The Mantra Soham Hamsa and OM

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

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

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

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

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

The Mantra Soham Hamsa and OM

Now for doing Dhyan there are only 3 Mantra options,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Ultimate is pure OM.

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

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

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

shri_smarth_sadguru_muppin_kadsiddheshwar_maharaj
Samarth Satguru Shri Muppin Kadsiddheshwar Maharaj

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

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

 

Vaat dosha can lead to addictions

As per Ayurved, there are three types of tendencies/ Tridosh of the body called Vaat, Kapha and Pitta. As long as these are in equilibrium, the body and mind remains healthy. You fall ill when these go out of balance with each other. These are also ultimately linked to the horoscope and planetary positions.

Addictive behaviour is quite common, most of us are addicted to something or the other, maybe as innocuous as cup of coffee, or a beer in the evening, an occasional cigarette, or then perhaps a bottle of alcohol. Depending on your chart again, these addictions can potentially result in severe problems. Compulsive behaviour is linked to the Mercury (mental processes and thinking patterns), Venus (desire and validation) and Moon (needy emotional behaviour requiring comforting, cyclic behaviour). If these are adversely placed or under malefic influences, they can lead to self damaging addictions.

Vaat dosha can lead to addictions

Of the tri-dosh of Ayurved, Vaat dosh in this context is more important than Pitta or Kapha. ‘Impulsive cyclic behaviour’ is the domain of Vaat. Vaat is a Sanskrit word which means movement in every way, it also means wind, the vital energy /pran, movements of the mind/wishes and desires. The planets contributing to Vaat in the body and mind are Moon, Mercury, Venus and Saturn. The main 3 planets leading to addictive behaviour with the disciplinary constraints of Saturn. People are quite scared of Saturn, but we need to appreciate his discipline. Saturn grants ‘control’. If you observe people with a strong Saturn in their charts, they might come across as dour, not fun, boring to be with, etc but they seem to always be in control of their body and emotions. A Saturn dominant person rarely gets into addictions.

Now back to the body/mind, if the Vaat dosh is severely unbalanced, the mind will generate impulses to drink or to smoke or do drugs etc and the body will have to obey it. The intelligence loses is control over the impulses of the body/mind and starts moving down a slippery slope. Along with this, the symptoms of Vaat imbalance start manifesting, ‘nervous, fast, alone, rough, dry, light’ will be the descriptions of the body, mind, behaviour, emotions, e.g. from a loss in body weight to loneliness. If corrective actions to stabilise Vaat are not taken in this stage then it will deteriorate further and be more difficult to cure.

  • Vaat, if just out of balance, will result in restlessness, scattered and looping thoughts, anxiety, inability to concentrate, memory loss, dullness etc.
  • Moderately imbalanced Vaat will lead to sleeplessness, tremors and tics, nervousness; loss of appetite, loneliness, physical weakness, little or no desire to look presentable, wears shabby clothes, opinions of loved ones stop mattering, does not clean the room etc.
  • Seriously affected Vaat will cause chronic insomnia, problems in perception, apathy to self, loved ones and the surroundings, delusions, hallucinations, simultaneous deterioration of the physical body, there are no positive desires in the mind. This often happens at the the very end of the substance addictions. This is either an alcoholic in delirium tremens or schizophrenic, the root cause is the same, the wildly out of balance Vaat.

Of the three tendencies, the first to go out of balance is Vaat, the next to follow is Pitta. The ‘conversion power’ of the body/mind which creates ‘heat’ and vitality is Pitta. Thus you can see the typical irrational moods, violence, flushed skin, abnormal sweating, thirst, digestive disorders, etc of the typical addict. Finally the Kapha is pushed out of balance, thus the structure of the body/mind and the fluidity which keeps them functioning is damaged. At this stage regaining equilibrium can be next to impossible.

