Sounds heard during meditation

There was a question on this, so a quick post. As you do your regular spiritual practice using the mantras Soham or Hamsa or Om, you will see signs of your progress. These are not achievements in any sense of the word, just signs that you are following your route. As per the Hamsa upanishad this is the sequence of the sounds,

  1. Chinni – a single sound heard occasionally, like a single chirrup of a cricket
  2. Chinni- chinni – a sound like crickets, but tinkling-like and pleasant.
  3. Bells ‘Ghanta’ ringing – a deep tolling bell
  4. Conch ‘Shankh’ being blown
  5. A musical instrument’s string being plucked ‘Tantri’
  6. Cymbals ‘taal’ 
  7. Flute ‘Venu’
  8. Drums ‘Mridanga’
  9. War drum ‘Bheri’ 
  10. Thundering ‘Megh-naad’ 

When you do your practice and do it for sometime, you first hear the single ‘chini’ type of sound occasionally. Then when you start hearing the second sound and till the last thundering sound, these sounds are on all the time, a muted continuous background sound. You can hear them all the time if you are in a silent room. In fact you can feel their vibrations in your body if you are sitting quietly in a silent room. Sometimes one sound will predominate and at other times some other sound. Some of the sounds are on high pitch and some are very low bass notes. Each is a constant sound, eg you will not hear varying pitches in the stringed instrument, it will be like someone picked just one string and its sound is heard constantly. It not like someone is playing your chakras like a guitar! You have to sit in a silent room as they cannot be heard properly in a noisy environment. If you use ear plugs, you might miss out the lowest pitched ones. Also do not plug your fingers in your ears, as you will then ‘hear’ the muscles in your fingers snapping, this will interfere with your ‘listening’ to your inner sounds. A silent room is best. 

You will also hear other sounds as your Ajnya chakra gets more charged up. Eg sounds of bumble bees, birds twittering, frogs croaking, wind rushing, the constant flow of a river, white noise etc. You will also hear single sharp cracks and thudding sounds as if a wood has snapped or a huge weight has fallen next to you. You will hear so many sounds in your Dhyan. But these are one-off sounds, you don’t hear them always on.

And don’t worry if you don’t hear them all or all in sequence or if you do not remember hearing them. In deep Dhyan, the Mind, both conscious and unconscious, is switched off. So whatever visions appear before you or sounds you hear, you might not be able to clearly remember them after you get up.

Sounds heard during mediation

Then while you are ‘hearing’ all this you will also have these effects on your body. These really happen so do not feel scared when they start. Pran moves along your body in waves, so the hair on your skin all stand up for minutes (very common). You feel coolness on your skin. You feel wind rushing on your skin. Your throat constricts and your sound box moves upwards. The body muscles contract and tremble spasmodically. You might feel pain and then again it gets soothed. There may be cycles of these sensations. You might feel pressure in your third eye area, or on the top of your head at specific points, you might feel coldness trickling down your head. You might feel your third eye ‘pop’, ie something like ‘air’ popped out from there. Your backbone might stiffen, your neck posture can rearrange itself. Eyes will get sealed shut, you will not be able to open them even if you want to. 

But in Dhyan, you are not supposed to get involved in observing these things. Your only job is to sit comfortably, breathe slowly, focus on the third eye and recite your mantra in your mind.

Then these things initially happen only when you are actively sitting on your Asan and focussing intently. The Mind has to be still. These generally won’t happen when you are in office and doing your official stuff. (But if you take a 5min break and do a quick mini-Dhyan in office you can experience all this there too.) And as this happens when you are doing your Dhyan you might not really be aware of these separate processes. I really wasn’t aware of much of these things until I read the Hansa Upanishad. As I read the descriptions I realised that this stuff had happened but I was so immersed that it did not register nor did I remember it when I got up.

The Upanishad says these following are the effects on the body as you progress, body feels pins and needles, hair stand up. Then there is pain as the pran pierces through the Sushumna nadi. (Or you might feel an oily dense liquid thing which would be the Kundalini moving) You might feel that things are snapping and breaking inside you. Shivering and trembling of muscles occurs. Saliva collects in your mouth. Then nectar collects in your throat, ie the secretions of the pineal gland are now available for your conscious use. You will be made aware of the secret knowledge ie things which you had read earlier will now give different secret meanings, you will spontaneously ‘know’ so many things about yourself and others around you. Then you will know the secret of mantras also you will hear mantras being spoken in your ears as you do your Dhyan, or even when you are sitting silently anywhere. The 9th step is that you gain control over your body, ie you can dissolve it to pure energy and reform it again wherever you want. You will also gain complete control over your Ajnya chakra, you will be able to ‘see’ energies which cannot be described. The last step is the realisation of the Parabrahma at the Brahma-randhra ie at the very top of your head, at the very ‘center’ of the Sahasrara chakra complex. 

