I am noticing my swara since few days. I take a note right at the time of sunrise. And few more times in the day. I have noticed that during the sunrise, some days it is as per the tithi. but some days it is not and even if I try to change it, it does not change. During the day, i have understood that most of the times it is surya that is active. I remember you said that chandra should be active during the day and surya in the night. So what should i do to correct it. Although i try few methods to change but it does not change for a long time. And how do i ensure that the correct swara is active during sunrise.
This is almost a common query, that all the new practitioners and enthusiasts of Swar Vigyaan have, that Swara is not according to the tithi. There are few reasons for this. Although I did share in the class, about how we can predict about our coming day, paksha, month and even year by reading our Swara during sunrise. But I had also mentioned, to predict correctly, we need to achieve proper working of the Swara.
When the swara is not according to the tithi, the first thing that should be attempted is to change the swara. This can be done by any of the method I had taught during the class. As you mention, that even if you try to change the swara it does not change and you also share that most of the times it is the surya swara that is active, so let us understand what can be the underlying causes for the same.
The first point to understand here is that there is certainly some problem/issue or disease. It can be on mental level and/or physical level. So try to contemplate on the following pointers.
Health of respiratory system
First step is to understand the health of your respiratory system. It means right from the nose to the lungs. Nose is a very important organ when it comes to understanding of the swaras and so its upkeep is very much necessary. Have you ever suffered from sinusitis, or currently are you having blocked nostrils or nasal passages. Also understand if there is unusual dryness in the nostrils? Do remember to do Jal Neti every morning, it will ensure you have clear nasal passages. Applying ghee (clarified butter) in the nostrils once daily will be helpful if you experience dryness in the nose. Also be sure of any anatomical issues like nasal septum deviation etc. There can also be some swelling in the throat or nasal area. If you are suffering from any of the above issue, proper treatment should be taken.
Health of Digestive system:
Problems with digestive system actually reflect on the overall health of our body. If you study and correct your swaras daily, you will soon realize that they are first ones to tell you that there is some problem with your digestive system. Over active pingala nadi or surya swara, can mean too much heat in the body. It can be reflected as hyper acidity in the system. Too much toxin buildup in the body is also a cause for overactive surya swara.
This is also an important but many times overlooked cause for disturbed swaras. Overactive surya swara can simply mean that nerves in the left side of your body are weak. You must have noticed yogis sitting with a straight back and maintain the graceful posture for longer period of time. It has a reason behind it, when you sit with a straight back, you actually let proper functioning of the nadis to happen. Even a little bit of bent on either sides, affect the subtle nadis and that can be easily understood by reading the swara. Do you find yourself bent mostly towards your left side. Suppose you sit for longer periods of time, which side do you bent to?
Other less known Factors
If you are into any spiritual practice, especially mantras.. notice which mantras you are chanting because certain mantras (the most potent of those are of Agni, Surya, Narsimha and Hayagreeva) tend to increase fire-activity in the body thus disrupt the swara cycle.
Tattvic imbalance is another factor which come in the way of restoring normal swara cycle. In our lineage for the uninitiated ones we suggest Panch-Mahabhuta Shakti Kriya for this issue.
Nadi-Shuddhi is not just desirable but mandatory for achieving perfection in Swara Yoga discipline. Anyone who wishes to achieve greater success in Swara Vigyaan must conduct oneself through the Nadi-Shodhan practice on daily basis because it is a Complete Wellness Programme in itself and removes all diseases from body.
Weight shifting is general phenomenon that impacts swara cycle. Notice which leg do you tend to put your weight on, when standing for long time? Which side of the body do you use more? As you will answer these questions you will find insight into functioning of your swaras.
Further any infection, pain or even dental filling in your left jaw can trigger surya swara dominance.
Once you are able to understand the underlying cause, for one swara dominance and rectify it, the functioning of the swara according to the tithi during sunrise will also start happening.
Finally, I would add a word of caution here. We tend to think about our bodies like machines, and feel that just tightening some screws here and there is going to heal it. You should understand that your body is a play of subtle energies and your lifestyle, emotions, situations has caused wear and tear to your body over many years, so it will take time in bringing harmony and balance in it.
If you do not take care of these minute things it may not be possible to bring perfect balance. If you continue having erratic lifestyle (includes sleep cycles, food quality and timings, exercise, pranayama and of course stress) there is less hope. So minimize the damage you do to your body and experience the wonderful support of swaras in your life mentally, physically and spiritually.
