To observe Oneself is Moksh

  • Sankhya tells us that the Prakruti is the manifested creation which is put in motion by the presence of the Purush. Purush is the Aware catalyst. Prakruti is the inert matter.
  • Advaita further tells us that the Purush-Prakruti is the fundamental duality which is Created from the Nirvishesh Brahma or Parabrahma, the Ultimate Reality.

Now onwards,

My Guru would also tell us to ‘observe the Self’. This is a fundamental concept of Sanatan Dharm. But what does ‘observing oneself’ really mean? Let’s use the Sankhya and further the Advaita to understand.

The Purush and Prakruti though outwardly differentiated are fundamentally the same. They both are created from the Para-Brahma, they both are its part. And the part is also the whole. Creation or the later manifestation process is more easily understood as a fractal geometry, it is not a linear progression.

Purush is aware but still. Prakruti is unaware but in motion. The Prakruti moves around the still, conscious pivot of the Purush. So when you as the Purush, observe you as the Prakruti, you observe yourself. This is the point where the illusion of duality finally breaks down. This is the stage of complete self-realization, the goal. Attainment of Nirvishesh Brahma, Sadyo Mukti.

But its a long road back so we have all this spiritual practice and stuff. All this practice so that you change your position, you change your reference point. You change your perception.

Saturn, the wrecking ball

A very simplistic example again. There is a sweet dish on the table. I see it and my son from the other room smells it. For each one of us, this sweet is a different ‘matter’. It is a visual for me and a smell for my son. Both of these perceptions are correct and and from the view of the person concerned, they are also real and complete. Now my son comes into the room, he sees it. When the experiencer changes his position his perception evolves. Visual has added to smell. The perception of ‘smell’ was complete in itself while he was in the other room. Now that he is in this room, the ‘visual’ adds to the experience, but it this not deny the ‘smell’ perception. Both are correct by themselves but taken together too they are correct. If you think deeply, it is actually a paradox. What is real or complete or illusion or incomplete cannot be defined with exactness ever. Now he eats the sweet. He has changed his point of view again, his perception now adds taste. His inner self  then experiences the intention with which I have cooked the food. His perception has moved from basic matter to energy. The perception has evolved from matter to subtle energy. Now if he can also experience the ‘conscious intelligence’ embedded in every particle of the food, it would be Moksh for him.

Every experience is transcended till the point where you reach Yourself.

The angle of perception, the point of reference is paramount. Change the position from where you observe. If you focus on your Ajnya chakra as you do your Dhyan you change your position, so your observation and experience changes too. As you do your spiritual practice, you will realise that you actually see, taste, hear, see etc sense directly from your Ajnya chakra. ie you can read a book even if you are blindfolded etc.

If you bring your awareness to the position of the ‘pivot of manifestation’, ie the Purush you will be able to see the Prakruti around you. She is of the form of the Shri Yantra, in infinite dimensions, whirling around you. You see the Shri-chakra in 2 dimensions, the Meru in 3-D, now can you imagine this perfect geometry around you in infinite dimensions? You remain still, this geometry is around you in all its magnificence. This is how the manifested creation looks like when you put yourself at the central Bindu. It is fascinating, you are observing yourself. And if at this point the last step, if you can with conscious awareness, realise that both the Purush and Prakruti is essentially the same, the whirl stops and you achieve Sadyo mukti.

Right now you are aware of the matter moving around you. You are immersed in the dance of Prakruti. You are located in this whirl, your reference point is from within the dance. You know yourself as the body, you are seated in your room and reading this on your laptop. All of this is pure matter, of the realm of the Prakruti. You are fully engaged in experiencing Prakruti and her creations. As you should, for all this is for your entertainment. So do enjoy it.

But then there comes a point when you want to stop all this play-acting and immerse yourself in the Reality. How long will you be engaged in ‘matter’? You are experiencing only one-half of the duality which was Created. There is the other aspect ‘the aware pivot’ which you have never consciously explored. You are not aware of the consciousness embedded in every dust mite, in every thought, in every emotion of this manifested. For how long can we be stuck in pure ‘matter’? We should try to experience pure intelligence also. Even modern quantum theories have grudgingly reached this conclusion that everything possesses a fundamental ‘intelligence’. They now call this quantum mechanics and try to develop theories of ’entanglement’.

India, Bharat, was, is and always will be a land of the Seers, Rishis. These Rishis went within, into the inner consciousness and achieved the goal of observing the self, experienced pure consciousness and beyond it. These are the examples who drive us, the spiritual seekers. This is why we adore our Rishi-Seers or the Guru. They are the Jivan-mukt, they show us that you can be the experience, the experiencer, the act of experiencing and more all at once! These are what we strive for, their example reassures us that we can also do this ourselves.

Eclipses in the horoscope, birth and transit analysis

There is a very cute story where Shiv and Shakti are playing a game of dice. As the game gets over, Shakti playfully covers Shiv’s two eyes with her hands. There is pitch darkness. But then his third eye opens and there is Illumination. This rather romantic story has very deep esoteric meanings. Purush and Prakruti are involved in the Game, Lila, manifested creation. Purush as the catalyst and Prakruti as the performer and the performance both. Prakruti at the end of the game, by her own actions, shuts the perceptions linked to her game. There is actually an instant of pitch blackness at a crucial point of your Dhyan. If you can cross this, the third eye does ‘open’ and there is the Illumination of the Self. This light brings to you the real nature of duality, you realise that both Purush and Prakruti are essentially the same. There is no duality at any level whatsoever.