When one crosses the milder levels of addiction, it can be difficult to stop because the habit and its withdrawal both start giving the same problem. Also guilt comes in. The person is aware that something is wrong, but does not know that it is Vaat out of balance. He does initially try to ditch the habit, maybe behaviour changes, chemical medicines perhaps, but Vaat cannot be balanced by these. So he gets caught in the cycle of guilt, he feels that he has failed to control himself, which aggravates the addictive behaviour.

Vaat is all the tens of hundreds of cycles and rhythms of the body which need to be coordinated. This is Intelligent Energy. If Vata loses its rhythm, no chemical medicine can stabilise it, Ayurvedic principles have to be applied. Ayruvedic cures are based on the living energy/pran of the plant kingdom. Concentrated vital energy from plants/Vanaspati is refined with other materials and turned into a complete medicine/Oushad. Medicinal plants are very potent and specific in their action and work on the deepest levels. And then if some simple spiritual practice can be introduced at this stage it will give faster results.

Thus additions need to be recognised primarily as a Vaat disorder and appropriate measures need to be taken on the astrological and ayurvedic fronts to enable the sufferer to come out of this imbalance. There is nothing called as a disease, it is all a reflection of the imbalance of the internal energies, which can be intelligently rebalanced to give perfect health again.

 

Vaat dosha can lead to addictions

The Gayatri mantra

Om, Bhuh Bhuvah Swah, Om Tat Savitur Varenyam, Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi, Dhiyo Yo nah Prachodayat, Om.

ॐ भूः भुवः स्वः । ॐ तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यम । भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि। धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात॥ ॐ

This is the form of Gayatri Mantra that I use for my jaap. The basic form of the mantra can be used in different ways for manifesting different things. This form is used by sadhaks/aspirants of the spiritual path, who desire ultimate Illumination. Gayatri is like the Kalp-Vriksh/the wish fulfilling tree, whatever you desire, it will manifest. You can add other specific beej mantras before and after it (samputit) as per your desire.

The Gayatri mantra

Gayatri Mantra is formally mentioned in the Rg ved 10:16:3. But it is embedded in the fabric of the Universe itself. In fact if you do your Dhyan long enough, you can hear it. (You first hear your chakras making their individual sounds, often mistaken as ‘ringing of the ears’).

I dont think most Hindus (Sanatan Dharma followers) even know the full form of the mantra which is this ॐ भूः ॐ भुवः ॐ स्वःॐ महः ॐ जनः ॐ तपः ॐ गुं सत्यम । ॐ तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यम । भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि। धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात ।ॐ आपोज्योति रसोमृतं ब्रह्म भूर्भुवः स्वरोम ॥ However this is not for those who live the householder’s life, it is used by sanyasis and genuine sadhaks, its effects are very intense and pull very strongly.

There are several ways in which this mantra can be understood. But the truest experience is when the energies get linked as below. As always Mantras depend on your Intention and Will. Just like using a hammer on a nail, if you swing it with full force and focus you will finish your work faster. Mantras are the tools, the hammers, it is now upto you, how you want to use them. Now,

