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Sri Venkatachala Mahathyam CONCLUSION ( wedding chapter 436-446)

436) BHAGAVATHKRUTHASHANMAASAAVADHIKAAGASTHYAASHRAMAVAASA PRATHIGNYAA Padmaavathyanugo Devo Brahmarudraadikairyuthaha Suvarnamukharee...

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Chintamani,Kamakshi's residence!


"Sumeru madhya shrungasthaa Sreemannagaranaayika
Chintamanigruhaantha:sthaa Panchabrahmaasanasthithaa!"
In Sri.Bhaaskararaya's commentary on Lalitha Sahasranamam , the term "Chintamani" is described as thus:-Chintamani is that jewel which yields all the objects desired;of this the city is built.This house is described in detail in the Brahmaanda Purana,"In that house of Chintamani all is Chintamani."This house having an extent of a thousand yojanas is above the world system.The Rudrayaamala says,"In that Chintamani house of a thousand yojanas in extent."The house which is on Meru is smaller in size.The Lalithaasthavaratna (v.105) says,"May that house,built of Chintamani stone which is on the northern side of Sringaaravana (on Meru),whither all the devas go to worship,remove all my mental trouble(chinta)."In the commentary on Gowdapaada-sutra(no.7)the Chintamani house is explained as the place of origin of all those mantras which bestow all desired objects(chinthitha),and its construction is elaborately described.
Chintamani is specially mentioned in the 3rd,8th and the 33rd slokas of Soundarya Lahari.
3rd sloka:"Avidyaanaamanthasthimiramihiradweepanagari
jadhaanaam chaithanyasthabakamakarandasruthijhari
Daridraanaam Chintaamanigunanikaa janmajaladhau
Nimagnaanaam dhamshtraa muraripuvaraahasyabhavathi."
Literal Meaning:-The dust of Thy lotus feet is the Island City,wherefrom takes place the luminous sun-rise of spiritual illumination driving away the over-casting darkness of ignorance in the hearts of the devotees.It forms the cluster of flower buds from which gushes forth the nectar of intelligence,enlivening the dull-witted.It is a veritable necklace of wish-yielding gems for the poverty-stricken.And for those immersed in the ocean of worldly affairs,it becomes their uplifter like the tusk of Vishnu,which raised the earthfrom submergence in pralayaa waters when He incarnated as the Cosmic Boar.
Maha Periyava has explained about Chintamani in His commentary on Soundarya Lahari,"Chintamani which has an aspect of the divine,grants all one's wishes.Europeans speak of the philosopher's stone but it is different and is more like our "sparsha-vedi";when it comes into contact with an object,brass,lead or iron,it will convert it into gold[or silver].All it can do is to transmute a metal into gold.Chintamani is different:it fulfills our desires,creates whatever we desire!
Kamadhenu,Kalpakavruksha,Chintamani-these three are wish-fulfilling.Chintamani is like stone,earth,belonging to the category of insentient objects.The dust on the feet of Amba is Chintamani that grants all the wealth desired by the poor.In the 33rd sloka of Soundarya Lahari,there is a reference to men who are extremely fortunate telling the beads made of Chintamani gems.There rosaries are like the ones in which rudraakshaas and crystals are strung together and they keep muttering the mantras that invoke Amba("Bhajanthi Tvaam Chintamani-gunanibaddhaakshavalayaah.")There is a mention of Kamadhenu also in this stanza-
"Smaram yonim Lakshmeem thrithayamidamaadau thava manoh
Nidhaayaike nithye niravadhimahaabhogarasikah
Bhajanthi thvaam Chintamani gunanibaddhaakshavalayah
Shivaagnau juhvanthah surabhighruthadhaaraahuthi shathaih."
