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Importance of 108

Today we will learn about the various important reasons that have been given for having 108 beads on a mala, as well as a few other points of interest. None of these reasons are being promoted here as more or less true than the others. However, you may notice that 108 appears to be somewhat like a road map of reality in general, and the human in particular.

On word of caution since 108 is mostly related to chanting mantras, regardless of the meaning of 108, it is important that if a mala is used to count mantras, the mantra be remembered with sincerity, devotion, feeling, and full attention.


Harshad number: 108 is a harshad number, which is an integer divisible by the sum of its digits (harshad is from sanskrit, and means “great joy”)


Desires: there are said to be 108 earthly desires in mortals.


Lies: there are said to be 108 lies that humans tell.


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.


Sanskrit alphabet: there are 54 letters in the sanskrit alphabet. Each has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti. 54 times 2 is 108.
Pranayama: if one is able to be so calm in meditation as to have only 108 breaths in a day, enlightenment will come.


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 times 2 equals 108. Thus, there are 108 points that define the sri yantra as well as the human body.


Delusions: there are said to be 108 human delusions or forms of ignorance.


Marmas: marmas or marmasthan 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.


8 extra beads: in doing a practice of counting the number of repetitions of the mala, 100 are counted as completed. The remaining are said to cover errors or omissions. The 8 are also said to be an offering to god and guru.


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


1, 0, and 8: some say that 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. The distance from the sun to the earth is 108 times the diameter of the sun.


Moon and earth: the average distance of the moon from the earth is 108 times the diameter of the moon.


Meditations: some say there are 108 styles of meditation. Paths to god: some suggest that there are 108 paths to god.

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Hinduism: 108 is said to refer to the number of hindu deities. Some say that each of the deities has 108 names.

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Maha Mrityunjay Mantra

The Mahamrityunjaya Mantra reads:
ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम्
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान्मृत्योर्मुक्षीय माऽमृतात्

om tryambakaṃ yajāmahe sugandhiṃ puṣṭivardhanam
urvārukamiva bandhanānmṛtyor mukṣīya maamṛtāt

Word-by-word meaning of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra:-

ॐ aum = is a sacred/mystical syllable in Sanatan Dharma or Hindu religions, i.e. Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism. Aum also appears in ancient African religion i.e. Ancient Egyptian Religion (Kemetic). Aum appears in the Ancient Egyptian papyri of Leiden and Demotic). In Ancient Egyptian Religion the sound ‘Aum’ is a Sacred word of power called Hekau.

त्र्यम्बकं tryambakam = the three-eyed one (accusative case),
त्रि + अम्बकम् = tri + ambakam = three + eye

यजामहे yajāmahe = We worship, adore, honour, revere,

सुगन्धिम् sugandhim = sweet smelling, fragrant (accusative case),

पुष्टि puṣṭi = A well-nourished condition, thriving, prosperous, fullness of life,

वर्धनम् vardhanam = One who nourishes, strengthens, causes to increase (in health, wealth, well-being); who gladdens, exhilarates, and restores health; a good gardener,
पुष्टि-वर्धनम् = puṣṭi+vardhanam = पुष्टि: वर्धते अनेन तत् = puṣṭiḥ vardhate anena tat (samas)= The one who nourishes someone else and gives his life fullness.

उर्वारुकमिव urvārukam-iva = like the cucumber or melon (in the accusative case); or like a big peach.
Note: Some people have decomposed the compound urvārukam in this way: ‘urva’ means “vishal” or big and powerful or deadly; ‘arukam’ means ‘disease’. But urva (उर्वा) does not mean ‘vishal’ in Sanskrit; Another possibility would be ūrva (root ऊर्व्), meaning ‘to kill, hurt’, which could bend the translation to ‘please eredicate all disease’ as ūrva is in the imperative mood. Another way: uru: big, large; ārukam (in the accusative case): peach; iva: like.

