Book, not person…… knowledge, not words……. Deep understanding and embodiment, not feelings……. feelings are a badhaka (In Sanskrit, badha (बाधा) means obstruction meaning oppressing)
It takes a guru, where does the guru come from?
Gu = darkness
Ru = Light that removes darkness
Ga = Prithvi tattva (ganesha)
U = suppression
Ru = Agni tattva that pushes darkness, gyana, knowledge
Ra = Creates, not creating but creates
And sorry, a person can only experience to the level of thier knowledge and no further that that capacity. It takes a guru to step out of ones paradigm. One cannot be their own guru.
Some people like to claim that the Bhagavad Gita states that one can be their own guru but does not the entire thing hinge around Krishna coming down as guru to Arjun?
What is the difference between self help and spirituality? Do we know? Realize they are actually the opposite directions? Is the Western spiritual world just another form of self absorption or actually spiritual?
Stuart Smalley is a fictional character invented and performed by satirist, and later United States Senator Al Franken. The character originated on the television show Saturday Night Live in a mock self help show called “Daily Affirmation With Stuart Smalley.” It first aired on SNL’s February 9, 1991. Franken has stated that him going to Alcoholic Anonymous meetings inspired the character Stuart Smalley.
Within the context of the show, Stuart is quick to point out that he is not a licensed therapist but relies instead upon the credibility of his own experiences as a non professional. His guests are very often celebrities, however Smalley is seemingly unaware of his guests’ fame as he never uses their full names so as to “protect (their) anonymity.”
An audiobook was also released, You’re Good Enough, You’re Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like You. The content of this audio book was completely different from the printed one, but followed through on the same gag. The tapes played guided visualizations meant to help the listener relax and focus; however, Stuart makes a vow at the beginning not to make any edits or corrections in the recording process because “I’m a perfectionist and if I start making changes, I’ll never stop.” As such it is full of humorous errors, including one gag in which Stuart tells his listeners who are driving to work to “close their eyes and envision…” something. (As such, there is a warning label on the box that says, “Do not listen while driving,” a joke that doesn’t make sense until one has actually listened to the tape.)
There were several catch phrases made from the show:
The catch phrases, the lack of credibility except for a membership card that proves you were at a training that also paid the same membership company to be a certified training by them, the affirmations, is any of it actually spiritual? or just pure self centered/self absorption?
Tomato : 2 (chopped)
Onion : 1 (chopped)
Green chillies : 1 (chopped)
Coriander leaves : (chopped)
Turmeric : ½ tsp (chopped)
Dosa batter : 3 cups (instructions below)
Idli rice / salem rice – 2.5 cups
Urad dal – 1/2 cup
Thick Poha – 1/4 cup
Methi/Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
To make the Dosa/Idli Batter:
In the early afternoon
Soak Urad dahl and fenugreek seeds together
Soak rice separately
All for 4 hours.
Then… before bed
Wash and grind the gram dahl, fenugreek, and rice all separately
Mix the idli batter together by adding salt to it.
Keep the idli batter in a warm area overnight until it ferments.
Mix together onion, tomato, green chillies, turmeric and little salt.
Add the dosa batter and mix again.
Heat dosa tawa, pour a ladle of batter and make uttapam. Pour oil in sides.
Flip and cook both the sides.
Serve with coriander leaves on top and with chutney.
Rectification of Time
Astronomy or the science of stars was much advanced in Rigveda era and the sages had based their time-reckoning science on astronomy. It is usually said that the Arabs developed astronomy because they had to depend on the stars while travelling in the deserts. This is only a conjecture.
Why should not one make another conjecture that it was India who developed the science of astronomy because she was doing agriculture for which rains were essential and to forecast about the arrival of rains the Indians developed astronomy? Many of the evidences are presented here.
Rigveda 6-32-5 states that rains come in the Daksinayana or the southward journey of the Sun. Devayana or the northward journey of the sun is mentioned at 10-18-1, while the southward journey of the sun or Pitryana is mentioned at 10-88-15.
Rigveda 4-57-5 requests the deity Sunaslrau to shower the waters prepared in the heavens. This statement clearly indicates that the rains were connected with Sunaslrau (or Canis major and Canis minor) which is nothing else than Mrga Naksatra.
The above two statements together prove that the sages knew that the rains begin with the summer solstice in India and, at the time of the summer solstice, the sun resided in Canis major and Canis minor i.e. the Mrgasiras Naksatra, in their life. Thus it is clear that the sages had a link of astronomy with the Meteorology or the science of climate.
One may question here as to why we should hold that the sun was near Canis? To assume this we have one evidence at Rig. 1-101-13 which states: “Who awakened Rbhus? The Sun answered that the Dog awakened, because today is the end of the year”. Here the Dog means the Mrga Naksatra. Rbhus means the clouds. The clouds were awakened by it, that means the clouds started showering the rains. The Sun was at Mrga when the rains began in that ancient era.
Thus it is clearly seen that oncoming of the rainy season was linked with the summer solstice and the Sun’s place in Naksatras at that time. With the help of the modern knowledge of astronomy that the Equinoxes precede backwards at the rate of 50.2 seconds per year, or in other words the Nakshatra of the Sun on the equinoctial day recedes back at the rate of 960 years per Nakshatra, we can calculate the period of the fact mentioned in the Rigveda. At present the sun resides in the Mrga Naksatra at the time of the beginning of the rainy season. The same fact is described by the Rigveda, but it is not composed during this modern age. We know that the Rigveda resided on the tongues of the Brahmins for thousands of years. How many thousand years is the question which is solved astronomically. The rainy season started with the sun in the Mrga then and also at present. Hence a cycle of 27 Naksatras must have been completed. The sun to recede back 27 Nakshatras at the rate of 960 years per Naksatra takes 25920 years. Thus it is evident that the Rigveda is composed 25920 years ago. Or substracting 2000 years of this Christian era we can tell the date of Rigveda as 23920 B.C. 27 Naksatras are mentioned here but did the Vedic sages know these 27 Naksatras ? The answer is definitely ‘yes’. Veda tells the name of all the 27 or 28 Naksatras.
The Indians were doing agriculture and were happily steady in life. Since evening they had no work left and therefore they took to stargazing. The first thing in the sky which attracts the minds is the Moon. The sages also had their minds attracted towards the Moon. So they linked the moon with the mind. The link of the moon and the mind is seen in almost whole Sanskrit literature. By the daily observation they noticed the movements of the moon. They noticed that the moon changes its place among the stars every day They found out the path of the Moon — the star path. They observed that the stars did not move at all. Hence they named the stars as Naksatras. The word ‘Naksatra’ is the definition itself. As given in the Mahabharata, the thing which does not move is Naksatra. They selected all the stars and constellations at a certain interval on the star path of the moon and named them because they observed that the moon came near a particular star in one day. They based their unit of time naming the day after the Naksatra, where the moon resided. The tradition is continued till today in India. We say that today is Citra Naksatra, tomorrow Swati, a day after tomorrow Visakha, and so on. Thus they could count the days.
Five Planets Were Discovered :
While observing the movement of the Moon among the fixed stars, they found out five planets which are mentioned in the Rigveda (1-105-10, 10-55-3, 5-41-14, 4-50-4, 10-123). Thus distinction between the moving planets and the non-moving stars was done. This was a marvellous feat. It requires a keen observation for years together. The modern man also cannot find out the planets easily. Vedas named the five planets scientifically. Guru or Brhaspati means big and this name is given to the planet Jupiter which is really the biggest among the planets. Actually to a normal eye the Jupiter apears smaller than the Venus, then how could the Vedic sages know that the Jupiter was the biggest ? The very name suggests that Vedic people had scientific knowledge. Shani means slow moving and in fact the Saturn is the slowest among the then known five planets. Shukra means brightness and the Venus is really the brightest among the planets and stars.
Lunar Month :
While observing the moon everyday they noticed that the moon increases in size for a few days and then decreases in size for a few days, and then it vanishes totally. Again it appears the next day. On this observation of waxing and waning of the moon they fixed a period of time from one full moon to the next full moon (or no moon day to the next no moon day) and it is called as Masa. This word Masa itself means the Moon, hence the name is scientific. One can see the full circular moon easily. They named the day on which full moon is seen as Purnima. A mas means Moon, Purnima means full moon, -i- is just a connecting vowel. Purnima means Purna mas. They observed that in 15 or 16 days the moon becomes full. According to the increase in the size of the moon they named the Tithi. For example, when the moon was first seen as an arc, they called it Pratipada. When the size was of two arcs they called it Dvitiya, three arcs trtiya and so on upto 14 arcs named as Caturdasi. Then it was Purnima or full moon day. They assumed 16 Kalas or arcs of the full moon. Half moon, means 8 kalas, so it was called as Astami. Quarter of the moon had 4 kalas so it was named as Caturthi: Thus by visible size of the moon they arranged tithis and counted the days accordingly. After full moon the moon recedes in shape by one Kala every day and in 15 days it disappears. Vedic sages noticed it and found the reason behind the vanishing of the moon. The reason is that the moon goes very near the sun on that day and due to the brilliance of the sun, the moon becomes invisible. This science behind the disappearance of the moon is put only in one word “Amavasya”. The word is composed of two parts Ama+vasya. Ama means together, Vasya means residence. Because on that day the Sun and the Moon reside together, it was named as Amavasya. It is quite interesting to note here that in this age of science all the scientists call this day as New Moon day. It is quite well known now that ‘new’ moon never comes in the sky. Even then this unscientific term is used in the modern science. On the other hand the ancient Vedic name appears to be very scientific.
During the fifteen days of the increasing moon, the moon light increases, day by day, till Purnima and hence these 15 days were called as Suddha or Sukla Paksa. Paksa means a wing of a bird. A bird flies with its two wings. Similarly the time flies with the two wings, the Sukla Pak§a and the Krsna Paksa. The second half is called as Krsna or dark because the moon light goes on diminishing and the size of the moon diminishes one Kala per day, adding to the darkness of the night from Pratipada to Caturdasi and then Amavasya. Thus a Masa or a month was divided in two Paksas. The Tithi and the day were different. The day was dependent on the Sun. ‘Udayad Udayam Varah this means: one Vara is the period from one sun-rise to the next sun-rise. Ahan was the period from sun-rise to sun-set while Ratri was the period from the sunset to the sun-rise. They observed that the place of the full moon changed. If one full moon was at one star, the next full moon was at another star. Hence according to the Naksatra where the full moon appeared they named their Masas. Thus if the full moon was near Citra Naksatra they named that month as Caitra Masa (Taittiriya Samhita 7-4-8). Thus the names of the Masas were given as follows – Caitra from Citra Naksatra, Vaisakha from Visakha, Jyestha from Jyestha, Asadha, Sravana, Bhadrapada, Asvina, Karttika, Margaslrsa, Pausa, Magha, Phalguna. These twelve months composed their Candra Varsa. The development of lunar months and their names from Naksatra of full moon is seen from Taittiriya Samhita 7-4-8, T.Br. 1-1-2-8, Satapatha.
Seasons and Sun :
During this development they observed that a specific type of weather appeared at a specific interval and there was a cycle in this change of the climate. They observed that the Moon was not responsible for this climatic variations. They further observed that the climate depended on the position of the rising sun (Rig 1-95-3). They considered the Sun as the Atman and therefore they offered water with two hands together to the rising sun just after bathing in the river every day. The psychology of the human being is that once a person goes to one place today he will again select the same place next day. That is why we sleep at one particular place every night. If we change the place we cannot get sound sleep. While traveling, once you go to a hotel and get satisfaction, next time when you go to the same city you will try to get the same hotel and its same room and you will select the same bed again. With this psychology the sages used to go to the same spot of the river for bath and for giving oblations to the Sun. While offering to the Sun every day from the same spot they noticed that the Sun never rises at the same spot. Some days it moves to the right while on other days it moves to the left. Further they observed that when the rising sun went to the extreme right it was cold while when the rising sun went to the extreme left it was hot. They further observed that when the sun turned from the extreme left and started going to the right there apeared rains. When the rising sun was in the middle the climate was pleasant. On this observationthey based their Rtus, the seasons. The names of the seasons are Vasanta, Grisma, Varsa, Sarad, Hemanta and Sisira. Depending upon the course of the rising sun they composed the groups of these Rtus. When the sun went from extreme left i.e. North towards the right or South they called that period as Pitryana (Rig 10-88/15) or Daksinayana. Northward journey of the rising sun was named as Devayanal (Rig 10-18-1) or Uttarayana. These two Ayanas composed their year. Varsa, Sarad and Hemanta composed the Daksinayana while Sisira, Vasanta and Grisma composed the Uttarayana. (Yajus Patha 5, 1 Susruta Samhita 6-7, Rig 6.32.5. 2 Valmiki Ramayana Ayodhya 63-15 3 ).
Year began with Rains :
They observed that every time the rising sun turned from the north towards the south, there were showers of rains (Rig 6-32-5). The rains could be experienced by all the people. They noticed that at a particular interval the rains began. This interval between the beginning of one Varsa to the next Varsa Rtu was named as Varsa. Varsa means the showers. Thus their year was formed and named as Varsa. India was agricultural land and therefore the rainy season was important and was given the first place in the year.
Rigveda people began their new year with the rainy season. This statement is based on the following evidence. RV 2-24-5 states: “The ancient verses of Brahmanaspati open the door of future waters after months or years. Therefore without, any effort the heaven and the earth enjoy each others waters.” Here it is important to note that the cycle of water was known to the Rigveda people. In support of this there is one more Rca in Rigveda 1-64-51 which states: “this water is common; it goes up and comes down. The rains satisfy the Earth while the Agni satisfies the sky”. This verse shows clearly that the sage knew that the water is common between the Earth and the Heavens. The rains satisfy the Earth by showering water from the Heavens. On the other hand the Agni, that means Heat, satisfies the heaven by supplying it water from the Earth. Rig. 7-103-1 states: “Like a Brahmin following a Vrata or a religious act, the frogs, which were asleep for a year, began croaking which fascinated the Rains. Here it is shown that just like a Brahmin who recited the Varsika Mantras at the beginning of the new year, the frogs also woke up from their year-long sleep and started talking at the beginning of the new year. It is to be noted that at the beginning of the rainy, season the frogs start croacking. Thus it shows that the year began with the rainy season. Rig. 7-103-7 states: “When the rainy season arrives, on that day of the year (which appears to mean on the first day of the new year) frogs generate everywhere”. Rig. 7-103-8 states: “Frogs are croaking like a Brahmin who sings yearly Psalms, frogs soaked with sweat come out in the open ground as soon as the rains began.” The yearly Psalms were sung at the beginning of the year and at that time the Brahmins used to sweat. All these facts together show that at the end of the summer and beginning of the rainy season or, in the words of the modern language, on 22nd of June at the summer solstice, their new year used to begin. Rig. 7-103-9 states: “All these frogs obey the orders of the gods and follow the rules of the seasons for twelve months. At the end of the year, harassed by the heat, the frogs, at the beginning of the Varsa Rtu, come out of their nests. This Re clearly shows that at the end of the year there was extreme heat and with the beginning of the rains they used to celebrate their new year. Rig. 7-101 and 102 praise the rainy season. There are no verses praising the summer or winter. Hence it shows that the rainy season was important and naturally their year began with the rainy season. All the above Res are composed by sage Vasistha whose hundred sons were killed according to Rig 7-104 3 . The incident of the massacre of the hundred sons had taken place during the king Kalmasapada according to Mahabharata Adi Parva 176. Kalmasapada was fifteen generations earlier than Rama. Hence this tradition of beginning the new year at the beginning of Varsa Rtu continued till Rama and Ramayana of Valmiki. Valmiki in his Ramayana has not clearly stated when their new year started, but he has given such evidence indirectly. At Ayodhya. 77/25, Valmiki states that the new year flags used to get defaced due to rains and heat. Heat and rain together appear in June at the summer solstice. Thus at the summer solstice their New year began. Taittiriya Brahman 3-10-4-1 states: “The head of the year is Vasanta while the tail is the Varsa.” This shows that the year ended with the Varsa. So it must begin with Varsa. Taittiriya Samhita 6-5-3 states: “The vessel of Rtus has two mouths, who knows the mouth of Rtu’s ?” The verse shows that nobody was certain where is the mouth of the season’s cycle. This is because, I think the original new year began with the Varsa Rtu, on 22nd June, on the Summer Solstice but then a new tradition came up to begin the new year with the Vasanta Rtu or Spring. Rig. 1-161–13 states: “Who awakened Rbhus ? The Sun replied: the Dog aroused because today is the end of the year.” Rbhu means clouds according to Rig. 1-161-11 and 12; 4-33-7 Dog means Canis or Mrga Nak§atra. Mrga Naksatra awakened the clouds so that the rainy season began. This was the end of the year. Thus it is clear that the Rigvedic new year started with the Rainy season on the summer solstice or at the beginning of the Dak§inayana with the Sun in Mrga Naksatra. The date of this fact is 23920 BC. TaittirTya samhita 7-4-8 shows that Uttara PhalgunI was the first night of the new year, Purva Phalguni was the last night of the previous year and Vasanta Rtu was the mouth of the year. TaittirTya Brahmana 1-1-2 states the same fact. TaittirTya is a branch of Yajurveda. So it appears that the Yajurvedic tradition was to begin the new year from the Spring or Vastanta. Other evidences to support the fact are Satapatha. 6-2-2-18, Gopatha Brahmana 6-19, Pancaviqisa Brahmana 5-9-9 and Sarikhyayana Brahmana. We cannot say if this custom was later or earlier. On the contrary it appears to be a concurrent custom. Let us see how. If the Vasanta Rtu began with PhalgunI Purnima the Sun must be diagonally opposite in Uttara Bhadrapada at the Vernal Equinox on 21st March. At present this is the condition, but Vedas have not been composed in the present era. When weree the Vedas composed then? Of course one cycle of 27 Naksatras must have ellapsed since the Vedas. The precession of Equinoxes has a rate of 960 years per Naksatra. Thus 960 x 27 = 25920 years ago, the Vedas must have been composed. Same is the period we have seen earlier calculating on the verse showing the beginning of rainy season at Mrga Naksatra. Thus it seems that both the methods were being practised simultaneously and that is why Taittirlya. 6-5-3 questions who knows where is the mouth of the Rtu cycle?
Gradually the Vedic sages noticed that the seasons slided back on the Lunar months. Hence they developed an ingenious system of taking two intercalary Masas after the fifth year. Why two months? Because each Rtu was composed of two months. To adjust the Lunar months with the Rtu they had to take these two intercalary months as Adhimasa. This system is described by Mahabharata Virata parva 52/3.1 From the study of seasons and the Lunar months they noticed that the Lunar year, that is, a period from one Caitri full Moon to the next Caitri full moon, did not correlate with the seasonal year, that is, a period from one summer solstice to the next. The seasonal or Artava year consists of 365.241666 days, while the Lunar year consists of 354.367 days. The difference is 10.88 days each year. Therefore after five years the difference comes to 54.40 days or approximately two Masas, or one Rtu. Hence to adjust the lunar months with the Rtu, they devised the system of Adhimasas. The over-correction caused by the Adhimasas or Samsarpas was cut down by taking one Ksaya Masa or Amhaspati (T.S.) 1-4-14, 5-6-7, Vajasaneyi Samhita 7-30, 22-30, 31, Taittirlya Brahmana 3-8-3. It is to be noted here that the year having one Ksaya Masa did not consist of only eleven months. It consisted of twelve months because they used to take two Adhi masas in that year, one before the Ksaya Masa and one after it. The two names of the Adhimasas were Sarpsarpa and Malimluca. The custom of taking two Adhimasas at the intervals of five years continued from vedic age up to the Mahabharata age, but thereafter, probably during Vedariga Jyotisa period, the Hindus started taking one Adhimasa in every third year. Upto the Mahabharata era the Indians adjusted the Adhimasa according to the Moon’s position in the Naksatras and they named the Lunar months according to the Lunar position, but in a latter period they established the month’s relation with the Sun’s entry into the next Rasi (the sign of Zodiac). Thus if the Sun enters into the Mesa Rasi, the month will be Caitra and so on. This entry of the Sun into a Rasi is termed as Sankramana or Sankranti. If there is no Sanskranti in one Lunar Masa, that Masa was termed as Malimluca. If there were two Sankrantis in one Lunar Masa it was termed as Amhaspati.
Seasonal Month :
Inspite of this system of Adhimasa they were not satisfied and therefore, they developed months depending on the seasons. Thus they divided Vasanta Rtu in two months namely Madhu and Madhava. Sukra and Suci composed the Grisma Rtu, Tsa and Urja the Sarad Rtu, Saha-Sahasya, Hemanta and Tapa-Tapasya constitued Sisira Rtu. (Taittiriya Samhita 4-4-11, 2 Susruta Samhita 6-7)
Their Artava masas were just like the modern seasonal months used in the Scientific Calendar namely January, February etc. We have seen that the Vedic sages knew that the rainy season Varsa began at the Summer Soltice which falls on 22nd June. The first month of Var§a Rtu was Nabha and so it correlated with a period from 22nd June to 21st July. 22nd July to 21st August was the period known as Nabhasya. From 22nd August Sarad Rtu began. Its first month Tsa extended from 22 August to 22nd September. 23rd September is the’ Autumnal Equinox. 23rd September to 22 October was the period named as Urja. 22 October to 22 November was the first month of Hemanta named as Saha. The second month of Hemanta extended from 22 November to 22 December, which is the Winter Solstice. From the Winter Solistice the Sisira began. The first month Tapa of Sisira began with the Winter Solstice at the beginning of Uttarayana. (Yajuh Patha 5). Susruta Sarnhita states clearly that Uttarayana consisted of Sisira, Vasant and Grisma, while Daksinayana consisted of Varsa, Sarad and Hemanta.
Preccession of Equinoxes :
From these records it becomes clear that the sages had discovered the four cardinal points namely the Summer Solstice, Winter Solstice, Vernal Equinox and Autumnal Equinox, which occur according to the scientific calendar on 22nd June, 22nd December, 21st March and 23rd September respectively. It is important to note that these dates never change, at least for some lacs of years. If the Vernal Equinox changes in future by a day, that day would be labelled as the 21st March and the remaining dates will be arranged accordingly.
The modern science has proved that the Sun’s position at the Vernal Equinox gradually shifts in an anticlockwise direction. It is called the Precession of Equinoxes. If the Vernal Equinox changes, the other three cardinal points are bound to change. The rate of the Precession of Equinoxes is 50.2 seconds per year. This rate is also told as one degree per 72 years. Thus if the Vernal Equinox is at 360 degree today, 72 years later it will be at 359 degrees. But if we go on changing the degrees it will cause a trouble, so we do not change the degrees. But in the ancient era, the sages were not using the degrees. They used the stars and Naksatras to locate the site of the Moon and the Sun. They observed that the Sun at the Equinox moved backwards on the star path. If today the Sun is at Asvirii on the Vernal Equinox, 960 years later it will be at Revati.Each Naksatra has a span of 13 degrees and 20 minutes. With the rate of 50.2 seconds per year or one degree per 72 years, it takes 960 years to shift back by 13° 20′ or one Naksatra. We do not know whether the ancient Indians calculated this rate of Precession or not, but it is certain that they observed the Precession and were careful enough to record the positions of the Sun on the cardinal points of Solstices or Equinoxes. Even the Noble laureate Mr. Gamow, the world renouned scientist has expressed surprise as to how the Indian sages could observe the Precession of Equinoxes. The ancient Indians knew that the Precession of Equinoxes ‘ have anticlockwise direction. It is evident from a statement in the Visnu Purana that the Vernal Equinox was at the beginning of the Mesa Rasi and at the first quarter of Krttika Naksatra. Similarly it states that the Autumnal Equinox was at the beginning of Tula Rasi and in the fourth part of Visakha Naksatra. In the case of Mesa Rasi 30 degrees is termed as the beginning and not one degree which shows the knowledge of the anticlockwise direction of the Precession.
Soak rice and dahls for about 4 hours. Wash and drain the water. Put it in a blender along with pepper, cumin, and salt. Grind it to a coarse paste. Before removing, add coconut gratings and run it again for a couple.
Heat a tawa and grease it with oil. Take a cupful of batter and put it on the tawa and spread it with your fingers or a spatula. Sprinkle few pieces of coconut on the top and pour little oil around it. Cook on medium flame till light brown spots appear. Turn it and cook on the other side also.
Above method will be slightly hard, but crispy and tasty. If you want a softer adai, then add little water and make a thick batter. Pour a big ladle of batter on the Tawa and spread it round. Sprinkle few coconut pieces on top and cook as above.
I absolutely love when western research does another real good job at figuring out and proving things that have been known to ancient sciences since “forever”. Here is a beautiful research paper that goes into what can only be understood as normal basic Ayurvedic knowledge. The application of different actions onto a substance will have its effect on the substance. Simple huh? This concept is probably the one most important thing to take from this article and apply to everything as it is purely missed in all western nutrition as well as application into exercise and the like.
1. Chitta has two causes, Vasanas and (Prana) Vayu. If one of them is controlled, then both are controlled.
2. Of these two, a person should control (Prana) Vayu always through moderate food, postures and thirdly Sakti-Chala.
3-4. I shall explain the nature of these. Listen to it, O Gautama. One should take a sweet and nutritious food, leaving a fourth (of his stomach) unfilled, in order to please Shiva (the patron of Yogins). This is called moderate food. Posture herein required is of two kinds, Padma and Vajra.
5. Placing the two heels over the two opposite thighs (respectively) is the Padma (posture) which is the destroyer of all sins.
6. Placing one heel below the Mulakanda and the other over it and sitting with the neck, body and head erect is the Vajra posture.
7. The Sakti (mentioned above) is only Kundalini. A wise man should take it up from its place (Viz., the navel, upwards) to the middle of the eyebrows. This is called Sakti-Chala.
8. In practising it, two things are necessary, Sarasvati-Chalana and the restraint of Prana (breath). Then through practice, Kundalini (which is spiral) becomes straightened.
9-10(a). Of these two, I shall explain to you first Sarasvati-Chalana. It is said by the wise of old that Sarasvati is no other than Arundhati. It is only by rousing her up that Kundalini is roused.
10(b)-11(a). When Prana breath is passing through (one’s) Ida (left nostril), he should assume firmly Padma-posture and should lengthen (inwards) 4 digits the Akasa of 12 digits.
11(b)-13(a). Then the wise man should bind the (Sarasvati) Nadi by means of this lengthened (breath) and holding firmly together (both his ribs near the navel) by means of the forefingers and thumbs of both hands, (one hand on each side) should stir up Kundalini with all his might from right to left often and often; for a period of two Muhurtas (48 minutes), he should be stirring it up fearlessly.
13(b)-14. Then he should draw up a little when Kundalini enters Susumna. By this means, Kundalini enters the mouth of Susumna. Prana (also) having left (that place) enters of itself the Susumna (along with Kundalini).
15. By compressing the neck, one should also expand the navel. Then by shaking Sarasvati, Prana goes above (to) the chest.
16-17. Through the contraction of the neck, Prana goes above from the chest. Sarasvati who has sound in her womb should be shaken (or thrown into vibration) each day. Therefore by merely shaking it, one is cured of diseases.
18. Gulma (a splenetic disease), Jalodara (dropsy), Pliha (a splenetic disease) and all other diseases arising within the belly, are undoubtedly destroyed by shaking this Sakti.
19. I shall now briefly describe to you Pranayama. Prana is the Vayu that moves in the body and its restraint within is known as Kumbhaka.
20. It is of two kinds, Sahita and Kevala. One should practise Sahita till he gets Kevala.
21. There are four Bhedas (lit., piercings or divisions) viz., Surya, Ujjayi, Sitali and Bhastri. The Kumbhaka associated with these four is called Sahita Kumbhaka.
22-23. Being seated in the Padma posture upon a pure and pleasant seat which gives ease and is neither too high nor too low, and in a place which is pure, lovely and free from pebbles, etc., and which for the length of a bow is free from cold, fire and water, one should shake (or throw into vibration) Sarasvati;
24. Slowly inhaling the breath from outside, as long as he desires, through the right nostril, he should exhale it through the left nostril.
25. He should exhale it after purifying his skull (by forcing the breath up). This destroys the four kinds of evils caused by Vayu as also by intestinal worms.
26(a). This should be done often and it is this which is spoken of as Surya-Bheda.
26(b)-27. Closing the mouth and drawing up slowly the breath as before with the nose through both the Nadis (or nostrils) and retaining it in the space between the heart and the neck, one should exhale it through the left nostril.
28. This destroys the heat caused in the head as well as the phlegm in the throat. It removes all diseases, purifies his body and increases the (gastric) fire within.
29. It removes also the evils arising in the Nadis, Jalodara (waterbelly or dropsy) and Dhatus. This Kumbhaka is called Ujjayi and may be practised (even) when walking or standing.
30. Drawing up the breath as before through the tongue with (the hissing sound of) â€˜Sa’ and retaining it as before, the wise man should slowly exhale it through (both) the nostrils.
31. This is called Sitali Kumbhaka and destroys diseases, such as Gulma, Pitha, consumption, bile, fever, thirst and poison.
32. Seated in the Padma posture with belly and neck erect, the wise man should close the mouth and exhale with care through the nostrils.
33. Then he should inhale a little with speed up to the heart, so that the breath may fill the space with noise between the neck and skull.
34-35. Then he should exhale in the same way and inhale often and often. Just as the bellows of a smith are moved (viz., stuffed with air within and then the air is let out), so he should move the air within his body. If the body gets tired, then he should inhale through the right nostril.
36-37(a). If his belly is full of Vayu, then he should press well his nostrils with all his fingers except his forefinger and performing Kumbhaka as before, should exhale through the left nostril.
37(b)-38. This frees one from diseases of fire in (or inflammation of) the throat, increases the gastric fire within, enables one to know the Kundalini, produces purity removing sins, gives happiness and pleasure and destroys phlegm which is the bolt (or obstacle) to the door at the mouth of Brahma-Nadi (viz., Susumna).
39. It pierces also the three Granthis (or knots) differentiated through the three Gunas. This Kumbhaka is known as Bhastri and should especially be performed.
40. Through these four ways when Kumbhaka is near (or is about to be performed), the sinless Yogin should practise the three Bandhas.
41. The first is called Mulabandha. The second is called Uddiyana and the third is Jalandhara. Their nature will be thus described.
42. Apana (breath) which has a downward tendency is forced up by one bending down. This process is called Mulabandha.
43. When Apana is raised up and reaches the sphere of Agni (fire), then the flame of Agni grows long, being blown about by Vayu.
44-45(a). Then Agni and Apana come to (or commingle with) Prana in a heated state. Through this Agni which is very fiery, there arises in the body the flaming (or the fire) which rouses the sleeping Kundalini through its heat.
45(b)-46. Then this Kundalini makes a hissing noise, becomes erect like a serpent beaten with stick and enters the hole of Brahmanadi (Susumna). Therefore Yogins should daily practise Mulabandha often.
47-48(a). Uddiyana should be performed at the end of Kumbhaka and at the beginning of expiration. Because Prana Uddiyate (viz., goes up) the Susumna in this Bandha, therefore is called Uddiyana by the Yogins.
48(b)-49(a). Being seated in the Vajra posture and holding firmly the two toes by the two hands, he should press at the Kanda and at the place near the two ankles.
49(b)-50. Then he should gradually upbear the Tana (thread or Nadi) which is on the western side first to Udara (the upper part of the abdomen above the navel), then to the heart and then to the neck. When Prana reaches the Sandhi (junction) of navel, slowly it removes the impurities (or diseases) in the navel. Therefore this should be frequently practised.
51. The Bandha called Jalandhara should be practised at the end of Kumbhaka. This Jalandhara is of the form of the contraction of the neck and is an impediment to the passage of Vayu (upwards).
52. When the neck is contracted at once by bending downwards (so that the chin may touch the breast), Prana goes through Brahmanadi on the western Tana in the middle.
53. Assuming the seat as mentioned before, one should stir up Sarasvati and control Prana.
54. On the first day Kumbhaka should be done four times; on the second day it should be done ten times and then five times separately;
55. On the third day, twenty times will do and afterwards Kumbhaka should be performed with the three Bandhas and with an increase of five times each day.
56-57. Diseases are generated in one’s body through the following causes, viz., sleeping in daytime, late vigils over night, excess of sexual intercourse, moving in crowd, the checking of the discharge of urine and faeces, the evil of unwholesome food and laborious mental operation with Prana.
58. If a Yogin is afraid of such diseases (when attacked by them), he says, “my diseases have arisen from my practice of Yoga”. Then he will discontinue this practice. This is said to be the first obstacle to Yoga.
59. The second (obstacle) is doubt; the third is carelessness; the fourth, laziness; the fifth, sleep;
60. The sixth, the not leaving of objects (of sense); the seventh, erroneous perception; the eighth, sensual objects; the ninth, want of faith;
61. And the tenth, the failure to attain the truth of Yoga. A wise man should abandon these ten obstacles after great deliberation.
62. The practice of Pranayama should be performed daily with the mind firmly fixed on Truth. Then Chitta is absorbed in Susumna and Prana (therefore) never moves.
63. When the impurities (of Chitta) are thus removed and Prana is absorbed in Susumna, he becomes a (true) Yogin.
64. Apana, which has a downward tendency should be raised up with effort by the contraction (of the anus) and this is spoken of as Mulabandha.
65. Apana thus raised up mixes with Agni and then they go up quickly to the seat of Prana. Then Prana and Apana uniting with one another go to Kundalini, which is coiled up and asleep.
66-67. Kundalini being heated by Agni and stirred up by Vayu, extends her body in the mouth of Susumna, pierces the Brahmagranthi formed of rajas and flashes at once like lightning at the mouth of Susumna.
68-69(a). Then it goes up at once through Vishnugranthi to the heart. Then it goes up through Rudragranthi and above it to the middle of the eyebrows; having pierced this place, it goes up to the Mandala (sphere) of the moon.
69(b)-70(a). It dries up the moisture produced by the moon in the Anahata-Chakra having sixteen petals.
70(b)-71. When the blood is agitated through the speed of Prana, it becomes bile from its contact with the sun, after which it goes to the sphere of the moon where it becomes of the nature of the flow of pure phlegm. How does it (blood) which is very cold become hot when it flows there ?
72. (Since) at the same time the intense white form of moon is speedily heated. Then being agitated, it goes up.
73. Through taking in this, Chitta which was moving amidst sensual objects externally, is restrained there. The novice enjoying this high state attains peace and becomes devoted to Atman.
74. Kundalini assumes the eight forms of Prakriti (matter) and attains Shiva by encircling him and dissolves itself in Shiva.
75. Thus Rajas-Sukla (seminal fluid) which rises up goes to Shiva along with Marut (Vayu); Prana and Apana which are always produced become equal.
76. Pranas flow in all things, great and small, describable, or indescribable, as fire in gold.
77. Then this body which is Adhibhautika (composed of elements) becomes Adhidaivata (relating to a tutelar deity) and is thus purified. Then it attains the stage of Ativahika.
78. Then the body being freed from the inert state becomes stainless and of the nature of Chit. In it, the Ativahika becomes the chief of all, being of the nature of That.
79. Like the conception of the snake in a rope, so the idea of the release from life and Samsara is the delusion of time.
80. Whatever appears is unreal. Whatever is absorbed is unreal. Like the illusory conception of silver in the mother-of-pearl, so is the idea of man and woman.
81. The microcosm and the macrocosm are one and the same; so also the Linga and Sutratman, Svabhava (substance) and form and the self-resplendent light and Chidatma.
82. The Sakti named Kundalini, which is like a thread in the lotus and is resplendent, is biting with the upper end of its hood (namely, mouth) at the root of the lotus the Mulakanda.
83-84. Taking hold of its tail with its mouth, it is in contact with the hole of Brahmarandhra (of Susumna). If a person seated in the Padma posture and having accustomed himself to the contraction of his anus makes his Vayu go upward with the mind intent on Kumbhaka, then Agni comes to Svadhisthana flaming, owing to the blowing of Vayu.
85. From the blowing of Vayu and Agni, the chief (Kundalini) pierces open the Brahmagranthi and then Vishnugranthi.
86. Then it pierces Rudragranthi, after that, (all) the six lotuses (or plexuses). Then Sakti is happy with Shiva in Sahasrara Kamala (1000 lotuses seat or pineal gland). This should be known as the highest Avastha (state) and it alone is the giver of final beatitude.
Thus ends the first chapter.
CHAPTER – II
1. I shall hereafter describe the science called Khechari which is such that one who knows it is freed from old age and death in this world.
2. One who is subject to the pains of death, disease and old age should, O sage, on knowing this science make his mind firm and practise Khechari.
3-4. One should regard that person as his guru on earth who knows Khechari, the destroyer of old age and death, both from knowing the meaning of books and practice, and should perform it with all his heart. The science of Khechari is not easily attainable, as also its practice.
5. Its practice and Melana are not accomplished simultaneously. Those that are bent upon practice alone do not get Melana.
6. Only some get the practice, O Brahmana, after several births, but Melana is not obtained even after a hundred births.
7. Having undergone the practice after several births, some (solitary) Yogin gets the Melana in some future birth as the result of his practice.
8. When a Yogin gets this Melana from the mouth of his Guru, then he obtains the Siddhis mentioned in the several books.
9. When a man gets this Melana through books and the significance, then he attains the state of Shiva freed from all rebirth.
10. Even Gurus may not be able to know this without books. Therefore this science is very difficult to master.
11. An ascetic should wander over the earth so long as he fails to get this science and when this science is obtained, then he has got the Siddhi in his hand (viz., mastered the psychical powers).
12. Therefore one should regard as Achyuta (Vishnu) the person who imparts the Melana, as also him who gives out the science.
13. He should regard as Shiva him who teaches the practice. Having got this science from me, you should not reveal it to others.
14-15. Therefore one who knows this should protect it with all his efforts (viz., should never give it out except to persons who deserve it). O Brahmana, one should go to the place where lives the Guru, who is able to teach the divine Yoga and there learn from him the science Khechari and being then taught well by him, should at first practise it carefully.
16-17. By means of this science, a person will attain the Siddhi of Khechari. Joining with Khechari Sakti (viz., Kundalini Sakti) by means of the (science) of Khechari which contains the Bija (seed of letter) of Khechari, one becomes the lord of Khecharas (Devas) and lives always amongst them. Khechari Bija (seed-letter) is spoken of as Agni encircled with water and as the abode of Khecharas (Devas).
18. Through this Yoga, Siddhi is mastered. The ninth (Bija) letter of Somamsa (Soma or moon part) should also be pronounced in the reverse order.
19. Then a letter composed of three Amsas of the form of moon has been described; and after that, the eight letter should be pronounced in the reverse order;
20. Then consider it as the supreme and its beginning as the fifth and this is said to the Kuta (horns) of the several bhinnas (or parts) of the moon.
21-22(a). This which tends to the accomplishment of all Yogas, should be learnt through the initiation of a Guru. He who recites this twelve times every day, will not get even in sleep that Maya (illusion) which is born in his body and which is the source of all vicious deeds.
22(b)-23. He who recites this five lakhs of times with very great care – to him the science of Khechari will reveal itself. All obstacles vanish and the Devas are pleased.
24. The destruction of Valipalita (viz., wrinkle and greyness of hair) will take place without doubt. Having acquired this great science, one should practise it afterwards.
25-26. If not, O Brahmana, he will suffer without getting any Siddhi in the path of Khechari. If one does not get this nectar like science in this practice, he should get it in the beginning of Melana and recite it always; (else) one who is without it never gets Siddhi.
27. As soon as he gets this science, he should practise it; and then the sage will soon get the Siddhi.
28. Having drawn out the tongue from the root of the palate, a knower of Atman should clear the impurity (of the tongue) for seven days according to the advice of his Guru.
29. He should take a sharp knife which is oiled and cleaned and which resembles the leaf of the plant Snuhi (“Euphorbia Antiquorum”) and should cut for the space of a hair (the Fraenum Lingui).
30. Having powdered Saindhava (rock-salt) and Pathya (sea-salt), he should apply it to the place. On the seventh day, he should again cut for the space of a hair.
31. Thus for the space of six months, he should continue it always gradually with great care. In six months, Siro-Bandha (Bandha at the head), which is at the root of the tongue is destroyed.
32. Then the Yogin who knows timely action should encircle with Siro-Vastra (lit. the cloth of the head) the Vak-Ishvari (the deity presiding over speech) and should draw (it) up.
33. Again by daily drawing it up for six months, it comes, O sage, as far as the middle of the eyebrows and obliquely up to the opening of the ears;
34. Having gradually practised, it goes to the root of the chin. Then in three years, it goes up easily to the end of the hair (of the head).
35-36. It goes up obliquely to Sakha and downwards to the well of the throat. In another three years, it occupies Brahmarandhra and stops there without doubt. Crosswise it goes up to the top of the head and downwards to the well of the throat.
37. Gradually it opens the great adamantine door in the head. The rare science (of Khechari) Bija has been explained before.
38. One should perform the six Angas (parts) of this Mantra by pronouncing it in six different intonations. One should do this in order to attain all the Siddhis;
39. And this Karanyasam should be done gradually and not all at a time, since the body of one who does it all at once will soon decay.
40-41(a). Therefore it should be practised, O best of sages, little by little. When the tongue goes to the Brahmarandhra through the outer path, then one should place the tongue after moving the bolt of Brahma which cannot be mastered by the Devas.
41(b)-42. On doing this for three years with the point of finger, he should make the tongue enter within; then it enters Brahmadvara (or hole). On entering the Brahmadvara, one should practise Mathana (churning) well.
43. Some intelligent men attain Siddhi even without Mathana. One who is versed in Khechari Mantra accomplishes it without Mathana.
44-46(a). By doing the Japa and Mathana, one reaps the fruits soon. By connecting a wire made of gold, silver or iron with the nostrils by means of a thread soaked in milk, one should restrain his breath in his heart and seated in a convenient posture with his eyes concentrated between his eyebrows, he should perform Mathana slowly.
46(b)-47. In six months, the state of Mathana becomes natural like sleep in Children. And it is not advisable to do Mathana always. It should be done (once) only in every month.
48. A Yogin should not revolve his tongue in the path. After doing this for twelve years, Siddhi is surely obtained.
49. Then he sees the whole universe in his body as not being different from Atman. This path of the Urdhva-Kundalini (higher Kundalini), O chief of Kings, conquers the macrocosm.
Thus ends the second chapter.
CHAPTER – III
1. Melana-Mantra: Hrim, Bham, Sam, Pam, Pham, Sam, Ksham. The lotus-born (Brahma) said: “O Shankara, (among) new moon (the first day of the lunar fortnight) and full moon, which is spoken of as its (mantra’s) sign ?
2. In the first day of lunar fortnight and during new moon and full moon (days), it should be made firm and there is no other way (or time).
3. A man longs for an object through passion and is infatuated with passion for objects. One should always leave these two and seek the Niranjana (stainless).
4-5. He should abandon everything else which he thinks is favourable to himself. Keeping the Manas in the midst of Sakti and Sakti in the midst of Manas, one should look into Manas by means of Manas. Then he leaves even the highest stage. Manas alone is the Bindu, the cause of creation and preservation.
6. It is only through Manas that Bindu is produced, like the curd from milk. The organs of Manas is not that which is situated in the middle of Bandhana.
7-8(a). Bandhana is there where Sakti is between the sun and moon. Having known Susumna and its Bheda (piercing) and making the Vayu go in the middle, one should stand in the seat of Bindu and close the nostrils.
8(b)-9(a). Having known Vayu, the above-mentioned Bindu and the Sattva-Prakriti as well as the six Chakras, one should enter the Sukha-Mandala (viz., the Sahasrara or pineal gland, the sphere of happiness).
9(b)-11. There are six Chakras. Muladhara is in the anus; Svadhisthana is near the genital organ; Manipuraka is in the navel; Anahata is in the heart; Visuddhi is at the root of the neck and Ajna is in the head (between the two eyebrows).
12. Having known these six Mandalas (spheres), one should enter the Sukha-Mandala (pineal gland), drawing up the Vayu and should send it (Vayu) upwards.
13. He who practises thus (the control of) Vayu becomes one with Brahmanda (the macrocosm). He should practise (or master) Vayu, Bindu, Chitta and Chakra.
14-15. Yogins attain the nectar of equality through Samadhi alone. Just as the fire latent in (Sacrificial) wood does not appear without churning, so the lamp of wisdom does not arise without the Abhyasa Yoga (or practice of Yoga). The fire placed in a vessel does not give light outside.
16. When the vessel is broken, its light appears without. One’s body is spoken of as the vessel and the seat of â€˜That’ is the fire (or light) within;
17-18(a). And when it (the body) is broken through the words of a Guru, the light of Brahma Jnana becomes resplendent. With the Guru as the helmsman, one crosses the subtle body and the ocean of Samsara through the affinities of practice.
18(b)-19. That Vak (power of speech) which sprouts in Para, gives forth two leaves in Pashyanti; buds forth in Madhyama and blossoms in Vaikhari – that Vak which has before been described, reaches the stage of the absorption of sound, reversing the above order (viz., beginning with Vaikhari, etc.,).
20-21(a). Whoever thinks that He who is the great lord of that Vak, who is the undifferentiated and who is the illuminator of that Vak is Self; whoever thinks over thus, is never affected by words, high or low (or good or bad).
21(b)-23(a). The three (aspects of consciousness), Vishva, Taijasa and Prajna (in man), the three Virat, Hiranyagarbha and Ishvara in the universe, the egg of the universe, the egg of man and the seven worlds – all these in turn are absorbed in Pratyagatman through the absorption of their respective Upadhis (vehicles).
23(b)-24(a). The egg being heated by the fire of Jnana is absorbed with its Karana (cause) into Paramatman (Universal Self). Then it becomes one with Para-Brahman.
24(b)-25. It is then neither steadiness nor depth, neither light nor darkness, neither describable nor distinguishable. Sat (Be-ness) alone remains. One should think of Atman as being within the body like a light in a vessel.
26. Atman is of the dimensions of a thumb, is a light without smoke and without form, is shining within (the body) and is undifferentiated and immutable.
27-28(a). The Vijnana Atman that dwells in this body is deluded by Maya during the states of waking, dreaming and dreamless sleep; but after many births, owing to the effect of good Karma, it wishes to attain its own state.
28(b)-29(a). Who am I ? How has this stain of mundane existence accrued to me ? What becomes in the dreamless sleep of me who am engaged in business in the waking and dreaming states ?
29(b)-30. Just as a bale of cotton is burnt by fire, so the Chidabhasa which is the result of non-wisdom, is burnt by the (wise) thoughts like the above and by its own supreme illumination. The outer burning (of body as done in the world) is no burning at all.
31-32. When the worldly wisdom is destroyed, Pratyagatman that is in the Dahara (Akasa or ether of the heart) obtains Vijnana, diffusing itself everywhere and burns in an instant Jnanamaya and Manomaya (sheaths). After this, He himself shines always within, like a light within a vessel.
33. That Muni who contemplates thus till sleep and till death is to be known as a Jivanmukta. Having done what ought to be done, he is a fortunate person.
34. And having given up (even) the state of a Jivanmukta, he attains Videhamukta (emancipation in a disembodied state), after his body wears off. He attains the state, as if of moving in the air.
35. Then That alone remains which is soundless, touchless, formless and deathless, which is the Rasa (essence), eternal, and odourless, which has neither beginning nor end, which is greater than the great and which is permanent, stainless and decayless.
Thus ends the third chapter.
After elimination of urine and feces before bathing, a person should clean their teeth with the tastes of astringent, bitter and pungent
If you read the article: https://trueayurveda.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/t-happens-the-bodys-natural-cleansing-system-why-do-a-morning-regimen/
prior to reading this you will be miles ahead and understand what the statement above means.
To make it really simple…… sweet taste is anabolic. It means it grows tissue. You eat alot of sweets and you grow, right? Excess sweet rots teeth, we all understand that. What are the taste of the toothpastes in the market? Sweet. And in the far past when you were a kid what were they? The further back you go the more you find what works and the closer to today you come it is about selling a product so toothpastes are made sweet. This is a view of Ayurveda is one of the main reasons why we see such a huge frequency of gum disease in the West.
Bodaka kapha is the saliva, the mouth is one of the homes to kapha. The focus of the teeth and mouth treatments routinely, in Ayurveda, balance kapha unless there is a individuals problem to be treated. Pungent, Bitter, and Astringent do this and a lot more for the gums and teeth.
Action of tastes:
|Sweet||Most acceptable taste, strength, Gain weight, Good for Eyes, Throat, Hair, Immunity, Nourishes Senses, specifically promotes all tissues, Produces kaphaja disorders such as obesity, laxity, lassitude, heaviness, “abnormal growth in mouth and throat”
V- P- K+
|Sour|| Digestion, heart, appetite, specifically will sensitize teeth
V- P+ K+
|Salty|| Digestion, moisture, – stiffness, V-, Clears subtle channels, specifically will create salivation in mouth, liquefies kapha, makes the inflamed part burst and teeth loosen and fall out.
V- P+ K+
|Pungent|| Digestion, cleanses mouth, – moisture, opens channels, scraping, specifically cleanses mouth, alleviates swelling, kills organisms
V+ P- K-
|Bitter||Gives taste, digest toxins, cleanses tissues moisture sweat urine stool, worms and parasites, dries moisture and fat, easily digestible, Specifically provides firmness to skin and muscles, gives rise to non-sliminess and dryness in mouth V+P- K-|
|Astringent||Cleanses blood, dries moisture and fat, Stops flow, wound healing, size, scraping, absorption, not easily digestible, specifically union promoting, compressing, healing, absorbing
In care of teeth cleaning:
Benefits: removes foul smell, tastelessness and taking out dirt brings relish immediately. The toothbrush: Use astringent, pungent, and bitter taste teeth cleaning twigs for brushing the teeth. A fresh twig is made into a toothbrush by chewing the end so as to create a frayed, fibrous brush free from splinters. Plants recommended for toothbrush: “karanja, karavira, arka, jati, kakubha, asana and similar plants” Charaka Samhita Su5#71-74
Regular kavala (oil swishing with sesame oil) gives strength in teeth – Charaka Samhita Su25#40
Kavala (with sesame oil) provides strength in jaws and voice, development of face, maximum taste and relish in food. One does not suffer from dryness of throat, cracking lips, tooth cavities, pain in teeth, over-sensitivity of teeth on taking sour taste; teeth become firm-rooted, able to chew even the hardest food items. Charaka Samhita Su5#78-80
See article on Oill Pulling
Of course there are all sorts of details in treatments beyond this.
Taste of the herb and its potency is used as to the season and as the need of the individuals balance/imbalance.
Season – Taste, Potency – Herb
Summer – Sweet, Cold- Madhuka
Spring – Pungent Bitter, Hot- Karanja
Spring, Autumn – Astringent Bitter, Cold -Khadira
Winter and Rainy – Pungent Bitter, Hot – Arka
Autumn – Astringent Pungent Cold – Vata
A blend of herbs that makes a great tooth powder is Haritaki, Bibitaki, Amalaki, (those three are what makes triphala churna) Bakula, Babbula, Khadira, Kutaja, Nimba Twak (neem bark), Saindhava Lavana (rocksalt), Karpoora, Peppermint. You can order these in bulk or most of them and mix them yourself.
For the rest of us, we can use an Ayurveda tooth powder like Vicco, Vedica, Red or Monkey Brand and others. Baba Ram Dev has is Danta Divya product but it has black salt in it which there is no reason for. Everything else on the product labeling is correct. Ayurmere and others that are claiming to be ayurvedic but are sweet are just more of the same old same old modern world to making a cool product to sell. Your best bet is to stay away from anything popular. (my experience is that you cannot trust what is actually in a package vs what is written on a label much less the quality of the herbs or how old they are). Also, it has come to my attention that there is alum in one of these which makes complete sense because alum is very astringent. Of course this makes some people afraid due to the fear of aluminum but just to remark, India uses mainly aluminum pots and pans to cook yet the incidence of alzheimer’s and dementia is low. Interesting.
The following tooth powder removes bleeding, itching, and pain:
Powder the following Tejohva, haritaki, ela, samanga, katuka, musta, patha, jyotismati, lodhra, daruharidra, kustha. Charaka Samhita Ci26#183
Other diseases have their own treatment as well as what herbs to be using.
Uncutous smoking of herbs is also used for loose teeth.
In Ayurveda, the teeth are hereditary from your father much like the Western world states that the influential hair loss gene is carried on the X chromosome, which a male would only get from his mother, and which could have been passed on by her father.
But wait……. there is alot more. The health of your teeth is more connected to the health of your bones and this brings up a serious indicator.
Signs of diminution of Asthi (bone)… falling of hairs, nails, beards and mustaches and teeth, fatigue and laxity of joints. – Charaka Samhita Su17#73
Meanwhile one who has excellence in medas (fat tissue) is seen to have excellence in teeth – Charaka Samhita Vi8#106 & 107
The teeth are predominantly Parthiva (earth element). – Charaka Samhita Sa7#16
The health of the bones show in the teeth as the teeth are a secondary tissue of the bones. Increase the bone health and increase the teeth health. They actually get whiter. The gums health is split between the bone health and the muscle tissue health. It can go either way or due to both.
When asthi dhatu (bone tissue) becomes deficient, a lower bone density t score, signs are hair density and hair loss which may be distributed throughout the scalp or in patches. The nails become thin and break easily. The teeth can be loose, become crooked and become stained more than usual.
Bone Density Test Results
|1 and above||Your bone density is considered normal.|
|Between -1 and -2.5||Your score is a sign of osteopenia, a condition in which bone density is below normal and may lead to osteoporosis.|
|-2.5 and below||Your bone density indicates you likely have osteoporosis.|
Asthi dhatu or bones are formed from the nutrients supplied by meda dhatu (fat) through asthi vaha srotas (subtle channel of bone). The nutrients in meda dhatu which is meant to nourish asthi dhatu are processed in asthi vaha srotas by dhatu agnis (digestive fire of the tissue). Dhatu agni (digestive fire of the tissue) and bhuta agni (digestive fire of the elements .. vayu, agni and prithvi ) bring about hardness and heaviness to these nutrients which form asthi or bone. Su. Sa. 15/5
Asthi dhatu’s (bone tissue) function is to support. This can understood in several ways. The bones serve to uphold all body tissues and give them kathinya (firmness) and a foundation. When it is sufficient, it gives confidence, stability, confidence, security, certainty and a good stamina. Asthi comes from the term “Stha” meaning to stand or “endure”. Su. Sa. 5/23-25
From this shloka you may see how the depletion of bone tissue also results in mental process of a person without all of these qualities.
Vata (air and ether elements) aggravation is initially going to be caused by either sangha (tissue blockage) or kshaya (tissue deficiency) and if not treated it will turn into to a vicious cycle of ever increasing vata and associated progressive bone tissue degeneration.
First off is their aama (toxic metabolic waste) in the system? Is the tongue coated deeply with this aama? Aamapachana (digestion of aama) is a prerequisite for any treatment of deeper tissues. Diet should be aama reducing to remove any accumulated toxic residues of improper digestion, and also agni increasing to ensure that no new ama is formed. Langhana (fasting) is done remove ama and increasing agni. This is also based upon the individual and is not as easy as following the very popular “kitchari cleanse” as there could be several things wrong with the digestion that those kitchari cleansing diets will create more of a problem with. The most effective way of cleansing the system and dealing with all of this, of course, is real panchakarma. (need a referral of a real place to do PK)
So in diagnosis….. when air or ether element has afflicted asthi dhatu the treatment is to increase the quantity of earth element in the diet. Earth is found in the largest amount in sweet and astringent tasting foods. Astringent is the better for bones. When water and earth has afflicted asthi dhatu, the treatment is to decrease the quantity of earth or water element depending upon what is going on and increase the quality of the air element. Generally increasing pungent and bitter tastes are best for increasing the qualities of air in the body. Also in general, the diet should be light. When fire and water has afflicted asthi dhatu, treatment is to decrease the quality of the fire element. Whole milk, wheat and other grains should be taken.
Is the water to high is the body and washing out the earth element or is the air element to high and has depleted (notice this is what all of the modern detoxing does to the body and what we will be seeing a lot of in the future!!!) Or maybe it is even more complicated and water and air are both increased in the system?????? Complicated huh?
In a Western world approach, the answer would be to eat foods that build bones and the newest thing might be to take probiotics and to eat yogurt but this is where it ends and this is also the problem. The yogurt is clogging to the channels (toxic if with fruit) and the probiotics will create a pitta imbalance if ya didn’t have one before. Most of the foods that would be building bones are heavy nourishing foods. This means that they are hard to digest so just looking on the web and coming up with foods that are good for bones and starting to eat them in excess compared to what you where previously is a great way to create new disease. The reason why the bones and then of course the teeth would be a problem in the first place could be numerous but most likely on the playing card of that the digestion is unable to digest those heavy foods for whatever of the many reasons it is and so dumping more of the heavy foods into the gut is actually going to lead to more problems of the same. The answer would be to first stop looking on the internet for symptom based solutions and learn deeper knowledge. There is far too much garbage on the internet to make sense of it all and is not a good place to learn proper knowledge. Second would be to build the digestion back strong which is not of this article but is found in others across this blog. What is going on with the digestion and the tissues is not something one can diagnose by them self.
What I can say in general is that one can simply lighten their diet. this will make the digestion function better. Eat at the proper times consistently when your digestive fire is strong, meaning you have an appetite. Eating several small meals or snacking is not a way to do anything but disturb your digestion. Eat twice or three times a day. Problem with this advice is that someone that has a bone density disorder can have it for a variety of reasons and by lightening the diet it can increase vata which will degrade the bone density even further. See, it is not all that easy and that is why you have people that are called doctors that have studied these things for a long period of time. Lol. Everything else is just blindly shooting at a target that you can’t see.
A nice way to build the bones would be to take arjun or even better make arjuna kshirapaka. But that of course would be dependent upon what is going on with the person. There is also a great ladoo recipe on this blog that has gum in it that is really good for bones.
I could easily go as far as to say very easily that doing meditation on grounding and focusing on your tailbone would be one of the necessary and easier ways to treat from multiple directions as the western lifestyle is a fast paced and embodiment and grounding is lacking highly in that lifestyle. There is also chi gung bone breathing that can be performed but in any case the earth element needs to be dealt with and stabilized.
So when your out there surfing the web, and reading those sites that state that this is good for this and that is good for that, trying to learn what to do for your health problems remember, they do not have your health in mind. It is normally connected to selling a product. You are an individual. Respect yourself as one. One needs to have a proper diagnosis by a competent well educated doctor to have proper treatment of the actual problem. Another thing, The above is how real Ayurveda works besides the bone density test which is just used to confirm diagnosis easily. So what does that state about all the nonsense out there. Most of it is just Ayurvedic herbs and foods being used in a Western nutrition and medical method.
Suta and Other Sages
We first pray to Brhama, the creator; Vishnu, the preserver; and Shiva, the destroyer. We also pray to the sages Nara and Narayana and Sarasvati, the goddess of learning. Our prayers are due to the sage Vedavyasa. It is only after these prayers that we can begin to read the sacred texts.
A tirtha is a place of pilgrimage. The sage Narada visited several such tirthas and eventually arrived at the forest known as naimisharanya. At that time, many other sages had assembled in naimisharanya. They greeted Narada warmly and offered him their respects. While all this was going on, who should arrive there but the suta Lomaharshana? (Sutas were a class of raconteurs. They were cross-breeds who were the offspring of kshatriya fathers and brahmana mothers. A kshatriya fathers and brahmana mothers . A brahmana belonged to the first of the four classes and a kshatriya to the second.)
The sages greeted Lomaharshana and said, “You had studied the Puranas under Vedavyasa himself. Please recite for us the Purana that describes the glory of Shiva’s linga (image). It is our great good fortune that the sage Narada is also here. He has just returned after worshipping many tingas at many tirthas. What better occasion can there be?”
Lomaharshana agreed. He began with the account of the creation.
The divine essence is known as the brahman. In the beginning, the only object in the universe was the divine essence. There was nothing else. It was this brahman which divided itself into three different parts, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Brahma became the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer.
There was only water in the universe then. In the water, a gigantic egg (anda) appeared. Brahma emerged from this egg. Inside the egg were also all the worlds that would be created.
During Brahma’s day , creation flourishes. But during Brahma’s night, there is destruction (pralaya). When Brahma merged out of the primordial egg, that constituted the original process of creation (sarga). But the following the process of destruction that takes place during Brahma’s night, there is also a periodical process of re-creation (pratisarga).
