"Dhari Devi" has been considered from millenniums the protector Goddess of Uttarakhand from floods and devastation.
Her ancient temple is located between the towns of Shrinagar and Rudraprayag (both towns are now completely
destroyed).Uttarakhand floods : Natural disaster or fury of the protector Goddess?
Believe it or not, many are asking this question today. You may call it prejudice or religious fervor, but there lies an extremely interesting fact behind the recent flash-floods that started in the holy town of Kedarnath and then subsequently have destroyed many towns in the North Indian state of Uttarakhand.
Many will dismiss it as "pure coincidence". Dhari Devi (the Goddess pictures below, a form of Devi Parvati / the Divine Mother Maha Shakti; Lord Shiva's consort) has been considered from millenniums the protector Goddess of Uttarakhand from floods and devastation. Her ancient temple is located between the towns of Shrinagar and Rudraprayag (both towns are now completely destroyed).
The wheels on the bus go round and round, just like our KARMA
Healing: is first of all a multi tasking principle. There are many layers and principles involved. Ignoring the cause is called repression or suppression. When there is an action there is a reaction. I wish it were so simple and in some cases perhaps it is! We are complex beings and our actions and reactions recycle around to see if we really healed from the cause, whether that be ancestors, past lives, or our current relationship or not with our parents and family.
This testing can be in the form of a petty tyrant or unsuspecting fool who crosses your path. They pissed you off, how did you react? Your reaction will tell you how far you have come. When you do not react and if you are conscious (that means you have not suppressed your anger), you may perhaps consider yourself healed on one or two levels, maybe all 5 layers of which we have as a human being.
Your reaction to the past can guide you on how far you have come. If anger is instant and you say do not talk about them, you can be sure that you have only repressed and suppressed the depth of your attachment to the story line and you will be seeing them in your next life to work it out.
Simple deal with in, feel it, see it, hear it, smell it, with all of your senses and make friends with it or welcome it to your next life. You may be able to fend off those nasty people in this life, but until the situation is healed, hello from the other side it is ME again.
Who said it would be easy. Who?
Thoughts and Musings by Trishula Das
The Tantra of Indian Music!!
Indian Music is one of the biggest Tantra's. The making of Indian instruments, playing Indian instruments and in the music itself, is one of the biggest Tantra's there is and when harnessed will take you to your beloved quickly. Mantra goes into the making of the instruments, infusing the divine into the body of the instrument so they become alive living music, this is Puja it is called Saraswathi Puja. When the instruments are played, when mystical tantric musician sings Devata come alive.
A musical instrument is the Indian musician's Dhumi.
In Bhakti Yoga there is also a technique in the singing and bringing the Gods and Goddess's to life, yes pure Love and Devotion, nothing can get in the way of the HEART but there is a also a technique and this technique is called Tantra of Music.
The Vaishnava Bauls of Bengal are Masters of the technique or Tantra of Kirtan (singing the stories of Radha and Krishna) of Bhakti Yoga. Bauls are natural and spontaneous mystics, masters of the "mysticism of sound" their magic brings Devata to life through storytelling and music, mystical song and dance.
They are the original Hare Krishna singers and dancers of Ekchakra Birbhum W Bengal India. They are Gosai, Bengal did not use the name Goswami from this lineage the name is Goasi. They are ancestors of Nityananda of Ekchakra the path of the Avadhuta, the Path of Love.
Their mystic drum is called "Ananda Lahari" a name given by Nabani Das Kyappa Baul, it is also called the Gubgubi and Khamak. The Ekktara a one stringed instrument the which they call the Gopi (Chand) or Gopi Yantra is their symbol of peace and unity.
Photo of Babu Kishan Das
By Trishula Das
These are also the powers of the Devatas or the deities ruling the Nakshatras. Each of these Shaktis has its effect above and its effect below, and the final result of these three factors. The imagery is of common factors of plants, healing, worship, marriage and death.
This is a teaching that derives from an ancient Vedic text called Taittiriya Brahmana I.5.1 and from the commentary of Bhattabhaskara Mishra.
Ashwini is govern by the Ashwins, the twin horsemen.
It has the power to quickly reach things (shidhra vyapani shakti). Its basis above are the creatures to be healed.
Its basis below is the healing therapies.
From these three the entire world becomes free of disease Ashwini Nakshatra brings about quick aid and energization.
The healing power of Ashwini is evident from these comments, particularly their ability to bring about fast, radical or miraculous cures as well as rejuvenation.
The Ashwins are forces of Prana or thelife-force, which is quick in its action to stimulate, help, and initiate a new level of activity.
Bharani is ruled by Yama, the God of Death.
It has the power to take things away (apabharani shakti).
Its basis above is the removal of life from the body.
Its basis below is the carrying of the soul to the realm of the ancestors.
By the combination of these three factors creatures move on to the next world. Bharani Nakshatra takes away that which has reached its term of life to a new condition.
It shows the movement of the soulaway from the body.
Yama guides the soul to the astral plane, where it can experience the result of its karma from the present life and prepare for the life to come.
Yama is a figure of discipline and sacrifice.
Krittika is ruled by Agni, the God of Fire.
It has the power to burn (dahana shakti).
Its basis above is heat and below is light.
The result of these three is burning or purification Leila Krittika Nakshatra burns up negativity, purifies what is mixed, and cooks or prepares that which is not yet ripe.
Agni is mainly the God of the sacred fire, so purification is perhaps the dominant action, not destruction, though purification does involve the destruction of impurity.
Agni is also the fire that cooks our food and so there is a nourishing side to its effects as well. This fire has a childlike nature.
Rohini is ruled by Prajapati, the Creator.
Its power is growth (rohana shakti).
Its basis above is the plants and below is the waters. The result of these three is creation.Rohini Nakshatra allows for growth and creation on all levels, bestowing great fertility. However it also evokes some degree of jealousy because others may resent that a person gains such abundance. More over it can increase desire. But these are only side effects to its great prosperity. Prajapati is the creator who can bestow everything so we should be careful what we want.
Mrigashirsha is ruled by Soma, the God of the Moon or the immortal nectar.
Its power is giving fulfillment (prinana shakti).
Its basis above is extension. Its basis below weaving (producing clothing).
These threetogether make the world enjoyable. Mrigashirsha Nakshatra fills or covers with joy. It is like a beautiful cloth to make our life more attractive.
Soma is a great enjoyment that is won, conquered, bought or stolen, so its procurement does not always come easily.
However what does not require effort to gain is not always enjoyed either.
Ardra is ruled by Rudra, the fierce form of Lord Shiva who represents thunder.
Its power is effort (yatna shakti), particularly for making gains in life. Its basis above is hunting or searching.
Its basis below is reaching the goal.
These three bring about achievement Ardra Nakshatra arouses us to greater effort in life.
This struggle can bring great rewards but not without persistence and a degree of luck.
Rudra is the hunter and the wielder of the bow.
The idea here also suggests placing of the arrow and hitting the target.
For this one must have a good aim, as well as strength to shoot. Rudra is also the lord of wild animals.
Punarvasu is ruled by Aditi, the Great Mother Goddess.
Its power is the ability to gain wealth or substance (vasutva prapana shakti).
Its basis above is the wind or air. Its basis below is wetness or rain.
These three bring about the revitalization of the plants Punarvasu Nakshatra brings about the return of energy and vitality, like the return of the monsoon rains after the dry season.
It causes our creative growths and inspirations to be renewed.
Aditi is the Earth Goddess who grants all abundance and gives birth to all the Gods.
Pushya is ruled by Brihaspati, the God of Divine wisdom.
Its power is the ability to create spiritual energy (brahmavarchasa shakti).
Its basis above is sacrificial worship. Its basis below is the worshipper.
These three result in the creation of spiritual energyPushya Nakshatra increases our good karma and good efforts.
The value of this Nakshatra for religious and spiritual practices is emphasized.
Brihaspati is the lord of speech, particularly prayer, and of all forms of worship, including meditation, so these indications are all in harmony with his functions.
Aslesha is ruled by the serpent God.
It has the power to inflict with poison (visasleshana shakti).
Its basis above is the approach of the serpent. Its basis below is trembling and agitation. These three together bring about destruction of the victim Aslesha Nakshatra paralyzes the enemy.
This can be helpful if we have enemies but it can serve to give a person an inimical temperament as well.
It all depends upon how the energy of this Nakshatra is used. Serpents also give wisdom, but a practical wisdom through which one can overcome enemies and obstacles.
Magha is ruled by the Ancestors.
It gives the power of to leave the body (tyage kshepani shakti).
Its basis above is mourning.
Its basis below is leaving the body.
These three together bring about death Magha Nakshatra causes a change of state or condition, a kind of death.
Usually it shows that we are coming to the end of a cycle.
Its condition is prior to that of Bharani which indicates the movement of the soul away from the body.
Of course there are higher meanings of this Nakshatra relative to Ancestors including ancestral pride and power.
Purva Phalguni in the Vedic order is ruled by Aryaman, the God of contracts and unions.
It gives the power of procreation (prajanana shakti).
Its basis above is the wife or female partner.
Its basis below is the male or masculine partner.
These three together bring about the creation of the fetus.
Purva Phalguni brings about union and procreation on all levels.
Yet this follows some official agreement or marriage and is part of the creation of a new family or social order.
Aryaman governs such productive alliances and also arranges the marriage festival.
