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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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Understanding god through the concept of time!

If you want to understand the concept of god, then you must understand the concept of time, for the best manifestation of god can be seen in the form of time. It is always present in everything, driving nature and everything within it. Time creates and times destroys and in the end only time remains when everything else vanished…

Perhaps that’s is the reason the ancients gave the names to Shiv as Mahakal and shakti as Mahakali, meaning the great god and goddess of time. Hence we call them beyond and ourself as limited, even if you are not religious or spiritual, learn to respect time, for in the end only time is ever victorious and ever deciding the fate of the journey of the soul…

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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.

third eye chakra shiv shakti www.sivaom.com

Chakra – the seat of the Shiv and shakti

Shiva resides in the Sahasrāra Chakra and Shakti in the Mūlādhāra Chakra. When Prakriti and Purusha unite in the Sahasrāra Chakra, knowledge, knower and the object of knowledge become one. Once we have experienced this no desires remain within us because we realise unequivocally that everything we have ever yearned for is carried within us. In this state of absolute consciousness there are no polarities and therefore no more sorrows; there is only everlasting joy, unconditional love, unlimited compassion and total understanding for all living beings.

For as long as consciousness is connected to the physical body it is unable to remain constantly in the Sahasrāra Chakra and so returns to the residence of the Ātmā in the Heart Centre (Anāhata Chakra). A realised person always thinks, feels and acts from the heart. Embedded in eternal love and eternal happiness, that person is always conscious of the immortal Ātmā, the ocean of bliss, and their consciousness is forever connected to the divine consciousness.

Shakti is the motherly love of God that surrounds us with warmth, caring and protection.
Shiva is the paternal love of God that gives us consciousness, clarity and knowledge.

I wish for you the blessing of the Divine Mother who lives within you as energy and vitality, and the blessing of the Divine Father who resides within you as consciousness and knowledge. May they always take care of you, protect you and guide you, and in their infinite love lead you to the cosmic consciousness.

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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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The path of goddess shakti

According to the Vedic view, reality, which is unitary at the transcendental level, is projected into experience that is characterised by duality and paradox. We thus have duality associated with body and consciousness, being and becoming, greed and altruism, fate and freedom.

The gods bridge such duality in the field of imagination and also collectively in society (Kak, 2002): Vishnu is the deity of moral law, whereas Shiva is Universal Consciousness. Conversely, the projection into processes of time and change is through the agency of the Goddess. Consciousness (Purusa) and nature (Prakrti) are opposite sides of the same coin.

The mystery of reality may be seen through the perspectives of language (because at its deepest level it embodies structures of consciousness) and logic (Nyaya), physical categories (Vaisesika), creation at the personal or the psychological level (Sankhya), synthesis of experience ( Yoga), analysis of tradition (Mimamsa), and cosmology (Vedanta). These are the six darshanas of Indian philosophy.

More particularly, sages have argued that the yogic journey into the deepest point of our being, a practice that is popularly called ‘Tantra’, is the quickest way to understanding.

As our ordinary conception of who we are is determined by name and form (Namarupa), this journey requires challenging our most basic beliefs related to our personal and social selves. One needs to travel to the deepest layers of our being wherein spring our desires, some of which are primal and others that are shaped by culture and experience. Since name and form belong to the realm of time and change, this path is that of the Goddess.

The path of the Goddess is quick, but it is filled with danger since it involves deconstructing one’s self and then arriving at a new synthesis. This path has been popular with warriors, intellectuals and aesthetes and its practitioners include India’s greatest philosophers.

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Is it yog or yoga, and it is shiv or shiva ?!

If you go to India or talk to a native Hindu, none of them say yoga, they call it yog, they don’t say shloka but a shlok, they neither call the almighty god shiv but shiv, so then words like yoga – shloka – karma – shiva – Hatha – sutra – Ayurveda – nirvana – dharma – Why do Hindi or Sanskrit words get an extra ‘a’ when translated to English?

It’s because most Westerners know these names through Sanskrit, which usually pronounces the final – a or ah sound at the end. Hindi (in addition to numerous other modern Indian languages descended from Sanskrit) underwent a process in which unstressed short -a- was dropped, particularly when it wouldn’t create too awkward a consonant cluster.