Literal meaning:-Some connoiseurs of the highest enjoyment,adding before the beginning of Thy mantra(verse)the Bija-syllables of Kaamaraaja(kleem),Bhuvaneswari(hreem),and Sree(shreem)and adorned with a necklace of Chintamani,worship Thee with oblations consisting of countless streams of Kamadhenu's ghee in the purified fire of Shiva(i.e.Shakthi established as the thrikona in the anaahatha-chakra).
The great men who perform the sacrificial rite chanting the mantras invoking Amba do not use ordinary ghee,but the ghee obtained from the milk of Kamadhenu."Surabhighrutha"is ghee obtained from the milk of Kamadhenu,Surabhi being another name of Kamadhenu.
A single Chintamani is enough to grant all one's wishes.Since what Amba gives is many times more than what we ask for,the rosary is said to have been made of many Chintamanis strung together."
Maha Periyava has further given a splendid description of Amba's residence built of not red bricks,but of the precious Chintamani jewels!"Her capital is called Srinagara or Sripura.It is encircled by 25 fortresses and praakaaraas.The fortressess are built of metals ranging from iron to gold and of the nine gems(navarathnas).Then,proceeding further in degrees of subtlety,there are fortresses of the mind,of intelligence,of ego.Lastly there are strongholds built each of the radiance of the sun,moon and the lustre of Manmatha.Between the fortresses there are forests,parks of divine trees and streams and canals.When going past all these in the twenty-fifth aavarana-same as praakaaraa-is the Mahaapadmavana,a canal full of lotuses.It is like a moat and in it is Amba's palace built of Chintamani."The palace of Amba is situated in the park of nipa trees and it glitters having been built entirely of Chintamanis.Maha Periyava says,"if all our thoughts were made into gems,if we were to think of Amba alone and each thought of ours were a gem[a gem of a thought]and if we built a temple to her with these gems,it would also be a Chintamani house.And She would reside in it-that is reside in our thoughts!
The view of Sri Raja Rajeswari seated on the panchabrahmaasana (seat of the throne and its four legs),as an embodiment of shringaaraa,the Goddess gives darshan in Her inner apartment,all by herself.
The above depiction of Chintamani explains the reason why the saint composer,Sri Syama Sasthri had composed the majestic Devi Brova in the raga Chintamani.Through this composition he has broadly hinted that Amba resides in this raga,particularly in the krithi,Devi Brova.
The -"sa ri pa ma pa dha ni sa
sa pa dha pa ma ga ri sa"scale of Chintamani is enough to fire one's imagination and one can effortlessly visualise the twists and turns of the royal praakaaraas and avaranaas to reach the inner apartment where She resides! Sri Syama Sasthri leads us towards the Truth in his spectacular composition of the three syllables, KA-MA-KSHI , in the adhara sadjyama (revealing the Truth that She is the adharam-support) in the third charanam of the krithi.
The pallavi reveals its strength to reach to the Goddess at lightning speed:-
"Devi brova samayamide,athi vegame vachchi"(vegame is fast,athi vegame means extremely fast).
Even the rarely sung or heard 2nd charanam of the krithi:-"Repu maapani chepithe ne vinanu(I will not listen to you if you keep postponing to tomorrow or some other day),"ika thaalanu nenu"(I will not tolerate anymore),"Ee proddu daya seyyave,krupa choodave"(please grant me your vision today itself,please show mercy on me!).These two verses are further hints that She would oblige ,hence the Krithi has been composed in Chintamani.She literally resides in this raga and krithi!Chintamani is the residence of Kamakshi!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Nakshatras and Raga Devathas/Astrology.