-Ma Shakti Devpriya
Ma Shakti Devpriya is a Tantra Master in Krama System, Founder of 'The Shakti Multiversity' and non-profit 'Sacred Association for rejoice and Love'. Her book on Tantric Spirituality "Tattva Shakti Vigyaan - Tantra for Modern Man' is the best-seller at Amazon in its category. She along with her beloved consort Master AD takes workshops on Swara Yoga, Prateek Vigyaan, 5D Shakti Healing, Panch Mahabhuta Shakti Kriya and also initiates sincere seekers in Tantric practices through Tattva Shakti Vigyaan deeksha.
With permission of our beloved master, Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath we are placing the excerpts of a discourse that he delivered on the topic of Saundarya Lahari Sadhana for the benefit of every seeker. Read on..
Saundarya Lahiri sadhana in Tantric system is a means to attain the highest spiritual experience i.e. pratyaksha darshanam of Devi in all her grandeur and glory. If you aspire for that kind of experience then you MUST be initiated in Tantric discipline. Once initiated as and when you become capable your Guru shall allow this sadhana and also tell you some secret keys of this. A Tantric practitioner is supposed to takes up ANY sadhana ONLY with the Guru’s permission.
But those of you who are not initiated should not get disheartened because you can equally benefit from it.. gain higher wisdom, material wealth, perfect health… great relationships and much more just by rendering the chanting of different verses to the Mother divine in prescribed manner. So.. Irrespective of your status of initiation or deeksha Your connecting with Shakti shall grant you all the resources, powers and toys needed for leading a comfortable and engaging life. I think that is what most of you have come for. (Smiles)
In fact this very first verse of Saundarya Lahiri can be said to be a Kalpa-Vriksha or wish-granting tree. It is oozing with power to fulfill ALL YOUR DESIRES FOR OBJECTS. Everyone who seeks fulfillment of one’s material desires can use this verse for obtaining divine mother’s grace. Within this verse there are concealed and coded vibrations of the panchakshari mantra i.e. Shiva’s Mantra and also the maha-mantra of SriVidya that is called Panchdasi Maha-Mantra -Vidya. Since none of you are yet inducted in these mantras I shall not be uttering the mantras. I hope soon all of you shall progress and become eligible for initiation into SriVidya..
SO… now let’s look at the first verse of this great mantra-stuti.. it is:
|| Sanudarya Lahiri – Verse 1 ||
As I told this shloka is a boon-granting, wish fulfilling energy… this energy or Shakti is contained in its specific sounds. It is chanted to remove the obstacles from our life. It is also used in getting the desired objects in our life. Like every other shloka of Saundarya Lahiri this shloka is also reverberating and overflowing with energy. So You shall need a Yantra to hold it. Some of you have already been introduced to the concept of Symbology and Mandalas by Ma Shakti Devpriya ji.. so you know what a Yantra does. This verse uses a specific Yantra. Most briefly explained…. Yantras and mandala have a mysterious quality that they can store the generated energies during the worship or practice and then they can also reflect it back to the worshiper. This reflected energy has a transforming effect on the practitioner. It is for THIS PURPOSE a mandala or Yantra is used otherwise your energies dissipate without creating any impact. OK?
Now I shall be drawing the mandala…
Have a look.
There are two yantras that can be used in your prayoga..
The most popular one is this… (draws a yantra)
Another Yantra I am drawing now… (draws another yantra)
This Yantra shall be made on an elevated platform. You can use a big round plate what we call thali for it. The material used in drawing this particular mandala is red coloured rice-flour.
Now let me first share the practices for those who are not initiated in Tattva Shakti Vigyaan. Take a beautiful photograph of Mother MahatripuraSundari. The picture should be such that you love and feel great to look at… Not just any picture. Get that framed and place it at your sadhana place. The day you place this picture at your puja place you shall be offering ‘Panchopachaara‘ to this divine mandala (picture) of Devi. Since that day every morning and evening you shall continue with this panchopachara for the days your chanting continues. Ideally you should continue offering panchopachara even after your prayoga is over. After all you have now invited and installed Mother – The creator and ruler of Cosmos at your place!
What is panchopachara? If you do not understand what is panchopachara then do not worry.
These are simple humanly offerings made to the object of reverence such as a Yantra, Idol or Mandala… believing them to be a living entity… rather more like a living being. So you offer water for bathing, offering fragrant sandal paste for anointing, offer vermilion or turmeric for smearing on devi’s forehead, offer flowers to show your respect, light up fragrance and a deepam. Finally you offer something to eat.. generally something sweet is offered followed by water offering. That is it!
