Layers of Sanskrit

Devbhasha Samskrutam aka Sanskrit is the original language of this universe. It derives from OM, the seed of this universe we exist in. Rishi Panini ‘saw’ its grammar from Akash and wrote it. Sanskrit is linked to your DNA and is the perfectly arranged language of Light. It cannot be translated as there is nothing you can translate it to. And just because someone has learnt to read/ write it, does not mean that he has understood the texts of Sanatan Dharma or its texts, Sanskrit has layers and layers.

A simple example. There is this very common Sanskrit shlok in the praise of Shri Ganapati,

अगजानन पद्मार्कं गजाननं अहर्निशम् अनेकदंतं भक्तानां एकदन्तं उपास्महे ॥ ॐ

OM Agajanana padmarkam, Gajananam aharnisham, anek dantam bhaktanam, ek dantam upasmahe OM

It is generally translated as ‘Ganapati is the beloved son of Devi Parvati. Her face lights up with love for him and thus that radiance falls on him. Similarly the blessings of Ganapati fall on his many devotees who worship him with devotion.’

The pictures I have put in this post are of the soft-grey colored Shri Dhoomraketu Ganapati. This is his form in the current Kaliyug. He destroys the Ahamkara, self-ego, sense of individual ego and thus grants Moksh.

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And this shlok also means this,

Om – is the seed of this universe, the pranav-mantra.

Agajaa would mean ‘the child of the mountain’, ie the Kundalini rests on the highest energy point of the Mooladhar chakra which is linked to the Pruthvi tattva. Kundalini or Devi Shakti is also called Parvati, the daughter of the mountain/ Parvat Himalaya.

Anan means face, access, door, entrance and its also indicates non-movement, non-animation etc. The Kundalini at rest is the Agajaa-annan. She rests/ sleeps with her ‘face’ blocking the entrance of the Sushumna. 

Padma as I have mentioned in an earlier post, is the conscious energy of time-space and the rest of the dimensions. It also means lotus, chakras, a serpent, sinous movement, an elephant with its massiveness and can also indicate a complete merging.

Arka is the light of the internal sun of self-awareness experienced at the end of the twelve chakras, at the Dwadashanat. The ‘Light of the Self’.

Gaj-anan is the opening of the Sushumna located at the Mooladhar chakra. I have mentioned somewhere that Gajanan/ Ganapati is the deity whose permission is necessary for gaining access to the Sushumna. (Deity means conscious intelligence, there is no classical ‘god’ in Sanantan Dharma)

Gaja is earth tattva, the foundation from which the Kundalini will make her move. Or also the solidity, steadiness of your spiritual practice.

Aharnisham means continuously, constantly, steadily, day/ night. But it also means the illusion of the individual soul/ Jivatma being separate from the Parabrahma.

Anek-dantam-bhaktanam is ‘a separated point’. The best way I can describe this is something like the school physics experiment of interference of light waves. A single point is viewed as being divided into multiple points. The same point is ‘divided’ into many. How can a point be divided? Ask your physics teacher if he can explain. Or ask a quantum scientist and be amazed when he speaks of Sanatan Dharma.

Ek-danta means one single point or focussed concentration or the Ultimate realisation. Or the original point which is perceived as ‘a separated point’. The non-dual Advaita which is perceived as multiplicity.

Upasmahe is the verb, the past perfect tense of Upasna. This word has several meanings, but the most interesting meaning is to throw off, or to remove firmly. So this will mean the action of removing the illusion of the multiple points from the one single point. It is in the past perfect tense of the verb. So this action has already been completed. A paradox. 

So this simple seeming shlok/ verse has completely different hidden depths. A real genuine Guru would be able to add more meanings and perhaps also grant the experience of this Shloka. See what you make of it?

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So to address the question that someone asked me.

How genuine are the translated Sanskrit works? The answer is that someone understands something as per his level of understanding. And understanding depends on the level of experience. And experiencing Devbhasha Sanskrutam requires contemplation. You have to do continuous Dhyan over it to experience it. eg When you are doing your Dhyan with the ‘Soham’ mantra you are experiencing, understanding it. More you meditate on Sanskrit more deeply will you experience/understand it. Sanskrit is a palimpsest, layers and layers of meanings. So if you choose to read a translated book, choose after evaluating the translator well. And at least read the original Sanskrit shlokas/text if you can.

Answering questions on doing Dhyan

I wrote this post on doing Dhyan using the Ajapa mantras Soham or Hamsa or OM. I have in fact written several posts on spiritual practice and the mantra you use when you do these (do use the index page to locate them). There were some questions so will write a bit more in this post.

‘Look’ at your third eye chakra while doing Dhyan.

The mind has to be trained to stay still, to stop its continuous whirring. So you have to focus at one single point, ie the point where the Sushumna, Ida, Pingala Nadi merge, ie the third eye chakra. The Ajnya chakra आज्ञा चक्र is the only point where you have to focus on always and ever. This will grant stability to the mind/ Manas with time. Ajnya आज्ञा is a Sanskrit word which means authority, unlimited power, command, to order, rule, to grant permission, to perceive, principal, assurance etc. Your lower 5 chakras are controlled by the Ajnya chakra in ever way possible. So when you focus on your Ajnya chakra and do your Dhyan, you power it here. Then the Ajnya chakra automatically distributes the power generated to the lower chakras as per requirement in the gentlest and safest manner. The lower chakras then distribute it in their associated nadis. So the entire energy body benefits.

Some people have this misconception that while doing Dhyan, the focus should shift, ie they focus on each one of the lower chakras in sequence, up and down the back! This is not how it works. Such a practice creates instability in the mind and causes jerks in the flow of pran in the nadi/ chakras which ultimately damages them. If you do this up and down thing or focus on specific lower chakras while doing your 108 breath/mantra combo, there is a clear danger of overloading the lower chakra and causing its associated nadis to fry. Always focus on the Ajnya chakra for your Dhyan and not on the lower chakras.

(You can do focussed chakra healing. This is different from Dhyan. I have written on doing the chakra healing in this post here.)

Then there is a particular Dhyan method given in the Vidnyan Bhairav tantra where you focus only on the Brahmarandhra for the 108 breaths. But do not do this unless your Sat-Guru sits before you physically and guides you while you are doing it. Else you can mess up your nadi/chakra system so badly that you might not only kill yourself, but also spend the next few lives insane recovering from the damage. This is a very intense method taken up by Sanyasis who have formally left the material world. It is not for householders like us.

