Ved Vedanta and Om

There was a question “Is that the reason why the Veda samhitas have absence of some key devas and deities like Ganesh , Kali , mahavidyas , avatars of Vishnu. They have been lost or is it by design that rishis want us to explore them via indra?” and the answer became too long so posted it as a post. 

A simple question and here is a longish answer.

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First a bit about Sanskrit, the language in which all these texts, Ved, Vednant, Puran etc are written. One thing you have to remember is that Sanskrit, Devbhasha Samskrutam has no proper nouns. Am sure this sounds odd to you. So, a brief explanation,

Eg This sentence, ‘I am Samantha’. In this sentence ‘Samantha’ is a proper noun. It is a girl’s name and by this sentence you understand that I am a girl named ‘Samantha’. The word Samantha has no meaning in itself. Thus it is a proper noun. That is the end of it, no more meanings here.

Eg This sentence ‘I am Manish’. Here Manish is a Sanskrit word. It has a meaning in itself. Every word in Sanskrit has a meaning. Every word can be used as an adjective to describe something. If you think of ‘Manish’ as a noun, then you will understand that I am boy named ‘Manish’. But if you think of ‘Manish’ as an adjective then you will think that I am ‘someone who can be described as Manish’. There is a very big difference in these two levels of understanding. The Sanskrit word ‘Manish’ is a samas/ compound word, it is expanded to ‘Mansaya Isha iti Manish’. The simplest translation of this compound word would be ‘the Highest God of the Mind is Manish’. So our sentence ‘I am Manish’ completely changes its meaning depending on ‘Manish’ being understood as a proper noun or adjective.

Sanskrit is a highly esoteric language, it has layers of meanings. Understanding it depends on the capacity of the person who is reading it. Enlightened Rishi-s wrote these texts so there are secrets within secrets. That is why I always say never read Sanskrit books which have been translated into other languages. Or if you read them never believe that the translator has got the correct meaning of what the Rishi actually wrote. Best is to learn Sanskrit yourself.

Now if I write this same sentence in Sanskrit. ‘Aham Manishh asmi’, then here is what you get. ‘I, self-radiant, truth, certainly, surely, indeed, verily am the wisdom, reflection, intelligence, idea, desire, conception, power, master, strength, the Lord of the Mind.’ This is the power of Devbhasha Samskrutam. Now tell me can you ever trust ‘translations’ of Sanskrit texts?

So, if you can, think of our deities names as adjectives. Shankar means happiness. Shiva is the auspicious one. Ganapati means the energy which enters the individual souls and causes change. Nandi is intelligence. Laxmi is the one who has a recognisable sign. Sarasvati means the one who flows. Ganga is the one who moves very fast. Krishna means the unknowable blackness which pulls. Ram is happiness. Dev is radiance. Bhagwan is the one who has all auspicious qualities. Each of these Sanskrit words has several meanings in addition so every deity of Sanatan Dharma is more like a collection of attributes. The deities are not humans, even though we have got used to seeing them as humans. Deities in Hinduism are pure consciousness defined by some attributes. Their names are not proper nouns but are adjectives. Think of them in this way and you will get more insight into their real natures. (I wrote on meaning of the Navavarna mantra post here

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Now what is Sanatan Dharma/ Hinduism? To understand Dharma you have to understand the Shatdarshan shastra. I have written a post here on these 6 darshan shastra-s. It is not the work of one lifetime, but you carry on whatever you have learnt into your next lives.

Our ‘God’ is the highest conscious intelligence, non-dual, Paramatma, Parabrahma, Paramtattva, Nirvishesh Brahma, Advaita etc. This is the key deity of Sanatan Dharma, the only ‘deity’. You yourself are this Parabrahma. So essentially you worship your Self.

The Ved (Ved, Brahmana, Aranyaka, Upanishad),are the final authority for everything in our Dharma. The crowning glory of the Ved are the Vedanta, which deal with the Advaita in great clarity. The 10 major Upanishads with the Mandukya Upanishad occupy the highest place. The beautiful Mandukya has only 12 lines about the Om and the Paramtattva. 