  1. First all the energies of all the manifested planes of existences are linked to the energies of the Om-the ultimate. All the forms of ‘space/dimensions’ are linked to Om. ( ॐ भूः ॐ भुवः ॐ स्वःॐ महः ॐ जनः ॐ तपः ॐ गुं सत्यम  or ॐ भूः भुवः स्वः as per the form you are using)
    • The pranav mantra Om, is the real nature of reality and your true name.
    • The 7 Vyrhutis are the names and the purest descriptions of the planes of existance.
  2. Then the energies of the present Moment, the past/present/future/parallel existences are invoked and thus ‘time’ in all its ways is linked to Om. (ॐ तत्) In reality there is just this one Moment. All spiritual texts and philosophies always stress on the importance of being in the present Moment.
    • This Akshar grants Success.
  3. The conscious energies of the inner sun, the seed of the illumination, the ultimate which is seen at your third eye are described (सवितुः). When you utter this Mantra you can feel the Ultimate looking back at you.
    • The Akshar of this word grant bravery, balance and overall well-being.
  4. Then वरेण्यम, here you express your desire, your wish, for the experience, the intelligence and understanding of that Supreme Bliss. You want to experience It so deeply so as to become It.
    • The Akshar of this word grant union with yourself, deep love, all forms of prosperity and brilliance.
  5. The illumination seen during mediation is so beyond description that it is simply expressed as भर्गः, the splendour, radiance, effulgence and glory of the Self that can be only experienced. This experience is so powerful that all karma, all baggage, all doubts vanish as if they never existed in the first place.
    • These Akshar of this word protect, defend and confer intelligence.
  6. Now देवस्य , this means ‘of the Light’, and is of the light of the internal Sun. Here the intention is that, may the ‘one who grants wishes’ give skill, fortune, ability, solidarity, solitude etc so that the ultimate destination of the soul can be achieved.
    • These Akshar of देवस्य grant self-restraint and control along with devotion and the power to retain what will be granted.
  7. धीमहि is a verb in the present imperfect tense. धी/Dhi is Intelligence. Here 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. You are asking for the pure essence of Intelligence.
    • These Akshar of this word grant the fortitude necessary to learn how to control pran, and later the power to control the vital energies/pran.
  8. धियो is related to the perfection of the thoughts and the mental processes. This word also refers to the purity and the highest levels of the flame of light.
    • This Akshar and this word’s energy is linked to the Jagruti state and also means awakening and sight, seeing everything.
  9. यो is most desirable and perfect action and also refers again to the present ‘This’.
    • This Akshar produces action.
  10. नः represents the ultimate creative energy and also the power to accept and receive Infinity. It allows the seeker to focus on the infinite, thus become infinite himself.
    • This Akshar is the ability to taste sweetness.
  11. प्रचोदयात is to incite, inspire, urge, demand, excite, summon, proclaim, request, impel. In short you are asking the Divine to by any means of action make all this as above experience.
    • The Akshar of this word indicate the ideal, the courage, the wisdom and gain/fruit.

So with this very brief background of the Gayatri Mantra, will address this question that I have received in the contact me form, Comment: Loved the article on reproduction..! So knowledgeable. If not considered inappropriate by you, can you pls write on sexual energy? Shastras say it should not be wasted and conversion to ” ojas” bt how???

So here is your answer, but it is not what you were possibly expecting! Our Sanskrit has layers of meanings. See, the human physical body is composed of 3 types of ‘tendencies’/prakriti, Kapha, Pitta and Vaat. These tendencies and their balance/imbalance lead to the physical health or illness in the body, all this is a part of Ayurved. Ayurved also discusses the food that we eat. (I would really recommend books by Dr.Vasant Lad on this topic.) So when these 3 ‘tendencies’ of the body reach their perfect balance they get converted to their energy components called Ojas, Tejas and Varchas (brilliance, vigour and vitality). The easiest way to increase Ojas is to eat 10 almonds with milk with one spoon pure desi cow ghee everyday. Do it for 21 days and see for yourself.

Now, the second part of the question, the body uses this Ojas to generate reproductive cells in both men and women. This requires tremendous amounts of Ojas, I mean really tremendous amounts. The ‘vitality’ of the food you eat is first allocated to this production. As you do your sadhana, Dhyan, pranayam etc regularly your physical body responds by shutting this down, it does not waste Ojas in building ova and sperm. If you have started your Sadhana early in life, (brahmins – boys start at the age of 6yrs, and women after the age of 16yrs), women will get menopause very early at 35-40yrs of age and in men too the sperm production will get suppressed. This is the meaning of converting ‘sexual’ energy to Ojas. I had mentioned earlier too that there are a few on the fast-track to spirituality here, they finish everything fast.

