An Old Film about Sri Ramakrishna with English Subtitles.. Babukishan was a Monk in the RamaKrishna Order in Calcutta for 12 years.. Bengali Film..
AGHORA SHIVA is the main Deity in God in Swetharanyeswarar Temple in Thiruvenkadu. This is near Seerkazhi. Thiruvenkadu is one of the Navagraha Sthalams dedicated to planet mercury. Hence the temple is also Budhan Sthalam.
Aghora Murthi was one of the furious incarnation of Lord Shiva. In this form, He destroys our imperfections, our illusions, desires and ignorance. He destroys our evil and negative nature of prejudices and previous mind-sets which impede spiritual progress. Aghora murthi worship is a challenge to human relationships, attachments, impurities, physical and mental wrongdoings, the effects of bad karma, our passions and emotions. These stand between man and Lord Shiva as impediments to inner transformation. In the end when we have made sufficient progress, when we are ready and prepared, and when we are willing without any inner conflict, he destroys death.
Shiva’s Aghoramurthy is also Ugramurthy represented as Rudra, Bhairava, Kankala or Samharamurthy. These are his ferocious or angry manifestations to crush ego and worldly delusions. Aghoramurthy form of Shiva, generally associated with the events during which Shiva assumed his terrible form to slay the demons or the wicked. Aghoramurthy and Bhairava-murthy are correlative; the form generally found in connection with the secret cults of Tantrism that involve his worship in the cremation grounds and grave yards. Veerabhadra is also connected to Aghora Shiva.
It is said that Aghoramurthy in the Thiruvenkadu Temple rules the night hours, the hours of the spirits. He is out on his ‘kaval’ protection rounds when man fears the darkness of the night. It is an indication that the night is also alive with divinity. The world of ghost is an illusion and that has to be crushed as the only devils that run around are those in our own mind. It does not matter if one has to take a left-hand path to realize this.
Aghora’s Shiva’s walks are thunderous according to local population. In his fierce depiction and deity, He is raw energy, raw power. One has to see beyond that image to capture the beauty and bliss of anger. Fire from his eyes are bliss and the halo of flaming light around his head is iconic of brightening life. Here, in Thiruvenkadu, the ash-clad Lord is decorated in jewelry, showered in flowers and enjoys listening to bhaktas singing the Rudra Thandava Stotra. Aghora Shiva is terrifying, yet loving and passionate. That is realized in silent presence before the Lord.
Aghora is the South Face. The South face is important to Lord Shiva. This is also famously known as Dakshina Murthy. Aghora Shiva faces the south and represents the destructive and regenerative aspect of Shiva, which first absorbs all life and then renovates the universe by creating things afresh. The term Aghora has two meanings – one who is not fierce – meaning the handsome. Another meaning is the fiercest. It is for a devotee to decide how he or she wants to approach Aghora Shiva.
Note: The five faces are Easanam, Tatpurushanam, Aghoram, Vamadevam and Sadyojatam. They represent direction and aspects of Lord Shiva. Easanam is facing the sky and represents purity, Vamdevam faces north and represents sustenance. Tatpurisha faces east and represents spirituality that has destroyed the ego. Aghoram faces south and represents the destructive and regegenarative aspects of Shiva. Sadyojatam faces west and represents creation.
Those who worshipped the Aghora form of Shiva were called as “Aghoris”. Aghoris practice the most extreme and fascinating form of the Tantra. Dattatreya, whose divinity that includes the Trimurti Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, are considered to be the founder of Aghora school of thought. 'A' is a negation; Ghora is the obscurity of the ignorance, but it also means intense, deep; Aghora therefore means Light, absence of obscurity, awareness.
Aghori life also symbolizes a tradition where they do not have intense or deep feelings; they are indifferent to the various stations of the life. The ritual practices of the Aghori are symbols of their non-dualistic beliefs. The corpse upon which they meditate is a symbol of their own body and transcendence of the lower self and realization of the Supreme Self. The skull they place before them is symbolic of burnt ego. Shiva’s holy ash, is one of death’s remnants to constantly remind human mortality. It is also a challenge to transcend the duality between life and death and the aghoris brushes with impending death.
Breaking every mental scheme, going over every taboo makes aware of the illusion of this world and becomes a path toward the liberation-mokhsa, the realization of the itself with the absolute one. Also the conventional Hindu distinction among pure and impure for the Aghoris is an illusion.
To know about the essence of the Aghora principle of Lord Shiva, one has to understand the meaning of the Aghora Mantra among the Pancha Brahma Mantra. A popular belief is that one who chants the Aghora mantra and wears bhasma will not face any difficulties. Aghori Sadhus are followers to Aghora Shiva – they live in graveyards and perform intense austerities. They roam around naked and drink water in a bowl made from human skull. They eat the meat of all living beings accept that of horse.
Their main belief is that there is no such thing called “inauspicious” in this world because all that exists if Shiva himself. They generally live in graveyards and are naked. They use those things which the world has branded as “inauspicious”. They perform harsh penance. Those who worship Aghora form of Shiva are saved from natural catastrophe, water hardships and life threats.
This Aghora aspect is correlated with the following:
To “Ma” Beekakshara in Panchakshara Mantra
To “Prana Maya Kosha” amongst the five Koshas
To “Jala” principle among five principles “Pancha Bhuta”
To “Svadhishthana Chakra” among Six Chakras
To “Madyama (Ma)” Swara among the Seven Swaras
To “U” in 'Omkara'.
