Friday, June 11, 2010

Significance of Arghyam in Sandhyavandanam

This is my next post in the series 'SandhyAvandanam'. I believe most of my posts on this series have been well received. Over the past year, I gave a few lectures in the functions convened by 'Tamilnadu Brahmin Association' (Thambhraas) on these topics and was happy to see a sea change in the approach of Brahmins towards Sandhyavandanam. The message that Sandhya routine is a rejuvenator, spiritual builder, a personality enhancer and a health invigorator seems to have gone well with my brAhmaNa brothers.

In my first coverage I did not write about Arghyam, a very important kriya in Sandhya Vandanam. Arghyam literally means 'offering'. Like Achamanam, mArjanam, and prAsanam, this is also a water based one. Water is taken in the right palm of the sAdhaka and (slightly) thrown skyward after chanting the gAyatri mantra.This offering is thrice per session. Smartha sandhyAvandanam has one extra arghyam for any errors in the offering time- the kAlAtheetha prAyaschitta arghya pradhAnam.

I have known through many readings that the sandhyAvandanam , though done by the brAhmaNa, is in fact for the welfare of the humanity at large. This kriya, Arghyam, is no different. The sAdhaka's chanting of the gAyatri while holding the water in the palm is a selfless kriya and aimed at the world. The agent to which it is given is Surya (sun).

I will try to give the traditional, philosophical as well as scientific background for Arghyam.

Traditional Understanding

Garuda purANa states that a kind of asuras called mandeha , who originally reside in an island called aruNa are trying to destroy Surya in the day at daybreak and sunset. The arghyam given at these times serves as a weapon to destroy them.Look at the following slokas (1-213-62)

"A Brahmachirin shall bathe only once a day. Having performed the rite of Achamanam,
and invoked the sacred pools therein, one shall take a bath in the river. Thirty
million is the number of the malignant spirits, called Mandehas, who manifest
a desire of devouring the sun at day break. He, who does not attend to his
Sandhya rite at the meetings of the day and night, verily kills the sun, inasmuch
as the libations of consecrated water (offered unto the sun-god in the course of
a SandhyA) tend to consume these monsters (Mandehas) like streams of liquid fire."

Philosophical Significance

The philosophical significance is in the symbolism. The Mandehas are nothing but the man- dehas or mind -
body which are clouding the sun of resplendent atman in us. The gayatri purifies us by this offering so that
the inner light can be perceived by us. Also, the sAdhaks , after the arghyam, say, 'asAvAdityo brahma,
brahmaiva ahamasmi" (the sun is verily the brahman. Brahman is myself). In the adhyAtmic sense, arghyam
is a reminder of the brahman in us and its honouring by the offer of mantra and water.

Scientific Significance

The scientific meaning is even more interesting. Only recently I chanced upon the work of Mr Masaru Emoto
of Japan who did some critical experiments with water.He took a glass of water and spoke 'thank you' to it.
He then freezed the water.

You make me sick
Tibetan Sutra

 Thank you                                                                           Before Prayer
When he magnified the crystallized water, he was amazed to see symmetric patterns.Curious, he then cursed
a glass of water with , " I hate you" and crystallized it.This time the magnified image of crystals were ugly 
and random. He then used Tibetan Sutras and the resulting image was of a beautiful pattern.
See this video on his experiments
It was here that I wondered at the wisdom of our Maharishis. All of our Sandhyavandanam is water based.
We either partake or offer water while uttering sacred mantrams. Imagine the effect of these mantrams on the 
water ! During Arghyam, we chant the greatest of all mantrams- the Gayatri. Though Mr Emoto did not 
experiment with Gayatri mantra, we can guess what will happen. The thought waves generated by the 
Arghya Danam will  penetrate all the three worlds. 
The same explanation will hold for our Achamanam , prokshanam, kalasa pooja, temple teertham etc. 
I also would like to add a speculation here. Like water, all the pancha Bhootas must have memory. In our yagyas, 
Agni is called 'havya vahana' since it carries the havis to the devas.Soon, our scientists will declare that air, 
earth and space has memory ! 
I have heard that Rishis chant Gayatri ceaselessly. They do so for protecting the mankind and for preserving 
the Surya (sun) from extinguishing ! In Dhanur Vidya (Archery and missile warfare), only  the variants of 
Gayatri mantra were used for launching the sastras - right upto the most potent Brahmastra !
This is another great aspect of our Sandhya Vandanam. Arghyam is not a meaningless exercise  but a
profoundly meaningful, spiritual Kriya that is also physically purifying. Arghyam later was adapted into daily 
upasana in Temples and homes. It is one of the 'sodasa' upachara (sixteen honours) to Paramatman.

