Saturday, 30 November 2013

THE PATH OF BAKTHI OR DEVOTION (CONTINUED)


When Agathiyar asks that I have a bronze statue of him made and perform ablution or Abhisegam I was both delighted and confused. I was delighted that he had given me this rare privilege but I was questioning myself as to why he was bringing me back to the path of Devotion or Bakthi while Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal wanted me to progress and move on to the path of Wisdom or Gnana.

When I was led to Supramania Swami on the last leg of my pilgrimage to India in 2003 and took him as my Guru and later met Tavayogi in Malaysia in 2005, I was in a similar dilemma. Supramania Swami frequented temples and wanted to build one for Lord Murugan. Tavayogi did not encourage temple worship but instead wanted us to come out of it. I was questioning myself as to why I was introduced to two gurus who were on the extreme end of their chosen paths.

But Agathiyar had his ways. Supramania Swami’s plan to construct a temple in Thiruvanamalai was halted by a sidha who questioned why he was moving a step back into the path of Devotion or Bakthi Margam when he was already in the path of Wisdom or  Gnana Margam.


On the other hand Agathiyar made Tavayogi install a 6 ½ foot fibre statue of Agathiyar at his ashram the Sri Agathiyar Gnana Peedham at Kallar. Then another fibre statue of Tava Murugan was installed at his premises. Agathiyar instructed Tavayogi to place yet another granite statue of him in the hills of Kallar at the very spot where he had given a vision to Tavayogi, now known as Mulasthaanam. Tavayogi was instructed to conduct the Yagna or Yagam too. Since then he has been conducting the Sarva Dosa Nivaarana Maha Yagam in conjunction with the Annual Agathiyar's Jayanthi and Guru Puja celebrations. This years celebrations will be on 22 December 2013.

After Supramania Swami attained Samadhi in 2007, I was left with Tavayogi. On 2 January 2010, Agathiyar arrives on our shores and moves into my home in the form of a one foot bronze statue as he had directed in the Nadi. Agathiyar asks that Abhisegam by performed. Tavayogi ask that I perform a Homam. Later I learn to refine the procedures and rituals when Tavayogi performs the Abhisegam and Homam at my home in Malaysia.

Although I was confused and had my reservations about these rituals, I performed these to my best ability. But I prayed that I did not want to end up being a priest. I wanted more. I wanted to seek the kingdom of God. Then Agathiyar decides to reveal through the nadi the purpose as to why he wanted me to perform these rituals. Just as is mentioned in the ‘SIVAGNANA SIDDHIYAR SUPAKKAM’ and ‘SIVAGNANA SIDDHIYAR’ that performing Yagna and Abhisegam was the duty of the son, Agathiyar took me in as a his son and had me conduct the Homam for the benefit of humanity and all of creation. I was deeply grateful to Agathiyar then for giving me this rare opportunity to help my fellow beings. Just as he had given numerous task to other devotees of his like running homes for the poor and orphaned; running Ashrams and preaching his words; feeding the poor; caring for the old and sick; I realized that this was the Dharma he gave me. I could accept the reason for asking me to conduct the Homam and I accepted it as my mission.

Professor Anil Kumar on his webpage www.saiwisdom.com explains that there are three aspects to every spiritual activity that is the ritual aspect of it or Karma, its inner significance or Jnana and the third, devotion or Bhakti which forms the link between the two.

Tavayogi performs the Homam at my home
The ritual aspect or Karma.

The Professor says men who conduct the Yagna and the offerings form the Karma Kaandam, or the ritual aspect. I realized that when Tavayogi suggested I carry out the lighting of the sacrificial fire and when I took heed of his words, from that day forth I became the vessel to conduct this ritual.

The inner significance or Jnana.

Professor Anil Kumar writes that in order to experience joy and bliss in this activity the inner significance of the ritual or Jnana has to be understood.

Agathiyar instructed me to have his statue made and to perform ablution. Agathiyar made me understand through the nadi reading the purpose of engaging in these rituals. He tells me that I was not doing it for me or my family but for the good of all of mankind.


Tavayogi on his part started me performing the Homam that took me deeper into performing rituals. I had doubts if I could carry out such a responsibility. But when he told me to start small with the Homam, a smaller scale of the Yagam, I relented. He asked that I get a copper vessel or Homam Kundam and all the stuffs that go into the sacrificial pit, all available commercially and could be purchased off the shelf. Tavayogi mooted me to start a fresh and new journey and also gave me the confidence to get started.

Professor Anil Kumar and Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya, just as Agathiyar and Tavayogi, say that the Yagna is never personal and is for the collective good of mankind.

When I was told the first time by Tavayogi that he was performing a Yagna (Sarva Dosa Nivaarana Maha Yagam), he told me that he was doing it to lessen the extend and force of the many natural calamities that where taking place during that period of time. Later he started lighting five Yagna pits which eventually became 108 Sarva Dosa Nivarana Maha Yagam on the instructions of Agathiyar. This Yagna was conducted annually at his ashram grounds to commemorate the Jayanthi and Guru Puja of Agathiyar. Devotees of Agathiyar are given the rare opportunity to conduct their own Yagna to appease the Dosas and to bring fortune and good health upon themselves besides performing this ritual for the welfare and good of all of creation.

I was asked by Tavayogi to conduct prayers for Agathiyar in Malaysia simultaneously while he performed them at his ashram in Kallar. Later during his visit to Malaysia he personally conducted the Homam and Abhisegam at my home. My family and I learned from watching him perform these procedures. Watching him perform them enabled us to fine tune and make good what was lacking.

Tavayogi conducting the Yagam during the installation of the 6 1/2 feet tall fibre statue of Agathiyar at his Ashram. Photo courtesy of  http://www.flickr.com/photos/50976763@N08/
The element of Devotion or Bhakti

The Professor says one needs to have the element of Devotion or Bhakti in him to conduct these rituals ‘with sincerity, with steadfastness, with determination, with all its purity and with all the austerities that must go into it’. The path of Bhakti paves the way for Jnana, and in the words of the Professor, renders ‘wisdom in all humility, in all its reverence because Jnana requires humility, reverence, receptivity, and sensitivity.’

When Agathiyar came to my home in the form of a bronze statue that he had instructed me to prepare under strict conditions and to confirm to given specifications, and asked that I perform Nava Abhisegam, I carried them out all to my utmost ability although inside me I asked that I did not want to end up being a priest. I had already played that role in my past life according to Agathiyar’s revelation. Later I realized that I should appreciate the fact that Agathiyar has asked me to conduct the Abhisegam and Tavayogi the Homam for not everybody gets this privilege and opportunity to do so.

I realized conducting the Abhisegam and lighting the sacrificial fire Yagna too is a combination of all these three elements - the ritual aspect of it or Karma, its inner significance or Jnana and the third, devotion or Bhakti which forms the link between the two.

The Vedas & Yagna

The Professor says that the Vedas is both Yagna Siddhi and Yagna Sthithi which means ‘to realize the purpose or to fulfill the objectives of every Yagna and the procedural aspects respectively.’

The Yajur Veda speaks of the three important branches of science, the first being, Jyotish Sastra which relates to the time and the duration factor of every Yagna, the second, Vasthu Sastra speaks of the place; and the third Vyakarana Sastra relates to the mantra aspect of it.

The Professor explains the three categories of Yagna categorized accordingly to the recipients.

1. The first category of Yagna is for the intellectuals and priestly class, the Brahmins who are committed full time to it, having dedicated their lives to Yagna and whose job is to perform Yagna.
This category is further divided into three divisions,
i. Avihavirva Yagna
ii. Soma Yagna and
iii. Paaka Yagna.

2. The second category is for rulers and kings.
This category is further divided into three divisions,
i. Aswamedha Yagna
ii. Raja Sooya Yagna and
iii. Sarvamedha Yagna.