Uttara Phalguni in the Vedic order is ruled by Bhaga, the God of happiness.
Its power the giving of accumulation or prosperity (chayani shakti) through marriage or union. Its basis above is the wealth gained from ones own family.
Its basis below is the wealth gained from ones partner and her family.
These three together bring about the accumulation of wealth.
Uttara Phalguni brings the prosperity that results through union.
It indicates both the need for union and for organizing the resources gained through it.
Bhaga is also a God of wealth who brings about the right apportionment of resources.
While the previous Nakshatra shows marriage this shows the setting up of the household for the newly married couple.
Hasta is ruled by Savitar, the creative form of the Sun God.
Its power is the ability to gain what we are seeking and place it in our own hands (hasta sthapaniya agama shakti).
Its basis above is the seeking of gain. Its basis below is the process of gaining.
These three together place what one wishes to gain in ones own hand Hasta gives the ability to achieve our goals in a complete and immediate manner.
Such goals are usually creative innature.
Savitar is the creative will that builds up the universe with all of its beauty.
His productions are most wonderful.
Chitra is ruled by Twashtar, the Cosmic craftsman.
Its power is ability to accumulate merit in life (punya cayani shakti). Its basis above is the law. Its basis below is the truth.
Through these three the worker is able to gain honor in his work Chitra allows us to gain the fruit of our good karma that comes through righteousness.
It has a highly spiritual energy and effect.
Twashtar creates enduring forms, like a blacksmith, and also produces variety and abundance.
Swati is ruled by Vayu, the God of the Wind.
It gives the power to scatter like the wind (pradhvamsa shakti).
Its basis above is moving in various directions. Its basis below is change of form.
The result of these three transformation Swati Nakshatra causes things to move and scatter. This can be destructive unless we learn how to use it to remove negativity.
All these indications are basically those of the Wind, which has both healing and destructive powers.
Vishakha is ruled by Indra and Agni, who represent the powers of heat and lightning in the Atmosphere.
It gives the power to achieve many and various fruits in life (vyapana shakti).
Its basis above is plowing or cultivation. Its basis below is the harvest.
These three gives us the fruit of the harvest.
Vishakha provides the effort to achieve our goals abundantly through time, like a farmer plowing his field.
It does not give immediate results but perhaps greater long term gains. Indra and Agni here are agriculture Gods showing the ripening effect of heat, rain and seasonal changes.
Anuradha is ruled by Mitra, the Divine Friend.
It gives the power of worship (radhana shakti).
Its basis above is ascension. Its basis below is descension.
From these three honor and abundance is gained Anuradha Nakshatra gives balance in relationship, both honoring others and seeking ourselves to be honorable, through which we acquire fame and recognition.
Mitra indicates compassion, devotion and right relationship.
Jyeshta is ruled by Indra, the ruler of the Gods.
It has the power to rise or conquer, and gain courage in battle (arohana shakti).
Its basis above is attack and its basis below is defense.
The result of thesethree is that one becomes a heroJyeshta allows us to reach the summit of our personal powers but it requires great courage and effort.
It shows karmic battles that require our complete energization in order to overcome.
Indra is the king of the Gods who must eventually alone and single handed defeat the dragon, the most fearful of serpents.
Though his position looks hopeless, he wins by courage and cunning, not by strength of arms.
Mula is ruled by Nirriti, the Goddess of destruction.
It has the power to ruin or destroy.
Its basis above is breaking things apart (barhana shakti).
Its basis below is crushing things.
Through these three one gains the power to destroy destruction.
In bringing afflictions Mula Nakshatra allows us to destroy their root, as long as they don't overcome us.
It shows the necessary destruction to proceed a new creation.
Nirriti is Alakshmi or the denial of Lakshmi (abundance and prosperity).
She is Kali or the negative effect of time that we must protect ourselves from or use to our advantage.
Purvashadha is ruled by the Waters (Apas).
Its power is that of invigoration (varchograhana shakti).
Its basis above is strength. Its basis below is connection.
Through these three one gains lustre Purvashadha brings about purification and regeneration, like the energy gained through taking a bath in water.
It provides us additional energy for our efforts.
These effects flow from the Waters, which in this instance are heavenly in nature and
can provide inner purification.
Uttarashadha is ruled by the Universal Gods (Vishwe Deva).
Its power is grant an unchallengeable victory (apradhrisya shakti).
Its basis above is the strength to win.
Its basis below is the goal that one can win.
From these three one becomes the unchallenged winner Uttarashadha brings us to the summit of our power, support and recognition, not so much through our personal efforts (which is more the case in Jyeshta) but with the
appropriate alliances and support of all the Gods.
Our victory depends upon a righteous cause that is beneficial to all, which we are helping in. Here we fight more as the leader of an army.
Shravana is ruled by Vishnu, the pervador.
Its power is that of connection (samhanana shakti).
Its basis above is seeking.
Its basis below are the paths.
The result of these three is the connection of all things together.
Shravana enables us to link people together by connecting them to their appropriate paths in life.
This requires receptivity and listening, and results in understanding and aspiration.
Vishnu with his three strides links together the three worlds of Earth, Atmosphere and Heaven, connecting all creatures with the Gods.
Dhanishta is ruled by the Vasus, the Gods of abundance.
Its power is to give abundance and fame (khyapayitr shakti).
Its basis above is birth. Its basis below is prosperity.
These three give the power to bring people together.
Dhanishta allows us to bring the resources of people together.
In this way it builds upon the connections of Shravana and makes them more practical.
The Vasus are the deities of the Earth that giveabundance on the earthly plane.
They are manifestations of Agni or the sacred fire and show the gifts that it can dispense.
Shatabhishak is ruled by Varuna, the God of the cosmic waters.
It has the power of healing (bheshaja shakti).
Its basis above is extension or pervasion over all.
Its basis below is the support of all.
These three make the world free of calamity Shatabhishak counters difficult karmas through Divine grace and repentance.
These include not only diseases but difficulties of all kind, including sin.
While Ashwini gives more immediatecures, Shatabhishak brings about a healing crisis leading to revitalization.
Varuna is a God of sin, debts, injury and disease, who cannot only bring these calamities upon us but can remove them from us, if we propitiate him sincerely.
Purva Bhadra is ruled by Aja Ekapad, the one-footed serpent.
It gives the fire to raise a spiritual person up in life (yajamana udyamana shakti).
What is good for all people is its basis above.
What is good for the Gods is its basis below.
These three cause the entire world to be supportedPurva Bhadra grants a universal view through internalpurification.
This raises up our spiritual aspiration in life and takes us out of the domain of selfish behavior. Aja Ekapad is the cosmic or celestial form of Agni or the sacred fire.
It raises up our spiritual aspiration in life.
Uttara Bhadra is ruled by Ahir Budhnya, the serpent of the depths of the Atmosphere.
Its power is the bringing of the rain (varshodyamana shakti).
Its basis above is the raining clouds. Its basis below growing of the plants.
From these three factors the three worlds gain their stability.
Uttara Bhadra grants growth and prosperity in a broad way, benefiting the entire world.
This makes it very auspicious. Ahir Budhnya is the benefic serpent who brings the rain, connecting us with the creative powers at the foundations of the world.
Revati is governed by Pushan, the nourishing form of the Sun God.
It has the power of nourishment symbolized by milk (kshiradyapani shakti).
Its basis above is the cows. Its basis below are the calves.
These three bring about the nourishment of the entire world Revati creates abundance through providing proper nourishment.
It helps all people in their efforts.
Pushan is the lord of cattle and the lord of the paths.
He leads, protects and gathers the herd in their movement, particularly to new pastures.
In this way he also protects the soul in its journey to the next world.
Two oft-mentioned Vedic drinks are Amrita and Soma. Amrita is for the immortal body and Soma is for the immortal soul. Soma was a ritual drink of importance both in the Vedic and greater Persian culture when it was part of Bharatam. The Vedic gods Indra and Agni are said to have consumed Soma in rather large quantities. In the scriptures, Lord Soma and the plant are interchangeably used to cause ambiguity. In the Vedic ritual, Agnistoma or Somoyaga, Soma is to be presented as the main offerings to the presiding deity. Various mythological events about unfold from the Vedas. This makes it difficult to comprehend the deity: first as a plant; secondly as inspiration to those seeking and finally as the Moon God. Hindus do not differentiate between the divergent aspects – they were the same Lord Soma.
Soma is also the Moon God. The Moon was thought to be the storehouse of the elixir. A waxing moon was also symbolic in that, Soma was recreating himself, ready to be drunk again. Thus Soma represents and animates the juice of the soma plant. In the Vedic hymns, praise of the Moon God and soma, the actual juice are not distinct. According to Vedic and Puranic accounts, all the gods drank Soma.
The Puranas have it that Lord Brahma created seven rishis to aid him in his creation by engaging in procreation. They are Vashista, Marichi, Pulatsya, Atri, Angiras and Kratu. Atri was married to the virtuous Anusuya. Brahma, Vishnu and Siva wanted to test her virtues and appeared before her, asking that she serve them food provided she appears naked. The Trinity is transformed into infants and she began feeding them. Narada brings this news to the Devis. They come running to plead that the infants be reverted to their divine Trinity forms. Upon reversion, the Trinity and the Devis were pleased with Anusuya’s virtuousness and offered a boon. The childless couple asked for a son who will be remembered forever by mother earth and one who will prove useful to all forms of life.