Temples in India where I have been to

Dhyan is not ‘mediation’, you do not relax when you do Dhyan. You do not float up in dreamy clouds as shown in popular culture. What you are doing is very actively and intentionally manipulating the Pran in your Nadi/Chakra system. Pushing more and more pure Pran into your energy body, the pran-mai-kosh. Doing Dhyan is the same as fighting the War of Kurukshetra within, it is called Karma-yog and the entire Bhagwat Gita talks about this internal war.

So do not experiment, be very alert, focus your attention at your third eye, do your 108 mantra/breath combo. And do your practice regularly.

Next is how to ‘look’ at the Ajnya chakra. If you have noted, I always use apostrophes around the word ‘look’ like ‘look’ at your Ajnya chakra. This means that you are supposed to inwardly focus your attention at your third eye. You are not supposed to roll your eyeballs up and try to physically look at the middle of your forehead! If you do this, you will get eye-strain and create problems for yourself. So imagine that you are sitting on a mountain and looking straight at the far horizon. Your physical eyes have to remain straight, relaxed and unfocussed. Do not force your eyes to go cross eyed or roll them up or squint, scrunch your eyes or anything. If you think your eyeballs are rolling up, bring them back down gently. Do not strain your eye muscles. Dhyan is an internal thing, your physical eyes are nowhere in the picture. People who are blind or do not have physical eyes also do Dhyan as it has nothing to do with the physical eyes.

Soham, Sushumna Yog and the Sat-guru

And its a two step process.

I have stressed in all my posts that you should do your 108 breaths with your mantra as a first step. Then sit for some more time in the same pose, ideally for 30mins at least. This second part is an important part, do not skip this. You have trained your mind with your 108 breaths and now you have to immediately test it. Has your mind learnt to focus? Has it absorbed the efforts of your 108 breaths? In this second phase think of nothing. The mind has to be blank. You are enjoying the energy of your 108 Mantra-breaths, the mind cannot be allowed to interfere in this. The mind cannot think anything, not even your Dhyan-mantra. It is a truly delightful phase as the constant whirring of your mind slows/ stills and you are refreshed from the inside. You are brought to the possible state of internal health and happiness. You absorb pure pran while you do Dhyan, and this refreshes you more than the sleep, Swapna and Sushupti states.

Also you will see visions from your past lives, future events, your deity may give you a Darshan, bursts of color, white lights, geometric stuff, sounds, anything. You might see things which might make you emotional, secret stuff might be told to you etc. Just observe and let it go. Do not let the mind start working while you are enjoying this part two. This part two will test how well you did in your part one of the Dhyan process.

Advaita 18-66 Bhagvat Gita Part-1

Now which mantra to use.

I stress on the Ajapa mantras, Soham/ Hamsa or the pure OM, as these are naturally embedded within every breath you take. These are the easiest, most natural, the most powerful yet the gentlest mantra which you can do while a living householders life. If you can do a proper Dhyan twice a day it would be great. But even if you cannot find the time you can mentally recite these with your breath at any time, eg while travelling etc. as even this helps. Convert every breath you take into Soham/ Hamsa/ Om and you will realise the Eternal.

But if you wish, you can do Dhyan on the following mantras. (I do not use them as I feel it unnecessarily complicates the process. I prefer the pure energy of the two Ajapa mantras Soham/Hamsa or OM.)

  • Om Brahmane namah
  • Om namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
  • Om namah Shivaya
  • Or you can choose the Gayatri mantra as your Dhyan-mantra.

If you want to use any other mantra, then its your wish. But be very careful, choose a Vedic mantra linked to the Saumya gentle form of your adored deity. Do not choose mantras of the Ugra terrifying forms. Best stick to the well-known mantras. If you focus with something incorrect, you will damage your Nadi/ Chakra system. Damage here not only affects the immediate present but also the future lives. (I had written somewhere about a woman who was doing Dhyan using some ‘brzeee’ mantra and causing harm to herself and the people around her.)

If you choose a longer mantra, then you should recite the complete mantra once with every inhalation and once with every exhalation. Example, if you choose the mantra ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ you have to recite it once completely as you inhale and recite it again completely as you exhale. Do this for the usual 108 breaths. Obviously one inhalation and one exhalation is one breath.

Leo ascendant Integration

The mantra can change sometimes spontaneously. Ultimately all Dhyan-mantra will merge into OM.

While you do your Dhyan-mantra with the 108 breathes, you are training your mind with it. Mantra means ‘manah tarayati iti ‘, ie the mantra is used to save, entrain, clean, enlighten etc, the mind. So naturally the mantra is of use as long as the mind is still whirring out of control. Once you achieve the unmani-avastha, ie the mind becomes still, the mantra will change its form and purpose.

Or if you are doing a longer mantra then as you reach the seed of the manifested it will convert to the Ajapa mantras or directly to the OM. Every mantra has a specific level of energy, once you have absorbed it all, it will change its form. This mantra changing thing is not really relevant if you are using one of these three, Soham/ Hamsa/ Om mantras. These three will take you to the highest Advaita as they are at the very deepest creation point of the manifested Universe. Once you have absorbed their immensity only the Self remains. This is the reason why I suggest you choose any of these three as your Dhyan-mantra. These are the fast-tracks, they work at the very core of your existence. 

Ultimately all the Mantras merge into OM. Then as you pierce the Bindu that OM is, you reach the undefinable indescribable Advaita. 

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Outer forms of pujas, pilgrimages, satsangs are all junior school. Dhyan is senior school. What is desired is the Eternal Advaita.

Suppose you have hurt your legs and cannot walk properly, and have to use a crutch. The crutch is essential but you do not love it nor do you wish to use it forever. You wish your legs get well so that you can walk without support. Similarly the practice is a crutch, you are going to need it as long as your mind misbehaves. But you cannot get attached to the crutch. You should study your mantra, check out how you can use it most effectively, maintain it, respect it, learn about its functions etc get the most use out of it. Use it. Be dispassionate about your practice. Your mantra is a tool, you have to use it. It will get you till a point in your journey, but after its work is done later you will discard it. 