So now about Om. Om is also not the actual Paramtattva. Om is the nearest thing to it. Something like a ‘Moorti’ of the Advaita. A Moorti that you see in temples is made from stone, metal etc. But here you are required to visualise a Moorti made of conscious energy. Om is a Moorti of the Paramatma. You have to visualise Om with this intention and understanding. This is difficult for beginners on the spiritual path.

The course work has to suit to the student. You cannot teach a 1st std child, the syllabus of a PhD. Ved and the Vedanta is PhD course work.

In Sanatan Dharma the main texts are the Ved (Ved, Brahmana, Aranyaka, Upanishad), these have the highest validity, they are the source of everything. Then are the Itihas, histories, eg Ramayan, Mahabharat, the actual incidents are given in detail. They also have philosophy ie attaining Moksh and practical stuff like how to manage a kingdom (ever read the original Mahabharat or Ramayan, it is much much more than a simple story). These Itihas conform to the Vedic principles. Then we have the Puran-s. In these additional historical incidents are given, more philosophy, more practical stuff etc. And anything written here has to conform to the Vedic concepts and the broad outline of the Itihas. The 18 Puran-s written by Ved-Vyas are given more prominence in this category. And there are the several commentaries, Bhashya, treatises, practical work, more philosophy etc written on these texts by enlightened Guru-s like Adi Shankaracharya and others. This broadly is the corpus of texts available in Sanatan Dharma. Regular Hindus never read these texts, unfortunately.

All Shastra, all pujas, all yajnyas, all mantras are secretly hidden in the Ved. It is a huge huge repository of knowledge. eg the entire Shri Vidya which deals with the worship of the Devi Lalitatripursundari, the Maha-vidya-s etc is from the Ved. It is one of the many Vidya-s mentioned here. Another Vidya is the Chakshushi, I have written about it briefly in this post. All these Vidya-s will take you to the Parabrahma if used in the correct manner. Jyotish is also a Vidya.

These different texts describe the same Reality in different perspectives in different words which are suited to people of different mindsets. eg If you read the texts on Devi Lalita, it is given that the Devi just looked at her toe-nails and the 10 Vishnu-avatar-s manifested from here, did their work and again got reabsorbed in her. This is obviously different from what we popularly know about the Vishnu-avatar-s. In the Shiv Puran, there is a Shiv Gita which Bhagwan Shiv narrated to Shri Ram at Rameshwar before his war with Ravan. eg Bhagwat Gita, most people believe that this is the only Gita, the highest teaching. But if you open the Ishwar Gita, it is very similar to Bhagwat Gita. If you read the Shiv Gita, this is also similar and also has a Vishwaroop darshan. Then you read the Anu-gita which Krishna taught to Arjun after the war, and this is very different from the Bhagwat Gita which he taught first. There is a vast ocean of philosophy, spiritual practices, teachings, discourses in Sanatan Dharma. If you randomly read from here and there, you will get extremely confused. 

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In the past and even now, Dharma is facing a lot of challenges. The Dev-Asur Sangram, ie the constant war between radiant and dull energies is always on at different levels. It is still going on now and will always occur. Sometimes the Dev will have the upper hand and sometimes then Asur might seem to be winning.

There are numerous examples where our temples, libraries, universities and their custodian Brahmins were very viciously destroyed. The horror in Kashmir where specifically Tantra and its genuine practitioners were systematically wiped out over the last 500yrs or so. The oldest physical book of Valmiki Ramayan was burnt when the Britishers burnt the libraries in Kolkata about 200yrs ago. Tipu burnt ancient libraries, manuscripts and their custodian Brahmins in South India about 300yrs ago. More insidious was that the invaders injected nonsense in our books and are still doing it. People who do not follow Sanatan Dharma are writing translations of these texts with the express purpose of altering their meanings.

It is difficult to find authentic texts and more difficult to find a real Guru. Also we have forgotten our mother-tongue Sanskrit, thus are a highly confused directionless lot.

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Back to Om. Vedanta clearly states the Om to be the Paramtattva. Focus on the Om and you will gain that realization. The Ved describe Om and how it has manifested the universe from itself. Om is the first vibration, the first movement. The main deities described are the 33 koti devata ie the 8 Vasu, 11 Rudra, 12 Aditya, Prajapati and Indra. They further create the universe and everything else in it. These are the backbone of the creation and they actually exist in our backbones, in the Sushumna nadi. 

