None. Aim is a Bija mantra.
Note Aim is pronounced as “Eye-im” compressed into one syllable, not ‘aim’ as per the English word.
Similar mantras to Kleem exist with converse benefits.
The Aim mantra is the bija or Saraswathi. It improves one’s creativity and mental agility. Speech and prowess in the Arts also follow rapidly with this bija.
It is also able to attract male partners to oneself.
Focusing between the eyes is difficult
A common practice in mantra japa is to focus one’s inner vision on the space between the eyes on the forehead.
If accompanied by a physical focus, this may result in eyestrain for many aspirants.
There is an alternative
An alternative method of focusing one’s mind is to control your breathing. This process is known as the concept of pranayama.
There are 5 pranas in the body (vital forces). It is not necessary to go into too much detail on their function but in essence they are the energy flows throughout the body which regulate bodily functions. When controlled, they allow one to tap into your inner power and open the gates of the mind during meditation.
In fact, it is this heightened level of concentration which leads to powerful siddhis manifesting in the aspirant.
Many methods, one goal
A simple method of controlling one’s breathing is simply to watch and regulate it consciously.
1. Relax and take deep breaths to calm the mind initially.
2. Start Japa and establish a rhythm.
3. Then attempt to say one or two mantras mentally while inhaling and 1-2x more mantras exhaling. Your exhale is longer than the inhale and so you will naturally end up reciting more mantras.
4. Repeat until the mind stills and then delve deeper into more focused meditation.
This is just one way. You can vary this as you wish according to your own needs but the point is the same – control your breath to control the mind.
I would strongly suggest you learn more advanced techniques through a qualified yoga instructor or with the supervision of a practising Guru.
Day 3 of Kandha Sashti
In the prior posts, mantras and potential sadhanas were presented to the reader.
But what are the benefits and attributes of praying to Lord Skanda over the Kandha Sashti period?
There are 6 main boons provided by Skanda:
1. Wisdom and Intelligence. The young Skanda is said to have initiated his own father Shiva into the secrets of the Pranava mantra – Om! You can be blessed with such spiritual wisdom and intelligence when praying to Him.
2. Powers of Attraction. Along with Sri Krishna, Skanda is known as an extremely attractive and charismatic God to His devotees. Praying to him as the all attracting one will allow one to gain the blessings of a magnetic personality.
3. Courage and strength. Skanda is known as the God of War – a fierce warrior ready to do battles against the demons within and without. Pray to Him for courage in your day to day life and help in making big bold decisions.
4. Peace. Peace is a scarce commodity in these days and times. Allow yourself to become a channel of Skanda’s peace.
5. Self-control. One cannot lead without setting an example to your co-workers and subordinates. Master yourself and gain discipline by praying to Skanda for help.
6. Moksha. Skanda is known as a deity with the full authority of Heaven to deliver aspirants to Moksha (release from birth and death). The true spiritual aspirant will have this as the ultimate goal and sole purpose of their prayers.
How do you know…?
Aspirants who have spent a long time practising mantras often ask how one knows that they are making progress.
This is an incredibly difficult question to answer and almost entirely subjective. However, there are some basic common traits for those moving from beginner to intermediate:
- When praying, a flower falls from a picture of a guru or deity. This can happen during a puja or yagnya, at home or in a temple. Your prayers or at least your basic wishes will generally be fulfilled.
- Dawn dreams. I have written a prior post on interpreting such dreams – see my blog for details.
- Siddhis begin to appear. This is particularly true of Ganesha bhaktas (devotees) and mantra sadhaks. Memory improves, one is so in-synch with someone during conversations that you read their mind to complete conversations. Your power of influence over others improves.
Planetary transitions have similar effects
Others feel more confident, empowered, as if everything in life is going their way. Whilst certainly a clear sign of blessings taking effect, such feelings are difficult to distinguish from favourable planetary movements.
Don’t take the easy way out!
The practice of worshipping demons, ghosts and lesser devatas (demigods) is rife even today in India and abroad.
The ‘benefits’ of such practices, if one may call it a benefit, is that the practitioner gains quick siddhis as very little sincerity or devotion is required. The downside however is one enters a binding contract with potentially negative consequences!
Self control is better than controlling other beings
There are various forms of known Tantric practices out there which can instruct one on how to gain the control of ghosts and demons to do your bidding.
This is highly undesirable for a number of reasons. If one is weak-minded enough to choose such a simplistic path to their goals, it is undoubted they can become corrupted by such power.
Moreover, there are more serious consequences: the captive spirit must be continually satisfied by your oblations and prayers. They are sustained in this way. If or when this ceases, some may turn violent and inflict mental and physical harm to the captor.
