Ramayan, Hanuman and Sundarkand

The Ramayan and the Mahabharat are the two Itihas, a narration of historical events coupled with the deepest philosophy.

The Mahabharat also contains the Yogshastra Bhagvat Gita, which is a step by step guideline to what you deeply desire. In the Ramayan there is the Aditya Hrudaya stotra which in my opinion is the highly condensed ‘Gita’ of the Ramayan. If you are on the spiritual path, you must listen/ recite this once in a while.

There was a question on the Sundar kand so writing a detailed post on it.

The original Ramayan written by Rishi Valmiki is in Sanskrit  (Devbhasha Samskrutam) and ends with the coronation of Shri Ram. Ramayan means Ramasya ayanah iti Ramayan. It talks about the travels of Ram. It ends when the Rajya-abhishek of Ram as the King of Ayodhya ie Ram’s travels end with this event. The coronation is on the first day of the new year Chaitra Shukla pratipada. The death of Ravan, the King of Lanka, occurs on the last day of the year on Falgun Amavasya. Ram travels back to Ayodhya immediately after Ravan’s death in the Pushpak viman and is immediately crowned King of Ayodhya. The Ramayan ends here.

There are 6 main sections/ Kaand in the original Ramayan.

  • Bala kand has the part of the birth of the main characters and their childhood is described. (It has some interjected stories which were added later and not connected to the main story.)
  • Ayodhya kand – the princes live in Ayodhya, grow up, get married etc.
  • Aranya kand – the first part of the exile of Ram, Sita and Laxman.
  • Kishkindha Kand – Ram and Laxman interact with the Vanars of the kingdom of Kishkindha
  • Sundar kand – Hanuman realises Himself. This section is exclusively related to the activities of Hanuman.
  • Yuddha kand – describes the war between Sri Ram and Ravan, the King of Lanka. Ravan is killed at the end of the war. This section ends with the coronation of Ram as per Rishi Valmiki’s original text. The Ramayan ends with the coronation of Shri Ram as the King of Ayodhya.

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Now about Hanuman. His other equally popular name is Maruti. Maruti indicates his connection to the breath, wind, storms, war, divinity, movement, power, etc.

Maruti has several other names, Anjaneya, Kapish, Vajradehi, Kalanabha, Chiranjeevi, Manojava, Jitendreya, Vatatmaja, Vanar-yuth-mukhya, Ram-doot, Pavan-putra, etc. And because these are all Sanskrit words, each describes some trait of his. To understand the real meaning of Sanskrit words, you have to add intention and the energy of the Akshar. So Maruti is the son of Anjana, the one who was hit on his chin, the king of everything that moves, his body is tougher than lighting, indestructible, the navel of time, the one who exists forever, he is produced by the Mind/Manas, the one who conquers the organs of sense/action, the one concealed in the pran, the leader of the other-dimensional intelligence, the messenger of the ultimate happiness, etc.

Maruti is a ‘Vanar’, this word does not mean a monkey. In Sanskrit, ‘Markat’ is the animal ‘monkey’. So saying that Hanuman was/ is a ‘monkey’ is extremely offensive and demeaning. Vanar is ‘Vansaya narah iti Vanarah’. The ‘Nar’ who are of the ‘Van’. Nar are a class of beings like the Yaksha, Kinnar, Gandharva etc. ‘Van’ is the forest, distant lands, other dimensions, running water, sun-ray, vehicle, residence, desires, abundance etc. A Vanar can be understood as a being from the other dimensions as the simplest meaning. Our human body is composed of all the 5 panchabhoot, Akash, Vayu, Agni, Aap, Pruthvi. The other dimensional beings have other types of bodies composed of differing proportions of the mahabhoot, eg Yaksha have bodies composed of only Akash, Vayu and Agni.

The Ramayan is also a guidebook to self realization. Ravan the anti-hero is an embodiment of the ego, the tremendous and discordant vibrations created by a sense of personal-ego. (In the Mahabharat this role is fulfilled by Duryodhan, ‘the one who is extremely difficult to defeat’.) If you follow the Ramayan as your guide, you will see your self-ego as Ravan in the very last confrontation when you are finally required to destroy it in the highest stages of Dhyan.

