The Route to Enlightenment

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The Route to Enlightenment

Traditional Hindu practices are one very effective path to enlightenment.

Yoga means union (with the Divine.) Raja Yoga, the highest form for seeking enlightenment, is a threefold path: Jnana Yoga (seeking knowledge,) Bhakti Yoga (devotion to the Divine from the heart,) and Seva (service to the guru, service to others in the way Mother Theresa served God by serving others.)

Knowledge/jnana can be sought by reading, going to talks, and also by meditation. Relying on the left brain is not helpful, because rationalizing gets in the way. If you can sit and listen in meditation with your creative right brain you will gain knowledge. Paying attention to your intuition is also very important.

Devotion/bhakti is seeking the Divine through love.  Your devotion to the Divine and feeling the love and goodness of the Divine towards you (and all others.) is the path. If you can seek unity in understanding with your heart that all of creation is made up of the Divine energy, so all of your being is made up of the Divine loving energy, as are all other creatures, plants, etc., then you truly understand the nature of the Divine and our relationship with it.

Seva/service to others is not only good for the others but good for us, because it makes us think not only of ourselves. In the realm of ameliorating our negative karma, the good we do does put out good energy in the world, thus ameliorating the karma. When we serve God by serving others like Mother Theresa, our seva is also a form of Bhakti.

In terms of methodology, pranayama (breathing techniques) is good for both body and mind. Deep breathing helps with physical health. It is clearing and assists with meditation. Chanting mantras works to improve our lives and reduce our karma. Mantra meditation is easier than silent meditation, because concentrating on the mantra and its purpose keeps the mind from wandering.

Satsang (chanting and discussion with other spiritual people) is very helpful on several levels. On the most basic level, hanging out with other spiritual people leads us in the right direction rather than with those who are not spiritual, not interested or even hostile to spiritual pursuits. Chanting with others, whether spoken or in song, enhances the energy of the mantras chanted. Our progress helps others and vice versa through the vibrations of the Sanskrit mantras being chanted.

Enlightenment is a quest for a lifetime or many lifetimes. If we make progress internally, if we have more satisfaction in life, if we have more peace, then the quest is worth the effort.

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How to get the results you want from chanting

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As you may know, chanting mantras reduces karma via the chakras by sound. We should not approach japa/chanting with the impatience of the modern age.

If you have a particular goal, choose the mantra that will assist you, write out your intention and put it on your personal altar, then begin chanting it at least 108 repetitions daily for 40 days. If you skip a day, that is a signal of your inner resistance to change. Start again at day one and complete the 40 days, even if you have to do that several times.

Depending on your level of karma in the area of your intention, you may get what you are chanting for in one 40-day sadhana or have to do it more times.

One of my late husband’s students wanted material success in his business. He decided to do a sadhana/discipline of 125,000 repetitions of Lakshmi’s moola mantra. When he did not get prosperity on completion, he did another 125,000 repetitions. He still did not reach his goal. He knew it was his karma, so he did a third 125,000 repetitions and then reported to Namadeva Acharya (Thomas Ashley-Farrand) that he had so much success that he did not know what to do with it all.

To succeed in chanting mantra for any goal we need to have patience and tenacity.

How To Reduce Our Karma For A Happier Life and Better Future Life

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We acquire karma by our actions, therefore we must perform good actions towards others in every possible way, including service to others, to reduce it. Mother Teresa is a great role model for devoting a whole life to service to the Divine by serving other people. In our own lives, the small actions of loving kindness by smiling at others genuinely, encouraging others, helping strangers in small ways help both us and the strangers. One of those ways more thought related is to pray for others.

It is an odd habit in humanity that so often the people we are meanest to are our family members, whom we purport to love. Loving kindness definitely begins at home.

Karma is like a clump of negative matter in us. The great sages and seers have given us mantras to chant. Mantras work to ameliorate our karma by breaking up those clumps of negative karma within our Chakras 1–6. Each of the 50 sounds in the Sanskrit alphabet, the Matrika, stimulates a coordinating petal on a particular chakra, thus sanding off a minute bit of karma. A lot of chanting = a lot of sanding, so to speak.

