What was Soma-ras exactly, alcohol?

One of my friends asked me this question. I know that there are ‘modern’ (in my view, ignorant) scholars who claim that ancient Indian Rishi-Seers ate non-vegetarian food and drank alcohol! Now I really don’t bother about random people saying things but my friend! So this post.

What is tantra? It is complete control on your mind as you attempt practices for gaining complete control on your own vital energy/ pran. You accept the experience with full awareness. And you desire to transcend this experience because you really to experience is your own self ie Moksh. And what is Yog? Here also you control your mind, attempt practices, gain complete control over the pran in your body. But you consciously deny yourself the experience of the manifested as you search for the Ultimate. You are determined to experience nothing but the Ultimate. Both routes are different but require control over the mind and the direction of the pran movement. The genuine practitioners are very different, if you sit near them you feel the ‘grace’, blessings, peace and strength.

Tantra or Yog, are the only possible ways for attaining Moksh. If you invoke the tantric aspect of your deity, you can move very fast on your path. But the pitfalls are extraordinarily dangerous and if you make mistakes, the repercussions are unimaginable. You are required to have complete control over your mind, emotions and actions. You cannot lose your focus in what you are doing, else you will be so badly damaged on the spiritual levels, that it will take innumerable lives to recover. There are several ancient tantriks who made mistakes and are stuck on earth (if ever you visit the ‘burning ghats’/ Smashan in Kashi/Varanasi, you will know what I mean)

All deities have their Tantric ‘variants’. The Ganapati who is considered the most ‘cute’, adorable deity has an extremely terrifying aspect called ‘Uddanda’. This form is with innumerable hands holding multiple weapons, all three eyes open, red with rage, wearing red garments, red aura, lots of ornaments, trumpeting the sound of ‘Om’, dancing the dance of destruction as he systematically destroys everything holding you back in your spiritual progress. If you do his Sadhana, it is like he is intently standing in front of you holding all his weapons, ready to decimate you if you make one single fraction of an error. If you manage to complete his Sadhana he will grant you endless energy, open your Kundalini locks, allow you Moksh and everything.

There are very few genuine tantriks who do pujas of such forms of deities. This is a very arduous method of spiritual practice. This Sadhana is not a ‘short-cut’. The deity grants you energy which energises you from the depths of your soul to the aura which projects outside you. You are first made capable of holding the energy then the energy is given to you and the path will be difficult. But the fundamental premise of Tantra is experience without any sort of engagement. Your deity is an aspect of the Ultimate Reality. As you follow the path shown to you, you will see that not only you, but your deity also evolves. Hereto unknown aspects of his energy will be shown to you, you will experience. Everything essentially is the Parabrahma, the ‘beyond intelligence’. You are the Para, your deity is the Para. Your deity will finally show you this Para form of himself and yourself too. Here is when the deity, the aspirant and the Real all merge. Moksh.

Depression, what does the horoscope say?

But the point comes to this, a genuine aspirant will not do anything which will dampen/distort his energy, or make him lose control over his energy. It takes so much effort to gain one smidgen of control over your energy, you don’t fritter this away! By ‘energy’, I mean the movement of Satva-Raja-Tama, the three- Gun the basic building blocks. You use your pran consciously to control them. This is the goal of all spiritual practice.

In movies and in life, you will see ‘tantriks’, practitioners to be typically creepy individuals. Wearing weird clothing, lots of malas, beads, black tilak on the forehead and general creepiness. I have met some of these practitioners and there was a miasma of negative energy, dark-auras in their rooms and surrounding them. Very suffocating. You feel suppressed, scared and want to get up and run away. (This is not what a real knower of Tantra looks or feels like, I have met some of these too.) These ‘tantriks’ are those degraded individuals who indulge in the lowest forms of energy manipulations and and will do anything the client asks for as long as their payment is right. Mostly these have spirits bound to them who they use as slaves to perform their work. These are the ones who drink alcohol, eat non-veg food etc.

These practicioners have spoilt the reputation of Tantra. Looking for short-cuts and with very material wishes. If you know how, you can go to a cemetery where dead bodies are buried and capture yourself a spirit. A slave you can use. Such slaves are always ready to turn on their masters. Or if you know more (or foolhardy or over-confident), you can visit the aforementioned ‘burning ghats’ of Kashi and bind an ancient tantrik’s spirit. Here your slave is a skilled one (pishachya, brahmarakshas, vetal etc) and can do more. And if it gets a chance it will happily turn on you and cause even more damage. Or there is another option, to go to some place where there is no inhabitation and natural forests. Here you will find spirits linked to the other dimensions who visit these areas, especially on eclipses, twilights, no-moon days and full-moon days. You can strike your bargains and get them to fulfil your wishes. None of this is advisable, but those who are blind in their desire for material gains and power will do it. And later suffer, badly.

And this is not what Tantra really means.

These short-cut tantriks use some other spirit or being as their source of energy. They are not internally that spiritually evolved themselves. Their only ability is to control the spirits using ‘procedures’, rituals and mantra. These spirits desire base/ tamasic gifts, like alcohol, meat, drugs, or sexual contacts, which the tantrik will procure for them so that they will work for him. And one becomes what one associates with, so such a practitioner also eventually becomes such a degraded creature himself. Then while this spirit is associated with them, they experience the higher energy levels which cannot be sustained when their association is broken. So the energy flow has to be consciously brought down in his body too.

Eg you have wire which can carry a current of 50volts. Now you temporarily link it to a second wire so that now it can carry 5000volts current. But this linkage is not possible all the time, the second wire needs a break, say for 12 hours/day (spirits need this, else they go insane). So as the first wire is delinked, there is damage as the wire is not in itself capable of 5000volt. This damage is to be suppressed (it can be repaired only be personal spiritual practice, which these short-cut tantriks will not do). Also at the instant of delinking the residual 5000volts has to be brought down in an instant else it will fry this first wire. So these tantriks drink alcohol.