Your 5-layered body is the vehicle with which your Soul will cross the geometry created by Prakruti and your Soul will finally realise itself. These signs are very clearly mentioned in several texts and they do happen. For some aspirants they may merge into one single event and they may not even realise that these have happened. These are not achievements, they are merely signposts that you are on the right route and progressing. However interesting these on-the-way things may seem to be. You as a spiritual aspirant should never relax your focus on the ultimate prize, Moksh

 

0e45a9450f9bad6f5aba8afa43407819

Real nature of the Sun and the deities

I had said that I would write on the real nature of the ‘deities’ and ‘gods’ of Sanatan Dharma. I have written about the 33-classes of the deities in an earlier post. That was a rather technical post, so will try to make this one very simple, like a story..

We, of the Sanatan Dharma, have several deities, the gram-devata, the stahl-devata, the jal-devata, every village has its own guardian god, every river has its own conscious energy and every Sun has its own conscious intelligence. We find a way to express our gratitude to every aspect of energy which surrounds us. Keeps us grounded, sort of.

Now imagine that our universe has an energy-government. Each solar system is a nation. The several Suns are rulers of the several nations. Each of these ruler-Suns have their own set of ministers, advisors, officers incharge of the departments, right down to the village level officers who look after the energy needs of every village, Gram-devata. In fact, family level officers, Kul-devata. Or personal level energy officers, Ishta-devata! These have been assigned responsibility to distribute energy to us at these different levels.

And then we are all good citizens so we all pay our taxes. These taxes are in terms of the prayers and oblations that we offer to each category of officers. The more higher up the officer the more tax he collects and in bigger quantum. The higher-ups work on bigger levels, give more powerful benefits, they require bigger payments if you want to gain their specific benefits. The officers on more personal levels require less intense taxes and the benefits they offer are of a different category. A family specific officer has less work-load compared to a solar system level officer but his nature of work is more specific, personal. We all gain energy from all these officers and thus are required to give it back too in fair exchange. These officers are our deities.

Sometimes it happens that we take extra benefits from some officer and promise to pay his department more tax.  But we die physically and in the next life we forget the pending amounts. In the meanwhile, we are also moving on the spiritual path so when we reach the final 100m all these officers pop up and demand their promised payments. So at the very last stages of existence we are required to generate enormous amount of energy to pay all these departments. Perhaps I owed the Devi’s department some amount, so I had to perform the Navavarana mantra jaap to pay her dues. Once we get the no-dues certificates from all these officers can we reach the top-boss, the Sun, the ruler of our solar system. If we want to gain access to the highest Advaita we have to generate so much energy that we can pay off the Sun’s dues. Once he gives his no-dues certificate our soul can move into the dimensions beyond him where the essential Nirvishesh Brahma exists.

f0e27f99c7979f0cf289691547600d01

Ever wondered what the is Sun exactly? The Sun is the most powerful force in a horoscope. The highest luminary, linked to the Sahasrara chakra, the individual soul, the light which is the path from the individual soul to the Eternal. The self-illuminated Star so near us. Modern scientists can come up with whatever theories which suit them but the Sun and similar other Stars are very different from what they can even conceive. But you will see their real natures when you sit down in your regular spiritual practice.

Space/ Time of this manifested creation has 10 dimensions and the 11th is the Bindu. Quantum science has reached this much. (All break-through quantum scientists studied the Bhagwat Gita and the Ved-s). The easiest way to imagine space/ time is to visualise a very big bed-sheet, made of 10 dimensions. A rather complicated bed-sheet this! Not just length breath and thickness, but there are 10 dimensions to this bed-sheet. We already know that the 10 dimensions are aware, intelligent, conscious and are represented as the Dasha-Maha-Vidya, the 10 utterly fierce primeval Devi-s Mahakali (Kali), Tara, Tripursundari (Shodashi), Bhuvaneshvari, Bhairavi, Chhinnamasta, Dhoomavati, Bagalamukhi (Valagamukhi), Matangi, and Kamala.

Our 10 dimensional bed-sheet is made of these 10 energies, we know their names and their natures. Now imagine that there are two ’sides’ to this bed-sheet. And that the bed-sheet is cryptically wrapped around a central lamp. We cannot make out how it is wrapped but it quite effectively covers the lamp. This lamp is eternally switched on, and is quite conscious itself. What is inside this lamp I don’t know as of now, but it emits a lovely light and a powerful sort of energy.

We live on this bed-sheet, on one ‘side’ of it, the outer side. All the planets and satellites, the non-self-luminous parts of the manifested creation are on this outer side of the bed-sheet. The dimension of the living – Martya-lok, the dimension of the spirits – Pitru-lok and all the other possible dimensions where souls exist are on this 10-dimensional bed-sheet’s outer side.

Now imagine that the bed-sheet has several pin-point ‘holes’ scattered all along it. The holes are the connection from one ‘side’ of this bed-sheet to the other. The lamp is switched on and so tiny pin-pricks of light are visible on the bed-sheet. These are the Stars and the Suns. They are not ‘self-illuminated’ but simply the pin-pricks of the light of the lamp. But we, living on the bed-sheet, think that they are self-illuminated. It is all about perspective. Change your position and reality changes for you. Your position is all important..

