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.)

Bhagwat Gita as Yog-shastra

Yog means union and shastra means a manual, rules, a step-by-step direction. Union of what? Of the body with the soul, of the soul with the Eternal, of karma with the soul, ‘union’ can be quite a wide topic. From the Sadhak’s point of view union means self realisation this is achieved after the union of the Kundalini with the Para-‘unknowable beyond’ Moksh.

There are several Gita-s. The Bhagwat Gita is recited by Krishna in the Mahabharat, it is in Sanskrit – Devbhasha Samskrutam. It is fundamentally an Advaita experience. The first commentary i.e. Bhashya on the Bhagwat Gita is written by Adi Shankaracharya. In fact before he wrote his Bhashya, the Bhagwat Gita was not very popular, as its real nature is extremely esoteric. This Bhashya clearly establishes the Gita to be a manual for attaining Sadyo-mukti i.e. experience Advaita/ Non-duality. This Bhashya is obviously written in Sanskrit. Most of us have lost touch with our real mother-tongue Sanskrit. Then the more recent commentary ‘Pranab-Gita’ originally in Bengali and available in Hindi was written some 150 yrs ago. Some of us can read these languages so this is very valuable. It also about Advaita. Read these commentaries if you want to understand what the Gita really means. Else read the actual Gita in Sanskrit. Even now in traditional Indian schools, the children are required to learn by heart the actual Gita shlok/verses. Even if you do not understand it, the original Sanskrit will go deep within and trigger changes.

Dhrutarashtra Uvacha, ‘Dharamkshetre Kurukshetre Samaveta Yuyutsavah, Mamakah Pandavashchaiva Kimakurvata Sanjay’.

The first verse of the Bhagwat Gita starts with ‘Dharma-kshetrae Kuru-kshetrae’. Now what is this really, the physical battle-ground? Perhaps yes, when you were a child and your Grandmom told you stories from the Mahabharat. But not anymore. You are a sadhak now, the meaning is different for you.

A quick re-cap. You are familiar with the energy structure of your body. There are 6 chakra, linked to your back, from the base of the spine to the center of the eyebrows, Muladhar, Swadhisthan, Manipur, Anahat, Vishuddhi, Ajnya. Then there are the six chakras in the head, Mula, Vama, Jeyshtha, Raudri, Sahasrara and the Bindu. The Kundalini is the energy of self-identification locked at the Muladhar chakra and it is supposed to reach the top-most chakra complex of Sahasrara+Bindu. Thus you achieve self-realisation or Moksh.

You also know about the 24 Tattva-s of creation. These are Prakruti, Mahat-buddhi, Ahamkar, Manas, the 5 sense organs, the 5 organs of action, the 5 panch-bhoot/ elements and the 5 tan-matra/ perceptions. I have written about these in my earlier posts. This is how your individual soul is created and the differentiated from other souls.

All this energy now forms your energy body and this is the Kshetra.

You know that there are the three Gun, Sattva, Raja and Tama. You, your body and mind are animated by the movements of these Gun. These three Gun are represented by the top-most triangle of the Shri-yantra. Now these three pervade throughout the energy body animating it. Their action divides the Kshetra into 3 parts.

The first part is the Karma-kshetra or simply Kuru-kshetra. ‘Kuru’ in Sanskrit means to act eg ‘kim kuru?’, means ‘what to do?’. So Kuru-kshetra means the ‘field of action’. This is composed of the 11 tattvas ie the 5 sense organs, the 5 organs of action and the Manas. This area is dominated by the Raja and Tama Gun. This part is connected to the actions related to the external world. You sense things, you see, smell, taste, etc. You also move things with your hands, legs and reproduce, create children etc. All this stuff is connected with the external world. These are infinite actions created by infinite permutations and combinations of these tattvas and animated by the Raja-Tama Gun-s in combination. The mind/ Manas is more dominant in this region and it decides what actions are to be taken.

Kundalini and the Shatchakra

Then next part of the energy body is the Dharmakshetra-Kurukshetra. This is composed of the Sushumna which extends from the Muladhar chakra to the Ajnya chakra and includes the 6 lower chakras. This part of the energy body is controlled by the Ajnya chakra. Your individual soul resides in the Ajnya chakra. The Bhagwat Gita starts with this word and the first verse/shlok describes this region. This is the real battle-ground of the spiritual aspirant.

This region is dominated by Satva-Raja Gun-s. The lowermost area near the Muladhar chakra is pervaded more by the Raja-gun and the upper areas near the Ajnya chakra is more Satvik. This is the reason why starting spiritual practice is so difficult. The Raja dominated lower chakras, i.e. Muladhar and Swadhisthan, do not allow the mind to focus, there is always movement. These lower chakras are linked more to the field of action ie the Kurukshetra, so are susceptible to greater interference from the tattvas. The gross body moves, the pran moves and the mind also moves under the influence of external forces and it takes significant mental force to still them. Raja means movement. But if you persevere and battle it out here, your body and mind both start getting still and more sookshma/ subtle or fine. Later, things ease out as you approach the Satva dominated upper regions.

The Satva and Raja are in equilibrium at the Manipur chakra. This chakra is the location of the samaan vayu. It is when you reach this chakra that the Kundalini actually starts getting aware. Reaching the 10 petalled lotus of the Manipur is the crucial point in your sadhana. In the Gita this stage is described as the fall of Bhishma, which takes place on the 10th day of the war.

In this Dharmakshetra-Kurukshetra region the mind/ Manas and the individual soul/ Jivatma both operate. Your individual soul along with the mind together have control over the actions of this region. Here the 5 subtle perceptions, tanmatra reside. Also the 5 -bhoot, the conscious parts of the earth, water, fire, air and ether. These are the subtle tattva-s. These move outwards and power the sense organs and the organs of action. But when these subtle tattva-s turn inwards they illuminate the real self. If you consciously act here you can influence your mind as well as soul. This happens when you do your Dhyan with pure Om or either of the ajapa mantra-s Soham or Hamsa. Thus is the paramount importance of this Dharmakshetra-Kurukshetra region.

If the aspirant wishes to realise himself, he has to fight the battle here in Dharmakshetra-Kurukshetra. The tendencies of the Mind fight the tendencies of the Intelligence. The mind and the creations of the mind attack, there is no other word, they really attack, these are the armies of the Kuru.