You create your own universe. This concept is also rather difficult for beginners to comprehend. I have put posts on using energy consciously, try doing some of these exercises to actually experience how you can create. Once you succeed at an ‘energy experiment’, your perception changes forever. 

Indra as well as all the other Vedic deities are pure energy. They are not human figures. Now for the students who could not comprehend the highly esoteric Ved-s, more human looking deities was introduced in the Puran-s. All the energies were given human forms. Prakruti was given a Moorthi of the beautiful Devi Lalitatripursundari. The tri-Gun, Satva, Raja, Tama were given human forms so we have the Tri-dev etc. All these Puranic deities are also conscious energies, but described in more human terms so that we can relate to them more easily.

But every shloka, every stotra, every sukta in this vast ocean of Sanatan Dharma describes only the Advaita. This might be difficult for beginners to believe but eg. every one of the 1000 names in the Vishnu sahastranama are ultimately dedicated to the Parameshwar, from the first ‘Vishnu’ to the last ‘Sarvapraharanayudh’ all are linked to this Parabrahma. The Dasha-Mahavidyas are the energies of the 10 directions, the intelligence of space, their essential nature is also the Paramtattva (post here). Now open the Devi Atharvasheersha, She says ‘Aham Brahma swaroopini’ in the first line. If you open the Ganapati athavasheersha, it says that Ganapati is the ‘pratekshya tat tvam asi’ in the first line itself. ‘Tat tvam asi’ is a Mahvakya of the Ved. So all deities are essentially Parabrahma.

There is only one thing that is worthy of being known. That is Parabrahma and we do it through his Moorthi, Om. You are Om, I am Om, we worship Om and whatever we do or see is all Om. Eg In all stories/ allegories, you see that the Tri-dev are generally in Dhyan or in deep contemplation. Who are they doing Dhyan of? Who is the essential consciousness within them? In the Puran-s, it is mentioned that the Tri-dev did intense Sadhana to get to this position that they enjoy. Whose sadhana did they do? To become aware as ‘Indra’, 100 ashva-medh yajnyas are necessary, who are they dedicated to? So just think, to become aware as ‘Om’, what level of intensity will be necessary?

In our pantheon of deities and the humungous mass of stories/allegories, if you get into who was whose husband, whose wife, who was the father, who was the son, who came first and who came later, you will get very confused. The Ved say this same thing, the serious aspirant must focus on the ultimate reality, not on anything else. 

You should not think of yourself as Indra or Vishnu or Shankar etc or any of the Vedic or Puranic deities. Think of yourself as Om, the Parabrahma. Try to explore and locate that Supreme consciousness within.

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And finally to sum up this discussion.

Do what your Sat-Guru teaches you to do. Practice under the guidance of a Guru. Follow what he tells you. This is why the Sat-Guru in Sanatan Dharma is so essential. Without the blessings of the Guru you cannot do anything and cannot realise anything. 

Eg if your Guru teaches you from the Bhagwat Gita of the Mahabharat. You will think of Shri Krishna as your adored deity. First as a Vishnu-avtar, then as you go deeper into him you will realise that the Gita talks about the Advaita. The real Krishna, who ‘pulls’ you inwards is the Advaita. The ‘unknowable blackness’ is again a negation of this created universe. Your Guru will help you experience this essential attribute of ‘Krishna’. 

Eg if your Guru teaches you to worship Devi Lalitatripursundari. You will worship the Shri Chakra/Meru with mantras. Initially you might think that you are worshipping a beautiful Devi wearing red sari, jewellery, 4 hands etc. You might call her Mother, Maai, Aai, Mataji, Maiiyaa, etc but later you realise that her name Maa is most apt. I have written this post on this word ‘Maa’, it is a negation, essentially means ’No’. Her subtlest nature is a resounding negation of the creation you see around you. She is Advaita. This realisation will come at the highest levels of your sadhana.

Eg if your Guru teaches you Gayatri puja. You might think that you are worshipping a beautiful Devi with 5-faces etc with her Gayatri mantra. But later as the mantra pulls you inwards you realise that the ‘Savitra’ in the Gayatri mantra refers to the internal illumination. Your are worshipping your own Luminous Self. And this is the Advaita.

