Thursday, April 05, 2012

Sri Badrinath – The experience of a lifetime

Jagatprabhum devadevam anantam purushottamam … we began chanting the Vishnu Sahasranamam, high up in the Himalayas, almost 10000 feet up, surrounded by snowy peaks on a picture perfect November morning. Sparse white clouds that decorated the blue sky were like angels vying to take a quiet peek into the Lord’s abode without being noticed. As the chanting continued we felt a gentle breeze from the top of the Narayan Parbat sweep the valley floor and the small line of devotees held their colorful sweaters tighter as they entered the ancient temple echoing Jai Badri Vishal!

The gushing turquoise waters of the river Alkananda splashed against the temple steps and rushed out with tremendous energy and joy, as they felt ready to welcome and sanctify anyone in their arms. Natural hot sulfur springs of great medicinal value dotted the bathing ghats. The temple bells and the chants of the Vedic priests along with the joyful tears of devotees echoed all around this ancient land. Aroma of burning camphor floated around in a mystical way, carried by the swirling gusts of wind that surrounded the inner sanctorum of the temple complex. Silver colored plates decked with Himalayan flowers, sweets, nuts, dry fruits, saffron cloth pieces and other offerings adorned the hands of devotees. Sadhus in their saffron attire circled the temple with their faces beaming with the joy of meeting an old friend. The place felt timeless. If there is a heaven, we felt we were in it.

Amidst these, we chanted a thousand names of the one who is without a name and praised the beauty of the one who is without a form. After the chant, we closed our eyes in meditation and the mind quietly disappeared. We felt that we were in the center of the universe. Meditation was as its effortless best. As the legend goes that the Lord Narayana, who is present here in his dual form of Nara-Narayana, chose this place to be the best place to meditate in all of the Himalayas. Numerous saints and Shankaracharyas have meditated here over thousands of years.

Adding to the mystic nature of the place are numerous local legends. One of the legends is that the Lord Narayana appeared as a little boy who tricked Shiva and Parvati to move out of Badrinath to Kedarnath dham. At a little distance from Sri Badrinath is the famous Vyas’s Cave and Ganapati’s cave, where the Mahabharata was first composed. A very small stream flows through this place called the river Saraswati. There is also a natural bridge believed to be built by Bhim himself. One of the most fascinating legends is the swargarohini or the ascent to heaven. Legend goes that the Pandavas after the Kurukshetra war, were in this area to meditate and they walked into higher elevations of the Himalayas and finally to Heaven. Following this legend, devotees every year in August, undertake an arduous pilgrimage in the same direction into absolute wilderness of the Himalayas. They go up higher into the mountains with food and water and material to survive, walking for seven days. It is considered a rare fortune for someone to undertake this journey.

We met a sadhu at the Badrinath temple who trekked by foot from Rishikesh in 22 days, he pointed us to a small kutir up high on one of the surrounding mountains and narrated the story of a mystic who meditates there and has been living there with no necessities even in the 6 months of winter when the entire temple town is closed down and the temple deities are taken down to the town of Joshimath. It is believed that the angels along with the creator Lord Brahma guard the Badrinath temple during the winters.

Sri Badrinath is vibrant with divine energy and peace. Praju and I never imagined that one day we would be at Sri Badrinath Dham. We felt truly fortunate to have been here. On the way down, we spent some time at Joshimath. Joshimath or Jyotir-math is the first of the four major maths established by Sri Adi Shankaracharya. We were lucky to have meditated at sri shankara math here. The town is full of amazing temples and legends, the Sri Narsimha Swamy temple is believed to be the place where the young Prahlada meditated, Sri Adi Shankaracharya’s place of meditation, and the temples built by the Pandavas.

It’s a rare fortune to be blessed with such beautiful experiences as the pilgrimage to Sri Badrinath ji. We truly felt blessed. All glories to my Gurudev.