Time is divided into four different eras – satya yuga, treta yuga, dvapara yuga and kali yuga. Satya yuga lasts for four thousand years of the gods, treta yuga for three thousand, dvapara yuga for two thousand and kali yuga for one thousand. A mahayuga is the period from the beginning of satya yuga to the end of kali yuga. It thus lasts for then thousand years of the gods. But in addition, there are intervening periods (sandhyamsha) between satya yuga and treta yuga is seven hundred years, that between treta yuga and dvapara yuga five hundred years, that between dvapara yuga and kali yuga three hundred years and that between kali yuga and the new satya yuga five hundred years. This adds another two thousand years. Thus a mahayuga really lasts for twelve thousands years of the gods.
How long is one year of the gods? To understand that, one needs to know a little bit about the measurement of time.
The smallest unit of time is a nimesha. That is the length of time it takes to blink one’s eyes. Fifteen nimeshas constitute a kashtha, thirty kashthas are called a kala and thirty kalas make up one muhurta. There are fifteen muhurtas during the day and fifteen muhurtas during the night. Thirty muhurtas make up night and day, known as ahoratra. One year for humans is equivalent to one ahoratra for the gods. The six months during which the gods have their day is called uttarayana and the six months during which the gods have their night is called dakshinayana. Three hundred and sixty human years are equivalent to one divine year. Thus, twelve thousand divine years are equivalent to 4,320,000 human years and this is the length of a mahayuga.
Satya yuga lasts for 1,440,000 human years; treta yuga or 1,080,000; dvapara yuga for 720,000; and kali yuga for 360,000. This adds up to a total of 3,600,000 human years. Once one adds 720,000 years for the sandhyamshas, one obtains the figure of 4,320,000 human years in a mahayuga.
There are a little over seventy-one mahayugas in a manvantara. Seventy-one mahayugas would add up to 296,720,000 human years. There are actually 306,720,000 human years in a manvantara.
One thousand mahayugas make up one kalpa. There are thus 4,320,000,000 human years in a kalpa. Equivalently, fourteen manvantaras constitute one kalpa. A kalpa corresponds to Brahma’s adhoratra.
One thousand kalpas are one year for Brahma and eight thousand such years are one yuga for Brahma. One thousand of Brahma’s yugas are equivalent to one of Vishnu’s days. Nine thousand of Vishnu’s days are equivalent to merely one day for Shiva. (This is an attempt to establish Shiva’s supremacy. In a Purana that glorifies Vishnu more, the relative rankings of Shiva and Vishnu would be reversed.)
At the end of one of Brahma’s days, the entire universe and all the beings in it are destroyed Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are not however destroyed. There is darkness and water everywhere and Vishnu sleeps on this water. Since nara means water and ayana means resting -place, Vishnu is also known as Narayana.
When the day dawns, Brahma begins creation afresh.
Brahma first created three sons through his mental powers. Their names were Sananda, Sanaka and Sanatan. (In other Puranas, a fourth son named Sanatakumara is mentioned.) These sons became sages and performed intense meditation. Brahma also created another nine sons through his mental powers. Their names were Marichi, Bhrigu, Angira, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Daksha, Atri and Vashishtha.
To ensure that creation progressed further, Brahma next divided his body into two halves. The male half was known as Svayambhuva Manu and the female half was known as Shatarupa. These two married and had two sons and two daughters. The sons were Uttanapada and Priyavrata and the daughters were Akuti and Prasuti.
Daksha married Prasuti and they had twenty-four daughters. (The number of Daksha’s daughters is sometimes given as twenty-four, sometimes as fifty and sometimes as sixty.) One of Daksha’s daughters was named Sati and she was married to Shiva. When Sati died, she was reborn as Parvati, the daughter of the Himalayas, She was married again to Shiva as Parvati.
In fact, before starting to create, Brahma told Shiva, “Please help me out by creating some beings, I can not cope on my own.”
Shiva gladly agreed and started to create beings who were just like him in appearance. These came to be known as the rudras.
“What are you doing?” exclaimed Brahma. “Don’t create immortal beings who are like yourself. Create beings who are mortal.”
“That I flatly refused to do,” replied Shiva.
“Then please desist from creating,” requested Brahama. “I shall take care of creation myself.”
Shiva complied, but the rudras whom he had already created, remained.
The sages told Lomaharshana, “Please tell us about yoga.”
(Yoga literally means union. It is a technique of meditation that enables one to realize the union between the divine soul (paramatman) and the individual human soul (atman or jivatman).)
Shiva is also known as Pashupati. The technique of yoga that Shiva taught is known as pashupata yoga. To teach this yoga, Shiva has an incarnation (avatara) in every kali yuga. In the present kalpa, there have been twenty-eight kali yugas and there have accordingly been twenty-eight incarnations of Shiva, all known as Yogeshvaras. Their names are as follows.
Every one of these Yogeshvarasas had four disciples each.
In fact, it is also Shiva whose incarnation is born as Vedavyasa in every dvapara yuga. Since there have been twenty-eight dvapra yugas, there have also been twenty-eight Vedavyasas upto now.
Their names are as follows.
(28) Krishna Dvaipayana.
(The names given in these lists do not always agree wth the names given in similar lists in the other Puranas.)
Yoga has eight components. These are known as yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi. Yama is preparatory to meditation, it has to be backed up by the practice of non-voilence. Niyama means certain rules that have to be followd. These include truthfulness, celibacy and lack of jealousy. The rules also encompass cleanliness, the donation of alms and fasting at appointed times. Pranayama signifies the control of the breath of life. This must always be attempted in a proper asana (posture). Pratyahara implies the withdrawal of the mind from addiction to sensual and material pursuits. An image has to be decided on for purposes of meditation. When this image is fixed in one’s mind, that is known as dharana, and the actual process of meditation is called dhyana. Samadhi is the final stage of meditation, when the union between the paramatman and the atman is realized.
Yoga must always be practiced in an appropriate place. One must not be close to a fire, nor must the place chosen be a cremation-ground or a location frequented by wild beasts. There must not be any noise or insects that are likely to distract one’s attention. For example, a cave is a very good place to practise yoga in.
Do not imagine for a moment that yoga is easy. There are numerous distractons and disturbances that make one deviate from the right path. One has to fight laziness and sloth. As one progresses, there are illusions that one hallucinates from. Demons are seen . There are powers that one attains and these also cause distractions. But if somehow one manages to conquer these, true bliss can be attained.
The sages said, “We know that a linga is Shiva’s image. But why is Shiva worshipped in the form of a linga?”
Lomaharshana recounted the following story.
Many years ago, at the end of a destruction, there was water everywhere in the universe and the universe was shrouded in darkness. Vishnu slept on the water in his form of Narayana.
Brahma discovered Vishnu sleeping thus and woke him up. Failing to recognize Vishnu, he asked, “Who are you and what are you doing here?”
Vishnu woke up and noticed Brahma standing there. He smiled and said, “How are you, Brahma? Is everything well with my son?’
“How dare you call me your son?’ demanded Brahma. “I am Brahma, the lord of everything. I am the creator of the universe. How dare anyone call me his son?”
“You seem to have forgotten everything,” said Vishnu. “I am Vishnu and you were born from me. That is the reason why I addressed you as my son.”
Brahma did not accept this and started to fight with Vishnu. While the two were thus grappling, a shining linga suddenly appeared. It was almost as if the linga had emerged to settle Brahma and Vishnu’s dispute. The linga rose way up into the sky and it seemed to have no beginning or end.
“What on earth is this pillar of fire doing here?” Vishnu asked Brahma. “Let us investigate it. Why don’t you go up and see where it ends? As for me, I shall proceed downwards. Let us meet after a while and compare notes.”
Brahma agreed to do this. He adopted the form of a swan and flew up. Vishnu adopted the form of a boar and went down. No matter how further down Vishnu went, he could find no end to the linga. Nor could Brahma discover its upper extremity.
They returned and were amazed to find that neither had been able to find the end of the linga. They realized that they must be in the presence of a power that was greater than their own. They therefore began to pray to the linga and the sound of the mantra (incantation) om echoed all around the linga. Shiva appeared from within the linga in the form of a sage named Vedanama. He told them that it was the linga which was the origin of the universe. It was from the linga that the primordial egg (anda), the origin of the universe, had been created.
Shiva also taught Brahma and Vishnu the sacred gayatri mantra. He told Brahma and Vishnu, “We are all three part of the same supreme brahman. Brahma is the creator, Vishnu is the preserver and I am the destroyer. Don’t fight amongst yourselves.”
Ever since that day, Shiva has been worshipped in the form of a linga..
Brahma and Vishnu
“But why did Vishnu address Brahma as his son?” asked the sages. “Please explain that.”
Lomaharshana told them the following story from the kalpa known as padma kalpa.
At the time of the destruction that came at the end of the earlier kalpa, there was water everywhere in the universe and Vishnu slept on this water. Vishnu felt slightly bored. So he made a gigantic lotus sprout out of his navel and started to play with it. The stalk of the lotus was made of diamonds and it shone with radiance like the sun.
While Vishnu was thus playing with the lotus , Brahma appeared.
“Who are you?” asked Brahma. “What are you doing here?”
“I am Vishnu,” replied Vishnu. “I am the lord of everything. But who are you and where have you come from?”
“I am Brahma,” responded Brahma. “I am the lord of everything in the universe. Every object that will be created in the universe is already present in embryonic form, inside my body. If you don’t believe me, why don’t you enter my stomach and see for yourself?”
Vishnu entered Brahma’s body through the mouth. He marvelled to discover the fourteen regions (lokas) of the univerise and the beings who would populate them all, inside Brahma’s stomach. Vishnu wandered around for a thousand yeards, but could find no end to the vast expanse of Brahma’s stomach. Finally, he emerged through the mouth and told Brahma, “I am completely bowled over by what I have seen. But I can also show you wonders. There are many worlds inside my body as well. Enter for yourself and see.”
Brahma agreed to this and entered Vishnu’s body through the mouth. Inside Vishnu’ stomach, he saw many worlds. He wandered around for a thousand years, but could not find the extremities of the stomach. Meanwhile, Vishnu had closed all the points of exit and Brahma could find no way of coming out. He eventualy came out through the lotus that sprouted out of Vishnu’s navel and seated himself on the lotus. Since padma means lotus and yoni means place of birth, Brahma thenceforth came to be known as Padmayoni. And since Brahma emerged out of Vishnu’s body, he came to be regarded as Visnu’s son.
While Brahma was thus seated on the lotus, Shiva arrived. Such was the speed of Shiva’s arrival that tidal waves were created in the water. The lotus started to tremble and Brahma was showered with drops of water.
“Stop shaking the lotus so,” said Brahma. “You are scaring me.”
“Who speaks from my navel?’ asked Vishnu. “And why do you sound so angry?”
“I am Brahma,” replied Brahma. “I have every right to be angry. Don’t you remember? You had entered my body and had marvelled at the worlds I had shown you there. You had then asked me to enter your body. But once I had done that, you had closed all the points of entry so that I had not been able to get out. I had to emerge through the lotus and now now seated on it. Apart from your earlier transgression, you have now started to shake the lotus. Why should I not be angry?”
“Please pardon me,” replied Vishnu. “I had no desire to offend you by closing all the points of exit. I merely wished to play with you for a while. Please forgive me. And as a token of your friendship, please grant me the boon that you will henceforth be known as my son. But as for the lotus, I have no part in shaking it. Can’t you see that Shiva is approaching? These tidal waves must have beeen caused by his arrival. Let us pray to him and pacifiy him.”
“Who is Shiva?” asked Brahma. “I am Brahma the lord of everything. I refuse to pray to any upstart who approaches.”
Vishnu quietened Brahma down and persuaded him that the two of them ought to pray to Shiva. Shiva was pleased at these prayers and offered grant Brahma and Vishnu boons. Vishnu wished the boon that he might always be devoted to Shiva. Brahma desired the boon that Shiva might be born as his son.
Subsequently, when Brahma began his task of creation, he was not happy with the beings he initially created. From this sorrow were born the eleven rudras, manifestations of Shiva. They cried as soon as they were born. Since the word ruda means to cry, they acquired the name of rudras. It was thus that Shiva was born as Brahma’s son.
(This seemingly contradicts the earlier account of the Linga Purana that Shiva had created the eleven rudras himself. The story of the rudras being born from Brahma’s sorrow is given in many Puranas in much greater detail. The Vishnu Purana and the Padma Purana are examples.)
The Linga Purana next describes the rituals that have to be followed in worshipping Shiva’s linga.
The Devadaru Forest
Deva means god and daru means tree (or wood). A devadaru is a special sort of tree (a sort of pine tree) that is loved by the gods.
Many years ago, there used to be a forest that was full of devadaru trees. In this devadaru forest there lived many sages and their wives. The sages were devoted to Shiva and performed very difficult tapasya (meditation) so as to please him.
Shiva was pleased at these prayers. But he decided to test the sages. He therefore adopted a very ugly appearance and came to the devadaru forest. He wore no clothes, his complexion was completely dark and his eyes were terrifying. The wives of the sages began to follow Siva around. But the sages were disgusted that their wives should follow such an ugly and deformed creature. They used many harsh words to insult Shiva and Shiva promptly disappeared.
The sages then went and reported what had happened to Brahma.
“You stupid idiots,” exclaimed Brahma. “Don’t you realize what you have done? That ugly creature was Shiva himself. He was merely trying to test you and you have failed in the test. He was your guest and you have treated him badly. A guest is a guest regardless of whether he is handsome or ugly. He must be treated with the utmost respect and consideration. You have failed in this miserably. Don’t you know the story of the sage Sudarshana?”
There used to be a sage named Sudarshana. He took great pains to instruct his wife that a guest must always be treated well and must never be refused. In fact, a guest is like Shiva himself. To refuse a guest is tantamount to refusing and insulting Shiva. On one particular occasion, the god of righteousness, Dharma, desired to test Sudarshana and his wife. He adopted the disguise of a brahmana and came to visit Sudarshana. Sudarshana was away at the time, but his wife treated the guest really well. Dharma then blessed Sudarshana and his wife that they would surely go to heaven.
The sages regretted what they had done and looked for a way so that they might please Shiva. They sought Brahma’s advice and Brahma told them the story of Shveta.
There was a sage named Shveta who was devoted to Shiva. He prayed to Shiva throughout his life. Eventually it was time for Shveta to die and Yama, the god of death, came to claim Shveta. Shveta was not at all disturbed at the sight of Yama. He thought that death would not be able to do him any harm if he prayed to Shiva. He went about making preparations for these prayers.
“Come, come,” said Yama. “Is this the time to pray to Shiva? Your time on earth is over and you are under my powers now. What is the point of praying to Shiva now?”
Yama then tied up Shveta and prepared to take the sage to his abode. But Shiva, accompanied by Nandi, Parvati and several of his companions, arrived. At the mere sight of Shiva, Yama fell unconscious and died. The gods marvelled at this and showered down flowers from the sky.
Shveta was saved in this fashion. (The story of Yama’s revival is not recounted.)
Brahma told the sages, “Now you know what can be gained by praying to Shiva. That is what you should do.”
That is what the sages did. After they had prayed faithfully for an entire year, Shiva appeared before them. He was smeared with ashes and his visage was terrible. He wandered around the devadaru forest. But the sages had learnt their lesson. They were not repelled at Shiva’s ugly appearance. They and their wives welcomed Shiva with flowers and incense.
Shiva was pelased. He gave the sages plenty of good advice. Amongst other things, he taught the sages the wonderful properties of bhasma (ashes).
There was a sage named Dadhicha (alternatively Dadhichi). (The Mahabharata states that Dadhicha was the son of Shanti and the sage Atharva.)
Dadhicha had a friend named Kshupa. Kshupa was a king. Since Kshupa was a king, he belonged to the kshatriya class. Dadhicha was a brahmana.
The two friends once began to argue about the superiority of brahmanas vis-a-vis kshatriyas. Kshupa maintained that kshatriyas were superior, while Dadhicha held the opposite view.
Indra has a wonderful weapon named vajra. (This is sometimes identified with thunder, sometimes with a club.) Once upon a time, the demons (asuras) became very powerful and threatened to defeat the gods. The gods sought Kshupa’s help and Indra gave Kshupa the vajra to fight with.
When Dadhicha and Kshupa had argued for a while, they came to blows. Dadhicha struck Kshupa a blow on the head with his fist. In retaliation, Kshupa struck Dadhicha with the vajra and sliced the sage in two. Dadhicha died. But before he died, he called upon Shukracharya, the preceptor of the demons, to come to his aid. Shukracharya knew the art of mrita sanjivani, that is, the technique of bringing dead people back to life. Shukracharya arrived and resurrected Dadhicha.
Shukracharya told Dadhicha, “Why don’t you pray to Shiva? If you can please Shiva, by his grace you will become immortal. Where do you think I learnt the art of mrita sanjivani? From the great Shiva,. Pray to him.”
(The story of Shukracharya’s obtaining this wonderful knowledge from Shiva is related in the Harivamsha.)
Dadhicha began very difficult tapasya so that he might please Shiva. When Shiva was pleased, Dadhicha obtained three boons from him, The first boon made Dadhicha prosperous. The second boon made his bones as hard as the vajra itslf. And the third boon was that Dadhicha could never be killed.
Thus armed, Dadhicha went to visit Kshupa and gave Kshupa a mighty kick on his head. Kshupa naturally picked up the vajra and hurled it at Dadhicha. The vajra struck Dadhicha a resounding whack on his chest. But such was the power of Shiva’s boon that the vajra did the sage no harm.
Kshupa was amazed to see this. He resolved that he would pray to Vishnu to obtain still greater powers. Finally, Vishnu appeared before Kshupa and said, “I am pleased with your prayers. What boon do you desire?”
“Please grant me the boon that I may be able to defeat Dadhicha,” replied Kshupa.
“Dadhicha has been fortified by Shiva’s boons,” said Vishnu. “I therefore fear that what you ask is quite impossible. Nevertheless, I will try.”
Vishnu adopted the form of a brahmana and went to Dadhicha’s hermitage.
“Welcome, great Vishnu,” said Dadhicha. “But why are you in the disguise of a brahmana? Did you think that I would not be able to see through your disguise? Or did you think that I would not refuse what a brahmana asked for? Anyway, please give up this pretense. Adopt your own form and tell me what you want.”
Vishnu adopted his own form and said, “I am going to bring Kshupa to your hermitage. All you have to do is to tell Kshupa that you are scared.”
Vishnu brought Kshupa to Dadhicha’s hermitage. But instead of saying what Vishnu had asked him to utter, Dadhicha said, “I am a devotee of Shiva’s. How can I be scared of anything in the universe?”
These words angered Vishnu. Vishnu has a divine weapon known as the sudarshana chakra. He flung this at Dadhicha. But Dadhicha’s powers were such that the chakra merely struck him on the chest and fell harmlessly to the ground.
“Oh dear, Oh dear,” exclaimed Dadhicha. “Whatever has happened to the great Vishnu’s chakra? Perhaps Vishnu would be better advised to use some other divine weapon. Like the brahmastra perhaps.”
Vishnu hurled a brhamastra at Dadhicha, but nothing happened to the sage. Vishnu used several other divine weapons, But all in vain. The other gods arrived to help Vishnu in his fight with Dadhicha. But the numerous weapons that the gods used on Dadhicha were all rendered harmless by the sage. Dadhicha then picked up a handful of straw and flung this at the gods. As if magically, each of the straws became a flaming trident and threatened to burn up all the gods.
The gods fled in desperation. As for Vishnu, he created several beings who were just like him in appearance. But Dadhicha burnt all of these up. Vishnu next adopted a gigatic and wonderful form. This form was known as vishvarupa. The entire universe and all the beings in it could be seen in this vishvarupa.
But Dadhicha only laughed. “Who are you trying to impress?” he asked. “Look at me. You will find the entire universe and all the beings in it inside my body as well. I too can play with illusions. Give up this tomfoolery. If you really wish to fight, let us do so by all means.”
At this stage, Brahma decided to intervene. He advised Vishnu to pray to the sage instead of fighting with him. Vishnu did this and was forgiven by Dadhicha. As for Kshupa, he acknowledged the superiority of brahmanas and begged Dadhicha’s forgiveness.
The place where these wonderful things happened is a tirtha named Sthaneshvara.
There was a sage named Shilada. He performed very difficult tapasya so that he might have a son. After many years had passed, Indra appeared before Shilada and told him, “I am pleased with your meditation. Ask for the boon that you desire.
“Please grant me the boon that I may have a son who is not normally born and who will be immortal,” answered Shilada.
“That is impossible,” said Indra. “It is beyond my powers to grant you such a boon. I can at best give you a mortal son. An immortal son? I fear that not even Brahma can grant you such a boon. The only person who may be able to grant you such a boon is Shiva. Why don’t you try to please him?”
Shilada started to pray to Shiva. For a thousand year of the gods he prayed ceaselessly. He was completely immobile, so that the termites built a nest on his body. His body could no longer be seen. The termites ate up all Shilada’s flesh and drunk up all his blood. But Shilada continued to pray. When only bones were left in Shilada’s body, Shiva appeared before him.
“Enough of this meditation,” said Shiva. “I know what you desire and I will grant you the son you want. I myself will be born as your son and be known as Nandi.”
Having said this, Shiva vanished. But not before he had revived Shilada with his touch.
Shilada now started a yajna (sacrifice) so that the son might be born. And Nandi emerged from the fire that had been lit on the occasion of the sacrifice. Nandi had three eyes and four arms. He held a trident and a mace in two of his hands. And his body was clad in armour made out of diamonds. The gandharvas (singers of heaven) sang songs to celebrate the occasion, the apsaras (dancers of heaven) danced. The gods showered down flowers from above.
The word ananda means joy. Since the boy’s birth brought everyone joy, he was named Nandi.
But as soon as Nandi was taken home by Shilada. Nandi’s divine appearance vanished and he assumed the form of an ordinary human child. Moreover, he forgot all about his divine origin. Shilada was greatly disappointed at this happening, but there was nothing that could be done. He devoted himself to his son’s education. By the time Nandi was seven years old, he had become well-versed in the Vedas and other shastras (sacred texts).
One day, the two gods Mitra and Varuna came to visit Shilada. They took one look at Nandi and said, “Strange indeed are the ways of the world. Nandi bears all the auspicious signs on his body. And yet, he is not going to live for long. He is going to die before he is eight years old.
Shilada was mortified to hear this and started to weep. Nandi could not bear to see his father weep thus and started to pray to Shiva.
Shiva appeared and said, “What is all this talk of your dying? Stuff and nonsense. You are going to be immortal and you will always be by my side.”
Shiva took off the necklace that he was wearing and hung it around Nandi’s neck. Immediately, Nandi assumed a divine form with ten arms and three eyes. Nandi was adopted as a son by Parvati.
Shiva’s companions are known as the ganas. And their leaders are known as ganeshvaras or gananpatis. It was resolved that Nandi should be made a ganapati. This was formally done at an august ceremony. The gods and the sages all came to attend this ceremony.
In satya yuga, people were always happy. There were no inferiors or superiors. All individuals were equal. The climate was neither hot nor cold. Hatred and jealousy were unknown. Hunger and thirst were not felt. The earth yielded an abundant supply of juices and mankind lived happily on this. There was no need to build houses. People lived on the shores of the oceans and in the mountains. There was no concept of sin (papa) and store of merit (punya), no need of heaven or hell. People were naturally righteous.
In treta yuga, things changed somewhat. Clouds formed in the sky and it started to rain heavily. The earth no longer yield a plentiful supply of juices. But because it rained so much, trees began to grow and people lived on the sap of these trees. But individuals slowly turned evil and started to fight over the possession of these trees. The trees no longer provided sap. But they did provide fruits that humans could live on. They used the barks of the trees for clothing. But when people continued to fight over the possession of the trees, the trees started to wither away and disappear. Heat and cold became manifest. Houses now had to be built so that one might protect oneself from the heat and the cold. Earlier, there had been no need to build houses. When all the trees completely disappeared, people learnt to practice agriculture so that they might live. The first practice of agriculture and animal husbandry goes back to treta yuga. But irrigation was not needed. The land irriaged itself. Artificial irrigation became required much later, when people grew even more evil.
Mankind really started to suffer from the time of dvapara yuga. Most evil traits like hatred, jealousy, quarrels and fraudulence can be traced back to that time. Famine and drought were first felt on earth in dvapara yuga.
Kali yuga is the worst period of all. This is a time when holy men are not revered. No one pays any attention to the shastras and it is evil that prevails. People are habitually liars. The shudras are the last of the four classes. As such, their duties are to serve the other three classes of brahmanas, kshatriyas and vaishyas. But in kali yuga, the shudras lord over everything. Even the kings are shudras and oppress the brahmanas. Kings are thieves and thieves become kings.
Kali yuga is such an evil period that people will start to lend money so as to earn interest. The evil has its effects in terms of reducing the productivity of the land. Life expectancy is reduced to only sixteen years. The only redeeming feature of kali yuga is the fact that a minor righteous deed in kali yuga brings undying punya.
But kali yuga will not last for ever. When its duration is over, Pramiti (more usually referred to as Kali) will be born so to re-establish righteousness one earth. For twenty years he will travel around the world, killing the evil and protecting the good. He will destroy the shudra kings and bring back the religion prescribed by the Vedas.
The universe is divided into fourteen regions (lokas). Seven of these form the upper regions and seven others constitute the nether regions.
The seven lokas of the upper regions are named bhuloka (the earth), buvarloka, svarloka or svarga (heaven), maharloka, janaloka, tapoloka and satyaloka. The seven regions of the underworld are mahatala, hematala, rasatala, talatala, sutala, atala and patala, (The names of the seven regions of the underworld differ somewhat from Purana to Purana.) In the underworld live the demons and the nagas (snakes). That apart, there are many hells (naraka) in the universe. The sinners are punished in these hells.
The earth has many oceans and mountains. The land mass is divided into seven regions (dvipas) named Jambudvipa, Plakshadvipa, Shalmalidvipa, Kushadvipa, Krounchadvipa, Shakadvipa and Pushkaradvipa. The seven major oceans (samudra) that surround these land masses are Lavana, Ikshu, Sura, Ghrita, Dadhi and Jala. (The name of seven oceans differ from Purana to Purana. The missing name is that of the ocean known as Sarpi.
You will remember that Svayambhuva Manu had two sons – Priyavrata and Uttanapada, Priyavrata had ten sons. Their names were Agnidhra, Agnivahu, Meda, Medhatithi, Vapushmana, Jyotishmana, Dyutimana, Havya, Savana and Putra. After Priyavrata died, the earth was divided up into seven regions and seven sons inherited a region each. Agnidhra received Jambudvipa, Medhatithi Plakshadvipa, Vapushmana Shalmalid-vipa, Jyotishmana Kushadvipa, Dyutimana Krounchadvipa, Havya Shakadvipa and Savana Pushkaradvipa. (The Linga Purana does not specify why Agnivahu, Medha and Putra did not obtain any shares to their father’s kingdom. According to the Vishnu Prana, three of Priyavarata’s sons were not interested in material pursuits and became hermits.)
The Linga Purana describes subsequent subdivisions of these dvipas. But since we are primarily interested in Jambudvipa, let us consider what happened to Jambudvipa alone.
Agnidhra, the ruler of Jambudvipa, was devoted to Shiva. He had nine sons and each of these sons was also devoted to Shiva. These sons were named Nabhi, Kimpurusha, Hari, Ilavrita, Ramya, Hiranmana, Kuru, Bhadrashva and Ketumala. After Agnidhra, Jambudvipa was divided into nine regions (varshas) and ruled over by one of these sons. Nabhi ruled over Hemavarsha, Kimpurusha over Hemakutavarsha, Hari over Naishadhavarsha, Ilavrita over Meruvarsha, Ramya over Nilachalavarsha, Hiranmana over Shvetavarsha, Kuru over Shringavarsha, Bhadrashva over Malyavanvarsha and Ketumala over Gandhamadanavarsha.
(This is not the usual nomenclature of the Puranas. More usually, Nabhi ruled over the region that subsequently came to be known as Bharatavarsha after one of Nabhi’s descendants. As for the other eight regions, they were named after the first kings who ruled after them. Thus, Hari ruled over Harivarsha, Kimpurusha over Kimpurushavarsha and so on and so forth. Each of these varshas had several mountains. The nomenclature of the Linga Purana names the varshas after the mountain ranges that were in them.)
To return to the account of the Linga Purana, Nabhi’s wife was called Meru. Nabhi and Meru had a son named Ridhabha and Rishabha’s son was Bharata. It was after Bharata that the region that Nabhi ruled over came to be known as Bharatavarsha. Bharatavarsha is bounded by the Himalaya mountains to the north and by the ocean to the south.
Right in the centre of Jambudvipa is Mount Sumeru or Meru and on all sides of Sumeru are many other peaks. Mount Sumeru is so high that it touches the solar circle. It is encrusted with snow and is full of gold and jewels.
Many are the gods who live on Mount Sumeru. Amaravati,the place where Indra lives, is on the eastern slopes of Sumeru. This city is full of beautiful places, bejewelled gates and golden pillars. There are crystal steps that lead down to limpid pools of clear water. The pools abound with lotuses of every hue that can be imagined.
At another corner of Sumeru is the fire-god Agni’s abode. This city is known as Tejasvini. Yama’s residence is named Vaivasvati and lies towards the south. There are many other cities designed to be the residences of other gods. There are special landing strips for the vimanas (space vehicles) of the gods.
Most remarkable of all is Brahma’s residence, located right in the centre of Sumeru. A river named Jambu flows past the region. It is from this river that Jambudvipa acquires its name.
As mentioned before,there are mountain ranges on all sides of Sumeru. The Nilachala mountains are to the north, the Shveta mountains further north and the Shringi mountains still beyond. To the east of Sumeru lie the mountains Jathara and Devakuta. The Nishadha mountains are to the south, the Hemakuta mountains further south and the Himalaya mountains still further away towards the south. The mountains Malyavana and Gandhamadana are to the west of Sumeru.
There are four beautiful lakes (sarovara) around Sumeru. Arunodaya is to the east, Manasa to the south, Sitoda to the west and Mahabhadra to the north.
To the east of Bharatavarsha live the kiratas and to the west live the yavanas. Bharatavarsha proper is populated by brahmanas, kshatriyas, vaishyas and shudras.
The hells are located below the underworld. There are twenty-eight of these. There the sinners are made to suffer for their evil deeds.
The sun’s chariot was built by Brahma himself. It is made completely out of gold.
There are twelve months in a year. Their names are Madhu, Madhava, Shukra, Shuchi, Nabha, Nabhasya, Isha, Urjja, Saha, Sahasya, Tapa and Tapasya. (These names of the months are slightly unusual. More common is Vaishakha, Jyaishtha, etc.) Two months constitute a season (ritu) and there are therefore six seasons in every year. These are grishma (summer), varsha (monsoon), sharat (early autumn), hemanta (late autumn), shita (winter) and vasanta (spring). Madhu and Madhava are the months of grishma, Shukra and Shuchi are those of varsha, Nabha and Nabhasya those of sharat, Isha and Urjja those of hemanta, Saha and Sahasya those of shita and Tapa and Tapasya those of vasanta.
In every season, two adityas (gods), two sages, two gandharvas, two apsaras, two rakshasas (demons) and two nagas (snakes) ride on the sun’s chariot to keep the sun company. Their names are as follows.
(i) Grishma – the adityas Dhata and Aryama; the sages Pulastya and Pulaha; the gandharvas Tumburu and Narada; the apsaras Kritasthala and Punjikasthala; the rakshasas Rakshoheti and Praheti; and the nagas Uraga and Vasuki.
(ii) Varsha – the adityas Mitra and Varuna; the sages Atri and Vashishtha; the gandharvas Haha and Huhu; the apsaras Menaka and Sahajanya; the rakshasas Pourusheya and Vadha; and the naga Takshaka. (The name of the second naga is not given.)
(iii) Sharat – the adityas Indra and Vivasvana; the sages Angira and Bhrigu; the gandharvas Vishvavasu and Ugrasena; the apsaras Pramlocha and Anumlocha; the rakshasas Sarpa and Vyaghra; and the nagas Elapatra and Shankhapala.
(iv) Hemanta – the adityas Parjanya and Pusha; the sages Bharadvaja and Goutama; the gandharvas Suruchi and Paravasu; the apsaras Ghritachi and Vishvachi; the rakshasas Apa and Vata; and the nagas Dhananjaya and Iravana.
(v) Shita – the adityas Amshu and Bhaga; the sages Kashyapa and Kratu; the gandharvas Chitrasena and Urnayu; the apsaras Urvashi and Purvachitti; the rakshasas Vidyut and Diva; and the nagas Mahapadma and Karkataka.
(vi) Vasanta – the adityas Tvashta and Vishnu; the sages Jamadagni and Vishvamitra; the gandharvas Dhritarashtra and Suryavarcha; the apsaras Tilottama and Rambha; the rakshasas Brahmopeta and Yakshopeta; and the nagas Kambana and Ashvatara.
The moon (Chandra) has a chariot that has three wheels and is drawn by three horses. The horses are competely white in colour. The sun drinks up the energy of the moon for a period of fifteen days. This period is known as krishnapaksha (the fortnight during which the moon wanes). The sun then replenishes the moon’s energy over the next fifteen days. This period is known as shuklapaksha (the fortnight during which the moon waves).
Budha (Mercy) is Chandra’s son and rides a chariot that is drawn by eight horses. The horses are yellow and the chariot is made of gold. Brihaspati (Jupiter) also has a chariot that is made of gold and is drawn by eight horses. But Shani’s (Saturn) chariot is made of iron.
Just as Indra rules over the gods, the sun rules over the planets and the moon rules over the nakshatras (stars) and the herbs. But all of these revolve around Dhruva (the Pole Star).
Svayambhuva Manu had a son named Uttanapada. Uttanapada had two wives, Suniti and Suruchi. Dhruva was Suniti’s son.
King Uttanapada was once seated on his throne. Dhruva happened to come there and clambered up onto his father’s lap. He was a mere child then, being only seven years old.
But Dhruva’s stepmother, Suruchi, objected to this.
“How dare you sit on the king’s lap?” she demanded. “That is a place that is reserved for my son. Get down at once.”
Although Uttanpada did love Dhruva, he dared not object. He loved Suruchi much more than he loved Suniti and he did not have the courage to go against Suruchi’s wishes.
Dhruva began to cry and went running to his mother. Suniti did her best to console her son. “Don’t cry, my son,” she said. “The king loves Suruchi more than me and so loves her son more than you. There is nothing that can be done. We are unlucky. We must have committed many sins in our earlier lives and this is the punishment that is being meted out to us. There is nothing to be gained by crying. One must try to perform good deeds in this life so that, in the next life, we are more fortunate. Forget about the king’s lap. Why don’t you instead try to attain a place that would be impossible for Suruchi’s son to achieve?’
Dhruva resovled that he would do this. He went away to the forest to meditate.
In the forest, he happened to come upon the sage Vishvamitra’s hermitage. He told the sage the story of his misfortunes and about his mission. “Please tell me how I can attain the highest place of all,” he said.
“The solution is to pray to Vishnu,” replied Vishvamitra. The sage also taught Dhruva a powerful mantra (incantation) that he could use for praying to Vishnu.
Dhruva started to pray to Vishnu. He faced the east and began to chant the mantra. For an entire year he continued to do only this. He lived only on fruits and roots. Demons and wild animals roamed all around him, but he paid no attention to them. One particular ogress adopted the disguise of Dhruva’s mother and came to Dhruva from his meditation. But Dhruva saw through this disguise and would not be distracted.
Finally, Vishnu appeared before Dhruva. “I am pleased with your prayers,” said Vishnu. “What boon do you desire?”
“Please grant me the boon that I may attain the highest place of all,” replied Dhruva.
Vishnu earmarked a place for Dhruva in the sky. Dhruva became the Pole Star. All the other stars revolve around Dhruva.
You probaby remember Brahma’s son, Daksha. Daksha married Prasuti. (In some Puranas, she is referred to as Asikli.)
Daksha and Prasuti had five thousand sons known as the Haryashvas. But the sage Narada came and told the Haryashvas that there was nothing to be gained by being addicted to material pursuits. They would be better off if they went away to meditate. Persuaded by Narada, the Haryashvas went off to meditate and have never been heard since. Daksha and Prasuti next had a thousand sons named the Shavalashvas. But Narada persuaded the Shavalashvas also to go away and meditate.
Daksha and Prasuti next had sixty daughters. Ten of these daughters were married to the god Dharma, thirteen to the sage Kashyapa and twenty-seven to Chandra.
The thirteen daughters who were married to Kashyapa were named Aditi, Diti, Arishta, Surasa, Muni, Surabhi, Vinata, Tamra, Krodhavasha, Ila, Kadru, Tvisha and Danu. (The names of the minor wives often vary from Purana to Purana.)
Aditi’s sons were known as the adityas (gods). There were twelve of them, named Indra, Dhata, Bhaga, Tvashta, Mitra, Varuna, Aryama, Vivasvana, Savita, Pusha, Amshumana and Vishnu.
Diti had two sons, Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu. These two and their descendants were known as the daityas (demons). Danu had a hundred sons, chief amongst whom was Viprachitti. They and their descendants were known as the danavas (demons).
Tamra was the mother of all the birds. Vinata had two sons, Aruna and Garuda. Garuda became the king of the birds. Surasa was the mother of snakes (sarpa). (Most other Puranas state that Surasa was the mother of the rakshasas (demons). Kadru gave birth to snakes (nagas). Chief amongst them were Ananta, Vasuki and Takshaka. Krodhavasha was the mother of rakshasas and Surabhi gave birth of all cattle. Muni was the mother of the apsaras and Arishta was the mother of the gandharvas. From Ila were born the trees and the herbs. And from Tvisha were born the yakshas (demi-gods).
There used to be a rakshasa named Rudhira and there used to be a king named Kalmashapada. The rakshasa entered the king’s body, so that Kalmashapada became a demon.
The sage Vashishtha had a son named Shaktri. As a demon, Kalmashapada ate up Shaktri and his brothers.
(The story of how this happened is not given in the Linga Purana. But it is a story that is recounted in the Mahabharata and is as follows. King Kalmashapada belonged to the Ikshvaku line of kings. He had once gone to the forest and had become very thirsty. While looking for some water, the king met Shaktri. There was a very narrow path along which even two people could not walk abreast. Since he was very thirsty, Kalmashapada asked Shaktri to give him the right of way.
But Shaktri insisted that, as a brahmana, he possessed the right of way. Kalmashapada thereupon struck Shaktri with his whip and Shaktri in turn cursed the king that he would become a rakshasa. Kalmashapda’s first act as a rakshasa was to eat up Shaktri and his hundred brothers.
To return to the Linga Purana, the sage Vashishtha could not bear the shock of his sons being killed. Vashishtha’s wife was Arundhati. With Arundhati, the sage climbed a mountain and the couple flung themselves down from the peak so that they might die.
But the earth had no desire to permit the death of such great sage. She adopted the form of a woman and broke the couple’s fall. “Please do not kill yourself,” she told Vashishtha. “You are needed by the world.”
Shaktri’s wife was Adrishyanti and she too tried to dissuade her father-in-law from committing suicide. “I am expecting,” she informed Vashishtha. “If the two of you kill yourselves, who will look after the son when he is born? He is, after all, Shaktri’s son. Please stay alive for his sake.”
While this conversation was going on, the baby who was in Adrishyanti’s womb began to recite the Vedas. This was a miracle indeed and Vashishtha did not at first realize where the sound of the recitation was coming from. But Vishnu appeared and told the sage, “You will have a grandson who will bring glory to your line. He will be a great devotee of Shiva’s. It is he who is reciting the Vedas. Please stay alive for his sake.”
Vashishtha was dissuaded.
In due course, Adrishyanti gave birth to Parashara.
When Parashara grew up, he asked his mother, “Where is my father? Why do I not have a father like other children do?”
“Your father Shaktri was eaten up by a rakshasa,” replied Adrishyanti.
“Eaten up by a rakshasa,” exclaimed Parashara. “I will pray to the god Shiva. Through my tapasya. I will attain great powers. And with my powers I am going to burn up the entire universe. There is no point in retaining such an evil universe where one’s father is eaten up by a rakshasa.”
Vashishtha persuaded his grandson that such a general destruction of the universe would not be in anyone’s interest. The universe had done no particular harm. If anyone had committed a crime, it was the rakshasa who had performed the dastardly deed. Parashara resolved that he would use his powers to destroy the rakshasas.
With this end in mind, Parashara started to pray to Shiva. Shiva was pleased at these prayers and granted Parashara some amazing powers. With these powers, Parashara got to see and talk to his dead father. And he used the powers to burn up all rakshasas.
“Please stop this destruction,” Vashishtha told his grandson. “There has been enough of killing. If Shaktri died, that was written in his stars. The rakshasa was merely the instrument of what fate had decreed for my son. Do not kill any more rakshasas. Anger serves no purpose.”
Parashara followed his grandfather’s advice and was blessed by the sage that he would become well-versed in all the shastras. Vashishtha also blessed Parashara that he would compose the Purana samhita and the Vishnu Purana.
(Krishna Dvaipayana Vedavyasa was the sage Parashara’s son.)
The Linga Purana now catalogues the kings of the solar and lunar dynasties. But these we will skip, as they are mostly a collection of names and are better described in other Puranas. It also gives Shiva’s thousand names. These are repeated again later.
There was a demon named Tarakasura who oppressed the gods. He was eventually killed by Skanda or Kartikeya, the son of Shiva and Parvati.
(Tarakasura’s story is not given in the Linga Purana. It can be found in the Shiva Purana and in the Devi Bhagavata.)
Tarakasura had three sons named Vidyunmali, Tarakaksha and Kamalaksha. These three resolved to avenge their father’s death and started to perform very difficult tapasya so that they might obtain boons that would make them invincible. After a long period of mediation, they managed to please Brahma.
“You have pleased me,” said Brahma. “What boon do you desire?”
“Please grant us the boon that no being in the universe may be able to kill us,” requested the demons.
“That is a boon that cannot be granted to anybody,” said Brahma. “If you so desire, set fairly difficult conditions for your death. But immortality is a boon that I cannot possibly grant you.”
The three brothers consulted and arrived at the following condition which seemed to be fairly impossible to satisfy. Each of them would build a city (pura) and the three cities would normally be distinct. But once every thousand years, the cities would come together. (The cities were in the sky.) When the cities came together, if anyone could manage to shoot down the cities with a single arrow, that would be the appointed method of death for the three demons. This seemingly impossible condition Brahma agreed to.
A danava named Maya was the architect for all the demons and he built three cities for Tarakasura’s sons. Tarakaksha’s city was made of gold. Kamalaksha’s of silver and Vidyunmali’s of iron. Inside each of the cities, Maya built several wonderful palaces. The three brothers lived in these cities happily, with their companions, the other demons. Incidentally, the demons were great devotees of Shiva.
But the gods were not at all happy. They were oppressed by the demons of Tripua. (The word tri means three and since there were three cities or puras, they were collectively referred to as Tripura.) The gods sought Vishnu’s help so that Tripura might be destroyed.
“I understand your problem and you have my sympathies,” said Vishnu. “But unfortunately, I can do nothing. The only person who can destroy Tripura is Shiva. But there is a problem. The demons are devoted to Shiva; they are not evil. Under the circumstances, Shiva will not take up arms against them. We will have to resort to some trickery. Why don’t all of you go and start praying to Shiva? I will think of a way whereby the demons can be dislodged from the righeous path.”
The gods went away to meditate. And Vishnu used his powers of illusion (maya) to lead the demons astray. He sent Shakyamuni (the Buddha) to preach tot he demons. Shakyamuni was so glib of tongue that he made ready converts among the demons. They all became his disciples and gave up worshipping Shiva.
This was the moment that the gods had been waiting for. They prayed to Shiva that the evil demons might be destroyed and Shiva agreed.
Vishvakarma, the architect of the gods, built a chariot for Shiva to ride in. Brahma himself offered to be the charioteer. Shiva ascended the chariot and rode into battle. Nadi joined him with the ganas and the gods accompanied the army to aid in the fight. Numerous were the weapons that the gods took with them. They rode on elephants, horses, lions and buffaloes. Shiva graced this army of gods the way the mooon graces a collection of stars.
The army advanced and came to where Tripura was. Shiva raised his bow and applied the divine pashupata weapon to his bow, waiting for the three cities to come together. As soon as this happened, Shiva let fly the arrow and the flaming arrow burnt up the three cities of the demons.
All the gods, including Brahma and Vishnu, worhsipped Shiva.
The words art means enemy. Because Shiva destroyed Tripura, he is known as Tripurari.
The Linga Purana next describes the rites that must be followed in worshipping Shiva. In particular, a special rite named pashupata vrata is described in great detail.
There are some omens which are sure signs of impending death.
There is a nakshatra (star) named Arundhati. (This is in the constellation Ursa Majoris.) A person who cannot see Arundhati, the Pole Star or the Milky way (Chhayapatha) is sure to die within a year. A person to whom the radiance of the sun seems to be diminished, will die within eleven months. One who dreams of vomiting gold or silver has but ten months to live. A dreamer who dreams of golden trees, cities of the gandharvas or ghosts or demons will die after nine months. If you suddenly lose or put on weight, you have but eight months to live. A person who leaves an incomplete footprint on dust or mud will not live for more than seven months.
A maximum lifespan of six months is indicated if a crow, vulture or dove alights on one’s head. A person w ho is surrounded by crows when he walks or a person who is surounded by dust does not live for more than four or five months. This is also the case if one’s reflection happens to be distorted. A person who hears thunder when there are no clouds in the sky or a person who sees a rainbow in the water has but three months to live. If the reflection is incomplete, or if the reflection has a severed head, the person will die within a month.
An individual who reeks of the smell of dead bodies will die within fifteen days. Ten days of life is all that is left for someone who has smoke billowing out of his head. Death is nigh if one dreams of travelling southwards in a chariot drawn by bears or monkeys. This is all the more the case if one happens to be singing or dancing while thus travelling. The implications are the same if the dreamer dreams of being submerged in a cesspool of mud. One will die soon if one dreams of being set upon by warriors dressed in black. Death is also indicated if jackals greet one at the stroke of dawn. When a lamp is extinguished, a smell of burning lingers in the air. If you cannot smell this, you will die soon.
There are several more omens. The only salvation, if such omens are seen, lies in praying to Shiva.
The City of Varanasi
The city of Varanasi is very sacred. Shiva himself lived here with Parvati and Ganesha. Varanasi is one of the six greatest tirthas on earth. The other five are Kurukshetra, Shriparvata, Mahalaya, Tungeshvara and Kedara.
The sins of someone who worships Shiva in Varanasi are immediately forgiven. Any living being who dies in the city goes immediately to heaven. Several are the lingas and sacred ponds in Varanasi; some of them were set up by Vishnu and Brahma themselves.
The river Varuna winds through the city and unites with the holy river Ganga. At the confluence of the Varuna and the Ganga, Brahma established a linga known as Sangameshvara. Amongst other famous ingas in Varanasi are Shailesha, Svarnilesha, Madhyameshvara, Hiranyagarbheshvara, Goprekshaka, Vrishadhvaja, Upashantashiva, Shukreshvara, Vyaghreshvara and Jambukeshvara.
There was a demon named Hiranyaksha. Hiranyaksha was killed by Vishnu. But Hiranyaksha had a son named Andhaka.
Andhaka started to perform very difficult tapasya. He pleased Brahma through his prayers and obtained the boon that he could never be killed. Armed witht his boon, Andhaka went about conquering the three worlds. He drove the gods out of heaven.
Indra and the other gods fled in desperation to Mount Mandara. They were joined in their flight by Visnu. But Andhaka pursued them there as well.
Shiva lived on Mount Mandara. The gods went to Shiva and said, “The king of the demons, Andhaka, is oppressing us. We do not known what to do, He has followed us here as well. Please save us from Andhaka’s depredations.”
Shiva ventured out to tackle Andhaka. Andhaka was not alone, he had millions of demon-soldiers with him. But Shiva burnt up all these soldiers. He then pierced Andhaka with a trident (trishula) and raised the trident up into the sky. The demon hung there, transfixed with the central prong of the trident.
The gods were delighted at this. They showered down flowers on Shiva and began to pray to him. All beings in the three worlds heaved sighs of relief.
As for Andhaka, the moment he was transfixed by Shiva’s trident, all though of evil vanished from his mind. He started to pray to Shiva.
Shiva was pleased at these prayers and said,” Son of Hiranyaksha, I am pleased with you. What boon do you desire?”
“If you are indeed pleased with me,” replied Andhaka, “please grant me the boon that I may be always faithful to you. And please make me your constant companion.”
Shiva agreed to this. He lowered Andhaka from his trident and made Andhaka a lord of the ganas. Andhaka is Shiva’s constant companion. (According to some other Puranas, he was renamed Bhringi.)
(The Andhaka story, like most stories, is rather cursorily treated in the Linga Purana. Far greater details are given in other Puranas. According to some of these accounts, Hiranyaksha had no sons. Andhaka was the son of Shiva and Parvati and was adopted as a son by the childless Hiranyaksha. According to the Harivamsha, Andhaka was the son of Diti and the sage Kashyapa. Since all of Diti’s sons were killed by the gods, Diti prayed to Kashyapa that she might have an immortal son. This son was Andhaka.)
Hiranyaksha and the Boar
The sages said, “You have mentioned Hiranyaksha and you also said that Hiranyaksha was killed by Vishnu. But we do not know the story. Please tell us about Hiranyaksha.”
Lomaharshana recounted the following story.
Diti had two sons named Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu.
Hiranyaksha was very powerful. He defeated all the gods and drove them out of heaven. As for the earth, he captured her and imprisoned her in the underworld. He then started to oppress anyone who still happened to be around.
“Let us go and visit Vishnu,” said Brahma. “He should be able to deliver us from this evil demon.
Vishnu heard the story of the woes of the gods and agreed to help. He adopted the form of the gigantic boar (varaha) and went down into the underworld. He discovered the demon Hiranyaksha there and slew him with his tusks. Vishnu then raised up the earth on the tusks of the boar and placed her in her rightful place on the top of the waters.
But when Vishnu gave up his form of the boar. The earth, which was transfixed to the tusks, started to float around. Shiva released the earth from the tusks so that she might stay in one place. What do you think happened to the tusks of the boar? Shiva wears them always around his neck.)
Hiranyakashipu and Narasimha
“What happened to Hiranyakshipu, Hiranyaksha’s brother?” asked the sages.
Lomaharshana told them the following.
Hiranyakashipu had a son named Prahlada. From his birth, Prahlada was devoted to Vishnu. He prayed to Vishnu all the time.
But Hiranyakashipu could not stand this. He hated Vishnu. It was, after all, Vishnu who had killed his brother Hiranyaksha.
Hiranyakashipu told Prahlada, “I am ashamed of you. Does your behaviour become a son of the king of the demons? Who is this Vishnu? Is he superior to me? How dare you worship Vishnu? Stop this nonsense at once.”
But Prahalada would not listen. He continued to pray to Vishnu. Hiranyakashipu could not bear to stand this any longer. He instructed his demon soldiers to kill Prahlada. The demons set upon Prahlada with all sorts of weapons. But by Vishnu’s grace, nothing happened to Prahlada.
While this was doing on, Vishnu appeared. He adopted his narasimha incarnation, a being who was half-man and half-lion. (Nara means man and simha means lion.) Narasimha grabbed hold of Hiranyakashipu and slew the demon with his claws.
(So far the account is fairly usual, although it misses out on the interesting details given in texts like the Vishnu Purana. The Linga Purana now introduces a further twist, in an obvious attempt to glorify Shiva.)
After killing Hiranyakashipu, Vishnu did not give up his form of a lion. The lion raged everywhere in the universe, threatening to destroy everything.
The gods, led by Brahma, fled to Shiva on Mount Mandara. “Please save from the scourge of this lion,” they pleaded
Shiva assured the gods that he would take care of narasimha.
Shiva created a being known as Virabhadra from his own body. Virabhadra was another manifestation of Shiva himself. Virabhadra had three eyes and he held several weapons in his hands. His teeth were as sharp as the crescent moon, his eyebrows were like rainbows and his beard was as dark as the clouds.
“What would you like me to do?” asked Virabhadra.
“A being named narasimha is causing havoc,” replied Shiva. “It is Vishnu who has adopted this form. The universe must be rid of narasimha. First, try to persuade him to give up this form. If that fails, kill him.”
Virabhadra went to Vishnu and told him, “Vishnu, you are the preserver of the universe. There are several occasions when you have adopted incarnations so as to save the world. Why have you adopted this narasimha form? Please give it up at once. It is threateneing the existence of the universe.”
These words merely served to anger Vishnu. “I don’t need any advice from you,” he said. “Return to whence you came. I will destroy the universe; who are you to decree otherwise? I am the lord of everything. Brahma, the creator, was born from my body. Therefore, go away and leave me in peace.”
“Haven’t you forgotten Shiva?” asked Virabhadra. “It is Shiva who is supreme. He is the destroyer. And if you do not come to your senses, he is going to destroy you as well. Be forewarned. I am Virabhadra. Have you forgotten that I severed your head at the time of Daksha’s yajna? Have you forgotten from where you obtained your sudarshana chakra (Vishnu’s weapons, a bladed-discus)?”
These words angered Vishnu even more and he attacked Virabhadra. Virabhadra adopted a strange form that was half-deer and half-bird. It had a thousand arms and the crescent moon shone on its head. The wings were huge, sparks issued out of the eyes, and the claws were exceedingly sharp. Virabhadra grasped Vishnu and rose up into the sky. He flung Vishnu down repeatedly on the ground and picked him up again.
Vishnu came to his senses and started to pray to Shiva. He called upon Shiva by his one hundred and eight names.
But Virabhadra killed Vishnu. He sliced off narasimha’s head and skinned the pelt. This did not mean that Vishnu died. It was narasimha who died. Vishnu merged into Shiva. Narasimha’s pelt is worn by Shiva as clothing. And you will find narasimha’s skull among the garland of skulls that Shiva wears around his neck.
There was a demon named Jalandhara. He obtained tremendous powers through tapasya. Such were these powers that he managed to defeat the gods.
(The story of Jalandhara’s orgin is not given in the Linga Purana, but can be found in the Padma Purana. Indra once went on a visit to Mount Kailasa and met Shiva there. Failing to recognize Shiva, Indra hit him on the head with his vajra. A fire issued out of Shiva’s head and threatened to burn Indra up. Indra pacified Shiva and contrived to avoid destruction. But Shiva flung the fire into the ocean and from his fire a boy was born. Since jala means water and since he emerged from the water, the boy came to be called Jalandhara. Alternatively Brahma discovered and adopted the boy. But the boy tugged so hard at Brahma’s eyes. Brahma therefore named the boy Jalandhara and also granted himt he boon that he could be killed only by Shiva.)
To return to the Linga Purana, after having defeated all the other gods, Jalandhara challenged Vishnu to a duel. This duel lasted for sometime, but eventually, Vishnu too, met his match.
Jalandhara then told his companions, the other demons. “I seem to have defeated everyone that there is to fight with. The only one who is left is Shiva. Let us go and thrash Shiva, Nandi and the others.”
The demon army trooped to Shiva’s residence.
“What do you want?” asked Shiva. “Why have all of you come here?”
“We have come to fight with you,” replied Jalandhara.
Shiva inserted his big toe into the ocean and started to churn the water. From this churning, the terrible weapon known as the sudarshana chakra was created.
“I shall certainly fight with you,” said Shiva. “But first you must raise this chakra with your big toe. I will fight with you only if you succeed.”
Jalandhara tried to do this. With a great deal of difficulty, he managed to raise the chakra and place it on his shoulders. But as soon as he did this, the weapon sliced off his head. Jalandhara’s flesh and blood cluttered up the universe. Shiva had all of this sent to Yama, the god of death. Yama constructed a hell (naraka) named maharourava with this flesh and blood.
Thus it was that Jalandhara met his end. As for the demon’s companions, they were burnt to ashes by Shiva’s rage.
Shiva’s Thousand Names
Many years ago, a flierce war raged between the gods and the demons. The gods received a sound thrashing and fled. While they were running away, they encountered Vishnu.
“Why are you running away?” asked Vishnu. “What on earth has happened?”
“The demons have defeated us,” replied the gods. “They have acquired all sorts of divine weapons, largely thanks to the boons that you have granted them. These weapons have made them close to invincible. You are our only hope now. Do you remember the wonderful weapon that was known as the sudarshana chakra? It was created by Shiva to kill Jalandhara. That is what is required now. Nothing esle will work.”
“I will help you,” promised Vishnu. “But we must first obtain the weapon, and to get it, we have to pray to Shiva.”
Vishnu and the other gods started to pray to Shiva. They called upon Shiva by his thousand names. For convenience, we preproduce the names in groups of ten names each.
(1) Bhava, Shiva, Hara, Rudra, Purusha, Padmalochana, Arthitavya, Sadachara, Sarva, Shambhu.
(2) Maheshvara, Ishvara, Sthanu, Ishana, Sahasraksha, Sahasrapada, Variyana, Varada, Vandya, Shankara.
(3) Parameshvara, Gangadhara, Shuladhara, Pararthaikaprayojana, Sarvajna, Saradevadi, Giridhanva, Jatadhara, Chandrapida, Chandramouli
(4) Vidvana, Vishvamareshvara, Vedantasarasarvasva, Kapali, Nilalohita, Jnanadhara, Aparichedya, Gouribharta, Ganeshvara, Ashtamurti.
(5) Vishvamurti, Trivarga, Svargasadhana, Jnanagamya, Dridaprajna, Devadeva, Trilochana, Vamadeva, Mahadeva, Pandu.
(6) Paridrida, Vishvarupa, Virupaksha, Vagisha, Shuchi, Antara, Sarvapranayasvadi, Vrishanka, Vrishavahana, Isha.
(7) Pinaki, Khattangi, Chitravesha, Chirantana, Tomohara, Mahayogi. Brhamangahrita, Jati Kalakala, Krittivasa.
(8) Subhaga, Pranavatmaka, Unmattavesha, Chakshushya, Durvasa, Smarashasana, Dridayudha, Parameshthiparayana, Anadimadhyanidhana, Girisha.
(9) Girivandhava, Kuberavandhu, Shrikantha, Lokavarnottamottama, Samanya, Deva, Kodandi, Nilakantha, Parashvadhi, Vishalaksha.
(10) Mrigavyadha. Suresha, Suryatapana, Dharmakarmakshama, Ksehtra, Bhagavana, Bhaganetravida, Urgra, Pashupati, Tarkshya.
(11) Priyabhakta, Priyasvada, Dantodayakara, Daksha, Karpadi, Kamashasana, Shmashananilaya, Suksha, Shmashanastha, Maheshvara.
(12) Lokakarta, Bhutapati, Mahakarta, Mahoushadhi, Uttara, Gopati, Gopta, Jnanagamya, Puratana, Nita.
(13) Sunita, Shuddhatma, Soma, Somavrita, Sukhi, Somapa, Amritapa, Mahaniti, Mahamati, Ajatashatru.
(14) Aloka, Sambhavya, Havyavahana, Lokakara, Vedakara, Sutrakara, Sanatana, Maharshi, Kapilacharya, Vishvadipti.
(15) Trilochana, Pinakapani, Bhurdeva, Svastida, Sadasvastikrita, Tridhama, Soubhaga, Sarvasar-vajna, Sarvagochara, Brahmadhrika.
(16) Vishvasrika, Svarga, Karnikara, Priya, Kavi, Sahakhavishakha, Goshakha, Shiva, Naikya, Kratu.
(17) Gangaplavodaka, Bhava, Sakala, Supatisthira, Vijitatma, Vidheyatma, Bhutavahana, Sarathi, Sagana, Ganakarya.
(18) Sukirti, Chhinnasamshaya, Kamadeva, Kamapala, Bhasmodvulitavigraha, Bhasmapriya, Bhasmashayi, Kami, Kanta, Kritagama,
(19) Samayukta, Nivrittatma, Dharmayukta, Sadshiva, Chaturmukha, Chaturvahu, Duravasa, Durasada, Durgama, Durlabha.
(20) Durga, Sarga, Sarvayudhavisharda, Sutantu, Adhyatmayoganilaya, Tantuvarddhana, Shubhanga, Lokasagara, Amritashana, Bhasmashuddhikara.
(21) Meru, Ojasvi, Shuddhavigraha, Hiranyareta, Bharani, Marichi, Mahimalaya, Mahahrada, Mahagarbha, Siddharvrindaravandita.
(22) Vyaghracharmadhara, Vyali, Mahabhuta, Mahanidhi, Amritanga, Amritavapu, Panchayajna, Prabhanjana, Panchavimshatitattvajna, Parijataparavara.
(23) Sulabha, Suvrata, Shura, Vangmayanidhi, Nidhi, Varnashramaguru, Varni, Shatrujita, Shatrutapana, Ashrama, Kshapana.