So, in all this, who or what is Hanuman?

He is the embodiment of pran, the vital energy flowing in the energy channels/nadi of your pran-mai-kosh body layer. He is also called the Mukhya Pran devata. The energy of the seed of the vital energy. There are 5 different main types of pran, the panch-pran. Pran, Apan, Vyan, Saman, Udaan. Maruti is the combined conscious intelligence of the Panch-pran. You might have seen some images of Hanuman with 5 terrible faces. Now if you do your Dhyan sincerely there will come a time when you will see these the conscious energies of these 5 main types of pran and yes they are very Ugra, terrible and terrifying. The power of pran blasting in your nadis and in the universe around can indeed be terrifying, so you have to do your spiritual practice to prepare yourself.

The objective of every spiritual aspirant is basically to control the movement of pran consciously. To be able to shut down its movements in the rest of the body and to drive it into the Brahmanadi within the Sushumna. Then to guide it with infinite precision through the chakras till it reaches the top. This movement of pran in the Brahmanadi ‘cleans’ it, makes it through so that when the Kundalini starts moving, it can simply move from the Mooladhar chakra to the central Bindu with the Sahsarar chakra in one smooth sweep. This movement of the Kundalini grants Moksh in one stroke.

So to be able to control the pran, you must absorb the energy of Maruti. He is of supreme importance in spiritual practice. Unless you are able to control the pran/ vital energy flowing in your nadi/ energy channels, you cannot get anywhere.

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Now the question I was asked was on doing a Parayan of the Sundar kand.

The Sundar kand is that part of the Ramayan where Hanuman realises his power. He goes through several experiences and events which makes him aware of his reality. This is the reason why doing a Parayan of this section is very helpful. ‘Parayan’ पारायणं is reciting mantras with intention, absorbing the energies completely. The Ramayan is an esoteric text and each verse/ shlok is a mantra. So if you recite the Sundar kand with the intention that you gain the blessing of Maruti you will get it. You will gain the ability to control the pran, so this parayan will benefit the spiritual aspirant. This will also regulate the movement of the pran and bring it to the best possible levels. So if you are ill, or under mental stress, or suffering from negativity, evil eye energy, nightmares, psychic attacks, impending danger etc, all this will be removed. On the material levels too, power, courage, health, ability to win, destroying enemies, finding what you want, success, emotional stability, strength, peace of mind etc will be granted.

Doing the Sundar kand Parayan.

The original Valmiki Ramayan, the Sundar kand is 68 chapters long and is extremely powerful. Sundar kand parayan is an Anushtan, a powerful practice to use the mantra. Ideally a Brahmin is required as there is a specific way of reciting the shloks. But if you wish to do it on your own, this is the basic minimum you should do. The easiest method is this,

