Temples in India where I have been to

Since I wrote on the 9th house and the deeper meanings of travel and pilgrimages, I got a question on how many temples, pilgrimages, I have been to. I had never really listed them out so was a fun exercise for me and perhaps an interesting reading for you.

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  1. Haat-Kalika temple, Pithoragad, Uttarakhand – Been here a few times. It is a yantra installed in a temple in the middle of the Deodar forests. The yantra is carved on a rock in the floor of the inner sanctum, it is beyond powerful. There is an additional moorthi of the Devi Kali, but the power is in the yantra. Most people do not notice it. It is beyond powerful, it feels like Kali Herself is standing there in all her magnificent terribleness. But so full of love. I have lost track of time whenever I have stood in this temple located in a valley of Deodar trees. In these mountains the separation between dimensions is very thin. You can sense the presence of other beings called Naag, Yaksha, Gandharva etc here (Similarly in the nearby temple of Kotgadi). Temples in India where I have been to
  2. Kasar Devi, Almora, Uttarakhand – You can feel golden pran radiating from a small tunnel into the earth. The people have placed a Moorti of Devi in front of the tunnel, most worshippers look at this moorti and ignore the tunnel and the energies whirling out from it. Very welcoming, loving and you feel it, a huge dense quantum of energy beneath the earth, it silences the mind. And you can feel the presence of other dimensional beings here too. This temple belongs to the Yaksha.
  3. Badrinath, Uttarakhand – This is one of the real Char-Dhaams of India, located on the west coast (the others being Somnath, Jaggannath, Rameshwaram). Been here twice in this life. It is a black moorthi of Shri Vishnu. Very high energy and very gentle, a compulsory pilgrimage for all Hindus. River Saraswati flows here for a bit (Brahmakapal) and then vanishes underground. This is the place where the final death related rituals/ tarpan are performed for the deceased ancestors. The entire place throbs with energy, and those who can see auras can see the brilliant golden shine of the moorthi and also the entire village and the surroundings. Temples in India where I have been to
  4. Yamunotri, Uttarakhand – The origin of the river Yamuna in Uttarakhand. Another must visit location, the energy is awesome, shiny, sparkly. There is a temple here dedicated to the Devi Yamuna and the prasad that you get here is a small pouch of uncooked rice, you then dip it in the nearby hot spring, it gets cooked and you eat it with the blessings of Devi. It was the tastiest spoonful of rice I have ever eaten. Ice cold Yamuna and the boiling hot spring are a few meters apart. Nature is so cryptic!
  5. The Mahakumbh – I have been to Haridwar during the Brahmamuhurt of the Makar Sankranti at the start of the 2010 Mahakumbh. Ice-cold water. The Ganga is exceptionally loaded with pran during the Mahakumbh time, so a dip in these waters is a must for every Hindu. It can be a life-time recharge if you do it with intention. There is a Mahakumbh in Haridwar coming up in 2021, try to use it if you can.
  6. Gaumukh, Uttarakhand – the origin of the river Ganga at the base of the Gangotri glacier. Ganga wherever she flows, Devprayag, Rishikesh, Hardwar, Kashi etc. brings in her tremendous quantum of pran. As you go nearer to her source, the higher the energy of her waters. The Gangotri glacier feels like a chunk of gold and the the flowing waters rippling gold/ silver pran. Do visit it if you are physically able to, if you keep putting it off to the next year, chances are you will never visit. The Gangotri temple is on the way to Gaumukh and this too is a beautiful place. The entire Himalaya are a huge source of power and energy in itself.Temples in India where I have been to
  7. Kedarnath, Uttarakhand – The top of the mountain is the pyramidal Shivlingam on which the temple is built. It is mind-boggling, I think the entire mountain you climb is the lower part of the massive Shivlingam. The very top is worshipped in the temple. The temple was there for thousands of years, first the Pandavs worshipped here, it was renovated a few thousands of years ago by Adi Shankaracharya and then by Ahilyabai Holkar a couple of centuries ago. A must visit. You may not get to sit in the sanctum, but just sit outside the temple and soak everything in, if you do it with full intention, this ‘recharge’ will last a life time. Temples in India where I have been to
    • Then there is the Samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya nearby. One of the most important Rishi/ Sat-Guru is relatively recent history (a couple of thousand years ago). And you can feel his blessings/energy here.
    • Enlightened Gurus in Sanatan Dharm/Hinduism are special, after they discard their physical body, it is entombed above ground/’Samadhi’ and Anteyshti is not performed. When a soul attains moksh, it is not linked to the energy structure of the body, the brahmanadi has fused, the circuit is complete. The individual soul does not exist as it has realised itself as the Ultimate. The energy of anteyshti breaks the soul’s bonds to the physical body. But a real Sat-Guru has already broken this bond to ‘Creation’ by the energy of his internal fire, Dhyan. The real reason for the Samadhi system is different. It is a threat, if some common human fools others into believing that he is a Guru, his disciples will give him a Samadhi after his physical death and he will remain tied to the physical body, a ghost with no scope of evolution. The worst possible punishment.
    • This is an aerial view of the Kedarnath temple in deep winter, you can just see the top of the temple as the entire town is under snow. Our ancient Rishis identified Shiv-lingams and built temples in such locations several thousand years ago, it is mind-boggling.
    • Temples in India where I have been to
  8. Dhaari Devi, Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand – This is one of the fiercest Kali temples I have ever visited. The moorthi is just the head of the Devi, and She seems to shoot volcanoes from her eyes! I love Her in Her every mood, so enjoyed sitting in front of Her and soaking in her blessings. This temple is in the middle of the Alakhnanda river, and is energy-linked to Kedarnath, She is His Wife. Whenever people have tried to shift this temple for hydel power projects, Kedarnath has showed His displeasure, last was in 2013. They shifted the Moorthi and on that same day clouds burst bringing in disaster. Temples in India where I have been to
  9. Jageshwar, Uttarakhand – This is a Shivlingam in the Deodar forests of Almoda district. I think this is the Daruka-van Jyotirlingam as Deodar trees are called Daruka in Sanskrit. It is a very high energy location and is very beautiful too.
  10. Hemkund saheb, Uttarakhand – This is a pristine lake and a Gurudwara. The lake water is very high energy. It is said that Pandu from the Mahabharat worshipped the Devi here. Also Lakshman from the Ramayan did some pujas here. It is a hard trek, especially the last few kilometers, so you need to be physically fit. But you can also visit the Valley of Flowers which is near here, which is an added advantage.
  11. Vaishno Devi temple, Katra, Jammu & Kashmir – The deity of this shrine is a rock, which is a part of the mountain itself. Though this shrine is very famous, to me it felt like a regular Himalaya energy. The ‘density’ of energy was the same as any other Himalayan peak.
  12. Pushkar temple, Rajasthan – It is a very cryptic dense energy, not for everyone. There is a misconception that the pujas of Brahmadev is forbidden. But it is actually that the we, the current humans, are so degraded that we are incapable of performing these intense pujas of Brahmadev. Performing the Gayatri puja properly is in itself a feat for the humans of today, and so the puja of Brahmadev is another level altogether. There is an entire Brahma-tantra and all Rishis and Sadhaks of the earlier ages did pujas of Brahmadev to attain Moksha on a fast track. Today you won’t get anyone who understands the use of Gayatri-tantra! (Brahmdev and Devi Sarasvati are the stable and the kinetic parts of Raja-gun. If you consciously control ‘movement’, you Realise your Self.)
  13. Ashapura Devi temple, Bhuj, Gujarat – The deity in this temple is a huge rock, there is no separate Moorthi. This rock is placed in a temple. It is so utterly powerful that the few minutes I stood stupefied. Such tremendous energy. Something like the energy of the 10 Mahavidya Devi-s. If you are the slightest bit insincere she will cut off your head then and there. But if you are sincere she will pick you up in her arms like a mother loves a child and give you whatever you want. The entire area for kilometers was resonating with her energy. The rock does not seem to be from this Earth, more likely it is a meteorite, but very conscious, very very aware and very dangerous. Temples in India where I have been to
  14. Koteshwar Mahadev temple, Bhuj, Gujarat – A wonderful location on the sea-shore with extremely high levels of pran. The Shivlingam was also quite powerful gave off cool, peaceful pran. Loved watching the Dhwaj/ flag on the temple swirling in the wind. This is the last temple on the west coast, the land beyond is Pakistan.
