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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.

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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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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…

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Desire is the biggest enemy of yoga

Once there was a young yogi who lived by the river. There he spent most of his time practicing yoga and meditating. His life was simple and worry free. For not having other responsibilities, the yogi could spend long time sitting, contemplating with closed eyes the beautiful transcendental form of the Lord that is in our hearts. This was his daily routine and meditation.

One day, while on the banks of the river, the yogi washed his only clothing and only possession, the rag he used to cover his intimate parts. In India when it was so hot, little more was necessary. Even so while the yogi washed and dried the rag, I had to be naked and wait for it to dry. One day while waiting for his rag to dry he thought:
′′ If I had another rag I wouldn’t waste my time waiting for this rag to be dry I could get dressed right after my bath.”

Just at that moment a wise man was passing through there. A wise man with power to read the thought. He stood and headed to the yogi and said:
′′Dear son, I know what you have in mind. You want to buy time. But listen to me when I tell you that better than acquiring more possessions is better to settle for what one has. It’s better this way.”

Then the wise man offered the young man his blessings and went on his way.

The young yogi meditated deeply on what that wise man had said to him but in the end he thought that with one more rag, nothing would happen, it wasn’t too much to wish. So he went to the market and bought a dress rag.

The next day he bathed in the river as usual, did his clothes and lay it on a rock to dry. Then she dressed her new clothes and went to meditate. Later, the yogi went back to the rock to pick up his dry rag.

As he picked it up from the rock, the yogi realized that the rag was full of little holes, bites from a hungry mouse. Yogi was upset but thought:′′ I know, I’ll buy a cat to chase mice away while my clothes dry.” And so the young yogi went back to the market to buy a cat.

The next day the yogi spent the day happily meditating until the night fell. At this time the cat started meowing, bothering the yogi:′′ Oh, the cat wants milk, ′′ sighed the yogi.

So this time he went to the market and came back with a cow. Everything was going quietly until night fell again and the cow started mugging: ′′ I’m not going to milk the cow every day!”, he thought. ′′ It takes forever.”

So he went back to town and there he asked a young girl to be his wife. She could milk the cow and give it to the cat, who would keep the mouse away from the young yogi’s rag. And so the yogi was happy for a while.

Then the babies came… Until one day his wife said to him:′′ We need a house.” So the yogi built a house.
While time went by, yogi was meditating less and less and more and more. He was constantly busy taking care of his home, his growing family, and his animals. Sometimes when he had a moment of peace, he used to remember those times when he had no worries and his only possession was just a rag.

Then one day, remembering those times of peace, again the old sadhu passing by showed up. The sadhu smiled and said:
′′ I see you’re thoughtful, so I’ll tell you once again that it’s better to be content with what one has Because when it comes to wanting or wanting things, there is no end.”

With acceptance and detachment nothing you lose because you want nothing.

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Alexander meets the Yogi – A tale of whose greater

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Alexander was a brilliant warrior and military genius. He had a bright and subtle mind. His tutor was the great Greek philosopher Aristotle, whose thoughts and writings have had a huge influence on western thoughts concerning ethics, beauty, and politics.

Alexander created a huge army and invaded Persia, of which he conquered along with Egypt, Phoenicia, Palestine, Babylonia, Assyria, and Asia Minor. Alexander now commanded a vast empire but was not satisfied so went on to invade India. When he was making his way through India he came to the Indus Valley.  Whilst there, he encountered a small group of yogi’s who were sitting in meditation on the banks of the river.

EPISODE 1
Alexander’s party of soldiers was trying to get through but the meditating yogis were blocking their way and were refusing to move.  One of Alexander’s Lieutenants started shouting at one of the yogi’s, “This man has conquered the world! What have you accomplished?”  The yogi looked up calmly and replied, “I have conquered the desire to conquer the world” and upon hearing these words Alexander laughed; he admired the wisdom of the yogi. 