Another way of looking at it is this. In your journey, you travel in a boat, then go in a bus, travel in a plane and then trek a bit depending on the route. You keep on changing your mode of transport, you do not remain attached to the boat or the bus you travel in. The boat-ride is not your objective. Yes, the boat helps you travel a particular stretch of your route but once that stretch is over you change your mode of transport. You are not attached to the route you travel nor the act of travelling. Neither the journey or the route or the vehicle is your final objective. Will you keep sitting in the car when you reach home? You get out of it and enter your house.

Your final destination is what inspires you. Rest of it, the route and the vehicle, just is, it is incidental. Your deepest desire is to get to Your Self, this is the source of your faith.

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And finally even if you are just learning astrology do you need to do Dhyan in the first place?

Yes, you have to. Astrology is actually Jyotish, the science of the internal illumination. It is a Veg-Ang, it is connected to the Ved, it is a part of Sanatan Dharma aka Hinduism. And it is a Vidya. Vidya is a science which studies conscious intelligence. You cannot learn a Vidya unless you are connected to the Advaita within your own self. I remember when I was a child, about 5yrs old, my Dad made me learn the Ganapati Atharvasheersha. Only then did I start on the Nakshatra, the Graha and the Rashis of Jyotish. So if you want to become an exceptional Jyotishi you must power yourself with these 108 breaths + Dhyan-mantra. 

So do your Soham or Hamsa or Om with every breath you take. Choose one of these and practice regularly. And if you have time for yourself, do your Dhyan at least once a day. It will heal you at the core of your being and eventually give you Eternal Happiness.

Venus and Jupiter in opposition

Learn Devbhasha Samskrutam aka Sanskrit

Devbhasha Samskrutam is the perfectly arranged language of Divine Light. (Do read my post on Beej mantra for more details.) I am writing this post as there was a question on how to learn Sanskrit. Devbhasha Samskrutam is called ‘Sanskrit’ in these modern times. It is the mother tongue of every conscious living being in this Universe. ’Conscious being’, is one who can see itself in a mirror and recognise itself. If you are aware of yourself as an individual person, you are ‘conscious’ of yourself. Eg a cat does not recognise itself as an individual, hence tries to attack its image in the mirror. But elephants, dolphins and humans are aware of their individuality and are conscious. It is a moral wrong, to hurt or murder a conscious animal.

  • Dev is divine, light, intelligence, consciousness, God, excellent, royal, play, etc.
  • Bhasha means definitions, speech, species, language, description, etc.
  • Samskrutam means ornamented, completed, blessed, pure, formed, initiated, refined, constructed, elaborated, made ready, finished, polished, sophisticated, perfected, as per the rules, prepared, sacred, etc.

It is the right of every human to learn Sanskrit. It is your and my heritage, the language that is intertwined with our DNA. Sanskrit perfectly describes every possible thing in this universe. If I wish to create something or manifest something with my intention, I need to know its real name, its perfect name, the name that describes it most perfectly. If I know this name, I can then use my intention etc to manifest it to create it. Sanskrit gives this perfect description of everything. Eg I want to experience “Moksh”. This Sanskrit word ‘Moksh’ describes every aspect of this experience. The English words like, realization, enlightenment, salvation etc do not even describe 1% of the Moksh experience. If I want ‘Yash’, then I can use mantras to create Yash in my life, Yash means much more than just – successes worth, pleasures, excellence, honor, respect, esteem, fame, favour, glory etc. Sanskrit words cannot be translated because there is nothing you can translate them into! You have to experience Sanskrit, the Devbhasha Samskrutam, as it touches your conscious as well as your sub-conscious etc selves.

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So to address the question. ‘How to learn Sanskrit?’

There may be institutes or universities near you which offer courses in Sanskrit either in distance education or in the classroom format do check them out.

And if you know any Indian language or English and can read/write in the Devnagri script then the best option is this. Distance learning from the Central Sanskrit University, formerly the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan. This Institution is under the HRD Ministry, Government of India. This is the link to its home page.

http://www.sanskrit.nic.in/index.php

I would strongly recommend everyone to opt for the 2 year distance learning course and sincerely study. Both Indian and Non-Indian people can register and learn. Do try to learn Sanskrit, your real mother tongue. There are other resources on this site which you can use to improve your knowledge of Sanskrit.

There are several videos on youtube where you can hear and see small stories in Sanskrit. This will help you get your pronunciation correct and understand the flow of the sentences. An example link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAEWFbi0H84k

Then you must get in the habit of reading something in Sanskrit everyday. The best option is Sanskrit Chandamama comics for children. This is the link to download them.

https://chandamama.in/sanskrit/

If you and your friends/family are interested then learn it together. Also try to talk in Sanskrit. Start by adding small Sanskrit sentences in your daily conversations.

If you do this much you will be easily able to converse, read and write Sanskrit within a few months. It is your basic language, it is actually very easy to learn.

Later you might want to read the philosophical books of Sanatan Dharma/ Hinduism in Sanskrit. I would suggest you start with reading the Mahabharat or the Ramayan, Ithihas, in Sanskrit. Gita Press publishes both these in Sanskrit with a helpful word-word translation so it will be easier to understand. (I have all these books in my home, my Dad loves books and I too.) You already know these histories, so it will feel a bit easy on the mind and the philosophical stuff which comes in it also may be easier to comprehend.

Learn Devbhasha Samskrutam aka Sanskrit

The origin of Sanskrit is linked with the origin of this universe and naturally connected to OM. It is the source language, all the languages in this world have Sanskrit words in them. Every continent has spoken Sanskrit. All cultures have  a Devbhasha connect, some in the near past and some in the very ancient past. In India, Sanskrit is still spoken despite every attempt of the British to stamp it out.