Eg if the Guru starts off with the pure Vedanta. This is a rare Guru and an equally rare student. You will then go directly to the Upanishad. He will teach you ‘na iti, na iti’, not this not this. Again the negation of the Maya of creation and the single pointed focus on the pure Om. Read about the Om, practice Om, experience Om and thus the Paramtattva whose Moorti Om is.

A Guru teaches what he has achieved, ie he can teach only what he has the ‘adhikar’ to teach. ie, a History teacher will teach History not Math and a 1st std teacher will not teach PhD students. If a Guru has practiced the Gayatri mantra he will guide you with the Gayatri mantra. If he visualises the Gayatri as a Devi in a red sari then he will teach you this same visualisation. If he has visualised the Gayatri as the Advaita then he will be able to guide you till this final destination. When you get blessings of a Sat-guru, the Atma-jnyani Mahapurush, the Jivan-mukt, ie the Parabrahma only then will you attain Moksh.

So choose your Guru very carefully. Guru is a force which pulls you towards your Self. And there are several pretenders who claim to have got enlightenment or claim to converse with the deities etc. Evaluate carefully before accepting someone as your Guru. If you do not have anyone around, try to follow some daily routine (post here on daily pujas). Get your own intention moving, desire to know your own reality. If you desire it, it will happen. When the student is ready the Guru will manifest. 

So Dear Reader, this is a rather rambling answer to your question, see if it helps you in some way.

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Jagat Guru Adi Shankaracharya

Adi Shankaracharya is the Jagat-guru, the Guru of the entire Universe. Today, the Vaishakh Shukla Panchami, 5th day of the bright fortnight of the Vaishakh month, is celebrated as his birth anniversary. There is no clarity on when he actually lived in his physical form, but he is the essential Advaita Nirvishesh Brahma so life/death are meaningless words in his context.

I feel very deeply about him, Jagat Guru Adi Shankaracharya, he is the Sat-guru. He is the reason why I am able to, albeit dimly, understand the highest philosophy, Advaita and progress surely towards myself. The force/Guru which pulls me towards the Sat/Truth. ‘I am the Truth’, I wish to experience this realisation in its entirety.

Jagat Guru Adi Shankaracharya

His books and literary compositions are immense, voluminous, full of real enlightenment, Jnyan. Books include Vivek chudamani, Upadesha Sahastri etc. Commentaries include the first ever commentry on the Bhagvat Gita, ‘Bhagvat Gita Bhashyam’. The epic commentary on the Brahma-Sutras, on the several Upanishads etc. Several verses which describe the Eternal Advaita, eg Nirvan shatak and my very own favourite Brahma Jnyanavali mala. Verses in praise of the deities and Prakruti, ie Soundarya lahari, Kanakdhara Stotram etc. All his work is in Devbhasha Samskrutam, Sanskrit. These books are all translated into various languages and you will find them in bookshops near you if you wish to read.

Adi Shankaracharya established the temples at Badrinath for Vishnu, Kedarnath for Shiva and Gangoli Haat for Kalika (I have been at all these 3 temples, their power is unimaginable). He established several temples and Math-s all over India, he set up powerful Vigraha to protect the nation’s philosophic back-bone at several locations throughout Bharat. His Samadhi is at Kedarnath behind the Kedarnath temple. (if you are a follower of Sanatan Dharma, you should try to visit this Samadhi if you can travel physically.)

Adi Shankaracharya is the Sat-Guru of every single soul who desires to know himself in the real sense. If I desire Sadyo-mukti, I am requesting guidance from the Advaita none other. I am the Advaita yourself. That is why listening or reading his works is important, he writes with the authority of experience of the Self. When I listen to his upadesh/ teachings, I realise that I am listening to my own self. I am to realise My Self, so I will do it only when I listen to descriptions of myself. As I contemplate on myself, meditate on myself, bit by bit I remember myself. I become myself.

So I listen to the Brahma Jnyanavali Mala once a day.

A pdf with the text and a reasonably good translation Brahma Jnaanaavali Mala, there are 20 shloks/verses.

The first Shlok is this,
“asangah aham asangah aham asangah aham punah punah, sat chit anand rupah aham, aham evah aham avyayah”
Unattached am I, untouched am I, unconnected I am, ever and always. I am the truth, pure, eternal happiness. I am the only one. I am. I am indestructible, unchangeable.

