Secrets of your Shadow Chhaya Sadhana

I am sure as a child you must have enjoyed playing with shadows. In a dark room with a single candle making imaginative shadow shapes with your hands? Or in the evening, making shadow shapes on walls with your friends. Those were good uncomplicated times. Today’s kids wouldn’t have even seen their shadows. They are in school the whole day! Sometimes I wonder if they suffer from Vit D deficiency?

Now shadows. When I was a child, it was an enjoyable pass-time to stare at the shadow for a minute, we would purposely stand in scary poses with arms raised and all. And then look in the sky and see the large shadow/after-image looking back at you. An enjoyable scare perhaps and it felt like magic. Now imagine my surprise when I grew up and read in a book that this is actually a spiritual practice and is called ‘Chaaya Sadhana’!

Chhaya छाया is a Sanskrit word and means shade, play of light or color, resemblance, reflection, blending colors, reflected image, etc. One of the two wives of the Sun is named Chhaya the other is Sanjana (Also called Sandhya or Usha).

  • These four names have much deeper meanings. Sanjana means the connecting point between the two. To know what these ‘two’ mean you should start your spiritual practice. Sandhya is the joint, if you can find your way out from this Creation maze, it is from here. Usha is the aura of the internal Sun. Chhaya is the reflection of the internal Sun which you see at your third eye.
  • And in common usage Usha is the light we see before sun-rise, ie, morning twilight. And Chhaya is the light that we see at evening twilight.

Sadhana साधना means accomplishment, performance, diligent practice, to propriate, to worship, to adore, to subdue, to find the solution to the conflict, establishing the truth, the agent, the reason, the means, the materials, the perfection etc.

Secrets of your Shadow Chhaya Sadhana

Not much is written about Chhaya Sadhana but there are couple of books in Sanskrit on Swar-yog in which it is mentioned. The basic practice is as follows,

  • Get your Sushumna active first. Either by doing pranayam or shift the nadi physically. Later you can shift the nadi just with your conscious intention. If your Pingala is active when you do your practice your mind will not be able to concentrate. And if your Ida is active when you do your practice your body will face some discomfort in sitting/standing for so long. So Sushumna should be active when you are doing any mind-focussing practice.
  • Stand in the morning sunlight, about 1hr after sun-rise. The light should not be too intense and the skies should be clear. Wear light/thin clothes. (Yogis do it wearing the basic minimum)
  • Stand with your back at the sun so that your shadow falls straight in front of you either on the ground or on a wall. Remember that the shadow should be seen in its entirety.
  • Stand, straight arms at your sides and focus at the neck of the shadow.
  • Mentally recite the mantra “Hreeng Parabrahmane namah” ह्रींग परब्रह्मणे नमः 108 times. You already know how to count on your fingertips so be precise with this count. This will take 3 mins max.
  • Now close your eyes, put your hands over your eyes so that it is dark. (technically a Mudra is performed here, but it is not for beginners). You should see the after image of your shadow in your closed eyes. Here the shadow gets projected on your third eye chakra. Be in this pose for 2-3 seconds.
  • Open your eyes and look into the clear blue sky. The after image of the shadow will be superimposed in the sky. Now you will use this image to analyse yourself.

If you are already doing some spiritual practice (mantra with the breath), you will see the shadow’s after image as it should be seen within a few days. If you are starting from nil, it might take upto 6 months.

The books say that the following are the interpretations.

  • Left upper arm absent: misfortune to the spouse
  • Right upper arm absent: misfortune to a close friend
  • Both arms absent: misfortune to some close relative
  • Head missing or the entire shadow is very faint: one’s death can occur soon
  • Any other body part missing: personal misfortune or illness of that part
  • An elongated body part can indicates good fortune.

The colour of the image

  • A completely black or dark blue image – personal misfortune
  • A yellow image – personal illness
  • A red image – mental stress and deep rooted mental problems
  • Many colours mixing together –  development of intuition and good progress in spiritual practice.