This is the experience of Nirvishesh Brahma or Advaita or Para-brahma. You have achieved Sadyo Mukti and become a Jivan mukt yourself. You are now a Guru.


Kundalini piercing the 3 knots and the 6 chakra

The entire Shri Vidya is based on the geometry of the chakras and the movement of the Kundalini in your body. The Shri-chakra geometry is your energy geometry in perfect equilibrium. If you place all your chakras one above the other you get this Shri geometry. It is worshipped in 2D and in 3D in several ways to increase the personal energy. This diagram is the basis of the entire Tantra and all spiritual practice. Your Kundalini starts at the very bottom Muladhar chakra, and after curving through this complicated geometry it reaches the top central dot, Bindu. Only in deep Dhyan and by the pull of your internal Guru does the Kundalini move from its resting place. Else it will not stir and it is for your own protection. Only when you are mentally ready to accept, experience and transcend duality and illusion does it move. Kundalini is not some mystic power nor is it some prize.When it moves and ultimately reaches its destination you leave this Universe/Creation forever. As you realise your real self, you realise that the universes are all unreal. You realise Moksh.

This post is just to pique your interest. To actually experience anything of this sort you will need to practice Dhyan.

Tripur, Tripurari, Tripursundari

The Shri-chakra geometry is basically in two parts.

The topmost bindu, the central dot is the avyakta para form. The tiny dot within the central equilateral triangle. This is the unmanifested Beyond form or the Ultimate Intelligence. The Para, your real nature, the ultimate you. If your Kundalini arrives here you experience your own reality. This is your target.

The equilateral triangle around the central dot and everything around this triangle is the vyakta or aparaa form. This is the manifested creation or the unintelligent limited energy. Your body, mind, your universe etc is created outwards from this triangle (this post on the 24 tattva-s). This lower part is further sub-divided into 3 sections.

Vahni वह्नि mandal

The lowermost 2 chakras, Muladhar and Swadhisthan are the Vahni वह्नि mandal. The circle of Fire. To cross this mandal, you are required to transcend the Muladhar and Anahata chakras and then undo the Brahma Granthi/knot. Here ‘you’ means the energy of self-identification called the Kundalini. With every movement of the Kundalini your concept of Self is expanding yet becoming subtler.

The Vahni mandal is deeply linked to Raja gun. (You are composed of the three Gun.) Raja gun is the energy which creates illusions. It creates ‘Maya’. Fire is perhaps the greatest illusion, it is not technically matter nor is it completely energy. It exists, but shifts continually, you cannot pin-point the flames to a definite location. You cannot describe its color or shape, it is every changing. It transmutes, it consumes, it releases. Very fascinating. Brahmdev is the name of the conscious intelligence of the Raja-gun, represented by the Fire, Vahni. Here the Real and illusion, the material and the spiritual mix, you cannot tell them apart. This knot opens only when attachment to the illusion, the gross world is abandoned. The gross body is called the sthool-sharir which is composed of the anna-mai-kosh, the body which is linked to the material. (Your body is composed of 5 sheaths.) The reality or rather the unreality of this sheath is first experienced and then transcended here. Once the kundalini crosses this Vahni mandal, your consciousness can intentionally separate from the physical shell, eg you can consciously leave the gross body and travel using your subtle body.

Crossing this Fire-circle is very difficult as here you have to stop creating. If you look at your behaviour you are always creating, thoughts, ideas, emotions, tendencies, physical stuff, reading, writing, working, you create. And you are attached to these creation of yours. Stopping this creation and attachment to creation is extremely difficult. Not impossible but very difficult.

My Guru would say that Dhyan is necessary and ideally to be performed 3 times a day, ie in the morning, evening and once in the night sometime between 10pm-2am. When you begin your practice, you finish off one session in 30 mins, you get utterly bored, sitting, breathing and staring into the darkness between your eyebrows, mind wanders, the body aches etc. Later, maybe after 6months of this, you find that your mind is less diverted, your body is more supportive, your breathing is slower and you go on to about 45mins-1hr per session. The process gets enjoyable. Then after 1yr, you might see each Dhyan session going to upto 1.30hrs. There is deep internal intoxication (no other word). Later maybe after 2-3yrs of regular practice, it can stretch for hours, you will sit continue from 9pm – 5am, and your requirement for deep sleep and dream state will reduce and go to zero. All this varies from person to person, but the common theme is that you have to practice regularly.

You need to give time to yourself. In your life-time till now you have lived for thousands of hours, but have you given time to yourself? Time is the most precious thing you have and you have frittered it away on others. Try giving yourself these 1.30 hrs initially per day. It may not be possible for everyone because of genuine constraints but at least 30mins per day, one session daily?

You have to do Dhyan for some 500hrs to begin with at least, otherwise you will not see anything to do with pran or kundalini.

Who is a Guru?

Saura सौर  mandal

Back to our geometry, and the next 2 chakras. The Manipur and Anahata chakra-s make up the Saura सौर  mandal, the circle of the Sun. To cross this mandal you need to cross these two chakras and also undo the Vishnu-granthi or the knot of Vishnu. The concept of jivatma/individual soul as compared to your limitless Reality is the syllabus here. You are made aware of the unreality of the sookshma sharir or your subtle body. (The subtle body is composed of the Pran-mai-kosh, Mano-mai-kosh and Vidnyan-mai-kosh sheaths.)

