Sri Ganesha Durga Stotram

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Śrī-gaṇeśa-durga-stotram (श्रीगणेशदुर्गस्तोत्रम्)

Source: sanskritdocuments.org

Prologue:

This stotram is for all devotees of Lord Gaṇeśa. No special initiation is required. Just faith in Him will suffice. He shall never fail to come to the rescue of His devotees and will offer His protection at all times. He shall dispel all types of obstacles and remove all the difficulties faced by His sincere devotees. One must repeat this stotram three times a day, at dawn, noon and dusk, in order to obtain His complete grace.

prācyāṃ rakṣatu herambaśc-āgneyyāṃ agni-tejasaḥ

yāmyāṃ lambodaro rakṣe-nairṛtyāṃ pārvatī-sutaḥ 1

प्राच्यां रक्षतु हेरम्बश्चाग्नेय्यां अग्नितेजसः ।

याम्यां लम्बोदरो रक्षेनैरृत्यां पार्वतीसुतः ॥ १ ॥

Complete protection from the Eastern direction is offered by the grace of the Divine Lord Heramba, an aspect of Lord Gaṇeśa, who represents the five cosmic acts of Creation, Preservation, Destruction, Annihilation and Resurrection. The South Eastern direction is protected by the grace of the Divine Lord Agnitejasa, an attribute of Lord Gaṇeśa, signifying His resplendent energy resembling the luster of fire. The Southern direction is protected by the grace of the Divine Lord Lambodara, an aspect of Lord Gaṇeśa, whose pot-bellied countenance signifies His ability to carry the entire Creation in His belly. ...Read More

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Mahaganapati Mantra Vigraha Kavacam

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Śrīmahāgaṇapati Mantra Vigraha Kavacam (श्रीमहागणपति मन्त्रविग्रहकवचम्) -

 

Source: sanskritdocuments.org

 

Prologue:

 

This Kavacam is dedicated to the worshippers of Śrī Mahāgaṇapati, who is adored as the highest form of Lord Gaṇeśa, by the Gaṇapatyas – the sect of followers of Lord Gaṇeśa. Śrī Mahāgaṇapati upāsana, is initiated along with that of Śrī Bālā Tripura Sundarī in the tradition of Śrī Vidyā, by many gurus. In the Purāṇas, Lord Gaṇeśa is described as the son of the Divine Mother Pārvati, who created Him with the unguents smeared on Her body. His defiance ...Read More

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Ganesha/Mahaganapati Trailokya Mohana Kavacham

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Gaṇeśa Trailokya Mohana Kavacam (गणेश त्रैलोक्यमोहनकवचम् ।)

 

Source: sanskritdocuments.org

Prologue:

This Kavacam is dedicated to the worshippers of Śrī Mahāgaṇapati, who is adored as the highest form of Lord Gaṇeśa, by the Gaṇapatyas – the sect of followers of Lord Gaṇeśa. Śrī Mahāgaṇapati upāsana, is initiated along with that of Śrī Bālā Tripura Sundarī in the tradition of Śrī Vidyā, by many gurus. In the Purāṇas, Lord ...Read More

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Sri Ugra Tara Astakshara Maha Mantra

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Śrī Ugratārā Aṣṭākṣara Mahāmantraḥ (श्री उग्रतारा अष्टाक्षर महामन्त्रः)

Source:- Mantra Koṣa.

Purpose:- To obtain immense protection, removal of all types of misery, obtain favors from higher authorities, victory in all competitions, gambling, wealth, status etc. as well as self-realization and liberation.

Special Note:- No mantra suitability check is required. Also, no strenuous puraścaraṇa with concentrated mind is required. The Divine Mother is easy to please and grants all magical powers to the sincere devotees. It is however, very important to recite the additional nyāsās on a daily basis, which by itself could take 30 to 45 minutes. It is suggested that one should dedicate at least 2 hours of their time towards the mantra japa, in order to complete the 400,000 mantra japa in the prescribed manner.

Initiation:- Required.

