Lok you go to after physical death

“I recently heard that after a person passes away, he/she enters two lokas – preta and pitra (depending on their karmas and sanskaras). Is this true? Also, could you please share your views whether these lokas are inhabited by living entities? Do these lokas exist? bhu, bhuvas, svar, mahas, janas, tapas, and satya above and atala, vitala, sutala, rasātala, talātala, mahātala, pātāla and naraka”

I got this comment and the answer became too long, thus this post.

Pitarayana. When someone leaves the physical body there are two possible routes, Pitrayana and Devayana. Most people, 99.99% will use the Pitarayana. So the soul with the attached karmic baggage ie the subtle and causal bodies, leaves the physical body behind, uses the Pitrayana route and travels to Pitrulok. Pitru पितृ means ancestors. The physical body which is left behind is called the ‘pret’ and there is no ‘pret-lok’. Pret प्रेत means the remains, discarded, left behind, defunct, dead etc. Once the soul starts on the Pitrayana route, the other souls from his soul group come to escort it on its way. Soul group would be those souls who travel together in time, space and across lives as they have interconnected karma to resolve over lives. People who have had near death experiences report having seen their parents etc coming to meet them. (I have written on what happens at physical death here)

This world in which we live in, is called the Martya-lok. Martya मर्त्य means mortal, of those who will die, human, body, etc.

The soul gets the energy to reach its destination in pitra-lok, when the Anteyshti, cremation by fire is performed correctly. The pret/ body is offered to Agni and the skull must break. The other way is when a soldier dies fighting, Veer-gati, his focus on his fight is so complete that his attachment to his body becomes zero, if he gets killed, he travels the Pitrayana without much trouble.

But if the body is buried after death, then the soul cannot journey to the pitra-lok and in majority of cases haunts the areas around the burial spot or his house or his family. The soul is does not have enough energy to cross into the pitra-lok, so it roams in the Martya-lok and we call it a ghost, spirit, pret-atma, etc. These souls are often in very bad shape as the higher level negative entities also torment them while they are trapped here. (The best way to catch a spirit-slave is near cemeteries where bodies are buried, not that I recommend doing this.)

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I have used a generic word ‘pitru-lok’ but there are two basic options. One is if the soul has performed auspicious deeds and gained beneficial merit. Or has performed inauspicious actions, acted against its own conscience etc so has demerits, negative karma.

Chandra-lok If someone does auspicious activities, lives a dharmic life and gains merit, does his pujas, worships demi-gods/ devata, his soul enters Chandra-lok. Here the soul uses up the merit which it was supposed to enjoy here. It exists with the devata. Its position here is something like a subordinate staff to the demi-gods. If you do pujas of your adored devata, you will, after physical death, go to the Chandra-lok. Here you will serve him, gain his blessings, remain there till your this merit is exhausted. You enjoy your accumulated merit/ punya as a companion to the devata, something like his glorified servants. Maybe something like his pet? This is enjoyable to you as you have worshipped this devata while living in the Martya-lok and the fruit of your this karma is being in his company, so you enjoy it.

This merit is also a part of the sanchit karma. You are constantly working on reducing your karma by enjoying its fruits in the other dimensions also. If this is an auspicious merit you enjoy its fruits in the Chandra-lok (and if is an inauspicious fruit, you endure it in the Yama-lok.) This merit can be visualised as an additional body layer which is created around your soul as you enter the respective other lok. Once your merit here is exhausted, this layer is dissolved. Then you exit that lok and your soul will be reincarnated in the Martya-lok again. Now again some part of your accumulated karma will get active and this will decide your new life and situation here. The quality of this karma will decide your position and place of birth. Thus you are born again with residual karma which has to be worked out in the Martya-lok.

Sapta-Vhyritis Bhuh, Bhuvah, Swahah, Mahah, Janah, Tapah, Satyam are seven higher planes of existence. These are all naturally inhabited by specific beings.

  • Bhu is the bhu-lok, the earth, the martya-lok. We all live here.
  • The lok described by Bhuvah to Tapah are inhabited by devata of successively higher energies and are a part of the Chandra lok. A soul can travel upto only upto a certain level into the Chandra-lok, depending on his merit, punya. This level is indicated by the vhyrutis, bhuvah, svah, mahah, janah, tapah. If you have more punya/ merit you advance higher. There are different devata who exist in different levels of the Chandra-lok.
  • The highest energy Satya-lok is considered to be the same as Brahmalok. This is not a part of the Chandra-lok. Only those souls who gain krama mukti can go there by the Devayan route.

Souls who go to the higher Lok within the Chandra-lok ie Tapah, can also work as the devata/ demi-gods themselves. eg if you do your pujas etc with the desire to work as Indra etc these intentions can also be fulfilled. Deities are designations, like someone is a ‘Head of Marketing’, or ‘CEO’, or ‘Director’ in our corporates. Deities are something like officers.

Karma cannot be balanced at one go, several lives are needed. And karma is not balanced in one Lok either, its fruits are spread over several Lok. ie some of its karma will be settled in Martya-lok, some in Chandra-lok, some in Yama-lok. However new karma can be created only in the Martya-lok, not in any of the others. (So even if some deity wishes to attain Sadyo-mukti he too has to take a birth on the Martya-lok, do his sadhana here and only them can he attain Sadyo-mukti.)

Yama-lok If you have performed inauspicious actions on the Martya-lok and have accumulated demerits, negative karma. Then, after you enter the pitrayana route, you will be directed to the Yama-lok. Here you will suffer the consequences of your negative karma. People think the Garud-puran is a fantasy, it is not. Read it in the original Sanskrit (Devbhasha Samskrutam cannot be translated), you will understand what karmic punishments really are and these actually happen here. Here negative karma is rebalanced. Once you have rebalanced whatever was possible in Yama-lok, your soul again comes to the Martya-lok for its next birth.

There are seven subsidiary Lok connected to Yama-lok. The Raurava, Maharaurava, Vahni, Vaitarni and Kumbhika are the five ‘temporary’ ones. You stay here till the fruits of your negative karma are completed, then you exit from here. And there are two more Lok here, the ‘permanent’ Tamisra and Andhatamisra. If the soul has done such tremendous inauspicious actions, negative things which are beyond rebalancing, it resides here in complete inertia till the Maha-Pralaya, complete dissolution of creation. A soul residing here has no hope of evolution or gaining self-realization. It can be considered as a blindness of the worst kind possible. Inertia is the worst punishment possible as there is no scope of any sort of evolution/ involution.

As per Garud puran there are these Lok connected to the lower human body, Atala is located below the feet, above the feet is Vitala, at the knees is Sutala, Rasatala at the private parts, Talatala at the hips, Patala at the loins and Mahatala at the thighs. These should be similar to the seven Lok which are included in the Yama-lok. Then the seven higher Lok ie from Bhu to Satyam are linked to the 7 chakra in the spine. These are part of the Martya-lok, Chandra-lok and the Brahma-lok. There is no mention of any ‘narak’ in the Brahma-sutra or in the Garud puran. (I go by what Brahma-sutra say always. If there is any contradiction with any other text, for me the Brahma-sutra has the over-riding authority.)

Depending on how deep your spiritual practice Dhyan is, and how you have elevated your conscious focus on your mantra, you can visit these Lok during your Dhyan. But attempt it only if you are confident about yourself.

All this is for the souls who are born as humans. For the animals and plants etc there is a ‘Third’ place, which is neither Chandra-lok nor Yama-lok. I am not very interested, so I have never checked out this ‘third’ place

Lok you go to after physical death

Devayana  If you achieve Krama-mukti, you travel by this route at the moment of physical death and reach the highest possible Lok in this creation. Actually every soul has the Devayana option available to it at its point of exit, but it is so blinded by its karma, so confused, that it cannot see this route. So mostly all exit via pitarayana and go to Chandra-lok or Yama-lok. Devayana is also called the route of Archi, Agni, Vayu, Varun, Indra, Prajapati and the Surya (Archiradi-marga अर्चि आदि मार्ग). There are several intermediate stages on this route but the soul does not stop here, his focus on his Sagun Brahma is intense. The deities ruling these stages, escort or guard the soul on his route to the Brahma-lok.

A lot depends on what you focus on at the moment of your physical death. The energies at the moment of exit are tremendous, they grant you whatever you are intently focussing on at this moment. And to retain your single-point focus at this moment requires that you prepare for it throughout your life. If you worship the Eternal in his highest Sa-gun form, ie as Shiv, Vishnu or Brahmadev, with full focus, you will eventually attain the highest Vidya related to these forms. This Vidya will ensure that you retain your focus on this deity at the point of physical death. Thus you will be able to see and actively choose the Devayana route for your exit. You will go to the highest energy Lok available in this creation, called the Brahma-lok. The Brahma-lok is also called the Satya-lok or Kailas or Vaikunth.

