Ganapati Muni’s Science of Mantra – Part Four

In this concluding post of the series, Ganapati Muni’s commentary elucidates the forms of Skanda and Indra which bear the mantra’s sound-wave, Sabda Brahman, seeing them realised in his spiritual brother and mentor, Ramana Maharshi of Arunachala.  See also the three preceding posts, and search “Puranas” on this blog for a racy account of the Skanda mythology.

Note: the god Skanda is also known as Kumara, Murugan (or Subrahmanya) and Krtikkai.

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the Muni on tiger skin photo xerox copy

Third Chapter:  The Vedic Mantra of Guha
by Ganapati Muni

We have commented upon the two Tantric Mantras of the master Ramana. Yet his Mantras are found even in the Veda. Amongst them, here is a clear cut Mantra of Bhagavan:

“Vrsa jajana vrsanam ranaya
tamu cinnari naryam sasuva.
Prayah senanir adha nrbhyo astinah
satva gavesanah sa dhrsruh.”

  • The seer is Vasishtha. The Deity is Indra and the metre is Trishtubh.
  • vrsa is “Rudra who is of the form of Sabda Brahman”. He is vrsa because “he pours down (varsati) the special knowledge”;
    vrsanam “the God who showers down flames ranavya for battle”.
    To wage war brings forth the meaning vrsa jajana – (Rudra)
  • Tamu –  the way God, u, is indeclinable (without inflexions) – suggests the loftiness of the Name with which it is closely associated
  • nari cit is the divine Force: cit is indeclinable, used to denote the indescribable.
    If nari is derived from nara, men, then the word nari (feminine) means the Kundalini sakti hidden in man. (*)
  • sasuva“is produced”. In what way ? Naryam“born amongst men” – are the leaders, or perfected beings.
FOOTNOTE -
* Nari is feminine (nari-kundalini)

SITA 2 of lotuses

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THIS IS THE TRANSLATION IN ESSENCE:

“Kundalini sakti in the body of perfected man produces for ‘battle’
Indra’s form within the fire of astra from Sabda Brahman.”

God, taking birth, “becomes the commander – senanih – of the armies of the Gods”.
The third and fourth lines of the verse conclude:

  • adha nrbhvo asti“and a helper to their leaders”
  • inah (means) svami“the Master”,  
  • satva “is the possessor of sat, of Truth”
  • gavesanah “seeking out”
  • sa “the acclaimed God”
  • dhrsruh, “assailer of all foes.”
Arunachala, inner path

Arunachala, inner path

To read here that Indra is being referred to and not Subrahmanya (Skanda), presents no problem. The ‘ordinary’ name for the fire of astra is Indra, and Kumara (Skanda) is the special name.

In what way ordinary? or special?   For instance, the common name for the sun is Light, but his special or personal name is Surya.

Indra denotes broadly, all ideas of multi-faceted strength.(18)

According to a thing’s true nature, each facet of it has separate specific or ‘special’ names.   In the Veda and the Brahmana it is well-known that Indra is the god of strength. The fire of astra is a powerful and mighty concept, for which, combined with supreme Lordship,  Indra’s name (as the ‘ordinary’) is appropriate. The commanding fire of astra is described specifically as Kumara.   There exists another reason beyond all this, which we shall submit later.

FOOTNOTE:
18 Indra denotes the strong lord, as in Mahendra, Kavindra, 
Munindra, etc.
Sacred India Tarot - Indra and Garuda

Sacred India Tarot – Indra and Garuda

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WHERE ‘ITIHASA’ IS APPROPRIATE

When the world was afflicted by powerful Asuras, the Gods begged and prayed to Brahma the Creative power for relief.   Brahma replied the young Kumara (Skanda) born of Rudra from Gauri would destroy the Asuras. Later Kama the god of lust was sent by the Gods to incline ascetic Rudra towards the idea of progeny. Kama was burnt up (by one look from Rudra’s third eye). Thereupon, the young Gauri did tapas. Attracted to the severity of her tapas (spiritual effort) Rudra married her. Uniting with her, he ejected his seed upwards. The seed took shelter successively in the fire, in the water and in the stalk of sara grass, and finally became the young one, Kumara.

Parvati(Gauri) and Siva with Ganapati and Skanda

Parvati(Gauri) and Siva with Bull Nandi and their children Ganapati and Skanda. Ganapati’s vehicle is the rat, and Skanda’s is the peacock.

In other words:   All human means were futile to conquer the Asura race (of demons) who devastated the world by the strength of their maya.   Here we should take the Asura race as a specific, or special human type; in the world of men the Kingdom of Asuras became perpetual.  (A problem cannot be solved with itself; the higher octave has to be called in.) The Gods gave astra, wisdom (*) to the seers, in order to destroy the Asuras. With the destruction of the Asuras, the Kingdom of the devotees of God became once more established on earth.