There has been much talk about raga therapy.It is a vast subject that needs deep scrutiny and understanding.As far as therapy is concerned,a raga chosen for a prescribed purpose is to be understood and implemented accordingly.The jeeva swaras(key notes that contain the pulse of the raga) should be rendered in a "japa-mode"(intense and focussed) to the point of attaining "siddhi" of the raga( state of "samyoga"-unity with the raga through soulful rendering.) Therefore the fructification of a raga happens only after intense sadhana and not by merely painting a vocal or instrumental sketch of the same.The researcher should take full control of the raga through flawless rendering in order to evoke the life of the raga by coaxing the jeeva swaras.Through detailed and perfect dileanation of the raga,the researcher awakens the life-force energy of the raga !By doing so,the researcher may not be aware of the manifestation of the raga swaroopa(shape of the raga) in the form of a celestial being,invisible to the naked eye.This celestial being is none other than the Raga-devatha (demi-Goddess representing a particular raga).The researcher thus attains special boons authorized by the demi Goddess of that particular raga.There are numerous ragas that yield innumerable benefits and even influences the qualities and traits of the researcher.Yin and yang("Prakrithi-Purusha") are qualities induced by the ragas Nayaki(yin) and Darbar(yang).The coy "dha-nee dha pa ma ri..." of Nayaki versus the assertive " gaa gaa ri sa " of Darbar is a significant example of the same.Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar,in his Nayaki Krithi,"Ranganayakam" has interpreted the extreme femininity of Thayar by stressing at "dha-ni.........."lingering there right through "Ranga NAYAKI"(second verse of the pallavi)At this juncture it has to be mentioned that in the opening line "Ranganayakam",the "nayakam" is composed in such a manner that the majesty and royal command of the Lord is emphasised in the prayoga-"ri pa ma paa ri" compared to the dainty prayoga of "ri-ma-pa-dha........dha ni..."(Ranganayaki...sametham).It is ideal to practice the raga Nayaki for increase of yin in oneself and the raga Darbar for the yang factor in oneself,also as a cure for hormonal imbalance in oneself.!In all the trinity compositions,the musical expression of the qualities conveyed in the sahithya are loud and clear!
Carnatic music plays a great role in the field of vedic astrology .The 72 melakartha ragas are interwoven with the nakshatras in the zodiac system.
What are nakshatras?They are also called lunar mansions or constellations.In jyothish or Indian astrology there are 27 nakshatras prescribed by the sage Parashara(the founder of astrology).
The first nakshatra Ashwini starts at Aries 0'00" and ends at Aries 13 degrees 20 minutes.The next nakshatra Bharani starts at Aries 13.20" and ends at Aries 26.40"Then Krittika starts at Aries 26.40" and ends at Taurus 10.00"Then Rohini from taurus 10.00" to23.20 and so on,until Ravathi,which extends from Pisces16.40" to Aries 0.00".
Two nakshatras take up26'40" which is 3 degrees 20 minutes short of one full sign(a full sign is 30'00").Therefore 3 degrees 20 minutes is 1/4th of a nakshatra,and is called a nakshatra pada,or simply a pada(step).As such,Aries contains Ashwini,Bharani,,and the first pada of KrittikaTaurus contains 3 padas of Krittika,Rohini and the first two padas of Mrigasira.Each zodiac sign therefore contains 9 padas (note that 3 degrees 20 minutes multiplied by 9 is 30 " or one full zodiac sign).
The 72 melakarthas spread over all the 108 nakshatra padas are corresponding ragas meant to enhance and strengthen the particualar nakashatra of the native (whose moon was in the nakashatra at he time of his birth).To cover the entire zodiac system,each melakartha raga spreads over 5.00 degrees of the zodiac system.Nazhigai maybe calculated for accuracy(especially in the constellations where two ragas are spread,i.e,the point at which a raga finishes and the point from where another raga starts.)
The following are the nakshatras and their corresponding ragas-(Each pada -3'20",melakartha raga evenly covering 5'00" through the zodiac).
IN ARIES (MESHA RASI):-
Ashwini 1st padam-Kanakangi
2nd padam-Kanakangi ,Rathnangi
3rd padam-Rathnangi
4th padam-Ganamurthi
Bharani 1st padam-Ganamurthi ,Vanaspathi