Mantra:The mantra associated with this form of Shiva is the Aghora Mantra composed by Aghora Maharishi. The mantra has 51 letters.
aum hrong aghore ghore hungm,ghortare hungm;
aum hreengm kleengm, sarvatah sarvaange,
namaste rudra roope hungm
SWETHARANYESWARAR TEMPLE is located in the town of Thiruvenkadu near Seerkazhi. This town is also called Adi Chidambaram and as seen in Chidambara, here Vishnu is near Nataraja. Swetaranya means sacred white forest, Jnana-aranya meaning forest of wisdom. It is also called Patala Kailas. Thiru-ven-kadu, means “sacred white forest” to reflect thick forests which from a distance appeared white. Thiruvenkadu is considered as sacred as Banaras.
The main deity is Aghora Murthi, a manifestation of Lord Shiva as Swetharanyeshwarar meaning Lord of White Forest. The Lord is also named Lord Thiruvenkaaatu-eswara. His consort is Goddess Brahma Vidyanayaki. Mother is also called Vidyambal. The shrines of both the Lord and the Devi have been constructed facing the East. The posture in which the Nandi at the entrance to the Devi’s shrine is installed is peculiar. Its ears face the shrine of Devi and the face is turned towards the shrine of Lord Shiva, implying thereby that the heavenly Bull is losing no time in transmitting messages from the Devi, and waits for further commands. This is a unique feature of the place.
With the uniqueness of Aghora vadivam of Shiva, the temple contains three tanks. There is a separate Sannidhi for Bhudhan or Mercury. It is said that all the four important Saivite saints have blessed the temple and sung here in praise of Aghora Shiva.
Indiran, Airavatam, Budhan, Sun-Surya and Moon- Chandiran are said to have worshipped Lord Shiva here. There are several shrines of significance in this well visited temple, including those to Durga and Kali. The image of Natarajar here is of great beauty. As found in Chidambaram, there is also a shrine for Lord Vishnu near the shrine for Natarajar.
Lord Indra, the heavenly elephant Airavat, Lord Brahma, Lord Agni, Lord Surya, Lord Kartikeya and many other celestial beings have worshipped Lord Swetaranyeswara deity here and got their desires fulfilled. The temple is associated with ardent Shaivite saints such as Meikandar, Pattinathaar, Gnansambhandhar and others who sang Shiva's grace and glories. There is a separate shrine to Meikandar.
The name Adi Chidambaram, implies that, Lord Shiva danced here first before his Chidambara Thandava. He is said to have performed seven forms of thandava here: Ananda tandavam, Sandhya tandavam, Samhara tandavam, Tripuranta tandavam, Urdhava tandavam, Bhujanga tandavam and Lalita tandavam. It is believed that the theerthas in this temple were created out of three drops which fell from Lord Shiva’s eyes when he was dancing. The theerthas are Agni Theertham, Surya Theertham, and Chandra Theertham.
SHIVASTHALAMS: This Shiva temple is one of the 6 most sacred places on the banks of river manikanigai and Cauvery which is considered as equivalent to the temple at Varanasi. The other 5 shivasthalams are Thiruvaiyaru, Chaayaavanam, Mayiladuturai, Tiruvidaimarudur and Tiruvanchiyam.
Mercury signifies one’s level of intelligence, communication abilities, knowledge, eloquence, speech, astrology, skill in fine arts, mathematics, medicine, expertise in language, Vedas, mantras sculpting etc. Lord Mercury is to be propitiated to acquire the above. Blessings of Mercury are especially needed for salespeople, agents, orators, secretaries, writers, traders and linguists. Mercury is represented by the colour Green and gemstones Emerald, Tourmaline and Jade. Those afflicted by Mercury in their horoscopes and also those running the major or sub periods of Mercury visit this temple from all over India to perform remedial measures. Propitiate Lord Mercury to acquire business acumen and academic excellence.
In Thiruvengadu, there is a separate shrine to Lord Budha, near the shrine of Goddess Brahmavidyanayaki. Chandra theertha and a small shrine to Lord Chandra are placed in front of the shrine of Lord Mercury. Lord Moon is the father of Lord Buthan. According to legends, Lord Budha prayed to Lord Swetarayeswara here and was blessed by the deity.Performing holy abisheka and poojas to Lord Budha here, donating food, green clothes and Emerald to the needy. Chanting stothras of Lord Budha and surrendering to him with sincere devotion will ensure prosperity and success.
An Asura called Marutwasura, after performing severe penance to Lord Shiva, received a spear as boon. He then troubled the sages and people in Thiruvenkadu. Knowing this, Lord Shiva sent Nandi, the Bull to fight against the demon. He was defeated but returned with greater power. Nandi suffered injuries during this second fight. That was unbecoming of the demon, for Nandi was Shiva Parivar. The Lord opened His third eye, discharging intense fire or jyoti. Jyoti then turned into the Aghoramurthy form with Lord Shiva’ rage and wild pose. It consumed the demon under a tree. This tree is said to exist even now, It is at the back to the entrance of Agora murthi shrine. The sages were happy and prayed to the Lord for the Jyoti from his third eye to stay behind in Thirivenkadu.
Swetaketu was the son of sage Uddalaka and he was destined to die at the age of eight. In order to overcome death, he came to Thiruvenkadu, installed a Shiva linga and worshipped the Lord ardently. At the destined time of death, Lord Yama appeared before Swetaketu to take away his life. Annoyed at the disrespectful behaviour of Lord Yama towards his devotee, the Lord came out of the Linga and punished Yama. The place came to be known as Swetaranya. The deity is called Swetaranyaswami, as He gave salvation to His devotee Swetaketu here. At the request of Swetaketu, the Lord performed seven of his cosmic dances; Ananda, Sandhya, Samhara, Tripuranta, Urdhva, Bhujanga and Lalita Thandava in this temple. The Lord portrays five faces Easanam, Tatpurusham, Aghoram, Vamadevam and Sadyojatam here, a manifestation very rarely seen in Shiva temples.
Om Namah Shivaya.