Alcohol in large quantities lowers down the movement of pran and also your ability to control it. (In the past, my office group had a couple of guys who really liked drinking hard alcohol. During office parties it was very educational to watch them. As they drank progressively larger quantities of alcohol, their auras would progressively get murky and shrink.) Alcohol brings down your energy immediately and this ‘downer’ lasts for a day or so. Non-veg food also acts in the same way and its effect is sustained for a longer time, for a few days. And sexual contact also does the same thing, intimately sharing energy, such tantriks will divert all the extra load into their partner, now both will suffer. If even some normal person does these activities as a habit, you can easily see the effects. His energy body loses its vitality. Alcohol and non-veg are tamasic in nature, the person’s energy will become still, dull, difficult to move etc. (I never advocate avoidance, once in a while, for social reasons, for emotional reasons, for medicinal reasons, for health reasons etc is ok. But mindless over-indulgence will harm. In meats, only fish meat is comparatively safe.)

Depression, what does the horoscope say?

‘Soma-ras’ needs to be explained now. Modern scholars opine that Soma is alcohol which our ancient Seers drank, which is the stupidest thing. Soma-ras is defined by the two great Seers/Rishi of Ayurved, Patanjali and Sushrut, they have written about it.

Soma is another name for Anna, the ‘essence of food’. Anna is the material things of this universe which you use to sustain your mind/ body. This stuff is capable of being disintegrated by Fire/ Agni/ Pran and converted to Pran. In modern terminology, Soma would be something like matter and Pran is somewhat like energy. They are conscious, intelligent, inseparable and inter-convertible. Soma is considered to be a form of Shakti (the energies are ‘with Uma’) and Pran is considered to be a form of Shiv. Soma is dispersed, it cannot be focussed on. Pran is the concentrated energy, this can be focussed with intention pushed into the thinnest nadi of the body. Soma needs to be converted into Pran for it to be of real use. Now there is one typical nature of Soma powered Pran, it rises up with relatively little effort.

When you eat food, it enters your digestive system where the conscious fire of digestion transforms it. Some of this is absorbed and some part is ejected out. This absorbed essence of food is used in different ways, to sustain the Sapta-dhatu, to sustain the mind/Manas and some is converted to pran/vital energy. The ancient Rishi-s ate specific food which could be converted completely to Pran. This food is called the Soma. Ras means the essence. And Ras also means the infinite intelligent scalar field of unlimited energy. So ‘Soma-ras’ is the subtlest energy of the essence of food. If such a food is eaten, there would be nothing ejected and a big boost of pure pran. This food was eaten before entering into the deepest states of Dhyan-Sadhana. These states would be maintained for long periods of time, even years. Rishi Patanjai clearly says that there are herbs-Oushadhi, which can be used to deepen the Dhyan states and achieve Moksh. But we do not have the details with us (continuous onslaughts of invaders targeted our temples, which were our institutions of learning and the teacher, the Brahmins who knew. No wonder this age is called the Kali-yug, all real knowledge is lost to us.)


If you find this difficult to believe, try this small experiment. The hypothesis is, if you eat food which has higher spiritual energy, it is more easily and completely converted to Pran. There would be very little matter ejected and your aura/ energy will improve. So eat a dal/rice for 3 days. The dal should be only mung bean dal (Vigna radiata). And the rice should be unpolished. Add one spoon ghee (made from Indian desi humped cow milk) and some sea-salt/ rock-salt and turmeric as per your taste. If you find it tasteless, put some jira/Cumin seeds or 1pod of elaichi/ Cardamom or a bit of ground ginger in it as it cooks. This is the most Satvic-energy combination, where you have protein, carbohydrates, fats, mineral, turmeric in one dish. See what effect it has on your energy.

So, to conclude, Soma-ras is the purest essence of food, which is not available to us now. It is definitely not alcohol. Alcohol downs your energy instantly. Our ancient Rishi-s did not eat tamasic foods. They were Seers, realised souls, or aspirants who were actively working towards realization. Some of us are also actively pursuing this goal. So if you can, try to reduce your non-veg/ alcohol intake and sexual activity to reasonable limits. Mindlessly indulging in these will reduce the quantum of your pran and also affect your ability to manipulate it.







Kundalini piercing the 3 knots and the 6 chakra

The entire Shri Vidya is based on the geometry of the chakras and the movement of the Kundalini in your body. The Shri-chakra geometry is your energy geometry in perfect equilibrium. If you place all your chakras one above the other you get this Shri geometry. It is worshipped in 2D and in 3D in several ways to increase the personal energy. This diagram is the basis of the entire Tantra and all spiritual practice. Your Kundalini starts at the very bottom Muladhar chakra, and after curving through this complicated geometry it reaches the top central dot, Bindu. Only in deep Dhyan and by the pull of your internal Guru does the Kundalini move from its resting place. Else it will not stir and it is for your own protection. Only when you are mentally ready to accept, experience and transcend duality and illusion does it move. Kundalini is not some mystic power nor is it some prize.When it moves and ultimately reaches its destination you leave this Universe/Creation forever. As you realise your real self, you realise that the universes are all unreal. You realise Moksh.

This post is just to pique your interest. To actually experience anything of this sort you will need to practice Dhyan.

Tripur, Tripurari, Tripursundari

The Shri-chakra geometry is basically in two parts.

The topmost bindu, the central dot is the avyakta para form. The tiny dot within the central equilateral triangle. This is the unmanifested Beyond form or the Ultimate Intelligence. The Para, your real nature, the ultimate you. If your Kundalini arrives here you experience your own reality. This is your target.

The equilateral triangle around the central dot and everything around this triangle is the vyakta or aparaa form. This is the manifested creation or the unintelligent limited energy. Your body, mind, your universe etc is created outwards from this triangle (this post on the 24 tattva-s). This lower part is further sub-divided into 3 sections.

Vahni वह्नि mandal

The lowermost 2 chakras, Muladhar and Swadhisthan are the Vahni वह्नि mandal. The circle of Fire. To cross this mandal, you are required to transcend the Muladhar and Anahata chakras and then undo the Brahma Granthi/knot. Here ‘you’ means the energy of self-identification called the Kundalini. With every movement of the Kundalini your concept of Self is expanding yet becoming subtler.

