Temples in India where I have been to

Since I wrote on the 9th house and the deeper meanings of travel and pilgrimages, I got a question on how many temples, pilgrimages, I have been to. I had never really listed them out so was a fun exercise for me and perhaps an interesting reading for you.

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  1. Haat-Kalika temple, Pithoragad, Uttarakhand – Been here a few times. It is a yantra installed in a temple in the middle of the Deodar forests. The yantra is carved on a rock in the floor of the inner sanctum, it is beyond powerful. There is an additional moorthi of the Devi Kali, but the power is in the yantra. Most people do not notice it. It is beyond powerful, it feels like Kali Herself is standing there in all her magnificent terribleness. But so full of love. I have lost track of time whenever I have stood in this temple located in a valley of Deodar trees. In these mountains the separation between dimensions is very thin. You can sense the presence of other beings called Naag, Yaksha, Gandharva etc here (Similarly in the nearby temple of Kotgadi). Temples in India where I have been to
  2. Kasar Devi, Almora, Uttarakhand – You can feel golden pran radiating from a small tunnel into the earth. The people have placed a Moorti of Devi in front of the tunnel, most worshippers look at this moorti and ignore the tunnel and the energies whirling out from it. Very welcoming, loving and you feel it, a huge dense quantum of energy beneath the earth, it silences the mind. And you can feel the presence of other dimensional beings here too. This temple belongs to the Yaksha.
  3. Badrinath, Uttarakhand – This is one of the real Char-Dhaams of India, located on the west coast (the others being Somnath, Jaggannath, Rameshwaram). Been here twice in this life. It is a black moorthi of Shri Vishnu. Very high energy and very gentle, a compulsory pilgrimage for all Hindus. River Saraswati flows here for a bit (Brahmakapal) and then vanishes underground. This is the place where the final death related rituals/ tarpan are performed for the deceased ancestors. The entire place throbs with energy, and those who can see auras can see the brilliant golden shine of the moorthi and also the entire village and the surroundings. Temples in India where I have been to
  4. Yamunotri, Uttarakhand – The origin of the river Yamuna in Uttarakhand. Another must visit location, the energy is awesome, shiny, sparkly. There is a temple here dedicated to the Devi Yamuna and the prasad that you get here is a small pouch of uncooked rice, you then dip it in the nearby hot spring, it gets cooked and you eat it with the blessings of Devi. It was the tastiest spoonful of rice I have ever eaten. Ice cold Yamuna and the boiling hot spring are a few meters apart. Nature is so cryptic!
  5. The Mahakumbh – I have been to Haridwar during the Brahmamuhurt of the Makar Sankranti at the start of the 2010 Mahakumbh. Ice-cold water. The Ganga is exceptionally loaded with pran during the Mahakumbh time, so a dip in these waters is a must for every Hindu. It can be a life-time recharge if you do it with intention. There is a Mahakumbh in Haridwar coming up in 2021, try to use it if you can.
  6. Gaumukh, Uttarakhand – the origin of the river Ganga at the base of the Gangotri glacier. Ganga wherever she flows, Devprayag, Rishikesh, Hardwar, Kashi etc. brings in her tremendous quantum of pran. As you go nearer to her source, the higher the energy of her waters. The Gangotri glacier feels like a chunk of gold and the the flowing waters rippling gold/ silver pran. Do visit it if you are physically able to, if you keep putting it off to the next year, chances are you will never visit. The Gangotri temple is on the way to Gaumukh and this too is a beautiful place. The entire Himalaya are a huge source of power and energy in itself.Temples in India where I have been to
  7. Kedarnath, Uttarakhand – The top of the mountain is the pyramidal Shivlingam on which the temple is built. It is mind-boggling, I think the entire mountain you climb is the lower part of the massive Shivlingam. The very top is worshipped in the temple. The temple was there for thousands of years, first the Pandavs worshipped here, it was renovated a few thousands of years ago by Adi Shankaracharya and then by Ahilyabai Holkar a couple of centuries ago. A must visit. You may not get to sit in the sanctum, but just sit outside the temple and soak everything in, if you do it with full intention, this ‘recharge’ will last a life time. Temples in India where I have been to
    • Then there is the Samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya nearby. One of the most important Rishi/ Sat-Guru is relatively recent history (a couple of thousand years ago). And you can feel his blessings/energy here.
    • Enlightened Gurus in Sanatan Dharm/Hinduism are special, after they discard their physical body, it is entombed above ground/’Samadhi’ and Anteyshti is not performed. When a soul attains moksh, it is not linked to the energy structure of the body, the brahmanadi has fused, the circuit is complete. The individual soul does not exist as it has realised itself as the Ultimate. The energy of anteyshti breaks the soul’s bonds to the physical body. But a real Sat-Guru has already broken this bond to ‘Creation’ by the energy of his internal fire, Dhyan. The real reason for the Samadhi system is different. It is a threat, if some common human fools others into believing that he is a Guru, his disciples will give him a Samadhi after his physical death and he will remain tied to the physical body, a ghost with no scope of evolution. The worst possible punishment.
    • This is an aerial view of the Kedarnath temple in deep winter, you can just see the top of the temple as the entire town is under snow. Our ancient Rishis identified Shiv-lingams and built temples in such locations several thousand years ago, it is mind-boggling.
    • Temples in India where I have been to
