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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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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.

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How to achieve Yoga

Yoga means union with God. The state of yoga is impossible to attain without the blessings of Lord Shiva. It needs a concentrated and focussed mind. There are some specific spots in the human body concentrating upon which, enables a man to attain the state of yoga-spot between the eyebrows, lower part of the throat, Navel and six inches above it etc.

The state of yoga can never be attained until and unless a person has fully controlled the tendencies of sense organs. It can be achieved with the help of eight means-Yama (Penance), Niyam (discipline), Aasan (Posture), Pranayam (Breath-control), Pratyahar (restraint of passion), Dharan (retention), Dhyan (concentration) and Samadhi (deep meditation). Each of them holds an important position in the path of yoga.

Describing about the methods of performing yoga, in Linga Purana Sutji says – “A person should sit with his legs crossed in Padmasan and try to concentrate his mind by fixing his gaze between his eyebrows. He should keep his spine erect. He should meditate either on the form of Omkar or on the form of lord Shiva. Breath control is an important aspect of yogic exercise. A man should exhale deeply for 32 times and then breathe in deeply. He should then retain his breath as long as possible and visualize lord Shiva within his body. By constant practice he will achieve mastery over this art and a time will come when he will experience divine bliss. This divine bliss can not be experienced unless one has attained a deep state of meditation (Samadhi).”

Obstacles in the Path of Yoga –
A man experiences numerous obstacles in the path of Yoga-laziness, restlessness confusion, a diseased body etc. The main reason for being lazy is a bulky physique and one’s inability to concentrate his mind. Lack of concentration results in restlessness, which is a major obstacle in the path of yoga. If a person in unsure about the results he becomes confused. It is impossible for a person suffering from any disease to concentrate his mind.

All the above mentioned hurdles can be overcome by firm resolution. A man who has successfully overcome all these obstacles might experience other obstacles in the form of siddhis (divine powers). There is a real danger of getting lured by these divine powers. As a result his mind may get distracted from his original goal and he may deviate from his path. The names of these siddhis or divine powers are-Pratibha (having knowledge of past present & future incident), Shravan (being capable of listening to abnormal sounds), Varta (whatever is said becomes true), Darshana (capable of seeing things which can mot be seen by the mortal eyes), Aaswada (being capable of experiencing divine (tastes), Vedana (being capable of relieving other’s pain by a mere touch). If a person successfully overcomes all these allurements then he becomes a siddha- or man of accomplishment and divine powers.!!

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Why is Lord Rama known as Maryada Purushottam

He was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. We all have grown up listening to the stories from the Ramayana, which are a source of inspiration for all. Lord Rama is an embodiment of perfection for his devotees. Well, ever wondered why he is known as Maryada Purushottam? Today, we have brought to you the information about why Lord Rama is known as Maryada Purushottam. Let us begin.

The Meaning Of The Phrase Maryada Purushottam
Maryada Purushottam is a Sanskrit phrase in which “Maryada” translates to “honour and righteousness”, and “Purushottam” translates to “the supreme man”. The phrase when combined refers to “the man who is supreme in honour”. It also means the best man who practised righteousness until he perfected it.

Why Is He Known As Maryada Purushottam?
Lord Rama is the favourite of his devotees until today. They see him as an ideal man, whose ideals are worth following. Not just this, Lord Rama was the favourite of all those in his family as well as the people of his kingdom. The main reason behind this being, he performed every duty of his life to perfection. In every role that he had to play, he emerged as an ideal.

Lord Ram As A Son
Lord Rama is the son of Dasharatha and is the prince of Ayodhya. In this world, where the focus of all the disputes amongst kins is the ancestral property, in most of the cases, Lord Rama decided to leave the throne of Ayodhya to his brother Bharath, when Kaikeyi, the second wife of Dasharatha and mother of Bharatha, asked Dasharatha to send Rama into exile.

Dasharatha, though unwilling to do so, could not deny Kaikeyi’s request. According to a promise made long back, he was bound to accept three wishes of his wife. Lord Rama, realising that the promise could not be taken back, diligently followed the orders of his father and prepared for fourteen years in the forest. He would never choose to disobey his parents in any situation.

Lord Rama As A Brother
Lord Rama had three brothers, Bharatha, Shatrughna and Lakshman. All three of them respected him highly. They too saw him as the embodiment of perfection, as the Ramayana reveals. Though it was Bharatha to whom the throne was handed, Lord Rama always kept caring for him the same way. At times, Bharatha would come to see him in the ashrams, where Lord Rama used to guide him as an elder brother.

