad (its text is available on sanskritdocuments.org Or you can also refer to the Sharada Tilak for more information). Each sound /Akshar has a meaning and this small but important Akshamala Upanishad gives the meanings. Every Sanskrit Akshar links with your chakras and you will eventually experience their true power in your spiritual progress. When we speak, we cannot utter the consonants on their own. They have to be linked with a vowel to be uttered out loud. When you utter these sounds, Akshar, you are manipulating your body and mind energies using their targeted energies. If you consciously do this you can bless, curse or progress faster spiritually.

These Akshar are in Devbhasha Samskrutam, the perfectly arranged definition of illumination. Only Sanskrit Mantras are the effective, these have been ‘seen’ by Rishi/Seers and every mantra has the name of the Rishi who first saw it. There are some ‘modern gurus’ who propagate some ‘modern mantras’ of their own devising. Do not use these as you might hurt yourself on the energy levels.

Mantras work on several levels. When you utter them you are manipulating your physical body, it is a vocal exercise first. The mouth and the vocal apparatus directly affects your own ajnya chakra so first of all your own the Ida, Pingala and Sushumna are subtly affected. The vibrations move upwards through your nasal apparatus and are almost fully absorbed your your third eye, thus your entire body. Try this with the sound of ‘Ang’. Close your eyes, wear a eye-mask, and recite just ‘ang’ aloud, very nasal sound, drag the ‘nnnggg’, your lips remain open, and tongue presses against the palate. See the colors and patterns which you will see at your third eye. This ‘ang’ is used as the ending sound of every beej mantra, so that the energy of this seed sound is directly linked into your Ajnya chakra.

Then you are also fixing your mind on the meanings of the Mantras, so it a mental exercise. This lets your mind be absorbed in the beauty of the experience. This is the basis of “Laya yog’. When you hear the sound or rather experience its vibrations, it affects your internal energy structure. Words have inherent beauty, wonder if you have noticed? All this happens to you first, then to the listener. Our parents taught us to speak only auspicious things, speak the truth etc from our childhood onwards just for this reason. We modify our own energies by the simple act of speaking. Try this, choose one mantra, eg the Gayatri mantra or Soham, and whenever you are mentally or physically uncomfortable, just recite this mantra a few times in your mind, try to focus on your third eye as you do so. In less than a minute you will feel differently on both the mental and physical levels.

Mantras make things move, they are fire, embodiment of the Raja Gun, of Devi Sarasvati. She is depicted as playing the Veena, a musical instrument, this is nothing but the Sushumna. The Sushumna with all its chakras and its powers! Devi Sarasvati plays the Sushumna as one would play a musical instrument.

kalam-playing-veena.jpg
Dr A.P.J.Abdul Kalam, the highly respected Ex-President of India playing a Veena

First all the vowels, as per the effects they create, are considered to be basically linked to the Ida. However they are also connected to the Pingala and Sushumna as follows.

  • All the short vowels ऋ ऌ are also linked to the Pingala. These are considered to be masculine, of potential energy and steady. When we utter a short vowel it gets linked to the Pingala. All consonants when linked to a short vowel are link more strongly to the Pingala.
  • The long vowels link only to Ida. These are considered feminine or active or varying in nature. And when we utter a consonant with a long vowel it gets linked to the Ida.
  • The vowels are also linked to the Sushumna. These are considered to be genderless, they can neither be considered to be active nor inactive. A consonant with the vowels gets linked to the sushumna.
  • There are the two support vowels.
    • Am अं is linked to the Purush, the constant unchanging masculine witness. A consonant uttered with the ‘am’ or ‘ang’ ending gets linked to Purush. ‘ang’ makes it very intense.
    • Aha अः also called the ‘Visarga’ is linked to Prakruti or the feminine active principle of creation. A consonant uttered with the ‘aha’ vowel ending is linked to Prakruti.

All the consonants are basically linked more to the Pingala.

  • All the 25, gutturals, palatals, cerebrals, dentals and labials are considered to link to the Pingala.
  • However the semi-vowels – ya, ra, la, va, the sibilants – श ष स and the last three consonants –   क्ष  are linked to the Sushumna. and क्ष are very important Akshar are they are linked to the two petals of the Ajnya chakra lotus. And the is linked in the Sahasrar.

Even if you recite this Askarmalika ie the sounds of the Sanskrit alphabet once a day they are the easiest mantra possible!

In fact during the Yadnopavit, it is the Sanskar, the energy ritual where boys are taught the Gayatri mantra, they are first taught the Shiv sutrani, these are simply the Akshar in a very specific sequence,

  • अ इ उ ण्
  • ऋ ऌ क्
  • ए ओ ङ्
  • ऐ औ च्
  • ह य व र ट्
  • ल ण्
  • ञ म ङ ण न म्
  • झ भ ञ्
  • घ ढ ध ष्
  • ज ब ग ड द श्
  • ख फ छ ठ थ च ट त व्
  • क प य्
  • श ष स र्
  • ह ल्

This sequence is highly mathematical stuff, if you search there are numerous research papers on the beauty of this maths. This is the basis of the grammar of Sanskrit. Reciting this sequence generates very beautiful energies. Say them aloud and see for yourself.

Now a spiritual aspirant is interested in those sounds, Akshar which are connected to the Sushumna, so we have our list, the vowels औ अं अः and the consonants य र ल व श ष स ह. If you observe our Mantras they are more composed of these Akshar. These mantras drive the energy directly into the Sushumna.