Monday, June 7, 2010

What Dan Brown did not know

What were the facts left out of the "Da Vinci Code"?

Over the last weekend, I picked up and reread  my copy of Dan Brown's sensational bestseller novel , " Da Vinci Code ". As usual, it was an addiction compulsion syndrome with such books. It just could not be kept down despite the telephone interruptions and my wife's continuous calls  and threats. This is my second reading and this time I made several new conclusions. I assure you that these have a good connection with Bharat and Hinduism that is, Sanatana Dharma.

Many of you might be aware that the book " Da Vinci Code" is the severest yet indictment of Christianity by a Christian himself.  The author Dan Brown has compiled an excellently researched  book and 80 million copies were sold.

For those who haven't read it,  I will recommend reading this book online or download it from this site.

Dan Brown has presented a well argued case of how Christianity in its 'Church first' form has usurped from the Europeans and many natives a far more beautiful, thoughtful, insightful and tolerant religion and replaced  a priest friendly setup that is based on a  doctrine , later to be called the bible. Dan argues through the characters that the new testament is a carefully compiled version of gospels that an emperor thought will be useful for consolidating his territory. And it worked so well that people so well advanced in spiritual pursuit were  turned into sheep. That same strategy, Dan says, is being  followed by the Catholic Church and other churches to brainwash the billion odd Christians worldwide.

Well, these are known facts. My essay is about what Dan Brown did not know (or did not say ?).

The most stunning revelation of the book is about  the religion that  predated the current Christianity. He says that the people practiced a mystic way   which evolved around the male- female axis of creation. He goes on to say that a form of Goddess worship prevailed which had its origins in Judaism. Rites like sun worship , mystic sexual union were all part of that religion. The symbolism of a 'V' shape and the inverted 'V' emerging from Da Vinci's stucco " The last Supper" are clear pointers to the practices of that society.

In one place Dan Brown talks about the 'pagan mantras' inside  temples of the mystic societies. It was precisely here that I started looking at the pagan religion differently. The sun worship, the mantras, the mystical sexual union all rang a familiar tune. I have heard and read it being practiced in India even today- The Tantras !!! In fact, so many are the variations of Tantra in Bharat that comparing them to the acts of the pagan religion is like  an ocean compared to a bucket.

From the snow clad Kashmir to the tropical south, the tantras had held sway sometime before the Bhakti Period to be merged into the vast body of Hinduism later. The tantric depiction of male- female axis is clearly taken from the Tantric Shiva- Shakti concept at the macro (cosmic) level and the Nada- Vindu concept at the micro (individual) level. This has beautifully been portrayed in the Ardhanareeswarar story of Lord Shiva as told in Puranas. Look at the statue symbolizing the male female balance in life in this spell binding depiction of Ardha nareeswara . (Lord with the female half). The left is female.

A secret sect called Priory de Sion believed in a similar theory and has carried forward the original  teachings for close to two millennia. These people were so much prosecuted by the marauding Church and its patron kings that these societies worked underground or in carefully assumed disguises. Dan brown describes the Priory de Sion   as a Goddess worship sect just because they glorified feminism.It is here that he has gone wrong. First, because he did not understand the principles of Tantra.

Above : The symbol of the Free Masons. the V showing the female and the inverted V showing the male. The masons to this day have been very secretive about their mystic practices.

Tantras hold that the Siva (or the primordial Purusha) and Sakti (the primordial energy or Prakriti) are eternal and without beginning or end. It is their interaction that paved the way for the manifest universe.  Note that I am not talking of creation. This is just talk about manifest to unmanifest. Creation is a dirty word in philosophy that makes a teacher  uncomfortable since it tosses the God theory which further paves the way for  'chicken or egg first' question. That was the reason why the secret societies despised the Christian doctrine which said the world was created and even gave a date to it !!