(24) Kshama, Jnanavana, Achalachala, Pramanabhuta, Durjneya, Suparna, Vayuvahana, Dhanurddhara, Dhanurveda, Gunarashi.
(25) Gunakara, Anantadrishti, Ananda, Danda, Damayita, Dama, Abhivadya, Mahacharya, Vishvakarma, Visharada.
(26) Vitaraga, Vinitatma, Tapasvi, Bhutabhavan, Unmattavesha, Pracchanna, Jitakama, Ajitapriya, Kalyana, Prakriti.
(27) Kalpa, Sarvaloka, Prajapati, Tapasvitaraka, Dhimana, Pradhana, Prabhu, Avyayaya, Lokapa, Antarhitatma.
(28) Kalpadi, Kamalekshana, Vedashastrarthatattvajna, Nityama, Niyamashraya, Chandra, Surya, Shani, Ketu, Virama.
(29) Vidruchhavi , Bhaktigamya, Parabrahma, Mrigavanarpana, Anagha, Adrirajalya, Kanta, Paramatma, Jagadguru, Sarvakarmachala.
(30) Tvashta, Mangalya, Mangalarata, Mahatapa, Dirghatapa, Sthavishtha, Sthavira, Dhruva, Ahaha, Samvatsara.
(31) Vyapti, Pramana, Tapah, Samvatsarakra, Mantra, Pratyaya, Sarvadarshana, Aja, Sarveshvara, Snigddha.
(32) Sarvadi, Agnida, Vasu, Vasumana, Satya, Sarvapapahara, Hara, Amritashashvata, Shanta, Vanahasta.
(33) Pratapavana, Kamandaludhara, Dhanvi, Vedanga, Vedavit, Muni, Bhrajishnu, Bhojana, Bhokta, Lokaneta.
(34) Duradhara, Atindriya, Mahashaya, Sarvavasa, Chatushpatha, Kalayogi, Mahanada, Mahotsaha, Mahavala,, Mahabuddhi, Mahavirya.
(35) Bhutachari, Purandara, Nishachara, Pretachari, Mahashakti, Mahadyuti, Anirdeshyavapu, Shrimana, Sarvaharyamitagati, Vahushruta.
(36) Vahumaya, Niyatatma, Bhavodhava, Narataka, Ojastejodyutikara, Sarvakamaka, Nrityapriya, Nrityanritya, Prakashatmapratapa, Buddhaspashtakshara.
(37) Mantra, Sammana, Sarasamplava, Yugadikrita, Yugavarta, Gambhira, Vrishavahana, Ishta, Vishishta, Shishteshta.
(38) Sharabha, Sharabhadhanusha, Apangnidhi, Adhishtanavijaya, Jayakalavit, Pratishthita, Pramanajna, Hiranyakavacha, Hari, Virochana.
(39) Suragana, Vidyesha, Vibudhashraya, Valarupa, Balonmathi, Vivarta, Gahanagruru , Karana, Karta, Sarvavandhavimochana.
(40) Vidvattama, Vitabhaya, Vishvahbarta, Nishakara, Vyavasaya, Vyavasthana, Sthananda, Jagadadija, Dundubha, Lalita.
(41) Vishva, Bhavatmatmasthita, Vireshvara, Virabhadra, Viraha, Virabhrida, Virata, Virachudamani, Vetta,Tivrananda.
(42) Nadidhara, Ajnadhara, Trishuti, Shipivishita, Shivalaya, Valakhilya, Mahachapa, Tigmamashu, Nidhi, Avyaya.
(43) Abhirama, Susharanya, Subrahmanya, Sudhapati, Maghavana, Koushika, Gomana, Vishrama, Sarvashasana, Lalataksha.
(44) Vishvadeha, Sara, Samsarachakrabhita, Amoghadandi, Madhyastha, Hiranya, Brahmavarchasi, Paramartha, Paramaya, Shambara.
(45) Vyaghraka, Anala, Ruchi, Vararuchi, Vandya, Ahaspati, Aharpati, Ravivirocha, Skandha, Shasta.
(46) Vaivasvata, Ajana, Yukti, Unnatakirti, Shantaraga, Parajaya, Kailasapati, Kamari, Savita, Ravilochana.
(47) Vidvattama, Vitabhaya, Vishvaharta, Nitya, Anivarita, Niyatakalyana, Punyashravanadkirtana, Durashrava, Vishvasaha, Dhyeya.
(48) Duhsvapnanashana, Uttaraka, Dushkritiha, Durddharsha, Duhsaha, Abhaya, Anadi, Bhu, Bhulakshmi, Kiriti,
(49) Tridashadhipa, Vishvagopta, Vishvabharta, Sudhira, Ruchirangada, Janana, Janajanmadi, Pritimana, Nitimana, Naya.
(50) Vishishta, Kashyapa, Bhanu, Bhima, Bhimaparakrama, Pranava, Saptadhachara, Mahakaya, Mahamadhanu, Janmadhipa.
(51) Mahadeva, Sakaalagamaparaga, Tattvatativavivekatma, Vibhushnu, Bhutibhushana, Rishi, Brahmanavida, Jishnu, Janmamrityujaratiga, Yajna.
(52) Yajnapati, Yajva, Yajnanta, Amogha, Vikrama, Mahendra, Durbhara, Seni, Yajnanga, Yajnavahana.
(53) Panchabrahmasamutpatti, Vishvesha, Vimalodaya, Atmayoni, Anadyanta, Shadavimsha, Saptalodhaka, Gayatrivallabha, pramshu, Vishvavasa.
(54) Prabhakara,Shishu, Girirata, Samrata, Sushena, Surashatruha, Aristamathana, Mukunda, Vigatajvara, Svayamjoti.
(55) Anujyoti, Atmajayoti, Achanchala, Kapila, Kapilashmashru, Shastranetra, Trayitanu, Jnanaskandha, Mahajnani, Nirutapatti.
(56) Upaplava, Bhaga, Vivasvana, Aditya, Yogacharya, Brihaspati, Udarakirti, Udyogi, Sadyogi, Sadasanmaya.
(57) Nakshatramali, Narakesha, Sadhishtana, Shadashraya, Pavitrapani, Papari, Manipura, Manogati, Hritpundarikasina, Shukla.
(58) Shantavrishakapi, Vishnu, Grahapati, Krishna, Samartha, Arthanashana, Adharmashatru, Akshashya, Puruhuta, Purushtuta.
(59) Brahmagarbha, Vrihadagarbha, Dharmadhenu, Dhanagama, Jagatahitaishi, Supata, Kumara, Kushalagama, Hiranyavarna, Jyotishmana.
(60) Nanbhutadhara, Dhvani, Aroga, Niyamadhyaksha, Vishvamitra, Dvijottama, Vrihajyoti, Sudhama, Mahajyoti, Anuttama.
(61) Matamaha, Matarishva, Nabhasvana, Nagaharadhrika, Pulastya, Pulaha, Agastya, Jatukarna, Parashara, Niravarana.
(62) Dharmajna, Virincha, Vishtarashrava, Atmabhu, Aniruddha, Atrijnanamurti, Mahayasha, Lokachudamni, Vira, Chandasatya.
(63) Parakrama, Vyalakalpa, Mahavriksha, Kanadhara, Alankarishnu, Achala, Rochishnu, Vikramottama, Vegi, Ashushabdapati.
(64) Plavana, Shikhisarathi, Asamsrishta, Atithi, Shatrupramthi, Papanashana, Vasushrava, Kavyavaha, Pratapta, Vishvabhojana.
(65) Jarya, Jaradhishamana, Lohita, Tananapata, Prishadashva, Nabhahyoni, Supratika, Tamisraha, Nidaghatapana, Megphapaksha.
(66) Parapuranjaya, Mukhanila, Sunispanna, Surabhi, Shishiratmaka, Vasanta, Madhava, Grishma, Nabhasya, Vijavahana.
(67) Angira, Muni, Atreya, Vimala, Vishvavahana, Pavana, Purujita, Shatru, Trividya, Naravahana.
(68) Manovriddhi, Ahamkara, Kshetrajna, Kshetrapalaka, Tejonidhi, Jnananidhi, Vipaka, Vighnakaraka, Adhara, Anuttara.
(69) Jneya, Jyestha, Nihshreyasalaya, Shaila, Naga, Tanu, Deha, Danavari, Arindama, Charudhi.
(70) Janaka, Charuvishalya, Lokashalyakrita, Chaturveda, Chaturbhava, Chatura, Chaturapriya, Amnaya, Samamaya, Tirthadevashivalaya.
(71) Vahurupa, Maharupa, Sarvarupa, Charachara, Nyayanirvahaka, Nyaya, Nyayagamya, Niranjana, Sahasramurddha, Devendra.
(72) Sarvashastraprabhanjana, Munda, Virupa, Vikrita, Dandi, Gunottama, Pingalaksha, Haryaksha, Nilagriva, Niramaya.
(73) Sahasravahu, Sarvesha, Sharanya, Sarvalokbhrita, Padmasana, Paramjyoti, Paravara, Paramfala, Padmagarbha, Vishvagarbha.
(74) Vichakshana, Paravarajna, Vijesha, Sumukhasumahasana, Devasuragurudeva, Devasurananmaskrita, Devasuramahatra, Devadideva, Devarshidevasuravaraprada, Devasureshvara.
(75) Divya, Devasuramaheshvara, Sarvadevamaya, Achintya, Devatatma, Atmasambhava, Idya, Anisha, Devasimha, Divakara.
(76) Vibudhagravarashreshta, Sarvadevottamottama, Shivajnanarata, Shrimana, Shikhishriparvatapriya, Jayastambha, Vishishtambha, Narasimhanipatana, Brahmachari, Lokachari.
(77) Dharmachari, Dhanadhipa, Nandi, Nandishvara, Nagna, Nagnavratadhara, Shuchi, Lingadhyaksha, Suradhyaksha, Yugadhyaksha.
(78) Yugavaha, Svavasha, Savamsha, Svargasvara, Svaramayasvana, Vijadhyaksha, Vijakarta, Dhanakrita, Dharmavardhana, Dambha.
(79) Adambha, Mahadambha, Sarvabhutamaheshvara, Shmashananilaya, Tishya, Setu, Apratimakriti, Lokottara, Sfutaloka, Tryamabaka.
(80) Andhakari, Makhadveshi, Vishnukandharapatana, Vitadosha, Akshayaguna, Dakshari, Pushadantahrita, Dhurjati, Khandaparashu, Safala.
(81) Nishfala, Anagha, Adhara, Sakaladhara, Mrida, Pandurabha, Nata, Purna, Purayita, Punya.
(82) Sukumara, Sulochana, Samageya, Priyakara, Punyakirti, Anamaya, Manojava, Tirthavara, Jatila, Jiviteshvara.
(83) Jivitantakara, Nitya, Vasureta, Vasukiya, Sadgati, Satkriti, Sakta, Kalakantha, Kaladhara, Mani.
(84) Manya, Mahakala, Sadbhuti, Satyaparayana, Chandrasanjivana, Shasta, Lokaguda, Amaradhipa, Lokavandhu, Lokanatha.
(85) Kritajnakritibhushana, Anapayakshara, Kanta, Sarvashastrabhutasvara, Tejomayadyutidhara, Lokamaya, Agrani, Anu, Shuchismita, Prasannatma.
(86) Durjaya, Duratikrama, Jyotirmaya, Nirakara, Jagannatha, Jaleshvara, Tumbavini, Mahakaya, Vishoka, Shokanashana.
(87) Trilokatma, Trilokesha, Shuddha, Shuddhi, Rathakshaja, Avyaktalakshana, Avyakta, Vishampati, Varashila, Varatula.
(88) Mana, Manadhanamaya, Brahma, Vishnu, Prajapalaka, Hamsa, Hamsagati, Yama, Vedha, Dhata.
(89) Vidhata, Atta, Harta, Chaturmukha, Kailashashikharavasi, Sarvavasi, Satamgati, Hiranyagarbha, Harnia, Purusha.
(90) Purvajapita, Bhutalaya, Bhutapati, Bhutida, Bhuvaneshvara, Samyogi, Yogavida, Brahmanya, Brahmanapriya, Devapriya.
(91) Devanatha, Devajna, Devachintaka, Vishamaksha, Kaladhyaksha, Vrishanka, Vrishavardhana, Nirmada, Nirahamkara.
(92) Nirmoha, Nirupadrava, Darpaha, Darpita, Dripta, Sarvartuparivartaka, Saptajihva, Sahasrachi, Snigddha, Prakritidakshina.
(93) Bhutabhavyabhavanatha, Prabhava, Bhrantinashana, Artha, Anartha, Mahakosha, Parakavyaikapandita, Nishkantaka, Kritananda, Nirvyaja.
(94) Vyajamardana, Sattvavana, Sattvika, Satyakirti, Stambhakritagama, Akampita, Gunagrahi, Suprita, Sumukha, Naikatmanaikakarmakrita.
(95) Sukshma, Shukara, Dakshina, Skandhadhara, Dhurya, Prakata, Pritivarddhana, Aparajita, Sarvasaha, Vidagddha.
(96) Sarvavahana, Adhrita, Svadhrita, Sadhya, Purtamurti, Yashodhara, Varahashringavrika, Vayu, Valavana, Ekanayaka.
(97) Shrutiprakasha, Shrutimana, Ekavandhu, Anekadhrika, Shrivallabha, Shivarambha, Shantabhadra, Samanjasa, Bhushaya, Bhutikrita,
(98) Bhuti, Bhushana, Bhutavahana, Akaya, Bhaktakayastha, Kalajnanai, Kalavapu, Satyavrata, Mahatyagi, Nishthashantiparayana.
(99) Pararthavritti, Varada, Vivittana, Shrutisagara, Anirvinna, Kalankanka, Kalankaha, Svabhavarudra.
(100) Madhyastha, Shatrughna, Madhyanashaka, Shikhandi, Kavachi, Shuli, Chandi, Mundi, Kundali, Khadgi.
(A few of the names are repeated more than once.)
Vishnu and the other gods prayed to Shiva by calling upon him by these thousand names and offering him lotus flowers. Shiva wished to test Vishnu. So he quietly removed a lotus from the ones that had been offered.
Vishnu realized the deception. He plucked out one of his own eyes and rendered it to Shiva as an offering in place of the flower. This pleased Shiva and he appeared. Such was his radiance that the gods, other than Vishnu, could not bear to look at him.
Shiva presented Vishnu with the divine sudarshana chakra. He also restored Vishnu’s eye.
Daksha’s daughter was Sati and Sati was married to Shiva. Daksha was thus Shiva’s father-in-law.
Daksha once organized a yajna (sacrifice). To this, he invited all the other gods and the sages. But he did not invite Shiva. Sati went to the sacrifice and was insulted by her father. Thereupon, she immolated herself in the fire of the yajna.
Shiva was stricken with grief. He sent Virbhadra to destroy the yajna. The sacrifice was being held in the foothills of Himalayas, in a place named Kankha. Virabhadra completely destroyed the sacrifice. His companions killed many of gods and the sages, and flung their bodies into the water of the Ganga which flowed nearby. Virabhadra plucked out the eyes of the god Bhaga, smashed the teeth of the god Pusha and gave the moon-god a resounding kick. He sliced off Indra’s head and the arms of the fire-god Agni. As for Vishnu, a mighty battle raged between Virabhadra and Vishnu. But Vishnu more than met his match and had his head cut for his pains. Daksha’s head was also severed by Virabhadra. Sarasvati, the goddess of learning, lost her nose.
Brahma was thunderstruck at all this destruction and started to pray to Virabhadra and Shiva. Shiva was pacified and forgave the gods and the sages. Everything was restored to what it had been prior to Virabhadra beginning his process of destruction.
(The story of Daksha’s yajna is one of the more interesting stories in the Puranans. But like most stories, the Linga Purana treats it cursorily. If you are interested int his story, you should read the Mahabharata or the Bhagavata Purana.)
Sati was reborn as Parvati, the daughter of Mena (or Menaka) and the Himalayas. She had two sisters named Ekaparna and Ekapatala, although she was the eldest. Parvati was also known as Aparna.
When Parvati was twelve years old, she began to perform very difficult tapasya so that she might attain Shiva as a husband.
At that time, there was a terrible demon named Tarakasura. He was the son of the demon Tara. Tara himself was so powerful that he managed to defeat all the gods. Fora thousand years Vishnu fought with Tara, but to no avail. Tara simply picked Vishnu up and flung him far away. Finally, Vishnu prayed to Brahma and obtained all sorts of wonderful powers. With these powers, he managed to kill Tara.
But Tarakasura was still around. He defeated the gods and drove them out of heaven. Vishnu fought with Tarakasura for twenty thousand years, but could do nothing to the demon. The gods fled in desperation to Brahma.
“Don’t be so disconsolate,” Brahma assured the gods. “Sati has been reborn as Parvati. She will marry Shiva, and she and Shiva will have a son named kartikeya. He will be your general and will defeat Tarakasura.”
(According to the Shiva Purana, Tarakasura had obtained a boon from Brahma that only Shiva’s son could kill him.)
Meanwhile, Parvati had been meditating so that she might marry Shiva, and Shiva was pleased at these prayers.
The marriage took place amidst a lot of fanfare. The first son to be born was Ganapati, the second was Skanda or Kartikeya.
(More commonly, Skanda is regarded as the elder. The story of how Skanda killed Tarakasura is recounted in the Shiva Purana.)
There was a boy named Upamanyu who was once taken on a visit to his maternal uncle’s house. Compared to his cousins, Upamanyu got inferior and diluted milk to drink.
He therefore told his mother, “Why can’t I have better milk to drink?’
His mother started to weep. “My son,” she said, “we are poor. We do not have the money to buy you good milk.”
But so insistent was her son, that the mother ground some rice with water and gave it to her son to drink, pretending that it was milk. As soon as he tasted what his mother gave him. Upamanyu realized that it was not milk and began to cry even more profusely.
Finally the mother told the son, “Please do not cry. Unfortunately, we are poor. The only option left for those who suffer from misfortune is to pray to Shiva. Perhaps we are amiss in that we did not pray to Shiva in our earlier lives. Why don’t you pray to Shiva now?”
Upamanyu started to meditate. He built a hermitage in the Himalyas.
Shiva decided to test Upamanyu. He appeared before the boy in the guise of Indra and said, “I am pleased with your tapasya and will grant you a boon. What boon do you wish for?”
“I am indeed fortunate that the king of the gods has come to visit me,” replied Upamanyu. “Please grant me the boon that I may be devoted to Shiva.”
“Who is this Shiva?” asked the fake Indra. “I am the king of the gods, I am much superior to that upstart. Worship me instead.”
Upamanyu was not prepared to hear such insults hurled at Shiva. He thought that he had committed a great sin in allowing such insults to be uttered in his presence. He therefore prepared to kill himself. Shiva now appeared before Upamanyu in his own form and blessed the boy. Through Shiva’s grace, Upamanyu never suffered from a lack of milk to drink.
Subsequently, Upamanyu taught the pashupata vrata to Krishna.
The Linga Purana now has some section on the virtues of being devoted to Vishnu. It also describes various rites that must be observed in praying to Shiva.
Lomaharshana completed his recital of the Linga Purana and the assembled sages were thrilled with what they had heard. They bowed down in obeisance before Shiva.
The Linga Purana is most sacred. Brahma himself has said that a person who reads it is forgiven all his sins. Reading this text is far superior to meditating, performing sacrifices, or donating alms. Brahma cannot possibly be wrong.
The sages thanked Lomaharshana for his pains and went their several ways.
End of Linga Purana
Heat oil in a pan, pop mustard seeds, Urad dal and Channa dal.
Add Chopped ginger, Red chillies , Green chillies, Curry leaves and Turmeric powder.
Add Grated Mango and grated coconut, Salt and saute well till mango is tender.
Add Cooked rice and mix well.
Garnish with Cilantro.
I keep getting requests for different breakfast items that are quick and easy. Heres one….
2 cups ragi (red millet) flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1 cup chopped coriander (dhania)
1/2 cup curds (yogurt)
1 1/2 tbsp finely chopped green chillies
salt to taste
4 1/2 tsp oil for tempering , greasing and cooking
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
3 to 4 curry leaves
a pinch asafoetida (hing)
In addition, make these for dipping and acurimont
1/4 cup freshly grated coconut
1/2 cup chopped coriander (dhania)
1/2 tsp oil
2 tbsp chana dal (split bengal gram)
1 tbsp urad dal (split black lentils)
2 small green chillies , chopped
1 tsp grated ginger (adrak)
salt to taste
For The Tempering
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds ( rai / sarson)
1 tsp urad dal (split black lentils)
1 whole dry kashmiri red chilli , broken into pieces
2 to 3 curry leaves (kadi patta)
a pinch asafoetida (hing)
Toor dal (yellow lentil) – 1/2 cup
Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
Urad Dal (black gram)- 1 teaspoon
Red chilies – 6
Coriander seeds – 1 1/2 tablespoons
Curry leaves – 5 springs
Coconut (grated) – 1/4 cup
Shallot onions (small red onions called sambar onions in india) – 25-30 (cleaned and peeled)
Mustards seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
Hing (Asaefoetida) – 1 pinch
Green chilies – 2 (slit)
Vegetables of choice (brinjals,carrots, french beans, pumpkin, yam) – 2 cups (chopped into big chunks)
Tamarind pulp – lemon sized ball of tamarind soaked in 1/3 cup of water.
Salt – 1/4 teaspoon (or to taste)
Jaggery – 1 1/2 teaspoons
Oil – 2 tblsp
1. Cook the dal till tender then mash it nicely.
2. Heat 1 tblsp oil in a heavy bottomed pan and roast the fenugreek seeds till light red, then add 1/2 tsp urad dal and let it saute till they change colour too.
3. Add the red chilli and coriander seeds.
4. Add 3 springs of curry leaves and the grated coconut and roast.
5. They should all turn light brown and aromatic.
6. Cool and grind to a fine paste with a little water.
7. Heat 1 tblsp oil in a pan. Add the mustard seed.
8. When they splutter add 1/2 tsp of urad dal and the hing. Fry for a minute.
9. Add the onions and green chillies and the rest of the curry leaves.
10. Add your choice of vegetables. Fry till you get a nice aroma.
11. Add a little water. Cover and cook till the veggies are done.
12. Extract pulp from the tamarind and add to the vegetables.
13. Add salt to taste and crumbled jaggery (you can use brown sugar also i think) and cook till the raw smell of the tamarind disappears.
14. Add the mashed dal and the ground masala.
15. Mix well and add a little water if required.
16. Simmer for a few mins.
Sona Masoori Rice – 2 cups
Grated Coconut – 1 cup (preferably tender coconut)
Salt – to taste
1. Wash and soak the rice for 2-3 hours.
2. Drain and grind it to a smooth paste along with grated coconut.
3. Pour water and thin out the dosa batter. The batter should be very very watery. Add required salt.
4. Heat a dosa pan on medium low heat. The tawa should not be very hot.
5. Pour a ladleful of batter in the tawa and rotate the tawa so that the batter spreads evenly into a very thin crepe.
6. Drizzle few drops of oil, cover with a lid and cook on low flame for a minute or two.
7. Gently remove the dosa and fold it into a triangle.
8. This dosa remains very soft for a long time. So you can make this well ahead of time for parties, for guests or picnics.
Serve with a chutney (coconut chutney or a tomato chutney, sambar etc.) for breakfast.
Not good in spring season!!!!!
Upma is one of the best tiffin items because they can be prepared in less than 15 minute. Originally upma was made with rava. Today, it is made with all sorts of cornmeal upma, vermicelli upma, ragi vemicelli upma, cracked wheat upma, rice upma, and more. Vermicelli upma can be made for breakfast or as a light dinner.
Semiya -Vermicelli Pasta – 1 1/2 cup
Water – 1 3/4 cup
Onion – 1/2 (chopped)
Salt – as needed
Oil/ Ghee – 2 tsp
Green chilies or dry red chilies- 2
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
Channa dal (garbanzo/chick pea) – 1/4 tsp
Urad dal (black gram)- 1/4 tsp
Peanuts nuts – 3 tbls
Curry Leaves – 1 strand
After sautéing the onions, you can try adding some grated coconut and then make the vermicelli upma as above or instead saute grated raw mango after you saute the onions or add 1 tbls of lemon juice at the end before serving. All of these change the depth and quality of the upma for a different flavor as well as different digestibility and different seasons.
The saddest part of this is that it is true.
The failure of the Western paradigm in its research of Eastern paradigm systems.
When I was a babe in arms, women in America were told that breast-feeding their children because scientists felt that baby milk formulae were healthier being that they were full of vitamins and minerals. They were considered much better for babies than mother’s milk. This was the trend and know and followed newest Western thought and research. You can pick up an old copy of any of Dr. Spock’s (yes, seriously his name) books to read what was the prevailing thought at that time although it goes against all rational logical thought that nature provides the best and since babies have been being fed for thousands of years on breast milk already…. look how horrible they have turned out. It is a prevalent thought in the modern world that everything before life as it is today was much inferior. This is actually far from true. This is also a common theme in Western science as it has not tried to understand other sciences but rather pushes itself as the highest of knowledge and at the forefront of thought meanwhile just trying controlling nature or manipulating it and suffering the consequence of that consciously or not.
It was several years before doctors realised that there are other things in the mother’s milk that can’t be found in packaged baby food. This ongoing process; research identifies something, there is a great flurry of activity around that thing, and then comes new research that refutes the earlier findings. i can and should write a list of these things over the past 50 years in the health and medicine world. It is the common thought that the science continues to improve and find new things and to those Western eyes this is true but from a different paradigm this is the furthest from truth. There is now increasing awareness, in the US and other countries as well, that the large majority of research being done is seriously flawed in a variety of ways.
Western research only uses what is their knowledge base to research. It is logical, how can they possibly know different? They are bound to the knowledge and laws of it, their paradigm.
“Over the past 50 years, the fundamental sciences have been gradually modifying many notions in physics and bioscience, gradually shifting to quantum logic and nanoscience. In the same sequence, modern science has developed unified field theories in quantum physics, similar to the ancient Indian concept of a unified field of consciousness, in which individual human consciousness (Atman) and universal cosmic consciousness (Brahman) are realized to form a continuum. However, such a unified field of consciousness seems to involve a kind of nonphysical energy, in contrast to the unified field concept in conventional science, which merely refers to physical energy.
The entire basic bioscience of Ayurveda is based on this philosophy, and is in conflict with the conventional reductionist approach that identifies material structures and their functions, that is, structure–function relationships. In this context, it is pertinent to quote the Cambridge Nobel laureate, physicist BD Josephson, who states “The basic premise of western science is that of an objective reality that can be reduced to a measurable uniform formula. Eastern philosophy on the other hand places emphasis on conscious experiences and subjective reality. Quantum theory poses problems for the idea of objective reality. There is difficulty in reconciling the two approaches because the reality is too complex to be reduced to an objectively identifiable formula. Subjectivity has to play an important role.”
-R.H Singh – Exploring issues in the development of Ayurvedic research methodology J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2010 Apr-Jun; 1(2): 91–95.
In modern yoga, it is Western anatomy, physiology and biomechanics that are the foundation of what is being applied to study asana and anything else that is studied. Western sciences do not actually apply to yoga as it is based in prana, not western biomechanics. They do work on a gross level but fall apart as the details below describe. An example using Ayurveda would be that when Ayurveda is put to the test of western research it fails immediately as it is from a different paradigm and cannot be researched by empirical evidence methods. It sees the individual and does analysis of the individual with many factors so a disease becomes individual rather than a single disease that fits everyone i.e. 2 types of diabetes in Western medicine becomes 20 types of Prameha in Ayurveda.
When researching an herb that would be used, say turmeric, the turmeric was given at a certain time, as there are 11 different times to take and herb that will cause it to have a certain action, it is given with a certain anupana which is a delivery vehicle which will make it be delivered into a certain pathway and to a certain place. And there is a lot more. So to state that turmeric is good for _______ disease and then just take a capsulized pill of it at a safe dose at anytime in anyway with any substance becomes ridiculous. or to do research on turmeric as something that Ayurveda has said is good for ______ without understanding how Ayurveda works and then to say it works or not from empirical evidence, well, I think you see the problem.
Combinations with other herbs are also used in conduction almost always in ayurveda and that two changes it actions. This is just a superficial example of how the empirical evidence method is highly flawed and cannot be used on other systems. When Western medicine is put to the test of ayurveda it fails immediately as it has no interaction with the root problem due to lack of depth of diagnosis and the lack of any understanding of dosha(s) or dosha dushti and leaves them imbalanced or creates further imbalance to turn into a deeper disease in future to find a new pathway i.e. a new disease or complication that is harder to treat.
Whats in your paradigm?
Here is another article on just another popular “health” fad. This article was prompted by someone sending a link to me asking about it.
“Golden milk”. This is stolen from Ayurveda and then once again, out of its context and without understanding it from what it is and why it is used, turned into a something different by “bettering” it and making it a Western super health fad that is actually just poisoning you.
This recipe is taken from “WellnessMama.com” I am not promoting this as a recipe to follow but using it as an example of the rediculousness that your being sold out there.
So first off, in India, Golden milk, which is not called that in India, is taken in a small quantity. See the photo above taken today. It was probably about 1/4 cup at most. Take a look at the chai picture below too. Yes, these are the real quantities used for health, not a 24 oz tumbler or the 1 can of Coconut Milk plus 1 cup of water OR 3 cups of homemade coconut milk as per the recipe above, which homemade coconut milk would be even heavier and harder to digest as it is less processed. You would also never find this recipe being made in India. It has both coconut which is cold and heavy potency and peppers and ginger (obviously very hot potency) being used together. When opposites are used it creates problems in digestibility as well as absorption of the mix which causes toxicity or viruddha ahara (incompatible foods).
In Ayurveda, honey is never heated as it turns it poisonous. This is Ayurvedic as well as followed throughout India for centuries. The Ayurvedic texts explain that the honey comes from a poisonous animal and the heat bring out the poisonous qualities in the honey. Even when honey is used in a preparation, it is put in after the preparation is cooled. Honey should never be cooked. Honey digests very very slowly if it is cooked and the molecules become a non-homogenized glue which adheres to mucous membranes and clogs the channels (srotas), producing toxins and toxicity. Uncooked (raw) honey is nectar. Cooked honey is poison.
Wanna have some golden milk that is actually healthy? Turmeric and milk and a bit of regular sugar is used in the regular recipe. Have about 1/2 cup. Enjoy your longer life and the milk.
The main thing is to understand the excessive consumption here of something very cold and heavy, coconut milk. Normal milk is used in India, never coconut milk. Never putting coconut oil into regular milk like other recipes have written as well.
Look in the mirror and notice the coated tongue you have created in the morning. That coating, that is what is called ama. It is toxicity. So now that you have created aama in your system, next week you can plan to do another “detox”. There is an article on this blog about aama as well as detoxing.
I invite you to follow the recipe above and drink this before sleep and see how your feeling in the AM as well as what your tongue looks like and how your digestion is doing????? See if you even have any appetite. You’ll wake quite heavy, hard to get up and without any resemblance of having any appetite for having a breakfast meal. Since most people would unconsciously just eat a breakfast anyway this spells disaster with the accumulation of undigested waste.
Be careful about what you believe as what is healthy. Health is being marketed as so many foolish things today.
The quantity of a real chai above.
Hey!!! but its “golden milk” the newest coolest Western health idea!!!!!!!!
As Ayurveda states, the purest amrit (divine nectar) is the worst poison in the hands of the ignorant.
It is the largest of all the Puranas. Contains eighty eight thousand and one hundred Shlokas (stanzas). Has seven parts- Maheshwar, Vaishnava, Brahma, Kashi, Avanti, Nagar and Prabhasa. Purana got its name from Skand (Kartikeya) the son of Lord Shiva. Birth of Skand; its reason and effects constitute the main theme. Kartikeya was the commander of the gods’ army and had killed the demon Tarkasura.
DAKSHA’S ANIMOSITY TOWARDS LORD SHIVA
Skanda Puran begins with the eulogy of Lord Shiva–
YASYAGYA JAGAT SRISHTA VIRANCHIH PALKO HARIH;
SANHARTA KAALRUDRAKHYO NAMASTASMAI PINAKINE.
(Meaning)— Salutations to Lord Shankar who has entrusted the job of creation to Lord Brahma–Who has instructed Lord Vishnu to nurture the world and who himself acts as the supreme annihilator.During ancient times, once, Sage Shaunak had performed a grand ‘yagya’ at his hermitage in Naimisharanya forest. Many sages had thronged Naimisharanya to attend it. One of them was Sage Lomesh.After the yagya was over, all the assembled Sages requested Sage Lomesh to narrate the divine tales of Lord Shiva.
Sage Lomesh said–Daksha-Prajapati had got his daughter, Sati married to Lord Shiva. Once, he had performed a grand yagya in which he had invited everybody except his own son-in-law.When Sati learnt about the yagya, she sought Lord Shiva’s permission to attend that yagya. Lord Shiva tried to convince her that it was not proper to attend a ceremony in which one had not been invited. But Sati did not pay any heed and was bent upon attending that yagya. Ultimately, Lord Shiva had no option but to give his conscent. But he did not forget to send his ‘Rudraganas’ with her for her protection.
SATI JUMPS INTO THE SACRIFICIAL FIRE
When Sati reached her father’s place, she saw a grand yagya being performed. A large number of people had been invited–the deities, the sages and the hermits.
Sati became sad because Daksha had invited everybody except her husband. She knew quite well that it was a deliberate decision on part of her father, not to invite Lord Shiva. But, she got infuriated when she found that Daksha had not even kept Shiva’s share in the yagya while the ‘shares’ of other deities had been kept.
When Daksha saw Sati, he was enraged—How dare you come here? Your husband is an embodiment of inauspiciousness. He is the Lord of the spirits, ghosts and all types of mean powers. This was the reason why I did not invite him.’
The insult heaped on her husband in front of everybody devastated Sati. She felt so humiliated that she decided to give up her life. Before any one could understand, she jumped into the sacrificial fire and was charred to death. All the deities present there were stunned by this sudden development. All the ‘Rudraganas’ mourned Sati’s death with deep sorrow.Meanwhile, Lord Shiva got the sad news from Narad. He got mad with anger and uprooted some hair from his scalp. He then dashed the hair against a mountain. There was a thundering sound and Veerbhadra manifested within a split second. Lord Shiva ordered him to punish Daksha for his evil deed, which caused the death of Sati.Veerbhadra proceeded with a huge army of spirits, ghosts and marudganas to punish Daksha. When he reached the oblation site, Daksha and all the other deities became scarred. But, Sage Bhrigu came at the deities’ rescue and told them not to worry. He then chanted few mantras, which helped the deities to win the first round of the battle.
The defeat of his army enraged Veerbhadra to such an extent that he created havoc in the ranks of deities’ army. He showered volleys of arrow on them, which forced the deities to make a hasty retreat from there. Veerbhadra dashed Sage Bhrigu against the ground and uprooted his beard. He then severed the head of Daksha and threw it in flames of sacrificial fire.Lord Brahma took the refuge of Lord Shiva and requested him to stop Veerbhadra from causing further death and destruction. Lord Shiva told Brahma–’Nobody else but Daksha himself was responsible for his death.But, Lord Brahma requested Lord Shiva to make Daksha alive once again. Lord Shiva then went to Daksha’s place and fixed a goat’s head on the trunk of Daksha’s body. This way Daksha became alive once again albeit with a goats body. He was very ashamed of his behaviour and requested Lord Shiva to forgive him. Lord Shiva blessed him and said–
“Salvation can not be attained merely by performing the rituals. If you are desirous of salvation then engage yourself in virtuous deeds with.”
VIRTUES OF WORSHIPPING LORD SHIVA
Sage Lomesh told the assembled sages— One who brooms the courtyard of Shiva temple attains to Shiva loka. Those who make offerings of incense to lord Shiva not only liberate himself from the bondage of this world but also both his ‘Kulas’. One who gets constructed a Shiva temple or renovates it, attains incomparable virtue. One who chants the holy mantra ‘OM NAMAH SHIVAY’ daily and begins his day by visiting Shiva temple in the morning becomes absolved of all his sins.
CHURNING OF THE OCEAN
Sage Lomesh narrated the tale, which described how Indra lost heaven after he showed disrespect to Vrihaspati–
Once, Indra was enjoying the songs sung by Gandharvas when sage Vashishth arrived. But, Indra was so engrossed in music, that he forgot to welcome his distinguished guest. Sage Vashishth was enraged by his behaviour and went away fuming with anger.When the demon King Bali–the lord of Patalloka, learnt about this incident he attacked Indraloka with a large army. A fierce battle took place in which all the deities were defeated. Bali and his army brought all the wealth to Patalloka. But the demons were not destined to be the owner of this plundered wealth for too long as the whole wealth got submerged into the ocean. Bali was surprised and asked Shukracharya about the reason. Sage Shukracharya revealed to Bali that he could not enjoy the splendours of deities’ wealth because he had not performed 100 Ashwamedha yagyas.
The deities, after being defeated went to seek Lord Vishnu’s help. Lord Brahma was also present with them. After giving a deep thought to the whole issue, Lord Vishnu advised them to patch up with the demons so that all the wealth could be retrieved from the ocean bed.The deities went to Patal-loka and convinced the demons to participate in the churning of the ocean. When the process of churning of the ocean began, Mandarachal mountain was used as a churner and the serpent -Vasuki as the rope.Both the parties immersed the Mandarachal mountain into the ocean but it sank down, as there was no base upon which it could be placed. So, Lord Vishnu took the form of a tortoise and held the mountain on his back.
Churning of the ocean resulted into the emergence of many things like Chandrama, Surabhi (cow), Kalpa tree, Kaustubh, Uchchaihshrava (Horse), Eravat (elephant), goddess Laxmi, poison, ambrosia, intoxication etc.When poison emerged from the sea bed, neither the deities nor the demons made any claim for it. The poison was so venomous that the whole world started getting inflamed by it. Lord Shiva then drank the Halahal poison and thus the world was saved.Lord Vishnu accepted goddess Laxmi as his consort.
THE EMERGENCE OF AMBROSIA
When Dhanvantri appeared with a pot of ambrosia in his hands, a demon named Vrishparva snatched it from him. All the demons then fled to Patal loka with the pot of ambrosia.Lord Vishnu disguised himself as an enchanting beauty and went to Patalloka. There, he found all the demons quarrelling among themselves. Each of them wanted to have his own share of ambrosia.The demons were stunned by Mohini’s beauty the moment they saw Lord Vishnu in the form of a beautiful lady. Mohini took control of the ambrosia pot and summoned the deities to Patal loka.
All the deities and demons were made to sit in separate rows. Mohini then started distributing ambrosia to the deities. A demon named Rahu, who had disguised himself as a deity was also sitting among the deities. Hardly had Rahu gulped down some ambrosia then Mohini severed his head on the information given by chandrama (Moon).The severed head of Rahu tried to take revenge by swallowing chandrama, who took the refuge of Lord Shiva. Shiva kept chandrama within the lock of his hair. Meanwhile, Rahu too came chasing chandrama and Lord Shiva wore his head as a garland in his neck.
LORD BRAHMA’S BOON TO TARAKASUR
After the death of Sati, Lord Shiva became aloof and engaged himself in an austere penance. His lack of interest in performing his duties resulted into the predominance of sin in the world.A demon named Tarakasur had received a boon of invincibility from lord Brahma. Only a child and nobody else could kill him. Tarakasur, being drunk with power started to torment the deities.
All the deities eulogized Lord Brahma and they heard a heavenly voice saying—
‘Nobody can kill Tarakasur except Shiva’s son. So you must put all your efforts to help Shiva get married.’
The deities were aware that after the death of Sati, Shiva had lost all interest in life and was living like a recluse. Nevertheless, they wanted to give a try. So they went to Himalaya, who had no progeny at that time and requested him to beget a girl. Himalaya agreed, as he was aware of the misdeeds of Tarakasur.In course of time, Himalaya’s wife, Mena gave birth to a girl child who was in fact the reincarnation of Sati. The girl child was named Girija.Girija was brought up with great love and care. When she attained the age of eight, Himalaya once took her to the cave where Lord Shiva was doing penance. Initially, Shiva was little hesitant to meet Himalaya because Girija was accompanying her father and he had vowed never to put his glance on any woman after the death of Sati. But, Later on he relented and allowed both of them to meet him whenever they liked. Now, Girija made it her habit to visit Lord Shiva regularly. She used to look after all the needs of Shiva while he was engrossed in his penance.
Even after the passage of a long time the deities’ wishes did not look like getting fulfilled, as Shiva remained as nonchalant as ever. So, the deities requested Kamadeva’s help in sowing the seeds of love and passion in Shiva’s heart.Kamadeva went to the place where Lord Shiva was doing his penance. He tried to sow seeds of compassion in Shiva’s heart only to receive his wrath. Lord Shiva was infuriated by the efforts of Kamadeva. He opened his third eye as the result of which Kamadeva was charred to death.Rati started wailing inconsolably at the death of her husband but Girija assured her that she would try to bring Kamadeva back to life.Girija commenced her penance to please Lord Shiva. There was a great turmoil in the world on account of her penance. Lord Vishnu led the deities to Shiva and requested him to marry Girija so that the world could be protected from the torments of Tarakasur. Finally, Shiva gave his conscent and went to the place where Girija was doing penance.
SHIVA TEST’S PARVATI’S DEVOTION
After reaching there, Lord Shiva found Parvati engrossed in her penance. Parvati was surrounded by her few trusted companions.Lord Shiva decided to test Parvati’s devotion towards him. So he disguised himself as a hermit and asked her companions about the reason why Parvati was doing such a severe Penance. Jaya, one of Parvati’s companions informed him that her friend was doing penance in order to get Lord Shiva as her husband. Jaya also informed Lord Shiva that her friend Girija was the daughter of Himalaya.
Lord Shiva, who was in the guise of a hermit said—’Why is this tender girl so eager to marry Shiva who is an embodiment of inauspiciousness–who carries a skull in his hand and who lives in a crematorium. How can your friend think of marrying one who has been expelled by Daksha from the yagya ceremony? Does your friend know that Shiva wears a snake around his neck and is surrounded by numerous spirits and ghosts?’
Parvati, who had been listening to all those nonsensical utterances, told Jaya—’This fellow seems to abhor Shiva. We should not talk to this evil person. Tell him to leave at once.’Lord Shiva was extremely pleased by Parvati’s unwavering devotion towards him. He appeared in his original form and said–’You can ask for anything you wish.’
But Parvati replied— ‘O Supreme Lord! I am the same Sati for the sake of whom you had destroyed Daksha’s yagya. Don’t you recognize me? There is a great purpose behind my reincarnation. A son born to us would kill Tarakasur. So go to my father and request for my hand in marriage.’But Lord Shiva refused to make a request to Himalaya considering it as an undignified act. He then returned to the place where he had been meditating.After a while, Himalaya and Mena arrived there and asked Parvati how her penance had been progressing. Parvati narrated the whole incident how Lord Shiva had finally given his conscent to marry her.Himalaya and Mena were extremely pleased by this good news.
THE ARRIVAL OF ‘SAPTARISHIS’
Later on Lord Shiva sent the Saptarishis with the proposal of marriage to Himalaya. Himalaya received his distinguished guests with respect and enquired about the purpose of their visit. The Saptarishis replied–’We have come to request you to give your daughter’s hand in marriage to Shiva.’After consulting his wife, Mena and other mountains, Himalaya agreed to accept Shiva as his son-in-law. The Saptarishis then returned and conveyed the good news to Shiva.The preparation for marriage ceremony started being made. Finally the marriage procession proceeded towards the bride’s home. The marriage procession consisted of all the deities, apsaras, gandharvas even spirits and ghosts.
Sage Garg Supervised the rituals of marriage ceremony. Vishwakarma constructed the canopy, where marriage ceremony was supposed to take place.After the marriage was over, Himalaya performed the ritual of Kanyadan and this way Shiva returned with his consort.
BIRTH OF KARTIKEYA
Lord Shiva and Parvati lived happily at Gandhamadan Mountain enjoying every bit of their conjugal life. Once it so happened that a small quantity of Shiva’s sperm fell on the ground while he was enjoying intimate moments with Parvati. As a result, tremendous amount of heat was generated and the whole world started burning.Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu instructed Agni to employ some means so that the destruction caused by Shiva’s over flowing sperms could come to an end.Agni went to Gandhamadan mountain in the guise of a hermit. He requested Parvati by saying—’O Mother! Please give me something as alms. I have nothing but my hands as a begging bowl’
Parvati kept Shiva’s sperms on his palm, which was eaten up by Agni. Parvati was enraged to see this and cursed Agni–”You have shown disrespect to me. From today onwards you would become omnivorous. The sperms which you have devoured would cause unbearable inflammation in your body.”
As the result of Parvati’s curse, Agni really started experiencing unbearable inflammation in his body. He requested Lord Shiva to reveal the means by which his pain would come to an end. Lord Shiva instructed Agni to implant those sperms in any woman’s womb to get rid of the unbearable inflammation.Thus, Agni, who was suffering from extreme heat that generated in his body, sat at a lonely place waiting eagerly for a woman to arrive there.He did not have to wait for too long, as six Kritikas, shivering with cold arrived there to warm themselves. The sperms of Shiva entered into their bodies through the pores. These six Kritikas became pregnant.
When their respective husbands learnt about their pregnancy they cursed them. As a result they got transformed into ‘Nakshatras’ and established themselves in the sky. But, they aborted their respective foetus at Himalaya mountain before getting transformed into six constellations. The holy Ganges carried that foetus to a secluded place, which was covered with dense bushes of reeds.In course of time, Lord Kartikeya manifested from those reed bushes. He had six heads. The deities were delighted at the birth of Kartikeya. Lord Shiva along with Parvati went to the place where Kartikeya had incarnated. Parvati took young Kartikeya in her embrace.
KARTIKEYA KILLS TARAKASUR
Lord Shiva assured the deities, who were also present there that Tarakasur’s days were numbered. The deities’s army then proceeded towards the battlefield.On their way, the deities heard a heavenly voice–’You can defeat the demons only if you fight under the leadership of Kartikeya.’
Now all the deities requested Kartikeya to become their leader. Menawhile, Devasena–the daughter of Mrityu arrived there and requested Kartikeya to become her husband. Kartikeya accepted Devasena as his wife. This is the reason why he is also known as Deva senapati.Karitkeya was leading the deities’ army, mounted on an elephant. The army had all the deities in its rank- Indra, Varun, Vayu, Kuber, Dharma Raj, etc.Both the rival armies met at an island situated between Ganga and Yamuna. Tarakasur had come with a large army, which boasted of many brave and mighty warriors.
The battle commenced and the first phase was dominated by the demons. The deities could not stand up to the might of demons. Even Indra was severely wounded when Tarakasur attacked him with his deadly weapon- ‘Shakti’. On seeing the level of destruction caused in the deities’ army, King Muchkunda, who was on the side of the deities’ attacked Tarakasur. In the ensuing battle Muchkunda got injured and fell down on the ground. He got up furiously and tried to kill Tarakasur with his Brahmashtra. Sage Narad told him that Brahmashtra would be of no use as Tarakasur had been blessed with invincibility against mortals. Narad said–’Only Kartikeya is capable of killing Tarakasur. So, you all need to have patience till Kartikeya accomplishes his mission.’
Meanwhile Veerabhadra was fighting a dual bought against Tarakasur. He had already caused indescribable losses to the demons. While the fight was going on, Tarakasur realized that it was not easy to defeat him. So, he decided to use his illusionary powers, which helped him in acquiring ten thousand hands. The deities ran away from the battle field, when they saw ferocious Tarakasur approaching them.Lord Vishnu instructed Kartikeya to kill Tarakasur before it was too late. Kartikeya chased Tarakasur with his deadly weapon- Shakti in his hand. A fierce fight took place between both of them. Kartikeya attacked Tarakasur with his Shakti. Tarakasur retaliated by hitting him with his own Shakti. The assault was so severe that Karikeya lost his consciousness for few moments.
When Kartikeya regained his consciousness, he got up quickly to fight against Tarakasur. Once again a fierce battle commenced. Kartikeya remembered his parents in reverence and released his Shakti in the direction of Tarakasur.Tarakasur died instantly. The deities were delighted at the death of their tormentor.
VIRTUES OF OBSERVING FAST ON ‘SHIVARATRI’
Sage Lomesh eulogizes the virtues of Shivaratri in the following words–’The fourteenth day of the dark half of a month is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva and is famously known as ‘Shivaratri’. It destroys all the sins committed by a man.Sage Lomesh then narrated a tale, which emphasized the greatness of Shivaratri–
Once upon a time a brahmin widow developed an illicit relationship with a ‘Chandal’ (a low caste man). Later on she gave birth to a son who was named Dussah. Her son had all the bad qualities one can think of– a gambler, a drunker, a thief, a murderer, etc.
One day, Dussah went to a Shiva temple with the intention of committing robbery. It was the festive night of Shivaratri and people had thronged the temple in a large number. So, he did not get an opportunity to steal temple property. He remained awakened for the whole night waiting for an opportune moment but his wishes remained unfulfilled. He spent his time listening to the divine tales of Lord Shiva that was being narrated by the temple priest. Though he was a sinner yet he took his next birth in a royal family on account of his two virtuous deeds–he had remained awakened for the whole night of Shivaratri and he had listened to the tales of Shiva. In his next birth, he was born to a king named Chitrangad and he himself was named Vichitraveerya.Vichitraveerya was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. He ultimately united with lord Shiva and manifested as Veerabhadra at the time when Lord Shiva had shaken his head violently after hearing the sad news of Sati’s demise.There are numerous instances of people attaining salvation by observing a fast on Shivaratri. The names of some great devotees to do so are King Bharat, Mandhata, Dhundhumar, Harishchandra etc.
While the deities hailed the glory of Kartikeya for having killed Tarakasur, Kartikeya himself was saddened by his act. He told the deities–’I regret for having killed Tarakasur because he was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Is there any way to atone for my sin?’
Lord Vishnu consoled him—’Killing a wicked person, who nourishes himself on the blood of innocent people, is not a sinful deed. But, still, if you feel guilty then there is no better way to atone for your sin than worshipping Lord Shiva. Install Shivalingas and worship them with deep devotion.’Kartikeya instructed Vishnukarma to make three divine Shivalingas. Later on Kartikeya installed these Shivalingas at three different places and worshipped them with appropriate rituals. In course of time these three holy places came to be known as Pratigyeshwar, Kapaleshwar and Kumareshwar. Kartikeya, while worshipping at Kapaleshwar sprinkled holy water on the Shivalinga and prayed so that Tarakasur’s soul rested in peace. He also offered sesame seeds to lord Kapaleshwar and prayed –
‘May my offerings made in the form of sesame seeds reach Tarak–the descendant of Sage Kashyap.’
This way, Kartikeya was absolved of his sins.
KILLING OF PRALAMB
A demon named Pralamb had escaped unharmed in the battle fought between the deities and demons. As the deities were busy installing Shivalingas at different places, Pralamb started to torment their families in their absence. The deities got this information from Kumud who appeared at the time when the deities were digging up a reservoir near ‘Siddheshwar’ temple.All the deities requested Kartikeya to do something. Kartikeya released his fiery weapon, Shakti in the direction of Pralamb. Shakti pierced the heart of earth and went right up to Patal loka where Pralamb lived with the surviving demons. All the demons were killed within few moments.
A long tunnel had been created as the impact of Shakti’s penetration of the earth. This tunnel was later on filled up with the water of Patal Ganga and became famous as ‘Siddha-koopa.’
KAALBHITI’S AUSTERE PENANCE
There is an amazing tale related with the birth of Kaalbhiti. During ancient times there lived a sonless brahmin named Manti in Kashi. He did an austere penance to get a son. At last, lord Shiva became pleased by his devotion and appeared. Lord Shiva said–’You will be blessed with an enlightened son who would liberate your whole clan.’
In course of time Manti’s wife became pregnant but amazingly did not deliver a baby even after a long time. Four years passed like this but Manti’s wife did not deliver the child. Manti was perplexed by this unusual event so he asked the baby, who was still in his mother’s womb as to why he was hesitant to come out.The child replied that he feared ‘Kaal’ and this was the reason why he was not taking birth. The child said–’If you can assure me of protection from ‘Kaal’ then I shall certainly take birth.’ How could have Manti given such an assurance. So he took refuge in Lord Shiva.Lord Shiva ordered four of his ganas to go and convince the baby. The names of these five ganas were Dharma, Gyan, Vairagya Aishwarya and Adharma. They assured the baby by saying–’Get rid of your fear. We assure you that each four of us (Dharma, Gyan, Vairagya and Aishwarya) will never abandon you.”
The fifth gana named Adharma on the contrary promised not to caste his evil Shadow on the baby. These assurances were enough for the baby to come out from the womb. But, even after taking birth the child was trembling and wailing in fear.The ganas said–Manti! Your child is still fearful of the Kaal. He is trembling and crying inspite of the best of our efforts to drive away is fears. So he will become famous as Kaalbhiti (one who is fearful of Kaal).
Kaalbhiti grew up to be a virtuous person. He used to engage himself in various kinds of austerities. He was a great devotee of Lord Shiva.One day, as Kaalbhiti was meditating under a ‘bael’ tree (wood apple), he went into his trance. The joy experienced during trance period was something, which he had never experienced before. He decided to regularly meditate under that tree. He did penance for one hundred years standing on his toe.Lord Shiva became pleased by his devotion and appeared in the guise of a human being. Lord Shiva said–’O Great soul Please discontinue with your penance. I have brought some water for you! Please quench your thirst!’
But Kaalbhiti refused to take water from an unknown person. He requested Lord Shiva to reveal his identity. Kaalbhiti also inquired Lord Shiva about his religion and conduct. Lord Shiva told him that he was beyond any religion or conduct.When Kaalbhiti refused to have water, Lord Shiva dug up a large pit and emptied the pot into it. After that he disappeared.Kaalbheeti stood fixed at that place, being stunned by the disappearance of Lord Shiva. Suddenly, an effulgent Shivalinga appeared under that bael (wood apple) tree. Kaalbheeti worshipped that shiva-linga which was radiating light in all directions.Now, lord Shiva appeared and blessed Kaalbheeti to become free from the fear of Kaal(Death). From that day onwards the Shivalinga situated there became famous as Mahakaal. Before disappearing once again, Lord Shiva instructed Kaalbheeti to preach Sage Karandham who was expected to visit him shortly. Kaalbheeti himself became renowned as Mahakaal because he had been successful in conquering death.
As predicted by Lord Shiva, king Karandham arrived at the place where Mahakaal (Kaalbheeti) was staying. First of all he worshipped Lord Mahakaal and subsequently went to meet sage Mahakaal (previously Kaalbheeti).King Karandham had numerous doubts regarding the rituals of Shraddh so he asked Mahakaal–’How does the rituals related to ‘tarpan’ satisfy the dead ancestors?’
Mahakaal replied–The souls of dead ancestors are capable of accepting whatever is offered to them. Time and distance does not matter to them. They accept only the essence of whatever is offered to them and not the gross materials as such.Karandham posed his second query–’I think a soul, after it has abandoned the mortal body is bound by its own karma. Then, how, can the dead ancestors be expected of giving us blessings and changing our fortunes.’
Mahakaal replied—Not all Pitras (dead ancestors) are bound by their karma. Pitras belonging to different classes like deities, ‘asuras’ and ‘yaksha’ are unembodied and formless (amurta). Similarly, the dead ancestors of all the four castes are called ‘murta Pitras’ (with form). These seven types of Pitras are considered to be eternal and powerful. They also transcend the law of Karma. A total number of 31 ganas are subordinate to them. The rituals of Shraddh are performed for the pacification of these seven eternal Pitras. These seven Pitras are the ones who shower blessings on the performers of Shraddh rituals.’Karandham’s next question was–’Some people are of the view that one can attain salvation only by taking refuge in Lord Vishnu. While some think that only Lord Brahma is capable of giving salvation. There are many people who consider Lord Shiva as the supreme liberator. What do you have to say on this?’
Mahakaal replied–’God is one. The three deities you have named even they eulogize each other. It is nothing but foolishness to grade them as superior, average or inferior. The thing, which matters most in the path of salvation, is individual’s unflinching faith and devotion. Any deity in whom he has total devotion is capable of giving salvation.Karandham then requested Mahakaal to describe the appropriate rituals related with the worship of Lord Shiva.
Mahakaal replied—A devotee who puts on ‘tripund’ mark on his forehead, chest and both the shoulders while worshipping Lord Shiva is blessed to see the divine appearance of Lord Shiva. He should enter the temple premise with a pure heart. After entering the temple he should purify the Shiva linga by removing all the unnecessary articles which may be lying there. He should then fill up four ‘Garuas’ (drinking pot with a curved spout) with water. Articles like milk, curd clarified butter, honey and Sugarcane juice are kept to the left side of Shiva linga.The devotee should then come out of the temple and worship the ‘dwarpalas’. After that, deities like Kuldevta, Nandi, Mahakaal Dhata and Vidhata are worshipped.
Once again he should enter the temple and sit in front of the Shivalinga and meditate on Lord Shiva. While performing ‘ardhya’ he should make offerings of articles like water, akshat, Kusha grass, sandalwood, flowers, mustard seeds, milk, curd and honey.Having offered ardhya, a devotee should perform the ritual of ablution with water, milk, curd, honey, clarified butter, and sugarcane juice in the given order.
While performing this ritual the devotee should also offer dhupa (incense) and chant
‘OM HOOM VISHVAMURTAYE NAMAH’.
Some other deities whom a devotee must worship along with the worship of Lord Shiva are Ishan, Tatpurush, Sadryojat etc. A devotee must also not forget to worship Shiva’s trident. While doing this he should chant
TRISHUL DHANUH KHADGA KAPAL KUTHAREBHYO NAMAH.
A devotee should conclude his worship by begging for Lord Shiva’s forgiveness for any mistake that he might have committed while performing the rituals.
ARUNACHAL SHIVA LINGA
Once, Sutji had gone to Naimisharanya. All the sages residing there asked him about the manifestation of Arunachal Shivalinga.Sutji recounted a tale when Sage Sanak had posed the same query to Lord Brahma — ‘Lord Brahma had told Sanak-Son, once Lord Vishnu and I witnessed an effulgent Pillar. It had manifested from nowhere and was limitless in size. It’s radiance put the whole world ablaze. Both of us worshipped that marvelous pillar by chanting vedic mantras.’Actually, that effulgent pillar was a Shivalinga. Lord Shiva manifested from it after being pleased by our devotion. We requested him to minimize his size and establish himself in the form of Arunachal Shivalinga.’
‘Lord Shiva agreed to minimize his size as well as his effulgence by establishing himself in the form of ‘Arunachaleshwar’.The holy place of Arunachaleshwar remains untouched while the whole world gets submerged in water at the time of deluge.
LORD SHIVA–THE SOVEREIGN CREATOR
The sages then asked Sutji how Lord Shiva had created the universe.
Sutji replied—Lord Shiva commenced creation by his own will. Vishnu manifested from the left side of his body while Brahma from the right side. He then attributed the qualities of ‘Rajas’ and ‘Satva’ to Brahma and Vishnu respectively. From then onwards Lord Brahma took the responsibility of further creation and Lord Vishnu became the preserver of the world.Later on Lord Brahma created his ten Manasputra (Marichi etc,) by his will and Daksha Prajapati from his right thumb. He also created the brahmins from his mouth, Kshatriyas from both his arms, Vaishyas from both his thighs and Shudras from both his feet respectively.Both, the deities and demons came from the lineage of Sage Kashyap, who himself was Marichi’s son. Not only that Kashyap also fathered different species like Marut, Nag, Yaksha, Gandharva and apsaras.
Similarly, Lord Brahma had also created Manu who is believed to be the person from whom human race originated. All the sages as well as the Kshatriyas are the descendants of Sage Atri. Yakshas originated from Pulastya whereas Rakshashas were the descendants of Pulah. Agni as well as Sages like Chyavan was the descendant of Bhrigu. Many famous sages came from the lineage of Vasishth. These are the names of few prominent sages, whose descendants have populated the earth.Thus, Lord Shiva is the Sovereign creator because he created Brahma–the creator.
EXECUTION OF SHUMBH NISHUMBH & MAHISHASUR
The demons named Shumbh and Nishumbh had received boons from Brahma according to which no deity, demon or Man could kill him. Shumbh and Nishumbh became excessively arrogant and started tormenting the deities. All the deities including Lord Vishnu went to Lord Shiva and requested for his help. Lord Shiva assured them that both the demons would be killed at the opportune time. The deities were satisfied and returned back to their respective abodes.Parvati was of dark complexion. She thought that Shiva would be more affectionate towards her if she somehow discarded her dark skin. She eventually discarded her dark skin at a place and it instantly got transformed into ‘Kali Kaushiki’. She then did an austere penance at Vindhyachal mountain. At that time, Shumbh and Nishumbh lived there. When both the demons saw goddess Kali Kaushiki her divine beauty infatuated them. But Goddess Kali Kaushiki ultimately killed both of them.
