Category Archives: Sprituality

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.

 

What are mantras and how do they work?

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The nature of all creation is sound vibrations. “And God said let there be light” in Genesis. Thus the smallest units of our own body-mind-spirit are sound vibrations. When we chant mantras (which are scientifically designed patterns of vibrations by great sages who knew their effects,) we attune our whole being to the divine vibrations.

Mantras are based on the Matrika, the fifty letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, each of which has a different sound. There are fifty petals/spokes on Chakras one through six. The pattern of the sounds made by chanting the mantras stimulate the different petals in different ways to ameliorate the karma of the chanter.

The mantras taught by true gurus and passed down over the millennia were first seen by ancient sages, those who had the ability to see how the patterns of energy going from one petal/spoke to another on the same or different chakras and if/how it was beneficial.

Just changing the order of the bijas on mantras can change the energy enough to become ill rather than benefited. Making up one’s own mantras is quite dangerous. As Thomas Ashley-Farrand/Namadeva Acharya often said, “Mantras are like fire. They can cook your lunch or burn down the forest.”

Seva as a Way of Life

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“The purpose of life is not to be happy.  It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

Looking at the lives of gurus, both sadgurus and junior gurus, it is clear that they are great examples of Emerson’s principles.  Namadeva Acharya’s motivations in all his endeavors in life, both spiritual and mundane, were based on these principles.

I was born in the 1940s. We were raised in the Forties and Fifties in a culture that was based on the principles in the Emerson quote. Those principles are are very grounding and were part of our generational impetus to rebel against the obvious abuse of a war with no purpose and an effort to make the USA live up to its claimed purpose in the Pledge of Allegiance, etc. This led to our response to injustice and participation in the Civil Rights movement, supporting Cesar Chavez and Delores Huerta in the farm workers union, and later the Second Wave of Feminism. During that time, I never heard people question why they were on the planet in the way younger people do. The Sixties and Seventies were also a time of spiritual questing, and many explored different ways of life and beliefs to satisfy the perennial inner spiritual drive of all humans.

One of the major reasons that younger people think differently is that major media, particularly television, deliberately in the late Seventies morphed into All Propaganda All The Time. I was working at WCBS-TV in NYC in 1977 and saw a huge change at that station, which got rid of all the investigative journalists and those who would not read exactly what was on the prompter and also changed their public service programs to be less inclusive of non establishment ideas and people. Later, stations dropped those programs entirely. The principles of advertising were used to persuade viewers that protesting, resisting were useless. Newscasters did not chit-chat but read the prompters, which said literally, “Oh, you can’t fight city hall” and other phrases to discourage protest and create the impression that resisters are wierdos. Shortly afterward in the Reagan era, the intensive propaganda plus advertising urged everyone to find their happiness in stuff. Everyone was urged to become Yuppies. Kids who saw this in nearly every tv show, grew up not with Emerson but with extreme materialism.

I am very happy as an old activist to see the engagement and activity of the Millennials and others more recently to make positive changes in America and the world.

I hope lots of people see this essay and re-think why they are so unhappy, then reject the pop culture all around us.

A good life is a life in balance.  If we nurture our souls and have devotion to the Divine, seek knowledge, and serve others, which is Raja Yoga, the highest path to mukti (liberation from the rounds of rebirth) then we will be fulfilled and know we have lived life to the best of our abilities.

Happy New Year!

 

Love Is The Near Surround of Which We Are a Part

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Love Is The Near Surround of Which We Are a Part

The story of Rama is a story of Divine Love.  For God so loved the world that that all the divine forces combined to send us Himself in the form of Rama and his three brothers and Herself in the form of Sita to show humans how to live in Dharma.  The picture above shows the Divine Family with all 4 brothers and Sita with their protectors Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Ganesha, Narada and Hanuman.  All creation joined to aid us. 

The entire Ramayana is the story of the loving parents of the couple and and their divine children.  When Rama is grown, he reveals himself as the emanation of Vishnu and is married to Sita, the emanation of Lakshmi.  They live in love and do everything possible to help each other, no matter how terrible the circumstances.  They are aided by his brothers and Hanuman, acting in unselfish love.  All their lives, their actions make them great role models for every possible role in our lives.  They are the perfect son and daughter, perfect king and queen, perfect husband and wife, perfect parents, etc.  Their whole story is the force of the Divine in form solely out of love to help us in our lives.

Love is where we came from and love is where we’re going. It’s not something we can attain. It’s not something we can work up to, as much as something we allow ourselves to fall into! It is the living presence of God/dess within us.

The eternal Divine Flame resides within us at our Sacred Heart Chakra/Hrit Padma, no matter what kind of person we are.  Our soul,  being part of the Divine Whole and thus enlightened, is anchored there. On the days when we feel low, we can remember that we are surrounded by Divine Ones, whose only desire is to help us.  On our quest for enlightenment, we can remember that our soul is enlightened, and only the transitory parts of us, body, mind and personality, need to seek our divine love within to transform. 

We have created our own karma, and we can uncreate/dissipate it by the divine tools we have been given especially for this dark era, mantra and puja. Only a half hour per day will overtime sand down a lot of karma.  We owe it to ourselves to do at least that much daily.