Vedic and Tantric Philosophies hold that time is a cyclic one. But , with a 'created world' theory, Christianity taught it as a linear one. Modern science is in perfect harmony with Vedic teaching that there is no destruction of matter but simply a rearrangement. Also, Eisntein  gave us a theory that the sum total of all energies in the universe at any point is the same at all times. Christianity directly contradicts this with its 'created world' theory. Creation means new energy and new matter without anything to emanate from. Classical situation to ask how God came into being. Chicken or egg first ?   No wonder Christianity was a hated and feared religion of its times

Recently many articles have appeared analyzing the similarity in the names of Abraham  to that of Indian Puranic 'Brahma'. Similarly stunning is the name of Abraham's wife Sara. It resembles the name of Saraswati , the consort of Brahma. Brahma and Saraswati are mythological characters in India but their name sake counterparts are supposedly historic characters in Israel.

Tantra is a post Vedic teaching that has liberally borrowed from Sankhya philosophy. They deviated from the Nidhidhyasana path of Vedism and introduced a new upasana based on symbology. Thus were born the six tantric religions of Saiva, Vaishnava,  Sakta, Saura, Ganapatya and Kaumara. Fundamentally they accepted the 24 principles of Sankhya but added twelve more. Thus the 36 tattvas of Saiva Siddhanta were born. The first Tattva is Shiva and the next is Shakti. It is the interaction between these two that results in the manifestation of the gross universe, as per tantra. It is these two tattvas, that are depicted in the so called pagan religions as the yin and yang or male and female.

At every turn of the novel " Da Vinci Code", as Dan goes on describing the religion of pagans, I could clearly see the stamp of tantras. One may ask, how tantra spread as early as 2000 years before Christ ? The pagan religion of Europe was a sophisticated one handed to them from the Sumerian civilization. The Sumerians spoke a language very closely related to the Dravidian languages like Tamil and Telugu. A Sumerian city called 'Ur' (place) is clearly recorded in History. 'Ur' is still used in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada to denote a village or town. Writers like Srinivasa Iyengar aver that it was the Tamils who travelled along the Konkan coast and established the Sumerian civilization. Since Tamil is a prehistoric language and supposedly spoken across the length and breadth of India, this is a clear possibility.

There is another hitch. Tantras are post Vedic. When the Vedas themselves are dated to 1500 BC by the current indologists, how come the tantras  predate the Sumerian Civilization which flourished in 4000 BC ? This is because of the bogus 'Aryan Invasion Theory" coined, propagated and maintained by a coterie of western indologists. Only now, some honest research has found that Vedas are in fact older than Sumerian period.

Osho, in one of his speeches, said that the 'Vigyana Bhairava Tantra' the oldest existing tantric script, is over 5000 years old. Subbaraya Sastry of Mysore, in his book 'Vaimanika Sastra' which, he said was received by him in a meditative state, says that in Satya Yuga people were adept in   tapas , in Treta yuga they were proficient in Mantras, in Dwapara yuga they were  good in Tantric practices. So that explains how Tantric exercises  were found to be  practiced in far off places at such old dates.

But, what made me sad was that, despite a thorough research, Dan Brown did not give credit to India that is Bharat, the birth place of the religion and  ideology which he proudly eulogised. Not only the Priory de Sion, but also the Masons are living heirs to the mystical tantric religions of pre Christian era. When the politically motivated Church raided their temples and started killing the so called pagan people, they went underground and formed secret societies. That they have continued their existence well into the 21 st century,without any royal patronage  is a proof of their superior doctrines than their aggressor counterpart.

Look at the above pictures. They show a priestly man with the familiar Vedic tilak applied all over his body. This statue is in Egypt and the man is a pyramid designer. Also, the Pharoah is seen with similar Vedic marks. All these go to show that the religion predating Christianity was Vedic Tantrism. It is precisely this that Dan Brown did not know (or did not say).

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dayananda- A fearless son of a great Tradition

Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati's name evokes a great deal of awe and admiration in me. He is a hero of Modern spiritual Hinduism who achieved much more than Swami Vivekananda but acknowledged much much lesser.

