This post continues the ongoing series on How to Bend Destiny.
Shani – Planet of Challenges and Character
Saturn is the most feared planet of all in the Eastern astrological construct. It is famed for causing long periods of difficulties where people are tested to the limit. Why? I believe it is because God is not interested in where you start or how but how you run the race. The evolution you undergo and the character you build in times of tragedy and difficulty is a key part of life and the true measure of a man or woman.
Saturn has the effect of detachment, spirituality, longevity, foreign travel and also of thieves and robbers. It is the overlord of all spiritual personalities and behaviour.
Effects of Saturn
Shani is the son of the Sun (Surya), mothered by Chaya. Shani is known to be lame (due t0 a prior quarrel with Yama, the God of Death and Afterlife) and the root cause of testing periods in one’s life.
Shani in a positive position within the horoscope gives the aspirant powerful leadership potential,honesty and sense of justice. It also causes spiritual detachment from materiality and wordily behaviours if the aspirant is so inclined.
Boost your spirituality and character!
The Vedic prayer to Saturn is below, followed by the Shani Gayatri.
Vedic prayer to Saturn
“Neelaamjana Samaabhaasam Raviputram Yamagrajam
Chchaaya maarthanda samboothm tham namaami Shanishwaram“
“I bow down to Saturn, the one of a dark-blue complexion like ointment, the slow moving one, the son of Chaya and the brother of Yama.”
“Om Sanischaraya vidmahe
tanno manda prachodayaat“
“We know Shani,
We meditate on the son of the Sun,
May the slow one inspire us”
Mantras to Hanuman
Coming soon: Part 10 – Rahu
Prior parts of the series
Click here for part 1 – Introduction
Click here for part 2 List of Mantras to Planets
Click here for part 3 The Sun + Shiva
Click here for part 4 The Moon + Parvati
Click here for part 5 Mars + Skanda/Hanuman
Click here for part 6 Mercury + Vishnu
Click here for part 7 Jupiter + Dakshinamurthy
Click here for part 8 Venus + Lakshmi
Secrets of Aditya Hridayam: Part 4
This is the fourth and final part of a series on the powerful stotra: the Aditya Hridayam.
In the prior parts of this series, we explored the background and the introduction to the Aditya Hridayam by Agastya, and the benefits of recitation.
The method to chanting the Aditya Hridayam
Given the practical benefits and the philosophical undertones to the Aditya Hridayam, it is suitable for any dedicated aspirant to chant or hear the stotra daily.
It is auspicious to start chanting from a Sunday.
It is ideal to chant the stotra 3x in one sitting. Once a routine has been developed, one may chant the stotra once on Monday-Saturday, then three times on Sunday.
The reverence placed on the Sun by Agastya Rishi should not be taken lightly. Remember that one should be freshly showered wearing freshly washed clothes before one sits down to commence chanting. It is not be recited absent mindedly on the way to work if at all avoidable.
Use the full focus on your concentration to derive the greatest benefit. As you chant, you will notice your worries disappear, a great confidence will be instilled in your mind and you will gain the admiration and respect of others through decisive action throughout your life.
Text and audio
The text of the stotra is available in basic form here.
Click here to listen to the audio of the stotra.
Secrets of Aditya Hridayam: Part 3
This is the third part of a series on the powerful stotra: the Aditya Hridayam.
In the first and second parts of this series, we briefly explored the background and the introduction to the Aditya Hridayam by Agastya.
A stotra of incredible power
As outlined by Agastya Rishi himself in the prelude to the stotra, the Aditya Hridayam has immense power.
Just look at the results – Rama himself used it to not only repel Ravana’s attacks but finally and decisively win the battle over insumountable odds and against a semi-divine opponent (Ravana was partly Gandharva, Deva, Brahmin and Rakshasa).
The stotra not only cleared Rama’s mind of doubt but also drove him to action! This is the power of the stotra.
Listening to Agastya’s reverence for the Sun in his introduction helps us understand why – the Sun is adored as the Parambrahman itself.
Given these points – when the stotra has been tried and tested by Sri Ramachandra himself, what is not possible when one recites the Aditya Hridayam?
