Karma Dharma Moksha

Being able to do, what we want to do, when we want to do it, without, hurting others and ourselves in the process is Moksha. There is no buddhist, islamic, hindu, or any other world religion that tells us otherwise. Doing what we do to the best of our abilities is karma, it is also dharma. The side effect is Moksha. Moksha is not a destination. There is no destination. That’s the beauty of it all. When we know there is nowhere to go, does it matter if we have little or more time. There is just action to be done.

Gods aren’t liberated beings, they need to take a corporeal form to get liberated. Gods are alpha, beta, delta, gamma, omega beings that yearn to be born in a human form. So that they can liberate themselves to join the Overmind. Gods like to do karma and reinstate such karma as dharma to get Moksha. Manifestations to perform various karmas, to get to Moksha happen in an event based space called the Universe. Ths is Karma kshetra, it is the dharmakshetra and is the kurukshetra.

Do not follow a buddha, or become a buddha, do not let ideas, incept ideas in you, that is not you. If you have a idea first within you, and then you see that someone has put it in good words, you can point to that, but thats that. Forget that idea, let it pass. Do not hold on to it.

 

Nava Durga: The propulsive manifestations of Kundalini

I am a believer of the fact that there exist 9 energy centers or charkras in our body.

I was away for a month meditating, when I felt sudden jerks in my perinium and the whole body shuddered and jerked. There was a warm fuzzy feeling. The heartbeat spiked and it was scary. After a while there was sweet, initially metallic-tasting secretion from the soft palate in my mouth and my tongue auto curled backwards to dab at the secretions.

When the nine chakras are activated, there is an expansion of energy bilaterally stretching out to every extremity of the body.

The cosmic energy manifesting centrally through nine chakras and expressed through both the right and left parts of the human body, is like having 18 hands. The ferocity with which it surges, resembles a tiger, magnificent, powerful and terrifying.

That is Durga riding the tigress.

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Shiva Nata: An ancient yogic system

Shiva Nata – The Dance of Shiva

Transitions from one Asana or Vinyasa to another one are accompanied with the movements of the arms or legs. In general terms, these movements are variations of Vinyasas, as they are synchronized with the breath. But these do not form any particular group of Vinyasas, which is a functional element of the «Universal Multilevel Vinyasa Algorithm», but they comprise parts of these Vinyasa groups used when transiting from one Asana or Vinyasa to another one.

Such arm and leg movements may be done with a number of similar options. For example, if standing upright, start to bend forward with the arms raised above the head and lower the hands onto the floor. During this move, there are a minimum of three optional ways of how the arms will move: forward and down, to the sides and down, and back and down.

In addition, there are a number of special breath exercises that are accompanied by similar movements of arms or legs. The arms are associated with the chest by means of muscles, and the legs are associated with the abdominal cavity, and both participate in the breathing process. This means that breathing characteristics largely depend on the trajectory and movement characteristics of the arms and legs in breathing exercises.

Unfortunately, in many Yoga schools with many progressive technical elements and methods, these movements are performed with extreme simplicity, primitively and without exaggeration. But at the same time these movements largely determine characteristics of energy flows in peripheral channels, it is still necessary to study the main dynamic principles of the limbs and their impact on breathing characteristics. That is why it is important to introduce the nature of such movements into the practice of Yoga, and to make conscious all the movements with arms and legs made during training. This increases the effectiveness of breathing exercises by using specifically selected movements with the arms and legs.

Analyzing a theoretical model of the moving arm or leg, attached to a tentatively immovable body, we can see that these movements may be performed in one, two or three planes. Single-measured movements are performed by «directly» extending an arm or a leg. Double-measured movements are performed by their “plane” ones. And triple-measured movements occur when performing «three-dimensional» spiral movements.

In this connection, there are three groups of limb movement: linear, plane and dimensional.