Friday, March 06, 2009

The Realm of Reality

|| यतो वाचो निवर्तन्ते अप्राप्य मनसा सह ||

|| yato vaacho nivartante apraapya manasa sah ||

It was just WoW ! when I heard it. This line occurring in the taittariya upanishad contains a wealth of knowledge about what exists and gives a glimpse of what reality is... literally translated it means "where (yato) the mind and the speech (manasa vaachah sah) return (nivartante) disappointed (apraapya) "..

The realm of reality begins where speech and mind cannot enter and fail utterly.. isn't it amazing ? the reality.. this universe.. the infinity is beyond expression.. transcends the senses.. Isn't this what happens during deep meditations ?.. from the form to the formless, from sound to silence, from mind to no-mind.. in the silent corner of the heart, where nothing can enter, my dear one, meditate..

Words fail in deep meditation and also when in total love and they are synonymous.. meditation is being completely in utter love with one's own divine self.. in such love where is another thought ? words just fall away, thoughts dissolve... mind returns to its source and a supreme blissful silence dawns deep within.. there is one, the self and no other.. In sanskrit, the word for two also means fear .. भय is fear and also two. The succeeding line in the upanishad goes..

। आनन्दं ब्रह्मणो विद्वान् । न बिभेति कदाचिनेति ।

|anandam brahmano vidwaan na bibheti kathaachineti |

Once one realizes the supreme bliss, there is no fear of any kind

Beautiful isn't it ? In total bliss, there is no fear since there is no second, nothing to fear. The thought itself is so empowering.. is there anything remotely comparable to that deep sense of bliss ? absolutely nothing matters.. nothing in this world, no attachment or pleasure can come close to that joy.. as Adi shankara wonders in Bhaja Govindam .. कस्य सुखं न करोति विरागः ? kasya sukham na karoti viraagah.. How cannot one find dispassion joyful ?

yato vaacho nivartante.. what a statement.. and when I heard Gurudev His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar quote this statement.. and I went whoa ! what beautiful way to describe the transcendental.. or what a beautiful expression for the inexpressible.. :-) .. in the Ashtavakra commentary Gurudev says.. "all that we speak is a lie.. since the reality cannot be expressed in words.. so whatever we speak is a lie !. all thru the day we get drunk and intoxicated with meditations and in the evening satsang we sit together and speak lies ! ". such a playful humor filled with knowledge ! :-)

Reality.. what is it ? Reality, the truth.. the unchanging.. whatever one calls it.. what is it ? or Who is it ? What is the truth ? Is life the truth or death the truth? Is this the truth, this world, these people ? or the other world, the dreams, those people and situations ? How can I know I am not dreaming now and awake in my dreams? What is wakefulness and a dream ? I cannot take an object from one place to the other.. So what is the metric to compare ? What validates the truth ?

Its amazing, the unchanging aspect in wakefulness and dream, is neither the wakefulness nor the dream, but, me, the experiencer, the seer of both the worlds, the energy, that is me. Beautiful isn't it ? Another line from the same upanishad goes

। सत्यं ज्ञानमनन्तं ब्रह्म ।

| satyam gyaanam anantam brahma |

The consciousness, the self is the truth, the knowledge and bliss. The reality is the self, which experiences everything, this life and beyond. That is meditation, me being with myself, abiding in the nature of the seer, as Patanjali puts it in the Yoga Sutras

तथा द्रष्टुः स्वरूपे अवस्थानम्

tatha drashtuh svarupe avasthaanam.

Moving from the outer to the inner, From the dynamic outer to the silent inner, is the full knowledge.. is the word Rk.. like in Rk Veda. ऋक् वेद. say the word Rk ऋक् a few times... RrrKkkk RrrrrKkkkk... Rrrrr is the dynamism, the ever moving, vibrating, pulsating, energizing, ever changing universe, Rrrrr one can feel the vibration on the roof of the jaw, tongue and the face.. and क् Kk Kkkk is the end, the full stop, the silence.. the first and foremost Veda, the Rk veda, is the complete spectrum of knowledge.. and one reverses ऋक् it becomes कृ which means 'to do' .. amazing isnt it ?