Here you will remain as a companion to your adored deity, till the entire creation is dissolved in Maha-pralaya. You have chosen this by your continuous focussed intention, this is the fruit of that worship of the highest deities of this creation. You are satisfied with being with your favourite deity, this is want you had wanted. You got it. You are with the Sagun Brahma or the Karya Brahma. There is no more birth/death for you, your soul has been freed from this ‘krama’, thus it is called krama-mukti. However this is not the highest realisation possible. You do not know your own highest reality. (Do read the post on krama-mukti)

Sagun means with attributes. These forms of deities are under the rule of Prakruti, Devi, Lalita Tripursundari. If you can cross Prakruti also, you enter the realm of pure consciousness, then you can achieve the Nirgun Brahma, the highest realization.

Maha-pralaya, The entire creation with everything in it is dissolved as if it never existed. The Advaita reasserts itself and all forms of duality are destroyed. The illusion breaks for all the souls residing in all the Lok-s at this instant, also all demi-gods, deities, Shiv/ Vishnu/ Brahmadev etc all are annihilated. All souls, all intelligence is merged with the Nirvishesh Brahma. There is no creation, no manifestation, only the Non-dual exists. (After this creation can start again in a new cycle if such a desire is created.)

Sadyo-mukti Advaita, Nirvishesh Brahma the highest realization is possible only if you are devoted to your own reality, if you adore yourself, ie recite the mantra Om, Soham or Hamsa. Here there is no going/ coming, as you attain the Eternal at the moment of your realization. This is Sadyo-mukti, the final and highest realization possible. All genuine aspirants want this experince. A real Sat-Guru will always guide you to focus on yourself, Om/ Soham /Hamsa so you achieve the Highest Realisation in the life time or at the moment of your exit (post on Jivan-mukt or Videha mukt). Your own naam-mantra, your name, guides you to yourself.

 

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(This post is based majorly on the Brahma-sutra, some from Garud Puran and some from my experiences)

Soham, Sushumna Yog and the Sat-guru

‘Soham’, when formally ‘given’ to you by a Jivan-Mukt Sat-Guru is ‘Sushumna Yog.

A Jivan-mukt has understood the real meaning of the Maha-vakya, ‘tat tvam asi’. Maha-vakya महावाक्य means the great saying, assertion, declaration, rule. ‘Tat tvam asi’ loosely means ‘you are that’, but understanding this and experiencing this means you have achieved Sadyo-mukti. ‘Tat tvam asi’ is called the Brahmaakara Vritti, ie the state of the mind which takes you towards the Eternal Intelligence. Only such a Jivan mukt Guru can ‘give’ you Soham in all its grandness. eg your friend calls you by your full name and then your Mom calls you by your full name. When your Mom calls you with your full name, you get all alert and awake, her voice and your name trigger something within you.

Soham is the right of every living being. You keep doing it regularly in some small way with intention and it will slowly reset your energy. (Like that friend calling you by your name.) And then at some point of time, you will meet your Sat-Guru who will formally ‘give’ it to you. (This would be like your Mom calling you). When you hear this mantra from a Jivan-mukt, you hear it from the Nirvishesh Brahma itself. The mantra then goes deep inside and resets your energy in a fast forward mode. This now becomes Sushumna Yog, the route to Moksh. It opens access to the Sushumna nadi and the Brahma-nadi within it.

Soham has the power to take you into Kevala-Kumbhak spontaneously. Kumbhak is commonly considered to be the pause between the act of breathing in-Purak and breathing out-Rechak. But actually ‘Kumbhak’ means a pause in breathing. The breathing stops. Kevala Kumbhak means the stoppage of breath when the mind is silenced, completely motionless. In your Dhyan when you reach a point where the mind is utterly calm, the breathing stops. This stoppage can be in mid-inward breath, in mid-outward breath or between the Rechak/ Purak, anytime. This is called the state of Kevala Kumbhak.

When the breath stops, your pran are in your conscious control, the mind/Manas is still. Soham dissolves the individual ego/ Ahamkara completely. Grants you perfect memory/ Chitta of yourself. Perfect intelligence/ Buddhi dawns on you. You gain the knowledge/ Vijnyan of the Eternal. 

Initially this kumbhak will be for short time, later it can extend to hours as a Samadhi. Kevala Kumbhak is the highest form of Kumbhak. For those who attempt reaching this Kevala Kumbhak by consciously manipulating pran, the entire and very complicated process is given in the Yog-shikha Upanishad. But attempt this only under the guidance of a real Guru who knows what he is doing. Do not experiment here. Else you can burn up your Nadi-s, if this happens you have to discard your current body and take another body/life. (I have heard examples where aspirants burnt their nadi-s and then physically died a few months later.)

For attaining Moksh, both practice and philosophy is necessary. One trains the pran/ vital energy and the other trains the mind. Mind can be controlled by only if you control Pran and the easiest way to control Pran is to focus on your breath. The spiritual path can be very dangerous if you do not follow a Sat-Guru. You are manipulating the energies enveloping your soul, it is risky without the proper guide. All the books in Sanatan Dharma, Brahma-sutra, Bhagvat Gita, Vijnyan Bhairav Tantra, Devi Mahatmya, Ved, Vedang, Upanishad, etc emphasise the supreme importance of the Sat-guru in attaining Sadyo-mukti, Advaitya.

Soham, Sushumna Yog and the Sat-guru

I have seen my own Sat-Guru  in his physical shell as a Jivan-mukt and his full Advaita form after the shell dissolved.

A Jivan-mukt is innocence, untouched by physical/ emotional distress. Every word uttered by him is deepest philosophy. Every sentence when pondered upon, means only the Advaita. He cannot ever talk on any materialistic topic, he has transcended all this dross. He will not do moorti-pujas, pilgrimages, rituals, yadnas, homa or any other outer forms of worship connected to this illusory worlds, nor will he tell his disciples to do so. (My Guru would pointedly say no to all this as this. But he would tell us to increase our Dhyan.) He will give the same final mantra (Om/ Soham/ Hamsa) to all his disciples. To him, each one is the same Parabrahma. He does not discriminate among his disciples. He looks fresh and always welcoming. There are no bindings on how one has to be before coming before him. (Some Yogi-s are particular about women in their 5 days cycle. Or do not allow others to touch, have strict conditions on food etc). A Sat-guru has no requirements, no hang-ups, nothing. I have seen my Sat-guru eating out of silver plates and with the same innocence having simple food in the house of a poor disciple. Not finicky about habits, nothing. And this doesn’t mean that you can take him lightly. His aura is tremendous, you can not do anything but bow before him. All thoughts flee your mind in his presence. (I could never ask him for anything in words. Yet he always answered the questions I used to ask him in my mind). You feel the immenseness of him. Only those few people who have actually seen a Jivan-Mukt can understand what I have written here.

(Eg. Once he stopped his car in front of a Mumbai slum. My Mom was travelling with him. He asked her to go into the slum and call a woman, he told her the name. A elderly beggar woman came out. He asked her if she would like to go and live in his Math in Kolhapur district. She thought it over and said yes. He gave her money to buy some clothes and tickets. She lived in the Math and helped out in the kitchens. After some 25yrs, by his blessings, she left her body sitting in Dhyan. There are numerous such examples with my Guru.)

A Jivan-mukt’s body is linked to the Prarabdha-karma linked to the body at birth. So the body will play out its karmic activities. But the Soul is the pure Advaita. The pain/ pleasure of the body does not exist for the Soul. It has entered the Unmani-avastha, ‘beyond the mind’. The only purpose of the body is to enjoy/ endure karma. The soul has nothing to do with karma. You are not the body, you are the Soul, so its karmic pain/ pleasure has nothing to do with you. If you understand and experience this, you are Mukt.

Now whenever I see him he is in his full Advaita form, just the conscious Nirvishesh Brahma. It is very different and more intense.

So the point is, in this world, there are very rare Jivan-mukt available, maybe one in a hundred million. If you have the all-consuming desire to Know yourself, you will meet one, like the beggar woman whom my Sat-guru picked out of the slums. But until this happens, it is best that you do your Soham-Dhyan. Better trust your own higher self rather than putting your trust in some dubious ‘guru’. There are so many frauds in this world who are more than ready to take advantage of your fire and your energy. A Yogi who is higher up on the route can help you but only a Sat-Guru can really guide you home.