Lord Rama As A Husband
Lord Rama used to remain busy attending the meetings with the sages and his own devotees. He killed a number of demons who give hurdles in the the holy yajnas that were often performed by the sages in the forest. Despite this, Lord Rama took a good care of Goddess Sita. He was so protective of her that he told her not to come out of the house in his absence. To fulfil her wish of getting the golden deer, he went out and that’s when Ravana, the demon king, came and abducted Sita when she crossed the line marked by Lakshman.

Lord Rama As A King
More than everything else, he was an ideal king. It is said that in his kingdom, there was not even a single incident of theft, robbery, starvation, etc. when he had become the king of Ayodhya after completing his period of exile. Moreover, his decision-making abilities were wonderful. When some men from his kingdom started questioning the chastity of Sita and asked that she be sent into exile again, it was hard for him to do so, especially because he could not be there with her.

Real Reason Behind Ravana’s Destruction
However, as an ideal king, he knew that the interest of his men should be the main priority of a king, much higher than the interest of his blood relations or his wife. He believed that his first responsibility was that of the kingdom. Therefore, he accepted the demands of the subjects in the kingdom.

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The hidden truth of Mahabharata

An amazing interpretation of the Mahabharata which applies to all of us, please read the whole story, for it is bound to add value to your life and make you understand something new which you never knew existed.

It was said in the texts that eighty percent of the fighting male population of the civilization was wiped out in the eighteen days of the war.
Sanjay , at the end of the war went to the spot where the greatest war took place; Kurukshetra.

He looked around and wondered if the war really happened, if the ground beneath him had soaked all that blood, if the great Pandavas and Krishna stood where he stood.
“You will never know the truth about that!” said an aging soft voice.

Sanjay turned around to find an Old man in saffron robes appearing out of a column of dust – “I know you are here to find out about the Kurukshetra war, but you cannot know about that war till you know what the real war is about.”

The Old man said enigmatically – “What do you mean?”
“The Mahabharata is an Epic, a ballad, perhaps a reality but definitely a philosophy.”
The Old man smiled luring Sanjay into more questions.

Sanjay requested – “Can you tell me what the philosophy is then?”

Sure, began the Old man – “The Pandavas are nothing but your five senses, sight, smell, taste, touch and sound and do you know what the Kauravas are?”

he asked narrowing his eyes. – “The Kauravas are the hundred vices that attack your senses everyday but you can fight them and do you know how?”

Sanjay shook his head again.
The Old man smiled brighter and said – “When Krishna rides your chariot!”

Sanjay gasped at that gem of insight.

“Krishna is your inner voice ,your soul, your guiding light and if you let your life in his hands you have nothing to worry.”

Sanjay was stupefied but came around quickly with another question-“Then why are Dronacharya and Bhishma fighting for the Kauravas, if they are vices?”

The Old man nodded, sadder for the question.

“It just means that as you grow up your perception of your elders change. The elders who you thought were perfect in your growing up years are not all that perfect. They have faults. And one day you will have to decide if they are for your good or your bad.

Then you may also realize that you may have to fight them for the good. It is the hardest part of growing up and that is why the Geeta is important.”

Sanjay slumped down on the ground, not because he was tired but because he could understand and was struck by the enormity of it all.

“What about Karna?” he whispered.

“Ah!” said the Old man. “You have saved the best for last. Karna is the brother to your senses, he is desire, he is a part of you but stands with the vices. He feels wronged and makes excuses for being with the vices as your desire does all the time.

Does your desire not give you excuses to embrace vices?”

Sanjay nodded silently. He looked at the ground, consumed with a million thoughts, trying to put everything together and then when he looked up the Old man was gone.

He seemed to have disappeared in the column of dust. Leaving behind the great philosophy of Life.

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Truth is the tool to enlightenment and moksha

Like it or not like it, you can take it as bad news or good news or whatever, but we are here. The way ahead is a long one and the only thing in your control is to seek the truth and practice the path which leads to moksh.

Now the good news, In this journey There is no saviour bigger than the voice which rises from the soul. To access this voice we must remove the noises which are suppressing this and for removing the noises around it the practice of yoga is the best tool.

Even better news, within this one codified way of living, there are several mini paths which you can chose based on your liking, but be rest assured they will surely lead you to moksh. As the Sanskrit saying goes “Ekam Sat Vipra Bahudha Vadanti” which means: “That which exists is ONE sages call it by various names.”

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