1. Viniyogaḥ (विनियोगः) :-

om̐ asya mantrasya

Brahmā ṛṣiḥ

Gayatrī chandaḥ

Tārā devatā

sarvābhīṣṭa siddhaye jape viniyogaḥ

ॐ अस्य मन्त्रस्य ।

ब्रह्मा ऋषिः ।

गयत्री छन्दः ।

तारा देवता ।

सर्वाभीष्ट सिद्धये जपे विनियोगः ॥

Meaning:- This prayer, encased as a great mantra, is to invoke Śrī Ugratārā and perform Her mantra japa to obtain Her complete grace in all aspects, and to obtain the four ...Read More

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Sri Pratyangira Jagan mangala Kavacham

Friday, May 07, 2021

Jagan-maṅgala Nāma Śrī Mahā Pratyaṅgirā Kavaca Stotram

  (जगन्मङ्गल नाम श्री महा प्रत्यङ्गिरा कवच स्तोत्रम्) -

Prologue – This kavacam (Shield of armor) called Jagan-maṅgala Nāma Śrī Mahā Pratyaṅgirā Kavaca Stotram, belongs to the class of extremely powerful and most potents stotras, which are also considered as mantras in their own right – mālā mantras. By definition, these powerful stotra mantras are to be recited only upon receiving a proper initiation and obtaining the consent of one’s own guru. In addition, the devotee should first practice a regular initiated mantra, which in this case can be any Śrī Mahā Pratyaṅgirā Devi mantras, that the guru sees fit, for the disciple to recite. Along with the mantra, the devotee must also perform the appropriate yantra āvaraṇa rituals, to gain access and permission to recite any kavaca of this class.

In dire times when one is completely helpless and facing life threatening situations and/or abject poverty, extreme hardships in their material and spiritual progress and simply unable to fulfill the pre-requisites, one may pray to the Divine Mother with full sincerity, to seek Her forgiveness for not following the pre-requisites and request for Her permission to proceed with the recitation of this stotram, or any others of this class/type.

It should be duly noted, that when one is out of danger and is in a position to follow the prescribed rituals, the same must not be skipped for any reason and should be duly fulfilled, to avoid any repurcussions in future.

Jagan-maṅgala denotes victory and auspiciousness in the entire realm of existence. This kavacam therefore has the ability to obtain anything that one may desire or long for. In particular, the Divine Mother Śrī Mahā Pratyaṅgirā Devi, is propitiated for getting rid of all types of enemies, internal and external, reversing the effects of black magic, as well as for ensuring victory in all undertakings, competitions etc. ...Read More

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Corona (COVID-19) Virus and Other Health Related Mantras

Monday, March 30, 2020

Corona Virus and other Health related remedies

Today, we are faced with an unusual variant of the novel Corona virus – Covid-19, causing a lot of panic and disruption of normal life, economy etc. We have been inundated with a lot of queries from readers asking what they can do during these times to tide over the crisis. It is very important to follow the advices issued by the Government, maintaining social distancing/personal hygiene etc and seeking medical help/intervention as required.

In addition, the Purāṇic literature in India, speaks volumes of such incidents caused by Rākṣasās, assuming various dimensions in size and in various anthropomorphic forms etc. In the Devi Bhāgvata purāṇa describing the Devi Mahatmyam, we encounter the story of the Divine Mother Kāli, a manifestation of Goddess Durga, emerging to annihilate the Rākṣasā Raktabīja, whose blood drops would multiply into more manifestations of the same Raktabīja, falling upon the Earth. The Divine Mother Kāli, with Her enormous lolling tongue, laps up all the blood drops and completely annihilates Raktabīja.

