This post continues from the prior article on Tratak – click here to read.
The benefits are many
The point of tratak is to ultimately still the mind and use the resulting concentration to access soul power within.
Aside from improved focus, mental acuity and memory, other notable benefits are:
- Precognition. One may experience such heightened levels of perception that your observation skills border on precognition. IE – you can almost read someone’s thoughts or know what they are about to say before they say it. This occurs because the mind is usually attempting to process more information from your 5 senses continuously than is usually possible. Most of the time it must ‘delete’ the majority of this information flowing in and just focus on the relevant details. With the practice of tratak, one starts to delete less and absorb more.
- Influence. Your powers of influence improve as you can no only ‘read’ people better, your added awareness and mental acuity give rise to greater levels of confidence. In combination these two factors allow you to improve your oration abilities, stick to the strength of your convictions and therefore much more easily influence others.
- Siddhis. The advanced practitioner of tratak can reach the stage where their cognitive abilities can access the subtle realms of existence and channel divine power to manifest siddhis (when used in conjunction with mantras); the easiest being clairvoyance, remote vision, psychic communication, etc.
Worship Rudra, the God of the Storm
In the centre of the Krsna Yajur Veda, there is a hymn called the Rudra (also called the Rudram or Rudraprasna). It is a powerful invocation of Lord Shiva in the fierce form of Rudra. Rudra is the God of the Wind, Storm and the Hunt. He is accompanied by his fearsome entourage of the Maruts, the Gods of the Storm and Hunt and is known as the God of Thieves.
Translating from Sanskrit, Rudra means “the Howling One”, “the Terrible One”, “the Roaring One”, or “the Wild One”.
Tap into the essence of the Veda
Each verse is filled with incredible potency and extremely beneficial to the health and spiritual development of any sincere aspirant.
The Rudra is split into two parts – the Namaka and the Chamaka. The Namaka is so named because most lines end with ‘namo’ (prostrations) and similarly, the Chamaka’s verses each end in ‘chame’ (give me).
One of the reasons why the hymn is so powerful is because the Panchakshari mantra – Nama Shivaya – occurs in its very centre. The Panchakshari Mantra is the very essence of Shiva, constituting the power of the universe, the 5 elements, and directly stimulates chakras in the body of the sadhak.
Method of chanting
The Rudra can be chanted from start to finish for a one-off recitation, or can be structured in a specific way for multiple rounds.
The number eleven is auspicious to Shiva. To chant the Rudra 11x is called a Laghu Rudra, or an Ekadasa Rudra. The Namaka is chanted 11x, each time combined with a part of the Chamaka.
Taking this further, 11 Ekadasa Rudras constitute a Maharudra. 11 Maharudras constitute an Adi Rudra – the ultimate invocation of Shiva. The last time such a high profile event occured was in the presence of Sri Sathya Said Baba.
A yagnya usually accompanies the chanting, followed by abishek of panchamrita (the 5 components of the nectar of the Gods) – which is made up of five precious liquids, including water from a sacred river, milk, honey, ghee, yoghurt and the juice of a sugar-cane.
Chant the Rudra for Prosperity, Power and Peace
In general terms, aspirants pray to Shiva for the following benefits:
- Inviting auspiciousness into their lives
- Increased detachment and affinity for spirituality
- Incredible health and vitality; alleviating disease
- Greater efficiency and time management, overcoming procrastination
- Counteracting the malefic effects of the Sun, Jupiter, Saturn and Rahu
Needless to say, the worship of the Auspicious One also brings great peace to not only the aspirant and family, but extends as far as lokakshemam – ie peace for the entire plane. Click here for a prior article on peace.
His Holiness Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswathi shed further light on the Rudra, outlining the following specific (and more tangible) benefits in proportion to the number of Rudras performed:
1 Rudra – Freedom from Bala graha (diseases common to children).
3 Rudra – Freedom from imminent difficulties with which one is faced.
5 Rudra – Freedom from the evil effects of certain planets occupying unfavourable positions.
7 Rudra – Freedom from great fear.
9 Rudra – The fruit of one Vajapeya sacrifice (one of the great public yagnyas of ancient times).
11 Rudra – Getting the favour of kings and great wealth.
33 Rudra – Attainment of wishes for objects and having no enemies.
77 Rudra – Enjoyment of great happiness.
99 Rudra – Attainment of son, grandson, wealth, grain, Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha and freedom from death.
