We all have times in our lives when we have the blues, but in some people, this low mood becomes persistent and lasts a long time – for weeks, months or even years. And if it comes with other hallmark symptoms, such as lack of interest in enjoyable activities, a feeling of hopelessness or thoughts about self-harm or even suicide, then you or your loved ones may be suffering from depression. There is a big uptick in the numbers of people, including children who are now suffering depression.
There are many situational factors that cause depression, such as economic insecurity, illness or illness of loved ones, divorce, not having enough friends, and then there is depression without a situational cause. It is that depression which is rising in people of all ages and in all countries in the world.
Morning Mantras taught by Satguru Rama Mata (Vishwa Shanti Ashrama, Bangalore:
Early Morning Prayer Before Arising
Opening your palms before you, repeat the following:
Karaagrae Vasatae Lakshmihi
Kara Madhyae Saraswathi
Kara Moolaethu Govindaha
On the tips of my fingers, I see Lakshmi. Saraswathi is in the middle of my palms and Govinda (Krishna) resides at the base of my palms.
Join your palms together:
Prabhathae Kara Darshanam
I join my palms together in salutations, seeing God in my palms. (The symbology of this is honest labor.)
Prayer Before Placing One’s Feet on the Floor
Before placing one’s feet on the floor, reverently repeat the following:
Samudra Vasanae Devi
Parvatha Sthana Manadithae
Vishnu Patri Namaha Stubhya
Paadasparsham Kshamaswa Mae
O Divine Mother, Your sari is the ocean and the mountains are Your breasts. O Spouse of Vishnu, please forgive me for touching my feet upon You.
Prayer As One Bathes or Showers
As the water falls on our heads as we bathe or shower, we should feel that we are bathing in the seven sacred rivers. In this way, we cleanse our mind, body and intellect.
Gangaecha Yamunae Chaiva, Godaavari Saraswathi
Narmadae Sindhu Kaaveri, Jalaesmin Saanidhim Kuru
Bless us with Thy presence, O Divine Rivers: Ganges, Jamuna, Godavari, Saraswathi, Narmada, Sindhu and Kaveri.
Prayer Before Meals
Om Brahmaarpanam Brahma Havir
Brahmaagnau Brahmanaa Hutam
Brahmaiva Taena Gantavyam
He sees sacrifice as Brahman.
Ladle and oblation are Brahman.
Fire is Brahman, the pouring is Brahman.
The goal to be reached is also Brahman.
Anna Purnae Sada Purnae
Shankara Prana Vallabhae
Jnana Vairagya Siddyartham
Bhiksham Dehee cha Parvathi
One who is giving the food and the food itself is the Spouse of Shankara. The offering is the siddhi (power) to give the bhakta vairagya. Please give us the alms of that blessing.
Mata cha Parvathi Devi
Pita Devo Parameshwara
Bandhava Shiva Bhaktas cha
Swadesho Bhuvari Traayam
Parvathi is our Mother.
Shiva is our Father.
Our relatives are Shiva bhaktas.
Our country is the three worlds.
Prayer Before Dawn and Dusk – Gayatri Mantra
This short form of the Gayatri Mantra should be chanted 108 times, 1008 times, 28 times or at least ten times in accordance with your sankalpa (promise or pledge).
We should never sit directly on the floor while chanting this mantra but should use a pillow, blanket or a mat of deerskin and kusha grass
Om Bhur Bhuvaha Swaha
Om Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yonaha Prachodayat
O Effulgent Light that has given birth to all the lokas or spheres of consciousness, O God who appears through the shining sun, illumine our intellect.
Maha Shivaratri is celebrated at the night of no moon, two nights before the new moon and before it is full in Pisces. In India, it is celebrated all night long, singing songs in praise of Shiva and his Shakti and pouring milk, panchamrita, and water over the yoni-lingam. Turmeric is offered for prosperity, kumkum and flowers for blessings of the Mother. This year it is on February 13-14, 2018.
Everything you offer in worship is for your own purification, cleansing yourself of your emotions, all your negativities in body, mind, spirit, and karma.
ATTRIBUTES OF SHIVA, translated by Swami Sivananda Saraswati, founder of Divine Life Society:
Advaita, Akhanda, Akarta, Abhokta, Asanga, Ashakta, Nirguna, Nirlipta, Chidananda’rupah 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, Chidananda’rupah 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, Chidananda’rupah 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, Chidananda’rupah 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, Chidananda’rupah 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, Chidananda’rupah 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, Chidananda’rupah 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, Chidananda’rupah 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, Chidananda’rupah 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, Chidananda’rupah 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.
Mantras of the month:
Om Namah Shiva’ya
*Shiva’s Moola Mantra
Om Shrim Klim Namah Shiva’ya*
This mantra joining Shakti with Shiva makes you a siddha (perfected being.)
Om Pashupati’yae Namaha
Shiva is lord of all creatures, earth, plants, animals, fish
Karma The word means Action. The Law of Cause and Effect. The sum total of actions and thoughts from a person that cause a reaction or return of like energy to the source that generated it. Reincarnation or re-birth continues until all karma is balanced or neutralized.
Sanchita Karma: The total of all karma from all lifetimes.
Prarabdha Karma: Karma for one life, including Planetary karma represented by the natal birth chart in a particular incarnation.
Kriyamana Karma: Results of our free will actions and decisions in this life, which may be dealt with in future lives.
Agami Karma: Immediate results from present actions.
Sadguru Rama Mata, our lineage-holder, calls papas (negative karmas) mistakes. The suffering that we experience as our karma plays out in any given life is related to the scenario that we came in with to teach ourselves to act better for our own self and others. In other words, the working out of our karma life to life is school not punishment.
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.
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.