Today is Diwali, the festival of Light. This is the Amavasya, the no-moon night of the Ashwin month. The Ashwin month is bursting with the energies of illumination, ie the energy of the Devi are extraordinary throughout this month. It starts with the bright fortnight, with the Navratri. Continues with the most intense full-moon, Kojagiri Purnima, the Moon is closest to the earth during this full-moon. Then the power again starts building  from the 11th day of the dark fortnight till the Amavasya, today. On this night, twilight onwards, pujas for the Devi in her Satvic –  Laxmi, Rajasic – Sarasvati and Tamasic – Shakti forms will give immense benefits. So do not waste this night, use its energies for Devi pujas. Practice and experience for yourself. The really serious practitioners will have prepared in advance for this night, there is so much you can do tonight if you know how.

Wishing everyone a very happy, prosperous and auspicious Diwali.

May the Devi bless every one of us!

 

Siddhakunjika Mantra

 

Meaning of So and Ham Sah and Aham

There are two types of sounds, Ahat आहत and Anahat अनाहत. All vibrations of this manifested Universe are the Ahat sounds while Om is the only eternal all-pervading Anahat sound. Soham or Hamsa are the link between the two.

Ahat sounds – These are sounds which are created by two things striking together. e.g. when two stones strike together it creates a ‘struck sound’.  In spiritual context, these things which strike together are the ‘Shabda’ the sound of the words of the manifested Universe. These are created by interactions between the three tendencies, Satvic, Rajasic and Tamasic. These are also linked to the conscious energies of the chakras located within your Sushumna naadi. These Ahat sounds are generated by some sort of vibrations which you can sense. These are sounds multiplied from the energy of Shabda शब्द.

Every type of sound you hear with your sense organs in this world is an Ahat sound. Even the silent, mental jaap, recitation of Mantras are Ahat sounds. Even if you are reciting the Mantra in your mind, your internal energies are ‘striking’ to produce its vibrations. These mantras are of the Manifested Universe and not of the Eternal Consciousness.

Anahat Nada  – अनाहत नाद is a sound which cannot be heard or sensed with your physical sense organs. This is a single sound, the sound of OM. It can be experienced only when the Ahat sounds are silenced. OM is the origin of everything. It is self-sustained, self-generated, all-pervading and Conscious. Nada is the eternal sound which then differentiates into Creation. This is a step-wise process and creates your internal energy chakras and the kundalini etc structure. On the macro-levels the Nada creates the Universes.

The Ajapa mantra Soham and Hamsa are not fully Anahat (as they do have a component of Sa-kaar and Ha-kaar). But as you progress in your Dhyan, the Sa and Ha sounds get nullified and only OM remains. Soham and Hamsa can then be considered to be a link between the Ahat and the Ananhat. These two are the eternal flow of the Anahat OM. They create, sustain and destroy the manifested.

So and Ham Sah and Aham

When you breathe in and breath out, every breath cycle, on the energy levels, you are first created (Purak), then sustained (Antah Kumbhak), annihilated (Rechak), then enter the Shunya/’Conscious nothingness’ state (Bahya Kumbhak) then created (Purak), endlessly. Breathing is not just a physical act!

There are broadly two types of karma. Those karma which are linked to your current horoscope/life have to be experienced thus rebalanced. These are already activated for your current life. You can only reduce the intensity of these karma by practicing some spiritual practices or remedies. Then there is the second type of karma which you have chosen to not resolve in this lifetime. This is the stored karma to be rebalanced in some future life. This second type of Karma can be ‘burnt’ in Dhyan. I hope you have guessed how this can happen. When you do your spiritual practice sitting on your Asan, focus on the Mantra and the third eye chakra, you literally complete one life-time with every breath! With every inhale and exhale, you live out one life-time and the focussed blast of energy you are invoking ‘burns’ your stored karma. As you practice regularly, you will look younger, fresh and vital! (My Dad is in his 70s and he looks like a 40yr old!)

Even if you use the Sanskrit language principles to open up this word Soham = Sah + Aham, सोहम् = स: + अहम् | you will get Sah/ That and Aham /I. With every breath you are affirming ‘That I’.

But what is स:, Sah, ‘that’? ‘That’ cannot be defined using the words and relative meanings of the manifested physical. The complete knowledge of the eternal constant. It is the Ultimate which is described in negation words, ie. has no attributes निर्गुण, no shapes निराकार etc. It just Is.

And what exactly would be ‘I’, Aham, अहम् then? It is not your body, mind, emotions, social standing etc. It is your individual soul. This is how it is created. (I have written about it briefly earlier)

  • The Bindu first divides into the three attributes, Satva, Raja and Tama represented by the Vama Jeyshtha and Raudri chakra in your head, the top triangle of the Shri-yantra.
  • Raja and Satva first combine to produce Mahat-Buddhi (light, intelligence, cognition, self-awareness, great). There are two ways this energy works.
    • When Creation is on, the higher level will lower itself and differentiate further. The Mahat-Buddhi now creates certainty and thus leads to definitive action. This is the point where individual Self is created. Now every individual Self is certain about its existence and will perform actions which will lead to creation of karma. The binding begins in earnest.
    • And when dissolution is on and Kundalini has reached this point and is ascending, this Mahat-Buddhi is converted into the Universal Self.
  • Next Mahat-Buddhi lowers itself down one step and creates Aham. Aham also called Aham-kaar and can take two directions,
    • When creation is on, Aham is the energy of individualisation, personal identity, ‘I am, ‘Mine’, ‘I do’ etc. It is self-referential, perhaps conceit/ Abhiman? And more importantly it is the place where the root of desires/Vasana reside. These Vasana are the tendencies of desire and will be modified into grosser levels and acted upon, Karma creation. Thus Vasana bind you at very deep levels.
    • When dissolution is on and you have reached with the Kundalini at this point, individual Aham dissolves into the Cosmic Aham. You get to experience the Ultimate Self.

The real and complete meaning of Soham would be quite impossible to describe but this much is a mere glimpse of its incalculable power.

