Matrishakti Shraddhanjali Nav-srijan Mahapurushcharan (a nine-year worldwide spiritual undertaking to pay homage to Vandaniya Mata Ji Bhagwati Devi Sharma)
This year, a unique spiritual endeavour has been communicated by the subtle spiritual world to be put into action by our vast Gayatri Pariwar. Everyone knows that from 1946 to 1994, Param Vandaniya (Extremely Revered) Shaktiswarupa Snehsalila (the fountainhead of power and pure love) Mata Bhagwati Devi Ji joined hands with her revered divine being Pujya Gurudev Shriram Sharma Acharya to accomplish extraordinary feats as the patron of Gayatri Pariwar. In 1994, she withdrew from her physical existence to merge into Pujya Gurudev’s causal existence. The centenary of Vandaniya Mata Ji born in 1926 is fast approaching. The 4th day of the dark half of Ashwin month which falls in September 2026 will mark the 100th year of her birth. In her memory, we, her children, have undertaken to carry on a gigantic spiritual endeavour for nine years and commemorate its completion in 2026. This collective endeavour that would bring about a worthy change in the era will start from the Gurupurnima of 9 July 2017 and end on 29 July of 2026. Millions of people will take part in it.
Everyone may be aware that the year 2026 will witness three historical coincidences. 1. Vandaniya Mata Bhagwati Devi Ji’s Birth Centenary; 2. The Centenary of lighting up Akhand Dipak (which was lit up by Pujya Gurudev on Vasant Panchami of 20 January 1926) and; 3. The Centenary of Shri Aurobindo’s Bhagwat Siddhi Diwas (24 November 1926) and the year when he proclaimed he would continue uninterrupted spiritual endeavour until 1950. By the time this colossal spiritual endeavour is concluded, the number of existing 120 million devotees of Gayatri Pariwar participating in it will double up by new devotees joining in and will thus make the arrival of a new era achievable and clearly visible.
All the participants will take part in three types of spiritual routine the way they can which are Upasana (daily worship), Sadhana (constant efforts towards self-development) and Aradhana (serving humanity). It will have three phases of three years each. The first phase is being announced through this editorial. This is just the preliminary announcement of the first three-year programmes. They will be further reformed at the end of three years for further announcement for the period of 2020 to 2026. With the help of youth power, women power and Pragya parijans in general, we will be able to join up entire India in this programme. Youth power refers to the youths who have been constantly joining during ongoing Youth Revolution Movement (2016 to 2018). There are so many newcomers who are raring to do something and be part of this grand campaign of change. The women empowerment movement too has enlisted many new members who were so far only restricted to looking after kitchen and household duties. They are joining up through the programmes run by women groups (Mahila Mandals), Bal sanskarshala (value based learning for children) and swadhyaya (joint study of Pujya Gurudev’s literature). They also include a big section of intellectual women who have attained higher education in last ten years and playing a leading role behind the scenes. Among Pragya Parijans are those who have been associated with the Mission for many years having been initiated in Gayatri mantra as well as those who have been influenced by Mission’s programmes. Different programmes tailored to each of these three categories have been devised for next three years.
There will be three types of spiritual endeavours in the first phase of this plan (from Guru-purnima of 9 July 2017 to Guru-purnima 5 July 2020)
1. Upasana: Everyone will practise an Atmabodh sadhana (self-realisation routine) everyday on waking up in the morning. You should wake up before the sunrise and will contemplate that each day is beginning of a new one-day life. For about 5-10 minutes, you have to think that you have to do something new in today’s one-day life. Note it down in your spiritual diary. Before going to bed at night, you will practise Tatvabodha sadhana (awareness about the elemental truth) that it is the end of one-day life. For about ten minutes, ask yourself about the tasks you were supposed to do today but couldn’t do and may have to be postponed to or can be done the next day. Note it down in your diary. Meditate on your preferred deity, feel at ease and go to sleep.
In addition, you should chant 5 malas of Gayatri Mantra (would take about half an hour) or write Gayatri mantra 50 times or say Gayatri Chailsa 5 times after having a shower. You should do at least one of these or if possible, all of them at any time from the morning to the evening. In adtion, you should practise either Pran-sanchar sadhana meditation (15 minutes) or Panchakosha jagran meditation or the meditation on three bodies. The directions of these meditation in Pujya Gurudev’s voice will be provided from here. The day should be concluded with Tatvabodha sadhaha—each night representing a death or the end of one-day life. This routine will followed continuously for next three years. This will enable every single devotee to chant 1,82,500 mantras per year (5,47,500 mantras in three years). The aggregate of all the devotees will be colossal.
2. Sadhana: This will involve s regular Swadhyaya or thorough study of good books to equip ourselves with positive thoughts all the time. It will start in India and across the world and can be done in groups of 10 or more. The following books authored by Pujya Gurudev have been chosen for swadhyaya in groups:
1. Who am I? (1940); 2. Twenty-five Krantidharmi booklets (1985 to 1990); 3. Prana Shakti eka divya vibhuti. Vangamaya 17; 4. Jivan Devta ki sadhana aradhana. Vangamaya 2; 5. Upasana Samarpan Yoga. Vangamaya 3; 6. Manav me devatva ka uday. Vangamaya 54 and; 7. Yug Parivartan kaise aur kab? Vangamaya 27.
At personal level, we should regularly read: Yug Nirman Satsankalpa; Apne Anga avayavo se; Gayatri ka Suryopsthan; Achetan, Chetan, Super-chetan man. Vangamaya 22; Chamatkari Visheshtao se bhara Manviya mastishka Vangamaya 18. In addition, one should observe fasting once a week, Contempation for self-analysis and self-refinement, undertaking small vows (Anuvrata); regularly practise four self-controls (of sense organs, thought, time, money).
3. Aradhana: The following projects involving raising awareness, constructive activities and challenging unworthy things have been decided for youths, women and Pragya parijans in general:
1. Youths will visit universities, colleges and other educational institutions to hold discussions on various topics from Param Pujya Gurudev’s literature and have discussions. They will choose topic from Pujya Gurudev’s literature and hold sessions involving discussions and debates. The plans of actions will be decided.
2. Holding sessions of extensive dialogues and discussions on Scientific Spirituality. This could include workshops on various topics from Pujya Gurudev’s work on integrating science and spirituality. We should enlist the help of teachers and professors of various subjects to conduct the sessions. This will provide scientific basis to various spiritual beliefs and also help in making various scientific inventions to conform spiritual principles. Building bridges between these two will allow to change the atmosphere (of conflict which is perceptible now). This will be further elaborated in the forthcoming issues.
3. Making all out efforts at developing youth groups at local and regional levels. The initiatives of Youth Revolution Year from 2016 to 2018 will be expanded further. We should strive to join up youth from every section of society.
4. Coaching classes for University students to run tuition classes.
5. A massive campaign to train youths to promote Yoga so as spread it to every household. DSVV graduates will help in this campaign. This will happen throughout the country. Sessions on Yoga Science, Yoga Therapy and Yoga training will be organised.
6. Our aim should be to expanding the growth of youth groups (inn villages, towns and cities) by at least 5 times. Weekly meetings should be regularly organised. All youth groups must be officially registered. They should keep away from mainstream politics and rather contribute their efforts to building of the nation.
7. Make a list of constructive programmes. Send a report every three months.
1. Pujya Gurudev’s literature should be installed in schools, girls’ school, colleges and universities. Women will hold discussion sessions on various topics from Param Pujya Gurudev’s literature.
2. Girls talents development sessions will be organised. They will help in building their confidence, enhancing their understanding about our Mission and developing their talents and potentials comprehensively.
3. Women Yoga training sessions will be organised at various places.
4. Women will be given training in defensive martial arts, taekwondo, self-defence and civilian defence.
5. Professional women bodies will encouraged to help in projects of serving humanity. Women groups should grow by at least five fold every year. Motivation sessions will also be held.
6. Mata Bhagwati Vastalya Yojana will have some helpful activities for community in which will have women have key roles. Women will run Bal Sanskar Shala. Its number should increase manifold. They should be run by women.
7. Women Awakening Campaigns will be spearheaded based on the driving force of compassion and empathy (Samvedna), good values (Sanskar), personal safety (Suraksha), self-reliance (Swavlamban) and empowerment (Sashaktikaran). Progress reports should be sent every three months.
They are the core of our organization. There should be area wise systematic organizations of parijans.
1. They should actively engage in the activities of our Mission. We should make devoted efforts to increase their numbers fivefold at the end of the first three years.
2. Their main role will be in propagation of Pujya Gurudev’s literature. They will help in holding book fairs at various places. One thousand new books will be published from material extracted from Vangamaya (the collection of Pujya Gurudev’s life work) and Kranti literature written since 1995. They will be pocket sized booklets and will be easier to promote.