We can correlate the minute form of Raktabīja to that of a virus or any other micro-organism capable of causing ...Read More

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Sri Para Maha Yoni Kavacham - Part 2

Monday, March 22, 2021

Śrī Parā-Mahā-Yoni Kavacam (श्री परा-महा-योनि कवचम्) - Part 2

Disclaimer for the recitation of the Kavacam : strict warning and restrictions, must be followed! Please note the public access and publication of this kavacam is for educational, research, and pedagogical purposes only. Specifically, it should be effectively noted that the publishing of this secretive kavacam, for recitation, is only permissible for senior and accomplished Śrī Vidyā upāsakas who have received the krama dīkṣā, which is the procedural initiation of the Aṅga devatas (subsidiary deities) associated with Lalita devi, in an associated manner as specified by the tantras and the particular tradition of the initiating guru.

Eventually, one will be conferred with the Mahāṣoḍaśī mantra, thereby bringing the sādhaka (devotee) to the point of pūrṇābhiṣekha dīkṣā, which is akin to graduation in the discipline of Śrī Vidyā. Do not regularly recite this kavacam if you are not of this caliber and level. Mahashodasi Maha Mantra initiation is the minimum requirement for recitation of this Kavacham.

Please also note, we are NOT initiating or authorizing such recitation to anyone directly. One must, and may, ONLY obtain initiation and guidance from their specific gurus and recite after gaining the permission. The warning associated with this kavacam for non-adherents must be respected and taken seriously; we therefore caution everyone. Reading the kavacam to understand its significance may be permitted, but regular recitation without the explicit permission of one’s guru is prohibited. Respecting and adhering to this restriction maintains safety and generates trust for future publications of advanced practices.

This is article is continuation of Part 1

‘krīm̐ hūm̐ hrīm̐’ dakṣiṇā pātu maṇipuraṃ tathā mama

namo bhagavatyai ‘hskhphrem̐’ kubjikāyai ‘śrām̐ śrīm̐ śrūm̐’

ṅañaṇaname aghorā mukhi ‘chām̐ chīm̐ kiṇi kiṇi vicce’ 8

क्रीँ हूँ ह्रीँ’ दक्षिणा पातु मणिपुरं तथा मम ।

नमो भगवत्यै ‘ह्स्ख्फ्रेँ’ कुब्जिकायै ‘श्राँ श्रीँ श्रूँ’

ङञणनमे अघोरा मुखि ‘छाँ छीँ किणि किणि विच्चे’ ॥ ८ ॥

The mantra ‘krīm̐ hūm̐ hrīm̐’ of Dakṣiṇa Kāli protects and activates the navel maṇipūra ...Read More

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Kundalini - The Mystic Power

Friday, March 12, 2021

Divine Mother Kundalini

Have your ever been intrigued/fascinated by the word Kundalini and wanted to know more as well as explore the deeper aspects of the Divine Mother in the form of Kundalini? The six/seven chakras in the human body, their importance and other related aspects, are all part of the Kundalini activation. Not everyone is attracted to mantra japa and many prefer Kriya Yoga and related meditational practices. Ravi Guruji has written many articles on this subject and the Manblunder Team's top pick on this topic, is the series of 30 articles written on this topic and you may read them here. We do hope that those who have not read these articles may find valuable information to guide them on their spiritual journey.

All About Kundalini

 

 

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Sri Varahi Dvadasa Nama Stotram

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Śrī Vārāhī Dvādaśanāmastotram  (श्रीवाराहीद्वादशनामस्तोत्रम् )