बन्धनान् bandhanān = “from captivity” {i.e. from the stem of the cucumber} (of the gourd); (the ending is actually long a, then -t, which changes to n/anusvara because of sandhi)
Note: bandhanān means bound down. Thus, read with urvārukam iva, it means ‘I am bound down just like a cucumber (to a vine)’. If you read it with mṛtyormukṣīya it means ‘liberate from the bounds of death’

मृत्योर्मुक्षीय mṛtyormukṣīya = Free, liberate From death
मृत्यु: + मुक्षीय = mṛtyoḥ + mukṣīya= from death + free (Vedic usage)

मा ∫ मृतात् mā ∫ mṛtāt can be translated in a number of different ways:
1) मा + अमृतात् = mā + amṛtāt = not + immortality, nectar
Translation would be: (Free me from death but) not from immortality.
2) मा (माम) + अमृतात् = mā (short form of mām) + amṛtāt = myself + immortality
Translation would be: Give me some life rejuvenating nectar
3) मा (माम) + अमृतात् = mā (short form of mām) + amṛtāt = myself + sure, definitely
Translation would be: Free me from certain death.

The true meaning is as follows:

Tryambakam: The three eyed lord (Shiva) who sees what we can see but who also sees what we can not see. Hence 3 eyed.

Yajamahe: Yajanam is invocation; I invoke

Sugandhim Pushti Vardhanama: Increase my good vasanas (not of material aspects like gold, money,sex, anger, the 6 enemies etc)

Urvarukam iva bandhanaan mrityor mukshiya ma mritaat: When i die my soul should leave the body as easily (without attachment) as the cucumber falls from its plant.

Origin
Secret Mantra, and Rishi Markandeya was the only one in the world who knew this mantra. The Moon was once in trouble, cursed by King Daksha. Rishi Markandeya gave the Mahamritryunjaya Mantra to Sati, Daksha’s daughter, for the Moon. According to another version this is the Bija mantra as revealed to Rishi Kahola that was given by Lord Shiva to sage Sukracharya, who taught it to Rishi Dadhichi, who gave it to King Kshuva, through whom it reached the Shiva Purana.

It is also called the Rudra mantra, referring to the furious aspect of Lord Shiva; the Tryambakam mantra, alluding to Shiva’s three eyes; and it is sometimes known as the Mrita-Sanjivini mantra because it is a component of the “life-restoring” practice given to the primordial sage Sukracharya after he had completed an exhausting period of austerity. Its Devata is Rudra or Lord Shiva in his fiercest and most destructive roopa or aspect. In the Vedas it finds its place in three texts – a) the Rig veda VII.59.12, b) the Yajur Veda III.60, and c) the Atharva Veda XIV.1.17.

Significance
It is said to be beneficial for mental, emotional and physical health and to be a moksha mantra which bestows longevity and immortality.

According to some puranas, the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra has been used by many Rishis as well as Sati during the time when Chandra suffered from the curse of Prajapati Daksha. By reciting this mantra, the effect of the curse of Daksha, which could make him die, slowed, and Shiva then took Chandra and placed it upon his head.

This mantra is addressed to Lord Shiva for warding off untimely death. It is also chanted while smearing Vibhuti over various parts of the Body and utilised in Japa or Homa (havan) to get desired results. While its energy protects and guides the initiates a mantra re-links consciousness to its deeper and more abiding nature and repetition of the mantra constitutes Japa, the practice of which develops concentration that leads to a transformation of awareness. Whereas the Gayatri Mantra is meant for purification and spiritual guidance, the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra is meant for healing rejuvenation and nurturance.

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What does Siddhartha mean

सिद्धार्थ – that’s how we write SIDDHARTHA in Hindi/Sanskrit through the Devanagari script. Following is how this powerful name came into existence.


Noun: सिद्धार्थ (siddhā-rtha)

  • “He who has fulfilled the object (of his coming)”
  • Name of the great Buddha from shakya clan (Siddhartha).
  • One of the names for Bhagwan Shiv among his sahastra naam

Adjective सिद्धार्थ (siddhā-rtha)

  • One who has accomplished an aim or object, successful, prosperous
  • Leading to the goal, efficient, efficacious
  • One whose aim or intention is known

” was the original name of Buddha and a name which is formed of two words “Sidh” whose meaning is “perfect” and “Artha” whose meaning is “purpose” both are from the language of Sanskrit and combined they mean “the one who perfects ( sidh ) his purpose ( artha )”.

