Today is Friday!! What does Friday mean to you?
The end of the week is finally here! What does Friday mean to you? No more work (for some of us!)? Time with the family? A weekend getaway?
I personally love Friday. It is a prime day for Devi Worship. Moreover, during Navaratri, our prayers are amplified by magnitudes we cannot comprehend – don’t miss out on this opportunity! – T.D.I.F. (Thank Devi It’s Friday!)
How to Pray:
Prior posts have covered a multitude of mantras and sadhanas for all but today’s focus is Lakshmi.
Fridays are incredibly auspicious for Lakshmi, the Goddess of Abundance and Wealth. I would greatly recommend the following courses of action – whether you need to fix something lacking in your life, out of pure devotion or as part of a larger Navaratri routine, these two technologies are incredibly effective at pushing you toward your goals:
See my associated posts by clicking on the links above. I would also highlight my articles on how to make your prayers heard even faster – click here to see my post on Super-charging your ability to attract abundance.
Don’t miss the incredible opportunity that is Navaratri!
Inject some momentum into your Life with the Gayatri
Adding the Gayatri Maha Mantra to your daily routine is a powerful technology to enhance your mantra sadhanas.
As detailed in my post here (click for details) the Gayatri is the root of all Vedic knowledge, as embodied by the force behind the Sun. Knowledge is power; chant the Gayatri to gain ground on the path toward your goals.
Time rich, money poor? Its the Attack of Lack!
Unless you are already on your perfect career path with a role you love, a fulfilling purpose and more than satisfactory salary, you’re one of the many who feel the Attack of Lack. What is this? Quite simply, its the mental effects of never feeling as if your needs are taken care of in terms of material abundance.
Sadguru Sant Keshavadas of Bangalore recommends such a combination to bring prosperity and auspiciousness into your career or business.
“Om Bhur Bhuvah Suvaha
Tat Savitur Vare-enyam*
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi
* and ^. It is vital that there is correct pronunciation on these two words. They are not chanted as read!
As seen above, Shreem is tagged onto the end of the mantra. Sadguru Keshavadas recommends chanting this version with devotion and focus every Friday for 3 months to see success. The number of chants is proportional to your own level of need; there are no limits.
Navaratri: A Golden Opportunity: Part 4
Depending on your calendar, we are now in the second or third day of Navaratri. As part of my ongoing series, this post highlights how and why a mantra chanted in combination with the Gayatri Maha Mantra has a very potent effect.
See the prior parts here:
Why do this?
In essence, the Gayatri mantra is like the energy and stamina you must build before running a race – be it a marathon or a sprint. Once a Gayatri Maha mantra sadhana is complete, one may then commence other mantra sadhanas to Super-Charge you toward your original goal!
How does it work?
It is obvious that prayer to any form of the Divine Feminine over Navaratri is extremely beneficial but the point to make is the Gayatri Maha mantra is fundamentally a prayer to the sun in its supreme form. The sun is the source of all our energy in one form or another, and sustains all life on our planet. Gayatri is known as Vedamata, the essence of all the Vedas, and the embodiment of the Supreme Paramatma. Prayer to such a deity allows you to easily draw upon the power of the divine.
In addition, there are no restrictions on chanting the Gayatri Maha mantra, be it gender, caste or race, or even time. All sadhanas based on the Gayatri Mantra will always provide benefits; even if incomplete.
Finally, one may take the Gayatri Mantra itself as your Guru. The mantra is based on the light of the sun; Guru translates to dispeller of darkness – the Gayatri Mantra itself will show you the way toward your enlightenment. Whilst a vague statement, the realities are that:
- the right people will come to instruct you
- you will find yourself at the right place at the right time for all major events of your life
- doors will open toward opportunity
- mental focus, concentration and one-pointedness will all improve
Ideally, one starts their sadhana once empowered by the energy of the Gayatri Maha mantra for maximum effects.
However, although we are now in the third day of Navaratri, even the partial benefits of mantra chanting, devotional offerings like pooja, signing hymns, fasting and visiting the temple (in any combination) for the remaining days and nights will all have a profound and significant impact on the course of events in your life.
So act now!
Navaratri is not just to praise the Devi
Navaratri is held exclusive to the worship of the Divine Mother; there are no restrictions on continuing to worship or newly choosing an Ishta Devata (Favoured Deity) to begin a mantra sadhana.
Indeed, it is not uncommon to complement the worship of each Devi (Durga, Saraswathi and Lakshmi) with their consorts, or corresponding male principal (Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu).
There are powerful benefits in such a combined sadhana in seeking such a balance.
Please feel free to add your own experiences, comments and personal sadhanas below.
Great benefits are available! Act fast!
As mentioned in my previous post (click here), Navaratri is a time of great spiritual significance in the Hindu Calendar. The power of the Devi’s divine blessings are easily available to help anyone who asks for Her grace!