Sacred India Tarot Siva Ace of Lotuses

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Sacred India Tarot - Siva tests Parvati with a Mask - Version 3

This story is related by Itihasa in a covert manner. When the jiva does tapas, firstly kama, desire, is burnt by the glory of tapas.   We should not forget the fact, that the state of  tapas is  poised in the effulgence of Sabda Brahman.   Though desire is burnt up in its gross form, it prevails in the seed form, and impels the Kundalini sakti, called Gauri (or Parvati), to perform tapas.   About Kundalini being called Gauri, it is said in the Upanishad: “pita bhasatyanupama.” (19)     Gauri’s form of Kundalini is fairly wellknown in the Tantra. By her tapas, the Sabda Brahman manifests.

The whole purport is that the form of the Supreme Vak (pronunciation, divine speech) becomes capable of experiencing.   When Kundalini herself, reunited with Sabda Brahman, performs tapas, the sound vibration (energy) manifests.   It impels the energised sound in the sky, and becomes the astra.

The seed of Sabda Brahman is cultured in the fire of muladhara (root) and the nectar of the head (sahasrara) – these are said to be its consecutive sojourns in Agni and in Ganga. (20)

The manifestation in the stalk of sara grass has been described in the Second Chapter.

We have to take the Asuras as belonging to all times, not as born in a particular period.   Itihasa’s aim is to propound an all time truth.

FOOTNOTES: 
* - or Awareness

19 - Gauri, lit. "of golden yellow colour." The Narayana 
Upanishad says "Yellow, like an atom, she shines."

20 - In the subtle body, the centre at the base of the spine 
is muladhara and the centre at the top of the head is 
sahasrara. Muladhara is the seat of Fire, while sahasrara 
is the seat of the moon wherefrom the nectar flows.
 
As Ganga is the celestial river, she symbolises the nectar 
in sahasrara while Agni is the element in muladhara. The seed 
of the Sabda Brahman passes from muladhara to sahasrara, and 
has its sojourn in both centres before it manifests. 

This is the meaning of the Puranic story that Skanda is 
born from Agni as well as from the Ganga.
Gauri - Parvati - being pestered by sages

Gauri – Parvati – being pestered by sages

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WHO IS THE ASURA TARAKA?

Well, is it not to destroyTaraka that Skanda is born? Is Taraka a historical personage?

No. Yet, Tarakasura represents a truth. Taraka is death, one who (as the ferryman) takes across –   tarati – all men. (20A)   In both ways, Guha (in heart’s cave) conquers Death. By granting Self knowledge, he conquers death, the lack of awareness which causes samsara.   By the strength of the astra, he conquers death, the desire of his foes.   It is said in the Puranas that the Tripura Asuras are sons of this same Taraka.   The Tripura Asuras are none other than the three bonds. (21) Their father is lack of awareness.   That is, we fall from the Self into the body – into the idea (of being separate), of considering it as the self.

FOOTNOTE:
20A See also tara, goddess of time

21 The Three Bonds are the three pasas from which release is 
sought from Varuna by the Vedic Rishi. In the later Tantra, 
these take the form of the three granthi knots in the subtle 
body: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
Asura Lord (Demonic)

Asura Lord (Demonic)

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COMMANDER OF ARMIES

How do the words commander of armies in the Mantra signify ‘commander of armies of the gods?’   Indra, the King of Gods, becomes in this context their commander. This is made clear in another Mantra:

“Indra asem neta brha spatir      Let Indra be the leader. Let Brhaspati
dakshina yajnah pura etu somah           go in front, Dakshina, the sacrifice, and Soma
Devasenanam abhibhanjatinam     Let the Maruts march in the forefront
jayantinam maruto yatvagram.”    of the army of the Gods that demolish and conquer

Rig Veda X.103.8

This Mantra is mentioned in the chapter on astra. Also, the word ina in the Mantra became later on in the common parlance the word svami, (22) Master.

“Vavrajasim anadatir adabdha     He moved all round the seven mighty ones
divo yahvir avasana anagnah     of Heaven; undevouring, inviolate.
Sana yatra yuvatayah, sa yonir        neither were they clothed, nor were they naked;
Ekam garbham dadhire sapta vanih.”   here, young and eternal in one native land
the seven Voices held in their womb the one Child

Rig Veda III.1.6. (Sri Aurobindo’s translation)

Sapta vanih are the Seven metres* in Sanskrit poetry.   The birth of Agni as this Mantra is nothing other than the fire of astra.   This is revealed in the hymn of Agni in the sense of burning: but not with the idea of physical fire.