Here are some examples from the modern and ancient world to pique your interest Names of rivers and places retain their actual origin better. Words in use in the spoken language tend to mutate faster. So,

  • Kings of the Mittani empire in ancient Mesopotamia had names like ‘Wassukkani’, which is simply वसु खानि meaning ‘a mine of wealth’ in Sanskrit. Another king was ‘Tvshratha’ which is the Sanskrit Tvashstra, ‘divine architect’ or Tvashrahta itself means ‘owning divine chariots’ in Sanskrit.
  • Kuru, Puru, Yadav, Sudav are clan names in Lithuania! These are pure Sanskrit words. The Kuru are the main clan on which the entire Mahabharat is written, Yadav, Sudav are also clans in the Mahabharat. Puru was a King in ancient Bharat/ India.
  • The Egyptian Pharaohs are connected to Sanskrit. eg Akhe-naten, is similar to Sanskrit Ek-nathan, it means ‘one-divine father’. Pharaoh Akhe-naten brought the concept of one-god in Egypt.
  • Karnak in Egypt is clearly a derivation of Konark  कोणअर्क meaning a ‘angle from the Sun’. There is a temple of the Sun in Konark, Odisha.
  • The river Niger starts at a place called ‘Sankari’, a pure Sanskrit word.
  • In America, the Guaalaga river in Andes is again pure Sanskrit ‘water going’.
  • I came across an interesting information on the name ‘America’. The Amer-Indians called it ‘Amerrique’. (‘The naming of America’ Jonathan Cohen, ‘The Caribbean writer and exile’ by Jan Carew). Vespucci’s name was Alberico and not Americo. He changed his name in a deliberate (and I would say, a criminal) act to steal the local native Americans of their identity. The Sanskrit link here is Amerrique is derived from ‘Marut’ which means the ‘land of gold’, which it was! Or the ‘land of strong winds’ which also fits it well. Or from ‘Meru’ which also means the ‘mountain of gold’.
  • The great river Volga. Volga is derived from Sanskrit Vigala, which means to melt and flow. Volga was known as Julaga earlier. This also is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘flowing water’.
  • ‘Gaia’ is said to be a Greek word for Earth,  but the word ‘Gaia’ has no etymological origin in that language. But ‘Gaya’ is a pure Sanskrit word, is a very important ancient/modern town in India where people go to perform final funeral rites of their departed ones. Gaya town has awesome energy, do visit it if you can.

There are so very many examples where words from Devbhasha Samskrutam can be traced in today’s languages. If you are interested, then do research for yourself, it is very rewarding intellectual exercise.

Devbhasha Samskrutam or Sanskrit is the mother language. I was taught it as a child and I continue to use it in my life. If I get time in this life, I really wish to work for another Ph.D in Sanskrit (I already hold one Ph.D in Zoology.) Knowing this one Mother Language, I can speak several Indian languages and understand even more. Hindi, Marathi, Gujarathi, Konkani, Bengali, Odiya, Telegu, Punjabi, Gadhwali, Kumaoni, even Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil! All very clearly have Sanskrit as the foundation. The Indian language closest to Sanskrit is Marathi. I often see movies from these other languages, it opens up options! Once I had to go to St.Petersberg Russia for some work, and was amazed to hear spoken Russian words sound almost like pure Sanskrit!

Do try to learn Devbhasha Samskrutam again, it is a very satisfying and enriching experience.

 

Learn Devbhasha Samskrutam aka Sanskrit

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. It is a Manasik Jaap, ie mentally recite ‘So’ as you breathe in and mentally recite ‘Hum’ as you breathe out. 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 my breathing rate 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. 

Karma and Dhyan Meditation

“Could you please write something on how meditation helps on karmic levels.” There was this question, so writing it as a post.

The short answer. If you do regular Dhyan, you will realise that Karma is an illusion. You will actually experience this fact. Then you remain in eternal happiness, Param-anand.

Now the longer discussion.

There are three types of karma,

Sanchit karma – the entire accumulated load from several lives which you have to rebalance at some point of time, either in this life or the next ones.

Prarabdha karma – that part from the above load which you have decided to rebalance in this current life. This is chosen by you at the time of birth and lasts till the moment of physical death. This can be seen from your horoscope. As long as your soul animates this current 5-layered body, its linked Prarabdha karma will run its course. It is like an arrow released and will continue its motion till it exhausts its energy. In case you attain Realisation, ie Sadyo-Mukti and become a Jivan-mukt, the body will continue to be animated and operate as per the chosen prarabha karma till the time of physical death. (Do read the posts on on Sadyo-mukti/ Krama-mukti and on Jivan-mukti/ Videha mukti.)

Agaami karma – The  karma which you will possibly create in this current life. If this is of a smaller magnitude, you will be able to rebalance it in this current life itself. But if it is of a larger magnitude, it will be added to your Sanchit karma and you will rebalance it in your future lives.

When you achieve Sadyo-mukti, ie experience yourself as the Parabrahma, the Advaita, the Nirvishesh brahma, all the stored karma Sanchit karma is burnt at that very instant. And now you are a realised soul, so creation of new karma will be impossible too.

Karma is linked to the 5-layered body which is animated by your soul. No karma can touch the Soul/ Atma. The Soul is beyond all concepts of karma. But when a Soul resides in the body it mistakenly believes that it is linked to karma, now this is called an individual soul or Jiv-atma. Eg there is the Sun in the sky and clouds over it. The clouds are nothing to the Sun and neither are linked to him. But we think that the Sun is covered by the clouds. The Soul is similarly covered by the clouds of karma. When you do Dhyan, these clouds are shown to be immaterial and you experience the Soul.

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Meditation is a very misunderstood word. Modern people think that listening to relaxing music or not thinking of anything or sitting motionless in a dark room is mediation. All this is good to relax your mind, but it won’t do anything for your spiritual progress.

The correct word is Dhyan. There is no translation possible of this Sanskrit word ‘Dhyan’. Here you are required to elevate your limited awareness to the level of the Parabrahma by thinking of yourself as the Parabrahma itself. This continued thought is called Dhyan. You concentrate on this one thought exclusively. No other thoughts are allowed to enter your mind except this. You give all your attention to this thought, you appreciate its non-duality, its existence within yourself.

Dhyan means ‘motionlessness’. This ‘absence of movement’ has very deep connotations. The continuous motion of the three-Gun, the Satva-Raja-Tama is stilled. Prakruti stops her performance, ie the illusion of manifested creation stops. You observe oneself, you become a witness. And you identify with the catalyst who remains still rather than the puppet who is in motion.

You are required to sit (post here). Not lie down, as you will go to sleep. Neither can you stand or do any actions while doing Dhyan, because your mind will also think on how to do these actions or how to keep standing without falling. Dhyan needs continuity of the physical state so that your mind can concentrate only on the non-dual subtlest intelligence within you. So you have to sit. If the body is at rest the mind also rests. It becomes easier to focus.