Yogi Ananda Saraswathi
SARVA KARMANI BHASMASAT:
The Jivatman shares three types of karma due to ignorance: Samchita karma, Agamin karma and Prarabdha karma. The first gets stored up like a savings account book to bear fruits in the distant future; the second in the near future. The third is working itself out in the present body. The fire of knowledge- jnana agnih destroys the first to karmas and renders the third karma ineffective though operating. The jnani does not heed it, more than he is bothered about his shadow.
‘Sarva karmani bhasmasat’ -Jnana-agnih reduces sarva karmani- all actions and reactions to ashes – bhasmasat. A huge conflagration burns even wet firewood. ‘Edhamsi samiddhah’ means blazing firewood. This implies all karmas together with their karma phalas. ‘Kurute’ means turned to as in turn to ashes. Thus the solemnity of self-knowledge can never be over emphasized. In Gita 4.37, Sri Krishna states “As the blazing fire reduces fuel to ashes, O Arjuna, so does the fire of knowledge reduce all karma to ashes.”
KARMA TRANSMIGRATION: The concept of karma is fundamental to Vedanta. Karma means action, work; the work or function of a man; the power which by its continuity and development as a subjective and objective force determines the nature and eventuality of the soul's repeated existences. The theory of karma is deeply associated with transmigration of the atma. The Sastras mention fourteen lokas or worlds to which atma enters in successive janmas or births. Basically it means that the sukshma sarira in which cidabhasa, the reflected consciousness, survives the death of the sthoola sarira and transmigrates from one world to another.
Jivatmas and karma are beginningless. But the ‘punya papa account’ is a running current account. It is recurrent as additions are made by actions and thoughts and subtractions are made on account of enjoyment and suffering through further action and thought. Actions and thoughts of jivatmas as they incur are called “punya” or merit and “papa” or demerit. This is the basis for one to undergo enjoyment or suffering in future janmas. The merits and demerits are sometimes reflected in this janma itself. Usually four types of karma are said to operate simultaneously as follows:
People are with born diverse physical and mental equipment, health and wealth; benefits and shortcomings; enjoyments and sufferings. You see, the disparity is sometimes glaringly wide so much so it is difficult to compromise a philosophical answer. How can there be current karma without a previous janma? The theory of karma explains this previous and preceding karma. The Creator is impartial. The punya papa for actions and thoughts of a person will hang in the air without reward or retribution and He decides the varying patterns of rebirth.
SAMCHITA KARMA is the accumulated punya papa account meaning the sum total of the accumulated karma of previous lives. It is the burden of one’s past recorded in the account. This needs to be exhausted at some stage in one’s existence.
AGAMI KARMA is the punya papa incurred in the current janma meaning it is the karma that arises out of your current life activities, whose consequences will be experienced in the next janma. Karmic deeds and their returns are added and accounted as sanchita karma
PRARABHDA KARMA is the punya papa quota assigned to be exhausted in a particular janma. Transmigration of the jivatma into another loka with different kind of sthoola sarira, or any form of human being with superiority or defects, as plant, insect, animal etc is in accordance with prarabdha karma. In other words it is part of your sanchita karma which is currently activated in your present life and which influences the course of your present life. Depending upon the nature of your actions, you are either exhausting it or creating more karmic burden for yourself.
KRIYAMANA KARMA is the karma which befalls one right now, meaning karma whose consequences are experienced right now or in the near future. In any event this karma effect is seen in this life.
Brhadaranyaka Upanishad IV.4.vi: “Being attached, the transmigrating jivatma together with its karma attains that on which its subtle body or mind is set. It experiences in the other world the karma phalam or recompense for punya papa in the form of enjoyment and suffering for whatever karma it had done in this world. When it is exhausted, it comes again from that world to this world for new karma. Thus does the man with craving transmigrate”
Kathopanishad II.ii.7: “Some embodied ones enter after death into another womb for assuming bodies. The extremely inferior ones, after death attain the state of motionless things like trees etc., in accordance with each one’s work – i.e., under the impulsion of the fruits of the works they have accomplished in this life; similarly too, in conformity with the nature of knowledge acquired.” -
Prasnopanishad III.7: “Punyena punyam lokam papena papam ubobhyam eva manushyalokam.” ….leads to a virtuous world as a result of virtue, to a sinful world as a result of sin, and to the human world as a result of both.”
SWAPNA AVASTHA is remaining in the junction between the walking and the sleeping state. The Brhadaranyaka Upanishad IV.iii.9 says, “Remaining in the junction between waking and sleep, i.e., in the swapna avastha, the jivatma experiences this world and the other world.” This logical proof of transmigration is also explained by Adi Sankara’s commentaries. It explains the basis for strange dreams which circumstances one never experienced before. Dreams are based on impressions formed during the waking state, called ‘vasanas’. Taking the case of babies, what previous experience did it have to have formed vasanas? The commentary states the baby’s dreams are based on impression formed in the mind out of experiences or vasanas of its previous janma. There are many scriptural writings that state that on the eve of death, human have a glimpse of his next janma. Some say that his present good and bad dreams flash through the time the Atman departs the sthoola sarira. The karma theory is further enhanced by the fact that the mind, though conscious of consequences, wills evil; if there was no vasana of evil, since everybody wants only happiness, evil will not exist in the world at all.
by Yogi Ananda Saraswathi
Moham means delusion. It is confusion born of self-ignorance. Man under the delusion of being the aham karta, doer and aham bhokta, enjoyer. By eliminating the kartrva or doership in the Atma, the erstwhile illusion of duality is also removed. What then remains is Pure Awareness that is not involved in anything but at the same time nothing is separate from it. All that there is, is Atma which is Brahman. If the Lord is the efficient and material cause of everything, nothing is separate from the Lord.