If you have read my other posts on astrology, I have repeatedly said that the 5th house represents creativity and divine intelligence, this can be in the gross form or in the subtle form. If you analyse the charts of the real spiritual Gurus (not the media-hungry fashion icon ‘gurus’), you will find an extraordinary 5th house. The energy of this house is being used to channelise the Divine not the mundane. If you use the power of the 5th to channelise your spiritual growth your physical reproductive creativity will soon be shut down. If you start very early in life you might even take Sanyas and leave this materialistic world. If you start in your middle age, you might continue living a householders life outwardly but you will not indulge in physical relations anymore. And even if you have produced your children by then, your real children will be the children of your soul not of your DNA.

So what has this got to do with the Gayatri? The Gayatri has the potential to create how much ever Ojas, Tejas and Varchas you want. It balances everything, your body, your mind, your emotions and finally shows your your Soul.

A bit on the practical side now, recite this variation of the Gayatri that I have mentioned at the start of the post, it has 3 Om’s in it. Recite this 108 times every morning and evening twilight. Use your fingers to count and your Asan to sit on. Do this for 21 days and examine for yourself.

And the best for the last, this is the link to the most complete form of Gayatri, the Ghanapath and the full form of the Mantra. Close your eyes and listen to it, let it’s rhythm enter your soul.

 

The Gayatri mantra

 

Essential spiritual practice

There are several spiritual practices, doing Yogasan/yogic postures, to doing mantra-jaap/reciting mantras, doing karma-kaand/rituals, to doing Dhyan etc. Every type of practice has its own importance, and throughout all our several lives we adopt one practice after the other, till we reach our objective. Now in the tangible sense all these spiritual practices do only one thing, silence the mind. The purpose of our spiritual life is to be able to consciously control the movement of pran/vital energy in the nadi/energy channel system of the body. This control is linked to the act of breathing. And the act of breathing is linked to the emotional state. And the emotional state depends on the the lens of perception, the mind.

Once you intend that you want to to Experience, there is no going back. This simple Intention releases tiny energies which coalesce to become bigger, you will sense your body getting lighter, brighter, the blockages getting loose, the attachments of the outer world getting fainter, your chakras moving ever faster, your kundalini energy getting active and blasting you out of this construct called Maya/Universe.

Essential spiritual practice

The mind is like a whirlwind, happy, sad, now flowing like a river, then flying off to the sky. Every sense organ, taste, smell, sight, touch and sound gives this mind even more objects to run behind. If you think, it is something like a monkey, restless. Observe a monkey in the park and you have your mind, it is so full of purpose but without a focus, sometimes this, sometimes that! Now the trick is to give this mind a focus, something it concentrates on and then force it to concentrate. Something like putting blinkers on a horse so that it can be put to work and productive. Your mind is the ocean of all the astral energies of all your existence, your past/present/future/parallel lives all at once. It also contains the memory of your Higher self, but unless it becomes still, you cannot access. It throws its waves and foam at you, distracting you.

Now what should you concentrate on? Very frankly there is only one thing in the universe, You! You are everything. You are unique, the one, You Are. So concentrate on yourself. But then you are not the flesh-body that you see staring back at you in the mirror. You are more, but right now quite unaware. So you read books written by enlightened Gurus, Teachers, Enlightened Souls, listen to their voices, feel their blessings. You read their experiences and desire the same experience for yourself. But remember you are not your Guru, his experience is his, your’s will be yours. The importance is always to the one who Experiences. You are ‘You’.

This ‘You’ resides within you, ‘behind’ the third eye chakra, this place is called the Kuthastha. (You are the unchangeable supreme essence located at the top Bindu of the Meru hyper dimensional geometry). So you concentrate at the pitch darkness that you see at your third eye. It takes a lot of strength of Will to stare at darkness, doing your practice, hoping that You will be kind to yourself and Show Yourself. This ‘You’ has a name too, it is ‘Om’. So while you are staring at the closed door of the Kutastha, you will keep knocking on it too, calling out to Yourself, by your name. This is the Mantra.