Every word has meaning. In India, we have the tradition of consulting astrology and numerology during a formal ceremony to name a child. It is believed that the child will imbibe the same qualities he is named after. As soon as a word is uttered, it is believed to manifest with a full meaning. The word ‘yog’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘yuj’, meaning ‘to join’ or ‘to unite’; joining means to connect with one’s true nature or in the sense of practicing, to unite with god. 

Our mind mostly associates with worldly delusions, but yog teaches us to connect with God. It helps the mind to associate with the Self. As soon as we become involved with the soul, we gain wisdom. The word yog is synonymous with liberation. The word is completely in sync with Indic philosophy and culture. If Indian culture is a flower, then yog is its fragrance. Yog teaches us to live a healthy, joyful and loving life.

Yog improves the functioning of the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, and hormonal systems. It also brings about emotional stability and clarity of thought. Unfortunately, many people in India and the West — though they understand the health benefits of yoga asanas — have failed to understand the spiritual dimensions of yog. They think that yog means only a set of asanas, and therefore, call it yoga. For them, both words mean the same.

Yog includes physical, psychological, and spiritual practices. Yoga is part of yog. It’s like saying ‘Ram’instead of ‘Rama’; or ‘Krishn’ instead of ‘Krishna’. To bring out the essence, one has to use the correct word. Most people don’t see beyond the human body so they do asanas just to tone up their body and make it flexible. Therefore, they make little headway in absorbing the spiritual benefits of yog. Focus on the subtler aspects of yog and see how this Indic spiritual philosophy changes your vision.

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The Guru Of All Mantras – Om Namah Shivay

Om Namah Shivay           ॐ नमः शिवाय

Its translation is “salutations (namas) to Shiv”, preceded by the mystical syllable “Om”. The syllable “ya” at the end of the mantra denotes an offering. Thus the mantra Om Namah Shivay actually means “I offer to Shiv a respectful invocation of His Name”, and not merely “I respectfully invoke His Name”. Om Namah Shivay mantra is sung by devotees in prayers and recited by yogis in meditation. It is associated with qualities of prayer, divine-love, grace, truth, and blissfulness. Om Namah Shivay is a mantra found in the Yajur Veda hymn – Sri Rudram and is regarded as a Maha Mantra from the first chant, that is it does not need to be chanted 1,080,000 times for it to come alive unlike other mantras.

Traditionally, it is accepted to be a powerful healing mantra beneficial for all physical and mental ailments. Soulful recitation of this mantra brings peace to the heart and joy to the [Ātman] or Soul. Sages consider that the recitation of these syllables is sound therapy for the body and nectar for the soul [Ātman]. The nature of the mantra is the calling upon the higher self; it is the calling upon Shiv, the destroyer deity, to aid in the death (destruction of ego) and rebirth achieved during meditation. This goes generally for mantras and chants to different gods, which are different aspects of the higher self.

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Shiva – The Source of the universe

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All the water fallen from the sky goes to the sea, similarly salutations to all the gods reaches to the one god, Bhagwan Shiv ji or Mahadev (the god to whom other gods pray to)”. Yes, Offerings made to any God actually Goes to Bhagwan Shiv ji. Due to the differences in individual dispositions, people follow different paths, but he is the only destination of all of them, just as the sea is the destination of all the waters! From Mahabharata we learn that Arjuna used to worship Vasudeva every night with offerings. When he and Bhagwan Krishna went to Kailash, the abode of Bhagwan Shiv ji, Arjuna found that whatever offerings he had made to Krishna, everything was found offered at the feet of Bhagwan Shiv ji. Just As pouring of water at the root of a tree nourishes all the branches, by pleasing Rudra, through Sri Rudram japa, all devatas are pleased.


One attains enjoyments of life and freedom from the bondage of births-deaths cycle, by chanting “OM NAMAH SHIVAY” with devotion. Among all sources of knowledge the Vedas are supreme. In the Vedas, Sri Rudram is supreme. In the Rudram, the Panchakshri mantra Om Namah Shivaya, is supreme and in Panchakshri mantra itself, the two syllables ‘Shiva’ is supreme! Worshiping Bhagwan Shiv ji, watering the roots, is identical to worshiping all gods combined together, like watering the branches, leaves, stem. And the other way round it is stated that when one worships Sri Krishna, who is Lord Vishnu in reality, the worship goes to Bhagwan Shiv ji .

ॐ नमः शिवाय
ॐ विष्णवे नमः 
ॐ नमः भगवते वासुदेवाय