The aspirant stills the flow of breath by pranayam, thus the flow of pran also starts getting regulated. Then pran is made even finer, ie extreme control over the movement of the pran is achieved. Thus you make this thinnest pran move in a controlled way into the Sushumna. While you are doing this the mind located in the Ajnya chakra also is required to be made still. These things happen simultaneously and spontaneously.

How do you thread a needle? It is the same concept, but here the thread/pran is a million times thinner. You cannot see it with your physical eyes. The eye of the needle is in fact a super-thin tube twisted and re-twisted in complicated knots. You are required to push your pran-thread through all these twists. It requires super-intense focus. Another problem is that you really don’t have the thread-pran available. Pran is being distributed by the Ajnya chakra to the entire body! Your thread is frayed! So first you have to collect the pran at one point. All this happens gradually as you do regular Dhyan. (My Guru, his Guru, his Guru-brothers all are very clear on this, if you do your Dhyan regularly as it should be done, you will achieve your goal within 2 yrs.)

And, the last part of your energy body is the Dharma-kshetra. This extends from above the Ajnya chakra and includes the 6 chakras of the head. This is the region of the Para. This is also called the Bindu Mandala of Shri-Vidya. Here the Satva-Tama Gun dominate. There Raja-Gun does not push things out of equilibrium. Here things are still, stable. The topmost Bindu is the abode of the Para in your own body. The residence of the Bhairav of Vidnyan Bhairav Tantra. Dharma also means the right foundation. This region is neutral in nature. If you reach this level in your Sadhana you move onwards by the inexorable pull of your own Self. Things don’t get easier but the pull is stronger. It is Sahaj/ spontaneous.

The Gita is highly esoteric. It took an entire post to write about just ‘Dharmakshetra-Kurukshetra’ and I haven’t even touched 5% of its reality. So read the original Sanskrit Gita, or the Bhashya by Adi Shankaracharya or the Pranab-Gita. For the real Sadhak there is no other option. Any other ‘translations’ of the Gita are ok for the beginner levels but are extremely misleading for the real aspirant. A commentary is only as good as the person who wrote it. A person who has actually practiced and experienced the Gita a Yog-shastra, is an authority, none other.

Every story in Sanatan Dharm aka Hinduism is about the Kundalini its movement and your eventual Moksh. Every single story. There are 3 very valuable books which detail the step by step process on Dhyan and spiritual progress. I keep these with me always for reference because these also describe what happens when you do practice.

  1. Vidnyan Bhairav Tantra
  2. Bhagwat Gita
  3. Devi Mahatmya or Durga Saptashati

The first is a clear precise manual. The other two are written as allegory-stories, but are quite understandable if you know Sanskrit. And they all describe the same thing. The words may be different but they ultimately mean the same.

Vishvam-aatma vinirgatam’. Creation has emerged out from the Singular Atma. A real sadhak does not worship a specific ‘deity’. Hinduism has several gods, goddesses, deities and energies which are worshipped. This is necessary for the initial steps into Sadhana. But a genuine aspirant does not worship a ‘form’, he is an Atma-sadhak, an aspirant of the Self. His goal is Sadyo-mukti. He desires to know himself completely, aatma-pratishtha, and is determined to attain Brahma-sthiti the stability of the Self.

 

Kundalini and the Shatchakra

 

Marma points, Heal your body yourself.

This is one of the most secretive part of Ayurved. There are very few texts and very few of them are in public domain. There are a few Vaidya /Ayurved-acharya (Ayurvedic doctors) families in South India (mainly Tamil nadu and Kerala) and some ancient brahmin families in Uttarakhand, who have these books and techniques as family secrets. Some of these books are ancient, still on birch-wood/Bhoj-patra. The ancient Rishi-s who have written on this topic are Sushurt, Vaagbhatt and Agastya.

Marma मर्मन् is a Sanskrit word meaning, articulation, weak point, hidden weakness, sensitive spot, quick acting, vital organ, hidden, anything that requires protection and needs to be concealed. There are 108 Marma points in the human body. 108 is the ‘magic’ number of Sanatan Dharma/Hinduism!

Marma points, Heal your body yourself.

 

There are a quite few Marma-chikitsa centers who offer therapy on the Marma points for deep healing, inner healing, removal of blocks etc. Be careful about these centers. Marma chikitsa, ie medical treatment using the Marma points, is a very useful and highly effective way to cure several incurable body/ mind conditions. If you are sure about the credentials of your Marma chikitsa center, (you can check out where the Vaidya-s have learnt it, check past patients experiences), then you should get a therapy done. It will help immensely, it is rather like magic sometimes! They use targeted pressure using massage and specific combinations of ayurvedic oils to manipulate the Marma points. It is a very precise science, not intuition, so be careful of ‘intuitive healers’ and such. If you are not sure about the credentials of the Vaidya-s, then it is advisable to not mess with your Marma points.

These Marma points are the vulnerable points of your body. Of the 108 points, 64 are highly vulnerable, getting hit/ cut here can cause death. There are knots of naadis which carry vital energy/pran, located under these Marma points, thus their extreme sensitivity. Indian fighting techniques like Kalari (which still survives in Southern India), Marma points are used to kill. Knowledge of Marma is integral to the science of the Living Ayurved and the science of War Dhanurvidya, both.

Marma points are of 6 types depending on which parts of the body they ‘join’.

  • Mamsa मांस marma – where muscles join
  • Asthi अस्ति marma – where bones join
  • Snyau स्नायु marma – tendons join here
  • Dhamni धमनि marma – where arteries join
  • Shira सिरा marma – where veins join
  • Sandhi सन्धि marma – where the major limbs of the body join

The size of a Marma point can be variable. Some are the size of a grain of rice, while some are the size of your palm. Even if you get hit on a Marma point it causes excruciating pain as the pran/ vital energy movement in the naadi is affected severely. The three elements of the body, the tri-dosh, vaat, kapha, pitta go out of balance and the body /mind goes into shock. There may be excessive bleeding or even no bleeding as basically the naadi-s are damaged. The flow of the pran (all five types of pran), in the whole body is disturbed. This is very dangerous. Being hit on some points will be instantly fatal, some will cause crippling effects and some will cause injury, all will hurt. In some marma points, if the hurt is caused by a weapon, removal of the stuck weapon will cause death. Again, Marmas were used to kill and heal, both.

Marma points, Heal your body yourself.

