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 post continues from the introduction – click here to read it.
Below are the Vedic mantras for each of the Navagrahas (9 planets). Subsequent posts will go through each of the planets in turn and provide information on the attributes and specific Gayatri mantras of each.
A word of caution:
Generally, it is unwise to pray to specific planets to strengthen their influence in your horoscope without knowing the repercussions. In certain situations, it may even be beneficial that they remain weak.
I encourage any interested party to contact a reputable astrologer to get an idea of where you may need help.
Remember: The specific advice given to any one person is rarely appropriate for anyone else to follow and there are very few general conditions under which everyone should to pray directly to a planet.
However, there is a far safer method of gaining positive planetary influence on your life – pray to their controlling deity. We will cover these in the posts to come.
Surya – Sun
Japakusuma Samkaasham Kashyapeyam Mahadhyuthim
Tamorim Sarva Paapagnam Pranathosmi Divakaram
Chandra – Moon
Dadhishamkha tusharaabham ksheero daarnava sambhavam
Namami Shashinam Somam Shambor Mukuta Bhooshanam
Mangal/Bauma/Angaraka/Kuja – Mars
Dharaneegarbha Sambootham Vidhyadh Kaanthi Samaprabham
Kumaaram Shakthihastham Cha Mangalam Pranamaamyaham
Budha – Mercury
Priyam Gukaalikashyamam Rupenaam prathimam Budham
Saumyam Saumya gunor petham tham Budham pranamaamyaham
Brihaspathi/Guru – Jupiter
Devaanaam cha Hrisheenaam cha Gurum kaanchana Sannibham
Buddhibhootam trilokesham tham namaami Brihaspathim
Shukra – Venus
Himakundha Mrinaalabham Daithyaanam Paramam gurum
Sarvashaastra pravatkaaram Bhaargavam pranamaamyaham
Sani – Saturn
Neelaamjana Samaabhaasam Raviputram Yamagrajam
Chchaaya maarthanda samboothm tham namaami Shanishwaram
Rahu – Solar Node
Ardhakaayam mahaveeryam chandradithya vimardhanam
Sinhigaagarbha sambootham tham raahum pranamamyaham
Ketu – Lunar Node
Palashapushpa sankasham taaragagraha masthakam
Raudram raudrathmakamkhoram tham kethum pranamamhyaham
In the next post, we will look at the attributes and mantras to Surya.
Coming Soon: Part 3
The 9 powerful forces in astrology
If you believe in and follow Hindu astrology, the Navagrahas (9 ‘planets’ or celestial bodies) are the primary rulers of your pre-destiny. They are the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Rahu and Ketu).
As a quick word of explanation – the concept of Rahu and Ketu is the stuff of many textbooks in astrology, but in a nutshell, they are nodes of the Sun and Moons’ respective orbits. In mythology, they are respectively considered the head and body of a demon named Rahu, who by his guile ended up consuming the nectar of immortality along with the rest of the Devas.
The essence of Eastern astrology is that the celestial bodies’ positioning at the exact moment of your birth (as arranged on your birth chart) reflect your karma or pre-destiny for this lifetime.
There is Destiny but also free will!
You need not despair that our lives are purely at the mercy of destiny; there is also free will!
You may think this is a strange dichotomy, but once explained, the concept makes perfect sense: the actions of your past lives (karma) drives your pre-destiny – ie the big events and turning points in your life which will inevitably occur; but your RESPONSE to these events is entirely under your own control, and therein lies your free will. Of course events may be structured so they leave you little choice – but there always is one.
The Window when the Door has closed
There is a saying: “When God closes a door, he also opens a window”. This means that although some difficult events in your life must come to pass, there is usually a silver lining (eg character development through hardship) – or way out of it with some sacrifice (eg sacrifice your dignity, but save your life). This may sound very theoretical, but examples will be given going forward.
So how can mantra yoga help??
Cutting to the chase, there are two ways to try and bend the arrow of fate with mantra yoga.
- The first, is to dissolve your bad karma through good deeds and prayer.
- The second is to pray directly to the planets for their favour in future events.
This series will look at each of the planets in turn and highlight the benefits of prayer to them, powerful relevant mantras and auspicious timings.
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.