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EPISODE 2
Plutarch further speaks of the wit and character of Indian Yogis in these terms:

“Alexander summoned ten of the wise men of the country, which men do all go naked, and are called philosophers of India. They had made the tribe of Sabbas to rebel and fight against Alexander and had thereby greatly hurt him. These philosophers were taken to be the sharpest and readiest of answer Alexander put them, as he thought many hard questions. He told them that he would put the first man to death that answer his question worst and likewise all others in this order. He made the eldest among them the judge of their answers.

“The question that he asked the first man was:

“Whether the dead or the living, were the greater number”. He answered, “the living…’For, the dead are no more man.’”

  ‘He asked the second man, “Whether the earth or the sea brought forth most creatures”.

  ‘The man answered, “The earth ‘for the sea is but a part of the earth.”

  ‘To the third man he asked, “Which of all beasts was the subtlest”.

   ‘The answered given was, “That which man hitherto never knew”.

  ‘To the fourth, question put was, “why did you make king of Sabbas rebel against him (Alexander)?”

  ‘The answered received was, “Because he should live honorably, or die vilely”.

  ‘To the fifth he asked, “Which you thought was the first- the day or the night?”

  ‘The answer given was, “the day, by a day”.

  ‘Alexander finding this strange answer said, “Strange questions must of necessity receive strange answers.”

 ‘Coming to the sixth he asked, “How a man should come to be beloved?”

  ‘He got this answer, “If he be a good man and not terrible”.

  ‘To the seventh he put the question, “how a man should be a god?”

  “In doing a thing that is impossible for a man”, was the received answer.

  “Which was stronger, life or death?” was the question put by him to the eighth.

  ‘And he received this answer, “life that suffers so many troubles.”

  ‘To the last ninth Yogi, he put this question, “How long a man should live?”

  ‘The answer was, “until the man thinks it better to die, than to live.”

  ‘After hearing these answers, Alexander turned to the tenth yogi and asked him to give his judgment upon them.

  ‘The judge said, “They had all answered one worse than another.”

  ‘Thereupon, Alexander said, “then you shall be made to die first, because you have given such a judgment.”

  ‘He replied promptly to Alexander, “It cannot be so, 0 king, unless you be a liar, because you said that you would kill him first, that answered the worst.”

  ‘Alexander gave them rewards and allowed them to go.”


EPISODE 3
“When Alexander the Great was busy conquering the world far and wide, he came at last to India.

When he was about to return to his country, he remembered that his
people had asked him to bring to them an Indian yogi. They had heard
a lot about yogis and were very desirous of seeing one, meeting him,
hearing him speak and receiving his blessings. Alexander was told
that the yogis dwelt in the forest.

In quest of a yogi he went to a forest. Sure enough, he found one
sitting underneath a tree, in deep meditation. He waited patiently
until the yogi opened his eyes. They shone with a strange, mystic
light.

Reverently, Alexander requested the yogi to accompany him to Greece,
saying.

“I will give you everything you need or ask for. But, pray, do come
with me. My people would love to meet you!”

The yogi quietly answered, “I need nothing, I am happy where I am.”

This was the first time that anyone had turned down Alexander’s
request. He could not control himself. He flew into a rage.

And unsheathing his sword, he thundered, “Do you know who is
speaking to you? I am the great king Alexander. If you will not listen to me. I shall
kill you- cut you into pieces!”

Unperturbed, the yogi answered. “You cannot kill me. You can only
kill my body. And the body is but a garment I have worn. I am not
the body. I am that which dwells within the body.”

The yogi continued, “You say you are a king. May I tell you, who you
are? You are a slave of my slave!”

Stunned. Alexander asked. “How am I a slave of your slave?”