First on what is actually happening when you concentrate your mind like this on your own shadow. You can do this on clear full moon nights also when the moon is bright enough to cast a shadow. It becomes an even more powerful experience on such nights. But first practice it in daylight, else you might end up scaring yourself at night. Any sadhana requires complete control over mind and body, but it doesn’t come in one day, but keep practicing regularly, most of the things I write about take very little time. If you choose to do this sadhana, it will take 5 mins of your time, no more, but everyday.

Secrets of your Shadow Chhaya Sadhana

The combination of the mantra and the shadow and the sun/moon light creates a stillness in the mind. As the mind goes still, it sees beyond the simple light-shadow. It now sees the ‘shadow’-image cast by the movement of pran in your body. The shadow is something like a ‘photography negative’ of the body. When you are seeing the shadow on the wall, then seeing it at your third eye and then seeing it projected on the backdrop of the blue skies you somehow make it a ‘positive’ image again. Basically you see your pran-mai-kosh. If the pran/vital energy is not moving properly in a particular part of the body, it will cause illness there. So if the shadow looks thinner or vanishes from a body part you should be careful. Do healing on that part.

As far as the predictions from the book go about the misfortunes/ death I haven’t experienced such severe misfortunes (thankfully!) like these till date. But yes if the shadow gets ‘thinner’ for some body part I do feel pain. e.g. I tore the ligaments of the knee, that shadow-part got slightly ‘thinner’. You can correlate this with your body’s aura reading too, it will match. But the predictions apart, it is a very uncomplicated exercise which helps the mind expand.

You are superimposing your shadow-self on the skies. Can you understand this statement? You are linking your pran-mai-kosh to the Sky, to the Limitless. This exercise increases the pran flow in your body, both the quality of pran as well as the smoothness of the pran flowing in your nadis. The sky is a wonderful thing. Do you even turn your face up and look at the sky? Do so. Clear blue uninterrupted blue, limitless. All the pran/vital energy of the Universe just there looking back at you. Just looking at the clear blue skies balances the Saturn of your horoscope, makes your karmic leads easier to bear, Forget the esoteric, this uplifts the mind, relaxes it and wipes off looping thoughts from your psyche.

If you continue this exercise, you will be able to experience not only the pran-mai-kosh but also progressively the Mano-mai-kosh, Vidnyan-mai-kosh and the Anand-mai-kosh. Ultimately this will also lead to Samadhi and the ultimate knowledge of the Soul.

(There are other uses of this practice too. I had written in some post about the real tantriks being able to create a shadow to go and do their work. This is one of the ways of creating such a shadow.)

As a kid, playing the ‘shadow game’, I never knew that I would be doing this as an Chhaya Sadhana when I grew up! Indeed every action you do, leads you towards your Self. It has been quite helpful too, so once in a while do check up your shadow. It is also a good way to soak up some extra sun-rays. It might sound very simple and childish, but it is a very powerful and full-fledged spiritual practice in its own right. It alters your perceptions of Time, Space and pulls you on your road to yourself.

 

Secrets of your Shadow Chhaya Sadhana

(Whatever I write about is obviously from some text or the other, I do not claim that originality. Whatever could be written about, all Tatva-gnyan, all Sadhana, ie all knowledge and all practices possible have been written down by our ancient Seers/Maha-Rishi. But yes, the experience which I had from practicing them is my own. So practice yourself and experience your own too!)

(A small update: Dad read this post, rolled his eyes and told me that there is a Chhaya-Jyotish too. The length of the shadow is measured and there are conclusions drawn from it. I asked him for the formulae, he said will give me the reference book if he still has it. So many aspects of Jyotish are vanishing in these modern times!)

 

Predicting the birth of a child..

The horoscope of the child has significant relationships with the horoscopes of his/her mother’s and father’s horoscopes, separately and simultaneously. Here writing a bit on timing the birth of a child. childFirst of all check the horoscopes of the parents to check for childlessness. If both the horoscopes are capable of having natural children then try to work out the timing. (Or you can do this as an exercise, for your own child, correlate when he/she was born and how this time can be arrived from your and your husband/wife’s horoscopes.)

First the year. Jupiter and Saturn both are involved in timing of childbirth or more appropriately the conception of the child.