But there really are no rules on how to sit or where to sit or how to sit at what time etc. But to begin with, you have to fix your place (asan) and also a time, eg daily at 7am or whatever is possible on a regular basis. This will help your mind get used to the idea of Dhyan. Later, with practice, as the mind gets trained, there are no rules as this becomes a constant thought. Even later this goes deep that every instant is a Dhyan. This will continue non-stop till physical death. If you are able to strongly hold on to this thought at the instant of death you will attain the highest Sadyo-mukti of the Videha kind when you exit the body.

The life you are living is actually a preparation for the instant of physical death. If you concentrate on something for a life time, you will easily be able to concentrate on it at the moment of your exit thus achieve it. The moment of exit is the most powerful moment of your life. Eg if you concentrate on the idea that you are a devotee of Vishnu, you will go to Vaikunth. If you concentrate that you are a devotee of Shiv, you will go to Kailas. These states are called the lower Krama-mukti. The moment of physical exit is the critical point. If at this moment you are fixed in the idea that you are the Parabrahma, you will attain the highest possible Sadyo-mukti of the Videha kind. You will be able to do this only if you have trained your mind for a life-time, so we are all required to do Dhyan.

Karma and Dhyan Meditation

There are just the three possible mantras which are possible for Dhyan, Om, Soham and Hamsa.

Om is generally used by people who have renounced all forms of material bindings and are totally focussed on the Eternal. There is are specific ways of using Om, this will be taught to you by your own Guru. I know someone very senior who does Om Dhyan. Aged, now in his 70’s, his wife too in her 70’s. He was initiated when he was in his 20-s, after which his family got him married. His wife once told me that he used to beg for her permission to become a formal ascetic, but she refused. If you practice Om-dhyan in all its intensity, it is equivalent to formal asceticism. Even if you feel attracted to material life from time to time, it will be superficial because Om will always strongly pull you inward. Om is is Sanyas. Sanyas सम्यक् न्यास means that you are putting the Conscious energy perfectly within yourself. Once you start it in real earnest, you cannot get interested in or remain much in the material illusory world, the Eternal will pull you very strongly.

Then Hamsa and Soham are the two Ajapa mantras. Every living being unconsciously recites these mantras with every breath. If you adopt them as your Mantra, now onwards, you will use them consciously. Hamsa is the Ajapa mantra when you first exhale and mentally recite ‘hmm’ and then inhale and mentally recite ’saaa’. Together it makes ‘hamsa’. The details of this are given in detail in the Hamsa upanishad. But this upanishad is so utterly high level that even if you understand what it means, you won’t be able to perform the process. Possibly it involves Hatha yog too as complicated movements of pran and bandha etc are described in it. Hamsa vidya is when this mantra gains power with regular practice. I have not been taught it so do not know more. But it is a very powerful means of attaining the Self.

Soham is the second Ajapa mantra. My Sat-Guru taught all his disciples the ‘Soham’ mantra. Here you breathe in with the internal sound ‘sooo’ and exhale with the internal sound of ‘hmmm’. Together it makes ‘soham’. It is called the Ajapa-Gayatri by some people. It enlightens you to your real nature. The only thing you have to do is to internally recite the ‘soo’ and ‘hmm’ with your every breath. All the time, every breath. This is all you need to do. Soon it will become so intense that even if you deep sleep or dream, you will consciously recite it continuously. Never force your breathing, always breathe normally gently as you do. No sound should be created by your breathing. Some people breathe heavily and a sound is created by the air moving in your nose. Avoid this, it cause damage to your Nadi-s. The breathing should be noiseless, only then you will ‘hear’ the associated ‘soo’ and ‘hmm’ sounds. If you can sit down in a formal Dhyan even 1-2 times a day then it becomes even more intense.

Everyone can do Soham-jaap. Some people have this misconception that higher level mantras can be given only to the higher aspirants. This is incorrect. A genuine Sat-Guru will give you the full and final Mantra in the first step itself. You and me both are the Advaita, the Eternal. We are all capable of focussing on our real name. Maybe someone has lesser power of concentration to begin with, but the Mantra is so powerful that it does its own work.

Now the thing is with the householder’s life, Gruhast-ashram, we are required to perform all activities related to society, family, spouse/children etc. So doing Dhyan thrice a day 1hr each session may not be possible. So the best option is to do Soham jaap whenever you can, 1-2 mins whenever you are free, during the day/night, when you are travelling etc. This will ensure that your mind is gradually trained to think of itself. ‘Soham’ is Sushuma Yog, you will pull you towards yourself with its power. And if you get time, if you can sit in formal Dhyan, your progress towards yourself will be faster.

Karma and Dhyan Meditation

Now when you sit for Dhyan, each breath is considered to be one life time. Each breath is used to burn the karma of a life-time. It is a very intense exercise. Can you imagine the focus needed to consciously convert the energies of say five hundred million breaths, which is about a 65yrs life span, into one breath? But this does happen when you are very highly focussed on your mantra, not otherwise. If you practice daily, it will eventually happen with you too.

Even if you cannot reach this intensity in this lifetime, whatever you did will be carried over into your next life. So it is an asset you are generating. Dhyan makes the Mind still. And then the benefits of a relatively calm mind are obvious. You will look younger, more healthier, live longer, more mentally stable, more rational, less perturbed by events around you. Even if a karmic event occurs in your life, you are more easily able to navigate through it. And the chances of creating deep-rooted Agaami karma are also reduced as you do not react to situations from your deepest core. You are more in tune with your conscience. You go through events without disturbing your innermost self. The intensity of your desires will reduce with time. Frustrations disappointments reduce in intensity as your mind fluctuates less.

Then when you continually contemplate on your Reality, you force your mind to think of Yourself repeatedly. You realise, dimly at first and then very strongly that the creation which surrounds you is an illusion. As you remove the bindings laid on you, your experiences in Dhyan become more profound. You enter even deeper into yourself, you realise that Karma itself is an illusion. You are the Soul, this intention becomes stronger and stronger. You finally realise that there is no difference in the states of happiness/sadness. Every instant is filled with the awareness of non-duality.

So the short answer is again that if you do regular Dhyan, you will realise that Karma is an illusion, you experience this reality. You will always be in eternal happiness, Param-anand.

This post is basically from the Brahma-sutra, from what I was taught by my Sat-Guru and what I personally practice.

 

Your conscience and your soul

This really old Hindi song to me is beautifully meaningful. A rough translation, “I walked together with Life. I blew away every worry into smoke and went on. Grieving about past tragedies was meaningless. I celebrated every tragedy and walked on. What was given to me, I accepted it as destined. What was lost, I forgot it all and went on. There is one point where there is no difference between happiness and sorrow. I consciously brought my heart to this final destination and went on.”

