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Yoga of Lunar Eclipse

Important: some dos and donts for lunar eclipse (To my students I will send you more detailed personalised ritual details)

Q.1 Why should we follow the rituals during and after the eclipse and how should they be followed?
A. There are two types of eclipses: solar and lunar eclipses. When an eclipse occurs, only certain regions of the world are affected. The rule for following the eclipse ritual is as follows: if the eclipse affects the region that you are living in, then you should follow the rituals as prescribed by the scriptures. However, if the eclipse does not affect your region, then you should not follow the rituals laid out for the eclipse.

In the Shikshãpatri, Bhagwan Swaminarayan says:

At the time of a solar or lunar eclipse, instantly stop all activities and chant the name of God in a purified state. After the eclipse, householders should bathe with the clothes they are wearing and then make donations according to their means.

The Hindu scriptures, the Purãns (written by Ved Vyãs), narrate the story of how the eclipse came into existence:

After the churning of the ocean by the devas (gods) and daityas (demons), amrut – immortalizing the nectar – was produced. It so happened that the demons got the nectar first, but the devas created an apsarã (a beautiful celestial woman) called Mohini. She tricked the demons and took the nectar away from them. Once the devas received the amrut, they asked God to distribute the amrut to all the gods equally. While God was serving everyone amrut, a demon, named Rãhu, through yogic powers transformed himself into a deva and sat in line to receive amrut and thus become immortal. He sat between the Sun-god and the Moon-god. They both recognized the demon in the form of a deva. When God unknowlingly served amrut to Rãhu, both the sun and the moon revealed that it was a demon. So bhagwan Vishnu ji beheaded Rãhu instantly with his sudarshan chakra. But by the time God beheaded Rãhu he had drunk the amrut. The amrut had reached Rãhu’s throat, making his head immortal. Rãhu’s head thus became a planet. Since the Sun-god and the Moon-god told God about Rãhu, Rãhu was deeply disappointed and nursed a hatred for them. Therefore it is believed that during certain times of the year Rãhu holds the sun and the moon by his mouth (grahan), hence the existence of the solar and lunar eclipses.

The Shikshãpatri states that one should instantly stop all activities and chant the name of God at the time of an eclipse. The reason for doing so is to chant and pray to God for the release of the sun or the moon from the grasp of Rãhu.

Be it a solar or lunar eclipse, the rules to follow before, during and after the eclipse are as follows:

Before the eclipse:

One should not eat 12 hours before the solar eclipse begins. One can drink water.
One should not eat 9 hours before the lunar eclipse begins. One can drink water.
In addition, one should not offer meals to God during this pre-eclipse period. However, one is allowed to perform arti, pray and sing devotional songs during this period.
There may be times when the solar eclipse occurs before sunrise. Therefore one may see the eclipse only after the sun has risen. In this case, one should not eat after sunset the previous night.
During the eclipse:

While the eclipse is taking place one should sit in one place, chant the name of God and sing devotional songs.
One should observe a waterless fast while the actual eclipse is in progress.
After the eclipse:

One should take a bath with one’s clothes on immediately after the eclipse.
It is best to take a bath in cold water after the eclipse is over.
The Satsangijivan, written by Shatãnand Muni, states that after one purifies oneself, one should offer donations according to one’s income. If donations are offered with love and devotion, one will receive appropriate returns as stated in the scriptures. It is in the joy of the Sun and/or Moon-god being released from the clutches of Rãhu that the devotees offer donations. Since sadhus have no money, they rejoice by performing puja.

Q.2 How to remain pure during the eclipse?

A. One should get rid of extra cooked food after the solar or lunar eclipse.
One should not touch anything such as clothes, food, personal items, etc. during the eclipse.
After the eclipse is over, one should not touch anyone and take a bath with one’s clothes on. If one has touched anything by mistake, it should be purified by washing or by sprinkling water over it.
It is never safe to look at a partial or annular eclipse, or the partial phases of a total solar eclipse, without the proper equipment and techniques.

Q.3 Why should we take a bath after an eclipse?
A. One should take a bath after an eclipse because it is believed that the earth is plunged into darkness during a lunar or solar eclipse. Darkness symbolizes impurity and therefore one has to sit in one place and chant the name of God. Once the eclipse is over, light returns back to the earth; and to rejoice, one has to cleanse the impurity that darkness brought, worship God and offer donations to express one’s happiness.
In the same way, we are all engulfed by an eclipse in the form of mãyã. So, just as one does for an eclipse, one should pray to God in order to overcome the force of mãyã.