The Sun represents the individual ego/ jivatma. Unless you give up the sense of narrow personal self, the experience of the greater Self is not possible. Here in the Saura mandal, the sense of attachment to the fruits of actions done by you is linked to your soul. Creation of new karma is possible only till the kundalini crosses this mandal. The new karma you create in your current life is called Agami karma which gets added to your stored karma. You can reduce the stored- Sanchit, karma by your spiritual practice.

The Vishnu Granthi, the knot of Vishnu opens only when attachment to the sookshma sharir or subtle body is abandoned. Vishnu is the intelligent energy of Satva-gun, this maintains the Maya – created illusion. Here you are taught the deepest wisdom linked to the Satva-gun. Not just taught, but also tested rigorously.

When you crossed the Vahni mandal, you understood, experienced and transcended your attachment to the process of creation and the attachment to the stuff you are creating. You transcended the illusion of ‘act of creation’. Now you do not desire new creations. But you are ‘someone’, you are Priya, Amit, a mother, a teacher, a son, you are scared of the dark, you like sweets, you are an Indian etc. You have all these impressions stored in your subtle-body accumulated from your past several lives. You are maintaining these impressions. When you attempt to cross the Vishnu-granthi you are shown these impressions to be the illusions that they are. All your notions about your limited sense of self are shown to you as being nothing, insubstantial.

To overcome some thing, you need to understand every aspect of that thing, experience it and transcend it. This journey of the Kundalini is just this process. The process can perhaps be painful or pleasurable. But both these mindsets cannot sustain in the understanding of the self. You are the Para, the beyond, you are complete in yourself, you don’t need the concept of happiness or any other feeling to describe your completeness. You are All there is. You are your own definition. It is rather a subtle understanding here.

In some cultures, the children believe that there is a magical person who comes once a year and gives them toys. The parents do not tell the child the truth unless he grows older and toys become irrelevant to him. Just like that, you are not shown the illusory nature of your material life unless you are capable of absorbing the intelligence in the way it should be.

Kundalini is an intelligent force, it will not move or do anything unless you are ready. There are some exercises on the internet which claim to move the kundalini, they are all fake. If by ill-luck you manage to ‘move’ the kundalini by force you are in for a very bad time, your body’s vital energy network will be short-circuited, the movement of pran will be affected, there will be physical illness and mental insanity.

So just do your Dhyan, your internal Guru will do the rest. Your job is very simple, just sit, breathe, focus and mantra every day, (either once/twice/thrice). When you attain the critical potential, things happen spontaneously. Your Dhyan is the process of cleaning up the road using the movement of pran/vital energy. When the road opens the kundalini will move on its own.


Chandra चंद्र  mandal

Back to the geometry, the top one-third. This is the Chandra चंद्र  mandal, the circle of the Moon, composed of the Vishuddhi and the Ajnya chakras. To move onwards from here these two chakras and the Rudra Granthi is required be be navigated successfully. The energy body associated here is the Karan sharir or the causal body. Here you understand why you separated from the Greater Self in the first place. Why you have karma bound to your soul? This karan-sharir is the tightest sheath around the soul called the Anand-mai-kosh. The meaning of this sheath is rather typical, it means ‘the happiness you feel when you know that the game is near its end’, ie the eternal happiness of Singularity. As you cross the Vishuddhi and Ajnya chakras you finally transcend dualities and come within reach the Singular sense of self. Here you destroy the seeds of karma itself, you destroy the concept of ‘creation of creation’. You destroy the concept of ‘maintenance of creation’. Finally you destroy the concept of ‘destruction of creation’. The entire creation vanishes as if it never existed in the first place. The presiding energy here is the Shiv, the intelligence of Vishuddha tama-gun. The extra special pure energy of Tama-gun.

The Kundalini has to cross all these three mandal, in which it pierces the 6 lower chakras and these 3 Granthi. ‘Piercing’ is perhaps a wrong word to use, but Sanskrit words cannot be translated only experienced. All this happens within the Sushumna nadi, the thinnest energy channel of the body. Within this channel there are progressively thinner naadi-s, Chitrini and Vajrini. Nadi within Nadi layout. This thinnest nadi within a nadi is also called the Brahmanadi. This Brahmanadi is through, from the lowest Muladhar to the topmost Sahasrar+Bindu complex terminating at the Brahma-randhra at the top of your head. At every chakra and granthi this Brahmanaadi is twisted around itself in a very specific way. This forms the lotus/yantra of that specific chakra. Piercing the chakra means the energy moves smoothly through these thin complicated loops without damaging anything.

Till now the kundalini was in the region called Dharmakshetra-Kurukshetra in the Bhagwat Gita. To navigate this part you have to strive and focus, take efforts.

Bindu बिन्दु  mandal

Now after the Kundalini crosses the Ajnya chakra it reaches the last section where the Para pervades. You have destroyed your sense of your individual self. Now onwards the progress is more under the control of the internal Guru and your greater self. This region is called the Dash-angul-sthan, the space between the forehead’s Ajnya-chakra and the top of the head, the Brahmarandhra at the center of the Sahasrara chakra. This space is also called the Bindu mandal. It is also called the Dharmakshetra. The other remaining chakras of the head exist in this region.