3. The third category is for the rest of us, the householders.
This category is further divided into five divisions,
i. Deva Yagna.
Deva Yagna is an expression of thanks to God for this beautiful gift of life, body, and health.
ii. Rishi Yagna.
Rishis gave us our scriptures. Rishi Yagna is performed to show ones gratefulness for the heritage and legacy, passed on to us through the scriptures.
iii. Pitru Yagna.
Pitru Yagna is done to express thanks to ones parents.
iv. Manushya Yagna.
Manushya Yagna implies two things,1. Acquiring good values and 2. Serving fellow men.
v. Bhutha Yagna.
Bhutha Yagna is showing concern for other beings and animals, trees and plants.

From an article on the net, the Author (I could not trace the source, but will name him the Author henceforth - editor) explains the Yagna based on his findings in the Vedas, the Puranas and from writings of the Rishis. He equates Yagna as the father of all material and divine or spiritual forces (Ridhi and Sidhi). Vedas mention Yagna as means to fulfil man’s needs and again means to keep away obstacles on the path of his material and spiritual progress.

P.V.R. Narasimha Rao in his ‘CHANDI HOMAM - LAGHU PADDHATI’ and www.VedicAstrologer.org too mentions the same,

Most Vedic rituals are symbolic of certain inner changes that you bring about within yourself, to remove obstacles within your Sookshma Sareera that are blocking self-knowledge. The purpose of Veda is the knowledge of self (Aatman) and all rituals are ultimately for that purpose.

The Rig Veda equates God as Divine Fire and fire as the Purohita. The Rig Veda recommends the form of fire as an image of God for meditation and devotion. Thus the person conducting the Yagna becomes divine.

"Such a person’s psyche becomes an unlimited vault of jewels represented by sacred qualities. The Havan doer finds the same in the form of a vault of rare jewels. These are divine jewels of divine wealth which follows us in innumerable incarnations/rebirths that we undergo. They fill us up with so many divine glories (Vibhootees)."

The Yajurveda says Yagna nurtures all and the very Vedas too that originated from the Yagna.

The Puranas & Yagna

The Author quotes from the Siva Purana that Yagna is the supreme means to please Lord Siva and as such the Rishis were instructed to come down to earth and perform Yagna for 1000 years.

In ancient India massive Yagna were conducted by Rishis, Kings and householders for both material and spiritual gains. Amongst them, the Kaareerishta Yajna was done to create monsoon seasons; Bhaishajya Yajna to eradicate germs and bacteria; Putreshti Yajna to bless childless couples with a child; Balivaishwa Yajna to bring good fortunes to the householder; Vaajpeya Yajna to awaken latent soul forces; and the Rajasuya Yajna to solve problems in politics and governance.

The Author, quotes from more Puranas.

The Brihad Narada Purana states that one who performs the Yagna tends to ‘transport’ twenty-one generations before him to Lord Vishnu’s temple.

The Matsya Puraana states that Yagna helps one to attain salvation or Mukti where he/she shall not take rebirth for thousands and millions of Kalpas.

He quotes Markandeya from the Kalikaa Puraana and also the Manu Smriti and Vedas too.

Demigods & Yagna

He says the soul in us which is subtle needs subtle food too. The fire in the stomach, Jatharaagni transforms the gross food that we consume into a subtle form which is then imbibed by the soul. Similarly when sacrifices are offered into the Yagna it is consumed by the fire and made subtle. He says the gross fire too becomes subtle in nature. With the aid of subtle wind this then enters the atmosphere and Diu Loka where the Demigods receive their food in subtle form. The Author writes extensively on Demigods that are pleased during the Yagna.

Although God is one, ‘yet his qualities and areas of activity are manifold’, says the Author. He says God initially manifests as Divine Powers seen as miracles or Sidhis that ‘create, propagate and nurture this world.’ The Author defines God’s subtle Divine Powers and the great men, realized souls and true saints who contributed towards a better world as Demigods.

He adds to the existing lists of Demigods, the many natural forces in nature which help create, propagate and annihilate the cosmos; the various radiations from galaxies, planets and the stars that affect all of creation; and the sun’s rays and its seven colors.

He refers to the Indian scriptures where there is mention of:
33 Koti Devas which comprise:
8 Vasus,
11 Rudras,
12 Aadityas,
1 Ashwini Kumaaras,
1 Pooshaa.
8 types of Pitrus,
99 types of Asuras,
27 types of Gandharvas,
49 types of Pawan, etc.

The five elements water, heat, wind, earth and space – Varuna Devan, Agni Devan, Vaayu Devan, Booma Devi and Indran respectively are Demigods.

The Demigods like Agni, Chandra, Prithvi, Soorya, Aushadhi, and Vanaspati when appeased shower rain which sustains life on earth. In the words of the Author, ‘Therefore if we offer Demigods their subtle food via Yagna fire they will help augment various life forces in a wholesome manner.’ Pleasing them showers merits or Punya.

Maharishi Angiraas states fire is the medium through which prayers and offerings are channeled to the Demigods who in return bless the participants of the Yagna with power, joy and comfort.

The Kalikaa Puraana and Padma Puraana say Demigods and man alike experience contentment and fulfillment through the Yagna.

The Bhagawad Geeta states that man has to nurture Demigods through Yagna for his advancement.

The Author equates the performance of Yagna to giving full cooperation to these Demigods to help increase their powers and help in their missionary activities. Through Devotion to God, meditation and spiritual practices the bodily parts, Chakras, subtle nerves, subtle glands and Brahmarandhra’s magnetic center are awakened in the aspirant. These efforts simultaneously appease the Demigods and by a divine magnetic attraction they begin to manifest in the devotee’s psyche. Then a strong bond is forged between them.

The Author says, ‘In spiritual parlance this connotes pleasing Demigods or mastering them.’

He narrates from the Puranas where the great Shiva Bakta, Ravana who having unearthed these subtle forces, had total control over them, bid them to carry out his wishes akin to imprisoning the Demigods.

Man & Yagna

Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya in, ‘FORM AND SPIRIT OF VEDIC RITUAL WORSHIP - PROCEDURE OF YAGNA’ reveals that Prajapati or Parameswara created man in his own likeness through a Yagna and ordained that both man and the Yagna had to contribute to the growth of each other.

The Author quotes from the Bhagavadgita where Prajaapati created human beings and Yagna simultaneously and instructed that they worked together for mutual gain.

"Prajaapati or world creator is performing Yagna in the form of sun/moon sending rays to earth, sun sends heat and light, wind circulates life force and a group of Demigods join forces to obstruct ‘demons’ in the form of virus/germs/bacteria from making us ill or warding off imminent death by them."

The Author says that the spiritual seers and the great Indian Rishis through their subtle divine vision unearthed a science for their manifestation since these energies could not be contacted at the gross level. In his words, ‘they control virtually every aspect of Mother Nature/ Prakriti. Nature’s laws never obstruct their endeavors and hence they carry out acts which are beyond the ken of nature’s laws which seem to be against nature’s laws and impossible to execute.’

He adds that the great Rishis and Sidhas had succeeded in attaining this supreme spiritual state where man becomes God and the soul becomes Cosmic Soul. Warriors where known to perform Yagna before battle. Yogis performed Yagna as part of penance to attain Self Realization and God Realization.

Mantras & Yagna

During the Yagna the fire and the Mantras render the offerings and our thought respectively, subtle which then reach the higher subtle worlds. Chanting of the Mantra awakens certain energies and fire which acts as a vehicle transports these offerings the Demigods. Specific Mantras chanted for specific goals and endeavours result in the creation or manifestation of a specific sound vibration which in turn awakens the divine centres in those gathered at the Yagna establishing a strong bond with the subtle soul which attracts divine powers of the cosmos towards it hence attaining the eight Sidhis and nine Nidhis.

The Author mentions the Sidhas who had attained the eight Sidhis and nine Nidhis which included the ability to become invincible, invisible, reducing their size to that of an atom or expanding beyond the world (Vishwarupa), walk on water, and conduct space travel. He says, all these amazing feats were performed using forces of subtle nature termed as Demigods.

Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya says all the rituals and practices, the mind set and feelings, determination and discipline that go into the invocation of the Gods through the Yagna generates a tremendous energy that burns the impurities of our lower nature and transmutes them into good virtues. The Pandit adds, in his words, ‘the collective chanting of Mantras in rhythm produces unique sound waves and vibrations which have an infinite radiant effect in the outer space.’

Just as the Pandit mentioned, Professor Joshi too states that the mantra that create specific vibrational patterns ‘penetrate the energy spheres at the subtle and cosmic levels.’

During the Yagna, heat and sound combine to render desired ‘physical, psychological and spiritual benefits.’ The mantra acquires even greater energy when chanted collectively due the combined vital, mental and causal energies of the masses.

Agathiyar instructed me to recite 100,000 times his Moola Mantra in the form of his Nama Japam on his arrival in Malaysia. I was figuring how my family and I are going to manage this endeavor of such magnitude. I started timing the number of chants that I could recite in a minute and realized I needed 10 days if I was to chant from 4 am to 10 pm and 6 days if I was to chant 24 hours a day. Then Mataji Sarojini Ammaiyaar, the able aid and assistant of Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal drops in at my home. I asked her how I was supposed to cover the stipulated number of chants. She told me to gather some people and as an example, if one person could manage 10,000 mantras and if I have ten people with me, we could cover 100,000 easily.

My friends, siblings, family and I started the recitation of Agathiyar’s Mantra AUM AGATHEESAAYA NAMA on the day of his Jayanthi, 3rd January 2010, a day after his arrival on the shores of Malaysia. But we could only manage 45,000 that took us 1 hour 45 minutes. We surrendered for we were short of breath. Agathiyar in the subsequent nadi reading accepted our prayers and surprisingly told us the chanting was sufficient.

If a spiritually enlightened person recited the Mantras, he creates a spiritually charged atmosphere, which elevates the consciousness of all living beings and harmonizes nature besides awakening the four Vanis:
i. the first and most elementary Vaikhari, ii. the Madhyama type which works in the domain of thought waves, which if refined further, leads to the subtler sounds of iii. Para and iv. Pashyanti, which are described as the Vanis for spiritual communications and conversation with the Brahma.

The Author equates these Vanis to: the speech of man, Super Men, Rishis and God.

He explains that one who meditates on God has him come onto the aspirant and receives the mantras and prayers through the internal fire created within. However, this fire is weak in most. So the need for having an external fire arises in the form of the Homam which is a powerful tool for spiritual advancement, aiding and eventually strengthening the internal fire in him.

The Various Bodies & Yagna

Man is known to have five bodies according to Eastern thought and schools. Stoola Sareera or the gross body, made up of gross matter and Sookshma Sareera or the subtle body made up of subtle matter are two amongst the five.

The Dr. explains that Bhootaagni burns in the subtle body which is the very basis of one’s existence. It manifests in the gross body too in various forms of heat and fire. The furnace in the stomach that digest the food; the fire in the brain that makes one analyze and understand all experiences from the senses; and the ever vital body heat that keeps on alive are the result of Bhootaagni. It is weak in most people due to impurities and obstructions in their subtle energy channels or Nadis in the subtle body, thus unable to energize its existence and limiting the entry of the Divine.

The Dr says by overcoming the Malas which are desire (Kaama), anger (Krodha), greed (Lobha), ego (Ahangara), false prestige, wantonness (Mada) and jealousy (Maatsarya), and shedding all veils of delusion (Moha), and strengthening the good virtues, compassion, one-pointed devotion, detachment, eventually the impurities will be cleared and Bhootaagni will burn strong. The Dr adds that this is a very difficult tasks and time-consuming process. He suggests that one take advantage of an external fire to speed up the process.

As the deity of Homam enters the external fire on a regular basis, his divine presence clears the mind off its previous conditioning due to Vasanas where in the words of the Dr., ‘one’s consciousness sinks into the ocean of delusion; strengthens the physical body or gross body (Sthoola Sareera); burns all the impurities in the Nadis in the subtle body or Sookshma Sareera which blocks the free flow of energy; and the karmas in the causal body or Kaarana Sareera and his presence eventually leads to the strengthening of Bhootaagni. Just as the Gods come into the Yagna, the idea is to develop Bhootaagni to accommodate more of the Divine. Then spiritual practices or sadhanas become more effective and give immediate results.

The Dr says, "Homam facilitates this process quickly by burning various karmas that are creating various layers of conditioning and obstructing spiritual progress."

The Dr adds that of the five known elements, earth, water, fire, wind, and ether or space, the only elements that cannot be polluted are space (Aakaasa) and fire (Agni). Acknowledging that it is difficult to carry out Spiritual Sadhana through the medium of space he agrees that the best medium would be fire.

One of the Sanskrit words for “fire” is “Paavaka”, which means “the one that purifies”. Fire is by definition pure and purifies everything that it comes in touch with. Homam is the most apt Sadhana for most spiritual aspirants in this Yuga, especially as the Kali deepens.

Universal Benefits of Yagna

Apart from the personal benefits, there are universal benefits of Homam. The gross material body of the burnt offerings reaches the gross material body of Sun. The subtle body of the burnt offerings reaches the subtle body of Sun. It is the subtle body of Sun that feeds the subtle bodies of all beings on earth. Thus, feeding it is very important for the smooth running of life on earth.

As we enter the Ghora Kali (terrible age of strife and disorderliness) phase, Adharma (un-righteous activities) will be on the rise in the world and as such the subtle body of Sun will become weaker. If more and more people perform Homam and strengthen the subtle body of Sun, it will balance the adharma and keep the world away from a total collapse.

The Dr says,"…Homam is ten times more powerful than Japam. If one does a mantra 1,000 in a Homam, it is equivalent to doing the mantra 10,000 in Japam."

The Dr advises that one take advantage of the Homam by meditating in front of the fire when the Poornaahuti burns because ‘the chances of losing consciousness of one’s body and immersing in the mantra fully are the maximum at this point of time than any other.’

The Sidhas, Rishis and Munis had dedicated their lives towards research and experimenting for the sake of and betterment of mankind and the world at large. Their wives were equally capable and knowledgeable in these related fields. They trained their students in these fields too so that these knowledge and practices would be passed on over the ages to help maintain, nourish and sustain the world and its inhabitants. They were all working for the welfare of the community and people at large.

The Author mentions the significance of lighting the Yagna to the Siddhas, Rishis and Munis.

Eternally lit fires in the form of pyres were reinstated in the Ashrams or hermitages of great Rishis of yore.

Rishis, through performing the Yagna attained, Sankalpa, resolve and eulogy to God considering fire as an image of God and medium of worship.

The Author quotes the Shanti Parva of the Mahabharata where it is mentioned that Vaivamvat Manu and humanity was created at the beginning of Tretaa Yuga. Performing Yagna was the norm during this era.

The Author mentions that the Vedas talk of a fire within the material fire which was visual to the Divine Rishis.

Dr Pranav Pandya too explains why the Siddhas, Rishis and Munis, who according to him ‘dedicated all their endeavors and all their deeds for the noble mission of enlightening others’, extolled the Yagna. Yagna were given immense importance by great Rishis of yore simply because not only were they means to attain material forces/powers but that by making man’s body and psyche sacred, desire less and thought free he/she attained spiritual bliss and peace on an eternal basis.

Yagna in the past

He goes on to narrate the achievements of former kings from performing the Yagna,
i. King Dashrathan performed the Putreshti Yajna and thus fathered four sons,
ii. King Nriga entered heaven by performing Yajna and thus dethroned its King Indra,
iii. King Ashwapati performed a Yajna and thus fathered a son,
iv. King Indra of heaven attained all that he possessed via Yajna,
v. Lord Rama too had performed the Ashwamedha Yajna,
vi. Shri Krishna advised the Pandavas to perform the Rajasuya Yajna wherein the Lord himself welcomed guests and looked after their requirements.