Prologue - This stotraṃ was recited by Lord Hayagrīva, who is an avatar of the Preserver Lord Viṣṇu, praised and worshipped as the knowledge bestower. He is said to be the composer of many hymns associated with Śrī Lalita Mahā Tripura Sundarī, including the famous Śrī Lalitā Sahasranāma Stotraṃ consisting of Her thousand attributes. The setting for this present stotraṃ, is in the theatre of war between the forces of the Divine, led by Śrī Lalita Mahā Tripura Sundarī and the war mongering evil and demonic Bhaṇḍāsurā and his vast army. The Divine Mother Śrī Vārāhī, joins the Divine Mother Śrī Śyāmalā and Śrī Lalitā Devis, in the battle against Bhaṇḍāsurā. Śrī Vārāhī is dark in complexion, boar faced, and terrifying in Her looks. She is the commander of all armed forces of the Divine Mother Śrī Lalita Mahā Tripura Sundarī. Her arrival in the battle is marked by a very loud and tumultuous war cry (yuddha-ghoṣa). She rides Her Kiri Cakra (Hog wheel represented as Śrī Vārāhī Yantra) pulled by a thousand hog like warriors. The Kiri Cakra is always aligned with the Geya Cakra and Śrī Cakra of Śrī Śyāmalā and Śrī Lalita Mahā Tripura Sundarī. She gets down from Her chariot and mounts a huge lion called Vajra-ghoṣa. This terrific lion possessed invincible diamond teeth that could tear into any being or object and nails that could reach the nether worlds and other dimensions. Its roar could disrupt the harmony of all beings in the world. Trembling with fear and deeply concerned that the Divine Mother Śrī Vārāhī Devi in Her rage, could split the Earth with Her mace ‘Musala’ and/or plough the oceans with Her ‘hala’ weapon, the celestials began singing Her twelve praises to appease the Divine Mother and ensure that mass destruction does not happen. One of the enemy commanders and a brother of Bhaṇḍāsurā, by name Viśukra, possessed with great magical powers, flings his magical obstacle causing Vighna yantra at the opposing forces and freezes them. However, this has no impact on Śrī Bālā, Vārāhī and Śyāmalā devis, due to the grace of the Divine Mother Śrī Lalita Mahā Tripura Sundarī, who in turn manifests Lord Mahāgaṇapati, to spring forth and destroy the vighna yantra and reanimate the army of the Divine forces.  Viśukra finally meets his fate in the hands of Śrī Śyāmalā. Viṣaṅga, another brother of Bhaṇḍāsurā and Viśukra, who is also the enemy commander-in-chief, hurls his thirst inducing tarṣāstra at the opposing forces and ...Read More

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Shiva the Supreme - Part 1

Monday, May 04, 2009

This article is the first in the series, Shiva the Supreme. The concept of Shiva cannot be explained in a nut shell and it needs a thorough and detailed study. Rudra, Shiva, Mahadeva, Sadhashiva, and Bhairava are the popular names of Shiva. There are various interpretations for Shiva. We will discuss all these aspects and try to understand Shiva, the Supreme. Let us first take up Rudra. Brahma the creator did penance with a desire to create. But nothing materialized for Brahma. He got angry and started crying. From his tears appeared deadly snakes. Brahma got upset on seeing these snakes and lost his senses and ultimately died. From the body of Brahma appeared 11 Rudras. They are called eka dasa (eleven) Rudras. The name Rudra is formed out of ru and dru. Ru means cry and dru means move. Therefore Rudra means roaming around crying. This explanation is given in puranas. But Upanishads give different interpretation. The eleven Rudras represent ten sensory organs in the human body and eleventh Rudra is mind says Brhadaranyaka Upanishad. This explanation seems to be logical. There is yet another explanation for Rudra which says he is the remover of misery. Dru also means dissolve or melt and ru also means fear. This meaning also appears to be appropriate. Rudran removes all miseries of men. This is the reason for performing eka dasa rudram. Eka dasa Rudram names 11 Rudras. They ...Read More

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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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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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SHIVA PANCHAKSHARI MANTRA JAPA

Saturday, December 17, 2016

श्री शिवपञ्चाक्षरी महामन्त्रः Śrī Śivapañcākṣarī Mahāmantraḥ

 1. Ṛṣyādi nyāsaḥ ऋष्यादि न्यासः 

अस्य श्री शिवपञ्चाक्षरी महामन्त्रस्य। वामेदेव ऋषिः। पङ्क्तिछन्दः। सांबपरमेश्वरो देवता॥

asya śrī śivapañcākṣarī mahāmantrasya । Vāmedeva ṛṣiḥ|(open the right palm and touch the top of the forehead)| paṅktichandaḥ (right palm on the mouth)| sāṁbaparameśvaro devatā || (right palm on the heart chakra)॥