Do your Soham-Dhyan as per your conscience. This will prepare you for the moment when you will meet your Sat-guru. ‘Soham’ is not secret, everyone knows it. But when you hear it from your Sat-guru as a Naam-mantra, ie with the intention that ‘Soham’ is your name, it changes your energies completely. The Advaita itself tells you your name and directs you to focus on this now onwards. I was very young when my Sat-guru ‘gave’ it to me, but I remember every second of that experience.

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There was a question for references on Soham. For me the biggest reference is that my Sat-Guru gave it to me. But you can go through the following if you are so inclined,

  • Brahma vidya upanishad mentions that Soham is the mantra.
  • Yog shikha upanishad mentions that the Ajapa mantra under the guidance of a Sat-guru and for Sushumna yog is ‘Soham’. This is a part of mantra yog. The only route to liberation is the Sushumna yog and the ones who follow this route are the Jivan-mukt. Liberation is possible in one life itself if you slowly, little by little but regularly perform Soham.
  • Shri Nisargadatta Maharaj, my Sat-guru’s Guru-brother writes in his books that if one follows one’s Sat-guru’s direction and Soham-Dhyan, it takes two years to attain Moksh.
  • Isha upanishad mentions that Soham is the illumination, the highest blessing.
  • Brihad aranyak upanishad says that when the Advaita first took the form of the Purush, the first words said by this conscious intelligence were ‘Soham asmi’, ‘I am That’. The Purush is aware that he is the Non-dual, no one but him existed nor exists nor will exist. (For details on what the Purush is you will need to read the Sankhya philosophy.)
  • Hamsa upanishad, says that ‘Soham’ is the ‘kilak’, ie it is the pin, wedge, pillar, bolt, to which the entire ‘Hamsa soham’ mantra is fastened to. If you use this ‘Soham’ as a kilak, ie make it the sharp cutting edge of your spiritual practice you attain Moksh.
  • Vidnyan Bhairav Tantra mentions ‘Soham’ and ‘Hamsa’.
  • In the phalashruti of Vishnu sahastra nama, the highest One says that these 1000 names of Vishnu are equivalent to one Soham mantra.
  • There are several tantra books, philosophy commentaries and stotras which mention Soham.

If you think that ’Soham’ is very simple, try doing it for one hour with your breath as you do your daily commute sitting in the bus or train. See how many times you forgot to keep track of your breath. See how many times your attention was diverted from your breath and your mantra by what you saw/ heard in the train. Keeping track of breath is not so easy! But as you train your mind, direct it again and again to focus on your breathing pattern, you will notice changes in yourself. Your mind will become calmer, recovery from emotional outbursts will be faster, your health indicators will improve, you will look younger, fresher, your aura will become more intense etc. 

Sohams’s greatest power is that everyone can do it. All the time, in all conditions of the body/ mind. There is no binding of any sort on doing it. You can do it on your asan, in the bus, while you are having a bath, while walking in the park, at all times. Every breath you take should be converted to Soham, in every state. This means that you will be doing 21,600 Soham jaap every day! But then your breathing will also slow down. eg I have observed that when I am just sitting, reading or typing it goes to 2-3 per minute and sometimes stops. Slowed breathing increases your body’s life-span and health. The life of a person is measured in breaths, the more you sit in Samadhi or in Dhyan, the slower you breathe, the longer your body will sustain. 

Soham is the gem among the mantras, it gives the highest benefit, Sushumna Yog, and ultimately Moksh, Sadyo-mukti in the most easiest, safest, gentlest and kindest ways and in this one life-time itself.

 

Karma action fruits of action, Bhagwat Gita style

There were several questions, I have sort of combined them in this post. 

Your conscience and your soul

Someone asked me, ‘What does the soul contain? Where is the mind in our body? How do I know it is my higher self taking decisions in my day to day life happenings?’. Here are some points which you can think over if they make sense to you. Some of this is from standard books and some from my personal experiences and understanding.

‘What does the soul contain?’

Your Soul is your awareness, a spark of divine energy. There is an energy inside you which is aware, conscious, alert, intelligent. It is because of this awareness that you animate this ‘body’ (your ‘body’ has 5 layers, detailed post here). When the Soul’s aware energy exits the body, the body loses awareness ie dies. Your Soul is constant, unchangeable, eternal, indestructible. The body is obviously destructible. The body exists only for the sake of creating and enjoying/enduring karma and its repercussions. The horoscope can analyse just this 5-layered body. The horoscope cannot be used to analyse the Soul. The enveloping layers of the body are sometimes called ‘Maya’ ie the undefinable or ‘Deha-buddhi’ ie the intellect limited by the enveloping body. This geometric envelope obscures the light of the Soul. Thus your awareness is obscured, lowered and limited to only the body, you cannot perceive or experience your real nature. You are made to forget that you are pure awareness, pure Soul. It is like a fog drawn over your real Awareness. As you forget that you are the Soul, you start believing that you are the body.

Most of your clients will be in this category, they fully believe that they are the 5 layers of the body. Thus they create more karma, the impulses of their past karmas affect them deeply, they deeply laugh/cry and enjoy/endure Maya. You can chart out their life reasonably accurately using their own horoscope’s patterns. Your horoscope shows your Prarabdha karma ie how much karma have you have decided to go through in this life. The body will continue till this target is achieved then dissolve. And the horoscope also shows the possibility of Agami karma, ie how new karma will be created in this life. (Sanchita karma is your total karmic backlog)

Some people who have done practices to increase their ‘awareness’ understand that they are not the body but are the pure Soul. These people know this as a concept but they have not experienced this in the real sense as yet. They are working on it, doing their regular spiritual practice with intention. These people are somewhat immune to the ravages of karma on the body, but they are still influenced by it. You might see this happening to yourself if you are a spiritual aspirant. eg you are committed to your spiritual practice and in one critical transit of Saturn or Rahu/Ketu or Jupiter (slow planets), you lose all your focus. The material beckons you again, you want to go out with your girlfriend/ boyfriend or you suddenly feel that spiritual path is going well so now it is time to enjoy some material comforts. Your Deha-buddhi or Maya tries to assert itself and to pull you away from your pursuit of Awareness. These are testing times, if you lose focus now, you slip very badly.

As you advance deeper into your spiritual practice, as you increase your awareness levels, you get nearer to the pure Soul Experience. As you reach closer to your destination, the karmic impacts lessen but the karmic tests become even more subtle. If you cross all these and Realise the Soul, you are called a Jivan-mukt. At this stage, you are pure Soul, your awareness, consciousness, intelligence has reached the highest possible position, this is called the Advaita state. You experience yourself continually. You are aware of yourself all the time, in every state, in every condition of the body, you remain immersed in Intelligence, you Know you are the Soul. At this state your Soul has removed the envelope Maya, dissolved the Deha-buddhi and Seen itself forever. The fog has cleared and the light shines through. Now the Soul may remain in the body till its prarabdha karma is exhausted, ie till the physical dissolution of the body. But during this period its Awareness is Eternal. During this period from Realisation to the death of the physical body, the Soul is completely dissociated from the karma of the body. Whatever may happen to the body, You are not concerned in any way whatsoever. And you are Pure Awareness now, you do not create any more karma, ie no Agami karma is created and Sanchita karma is burnt the instant you See yourself.

So in short, Soul is Awareness. When you experience yourself as the Pure Awareness, the Nirvishesh Brahma, you attain Nirgun Moksh.

Your conscience and your soul

The soul is located ‘behind’ the Ajnya chakra in a dedicated ‘ashta-padma-dala-chakra, ‘eight-petalled Lotus’ chakra. This is a specialised chakra, ie the Brahmanadi within the Sushumna nadi loops around itself here and creates this specific energy vertex. These loops are in all possible dimensions. The Hamsa Upanishad describes this chakra in detail. The Soul resides here in an energy form called ‘Hamsa‘. (This Hamsa is composed of the energies of Agni, Soma Rudra, Rudrani, Kaal, Om and Bindu.)

The possible eight tendencies of this chakra are – 1. doing virtuous actions, 2. sleep, laziness etc, 3. doing cruel actions, 4. doing inauspicious deeds, 5. sensual gratification, 6. doing movement type of activities, 7. indulging in lust/sexual desires and 8. desire for accumulating material stuff. These eight tendencies are linked to the eight loops of the chakra. ie when Soul/awareness is linked to a particular loop, tendencies linked to it are activated in the body. When awareness exists ‘between’ these loops, there is indifference to material pleasures, an ascetic mindset. The three states of existence, waking state, dreaming state, deep sleep state are linked to the central axis of this ‘lotus’, at the ‘stamen’, ‘basal sepals’ and ‘innermost seed’ of this ‘lotus’. The fourth state, Turiya is possible when the Awareness leaves this chakra. And the final Turiya-teet, the beyond Turiya, ie Moksh is possible when this Awareness merges itself in the Eternal Non-dual. The Upanishad says that 1crore jaap/ repeats of the Hamsa mantra lead to Moksh.