The Vahni mandal is deeply linked to Raja gun. (You are composed of the three Gun.) Raja gun is the energy which creates illusions. It creates ‘Maya’. Fire is perhaps the greatest illusion, it is not technically matter nor is it completely energy. It exists, but shifts continually, you cannot pin-point the flames to a definite location. You cannot describe its color or shape, it is every changing. It transmutes, it consumes, it releases. Very fascinating. Brahmdev is the name of the conscious intelligence of the Raja-gun, represented by the Fire, Vahni. Here the Real and illusion, the material and the spiritual mix, you cannot tell them apart. This knot opens only when attachment to the illusion, the gross world is abandoned. The gross body is called the sthool-sharir which is composed of the anna-mai-kosh, the body which is linked to the material. (Your body is composed of 5 sheaths.) The reality or rather the unreality of this sheath is first experienced and then transcended here. Once the kundalini crosses this Vahni mandal, your consciousness can intentionally separate from the physical shell, eg you can consciously leave the gross body and travel using your subtle body.

Crossing this Fire-circle is very difficult as here you have to stop creating. If you look at your behaviour you are always creating, thoughts, ideas, emotions, tendencies, physical stuff, reading, writing, working, you create. And you are attached to these creation of yours. Stopping this creation and attachment to creation is extremely difficult. Not impossible but very difficult.

My Guru would say that Dhyan is necessary and ideally to be performed 3 times a day, ie in the morning, evening and once in the night sometime between 10pm-2am. When you begin your practice, you finish off one session in 30 mins, you get utterly bored, sitting, breathing and staring into the darkness between your eyebrows, mind wanders, the body aches etc. Later, maybe after 6months of this, you find that your mind is less diverted, your body is more supportive, your breathing is slower and you go on to about 45mins-1hr per session. The process gets enjoyable. Then after 1yr, you might see each Dhyan session going to upto 1.30hrs. There is deep internal intoxication (no other word). Later maybe after 2-3yrs of regular practice, it can stretch for hours, you will sit continue from 9pm – 5am, and your requirement for deep sleep and dream state will reduce and go to zero. All this varies from person to person, but the common theme is that you have to practice regularly.

You need to give time to yourself. In your life-time till now you have lived for thousands of hours, but have you given time to yourself? Time is the most precious thing you have and you have frittered it away on others. Try giving yourself these 1.30 hrs initially per day. It may not be possible for everyone because of genuine constraints but at least 30mins per day, one session daily?

You have to do Dhyan for some 500hrs to begin with at least, otherwise you will not see anything to do with pran or kundalini.

Who is a Guru?

Saura सौर  mandal

Back to our geometry, and the next 2 chakras. The Manipur and Anahata chakra-s make up the Saura सौर  mandal, the circle of the Sun. To cross this mandal you need to cross these two chakras and also undo the Vishnu-granthi or the knot of Vishnu. The concept of jivatma/individual soul as compared to your limitless Reality is the syllabus here. You are made aware of the unreality of the sookshma sharir or your subtle body. (The subtle body is composed of the Pran-mai-kosh, Mano-mai-kosh and Vidnyan-mai-kosh sheaths.)

The Sun represents the individual ego/ jivatma. Unless you give up the sense of narrow personal self, the experience of the greater Self is not possible. Here in the Saura mandal, the sense of attachment to the fruits of actions done by you is linked to your soul. Creation of new karma is possible only till the kundalini crosses this mandal. The new karma you create in your current life is called Agami karma which gets added to your stored karma. You can reduce the stored- Sanchit, karma by your spiritual practice.

The Vishnu Granthi, the knot of Vishnu opens only when attachment to the sookshma sharir or subtle body is abandoned. Vishnu is the intelligent energy of Satva-gun, this maintains the Maya – created illusion. Here you are taught the deepest wisdom linked to the Satva-gun. Not just taught, but also tested rigorously.

When you crossed the Vahni mandal, you understood, experienced and transcended your attachment to the process of creation and the attachment to the stuff you are creating. You transcended the illusion of ‘act of creation’. Now you do not desire new creations. But you are ‘someone’, you are Priya, Amit, a mother, a teacher, a son, you are scared of the dark, you like sweets, you are an Indian etc. You have all these impressions stored in your subtle-body accumulated from your past several lives. You are maintaining these impressions. When you attempt to cross the Vishnu-granthi you are shown these impressions to be the illusions that they are. All your notions about your limited sense of self are shown to you as being nothing, insubstantial.

To overcome some thing, you need to understand every aspect of that thing, experience it and transcend it. This journey of the Kundalini is just this process. The process can perhaps be painful or pleasurable. But both these mindsets cannot sustain in the understanding of the self. You are the Para, the beyond, you are complete in yourself, you don’t need the concept of happiness or any other feeling to describe your completeness. You are All there is. You are your own definition. It is rather a subtle understanding here.

In some cultures, the children believe that there is a magical person who comes once a year and gives them toys. The parents do not tell the child the truth unless he grows older and toys become irrelevant to him. Just like that, you are not shown the illusory nature of your material life unless you are capable of absorbing the intelligence in the way it should be.

Kundalini is an intelligent force, it will not move or do anything unless you are ready. There are some exercises on the internet which claim to move the kundalini, they are all fake. If by ill-luck you manage to ‘move’ the kundalini by force you are in for a very bad time, your body’s vital energy network will be short-circuited, the movement of pran will be affected, there will be physical illness and mental insanity.

So just do your Dhyan, your internal Guru will do the rest. Your job is very simple, just sit, breathe, focus and mantra every day, (either once/twice/thrice). When you attain the critical potential, things happen spontaneously. Your Dhyan is the process of cleaning up the road using the movement of pran/vital energy. When the road opens the kundalini will move on its own.


Chandra चंद्र  mandal

Back to the geometry, the top one-third. This is the Chandra चंद्र  mandal, the circle of the Moon, composed of the Vishuddhi and the Ajnya chakras. To move onwards from here these two chakras and the Rudra Granthi is required be be navigated successfully. The energy body associated here is the Karan sharir or the causal body. Here you understand why you separated from the Greater Self in the first place. Why you have karma bound to your soul? This karan-sharir is the tightest sheath around the soul called the Anand-mai-kosh. The meaning of this sheath is rather typical, it means ‘the happiness you feel when you know that the game is near its end’, ie the eternal happiness of Singularity. As you cross the Vishuddhi and Ajnya chakras you finally transcend dualities and come within reach the Singular sense of self. Here you destroy the seeds of karma itself, you destroy the concept of ‘creation of creation’. You destroy the concept of ‘maintenance of creation’. Finally you destroy the concept of ‘destruction of creation’. The entire creation vanishes as if it never existed in the first place. The presiding energy here is the Shiv, the intelligence of Vishuddha tama-gun. The extra special pure energy of Tama-gun.