ॐ बीजं। नमः शक्तिः। शिवायेति कीलकम्॥

श्री सांबपरमेश्वर दर्शन भाषण सिद्ध्यर्थे जपे विनियोगः॥

om bījaṁ (right shoulder)| namaḥ śaktiḥ (left shoulder)| śivāyeti kīlakam (on the navel)||

śrī sāṁbaparameśvar darśana bhāṣaṇa siddhyarthe  jape viniyogaḥ (open both the palms and run them over all parts of the body; from head to ...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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GURU PURNIMA 2021

Thursday, July 22, 2021

सदाशिवसमारम्भां शंकराचार्यमध्यमां।

अस्मदाचार्यपर्यन्तं वन्दे गुरु परंपरां॥

sadāśivasamārambhāṁ śaṁkarācāryamadhyamāṁ |

asmadācāryaparyantaṁ vande guru paraṁparāṁ ||

(Beginning from Lord Sadāśhiva, through Śaṁkarācārya and up to my Guru, I pay my obeisance to all the Gurus)

Guru Pūrṇimā this year (2021) falls on 23rd July. This is a day when we have to pay our respects to our Gurus and spiritual teachers. This is celebrated on the birth day of Veda Vyasa. On this day, thousands of years ago, Sage Vyasa was born to sage Parāśara and Satyavati, (Satyavati was born in a fisherman’s family). As Veda Vyasa wrote all the epics and Vedas, his birth day is celebrated not only to pay our respects to him, but also to pay respects to our Gurus. It is also said that Ādiguru (Shiva) appeared on this day and created the universe.

Ritualistically, one’s Guru and his lineage are invoked in a maṇḍala and worshiped. If guru is alive, then we have to seek his blessings. In Śrī Vidyā, one’s Svaguru, Paramaguru and Parameṣṭhi Gurus are worshiped. Some also worship Saptaṛṣi-s (seven great sages) on this day. Saptaṛṣi bhojana is also organised. Food is served in seven plantain leaves and after completing the servings, door of the room is closed for some time after invoking Saptaṛṣi-s and inviting them for the feast. During this time, it is believed that Saptaṛṣi-s descend and relish the food served and bless the participants. Afterwards, Saptaṛṣi ucchiṣṭa (ucchiṣṭa means remnants of food) is consumed by those who participate in the worship and also given to others.

Here are some of the glimpses from Guru Gīta, in the form of yet another conversation between Shiva and Pārvatī.

1. Guru is Conscious Self.

2. Gu represents māyā, and ru refers to the supreme knowledge that destroys the illusion of maya. (Therefore, Guru is the one, who leads a person from the deceptive world to the world of reality; he is the one who transforms a spiritual seeker from rituals to meditation.)

3. He acts as a bridge between Shiva and the worshipper. (He gradually teaches Brahma Vidyā to his disciple and ensures that he realizes Shiva Consciousness).

4. There is no need for practicing prāṇāyāma, and instead, worship Guru and seek his grace.

5. One should purify one’s mind by following the path shown by the Guru.

6. One should never speak egotistically and should never tell a lie before the Guru.

7. Guru protects one from various curses.

8. One should not talk ill of his Guru.

Apart from what is mentioned in Guru Gīta, following should be borne in mind.

1. Guru should not be addressed by name or colloquial addressing such as hi or hye.

2. Guru should never be criticised. A realized Guru will be deceptive in appearance. For example, Ramana Maharishi.

3. One should follow meticulously the teachings of Guru.

4. One should not have multiple Gurus.

5. If one is not able to find a right Guru, he can have Shiva as his Guru.

But we have to remember that many of those who call themselves as gurus are not real Gurus. A true Guru cannot be induced with money. He will not demand money to initiate mantras nor take money to teach the path of spirituality. He will not hold spiritual retreats. He will not have people around him, as his teachings are always one to one basis.