2nd padam-Vanaspathi

3rd padam-Manavathi

4th padam-Manavathi,Tanarupi



Krittika 1st padam-Tanarupi


TAURUS (VRISHABHA RASI)-


Krittika 2nd padam-Senavathi


3rd padam-Senavathi,Hanumathodi


4th padam-Hanumathodi


Rohini 1st padam-Dhenuka


2nd padam-Dhenuka,Natakapriya


3rd padam-Natakapriya


4th padam-Kokilapriya


Mrigasira 1st padam-Kokilapriya,Rupavathi


2nd padam-Rupavathi


GEMINI (MITHUNA RASI)-


Mrigasira - 3rd padam-Gayakapriya


4th padam-Gayakapriya,Vakula Bharanam


Ardra- 1st padam-Vakula Bharanam


2nd padam-Mayamalavagowla


3rd padam-Mayamalavagowla,Chakravakam


4th padam-Chakravakam


Punarvasu- 1st padam-Suryakantham


2nd padam-Suryakantham,Hatakambari


3rd padam-Hatakamabari


CANCER (KATAKA RASI)-


Punarvasu- 4th padam-Jhankaradhwani


Pushyami- 1st padam-Jhankaradhwani,Natabhairavi


2nd padam-Natabhairavi


3rd padam-Keeravani


4th padam-Keeravani,Kharaharapriya


Aslesha- 1st padam-Kharaharapriya


2nd padam-Gowrimanohari


3rd padam-Gowrimanohari,Varunapriya


4th padam-Varunapriya


LEO (SIMHA RASI)-


Makham- 1st padam-Mararanjani


2nd padam-Mararanjani,Charukesi


3rd padam-Charukesi


4th padam-Sarasangi


Poorva Phalguni- 1st padam-Sarasangi,Harikambodhi


2nd padam-Harikambodhi


3rd padam-Dheera Sankarabharanam


4th padam-Dheera Sankarabharanam,Naganandini


Uttara Phalguni- 1st padam-Naganandini


VIRGO (KANYA RASI)-


Uttara Phalguni- 2nd padam-Yagapriya


3rd padam-Yagapriya,Ragavardhini


4th padam-Ragavardhini


Hastha- 1st padam-Gangeyabhushani


2nd padam-Gangeybhushani,Vagadheeswari


3rd padam-Vagadheeswari


4th padam-Shoolini


Chittha- 1st padam-Shoolini,Chalanata


2nd padam-Chalanata


LIBRA (THULA RASI)-


Chittha- 3rd padam-Salagam


4th padam-Salagam, Jalarnavam


Swathi- 1st padam-Jalarnavam


2nd padam-Jhalavarali


3rd padam-Jhalavarali,Navaneetham


4th padam-Navaneetham


Visakha- 1st padam-Pavani


2nd padam-Pavani,Raghupriya


3rd padam-Raghupriya


SCORPIO (VRISCHIKA RASI)-


Visakha- 4th padam-Gavambodhi


Anuradha- 1st padam-Gavambodhi,Bhavapriya


2nd padam-Bhavapriya


3rd padam-Subhapantuvarali


4th padam-Subhapantuvarali,Shadvidamargini


Jyeshta- 1st padam-Shadvidamargini



2nd padam-Suvarnangi


3rd padam-Suvarnangi,Divyamani


4th padam-Divyamani


SAGITTARIUS (DHANUSH RASI)-


Moola- 1st padam-Dhavalambari


2nd padam-Dhavalambari,Namanarayani


3rd padam-Namanarayani


4th padam-Kamavardhini


Poorva Shadha- 1st padam-Kamavardhini,Ramapriya


2nd padam-Ramapriya


3rd padam-Gamanasrama


4th padam-Gamanasrama,Viswambari


Uttara Shadha- 1st padam-Viswambari


CAPRICORN (MAKARA RASI)-


2nd padam-Syamalangi


3rd padam-Syamalangi,Shanmukhapriya


4th padam-Shanmukhapriya


Sravanam- 1st padam-Simhendramadhyamam


2nd padam-Simhendramadhyamam,Hemavathi


3rd padam-Hemavathi


4th padam-Dharmavathi


Dhanishta- 1st padam-Dharmavathi,Neethimathi


2nd padam-Neethimathi


AQUARIUS (KUMBHA RASI)-


Dhanishta- 3rd padam-Kanthamani


4th padam-Kanthamani,Rishabhapriya


Satabhisha- 1st padam-Rishabhapriya


2nd padam-Lathangi


3rd padam-Lathangi,Vachaspathi


4th padam-Vachaspathi


Poorvabhadra- 1st padam-Mechakalyani


2nd padam-Mechakalyani,Chitrambari


3rd padam-Chitrambari


PISCES (MEENA RASI)-


Poorva Bhadra- 4th padam-Sucharitra


Uttara Bhadra- 1st padam-Sucharitra,Jyothi Swaroopini


2nd padam-Jyothi Swaroopin


3rd padam-Dhatuvardini


4th padam-Dhatuvardini,Nasikabhooshani


Revathi- 1st padam-Nasikabhooshani


2nd padam-Kosalam


3rd padam-Kosalam,Rasikapriya


4th padam-Rasikapriya


According to the tables given above,one should take up the practice of the raga corresponding to one's nakshatra or lagna(ascendant) placed in a particular constellation,or a specific constellation connected to one's dasa lord(by way of placement or ownership).Such a practice of the required raga according to the chart not only enhances,strengthens and energises that particular nakshatra,any dosha in case of the nakshatra's relationship to a malefic planet in the native's chart is also effectively nullified.The same may be applied to the principle of transit too!For the appeasement of sade sathi or seven and a half saturn, the researcher could render the corresponding raga of whichever nakshatra saturn is transiting or maybe placed in the natal chart,for the evil effects of saturn to be destroyed.



















Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Divine as the Embodiment of Sound!