The inner side of the bed-sheet, now this is where the 11th dimension, the ‘Bindu’ resides. The center of the Universes, the source of all creation. OM, our eternally switched on lamp. As the Bindu is a conscious intelligence, so are the Suns. But the Sun’s do not have the complete Bindu’s awareness. Each Sun is one single ray of the Bindu. The Sun is a ‘hole’ in this 10-dimensional bed-sheet of space-time. This hole lets in the power of OM into our side of the bed-sheet. The bed-sheet itself is maintained by the power of the pin-pricks, ie the Suns who draw power from the central Bindu lamp. The Suns and the Stars are all very conscious and intelligent pin-pricks. Each Sun has his own energy government as described above. Thus the Sun is the highest deity for us, the link with the divine Eternal Bindu. Some of the pin-pricks are different in size/shape and their energy quality is different, these are the other ‘radiant’ bodies of the manifested universe, the quasars, black-holes and stuff.

Now this was the macrocosm, the outer universes, the Brahma-anda.

Real nature of the Sun and the deities

There are two forms of experience. The external and the internal. When you see the Sun in the skies and fold your hands to it in gratitude, it is external worship. This is considered to be a lower energy version. You are focussing your 2 external eyes on the external object. When you see the ‘brightness’ of the internal Sun at your third eye and offer it your pran/ vital energies, this is internal worship of the ineffable Divine. You are focussing your internal third eye on the internal source of energy. This is the high energy way of ‘worship’.

We have a universe within ourself too, the microcosm, the Pinda-anda. As on the outside, so on the inside. Our body, our existence, is a similar bed-sheet made of the same 10 dimensions. It is wrapped around our internal intelligent Source in a similarly cryptic way. We are ordinarily aware of the outer side of the bed-sheet, we cannot look into the other ‘side’. That is why we do Dhyan, focus on Soham, so that we can gain the ability to look inside. Involution. The Sushumna is the channel which connects our awareness with the light of the internal Sun. The internal Sun shines at the Sahasrara chakra. We get his first inkling when our consciousnesses crosses the Ajnya chakra at the third eye. The internal Sun is the link from the internal Bindu to the individual soul which resides at the Ajnya chakra. This internal Bindu is the same Bindu which which powers the external Sun in the sky!

All this Dhyan, all this focus, is only to enter the Sushumna, navigate through that channel and reach the internal Sun. Only if this Sun approves, then our awareness will move onwards from the Sun to the Bindu.

What lies beyond the Bindu is the Advaita.

Spiritual stuff is quite mind-blowing! Actually so.

And, btw the Sun is ‘hollow’, as its interior lies outside in the 10-dimensions…

 

Real nature of the Sun and the deities

Using the Akshar, Mantra and Sanskrit

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

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

The energy beauty of sounds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All the consonants are basically linked more to the Pingala.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wishing everyone a very happy, prosperous and auspicious Diwali.

May the Devi bless every one of us!

 

Siddhakunjika Mantra

 

Six types of mantras in ‘magic’

Mantras are intentions. Specific Sanskrit words which amplify your intentions and make things happen. There is a misconception regarding Mantra, Yantra  and Tantra. Most people think that all this is evil and black magic. It is nothing of the sort. Energy is plain energy, you can use it a per your conscience. Mantra is a way of harnessing and focussing energy. It is your intention makes it good/evil and none but your conscience judges you.

There are six types of mantra as per the intention of the user.

Shanti mantra – these mantra are used for peaceful purposes. Shanti means rest, peace, calm, averting pain, welfare, etc, positive state of mind and body. These reduce the effect of negative energies prevailing on the practitioner and his family. Checking evil actions of enemies, ghosts and malefics in the horoscope. This can be used to enhance recovery from diseases and also to avoid impending disease/death. Even to ensure a good agriculture harvest, milk production and in animal husbandry. For success in business and profession and to avoid losses, tension and theft. To improve self-confidence and achieve one’s desires.

Shanti mantra are not harmful to anyone else and are intended for everyone’s welfare. There are pujas like Satya-narayan pujas where the mantras are invoked for peace and happiness in a family and in the society.

Jupiter, the owner of Sagittarius and Pisces

Vashikarna mantra  – Vashikaran means to attract, subjugate, tame, bewitch etc. These mantras are used to bring someone or something under the control of the practitioner. If you want your enemy to be in your control and get your work as per your desire these mantras are to be used. But remember that controlling someone against his wishes for personal gain and selfishness is negative karma. So think twice, if this is for the actual benefit of that other person and if your conscience permits it. Generally these mantras are used for gaining worldly pleasures and the wife/husband of choice, this is a positive way of using them where you are not coercing others for your benefit. But the prevailing theme is to use these for controlling the spouse against his/her will, it later inevitably leads to karmic back-lash (have seen this happen several times). These are also used by tantriks to capture spirits as slaves which almost always has a bad ending.