Your conscience and your soul

Where is the mind in our body?

There are 5 layers of the body. Physical body is anna-mai-kosh. Subtle body is the three layers of pran-mai-kosh, mano-mai-kosh and vidnyan-mai-kosh. Causal body is the anand-mai-kosh. Then is the Soul within these multiple layers. This complex is called a Jiv-atma, the individual soul, as it is enveloped in this body/karmic baggage.

Mind is the Mano-mai-kosh, which is concerned with mental processes and emotions. Here emotions are on a relatively low level as the power of discrimination does not exist in this layer. ie all living animals who can understand pain have this layer active in their bodies. This layer is a part of the subtle body, sookshma sharir, controlled by the Moon in your horoscope. When you physically die, the outermost layer, physical body, anna-mai-kosh is discarded. So when you exist in the Pitr-lok, the dimension of the spirits, your soul is enveloped by a 4-layered body. Imprints stored in these 4 layers require several life-times to be rebalanced. This is why you can gauge your past lives from your horoscope especially in the Sudarshan chakra format.

Its between you and your conscience

‘How do I know it is my higher self taking decisions in my day to day life happenings?’

A personal example. Quite a few years ago, I was suffering because of an intense black ritual done by someone to damage me. A very deep damage on all levels. So I was doing healings, taking help from genuinely kind tantriks, ie using ‘white magic’. The pain was very intense, recovery was slow and I was really very scared. Someone I trusted, almost a brother, offered to do a secret ritual to help me, he did not give me the details. I asked my brother for his opinion. He in good faith said to give it a shot. So despite not being very convinced myself, I agreed and that person did the ritual. My conscience was in doubt but in the temptation of hastening my recovery, I agreed to get it done. But this was not the correct way, I actually got scolded badly by a very high level divinity. Then I suffered through these additional karmic repercussions. And it was a burden on my conscience. I had asked my brother for his opinion, the person who did it was genuine, they both wanted the best for me. But the final decision was mine, I had agreed despite the doubt raised by my conscience. Thus I suffered through the karma, I had regrets and felt very ashamed. So whoever might suggest something to you, however tempting it maybe, if your higher self/ Antaratma/ conscience is in doubt, it will come to a bad end. And it is your decision, so you alone are responsible for what happens to you.

The inner light of your Soul is your conscience, the Antar-atma. If you are doing spiritual practice, stilling your mind and emotions, the voice of your conscience is all the more audible.

Suppose you are in a situation and you have to choose between options. Naturally you will have evaluated the material aspects of both the options in depth. You know what will give you your desired material results. Now you put it to your conscience. Take a deep breath and close your eyes. Focus between your eyebrows, look in your third eye. Recite Soham (or any other mantra you prefer) a few times with your breath. Still your emotions and your scattered thoughts. Then gently think about the option you propose to take. Do you feel right about it? What kind of visions are triggered by this thought? Do you see a flash of bright happy colors, bright lights or depressed dark colors, blackness? Does your heart feel lighter or heavier. You might have physical signs like hair standing on end or feeling cold or a constriction at your throat or something. Your conscience will find some way and give you a sign that the action you chose is appropriate or not. And it will give you very clear signals. Once you have your answer do not ask your question again and again. And once you are clear about your decision, do not listen to others who might try to sway or convince you to go against your conscience. However tempting it may be do not go against your inner voice. This voice comes from your Soul itself.

I do not advocate using horoscope, runes, cards or any divination tools for these conscience related decisions. These divination tools are more linked to the sub-conscious mind. Sometimes cards show you what you consciously want to see, I have seen this happen several times. Or you choose to see those meanings in them which you desire on the material front. So you deceive yourself, attracted by the temporary gains you think you see.

(Classic example, you get 4 of Cups ‘Luxury’ in the Thoth tarot, for a relationship question. This card can show a potentially emotionally nurturing relationship but there is a very deep imbalance in it. This card indicates that you desire deep emotional fulfilment, but this relationship under question is the wrong way to go about it. This card represents temporary superficial attractiveness with an undercurrent of deep stagnation. You have deep emotional needs but you are aggravating the imbalance by desiring things which you don’t really need! This relationship in question is a dead end and you need to focus on something else which gives you real and deep emotional satisfaction. Now which Tarot reader has read so much into the energies of the cards to give this sort of interpretation? And the name ‘Luxury’ can tempt you to get into the relationship and then into emotional trouble later.)

Your conscience goes deeper than the conscious or the sub-conscious mind. It is your actual Soul showing you its Light. For a brief moment the Light of the Soul pierces through the enveloping fog and shows you the direction most appropriate for you. And finally you are responsible for your decisions, whatever happens to you, happens by your choice.

So Choose well.

Its between you and your conscience

 

 

Assurance of Moksh 18-66 Bhagvat Gita Part-2

This is a continued post from part 1 here.

This shlok is from the 18th chapter of the Bhagvat Gita, the 66th verse. These verses from 63 to 72 are the gist of the entire Gita. The Sanskrit Bhagvat Gita is a sutra. Each line needs a thousand more to make its meaning somewhat clear. (Compare what I have written in my earlier post and translations like these available on-line “abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear”.)

  • सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज |
  • अहं त्वां सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुच: ||
  • Sarva-dharmaan parityajya maam ekam sharanam vraja
  • Aham tvaam sarva-paapebhyo mokṣhayiṣhyaami maa shuchah

(To know what a Sutra means in the philosophical sense, this is a link to a ok English translation of the Adi-Shankaracharya’s Sanskrit commentary of Badarayan’s Brahma Sutra. If it makes sense to you, do buy it, a paper copy is necessary for learning anything well.)

Advaita 18-66 Bhagvat Gita Part-2

I was born in a family which had a Sat-guru by tradition. He taught Dhyan with the Soham mantra, gave discourses and also told us to read books. The Dasbodh (Marathi), The Jyaneshwari (Marathi), Yog-Vashishth (Sanskrit), various Upanishads (Sanskrit), the Mahabharat (Sanskrit), Bhagvat Gita is a part of the Mahabharat, Ramayan (Sanskrit) etc. So the practice of the Pran and the practice of the Mind both was simultaneously on. Both together are essential for progress. Doing just one of the two will not give its full results. (I would recommend these books published by Gita Press as they are very affordable, adequately translated into other languages and easily available.)

A personal incident. Once the Devi told me to perform an Anushthan (a count) of the Nav-avaran mantra. My Sat-guru allowed it for some reason. This I did alongside my Dhyan. Then exactly one year later to the day, while doing Dhyan, I clearly heard the first half of this Bhagvat Gita shlok 18-66 ‘Sarva-dharmaan parityajya maam ekam sharanam vraja’, repeated three times.

I pulled out the commentaries on the Gita, thought deeply on it, dissected the words, pored over its intention. It was a clear cut direction. I had repaid my energy debts to everyone including the Devi. (Will write a post sometime on the real nature of the ‘gods’ and ‘deities’ of Sanatan Dharma). That day I stopped doing all other forms of puja/ mantra jaap and focussed just on ‘Soham’. My Dhyan had expanded, beyond the formal asan, Soham was on at every waking/ sleeping/ dreaming breath. This 18-66 verse which my Sat-guru had specifically pointed out brought everything into perfect focus. I was to get rid of the binding that I had put on my practice. Now it was to progress beyond the 3 times a day Dhyan and go beyond the Asan. Now onwards every breath had to be Soham with awareness, 24 hrs a day as a continuous process.

Advaita 18-66 Bhagvat Gita Part-2

Spiritual practice is like school. You complete one grade, toss out the old text books and learn new ones. From your playschool till your Ph.D. you learn deeper things. Every activity/ mantra can take you upto a certain level. Once you cross this level, it changes its form ie you stop doing that specific activity and do something else more intense. You will get clear signals when you pass the grade, so the transition is quite natural.

If you continue doing the old mantra/ activity out of habit or obstinacy or your failure to understand or your fear to change. Or your obsession with the illusion called creation. If you do not change and adapt to your new energy levels, you will harm yourself.