Theoretically, when performing purely linear or single plane movements, the elements of the skeleton are required to be driven by a single muscle or by several parallel muscles set in the same plane as the direction of the movement. But, since the human body is constructed so as to provide movements in different directions, the limb controlling muscles are attached to the elements of the skeleton at different angles. And observing the natural dynamics of the body, one can see that almost all of its movements are effected by the operation of muscle groups rather than by individual muscles. When a particular movement takes place, the load is completely or partially transferred from one muscle to another. This is accompanied by changes in the angle of the application of the driving effort. Therefore, natural movements can rarely be purely linear or single-plane (only within a short track). Most often these occur upon the abrupt relaxation of the muscles when a particular part of the body falls freely.

To make the technique of liner or single-plane movements more sophisticated and natural, they should be complemented with specific motions that make the movement three-dimensional. So for example, linear bending (unbending) of an arm (leg) may be effected in a «whip-like» way or be rotated around its axis. And in a single-plane radial movement of an arm (leg), it can be simultaneously rotated around its axis.

Compared to linear and single-plane movements, three-dimensional spiral movements have a number of benefits and positive qualities. Firstly, these are the most natural and balanced movements. Secondly, they are performed in three planes and their trajectory consists of both linear and radial motion moments, and subsequently, this implies the ability to perform and control these movements also. Thirdly, three-dimensional spiral movements cover almost all-possible positions «within the Marginal Mobility Circle» of the arms and the legs. This allows one to control this space and link any points inside this space between themselves. Fourthly, performing such spiral movements employs all muscle groups of the arms, legs, shoulder and hip girdle, which results in powerful and comprehensive strengthening effects during training.

Since movements with the limbs include overcoming gravitation, there is a relationship between the force lines of the Earth’s gravitational field and the «inner energy flows». According to the «action equals counteraction» rule, the upward movement of the limbs against the gravitational force relates to actively overcoming energy flows. Or it is possible to say that the active component of the gravitational force is transferred to the channels of the arms and legs. And on the contrary with moving the limbs down, on the gravitational force movement, the activity of energy flows decreases. For all that the activity of gravitational force carries out the work of falling down the limbs and a passive anti-flow is filled in the energetic channels of the arms and legs.

Continuous spiral movements consist of two complete counter-directional sine curves. Therefore, performing such movements sets a series of alternating active and passive fragments of the energy flow. These energy impulses purify energy channels and balance the circulation of energy inside them.

Synchronizing spiral movements of the limbs with the breath creates a constant and intensive energy consumption from the surrounding space, translation of it through psychic-energy structure channels, and accumulation and radiation into the surrounding space.

Such spiral motions were widely used in early Buddhist practices. Initially these were the elements of the Dance of Shiva, a Yogic art which develops conscious control, coordination and the potential abilities of the body, without specialized application in life.

Later, Boddhidharma exported them to Shaolin, and on the basis of these movements applied martial art techniques were developed with the use of one’s own body and various weapons: a sword, a pole, a spear, etc. These techniques became the perfect means for developing the functional abilities of the body, increasing the organism’s energy potential, the controling and coordinating several «sectors» of various body parts at the same time.

It should be noted that having a weapon in the hands promotes an increase of density energy flowing through arm channels, and more intensively develops the strength and endurance of the fighter. But there is another side of using weapons in training: it reduces the requirements to the twisting capability of the joints.

Therefore, the Far East schools of martial arts allowed practitioners to exercise with weapons only after many years of practicing base exercises without any weapons.

Some of these exercises have become widely known today, for example «rotation of cups filled with water» which should not be spilled during radial spiral movements. In the Ancient Dance of Shiva, however, such cups contained oil and wicks, which were burning throughout the dance. And in rotating the cups no oil should be spilled, and the fire should remain burning.

This dance, performed against the background of starry skies, made an inexplicable impression…

The Dance of Shiva uses sixteen principally different basic movements and sixteen positions for two arms. And this number may be neither larger nor smaller.