This Brahmarandhra is the seat of true light of the self also called the Jyotir-lok, Satya-lok or Parabrahm.

In Shri-Vidya, the Mahakameshwar, ‘the great one who controls all desire’ resides here merged together with his ‘wife’ Mahakameshwari or Lalita Tripursundari, ie the Kundalini. Here Kundalini reaches her ‘husband’ Mahakameshwar, merges with him and thus attains Singularity. This means that in the Bindu mandal, the desire to create has not been expressed yet, both energies are one, they are not differentiated. The merged form is the Reality. There is no duality. When the Singular here differentiates into duality, she starts creating the world while he observes. Thus these two energies are known as the parents of the universe.

If you refer to the Bhagwat Gita, this Brahmarandhra is the abode of the subtlest yet tremendous aspect of Krishna. If you practice using the Vidnyan Bhairav Tantra as your reference book this is the abode of Bhairav. The non-dual, the Advaita. The same concept is discussed in Bhagwat Gita and the same is in Devi Mahatmya, and in both the backdrop is a War of terrific proportions. War and spirituality are an odd combination perhaps, but it is War, you fight your mind. In fact every story-allegory in Sanatan Dharm aka Hinduism describes this same thing in different words. The world and everything around you is a mixture of the real and the unreal mixed together. ‘Maya’ means ‘not-that’. Maya cannot be proved to be definitively proved to be real or illusion. Understanding then experiencing and transcending this is real Knowledge of the Self. This is Sadyo-mukti.


The Gayatri mantra

This post is partly in response to this comment I received in the Contact form,  (I read an article which mentioned about our age and chakras. Are chakras related to our chronology like one chakra is dominant or something? Also what is meant by opening chakras?)

It is a rather technical post so do read the hyperlinked posts, linked to the words in pink.

I have written about the ‘age and chakra’ part in my earlier post here.

The Gita starts with Dhrutarashtra

After reading my earlier post on the Bhagwat Gita, my brother smugly pointed out that the first word of the Bhagwat Gita is ‘Dhrutarashtra’. (How much ever one grows older and hopefully wiser, this is one thing which doesn’t change, pesky younger brothers!).

So the first verse starts with ‘Dharmakshetrae-Kurukshetrae’ and the Gita itself starts with ‘Dhrutarashtra’. So unless one understands what this Dhrutarashtra is, one cannot really understand the Gita.

The entire Gita is technically an answer to a question posed by Dhrutarashtra to Sanjay in the first verse. The Gita is narrated by Sanjay to Dhrutarashtra. As the Gita is itself highly esoteric, the question, the questioner and the answer-er all are equally cryptic too.

In brief, the story-allegory of the Mahabharat goes like this. This Dhrutarashtra is the blind king of a kingdom named Hastinapur. He has 100 sons called the Kaurav-s. He has a brother named Pandu, whose sons are called Pandav-s. Pandu was king but had abdicated and gone to the forest for spiritual practice. Now, a war is being fought between the grown-up Kaurav and Pandav princes. The Bhagwat Gita is recited by Krishna to Arjun-Pandav on the battleground before the war starts. After listening to this Gita, Arjun is enthused and with all his doubts resolved, gets ready for the war.

Why Divisional Charts?

Dhrutarashtra is blind, Sanjay is his guide. Dhrutarashtra asks a question, the first verse of the Gita. Sanjay replies with Krishna’s Gita as a narration within a narration layout. This layout is intentional and has a very deep meaning. There are two levels of understanding here.

The Bhagwat Gita starts with these words. Dhrutarshtra’s question.

Dhrutarashtra Uvacha,

‘Dharmakshetre Kurukshetre Samaveta Yuyutsavah, Mamakah Pandavashchaiva Kimakurvata Sanjay.’

So here is the real meaning of the first word of the Bhagwat Gita, ‘Dhrutarashtra’.

Dhruta rashtram yaena sah Dhrutarashtrah, this is the sandhi-vicched, the splitting of the compound word, Dhrutarashtra. The Sanskrit word Dhrutarashtra literally is the one afflicted by large scale calamity. The enjoyer of a kingdom. The one who is linked to subjects. Also the owner of a dominion.

  • Dhruta means – holder, enjoyer, linked to, owner of etc
  • Rashtra means – affliction on a mass scale, calamity on a large scale, kingdom, subjects, dominion, etc.

Basically Dhrutarashtra is another name for your mind/manas. He is the father of the 100 Kaurav princes. The mind generates 100 basic types of tendencies. (Refer to this post on tattva-s. I have drawn a table in this post, reproduced below.) The 10 products of the Ahamkar+Satva and the 10 products of Ahamkar+Tama multiplied together give the 100 tendencies of the mind. The mind has no power to get things or do things, it must work on the gross level through the 5 organs of senses and the 5 organs of action (10 tattva-s). On the subtle level it works through the 5-bhoot and the 5-tanmatra (10 tattva-s).

Screenshot 2019-07-07 at 11.26.22 AM

Thus the mind is considered to be handicapped, specifically it is blind, it acts without ‘seeing’ the real thing. The mind desires the kingdom ie the body, its actions and desires. Dhrutarashtra is the king of the Kuru-s. Kuru is the ‘action to be performed’. The mind rules over the actions and is always swayed by objects external to itself. It is dependant on the sense and action organs in every way. It desires subjects and is insatiable. It wants to hold on to its dominion in a tight grip. It is very strong. It desires to possess the body and to enjoy vishay-objects of desires. The mind is deep down aware that there is more but it cannot bring itself to accept it. It is swept away in desires, its 100 sons.