Lessor deities are a step up but still not the ideal
Similar practices exist to gain the favour of the Gandharvas (divine musicians), Apsaras (divine dancers) and Yakshas (divine artists).
There is extreme temptation for one to seek sensory satisfaction from these deities. However, the level and duration of the benefits are always in proportion to the level of deity you summon.
Once the benefits wear off, one will only waste time in performing yet another sadhana for further benefits.
Pray to the highest Gods
The higher Gods, those that offer Moksha as the end-goal are indeed the most desirable for a number of reasons; not least because Moksha should be the aim of all beings!
- Any siddhis and blessings gained are permanent, at least across a lifetime. If one had certain benefits in a prior life it is very easy for the aspirant to re-create the benefits in the current.
- Blessings will never have negative effects; everything that happens is for righteous and ultimately beneficial reasons.
- They offer protection at all times to their devotees.
- Partial sadhanas still yield partial benefits if incomplete or done incorrectly by accident.
- The benefits are broad and not just what you pray for. For example, one praying for fame will also see a proportional level of wealth, not just one or the other.
- Even more importantly than the prior point, peace always accompanies a blessing.
- Devotion (Bhakti) trumps all when it comes to pleasing the deity.
Look at your own life in understanding this idea. Is it not true that nothing worth having is ever easy to attain?
The subconscious mind is a powerful tool. In combination with mantras, it can lead to quick siddhi.
The subconscious mind is fast
Subconscious thought processes actually run much faster than the conscious mind. It is not necessarily slowed by what is rational or by checks and balances as per the conscious mind. It is truly your consciousness untethered by reality.
Use it to chant
Implanting the seed of mantra into the subconscious mind is a powerful technology. Why? Because it allows you to continue to chant a mantra, uninterrupted, focused and with all concentration through the night as you sleep.
The benefit is that this adds up to another 7-9 hrs of extra chanting per day! You will also feel awake, alive and refreshed the next morning because you sleep deep in concentration and your brain straight away reaches what’s known as the delta wave level of sleep.
The method works particularly well after a long day of intense concentration at work and ideal for weekdays.
Your mind will require some rest during dinner, then sit to meditate with a moderate level of concentration on your chosen mantra. With practice, your mind will continue to chant it through your sleep.
You’ll know if succeeded if you wake up still chanting the mantra.
Day 1 of Kandha Sashti
There are many ways to benefit from Skanda’s grace during Kandha Sashti, including fasting and japa.
Japa is the focus of this blog. In starting a coherent plan of action for Kandha Sashti, two paths are suggested (which are in reality not mutually exclusive).
1. Recite the Kandha Sashti Kavach 36x per day for 6 days. A lighter version of this sadhana is to recite it 6 times per day, totalling 36x by Sashti.
2. Chant malas of Om Saravanabhavaya Namaha. Attempt at Laghu Anusthan – ie 27,000 counts. This is equivalent to 4,500 times per day or about 42 malas.
There are many meditations on Skanda
One take time over Kandha Sashti to meditate on the various attributes of Skanda – the contrasting themes of his extreme benevolence to devotees and playful nature relative to his reputation as the God of War and master strategist.
A mala is a powerful tool for accessing the Divine.
It is a storage unit for spiritual power and must be treated with an appropriate degree of reverence. It is a deeply personal artifact which must be kept away from others’ touch and investigation.
It much more than a decorative piece of jewellery! If you are wearing it, ensure that it is in direct contact with the skin and not worn over clothing.
Whilst I make no judgement on anyone’s lifestyle choices, it must not be worn to unspiritual places (clubs, bars, etc), lest the power within it dissipate. In fact, I would personally not even wear it into a restroom.
Those who worship certain ishta devatas may have certain preferences but in reality, a mala is a mala is a mala! There are actually no real restrictions on who uses which type.
- Tulsi mala. The Tulsi is the favoured plant of Vishnu and worshipped in its own right. Vaishnavites may prefer to use such a mala.
- Rudraskha mala. The Rudraksha comes in many forms with a different number of ‘faces’ (natural divisions). It is the favoured mala of Shaivites.
- Spatika mala. Spatika is crystal. Crystal has long been known to store subtle vibrations produced when mantras are chanted. It is this type of mala that should be worn to the temple, at yagnyas and during japa to build and preserve spiritual power. It can also be placed directly on to a deity’s idol or picture to build such power. One can do japa for another on such a mala then gift it as an extra karmic booster!
Dreams are powerful instruments to the knowledgeable sadhak. Once one has drilled mantra japa into the subconscious mind, dreams become visions.