  15. Dwarkadheesh temple, Jamnagar, Gujarat – This temple is dedicated to Shri Krishna, a lovely moorthi made of black rock. Highly energy and very calm gentle, soothed the soul. Do visit it if you can. But avoid the priests who try to try to fleece the tourists outside the temple. Keep your mind on your mantra and the deity in the temple. Try to mentally recite your mantra 108 times in the temple complex, while you wait in the lines etc. It is an energy rush. And around these temples and pilgrimage site you will also find petty pickpockets and such, so take care. It always surprises me that these people forget Who is watching them. Shri Krishna could give them anything they want but they are more interested in the tourists than the deity Himself.Temples in India where I have been to
  16. Naagath Shivlingam, Gujarat – This is near Dwarka and said to be one of the twelve Jyotirlingams. It is a newly constructed temple and is energies are average. In Sanatan Dharm/ Hinduism, a Shivlingam is not carried into a temple. A temple is always built over a Shivlingam. This means that our ancient Rishis/ seers, ‘saw’ the energies and identified stones which had the energy of a Lingam and constructed the temples over them. So, faith is one thing, but you won’t get the same energy benefit when praying in modern constructed Shiv temples.
  17. Somnaath Shivlingam, Veraval, Gujarat – I have been to this temple 4 times in this life and each time it is a home-coming. Very high levels of energy flow from the Shivlingam, very gentle and conscious. I can never pray for things in temples. What should I pray for? He knows everything. This is a must visit temple for all Hindus. Temples in India where I have been to
  18. Siddhivinayak temple, Mumbai, Maharashtra – Have been to this temple several times. It feels like he is angrier every time I see him. This Ganapati moorthi has his truck folded towards his right side. Embodiment of ‘nivrutti’, destruction of Illusion, destruction of the material and tearing apart of the veils of Maya, the highly disciplined Sanyasi, ‘Brahmachari form of Ganapati. If you are not prepared to leave Her ‘funfair’, praying to such a moorthi can be quite traumatic on the material levels. It is the same effect as blowing on a left-handed conch (Dakshinavarti). It will destroy the material and bring in the spiritual, in any way possible! In our homes we never keep a moorthi or photo of Ganapati with the trunk at the right side. In temples it requires specific pujas and there are several restrictions on what is allowed in such temples.
  19. Trayambakeshwar Shivlingam, Nashik, Maharashtra – Extraordinary high levels of energy. It is such an old temple, all stone. The stones of the temple have absorbed the energies of the pujas and are conscious themselves. The Shivlingam radiates huge chunks of energy but is not as peaceful as Somnath. The energies can be used for ‘destruction’ related pujas too. Shiv here is more serious, more turned inwards more intense. Temples in India where I have been to
  20. Bhimashankar Shivlingam, Maharashtra. This is located in a the middle of the forests, with a river flowing near it. All Hindu temples need to have a natural source of water at its north-east side, it is compulsory. This Shivlingam is a rather secretive energy. I think there must have been intensive practices of tantra, mantra, yantra in this temple. Perhaps no one knows or does this now, but the ancient past is felt in the energy of the temple and its stones too.
  21. Kailas temple, Ellora, Maharashtra – This architectural marvel is very famous, our ancient Rishis 3D printed in the igneous rock. But the Shivlingam! It is a good 5 plus feet tall and loaded with power, I went silent in front of its energy, the mind was completely silent. I wonder how the ancients knew that this stone under the hard lava stones of the Deccan plateau was the Shivlingam and they created the temple around it. It is the most fascinating Shiv temples I have ever been to. Ellora was called Elapuri earlier, the ‘town of the Devi’. Temples in India where I have been to
  22. Ghrishneshwar Shivlingam, Ellora, Maharashtra – This temple is very ancient, but felt low on energy, not what I expect a Jyotirlingam to be. I think that perhaps the actual ‘Jyotirlingam’ is the one inside the Kailas temple less than a km away.
  23. Siddhagiri Math, Kolhapur, Maharashtra – This Shivlingam has always showered me with love and ‘home-coming’ energies. Just like a father giving gifts to his child. Beautiful old temple and with routine pujas being performed. My Sat-Guru was the 26th Math-adhipati of this Math.
  24. Khandoba temple, Maharashtra – Located on a plateau of lava-basaltic rock. There are moorthis in the temple, but the energy comes from a yantra set into the floor of the temple. The mountain is alive with very intense energies. Exceptionally fierce. If you wish for protection and the energy to fight, he is more than willing to give it to you. He is the Kul-devata of most Marathi people so this temple is always bustling with people.
  25. Then temples in Goa, the more famous Shanta-Durga, Mangeushi and my mother’s ancestral god Narsimha at Veling. I always seem to sense an underlying sadness here. Perhaps my DNA picks up things. The Portuguese invaded Goa and killed the temple Brahmins and carried out an Inquisition here, killing most of the Hindus. Some Hindus and Brahmin priests escaped to Maharashtra and remained alive albeit as farmers and traders, some of them my mother’s ancestors. Narasimha temple, Veling
  26. Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu – it is a magical place, there was no need for a formal temple, the oceans themselves are alive here. However the temple inside is peaceful with gentle energy, it like the Devi is relaxed, watching the waters. Outside, the south-most tip of India, where 3 waters meet. It has to be experienced, the clean freshness is so deeply peaceful yet so full of high intensity energy. More white than gold pran, so much and so freely available!
  27. Thirupati temple, Andhra Pradesh – A very famous Vishnu temple (but I feel it more like a Shiv temple as per the energy, they are all ultimately the same!). Humongous amounts of energy. The lines are so long that they don’t let you stand for very long in front of the moorthi, but even standing in line within the stone walls of the temple is a high energy experience, been here twice.
  28. Jagannath Puri, Odisha – One of the Char-Dham-s, I have been here twice, a very enigmatic temple. The idols of the deities are one thing, but the real energy is from inside the ground under the sanctum sanctorum. I make it a point to sit down somewhere inside the temple and recite my mantras for 5 mins. What one sees in these 5mins in such powerful temples is indescribable. If you go here, do a Namaskar for the Sudarshan chakra on the temple top, it radiates huge power. Temples in India where I have been to
  29. Kamakhya temple, Guwahati, Assam – She is extremely no-nonsense here. She is not in her ‘kind-mood’. Visiting this temple is not for everyone. This was the first temple where I saw her in her really strange virakt mood, so has made a life-time impression on me. She is so beautiful.
  30. Vishveshwar, Kashi, Uttar Pradesh – The best part is that they let you touch the Shivlingam. Everyone should visit it once in a lifetime. Shiv is very kind here, its like coming back home. And also the Annapurna Devi temple nearby. The original temple was destroyed by the mughals. This  current Shivlingam was installed and this temple was built by Ahilyadevi Holkar. But I feel the power of the original Shivlingam also somewhere in this city. This entire city is pure, no other word, it is pure, bright very very clean on the energy planes. Temples in India where I have been to
  31. Lahiri Mahashay’s house in Kashi – I had a neutral view of him because I had read the ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ where Yogananda refers to him as his Guru and I know that the meditation technique which Yogananda’s Society is teaching is incorrect. When I went to Kashi, in front of Lahiri Mahashaya’s house, I touched the steps of the locked house and felt his strength. He was a Realised Soul, his students later distorted his teachings.
  32. Girnar mountain – The entire mountain is full of energy, I don’t know how such a huge mountain can even geologically exist in that flat place! If you ever travel to Junagad to visit the Gir National Park, do try to at least travel to its foot and feel its energy. There are very high number of spirits and beings from other dimensions here. In fact the first time I ‘saw’ these beings here.
  33. Datia – Bagalamukhi and Dhoomavati temple, both Devi-s are the Dasha mahavidya-s and are very very dangerously awake here. Visit only and only if you have a clear conscience, no more can be said, there are secrets here which are not for everyone.
  34. Ambabai temple, Kolhapur – This is quite powerful and the Devi is quite ready to grant blessings. But one must not really ask for anything in such temples, simply put yourself in her hands and let her decide the best possible for you.