This knowledge is so beautiful.

All glories to my Gurudev, the ever dynamic and the ever restful.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Rudram is a beautiful hymn on Lord Shiva that occurs in the Taittariya Samhita of the Krishna Yajur Veda. It is also known as Rudraprashna or Shatarudriya or Rudradhyaya, containing two parts, Namakam (recurring 'नमो' sound) and Chamakam (recurring 'चमे' sound). Each part contains 11 anuvakas or chapters.

I wanted to write about Rudram since a long time now.. as I sit down to write, I think what do I write about the most beautiful, the most melodious, the most blissful.. how can I put that experience into words.. Rudram is the entire universe, the beauty that is the nature of the infinity, the vastness and the glory of this creation and its magnanimity..

Its like this, for example, if Lord Shiva were to stand in front of you and you had to praise him.. what would you say ? what would you sing ? This is exactly what happened to the ancient Rishis, who experienced such a blissful state in their deep meditations, that Rudram was sung from the depth of their hearts.. People who have done the Art of Living Advance course are more likely to appreciate the process of praising.

I fell in love with Rudram the first time I heard it more than 15 years ago, when a neighbor was doing the puja and I just happened to be there in his home that time. I was surrounded by 24 vedic pundits who chanted it while I was doing Abhishekam to Shiva. I didn't understand what they were chanting, but it felt very powerful and energizing.. I still can relate to that exhilarating experience.. my body was vibrating with a unknown energy as I poured Milk, honey and other anointed fluids on Shiva.. Its unforgettable..

Later on I began to study about it and meditated on it over and over again. Its just amazing.. These days whenever I hear | ॐ नमो भगवते रुद्राय | which is how Rudram starts, a smile comes to my face from I don't know where, my eyes close and I just start sipping bliss every moment.. Sipping bliss, absolute joy, thats what Rudram is..

The praises that go in Rudram are just mind boggling.. its love poetry at its pinnacle.. there are certain chants which send thrills thru my nerves..

नम्स्ते अस्तु भगवन् विश्वेश्वराय महादेवाय त्रैय्मबकाय त्रिपुरान्तकाय त्रिकाग्नि कालाय कालाग्नि रुद्राय नीलकण्ठाय मृत्युंजयाय सर्वेश्वराय सदाशिवाय श्री मन्महादेवाय नमः

The hymn is like a gushing rapid at this point.. unstoppable flow of beauty.. praise after praise.. shiva melts like butter.. for example one praise goes.. नमो हिरण्य बाहवे .. which means salutations to the one with the golden shoulders.. when carefully inferred.. who is the one with golden shoulders ? its the sun in the morning and evening.. shiva is compared to the golden rays of the sun which encompass you, me and this entire world in a warm hug.. its such a lovely feeling to have in the morning that I am in the secure embrace of the lord !.. wonderful ..

The praises can get very esoteric.. सेनान्ये दिशांच पतये नमः .. which means the directions are his armies.. hinting that space is under His command.. He overpowers and transcends space.. amazing, isnt it ?

one anuvaka goes.. नमो ज्येष्ठायच कनिष्ठाय च नमः पूर्वजायच परजाय च नमो मध्यमाय च .. it means.. salutations to the one who was born first.. to the one who was born last.. to the one who is born in the middle.. to the one who is beyond birth... and it continues..

shiva is compared to every possible thing.. the trees and the greenery of the leaves.. नमो वृक्षेभ्यो हरिकेशेभ्यः .. so whenever you see a tree.. it should remind you of shiva.. you see greenery in leaves, it is shiva..

In fact everything is said to be Shiva.. to the movements of the planets.. to the movements of ants.. to the beats of millions of hearts.. it is He who is dancing.. it is His cosmic dance that is making my fingers type this.. and your eyes read.. and the electric impulses rush in the nerves.. it is all Shiva's dance.. and all the sounds from rustling of the leaves to the explosions in the universe are the sound from his damru..

shiva is even compared to thieves.. he is called the king of thieves.. तस्कराणाम् पतये नमः the king of thieves is the one who steals the most precious, the heart. If there was ever a true romantic poetry period, it was the vedic period. Rudram is love with the lord expressed in all the exquistive-ness (if there is such a word, you know what I mean) that language can offer.