The same ritual shall be followed with the Yantra you shall make everyday. Looks simple…?? It is!!! But you should remember it is a ritual mandated only to cultivate the required attitude of reverence and forge a connect with saguna swaroopa of Primordial Shakti in the form of Mother Goddess MahatripuraSundari. Therefore it can not be done mechanically… there should be this feeling of Shakti – The Mother Goddess being there in the Yantra to receive your offerings. In a nutshell the more you feel Devi’s personal presence in your rituals more effective and successful your Prayoga will be. Right?
Now listen to the exact sequence in which you shall be doing this chanting. Please keep in mind this method is for those who do not have ‘deeksha’. For dixits (initiated ones) I shall discuss after this..
- After taking bath wear clean clothes.
- Sit facing east (for this particular prayoga) at the specified place. Preferably on a red woolen blanket (asani).
- Light up a deepam (vertical wick) of clarified butter (ghee). Preferably cow’s ghee should be used.
- Now make the perfect shaped Yantra on the elevated platform with red flour of rice (for that mix the powdered rice with red color)
- Invite Mother to assume her seat in this Yantra. Offer panchopachara to the Yantra with love and reverence. Keep the offerings little away from Yantra and take care while you make offerings especially water as if that gets sprinkled upon the Yantra it might distort its shape. A distorted or disfigured yantra should not be used in any circumstance.
- Visualize Devi accepting your offerings.
- Convey the object of your desire or the obstacle you want to win over to the mother.
- Now chanting of this first shloka begins.
I repeat the chanting for you..
9. You are supposed to chant this shloka minimum of 108 times. (You may use rosary beads to keep the count).
10. Once your chanting gets over make a prayer submitting your being to mother with folded hands. Request Devi to accept your energies and bhava and bless you with your desired object.. Thank her and request her to leave for her heavenly abode.
11. Sprinkle some water below your asana and offer namaskaram to king of gods Indra and pick up that water with your finger and rub it to your forehead.
Always remember that Shakti can not be manipulated forcefully and therefore even if you are provided with every tool for your prayoga or application you shall have to be humble and in the receiving mode.
Precautions you should take –
- Always take permission from your Guru. Share your intentions of doing the prayoga and request for permission.
- You MUST share the tithi (date and time) of your starting the prayoga in advance.
- No one should be physically present while Prayoga. Neither watching over of this process by anyone is allowed.
- If you are chanting only 108 times then this chanting should be done for 120 days. The ONLY other possible combination is 10×108 times per day for 12 consecutive days. I don’t think you will have that much time at your disposal. So.. my suggestion would be that you take up chanting of 108 times on a day.
- Best time for this sadhana is night however you can choose any convenient time but the rule is maintain that same timing everyday for four months.
- Keep everything you need during Prayoga within your reach. Once you get seated for chanting you should not leave the seat without completing the number of counts decided. In life-threatening situations around (or any such emergency) you can terminate your sadhana prematurely but then all your previous counts go in vain. For example if you started 10 days ago and on 11th day you had to terminate your prayoga prematurely without completing 108 (or 10×108) chants. All your counts so far become null and void. In that case you should give yourself a break and do not continue your sadhana. Start afresh, requesting for obstacle free passage through prayoga.
- Ensure deepam keeps lit up during entire chanting… till the end. If deepam is put off due to any reason your sadhana is said to be khandit.. or interrupted. The same rules apply here also.. means your sadhana done so far will become null and void.
- You completely abstain from sex and sexual stimulating material or activities during the entire period of sadhana. Keeping an attitude of reverence towards opposite sex is desirable.
- During this sadhana consumption of alcohol and meat etc is not allowed. Stay vegetarian.
- One of the most important precaution is to stay away from anger. But even if you get angry due to any reason you are not supposed to raise your voice in spat of anger. Such a behaviour creates havoc around you and also leaks your energies.
- Finally… You should not throw any articles like flower, burnt wick, dust or ashes of Dhoopam etc. that are used in Puja here and there indiscriminately. Never throw these things in dustbin. The best way is to dig a pit and bury those items (nirmaalya) there. Avoid disposing Nirmaalya in rivers/water bodies either as that causes water pollution.
At the end.. Let me clarify… Especially for those who are not initiated in Tantra or Tattva Shakti Vigyaan ‘Bhava’ or the attitude is extremely important. A childlike innocence and enthusiasm during chanting is the key. Like a child you should feel that you are secure in the assuring and protective company of the Divine Mother. You should know within that ‘She’ is your mother and she is listening to you. It is with this Bhava you should conduct your chanting and japa. … then… you shall reap the immediate benefits invariably. Of course absolutely correct pronunciation should be learnt and be maintained during the chanting!
Hope you all shall surrender your false ego at the lotus feet of the Beautiful Goddess of the Three Worlds and receive Her grace.”