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Here are some of the well-known temples that I am sure you must be aware of. And there were several smaller ones which I have not listed here as the post became really too long.

We are Hindus, followers of Sanatan Dharma, our ‘god’ is the Parabrahma, the Nirvishesh Brahma the Conscious Intelligence but these temples are necessary as they contain a small part of this Awareness. Pilgrimages are necessary for all spiritual aspirants and if you have the time and the inclination you  must do a Darshan here.

 

 

Vigraha Moorti and idols

In these ‘modern times’ we have forgotten what a vigraha/ moorti means or what a real temple/ Dev-alaya feels like. There are very few left, most of us haven’t seen even one of these real moorti-s/ vigraha-s in our entire life and neither been to a real Dev-alaya.

We Indians are known for creating massive temples and moorti-s of our deities. The invaders, both Muslims and Christians, destroyed our temples and the moorti-s. In these past 1000s years we have lost a lot, but we still have several functional temples and the ruins of the others are a silent testimony to their grandness. The ancient Indian temples are made of black stone. We do not know how old our temples really are. There are estimates of course, but these are more on the lines of educated guesses for the simple reason that stone cannot be dated.

Our temples have the main deity as a Moorti /Vigraha. It is not an idol, an idol does not have any consciousness, it is ’empty’. The Moorti/ Vigraha is a conscious entity, it is aware, with intelligence. If you know how, you can request it to power your intentions, which it will.

Vigraha Moorti and idols

Modern Hindus feel it is a fashion statement to gift idols of deities. These generally are made of plastic and are to be apparently kept as ‘show-pieces’! Modern ‘interpretations’ of the images of deities. These are also idols, ‘empty’. In modern Indian temples, especially in North India and abroad, there is a new trend of fashioning the idols of the deities using white marble stone. The temple too is made of white marble stone. This idol is expertly carved and dressed up beautifully, quite attractive to the eye but ‘empty’. The temple also feels ’empty’ to me. White marble has no energy-value, it is incapable of absorbing the energy and neither can it radiate it back to the worshipper. This idol is made-up to look outwardly like the shape of the deity but it lacks the power of the deity. A idol made of white marble in a temple of white marble is not conscious, and of no use for the genuine aspirant. It is not a vigraha.

But there are still a few temples where the vigraha are aware and conscious. If you are lucky enough to ever visit them and experience it for yourself, you will know what I mean.