Right in the middle of Rudram is an anuvaka which begins.. नमः सोमाय च रुद्राय च .. and in the exact center of this chapter occurs नमः शिवाय .. the most powerful invocation uniting the five elements in the universe.. So, in the center of Krishna Yajur Veda lies Rudram .. and in the center of Rudram lies Om Namah Shivaya .. one can count the number of words in the hymn and for sure this is the center. This gives us an idea about the genius of the creator and also the potency of the mantra. The creator seems like an architect who gave 100% attention to detail.. its really overwhelming to see intelligence and love flowing together.. absolute perfection.

When Namakam finishes, which praises Shiva up and down, left, right and center, chamakam starts. Chamakam is all about asking the divine and anything and everything is asked. Really, things such as health, wealth, peace, progeny, all that and even rocks, mud, animals and stars !! In fact, all that Shiva was praised as in Namakam, they are being asked for in return in Chamakam !. It is really funny, because Shiva is everything that is there, so praise it and ask for the same !

Ancient scholars such as Abhinava Sankara, Sayana, Bhatta Bhaskara, Ahobala and VishnuSuri, over the centuries have written commentaries and conducted volumes of research on what Rudram means.. for example secrets of ayurvedic medicine preparation are encoded in Rudram !.. and the last part of chamakam sounds like number theory ! A lot has been written on the secrets behind those sounds and the spiritual and material benefits it bestows..

Whatever be the fruits of the puja, I feel that listening to Rudram in itself is a great fortune.. what else can be more joyful than Rudram, the divine love expressed in its highest form... it is so wonderful that every Rishi, Swami, every Shankaracharya who lived on this planet, did it every monday.. even modern Swamis and spiritual leaders such as Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar do the Puja in whichever country they are in..

Every human being on this planet should have the fortune of meditating on Rudram.. or else I feel that they have missed something wonderful.. This Navratri I had the blessing of chanting it 10 days in a row at the Bangalore ashram in Gurudev's presence. Although I was sitting in the crowd and chanting, I was worshipping my Guru, my Shiva in the silent corner of my heart.

All glories to my Gurudev, the beauty in the beautiful.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Reflections and Perceptions

विश्वम् दर्पण दॄश्यमान नगरी तुल्य्म् निजान्तर्गतम्

पश्यन्नात्मानि मायया बहिरिवोद्भूतम् यदा निद्रया

vishwam darpana drishyamaana nagari tulyam nijaantargatam

pashyannaatmaani maayaya bhirivodbhutam yadaa nidrayaa

I was driving the teacher to the Art of Living course on a sunday morning, when I heard Adi Shankara's Dakshinamurthy stotram on the mp3 player... and I thought Wow ! thats remarkable !

this is it.. the secret of the universe or of the mind.. in just two lines.

The world is a mirror and I see my own mind everywhere around me. Thinking that the world and I are separate is the illusion.

"Just for once, think you are not there.. Just assume you are not there in this world." said Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. "Think, If I dont exist, then what exists ?" .. the truth is right there.. if I dont exist, then what exists ?.. the thought is deeper than what many people perceive. 'I' am there, so everything else is there.

The mere existence of 'I' creates the universe... the 'I' and the universe are inseparable... the seer creates the seen.. the observer creates the observed.

Its my own self.. I see as men, women, friends, family, enemies, intelligent, stupid, talented, untalented, birds, animals, fish, trees, air, water, fire, planets, space .. its all my creation.

In another perspective, the thought itself is so empowering.. I am responsible for my self.. I create my reality.. I own my happiness... my thoughts, feelings and emotions.. I am totally accountable for how I feel. and not someone else... all the knowledge points from the Art of Living Course can be deduced from this..

My world is my perception.. my reality is created by my mind

vishwam darpana drishyamaana nagari ... absolutely wonderful statement.. its all me reflecting as the world..