3. Gram Teertha Yojana (Making each village as good as a pilgrimage place): Establishing Sewa Prakalpa (charitable help units). Various schemes from Chaupal Swadhyaya (people gathering in small groups and studying Mission’s literature together) to Cleanliness drive.
4. Pragyapiths, Shaktipiths and Chetna Kendras will take up responsibility to be 100% efficient. They should take up various projects and bring them to completion.
5. Well organised system for promotion and distribution of Akhand Jyoti, Yug Nirman Yojana and Pragya Abhiyan. Increase their readership by at least three times.
6. Qualitative development of Bhartiya Sanskriti Gyan Pariksha curriculum. To increase the number of student taking the examination to 10 million by 2020.
7. Massive campaign to propagate Pujay Gurudev and Param Vandaniya Mataji’s speeches far and wide so that it reaches every household.
Guru Purnima is celebrated every year on the full moon day of the lunar month Aashad to strengthen spiritual bonds between Guru (spiritual teacher) and Shishya (disciple). It is difficult to tell for how long Guru Purnima is being celebrated in our country. But we can certainly tell that Guru-shishya tradition and the glory of Guru are as old as our Indian culture. This festival is also celebrated as Vyasa Purnima in the honor of Sage Veda Vyasa. This year Guru Purnima or Vyasa Purnima is falling on July 9, 2017.
In the history of India, Maharshi Veda Vyasa was the first person who collected, compiled and composed the entire repository of knowledge. This way he gave our country rich heritage of noble thoughts and a treasury of knowledge. Guru-shishya tradition played the pivotal role of disseminating that knowledge across generations. When wet clay is put in a mould, it takes the shape of the mould. Life of a Guru is such a mould in whose imprint many lives are carved out. If the mould is good, then the disciples that are shaped by them also turn out to be good.
The tradition of Upanishads thrived in India. The term “Upanishad” derives from the Sanskrit words “upa” (near), “ni” (down) and “shad” (to sit) — so it means “sitting down near” a spiritual teacher to receive instruction. In ancient India, whatever knowledge disciple gained by sitting at the feet of Guru was termed as Upanishad. Whenever a disciple sits near Guru, Upanishad is a natural outcome. This has happened many times in the modern era too.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, the saint of Dakshineswar used to sit in the temple on the banks of Ganga. His disciples would gather around. Some of them were bachelors while some were householders. In that gathering, some used to be elderly people, some of them elites and some family men. There would be some light fun, conversations and a flow of eternal knowledge. A disciple of Paramhansa, Mahendranath Gupta, also known as Master Mahasaya, compiled such sagacious conversations under the title ‘Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrit’(in Begali).
Sri Aurobindo had a few selective disciples with whom he spent his evenings. He met these people even during his years of solitary sadhana. Nirodbaran, Nolini Kanto Gupta, Manilal were among them. There would be many discussions and conversations that were pregnant with occult knowledge. Nirodbaran was a good doctor and he was the one who compiled these conversations under the title ‘Talks with Sri Aurobindo’
There are many types of relationships. Some are related to our physical body, e.g. mother, father, brother, sister etc. Some relationships take birth from emotions; e.g. wife-husband, friends etc. However, there are relationships which take birth from the depths of soul. They are termed as soul-kinship or spiritual relationships. One such relationship is that of Guru and disciple.
A guru understands his disciples in totality. This is the only relationship in which a person is understood so holistically. Others will know a person, but in bits and pieces. A mother understands her child, but she cannot do so completely because when her child grows into youth, his personality changes so much that a mother might wonder if he is the same child she nurtured. The relationship between a wife and husband is very deep. They understand each other very well. Even then, there are instances when they might find themselves as complete strangers. It is only the relationship of Guru and disciple that the Guru understands the disciple completely. His understanding is not superficial. He knows his entire personality, his chitta and samskaras too. In addition to this life, he also knows the past lives of the disciple.
Purnima or Full moon signifies the quality of giving completely and receiving completely. In this context Saint Kabir says – ‘kahat kabir mein poora paaya’. Only a person who can give completely can receive completely. If you hesitate to give, then there will be a problem in receiving too. In this world, people believe more in getting than giving. But one should remember that those who do not know how to give cannot receive. Sri Aurobindo has written that intense aspiration, self-consecration and total surrender are the principles behind the relationship between guru and disciple.
Emperor Bali was performing a series of Ashwamedha Yagyas. He had completed ninety nine of them and the hundredth was in progress. Lord Vamana (Incarnation of Lord Vishnu) went in the form of a short-statured Brahmin and asked Bali for three steps of land. Bali smiled looking at the dwarf Vamana and his feet. Bali’s Guru, Sage Sukracharya however warned him to check what he was granting and to whom. He also said that Lord Narayana had come and what tests he might put forth was to be seen. Bali responded that it was indeed a great fortune that the Lord himself was at his door and was asking for something. Sukracharya did not object to this emotion, though he was not happy. The goal of the Guru is to facilitate the meeting of disciple and God. So, when the Lord came to the kingdom of Bali, he granted three steps of land. Bali was free from attachment and was a responsible king too. However, he still had the ego that he was a great philanthropist. When Vamana measured heaven and earth in two steps, he asked where to place his third step. Bali offered his head because that was the source of ego. So, in the third step, Bali gave his ego and the Lord took his ego.
Goswami Tulsidas says - bandau guru pada kanj kripa sindhu nararoop hari – Hari takes human form as Guru and lives amidst us. But we cannot see God with our naked eyes because he is formless. This formless God comes to teach us in the form of Guru. He guides us so that we may realize our true self, removes our ignorance, identifies our weaknesses and hones our personality. We just need to take one step towards him and he will awaken us and illuminate us. We are leading our life almost unconsciously. There is no awareness. We are merely bound by the raw threads of relationships. We have forgotten the strong and everlasting relationship of that of the soul. Guru teaches us, warns us and reminds us of our life. He reminds us of our relationship with our soul. He tells us about the pinnacle of human consciousness. He presents us with the example of his own life - A life, a personality, a pure consciousness, so pious and pure that it is very rare to find in the world. The Guru says – ‘See, if this can happen to me, it can happen to you as well. I have received the grace and I have understood, so can you. You do not need to run around, you just need to be where you are and be aware.’
There are only two doors to knowledge – intellect and love. Through the door of intellect, we understand the world and through love we understand the supreme God and Guru. The guru we see externally, when installed in our heart becomes the Sadguru. As long as his presence is merely outside, he is known as guru. When his presence is felt in our life, our breath and our heart, he is never separate from us. He is within us. He is present within us as the source of all knowledge and emotions. We will never lack anything after that. Only a person who can become a disciple like this can understand the Guru. When the disciple surrenders himself more and more, then the Guru’s presence is felt more and more within the self. If we can achieve this, then we have truly celebrated Guru Purnima.
Apart from the significant physical and medical applications like purification of the environment, curing bodily ailments and augmenting vitality and physical potentials, yagyopathy is also found to be of immense use in treatment of psychosomatic disorders and psychological and psychiatric problems. The domain of mental ailments, though invisible is much wider and intense than those of the varieties of bodily diseases. Almost the entire human society is suffering from these in one form or the other. The roots of over 90% of the somatic diseases too lie in the hidden folds of the patient’s mind. Confusion, illusion, fear, suspicion, fury, excitement, whimsical attitude, etc are common mental deficiencies that are often found in most of us to some extent. If left unchecked, their persistence and silent growth turn an otherwise normal fellow into a sort of cranky or ‘half-mad’ one. Depression, insomnia, and varieties of puzzling psychiatric cases and insanity are more painful than the bodily sufferings. Accidie, aboulia, amnesia, dullness, inefficiency, etc are offshoots of mental illness of some other kinds that lead to sufferings like poverty, backwardness, insult, negligence, scorn etc.
The gamut of psychological and psychiatric ailments appears to have grown many-fold in the recent times. In spite of advancement of medical sciences and technologies, there is no effective remedy for any kind of mental problem or deficiency. Pain-killers, tranquilizers, steroids are tried frequently for somehow giving some kind of ‘relief’. Soon their ‘magical’ effect is lost and puts the patient in greater mental (and also physical) suffering. The current practice of giving carbon dioxide based therapy and electrical shocks in case of psychiatric disorder are also far from being effective and scientifically perfect. Here again the side-effects owe high risk. The treasure of scriptural knowledge and the results of experimental studies on yagyopathy offer it as a light of hope with great potentials for mental treatment and enlightenment.