Having accomplished her mission, Kali Kaushiki did a tremendous penance at ‘Gauri-peak’ and regained her fair complexion. In course of time she became the mother of Ganesh and Kartikeya. Once, goddess Parvati went to Arunachal mountain where Sage Gautam was doing penance. She was so enchanted by the scenery over there that she decided to do penance. She instructed goddess Durga to stand guard till she accomplished her penance. She also ordered the two goddesses Subhaga and Dhundhukumari to keep a watch in all directions.
Mahishasur–the demon sent a female messenger to convince Parvati into marrying him. The female messenger disguised herself as a female hermit and tried to impress all the three goddess who were keeping surveillance by praising the glory of Mahishasur–
‘O beautiful ladies! Why is your mistress living in such a secluded place? She is worthy of living in a royal palace. There is nobody among the deities who is fit enough to marry her. But, Mahishasur–the lord of all the three worlds is certainly fit to become her husband.’But all the three goddesses drove the female messenger away. Ultimately, Mahishasur came accompanied by a large army to forcibly abduct goddess Parvati. The commotion caused by the demons disturbed Parvati’s meditation. She instructed Durga to kill all the demons.Goddess Durga transformed her appearance. Now she looked ferocious in her new appearance. She was well equipped with all sort of lethal weapons and was mounted on a lion. She thundered loudly and challenged Mahishasur. Countless ‘yoginis’ manifested from her body. These yoginis attacked Mahishasur’s army and killed many demons. The whole battlefield was splashed with blood.
Goddess Chamunda (Durga) severed the heads of ‘Chand’ and ‘Mund’ with her chakra. Mahishasur was enraged and he attacked goddess Durga. Some other demons like Prachanda, Chamar, Mahamauli, Mahahanu, Ugravaktra, Vikataksha and Dahan also came forward to help him but each one of them was killed by goddess Durga.Now, Mahishasur’s anger crossed all limits and he menacingly ran towards goddess Durga. A severe battle was fought between both of them. When Mahishasur realized that the goddess was dominating the battle, he started changing his guises frequently. He tried to dodge goddess Durga by transforming his appearance into that of a boar. But, goddess Durga kept on chasing him. Then, Mahishasur became a lion. This way he kept on changing his appearances frequently to avoid getting killed by goddess Durga. Once he transformed himself into a buffalo but goddess Durga attacked him.
This way, Mahishasur was forced to change his appearance frequently on account of relentless attack by goddess Durga. Ultimately Durga killed him. Goddess Durga picked up his severed head and danced in joy. The deities were relieved at the death of Mahishasur.
PARVATI RECEIVES ARUNCHALESHWAR’S GRACE
Goddess Durga then went to the place where goddess Parvati was still doing penance. She held Mahishasur’s head in one hand and a sword in the other.Goddess Parvati said—’O Vindhyavasini! You have accomplished an impossible act. If it were not for you I would not have been able to accomplish my own penance. Now, you should get rid of this skull and create a holy spring bathing in which would destroy your sin acquired by killing Mahishasur.’
Goddess Durga hit ferociously at a huge rock breaking it into pieces. A large pit was created which was soon filled up with underground water. She then took her bath in it by chanting NAMAH SHONADRINATHAY.
In the meantime, an amazing incident took place. While goddess Durga was taking her bath with Mahishasur’s skull in her hand, a Shivalinga, which was struck in Mahishasur’s throat fell down. This Shivalinga later on became famous as ‘Papanashan Shivalinga’. She then released the skull and came out from the pond.Arunachaleshwar (Lord Shiva) became pleased by Parvati’s devotion and appeared before her. Lord Arunachaleshwar then made Parvati to sit by his left side. The next moment Parvati’s identity mingled with that of Lord Arunachaleshwar. The place where this incident took place, there is situated a grand temple of goddess Apitastani and Lord Arunachaleshwar.
LORD VARAH SATISFIES PRITHVI’S CURIOSITY
Sutji then narrated the tale of Lord Varah to the sages, which he had heard from Sage Vyas—
Once, while Narad was wandering about, he reached Meru mountain where he saw the abode of Lord Brahma. He also saw a giant sized entity, just next to Brahma’s abode. The person possessed four arms and his face resembled a boar. The person held a conch and a chakra in his two hands–The remaining two hands were in the postures of giving blessings. Narad was very surprised to see that divine person being surrounded by Sages like Vashishth, Atri, Markandeya and Bhrigu. After paying his eulogy to him, he stood in a corner.In the meantime, Prithvi (earth) arrived there with her two companions–Ila and Pingla. She was curious to know about the identities of various mountains, which Lord Varah had established on her.Lord Varah told Prithvi about the prominent mountains—Mountains like Sumeru, Himavan, Mandarachal, Vindhyachal, Pariyatrak, Mahendra, Malay, Sinhachal and Gandhamadan are situated to the north of Himalaya.
The mountain ranges situated to the south of Himalaya are Arunachal, Hasti, Gridhachal and Ghatikachal. Sages believe that in Satyayuga Lord Vishnu had his abode at Anjan Mountain, while in tretayuga, dwaparyuga and Kaliyuga he has his abode at Narayangiri, Sinhachal and Shrivenketachal respectively.Lord Varah and Prithvi flew away towards Venkatachalgiri mounted on Garuda.
LORD VARAH MANTRA
On their way, Prithvi requested Lord Varah to reveal the sacred mantra, chanting of which makes him pleased.
Lord Varah said–’The secret mantra that pleases me to no limits is —OM NAHAM SHRIVARAHAY DHARANYU UDDHARNAY SWAHA. This mantra is capable of liberating a man and also brings all sort of worldly accomplishments to him.In the first Krita yuga, a Manu named Dharma had realized me by continuously chanting this mantra. Even Indra regained the control of heaven by chanting it. Anant–the lord of all serpents, chanted Varaha mantra and as a result became capable of holding the earth on it’s hood.’
MANIFESTATION OF PADMAVATI
Lord Varah then narrated the tale of Padmavati’s manifestation to Prithvi. He also revealed to her that Padmavati was the reincarnation of Vedavati and had manifested so that she could become his (Vishnu) consort.Lord Varah said—Once upon a time there lived an emperor named Akash. One day he ordered his men to get the land situated at the bank of Arani ploughed so that a grand yagya could be organized there.As the land was being cultivated, the plough suddenly struck against something. People ploughing the field dug up that place and were surprised to find an infant girl, crying loudly.The news of girls’ manifestation spread like a wild fire. The emperor became extremely happy since he had no progeny. He brought up that child as his own daughter. This way the baby girl was brought up like a princess. She was named Padmavati. Padmavati proved very lucky for the emperor, as the emperor, who was still sonless till then was blessed with a son. This male child was named Vasudan.
One day, Narad visited the palace and met both the children. He was impressed by Vasudan’s intelligence but Padmavati appeared to be shy and absorbed in her own thoughts. Narad lovingly called her and instructed her to spread her left palm. Narad was amazed to find signs, which predicted Padmavati’s marriage to Lord Vishnu. Everybody living in the palace became happy after getting this news.Narad then went away.
PADMAVATI BECOMES LORD HARI’S CONSORT
Continuing with the tale, Lord Varah said– One day, while Padmavati and her companions were playing in the garden, they saw an equestrian approaching them. He held a bow and arrows in both his hands.The stranger asked all the girls whether they had seen a wolf. Apparently the stranger was on his hunting spree. Padmavati angrily reminded the stranger that hunting was strictly prohibited in that area and hence he should go back home.The stranger was stunned by Padmavati’s beauty and said–’I am Ananta from Venketachal mountain. People also call me Veerpati. Can I have this beautiful lady as my wife.’
Padmavati’s companions angrily rebuffed Anant who then galloped back on his horse. These unfortunate girls were unable to recognize Lord Vishnu who had come disguised as Anant.After reaching his palace, Anant found it very difficult to concentrate on his work. His mind was occupied by the thoughts of Padmavati. One day, while he was sitting in a thoughtful mood, Vakulmalika (a maid servant) arrived there and requested him to come down for lunch. But, Sri Hari (Anant) was lost in the thoughts of Padmavati. On being asked by Vakulmalika, Sri Hari narrated the following tale to her —
In treta yuga, when I had incarnated as Ram, Ravan had deceit- fully abducted my consort–Sita. But fortunately she was not Sita but Agni’s consort Swaha. Before this incident could occur,Agni had already taken Sita to Patalloka and kept his own wife ‘Swaha’ in her place. Indra’s act had special purpose behind it–to avenge Swaha’s death,who was Vedavati in her previous birth and who had committed suicide after being touched by the same demon.Actually, Agni’s consort ‘Swaha’ was ‘Vedavati’ in her previous birth. So, in reality Ravan had abducted Vedavati instead of Sita. Later on, I thanked Agni and promised him that I would make Vedavati my consort in Kaliyuga. The same vedavati has taken birth as Padmavati. You must go and convince Padmavati to become my consort.Vakulmalika went to Narayanpur and informed the king about Sri Hari’s desire. Emperor Akash was extremely delighted at the prospect of having Sri Hari as his son-in-law. An auspicious day was chosen for the marriage and thus, Lord Sri Hari got Padmavati as his consort.
Once, Sutji narrated the tale of king Pareekshit to all the assembled sages—
Pareekshit ruled over Hastinapur. One day he went into a forest on a hunting spree. He saw a deer and managed to injure it with his arrow. But the injured deer disappeared from his sight. Pareekshit chased the injured deer in the direction it had disappeared.He reached a place where sage Shamik was engrossed in his meditation. Pareekshit enquired sage Shamik if he had seen that injured deer. Bur sage Shamik being in deep meditation did not respond to Pareekshit query. This made Pareekshit extremely angry and he wrapped a dead snake around Shamik’s neck as a punishment for not having answered his question. But, it made no difference to Sage Shamik and he continued with his meditation. Pareekshit went back fuming in anger.
Shringi was the son of Sage Shamik. When he saw a dead snake coiling around his father’s neck, he cursed–’Whoever has tried to insult my father will not live to see the seventh day because a takshak nag would bite him to death.’
When sage Shamik learnt about his son’s curse, he reproached his son and sent a disciple named ‘Daurmukh’ to inform Pareekshit so that he (Pareekshit) could take some preventive measures. Daurmukh went and narrated the whole incident to king Pareekshit.Pareekshit became very scarred and he started living on a canopy that had been constructed in the middle of river Ganges on his instructions. Now he felt secured and safe.Meanwhile a poor brahmin named Kashyap came to know about the curse that poor Pareekshit had received. He knew how to cure a person bitten by snake. So he thought that it was an excellent opportunity for him to receive monetary awards from the king. So, he proceeded towards the place where Pareekshit was staying.
On his way, Kashyap met a brahmin who in reality was takshak in disguise. Takshak was on his way to kill Pareekshit. He asked Kashyap about the reason he was going to meet Pareekshit. Kashyap revealed to Takshak that he could neutralize the influence of poison in any person bitten by a snake. Takshak wanted to examine the authenticity of Kashyap’s statement, so he inserted his poisonous fangs into the trunk of a huge tree. A man was sitting on the branches of that tree. The tree as well as the man was charred to death within no time.
Kashyap, really brought the tree and that man back to life. Takshak was stunned by this unbelievable act. He asked Kashyap how much he expected as reward from the king. Kashyap revealed the amount, which he expected from Pareekshit in lieu of giving him a fresh lease of life. Takshak gave lot of wealth to him as a bribe and Kashyap went back home satisfied.Takshak then summoned all his companions and instructed them to go to the place where Pareekshit lived, disguising themselves as hermits. All the serpents went to meet Pareekshit impersonating as hermits and offered fruits to him. According to his plan,Takshak had hidden himself within a plum fruit. He bit Pareekshit as soon as he got a chance. Pareekshit died instantly.Janmejaya was crowned as the next king. Meanwhile, people started criticizing the treacherous conduct of Kashyap, which had resulted in the death of king Pareekshit. He decided to make a pilgrimage to Venketachaleshwar so that he became liberated from his sin.
Sutji narrated a tale to all the assembled sages–During ancient times, a brahmin named Ramkrishna did an austere penance at Venketachal mountain. He remained immobile during the entire course of his penance resulting into the development of mole hills all over his body.Indra was scarred by Ramkrishna’s penance and caused a heavy downpour for a week. All the mole hills were washed away from Ramkrishna’s body.Lord Srinivas became pleased and appeared before him. He blessed Ramkrishna by saying–’This holy place, where you have performed a great penance will be named after you as Krishna teerth. Anybody who makes a pilgrimage to this place will be liberated from all the sins.’
Eulogizing Lord Venketashwar, Sutji says—
‘A man, who has the good fortune of seeing the divine appearance of Lord Srinivas even for a moment, attains salvation.
SOME OTHER PLACES OF PILGRIMAGE ON VENKETACHAL MOUNTAIN
All the sages then requested Sutji to tell about some other places of pilgrimage situated on Venketachal mountain.
Sutji replied—There are about one hundred and eight holy places situated on Venketachal mountain. Among all these holy places, six are considered to be capable of bestowing salvation—Swami pushkarini, Akash ganga, Papvinashan, Panduteerth, Kumar dharika teerth and Tumbu teerth.
ANJANA’S PENANCE AT AKASHGANGA TEERTH
Describing how Vayudeva had once assured Anjana that he would take birth as her son, Sutji told the sages—Anjana, being issue less even after a long married life, decided to do penance in order to beget a son. Sage Matang advised her to go to Akashganga teerth where her wishes would get fulfilled. Sage Matang also described the geographical location– ‘At a distance of ten yojans towards south is situated Dhanachal mountain, which is believed to be the abode of Lord Nrisimha. Brahma teerth lies in its vicinity. At a distance of ten yojans south of Brahma teerth, flows river ‘Suvarnamukhari’. Venkentachal mountain is situated to the north of this river and the holiest place called Swamipushkarni is situated among its numerous peaks. You should visit that place and take a holy dip in its water. After that you should seek the blessings of Lord Varahaswami and Lord Venketeshwar. You should then go towards north of Swami teerth and you would reach Akashganga.’
Acting as per Matang’s instructions, Anjana went to Akashganga teerth and did her penance. Finally Lord Vayudeva appeared before her and promised to incarnate as Hanuman.
LORD VISHNU ADVISES LORD BRAHMA TO GO TO PURUSHOTTAM KSHETRA
The Sages asked—’O revered sage! We would like to know more about Purushottam Kshetra, where there is a majestic wooden idol of Lord Vishnu.’
Sage Jaimini replied–The sacrosanct place of Purushottam Kshetra is graced by the presence of Lord Jagannath. During ancient times, Lord Varah had rescued Prithvi from the clutches of Hiranyaksha–the mighty demon who had abducted her to Rasatala. After Prithvi had been established in its original position, Lord Brahma commenced his creations. Lord Brahma wondered about the means by which human beings could get liberated from three major types of sorrow—Adhyatmic (spiritual), Adhidaivik (deities wrath), Adhibhantik (related with this world). He sought the help of Lord Vishnu who eulogized the greatness of Purushottam Kshetra and advised him to go there. Lord Vishnu said– ‘Purushottam Kshetra is situated at the sea-shore, to the south of river Mahanadi. This sacroscant place of mine does not get affected by deluge. I dwell at this holiest place as ‘Lord Purushottam’. There is a holy pond called Rohin in the vicinity. Anybody who takes a holy dip in that pond gets absolved of all his sins. O Brahma! You must pay a visit to Purushottam kshetra where spending a day bestows virtues greater than all the austerities combined together.’
This way,Lord Brahma went to Purushottam kshetra as per the instructions of Lord Vishnu.
MARKANDEYA EULOGIZES VISHNU
Lord Brahma soon after reaching Purushottam kshetra sat down and started meditating. He was so engrossed in his meditation that he remained in that state for a very long time. This resulted into total chaos as Yamaraj found that his power of causing death had no effect on people living in Purushottam kshetra. Worried as he was, Yamaraj rushed towards Neelachal mountain and sought Lord Vishnu’s intervention in the matter.
Lord Vishnu smiled and signaled goddess Laxmi to say something. Goddess Laxmi said–’O Suryanandan! Anybody residing at this holy place is freed from the vicious cycles of birth and death after becoming absolved of all his sins. This is the reason why you are experiencing this unusual problem. The whole world except this holy place will come into your jurisdiction.’
Yamaraj was amazed by this revelation so he asked Laxmi–’I would like to know why such a privilege is being given to this place?’
Laxmi replied–’O Ravinandan! At the time of deluge when the whole world was submerged in the water sage Markandeya was struggling to find a secure place for his survival. Although he was blessed with an unusually long life of seven kalpas but still he needed a place to live in. He started swimming and finally managed to reach Purushottam kshetra, which had remained unscathed by the turbulence of the deluge. There he saw a divine tree called ‘Akshay Vat’. Markandeya continued to swim along the coast wondering how that place had managed to remain unaffected by deluge when the whole world had been submerged. Suddenly he heard a voice, which appeared to be coming from the direction of the Akshay Vat–’O Markandeya! Don’t worry! Take my refuge and you shall be protected.’
Markandeya was very surprised and looked all around. He kept on swimming and saw Lord Vishnu, who was engrossed in his yoga nidra in ksheer sagar. I (Laxmi) was also present there. Markandeya eulogized Vishnu in the following way–’Salutations to the supreme lord- the source of all creations! O Jagannath! Protect me from getting drowned.’
Lord Vishnu opened his eyes and found Markandeya gasping for breath. On realizing the gravity of the situation he said–’Raise your head and look at the top of this Kalpa Vat. You would find an infant sleeping on a leaf of the Kalpa Vat. The infant is none other than Kaal himself. You should enter inside his (Kaal’s) body through his opened mouth and live peacefully as there is no other place for you to live in.’
Markandeya entered into Kaal’s body as per the instructions given by Lord Vishnu and was amazed by the expanse of his belly, which appeared like a bottomless pit. He also saw all the fourteen Bhuvans existing within Kaal’s belly including all the creatures-deities, sages, siddhas, gandharvas, etc. Markandeya wandered all over the place and after getting tired came out through Kaal’s opened mouth. He found Lord Vishnu was still present there accompanied by his consort-Laxmi. Markandeya made salutations to both of them and narrated his experiences he had inside Kaal’s belly.Lord Vishnu blessed him and made a revelation–’ The place you had visited few moments ago is beyond the limits of creation or deluge. The name of this holiest place is Purushottam kshetra and it is my permanent abode for I do not leave it even for a moment.’Markandeya was very impressed and requested Lord Vishnu to allow him to live there. Lord Vishnu replied–’ O Brahmarishi! I shall remain at Purushottam-kshetra till the end of this kalpa. I shall also create a sacrosanct place, which would enable you to become immortal.’
Sage Markandeya then dug up a reservoir with the help of Vishnu’s chakra. He did an austere penance to please lord Maheshwar as the result of which he was indeed blessed with immortality. In course of time, this reservoir became famous as ‘Markandeya kund’.
HOLY PLACES IN THE VICINITY OF PURUSHOTTAM – KSHETRA
Dwelling in length upon the majesty of Purushottam kshetra, goddess Laxmi said–Purushottam kshetra resembles a conch in shape and is graced by the presence of lord Shiva. Towards its north is situated a temple of lord Neelkanth. A famous shiva linga named Kapal mochan is also situated in the vicinity. One who makes a pilgrimage to Kapalmochan becomes liberated from gravest of sins. A temple of goddess Vimla devi is also situated nearby.
Purushottam kshetra is considered to be supreme among all the places of pilgrimage and for this very reason it is aptly named ‘Teerth Raj’. A divine pond called Rohin kund is also situated nearby. Anybody who takes a holy dip there is freed from the vicious cycles of birth and death. It is believed that the increased level of water at the time of deluge ultimately recedes and disappears into this pond.
Goddess Laxmi said–’ O Dhanraj! This holy place is beyond your jurisdiction because people living there never experience death. It is well protected by eight goddesses from all the eight directions. The names of these eight goddesses are Mangla, Lamba, Kaalratri, Marichika, Vimla, Sarvamangla, Ardhashini and Chandrupa. How can lord Rudra be absent when Rudrani has manifested herself in eight forms, so, he has manifested himself in eight different forms as well- Kapalmochan, Kshetrapal, Yameshwar, Markandeyeshwar, Ishan, Bilveshwar, Neelkanth, and Vateshwar.While describing the majesty of Purushottam kshetra, goddess Laxmi revealed to lord Brahma–’ In the coming satya yuga there would be a king named Indradyumna and would be famous for his unflinching devotion in lord Vishnu. Being pleased by the king’s devotion, lord Vishnu would ultimately manifest himself from a wooden structure to bless him. Vishwakarma would then carve out four idols (Jagannath, Balbhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan chakra) from the wooden block all of which would be installed by none other than you (Brahma).’
Once, while sage Jaimini was describing the greatness of Purushottam kshetra to the assembled sages, all of them curiously asked him–
‘ Where is Purushottam kshetra situated ?
Jaimini replied –’ Utkal is situated at the eastern coast of Bharatvarsha. At the time of deluge, when everything gets submerged in water Utkal remains unaffected and it is the very place from where the knowledge of the Vedas spread in all directions. The residents of Utkal are not only learned but also very prosperous. There is not a single person in this land who is not a devotee of lord Vishnu. All the people belonging to the four prominent castes (Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra) diligently follow their respective dharma. This holy place never experiences natural calamities of any kind.’
Sage Jaimini then went on to narrate the tale of king Indradyumna to all the assembled sages –
‘In satya yuga there lived a noble and virtuous king named Indradyumna, who ruled over the province of Malva. He was a great devotee of lord Vishnu. One day, while worshipping in a temple, he asked the priest-I have a wish, which still remains unfulfilled. I have a deep desire of seeing lord Jagannath with my mortal eyes. Is there any means with the help of which I can get my wish fulfilled?
The royal priest had no answer to the king’s query so he kept quiet.Suddenly, he saw a group of pilgrims coming towards the temple. He thought that perhaps one of them might be having an answer to the king’s query. When the pilgrims arrived at the temple, the royal priest posed the same question to them. One of the pilgrims answered–’ There is a place called Odhra, where is situated a grand temple of lord Jagannath. This sacrosanct place is also famously known as Purushottam kshetra and is situated at the foothills of the Neelachal mountain. There is a holy pond called Rohin situated nearby. At the eastern bank of this pond is situated a majestic temple of lord Vasudev. The idol of lord Vasudev is made of ‘Indraneel’ diamond. To the west of this temple lies ‘Shabardeep’ hermitage, from where starts a path leading to Jagannath temple.’
Having said this, the pilgrim disappeared from everybody’s sight. Not only Indradyumna but all the pilgrims were equally amazed by his sudden disappearance. Indradyumna was convinced that lord Jagannath had himself come there in the guise of a pilgrim. Now, his desire of visiting Purushottam kshetra became even more intense. Indradyumna instructed his priest to find out the exact location of Purushottam kshetra by sending somebody over there. Later on, the priest went home and sought the help of Vidyapati-his younger brother in this regard. Vidyapati readily agreed to help his brother and one fine day he proceeded on his journey with a select group of his trusted friends.
After a long and arduous journey all of them reached ‘Ekamravan’ forest, situated at the foothills of Neelachal mountain. The thought of being so near their destination made everybody extremely excited. But, despite their best of efforts they could not find Shabardeep ashram. Being tired, all of them decided to take rest for a while and then recommence their efforts to find out the location of Shabardeep hermitage. Finding a huge tree, all of them took rest under the shade of that tree. Suddenly, they heard a heavenly voice, which appeared to be coming from the western direction. They followed the voice and reached Shabardeep ashram in a short time. There they saw a large gathering of devotees. One of the devotees, whose name was Vishvavasu, curiously asked Vidyapati–’It is not easy to reach this place. From where are you coming and where do you intend to go? You must be tired–wait, till I return with some refreshment for all of you.’
Vidyapati was not in a mood to waste his time, as he was aware that Indradyumna was eagerly waiting for him to return. He told Vishvavasu– I have a difficult mission to accomplish so, I am not in a position to waste my time. I am the younger brother of the royal priest of king Indradyumna. The king has vowed not to have a single morsel of food till he makes a pilgrimage to Purushottam kshetra. He has sent me with a specific purpose of finding the exact location of Purushottam kshetra and the easiest route leading to it. So, help me reach the temple of lord Jagannath as soon as possible.’
VIDYAPATI EULOGIZES LORD NEELMADHAV
Vishvavasu told Vidyapati–’ I have heard this prophesy of Indradyumna’s possible arrival at Purushottam kshetra in the near future. Not only that, I have also heard that Indradyumna would become so impressed with Purushottam kshetra that he would settle down there for good after renouncing everything.’
Vishvavasu then requested Vidyapati to follow him and started negotiating the steep heights of Neelachal mountain. Vidyapati followed him through the curvy and arduous paths of the mountain. Having walked for sometime, Vishvavasu pointed towards a pond and said–This pond is famously known as Rohin kund. The kalpa vat that you see towards the east of this pond is considered to be so sacrosanct that a sinner becomes liberated of all his sins once he comes under its shade. Lord Jagannath’s temple is situated between Rohin kund and the kalpa vat. Go ahead and have a darshan of lord Jagannath for whom you have undertaken such an arduous travel.
Vidyapati’s joys knew no bounds as he had been waiting for this moment for a long time. First he purified himself by taking a holy dip in Rohin kund and then went inside the temple to worship lord Jagannath. He worshipped lord Jagannath by chanting the sacred pranav mantra.After the worship was over, Vishvavasu requested Vidyapatito visit his place which was nearby. Vidyapati agreed and accompanied Vishvavasu to his place. Vidyapati was given a royal treat by his host, which made him wonder as to how could Vishvavasu arrange all the luxurious things at such a remote place. He could not control himself and asked Vishvavasu– Even a king would have found it difficult to treat his guest as lavishly like you! I am amazed how you could make arrangements for all these things at a remote and secluded place like this! How do you manage this?
Vishvavasu replied– It is not as difficult as you believe. Since Purushottam kshetra is a sacrosanct place and it is frequently visited by the deities who make divine offerings to lord Jagannath. I collect the residuals of whatever is offered to Jagannath from the temple and bring it home. So, I really don’t have to make any special efforts to accumulate divine food stuffs. On account of eating these divine food stuffs, not only we have been blessed by eternal youth but also we are never troubled by old age.Vidyapati was very impressed and requested Vishvavasu to become his friend. He also reminded Vishvavasu that he wanted to return as soon as possible so that the king could go on a pilgrimage to Purushottam kshetra. But, Vishvavasu made a shocking disclosure to Vidyapati and said– King Indradyumna will never be able to have a divine glimpse of lord Jagannath as the lord is soon going to disappear. But, don’t disclose this fact to the king otherwise he would get disheartened and abandon his plan of making a pilgrimage to Purushottam kshetra. Finally, when the king in his utter frustration would try to end his life after not being able to have a divine glimpse of Neelmadhav, the most gracious lord will appear in his dream and instruct him to get constructed four wooden idols of Jagannath, Balbhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan chakra.
Having accomplished his mission, Vidyapati proceeded on his return journey and once again he visited Purushottam kshetra, which fell on the way. He picked up a garland, which had been offered to Neelmadhav by some deity.Finally, when he reached Malwa he found king Indradyumna eagerly waiting for him. After presenting the garland to the king, he narrated his experiences he had at Purushottam kshetra–’ O king! Lord Jagannath’s idol is made of Neelmani diamond and is very ancient. Even the deities have deep regards and undiluted reverence for lord Jagannath and are frequent visitors to Purushottam Kshetra. The garland, which I have given you, was in fact had been offered to Lord Jagannath by the deities- these flowers do not wither and have fragrance lasting for eternity. Purushottam kshetra remains untouched by old age, sorrow or disease and gives salvation to anybody, who goes on a pilgrimage over there.’
INDRADYUMNA LEAVES FOR PURUSHOTTAM KSHETRA
Indradyumna had been waiting for this moment for a long time- the moment when he would get a chance to go on a pilgrimage to Purushottam kshetra. Revealing his great plan to Vidyapati, he said–’ Now, the time has finally come for me to go on a pilgrimage to Purushottam kshetra. I also intend to develop that holy place as a prominent place of pilgrimage. I would shift my subject to that holy place and perform one hundred Ashwamedha yagyas once I reach there. I also intend to devote rest of my life in the worship of Lord Jagannath.’
While the conversation was going on, the ever wandering sage-Narad, arrived there and informed Indradyumna how pleased were the deities after learning of his holy intention of developing Purushottam kshetra into a major place of pilgrimage. Narad also dwelt on length on the virtues of Jagannath’s worship. Indradyumna, thinking that Narad might prove to be of great help during the course of pilgrimage because of his vast travelling experience, requested him to accompany him to Purushottam kshetra. Narad readily agreed to accompany the king and said–’ O king! I shall reveal to you the importance of all the holy places that we come across in the course of our pilgrimage.’
Finally, king Indradyumna left for Purushottam kshetra followed by a large procession, that consisted of his subject, all the ministers and army officers. The entourage touched the bank of river Mahanadi by evening. Deciding to take rest and spend the night there, king Indradyumna first took his bath and then worshipped Lord Jagannath. After the king had taken his bath, all the rest of the people also took their bath and then everybody sat down to have their dinner. After the meal was over, while Indradyumna was busy discussing with his ministers on the future course of action, somebody came with the news that the king of Utkal had arrived. Indradyumna ordered the messenger to bring the esteemed guest with all the honour and respect. The king of Utkal arrived and broke a disturbing news– ‘ Indradyumna, I am afraid your intention of having a divine glimpse of Lord Jagannath is not going to fructify as lord Neelmadhav has presently concealed himself beneath a huge heap of sand caused by a ferocious sandstorm. The fallout of this inauspicious incident has been extremely adverse on my kingdom– as my people are experiencing acute famine.
Indradyumna was shocked, especially the thought of not getting a chance to have a divine glimpse of lord Neelmadhav made him dejected- he saw all his efforts going in vain. But, Narad consoled him by saying –’ Don’t worry! Lord Neelmadhav is extremely merciful and he will certainly give you an opportunity to have his divine glimpse.’
INDRADYUMNA REACHES ‘EKAMRACHHETRA’
Continuing with the tale of Indradyumna, sage Jaimini told all the sages–’ Next morning, Indradyumna and his entourage crossed Mahanadi on boats and reached Ekamrachhetra where they worshipped lord Purushottam. After that they worshipped on their onwards journey and reached Kotishwar Mahalaya where they worshipped lord Tribhuneshwar with appropriate rituals. Lord Tribhuneshwar appeared after becoming pleased and blessed Indradyumna that his wish of seeing lord Jagannath was soon going to be fulfilled. Lord Tribhuneshwar then instructed Narad–’ O great soul! After reaching Purushottam kshetra, help Indradyumna perform one hundred yagyas as per the instructions given by lord Brahma. I along with goddess Durga, dwell at the entrance of conch shaped Purushottam kshetra. Although, presently lord Jagannath has concealed himself beneath a heap of sand yet very soon he is going to manifest himself. Indradyumna should get constructed a magnificent temple of lord Jagannath at the same place, where once existed his idol and presently which is hidden beneath the heap of sand. Later on, Vishwakarma would then carve out four idols from a single piece of wood, which would subsequently be installed by Lord Brahma himself. Finally, Indradyumna’s wish of seeing lord Jagannath would get fulfilled.
Narad assured lord Tribhuneshwar that all his instructions would be followed in letter and spirit. The procession then left for the place indicated by Lord Tribhuneshwar.
INDRADYUMNA EULOGIZES LORD NEELMADHAV
After reaching the temple of Neelkanth-Mahadev, all of them worshipped Mahadev and Durga. They then visited the temple of lord Nrisimha, situated under a sandalwood tree at the foothills of Neelachal mountain.King Indradyumna was anxiously waiting for the moment he would have a divine glimpse of lord Jagannath. He requested Narad to take him to the place where Jagannath had hidden himself beneath the heap of sand. Narad took him near a Banyan tree and said–’ Look at this huge Banyan tree that is two yojans in height and whose trunk is spread in the area of one yojan. To the north of this Banyan tree and to the north of Nrisimha temple lies the place where lord Neelmadhav used to have his dwelling sometime ago but who has presently concealed himself. Now, the time is not very far when you would see lord Jagannath with your mortal eyes.’
Indradyumna bowed in reverence to the place where lord Jagannath was supposed to re-manifest himself in the near future. He eulogized the lord as if he were already present there and this was true as Jagannath’s idol was indeed present there albeit hidden beneath heaps of sand. He prayed–’ O lord! You are the one in whom every living creature ultimately takes refuge. My only wish is to be able to see your idol, which is presently hidden beneath heaps of sand.’Hardly had Indradyumna finished his prayer when he heard a heavenly voice–’O king! Do not worry! The day is not far when you would see me with your mortal eyes. You just need to follow Narad’s instructions and your wish will be fulfilled.
NARAD INSTALLS THE IDOL OF NRISIMHA
Narad told Indradyumna–’ Now, we should install an idol of lord Nrisimha near Neelkanth’s temple for this is the very place where you will be performing one thousand Ashwamedh Yagyas in the days to come. So, your first priority should be to get constructed a magnificent temple of lord Nrisimha. I plan to stay here for five more days as Vishwakarma will be needing my help in carving out the idol of lord Nrisihma.’
Leaving Narad alone near the Neelkanth temple, Indradyumna went near the sandalwood tree, which was at a little distance from the temple, and was surprised to find Sughat- Vishwakarma’s son waiting for him. He requested Sughat to construct a grand temple with its main entrance facing west. Sughat constructed the temple within four days. On the fifth day, Narad arrived there with an idol of lord Nrisimha, which had been carved out by Vishwakarma. An auspicious day was chosen for installing the idol. After the idol had been installed, every body including king Indradyumna, Narad as well as the people accompanying the procession worshipped Lord Narsimha.
INDRADYUMNA PERFORMS ASHWAMEDHA YAGYAS
Sages, who had been listening to the tale narrated by Jaimini with rapt attention till then asked–’ What did Indradyumna next do after the idol of Lord Nrisimha had been installed?’
Sage Jaimini replied–’ After the idol of Lord Nrisimha had been installed, Indradyumna began making preparations for Ashwamedha yagya. He sent invitations to all the deities, learned brahmins and sages. When everybody arrived, he made a special request to Indra to remain present at the oblation site till the completion of one thousand Ashwamedha yagyas.Indra assured Indradyumna of his full cooperation and advised him to go ahead with his plan of accomplishing one thousand Ashwamedha yagyas. Finally, Indradyumna performed the first yagya under the supervision of learned priests. This way, he was able to successfully accomplish nine hundred and ninety nine yagyas without any problem. Finally, when the last Ashwamedha yagya was being performed, Indradyumna had a divine glimpse of Lord Vishnu while he was engrossed in his meditation. Indradyumna narrated his experience to Narad to which he got a reply that it was a good omen, which proved that the king was going to see Lord Jagannath with his mortal eyes.
JAGANNATH IDOL IS CARVED OUT
After the rituals of final yagya ended, Narad advised Indradyumna to perform the rituals of ‘Purnahuti’ to mark the end of Yagya ceremony. Narad then went on to say–’ A tree is considered to be the partial incarnation (Ansha avatar) of Lord Vishnu for each of his hair that falls on the earth gets transformed into a tree.’ Narad, then pointing towards a tree told Indradyumna– ‘ The almighty Lord has manifested himself in the form of this tree. Now, you should make preparations to get this tree installed on the great altar inside the temple.’
The tree to which Narad had pointed was unique in the sense that it had only four branches on it. Indradyumna, following the instructions ordered his men to uproot the said tree and then install it on the ‘Mahavedi’ inside the temple. But, at the same time he was wondering as to who would carve out the four idols of Jagannath, Balbhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan chakra. Suddenly, a heavenly voice was heard–’ Lord Vishnu would manifest himself on the sacred altar on his own. An old carpenter, who is standing among you, should be sent inside the temple premise. The main door of the temple should then be shut and nobody should try to enter the temple till the idols are ready. One more thing to be kept in mind is that all of you should keep on beating drums so that nobody hears the sound emanating from the carving of the idols. Anybody, who hears this sound, is doomed to become deaf. Similarly, anybody who tries to see the act of idols being made shall loose his power of sight.’
Indradyumna made elaborate arrangements as per the instructions given by the heavenly voice. The old carpenter was sent inside and the main door of the temple shut. On the fifteenth day, Lord Jagannath manifested himself along with Balbhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan chakra. Once again heavenly voice was heard which said–’ O king! Get all the four idols coloured on the basis of the complexion of the respective deities. The colour of Jagannath’s idol should be dark blue similar to that of dark clouds. Similarly, the idol of Balbhadra should be coloured in white just like his fair complexion. The colour of goddess Subhadra’s idol should be reddish just like the rising Sun. Sudarshan chakra should be painted deep red. Either the descendants of Vishvavasu or your royal priest are entitled to participate in the consecration ceremony of the idols in future events.’
Indradyumna, once again following the instructions, got the idols coloured in the way specified by the heavenly voice. After that, all the four idols were adorned with beautiful apparels and ornaments. Now, they really looked divine in their new looks. Looking at the divine idols of Jagannath, Indradyumna went into trance. Seeing his condition, Narad advised not to waste time and seek any boon from lord Jagannath because the sole purpose for which Jagannath had manifested himself was to bless him and to fulfill his wish. Indradyumna immediately realized what Narad meant to say. He eulogized lord Jagannath in the following way–’ O Jagannath! Help me out from the sorrows of this world. I don’t aspire for anything else.’
Subsequently, Narad and the whole entourage, which had come along with king Indradyumna worshipped lord Jagannath, Balbhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan chakra. Lord Jagannath was worshipped amidst the chanting of dwadashakshar mantra while Jagannath was worshipped with Purush sukta. Similarly, Subhadra and Sudarshan chakra were worshipped amidst the chanting of Devisutra and vedic verses respectively. Finally, donations were made to the brahmins and everybody was sent off with respect.
CONSECRATION OF THE IDOLS
King Indradyumna was anxious to get performed the rituals of consecration as soon as possible, so he asked Narad–’ I am not aware of the proper rituals that are employed in the consecration of an idol. I need your help in this regard.’Narad then made a list of articles required for the consecration of idols and instructed Indradyumna to make arrangements for all those items. He also instructed the king to get constructed a grand palace for Lord Brahma, who was supposed to arrive shortly to perform the consecration ceremony. Narad said–’ Get constructed three chariots for all the three deities. The chariot meant for lord Jagannath should have a mast on its top with the figure of Garuda on it. Similarly, Balbhadra’s chariot should have a mast with a plough drawn on it whereas Subhadra’s chariot should have a mast with a beautiful lotus drawn on it. The number of horses pulling the chariots of Jagannath, Balbhadra and Subhadra should be Sixteen, fourteen and twelve respectively.’
It did not take much time to construct the three chariots as per the instructions given by Narad. Very soon lord Brahma arrived there, accompanied by all the deities, to perform the consecration of the four idols. On seeing Lord Brahma, Indradyumna’s joys knew no bounds and he paid his obeisance to the creator. Lord Brahma said–’ See how fortunate you are. All the deities and sages have come here to help you in your cause.’
Lord Brahma then performed the rituals of consecration on the auspicious day of ashtami of the bright half of the hindu month Vaishakh. The day was Thursday and the Nakshatra was Pushya.
Dwelling on length about the auspicious days on which Rath Yatra should be taken out, sage Jaimini told the assembled sages–’ The combination of ‘Teej’ falling in the month of Vaishakh (bright half) and Rohini nakshatra, is considered to be extremely auspicious. A king should get constructed three chariots on the above mentioned day. The entire path along which the chariots as well as the procession is supposed to pass should be decorated with beautiful flowers and banners. On the second day of the bright half of the hindu month-Ashadh, all the three deities are worshipped and subsequently installed on their respective chariots, which are then pulled by the devotees. The procession then passes through the major routes of the city so that people can pay their obeisance. After reaching Gundicha Nagar, the procession should stay there for seven days on the bank of Bindu teerth. On the eighth day, all the chariots should begin their return journey. This famous Rath yatra lasts for nine days.
SOME PROMINENT PLACES OF PILGRIMAGE
Once, sage Shaunak asked Sutji about the means, which enabled human beings to attain salvation in Kaliyuga.
Sutji recounted a tale — Once, Kartikeya had posed the same question to kartikeya. Emphasizing on the importance of pilgrimages, Lord Shiva had told him that in kaliyuga anybody could attain salvation by going on pilgrimage to holy places. Giving names of some prominent holy places and rivers, Lord Shiva had told Kartikeya that some of them were capable of fulfilling any wish of a man, while some gave salvation. The names of some prominent rivers Lord Shiva had given were Ganga, Godavari, Narmada, Tapti, Yamuna, Kshipra, Gautami, Kaushiki, Kaveri, Tamraparni, Chandrabhaga, Sindhu, Gandaki, Sarswati, etc. According to Shiva all these rivers were not only capable of fulfilling any wish of a man but also giving salvation. Naming some prominent holy places, Lord Shiva had told Kartikeya that Ayodhya, Dwarka, Kashi, Mathura, Avanti, Kurukshetra, Ramteerth, Kanchi, Purushottam kshetra, Pushkar kshetra, Varah kshetra and Badrikashram were capable of liberating a man from the sorrows of this world.’
Lord Shiva had told Kartikeya– ‘Anybody who goes on a pilgrimage to Ayodhya becomes absolved of all his sins. Lord Hari dwells at Dwarka and does not abandon it even for a moment. A devotee, who takes a holy dip in river Gomti and then pays obeisance to lord Krishna, attains salvation even if he is ignorant. In the same manner, one who takes a bath in the holy Panchganga at Varanasi, becomes free from the cycles of birth and death. Anybody, who goes on a pilgrimage to Kashi and pays obeisance to lord Vishwanath, is freed from all the bondage of this world. Great importance has been attached to the performance of ‘tarpan’ at Vishramteerth and anybody who performs the rituals of tarpan with sesame seeds and water, his ancestors are freed from the tortures of the hell. Taking a holy dip in Kotiteerth at Avantipuri, in the hindu month of Vaishakh and worshipping lord Mahakaleshwar too absolves a man of all his sins. Donating gold either at Kurukshetra or Ramteerth, on a solar eclipse day, helps a man in attaining salvation. Going on a pilgrimage to Purushottam kshetra and worshipping lord Jagannath after taking a holy dip in Markandeya sarovar, bestows incomparable virtues. Badrinath, the dwelling place of lord Vishnu, is considered to be the supreme place of pilgrimage and even its remembrance is capable of giving salvation. Virtues attained by the performance of various deeds (tapa, yoga, samadhi), appear to be insignificant as compared to virtues attained by going on a pilgrimage to Badrikashram.
THE MAJESTY OF BADRIKSHETRA
Kartikeya asked lord Shiva–’ How did this sacrosanct place originate? Who is the presiding deity of this place?’
Lord Shiva replied–’ Badrikashram is an eternal city and lord Narayan is its presiding deity. A mere sight of Badrikashram is enough to free a man from all the bondage of life. There are numerous other holy places situated in the vicinity, Kedarnath being one of them.’
To emphasize the significance of Badrikashram, lord Shiva narrated the following tale to Kartikeya–’ In Satyayuga, lord Vishnu existed in his physical form at Badrikashram for the benediction of human beings. But, in Tretayuga, only sages had the privilege of perceiving him with the help of yoga. At the advent of Dwapar things changed drastically and lord Vishnu just disappeared from Badrikashram. Deities became worried and asked lord Brahma about the reason that made lord Vishnu disappear. Even lord Brahma had no answer to this question. Thinking that lord Vishnu must have gone to Ksheer sagar-his eternal abode, all the deities led by Brahma went there. They eulogized Vishnu, who emerged from the Ksheer sagar. But, none of the deities except lord Brahma could see him. Lord Vishnu told Brahma that the main reason why he disappeared from Badrikashram was the flawed intelligence and arrogance of the deities. Brahma informed the deities whatever Vishnu had told him. All the deities were ashamed of themselves and returned to heaven with long faces. Feeling pity on the deities, I (Shiva) disguised myself as a sanyasi and carried lord Vishnu’s idol from Naradteerth to Badrikashram and installed it over there to uplift the sagging morale of the deities. This is how lord Vishnu once again graced Badrikashram with his presence. Even a grain of ‘prasad’ had at Badrikashram is enough to liberate a man from all his sins.
THE IMPORTANCE OF HINDU MONTH ‘KARTIK’
Once, on being asked by some sages about the significance of the hindu month- Kartik, Sutji narrated the following tale– ‘Once, Narad had asked lord Brahma the same question. At that time Lord Brahma had revealed to Narad that ‘Kartik’ was supreme among all the months just as lord Vishnu is supreme among all the deities and Badrikashram is the crown of all the places of pilgrimage. According to Brahma all these three would have greater significance in Kaliyuga as compared to any other yuga. Kartik is very dear to Lord Vishnu and any virtuous deed done during this month never goes without being rewarded. One important characteristic of this month is that all the deities live in the proximity of human beings for the entire period of the month and accept everything that is offered to them. Penance done in this month or donations made during this month is believed to give Imperishable virtues. There is a special significance of donating food grains during this month. Similarly, worshipping Shaligram during this month also has great significance. Observing austerities during this month or worshipping lord Vishnu with appropriate rituals liberates one’s ancestors from the tortures of the hell. Worshipping lord Vishnu with petals of Lotus helps him to become absolved of all the sins committed in his previous many births. Worshipping lord Vishnu with tulsi leaves helps one in getting cured of incurable diseases.
THE IMPORTANCE OF ‘ HOLY DIPS’ IN MARGASHIRSH
Continuing with the description of the significance of various months, Sutji said– ‘Once, while lord Vishnu was engrossed in his ‘yoganidra’ at Shwetdweepa, lord Brahma arrived there and requested him to describe the importance of Margashirsh. Lord Vishnu had told him that a devotee aspiring for unification with him, must observes austerities during this month. Describing the proper method of observing austerities lord Vishnu had said that one should get up early in the morning and after performing the ritualistic ‘achaman’, he should remember me by chanting my one thousand names. Next, he should take his bath according to the rituals mentioned in the scriptures, as follows– He should remove some soil from near the roots of tulsi plant and pluck few tulsi leaves. Holding both the things in his hand, he should chant either Gayatri mantra or the mantra, ‘om namo narayanay’, so that they become sanctified. While taking his bath, it is a must to eulogize Ganga in the following way- ‘ O Ganga! Though have manifested from Vishnu’s feet and hence called Vaishnavi. Myself being a devotee of lord Vishnu, you should protect me from all the possible sins I am likely to commit in my whole life.’ A devotee should say this prayer for seven times and take the same number of holy dips in the river. He should then put on tidy clothes and perform ‘tarpan’ in the names of all the deities sages as well as ancestors.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CHARITY MADE IN ‘VAISHAKH’
Continuing with his tales, Sutji said–’ Once, king Ambarish asked Narad about the reason why lord Vishnu had special liking for the hindu month-Vaishakh. Narad’s answer was that Vaishakh had been given special privilege by lord Brahma himself and is believed to fulfill all the wishes of a man. No other month is as dear to Lord Vishnu as Vaishakh. The sin raises its ugly head only till a devotee has bathed before sunrise in the month of Vaishakh but once he has taken his bath all his sins just disappears. This is also the period when all the deities are believed to dwell in all the rivers, ponds, lakes, apart from the holy rivers. Great significance has been attached to doing charitable deeds in this month, especially providing water to thirsty. Similarly, donating certain articles like umbrella, fans, shoes, all have their own importance. One who gets constructed an inn for the comfort of the travelers and provides water to them attains imperishable virtues. No charitable deed can ever match the virtue of donating food grains and one who accomplishes this great act can be aptly called a ‘Pita’ (Father).
Once, on being asked by sage Bhardwaj and few others about the grandeur of Ayodhya, Sutji replied–’ Ayodhya, a sacrosanct city is based on the bank of river Saryu. It is the very city where the famous king Ikshavaku ruled once upon a time. The term Ayodhya means unconquerable and consists of three root letters: a- symbolizing Brahma, y-symbolizing Vishnu and dh-symbolizing Rudra. It is a place where lord Vishnu has his abode for eternity and does not leave it even for a moment. According to the scriptures Ayodhya is based on Sudarshan chakra. It is well expanded in the radius of one yojan. Its eastern boundary stretches up to one yojan from a place called ‘Sahastradhan’. Similarly, the western front stretches up to one yojan from a place called ‘Sama’, the southern up to one yojan from the bank of Saryu and its northern boundary up to one yojan starting from the bank of river Tamsa. In ancient times, a brahmin named Vishnu Sharma had performed an austere penance at Ayodhya. Lord Vishnu had appeared after becoming pleased by him and had created a holy place by digging up the earth with his Sudarshan chakra. Anybody, who takes a holy dip in Chakrateerth becomes absolved of all his sins.
Once, Shaunak and few other sages asked Sutji as to how could a man become free from the bondage of the world. They also inquired whether there was an existence of any such holy place capable of liberating a man from heinous of sin.
Sutji replied–’ Ramteerth is supreme among all the places of pilgrimage. A mere sight of this holy place is enough to free a man from the bondage of this mortal world. Going on a pilgrimage to Rameshwar gives virtues similar to what is attained by performing all the yagyas. One, who takes a holy dip at Setu Rameshwar, attains to Vishnuloka. Merely by sleeping at the sea shore of Rameshwar a man gets absolved of heinous of sins like brahmhatya, etc. A man is blessed if his remains are consigned to the holy waters at Rameshwar after his death. Scriptures say that five types of sins are as grave as the sin of brahmahatya–
One, who criticizes sages
A selfish person who cooks food only for himself,
One who destroys well laid path making it difficult for people to tread upon,
One who accepts food from a ‘chandal’ and
One who sells food grains to a chandal. But, all these just disappears once the sinner reaches Rameshwar.
All the sages were curious to know about the holy places in the vicinity of Rameshwar. Sutji replied–Sri Ram replied went into exile accompanied by Sita, his consort and his younger brother, Laxman. Ravan, the demon king who ruled over Lanka deceitfully abducted Sita. Subsequently, Sri Ram befriended Sugreev and killed Bali, who harboured enemity against him. Sugreev sent monkeys in all directions to find out where Sita had been kept by Ravan. Later on Sri Ram reached Mahendra Parvat accompanied by Laxman, Hanuman, Sugreeva, Jambavan, Nal and may more brave warriors. They stayed for a brief period at Chakrateerth, where Vibhishan came to see Sri Ram. Eventually Vibhishan was nominated the king of all the demons by Sri Ram to the great displeasure of his brother Ravan.
Sri Ram and his army faced an uphill task of reaching Lanka for they had to cross the ocean, which lay as a great barrier between them and their destination. Samudra (ocean) revealed to Sri Ram that Nala had divine powers and whatever he would throw in the Ocean would not sink down but keep on floating. Nala tried to check the authenticity of Samudra’s statement by throwing a huge rock into the ocean, as he himself was not aware of his powers. To the sheer amazement of everybody present there the rock started floating on the surface of the ocean instead of sinking down. All the rest of the monkeys tried to emulate Nala’s feat by throwing huge rocks into the ocean and to their own surprise found that the rocks did not sink. This was how a bridge was built and across the ocean which made it possible for Sri Ram and his army to cross the ocean. Then length of Setu Rameshwar Bandh is hundred yojan and it is ten yojan broad. There are many holy places situated on the bridge prominent among which are Chakra-teerth, Paap-vinashan teerth, Sita -sarovar, Mangal- teerth, Amrit-watika, Brahma-kund, Hanumat- kund, Agastya-teerth, Ram-teerth, Laxman-teerth, Jaya-teerth, Laxmi-teerth, Agni-teerth, Shiv-teerth, Shankh-teerth, Yamuna-teerth, Ganga-teerth, Koti-teerth, Manas-teerth and Dhanushkoti teerth.
Describing how Sri Ram had installed Rameshwar linga, Sutji said–’ After killing Ravan, Sri Ram enthroned Vibhishan as the king of Lanka. While returning to Ayodhya he made a brief stop at Gandhamadan mountain. Since the thought of having killed a brahmin (Ravan) kept on tormenting him, he decided to atone for his sins. So, he installed the idol of Rameshwar linga at Rameshwar setu. Rameshwar linga is so sacrosanct that all the holy places, sages and ancestors are believed to exist within the temple premise of Maheshwar linga. Being installed by Sri Ram himself, this particular linga has special significance attached to it. One who goes on a pilgrimage to this holy place is certain to attain salvation even if he were a ‘Mlechha’ (born in a low caste).
Once, sage Vyas went to meet Yudhisthira, who requested him to describe the significance of Dharmaranya kshetra.
Sage Vyas replied– ‘ O king! Once, Dharmaraj-Yudhisthira did an austere penance to please lord Shiva. As usual, Indra became scarred because he thought that Dharmaraj was doing penance with the intention of acquiring Indraloka. He and other deities went to seek the help of lord Brahma, who did not have any clue. So, all of them went to Kailash mountain to seek Lord Shiva’s help. Since Shiva was aware of Dharma’s motive, he explained to the deities that there was nothing to worry about. But, Indra was not satisfied and the thought of loosing his kingdom continued to torment him.
Indra then instructed a beautiful Apsara named Vardhini to go to the place where Dharma was doing penance and disturb him by corrupting his thoughts. Vardhini went to the place where Dharma was engrossed in his penance and was successful in disturbing him. When Dharma opened his eyes he found a beautiful Apsara in front of him. Vardhini asked Dharma–’ O Lord! What is the objective with which you are doing such an austere penance? Being an embodiment of virtuosity yourself, you prevail in the whole world. So, in a sense you already the lord of the world – what else do you need?’
Dharma told Vardhini that he was doing penance with the objective of having a divine glimpse of lord Shiva. Vardhini informed him that Indra was scarred of losing his kingdom and hence had sent her to disturb his penance. Dharma was pleased by her truthfulness and wanted to reward her for that. Vardhini expressed her desire of having her abode in Indraloka for eternity and also of having a place of pilgrimage named on her. Dharma blessed her after which she returned to Indraloka.
Dharma once again engrossed himself in penance. Ultimately, Lord Shiva became pleased and appeared before him. ‘ Ask for any boon and it shall be bestowed to you’, said Lord Shiva. Dharmaraj replied -’ O lord! I want this place to be named after me. I also request you to grace this place by your presence.’ Lord Shiva blessed him and fulfilled both his wishes. This was how Dharmakshetra got its name. Subsequently, lord Shiva appeared in the form of Dharmeshwar linga in accordance with the second wish of Dharmaraj. After his penance was over, Dharma also had created a holy reservoir over there which is believed to absolve a man of all his sins.
LOSS OF MORAL VALUES IN KALIYUGA
On being asked by Yudhisthira about the life-style of people in Kaliyuga, sage Vyas replied– ‘There will be a widespread prevalence of sinful deeds and lack of moral values in Kaliyuga. People would become untruthful and would become critical of revered sages. Moral values would decline to such an extent their minds would be preoccupied by nothing else but the thought of sex. In Kaliyuga women will feel most insecure and even her near and dear ones would become untrustworthy – men belonging to their own gotras would try to exploit her. Brahmins would be criticized because of their inappropriate conduct- They would become arrogant, would start trading their knowledge and would not follow the teachings of the Vedas.
Similarly, Kshatriyas would become cowards and a mere reference of battle would be enough to scare them. Majority of people would indulge in immoral deeds like gambling and consume variety of intoxication. They would always look out for an opportunity to grab other’s wealth by deceitful means. Married women would not fulfill their obligation towards their husbands. Cows would give lesser milk and trees would bear fewer fruits. Young girls would become pregnant at the raw age of eleven years. Brahmins, by their conduct would undermine the importance of holy places and would indulge in excessive eating and drinking. In Kaliyuga, people would not give any importance to caste system. Kings would loose their kingdoms and Mlechhas would become the rulers. Treachery, enemity and disrespect towards elders would become the norms of the day.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CHATURMASYA VRAT
Once, on being asked by Narad about the importance of Chaturmasya, lord Brahma said–’ Chaturmasya is the period of four months during which lord Vishnu is believed to take rest in ksheer-sagar. So quite naturally, all the oceans, rivers and ponds are believed to attain divinity due to the presence of Lord Vishnu in ksheer-sagar during this period. This is the reason why great importance has been attached to taking holy bath during this period. A devotee, who observes austerities related with Lord Vishnu during these four months, becomes absolved of all his sins. All the deities are believed to dwell within Lord Vishnu during this period. Going on pilgrimage to holy places and taking holy dips in rivers bestow indescribable virtues.
A devotee must not forget to perform the rituals of ‘Tarpan’ after taking his daily bath. He should also observe abstinence and avoid indulging in sensual pleasures during this period of four months. There is special significance of making donations during this period, especially donating food-grains.
IMPORTANCE OF ABSTINENCE DURING CHATURMAS
Continuing with the importance of austerities observed during Chaturmas, Lord Brahma said–’ Human-beings are bundle of desires and long for worldly things. So, there is a great importance of abstinence and forsaking things, which one is very fond of. One who relinquishes his most favourite thing during this period gets the same thing in abundance in the next world. A householder, who renounces his family life for the sake of his devotion during this period, becomes free from the tortures of recurring births and deaths. Similarly, relinquishing the use of chilly in one’s food during this period helps him to acquire great fortune. Renouncing silk cloths during this period gives imperishable joy. One should avoid wearing black cloths during this period. Combing and shaving are prohibited during this period.
A devotee should worship Lord Vishnu on the auspicious day of Kark sankranti. Normally black plums are offered to Lord Vishnu while worshipping. Celibacy is believed to be the best austerity and anybody who observes it during the period of chaturmas, never experiences sorrow in his life.
RITUALS PERTAINING TO SHODASH UPACHAR
Once, on being asked by Narad about the proper methods of performing Shodash upachar rituals, lord Brahma said –’In normal circumstances, when lord Vishnu is worshipped by employing the rituals of Shodashopachar it is considered as ‘Tapa’. But, when the same rituals of shodashopachar are employed to worship lord Vishnu during chaturmas, it is considered as ‘Mahatapa’. In the same manner, all the austerities that are observed during Chaturmas attain greater importance.
Lord Brahma then went on to elucidate the proper method of performing the rituals of ‘Shodashopachar’–’ “A particular ‘mahasukta’ of Yajurveda consisting of sixteen ‘ richas are chanted while worshipping Lord Vishnu. Similarly richas like ‘sahastra-sheersha purushah’ and fifteen others are considered to be most appropriate for the worship of almighty Vishnu. First of all, a devotee should perform the ritual of ‘nyas’ by mentally associating all the sixteen richas with different organs of the body as per the instructions given in the smritis. The same rituals of ‘nyas’ are then performed on the idol of lord Vishnu or Shaligram. After that an invocation is made to Lord Vishnu by chanting the first richa of Purush sukta–’Sahashtra sheersha Purushah’ with a slight modification i.e. by adding ‘om’ in the beginning of the mantra. Similarly, Lord Vishnu and other ‘Parshads’ should be installed at the place of worship by chanting the second richa- ‘Purush evedam’. With the chanting of third richa, Lord Vishnu’s lotus feet are washed after which ‘ardhya’ is offered with the holy water collected from all the seven seas and other holy rivers. Subsequently, the ritual of ‘achaman’ is performed amidst the chanting of fifth richa. The ritual of ablution is then performed in which the idol of Lord Vishnu is bathed amidst the chanting of the sixth richa. The idol is adorned with beautiful apparels amidst the chanting of seventh richa.
Similarly, a sacred thread is offered to Lord Vishnu amidst the chanting of eighth richa while sandalwood paste is smeared on the idol amidst the chanting of ninth richa. Subsequently, amidst the chanting of tenth, eleventh, twelfth and thirteen richas, flowers, incense, lighted lamp and naivedya are offered to the deity respectively. Naivedya should consist of cereals. While performing ‘aarti’ the fourteenth richa should be chanted. A devotee should then circumambulate around the idol amidst the chanting of fifteenth richa. Imagining himself as an inseparable part of lord Vishnu, he should meditate amidst the chanting of the sixteenth richa.”
VIDHYACHAL OBSTRUCTS THE PATH OF SURYA
Once, sage Vyas narrated the following tale to all the assembled sages– ‘ Once, while wandering about, sage Narad arrived at Vindhyachal mountain. He was received with great honour and respect by Vindhyachal mountain. But, when the time arrived for Narad to take his leave, he took a deep sigh, which made Vindhyachal extremely perplexed and he asked Narad if anything was wrong. Narad replied–’ Your rival-Meru mountain is superior to you in every respect and this is the fact I am lamenting about. My deep sigh is just the indication of my worried state of mind.’