Acharya ji further gave some more instructions on the subject –
“For the higher practitioners (Krama initiates) all of the above rituals are going to be completely different. These are more elaborate and would require more precision… because you will be given beeja mantras for these verses. So you shall require personal guidance on this sadhana. You already know that more than your own efforts Gurumandala’s blessings do the magic for you. Here in these rituals also you shall be invoking Gurumandala and carrying out protection rituals as the first few things. You shall be using the personal mantra (that is given during your ‘deeksha’) as well. For the rest of period (when you are not engaged in prayoga) practice of ‘samyama’ and ‘witnessing’ is the key for receiving grace of mother.
Jai Ambe Shri!“
The Shakti Multiversity keeps organizing LIVE sessions of Masters on different subjects such as Shiva Sutras, Tantric Healing, Saundarya Lahari, Shiva Swarodaya, Tattva Shakti Vigyaan, Vigyan Bhairava Tantra etc. To attend Acharya ji's and Ma Shakti's LIVE discourses and workshops on Ancient Wisdom please write to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
You can also write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org for registrations or further queries.
Ma Shakti Devpriya ji is an accomplished Tantrika in the krama system of SriVidya lineage. She is one of the most experienced teachers of Tantric subjects such as Sacred Symbology, Tattva Shakti, Marma Vigyaan, Art and science of Mandalas and Yantras etc. Aout Swara Vigyaan or Swar Yog she says "Simply put it is magic. Unbelievable but still practical and a knowledge that is applicable in modern times". "But one should always keep it in mind that it is a science that may require a few lifetimes to perfect" She adds.
Science of 100% Success in life from Shiva
The creator of universe has aligned our body rhythms with the cosmic patterns. This ancient science was being taught in the Guru-Shishya parampara and many ascetics, yogis who displayed the miraculous powers as reading the future and predicting the outcome of any present endeavour was earned through this science only.
The time has come when human race has evolved enough to be able to receive and use this knowledge now. Every person can learn to read the cosmic rhythms by simply observing one’s breath albeit by adopting some discipline in life and going through simple preparations. It must be noted however that it takes only few weeks to tune into this knowledge and start experiencing the magic of Swara-Vigyaan but it takes a lifetime of discipline to master it.
Swara Yoga Basic Workshop & Its Contents
Swar Yog is a knowledge and practice based Full day workshop by none other than Ma Shakti Devpriya ji for beginners that introduces you to the working principles of Swar Yog. You are given the ‘easy-to-do’ practices to quickly see the benefits of it. These practices and techniques help in harmonizing activities with the universal energies thereby bringing success and good fortune. Along with these you are given many time-tested secret tips of Swara Vigyaan those can be used in day to day life.
- Secrets of Shiva-Swarodaya
- Introduction to Nadis and their effect on human life
- Introducing types of swaras
- Meditating on the Swara
- How to change the swaras voluntarily
- Activities to be done during right nostril dominance
- Activities to be done during left nostril dominance
- Preparatory exercises for Swar Yog
- Curing various ailments through Swar Yog
- Assessing good & bad situations through Swar Yog
- Introduction to Higher Practices in Swar Yog
Want more information on Swara Yoga?
You can click here for more information on Swar Yog- Basic Workshop.
Duration, Venue and Contribution
It is a full-day interactive workshop with lunch and two times Tea/snacks. Morning 9:30 AM to evening 5:30 PM
Western Express Highway
(Behind Carnival Cinemas)
Borivali (East) – Mumbai
Contribution- Rs 6100/-only*
*Early Registration waiver of INR 1000 till 10th June.
If you register on or before 10th June’18 it is – 5100/-only
How to register for Mumbai workshop?
For Registrations or more information on this programme –
Drop a mail on email@example.com
On this Shivaratri (2018) spiritual seekers and ever enthusiastic Tattva Shakti Vigyaan practitioners in New Jersey, USA celebrated the divine festival under the guidance of Masters. This video captures the beautiful chorus of Nirvana Shatakam sung by the practitioners.
Please ignore the AV quality for letting the energies in to elevate the consciousness.
Note – If you live in USA wish to join or participate in such programmes please write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org we shall guide you.
Founder of The Shakti Multiversity, Ma Shakti Devpriya ji is an accomplished sadhika of Swara, teaching this ancient science of self-perfection to the masses.
Ma Shakti insists on disciplined approach under the guidance of an able teacher to be able to learn and perfect the art and science of reading the language of breath.
To know about the upcoming programmes write to us on –
|| A teacher never stops surprising you… ||
This time, it was during one of his Satsangs when Acharya ji spotted me having an “Aha Moment” as a story was being narrated by our beloved Master Ji. Smilingly, he asked me to write about it. Hopefully, by the time I reach the end of this writing, I would understand the motive of his nudge😊.
