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Solar Eclipse – Rules and Precautions


Solar eclipse is an important astronomical event. Its direct and indirect effects are also on nature, animals and humans. This is the reason why yogis recommend taking some precautions during the eclipse period. According to rishis and yogis, the eclipse period is considered to be the movement of Sheshnag and it affects everything around us.

Solar Ecplise is a great cosmic event for evolution

According to astrology, it is advisable to take special precautions during solar eclipse.

• Do not do this work on solar eclipse

• It is advisable to avoid excessive physical exertion during solar eclipse.

• Keep away from intense mental work as well.

• The use of fire and machinery during the eclipse is considered prohibited during the eclipse period.

• This celestial phenomenon in the sky should never be seen with the naked eye because the rays of the sun can damage the eyes.

• Solar eclipse should not be seen even with a telescope. To see this, only specially made glasses should be used.

• Eating food during solar eclipse is considered taboo.

• Do not start any new work or do auspicious work during solar eclipse.

• Nail biting, combing is considered taboo.

• One should not sleep during eclipse.

• Put basil leaves in the cooked food before the eclipse.

• Chant mantra for Sun God during the eclipse period.

• It is advisable to remember God through bhajan-kirtan and chanting during the eclipse period.

• Chanting any mantra of Bhagwan Shiv ji during solar eclipse proves to be beneficial.

• It is most appropriate to worship the Sun God during solar eclipse.

• Take a bath after the eclipse is over.

• Clean the house after the eclipse is over.

• Sprinkle Gangajal in the house.

• During the eclipse, one should devote one’s mind to the study of religious books and towards God.

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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.

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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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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!

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Self Discipline – the most important tool of success

Self-discipline is one of the most important and useful skills everyone should possess. This skill is essential in every area of life, and though most people acknowledge its importance, very few do something to strengthen it.

Self discipline does not mean being harsh with yourself, or living a limited, restrictive lifestyle. Building this skill means using common sense, making priorities, and thinking before acting.

Self discipline means self control, which is a sign of inner strength and control of yourself and your reactions. This skill gives you the power to stick to your decisions and follow them through, without changing your mind.

When you improve this ability it becomes easier to develop good habits and get rid of bad habits. It also becomes easier to overcome addictions, overeating, procrastination and laziness.

If you wish to possess more inner strength and stronger willpower, you need to start working on developing your discipline.

Self-discipline means self-control, the ability to avoid unhealthy excess of anything that could lead to negative consequences. It is the ability to reject instant gratification and pleasure, in favor of some greater gain, which requires spending effort and time to get it.

It means perseverance and not giving up. It is the strength not to give in to negative feelings.
It means overcoming one’s weaknesses. It is the ability to pursue one plans despite temptations to abandon them. A disciplined person is more likely to take control and responsibility for his or her life.

Self discipline means Perseverance. The ability not to give up, despite failure and setbacks.
The ability to resist distractions or temptations. Trying over and again, until you accomplish what you set out to do.

Life puts challenges and problems on the path to success and achievement, and in order to rise above them, you have to act with perseverance and persistence, and this of course, requires discipline. The possession of this skill leads to self esteem and confidence, and consequently, to happiness and satisfaction.

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Yoga For Horoscopes

Welcome to mantra and aasana series for horoscopes. In the Olden days yoga was not just practiced by itself but it was practiced under a guru in the ancient system of Gurukul. Here the sadhak or the shishya was not just taught yoga but also Ayurveda, Vedic astrology, vastu shastra along with various other important topics which were related to the human mind, the society, country the universe and such other matters.

We wanted to share the mysticism of mantra, asana, the main element of that horoscope along with the planet having a direct impact on it and the polarity the specific horoscope bends towards…