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Deliberate disorder of the nine Grahas

    In many temples in South India, there is an area dedicated to the Devatas or subtle energies of the nine Grahas or the luminaries which move in the sky. There, we can usually find one Murty (an idol) for each of the nine Grahas. However, they face different directions as if they have been disordered. The person who invented this disordered arrangement is the Siddhar Idaikkadar ( இடைக்காட்டுச் சித்தர்). Before the time of Idai Kattu Siddhar, eight of the nine Navagrahas stood in a neat circle. Idaikkadar was a sheep herder who attained the status of an enlightened being. Through his Yogic powers, he once foresaw an impending drought. He came to know that the draught would last a long time. He prepared his sheep to eat only the harsh vegetation which tends to grow in parched land. His sheep therefore yielded toxic milk. Idaikkadar prepared his body by consuming this milk. This milk could make anyone else drowsy. Eventually, the draught hit

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Water Offering to the Sun

The tradition of giving thanks to the Sun continues in the Indian subcontinent since millennia. Long ago, large sections of society understood the logic behind this tradition. Therefore they engaged in it with fervor. Today, many of us do understand the basis behind such tradition. However, modern science can give us a partial insight into the way in which thought leaders in a distant past, inculcated respect natural resources among the masses. Through science we know that life on planet Earth can not exist without Sun’s warmth and light. An awe about Sun’s role can kindle respect for life on planet earth and its dependency on Earth’s natural resources.  Vedic seers kept this spark of awe through a simple daily ritual of gratitude. This ritual consists of offering to the Sun, daily. The offering in this ritual is a handful of water or Argya. Any thanks giving ceremony is symbolic and is designed to kindle a delicate feeling within. The

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Mantra and its three focal points

Subtle world of energies orchestrates events in human societies. The complexity of the subtle world matches the diversity seen in the physical world. Devas are energy configurations in the subtle world. They can be controlled by Mantras which are vibrations in human speech. People in the past researched this topic thoroughly and wrote about them. They listed a few rudimentary principles to explain how mantras can be used for the purpose of changing energy patterns in the subtle world. The Rig Veda, the oldest collection of cognized knowledge, contains 10552 mantras or verses which have been grouped into 1024 Suktams. A few of these Suktams continue to be popular even today. Many people memorize them with proper intonations.  However, only a handful of people study the way to harness the full power in them. A famous verse in the Gita text says that  Devas are under the spell of Mantras and Mantras are under the spell of the one who

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Grand Conjunction and Gulikan

There is a grand conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the night sky on December 21, 2020. During such conjunctions, Jupiter and Saturn align on the same side of the Sun. Saturn and Jupiter are two of the largest massed planets in the solar system. Their combined gravitational pull impacts the location of the Sun. The combined gravitational pull of all planets impacts the Sun. Scientists have known from sometimes that the gravitational center of the Solar system is not really at the center of the Sun. They called the gravitation center of the Solar system as the Barycenter. The Sun itself wobbles around this Barycenter. During the upcoming Saturn-Jupiter conjunction, the Sun will move its farthest from the Barycenter. Earlier this year, Scientists discovered a super-accurate way to determine the precise center of our solar system. There is a story in the Puranas about the combined influence of all planets which they attributed to a pseudo planet called Gulikan.

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Matrika Symbolism

Consonants are an important aspect of human speech. We can not imagine a human language without consonants. The ancient Rishis revered the power of consonants through the symbolism of Matrikas. There are seven Matrikas one for each group of consonants. Consonants are grouped based on the position of the tip of the tongue as they are pronounced. There are five groups of five consonants and two groups of four consonants. Brahmi is the Matrika for the first group. She carries the energy of Brahma, the creator. The first consonant in the group is “Ka” which is also the alphabet associated with Brahma per Vedic texts. The five alphabets in this group each represent a Bhuta or a gross element. Maheshwari rules the second group which starts with the Sanskrit alphabet “Cha”. The five letters in this group each represent the subtler counterparts of the gross elements. The Matrika for the group containing which “Ta” is Kaumari. Kaumari carries the energy

