Thursday, January 31, 2008


Mystic, philosopher, poet, sage, Muhammad Ibn 'Arabi is one of the world's great spiritual teachers. Ibn 'Arabi was born in Murcia, Al-Andalus, in 1165 and his writings had an immense impact throughout the Islamic world and beyond. The universal ideas underlying his thought are of immediate relevance today.

It is He who is revealed in every face, sought in every sign, gazed upon by every eye, worshipped in every object of worship, and pursued in the unseen and the visible. Not a single one of His creatures can fail to find Him in its primordial and original nature.

If men knew themselves, they would know God; and if they really knew God, they would be satisfied with Him and would think of Him alone.

O dear one, listen! I am the reality of the world, the center of the circle. I am the parts and the whole. I am the will holding Heaven and Earth in place. I have given you sight only so you may see me.0 dear one! I call again and again but you do not hear me, I appear again and again but you do not see me, I fill myself with fragrance, again and again, but you do not smell me. I become savory food yet you do not taste me. Why can't you reach me through your touch Or breathe me in through your sweet perfumes?Love me, Love yourself in me. No one is deeper within you than I. Others may love you for their own sake, But I love you for yourself.Dear one! This bargain is not fair. If you take one step toward me, It is only because I have taken a hundred toward you. I am closer to you than yourself. Closer than your soul, than your own breath. Why do you not see me? Why do you not hear me? I am so jealous. I want you to see me-and no one else. To hear me-and no one else, not even yourselfDear one! Come with me. Let us go to Paradise together. And if we find any road that leads to separation, We will destroy that road. Let us go hand in hand In the presence of Love. Let it be our witness, Let it forever seal this wondrous union of ours.

When the mystery of the oneness of the soul and the Divine is revealed to you, you will understand that you are no other than God. ... Then you will see all your actions to be His actions and all your attributes to be His attributes and your essence to be His essence.... Thus, instead of [your own] essence, there is the essence of God and in place of [your own] attributes, there are the attributes of God. He who knows himself sees his whole existence to be the Divine existence, but does not experience that any change has taken place in his own nature or qualities. For when you know yourself, your sense of a limited identity vanishes, and you know that you and God are one and the same.

As for the theorists and thinkers, and the scholastic theologians, with their talk about the soul and its properties, none of them have grasped the Reality; such speculation can never grasp it. He who seeks to know the Reality through theoretical speculation is flogging a dead horse; ... for he who seeks to know It by any means other than the one proper to It, will never grasp It.

In one sense the Reality is creatures; in another sense, It is not. ... Whether you assert that It is undivided or divided, the Self is alone. The manifold [universe] exists and yet it does not exist.

When my Beloved appears, With what eye do I see Him? With His eye, not with mine, For none sees Him except Himself.

Know Him as both particularized and unparticularized, and be established in Truth. Be in a state of unity if you wish, or be in a state of separation if you wish; if the Totality reveals Itself to you, you will attain the crown of victory.

It is none other than He who progresses or journeys as you. There is nothing to be known but He; and since He is Being itself, He is therefore also the journeyer. There is no knower but He; so who are you? Know your true Reality. He is the essential self of all. But He conceals it by [the appearance of] otherness, which is "you." If you hold to multiplicity, you are with the world; and if you hold to the Unity, you are with the Truth .... Our names are but names for God; at the same time our individual selves are His shadow. He is at once our identity and not our identity ... Consider!

All that is left
to us by tradition
is mere words.

It is up to us
To find out what they mean.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Meister Eckhart

Dominican preacher, theologian and mystic, born about 1260 at Hochheim, near Gotha; died in 1327 at Cologne. He made his philosophical and theological studies in the Dominican Order. Although a profound mystic he was also an able man of affairs, admirably manifesting the spirit of his order by uniting throughout his career great activity with contemplation.