Dr. Pranav Pandya in ‘YAGYA-SHALA – THE LABORATORY OF RISHIS’ from ‘SCIENTIFIC SPIRITUAL FRAGRANCE OF P.T. SRIRAM SHARMA ACHARYA’ writes that one of the foremost Rishis, Maharishi Yagnavalkya besides dwelling in the research of medicinal herbs, was foremost in conducting research and experimenting on the science of Yagna which he did at his ashram in the land of King Janak. The adjacent jungle too provided many sources of plants, scrubs, vegetation and woods for his intensive research. Neither did he stop at that but went on to cultivate various crops that went into the Yagna.  He had the inmates of his ashram to participate in the rituals and Yagna for he knew that it would benefit not only them but all of mankind and the entire creation. There was also a place designated to perform Yagna conducted to subdue demonic elements that caused mischief and chose to disrupt the harmony in nature and cause destruction to people and property. Rishi Kathak was responsible for administering this Yagna. Other rishis like Dirghatama, Kutsa, and Grutsamada too joined Maharshi Yagyavalkya in his efforts to maintain law and order in the universe. The significance of the Yagna was explained to all gathered on his ashram grounds. God has created this world through conducting the Yagna and has inspired the rishis, Sidhas and Munis to continue the heritage of lighting the sacred fire. God is regarded as the personification of Yagna itself.

Dr. Pranav Pandya writes Maharishi Yagnavalkya reveals that there are twenty-one different forms of these Yagna mentioned in Rig-Veda and infinitely many more sub-forms too.

Wood from various trees and herbs with different qualities where used in the sacrificial fire pit to generate ‘different amounts of physical energies (heat)’. Yagna Kundam or kunds of various shapes and sizes were ‘used to conserve and enhance the power of Yagna.’

Recitation of the potentially powerful mantras by the equally elevated aspirant or sadhak and the auspicious moment selected for the Yagna that coincide to utilize fully the prevalent flow of energies of the universe, all three in its place, generate a perfect blend of physical and spiritual powers ‘making the experiments extremely potent and successful.’

Maharishi Yagnavalkya experimented on internal Yagna too just as he did the external Yagna. He says we are similar in form to the Yagna Kundam, having three steps:
i. Mekhlas in the form of mind, and Brahma being its deity,
ii. Prana  or life-force, and Vishnu its deity, and
iii. the physical body through its actions represents the benevolent or the destructive form of Siva.

Another Rishi who contributed much was Maharishi Atharvana who possessed “multifaceted talents of a scientist, philosopher, spiritualist, scholar, poet and a master mystic” according to Dr. Pranav Pandya. His area of research was unique, says the Dr., as ‘it delved into the subliminal relationship between matter and energy fields of consciousness force.’ Maharishi Atharvana experimented on transformation and extraction of consciousness-energy vibrations in matter and energy in subtle particles of material elements respectively.

The Dr says, "Accomplished experts of his time advised him against this peculiar line of investigation considering that a Rishi of his level, who had realized higher realms of spirituality, should not spend time and efforts in researching material elements."

But he stood fast in his research says the Dr. Altruistic service appeared more important than soul evolution and salvation to this great rishi.

The Dr gives a beautiful description of the Maharishi Atharvana’s hermitage and surroundings. His Atharva Ashram spanned across a thick forest along side the river Madhumati, and included small huts; cottages and Yagna Shalas nestled in between the forest and were easily accessible to the villagers. Under the watchful eyes of the Maharishi himself, his daughter Vatika, an ascetic too, with other disciples like Kratu, Kautsa, and Bhragari carried out experiments including identifying the Siddha Muhurta or astrological timings for optimal gains ‘as the level of vital spiritual energy is extraordinarily higher than its normal flow in any substance, plant or creature during these time.’

Miraculous achievements are possible by execution of spiritual experiments, empowered with suitable mantra-sadhanas during these special phases. For example, during these special muhurtas, expert spiritual scientists may awaken sharp intelligence in a dullard brain; may heal an otherwise incurable patient and relieve him of the dreaded disease; may bless poorest of the poor with a fortune that will make him affluent in a short time.

With successful expansion of this altruistic ‘spiritual science research-cum-social welfare’ mission, not only the Atharva Ashram but also the entire forest region around it became like a healing–centre, a temple, a pilgrimage, for the masses in the villages and towns spread across almost the entire Aryavarta (the land of the Aryans - ancient India).

The Dr praises the Rishi, "It was the spiritually evolved vision of Maharishi Atharvan that made all this possible. His devout sadhanas and illumined wisdom enabled him to realize the transcendental knowledge of the Atharva Veda. More than half of the nearly six thousand hymns in this Veda are grasped and elucidated by him."

Another personality of ancient India, Maharishi Vishvamitra too just like Maharishi Atharvan was engrossed in experiments towards the uplifting humanity and sustaining nature. Maharishi Vishvamitra, once the mighty King Vishwarath, upon realizing the ‘the grandeur of spiritual energy and prowess attained through spiritual disciplines during his association with Brahmarshi Vasishtha, renounced his kingdom and all his worldly responsibilities and devoted himself to spiritual experiments’, with his disciple Jabali, son Madhuchchhanda, and grand sons Jeta and Aghamarshan.

The Dr narrates, "… he told them that the challenges they were facing now were much more daunting and serious than the earlier ones. The focus was no more on terror perpetrated by the likes of Marich, Subahu and Tadka (the demons who had been killed by Ram-Lakshman under the guidance of Vishwamitra earlier) or the protection and security of a particular region, but that the existence of the whole world was in danger this time.

All the demonic powers were carrying out deadly and destructive experiments everywhere. All of them needed to be defeated together. Not only that to create the right circumstances for ushering in Satyug in future, large-scale changes will have to be brought about in the entire animate and inanimate Nature. This would happen only when kundalini (the dormant vitality) of the entire world got awakened.

Maharishi Vishvamitra speaks further,

“For this we need to agitate, stir up and alter, using the power of the sun, kundalini of the earth which exists in the form of geomagnetic flows between its North and South poles. What is essential for this is collecting and harnessing of huge amounts of Sun’s subtle power and then channelizing and transmitting it. This is an extremely difficult task but not impossible. For this purpose, I will use the Savitri aspect of this great science of Gayatri. Madhuchchhanda would maintain subtle contact with Brahmarshi Vasishtha who is doing tapa at Ayodhya, with Brahmarshi Atri who is doing tapa at Chitrakut and with Maharishi Agastya who is performing his deep penance at Vedpuri in far south, and would keep providing me with their guidance and indications from time to time. Brahmarshi Vasishtha is currently preparing a group of 100 great sadhaks who would facilitate in the world the descent of the atmosphere of Satyug and Savitri power. Maharishi Atri, who is at Chitrakut, has the responsibility to make Ram, Sita and Lakshman capable of holding and assimilating the great power of this experiment. The next person in this sequence is Maharishi Agastya who would create several extraordinary and divine weapons using the power generated by Savitri experiment and provide them to Ram at appropriate time. All these activities will be carried out at the same level simultaneously.”

Surya Puran, Akshunyopanishad, Aditya Hriday and others explain the various capabilities of Sun and specific practices are hinted which can bestow upon the body, mind and emotions such benefits from this power of Sun.

All this goes only to show that great Indian Rishis had attained knowledge of the subtle most form of fire element.
Devotees lighting the sacrificial fire at Kallar
Present Day Benefits of Yagna

On the physical plane we gather much knowledge too on the relevance of lighting the sacrificial fire.We gather much scientific findings on the Yagna from Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya’s book, ‘THE INTEGRATED SCIENCE OF YAGNA’ and http://yagya.awgp.org/purificationofenvironmentbyyagya/.

The Pandit summarizes the Yagna in the following words, "Heal the atmosphere and the healed atmosphere will heal you is the Modus Operandi of a Yagna. In physical terms, Yagna is a process aimed at the refinement of the subtle energy existing in matter with the help of thermal energy of the Mantras."