If you are aware of the eternal Soham Mantra linked to your breathing, you will be aware  of the oneness of individual soul and the Ultimate. Unless you realise this link, you will continue to think of your personal ego as your identity. You will remain limited, constricted and restricted. Soham is a reminder that you are the Ultimate yourself. When you do your Dhyan with Soham you are breathing in the स:  ‘That’, the One-ness. You are breathing out the ‘I’, अहम्, the limited sense of self, you are expelling it. Thus with time when both equalise and stabilise you will experience the Kumbhak state of pure OM. All of us accept that we are created from the Ultimate or ‘God’ has created us. But this mere acceptance is not enough. If you believe that the Divine has created you, then try to experience the Divinity that you are. So practice and do your Dhyan.

So and Ham Sah and Aham

Hamsa is the second Ajapa mantra which brings the deepest knowledge of your own Self to you. It brings enlightenment. Soham and Hamsa are the same, one cannot exist without the other. The eventually merge and cancel each other out and a pure OM remains.

‘Hamsa’ is said to be the carrier /transport /Vahan वाहन of the Devi Sarasvati/ Gayatri. Hamsa means the bird ‘swan’ in Sanskrit. In popular images the Devi Gayatri is shown to be sitting on a swan. This means, Hamsa/Soham is the support on which the Gayatri is realised. Thus these two mantras are also called the ‘Ajapa Gayatri’. This is important for the aspirant as Gayatri/Sarasvati essentially is Moksh. The Devi Gayatri is the Light of the Internal Source/ Self/ Sun. To experience Her is to experience the Self

There is a popular story that Shiv and his wife Shakti stand at the shores of the Manas-Sarovar lake to observe the Swan swimming on it. This really means that the Eternal energies, Shiv/ passive principle and Shakti/ active principle, are united in the Swan/ Hamsa/ Soham. This union happens at the Manas (illlusion, imagination, mind, existance) Sarovar (body of water, summation of experience, flow). The Hamsa swims ON this illusory lake of experience. The Shiv-Shaki stand outside it and witness (साक्षिन्) to this. In other words, Shakti/Kundalini and Shiv/Parameshwar witness the Creation and the Hamsa. The Hamsa is linked to the Creation but is also quite apart from this. There is a wealth of esoteric meaning in this story.

Whichever story/allegory you like, the fact is that there can be no Enlightenment without these 2 Ajapa mantra. Soham is intention सङ्कल्प, practice साधना and mantra all-in-one!

And for people like us, who are always engaged in the business of living, office, home, house-work, husband/wife, children etc this is the easiest Spiritual practice. If you cannot do regular Dhyan, at least be aware of your breathing and the Ajapa Mantra, Soham /Hamsa which subtly power it. At least start somewhere.

 

So and Ham, Sah and Aham

Yadnopavit sutra, ‘Sacred thread’

As per Sanatan Dharm, young boys at the age of 6 yrs are initiated into the Gayatri Mantra and its jaap. The boy is taught the mantra in the Yadnopavit Sanskar and he then wears the ‘sacred thread’/ Yadnopavit sutra. Girls are not required to wear the sutra, but are taught the Mantra on their 6th birthday and are required to do do its Jaap. Gayatri mantra is the right of every human being and is the foundation of spiritual practice.

Gayatri is the Guru-mantra, it pulls you towards your Reality.

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

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

Yadnopavit sutra, 'Sacred thread'

Now this sutra is not a ‘thread’! It is made with specific mantras and intentions. Calling it a ‘thread’, is like calling a nuclear warhead a firecracker. It is that potent!

Making it is quite typical. First using raw cotton, a thin strand of thread is made by hand, (everyone is supposed to make it for himself but initially the older men in the house help out the younger boys). The length of the thread is 96 times the breadth of four fingers so is equal to the height of the man making it. The Gayatri mantra has 24 Akshar and there are 4 states of existence, so 24X4 = 96. Also 96 represents the units of time, specific mantras are recited while making it. The four fingers represent the four states of existence, Jagruti/ awake, Swapna/ dreams,  Sushupti/ deep sleep and Turiya/ the realisation of the Ultimate. 

The thin handmade thread is wrapped 9 times, and the energies of Om, Vishvadev, Agni, Vayu, Naag, Soma, Pitr, Prajapati and Yam are installed in each of these strands. More mantras. (Then there is the Gayatri Gita for more information.)

Then these 9 strands are twisted so that they are converted to 3 thicker strands each tied with one small typical knot. (After marriage the strands increase, become 6 because now he is responsible for his wife also.)

  • These 3 strands represent the Rg-ved/ Yajur-ved/ Sam-ved. Their knowledge is required on the way to the Moksh.
  • The 3 stages of the Gayatri mantra itself. 1st stage is ‘tat savitur varenyam’, 2nd is ‘bhargo devasya dheemahi’ and the last is ‘dheeyo yo naha prachodayat’.
  • The 3 debts that one owes in life, to the parents, the society and the Guru. Unless you resolve them you cannot reach the realisation. You repay the debt to the ancestors/parents when you have children of your own and you give them good values. The debt to the society is also repaid when your children become good citizens and you do charity etc and contribute in maintaining the society. And debt to the Guru is paid when you practice what you have learnt from him.
  • Then the 3 tyes of gun/attributes (satva, raja and tama). Satva pulls you towards reality, raja pulls you towards the objects of the manifested universe, and tamas is still unmoving energies which are most often directed towards negative thought patterns and then become discordant. One has to cross these to reach the Ultimate, which is Nirgun/without attributes.
  • The 3 naadis, Ida, Pingala and Sushumna. The movement of pran in these three need to be controlled by conscious effort before you can progress.
  • The 3 knots are the 3 granthis of the Brahmanadi, which have to be unlocked so that the Kundalini can reach the top of the head.
  • The three ashram/stages of life. Brahmacharya/childhood, Gruhastashram/active life and Vanaprasthashram/retired life. The responsibilities associated with these 3 have to be completed. The real sense of the fourth stage/ashram, Sanyashram/ renunciation, is gained only with Moksh.