A Vigraha cannot be made just like that. How to make it, where to make it, when to start and finish, what material, which mantras to use, what tools and who should make it etc is a secret science. The Vigraha can be made in the shape of the deity with a human face, hands etc or it can also be a yantra. The vigraha-s will be made of black stone, metal or wood or anything else. This material and the entire process will be decided by a Guru. All this depends on the intended use of this vigraha. The carved image is then made conscious, ‘pran-prathishtha’ is performed. The Guru uses his own energy, amplified by the mantras to ignite consciousness in this specifically made shape, which then becomes a vigraha. This vigraha is now freed from the limits of its outward shape, it expands, becomes aware and it becomes a true reflection of the deity it represents. The part is also the whole, thus this shape created becomes a Vigraha/ Moorti. This process is most powerful when performed by a Guru. So the few temples in India where the Vigraha-s have been set up by genuine Guru-s are very important.

One exception is the real Shiv-lingam temples. The real Shiv-lingam stones are actually meteorites which are found on the earth. They are not shaped by human hands. A Guru identifies these stones and the temple is built over it. A real Shiv-lingam is never installed in a temple, the temple is built over it! I have visited the Kailas temple in Ellora, Maharashtra a few times, every time it takes my breath away. The Shiv-lingam is huge, I think it is 6 feet tall, and the energy is massive! This temple is exceptional as it was sort of ‘laser-printed’, from the top to the bottom. I really wonder at the Guru who identified this Shiv-lingam located metres deep inside the hard basaltic rock and the technology used to ‘laser-print’ the temple in this rock. This temple cannot be dated as it is completely of stone. If you live in India, or ever visit here, do go to see this temple and the Shiv-lingam for yourself.

Moorti-s in our ancient temples were for all aspirants of both paths, ie the Yog and the Tantra. Especially if the temple and the vigraha is of black stone and it is over 1000yrs old, it is an extraordinary thing. If you ever visit such a temple know that the deity is aware and conscious. We go to temples, do namaskar, offer sweets flowers and pray. The pujari/ priest gives us some sweets and flowers as the prasadam, we take it and come home. But if you are a spiritual aspirant, this is not making full use of the temple and its vigraha’s energy. If you do visit an active temple try to do the following,

  • Recite any mantra 108 times, depending on your choice and the type of deity. Eg Gayatri mantra or Soham– Dhyan are suitable for every deity. Shri sukta for all Devi temples. If you are worshipping Devi in her high energy form then Navavarna mantra, ‘Om aing hreeng kleeng Chamundayai vicche’, 108 times is the option. Mahamrytyunjai mantra ‘Om tryambakam yajamahe sugandhiṃ pushṭi-vardhanam, urvarukamiva bandhanat mrutyor mukshiya mam amrutat’, for Shiv temples. ‘Om namo bhagwate vasudevaya’ for all Vishnu and his avtar temples. For this take a small asan with you (a 1mX1m piece of silk is best), sit anywhere around the temple and recite your mantra, absorb the energies.
  • Second option, if you have money and the temple sincerely offers this facility. Request a small puja to be done in your name, pay the amount and do the ‘sankalp’. The temple will perform the mantra puja for you and send the prasadam etc by post.
  • And the third option, this only if you have sufficient resources and time. Do your own puja. Most temples which are specifically made for doing such high-voltage pujas will have rooms or ashrams around them. If you can book the rooms. Now engage 8 brahmins from a reputed school, eg Hardwar, Kashi etc. These brahmins should be knowledgeable and personally skilled and living a strict life as prescribed for them. Genuine Brahmins are very very rare in this period, you need to find 8 of this type. Take them with you to the temple, they will perform the puja for you. This sort of puja can take upto 5-10 days. This is the most complete use of the moorti’s energies.

Vigraha Moorti and idols

The moorti-s for dedicated tantric practices are again very different. They are often not placed in the main temple sanctum. Common householder people do not have the ability to see such moorti-s with their eyes, they might go insane. So such vigraha are either placed in a secret sanctum if they are very highly powerful. Or they are hidden, under masks made of gold or silver. Or decorated so heavily with flowers or sandal-wood paste, silk, etc that the actual moorti is not visible at all!

Here are some examples from some temples I have been to recently. In one temple, the moorti of Devi Kali was very beautiful and powerful, but there was something even more terrible in that sanctum sanctorum. A Shri yantra carved in stone by Adi Shankaracharya himself! Everyone was looking at the Devi’s vigraha and praying but the Shri Yantra on the ground before her hidden by flowers was the source of infinite power! There is a town called ‘Shri-nagar’ in Uttarakhand. It is called so because there is a Shri-yantra installed within the river bed here. Those aspirants who know how, will go to the river and do their practice near the water to channelise the power of the Yantra.

Another very famous temple known for a very terrible Devi from the Dasha Mahavidya-s. The Devi moorti on display is beautiful but it is not the real one made by the Guru. The real moorti of this Devi is in some inner room, not visible to anyone. But to those who desire to see her, she is quite visible in all her terrible intensity, if you close your eyes and request, you will see her in a very different way in your third eye. In one temple dedicated to Devi Dhoomavati of the Dasha Mahavidya-s, married women do not visit her as she will give them instant misfortune, extremely fierce and Ugra. All aspects of the Devi are not benevolent, some are terrifying for other types of purposes. The moorti was made by a Guru, so is bursting with energy. Even the moorti of Ayyappa at Sabrimala, where women in the fertile age group should not visit, is a tantric vigraha and will grant misfortune to such women who do. Similarly for the Shani vigraha at Shingnapur, it is the same thing. These are not idols, they are conscious Vigraha!

So the next time you go to a temple with a Moorti, do know that it is not an idol you are seeing, it is aware focussed consciousness. Looking back at you very intensely, so ask what you desire the most, you might just get it. The more powerful Moorti-s are very intense. Standing before them, or even in or outside such temples is a typical experience. It feels like someone has poured ice cold but refreshing water on you, the pran is intense, from the top of your head till your toes it enters every naadi, every hair stands on end. When you close your eyes and do your mantra jaap, you see things at your third eye, you don’t feel like opening your eyes, they feel heavy. You energise yourself at such places from the inside out. The Vigraha Moorti is a reflection of the Ultimate reality.

 

Vigraha Moorti and idols

 

 

The performer, catalyst and Creator

Hinduism/ Sanatan Dharma has very deep statements which cannot be understood but need to be experienced. My Guru would talk about things and we all used to listen. But it is only with practice that some of his statements are making more sense now.