"For if things are to go well with a man, one of two things must always happen to him. Either he must find and learn to possess God in works, or he must abandon all works. But since a man cannot in this life be without works, which are proper to humans and are of so many kinds, therefore he must learn to possess his God in all things and to remain unimpeded, whatever he may be doing, wherever he may be. And therefore if a man who is beginning must do something with other people, he ought first to make a powerful petition to God for His help, and put Him immovably in his heart, and unite all his intentions, thoughts, will and power to God, so that nothing else than God can take shape in that man."

"A man cannot learn this by running away, by shunning things and shutting himself up in an external solitude; but he must practice a solitude of the spirit, wherever or with whomever he is. He must learn to break through things and to grasp his God in them and to form Him in himself powerfully in an essential manner. This is like someone who wants to learn to write. If he is to acquire the art, he must certainly practice it hard and long, however disagreeable and difficult this may be for him and however impossible it may seem. If he will practice it industriously and assiduously, he learns it and masters the art."

"On what does this true possession of God depend, so that we may truly have Him? This true possession of God depends on ... an inward directing of the reason and intention toward God, not on a constant contemplation in an unchanging manner, for it would be impossible to nature to preserve such an intention, and very laborious, and not the best thing either."

"In the same way, no one can hinder this man, for he intends and seeks and takes delight in nothing but God, for God has become one with the man in all his intention. And so, just as no multiplicity can disturb God, nothing can disturb or fragment this man, for he is one in that One where all multiplicity is one and is one multiplicity."

"In that breaking-through, when I come to be free of my own will and of God's will and of all His works and of God Himself, then I am above all created things, and I am neither God nor creature, but I am what I was and what I shall remain, now and eternally. ... When I stood in my first cause, I 'then had no 'God,' and then I was my own cause. I wanted nothing, I longed for nothing, for I was empty Being and the only truth in which I rejoiced was in the knowledge of my Self. Then it was my Self I wanted and nothing else. What I wanted I was, and what I was I wanted and so I stood empty of God and every thing."

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Shakti Peethas - 1

The primary sacred places of the goddess are the Shakti Pithas and they are variously described in different texts as being 18, 51, 52 or 108 in number, each of these sites being associated with a particular part of Shakti's body. This list of Ashtadasa Shakti peethas is collected from a Shloka written by Adi Shankaracharya.

Lankayam Shankari devi, Kamakshi Kanchika pure /
Pradyumne Shrinkhala devi, Chamunda Krouncha pattane //

Alampure Jogulamba, Sri shaile Bhramarambika /
Kolha pure Maha lakshmi, Mahurye Ekaveerika //

Ujjainyam Maha kali, Peethikayam Puruhutika /
Odhyane Girija devi, Manikya Daksha vatike //

Hari kshetre Kama rupi, Prayage Madhaveshwari /
Jwalayam Vishnavi devi, Gaya Mangalya gourika //

Varanasyam Vishalakshi, Kashmire tu Saraswati
Ashtadasha Shakti peethani, Yoginamapi durlabham //

Sayamkale pathennityam, Sarva shatri vinashanam /
Sarva roga haram divyam, Sarva sampatkaram shubham //

One of this, Srisailam, is known as Siddhi kshetra.
Kedarasthodakam peetwa, Varanasyam mritastatha /
Srisaila sikharam drishtwa, Punarjanma na vidyate /

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tattvas, Body and Nature

Article "Tattvas, The Elements and Nature's Healing" by Shambhavi Lorain Chopra.

Om Shri Dhanvantaraye Namaha!
Salutations to the celestial healer!