 

Writing in details is not possible in this post, and I am not a Vaidya. (If you are seriously unwell then you need to get medical help from a proper professional).  Here are some tips on small but significant things you can do at home for your own healing using the concepts of Marma. And also remember to protect these body parts from being hit/injured.

The most important Marma point of the body is the navel. The center of your entire body. A direct hit here can be fatal. Be very careful of your navel. Put a few drops of warm coconut oil in your navel every night, very gently massage this area. Do it for 21 days and see for yourself.

(Make sure you use only edible coconut oil for all this gentle massage stuff at home. It should be clearly marked ‘edible’. No mixed oils, no mineral oils, no chemical ingredients. Massage means a very gentle rubbing, no heavy pressure. Regular gentle circular motions, that is it. These are highly sensitive points.)

The center of the forehead, the location of your third eye chakra. I still remember when in school someone clicked their fingers on my forehead. I literally saw stars and breathing was disturbed. Don’t let anyone hit you here. Don’t even let random people touch you here! Some people have this habit of hitting their forehead when they forget/remember something. Get rid of this habit, it disturbs the entire Ida/ Pingala/ Sushumna system.

Then on the head are more points. The top of the head is extremely sensitive. You can try this tiny marma chikitsa yourself, take 1-2 tablespoons of warm coconut oil and do a self massage. Very gently with your whole palm, rub the top of your head. It takes about 15mins for this much oil to be absorbed into this point. More oil the better. Highly beneficial, do it at least once a week regularly. Overall energy will increase, sense of hearing, smell sight etc will improve. (Or you can ask your family member to do it for you). Hair will also improve as a side-benefit!

Then is the mid point between the edge of the eyes and the ears, a slight hollow in the skull, both sides. If you get a headache or feel stressed out, you can gently rub these points to get relief. You must be doing this already.

Marma points, Heal your body yourself.

The throat, the center hollow in the front and the two sides of the throat. (As a kid, I remember getting hit by a brother on the center hollow, I remember breathing but no pran flowing, then blacking out). Vishuddhi chakra with its Rudra granthi, very sensitive. One should always be careful of the head, throat and the spine/back.

 

Then on the shoulder, the point where the bones of the arm and collarbone meet in a complicated joint. The arm-pits are also quite sensitive. Also the points where the legs join the body, the inner hollow.

The entire fleshy palm and sole are sensitive areas, especially the center of the palm/sole. The webbing between your thumb and first finger is linked to your head. The next time you have a headache, try very gently pressing this web. (This is a snyau marma point and is also in the foot). As is the center of the wrist on the inner side. Your entire body is connected to your wrists and palms, also ankles and feet. It feels relaxing to get a foot oil massage just for this reason. You can get the same benefit by taking warm coconut oil in your palms and gently rubbing them together, applying gentle pressure, wrist upwards for 15 mins. And you can ask a family member to do the same gentle rubbing with coconut oil for your feet. (And you can return the favour later!).

The midpoint of your forearm and the midpoint of your upper arm. And the midpoint of the fleshy part of your calf and midpoint of the inner sides of the thighs in your legs. You must have noticed that calves ache when you are tired, it is not muscle pain, it is this pran movement issue. If you gently rub the marma point with oil as above, it will feel better quickly.

The tip of the knee and the elbow. I am sure we all have banged our elbows and frozen in pain. Well, the excruciating pain is because it is a Marma point.

Then the chest, on the diaphragm, the central point, where the abdomen and chest join. Here lies the Anahata chakra. On the chest, the entire aureole areas. Then lower is the Manipur chakra, this is the center of your waist above the navel linked to the solar plexus. The point of Swadhisthan chakra, midway between your navel and lower end of the abdomen, this is linked to the kidneys and urinary bladder. The Muladhar chakra ie the physical anus and the reproductive organs. These last are quite sensitive areas from the nadi/ pran flow point of view, if there is a cut here, it can be fatal.

On the back, personally, I feel the entire back is sensitive as the Ida/ Pingala/  Sushumna run sort of ‘below’ the backbone. Damage to the backbone area and a couple of inches on either side of it will affect pran flow in these three main nadis.

 

If you want to increase the efficacy of your self-massage try these simple things

  • If you know Reiki, or any other healing energy modality, reiki your oil hands to trigger the healing energies.
  • If you have learnt to make a Chi-ball, make it and put on in your oil bottle, with all intention of healing and perfect health.
  • Draw a healing rune on the oil bottle.
  • Pray to Danvantari, the form of Shri Vishnu who is the deity of Ayurved. Recite his mantra once or just think of him with gratitude and request his help.
  • Or call on your source of faith, request help from your Higher Self.
  • Play your favourite Sanskrit Shlok/ Mantra/ Stotra in the background. Intend that this healing energy enters the oil and your body.
  • Sit in the early morning Sun while doing this. Skin and oil together in the early morning Sun will give you your daily Vitamin D supplement.
  • If you feel drawn to any flower in the Bach flower system, use its energies in your healing process.
  • Know that this will work because you are doing it for yourself.

Try some of these small things from Marma if they appeal to you. If you do them regularly with positive intentions you will help your own body and mind and be happier and healthier.

 

Marma points, Heal your body yourself.

 

Tripur, Tripurari, Tripursundari

A story today.

All stories from Sanatan Dharm/Hinduism are allegories and have hidden meanings which help you on your path to Yourself.

This story is about the Tripur. It is from the Mahabharat and also mentioned in the Yajurved. First the story in simple words.

There were three brothers named Vidyunmali, Tarakaksh and Kamalaksh, the sons of Tarak-asur. These three brothers did intense austerities, as a result Brahmadev was pleased. They desired three indestructible cities, one for each. But Brahmadev was like, ‘nothing lasts forever’, so the brothers added a caveat that the cities would be impregnable, indestructible etc and would be destroyed only if one single missile hit them all three at once. Brahmadev was ok with this and thus the brothers got their cities. They got their architect, Maya-danav to work on the cities and got the Tripur constructed. The three cities were more like planets, each moved in independent orbits. However the three cities would align with each other, just for one instant, once in a thousand years. These cities were unassailable citadels and ideal for waging war on others. So the three brothers went on a rampage and wrecked havoc on the Universe. Everyone in the Universe rushed to Vishnu for help. He came up with a solution, Shiv would fire the missile at the Tripur at that one instant when they would aligned, thus destroying them all at once. So for this task, the following stuff was sourced,

  1. Prithvi was the chariot.
  2. Gandhamadana and Vindhya mountains were the frame of the chariot.
  3. Shesha was the Aksha/ axis of the chariot
  4. The Moon and the Sun were the two wheels of the chariot
  5. Malaya mountain was the yoke of the chariot.
  6. Gandharva-s named Elapatra and Pushpadanta bound the yoke and the chariot.
  7. Takshaka the Naag was used to tie the chariot and its yoke, pins, etc together.
  8. The four Ved-s were the four horses who pulled the chariot.
  9. The six Vedang were used as the bridles on the horses
  10. Gayatri and Savitri were the reins
  11. Om was the whip
  12. The charioteer was Brahmadev
  13. The Mandara mountain was the bow
  14. Vasuki the Naag was the bowstring
  15. Vishnu was his missile.
  16. Agni was tip of the missile
  17. Vayu was the side balancer of that missile
  18. Yama was the tail-balancer of the missile
  19. Vajra was used as a whetstone to sharpen the missile
  20. Meru was the standard/flag which was raised on the chariot.