Master Ji, a regular in Acharya ji’s Satsang discourses is truly a living example of “Love, Compassion and Giving”. During one Satsang he recently narrated a family incident on the topic of ‘Giving’. It goes thus –
A newly-wed girl was very disappointed with her father-in-law’s refusal to part with any money for a needy person at the door. Angry and disappointed, she turned towards the stranger and said, “whatever my father-in-law has, it is from his past lives, he hasn’t earned anything in this lifetime, so he does not want to give away anything.” This didn’t go too well with her father-in-law and he threatened to annul his son’s marriage with her. The girl was not only spiritually aware but also had the wisdom and strength to handle a tough situation like this. She agreed to comply with her father-in-law’s wish provided the family declared it in the presence of all the guests who attended their wedding. Her stance caught everyone by surprise and they mellowed down. Perhaps the father-in-law realized his folly and chose to let the incident pass. Now almost a decade has passed and the family is not only together but truly charitable. To bring about such a change in the family’s attitude is definitely the power of being on the path of Truth coupled with self-conviction rooted in true understanding of Laws of Karma for sure.
This story triggered a series of thoughts in my mind. I had a very comfortable childhood, but I guess I did not imbibe ‘the giving’ virtue in true sense as I grew up. I had to deal with my own insecurities when I saw my husband in the ‘giving-mode’ all the time despite his less privileged upbringing. I decided to take an inspiration from his story. Quite honestly, it has not been easy, but the real growth happened gradually alongside my spiritual journey. It is not hard to find people around us worth emulating but we seldom take notice.
Speaking of Master Ji, his is an exemplary story in itself. A former high school Math teacher in a tough neighborhood in the US, he personifies the virtue of ‘giving’. I vividly remember an incident when I had once invited him to attend a Pranayama workshop by a senior Yoga Teacher from upstate NY. After the workshop, he offered to buy a few Yoga books from the teacher. I did not want him to spend and tried telling him that he could borrow those books from me instead of buying them. With his characteristic smile, he said, “it is okay, let me buy these books. We should try to help such good endeavors in every way”. I was astonished by his capacity to share and give.
I now innately understand that the opportunities for giving that come our way usually commensurate with our capacity to give and vice-versa.
This little note will be incomplete without the mention of Kahlil Gibran’s wisdom on ‘Giving’ (from “The Prophet”)…his words can guide us to the true essence of ‘Giving’…
You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow?
And tomorrow, what shall tomorrow bring to the overprudent dog burying bones in the trackless sand as he follows the pilgrims to the holy city?
And what is fear of need but need itself?
Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, the thirst that is unquenchable?
Please do read the rest of the poem here…
This article has been contributed by Ms. Alpana, a Yoga Teacher, a dedicated Tattva Shakti Vigyaan practitioner and founding member of Divine Path Yoga - NJ (USA), an establishment dedicated to promote Yoga and offer path for discovering divinity within. She has been gracefully evolving under the discipleship of her masters, Guruma Shakti Devpriya ji & Acharya Shri Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath ji.
“I bow at the lotus feet of my guru who guides me through it all. This is dedicated to my guru.”
I once asked a Wall Street business man known for his ruthlessness with his staff, why he donated his time to girls scout and money to institutions for terminally ill? He said he was doing his bit to give back.
When I noticed that one of my ex-bosses was extremely generous during the holiday season with the cafeteria staff who served us, I asked her the reason behind her generosity. She told me to watch the events during after hour business receptions and dinner parties hosted in the office. Sure enough, the staff would be all around her, favoring her with best seating arrangement, asking her even before her drink in hand was over what she would have next and so on. At least she was honest and was clear about her motives.
I say it because so many of us don’t even know ourselves enough and do not wish to acknowledge our roots of selfishness. As Acharyaji says it, we as humans innately tend to serve the “I” more easily. So what if we don’t know or do not acknowledge our selfishness? Well then be prepared to be fooled again and again….. Here is a story
One of our very own special sadhaka, Krishnadasji, who has been a high school teacher in the US narrated this story. He taught at a public high school, which was once visited by a senior supervisor. After checking out several classes and teachers in action, he requested Krishnadasji and one of his young colleague teachers, Ms. Anna, to provide him with names of 5 underprivileged students from each of their classes. He said he believed in and practiced the philosophy of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” which means that whole world is my family. He took these kids on a tour of Manhattan city and the kids came back very happy, raving about the supervisor. Ms Anna was smitten by this act of kindness and discussed with Krishnadasji how she was truly impressed by his generosity. She eventually started dating the supervisor and then came the day when they decided to tie the knot. She once again shared her joy with Krishnadasji who advised her to see things as they were before making life’s critical decision. She shared that he had showered all his kindness and love on her through plenty of nice gifts and she was quite sure about her decision. After 2 years of marital bliss, Ms. Anna shared the news of her pregnancy with her husband. She was distressed to hear that he did want the child and asked her to go for an abortion. She pleaded to no avail. Finally she shared her sorrow with Krishnadasji. He agreed to meet with her husband along with her parents for an open conversation. Krishnadasji our true angel was simply point blank and asked her husband what happened to his philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, when it came to his own child? It eventually came to light that he did not want his wife to have kids lest she lost her beauty!!
