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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.

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


Guru meri Pooja (Guru is my worship)

“Guru is my worship, Guru is my Lord. Guru is the Ultimate Reality, the beloved God” ~ Gurumaa

Guru Poornima, the Full Moon that belongs to Gurus is on July 30 in the US and July 31 in India. Poornima (Full Moon) starts at 6:32 AM Pacific time on July 30 (Thursday) and ends at 3:42 AM on early morning of July 31.

Guru is someone who takes us from darkness to light. Without the grace of Guru it is very hard to find God. This Guru need not be a physical person. But the journey of life becomes so much easier when we do find a Guru in flesh and blood. It is through extreme good karma in the past lives that we find a physical Guru. And even more good karma to be able to sit at the feet of Guru in our lifetime.

Ramana Maharshi says that it is by God’s Grace that you think of God. That is true. But I think it is also by God’s Grace that we find a Guru. And in fact it is with the Grace of Guru that we find God. So Guru is even more important than God. Without Guru, our life is like a journey without a road map. If we have Grace of Guru though, our life is on auto pilot.

I bow down to all the Gurus I have had in my life. The only person who does more for us than our Guru is our own mother. Besides a mother, it is only the Guru who gives selflessly, tirelessly and endlessly!

Om Guruh Brahma Guruh Vishnu Guruh Devo Maheshwarah Guruh Sakshat Para Brahma Tasmai Shri Gurave Namaha!

This is one of my favorite bhajans on Guru, sung by Gurumaa herself.

Jai Gurudev


Why 108?

Why is 108 considered a sacred number? Why does a Mala have 108 beads?

There are many references to this number in Buddhism, in the “Golden Rule” of the Greeks, in Numerology, and 108 gopis of Vrindavan.

In Jyotish (Vedic astrology), there are many indications as well. Most common and well know among them are: 1) There are 9 planets and there are 12 signs. 9 times 12 gives 108. 2) There are 27 Nakshatras (lunar constellations) and each is divided into 4 padas or divisions. Again, 27 times 4 gives 108.

But to a skeptic mind, these Astronomical “coincidences” may come as a surprise: 1) Distance between the Earth and the Moon is approx 108 times the size of the Moon. 2) Distance between the Earth and the Sun is approx 108 times the size of the Sun. 3) Size of the Sun is approx 108 times the size of the Earth.

Nothing is random in this Universe…or in ancient wisdom.

Sun Earth and Moon

Romance, Wisdom, Silence in the skies tonight

MARS (the raw Masculine energy) is kissing VENUS (the gentle Feminine shakti) in the romantic sign of Pisces (both at 7 degrees).

MOON (the Mind) is having deep esoteric conversations with KETU (the recluse hermit, planet of Moksha), both sitting in Revati Nakshatra in the philosophical sign of Pisces.

JUPITER (the Guru) is going over some of the Shastras again that it had already mastered just to make sure it did not miss any important teachings – retro (checking things again) and exalted in Cancer (its sign of its exaltation).

MERCURY (the master of communication) is busy listening to the sounds of silence of the Universe in Sravana Nakshatra (the constellation connected with listening).

Skies Feb 21, 2015

Glory of Hanuman

Hanuman and Ganesha are perhaps the two Gods / deities who are more powerful and cherished and loved more than any other in Hindu mythology. In this post we will look at the importance of Hanuman.

Hanuman is worshiped on Tuesdays (for Mars) in North India and Saturdays (for Saturn) in South India. Worship of Hanuman gives us protection from and blessings of the following:

  1. MARS: Hanuman is worshiped to pacify Mars. This is because Hanuman is extremely strong, courageous, fearless and powerful. He is the son of Vayu (wind). Hanuman turns negative qualities of Mars (aggression, anger etc) into positive qualities (courage and control).
  2. SHANI: Hanuman received a boon from Shani that whoever worships Hanuman will not be harmed by Shani. There are several stories related to this. In one story, Shani jumped on Hanuman’s shoulders in order to bestow the results of Sadhe Sati. Hanuman grew so big in size that Shani was about to be crushed between Hanuman’s shoulders and ceiling. Shani begged for mercy and asked Hanuman to let him go. In return, he gave this boon to Hanuman that he will never harm the devotees of Hanuman.
  3. RAHU: Hanuman is the son of wind God (pawan putra) and so Hanuman puja is also recommended for afflictions related to Rahu because Rahu is excess Vayu (wind).
  4. VISHNU: Hanuman is the closest disciple of Lord Rama, the 7th incarnation of Vishnu. Hanuman worship is also a worship to lord Vishnu, our Mind. Being the son of wind (Vayu), he has immense strength and power, he can literally move mountains. When Lord Rama’s younger brother Lakshman fell sick in the battlefield, the Vaidya (physician) told that the only herb that could save his life was Sanjeevani booti. But Sanjeevani could only be found in the Himalayas. Hanuman flew to the mountains but was unable to identify the herb. So he lifted the entire mountain and brought it back to the Vaidya.
  5. SIVA: Hanuman is said to be an incarnation of Lord Siva. When Vishnu incarnated as lord Rama (his 7th incarnation), Siva incarnated as Hanuman in order to protect and help lord Rama in his mission.
  6. SUN: Hanuman’s teacher was Surya (Sun God). No one wanted to teach Hanuman because he would not sit still in one place. But Surya (Sun) said he is willing to teach him provided he keeps moving along with him and is still able to understand the teachings. Hanuman gives immense power of concentration.