He arose when his country and the people were in both spiritual and monetary poverty. My single point of admiration for him is that he revived the true spirit of the Vedas almost single handedly. No one living in the current pseudo secular India can ever imagine his contribution to the country and its people.

Dayananda was a BrAhmana of the highest order, a spotless brahmachAri, a great logician, a fearless thinker, a grand orator and above all, a magnificient  scholar of the Vedas. If you think I am generous in my use of adjectives, I will say I have only used the most conservative terms.

What I liked most about him was his understanding of the Vedas which he had learnt from the blind guru Vrajananda.  Dayananda differed from the classical understanding that the Samhitas along with Brahmanas and the Aranyakas form the total Vedic corpus . He declared that the Samhitas were the true Vedas and alone are  qualified for the title "Apaurusheya " (not man made) as called by the rishis.

I see merit in his argument. The BrAhmaNas and the AraNyakams of the Vedas are man made texts which are obvious as per their own content. That leaves us with the Samhitas alone. Dayananda also gave us a touchstone to verify the ' apaurusheyatvam' of the Vedas. The criterion was that if the Vedas were in fact an eternal knowledge , they should be timeless. In other words, they should contain an eternal content unlimited by time  and SHOULD NEVER CONTAIN HISTORY OF ANY PERIOD. Thus all names, places and incidents must not be found in the Vedas.

I understood the significance of his argument recently. I was learning the Sri Rudram, a praise of Rudra. Classically this is understood to be taken from the Yajur Veda. Normally all chants of Rudram accompany the Chamakam also. Sri Rudram is taken from the Taitreeya AraNyakam of Yajur Veda  and the Chamakam is from the Yajur Veda Samhita. While Sri Rudram was full of praise for Rudra calling his names, his attributes and praising his features like 'tryambakAya' (the three eyed), 'tripurAndhagAya' (one who burnt the three cities), 'neelakantthAya' (the one with blue scarred neck) etc. One can easily guess that these names are associated with mythological event and hence depict history.

On the other hand, the Chamakam part is completely devoid of any names or history. One can very easily understand that it is a praise of Paramatman and it can readily be suited to all deities we worship, not just Rudra. I was just beginning to understand his monumental statement that Samhitas are the real Vedas. My friend ,a temple priest told me that Chamakam is used in some Vaishnava Shrines during abhishekam.

Sometime back, I read Subrahmania Bharatiar's introduction to his commentary on Bhagavad Gita. In it he also was backing Dayananda's statement.He says that the Samhitas are in one type of Vedic Samskrutam but the Aranyakams and BrahmaNas are in a typically later day Samskrutam.See the Tamil text by him here

இந்த உபநிஷத்துக்கள் வேதாந்தம் என்ற பெயர் படைத்தன. அதாவது வேதத்தின் நிச்சயம்.  இவை வேத ரிஷிகளால்  சமைக்கப பட்டனவல்ல. பிற்காலத்தவரால் சமைக்கப்பட்டன. ஸம்ஹிதைகள் என்று மந்திரங்கள் சொல்லப்படுவனவே உண்மையான வேதங்கள். அவையே ஹிந்து மதத்தின் வேர். அவை வசிஷ்ட வாமதேவாதி தேவ ரிஷிகளின் கொள்கைகளைக் காட்டுவன. உபநிஷத்துகள் மந்திரங்களுக்கு விரோதமல்ல. அவற்றுக்குச் சாஸ்திர முடிவு. அவற்றின் சிரோபூஷணம். ஆனால், பச்சை வேதமென்பது  மந்திரம் அல்லது சம்ஹிதை  எனப்படும் பகுதியேயாம்.

இந்த மந்திரங்கள் அல்லது ஸம்ஹிதைகள் பழைய மிகப் பழைய ஸம்ஸ்கிருத பாஷையில் எழுதப்பட்டிருக்கின்றன. அதாவது, வேதங்களின் ஸம்ஸ்கிருதம் மதுரைச் சங்கத்துக்கு முந்திய தமிழைப் போலவும் உபநிஷத்துக்களின் பாஷை சங்கத்துக்குப் பிந்திய தமிழைப் போலவும் இருக்கின்றன.