In very general terms, there are three main types of spiritual dream:
- Blessings. The most common dreams are those where you see your ishta devata or any other divine beings, saints or your Guru blessing you. It may not be spoken and you may not have a chance to interact with them, but know this: the message is that you are on the right path. If your Guru appears, it is possible that they are saying: “I am ready to guide you; are you ready to be led?”. You may also see dreams where you sing bhajans, participate in yagnyas or sit in discourses; these are to encourage you to continue on these paths.
- The future. The second most frequent in my personal experience are visions of the future. This is especially the case if one has a particular yearning for siddhis; one fervently worships Ganesha; or one is desperate to attain something in their lives. One of the most confusing things is to try and discern whether you are experiencing a fantasy of what you wish to happen or whether this is indeed going to become a reality. It is genuinely hard to know, but inevitably, the events will likely come to pass if they are real within a few weeks, perhaps months.Interestingly, the dream may well end at the point at which you are offered a choice. This may become a key fork in the road of your life. It ends there because the future is yet unwritten and beyond that point, it is your choice as to how you proceed. In general, knowing the future is not particularly helpful, but knowing that a major choice is coming up will allow you to mentally prepare. Listen to the council of the wise and make a decision.
- Guidance. One of the most rare type of spiritual dream is when you are instructed. The dream is not passive, it is clearly active. A dialogue will be established with a spiritual guide that appears; you may or may not recognise them. They will instruct to you take a certain path, recommend a certain mantra or go on a certain pilgrimmage. Your specific disposition and preference will likely decide this. Take heed of these words and ask questions as to how this will help and the specifics. They will be as helpful as they can be.
A word of caution
When spiritual entities arrive in your dreams, they can be questioned. Take a proactive stance and do not be afraid to say what is on your mind; however, you generally receive what you ask for! This is both a blessing and a curse. As short sighted as we are, it is difficult to see the repercussions of what we ask for. You may regret your choice in due course!
Try to be humble, general and orient your questions around the most helpful guidance for your spiritual advancement and the peace of the realm.
Truly, the best prayer you can make is to give thanks; the best boon you could ask for is to become a channel of God’s peace.
This article is the continuation of the How to Attract Women series.
Authored by the hand of God…
The Soundarya Lahari, loosely translating to “Waves of Beauty” is a masterpiece in praise of the Divine Feminine. The piece is said to be authored by Shiva himself and transcribed by Ganesha, in praise of his consort, Parashakti – the Supreme Power.
These secrets were originally provided to Adi Shankaracharya. Through a twist of fate, the Shankaracharya himself contributed a section to the hymn. The lore as to why he wrote a portion is varied but suffice to say, a portion of the original text was lost, requiring him to complete it.
There are many further sources of information on the text, including on Speaking Tree:
…and the source of many powerful mantras
The Soundarya Lahari is an incredibly powerful script. Each verse and couplet is known to have tremendous mantra-shakti.
Interestingly, for a stotra of this size, there is no Phala-sruti – the part of the prayer which describes its attributes and benefits. Instead, one is to take it as an act of pure devotion. In fact, this is actually the key to unlocking its benefits. Once you worship the Divine Feminine in Supreme form, the more pointed questions are: what will you NOT receive and be unable to perform after accessing such a powerful force? The answer is of course: nothing!
The Mantra for Attracting a Partner
Here is the verse to hasten marriage; it allows you to attract a husband or wife.
Note: The translation and transliteration have been borrowed from the fantastic website: http://www.sankaracharya.org/soundarya_lahari.php.
“Haris tvam aradhya pranata-jana-saubhagya-jananim
Pura nari bhutva Pura-ripum api ksobham anayat;
Smaro’pi tvam natva rati-nayana-lehyena vapusha
Muninam apyantah prabhavati hi mohaya mahatam.“
“You who grant all the good things,
To those who bow at your feet,
Was worshipped by the Lord Vishnu,
Who took the pretty lovable feminine form,
And could move the mind of he who burnt the cities,
And make him fall in love with him.
And the God of love , Manmatha,
Took the form which is like nectar,
Drunk by the eyes by Rathi his wife,
After venerating you,
Was able to create passion ,
Even in the mind of the great Sages.”
Important notes on Procedure
Whilst anyone can chant the Soundarya Lahari, they should approach it the appropriate degree of reverence.
There is a significant level of precision required in both pronunciation and procedure. Ideally one should proceed straight from the shower into the prayer room dressed in freshly washed clothes. Light a lamp, then begin chanting as per usual mantra japa.
Learn the pronunciation from one well versed in the mantra, or if that is not possible, listen to the mantra online to learn it. A link will soon be posted to the Listen to Mantras Here page of my blog, accessible by clicking here.