The helix always has a central axis around which the rotation is effected. When rotating a cup, its upper surface and the palm should always be in the horizontal position, whereas the spiral movements should be around the vertical axis. In this event, the rotation of the cups is done simultaneously, as if in two parallel horizontal planes, and are connected by diagonal fragments of the transition movements from one such plane to another. Therefore, such spiral movements are called «horizontal».

At the same time, such horizontal rotation of the cups consists of two continuous radial movements along spiral trajectories: ascending and descending. Performing such exercises results in the integration of the upper and lower horizontal subspaces.

There are several levels for the practical learning of these movements. But, at the very beginning, it should be noted that the difference between these levels is not in physical complexity. It is in the level of control and coordination, as well as in the ability to follow a preset program for a long period of time, without being distracted. Then, faultlessly changing from one movement to another, performing them with technical perfection. But on the physical level, the complexity of these movements has little difference.

Transition from one level to another requires knowing a greater number of various combinations of these simple movements and supplementing linking movements, which correspond to improved coordination of the arms and legs. And the ability to avoid being distracted for a long time, and faultlessly follow a preset program corresponds to the increased level of controlling various positions of the arms and legs within the «Boundaries of the Marginal Circle» of their mobility.

Mastering the first level is sufficient for introducing the nature of such movements in Asana, Vinyasa sequences and breath exercises. But the first level will not be sufficient for the purposes of special development of control and coordination. Therefore, two development levels in this direction are considered below.

When analyzing the Dance of Shiva, it is required to understand from the very beginning that the word dance is applied provisionally, based solely on the external features of this phenomenon. It is necessary to imagine what happens with the energy body in the surrounding space during the spiral movements with the hands and cups. First of all, a spiral is a three-dimensional sine curve. And, as it is known from physics the movement of the energy media, e. g., electrons, along a spiral conductor creates an electromagnetic field. In this event, the electromagnetic force acts along the central axis around which the spiral movement is effected. Similar phenomena occur in the space around the human body if a man performs spiral movements with his arms or legs. In terms of physic science, such movements are accompanied with a definite movement of the life energy through the channels of the arms and legs. There are respective forces operating along the central axis, around which such spiral movements are performed, which interact with the surrounding space. The pulsating change of the ascending and descending directions of such spiral movements, with the cups being continuously rotated, causes such forces to pulsate and reverse.

Gaining experience in controlling energy flows opens many abnormal abilities. But, despite the temptation of mastering them, it is important to always remember the main purpose of this practice.

Despite the powerful energy-related effects occurring during the Dance of Shiva, these movements cannot be directly compared with Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Zong Shin, Kung Fu and other martial arts of Chinese, Vietnamese or Japanese heritage. It is important to remember that in these techniques, the main accent is made on the development of the energetic results connected with the feeling of movement and the accumulation of Power, and on the development of the strategic and technical qualities of a fighter. But in the Dance of Shiva, the main accent is made on the development of the multi-sector control of the body’s controlling structures, the increases of the speed of the controlling processes, and the forms of the new algorithms of transcendental links in the consciousness. These new links increase the power and generation of the bio-processor.

Of course, these controlling processes may be developed for special purposes through various exercises without the participation of the physical body. For example, the development of mathematical thinking, playing chess games and modern computer games leads to such narrow and lopsided development, and for some people, this narrow and one side development will possibly suffice. But the Dance of Shiva, however, allows the preservation of harmony in the developing of the body and Spirit. Since the body’s physical abilities are more easily developed than the spiritual abilities, the tasks of conscious control in the Dance of Shiva are rather simple compared to the tasks which may be required in purely «conceptual» practices. But, at the same time, these tasks correspond to the real level of the instrument (the body). Here one will never face the situation when the Spirit is ready to fly but the weak body is not even able to crawl, because there is balance between the Sky and the Earth, between the evolution of the ideal and material.

Tratak: Concentrate to Transcend

Our mind is always occupied with the incessant flow of thoughts. It is always in a state of disturbance, and has a habitual tendency for distraction. This leaves us feeling so much fragmented that we find ourselves scattered in all directions. It is no exaggeration then, to say that our mind cannot stay still for longer than a few moments, which eventually results in lack of concentration and loss of memory. We are unable to grasp and focus in the present moment.