The boon gave the couple, Soma or Chandra, Durvasa and Dattatreya were born. Durvasa mastered the Vedas, did penance and became a great sage. Dattatreya became a Deva and equaled the status of Indra, Vayu, Varuna, Kubera and Yama. Thus he became a part of Devalokha. Soma obtained the status of Navagraha and thus came into being the origin of the Lunar Dynasty. Soma performed severe penance and received several boons from the Trinity.
Among the boons, one was to permeate and influence the human mind and fermentation, influence the human psyche and subconscious, be a giver of life force, influence the growth and yield of medicinal herbs, influence the happy and sad part of all life forms and provide moonlight at night. The blessings of Lord Vishnu conferred the title to Soma as Lord Chandra.
Chandra is said to have 27 wives, the daughters of Daksha, the son of Lord Brahma. Symbolically these are the 27 lunar Nakshatras or stars. At the time of marriage, Daksha asked for a promises that Chandra would not look down upon any of the wives. However, Rohini becomes his favourite wife. Due to this partiality, the rest of the wives returned to their father. Soma asks for the return of the 26 wives. The father in law stipulates a condition of impartiality. This promise was apparently breached.
This Purana gives a different version. But one can say it is an addition to the story. Lord Soma gets appointed as monarch of the stars and plants; sacrifices and of penance. At the time of writing of this Purana, intoxicants were strictly forbidden. So here Soma as the god of soma juice was no longer praised. According to this Purana, Soma was the son of Atri, therefore the grandson of Brahma. He performs a Rajasuya Yagna or Fire-sacrifice. He went to Devalokha to invite the Gods and Devas. He also requested Vrihaspati, the Deva Guru to preside as the main priest. Indeed it was Vrihaspati who taught Chandra and Vedas and the divine skills. However Vrihaspati could not go and asked his wife Tara to preside over the yagna.
During the yagna, Soma begins to attain more beauty. He acquires the glory of the yagna and becomes arrogant. His divine beauty kept increasing and the ladies could not keep their eyes away from him. Asparas, the devalokha angels, the other Devalokha women and his own guru, Vrihaspati’s wife, Tara, began to fall for Soma. Indeed some of the husbands became jealous and left the yagna. Some of the Deva women stayed back to have physical relationship but later left for devalokha. Tara was the last to leave as she truly fell in love with Soma. Her love was not lust. He too admired Tara’s beauty and in his assumed licentiousness, he sweeps her away and engages full-time house-hold.
Vrihaspati was the preceptor of the Gods. He tries to regain his wife. Soma informs Vrihaspati that Tara is staying with him on her own volition and willfulness. In modern terms we say 'consent by adults.' She can leave anytime she pleases, said Soma. The matter is brought to Lord Shiva, threatening a war. His anger affects the panchabhootas. There is suffering to come in all three worlds. Indra and other Gods support Vrihaspati.
Soma makes an alliance with the demons. He is supported by the sage Usanas. Lord Indra seeks Brahma’s assistance to stop the war. Tara too appeals to Brahma for protection. Lord Brahma curses Soma to be a sinner and commands him to return Tara. Soma stops the war to have the curse reversed. Now, there is a twist. Tara is pregnant. Problemo! Vrihaspati would only receive her after the child is born. Brahma has it that the child is born on the spot! Surprise, surprise, it is a damn pretty child, so both Vrihaspathi and Soma claim paternity.
Tara was too shy to reveal the real father. Now, the child becomes indignant. ‘Unless, one of you declare to be my father, I will sentence you to such a fate as shall deter every female from hesitating to speak the truth’. That is pretty ghastly so Brahma interferes to trouble shoot. He appeals to Tara to speak the truth as to who was fiddling with her to the point of conception. ‘Vrihaspati or Soma?’ asked Brahma. She looked up and said blushingly ‘Soma!’ Soma runs to the child and embraced his son ‘well done my boy, verily thou art wise’ he said. The boy is named Budha. He becomes the regent of the planet Mercury. This Budha is not to be confused with the Buddha of Buddhism. One ‘d’ is missing, if you notice well!
The child is brought to his wives. Only Krittika and Rohini care for the baby. Rohini gives special attention to Budha and Soma reciprocates his love in a differing manner, preferring Rohini. The rest feel neglected as Soma has breached a promise to be impartial to Daksha’s daughters. Daksha’s curses that Soma be depleted of his beauty. By the time Soma approaches Lord Siva for help to remove the curse, he had already lost 14 days beauty and was left only one day to completely look miserable. He completely surrenders himself to Lord Siva.
At this stage, Lakshmi, also born of the ocean milk and part of the other divine drink, the Amrit, approaches Parvathi to enlist Siva’s support. Lord Siva agreed to honour Soma. Vrihaspati declared that Shiva was dishonouring the company of gods. Later Brahma declared in favour of Vrihaspati.
Lord Siva feels pious and kind upon hearing Soma’s plea and takes and keeps him on his matted hair. There he remained forever, with the last part of his beauty and Daksha’s curse could not affect him further except that Soma’s shine would increase for 15 days and deteriorate each day according to Daksha’s curse. Thus the Moon God shines in resplendent glory on the 15th day as Pournima and loses radiance to be a no-moon day as Amavasya. Either way, Anusuya’s boon remains that Soma would be remembered forever.
In Hindu thoughts all days are given a Vedic name. Monday is referred to as Somavaram. There are special Mondays such as Shravana Somavara and Karthikai Somavara. According to Skanda Purana, vrat is observed on the Mondays of Karthikai month. On these days, one meditates on the Supreme Siva. Couples worship Parvathi-Parameshwara. Saluting these couples, they observe vratam. They visit temples to pray to Uma-Mahesrwara. There they annoit the Lord with panchamirtham and other pleasant offerings such as bilva leaves. This vrat is said to be a way towards Kailasham. The moon apparently observed this vrat to get its ‘moonness’. Thereafter the moon saluted Lord Gauri-Shankara and requested that this vratam be called Somavara Vratam.
In Hinduism, the Soma drink, also referred to as Chandra or the Moon God, was depicted as a bull or bird, and sometimes even as an embryo, but rarely as an adult human. Modern art sometimes depict the drink as mushroom! This deity evolved into a lunar deity. Hence, the full moon is considered the right time to collect the divine drink. The moon is also the cup from which the gods drink Soma. This identifies Soma even more with the Moon God, Chandra. Lord Soma rides through the sky in a chariot drawn by ten white horses or antelopes. As he travels the atmosphere, he is represented as a copper-colored man, trailing a red pennant or nautical flag behind his three wheeled chariot. He has in his hands, a cup and a lotus.
It is to be noted that Soma, the elixir of immortality is for God’s and Deva’s consumption and not subscribed for ordinary mortals. Soma, the god in the juice is said to clothe the naked and heal the sick. He is addressed as the god in the highest strains of adulation and veneration. He was described to be divine and immortal and also confer immortality on gods and men. In later periods, the name of Soma was still attached to the Moon. There are writings to state that Soma seems to be used in both senses: as god of the intoxicating juice and as the moon ruling in the night. Soma is the moon and food of the gods; the Sun has the nature of Agni and the moon of Soma.
Rig Veda refers to Soma as God for Gods to give preference over Indra the God of Gods: RV 9.42. The soma plant of the Rig Veda, is said to be asclepias acida. It is a creeping plant, almost destitute of leaves. It has a small white fragrant flower collected round the extremities of the branches. The plant is said to yield purer milky juice than any other plant and is mild and acidic in nature. Soma drink is identified with extraction of juice from the stalk of the soma plant. It is personified as a divinity. The exact identity of the plant is not known. In modern terms it is said to be species of Ephedra or variously hypothised to be a psychedelic mushroom, cannabis or peganum harmala. These plants are said to form a mythological unity something similar to the Greek ambrosia.
The composition of Soma has given rise to many interpretations. It is said to lead to divine exhilaration, perhaps with added hallucinogenic substance such as hemp. The composition varies according to the type and place of ritual. This beverage is not to be confused with ad-hoc substitutes prepared by priests, even in other faiths. Here and there one reads of juice from the roots of plants such as ‘nyagradha’ which grows on hills. The secret of the genuine Soma drunk by Gods and Devas remains in the Vedas and Puranas. It was an initiate of the descendants of the maharishis, the real Agnihotris or the initiates of great Hindu mysteries. That soma drink made a new personality of the initiate; he is reborn and transformed and his spiritual nature overcame his physical giving him divine power. It is a plant and at the same time a god. It forcibly connects the inner, highest spirit of man, which spirit is like the mystical Soma as he soars above his physical nature and ineffable glory of Bliss. Soma juice, is not man or priest to be supplied commercially in little bottles. And is most certainly not something obtained from the local pharmacy!
Soma finds frequent mention in the Rigveda. Interestingly, the Ninth Mandala of the Rigveda, which consists of hyms addressed to Soma Pavamma, is known as the Soma Mandala. In some of the hymns he is extolled as the Creator or Gather of the Gods. At that time he must have been a popular deity. Then Indra was also a worshipper of Soma.
Indra gets hold of the plant brought to him from a mountain. In some places it is said that the drink Soma was kept by King Soma who dwelt with the Gandharvas. They were a race of demi-gods or minor deities who formed the royal choir in Indra’s court. The celestial gods learnt of the soma juice, wished to obtain it. They did not know how to get possession. Vac, the goddess of speech enters to scene to advise of the Ghandarvas’ weakness for women and volunteered the assignment. The gods are hesitant to let Vac go. I will obtain King Soma and be wherever you want me to, she said.