Vindhyachal mountain was filled with inferiority complex and started waiting for an opportunity when he could prove his superiority to Meru mountain. He thought–’ Perhaps Narad was right for even Lord Surya has great respect for Meru’s might and this is the reason why he circumambulates my adversary. If I am able to beat Meru in height then may be Lord Surya would start circumambulating me and this way I shall prove my superiority to Meru.’
Now, Vindhyachal started increasing his height and in a short time its peaks became invisible. The fallout of this amazing incident proved to be quite catastrophic for the world because even Lord Surya was left stranded at a particular point in the horizon. As a result, one part of the earth became too hot for any life to exist. Similarly, the other half of the earth became unbearably cold. The time became still and everything went haywire in the world.
All the deities became extremely worried and went to Lord Brahma to seek his help. Lord Brahma advised them to go to Kashi and seek help from sage Agastya. Deities were pleased at their good fortune of getting a chance to visit Kashi. Deities, after reaching Kashi paid a visit to ‘Manikarnika teerth’ and took their bath. Subsequently, they went to Vishwanath temple and worshipped Lord Vishwanath. At last, they reached the hermitage of Agastya where he was busy worshipping a self made Shivalinga. The entire hermitage was crowded with young pupils of Agastya. After the pleasantries having been exchanged, sage Agastaya asked the deities about the purpose of their visit.
AGASTYA ORDERS VINDHYA TO DIMINISH ITS SIZE
When Agastya learnt of the problem created by Vindhyachal, he agreed to help the deities despite fully aware of the fact that once he left Kashi it would not be possible for him to see his dearest Kashi once again at least in his present birth. Before leaving for Vindhyachal, he sought permission from Lord Bhairav. He then reached the place where Vindhyachal had obstructed the path of Surya. Lopamudra, his wife accompanied him.
When Vindhyachal found Agastya starring angrily at him he became scarred and immediately minimized his size. Sage Agastya was pleased that his objective had been achieved without making any effort but he knew quite well that once he left the place Vindhyachal would regain his mammoth size. So he decided to do something so that Vindhyachal could not obstruct the path of Surya. He worked out a plan according to which he instructed Vindhyachal to wait for him until he returned after accomplishing his pilgrimage. Vindhyachal agreed assuming that Agastya would return in a short time.
Vindhyachal thanked his good fortune of escaping Agastya’s wrath, which could otherwise have threatened his very existence. Sage Agastya then went away never to return and Vindhyachal kept on waiting for his arrival. This way, the path being cleared, Surya was once again able to move freely on its orbit without any problem and as a result normalcy returned to the world.
On the other hand, Agastya who was not at all happy leaving his dearest Kashi was desperate to get there back as soon as possible. But, he knew that his wish was going to remain unfulfilled. While wandering about, he reached Kolapur where he worshipped goddess Mahalaxmi. When goddess Mahalaxmi appeared, he asked her whether he would ever be able to reach Kashi in his present life. Goddess Mahalaxmi replied–’ Your wishes will be fulfilled in the coming nineteenth dwapar, when you would incarnate as Vyas and would contribute a great deal in the propagation of the Vedas and Puranas. There is a sacrosanct place of Kartikeya not very far from here. Go there and pay your obeisance to Lord Kartikeya and he would unravel the mysterious aspects of Kashi to you.’
Sage Agastya and his wife Lopamudra then went to the mountain called Sri Shail, where Kartikeya lived at that time.
KASHI -THE SACROSANCT PLACE OF PILGRIMAGE
After travelling for sometime, both of them arrived near Sri Shail mountain. Pointing his finger towards the mountain, Agastya told his wife–’One, who has a good fortune of seeing the peaks of this mountain, never takes a second birth.’
Lopamudra replied in amazement–’ If the sight of this mountain was capable of giving salvation then why do you long for Kashi?’
Sage Agastya then went on to clarify that there were many other holy places capable of giving salvation. Prayag is one such place. It is capable of bestowing all the four ‘Purusharth’ to man-Dharma, Arth, Kaam and Moksha. Apart from Prayag, there are many more holy places like Naimisharanya, Kurukshetra, Gangadwar, Avanti, Ayodhya, Mathura, Dwarka, Badrikashram, Purushottam kshetra which are capable of giving salvation to a man. But none of these places can match Kashi because Kashi is incomparable.
LORD KARTIKEYA DESCRIBES THE MAJESTY OF KASHI
Sage Agastya and his wife Lopamudra circumambulated Sri Shail Mountain and climbed up Lohit mountain where they found Lord Kartikeya. Both of them eulogized kartikeya by singing vedic hymns in his praise. Lord kartikeya was extremely pleased by their devotion and said- O revered sage! You can understand Kashi’s importance by the fact that, though I am capable of reaching any place according to my wish but still, here I am doing this austere penance for the attainment of Kashi. I must confess that I have not been successful in my efforts till date. If any body thinks that he can attain to kashi just by performing austerities than he is totally wrong. Kashi can never be attained to until and unless one has the blessing of Lord mahadeva. And one who is fortunate enough to have reached Kashi must under no circumstances leave it till he is alive. O Agastya! You are blessed because you had the good fortune of residing at Kashi. Please allow me to touch your body, which has acquired holiness due to its proximity to Kashi.’ Having said this, Kartikeya touched different parts of agastya’s body as if he were touching the sacred soil of Kashi.
THE ORIGIN OF KASHI
Sage Agastya asked Lord Kartikeya how the sacrosanct place, Kashi came into being. He also asked how Kashi became famous as a place capable of giving salvation to a man.
Lord Kartikeya revealed to Agastya that once Parvati had asked Lord Shiva the same question. Lord Shiva had told her–’ At the time of deluge when every thing had submerged in the ocean and darkness prevailed everywhere, only BRAHM-the embodiment of truth existed at that time and nothing else. BRAHM, the absolute truth is indescribable and inexpressible. No name can be attributed to HIM. HE is the absolute truth, the ultimate knowledge, the infinite, the omnipresent and the eternal bliss. Though basically formless HE attained a form on account of HIS own wish. That form is none other than me. Later on I created Prakriti from my body. All three of us (Shiva, Parvati and Kashi) manifested simultaneously by the grace of ‘Aadi purush’ (The Almighty God).’
Continuing with the tale of Kashi’s greatness, Kartikeya told Agastya-’ There is no holy place as dear to Lord Shiva as Kashi, which is not abandoned by him as well as his consort-Parvati even at the time of deluge. Lord Shiva named this holy place- Ananda van, because it gave immense joy to him. Subsequently, Lord Shiva and goddess Jagdamba put a glance on the left portion of their respective bodies as the result of which a divine entity manifested himself who was none other than Lord Vishnu and who was named Purushottam by Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva after blessing Purushottam went away. Later on, Lord Vishnu created a divine reservoir with his sudarshan chakra and filled it up with his sweat. He then engaged himself in an austere penance. Lord Shiva once again appeared along with Parvati and blessed Vishnu by saying-’ This holy place will become famously known as Manikarnika because this is the very place where I had once lost my diamond ear-ring.’
Lord Vishnu made a request to Shiva –’ May this place fulfill the wishes of those who seek salvation. Since it is blessed with your eternal presence hence its another name would be Kashi.’
Lord Shiva assured Vishnu by saying- ‘ This sacrosanct place is very dear to me and no event takes place here against my wish. Even if a person living here happens to be a sinner he has nothing to fear because I protect him. One who lives far from Kashi but remembers it with reverence becomes absolved of all his sins.’
There is a magnificent Shiva-linga at Kashi famously known as Kashi Vishwanath. Here is situated one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. Just as the Sun is visible in the whole world despite its presence at a particular point in the horizon, in the same manner Kashi has its influence throughout the length and breadth of the world.
Avanti Kshetra Khand
SANAT KUMAR GLORIFIES MAHAKAAL TERTH
Once, goddess Parvati requested Shiva to describe the significance of Mahakaal teerth. Lord Shiva replied-” Once, Sanatkumar- one of the manasputras of Lord Brahma had gone to his father’s abode, situated at a place near Meru mountain. Sage Vyas arrived there and asked him the same question. Sanatkumar had revealed to him that all kinds of sins loosed their evil influence at Mahakaal teerth. He had also told him that it was called ‘Peetha’ because Matrikas had their abode over there. Anybody, who is fortunate of leaving his mortal body at this holy-place, is freed from the vicious cycles of birth and death. This place is very dear to Lord Shiva and is also called by various other names like Ekamrak-van, Mahakaal-van and Vimukti-kshetra.
Once, lord Shiva arrived at Mahakal forest with a skull in his hand. All the trees and vegetation were delighted to find him in their midst. They requested lord Shiva to remain their forever. Lord Shiva told them that it was not possible for him to stay there forever but on being requested once again agreed to stay there for at least a year. After one year, when the time for departure came he released the skull from his hand as a memorial.
When lord Brahma came to know of this incident, he instructed all the deities to reach Mahakal forest without wasting any time so that a grand yagya could be performed at the place where Shiva had left the skull. All the deities went to the said place and worshipped Lord Shiva by employing the rituals of Pashupat vrata, which Lord Brahma had taught them. Lord Shiva became pleased by their devotion and said–’ Perhaps you all are not aware that there was a specific objective behind my act of releasing the skull from my hand. This act of mine was done to protect your lives but it seems you are unaware of its significance. In a way, all of you have already received my blessings in advance for your deep devotion. What else do you wish for ?’
Deities were amazed by Shiva’s statements and were wondering what Shiva was trying to convey. So, they requested Shiva to unravel the mystery so that they could understand what he meant to say. Lord Shiva told them-’ The followers of Maya were planning to kill you while you were busy doing penance but no one of you was aware of their evil motive. I came to know about this in my deep state of meditation and dropped the skull from my hand. As soon as the skull touched the ground a thunderous sound was made as the result of which all the demons were killed instantaneously.’
All the deities thanked Lord Shiva for protecting their lives. In course of time this particular place became famous as Kapal mochan temple and is presently situated in Ujjain.
VARIOUS NAMES OF UJJAINIPURI
Once, sage Vyas requested Sanatkumar to reveal why Ujjainipuri was known by various names like Kanakshringa, Kushasthali Avanti and Padmavati.
Sanatkumar replied-’ Once, Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva arrived at Ujjainipuri in search of Lord Vishnu, who had disappeared from his abode. To their pleasant surprise they found Lord Vishnu staying there. Both of them requested Vishnu to allow them to stay at Ujjainipuri and said-’ O Lord! When did you create such a magnificent place with golden mountain peaks? Allow us to live in this beautiful city for we can not live in your separation.’
Lord Vishnu requested Brahma to make his abode in the northern part of the city while Shiva was told to make southern part as his abode. Lord Vishnu then told them-’ Since you have referred to this place as a city of golden mountain peaks therefore from now onwards it would become famous as ‘Kanchan Shringa’ (golden peaks)’.
Sanat kumar then went on to explain why Ujjainipuri was also called Kusha sthali-’ Having created the world, Lord Brahma requested Lord Vishnu to nurture it. Lord Vishnu agreed on the condition that Lord Brahma provided him a pious place on the earth from where he could perform his duty. Brahma then picked up a handful of kusha grass and threw down on the earth. This way Lord Vishnu performed his duty as the nurturer of the world sitting on the seat of Kusha grass. This is the reason why this place came to be known as Kusha sthali.’
Sanat kumar then described how Ujjainipuri also came to be known as Avanti puri-’ Once, after being defeated by the demons, deities fled to Meru mountain. Later on they went to Lord Brahma and sought his help. Lord Brahma took all the deities to Lord Vishnu. Hardly had they reached the abode of Vishnu and offered their obeisance, then they heard a heavenly voice- ‘There is a sacrosanct place called Kushasthali in the forest of Mahakal van. This holy place is graced by the presence of Lord Mahadeva. Go there and engage yourself in austerities and you will certainly become the master of the heaven once again.’
Subsequently, all the deities went to a place called Paishachmochan situated in Kushasthali and engaged themselves in various austerities. As prophesized by Vishnu, the deities indeed defeated the demons and became the ruler of heaven. The term ‘Avan’ means ‘the protector’ and since it had protected the deities hence it became famous as Avanti.
Sanat kumar also described how Kushasthali also came to be known as Ujjaini-’ Once, a demon named Tripur did an austere penance to please Lord Brahma. When Brahma appeared he expressed his wish of becoming immortal. Lord Brahma fulfilled his wish as the result of which Tripur became arrogant and started tormenting the deities. The deities sought the help of Lord Shiva, who assured them that he would kill the demon. Subsequently, Lord Shiva did kill Tripur with his most lethal weapon ‘pashupat ashtra’ after a fierce battle. The place where this incident took place became famous as Ujjaini because of the fierce battle fought between Shiva and Tripur.
Continuing with the tale which described the reason why Ujjainipuri also came to be known as Padmavati, Sanatkumar told Vyas-’ During the time of ocean churning ambrosia had also emerged from the ocean bed along with many other valuable things. The demons wanted to drink ambrosia so that they could become immortal but the deities were against this idea. Very soon, the arguments turned into a major dispute and both the sides started quarrelling. Narad requested Lord Vishnu to do something in this regard. Lord Vishnu disguised himself as a beautiful lady and was successful in infatuating the demons. Finally, he started giving ambrosia to the deities who after drinking it became immortal. A demon named Rahu was sitting in the rows of the deities after changing his guise. Lord Vishnu was unable to recognize Rahu and gave some ambrosia to him mistaking him to be a deity. But, hardly had Rahu gulped down Ambrosia and before it could reach down his throat, Vishnu severed his head. Rahu’s head became immortal as the result of ambrosia’s influence. This incident had taken place at Mahakal forest. Later on all the deities distributed the whole wealth, which had emerged from the ocean among themselves. This is the reason why Ujjainipuri came to be known as Padmavati because Padma is another name of Goddess Laxmi.
THE GRANDEUR OF AVANTIPURI
Sanatkumar says-’ Once, Parvati requested Lord Shiva to explain why Avantipuri was considered so holy by the devotees. Lord Shiva told her that it was so because there were numerous holy places situated over there. Lord Shiva had told her-’ There are four holy rivers flowing through the different regions of Avantipuri- Kshipra, Divya-nav, Neelganga and Gandhavati. There are temples belonging to eighty four shiva lingas, eight Bhairavas, eleven Rudras, Twelve Aadityas, six Ganeshas and twenty four goddesses. Not only this there are also temples of Lord Vishnu and Brahma. Avantipuri is spread in the radius of one yojan. There are temples belonging to ten different incarnations of Lord Vishnu- Vasudev, Anant, Balaram, Janardan, Narayan, Hrishikesh, Varah, Dharnidhar, Vaman and Lord Vishnu himself taking rest on Sheshnag. Apart from these there are many other holy places situated at Avantipuri, which enhances its sanctity and holiness.
THE DESCENT OF NARMADA
Explaining the reason why Narmada had to descend down to earth, Sutji narrated a tale to the assembled sages-’ Once, sage markandeya was taking rest at the bank of river Narmada where Yudhisthira accompanied by Draupadi arrived there. Yudhishthira curiously asked Markandeya about the reason he had chosen the bank of Narmada as his resting place when there were so many other holy places of greater significance. Sage Markandeya recounted a tale, which said how some sages had requested king Pururva to bring down river Narmada to the earth so that the whole world becomes liberated from its sins. Describing the holiness of Narmada, sages had told Pururava- ‘ The holy Narmada is capable of liberating the whole world from its sin. So, you should find means so that Narmada descends down to earth.’ Later on, Pururva did an austere penance to please Shiva. When Lord Shiva appeared before him, Pururva expressed his wish. Shiva instructed Narmada to descend down to earth but she told him that she needed a base for that to happen. Lord Shiva then instructed Paryank- the son of Vindhyachal mountain to hold Narmada while she descended down to earth. Prayank agreed to do that and this was how Narmada came down on earth. Initially, the whole world was flooded with the waters of Narmada but at the request of the deities she minimized her size. Narmada blessed Pururva and instructed him to perform the rituals of tarpan in the name of his ancestors so that they became liberated from their sins. Pururva complied and thus by performing tarpan liberated all his ancestors.’
Having finished his tale, Markandeya told Yudhishthira that one who takes a holy dip in Narmada attains virtues similar to that of performing Ashwamedh yagya.
NARMADA MARRIES PURUKUTSU
Markandeya says-’ O Yudhishthir! King Purutkutsu was Samudra in his previous birth and had been cursed by Brahma. The descent of Narmada on earth made the deities extremely delighted and they requested Narmada to give them the privilege of experiencing her divine touch. But, Narmada refused to give them that privilege on the pretext that she was still unmarried and it would not be proper for her to do so. All the deities then requested her to become the consort of Purukutsu to which she agreed. This way, Narmada married Purutkusu. After getting married, Purutkutsu requested her to liberate his ancestors so that they could attain to heaven. Narmada readily obliged and this way Purutkutsu contributed in his ancestors’ departure to heaven.
MANU RECEIVES A BOON FROM NARMADA
Markandeya says-’ Manu ruled over Ayodhya during Swayambhuva manvantar. One day, while he was going to sleep, he heard a peculiar sound, as if numerous small bells were ringing. He was perplexed and could not ascertain the cause of that sound so he asked sage Vashishth about this. Sage Vashishth made a revelation by which Manu was startled. Sage Vashishth told him- There is a holy place called Tripuri situated at the bank of river Narmada. The sound that you heard last night emanated from the small bells attached to number of aircraft kept on the roofs of the residences of such people who are virtuous. O king! Only Narmada is capable of giving salvation to lowly of sinners.’
Manu was highly impressed and decided to go to Tripuri along with his whole clan. All of them took holy dips in the Narmada and became liberated from all their sins. Manu performed a grand yagya at the bank of Narmada to which all the sages and hermits were invited. Narmada became pleased by his devotion and expressed her willingness to fulfill any wish that Manu desired.
Manu requested her help in bringing down Ganga and other holy rivers to earth. Narmada blessed him and said- In the first half of tretayuga, one of your descendants named Bhagirath would accomplish this great feat of bringing down holy Ganga to earth. In the second half of the same era other holy rivers like Kalindi, Saraswati, Sarayu, and Mahabhaga would also manifest themselves.
JAMDAGNI RECEIVES KAAMDHENU
Markandeya told Yudhishthir-’ Sage Jamdagni was a great devotee of Shiva and he lived in Narmadapur. He spent his day chanting mantras in the praise of Lord Shiva. Once, he performed an austere penance, which lasted for a month. Ultimately, Shiva manifested himself from the Siddheshwar Linga and appeared before him. Lord Shiva asked Jamdagni to ask for any thing he wished for. Jamdagni expressed his desire to have Kaamdhenu so that he could perform his rituals and other religious obligations without any problem. Lord Shiva blessed Jamdagni and disappeared. The next moment, Jamdagni found Kaamdhenu standing in front of his hermitage.
Now, Jamdagni got everything that he wished for. This way, he was a happy and contented life until one fateful day when he was killed by a greedy king named Kartaveerya, who subsequently took Kaamdhenu along with him. While the greedy king was still on his way, Kaamdhenu cursed him that very soon not only he but the whole caste of Kshatriya would be liquidated by Parshuram- Jamdagni’s son, as punishment for having committed such a ghastly sin of killing an innocent sage. After cursing Kartaveerya, Kaamdhenu went to her original abode-the heaven. Later on, when Parshuram learnt of his father’s slaying, he liquidated Kartaveerya and the whole caste of Kshatriya as had been prophesized by Kaamdhenu.
DESCRIPTION OF HELL
Yudhishthira requested Markandeya to describe what a sinner had to go through in Yamaloka and also that what kind of a person should be considered as the most ghastly sinner.
Markandeya replied- ‘ Donating food to needy people is an extremely virtuous deed and there is no virtuous deed greater than this. A person who donates cereals can be aptly called ‘Annadata’- one who provides food. One who has never donated cereals in his lifetime is definite to go to hell and has to tread an arduous path leading to it that is ridden with prickly thorns, pointed nails and other sharp objects. The entire path leading to hell is extremely dark and covered with large pits. The path is also covered with unbearably hot sand spilled all over the place. The sinner is forcibly taken by the Yamdoots despite their reluctance. The sinners repent for the sins they have committed but it is of no use to them, as they will have to reap the fruits of their evil deeds. They have to undergo all sorts of painful experience- they are forced to pass through fire and pits full of filth.
Those sinners who have atoned for their sins are not treated so harshly by the Yamdoots. After they appear before Yamraj, Chitragupta reminds them of all the sins they had committed. Thereafter, Yamraj orders his attendants to purify the sinners by putting them into the ocean of the Hell. There are Twenty-eight types of hells- Atighora, Raudra, Ghortama, Dukhjanani, Ghorrupa, Tarantara, Bhayanaka, Kaalratri, Ghatotkata, Chanda, Mahachanda, Chndakolahala, Prachanda, Varagnika, Jaghanya, Avaraloma, Bhishni, Nayika, Karala, Vikarala, Vajravinshti, Asta, Panchkona, Sudirgha, Parivartula, Saptabhauma, Ashtabhauma and Deerghamaya. Each of the latter hell is more horrific than the former.Sinners have to undergo unbearable pain and sufferings in the hell. They are tied up by very hot iron chains and hanged down from trees. Yamdoots attach hot and heavy iron balls to their feet and thrash them with hot iron rods. They are then put into wells of filth. The tongue of a liar is rooted out with brute force and a person, who shows disrespect to his elders and teachers, his mouth is filled with hot sands and boiling oil. Similarly immoral women, who do not fulfill their obligation towards their husbands, are thrown into a horrific hell named Lohakumbh. O Yudhishthir! A man’s life is too short and uncertain. One is not sure when his final call would come. So, one should try to lead a virtuous life to the best of his ability.’
TRISHANKU CURSED BY VASHISHTH’S SONS
Sutji once narrated the following tale to the assembled sages- In ancient times there lived a mighty king named Trishanku. He belonged to Suryavanshi dynasty. One day, he asked sage Vashishth whether there was any such Yagya by performing which, he would be entitled to go to heaven with his physical form. Sage Vashishth laughed at his naive query and told him that there was no such Yagya by performing which a man could go to the heaven with his mortal body. But, Trishanku was not satisfied by Vashishth’s answer and so he went to ask the same question to Vashishth’s sons who were one hundred in number. But even they corroborated their father’s statement. Trishanku got infuriated and threatened them that he would appoint somebody else as his royal priest to get the same yagya performed as they all lacked the required knowledge and competence. Vashishth’s sons also got angry and cursed him to become a ‘chandal’ (a low caste person). The next moment Trishanku indeed became a ‘chandal’ and was so much ashamed of himself that he decided to go to the forest after relinquishing his throne. He called his son -Harishchandra and narrated the whole tale of his misery. Before going to the forest he appointed Harishchandra as his successor.
One day, while wandering in the forest, Trishanku met sage Vishwamitra and narrated his miserable tale to him. Since Vishwamitra was a competitor of Vashishth, he took it as a golden opportunity to prove his superiority to his adversary. So, he assured Trishanku that he had the requisite power to send anybody to heaven and said- ‘ I shall help you perform a grand yagya, which would allow you to attain to the heaven with your mortal body. But before that you will have to go on a pilgrimage so that you become pure once again.’ Both Vishwamitra and Trishanku set out on a pilgrimage and reached ‘Arbudachal’ where they met sage Markandeya. After the pleasantries were over, Markandeya asked Vishwamitra about Trishanku, who was standing quietly. Vishwamitra revealed everything to Markandeya and said – I had taken a vow not to take rest until Trishanku got absolved of the evil influence of the curse given by Vashishth’s sons’. I have not achieved success in my objective till date, so I have decided to renounce the world.
Seeing Vishwamitra in such desperation, Markandeya consoled him and instructed him to go to Haatkeshwar where taking a holy dip in Patal Ganga would purify Trishanku and solve all his problems.Both Vishwamitra and Trishanku reached ‘Haatkeshwar’ and bathed in the holy Patal Ganga. To his pleasant surprise, Trishanku found that he had indeed become purified and all the lowly qualities had vanished within no time. Vishwamitra was delighted as the first condition for Trishanku’s departure to Heaven had been met. He decided to go to Brahma loka to request Lord Brahma to be present at the Yagya which was to be performed for the success of Trishanku’s departure to heaven. But before leaving, he instructed Trishanku to make all the necessary preparations before his return.
After reaching Brahma loka, Vishwamitra narrated the whole story to Lord Brahma and requested him to grace the Yagya by his presence. Lord Brahma told him that it was just impossible for any mortal to attain to heaven in his physical form but he added that if Trishanku performed the rituals diligently then he would certainly attain to heaven after his death. Vishwamitra did not like Brahma’s words and challenged him that no power on earth could stop him from sending Trishanku to Heaven.
VISHWAMITRA COMMENCES NEW CREATION
Vishwamitra then instructed Trishanku to make preparation for the Yagya. After everything was ready, Vishwamitra initiated Trishanku into the rituals of Yagya. Trishanku made offerings in the sacrificial fire at the instruction of Vishwamitra. The deities readily accepted all the offerings that were made to them. This way, the yagya continued for twelve long years but still there was no sign of Vishwamitra’s desire of sending Trishanku to heaven getting fulfilled. Trishanku became dejected and told him about his decision to renounce everything and spend rest of his life doing penance as chances of attaining to heaven appeared impossible. He was also sure that Vashishth’s sons would make fun of him if he went back to his kingdom without achieving his objective. But, Vishwamitra consoled him and said–’ No power on earth can stop you from going to heaven with your physical form. You just need to have some patience and your desire will be certainly fulfilled.’
Vishwamitra decided to please Lord Shiva as he was convinced that Shiva was the only deity who could help him achieve his goal. He eulogized Shiva by singing hymns of praise in his name. At last, Shiva appeared before him and expressed his desire of fulfilling any wish of Vishwamitra. Vishwamitra requested Shiva to bestow on him the power of creation just like Brahma had. Lord Shiva blessed him and disappeared.Now, Vishwamitra was eager to test his powers so he began creating different things. He created Sun, Moon, Stars, oceans, Rivers, so on and so forth. In a short time the whole world was filled by his creations resulting into chaos all over. As the result of his creations, every natural thing became double in number- one that had already been created by Brahma and the second created by Vishwamitra. Now there existed two suns, two moons, so on and so forth. Vishwamitra’s amazing deeds had catastrophic fallout on the natural course of events.
Deities were scarred and rushed to seek the help of lord Brahma. They told Brahma that if Vishwamitra was not stopped the whole world was doomed to destruction. Lord Brahma appeared before Vishwamitra and ordered to stop doing creations. Vishwamitra told him that he was ready to do that if Brahma helped Trishanku attain to heaven with his mortal body. Seeing no other option, Brahma accepted Vishwamitra’s condition. This way, Vishwamitra was able to send Trishanku physically to heaven with the help of Lord Brahma.
DESCRIPTION OF PURANAS AND UP- PURANAS
Once, while describing the origin of puranas, Sutji told the sages who had assembled at Naimisharanya-’ Lord Shiva had first revealed the contents of Skanda puran to Parvati at Kailash Mountain. Lord Brahma and few other deities were also present there at the time when Shiva was narrating the tale. Subsequently, Parvati narrated this tale to Skanda, Skanda to Nandi and Nandi to sages like Sanak, etc. and finally Sanak narrated it to Vyas. Now I am going to tell you the same tale which Vyas had narrated to me.’
Sutji began by saying-’ During ancient times, Lord Brahma once did a very austere penance resulting into the manifestation of all the four Vedas. Later on, all the eighteen Puranas too appeared from his mouth. These eighteen Puranas were- Brahma Puran, Vishnu Puran, Shiva Puran, Bhagawat Puran, Bhavishya Puran, Narad Puran, Markandeya Puran, Agni Puran, Brahma vaivarta Puran, Linga Puran, Padma Puran, Varah Puran, Skanda Puran, Vaman Puran, Kurma Puran, Matsya Puran, Garuda Puran and Vayu Puran.Apart from these eighteen main Puranas, there are also similar number of secondary Puranas known as Up- Puranas. These Up- Puranas are – Sanat kumar, Narsimha, Skand, Shiva Dharma, Durvasa, Narad, Kapil, Manu, Ushana, Brahmand, Varun, Kalika, Maheshwar, Saamb, Saura, Parashar, Maarich and Bhargava.’
Sutji then went on to describe the other features of each Purana-’ Brahma Puran contains ten thousand shlokas in it whereas Padma Puran contains fifty-five thousand shlokas. Similarly, there are twenty-three thousand shlokas in Vishnu Puran. Vayu Puran contains the tales related with Lord Shiva and it contains twenty-four thousand shlokas in it. Similarly the remaining Puranas like Bhagawat, Narad, Markandeya, Agni, Bhavishya, Brhmavaivarta, Linga, Varah, Skanda, Vaman, Kurma, Matsya, Garuda and Brahmanda Puran contain 18,000, 25,000, 9,000, 16,000, 14,500, 18,000, 11,000, 24,000, 81,100, 10,000, 17,000, 14,000, 18,000 and 12,200 shlokas respectively.’
Sutji told the sages that all the Up- Puranas owe their origin to the main Puranas which are eighteen in number. He also revealed to them that they could be categorized into three main types- Satvik, Rajas and Tamas. Satvik Puranas contain the tales of Lord Vishnu while Rajas Puranas contain the tales of Brahma and Tamas Purans contain the tales of Agni and Rudra. One of the chief characteristics of Puranas is that each of them is divided into five sections- ‘Sarg’ (Description of how creation began), ‘Pratisarga’, ‘Vansh’ (Description of prominent dynasties), ‘Manvantar’ and ‘Vanshanucharit’ (Tales related with the descendants of the famous sages).
On being asked by the sages about the prominent places of pilgrimage, Sutji named many holy places but according to him Prabhas Teerth was the crown of all the places of pilgrimage and was incomparable. Recounting a tale when Parvati had once asked Lord Shiva the same question, Sutji said-’ At that time Shiva had told Parvati that Prabhas Kshetra was supreme among all the holy places and capable of liberating a man from all his sins. He had also told her that due to prevalence of sins in Kaliyuga people would not attain virtues despite going on pilgrimages. Shiva had also told her that this was the reason why he had created numerous holy places and kept them secret so the holiness of these places remained intact. I have manifested myself in the form of a divine Shiva linga at Prabhas kshetra. The whole universe has originated from it and merges into it ultimately at the time of deluge. The Shiva linga is called Somanath and very few people are aware of it’s existence. This Shivalinga continue to exist since it’s manifestation in a particular kalpa named Bhairav long ago. Unfortunately, people of kaliyaga under the influence of all pervading ignorance would fail to recognize the importance of holy places. Such people would try to demean the value of holy places and make fun of those people who go on pilgrimages. Being blinded by their superficial intelligence they would try to find faults with rituals and religion. Such would be the condition of the mortals in kaliyuga that they would criticize everything that is religious and spiritual in nature. How can one expect from these unfortunate people of kaliyuga to understand the significance of Prabhas kshetra and which is revered even by me ?’
Parvati, who had been listening to the tale with rapt attention, became even more curious to know about Prabhas kshetra. So she requested Lord Shiva to shed more light on the other important aspects of this sacrosanct place. Lord Shiva, continuing with his description of Prabhas kshetra, said- ‘ This sacrosanct place has temples of three deities on it’s three sides. To its east is situated a grand temple of Surya Narayan while there is a magnificent temple of Madhav to it’s west. In the same way there is a beautiful temple of goddess Bhavani to the north of Prabhas kshetra and towards it’s south lies the ocean. This holy place is spread in the area of five yojans and is divided in three major areas- Maheshwar, Vaishnav and Brahma. There are about one crore temples related with different deities in Vaishnav and Brahma kshetras while Maheshwar kshetra contains one and half crore temples. As the name implies, each area has been named after one God forming the Trinity. Anybody who has the good fortune of living in the central part of Prabhas kshetra becomes absolved of all his sins even if he has committed most abhorrent sins. The significance of this holy place can be understood by the fact that a man born there does not take a second birth and attains salvation. One whom scholars of the Vedas call ‘Kaalagni Rudra’ is famously known as Bhairav in Prabhas kshetra.
Emphasizing on the significance of Someshwar linga and its deep association with the Vedas, Lord Shiva told Parvati-’ The divine Someshwar linga exists since time immemorial and will remain for eternity. This revelation descended on me while I was engrossed in a deep state of meditation. Someshwar Linga has deep association with the Vedas and it enhances their sanctity by establishing itself in each of them at different periods of time during the day. During morning time Someshwar linga establishes itself in the Rigveda, during noon in the Yajurveda, during afternoon in the Sama veda and during evening time it establishes itself in Atharva veda.
DIFFERENT NAMES OF SOMNATH
Parvati curiously asked Lord Shiva about the reason why Somnath was known by so many different names. Lord Shiva said- ‘ Since the time this divine linga first manifested itself very few blessed souls had the knowledge of it’s existence. Brahma has a life span of one kalpa at the end of which even he ceases to exist giving way to his successor- a new Brahma. In the same manner this divine Linga acquires a new name at the end of each kalpa. The present kalpa is seventh in order as six kalpas have already passed. The name of the present Brahma is Shatanand and this divine Linga is presently famous by the name of Somnath. Similarly it was famous as Mrityunjay during the time of Brahma named Virinchi. During second kalpa this Linga was famous as Kalagnirudra and the name of Brahma was Padmabhu. The third kalpa had Swayambhu as Brahma and the Linga was famous as Amritesh. The name of the fourth Brahma was Parmeshthi in fourth kalpa and the linga was famous as Annamay. In the same way the names of the fifth and sixth Brahma were Surajyeshtha and Hemagarbha respectively and the names of the Linga during their periods were Kritiwas and Bhairav Nath respectively.’
Lord Shiva also revealed to Parvati that the next kalpa- eighth in order would have Chaturmukh as Brahma and the divine Linga would be known as Pran Nath.Goddess Parvati then asked Shiva about the exact location of the Linga in Prabhas Kshetra. Lord Shiva told her that the sacrosanct place of Prabhas Kshetra was situated between the plains of two rivers Vajrini and Nyankumati. He also told her that the eternal Linga was not very far from the sea coast. Dwelling at length about the good fortunes of those living in Prabhas kshetra, Lord Shiva told her-’ Anybody who does not abandon this holy place despite his hardships and troubles is certain to attain to my abode. One who has the good fortune of dying at Prabhas kshetra attains salvation. There will be prevalence of sins in Kaliyuga. As a result of this people would experience all sorts of hurdles and problems in their lives. To minimize their sorrows and to lessen their miseries, I have personally instructed Ganesh not to abandon this place even for a moment. Of all the Lingas present on the earth, Somnath is specially dear to me.’
SIDDHESHWAR LINGA AND SIDDHA LINGA
Describing the reason why this sacrosanct place was named Prabhas, Lord Shiva told Parvati- ‘ I dwell in the entire area stretching between the ocean in the south and river Kaureshwari. Being situated at the western coast, this entire area is radiated by Surya’s light for a relatively longer period of time and hence it has been named ‘Prabhas’ meaning luster. This is the reason why there is situated a grand temple of Lord Surya in Prabhas Kshetra. Not far from this Surya temple is situated a magnificent temple of Lord Siddheshwar, which was famously known as Jaigishavyeshwar in ancient times.’
Lord Shiva then went on to describe why Siddheshwar was called Jaigishavyeshwar during ancient times-’ There lived a sage named Jaigishavya in previous kalpa. He used to daily worship a Shiva linga named Mahoday, which had manifested on its own. Keeping in view Shiva’s fondness for ashes, he used to smear it on his body hoping to please his deity. Not only this he even slept on ashes. He thus led an extremely austere life. At last he was able to please Lord Mahoday by his devotion. When Lord Mahoday appeared before him and expressed his willingness to fulfill anything he wished but Jaigishavya wanted nothing but total devotion in his deity (Mahoday). Lord Mahoday blessed him with immortality and said-’ There would be nobody as powerful as you. Your feats achieved in spiritual things will be unmatched and you would become famous as ‘Yogacharya’ or teacher of Yoga. One who regularly worships this particular Linga which you have been worshipping with such deep devotion till now is certain to get absolved of all his sins.’ Having blessed Yaigishavya thus, Lord Mahoday disappeared from his sight. After this incident, Mahoday linga also came to be known as Yaigishavyeshwar. In course of time, when the Kaliyuga of that Kalpa arrived, some sages named ‘Balkhilyas’ had gone to the same place and worshipped Lord Mahoday. Similarly, many more sages went there and attained ‘siddhi’ or accomplishment. This is how this Linga came to be known as ‘Siddheshwar’ (the lord of all accomplishments). There are many holy places in the vicinity like Siddha linga, which was installed by lord Surya. Anybody who worships this linga on the auspicious day of trayodashi of the bright half of the hindu month Chaitra attains virtues similar to the accomplishment of ‘Pundareek Yagya’.
CHANDRA DEVA EULOGIZES SHIVA
Parvati asked Lord Shiva about the reason Chandra deva had to install a Shiva linga at Prabhas Kshetra. Lord Shiva replied that Daksha had got married twenty seven of his daughters to Chandra Deva. Chandra Deva was very attached to Rohini, who was one of them and neglected others. When Daksha came to know about this he cursed Chandra Deva as the result of which he lost his luster and started waning day by day. The worried Chandra Deva did an austere penance for thousand of years to please Lord Shiva. At last Lord Shiva became pleased and appeared before him. Subsequently, Chandra Deva got a divine Shiva linga installed by Brahma and worshipped it for thousand of years. Lord Shiva appeared once again and expressed his willingness to fulfill any wish Chandra Deva expressed. Chandra Deva requested Lord Shiva to dwell in the very Shiva Linga he had been worshipping till then. Lord Shiva revealed to him that there was no question of dwelling in the Shiva Linga as he had never abandoned it in the first place. Chandra Deva had regained his luster on account of his arduous penance. Lord Shiva blessed him and said- ‘ Since you have regained your luster (Prabha) by dint of your austere penance, this holy place will become famous as ‘Prabhas Kshetra’. This Linga would be named upon you and become famous as Somnath Linga.’
Having blessed Chandra Deva thus, Lord Shiva disappeared. Later on Chandra Deva instructed Vishwakarma to build a magnificent temple at the sight. He also built a city nearby so that all the priests who were supposed to supervise the rituals of worship could live there.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF GETTING ONE’S HEAD TONSURED
Dwelling on length about the significance of getting one’s head tonsured at holy places, Lord Shiva told Parvati-’ A man should get his head tonsured whenever he gets an opportunity to visit a holy place because hair are believed to contain all the sins he has committed. There is a holy place called Padma teerth, not far from Somnath temple. A devotee should first get his hair removed at Somnath teerth and then immerse them at Padma teerth. This way he becomes absolved of all his sins. Women should have a symbolical cut of their hair. It is necessary to perform the rituals of tarpan in the names of ancestors after the head tonsuring ceremony. According to the scriptures, an ocean is considered holy and nobody should its holy water in an impure state. While bathing a devotee should chant the following mantra-
‘Om namo Vishnu guptaaya Vishnu rupaaya namah;
Saannidhye bhava devesh saagare lavanaambhasi.’
There are about five crore Shivalingas submerged in the ocean near Somnath. There are also other holy places situated nearby like Agnikunda, Padma sarovar etc.
THE EMERGENCE OF SARASWATI IN PRABHAS KSHETRA
On being asked by Parvati about the emergence of river Saraswati at Prabhas Kshetra, Lord Shiva narrated the following tale to her-’ The holy Sarswati flowing in Prabhas kshetra constitutes of five different streams- Harini, Vajrini, Nyanku, Kapila and Saraswati. Lord Vishnu once instructed Saraswati to carry ‘Badwanal’ (Submarine fire) and dump it in the ocean near Prabhas kshetra. After taking permission from Lord Brahma, her father Saraswati flew towards her destination. Ganga became sad at her departure so she asked her as to how could she have a glimpse of her now that she was going to such a distant place. Saraswati consoled Ganga by saying that she would be able to see her whenever she looked eastwards. The swift currents of Saraswati penetrated the earth and reached Patal Loka carrying Badwanal along with her.She continued to move beneath the ground towards her destination. As she reached Prabhas Kashetra, four learned sages, who were well versed in Vedas arrived there and invoked Saraswati to give them the privilege of separate bath by dividing herself in four different streams.
The names of these sages were Hiranya, Vajra, Nyanku and Kapil. While Saraswati was about to comply with their request, suddenly Samudra arrived there and he too expressed the same wish. Thus Saraswati divided herself into five different streams- Harini, Vajrini, Nyanku, Kapila and Saraswati. Eventually, when Saraswati reached near the ocean, Badwanal whom she was carrying was surprised to see the high tides rising in the ocean. He thought that the Samudra was frightened of his fury so he asked Saraswati- Why is the ocean scarred of me? Saraswati inflated his ego by saying that who would not be scarred of him. Badwanal was pleased and wanted to grant her a boon. Saraswati remembered Lord Vishnu, who instantly gave his divine appearance in her heart. She narrated the whole story and sought his advise. Lord Vishnu advised her to ask Badwanal to make his appearance small like the eye of a needle. Saraswati, following the advise of Lord Vishnu asked Badwanal to become small like a needle and keep sucking the ocean. Subsequently, Saraswati summoned Samudra and told him to accept Badwanal to which he agreed. This way Samudra devoured Badwanal, who continues to suck the water of the ocean even today as per the instructions given by Saraswati. It is believed that tides are nothing but the manifestation of Badwanal’s exhalations. This was how Saraswati emerged in Prabhas kshetra.
PRABHAS -THE ABODE OF TRINITY GODDESSES
Lord Shiva revealed to goddesses Parvati that Prabhas kshetra boasted of possessing many more Shiva lingas apart from the famous Somnath Shiva linga. He also gave names of some of the prominent Shiva lingas situated over there and said- ‘ To the North-East of Somnath temple is situated a grand temple of lord Sarveshvar Deva, who is also famously known as Siddheshwar. The reason behind this is that Shiva linga over there had been installed by the ‘siddhas’ (accomplished ones) in ancient times. People who are desirous of acquiring siddhis throng this holy place and engage themselves in austere penance. To the east of Siddheshwar temple is situated one more temple called Kapileshwar. It has been named after sage Kapil, who had installed the Shiva linga over there. A Shiva linga named Gandharveshwar is also situated nearby. This particular Shiva linga had been installed by a gandharva named Dhanvahan. To the east of Gandharveshwar temple is situated Vimaleshwar temple. It is believed that anybody suffering from tuberculosis gets cured after he worships in that temple. Dhandeshwar linga was installed by Kuber, who was bestowed with the lordship of wealth on account of his austere penance.’
Lord Shiva told Parvati that there were also temples of three goddesses in Prabhas Kshetra apart from Shiva temples. These three goddesses were Mangla, Vishalakshi and Chatwar representing the three types of power-will power, power of action and power of knowledge. Lord Shiva said-’ The pilgrimage to Prabhas kshetra is believed to be incomplete until and unless these three goddesses have been worshipped. Goddess Mangla represents the power of lord Brahma (Brahma shakti) while goddess Vishalakshi that of lord Vishnu. Goddess Chatwar represents my power. Goddess Mangla holds the privilege of getting worshipped first. During ancient times Chandrama did an austere penance for thousand of years and all the deities including Lord Brahma had gone there to witness his amazing feat. At that time goddess Mangla had blessed them and this was how she got her name.’
Lord Shiva then went on to describe how goddess Vishalakshi got her name-’ A fierce battle had taken place between the deities and demons during Chakshus manvantar. Lord Vishnu fought along with the deities and helped them in defeating the demons. Demons fled towards the south but were chased by the deities. Realizing that it was not easy to annihilate the demons, Lord Vishnu remembered goddess Mahamaya and sought her help. Mahamaya appeared instantly and looked at Lord Vishnu with her large eyes. This is how she got her name. In the present kalpa she is also known as Lalitoma. To the south of Vishalakshi temple is situated the temple of goddess Chatwarpriya. Goddess Chatwarpriya is the saviour of people living in that area. Anybody who worships her on the auspicious day of Mahanavami with appropriate rituals is blessed.
PRABHAS -THE ABODE OF TRINITY GODDESSES
Lord Shiva revealed to goddesses Parvati that Prabhas kshetra boasted of possessing many more Shiva lingas apart from the famous Somnath Shiva linga. He also gave names of some of the prominent Shiva lingas situated over there and said- ‘ To the North-East of Somnath temple is situated a grand temple of lord Sarveshvar Deva, who is also famously known as Siddheshwar. The reason behind this is that Shiva linga over there had been installed by the ‘siddhas’ (accomplished ones) in ancient times. People who are desirous of acquiring siddhis throng this holy place and engage themselves in austere penance. To the east of Siddheshwar temple is situated one more temple called Kapileshwar. It has been named after sage Kapil, who had installed the Shiva linga over there. A Shiva linga named Gandharveshwar is also situated nearby. This particular Shiva linga had been installed by a gandharva named Dhanvahan. To the east of Gandharveshwar temple is situated Vimaleshwar temple. It is believed that anybody suffering from tuberculosis gets cured after he worships in that temple. Dhandeshwar linga was installed by Kuber, who was bestowed with the lordship of wealth on account of his austere penance.’
Lord Shiva told Parvati that there were also temples of three goddesses in Prabhas Kshetra apart from Shiva temples. These three goddesses were Mangla, Vishalakshi and Chatwar representing the three types of power-will power, power of action and power of knowledge. Lord Shiva said-’ The pilgrimage to Prabhas kshetra is believed to be incomplete until and unless these three goddesses have been worshipped. Goddess Mangla represents the power of lord Brahma (Brahma shakti) while goddess Vishalakshi that of lord Vishnu. Goddess Chatwar represents my power. Goddess Mangla holds the privilege of getting worshipped first. During ancient times Chandrama did an austere penance for thousand of years and all the deities including Lord Brahma had gone there to witness his amazing feat. At that time goddess Mangla had blessed them and this was how she got her name.’
Lord Shiva then went on to describe how goddess Vishalakshi got her name-’ A fierce battle had taken place between the deities and demons during Chakshus manvantar. Lord Vishnu fought along with the deities and helped them in defeating the demons. Demons fled towards the south but were chased by the deities. Realizing that it was not easy to annihilate the demons, Lord Vishnu remembered goddess Mahamaya and sought her help. Mahamaya appeared instantly and looked at Lord Vishnu with her large eyes. This is how she got her name. In the present kalpa she is also known as Lalitoma. To the south of Vishalakshi temple is situated the temple of goddess Chatwarpriya. Goddess Chatwarpriya is the saviour of people living in that area. Anybody who worships her on the auspicious day of Mahanavami with appropriate rituals is blessed.
SAGES’ QUERIES TO PRAHLAD
Once, few sages asked Sutji about the means by which Lord Vishnu could be realized in kaliyuga- the era dominated by sin and decaying moral values.
Sutji started by describing how Lord Vishnu on seeing the prevalence of sin in Dwapar yuga had to take incarnation as Krishna to liberate the world from the sinners. He also described in detail all the incidents culminating into the killings of many cruel demons -Kaaliya serpent, Chanur, Shishupaal and ogress like Putna. He gave in depth description of the events leading to the war of Mahabharat and how the infighting among the mighty Yadavas led to their destruction. He told them how a fowler mistook Krishna’s feet to be a deer and killed him.
Sutji also told the assembled sages how the magnificent city of Dwarka had been submerged in the ocean ultimately. He revealed to them that the passing away of Krishna marked the advent of Kaliyuga and the situation became even worse. On finding how difficult it was to realize lord Vishnu in the Kaliyuga- the era dominated by sin, some prominent sages decided to seek Lord Brahma’s help in this regard. After reaching Brahma loka, they eulogized Brahma and received his blessings. Lord Brahma told them to go to Patal loka and meet Prahlad, the supreme devotee of Lord Vishnu who according to Lord Brahma was in a better position to help them.
All the sages went to Patal loka as per the instructions given by Lord Brahma. There they not only found Prahlad but also the most charitable king-Bali. After the pleasantries were exchanged, they came to the real issue and said-’ We are very much distressed by the prevailing situation where it appears that the evil forces have overshadowed the virtuous ones. The ways shown by the Vedas are no longer in practice and the Brahmins are being tormented by the Shudras, who have become the rulers. We have come with a request and a desire to know whether there was any possibility of realizing Lord Vishnu in this dark era of ‘Kali’. If yes then where can we find Lord Vishnu?’
THE SANCTITY OF DWARKAPURI
Prahlad, being an ardent devotee of Vishnu himself, understood quite well, the desperation with which a devotee seeks his Lord. So he told them-’ By the grace of Almighty Vishnu, I am revealing to you the name of that sacred place which has remained a secret till now. Kushasthal Puri is a divine city situated on the western coast. Nearby is the place where river Gomti meets the ocean and at this convergent point is situated the sacrosanct city called Dwarawati Puri, where you can find Lord Vishnu in all his glory of sixteen kalas. Blessed be the Dwarka Puri, which The almighty Vishnu has chosen as his abode and where he dwells in his glorious Chaturbhuj form. This is the very place, which even liberates the most fallen sinner from all his sins. There is a famous temple of Lord Trivikram at the bank of river Gomti and not far from this temple is a divine pond. Anybody desirous of salvation must bathe in this pond for the fulfillment of his wish. It is believed that before leaving for heaven, Lord Krishna had transferred all his divine powers into the Trivikram idol. So, there is no place as holy as Dwarka and if you are desirous of having a divine glimpse of Lord Krishna then you must visit Dwarka.’
All the sages thanked Prahlad for sharing his secrets with them because nobody else except Prahlad was aware of the fact that Lord Vishnu had given Dwarka the privilege of being his abode. These revelations made them more curious about Dwarka, so they requested Prahlad to disclose how the holy Gomti descended down to Dwarka.
Prahlad began by describing the virtues of going on a pilgrimage to Dwarka-’ The mere resolution of going on a pilgrimage to Dwarka is enough to liberate one’s ancestors from the tortures of the hells. Each step that a devotee takes towards Dwarka gives virtues similar to what is attained by performing Ashwamedh Yagya. One who encourages others to go on a pilgrimage to Dwarka certainly goes to Vishnu Dhaam.’
Prahlad then switched over to the second part of the sages’ question and said-’ There is an interesting tale describing how sage Vashishth had brought down Gomti from the heaven to earth. At the time of deluge when the whole world had submerged in water, a lotus flower manifested from Lord Vishnu’s navel on which was seated Brahma. Lord Vishnu instructed him to perform his duty as a creator to which Brahma agreed. First of all Brahma created his ten manasputras (Sanak, Sanandan,etc.) and sought their help in increasing the population of the world by becoming householders. But, all of them were extremely virtuous and did not show any inclination towards getting married. Ultimately all of them went to the western coast and engaged themselves in austere penance. Their penance continued for a number of years after which ‘Sudarshan chakra’ appeared before them. As all of them looked up in bewilderment, they heard a heavenly voice -’ O sons of Brahma! Very soon the almighty Vishnu is going to manifest himself. The ‘Chakra’ you are seeing is his. You all must perform the rituals of ‘ardhya’ in the name of Lord Vishnu to show your reverence towards him.’ All the Manasputras eulogized Sudarshan-Chakra with deep devotion. All of them wished that there were a holy river, with whose water they could perform the rituals of ardhya. But to their utter dismay there was no such holy river nearby. They then remembered Lord Brahma, who immediately understood what they desired. Lord Brahma instructed Ganga by saying-’ Ganga! Go to the earth, where you would be known as Gomti. Sage Vashishth will lead you to your destination. Just follow him like a daughter follows her father.’
Finally, when sage Vashishth followed by Gomti reached their destination, all the Manasputras were delighted. They eulogized Ganga and expressed their gratitude to Vashishth for bringing Ganga on earth. All of them thanked Vashishth by saying-’ Since you have brought Gomti on earth, you would be considered as her father.’ They offered ‘ardhya’ to Gomti and subsequently eulogized Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu appeared after being pleased and blessed them-’ Your unflinching devotion in me has pleased me no bound. Since you did this penance with the objective of Moksha (salvation), this place would become famous as Moksha Dayak (giver of salvation). This sacrosanct place would also be called Chakra teerth because of Sudarshan chakra, who informed you all of my manifestation at Dwarka Puri. I assure you that I won’t abandon this sacrosanct place even for a moment.’
This way, all the Manasputras were finally successful in their objective of offering ardhya to Lord Vishnu with the holy water of Gomti. At last, Gomti having fulfilled her mission for which she had descended down to Earth merged with the ocean. Lord Vishnu disappeared from there and Manasputras continued to live there.
END OF SKANDA PURANA
It is just another story much like most of the stories of the Western world of popular “health” culture. Something taken out of its context, from another science or another culture. It is then, without any real understanding from the culture it was from, bastardized, packaged and sold. What is touted to be cool or new science becomes the end all, be all until it burns out in popularity like the pet rock or something new comes along or the science is disproved by the new science and all is forgotten as the sheep move on to the next thing. All I have to ask is are you all not sick of all of that same downward spiral yet? You all are not getting healthier with all of it. Haven’t you noticed or are you still too busy with being busy to notice?
So here is the problem with utter ignorance…… it cannot see what is clearly in front of it.
The story goes that this guy goes to Tibet. At 18,000 feet of elevation near Mt. Kailash in Tibet to be exact, he staggered into a guest house from the -10 degree weather and was “literally” rejuvenated by a creamy cup of yak butter tea. From this was born the newest health/death fad. Just as Paleo is the newest nutrition that people will literally send me death threats for saying that it too is just another fad. (much like the Zone Diet was back in the 90’s and Atkin’s in 2000’s) This bullet proof idiom is far from being as it’s name touts. Lets break it down in a language of the human body that the Western world has yet to discover.
It is obviously incredibly cold there in Tibet where they drink this yak butter tea. Let’s press pause and think about this for a while. What do you come up with?
They put yak butter in the tea in Tibet because they have the strength of digestion due to the cold to be able to deal with how heavy the yak butter is. The oil is also needed to keep the digestive fire going. More so they also are used to the yak butter. It is from the environment they are; a yak that lives in the same climate and eats grass/grains in the same environment…….. it is natural to their genes. Let me put it a different way, you would not find spirulina nuggets there now would you? They also have been doing this for centuries and it has been handed down along with natural knowledge of how to eat, how to cook the food in their area/environment, how much quantity and what qualities to be eating in their food throughout the seasons to remain healthy for where they live and who they are. This is a major point that is not comprehended in the West today.
Another major point to notice is that in Delhi and Mumbai they are not putting yak butter in their chai. In fact, they are not even putting coconut oil in their tea in Kerala either. And none of those places are even importing it. Do you think they just do not know how imperial America has labeled coconut as the newest “super food”?
This guy that went to Tibet is a foreigner. He has none of this knowledge about why they put yak butter in the tea and does not even know that there is a knowledge behind it. He does know is how good that yak butter tastes in that tea and how it rejuvenated him when he was cold and depleted. So he brings the idea back to America and packages it and sells it to the masses that will take whatever they can get their hands on to prevent the onslaught of their plight……… living. Nothing will ever quench that fear of ageing in the West and the new fear of not being healthy or the fear of disease that is growing and growing. It has grown so big that it feeds a industry of fitness, yoga, coaching, health, and even then the woo woo healing realm……. anything new and cool will make one better and healthier……… and the truth is that they are……….. you are……….. just killing yourself with all the new popular fads. You are/they are creating your/their own disease.
Think about the Western scientific paradigm. It only believes in what it can prove and then also reproduce. It goes against anything that it does not have the paradigm to understand or prove by its own beliefs or methods and has the belief from an egocentric lens that it is the highest knowledge. Anything that is written in a religious “type” text i.e. that which is not understood by the Western scientific methodology then gets put aside with labels of quackery or pseudo science or just religious, like it isn’t real or valid. This is specially because much of those, without belief, can not be experienced or proven and remains as knowledge that is outside the scientific testability. Like god as an example. Yet, Western science continues to try to prove/disprove god and continues to fail to do either.
In Western science, great thinkers have written things that are then challenged and disproven later in time. It is understood that the science is fallible. From the get go it assumes that everything else has to fit this shoe as well. The only paradigm that exists permits this due to the blind belief that the scientific knowledge is ever growing and evolving or that the thought/belief that the science is improving. The Western paradigm is based in a belief in an evolution of knowledge and this, in its paradigm, puts itself at the fore front of that knowledge continuously…….. and conveniently (thinking it is continuously stepping forward). This puts any other knowledge or wisdom in a place of being the bearer of any excuse the Western science wants to create to explain its superiority. Since the entire world is brain washed by this belief, it is not too hard to pull this off either.
To the contrary to this belief, you can easily see the destruction of humanity that has been created by the “evolution of Western science”. Just simply look around. I don’t believe I really need to go into detail on that one.
Let me explain, this one is oh so simple.
The bullet proof coffee, do you think for one second that something that is taken from being served at 18,000 feet in -10 degrees is going to be healthy in a normal regulated climate in your day to day life? Really?
Why do you think that having a coffee with coconut oil or whatever mct oil is ever going to meet up to having a real meal?
Why do you think it is satiating as a meal, maybe because it is so heavy to digest?
Do you really think that your digestion is the same all year around?
Do you really think that your digestion is already in a healthy enough state to have this daily or even at all?
And what do you have to understand what healthy digestion is?
And after understanding that your science is based on being fallible and is totally okay with being right until it is wrong, does it make any sense at all to follow what is new and popular?
…yak butter. The yak is a heavy slow creature with milk that is much like buffalo milk but even heavier. They are found up only above 12,000 feet in elevation as they can withstand colder temperatures due to their fur. This also means that they are more disease resistant and their milk being heavy means it is more nutrient dense. This is a plus in the West since when a substance is nutrient dense it is already considered to be healthy and gets labeled a super food then the price and popularity and consumption goes sky high. This itself is the ignorance. Just because something is nutrient dense does not mean your system can handle those nutrients. Since “you all” are gobbling up all of that nutrient dense foods from every where on the planet, you might want to stop and realize that substances that are nutrient dense are anabolic. They grow tissues. And from my looking at things out there, since the digestive systems out there are pretty taxed, it looks like what you are growing is more toxic tissues rather than healthy ones. This in eyes of Ayurveda or Chinese Medicine can be easily seen for the reasons for all the rise in cancer and diseases in the West.
Still thinking the newest coolest popular health fads are the thing to do?
Lets look at it from another side. Since the yak butter thing has gotten popular, yaks have gotten in the lime light. There is a growing industry now of yak breeding for their meat and milk, since it is more “nutritious” as well as their wool and how easy and disease resistant they are. This is not a positive thing from a understanding of knowledge like the yak butter being in the tea in Tibet and it not being healthy anywhere else. This of course is a positive thing to a world of progress for progress’ sake.
Quackery is the promotion of fraudulent or ignorant medical practices.
When someone states that they are healing someone this door opens.
What healing has become a popular word to use for just about everything as well as transformation, growth, and many others. Most people do not realize the amount of deception and lies being lived in this area of “profession”. Ayurveda is not standardized at all in the West. You can hang a sign up and just start talking and believe it or not most people will start listening. Most of the people who are of name and fame in this area are not of high education or high knowledge of Ayurveda. From anyone that does have a higher education than the western books written by these people, it is obvious. So what does this make the practitioners then?
This is a clip from someone elses site on Deepak Chopra. Chopra gives out certifications like candy and they have a high bill to them to validate them i guess. This is not to pick on Deepak but to maybe enliven some truth out there because as far as ayurveda goes in the West, there is not much.
The son of a New Delhi cardiologist, Deepak Chopra was born in 1947 and graduated from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in 1968. After interning at a New Jersey hospital, he trained for several more years at the Lahey Clinic and the University of Virginia Hospital and became board-certified in internal medicine and endocrinology. Although he developed a thriving practice and became chief of staff at New England Memorial Hospital, he became increasingly uneasy about his situation.
Chopra’s autobiography (Return of the Rishi) describes what impelled him toward ayurveda. One “pivotal” experience involved “pulse diagnosis” by Brihaspati Dev Triguna, “the preeminent living Ayurvedic physician,” who, in 1981, told Chopra that his life was “moving too fast” and he was in danger of developing heart disease. Triguna advised Chopra to sit silently each morning, spend more time with his wife and children, chew his food slowly, make sure his bowels move at the same time every day, and eat skinned almonds slowly in the morning.