The entire world is made up of the five great Tattvas or elements of Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. A sixth factor is Mahat Tattva or cosmic intelligence, though less talked about, changes the inner dynamics of these elements through God Consciousness, bringing about healing at an inner core. Everything in the manifest universe, including we human beings, is a configuration of these five Elements.
The process of Tantra requires the purification of the five elements in order to help the Kundalini Shakti ascend. The Kundalini can rise only when the elements in our body are purified of their heavier accretions. All sadhana, meditation and Yoga consists of different processes to purify these elements, aiding their flow and transformation.
Since the human body consists of a certain combination of these elements, they can be balanced in Ayurvedic medicine in order to restore our health. Akash, ether or space is the subtlest of the elements. It resembles the quantum mechanical concept of the field from which all matter is created and into which all matter resolves. Akash is the source of all the other elements, and interacts with them through its vibrations. Sound is the quality of ether, representing an entire spectrum of vibration: audible sound, cosmic radiation, X-rays, gamma rays, ultraviolet and visible light. Ether gives one the space in which to manifest and develop.
Fasting creates an inner space, a vacancy for the body to recuperate and repair, rest and heal itself. Ayurveda has classified certain vaigs, movements or nature calls including sleep, sneezing, coughing, tears and perspiration to help us work with this space, emphasizing never interfering with our natural impulses. Space has various forms of manifestation, not just in the physical universe, but also the space of the mind moving to higher levels, and the supreme space of pure consciousness beyond every relative manifestation.
All space has its own energy. Space is the matrix of Shakti. The Goddess Bhuvaneshvari, the infinite Mother in her manifestation as the cosmic womb, is also the element of space, dwelling in the microcosmic space within the heart. Space creates healing. Through accepting the failures of my emotional experiences, and the emptiness they created, I came to understand the true power of love. Love creates a supporting space, giving the loved one a freedom reaching far beyond the shackles of selfish desire. This beautiful space is one that nurtures and manifests as divine love.
The Agni or fire element in Tantra is the origin and end of all phenomena. The sacred fire has influenced spiritual rituals and traditions since the most ancient times. Fire is both worldly and transcendental. The Tantric texts explain the existence of both an `inner' fire and an "outer" fire. The inner fire is the vital principle focused at the navel center, which when stimulated by deep breathing blazes upward in the body consuming the impurities of both mind and body. In Ayurveda, the fire in the navel is called Jatharagni, the gastric fire that helps digest food and allows for the assimilation of life sustaining nutrients. Fire gives one clarity and sharpness of perception. One of the simplest ways to enhance the fire element in the body is to sunbathe for fifteen to thirty minutes a day; but only in the rays of the early morning rising Sun or late afternoon setting
Sun, when the sunrays fall on the body at an angle, and never vertically.
A half hour brisk daily walk has a salutary effect on the body. After a meal one should also take a leisurely stroll. Never bathe after a meal; it literally is like pouring water over a fire. As an early morning ritual, after offering water to the Sun God, I would gently drink three glasses of water, concentrating on the flow moving through my being.
Jal tattva, the water element nourishes and sustains the spirit as well as the physical body. We must allow its flow into the psyche. The flow of water carries with it the Shakti energies and power of life. Ganga is pure Shakti; her energies can heal one's being and psyche. Shakti can not only be found in the freedom of space but also in the free flow of water. Water nourishes the rasa in our being, rejuvenating our inner essence as well as creating an outer glow. Rainwater is purifying and therapeutic in its effect. Bathing in rainwater washes away the body's negativities, bringing about a sensual flow through the being. In our society, we must encourage natural systems of rainwater harvesting, more so in rural areas, to gain all of its benefits.
The worship of the air element can be done through the control of Prana, the life force as in the practice of Pranayama. One should do this with a certain amount of caution. Many instructors today misguide the layman. One needs to be physically and mentally fit to safely practice pranayama in today's world. Our nervous system should be not be overly stressed by the practice. Because we live in a heavily polluted environment, where the water and air is unclean, and noise, radiation, and stress surround us, our nervous system is weakened considerably. Pranayama done wrongly or too forcefully can disturb us further. Pranayama must be deeply understood by the teacher and by the student, considering the right environmental influences for it to really work.
Without anubhava, personal experience, one will sink into a quagmire of preachings and teachings. Accept guidance as prasada from the Lord, through the teacher as His instrument and experience the practice for yourself with a clear understanding. Realize that I am responsible for my own growth and must experience every reality for myself in order to reach the divine consciousness.