Therefore, the entire creation and everything in it is also the Lord. This means the five elements are also the Lord and everything in space being non-separate from the Lord is also the Lord. Liberation means to be situated in one’s constitutional position as eternally serving the Lord. The knower is yourself; knowledge is yourself and the object of knowledge is also yourself. With this knowledge, one will then, ‘see all beings in yourself’ – atmani sarvani bhutani pasyati. Gita 4.35.
is the fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. In his half-lion half-human he was designed to free the world and alleviate the sufferings of devotees symbolizing fight against evil and tyranny. Lord Narayana is considered to be the origin of the other transcendental forms of God. According to Agni Purana 48.13, from Narayana, Vasudeva is manifest, and from Vasudeva, Sankarsana is manifest. He is significantly worshipped by Vaishnavites as the ‘Great Protector.’ Also according to the scriptures, Lord Narasimha is amsha, an expansion of Narayana. The Agni, Brahmanda, Vayu, Matsya, Padma, Shiva, Linga, Skanda and Vishnu Purana hails Narasimha avatar. Lord Narasimha is also stated in the Mahabaratha. Rig Veda refers to Vishnu’s qualities as Narasimha being ‘some wild beast, dread, prowling and mountain roaming’. In evolution theory, this avathar reflects the transformation of animal to man.
Narasimha story is rich with symbolisms. The transfer of work in each avatara and transforming from one deity to another is not surprising. It is a declaration of the one form of the Supreme Being taking many forms. God is everything and everything is God. ‘Thunilum irrupaan; thurumbilum iruppan’ from Nalatira Divya Prabandham means ‘He is in an iron pillar and also in its rusts.’ There is a long verse in Sapthapatha Brahma explaining the avatars. The condensed version of this principle is contained in Matsya Purana. The Lord manifests when righteousness is at stake. Narasimha avatar is a demonstration of willingness in the face of adverse circumstances.
Brahma’s boon is overcome by the Lord circumventing the boon; the aid expected by the devotee. At the metaphysical level, semi-animal represents the Jeevatma and the semi-lion, the Paramatma. The concept of ‘Mriga-sharira’ shows a wholesome merge between the two; ‘mriga’ meaning animal. Prahalada is a pointer of the bhakti path. He shows unconditional devotion. One may be born as a demon, but there is redemption if one has faith and the willingness to brush up character. Prahalada is a perfect example of saranagathi – surrender. It took much for Mother Lakshmi to cool down Narasimha; the universal motherhood love and balancing by feminine energy of the Lord’s spiritual energy.
Lord Narsimha Himself is recognized in the scriptures by a variety of forms, distinguished by the arrangements of weapons in the hands, His different postures, or other subtle distinctions. Of these more than seventy-four forms are state. Nava Narasimha indicates his nine major forms: 1.Ugra Narasimha – also known as Ahobila Narasimha is his fierce form; 2. Vira Narasimha; 3. Kopa Narasimha; 4. Kruddha Narasimha; 5. Vilamba Narasimha; 6. Yoga Narasimha who blessed Lord Brahma; 7. Aghora Narasimha; 8. Sudarsana Narasimha and 9. Lakshmi Narasimha also known as Malola Narasimha or Prahala-varada Narasimha with Lakshmi on his lap and blessing Prahalada.
in Andhra Pradesh is the only place in India where all nine forms of Lord Narasimha. Nava Narasimha are worshiped in Narasimha Swami Temple there. Ahovalam is said to be the place where Lord Vishnu accepted the Narasimha avatar and where the Lord killed Hiranyakasipu and saved Prahalada. Goddes Mahalakshmi took avathar as Senjulakshmi among the Senju, tribal hunters of the hills, and married the Lord. The temple consists of nine shrines to Lord Nrisimha located around a 5 KM circle. In addition to the nine shrines, there is a temple for Prahaladavarada Varadhan in the foothills of the mountain. Apparently Garuda wished for a vision of Narasimha avatara. To fulfill his wish, the Lord Nararimha settled in the hills around Ahobilam in the midst of dense forests in nine different forms. Thus the hills are called as Garudadri, Garudachalam, and Garudasailam. Thirumangai Azhvaar has sung ten verses about this temple in Periya Thirumozhi.
Hiranyaksha who was killed by the Varaha Avtar. His brother Hiranyakashipu seeks revenge and the target is Lord Vishnu. He undergoes severe penance on Mount Mandarachala to revenge the Devatas and to become the master of all the three worlds; Heaven, Earth and Pathala. Lord Brahma appeared before Hiranyakashipu who asked for immortality as boon. Brahma, however, declined, saying "All living beings must face death Hiranyakashipu. You can, however, choose your death wish."
Hiranyakashipu then twists the conditions, as given in Vayu Purana, as his death wish, "'O Brahma, let not death come to me either by man or beast, nor devil, nor god shall cause my death by day or by night with steel or stone or wood, indoors or outdoors, or earth or in sky. Grant me undisputed lordship over the world". Brahma gives the boon practically making Hiranyakashipu immortal. After securing such a boon Hiranyakashipu conquered the lokas and terrorizes them. He banned all pujas and yajnas. Side-stepping Lord Vishnu, he declared himself as god of the three lokhas.
has a slightly different version. Brahma’s boon excepts Lord Vishnu. ‘When therefore his (Hiranyakashipu) pride, fostered by his supposed immunity from danger had led him to great excesses so that his death was desired by gods and men, Vishnu descended in the form of a living being, hald-man and half-lion, so neither a man nor animal, and slew him.’ By assumption of this form the letter of Brahma’s promise was kept. This Purana goes on to state the demon’s hatred of Vishnu, arising that the deity had slain his brother, and of the wonderful efficacy of the worship of Vishnu.
