Arghya in Krishna Jayanthi Puja

Friday, August 19, 2016

 

Importance of arghyam in Krishna Jayanti (Kṛṣṇajanmāṣṭamī pūjā or Gokulāṣṭamī).

Arghya means respectful offering to a guest. During various pūjā-s, different gods and goddesses are invoked. After completing the entire pūjā, arghya is offered to the concerned deity as a mark of respectful reception.

During Krishna Jayanti pūjā, kṣirārghyam (क्षिरार्घ्यम्) is considered as very important. This arghyam is to be offered by everyone present during pūjā, not just by the one who performed the pūjā. Milk is used (not boiled) for offering arghyam. In the right hand one has to hold two bananas, betel leaves with areca nut and flowers. Using the left hand one has to pour the milk into right hand using uttaraṇi, or seek the help of the one who performed the pūjā to do this.

Kṣirārghyam begins with a small saṅkalpa.

ममोपात्त समस्त दुरितक्षयद्वारा श्री परेम्श्वर प्रीत्यर्थं (or श्री नारायण प्रीत्यर्थं) श्रीकृष्ण पूजान्ते क्षीरार्घ्यप्रदानं करिष्ये।

mamopātta samasta duritakṣayadvārā śrī paremśvara prītyarthaṁ (or śrī nārāyaṇa prītyarthaṁ)  śrī kṛṣṇa pūjānte kṣīrārghyapradānaṁ kariṣye |

There are three arghya-s. At the end of each arghya, milk is to be poured through right palm into a vessel, kept separately for this.

1. जातः कंसवधार्थाय भूभारोत्तारणाय च। पाण्डवानां हितार्थाय धर्मसंस्थापनाय च॥कौरवाणां विनाशाय दैत्यानां निधनाय च। गृहाणार्घ्यं मया दत्तं देवकीतनय प्रभो॥ देवकि सहिताय श्री कृष्णाय नमः ।

इदमर्घ्यं इदमर्घ्यं इदमर्घ्यं॥

jātaḥ kaṁsavadhārthāya bhūbhārottāraṇāya ca | pāṇḍavānāṁ hitārthāya dharmasaṁsthāpanāya ca |kauravāṇāṁ vināśāya daityānāṁ nidhanāya ca | gṛhāṇārghyaṁ mayā dattaṁ devakītanaya prabho || devaki sahitāya śrī kṛṣṇāya namaḥ  |

idamarghyaṁ idamarghyaṁ idamarghyaṁ ||

2. श्री देवकी वसुदेव यशोदा नन्दगोप रोहिणी बलदेव चण्डिका सात्यकयुद्धवाक्रूर उग्रसेनादि गोपगोपिका काळीन्दी काळियादिभ्यो नमः।

इदमर्घ्यं इदमर्घ्यं इदमर्घ्यं॥

śrīī devakī vasudeva yaśodā nandagopa rohiṇī baladeva caṇḍikā sātyakayuddhavākrūra ugrasenāidi gopagopikā kāḻīīndī kāḻiyādibhyo namaḥ|

idamarghyaṁ idamarghyaṁ idamarghyaṁ ||

3. अत्रिनेत्र समुद्भूत क्षीरोदार्णवसंभव। रोहिणीश गृहाणार्घ्यं रमाभ्रातर्मनः पते। चन्द्राय नमः॥

इदमर्घ्यं इदमर्घ्यं इदमर्घ्यं॥

atrinetra samudbhūta kṣīrodārṇavasaṁbhava | rohiṇīśa gṛhāṇārghyaṁ ramābhrātarmanaḥ pate | candrāya namaḥ ||

idamarghyaṁ idamarghyaṁ idamarghyaṁ ||

Related Article

Arghya in Ganesh Puja

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Soundarya Lahari सौन्दर्यलहरी - Verse 1

Monday, May 07, 2012

Soundarya Laharī consisting one hundred verses was composed by Ādi Śaṁkarācārya in praise of Supreme Goddess Śaktī. Soundarya Laharī has two parts. The first part has 41 verses and this part is known as Ānandalaharī and the next part consisting of 59 verses is known as Soundarya laharī. Ānandalaharī deals exhaustively with the Bliss attained while worshipping Her and the next 59 verses dwell on Her physical description that can be explained both grossly and subtly.