In the story, the Gita is set as a dialogue between Dhrutarashtra and Sanjay. The waking state of the Sadhak/ aspirant is called Dhrutarashtra while the spiritual insight achieved during Sadhana/ spiritual practice is called Sanjay. This ‘Sanjay’ is a Sanskrit word again. It literally means Samyak Jay, all-conquering, triumphant, complete victory. The all-pervading complete Sun, accurate truth, white brilliant lightning and the mind who knows its exact self-reality. The perfection of eternal union is Sanjay.

Sanjay is the one who knows himself, the realised soul, the Guru. The enlightened Guru tells the blind mind to practice the Yog-shastra Gita.

During your spiritual practice, there will be so many things, questions, blockages, setbacks, progress and ultimately victory. The mind has several doubts which are systematically addressed by the Guru. All this experience of the ‘Gita’ is the influence of the Guru on the Manas-mind. The internal Guru guides the mind during the spiritual process. This is the real reason why the Gita is placed as a story within a story. Sanjay is the guide to the blind king, Sanjay ’sees’, ie he is a seer, he is the one who knows the absolute reality.

Now Krishna means the deepest consciousness which is present at your Ajnya chakra. Krishna is the final apex point of the Dharmakshetra-Kurukshetra section of your energy body. He is the charioteer, the sarathi. He leads the way up the Sushumna and Pandav-Arjun follows him.

Now I will need to describe ‘Arjun’ too. Arjun is the son of Pandu. Pandu means the Nirmal-Buddhi. There are several sub-divisions of intelligence-Buddhi, Pandu means the Nirmal-clear conscience, from whom all attachments have departed. Kunti is Arjun’s mother, the word ‘Kunti’ means Nivrutti, emancipation, involution, rejection of illusion/Maya. He was born by the blessings of the deity Indra, ‘Indra’ means the individual soul. Arjun in Sanskrit means the brilliance of lightning. He is the Tej mahabhoot. The one not free from bondage, still bound by the karmas and under the influence of Raja-Gun. The stage of the aspirant from the Muladhar to the Manipur chakra is ‘Arjun’.

“The Gita is narrated by Krishna to Arjun on the battleground of the energy body named the Dharmakshetra-Kurukshetra.” I hope you have opened your mind to the new meaning and the import of this statement has deepened for you. (There are layers and layers of meanings. It is the magic of Sanskrit, Devbhasha Samskrutam.)

All the gods of Sanatan Dharma and you yourself are rays of light from the Source. The only difference is in the level of awareness. You follow the ray of light back to the source. Every deity, Ganapati, Shiv, Vishnu, Devi etc are conscious intelligence, you can request their help on your way. These are defined, with attributes (Sa-gun). And each one of these deities are shown to be meditating. Ever wonder what they are meditating on? What could be their true nature? This is the deepest experience.

The Gita starts with Dhrutarashtra

When I was a small child I understood Krishna to be something that my baby brothers were dressed up as once a year. I thought that Krishna was a cute kid always getting into mischief. Then I read the Mahabharat and I realised that Krishna systematically organised the biggest war in history, 18 akshohini अक्षौहिणी army units destroyed, entire nations wiped out. (A अक्षौहिणी is an army unit of 21,870 elephants, 21,870 chariots, 65,610 horse and 1.09,350 foot soldiers.)

When I started doing my Sadhana in earnest, I realised that Krishna is the ‘undefinable darkness’ seen at the Ajnya chakra, he is the route I walk on, the guide I follow. As I progress, the subtler aspects of Krishna will again change and change till I reach Myself. At this point, me, the route, the guide will all merge back into the source, Myself. At this point there will be no more options as I will have finally realised the Nirvikalp Advaita. The non-dual goal of the aspirant.

So always think, experience, change, there is so much more, expand your mind, your ideas. Do not hold to one idea or concept rigidly. Allow yourself to evolve, allow your mind to expand. The defining quality of the spiritual aspirant is said to be ‘vivek’. This means that you have to be able to discriminate between the real and the material, but to be able to distinguish these, you will need to know their actual natures first. There is a concept from the Rudra Chamaka य॒ज्ञो य॒ज्ञेन॑ कल्पताम् yadno yadnena kalpantam. It means, ‘let evolution itself evolve’. This is a very deep concept which means that there is no stagnation, things are always evolving always. Even the very act of evolution is ever-evolving. (These concepts are all discarded when you reach the Ajnya chakra in your personal evolution. Till then you should assiduously use them as crutches and support on your way.)

Your body is composed of the tattva-s derived from Prakruti. You are the individual soul, who believes itself to be separate from the singular Parabrahma. This belief is incorrect and the entire goal of spiritual practice is to remove this erroneous belief and recognise oneself as the Para-brahma, the beyond Para. This state is called Moksh. Freedom from false notions, freedom from karma, freedom from ignorance.