Om Hanumate Namaha!


Uncertainty: The Mother of Equanimity

We feel a sense of accomplishment when we make plans for our future which we think are going to give us happiness. And we find huge relief once life starts unfolding according to those plans. We humans like to be in control. We like to guide our destiny. We like to plan for our future. We are the only species who does that. Most other living beings live for the present. We feel more comfortable when we know we have taken care of things for the future. When any element of uncertainty crops up – say a person is waiting for a court hearing, a student is waiting for results of the exam – we feel uncomfortable. Uncertainty usually means some form of discomfort or anxiety. We are not at ease until we know we have taken care of things both near-term as well as long-term.

When we start to accept uncertainty in life, it actually frees us up in a way. Instead of making us anxious, embracing uncertainty teaches us how to remain equanimous in any situation. We are not attached to one particular (desired) outcome.

The biggest uncertainty we all have to face is the life after death. We do not know what is going to happen to us after we die. We do have some control over it through our actions in this and previous lifetimes but still it is a big unknown. Even though we may have made perfect plans throughout our entire life but we lose all control after death. We are face-to-face with the unknown. Accepting uncertainty in everyday life is a great way of training our mind for life after death.


Sowing seeds and Bette Midler

Exact New Moon will take place on Tuesday, Jan 20 at 5:14 AM pacific time. It is taking place in the Nakshatra (constellation) of Uttara Ashadha. Uttara Ashadha literally means final victory or later victory. New Moon is a new birth. It is good for sowing seeds. And this New Moon in Uttara Ashadha will ensure that those seeds ultimately do fructify.

Sowing seeds in the middle of winter is not what farmers do. But in the quiet cold night of the winter is when we have deepest connection with the Source and communicating with our soul becomes easy.

“Just remember in the winter, far beneath the cold snows, lies the seed that with Sun’s love in the spring becomes the rose.” ~ Bette Midler

Winter Night

Are we Alone?

When I look at Moon, I am looking at many many generations of my ancestors. And they are looking back at me. We are communicating. We are one. We have been one. Always. No we are not alone in this Universe.

When I look at Sun, I am looking at Suryavanshi (one belonging to the Solar dynasty) lord Ram. I am looking at many of my ancestors. I am touching their feet with my eyes and they are gazing at me, washing away all my impurities and worries. Nothing else matters in that moment. And there is only that moment. No we are not alone in this Universe.



Purush, Gayatri and Gunas

Gayatri is the Adi Shakti, the life force, the eternal creative energy from which the entire Universe came into being. I created this short illustration (picture below) to shed some light on the deep esoteric significance of Ma Gayatri.

Science of GAYATRI

In one form, Gayatri is depicted with 5 heads, 4 of them representing the 4 Vedas and the fifth head represents the Brahm Purush Himself. She has 10 hands, holding all the 10 symbols of Lord Vishnu. From Gayatri sprung all the Goddesses: Saraswati, Lakshmi, Kali etc. From Gayatri originated the 3 Gunas: Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas. Sattva is represented by Saraswati, Rajas by Lakshmi and Tamas by Kali. Rajas comes into being when Sattva and Tamas unite or come together.

More on the significance and meaning of the 24 letters of Gayatri mantra in the next post.

Om Bhur Bhuvaha Swaha Om

Ayurveda, Gayatri and Sanskrit

Madhava Nidan is considered one of the finest texts of Ayurveda. It was written by sage Madhavacharya. Read below how Madhavacharya worshiped Gayatri and attained wisdom to write Madhava Nidan. If you want to learn correct pronunciation, meaning and signification of Gayatri Mantra, I encourage you to join mini-course I will be teaching on Reading and Pronouncing Mantras. We will focus on Gayatri, Mahamrityunjaya and 9-planet mantras. See flyer below. More details here:

Madhavacharya’s Gayatri Worship:

Madhavacharya was a saint living in Vrandavan. He performed the worship of Gayatri for twelve years but lost patience thereafter, as he did not get the desired divine benefits. He was quite distressed at that time. He left the sadhana of the Gayatri Mantra and began worshiping Bhairav on the advice of a tantrika. In less than a year’s time he succeeded in the sadhana of Bhairav. The celestial body of Bhairav appeared but stood behind him and asked him to demand what he wanted to be blessed with. Madhavacharya said; “If you are the real Bhairav, please appear before my eyes”. Bhairav said : “I can’t appear in front of you, because the brilliance of Gayatri- Shakti infused in you will burn me”. The devotee was surprised and inquired that if Gayatri sadhana was so powerful, why couldn’t he get the desired benefits for such a long time? Then Bhairav explained to him how his Gayatri sadhana up till then had destroyed his sins and burnt out the evils accumulated during his past lives and that it was only after this purification that he would have deserved realization and attainment of the divine boons of the mantra. Now there was no doubt left in Madhava’s mind. He restarted the sadhana of the Gayatri Mantra and was soon blessed with divine boons. With the awakening of inner intelligence and acumen, he wrote the “Madhav Nidan”, which remains till date, a crucial treatise for the education and expert practice of the Ayurvedic System of Medicine” – From Gayatri Mahavigyan by Pandit Sri Ram Sharma Acharya.


Sanskrit Course 2