Benefits of the Aditya Hridayam
Having extolled the Sun as the very Supreme Being that all aspirants, Devas, Asuras and Rishis strive to know, Maharishi Agastya provides a long list of benefits:
- Destruction of your sins
- Victory in battle/destruction of enemies
- Alleviate worry, anciety and self-doubt
- Instils determination and confidence
- Long life
The Sun is effectively the universal illuminator. When chanted, the Aditya Hridayam illuminates one’s soul (destroys sins), one’s mind (instils clarity of thought), one’s heart (determination and confidence), and one’s body (a long disease free life).
In the next part, the method behind the mantra will be discussed.
Coming soon: Part 4
Secrets of Aditya Hridayam: Part 2
This is the second part of a series on the powerful stotra: the Aditya Hridayam.
In the first part of this series, the circumstances under which the Aditya Hridayam was imparted to Rama were explored.
Rama was confused and depressed as nothing was going his way on the battle front. Ravana remained alive and elusive to his tactics and weapons.
In the midst of this, Maharishi Agastya appears and begins to initiate Rama into the Aditya Hridayam.
More than the Solar Orb
Agastya’s introduction to the AH is key to understanding the stotra’s main themes. He mentions that the Sun is:
- The Ruler of the worlds and Lord of the universe
- That which is revered by the Devas and Asuras alike
- The embodiment of all the Gods
- The nourisher and energiser
- The embodiment of Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and other key deities
By the end of the description the Sun is effectively extolled as the Parambrahman; there is nothing that the Sun cannot or doesn’t do to regulate the universe.
The point that is conveyed is that when pray to the Sun with the AH, you are in fact praying to the greatest deity.
In the next part we will look at the benefits of chanting the Aditya Hridayam.
Coming soon: Part 3
Secrets of Aditya Hridayam: Part 1
This is the first part of a series on the powerful stotra: the Aditya Hridayam.
You’re on your knees…
There are moments in everyone’s lives where disaster has struck you or your loved ones with such incredible force that nothing is right, your confidence is lost, the odds appear insurmountable and the battle unwinnable.
It is rare to find people who thrive under such conditions. For most of us, the pressure can cause enthusiasm to wane and all hope to fade.
…but all is not lost
One of the most famous incidents in our scripture is the final battle of the Ramayana. Rama had begun the battle with Ravana but after ceaseless combat was unable to even come close to killing him.
At this point, with his physical energy drained, Ramachandra’s thoughts began to wander and the spectre of doubt began to creep into his conscious mind. Doubt is the greatest enemy of any warrior without a second. Once you begin to second-guess your strategies and actions in combat, you are as good as dead.
The Devas noticed. Congregating in the sky above the battle ground they decided to dispatch Maharishi Agastya to his aid – one of the greatest, most pioneering and accomplished of the Saptarishis. The intervention of Agastya was the ‘Game-Changing’ event of the battle.
The light at the end of the tunnel
Rishi Agastya initiated Rama into the profound secrets of Sun worship: he taught Rama the Aditya Hridayam Stotra (the Heart of the Sun Hymn).
In the second part we will further explore the hymn’s secrets and benefits.
Coming soon: Part 2
Mantra writing is one of my favourite methods of sadhana. It is a powerful technology for aligning one’s mind body and soul with one goal.
It is also extremely flexible – one can take up sadhana to write any mantra (unless of course expressly instructed not to for reasons of secrecy by one’s Guru).
Mantra writing…how many, how quickly?
I am frequently asked how many times one should write a mantra to attain a goal. The answer is identical to how many times they would chant it. Ideally, one should strive to complete a puruscharan over time. Of course it takes longer to write than chant, so aspirants often cut the number down to an anusthan.
The scriptures say that anyone writing a mantra 10 million times (1 crore) will attain anything they are looking for.
Start slow and build up
My personal advice is to begin slowly – write a page or 108x of a short mantra – preferably a bija. Rama is the absolute ideal as it has immense power to overcome all negativity, obstacles, karma and problems in your life.
Then once a routine is set, increase this by a page a day. If enthusiasm takes you, there is no harm in writing more! But try to keep a steady minimum for daily writing.
Motivation is key
Rama is preferred as the mantra is a perfect compromise between the abstract (like Om or Soham, Aham Brahmasmi etc) and the conceivable (picture Lord Rama and all his perfect qualities).
However, if this still plots a path which is beyond your near term requirements, then by all means focus your needs on mantras like Kleem or Shreem for material benefits.
In any case, divinising one’s goals or placing the fruit of your labour at the feet of the Guru will undoubtedly pull you quickly to your destination.
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.
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.