The Pandit has mentioned findings by some renowned scientists related to the Yagna and provides an extensive list of benefits derived from conducting the Yagna amongst them are:
i. Sublime showers of streams of vital energy from the cosmic layers known as Parjanya, generated by the Yagna, augments the level of Prana in the air,
ii. The Yagna reduces atomic radiation, and
iii. Significant changes is observed in the brain waves and the Anahata Chakra (cardiac plexus) exhibits conditions similar to that which exists after psychic and spiritual healings.

Cle Latouf in his book ‘AGNIHOTRA – AN ANCIENT SOLUTION FOR AGRICULTURE OF THE 21ST CENTURY’ too lists similar benefits of performing the Yagna or Agnihotra and mentions that the ash is used in cleansing drinking water, in irrigation systems, and as a fertilizer.

Cle Latouf and Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya mention that the smoke from the Yagna is medicinal in value and antibiotic in nature thus eradicating bacteria and microorganisms providing for a cleaner, purer, healthier environment. Since the offerings placed in the Yagna pit have medicinal properties, they attest that the Yagna is the most effective method of administering these medicines so as to reach every single cell in the body.

Procedure for conducting Yagna

For those keen to conduct a Homam, a Yagna on a smaller scale in their homes, may need to purchase the following elements that are offered into a Yagna pit.

i. Wood.
Sandalwood (Santalum Album), Mango (Mangifera Indica), Bilva (Aegle Marmelos), Pipal (Ficus Religiosa)
ii. Odoriferous Substances.
Saffron, musk and camphor.
iii. Foodstuffs.
Clarified butter (ghee), milk, fruits and cereals.
iv. Food of a sweet nature.
Sugar, raisins, honey.
v. Medicinal Herbs (Names in Tamil).
Kunkuma Poo, Aavaaram Poo, Aavaaram Elai, Saaranathi Ver, Vishnu Kranthi, Kasturi Manjal, Valampuri, Yelanthai Palam, Karungkaali, Athimathuram, Nellikaai, Mugil, Ven Kadagu, Thiraviya Pathai, Kadukai, Vilamicha Ver, Korai Kilangu, Vasambu, Kaar pooga Arisi, and Theyvathaaram.

One needs a Yagna Kund/ Kundam to hold the fire and the offerings. A small inverted pyramid shaped copper vessel which is an excellent conductor of electricity and heat is sufficient for performing daily Homam conducted on a personal basis or in a small group.

Cle Latouf states, "The word ‘pyramid’ means ‘fire in the middle’. Because of its inverted pyramid shape, the copper vessel and the Homam performed there in, links are established to the cosmic energy fields. This vessel receives, generates and decentralizes electro sphere besides being an effective antimicrobial reactor. The inverted pyramid shape allows controlled generation and multidirectional dissipation of energy. It acts as a generator of unusual energy fields and spreads them in its surrounding atmosphere.

Aspirations of the learned in Yagna

The Author ends his article beautifully with a wish that, "The tradition of Agnihotra must recommence in every household the world over. There was a time when this did happen in ancient India and hence it was a period of heavenly comforts and inner bliss too. The fruit of Yajna is not comfort but it is attaining more opportunities to serve the world."

P.V.R. Narasimha Rao in his ‘CHANDI HOMAM - LAGHU PADDHATI’ and www.VedicAstrologer.org writes,

"My spiritual master Dr Manish Pandit hails from Pune, India and lives in Manchester, UK. The idea of spreading Homam in the world was revealed to him in a dream a few years ago. He saw eight elevated beings in a dream. They transported him across blue skies to Chennai, India, where he was shown the big fire that was to be lighted in future. They told him to start the work. They assured him that Homam as a spiritual sadhana was very appropriate in Kali Yuga. As spiritually inclined people have fewer and fewer hours to spend on spiritual Sadhana everyday with the progressing Kali Yuga, Sadhanas that work fast are more relevant. Homam works much faster than Japam and other spiritual Sadhanas. They told him that the practice of Homam would transform into a movement that would reach across caste, class and race barriers."

According to Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya, it would be ideal if one could conduct a Yagna or Agnihotra twice a day, once at sunrise and again at sunset.

"The beneficial effect of sunrise Agnihotra sustains the atmosphere till sunset and the sunset Agnihotra sustains the atmosphere till the sunrise. Synchronising performance of Agnihotra with these activated moments results in attracting a stream of vital, life sustaining energies of the solar system. Hence the process of Agnihotra which coincides with them plays an important role in harmonizing the natural functioning of human mind and body. In this manner, an unending and active healing cycle is established in the houses where this Agnihotra is performed every day."

Cle Latouf too writes that the Yagna be performed at sunrise and sunset and ‘if coordinated correctly the vital, life sustaining energies of the solar system will be attracted.’

We end this study on the greatness of the Yagna with a quote from the Author,

"The seemingly ordinary fire of our material world was looked upon them as so extraordinary that great Rishis authored a separate Veda for it in the form of Yajurveda. Yajna is called the manifest image of the formless Lord Almighty."

The Mystical Rudraksham at Kallar
We understand from the above study that the Yagam and Homam was conducted by the Rishis, Munis and Sidhas to fulfill certain wishes of individuals and also to maintain the harmony and equilibrium in nature. This practice started since time immemorial. I came to realize that the Sidhas are continually performing prayers/bathing rituals abhisegam and Yagams till this day through revelations by Agathiyar in the Jeeva Nadi to Amarar Hanumathdasan.

Sidhas in the present age

Once the Jeeva Nadi Guru was called to a hill temple in a village 40 km from Erode with urgency. As in those days there were no present day vehicles to travel, the Jeeva Nadi Guru had to hitch a ride on a bullock-cart. Once on arrival at the village at dawn and making his intentions known, the villagers did not allow the Jeeva Nadi Guru to stay overnight at the temple as anyone who attempts to do that mysteriously turns up as a corpse the next day. How was he going to explain to the village folks that he was directed by Agathiyar in the Jeeva Nadi to stay overnight for three consecutive nights at the temple? Yet Agathiyar consoles him, "Do not fear. You shall go up the hill without hindrance. You shall witness a miracle at midnight for three consecutive nights."

The Jeeva Nadi Guru unnoticed to the villagers heads for the temple as dusk falls. True to Agathiyar, he witnesses three miracles over the three nights he spent at the temple. On the first night, slightly after 12.00 he hears Vedic chanting (Veda Kosham) in the inner sanctum or Karuvarai of the temple. 18 persons were seated and chanting the mantras.The temple bells rang; Abhisegam was done for the Shivalingam; Dupa and Deepa Aarathi was done; and percussion were played. All the aromas escaped through the gaps in the door to the closed inner sanctum. All this ended after half an hour. It was back to complete silence.

Agathiyar goes on to reveal what took place, "The 18 Siddhas under my patronage will conduct an abhisegam for Lord Shiva at midnight once in 120 years at this temple. Since you are my son (the Jeeva Nadi Guru) deciding to show you this sight, I called you over. Although you cannot see us, but you will feel our presence (Suksma). This sight will continue for the next two nights too. Do not reveal to anyone as yet."

The next night at 11pm, the Jeeva Nadi Guru sensed as if people walked past him and entered the inner sanctum.In the next few moments, Veda chants (Veda Kosham), Shiva Nama chants (Siva Nama Archanai), Rudram Samakam, Purusha Suktham, and Sri Suktham were heard. The temple bells were heard; percussions sounded: all came from within the inner sanctum. All these stopped within 10 minutes. The Jeeva Nadi Guru could see in his 'hearts eye" (Mana Kann) 16 kinds of Abhisegams being done, flowers offered to/showered on Lord Shiva followed by the chant "Puspavaan Samarpayaami" and Aarati shown.

Agathiyar in the Nadi reveals that Lord Shiva had accepted the prayers and that the Devas will join in the prayers the next day. Agathiyar had instructions for the Jeeva Nadi Guru to carry out the next night. He was to be seated near the Nandhi, looking towards Lord Shiva, close his eyes in prayer and keep on chanting all night through. Agathiyar tells him that humans cannot see God directly. Vision of God is only possible if one closes his eyes. "If you open your eyes you shall not get God's Darshan", adds Agathiyar. He goes on to reveal why he chose to show Sri Raghavendra's Darshan, Hanuman's Darshan and now this Darshan to the Jeeva Nadi Guru. Agathiyar reveals that in the last birth the Jeeva Nadi Guru had continuously thought about Agathiyar, had built a temple for him and worshipped him.