"I am all that I create" I read, as I drove past a church.. its the same.... its one person..with thousands of names.. and thousands of forms. its all one person..

its kinda hard to think.. but its all just one being.. one person... who is living as so many people.. with different appearances.. different names.. likes and dislikes and perceptions..

The Purusha Suktam from the Rg Veda goes.. "sahasra sirsha purushah sahasrakshah sahasrapaad " ... the one with thousands of heads, eyes and limbs.. the one being..

another line from the Upanishad goes.. "Ekoham bahusyaamah" .. I am one.. but in many..

when this realization gains strength.. then there is only love, there is no other.. and service or seva happens automatically.. because its only me I see as others..

Gurudev says.. This world is play and display of consciousness.

तस्मौ श्री गुरुमूर्तये नमः इदं श्री दक्षिणामूर्त्ये

All glories to my Gurudev, who is responsible for this illumination.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Thinking about 'words' more deeply.. brought in a very fond memory...

I think it was in 8th class.. and I formally started to take sanskrit classes in school.. we had a very good teacher.. she was from orissa.. kinda big woman (size wise).. and she had peculiar english.. instead of asking to take down notes she would say, "write on your notebooks".. and i always thought why would i want to write on the notebook !.. anyways..

that point is.. i enacted in a sanskrit play during the school's annual celebration.. had a small role as a fruit vendor in a street scene.. I just had to yell out. "khaadanti khaadanti, madhuraani phalaani khaadanti" (taste them, taste them, taste these sweet fruits).. but one thing which I remember from the play was a sloka, which I loved so much.. it goes like this.. people who listen to akashvani radio in the early mornings can also relate this bhartrihari's subhashitam (not sure if this is still being played)

keyuraani na bhushayanti purusham, haaraa na chandrojvala
na snaanam na vilepanam na kusumam na alankrita murdhaja
vanyeka samalam karoti purusham, ya samskrita dharyate
ksheeyante kila bhushanaani satatam, vagbhushanam bhushanam

the protagonist, who is a Guru in the play, sings this to his students, and then explains the meaning as thus.. those who can follow sanskrit can understand

keyuraadayaha vividha alankaaraaha purushasya bhushanaani na bhavat.. chandrakanti samana kanthaaharaha purushasya bhushanaani na bhavat.. and so on..

the sloka means.. rare flowers, armlets, ornaments, pearl necklaces, jewels, ceremonial baths and pastes likes chandanam are not the true ornaments to a person, the real decoration that brings out the beauty of a purusha (man/woman) are the words.. (vagbhushanam bhushanam)

our words can create harmony in a troubled mind, or can create trouble in a harmonious mind.. the more i ponder on this.. the more wonder i get into.. its just so amazing..

just in the previous posting, i said words are so superficial.. but now i get a feeling words are so impactful..

I think they both are true.. its just the context.. when dealing with people in the world.. let my words bring in only harmony.. . let the intention be to bring peace and tranquility to the other person.. this reminds me of the most beautiful rudram.. in that we chant..

Om idaa devahoor manuryagya neer bruhaspathi rukthaamadaanishagum sishadhvishvedevaah ssookthavachahf pruthivimaatharmaa maa higumseermadhu manishye madhu janishye madhu vakshyaami madhu vadishyaami madhumatheem devebhyo vaachamudhyaasagumshusrooshenyaam manushyeebhyastham maa devaa avanthu shobhaayai pitharo anumadhanthu

it means...
Let me think sweet thoughts; let me perform sweet actions which bear sweet fruits; let me bear sweet offerings; let my speech and praise be sweet; let me utter words which sound sweet unto the Gods; let me utter sweet words unto men who would lend their ears. Let the Gods illumine me and render my speech sweet.

and there are so many shanti vachanams like.. bhadram karnebhih shruniyama devaaha..

so when I am dealing with others.. let my speech be pure, steady and peace causing..

and the other context where words have to be taken superficially is when the other person is speaking to me, either praise or blame, let me not get swayed away, let me not loose sight of the divinity inside him or her, let my love be unconditional..

i think this is why knowledge is a double edged sword.. but to tread on the edge is worth it :-)

Glories to my Gurudev, who kindles the quest for the highest knowledge and longing for the highest love

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Play of words.