The Bhagwat Gita is a detailed manual. Most of us have a copy of this manual in our houses. If you are given a step-by-step manual for building a nuclear war-head what would you do? You are required to build this war-head, there is no option on this, do it now or a few lives later, that is the only choice available. You cannot keep your manual shut in your puja-ghar. Open it, read it, re-read it, discuss, try to absorb its intent, understand it. And most importantly practice it, let your mind evolve. Your Dhrutarashtra has asked the question, now listen to your Sanjay. Take your kundalini to the very top, your Arjun has to follow your Krishna. Use your manual and experience your Sadyo-Mukti.

Vastu your home, the simplest and prettiest remedies

(I now realise that I will need to write about Nara and Narayan too now, will do so in my next post.)

Jivan Mukt and Videha Mukt

(Continued post)

Jivan does not just mean ‘life’, it is a Sanskrit word, it means ‘to flow’ and ‘the vitality of the flow’. Life is not a static event, it flows. Every water drop in a river is linked and thus is life interlinked and interconnected on all levels.

‘Mukt’ means the ‘one who has been freed, sent forth, immune, quit, discharged, vanished, relinquished, relaxed etc.

Jivan mukt means ‘one who has been released from the requirement to ‘flow’.

  • The performance of Prakruti has stopped, ‘I have been seen’. The Purush has stopped witnessing, ‘I have seen’.
  • But the Universe/body that Prakruti had created is still available. The Knowledge has put a stop to further performance but the stage has not been yet dismantled.

These two are two separate things and are dependent on separate causes, so can happen simultaneously. The Prakruti has stilled because the link between Her and Him is Known. They together experience their togetherness and one-ness. The veil has been removed.

Knowledge exists and so does the body/Universe. A paradox, you might say. But these two are compatible. Read on.

Jivan Mukt and Videha Mukt

Prakruti creates the individual body with its Universe continually spontaneously. Later karma comes into the picture and becomes the framework for manifestation. The body/Universe is created, maintained and dissolved because of karma. Karma is basically of two types.

  • The big storehouse of karma (sanchita, accumulated karma), you have this collection from your several past lives
  • And the karma which was selected for rebalance for the present life (Prarabdha, destined karam). You chose this at your present birth.

Each soul selects this part of karma from its stored karma and the body is designed. This is the point of exercise of free will. On the basis of this destined karma, the body + Universe is created for each individual soul. (Purush + Prakruti combo, your combo is different from mine). You might choose a short intense life with violent energies. Or a smooth sedentary life of ease. A short or long life. Whatever.

This choice of the moment of birth will run its course for the life-time you chose at the moment of birth.

‘You’ here refers to the Jivatma, which is the soul+the influence of the Prakruti. The soul which is under the influence of karma, the soul which cannot enter the Kutasth of its own conscious action, the soul which is still suffering from duality.

This choice of birth is fixed for the life-span of the body. This body and the prarabdha karma you chose is not affected or linked to Knowledge. You might gain Knowledge at the age of 35yrs but if you have exercised the choice of a life-span for 80yrs, your body+Universe will sustain for that much time. However as Knowledge has manifested, more karma will not be created during this life-time (Agaami /future karma becomes nil). And the store of Sanchita karma has been ‘burnt’ in the intense energies of your Dhyan. (Each breath/Soham in your Dhyan is one life-time.)

Moksh means ‘release’, Prakruti is released from her ‘play’, she has released herself. The Purush has stopped witnessing and the Prakruti has stilled. At the age of 35yrs you have become a Jivan-mukt. Your soul has experienced the duality and the Knowledge of duality. The experience has been transcended. You have attained Samadhi (final settlement, agreement, joined with the Eternal, Singularity) so your soul is not affected by anything that occurs in the realm of the Purush or Prakruti. Samadhi occurs in Dhyan. But the choice of birth has to be honored. The performance is over at 35yrs but the stage will be dismantled at the age of 80yrs. Something like when you switch off the fan it continues to move for a few minutes more.

In this phase you will do everything that has been decided as per your Prarabdh karma, your children might get married, your grandchildren will be born, your wife might die etc. But you will be aware of this as a drama. You Know. You are a Guru. The consciousness has experienced and transcended Maya.

Prakruti will not re-energise or re-create, she will just maintain till you turn 80yrs and then annihilate. Prarabdha karma will then complete its course and the soul will separate from the body+Universe. After this last manifested body/Universe, no more will be created for this particular Purush + Prakruti combo. At this point She and Her Purush will merge into each other and this will merge into the Eternal Singularity. This is Moksh as the duality imposed is released and the individual soul merges into the Ultimate.

Now there is one danger to the society here. All this is an internal process so anyone can claim to be a Jivan mukt and become a ‘Guru’, gather a following and use them to live a life of ease. So here to such wanna-be ‘Guru’s, Sanatan Dharm has a warning too. If someone claims to be so, after his physical death his heirs/disciples will not offer the body to the Agni/fire. Anteyshti will not be performed and the body will be buried above ground. (ancient dolmens are such muniyars or Samadhi-sthal erected over the bodies of ancient Mukta souls). For the liberated soul the body is of no relevance anymore but for the cheat, this will ensure that the soul remains trapped on earth with no scope for further rebirth.

Jivan Mukt and Videha Mukt

The other choice is of being a Videha mukt.

Videha – (Vigatah dehah yasmat sah), ‘the one whose body has gone away from him’. ‘Deha’ is a Sanskrit word which means shape, appearance, manifestation, form, person, individuality etc.

This is Moksh linked to the annihilation of the body/Universe.