On the third and final night after the temple priest had locked up the inner sanctum and left, the Jeeva Nadi Guru took his place next to Nandhi as directed by Agathiyar. Much to his disappointment, a sudden gust of wind blew the Jeeva Nadi Guru's Jeeva Nadi away. All his search in the dark went in vain. He could not find the Nadi. He took his place back at Nandhi. The cool breeze eventually turned to warm air. As the Jeeva Nadi Guru sat in meditation, he heard the sound of "Metti". He opened his eye. The sound was not heard. As he closed his eyes again, he heard more Metti sounds. A beautiful aroma lingered in the air; percussions were heard; temple bells rang; and the Veda chanting started. As Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi sat alongside, the Sidhas and Devas were seen conducting Abhisegam and Aaraati to them. Lord Vishnu in his Man-Lion Avatar (Narasimma) and Goddess Lakshni joined in on the Abhisegam to Lord Shiva and Parvathi. They were followed by  Lord Brahma and Goddess Saraswathy too. And finally the Indras, Munis and Sidhas performed Abhisegam and Aarathanai.

All this ended in 10 minutes when a sudden gust of wind emerged from behind the closed doors of the inner sanctum and everything settled down. The Jeeva Nadi Guru opened his eyes again to meet the night sky gazing back at him through its numerous eyes (stars).

The next day when the temple priest opened the inner sanctum, he discovered the Jeeva Nadi in there!

Friday, 29 November 2013

HUMBLENESS PART 2/2

Above and beyond the humbleness and graciousness of my mortal Gurus is Agathiyar, Ramalinga Adigal and the Siddhas.

Velayutham Karthikeyan has been posting in his blog revelations from the Jeeva Nadi, once in the possession of the Jeeva Nadi Guru from Chennai. The Jeeva Nadi Guru was gifted to have in his possession Agathiyar‘s and Bhogar‘s Jeeva Nadi. I understand the words appeared in gold only when the seeker sat before the Jeeva Nadi Guru seeking Agathiyar's advice. Otherwise, it is just a blank sheet of palm leaf. I am made to understand that the audio recordings of these revelations are currently in the possession of Aranthangi Shankar and Karthikeyan. The Jeeva Nadi Guru had carried these revelations in the local monthly magazine KALAIMAGAL initially before compiling the revelations in a series of books entitled NADI SOLLUM KATHAI, with the remaining books published by Aranthangi Shankar upon his (the Jeeva Nadi Guru) demise.

Karthikeyan on his part has graciously shared these revelations on his blog at http://siththanarul.blogspot.com.

Below is a comment from Aranthangi Shankar sent to my blog.

Aranthangi Shankar Copyright Owner of Nadi sollum kathaigal part 1 to 5, from where http://siththanarul.blogspot.in/ has been publishing stories. Dear All Naadi sollum kadhaigal book of Hanumathasan sir available with me for sale. Part 1 , 2 ,3 , 4, 5 of nadi sollum kadhaigal book of Hanumathasan sir - price Rs. 850 (150+150+150+200+200) + courier cxharges Rs.75. = Total : 925/- If you want to buy these valuable books of shri agasthiya maharishi -kindly pay Rs. 925 in my SBI a/c No. 32421709250 Dasarathapuram Branch Chennai-600093 in the Name : K.Sankaran / IFSC Code: SBIN 0014624 pls make the payment and send me your address by sms and I will send by courier to you. regards K.Sankar on SIDHAS IN MALAYSIA - JEGANATHA SWAMIGAL

Jnana Jyothi Amma met up with Aranthangi Shankar and purchased all five volumes in this series. I received them from her when I met her in Trichy recently.

Karthikeyan has humbly mentioned in the attribution on his blog as follows:

தமிழ் முருகருக்கு சொந்தம். நடந்த நிகழ்ச்சிகள் யாருடைய கர்மாவோ. இவை இரண்டையும் சேர்த்து கொடுத்தால் எது என்னுடையது? இது தான் உண்மை! இதில் என்ன பதிப்புரிமை! Picture Window template. Powered by Blogger, which translates to mean, "The Tamil language belongs to Lord Murugan. The episodes are a result or due to people's karma. When both the language and the episodes are merged to tell a story, what is mine? This is the reality. So where does copyright come in?"

I commented Karthikeyan on this phrase.

Following these revelations, it brings one to tears reading about how humble and gracious Agathiyar and the Siddhas are. Reading Karthikeyan's blog that carried stories of individual's who had seek out Hanumathdasan and the Jeeva Nadi in his possession for answers to their problems, dilemma and sufferings was both enlightening and revealing. I learnt much about Agathiyar and other Sidhas, and the workings of the Sidhas and the Nadi following the books and the blog.

These are true episodes in the lives of individuals who came seeking Agathiyar's Jeeva Nadi. The revelations of Agathiyar captivated me so much that I wanted to translate this series in English for the benefit of the non-Tamil speaking readers. Subsequently I undertook this task with the permission and blessing of Karthikeyan. I have included translations of 22 episodes from Karthikeyan's blog in my book FIRE OF DEVOTION available at SCRIBD.COM after receiving Karthikeyan's reply through e-mail permitting me to carry the translation of his postings for the benefits of the non-Tamils.

My mail to him on 22 February 2013, congratulating him and seeking his permission:

"Dear Mr Velayudham Karthikeyan. I am Shanmugam Avadaiyappa from Malaysia. I have been following your blog http://siththanarul.blogspot.com/."

"The stories you posted are an eye opener. I have come to realize much about the sidhas; the workings of the sidhas; the nadi and karma from your postings. Thank you very much for posting them."

"I cried reading your latest entry no 112 posted yesterday. It was so compassionate of Shiva Peruman to come to the aid of the child personally. Simply beautiful."

"I loved the story where Agathiyar and Lobhamudra deliver the child of a villager; the story of Bhogar passing on medicines to cure the eyesight of a girl and stomach ache of a women in Kolli Malai; the story of Agathiyar turning up in Dubai to return the travel documents of his devotee; the story of Bhogar snatching the Jeeva Nadi from Mr Hanumadhasan and placing it at Lord Vengadasalapathy's feet at Tirupathi; and I enjoyed the story of the Shiva bakta who drank the poison and challenged Agathiyar wanting to know if he would survive. Beautiful."

"It has been an educational outing for me reading your postings. Thank you."

"My guru Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal of the Sri Agathiyar Sri Thava Murugar Gnana Peedham at Kallar on the 9th km of the Ooty-Methupalaiyam road, too has a Jeeva Nadi. He was reading the nadi for the public every Saturday until Agathiyar asked him to stop about a year ago. (http://indianheartbeat.wix.com/tavayogi)"

"I am in the midst of completing a book and would very much like to include translations of these interesting episodes from your blog. I hope you will permit me. If I have your permission I shall like to include all 112 postings. Here is the draft of the book in PDF."

"Hoping to hear from you."

In his reply to me Karthikeyan most humbly and graciously cautions me to only continue with the translations if my intent was not to commercialize them and make money out of it. I liked his reply to me. I share his reply and advise on my intention to translate his postings.

He informs me that it is a well known fact that Agathiyar does not approve of individuals who commercialize his Nadi and his revelations in these Nadis.

"If you are doing this for commercial purposes Agathiyar would not condone your work. In that event you would not need my approval."

"If you intent to use all earnings from the sale of this book for service towards Agathiyar, ask Agathiyar for permission. If there is truth in you Agathiyar would immediately give his consent. But you must honour your word to him."

"But if your intention is solely to do service to Agathiyar then by all means go ahead."