Nanak (1469-1539)

Guru Nanak Dev, was the founder of Sikhism, and the first of the eleven Sikh Gurus.
Beside followers of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev is revered by Hindus and Muslim Sufis. His primary message to society was recorded to be "devotion of thought and excellence of conduct as the first of duties". It goes without saying that,for the people of India, Guru Nanak occupies a place of pride not only in the history of Punjab or India but also of the whole world.For the Sikhs and Hindus, he was a Prophet who gave to the world the gospel of love, goodwill and reconciliation.
The teachings of Nanak included faith in one true God , worship and recitel of his name and the necessity of Guru in pursuing the path to God. God, according to him , is immanent and transcendent.Nobody knows the limits of God. God alone knows how great he is. Nanak compares God to the beloved and says God is in the heart of every individual. Nanak had belief in a personal and merciful god. Nanak denounced the worship of idols .He put emphasis on the worship of true name. Nanak endeavored to remove the cloud of ignorance and superstitions from the minds of people.
Nanak put great emphasis on the worship of True Name.Repetition of the True Name Satnam Vāhigurū was to be done with greatest devotion.To quote Nanak

The name is the God, the God of all Gods. Some propitiate durga, some shiv, some ganesh and some other Gods but the Guru's Sikhs worship the True Name and thus remove all obstacles to salvation.

Religion consisteth not in mere words;
He who looketh on all men as equal is religious,
Religion consisteth not in wandering to tombs or places of cremation, or sitting in attitudes
of contemplation.
Religion consisteth not in wandering in foreign countries, or in being in places of
Abide pure amidst the impurities of the world ;
Thus shall thou find the way to religion.

Hadst thou the eighteen Puranas with thee,
Couldst thou recite the four Vedas.
Didst thou bathe on holy days and give alms according to man's castes
Didst thou fast and perform religious ceremonies day and night,
Was thou a Qazi, a Mulla, or a Sheikh,
A jogi, a Jangam didst thou wear an ochre-coloured dress,
Or did thou perform the duties of a household--
Without knowing God, Death would bind and take all away.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


According to Some Puranas, he was born out of the right side of Vishnu resembling Siva exactly and given as a son to the sage Salankayana. Some purnas mention him as the son of the sage Silada who got him by the grace of Shiva.

It was Nandi who cursed Ravana (the demon King of Lanka) that his kingdom would be burnt by a monkey (Vanara). And later Hanuman burnt Lanka when he went in search of Sita, who was kept prisoner by Ravana in Ashok Vatika.

When the positive forces, the devas, and the negative forces, the asuras, joined together on a rare occasion to churn the ocean with a mountain to obtain the nectar of immortality they utilized Vasuki, the serpent, as the rope. The devas pulled from one end and the asuras from the other. Vasuki was upset during the process of this churning, and vomited up a poison which became human karma. This "poison" was so dangerous that none of the devas or asuras wanted to go near it. It was extremely sticky and coming into contact with this poison, i.e, human karma, would drag the divinity down to the realms of human suffering and ego. As everyone else ran away, Lord Siva, followed by Nandi, came forward to help as he was the only one who could counteract this deadly poison. Shiva took the poison into his hand and drank it. Nandi saw some of the poison spill out of Siva's mouth and immediately drank if off the ground. The devas and asuras watching were shocked and wondered aloud what would happen to Nandi. Lord Siva calmed their fears saying, "Nandi has surrendered into me so completely that he has all my powers and my protection".

From Wikipedia - Nandi in Hinduism:
1. A primary god: This can be traced back to Indus Valley Civilization, where dairy farming was the most important occupations, thus explaining the appearance of various artifacts indicating a deity much like Shiva. This deity also called as Pasupati is believed to have been worshipped as the keeper of herds. Some purans describe Nandi or Nandikeshvara as bull faced human body and that resembles Siva, but with four hands, two hands holding the Parasu (the axe) and Mruga (the antelope) and the other two hands joined together in the Anjali(obeisance).
2. Carrier of Shiva: It seems he was later converted into the present day Siva, with the bull Nandi as his primary vehicle. The Idol of Siva will be placed on an Idol of Nandi during festival processions.
3. Gate keeper of Siva's place: The close association of Shiva and Nandi explains the presence of a statue of Nandi at the gate of many temples dedicated to Siva. It also explains why the word "nandi" in the Tamil language is used as a metaphor for a person blocking the way. In Sanskrit, a bull is called "vrisha", which has another connotation - that of righteousness or Dharma. It is important to seek the blessings of Nandi before proceeding to worship Lord Siva.