  8. Dhaari Devi, Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand – This is one of the fiercest Kali temples I have ever visited. The moorthi is just the head of the Devi, and She seems to shoot volcanoes from her eyes! I love Her in Her every mood, so enjoyed sitting in front of Her and soaking in her blessings. This temple is in the middle of the Alakhnanda river, and is energy-linked to Kedarnath, She is His Wife. Whenever people have tried to shift this temple for hydel power projects, Kedarnath has showed His displeasure, last was in 2013. They shifted the Moorthi and on that same day clouds burst bringing in disaster. Temples in India where I have been to
  9. Jageshwar, Uttarakhand – This is a Shivlingam in the Deodar forests of Almoda district. I think this is the Daruka-van Jyotirlingam as Deodar trees are called Daruka in Sanskrit. It is a very high energy location and is very beautiful too.
  10. Hemkund saheb, Uttarakhand – This is a pristine lake and a Gurudwara. The lake water is very high energy. It is said that Pandu from the Mahabharat worshipped the Devi here. Also Lakshman from the Ramayan did some pujas here. It is a hard trek, especially the last few kilometers, so you need to be physically fit. But you can also visit the Valley of Flowers which is near here, which is an added advantage.
  11. Vaishno Devi temple, Katra, Jammu & Kashmir – The deity of this shrine is a rock, which is a part of the mountain itself. Though this shrine is very famous, to me it felt like a regular Himalaya energy. The ‘density’ of energy was the same as any other Himalayan peak.
  12. Pushkar temple, Rajasthan – It is a very cryptic dense energy, not for everyone. There is a misconception that the pujas of Brahmadev is forbidden. But it is actually that the we, the current humans, are so degraded that we are incapable of performing these intense pujas of Brahmadev. Performing the Gayatri puja properly is in itself a feat for the humans of today, and so the puja of Brahmadev is another level altogether. There is an entire Brahma-tantra and all Rishis and Sadhaks of the earlier ages did pujas of Brahmadev to attain Moksha on a fast track. Today you won’t get anyone who understands the use of Gayatri-tantra! (Brahmdev and Devi Sarasvati are the stable and the kinetic parts of Raja-gun. If you consciously control ‘movement’, you Realise your Self.)
  13. Ashapura Devi temple, Bhuj, Gujarat – The deity in this temple is a huge rock, there is no separate Moorthi. This rock is placed in a temple. It is so utterly powerful that the few minutes I stood stupefied. Such tremendous energy. Something like the energy of the 10 Mahavidya Devi-s. If you are the slightest bit insincere she will cut off your head then and there. But if you are sincere she will pick you up in her arms like a mother loves a child and give you whatever you want. The entire area for kilometers was resonating with her energy. The rock does not seem to be from this Earth, more likely it is a meteorite, but very conscious, very very aware and very dangerous. Temples in India where I have been to
  14. Koteshwar Mahadev temple, Bhuj, Gujarat – A wonderful location on the sea-shore with extremely high levels of pran. The Shivlingam was also quite powerful gave off cool, peaceful pran. Loved watching the Dhwaj/ flag on the temple swirling in the wind. This is the last temple on the west coast, the land beyond is Pakistan.
  15. Dwarkadheesh temple, Jamnagar, Gujarat – This temple is dedicated to Shri Krishna, a lovely moorthi made of black rock. Highly energy and very calm gentle, soothed the soul. Do visit it if you can. But avoid the priests who try to try to fleece the tourists outside the temple. Keep your mind on your mantra and the deity in the temple. Try to mentally recite your mantra 108 times in the temple complex, while you wait in the lines etc. It is an energy rush. And around these temples and pilgrimage site you will also find petty pickpockets and such, so take care. It always surprises me that these people forget Who is watching them. Shri Krishna could give them anything they want but they are more interested in the tourists than the deity Himself.Temples in India where I have been to
  16. Naagath Shivlingam, Gujarat – This is near Dwarka and said to be one of the twelve Jyotirlingams. It is a newly constructed temple and is energies are average. In Sanatan Dharm/ Hinduism, a Shivlingam is not carried into a temple. A temple is always built over a Shivlingam. This means that our ancient Rishis/ seers, ‘saw’ the energies and identified stones which had the energy of a Lingam and constructed the temples over them. So, faith is one thing, but you won’t get the same energy benefit when praying in modern constructed Shiv temples.
  17. Somnaath Shivlingam, Veraval, Gujarat – I have been to this temple 4 times in this life and each time it is a home-coming. Very high levels of energy flow from the Shivlingam, very gentle and conscious. I can never pray for things in temples. What should I pray for? He knows everything. This is a must visit temple for all Hindus. Temples in India where I have been to
  18. Siddhivinayak temple, Mumbai, Maharashtra – Have been to this temple several times. It feels like he is angrier every time I see him. This Ganapati moorthi has his truck folded towards his right side. Embodiment of ‘nivrutti’, destruction of Illusion, destruction of the material and tearing apart of the veils of Maya, the highly disciplined Sanyasi, ‘Brahmachari form of Ganapati. If you are not prepared to leave Her ‘funfair’, praying to such a moorthi can be quite traumatic on the material levels. It is the same effect as blowing on a left-handed conch (Dakshinavarti). It will destroy the material and bring in the spiritual, in any way possible! In our homes we never keep a moorthi or photo of Ganapati with the trunk at the right side. In temples it requires specific pujas and there are several restrictions on what is allowed in such temples.
  19. Trayambakeshwar Shivlingam, Nashik, Maharashtra – Extraordinary high levels of energy. It is such an old temple, all stone. The stones of the temple have absorbed the energies of the pujas and are conscious themselves. The Shivlingam radiates huge chunks of energy but is not as peaceful as Somnath. The energies can be used for ‘destruction’ related pujas too. Shiv here is more serious, more turned inwards more intense. Temples in India where I have been to