Shiv then stood immobile on this chariot with the missile ready on his bow. The three cities, Tripur, came into alignment for that one instant in thousand years. He then sent this missile against the three cities, burning and reducing it to nothingness. The name of the fire which burnt the Tripur was called Yug. Then Shiv marked his forehead with the Tripundra (the three horizontal lines) with the ashes of the Tripur and danced his Tandav. Shiv is called Tripurari, (Tripurasya ari) the enemy of the Tripur.

Tripur, Tripurari, Tripursundari

This day when Shiv destroyed the Tripur is celebrated now as the Tripurari Pournima. This is the full-moon day in the month of Kartik (November). On this full-moon day, the Sun is in the Vishakha Nakshatra. The Moon can be in three possible lunar mansions, in Bharani or Kritika or Rohini. If it is in Kritika and conjunct Jupiter it becomes a very rare Mahapournima, perhaps this happens once in thousand years! However worship of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiv is performed on Tripurari pournima and it gives very auspicious results.

Now the esoteric significance. This story is describes how you experience Moksh. A Sanskrit mini-translation of the words.

Sanatan – eternal, without beginning or end. The beauty of our Dharm is that it derives from the inner self. Even if the knowledge of the Eternal, e.g. books, temples are destroyed, teachers/brahmins/Guru are killed etc, it will rise again from the inner soul.

Dharm – foundation, solidity, firmness, virtue, ethics, merit, right, character. It is the right action that you are required to perform as per your conscience.

Tri – three. A lot of things in creation are in triplets. The three-gun, Satva, Raja Tama. The three bodies, Sthool, Sookshma, Karan. The three states of Existance, awake, dream state, deep sleep. The three tendencies in Ayurved, kapha, pitta and vata. The three forms of Gayatri mantra, Gayatri, Savitri, Sarasvati. The three Granthi in the path of the Kundalini, Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra Granthi etc.

Pur – town, fort, body, intelligence, initial creation.

Initial creation starts with the creation of Purush and Prakruti. Prakruti, the active principle, further creates the Manifested. Prakruti is composed of the three Gun, Satva, Raja and Tama. These are the tri-pur, the first created triad. These are seen in the Shri-yantra geometry as the top-most equilateral triangle below the bindu. In the body these are the 3 topmost chakras, Vama, Jeyshta and Raudri. The Bindu is the Prakruti, also called ‘Lalita Tripursundari’.

Lalita means ‘the one who plays the game’. Tripur is the tri-gun. Sundari means yellow, beautiful woman, a meter of prosody, the one who is equally divided, equal streams, equal creation, equal cleaving, equal ignorance. So now, ‘Lalita Tripursundari’ will mean the ‘One who Plays’ who is further divided into the three equal energies of the initial creation. Prakruti is composed of the 3 Gun. Satva, Raja and Tama are equal in strength. As long as they are in perfect alignment the triangle remains equilateral. When they get pulled out of alignment the triangle loses its perfection, ignorance is created and the rest of creation follows. This further creation caused by the action of Raja-gun/Brahma on Satva/Vishnu and Tama/Shiv.

If you want to shoot up your kundalini to the very top, the three Gun have to be brought into perfect alignment again.

Tripur, Tripurari, Tripursundari

Tarak-aksh – blind to the the Unfathomable which exists behind the Light. However covered by superficial shimmering light. (The Reality is hidden by the Splendour that it radiates.) In Dhyan you see the silver/gold lightening at your third eye, the trick is to not get enamoured of this light, as the Reality is concealed behind it.

Vidyunmali – covered by lightening but lacking the real internal lustre. Creation might look very pretty but it is quite insubstantial on the inside.

Kamalaksh – blind to real Prosperity, endowed with superficial wealth. We run behind the objects of the created universe oblivious to the real Wealth that spiritual practice can give us.

Tarak – liberator, saviour, darkness, meteor-light, eye, driver, float.

Asur – spirit, divine, sign of the zodiac, opponent of the light, cloud.

In all the stories there is a common theme, that an Asur rises up becomes powerful and creates havoc in the Universes. Everyone then rushes to the three main deities or their wives for help. The deity kills the Asur and peace is restored. However to understand these stories in the real sense, one has to remember two things,

1. nothing is inherently ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Everything just ‘is’. Your perception and your conscience labels something as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

2. Every action you take leads you to Yourself. You reach the limit of emotion, action anything, you reach the Ultimate. Kunti reached the limit of ‘sorrow’ thus found the Divine. Tarak-asur reached the limit of ‘evil’, thus found the Reality. Everyone’s path is different but it all leads to the Parabrahma. You can only choose your route, the destination is the same.

Brahmadev – conscious potential energy of the Raja-gun. This further creates the energies below the tri-gun. Brahmadev controls the Brahma-granthi which is located at the Muladhar chakra connected to the Prithvi tattva.

Vishnu – conscious potential energy of the Satva-gun, this balances between the creation and destruction (below the tri-gun). The granthi at the Anahata chakra is called the Vishnu granthi.Shiv – conscious potential energy of the Tamo-gun. Tamo-gun is a highly cryptic one. The commonly understood meaning of tama is dull, discordant, dangerous, damaging etc. But there is something called ‘Vishuddha-tamo-gun’, Shiv represents this. Its quality is to still, to dampen, to smother. The time from 10pm to 2am at night is pervaded by this vishuddha-tamo-gun. If you are able to do your sadhana at this time you can progress faster. The granthi at the Vishiddhi chakra is called the Rudra granthi.