There is only one origin called the ‘Nirvishesh Brahma’, the ‘intelligence where differentiation does not exist’ or Parabrahma, the ‘beyond intelligence’. This is the goal of each soul, your and my personal spiritual evolution leads here. This is the Ultimate Creator.

The first creation was duality, ie observer-performer energy was created. The Para creates infinite numbers of observer-performer pairs. The observer energy is called the Purush and the performer energy is called the Prakruti. Prakruti is said to be feminine as the energies are active, kinetic, capable of responding, changeable. Purush is said to be masculine as these energies are still and unchanging but are capable of eliciting a response. (The Purush and Prakruti are not a physical man and a woman, there is no sexism in the spiritual context.)

Only Advaita as discussed by Adi Shankaracharya is subtle and deep enough to pierce through all duality. It can take you upto the Real Creator, the Parabrahma. Advaita is referred to as ‘Non-duality’. It can be only expressed as a negation as what it really is cannot be described in the words of this creation, it needs to be experienced. This is the Reality which you and me actually desire to experience. Sankhya-shastra is a method analysing intelligence, energy, matter and the rest of it. This is a discriminative, rational, calculative and deliberate instrument directed to the understanding the Self. Sankhya is a prelude to the understanding of the Advaita.

The Prakruti is called Lalita, the one who plays the game. This game is of her devising, created out of her own energies, occurs within her and is not separate from her. The entire performance occurs within the energies of the performer. All creation theories or even modern science describe this Game that she plays, the secondary creation of the manifested Universes. These theories are limited to only Prakruti and the processes that go on with her body. These do not describe the Purush as they have not reached so deep within. And neither do they take you upto your reality, ie the Parabrahma.

Exalted and debilitated, Rahu, Ketu and Saturn

In my earlier posts, I have written about Prakruti and her active role in creating, maintaining, evolving and finally destroying the manifested. Whatever you see around you, your body, mind, environment, etc is all Prakruti. Now there is one twist here. Prakruti is described as being ‘Jada’ जड. She is without animation, insensate, still,  lifeless, paralysed, numb, dull, stunned, cold, apathetic as Jada means ‘matter without Intelligence’. She is capable of motion but incapable of initiating the motion herself. She does not have the intelligence or the consciousness. So why does the Prakruti start her performance?  What caused her to move, to start Playing?

The reason is the catalyst, the Purush.

The Purush has a very important role in all this Play. The Purush is called the ’Sakshi’ in Sanskrit. This word is usually translated to mean a witness or an observer. This is slightly incorrect as Devbhasha Samskrutam is a palimpsest, the deeper you go the more meanings you understand. Sakshi is a compound word ‘Akshasya sah’. Sakshi is the ‘intelligence which accompanies the Axis on which the individual soul exists’. Or the ‘self-awareness of the Pivot of the wheel of creation’.

Purush is Aware Intelligence.

The Purush is the catalyst. He, by his mere presence causes the Prakruti to start her performance. But the Purush does not interact with any other energy or get involved in any way. Purush is the ever-existing, steady, ever-pervading Intelligence. He doesn’t change and neither does he interfere. Manifested creation happens just because he exists. His existence is the reason why Prakruti goes about creating.

There are catalysts in every system, eg enzymes are catalysts in biology, they bring about all the cellular life processes but remain unchanged and unaffected. In chemistry, the neutrons are Sakshi, they do not participate but their presence makes things happen, eg electrons are captured by protons and chemical reactions take place. It is the same with the creation, Prakruti performs just because the Purush is there. Matter moves just because of the presence of the Purush.

In our usual life we all are actors, we perform. A very simplistic example, I interact with my son. I get cross and tell him to clean his room, he is irritated but cleans it. Both of us have changed. I was irritated, now I am satisfied. He was irritated, now he is tired. And a new reality has come to being, the room is clean. So two energies interacted and changed themselves and also changed the environment. This has happened within the realm of Prakruti. Emotions, physical realities which are capable of being changed are part of Prakruti and occur within her body.

Now if you look around you, there are also catalysts/ sakshi everywhere. These Sakshi do not engage with anyone else nor do they change, but events occur around them because of their mere presence. A very simplistic example again, I am at home just sitting and reading, my son comes home and because I am sitting there, carefully removes his shoes and puts them on the rack. I didn’t even look at him. But my mere presence, the catalyst, made him ‘perform’.

My Guru would say that I must bring in the ’Sakshi-bhaav’ into myself, ie bring into myself the reality of the Sakshi. He was telling me to be the unchanging center around which the whirl of creation unfolds. To change my perception from the ‘matter’ component to the ‘intelligence’ component. But how do I bring in this ‘consciousness’ within me? How can I stop being involved in ‘matter’. All my senses, my organs of action are oriented towards matter. I smell, taste, touch, move.. matter. I perceive only matter whirling around me.

The solution is to do Dhyan, when you sit still and focus only at your Ajnya chakra you are focussing on your personal consciousness. The Ajnya chakra is the seat of the individual consciousness. Once you identify with the fragment of the Ultimate consciousness within you rather than the matter swirling around you, your evolution gets easier.

Route from the Ajnya chakra to the Sahasrara and the Bindu within the Sahasrara gets easier. This is real evolution.

But when you are just starting your spiritual practice you cannot experience or imagine or visualise or even think of such subtle energies. So you start the ‘observe yourself’ thingie again by observing whatever is visible at your third eye during Dhyan. Dispassionately, you close your eyes and focus at your third eye. In the physical body, you, the individual consciousness, reside at the third eye Ajnya chakra. You start your practice of observing yourself from this chakra. Initially you see just darkness here. As your practice deepens you will observe yourself in all your increasing higher energy levels.

You have to traverse a distance of ’10 fingers’ from the third eye chakra to the top of the head. All this practice for this seemingly tiny thing!

The Sakshi is the pivot, the axis around which change occurs. The Sakshi is essential for evolution. Matter by itself cannot move. Intelligence makes it move, evolve. Consciousness is steady, it does not change, it remains constant, it is. This principle is applicable everywhere, from biology, chemistry to spiritual evolution. When you become your own catalyst, you further your own spiritual evolution.