Sthambhan mantra – Sthamban means to arrest, restrain, check, paralyse etc. These are used to stop or reduce the speed of actions. The proper use of these mantras is to stop anyone from speaking or doing anything bad against you, this is justified. These will not actively harm the other party just stop them. But there are people who will use these to cause problems for others. Eg you get a client who is unable to get married and you see that her neighbour has paralysed the situation out of sheer spite! There are plenty of unscrupulous practitioners who can perform such rituals for a fee.

Vidveshan mantra – These are used to create conflicts or differences between two persons. These can used to control a harmful person who is causing damage to you as a means of self-protection. However some people use them to create differences between family members, this is negative karma.

Ucchatan mantra – Ucchatan means to ruin, eradicate, separate, upset, overthrow etc. These mantra create disturbances in the mind of the target. These can make humans, animals, spirits etc leave a place by force. The target meets with failures in his profession. Thee can be used to make someone distracted and lose focus. Earlier these were used against enemies of the nation or in situations where a large number of one’s people were to be protected from invaders etc. Even now they are used to get rid of ghosts and to clear up hauntings. These can be used for self-protection. eg If someone has abandoned his spouse and family, and is running after someone else, he can be made to forget that person and brought to his family.

Maaran mantra – Used to kill someone. (Should be never used, as it is a huge negative karmic action). These mantras can be used only in very rare cases, perhaps in national interest, where protection for a large segment of people can be ensured only with the death of one person. The karmic cost of this act is very high.

Obsessively Ambitious Kaal Sarpa

The general method in using these Vashikaran, Stambhan, Vidveshan, Ucchatan, Maaran mantras is to create an item infused with the energies of this mantra. Anything touched by you becomes a means to gain access to you. Even the soil on which a person walks on can be collected and used if one knows how. So if your enemy or someone you know is inimical to you gives you some of these things, avoid.

  • To eat as a prasadam – ghee, fruit,
  • Tries to give as a gift from the deity – flower, leaf,
  • Or if tries to put a tilak ie a mark on your forehead using ash, vermillion etc.
  • Or if you see things dropped at your door, eg, sticks smeared with vermillion etc, ash, lemons, mustard seeds, coconuts, random strange things which have a disagreeable aura.
  • Or you see nails put into your front door frame, these are difficult to see and this happens quite frequently.

So much about mantras but which are the mantras used? One extreme is the Devi Mahatmya /Durga Saptashati. This book has about 700 mantras. Each one has a meaning and a specific way in which they are to be used. But to use them first you have to ‘Siddha’ the Nav-avarna mantra. ie the Nav-avarna mantra has to be fruitful for you. This means a 9 lac repetition of this Mantra first. After that the entire mantra set of the Devi Mahatmya is in your grasp. The second extreme is our daily Gayatri mantra. (ॐ भूः भुवः स्वः । ॐ तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यम । भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि। धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात॥ ॐ Om bhuh bhuvah swahah Om tat savitur varenyan bhargo devasya dhimahi dheeyo yonah prachodayat Om). Recited in its regular format it works as a very effective Shanti mantra. But there is also an entire tantric way of using this mantra, most commonly by adding a beej akshar to it.

So for all of us the safest and easiest way of protecting ourselves is to recite the Gayatri mantra in its regular form. This is all the magic that you need!

 

A small awareness exercise

The Four Navratri and Devi puja

A quick post today on the Devi.

At present, this is the Hindu Ashwin month and the bright fortnight, Shukla paksh. The first 9 days of this month from the first day, Pratipada to the ninth day, Navami are dedicated to the worship of the Devi Shakti. She is the active energy of the Tamo-gun the wife of Mahadev-Shiv.

On each day, one of her forms is worshipped and on the tenth day, Dasera/ Vijayadashmi the puja comes to a conclusion. This puja is called the Nav-ratri, the nine-nights and also called Durga-puja. The theme is that Devi fought against the armies of the demons, killing their army-generals on each day and killed their King, Mahishasur on the tenth day. This story is described in the book Durga Saptashati/ Devi Mahatmya.

These nine day/nights are full of joy and power as everyone worships the Devi in whatever form they feel drawn to. If you are drawn to the Saumya forms you will worship these, Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kaalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidhatri forms of the Devi. Regular people should do pujas of only these forms of the Devi.

(The Ugra forms of the Devi are the 10 Mahavidya-s, Kali, Tara, Shodashi, Bhuvaneshvari, Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, Matangi, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi (Valagamukhi) and Kamala. Normal people should not worship these as these are quite Ugra, very strict and terrifying. Make one mistake in their pujas and you will be in serious trouble. There are some astrologers who give mantras of these Devi’s as remedies to clients. Avoid. It can backfire quite spectacularly.)

