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The Night of Shiva


Maha Shivaratri

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
This mantra is excellent for issues with your pets or other animals that need good energy sent.

*Not pronounced ‘aya.’


Jesus and Buddha


Thoughts for the Christmas season.  Additionally, I recommend Bible and Bhagavad Gita by Sadguru Sant Keshavadas, available at

Jesus and Buddha, by Fr. Richard Rohr
Friday, December 8, 2017

In his book Jesus and Buddha, New Testament theologian Marcus Borg (1942-2015) highlights numerous sayings in the teachings of Jesus that are strikingly similar, if not identical, to the teachings of the Buddha who lived some six centuries earlier. There have been some attempts to explain these similarities through historical access, which is a remote possibility. Borg suggests a more meaningful view: that Jesus and the Buddha had both discovered the same spiritual goal and destiny, or I would say the one Holy Spirit that is guiding all of history. The Jewish Kabbalah, Muslim Sufism, and the teachings of the Tao also reveal a map toward non-dual consciousness and oneness.

Let me just share just a few of the parallel teachings Borg gathers in his book [1], and you will see how they are coming from the same non-dual perspective:

Jesus says, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31). The Buddha says, “Consider others as yourself” (Dhammapada 10.1).

Jesus says, “If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also” (Luke 6:29). Buddha says, “If anyone should give you a blow with his hand, with a stick, or with a knife, you should abandon any desires [to hurt him] and utter no evil words” (Majjhima Nikaya 21.6).

Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me” (Matthew 25:45).  Buddha says, “If you do not tend one another, then who is there to tend you? Whoever would tend me, he should tend the sick” (Vinaya, Mahavagga 8.26.3).

Jesus and Buddha diagnose the human dilemma similarly. Our suffering is primarily based on ignorance. The vast majority of humanity lives in blindness about who we are and where we are going. Jesus and Buddha both speak about anxiety, attachment, grasping, craving, and self-absorption.

Unfortunately, Christianity became so concerned with making sure everybody believed that Jesus was God (faith in Jesus) that we largely ignored his teachings on detachment, simplicity, nonviolence, and anxiety (the faith of Jesus). Our Buddhist brothers and sisters can help us remember these teachings at the core of our faith; they can help us be better, truer Christians. And we can help them, or at least give them very few reasons to dislike us! Why not try this novel idea?

On many levels, Jesus and Buddha talked about the same experience of transformation. In the end, all spirituality really is about transformation, dying before we die and being reborn as our True Selves in Love.


[1] Marcus Borg, Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings (Ulysses Press: 1999). These passages were selected from the chapter “Compassion.”

Adapted from Richard Rohr and James Finley, Jesus and Buddha: Paths to Awakening, disc 2 (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2008), CD, DVD, MP3 download.

Buddha was not an atheist. He was the 8th Avatar of Vishnu


Gautama Buddha was a Hindu reformer in a time of corrupt priests. Like Jesus, he had no intention of creating a new religion. He was bringing new understandings to the teachings of the Vedas and Upanishads. Sadguru Sant Keshavadas and Sadguru Rama Mata taught us that Gautama Buddha was the 9th Avatar of Vishnu.

The Asian area between India and China had been Hindu for several millennia. Naturally, they added the Buddhist teachings to its predecessors. This should not be hard to understand for Westerners, because Christians continue to believe in and teach the Torah, the Old Testament.

The idea that Gautama Buddha was an atheist is nonsense. He taught a version of Hinduism that freed people from the corrupt priests. His major change from the teachings of the 8th Avatar, Krishna, was that he taught spiritual independence. Krishna taught people to depend on him, to merge their consciousness in him. Gautama Buddha taught that our sufferings are our own creations and that we can end our sufferings by ending our cravings — those attitudes and behaviors that create karma.


What is karma all about?


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.


The Route to Enlightenment

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.

How to get the results you want from chanting


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


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.