In this you would choose a life span of 35yrs. So as the Knowledge manifests at 35yrs, Prakruti will stop, Purush-Prakriti will merge and everything will go back to Singularity. The individual body will die and the individual Universe will be annihilated. Kundalini will burst through, the Brahmanadi of the body will fuse, ie the bifurcated ends of the Brahmanadi (within the Sushumna) will fuse and complete the circuit at the Brahmarandhra. You will merge with the Parabrahma at the Kutasth and this Consciousness will exit through the Brahmarandhra.

You have attained Videha-mukti. The body has physically died with this event. If your heirs have understood what has happened, they are required to bury the body above ground and erect a stone Samadhi-sthal over it. But generally they don’t realise and the usual Anteysthi is performed. Of course, this doesn’t matter as the soul has realised Itself and all this from Its point of view has become irrelevant. But the soul who has attained Moksh was still someone’s father/ mother/ Guru etc. so this would be the karma of the heirs to dispose of the manifested body.

Thus the Soul created out of Parabrahma, goes through a longish process to go back to the Singularity, the two options being Jivan-mukti and Videha-mukti

(I would recommend a study of the Samkhya for more in-depth discussion on this topic. Also a study of the Nasadiya Sukta for the creation part. And of course the Brahma Sutra. This topic is a bit obtuse, but there was a question and I did try to write it in as simple words as possible)


Jivan Mukt and Videha Mukt

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 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.)

Jupiter in the 12 houses and signs

I had written a bit on the real nature on Jupiter in this post earlier. I got a comment for more on Jupiter, thus this post. I will discuss some keywords which can help you decipher the Jupiter in your chart. Jupiter is the force of expansion, of philosophy, of conventional wisdom, of generosity, of magnificence, of conventional religion and show of religion, of teachers, of maturity and for a woman he can even represent her husband. Ideally you should learn these keywords by heart and fit them in your analysis. Jyotish is a language, where a bit of learning, a bit of intuition and a bit of common sense will help you analyse charts better.

For analysing the complete influence of Jupiter on your chart, check out the following. This may seem like a long-ish exercise but its essential as it tells you which areas of your life are influenced by this planet of generosity and soothing gentle-care. These areas of life will be relatively less problematic or even if a problem crops up its intensity and duration will be limited. Jupiter does not stop a problem from happening just reduces the recovery time.

  1. Position of Jupiter, the house and the sign both
  2. The actual owner planet of the house and sign, his location.
  3. The planets with Jupiter or aspecting him.
  4. The signs of Sagittarius and Pisces, their position in the chart and the planets occupying these.
  5. The aspects of Jupiter himself and which planets and houses and signs he is influencing.

Jupiter in the 12 houses and signs

Now to link up these attributes of Jupiter with those of the 12 houses/rashis. The same attributes exist for both these. You should mix and match them as per the chart. For eg, Jupiter in Gemini in the ascendant will give a mix of both Gemini sign and 1st house placement results.

  1. Jupiter in the 1st house or Aries – You will be full of vital energy and will carrying out various significant roles in the society. Your personal ego and status in the society will be quite good. You will be a massively built person, muscular but yet with a soft gentle look. You are good natured, scholarly but still very competitive. Your competitions will be in the arena of philosophy, teaching and maturity.
  2. Jupiter in the 2th house or Taurus will make you a keeper of large family traditions and big family treasures. Your speech will be gentle yet forceful and you will know several languages, songs and will be knowledgeable about your family history and culture. You can be a professional singer.
  3. Jupiter in the 3th house or Gemini will give you several good natured siblings, brothers, neighbours, extended family. More males than females in your brotherhood. You will receive and also send out several communications, be involved in business and will be bold. You may also be a preacher and deliver messages from divinity. You can be a very good motivational speaker.
  4. Jupiter in the 4th house or Cancer will make you expansive about your foundations and security. You will have a generous, large-sized mother, several relatives on the maternal side, large soothing residence, vehicles and landed property. You will have many who comfort you and care for you. Ethnic culture will be very strong, especially on the mother’s side. You are the true patriot and may be working with the government or the armed forces.
  5. Jupiter in the 5th house or Leo will give a tremendous expansion to your creativity,, you will have several children. You will be highly educated formally, with several degrees, highly intelligent and at the center stage. You are the actor or a performer or even a politician. You can also be a gambler who always wins!
  6. Jupiter in the 6th house or Virgo can be rather unfortunate as you will be required to give service. You might be ill with several diseases, You are argumentative, anxiety ridden, and may be taking several medicines. You potentially have several enemies and debts. There is an underlying victim narrative here. But on the other hand you may have several servants yourself. If other aspects support you can be good lawyer, an excellent nurse or a well-known doctor. See the other aspects to be sure which narrative your life follows.
  7. Jupiter in the 7th house or Libra is into partnerships in a big way. Lots of trades, negotiations, several contracts with agreements, balance and fairness, numerous alliances. You believe in justice and act accordingly. You may be a lawyer or a judge or even the wise person in the house who resolves everyones minor tiffs and maintains beauty and harmony in the house. Your wife/husband will be wise and philosophical by nature and your married life will be harmonious.
  8. Jupiter in the 8th house or Scorpio is another odd placement. You are a highly secretive person and you can change your personality to suit the situation. You know the secrets of others and can use them to your advantage. You are not mean, just very secretive. At least one operation is indicated, maybe an appendix or tonsils removal? You refuse to follow the religious philosophy of your family, you have your own inner doctrines which make sense to you. You spend rather less time with your children. You know how to get things done. See the other aspects in details before arriving to a conclusion here.
  9. Jupiter in the 9th house or Sagittarius is very comfortable. You have a very visible expression of your religion, philosophy. You teach, preach, do public pujas and very visible in religious festivals. You have a very broad understanding of conventional wisdom and beliefs. Several father-figures, teachers, male members in your family and you get blessings from your several ancestors. You are a good father, with several children and a good teacher with several students.
  10. Jupiter in the 10th house or Capricorn thrusts you in leadership roles, you are in highly visible and respected in the society. You may be in a position to make rules and regulations for the society. You are highly materialistic and will get money, power and position and are very conscious of social hierarchies. You are the one who steadily climbs upwards in the social structure with your hard word and efforts.
  11. Jupiter in the 11th house or Aquarius is the dealer and the tradesman of the market place, of exotic wares and lots and lots of business networks. You have many friends, and lady luck is your best friend. You have many goals to achieve, and you achieve them all. You are well off and have several sources of income. You belong to many communities irrespective of social structure and are acceptable to all strata of society. You can interact with a begger or a king with equal genuineness. You can be a businessman, or social worker or even a politician who really wants to do good for the people.
  12. Jupiter in the 12th house or Pisces is the sage or the psychic, you can divine the past and the future. You yourself do not know what you are! You desire solitude and mediation, being with yourself and contemplation. You may be a medium for the dead ancestors or spirits. You can receive guidance and information from them. You have a very vivid imagination and a very active sub-conscious, very highly intuitive. Dreams and visions are your companions. However this can also mean visits to the hospitals, or a need to leave the homeland and settle in foreign, or be a wanderer. Check out the other aspects to make this clear.