FOOTNOTES:
22 - Svami is one of the principle names of Skanda.

* - The seven metres represent also seven stars in the 
Pleiades constellation, the 'natural mothers' of the child 
Skanda.

Gauri Siva's bride was the daughter of the Himalaya. She is
also known as Parvati in the Puranic cycle. The river
Ganga, lit by the seven stars and the moon,"poured down"/
descended through Siva's matted dreadlocks in their love-play.
As stated earlier, neither the fire (Agni) nor the water 
(Ganga) could receive his seed. It finally came to rest
in the stalk of the mantric sara grass. From the mythology
we gain some idea of the elemental power of mantra. 
See previous post - Part Three.

Skanda as Muruganar and Krttikai (pleiades)

Skanda as Muruganar and Krttikai (pleiades

Another version of this tale is Siva's seduction of the 
wives of seven Rishis (seers) in the forest. Entering 
the heart of the fire (Agni) to which the women came to 
warm themselves,Siva impregnated them through their hair 
follicles, causing chaos in the ashram. The seed could
not be held by them, or by fire or by water, until it 
came to rest in the grass; then Gauri's breasts filled,
and the world rejoiced, unknowing as yet where the 
divine child with six heads lay.

skanda_upanishad

Ganapati Muni saw in his spiritual brother Ramana 
Maharshi, the effulgence of Skanda the warrior of light who
delivered us from Taraka. Ramana taught Self-enquiry which 
dismantles the mind and quests consciousness:  the "I ... I".
(J.A.)
 

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Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi

Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi

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COMMENTARY CONTINUED: ENQUIRY INTO THE PERSONALITY

Now we must say a word about the individualised Personality of the maya (23) form of Brahman with attributes, which is known as Subrahmanya.

We say that Indra alone is Guha’s form pertaining to the Gods. This is because Agni, the energy of sound-vibration is in the middle region; and Indra is the Lord of the middle region. This is proven in the Aranyaka when, referring to Indra, it closes with the words, Subrahmanyam, Subramanyam.

Indra’s Vedic fame as the War God, lends additional support.

What is Siva’s form among the Gods? It is Indra only. If it is said, that as father and son they are one and the same, this is correct. The only difference to note, is regarding the hidden Sabda Brahman and the manifest sound vibration. The relationship of father and son is mentioned to specify Siva and Subrahmanya (Skanda).

What is Ganapati’s form among the Gods? It is Indra only. If it is said, that as brothers Ganapati and Subrahmanya are one and the same, this is correct. The only difference to note, is that regarding the perfected mantra within, and the astra Agni impelled by it. The fraternal relationship demonstrates that first the mantra is born from Sabda Brahman; then the astra Agni.     Through the concept of Ganapati, we explain Brihaspati and Brahmanaspati. (24)

What is lightning’s form pertaining to the Gods?   It is Indra only.   Here he has a unique quality. Indra is named as the deity of Lightning.

storm in devon:daily mail

There are other great conceptual facets in the middle region, with Indra as their deity. They are not mentioned here, as we would have to go into a lot of detail.

FOOTNOTES:
23 Maya - form - the form that we measure out of the 
immeasurable

24 Ganapati, Brihaspati and Brahmanaspati - all three names 
denote the same Godhead in the Veda of the famous Rik 
"Gananam tva ganapatim lawamake ..." 

Brishaspati - Lord of the letters; Brahmanaspati - Lord of 
the Mantras. Brahma means both letter and mantra in the veda. 
Ganapati Lord of tantra, and these two names, denote the 
same Godhead.

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doorstep pattern tiru j&d7

Doorstep chalk pattern at dawn in Tiruvannamalai

 

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THE APPROPRIATENESS OF THE DIFFERENT DESCENTS

By means of whichever portion of energy the Lord Indra descends into awareness, the descent bears that specific or personal Name.  

Indra’s descent as a portion of the lightning bears his own name. His descent as a portion of Sabda Brahman is named Rudra. His descent as the force of Tantra is known by the name Ganapati, and his descent as a portion of sound vibration is called Skanda. Ganapati and Subrahmanya (Skanda) are brothers, and they are interdependent.

We have briefly interpreted the three great Mantras of the Master. We shall develop the conceptual truth of Skanda in our Devata mimamsa. (25)

FOOTNOTES
25 - Another of Vasishtha Ganapati Muni's works, where he 
unravels the significances of the Deities

Thus Ends the Third Chapter.

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Thus ends the Commentary on the Mantras of the Master,
a work of Ganapati Vasishtha, son of Narasimha
and disciple of Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi

shankara gives the vedas copy

The Closing Verse

“Munina srimukhe simhe dive suryendusangame
Suryoparagasamaye bhasyam etadudiritam.”