In another version, Soma is in the sky while the gods are living on earth. Wishing to possess Soma, they sent Brahma’s daughter, Gayatri, to fetch it. She goes in the form of a bird. While she was returning with soma, the Ghandarvas seized it and gave it to Goddess Vac. When soma was handed to the gods a dispute arose as to who was to get ‘hit’ first. A race was organized for the winner to taste the soma first. Apparently Vayu reached the goal and Indra being second. Indra tried to a ‘compromise’ so Vayu could have two thirds of the drink. This was not agreeable so but finally Indra got to drink a quarter peck!
They are the most important of the Lingas and twelve in number. The names are Somnatha, Mallikarjuna, Mahakala, Omkara, Kedara, Bhimshankara. Vishvanatha, Tryambaka, Vaidynatha, Nagesha, Rameswara and Ghushnesha. Somnatha is the name of Shiva in the town of the same name situated in Prabhas Patan in Saurashtra in the state if Gujarat in India. It is connected with the story of Daksha’s curse to Chandra or Soma who is the moon god in Hindu mythology. Daksha was one of the patriarchs and Soma was his son-in-law. The story of Daksha’s curse and the waning of the moon are hereinbefore told.
The human heart is like a sky. Thoughts are moving in and out. They will also cover the Sun symbolising the intellect. Chandrama manaso hjahata – the moon was born out of the mind. The mind is a bundle of thoughts. The moon reflects the mind’s nature. Our own thoughts of desire form the dark clouds. When there is too much dark clouds both the sun and the moon are hidden. Clouds also symbolise sankalpas – resolutions and vikalpas – indecisivenss. The mind and intellect shine brightly when thoughts are controlled. There is close affinity between the mind and waxing moon; both are subject to decline and progress. The waning moon symbolises the waning of the mind. So the mind has to be controlled, reduced and finally destroyed. Sadhana is directed towards the killing of Manohara, the mind and Maya, the veil of delusion. Chathurdasi, the fourteenth night, is the weebit of the moon left. The sadhaka has to make an effort on that day. The dark half of Chaturdasi is called Sivarathri. This hour is to be spent on japa and syana od Siva, preferably observing vratam. Mahashivarathri comes onece a year. Shavan,corpse becomes Shivam, God by the removal of the clouds in Manas.
The word Soma’s true identity is the Moon. This lustrous crescent Moon is depicted on Siva’s forehead to represent the blissful radiance flooding the brain when Kundalini is aroused and sends the powerful stream of prana up the spine. Kundalini is also known as Serpent Power. Mythologically, the serpent represents a being of great power and wisdom. The most overt system designed to awaken Kundalini is the Tantras. One of such Tantric practices involves sexual arousal and the development of the ability to convert sexual essence and send them to the brain rather than expressing sexual energy outwardly. These rituals are diverse and linked to meditation and rituals. Copulation and bliss is referred to in obscure and symbolic terms. Tantra as a spiritual science is best understood by a guru’s instructions.
Yogi Ananda Saraswathi..
PANCHANGA – THE HINDU ALMANAC
Time is conceived as an unending flow that moves in great cycles.
Atharva Veda 19.54 states:
"Time creates the sky and the earth. Time creates that past and the future. By Time the sun burns, through Time all beings exist, in Time the eyes see. Time is the lord of all."
This expresses the importance of time in Hindu culture.
In the Matsya Purana, time is referred to as ‘waters of time’.
We know that waters move in a peaceful way, sometimes they move in great and chaotic way. Sometimes they are torrential. This movements are indicative of celestial time. The movements of the sun and the moon indicate time. Movement of other celestial bodies are also the indication of this flow of time. The passage of the sun across the atoms on this earth creates the reckoning of time:
The Bhagavata Purana.
The name for the Hindu calendar is a panchanga.
It is the record of times.
Along with other information, a panchanga especially records the movements of the sun and the moon.
Traditionally no religious festival, family event, or even a civic affair is performed without first consulting a panchanga to know the favorable movements of these celestial bodies and flow of time.
In Sanskrit the word "panchanga" is made of two parts: pancha and anga. Pancha means five and anga means a part. Anga can also mean limb. The panchanga therefore constitutes five components:
1. Thithi – lunar day;
2. Vara – week;
3.Nakshatra – lunar mansion;
4. Yoga – luni-solar day and
5. Karana – half lunar day.
MEASURING THE SKY
‘A stone’s thrown away’ relates to distance and walking time. We calculate distance in miles or kilometers. Distance between two towns are marked in a road map by using km or miles. Astronomers measure the celestial sky by using degrees to show the distance between celestial objects. They do that by using the 360 degrees of a circle. Ordinary people sometimes use the hand technique to approximately measure the sky. Ancient astronomers have also used this technique for thousands of years to make approximate measurements of the sky. This was how a common constellation was used to measure the separation between each star.
As we begin to discuss the five elements of the Hindu almanac it is important to recognize the importance of the moon in Hindu culture.
The basic calendar is primarily a lunar calendar. The lunar day, called a tithi, is all important in selecting a favorable time to begin a certain task. A person's name is often derived from the lunar position in the heavens called a naksatra. The reason for this is simple.
In Hindu astrology the moon rules the mind.
TITHI - LUNAR DAY Tithi or thithi
A lunar calendar is based on the moon’s rotation around the Earth. Just as the sun rises everyday in the east and sets in the west and we call the time between one sunrise and the next a "day," so the moon also rises in the east and sets everyday in the west and the time between one moonrise and the next is called a "lunar day."
The Sanskrit word for this lunar day is tithi.
Thithi is a measurement of 120 of longitudinal separation between the sun and the moon. It is calculated by taking time as the longtitudinal 12 degree angle between the moon and the sun to increase by Each lunar month consists 30 thithi. Their starting of time and its duration vary.
There are 30 such lunar days in a lunar month and they are sequentially numbered starting from the new moon as well as the full moon.
Thus, in the moon’s waxing phase, the first lunar day is called new moon or AMAVASYA. Here the sun and moon are separated by zero degrees.
As they begin to separate the first thithi begins when the sun and the moon are separated by 120. The next lunar day is called the second tithi when the sun and the moon have separated by 240 degrees. When they are separated by 36o, the third thithi begins. This continues to the 14th lunar day until the sun and the moon have separated 180o and the moon is fully and clearly visible.
The day after the 14th day is called the full moon day or PURNIMA..
The first 15 thithis are waxing phases of the moon. In Sanskrit this is called the SUKLA PAKSA.
The numbering sequence starts all over again after Sukla paksa.
These are the waning phases of the moon.
Here the thithi begins again counting from one as the longitudinal separation between sun and the moon decreasing back to Oo. This is the dark side of the lunar month. Sometimes the sun and moon can both be seen at the same time. In the olden days people used the hand method to measure the longitudinal separation between the sun and the moon.
Names of the Hindu Months
Chaitra (March - April)
Vaishakha (April - May)
Jyaishtha (May - June)
Ashadha (June - July)
Shravana (July - August)
Bhadrapada (August - September)
Asvina (September - October)
Karttika (October - November)
Margasirsha (November - December)
Pausha (December - January)
Magha (January - February)
Phalguna (February - March)
In Hindu lunar calendar, there is geographical variation also. In some areas the lunar month begins from the full moon whereas other parts begin the month from the new moon. Notwithstanding for all instant and purposes of religious festivities, it is this lunar almanac that is relied upon. The difference between the modern solar calendar day and the Hindu lunar day causes confusion. In the solar calendar, the solar day begins at midnight. The lunar thithi, on the other hand begins at anytime of the solar day.
There seems to be a compromise here. For practical purposes, the thithi that is current at sunrise is taken to be the prevailing tithi for the day. This compromise purports that the thithi begins just after sunrise and end before the sunrise of the next day. This compromise is also possible because thithis can last between 19 to 26 hours due to the changing speed of the earth and moon in their orbits. However these factors also cause confusion between the Hindu lunar calendar and the modern solar calendar.
From the astrological perspective, auspiciousness of a particular day depends on the thithi. Generally sukla paksha thithis are considered positive days as they refer to the bright side or the ‘growing’ moon. That symbolically suggests increase. The beginning of any enterprise or business, bridal visits, marriages, house warming or conducting any religious ceremony is considered to be auspicious if done on these days. Even religious festivals are named after thithis. During the Hindu year, as in all religions, there are many religious days and nights that celebrate a particular Deity or religious event. These times are called festival days, utsavas.
Krishna paksha thithis are normally avoided for auspicious functions. Usually ancestor worship or ‘sriatha’ are held during this paksha. However there are exceptions to this general rule as the astrological charts of the candidates involved may favour a particular event. There are also religious days that fall during this paksha.
The 8th and 14th thithis, amavasya are also considered inauspicious. This is the same with the 1st thithi of the sukla paksa. Here again there are exceptions to the general rule. Those doing sraddha functions or post funeral rites prefer the lunar dark phase.
There is a general practice nowadays to conduct weddings during BRAHMA-MUHURTA as it is considered to be auspicious part of the day. This is the time early in the morning, one and a half hours before sunrise. During this brahma-muhurta, spiritual activities are also recommended. It is during these hours that spiritual activities performed early in the morning have a greater effect than in any other part of the day: Bhagavata Purana 3.20.46. Brahma muhurta goes hand in hand with surya namashkar.