The sublimated vital elements and herbal medicines inhaled in Yagya first reach the brain and then to the lungs and other parts – the gross as well as the subtle components, of the body. Thus, it has a direct healing effect on brain-born diseases and complexities. The body absorbs the heat of its sacrificial fire and inhales – through the skin-pores and respiration – the vapours of sublimated herbs. This elevates the level of free radicals – antioxidants, and negative ions and thus upon reaching the brain and the nerves eliminates the major cause of mental tensions. The specific energy currents educed by yagyagni and mantra sakti have significant remedial effect on the disorders and diseases ranging from headache, migraine, cold to mental dullness, intellectual deficiencies, depressions, insomnia, intemperance, epilepsy, schizophrenia and varieties of manias.
The unique impact of mantra sakti in yagyopathy is of paramount importance. The configurations of special syllables in mantra and the Vedic patterns of chanting them during Yagya are derived from absolute research (by the rishis) on the deeper sciences of - gross and subliminal sonic vibrations, music and consciousness. The collective chanting of mantras in adept rhythm in front of yagyagni magnifies the mantra-sakti exponentially and expands the mantra-vibrations to unlimited heights in all dimensions. The superimposition of sound waves generates immense power in ordinary case too; there are many familiar examples that illustrate this fact in day-to-day life. The soldiers are advised to disrupt their march-fast while walking over a bridge; else, the vibrations produced by their joint footsteps would shake and might even break the bridge. The synchronized tunes of sound can break a glass cup; at greater intensities it can even quiver and crack the mountains. The explosive sound of dynamite often creates a tremor like vibrations in distant areas too. Such loud sounds in the nearby places are also found to cause abortions and sudden heart failures. The shrilling sound of a bugle kills the microorganisms on its way. The special tune of siren sparks new courage and enthusiasm in the hearts of warriors. The magical effects of music in increasing one’s potentials and creative talents and its therapeutic applications are also well known.
The power of sound in mantras is far more refined, intense and deep. Apart from the gross impact of the specific patterns of sonic waves generated by mantras, the mantra-sakti is also endowed with the limitless subliminal force of the spiritually enlightened consciousness of the sadhakas and yajakas. This spiritual effect is intensified by the purity of the mind and heart, devout determination and shraddha of the latter. The esoteric science of mantras was so advanced in the times of yore that mantras were used as weapons and missiles; in transmutation of a sick and dying body into a youthful, strong one. Mantras used to effectuate timely materialization of the curses and boons of the rishis and great sadhakas who had attained mastery in this supernatural science.
The Yagya-energy induces unique force in expanding the effect of mantra-sakti almost instantaneously. The modern science affirms three basic streams of energy indwelling in Nature – sound, heat and light. Of these, the velocity of heat and light is unimaginably greater than that of sound. In the process of Yagya, the natural conjugation of the enormous heat and Yagya-energy with mantra-sakti and the collision of the superimposed sonic waves of collective mantra chanting with the quivering flames of the yagyagni induce infinite speed and amplification of the mantra-sakti and help it expand up to cosmic domains in feasible time.
Soft voice of a person is amplified and made audible to thousands of people around and at distant places with the help of loudspeakers via the power of electrical energy. The electromagnetic power enables the voice of a person reach every corner of the globe through the wireless radio signals. Television enables such transmission of photographs and three-dimensional images too. Similarly, the energy of yagyagni works like the ‘amplifier’ and ‘transmitter’ for the sonic waves of mantra. The mantra sakti expressed by the spiritually purified voice of the sadhakas (yajakas) thus works like a Sabdabhedi Baña and induces intense impact deep inside the minds of people participating in the Yagya. Its divine vibrations spun a sublime aura of spiritual and sonic energy in the distant surroundings too and generate a unique ambience of blissful enlightenment and peace.
The splendid compounding of mantra sakti, Yagya-energy and intrinsic determination of the awakened inner self of the yajakas during the process of Yagya erects a sublime furnace... that melts and evaporates the vices of the participants. It burns out their insidious instincts, evil tendencies, other mental weaknesses and aberrations including – erogenous passions, excitements, anger, jealous, hatred, fear, anxiety, whims, tensions, etc and refines and calms down their minds. Simultaneous with this refinement, there is a compensating energizing elevation and moulding of their mental body that enables enlightened development of their personality and arousal of their hidden talents and brilliance. Yagyopathy offered by accomplished sadhakas and experienced yatis thus appears to be offering the elixir for total health.
The effects of yagya are not confined to the removal of atmospheric pollution and medicinal purification. It is only the gross facet. The sublime effects are more intensive and amazing – prominent among these is the parjanya.
Parjanya implies sublime showers of streams of vital energy and spiritual strength from the cosmic layers (higher space). As the natural fertilizers add to the potency of soil, the unique confluence of mantra-shakti, thermal force and sublimated herbal energy in yagya also elevates the vital energy in the atmosphere while purifying the air. This praña is dissolved in the air. We inhale it with oxygen by inner determination during the deep breathing yoga-exercises of prañayma. The flow of fresh air in the morning is found to be rich in prana. The larger the scale of yagyas and longer their duration, the greater would be these sublime and gross effects.
The parjanya generated by yagya augments the level of prana in the air. This effect is dense around the yagya and is also pervaded in the wider space and continues to expand with the flow of air with the process of yagya. If we pour some oil drops in a pot containing water, soon the oil would spread on the entire surface of water. In a similar way, the energy of yagya expands all around in the open space. Its praña is also dissolved in the rain, enshowered through the energized space and thus gets absorbed in the soil and the crops and vegetation. The soil irrigated by it is found to be more fertile and the grains, fruits, vegetables grown there are tasty and have higher nutritious potency. The milk of the cows, which graze the grass grown on such land is also of excellent quality. Drinking the milk and eating the fruits, vegetables energized by yagya increases our stamina, resistance against infections and diseases, our vital power, courage and mental trenchancy.
In fact the cosmic flow of praña is omnipresent in the subliminal realms of Nature. This is what enables all activities, movements and evolution. Because of its presence, all creatures are called praña. This is the source of our vital strength. If it were present in substantial amount in the body, a visible lean and skinny fellow would also be very strong and healthy. Its elevated levels are expressed in mental radiance, intellectual trenchancy and talents. Its alleviation on the contrary, would turn a chubby, fat, visibly healthy chap rather weak, lethargic and dull. Reduction of this subtle energy in the plants and trees would diminish the shining beauty of flowers, potency and nutritious power of the fruits, vegetables and grains. Decreased levels of praña in the air, despite substantial amount of oxygen would lessen its vitality. Even deep breathing of this otherwise ‘fresh’ air would not have desired healthy effects. People living at such places are found to lack vital strength, resistance and mental trenchancy. The parjanya educed by yagya compensates for this deficiency.
The parjanya of yagya energizes the surrounding atmosphere with intense flow of cosmic praña. The holy Gita mentions this as the ‘rain’ of parjanya – generated by yagya, which is enshowered from the sublime domains in cosmic expansion and which sustains the life and vigour of all living beings and induces new zeal and delight in every dimension.
In order to get an idea of the various chemical changes which take place, it is essential to know the various substances offered in Yagya.
Wood has to be dry and free from dust, insects and worms. The wood is cut into small sticks of varying lengths called Samidhas according to the size of the altar or Agnikunda.
The principal types of wood used are the following:-
I. Sandal-wood (Santalum Album) II. Agar and Tagar wood (Aquilana Malaccensis and Valeriana Wallchii) III. Deodar (Cedrys Libani) IV. Mango (Mangifera Indica) V. Dhak or Palash (Butea Frondosa) VI. Bilva (Aegle Marmelos) VII. Pipal (Ficus Religiosa) VIII. Bargad (Ficus Bengalensis) IX. Shami (Proposis Spicigera) X. Gular (Ficus Glomerata)
In addition to wood, various Havishya or Havan samagri are offered in Yagya. This can be divided into the following four groups:
(B) Odoriferous Substances:
These are - saffron, musk, agar, tagar, chandan, illaychi, jayphal, javitri and camphor.
(C) Substances with Healthy Constituents:
These are clarified butter (ghee), milk, fruits and cereals like wheat, rice, barley, til, kangu, munga, chana, arhar, masur or peas.
(D) Sweet Substances:
These usually are - sugar, dried grapes, honey or chhuhara.
(E) Medicinal Herbs:
These are used as per specific requirement. Some common herbs are; Somalata or Giloya, Brahmi, Shankhpushpi, Nagkesar, Mulhati,Red Chandan, Baheda, Sonth and Harad.
Now-a-days Havan samagri is readily available in the market consisting of the following substances in a crude powder form: Saw dust of sandal-wood and pine wood, the agar and tagar wood chips, kapurkachari, gugal,nagarmotha, balchhaar or jatamansi,narkachura, sugandhbala, illayachi, jayphal, cloves and dalchini.