IMPORTANT: As a thumb rule you should chant 108 maha mrityunjay mantra for anything related to moon.

yogini meditating sivaom yoga

Role of Women in the Hindu culture…

Role of Women in the Sanatan Dharma (hindu way of life) is perhaps the only of its kind in todays world where women are given a big importance. It is The ONLY culture where Divine is also described as a woman in Vedic! In the name of “feminism”, which seems a challenge to the notion of “womanhood” altogether, we have diverted the narrative many times and boosted the egos and brought wrong notions to society.

The world indeed faces several challenges, of them women’s right is something which stands right on the top of my list, I have always said if you want to understand the greatness of any society do look at how it treats its women. Objectification of women needs to stop. Some people make hideous advertisements and there might be an argument that its just a creative process or a graphic or say oh it’s just a cartoon, it’s not, it represents a mindset. This kind of mindset needs to be destroyed, it’s a plague for the society. We have to get up and educate all our men regardless of their age, country, religion, or any other parameter.

We need to go back to our Vedic roots, India’s customs regarding women were severely impacted by the centuries of invasions and foreign occupation. The careful protection of Hindu women became essential in those days. All aspects of Indian society have suffered more during the Islamic invasion and the subsequent British slavery and British-imposed educational system. The pious role that comes most naturally to most women—wife and mother, the children’s first guru, the Shakti of the home, the preserver-enhancer of the spiritual force field of the home and family—has been effectively disparaged.

“May you be empress and lead all.” ~ Rig Veda 10/85/46
mata shakti www.sivaom.com

“O brilliant woman, remove ignorance with your bright intellect and provide bliss to all.” ~ Rig Veda 4/14/3

“O woman, may you be strong and powerful as a rock. May you gain brilliance of the sun and have a long prosperous life that benefits all.” ~ Atharva Veda 14/1/47

“O woman, you provide bliss and stability to the world. You are the source of valour.” – Yajur Veda 10/26

“O woman, you are as strong as earth and are on a very high pedestal. Protect the world from the path of vices and violence.” ~ Yajur Veda 13/18

“O woman, you do not deserve to be defeated by challenges. You can defeat the mightiest challenge. Defeat the enemies and their armies. You have valour of thousands. Please us all.” ~ Yajur Veda 13/26

“O woman, realize your potential. You are a lioness who can destroy criminals, ignorance, and vices and protect the noble ones.” ~ Yajur Veda 5/10

“May the scholarly woman purify our lives with her knowledge, noble actions and guidance.” ~ Yajur Veda 20/84

“Noble woman motivates us to be on the path of truth, love, and harmony.” ~ Yajur Veda 20/85

“O woman, you are the motherly force that provides direction to our life.” ~ Rig Veda 2/41/16

“The way a powerful river breaks down even strongest rocks and hills, in the same manner, an intelligent woman destroys the fraud propagated by perverted ones. May we bow to such intelligent women.” ~ Rig Veda 6/61/2

“Whenever I am hurt emotionally or physically, woman – as a mother, wife, sister – provides healing touch and rejuvenates me. I bow in humble respect to her.” ~ Atharva Veda 7/57/1

“Noble woman motivates us to be on the path of truth, love and harmony.” ~ Yajur Veda 20/85
yogini meditating sivaom yoga

i would like to summarize this by saying – “It is the women of my life who have been the biggest pillar of support, thank you for everything you have ever done for me and other people in your life and for being who you are, you are the real creators.”

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The way you do your business makes it good or bad …

A story someone told me in India. In the olden days, it was a common custom for shopkeepers to keep a small chair outside the shop as soon as they opened the shop in the morning.

As soon as the first customer would arrive, the shopkeeper would lift the chair from that place and take it inside the shop.

But when the next customer would come, the shopkeeper would look around the market. Pointing to a shop with a chair still placed outside, he would say to the customer – “You will get what you need from that shop.” I have already got my bohni (the day’s first business) in the morning.”

This was because having a chair outside the shop was a sign that the shopkeeper had not received any customers yet. This inspiring affection and care between competing businessmen was probably the reason for the growth in not only their profits, but also in the respect they earned.