  20. Bhimashankar Shivlingam, Maharashtra. This is located in a the middle of the forests, with a river flowing near it. All Hindu temples need to have a natural source of water at its north-east side, it is compulsory. This Shivlingam is a rather secretive energy. I think there must have been intensive practices of tantra, mantra, yantra in this temple. Perhaps no one knows or does this now, but the ancient past is felt in the energy of the temple and its stones too.
  21. Kailas temple, Ellora, Maharashtra – This architectural marvel is very famous, our ancient Rishis 3D printed in the igneous rock. But the Shivlingam! It is a good 5 plus feet tall and loaded with power, I went silent in front of its energy, the mind was completely silent. I wonder how the ancients knew that this stone under the hard lava stones of the Deccan plateau was the Shivlingam and they created the temple around it. It is the most fascinating Shiv temples I have ever been to. Ellora was called Elapuri earlier, the ‘town of the Devi’. Temples in India where I have been to
  22. Ghrishneshwar Shivlingam, Ellora, Maharashtra – This temple is very ancient, but felt low on energy, not what I expect a Jyotirlingam to be. I think that perhaps the actual ‘Jyotirlingam’ is the one inside the Kailas temple less than a km away.
  23. Siddhagiri Math, Kolhapur, Maharashtra – This Shivlingam has always showered me with love and ‘home-coming’ energies. Just like a father giving gifts to his child. Beautiful old temple and with routine pujas being performed. My Sat-Guru was the 26th Math-adhipati of this Math.
  24. Khandoba temple, Maharashtra – Located on a plateau of lava-basaltic rock. There are moorthis in the temple, but the energy comes from a yantra set into the floor of the temple. The mountain is alive with very intense energies. Exceptionally fierce. If you wish for protection and the energy to fight, he is more than willing to give it to you. He is the Kul-devata of most Marathi people so this temple is always bustling with people.
  25. Then temples in Goa, the more famous Shanta-Durga, Mangeushi and my mother’s ancestral god Narsimha at Veling. I always seem to sense an underlying sadness here. Perhaps my DNA picks up things. The Portuguese invaded Goa and killed the temple Brahmins and carried out an Inquisition here, killing most of the Hindus. Some Hindus and Brahmin priests escaped to Maharashtra and remained alive albeit as farmers and traders, some of them my mother’s ancestors. Narasimha temple, Veling
  26. Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu – it is a magical place, there was no need for a formal temple, the oceans themselves are alive here. However the temple inside is peaceful with gentle energy, it like the Devi is relaxed, watching the waters. Outside, the south-most tip of India, where 3 waters meet. It has to be experienced, the clean freshness is so deeply peaceful yet so full of high intensity energy. More white than gold pran, so much and so freely available!
  27. Thirupati temple, Andhra Pradesh – A very famous Vishnu temple (but I feel it more like a Shiv temple as per the energy, they are all ultimately the same!). Humongous amounts of energy. The lines are so long that they don’t let you stand for very long in front of the moorthi, but even standing in line within the stone walls of the temple is a high energy experience, been here twice.
  28. Jagannath Puri, Odisha – One of the Char-Dham-s, I have been here twice, a very enigmatic temple. The idols of the deities are one thing, but the real energy is from inside the ground under the sanctum sanctorum. I make it a point to sit down somewhere inside the temple and recite my mantras for 5 mins. What one sees in these 5mins in such powerful temples is indescribable. If you go here, do a Namaskar for the Sudarshan chakra on the temple top, it radiates huge power. Temples in India where I have been to
  29. Kamakhya temple, Guwahati, Assam – She is extremely no-nonsense here. She is not in her ‘kind-mood’. Visiting this temple is not for everyone. This was the first temple where I saw her in her really strange virakt mood, so has made a life-time impression on me. She is so beautiful.
  30. Vishveshwar, Kashi, Uttar Pradesh – The best part is that they let you touch the Shivlingam. Everyone should visit it once in a lifetime. Shiv is very kind here, its like coming back home. And also the Annapurna Devi temple nearby. The original temple was destroyed by the mughals. This  current Shivlingam was installed and this temple was built by Ahilyadevi Holkar. But I feel the power of the original Shivlingam also somewhere in this city. This entire city is pure, no other word, it is pure, bright very very clean on the energy planes. Temples in India where I have been to
  31. Lahiri Mahashay’s house in Kashi – I had a neutral view of him because I had read the ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ where Yogananda refers to him as his Guru and I know that the meditation technique which Yogananda’s Society is teaching is incorrect. When I went to Kashi, in front of Lahiri Mahashaya’s house, I touched the steps of the locked house and felt his strength. He was a Realised Soul, his students later distorted his teachings.
  32. Girnar mountain – The entire mountain is full of energy, I don’t know how such a huge mountain can even geologically exist in that flat place! If you ever travel to Junagad to visit the Gir National Park, do try to at least travel to its foot and feel its energy. There are very high number of spirits and beings from other dimensions here. In fact the first time I ‘saw’ these beings here.
  33. Datia – Bagalamukhi and Dhoomavati temple, both Devi-s are the Dasha mahavidya-s and are very very dangerously awake here. Visit only and only if you have a clear conscience, no more can be said, there are secrets here which are not for everyone.
  34. Ambabai temple, Kolhapur – This is quite powerful and the Devi is quite ready to grant blessings. But one must not really ask for anything in such temples, simply put yourself in her hands and let her decide the best possible for you.