  • You start on any any auspicious day. (post here)
  • Get a small image of the deities or a photo. Set it on a small wooden altar in front of you.
  • You will sit on your Asan facing either the north or east direction. And obviously facing the deities image.
  • Begin with a small puja of Shri Ram and Devi Sita. Then do a puja of Maruti. Here you can offer flowers, saffron, sandal-wood, turmeric, incense, light a lamp, do an arti with camphor etc as per what is available in your house.
  • You can blow the Shankh thrice if you have it. Or sprinkle the Ganga water if you have it. Or at least visualise golden/silver aura around you, feel the kindness of the deities surrounding you in a loving cocoon. Recite ‘Jai Shri Ram’, while you are setting up all this.
  • You have to keep a sweet dish/ Naivedya for the deities. Panchamrut is mixing some milk, curd, honey, sugar (khadi-sakhar) and desi cow ghee. Or keep 5 types of fruits. Or 5 pieces of dry fruits, almonds, cashew, dried grapes, dry coconut, apricots, figs etc with some jaggery/sugar. Keep this Naivedya in a silver or glass bowl. (Never use iron/ steel in any form in your pujas.) 
  • Then speak aloud to the deities and tell them briefly why you are doing this parayan. eg for getting well from an illness, for resolution of disputes, or spiritual growth, or just because you love them. This is the Sankalp, the intention, so take a few drops of water in your right palm and drop it to the ground after you finish speaking.
  • Also request that they help you complete the parayan and protect you while this is going on. This request for protection is necessary. As you progress in your parayan, you will accumulate positive energy, your aura will glow like the Sun. Then the souls/entities roaming around trapped in our dimension will come to you and request you to use this energy to set them free. This can manifest as actual problems eg falling ill, or some unexpected event which makes you break the parayan.
  • There are 68 chapters in the Sundar-kand. Ideally you should read it all in one sitting but this is not possible for regular people. So try to recite 6 chapters daily for 11days and finish the remaining 2 chapters on the 12th day. (I think this is a reasonable time frame in which you can manage)
  • The small puja and sweet dish/ naivedya has to be offered on every day you do your parayan. After you finish for the day, eat the sweet dish as a Prasad or distribute it among your close family members.
  • After you finish on the 12th day, thank the deities for the love they have showered on you. Then do a Dhyan, Soham (Sushumna yog) 108 times, relax your mind and absorb the energy of the Sundar kand parayan into yourself.

This is the simplest way you can do your Sundar kand parayan.

Ramayan, Hanuman and Sundarkand

Now the other part of the question which was asked to me.

The actual Ramayan has been simplified and abbreviated into other languages over these thousands of years. In Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states of India, the commonly used ‘Ramcharitmanas’ is a version in the local dialect called Avadhi. It was written by Tulsidas a few hundred years ago. This version is written in very typical old time language and is a highly abbreviated form of the original Ramayan.

The Sundarkand in the original Valmiki Ramayan is 68 chapters long and in this ‘Ramcharitmanas’ it is a mere 63 verses. In Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, people think that reading these 63 verses in Avadhi is ‘Sundar kand parayan’. It is not. But then faith and intention is important so even if you recite these 63 verses in Avadhi you will get some benefit. But to answer your question, this is not Sundar kand parayan.

The actual Sundar kand parayan is reciting the 68 Chapters of the original Ramayan written by Rishi Valmiki in Sanskrit.

Sanskrit is the Devbhasha Samskrutam, the words cannot be translated and each word is a mantra, the Shabda-Brahma, the divine Intelligence manifested in perfection. You can try doing the parayan yourself in the highly simplified method as per what I have written above, or you can get it done through a proper Brahmin pandit for the maximum auspicious effects and positive results.

Jai Sri Ram ..

 

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Edit : I got a comment that what should someone do if cannot read Sanskrit? So here is a youtube link to the entire 68 sarga of the Sundarkand. Some kind soul has recited it beautifully in Sanskrit. So listen to it and try to follow what is being recited in your book.
Also buy a book with the Sanskrit text of the Sundarkand. Gita press has the Ramayan in Sanskrit with the Hindi translation. The book is priced at very very affordable rates. And now you may have to do fewer sarga per day depending on the recitation time/ sarga. So your parayan might continue for more days. During this Parayan period you should avoid non-veg, alcohol etc and live a satvik life style to derive the max auspicious benefits. (And later give yourself 10mins daily to learn some Sanskrit at least. It is our mother tongue, post here.)

Agnihotra Homa to harness the Sun’s power

I do the Agnihotra homa everyday at every sun-rise and sun-set. The most important thing is the timing. The exact time of sunrise and sunset is critical. If you miss this time, then this is not an Agnihotra Homa. And it is the easiest way in which you can gain energy for yourself and your house/ surroundings. The simplest Homa possible.

A very brief post on how you do it.

Things you will need,

  • Copper pyramidal homa kund – it has to be copper as copper is linked to heat and can transmit the energies most effectively. The pyramidal shape amplified the energies produced in the Agnihotra.

pyramidal copper homa kund

  • A small copper bowl to keep the ghee (clarified butter). A copper spoon of this specific shape below.

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This above is the correct shape of the spoon but if you cannot get it in this shape then you can use this one below as a second option. But it should be made of copper.