And the last shlok is this

“antah jyotih bahir jyotih pratyak jyotih paratparah, jyotih jyotih, svayam jyotih Atma jyotih, Shivah asya aham”
I am the inner light. I am the outer light. I am the light within the light. The greatest light, higher than the highest light. I am self- luminous. I am the light of the ever-lit Self. I am the ever auspicious One.

In this short composition, Adi Shankaracharya, very succinctly, clearly unambiguously declares that ‘I am the Unchanging, I am’, in the strongest words possible. Even more than his ‘Nirvan Shatak’, the ‘Brahma Jnyanavali Mala’, resonates with indescribable power of the Advaita

This composition, is the essence of all philosophy in the simplest words. The power of these words in Sanskrit shakes me to the core, dissolving the Illusion of the creation that surrounds me. If I have time, I try to contemplate on every word in this Brahma Jnyanavali Mala. This will help me realise that I am the ‘Light’ the Advaita, and the power of this Light, Atma-Jyoti.

I am required to contemplate on the concept of ‘Aham sakshi’, ‘I am the Witness‘. Saying these words ‘Aham sakshi’ is rather easy, but bringing it in practice when I have the entrancing dance of creation before me is difficult. That is why I listen/read these words again and again. So that I gain the mental strength to continue focussing on what really matters, ‘Me’.

When I really desire to know myself, I feel an intense internal turmoil, just like a fish is breathless out of water. I know what I am deep within me, but the illusions of Prakruti, do not allow me to experience myself fully. Then appears the Sat-guru, the one who grants clarity, dissolves the illusions. When I give myself over to the power of the Guru, I do not get deeply caught in even more illusions of this world. He makes me realise that the ‘karma’ which I thought bound me is in fact insubstantial, imaginary, does not exist. At one point of time I used to think that I have this karmic pendency or that I owe this other person something. And unless I give it back or experience its negativity through, I won’t be free. I would think that I had to complete the karma I had created in my past lives etc. But nothing is complete in this incomplete illusionary world. So I disregarded this thought of ‘completing the karmic baggage’ and instead focused even more sincerely on ‘Me’. I am the only Reality. So best focus on Me. My one single mantra, my Soham. And as this got even more intense, these other ‘karmic ties’ evaporated as if they never existed over me. I experienced all of them in my dreams or during Dhyan, I died several times in my swapna-avastha, travelled astrally, did the work in the astral realms, let the astral body suffer, break down, get hurt, all the karma was experienced by this body.  Then my Guru repaired the bodies, while I did even more Dhyan. The only use of these bodies is to do Dhyan. So if you do your Dhyan, your so-called ‘pending karma’ will get resolved in dreams, like the dream they actually are. Whatever level of Karma may exist, it will be dissolved if you do your Dhyan systematically and regularly. (This is a bit difficult to understand if you do not do Dhyan. But if you do Dhyan, you will notice that you also are doing this same thing.)

You get deeper and more powerful glimpses of your own self as you focus on your self. There is only one thing which deserves your focus and this is your Own Self, none other. But then the created illusions, Maya, also tests you, so you need support from such verses, books, commentaries, which help you navigate thorough these tests. Use your Intelligence and the blessings of the Guru, and keep focussing intently on Your Own Self..

May you and me both realise that we are the Advaita, the Non-Dual, in the gentlest, happiest and kindest way possible.

Dedicated to the Lotus feet of the Jagat Guru Adi Shankaracharya, the Nirvishesh Brahma, the Advaita Himself in all gratitude and Shraddha/faith.

 

Kedarnath Palkhi

This is a photograph of the Palkhi, palaquin of the Kedarnath Mahadev taken yesterday. In the winter months the Moorthi of the deity comes to his temple at Ukhimath and then goes back to Kedarnath in the summer. The temple at Kedarnath is to be opened on 29th April. In this current lock-down situation, 6 people are travelling with the Palkhi, barefoot, carrying Him over 25kms in the snow, rocks and through the cold Himalayan streams. In reality He is carrying his devotees in all his love and compassion. Jai Kedar! Har Har Mahadev!

 

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