The great south Indian mystic,Saint Thyagaraja has described God as the divine sound to be realised through nada yoga:-"In this great uproar (KOLAAHALAA) of the three worlds created by the play of the Lord whom Sri Thyagaraja adores (RAMABHAKTHI SAAMRAAJYA) is the Empire of those who attain enjoyment of it(sound),O Mind!"
Sri Thyagaraja calls Rama (The Divine) the Embodiment of Sacred Sound.Many centuries before the Vedas expressed the concept that the creation of the cosmos is founded upon sound.This is found also in other religions.In the beginning was the Divine Sound,the Word,
the Omkara,the Creative Voice,the Voice of God.
Sri Shirdi Sainath referred to the sound of the drum of the beginningless eternity within the soul,which is mentioned by the yogis as "anahat" and by the Sufis as "Sant-E-Sarmadi".This Anahat sound emerged from Baba's heart,from every limb,every bone and pore of His body.(courtesy:Shri Chandrabhanu Satpathy in Sai Arpana,July 1995.)
Even the saint composer-mystic,Sri Purandara Dasa has said-"First you will have a foretaste of Anahata sound and then you will be able to drink larger and larger amounts of it!"
FEUERSTEIN/DICTIONARY OF YOGA:-
NADA-SPHUTATVA:-Explosion of the inner inner sound in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika as one of the signs of perfection.
NADAYOGA:- It is a prominent teaching in the Upanishads of yoga.It is already reffered to indirectly in the Maitrayaniya Upanishad which speaks of those who listen to the sound(shabda).
NADABINDOPANISHAD:-One of the yoga Upanishads expounding nada-yoga.The inner sound,nada,is stated to be the vehicle that will transport the yogin beyond the ocean of phenomenal existence.It drowns all external noises and focuses the mind.The practice of Vaishnavi mudra is recommended.
VAISHNAVI MUDRA:-It is explained in the Shandilya Upanishad as "baahir-drishti" with "antar-lakshya"(internal attention,external gaze)while the eyelids do not shut or open.The Nada Bindopanishad stipulates that this technique should be practised for the manifestation of Nada(the unstruck sound).
SHAMBHAVI MUDRA:-Mind and breath should be absorbed in the antar lakshya with open eyes fixed without looking at anything.Otherwise,with baahir-lakshya such as gazing at a source of light.The ascent into the higher dimensions of sound bestows yoga-siddhi and gives to the yogi complete knowledge of the past,the present and the future.
Sri Janaki Mata of Tanjore(disciple of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharishi) started from Tanjore to Tiruvannamalai in the car with another devotee of Bhagavan.While the car was speeding through deserted roads the second devotee heard continuous sounds of temple bells.She looked puzzled as there were no temples or houses in the vicinity and enquired of Sri Janaki Matha as to the source of the sound.Sri Matha replied:"The sweet music ringing in your ears and the sound of bells do not come from any extraneous sources.They all emerge out of me." She was made to drink the sweet nectar of sahasraara dripping through the ambrosial orifice.
Practice of divine,carnatic music and compositions of saint composers in the brahma-muhurtham (between 4 a.m. to sunrise) is the best form of nada -yoga and such steadfast practice of VEENA,flute,mridangam or any instrument and vocal music will awaken the anahata nada within and as one attains sidhi,he or she will listen to extraordinary and celestial tones and prayogas of particular ragas that will become difficult to retain in the memory, for the purpose of repeating the same conciously!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Soundarya Lahari-66th sloka


