Om is all and more, alpha and omega and beyond their sum. It is the embodiment of the highest ideal of humankind, one single most valuable jewel in the entire corpus of treasure troves known throughout the human history. It is the seed of all spiritual achievements. It is the flower of all sacred vibrations. It is the greatest contribution of the ancient Indian culture of rishis (sages), the greatest contribution to the whole humanity across time and space.
Om is the nature and order of everything in the universe. It is not limited to its form (two-lettered syllable) and meaning (no way to define it with any human languages). It is actually free of any confinement of form and name. It is not a word, still less Sanskrit. It is a natural sound not belonging to any language. It is inherent to the universe. The ancient Indian sages had the wisdom to encapsulate the 'all' of the universe in this sacred syllable as a device to convey the truth of existence and non-existence they realized.
Om manifests itself when we let the sound generated by stimulating the vocal chords while gradually closing the mouth (similar to mmm...) wide open at the beginning (similar to aaa...uuu) vibrate through the relaxed and upright spine and brain from the coccyx to the hypothalamus. This is the physical level of the sound om. This alone has the effect of concentrating the energy dissipated within our body (with irregular distribution depending on each person's disposition) on our central nervous system and thus harmonizing our mental and physical energies.
Om has four elements, of which three elements are describable with the human language and the fourth is indescribable with any of the existing human languages, with Sanskrit coming closest to its essence; this fourth (turiya) element of om can only be experienced. The first element is the physical and conscious state described above, the waking state of our physical body symbolized by the letter A of the syllable om (O is the combined sound of A and U in Sanskrit), The second element is the emotional and subconscious state, the dreaming state of our astral body (with this body we move and feel in our dreamland :-) symbolized by the letter U. The third element is the spiritual and unconscious state, the deep-sleep state of our causal body (in this body, everybody, angels and devils alike, is happy -- yes, in essence, we are all happy beings, so being yourself is being happy :-) symbolized by the letter M. Now you see why I said that om is 'alpha and omega and beyond their sum' at the beginning. Maybe you have now a different idea about the expression 'alpha and omega', in both general and Christian senses.
Om has something hidden in it, invisible but permeating. It is the 'bindu', a point crowning the sound M or the whole syllable (now you know the evident double entendre of what I mean by 'whole'). The point atop the Sanskrit symbol of om is this fourth element. This bindu in the om symbol is separated by the other three elements (two semicircles on the left, A + U = O, and the whole circle on the right, M) with 'chandra', the crescent moon. This crescent moon is a sonic barrier delineating the imminent and transcendent realms. The realm of bindu is a realm of 100% experience which is possible for humans by transcending this sonic barrier of chandra.
Om is a pure experience, not a theory. Attempts at explanation, as I have tried this morning on the spur of the moment driven by the irruptive energy of the rising sun, may help some blessed souls understand and start the journey worth undertaking, but without the first step leading to thousand miles, nothing has been done or even understood.
Humbly yours in the name of om,
Bandha is a powerful method of increasing mantra shakti, enhancing at the same time (automatically as a by-product) the health of our physical and astral (emotional and mental) bodies. Bandha's lexical meaning is binding and locking, and its esoteric and paradoxical effect is liberating and unlocking. There are three major bandhas locking three major energy centres of our astral body and thus liberating it from three major emotional and mental blockades: moola bandha (perineum), jalandhara bandha (throat), and uddiyana bandah (navel). I'll concentrate on the moola bandha here as it is the most important one for mantra practice.
Before practising moola bandha, we have to feel the exact location of our mooladhara chakra (root chakra). For that, two warming-up exercises are necessary: ashvini mudra (contraction of anal muscles) and vajroli mudra (contraction of urogenital muscles). These exercises are quite simple: we do it naturally when we try to hold back the urge to respond to nature's call. Now begins the difficult part: our root chakra is just between these two muscle groups, somewhat inwards. Contract it while inhaling. The proof that you have found the exact location is that all other muscle groups except the root chakra area are completely relaxed, and you feel at the same time the tension between your third eye (ajna chakra/pituitary gland) and the medulla oblongata. The area around the spine between tailbone and brain feels like an unlimited free highway full of vital energy. There are other instant minor symtoms such as unblocking of stuffed nose, sudden serenity of heart, hearing the pulse at the back of the brain and on the right ear, slowing down or even spontaneous stopping of breathing. These are some of my experiences (everyone has his/her own peculiar experiences).
Once you have reached this blissful state, you may integrate your japa (mantra repetition) into bandha. For example: 1. effortless contraction of mooladhara chakra and inhaling while mentally chanting "om", 2. additional contraction of vishuddha chakra (throat) and kumbhaka (arresting breath) while mental chanting "mani padme", 3. releasing all tensions and exhaling while mentally (or audibly) chanting "hum". This is just one example of unlimited possibilities, but a really powerful one. If you add your own spiritual dimension to it, it becomes a mighty tool of illumination.
Doing this aligns sponteneously our three bodies (physical, astral, causal) around the centre of our being. In this state, we are simply whole. Spontaneous healing takes place. It's not a matter of believing, but succumbing to the physical law of a higher demension.
Why not trying it now?