In a voice tender with compassion, the yogi explained. “I have
mastered anger. Anger is my slave. See, how easily you gave way to anger. You are a slave of anger, and, therefore, a slave of my slave!”

alexander the great and yogi www.sivaom.com
EPISODE 4 (even though technically this is episode 3, I switched the order, wanted to save the best for the last)
Aristotle the teacher and guide of Alexander had told him that, in India lived great mystical, intellectual, and spiritual super beings called Yogis. He told Alexander if he ever got the opportunity, to go and meet a Yogi SPECIFICALLY DANDAMIS, and if possible to even bring one back to Greece for Aristotle to meet.

Upon inquiry, whilst in India, Alexander learned about the great and wise Sanyasi, Yogi Dandamis, of Taxila who dwelled deep in a forest.

Alexander sent numerous summons to Dandamis, which he promptly ignored. Alexander who could strike fear in the hearts and minds of great armies and kings was intrigued. He became desperate to meet this being who assigned no importance to Alexander.

Alexander next sent messengers with lavish gifts and an invitation to Dandamis for discourse and discussion on philosophy. Dandamis politely declined both the gifts and the invitation.

Though angry Alexander, a pupil of the great philosopher and teacher Aristotle, knew very well that, great beings could rarely be lured or coerced.

Finally, Alexander sent a messenger, his helmsman, Onesicritus a disciple of the Hellenic school of Diogenes to invite Dandamis. When Onesicritus met Dandamis, he lavished praise and gifts on him. When Dandamis declined his invitation and gifts, Onesicritus threatened Dandamis. He said that Alexander had ordered the beheading of Dandamis should the orders of the emperor be disobeyed.

Dandamis remained unperturbed, stating, he had no fear of death. Onesicritus couldn’t muster the courage to kill Dandamis, and, instead, paid his respects to Dandamis and went back to report the incident to Alexander.

Livid at being rejected by a naked forest-dweller, Alexander decided to go to Dandamis himself. With his Marshal and a large entourage, Alexander made his way deep into the forest. Even though he experienced the powerful aura of Dandamis, Alexander grew furious when the sage did not get up to welcome him.

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Dandamis Yogi ji

“How dared you refuse my gifts?” Alexander demanded.
“They were smeared in blood,” replied Dandamis.

The chilling truth, and fearless conviction in Dandamis’s voice, rattled Alexander. Alexander could not let his men overhear the embarrassing exchange, so he ordered them to move some distance away.

Then, when he was alone with Dandamis, Alexander dismounted from his horse, walked towards the sitting sage, and menacingly stood over him.

“Do you know who I am?” Alexander roared.
“I don’t think even you know, who you are,” replied Dandamis.

Alexander felt deeply insulted. He drew his sword and swung it at Dandamis, stopping just before it struck Dandamis’s neck.

“I am Alexander, the world conqueror,” he shouted.
“You are sitting on my land. Submit or I’ll kill you … ”

“Your land?” Dandamis chuckled as he cut him off. “The land belongs to no one, O King!”

“Before you, there were others who claimed it as theirs,” he continued. “After you, there’ll be others who will say it’s theirs.

All creation belongs to the Creator alone, Alexander. And no one has any right to destroy what they haven’t created. You have blood on your hands, O Emperor! You may have a temporary claim on the land, but you have permanent scars on your soul.”

Clearing his throat, a flustered and uncomfortable Alexander lowered his sword and adjusted his posture.

“The whole world is mine, Dandamis,” Alexander exclaimed. “History will remember me as the mightiest king! My men will die for me!”

“What good is your ambition or their remembrance, O King? You drown yourself in alcohol every evening so you may forget about your crimes and sins. These men who surround you, they are tired of you. You will see it, they’ll give up on you one day, in fact very soon.”

“Besides,” Dandamis continued, “what will you do with the world? All you need is two yards. Two yards long and two yards deep. Ultimately that’s all that will belong to you.”

Alexander sheathed his sword and sat at the feet of Dandamis for a long while. After a rather long discourse, a humbled Alexander bowed his head before Dandamis and left.