“In the month Sravana of the year Srimukha
on a new Moon day, at the time of Solar eclipse,
this Commentary was given out by the Muni.”

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Muni & family copy 2

APPENDIX TO THE COMMENTARY

1).   Subrahmanya is the one who is born of the auspicious Brahman, that is, Sabda Brahman.

2).   By this we have explained the name Brahma garbha (from the womb of Brahma)

Vide Amara: “Subrahmanya brahma-garbha svami saravanodbhavah”.

3).   Kumara, eternal child. He is born, finishes the work and again vanishes. Again manifests at the time of work. Therefore, he is called the eternal child. In the Veda, in the Hymn to Indra, is mentioned arbhako na kumarakah26 . Also,sadyo jajnano nirinati saturn’.27

4).   By this we have explained the name sanat kumara – sanat always; kumara, young one.

5).   Sanatsujatah also in the same way. sanat, always; sujatah, well born.

6).   Sanandana samanah equal nandanah, son (giver of happiness) to Rudra along with Ganapati.

7).   Sanakeh, eternal.

Thus these four names denote one and the same person. Perhaps because of their different manifestations, it appears they were mentioned as four (28) .

26 The youth like a little child

27 Born at once, he demolishes the foes.

28 The four disciples of Shiva as Dakshinamurti: Sanaka, 
Sanandana, Sanatkumara and Sanatsujata. Etymologically they 
have the same meaning and denote one and the same principle.
(See also Sanatanadharma)

Muni on wall copy

Here the Commentary and Appendix by the Muni ends.

We express our grateful thanks to Sri K.Natesan of Ramanasramam for making this rare manuscript available to us, and for his help with the text.   Ganapati Muni’s Commentary on the Mantra of the Master, was recently published by Ramanasramam, along with the first translation into English of Kapali Sastri’s sanskrit Commentary on the Ramana Gita.   Material from this has been utilised for the present work.

For the benefit of English readers, the language and presentation of the Guru Mantra Bhashya text have been slightly adjusted, and translations of Vedic Mantras, that were provided as footnotes, are now incorporated in the text, for easier reference..

J.A. Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK 2002

Arunachala village children

Arunachala village children

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My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2014. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

 

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Jyotish – Drawings of the Vedic Astrology Deities

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Jyotish means “the science of Light”.  This term is applied to Indian astrology, and particularly to its Vedic pantheon.  The science of Light is rooted in Earth’s relationship to the constellations.  Our western astrology, due to the precession of the equinox over the millenia, is not aligned with the constellations.  It has shifted about 23 degrees from them, so far.  It interprets the Zodiac signs as phases – segments of the arc –  of Earth’s journey around the Sun.

Both approaches however, deliver profound experiential insights.

In 1998, I was asked by Andrew Foss, president of the British Association for Vedic Astrology, to draw for him a set of the grahas, or planetary deities.

Six months later, Andrew’s mentor David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri) of the Vedic Institute in New Mexico, commissioned from me another set of the grahas, to illustrate his book The Astrology of the Seers.

On both occasions I sat down to draw the gods consecutively, one each day of the week, Sunday through Saturday, and the North and South Nodes:  Rahu and Ketu.

Here are both sets, with accompanying notes.   The first set was drawn for Andrew who is now about to publish them in his own book; they are his copyright, and here is his link: http://www.LearnVedicAstrology.com <http://www.LearnVedicAstrology.com>
http://www.VedicSoftware.com <http://www.VedicSoftware.com
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The 20 sketches of the grahas became an inspirational basis for The Sacred India Tarot.

Firstly, Ganesh.  No enterprise begins without invoking the auspicious creativity of the Elephant God, a son of Siva:

Copyright (c) Andew Foss 1998/2014

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Copyright (c) Andew Foss 1998/2014

Sunday

Notes on Surya:  Vishnu means “the one that pervades”.  Thus the Surya – SUN – resonance.

As well as his benevolence, Surya’s is a destructive, cleansing, Self-willing power.  In Indian culture, he is drought, fire and death as well as truth and creativity.  In Egyptian initiations, it was said “Osiris is a Dark God.”  To grow, we must confront.

The Sun is the power of light (Jyotish) – the translation onto the negative-film of the material plane.  The real Light appears as darkness on our retina.

Surya’s beauty has an awesome simplicity – a pitiless and denuded dharma.  He is wheel-rolling.  In Surya, all orbits and revolutions turn at different angles to one another, merely to hint at the Whole dimension of his mandala.  The black in his yantra suggests the corona, and sunspots:  solar flares and magnetic bursts.