The Devtas approached Lord Vishnu for help. Lord Vishnu asked them to be patient and said, "Hiranyakashipu' s son Prahlad is a devotee of me. When Hiranyakashipu seeks to kill my devotee I will slay him." Kayadhu, Hiranyakashipu's wife gave birth to Prahlad in the Ashrama of Narada. Prahalada is given the knowledge of Vishnu’s glory and he becomes an ardent devotee. The king in wanting Prahalada to inherit the asura kingdom is cautioned by his devotion to Vishnu. So Prahalada is taken to Shanku and Amarka, the sons of Shukracharya, for schooling. This was not fruitful as Prahalada was bent on worshipping Vishnu. Forewarning himself, Hiranyakashipu issues an order for Prahalada’s death. “Kill the wretch! He is not fit to live who is traitor to his friends, a burning brand to his own race.”
Prahalada was thrown down a mountain, drowned, poisoned, even burnt. Hundred weapons would not hurt him; neither did venomous serpents. The snakes came back to report “Our fangs are broken; there is fever in our hoods and fear in our hearts but the skin of the lad is unscathed!” Lord Vishnu redeems Prahalada. The whole saga culminates in a challenge in open court. "Prahlad, is my enemy, whom you worship, present anywhere here?” Prahlad replied, “I have learnt to admire Him who is without beginning, middle or end, increase or diminution; the imperishable Lord of the world; the universal cause of causes….He is here and everywhere.”
Hiranyakashipu's fury was at its climax; his eyes red with wrath and lips swollen with indignation.
Referring to Vishnu he said, “Vile Brahman, what is this preposterous commendation of my foe that, in disrespect to me you have thought this boy to utter?” Then the demon got an iron pillar heated and asked Prahlad, "Can you embrace this pillar if your Vishnu is in it also?” There was no hesitation by Prahlad. He rushed towards the pillar and embraced it. The heated iron did not burn him. The king got up from his throne in fury and hit the pillar with his mace. The pillar cracked with a thundering sound and Vishnu appeared there in the form of Narasimha. One half of his body was of a lion and the other half of a man. He had matted hair on his head, large moustaches on the face and terrible teeth in the mouth. His paws had terrible nails on them.
Hiranyakashipu then remembered his first death wish, "To be killed by someone who is neither human nor beast." It was also the twilight hour, neither day nor night - the second death wish. His mace blow did nothing to Narasimha who just brushed it aside swiftly. Narasimha caught hold of the demon Hiranyakashipu. He sat on the threshold of the court room, placed the body of the demon on his thighs, and pierced his nails into the body of the demon and broke open his stomach. The demon was killed on the spot in a moment. The place was neither inside nor outside. This was Hiranyakashipu’s third death wish.
After the demon was slain, Narasimha was still furious as he wanted to wipe away the asura stock. However, he was passified when Prahlad touched his feet and in whom Naramasimha saw the glory of Vishnu meditated upon by the pleader. Mother Lakshmi also calmed down her Husband’s avatar. The Lord was all mercifull and Prahlad embraced and made the new King.
LAKSHMI NARASIMHA KARAVALAMBAN STOTRAM:
The great acharaya Adi Shankara, walks the four corners of India to advocate Vedanta philosophy. He entered a remote forest called Hatakeshwanam near Srisailam. There he undertook severe penance for several days, when a Kapalika, by name Kirakashan appeared before him. The Kapilaka sect, then, was given to human sacrifice. They were also against Shankara’s vedanta system shunning violence and preaching love and affection. Kirakashan demands that Shankara surrender his body as a human sacrifice to Mother Kali. To the Kapilalka and his devotees’ surprise Shankara agreed to do so. He felt it was an honor to give up his body to Mother Kali. There was nothing to lament, he told his devotees.
The sacrificial yajna was arranged. Just as Kirakashan lifted his axe to severe Shankara's head, Padmapda, Shankara’s disciple went into a trance, for Lord Vishnu and entered his body as Narasimha. Padmapada fought the Kapilakas and slew Kirakashan. The forest was thus freed from Kapilaka influence. Impromptu, Adi Shankara paid reverence to Lord Narasimha, composed and sang ‘Lakshmi Narasimha Karavalamban Stotra.’ The Stotram is a 17-verse Stotram in praise of Lakshmi Narasimha. The Stotram is so called because each of these verses ends with the same refrain “Lakshmi Narasimha, Mama Dehi Karavalambam” which means "Oh Lord Narasimha, please lend me your helping hand". Verse 1 is thus:
Oh Great God Lakshmi Nrsimha,
Who lives in the ocean of milk,
Who holds the holy wheel as weapon,
Who wears the gems of the head,
Of Adhisesha as ornaments,
Who has the form of good and holy deeds,
Who is the permanent protection of sages,
And who is the boat which helps us cross,
This ocean of misery called life,
Please give me the protection of your hands
There are powerful mantras for seeking protection from Lord Vishnu's half-lion incarnation and His weapons. These are for protection from such things as malevolent spirits and material desires, as well as increased devotion and a peaceful world. Devotees pray to Lord Narasimhadeva for protection and to kill their material desires. The Narasimha Kavacha is one such mantra. “Lord Narasimha is here and also there. Wherever I go Lord Narasimha is there. he is within the heart and is outside as well. I surrender to Lord Narasimha, the origin of all things and the supreme refuge”
Om Namo Narayana
Yogi Ananda Saraswathi
ISVARA: Para Brahman is the Supreme Brahman; Nirguna Nirupadhika Brahman, the Pure Consciousness. Apara Brahman is Iswara; Saguna Brahman, the Reality with all attributes and glory. Param Dhama is the Substratum of everything manifest and unmanifest, the Supreme Abode. After understanding divine manifestations, Arjuna looks up to Sri Krishna and states in Gita 10:12: “You are the Supreme Brahman, the Supreme Abode, the Supreme Purifier, the Eternal, Divine Purusha, the Primeval Deity, the Unborn the Omnipresent.” Then while holding true all that Sri Krishna has hence-far told him, Arjuna goes on to state that neither the Devas nor the Danavas verily know His manifestations.