  • Eg you begin going to a Sat-sang where like-minded people sit together, sing bhajans, listen to discourses, a group activity. You do this once a week or so.
  • Next step, you set up a personal puja-ghar/ altar and do moorthi-puja, put flowers etc and focus on this moorthi. Now your group activities reduce, eventually stop, you enjoy your personal pujas more.
  • Then you start a formal mantra jaap eg Gayatri, Navavarna or any other mantra given to you, generally three times a day in sets of 108 repeats.
  • Or if you are directly given your Dhyan-mantra, the mantra is now Soham. (Some people use OM or Hamsa. I have no personal experience with either of these, my Guru taught me Soham, but these too are said to be powerful).
  • Then you start doing Dhyan, focus on your third eye, start internalising. You sit for 2-3 times a day on your Asan. Your Dhyan-mantra generates more power.
  • When Soham gains power, all the outer pujas, mantras, even Gayatri or the Navavarna mantra-jaap etc eventually stop.
  • And finally Soham is on 24hours in all your waking/ dreaming/ sleeping states.
  • Then the Bhagvat Gita shlok 18-66 starts operating.

Soham-Dhyan might seem insignificant to begin with but it has immense power as it is linked to your very breath, it is an ajapa-mantra. The Ajapa-mantra (Soham or Hamsa) are the only way to realise the Eternal. You want to realise yourself as you naturally are. You desire to experience your basic natural condition. And the most natural thing you do is to breathe, but you are actually unaware of your breath. Your breathing is not natural as it is linked to your emotional states, ie your mind. If you are upset, happy, angry, tense, etc your breathing changes its pattern. Ever wondered how it would be if your mind were plain, calm, still and immersed in its Own Self? The mantra linked to your breath are always on whether you are aware or not, the Ajapa-mantra. And the Breath is nothing but Pran. If you destroy the effect of the Mind on the movement of your Breath/Pran or if you bring your Mind to its perfect pristine state, you can experience your basic natural state. So the Ajapa-mantra, Pran, Mind and Breathing are all interlinked. Focus on one of these, control one of these consciously and you control them all. So it is logical that these Ajapa mantras are the only ones powerful to take you to your essential natural state.

Advaita 18-66 Bhagvat Gita Part-2

The verse 18-66 is in two parts.

‘Sarva-dharmaan parityajya maam ekam sharanam vraja’.

  • This is what the spiritual aspirant is directed to do. “Leave all concepts of your limited self, your limited understanding, duality, illusion of creation, artificial conditions you have imposed on yourself, needless complications arising out of the artificial bindings you have created on yourself. Experience the Eternal within yourself, hold on to this realization that you yourself are the Advaita.”
  • This the spiritual aspirant has to do. And the Gita’s teachings as a Yog-shastra for controlling the Pran and the Tatva-jnyan for taming the Mind will be used.
  • This is an order from the Advaita to the aspirant. If the aspirant succeeds in doing this, only then does the second part of the shlok come into operation.
  • This half verse 18.66 was a clear order from my Sat-guru. “To now search for the Eternal within. To follow only what he had taught ie Soham. To use only the Soham with all my strength, this one single route.

“Aham tvaam sarva-paapebhyo mokṣhayiṣhyaami maa shuchah”.

  • The Nirvishesh Brahma assures you, the spiritual aspirant, that It will bless you with the highest liberation. But you cannot claim Moksh unless you actually do what you have been directed in the first part.
  • If you keep desiring a husband/wife, children, money, etc stuff linked to the material and not intensely focus on your single route on your single Sat-Guru on your single mantra, you will not reach that non-dual Truth. Your very existence should burn with this deepest intention of seeing Yourself. This is the deepest Illumination you are asking for, your very soul wants to light up with the intensity of a million Sun’s! 
  • The instant your intelligence casts away all forms of duality, all connection with the illusion of creation is severed by the conscious awareness. All material desires are extinguished, you see your pristine self, this is Moksh.
  • There is no coming or going anywhere, just the magnificence of Existence.
  • The Advaita gives this blessing but only if you perform your part first.

On the practical side, this means that the pattern of breath in and breath out also changes. ie Kumbhak increases, expands. This stillness in between finally leads to the state of Avaitya. This is the exact thing which Bhairav repeatedly says in his Vignyan Bhairav Tantra. Whichever book you read, they all say the same thing.

This verse also means that ultimately there can be only one Sat-Guru. If you are following 5 different religious leaders/ spiritual teachings, discard all but the one who really inspires your confidence. There can be only one spiritual practice, especially so when you are so near your goal. So if you are observing 10 different types of practices, discard all but the one which gives you the maximum intensity. If at this point you refuse to obey the clear directions coming from your higher self/ Sat-guru, and still continue with your several activities or listen to several Guru-s, you will harm yourself.

If you are at the initial experimental stages of your practice you can definitely try out several systems, or listen to several Guru-s discourses, but when you are in the last 100m lap, this cannot be. You will focus on one mantra, follow one Sat-guru and reach the Advaita. You are now committed to your destination. No desires linked to the material will be entertained by your higher self even if superficial desires pop up once in a while they will be quashed. You will discard the material by its very roots, rid yourself of the very foundations of duality and focus on the Maam Ekam. And the very clear assurance of the Nirvishesh Brahma powers you.

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The point being that to finally Realise, you have to give up every vestige of the manifested creation. You cannot have both at the same time.

Eg A story of Ramkrishna Parmahans. He was a devotee of Devi Kali and she would appear before him in his spiritual practice. His Guru Totapuri, a Naga Sadhu, was a realised Soul. He would get angry when Ramkrishna would talk about the Devi Kali in his visions. He would tell him to take a sword and cut her down only then would he Realise the Self. This Ramkrishna was unable to do. So, Totapuri made Ramkrishna sit in front of him and told him to meditate. As Devi Kali appeared in his vision, Totapuri took a piece of glass and made an actual cut on Ramkrishna’s forehead. This action of the Guru removed Ramkrishna’s last link to the creation ie Devi Kali and triggered his Self-realisation, at that instant he became a ‘Paramhans’.

Now finally, the real beauty of this shlok. This is the only one in the entire Gita, where the Advaita uses the word ‘mokshayishyaami’. This is a very rare word (I have written about its grammar in the previous post). It is used only once in the entire Gita and in this one shlok. The intention of the Advaita, the assurance! This shlok is the most unique, the most special one in the entire Gita as It is giving you Its blessing! What more does the jiv-atma/ individual soul need?

I could write an entire book on this one shlok, it is so profound, both for the practice part and also the philosophy part. This is the gist of the entire Gita. The highest Intelligence is specifically telling you what to do, there is no ambiguity at all, no baffle with fluff. And if you do it, then It is guaranteeing you that It will grant you the highest illumination! You will realise Your own Self as the Nirvishesh Brahma.

 

Advaita 18-66 Bhagvat Gita Part-2

(This is my last post on deep spiritual practice. Nothing needs to be said more on this topic after this 18:66 Bhagvat Gita. I will not write more on this unless there is a specific question from my readers)

Assurance of Moksh 18-66 Bhagvat Gita Part-1

I got very positive feedback on my previous posts on the Bhagvat Gita shloks. Some of my Dad’s friends told him that I write well, which made him happy. And my husband gave me one of his rare compliments.

So today here is the beautiful 18-66 shlok, possibly the most beautiful shlok of the entire Gita.

  • सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज |
  • अहं त्वां सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुच: ||
  • Sarva-dharmaan parityajya maam ekam sharanam vraja
  • Aham tvaam sarva-paapebhyo mokṣhayiṣhyaami maa shuchah

Let’s see how basic Sanskrit grammar and meanings work with this verse. These words have deep philosophical meanings. But I will stick to the basic word meanings. I love Devbhasha Samskrutam, so in this post have added some grammar related stuff to bring out its subtlety (If someone gets inspired to learn it, it would be truly wonderful).

  • Sarva – many, entire, various, whole, together, complete, manifold, different, water, all, each, universe, every (Sarvadharmaan is a compound word)
  • Dharmaan – (masculine accusative plural noun) ‘to’ right, devotion, character, law, observance, essence, established, firm, thing, religion, mark, decree, rule, practice, morality, character, foundation etc.
  • Parityajya – (imperative mood, second person singular verb) abandon, omit, give up, renounce, give away, distribute, forsake, disown, disregard, leave behind, get rid of, go beyond, come out of, abandon.
  • Maam – (neuter, accusative singular, noun) ‘to’ ego, individual soul, I,
  • Ekam – (neuter, accusative singular noun) single, one, exclusive, alone, excellent, sincere, truth, chief, unity
  • Sharanam – (neuter, nominative and accusative singular noun) protection, succour, guard, asylum, help, defense, home, water, shelter, refuge, rest or ‘to protect etc’.
  • Vraja – (imperative mood, second person singular verb) If used as a noun, cow-shed, cloud, fold, movement, several, road. But as verb it means ‘to go’
  • Aham – (neuter nominative singular noun) singular, ‘I’
  • Twam – (neuter accusative singular noun) singular ‘you’
  • Sarva – meaning as above. (Sarvapapebhyo is a compound word)
  • Papebhyo – (neuter dative and ablative plural noun) ‘Paap’ means wretched, vicious, evil, villain, crime, ill-luck, vice, inauspicious, low, harm, trouble, guilt, misfortune.
  • Moksha-yishami – This is a very rare form in Sanskrit grammar. The verb is first person, singular, benedictive mood. The verb is a ‘naam-dhatu’, ie a denominative, made by using a noun as a verb. Moksh, a noun, is used as a verb. It is an assurance or a blessing, it literally means ‘I (noun) Moksh (verb)’ something like ‘I dance!’
  • Moksh – freedom, liberation, solution, emancipation, release
  • Ma – negation of the highest order
  • Suchah – (masculine nominative singular noun) pure

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Krishna is the Advaita Nirvishesh Brahma. Maam, Ekam, indicate the non-dual intelligence which cannot be described in the language of the universe. ‘Krishna’ word is often translated as ‘black’, but it really means something which has such attributes which cannot be seen by the senses of this creation but only experienced by the soul.