Tripur, Tripurari, Tripursundari

Prithvi – earth element of the Pancha-bhoot. The conscious energy of stillness, solidity and firmness.

Gandhamadan – the sound that the muladhar chakra makes. It sounds like a heavy buzzing of the bumble-bee. Literally it means one who is intoxicated by fragrance.

Vindhya – the one who aims single-pointedly for the experience which is desired

Shesh – the remaining energy which remains surplus after the creation. It is visualised as an elephant at the base of the spine and as the Naag/serpent bed on which Vishnu rests at the top of the spine. Shesh is the name of one of the ‘elephants who support the Earth’. Elephants are distinguished by their trunk ie sense of smell thus often associated with the imagery of the Muladhar chakra. The Muladhar chakra is linked to the sense of smell and to the prithvi tattva. Also if you want to access the granthi/energy knot at the base of the Muladhar chakra, you have to first face Ganapati in his terrifying Uddanda-Ganapati form. Thus poetically elephants can be described as supporting the Earth!

Aksh – axis, wheel, pivot, measure, dice, court, 5, balance, cube, weight, snake, soul, vehicle, religious knowledge, bones, blind person, senses. Sanskrit is a palimpsest, you have to know which meaning to use where!

Chandra – moon, left eye, Ida nadi, brilliant, pleasant, camphor, metre, gold. The energy associated with the Ajnya chakra. It is the sum of your existence, past, present, future and parallel.

Surya – sun, 12, pingala nadi, brilliant, gold, auspicious. The energy associated with the Sahasrara chakra. This is your self-ego, your first cut-off from the Universal Reality.

Malaya – a measure, mountain. Mountains are the energies which spike out from the Muladhar chakra. Himalaya is the tallest physical mountain, thus his daughter is called Parvati who wishes to marry Shiv.

Gandharva – ‘small in quantity but very fast moving’. These are a class of beings.

There are several beings who inhabit this earth, Yaksha, Gandharva, Naag, Rakshas, Danav, Daitya, Dev etc. These are found in places not inhabited by humans. In the Himalayas there are several ancient temples which were made and used by these beings. Eg the Kasardevi temple in Almora belongs to the Yakshas. The Kotgadi and Haatkali temples belong to the Naags. There is a Yakshavati river in Pithoragad (it is dying now), where the Yakshas would come every full-moon night. Even now there are several remote places in the Himalayas where it is advisable to avoid going, especially on full moon and new moon nights.

Tripur, Tripurari, Tripursundari

Pushpadant – expanding point (this is a paradox)

Elapatra – flowing constant (this is also a paradox). The Parabrahma, Ultimate reality cannot be described in the words of this manifested creation thus is often considered to be a paradox.

Takshak – craftsman, one who creates solid stuff from diffuse materials. This is the name of a Naag. Naag also represent the bindings of karma. You too act and create stuff. When you act with intention and self-ego you create karma. This is also linked to the way kundalini is locked above the muladhar chakra. Mountains and serpents are both connected to the muladhar chakra and represent the karma.

Naag – serpentine, elephantine, cruel, living in water, name of a vital energy/pran, ephemeral, metal, mating. Naag is also derived from Nag meaning mountain. Mountains are again associated with the imagery of the Muladhar chakra.Ved – perception, knowledge, property, sacred, property, truth. If you do your Dhyan long enough you will be granted the knowledge of the Ved. You will literally hear them, these are the ‘Shruti’, ‘heard’.

Vedang – the six sciences which help understanding the Ved, shiksha, chhand, vyakarana, nikruta, kalpa, jyotish. These are related to the deepest understanding of Sound and Time.

Gayatri – meter of 24 syllables, Gayatri mantra, or more precisely the form of the Gayatri mantra which is recited at dawn.

Savitri – the conscious energy of the internal light which you see at your third eye. Also the form of Gayatri mantra which is recited at midday.

Om – your real name, the origin of this universe. It is created from Prakruti. It is one of the three possible options for mantras to be used in Dhyan, the other two being Soham and Hamsa.

Mandara – mirror, heavy, firm, heaven, chain of pearls, mountain, meter, a tree. Poetically Mandara (Erythrina indica) flowers are worn by Lalita Tripursundari. Actually her energy is of brilliant red color, you will find real tantriks always put a red tilak indicating that they worship Her.

Tripur, Tripurari, Tripursundari

Vasuki – the serpent/Naag which Shiv wears around his throat also ‘desire’.

Agni – 3, third eye, ajnya chakra, fire from the Pancha-bhoot, brilliance, gold. All deities linked to the tri-gun, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiv, Sarasvati, Laxmi and Shakti have three eyes, these have the conscious energies of Sun, Moon and Fire.

Vayu – desirable, vital energy, intelligent energy of the air. One of the panch-bhoot. This is the vital energy which flows in your body. You think you breathe oxygen, but in fact you are pulling in Pran, a type of Vayu from the Universe. Yogi-s do not need oxygen, they can live off pran directly.

Yama – flight, motion, incoming, driver, moral duty, rule, control, self-restraint, key, vibration. For any spiritual practice Yama in all its forms is essential.

Vajra – impenetrable, shaped like a dumb-bell, a form of the moon, spiritual practice. Indra (from the 33 koti devata) carries the Vajra in his hand. It continually generates the silver/gold lightening. This is significant as Indra is your individual soul, you yourself create the glittery veil behind which lies your reality. Sanatan Dharm is all about the individual and his experience. Top priority is to the one who experiences. And you can experience only if you practice. Give yourself these 20mins every day and experience it for yourself.

Meru – the backbone, zenith, the geometry of the Shriyantra in 3 dimensions. The Meru as a symbol of victory is raised on the chariot. This indicates that once the Tri-pur are destroyed the top of the Meru/ Bindu is achieved.

Yug – time

Tandav – The dance performed by Shiv which results in complete annihilation of the manifested. He destroys Apasmar, ie confusion of the mind by this dance and reminds you what you have forgotten. You have forgotten your real self.

You can now take the meanings and fit them into the story, see what you can make of it! But basically the gist of the story is that you have to take your missile/energy of self-realization, from the Muladhar chakra to the top of the Meru, only then will you remember your Reality. In this journey you have to take the help of so many things/energies which are at your disposal.