In Śrī Vidyā, role of a Guru is extremely important. Pursuing Śrī Vidyā in its proper perspective leads to liberation step by step. Śrī Vidyā literally means exalted science. But, there are various paddhati-s (पद्धति) (paddhati means path or divisions) which discuss about various aspects of worshipping Lalitāmbikā. In Śrī Vidyā cult, one’s Guru is called Śrī Guru and prefix Śrī not only delineates the auspiciousness of the Guru, but also used as honorific prefix. Guru-śiṣya relationship is not only extremely important in Śrī Vidyā, but also sacred and auspicious. The inherent factor in this relationship is mutual trust. At the time of choosing the Guru one should make proper enquiries about the prospective Guru and once Guru-śiṣya relationship is established, the disciple should not move away from the Guru without any valid reasons. Similarly, a true Guru from Śrī Vidyā lineage will also evaluate a person before accepting him or her as a disciple. But how many Guru-s in Śrī Vidyā really know the subject and how many of them are capable of taking the disciple to pursue spiritual path for attaining Her Grace and final liberation, is a big question. Though many of them are thorough with practices, they are not aware as to how to lead his or disciple towards liberation. Without the goal of realization, mere ritualistic practices are of no use. In a spiritual journey one begins with dvaita (dualism) philosophy, moves to Advaita and finally realizes Brahman. In Śrī Vidyā also this is the fundamental intent. Śrī Vidyā is in no way a substitute to Advaita Philosophy and on the contrary it explicitly advocates non-dualism in stages. The culmination of Śrī Vidyā is at the Bindu in Śri Chakra, where Śiva and Śakti unite. Understanding the union of Śiva and Śakti is of great importance in Śrī Vidyā. Their union is known as kāmakalā and only from kāmakalā “mahā parāprāsāda mantra” originates (mahā parāprāsāda mantra is hsauṁ shauṁ; from this originates “haṁsa” mantra). This is based on the revelation made in Saundaryalaharī (verse 1), “Śivaḥ śaktyā yukto yadi bhavati śaktaḥ prabhavituṁ” which means that Śiva becomes inert if He is not united with Śakti. The greatest advantage of Śrī Vidyā is that a practitioner is made to realize Lalitāmbikā first, who personally takes the aspirant to Śiva for liberation. It is important to understand that only Śiva is capable of granting liberation and Śakti evaluates a person for liberation. Hence She is adored as Śiva-jñāna-pradāyinī (Lalitā Sahasranāma 727). Thus, for the purpose of liberation, one has to realize Śakti first. Śrī Vidyā strongly paves the way to realize Her through mantras and yantras and hence attains great importance. Śrī Vidyā is a quicker way to realize Her due to the intensity of upāsana. Upāsana consists of four aspects one leading to the other and they are upādāna or preparation of offering, ijyā or oblation, svādhyāya or recitation, and yoga or devotion. This means that there are four stages in upāsana and these can be briefly explained like this. The first stage is preparatory stage, where a mantra is initiated to a disciple. The disciple, apart from reciting that initiated mantra, begins to understand the mantra and with the help of the mantra, begins to worship the concerned deity. His worship then evolves into offering oblations to the concerned deity. After having satisfied himself with all the procedural aspects of worship, he moves to mantra recitation. This stage is the most crucial aspect of any upāsana, where inexplicable connection is established between him and the concerned deity, which blossoms into devotion for that deity. With more intensified pursuit, his devotion transforms into love and he becomes one with the deity, the logical conclusion of any upāsana. Transition from one level to next higher level is aided by one’s Guru. Transition happens both in the physical plane as well as in the mental plane. Physical transition leads to perfection in ritualistic procedures and transition in mental plane leads to realization of the Self through Her. An aspirant under normal circumstances may not be able to realize mental transformation and only Guru can guide him in this aspect. An aspirant will have several confusions when hypervelocity mental transformation happens. All these doubts can be clarified only by a Guru. When hypervelocity mental transformation begins to unfold, one is bound to move away from the first two aspects of upāsana, upādāna and ijyā, which will stop automatically. When one enters into trance, even the mantra stops on its own, as in samādhi everything is stilled including the mantra. During this stage, one naturally gets a doubt whether it is right to stop this mantra like this. A Guru will surely advise his disciple, that this is the perfect stage in his spiritual path. This stage alone leads to perfection in yoga (yoga means union, union of individual consciousness and Supreme Consciousness).