Now these 3 strands are knotted together in a very typical, difficult to make, knot called the Brahmagranthi. This knot represents OM the absolute.

This is now the Yadnopavit sutra or Brahma-sutra.

When it is worn normally, it is on the left shoulder and across the body. It will hang down till the top of the right thigh. It is a physical reminder that all these things, these are burdens which have to be carried and that the goal of life is realisation of OM. And then on the energy levels it is totally awesome. I saw it when I and my husband performed the Yadnopavit sanskar for our son. The sutra balances all the lower chakras perfectly, from the Muladhar to the Vishuddhi, as it encircles them. My son who till then had refused to wear even a gold chain in his neck, happily wore the sutra without any fuss. Its energy is just so awesome and it stabilises the energy of the person wearing it. So when the boy does his personal practice, he just has to work on his Ajnya chakra. It is a very big boost. The sutra ‘holds’ the practice. The sutra and the Gayatri mantra sadhana (for boys) are practically one unit.

There are a few rules about wearing and changing it periodically but they are all very simple. So wearing it should not be a problem!

Now am sure that you must be wondering why just boys? Why don’t women wear the yadnopavit sutra? The simplest answer is that they dont need to. There is one very big advantage that women have. They do not have a Y chromosome. Science has also acknowledged that men are more delicate than women, the survivorship ratios of male/female at different age groups prove this. Men need to actively protect themselves and keep themselves healthy at all levels, so Gayatri sadhana wearing the Yadnopavit sutra is compulsory for all men.

Our ancients knew of the inherent weakness of the  Y-chromosome so had several ways to actively protect it, by ensuring that marriages are conducted according to astrological principles and according to the family dynasty/’Gotra’, by ensuring that the males perform the anteyshti/tarpan rituals of the departed etc. For women the challenge comes with menopause. If women can consciously transition when at menopause, they will realise how easy spirituality is for them. Till then even a simple basic 27 /54 /108 times jaap of Gayatri is enough to sustain them.

And this is the link to the most complete form of Gayatri, the Ghanapath and the full form of the Mantra. Do listen and enjoy it’s power.

 

Yadnopavit sutra, 'Sacred thread'

 

Who is a Guru?

Guru is the energy which brings you to the Ultimate. It pushes you, attracts you, guides you and then illuminates You. There are several “modern-age Guru’s”, who claim that they have attained Moksh and mislead aspirants. Speaking soothing words and manipulating using language is very easy. Getting caught in the tangle of modern-age marketeers is common. It is very rare to meet a real enlightened Guru in these times.

Who is a Guru?

This is what I would advise genuine aspirants who do not have access to a real physical Guru. Real Guru-s are Jivan Mukt. They have Experienced and Transcended this manifested Creation. They may look like human but they are not human. My own Guru, he physically looked like an old bald man wearing a white dhoti and a kurta, but the energy! Now he is physically gone, but the energy is still very much there! Except I cannot remember his face now, if I close my eyes and think of him, I get that blast of energy from everywhere in the Universes and from also within me. You have to understand that a ‘Guru’ is not the human but the energy, a tremendous blast of energy. You will have to find a way to bring in this energy and channelise it into your life.

Every step of your life the Universe is guiding you to Yourself, these are also Guru. Some tiny incidents which leave an impact on you, or some inspirational story which motivates you or some spiritual text or mantra which energises you, are all aspects of the ‘Guru’. You are much more, allow your subconscious and astral self to help you find Yourself. You will see cues everywhere.

A real Guru will never ask you to worship him or keep his photograph or build temples in his name. A real Guru will always make you practice what he has taught you, to do your Sadhana. If you are being urged by your friends to join up a spiritual group and get initiated by their ‘Guru’, here are 3 tests that you can evaluate this group/Guru against.

  1. Granth prachiti (guidance from texts) – Are the philosophy, discourses, activities of this group/Guru in harmony with the philosophies of the Ved, Vedanta, Upanishad, Bhagwad Gita, Vignyan Bhairav tantra etc.
  2. Guru prachiti (guidance from the Guru lineage) – The lineage that they claim to be, is it from a real Guru? In India they will claim to be initiated by renown Gurus of the past, but always take this with a pinch of salt.
  3. Finally and most important and over-riding Atma-prachiti (guidance from your own self) – How do you feel about this Guru/group? Your conscience is the most unfailing guide you have. Your inner sub-conscious self knows more, so trust your gut-feel. Choosing to follow a spiritual guide is the most important choice you will make, so think and evaluate very carefully. Trust yourself completely.

Now this is what you can do, as the safest, best and the most effective option. Do this only if you feel this to be ok in your heart. You are the ultimate judge of what you do. Do this only if you feel this simple practice resonating with you.

