Category: ancient cultures

Vastu Purusha Mandala with 9×9 grid

Honoring Vastu Purusha is a part of Puja rituals. A grid design of 3×3 or 9×9 cells is normally used as the Vastu Purusha Mandala in these rituals. Vastu Purusha is the Deva who rules dwellings or residences. What is the logic behind the idea of a ruler of dwellings? How is the Mandala used for design harmony? The story of the birth of Vastu Purusha gives us some insight. We can analyze the story in the context of a new human settlement. Human beings claim a piece of land from nature and convert it into a settlement. Firstly, that piece of land comes under the purview of human consciousness. Secondly, it transitions out of chaotic or unintelligent control by nature. Thirdly, the settlers shape the land through their efforts and per objectives. However, human involvement can lead to either a positive or a negative change. Maintenace of design harmony leads to positive progress. A story in the Purana reflects this idea. A drop of

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Who is the Devi of Capitalism?

Wealth is an essential commodity in any society! Everyone seeks it for comfort and security. In brief, the capitalists have been right. However, there is an ugly face to capitalism. In other words, there is an ugly face to wealth itself. The Vedic texts remind us of a succinct distinction between two means to wealth. Lakshmi devi represents wealth which is pursued in a responsible way. On the other hand, Jyeshta, the elder sister of Lakshmi is the Devi of wealth from gambling and speculation. Does Jyeshta control speculative Capitalism today? The Rishis convey an important distinction between the two Devis through the story of Jyeshta. The story of the churning of the milky ocean brings us several mini teachings. The Devas and their rivals, the Asuras, churned the legendary milky ocean for Amrita, the nectar of immortality. Initially, their efforts remained futile. Later, the ocean began to yield gifts; some nice and some terrible. One of the most terrifying gifts was the Poison capable of destroying all

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Matrika Symbolism

Consonants are an important aspect of human speech. Certainly, 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. In summary, a consonant appears in a group according to the position of the tip of the tongue during pronunciation. 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”. This alphabet belongs to Brahma per Vedic texts. In addition, 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. Matrika and Ego The Matrika for the group containing which “Ta”

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Agasthiyar’s Tattuvam-300

Sri Sri Ravishankar gave me an assignment, sometimes back to translate certain works of Agasthiyar and Bhogar both of who belong to the Siddhar tradition. Until then I did not realize the importance of ancient Tamil texts as a treasure house of integrated Indic knowledge. Siddhars and Munis had continued spiritual quest in the mountains of South India for several millennia and had brought out practical wisdom in the form of Siddha medicine. There is a lot more to Siddhar texts than herbology. They for example elucidate the building blocks or Tattvas which are common among different traditions in ancient India.   Agasthiyar compares all extant philosophies of the Indian subcontinent. Besides he does this through a handful of verses in his work Tattuvam-300. He achieves this by referring to the methodology of Tattvas. I had thought the Tattva methodology to be unique to Sanskrit texts called Darshanas.  However, in reality, the Indian subcontinent has nurtured parallel systems of thought

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The reality of Shadow Planets

How can a shadow be a planet? Can shadow qualify to be an object? What is the logic behind the part snake, part human representations of Rahu (Earth’s shadow) and Ketu (Moon’s shadow)? The Sanskrit word Graha is very unique. Its English equivalent, namely planet, is however inadequate. Graha is a reference to a holder of an energy of some sort. However, the word planet does not convey this idea. European translators, two centuries ago, made the hurried assumption that the word Graha means Planet. The widespread use of the word planet to refer to Graha today creates confusion. A good example of this confusion is the literal translation of the phrase “Chaya Graha” to a shadow planet. An overview of the related Sanskrit words gives us a better idea about the phrase Chaya Graha. Something that grasps, holds or seizes is Graha. According to Sri Sri Ravishankar, an expert on the terminology in Vedic texts, the entire universe constantly

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Guru Tradition flourished in Dravidian lands