Vara means week. In Tamil it is ‘varam’. It is the second element of the Hindu almanac,the panchanga. vara. In Sanskrit the days of the week are clearly named after seven of the nine major astrological influences used in Hindu astrology. This is connected the Nava Grahas. (posted earlier). The days in a week have astrological connotations. They are named after these celestial bodies because the influence of that celestial body is said to be prominent on that day.
RAVI VARA - Sunday, relating to the sun
SOMA VARA - Monday, relating to the moon
MANGALA VARA - Tuesday, relating to Mars
BUDHA VARA - Wednesday, relating to Mercury
GURU VARA - Thursday, relating to Jupiter
SHUKRA VARA - Friday, relating to Venus
SHANI VARA - Saturday, relating to Saturn
NAKSHATRA - LUNAR MANSION
Nakshatra is the third element. It refers to the lunar mansion. In vedic language, naksatra refers to any heavenly body or to the stars collectively is first mentioned in the Atharvaveda. The nakshatras of traditional Hindu astronomy are based on a list of 28 asterisms found in the Atharvaveda 19.7. This is also mentioned in the Shatapatha Brahmana. The first astronomical text listing out the nakshatras is the Vedanga Jyotisha. Nakshatra refers to lunar mansion in Hindu astrology. Each nakshatra is one of the twenty seven (sometimes taken as 28) sectors along the ecliptic. Each of their names relate to the most prominent asterisms in the respective sectors. The ecliptic is divided into each of the nakshatras eastwards starting from a point called Meshadi.
The number of nakshatras reflects the number of days in a sidereal month. The modern value of this is 27.32 days. Each nakshatra is governed as ‘lord’ by one of the nine grahas. The lord of each nakshatra determines the planetary period known as the ‘dasha’, which is considered of major importance in forecasting the life path of the individual in Hindu astrology.
Their sequence is as follows: Ketu - South Lunar Node, Shukra –Venus, Ravi or Surya -Sun, Chandra - Moon, Mangala - Mars, Rahu - North Lunar Node, Guru or Brihaspati -Jupiter, Shani - Saturn and Budha -Mercury. This cycle repeats itself three times to cover all 27 nakshatras.
Like thithi, nakshatra is also important in Hindu culture. Traditionally, one traces the nakshtra of a new born baby. His character and future is predicted by astrologers based on the nakshatra. In fact many babies names are based on the nakshatra. This is based on the belief that a person’s existence is tied by the movements of the planets. A person’s nakshtra is normally mentioned during sankalpa, meaning the opening statement during puja. Nakshtra also determines the compatibility of prospective marriage couple.
This system of 27 naksatra was the original Hindu way of dividing the 360 degrees of the solar ecliptic. The system of the twelve signs of the zodiac, in Sanskrit called ‘RASI’, was a later addition to Hindu astronomy.
The list of the 27 nakshatras are:
The 27 nakshatras constitute group "types." Some are ‘fixed’ and some are ‘movable’. The fixed constellations are: Rohini, Uttara Bhadrapada, Uttra Phaluni and Uttara Ashada. The movable constellations are: Punarvasu, Swaati, Sharavana, Shatabhisha and Shravishtha. The ‘cruel’ constellations are Magha, Bharani, Purva Phalguni, Purva Shadha and Purva Bhadra. The mixed constellations are Vishakha and Krittika. These groupings too determine the auspiciousness of beginning a certain activity of event.
YOGA AND KARANA
These are important to astrologers. They refer to Yoga -Luni-solar year and Karana - half lunar year. Having to do with the relationship between the sun and moon, this aspect of the Hindu almanac is technical in nature. The Yoga is the period during which the combined longitudinal motion of the sun and moon amounts to 13 degrees and 20 minutes. There are 27 yogas.
Karana can be considered to be the final aspect of the Hindu almanac. Karana is calculated to be 6o of longitudinal separation between the sun and moon. Karana is half a thithi, so one thithi makes up of two Karanas. Eleven karanas rotate through the 30 thithis that make up the lunar month.
The Panchanga is a technical subject. Indeed it is a science that calls for specific knowledge. These notes are put together to formulate some basic information on the subject.
CHANDRA IN THE NAVAGRAHAS:
Chandra is a lunar deity. Surya, Chandra, Angaraka, Budha, Guru, Sukra, Sani, Rahu and Ketu are nine important Navagraha deities representing the nine planets. The English equivalents of the first seven being are the Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn. The last two are unique to Hindu astrology and they are Rahu and Ketu explained by mythology. These deities are commonly found in Hindu temples and it is part of temple worship. Often, bhaktas are given to have their navagraha deity inscribed on copper plates placed in the puja room. In Hindu belief, the grahas determine the course of one’s life. They are repellents of evil that may visit a person or family. They also bring blessings.
Chandra is also called Rajanipati, The Lord of the Might or Kshuparaka, One who Illuminates the Night. Chandra’s chief consorts are Rohini and Tara. But he goes on to marry, 27 nakshatras, all being daughters of Daksha. His vahana is a chariot pulled by an antelope or by ten white horses. He is also called Nishadipati, Nisha meaning night and Adipathi means Lord. His guna is Sattva and represents the Mind.
Chadra, despite being blessed with 29 wives, suffers a series of love affairs. His first lover was Tara, then the wife of Brihaspati, the planet Jupiter. Tara becomes pregnant and gives birth to Budha another navagraha deity. Budha hates Chandra for causing his illegitimacy. Brahma banishes Chandra for the illicit affair and child born out of wed-lock. The blame is shifted to intoxicants. He then takes Daksha’s daughters as wives on condition that there will not be favouritism. Now, Chandra failed in this and gets cursed by Daksha that he would lose his luster. This accounts for the moon’s waxing and waning.
In Hindu thoughts, Grahas are connected to one’s karmas. They are the markers of influence that indicate karmic influence. This impacts a person’s behaviour and well being of his family. While one cannot run his or her life with intellect alone, the grahas put him to notice of divinity’s role in enforcing the laws of karma. Humans may not be causative elements of his current life. So grahas can be said to be similar to traffic signs and signals.
PRASNA MARGA: Grahas are not restricted to the nine navagrahas. There are various other spiritual entities. Other than the navagraha nine, these entities are said to have been born out of the wrath of Lord Rudra and Siva. These spirits or grahas are malefic in nature.
There were no sophisticated observation stations during the ancient times. But Indian seers, by analysis and profound insight compiled extensive information on astronomy and astrology. This became the science of jyothisha. They collected date from various sources on planetary movements and human affairs. Therein they found remarkable coincidences and concurrences within repetitive cyclic patterns that made them predictable.
This knowledge was codified to form composite knowledge of astrology. Jyotisha became part of Hindu way of life. To any Indian, intellectual or otherwise, it was significant to their lives. Nothing was commenced or continued without recourse to jyotisha. Indeed it was given the status of Vedanga, a limb of the Vedas. As such, Navagrahas occupied the minds of millions in India over the millenia. They have been celebrated and worshipped in sloka and stotra, in sculpture and music.
Chandra is given an equal status to Surya in Jyotish. In Jataka Paarijaata by Vaidyanatha, he states that Chandra is king amongst planets alongside Surya. However the learned commentator of Brihat-Jataka says that Chandra is queen in the planetary cabinet. The second proposition seems to hold water as Chandra and his brilliance on Purnima-full moonlight gives a pleasing and cooling feeling unlike Surya who causes sweat from his heat.
Chandra rules over the Karta-cancer sign while he is exalted in Vrishbha- Tauras rasi. His all is in Vrishika-scorpio rasi. Chandra is lord of three nakshatras or lunar mansions being Rohini, Hasta and Shravana.
CHANDRA AND SOMA:
Chandra is also known as Soma and identified with a group of lunar deities. Hence, Monday, dedicated to Chandra, is called Somavara. Soma was the milky fermented liquor produced from the soma plant. It was an integral part of Vedic sacrifice. It was drunk by priests as a token of appreciation. Soma is also amrita, the product of churning of the milk ocean. It was a matter of dispute between gods and demons. Those who had the blessings of Soma where elevated even above Indra. Thus Soma became an independent deity also and started absorbing other deities.
Chandra was the god of the Moon. He was the source of fertility. He was absorbed by Soma and there was a coincidence in that both were born from the churning of the ocean. This account is given in Matsya, Vushnu and Vayu Purana. It was then found fitting that although considered independent, he should also become another name, Soma. But every night he rose anew from the ocean. Vedic myths compound the issue. While establishing Surya to be the greatest of the Gods, he is said to have fathered Soma and Chandra. In such myths, Surya is the original creator of amrita which he passed to Soma and Chandra. The implication here is Surya being the original source for Soma.
Parvathi - Sati is excluded from Daksha’s yagna. Lord Siva is variously insulted in the presence devas and the gods. Brahma and Vishnu, the supremacy race contenders are there as special guests. From strands of Siva’s hair spring Virabhadra and Bhadrakali and hundreds of demi-gods. Daksha’s guests were all whacked out of shape. It is said that Indra was trampled; Saraswati’s nose was cut; Mitra’s eyes were pulled out; Agni’s hands were cut off and finally, Chandra had to go to the dentist – his lost his teeth.