Products of Combustion
At the outset, it can be said that the interpretation of process of combustion in a Yagya in a physical scientific terms is rather difficult due to the following reasons:
(i) The properties of substances which are used are vastly varying; (ii) The conditions under which combustion takes place remain unspecified. The products of combustion depend on the following
Factors like:- (a) The nature of substances used and their proportions, (b) Temperature attained, (c) Controlled supply of air, (d) Interaction amongst the various products formed.
Vapourization of wood: Besides complete combustion of cellulose material of wood, it is also subjected to vaporization. This happens due to the way Samidhas are arranged in the Agnikunda, the conditions of temperature and air supply which prevail in it.
Steam Volatilization of Odorous Substances: The temperature attained in the Kunda varies between 250°C and 600°C, while in actual flames it can go as high as 1200°C to 1300°C. The boiling points of volatile constituents get diffused over in the surrounding atmosphere. Also when cellulose and other carbohydrates undergo combustion, steam is formed in copious quantities by the combination of hydrogen of organic substances with the oxygen. This is how the substances like thymol, eugenol, pinene, terpinol etc., are carried over in the surroundings and the aroma of a Yagya can be smelt even at a considerable distance. In addition to steam, smoke is also given out in copious quantities and solid particles existing in a highly divided state offer sufficient surface for mechanical diffusion. Thus smoke also functions as colloidal particles for diffusion of volatile aromatic substances depending on temperature and direction of the wind.
Combustion of Fatty Substances: The fatty substances used in Yagya are mainly ghee and other fatty substances of vegetable origin. Ghee helps in rapid combustion of cellulose of wood and keeps the fire alight. All fatty substances used are combinations of fatty acids, which volatilize easily. The combustion of glycerol portion gives acetone bodies, pyruvic aldehyde and glyoxal etc. The hydrocarbons produced in the reactions again undergo slow combustion and as a result methyl and ethyl alcohols, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, formic acid and acetic acids are formed.
Photo-Chemical process: When all the volatile substances are diffused in the surrounding atmosphere, these are further subjected to photochemical reactions in the sunlight. This may be the reason why it has been recommended that Yagya should be performed in the presence of strong sunlight. These changes occur in the ultra-violet and other short wavelength regions. The products of fumigation thus go photochemical decomposition, oxidation and reduction. To some extent even CO2 is also reduced to form aldehyde as follows: CO2 + H2O + 112,000 cal. = HCHO = O2
From an environmental angle, reduction of CO2 produced in Yagya as above and liberation of oxygen cannot be overemphasized.
The industrial wastes, rapid urbanization, deforestation, air and water pollution, disturbances in the ozone layer - formation, radioactive waves etc., have destabilized the human, animal and plant life cycles. The ecological imbalance caused by these acts of ‘civilized men’ has resulted into disastrous threat not only to human survival but to the life as a whole on our planet. Till recently it was accepted that research into science can furnish answer to all of man’s problems. Today we find increasing number of diseases including malfunctioning of body organs due to increasing severity of pollution in the atmosphere. Ozone layer depletion has been causing ailments like sunburn, skin cancer, cataracts and weakening of the immune system. Viruses are becoming drug-resistant and showing consistent growth trends.
Experimental studies show that the incidence of physical ailments, sickness and disease are reduced in the houses, where the Yagya (Agnihotra) is regularly performed because it creates a pure, nutritional and medicinal atmosphere. It renews the brain cells, revitalizes the skin, purifies blood and prevents growth of pathogenic organisms. Agnihotra is basically a healing process. ‘Heal the atmosphere and the healed atmosphere will heal you’- is the Modus Operandi. Purification of environment through the constituent electrons of the substances fumigated in the Yagya is an obvious effect of this process. The observation of some distinguished scientists is noteworthy in this regard.
Dr. Hafkine has mentioned that - “mixing ghee and sugar and burning them creates smoke which kills the germs of certain diseases and secretion takes place from some glands related to the wind-pipe, which fill our heart and mind with pleasure. Sugars present in Havishya have great power to purify the atmosphere. It kills the germs of T.B., measles, smallpox and cow-pox, remarks Prof. Tilward. According to Dr. Shirowich, a Russian scientist has remarked that (i) Cow’s milk contains great power of protection from atomic radiation;(ii) Houses having cow-dung covered floors enjoy complete protection from atomic radiation; (iii) If cow’s ghee is put into Yagya fire, its fumes lessen the effect of atomic radiation to a great extent.
The medicinal fumes emanating from Agnihotra have been observed by researchers in the field of microbiology to be clearly bacteria lethal in nature. These eradicate bacteria and other micro-organisms, which are the root cause of illness and diseases. This must be the reason why the incidence of physical ailments, sickness and diseases becomes less in the households, where Agnihotra is regularly performed. Even without going into detailed chemical bacteriology, it can be stated that performance of Yagya leads to purification of air.
Removal of Foul Odours
Under steam volatilization, the various volatile oils get diffused in the surrounding atmosphere along with steam and smoke. Since these oils have distinct good smell, the foul odours are automatically replaced. This aroma can be experienced easily in the surroundings when Yagya is performed due to diffusion of substances like thymol, eugenol, pine, terpinol and oils of sandal-wood, camphor and clove.
Removal of Bacteria
The partial oxidation of hydrocarbons and decomposition of complex organic substances produce formal aldehyde which is a powerful antiseptic. It is also interesting to note that germicidal action of formaldehyde is only effective in the presence of water vapour which is also produced in large quantities in Yagya. The use of formaldehyde spray for disinfecting of walls, ceiling etc., is common and such a spray is automatically produced when Yagya is performed.
The oxidation of hydrocarbons also produces formic acid and acetic acid both of which are good disinfectants. Use of formic acid for preservation of fruits and that of acetic acid in preserving vinegar is a common practice. The antiseptic and antibiotic effects of fumes of Yagya have also been examined by conducting suitable experiments on rabbits and mice and it has been established that fumes emitted in Yagya are powerful antibiotic. Agnihotra ash purifies and cleanses the water making it fit for drinking.
Removal of insects
There are non-bacterial parasites like flies, ringworm, dice, fleas etc., which are harmful to living beings but immune to bactericides. Such insects are generally immune to ordinary reagents; however they either get killed or are driven away, when they come in contact with the fumes of volatile oils like camphor diffused in the environment.
Effects on Plants and Vegetation
The disinfection of air is not only useful to animal life but also helps plant’s life, though the bacteria responsible for diseases in both may be different. The aromatic substances during Yagya get diffused in the air and offer protection to plant life against harmful organisms. This ensures healthy plant growth. Agnihotra’s atmosphere and ash can be used as adjutants in the ‘Natural farming’ methods - also known as the Agnihotra farming methods. It is a holistic concept of growing plants in a healthy atmosphere and maintaining ecological balance by performing Agnihotra (Yagya) in the middle of the farm and using the Yagya - ash as a fertilizer. It is not only safe and productive but also holistic in its approach towards the environment.
Role of CO2 generated in Yagya
Consignment of the wood and other organic maters to flames has been always controversial because of generation of CO and CO2, as well as the increase in consequent ‘green house’ effect. It had been argued that performance of Yagya also produces CO and CO2. It should be noted here that the way in which the Samidhas and Havishya are burnt in Yagya is a process of slow combustion at higher temperature. The burning of coal in factories or in the household fire involves rapid combustion, where oxygen is sucked in large quantities and enormous CO2 is emitted. However, in the slow combustion taking place in the process of Yagya, small quantity of O2 is utilized & a meagre CO2 is emitted that poses no threat to the environment. In fact, whatever CO2 is generated it is readily absorbed by the surrounding vegetation and the CO2 cycle is strengthened.
The other important aspect is the fact that CO2 produced in Yagya is not always free CO2 but it remains mixed with other aromatic oils and antiseptic products. It therefore, acts as a vehicle in transporting such products to distant surroundings. The use of CO2 as a cerebral stimulant to assist the patients suffering from lack of ventilation is common in medical world. Its use to control and cure many mental disorders is also known to medical science. Small amounts of CO2 inhaled by the persons performing Yagya acts as a stimulant and more and more aromatic fumes are inhaled which help in curing mental disorders. Particularly effective results with respect to the elimination or reduction in radiation were achieved through Yagya’s fire and ash. These observations are made by Dr. L. Maela Anatoninhowska of Poland after using P.S.I. techniques.
Why do we regard the sacrificial fire of Yagya as purohit (a priest)? It inspires us to imbibe its five idealistic qualities in our life.