Below is a translation of the introduction by Karthikeyan on the Nadi:

"The nadi has been written by Sidhas for us to know about our past, the present and the future. Many have corrected their lifestyle after listening to the explanations, heeding the instructions and carrying out atonement. Many more had regained their health and peace of mind. The Sidhas are those who knew the past, present and the future. They were gnosis. The Sidhas were similar to a company's secretary. The Sidhas were God's messengers. When those who had prayed to God and had yet to receive God's blessings, approached the Sidhas instead, they immediately received Gods blessings."

Karthiyen's blog entry brings us back to time immemorial. From the following, we get to realize the humbleness and graciousness of the Sidhas. The Sidhas, being compassionate and kind, put forward to God their wishes for humanity. The Sidhas had wished that whoever seeks out the Sidhas for solutions to their problems and surrender to the Sidhas, they shall be pardoned for their past deeds, however bad and evil they may be, and shall not be put through the trial and tribulations and made to face the consequences but instead be saved. God granted the Sidhas this wish. The next instant the Sidhas wrote down; the reasons for each individual‘s sufferings; listed out solutions and remedies; and showed ways and means to overcome or end the seekers problems, sins, diseases, illnesses and sufferings. They wrote them in Tamil prose on dried palm leaves. This writings came to be known as the Nadi. Karthikeyan adds that one has to seek out the Sidhas to solve his problems.

That is the nature of Agathiyar and the Sidhas. We see the humbleness and graciousness in them.

Since my e-mail to him, Karthikeyan through his friends has started to translate these revelations and has posted them in English at http://www.gnanaboomi.com/the-grace-of-siddha-episode-1. Karthikeyan's friends have taken up this task to enlighten the non-Tamil speaking community about the wonders and the workings of the Sidhas in the lives of devotees and non-devotees too.

Ramalinga Adigal materialized again just for his disciple Kalpathu Aiya on 26.4.1902 (http://www.vallalarspace.com/Space/list/653). Kalpathu Aiya who was overjoyed in seeing Ramalinga Adigal appear before him dropped his mortal form. Adigal did the final rites for his disciple before de-materializing again.We come to know of this never before revealed fact through Gnanabharathi's well researched book, TAMIL MANNIN THANTHAI.

Such was the greatness of the disciple Kalpathu Aiya that his Guru Ramalinga Adigal chose to materialize before him (Kalpathu Aiya) twenty-eight years after he de-materializes.

Such was the grace, humbleness and graciousness of the Guru Ramalinga Adigal that he chose to appear before his disciple Kalpathu Aiya after twenty-eight years to see to his (Kalpathu Aiya) final rites.

E-PUBLICATIONS - AGATHIYAN PRODUCTION HOUSE (APH)


HUMBLENESS PART 1/2

How humble can a person be? Especially if he is a Guru?

After reading the personal account of Swami Vishnudevananda in MY YEARS WITH THE MASTER, at http://www. Shivanandaonline.org, about the extent of his Guru Swami Shivananda's humbleness, I was proud to be in a land where Swami Shivananda had once served as a doctor.

Swami Vishnudevananda writes on how he came to Shivananda, his first encounter with his master and how his life changed thereafter. Swami Shivananda's humbleness outshone in their very first encounter itself.

"As if by chance, I had found a piece of paper that intrigued me. One night when I was working late and was searching for a misplaced paper, I found a small pamphlet in the trash basket. It was called SADHANA TATTVA and was by Swami Shivananda of Rishikesh. As soon as I read it, my body began to shake. It began with, "An ounce of practice is worth tons of theory." Here was a teacher who was down-to-earth and practical. There was nothing mysterious about his teachings. I felt that I had to meet him for myself. I got a few days leave from the army. It meant that I had to travel a day and a night from my army base in Jullunder. I would have only a few hours at the Ashram - just to see the Master and then go right back."

"The first time I saw Swami Shivananda he was sitting with about 30 or 40 people around him. He looked like an ordinary man among them. The look on his face and manner of speech were simple and straightforward. Each word came from his heart. There was no kind of religious hypocrisy, no sitting on a tiger skin with ashes smeared all over his body. He had an extraordinary spiritual glow."

"The second time, I saw him Swami Shivananda was coming up the stairs in my direction. I did not want to bow my head to him. I was an arrogant boy on leave from the army. I was young and arrogant and never wanted to bow my head to anybody - Swami, God-realized soul or whoever, I did not care."

"Nevertheless, it is the tradition in India that you should bow your head to a holy man. To avoid the situation I just moved out of his path. The Master saw me and headed in my direction. He asked me who I was and where I was coming from. Then he bowed down and touched my feet!"

"My whole body began to shake violently. With all my heart, with all my life and love, I learned to bow without any type of reservation. He touched my heart not with miracles or shows of holiness, but with his perfect ego less nature."

"He didn't consider that I was just a stupid boy standing there, though I was just that. He touched my heart and broke the ego. That was my first lesson, and if I could attain one millionth of the state of egolessness of the Master, it is His Grace."

"Before leaving, I went down the Ganga where it was the custom of the Ashram to do Arati (waving of lights) every evening. All the devotees and inmates of the Ashram assembled by the banks of the Ganga to watch Master perform this evening worship. I was sceptical. I was of a scientific temperament and knew that a river is only water, H2O - imagine worshipping H2O!"

"But as I stood there and watched Master waving the lights, I saw the river become a mass of flowing lights. At that instant, the river assumed a divine flow, a manifestation of the Grace of the Lord. Master turned and looked at me and in my mind I heard his message, "God pervades everything; this too is His Special Form" This entirely changed my outlook on life."

I saw the same humility and humbleness in both my Gurus, Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal of Kallar and Supramania Swami of Tiruvanamalai.

After I arrived at Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal's Ashram, the Sri Agathiyar Gnana Peedham, the first time, in 2005 on his invitation, Tavayogi invited me for an evening bath at the stream running close by. He brought along his dirty linen and started washing them. I volunteered to wash his cloths but he refused to part with them. I thought by doing so I could get some merit or punyam by washing a Guru's cloths. After having a bath in the stream, we prepared to leave, picking up our stuffs. Just then Tavayogi had a change of mind and told me, "We shall take another way back to the Ashram." He turned to me and told me to stay while he brought over our sandals from the other bank of the stream. I forbade him from picking my sandals, saying I shall pick them up myself. But he, asking me to stay put, quickly waded across the stream, picked up my sandals too and brought them over to me. I was physically shaken up and close to tears. Here was a Guru of high standing, who everyone considers a Tavayogi, a head of an Ashram, and a great follower and disciple of Agathiyar and Chitramuthu Adigal of Panaikulam. I could not forgive myself for allowing him to do that.

Supramania Swami was my first Guru. I met him on the last leg of my maiden pilgrimage to India at his village home at Nachaanandhal, eight kilometres from Tiruvanamalai in 2003. I met Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal in Malaysia in 2005. Later on my second pilgrimage to India in 2005, I spent some days with Supramania Swami at his kudil, near his Guru, Yogi Ramsuratkumar's Ashram.

As we had some time on our hands before Swami and I were to leave for the temples, I brought out the transcribe of my Nadi readings and read it out to Swami. I did not know how to break the ice to Swami that now I have another Guru (Tavayogi). Agathiyar had mentioned that I went in search of Supramania Swami while he (Agathiyar) sent me to Tavayogi. So I thought I should read the Nadi and let Agathiyar do the 'talking'.

As I read the transcribe, Swami listened with awe and at the end of the reading, asked me about Agathiyar. He was amazed that there was a Sidha of this extent who could reveal about a person's past, present and future. Swami even asked if he could get a Nadi reading.

Here I saw his humbleness. When I met him the very first time he too could tell me all about my future. I spent five beautiful hours with him on that day where he revealed so much about me, even about those mentioned by Agathiyar in the Nadi. I had not talked about the Nadi then to no one. But yet he told me the things that were already mentioned in my very first Nadi reading.