Most of us are no different from the Wall Street business man, the ex-boss or Anna and her husband. We tend to live in silos; doing our “good” for the society, allocating time for bhakti, etc. In our everyday lives, however, we continue to be driven by our flawed perceptions; marred by fear, attachment, pride, and our endless desires. We may not even be aware of our own sub-conscious drivers for our behaviors and actions! It is only when we start breaking down this silo mentality and begin applying the principles of kindness, generosity, and sacrifice to our everyday ordinary actions and interactions with our family, friends, colleagues, teams and partners alike that we would have taken the first step to knowing ourselves.
So why do I need to know myself? Its only when we really know ourselves will we start seeing the shades of black, grey and white in the fabric of our own lives. We may struggle to accept ourselves for who we are in the beginning but it’s a struggle worth undertaking. Once we are able to dive into it, we will eventually see the definition of “I” expanding because the same shades are present within and without just in varying patterns.
Well if we can only easily cater to the “I”, can we really go beyond it? Acharyaji says there is no need to go beyond the I! We just need to slowly start expanding our definition of “I”. Lets start small by including our loved ones and anyone else we have called “my” or “mine”.
I thank my guru, Acharyaji for his blessings and guidance through whom I am able to see a new day everyday! The daunting failures in my attempt to practice his divine teachings only drive me each day to start all over again.
This article has been contributed by Jhankhna Verma, a dedicated Tattva Shakti Vigyaan practitioner from New Jersey US under the guidance of Guruma Shakti Devpriya & Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath ji. Jhankhna is a Yoga enthusiast & has deep interest in the field of ancient Healing Systems.
Mantra Sadhana is an integral part of Shakti Sadhana. We have so far discussed, why is it necessary to get deeksha for a Mantra from an able Guru, various forms of Mantras and also the experience of various results with various Mantras. But there is a common issue faced by many of the Sadhak’s that is the feeling of being stagnated or stuck. It so happens that initially a Sadhak feels some progress but after sometime, there are virtually no experiences and this is when a Sadhak starts to question. Am I doing the right way? Am I doing the right Mantra? and Should I seek somewhere else?
Be Clear of Your Goals : Don’t Settle for Less
In this fast moving world such questions coming to mind are obvious. Many believe that once they have started doing Mantra Sadhana, enlightenment or siddhi is just around the corner. Sadly this is not the case with spiritual practices.
I always ask a person during initiation, “What do you want to happen in your life? I get various responses and those responses mostly decide their journey. One category of people who are absolutely clear about their material goals and say i want good happy life, i want financial stability, I want my children to be well settled and so on. And other set of people who say, I just want peace and want to be happy. The moment I ask what you keeps you from being happy, there are all worldly and material matters coming up. Sometimes it is health, sometimes wealth and sometimes relationships. Even if they do not open up at that very moment after few days will surely share all various matters that are bothering them and that they are trying to find solutions there. And there is one special category who actually does not know what they want. Although they are trying to search for something but are clueless.
The responses to such question actually determine the “Bhava” the emotion, feeling, undercurrent or thought with which Sadhana or practice is approached. The actual result of the Sadhana/ practice predominantly depends on this ‘bhava’. If you feel stalled or stagnated in your sadhana it is advisable to review your “Bhava”.
You are Divinity Incarnate, Not a Sinner
Mantra is embodiment of the pure divine energy or a particular form of Shakti. Mantra is divine bhava of your Guru. Therefore it requires purity and divinity in you to work. Your own perception about ‘self’ is vital to your progress in sadhana. Sadhana is to be approached with ‘Divya Bhava or Deva Bhava’.
So, to progress in Shakti Sadhana a sadhak/sadhika has to stay confident of his/her status as a legitimate son/daughter of the divine Mother. You must drop your material/social identity when you approach your practices or japa. In fact it is not only limited to treating yourself pure but goes even further. It is said देवो भूत्वा देवं यजेत …. meaning one should become a Divine being oneself before approaching a Divine sadhana.