"Vipanchya Gaayanthi vividhamapadhaanam Pashupatheh
Thvayaarabdhe vakthum chalithashirasaa saadhuvachane
Thadeeyairmaadhuryairapalipitha thanthri kalaravaam
Nijaam Veenaam Vaani nichulayathi cholena nibhrutham."
Literal Meaning:While Saraswathi,the Goddess of learning and fine arts,is singing with the Veena about the various glorious deeds of Lord Shiva,Thou (Amba) beginneth to express words of appreciation,nodding Thy head.The sweetness of Thy voice seems to cast ridicule on the soft melody of that musical instrument,and hence Saraswathi secretly puts the veena in its case.
Now,this is a famous sloka meant for artistes and veena players in particular.According to Maha Periyava's statement ,slokas of Soundarya Lahari are to be interpreted not only according to the prescribed benefits of each sloka(here the benefit is-Cure for minor ailments,gets skill in vocal and instrumental music),but also the literal meaning of the same.In this particular sloka,the very act of Saraswathi,putting the veena back into its case is worrisome!
The first two verses of the sloka goes on a very positiva note for veena aspirants,-"Vipanchya Gaayanthi vividamapadhaanam Pasupathe" Saraswathi sings the song containing the many different accounts of Parameshvara's sport,and plays the veena at the same time...
When musicians perform before an assembly of the rich or of powerful people,they sing according to their likes and dislikes(they sing or play an instrument in such a manner as to receive the maximum reward from those before whom they perform).Saraswathi too knows how to please the one before whom she sings and plays the veena.In the presence of Amba She sings the glory of Parameshwara so as to make Amba happy!
"Thvayaarabhe vakthum chalitha shirasaa saadhuvachane"-Amba who was shaking her head in appreciation of Saraswathi's recital thought that that was not enough and that she must speak one or two words,"saadhuvachanam"(words of appreciation).During music recitals,we express our appreciation of the performance by exclaiming,"Bhale!Bhesh!Sabash!"These are part of saadhu vachanam.In this way one or two similar words came from Amba's mouth.
From the third verse onwards,if one has to go by the literal meaning and the possibility of the same scenario materialising in one's life as a result of intense japam of the same,extreme caution is needed while analysing and applying the sloka for japa-purpose.
The third verse-"Thadeeyaih maadhuryaih apalipita-thanthri kalaravaam."-"Saraswathi,having observed that the melodious strains of the strings of the veena were disgraced by the sweetness of the words that Amba had just begun to speak......"
After serious analysis,one can arrive at the following consequence of the japam of the third verse.The veena player's voice develops the capacity to supercede his or her own skills on the veena(in the sloka,even though the voice belongs to Amba and the veena belongs to Saraswathi,by reciting the same,all the qualities and traits and even similar events or happenings mentioned in the sloka would result in the devotee and in the devotee's life who is reciting the sloka!The encouraging note of this verse is that the veena aspirant has tremendous scope for developing vocal abilties too!
But the last verse,-"Nijaam Veena Vaani nichulayathi cholena nibhrutham...."is extremely worrisome for veena aspirants.Its literal meaning,In the sweetness of Amba's speechthe sound of the veena was vanquished;so Saraswathi SLIPS THE INSTRUMENT INTO ITS CASE! Ordinary musicians would not concede that any other of their ilk is better than they.But Saraswathi is different.She whole-heartedly accepted the fact that the strains of her veena were poor compared to Amba's beautiful voice.She did not continue to sing or play the veena even though she had received Amba's compliments.She stopped playing and put the instrument back in its case.
The result of Japam of the same could result(after careful analysis) in the veena aspirant's vocal skills superceding his or her own veena skills,but to put the instrument back into its case???!!!
Which veena aspirant would like to put the veena back into its case and conceal it??!!
That is why,the first two verses are safe for veena aspirants.But if they want to recite all the four lines despite the third and fourth verse ;it is ideal to follow it up with the 69th sloka-
"Gale Rekhaasthishro gathi-gamaka geethaika nipune
Vivaaha-vyaanaddha pragunaguna sankhyaa prathibhuvaha
Viraajanthe naanaavidha madhura raaga karabhuvaam
Thrayaanaam graamaanaam sthithi niyama seemaana iva the."
Literal Meaning-"O Mistress of the musical modes,modulations and songs!The three lines on Thy neck indicating the number of strings in the auspicious cord fastened at the time of Thy wedding,shine like boundaries demarcating the three musical scales_or graamaas consisting of sadja,madhyama,and gandhaara)which form the source of the various melodies of musical notes."Benefits :Success in all endeavours,in case of women longevity of husbands and proficiency in music.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Soundarya Lahari!





Maha Periyava's lectures on Soundarya Lahari,of Sankara Bhagavatpaada,is a real eye opener and shows us the way to the garden of treasure and miracles!That the Goddess resides in every sloka and how She works through the sheer sound vibration of every sloka,is a revelation by itself.
The seventh sloka,
KavanatKaanchi-daama kari-kalabha-kumbha-stana-nataa
Parikshinaa madhye parinatha-sharathchandra-vadanaa
Dhanur-Baanaan-paasham-shrunimapi dadhaanaa karathalaih:
Purasthaadasthaam nah puramathithuraahopurushikaa!