Then Daksha admitted to Shiva’s supremacy. Just then Vishnu seized Siva by the throat and forced him to desist and acknowldege him as master. The end line in the Shiva Purana was that the Mahavishnu was not spared. He earned Rudra-Siva’s wrath, earns some physical abuse at the hands of Siva’s weapons and finally submits to Lord Siva.
In the Purusha Sukta is a famous verse ‘ chandrama manso jata’ meaning ‘Moon was born from the mind of the cosmic man. Writings link this to incidents of insanity and mental asylums show statistical support.
Moon is the presiding deity of the water element. The sphere of the Moon is the reservoir of rainwater and thus Moon is the ruler of plants and the vegetable kingdom. It represents Feminine Principle that energy creates and preserves. The color of moon is white. It rules peace of mind, comfort and general well being. The moon gives illumination, sense of purpose, intuitive nature, sensuality, taste, youth and love for literature. It is said to show influence around twenty four years in man’s life. It also makes us moody, emotional and sensitive. The moon is auspicious for those born in the ascending Moon cycle and malefic for those who were born in the descending Moon cycle. The gemstone related to Moon is pearl.
KIRTANAS OF DIKSHITAR:
Muthusamy Dikshitar's Navagraha Kritis deals with Vedic astrology, as well as fine music. There is one kriti for each of the classical nine planets. He emphasies the Indian view that name and form, colour and sound, are but manifestations of the Divine. The following is a translation of a kriti dedicated to Chandra.
“Oh mind! Let us sing in praise of the Moon, the very heart of the pious.
Who is worshipped by Indra and other rulers of the worlds; the spouse of Tara; who has sixteen Kalas (phases); the creator of night, the brother of Indira, the producer of the Nectar; let us constantly sing his praise.
He who is the ornament of the Lord Siva's crest; possessed of cool rays; who has four arms and Cupid for his parasol; the creator of night; the very eyes of Venkatesa; born of the mind of Virat, known as Vidhu; friend of the water lily; with the face of Brahma and Guruguha; with the figure of a hare; who receives both the curses and blessings of Brhaspati; who has a white body shining like the rays of the autumn moon; who wears a wristlet, armlet, garland and a crown; who is hostile to the lotus; and who is the darling of Rohini.”
The Navagrahasthalam associated with Chandra, the moon god, called Thingai in Tamil, is located in the Kailasanathar temple at Tingaloor near Thanjavur in Tamilnadu. In Tamil, the word Thinggal refers to Monday. The shrine here is dedicated to Chandran. According to the temple authorities, a visit to this temple is said to grant a comfortable and long life. In astrology, Chandran is the planet that rules the mind. A strong and well placed moon in the horoscope gives a strong mind - Chandra Bala. When the moon is debilitated or afflicted by evil planets like Rahu, it leads to an unstable mind, sorrow, mood fluctuations etc. Offering pooja to Chandra here is an excellent parihara for chandra dosha and can help mitigate its adverse impact. The benefits of offering a puja to Chandran are happiness, strength of mind, clarity of thought, mental health, freedom respiratory diseases like asthma and long life.
TANTRIC MANTRA FOR MOON:
Om shram shreem shrom saha chandra mase namah
Hara Hara Mahadeva
(draft Gods, Goddesses, Minor Deities and Sages)
Yogi Ananda Saraswathi
Siddha Dhatri Durga - Day 9
My personal favourite Day # 9 -
There are thousands of traditions in India and many have different representations. There is a saying in Baul called "Nana Muni Nana Mot" many different people, many different opinions.
Siddha Dhatri is represented by Ketu.
Siddhidayini or Siddhidatri In this form Durga is seated on a lotus and is four armed. She holds a lotus, mace, discus and book. In this form Durga removes ignorance and she provides the knowledge to realize That or Brahman. She is surrounded by Siddhas, Gandharvas, Yakshas, Demons and Gods who are worshipping her. The Siddhi that she provides is the realization that only She exists. Siddhidayini form of Durga is worshipped on the ninth day of Navaratri.
She is the mistress of all achievements and perfections. The narrative regarding her emergence runs as follows:
When the Universal Mother was gripped with the idea of projecting Creation, She, first of all, created Lord Shiva who prayed to Her to endow him with perfections. For this purpose, the Universal Mother (Durgaa) produced Goddess Siddhidaatri from Her own person. As the behest of the Universal Mother, Goddess Siddidaatri bestowed eighteen kinds of rare perfections and powers and potentialities (Siddhis) on Lord Shiva. By virtue of these siddhis, Lord Shiva happened to develop a divine splendor.
Having acquired the siddhis from Goddess Siddhidaatri, Lord Shiva created Lord Vishnu who in turn created Lord Brahma who was entrusted with the task of the Creation whereas Lord Vishnu got the task of Protection and Lord Shiva that of Destruction.
Lord Brahma felt a great difficulty in his task of the Creation in the absence of man and woman. Thereupon he remembered Mother Siddhidaatri. When she appeared before him, Lord Brahma said to her, “Oh Great Mother! I cannot carry on with the task of the Creation in the absence of man and woman. You kindly solve this problem of mine through your supernatural attainments (siddhis).”
Having heard Lord Brahma, Mother Siddidaatri converted half the person of Lord Shiva into a woman. Thus Lord Shiva became half-male and half-female and came to be known as Ardhanaarishwara. Thus the problem of Lord Brahma was resolved and the task of the Creation went on smoothly.
Mother Siddhidaatri possesses four arms and she rides on a lion. She carries the mace, the lotus, the conch-shell and the disc in her four hands. He who acquires her grace attains salvation after enjoying the pleasures of life. She fulfills all the mundane and divine aspirations of her devotees. Her worship destroys all distresses.
Om Devi Siddhidatryayi Namah
(108 Recititation of Siddhidatri Mantra)
Siddha Gandharva Yakshdyairasurairamarairapi | Sevyamaanaa Sadabhuyaat Siddhida Siddhidayini ||
Which means, Goddess Siddhidatri who is worshipped by Siddha, Gandharva, Yaksh, Gods, Demons etc., holds Conch, Chakra, Gada and Lotus in her hands, giver of all siddhis and victory all over, be propitious to me.
Devotees worship Goddess Siddhidatri on ninth day of Navratri because she gives the results of nine days worship.
Siddhidatri is the ninth aspect of Goddess Durga worshiped in Navaratri. The last among the nine forms of Maa Shakti is Goddess Siddhidatri who is worshiped on the ninth orfinal day of Navratri. Mother Siddhidatri po...ssesses twenty six siddhis.
‘Siddhi’ is aSanskrit term which means ‘perfection, accomplishment, attainment or success.’ The term ‘siddhi’ is first used in the Mahabaratha. The Panchatantra describes it to be any unusual skill or faculty or capability. The Manusmriti refers it to a settlement of a debt. The Siddhars or Sithars in Tamil have developed siddhi from in the Shaivite tradition. This would be posted as a separate piece in the days to come.
After having worshipped the eight Durgas in an
appropriate manner on the ninth day devotees undertake her worship. After the completion of Goddess Siddhidatri's worship the devotees and strivers get their desires mundane or otherworldly fulfilled. But the main thing is this that there remains no such desire in a favourite devotee of Siddhidatri which he may wantto fulfill. Such a devotee transcends all material desires and necessities.
Spiritually he moves in the divine abode of the Devi and always drinks the
nectar of her favour. He becomes completely devoid of lust and enjoyment. Theabsolute nearness of the goddess becomes the only aim of his actions. After acquiring this position there remains nothing for him to require.
There are many tales of the goddess in the form of Mahalakshmi that are very wellknown. Some people believe that the worship of the Goddess Laxmi should be donewith her mate Vishnu, however she is usually worshipped with Lord Ganesha. She is the goddess of Tantra, Mantra, Yogic accomplishments achieved by means of spiritual practices in the form of Supernatural powers as well as worldly accomplishments. Generally Siddhidatri is considered as the goddess of Wealth however she is also the goddess of Beauty, Arts, accomplishment of worldly desires and the Sciences.
Goddess Siddhidatri has four arms. She holds a Chakra in her right lower hand and a mace in the upper. In the leftlower hand there is a conch and in her upper left hand a lotus flower. She isseated on a lotus flower with the lion as her mount. Mother is dressed in red sari and that is her traditional dress. She wears a crown of many ornaments.
Goddess Siddhidatri is capable of giving all sorts of occult
powers and is also the possessor of 26 different wishes to grant her worshipers.All these achievements, the Siddhis, which according to the
MARKANDAYE PURANA are:- Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakaamya, Ishitva and Vashitva are 8 siddhis. Usually, a purnayogi or siddhar in the path of Kundalini Yoga is said to possess eight of these major siddhis. Notwithstanding, these teachings and the acquirement of siddhis are considered highly secretive in the hands of the gurus and sadhaks. Indeed they hardly speak about their blessings.
The Yogi can become as minute as he pleases;
This is the opposite of Anima. He can become as big as he likes. He can make his body assume
a very large size. He can fill up the whole universe. He can assume a Virat Svarupa ;
He can make his body as light as cotton or feather.
Vayustambhanam is done through this Siddhi. In Jalastambhanam also the power is exercised to a very small degree. The body is rendered light by Plavini Pranayama. The Yogi produces a diminution of his specific gravity by swallowing large draughts of air. The Yogi travels in the sky with the help of this Siddhi. He can travel thousands of miles in a minute
This is the opposite of Laghima. In this the Yogi acquires an increase of specific gravity. He can make
the body as heavy as a mountain by swallowing draughts of air.