A very common problem among Sadhakas is – If I have not taken bath, changed by clothes.. etc. etc. therefore I am impure. And how can I engage in the worship / sadhana of Devi without ‘snaanam‘ (bathing) and wearing clean clothes. This is called ‘Pashu Bhava’. You must come out of this ‘bhava’. Know this – ‘The moment I remember divine Mother, I become free of all my impurities’. (I am not suggesting that you should not try to follow external shuchita.. that you MUST but if that is not possible you shouldn’t deny yourself that right to connect with divinity) निर्द्वन्द is the exact bhava here that you should aspire for.
So next time you are sitting for mantra japa, become aware of your bhava drop all your apprehensions of being limited or impure. See yourself as a radiant source of love, light and purity. It will remove many roadblocks of your progress.
Report Your Progress to Your Teacher
Staying in touch with your Guru is another must do. It is said that one should stay with one’s Guru while one is engaged in Shakti Sadhana. When that is not possible one should visit one’s Guru personally every day. If even that is not possible one should spend time with one’s Guru once every fortnight i.e. on Poornima & Amavasya. If that is also not possible you must visit your Guru at least on three important occasions and receive his/her blessings- the occasions are Guru Poornima, Anniversary of Guru’s deeksha or Birthday, Anniversary of your own Deeksha or Birthday.
Sitting in the company of your Guru is the best means of reducing the burdens of your previous sins. Both, Kabir and Tulsi say that such is the power of divine-contact with holy souls that it destroys off millions of your karmic defects in just few minutes.
एक घड़ी आधी घड़ी ,आधी की पुनि आध ,
तुलसी संगत साधु की ,कटे कोटि अपराध|
These meetings should be for the purpose of clarification of doubts, receiving more knowledge, offering service and absorbing the grace of Guru. If you have nothing to share its better to sit silently rather than engaging in absurd discussions on people, politics or parivaar-samsaara jaala.
Never think You are Indispensable
Ego is the biggest hurdle in spiritual progress. Beware the reasons for a disciple’s Ego inflation are created by Guru as well. Not because they want to harm us but only because they want the disciples to stay rooted in humility.
If your teacher asks for something from you or gives you some work it is actually a sheer matter of joy and not burden because true Gurus generally don’t ask for ANYTHING from us. Also it is true that it is being an instrument in the divine cause or service is a great privilege. What to talk of saying NO, I feel a disciple should never ever create a situation by one’s inaction that Guru is required to remind or follow up. I can tell you only from my own experience and the truth is that whatever I have achieved till today it is only because I didn’t ever question any of my Guru’s commands whether they were against my personal, family’s or even social beliefs and norms.
If Guru chooses you for his work it is great personal fortune but beware there’s a catch (Gurus are truly masters of their domain i.e. ‘keep testing the disciple’ ) – sometimes you may be driven to think that Guru is dependent on you. At times a disciple may feel as if he or she is the ‘chosen or favoured’ one. So much so that sometimes a disciple starts feeling ‘I am doing favour to my Guru’ or that ‘I am the only one who can do that’. Lo behold! A journey you started for the Heavenly kingdom of Mother divine… that started with surrender & humility reaches the ‘Ancient rocky Inn of Stagnation’ just because you could not keep the bhava of service (seva) and humility (vinamrataa) together.
Drop Your Expectations from Sadhana
When a teacher says drop your expectations from Sadhana most of people are unable to understand this statement. How can that happen when every mantra sadhana fact begins with a sankalpa i.e. an intent. This needs little explanation.
If I say that every karma you do starts with an intention I won’t be wrong. This intention should definitely be there in the beginning but then comes the phase of action. It is during this phase of action one should be completely free of expectations. Shakti Sadhana or mantra sadhana is a technique to create divine vibrations in your core of being therefore if during your mantra japa your mind splits in two entities – one that is engaged in creating the divine pulsations and another that is engaged in ‘expecting’ then the results of your sadhana can not be 100%.
It is sad though but even in Tattva Shakti Vigyaan some people, who are in the initial phases of their sadhana, seem to have taken this path up as a remedial tool for alleviation of their physical or mental sufferings. These are the people that are NEVER 100% present in their practices. They are not only wasting their time but also becoming a case for scepticism and doubt about the Sadhana itself.
The efficacy of Spiritual practices need not be judged with the worse case scenarios. Sceptics should understand that all the surgeons in the world have the same tools available to them but what makes one ‘the best’ in their field is their 100% dedication during learning and 100% attention during their ‘action’. So, if you are stagnated look at your bhava with which you approach the sadhana. If a ‘sceptic’, ‘doubting’ or ‘expecting’ fraction of mind is still there you should get back to training once again. Get back to basics – learn breathing, relaxation, detachment, service and discipline to calm your mind and finally bring your mind under control. Some learners aren’t self-driven. They need guidance during their practice as well. Such people should openly reach out to available guides around.. these can be your seniors, therapists, motivators and even good books that can bring in some light of enthusiasm and hope to you.