The Kundalini has to cross all these three mandal, in which it pierces the 6 lower chakras and these 3 Granthi. ‘Piercing’ is perhaps a wrong word to use, but Sanskrit words cannot be translated only experienced. All this happens within the Sushumna nadi, the thinnest energy channel of the body. Within this channel there are progressively thinner naadi-s, Chitrini and Vajrini. Nadi within Nadi layout. This thinnest nadi within a nadi is also called the Brahmanadi. This Brahmanadi is through, from the lowest Muladhar to the topmost Sahasrar+Bindu complex terminating at the Brahma-randhra at the top of your head. At every chakra and granthi this Brahmanaadi is twisted around itself in a very specific way. This forms the lotus/yantra of that specific chakra. Piercing the chakra means the energy moves smoothly through these thin complicated loops without damaging anything.

Till now the kundalini was in the region called Dharmakshetra-Kurukshetra in the Bhagwat Gita. To navigate this part you have to strive and focus, take efforts.

Bindu बिन्दु  mandal

Now after the Kundalini crosses the Ajnya chakra it reaches the last section where the Para pervades. You have destroyed your sense of your individual self. Now onwards the progress is more under the control of the internal Guru and your greater self. This region is called the Dash-angul-sthan, the space between the forehead’s Ajnya-chakra and the top of the head, the Brahmarandhra at the center of the Sahasrara chakra. This space is also called the Bindu mandal. It is also called the Dharmakshetra. The other remaining chakras of the head exist in this region.

This Brahmarandhra is the seat of true light of the self also called the Jyotir-lok, Satya-lok or Parabrahm.

In Shri-Vidya, the Mahakameshwar, ‘the great one who controls all desire’ resides here merged together with his ‘wife’ Mahakameshwari or Lalita Tripursundari, ie the Kundalini. Here Kundalini reaches her ‘husband’ Mahakameshwar, merges with him and thus attains Singularity. This means that in the Bindu mandal, the desire to create has not been expressed yet, both energies are one, they are not differentiated. The merged form is the Reality. There is no duality. When the Singular here differentiates into duality, she starts creating the world while he observes. Thus these two energies are known as the parents of the universe.

If you refer to the Bhagwat Gita, this Brahmarandhra is the abode of the subtlest yet tremendous aspect of Krishna. If you practice using the Vidnyan Bhairav Tantra as your reference book this is the abode of Bhairav. The non-dual, the Advaita. The same concept is discussed in Bhagwat Gita and the same is in Devi Mahatmya, and in both the backdrop is a War of terrific proportions. War and spirituality are an odd combination perhaps, but it is War, you fight your mind. In fact every story-allegory in Sanatan Dharm aka Hinduism describes this same thing in different words. The world and everything around you is a mixture of the real and the unreal mixed together. ‘Maya’ means ‘not-that’. Maya cannot be proved to be definitively proved to be real or illusion. Understanding then experiencing and transcending this is real Knowledge of the Self. This is Sadyo-mukti.


The Gayatri mantra

This post is partly in response to this comment I received in the Contact form,  (I read an article which mentioned about our age and chakras. Are chakras related to our chronology like one chakra is dominant or something? Also what is meant by opening chakras?)

It is a rather technical post so do read the hyperlinked posts, linked to the words in pink.

I have written about the ‘age and chakra’ part in my earlier post here.

8th house Dushamsthan

The 6th, 8th and 12th houses of the chart are called the Dushamsthan, of these the 6th is considered the most turbulent as it is linked to the awareness and the resolution of Karma/bondage. The 12th is dissolution of the manifested. The 8th is then catastrophic transformations of identity where the physical, emotional or spiritual identity undergoes a rapid, forceful and often traumatic change. The death of the physical body is the most extreme change which is seen from here. This is the energy of the Rudra, from the 33 koti devatas who make up your body. Catastrophic changes to the body/ mind /soul, always lead to very intense progress on the spiritual levels.

Every sort of ‘Shock’!

Broadly the 8th house from the ascendant governs the situation of physical death, longevity, hidden assets, legacies from the dead, secret knowledge, mysteries, secrets of all forms, undiagnosable diseases, the act of childbirth, the movement of pran/vital energy in the body, occult, tantra, openings of every sort, evolution/involution, cycles of destruction and creation, disappearances and re-appearances, powerful but invisible transformations. Unplanned, unlikely, unanticipated, emergencies, upheavals and meltdowns. Self-destruction coupled with rebirth. And ultimately the potential for recovery, reinvention and reactivation.

8th house Dushamsthan

Energy (Prakruti) cannot be destroyed, it can only change from one form to another. The principle of Parinam from Sankhya shastra is the essence of the 8th house’s dynamics. The 8th house counted from every house will indicate the potential for transformations related to the keywords of that house. So e.g. if you are looking at the marriage aspects of a chart, also analyse the 2nd house (counted eighth from the 7th), for secrets and changes to the married state. Then the 8th house from the birth Moon should always be analysed. It indicates emotional turbulence and the threats to the stability of the mind and emotions, intimidation and abuse.

The 8th house is never very visible, just like the natural 8th sign of the zodiac Scorpio, it has unfathomed depths. The 8th is a part of the Moksh trikon with the 12th and 4th houses. It facilitates ‘release’. So unless you focus on it specifically, you will remain unaware of your occult potential.

Here is where the walls of creation break down and reform. The invisible comes out and suddenly you realise its significance. The 8th is intimately connected to the occult, tantra. Tantra is the study of constant change. For the physical self, the 8th house rules over death, surgeries, accidents, ‘cuts’ of every sort. For the emotional, it causes stress and separates. For the spiritual it opens up routes into the depths of the subconscious.

The 8th house also indicates the family of the spouse. The money, the wealth, resources of his/her family. Generally you do not know these things about your spouse’s family completely, so this links up with the secret nature of the 8th! Also the voice, speech, eating habits and wealth-accumulating habits of the spouse.

The 8th then indicates explorations, excavations, surgeons, shamans, tantriks, secret financial activities, scientific researchers, secret criminals, etc type of professions, which thrive on skill and an awareness of suspicions, intuitions and sensations from the internal.