Soundarya Lahari Verse 1

Śivaḥ śaktyā yukto yadi bhavati śaktaḥ prabhavituṁ
na cedevaṁ devo na khalu kuśalaḥ spanditumapi|
Atastvāmārādhyāṁ hariharaviriñcādibhirapi
praṇantuṁ stotuṁ vā kathamakṛtapuṇyaḥ prabhavati||

शिवः शक्त्या युक्तो यदि भवति शक्तः प्रभवितुं
न चेदेवं देवो न खलु कुशलः स्पन्दितुमपि।
अतस्त्वामारध्यां हरिहरविरिञ्चादिभिरपि
प्रणन्तुं स्तोतुं वा कथमकृतपुण्यः प्रभवति॥

 Śivaḥ - tāntric Śiva i.e. God Himself; yadi - if; yuktaḥ - joined with; Śaktyā – Śakti; bhavati – becomes; śaktaḥ - capable of; prabhavituṁ - manifesting; (but)  ced – if; na - He is not; evam - thus (i.e. if He is not united with Śakti); devaḥ - Śiva;  na khalu  api - is certainly not even; kuśalaḥ  - able; spanditum - to vibrate; Atas - For this reason; katham – how; akṛtapuṇyaḥ  - is the one who has not accomplished meritorious acts;  prabhavati - able to; praṇantuṁ  - bow; – or; stotuṁ – praise; tvām  - You; ārādhyām  - who are to be worshiped; api – even; by hari -Viṣṇu;  hara - purānic Śiva; viriñca – Brahmā; api – etc.

Meaning of this verse: Śiva becomes inert without Śaktī. When Śiva is not united with Śaktī, He cannot manifest the universe. Because of Her functional nature, Divine Mother becomes supremely important. Even gods and goddesses find it difficult to bow before Her and sing Her praise.

Śiva is Self-illuminating.  Without His existence, the universe will be plunged into darkness. Śiva is present in prakāśa (illuminating) form.  Prakāśa can be explained as visible, shining, universally noted, brightness, lustre, splendour, etc.  Śaktī is His vimarśa form.  Vimarśa can be explained as reasoning, knowledge, consideration, reflecting etc.  In spite of Śiva being the grandeur amongst the cognized existences, He cannot realize His own incomparable splendour without something that is able to reflect His grandeur.  This is like a human not able to see his own form without an object that is capable of reflecting his image.  Śaktī acts like a reflecting mirror where Śiva is able to realise His Reality, like a mirror reflecting the image of a person who stands before it.  Pure consciousness is Śiva and realizing the Pure Consciousness is Śaktī.  If Śiva is not present, the consciousness itself does not exist.  If Śaktī is not present, the presence of consciousness cannot be realised.  In the state of prakāśa ‘I’ and ‘This’ stand united and in the vimarśa aspect ‘This’ is separated from ‘I’.  Therefore prakāśa aspect is ‘I + This’ and vimarśa aspect is ‘This’ alone.  ‘I’ is the origin of the universe and ‘This’ is the expansion of the universe. Śiva is cit and Śaktī is citiCit means foundational consciousness and citi means the consciousness that brings about cognitive operations. Śaktī segregates I and This.  Without Śaktī this vital segregation cannot take place. Śiva causes the initial pulsation for creation that is carried forward by Śaktī.  Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad describes this Supreme Consciousness as ekātmapratyayasāram and the worldly process as Prapañca.

Śaktī pushes forward the throb created by Śiva through different principles or tattva-s (thirty six, where Śiva is tattva one and Śaktī is tattva two) and sustains it through Her māyā or illusion.  Māyā is the sole factor that separates a soul from the Brahman.  She is the manifested conglutination of Śiva and Śaktī and therefore She is both the seed and the sprout.  This also drives home the point that for creation, two objects are required.  For example, a soul alone cannot be born on its own.  It has to come into contact with prakṛti or Nature in order to manifest.  Procreation is not possible without conjugation of masculine and feminine energies. 

Moving on from the perceptible to subtle, a lot more is said about Their subtle conjugation.  They are referred as two bindu-s (dots), white and red, denoting Śiva and Śaktī respectively.  These two bindu-s in mutual conjunction expand and contract.  When they expand, the creation takes place by means of vāc (word) and artha (lit. meaning).  Vāc means the Śabda Brahman and artha means thirty six  tattva-s or principles.  These two bindu-s which enter one another are known as Kāma-Kāmeśvarī.  Śiva, the Supreme is in the form of the first alphabet of Sanskrit A (अ), is the cause of all sounds of Veda-s.  He attains the form of a bindu after having entered His own vimarśa form, Śaktī, in whom the entire universe is dissolved.  Like prakāśa form of bindu entering the vimarśa form of bindu, vimarśa form of bindu also enters prakāśa form of bindu, which is already within it.  As a result of this conjugation, a third bindu called as miśra bindu is born.  Miśra means combined.  Now there are three bindu-s, white, red and miśra.  These three bindu-s form a triangle, red and miśra are below and the white bindu is placed above them causing a perfect triangle.  The miśra bindu has all the tattva-s or principles within itself and is the cause for further creation.  This is the innermost triangle of Sri Chakra.  When these three dots are connected, the three connecting lines represent all the triads such as three guṇa-s, three stages of consciousness, icchā, jñāna and kriyā śaktī-s, etc.  This triangle becomes the cause for creation beginning with Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Rudra.  These three dots are also referred as sun (top), moon (right) and fire (left).  There is an inverted triangle below the three dots.  The three connecting lines of this lower triangle represent three kūṭa-s of Her Pañcadaśī mantra (nāmā 89).