If you are stagnated in Sadhana… watch for your thoughts. Discuss your personal issues with your teacher. Shut your mind’s chatter and stop whining and complaining about self, people and situations. Look at people around you who are not as lucky as you, not as affluent as you, not as healthy as you. Learn to count your blessings and stay in the attitude of gratitude for what you have or own today is not what you ‘deserved’ but what you have been ‘blessed’ with. Sadhana is not a 30 minutes TDS prescription – it is your choice to live your life in perfect harmony without succumbing to virtual sufferings.
A sadhaka should be courageous enough to place the fruit of his/her sadhana in the hands of Mother Goddess with a request “Yathaa Yogyam Tathaa Kuru”. This is correct bhava in your expectations.
Stay Awake : Remember Your Vows
In the Shakti Sadhana – we are told by our teachers that the Mantra needs to be kept secret and that experiences of Sadhana need not be discussed with anyone. Mostly these instructions are one time ritual and not repeated.
Many times I have seen people failing to keep their Mantras secret. If you are still thinking that ‘my mantra’ is the same mantra that is written in so and so book – you missed the whole concept of Initiation or deeksha. Mantra is the Guru’s energy with you – It is not in the words of mantra. Mantra is just an envelope in which your Guru has packed his personal intent and the collective energy of his lineage to work for you. Once a mantra is revealed – it becomes merely bundle of words; The power of it is lost. If you have wrongly or by mistake revealed your mantra to someone – this need to be reported to your Guru immediately for it is only Guru who can limit (even he can not undo it fully) your personal spiritual loss now. Follow your Guru’s advice on repentance/penance that is typically known as ‘prayashchitta’ in the spiritual circles.
When a Sadhaka/Sadhika experiences something mysterious during their sadhana it is so overwhelming and joyous. But always remember – howsoever beautiful or out of the world that experience might be – never fall prey to your temptation. Instead keep a journal, record your experiences on daily basis. DO NOT share your experiences with ANYONE except your teacher. If you share your experiences even once it dampens your progress to the extent that it may get completely stalled.
Watch out : How do you Serve your Guru
Most of sadhakas in shakti sadhana do not understand what ‘bhava’ actually means it comes to Guru. I can not elaborate too much on it but let me say the essentials. The primary foundation of ‘bhava’ is about your attitude towards your ‘teacher or Guru, and the Deity. Some seekers/sadhaks think they rightfully ‘deserve’ the success in sadhana through their ‘karmas’ (following the prescribed processes of mantra chanting). Such sadhaks/sadhikas apart from being rooted in ‘i deserve’ attitude also think deeksha to be a kind of barter or transaction. This attitude takes a student nowhere!
If a person has found an able teacher it is sheer grace of Mother Divine because we can NEVER ever pay for Guru’s benevolent deeds. Kabir says..
यह तन विषय की बेलरी, गुरु अमृत की खान।
सीस दिये जो गुरु मिलै, तो भी सस्ता जान॥
Second grave mistake sadhaks/sadhikas commit is that they treat their teachers as ordinary human beings. I have seen people who treat their Gurus as one of their friends or the worse ‘a servant of a kind’ who should be ready to ‘serve’ the needs and demands of theirs. If you see this dohaa of Kabir you would know that a student should rather be at the service of Guru.
गुरू मूर्ती गती चंद्रमा, सेवक नैन चकोर |
आठ पहर निरखता रहे, गुरू मूर्ती की ओर ||
Guru is a divine incarnate one must keep in mind and therefore receive his blessings with ‘divya bhava’. One should not ever criticize one’s Guru. It is told in Shakti Sadhana lineages and also finds mention in scriptures that Mother never smiles upon such people. And upon leaving this human body they are pushed into the cycle of 84 Lakh inferior yonis.
A protocol – That reflects your Bhava
Whenever you visit a temple or your Guru you should never go empty-handed. Always offer something at the deity and your Guru’s feet. It is not for the purpose of pleasing them but only to offload our karmic baggage. Offering money, clothes, flowers etc. is mandated in scriptures but this is in essence ‘cultivation of bhava’.
The secret in Shakti Sadhana is – If your Guru is not happy with you or even just indifferent of you, your mantras do not take you beyond a point!
I have still not given whole lot of things you should do in order to succeed but only preliminaries. I suspect even this much is much more than what you can currently prepare yourself for!