8th house Dushamsthan

The planets occupying this house often incline an interest in the occult depending on their nature. Too many or strong planets here would indicate reduced interest in philosophy or organised religion and a deeper interest in spirituality or the occult. Their Dasha periods/ significant transits will be quite happening times. e.g. Saturn here will indicate it is the karma to do so, a Mercury will grant the boldness, necessary logic and skills to do so, Venus will grant the tantric knowledge and esoteric wisdom related to the occult etc. A special case would be the Moon placed in the 8th house.

If this house is vacant then look out for the transits or the dasha periods of the owner planet, this would be the time which would trigger its potential. This 8th house ruler is a very important agent of change in your life. Track his movement and the aspects of life he controls. He will cause sudden uncontrollable changes wherever he may be at birth or go in transit. But if you understand that he ‘transforms’ not ‘dissolve’, you might understand his actions better.

If by chance, you have the same planet ruling your 8th from ascendant and the 8th from Moon, be careful during his periods, e.g. Libra Ascendant with Moon in Pisces, Venus is ascendant lord, 8th lord, and lord of 8th house from Moon, thus the Venus mahadasha (20yr long) and his antardasha within other planets Mahadashas will be especially transformative. Similarly for Aries ascendent with Moon in Virgo be careful with your Mars periods. If you can navigate this period successfully you will benefit beyond imagination else the physical and subconscious body both will suffer.

It is important to remember that the 8th house is Shock and Change. How you go with the energy and participate in the process will determine how effective the 8th will be. A strong ascendant sign, ascendant lord and birth Moon are very important in this respect. If you are attached to your identity or have Saturn-like resistance to things unfolding around you, you will suffer more. And then is all about perception, if you are prepared for the change you will not be so shocked and if you are aware in advance you will not feel the sudden-ness. So the intensity of these events is reduced by a strong yet adaptable personality.

To navigate the 8th you will have to think like a hunter in the jungle, the shadows can contain a prey or a predator, so be prepared!


8th house Dushamsthan

Getting yourself inked, tattoos

We have been drawing symbols and magical sigils and art on our bodies since times immemorial. Lines, swirls, colors all put in our skin, becoming a part of our bodies for ever. Earlier and even now there are ways of using tattoos for increasing the body’s energies, but these are pretty much secret and used by the real tantriks who have dedicated their lives to high powered tantra.

Getting yourself inked, tattoos

A few days ago I met one of my brother’s friends who showed us his new tattoos. He had got all the 7 yantra/energy geometry of the 7 chakras tattooed on his one arm and the entire Shri chakra on his other arm. It was very beautifully done, we both admired the art, but the effect these tattooed yantra were having on his body was terrible.

If you ever get a tattoo don’t ever get a yantra tattooed. Yantra are not ‘mystical’ they are actual power, they are used to focus energies, they need to be perfectly drawn. When they are drawn on the skin, they are not perfect, the skin stretches and pulls, so you are drawing an imperfect energy geometry permanently on your body. It is highly uncomfortable for the energy body and will cause damage. Yantra also need their associated mantra to channelise its energies. Would you use the chakra yantra or the Shri yantra as a paper-weight on your desk? When you install a yantra/energy geometry in your house or shop, you are required to acknowledge it’s power, even a simple namaskar is enough. Installing them in your skin as ‘art’ and then forgetting about them is unthinkable! This person’s tattoos had become ‘hot’ with unregulated energies. Yantra are not ‘art’, they are raw power, the seed of power, so do not get them tattooed on your skin.

Then we have sigils for power and protection. e.g. runes, You can draw the Algiz rune on a paper and keep it in your purse when you start for a journey. It will protect you for the duration of your journey. Now understand what really happens in the energy sense. The sigil absorbs all the negativity which could have caused problems so that you are kept safe. In this process it gets ‘used’ and when you return, you either burn that paper or leave it under some tree where people won’t step on it. This sigil is an object of power. Now if you get this sigil tattooed on your skin, it will protect you no doubt, but it will also get ‘used up’ during the process and eventually ‘expire’. Now it is inside your skin, you cannot burn or dispose it safely. It will then start creating problems. So avoid getting tattoos of runes and sigils of power in your skin.

(I use my gold jewellery to generate protection. I wear gold bangles after pushing my favourite mantra into them. Gold absorbs energy best. The bangles work for a year or so then they actually break or get distorted on their own. The mantra works, I have been protected, the negativity has been trapped in the gold and when their capacity has been crossed the bangles have broken. Then I get them to my jeweller and he melts them, makes new ones. The heat of the melting restores the ‘purity’ of the gold.)

This does not mean I am against tattoos, I have one myself, my brother and my favourite cousin too. We have got a beautiful ‘Om’ on our right wrists. You can tattoo your favourite quotes, pleasing images, flowers etc. If you want to get a tattoo get something which uplifts you or reminds you of something very close to your heart. Also do not get terrible images or negative ideas or negative images, fearful faces or such drawn on your skin. These will attract their like. Think twice on what design you are opting for, because its energy is going to be with you for a lifetime.


Shri sukta, first verse

The Devi//Prakriti is the creative force of the Parabrahma/Ultimate consciousness. The Ultimate is inert and manifests the creative principle only when the intention of Leela/Creation arises. (Nasadiya Sukta Rg Ved 10th mandala 129th sukta describes how creation occurred). Those aspirants on the spiritual path desirous of Moksh/Experience of the Ultimate, first worship this creative force in all its names, forms with mantra, yantra and tantra. Everyone is supposed to recite the Gayatri mantra 108 times from the age of 6yrs onwards, I use this mantra in several ways. But the mantra I love is the navavarna mantra. And then is the Shrisukta which grants prosperity in all ways, it is 15 verses long. Shri means ‘prosperity’ and sukta means an ‘apt description’.

(The gender indicative words are meaningless as these are energies. However at the simplest explanation, ‘still’ energies are referred to as masculine and the energies ‘in movement’ are referred to as feminine)

Shri sukta, first verse

This sukta in very clear language describes the energy, kundalini and other locks, brahmanadi and what happens when the locks on self-identification open etc. There are 53 attributes of the Devi described in this sukta. The 54th is ‘Om’ an open secret. Om is used so easily these days that we forget its immensity. It is the only sound created by the mouth where the tongue is not involved. Will write more about this later, let’s continue with Her attributes.