Another factor in Chopra’s conversion was his experience with transcendental meditation (TM), which he credits for helping him stop “drinking black coffee by the hour and smoking at least a pack of cigarettes a day.” TM is a technique in which the meditator sits with eyes closed and mentally repeats a Sanskrit word or mantra for 15 to 20 minutes, twice a day. TM is alleged to help people think more clearly, improve their memory, recover immediately from stressful situations, reverse their aging process, and enjoy life more fully. Proponents also claim that “stress is the basis of all illness” and that TM is the “most effective thing you can do to improve all aspects of health and to increase inner happiness and learning ability.” Meditation may temporarily relieve stress—as would many types of relaxation techniques—but the rest of these claims have no scientific basis. Most diseases (including cancer) are not stress-related, and stress-reduction has no proven effect on the course of most illnesses.
In 1984, Chopra met the Maharishi, who encouraged him to learn about Ayurveda. Chopra did so, although where was that education and how deep it was is unknown, and in 1985 he became director of the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Center for Stress Management in Lancaster, Massachusetts. He also founded and became president of the American Association for Ayurvedic Medicine and Maharishi Ayur-Veda Products International (MAPI). The FDA inspected MAPI in 1991 and 1992 after an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association alleged that the company was distributing products for treating AIDS, cancer, and other diseases. An FDA report that summarized the inspection findings noted that Chopra had been MAPI’s sole stockholder until September 1987, when the stock was transferred to the tax-exempt Maharishi Ayurveda Foundation and that Chopra’s attorney said that Chopra was no longer associated in any way with MAPI. MAPI is now called Maharishi Ayurveda Products.
In 1993, Chopra abandoned these ties and moved to San Diego, where he became executive director of the Sharp Institute for Human Potential and Mind/Body Medicine (part of a large mainstream medical organization) and opened a treatment facility called the Center for Mind/Body Medicine, which charged $1,125 to $3,200 for its week-long “purification” program. He also marketed seminars, books and herbal products through Quantum Publications, which was owned by him and his family. Most of the products were marketed under the brand name “Ageless Body, Timeless Mind.”
Many other herbal preparations have been marketed through ayurvedic physicians who could purchase them at a 30% discount for resale to their patients. A catalog from the late 1980s refers to these products as “food supplements” but states which ones are useful (“as a dietary complement”) for cancer, epilepsy, poliomyelitis, schizophrenia, tuberculosis, and more than 80 other ailments. Another publication, marked “confidential,” lists “indications according to disease entities” for about seventy products identified by number. Practitioners could also select remedies with “Maharishi Ayurveda Treatment and Prevention Programs,” a computer program copyrighted in 1987 by Maharishi Ayurveda Corporation of America, that generated reports for both the doctor and the patient. The data entered included disease codes and body types. Federal law requires that products marketed with therapeutic claims be generally recognized by experts as effective for their intended use. I do not believe that these products met federal approval criteria, which would mean that such marketing was illegal. The documents to which I refer were collected between 1987 and 1991. I don’t know whether these distribution systems still exist or when they were set up.
Quantum Publications’ 1995 catalog offered books, inspirational tapes, musical tapes (some for each dosha), skin-care products, massage oils, seasonings (for each dosha), and herbal formulas. The catalog stated:
Ancient Ayurvedic texts describe each herb as a packet of vibrations that specifically match a vibration in the quantum mechanical body. All bodily organs, for example, the liver, the stomach and the heart are built up from a specific sequence of vibrations at the quantum level. In the case of a malfunction, some disruption of the proper sequence in these vibrations is at fault. According to Ayurveda, a herb exists with this exact same sequence, and when applied, it can help restore the organ’s functioning.
The formulas included OptiEnergy (“for energizing and balancing the physiology”), OptiMind (to aid mental activity), OptiMan, and OptiWoman. Several products named after organs or diseases were identified as “supplements . . . to be taken only when recommended by a health professional trained in Ayurveda.” These included OptiHep, OptiNeph, OptiCardio and OptiRheum. In 1995, an “American Journal” producer had samples of nine products tested by two laboratories, which reported that all of them contained insect fragments.
In July 1995, Californian Jonie Flint filed suit against Chopra, Triguna, The Sharp Institute, and various other individuals and organizations. Flint’s husband David, who was suffering from leukemia, had consulted Triguna in April 1993. According to the complaint, Triguna was represented as a licensed health professional (which he is not) and concluded that David’s liver function was down and that he had “heat” in his spleen and bone marrow, “wind” in his stomach, and pressure on his nerves. Triguna recommended dietary changes, “purification” treatment, and various herbal products. David then underwent treatment at the Lancaster clinic and purchased and used Maharishi Amrit Kalash and several other products. He also consulted Chopra, who performed pulse diagnosis and provided a mantra for “quantum sound treatment.” (This is a technique—also called “primordial sound treatment”—described in one of Chopra’s books as “similar to meditation, but . . . prescribed for specific illnesses, including those we consider incurable in the West, such as cancer.”) In December 1993, Triguna retested David’s pulse and declared that his leukemia was gone. It was not, however, and David died four months later. The suit charged that the $10,000 he spent for ayurvedic services and products was obtained by fraud. Unfortunately, Flint lacked the resouces to pursue her suit, so the accuracy of her allegations could not be investigated under courtroom conditions.
Whether Chopra practiced medicine after leaving Massachusetts is not clear. In 1995, a reporter who investigated his activities for New York magazine noted that Chopra was not licensed to practice medicine in California. When she asked how he could see patients, a Sharp publicist replied, “He sees patients, but not as a doctor.”
As far as I know, Chopra has stopped seeing patients but devotes his time to writing, lecturing, and other promotional activities. In 1997, Newsweek reported that he charged $25,000 for most of his lecture programs . He parted with Sharp in 1996 and became “educational director” of the Chopra Center in La Jolla, California. A press release describes the Center as “a 14,000-square-foot haven for relaxation and healing . . . featuring educational programs for the integration of mind, body, spirit, and environment.” Chopra’s web site has stated that that the treatments will:
Other goodies on Chopra’s site have included an an interactive Body Type Test, the Dosha Quiz, the Chopra Center Store of Infinite Possibilities, from which products could be ordered, and Testimonials from four people who were treated at the center. One, a golfer, reported that he had just shot the best 18-hole round of his life.
In December 2004, A Medline search was conducted to see whether Chopra had published any data in scientific journals. Nothing was found.
So who are you believing? What are you believing?
You got a rapist multi millionaire as the most popular “yoga” style across the world and you have quack top Ayurveda people as the most popular as well. What world do you live in?
THE TEACHINGS OF GURU SUKRACHARYA
[ BRIEF FROM THE MAHABHARATA ]
He was born as the son of Rishi Brighu and his wife Ushana. The feminine natured Shukra is a Brahminical planet. He was born on Friday in the year Partiva on Sravana Suddha Ashtami when Svati Nakshatra is on the ascent. Hence, Friday is known as Shukravar. He went on to study Vedas under rishi Angirasa but he was disturbed by Angirasa’s favouritism to his son Brihaspati. He then went to study under rishi Gautama. He later performed penance to Lord Shiva and obtained the Sanjivani mantra (a hymn that can revive the dead, mahamrtunjaya).
During this period Brihaspati became the Guru (Preceptor) of the divine people Deva. Out of jealousy, Shukracharya decides to become the Guru of Asuras. He helps them achieve victory over the Devas and uses his magic to revive the dead and wounded Asuras.
In one story, Lord Vishnu is born as the Brahmin sage Vamana. Vamana comes to take the three worlds as alms from the asura King Bali. Lord Vishnu wanted to deceive the King Bali who was the grandson of the great ing Prahlad, in order to help the Devas. The sage Shukracharya identifies him immediately and warns the King. The King is however a man of his word and offers the gift to Vamana. Shukracharya, annoyed with the pride of the King, shrinks himself with his powers and sits in the spout of the vase, from which water has to be poured to seal the promise to the deity in disguise. Lord Vishnu, in disguise of the dwarf, understands immediately, and picks a straw from the ground and directs it up the spout, poking out the left eye of Shukracharaya. Since this day onwards, the guru of the asuras has been known to be half blind.
He married Priyavratha’s daughter Urjaswathi and gave birth to four sons — Chanda, Amarka, Twashtra, Dharatra and a daughter by name Devyani. Devyani was the daughter of Shukracharya, who was rejected by the son of Brihaspati, Kacha. She later marries Yayati who found the Kuru dynasty. Shukra, the Sanskrit for “clear, pure” or “brightness, clearness”, is the name the son of Bhrgu and Ushana, and preceptor of the Daityas, and the guru of the Asuras, identified with the planet Venus, one of the Navagrahas (with honorific, Shukracharya). He presides over ‘Shukravar’ or Friday.
Shukra : Friday the God of Venus
Affiliation: Graha and Guru of Asuras, Daityas
Mount: Crocodile / chariot pulled by seven horses
He is of white complexion, middle-aged and of agreeable countenance. He is described variously mounted , on a camel or a horse or a crocodile. He holds a stick, beads and a lotus and sometimes a bow and arrow..
THE ATTRACTION OF A WOMAN
STREENAAMDVARNAAMAAPI SAHLAADI VIKAROTYEV MAANASAM ||
KIPUNARDARSHANAM TAASAAM VILAASOLLAASITABHRUVAAM ||
(The mere mention of a woman’s name delights a person and his thoughts are filled with lust, then why not by looking at a beautiful woman who makes her eyebrows dance)
RAHAH PRACHAARKUSHALAA MRIDUGADGADABHISHINEE ||
KAM NA NAAREE VASHEEKURYAANNARAM RAKTANTALOCHNAA ||
(Why not a woman, who is clever enough to have her food alone, who talks softly and delightfully, who can taunt affectionately, will capture the heart of any man)
VYAAYACHCHHANTASHCHA BAHAVAH STREESHUNAASHAM GATAA
INDRADANDAKYANAHUSHARAAVANAADDYAA NRIPAAHYATAH ||
(The lust for ‘other women’ has caused destruction to many men like Indra, Dandakya, Nahusha and Ravana)
PARASTREE-SANGAME KAAMO LOBHO YOJYONAANYADHANESHU CHA ||
SWAPRAJAADANDANE KRODHO NAIVA DHARYONRIPAIH KADAA ||
(A King should never have lust for ‘other women’, should never have greed for ‘other’s wealth’, should never give punishment to his subject in anger because ‘Lust’, ‘Greed’ and ‘Anger’ are the causes for downfall)
EXAMINATION OF ‘POISONED FOOD’
VISHADOSHABHAYAADANNAM VIMRISHET KAPIKUKKUTAIH ||
HANSAAH SKHALANTI KUJANTI BHRINGAA NRITYANTIMAA YU RAAH ||
VIRAUTI KUKKUTO MADDYET KRAUNCHO VE RECHATE KAPIH ||
HRISHTAROMAA BHAVED BABHRUH SAARIKAA VAMATE TATHA ||
HASHTVAIVAM SAVISHAM CHAANNAM TASMABHDOJYAM PAREEKSHAYET ||
(If there is a fear of the food being poisoned, then it should be examined by the help of a monkey, cock etc. The mere sight of the poisoned food makes a swan (Hansa) to totter, the black bee begins to make a noise, the peacock begins to dance, the cock begins to ‘crow’, the Heron (KRAUNCH PAKSHI) gets intoxicated, the monkey begins to pass ‘filth’ and urine, the mongoose (BABHRU) gets excited, the ‘starling’ (SAARIKA PAKSHI) starts vomiting- These are the ways to examine the poisoned food. The King and his administrators must examine the food, whether it is poisoned or not, before consuming it)
POLICIES ON BEHAVIOUR
NAASIKAAM NA VIKRISHNEEYAANNAAKASMAADVILIKHED BHUVAM ||
NA SANHATAABHYAAM PAANIBHYAAM KANDOOYEDAATMANAH SHIRAH||
(One should not clean his nostrils by inserting fingers in it, should not draw lines on the earth suddenly or should not dig the earth. One should not scratch his head with both the hands)
CHARACTERISTICS OF A TYRANT
AGNIDO GARADASHCHAIVA SHASTRONMATTO DHANAAPAHAH ||
KSHETRADAARAHARASHCHAITAAN SHAD VIDDYAADAATTAAYINAH||
(One who ignites fire and causes destruction, one who gives poison, one who is Eveready to kill intoxicated by the power of his sword, one who plunders others wealth, one who overtakes others farm and woman- should be considered as a TYRANT)
TAKING CARE OF (DUTIES)
NOPEKSHETA STRIYAM BAALAM ROGAM DAASAM PASHUM DHANAM ||
VIDDYAABHYAASAM KSHANAMAPI SATSEVAAM BUDDHIMAANNARAH ||
(One must not be indifferent towards his wife, his son, diseases, servants, domestic animals, wealth, knowledge and studies and doing service to a gentleman for a moment. One must always take care of them)
MAATRUPITRUGURUSWAAMMI BHATRUPUTRASAKHISHVAPI ||
NA VIRUDHYENNAAPAKURYAANMANASAAPI KSHANAM AKCHIT ||
GRASPING EVEN THE ENEMIES GOOD QUALITIES
SHATRORAPI GUNAA GRAAHYAA GUROSTYAAJYAASTU DURGUNAAH ||
(One should accept the good qualities of even the enemies and should salute him but on the other hand even if his teacher has bad qualities, he should reject them)
DOING WORK IN HASTE WITHOUT MUCH CONSIDERATION
KRIYAAPHALAMVIGYAAYA YATATE SAAHASEE CHA SAH ||
DUHKHABHAAGEE BHAVATYEVA KRIYAYAA TATPHALEN VAA ||
(A misadventurist, who tries to do any work in a haste without giving much thought, and without knowing the consequences, gets only sorrow either because of the work itself or because of the consequences of that work)
WORSE THAN A DEATH
STREEBHIJINTO RINEE NITYAM SUDARIDRASHCHA YAACHAKAH ||
GUNAHEENORTHAHEENAH SANA MRITAA ETE SAJEEVAKAAH ||
(A man who is under the influence and control of women, who is a debtor, struck by extreme poverty, a demander without any quality and wealth- such a man is worse than a dead man, though being alive)
AAYURVITTAM GRIHCHCHHIDRAM MANTRAMAITHUNBHESHAJAM ||
DAANAMAANAPAMAANAM CHA NAVAITAANI SUGOPAYET ||
(One should maintain secrecy of his age, wealth, demerits of his home, Hymn (mantra), copulation, medicine, charity, respect and disrespect i.e. he should never tell others of these nine things)
ESSENTIALITY OF KARMA
KARMAIVA KAARANAM CHAATRA SUGATIM DURGATIM PRATI ||
KARMAIVA PRAAKTANAMAPI KSHANAM KI KOSTI CHAKRIYAH ||
(Karma is the cause for our SUGATI- happy conditions and DURGATI- miseries in this world. PRAARABDHA- providence, destiny is nothing else but our KARMAS (deeds, good and evil) of PURVAJANAM (our previous birth regeneration). Can any one live for a second without doing a KARMA.)
NA JAATYAA BRAAHMNASHCHAATRA KSHATIRYO VAISYA EVA NA ||
NA SHUDRO NA CHA VAI MLECHICHO BHEDITAA GUNAKARMABHIH ||
(In this world, no one is a Brahmin (BRAHMA), KSHATRIYA (a warrior caste), VAISHYA (caste doing trading/business) and SHUDRA (low caste) by birth but on the basis of quality (GUNAA) and deeds and actions (KARMA)
GYAANKARMOPAASANAABHIRDDEVATAARAADHANE RATAH ||
SHAANTO DAANTO DAYAALUSHCHA BRAHMANASHCHA GUNA KRITAH ||
(Brahmin (Brahmana) is created by having following qualities like GYAANKANDA (having yearning for the Holy Scriptures), KARMAKANDA (knowledge of performing YAGNA (HOMA) and UPASANA (WORSHIP). He is also engrossed in worship of the deities, is gentle, has controlled his senses and is kind)
LOKASANRAKSHANE DAKSHAH SHOORO DAANTAH PARAAKRAMI ||
DUSHTANIGRAHASHEELO YAH SA VAI KSHATRIYA UCHYATE ||
(One who cleverly protects his subjects, is brave, has control over his senses and whose nature is to punish the wrong doers is called a KSHATRIYA).
KRAYAVIKRAYAKUSHALAAHYE YE NITYAM PANYAJEEVINAH ||
PASHURAKSHAKRISHIKARAASTE VAISHYAAH KEERTITAAHBHUVI ||
(One who is efficient in KRAYA (purchasing) and VIKRAYA (selling) daily earns his livelihood by his business, one who does PASHU PAALANA (animal husbandry and farming are called VAISHYA in this world)
DWIJASEVAARCHANARATAAH SHOORAAH SHANTAA JITENDRIYAAH ||
SARIKAASHTHATRINAVAHAASTE NEECHAAH SHOODRASANGYAKAAH ||
(Those who are in the service of the DWIJA (BRAHMA, KSHATRIYA AND VAISHYA, brave, gentle have control over their senses, carry plough (HALA), KAASHTHA (WOOD) and TRINA (grass) are called SHUDRA)
TYAKTASVADHARMAACHARANAA NIRGHRINAAH PARPEEDAKAAH ||
CHANDAASHCHA HINSAKAAH NITYAM MLECHCHHAASTE ||
(Those who abandon their own DHARMA [goodness] , lack kindness, cause harm to others, possess excessive anger and are violent are called MLECCHA and they lack the power of REASONING (VIVEKA)
EFFECTS OF KARMA AND DESTINY
PRAAKKARMAPHALBHOGAARHAA BUDDHIH SANJAAYATE NRINAAM ||
PAAPAKARMANI PUNYE VAA KARTUM SHAKTO NA CHAANYATHAA ||
(A man is capable or incapable of doing Karmas (good or evil) in his present life according to the Karmas done in his previous birth that is if he has done evil Karmas or good Karmas in his previous birth, then his mind will change accordingly in his present birth and will do good or evil Karmas to face its consequences)
BANDHIRUTPADDYATE TAADDYAG YAADDAKKARMAPHALODAYAH ||
SAHAAYAASTAADDASHAA EVA YAADDASHEE BHAVITAVYATAA ||
(The mind changes as soon as the time comes to face the consequences of the Karmas. As the destiny is, accordingly one gets friends (good or evil)
DAIVE PURUSHAKAARE CHA KHALU SARVAM PRATISTHITAM ||
PURVAJANMAKRITAM KARMEHAAJITAM TAD DVIDHA KRITAM ||
(All the actions of the world are based on BHAGYA- destiny and PURUSHARTHA labour, actions committed in the previous birth are destiny and actions committed in this life are called PURUSHARTHA. Thus KARMAS have been differentiated in two ways whichever of the two (BHAGYA and PURUSHARTHA) is powerful forces the other to surrender. The strength cannot be identified merely by analyzing the results of the Karma or by any other means)
AVASHYAMBHAAVIBHAAVANAAM PRATEEKAARO NA CHEDDYADI ||
DUSHTAANAAM KSHAPANAM SHREYO YAAVADBUDDHIBALODAYAIH ||
(It would not have been possible to destroy the evils and evil doers if the destiny was unchangeable that is PURUSHARTHA (labour) can change even the BHAGYA (destiny)
MAHATEE SATKRIYAANISHTAPHALAA SYAAT PRATIKOOLAKE ||
BALIRDAANEN SAMBADDHO HARISHCHANDRASTATHAIVA CHA ||
(If the destiny is unfavourable then the most virtuous of actions gives bad results just like the King Bali who was tied up even after being so charitable and Harishchandra had to serve a MLECHA, even after being a Truthful man)
BHAVATEESHTAM SATKRIYAYAANISHTAM TADVIPAREEYATAA ||
SHAASTRATAH SADSAJGYAATVAA TYAKTVAASATSATSAMAACHARET||
(Good actions give good results and evil actions give bad results , so one must accept good actions and reject evil actions as described in the scriptures).
1. I shall now describe Yoga-Tattva (Yoga-Truth) for the benefit of Yogins who are freed from all sins through the hearing and the studying of it.
2. The supreme Purusha called Vishnu, who is the great Yogin, the great being and the great Tapasvin, is seen as a lamp in the path of the truth.
3. The Grandfather (Brahma) having saluted the Lord of the universe (Vishnu) and having paid Him due respects, asked Him (thus): “Pray, explain to us the truth of Yoga which includes in it the eight subservients.”
4. To which Hrisikesha (the Lord of the senses or Vishnu) replied thus: “Listen. I shall explain its truth. All souls are immersed in happiness and sorrow through the snare of Maya.
5-6. Kaivalya, the supreme seat, is the path which gives them emancipation, which rends asunder the snare of Maya, which is the destroyer of birth, old age and disease and which enables one to overcome death. There are no other paths to salvation. Those who go round the net of Shastras are deluded by that knowledge.
7. It is impossible even for the Devas to describe that indescribable state. How can that which is self-shining be illuminated by the Shastras ?
8. That only which is without parts and stains and which is quiescent beyond all and free from decay becomes the Jiva (self) on account of the results of past virtues and sins.
9. How did that which is the seat of Paramatman, is eternal and above the state of all existing things and is of the form of wisdom and without stains attain the state of Jiva ?
10. A bubble arose in it as in water and in this (bubble) arose Ahankara. To it arose a ball (of body) made of the five (elements) and bound by Dhatus.
11. Know that to be Jiva which is associated with happiness and misery and hence is the term Jiva applied to Paramatman which is pure.
12-13. That Jiva is considered to be the Kevala (alone) which is freed from the stains of passion, anger, fear, delusion, greed, pride, lust, birth, death, miserliness, swoon, giddiness, hunger, thirst, ambition, shame, fright, heart-burning, grief and gladness.
14. So I shall tell you the means of destroying (these) sins. How could Jnana capable of giving Moksha arise certainly without Yoga ?
15. And even Yoga becomes powerless in (securing) Moksha when it is devoid of Jnana. So the aspirant after emancipation should practise (firmly) both Yoga and Jnana.
16. The cycle of births and deaths comes only through Jnana and perishes only through Jnana. Jnana alone was originally. It should be known as the only means (of salvation).
17-18(a). That is Jnana through which one cognises (in himself) the real nature of Kaivalya as the supreme seat, the stainless, the partless and of the nature of Sachchidananda without birth, existence and death and without motion and Jnana.
18(b)-19. Now I shall proceed to describe Yoga to you: Yoga is divided into many kinds on account of its actions: (viz.,) Mantra-Yoga, Laya-Yoga, Hatha-Yoga and Raja-Yoga.
20. There are four states common to all these: (viz.,) Arambha, Ghata, Parichaya and Nishpatti.
21. O Brahma, I shall describe these to you. Listen attentively. One should practise the Mantra along with its Matrikas (proper intonations of the sounds) and others for a period of twelve years;
22. Then he gradually obtains wisdom along with the Siddhis, (such as) Anima, etc. Persons of weak intellect who are the least qualified for Yoga practise this.
23-24(a). The (second) Laya-Yoga tends towards the absorption of the Chitta and is described in myriads of ways; (one of which is) – one should contemplate upon the Lord who is without parts (even) while walking, sitting, sleeping, or eating. This is called Laya-Yoga.
24(b)-25. Now hear (the description of) Hatha-Yoga. This Yoga is said to possess (the following) eight subservients, Yama (forbearance), Niyama (religious observance), Asana (posture), Pranayama (suppression of breath), Pratyahara (subjugation of the senses), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana, the contemplation on Hari in the middle of the eyebrows and Samadhi that is the state of equality.
26-27. Maha-Mudra, Maha-Bandha and Khechari, Jalandhara, Uddiyana and Mula-Bandha, uttering without intermission Pranava (OM) for a long time and hearing the exposition of the supreme truths, Vajroli, Amaroli and Sahajoli, which form a triad – all these separately I shall give a true description of.
28-29(a). O four-faced one (Brahma), among (the duties of) Yama moderate eating – and not others – forms the principal factor; and non-injury is most important in Niyama.
29(b). (The chief postures are) four (viz.,) Siddha, Padma, Simha and Bhadra.
30-31. During the early stages of practice the following obstacles take place, O four-faced one, (viz.,) laziness, idle talk, association with bad characters, acquisition of Mantras, etc., playing with metals (alchemy) and woman, etc., and mirage. A wise man having found out these should abandon them by the force of his virtues.
32. Then assuming Padma posture, he should practise Pranayama. He should erect a beautiful monastery with a very small opening and with no crevices.
33. It should be well pasted with cow-dung or with white cement. It should be carefully freed from bugs, mosquitoes and lice.
34. It should be swept well every day with a broom. It should be perfumed with good odours; and fragrant resins should burn in it.
35-36(a). Having taken his seat neither too high nor too low on a cloth, deer-skin and Kusa grass spread, one over the other, the wise man should assume the Padma posture and keeping his body erect and his hands folded in respect, should salute his tutelary deity.
36(b)-40. Then closing the right nostril with his right thumb, he should gradually draw in the air through the left nostril. Having restrained it as long as possible, he should again expel it through the right nostril slowly and not very fast. Then filling the stomach through the right nostril, he should retain it as long as he can and then expel it through the left nostril. Drawing the air through that nostril by which he expels, he should continue this in uninterrupted succession. The time taken in making a round of the knee with the palm of the hand, neither very slowly nor vary rapidly and snapping the fingers once is called a Matra.
41-44. Drawing the air through the left nostril for about sixteen Matras and having retained it (within) for about sixty-four Matras, one should expel it again through the right nostril for about thirty-two Matras. Again fill the right nostril as before (and continue the rest). Practise cessation of breath four times daily (viz.,) at sunrise, noon, sunset and midnight, till eighty (times are reached). By a continual practice for about three months, the purification of the Nadis takes place. When the Nadis have become purified, certain external signs appear on the body of the Yogin.
45-46(a). I shall proceed to describe them. (They are) lightness of the body, brilliancy of complexion, increase of the gastric fire, leanness of the body and along with these, absence of restlessness in the body.
46(b)-49. The proficient in Yoga should abandon the food detrimental to the practice of Yoga. He should give up salt, mustard; things sour, hot, pungent, or bitter vegetables; asafoetida, etc., worship of fire, women, walking, bathing at sunrise, emaciation of the body by fasts, etc. During the early stages of practice, food of milk and ghee is ordained; also food consisting of wheat, green pulse and red rice are said to favour the progress. Then he will be able to retain his breath as long as he likes.
50-53. By thus retaining the breath as long as he likes, Kevala Kumbhaka (cessation of breath without inspiration and expiration) is attained. When Kevala Kumbhaka is attained by one and thus expiration and inspiration are dispensed with, there is nothing unattainable in the three worlds to him. In the commencement (of his practice), sweat is given out; he should wipe it off. Even after that, owing to the retaining of the breath, the person practising it gets phlegm. Then by an increased practice of Dharana, sweat arises.
54. As a frog moves by leaps, so the Yogin sitting in the Padma posture moves on the earth. With a (further) increased practice, he is able to rise from the ground.
55. He, while seated in Padma posture, levitates. There arises to him the power to perform extraordinary feats.
56. He does (or should) not disclose to others his feats of great powers (in the path). Any pain small or great, does not affect the Yogin.
57. Then excretions and sleep are diminished; tears, rheum in the eye, salivary flow, sweat and bad smell in the mouth do not arise in him.
58-60. With a still further practice, he acquires great strength by which he attains Bhuchara Siddhi, which enables him to bring under his control all the creatures that tread this earth; tigers, Sarabhas (an animal with eight legs), elephants, with bulls or lions die on being struck by the palm of the Yogin. He becomes as beautiful as the god of love himself.
61-62. All females being taken up with the beauty of his person will desire to have intercourse with him. If he so keeps connection, his virility will be lost; so abandoning all copulation with women, he should continue his practice with great assiduity. By the preservation of the semen, a good odour pervades the body of the Yogin.
63. Then sitting in a secluded place, he should repeat Pranava (OM) with three Pluta-Matras (or prolonged intonation) for the destruction of his former sins.
64. The Mantra, Pranava (OM) destroys all obstacles and all sins. By practising thus he attains the Arambha (beginning or first) state.
65-66. Then follows the Ghata (second State) – one which is acquired by constantly practising suppression of breath. When a perfect union takes place between Prana and Apana, Manas and Buddhi, or Jivatma and Paramatman without opposition, it is called the Ghata state. I shall describe its signs.
67. He may now practise only for about one-fourth of the period prescribed for practice before. By day and evening, let him practise only for a Yama (3 hours).
68-69(a). Let him practise Kevala Kumbhaka once a day. Drawing away completely the organs from the objects of sense during cessation of breath is called Pratyahara.
69(b). Whatever he sees with his eyes, let him consider as Atman.
70. Whatever he hears with his ears, let him consider as Atman. Whatever he smells with his nose, let him consider as Atman.
71. Whatever he tastes with his tongue, let him consider as Atman. Whatever the Yogin touches with his skin, let him consider as Atman.
72. The Yogin should thus unwearied gratify his organs of sense for a period of one Yama every day with great effort.
73-74. Then various wonderful powers are attained by the Yogin, such as clairvoyance, clair-audience, ability to transport himself to great distances within a moment, great power of speech, ability to take any form, ability to become invisible and the transmutation of iron into gold when the former is smeared over with his excretion.
75-76. That Yogin who is constantly practising Yoga attains the power to levitate. Then should the wise Yogin think that these powers are great obstacles to the attainment of Yoga and so he should never take delight in them. The king of Yogins should not exercise his powers before any person whatsoever.
77. He should live in the world as a fool, an idiot, or a deaf man, in order to keep his powers concealed.
78-79. His disciples would, without doubt, request him to show his powers for the gratification of their own desires. One who is actively engaged in one’s duties forgets to practise (Yoga); so he should practise day and night Yoga without forgetting the words of the Guru. Thus passes the Ghata state to one who is constantly engaged in Yoga practice.
80. To one nothing is gained by useless company, since thereby he does not practise Yoga. So one should with great effort practise Yoga.
81-83(a). Then by this constant practice is gained the Parichaya state (the third state). Vayu (or breath) through arduous practice pierces along with Agni the Kundalini through thought and enters the Susumna uninterrupted. When one’s Chitta enters Susumna along with Prana, it reaches the high seat (of the head probably) along with Prana.
83(b). There are the five elements: Prithvi, Apas, Agni, Vayu and Akasa.
84-87(a). To the body of the five elements, there is the fivefold Dharana. From the feet to the knees is said to be the region of Prithvi, is four-sided in shape, is yellow in colour and has the Varna (or letter) ‘La’. Carrying the breath with the letter ‘La’ along the region of earth (viz., from the foot to the knees) and contemplating upon Brahma with four faces and four mouths and of a golden colour, one should perform Dharana there for a period of two hours. He then attains mastery over the earth. Death does not trouble him, since he has obtained mastery over the earth element.
87(b)-90. The region of Apas is said to extend from the knees to the anus. Apas is semi-lunar in shape and white in colour and has ‘Va’ for its Bija (seed) letter. Carrying up the breath with the letter ‘Va’ along the regions of Apas, he should contemplate on the God Narayana having four arms and a crowned head, as being of the colour of pure crystal, as dressed in orange clothes and as decayless; and practising Dharana there for a period of two hours, he is freed from all sins. Then there is no fear for him from water and he does not meet his death in water.
91. From the anus to the heart is said to be the region of Agni. Agni is triangular in shape, of red colour and has the letter ‘Ra’ for its (Bija) seed.
92-93(a). Raising the breath made resplendent through the letter ‘Ra’ along the region of fire, he should contemplate on Rudra, who has three eyes, who grants all wishes, who is of the colour of the midday sun, who is daubed all over with holy ashes and who is of a pleased countenance.
93(b)-94(a). Practising Dharana there for a period of two hours, he is not burnt by fire even though his body enters the fire-pit.
94(b)-96. From the heart to the middle of the eyebrows is said to the region of Vayu. Vayu is hexangular in shape, black in colour and shines with the letter ‘Ya’. Carrying the breath along the region of Vayu, he should contemplate on Ishvara, the Omniscient, as possessing faces on all sides; and practising Dharana there for two hours, he enters Vayu and then Akasa.
97-98(a). The Yogin does not meet his death through the fear of Vayu. From the centre of the eyebrows to the top of the head is said to be the region of Akasa, is circular in the shape, smoky in colour and shining with letter ‘Ha’.
98(b)-101(a). Raising the breath along the region of Akasa, he should contemplate on Sadashiva in the following manner, as producing happiness, as of the shape of Bindu, as the great Deva, as having the shape of Akasa, as shining like pure crystal, as wearing the rising crescent of moon on his head, as having five faces, ten hands and three eyes, as being of a pleased countenance, as armed with all weapons, as adorned with all ornaments, as having Uma (the goddess) in one-half of his body, as ready to grant favours and as the cause of all the causes.
101(b). By practising Dharana in the region of Akasa, he obtains certainly the power of levitating in the Akasa (ether).
102. Wherever he stays, he enjoys supreme bliss. The proficient in Yoga should practise these five Dharanas.
103. Then his body becomes strong and he does not know death. That great-minded man does not die even during the deluge of Brahma.
104-105. Then he should practise Dharana for a period of six Ghatikas (2 hours, 24 minutes). Restraining the breath in (the region of) Akasa and contemplating on the deity who grants his wishes – this is said to be Saguna Dhyana capable of giving (the Siddhis) Anima, etc. One who is engaged in Nirguna Dhyana attains the stage of Samadhi.
106. Within twelve days at least, he attains the stage of Samadhi. Restraining his breath, the wise one becomes an emancipated person.
107. Samadhi is that state in which the Jivatman (lower self) and the Paramatman (higher Self) are differenceless (or of equal state). If he desires to lay aside his body, he can do so.
108-109(a). He will become absorbed in Parabrahman and does not require Utkranti (going out or up). But if he does not so desire and if his body is dear to him, he lives in all the worlds possessing the Siddhis of Anima, etc.
109(b)-110. Sometimes he becomes a Deva and lives honoured in Svarga; or he becomes a man or an Yaksha through his will. He can also take the form of a lion, tiger, elephant, or horse through his own will.
111. The Yogin becoming the great Lord can live as long as he likes. There is difference only in the modes of procedure but the result is the same.
112-115(a). Place the left heel pressed on the Anus, stretch the right leg and hold it firmly with both hands. Place the head on the breast and inhale the air slowly. Restrain the breath as long as you can and then slowly breathe out. After practising it with the left foot, practise it with the right. Place the foot that was stretched before on the thigh. This is Maha-Bandha and should be practised on both sides.
115(b)-117(a). The Yogin sitting in Maha-Bandha and having inhaled the air with intent mind, should stop the course of Vayu (inside) by means of the throat Mudra and occupying the two sides (of the throat) with speed. This is called Mahavedha and is frequently practised by the Siddhas.
117(b)-118(a). With the tongue thrust into the interior cavity of the head (or throat) and with the eyes intent on the spot between the eyebrows, this is called Khechari-Mudra.
118(b)-119(a). Contracting the muscles of the neck and placing the head with a firm will on the breast, this is called the Jalandhara (Bandha); and is a lion to the elephant of death.
119(b)-120(a). That Bandha by which Prana flies through Susumna is called Uddiyana Bandha by the Yogins.
120(b)-121(a). Pressing the heal firmly against the anus, contracting the anus and drawing up the Apana, this is said to be Yoni-Bandha.
121(b)-122(a). Through Mula-Bandha, Prana and Apana as well as nada and Bindu are united and gives success in Yoga; there is no doubt about this.
122(b)-124(a). The one practising in a reversed manner (or on both sides) which destroys all diseases, the gastric fire is increased. Therefore a practitioner should collect a large quantity of provisions, (for) if he takes a small quantity of food, the fire (within) will consume his body in a moment.
124(b)-125. On the first day, he should stand on his head with the feet raised up for a moment. He should increase this period gradually every day. Wrinkles and greyness of hair will disappear within three months.
126. He who practises only for a period of a Yama (twenty-four minutes) every day conquers time. He who practises Vajroli becomes a Yogin and the repository of all Siddhis.
127-128. If the Yoga Siddhis are ever to be attained, he only has them within his reach. He knows the past and the future and certainly moves in the air. He who drinks of the nectar thus is rendered immortal day by day. He should daily practise Vajroli. Then it is called Amaroli.
129-131(a). Then he obtains the Raja-Yoga and certainly he does not meet with obstacles. When a Yogin fulfils his action by Raja-Yoga, then he certainly obtains discrimination and indifference to objects. Vishnu, the great Yogin, the grand one of great austerities and the most excellent Purusha is seen as a lamp in the path of truth.
131(b)-134(a). That breast from which one suckled before (in his previous birth) he now presses (in love) and obtains pleasure. He enjoys the same genital organ from which he was born before. She who was once his mother will now be wife and she who is now wife is (or will be) verily mother. He who is now father will be again son and he who is now son will be again father. Thus are the egos of this world wandering in the womb of birth and death like a bucket in the wheel of a well and enjoying the worlds.
134(b)-136(a). There are the three worlds, three Vedas, three Sandhyas (morning, noon and evening), three Svaras (sounds), three Agnis and Gunas, and all these are placed in the three letters (OM). He who understands that which is indestructible and is the meaning of the three (OM) – by him are all these worlds strung. This is the Truth, the supreme seat.
136(b)-138(a). As the smell in the flower, as the ghee in the milk, as the oil in the gingelly seed and as the gold in the quartz, so is the lotus situated in the heart. Its face is downwards and its stem upwards. Its Bindu is downwards and in its centre is situated Manas.
138(b)-139(a). By the letter ‘A’, the lotus becomes expanded; by the letter ‘U’, it becomes split (or opened). By the letter ‘M’, it obtains Nada; and the Ardha-Matra (half-metre) is silence.
139(b)-140(a). The person engaged in Yoga obtains the supreme seat, which is like a pure crystal, which is without parts and which destroys all sins.
140(b)-141. As a tortoise draws its hands and head within itself, so drawing in air thus and expelling it through the nine holes of the body, he breathes upwards and forwards.
142. Like a lamp in an air-tight jar which is motionless, so that which is seen motionless through the process of Yoga in the heart and which is free from turmoil, after having been drawn from the nine holes, is said to be Atman alone.”
1. The holy Teacher is the Power (Para-Sakti) that is the cause of all.
2. Of that Power the body with its nine orifices is the form.
3. It is the holy Wheel in the guise of the nine wheels.
4. The Power of the Boar is paternal: Kurukulla, the deity of sacrifice, is maternal.
5. The (four) human Ends are the oceans (purusharthas – dharma, artha, kama and moksha).
6- 7. The body with the seven constituents (Chile, blood, flesh, fat, bone, marrow and semen) like the skin and the hair is the island of the nine gems.
8. Resolutions are the wish-granting trees; energy (of the mind) is the garden of the trees of plenty.
9. The six seasons are the tastes, namely sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, astringent and saltish, which are apprehended by the tongue.
10. Knowledge is the material for worship; the object of knowledge is the oblation; the knower is the sacrificer. The meditation on the identity of the three, knowledge, its object, and the knower, is the worship rendered to the holy Wheel.
11. Destiny and sentiments like love are (the miraculous attainments like) atomicity, etc. Lust, anger, greed, delusion, elation, envy, merit, demerit – these constitute the eight powers of Brahma, etc. (Brahma, Maheshvari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Raudri, Charmamunda and Kalasamkarsini).
12. The nine abodes (muladhara etc.,) are the powers of the mystic gestures.
13. The earth, water, fire, air, ether, ear, skin, eye, tongue, nose, speech, feet, hands, the organs of evacuation and generation and the modification of mind are the sixteen powers such as the pull of lust, etc.
14. Speech, grasp, motion, evacuation, generation, and the attitudes of rejection, acceptance and apathy are the eight (entities) such as the flower of love, etc.
15. Alambusa, kuhu, visvodara, varana, hastijihva, yasovati, payasvini, gandhari, pusa, sankhini, sarasvati, ida, pingala and susumna – these fourteen arteries are the fourteen powers such as the all-exciting, etc.
16. The five vital breaths and the five minor breaths are the ten divinities of the outer spokes, (styled) Sarvasiddhiprada, etc.
17. The digestive fire becomes fivefold through distinctions based on its association with this pre-eminent breath. (They are) what ejects, what cooks, what dries, what burns and what inundates.
18. Owing to the prominence of the minor breath, these (fires) in the human body come to be styled as the corroder, the ejector, the agitator, the yawner and the deluder. They promote the digestion of the fivefold food: eaten, chewed, sucked, licked and imbibed.
19. The ten aspects of Fire are the ten divinities of the inner spokes, Sarvajna, etc.
20. The qualities of cold, heat, pleasure, pain, desire, sattva, rajas and tamas are the eight powers, vasini, etc.
21. The five, rudimentary sound, etc., are the flowery shafts.
22. Mind is the bow made of sugarcane.
23. Attachment is the cord (that binds).
24. Aversion is the hook.
25. The unmanifest, the Great, and the principle of Egoism are the divinities of the inner triangle: Kameshvari, Vajreshvari and Bhagamalini.
26. Absolute awareness, verily, is Kameshvara.
27. The supreme divinity, Lalita, is one’s own blissful Self.
28. Of all this the distinctive apprehension is the red glow.
29. Perfection (ensues from) exclusive concentration of the mind.
30. In the performance of meditation consist (various acts of) respectful service.
31. The act of oblation is the merger in the Self of distinctions like I, Thou, Existence, non-Existence, the sense of duty and its negation, and the obligation worship.
32. Assuagement is the thought of identity of (all) objects of imagination.
33. The view of time’s transformation into the fifteen days (of the half lunar month) points to the fifteen eternal (divinities).
34. Thus meditating for three instants, or two, or even for a single instant, one becomes liberated while living; one is styled the Siva-Yogin.
35. Meditations on the inner wheel have been discussed (here) following the tenets of Saktaism.
36. Whoso knows thus is a student of the Atharvasiras.
The configuration of the planets at the time you were born presents a map of your life and the set of tools you have been given to enact the drama of your life to its fullest capacity.
No one person has constant periods of good or bad luck. In fact there is no good or bad luck except to ones own ego. The cycles of time touch our lives each in their own unique way.
Vedic Astrology (Jyotish), Yoga and Vedic philosophy all come from the Vedic texts. Jyotish is the eye of the vedas, therefore it shines light on our past, present and future life. it gives us the tools to understand karma, past life, present responsibilities. Yoga is a way of life that helps us integrate the mind, body and soul. It is from Vedic Philosophy that both of these have originated(in this they only exist in that paradigm as well). But to truly understand the Vedas and Yoga we must have the knowledge of time (kala) which is given through studying Vedic Astrology. Then we must have the wisdom to face up to the issues that Vedic Astrology highlights. The ability to deal with these we need a strong mind, we need to fortify the soul and develop a philosophical mind so that the pain of life is easier to handle and we are still in balance when great things happen.
For this, it is essential to follow a path of yoga, and study the Vedic scriptures to help us develop a strong mind. The mind in Vedic Astrology is judged through the Moon and the nakshatras.
Without Vedic Astrology, the yogi is in darkness, as they do not know the key of what is it that they are trying to resolve. What are the issues, the soul has brought into this life. Without Yoga and philosophy, the vedic astrology is also in darkness as they do not know how to resolve the issues that the chart is presenting them. therefore these key disciplines follow hand in hand when trying to bring true balance into life.
From Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda Original 1946 Edition
Outwitting the Stars
“Mukunda, why don’t you get an astrological armlet?”
“Should I, Master? I don’t believe in astrology.”
“It is never a question of belief; the only scientific attitude one can take on any subject is whether it is true. The law of gravitation worked as efficiently before Newton as after him. The cosmos would be fairly chaotic if its laws could not operate without the sanction of human belief.
“Charlatans have brought the stellar science to its present state of disrepute. Astrology is too vast, both mathematically1 and philosophically, to be rightly grasped except by men of profound understanding. If ignoramuses misread the heavens, and see there a scrawl instead of a script, that is to be expected in this imperfect world. One should not dismiss the wisdom with the ‘wise.’
“All parts of creation are linked together and interchange their influences. The balanced rhythm of the universe is rooted in reciprocity,” my guru continued. “Man, in his human aspect, has to combat two sets of forces—first, the tumults within his being, caused by the admixture of earth, water, fire, air, and ethereal elements; second, the outer disintegrating powers of nature. So long as man struggles with his mortality, he is affected by the myriad mutations of heaven and earth.
“Astrology is the study of man’s response to planetary stimuli. The stars have no conscious benevolence or animosity; they merely send forth positive and negative radiations. Of themselves, these do not help or harm humanity, but offer a lawful channel for the outward operation of cause-effect equilibriums which each man has set into motion in the past.
“A child is born on that day and at that hour when the celestial rays are in mathematical harmony with his individual karma. His horoscope is a challenging portrait, revealing his unalterable past and its probable future results. But the natal chart can be rightly interpreted only by men of intuitive wisdom: these are few.
“The message boldly blazoned across the heavens at the moment of birth is not meant to emphasize fate—the result of past good and evil—but to arouse man’s will to escape from his universal thralldom. What he has done, he can undo. None other than himself was the instigator of the causes of whatever effects are now prevalent in his life. He can overcome any limitation, because he created it by his own actions in the first place, and because he has spiritual resources which are not subject to planetary pressure.
“Superstitious awe of astrology makes one an automaton, slavishly dependent on mechanical guidance. The wise man defeats his planets—which is to say, his past—by transferring his allegiance from the creation to the Creator. The more he realizes his unity with Spirit, the less he can be dominated by matter. The soul is ever-free; it is deathless because birthless. It cannot be regimented by stars.
“Man is a soul, and has a body. When he properly places his sense of identity, he leaves behind all compulsive patterns. So long as he remains confused in his ordinary state of spiritual amnesia, he will know the subtle fetters of environmental law.
“God is harmony; the devotee who attunes himself will never perform any action amiss. His activities will be correctly and naturally timed to accord with astrological law. After deep prayer and meditation he is in touch with his divine consciousness; there is no greater power than that inward protection.”
“Then, dear Master, why do you want me to wear an astrological bangle?” I ventured this question after a long silence, during which I had tried to assimilate Sri Yukteswar’s noble exposition.
“It is only when a traveler has reached his goal that he is justified in discarding his maps. During the journey, he takes advantage of any convenient short cut. The ancient rishis discovered many ways to curtail the period of man’s exile in delusion. There are certain mechanical features in the law of karma, which can be skillfully adjusted by the fingers of wisdom.
“All human ills arise from some transgression of universal law. The scriptures point out that man must satisfy the laws of nature, while not discrediting the divine omnipotence. He should say: ‘Lord, I trust in Thee, and know Thou canst help me, but I too will do my best to undo any wrong I have done.’ By a number of means—by prayer, by will power, by yoga meditation, by consultation with saints, by use of astrological bangles—the adverse effects of past wrongs can be minimized or nullified.
“Just as a house can be fitted with a copper rod to absorb the shock of lightning, so the bodily temple can be benefited by various protective measures. Ages ago our yogis discovered that pure metals emit an astral light which is powerfully counteractive to negative pulls of the planets. Subtle electrical and magnetic radiations are constantly circulating in the universe; when a man’s body is being aided, he does not know it; when it is being disintegrated, he is still in ignorance. Can he do anything about it?
“This problem received attention from our rishis; they found helpful not only a combination of metals, but also of plants and—most effective of all—faultless jewels of not less than two carats. The preventive uses of astrology have seldom been seriously studied outside of India. One little-known fact is that the proper jewels, metals, or plant preparations are valueless unless the required weight is secured, and unless these remedial agents are worn next to the skin.”
“Sir, of course I shall take your advice and get a bangle. I am intrigued at the thought of outwitting a planet!”
“For general purposes I counsel the use of an armlet made of gold, silver, and copper. But for a specific purpose I want you to get one of silver and lead.” Sri Yukteswar added careful directions.
“Guruji, what ‘specific purpose’ do you mean?”
“The stars are about to take an unfriendly interest in you, Mukunda. Fear not; you shall be protected. In about a month your liver will cause you much trouble. The illness is scheduled to last for six months, but your use of an astrological armlet will shorten the period to twenty-four days.”
I sought out a jeweler the next day, and was soon wearing the bangle. My health was excellent; Master’s prediction slipped from my mind. He left Serampore to visit Benares. Thirty days after our conversation, I felt a sudden pain in the region of my liver. The following weeks were a nightmare of excruciating pain. Reluctant to disturb my guru, I thought I would bravely endure my trial alone.
But twenty-three days of torture weakened my resolution; I entrained for Benares. There Sri Yukteswar greeted me with unusual warmth, but gave me no opportunity to tell him my woes in private. Many devotees visited Master that day, just for a darshan. 2 Ill and neglected, I sat in a corner. It was not until after the evening meal that all guests had departed. My guru summoned me to the octagonal balcony of the house.
“You must have come about your liver disorder.” Sri Yukteswar’s gaze was averted; he walked to and fro, occasionally intercepting the moonlight. “Let me see; you have been ailing for twenty-four days, haven’t you?”
“Please do the stomach exercise I have taught you.”
“If you knew the extent of my suffering, Master, you would not ask me to exercise.” Nevertheless I made a feeble attempt to obey him.
“You say you have pain; I say you have none. How can such contradictions exist?” My guru looked at me inquiringly.
I was dazed and then overcome with joyful relief. No longer could I feel the continuous torment that had kept me nearly sleepless for weeks; at Sri Yukteswar’s words the agony vanished as though it had never been.
I started to kneel at his feet in gratitude, but he quickly prevented me.
“Don’t be childish. Get up and enjoy the beauty of the moon over the Ganges.” But Master’s eyes were twinkling happily as I stood in silence beside him. I understood by his attitude that he wanted me to feel that not he, but God, had been the Healer.
I wear even now the heavy silver and lead bangle, a memento of that day—long-past, ever-cherished—when I found anew that I was living with a personage indeed superhuman. On later occasions, when I brought my friends to Sri Yukteswar for healing, he invariably recommended jewels or the bangle, extolling their use as an act of astrological wisdom.
I had been prejudiced against astrology from my childhood, partly because I observed that many people are sequaciously attached to it, and partly because of a prediction made by our family astrologer: “You will marry three times, being twice a widower.” I brooded over the matter, feeling like a goat awaiting sacrifice before the temple of triple matrimony.
“You may as well be resigned to your fate,” my brother Ananta had remarked. “Your written horoscope has correctly stated that you would fly from home toward the Himalayas during your early years, but would be forcibly returned. The forecast of your marriages is also bound to be true.”
A clear intuition came to me one night that the prophecy was wholly false. I set fire to the horoscope scroll, placing the ashes in a paper bag on which I wrote: “Seeds of past karma cannot germinate if they are roasted in the divine fires of wisdom.” I put the bag in a conspicuous spot; Ananta immediately read my defiant comment.
“You cannot destroy truth as easily as you have burnt this paper scroll.” My brother laughed scornfully.
It is a fact that on three occasions before I reached manhood, my family tried to arrange my betrothal. Each time I refused to fall in with the plans,3 knowing that my love for God was more overwhelming than any astrological persuasion from the past.
“The deeper the self-realization of a man, the more he influences the whole universe by his subtle spiritual vibrations, and the less he himself is affected by the phenomenal flux.” These words of Master’s often returned inspiringly to my mind.
Occasionally I told astrologers to select my worst periods, according to planetary indications, and I would still accomplish whatever task I set myself. It is true that my success at such times has been accompanied by extraordinary difficulties. But my conviction has always been justified: faith in the divine protection, and the right use of man’s God-given will, are forces formidable beyond any the “inverted bowl” can muster.
The starry inscription at one’s birth, I came to understand, is not that man is a puppet of his past. Its message is rather a prod to pride; the very heavens seek to arouse man’s determination to be free from every limitation. God created each man as a soul, dowered with individuality, hence essential to the universal structure, whether in the temporary role of pillar or parasite. His freedom is final and immediate, if he so wills; it depends not on outer but inner victories.
Sri Yukteswar discovered the mathematical application of a 24,000-year equinoctial cycle to our present age.4 The cycle is divided into an Ascending Arc and a Descending Arc, each of 12,000 years. Within each Arc fall four Yugas or Ages, called Kali, Dwapara, Treta, and Satya, corresponding to the Greek ideas of Iron, Bronze, Silver, and Golden Ages.
My guru determined by various calculations that the last Kali Yuga or Iron Age, of the Ascending Arc, started about A.D. 500. The Iron Age, 1200 years in duration, is a span of materialism; it ended about A.D. 1700. That year ushered in Dwapara Yuga, a 2400-year period of electrical and atomic-energy developments, the age of telegraph, radio, airplanes, and other space-annihilators.
The 3600-year period of Treta Yuga will start in A.D. 4100; its age will be marked by common knowledge of telepathic communications and other time-annihilators. During the 4800 years of Satya Yuga, final age in an ascending arc, the intelligence of a man will be completely developed; he will work in harmony with the divine plan.
A descending arc of 12,000 years, starting with a descending Golden Age of 4800 years, then begins5 for the world; man gradually sinks into ignorance. These cycles are the eternal rounds of maya, the contrasts and relativities of the phenomenal universe.6 Man, one by one, escapes from creation’s prison of duality as he awakens to consciousness of his inseverable divine unity with the Creator.
Master enlarged my understanding not only of astrology but of the world’s scriptures. Placing the holy texts on the spotless table of his mind, he was able to dissect them with the scalpel of intuitive reasoning, and to separate errors and interpolations of scholars from the truths as originally expressed by the prophets.
“Fix one’s vision on the end of the nose.” This inaccurate interpretation of a Bhagavad Gita stanza,7 widely accepted by Eastern pundits and Western translators, used to arouse Master’s droll criticism.
“The path of a yogi is singular enough as it is,” he remarked. “Why counsel him that he must also make himself cross-eyed? The true meaning of nasikagram is ‘origin of the nose, not ‘end of the nose.’ The nose begins at the point between the two eyebrows, the seat of spiritual vision.”8
Because of one Sankhya9 aphorism, “Iswar-ashidha,”—”A Lord of Creation cannot be deduced” or “God is not proved,”10 —many scholars call the whole philosophy atheistical.
“The verse is not nihilistic,” Sri Yukteswar explained. “It merely signifies that to the unenlightened man, dependent on his senses for all final judgments, proof of God must remain unknown and therefore non-existent. True Sankhya followers, with unshakable insight born of meditation, understand that the Lord is both existent and knowable.”
Master expounded the Christian Bible with a beautiful clarity. It was from my Hindu guru, unknown to the roll call of Christian membership, that I learned to perceive the deathless essence of the Bible, and to
understand the truth in Christ’s assertion—surely the most thrillingly intransigent ever uttered: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”11
The great masters of India mold their lives by the same godly ideals which animated Jesus; these men are his proclaimed kin: “Whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”12 “If ye continue in my word,” Christ pointed out, “then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”13 Freemen all, lords of themselves, the Yogi-Christs of India are part of the immortal fraternity: those who have attained a liberating knowledge of the One Father.
“The Adam and Eve story is incomprehensible to me!” I observed with considerable heat one day in my early struggles with the allegory. “Why did God punish not only the guilty pair, but also the innocent unborn generations?”
Master was more amused by my vehemence than my ignorance. “Genesis is deeply symbolic, and cannot be grasped by a literal interpretation,” he explained. “Its ‘tree of life’ is the human body. The spinal cord is like an upturned tree, with man’s hair as its roots, and afferent and efferent nerves as branches. The tree of the nervous system bears many enjoyable fruits, or sensations of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. In these, man may rightfully indulge; but he was forbidden the experience of sex, the ‘apple’ at the center of the bodily garden.14
“The ‘serpent’ represents the coiled-up spinal energy which stimulates the sex nerves. ‘Adam’ is reason, and ‘Eve’ is feeling. When the emotion or Eve-consciousness in any human being is overpowered by the sex impulse, his reason or Adam also succumbs.15
“God created the human species by materializing the bodies of man and woman through the force of His will; He endowed the new species with the power to create children in a similar ‘immaculate’ or divine manner.16 Because His manifestation in the individualized soul had hitherto been limited to animals, instinct-bound and lacking the potentialities of full reason, God made the first human bodies, symbolically called Adam and Eve. To these, for advantageous upward evolution, He transferred the souls or divine essence of two animals. 17 In Adam or man, reason predominated; in Eve or woman, feeling was ascendant. Thus was expressed the duality or polarity which underlies the phenomenal worlds. Reason and feeling remain in a heaven of cooperative joy so long as the human mind is not tricked by the serpentine energy of animal propensities.
“The human body was therefore not solely a result of evolution from beasts, but was produced by an act of special creation by God. The animal forms were too crude to express full divinity; the human being was uniquely given a tremendous mental capacity—the ‘thousand-petaled lotus’ of the brain—as well as acutely awakened occult centers in the spine.
“God, or the Divine Consciousness present within the first created pair, counseled them to enjoy all human sensibilities, but not to put their concentration on touch sensations.18 These were banned in order to avoid the development of the sex organs, which would enmesh humanity in the inferior animal method of propagation. The warning not to revive subconsciously-present bestial memories was not heeded. Resuming the way of brute procreation, Adam and Eve fell from the state of heavenly joy natural to the original perfect man.
“Knowledge of ‘good and evil’ refers to the cosmic dualistic compulsion. Falling under the sway of maya through misuse of his feeling and reason, or Eve—and Adam—consciousness, man relinquishes his right to enter the heavenly garden of divine self-sufficiency. 19 The personal responsibility of every human being is to restore his ‘parents’ or dual nature to a unified harmony or Eden.”
As Sri Yukteswar ended his discourse, I glanced with new respect at the pages of Genesis.
“Dear Master,’ I said, “for the first time I feel a proper filial obligation toward Adam and Eve!”
1 From astronomical references in ancient Hindu scriptures, scholars have been able to correctly ascertain the dates of the authors. The scientific knowledge of the rishis was very great; in the Kaushitaki Brahmana we find precise astronomical passages which show that in 3100 B.C. the Hindus were far advanced in astronomy, which had a practical value in determining the auspicious times for astrological ceremonies. In an article in East-West, February, 1934, the following summary is given of the Jyotish or body of Vedic astronomical treatises: “It contains the scientific lore which kept India at the forefront of all ancient nations and made her the mecca of seekers after knowledge. The very ancient Brahmagupta, one of the Jyotish works, is an astronomical treatise dealing with such matters as the heliocentric motion of the planetary bodies in our solar system, the obliquity of the ecliptic, the earth’s spherical form, the reflected light of the moon, the earth’s daily axial revolution, the presence of fixed stars in the Milky Way, the law of gravitation, and other scientific facts which did not dawn in the Western world until the time of Copernicus and Newton.”
It is now well-known that the so-called “Arabic numerals,” without whose symbols advanced mathematics is difficult, came to Europe in the 9th century, via the Arabs, from India, where that system of notation had been anciently formulated. Further light on India’s vast scientific heritage will be found in Dr. P. C. Ray’s History of Hindu Chemistry, and in Dr. B. N. Seal’s Positive Sciences of the Ancient Hindus.
2 The blessing which flows from the mere sight of a saint.
3 One of the girls whom my family selected as a possible bride for me, afterwards married my cousin, Prabhas Chandra Ghose.
4 A series of thirteen articles on the historical verification of Sri Yukteswar’s Yuga theory appeared in the magazine East-West (Los Angeles) from September, 1932, to September, 1933.
5 In the year A.D. 12,500.
6 The Hindu scriptures place the present world-age as occurring within the Kali Yuga of a much longer universal cycle than the simple 24,000-year equinoctial cycle with which Sri Yukteswar was concerned. The universal cycle of the scriptures is 4,300,560,000 years in extent, and measures out a Day of Creation or the length of life assigned to our planetary system in its present form. This vast figure given by the rishis is based on a relationship between the length of the solar year and a multiple of Pi (3.1416, the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle).
The life span for a whole universe, according to the ancient seers, is 314,159,000,000,000 solar years, or “One Age of Brahma.”
Scientists estimate the present age of the earth to be about two billion years, basing their conclusions on a study of lead pockets left as a result of radioactivity in rocks. The Hindu scriptures declare that an earth such as ours is dissolved for one of two reasons: the inhabitants as a whole become either completely good or completely evil. The world-mind thus generates a power which releases the captive atoms held together as an earth.
Dire pronouncements are occasionally published regarding an imminent “end of the world.” The latest prediction of doom was given by Rev. Chas. G. Long of Pasadena, who publicly set the “Day of Judgment” for Sept. 21, 1945. United Press reporters asked my opinion; I explained that world cycles follow an orderly progression according to a divine plan. No earthly dissolution is in sight; two billion years of ascending and descending equinoctial cycles are yet in store for our planet in its present form. The figures given by the rishis for the various world ages deserve careful study in the West; the magazine Time (Dec. 17, 1945, p. 6) called them “reassuring statistics.”
7 Chapter VI:13.
8 “The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.”-Luke 11:34-35.
9 One of the six systems of Hindu philosophy. Sankhya teaches final emancipation through knowledge of twenty-five principles, starting with prakriti or nature and ending with purusha or soul.