Now, how do we enhance our power of concentration and strengthen our memory? A unique meditation technique called Tratak is an answer to this. It has many benefits.

Tratak not only brings an end to the mind’s distractions but also enhances the ability to concentrate. It increases the power of memory and brings the mind in a state of awareness, attention and focus.

Tratak is an ideal meditation technique for people of all age groups, especially for students who need to concentrate on studies. Older people who often tend to forget every now and then can greatly benefit from this technique.

As a result of its continuous practice, you will witness an immense rise in your confidence level, stability in your thoughts, and an ability to focus on whatever task you undertake.

Method
Light a candle (or diya) in your meditation room or wherever you are comfortable, three to four feet in front of you. Sit in front of it. Remember, the flame should be at the level of your eyes so that you can see straight at it without being uncomfortable.

Posture
This is the most essential part of any meditation technique. Keep your spine erect so that inner energy can flow easily through the subtle channels of the body and render tranquility to the restless mind.
Sit with your legs crossed or in Padmasana. Sit gracefully, with poise.

Determination
You can derive maximum benefit from this meditation technique only when you are determined to practice it. Keep your gaze fixed at the flame without being distracted with the outer disturbances or thoughts.
Never give up! And do not move your body while you meditate.

Stage 1
This powerful technique of meditation is based on fixing one’s gaze at the flame of a candle or diya. The flame should burn steadily and it will do so only when we calm the air around it.

Begin with slow and deep breathing. As you inhale, let the stomach expand, and breathe out with complete contraction. While you breathe in this manner, keep a steady gaze at the flame.

Keep your eyes focused. Gaze at the flame, not the wick or the candle or the diya; just the flame. Let your vision be at the flame. If thoughts arise, simply ignore them; do not struggle to remove them. It is important to be wakeful and vigilant.

Stage 2
Imagine the flame is entering your body through your eyes and illuminating your inner being. At this stage, it is good to let the eyes close with ease. Now, try to imagine the same flame with closed eyes as you were seeing it with open eyes. If you are able to practice tratak without blinking your eye, it will be easy for you to see the flame with closed eyes.

If you are not yet able to experience the spreading illumination of the flame, open your eyes again, do tratak (fix your gaze at the burning flame), and then shut them. Gradually you will find that your gaze has grown more peaceful and tranquil.

Once you are established within, watch yourself separate from this body, and be distant from your mind. This distance will eliminate the clutter from the mind and make it silent, peaceful, and tranquil.

Tratak is a guided meditation technique which can help you improve your concentration, memory and intelligence. Studies have shown that Tratak meditation can significantly benefit in the following ways:

  • Increases concentration, memory, and mental power.
  • Develops the confidence, intelligence, and patience.
  • Increases work efficiency.
  • Improves motivational power and foresight.
  • Strengthens the will power and decision making ability.
  • Helps in getting rid of many mental, emotional, and physical ailments and diseases.
  • Reduces stress and tension.
  • Leads to Healthy and Balanced living.

It is only when we learn to meditate that we learn to live life meaningfully. Meditation is an experience in itself which enhances the quality of life and helps one discover the exuberant inner bliss.

With mounting pressures and endless pursuit to achieve lofty ambitions, we go on running tirelessly. Amidst all this chaos, take a deep breath and explore the benefits of Tratak meditation, an ideal meditation technique for people of all age groups.

It is highly recommended for students and working professionals for greater efficiency.

Tratak with Sublime Music

In order to facilitate the seeker, the meditation technique, Tratak -A Divine Gaze is available in the form of Audio CD and Audio Cassette. Designed and developed by Anandmurti Gurumaa, this technique is highly apt for students, professionals, and anyone with short memory.

When to practice?

This technique is best done during the early hours of the morning, or in the night when it is natural dark. The idea is to let the flame of candle/diya eliminate the darkness of ignorance which is rooted deep in the mind. If you are doing it during daytime then practice it in a dark room.