The first attribute is Hiranyavarana. It has several meanings,

  • Hiranya means indestructible, inert, fire, gold etc. Varna means the ‘door on the opening’, sound, color, etc. Thus name means that She is the impregnable covering on the opening of the Brahmanadi. i.e. the kundalini and associated locking structures.
  • It is also a reference to the humming sound associated with the muladhar chakra. She exists in all living beings (hi) and makes a sound (varna) like a humming bumble bee (ranya). (If you close shut your ears you can hear your chakras, huming, rippling water, tinking of tiny bells, deep gong etc, if you are doing your spiritual practice you can hear 12 distinct sounds.)
  • Prajapati (from the 33 koti devata), uses this energy in binding the human soul/jeevatma to the body.
  • This can be opened by the mantra, ‘Om Hiranyavarnayai namah’.

Harini is the second attribute. It means beloved of ‘Hari’, or a golden doe.

  • When you do your dhyan deeply, you see a yellowish light. When you are unaware of what this means it can randomly appear and be visible. But the instant you recognise it for what it means, it will vanish. It will dance at the edge of your vision, tantalising. Capturing it again in the center of your vision is the challenge. (Forces of akshep and vikshep interfere, whenever you try to focus these forces pull/push your focus away). It is like catching a female deer. This is caused by disturbances of the swadhisthana chakra. (ripple-like karma related to the fluid emotions)
  • Thus her attribute Harini.
  • Only when you attain complete awareness with conscious effort, keeping the mind in complete control, will the upper opening of the Sushumna be visible steadily.
  • The mantra here is ‘Om Harinyai namah’.

Third attribute Suvarna-sraja. Su (auspicious) + varna + sraj (garland, one who creates)

  • She creates the garland of auspicious sounds, properly recited sounds of correct metre. i.e. the beej mantras of the chakra system, the 54 sounds of Sanskrit, the golden garland.
  • To reach each of these beej mantras, a specific ‘sacrifice’ is required. i.e. to attain the spiritual you have to give up the material.
  • She is the source of the creation as vibrations.
  • The embodiment of the most secretive mystery which resides at the very base of the Meru danda/below the muladhar chakra. This is the source of all prosperity. This is the lower opening of the brahmanadi, as this is the source of all prosperity in the spiritual sense.
  • The mantra here is Om Suvarnasraje namah.

The fourth attribute is Rajatasraja. Rajat means silver, gold, nakshatra, blood etc.

  • She is the creator of Rajat. She fixes the body with the energy of the nakshatra (Prabhas – one of the 33 types of energy).
  • The name Rajatsraj is also the collective name of the 11 Rudras who make up the body. (Rudras are also part of 33 classes of deities). She is the creator of the Rudras too.
  • The mantra here is Om Rajatasraje namah

The fifth attribute is Chandraa.

  • Chandraa means the whirling of time/space, delight, vibrations of happiness in the mind, melting, rising moon, illumination, the internal moon, the unfathomable ocean of consciousness within the brahmanadi.
  • It is also the canopy/covering that covers the Ultimate. She is so brilliant that one can get caught quite forgetting that there is something even more magnificent hidden behind her light.
  • When your internal self/Ksheer-samudra, is churned by the forces of Rahu/Ketu, desire/apathy, the gem of self-knowledge appears. The internal Moon/Chandra is the light which indicates that She is about to appear. The force called the ‘Moon’ is an infinitesimal fraction of Her force.
  • Om Chandraayai namah brings this bliss.

Her sixth name is Hiranmayi.

  • Hiran is again ‘sound’. ‘mayi’ means pervading. She exists from the basal chakra to the 12th dwadash chakra and beyond into the dwadashant as their beej mantra individually and the pranav mantra/Om collectively.
  • She is the primordial sound/Om, and resides at the center of creation. Creation here in the spiritual sense is your chakra system and the brahmanadi.
  • Om Hiranmayyi namah is her mantra here.

Her seventh name is Laxmi.

  • It has several meanings including distinguishing trait, mark, sign, splendour, fortune, dominion, success, formula etc.
  • She gives (la), despatches and directs (root word-kship). She is sent out from the Parabrahma. And she further sends out the energy of creation and directs evolution of the souls.
  • She is the reason there exists ‘difference’. See, you and me are essentially the same Parabrahma. What makes us different is the power of Laxmi. Laxmi also creates a difference between the jivatma/us and our real nature/Parabrahma. Laxmi is power we use when we act/do karma.
  • And her other face, la also means ‘to dissolve’. Thus she can also dissolve the outward appearances for the aspirant. And also herself dissolves into the Parabrahma when the game/Leela is over.
  • Om Laxmyai namah is her mantra here.

These names are in the first verse of the Shri sukta. The verse ends with ‘jaatvedo maavaha’. ‘Jaat’ means collection, kind, possesses, belonging to, caused by, apparent in, created by, born, manifested, arisen, creatures, result etc. ‘Ved’ means knowledge, perception, obtains, true, real, feeling, property etc. So here this phrase you are inviting/invoking the One who is the ‘true collection of real knowledge’ to bring to you all the 54 attributes of Shri.

The Shri sukta is glorious, the rhythm of the words enter your soul. I love this, have done its jaap, homa and listened to it endlessly. (Doing its Homa/jaap especially during eclipses is quite fruitful). This is a very inadequate post on its meanings. Some are from the Laxmi tantra and some of them are my understanding. Everything is Shri.


Shri sukta, first verse

Vignyan Bhairav Tantra

There are several commentaries on the Vignyan Bhairav Tantra. So here I will write a bit on what I use and my experience, as it should be. Sanatan Dharm (Hinduism) gives complete importance to the Observer, the One who Experiences. I cannot comment on something that someone else has observed and experienced. The same event is seen differently by different people, who is correct and wrong? No one is correct or wrong, they all Are. Eg, someone dies, each one of his family members will have different experiences, some may feel grief, pain, separation, agony, happiness, even relief, all are justified and Are.

‘Modern age Gurus’ focus on fancy words and complicated explanations, which intend to confuse and keep their disciples tied to them. I want everyone to understand and eventually experience their True Self. This road is not easy and maybe one in a million will actually do it, but it is the final destination, everyone is moving towards it knowingly or unknowingly.