 

More on Eclipses and their astrological results

Light a Lamp, use the power of Agni

All Indian households will perform one activity compulsorily, light a Deep दीप ie a lamp in front of the household deities, or their object of faith, at least once a day. This is so deeply programmed in us that even if we do not really know why, we do it daily. Some households light the lamp twice a day at twilights, ie dawn/dusk and in some, like mine, it burns continuously. Akhand Deep, अखण्डदीप the infinite unbroken illumination.

Light a Lamp, use the power of Agni

Physical light is considered to be similar to the knowledge of Illumination. It primarily removes the darkness and confusion caused by ignorance. You know the true nature of things around and about you once they are brought to light. The ogre under your bed disappears when you switch on your bed-side light. This is a permanent and lasting awareness. Knowledge is the greatest wealth which never diminishes even if you give it to everyone. You and everyone benefits when you give. When you give of your wisdom and knowledge, both your and your student’s clarity increases.

But then if it is about just the light then an electric light should be be used for doing pujas. Keeping with the times, so as to say! And you will find plastic lamps shaped like the traditional ones with an electric bulb fitted in it. These do bring in light, but they do not have the spiritual connection that a traditional lamp has. In the Deep, we burn either ghee/clarified butter or sesame oil with the help of a cotton wick. This Light brings Life.

Now oil in the lamp represents our karma. (Eg A good remedy to balance out the energies of Saturn is to light a sesame oil lamp on Saturdays with full intention.) If you burn ghee/clarified butter in the lamp, it represents the Vasanas, the desires which make up your mind and which reside in your individual ego. The wick represents the self-ego. When you light the lamp with intention it represents the slow but sure burning of the desires and the karma which were linked to the self-ego. The oil burns and exhausts, finally the self-ego also perishes, ie the wick is also burnt out. All your negative tendencies are burnt in the fire of the Deep. The flame of the light always moves upwards, a subtle reminder that you should always rise upwards, away from the karma, desires and the ego. Kundalini herself is fire, she also has to rise. When your soul is finally illuminated with self knowledge you realise the Parabrahma.

Now the Deepak is also a tool. It reminds you to use your desires and karmic actions to actively burn your self-ego and turn all this into light. Take control of your mind where these desires reside, train your mind to desire self-illumination. Use your self-ego where your personal Will resides and make it work for the Ultimate realization. The desires and karma if harnessed correctly with the self-ego can work wonders. Then the Vasana/desire is converted to the right intention. The self-ego fed by the desire to perform the right action, changes its character. What desires you feed your self-ego with, decides your evolution.

Light a Lamp, use the power of Agni

Now, it is ideal if you can recite a mantra while lighting the Deepak, lamp. Mantra is an intention expressed in Sanskrit (Devbhasha Samskrutam). Every sound of this eternal language is linked to your internal chakras, so it works on the deepest levels on you.

You can recite any of the following mantra,

The Gayatri mantra, Om Bhuh bhuvah swahah, Om tat savitur varenyam, bhargo devasya dhimahi, dhiyo yo nah prachodayat, Om 

  • (detailed post with meaning here)

Om Deepajyoti parabrahma, Deepajyoti janardana, Deepo haratu may papam, Sandhyadeepa namostute Om

  • Om – Ultimate Reality.
  • Deepjyoti – The brightness of the lamp, the eye of illumination, intelligence, lightning seen at the third eye, life, fire, meter of prosody, time, the light which precedes self-realization, etc
  • Parabrahma – the unknowable Reality which cannot be described in the language of the created worlds. The ‘beyond intelligence’.
  • Janardana – the energy which excites, causes movement and changes other energies. ie brings about creation, maintenance and destruction of the created.
  • Haratu – request to take away, remove, carry, wear, destroy
  • May – of me, for me
  • Papam – inauspiciousness. (There is only one form of genuine auspiciousness, ie Self-Realisation. There is only one form of non-auspiciousness, ie Self-Delusion.)
  • Sandhyadeep – the internal illumination that you see at your third eye in deep Dhyan. or alternatively the lamp which is lit at dawn and dusk. Sandhya is the junction where real and unreal meet.

The Agni Gayatri mantra. Om Sapta jivhaya vidmahe, havya bhadraya dhimahi tanno Agnih prachodayat Om

  • Sapta-jivha Vidmahe – First ‘seven tongued’. This refers to the seven chakras from the Muladhar to the Sahasrara, ie their conscious energies. These 7 chakras are the seven tongues of the conscious energy of life. The intelligence of the fire animates these. Then ‘to get, to know, to find, to understand’. You are asking the conscious energies of the fire to bring you the understanding of your internal energies.
  • Havya – means ‘an offering or to call’. Bhadra – ‘excellent, auspicious, great, gold, that portion of the Ganga which resides in the celestial realms,’ ie your Ida nadi. It means the one who carries the offered energies through your Ida nadi and distributes it to the conscious intelligence who creates your body/mind. Dhimahi – धीमहि is a verb in the present imperfect tense. धी/Dhi is Intelligence. This word indicates that Intelligence is never a stagnant closed end, it is in continuous motion even if it is in the present Moment. You are asking the Supreme to grant you that ever-evolving Intelligence of the present Moment. In short you are calling on the energy of the fire to take these energies inside you and build your body/mind.
  • Tanno (tan nah) Agnih prachodayat – Tan तन् means continuing, uninterrupted propagation. Nah नः represents the ultimate creative energy and also the power to accept and receive it. It allows the seeker to focus on the infinite, thus become infinite himself. अग्नि: Agni is the conscious intelligence of fire. The ability to comprehend, to work, to move, animate, knowledge, illumination, the light of the third eye, the Ajnya chakra.
  • Prachodayat means ‘to incite, inspire, urge, demand, excite, summon, proclaim, request, impel’. In short you are asking the conscious intelligence of the fire, ie the intelligence of the Ajnya chakra, by any means of action, to bring this experience to you.