  • Get a Shriyantra and set it up on your puja ghar/altar. This will be your focus point. You can buy one engraved on a silver/gold plate or if it is not available for sale where you live you can even take a print-out of this geometry from the internet and laminate it. (Just remember while choosing the image to print, the central triangle is an equilateral triangle and the central dot is at the very center of this triangle). Or if you prefer it in 3-D you can buy a Mahameru in sphatik/clear quartz stone.
    • This is the geometry of your own internal energy. All the chakras in your spine when placed on one top of the other create this geometry.
    • You need a focus point to concentrate your intention on. The central Bindu/point of this geometry represents the Ultimate, You. So you focus on this point.
    • When you focus on this Bindu, you are consciously arranging all your chakra energies to their perfect orientation. You are showing your internal energies how they should look like and they will resonate with this geometry.
    • Here is a detailed post on this geometry.
  • Now that you have your focus, you will need to set up the place where you will sit, your asan (detailed post here). The asan acts as a foundation for your practice as well as sort of a recharge battery. It ‘holds’ your practice. It protects you in every way.
  • Now you have your focus and your asan, so you have to charge your energies. There are two ways you can do it.
    • If you are drawn to the jaap method, the Gayatri mantra is the best possible option (full post here). You can recite the Gayatri mantra in sets of 108 repeats (ideally at sunrise/midday/sunset or else whenever you find the time, will take 15 mins for 108 repeats). Count on your fingers. After you finish don’t get up suddenly, enjoy the peace and internal silence for at least 5 mins more. Or you can then continue with Dhyan if you feel so inclined and have time.
    • If you are more drawn to just Dhyan (detailed post here) do it sitting on your Asan in front of your focus geometry. Will take 30 mins of your time initially, (20 mins for breathing 108 times and 10 mins for enjoying the peace/silence.) As it deepens it can go for hours. Initially sit once or twice a day, at sunrise or sunset or if not possible, then any time at night or when your surroundings are silent. This is nothing complicated, just breathing normally with focus between your eyebrows and mentally reciting the mantra (it is Om or Hamsa or Soham)
    • This sitting silently afterwards is the real essence of mediation, your mind has been stilled by your 108 mantra repeat and you are very deeply silent. Enjoy!

This practice may seem very simple but it goes in very very deep. It is like full-fledged energy work-out. This ‘simple’ practice will take you all the way to Moksh. There is no need of doing any complicated stuff which is ‘marketed’ in today’s world.

(If you are a woman take a 5-day break when you have your monthly cycle, do not sit on your Asan. Here your body is undergoing physical destruction within and you need rest.)

Pranayam, the basic 3 methods

Always know your real name is Om, your energy looks like the Shriyantra geometry, you are the Ultimate yourself, now you just have to experience it again. But are weighed down by desires and conditionings which block you from this experience. You have to resolve these. And they will get resolved, you have to put your faith/shraddha in your practice.

There were several people in the past, enlightened Guru-s perhaps, but they are not physically available now. You can read their teachings for inspiration, you can feel gratitude for them in your heart, acknowledging that you learnt something is always good.  Now, if they were really Enlightened they were never ‘human’, they were/are the Parabrahma. My Guru had a name and was very well known in society but his real nature was/is Om. When he gained his Moksh, his ‘society identity’ dissolved. His real nature became Parabrahma. The real name/nature of every enlightened Guru was/is Om, just the same as yours, it is Om.

But your practice is what you do sitting on your Asan. Here you will think only of your real Self. You will become who you focus on, so always focus on your own perfection. That is in sound ‘Om’ and in geometry the ‘Shriyantra’ in all its dimensions. When you close your eyes for doing the jaap or dhyan you will only think of your mantra Gayatri-jaap or Om/Soham/Hamsa – dhyan, nothing else at all. You will focus at the center of your eyebrows. It will seem pitch black at first but persevere. Be patient and do your action, breathe+mantra+focus. This will balance out everything. Trust your actions.

For doing spiritual practice you do not need to take sanyas and live in a monastery, you can do all this quite easily living with your family, doing your job and being with society. Just one thing if you can, control what you eat/drink. Tamasic food/drink make your astral self ‘heavy’. So if possible, avoid non-veg (fish is ok not other meats), avoid alcohol (once in a while for social/medical reasons is ok), avoid heavily spiced food (overloads the digestive system) and eat at least one thing which you have cooked/made with your own hands (even a cup of tea will do!)

In Sanatan Dharm the Observer is given prime importance, your experience is yours. Your friend’s experience is his, not yours.

Trust your own self always. This is your personal journey within yourself, to yourself.

Who is a Guru?

 

(This post is in response to this comment I received in the Contact form, I hope it has been of some use to you.
“I have been reading some of your interesting posts lately.. Particularly because i am interested in spiritual development..
I have trust my true self before and practiced awareness or even meditation with the help of my inner self (i call it my own Guru although He has not a name).
But the thing is that a friend recently told me i should not meditate without the help of a true Master or even doing breath exercises because it was dangerous… so i stopped it. He particularly recommended me to read about his own Master. I read about it and i agree that His words are wise and helpful but i feel that i don’t want in my heart to choose Him as my Master aswel.
I don’t even know from where i get all this inner good thoughts and guidance and before felt enlightened, in the good path, and that my own Guru has no name..so it is hard for me to choose some specific of the ones who lived before.
My friend keep saying that i cannot ever reach true enlightenment by my self meditating and without cleaning my self from my past karma. (which i feel i have been doing naturally with help of the Universe or God.. He says that the only way is initiating according to His Master, but i don’t feel i want to initiate in anything. I don’t want to become a non or a living saint. I just want to live a honest life without attachment, give love to my family and people around me, live true to my self..

When i meditate or do dhyan should i have in my awareness gratitude for all Masters or Gurus ever existed or should i choose a particular one (besides trusting my inner self)? This is the question i have been struggling lately.
If you don’t have a particular answer it is enough with a advice. I trust because you seem to have good experience about spiritualities path.)

Myths and things in ‘energy work’

In India, if someone does ‘energy work’, he/she is generally called a tantrik/shaman, and others respect him but are also a bit wary of him. He is a part of the society but still apart. People will go to him only as a last option and most think of ‘energy’ as superstition. But from what I see on social media is that in the west, people are eager to get into all this. It is nice, everyone should be aware of their energy and be able to work with it.

I will divide ‘energy work’ into 2 categories. There is a heaven and earth type of difference between the two.