Tamil tradition recognizes Sage Agastya to be an important Siddha. In addition, stories and astronomy point to Agastya’s antiquity. Agastya’s Tamil works better survived the ravages of time than his works in Sanskrit. Therefore, his Tamil works can provide better clues about the ancient link between the North and South than the presently available Vedic literature. Agastya Paripooranam is one of Agastya’s Tamil works. For example. in this work, he elaborates the need for a Guru. Further, he describes the benefits of meeting a Sadguru. Through this, we can conclude one thing. The attitude to one’s Guru was the same in the Dravidian and the Vedic traditions at the time of Sage Agastya. Let us take a look at a few verses from his work. A Yogi has two goals. Firstly, a Yogi wants to reduce mental chatter. Secondly, he wants to cultivate the skill to keep the mind like a still pond. Agastya asserts in the verse below that

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Connection between Primordial Prakriti and Plasma

Reviewing several mantras is necessary to grasp a specific scientific idea hidden in the Vedas. For example. The Hiranya Garbha Suktam adds a level of detail to an essential concept in the Nasadiya Suktam. Firstly, the Nasadiya Suktam suggests that the Devas may have appeared during the diversity phase in creation. Secondly, the Suktam leaves us with a question regarding the cosmic mind. The Hiranyagarbha Suktam picks up this thread. In summary, the Nasadiya Suktam does not name the conscious entity that witnessed the birth of the universe. However, we find its name in the Hiranyagarbha Suktam. Nasadiya Suktam introduces the Mahabhuta elements, the primordial brightness. Elsewhere we find details about their individual nature. The following video presents a sequence of events per Inflation cosmology. It provides a context to the birth of Devas. Per science, matter as we know it to be, appeared in our universe when CMB filled it. However, even after that, the universe remained in total

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Leafness of a Leaf per Yajur Veda

While researching for my book “Beyond Space and Beyond Matter”, I came across the approach of understanding words from constituent letters. Each letter in Sanskrit has a meaning. I hadn’t paid much attention to this fact until Sri Sri Ravishankar, my Guru, mentioned it to me. Every letter from the Devanagari letter “ka” is a representation of the 33 devas of the Vedic tradition. The letter “ka” represents prajapati, the creator. Similarly Sankhya texts map each of these consonants to a principle in creation. In another convention, the Maruts who are the helpers of Indra rule Forty Nine letters. Maruts are a group of seven Devas. Each group has seven of them. Tantra texts group letters of the Sanskrit language. Secondly, there are fifty one letters in the Devanagari method of writing in Sanskrit. Matrikas, who are helpers of the mother divine, rule over these seven groups. In summary, many approaches were known in the distant past to understand the power behind letters.

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Power Paradox and Asuras

Dacher Kelter, psychology professor at the University of California Berkeley has written the book Power Paradox. In this book he outlines parallels between behaviors he has seen in research labs and corporate America. The book is is an eye opener to those who believe in gaining power through force. Dacher shows that our power is granted to us by others. Besides, anyone can gain power by improving the lives of others. Thirdly, anyone’s power goes simply as far as what others are willing to let them have. The story of an Asura by the name, Taraka is a poignant reminder of the dark side of power. The story of Taraka Asura is similar to the additional observation made by Dacher. In Summary, a person with power tends to forget how they got it in the first place, namely, by improving the lives of others. Unfortunately, most with power get stuck to money and status. Obviously, this is the dark side of power. We

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Directionally qualified Hell in the Vedas

Religions around the world present a gory view of Hell. In contrast, the idea of Naraka hell was more meaningful in an earlier ear. There are four pits of hell according to the Vedas (in the Aruna Prasna Mantras). They are each assigned to the directions Southeast, Southwest, Northeast and Northwest. Secondly, they relate to the mental turmoil someone experiences in life. Southeast is the direction of Visarpi Naraka, or the pit of hell of agitated seeking. For example, pain or a strong discomfort can make someone seek relief, desperately. This desperation relates to Visarpi Naraka. Some other time, one may feel completely frozen. For example, this may be due to an overwhelming sensation. This type of turmoil is the Avisarpi Naraka experience. This Naraka is in the Southwest direction. Self-loath creates intense mental turmoil in anyone. This is Vishadi, the pit of hell of anguish. For example. someone may not immediately grasp the gravity of injustice he has meted

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