ஆனால், இந்த உவமானம் முற்றிலும் பொருந்தியதாகக்  கூறலாகாது. இன்னும் அதை உள்ளபடி விளக்குமிடத்தே. ஸம்ஸ்கிருத பாஷையிலுள்ள மற்றெல்லா
நூல்களும் ஒரு பாஷை, வேதம் மாத்திரம் - அதாவது, ஸம்ஹிதை அல்லது மந்திரம் மாத்திரம் -தனியான பாஷையாக இருக்கிறது. இஃதொரு பெருவியப்பு அன்றோ? வேத ஸம்ஸ்கிருதம் வேறெந்த நூலிலும் கிடையாது. உபநிஷத்தில் சில, மிகச் சில பகுதிகளில், விசேஷமாக வேத மந்திரங்களை மீட்டுமுரைக்குமிடத்தே, வேத பாஷையைக் காணலாம். மற்றபடி உபநிஷத்துக்கு முழுவதும் பிற்காலத்துப் பாஷையிலேயே சமைந்திருக்கிறது.

இங்ஙனமிருக்கப் பிற்காலத்து ஆசார்யர்களிலே சிலர் வேதத்தைக் கர்மகாண்டம் என்றும் அதனால் தாழ்ந்தபடியைச் சேர்ந்ததென்றும் உபநிஷத்தே ஞானகாண்டம் என்றும் ஆதலால் அது வேதத்தைக் காட்டிலும் உயர்ந்ததென்றும் கருதுவாராயினர்.

இங்ஙனம் பிற்காலத்து ஆசாரியர்கள் நினைப்பதற்கு உண்டான காரணங்கள் பல. அவற்றுட் சிலவற்றை இங்கே தருகிறேன். முதலாவது காரணம்,வேத பாஷை மிகவும் பழைமைப்பட்டுப் போனபடியால் அதன் உண்மையான பொருளைக் கண்டுபிடித்தல் மிகவும் துர்லபமாய்விட்டது. நிருத்தம் என்ற வேத நிகண்டையும் பிராம்மணங்கள் என்று சொல்லப்படும் பகுதிகளிலே  காணப்படும் வேத மந்திர விளக்கங்களையும் சுற்ற பின்னரே, ஒருவாறு வேத மந்திரங்களின் பொருளையறிதல் சாத்தியமாயிற்று. வேதம் பிரம்மாண்டமான நூல். அதில் இத்தகைய ஆராய்ச்சி செய்வோர மிக மிகச் சிலரேயாவார்.
Swamy  Dayananda lived in the 19 th century CE. The Arya Samaj movement he created was such a force in his times that most of the first generation freedom fighters came out of it. The first real attempt at reconversion of people back into Hindu religion was begun by him in right earnest through the Shuddhi movement. Entire north India seemed to be under his spell.

Swamy's puritan spirit could never accept vigraha ArAdhana in any form. He saw great value  in yagya and was a proponent of the six schools of vedic philosophy (shat darsanas). He reportedly shunned the vigraha ArAdhana due to an incident in his boyhood,  on one Shivaratri night, when a rat climbed over the Shiva Linga and ate the prasadam kept there. He vowed then and there that he will not worship that God who was so powerless to protect his offering from that lowly creature.

Because of this incident and his Vedic education from the venerable Swamy Vrajananda made him an enemy of Puranas, Temple worship,and  the Tantric pooja  rites etc. In my personal opinion , Puranas are a valuable medium of telling great truths in the form of fables, stories and history. I would have greatly loved it if Dayananda tried to appreciate them. But such was his passion for pure Vedic way of life that he wanted nothing less than the most perfect education for his people.

Swamy's commentaries on the Vedas are his last great contribution to mankind. It was he who retrieved Vedas which were hijacked by all and sundry to satisfy their particular Gods and their own theories. If the three Acharyas (Sankara , Maddhwa and Ramanuja)  revived Vedanta, Dayananda revived the Vedas.

Swamy died abruptly in the middle of his great work after being poisoned to death by a King's concubine who saw in him a threat should the King be reformed due to the Swamy's teachings. He had not travelled to the South part of India yet. He had completed only 5 mandalas of commentary on the Rigveda.

Another very very important contribution of Swamy Dayananda was that he was able to interpret great keys to the secrets of science in the Vedas. In fact Dayananda argued that the Vedas contain the keys of all secrets of creation.