  • Within the approx 9 months prior to the birth of the child, the transiting Jupiter and/or Saturn in both the father‘s and the mother‘s birth chart, will be placed in the 5th house and/or the 9th house.
  • Or aspected/conjoint with the lord of the 5th and/or the lord of the 9th.
  • When you check aspects, if they, Jupiter/Saturn, are retrograde then they will also be influencing the house behind where they are placed.
  • Also when you check aspects, remember the planet will influence a zone of 15deg around him. E.g. Saturn in Libra at 2deg will also influence a Mars placed in 27deg Virgo.

Now the month. Mars, the ruler of life/death and transformation, also of blood, operations, secrets and openings of every sort. During childbirth, fiery energy of every sort is at work thus Mars must be involved.

  • The transit Mars in both the father’s and the mother’s birth chart, will be placed in the 5th house and/or the 9th house at least 2.5 months prior to the child birth. (A baby born about 7.5 months from conception is considered viable as per astrological concepts. A child born before this may not survive childhood unless there are a significant benefic aspects. Thus this time period of 2.5 months).
  • Or similarly aspected/conjoint with the lord of the 5th and/or the lord of the 9th.
  • Check if he is retrograde and his degrees as above.

Then the transiting Sun and his aspects to be evaluated on the same lines as the Mars above. This will help narrow down the month.

Now to narrow it down it to the day when labour will begin and the child will be thus born. Approximately within 3 days from before the child is born, these conditions will be met. The position of the Moon in transit. He will be linked to both the parents charts in either of the following ways. (This also works for children born in premature or Caesarean delivery.)

  • He will be placed in the ascendant sign of both/either of the parents charts.
  • Aspecting or in the 5th or 9th houses of both/either of the parents charts
  • Or aspecting or with the 5th or 9th lords of both/either of the parents charts

These rules are compulsory. If there is some confusion then the mother’s horoscope chart is given greater importance as she is the one actually giving birth.

Now these combinations will repeat several times in life, even if you consider the charts of both parents-to-be simultaneously. So to pinpoint the exact birth time, first of all you will have to calculate the possibility of having children using the planetary dasha.

Finally because experience is the best teacher, practice, using the charts of your family members, couples with children to see how these rules actually work in real life. Then as a second step check out charts of expecting parents to see if you can pinpoint the time of birth of the child. And finally use the charts of newly married couples to predict when their child will be born.

The more you practice doing predictions, the more your mind will get used to seeing patterns in the charts. Patterns are everything.

(There are more details you can get into using the divisional charts of the parents, especially the Navamsha and Saptamsha. But it is rather technical and beyond the scope of this post.)

 

child

(This is from classical astrology from the texts and it always works. Thanks to those Jyotishi-s who have worked and done this research in the past times, so that we can use it today.)

(I am a Vedic/Indian astrologer, so to use anything that I write on, the calculations must be according to the Indian system, where we take into account the mathematical correct motion of the Earth, including its tilt, its wobble around the axis i.e. the precession)

The Ascendant and its planetary Lord

The ‘Lagna’ in Jyotish is the intersection of the east horizon with the ecliptic at a given time. This Lagna at the moment of your birth becomes your Ascendant degree. The rashi/sign in which this degree falls is your Ascendant sign and its planetary ruler the Lagnesh. In the excitement of the Moon-signs and Sun-signs, you often ignore the Ascendant-sign/Lagna and its planetary ruler/the Lagnesh! The Ascendant is extremely important as the tone of the entire horoscope is set from planet. For peeping into your personality there are a minimum 3 charts that you need to refer.

  1. The basic birth chart called the first divisional chart D-1, or the Janma kundali.
  2. The Chandra kundali, where the placement of the planets is the same as the D-1 above but the moon sign is counted as the first house. The chart is redrawn by shifting the houses accordingly.
  3. The Navamsha chart or the 9th divisional chart, but only if you are sure that the birth time is exact to the minute, else it is of no use, it will mislead.

The Ascendant Lord/Lagnesh has a very special place in the chart and you really should analyse it separately for gleaning the maximum information from its placement.