(Meaning:May the divine Mother with Her slender waist girdled with jingling mini-bells,body slightly bent in the middle by the weight of Her breasts resembling the frontal globes of the fore head of a young elephant,Her face blooming like the autumnal moon and Her four hands holding bow,arrow,noose and goad and who is the pride of Shiva,manifest Her presence before us!)
In Maha Periyava's lectures,(Soundarya Lahari,Chapter 55"Curing Illness"),He states that the meaning of certain words (in mantra or a poem)is one thing but the result produced by their sound is quite another,with no connection with it(with the meaning).Sugar is powdered to make a number of objects like little boxes,dolls.Periyava says we can make we can make even things looking like chillies with it.But these chillies are sweet because the substance out of which they are made is sweet.The substance called sound,or the potency of a mantra,is one thing and the "doll made of the verse" is another.
The benefit of reciting the 7th sloka is to fascinate royal personages and overcome enemies, simultaneously,one can experience how the sound generated by portions of the sloka yield results according to the sound of the sloka,for e.g., "puramathithuRAAHO purushika" of the last line of the 7th sloka, is meant to destroy the evil effects of Rahu,or an afflicted Rahu in one's natal horoscope.The recitation of this sloka is not only prescribed for Rahu afflicted natives,but will ultimately lead one to Goddess Kamakshi of Kanchipuram, (the first verse,"kvanathKAANCHIdhama) to taste the Supreme bliss and nectar of Her Saannidhyam.There is a hint here that the subject of the hymn is Lalithaamba because of the word "Kanchi"used in it.The deity mentioned in the Srividya- tantra,the deity with all the attributes and weapons of Lalithaa Tripura Sundari,can only be the Kamakshi of Kanchipuram.That is why the saying:even if you mention the name of the place you must not mention the name of the person.In this hymn,though Amba's name is not mentioned,itseems the Acharya has perhaps suggested the name by mentioning,or hinting at Her place through the term "Kanchidhaama".
Kamakshi, Goddess of tantra and said to be the domineering and powerful counterpart of Her spouse,Lord Ekambresa, is "Purushika"(concluding verse of the 7th sloka.) It is amazing how every meaning ,every sound vibration and every benefit yielded by the slokas show instant results and how one should tread carefully before choosing the sloka for "japam".Soundarya Lahari recited as a whole on a daily basis is different from choosing any particular sloka for "japa" purpose.Before choosing,one should always keep in mind that Soundarya Lahari is a live wire!
Maha Periyava's assurance that the 100 slokas are a treasure trove,into which the devotee can dive deep any number of times and come out with dazzling discoveries.Maha Periyava further asserts that it is the devotee's IQ and God-guided instinct that will lead him to exotic treasures of Soundary Lahari,in other words,the freedom and facility to interpret and implement Soundarya Lahari is given to every devotee!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Nada Yoga