Aurobindo, wrote on Dayananda thus,."In the matter of Vedic interpretation I am convinced that whatever may be  the final complete interpretation, Dayananda will be honoured as the first  discoverer of the right clues. Amidst the chaos and obscurity of old ignorance and age-long misunderstanding his was the eye of direct vision that pierced to the truth and fastened on that which was essential. He has found the keys of the doors that time had closed and rent asunder the seals of the imprisoned fountains."

I prostrate before you Maharishi, may your light of truth shine always upon us.

Swamy's 'Satyartha Prakash'- His magnum Opus is available online <here>
Swamy's Vedic commentaries in Hindi can be accessed <here>

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What they do not teach you at the blogging help menu

Today, suddenly I had a flash idea. Why not blog on blogging itself ? I do not know whether you will like it or not, but I have obeyed my intuition. Here is my Chitra Poornima gift to you.

The essentials of Successful blogging

I have noted that despite being articulate, well read, and sharp, intelligent people often wane away without recording their thoughts in writing. The print and publishing industry operates in a way to favour the rich and the unmeritorious , leaving the genuine talent out of its consideration. I think that was the reason the phenomenal talents of commoners in this country got suppressed.

Not any more.Internet has changed every rule of the game. Blogging rewrote every rule of self expression.. What started as a weblog to jot down one's thoughts has grown leaps and bounds into what it stands today. The huge plus side being that every blog post has a unique URL and is listed in search engines. This means you have enormous visibility. Only you need to know the rules to fully utilise it.

I am a blogger for three years. I went to blogging after I started contributing to email groups. I noticed that people liked my style of presentation however crude it seemed to me. Then started this pleasant journey of self expression . In this journey , I learned many things, most of them belonging to the common sense domain. I will call it " what they don't teach you at the blogger help menu". These are secrets of successful blogging. These are gathered from my own and other's successes. Now we go


I know two of the world's greatest blog sites- and Enter these sites and learn to register as bloggers. Now you are ready to write to post on the internet. The registration is a routine one and anyone with some internet knowledge can handle that.

Deciding your line of expression:

Before you start, you must well know what you are going to tell the world. If you are a yoga specialist, decide on the topic you are going to share. Here are some rules

1. The content, even if technical, must be expressed in a language easily understandable to others.

2. The content, must not be more than one to one and a half pages of typed matter in an A4 sheet. I have learned that an ordinary person's concentration does not last more than 30 minutes at a stretch. Remember that people read in the night, and might already have gone through some material prior to yours. So safely limit your content to a readable limit of five minutes.

3. Dramatize your content: For this technique , I owe my gratitude to Dale Carnegie. Dramatization means simply adding more stuff that will enliven the reader. My most potent choice for this is a picture or a photo. Most of my posts have a photo. I add one even when these was no need for it. It works. It keeps your readers alive. While choosing pictures, you can choose from the internet, some photos from your digicam, scanned content from books, or your own photoshop work.

My next dramatizing weapon is the video. It is simply fabulous. Sites like youtube offer embedding codes which you can simply paste in your post. When the videos of your choice are not available, create one. Youtube accepts videos of ten minutes duration. Watching videos within a blog post is a tremendous advantage since the reader does not have to open many windows. You can also add voice or music content into your post. Even simple applications like windows movie maker will help you create and edit videos that can be uploaded into your blog.


I know you will be tempted to decorate your blog. Obviously you will choose some flashy scheme. My experiences tell something different. If you value the eyes of your readers, you will think differently. Not only should your window look simple, splashing colours will make your reader tired quickly and he will lose concentration. So, go with care here.

Choose your font style and size with equal care. Select fonts that are easily readable like Times New Roman, Arial etc., and your font size should be minimum 12. Do not use varying colours for your content in paragraphs, this is also unfriendly to your reader.

Split your typed content into small paragraphs of not more than three or four sentences. Make your sentences short with minimum of conjunctions. Use straight sentences unless you are presenting poetry. Don't use your linguistic skill in saying " it is not unheard of.... ". I would prefer it to be simply " It is learnt as ..".