The Significance of 108

In the Hindu-Buddhist civilizational sphere, the number 108 is among the most sacred and appears as the true or fictitious cardinal number of all manner of philosophical sets and religious series.  What makes this number so special? My friend, mentor Ramsai has done amazing research on this subject. The significance of 108

The Indian Subcontinent rosary or set of mantra counting has 108 beads. 108 has been a sacred number in the Indian Subcontinent for a very long time. This number is explained in many different ways.

The ancient Indians were excellent mathematicians and 108 may be the product of a precise mathematical operation (e.g. 1 power 1 x 2 power 2 x 3 power 3 = 108) which was thought to have special numerological significance.

Powers of 1, 2, and 3 in math: 1 to 1st power=1; 2 to 2nd power=4 (2×2); 3 to 3rd power=27 (3x3x3). 1x4x27=108

Sanskrit alphabet: There are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet. Each has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti. 54 times 2 is 108.

Sri Yantra: On the Sri Yantra there are marmas where three lines intersect, and there are 54 such intersections. Each intersections has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti qualities. 54 x 2 equals 108. Thus, there are 108 points that define the Sri Yantra as well as the human body.

9 times 12: Both of these numbers have been said to have spiritual significance in many traditions. 9 times 12 is 108. Also, 1 plus 8 equals 9. That 9 times 12 equals 108.

Heart Chakra: The chakras are the intersections of energy lines, and there are said to be a total of 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra. One of them, sushumna leads to the crown chakra, and is said to be the path to Self-realization.

Marmas: Marmas or marmastanas are like energy intersections called chakras, except have fewer energy lines converging to form them. There are said to be 108 marmas in the subtle body.

Time: Some say there are 108 feelings, with 36 related to the past, 36 related to the present, and 36 related to the future.

Astrology: There are 12 constellations, and 9 arc segments called namshas or chandrakalas. 9 times 12 equals 108. Chandra is moon, and kalas are the divisions within a whole.

Planets and Houses: In astrology, there are 12 houses and 9 planets. 12 times 9 equals 108.

Gopis of Krishna: In the Krishna tradition, there were said to be 108 gopis or maid servants of Krishna.

1, 0, and 8: 1 stands for God or higher Truth, 0 stands for emptiness or completeness in spiritual practice, and 8 stands for infinity or eternity.

Sun and Earth: The diameter of the sun is 108 times the diameter of the Earth.

Numerical scale: The 1 of 108, and the 8 of 108, when added together equals 9, which is the number of the numerical scale, i.e. 1, 2, 3 … 10, etc., where 0 is not a number.

Smaller divisions: The number 108 is divided, such as in half, third, quarter, or twelfth, so that some malas have 54, 36, 27, or 9 beads.

Islam: The number 108 is used in Islam to refer to God.

Jain: In the Jain religion, 108 are the combined virtues of five categories of holy ones, including 12, 8, 36, 25, and 27 virtues respectively.

Sikh: The Sikh tradition has a mala of 108 knots tied in a string of wool, rather than beads.

Chinese: The Chinese Buddhists and Taoists use a 108 bead mala, which is called su-chu, and has three dividing beads, so the mala is divided into three parts of 36 each.

Stages of the soul: Said that Atman, the human soul or center goes through 108 stages on the journey.

Meru: This is a larger bead, not part of the 108. It is not tied in the sequence of the other beads. It is the quiding bead, the one that marks the beginning and end of the mala.

Dance: There are 108 forms of dance in the Indian traditions.

Pythagorean: The nine is the limit of all numbers, all others existing and coming from the same. ie: 0 to 9 is all one needs to make up an infinite amount of numbers.

We have listed below 108 Upanishads as per the list contained in the Muktikopanishad . We have arranged them in four categories according to the particular Veda to which each of them belong.

Rigveda(10): Aitareya , Atmabodha, Kaushitaki, Mudgala, Nirvana, Nadabindu, Akshamaya, Tripura, Bahvruka, Saubhagyalakshmi.