1. Fire has the characteristic of always being hot and bright. We are inspired to lead bright, radiant, active lives like fire, full of wisdom and brilliance. 2. The flame of fire always goes upwards. One may apply any amount of pressure but its flame never goes downwards. It teaches us that despite immense pressures of fear and temptations our flame of wisdom, and foresight should ever be kept-alight and up-turned. 3. Anything coming in contact with fire becomes fire itself. We should also have such a quality of excellence in our character, so that anyone coming in our contact may become refined. 4. Fire accumulates nothing. Whatever is offered in the fire is vaporized. It is scattered throughout in the atmosphere and becomes universal. We should also not accumulate possessions for our selfish ends but utilize all our resources and qualities for advancing the good of the people. We should be generous and lovingly kind. 5. The residue of the fire is ashes. Ultimately physical forms of all human beings are going to be reduced to a handful of ashes. The idea behind applying (ashes of Yagya) on the forehead is that man should always remember the inevitability of death and utilize each and every moment of his life in the best possible manner. These five teachings are known as panchagnividya which the priest (purohit) in the form of fire teaches to every human being. A man is truly blessed if he imbibes these teachings in his daily life by performing symbolic worship in the form of Yagya.
The real purpose of Yagya is to imbibe virtues like self-sacrifice, self-restraint (sanyam), charity, beneficence, generosity, compassion etc. in our daily life. It inspires us to surrender everything, body, mind, ego and soul to God. A Sadhak on surrendering himself to God, who has been described as Yagya-purush in the scriptures, becomes one with Yagya, just as samidhas on being consumed in the sacrificial fire of Yagya become fire itself. In fact the real Yagya is to follow the directions and inspirations of our indwelling divinity and imbibe righteous tendencies. Constant remembrance of the Divine, keeping an attitude of detachment and remaining engrossed in regular sacred studies and devotion amounts to leading a Yagyiya life. Such a person sees the presence of God in everyone, everywhere and becomes free of evil deeds and sins.
Gayatri and Yagya constitute the foundation of the Vedic Culture. While Gayatri imparts wisdom and pure intelligence, Yagya inspires corresponding creativity and actions. In talking of the Vedic age the images of the great rishis performing agnihotra-yagyas instantly flashes before our sight. In those days, apart from the rishis, the rich and the poor, the kings and citizens also had an equally deep faith and respect for Yagya and they used to sincerely participate in and lend wholehearted support for different kinds of Yagyas.
The rishis used to spend at least one-third of their lives in conducting Yagyas. It was a common belief and an observed fact in the Vedic Indian society that Yagya was essential for the refinement of human life from a shudra (i.e. a person living a life driven by animal instincts) to a Brahmin (i.e. a wise, knowledgeable, charitable person), and ultimately to a divine, great personality. Yagyas played an essential role in the all-round progress, prosperity and happiness in the Vedic age. This was indeed natural, as the philosophy and science of Yagya and the different modes of performing agni-yagya were discovered and developed by the rishis based on their deep understanding and in-depth research of the human psyche, the intricacies of the social fabric and the mysteries of Nature.
The brilliance and purity of agni (fire) appears to be a universal symbol for worship. The rituals of different religions affirm this fact. The first mantra of Rigaveda - the most ancient scripture of knowledge on Earth, quotes "agnimaye purohitam", signifying agni as a sacred symbol of God. This is what is referred to in different religious and spiritual scriptures as Brahmateja, Divine Flame, Sacred Glow, Divine Light, Latent Light, etc. The Vedic hymn "agne supatha raye" prays to this omnipotent, supreme power to enlighten and inspire us towards the righteous path. The same is meant in the phrase "dhiyo yonah prachodayat" of the great Gayatri Mantra.
All World Gayatri Pariwar is engaged in multiple reformative and reconstructive activities on the personal, familial, social, national and cultural fronts of life. Spiritual refinement of the sukshma vatavarana has been the predominant focus of this mission and it has endeavoured a Yagya-based movement on the lines of the Vedic tradition to achieve The Yug Nirman Yojana mission of All impossible goal.
This historic mission has emerged from the rigorous tap-sadhana of the Vishwamitra of our times, the rishi of this age – Pt. Shriram Sharma Acharya. The devout endeavours and supernormal spiritual eminence of this yug rishi enabled the epochal descent of the otherwise lost and forgotten super knowledge (vidya) of Gayatri and accomplished it as the saviour of the world. This visionary saint deciphered and propagated the divine light of Yug Ïakti Gayatri to reach the masses and also pioneered the revival of the Vedic culture of Yagya so that it could be adopted by every man and woman in the present times too. Like the rishis of yore, his sagacious acumen and saintly heart had understood the enormous problems and crisis of the era through deeper depths. He therefore encouraged eroding of the root cause hidden in the sukshma vatavarana and attempted colossal refinement in every dimension of the gross and sublime environment of life by the spiritual experiments of Gayatri Sadhana and Yagya. Massive number of small and hundreds of grand Yagyas have been organized since the advent of his “Yug Nirman” campaign. The “Sahastranshu Brahm Yagya” performed on the Gayatri Jayanti 1953 was the first spiritual experiment of grand participation of people from all parts of the society. It was the auspicious commemoration of the glorious completion of the twenty-four divine Mahapurashcharnas endeavoured by Gurudev Shriram Sharma Acharya for twenty-four years. This also laid the foundation of the Gayatri Pariwar. A series of distinct Yagyas in Vedic tradition commenced in 1955 in which the Mahamrityunjaya Yagya, Rudra Yagya, VishnuYagya, Indra Yagya, Nava Graha Yagya, GanpatiYagya, Saraswati Yagya, Jyotioma Yagya, Agnioma, and the Gayana Yagya of the four Vedas, etc were performed with the participation of more and more Gayatri Sadhakas. Year 1956 marked the 108 Kundiya Yagyas and grand Narmedha Yagya to mobilize the collective power and enthusiasm of the Sadhakas dedicated towards social reformation and welfare of the masses. Over 20,000 people from all walks of life had participated in these Yagyas conducted by Acharyaji in Gayatri Tapobhumi Mathura. Organization of 108 Gayatri Yagyas across the country was pledged on this occasion to propagate the Gyana of Gayatri and Vigyana of Yagya among the masses. This number increased to 1008 within a year, which included 5 and 9 Kundiya to 108 Kundiya (Maha) Yagyas.
21st June is celebrated as the longest day of the year. The Sun shows up for longer on this day. I visited Northern Europe and witnessed this day celebrated as ‘white night.’ The Sun rises again in a little while after it sets in. I have enjoyed it thoroughly. After that, the sunrise gradually occurs late day by day.
Brothers and Sister, our honourable Prime Minister has transformed 21st June into a historical day by making it an International Day of Yoga. On this day, people across the whole world—rich and poor, young and old—practise Yoga. Yoga is not just a one day exercise but a massive public awareness and mass education campaign to persuade masses why they should make Yoga a part of their daily routine. Gayatri Pariwar is going to hold Yoga sessions at about 100,000 places across India simultaneously. On an average, 1,000 to 10,000 people are expected to participate at each venue, practising Yoga exercises—asanas (Yoga postures) and Pranayama.
We have formulated a one hour programme to convey what good benefits it could bring in our life. The purpose of carrying out a collective practice is to increase awareness about Yoga among people. Yoga is aimed at bringing equilibrium between the individual soul and the Supreme Soul. If yoga is adopted by people, each citizen would become a Yogi which in turn will safeguard everyone from getting lured by temptations, wrongdoings, corruption, black money and so on. As a consequence, India will again emerge as an ideal nation, in the same way it was hailed as a golden bird among all in the ancient times.
This time, the whole world will join in. Gayatri Pariwar has its presence in more than 70 countries across the globe. Our representatives will team up with local residents to hold Yoga drills at various places. You will witness how Yoga gifted by India is going to spread worldwide.
Other organizations too are engaged in similar efforts. Patanjali has said, “yogah chittavritti norodhah” i.e. yoga represents controlling the tendencies of the mind which are usually restless. Chitta refers to our subconscious mind. It stores everything including the garbage acquired in previous lives and the current life. Cleansing of subconscious mind is yoga. Even if we can manage to incorporate only two aspects of Yoga namely, Yama and Niyama, we could become idea citizens.
Yoga is a system that refines lifestyle. Our life and lifestyle could become truly transformed, if we manage to ingrain its elements like non-violence, truthfulness, refraining from covetousness, celibacy, dedication to God, and so forth. We would then see its rewards coming to us. That is why I think the exercise of 21 June is very important. We would repeat it every year. The whole world will start embracing Yoga in next five years. In other words, we all will join the Supreme Authority who is beyond any creed, cult or religion, as Vedanta says our refined, resplendent soul itself is the Supreme Being or the Supreme Soul which is one and same in all religions. The head of all the religions is Paramatma, the Supreme Soul who is the integral and indivisible part of all of us, who is the regulator of everyone and everything including our ecology, our personal, social and family life and so on. Yoga is to attain oneness with the Supreme Being. If people can understand these, they would be able to recognize the worth of yoga.