3 key Gayatri mantras
Here are some key mantras for sadhana over the 9 nights. They are all Gayatri mantras of the deities in question; such mantras can be recited by anyone, even without specific Guru initiation. However, I would caution that pronunciation and intonation are key for the full effect.
The first 3 nights of Navaratri involve prayer to Durga. Click here for the Durga Gayatri.
The second 3 nights of Navaratri are dedicated to Lakshmi. Click here for the Lakshmi Gayatri.
The third trio is focused on the worship of Saraswathi. Indeed, many Hindus perform a specific pooja to Saraswathi devi on the nineth night. Click here for he Saraswathi Gayatri mantra. There are also other prayers to Saraswathi here.
Attempt a mini-anusthan
It is typical over this period that a mini-anusthan is conducted (24,000 chants of a specific mantra) with a specific wish (sankalpa) in mind, although in general, you should target what is manageable and realistic with the goal of completing your sadhana in full by the end of Navaratri to see the full benefits of your mantras.
“Om Mahadevyai cha vidmahe
Vishnu patni cha dhimahi
Tanno Lakshmi prachodayaat“
We know the Supreme Goddess,
We meditate on the spouse of Vishnu.
May Lakshmi inspire us.
- Attraction of abundance
- Strengthening of ones character
- Attract auspiciousness
What motivates us?
What motivates a person? Love/hate, pain/pleasure, future gains and past failures? Perhaps all of the above, but what has always struck me is the incredible power of a persons dreams in motivating change, often within ourselves, and bringing out the greatest personal achievements and deepest changes in society.
The Power of Dreams
Dreams are powerful constructs of the human mind. Psychologists say dreams manifest subconscious longings and desires, help resolve emotional traumas and defeat our internal demons.
No matter how creative the individual in their daily pastimes, untethered from the realities of day to day living, the human mind is capable of establishing incredible visions and fresh priorities well beyond the normal conception of a waking man or woman.
Beyond the mundane, great historical figures have often seen a brighter, more promising and better future. When such noble dreams are unleashed on the world, it steps back and must take notice – such as powerful speech of Dr Martin Luther King in presenting his universal views of equalities and peace between people of all races. In others, such as Mahatma Gandhi, it can enact great social change and sow the seeds toward toppling entire empires.
Returning our lives to the Dreamworld
Whatever the rhyme or reason for our dreams, they are undoubtedly powerful. It is every person’s right to attempt to live our their noble dreams. Oftentimes we struggle to gain traction in our efforts to move toward our dreams. We become stuck in daily routines and a slow grind to make ends meet.
How do we break out of such a rut and recapture the enthusiasm, dynamism and optimism of our youth? It is arguable that Will Power, Creativity, Leadership and Energy are the necessary pre-requisites. This article series will investigate all the above and the mantra yoga necessary to manifest such abilities within oneself.
But it all starts with a vision – a Dream.
The Dream Drive
A powerful method of visualisation that I have had personal success with in this modern, computer-led society is to use the Dream Drive, Dream Folder or Dream Drawer.
The method is simple, yet incredibly effective. In an environment where we spend most of our lives in from of a computer screen, this forms an ideal technique to break out of an unhealthy routine and refocus on what our core needs are.
There is only step: Create a new folder somewhere on your computer drive, desktop, inbox, or in your actual desk draw and fill it with your dreams! I’ll describe in more detail assuming you will be creating a folder on your computer desktop. In essence, you want to:
- Run through a list of every area of your life you want to change, are unsatisfied with, or have specific goals for
- and find a picture, a quote, a file, a newspaper clipping – anything that has deep personal meaning and resonates emotionally
- and place it in the drive.
- An example is: I have always wanted to drive a sports car. I will then find clippings of my favourite cars. Money should be no limitation when choosing your ideals! I’d rip out pages from magazines with adverts, print pictures from the net and take photos of cars that you spot on the street that match your specifications, then place them in the folder.
Why is this so important? Why not just make a list? The point is ultimately to bring your thoughts, your emotions and all of your senses in line with what you want. Choose objects that are important to you that bring out the feelings you’d feel when you think about having that car, or house, or anything else that you are aiming for.
Every day, look through your folder, examining each item in turn. Day by day you will feel a gradual transformation take place in your thought patterns –
- Your subconscious mind will begin to find ways to help you reach your goal
- You will become much more motivated toward reaching the goal
- You will move far beyond what you thought your capabilities were in your efforts to achieve this goal
More than Self Management: Divinise your Goals
Now the steps above should help you form a solid foundation to develop clarity and hunger to improving many aspects of your material life where you feel you are lacking.
What if this is taken to the next level? What if you set goals for the betterment of others, your own spiritual development or charity? You divinise your goal: your ego is sacrificed; your goals take a higher purpose and you attract divine aid. In streams of Vedanta, setting unselfish, higher goals are the milestones on the path to the divine.