Emotive and Intuitive content

Make sure your content contains, more 'I's. This is important. Without your personal touch you cannot reach the emotional side of your readers. " The early morning rising sun is a great sight" is a poor sentence. I would instead use " I feel great to see the rising sun in the morning". Do not question this. It is almost a law. A mere knowledge cannot a stir an emotional reaction . Only a person can. Without an emotional bondage, you can never make a reader come back to your blog.

Be target specific. You should have decided clearly what type of people you intend your blog to reach. Kids, Adults, students, mothers, etc. Do some research as to what appeals to these people. Mothers like to read about recipes, students like to see fun stuff, men like to discuss money. All your pictures and videos must confirm to your target. Remember the TV advertisement where they show a simply dressed woman when they advertise cheap soaps and shampoos. For the expensive Garnier, they will use the top celebrity in best costumes.

Respecting your intuitions

Wait for inspirations for a post. Wait for and look for hunches. When nothing seems forthcoming, just start the post and enter atleast a few lines. Then save the post in draft mode and leave it. Sleep with the idea for a day. By the morning, you will have more inspirations and hunches. The subconscious mind has to be tuned and trained to produce hunches.Always have a scribbling pad in your bed or nearby, so that you can record some out of the world idea when and where they come. Intuitions are what make a post sensational and separate it from the ordinary.

And, do not think you need some lengthy stuff to succeed. Even a small happening, like your encounter with an astrologer can become a blog post , provided you know how to start and enter the content. Remember whole movies have been made based on the happenings of a single day.

Pitching it right:

After you are done with the post, and having reread it at least once, you should start to pull readers. The post itself contains tags or keywords option. This is what the search engines will trace. So be careful with the choice of these key words. If I am writing about some special pranayama, I will enter Hinduism, Yoga, Pranayama, breathing technique, healing, revitalizing, immunity, longevity, spirituality, vital powers, etc. See what a far and wide net I have cast ! All the browsers who typed these search words , will see your post in their search.

Next, join emailing groups with like interests and send mail there with a few sentences of polite but powerful introduction to this post and send the URL of your post to the list. (Do not send the whole content). This is a sure way to visibility.

Next important way to pull people is to search for blogs with similar interests. Visit them , and comment on their blog posts after registering with the url of your blog. Whoever clicks on your name in the comment column will be directed to your blog. This method is a tried and tested one.

Finally, send notices to friends and relatives. Tell me whether your inbox is full of comments from your viewers. Happy blogging.

Saturday, April 24, 2010



A fascinating journey into the theory of Vigraha Aradhana expounded in Bhagavad Gita

Krishna, after fully explaining Karma yoga in nearly five adhyAyAs (chapters), then starts his Bhakti discourse. The chapters six to twelve of Srimad Bhagavad Gita are called the Bhakti pradhana shatakam or in English where devotion is mainly discussed.

Krishna starightaway says in the first sloka of the seventh chapter

Sri BhagavAn uvAcha

mayyAsakta manA: pArtha, yOgam yunjan madAsraya : |

asamsayam samagram mAm, yathA jnAsyasi tachchruNu || ( 7-1)

Partha ! Listen how, with the mind intent on Me, taking refuge in Me, and practicing Yoga, you will know me in full, free from doubt.

On a cursory view, the above sloka will probably miss the attention it deserves , It is because the reader will be tempted to read on further as to what Bhagavan wants to reveal. But, here is a key to nearly six chapters. It is one word which , when understood carefully, will reveal why the chapters from seven to twelve has been told to Arjuna in that order.

That monumental and magic word, according to my understanding, is " samagram" meaning 'full' or 'complete'. If that word is not understood, then the present Hinduism can never be understood properly.

Bhagavad Gita is a bridge between the Vedic religion and our present Hinduism. Krishna was one of the key Avatars to approve Vigraha Aradhana in its present form in. And now let us go into that grand journey of unravelling 'samagram'.

Krishna says His 'Samagra Swarupam' has to be realized so that nothing more is to be known further. (7-2). What is that form like ?

I am the taste of water, the light of the Sun and the moon, the syllable Om of all Vedas, the virility in men, the fragrance of earth, life of all that lives, penance of all ascetics, the seed of all existence, intellect of the intelligent, the tejas of tajasvis, the righteous power, the righteous sexual urge, the goodness, passion , and ignorance. Though I am everything of these, I am independent and not under their influence.