These days, the practice of asanas, postures, hand and leg movements, gymnastics, etc. is being mistakenly believed to be Yoga. These physical exercises are merely one of the many elements of Yoga. The real Yoga involves the coming together of both the micro-cosmos and the macro-cosmos. Their union will enable all goodness in the Supreme Being start trickling down into us. Our Guruji Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya has said, “Upasna is an endeavour to bring and establish in our life, the best virtues and the best tendencies of the Supreme Being.” The more we accomplish it, the closer we move towards God. Yoga helps us to move towards Supreme Being. It helps us to acquire the virtues of Supreme Being. The more virtues we attain, the more we become like the Supreme Being. The individual would attain the vastness and wider capacity of the society.
The environment these days has been thrown out of equilibrium. It has become chaotic and could go wild any time. If there is anything that is capable to restore it, it is the Science of Yoga, the Spiritual Science and not the modern-day science. Therefore, the Science of Yoga should be regarded as belonging to the whole world, not only to a particular religion or a country. Yoga is meant to be for the whole world.
Patanjali explained it through Yoga Darshan and Bhagwan Krishna expounded it through Bhagwad Geeta. All these teachings can be ingrained into life. It only requires making some small changes here and there in the daily routine. Bhagwan Shri Krishna says, “yuktāhāravihārasya yuktaceṣṭasya karmasu; yuktasvapnāvabodhasya yogo bhavati duḥkhahā (6.17)” Yoga can get rid of misery when our eating habits and lifestyle become just like that of a yogi. Going to bed, the sleep and rising should all happen on time be like that of Yogi. When we wake up in the morning, we should really wake up just like a Yogi, not abruptly at the sound of an alarm clock but feeling fully fresh and showing deep gratitude to the Supreme Being for the gift of a one-day life. Our actions, conducts and interactions should be all like that of a Yogi. If we can realise these, the Yoga would bring an end to our misery. The biggest calamity of these days is that the humanity is inundated with misery. There are all sorts of problems everywhere—physical, mental, spiritual, social, management and so on. Everyone indeed desires to be happy. But how can we attain happiness? In Geeta, Bhagwan Shri Krihna says that the perturbed mind can only attain happiness when it finds peace in the first place. Only Yoga can enable us to have peace. Yoga brings peace. Only after one attains true knowledge, he/she will find peace, so much so that the individual will then experience nothing but bliss. The pleasures we see around are momentary. They are accompanied with anxiousness, greed, the elements that can make us suffer and others too, whether at home or at work. Peace and happiness are the duos that can be attained through Yoga. Yoga gives peace and the peace gives happiness and the happiness gives eternal bliss, one after another.
Therefore, the International Day of Yoga should be celebrated as if it is a priceless blessing. We should celebrate it every year and every day, even if it is just for five minutes a day. Every day we should thank God for being able to practise it. If we continually pursue it, we will realise many accomplishments in abundance. We will stay healthy physically, mentally, spiritually and also environmentally. We will enjoy health, strength, long life and make our life worthwhile. Please do celebrate the International Day of Yoga.
Gayatri is the eternal source of thy willpower that motivates the origin and all activities of the visible and invisible forms of Nature. The rivers, oceans, the earth, the moon, the sun and the gamut of other planets, from tiniest particle to the universal expansion..., everything is moving because of this cosmic driving force. It is the root of the impulse of life in the blossoming plants and trees that beautify Nature. The force of life in all living beings originates from its presence. Its superior presence in the human beings is reflected in the intellect, which enables the progressive development of the world and ascent of human life. In extraordinary cases, this sublime power is expressed as spiritually evolved pure, discerning intelligence – Ritambhara Pragya. This enlightened wisdom helps one understand what is right and what is wrong and guides to choose the prudent path to the higher goals of life. This divine power mostly remains concealed in the inner cores of our minds. The determined endeavor of its arousal is termed Sadhana. The activation of this subliminal force of Gayatri in the soul links the human self with the divine light and powers of thee.
Being the source of ultimate evolution and beatified salvation of prana, the Adi Sakti is called Gayatri. The vedic scripture "Aitareya Brahmana" describes this meaning as — "Gayan Trayate Sa Gayatrt"; Meaning: That, which protects the gaya (prana) is Gayatri. The scholarly "Shankar Acharya Bhatia" further explains the meaning of Galati as — "Gyrate Tata Malaya Gayatriti"; Meaning: the discerning, pure intellect – Ritambhara Pragma, which unfolds the ultimate truth and ab¬solute knowledge, is Galati.
Sadbuddhi – the enlightened intellect that enables prudent distinction between the truth and the false, the right and the wrong and guides the righteous decision making, is indeed a unique power, which proves to be superior and more beneficial than any other power or resource in the world. Wisdom or brilliance of mind trained and talented in worldly affairs might serve excellent achievements in materialistic developments. But the glittering success, haughty possessions and luxurious comforts attained thereby do not assure reduction of ego, jealousy, worries, tensions and other complications; and on the contrary, often gravitate the burden of the untoward tendencies and problems in life. No wisdom, no intelligence howsoever trenchant, clever or erudite it may be, can nurture real and viable progress with peace and joy if it is not endowed with sadbuddhi.
The sharp intellect if deprived of sadbuddhi turns out to be a negative talent in many respects. Such a power of mind may appear fascinating on several fronts and offer rapid materialistic gains and powers but it is also true that it steals the peace of mind and thereby encourages psychosomatic disorders and varieties of related problems. In extreme cases, it might trigger detrimental decline by accumulating egotist cruelty and immoral use of talents.... The sharper such skilled minds, the greater would be the insidious effects. It thus appears better to have a dumb head than such durbuddhi.
The divine light of Gayatri generates sadbuddhi, which illuminates righteous intellect and inculcates virtuous and saintly tendencies. Every step guided by its inspiration is a forward move towards welfare, peace and happiness. The sadbuddhi educed by the grace of Gayatri strengthens one's virtuous talents, enlightens the prana and gradually bestows greater success and glory in ideal direction. Durbuddhi, on the contrary weakens the vigor of prana by draining it in untoward thoughts and activities driven by selfish passions and addictions. It plunges one's life deeper in the mire of ignorance, confusion, perversion and sins. Cravings, avarice, fear, ego and self-obsessive ambitions shield the inner light by durbuddhi and eventually diminish the mental strength and talents too...; thus leading to endless sufferings, sorrows and decline.
Gayatri is the savior force and pious light for those entrapped in the vicious cycle of durbuddhi and evil instincts and those loosing the invaluable human life in shear ignorance. It kindles the spark of sadbuddhi and thus provides a divine support, a courageous hope and liberates and saves the prana of people from the smog of illusion and perversion... The path to righteous evolution opens up with the inspiration of Gayatri and the silver line of peace, progress and true joy begins to shine with soothing glow in the devotee's life.
Gayatri is not any mythological deity or imaginary power. Rather, it is the source of divine luminescence, the evolutionary impulse of thy will that is expressed in human self as sadbuddhi and that enables enlightened progress and glorious accomplishment of life.
It is difficult to fathom the root cause of the astonishing demonstrations of Gayatri Sadhana. Right from Brahma, the Creator of this universe, down to the present era, all the rishis, saints, spiritual seers and seekers have demonstrated the beneficent effects of the chanting of Gayatri mantra. No other mantra has been worshipped and chanted as much as Gayatri Mantra. Since ages highly elevated souls have been practising Gayatri Sadhana. Thus, a huge mass of highly elevated spiritual energy has been accumulated in subtle celestial spheres (loks) enveloping the earth.
It is a scientific truth that no sound or idea ever perishes. Whatever is uttered or thought today will spread in the space along with its waves and will remain there till infinity in some state or the other. Waves which are most powerful remain specifically alive. Scientists are trying to catch waves set in motion during the Mahabharat battle and those of the music of Tansen. If they succeed, we will be able to listen to sounds of important conversations which took place in ancient times. It will then be possible to listen Geeta directly emanating from the mouth of Lord Krishna. Although, it may not be possible to transform sounds and thoughts into material forms in near future, it is certain that they do not vanish into nothingness. The faith and devotion towards Gayatri which have been nourished by countless persons still exist with all their potentialities in the subtle realm. According to the principle of convergence of all homogeneous elements at one point, the faith, devotion, sentiments and devout austerity of all the devotees have combined to contribute to the accumulation of a huge store of conscious spiritual energy.