Nandikeshwara, more commonly known as Nandi, the bull, is barely known for being more than just a Vahana। Found at the entrance of every shrine to Lord Shiva, He is seated there always in Dhyana, in silence and in constant meditation. An example of complete devotion, of beauty in selflessness, of peace and the destruction of the ego, of the self, of "I". Oh Nandi, I wish to be as lucky as you some day. To stare at the Lord forever, in complete dhyanam, complete conciousness.

Om Mahaakaalyam Mahaaveeryam
Shiva Vahanam Outatmama
Ganaanamtwa Pratham Vande
Nandishwaram Mahabalam

ॐ नमः शिवाय!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


The five faces of Shiva, also known as the pancha-brahmatmaka represent both the trinity (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva), as well as the three fold progression of Shiva himself (Rudra, Ishwara, Sadashiva).
The Pancha-Brahma mantras exalt Shiva through His five forms (faces) – Sadyojata, Vamadeva, Aghora, Tatpurusa and Isana. The five faces or forms of Shiva represent the five functions or acts (panchakrityas) – creation, sustenance, dissolution, concealing grace and revealing grace, respectively. The five forms or faces of Shiva also correspond to the five syllables in the holy pentasyllabic mantra – na-mah-shi-vā-ya.

Pancha Brahma Upanishad
Om ! May He protect us both together; may He nourish us both together;
May we work conjointly with great energy,
May our study be vigorous and effective;
May we not mutually dispute (or may we not hate any).
Om ! Let there be Peace in me !
Let there be Peace in my environment !
Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me !

Sage Pippalada asked Lord Ishwara, “Oh, God, Which appeared first?” 

For which, the Lord Maheswara replied: The Para Brahma took shape in stages of Sathyojatha, Aghora, Vamadeva, Thathpurusha and Ishana. 1
Sathyojatha is the aspect of earth and is the Sun, Goddess Lakshmi, Brahma, the letter Om, Rig Veda, Garhapathyagni (Household fire), mantras, Saptha Swaras (seven notes) and yellow colour. It gives all that is wished for. 2
Aghora is the aspect of water and is moon, Goddess Parvathy, Yajur Veda, blue colour of the cloud, Dakshinagni (the fire of the south) and fifty letters. It drives away all sins, destroys all that is evil and grants riches. 3
Vamadeva gives great knowledge and destroys all sins. It is the aspect of fire, is lights of crores of suns, Sama Veda, eight type of songs, courageous tone, Ahwaneeyagni, power of knowledge, power to destroy and slightly blackish white colour. It gives full consciousness, rules over all the three worlds, spread over all the three worlds and grants all sort of luck and results for the action performed. 4
Thathpurusha is with eight letters (Aa, Ka, Cha, Ta, Tha, Pa, Ya, Sa) and is in the eight petal lotus and is normally surrounded by air. It has five fires, protects effects of mantras, personification of the fifty consonants, has the form of Atharva Veda, is the chief of several crores of Ganas, has the shape which is extremely big, red coloured, gives whatever is asked for, medicine for worry and diseases and the root of Srishti (creation), Sthithi (upkeep) and Laya(merging). It is the basis of all strengths. It is the Thureeya which is beyond the three common states and is the thing called Brahman. It is worshipped by Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu. It is the philosophy from which all others originate. 5
You should understand that Ishana is the witness for intelligence and is the activator of the brain. It is the aspect of sky and cannot be seen. It is decorated by the sound of “Om”. It has the shape of all devas. It is peaceful. It is beyond peace. It is beyond sound. It is Aa and occupies the headship of vowels. It is the form of Pancha Brahma which is everywhere and activates the five actions of creation, upkeep, destruction, disappearance and blessing. It hides the Pancha Brahmas within itself and exists as itself and shines beyond the Pancha Brahmas by its light. It shines in the beginning, middle and end without any causative reason. All those devas who are all under stupor by the illusion of Maheswara would not understand properly that Mahadeva who is the teacher of the universe, is the cause of all causes. His shape does not appear before the eye. This world is shining because of that Parathpara Purusha in whom the world exists. It merges in him. That Ishana aspect is the Para Brahman which is the upper boundary of peace. The knowledge that the Para Brhaman is oneself and the rise of Sathyo Jatam (birth of truth) is Para Brahman. Whichever is seen or heard is the soul of Para Brahman. 6
The existence in five shapes is called Brahma Karya (activity). After understanding Brahma Karya, Ishana is appreciated. After putting the fact all that is originating from Para Brahman in ones soul, the wise man experiences and understands that “It is me” and becomes Brahman as well as deathless. There is no doubt that the one who understands this Brahman becomes freed (emancipated).7
One should chant the Panchakshara Mantra which is from Na to Ya (Nama Shivaya) and which is of the shape of five letters and is Lord Shiva’s body. After understanding the philosophy of the soul of Pancha Brahma, One should understand that every form is the form of those five. One who studies this knowledge of the soul of the Pancha Brahma would shine himself as Pancha Brahma. This Upanishad tells that Lord Shiva, who grants salvation to one, from this day-to-day life of the world, exists as witness without differentiation in the heart of all beings and is called Hrudayam (That which exists within).8