His yantra here, is tilted.  His force arises out of its centre on a different plane.  He has a superb innocence. Aruna the Dawn drives his chariot, but It could be as well be Krishna; because Surya is akin to the Vishnu archetype, the Sustainer, the all pervading.

Light is generated in Surya, to every direction and field of space.  Nothing reflects or is reflected.  It is all Self creating.  There is no polarization or “effect” in the intoxicating nucleus of the Oneness.

In Jyotish, a Sun ruled personality may lack sensitivity to others, and is also not very impressionable in the astral field, i.e. does not have occult “experiences” – particularly if Earth and Saturn are strong in the chart.

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Copyright (c) Andew Foss 1998/2014

Monday

Chandra, the deity of the Moon, is also SOMA, the nectar of the gods.

Fluidity, receptivity, clouds, sea, an infinite series of crescents, reflected light …  let us form a vessel;  attunement, watery, childlike – a polarized light is drawn across the heavens.

The foundation of Vedic Astrology has 27 Lunar Mansions and 108 segment/divisions (27 times the 4 lunar quarters).   The fast mover around the constellational field, absorbs every resonance, and determines the constellar imprint at birth, for a lifetime’s cycles.   In India, the Moon is the central significator, more so than the Sun.  Indian and Western astrology have varying cultural and climatic nuances, and a different “harmonic” chart structure, but interpretation brings forth the same principles, like different sides of the same leaf.

The grahas or gods are all represented as male – even the Moon and Venus.  This is because it is taken for granted in Indian metaphysics, that every god has his Shakti or feminine half, and cannot operate without her.  So some of them are profoundly androgenous.

Chandra carries a mace and a white night lily.  Chandra’s complexion is silvery white.  His mystic vehicle is drawn by a young antelope;  the three wheels are lunar-phase Yantras.  The ten horses are the seminal energy of Brahma’s child Atri, spilt in all the 10 directions (damsels) and received by earth.

Chandra expresses the love of children, of the young in all the Universe.  Light giver, boon bringer, he touches surfaces, moving the lunar tide.

Chandra is “the son of Varuna (the winds) Lord of the Oceans, from which the Moon rises.”  During the waning half of the month, (moonth) 36,000 gods feed on his nectar and exhaust him.  During the waxing half, Surya feeds him with the water of the Oceans, and he regains strength and fullness.

A Lunar ruled personality is highly sensitive, receptive, yielding:  susceptible also to shadow persuasions and deception.

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Copyright (c) Andew Foss 1998/2014

Tuesday

Mangala, Mars, is the son of Earth.  That is why he does well in Capricorn.  For all his energy and drive, he represents aspects of the tamas-guna – i.e. enclosure, systems, the trained warrior, control and obedience, skill.  The tamas-guna gives form to the fiery, centrifugal rajas-guna.  (See Tree of Life, Three Gunas, at the end of this post.)

Mangala’s spear, club and the demon-destroying Skanda on peacock, are the spirit of war and of self defense.   The negative side of this is:  wilful destroyer, tamas-inertia, road rage (chaotic or cold), ignorance.   Note his sensual facial features:  fire in earth.  Mangala carries his Shakti on his lap.  His hands gesture “freedom from fear”.  The Shakti is also the spear.  The feminine Shakti is the Kundalini of which Mars when in his exaltation, is Lord.

Big muscular body, but also stillness.  The alert spear is at rest:  law-sustainer, the balance which is sattva-guna.  The red energy is kept still and quiet.

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Copyright (c) Andew Foss 1998/2014

Wednesday

Budha, Mercury.  Intelligence is budha, a faculty which quicksilvers the mind, but is not the mind, it is the Universe. Sweet mischievous winged one, hears the speech of birds, blesses, delivers, playful chameleon, has lived as a woman – the son/seed of Chandra(moon) and Tara, goddess of the Word.  Thus Budha’s Ardhanariswara curve, his sensitive androgenous grace.

Budha’s vehicle is a Lion with an elephant’s trunk – rather a surprise.  The Lion is the king of beasts.  The Elephant is the remover of obstacles, and very Indian.  The Lion is the power of grace, and the Elephant – who grows SLOWLY – is the power of speech and memory.

Budha’s aura is gold.  He is like Hermetic gold, clear, sparkling and childlike.  The most adaptable and amenable of archetypes, he can take on also the colouring and power of the asuras – demons.  He carries a short sword and a Tara Yantra shield.

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Copyright (c) Andew Foss 1998/2014

Thursday

Guru:  Jupiter:  Brhaspati is the protector of the hymnology of the Vedas – teacher of the science of Light – controller of the Sun and Moon.

His western counterpart is Jove, or Zeus.  Brahma is his tutelary deity.  He holds rosary, mendicants’ staff, sacred water-pot, and his gesture disposes boons.  Auspicious, except when reversing.