Those who are acquainted a little with the science of thinking know that a magnetic field of the type in which a person thinks is created in his mind. This magnetism attracts thoughts of similar nature permeating the entire space and in a short time there is a vast accumulation of similar kinds of thoughts. Persons who think about gentlemanliness become more and more charged with righteous thoughts, virtues, tendencies and nature. In the same way a sinful mind becomes all the more so in a short time. All this happens according to the science of attraction of identical thoughts, according to which thoughts of all divine souls who were devotees of Gayatri right from the beginning of this creation get inter-linked. It is difficult even for a strong man to climb over a high wall but if a ladder or a stair-case is provided, anybody can climb over it easily. With the help of the stair-case built by the devotees of Gayatri in the past we can easily attain the fruits of Gayatri Sadhana .
We get enriched suddenly and spontaneously with all the boons of Gayatri Sadhana for which great seekers in the past had put in extremely hard labor. By these past Sadhanas powerful energy fields have been created in the subtle spheres by tuning into which we can march ahead with great speed. A drop of water, when it falls in the ocean, becomes the ocean itself. A person recruited in the army becomes part and parcel of the army. In the same way, a Sadhak who gets linked with the accumulated power of Gayatri derives all its benefits. No other Ved-Mantra possesses so much radiant and puissant energy as Gayatri Mantra. It is for this reason that immense benefits are obtained through Gayatri Sadhana with the least effort.
Even then we find that most of the people do no take advantage of it although they know its importance. A person may have ample money in his possession but if he does not use it and enjoy it, it can only be considered his misfortune. Gayatri is divine knowledge which has been made available by God to us. Rishis and saints have been directing us at every step in the scriptures to take advantage of Gayatri Sadhana. Yet, if we do not perform Sadhana and get its benefit, it our misfortune and nothing else.
It is absolutely easy to be liberated from sins by Gayatri worship. The forte of Gayatri worship is that when the resonance of the innate powers with its 24 letters occurs within the heart, the satogun (virtue) in thoughts increases day-by-day, and as a result changes occur in the nature and program of the person. One in whose heart virtuous thoughts increase; excellence will also be there in his deeds. A person's nature is not any definite or permanent thing. It keeps on changing according to situations and sentiments. It is not necessary that a person who is sinful to-day will remain sinful throughout life. Similarly it cannot also be said that a person who is a gentleman with good conduct to-day, will remain so in future also. Situations and sentiments can bring about such a change in a person that he will appear completely transformed.
Sin is a type of mental condition and habit. It is within man's power to give up sin by strength of thoughts. The mental strength necessary for the change is provided by Gayatri-worship and the means for inner transformation becomes easily available. Liberation from sins is as easy as taking a bath. It is not correct for a sinful person to think that since he has been on the wrong path till now and adopted sinful thoughts and performed bad deeds, how is his reform possible? This disappointment is ill founded, because every fallen person can rise, and every sinner can become pure.
Many a times it is seen that a man performs wicked deeds because of helplessness, ignorance, bad company, curiosity or force of circumstances. At that time, he does not think that such sin is terrible. Afterwards, with his mental development, the deed appears very horrible. Since those sinful acts were carried out because of wretched mental condition, the related punishment is also small. According to man's conscience, compassion is felt at the time of killing; therefore it is a sin for him. In man's mental situations too there can be small or big variations due to various reasons. During such mental conditions sins committed in mental weakness due to ignorance are not considered serious in the eyes of God although traditionally believed to be so.
Sometimes it so happens that with good intentions, a man performs some deeds which ¬according to traditional code of conduct -are considered very big sins. But when looked at judicially, they are not considered so despicable, but are not only forgivable but the same bad acts become praiseworthy also. When a person kills someone for robbing his wealth, it becomes a terrible sin. A judge of some court of law passes a death-sentence on some anti-social person for protecting the rule of law and an executioner carries out the sentence -they are performing their duties. If someone risks his life to save someone from terrorists and kills them, then it becomes a virtue. All the three have killed, but the killings are with different results, therefore all three are not considered sinful in the same way.
Stealing is a bad act. But depending upon circumstances that too may not really be a bad deed. One who is prosperous and yet unjustly robs others is decidedly a thief. Take another example -in a situation of loss of life through severe hunger, if a person tries to protect his life by robbing something from a prosperous man, it is no big sin. In a third situation by robbing a wicked person of his means, making him powerless and putting such means to good use is an act of virtue. All the three thieves cannot be treated as sinners at the same level. Many a time because of situations, helplessness, and necessity for religious protection or low intellectual development -such acts are performed which appear damnable, but the intention behind them is not sinful. Such acts cannot be termed as sins.
Among those who can be included in the list of sinners, most people are such that they had to perform undesirable acts, because of one of the above reasons, but later on they became normal. They were helpless because of situations, lack of opportunities, and habits, and slipped into wickedness. They would have definitely become good individuals if they were in good situations, or received good facilities and obtained proper means for progress and satisfaction. Howsoever sinful a person is in the eyes of law and public opinion, but in reality the number of sinners in this world is very small. People who became wicked because of the force of circumstances can be reformed because every soul is pure as the soul is a part of God.
Many people think that they have committed so many sins, such wicked deeds and the list of their known and unknown sins is so long, that they cannot be reformed, so how can they achieve salvation? People who think in this manner should know that as soon as they take a vow to walk on the path of good deeds, the old dirty lice-ridden cloak of vices is automatically cast off. By shedding off of sins and desires and sincerely repenting for them, we are liberated from the bad results of our bad deeds. Only those acts of our past births which are destined to become as prarabdha (fate), have to be borne at some time or other during this life. In addition, these can also become the vehicles of more sins. The punishment under God's law of fate can be lightened by not resorting to wickedness and by repenting for earlier sins and it is also possible to be forgiven.
The mental strength through Gayatri-worship definitely helps to remove innumerable bad tendencies, habits and sinful attitudes of the worshipper. Many people ask, "I have so-and-so bad tendency, I have not paid any attention to avoiding non-vegetarian food, I have committed certain bad deeds. Can I be worthy of Gayatri worship?" Such people should very well understand that Gayatri is a kind of soap. When soap has been created for removing dirt, then it is useless to think whether dirty clothes deserve the use of soap. The use of Gayatri is like a spiritual soap to remove bad impressions and influences and dualities and controversies within the mind. Hence a sinful person should not hesitate to use it.
Liberation from evil tendencies is definite and easy with inner transformation. It is not impossible or surprising if today's sinner becomes a saint tomorrow. Authors of scriptures have told this straight-forward tale with great emphasis on the destruction of sins through Gayatri worship. If it is understood that one can be freed from the punishment for past deeds by certain means, then evil people will go on committing sins and then say that now their past sins have been annihilated. They will think of again committing the sinful acts and resort to prayers for destroying the sins. One must remove this misconception from its roots. If man goes on committing more sins, he remains sinful only. There is no question of his sins being washed out through prayers if simultaneously he commits sins also. When man starts despising sinful acts and saves himself from bad thoughts then on achieving this state of mind, he will not have the inclination to adopt the path of sin. He will not expect that God will accept a small bribe of prayers and forgive his continuity of sins.
For the banishment of crimes, the rule of punishment is put into effect when children do something wrong, the mother scolds them, when a disciple becomes tardy, the teacher takes up the cane, when the societal rules are disturbed, the local council dispenses punishment, when the law is broken, fines, jail, or death-sentence is there. God has provided for punishment of sins through punishment in the form of bad luck, bodily ailments and material wants or scarcity. This rule of law is not meant as revenge or a tit for tat, but it is created on the basis of high spiritual science. The reason is that as a result of the unhappiness caused by punishment there is a commotion within man's conscience which shocks him internally and he gives up the faulty path and returns to the proper path.
Through reprimand by others, we are forced to commit penance for our purification. If we willingly adopt these ourselves, willingly undergo penance for our open and hidden sins, then it is innumerable times better compared to the penance forced by others. This way there is neither insult, nor revenge nor dejection -instead, because of wilful penance there is spiritual joy, and our prestige increases in the eyes of others. The fire of the soul is required for the eradication of sins. The creation of this fire gives double benefits, one -destruction of harmful tendencies, sins, two -development, nourishment and increase in divine qualities and as a result the seeker becomes austere, mentally strong and pure.
In the scriptures, willfully repenting for our sins is prescribed by performing various rituals, fasting, pilgrimage etc. If we have committed a sin or a wicked act, then the real solution for removing their ill effects is that we make a firm resolve not to do such a thing again. In addition if a little penance is also performed, then that resolve gets a boost and its implementation becomes firmer. Along with this, an attitude of a virtuous lifestyle gains momentum. In this manner a penance based on the strength of Gayatri can wash out even the biggest of sins.