The Yogi standing on the earth can touch the highest things. He can
touch the sun or the moon or the sky. Through this Siddhi the Yogi attains his
desired objects and supernatural powers. He acquires the power of predicting
future events, the power of clairvoyance, clairaudience, telepathy,
thought-reading, etc. He can understand the languages of the beasts and birds.
He can understand unknown languages also. He can cure all diseases;
He can dive into the water and can come out at any time he likes. The late
Trilinga Swami of Benares used to live for six months underneath the Ganges. It is the process by which a Yogi makes himself invisible sometimes. By some
writers it is defined to be the power of entering body of another (Parakaya
Pravesh). Sri Sankara entered the body of Raja Amaruka of Benares. Tirumular in Southern India entered the body of a shepherd. Raja Vikramaditya also did this. It is also the power of keeping a youth-like appearance for any length of time.
Raja Yayati had this power;
This is the power of taming wild animals and bringing them under control. It is the power of mesmerising persons by the exercise of will and of making them obedient to one’s own wishes andorders. It is the restraint of passions and emotions. It is the power to bring men, women and the elements under subjection; and
It is the attainment of divine power. The Yogi becomes the Lord of the universe. The Yogi who has this power can restore life to the dead. Kabir, Tulsidas and range of blessed souls had this power of bringing back life to the dead.
There are 18 types of achievements which are Anima,
Mahima, Garima, Ladhima, Prapti, Prakaamya, Ishitva,Vashitva, Sarvakaamaal,
Saadhita, Sarvagynatva, DurShravana, Parkaayapraveshan, VakaSiddhi,
Kalpavrushatva, Shrishti, Samharkaransaamarthya, Amaratva, Sarvanyayakatva, Bhavana and Siddhi
According to this Purana, Dev, Danav, Gandharva, Kinnar, Yaksh, Manav, all do worship Maa Siddhidaatri and attain achievements.
Maa Durga removes ignorance and she provides the knowledge to realize That orBrahman. That is why She is surrounded by Siddhas, Gandharvas, Yakshas, Demonsand Gods who are worshiping her. The Siddhi that she provides is the realizationthat everything is Supreme Being or Brahman. If a “sadhaka” worships in theprescribed manner with his full faith he acquires all “Siddhis” and nothingremains unattainable from him in the universe
In ‘Devi Bhagvata Purana’ it is mentioned that Lord Shiva worshipped her and wasblessed with all Siddhis or supernatural powers. By her blessings his half bodybecame female and other half body male in the avatar of Ardhnarishvara. Legend has it that the Supreme God Shiva was blessed with all these ‘siddhis’ by worshiping Maha Shakti and by her grace alone. With her gratitude the half bodyof Shiva became that of the Goddess Shakti and therefore he also came to becalled as ‘Ardhanarishvar’.
This sacred day is dedicated to Goddess Siddhidatri as the manifestation of Mother Durga. It is a day boosted with reverence to mother goddesses as observed as Mahanavami prayers and rituals throughout the world. Puja, archanai, andhavan are conducted.
There is group chanting of Her mantras and singing Mother’s glory. In many parts of the country it is a noted celebration, with community and temple puja. Private functions are also elaborate and dedicated. As Siddhidatri, Mother Durga ever showers jnana. She removes fear and impurities from one’s heart. To show reverence devotees wear red cloths during the celebrations. Ma Siddhidaatri can be pleased by chanting the above stated Mantra as many time and these done in the prescribed manner avails one to acquire the siddhis. It is gainsaid that there remains nothing unattainable in the universe. The devotee develops competency to conquer the whole universe and cross the ocean of miseries, remaining untainted and progressing the goals of purusharta.
“ Ya Devi sarvbhuteshu laxmi rupen samsthita, namastasyai namastasyai namastasyai namo namah”.
Yogi Ananda Sarasvathi
Maha Gauri Durga - Day 8
There are thousands of traditions in India and many have different representations. There is a saying in Baul called "Nana Muni Nana Mot" many different people, many different opinions.
Maha Dauri is represented by Rahu
8th day- Mahagauri or Maha Gowri In this form Durga is four-armed and she rides on a bull or a white elephant. She carries a trishul and a damaru. Two hands are in blessing posture. She is pure and is believed to have been in the form of Mata Parvati when she did penance to get Shiva as her husband. Purity is depicted in this form of Durga. Mahagowri form of Durga is worshipped on the eighth day of Navratri. Goddess Parvati made up her mind to perform an austere penance as advised by Sage Narada so that she might beget Lord Shiva as her husband. So, she renounced all the comforts of the palace and started performing penance in the forest.
Her severe penance continued for many years. She braved heat and cold, rains and drought and terrible storms. Her body was covered with dust, earth, soil and leaves of trees. She had developed a blackish skin over her body. At last, Lord Shiva appeared before her and gave his solemn word that he would marry her.
He bathed her vigourously by the holy waters of the Ganga emanating from his matted hair. The holy and sacred waters of Ganga washed off all the dirt clinging to Parvati’s person and she became became white-complexioned and glorious. Thus by virtue of having acquired a white complexion, Parvati came to be known as Mahagauri (Extremely Fair).
Mahagauri Devi is worshipped on the eighth day of the Navaratri. This manifestation of hers is very placid and serene. All the sins of the devotees are burnt to ashes by her adoration and worship. She possesses invincible powers and bestows merits on her devotees. She destroys all the distresses of her devotees and blesses them with all kinds of merits and virtues.
Maa Mahagauri’s meditation, her adoration, her worship, and her devotion are conducive to the welfare of devotees. He who concentrates his mind on her will enjoy her blessings. He who enjoys her grace achieves perfection in every walk of life. Mother Mahagauri fulfils all the desires of her devotees. She enables them to enjoy prosperity and pleasures here in this world and salvation hereafter.
Mantras for Mahagauri Devi
Om Devi Mahagauryayi Namah
(108 Recitation of Mahagauri Mantra)
Shwete Vrishesamarudha Shwetaambardhara Shuchih | Mahagari Shubham Dadyanmahadev Praodadaa ||
Which means, Goddess Mahagauri who rides on white bull, wear pure white clothes, giver of happiness, be propitious to me.
GODDESS MAHA GAURI is the eight aspect of Goddess Durga and worshipped on the eighth day of the Navaratri festival. The name ‘Maha Gauri’ implies a bright ray of lightning that lightens the universe. She is said to be an intelligent, peaceful and calm Goddess. As a result of her worship, all sins of past, present and future get washed away and devotees get purified in all aspects of life. She has the power to fulfill all the desires.
Maha Gauri bhaktas are relieved from their sufferings. She takes the name of Shambhavi as Lord Siva’s consort. Maha Gauri is inseparable from Mahadeva. This is the radiant and tranquil form of Goddess Parvathi. She is the manifestation of divine energy and perfect wife of Lord Siva. In that role she represents purity and austerity. She took many forms to earn the Lord’s attention. As Gauri she was a Kannya or virgin performing severe austerities. Her penance is best seen as the mythology herein and worship attributed to Maa.
DEPICTION: Maha Gauri Swaroopa depicts her as white as a conch, moon and jasmine. Even her clothes are symbolically pure white. She has matching ornaments of cool nature. She is also depicted to have a divine golden complexion. Maha Guari is shown to have three eyes. Mother has four arms. Her right arm is in the mudra of allaying fear. She holds a trident in her lower right hand symbolical of birth, sustenance and destruction . She holds a tambourine in her left upper arm to symbolize divine pranava Om and for Mother’s blessings to reach her devotees in the form of various sounds in prakriti. The lower left hand is the form of a blessing. Mother always appears calm and peaceful.
VAHANA: Her vahana is a white bull. It has a bell hanging from its neck to announce her arrival. Maha Guri is seated on a tiger skin placed on the bull. Bhaktas often hear this as little ringing sounds in their hearts. The bull is a symbol of fertility. According to another legend, the lion is also her vahans. Once, a hungry lion sat in front of Mother, waiting for her penance to be over so that it can satisfy its hunger. But days passed and the lion became weak. When Mother opened her eye she saw the lion sitting in front of her in an adverse condition. She felt moved because the lion had also indirectly observed penance along with the goddess. She then made the lion her vahana. Since then the lion and bull are considered as the ride of Mother Mahagauri.
MYTHOLOGY: She observed severe penance as Goddess Parvati to get earn Lord Siva as her husband. Once, Lord Shiva was rude to her by pointing out her dark complexion. She started observing hard penance. This went on for over a thousand years. During this period her body got covered with soil. It became darker than ever. Then one day when Lord Shiva came looking for Mother. He was pleased with her penance. Thereafter he took Maa to the Ganges and bathed her lovingly. Mother regained her beauty with pure complexion and earned the name Maha Gauri.
WORSHIP: The eighth day of Navarathri is also Durga Ashtami Puja.
This celebration is regional and rituals differ from place to place. The morning is Maha Ashtami. The day commences with ritualistic bathing and fasting for Pushpanjali or flower offerings. Durga’s deity is invoked by the usual kalasa puja. Flowers are held cupped in the hands while prayers go on. Mantra is chanted and normally a priest is in attendance. Flowers are then showered at Mother’s feet to seek blessings.