Interesting fact, when you are in space, you cannot see the Sun or the Stars shining in the sky. The pretty colored images of galaxies and stuff from NASA are rendered using filters. The self-luminous bodies are ‘black’. You can sense the radiation emitted by them, but your eyes cannot see them. We see the self-luminous Suns/Stars from the earth because the all-enveloping atmosphere acts as a filter and gives them that white-gold color. In outer space, the only things visible to the eyes are the planets and the satellites which reflect light from these self-luminous Suns. So if you were in space would you say the Sun is ‘black’ in color?

We believe ‘Krishna’ to be a man driving a chariot or the supreme ‘god’. But that is because of our filters of perceptions surrounding us. If we ever cross this conditioning, this karma bindings, the layers of unintelligence around us, the all-enveloping ignorance, we would experience Krishna as the Nirvishesh Brahma, his true ‘black’ nature. But to come out of those filtering layers we need to generate energy to propel us out. And the only way we can generate the energy is to do our Dhyan, focus on our Dhyan-mantra. Till then, in our ignorance, we will strongly argue that the Sun is gold-white in color and Krishna was either a man or a god!

Arjun is the brilliant streak of lightning, the conscious intelligence of the individual soul. It is the awareness of the mental processes of the spiritual aspirant. The lightening momentarily flashes from the dark skies and is submerged back in the darkness. So does the individual soul flash briefly and is again absorbed in the darkness that is Krishna.

The very last chapter of the Bhagvat Gita is very subtle. Especially the verses from 63 to 72 where Krishna concludes his teaching. These shloks contain the gist of these 18 chapters and must be mediated upon again and again to get their depth.

Advaita 18-66 Bhagvat Gita Part-1

So basically, Krishna speaks to Arjun,

“There are several types of foundations which you use as a support in this universe. So many concepts bind you to this illusion called creation. The entire set of preconceived notions which you follow eg your religious and moral codes. The various practices and ideas that you have bound yourself in. All the things which you think are necessary for yourself. Your thought patterns, emotions, philosophies, ideas, mind-set, everything. The body, the body processes, the mental patterns, the spiritual activities, the things you feel necessary for your body/mind. All the stuff of the material world. The plurality of things. The differences in everything. The various reasons you act and react. All your desires which make up your sense of self. Even the very act of your breathing!” (Sarvadharmaan)

Krishna continues and orders Arjun,

“All this as above is to be discarded. Get rid of the illusion that is ‘duality’. Come out of your idea that you need support to exist. Get rid of all the notions in which you have bound your intelligence in. Remove all pre-conceived notions regarding your own sense of self. Give away completely, the very concept of duality. Let go of all the reasons for your actions, stop creating new karmic bindings. Utterly release all desires linked to this creation. You are not connected in any way to these illusionary things, release them from your consciousness. You are not bound to the illusion called the universe, release this idea of creation. To disregard the differences between the various aspects of creation is the real step to true understanding. Understand that what you really are, does not require any sort of support from the creation.” (Sarvadharmaan parityajya) 

Then Krishna continues,

“There is only Advaita, the non-dual consciousness. The most exclusive, singular, unique, intelligence, not dependant on anything, highest, purest, truth, source etc. There is no polarity, no movement, no change, no duality, no illusions, no difference, no conflict.” (Maam ekam)

Now the Sharanam part can be understood in two ways, it is the nominative as well as the accusative singular noun form.

  • The nominative way. ‘Maam ekam sharanam’ (subject) vraja (verb)
  • Krishna orders Arjun, “The One Singular Protection should be approached by you. You should go to the Singular Intelligence. Seek its experience. Be in its shelter. Understand that the Advaita is the only refuge. You come from the non-dual Intelligence and are absorbed again in it. Realise the Non-Dual. The outward duality of forms is irrelevant as the source of all is the Only Non dual.”
  • The accusative case is this. Maam ekam (subject) vraja (verb) Sharanam (object).
  • Krishna orders Arjun thus, “The One Singular Protection should be approached by you, to shelter in yourself. Realise that the Advaitya is actually inside yourself. After you realise this, you should to hold on to this realization. Rather than going here and there in search of the Advaita, you should know that it is inside you. Recognise that you are not separate from the Eternal. There is no duality in this, you are the Eternal and the Eternal is you. Experience this Unity between you and the Eternal. And remain ever in this realization. The Advaita is your refuge, your home, your real position, and it is right within you.”

My note –

Pari-tyajya is used to make the act of removing or giving away very intense, right from the roots. Some people actually leave the material world, become an ascetic, a Sanyasi. They forsake the foundation of human society, cut off all possibilities of any desire of the material ie take Sanyas and do their further Sadhana in complete singular isolation. They seek the Advaita and this is their driving intention, deepest desire, the only possible desire. This happens only if the horoscope allows it. And for most aspirants who reach this level, there is always some type of an isolation provided even if they live on in the society.

Advaita 18-66 Bhagvat Gita Part-1

The Nirvishesh Brahma, Krishna then continues,

“I will give to you the solution for your misery, ill-luck, inauspiciousness, low energy, etc. As well as liberate you from the wretchedness, trouble, harm etc that you are under. Not knowing oneself is the biggest evil, I will release you from this. You are ignorant of your own reality, I assure you that I will remove this misfortune and ill-luck from you. I will give to you the Realization of Advaita. This is my assurance and my blessing. (Aham tvaam sarvapapebhyo moshayishyami)

As per the grammar used, Krishna addresses Arjun as Shuchah ‘pure one’. The correct way of looking at these words, ‘Maa Shuchah’ would be, “Pure one, No!” Arjun is the bright and pure lightening flash of intellect. The Maa is the negation of Arjun’s behaviour till now ie his obsession with duality and him being unable to realise the overarching Advaita. Maa is also Prakruti which hides Arjun’s true nature. Krishna calls him the ‘Pure one’ and admonishes his past behaviour with the highest negation ‘No!’.

My notes –

I have seen ‘Ma Shuchah’ being translated as ‘do not grieve’. But Shuchah शुच: is a nominative masculine gender word, it means ‘Pure one’ as the subject. The imperative verb form for ‘do not grieve’ would be ‘Ma Shoch/ शोच’.  It cannot be understood as the ‘Grieving one’ either, as the noun which means grief or sorrow is शुचा, it is a feminine noun, its nominative singular would be शुचा shuchaa.

Sanskrit has one specialty, the word sequence in a sentence is not relevant at all. The declination cases of the nouns and the moods of the verbs are important. The intention of the speaker and the context of the situation, the gravity of the words and the ability of the listener to understand gives the meaning relevant to him.

The energy of the word ‘Maa‘ is negation, and it negates our true nature. The simple negation would be just ‘na’. Maa is a particle in grammar so fitting it in the sentence requires a background of philosophy of the Gita. “Maa’ in itself is also a name of the Prakruti. So when Krishna uses Maa here, it is an independent word with a wealth of meaning, something like “No!” more like an admonishment.

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Sanskrit is a very subtle language, that is why I love it so much, layers of meanings. A small example, let’s look at this part again in a different way, Aham tvaam sarva-paapebhyo mokṣhayiṣhyaami. 

  • Why is Aham tvaam used like this? These words seems incongruous in a verse dedicated to Advaita. But see, Aham tvaam, I-you is the basic duality! When I believe I am different from you, does duality start. The root of creation is duality, this ‘I-you’.
  • Aham tvaam is followed by sarva-paapebhyo. ‘I-you’ is the very foundation of duality. And this actually is ‘all of the misfortune’. So here Aham tvaam does not refer to Krishna – Arjun as I – you. The Advaita is referring to the concept of duality embodied by ‘I-you’. This concept is the source of all inauspiciousness. This illusion of separation is the reason we cannot Know our own Reality, an evil thing indeed.
  • It says further, mokṣhayiṣhyaami. This can be understood as ‘I be Moksh’, I act Moksh, I cause Moksh, I regard Moksh, I play the part of Moksh, I make Moksh, I use Moksh, I apply Moksh, I wish Moksh, I desire Moksh, I assure Moksh. I Moksh.
  • The very presence of Advaita in itself is all this assurance.
  • It Itself is Its own blessing to Itself! A mindbender isn’t it?