A Lagnesh is empowered and capable of giving very good results if

  1. It is exalted
  2. It is in its swakshetra or a favourable house in the chart.
  3. In company of or aspected by benefic planets or functional benefics for that ascendant sign.

Such a Lagnesh will give a favourable situation of birth and a family of comfortable means and status in society. It will also provide you with a good quotient of self-confidence and expression. The sign/house in which the lagnesh is placed will provide an indication as to where you will feel most comfortable. E.g the lagnesh in the 10th house will grant you extra comfort in your professional life, you will be socially well known because of your activities in the professional field.

On the other hand a badly placed Lagnesh is when

  1. It is debilitated or in the dushamsthana, the 6th, 8th or 12th houses.
  2. It is in unnatural movement and situations like combust or retrograde or the loser of a planetary war.
  3. It is conjoint or aspected by malefic or functional malefic planets.

Such a Lagnesh will not be able to express itself fully. You will be born in a rather socially low family. Your personal self-esteem and awareness and Ego will be low. And thus your role and activity in the social context will be of a lower degree. e.g. The ascendant lord in the 6th house will bring you to situations where you will be surrounded by the negativity of disease, debts, enemies, either serving or suffering!pexels-photo-1577494.jpegThe Ascendant Sign of the birth chart and its Lord.

This is the foundation of the manifested social, material, ego and physical environments of your life. The activity patterns of your life. The physical structure of the body/face and the major personality traits, which also indicate how the society will respond to you. E.g if you are beautiful you will be better received in the society. The house/sign which is occupied by the ascendant lord, Lagnesh is of particular importance. E.g one of my clients has his Libra ascendant lord Venus/Shukra in the 5thhouse in Aquarius/Kumbh. He works for the government, is a good judge, fair/balanced and likes writing. The Lagnesh and its position determines which environment is best suited for giving you social recognition and also the best use of your personal attributes (irrespective of your personal inclinations/emotions). Thus Lagnesha has a role in your career choice. The ‘physical personality’ is the birth chart or the first divisional chart.

The Chandra Kundali and the birth Moon rashi and its ruler.

In this birth Moon chart, the placement of the planets is the same as the D-1 chart but the first house is the birth Moon sign. The moon sign will tell you about those environments where you will be naturally comfortable. Also to predict the emotional outcome of an event the moon chart is to be referred. We are not just our physical body visible to the normal two eyes. We are also our ‘other’ body which is sensed by the Third eye. You must have felt this instinctive reaction to someone you have just met, you might excessively like or dislike or feel fear or repulsion towards someone for no good reason. There is a reason for such instinctive reactions and this depends on the Chandra kundali/Moon chart.

In simple words, your aura and response of others to your aura is determined here. You perceive others on the basis of their aura, your perception of ‘beauty’ ‘clean’ and even physical qualities like ‘height’ etc have a significant aura component. You may feel small when depressed or expanded when overjoyed. Here your perception of yourself is also linked to the aura. Your emotions are reflected in the aura. Your physical body is the product of the astral, the causal, the spiritual etc bodies. These are also felt through the aura. If your moon chart is well balanced, irrespective of what happens in the physical world, internally you will be quite happy. This is the ‘emotional personality’, the domain of the Moon chart.

The Navamsha D-9 chart and its Lagna/Lagnesh

Now we come to the third chart. The 9th divisional chart tells you, ‘How do you really see your own self?’.

Often you meet someone who has a very low opinion of himself though the society regards him very highly, or someone who thinks very high of himself and the public thinks he is a crook. This mismatch of the self-opinion and public-opinion can be understood from the D-1 birth Lagna and the D-9 Navamsha Lagna. This is very useful in analysing a personality and in counselling. Eg If you get a client whose D-9 Lagnesh is Jupiter, this person will be interested in the philosophical side of things. The solid things of the material will not make much sense to him. So while recommending a remedy for him if you should suggest mantra-jaap, he will like doing it. But if the D-9 Lagnesh were Saturn, he would prefer to work e.g. helping others, as a more appealing way for satisfying karma. You determine your deep motivations and your astral resources from the 9thdivisional chart.

pexels-photo-219874.jpeg

I see a very strange trend in modern western astrology. They have forgotten the basic mathematics of Astrology and added asteroids and what-nots to their version of astrology, thus messing it up. You don’t need to complicate the science, instead focus on the basic analysis. The basic birth chart and the 9 planets can be used to know everything about yourself. Now this is an example of how you draw extra information from the basic birth chart D-1. Every planet is the natural keyword of an aspect of your life and from each planet’s sign you can draw a chart for that specific planet. This planet-chart (like moon chart) will be a variation of the basic birth chart D-1 but drawn with that planet’s sign as the first house.