Śiva and Śaktī together are known as Paramaśiva. Śiva alone has got independent power of autonomy, known as svātantraya śakti, which comprises of cit, ānanda, icchā, jñāna and kriyā śakti-s. These five śakti-s are known as Consciousness, Bliss, will, knowledge and action.  Śiva transfers His exclusive and independent power of autonomy, comprising of these five powers to Śaktī. Śiva always prefers to remain alone in a state of Bliss. He carves out His svātantraya śakti and transfers it to Śaktī. As He has transferred His Power to Her, this verse says that He cannot act without Her. It must be remembered that whatever power She has, they represent the Powers of Śiva only. She acts on behalf of Śiva alone. There is nothing in this universe that is not Śiva. Therefore, unless one understands Śaktī, he or she cannot realize Śiva, the Ultimate. She alone can reveal Śiva, says Lalitā Sahasranāma 727, Śivajñānapradāyinī.

In the process of creation, there are so many energies in action. For example, creation is taken care of by Brahmā, sustenance by Viṣṇu and death is caused by Rudra. These three are only the primary acts of the Divine. There are many other innumerable energies and every such energy is represented by a deity, either a god or a goddess. For example, water is under the control of Varuṇa, fire by Agni, etc.  All these acts are overseen by Śaktī. Without Her command, none of these gods and goddesses becomes active.

She is worshipped in Sri Chakra, where the Divine Couple, Śiva and Śaktī are seated in the central bindu (dot). Before worshipping Them in this bindu, all other gods and goddesses are worshipped in various coverings known as āvaraṇa-s. Only after obtaining the blessings of all other gods and goddesses, the Divine Couple can be worshipped. This concept is symbolically represented through Sri Chakra worship.

Lalitā Sahasranāma adores Her through 1000 nāma-s. This Supreme Sahasranāma was composed by eight Vāc Devi-s and these nāma-s highlight all Her activities. If one needs to understand Her, he or she should first understand the meaning of these nāma-s. For example the first nāma adores as the Supreme Mother and the last nāma reveals Her name as Lalitāmbikā. In between these nāma-s, She is adored for each of Her quality. Nāma 250 adores Her as pañca-brahma-svarūpiṇī. Pañca-brahma refers to Her five primary acts – creation, sustenance, death, annihilation and re-creation.

To sum up, this verse adores the Supreme Mother, who is ever compassionate, carrying out all the activities to sustain the universe. Those who have good karmas accrued over past births alone become capable of seeking Her through various forms of Her worship. When it is not easy for Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Purānic Śiva to worship Her, the kind of good karmas one needs to worship Her through Śrīvidyā Upāsana is subtly explained in this verse.

Related articles:

Soundarya Lahari - सौन्दर्यलहरी - Verse 2 

Soundarya Lahari - Verse 3

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Theory And Practice of Kundalini Meditation - Introduction

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Kuṇḍalinī is not just a force, but Parāśakti Herself in Her subtlest form. It is one of the quickest methods to liberation. Even without practicing kuṇḍalinī, She ascends to higher chakras depending upon one’s level of love (the highest form of devotion) for Her. Ascension of kuṇḍalinī is directly related to the purity level of one’s mind. Yoga Cūḍāmaṇi Upaniṣad talks abou90t the importance of kuṇḍalinī. Verse 37 says, “Kuṇḍalinī rests in the passage of Brahman. If one goes through this passage, Brahman is attained.” Passage of Brahman that is referred here is a tiny nāḍi (often explained as a nerve or an artery or a vein) inside the spinal cord known as suṣumna, where all the three guṇa-s (sattva, rajas and tamas) are present. Within suṣumna, there are two other nāḍi-s, one within the other. Outer nāḍi is suṣumna and within suṣumna there is another nāḍi vajra (literal meaning – impenetrable) and within vajra, there is a very tiny nāḍi known as citriṇi and this citriṇi nāḍi is referred as the pathway to Brahman, who is seated at the top of the head in a tiny orifice known as brahmrandra (the orifice of Brahman). Yoga Cūḍāmaṇi Upaniṣad (39) says, “When kuṇḍalinī is awakened, ascends through citriṇi nāḍi and opens the door for the practitioner to realize Brahman.” We need the help of only mind and prāṇa to awaken this Divine Power Kuṇḍalinī which lies dormant in the base chakra and through practice have to make Her unite with Her Consort of Śiva. When this Divine Union takes place, the yogi is liberated.

How importance kuṇḍalinī is in the path or liberation is explained in Haṭhayoga Pradīpaka in the chapter samādhi. “When kuṇḍalinī is awakened through various means, one enters into the state of samādhi automatically. The one, who knows the path abandons all actions when his prāṇa enters into suṣumna (technically speaking it is through citriṇi nāḍi, which is the inner most nāḍi in suṣumna. He is liberated when kuṇḍalinī enters into sahasrāra.” Therefore, the main purpose of understanding and practicing kuṇḍalinī meditation is only to attain liberation. Some supernatural powers that are attained during practice are to be ignored, if one is able to attain these powers; however, these powers are rarely attained. Kuṇḍalinī Yoga is also known as Mahā Yoga, which itself indicates its importance and supremacy.