The Bhagvat Gita is a practical manual Yog-Shastra and a philosophy Tatva-Jnyan designed perfectly to attain the state of the Advaitya. For a spiritual aspirant both practice – Dhyan and philosophy are needed together to bring the Pran and the Mind into control. Doing just one without the other does not work well.

It is only when the conscious-intellect of the individual crosses all concepts linked to the material universe and illusions of its superficial separation from the Eternal, that it really begins to understand itself. It was wallowing in its sense of individuality, its own tiny ego, in its individual soul. The entire purpose of the Bhagvat Gita is to turn the direction of conscious-awareness to the highest possible, the Advaita, the Nirvishesh Brahma. It is involution of the highest degree, a pure flash of the highest intelligence is generated by the spiritual aspirant himself which illuminates his own Reality!

(have continued this in my next post)

 

 

 

Evolution of the Soul and the horoscope

These days anyone who wants to get into the divinatory professions calls himself an ‘old soul’. Btw, all our souls are the exact same age, we were all created at the instant this Universe was created. Some of these souls, at the moment of creation, vibrated with a higher intensity and some at a lower level. Starting point of every soul’s energy and consciousness was different. Thus some were born as humans and some as stones. Some souls have had to wait for eons before they could be born as stones! And some human souls were so evolved that they were well on the path of spiritual realisation while we were still living it out as plants!

When you see very many horoscopes, you start seeing patterns of ‘soul evolution’. The maturity of the soul is always reflected in the horoscope. Here is how you evolve in the astrological way.

If you get a plain and simple horoscope, with no outstanding feature, this would be a person who has just started on his human development. The horoscope is not bad but not exceptional either. A routine life. People who live a generic neutral and not a very happening life. The life events are not very intense and neither are the emotions. No shock therapy here. It’s like going to a fun-fair and not being sure which ride to try out, so you walk around seeing everything first. Here the person is trying out options, gingerly testing the waters. Learning and then developing himself. There are opportunities available to him, the planets in the bright half may be stronger giving him more options and more freedom to choose his path. The planets in the dark half would be more supportive in nature. Whatever he chooses will have its impact on his future lives. He is creating karma for himself. He has just started playing the Game consciously as a human. If you counsel him, do not talk about spiritual stuff, he will go blank. He is interested in the material stuff now, he wants to explore Creation in this phase.

The next type of horoscope would be where just one planetary force has more power than the rest. Now this person has chosen a path. One aspect of Creation has appealed to him and he is trying it out. This planet is the major force in his life. He is going to experience stuff related to this planet for this life. He might now get extreme experiences, happiness or shocks, from this planet’s keywords. The rest of the horoscope is still plain and easy, not much happening elsewhere.

Then you will get horoscopes where there will be a mix of planets, some powerful, some without power. Some giving benefits, some giving inauspicious results. This would be the experimental phase in the soul evolution. The person has experimented with single planets and their fruits in the previous step. Now he is being bolder. The person is obviously resolving karma as he does this. But is trying out different energies, different high/ lows in a ‘mix and match’ manner. Seeing what works best for him. There will be some minor but distinct patterns emerging in the chart now if you observe it carefully.

Till now the planets being ‘activated’ would be the Tara-graha, the 5, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, these are linked to the lower 5 chakras. They are in-charge of the tangible manifestation process itself. Till now the client would be interested only in knowing when he will get a job, not the karmic reasoning or the energy dynamics behind it. The life would be quite materialistic, food, shelter, basic enjoyments, rest etc. The higher faculties would not be accessible during this phase.

Evolution of the Soul and the horoscope

Then there will be some charts where there are distinct patterns, some exalted planets in the horoscope, not in their full power but definitely there. There is power but the Will to use it has not evolved yet. But now the Moon will also get involved in these patterns in some way. If you see the Moon in some crucial house or being influenced by heavy planetary influences then this chart is different. Now the person has reached a stage where he wants to involve the higher spiritualising energies in his inner evolution. The Moon is linked to the Ajnya chakra. He will start reflecting the power from the individual soul into the chart. This is an important event in evolution as now the person starts to realise that he is not just the tangible person but something very different. The lower consciousness now realises that it is more, dimly, but yes that first hint is here. The Mind is being ‘activated’.

In the next stages of evolution, the Mind is to be trained and the Moon will do it. The Moon will first work to pull the Mind more towards the higher self by reflecting to him the qualities of the individual soul. And he will cause a slow separation of the Mind from materialistic tendencies. The Mind will be trained by every way possible to remove the materialistic desires. It will be forced or enticed to dive deep into itself and search for its own deepest desire. You will see planetary combinations, Yog, involving the Moon in such horoscopes which cause powerful effects in the chart. There are several yog linked to the Moon, you will see at least 2-3 powerful yog-s in such charts. (Sunapha, Anapha, Adhi, Gaja-kesari, Dhurudhara, etc). Even if you do not know the names of these yog, the power of the Moon and the interconnected patterns he makes in the chart will be quite evident. Most important is an association of the Moon with Jupiter eg conjunction/ aspect/ Gajakesari, it does not let the Mind fall from the position it has attained, it strengthens it so as to better sustain the onslaught of the material desires. You might find Mind’s fickleness controlled by Saturn by his influence on the Moon. And conversely the Shakata yog too. ‘Negative’ Moon yogs are as important as the ‘positive’ yogs. They teach the Mind about the transient. These give him pain first and then the deepest disillusionment which detaches the Mind from the material world.

If you get such clients then they require different counselling. They will want to know when they will have their baby, but also why they were denied a child till now. And if you give an energy related remedy they will do it with some level of understanding.

Evolution of the Soul and the horoscope

Next Rahu and Ketu will come in focus, they are the actual Kings of Karma, the reason for separation from the Eternal and the reason why we all will again regain the Non-Dual. Important yog-s involving Rahu/ Ketu, Guru-chandal yog or Kaal-sarpa can be seen now. Or if there is a single powerful Rahu or Ketu in pivotal houses. These ‘negative’ yog test the soul, the soul has requested these tests and it is tested in full. And if it passes, it gets the prize of increased awareness. These yog-s will not be present in the very ordinary charts. Karma, its reason, its existence, its negation etc will be taught to the soul in the deepest way. Every force in your chart will try to destroy the materialistic tendencies and pull the soul towards the spiritual. And the Mind’s materialistic tendencies will fight them, there will be deep unrest within. This turmoil will ultimately resolve all the doubts of the Mind, and make it constant and steady. Unless Rahu/ Ketu give their blessings the soul cannot progress. (I know someone who was doing intense Sadhana of Rahu/ Ketu. When he finished, they appeared before him, joined together as One Singular being and blessed him. An extraordinary event.)

Another important indicator of the soul’s evolution is the power of the ascendant lord. (Cancer ascendant and Leo ascendant people have a short cut here) In highly evolved charts, the ascendant lord will always show typical patterns, eg exalted, combust, vargottam, conjunct Sun/ Moon/ Rahu/ Ketu, in some astrological yog or conjunct a powerful Jupiter-Venus combination etc.

Finally at the very climax of the evolutionary process, the Sun takes the field. He is the light of the individual soul, the most powerful force of the chart. The very light of the divine. He will push the evolutionary process by illuminating the path from the individual soul to the Eternal. A powerful Sun is a pre-requisite for the soul’s evolution. The deciding factor. You will find yogs connected to the Sun in such horoscopes (vesi, vasi, ubhayachari, budh-aditya etc). The patterns which feed this Sun energy will be very clear in the horoscope.

These two luminaries and the two astral forces now take a firm hold on the lower 5 Tara-graha and their energies. And in the appropriate dasha/ transit combination propel the soul into the waiting arms of the Highest Consciousness, the Nirvishesh Brahma itself.

Now the individual soul has stopped existing, ie it has gone beyond the very concept of existence/ non-existence. What Is, Is the Nirvishesh Brahma. After this Self-realization, if the Singular Soul is required to, it in its infinite mercy and kindness, can become a Sat-guru to guide others towards Itself.

This is how the Soul evolves from a very ordinary plain human life to an extraordinary Realisation of its Self and how it can be sensed through Jyotish.