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  • Rice grains –  unpolished, whole, raw, white colored rice grains. Rice grains have a very nigh ability to absorb energy. So raw rice is called ‘Akshata’ which means unbroken or indestructible.
  • Ghee made of desi cow milk (post here) (The desi cow has a prominent hump, a prominent Surya-Ketu nadi, a prominent fold of skin under its neck, a oily skin, tail touching till the ground etc. They give A2 milk which is a medicine in its own right. We Indians used to breed only A2 cows or desi cows until the ‘white revolution’ created the half-breed cows whose milk is not fit for consumption.)
  • Cow dung cakes again only from the desi cow.
  • An Asan for you to sit on. The asan is all important, the foundation of all your spiritual activity. As you keep on using it again and again it also starts working like your energy battery. (post here)
  • A time table which shows you the exact time to the second of the sun-rise and sun-set at your location. This would be the time when the mid-point of the Sun’s disk is at the horizon.
  • An accurate watch with the seconds display to see the time for your location.

The Homa procedure

To begin with, clean yourself up, wash your hands/ feet/ face or have a bath if you have time. And dress in a loose fitting cotton dress.

Sit on your Asan, face east or north. Try to sit in Padmasan, Ardha-Padmasan or the Siddhasan yogic poses. If you cannot sit in these yogic poses, then sit cross legged. (If you cannot sit down, then sit in a chair but then arrange your Homa set-up on a table so that the fire is above your navel’s height.) Pray to your favourite deity or source of faith. If you have water from the Ganga, sprinkle it all around. If you have a conch, Shankh, blow on it thrice. Or try to visualise a cocoon of pure silvery-gold energy around you. Take a minute for all this so that you relax your mind.

Now to set up the Homa kund. Keep the pyramidal kund on a brick or a fire-proof tile else you might spoil the flooring.

Take 3 pieces of the cowdung cake and dip them in the ghee. Arrange these three pieces in the pyramidal kund in a sort of triangular arrangement with a small space between them. Take a smaller piece of cowdung cake, dip it in ghee and set it alight. Put this small burning piece in the small space you had left, so that the 3 main pieces also catch fire. If you can recite the Agni Gayatri, ‘Om saptajivhaya vidmahe, havvya-bhadraya dhimahi, tanno Agnih prachodayat Om’ while you light the fires it will help. Else at least recite ‘Om’. Agni is not just fire, it is the conscious intelligence of the fire. It is aware and has power. You are invoking it and requesting its help for performing the Homa.

Add some ghee on the burning cow-dung cakes using the spoon so that the fire starts blazing properly.

Do all this and get ready for the actual Homa at least 2-3 mins before the exact time of sunrise/ sunset.

Then while you are waiting for the exact time, you can recite the Gayatri mantra or any other Sanskrit mantra/ sukta/ shlok/ stotra as per your choice. Or recite Soham with your breath mentally, manasik jaap. Try to get your mind in a calm and peaceful state so that you can make the most of the Homa which you will be performing soon.

Then take about two pinches of the rice grains on your left palm.

Keep an eye on the exact time. At the exact time of the sunset/ sunrise you have to recite these following mantras and with each ‘Swaha’ drop one pinch of rice grains into the Homa Agni.

Use the ‘gras mudra’ for offering the pinch of rice to Agni.

gras mudra

Sunrise agnihotra mantra

  • Suryaya swaha, sooryaya idam na mama
    • (Offer one pinch of rice to the Agni with the word ‘swaha’)
  • Prajapataye swaha, prajapataye idam na mama
    • (Offer one pinch of rice to the Agni with the word ‘swaha’)

Sunset agnihotra mantra

  • Agnaye swaha, agnaye idam na mama
    • (Offer one pinch of rice to the Agni with the word ‘swaha’)
  • Prajapataye swaha, prajapataye idam na mama
    • (Offer one pinch of rice to the Agni with the word ‘swaha’)

That is it. These two mantras recited at sunrise/ sunset is the complete Agnihotra Homa.