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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The Conch, Shankh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Conch, Shankh

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Conch, Shankh

 

 

 

 

 

Meaning of So and Ham Sah and Aham

There are two types of sounds, Ahat आहत and Anahat अनाहत. All vibrations of this manifested Universe are the Ahat sounds while Om is the only eternal all-pervading Anahat sound. Soham or Hamsa are the link between the two.

Ahat sounds – These are sounds which are created by two things striking together. e.g. when two stones strike together it creates a ‘struck sound’.  In spiritual context, these things which strike together are the ‘Shabda’ the sound of the words of the manifested Universe. These are created by interactions between the three tendencies, Satvic, Rajasic and Tamasic. These are also linked to the conscious energies of the chakras located within your Sushumna naadi. These Ahat sounds are generated by some sort of vibrations which you can sense. These are sounds multiplied from the energy of Shabda शब्द.

Every type of sound you hear with your sense organs in this world is an Ahat sound. Even the silent, mental jaap, recitation of Mantras are Ahat sounds. Even if you are reciting the Mantra in your mind, your internal energies are ‘striking’ to produce its vibrations. These mantras are of the Manifested Universe and not of the Eternal Consciousness.

Anahat Nada  – अनाहत नाद is a sound which cannot be heard or sensed with your physical sense organs. This is a single sound, the sound of OM. It can be experienced only when the Ahat sounds are silenced. OM is the origin of everything. It is self-sustained, self-generated, all-pervading and Conscious. Nada is the eternal sound which then differentiates into Creation. This is a step-wise process and creates your internal energy chakras and the kundalini etc structure. On the macro-levels the Nada creates the Universes.

The Ajapa mantra Soham and Hamsa are not fully Anahat (as they do have a component of Sa-kaar and Ha-kaar). But as you progress in your Dhyan, the Sa and Ha sounds get nullified and only OM remains. Soham and Hamsa can then be considered to be a link between the Ahat and the Ananhat. These two are the eternal flow of the Anahat OM. They create, sustain and destroy the manifested.

So and Ham Sah and Aham

When you breathe in and breath out, every breath cycle, on the energy levels, you are first created (Purak), then sustained (Antah Kumbhak), annihilated (Rechak), then enter the Shunya/’Conscious nothingness’ state (Bahya Kumbhak) then created (Purak), endlessly. Breathing is not just a physical act!

There are broadly two types of karma. Those karma which are linked to your current horoscope/life have to be experienced thus rebalanced. These are already activated for your current life. You can only reduce the intensity of these karma by practicing some spiritual practices or remedies. Then there is the second type of karma which you have chosen to not resolve in this lifetime. This is the stored karma to be rebalanced in some future life. This second type of Karma can be ‘burnt’ in Dhyan. I hope you have guessed how this can happen. When you do your spiritual practice sitting on your Asan, focus on the Mantra and the third eye chakra, you literally complete one life-time with every breath! With every inhale and exhale, you live out one life-time and the focussed blast of energy you are invoking ‘burns’ your stored karma. As you practice regularly, you will look younger, fresh and vital! (My Dad is in his 70s and he looks like a 40yr old!)

Even if you use the Sanskrit language principles to open up this word Soham = Sah + Aham, सोहम् = स: + अहम् | you will get Sah/ That and Aham /I. With every breath you are affirming ‘That I’.

But what is स:, Sah, ‘that’? ‘That’ cannot be defined using the words and relative meanings of the manifested physical. The complete knowledge of the eternal constant. It is the Ultimate which is described in negation words, ie. has no attributes निर्गुण, no shapes निराकार etc. It just Is.

And what exactly would be ‘I’, Aham, अहम् then? It is not your body, mind, emotions, social standing etc. It is your individual soul. This is how it is created. (I have written about it briefly earlier)

  • The Bindu first divides into the three attributes, Satva, Raja and Tama represented by the Vama Jeyshtha and Raudri chakra in your head, the top triangle of the Shri-yantra.
  • Raja and Satva first combine to produce Mahat-Buddhi (light, intelligence, cognition, self-awareness, great). There are two ways this energy works.
    • When Creation is on, the higher level will lower itself and differentiate further. The Mahat-Buddhi now creates certainty and thus leads to definitive action. This is the point where individual Self is created. Now every individual Self is certain about its existence and will perform actions which will lead to creation of karma. The binding begins in earnest.
    • And when dissolution is on and Kundalini has reached this point and is ascending, this Mahat-Buddhi is converted into the Universal Self.
  • Next Mahat-Buddhi lowers itself down one step and creates Aham. Aham also called Aham-kaar and can take two directions,
    • When creation is on, Aham is the energy of individualisation, personal identity, ‘I am, ‘Mine’, ‘I do’ etc. It is self-referential, perhaps conceit/ Abhiman? And more importantly it is the place where the root of desires/Vasana reside. These Vasana are the tendencies of desire and will be modified into grosser levels and acted upon, Karma creation. Thus Vasana bind you at very deep levels.
    • When dissolution is on and you have reached with the Kundalini at this point, individual Aham dissolves into the Cosmic Aham. You get to experience the Ultimate Self.

The real and complete meaning of Soham would be quite impossible to describe but this much is a mere glimpse of its incalculable power.

If you are aware of the eternal Soham Mantra linked to your breathing, you will be aware  of the oneness of individual soul and the Ultimate. Unless you realise this link, you will continue to think of your personal ego as your identity. You will remain limited, constricted and restricted. Soham is a reminder that you are the Ultimate yourself. When you do your Dhyan with Soham you are breathing in the स:  ‘That’, the One-ness. You are breathing out the ‘I’, अहम्, the limited sense of self, you are expelling it. Thus with time when both equalise and stabilise you will experience the Kumbhak state of pure OM. All of us accept that we are created from the Ultimate or ‘God’ has created us. But this mere acceptance is not enough. If you believe that the Divine has created you, then try to experience the Divinity that you are. So practice and do your Dhyan.

So and Ham Sah and Aham

Hamsa is the second Ajapa mantra which brings the deepest knowledge of your own Self to you. It brings enlightenment. Soham and Hamsa are the same, one cannot exist without the other. The eventually merge and cancel each other out and a pure OM remains.

