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Siva, Tripurantaka – the slayer of 3 cities of Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas

The demon Taraka was killed by Kartikeya, the son of Lord Siva. His 3 sons Tarakaksha, Vidyunmali and Kamalaksha were furious and wanted to take revenge. They worshiped Brahma and asked for a boon of immortality. Brahma said he cannot grant that. They came up with a clever idea. They asked from Brahma for 3 cities which will float in the heavens, the skies and the earth plane respectively. These cities can only be destroyed when all 3 are aligned in straight line and can be destroyed only by a single arrow and that too shot by none other than lord Siva himself. Brahma granted them their wish. So gaining virtual immortality, the 3 demon brothers started creating havoc. Gods pleaded to Siva and Siva agreed to help. Vishwakarma, the celestial architect designed the heavenly chariot. Sun became the right wheel and Moon the left wheel, Vishnu entered the arrow of Siva and Brahma was the charioteer. Siva went on the chariot and at the exact time when 3 cities were aligned when Pushya Nakshatra was rising on the horizon and at the Muhurata of Abhijit, Siva shot the arrow and destroyed the 3 cities.

From that point on, Siva received the name Tripurantaka, the slayer of the 3 cities.

Siva is the divine archer. He is the spirit. Three cities represent the three gunas – sattva, rajas and tamas. All three gunas have to come to a state of equilibrium (in a straight line) before the divine archer (Siva) can shoot the arrow of wisdom (Vishnu) and kill (harmonize) all three cities (gunas) and thus give redemption to the jivatma or embodied soul. The time has to be ripe for such liberation, so the arrow has to be shot at the right moment / Muhurata.

(Image: exoticindiaart.com)

Tripurantaka - Exotic India

Who is Siva?

Siva is not just the destroyer. He is Brāhman, He is Purusha, He is Sadāsiva, He is pure consciousness. He drank halāhal (the poison coming out of the churning of the Ocean) to save humanity. Will a destroyer do that? He brought holy river Gangā on earth by carrying her weight in his matted hair. Will a destroyer help nourish the earth?

He is not just the destroyer. He is all five: the Creator, the Preserver, the Destroyer, the Māyā (illusion) and the Grace. The word Siva means the auspicious one. He embraces everyone. He is Pashupati, the lord of all creatures. For Siva, there is no good or bad, there is no right or wrong. He is the friend of demons and ghosts. He wears snakes around his neck and carries a skull as his begging bowl. He smears ashes of the dead on his body and dwells in cremation grounds and icy caves of the mountains. Kubera (the king of yakshas), Ravana (the king of demons) and Shukra (the guru of asuras) are among his greatest devotees. There is nothing inauspicious when we are talking about Siva. And there is nothing else other than Siva. Om Namaha Sivāya.

shiva2

Before You Get a Reading

If you go for a reading to an astrologer, they will talk in terms of Houses and Signs. For most people who have had minimal exposure to astrology, it is not easy to comprehend what the astrologer is talking about. What is a House and what is a Sign and how to look at your chart? Full zodiac is 360 degrees. In Vedic astrology, there are 9 Planets, 12 Houses and 12 Signs. In Equal House system, each house spans 30 degrees along the ecliptic. The picture below shows the North Indian style of representing a horoscope. First House is on the top in the middle and you go counter-clockwise to 2nd house, 3rd house and so on all the way to the 12th house. Houses are imaginary, Signs are real. 12 imaginary Houses overlay on top of the 12 Signs of the zodiac in the background. The Sign of the First House is known as the Ascendant or the Rising sign – it is the Sign or constellation that was rising on the eastern horizon when you were born. The position of Houses remains fixed in every chart i.e. the 1st House will always be on top in the middle, 2nd house next and so on.  But the Sign that each of these houses falls in may change from one person to another depending on their time and place of birth. Houses represent different areas of our life. For example 1st House is the house of our self, our physical body and intellect. Whereas Signs are the environment and tools that are available for the 9 Planets to deliver karma.

CHART

Vishākhā, Ashleshā and Bharani

Saturn and Mars are currently transiting in Anurādhā Nakshatra (lunar mansion). If we look at Sarvatobhadra Chakra (picture below), any planets placed in Anurādhā cast a vedhā (obstruction) on the following 3 Nakshatras: Vishākhā, Ashleshā and Bharani. So if you have important planets (such as Moon, Sun or Lagna) in any of these 3 Nakshatrās, you may be feeling intense pressure. This should ease by mid September. Mars moves out of Anurādhā on August 25 (in the evening pacific time) and Saturn moves out of Anurādhā on Sep 17 (morning pacific time). Until then, Hanumān is the savior.