Now sit in silence in front of the Agni till it extinguishes. You can do your Gayatri puja or your Dhyan (post here) during this period. Let the energy of the  Agnihotra Homa enter your body and mind. You can get up after the fire extinguishes.

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Now the ash generated is not just ash, it is ‘vibhuti‘. The power of the mantra,  intention, time and energy generated by the Homa has entered the ash / Vibhuti. It is a ‘spiritual medicine’ now. Put some on your forehead, you can eat some of it. (My son eats it all as soon as it cools down. And if my mind was distracted during the Homa, he points it out as the taste of the Vibhuti changes, he says it becomes sour in taste.) You can store this vibhuti in a glass bowl for about 15days. Some uses for this vibhuti,

  • Put a pinch on the forehead as a tilak.
  • Use it to remove evil eye. Mix one pinch of this Vibhuti in a fistful of raw rice and use it to get rid of negative energy adhering to you (post here)
  • Eat it
  • Mix a pinch in the bath water.
  • Sprinkle it at the four corners of your house, it will act as a shield around the house.
  • Put a small pinch under the chair in your office
  • If you wish you can make an amulet using this
  • If you do not believe in its power, try this small experiment. Put this vibhuti in the potted plants you have in your house and see how they grow and also glow with energy. I give the extra vibhuti to the Tulsi plant (post here) in my house.

Agnihotra is the duty of every householder. The burst of energy at the exact instant of sunrise/sunset is channelised into you, your house and your surroundings through this Homa. If you have learnt to see auras or can see into the astral you will be able to see a literal explosion of energy bursting from the Agni as soon as the rice grains fall into it with the sound of the mantra. The energy of the smoke is also very high and wherever it goes, it will cleanse the atmosphere of all negative energy. If there are entities in your house or an evil eye on you or your family members then it will be blown away by the force of this energy explosion. Try it once and then evaluate the difference for yourself.

A personal experience. Some time ago, I was required by karma to travel astrally every single night for a few months. It was so tiring that I could not get up in the morning at sun-rise. It would take so long to reanimate the physical body and I was very drained. And there was additional work in office so I was missing the evening sun-set too. So for a few months there was no Agnihotra Homa performed in my house. (My son was small so could not do it alone. And my husband was even more busy than I was) The result was that the house was full of spirits and other trashy beings roaming around all the time. The house was in a bad shape. Only my pujs room was shiny and sparkling. Astral travel, though sounds romantic, is very bad for the physical body. It drains the pran-mai-kosh, and I was doing this every night. Also when you go to the other dimensions in your sooskhma sharir, you leave open ‘doors’ for the other beings to come in here. Even if you are careful to quickly shut the ‘doors’ these do get the opportunity to come to our world. And you are so focussed on the work that often you forget to shield the sookshma sharir and you get attacked a lot. A lot. The Agnihotra was not possible during these few months and I and my husband were both too tired to ‘clean up’, things went down-hill. When I restarted the Homa, things were driven out of my house on the first day itself. And with each succeeding day the shields re-formed got stronger and the house came back to its beautiful neat and clean, high-energy self.

So if you have the resources available do perform this simplest and easiest Agnihotra Homa. If you cannot do it at both sunrise and sunset do it at least once a day. It will bring a lot of positivity to you, your house and all the people living in your house.

 

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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

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

 

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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 out loud, ‘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 these 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

 

 

Soul in the dream state

There are four states of existence, Awake – Jagruti, Swapna -Dream, Deep sleep – Sushupti and Turiya – the fourth state e.g. in deep Dhyan.

The dream state is an intermediate one between the awake (Jagrut) and the deep sleep (Shushupti) states. This is a joint (Sandhya) between these two states and is by itself a ‘state of existence’. The joint between two energies is always very important as the energies here are different and allow you to explore things which would not be possible in the two states themselves. The energy of the joint /Sandhya is called the Devi, ray of Light. All the texts insist on focussing on the Sandhya for spiritual progress and eventual Moksh.