Before practicing kuṇḍalinī, we need to have thorough understanding of the subtleties of kuṇḍalinī, which is the subtlest and yet the most powerful form of Parāśakti. As we know, She has three forms, Gross (different forms with which we worship Her, such as Kālī, Ṣoḍaśī etc. Her subtler form is Kāmakalā and Her subtlest form is Kuṇḍalinī. All these three forms are discussed in Lalitā Sahasranāma in detail.

It is always advisable to practice kuṇḍalinī meditation under the direct supervision of a learned Guru, who has experienced the Bliss of kuṇḍalinī and got liberated. Expertise of a Guru is needed in case of wrong practice which could cause serious damage to the whole body, particularly, the nervous system. While practicing kuṇḍalinī meditation, certain biological, hormonal and chemical changes happen in the body and such changes in general do not cause any harm, provided, this meditation is practiced step by step in a slow pace.

This series will discuss all possible angles of kuṇḍalinī meditation, including theory, practice, required āsana-s, prāṇāyāma, mudra-s, bandha-s, yoganidrā, activating and balancing psychic centres apart from discussing spiritual, scientific and biological angles. However, extreme caution should be exercised while practicing these procedures. Most importantly, one should have absolute faith on Her Grace.

(to be continued)

Further Readings:

Kundalini Syndrome

Kinetic Kundalini Energy

Is Kundalini Deaf

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PATANJALI YOGA SUTRAS - 1

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Patañjali Yoga Sūtra-s has 196 aphorisms, classified under four chapters. First Chapter is known as samādhi pāda and has 51 aphorisms. Second chapter is known as sādhana pāda and has 55 aphorisms. These two chapters deal with the practice of controlling the mind and to enter into different stages of meditation. Third chapter is known as vibhūti pāda and has 56 aphorisms. This chapter deals with siddhis (super human powers) that we may acquire due to sincerity and intensity of practice, as explained in the first two chapters. Fourth chapter is known as kaivalya pāda and has 34 aphorisms.

We have covered chapters one and two through various articles on meditation. Now, we will take up for brief study, chapters three and four vibhūti pāda and kaivalya pāda.

Further Readings:

PATANJALI YOGA SUTRAS - 2

PATANJALI YOGA SUTRAS - 3

Understanding Philosophies - Part 6 - Patanjali Yoga

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Will You Come Back Guruji - Part 1

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Part 1

Guruji in the horizon is a short story about a rustic boy ultimately transforming into a Spiritual Guru. The story will be published as a series, containing a number of parts. Here is part 1:

It is yet another day.  I always like the dawn - the creeks of birds, misty leaves and the redness of the dawn. Red stands for compassion.  I used to wonder how the sun being so red at the time of dawn gradually turns white.  I live near river Cauvery. It is good to walk on the sandy river bed.  The tiny sand grains acupressure my feet and I used to enjoy this.  The river was flowing with the rustic sound that changes every minute.  In the river bed, I perform my yogic exercises.  I prefer the river bed as you have plenty of natural unpolluted air around.  The more oxygen intake helps to rejuvenate the body better. When I begin ...Read More

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SRI SUKTAM - Part 12 (Concluding Part)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

In the original Khilasūkta, there are 29 verses, out of which we have discussed 16 verses so far. These 16 verses are the main part of Śrī Sūktam. Now the balance of 13 verses are being discussed. These verses do not form part of homa procedure of Śrī Sūktam.

पद्मानने पद्मविपद्मपत्रे पद्मदलायदाक्षि।

विश्वप्रिये विष्णुमनोनुकूले ...Read More

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AVADHŪTA GĪTĀ - 7

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Bhagavān Dattātreya continues:  

Upaniṣad-s explain how māyā projects objects as different things from Brahman (It is the māyā that makes us to think that the objects we see are real and different from Brahman; the fact is that everything is Brahman, hence It is called Omnipresent or all pervasive). Brahman is not divisible (hence omnipresent) and hence, there cannot be any comparison for a non-dual Brahman (comparison is possible only if more than one object is present). It is free from actions ...Read More

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Ashwatthama – The Saptarishi of 8th Manvantara

Sunday, July 30, 2017

(This article is published by Santosh Kumar Raja)

In Indian mythology, I think there is no other name that evokes more curiosity, mystery and mixed feelings than that of Ashwatthama. If you punch in “Ashwatthama” in google or any other search engine, you will get umpteen sites, videos, TV channel programs and legends about Ashwatthama each describing a different aspect. But ...Read More

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Finding God - 1

Thursday, February 19, 2009

There are various steps to become a yogi. To become a yogi we need guidance from another yogi, who is called spiritual Guru. We have discussed certain things in my earlier postings like Self Realisation. Now, we will go a little deep into this subject. First step is to understand consciousness thoroughly. This plays an important role in various stages of meditation. The consciousness can be defined as “understanding the subject and the object”. The consciousness cannot be defined with a relative term. This can also be interpreted as “knowing your self”. In Sanskrit, consciousness is referred as “cit”. The word “cit” can be defined as ‘self knowing self’.