  1. Working with your own energy for your personal spiritual development – Here you are following Shri Krishna’s advice, ‘Focus on your immediate action’. This dissolves karma.
  2. Using your experience with manipulation of energy to do stuff. Here you do not follow what Shri Krishna said because you are focussing more on the ‘reason why you are doing this action’! This can create new karma.

Myths and things in 'energy work'

Working with your own energy is the most natural thing that you can do. In India, we are taught from our childhood onwards to recite prayers, mantras, to do small pujas, homa, gayatri mantra jaap and stuff. Most houses will have a copy of a spiritual book, mostly Bhagwat Gita or perhaps Devi Mahatmya, but rarely even Vignyan Bhairav Tantra. In some families, children are taught how to do Dhyan. My family also taught me Jyotish.

If you follow your family traditions you are well on your way to being aware of your own energy. But for those who have missed out on having such a family background, the easiest thing is to start the Gayatri mantra jaap. Get a Asan and fix it in your mind that you will do 108 times jaap of Gayatri mantra once/twice/thrice a day, (morning/evening twilight and midday are the three appropriate timings), or anytime as per your convenience. Gayatri is the light which will take you on your internal journey, put your faith in it and allow it to transform you. (Or you can start with Dhyan, but as small children are first taught Gayatri jaap during their thread ceremony/Upanayan, this mantra is the foundation, it helps put you in the habit of sitting on one place and focussing.)

As you progress, you will feel a change in yourself and also in the people around you. As you become more aware of your own self you become ‘lighter’. You also become more aware of other people deeply. You pick up stuff from their auras, from the sub-conscious. You can sense the energies of stuff, houses and places you visit. If you go and pray in our ancient temples, you can sense the Deity looking back at you (often your hair will stand up in waves on your body, or you will sense a refreshing coolness). You will be able to repay your karmic accounts on the level of energy directly. Life becomes more multidimensional and very very beautiful. These are all indications that things are on right track.

As you progress even more you will be made to do specific activities which will manipulate the pran directly within your own body. You might be made to do specific Dhyan, Pranayams or Anushthans etc. You will be told by your own higher self. But you can listen to yourself only when you recite the Gayatri. It is the foundation of every Sadhana.

In this ‘energy work’, there is no danger and nothing to be scared of. You are trusting the ‘Vedmata’, Gayatri Herself. She will take you along the best possible route. Your only job is to recite the Gayatri mantra, again and again and again, it is this easy!

As you focus on the Mantra, your intense concentration wipes off every other thought from your mind, no past no future no parallels. You will ultimately experience the present Moment. Here you are stopping your mind from wasting its energy thinking frantically always and instead letting the Mantra power your soul on your true journey!

Myths and things in 'energy work'

Now to using your experience with energy manipulationSpiritual progress is ultimate but rather ‘non-glamourous’. Most people are more fascinated by the physical visible wow! ways of using energy. This can get a bit problematic if you do not pay attention. There is also a reason to be wary of things which are not a part of the regular physical existence. So here are a few things which you should be aware of when you engage in ‘energy work’. It sounds very exciting! But it is hard work and requires you to be vigilant and take precautions.

First of all this is a subject of the astral not physical. You manifest using your thoughts and your astral potential. So be very clear about what you are doing, a back-lash will register in your astral self and will carry on through your next several lives.

Once you start thinking on these topics, you will attract others from the astral dimensions who will offer to work with you for a bargain. Again be very careful about what you are doing, things are never what they seem to be, they literally have other dimensions.

Always cleanse, ground and shield yourself. As long as you are aware of only the physical world, others from the other dimensions do not bother about you. But once you enter their other dimensions, they also become aware of you. So always shield even when you are sleeping or dreaming or in deep sleep. The only place where you will be truly safe will be your Asan on which you do your regular spiritual practice.

You will need to develop enough confidence in your own energy. The other energies you work with are not from this dimension so look, feel, even taste weird, misshapen and often fearful! If you feel scared and lower your guard, you will be in trouble.

You will have to do some regular spiritual practice, there is no alternative for this. The amount of energy that you need to dabble in ‘energy work’ is enormous. So start something and stick to it. If you do not replenish your energies regularly you will fall ill and will feel drained for no reason.

Next is to be careful of what you eat and drink. You cannot allow tamasic energies into yourself. These are very ‘heavy’ and your energy bodies get uncomfortable under their influence. Non-vegetarian food and intoxicants are the worst because they overload the body. Your body is the geometry (Mahameru) through which you focus and channelise your energy. This has to be in perfect shape for you to use it. If you overload it with tamasic energies it loses its perfect balance.

And ultimately do only the work you are required to by Karma. Do not get carried away with the sense of power you will develop. When you start sensing your energy in whatever way, you ‘feel’ more. You sense the difference between you and other ‘normal people’. If you let it go to your head and start doing stuff to show off or to assert your ego it will result in negative karma. Just remember that everyone is a fragment of the Ultimate and keep your ego grounded.

Myths and things in 'energy work'

Now there are gentler ways of using energy like Reiki. This is a good way of accessing the Universal energy, but the philosophy of Reiki being taught now is not what Mikao Usui initially taught. He was very clear that Reiki has to be taught to everyone and everyone should do self-healing. Doing healing on others was not advised except in extreme cases. There is a reason for this. When you do healing on others even for that brief 5mins and even if you are well shielded, your auras link up very deeply, there is always a chance of exchange at the deepest levels. Not good! And the second reason is that if you get emotional (most of us do feel compassion for the client), you can end up sharing your own personal energy sub-consciously.