Different mantras work differently in their sound vibration pattern to help us. Some, especially Rama mantras, work to heal us in body and mind. Some mantras are liberation mantras, meaning they are so potent that they reduce our negative karma quickly. Mantras for each of the 9 Planets of Jyotish astrology work to reduce our parabdha karma, that which we are born to work out as expressed in our natal chart. Each planet has different parts of the body that it rules, so if there is illness or planetary conflicts in our natal chart and progressed chart, chanting the planetary mantra to alleviate those conditions is very beneficial.

The Gayatri Mantra is the master mantra, the one that contains all the vibrations of the entire universe.

“Of all mantras, the supreme and the most potent power of powers is the great, glorious Gayatri mantra. It is the support of every seeker after Truth who believes in its efficacy, power and glory, be s/he of any caste, creed, clime or sect. Gayatri is an impregnable spiritual armor, a veritable fortress, that guards and protects her votary, that transforms one into the divine and blesses one with the brilliant light of the highest spiritual illumination.” Sadguru Sant Keshavadas writes in his book, Gayatri, The Highest Meditation.

Wesak – Buddha’s Day and Tara

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Wesak is the full moon in Taurus every year, despite some other dates that are used in May by various countries.  This year, it is May 8th.

The Buddha, Gautama, was born in a Hindu family. He came to teach a better way, at a time when the priests had become very corrupt. So the basis of his teachings is Hindu. The Buddha’s teaching spread through out India and the northern area which includes Tibet, as well as to the east through China and Japan and south to Sri Lanka.

The earlier religion of Tibet was Bon Po. After some time, the Bon Po priests drove out Buddhism. A later ruler of Tibet, believing that Buddhists were more peaceful and easier to govern, sent to India for someone to come and teach the people Buddhism. No teacher was willing to come, but finally Atisha, one of the disciples of the Great Tantric Master Agastya volunteered. The Buddhism he taught was influenced by his tantric mastery, which includes worship of the Divine Feminine. As that is expressed in Tibetan Buddhism, She is Tara, rather than several named Devis. Tara is worshiped as White Tara, Green Tara and more, as ways to approach the Divine Feminine.

The Tara revered in Hindusim is different from the Hindu versions.  Hindu Tara is She Who Takes Us Over the Ocean of Samsaras (accumulation of karma from all previous and the present life.)

The Secret of How Mantras Work

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Sanskrit mantras are NOT about meaning.  It is a vibrational energy technique to ameliorate karma.  It works, because each of the 50 Sanskrit letters/sounds vibrate a particular one of the 50 petals/spokes of Chakras 1-6.

Mantra patterns are composed by high beings who are able to literally see how the pattern works and whether it is beneficial.  This is why it is so critical to be sure that any mantra you may use comes from these ancient authorities.

The Most Common Form of Meditation in the East

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Many people think that meditation is only various types of silent meditation. However, mantra meditation by Hindus and Buddhists is the most common type of meditation in the East.

When meditating with mantras, they free the mind (from the lower self.) This is the translation of the word mantra. As we chant, the higher vibrations lift us up from our daily concerns and provide various types of mental and physical healing. While concentrating on what we are chanting, we prevent the ‘monkey’ mind from chattering and get to peace.

Choose a simple mantra and chant it out loud until it is ‘seated’ within your physical body and mind. Then you can chant silently while sitting in meditation. If your mind waivers, just chant faster so it cannot chatter.

The most commonly chanted mantra is Om Mani Padme Hum. There are many others that one can choose:

Om Gum Ganapati’yae Namaha

Om Shreem Maha Lakshmi’yae Namaha

Om Shree Rama Jay Rama Jaya Jaya Rama

Om Nama Shiva’ya

Om Namo Narayana Ya Namaha

For more mantras and pronunciation, see SanskritMantra.com

Beautiful Shiva Hymn for Shivaratri, Feb 24,’17

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This is a hymn by Adi Shankaracharya:

ATTRIBUTES OF SHIVA, translated by Swami Sivananda, founder of Divine Life Society:

Advaita, Akhanda, Akarta, Abhokta, Asanga, Ashakta,

Nirguna, Nirlipta, Chidanandarupah Sivoham Sivoham.