Isvara generally means God, the Supreme Being in His aspect of Lord of the worlds. ‘Svara’ means master, while the word, ‘ishta’, means, special, precious, inner, innermost, or intimate. Also ‘Is’ means inner-most or essential command, while, ‘vara’ means an eminent and most precious natural gift. In spiritual interpretation ‘Isvara’ purports the innermost or innate most intimate heart teacher; the innermost master of the heart.
‘Ishavasyam idam sarvam’ in Ishavasya Upanishad Mantra 1 means ‘whaterver there is in this world is covered and filled with Isvara.’ He not only creates but also enters into everything there is. He is one who is always intimately available here and now which is our most precious gift. In that sense Isvara refers to our highest innate potential if we care to listen or recognize it.
‘Vara’ can also means grace or boon. So Isvara is the innate and innermost heart essence boon or grace; the innate potentiality or great seed, from whence all things and beings assemble. Again, the term refers to the innate inherited evolutionary potential of the inner teacher.
This word as used by Siddhanthis is synonymous with Brahman but as used by Sri Sankaracharya, it means the Lower Brahman and the distinction of Higher and Lower Brahman finds no place in the Siddhantha School. In Shaivite traditions, the compound of Maha-Isvara, the great Lord is a name for Shiva. Shaivite feminine deity would be Isvari. Ishvara prasadam is Shiva prasadam. Of Isvara, Mahaperiyavaa states that ‘the All-Pervading Paramatma creates the world of avidhya based on the karma of the Jeevas with His unique Maya. In the Achintya-Bheda Abheda Vedanta school, Isvara is also Svayam Bhagavan.
In the Upanishads, the word Isvara is used to denote a state of collective consciousness. Thus, God is not a being that sits on a high pedestal beyond the sun, moon, and stars; God is actually the state of Ultimate Reality. But due to the lack of direct experience, God has been personified and given various names and forms by religions throughout the ages. When one expands one's individual consciousness to the Universal Consciousness, it is called Self-realization, for the individual self has realized the unity of diversity, the very underlying principle, or Universal Self, beneath all forms and names. The great sages of the Upanishads avoid the confusions related to conceptions of God and encourage students to be honest and sincere in their quests for Self-realization. Upanishadic philosophy provides various methods for unfolding higher levels of truth and helps students to be able to unravel the mysteries of the individual and the universe.
Patanjali: Isvara is alinga or formless and unepresented, yet it is like a seed or potential awaiting expression. A further holographic understanding is that isvara resides as the seed essence within all beings and things. When it is activated inside a yogi, that yogi recognizes it in all beings as well.
Isvara is apara-mrshhta, the purest aspect of purusha, pure undifferentiated universal consciousness, which is untouched and unaffected by taint- klesha, karma, and asayir, the seed germs that result -vipaka from ordinary desire and propensities. Isvara is bija, the indwelling seed and origin of nir-atishayam, the absolute, unsurpassed, and sarvajna, complete omniscience. It is kalena or unlimited by time and anavacchedat, absolute boundless integrity. It is purvesham, the primal eternal guru. In the non-dual schools Isvara is all penetrating, all pervading, omnipresent, all inclusive, unlimited, and eternally present, yet Isvara remains eternally pure and unchanged by such contact.
Likewise in Patanjali 1.26 unequivocally says that Isvara's sound vibration is Om and that all differentiation is created from that emission. So does not Isvara's emanation permeate all of creation? Isvara is found within the unobscured instantaneous eternal moment; always here and now; ever accessible to those devoted. Isvara is expressed and represented by the vibratory energy contained in the Pranava Om.
Isvara Pranidhana: Means surrender, dedication, or devotion to Isvara, who is innate in all and all pervading. ‘Ishta’ means innermost or most intimate. Isvara pranidhana can also be said that it is devotion to the ishta deva god, which is first accessed inside as personal, but later is recognized as universal. It is the process of being dedicated to the process of discovering, listening to, and following our innate inner guide, heart mind, and highest creative potential.
Isvara pranidhana is also joining with or being at one with our greatest evolutionary potential, the transpersonal all encompassing Self. Beyond prayer and asking for guidance, it is listening to that Self as guidance, eventually moving in harmony and integrity with Isvara as its expression in one's very life as Self expression. At first, isvara pranidhana is listening, communing, devotion, and surrender, but later it is activation, embodiment, and the act of co-evolutionary expression.
Patanjali 1.23 – Isvara and Maheshvara (Siva) have been equated as the param-purusa. From a special process of devotion and letting go into the creative source from which we emerged – Ishvara pradina, the coming of Samadhi is imminent.
BHAGAVAN: Means the Personal God. ‘Bhag’ means splendor and power; it can also mean fame and glory. ‘Van’ means Master or possessor of splendor and power. The word can also purport, one who has realized his identity with the Self; blessed One or the blessed Lord. The word is also used as an epithet applied to God, gods, or any holy or venerable personality. According to Hindu thinking, there can be more than one Bhagavan, more than one Person-God. Bhagavan is he who fully manifests six divine qualities which are: 1. bala, omnipotence; 2.dharma, righteousness; 3. aisvarya, lordship; 4 .sri, wealth and beauty; 5. jnana, wisdom; 6.vairagya, dispassion. Further He knows the past, present and future of beings. Bhagavan’s manifestation in the human form remains unknown to the Devas themselves; how then shall the Danavas or Asuras come to know of His intents and Extents, exclaims Arjuna in Gita 10.14
BALA: Means strength; omnipotence. Citti means knowledge or truth perceiving conscious vision. Citti-acitti is the knowledge and the ignorance. Cittim acittim cinavad vi vidvan in RV 4.2.11 means ‘let the knower distinguish the knowledge and the ignorance. Cittam is the ordinary mind-field or field of consciousness. Citt-bala is power of the true Self or Universal Consciousness. It can also mean the strength or force of the pulse. Citt-bala leads to citta-prasadanam meaning making the mind pleasant and ripe.