So now I have put in a nutshell how Jupiter performs when situated in the 12 houses and similarly in the 12 signs. Astrology is not 1+1=2, it requires a bit of intuition too, however if you keep these keywords in mind it will be easier to start learning. Baby steps first before you dive off the deep end!

There is one more post now due on Jupiter. His results are also affected by the other grahas who influence and aspect him. I will write on how Jupiter interacts with the other planets in my next post.


Jupiter in the 12 houses and signs

Guru Sakshat Parabrahma

Guruh Brahma Guruh Vishnu Guruh Devo Maheshwarah, Guru Sakshat Parabrahmah Tasmai Shri Guruve namah.

This is the sanskrit shlok on the foundation of which the business of the “modern gurus” is conducted. This year I saw this shlok being circulated on whatsapp on 5th sept celebrated as (school/college) Teacher’s day.

The commonly circulated translation is “The Guru is Brahma, Vishnu and Shiv. The Guru is the All observing Parabrahma. And thus I bow down to that Guru”. So our School teachers and modern age gurus chant this and elevate themselves to the levels of Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh and the Parabrahma. Such ego! It is unbelievable.

What does ‘Guru’ mean in Sanskrit? ‘venerable, extended, heavy, serious, difficult, high, valuable, momentous, dense, attract’ etc, basically the ‘energy which attracts’. Remember this is a sanskrit word used in the context of spiritual studies, so intention and layers and layers of meanings.

A school/college teacher is more properly an “adhyapak” in sanskrit. A school or college teacher should not be called a guru, it is an insult to the real Guru. Second these modern age “spiritual gurus” who are only interested in establishing “centers”, businesses, brand names and products. They cannot live without AC, wear really expensive clothes, use expensive vehicles and just talk. Use complicated words to baffle and awe their followers. This is just bad karma that they are creating for themselves. It is is the greatest act against the conscience to purposely deceive an aspirant who has a genuine interest in spirituality.

guru sakshat parabrahma

So who is the Guru? He is the Satguru. The one who shows you, brings you, attracts you to the Sat/Eternal Truth. And the real Sat is your own Self. That which you have been searching for so long is Yourself. And thus the only force who can bring you to yourself is …. Your Own Self.

Next this shlok, remember Sanskrit, layers of meanings, So this shlok more properly means this, “Brahmadev is the Guru, Vishnu is the Guru, Maheshwar is the Guru, the ‘witness to all’ Parabrahma is the Guru. And thus I bow down to such Guru.” Brahmadev, Vishnu, Maheshwar and the Parabrahma are the energies which bring you to the Truth/Sat, bring you to Yourself. Thus it makes sense.

The difference between these 2 meanings is like heaven and earth.

And my personal belief is that I really do not need someone in a physical body to be my Guru. I believe that there is a higher self within me. I am a tiny bit of the Parabrahma myself and this tiny bit is my conscience/Antaratma. If I let my conscience be my Guru, it will take me to Myself. But living in this world of so many external influences, pushes and pulls, I have stopped hearing the voice of my conscience. So how do I hear Myself again? Only when I cut off these external voices and sit still.

Real Guru-s are quite rare in this world as only a Jivan mukt can be properly referred to as a Guru. These souls have experienced and transcended the Game of creation and have realised the Ultimate. They have achieved Moksh.

So to begin with, do start your spiritual practice, and practice sitting still. Your conscience will speak to you again and a day will come when you will start following your conscience. That is the power of Sat, your own.

Now listen to this Guru stotra by Uma Mohan which defines in even more details what a Guru actually is! I have written out the meaning of this Guru Stotra in a full-fledged post here.