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Here are some of the well-known temples that I am sure you must be aware of. And there were several smaller ones which I have not listed here as the post became really too long.

We are Hindus, followers of Sanatan Dharma, our ‘god’ is the Parabrahma, the Nirvishesh Brahma the Conscious Intelligence but these temples are necessary as they contain a small part of this Awareness. Pilgrimages are necessary for all spiritual aspirants and if you have the time and the inclination you  must do a Darshan here.

 

 

Light a Lamp, use the power of Agni

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

Light a Lamp, use the power of Agni

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

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

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

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

Light a Lamp, use the power of Agni

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

You can recite any of the following mantra,

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

  • (detailed post with meaning here)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Light a Lamp, use the power of Agni

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Light a Lamp, use the power of Agni

 

The Conch, Shankh

The Conch is one of the most auspicious symbols in Sanatan Dharm. ‘Shankh’ is a Sanskrit word which means, a meter, a mantra, temple, conch etc. Shri Vishnu holds a conch named ‘Panch-janya’ in one of his hands. ‘Panchajanya’ is a Sanskrit word which broadly means the ‘one born by the union of the five’. These 5 can mean the 5 tanmantra, the 5 Gnyan-Indriya, the 5 Karma-Indriya or the 5 Panch-bhoot or the 5 Kosh/sheaths of the body etc. This divine conch is one of the 14 jewels which came out of the Eternal Ocean of Consciousness (Samudra Manthan). All gods, goddesses, major warriors from Ramayan, Mahabharat etc have their own conches, each with its specific name.

The Conch, ShankhThe conch that we use in our pujas is the shell created by the marine gastropod/snail Turbinella pyrum. These commonly found conches are all right handed, they coil dextrally, the aperture is towards the right side (Photo of the Shankh I use). These are used for all routine pujas and rituals and are blown in all auspicious ceremonies. The Shankh itself is also worshipped as a symbol of the Nada-Brahma, the creative power of the Ultimate Reality expressed as Sound.