Or finally. Om Shubham karoti kalyanam, arogyam dhana sampada, shatrubuddhi vinashaya Deepajyoti namostute Om

  • Shubham – eternal auspiciousness, Parabrahma
  • karoti – does, is
  • kalyanam – fortune, benevolence, virtue, generosity, beauty, happiness, gold, self-realisation
  • Arogyam – health, freedom from diseases, removal of afflictions. In the spiritual sense there is only one disease/affliction, ie self-delusion
  • Dhana – gift, wealth, valued object. There is only one such, ie self-realisation
  • sampada – to make complete
  • Shatru-buddhi – Shatru is hostile enemy. Buddhi is the tattva in which the desires/vasana reside. These vasana are normally hostile and inimical to self-realization. If you can destroy their hostility, you can get this Buddhi to work with you for self-realization.
  • vinashaya – to destroy to utterly annihilate. The inimical tendency of the Buddhi is annhilated, not Buddhi itself!
  • Deep-jyoti – conscious energy of Agni, Ajnya chakra
  • Namostute (namah astu te) – That infinite. That paradox of illusion and wisdom united together. That depth of stillness and ease of flowing movement together. That eternal unborn one in solitude. May that be!

And finally if it is too difficult to remember these mantras, just recite Om, three times, as you light your lamp.

Light a Lamp, use the power of Agni

When you recite any of the above mantras for Agni you are calling on all these terrible and terrifying forces which exist within your own self. You are giving them a safe and productive channel. This is the infinite power of Agni, it can be used to transform!

The lighting of the Deep, lamp at home is considered highly auspicious, it brings prosperity. And when you are doing this, for the 10 seconds, you are focussing very intensely on the wick, the match-stick and light. In spiritual terms, even one instant of intense focus is enough to bring self-illumination. The part is also the whole. So when you light lamp you are also lighting the lamp of true knowledge in yourself. The Agni/fire is called the Jata-veda, the ‘one who knows everything’. (A tip. If you have one pressing question on your mind. Light one Deep in front of your household deities before you go to bed. Think of your question and request the Agni to answer. You should get your answer in your dreams as you sleep.)

Agni is associated with the Raja gun of the Prakruti. Agni brings changes, it is linked to the potential energy of creation called Bhahmadev and the active principle of creation ie his wife Sarasvati. its conscious energy resides at the third eye, Ajnya chakra. This was the spiritual part of Agni.

When the energy of this Agni is differentiated, it also becomes at part of your internal constitution, ie in the panch-bhoot. It becomes differentiated and its tiny component resides at the Manipur chakra (Oudarya Agni), this takes care of your body’s heat, metabolism etc. Then there is the Aakaraja Agni which is present as the ‘heat’ in metals etc. Then the Divya Agni resides in the heavenly bodies, stars including our sun. And finally the physical Bhauma Agni which we see with your physical eyes as flames.

In Ayurved, Agni is associated with Pitta, it is heat. Its job is the transformation of food you eat and the pran you pull in from the Universe. And it controls all the psychic factors which drive spiritual evolution. If this Agni does not work properly you fall ill physically/mentally.

Now a few technical things. What to burn. It is ghee or sesame oil. For some typical rituals neem oil, mahua oil, castor oil, coconut oil is used. Do not use any ‘refined’ oil, it is a chemical product. The wick is made from white cotton fibres. (For doing some typical Devi pujas this wick is made bit yellowish by touching a bit of turmeric to it). You should make 2 wicks then make them one by twisting them. Never use a single wick. The lit wick of the Lamp should always be towards the east direction. Keep the lamp (should not be of steel/ iron) on a copper metal plate (don’t use a steel/ iron plate), keep a few grains of uncooked rice below the plate. 

Hinduism is not a religion, it is Sanatan Dharm, the ‘Eternal way of Life’. You follow your own conscience and know that the law of Karma prevails. (There is no superstition here. And one cannot explain a Ph.D level topic to a pre-school child. The child has to go to school first and study till he reaches that level. If someone wants to criticise this Sanatan Dharm, it is the same, do study first. ie Do your Dhyan regularly for 6 months, see what you experience, then if your conscience says it is ok, go ahead and criticise.)

So if you feel like it, do light a Deep, a lamp in your house. This will not just light up your house but also your life and your energy on all levels. Experience your energy for yourself.

Light a Lamp, use the power of Agni

 

Sagun and Nirgun Brahma, Moksh of two types

The Brahma sutra written by Shri Vyas-Badrayana is a very important book on philosophy combined with experience. It is the gist of all the Upanishad. Adi Shankar-acharya has written the first commentary on it. Later other Acharyas wrote their commentaries on the Brahma Sutra and started their own schools of thought. These several schools are essential because there are several types of people. If anyone wants to really study Ved/ Vedanta, study of the Brahma Sutra is compulsory. And Ved/ Vedanta is Sanatan Dharma/Hinduism.

I follow the philosophy of Adi Shankaracharya. Advaita, non duality, the goal being attainment of  Nirvishesh Brahma.

Sagun and Nirgun Brahma, Moksh of two types

I wrote about the several deities that followers of Sanatan Dharm aka Hindus worship. But we all ultimately worship the Para, the ‘beyond’, and we know ourselves to be this Para. Every Hindu wants to experience himself as the Para, ie achieve Moksh. This happens when the soul experiences the ultimate knowledge of his own reality.

Now there are two types of Intelligent knowledge.

  1. Experience of Sagun Brahma, which has attributes linked to the three types of Gun. The three Gun ie Prakruti/Purush still exist, it is a state of duality.
  2. Experience of the Nirgun Brahma, where the three Gun ie Prakruti/Purush do not exist, it is a state of non-duality.

A bit of background. The Shri-yantra is the essential geometry, the energy of the manifested universe represented as a mandal. Mandal is a Sanskrit word which means, round, planetary orbit, snake, collection, whole body, royal company, a round plaything, halo etc. All these meanings can be understood in context of Prakruti, the topmost deity of the Shri Chakra, also called Devi Lalita Tripursundari. She is a serpentine Kundalini, she controls the universes, the Shri-chakra is a collection of her subordinate deities who cluster round her in perfect geometry, they form her halo and ultimately all this is a plaything devised by her for her own amusement. She has created it and she is the Empress of the Shri-chakra. She pervades the Shri-chakra with her energy, you might think of the chakra as her body. Each line and intersection in the Shri-chakra mandal is linked to an intelligence, a ‘god’ including the topmost Brahmadev, Vishnu, Shiv and their wives Sarasvati, Laxmi, Shakti. Each of these ‘gods’ is not the final goal but an energy from Prakruti herself.