Giving a proper explanation or understanding the explanation is difficult. But without understanding this, we cannot proceed further. ‘Knowing your self’ and ‘self knowing self’ is one and the same. Here the second usage of self means Atman. Consciousness is not Atman. Consciousness or cit is trying to know the atman. How is that Self appearing? It is ‘prakasha’. Prakasha means light. So, the consciousness or cit is trying to know the Self which is in the form of light. It is just not another light. This light is self illuminating and also illuminates things around it. Does it not sound like our electrical lights? When a bulb is burning, we see the burning bulb and also the things around that bulb, because of the light from the bulb. With our eyes we see both, the subject and object, whereas the Self or atman is only the subject and there is no object to see here. This is what Kato Upanishad also says. Whatever we see around us is due to the illuminating inner Self or atman. The illuminating atman cannot be seen with our physical eyes.

We can see this only with our consciousness. With consciousness we can see the ...Read More

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ATMA BODHA - THE EPILOGUE

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Śaṃkarācārya who had authored many works on dvaita or dualism such as Saundaryalaharī, etc. had also authored Supreme Advaita Scriptures or non-dualistic Scriptures like Ātmabodhaḥ, Tattvabodhaḥ, Vivekacūḍamaṇi, etc. What is the need for Śaṃkarācārya to author both dualistic and non-dualistic Scriptures? He was a loka Guru (Guru for the world) and he had the dual responsibility of developing bhakti (devotion) and at the same time, leading elevated souls to the path of Liberation. The path of bhakti leads to the path of moksha. We cannot get master’s degree without going to school and graduation. These are prerequisites for post-graduation. We begin our education in an elementary school and gradually progress to middle school, high school, graduation and finally post-graduation and research. Similarly, spiritual path, which is full of subtleties and negations can be pursued only after experiencing bhakti. What is bhakti? In bhakti, we worship a form which is mostly loved by us. Here, God and we are not on the same plane; god is always kept on a pedestal and we adore that form with clothes, flowers, ornaments, offer food for god to eat. Though god does not eat, we get satisfaction and happiness when innumerable food items are offered to god. When bhakti is intense, we also shed tears in front of this god. But, we don’t get tears in the beginning, but over a period of time, when we consider that form as our own, we become emotional. A strong relationship is established between god and us. This is the infantile step in the path of moksha. Many of us continue our lives by pursuing only the path of bhakti, without seeking the ultimate goal of our life. Human birth is God’s gift and we should not waste this without attaining Liberation. Both birth and death are always painful. Hence, it is important that we should get relief from transmigration. Śaṃkarācārya in simple terms laid the path to Liberation, which is easier to follow than the ritualistic path.

Nowadays, ritualistic path is commercialised and turned out to be crowd pulling events. Some may argue that ritualistic path is prescribed by Vedas. But, they are not aware that Vedas have subtle conveyances too. Aurobindo was the first one to give subtle interpretation to Vedas. He said yajña-s refer to inner oblations, burning ego, anger, greed, pride, attachment, desires, etc. These are the impediments in spiritual path, which is always internal. We should not be lured by crowd pullers in spiritual life. Spiritual life is always in seclusion. Nothing is needed for spiritual life; no wastage of money and no physical strain. All we need is only a pure mind. Spiritual path cannot be pursued where pomp and vanity are predominant; even bhakti takes a beating in this scenario. Now, we can understand why sages and saints went to forest to meditate. There are several instances about this in Upanishads. Kṛṣṇa also speaks of meditating in seclusion. Dualism or ritualistic path cannot be denounced. However, they are like pre-graduation period. Goal of our life is to attain moksha, for which Śaṃkarācārya clearly laid down instructions for us to follow. This path is simple and inexpensive and is the only path for Liberation.

After remaining in spiritual path for some time, the next move is towards mantra sādhana. Mantras are meant to protect and purify our mind. Mantras are to be initiated by a Guru. There are two types of Gurus. Some Gurus go deeper and deeper into mantra sādhana and barrages his disciples with scores of mantras. Other Gurus take us to the path of Liberation through the path of mantra sādhana and meditation. It is always better to approach the second type of Gurus, who guides us properly in our ultimate goal, step by step. But these types of Gurus are rare to find. No purpose would be served if we practice more than one mantra at a time. Mantras, as such, do not lead to Liberation. They only prepare our mind for the ultimate goal of realizing the Self, as Self-realization happens only in the mind. While pursuing mantra sādhana, again step by step approach should be pursued. In the initial days, we can use rosary beads for counting. After sometime, when we become conversant with the mantra, we have to discard beads and chant the mantra mentally. Then mantra should be meditated upon, which results in the mantra percolating into our subconscious mind. Thus, we unconsciously chant the mantra throughout the day. At this stage, we are ready to begin our spiritual journey. The mind needs to be cleansed with ritualistic path and mantra sādhana. Only in a fully cleansed mind, true spiritual path can be pursued. Without strong foundation, a tall building will always be unstable and similarly, without a pure mind, proper meditation cannot be pursued.