Now there is the odd conch with the aperture towards the left side, sinistrally coiled. This is very rare and is not worshipped neither used for routine pujas. These are not used for blowing in auspicious ceremonies. This Conch represents energy moving inwards, it is destructive for the manifested. Just like the Swastik moving anticlockwise, or the Ganapati moorthi with his trunk coiled to the right, it represents involution, dissolution, Nivrutti. Only tantriks and people who know exactly what they are doing, will keep, worship, use and blow such a Shankh.

Blowing a Shankh requires that you pucker your lips in a typical way and have some lung power! Both men, women (except the 5 days of the monthly cycle) or children can blow it. However do remember that it requires some skill and lung power. Smaller conches are a bit easier to blow as lesser air is needed. There is only one note felt/heard when you blow, OM. Next time you blow your Shankh, keep your eyes closed and focus on your third eye. Initially you will see bursts of light, if you are on your spiritual path you will see the Shri yantra and as you advance, just the one Bindu. The cymatics of a conch-sound is the Shri-yantra. i.e. if you blow a conch in front of a liquid film or a sand film placed on a metal sheet which can freely vibrate, it will rearrange into the Shri-yantra. 

When you do your Dhyan and progress spiritually, there will come a point where you will hear the sound of the conch (Shankh-nada), it can be so deafening that you might feel that after hearing this you have gone deaf. But even in the initial phases of your spiritual practice if you sit in a silent environment you will hear a deep sonorous OM/conch-sound continuously throughout your Dhyan.

So if you have a conch in your puja ghar/home altar, use it actively. Blow it thrice everyday. The vibrations produced are ‘OM’ and are not only heard by the ears but felt in every part of your bodies (all the 5 sheaths). This sound entrains your bodies to the highest possible vibrational frequency of OM. And your soul feels refreshed as it is entrained briefly with who you really are. You will feel fresher mentally as well as spiritually. You will be healthier and fall ill less. This sound of the Shankh will also clean your house of negative energies.

Then the water stored in the Shankh acquires positive energies and can be used regularly. Keep some water in your Shankh overnight, this is one of the best ways to increase the vibrational levels of water. Drink it for overall health and vitality. If you have skin problems rub this water on the affected part. If there are hair problems, put this water in your scalp. Wash your eyes in this water to keep them disease free and your vision clear. 

The conch is a symbol of the Ultimate reality and is used to generate the sound of OM. It is an essential part of your puja ghar, so buy one and use it.

The Conch, Shankh

There was a question on the Hindu deities, so answering it here.

There is a common idea that the ‘God’ of Sanatan Dharm/Hinduism is Shri Vishnu. It is incorrect. The ‘God’ of Hindus is Energy, i.e. Parabrahma or the Singular Intelligence. Creation of the individual soul+universe, is a game of the three Gun, personified as deities. (Your soul and universe is different from mine.) Raja Gun is the creator principle, Brahma ब्रह्म and Sarasvati सरस्वती. The passion/urge is Raja Gun. Brahma is the potential and Sarasvati is the active principle of Raja Gun. Then Laxmi लक्ष्मी and Vishnu विष्णु are personified Satva Gun who maintain equilibrium. The active and potential principles of Tama Gun are Shakti शक्ति and Shiv शिव, who cause involution/destruction of the created.

As Raja Gun gets spontaneously excited, it immediately puts Satva and Tama out of balance too. They are interconnected. As Satva gets unbalanced by the action of Raja, it manifests as Mahat-Buddhi. i.e. Mahat-Buddhi is created from Satva Gun, this is the basic foundation on which further differentiated tattvas are created. And Satva Gun is depicted as Vishnu and Laxmi.

There is this line from the Tantra-ukta Ratri Sukta, recited by Brahma, विष्णुः शरीरग्रहणमहमीशान एव च, this broadly means “Brahma and Ishan (Shiv), ‘take up’ or ‘put on’ a part of Vishnu’s body/ strength/ solidity/ lowered energy. This action is then seen as both the stillness and movement of the world”. i.e. Raja and Tama gun interact with Satva gun. When Raja and Satva interact, the world moves, evolves. When Tama and Satva interact the world stills, it is involution or ultimately Moksh. Here ‘world’ means an individual soul and his personalised universe. 

Neither of the three Gun are greater or lesser than the other, they are equal. To say that Vishnu is greater than Shiv or Brahma is the lowest of the three, is an unintelligent statement.

 

The Conch, Shankh