Do you want to do something funny and interesting and also learn something valuable at the same time ?

Just make a statement to your closest friend about something which he/ she doesn't like... and observe the drama..

To have even more fun, just repeat the statement a couple of times and insist on it.. and boy, that is it..

few words are enough to create turmoil and churn the mind.. they are just enough to throw the mind off balance ... the other person starts behaving funny

the entire situation turns around.. the intimacy starts going down.. there is tension now.. anger , hatred soon follow.. words are sharp and cut thru the heart and insensitive to the feelings of one another.. and at this point if you repeat the statement just one more time.. that is it, Good Bye for the rest of your life !

hehehe.. soo amazing !

its just mind boggling what a few words can do..

words make or break friendships, relationships, marriages, situations and the state of mind !

isn't it so amazing that we base our lives, love and hate, on the words of others.. ? our concepts, ideas about people are based on what they spoke.. ?

Our perception about others is so shallow .. they can change at the slightest wind erosion.

Life seems so superficial that few words can alter its course..

so amazing what a few words can do..

just amazing.

centered is the one who sees beyond the words... such love stays for eternity.. the love that transcends the vagaries of speech..

All glories to my Gurudev, whose love envelopes every nook and corner of this creation and immune to all thats spoken.

Shabdon ke jungle mein.
tu kyon phasa hai
parabrahm ke ras se
tera nas nas rama hai

Anand tu hi
paramanand tu hi

Om mein kho kar
Om mein ram kar
Om mein milna hai

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Mantras belong to the Agama Shastra. Mantra, Tantra and Yantra make up Agama. Each of these divisions are vast and knowledge about the self / universe is encoded in all of them.

Coming to Mantras, this is how Mantra is defined in Sanskrit.. 'Mananat trayate iti mantrah'

it means.. The repetition (mananat) of which, you overcome/protected (trayate) [read overcome or protection from bondage/troubles/cycles of birth and death] is (iti) called Mantra.

We have heard many mantras.. Om Namah Shivaya, Om Namo Narayanaya, Gayatri mantra, Sri Rudram, Sri Vishnusahasra nama and so on.. Each mantra is very profound and carries immense amount of knowledge .. even the meaning is enough to put one into meditation. for example. Gayatri is defined as 'gayantam trayate iti gayatri'.. it means the one who protects (trayate) the one who sings (gayantam) is (iti) gayatri

Each of these mantras has a definite structure. Mantra is never taken by itself. For example before Gayatri mantra is chanted, we say:

Savitriya Rishirvishwamitrah (The rishi is Vishwamitra)
Chhandah (The meter is gayatri)
Savita Devata (The presiding deity is Savita or Sun)

Every mantra comes with the following fundamental aspects:

rishi or sage: Mantras are not created, rather they are revealed to the sage during deep blissful meditation when the prana ascends sahasrara chakra. Thats why we touch the crown of the head while taking the rishi's name. So the rishis are called mantra drashtas (the seers of the mantra) rather than the mantra kartas (the makers).

raga/Chandas or melody/meter: The chanting of the mantra is probably the most important of all. Its all about the sounds and the vibrations. So it comes with a meter or pitch. This is just like we have talams (adi, rupaka, etc) in classical music. The names of these meters are gayatri (its also the name of a meter), anushtup, trishtup, brihati, pangti, etc. They come with a distinctive time length for each cycle. For example the Bhagavad Gita is written in Anushtup, the Rig Veda is written in Gayatri meter, etc.

devata or deity: There is a presiding deity for every mantra on whom the devotee meditates on by keeping it in the heart chakra. Thats why the heart region is touched while taking the name of the devata. For Gayatri mantra , its the sun. All this has to be done with so much love (heart chakra = love), respect and innocence. I think the way the entire agama is structured is just so beautiful. Even before this is done, the devotee does pranayama to get his mind centered and then with a lot of love and gratitude the mantra is taken. If there is no love and respect, the mantra doesnt bear any fruit.