Yajurveda(50): Katha, Taittiriya , Isavasya , Brihadaranyaka, Akshi, Ekakshara, Garbha, Prnagnihotra, Svetasvatara, Sariraka, Sukarahasya, Skanda, Sarvasara, Adhyatma, Niralamba, Paingala, Mantrika, Muktika, Subala, Avadhuta, Katharudra, Brahma, Jabala, Turiyatita, Paramahamsa, Bhikshuka, Yajnavalkya, Satyayani, Amrtanada, Amrtabindu, Kshurika, Tejobindu, Dhyanabindu, Brahmavidya, YogakundalinI, Yogatattva, Yogasikha, Varaha, Advayataraka, Trisikhibrahmana, mandalabrahmana, Hamsa, Kalisantaraaa, Narayana, Tarasara, Kalagnirudra, Dakshinamurti, Pancabrahma, Rudrahrdaya, SarasvatIrahasya.

SamaVeda(16): Kena, Chandogya, Mahat, Maitrayani, Vajrasuci, Savitri, Aruneya, Kundika, Maitreyi, Samnyasa, Jabaladarsana, Yogacudaman, Avyakta, Vasudevai, Jabali, Rudrakshajabala.

Atharvaveda(32): Prasna , Mandukya, Mundaka, Atma, Surya, Narada-Parivrajakas, Parabrahma, Paramahamsa-Parivrajakas, Pasupatha-Brahma, Mahavakya, Sandilya, Krishna, Garuda, Gopalatapani, Tripadavibhuti-mahnarayana, Dattatreya, Kaivalya, NrsimhatapanI, Ramatapani, Ramarahasya, HayagrIva, Atharvasikha, Atharvasira, Ganapati, Brhajjabala, Bhasmajabala, Sarabha, Annapurna, TripuratapanI, Devi, Bhavana, SIta.

The Significance of the number 108

We must agree that all measuring systems are merely reference frames. They give us a starting point. It doesn’t really matter if you call them farenheits or cycles. All science is based on fundamental assumptions of the mechanics of this universe. Yet, these assumptions, if correct, connect like building blocks.

Much in the same way, the number ‘108’ is just a reference frame. It is symbolic of a bigger picture: that of humility. When devotees recite 108 Hanuman Chalisas, in their minds they believe, they are proving their love for God, and that there is in fact a need to prove their love. When devotees assign a 108 names to Shri Ganesh, they are once again gauging their devotion through numbers. This, of course, may be considered unreasonable, since it suggests that 108 chants are more effective than 109 chants. How do they know this? Have they proved it? Is 108 the magic number of the universe? No, it is not! It is a reference frame. What is important is that a system is imposed to guide us through the fundamental struggles encountered in any evolutional process. Otherwise, chaos and anarchy follow and nothing gets done.

Having said that, I will show you justifications from a few subcultures in India. Obviously, I consider the Vedic rationale to be the most consistent with the fundamental laws of this universe. The others have borrowed and built, but it still smells of Vedic beginnings.

In present times, we can find many rationales for the proliferation of ‘108’ throughout our scriptures. In fact, this number seems to garner its unfair share of attention from myriad cults and faith systems around the world. I will give you a few justifications that have been brought to my attention.

JYOTISH SHASTRA {VEDIC SYSTEM} This universe was created by the five elements: space, air, fire, water and earth. From these elements came the three attributes: Raj {birth}, Sat {protection} and Tam {destruction or death.}

The mathematical or geographical evidence proves that one circle has 360 degrees in space. Why is this circle or wheel of life considered to be of 360 degrees only? If we take a circle and start dividing it using the four elements and three attributes, all the logic can be observed.

The circle itself, is considered the first element of space, since we must consume space in drawing a circle. In this space {or circle}, the four remaining elements and three attributes create the idea of time. The circle is divisible by the product of four elements multiplied by three attributes. This involves the belief that the three attributes exist in the circle. By moving three times, each element completes its revolution.