He has a yellow-white complexion, and sits on a golden lotus.  His hair and beard are matted, and he wears an antelope skin.  He is the preceptor of the Gods.  Eight horses – or lotus petals, the directions of space – pull his chariot.  The Great Swan is Paramahansa. In Vedic symbolism, the swan churns nectarine Light from the dark water – the cream from the milk.

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Copyright (c) Andew Foss 1998/2014

Friday

Sukra:  Venus.  An androgynous figure.  “Sukra” means “white”.  The preceptor of the demons was Kavi – he brought destroyed asuras back to life.  Bull Nandi found this out, and told his Master, Siva, who ordered Kavi before him, and gobbled him up.  Inside Siva’s stomach, Kavi sang hymns in Siva’s praise.  Pleased, Siva let him out through his penis, and told him (Kavi) he is his own Son, now called Sukra the white.

Like the Nilakunta/Kalakunta story, an atomic homeopathy comes into play:  the transformation of the demonic at the root, by Siva

This tale of alchemic transmutation has strong resonances with the mythology of Uranus and Aphrodite.  Uranus engendered so many Titans (cosmic demons), that he was castrated by Chronos (Saturn) by order of their mother, Gaia.  His organ fell into the sea where it burst into a great froth, out of which emerged Aphrodite, goddess of love … comely as in Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, brought to shore.   No wonder, many believe she’s the cause of all the trouble.

In the Solar system, Venus and Uranus both rotate around their axes at right angles to the rest of the planetary universe.

Sukra/Venus had agreed earlier to be the preceptor of Demons, because he had feelings of envy and ill will towards Bhraspati (Jupiter), the preceptor of Gods.  The Vedic psychology is as precise and informed in its symbolism of dark and light, as any Jungian analysis.  The demonic vitality, when regulated, becomes an auspicious servant.

Sukra/Venus enjoys white flowers, and to ride a red lotus;  favours water, carries a water-pot, staff, rosary and boon-bestowing gesture, like Jupiter.  The tutelary deity is Indra;  the vehicle is pulled by the 8 white horses of the sea.

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Copyright (c) Andew Foss 1998/2014

Saturday

Sani – Saturn – has a dark complexion, and carries lance, dart, spear and bow.  Sanaischava was the second son – the firstborn was Manu, scribe of the Laws – of the shadow wife of Surya.  Surya’s actual wife (Samjna) couldn’t bear Surya’s brilliant Light, so she left her shadow-replica for Surya to conceive with.

Sani keeps his head bent, for fear of causing injury to living beings.  This is because once upon a time, being engaged in austerities, he failed to notice his lovely wife – who cursed him henceforth, that whatever he looked at, would be destroyed.  So when the Gods persuaded him to visit Siva and Parvati and their new baby Ganapati (Ganesh), he kept his head bent, and wouldn’t look.

(Some say that he did look, and that is why Ganesh has an elephant head.   In general the Vedic Divine behaviour has much in common with Olympus.)

But if Sani averted his gaze, he lost the ability to behold good fortune and the removal of obstacles, and grew gloomy.  So he has a sadness, a darkness in his heart about the intolerable brightness of Surya;  and a compassion with the living beings – the burden of their Dharma.

Sani’s tutelary deities are Prajapati, Lord of Creatures and their Procreation, and Yama the Lord of Death.  His ornaments are a very dark sapphire – the colour nila.  His ikon is black iron installed on a pedestal the shape of an arrow.  Sani is slow moving, and tends to be lame.  He has the face of the Sun, but rides a crow.  He is a philosopher of the wheels within wheels which themselves are turning.

David Frawley’s book says Sani’s Vedic vehicle is an Ox.  So I gave him a pair, yoked and slow moving.  Sani has musicians’ hands.  Saturn is the musical discipline, the harmony of the spheres, the subtle intelligence, or cosmic intellect.

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Copyright (c) Andew Foss 1998/2014

Sunday/Monday

Rahu, the upturned glyph, is the Dragons’ Head with a serpent body.  Rahu is a wide ranging break-dancer, with a passion for manifestation and reverse modes.  He chases the Sun and Moon to eat them, but whenever this begins to occur, there is a strange resonance of alignment along the ecliptic planes:  the Oneness, the silence in all the Universe … which Rahu dreads.

Paradoxically, Rahu’s dark path around the petals of the Light, cancels every difference.

Rahu most resembles Uranus.  Vedic astrology, with galactic archetypes to deal with, as well as planets, dispenses with Uranus, Neptune, Pluto.  As with Uranus, Rahu’s multi-dimensioned visit apparently breaks apart the known world, manifesting and destroying islands of aggrandizement … to reveal, as in Holst’s The Planets: Nothing.  Ringing silence.  Or Magic!   Rahu’s energy field is a clash of cymbals.