And finally if you choose to use your energy actively for any sort of work, you will have to control your thoughts. Your thoughts are your tools. You cannot get randomly angry or swear or think of harm. The reason is that you will then subconsciously power such thoughts with your energy and the negativity will manifest. You will harm others with your thoughts and earn negative karma for yourself.

I know that every one who starts accessing their energies through spiritual practice will at some point ‘dabble’ in the second type of ‘energy work’. It is exciting, no doubt! But always remain aware of what you are doing and be careful. Ultimately it is between you and your conscience. Play with energy if you so wish, but be aware of Karma. And sooner or later you will decisively adopt the category 1 of ‘energy work’, of working with your own energy for your personal spiritual development, just like Shri Krishna said.

 

(Thank you to the kind soul who suggested this topic, I hope reading it triggers something good for you!)

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 is the form of Gayatri Mantra that I use for my jaap. The basic form of the mantra can be used in different ways for manifesting different things. This form is used by sadhaks/aspirants of the spiritual path, who desire ultimate Illumination. Gayatri is like the Kalp-Vriksh/the wish fulfilling tree, whatever you desire, it will manifest. You can add other specific beej mantras before and after it (samputit) as per your desire.

The Gayatri mantra

Gayatri Mantra is formally mentioned in the Rg ved 10:16:3. But it is embedded in the fabric of the Universe itself. In fact if you do your Dhyan long enough, you can hear it. (You first hear your chakras making their individual sounds, often mistaken as ‘ringing of the ears’).

I dont think most Hindus (Sanatan Dharma followers) even know the full form of the mantra which is this ॐ भूः ॐ भुवः ॐ स्वःॐ महः ॐ जनः ॐ तपः ॐ गुं सत्यम । ॐ तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यम । भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि। धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात ।ॐ आपोज्योति रसोमृतं ब्रह्म भूर्भुवः स्वरोम ॥ However this is not for those who live the householder’s life, it is used by sanyasis and genuine sadhaks, its effects are very intense and pull very strongly.

There are several ways in which this mantra can be understood. But the truest experience is when the energies get linked as below. As always Mantras depend on your Intention and Will. Just like using a hammer on a nail, if you swing it with full force and focus you will finish your work faster. Mantras are the tools, the hammers, it is now upto you, how you want to use them. Now,

  1. First all the energies of all the manifested planes of existences are linked to the energies of the Om-the ultimate. All the forms of ‘space/dimensions’ are linked to Om. ( ॐ भूः ॐ भुवः ॐ स्वःॐ महः ॐ जनः ॐ तपः ॐ गुं सत्यम  or ॐ भूः भुवः स्वः as per the form you are using)
    • The pranav mantra Om, is the real nature of reality and your true name.
    • The 7 Vyrhutis are the names and the purest descriptions of the planes of existance.
  2. Then the energies of the present Moment, the past/present/future/parallel existences are invoked and thus ‘time’ in all its ways is linked to Om. (ॐ तत्) In reality there is just this one Moment. All spiritual texts and philosophies always stress on the importance of being in the present Moment.
    • This Akshar grants Success.
  3. The conscious energies of the inner sun, the seed of the illumination, the ultimate which is seen at your third eye are described (सवितुः). When you utter this Mantra you can feel the Ultimate looking back at you.
    • The Akshar of this word grant bravery, balance and overall well-being.
  4. Then वरेण्यम, here you express your desire, your wish, for the experience, the intelligence and understanding of that Supreme Bliss. You want to experience It so deeply so as to become It.
    • The Akshar of this word grant union with yourself, deep love, all forms of prosperity and brilliance.
  5. The illumination seen during mediation is so beyond description that it is simply expressed as भर्गः, the splendour, radiance, effulgence and glory of the Self that can be only experienced. This experience is so powerful that all karma, all baggage, all doubts vanish as if they never existed in the first place.
    • These Akshar of this word protect, defend and confer intelligence.
  6. Now देवस्य , this means ‘of the Light’, and is of the light of the internal Sun. Here the intention is that, may the ‘one who grants wishes’ give skill, fortune, ability, solidarity, solitude etc so that the ultimate destination of the soul can be achieved.
    • These Akshar of देवस्य grant self-restraint and control along with devotion and the power to retain what will be granted.
  7. धीमहि is a verb in the present imperfect tense. धी/Dhi is Intelligence. Here 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. You are asking for the pure essence of Intelligence.
    • These Akshar of this word grant the fortitude necessary to learn how to control pran, and later the power to control the vital energies/pran.
  8. धियो is related to the perfection of the thoughts and the mental processes. This word also refers to the purity and the highest levels of the flame of light.
    • This Akshar and this word’s energy is linked to the Jagruti state and also means awakening and sight, seeing everything.
  9. यो is most desirable and perfect action and also refers again to the present ‘This’.
    • This Akshar produces action.
  10. नः represents the ultimate creative energy and also the power to accept and receive Infinity. It allows the seeker to focus on the infinite, thus become infinite himself.
    • This Akshar is the ability to taste sweetness.
  11. प्रचोदयात is to incite, inspire, urge, demand, excite, summon, proclaim, request, impel. In short you are asking the Divine to by any means of action make all this as above experience.
    • The Akshar of this word indicate the ideal, the courage, the wisdom and gain/fruit.

So with this very brief background of the Gayatri Mantra, will address this question that I have received in the contact me form, Comment: Loved the article on reproduction..! So knowledgeable. If not considered inappropriate by you, can you pls write on sexual energy? Shastras say it should not be wasted and conversion to ” ojas” bt how???