Defination of Graha from the Suryasiddhant

My Guru taught me a meditation technique from this Vignyan Bhairav Tantra (VBT) which I have detailed in this post. VBT is a collection of 108 techniques for achieving the complete experience of Oneself. Some techniques repeat thus in some translations and texts it is mentioned to be 112 or some other figure. However here are 108 techniques which are described by Bhagwan Bhairav to his beloved Devi Mahamaya Herself. It is the list of options given by the Ultimate to his own fragment souls/us which will help us evade the enticements of His Creative Force! A mind-bender.

So what happens when you do Dhyan. This is Tantra, the practice. Your body is the Yantra, with the energy vertices making perfect multidimensional geometric patterns, a sort of a hyper Meru within you. And your intention is fulfilled using mind entraining techniques called as Mantra.

First and foremost in Dhyan your mind stills. Your mind is imperfect but strangely perfect. This world that we see around us is however quite imperfect. If you can observe energy structures, this world that we see has ‘gaps’ in it, especially around boundaries of individual objects. Our mind cannot make sense of these ‘gaps’, so works to ‘fill in the gaps’ with something that makes sense to it. Our extraordinary mind thus creates a construct. Every single instant your mind is making a construct thus consuming vital energy/prana. It is working frantically every single instant. It needs to be stopped so that it can rest. It needs to be trained to acknowledge the ‘gaps’ and thus slip out of the construct it is creating for itself. It needs to gain confidence to See what is actually there. The Real self is so terrifyingly beautiful, a tremendous paradox that the mind shirks away from “seeing’ it. There are several examples of people who did some spiritual practice or something without proper guidance and lost their minds. Also the mind needs to stop consuming such humongous quantities of vital energy, wasting it creating constructs rather than using it to See Reality.

  • Example from VBT – Bhagwan tells the aspirant to visualise his body full of the Paramtatva/the Ultimate and also the surrounding environment as the Paramtattva too. The skin is to be visualised as a insubstantial barrier between these two sets of Paramtattva. As the concentration becomes deeper the barrier dissolves and both sets of Paramtattva merge and you See the Ultimate. We all are energy, all vibrating at different levels. If the mind can be encouraged to focus on the highest possible energies it will sooner or later entrain itself to this goal you have set for it.
  • The mind in a normal human being works under the direction of Devi Mahamaya. She is the creative principle of the Paramtattva/Bhairav. We are souls born of the Bhairav and we are Bhairav ourselves. She entertains us with her creative force/the mind. In an enlightened soul who has experienced his true identity as Bhairav, mind does not exist as such, it is still, in the Moment.

Now the breathing activity, this connects the mind to the perceived Universe. There are also glaring ‘gaps’ in this breathing activity. The gap between the inhale/purak and exhale/rechak and also between the exhale and the inhale is called the ‘kumbhak’. There are books and books written on this rechak-purak-kumbhak cycle and the importance of Kumbhak. But the operative part is this, the kumbhak is the ‘gap’. If your consciousness can utilize the energies of this ‘gap’ to slip out of the construct you achieve Moksh.

  • Example from VBT – the pran/vital energies do not move in either direction and there is utter stillness, the true self is experienced. There are several references to this Kumbhak ‘gap’ it happens always for a fraction of a second but we are unaware of this as our mind and physical body both partners in crime, gloss over it.
  • Breathing is a very important activity which has to be in your conscious control because this is the most important source of pran/vital energy from the Universal source/Hiranyagarbha/Samashti pran. If you can control the quality and quantity of pran entering your body you have pierced the secrets of the Universe.

Finally when the breath and mind both reach their optimum states of stillness the Reality is Experienced. A simple example.

  • There is a wall of mud blocking your way. You know you have to see beyond it. It is all muddy you cannot see through it. So you take water and wash off the mud. You see that it is in fact a mirror, it is reflecting your perception of yourself. You are caught in your perceived beauty till you realise that you are still stuck on this side. You want to cross this mirror see what is beyond it.
  • You work on the glass again to remove the silvering. It is now transparent you can see through it. There is the Reality you always wanted to see on the other side. You admire it till you realise that you are still stuck on this side of this glass. Even if it is transparent now, this glass is blocking your actual experience. But now you do not know what to do so you keep knocking against the glass with the faith that someone will answer and remove it.
  • Then suddenly you realise that you have now sufficient strength to remove this peice of glass yourself. You do so and merge with your understanding and experience your Self.

Vignyan Bhairav Tantra

Every object that you perceive has the capacity to to lead you to your goal. So the problem is to define your goal. If you concentrate enough on a stone you will become a stone. If you concentrate on the Universe you will become the Universe. If you concentrate on Your Own Self you will Become..

  • Bhagwan Bhairav in VBT tells of concentrating on an enlightened Guru. This is a very deceptive statement. When I think of my Guru, what do I see? A old bald man or the tremendousness that He Is?
  • You can concentrate on sound too, for this Bhagwan tells of the 12 different sounds associated with the different energies of the Dwashant. This is deceptively simple too. But the real sound you should concentrate on is Om, the summary (anta) of the twelve (dwadasha).

All the 108 techniques start off as different techniques but during deep Dhyan they all merge into one continuous experience. You will start off with So-hum, then feel the stillness of the kumbhak, then feel that your eyes will go blind with the crashing beauty of illumination, feel yourself being consumed by time, feel your personal boundary dissolving, it is beautiful and experience is everything. Dissolution of boundaries leads to the light of self realization.

VBT is an exceptional book because it tells you how to go about it. No philosophy and no debates, just the action required. Each line in it is worth a entire book in itself. One post cannot hope to do justice to VBT so will try write more on this as I get more time and experience.

(Here is a link to a copy of VBT, the translations are very basic and word to word.)


To navigate the Astral Worlds

I see so many people on Facebook and ‘spiritual’ websites claiming that they visit the astral realms or that they will teach you how to access the astral worlds. If they were genuinely visiting the astral and other dimensions they would never do this!

So what is the “astral” realm and why do we go there? Sleep/Nidra in Sanskrit, is a very complicated phenomenon. When you sleep quite a few things happen, for one the flow of pran/vital energy of the body changes its movement. When you are awake (Jagrit awastha) the pran energy is first brought at the ajnya chakra and distributed around the body, it is used by the organs of action and the organs of senses. But when you are asleep, this pran is consumed at the third eye chakra itself in a rather mysterious way, and used in repairing and rejuvenating the body.