10 Sankhya Aphorisms, I:92.
11 Matthew 24:35.
12 Matthew 12:50.
13 John 8:31-32. St. John testified: “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name (even to them who are established in the Christ Consciousness).”-John 1:12.
14 “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”-Genesis 3:2-3.
15 “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. The woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.”-Gen. 3:12-13.
16 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.”-Gen. 1:27-28.
17 “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”-Gen. 2:7.
18 “Now the serpent (sex force) was more subtle than any beast of the field” (any other sense of the body).-Gen. 3:1.
19 “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.”-Gen. 2:8. “Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.”-Gen. 3:23. The divine man first made by God had his consciousness centered in the omnipotent single eye in the forehead (eastward). The all-creative powers of his will, focused at that spot, were lost to man when he began to “till the ground” of his physical nature.
God Dattatreya is the reincarnation of the four armed Vishnu and he is the ruler of the world. Sankrithi is a great devotee and a sage and is an expert in yoga and also a disciple of Dattatreya. He approached his teacher (God Dattatreya) with humility and with folded hands, when his teacher was alone and requested him, “Oh God, please tell me about the science of yoga which has eight branches and five different sthanas (places) by knowing which I will attain salvation. Dattatreya told him, “Hey Sankrithi, I shall tell you about Yoga which has eight branches. The eight branches are Yama, Niyama, Aasana, Pranayama, Prathyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.
1. Yama which is the first is the practice of non-violence, truth, non possession of properties of others, celibacy, mercy, honesty, patience, stability, food discipline and cleanliness.
2. Niyama is the ten aspects of penance, joy, orthodoxy, charity, worship of god, hearing of philosophy, fear for bad actions, clear intellect, chanting and austerities.
3. The nine important Asanas (sitting positions) are Swasthika (Swastika), Gomukha (cows face), Padma (lotus), Veera (valorous), Simha (lion), Badra (safe), Muktha (free), Mayura (peacock) and Sukha (pleasant). Oh sage, that position, whatever it may be but which makes you comfortable and gives you courage to undertake Yoga is called Sukhasana. People who do not have strength to take up other positions can use that. Victory in the seating position is like victory over the three worlds. Once the Asana is fixed, one should practice Pranayama.
4. Either in the top of the mountain or by the shore of the river or under a Bilwa tree in the forest, after choosing a clean place which is acceptable to the mind and after establishing a place to do tapas (Asram), sit in the Asana which is most familiar facing either east or north. Then sit with the body neck and head in a straight line, cover the face and concentrate the vision with best possible attention on the nectar flowing from the fourth state of the moon like dot at the end of the nose. Draw the air inside using the lungs, store it in the stomach, meditate on the flame of fire inside the body and then shift meditation to the root of fire with its sound and dot. Then the intelligent one will exhale and draw the Prana using Pingala (Nadi which is tawny and is on the right side of Sushumna Nadi) and meditate on the Agni Bheeja. Again he has to exhale and inhale again in the middle using the Ida (Nadi which is pleasant and is on the left side of Sushumna). One should have to live in a secret place practicing this exercise six times for 3-4 days or 3-4 weeks at dawn, noon and dusk. This would help him to clean up the Nadis. Slowly symbols will start showing up. Body will become light, the fire in the stomach will burn well and the voice would become clearer. These are the symbols of Siddhi (getting mastery). Till you see this, you have to practice.
5. Now I will tell you about Prathyahara. To use force and divert the sensory organs which normally travel according to their nature is Prathyahara. Those who know Brahma say that seeing whatever we see as the form of Brahman is Prathyahara. Prathyahara also is doing clean or unclean acts as those belonging to Brhaman. Further doing daily religious activities after dedicating them to God and similarly doing the activities which we desire is also Prathyahara. Apart from this inhaling air (oxygen) and stopping it in different places is also Prathyahara. The wise man would sit in Swasthikasana, draw his breath till it fills up from head to toe and hold it in two feet, mooladhara, stomach, middle of the heart, bottom of the neck, jaw, middle of the eyelids, forehead and at the top of the skull. Then he should leave out the belief that the body is oneself and make that thought as nirvikalpa and merge it with Paramatma. The experts in Vedanta say that this is true Prathyahara. There is nothing that cannot be attained by those who practice like this.
6. Now I will tell you about the five types of Dharana (holding steady – a stage in meditation – here we try to hold on what we are mediating upon without wavering). In the sky which is in the middle of the body, Dharana of the sky outside should be made. Similarly in the breath, Dharana of air outside should be made. In the fire in the stomach, Dharana of the fire outside should be made. In the fluid aspects of the body, Dharana of the water outside should be made. In the earthy aspects of the body, Dharana of the earth outside should be made. Sage, also it is necessary to chant the pancha bhootha mantras viz., Ham, Yam, Ram, Vam and Lam. It is said that this very great Dharana destroys all sins. In the body up to the knee is the aspect of the earth, from there till hip it is the aspect of water, up to the heart is the aspect of fire, up to middle of eyelids is the aspect of air and then up to the middle of the skull is the aspect of the sky. In the aspect of earth Brahma has to be placed, in the aspect of water Vishnu should be placed, in the aspect of fire Rudra should be placed, in the aspect of air Iswara should be placed and in the aspect of sky, the Sadashiva should be placed. Hey great sage, I will also tell you another Dharana. In the Jeevatma, that lord Shiva who rules over everything and is the personification of wisdom should be placed. To get rid of all sins, the wise man should suppress the gods like Brahma in the causative self, and place the Avyakta (that which is not clear) which is formless and which is the root cause inside the entire soul with the chanting of pranava. He should control the sensory organs by mind and should merge them with the soul.
7. I will now tell you about Dhyana (meditation) which destroys sorrow. Dhyana should be done of that Maheswara, who is the medicine for problems arising out of birth, who is the discipline and fundamental basis of the world who is of the form of Para Brahma, who has the masculine power upwards, who is of the form of the world, who is Virupaksha, and who is the head of all yogis as “I am He”. Then continue to do Dhyana of him who is beyond the reach of meditation, who is the personification of Sachidananda Brahman and who is soul in person as “I am He” for attaining salvation. In the mind of that great Purusha who practices like this, the science of Vedanta would automatically appear. There is no doubt about it.
8. Now I will tell you about Samadhi (deep meditative state) which destroys the ills of birth and death. Samadhi is that state in which there is knowledge that Jeevatma and Paramatma are one. Atma (soul) is filled all over for ever and does not have motion or stain. Though it is one, due to the effects of illusion, it appears as different objects. Really there is no difference between these so called objects. When one sees all objects within himself and him as a part of all objects, He attains Brahman. When one drowns himself in Samadhi and does not see different objects as different , then he attains the single aim of salvation. When he sees only the true soul and the entire world appears as an illusion to him and he is cured of all sorrow.
Thus advised by Lord Dattatreya the sage Sankrithi fully lost all his fear and attained that blissfull state, deep in himself.
I figure this post is going to have the most hits since this IS the modern minds focus. We will see…..
Avoid sex with a wife who is unhappy, sick, or pregnant, observing certain religious rites, menstruating, or not willing to have sex.
Males below 25 years should abstain (Vagbhata says before 20 years of age).
Females below 16 should abstain as they are not physically grown.
Avoid sex with a woman who thinks of another man.
Avoid sex with animals.
Avoid unnatural sex, i.e. anal or unnatural position
Avoid sex at a crossroad in the countryside, at a crematory or graveyard or where people have been killed, in water, where there are medicinal plants, where there is a Guru or Deity place, at sunrise, or at sunset (sandhi kala)
Must not have sex without Vajikaran medicine (Aphrodisiac).
Avoid sex when you haven’t decided.
Avoid sex when you are not aroused.
Avoid sex if you haven’t had food.
Avoid sex if you overate.
Avoid sex if body is in an irregular position.
Avoid sex if bed is in an irregular position.
Avoid sex if you are having a natural urge (having gas, need to urinate or defecate and other)
Avoid sex if you are fatigued.
Avoid sex when fasting.
Avoid sex when you are not in isolation.
Avoid sex when menstruating as having sex during these days you will not conceive or if you do conceive it will result in miscarriage or abnormality of child.
If you have sex with menstruating women (it is adharma – without morals) you lose eyesight, energy and longevity reduces.
If you have sex with your Guru’s wife or an old woman or at sunset, you lose life energy.
If you have sex with a pregnant woman you will cause damage to the unborn baby.
If you have sex with a sick woman, it reduces her strength.
If you have sex with a woman who hates you, who is unclean or have sex in an unclean place, it reduces your sperm and adversely affects your own mind.
If you have sex when you are hungry or your mind is disturbed, when you are weak or thirsty, you lose sperm as well and vata is provoked.
Then there are different set of rules regarding sexual union if a couple are trying to have a child (progeny)
This would take panchakarma treatments of shodana to purify the sperm, egg, and ovum first.
After the shodana, the couple are each rejuvenated with the specific proper foods for nourishment to rebuild the system for the conception of the child.
Three days from menstruation:
there is celibacy maintained
sleeping on the ground
eating from clean vessels
the body is kept unbathed and unkept
On the fourth day
the couple uses unction
takes a head bath
wears white apparel and garlands
having happiness and attraction to each other enter into mithuna (sexual intercourse)
The sex of the child can be chosen as per the day of conception.
During this conception the woman lays only on her back as any other position aggravates the doshas. prone – vata aggravation, left side – pitta aggravation, right side – kapha blocks the uterus.
Intake of food in excess, fasting, thirst, fear, dejection, grief, anger, desire for another man, excessive desire for intercourse, with a woman too young, too old, or diseased….. all prevents conception or produces abnormalities in the child.
The food that is eaten before hand should be all wholesome and beneficial as per Ayurveda’s understanding of what that is, and it should not be taken in excess but in moderation.
The bed should be in a acceptable arrangement and should have pleasantries such as scent, nice bedding, and it should be comfortable.
The man climbs into bed with his right leg first and the woman her left first.
A mantra is said that asks for the progeny to be healthy and brave child.
Once again, just because you do not understand the why of this does not make it not accurate.
So now the sobering side of it all. What is sex in the modern world????? Certainly not that… or this…..
Her lap is a sacrificial altar; her hairs, the sacrificial grass; her skin, the somapress. The two labia of the vulva are the fire in the middle. Verily, indeed, as great as is the world of him who sacrifices with the Vâjapeya sacrifice, so great is the world of him who practices sexual intercourse” (Brhad-Âranyaka Upanisad)
Sexual union in terms of dharma (righteousness), in terms of sacredness, in terms of a form of worship.
Did you know that there are 8 types of marriage in vedic knowledge?
[1.] The gift of a daughter, after decking her (with costly garments) and honouring (her by presents of jewels), to a man learned in the Veda and of good conduct, whom (the father) himself invites, is called the Brahma rite.
[2.] The gift of a daughter who has been decked with ornaments, to a priest who duly officiates at a sacrifice, during the course of its performance, they call the Daiva rite.
[3.] When (the father) gives away his daughter according to the rule, after receiving from the bridegroom, for (the fulfilment of) the sacred law, a cow and a bull or two pairs, that is named the Arsha rite.
[4.] The gift of a daughter (by her father) after he has addressed (the couple) with the text, ‘May both of you perform together your duties,’ and has shown honour (to the bridegroom), is called in the Smriti the Pragapatya rite.
[5.] When (the bridegroom) receives a maiden, after having given as much wealth as he can afford, to the kinsmen and to the bride herself, according to his own will, that is called the Asura rite.
[6.] The voluntary union of a maiden and her lover one must know (to be) the Gandharva rite, which springs from desire and has sexual intercourse for its purpose.
[7.] The forcible abduction of a maiden from her home, while she cries out and weeps, after (her kinsmen) have been slain or wounded and (their houses) broken open, is called the Rakshasa rite.
[8.] When (a man) by stealth seduces a girl who is sleeping, intoxicated, or disordered in intellect, that is the eighth, the most base and sinful rite of the Pisakas.
Did you know that there are 8 types of sexual intercouse?
स्मरणं कीर्तनं केली श्रवणं गुह्यभाषणम् ।
संकल्पोऽध्यवसायश्च क्रियानिष्पत्ति एव च ।
एतद् मैथुनं अष्टांगं प्रवदन्ति मनैषिणा: ।
1. Thinking of a woman
2. Description of her qualities
3. Playing games with her
4. Listening to her talk
5. Speaking to her when alone
6. Wishing to acquire her
7. Trying to acquire her
8. Actual intercourse
are the eight types of sexual intercourse.
Now this is in deep detail of the subtle world and a true brahmachari life. So a seeker should not indulge in any of the above activities. A seeker’s celibacy is destroyed by anyone of the above eight sexual acts. A married householder’s celibacy however is destroyed only by the actual sexual act. The more one progresses towards the sattva component the more are the restrictions in any path.
‘A man should indulge in sexual activity for procreation only with his wife during the rtu period (on ten days excluding the first four days of menses), excluding the day and the three hours of the night (prahar), in his own home. With this behaviour celibacy is retained, steadiness develops and healthy and virtuous progeny is born.
All of this says so much about the relationship confusion of the modern world and the clarity that happens in the a sacred and dharmic world.
Carrying forward the lineage was the motive behind intercourse, gradually with the successive decline of humanity, the objective that intercourse should be of ones own desire fulfilment came into being.
One who is unable to love platonically, sexual intercourse is a means of uniting with the mind, by gradually developing physical attachment.
In true relationship, a man acquires intense worldly happiness from the woman he marries. So also, the woman. Thus the implied meaning of marriage is that the couple should love each other deeply. The quality of love is that, as one starts loving someone and along with it should follow righteousness, gradually it acquires a dimension of love without expectations. Love slowly shifts from the body to the mind. This itself is called widening of the horizons of love. Hence for the one who is unable to renounce material objects all of a sudden, the method of reducing it stepwise, is marriage. As the physical attachment of the couple starts decreasing they are able to love their children proportionately more and more. That is, they wish for the well-being of their children. Welfare means the fulfillment of human birth! From this one will realise how wrong is the belief that by following righteousness, man becomes detached and more and more inactive day by day. This should shed light on the true depth of marriage and also give a little more depth to prearranged marriages and also should shed light on a deeper sight into what spirituality is. All of this is so very deep and subtle.
In Vigyana Bhairava Tantra a conversation between Shiva and Shakti where Shiva explains 112 different meditations to achieve enlightenment
O Shiva, what is your reality?
What is this wonder filled universe?
What constitutes seed?
Who centers the universal wheel?
What is this life beyond form pervading forms?
How may we enter it fully
above space and time
names and descriptions
Let my doubts be cleared.
At the start of sexual union
Keep attentive on the fire in the beginning
And so continuing
Avoid the embers in the end
When in such embrace your senses are shaken as leaves
Enter this shaking
Even remembering union
Without the embrace.
Yoga Philosophy of Jnaneshvara and Patanjali
Two sources of ancient Indian thought are Vedas and Agamas. Even if the ultimate aim of both the systems was to attain liberation, or to experience the ultimate truth, or Brahman or Moksha or Nirvana, their teachings, ideologies and philosophies were different, on a number of basic issues and principles. Vedas and Upanishads presume, as is stated in Mahabharata (1) etc. that the originator of the science of the Yoga is Hiranyagarbha. The tradition of Agamas says that the author of this science of Yoga is Adinatha or Shiva or Shankara. Almost all these Agamas are written in the form of conversation between Parvati and Shankara. Patanjali is following the tradition of Upanishads. The philosophy behind Patanjali Darshana is that Sankhya, the Astanga Yoga which Patanjali propagated was in vogue several centuries before Patanjali (300 BC).
We get references of Astanga Yoga in a number of Upanishads such as Chandogya Upanishad, Sandilya Upanishad etc. Yajnavalkya explains this Yoga Philosophy to Gargi and other disciples exactly on the same lines as Patanjali does. (2) Yajnavalkya further states that this philosophy of Astanga Yoga was being learnt by him from his masters. This is an indication of the fact that the philosophy of Astanga Yoga is very ancient and was already in practice before Patanjali.
Hence, it is quite natural that whatever Patanjali has stated is on the basis of certain principles of Upanishads and the philosophy of Sankhya. Of course, Patanjali has his own contribution to Yoga Sutras. The concept of Ishvara, even if absent in Sankhya Darshana, has been defined by Patanjali as per PYS 1. 240. (3) However, he is having his own interpretation about this concept and it is not according to the established tradition. His Ishvara is not a creator but a person whose sins are destroyed. Patanjali’s concept of Ishvara is very near to Jain Darshana. (4)
Jnaneshvara, had altogether a different background. He was initiated as per the tradition of Nath Sampradaya. This philosophy is different from that of Patanjali’s Yoga Darshana. The basic principles of Yoga philosophy of Nath Panth, are stated in detail in various books such as Gorakshagita, Goraksha Paddhati, Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati, Amaraugha Sasana, Amaraugha Prabodha, Mahartha Manjari, Gheranda Samhita, etc., all written in Sanskrit. Hence, the Yoga Philosophy of Jnaneshvara is just like a mirror reflection of the Yoga Philosophy of Nath Panth. From this it is quite obvious that the original sources of philosophy of these two great saint philosophers and seers are quite different. Thus there is bound to be a major difference in their Yoga Systems. The intention here is to point out certain outstanding differences in their Yoga Philosophies.
In the overall Yoga Philosophy, we find a number of branches, out of which the most popular now-a-days, in India and abroad, is the one which has been advocated by Patanjali and which is known as Astanga Yoga. Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are translated in various languages and also a number of commentaries have been written on it. However, there are a number of other Yoga systems such as Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Laya Yoga, Mantra Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga etc. This is intended for only the comparison between the Yoga of Jnaneshvara and Patanjali, so this will be restricted to the scope of the comparison of philosophies of only these two masters.
The basic differences are as under:
1. Patanjali gives the system of Astanga Yoga per his Sutra No. 11. 29 (5) of Yoga Sutras. The Yoga System of Jnaneshvara is based on the principles of Hatha Yoga. Some of the scholars of this system are following Astanga Yoga. However, great Yogis such as Gorakshanath are following the system of Sadanga Yoga which has been stated by him in his book Goraksha Paddhati 1.7. (6) This System avoids Yama and Niyama. The justification given by those Yogis is that if you obtain mastery in meditation, your whole lifestyle gets changed in such a way, that you automatically start following the Yama and Niyama which are the necessary rules and individual rules of conduct respectively. These six aspects of Yoga are:
2. According to the Nath Cult it is most important that the aspirant should purify his body completely. This has been stated in detail in Gheranda Samhita l.10-11-12. (7) This is a total purification of all important and vital organs of the body such as stomach, small intestines, large intestines, nasal passage, food pipe, eyes, ears, throat, etc. After this the cult says that the aspirant is in a position to undertake all the steps of Yoga. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras this preparation of initial background is not mentioned.
3. The next step (in other Yoga systems) is the learning of physical postures. However, after learning all the important postures, the aspirant has to practise the most essential posture viz. Siddhasana or Vajrasana. For all the future Sadhanas this is considered to be the basic and important posture. The detailed description of this posture is given by Jnaneshvara in his sixth chapter of Jnaneshvari and also by a number of books of Nath Cult. They say that this posture is a must for all the aspirants. However, Patanjali says that you can sit in any convenient posture you like. Hence he gives the Sutra “Sthira-sukham asanam.”
4. The importance of a Guru or Master is maximum in Nath cult. Their every book or Shastra starts by remembering or bowing with great reverence and respect to the Guru Adinath or Shiva or Shankara. Jnaneshvari also starts like this by saying “Om Namoji Adya.” This importance is not given to Guru in Patanjala Yoga Darshana.
5. The Nath cult says that the human body consists of certain most essential centres or vital points and voids (Akasha). (8) Every aspirant has to know and understand these things. They say that one who is not aware of these essential centres is not a Yogi. They are six Chakras, sixteen vital points, two Laksyas (concentration points), five voids, all situated within the human body. Such type of discussion is not found in Patanjala Yoga Darshana.
6. Nath cult says that the human body is just like a beautiful house which is having nine doors. (9) It is formed out of five essential elements and each element is having its own deity. The nine openings are two eyes, two nostrils, two ear holes, mouth, excreta outlet, and sex organ. The deity of Earth is Brahma, of water is Vishnu, of fire is Rudra, of air is Ishvara and of space is Sadashiva. Every aspirant has to understand these things. In Patanjala Sutras we do not find this.
7. The Nath Panth, in their various books as mentioned above, gives a detailed description of the seven chakras, their exact location in the body, their properties and functions etc. Jnaneshvara has not given the description of these chakras for the reason that he wanted to restrict his interpretation to the verses of Bhagavad-Gita. At the base of the spinal cord and at the centre of the line which connects sex organ and the excreta outlet is situated the first chakra which is known as Muladhara Chakra. Slightly above the sex centre and below the naval centre the second chakra is situated which is known as Svadhisthana Chakra. The third is situated near the naval centre and is called Manipura. The fourth one is situated near the heart centre and is known as Anahata Chakra. The fifth is situated at the throat centre and is known as Visuddha Chakra. It must be noted that all these chakras are situated in the Shushumna Nadi which passes through the spinal cord, which again passes through Vertebral Column. These are extremely subtle points and may not be structural and cannot be located by any sophisticated instrument available. These were actually ‘observed’ and seen by the great Rishis in the stage of Samadhi. Here come the limitations of modern science. The sixth chakra is situated on the forehead and between the centre of the two eyebrows. This is known as Ajna Chakra. The seventh and the last chakra is situated in the centre of the brain in its uppermost portion. Patanjali does not mention any such thing in his Yoga Sutras.
8. According to Nath Cult there are 72.000 nerves in the body of human beings. (10) Out of these ten Nadis are important. Out of these three are most important. They are known as Ida, Pingala and Shushumna. Ida is known as Chandra Nadi and is passing through the left side of the vertebral column. Pingala is known as Surya Nadi and is passing through the right side of the vertebral column. Shushumna Nadi is passing through the spinal cord and is known as Agni Nadi. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras do not mention all this. He does mention a few Nadis like Kurma Nadi. But the detailed description is absent.
9. The concept of Prana has been studied in maximum details in Nath Cult. They say that in the human body there are ten different types of air or Vayus (11), which are known as Prana, Apana, Samana, Udana, Vyana, Naga, Kurma, Krikala, Devadatta and Dhananjaya. Each one is situated in a specific part of the body. Each one is having specific purpose and function in the body. When we take the air inside our body, it gets bifurcated into ten branches. This is just like a stream of water which starts from the Himalayan Mountains and gets bifurcated into several branches and each branch becomes a river and is given a separate name. Present medical science is not in a position to locate these ten different types of airs. However, our ancient Yogis have actually ‘seen’ these different streams of air inside our body. This type of description is not found in Patanjala Sutras.
10. When we breathe in there is a subtle sound which is known as ‘So’ and when we breathe out there is a subtle sound which is known as ‘Ham’. (12) Everyone can experience this with slight practice. This sound of ‘Soham’ is continuously going on with every breathing. In a period of one day, that is twenty-four hours, we take 21.600 breathings. That means this type of sound which is known as Mantra, is being continued in our body for that many number of times (21.600). If the aspirant observes this mentally and consciously, this becomes a great Sadhana. This Sadhana is being given very great importance in the Nath Cult. This is not found in Patanjala Yoga Sutras (PYS).
11. The most important aspect of the Yoga Sadhana of Jnaneshvara is the activation of the Kundalini Shakti. This is a Tantric Sadhana of the Nath Cult. Jnaneshvara has given a detailed account of this process in his sixth chapter. This is a practical application of the philosophy of Nath Panth. They say that the whole universe is created out of the energy of Shiva or Mahashiva or Adinatha. They call it Shakti or cosmic energy. This energy is occupying the whole universe. The smallest portion of this energy is known as Kundalini, and the energy which is present in the entire universe is known as Maha Kundalini. This energy is present in human beings in potential form (Supta Shakti). The Yogis who have experienced this energy, say that this is like a serpent and is situated at the end of the Shushumna Nadi in a coiled form, in three and a half coils, position. This also is in line with their philosophy which says “Bramhandi te Pindi”. This means that whatever exists in the universe also exists in the human being in the subtle form. Nath Cult and their great masters like Gorakshanath have devised various ways and means to activate this energy. Saint Jnaneshvara has described one method of activating this energy. This method has been stated in almost all the books of Hatha Yoga and Natha Panth and some Upanishads. The detailed description is available in the sixth chapter of Jnaneshvari. This energy can also be activated by Mantra Yoga, Laya Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. That is why we find in Jnaneshvari all these systems of Upasana.
The ultimate stage of realisation or Moksha as per this colt is the union of Shakti with Shiva. Hence the aspirant initiated in this cult has to activate this energy and allow this energy to go through all the six chakras gradually. The place of Shiva is considered to be in the last chakra which is known as Sahasrara. In the ultimate stage, Sadhaka has to transfer this energy to this last chakra. This is supposed to be the point of union of Shakti with Shiva. One who is successful in this process, is supposed to be a great Yogi. A number of spiritual powers known as siddhis are at his disposal in that stage. A number of examples are available in the ancient Shastras about the Yogis, who were successful in obtaining this highest stage. Jnaneshvara had experienced the above union with Shiva and hence he is known as Maha Yogi. In PYS we do not find anything about Kundalini Shakti.
12. In Nath cult there is a great importance of a Guru or Master. He is given the same importance as is given to their ultimate Guru Adinath. That is why Jnaneshvara is giving maximum importance to his Guru Nivrittinath and is mentioning his name in Jnaneshvari at a number of places. Not only that, he gives the entire credit of writing this book to Nivrittinath. Their philosophy says that the aspirant can get the ultimate experience of truth or Shiva only with the continuous guidance of Guru or the Master. We find that every book of Nath Panth starts after bowing to Guru.
13. In this cult we find a mystic and esoteric act of the transfer of spiritual energy from the master to the initiated aspirant and the act is known as Shaktipata. With the tremendous powers of the master, he can activate the Kundalini energy of the disciple. This transfer, he can do by touching a specific part of his body or simply by looking at him. This transfer of energy can be done on the aspirant who is at a great distance from the master. This is a peculiar mystical act. After the transfer of energy, the aspirant experiences a number of supernatural things, a tremendous flow (of liquid) light, etc. However, those scholars who are really anxious, should go through the book Awakening of Kundalini written by Pandit Gopi Krishna, who had undergone all these experiences before about twenty-five years in Kashmir. The concept of Shaktipata is not found in PYS.
14. This cult gives a great importance to the practice of certain physical postures known as Mudras. They are useful in meditation and also in the activation of Kundalini energy and the six chakras. Hence every aspirant has to learn these Mudras. The ancient texts say that such Mudras arc twenty-five. Out of these ten are most important. With the practice of Mudras the aspirant is in a position to get rid of any and every disease and can acquire a number of supernatural powers. Because of these multiple advantages, the aspirant is taught these postures and after he achieves this experience, he is taught Pranayama. Mudras arc nowhere mentioned in PYS.
15. There is a difference between the Dhyana-meditation of Patanjali and Jnaneshvara. Patanjali gives the definition of Dhyana as per Sutra No. III.1 and III 2 which are as under. The aspirant has to concentrate on specific or vital part of the body or on some external point. This process is known as Dharana. When the aspirant gets success in the concentration on that particular point, for a sufficiently long time, it becomes a Dhyana. For the concentration on that particular point, the aspirant has to use his mind. However, in Kundalini Yoga, the aspirant has not to use his mind at all. He has to practise Kumbhaka, wherein the function of mind totally stops. Instead of concentrating on any particular point, the aspirant has to activate the Kundalini energy. This is a much superior way. This opinion has been confirmed by Sir John Woodroffe, in his book The Serpent Power on page No. 314 and 315 of the eleventh edition, which the learned scholars and philosophers can refer to any time.
16. Patanjali gives a broad division of Samadhi, which is termed as SamprajnataSamadhi and Asamprajnata Samadhi. However, the stage of Samadhi has been studied in details by the Nath cult and which is followed by Jnaneshvara in toto. Nath cult has categorised Samadhi in six types which are known as I ) Dhyana Yoga Samadhi, 2) Nada Yoga Samadhi, 3) Rasananda Yoga Samadhi, 4) Laya yoga Samadhi, 5) Bhakti Yoga Samadhi, and 6) Raja Yoga Samadhi. How each Samadhi can be experienced is also discussed in details. Scholars and philosophers can refer chapter seven of Gheranda Samhita which gives the entire description.
To conclude, both these systems of Yoga are different. The reason is obvious. Their philosophical base is altogether different. That is why the Yoga of Nath Panth accommodates Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Mantra Yoga, and Bhakti Yoga. This Yoga Philosophy is therefore multi-dimensional. Besides the results here are very fast. This has been promised by Gorakshanath in his book. However, it is advisable that the practices of this Yoga should be undertaken under an able and experienced master.
Verse No. IV.114 (13) from Hatha Yoga Pradipika. It says that till you are not in a position to activate the Kundalini energy, till you are not in a position to have perfect control over your pranic force, till you are not in a position to clear the path of Shushumna Nadi, all your knowledge is external, futile and full of ego. It is only an exercise of talking and nothing else. Hence it says that this is a process which has to be experienced only.
Jnanesvari by Sakhare Maharaj.
Goraksa-paddhati by Gorakshanath.
Gheranda Samhita – Commentary by Shree Swamiji Maharaj.
Hatha-yoga-Pradipika by Shree Swatmarama Yogi
Patanjala Yoga (Sutra) Pradipa by Swami Omananda Tirtha.
Patanjala Yoga Darsana by K.K. Kolhatkar
Siddha-Siddhanta-Paddhati by Gorakshanath
Shiva-Samhita – Commentary by Dr. K.R. Joshi
I-i-1: Om ! Brahma, the creator of the Universe and the protector of the world, was the first among the gods to manifest Himself. To His eldest son Atharva He imparted that knowledge of Brahman that is the basis of all knowledge.
I-i-2: The Knowledge of Brahman that Brahma imparted to Atharva, Atharva transmitted to Angir in days of yore. He (Angir) passed it on to Satyavaha of the line of Bharadvaja. He of the line of Bharadvaja handed down to Angiras this knowledge that had been received in succession from the higher by the lower ones.
I-i-3: Saunaka, well known as a great householder, having approached Angiras duly, asked, ‘O adorable sir, (which is that thing) which having been known, all this becomes known ?’
I-i-4: To him he said, ‘”There are two kinds of knowledge to be acquired – the higher and the lower”; this is what, as tradition runs, the knowers of the import of the Vedas say.’
I-i-5: Of these, the lower comprises the Rig-Veda, Yajur-Veda, Sama-Veda, Atharva-Veda, the science of pronunciation etc., the code of rituals, grammar, etymology, metre and astrology. Then there is the higher (knowledge) by which is attained that Imperishable.
I-i-6: (By the higher knowledge) the wise realize everywhere that which cannot be perceived and grasped, which is without source, features, eyes, and ears, which has neither hands nor feet, which is eternal, multiformed, all-pervasive, extremely subtle, and undiminishing and which is the source of all.
I-i-7: As a spider spreads out and withdraws (its thread), as on the earth grow the herbs (and trees), and as from a living man issues out hair (on the head and body), so out of the Imperishable does the Universe emerge here (in this phenomenal creation).
I-i-8: Through knowledge Brahman increases in size. From that is born food (the Unmanifested). From food evolves Prana (Hiranyagarbha); (thence the cosmic) mind; (thence) the five elements; (thence) the worlds; (thence) the immortality that is in karmas.
I-i-9: From Him, who is omniscient in general and all-knowing in detail and whose austerity is constituted by knowledge, evolve this (derivative) Brahman, name, colour and food.
I-ii-1:That thing that is such, is true.
The karmas that the wise discovered in the mantras are accomplished variously (in the context of the sacrifice) where the three Vedic duties get united. You perform them for ever with desire for the true results. This is your path leading to the fruits of karma acquired by yourselves.
I-ii-2: When, the fire being set ablaze, the flame shoots up, one should offer the oblations into that part that is in between the right and the left.
I-ii-3: It (i.e. the Agnihotra) destroys the seven worlds of that man whose Agnihotra (sacrifice) is without Darsa and Paurnamasa (rites), devoid of Chaturmasya, bereft of Agrayana, unblest with guests, goes unperformed, is unaccompanied by Vaisvadeva (rite) and is performed perfunctorily.
I-ii-4: Kali, Karali, Manojava and Sulohita and that which is Sudhumravarna, as also Sphulingini, and the shining Visvaruchi – these are the seven flaming tongues.
I-ii-5: These oblations turn into the rays of the sun and taking him up they lead him, who performs the rites in these shining flames at the proper time, to where the single lord of the gods presides over all.
I-ii-6: Saying, ‘Come, come’, uttering pleasing words such as, ‘This is your well-earned, virtuous path which leads to heaven’, and offering him adoration, the scintillating oblations carry the sacrificer along the rays of the sun.
I-ii-7: Since these eighteen constituents of a sacrifice, on whom the inferior karma has been said to rest, are perishable because of their fragility, therefore those ignorant people who get elated with the idea ‘This is (the cause of) bliss’, undergo old age and death over again.
I-ii-8: Remaining within the fold of ignorance and thinking, ‘We are ourselves wise and learned’, the fools, while being buffeted very much, ramble about like the blind led by the blind alone.
I-ii-9: Continuing diversely in the midst of ignorance, the unenlightened take airs by thinking, ‘We have attained the goal.’ Since the men, engaged in karma, do not understand (the truth) under the influence of attachment, thereby they become afflicted with sorrow and are deprived of heaven on the exhaustion of the results of karma.
I-ii-10: The deluded fools, believing the rites inculcated by the Vedas and the Smritis to be the highest, do not understand the other thing (that leads to) liberation. They, having enjoyed (the fruits of actions) in the abode of pleasure on the heights of heaven, enter this world or an inferior one.
I-ii-11: Those who live in the forest, while begging for alms – viz. those (forest-dwellers and hermits) who resort to the duties of their respective stages of life as well as to meditation – and the learned (householders) who have their senses under control – (they) after becoming freed from dirt, go by the path of the sun to where lives that Purusha, immortal and undecaying by nature.
I-ii-12: A Brahmana should resort to renunciation after examining the worlds acquired through karma, with the help of this maxim: ‘There is nothing (here) that is not the result of karma; so what is the need of (performing) karma ?’ For knowing that Reality he should go, with sacrificial faggots in hand, only to a teacher versed in the Vedas and absorbed in Brahman.
I-ii-13: To him who has approached duly, whose heart is calm and whose outer organs are under control, that man of enlightenment should adequately impart that knowledge of Brahman by which one realizes the true and imperishable Purusha.
II-i-1: That thing that is such, is true.
As from a fire fully ablaze, fly off sparks in their thousands that are akin to the fire, similarly O good-looking one, from the Imperishable originate different kinds of creatures and into It again they merge.
II-i-2: The Purusha is transcendental, since He is formless. And since He is coextensive with all that is external and internal and since He is birthless, therefore He is without vital force and without mind; He is pure and superior to the (other) superior imperishable (Maya).
II-i-3: From Him originates the vital force as well as the mind, all the senses, space, air, fire, water, and earth that supports everything.
II-i-4: The indwelling Self of all is surely He of whom the heaven is the head, the moon and sun are the two eyes, the directions are the two ears, the revealed Vedas are the speech, air is the vital force, the whole Universe is the heart, and (It is He) from whose two feet emerged the earth.
II-i-5: From Him emerges the fire (i.e. heaven) of which the fuel is the sun. From the moon emerges cloud, and (from cloud) the herbs and corns on the earth. A man sheds the semen into a woman. From the Purusha have originated many creatures.
II-i-6: From Him (emerge) the Rik, Sama and Yajur mantras, initiation, all the sacrifices – whether with or without the sacrificial stake – offerings to Brahmanas, the year, the sacrificer, and the worlds where the moon sacrifices (all) and where the sun (shines).
II-i-7: And from Him duly emerged the gods in various groups, the Sadhyas, human beings, beasts, birds, life, rice and barley, as well as austerity, faith, truth, continence and dutifulness.
II-i-8: From Him emerge the seven sense-organs, the seven flames, the seven kinds of fuel, the seven oblations, and these seven seats where move the sense-organs that sleep in the cavity, (and) have been deposited (by God) in groups of seven.
II-i-9: From Him emerge all the oceans and all the mountains. From Him flow out the rivers of various forms. And from Him issue all the corns as well as the juice, by virtue of which the internal self verily exists in the midst of the elements.
II-i-10: The Purusha alone is all this – (comprising) karma and knowledge. He who knows this supreme, immortal Brahman, existing in the heart, destroys here the knot of ignorance, O good-looking one !
II-ii-1: (It is) effulgent, near at hand, and well known as moving in the heart, and (It is) the great goal. On It are fixed all these that move, breathe, and wink or do not wink. Know this One which comprises the gross and the subtle, which is beyond the ordinary knowledge of creatures, and which is the most desirable and the highest of all.
II-ii-2: That which is bright and is subtler than the subtle, and that on which are fixed all the worlds as well as the dwellers of the worlds, is this immutable Brahman; It is this vital force; It, again, is speech and mind. This Entity, that is such, is true. It is immortal. It is to be penetrated, O good-looking one, shoot (at It).
II-ii-3: Taking hold of the bow, the great weapon familiar in the Upanishads, one should fix on it an arrow sharpened with meditation. Drawing the string, O good-looking one, hit that very target that is the Imperishable, with the mind absorbed in Its thought.
II-ii-4: Om is the bow; the soul is the arrow; and Brahman is called its target. It is to be hit by an unerring man. One should become one with It just like an arrow.
II-ii-5: Know that Self alone that is one without a second, on which are strung heaven, the earth and the inter-space, the mind and the vital forces together with all the other organs; and give up all other talks. This is the bridge leading to immortality.
II-ii-6: Within that (heart) in which are fixed the nerves like the spokes on the hub of a chariot wheel, moves this aforesaid Self by becoming multiformed. Meditate on the Self thus with the help of Om. May you be free from hindrances in going to the other shore beyond darkness.
II-ii-7: That Self which is omniscient in general and all-knowing in detail and which has such glory in this world – that Self, which is of this kind – is seated in the space within the luminous city of Brahman.
It is conditioned by the mind, It is the carrier of the vital forces and the body, It is seated in food by placing the intellect (in the cavity of the heart). Through their knowledge, the discriminating people realize that Self as existing in Its fullness everywhere – the Self that shines surpassingly as blissfulness and immortality.
II-ii-8: When that Self, which is both the high and the low, is realized, the knot of the heart gets united, all doubts become solved, and all one’s actions become dissipated.
II-ii-9: In the supreme, bright sheath is Brahman, free from taints and without parts. It is pure, and is the Light of lights. It is that which the knowers of the Self realize.
II-ii-10: There the sun does not shine, nor the moon or the stars; nor do these flashes of lightning shine there. How can this fire do so ? Everything shines according as He does so; by His light all this shines diversely.
II-ii-11: All this that is in front is but Brahman, the immortal. Brahman is at the back, as also on the right and the left. It is extended above and below, too. This world is nothing but Brahman, the highest.
III-i-1: Two birds that are ever associated and have similar names, cling to the same tree. Of these, one eats the fruit of divergent tastes, and the other looks on without eating.
III-i-2: On the same tree, the individual soul remains drowned (i.e. stuck), as it were; and so it moans, being worried by its impotence. When it sees thus the other, the adored Lord, and His glory, then it becomes liberated from sorrow.
III-i-3: When the seer sees the Purusha – the golden-hued, creator, lord, and the source of the inferior Brahman – then the illumined one completely shakes off both merit and demerit, becomes taintless, and attains absolute equality.
III-i-4: This one is verily the Vital Force which shines divergently through all beings. Knowing this, the illumined man has no (further) occasion to go beyond anything in his talk. He disports in the Self, delights in the Self, and is engrossed in (spiritual) effort. This one is the chief among the knowers of Brahman.
III-i-5: The bright and pure Self within the body, that the monks with (habitual effort and) attenuated blemishes see, is attainable verily through truth, concentration, complete knowledge, and continence, practised constantly.
III-i-6: Truth alone wins, and not untruth. By truth is laid the path called Devayana, by which the desireless seers ascend to where exists the supreme treasure attainable through truth.
III-i-7: It is great and self-effulgent; and Its form is unthinkable. It is subtler than the subtle. It shines diversely. It is farther away than the far-off, and It is near at hand in this body. Among sentient beings It is (perceived as) seated in this very body, in the cavity of the heart.
III-i-8: It is not comprehended through the eye, nor through speech, nor through the other senses; nor is It attained through austerity or karma. Since one becomes purified in mind through the favourableness of the intellect, therefore can one see that indivisible Self through meditation.
III-i-9: Within (the heart in) the body, where the vital force has entered in five forms, is this subtle Self to be realized through that intelligence by which is pervaded the entire mind as well as the motor and sensory organs of all creatures. And It is to be known in the mind, which having become purified, this Self reveals Itself distinctly.
III-i-10: The man of pure mind wins those worlds which he mentally wishes for and those enjoyable things which he covets. Therefore one, desirous of prosperity, should adore the knower of the Self.
III-ii-1: He knows this supreme abode, this Brahman, in which is placed the Universe and which shines holy. Those wise ones indeed, who having become desireless, worship this (enlightened) person, transcend this human seed.
III-ii-2: He who covets the desirable things, while brooding (on the virtues), is born amidst those very surroundings along with the desires. But for one who has got his wishes fulfilled and who is Self-poised, all the longings vanish even here.
III-ii-3: This Self is not attained through study, nor through the intellect, nor through much hearing. The very Self which this one (i.e. the aspirant) seeks is attainable through that fact of seeking; this Self of his reveals Its own nature.
III-ii-4: This Self is not attained by one devoid of strength, nor through delusion, nor through knowledge unassociated with monasticism. But the Self of that knower, who strives through these means, enters into the abode that is Brahman.
III-ii-5: Having attained this, the seers become contented with their knowledge, established in the Self, freed from attachment, and composed. Having realized the all-pervasive One everywhere, these discriminating people, ever merged in contemplation, enter into the All.
III-ii-6: Those to whom the entity presented by the Vedantic knowledge has become fully ascertained, who are assiduous and have become pure in mind through the Yoga of monasticism – all of them, at the supreme moment of final departure, become identified with the supreme Immortality in the worlds that are Brahman, and they become freed on every side.
III-ii-7: To their sources repair the fifteen constituents (of the body) and to their respective gods go all the gods (of the senses). The karmas and the soul appearing like the intellect, all become unified with the supreme Undecaying.
III-ii-8: As rivers, flowing down, become indistinguishable on reaching the sea by giving up their names and forms, so also the illumined soul, having become freed from name and form, reaches the self-effulgent Purusha that is higher than the higher (Maya).
III-ii-9: Anyone who knows that supreme Brahman becomes Brahman indeed. In his line is not born anyone who does not know Brahman. He overcomes grief, and rises above aberrations; and becoming freed from the knots of the heart, he attains immortality.
III-ii-10: This (rule) has been revealed by the mantra (which runs thus): ‘To them alone should one expound this knowledge of b who are engaged in the practice of disciplines, versed in the Vedas, and indeed devoted to Brahman, who personally sacrifice to the fire called Ekarsi with faith, and by whom has been duly accomplished the vow of holding fire on the head.’
III-ii-11: The seer Angiras spoke of this Truth in the days of yore. One that has not fulfilled the vow does not read this. Salutation to the great seers. Salutation to the great seers.
1. Yama Dharma Raja and Chitragupta keep seated with saddened looks
Reason was nothing else. For a long time there is no soul in Yamaloka. All the hells became devoid of sinful beings. The frightening, thorn-filled pathway leading to Yama Dharma Raja’s hall was empty of all beings.
Yama Dharma Raja and Chithraguptha were worried how they could simply take payments with out doing any job. If a single soul would have arrived they could have got a sigh of relief at least.
2. King Rukmangada and Ekadasi Vratha
In the earth king Rukmangada was ruling .His queen was Sandhya vali. His son crowned as junior prince was Dharmangada.
Rukmangada was very specific that all praja should observe Ekadasi Vratha. On account of this every body met with death had his reserved seat in the straight flight to Vaikunda from Earth. Even there was no transit at Devaloka. This was the reason for the sadness of Yama Dharma Raja and his assistant Chitragupta.
It was a standing rule in the kingdom of Rukmangada that all citizens observe Ekadasi vow without fail. When Ekadashi arrived the king would despatch his soldiers and Brahmins to all parts of the kingdom. They would go out with elephants bearing great drums that were beaten with a thunderous sound. The royal messengers would then loudly declare, oTomorrow is the day of Sri Maha Vishnu. If any foolish person over the age of eight and under eighty-five takes food grains, he or she will be punished severely.
Everyone had given up all religious rituals except the vow of Ekadashi. They made no offerings to their ancestors, nor gave charitable gifts, visited pilgrimage sites or performed any other rite. They simply fasted on Sri Maha Vishnu’s day and thereby achieved all success in life.
3. Sage Narada overview situation
In the course of his cosmic travels the sage Narada observed that heaven and hell had become empty. He made a visit to Yama Dharma Raja to understand his future plan if any or as usual to propose a troublesome one.
Yama Dharma Raja discussed situation with sage Narada. Yama Dharma Raja told the sage about Rukmangada’s edict regarding Ekadashi. oChitragupta and the other writers are taking rest and I sit here like a wooden deer. I have lost all desire for my post as the world’s guardian.
Yama Dharma Raja informed Narada that he intended to visit Brahma, the lord of all the gods. oI shall apprise him of my plight and seek his assistance. Soon I shall be the sole resident of hell. Narada made a big laugh at Yama Dharma Raja’s last remark like all of us. Narada understood Yama Dharma Raja is already decided on his visit.
4. Yama Dharma Raja goes to meet Brahma with Narada and Chitragupta
Yama Dharma Raja rose from his throne and departed for Brahma’s planet. He ordered Chitragupta to follow with the sage. As such behind him followed both Narada and Chitragupta.
Like a bashful bride Yama Dharma Raja entered in amongst all these beings and went before Lord Brahma with head bent, looking down at the floor.
What is this? How is the son of the Sun god here? He is never idle even for a moment. How too is his clerk Chitragupta present here? He has no seconds to leave the record book. He is empty handed here. Every body present wondered.
5. Yama Dharma Raja describe the situation to Brahma
Yama Dharma Raja fell flat before Brahma, like a tree cut at its root and practically unconscious. The powerful wind-god Vayu raised him up sprinkled water on his face. He was present in the Brahma sabha among others. Chithra guptha assisted him. Vayu pacified him and said, Who has attacked you? How have you been displaced from your kingdom and sent here? Tell us everything.
Yama Dharma Raja looked up and addressed Brahma in a voice choked with tears. I have today been overpowered by King Rukmangada.
On the mention of Rukmangada’s name a murmur went around the assembly. His fame had reached to Brahma’s abode also. Yama Dharma Raja described how the people had abandoned all other religious practices except the Ekadashi vow.
He sadly intimated “the dead go without fail to Vaikuntha, taking with them their fathers, grandfathers, mother’s fathers and three full generations of ancestors. Even those already in hell were quickly released and on account of this his palace make a barren look.
Yama Dharma Raja begged Brahma to take action. Otherwise everyone in the whole world would be transported to Vaikuntha thanks to Rukmangada.
6. Brahma create junior Satrupa
The four-headed Brahma smiled down at Yama Dharma Raja. It is no wonder that all men are bypassing you to reach Sri Maha Vishnu’s abode. No matter how sinful, if one remembers the Lord’s name at death he is liberated from the bondage of worldly existence. What wonder is there then that one gets liberation by fasting on Sri Maha Vishnu’ day?
I may be able to help you with the devotees of Shiva or Surya or my own devotees, but never with those of Hari. He is the Lord of all.
Brahma again said, I do not know if I can assist you. It may even destroy my own body if I try. My very post as Brahma has been earned by associating with Sri Maha Vishnu’s devotees.
Yama Dharma Raja was disconsolate. He felt unable to return to his post. Yama Dharma Raja pleaded oI cannot discharge my duty while Rukmangada rules over the world. If you can somehow shake him from his courageous resolve I shall feel that all my ends are achieved.
Brahma sat in meditation for some moments. Suddenly from out of his form there appeared a celestial maiden of resplendent beauty. She marvelled Satrupa. Brahma told her she is Mohini.
She glanced about here and there enchanting all who saw her. Everyone in the assembly gazed at her with unblinking eyes, but Brahma closed his own eyes and endeavoured strongly to control his mind. He did not want to create a scene as in the case of Satrupa and well remembered his loss of 5th head.
Brahma took courage and opened his eyes to speak with the girl. oFair complexioned lady, I have mentally created you in order to madden men’s minds.
The maiden bowed to Brahma and said, Surely it is so. Just see the entire universe bewildered and falling into senselessness simply upon seeing me. Even among yogis and sages there is no man who will not be agitated when his eyes fall upon me.
7. Brahma commands Mohini.
She asked Brahma to command her. Tell me who I should delude and consider it done. Even a stone will become infatuated upon seeing me, what then of a man?
Brahma smiled. You have spoken the truth. There is nothing you cannot achieve. You are attracting even my mind despite my steadying it with the perfect knowledge. Upon seeing you the very universe has become motionless.
Brahma instructed her to go to the earth and appear before Rukmangada. She would find him on Mount Mandara. There you should wait, playing upon your flute and singing. Enchanted by that song king Rugmangada will come to you, most beautiful one, desiring your hand. Then you must make a request of him.
8. Brahma’s instructions to Mohini
Brahma instructed Mohini to accept the king’s proposal of marriage, but only on condition that he promised to do whatever she asked of him. “He will not refuse and when the time is right.
Brahma told her that she should then ask Rukmangada to give up fasting and practising severe vows on Ekadashi, telling him that it is a hindrance to their relationship.
Brahma also told her about the king’s son, Dharmangada. He surpassed even his illustrious father. The prince had conquered the entire universe, bringing all beings under his father’s sway. He is dearer to Rukmangada than his own life.
Brahma continued, “Dear Lady, if the king refuses your request to give up his vows on Ekadashi then you should ask for Dharmangada’s head.”
Brahma told her to set off on her mission. As she left he thought with in his mind “Either the king shall abide her by desire and the people will again approach Yama Dharma Raja, or he will slay his son and go with him to Sri Maha Vishnu’s immortal abode.”
Brahma was not sure to give a positive reply to Yama Dharma Raja. Mohini departed and Yama Dharma Raja felt sure his problem would soon be solved though Brahma did not say any thing else. Yama Dharma Raja had a personal experience in this case. That story of Yama Dharma Raja and his human wife we will read later.
9. Rukmangada desire to go over to Mandara Mountains
On earth King Rukmangada called for his son Dharmangada. He said, “I have discharged my duties as king. All men are attaining salvation and the earth prospers. I wish now to go to Mandara Mountain and enjoy some rest in that celestial region.
The king entrusted the kingdom to him and Dharmangada replied, “Enjoy whatever pleasures you desire. Surely I shall bear the heavy burden of your kingdom, ensuring that all your edicts are kept. No other holy virtue appeals to me other than following your directives. The prince bowed and touched his father’s feet.
10. Dharmangada refresh orders
Dharmangada summoned the leading citizens and said, “While I hold the rod of justice even Yama Dharma Raja cannot be the chastiser. Always do your duty and remember Lord Sri Maha Vishnu. Do not take food on Sri Maha Vishnu’s day. In this way be happy in this life and go to Vaikuntha after death.”
The prince ruled the kingdom exactly as his father had done. A steady stream of souls continued to rise up to Vaikuntha, while Yama Dharma Raja waited patiently for Mohini to exert her irresistible charms on Rukmangada.
11. Rukmangada starts to Mandara Mountains
The king took leave from his queen Sandhyavali. The queen requested non-violance from the king while in the forest. He said, “I have no desire to slay animals. My wish is only to protect the sages in the forest and to get their holy company. Hunting is merely a pretext for me.”
“We ride for Mandara Mountain.” He told soldiers following him. Spurring on his horse, Rukmangada went at such a speed that no one could keep pace with him.
It was a four or five-day ride to Mandara Mountain but the king arrived there within a single day. Brahma knowing the pathetic condition of Yama Dharma Raja made his horse runs like a super fast train. He reached a beautiful hermitage at the foot of the mountain, which abounded in flowering and fruit-laden trees.
He went into the hermitage and saw the lustrous sage Vamadeva who was surrounded by thousands of disciples. The sage resembled a blazing fire covered by countless sparks and Rukmangada immediately fell flat before him.
Vamadeva offered blessings and said to his disciples, “Here is the Emperor Rukmangada. Offer him due respects.” After worships sage Vamadeva told him “I think it is I who am blessed by your presence. You are a highly praiseworthy Vaishnava. What other king on earth could vanquish Yama Dharma Raja and lead the entire world to Vaikuntha? The path to hell is empty and desolate as a result of your great deeds.”
Vamadeva praised the king at length. Rukmangada was a rare soul, a great exemplar among monarchs. As desired by the king his past story was told to the king.
The sage Vamadeva blessed the king and told him to go to wherever pleased him. Rukmangada bowed before the sage and took his leave, riding out toward the great Mandara hill.
The king dismounted from his horse and made his way up the mountain, his mind intoxicated by the sights and sounds around him. As he went higher he became aware of a divine voice singing a bewitching song entering a delightful bower he saw that all creatures there were motionless, enchanted by the music.
In the centre of the bower sat Mohini, her lustrous beauty appearing to illuminate the whole region. As she played upon her lute she glanced up shyly at the king and quickly looked down again. She was worshipping a Shiva-lingam.
Getting to his feet he approached Mohini, who threw him sidelong glances. She stopped singing and smiled at the king. Shaking off the bees that were attracted by the fragrance of her breath, she stood up to greet him. Mesmerised by her graceful movements, he stood staring as she spoke to him.
Mohini said, “Mohini understood the kings feelings at once . Welcome, king. Know me to be under your control. I am willing to become your partner. After giving me what I desire you may accept me as yours.”
Mohini spoke in a soft voice. “My dear king, I do not wish for the earth or all its treasures. You, who are famous for your truthfulness, need only promise to carry out my desire at the time when I choose to ask.”
The king’s eyes expanded in delight. “Consider it done, most beautiful maiden. Never have I uttered a lie, even in jest.”
He solemnly held out his right hand. “I have come here only for your sake, great king. Born of the god Brahma, I heard of your fame and glory in his mansion. Immediately I came here, forsaking even the gods.”
Accepting her hand and marrying her according to the Gandharva rite, by a simple exchange of garlands, he asked her where she wished to go?
“I am happy here in the mountains, but it is always the wife’s duty to accompany and serve her husband. His house, even if full of misery, is preferable to heaven for a chaste wife.”
Rukmangada then set off toward to his kingdom with her. In the city Dharmangada saw the sky becoming brighter from the north and realised that his father was approaching.
Turning to his ministers he said, “Just see how the firmament glows with radiant light. I think my father returns. Let us go to greet him.
They walked two miles out of the city to a flower filled garden where Rukmangada and his new wife descended. As soon as the king dismounted Dharmangada bowed to his feet. Beaming in delight Rukmangada lifted him up and embraced him.
“Dear son, I hope you are protecting the citizens well and punishing your enemies. I trust also that the Brahmins and cows are all well maintained and that the kingdom is flourishing. I hope too that no one takes food on Ekadashi.
Looking at Mohini, whom his father had helped dismount, Dharmangada said, “Who is this lady with the lustre of ten thousand suns?
Rukmangada told his son how he had found Mohini on Mount Mandara. I have made her a promise and offered her my right hand. Accept her as your chithi.”
Dharmangada at once bowed at Mohini’s feet and said, “Chithi, I am your son, servant and slave. Be pleased to favour me with your blessings. By his mother’s grace the son can obtain the earth itself.”
Rukmangada asked his son to look after Mohini chithi and retired for some rest. Kneeling before her he personally washed her feet and then sprinkled the water on his head. The prince had many divine ornaments brought from the higher planets These he gave to Mohini while shedding tears of delight.
Within the inner quarters of Rukmangada’s palace Sandhyavali sat alone. She scratched at the ground with her foot and sighed repeatedly.
Dharmangada went to her and said “Dear mother, please come and greet Mohini chithi. She who is loved by father must surely be a highly respectable person for us. Please give up all jealousy and serve chithi”. To reconcile to it Dharmangada told his amma many stories .
The queen went to the kitchen and by merely glancing at the pots and utensils she produced a meal replete with the six types of taste. She personally served it to Mohini.
Sandhyavali smiled and offered her respect to Mohini with folded palms. “It is my pleasure to please you, who are so dear to my husband.”
Mohini laughed and said, “Oh, you are Dharmangada’s mother. I did not recognise you and surely did not expect you to serve me. Indeed, I am your servant. Take it from me” These words from Mohini took all hatreds from her mind fully
Mohini looked at the prince, who kept his head down as he slowly fanned her. She felt a pang of remorse. How could she perpetrate the act asked of her by Brahma? This boy was without doubt a saint and wished her only well. But perhaps she would not need to make her terrible demand of the king. Perhaps he would simply agree to eat on Ekadashi. She thought about poor Yama Dharma Raja waiting for the positive results of her. She asked Dharmangada to get his father.
Rukmangada was in deep sleep after the lightening journey on horse. He came as requested by the son. Mohini intimated him that she wanted to live with him with permission of other co-queens.
Dharmangada pleaded to other chithies regarding the father’s desire to live with new Chithi. Dharmangada pleaded, “My dear mothers, if you will not agree to this then I shall drink poison and cast off this body. I cannot live if my father is not happy.
Finally all of hem consented Rukmangada to live with Mohini
Alone with Mohini, King Rukmangada was hardly aware of the passage of time. King asked what were her wishes to carry out once. But Mohini smiled. “I am happy with you. Perhaps in future I shall ask something of you.”
Rukmangada too smiled, oblivious to his impending destruction. Eight years passed as if they were as many months. All the while Rukmangada fasted for Ekadasi and Mohini did not murmur a word. She was waiting for the proper time.
During the ninth year Dharmangada went out and conquered in battle five Vidyadharas, powerful celestials who had come to the Malaya Mountain .
He helped Varuna and in return Varuna offered a beautiful virgin girl to Dharmangada to become his wife, whom he on return introduced to his father. He requested for his blessings.
Rukmangada gave much of the wealth to his son and had the court Brahmins arrange for his marriage. After this Dharmangada continued to rule over the kingdom while his father stayed with Mohini.
But when the holy month known as Kartikka arrived the king asked her to allow him to observe a sacred vow for its duration. Rukmangada said, “Many years we have been together and I have neglected the Kartikka vow, not wishing to upset you. I wish now to follow it for the full month. Pray grant me permission.”
Mohini was not happy with this request. “Surely the Kartikka vow is greatly virtuous, but its observance by kings is not recommended by any sacred text. It is meant only for Brahmins. The duty of kings is only to protect the people and give charity at all times.”
Mohini asked Rukmangada not to observe the vow. “I will not be able to stand your separation for a month. Please do not abandon my request.”
Rukmangada called for Sandhyavali. She prayed, “My lord, how may I serve you?” She smiled and awaited his order. Rukmangada went on, “I desire to follow the Kartikka vow, but this daughter of Brahma prevents me. Therefore I wish that you observe it on my behalf.”
The king said to Mohini “I desire only to please you. At your behest I have forsaken even my duty.”
Mohini said, “Dear lord, knowing of your loving attitude and wanting only to be with you I have left heaven, forsaking even the immortals. Leaving off the gods, Gandharvas, Yakshas, Rakshasas and Danavas I came to you on the Mandara Mountain.”
But as the sun rose the following day the sound of drums was heard, followed by the loud voice of a royal messenger declaring that the next day was Ekadashi Gentle lady, the day of Hari, so destructive of sin, dawns tomorrow. Forgive me but I must observe restraint. Sandhyavali already observes the Kartikka penance for me, but this vow I must perform as usual.” The king asked Mohini to join him in its observance
Mohini in turn said to Rukmangada and said -“Kindly fulfil the promise you made to me when we first met now.”
During all the previous years of their being together Mohini had not said anything as the king observed Ekadashi. He had left her for three days and observed fasting. But now she felt the time had come to carry out Lord Brahma’s order. Rukmangada’s attachment for her was complete. Surely he would not refuse. She thought about her father Brahma and poor Yama Dharma Raja waiting for her action and there was nothing justice to think for her.
The king said, “Ask anything. I will carry out your wish whatever it may be. Have no fear.” Rukmangada smiled, but as Mohini spoke in reply his smile quickly faded.
“Dear king, I ask that you stay with me tomorrow and take your meals as normal. I desire only this. Please grant this wish.”
She advocated her stand “I have heard from sages that the Ekadashi vow need not be observed by kings. There will not be any sin for you if you take food and enjoy with me. Only this will please me.” Mohini added- if the king did not satisfy her wish she would not stay with him any longer. “I shall not touch your body which will be contaminated with the sin of falsehood.”