  1. The Sun loves the center-stage. The Surya-lagna and the corresponding Surya-kundali will tell you all that you know about creativity, divine intelligence, self-confidence, political performance and other qualities of the Sun that you are channeling in this life. Eg the 3rdsign/planets from the birth Sun will tell you how you shine in your sibling groups, and if your communications have a high intelligence and analytical ability.
  2. The Moon wants emotional security. So the Chandra Kundali, described above, will tell you all that you feel about emotions, stability, protection from all aspects of your life. Eg the 10thsign/planets from your birth moon will tell you how you feel emotionally about your profession.
  3. Mercury likes to analyse. Here from the birth Mercury sign as the first house, you draw the Mercury chart. Find all about conversations, messages, arguments, logic, chitchat, siblings, analytical power, perceptions and juvenile behaviour. Eg the 7thsign/planets from the birth Mercury will tell you how you communicate with your spouse and your partners.
  4. The Venus needs partnerships of all types, either with a physical partner or a deity or your higher self. The Venus chart counted from the birth Venus sign as the baseline will show you how partnerships, alliances, marriage and negotiations work in your life. E.g. the 10thsign/planets from this Venus birth sign will tell you if your professional life is based on fairness, and if you enjoy a fair partnership in your office/profession related relationships.
  5. The Mars wants to win always, he represent the status of the physical body. From the birth Mars sign you can find out how vital you are in all aspects of your life. Eg. The 5thsign/planets from the birth Mars sign will tell you how your competitive spirit is utilized in matters of personal creativity and genius, or your children.
  6. The Jupiter loves to teach and philosophise. To know how your wisdom and sense of humanity affects your life and relations check out the placement of the signs/planets counted from the birth Jupiter sign. E.g. To find out how you will guide or be guided by your ancestral spirits and sub-conscious check out the 12thsign/planets from your birth Jupiter sign.
  7. The Saturn will ensure you work in a lawfully correct scheduled manner. To determine all society related obligations, material work, Time, and resistance and constrictions in your life check out the placements of the planets/signs counted from the birth Saturn sign. E.g. To determine the sense of restrictions and obligations related to your children see the 5thsign/planets counted from the birth Saturn sign.

pexels-photo-1224263.jpegIn addition, there are several other charts which are used for very specific purposes. And there are the higher divisional/varga charts. Your local astrologer will rarely use them as they require detailed mathematics as well as knowledge to interpret. So if as a beginner in astrology if you encounter any terms like, Arudha lagna, Indu lagna, Vishesheka lagna, etc you can safely ignore them. Jaimini system especially has loads of such charts and special degrees, but it is an advanced phase of astrology. Right now we are analysing how your personality is built up using the three major charts where their Ascendant sign and its ruler planet are the foundation stones.

No two persons are the same and in Jyotish you cannot ever generalise, there are multiple forces which work together to influence and create a certain outcome. Analysing these forces is ultimately 75% mathematics and 25% intuition. Unless you develop your intuitive capacity by regular spiritual practice you really will not excel as an astrologer/Jyotishi.

And finally will let on a secret. The physical manifested body is produced from your past-life energies, i.e. the resources of the astral self. You can change your physically manifested body by consciously accessing and manipulating the energies available in the astral self. You may have noticed people who actively do yogic practices, dhyan etc which manipulate the pran/vital energy, look visibly younger, energetic and radiant. My Dad is in his seventies and doesn’t have a wrinkle on face! You too should develop some spiritual practice which will not only nourish your soul but also sustain your physical body as long as you choose to reside in it.

 

pexels-photo-220429.jpeg