 

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(Someone close to me has a truly unique chart. Shakata Yog, a partial Kaal-sarpa with Moon outside the axis, Guru-chandal yog, vargottam ascendant sign, vargottam ascendant lord, vargottam Venus, vargottam Jupiter, dark half of the chart dominant, Venus-Jupiter mutually aspecting on the exact degree, Rahu/Ketu in 5/11 axis, Moon aspected by Saturn and more typical combinations all at once. This person is definitely going to remain my life-long study subject!) 

Spiritual practice, Marathons and Wins

A parable. Suppose.

You know you are a marathon runner, your life entire purpose is to run this 120km marathon. You train relentlessly for ages. You read books on perfect practice and learn from the experiences of the other runners who won. You eat proper diet, you work-out, build your mind, body and soul, practice the strictest austerities. Stick to your schedule, deny yourself the temptations and desires which make you weak or use up your energy. You set your soul on fire, again and again choosing this same path for several lives, making your intention stronger deeper.

You search for the perfect coach. You meet pretenders who try to steal your energy or use your strength for their selfish purposes or try to misguide you. After several such episodes, you finally find the one single perfect trainer. He is the only One. He has run the 120km marathon himself and won spectacularly. The power of his Win is shining in his aura. He tests your resolve and preparation before taking you on as his student. Then he gives you his perfect secret coaching and oversees every aspect of your practice. You practice under his guidance, you know in your inner most heart that this coach and this method is the only way you crack the race.

The big day is here, today is the marathon. The big Win can possibly be in your hands before it is evening. You are aware of the surrounding stands, the track and the final winning line 120km away. You know why you are running, you have trained for this for so many lives, you know the philosophy, you have done the practice. The intention to Win fires your soul. You will keep this Sankalp-intention burning fiercely in your soul as you run. This Sankalp is the only thing that drives you, you burn inside desirous of the Win.

Spiritual practice, Marathons and Wins

(The track is the spiritual route running within this material creation, it is your way out. At the finish line is the Nirvishesh Brahma. You are the individual soul, the Jiv-atma, the coach is the Sat-guru, the Realised Teacher.)

You start off. Now you are focussed only on your route and your pace. The Win is still 120km away, it feels like it is on the other edge of the Universe. Your muscles start burning, your very pran/ vital energies are burning, you are consuming your potential, converting it to action. You run. Every step is powered by the constant intention, the purity of the Sankalp. You are convinced that this run is the right thing to do.

Your coach is at your side, always available, guiding you as you make your attempt, encouraging you, exhorting you to continue. Pointing out the typical features of the terrain, pointing out the possible pitfalls, helping you avoid them, reminding you of your strengths. So you run and run, doing your rigorous Sadhana. You have now run 119kms, you have burnt your resources in the process. As you run, you emptying yourself.

Now you are in the final 1km. The final moment of this illusion called life, the edge of the manifested Universe. You have trained for this for so very many lives, so much time, so much pain, so much effort, such discipline, it is all going to be worth it now, very soon. You can almost taste the victory. (Does this make you over-confident and careless or even more focussed and alert?, the choice is yours).

This is the most difficult and treacherous section of the course. There are hidden subtle obstacles. A stumble here can prove deadly, your soul is very vulnerable here, your body/ mind have reached the last reserves of your strength. Your coach at your side is very alert. The win is in sight, beckoning you, but you are not there yet. If you fail here, all this effort would be useless. The coach pushes you, encourages you to increase your efforts, to pull out every single drop of energy from your body/ mind/ soul. To focus on the prize but still to be extra alert.

Spiritual practice, Marathons and Wins

But remember your coach is Shukra-acharya, Venus, the most perfect teacher with the most cryptic tests. This marathon Win is not for the undeserving, it is only for the select few who have consistently proven themselves on every level, every single time. Your coach has run it himself, and he knows its value. In this last section he also will test you, test your soul deeply yet subtly to finally check if you are worthy of the win. He still has to give you his final most secret tip. Do you really have what it takes to receive this highest tip?

A pretty girl waves at you from the stands at the stands in the side-lines. Your attention from your spiritual route is diverted. You look at her, smile back, stumble and fall. Your attention caught by the material world again. You see your parents, your nephews/nieces, your buddies. You see a vision of you getting married, having children, being a big businessman, doing everything necessary for the family. You stop running and walk out of the race track, transfixed by the waving girl. You have made your choice.

Your coach has a cryptic look on his face, inscrutable. He vanishes. The finish line fades away and the race track gets obscured.

It is ‘game over’ for the spiritual route now. You lost your focus, you lost the test of Intention. Sankalp-shudhi, the clarity and purity of purpose was lacking internally. You got diverted by the materialistic desire outside the spiritual track, you failed the most subtle test, you lost and lost spectacularly. You have created karma and that too at the very end of the race!

(If you get caught in the material net, when you are very high up in your spiritual practice, you get more subtly and deeply entangled. The seed of this new karma, this loss of intention, when you have advanced so deeply into yourself, gets linked very deeply in your causal and astral bodies (post here). The deeper you travel within, you are required to be all the more alert, intense, focussed, steady, hold on tightly to your deepest Desire to know yourself)

This is a solo race, no one else can help you, but can only divert you. Did you think that girl would help you run your race? No she cannot, no one can. Your coach can guide but you have to run yourself. The girl in the sidelines stole your attention ie your energy and you lost, at the very last lap, so high up in the spiritual path! Running well for the initial 119kms is of no use, a waste, if you fail at the very last step and cannot win at the 120km finishing line.

But you are oblivious to all these repercussions. You go with the girl, create even more karma. Then you work through all those further inevitable results of that karma too. And so many lives pass in oblivion. (But internally the soul of the marathon runner is in deep torment. Self-castigation. It is praying for a chance to run again.)

Till one day you read a book on the Marathon and the Win. You realise that you are a marathon runner. Your soul is hopeful again. You want to run again, the desire to Win is lit within. You now have to re-start from point zero. You have burnt out all your accumulated resources remember? You have to gather everything again. Start from scratch, prepare yourself, convince your coach to take you on again, rebuild your body, mind and soul. Again several lives are used up in this process.

So much time, so very many lives have passed since your past ill-fated attempt. Now you are finally ready for your second attempt. This time you have specially trained your mind to maintain the purity of purpose, Sankalp-shuddhi. The day arrives, you start your run. You know what had happened in the past attempt, so this time you are solidly focussed. You run well, your coach guides you well, you intently listen to all his spiritual guidance. You are alert, you are in full control of your mind. Everything that will help you run well registers in your mind and you absorb it, use it. You reach the crucial last lap. Your last reserves are now being burnt.

Venus, your coach will now pose his final cryptic test. So this time he himself points out the girl in the side-line stands waving at you. But now you are so focussed on the spiritual track and the finish line that you do not hear his these words which are linked to the material realms. You have attained Sankalp-shuddhi, the purity and clarity of intention. Nothing in the material world in whatsoever form holds any attraction whatsoever for you. Not even the words uttered by your coach which are linked to the material. You do not allow anything from the material to touch you in any way whatsoever. You pass the final test. The illusions of the material have stopped existing for you. You are committed to the spiritual route and your intention is unshakeable. Shukra-acharya now smiles, you have satisfied him, passed his final test. He now gives you his highest secret tip and his highest blessings. This you listen and act on. You touch the final line and cross over into the Nirvishesh Brahma.

Spiritual practice, Marathons and Wins

You can never be ‘satisfied’ with your spiritual practice. If you say you are satisfied, it is stagnation, it is a dead end. Once you start running, you cannot be satisfied with the way you are running. You have to remain alert, not complacent. The objective is to reach the final finish line. Till then anything can happen which can make you stumble and lose. Only when you have the Win in your hands, you have the solid permanent happiness and satisfaction, Param-anand and Param-trupti. If you are satisfied with your running style for the 119.9km, get complacent at the sight of the finish line, lose your single-point focus in the last 100m, trip, fall and break your ankle, would you be satisfied with your performance? Have you gained your objective?

It is all or nothing here in this solo marathon. Once you start running and until you Win your Realisation, you cannot be Satisfied. If you utter the word ‘satisfaction’ in between do re-check on what your Sankalp is really, how deep is your intention?

No Sat-Guru will ever tell you that that he is content with your practice. My Sat-guru would always tell us to practice even more Dhyan, to increase the Dhyan, to focus more and deeply on ‘Soham‘. Even he himself, till he finally achieved Moksh, ie Sadyo-mukti and became a Jivan-mukt, would sit in Dhyan day/night. Spiritual practice by itself is not a source of satisfaction, it can never be. There is only one Eternal source of Satisfaction. And the soul who has started running towards this Source cannot ever stop till it finally reaches it, Moksh.

 

Leo ascendant Integration