In West India, people play Garbha, it is a dance to songs in praise of the Devi. This is performed at night for the Devi. In North India people do puja of Vishnu in his Ram form at night and celebrate by enacting his Ramayan story in public performances called Ram-Lila. Which to my mind makes no sense as this period should be utilized to the max for personal spiritual growth. But then Garbha and even the Ram-Lila is good for the general public.

64fca823142eb9e04bfe49b814aa7bb6

Now a secret, there are actually 4 Nav-ratri in a year. All four of them have a different energy character. The real aspirant of the Devi will know how to use each one of them differently. The first 9 nights, Nav-ratri of the bright half, Shukla-paksha of the four months named Chaitra, Ashadh, Ashwin and Magh are brimming with energy. One should use them actively, not waste even one single night.

The navratri in Chaitra month (March-April) is full of solar energies. The energies go outward, radiate. You can feel the lightness and the golden radiance during these days/nights. Most people worship Ram/ Vishnu and some worship the Devi during this period. The Indian new year also starts with Chaitra, the first day of this navratri. (This was the day Shri Ram was crowned the King of Ayodhya as per the original Sanskrit Ramayan). This Navratri ends with Ram-navmi, dedicated to worship of Ram/Vishnu. The Devi is in a mature and happy form here. So any pujas you perform with her in mind are very successful.

Then the Ashadh month is the monsoon (June-July). The Navratri which falls in this month is called the secret/ Gupt navratri, ordinary people do not even know about this. This period is highly conducive for all types of energy manipulations, tantra and secret pujas. The Devi is in her contemplative form here, rather serious and silent. Here her pujas are also secret and serious. If you worship a Ugra/terrifying form of the Devi this navratri would give you the best results. This is just for information, do not attempt these things without a proper Guru.

The Ashwin navrati is full of lunar energies so is the best for Devi puja. So if you really want to get that push, do not waste even one night of these nine nights. The Devi is in her benevolent form, ready to be pleased. So whatever simple pujas you perform with intention, she will accept as a doting mother does. This is going on at present and everyone is doing something special for Her.

Then is the Magh navratri (January-February). This is a highly auspicious period. On the fourth day/chaturthi of this navratri, Ganapati is worshipped. This is one of the best days in the year for any puja of Ganapati. (The other is the Bhadrapad Shukla chaturthi). Ganapati is the energy who allows the aspirant entry into the Brahmanadi. He is the pratham-pujya, the one who is worshipped first. Then on the fifth day-panchami of this Nav-ratri, the Devi in her Saraswati form is worshipped. This day is called Vasant-panchami and is exclusive for Gayatri mantra sadhana. The seventh day-Saptami of this navratri, is for worshipping the Sun, it is called Rath-saptami. These three days of this navratri are very powerful in themselves, all Hindus will do pujas on these days. But if you are performing some Devi puja in the background for the nine days, your power will be enhanced even more.

08df5171d8fba2ece1edd45ba846b7a0

So what Devi puja should you do? Most families/cultures have their own system for worshipping the Devi, so follow whatever your culture, home-tradition does. Some set up a kalash for the pujas, some will bring an idol of the Devi and then immerse it in the sea on the tenth day, some people fast etc. It is all very joyful and full of energy. Keep your intention clear and your faith pure.

But for the more serious aspirant, read the Devi Mahatmya /Durga Saptashati. Read it in Sanskrit, not some translated version. Even if you do not understand what you are reading the mantra-s will do their work. There are some rules on how to read it, in which order the chapters should be recited and the use of the Nav-avarna mantra etc. There are typical ways of reading it and also for doing other types of rituals using mantras from it, but these things are not for general people. So do not over-think and get confused. You should read the Devi Mahatmya just as you would read a book, from page one to the last page with full intention and faith. (Use the Gita press version of the book, pdf link here.) Or if you cannot read it (most of us have forgotten our real mother tongue Devbhasha Samskrutam), this is a very beautiful rendition by Premprakash Dubey, perfect pronunciation and voice, it is for 2hrs 20mins. Listen to it in its entirety, everyday of the Navratri if you can. Or if you cannot spare the time, listen to one chapter per day (something is always better than nothing).

Now again for the serious aspirant. The real Devi puja is always performed at night, from 9-pm to 3-am. This period is very useful for doing any sort of practice where you need to still your mind and focus. The dominating gun during this period is called the Vishuddha-Tama-gun. It is enveloping, still and very dense, so the mind cannot wander much. So when you give your mind a mantra and focus it will follow your Will more easily. Try it for yourself.

There was a question in the Contact form on using the mantras from the Devi Mahatmya book. Do understand that these are quite powerful and their detailed use cannot be described through a blog. But if you do even this much with intention, the Devi will give you what you desire and if you need to do more complicated pujas, She will arrange it for you.

Indian festivals are full of joy and happiness. There is energy radiating everywhere, whatever you do, do it with all your heart. Even if you offer Her one single flower with your full intention she will accept it. She is not outside of you, She is your own conscience. If you are satisfied with what you have done, so will She. So enjoy the Navratri and may the blessings of the Devi be on you.