His vehicle is a Lion and eight trotting horses, as black as beetles.  He occludes and occultates the Sun:  thus his power to promote illusion, magic and worldly gain, political tyranny and wealth … which break apart.  He is pure Hollywood glitz.  On a sundial, the principle of Time the all-devourer, faces the Sun:  Rahu is the shadow the Sun throws behind Time.  He carries sword, shield, spear, gesture of protection and gesture of boon disposal.  He is worshipped by black flowers, and his face is tiger like.  His tutelary deities are Kala – great Time – and Sarpa, the Serpent queen.   Kala is another name for Yama, Lord of Death.

[NB:  The KaLAs (accent on second A) are fractions of the Moon’s orbit.  The Nitya Shaktis are 16 moon digits around the cycle of its waxing and waning.

KaLA is a manifestation (through the unfolding of Sri Chakra Yantra) of material force, along with sound (Nada).  See also the similar root words: KaLA meaning root;  KALI yuga, materiality, and KALAKUNTA, the great black demon churned up with the gods’ ambrosial butter, which Siva swallowed and turned peacock blue in his throat. 

So KaLA suggests “materiality” and also “part or fraction” – which is what the materiality-projection turns out to be.  KaLA is said (in Sri Chakra Yantra writings) to limit the infinite power of Siva who is formless.  KaLA forms and separates. 

KAla is the god of Time, carrying noose and cudgel.  This also limits and materializes.]

In Rahu’s story, he was an Asura – a great Demon.  He pretended to be a god, and came to drink Soma with them in their revels.  Surya and Chandra (Sun and Moon) detected him, and reported him to Vishnu, who cut off his head with his Discus.  But Rahu’s mouth had already tasted Soma and become immortal;  so Brahma had to reluctantly make him into a planet.  Rahu is hungry for ever, for the bliss.  He pursues the sun and moon during the period of eclipse.  Rahu, the North node, is a point of intersection of the orbits of moon around earth and earth around sun;  this point travels counter-clockwise around the zodiac.  It makes a complete circuit every 18.6 years.

Rahu rules the constellations Ardra, Svati and Satabhishak.  His nature is feminine-absorbing, with Jupiter and Venus influences.  He is exalted in Gemini, rules Virgo, is harmony in Libra, discord in Aries, detrimental in Pisces, and falls in Sagittarius – the story of his life.  He “contributes to worldly prosperity”.

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Copyright (c) Andew Foss 1998/2014

Tuesday

KETU – the Moon’s South Node – is the body chopped away from the Asura – from the serpent who tasted nectar, and remained for ever addicted.

Ketu favours spiritual development, Yoga and “the party is over”.  Ketu is what got left behind Rahu’s binge, and is the situation of most of us.   Rahu assists the general razzmatazz, but Ketu is much smaller than that giant head, and his tendency is to concentrate and distil, rather than to expand.  Core-wise, he isn’t interested in externals.

Ketu is exalted in Sagittarius, rules Pisces, is harmony in Aries and discordant in Libra, causes grave detriment in Virgo and falls in Gemini.  In some representations he is two-armed, with his left hand on his knee.

In the centre of the wheel is stillness.  The tail end of the dragon seeks stillness.  I feel blindfold with this KETU.  I cannot see, he is a great mystery, and there isn’t much to read about him.  He rides on Pigeons.  His ikon is banner shaped.  His tutelary deities are Brahma and Chitragupta.  Chitragupta is an attendant of Yama.  Thus:  the Creator and the Destroyer are his guardian angels.  He winnows out the excess.  His head is deformed, and his complexion and ornaments are ashy.  NAM YAR – who am i?

David Frawley’s book explains: RAHU is the shadow of the Moon; KETU is the shadow of the Sun.  Ketu is contractive, centripetal, like Saturn.   Ketu tends to use up one’s vitality – overwork and isolation, but … the most wonderful insight from past lives, aligned with Mercury.  KETU means “a flag”.  He boosts all the planetary powers.  He is most like Pluto – trans-formative, the Light of the dark.

“Rahu and Ketu indicate the factors which block out the light of the great luminaries.”