So here is your answer, but it is not what you were possibly expecting! Our Sanskrit has layers of meanings. See, the human physical body is composed of 3 types of ‘tendencies’/prakriti, Kapha, Pitta and Vaat. These tendencies and their balance/imbalance lead to the physical health or illness in the body, all this is a part of Ayurved. Ayurved also discusses the food that we eat. (I would really recommend books by Dr.Vasant Lad on this topic.) So when these 3 ‘tendencies’ of the body reach their perfect balance they get converted to their energy components called Ojas, Tejas and Varchas (brilliance, vigour and vitality). The easiest way to increase Ojas is to eat 10 almonds with milk with one spoon pure desi cow ghee everyday. Do it for 21 days and see for yourself.

Now, the second part of the question, the body uses this Ojas to generate reproductive cells in both men and women. This requires tremendous amounts of Ojas, I mean really tremendous amounts. The ‘vitality’ of the food you eat is first allocated to this production. As you do your sadhana, Dhyan, pranayam etc regularly your physical body responds by shutting this down, it does not waste Ojas in building ova and sperm. If you have started your Sadhana early in life, (brahmins – boys start at the age of 6yrs, and women after the age of 16yrs), women will get menopause very early at 35-40yrs of age and in men too the sperm production will get suppressed. This is the meaning of converting ‘sexual’ energy to Ojas. I had mentioned earlier too that there are a few on the fast-track to spirituality here, they finish everything fast.

If you have read my other posts on astrology, I have repeatedly said that the 5th house represents creativity and divine intelligence, this can be in the gross form or in the subtle form. If you analyse the charts of the real spiritual Gurus (not the media-hungry fashion icon ‘gurus’), you will find an extraordinary 5th house. The energy of this house is being used to channelise the Divine not the mundane. If you use the power of the 5th to channelise your spiritual growth your physical reproductive creativity will soon be shut down. If you start very early in life you might even take Sanyas and leave this materialistic world. If you start in your middle age, you might continue living a householders life outwardly but you will not indulge in physical relations anymore. And even if you have produced your children by then, your real children will be the children of your soul not of your DNA.

So what has this got to do with the Gayatri? The Gayatri has the potential to create how much ever Ojas, Tejas and Varchas you want. It balances everything, your body, your mind, your emotions and finally shows your your Soul.

A bit on the practical side now, recite this variation of the Gayatri that I have mentioned at the start of the post, it has 3 Om’s in it. Recite this 108 times every morning and evening twilight. Use your fingers to count and your Asan to sit on. Do this for 21 days and examine for yourself.

And the best for the last, this is the link to the most complete form of Gayatri, the Ghanapath and the full form of the Mantra. Close your eyes and listen to it, let it’s rhythm enter your soul.

 

The Gayatri mantra

 

Astral travel, how to control it

Recently I came across a new client who complained of being tired all the time, getting typical pressure type of headaches feeling dizzy, getting flashes in her eyes and all this despite having a comfortable life style and sleeping properly. And was spiritual with a regular puja schedule etc. The doctors did not find anything wrong with her physical body.

I looked up her horoscope and it was so interesting to see that she had her ketu conjuct with venus which was her ascendant lord. The saturn was in the 12th house aspecting the moon in the 6th.

But my client was travelling astrally almost every night and that explained her physical symptoms. Our body is made up of layers, the physical body is visible to the eyes the other bodies are more eletro-magnetic in nature can just be felt. The way I visualised it was her other bodies were literally flying away from her physical body like kites. It was the first time I had seen someone in such a state. Of course this was partly reflected from her horoscope.

Ascendant venus with ketu – disassociated feeling of “self”, apathy and non interest in the physical sense of the self as in the physical body

Saturn in the 12th house – the main karmic planet in the 12th house of ‘unknowing’, 12th house represents dreams, sleep, unknown depths of the mind etc. And saturn representing her karmic burden and the karmic work that she had to perform in this life. So her main karmic workload was in the realm of dreams and subconscious state.

Saturn aspecting moon in the 6th house – the emotions and expression of emotions was highly restricted and her understanding of the subconscious realm during her awake state was practically nil.

There are 4 types of existance, jagrut (awake), swapna  (dreaming), shushupti (deep sleep) and turiya (transcendence). And in all these states we have to fulfill our karma.

So my client was in her swapna state leaving her body, moving about in her astral form and completing a sizeable amount of her karmic load in her sleep. And her physical body was suffering badly as a result and she was completely unaware of her astral travel. It was understandably traumatic for her as she was using up all of her energies in the dream state and not knowing what it was being used for.

There was a relatively easy way to settle her other bodies properly inside her physical body. The powerful Gayatri mantra in its complete form.

भूः भुवः स्वः  महः जनः तपः सत्यम्
तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यं भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि
धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात्
आपो ज्योती रसोऽमृतं ब्रह्म भूर्भुवः स्वरोम् |

She chanted this full Gayatri mantra 108 times in one set, thus was able to fix her other bodies back into her physical body and her dizziness, flashing lights nausea symptoms faded. (Sit on your asan, in any yogasan posture. Keep your palms in the bhairav mudra on your lap. The recite this long form of gayatri, 3, 27 or 108 times. Keep your focus on your ajnya chakra between your eyebrows. Each of the vyhrutis, eg. om bhu with the muladhar, om bhuvah with the swadhisthana, om swaha with the manipur, om maha with the anahata, om janah with the vishuddhi, on tapah with the ajnya till the om satyam for the crown chakra help ‘fix’ the chakras and all your energy bodies to these chakras.)

For recovering her energies I advised her to do reiki healing on herself everyday which worked wonderfully. And for reducing and stopping such daily astral travel again reiki worked with drawing cho ku re symbol over her feet and ankles locking her body during sleep. And as she had a regular dhyan puja system in place already she was strong enough to bring about her own cure

It was wonderful working with this client as she realised her own strengths and whatever was done to treat her problems was done by her own self.

I believe our higher self, hidden within us, knows what is going wrong with us and if allowed to can perform miracles.

 

astral travel