(Edit: The names of the names of the 4 Nav-ratris are Kaal-ratri, Maha-ratri Moha-ratri and Darun-ratri. These are described in the Tantrokta Ratri sukta from the Devi Mahatmya. This is my favourite sukta, have listened to this rendition for hours on a loop and also performed its homa.)

 

0f1a98cc80566649c98a2c73b48f869f

Surya namaskar is an all-in-one remedy

Everyone knows about the Surya-namaskar sequence. This is a Yog-Asan, yogic posture which we all should perform everyday from the age of 6yrs onwards regularly. It is the right of every human to be healthy and this Yogasan is the foundation of your life-time health. Here I list out things which will add energy to your practice.

Surya namaskar is an all-in-one remedy

Use the power of the rising Sun. Do your Surya-namaskar in the early morning, facing the east. Looking at the rising sun is ideal. If your house has a balcony do it there, where fresh air can touch your body. Or in a park? Or at least open the windows of your room so that fresh air can touch your body/mind. Now we live in cities so seeing the rising sun may not be possible. So on the East wall of your room, put a nice photo of the rising Sun, your favourite deity, source of faith, Shri yantra? or at least paint that wall in light yellowish-orangish, the color of the radiant rising Sun. This will give your mind an object to concentrate on. Gradually will give you the ability to silence the mind’s continuous chattering and increase your mental strength/ability.

You will need a flat horizontal non slippery surface. A cotton mat is traditionally used, but you should use whatever you are comfortable with. Wear minimum possible cotton clothing. Ensure that the clothes do not interfere with the body’s freedom of movement. Do not eat, empty stomach is necessary.

A set of 10 yogic postures = 1 Suryanamaskar. Start with 3 sets daily and increase 1 set per week. Maximum is 108 sets, do not increase beyond that. Doing 108 sets will take about 1hr 15 mins which is not realistic in today’s life. So fix some figure in your mind, as a maximum of 27 or 54, but do it everyday.

This is a complete physical exercise, a spiritual exercise and a pranic exercise. You strengthen your entire body from the head to the feet and the tips of your fingers. You improve your sensory organs. You make all the fluids in your body move. You will increase the volume, quality and regular flow of pran in your nadis. And finally you strengthen your mind and will power.

Surya namaskar is an all-in-one remedy

You are doing 3 things here.

  1. Exercising your physical body in a series of 10 interconnected yogic postures. You are using the muscles of your entire body. As the muscles work effectively they positively influence the other organs near them. So muscular health is essential for complete body health.
  2. Exercising your pran/vital energy movements in your naadi strucutre by a fixed sequence of breath in and breath out sequence. Each of the 10 postures is linked to either exhale or inhale, and the entire sequence goes fluidly. Simple logic is when you extend the body you inhale and when you contract the body you exhale. Always breathe through your nose, never open the mouth. First focus on getting the muscular movement perfectly, the breath will automatically sync later. The sync comes slowly with practice. (Ideally the 10 postures of the Surya namaskar are performed in 3 complete breaths!)
  3. Adding the power of Surya mantra to all this. There are a set of 10 mantra-s, one for each yogic posture in the sequence. This is the real power of the Yog-asan. Breathing without a mantra makes the whole thing tamasic. You will get excellent physical body but no spiritual benefit. Something like musclebound gym-crazy young men who do not ‘sparkle’ with ‘inner light’. You should add the mantras to the postures after you have got the muscle movement and the breath sync. Maybe after 1-2 months.

 

I searched the internet videos for the correct version of the Surya namaskar, it is this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tt9eeXo5YPk  From 4:41 sec to 5:25 sec is the ideal Suryanamaskar sequence of the 10 postures. Except that there is no requirement to hold the ‘downward dog’ position for 5 deep breaths as he mentions. The entire Suryanamaskar continues in a fluid sequence of 10 postures, no ‘holding’ any pose. In the video the young man is in superb physical condition and is a teacher himself so don’t feel disheartened!

Surya namaskar is an all-in-one remedy

You are exercising for yourself and not competing with the young man in the video. I have seen people get enthusiastic about exercise and then in a few days they get demotivated and never exercise again. The fault is with the trainers.

  • Always remember, exercise should be in proportion to one’s own strength.
  • It should be regular and continuous to be of benefit. You do only 3 sets per day, but do them. They will not be perfect, it is ok.
  • Exercise should be within your physical limit, ie after doing it you should feel refreshed and energetic not tired out. If you are feeling tired, reduce the intensity or the duration.
  • Don’t compare yourself to your younger self. (I used to go to the gym for 2 hrs everyday in my 20s. At the age of 29yrs I looked like a 17yrs old often confusing people. Now I can’t do that much exercise. Accepted!)
  • You are not perfect in your practice now, but you are doing it regularly that is most important.
  • At the beginning of this ‘body/mind reconstruction exercise’, there is bound to be some discouragement and pain as unused muscles are forced to move. But this has to be gone through.