For me, the Valentine's Day is a kind of young lovers' gadget, and I have never been a subject or object of any "be my Valentine" stuff. Serge, my better half, with whom I have the first Valentine Day today, seems to attach a big importance to celebrating it, which is quite understandable considering his North American background. Coincidently, I came back from my trip to India on 13 February last year and on next day I started chanting the mantra given to me on my Palm Leaf by the Great Sage Bhrigu. The vibrations released by it must have met somewhere in the astral sky (akasha) the vibrations released by Serge's long-cherished wish to meet his Valentine. Call it coincidence or providence, the fact is that we did not know each other's existence at that time and today we are celebrating our first Valentine's Day together.
The ideal conjugal relationship is the union of twin flames. In this relationship there is only harmony and joint ascension. Twin flames meet only when both halves of one flame have evolved in their separate paths to the level leading to the simultaneous ascension. They are inevitably a tantric couple. Experience of higher dimension is within their reach with effortless effort. While the meeting of twin flames on a physical plane is extremely rare, each intimate relationship can contribute to accelerating spiritual evolution towards the ultimate ascension. It's our own responsibility to grow in our relationships. We can use even the conjugal disharmony for our spiritual benefit. If your partner becomes agitated (rajas quality), for example, you have a choice out of three reaction patterns: fuming and boiling together (rajas), ignoring or becoming aggressive (tamas) or staying calm and lucid and understanding (sattva). In one of my blogs I have written about these three qualities. There is an effective mantric and tantric method with which you can help yourself to adopt a sattvic attitude: soham mantra with ujai breathing and the affirmation "go back to your centre".
Soham is a powerful mantra consisting of of Sah (He) and Aham (I). Sah is a static pole, Aham is a dynamic pole. They can be described in many other ways, e.g. Purusha and Prakrti, Shiva and Shakti, pure consciousness and evolutionary energy, Brahman and Atman, Ishvara and Jiva... Soham is the state of union of these two opposite poles building an absolute harmony of being oneness. Ujai breathing is the best way to let your vital energy flow through your centre. It's quite like a gentle snoring. Here is a simple method of combining Soham Mantra and Ujai Breathing: mentally pronouncing So while breathing in in upward stream and mentally pronouncing Ham while breathing out in downward stream. By stream I mean the energy flow in our chakra system (corresponding to the central nervous system between the base of spine and the deepest part of our brain).
If one Soham with one Ujai gets you to where you should be, i.e. the centre of yourself, your partner will feel your peaceful vibrations and slowly calm down. Then it's time to enjoy together serenity and bliss.
Mantra and yantra are two different forms of expression of divine energy: the former in a sound structure, the latter in a geometric symbol. Both release a concentrated, targeted energy in accordance with the level of awareness of people who project their state of soul unto them when using mantras and yantras for any purposes they may have in mind. The frequencies or vibrations released by them radiate on their interior space bringing peaceful and harmonious order to its present state while rectifying crooked or malfunctioning parts better than any doctors or medicines. For example, when I feel that I some viruses have intruded on my territory, I look at any regular geometric patterns (At home I have my Shri Yantra for that purpose) and absorb the energy of the perfect geometric form into my immune system. As a result of this practice, I am a 100 % profit for the health insurance. Japa (mantra repetition) and sushumna breathing (breathing in the middle channel, I am afraid that I do not have any method to teach it) have at least the same effect, but in case of flu attack, yantra meditation has an instantaneous effect.
Tantra is a mystical science of practising the methods of energy balancing and refining including mantra and yantra. It has a solid and sane philosophical and scientific basis, as it is based on direct experiences and intuitive insights of self-realized personalities of ancient tantra traditions, not on cerebral reasoning and experimental speculations. Its main concern is not 'why it is real and true' but 'how to turn the theory of deeper reality into practice'. The main feature of tantra is that it does not deny the world or stigmatize it as an illusion (although it turns out to be illusion after the ultimate awakening, but as this realization comes only 'after' it, it has no substance in the our present three-dimensional perception), but appreciates it as manifestation of Shakti, the all-pervading omnipresent evolutionary energy as a dynamic expression of Shiva, its opposite pole. In tantra, this union of these two poles is the way and goal at the same time.
Matter is essentially energy. These two are interdependent and complementary, but ultimately identical. Beyond the realm of duality, when they are reunited and return to their original state of oneness, there remains only a pure consciousness transcending all phenomena of duality and trinity. In an accomplished state, there is no difference between tantra and vedanta. Tantra thus embraces the material world as object of enjoyment and means of spiritual awakening. Individual spiritual wisdom should not be different from interpersonal worldly wisdom. If you can meditate in a cave, you can meditate in a market, too, and if you cannot meditate in a market, you cannot meditate in a cave, either. In my next post I will present one of my favourite tantric literature Shiva Vijñana Upanishad (= Shiva Vijñana Bhairava Tantra).
When twin flames finally meet
...after eons of separation...
After our separation from our Oneness
We came to this planet millions upon millions of times
Each time we evolved bit by bit towards the point of no return
When at last our reunion was on the horizon
Many things that happend then and thereafter seemed a miracle
But it turned out that everything was to happen thus then and there
Now we are evolving together toward the Oneness
Trying to make ourselves worthy of the promise granted to us
Our guardian angel is generous with its smile whenever we need it
Our hearts beat 54 in echo weaving a garland of 108
We join in Oneness with this garland of our joined heart
One of those miraculous changes occurring in our joined life
We enjoy the journey on the road to the promised summit
We are ever thankful to the divine guidance whose odem we feel
In our hearts, brains, eyes, hands and feet, breathing through and in us...