Anuradha

Jai Bajrang Bali,
Amit

Mars the King

For the next 7 days, Mars is the king. Mars is final dispositor (ruler) of all the planets in the skies for the next 7 days. What this means is that all the other 8 planets are in the signs which are ultimately ruled by Mars. For example: Jupiter is in Leo which is ruled by Sun — Sun is in Aries which is ruled by Mars — And Mars itself is in its own sign Scorpio. Let us take another example: Ketu is in Aquarius which is ruled by Saturn — Saturn is in Scorpio which is ruled by Mars — And Mars again is in its own sign Scorpio.

So if we honor Mars at this time, we will in turn be honoring all the 9 planets. Here are a few things you can do to bring positive energies of Mars:

  • Chant Hanuman Chalisa.
  • Simple mantra for Mars: Om Mangalaaya Namaha. ॐ मङ्गलाय नमः
  • Beej mantra for Mars: Om kraam krim kraum sah bhaumaaya namah. ॐ क्रां क्रीं क्रौं सः भौमाय नमः
  • Do Hatha yoga because Mars is a physical planet.
  • Volunteer physical labor.
  • Mars is in Anuradha Nakshatra right now which is connected with Radha, the consort of Krishna and embodiment of love. Bhakti and devotion as exemplified by Radha is the best remedy.

Jai Radha Madhava https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOeYOMMmWSc

Happy Raksha Bandhan

Moon nourishes and heals. 4th house in the chart signifies healing. Moon is the karaka (significator or “controller”) of the 4th house and hence one of the most important factors in evaluating recuperability from diseases. I took the following picture just now with my telescope. Beautiful Full Moon of the Vedic lunar month of Sravana which also happens to be the festival of Rakhi (or Raksha Bandhan) in which sisters tie a sacred thread on the wrist of their brothers and wish for their well being and brothers in turn vow to protect them.

This Full Moon is taking place in the nakshatra of Shatabhisha, which literally means a hundred physicians. Shatabhisha encourages us to embrace alternative or natural healing modalities. And this Full Moon is taking place in Aquarius. It is Aquarius where Siva drank the poison (“halaahal”) to save the creation. It is Aquarius where we reach out to the masses. It is Aquarius where we behave a little eccentric and are able to pull brilliant ideas out of thin air.

Happy Raksha Bandhan!!

Rakhi Full MoonRaksha Bandhan

Ancestral worship – Aug 13

Amāvasyā, the New Moon is considered most auspicious for worshiping ancestors. It is said that our ancestors visit the Earth plane on the night of Amāvasyā. “Feeding” our ancestors on this night makes sure that their needs are taken care of so they can focus on showering their blessings on us.

WHEN
Starts at 6:23 AM Pacific Time Aug 13, Thursday morning
Ends at 7:53 AM Pacific Time Aug 14, Friday morning

There are many ceremonies and offerings one can make to ancestors. Some of them include offering a Janeu (sacred thread) to a pipal tree and worship the pipal tree, chanting mantras while going around it 108 times. But in this day and age it is hard to find a pipal tree, let alone do all the rituals associated with it.

Easiest remedy is chanting the following 2 mantras while keeping our ancestors in mind on this day. Pictures of our ancestors should only be hung or displayed on the South wall of the house. It is good to light an incense in front of their picture.

Pitri (ancestral) mantra for Krishna: worshiping ancestors through Krishna.

ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय नमः
Om Namo Bhagvate Vāsudevāya Namaha

This mantra is for Krishna. Krishna is considered the supreme among ancestors. In Bhagwat Gita Chapter 10, verse 29 Sri Krishna explains:

अनन्तश्चास्मि नागानां वरुणो यादसामहं
पितृणामर्यमा चास्मि यमः संयमतामहम्।।29।।

Of all the many headed non-poisonous Nāgās (deified serpents) I am the divine serpent Ananta. Of all aquatics, I am Varuna, the lord of all beings who live in water. Among the deified ancestors I am Aryamā. Of all administrators of justice, I am Yamarāj, the judge of all beings at the time of death.

Simple Pitri (ancestral) Mantra: In this mantra we are directly invoking them and offering our respects.

ॐ पितृभ्यः नमः
Om Pitribhyaha Namaha

ghee-lamp