In this general context, I am reminded of a classic photo of the world’s second highest mountain – taken on the Duke of Abruzzi’s expedition to the Karakorum in 1909:  K2, known locally as “Ketu”, as seen from the Baltoro Glacier:

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Here are now the second sequence of the Grahas, six months later – without notes, as published in David Frawley’s book, The Astrology of the Seers.  It gave me an opportunity to develop all the ideas:

Copyright (c) David Frawley 2000

Sunday, Surya

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Copyright (c) David Frawley 2000

Monday, Chandra

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Copyright (c) David Frawley 2000

Tuesday, Mangala

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Copyright (c) David Frawley 2000

Wednesday, Budha

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Copyright (c) David Frawley 2000

Thursday, Guru

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Copyright (c) David Frawley 2000

Friday, Sukra

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Copyright (c) David Frawley 2000

Saturday, Sani

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Copyright (c) David Frawley 2000

Rahu, Northnode

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Copyright (c) David Frawley 2000

Ketu, Southnode

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Dattatreya, the Guru of Life

Dattatreya, at the finale of this sequence, complements Ganesh at the beginning.  Dattatreya is the Guru of those who no longer walk holding the hands of someone more grown up.  Dattatreya is the unconditional preceptor through nature and through every situation in life:  puja to the sacred art of Life.

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Bridging principles of Kabbalah and Vedanta:  Tree of Life,  Four Worlds and Three Gunas

NB – for contemporary and wonderfully accessible teachings on Vedic Astrology (Jyotish), look up or google The Vedic Institute (David Frawley), British Association of Vedic Astrologers (BAVA – Andrew Foss), and Komila Sutton, who writes and lectures brilliantly.  Andrew developed a Vedic-astrology software which is friendly to western tropical chart users.

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TO VIEW SLIDES, click on any image and wait for gallery to upload

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All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

 My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

Portrait Gallery (2) of Ramana & Devotees

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Ramana on a walk

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… and when he was very old

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… and when he was very young

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… and rather frail with the Light that trembled in his lamp

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… and along comes Robert

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… and Catherine Ingram, whose Dharma Dialogues watch the storm in the clear sky.

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This is another sketch of Annamalai Swami. (See my earlier post, Visit to Arunachala 1993)

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… and here, Annamalai and Ramana are at work, building the Ashram.

Annamalai’s book Living by the Words of Bhagavan as told to David Godman, caused quite a stir, in 1994.  It describes, with a bricklayer’s honesty, the atmosphere of ferment around the sage, in those early days.   It brilliantly observes the psychology of Ashram – any Ashram – and contains some very beautiful teaching.

Now, some other builders:

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Skanda and Ganapati – Ramana and Ganapati Muni play their mythological roles as spiritual brothers in Siva’s lap …

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… and then enjoy themselves in the tank.

 Ganapati’s devotees called him “Nayana” – Little Father.  Ganapati Muni could breathe a mantra into a devotee’s whiskery ear, in such a way that it remained, unending, like the sea.  His Sanskrit poetry of Ramana’s teaching and early dialogues with devotees, became the “Ramana Gita”.

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Kapali Shastri – the Muni’s student, a great Tantric scholar and scribe, who lived at Aurobindo’s Ashram, and journeyed to and fro – writes it all down

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And here are the lineage holders – K Natesan and Vamadeva Shastri (David Frawley).

The late K Natesan translated and preserved the Muni’s Sanskrit poetry, many of these works still unpublished.  The heritage combines Self-enquiry, Vedic wisdom, Ayurvedic medicine, Jyotish (the astrology of Light), Aurobindo’s teaching, meditation and yoga –  in every branch of life.   The disciplines are interwoven and integral.  It was the Muni’s burning desire to re-awaken India’s Vedic heritage, to cast off the abuses much of it had fallen into.

Vamadeva Shastri studied with Natesan and with M.P.Pandit (whose teacher was Kapali Shastri) and brought it back to New Mexico.  It thrives in his translations of the Vedic Hymns and on http://www.vedanet.com – the American Institute of Vedic Studies.  He published many books on Yoga and the roots of Mantra and the Vedic civilization.   A western acharya – a rarity, as recognized by the wisdom holders in India – he is one of those who help to restore the Sanatana Dharma.  Taking root, the oak in the acorn seed takes its time to grow.    It is interesting how the  pioneering initiative is and has been reflected back, by a Westerner.   Ramana lived in a cave, but became known through the quintessential comedy of east and west, within the well of Self-enquiry.

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Francis Lucille (2)

A French diplomat and musician:  his teacher was Jean Klein.  One day, the Gayatri Mantra opened the door …

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Papaji

Poonja (Papaji) traveled all over India as a yogi and stayed with Ramana.  He loved and played with Krishna also, round the other side of the Hill.  As he grew old, seekers from the west settled to him like bees to the flower.   In Lucknow, he took care of Osho’s children.   He said “Keep quiet” and “Let there be peace to all beings.”   With him, Catherine Ingram (above) released her Buddhist training into the meeting place of the Self.  The teaching is a flow of being, whatever the form.

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Ramana drinks wisdom

And here is Ramana on a hot day.

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My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.