 

Tripur, Tripurari, Tripursundari

(There was a question on the Tripur story so wrote this, my personal understanding of it. This is an important story, as it actually tells you how you have to go about freeing yourself from the Illusion around you. Each one of us will experience this same thing during Dhyan as we move onwards on our spiritual journey to the Self.)

Aries/Libra, The Beginnings, Part 3

This is the concluding post of this three part series on Aries and Libra.

Are you just an individual or just a partner in an equitable relationship?

Aries and Libra indicate beginnings, Aries is the natural ascendant, the 1st sign of the zodiac. You are created from the energies of Dissolution. It is the beginning of the first half of the zodiac where you use the energies available to you for developing your own self. Then you use your personal sense of self and self-ego to create karma in this half. In Virgo, you realise the magnitude of karma you have created for yourself and you start working on resolving it, here the focus is still on your own self. In Libra, the 7th sign of the zodiac, the natural descendant, you start your journey back to the unmanifested Reality. In this second half of the zodiac you give of yourself. You consciously return the sense of self-ego and diffuse the energies that you had labelled as belonging to yourself. This process continues till you reach Pisces, the Dissolution, you dissolve your self into the Greater Self with full intention. Virgo and Pisces are the ‘endings’ as Aries and Libra are the beginnings.

Aries/Libra, The Beginnings, Part 3

Together, Aries and Libra represent Change of the highest intensity.The change that these two signs represent is not the traumatic and shocking one associated with the 8th house /Scorpio. This change is the subtle inner one which determines your soul’s direction. You choose this change. You are aware of the situations which existed before, you chose this change and you are aware of that which will happen. Thus the element of sorrow associated with these two signs. When you change something consciously you are aware of leaving something and taking up something new for your own good. The process may be pleasant or perhaps not, but there is no option.

Aries and Libra are the preferred partners, in the 7/7 axis. These are mirror images, outwardly very different but internally completing each other. If you are a Libra you might observe your favoured partner to have an Aries dominant or a Mars dominant personality. e.g. He may have a Mars in the ascendant, or ascendant lord heavily influenced by Mars, or the birth Moon controlled by Mars etc. Or he may have Aries as the ascendant, or the birth Moon in Aries, or a bunch of significant planets in Aries. (And likewise for Aries.) Venus and Mars are very closely linked planets. Libra needs Aries to complete itself and Aries too requires the qualities offered by Libra to complete his personality.

If Aries is original thinking, Libra is the one who gives it structure to those thoughts. Aries is self-focussed but Libra manages to create agreements between two self-s. As the pioneer Aries forges ahead, Libra follows, making those legal and social ties which are mutually acceptable. Equitable fairness consolidating the blast of energy. Raw power cannot be sustained indefinitely but for the balance of Libra. Libra uses the raw material that Aries provides it and creates the ever evolving balance. Passion tempered by intellect is even more formidable. Aries provides the force and Libra the balance, one has no meaning without the other. Libra continually adjusts the force created by Aries which benefit not just the two of them but also the larger community. Libra needs Aries to give it a sense of self. Continually seeing oneself as a ‘partner’ rather than as an individual is not healthy. Unless you appreciate your ‘individuality’, you will put yourself and your needs last.

Aries and Libra are the same in several ways.

The same planet controls the 6/8 axis for both signs. So if the personality is strong the changes forced on this personality will be equally strong, creating an equally strong new personality. Your strength is tested at every instant. Every change forced on you is by your own self. You hammer on yourself, thus evolve. It is traumatic to even think of, but you do it, throughout your life. You are created from change, you create change and you change in very fundamental ways.

Their owners consume and refashion each other. Venus becomes the only Marak for Aries and Mars is the only Marak for Libra. Marak is the planet who decides the time when your body is saturated. You have amassed all the Value you could, and you leave the physical body. This is a very subtle relationship between Venus and Mars which needs to be appreciated. You are born with a fixed agenda regarding resolution of karma. Karma is created because of relationships, you consider someone ‘other’ and perform your actions with a sense of ‘self’. So resolving karma essentially means to resolve relationships.

For resolving karma two things are needed

  • Letting go of the sense of self (domain of Aries)
  • Letting go of the sense of ‘other’ (domain of Libra).

So the signs have to let go of their own defining nature! Thus their constant dissatisfaction in close relationships, they know that with each relationship they are getting closer to letting go of their essential natures. (Only when you let go of your narrow sense of self can you attain your Higher self/Moksh.) There is a deep underlying sorrow that each creates for the other. e.g. Libra never gets the perfect relationship he desires, he has to face a raw blast of energy instead. Aries gets a geometry-obsessed intellectual rather than someone passionately adventurous. But both know in their deepest hearts that what they get is actually right for them. But knowing doesn’t make it easier. Both know that they have to explore the spiritual realms to find peace. And they do it, but this happens late in life. Till then life passes by in a blur.Now for the energy and Moksh related significance of this axis. Remember you are studying Jyotish, the deepest knowledge/Ved-ang, which will Illuminate your own Self.

Aries/Libra, The Beginnings, Part 3

Aries is the structure of the body and the energy flowing through it. i.e it is also the structure of the Chakras, the naadis and the pran/vital energy flowing through it. The force of the pran (and later Kundalini) is extremely great. This force, if let loose without balance will destroy everything. Now a Libra may be whatever his chart signifies but inwardly he wants to balance. He wants things to be perfectly in alignment all the time. I know a Libra who keeps his office desk in perfect order. Books, files and photos of the kids all at perfect 90degrees, the laptop parallel to the desk-edge, the chair placed just so! He is so obsessed about this that I had to suggest Tratak, as a better use of his obsession.

You see Tratak is one exercise which is perfect for geometry-obsessed individuals. You stare at the perfection of the Shri-yantra and with time force your own internal geometry to match its perfection. This to me is the real spiritual goal of Libra. Rather than focussing on the material, the objects on the desk, better focus on your own internal geometry. Your chakras are out of balance because of karmic influences (basically Rahu-Ketu). Work with your Libra-ness  and bring these mis-aligned chakras to their perfect balance. The forces flowing through the chakras have to be perfectly balanced so that the chakra geometry gets aligned and remains aligned, (the balance is dynamic!). And then allow your Aries-nature to push the high volume of pran first so that the Kundalini can later shoot up in one smooth motion.

How you see yourself as? How do you explore your relationship with Yourself? How do you conquer the kingdom of your Dream? This is the secret of the Aries/Libra axis. The beginning of the end.