These ‘gods’ are tremendous in their own right. Theymake up your body and also your mind. You are not your body/mind, you are not even the individual soul. The individual soul carries a baggage of karma. You are the Eternal. If you focus on these ‘gods’, pull in their energies, you balance the body/ mind and reduce the karmic baggage. The body gets perfect the mind gets stilled, the soul beings to realise its reality. You get a huge boost on your way to moksh. But just never forget that they are not the ultimate goal. You are.

(In astrological terms, your Moon is your mind, your Sun is your individual soul, your ascendant sign ruler is your body, so who are you then?)

Sagun and Nirgun Brahma, Moksh of two types

Sagun brahma is a product of Maya ie it is under Prakruti. If you intensely worship a ‘form’ ie Vishnu, Shiv, Devi etc, and reach one-ness with it, you achieve Krama-mukti. The soul achieves the highest knowledge, Brahma-Vidya, and achieves final release from the cycle of birth-rebirth. It now resides in one of the three possible highest dimensions/ Lok ie Brahmalok or Vaikunth or Kailas. It is not born again as its karmic account has been balanced. It remains dissolved in its Ishta-devata / adored ‘god’,  Brahmadev, Vishnu or Shiv. However it remains here in this Lok, till the end of the creation cycle called Kalpa-anta. At Kalpa-anta, everything that contains duality is dissolved. Ie the ‘gods’, their Lok, Prakruti, Purush and Maya vanish as if the never existed. At this point of dissolution of everything, this soul also attains Nirgun brahma and experiences Advaita, ’non-duality’.

Most people you see around you are doing this. They will worship a ‘form’. Adoring a ‘god’ eg visualising the blue Vishnu with 4 arms, wearing radiant yellow clothes etc. Immersed in this beautiful form, they do pujas and external forms of worship. Always mediate on the form of their ‘god’. If they remain attached to this ‘form’ they will ultimately gain Sagun-mukti. If you believe your source is Vishnu, you will become one with him and reside at Vaikunth. You have achieved your goal.

Now you will wait here till the Kalpa-anta to achieve the final Nirgun brahma.

Hindu ‘gods’ are neither ‘immortal’ nor ‘liberated’. These definitions do not apply to them. They are various aspects of Prakruti, they are aspects of conscious intelligence. Even the highest trinity of Brahmadev Vishnu and Shiv are basically the three gun, satva, raja, tama. They are derived from and constitute Prakruti. She is very subtle, the Empress of the manifested. (There is a Kundalini stavah from the Rudrayamala tantra, it very beautifully describes the Kundalini/ Prakruti.)

If you are drawn to this form of Moksh, read the commentary on Brahma Sutra by Ramanuj. (I have skimmed through it, but did not appeal to me. Perhaps you might like it.)

Now I have used a word, ‘krama’, this means a series, sequence, evolution, movement etc. You take on several lives again and again in higher and higher energies. This is called krama, spiritual evolution. When the soul leaves the body at death, it does so through any of the available naadi/ energy channels, this movement is called Pitrayana. The soul moves to the dimensions of the spirits/ Pitr-lok. Ayan means to travel, to go from one place to another. The soul moves to from the dimension of the mortals/ Martya-lok, to the dimension of the spirits called Pitra-lok.

When a soul attains Vidya, the deepest knowledge linked to Sagun Brahma it leaves through the Brahmanadi and exits via Brahmarandhra at the top of the head. This leads to Krama-mukti as Sagun brahma is experienced. This is also a movement, the Higher Lok is somewhere, the path of light, the Devayan, takes the soul there. There is going and coming. Krama-mukti is possible only in the Videha mukti format.

Sagun and Nirgun Brahma, Moksh of two types

Nirgun Brahma. The deepest understanding of yourself comes with Nirgun brahma. This has no attributes, Nirgun brahma is beyond Prakruti. It is beyond the dual-nature of Purush and Prakruti. It is more difficult to attain compared to Sagun mukti as it takes a few steps more. It is transcending this fundamental duality of Purush-Prakruti and achieving the non-dual, Advaita. This state is beyond definitions. It is always described in negations, ie Nirgun, Nirakar, Niranjan, etc. No attributes of this manifested can be linked to it. You have to leave all the attributes of the manifested, including the ‘form’ of your adored god, the concepts of worship etc. Everything that is of Maya is discarded. Adi Shankaracharya has always written about this as Nirvishesh Brahma. The intelligence from which all differentiations have dissolved away. This is achieved when the soul achieves Sadyo-mukti. This is the highest Kevala-advaitya. Adi Shankaracharya calls this state Advaita, Non-duality. Even this is a definition in terms of negation. It is not duality, but what it is, will have to be experienced. (If you understand Sanskrit do read/ listen to the Brahma-jnyanavali-mala).

Worshipping ‘forms’, with time and experience, some people are able to look beyond the simple form. They are able to realise that the form is external to one’s self, even if the form is that of their adored object of worship. ‘I’ am my goal, the ‘god’ and his ‘form’ is my support, who will help me reach myself.

Prakruti herself sits in front of you in all her power to administer this final test. She decides if you are worthy of the highest knowledge. If you get caught in illusion and desires she sends you back again. You will fulfil your desire and then try the test again. If you succeed she allows you to transcend her duality and reach the singular Para-Brahma/ non-duality.

If a soul achieves this Sadyo-mukti his pran/ vital energy are absorbed in the Parabrahma at the very instant of his experience. He can now continue as an Jivan-Mukt, it now makes no difference. He can also experience Videha-mukti but the route of Devayan is meaningless to him as there is no going/ coming. He has already experienced Everything.

Majority of people cannot visualise much less focus on a formless, attribute-less Parabrahma. So different schools of thought exist. It is just like school, concepts  at class 5 are different from the concepts taught in class 10. All are relevant and necessary.

This post is rather esoteric, so unless you have read my earlier posts it may not be intelligible.

 

Sagun and Nirgun Brahma, Moksh of two types

(There was this question. As my answer was too long posted it as a full-fledged post.

Hi, what about the gods who are part of the manifestation? Are they Liberated ? or they are just immortal? Is experiencing oneness with Ishta Devata the same as Moksha? My question is can there be Moksha in manifested universe as the deities are still part of manifestation. Shri Krishna says He alone is the Giver of Moksha. So where does deity worship takes us after a point as they are themselves not liberated? We know the 14 lokas that make up the manifest.. What is your idea on spiritual heavens like Vaikunta and Kailash? Are they same as Unmanifest? Thank you)