So now we have the number 12 {3 x 4}. This division gave birth to our 12 months, and also to the 12 horas {1/2 of the day or Ahoratri}. We now have 360 degrees as well as 12 divisions. We can now further divide the wheel of time: there are 27 fixed stars (nakshatras) along with three attributes that divide the time in smaller portions. So this 27 + 3 = 30 is interpreted as 30 degrees or days of one part of the wheel (circle) or month. All of this is only half of a day. The night is yet unaccounted for. Therefore, we multiply these 30 degrees by 2. This gives us our reference of 60 seconds in a minute.

Thus the 360º x 30º = 10,800. Zero {0} is considered ‘Purna’ or complete. So we take out the last zeros and are left with 108. The idea of our total universe is represented by this number of 108. Offering 108, devotees believe that they are showing ultimate or complete respect to the Supreme.

There are many other justifications but all can be traced back to this system. A few are explained below:

SHOSHU BUDDHIST

Followers use 108 beads in their malas. They implement the following formula: 6 x 3 x 2 x3 = 108

6 senses [sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, thought]

3 aspects of time [past, present, future]

2 condition of heart [pure or impure]

3 possibilties of sentiment [like, dislike, indifference]

BUDDHA’S FOOTPRINT

All Buddhists accept the Buddha Footprint with its 108 Auspicious Illustrations. These areas are considered to have been marked on the Buddha’s left foot when his body was discovered.

BUDDHISM

108 beads on the Hindu maalaa {rosary}

108 Arhats or Holy Ones

HINDUISM

108 Gopis {consorts} of Lord Krishna

108 Holy places for Vaishnavas 108 beads on the Japa maalaa {rosary}

108 Upanishads

108 Divyadeshes – Divine or Sacred Tirtha throughout India and Nepal

108 sacred water taps in Muktinath – Nepal

TANTRA SHASTRA

108 Pitha {Sacred Places}

The story goes that Lord Shiva was in deep and incessant meditation. His asceticism was creating great heat in the universe. All existence was in peril and Lord Brahma was deeply concerned. Lord Brahma asked the Mother of the Universe, Maa Shakti, to use Her strength and wile to seduce Lord Shiva. Maa Shakti agreed and was born as Sati, daughter of Shri Daksha. Lord Shiva was so entranced by Sati’s asceticism and extraordinary beauty that he took human form and they were married. Years later, at a feast, Sati’s father insulted Lord Shiva. Sati was so humiliated that she began a deep meditation which led to her immolation. Lord Shiva was completely heart broken. He reached into the sacrificial fire and pulled out as much of His beloved’s body as he could grab. As He ascended to heaven, bits of Sati’s body fell to earth. 108 bits to be precise! In time, these places were acknowledged and worshipped.

SANATANA DHARMA

In a book by Khurana, the explanation closely mirrors the original Vedic justifications: A circle has 360 degrees, which when multiplied by 60 gives us 21,600 minutes in a circle. 60 comes from the 60 ‘ghatis’ which Sanatana Dharmiks believe in. One ghati is equal to 24 minutes and 60 ghatis come to 24 hours.

One ghati is divided into 60 parts or ‘palas’.

So the 60 ghatis multiplied by 60 palasa comes to 3,600.

This is further multiplied by 60 (becase a pala contains 60 vipalas) which gives us 21,600.

Half of this is for the day, and the other half for the night. So, 21,600 divided by 2 gives us 10,800. For practical purposes, we use 108.

Using the number 108 helps us coordinate the rhythm of time and space & we remain in harmony with the spiritual powers of nature.

http://www.hknet.org.nz/108meaning.html

 

 

Triphala: The versatile

The authoritative Ayurvedic texts (charak samhita, sushruta samhita, ashtanga hridayam, ashtanga sangraha et al), unanimously declare one medicine as the undisputed champion, ever known to mankind, Triphala. The one remedy for everything!