Here , Krishna takes a deviation only to return to his description of Samagra swaroopam again in the 16 th sloka of the 9 th chapter.

My Powers

I am the ritual, the sacrifice, the yajna , the herb (offered in fire), the mantra, the ghee , the fire ,offering, am the father of this universe, am the mother, the supporter , and the grandsire. Am the object of knowledge, the purifier and Omkara. I am also the Rig, Sama and Yajur Vedas. Am the goal, the sustainer, the master, the wirness, the abode, the refuge and the most dear friend. Am the creation, dissolution, the basis of everything, the resting place and the eternal seed.

I give heat, I send forth and withhold rain, am immortality and death, am also the manifest and unmanifest.

Then finally in the 10 th chapter Bhagavan formally tells Arjuna his vibhutis. “I am the Self, seated in the hearts of all creatures. I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all beings. Of the Adityas, I am Vishnu, Of lights I am the radiant sun, I am Marichi of the Maruts, and among the stars I am the moon.

Of the Vedas I am the Sama-veda; of the devatas I am Indra; of the senses I am the mind, and in living beings I am the living force. Of all the Rudras I am Sankara; of the Yaksas and Raksasas I am Kubera ; of the Vasus I am Agni , and of mountains I am Meru. Of priests, know Me to be the chief, Brhaspati, the lord of devotion. Of generals I am Skanda, ; and of bodies of water, I am the ocean.

My representations

Of the great sages I am Bhrgu; of vibrations I am the transcendental om. Of yajnas I am the Japa yajna , and of immovable things I am the Himalayas. Of all trees I am the holy fig tree, and among divine sages and I am Narada.

Of the singers of the gods [Gandharvas] I am Chitraratha, and among perfected beings I am the sage Kapila. Of horses know Me to be Uccaihsrava, who rose out of the ocean, born of the elixir of immortality; of lordly elephants I am Airavata, and among men I am the monarch.

Of weapons I am the thunderbolt; among cows I am the surabhi, givers of abundant milk. Of procreators I am Manmada, and of serpents I am Vasuki. Of the celestial Naga snakes I am Ananta; of the aquatic deities I am Varuna.

Of pitrus I am Aryama, and among the dispensers of law I am Yama .Among the Asuras I am the Prahlada; among subduers I am time; among the beasts I am the lion, and among birds I am Garuda .

Of purifiers I am the wind; of the wielders of weapons I am Rama; of fishes I am the shark, and of rivers I am the Ganga. Of all creations I am the beginning and the end and also the middle. Of all sciences I am the spiritual science of the self, and among logicians I am the conclusive truth.

Of letters I am the akara, and among compounds I am the dual word. I am also inexhaustible time, and of creators I am Brahma, whose manifold faces turn everywhere. I am all-devouring death, and I am the generator of all things yet to be.

Among women I am fame, fortune, speech, memory, intelligence, faithfulness and patience. Of hymns I am the Brhat-sama sung to the Lord Indra, and of mantras I am the Gayatri . Of months I am Margasirsa and of seasons I am flower-bearing spring.

I am also the gambling of cheats, and of the splendid I am the splendor. I am victory, I am adventure, and I am the strength of the strong. Of the descendants of Vrsni I am Vasudeva, and of the Pandavas I am Arjuna.

Of the sages I am Vyasa, and among great poets I am Sukracharya. Among punishments I am the rod of chastisement, and of those who seek victory, I am morality. Of secret things I am silence, and of the wise I am wisdom.

And, as a conclusion, the Lord says thus:

O mighty conqueror of enemies, there is no end to My divine manifestations. What I have spoken to you is but a mere indication of My infinite opulences.

This sums up the samagra rupam of Bhagavan. It is this form that Krishna wants Arjuna to see and realize. Bhakti is to be focused on the unlimited and absolute Lord. For we mortals, who have not had a taste of it, Bhagavan dwelt it in length in the Gita. And most importantly, Krishna showed this Swarupam which is famously called the Viswa Rupa Darsanam. The 11 th chapter describes it in all splendour.

This form once known, helps the Sadhak to choose an aspect of it so close to his nature and to start worshipping. He chooses the Vigraha of that aspect which appeal to his ideosyncracies and there blooms that chemistry which we famously call Bhakti.