The Dream state is called ‘Mayavat’, ‘similar to Maya’. Maya Maya is a Sanskrit word which is taken to mean ‘illusion’, which is incorrect. Maya means ‘not this’. Thus the dream state cannot be conclusively proved to be real nor can it be conclusively proved to be un-real.

The Kuthastha purush/ the individual soul has powered down the body-robot and has all possible energies at his disposal. The individual soul is the Creator of the Swapna state, ie you exercise the powers of creation in the dream state. Normally people get fantastic dreams where impossible things are seen and experienced. And for the dreamer, these things are very much real.

There have always been incidents where dreams have foretold the future. People see omens in dreams or some things from the past are made clear in the dreams. One of my clients would get dreams where he would be killed in a war with an arrow through his neck, he would feel the pain and wake up. The same dream repeating again and again. He went through a guided mediation session after which he remembered one past life as a Mongol warrior and came to terms with it. After this the dreams stopped.

Soul in the dream state

In Sanatan dharm/Hinduism, the Seers/Rishi have often been given Mantra in their dreams. The Ramraksha stotra was given by Shiv to Rishi Vishvamitra in his dream state. This is one of the most powerful stotras and is often used to protect children in India.

Often your ancestor spirits will come in your dreams to indicate things and communicate with you. If you see some ancestor in your dreams frequently you should offer a chapati with some jaggery to a desi cow (cows with a hump on the back). This simple act sends energy to the said ancestor and the repetitive dream will stop.

The soul rebalances karma in dreams, as the experiences seen in the dreams are sometimes karma being experienced. You might see your child dying in your dreams, you feel the intense pain and the grief. And when you wake up you realise that you are not even married yet! But you have completed a significant karma of experiencing the death of your child in the dream state. Often astral travel happens and is one of the commonest methods of rebalancing karma while in the Swapna-awastha. But if you are astrally travelling too much take care of your physical body, do some spiritual practice to energise yourself, else you will fall ill.

Especially things related to ‘black magic‘, are seen more clearly in dreams. People who have ill-wishing put on them using black magic suffer these effects in their dreams too. If you get dreams of being buried alive and perhaps some ritual connected to you being performed in a cemetery (smashan), be alert. In your waking state take sufficient precautions to protect yourself on the energy levels.

And if you are strong enough you can remove the effects of ‘black magic/ ill-wishing’ more easily if you are aware and work in your dream state. You can recite mantras or even do rituals in your dreams. These are then not random dreams, you decide on the activities you are going to do. The more you progress spiritually the more you can control and use the dream state for energy work.

Now the astrological connections. People who have their 12th house, Pisces sign or ascendant sign/lord, or Moon associated with Rahu or Ketu can control their dream states easily. If this Rahu or Ketu is influenced /conjunct / aspected by Venus or Jupiter it becomes even more easier you will have access to the knowledge. Mars especially can help you remain unafraid and pro-active. Mercury will help in the technical stuff related to dream-control and activities. Saturn will make you work so hard in your dream state that your physical body will suffer. And a Sun influencing them will also help in giving self-confidence and more control over the creativity linked to the dream actions.

If you have nightmares, the simple Mantra ‘Govind’ will stop the nightmare immediately. ‘Govind’ is specifically for destroying nightmares, ‘Duhswapne smarh Govindam‘, from the Vishnu Shodash-nama stotra. Do this. Cup your right hand on the back of your head where your neck meets the head. There is a hollow at the base of the skull here (point where Sushumna bifurcates). And the left hand at the third eye/ Ajnya chakra. Intend very strongly that you will remember the Mantra ‘Govind’ in your dreams. Push this thought strongly into your palms and into your head. This will register in your subconscious. So the next time you are uncomfortable in a dream, your subconscious will remind you within the dream to recite ‘Govind’. It takes just this one word to stop the nightmare.

Another way of making use of your dreams is you keep a dream diary. Most of us remember the dreams as we wake up for a couple of minutes, then we forget. So keep a diary at your bedside and the first thing as you wake up write a few keywords from your dream in it. So even if you forget it, you will be able to remember it from the diary. So you can then make use of whatever your subconscious has shown you during the dream state/ Swapna awastha.

 

Soul in the dream state