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PRIMARY GOALS OF HUMAN LIFE


In Vedic thought there are four goals of human life, not just relative the physical personality but to the Atman within.

First is DHARMA, which relates to our purpose in this physical incarnation, what our karma dictates and what develops our buddhi or inner intelligence.

Second is ARTHA, which relates to the resources and achievements necessary to fulfill that.

Third is KAMA, or the enjoyment in our dharmic activities.

Fourth is MOKSHA, or our liberation from body, mind and karma into our inner being, through the fulfillment of our dharmic purpose.

This isn’t in the main but sometimes is considered as fifth – AROGYA, or wellness of body and mind as the necessary instruments and vehicles to promote our dharma.

For those without awareness of their inner purpose, these four goals get externalized in the form of career, wealth, pleasure in general and personal freedom, but these get us caught in further karma and don’t align us with the Atman within.

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Where can we find GOD ?

“Where to hide the divinity was the question” ask Gods. So Lord Shiva called a council of the gods to help him decide.

“Let’s bury it deep in the earth,” said the gods. But Shiva answered, “No, that will not do because humans will dig into the earth and find it.”

Then the gods said, “Let’s sink it in the deepest ocean.” But Shiva said, “No, not there, for they will learn to dive into the ocean and will find it.”

Then the gods said, “Let’s take it to the top of the highest mountain and hide it there.” But once again Shiva replied, “No, that will not do either, because they will eventually climb every mountain and once again take up their divinity.”

Then the gods gave up and said, “We do not know where to hide it, because it seems that there is no place on earth or in the sea that human beings will not eventually reach.”

Shiva thought for a long time and then said, “Here is what we will do. We will hide their divinity deep in the center of their own being, for humans will never think to look for it there.”

All the gods agreed that this was the perfect hiding place, and the deed was done. And since that time humans have been going up and down the earth, digging, diving, climbing, and exploring–searching for something already within themselves.

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The 3 main principles of karma yoga

As per Sanatan Dharma (Hinduism), karma is of three kinds:

Prarabadha Karma
This karma is unchangeable within the scope of one life, since it is the ‘setup’ for the life in question. It is the karma of one’s past lives. After death, the atma leaves the body, as the casting off of old vestments, and carries with it the samskaras (impressions) of the past life of thoughts and actions and events. These samskaras manifest themselves in the unchangeable situation into which one is born and certain key events in one’s life. These include one’s time of death (seen as governed by an allotment from birth of the total number of one’s breaths for that life), one’s economic status, one’s family (or lack of family), one’s body type and look: essentially, the setting of one’s birth, the initial base.

Samchita Karma
The samskaras that one inherits from the last lives create one’s personality, inclinations, talents, the things that make up one’s persona. One’s likings, abilities, attitudes and inclinations are based on the thoughts and actions of past lives. One’s samchita karma is somewhat alterable through practice and effort towards change. This might be seen through the Hindu system of yoga and the dynamic of the gunas. An example would be someone who, through meditation, slowly evolved into a more stable personality.

Agami Karma
Agami karma is the karma of the present life over which the soul has complete control. Through it one creates one’s karma in the present for the future of the current life and in life-times to come. The Hindu cannot say, sometimes, if a major event in life is the doing of Prarabadha or Agami Karma. The idea of “bad things happening to good people” is seen by the Hindu as a result of Prarabadha Karma, more simply understood as karma from a past life. In Hinduism, karma works within a cyclical framework that sees the phenomenal universe being created and eventually dissolving back into itself, back into realization that it was nothing other than Maya imposed on the truth of Brahman. So Karma will eventually be worked out.

Karma does allow for anirudh (Divine Grace). Through exceeding devotion and love of God, the Hindu believes one can be helped to speed through Karma phal (Karmic fruit). By developing ‘vairagya’ or ‘detachment’ from the fruits of one’s karma, as Lord Krishna most famously summarized, one can transcend karma and be liberated. One is aided by love of God. All the Yogas of Hinduism seek to transcend karma through different means of realization.

One of the interesting aspects about karma in reincarnation is that talents and skills are never lost according to the Cayce files. Someone who has developed an ability in one life will still have it to draw upon later through karma. One may be born for example as a genius or prodigy, in math for example, if he develops this skill or have been of service now or having done so to a prodigous degree in the past or present.