DHARMA: This term takes several meanings such as Self-discipline, the life of responsibility and right action; Duty, righteous path, self-discipline, work, duty, or destiny, the life of responsibility and right action; Right action, that which supports and upholds; one's duty, especially the highest spiritual duty; actions that are ultimately beneficial for all; behavior that is in alignment with the cosmic order, with one's religion or spiritual path, and with one's role in life.
Thus it is a term of many meanings, including "law", "virtue", and "righteousness". In general, dharma means the religious discipline for the four orders of life: maintaining celibacy and studying, family life, a devout and renounced life if living with the spouse, and total renunciation for God realization.
AISWARYA: This is an attribute of Ishwara. It is also one of the ashtasiddhis. The term means dominion; power; lordship; divine glory; majesty and splendor. As siddhi it can means the control over events, lordship, wealth and all objects of desire; effectiveness of the Will acting on object or event without the aid of physical means. ‘Aisvaryam’ is the nominative word for divine powers.
SRI : Also Shri, the word means auspiciousness, eminent or illustrious. It is a prefix placed before names of scriptures and great women and men to show respect or reverence; a name of the divine Goddess. Auspiciousness-a name is qualified by Putting a "Sri" before the name is a mark of courtesy and auspiciousness. Literally, Sri is common title of respect. It is also a honorary prefix for commoners.
JNANA . The root word is ‘jna’ meaning to learn or to experience. The Tamil word ‘jnanam’ means a matured state of the soul. In the context of Bhagavad-gita and the Upanisads, jnana is generally used in the sense of spiritual knowledge or awareness. In Tantrik terms it is the wisdom that comes as an aftermath of the kundalini breaking through the door of Brahman into the realization of Parashiva, Absolute Reality.
Jnana is sometimes misunderstood as book knowledge, as a maturity or awakening that comes from simply understanding a complex philosophical system or systems. See: God Realization, Self Realization, samadhi. Sacred knowledge derived from meditation on the higher truths of religion and philosophy, which teaches a man how to understand his own nature.
Jnana Kanda are the parts of the Veda dealing with the knowledge of the Absolute Brahman; the upanishads. Jana Pada is Stage of Wisdom naming the knowledge section of each Agama. According to the Saiva Siddhanta rishis, jnana is the last of the four successive padas or stages of spiritual unfoldment. It is the culmination of the third stage, the yoga pada. Jnana mudra is the gesture of knowledge - in this the index finger is bent so that its tip is joined with the tip of the thumb, the other three fingers are spread out.
Jnana Shakti is the power of knowledge of the Absolute. It is also the knowing power and the universal force of wisdom. Jnana Vichara is inquiry regarding knowledge. Jnana Yoga is the discipline in which one learns the true nature of the cosmos and then uses that knowledge to connect oneself with the Atman; the true nature of Brahman. This is towards attaining moksha
VAIRAGYA means dispassion, detachment. Raga means attachment, desire, craving, or attraction in general, whereas vairagya is its remediation, release; the letting go of attachment, attractions, non-grasping, unclenching, the release of temporal preferences, grasping, anticipation, or expectation. It is the power of renunciation by which a yogi is able to pursue the true rather than the false, the eternal rather than the ephemeral.
After sufficient practice of viveka, the temporary, ephemeral nature of the world and its objects becomes obvious and a natural lack of attraction to them takes place. This is vairagya. One should then endeavor to become more dispassionate in order to purify the mind and improve one's concentration and steadiness of mind.
Vairagya leads to the ultimate freedom from desire, but not through dvesa -repression or aversion, but through relaxation or release of that which is burdensome and useless. Hence, vairagya is the practice that frees us from neurotic desire, and thus the realization of non-dual love itself. The temporal love for things or objects has vanished and has been replaced by eternal love -- divine passion.
Patanjali offers vairagya as the primary remedy for the citta-vrtti. The term Cittvrttinirodha in Yogasutra 1.2 means the conquest of all the movements of the mind. Renunciation or ascetic misunderstandings simply increases the tensions and obscurations that block full revelation. Smashana vairagya, is approximately translated as a graveyard or zombie-like attitude toward the world. It is an attempt to free oneself from samsara, as if samsara were the same as physical existence. However, samsara is really due to mental misunderstanding or mental attitude in the ordinary ungrounded dualistic approach toward evolution's evolutes.
Karana vairagya is another classical classification where one either gives up some pleasure or object that one treasures as a type of sacrifice for a future boon or as penance for a past transgression. In this respect Patanjali considers Viveka-purvakvairagya meaning complete discriminatory awareness. Vairgyabhyam is defined in Patanjali I.12. It is a practice of effortlessly letting go of all fixations, non-grasping, non-attachment; non-attachment to results, and a goalless and objectless process of release.
Vairagya is the authentic renunciation of the true renunciate where one ultimately releases attachment to a path as well. It is the culmination of ground, path, and fruit coming together. It is not an intellectual statement, but rather an experiential state, where there is no object to grasp upon and mo self that grasps or is attached. It is fully realized in Samadhi is swarupa-sunyam; This is the completion of yoga as nirodha of the citta-vrtta. The temporal love for things has thus vanished when and has been replaced by eternal love, the divine passion when vairagya is continuous. Hence it is said that vairagyam is the realization of divine unconditional love where no mundane love (as temporal desire) can arise.