Kumari Puja, or the worship of very young virgin girls is one of the main attractions. The girls, viewed in their pure state are deemed to be Goddess Durga herself. This is the generalized notion of seeing divinity in humans. Mother Durga’s first eight aspects are also worshipped. Mother’s companions such as Jayanti. Mangala Kali, Bhadra Kali, Kapalini. Kshama Dhatri, Siva, Svaha and Svadha known as Yoginis are also worshipped. Lord Siva and Lord Brahma are also venerated. Arathi is performed in the evening. This is performed with fire or yagna. It symbolizes light which is the remover of ignorance and purifier of sins.
Santhi Puja marks the end of Durga Ashtmi. It is the interlinking puja between Maha Ashtami and Maha Navami. There is an interval of 48 minutes which is called Sandhi when Ashtami Tithi transits into Navami tithi. Sandhi in Tamil is also connection. Sandhi is highly sacred.
The first 24 mins falls in Ashtami and second 24 mins fall in Navami. During these times, Mother Durga is venerated as Mother Chamunda, the Kali manifestion that slayed the demons Chanda and Munda. It is also to be noted that Sri Krishna was born in Ashtami Tithi and Rama, Navami Tithi.
Unmarried girls worship Mother with the hope of getting decent life partners. The goddess protects the husband of those females who worship her with full devotion. Mother’s powers are unfailing and instantly fruitful. Mother’s bull is venerated as a symbol of fertility and prospertity. All sins of devotees are washed away with the result of her worship. Even accumulated sins get destroyed and in future no sins or sufferings come to him. Bhaktas gets purified in all respects and becomes fit for inexhaustible virtues
The goddess appears faithful, affectionate, calm and soft in nature. All the gods and sages worship this form of the goddess by chanting,
“Sarvamangal Mangaleya, Shiva Saevartha Sadhike. Sharaneya Ambeyagauri Narayani Namastute.”
Om Maha Gauriye Namaha. Om Shivaya Namah
Yogi Ananda Saraswati
Kala Ratri Durga - Day 7
There are thousands of traditions in India and many have different representations. There is a saying in Baul called "Nana Muni Nana Mot" many different people, many different opinions.
Kala Ratri is represented by the Big Lord the rectifier of karma Lord Shani, Saturn.
7th - day Kalaratri In this form Durga is four-armed and rides a donkey. She carries sword, trident and noose. With one hand she blesses. In this form she is dark and repulsive in appearance. She is cruel and excited. This is the violent and dark side of Durga. This form primarily depicts that life also has dark side. Kalaratri is worshipped on seventh day of Navarathri. Her person is like the dense darkness and is absolutely black. She possesses three eyes in her forehead which are as round as the universe itself. The hair on her head is very dense but disheveled. She is bedecked with a glorious garland round her neck which emits great refulgence. She breathes out horrible and terrible flames of fire. Although her person is absolutely black yet refulgent rays keep on emanating from her.
Although the outward form of Mother Kaalaraatri is extremely frightening yet she always bestows boons on her devotees. So, she is also called Shubhankari as she always brings about the welfare of her devotees. All sins are washed off by her adoration and worship. Devotees deserve all kinds of merits by having her vision. Those who adore and worship her selflessly are relieved of all distresses and turmoil. They will enjoy prosperity and pleasures.
Mother Kaalaraatri is the destroyer of demons, ghosts, goblins and evil-minded persons. All planetary hurdles are removed if a devotee chants her name with devotion. She confers the state of fearlessness on her devotees. A devotee should worship her with a purified mind and intellect in order to derive full merit of his devotion.
Mantras for Kalaratri Devi
Om Devi Kalratryayi Swaha
Ekveni Japakarnpoora Nagn Kharaasthita | Lamboshthi Karnika karni Tailaabhyaktshariirini ||
Vaam Paadollasallohlata Kantakbhushanaa | Bardhan Moordham Dhwajaa Krishnaa Kalratribhayankari ||
This mantra describes her form. She is naked, rides on an donkey, long tongue, lustrous body, wearing ornaments in legs like lightning, black in color, unlocked hair, big eyes and ears and very dangerous looking. Meditating on this form of Kalratri removes all obstacles as well as removes all magical
effects created by others.
GODDESS KALARATRI: Devi is the Sanskrit word for Mother Goddess.
This theme in the Hindu pantheon of goddesses explodes Puranic literature around the end of the 3th century AD. New narratives take place to state the place of goddesses in the evolution of mankind and the universe, their checks and balances and momentary or ultimate destruction. Goddesses thereafter find a prominent role amidst, celestial gods, devas, asuras, genealogy if kings, sages, rishis and demigods. They are described in Tantra, cosmology and philosophy. Various Puranas take shape to give credit to Mother worship and Devi’s manifestations. Goddesses are variously depicted in anthromorphic iconography and rituals. They are diversely conceived and variedly named.
Markandeya Purana is the earliest known literature on Goddess Durga and her Nine Appellations. Cumulatively she is known as Nava Durga. This Purana contains a full book known as Devi Mahatmya in which Devi is conceptualized and adored. Devi is specifically referred to as Durga in this Purana. This is a departure from the Indus valley civilization goddesses.
Maa Durga is depicted as a supremely radiant goddess with ten arms, rifing a lion or a tiger, carrying weapons and a lotus flower while maintaining a meditative smile. She practices mudras or symbolic hand gestures. Durga manifests as nine shaktis who are seen as Goddesses with different roles. They are Goddesses Shailaputri, Brahmcharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandmata, Katyayani, Kalratri, Maha Gauri and Siddhidatri. The Nine Goddesses are worshipped on each different day during Mothers festival called Navarathri. Goddess Kalaratri is the seventh facet. Durga also took her place in the Dasa Mahavidyas, the Wisdom Goddesses to represent feminine divinity.
Nav-Durga means Scourer of Darkness; Enemy of Darkness. Kalaratri is the seventh aspect Shakti of Maa Durga worshipped on the 7th day sequence during Durga Navaratri. She is also called Kaalatri Navadurga.
Indeed she is the most violent of Durga manifestations. She appears aggressive. She can curse and bless. Her intensity induces fear. She us believed to be the destroyer of demons, thus symbolizing destruction of evil. Kalaratri means the One who is “the Death of Kaal”. Here Kaal is dedicated as time and death. Kalaratri is the one who destroys avidya, ignorance and removes ru, darkness. This is symbolic of human life having dark side that Mother nature bombards one with violence to create havoc before all ‘dirt’ is removed. Darkness also represents Tamas gunas. So symbolically Kalaratri exhorts a devotee to get rid the tamasic qualities of bad, evil and negative tendencies.
Kalaratri destroys demons, devils, daanava, daitya, asura and also the wicked. It is said that bhota, pretha nad psacha will run upon hearing Kalaratri’s name. She is also the remover of planetary evils. But Mother always appears auspicious in her effect hence she is called Shubhankari, meaning ‘doing good’. As Subhankari, she makes bhaktas fearless. They have no fear from fire, water, wild being or the enemy. They do not the darkness of the night. By revering Goddess Kalarathri in the heart, meditating on her and doing japa-nama, her bhaktas worship single mindedly. He or she observes all Yamas, Niyamas and Samyamas, that is, spiritual rules of ‘dos’ and ‘donts’ .
In her fights with demons, she is known as Shubhankari. In this form Goddess Kalratri killed Raktabeej. Raktabeej was a demon who could multiply from every drop of his blood which fell on the ground. The Goddess Kaalratri killed him by licking the blood before it could reach the ground and hence conquered him. She endows her devotees with calm acourage.
Kalaratri is the manifestation of a fearful Durga. She is of the dark night complexion which colour is black.
Her thorny necklace shines like the lights from thunders. Her three eyes, the Trinetri, emanate rays like lightning also. She is clad in loose red cloth to cover her upper body and wears tiger skin below her waist. Her whole body adorns various forms of thorny garlands, anklets, waist-bands, wrist-bands and armlets
Fierce flames hiss out from her nostrils when she inhales and exhales. Her hair is bountiful but disheveled. She has four arms called Chaturbhuji. On the left side are held the cleaver and torch. The right hands depict the ‘giving and protecting’ mudras. This is a gesture of protection assuring bhaktas of freedom and fear from troubles. Sometimes she carries a sharp thorn like iron weapon and the lower hand holds a sparkling sword to battle all evil.. She has a donkey for her vahana. Devotees need not fear her as she basically symbolizes auspiciousness.
The seventh day of Navratri pooja is dedicated to Durga Kalratri. This is the most violent form of Godess Durga. Kalaratri is the one of the fiercest forms of Durga and her appearance itself evokes fear. This seventh day worship of much importance to yogis and sadhaks. They do penance on Shahasrara Chakra on this day. For such a striver the door of all Siddhis of the universe start opening. This day the sadhaka with all his faculties is identified with the mother Kalaratri. As a result of her direct vision the devotee becomes quite fit to earn all sorts of virtues. All sins and obstacles in his way are completely destroyed. He attains the abodes which are the fruit of inexhaustible virtues. For sadhaksrs every siddhi in universe is open on this day.
Maa Kalratri created the three forms before the creation of universe at the time when Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesha appeared. Kalratri is also known by the names of Mahamaya, Mahamari, Mahakali, Shudha, Trisha, Nidra, Trishna, Ekveera and Durtyaya. With her magnificent eyes, Maa has a vision of grace on her devotees.
Om Kalatriye Namah
By Yogi Ananda Saraswathi
C40 years experience study & practice of Eastern and Western Mind Body Soul, Meditation, Healing & Mysticism