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“Sidh” whose meaning is that which “achieves” and that which is “perfect” then expands and becomes “Siddha” whose meaning is “perfected” and “supernatural” and this is then seen in “Siddhanta” whose meaning is “the end ( anta ) of perfection ( siddha )”.

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“Sidh” also becomes “Siddhi” whose meaning is “perfection” “skill” and “art” and this is seen in the “Asta Siddhis” which are the “eight ( asta ) perfections ( siddhi )” yogis who can become “larger than a planet” and “smaller than an atom”.

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“Siddha” whose meaning is “perfection” can be seen in this verse from the Gita where “Siddhaye” and “Siddhanam” are translated as “perfection” the Gita spoken over 5000 years ago, long before the appearance of Buddha and the language of Pali.

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“Out of the many thousands among men, one may endeavour for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.” Gita 7.3

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“Sidh” expresses that which “binds one ( si ) to the motion ( h ) of light ( d )” as in the “light of the soul” as in the “light of illumination” while its secondary meanings of “beatitude” and “perfection” are an expression of mystical and spiritual states.

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As it journeys to other languages “Sidh” is seen throughout Europe as “Sidus” a word from Latin whose meanings are “star” “group of stars” and “constellation” and “Sidereal” whose meaning is “starry” “astral” and that which belongs to the “constellations”.

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Around the early 17th century Gallileo wrote his “Sidereus Nuncius” whose meaning was the “message from the stars” a message which announced his “clusters ( si ) of light ( d )” all of which move around the satellites of Jupiter thus proving the rotation of planets around the stars.

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“Sidh” expresses the nature of Sanskrit, which expresses the nature of the Vedas, which expresses the nature of the divine, and this can be seen in words such as “Consider” whose meaning is to “observe ( con ) the stars ( sidus )” and also “Desire” which means to “long for ( de ) the stars ( sidus )”.

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These words from the Ancient language of Sanskrit go back in time over 5000 years, long before the 2500 year old date for Panini, long before the 3500 year old date for the stone tablets of Armana, long before the 4000 year old date for the disappearance of Sarasvati, and long before Buddhism and the language of Pali.

Post courtesy: James Robinson Cooper

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Everyone says they do meditation, but what is this thing called meditation?

Meditation, it’s not sitting in a posture, it is actually trying to concentrate on a particular thing. It could be your guru who you love a lot. Meditation is a practice in which an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, for the mind to acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content.

The term meditation refers to a broad variety of practices that includes techniques designed to promote relaxation, build internal energy or life force and develop compassion, love, patience, generosity and forgiveness. Meditation often involves an internal effort to self-regulate the mind in some way. Meditation is often used to clear the mind and ease many health concerns, such as high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety. It may be done sitting, or in an active way ; for instance, Buddhist monks involve awareness in their day-to-day activities as a form of mind-training.

Meditation has many benefits as it affects you physiologically, psychologically and also spiritually. It means a person who meditates, not only has a good sharp mind, with a great will power but the person is also physiologically sound with all the bodily functions working in harmony. By quoting spiritually, a person develops a knack of forgiving anyone for the mistakes, a person become enlightened. This level of enlightenment can only be achieved if a person meditates.

A person can do Breath awareness meditation, Mantra meditation. When you inhale breath, try to feel it, and then try to feel the way it exhales from the body. In the whole process of inhaling and exhaling, thoughts will come in the mind. Just acknowledge the thoughts and smile on it and then try to focus again on the breath. It will improve one’s concentration and patience.

Another simple technique is to close your eyes and try to see the image of guru or god. The whole purpose is to concentrate on the image. Random thoughts will definitely bother you but just smile on it. Meditation is something which can be done anytime and anywhere. It is not about closing eyes and sitting. It can be done by opening your eyes. But by closing eyes it becomes easier for the person to concentrate while cutting all the distractions. A relaxed peaceful mind can do wonders and this can only be achieved if we meditate!