So practice slowly at your own pace, regularly, don’t get lazy after all this, it is just for 5 mins! Suryanamaskar are done quite slowly at first. First you have to get the physical movements correct. When you practice slowly, you will know which part of your body is under strain. When you change posture which bones creak. And slow movements will help this straining creaking body parts gradually build strength. You are doing this for yourself.

Then the mind. While doing the sets, do not let your mind wander. Your mind as well as body need discipline. You have to focus on the Sun and on your own body. Look at the Sun with your eyes. Intend that the energy of the Sun enters your body parts which are moving. We want increased pran moving in the body, this is possible only by the power of the focussed mind. As you breathe in visualise gold/silver energy entering you, energising you, making you one with the Sun. This is also an exercise for the mind.

Surya namaskar is an all-in-one remedy

 

Now the mantra. Before beginning your practice you are required to recite this, ‘Om Hraang Hreeng Hroung sah Suryaya namah”. Or as the second option, “Om Mitra Ravi Surya Bhanu Khaga Pushna Hiranyagarbha Marich Aditya Bhaskarya namah Om”. Speaking aloud, voice is very important. When you speak these words you are exercising your vocal cords and setting the tone for your entire exercise. Breathe deeply a few times. This you can do from the first day itself. Then ten basic mantra are to be recited in your mind, once per posture, these are

  1. Om Mitraya namah
  2. Om Ravaye namah
  3. Om Suryaya namah
  4. Om Bhanave namah
  5. Om Khagaya namah
  6. Om Pushnaye namah
  7. Om Hiranyagarbhaya namah
  8. Om Marichaye namah
  9. Om Adityaya namah
  10. Om Bhaskarya namah

Add these mantras to your posture and breath only after you have gained confidence, maybe 1-2 months later. Don’t complicate things for yourself at the start. If you have no faith in Sanskrit and Mantra, do not recite them. But a Yog-asan done without a mantra remains tamasic, it gives only physical strength no inner fire. So you will have to at least intentionally recite So-ham. ‘So’ mentally as you breathe in and ‘hum’ mentally as you breathe out. So-ham is also a mantra.

So start in whatever slow imperfect way you can, it will take only 5 mins of your time initially. Evaluate yourself after 21days. After this self-motivation will come in. And in a few months you won’t believe the change this will bring in you. Perfection comes with regular practice. (If you are already physically damaged or ill, do consult your healthcare professional before doing them. These are quite strenuous and vigorous movements.)

 

Now for women. Women must perform Surya namaskar. In Indian cities, you see young women in severely unhealthy states. If the woman is physically/ mentally /spiritually ill, the entire house suffers. She is the centre around which our families and our societies both revolve. If she is healthy the nation will be healthy. Surya namaskar is the ideal three-in-one way to remain forever fit. Women go through two physically challenging events in their lives, one at the age of 12yrs as the monthly cycle starts and then at the age of 51yrs when it stops. Also the monthly 5day cycle is physically exhausting. As the girl-child starts Surya-namaskar at the age of 6yrs and continues for a life-time she will never face any problems related to this aspect of the female life ever. It is a guarantee.

Women are exempted for the 5 days of their monthly cycle, they should rest. During pregnancy the practice has to be stopped. But she should not break her habit of standing before the rising Sun. Mantra-s can be recited. Some light warm-up stretching types of movements recommended for pregnant women can be done. After delivery do not perform Surya-namaskars for 3 months. After this, if the medical professional agrees, can start with 3 sets and gradually increase.

Suryanamaskar are the complete exercise for your mind body and soul. You will discipline your body, your breath and your mind over time. Give yourself these 5-10 mins daily and see the change in yourself as you draw in the energy of the Rising Sun into yourself.

Part 2 continued here.

 

Surya namaskar is an all-in-one remedy

 

24 Tattva, essences of existence

In Sanatan Dharm/Hinduism, you acknowledge the essential consciousness in everything.

There are things which cannot be perceived by the limited organs of sense. There are also things beyond the manifested, beyond the Panch-bhoot. Once you realise this, you will try to go beyond these limits of the gross.

When you eat a sweet, you experience it with your five sense organs. But what of the subtle energies of the sweet? (I and my colleagues went out for a really super lunch last week. It was prepared by someone with a really evil mindset, so I stopped after eating one bite, but it was enough to give me mild food poisoning. I cannot perceive this energy with my gross senses.) Can you experience the weight of a speck of dust? Or the blast of a supernova? No, you cannot, not with these limited senses.

So the objective has always been to go beyond the limits of the physical. The last frontier so as to speak! Ultimately the desire is the to re-experience the Soul and beyond it consciously. You are called the individual soul/Jivatma and you desire to transcend this and re-experience the Eternal Soul/Paramatma.

