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Why Do We Meditate on Shivrati Day

15 Feb

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar explains on why it is important to meditate on the day of Shivratri.

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Jaya Jaya Durge Maa Bhajan by Bhanumathi Narasimhan

7 May

A beautiful Jaya Jaya Durge Maa bhajan in the melodious voice of Bhanumathi Narasimhan.

 

About Gayatri Mantra

1 Mar

 

gayatri mantra by bhanumathi narasimhan

 

‘Let my mind and the whole existence

be illumined and purified by your radiance’

Gayatri is the one who glides through the three states of consciousness joyfully, playfully, effortlessly and lightly, as though it were a song. When we ‘sing through’ something, it means it is not a burden for us. ‘Gayanti traayate iti gayatri’. The Gayatri mantra affects all the three states of consciousness, jagrut(waking), sushupt (deep sleep), swapna(dream) and the three layers of existence adhyatmik, adidhaivik and adibhautikTraya also refers to the taapatraya or the ailments(taapa) that adversely affect the body, mind and soul: the body by physical ailments, the mind by negativity and restlessness in the soul. The Gayatri Shakti (energy or field of vibration) enables one to transcend and be unaffected by the tapatraya’s.

The Gayatri mantra sharpens the intellect and brightens the memory. A new mirror reflects clearly, but over time, dust gathers and it needs cleaning. Similarly our mind becomes tainted with time, the company that we keep, the knowledge we receive and our latent tendencies. When we chant the Gayatri mantra, it is like deep cleansing, so that the mirror (the mind) reflects in a better way. Through the mantra, the inner glow is kindled, the inner plane is kept alive. One gains brilliance in both the inner and outer worlds.

The Gayatri mantra has 24 letters corresponding to the 24 vertebrae of the spine. The backbone is what provides support and stability to our body. Similarly, the Gayatri mantra brings stability in our intellect.

The Gayatri Shakti is the energy field which is a culmination of three energies: Tejas (radiance), Yashas (victory) andVarchas (brilliance). When you chant the Gayatri mantra, these energies manifest in you and you also gain the power to bless. These same energies are transmitted to the one receiving the blessings also.

Tejasvi Bhuyasau – May you be radiant

Varchaswi Bhuyasau – May you be brilliant

Yashasvi Bhuyasau – May you be victorious

All seeds have the potential to become a tree. Some are cognised and are available to us like the bija mantras. Some are fully expressed, where the fruit is also expressed, like the Gayatri mantra. A seed contains all the development of a sprawling tree. Similarly, these syllables of the Gayatri mantra contain within a nutshell all the possibilities of creation.

Before thought becomes a word, it is a subtle vibration, unexpressed, beyond the cognition of the mind. When the mind is unable to cognise, it dissolves and moves into the meditative space. This is how mantras enable one to transcend the mind and move into meditation. It is not necessary to understand the meaning of the mantras to experience its benefits. For e.g, even the sounds of laughter or crying can cause a shift in our consciousness. Similarly, the energy field created by the sound vibrations of the mantras elevate our consciousness and allow us to be established in that serene, pure, infinite state of our Being.

In the Vedic tradition, a child is first initiated to the highest knowledge – the Gayatri mantra. After that, all other forms of education are given. It is said in the scriptures that women are also eligible to learn the vedas and chant the Gayatrimantra. The ideal time to chant is the the transitory hours of dawn and dusk. The times when the sun has set but it is neither dark nor light and when the night has passed and the day is yet to begin. In these moments, the mind also enters an altered state of consciousness. The moments belong neither to the previous state nor the next. It is the right time to be focussed on the Self instead of being caught up in changes or movement. In these hours, the mind can easily be confused and slip into inertia, lethargy, negativity and so on or be elevated and move into a meditative state radiating positivity. Chanting the Gayatri mantra rejuvenates the mind and maintains it in an elevated and energized state.

Energizing from the source of radiance – that is the Gayatri mantra. The scintillating lively energy – that is the Gayatri Shakti.

Shivoham Shivoham bhajan by Bhanumathis Narasimhan & its meaning

27 Dec

“Shivoham” means “I am Shiva”. Shiva is the pure unbounded all-pervading consciousness (the transcendental self, the Absolute). Here is an explanation of “Shivoham” bhajan.

”Shiva” here means that innocent, blissful, splendid, golden, beautiful.
“Shivoham” — I am Shiva. Splendid, the most innocent.
“Shiva Swarupoham” — my nature is Shiva. My form is Shiva. I am made up of a substance that is Shiva — innermost me.

“Nityoham” — I am ever present. I am always there. Body dies, disappears, but I am there.
“Nityoham Shuddhoham” — I am ever pure. Nothing can touch me. All these things come and go, but they cannot touch me, they cannot do anything to me.
“Buddhoham” — I am always enlightened.
“Shivoham Shivoham Shiva Swarupoham. Nityoham” — I am eternal. There is no end to me.

“Advaita Ananda Rupam Arupam. Shivoham Shivoham Shiva Swarupoham” — There is no two. It is me in all the forms, all over. It is me. My breath is flowing everywhere. I am the formless though I am inside a form. My spirit has no form. Though I am formless, I move in forms, in all forms in the whole world.

“Brahmoham Brahmoham Brahma Swarupoham” — I am the Brahman, the totality, the all.
“Chidoham Chidoham” — I am the consciousness. I am lively. I am full of life. I am pure energy and pure consciousness.”
~~ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

 

Navaratri Celebrations

17 Oct

Navaratri celebrations By Bhanumathi Narasimhan

Navratri is traditionally celebrated in honor of Devi, the Divine Mother. The Divine Mother is symbolic  of energy, a manifestation of the Divine itself. Each day of Navratri we honor specific qualities of divinity with different homas and with different intentions.It is this energy, which helps God to proceed with the work of creation, preservation and destruction.

Navaratri celebration is divided into sets of three days to adore different aspects of the supreme goddess. On the first three days, the Mother is invoked as powerful force called Durga in order to destroy all our vices and defects. The next three days, the Mother is adored as a giver of spiritual wealth, Lakshmi, who is considered to have the power of bestowing on her devotees with the wealth. The final set of three days is spent in worshiping the mother as the goddess of wisdom and knowledge, Saraswati. In order have all-round success in life, we need the blessings of all three aspects of the divine mother; hence, the worship for nine nights.

H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, th founder of the Art of Living foundation explains something more on Navaratri.

By Bhanumathi Narasimhan

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