Mohini called a leading Brahmin Gauthama. Gautama said, “Understand king, that your vow of fasting is whimsical and not according to the Vedas. Kings must always bear arms and be ready for battle. The austerities you accept are meant for other orders of life.” Gautama exhorted the king to eat and cautioned him that he should not ignore the advice of the Brahmins. “That will only lead you into sin and degradation.”
Rukmangada’s lips trembled in anger. By exerting great self-control he spoke in measured tones. “Great sages, hear my words. There is certainly support in scripture for my fasting.” Rukmangada knew he had the support of other Vaishnava Brahmins and could understand that Gautama and his followers belonged to a different school of thought.
The king said, “I will not abandon my vow even if urged by the Devas, Gandharvas, Danavas, Siddhas, Rakshasas, or even Lord Shiva. The sun may cease to shine, the oceans dry up and the Himalayas crumble, but Rukmangada will not break his vow.”
Mohini face turned red as the king spoke. Mohini said, now you demur. I am no longer yours and you are not mine. I must find another protector.”Mohini stood up at once and began to leave, accompanied by Gautama and the other Brahmins.
But as Mohini was about to exit from the chamber, Dharmangada arrived there. He bowed at the feet of his father and Mohini. Dearest mother, whatever you say I shall do. Stay here and be peaceful.”
Mohini said in short- “Your father is not keeping his promise. He is a liar ” Dharmangada replied. “How can my father be false while I live? Everything is established on his truth. Hell has been emptied and the abode of Yama Dharma Raja made void by his great virtue.”
Mohini took Dharmangada to his father. She said. “Ask your father of his intentions, dear son.”
Dharmangada said, ” Appa- Chithi claims you are a liar. I cannot believe it. What is it she wants that you cannot give?
Rukmangada said, “My son, let my fame perish, let me called a liar and even fall into a terrible hell, but I will not take food on Hari’s day. That is what Mohini desires. Therefore let her go to her father’s abode.
Dharmangada looked at Mohini, who sat silently with a firm expression. He understood she would not relent, any more than his father would break his vow.
Dharmangada felt perhaps his mother Sandhyavali could help resolve the situation. He called for his mother. When she arrived he said. “Dear Amma please try to make an agreement between Mohini chithi and Appa after describing the situation. He my father’s truth must be preserved without his taking food grains on Hari’s day.”
Turning to Mohini, Sandhyavali said, “Gentle lady, please be gracious. Do not ask for that which should not be given. When our husband offered you his hand he was overcome by passion and not thinking rightly. He would otherwise have stipulated that you couldn’t ask this. Pray for some other boon.”
Sandhyavali cited Vedic evidence to the effect that a woman who causes her husband to commit sin falls into a condition of terrible suffering. “It is for this reason I am advising you”
Mohini glanced at Rukmangada and then said to Sandhyavali, “My senior sister well advised me. If the king will not eat on Hari’s day then let something else be I ask be given. I do not wish to do anything that will give pain. Some divine force urges me to speak so.”
Mohini looked up into her co-wife’s face and said, “What I will say now will take away your life along with that of our husband. It will destroy my religious merits and attract the condemnation of all men.
Sandhyavali said, “Tell me. What can you say that will cause my sorrow? How will defending my husband’s truthfulness cause me misery?”
Mohini said. ” If your husband will not take food on Hari’s day then let him take his sword and cut off the beautiful head of Dharmangada, letting it fall on my lap.”
For some moments Sandhyavali stared in silence at Mohini. She then smiled and gently said, “By no means should the Ekadashi vow be broken. Sons, brothers, friends and loved ones are persons we contact in this world, but Ekadashi is the means to attain eternal happiness. Therefore have faith in my words. I shall do as you say.”
Sandhyavali clasped her husband’s feet and said. “My lord, this Mohini cannot be dissuaded from her purpose. Either you must take food on Sri Maha Vishnu’s day or strike down your son. There is no third alternative.”
Sandhyavali could hardly contemplate the prospect of Dharmangada’s death. What greater pain was there for a mother than to lose a son? But she put all affection out of her mind. To preserve truth was the highest virtue. She exhorted her husband to kill the prince.
The king began to lament that he had ever gone to Mandara Mountain in the first place. He would never have met Mohini. “Surely she is Death personified meant only to destroy Dharmangada and myself.”
I can neither break the Ekadashi vow nor slay my son. I beg you ask for some other boon.”
Rukmangada repeatedly beseeched Mohini to show leniency. Why was she so insistent?
Mohini shook her head. “I do not wish for his death. He is not my enemy. All I ask is that you take food on Ekadashi. Why do you lament so? It is within your power to save your son. You only have to adhere to truth and keep your word.”
Dharmangada then stepped forward. He took out his gleaming blue sword and placed it before the king. Kneeling before him the prince said, “Hear me king, make your words true and kill me. Do not hesitate. The soul should be saved even at the cost of wealth, wives or sons.”
As the sword was held over the prince’s neck many omens were seen. Mohini breathed deep sighs. Her mission was a failure. She would be hated throughout the world. Seeing the sword raised above the prince’s neck she fell down in a swoon.
Suddenly the whole area was brilliantly illuminated. Everyone looked upward and saw what appeared to be a second sun descending from the sky. It was Lord Sri Maha Vishnu mounted on the back of his great eagle carrier Garuda. He came to the king and caught him by the hand. “I am pleased. I am delighted. Lord of the people, I am taking you now to my abode along with your wife and son.” A shower of flowers fell from the sky and the gods beat heavenly drums. Rukmangada departed to heaven with queen and son along with Lord Sri Maha Vishnu.
Lord Brahma revived Mohini and consoled her. “Dear lady, rise up. Your husband’s glories are proven. I just made a test and you were a catalyst. Brahma took Mohini with him he gave her a place to reside in the heavens where she remains to this day.
With the departure of the king Rukmangada and his son Dharmangada gradually the observance of Ekadashi vrata started diminishing and men again went to Yama Dharma Raja, who continued his service to Sri Maha Vishnu with great pleasure.
This fasting is, in general, for everyone. Ekadasi is the 11th day in the moon cycle, i.e. from the new moon day and also from the full moon day.
It is a proven scientific matter, that the air pressure in the atmosphere rapidly changes in the surroundings on a full moon day or on the new moon day. The Sun-Moon-Earth combinations in the orbital path, when distances itself at every particular interval (i.e. every 24 hours of for every full circle the Earth rotates). When it occurs, accordingly the pressure in the atmosphere too changes drastically and varies from day to day. One can observe this from the increasing high tidal waves in the ocean. On any given New Moon day or Amavasya the pressure increases in the ocean and the tidal waves are very rough and high. But from the immediate next day onwards, the pressure recedes gradually thus improving that the atmospheric pressure too reduces. So, particularly on the 11th day from New Moon or Full Moon days, the pressure is some what very light or nil. If one has to go with an empty stomach on any other day, the atmospheric pressures will put on him or her more strain wherein on the Ekadasi day, the problem is minimal or nil. So the body never takes the pain while we cleanse the bowel system and thus refreshing the whole body mechanism – specifically the liver/stomach/bowel and the system movements.
But on the immediate next day (called as Dwadasi or Dvadasi – i.e. 12th day from Full Moon/New Moon), to avoid any pressure on the body system, one eats food in the morning as early as possible. Thus avoiding any system trouble or collapse. So it is advisable to observe fasting only on the Ekadashi day and to give scope for refreshing the body mechanism; this fasting day is also very conducive to concentrate of meditation and prayers. But one must eat food immediately in the next early morning to avoid any complications. As the atmospheric pressure builds up faster and doubles on the 12th day from Amavasya / Poornima days, it is strongly recommended to consume food on the Dwadasi day in the early morning.
Those who observe Fasting on Ekadasi days are keeping fittest health, cleansing their bowel system and mostly free from frequent ailments. Also, those who are the Bhakta’s of Lord Krishna, observing fasting on Ekadasi days, have lot more mental peace, by way of self realization and inner soul! That reflects them to more and more devote to the spiritual path! Yes, this sort of penance also give them a more stronger feeling towards spirituality, thus making them pure in body and mind.
Now, let us see the other scientific facts concerning the 11th day from Full Moon & New Moon. In the Indian Vedic system, there are different methods to calculate a month. Once such is counting from the new moon day known as Amavasya. The well knownFrom the new moon day till the Full moon day it is called as Sukla Paksham or waxing moon; from the full moon day till next Amavasya/new moon day, it is known as Krishna Paksham or the waning moon. In the celestial phenomena, the Earth as well as moon raises and settles at the same time on Amavasya and from the next day to Amavasya, moon is moving about 12 degree distance from the solar path; on the Ekadasi day, i.e. 11th day from full moon the Moon stays at a distance of about 135 degrees in the solar path that causes lesser grativation force and thus causing lesser atmospheric pressure. Thus fasting on an Ekadasi day will not affect the body system as also hungry feelings too minimum to some extent. Though normally it is on the eleventh day of both the waxing and waning moon, i.e..11th day from Amavasya and Poornima (Amavasya & Pournami) which falls twice in a month. The very purpose of the fast being to minimize bodily activities and increase in activities of devotion, prayer and peace, observers either abstain from food completely but only to intake Milk, fruits, water and some milk product or avoid all grains and beans from their meals on that day of Ekadasi Fasting. Light meals of fruits, milk products, vegetables, nuts and various non-cereal flours, fruits like banana, are eaten by those not undertaking a total fast. On Ekadasi, meals usually include wide varieties of tasty but without delivering the heavy bog-down feeling experienced after eating the same size meals cooked with grains and pulses. Apart from cleansing one’s body bi-monthly, this is an opportunity to become more absorbed in glorifying the Supreme Lord, Sriman Narayana. Ekadasi is also an excellent time to purify the body, mind and thoughts.
The Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad is the eighty-sixth among the 108 Upanishads. It forms part of the Krishna Yajurveda. It deals with an exposition of Hatha and Lambika Yogas. It concludes with an account of the non-qualified Brahman. The Non-dual Brahman is the quest of all seekers.
Though grouped among the minor Upanishads, the Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad is a very important work on Kundalini Yoga. It begins with an analysis of the nature of Chitta. It maintains that Samskaras and Vasanas on the one hand, and Prana, on the other, constitute the causes for the existence of Chitta. If Vasanas are controlled, Prana is automatically controlled. If Prana is controlled, the Vasanas are automatically controlled.
The Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad presents methods for the control of Prana. The Yogic student does not deal with Vasanas. He concerns himself with the techniques of controlling the Prana.
The three methods given in the Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad for the control of Prana are: Mitahara, Asana and Shakti-Chalana. These three methods are fully explained in the first chapter. Light, sweet and nutritious food forms the discipline of Mitahara. The Padmasana and the Vajrasana are two important Asanas used by the Yogic student. Shakti-Chalana is arousing the Kundalini and sending it to the crown of the head.
Kundalini can be aroused by a twofold practice. Saraswati Chalana and the restraint of Prana are the two practices. The rousing of the Saraswati Nadi is Saraswati Chalana.
The process, as described in the Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad, for arousing Kundalini is simple. When a person exhales, the Prana goes out 16 digits. In inhalation it goes in only 12 digits, thus losing 4. The Kundalini is aroused if one can inhale Prana for 16 digits. This is done by sitting in Padmasana and when the Prana is flowing through the left nostril, and lengthening inwards 4 digits more.
By means of this lengthened breath the Yogic student should manipulate the Saraswati Nadi and stir up the Kundalini Shakti with all his strength, from right to left, repeatedly. This process may extend to three quarters of an hour. All this has been briefly and yet comprehensively described in the Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad.
The most important result of shaking the Saraswati Nadi is that it cures the several diseases arising within the belly, and cleanses and purifies the system. After the practice of the Sahita Kumbhaka the Yogic student is initiated into the Kevala Kumbhaka. These two types of Kumbhaka bring about the complete restraint of the Prana.
Suryabheda Kumbhaka, Ujjayi Kumbhaka, Sitali and Bhastrika are the four divisions of the Sahita Kumbhaka. Suryabheda Kumbhaka destroys the intestinal worms and the four kinds of evils caused by Vayu. Ujjayi purifies the body, removes diseases and increases the gastric fire. It also removes the heat caused in the head and the phlegm in the throat. Sitali cools the body. It destroys gulma, dyspepsia, pliha, consumption, bile, fever, thirst and poison. These forms of Sahita Kumbhaka purify and prepare the entire physiological organism for the arousal of the Kundalini Sakti and for the experience of the non-dual Brahman.
Apart from bringing a number of wholesome physiological changes, Bhastrika Kumbhaka pierces the three knots or the Granthis. The Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad then proceeds to prescribe the practice of the three Bandhas, for the Yogic student. The process by which the downward tendency of the Apana (breath) is forced up by the spincter muscles of the anus, is called the Mulabandha. By this Bandha the Apana is raised up. It reaches the sphere of Agni or fire. Then the flame of the Agni grows long, being blown about by Vayu. In a heated state, Agni and Apana commingle with the Prana. This Agni is very fierce.
Through this fiery Agni, there arises in the body the fire that awakens and arouses the Kundalini, through its radiant heat. The aroused Kundalini makes a hissing noise, becomes erect and enters the hole of Brahmanadi. The Yogins practise this Mulabandha daily.
In this aim of arousing the Sarasvati Nadi and the Kundalini Shakti, the other two Bandhas, viz., Uddiyana Bandha and the Jalandhara Bandha, also play the most significant part.
After giving detailed knowledge of the techniques of the Bandhas, the Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad explains the number of obstacles the Yogic students encounter. It also gives the methods of overcoming these obstacles.
The causes of the diseases in the body are seven. 1. Sleeping during the daytime. 2. Late vigils overnight. 3. Excess of sexual intercourse. 4. Moving amidst crowds. 5. The effect of unwholesome food. 6. Checking of the discharge of urine and faeces. 7. Laborious mental operations with the Prana.
The mistake that the Yogic student commits is that when diseases attack him, he erroneously attributes the diseases to his practice of Yoga. This is the first obstacle in Yoga.
The Yogic student begins to doubt as to the efficacy of the Yoga Sadhana. This is the second obstacle. Carelessness or a state of confusion is the third obstacle. Indifference or laziness is the fourth obstacle. Sleep is the fifth obstacle and the sixth is the attachment to sense-objects. The seventh obstacle is erroneous perception or delusion. The eighth is concern with worldly affairs. The ninth is want of faith. The tenth obstacle to Yoga practice is want of the necessary aptitude for grasping the Yoga truths.
Earnest spiritual aspirants should avoid all these obstacles by means of a close investigation and great deliberation. Further on, the Upanishads describe the process and the manner by which the Kundalini is roused and taken to the Sahasrara by piercing through the Granthis.
When the awakened Kundalini moves upwards, the shower of nectar flows copiously. The Yogi enjoys this which keeps him away from all sensual pleasures. The Yogi takes his stand upon the Inner Reality, the Atman. He enjoys the highest state of spiritual experience. He attains peace and is devoted only to the Atman.
By the whole process of the Kundalini Yoga Sadhana, the body of the Yogi attains very subtle state of the spiritual Consciousness. The Yogi who has attained to Samadhi experiences everything as Consciousness. The Yogi realises the oneness of the macrocosm and the microcosm. Because, the Kundalini Shakti has reached the Sahasrara Kamala or the thousand-petalled lotus and has become united with Siva, the Yogi enjoys the highest Avastha. This is the final beatitude.
The Chakras are centres of Shakti as vital force. These are the centres of Prana Shakti manifested by Pranavayu in the living body.
Those aspirants who aspire to arouse the Kundalini Shakti to enjoy the Bliss of Union of Siva and Shakti, through awakened Kundalini, and to gain the accompanying Powers or Siddhis, should practise Kundalini Yoga. To them, this Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad is of great importance. It equips them with a comprehensive knowledge of the methods and processes of the Kundalini Yoga in which the Khechari Mudra stands prominent.
The Kundalini Yogi seeks to obtain both Bhukti and Mukti. He attains liberation in and through the world. Jnana Yoga is the path of asceticism and liberation. Kundalini Yoga is the path of enjoyment and liberation.
The Hatha Yogi seeks a body which shall be as strong as steel, healthy, free from suffering and therefore, long-lived. Master of the body, the Yogi is the Master of life and death. His shining form enjoys the vitality of youth. He lives as long as he has the will to live and enjoys in the world of forms. His death is the death at will (Ichha-Mrityu). The Yogi should seek the guidance of an expert and skilled Guru.
The Serpent Power is the power which is the static support or Adhara of the whole body and all its moving Pranic forces. The polarity as it exists in, and as, the body is destroyed by Yoga which disturbs the equilibrium of bodily consciousness, which consciousness is the result of the maintenance of these two poles.
In the human body the potential pole of Energy which is the Supreme Power is stirred to action. The Shakti is moved upward to unite with the Siva, the quiescent Consciousness in the Sahasrara.
By Pranayama and other Yogic processes the static Shakti is affected and becomes dynamic. When completely dynamic, when Kundalini unites with Siva in the Sahasrara, the polarisation of the body gives way. The two poles are united in one and there is the state of consciousness called Samadhi. The polarisation takes place in the Consciousness. The body actually continues to exist as an object of observation to others.
When the Kundalini ascends, the body of the Yogi is maintained by the nectar which flow, from the union of Siva and Shakti in Sahasrara. Glory to Mother Kundalini who, through Her Infinite Grace and Power, kindly leads the Sadhaka from Chakra to Chakra and illumines him and makes him realise his identity with the Supreme Brahman! The Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad attaches great importance to the search for and finding of right Guru. It insists upon revering the illumined Guru, as God. Guru is one who has full Self-illumination. He removes the veil of ignorance in the deluded individuals.
The number of realised Gurus may be less in this Kali Yuga when compared with the Satya Yuga, but they are always present to help the aspirants. They are always searching for the proper Adhikarins.
The Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad gives a list of the obstacles to Yoga practice. Some take to the practice of Yoga, and later on, when they come across some obstacles in the way, they do not know how to proceed further. They do not know how to obviate them. Many are the obstacles, dangers, snares and pitfalls on the spiritual path. Sadhakas may commit many mistakes on the path. A Guru who has already trodden the path and reached the goal, is very necessary to guide them.
One more important thing which you would find in many places in the Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad is the Sushumna Nadi. You must have a complete knowledge of this Nadi.
Now, a word on Kundalini, the arousal of which is the immediate aim of the Kundalini Yoga. Kundalini, the serpent-power or mystic fire is the primordial energy or Shakti that lies dormant or sleeping in the Muladhara Chakra, the centre of the body. It is called the serpentine or annular power on account of serpentine form. It is an electric fiery occult power, the great pristine force which underlies all organic and inorganic matter.
1. Chitta is the Subconscious mind. It is the mind-stuff. It is the store-house of memory. Samskaras or impressions of actions are imbedded here. It is one of the four parts of Antahkarana or inner instruments, viz., mind, intellect, Chitta and Ahankara or ego.
2. Mind is formed out of wind. So, it is fleeting like the wind. Intellect is formed out of fire. Chitta is formed out of water. Ego is formed out of earth.
3. Chitta has two causes for its existence, viz., Vasanas or subtle desires and the vibration of Prana.
4. If one of them is controlled, the result is, both of them are controlled.
23. Briefly, I will now describe to you Pranayama. Prana is the Vayu that moves in the body. The restraint of Prana within is known as Kumbhaka.
24. Kumbhaka is of two kinds, namely, Sahita and Kevala.
25. Till he gets Kevala, the Yogic student should practise Sahita.
26. There are four divisions or Bhedas. These divisions are: Surya, Ujjayi, Sitali and Bhastrika. Sahita Kumbhaka is the Kumbhaka associated with these four.
27. Select a place which is pure, beautiful and free from pebbles, thorns, etc. It should be of the length of a bow free from cold, fire and water. To this place, take a pure and pleasant seat which is neither too high nor too low. Upon it, sit in Padmasana. Now, shake or throw into vibration Sarasvati. Slowly inhale the breath from outside, through the right nostril, as long as this is comfortable, and exhale it through the left nostril. Exhale after purifying the skull by forcing the breath up. This destroys the four kinds of evils caused by Vayu. It destroys also the intestinal worms. This should be repeated often. It is called Suryabheda.
28. Close the mouth. Draw up slowly the breath through both the nostrils. Retain it in the space between the heart and the neck. Then exhale through the left nostril.
29. This removes both the heat caused in the head and the phlegm in the throat. It removes all diseases. It purifies the body and increases the gastric fire. It removes all the evils arising in the Nadis, Jalodara or dropsy, that is water in the belly, and Dhatus. The name for this Kumbhaka is Ujjayi. It can be practised even when walking or standing.
30. Draw up the breath through the tongue with the hissing sound Sa. Retain it as before. Then slowly exhale through both the nostrils. This is called Sitali Kumbhaka.
31. Sitali Kumbhaka cools the body. It destroys gulma or the chronic dyspepsia, Pliha (a disease of the spleen), consumption, bile, fever, thirst and poison.
32. Sit in Padmasana with belly and neck erect. Close the mouth and exhale through the nostrils. Then inhale a little up to the neck so that the breath will fill the space, with noise, between the neck and skull. Then exhale in the same way and inhale often and often. Even as the bellows of a smith are moved stuffed within with air and then let out, so you should move the air within the body. When you get tired, inhale through the right nostril. If the belly is full of Vayu, press well the nostrils with all your fingers except the forefinger. Perform Kumbhaka and exhale through the left nostril.
33. This removes the inflammation of the throat. It increases the digestive gastric fire within. It enables one to know the Kundalini. It produces purity, removes sins, gives pleasure and happiness and destroys phlegm which is the bolt or obstacle to the door at the mouth of Brahmanadi or the Sushumna.
34. It pierces also the three Granthis or knots differentiated through the three modes of Nature or Gunas. The three Granthis or knots are Vishnu Granthi, Brahma Granthi and Rudra Granthi. This Kumbhaka is called Bhastrika. This should be especially practised by the Hatha Yogic students.
35. The Yogic student should now practise the three Bandhas. The three Bandhas are: the Mula Bandha, the Uddiyana Bandha and the Jalandhara Bandha.
36. Mula Bandha: Apana (breath) which has a downward tendency is forced up by the sphincter muscles of the anus. Mula Bandha is the name of this process.
37. When Apana is raised up and reaches the sphere of Agni (fire) then the flame of Agni grows long, being blown about by Vayu.
38. Then, in a heated state, Agni and Apana commingle with the Prana. This Agni is very fiery. Through this there arises in the body the fire that rouses the sleeping Kundalini through its heat.
39. Then this Kundalini makes a hissing noise. It becomes erect like a serpent beaten with a stick and enters the hole of Brahmanadi or the Sushumna. Therefore, the Yogins should practise daily Mulabandha often.
40. The Uddiyana Bandha: At the end of the Kumbhaka and at the beginning of expiration, Uddiyana Bandha should be performed. Because Prana Uddiyate, or the Prana goes up the Sushumna in this Bandha, the Yogins call it Uddiyana.
41. Sit in the Vajrasana. Hold firmly the two toes by the two hands. Then press at the Kanda and at the places near the two ankles. Then gradually upbear the Tana or the thread or the Nadi which is on the western side first to Udara or the upper part of the abdomen above the navel, then to the heart and then to the neck. When the Prana reaches the Sandhi or the junction of the navel, slowly it removes the impurities and diseases in the navel. For this reason, this should be practised frequently.
42. The Jalandhara Bandha: This should be practised at the end of Puraka (after inhalation). This is of the form of contraction of the neck and is an impediment to the passage of Vayu (upwards).
43. The Prana goes through Brahmanadi on the western Tana in the middle, when the neck is contracted at once by bending downwards so that the chin may touch the breast. Assuming the posture as mentioned before, the Yogi should stir up Sarasvati and control Prana.
44. On the first day, Kumbhaka should be practised four times.
45. It should be done ten times, on the second day, and then five times separately.
46. On the third day, twenty times will be enough. Afterwards Kumbhaka should be practised with the three Bandhas and with an increase of five times each day.
47. Seven are the causes of the diseases in the body. Sleeping during the daytime is the first, late vigils overnight is the second, excess of sexual intercourse the third, moving amidst crowds the fourth. The fifth cause is the effect of unwholesome food. The sixth is the checking of the discharge of urine and faeces. The seventh is the laborious mental operation with Prana.
48. When attacked by such diseases, the Yogi who is afraid of them says, “My diseases have arisen from my practices of Yoga.” Then he will discontinue this practice. This is the first obstacle to Yoga.
49. The second obstacle to Yoga is the doubt as to the efficacy of Yoga practice.
50. Third obstacle is carelessness or a state of confusion.
51. The fourth is indifference or laziness.
52. Sleep constitutes the fifth obstacle to Yoga practice.
53. The sixth is not leaving the objects of senses; the seventh is the erroneous perception or delusion.
54. The eighth is sensual objects or concern with worldly affairs. The ninth is want of faith. The tenth is non-aptitude for understanding of the truths of Yoga.
55. The intelligent practitioner of Yoga should, by means of close investigation and great deliberation, avoid these ten obstacles.
56. With the mind firmly fixed on the Truth, the practice of Pranayama should be performed daily. Then the mind takes its repose in the Sushumna. The Prana therefore never moves.
57. When the impurities of the mind are thus removed and Prana is absorbed in the Sushumna, one becomes a true Yogin.
58. When the accumulated impurity, clogging the Sushumna Nadi, is completely removed and the passage of vital air through the Sushumna is effected by performing Kevala Kumbhaka, the Yogin forcibly causes the Apana with the downward course to rise upwards by the contraction of the anus (Mula Bandha).
59. Thus raised up, the Apana mixes with Agni. Then they go up quickly to the seat of Prana. Then, Prana and Apana uniting with one another, go to Kundalini which is coiled up and asleep.
60. Heated by Agni and stirred up by Vayu, Kundalini stretches its body in the interior of the mouth of the Sushumna.
61. The Kundalini pierces through the Brahmagranthi formed of Rajas. It flashes at once like lightning at the mouth of Sushumna.
62. Then Kundalini goes up at once through Vishnugranthi to the heart. Then it goes up through the Rudragranthi and above it to the middle of the eyebrows.
63. Having pierced this place, the Kundalini goes up to the Mandala (sphere) of the moon. It dries up the moisture produced by the moon in the Anahata Chakra which has sixteen petals.
64. Through the speed of Prana, when the blood is agitated, it becomes bile from its contact with the sun. Then it goes to the sphere of the moon. Here it becomes of the nature of pure phlegm.
65. When it flows there, how does the blood which is very cold become hot?
66. Since at the same time the intense white form of moon is rapidly heated. The agitated Kundalini moves upwards and the shower of nectar flows more copiously.
67. As a result of swallowing this, the Chitta of the Yogin is kept away from all sensual pleasures. The Yogin is exclusively absorbed in the Atma partaking of the sacrificial offering called nectar. He takes his stand in his own Self.
68. He enjoys this highest state. He becomes devoted to the Atman and attains peace.
69. The Kundalini then goes to the seat of the Sahasrara. It gives up the eight forms of the Prakriti: earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intellect and egoism.
70. After clasping the eye, the mind, the Prana and the others in her embrace, the Kundalini goes to Siva and clasping Siva as well, dissolves herself in the Sahasrara.
71. Thus Rajas-Sukla or the seminal fluid which rises up, goes to Siva along with Marut or the Vayu. Prana and Apana which are always produced become equal.
72. Prana flows in all things, big and small, describable or indescribable, as fire in gold. The breath also dissolves itself.
73. Born together of the same quality, the Prana and the Apana also dissolve themselves in the presence of Siva in the Sahasrara. Having reached an equipoised condition, they no longer go up or down.
74. Then the Yogi thrives with the Prana spread outward in the form of attenuated elements or in the mere remembrance of it, the mind having been reduced to the form of faint impressions and the speech having remained only in the form of recollection.
75. All the vital airs then spread themselves outright in his body even as gold in a crucible placed on fire.
76. The body of the Yogi attains very subtle state of the pure Brahman. By causing the body made of the elements to be absorbed in a subtle state in the form of the Paramatman or the supreme Deity, the body of the Yogi gives up its impure corporal state.
77. That alone is the Truth underlying all things, which is released from the state of non-sentience and is devoid of impurities.
78. That alone which is of the nature of the Absolute Consciousness, which is of the character of the attribute “I” of all beings, the Brahman, the subtlest form of That alone is the Truth underlying all things.
79. The release from the notion that the Brahman is qualified, the delusion about the existence or non-existence of anything apart from the Brahman (which should be annihilated) and experience such as these that remain, there the Yogi should know as the Brahman. Simultaneously with the drawing of such knowledge of the form of the Atman, the liberation is attained by him.
80. When such is not the case, only all kinds of absurd and impossible notions arise. The rope-serpent and such other absurd notions, brought about by delusion take their rise. Absurd notions like the notion which men and women have, of silver, in the shell of the pearl-oyster, arise.
81. The Yogi should realise the oneness of the Visvatman and others up to the Turiya. He should realise the oneness of the microcosm with the Virat Atman and others, upto the Turiya, of the macrocosm, also of the Linga with the Sutratman, of the Self with the unmanifested state, of the Atman manifested in one’s Self with the Atman of Consciousness.
82. The Kundalini Sakti is like a thread in the Lotus. It is resplendent. It is biting with its mouth, the upper end of its body, at the root of the Lotus, the Mulakanda or the Muladhara.
83. It is in contact with the hole of Brahmanadi of Sushumna, taking hold of its tail with its mouth.
84. Seated in Padmasana, if a person who has accustomed himself to the contraction of his anus (Mula Bandha), makes the Vayu go upwards with the mind intent on Kumbhaka, the Agni comes to the Svadhishthana flaming, owing to the blowing of Vayu.
85. From the blowing of Vayu and Agni, Kundalini pierces open the Brahmagranthi. It then pierces open the Vishnugranthi.
86. Then the Kundalini pierces the Rudragranthi. After that, it pierces all the six lotuses or the plexus. Then the Kundalini Sakti is happy with Siva in Sahasradala Kamala, the thousand-petalled lotus. This should be known as the highest Avastha or the state. This alone is the giver of final beatitude. Thus ends the first chapter.
1. Now, then, a description of the science called Khechari.
2. He who has duly mastered this science, is freed from old age and death, in this world.
3. Knowing this science, O Sage, one who is subject to the pains of death, disease and old age, should make his mind firm and practise Khechari.
4. He who has gained a knowledge of the Khechari from books, from the exposition of the meaning of the same, and who has by recourse to its practice, gained a mastery of this science, becomes the destroyer of old age, death and disease, in this world.
5. Such a master, one should approach for shelter. From all points of view, one should look upon him as his Guru.
6. The science of Khechari is not easily accessible. Its practice is not easily attainable. Its practice and Melana are not accomplished simultaneously. Literally, Melana is joining.
7. The key to this science of Khechari is kept a profound secret. The secret is revealed by adepts only at initiation.
8. They do not get Melana, who are bent only upon practice. O Brahman, only some get the practice after several births. But, even after hundred births, Melana is not obtained.
9. As a result of having undergone the practice for several births, some Yogis get the Melana in some future birth.
10. The Yogi attains the Siddhi mentioned in several books, when he gets this Melana from the mouth of the Guru.
11. The state of Siva freed from all rebirth, is achieved when the practitioner gets this Melana from the grasp of the significance presented in the books.
12. This science is, therefore, very difficult to master. Until he gets this science, the ascetic should wander over earth.
13. The ascetic has physical powers or Siddhis in his hand, the moment he obtains this science.
14. One should therefore regard as Achyuta or Vishnu, any person who imparts this Melana. He too should be regarded as Achyuta, who gives this science. He who teaches the practice, should be regarded as Siva.
15. You have got the science from me. You should not reveal it to others. One who knows this science, should practise it with all his efforts. Except to those who deserve it, he should give it to none.
16. One who is able to teach the Divine Yoga, is the Guru. To the place where he lives, one should go. Then, learn from him the science of Khechari.
17. Taught well by him, one should at first practise it carefully. A person will then attain the Siddhi of Khechari, by means of this science.
18. One becomes the Lord of Khecharas or the Devas, by joining with Khechari Shakti (viz., Kundalini Shakti) by means of this science of Khechari. He lives amongst them, always.
19. Khechari contains the Bija or the seed-letter. Khechari Bija is spoken of as Agni encircled with water. It is the abode of the Devas or the Khecharas. The mastery of the Siddhi is obtained by this Yoga.
20. The ninth letter or Bija of Somamsa or the Moon face, should be pronounced in the reverse order. Then consider it as the Supreme and its beginning as fifth. This is said to be Kuta (horns) of the several Bhinnas (or parts) of the moon.
21. Through the initiation of a Guru, this which tends to the accomplishment of all Yogas, should be learnt.
22. One who recites this twelve times everyday will not get even in sleep that Maya or illusion which is born in his body and is the source of all vicious deeds.
23. To the one who recites this five lakhs of times with very great care, the science of Khechari will reveal itself. For him, all obstacles vanish. The Devas are pleased. Without doubt, the destruction of the greyness of hair and wrinkles, Valipalita, will take place.
24. One who has acquired the great science, should practise it constantly. Otherwise, he will not get any Siddhi in the path of Khechari.
25. If in this practice, one does not get this nectar-like science, he should get it in the beginning of Melana and recite it always. Otherwise, one who is without it never gets Siddhi.
26. No sooner one gets this science, than one should practise it. It is then that one will soon get the Siddhi.
27. The seven syllables HRIM, BHAM, SAM, PAM, PHAM, SAM and KSHAM constitute the Khechari Mantra.
28. A knower of the Atman, having drawn out the tongue from the root of the palate, should in accordance with the advice of his Guru, clear the impurities of the tongue for seven days.
29. He should take a sharp, oiled and cleansed knife which resembles the leaf of the plant Snuhi, the milk-hedge plant, and should cut for the space of a hair, the frenum lingui. He should powder Saindhava or the rock-salt and Pathya or the sea-salt and apply it to that place.
30. On the seventh day, he should again cut for the space of a hair. Thus, with great care, he should continue it always, for the span of six months.
31. The root of the tongue, fixed with veins, ceases to be in six months. Then the Yogi who knows timely action should encircle with cloth the tip of the tongue, the abode of Vag-Ishvari or the deity presiding over speech, and should draw it up.
32. O Sage, again by daily drawing it up for six months, it comes as far as the middle of the eyebrows and obliquely up to the opening of the ears. By gradual practice, it goes up to the root of the chin.
33. Then, with ease it goes up to the end of the hair (of the head) in three years. It goes up obliquely to Sakha (some part below the skull) and downwards to the well of the throat.
34. It occupies Brahmarandhra, in another three years. Without doubt, it stops there. Crosswise it goes up to the top of the head and downwards to the well of the throat. Gradually it opens the great adamantine door in the head.
35. One should perform the six Angas or parts of the Khechari Bija Mantra by pronouncing it in six different intonations. In order to attain all the Siddhis, one should do this.
36. Karanyasa or the motions of the fingers and hands in the pronunciation of the Mantras, should be done gradually. Karanyasa should never be done all at a time, because the body of one who does it all at once will soon decay. O best of the Sages, little by little it should be practised.
37. One should, when the tongue goes to the Brahmarandhra through the outer path, place the tongue after moving the bolt of Brahma. The bolt of Brahma cannot be mastered by the Devas.
38. On doing this with the point of the finger for three years, the Yogi should make the tongue enter within. It enters the Brahmadvara or hole. On entering the Brahmadvara, one should practise well Mathana or churning.
39. Even without Mathana, some wise Yogis attain Siddhi. He also accomplishes it without Mathana, who is versed in Khechari Mantra. One reaps the fruit soon by doing Japa and Mathana.
40. The Yogi should restrain his breath in his heart, by connecting a wire made of gold, silver or iron with the nostrils by means of a thread soaked in milk. Sitting in a convenient posture, with his eyes concentrated between his eyebrows, he should perform Mathana slowly.
41. The State of Mathana becomes natural like sleep in children, within six months. It is not advisable to do Mathana always. It should be done once only in every month.
42. A Yogi should not revolve his tongue in the path. Twelve years of this practice, will surely give the Siddhi to the Yogi. Then the Yogi perceives the entire universe in his body as not being different from the Atman.
43. O Chief of Kings, this path of the Urdhva Kundalini or the higher Kundalini, conquers the macrocosm. Here ends the second chapter.
1. Melanamantra:—Hrim, Bham, Sam, Sham, Pham, Sam and Ksham.
2. The Lotus-born Brahma said: Among new moon, the first day of the lunar fortnight and full moon, O Shankara, which is spoken of as the Mantra’s sign? In the first day of lunar fortnight and during new moon and full moon days, it should be made firm. There is no other way or time.
3. Through passion, a person longs for an object. He is infatuated with passion for objects. These two one should leave. The Niranjana or the Stainless should be sought after. All that one thinks is favourable to oneself should be abandoned.
4. The Yogin should keep the Manas in the midst of Shakti, and the Shakti in the midst of Manas. He should look into Manas by means of Manas. It is then that he leaves even the highest stage.
5. Manas alone is the Bindu. It is the cause of creation and preservation.
6. Like curd from milk, it is only through Manas that Bindu is produced. The organ of Manas is not that which is situated in the middle of Bandhana. Bandhana is there where Shakti is between the Sun and the Moon.
7. The Yogi should stand in the seat of Bindu and close the nostrils, having known Sushumna and its Bheda or piercing and making the Vayu go in the middle.
8. After knowing Vayu, the above-mentioned Bindu and the Sattva-Prakriti as well as the six Chakras, one should enter the sphere of happiness, Sahasrara or the Sukha-Mandala.
9. There are six chakras. Muladhara is in the anus. Svadhishthana is near the genital organ. Manipuraka is in the navel. Anahata is in the heart.
10. The Vishuddhi Chakra is at the root of the neck. The sixth Chakra, the Ajna is in the head (between the two eyebrows).
11. After gaining a knowledge of these six Mandalas or spheres, one should enter the Sukhamandala, drawing up the Vayu and sending it upwards.
12. He becomes one with Brahmanda, the macrocosm, who practises thus the control of Vayu. Vayu, Bindu, Chitta, and Chakra should be mastered by him.
13. Through Samadhi alone, the Yogis attain the nectar of equality.
14. Without the practice of Yoga, the lamp of wisdom does not arise, even as the fire latent in the sacrificial wood does not appear without churning.
15. The fire in a vessel does not shed light outside. But, when the vessel is broken, its light appears without.
16. One’s body is called the vessel. The seat of “That” is the light or the fire within. When, through the words of a Guru, the body is broken, the light of Brahmajnana becomes resplendent.
17. One crosses the subtle body and the ocean of Samsara, with the Guru as the helmsman, and through the affinities of Abhyasa.
18. Sprouting in Para, Vak (power of speech) gives forth two leaves in Pasyanti, buds forth in Madhyama and blossoms in Vaikhari—that Vak, earlier described, reaches the stage of the absorption of sound, reversing the above order, viz., beginning with Vaikhari, etc.
19. Para, Pasyanti, Madhyama and Vaikhari, are the four kinds of Vak. Para is the highest of sounds. Vaikhari is the lowest of sounds.
20. Vak begins from the highest of sounds to the lowest, in evolution.
21. In involution it takes a reverse order in order to merge in Para or the highest subtle sound.
22. Anyone who thinks that the One who is the great Lord of that Vak, the undifferentiated, the Illuminator of that Vak is the Self—such a person who thinks over thus, is never effected by words, high or low, good or bad.
23. Through the absorption of their respective Upadhis or vehicles all these in turn are absorbed in the Pratyagatma—the three aspects of consciousness, Visva, Taijasa, and Prajna in man, the three, Virat, Hiranyagarbha, and Ishvara in the universe, the egg of the universe, the egg of man and the seven worlds.
24. Heated by the fire of Jnana, the egg is absorbed with its Karana or cause, into Paramatman or the universal Self. It becomes one with Parabrahman.
25. It is then neither steadiness nor depth, neither light nor darkness, neither describable nor distinguishable. That alone remains which is the Be-ness or the Sat.
26. Like a light in a vessel, the Atman is within the body—thus one should think.
27. Atman is of the dimensions of a thumb. It is a light without smoke. It is without form. It is shining within the body. It is undifferentiable and immortal.
28. The first three aspects of consciousness refer to the gross, subtle and Karana bodies of man. The second three aspects of consciousness refer to the three bodies of the universe.
29. In his formation, man is and appears as an egg, even as the universe is and appears as an egg.
30. During the states of waking, dreaming and dreamless sleep, the Vijnana Atma which dwells in this body is deluded by Maya.
31. But, after many births, owing to the effect of good Karma, it wishes to attain its own essential state.
32. The enquiry sets in. Who am I? How has this stain of mundane existence come to me? In the dreamless sleep what becomes of me who am engaged in business during both the states, waking and dreaming?
33. The Chidabhasa is the result of non-wisdom. It is burnt by the wise thoughts, even as a bale of cotton is burnt by fire, and also by its own supreme illumination.
34. The burning of the outer body is no burning at all.
35. Pratyagatma is in the Dahara (Akasa or the ether of the heart). It obtains, when the worldly wisdom is destroyed, Vijnana, and diffuses itself everywhere and in an instant burns the two sheaths, Vijnanamaya and Manomaya. Then, it is He Himself that shines always within. It shines like a light within a vessel.
36. Till sleep and till death, the Muni who contemplates thus should be known as a Jivanmukta.
37. He has done what ought to be done. Therefore, he is a fortunate person.
38. Such a person attains Videhamukti, having given up even the state of Jivanmukti.
39. No sooner the body wears off, than he obtains the emancipation in a disembodied state, Videhamukti. The state, as if of moving in the air, he gains.
40. After that, That alone remains. That is the soundless, the touchless, the formless and the deathless.
41. That is the Rasa or the Essence. It is eternal and odourless. It is greater than the great; it has neither beginning nor end. It is the permanent, the stainless and the decayless. Thus ends the Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad.
Yoga is the art of uniting the individual soul with the Supreme Soul, of uniting the Kundalini Sakti lying dormant in the Muladhara Chakra with Siva in the Sahasrara Chakra. By convention, all practices that help the attainment of this goal are also called Yoga.
Vedanta says that the individual soul is enveloped by five sheaths—Annamaya Kosha (the gross body), Pranamaya Kosha (vital sheath), Manomaya Kosha (the mind), Vijnanamaya Kosha (the intellect), and Anandamaya Kosha (the bliss-sheath or the ignorance that immediately veils the Self), and that the goal of life, viz., Self-realisation is attained by negating the five sheaths and piercing the veil of ignorance.
When do we regard a particular part or organ of the body as perfectly healthy? When we are not made aware of that organ. The ear is in perfect health when we are not aware that that organ exists; if there is pain we are conscious of its presence. In order to transcend the five sheaths, therefore, they must all be free from afflictions. Yoga helps you to do that.
The purificatory Kriyas of Hatha Yoga and Asanas ensure health of the body and free it from ailments. Pranayama revitalises the vital sheath. Pratyahara (withdrawal of the rays of the mind and restraining them from flowing outwards) and Dharana (concentration) strengthen the mind. Meditation brings about a happy blending of the intellect and intuition; and the Yogi’s intelligence becomes intuitive. Samadhi illumines the soul and reveals the Self, by piercing the veil of ignorance. This is Yoga, the perfect system of all-round self-culture.
But no one can embark on this noble enterprise without preparing the vessel. Yama-Niyama or the canons of right conduct, ensure this. One who has not controlled his senses, who is not truthful, kind, compassionate and pure, cannot make any progress in Sadhana. Energy leaks out through all the avenues of his body. His vital sheath is debilitated. His mind is completely extroverted. His intellect is dull. His soul is enveloped in dense darkness. Meditation for such a man is only a dream. Therefore I insist on all spiritual aspirants that they should:—
1. Engage themselves in Nishkama Karma Yoga, for self-purification and cultivation of virtues; and
2. Practise as much Japa as possible, in order to earn His Grace.
These two—Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga—cannot be overemphasised.
Once the senses are controlled, and the heart purified, control of mind, concentration of its rays, and meditation become very easy. The aspirant would do well to remember the two great watch-words of Sadhana—
(a) Abhyasa (unrelenting, intense, unbroken, regular and systematic practice),
(b) Vairagya (dispassion, aversion to all sensual enjoyments, non-attachment to objects of senses).
To the extent to which the aspirant grows in these two, to that extent will his mind want to meditate. There will be joy in meditation. The mind will look forward to the period of meditation. When this condition becomes intense, then the mind will be in a constant state of meditation. As your hands are engaged in the work of the day, the mind will be blissfully detached from the world, peacefully witnessing—Sakshi-Bhava—the play of the senses and the sense-objects. When you are established in this state, you are a perfected Yogi. You have only to sit and close your eyes; you will instantly transcend the five sheaths and merge in the Supreme Soul. Your actions will be in tune with the Divine Will. You will have the superhuman powers of intellect, mind and body. You will never be tired, dull or depressed. Your words will have life-transforming power. Your heart will be full of compassion and love for humanity, and all humanity will be drawn towards you. You will become a spiritual magnet. You will shine as a Yogi, sage and Jivanmukta. You are liberated. This is the Goal.
The Chakras are centres of Shakti as vital force—in other words, these are centres of Pranashakti manifested by Pranavayu in the living body, the presiding Devatas of which are the names for the Universal Consciousness as it manifests in the form of these centres. The Chakras are not perceptible in the gross senses. Even if they were perceptible in the living body which they help to organise they disappear with the disintegration of organism at death.
Purity of mind leads to perfection in Yoga. Regulate your conduct when you deal with others. Have no feeling of jealousy towards others. Be compassionate. Do not hate sinners. Be kind to all. Success in Yoga will be rapid if you put your maximum energy in your Yoga practice. You must have a keen longing for liberation and intense Vairagya also. You must be sincere and earnest. Intense and constant meditation is necessary for entering into Samadhi.
The mind of a worldly man with base desires and passions moves in the Muladhara and Svadhishthana Chakras or centres situated near the anus and the reproductive organ respectively.
If one’s mind becomes purified the mind rises to the Manipura Chakra or the centre in the navel and experiences some power and joy.
If the mind becomes more purified, it rises to the Anahata Chakra or centre in the heart, experiences bliss and visualises the effulgent form of the Ishta Devata or the tutelary deity.
When the mind gets highly purified, the meditation and devotion become intense and profound, the mind rises to Vishuddha Chakra or the centre in the throat and experiences more and more powers and bliss. Even when the mind has reached this centre, there is possibility for it to come down to the lower centres.
When the Yogi reaches the Ajna Chakra or the centre between the two eyebrows he attains Samadhi and realises the supreme Self or Brahman. There is a slight sense of separateness between the devotee and Brahman.
If he reaches the spiritual centre in the brain, the Sahasrara Chakra, the thousand-petalled lotus the Yogi attains Nirvikalpa Samadhi or superconscious state—He becomes one with the non-dual Brahman. All sense of separateness dissolves. This is the highest plane of consciousness or Supreme Asamprajnata Samadhi. Kundalini unites with Siva.
The Yogi may come down to the centre in the throat to give instructions to the students and do good to others (Lokasamgraha).
During meditation you behold divine visions, experience divine smell, divine taste, divine touch, hear divine Anahata Sounds. You receive instructions from God. These indicate that the Kundalini Shakti has been awakened. When there is throbbing in Muladhara, when hair stands on its root, when Uddiyana, Jalandhara and Mulabandha come involuntarily, know that Kundalini has awakened.
When the breath stops without any effort, when Kevala Kumbhaka comes by itself without any exertion, know that Kundalini Shakti has become active. When you feel currents of Prana rising up to the Sahasrara, when you experience bliss, when you repeat Om automatically, when there are no thoughts of the world in the mind, know that Kundalini Shakti has awakened.
When, in your meditation, the eyes become fixed on Trikuti, the middle of the eyebrows, when the Sambhavi Mudra operates, know that Kundalini Shakti has become active. When you feel vibrations of Prana in different parts inside your body, when you experience jerks like the shocks of electricity, know that Kundalini has become active. During meditation when you feel as if there is no body, when your eyelids become closed and do not open in spite of your exertion, when electric-like currents flow up and down the nerves, know that Kundalini has awakened.
When you meditate, when you get inspiration and insight, when the nature unfolds its secrets to you, all doubts disappear, you understand clearly the meaning of the Vedic texts, know that Kundalini has become active. When your body becomes light like air, when you possess inexhaustible energy for work, know that Kundalini has become active.
When you get divine intoxication, when you develop power of oration, know that Kundalini has awakened. When you involuntarily perform different Asanas or poses of Yoga without the least pain or fatigue, know that Kundalini has become active. When you compose beautiful sublime hymns and poetry involuntarily, know that Kundalini has become active.
Yoga is union with the infinite through meditation and Samadhi.
A Yogi is freed from Karma or the law of cause and effect, from births and deaths and from the trammels of mind and flesh.
The Yogi has perfect control over his life-forces and mind. He can dematerialise at will.
The Yogi practises discipline of body and mind. He has control over his body and mind. He meditates on Om.
Yoga illumines, renovates and helps the Yogi to attain the highest point of perfection.
If one awakens his superconsciousness, there will be no problems at all. There will be only love, peace, harmony, unity and happiness in this world.
The practice of Yoga lessens and prevents the decay of tissues, by increasing the life-force, and fills the system with abundant energy.
By the practice of Yoga the blood is charged with abundant oxygen. The brain and spinal centres are rejuvenated.
By the practice of Yoga, the accumulation of venous blood is stopped. The body is filled with abundant energy. The brain-centres and the spinal cord are strengthened and renovated. Memory is improved. Intellect is sharpened. Intuition is developed.
How can one who does not know his own body hope to achieve success in Yoga? First have a strong, firm and healthy body through the practice of Hatha Yoga and then take to Raja Yoga.
Breathing plays an important role in prolonging human life. Therefore, practise Pranayama regularly.
A rabbit that breathes very rapidly does not live very long. Practise rhythmic breathing and deep breathing.
There are detailed practices in Yoga for cleansing of the food-tube (Dhauti) and the stomach, as simple and effective as cleansing of the teeth.
There are methods in Yoga (Trataka) for strengthening the eyesight and cleansing the nose.
People who suffer from overweight, constipation or dyspepsia will specially find this Yoga-practice very useful.
Through the practice of Yoga, the evolution of man is quickened. What he can gain in hundreds of births, he can gain in one birth through the practice of Yoga, and attain final emancipation. He can attain longevity and attain perfect health. He can compress in one life the experiences of several hundreds of births.
He who practises Basti or Yoga-enema never suffers from constipation and other abdominal disorders.
A Yogi can switch his life-currents, to and from the senses. He takes the Prana and the mind to the Sahasrara or the thousand-petalled lotus at the crown of the head. He enters into Samadhi. He is dead to the world. He experiences superconsciousness or Nirvikalpa Samadhi. He is in blissful union with the Lord.
Savikalpa Samadhi is subject to time and change. There is Triputi, the seer, sight and seen; or knower, knowledge and knowable. There is some link with Prakriti or matter. Savikalpa Samadhi cannot give the final emancipation. This is also an obstacle to Nirvikalpa Samadhi. The aspirant gets false contentment and stops his meditation or Sadhana. Hence this is an obstacle to the final or higher realisation. Nirvikalpa Samadhi alone can burn all Samskaras and Vasanas in toto. Savikalpa Samadhi cannot destroy all Samskaras and Vasanas. In Savikalpa Samadhi the life-force or Prana of the Yogi is withdrawn from the body. The body appears to be dead, motionless and rigid. Breathing is suspended. He is aware of his bodily condition or suspended breath.
Nirvikalpa or Nirbija Samadhi is timeless, changeless. This is the highest state of Samadhi.
In Nirvikalpa Samadhi, the Yogi’s consciousness merges with the absolute consciousness. There is no bodily fixation. In his ordinary waking consciousness, even in the midst of worldly duties, he is in communion with the supreme consciousness. He has double-consciousness.
The crow has one eye-ball, but two sockets. It turns the eye-balls, now to one socket and afterwards to the other socket. Even so, the Yogi has double-consciousness.
The practice of Yoga should be gradual and step by step. Extremes are to be avoided. No sudden and violent methods should be employed. Common-sense is an essential part of Yoga. Boldness is also equally essential.
Fickle-mindedness will not do on the path of Yoga. Vacillation and oscillation will retard progress and result in stagnation.
Reflect gradually and choose a method; choose a method and stick to it and persevere in it continuously. This Nishtha is necessary.
A man who digs a well should not dig a foot here, a foot there, a few feet in another place and then a fourth. If he does this, he will not find water even after digging in fifty places. Once a spot is chosen, he must dig on and on in the same place and lo, he will reach the water. Even so in Yoga, one teacher, one path, one method, one master, one idea and one-pointed faith and devotion—all the above make up the secret of success in spiritual life.
Adhara—Foundation; base which supports.
Adhyatmic—Pertaining to Atman.
Ajna Chakra—Spiritual centre at the eyebrows.
Anahata Chakra—Cardiac plexus.
Ananda—Bliss; happiness; comfort.
Antahkarana—Fourfold internal organs, viz., Manas, Chitta, Buddhi and Ahankara.
Basti—The purificatory exercise for congested bowels. Bhakta—Devotee.
Bhrumadhya—The space between the eyebrows.
Bhuta Siddhi—Control over elements.
Brahmamuhurta—The period from 3 to 6 a.m. intended for Yoga—Abhyasa.
Brahmarandhra—An aperture in the crown of the head.
Chakras—Spiritual centres in Sushumna Nadi.
Chandra-Nadi—Moon-flow; another name for Ida.
Dhauti—The exercise for cleaning the stomach.
Duhkha— Misery; pain.
Ida—The Nadi that runs on the left side of Sushumna.
Jada Kriya—Physical exercise.
Japa—Repetition of a Mantra.
Jnana-Indriyas—Five organs or senses of Knowledge. viz., ear, skin, eye, tongue and nose.
Kanda—The source of all Nadis.
Karma-Indriyas—Five organs of action, viz., speech, hands, legs, genitals and anus.
Kaya-Sampat—Perfection of body.
Kriya—Physical action or exercises.
Kumbhaka—Retention of breath.
Kundalini—The mysterious power in the body.
LAKSHYA—Object of concentration.
Manana—Reflection or concentration.
Manipura—Solar plexus situated at the navel.
Maya—Illusive power; veiling Shakti.
Mitahara—Moderation of diet.
Moha—Attachment; infatuated love.
Mouna—Vow of silence.
Mrityunjaya—Conqueror of death.
Mula—Origin; root; base.
Muladhara Chakra—The spiritual centre at the base of the spinal column.
Nadi—Astral tube that carries Prana.
Nasikagra Drishti—Vision at the tip of the nose.
Nauli—Purificatory exercise of abdominal region.
Neti—The exercise for cleaning the nostrils.
Nirguna—Formless; without attributes.
Nishkama Karma—Disinterested work.
Nivritti Marga—Path of renunciation.
Niyama—Religious rules; second step in Yoga.
Oordhvareto-Yogi—The Yogi in whom the seminal energy flows upwards.
PADMA—Lotus; Chakra; a name for the plexus.
Pingala—The Nadi that runs on the right side of Sushumna Nadi.
Prakriti—Nature; undifferentiated matter.
Pranayama—Regulation of breath.
Pratyahara—Withdrawing the senses from objects.
Sahasrara—The spiritual centre at the head.
Sama—Equal; balanced state of mind.
Samsara Chakra—Wheel of death and birth.
Sankalpa—Formative will; determination.
Shat-Karmas—Six purificatory exercises of Hatha Yoga, viz., Dhauti, Basti, Neti, Nauli, Trataka and Kapalabhati.
Siddhi—Perfection; psychic power.
Sravana—Hearing of Srutis.
Surya Nadi—Another name for Pingala.
Svara Sadhana—Regulation of breath.
Trataka—Gazing at a particular spot.
Trikala-Jnani—One who knows the past, present and future.
Triveni—The place where three holy rivers meet.
UNMANI AVASTHA—Mindless state of Yogins.
Vasana—Impression of action that remains in the mind.
Virya—Seminal power; energy.
Vishuddha—Laryngeal plexus at the base of the throat.
YAMA—The first step in Yoga.
Yoga—Superconscious state; union with Paramatma.
Yogic—Pertaining to Yoga.
Yogin—One who is devoted to Yoga.
I bow to the Guru’s feet, to the Guru’s son and his other relatives, and to his chief Shakti and others in order. 
I bow to that Guru who resembles the highest reality; roaming about he wanders the world, whilst internally he remains still, having acquired perfect knowledge. 
They succeed in this who are born of a good Kula family, with qualities of good behaviour, constant in devotion to the supreme being Adinatha! 
It is said by Akula Minatha, dwelling in the fullness of bliss, that the pupil devoted to his Guru is a wise man. 
By grace, I, Minanath, became aware of the supreme reality. Minanath then spoke all this to a true pupil. 
When there is no distinction between Guru and pupil, then Guru and pupil become one in accomplishment- 
I, Minanath, the son of Uma and Shankar, the lord of saints, proclaim the supreme reality, the unfolding of Kulakula. 
The six auspicious Kaula Chakras are the Adhara, the Svadishtana, the Manipura, the Vishuddhi, and the Ajna. 
The Adhara is near the anus, the Svadishtana is near the genitals, the Manipura is in the navel, and in the heart is the Anahata. 
The Vishuddhi is in the region of the throat, and the Ajna Chakra is in the brow. Having pierced the Chakras, the highest stainless Chakra is attained. 
The Ida travels on the left, and the Pingala travels on the right. In the centre of the Ida and the Pingala is the Sushumna, which is of the nature of bliss. 
In the base (Chakra) are four petals, in the genital six, in the navel 10, in the heart 12, at the root of the palate 16, and in the forehead two petals. In the disc in the centre of the brow (are the letters)Da, Pha, Ka, Tha together. In the area of the throat are the vowels. Ham Ksham, I bow to that being of letters joined with the tattvas which are in all the lotuses! 
Prana, Upana, Samana, Udana and Vyana together with the (five) powers of action which constitute the aggregate of Kriya Shakti. 
Naga, Kurma, Krikara, Devadetta and Dhananjaya and the five means of knowing constitute the aggregate of Jnana Shakti. 
In the centre is the Fire Shakti. In the navel chakra the sun is situated. Having accomplished Bandhamudra, all comes to be in the beautiful eye in the brow. 
The letter ‘a’ is ‘in the region of fire, and ‘u’ is in the heart. ‘m’ is in the centre of the brow, and this is the mantra one should be aware of. 
The knot of Brahma is in the lowest place, the Vishnu knot is in the heart, and the Rudra knot is in the centre of the brow — these three liberate one. 
The letter ‘a’ is Brahma, ‘u’ is Vishnu, ‘m’ is Shiva, it is said. Clearly (this Om) is the lord of supreme peace, the ultimate one. 
Having done ‘contraction of the throat’ one should squeeze the nectar which is in the 16 above. 
The Trikuta, Trihatha, Golhatha, Shikhara, Trishikha, Vajra, Om-kara, Urdhvanakham and Bhruvormukham (are above). 
One should contract the sun, or unite with the Trihatha. In both cases one attains the sphere of the moon. 
Pranava, Gudanala, Nalini, Sarpini, Vankavali, Kshaya, Sauri and Kundali are the eight coils of Kundalini. 
One should agitate Kundalini, piercing (the chakras), and taking the vital breath to the sphere of the Moon. This causes the entwining of the vajras, and closes the nine doors. 
Such a one become powerful, pleasing in aspect, free from the gunas, holy. When the nada sound reaches the place of Brahma, Shankhini showers nectar. 
One should light the lamp of knowledge, which delivers one from the sphere of the six chakras. Bathing one’s body in the nectar, one should do worship of divinity. 
The devoted should bathe the lord, of the form of consciousness, with nectar of the moon, should give mental flowers, and should worship supreme Shiva. 
The deluded self, which excludes one from happiness, becomes a body of knowledge, whole, a form which is all-extending and stainless. 
Hamsa Hamsa is the mantra upon which depends the bodies of living creates. It is meditated on as the collective form of vital breath in the knots. 
21600 times daily the word Hamsa is being pronounced — in this way one constantly meditates ‘So- aham’. 
In the front part is the churning lingam, the back being Shankhini. In the brow centre is the lingam of light, the very self of Shiva, red and white. 
The Vajra Danda is placed in the centre of all. This supreme place is both cool and hot, filled with Meda (fat) and Majja (marrow). 
Nectar flows from the place of the absolute, and moistens the three worlds. 
It is said by Minanath that through this one is freed from all diseases and karma, and the 18 (kinds of ailment) caused by excess of Vata and Pitta.