You can find these three features before any mantra is chanted. For example in Sri Rudram we say

asya sri rudradhayaya prashna maha mantrasya
aghora rishihi

anushtup chhandaha
sankarshana murti svarupo yosaavadityaha
paramapurushah sa yesha rudro devataa
namashivayeti bijam
shivatarayeti shaktihi
mahaadevaayeti kilakam
sri samba sadashiva prasada sidhyarthe jape viniyogaha

You might have noticed few more limbs or angas of the mantra here.. like bijam (seed), shakti (power), kilakam (pillar or crux), vinoy0ga (the purpose).

They also occur for example in Sri Vishnusahasra Namam:

asya sri vishNoH sahara-nAma-stotra-mahA-mantrasya
sri veda-vyAso bhagavAn RishiH, anushtup
sri mahA-vishNuH paramAtmA sriman-nArAyaNo

amritAmSUdbhavo bhAnuriti bIjam
devakInandanaH srashteti SaktiH
udbhavah kshobhano deva-iti paramo mantraH
Sankha-bHrt nandakI cakrIti
SArnga-dhanvA gadhA-dhara-iti astram
rathAnga-pANiH akshobhyah-iti netram
tri-sAmA sAmagah sAmeti kavacham
Anandam para-brahmeti yoniH
rituh sudarsanah kAleti dig-bandhaH
sri visva-rUpa iti dhyAnam

sri mahA-vishNu-prItyarthe sri-sahasranAma-jape viniyogah

ok. This was the prelude to the mantra.. Now comes the mantra. The divine is in the sound. This is the whole basis of mantras. The words we speak can bring a smile on a face or churn someone's mind. The whole power is in the words and we know this very well. Music, sound, words are all divine. In gayatri we say ayatu varada devi aksharam brahma sammitam. Thats why one entire veda (sama veda) has been dedicated for music. Krishna says in the Gita, of all the vedas, I reside in sama veda (vedaanaam samo asmi) Chapter 10, verse 22. The ancient seers knew the power of words very well and they structured them so wondefully. Each sound vibration from the mantra chanting enlivens a specific part of the human body. The rhythm and the dynamics of these sounds in the body are just phenomenal and very conducive for the mind to slip into meditation and go into total rest. The mantras have many more secrets hidden, for example, the 24 syllabus that the Gayatri is made of correspond to the 24 vertebraes of the spinal column, the namakam and chamakam carry ancient ayurvedic medicinal recipes that are used to cure diseases. The vast amount of good a mantra does is really unfathomable.

On a higher level, the mantras are designed to give us what the seer experienced.. to take us to the same level, into the bliss and beauty. We shoud be so grateful for all the risihis who have revealed these mantras and lifted us to their level and have taken us back to the source. There are specific mantras for specific purposes, like increasing intelligence (ppl with tumba buddhi need not go for this), wealth, health, etc. but anyways, sarva deva namaskaraha keshavam pratigacchati.

One interesting modern day experiment on how our words influence our minds and even body structure was conducted by Dr. Emoto. Different sounds of love, friendliness, etc were played out to water crystals as well sounds of negativity to a different set. He found out that crystals with the positive words are so beautiful and well organized compared to the other set. If this can happen to water molecules, imagine how our own thoughts and the words we speak effect our bodies and environment.

Gurudev says .. " Weigh your words before you speak them out. They are pearls of your life. Don't throw them; don't lose them for nothing. "

Thats so wonderfully said. The more we are aware of what we speak the more weight they have, more good can come out of them.

In the shanti mantra om bhadram karnebhih.. its chanted.. sthirairangai tushtuvagm sastanubhih.. let my words be stable and consistent and spread harmony


Jai Gurudev

All glories to my Gurudev, the one with the sweetest name