There are many Scriptures that describe about Guru-s. Kāmakalāvilāsa (verse 39) says that both Śiva-Śakti are in the form of Gurumaṇḍala-s. It describes them as Gurumaṇḍala-svarūpa. Though they are apparently different from Gurumaṇḍala-s, yet is not so. This is explained by using the phrase aviśeṣa-bheda bhinna (अविशेष-भेद भिन्न). Similarly, Kulārṇava Tantra speaks about Gurus extensively. Two chapters have been exclusively devoted to Guru-disciple relationship. It speaks about two types of initiations, one is external initiation (bāhya dīkṣā) and another is internal initiation (vedha dīkṣā). Bāhya dīkṣā is also known as kriyā dīkṣā, when a mantra is imparted to a disciple after performing specific rituals. But, in vedha-dīkṣā, Guru transfers his energy to the disciple, which will have almost have instantaneous impact on the disciple. Śiva tells His Consort in Kulārṇava Tantra (14.66), “O! My beloved! Difficult to get is such a Guru who can initiate thus through subtle impact of vedha (not to be confused with Veda; vedha contextually can be explained as penetration, piercing, breaking through, breach); difficult also is the disciple fit for it.” This means that this type of initiation is possible only by Self-realized Guru-s and a disciple will attain such a Guru only, if he or she has Her Grace. She manifests in the form of such a Guru and liberates a well-deserved disciple. When one is fortunate to get initiation from such a Guru, Śiva says, (Kulārṇava Tantra. IV.95), “For the one who is initiated thus, there is nothing to be achieved by tapas (meditating for a longer duration), regulations (scriptural dictums), observances (fasting, etc.), pilgrimages (visit to holy places) and regulative controls of the body (religious symbols like wearing of sacred ashes, celibacy, restrictions on food, bodily comforts, etc.).”

Another important aspect of a realized Guru is that he will stick on with one mantra and will prepare his disciple with that mantra alone to attain liberation. Initiating too many mantras will severely hamper spiritual progression and such a disciple will not be able to proceed to the final aspect of upāsana, transforming into a yogi. If there are too many mantras, it is difficult or rather impossible to establish a connection between individual consciousness and Supreme Consciousness. There should be one Guru, one mantra and one Devata for upāsana, which alone is known as sādhana. Sādhana is not possible with multiple mantras and multiple forms of devata-s. A true Guru will impart the knowledge of Brahman to his disciple who has attained perfection in sādhana. At this point of time, Guru will say to his disciple “Tat tvaṁ asi” (you are That) and the disciple will explore this ultimate teaching and after satisfying himself will affirm to his Guru “ahaṁ Brahmāsmi” (I am Brahman or I am That). Guru will know whether such an affirmation comes from the disciple after realization or it is simply a verbal statement or deceptive realization. Ultimately, Brahman is devoid of any forms and all forms lead only to the formless Brahman. Though Śrī Vidyā is about Saguṇa Brahman (Brahman with attributes), ultimately while performing pūjā at the Bindu, Saguṇa Brahman is dissolved and Nirguṇa Brahman is revealed. Without understanding this concept, any number of japa-s and pūjā-s will not yield the desired result.

A true Guru will not give importance to his attire. He will be one amongst us. He will be averse to crowd. He will select his disciples and teach them the ultimate knowledge or Brahmavidyā (Śrī Vidyā is also known as Brahmavidyā). Brahmavidyā should be taught on one to one basis, as all the disciples will not attain the same level. It is not a classroom teaching. It is always one to one teaching. Such a Guru will not make his disciple to pay him for initiation. Spirituality should never be traded like a commodity. Spiritual knowledge is to be sown as a seed within the disciple by his Guru and he will be taught how to germinate the seed and grow it into a huge tree. Once the tree is fully grown, that disciple is made to become a Guru. This is how a Guru maṇḍala grows.

 

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