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The Other Bose and Poisons

Indians consider Subash Chandra Bose to be Hero whose actions brought India its independence. However, they think that his sudden disappearance was not an accident. Besides they believe that vested interests conspired to take him out of the lime light. Another Bose who lived decades earlier may also have met a similar fate. Sadly, far fewer people remember this other Bose. Jagadeesh Chandra Bose was a brilliant scientist. He was the first to invent a wireless communication equipment. Marconi used his inventions a few years later and got a Nobel prize for it. Even less recognized is JC Bose’s pioneering work in the field of Poisons. Jagadeesh Chandra Bose was the first to quantitatively demonstrate the impact of poison on living cells and also on metals. He showed that metals can experience a shock when poison touches them.  Generally, metals are good conductors of electricity. Besides, during the time of JC Bose, measuring techniques were available to understand the conductivity

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Temple for an Alphabet

In Indian languages, there are long and a short sounding versions of vowels including the vowel “A”. The alphabet “A” represents Shiva, per Siddhar texts. Shiva is the universal being. Its long sounding equivalent, namely, “aa” represents the glory of the universal being. The vowel “aa” is the shortened form of the word “Atma”, the individual being. There is a unique temple for Shiva who is the conglomerate of individual beings. This is one of the only two temples without an idol within the Sanctum Sanctorum, the central chamber. This is a reminder to the fact that the Atma can not be seen or perceived by our senses. The Aavudaiyaar temple, was built by the chief minister of the King of Madurai, some four hundred years ago. This minister in his previous birth was a Siddhar. Siddhars made use of herbal and mineral formulations to advance quickly in their Yoga practice.  Our Siddhar too used a Kuligai, a magical tablet

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Agastya’s Herb Hill

Locating a particular herb in the wilderness can be a daunting task even to an expert. Many of the herbs which the Siddhar practitioners have documented are known to grow on steep rocky hillsides in Southern India. Siddhar Agasthiyar says that locating herbs is an easier task from a state of heightened awareness. He says in his text that a Rishi who lived atop the Great hill of herbs trained him on this. Hills which Agasthiyar mentions in his texts are found today in Tamil Nadu, in India. Is there also a “Great hill of herbs” which is associated with a Rishi? A possibility is the Marundhu-Vaaz-Malai (மருந்துவாழ் மலை) hill which overlooks the Indian ocean from the Southern tip of India. The name of this hill means “The Hill where Herbs reside”. There is a small cave with an altar for Agasthiyar along the path to this hilltop. Reputed spiritual masters who meditated here in the recent past confirm the fact

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Mechanics of Action

Sri Sri Ravishankar “The dynamics of how events happen is a big mystery. Only one who is 100% in doing can recognise the happening. The healthiest way to apply this knowledge is to see the whole past as happening and the present as doing. If you see the past as doing, then ego and regret come along. And when you see the present as happening, laziness and unawareness set in. Let the happening be for the past and the doing for the present. And the future is a mix of both. The wise will see the doing in happening and the happening in doing simultaneously. One who does a lot of work will never say he did a lot. If someone says he did a lot of work, it that means he can do more. He has not done enough. Work does not tire you as much as the “doership” does. All actions happen through consciousness. The world moves because

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One Creator or Two?

Per the text Yoga Vasishta, which is published by New York University press (SUNY), creation began as a mental construct. Vedic literature calls the cosmic mind as Brahma, the creator. A strong intention arose in the cosmic mind for the universe to come into existence. We can liken this to the way an architect envisions the design for a building. Building blocks come together, after that, under the able supervision of engineers and manager. Of course, workers play a big role in giving a concrete shape to a building. Brahma is like an architect, then who is the supervisor? Prajapati is the creator at the next level. The word Pra-ja-pati refers to a paternal figure who has a closer affinity at the physical plane to created beings. There is a single cosmic mind which implies that there is only one Brahma in this universe. However, several Prajapatis are involved in the subsequent step of creation. They make this creation to

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