Now who is a Guru? Not everyone wearing a saffron or white dhoti/kurta is a Guru. There are several fakers out there. In this modern world someone with not so clear motives gets a bit of siddhi while doing sadhana, he immediately starts collecting disciples. And then uses the energies of faith that they willingly give over to him. Never give your faith to anyone so easily. Your faith is your energy, be very careful with your faith. For accepting any theory or anyone in spiritual matters, there are 3 criteria,

  1. This must be detailed in and examined in depth in an accepted authoritative book. (Granth prachiti) eg, the Vignyan Bhairav Tantra, the Bhagwad Gita, the Veds, Devi mahatmya, Upanishads, etc.
  2. Then this theory must be explained by an accepted authority, a Teacher who has experienced it himself first. (Guru prachiti)
  3. And this is the most important test, your inner you/Conscience/Antaratma should accept it as being correct. (Atma prachiti) You must examine things for yourself. You are the final judge. Sanatan Dharm ensures freedom. Choose what your intuition/sense understands to be correct, there are consequences both good and bad, so be very careful when you choose this spiritual path and the practice that you will now perform. The choice is ultimately yours alone.

Now concentrating is a very dull task, your mind runs away, dragging it back takes Conscious Will. So now we have to reinforce this will. This requires faith. Your first source of faith is the example of your Guru, or what you read in your accepted Book. You look at your Guru, you want the experience that he is existing in. You read the description of the Paramtattva in the Book and want to experience it for yourself. This faith works like a crutch, you lean on it for support. But once you start experiencing your own stuff, you should leave aside this crutch too. The job of a Guru is to hand-hold till the tipping point, once you start seeing the lightening flashing at your third eye the job of a Guru is over. Now your faith is in your own experience, it is very liberating. The essentials of a spiritual practice are very easy, in fact ridiculously so. It is breath and mantra. If you can be aware of these two things the rest of it will automatically fall into place. You do not have to do anything else at all. Is it really this simple? Yes it is, to read this line it seems quite easy, but you are up against your own Mind! See how strange it actually is.

You take efforts for maintaining your body, looks, house, place in society etc. You work, get tired, earn money to support your family. A smudged lipstick has the potential to ruin your day. You have told your mind, trained it, throughout your innumerable lives that these things are quite important. Now suddenly you turn around and tell the Mind, ‘no no this is not important, leave all this and come away to find the Real Self!’. I guess the Mind would roll its eyes and go rofl! It cannot come out of this training so easily. It fights back. So you too have to fight your Mind. This is the reason all Vedic gods/goddesses have countless weapons depicted in their hands. They give these powers to you, helping you fight your personal Kurukshetra. The 1000th name of Vishnu is, ‘Sarvapraharanayudha’, ‘the one who is equipped in every possible way at every possible time ready to fight’.

So the basic practice everyone has to start with is the Ajapa mantra, Soham or Hamsa. Try to be aware of your breathing pattern throughout the day. Make it a habit, train your mind. Whenever you are not – speaking or eating or doing some thinking work, you should be reciting your mantra in your mind, either Soham or Hamsa, consciously along with your breathing action. This means you do not let your mind wander, you are giving it a focus at all times. If you try to hear to your breathing sound, it sounds like ‘so’ when you inhale and it sounds like ‘hmm’ when you exhale. Thus Vignyan Bhairav Tantra has these 2 Ajapa mantras, ‘So-hum’ or ‘Ham-sa’. (Will put a separate post on these next.) This is the essential spiritual practice, the tiny pebble which initiates everything. As your mind starts entraining itself to this mantra, the Universe will also recognise your Intention and things will come in so beautifully, you will soon get time to do proper Dhyan regularly. And then you know the way to Your own Self.

Your Intention, the power of your Will and your Faith in yourself is the foundation of your spiritual path. Always be confident about yourself. After all you are the Ultimate yourself, the Creator of your Universe.

 

Essential spiritual practice

(Thank you to the kind soul who suggested this topic, I hope reading it triggers something good for you!)