After breaking the news to Swami that I was going over to meet Tavayogi too, and as I was leaving his kudil, he passed me his blanket saying it would be very cold in Kallar, asking me to use them. He sent me off cheerfully to meet Tavayogi telling me that I was making this journey not for myself but for him (Supramania Swami). After I returned to his kudil from visiting Tavayogi, the first question he put to me as I alighted from the car was, "Did you see your Guru?" I cried out at the sheer humbleness of my Guru, Supramania Swami. It was an honour indeed to have met a Guru of such stature. I was blessed to be in his company between 2003 and 2007 when he went into samadhi.

Tavayogi too was kind to this soul many a times. When he took me for his morning walk around Kallar, he passed me his shawl, saying it was too cold in the mornings. Later at Vedharanyam he passed my his shawl again to lay on the cement floor that had grease and grime all over it, minutes before the first ever miracle I witnessed, took place - Agathiyar opened his left eye in his granite statue at Agasthiyampalli.

Again he laid his shawl on the terrain under the shade of the gigantic Nandhi at Breehadeeswarar Temple in Tanjore and invited me to share the 'bed'. We laid there gazing at the afternoon sky waiting for the main temple to open at 4 pm.

To be continued ...

Thursday, 28 November 2013

THE PATH OF BAKTHI OR DEVOTION

Photo courtesy of http://www.haaram.com/CompleteArticle.aspx?aid=706444&ln=en
Photo courtesy of http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/16000-juvenile-cases-pending-in-bihar/article2458731.ece
So Sweet
What could this child possibly be asking of the Lord?
Once when I went to meet Dr Krishnan, astrologer and Sidha practitioner and a very good friend of mine, for a consultation, he told me to pray, saying that prayers can do wonders. But I did not do it.

Over the years, Thayalan, my nephew, comes over to my home with a mantra asking me not to question its source. Later he turns up with a painting of Lord Dhakshanamurthy.

After a year into chanting the Vasudeva Mantra and worship of Dhakshanamurthy, I seek the Nadi or predictions by Sidhas written on dried palm leaves, located by providing a thumbprint. Agathiyar ask me to worship the Sidhas. Nadi Guru Sentilkumar handed me Thavathiru Rengaraja Desigar's SIDDHAR POTRI PAADAL THOGUPPU or compilation of Siddha names which I started to sing. Sivabalan who brought in Sentilkumar from Avinasi, gave me a painting of Agathiyar. I received the Nadi reading, the book and the painting, all on the same day. Thus started my journey on the path of the Siddhas.

After getting to know Tavayogi, I received his compilation of the Sidha's names too. Along the way I picked up more hymns and songs and compiled them into THE COMPLETE BOOK OF PRAISE TO SIDDHAS. available at http://www.scribd.com/doc/93769534/Agathiyar-Pusai-The-Complete-Book-of-Praise-to-Agathiyar-Tamil-Transliteration-in-English or at http://www.slideshare.net/shanmugamavadaiyappa/Agathiyar-pusai-march-2013.

My family and I sit together to conduct/perform prayers every Thursday, Amavasai and Pournami days, and other auspicious days.

After 12 years, we get to 'perform' the grand finale at Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal's Ashram, the Sri Agathiyar Sri Thava Murugar Gnana Peedham Thirukovil and Dhyana Peedham at Kallar recently. It was an honor for the family to be given an opportunity to sing the praise of the Siddhas at Kallar. And as a gift, we received Agathiyar's footwear or Paatharatchai and staff or Vaasikol from Tavayogi just moments before we leave Kallar.

Agathiyar had always mentioned about the need to offer prayers and once elaborated in detail the benefits of prayers to the Siddhas through the Nadi reading in 2010. Here is the transcribe and also the audio recording of the Nadi reading.

பூசையின் பலன்

நிகண்டு நாடியில் இருந்து அகத்திய மா முனிவர் அருளிய ஆசி சுக்கமம் 12.7.2010

உண்மையும் உத்தமமும் நிறைந்த பூசை
நிறைந்த இன்பம் தந்திடுமே மகத்துவப் பூசை
நிதானமானதொரு அற்புத பூசை 
அறமுடனே அகிலம் காக்கும் பூசை 
அருளான மாந்தரோடு செய்வாய் நன்றாய்
நன்றன புண்ணியங்கள் காக்கும் பூசை 
நற்கதியும் பலர் அடைய செய்யும் பூசை 
எண்ணாத சக்தி எல்லாம் தந்திடும் பூசை 
எகாந்த நிலை அடைய வைக்கும் பூசை 
வையகத்தின் மாந்தரின் அகத்தின் ஜோதி 
வலமாக்கும் முழுமதி பூசை அப்பா 
ஐயத்தை நீக்கிடும் பூசைதானே 
ஆண்டவனை அடைய செய்யும் வழியும் இதுவே 
வழி வகுக்கும் சேய்க்கும் மாந்தற்கும் தான் 
வளத்திற்கும் அருளுக்கும் பொருளுக்கும் 
அழியாத மார்கத்தில் இருந்த வண்ணம் 
அகிலத்தில் நிலை பெற்று வாழ் வழிக்கும் பூசை 
பூசையால் புண்ணியங்கள் கிட்டும் பூசை 
பூர்வமும் போக்கிடும் பூசை அப்பா 
இசையுடனே குடும்பவளம் தந்திடும் பூசை 
எவை எல்லாம் வேண்டினும் தந்திடும் பூசை 
தந்திடுமே தர்மம் தவ சிந்தை 
தரித்திரியம் போக்கும் பூசை யாகும் 
அந்தமும் ஆதியும் இல்லா 
அகிலமதில் உயர்வு தரும் பூசை அப்பா 
அப்பனே ஆண்டவனே உருகும் பூசை 
அறிவிழந்தோன் அறிவாளி ஆக்கும் பூசை 
ஒப்பில்லா மகத்துவம் கொண்ட பூசை 
உயர்வோடு நீ எடுத்து செய்வாய் அப்பா
ஒப்பில்லா மாற்றங்கள் மகத்துவமும்
உயர் நிலை பூசையாலே இருக்குதப்பா

Photo courtesy of http://news21.com/story/2007/06/18/the_art_of_devotional_song











THE BENEFITS OF PRAYER AS TOLD BY AGATHIYAR IN THE NIGANDU NAADI 12.7.2010
nigandu naadiyil irunthu agathiya maamunivar aruliya aasi sutsamam 12.7.2010

unmaiyum uttamam nirainta pusai
nirainta inbam tantidumay magattuva pusai
nitaanamaanathoru arputa pusai
aramudane agilam kaakum pusai
arulaana maantarodu seivaai nandraai

nandraana punniyangal kaakum pusai
nargatiyum palar adaiya seiyum pusai
yennaata sakti yellaam tantidum pusai
yegaanta nilai adaiya vaikum pusai

vaiyakattin maantarin agattin jhoti
valamaakkum mulumathi pusai appaa
aiyattai neekkidum pusai taane
aandavanai adaiya seiyum valiyum etuve

vali vagukkum seikum maantarkkum taan
valattirkum arulukum porulukum
aliyaata maargattil erunta vannam
agilattil nilai pettru vaal valikkum pusai

pusaiyaal punniyangal kitdum pusai
purvamum pokkidum pusai appa
esaiyudane kudumba valam tantidum pusai
yevai yellaam vendinum tantidum pusai

tantidumay dharmam tava sintai
darittiram pokkum pusaiyaagum
antamum aatiyum illaa
agilamatil uyarvu tarum pusai appaa

appane aandavane urugum pusai
arivilanthone arivaaliyakkum pusai taane
oppillaa magattuvam konda pusai
uyarvodu nee yeduttu seivaai appa

oppilaa maatrangal magattuvamum
uyar nilai pusaiyaale erukkutappaa

Listen to Agathiyar's revelation of the benefits of performing/ conduction prayers or puja (pusai) as read out by Nadi Guru Ramesh.



For those interested in reading the Kaandha Kaandam (Nadi) can contact Nadi Guru Ramesh at


For those interested in reading the Jeeva Nadi can contact Mataji Sarojini Ammaiyaar at