A individual soul consists of 24 distinct attributes/Tattva.

Screenshot 2019-07-07 at 11.26.22 AM

To recap, the Singular Parabrahma creates Duality, Purush-Prakriti. Prakruti is the first Essence of Creation/tattva, and is composed of the three Gun, Satva, Raja and Tama. When the balance between these 3 gun is spontaneously disturbed Creation occurs. First to be created is Mahat-Buddhi, the second tattva. The next to be created is the Aham-kaar, self ego.

24 Tattva, essences of existence

Aham-kaar

Now further. Raja-Gun again acts on Mahat-Buddhi and the 3rd tattva called Aham-kaar manifests. Whenever something has to be created, Raja-Gun, personified as Brahmadev and his wife Sarasvati, provides the energy. Aham-kaar, Aham karoti iti, is the personal identity, ‘I’, ‘Mine’, self-ego, individuality. It’s function is to bind the soul more tightly with self-referential behaviour.

In this ‘I’, reside the Vasana, वासना, the roots of desire. Vasana is also a Sanskrit word which means – longing, idea, imagination, regard, respect, confidence, false notion, liking, inclination, expectation, the present consciousness of past perceptions, impressions remaining unconsciously and Vasana is also a meter (Chhand छन्द) in Sanskrit prosody (so it is a sort of vibration ultimately). These ‘Vasana’ are created by interaction of the Gun, Satva, Raja and Tama with Mahat-Buddhi and Aham-kaar, all powered by Prakruti. These Vasana are linked to your past actions, your conscience has judged them. Those actions which were acceptable to your Antaratma/ conscience, their essences reside as ‘Dharm’ the correct foundation, and those which were against your conscience, are the ‘Adharma’ foundations of demerit. Both these foundations influence the ‘I’ and the Mahat-Buddhi above it. Vasana are the seeds of karma and are required to be rebalanced. (Prakruti powers all these actions and also differentiates her own self accordingly. All these things are happening within Her and are Her.)

Now Aham-kaar will evolve further, in two different ways. It will be modified by Satva with Raja. Ot it can be modified by Tama with Raja. It creates the Indriya as per the table above. These Indriya इन्द्रिय are the parts of the body, vigour, power, organs, senses etc of the body and also their ability to act/sense.

  • The power of the 5 organs of senses and power of the 5 organs of action are a total more 10 tattvas. These 10 combine to produce another distinct tattva called the Manas मानस (imagination, belief, thought, idea, view). 
  • The Pancha-bhoot are again 5 separate tattva and the 5 tan-matra are also 5 distinct tattva.

Thus the Prakruti and her energies make up the 24 tattvas of creation.

The 25th tattva is the Purush who does not take part in this game of Prakruti, but just witnesses.

24 Tattva, essences of existence

So when you get on the path of re-experience, you dissolve these tattvas. This process happens when you start your spiritual practice, Dhyan and only during this time when you are sitting on your Asan. When you are manipulating pran and then kundalini you are not completely in this manifested world. You are exploring the way back, you are in the energy of the joint/Sandhya.

So first you experience everything that you can with your senses, you have been doing this for several lives now. You sense the gross atoms and the molecules, the lowest manifested energy levels. You cannot go on eating sweets for ever after you get satisfied. There would be no meaning to such a life. So, you move on to the subtler and the subtlest things. But then to experience the subtle you need power the subtle senses.

So it first starts with the 21 lower tattvas merging back into the Self-Ego/Aham-kaar. In this phase you remember to sense and act directly through your ajnya chakra, using your intention and directly powering it from the pran from the Universe. I have written about small exercises where you can exercise your subtle energy, like seeing aura, telekinesis, distant vision, telepathy, seeing the future/past/parallel. These are just small reminders that there is more!

It may seem difficult when you are reading all this, but it is the easiest thing! You have the power of creation with you, so use this power. Create the intention that you wish to re-experience Your Real Self. The Prakruti will provide her energy to this intention.

In Sanatan Dharm, you will find most spiritual aspirants will have the Devi, the Goddess as their Isht devata. It may be Gayatri, Laxmi or Chamunda, these are the forms of the Prakruti, the tattva which actually forms the entire creation out of her energies. Doing Devi Sadhana always gives faster results. When you do a mantra-jaap linked to Her energy, you are giving a direction to her spontaneous release of her energy. This energy then drives your intention of Soham and takes you there. The process is faster if you do a mantra jaap in addition to the essential Dhyan.

But all said and done, your only work is to sit on your Asan, focus on your third eye and mentally recite Soham 108 times with your 108 breaths. (1/2/3 times a day as possible). It has to be a regular thing, every day (except for 5 days off for women in their monthly cycle.) This is all you need to do. The simplest things are the most powerful here. Once you are aware of the road, you will walk it spontaneously (Sahaj). Whatever pran has to be manipulated or Kundalini to be awakened, all of it will happen on its own under the direction of your Eternal Self.

24 Tattva, essences of existence