 

Aries/Libra, The Beginnings, Part 3

Trigun, Satva Raja Tama

The Eternal reality is Singularity. It divides into a Still Intelligence called Purush पुरुष the Witness, साक्षी and a Spontaneous Evolution called Prakruti प्रकृति, the player Lalita ललिता. Purush is an observer, not concerned with further manifestation.

Prakruti spontaneously creates the three Gun गुण within Herself. These three Gun are the foundation of manifestation in a very subtle way. I have referred to these in my several posts by their simplest definitions,

  1. Satva सत्व – pulls you towards the Singular Reality.
  2. Raja रज – pulls you towards the Manifested universe.
  3. Tama तम – are heavy, dull energies destructive.

Now these three are the very fundamentals of manifestation. The Bindu (Prakruti) divides into the three chakras initially, Vama, Jeyshta, Raudri which represent the energies of Satva, Raja and Tama. (Refer to the geometry of the Shri yantra and the conscious energies of creation. These three are represented by the inner-most equi-lateral triangle around the central dot).

sri yantra bw.png

The Prakruti the Great Mother, is also called the Pradhan प्रधान which means that all things are contained within Her, she is prominent, chief, most important, essence, original source. She is the Cause and also the Effect. ‘Cause and effect’, we think of these two things as separate and distinct from each other. But if you think deeply these are quite similar on the deeper levels but yet dissimilar. e.g. Cream is formed on milk, that means that milk has the potential to form cream (cream is hidden in the milk), and cream does contain properties of milk (milk is hidden in the cream). Thus the effect is just the transformation/ evolution/ involution (Parinam परिणाम) of the cause.

Prakruti is defined as the state where the Satva, Raja and Tama Gun remain in perfect equilibrium. This is the Avyakta अव्यक्त, unmanifested, potential, invisible, universal spirit, primordial germ, inactive, unexpressed, latent state. Prakruti is Non-Intelligent. The reason is the three Gun. She is composed of the Satva, Raja and Tama which are in constant equilibrium and in spontaneous equal constant motion. Neither of these is greater or lesser, thus they ‘cancel each other out’. Thus she is Spontaneity.

Satva is light and causes pleasure at the spiritual levels, its function is to illuminate. Raja is active, urgent, passion and generally causes pain, its function is to cause evolution. Evolution is represented by the Swastik drawn in the clockwise direction. Tama is heavy, dull enveloping and smothering at the deepest levels, its function is to cause involution. Involution does not mean annihilation, it means that the energies are directed inwards, the transformation which causes dissolution (Swastik drawn in the anticlockwise manner).

These three Gun, Satva, Raja and Tama are always linked with each other, they are always in conjunction and cannot be separated from each other. They continually influence each other, forever mixing in different proportions. As long as they are equal in force there is no manifestation. Prakruti is in constant movement and this motion powered by the continuous mixing and movement of the Gun. The Gun give direction to evolution/ involution. These three are all pervading, in every thing you see around you. These are the first ‘effect’ of Prakruti, so are in everything of this manifested Universe. They are energised by Prakruti.

The three Gun are initially in equilibrium, in the Avyakta, un-expressed state, this is pure Prakruti. Prakruti is the first Tattva of Creation. Tattva तत्त्व means a distinct state, element, principle or essence.

Trigun, Satva Raja Tama

Then there is a spontaneous Spandan स्पन्दन, which means throbbing, vibration, motion, start of life in the energy of Prakruti. This causes an imbalance in the three Gun and the Raja overpowers the other two. This leads to the Vyakta व्यक्त state, things start getting obvious, clear, evident, expressed and manifested. The Gun always remain in motion, now that they are out of equilibrium they will cause subtle changes in the next manifested tattvas of which they will become a part of. There is constant change everywhere because of their constant movement at the deepest fundamental levels.evolution from parabrahma to mahat buddhiNow after the Spandan, the Gun’s perfect equilateral triangle is disturbed. And Raja is immediately released by the imbalance, it acts on the Satva to produce Mahat-Buddhi which is the 2nd tattva of creation. Mahat-Buddhi is a new thing different from Prakruti and the three Gun hence is called a new Tattva. But it is still composed of the three Gun and energised by Prakruti. It is a transformation/ parinam.

When you do Dhyan, the very last and deepest stages, you are required to set this three Gun in their equilibrium stage again with your conscious manipulation of Pran. There are several ways to manipulate pran. (I read on the internet where people take classes to awaken their Kundalini and its always a facepalm moment. Can you control your breath? For 99.99% of us the answer is No! First learn breath control, then try to control pran, only then can you even think of the Kundalini and forget about ‘controlling’ it!. You would be lucky if you first clean out your Brahmanadi till the top with the pran first and then the kundalini unlocks and moves upwards in one smooth uninterrupted flow.)

There is no ‘physical God’ in Sanatan Dharm, we worship Intelligent Energy. And by ‘worship’, we try to entrain our limited beings with their Immenseness so that we ultimately experience and transcend them.

The Creative principle is the duo, Brahma ब्रह्म and Sarasvati सरस्वती. These two principles are Rajasic in nature. Brahma is the potential and Sarasvati is the active principle of Raja. In the Vyakt/manifestation, as the two principles of Raja act first, the active and potential principles of Satva, Laxmi लक्ष्मी and Vishnu विष्णु also get active by the influence of Brahma/Sarasvati. Together with these, the active and potential principles of Tama, Shakti शक्ति and Shiv शिव also start acting. These six energies are worshipped as Gods and called husband/wife of each other too. Though we visualise them as human figures and make human stories for them, they are not humans, they are pure conscious energies. So when you are ‘worshipping’ this Trinity of Sanatan Dharm, the husbands/wives, you are actually rebalancing the three Gun, Satva, Raja and Tama Gun in your own body /mind / Universe.

Now a secret. You are not Prakruti, you are the Eternal Singularity. You are neither your body nor your Universe, you are more than this. Prakruti is the active principle derived from the Eternal. Prakruti is a small part of the Eternal. If you think on the intellectual level at least to begin with, that that everything that you do, see, experience etc is not by You but by Prakruti, you will Realise Yourself faster.