Om ! May He protect us both together; may He nourish us both together;
May we work conjointly with great energy,
May our study be vigorous and effective;
May we not mutually dispute (or may we not hate any).
Om ! Let there be Peace in me !
Let there be Peace in my environment !
Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me !
Here ends the Pancha-Brahmopanishad belonging to the Krishna-Yajur-Veda.

The Pancha-Brahma mantras

1.Sadyojāta Mantra :
sadyojātaṁ prapadyāmi sadyojātāya vai namo namaḥ
bhave bhave nāti bhave bhavasva māṁ bhavodbhavāya namaḥ
I take refuge in the First Born,
verily I bow to the First Born
Do not consign me to birth after birth;
Guide me beyond birth,
I bow to the Causer of birth.

2. Vāmadeva Mantra :
vāmadevāya namo jyeṣṭhāya namaḥ
śreṣṭhāya namo rudrāya namaḥ
kālāya namaḥ kalavikaraṇāya namo balāya namo
balavikaraṇāya namo balapramathanāya namaḥ
sarvabhūtadamanāya namo manonmanāya namaḥ
I bow to the Noble One, the Eldest; to the Best, to Rudra and to Time,
I bow to the Incomprehensible, to Strength,
To the Causer of various forces, and to the Extender of Strength
I bow to the Subduer of all beings, and to the One who kindles the Light.

3. Aghora Mantra
aghorebhyo'tha ghorebhyo
aghoraghoretarebhyaḥ sarvataḥ śarvaḥ
sarvebhyo namaste rudra rūpebhyaḥ
I bow to those not terrible and those who are terrible,
And to those who are both terrible and not terrible
Everywhere and always, Śarva,
I bow to all Thy Rudra forms.

4. Tatpuruṣa Mantra
tatpuruṣāya vidmahe
mahādevāya dhīmahi
tanno rudraḥ pracodayāt
May we know that Supreme Person
And mediate on that Great God,
May Rudra impel us!

5. Īśāna Mantra
īśāna sarvavidyānāmīśvaraḥ sarvabhūtānāṁ
brahmādipati brahmaṇo'dhipatir
brahmā śivo me astu sa eva sadāśiva om
Ruler of all knowledge, Master of all beings,
Commander of all study and devotion,
That God Auspicious to me,
Be He just so, the Ever-Auspicious Om.