Sri Saraswathi Mata,the Vak Devi:Goddess of speech and music,playing the veena(SARAS:river,flow,mother of all words and sounds).
VAK=The Voice Of God.VAK=VOX(Latin)=VOCE(Italian)=VOIX(French)=VOICE(English).
The Saraswathi-Rahasya Upanishad refers to the three phases of speech:para-pashyanthi-madhyama,which are beyond the superficial level of Vaikhari,the only one known by mortals.Sadhana is aspiration to know the secrets of speech beyond Vaikhari by purification of mind.When the faculties of the aspirant are sharpened by the sadhana;words uttered by him will be poetry to the world.He will be able to wield the power of words.
The unmanifested,unstruck divine melody or shabda is referred to as Kalma or Kalam in the Holy Quaran,in the Holy Bible as the Word or Logos.It is the sonorous light.The Sarosh of the Zoroastrians.The Akashvani or Devavani 0f the Hindus(Voice or music of the sky,Celestial Voice,Music of the Gods).The Divya-Dhwani of the Jains.It is also known by the saints as Vani(voice),Anahata-nada(unstruck sound or melody),Nada and Shabda(word and sound).
Muslim mystics called it Nida-i-asmani(call of the Firmament),Nida-i-Sultani(call of the Emperor),Bang-i-asmani(sound of the skies),Kalam-i-Elahi(word of God),Ism-e-Azam(The greatest divine name).Kabir and some saints have described Shabda or Naam as the invisible string along which the soul can climb back to the Lord.
Nayanmars(Saiva-Bhakthi-Tamil):
According to Sundarar,Lord Siva is the embodiment of the Sapthaswaras,the seven notes.Appar said that spiritual freedom belongs to those who glorify Him as the being who vibrates through out the Universe and in every soul.Mannickavasagar exhorted Siva's devotees to "Behold Him Who is inherent in all creatures.like sweet music in the veena!"
THE TAOISTS:Taoists were well aware of the fundamentalvibration of life,
Lu Yen says in his celebrated "Hundred -Character tablet,"You sit and listen to the stringless tune,you clearly understand the mechanism of creation!"Comments the great Chang San-Feng:"You hear the sound of the music of the immortals,and there are also the tones of bells and drums and the mind becomes open and clear.You see for myriad miles."
In Taoist meditation the sound of the thunder in the head(Thunder in the sky)is a sign of energy reaching the Upper Elixir Field.For the Taoists and the Indian Yogis alike,Thunder announces the coming of rain:
"Everywhere the sound of Thunder
Clouds assemble on the summit
Sweet dew bathes the polar mountain."(Lu Yen)
THE WORLD OF SHAMAN:The Sound Of Celestial Beauty(from:Dreamtime&Inner Space)
"We have seen that the apprentice,in the case of many Shamanic initiations spontaneously breaks into a song after his transpersonal experience.According to the findings of modern research,people who had near-death experiences heard what they described as music of the spheres,sounds of indescribable beauty that pervaded the whole atmosphere.In fact the atmosphere itself appeared to be pure sound.The experience of the environment as a vibration of sound,like other synaesthetic experiences,is a well known phenomenon of altered states of conciousness.
KUNDALINI STAVAHA of the RUDRAMALA TANTRA:
"Vani-Koti-mrudanga nada madana
Nishreni Koti dhwani praaneshi rasa-raashi mula kamalollaasaika poornaanana
Aashaadhodbhava megha-raji-janithadhavaantanana sthaayini maata sa paripaatu sookshma pathagaa maam yoginaam Shankari."
To hail Her(Kundalini) arise innumerable sounds(Koti-Nada)
Koti-Vani=innumerable voices
The sound of drums and other instruments
Emanating(nishreni)millions of resonances(Koti-dhwani)
Intoxicating in nature(madana)
Ruler of the Prana(praneshi)
Ocean of Rasa(elixir),rasarashi
Her face like a blooming lotus
Full of splendour(ullasa)
Her face is dark like the darkness of a multitude of clouds in the month of Ashadha.
She is the support of all.
Let that Mother (Kundalini)who travels the subtle path(sushumna)
Protect me from all sides!
When Maha Shakthi is pleased with a yogi,she gives rise in him divine sounds of kettledrum,mrudangam,veena,bells and so on,and makes him experience supreme bliss.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Nada yoga


Hazrat Inayat Khan,Saraswathi Veena Yogi says-"The music of Universe is the background of the small picture that we call music.Our sense of music,our attraction to music,shows that there is music in the depth of our being.Music is behind the working of the whole Universe.Music is not only life's greatest object:it is Life itself.Hafiz,the great and wonderful Sufi poet of Persia says:Many say that life has entered the human body by the help of music,but the truth is that Life itself is music. "
NADABINDU UPANISHAD-There is no mantra greater than nada,which mixes with the breath and stabilises it.
BHAGAVAN RAMANA-Just as a child is lulled to sleep by lullabies,so nada soothes one to the state of samadhi.
The sound of the abstract is called "anahat" in Vedas,meaning the unstruck sound.Sufis call it Saut-E-Sarmad.
LAHIRI MAHASAYA wrote to a disciple-When a seeker is established in samadhi,his practice becomes natural and spontaneous.Effort is shed,and without even practising the meditation,he enjoys its benefits.LISTENING TO THE INNER SOUND ,the seeker actually sees Gods,seers,and sages of the past in the spiritual eye.(from:Life surrendered in God by Roy Eugene Davis).
PYTHAGAROS,Greece,5th century b.c.-There is geometry in the humming of the strings.There is music in the spacing of the spheres.
Effects of Nada according to Hamsa Upanishad-1.Tremor2.Production of nectar3.Enjoyment of nectar4.Acquisition of secret knowledge5.Higher speech6.Vision of distant things7.Invisibility8.Identification with the Absolute.Hamsa Upanishad, furthermore,compares the nada to a snake charmer since it captivates the fickle mind.
ZOROASTRIANISM-In Zoroastrian religion,heaven has been described as a bright,joyful place where everything is imperishable and perfect.In some Pahlavi texts,the Zoroastrian concept of heaven is described in four stages:1. The place of good thoughts2.The place of good words3.The
place of good deeds4.The fourth and the final stage was called Garothman,The House of Light and Song which was considered the Abode of Ahura Mazda.