1 Maharudra – Attainment of the favour of kings and becoming the Lord of great wealth.
3 Maharudra – Fulfilment of impossible tasks.
5 Maharudra – Acquirement of vast lands.
7 Maharudra – Attainment of the seven worlds.
9 Maharudra – Freedom from births and deaths.
1 Atirudra – Becoming God.
Is there any superior sacrifice in modern times?
In the modern day, the Rudra is considered one of the greatest yagnyas (fire sacrifices) possible and on par with the Aswamedha yagnyas etc of ancient times.
Chant or listen to the Rudra daily (click here for a link to the audio); Mondays in particular are auspicious to Shiva.
Day 6 of Kandha Sashti
Today is the final day of Kandha Sashti, when Skanda succeeded in finally defeating Padmasura, allowing the return of peace across the universe.
Hopefully, you have used the time productively and pro-actively to kick start any new ventures or as a period of intense introspection and meditation to neutralise your own inner ‘demons’.
The Subramanya/Shanmugha Gayatri Mantra
You can continue to worship Skanda even after Kandha Sashti using the following Gayatri Mantra.
“Om Tat Purushaya vidmahe,
Tanno Shanmugha prachodayat”
“We know that being (man)
We meditate on the Supreme Commander
May the Six-faced one inspire us.”
- Powerful leadership qualities
- Relief from a malefic Mars in horoscope (Mangal dosha)
- Enthusiasm, energy, drive and ambition
- Devotion to Skanda
- Hastens marriage
- Hastens conception of a baby
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.
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!
This post continues the series on the Benefits of the Hanuman Chalisa.
The final set of seven benefits
Here are the benefits from the final set of verses:
- Ability to bear physical pain: Verse 25 (Naasai roga harai…)
- Victory over enemies: Verse 30 (Saadhu Santa ke…)
- Siddhis (occult powers) and Wealth: Verse 31 (
- Ethical judgement: Verse 32-35 (Raama rasaayana… to Aura Devataa Chitta…)
- Mental peace: Verse 36 (Sankata katai mitai…)
- The Grace of Hanuman: Verse 37 (Jai Jai Jai Hanumaana…)
The method of sadhana for the Hanuman Chalisa
Aspirants often ask how many times to chant the Chalisa.
It is noted that 1, 3, 9, 11 and 108 times are the most auspicious numbers, although there is no real limitation or wrong way of chanting it! More importantly, dedication, regularity and devotion are key. The most auspicious times and days are during the twilight hours on Tuesdays and Saturdays, although again, this is a stotra one can learn and recite daily.
For those who want to attempt the higher number of repetitions but feel they are unable to get the pronunciation correct, I have updated the Listen to Mantras page on the blog (click here to access it) with a fast version (recited within 3mins). It is therefore possible to finish a full 108 within a few hours.
Sri Rama Jaya Rama Jaya Jaya Rama!
Check my blog frequently to keep up to date with new articles on Hanuman!
This post continues the series on the benefits of the Hanuman Chalisa. We have so far learned that the hymn helps the sadhak with everything from dissolving bad karma to attaining the heights of fame!
The second set of severn verses
Here are the benefits from the next seven verses:
- Restores and improves career/social status: Verses 16-17 (Tuma upakaara Sugreevahin… and Tumharo mantra Vibheeshana…)
- Accomplish difficult tasks, break obstacles: Verse 20 (Durgama kaaja…)
- Protection from malefic effect of planets: Verse 22 (Saba sukha lahai…)
- Protection from Black Magic and spirits: Verse 24 (Bhoota pishaacha…)
- Health: Verse 25 (Naasai roga…)
- Rescue from crisis: Verse 26 (Sankata ten Hanumaana…)
- Fulfilment of desires: Verses 27-28 (Saba para Raama… and (Aura manoratha jo…)