In the next few articles we will address the mantras related to the other pre-requisites (Will Power, Creativity, Leadership and Energy) to help you toward achieving your dreams.
Mantra Detox! Part Trois.
In my prior posts on performing a spiritual detox with mantras, we established a theoretical framework as:
- Increase discipline and curb one’s desire for excess;
- Burn negative karma;
- Build character and Bhakti.
The first step was covered in the prior post as pursuing the blessings of Ganesha and Rama; the second was to pray to your chosen deity, or alternatively, use the Gayatri mantra to effect a karma burn.
Building character and Bhakti
What is Bhakti? Many have written excellent articles and deep theses on such a broad topic. For the purposes for simplicity, we can take it to mean spiritual devotion. How is this developed? One can say that Bhakti is the third step of spritual advancement; the prior two being intellectual introspection and study (Jnana), and physical preparation (the well known concept of Yoga).
One method I have previously highlighted is prayer to the ultimate Bhakta – Hanuman (click here). To flesh out the detail, however, a classical point of reference is the 11 point step-by-step method revealed by Sri Ramanuja, the well-known Rishi, outlined below:
- Abhyasa or practice of continuous thinking of God;
- Viveka or discrimination;
- Vimoka or freedom from everything else and longing for God;
- Satyam or truthfulness;
- Arjavam or straightforwardness;
- Kriya or doing good to others;
- Kalyana or wishing well-being to all;
- Daya or compassion;
- Ahimsa or non-injury;
- Dana or charity; and
- Anavasada or cheerfulness and optimism.
Each step is a vast ocean of explanation unto itself; for the purposes of brevity, I will leave the reader to pursue his/her own research.
Mantras for Effecting the Transformation of Character
Character is one again Hanuman’s strong point (click here for prior post). There are other options, however, for example through the grace of Lakshmi. Lakshmi is a goddess traditionally associated with material wealth. Yet wealth does not stop at materiality; it subtends far further into the wealth of knowledge, wisdom, ability and of course, wealth of character. For what is the worth of wealth without the wisdom to spend it?
With these broad strokes one should be able to establish a firm foundation for development along the spiritual path once the poison of prior negative karmas and old useless thought patterns are shed.
Future posts will aim to elaborate on these points in more detail.
Comments and feedback are welcome. Follow me on Twitter @MantraYogi.
The number 108 (and similarly the numbers 1008, 10008 etc) have mystical significance in the Hindu religion. They are particularly relevant in mantra japa as 108 is the number of beads on a standard mala (rosary).
So whats so special about this number? I’ve compiled a number of links to interesting interpretations below.
- Number of letters in the Sanskrit alphabet x2. There are 54 letters; multiply them by two (to symbolise the divine masculine and feminine – eg Shiva and Parvati etc), and you get 108.
- Power series in maths. 1^1 * 2^2 * 3^3 = 108.
- Intersections on a Sri Yantra/Sri Chakra. The Sri Yantra has various intersections of three lines. There are 54 such intersections; multiplying these by two for the divine feminine and masculine gets to 108.
- The Nexus of the Heart Chakra. The Heart Chakra is said to be the nexus of 108 lines of prana in the body.
- The distance between the earth and the sun. The distance has been calculated as 108x the sun’s diameter. See new research here
- 108 adds up to 9. The sum of each of the digits 1+0+8 adds to 9. The number 9 also has powerful spiritual significance.
- Astrology and the moon’s cycle. The moon cycles through each sign of the zodiac every 27 days. Each sign has 4 padas. 4×27 is 108.
Please feel free to comment and add any reasons that i’ve missed!
This is the first part of a series of posts on the upcoming Navaratri festival (September 28th – October 5th) .
A Golden Opportunity for Serious Sadhana
Navaratri is fast approaching – not only a fantastic period of great festivity in India and abroad, but a great time for those who are serious about spiritual development to gain a meaningful start on their sadhana and the grace of the Supreme Goddess.
In the first part of this series, I have briefly outlined some guidelines for sadhana and yagnya over the period.
Guidelines for Sadhana
One of the greatest proponents of Navratri sadhana (intense spiritual practice) is the revered, late Yuga Rishi Shriram Sharma Acharya. See the link here for an excellent article on the subject from an associated magazine.
The recommendation is for sadhaks to complete a laghu anusthan (short anusthan – click here for details), or 24,000 repetitions of a mantra, equivalent to about 27 rosaries (count of 108) per day. For the experienced, this is about 3 hrs worth of japa (mantra recitation/chanting).
You can access some general guidelines for sadhana here.
Typically, a havan/homa/yagna (fire sacrifice) is also performed at the conclusion of an anusthan. Special wood, dharba grass, samagri, ghee, sugar and other items considered suitable for such an offering are placed into the fire after chanting the mantra. The count for the offerings is at least one-hundreth of the number of recitations of the mantra during the period of anusthan.