Om Namah Shivaya.
Yogi Ananada Saraswati
Lord Rama has been the symbol of virtue and chivalry and the most preached God among the Hindus. He is the most famous incarnation of Lord Sri Vishnu. Lord Ram is said to have taken birth on this earth in human form to obliterate the evil forces from here. It is believed that Sri Rama took birth in the kingdom of Kosala in Ayodhya to King Dashratha and his Queen Kaushalya. An ideal son and king, a man of virtues and morals he is popularly referred to as 'Maryada Puroshottam' literally meaning the perfect man. Lord Rama throughout his life stuck to Dharma to perform any action despite the many hardships as a result of this he had to face.
Lord Rama, said Maharshi Valmiki in Ayondhya Kanda 2.31,32 in praise of his virtues ‘…. is well versed in the tenets of Dharma, firm in his commitments, an epitome of propriety, uncritical, forgiving, compassionate to the poor and miserable, soft-spoken, grateful, in control of His senses, kind-hearted, endowed with a steady intellect, ever engaged in universal good, non-calumnious, agreeable in His speech to all beings and truthful.’
To Sri Rama bhaktas, He is not simply a good and a great person, but God Himself. He is also the divine omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient God. The destruction of the ten-headed Ravana signifies the annihilation of the mind or the ten senses. Worship of Lord Rama is worship of the all-pervading Godhead Himself. In the Yuddha Kanda of the Ramayana, Mandothari and Brahma refer to Rama as the one Creator of the universe, the God of all, the Ruler of the universe.
Yogi Ananda Saraswathi
There is something very simple and real about Taoism
"The skilled appear to have no abilities,the wise appear to be ignorant.
"- the unnoticeability of the true sage to the ordinary eye -
Chan and Tao
Does hanging around with a skull deserve hatred and contempt? For a start you often fail to realise there is one sticking on your neck, unless you have an unsupported lump of meat for a face. If there is any learning to be discerned from a skull then you could try something that on a personal to holder basis forms a major practical lesson by aghori gurus. Try to visualise and skin your own head - no face or mask for the external theatre and no brains. With that no mind and no thoughts. A skull stuck to your neck is mindlessness. This is ‘kabala padam’, kabalam meaning skull and the root word pada meaning lesson. With Vibhuti pada it is complementary for ego shedding and killing fear of death.
Such mindlessness is devoid of the snares of existence – lust, anger, greed, delusion, envy shame, disgust, fear etc which all bind the person. You skull sees not with the physical eyes but with a sense of perception from within. The external light flickers within to find a universe which does not differentiate what is within and without. Mind you, one would be astonished by the uselessness of limited existence, knowing a world existing within, without being in that world. The brief candle life’s story told by an idiot flickers away while it sparks off a new dimension within the aspirant. Invoking Mother Kali at her extremes is walking the thin line between her wrath and her breast-feeding but the aghori pursues it without fear. Well, there may be other ways to this lesson surely. But each is free to pursue his or her truth and Light. No-one has a right to sit in judgment, for a limited mind is one that aghoris overcome.
Jai Maa Kali, Jai Aghoresvari Ma.
Yogi Ananda Saraswathi
Although Born a Baul... Babukishan was a Monk in the Ramakrishna Order in Calcutta for 12 years...
SRI RAMAKRISHNA (to Kedar and other devotees):
“Bhakti (devotion) is the one essential thing. To be sure, God exists in all beings. Who, then, is a devotee? He whose mind dwells on God. But this is not possible as long as one has egotism and vanity. The water of God’s grace cannot collect on the high mound of egotism. It runs down. I am a mere machine.
"God can be realized through all paths. All religions are true. The important thing is to reach the roof. You can reach it by stone stairs or by wooden stairs or by bamboo steps or by a rope. You can also climb up by a bamboo pole.
“You may say that there are many errors and superstitions in another religion. I should reply: Suppose there are. Every religion has errors. Everyone thinks that his watch alone gives the correct time. It is enough to have yearning for God. It is enough to love Him and feel attracted to Him: Don’t you know that God is the Inner Guide? He sees the longing of our heart and the yearning of our soul. Suppose a man has several sons. The older boys address him distinctly as ‘Baba’ or ‘Papa’, but the babies can at best call him ‘Ba’ or ‘Pa’. Now, will the father be angry with those who address him in this indistinct way? The father knows that they too are calling him, only they cannot pronounce his name well. All children are the same to the father. Likewise, the devotees call on God alone, though by different names. They call on one Person only. God is one, but His names are many.”
(Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, chapter 4)
SRI RAMAKRISHNA: “One should not think, ‘My religion alone is the right path and other religions are false.’ God can be realized by means of all paths. It is enough to have sincere yearning for God. Infinite are the paths and infinite the opinions.”
(Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, chapter 6)
SRI RAMAKRISHNA (To the goswami:) “With sincerity and earnestness one can realize God through all religions. The Vaishnavas will realize God, and so will the Saktas, the Vedantists, and the Brahmos. The Mussalmans and Christians will realize Him too. All will certainly realize God if they are earnest and sincere.
“Some people indulge in quarrels, saying, ‘One cannot attain anything unless one worships our Krishna’, or, ‘Nothing can be gained without the worship of Kali, our Divine Mother’, or, ‘One cannot be saved without accepting the Christian religion.’ This is pure dogmatism. The dogmatist says, ‘My religion alone is true, and the religions of others are false.’ This is a bad attitude. God can be reached by different paths.”
(Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, chapter 8)
Trishula Sandra Das
Bhakti Masala Blog
Practitioner of Jyotish, Yoga Tantra, Ayurveda, Shakti Sadhana, Bhakti Yogi for 40 years.
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