There is so much text available on this herb, that I do not feel the need to say anything more. So I am just going to share the links I think are good!

The cure for all sorrows

The uses of triphala churna

The Triphala Talisman

 

 

 

Which is the highest or best Yoga practice?

I love answering this question always and my answer, as always is, none. Yoga, is the end, not the means to achieve the end. Yoga is communion with the self. So whatever means suits you catches your attention, or strikes you as pragmatic and effective.

  • Ha tha Yoga
  • Kundalini Yoga
  • Sahaj Yoga
  • Kriya Yoga
  • SIddha Yoga
  • Tantra

among other instruments, to achieve this communion, are just instruments. Everything that we possibly need, is already there with us. Samkhya Cosmology maintains that there are 25 tattvas that manifest in this universe or creation. Incidentally (or not?), research shows that the human body contains 25 elements including some trace elements (not all) from the current periodic table, that play significant biological roles. Some may argue that there are 58 known elements or even all of them in our body. So be it.

The point here is, the human body is perhaps one of the most complex systems to have evolved. It encompasses the best known biological, chemical, electrical, magnetic and physical systems within it. It is not a wonder then, human beings are amongst the sentient species known. The human body is the best available tool, equipped with a powerful mind, to probe beyond the observable, to inquire the supernatural and to discover the metaphysical. Ultimately, to merge with the spiritual.

Anyways, I digress, coming back to which Yoga practice is the best; I would like to use the western movie analogy here. A cowboy who could draw fast, was the one who could shoot the others. He may or may not have the best hand gun in the world. His foes and contestants could even have rifles, cannons, shotguns. But, the gun was  and is as good as the hand that uses it. And, the hand is as fast as the mind that uses it. This was true, even when all shootists trained hard for precision and speed.

Similarly, in all yogic practices the body and the mind have to be trained. Scriptures, texts, tutelage, music, dance, entheogens, chanting, exercises and practice are all part of the training. This training is more to restructure the conditioning of the mind, to  be able to comprehend or accept that is inherent and within,  to better make sense of the day to outwardly experiences that we accumulate post birth.

Like the Oracle says to Neo in the Matrix, ” You have already made the choice! You are here to understand why you made it.”

There have been seers, religious revolutionaries like J. Krishnamurti who sought freedom from the Guru, the book, the tradition and the authoritarian voice of another. “Truth is within you”, he said, and to discover the truth in the luminous light of perception was to transform the very nature of thought and consciousness. It was to awaken intelligence, insight and abundant compassion. The total responsibility lies with the individual. No one, according to J.K. can free another.

Then there was, who I dare to call the nihilist yogi, U. G. Krishnamurti. He was an Indian thinker who questioned enlightenment. Although necessary for day to day functioning of the individual, in terms of the Ultimate Reality or Truth, he rejected the very basis of “thought” and in doing so negated all systems of thought and knowledge in reference to It.

“Tell them that there is nothing to understand.” he said.

Although many considered him an “enlightened” person, U.G. often referred to his state of being as the “natural state.” He claimed that the demand for enlightenment was the only thing standing in the way of enlightenment itself, if enlightenment existed at all. Incidentally, to clutch on to nirvana was also a desire and not a fool proof mechanism, as per the Buddha.

The legendary, Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, changed his religion several times to explore the ideology and philosophy behind each. Changing a religion for a Hindu was then and even today is a great taboo. Ramakrishna Paramahansa saw the mother goddess Kali in his wife and remained a celibate thereafter.

All said and done, all perceptions, ideas, beliefs and systems can be changed, broken, reused,  Religious doctrines, texts, philosophies, teachers, yogic systems all exist in abundance for men to extract what facilitates their quest and discard what they cannot. This does not imply, however, that we disrespect the means or belittle the efforts of others. Talking, listening, reading, following, imitating, meditating, self-enquiry, questioning, all are part of the process. Like a clay sculptor, who adds and removes clay as needed to sculpt, we must learn to imbibe and let go as need be. Adapt and Improvise.