‘Hamsa’ is said to be the carrier /transport /Vahan वाहन of the Devi Sarasvati/ Gayatri. Hamsa means the bird ‘swan’ in Sanskrit. In popular images the Devi Gayatri is shown to be sitting on a swan. This means, Hamsa/Soham is the support on which the Gayatri is realised. Thus these two mantras are also called the ‘Ajapa Gayatri’. This is important for the aspirant as Gayatri/Sarasvati essentially is Moksh. The Devi Gayatri is the Light of the Internal Source/ Self/ Sun. To experience Her is to experience the Self

There is a popular story that Shiv and his wife Shakti stand at the shores of the Manas-Sarovar lake to observe the Swan swimming on it. This really means that the Eternal energies, Shiv/ passive principle and Shakti/ active principle, are united in the Swan/ Hamsa/ Soham. This union happens at the Manas (illlusion, imagination, mind, existance) Sarovar (body of water, summation of experience, flow). The Hamsa swims ON this illusory lake of experience. The Shiv-Shaki stand outside it and witness (साक्षिन्) to this. In other words, Shakti/Kundalini and Shiv/Parameshwar witness the Creation and the Hamsa. The Hamsa is linked to the Creation but is also quite apart from this. There is a wealth of esoteric meaning in this story.

Whichever story/allegory you like, the fact is that there can be no Enlightenment without these 2 Ajapa mantra. Soham is intention सङ्कल्प, practice साधना and mantra all-in-one!

And for people like us, who are always engaged in the business of living, office, home, house-work, husband/wife, children etc this is the easiest Spiritual practice. If you cannot do regular Dhyan, at least be aware of your breathing and the Ajapa Mantra, Soham /Hamsa which subtly power it. At least start somewhere.

 

So and Ham, Sah and Aham

The Mantra Soham Hamsa and OM

Every practice of Sanatan Dharm/ Hinduism, the ‘eternal right action’ requires that,

  • you remain in control of your breathing pattern,
  • focus at your third eye
  • and mentally recite a Mantra.

Unless these 3 conditions are satisfied you will not gain control over the pran/vital energy moving in your energy body. And if you do not control the pran, you will not be able to do anything else further.

If you do the breathing or the yogic posture/Asan without the accompanying Mantra, the Sadhana/practice becomes tamasic in nature. The energies invoked will be unmoving, dull and eventually discordant. You are working with your own personal energies, do not experiment. If you do make errors, you will suffer on the internal levels, you might gain physical health but spiritually you will remain nil.

Reciting the Mantra mentally is compulsory. Mantra is not ‘religious’. It is a form of the Universal energy, you are entraining your personal energy with it, so that you attain the Ultimate.

The Mantra Soham Hamsa and OM

Now for doing Dhyan there are only 3 Mantra options,

  1. ‘Soham’- the best option if you want to experience Moksh – you mentally recite ‘So’ while breathing in and while breathing out ‘ham’ mentally. So together it is ‘Soham’. Anyone can do it without formal initiation from a living Guru.
  2. Or ‘OM’ – mentally recite one single OM as you breathe in and one single OM as you breathe out. This much can be done by anyone. (There is one another way of using the OM but you will need a proper enlightened Guru for its initiation)
  3. Or ‘Hamsa’ – mentally recite ‘Ham’ while breathing out and while breathing in ‘Sa’. Together it becomes ‘Hamsa’. This too can be done by anyone without any formal initiation.

‘So’ here is the Universal consciousness/ Param-atma and ‘ham’ is the narrow sense of self/ individual soul/ Jiv-atma.

  • So = Sa + O = success, knowledge, accomplishment + eternal Anahata/unstruck sound (there is sound but nothing was struck to create it)
  • Ham = Ha + M = Eternity + completion, endlessness, the Bindu – this is also a beej mantra when pronounced aloud as ‘hang’

When you breathe in, it is called Purak (filling). This is linked to ‘Sa’ (sa-kaar). When you hold your breath now it is called Antah Kumbhak (internal measure/base) this is linked to the vibration of ‘O’. When you breathe out it is called Rechak (emptying) this is linked to “ha’ (ha-kaar). And when you hold your lungs empty now this is called Bahya Kumbhak (external measure/base) linked to the ‘M’ vibration.

Kumbhak is the important part of breathing, here the inward and outward going breath are balanced perfectly and there is perfect stillness as described in the Vidnyan Bhairav Tantra. This is also the limit/joint, the conscious energy of Sandhya which is also called the Devi Mahamaya. She creates, maintains then destroys and is all pervading.

In the deeper Dhyan phases, the ‘sa’ and ‘ha’ Akshar somehow get ‘deleted’ and only ‘OM’ the primordial Nada remains. This will take some time but it will happen. You keep practicing and witness it when it does happen.

The Ida naadi is linked to the ‘Sa’ and the Pingala naadi to the ‘Ha’. When the ‘Ha’ and the ‘Sa’ get ‘neutralized’ (can’t find a better word) the OM remains. After this the Ida/ Pingala shut down and Sushumna naadi gets active. The pran from the Universe which enters through your third eye chakra moves into the Sushumna. It starts the process of ‘cleaning’ it out. Only when it is completely ‘clean’ and ‘through’, can the energy of self-identification /kundalini enter it and move through it till it reaches the top-most chakra, Moksh.

‘Soham’ is the energy which pulls the Kundalini up towards its merger with the Ultimate. ‘Hamsa’ in this sense would be the energy of manifestation and ‘Soham’, the energy of dissolution. Both are interlinked and equal in the real sense. For creation you need to have a dissolution first, then only can something be created. And for dissolution to happen you need creation in the first place which will be then dissolved. These two are very powerful mantra, but they still are defined. Each is defined in relation to the other, thus are not the Ultimate on their own. They are the link to the Ultimate.

The Ultimate is pure OM.

(How would you describe a pearl? White, small, round, pearly, iridescent, from an oyster, etc. But these terms describe its properties in relation to something else. They do not describe the pearl as such, stand-alone, on its own. Thus a pearl cannot be really described, or can it?)