 

sy-1-min

Mudra and Bandh in Dhyan

Dhyan is a process where you focus. You focus on your breathing, your mantra and the third eye chakra. The more steadfast you are, the more deeply you concentrate, the more fulfilling your Dhyan will be. In the post on how to do Dhyan (do read it) I have mentioned five Mudra or Bandh. Mudra means to ‘seal’. You use the energy of the yogic posture to seal the energies of your body in a particular way. Bandh means to ‘bind’, essentially it also means to bind the energies your body in a particular way so that you can use the body/tool better. These are,

  1. Maha Mudra
  2. Jalandhar Mudra
  3. Yoni Mudra
  4. Khechari Mudra
  5. Mool Bandh

Mahamudra –

This is an extremely important Mudra. When you bend down your lungs retain the inhaled air, this is the state of Antah Kumbhak. This is all that you will be doing initially. Breathing in, focussing on your third eye, bending down and reciting Om mentally 12 times. You will not be aware of what happens internally initially.

Mudra and Bandh in Dhyan

Later you might see bursts of color and other things.

By doing this Mudra all the naadi, major/minor, in the body are made to open. If there are any obstructions in any naadi, they are shaken and unblocked. Pran can flow freely in all the naadi further removing the subtle blockages. The body’s life-span in years increases. Deterioration of the body is checked. The Agni in the body, i.e. all forms of fire or the energes of conversion, are increased. The organs of senses and actions are checked and the ability to focus is enhanced. The flow of pran is enhanced towards the head, i.e. through the Sushumna. The Ajnya chakra is powered on and the other chakras too function smoothly. Even if you are not aware of what is happening inside you, this will happen.

During this Mudra, the apan vayu is brought upwards, the pran is brought downwards and these are linked to the saman vayu at the navel. Initially this happens unconsciously, later you will be aware of this movement and can consciously increase their flows.

Mahamudra can be practiced safely. It will work on the physical levels too, by stretching out the back and enabling you to sit for hours in one posture without tiring your body.

Jalandhar mudra – 

I have seen so many ‘modern yoga’ websites giving photos of this mudra with the head literally hanging down on the chest! Doing it is not only silly, but will give you a neck-ache. It is so sad that people are doing things without understanding the energy/pran dynamics involved. You need to experience the energy movement within you first. And it is not ‘yogaaa’, it is Yog, योग, and you are doing a Yog-asan योगासन.

The correct way to do this extremely vital mudra/bandh, is to contract the muscles of the throat area and press the chin inwards. The head slightly moves downwards and backwards. The movement of the head using the neck muscles is in relation to the chest. You will feel a double chin  forming at your neck. This young woman in the image is holding her neck perfectly.

Mudra and Bandh in Dhyan

When you do the Jalandhar Mudra/Bandh, you are doing two things with your Sushumna.

  1. The back remains straight, so the Sushumna in the back area is straight. The more straight your body parts are, the naadi in them will remain straight, the movement of pran through them will be better
  2. You are aligning the hollow at the back of your head with your third eye chakra. So the branch of the Sushumna (read this post, can’t repeat it all again), from the point of bifurcation, the pineal gland and the Ajnya chakra are in one line. This line is parallel to the ground and perpendicular to the lenght of the lower Sushumna.

For a beginner, this much is enough. Practice the Mudra and see what it will reveal about itself.

Yonimudra – 

After the first phase of 108 breaths in Dhyan, you are supposed to do this mudra. In this, first inhale then shut both your ears tight with both your thumbs. Place your little fingers below the lips. Ring fingers above the lips. Close both nostrils with your middle fingers tightly. And press the index fingers to the point slightly above where the inner edge of your eyes meets the nose. Hold the breath for 12-20 counts. You might see darkness, colored clouds, burst of light at your third eye or whatever it is. Observe it maximum to the count of 20 no more. Take away your hands and release the Mudra, exhale. This much is more than enough as a general practice.

For actually doing it in the real sense, you will need a physical Guru sitting in front of you to guide you. It is the most important of all Mudras used in Yog. I have written a post on Yoni mudra earlier but then I felt it was too much information, so then I password protected it. In my opinion, this is the most dangerous mudra in all of Yog, so be very very careful doing it.

Khechari-mudra

In this, you twist your tongue completely and push it upwards behind the nasal passage.  You will then be able to access the fluid secreted by your pineal gland (some call it amrut/elixir of immortality). (I will not write more about this here. You will need to find a Guru for yourself who will teach you face-to-face.)

If you cannot do this (99.99% of my readers won’t be able to), you should press your tongue or the tip of the tongue as you feel comfortable firmly against the upper palate. If you can bend your tongue backwards to press against the soft palate it would give better results. This brings in pressure on the pineal in a very subtle way. It also links up with the energy flow entering in the third eye chakra and its movement in the Sushumna naadi. If you cannot bend your tongue back, press it straight up, against the hard palate at least. Make a pointed tip of the tongue and press hard until you feel the pressure inside your nose. Initially you will be able to do this for less than a minute as your tongue muscles will tire. This allows greater focus as the mind cannot entertain random thoughts. Do this throughout your Dhyan or for as much time as you can. Initially your tongue muscles will get tired but they will strengthen over time. If you have your tongue pressing on the palate, is impossible for the mind to wander, try it!

You can try this tongue posture in your daily life too, especially whenever you are stressed out. Pressing the tongue on the upper palate relaxes the body and increases the intake of pran from the Universe.

Mool Bandh –

A variation of this Bandh is actually called ‘Kegel exercise’ in modern medicine! However, when you use this Mool Bandh in Dhyan you are supposed to continuously contract the pelvic floor muscles. Initially you will be able to do it for maybe a few minutes. As you practice, the muscles will strengthen and you will be able to remain in the Mool Bandh for the entire duration of your Dhyan. You will not be able to sense the energy dynamics initially. But in this Bandh, you are changing the flow of apan vayu and bringing it upwards, towards the navel. This increases the vitality of the body and as you start consciously controlling the vayu, you will soon be able to sense its movement too. Then you can do more.

This post is to give a very very basic information on the most important Mudra/Bandh used in Dhyan, for generating interest. Even in their most basic forms these Bandh are very powerful and are used to manipulate the pran movement in your body. These are not just physical exercises. This much is the merest glimpse and more than enough for a beginner.

These are completely described in the Shiv Samhita. Always read the original Sanskrit and not the translations. You cannot hope to get into the technicalities of these things unless you understand Sanskrit and have a proper Guru. Shiv Samhita describes 10 Mudra/Bandha as the best possible, but the other Bandhas cannot be done without a proper Guru and I will not discuss them in general posts. This post is what my Guru taught me, my personal understanding, experience and practice.

 

Mudra and Bandh in Dhyan