One part of this pran, during sleep, is used to access the dream state (Swapna awastha). This dream state is where you partly access your own personal sub-conscious. You might get very vivid dreams, remember them, or you may not, but your Self stays within your energy bodies. You do not travel astrally or visit the other dimensions or access the collective-sub-conscious state. There is no need to do so as your own sub-conscious is competent enough to deal with matters related to your limited needs. Most of those who get excited about ‘astral travel’ are just experiencing vivid dreams and guidance from their own sub-conscious, a very normal and regular activity.


But then for some of you there is a need, a requirement to travel out of your energy bodies. Then you will be travelling in the ‘astral’ or the other dimensions. This is now quite serious. The 12thhouse is the most important for this analysis. You will see combinations like the following in the chart.

  1. Combination which grant the necessary dissociation of the bodies so that the astral body can separate from the physical. Eg ascendant sign /lord with Ketu.
  2. Combinations which allows a link to the astral planes, so that you will find the routes. Also the planes need to become stable enough for you to enter them. And the astral body also to have the necessary ‘fluidity’ to slip out of the other energy bodies. Eg Moon in the 8thor 12thhouses or in the Scorpio or Pisces signs.
  3. Combinations to ensure that you have the wisdom to travel the astral responsibly and remain safe there. E.g Jupiter and/or Venus, conjunct/aspecting the moon and/or the ascendant lord or the 12th.
  4. You do not enter the astral for entertainment, you travel there to work off your karmas and to serve. E.g. Saturn or the 6thhouse, connected to the Ascendant Lord/sign or the moon

Travelling to the astral is a burden. You sacrifice the rest and rejuvenation of your sleep state and go to work in the other dimensions. You do not sleep when your astral self is out. When your astral self separates from the rest of the body layers, the entire body gets disturbed. You wake up with a pressure band around your head and somehow the center of your head ‘pains’. This ‘headache’ can go on for days. It is not a migraine. Your astral had separated while you slept and in the morning when you wake up it had not integrated back properly. If this goes on for a prolonged period of time, this imbalance manifests as a disease which has no physical reason and no physical solution.

I had a client who was continuously travelling out of her body for years. Not sleeping for years too. It was her karma to go and work every night. Seeing her photos from before this astral stuff started happening and her present self was disturbing. It was like she had aged 15yrs in a span of 3-4 yrs. This client had developed spots and black patches in her vision, the doctors could not see anything wrong with her. ‘Seeing’ the energies of the astral was destroying her eyes in the physical world.

Now a few points for those who are required by Karma to travel astrally. The astral is generally not a friendly place so this is what you should be aware of.

  • The astral movements always destroy the physical body. You will wake up tired and drained, with a strange ‘headache’, nausea and dizziness to some extent. When you ‘see’ your energy bodies after you get back it will be like they are overlapping but not completely integrated. You should always consciously fix the bodies back into their places using the full form of the Gayatri mantra. I had written about it in this post here. Any damage to the astral body can take upto 6 months to manifest in your physical body. So better safe than sorry, use the Gayatri and fix them back intheir places immediately after every travel.
  • You will be working in the astral, so you will have your enemies there too. So now when you are unaware of the astral (when awake), you will be attacked. These entities are often called Vetal or Pishachya in Sanskrit. I had this experience once, a Vetal had from his own dimension inserted small ‘injections’ so cleverly into my aura that it took a couple of days of queasiness for my brother to figure out what was happening. So be alert, make your protection amulets, or clean yourself everyday with peacock feathers.
  • Any interaction with any entity/spirit in the astral leads to exchange of energy. A client was a tantrik in his several past lives. He had deep love for Shivshankar and thus in a life he changed and started his Self-discovery. His enemies still in that path of dark energies are now high level Pishachyas. They still visit him every night and challenge him to fight. He would fight them thus lose his energy to them. His aura was like cold ice. My aura touched his when we met and he instantly drained my energies, I got so dizzy and nauseated that had to drink a couple of lemon sodas (sea salt and lemon) to rebalance. So while moving in the other realms focus on what you have come for and shield yourself always. Do not interact needlessly with the denizens there.
  • Then your work in the astral will bring you in contact with entities you owe energy to. As long as they take what they are entitled to it is ok. But more often they will insert tiny ‘hooks’ into your aura and use you continuously like a energy battery. This will cause tiny chronic health problems for you. So again shield yourself always.
  • And then as you are now aware of these secret energies, you will become the ‘energy protector’ of your family. If anyone curses or ill-wishes any of your family members living in your house, that negative energy will attack you first. So be aware.

To navigate the Astral Worlds

Now with this note of caution, there are several good things also in the astral. But you will be called to get them only if it is your Karma. If you are to receive positive energy from the astral it will be given to you in a gentler way. E.g. one client often sees her ‘higher self’, ‘healing’ her current self when asleep. Your astral body looks exactly like you, height/weight everything. But your ‘higher self’ looks different, it may look like you, but more likely it will look like the person you were when you had reached your highest level of spiritual development. My client sees hers as an aged, thin but very brilliant old sanyasi man.

(There is someting called sleep paralysis which is misconstrued as astral travel. Have written about it in this post here. )

You are now a resident of the physical manifested world, not the astral. When your body dies you will return to the astral, not now. While residing in the physical body, if you work too long in the astral, your physical body will deteriorate and you will return to the astral earlier. You should have been in Nidra/sleeping, using your pran energy to rejuvenate your physical bodies, but you were using up the pran in travelling and working there. So you have to make extra efforts to restore your physical health and maintain your manifested form. There is no other way, you have to do Dhyan. You can do reiki healing and other ways of manipulating energies but the best and most deep way is Dhyan. Reiki etc is healing energy from the universe. Dhyan is you yourself actively working with your own pran. It is a difference like heaven and earth!

Always remember that the astral and other dimensions are just like foreign places. They are unknown and more likely dangerous. You do not travel even upto the grocer’s shop unless you have something to buy. So why would you be travelling into the other realms unless you have a clear and pressing reason? It takes significant energy! If you have work, go there and do it, but always take adequate precautions. And steer clear of the online sites where someone offers to teach you ‘astral projection’ in 300dollar online class. It is not a ‘projection’, your astral body, you yourself, leave and go elsewhere. ‘You’ come back before you wake up. This is a burden and is not for everyone.