We need the help of our Guru from this point onwards and the Guru should be capable of leading us to the path of enlightenment. Spiritual path begins with three things. They are spiritual knowledge, prāṇāyama and meditation, exactly in the similar order. There is no point in reading books after books. The ultimate teaching of all the books is “you are That”. After acquiring the requisite knowledge, we have to unlearn what we have learnt, after grasping the essence and revelations of these spiritual texts such as Upaniṣad-s and non-dualistic texts authored by Śaṃkarācārya. Why unlearning? Otherwise, we will continue to dwell in doubts and there will be no end to such doubts. While acquiring knowledge, we should have absolute concentration. If we are not able to understand, we have to clarify our doubts with our Guru.

Before proceeding to the final path viz. meditation, we have to practice prāṇāyama, as advised by Guru. Prāṇāyama helps to cleanse the mind of all impurities and develop our concentration, which is important in meditation. Along with prāṇāyama, we have to learn to slow down our breathing rate, which helps to increase our awareness during meditation. To begin with, twenty minutes of meditation (which excludes prāṇāyama) twice a day. Nothing will happen in the first few minutes. After approximately 10 to 20 days, the first signs of silent mind can be observed. Under the guidance of Guru, one has to increase the duration of meditation over a period of time. Those who have responsibilities should not practice meditation for longer duration, as long duration meditation will lead to samādhi or trance. Remaining in samādhi for long time, will lead to detachment from the family. Hence, age factor should be taken into account while practicing higher meditations. Guru will properly guide us in this regard.

Once we have completed our responsibilities, we can meditate for longer duration, which will make us to remain first in savikalpa samādhi and later on in nirvikalpa samādhi, where we become one with the Self. We continue to exist in this world as long as the last trace of karma remains. Once, all our karmas are exhausted, we cease to transmigrate and merge into Brahman forever. This is the right path to Liberation. There is no short cut method to Liberation. Without a proper Guru, Liberation is not possible.

Further Readings:

ATMA BODHA - 9

ATMA BODHA - 10

ATMA BODHA - 11

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Spiritual Journey - 20

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Avadhūta and Paramahaṁsa are essentially jīvanmukta-s. After evolving into a jīvanmukta, one decides how he or she pursues his or her life, till he or she becomes videhamukta (mokṣa – after death). Only a yogi can evolve into a jīvanmukta. A perfect yogi is the one, who has realized the Self within. He is shaped into a yogi by his Guru, without whom, imparting higher spiritual knowledge and practice is not possible. All Advaita Scriptures ultimately convey that Brahman is within and what is within, pervades the entire universe. This essence is conveyed to his disciples by a Guru. There are hundreds of Scriptures in Advaita such as Upaniṣad-s, Bhagavad Gītā, Yoga Vāsiṣṭha, Pañcadaśi, etc. Each of these Scriptures reveal Brahman in different ways. It is not necessary to study all these Scriptures, as the goal is always the same viz. Brahman. Too much of reading will distort spiritual knowledge, leading only to confusion. The crux of all these Scriptures is the advice not to seek Brahman outside by getting too much into rituals and visits to sacred places. They advise us to sit and meditate and look for Brahman within. Most of the spiritual seekers fail to transform into a yogi because of practicing too many mantra japas, rituals, attending workshops and classes, etc. Knowledge about Brahman is always imparted one to one between a Guru and his disciple, that too in seclusion. But, one should be fortunate enough to get a learned Guru, who can impart the ultimate knowledge in a proper way and in stages. As has been repeatedly emphasised in this series, proper and regular prāṇāyāma and meditation alone will help, in reaching the ultimate goal of one’s life.

Lord Dattātreya, an avadhūta, is worthy of worship; because he has warded off all bondages and ever lives in the state of Ānandha. Ānandha because he perpetually stays connected with Saccidānanda (Brahman). He lives his own life, as directed by the Self within. He neither cares for society nor follows any dictums of Śāstra-s. There is no need for him to follow any of the Scriptural dictums, as there is nothing for him to attain, after being Liberated. After all, every serious spiritual aspirant, aims only for Liberation in this birth itself. If someone asks him about non-performance of rituals as prescribed in Śāstra-s, he shoots back by asking, as to whom He should do these rituals. He says, ’I am fully aware that I am the Self. Let those who teach Vedas and Scriptures think whatever they like. I am not worried, as I am the Self and I have no doubt on this. (source – Avadhūta Upaniṣad). There is no need for me to meditate, as I have no confusions or doubts. I know that my body is not me and hence I do not give importance to my body at all. I am the Self and I have no doubt about it and I do not attach any credence to what others say about me.’ Mere darśan of such an avadhūta will initiate us into higher spiritual evolution. But, it is always rare to see such avadhūta, as he always hides himself from inquisitive crowd.