Is it possible to wash out one's sins or not? When thinking about this question we must very well understand that the soul is clean, pure, unadulterated, knowledgeable and unattached. Transparent glass and transparent vessels are by themselves pure, they do not have any color, but if you put any coloured water in it, then the vessel will look as if it has that color. If water with another colour is added, the color will once again change. Our soul is also in a similar situation. By its very nature, the soul is without any fault, but it appears sinful according to our deeds and thoughts enveloping it. Changing of attitude with Gayatri sadhana can readily purify a sinner. The soul is always faultless and constant -only the mind, chitta (subconscious) and the ego get coloured with various influences, because of which a sinner appears unnatural, wretched and perverted. If a change is brought about in this unnatural condition, it is not difficult for today's sinner to become tomorrow's saint. A man who has spent most of his past life on the wrong path or has whiled away most of his time, cannot achieve any purpose just by feeling unhappy and disappointed. One should concentrate on reforming the remaining part of the life. The king Parikshit had only one week of his life left. He utilized this short period purposefully with full determination and obtained salvation that others cannot achieve in several life times.
It is a surprising truth that compared to the people termed simpletons; those who are active, alert, vital, valorous and diligent are able to achieve spiritual progress faster. The reason is that in people with low vitality, the source of energy has very limited capacity. Even if they remain devotees and of pure conduct, because of less innate energy, their progress is extremely slow. But those who are energetic, and have within themselves the dynamo of vitality and valor will achieve heaps of success. Those who have kept their flag flying high in acts of sin, are definitely powerful, but their energy is misdirected. If this same energy is utilized in good deeds, then they can achieve astonishing success in short time, in that direction also.
Spiritual progress is hard work. Only people with strength, who are industrious and have tremendous courage and enthusiasm, can succeed here. The loving lap of mother Gayatri is always there even for those who are weak or have strayed from the righteous path -even for those who have walked along the road of wickedness and have carried out innumerable bad deeds. If they repent for their past deeds, take a vow not to repeat them, and are eager to walk the righteous path, they can once again get back their natural spiritual qualities and purity. Constant progress on this path is assured through Gayatri worship. Even though all the bad tendencies will not disappear immediately, but they will gradually diminish in proportion to the power of prayers. Gayatri worship invariably results in a constant increase in good qualities, good thoughts and good deeds.
It is evident that the majority of unhappiness in this world is a result of our sins. Many a times our misdeeds produce immediate results. These may manifest in the form of revenge by people whom we have harmed, by social disgrace, or through punishment by the State. Even if someone escapes from these, nobody can save himself from God's impartial justice. It can be easily inferred that physically and mentally handicapped, sub-normal, or chronically ill persons are suffering divine punishment. When carrying out our duties properly, sometimes a sudden crisis confronts us or we fail despite our best efforts, then we are forced to say that this is fate as a result of deeds in our past births.
We should deal with others in the same manner as we expect others to deal with us. We should consciously strive to save ourselves from achieving our interests at the cost of harming others. Gayatri is an alarm-bell that warns us not to walk on the path of sin. God is present everywhere and he does not take sides. Not a single sin of yours remains hidden from him, nor can you save yourself from the effects of any sin. Aum bhoor bhoovaha swaha, these words in the first line of the Gayatri mantra constantly teach us that knowing the God to be omnipresent, we should always deal with others with friendliness, warmth, love, generosity, honesty, helpfulness and kindness. One whom Mother Gayatri has blessed with this attitude will undoubtedly be released from many social afflictions. Friendliness means dealing with others with sincerity. A few crafty people may take undue advantage and cheat us because of such sincerity, but it will never cause much harm. By apparently being fooled in this way, our fame, saintliness and reputation increases, which later on gives much more benefits compared to the temporary harm. A person's hard fate becomes bearable when he has many co-operating friends and well-wishers. Divinely ordained troubles destined to be suffered invariably, will certainly come our way, but with the chanting of the first quarter of Gayatri mantra, which bestows good nature and friendly attitude on us, these too can be borne easily. With the passing away of the near and dear ones, many people become intensely upset and they lament the separation day and night. The reason for this prolonged mourning is entrapment in attachment or moha. The feeling of nearness is a generous and all-encompassing element. Our family members should be considered as God's gift and an opportunity of service. One who thinks in this way will not be unduly upset when the soul of a person performs the normal process of changing the body. If God takes away one medium of service, we can always serve someone else. The principal reason for unhappiness is that because of the shock of the death of someone, we lose our composure and think of the departed soul as our property and consider it a loss in our joy, self-interest, hope etc.
Momentary pleasure is very attractive, charming and tempting. A person with a narrow view-point gets tempted by it and suffers very much like birds tempted by grains that leads to their capture. Gayatri warns us about the pitfalls of this temptation and teaches, "Son, you are not the body, but the soul. Do not obstruct the path of spiritual salvation by becoming a victim of greed, indulgence, desires and temptations. Look to your permanent benefits and interests and sacrifice your momentary pleasure." Sensual pleasures are momentary but their bad effects remain for a long time. The pleasure of being wealthy remains only for a short time, but the wickedness taught by immorally earned wealth, and the thorns sown for the future live on for a long time to haunt us. Such short-sighted persons get trapped into many types of enticements.
One who has faith on Gayatri, becomes far sighted by obeying the second instruction of the Mother in the second part of the mantra. He can clearly see that all kinds of addictions destroy the vitality of life. If he has an addiction he gives it up courageously and cautions others against it. He has control over his lusts and conserves his energy for higher objectives. He follows a busy schedule by being careful that not a single moment is wasted. He loves hard work and becomes a karma yogi. One who protects himself from addictions, bad habits, laziness and indiscipline never suffers ill-health. If a chronic disease has lingered on, that too disappears quickly or becomes less intense. The vitality of disciplined persons is conserved; therefore they lead a long healthy life. Since laziness disappears, the various organs work well till the end. Cheerfulness of mind, earning capacity etc. is firmly linked with good health. Gayatri mantra's second portion removes in no time all the troubles caused by ill-health. Gayatri takes us to that situation in which a person lives in peace and enjoys the benefits of good health-which is his birth right. People say that they do not have free time for self-study, physical exercise, worship, and public service. They cannot spare time for, music, swimming or meeting saints. The reason is only one -such people consider all the above as useless and do not consider them worth any attention. Time is not available only for that work which is considered unimportant. We give priority to the work we consider essential; we finish it first while ignoring others. When the attraction for money is extremely powerful, one does not find time for finer things in life and lofty ideals.
All round development is possible when the attraction for wealth is reduced and earning money is not considered an end but only a means to an end. The following are no less important than earning money -learning, maintenance of health, developing one's worth and capacities, increasing inner enthusiasm by humour, developing one's own nature, to fulfill one's social obligations, to devote one's time for social service and above all -spiritual reflection. For these activities also the same time and energy should be applied as for earning money. But this is possible only when the undue importance given to money is reduced to realistic proportions. Material goods should be given importance only in proportion to their usefulness. Our main direction of aim should be towards attaining good qualities and spiritual development.
Deep thinking removes many tangles in our life and roots out many troubles very easily. The third part of Gayatri mantra has blessed many who were unhappy over shortage of money or family problems. Gayatri corrects their faulty thinking, their eyes open up and they realize their mistakes. Once they start thinking positive, they find that shortage of worldly things actually motivates them for progressing in other directions. They are saved from many worries, burdens and wicked acts. A man with just enough income indeed gains more benefits compared to the man who plunges into day and¬ night activities of earning 'by any means' for possessing a lot of wealth and comforts. When the light of Gayatri illuminates our minds, we see the adversities in a proper perspective.
The message of the fourth portion of Gayatri mantra is that we should intelligently utilize both favourable and unfavourable situations. We should expect the best future but be prepared to face the worst. If we think of difficulties as only challenges for honing our skills, and do not become afraid, then certainly no unpleasant situation can make us unhappy. If we adopt the good habit of remaining cheerful, then we will be easily freed from the depressions. Life is a game to be played with a spirit of sportsmanship. Actors perform various roles on the stage but are personally not influenced by the character which they portray. Life has to be carried on in the same spirit.
When Gayatri takes someone under Her shelter, she makes the fate of such a person bearable so that such devotees quickly become liberated from the burdens of past karma. One may have to go through several bitter experiences in this process. Thus liberated, the soul does not have to be drawn into the vicious circle of births and deaths. On one hand, the burden of past karma is relieved, and on the other hand, his inner purity goes on increasing. This double benefit of Gayatri sadhana makes one progress with great speed towards the ultimate goal of salvation.