Now these two mantras are also called the ‘Ajapa Gayatri‘. Ajapa means ‘not counted/recited’. Jap means to count and recite. If you pay attention to the ‘sound’ of your breath, it does sound like ‘so’ when breathing in and ‘ham’ as you breathe out. You are always reciting Soham when you are breathing, unconsciously. See, you are always reciting a Mantra as you breathe. Breath without Mantra is not possible. You do not realise it, but you are doing a 21,600 times jaap of Soham every day. But the trick is to be aware of this continuous sound of Soham. This awareness is called ‘Soham Yog’ or ‘Hamsa Yog’. Your Dhyan is the means to this goal.

When you recite Soham mentally with your breath you are ‘churning’ the internal pran/vital air with your focussed breathing, in and out. You are attracting the Ultimate consciousness by repeatedly calling out its name ‘Soham’ (it becomes OM later, your real name). And you are applying force on the closed door of the Sushumna by focussing on the third eye chakra. The door will open!

shri_smarth_sadguru_muppin_kadsiddheshwar_maharaj
Samarth Satguru Shri Muppin Kadsiddheshwar Maharaj

My Guru taught me the Mantra ‘Soham’ in this life 37 yrs ago. It is the simplest and safest means to achieve your spiritual goal, Moksh.

But do you have the Intention? How long will you Play till you decide to come Home?

 

Panchbhoot the Five elements

Creation is made of five attributes, Pruthvi, Aap, Tej, Vayu and Akash, the Panchbhoot’. Pruthvi is solidity, often called Earth. Aap is fluidity, often called Water. Tej is called Fire but it means the energy which causes change. Vayu is called Wind but it is the vitality of energy. And finally Akash is often called Ether but it means the tremendous potential of creation. These five attributes are the manifested Creation. These are conscious energies and are linked to your energy body and are produced in your chakras where they maintain your personal body/mind/soul.

  • Panch means five, spread out, measure, union, clarity, evidence etc.
  • Bhoot is a Sanskrit (Devbhasha Samskritam) )word which means world, element, spirit, created beings, that which exists, present, truth, pure, past etc.

panchamahabhootThese five, the Panchbhoot, are created from the Bindu, the Paramatma, the Ultimate Reality. Bindu is a concept, it exists but it does not have any dimensions. A line has length, space has three dimensions, but a point? A point is dimension-less. It exists but cannot be defined. The Bindu evolves and differentiates into these 5 elements, this is called Creation, this is called Pravrutti, ‘evolving-out’. When the five bhoot merge and dissolve into each other it is Involution, Moksh, also called Nivrutti, ‘evolving-in’.

The Swastik is a very common symbol of Hinduism/Sanatan Dharm. Swastik means (swa+asti) ‘self-existence’ or ‘well-being’. It represents this dance of Pravrutti and Nivrutti, the creation and dissolution. The four arms of the Swastik taper outwards, are drawn to suggest movement and represent Pruthvi, Aap, Tej and Vayu while the central joint is Akash. Now there are 4 additional dots drawn they too have a meaning, they represent the Nitya part of the element. When the arms are in the clockwise motion it is Creation. When the arms are drawn rotating in the anti-clockwise motion it represents destruction of the manifested. In Indian households you will always find the Swastik drawn in its Creation, Pravrutti form. The destructive/Moksh form of the Swastik is used only by spiritual or occult practitioners who know what they are doing.

Panchbhoot the Five elements Panchbhoot the Five elements

Pruthvi Mahabhoot – The Great Element of Solidity, it supports. It defines Gandha i.e. ‘Relationship’. It contains the energy of Shabda, Sparsh Roop and Rasa too. There are two types of Solidity. One is called the Nitya/Eternal and the other is called Anitya/transient. Nitya Pruthvi is the eternal form of solidity, the 108 types of atoms that make up matter. These cannot be discerned by the senses and cannot be ordinarily destroyed. This is the conscious part of Solidity. Quantum experiments have proved that electrons are ‘tangled’, i.e. conscious of one another. This is Nitya Pruthvi. The Anitya solidity is the temporary shape of the body taken on by all conscious beings. This changes shape and can be destroyed and reduced to the Nitya form. We can sense this form with our sense organs. These transient forms have different names and are classified into animal, plant, rock etc.

Aap Mahabhoot – The Great Element of Fluidity. It is linked to Rasa, i.e Essence. It contains the energy of Shabda, Sparsh and Roop too. The sentiment of continuity is Aap and so is the water drop. Here too the element exists in the eternal/Nitya and Anitya/transient form. There are different types of Anitya forms representing different types and aspects of liquid flowing forms, from rivers on the earth to blood in your body.

Tej Mahabhoot – The Great Element of Energy of Change. It is linked to Roop i.e. Tangibility. It contains the energy of Shabda and Sparsh too. The heat of touch is Tej. Here too this element exists in the imperishable/Nitya and transient/Anitya forms. Fire is of different types, doing different types of work within the body, from Jathar-agni to Shukra-agni. It is also the fire and the lightening you see with your eyes.

Vayu Mahabhoot – The Great Element of Vital Energy. This indicates Sparsh, i.e. Expression. It is linked to Shabda. Vayu too has its eternal/Nitya and temporary/Anitya forms. The temporary forms are of different types, viz, 5 major classes of Vayu move in your body. In the spiritual context, Vayu is the intelligence which rules over the Antariksha/atmosphere. This is also the pran/vital energy which flows in your energy body

Aakash Mahabhoot – The Great Element of Potential of Creation Shabda. This is the summation of the other four. This is the central dot of the Swastik. Aakash has only one form, the Nitya form. This cannot be sensed by any sense organ nor does it have different types. It is eternal and pervades everything. There is nothing called ‘vacuum’ as Akash exists everywhere. Outer space looks dark to the normal eyes but actually is in motion with spirals of energies. Material space is the Bhoot-aakash and the ether of the mind is the Chitta-aakash. But when one refers to Aakash in the spiritual context it means the Chid-aakash i.e. the place of the Paramatma, the Bindu.

These five elements combine in various proportions to create the Pancha-kosh, the five layered body of all beings, conscious/non-conscious.

If you go to a jewellery shop, you will see bangles, necklaces, earrings and other ornaments, they are all different. But they are also the same gold! So the ornaments are inherent in the gold and also gold is inherent in all the ornaments. Depends on how you see it, but remember without the gold you wouldn’t have any ornaments at all.

Similarly Paramatma is hidden in the Panchabhoot and the Panchabhoot are hidden within the Paramatma. The Paramatma is the root cause of the Panchabhoot thus Creation. Depends on if you can see it!

OM.

 

Panchbhoot the Five elements