What about consciousness of an avadhūta? His consciousness is not conditioned by any upādhi or māyā or avidyā. His consciousness is the purest and remains un-afflicted by any type of adjunct. It always remains pure, like the purest consciousness, which is called Brahman. For him, there is no duality, as he fully understands that everything is Brahman. He is not worried about what he wears. He does not wear any religious symbols; he does not even hesitate to shed his clothes. For him, his body is worthless.

Liberation is the toughest thing to attain. This can be attained only through practice and that too with the help of a Teacher. Spiritual evolution involves various stages beginning from a mantra japa, cessation of mantra japa, meditation, cessation of meditation, experience of Bliss, remaining in perpetual Bliss, etc. If we are stranded in any one of these stages for too long, spiritual advancement will regress, making it difficult to attain the logical goal of human birth. When the last trace of duality is dissolved, stage is set for Liberation. 

With this, series on “Spiritual Journey” is concluded.

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MANTRA RĀJA PADA STOTRAM

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

श्री मन्त्रराज पद स्तोत्रम्॥ Śrī Mantrarāja Pada Stotram ||

Śrī Mantrarāja Pada Stotram is one of the powerful mantras. It cures serious diseases and ailments. It also gives knowledge, wealth and all types of auspiciousness. It is said that this hymn should be recited, first with mantra rāja mantra which is given below (commencing with om ugraṁ vīraṁ mahāviṣṇuṁ).  There are highlighted words in each of the first ten verses. If we place these words one after another, we will get mantra rāja mantra. There are eleven verses in this hymn and one verse for phalaśruti. There is a YouTube clipping at the end of this article for correct pronunciation, which is posted by Ramya Giri.

It is said that this hymn should be repeated three times a day for best results. It is important that this hymn should be chanted at the time of sunset.

ॐ उग्रं वीरं महाविष्णुं ज्वलन्तं सर्वतोमुखम्।
नृसिंहं भीषणं भद्रं मृत्युमृत्युं नमाम्यहम्॥

om ugraṁ vīraṁ mahāviṣṇuṁ jvalantaṁ sarvatomukham |
nṛsiṁhaṁ bhīṣaṇaṁ bhadraṁ mṛtyumṛtyuṁ namāmyaham ||

श्री ईश्वर उवाच śrī īśvara uvāca

वृत्तोत्फुल्लविशालाक्षं विपक्षक्षयदीक्षितम्।
निनादत्रस्तविश्वाण्डं विष्णुं उग्रं नमाम्यहम्॥ १

vṛttotphullaviśālākṣaṁ vipakṣakṣayadīkṣitam |
ninādatrastaviśvāṇḍaṁ viṣṇuṁ ugraṁ namāmyaham || 1

सर्वैरवध्यतां प्राप्तं सबलौघं दितेः सुतम्।
नखाग्रैः शकलीचक्रे यस्तं वीरं नमाम्यहम्॥२

sarvairavadhyatāṁ prāptaṁ sabalaughaṁ diteḥ sutam |
nakhāgraiḥ śakalīcakre yastaṁ vīraṁ namāmyaham ||2

पदावष्टब्धपातालं मूर्धाविष्टत्रिविष्टपम्।
भुजप्रविष्टाष्टदिशं महाविष्णुम् नमाम्यहम्॥ ३

padāvaṣṭabdhapātālaṁ mūrdhāviṣṭatriviṣṭapam |
bhujapraviṣṭāṣṭadiśaṁ mahāviṣṇum namāmyaham || 3

ज्योतींष्यर्केन्दु नक्षत्र ज्वलनादीन्यनुक्रमात्।
ज्वलन्ति तेजसा यस्य तं ज्वलन्तं नमाम्यहम्॥ ४

jyotīṁṣyarkendu nakṣatra jvalanādīnyanukramāt |
jvalanti tejasā yasya taṁ jvalantaṁ namāmyaham || 4

सर्वेन्द्रयैरपि विना सर्वं सर्वत्र सर्वदा॥
यो जानाति नमाम्याद्यं तमहं सर्वतोमुखम्॥ ५

sarvendrayairapi vinā sarvaṁ sarvatra sarvadā ||
yo jānāti namāmyādyaṁ tamahaṁ sarvatomukham || 5