Non-dual, indivisible, non-doer, non-enjoyer, Unattached, without qualities, I am Shiva (auspiciousness), I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.

Avyakta, Ananta, Amrita, Ananda, Achala, Amala, Akshara, Avyaya, Chidanandarupah Shivoham Shivoham.

Unmanifested, endless, immortal, bliss, Immovable, without impurities, imperishable,inexhaustible, I am Shiva, I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.

Ashabda, Asparsha, Arupa, Agandha, Aprana, Amana, Atindriya, Adrishya, Chidanandarupah Shivoham Shivoham.

Soundless, touchless, smell-less, formless,without Prana, without mind, without senses, unseen, I am Shiva, I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.

Satyam, Shivam, Shubham, Sundaram, Kantam, Sat-chit-ananda, Sampurna, Sukha, Santam, Chidanandarupah Shivoham Shivoham.
Truth, auspiciousness, good, beautiful, resplendent, existence-knowledge-bliss, all-full, pure happiness, peaceful. I am Shiva, I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.

Chetana, Chaitanya, Chid’ghana, Chinmaya, Chidakasa, Chinmatra, Sanmantra, Tanmaya, Chidanandarupah Shivoham Shivoham.

Consciousness, mass of knowledge, full of knowledge, All-pervading like ether, consciousness alone, full of That, I am Shiva, I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.

Amala, Vimala, Nirmala, Achala, Avang’manogochara, Akshara, Nischala, Chidanandarupah Shivoham Shivoham.

Pure, stainless, immovable, Beyond the reach of mind and speech, imperishable, steady, I am Shiva, I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.

Nitya, Niru’padhika, Niratisaya Ananda, Nirakara, Hrimkara, Omkara, Kutastha, Chidanandarupah Shivoham Shivoham.

Eternal, without attributes, supreme bliss, Without form, Hrim and Om (Pranava), rock-seated Self, I am Shiva, I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.

Purna, Para Brahma, Prajnana Ananda, Sakshi, Drashta, Turiya, Vijnana Ananda, Chidanandarupah Sivoham Sivoham.
All-full, Paramatman, knowledge and bliss, Witness; Seer, the fourth state, self-knowledge, bliss. I am Shiva, I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.

Satyam, Jnanam, Anantam, Anandam, Sat-chit-ananda, Svayam Jyoti Prakasam, Chidanandarupah Shivoham Shivoham.

Truth, knowledge, endless, bliss, Existence-knowledge-bliss, self-luminous, I am Shiva, I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.

Kaivalya, Kevala, Kutastha, Brahma, Shuddha, Siddha, Buddha, Sat-chit-ananda, Chidanandarupah Sivoham Sivoham.

Immortality, alone, changeless, Self Pure, perfect, illumined, existence-knowledge-bliss, I am Shiva, I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.

Nirdosha, Nirmala, Vimala, Niranjana, Nitya, Nirakara, Nirguna, Nirvikalpa, Chidanandarupah Shivoham Shivoham.

Without defects, pure, spotless, eternal, formless, without qualities, superconsciousness, I am Shiva, I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.

Atman, Brahma Svarupa, Chaitanya-Purusha, Tejomaya, Ananda, ‘Tat-Tvam-Asi’ Lakshya, Chidanandarupah Shivoham Shivoham.
Self, Supreme Self, consciousness, Full of light, bliss, that which is indicated by ‘Tat-Tvam-Asi -Thou art That’. I am Shiva, I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.

‘Soham’, ‘Shivoham’, ‘Aham-Brahma-Asmi’ Mahavakya, Shuddha, Sat-chit-ananda, Purna Para Brahma, Chidanandarupah Shivoham Shivoham.

I am He’, ‘I am Shiva’, ‘I am Brahman*’, Pure, existence-knowledge-bliss, all-full Self, I am Shiva, I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.

*Brahman is not Brahma but the entire Divine Energy that is 100% of the universe.

You can chant Chid’ananda’rupah Shivoham Shivoham as a mantra with wonderful results.

All Shiva, Ganesha, Kaali, and Durga mantras are normally chanted with the rudraksha beads. The energy of the rudraksha seed enhances the japa/chanting of these mantras.

For more information, see my website:  http://www.SanskritMantra.com.