नरवत् सिंहवच्चैव यस्य रूपं महात्मनः।
महासटं महादंष्ट्रं तं नृसिंहं नमाम्यहम्॥ ६

naravat siṁhavaccaiva yasya rūpaṁ mahātmanaḥ |
mahāsaṭaṁ mahādaṁṣṭraṁ taṁ nṛsiṁhaṁ namāmyaham || 6

यन्नामस्मरणाद् भीताः भुतवेतालराक्षसाः।
रोगाद्याक्ष्च प्रणश्यन्ति भीषणं तं नमाम्यहम्॥ ७

yannāmasmaraṇād bhītāḥ bhutavetālarākṣasāḥ |
rogādyākṣca praṇaśyanti bhīṣaṇaṁ taṁ namāmyaham || 7

सर्वोऽपि यं समाश्रित्य सकलं भद्रमश्नुते।
श्रिया च भद्रया जुष्टो यस्तं भद्रं नमाम्यहम्॥ ८

sarvo'pi yaṁ samāśritya sakalaṁ bhadramaśnute |
śriyā ca bhadrayā juṣṭo yastaṁ bhadraṁ namāmyaham || 8

साक्षात् स्वकाले सम्प्राप्तं मृत्युं शत्रुगणान्वितम्।
भक्तानां नाशयेद् यस्तु मृत्युमृत्युं नमाम्यहम्॥ ९

sākṣāt svakāle samprāptaṁ mṛtyuṁ śatrugaṇānvitam |
bhaktānāṁ nāśayed yastu mṛtyumṛtyuṁ namāmyaham || 9

नमस्कारात्मकं यस्मै विधायाऽऽत्मनिवेदनम्।
त्यक्तदुःखोऽकिलान् कामान् अश्नन्तं तं नमाम्यहम्। १०

namaskārātmakaṁ yasmai vidhāyā''tmanivedanam |
tyaktaduḥkho'kilān kāmān aśnantaṁ taṁ namāmyaham | 10

दासभूताः स्वतः सर्वे ह्यात्मानः परमात्मनः।
अतोऽहमपि ते दासः इति मत्वा नमाम्यहम्॥ ११

dāsabhūtāḥ svataḥ sarve hyātmānaḥ paramātmanaḥ |
ato'hamapi te dāsaḥ iti matvā namāmyaham || 11

फलश्रुतिः॥ Phalaśrutiḥ ||

श्ङ्करेणादरात् प्रोक्तं पदानां तत्त्वनिर्णयम्।
त्रिसन्ध्यं यः पठेत् तस्य श्रीर्विद्याऽयुश्च वर्धेते॥

śṅkareṇādarāt proktaṁ padānāṁ tattvanirṇayam |
trisandhyaṁ yaḥ paṭhet tasya śrīrvidyā'yuśca vardhete ||

Meaning:
Śrī Īśvara said:
  1. I offer my salutation to the ferocious Lord, who has big round eyes; who has vowed to destroy the enemies and by His fierce roars shaking the entire world.
  2. I offer my salutations to the valorous Lord with sharp nails, tore into pieces Hiraṇyakaśipu, son of Kaśyapa and Diti, who could not be killed by anyone.
  3. I offer my salutations to Lord Viṣṇu, whose feet touch the earth, whose head touches the heaven and whose hands spread in all directions.
  4. I offer my salutations to the Lord, whose lustre illumines the sun, the moon, the stars and fire.
  5. I offer my salutations to the Lord, who knows everything, all the time, and at all places, without the help of the senses, to such primal person who has faces in all directions.
  6. I offer my salutations to Lord Nṛsiṁha, who is half-man and half-lion with mane and canine teeth.
  7. I offer my salutations to the Lord whose mere name frightens demons. Dreadful diseases get cured by chanting His name.
  8. I offer my salutations to the Lord, who is the store house of good things and worshipping Him, everyone gets all auspicious things in life.
  9.  I offer my salutations to the Lord He who is the Lord of death, who destroys death and destroys enemies of His devotees at the right time.
  10. I offer my salutations to the Lord and surrender unto Him. He will protect everyone from all kinds of miseries. He fulfils all kinds of prayers.
  11. I offer my salutations and surrender unto Him. I offer my prostrations to Him, the Supreme Being to attain His Grace.
Benefits of reciting this Stotram.

Whosoever reads this Śrī Mantrarāja Pada Stotram with faith, thrice a day will surely get prosperity, knowledge and long life.  

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Kundalini Meditation - Video (for Turiya and Turyatita Stages of Meditation)

Friday, August 01, 2014

This audio is on kundalini meditation for turiya and turyātīta stages. Duration of this audio is 30 minutes. 

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Mahaganpati Mantra Japa

Friday, April 28, 2017

Mahaganapati Mantra Japa

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Chakra Cleansing and Energisation

Monday, June 13, 2016

This is another audio in YouTube for cleansing and energising psychic chakras. Duration of this audio is 15 minutes. This is different from YouTube audio uploaded for kundalini meditation which includes turya and turyātītā stages. This audio is meant for practicing cleansing and energizing chakras.

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