The Tantra of Eclipses & Sankranti

: week three :

24 Decenber, 2020

Consider enrolling in one of Niradhara Amma’s e-courses at SwAr Ashram. Pre-registration is open now for 21 Days Samyama Through Agnihotra 11- 31 January, 2021 designed to create a joyful, healthful, enlightening sadhana for you in 2021.

: Does the Vedic tradition have a holiday corresponding to Christmas? :

On the surface, many people think of Diwali as being ‘like Christmas’. Sure both of these festivals include shopping and gift-giving as well as hanging of electric light decorations. But neither of these bear much witness to the spiritual/religious roots from which they sprang. In fact, both traditions center the conversation around Winter Solstice and this Cosmic Event is the root of another Vedic date – Makara Sankranti, though its complicated, read on… Christmas fits the concept of Solstice into 2 days and a night while the Vedic year includes Autumnal Equinox as its beginning of this ‘festival season’ and continues with multiple festivals honoring the emergence of increasing light/ longer days as well as honors equally the qualities of the preceding darkness all the way til 15 January.

Both Christmas and Makara Sankranti have their roots in Winter Solstice, yet neither of them nail the date on the Solstice itself and so many people miss the true meaning because of this oversight of how the Cosmic relativity to dates shifts with the procession of time. Here i will share a timeline and if you go back over these blogs for the preceding months, you will find more detail.

This year we had an Adhik Maas (something like a leap-month every 3 years) and so that pregnant pause preceded the sequence that takes us into the underworld – Bhadrapada Purnima & beginning of Pitru Paksha Sept 1 -a fortnight from full to new moon to honor the ancestors – then days get shorter til Solstice, so all this quarter of the year is a build up to that re-birth of the Sun:

  • Kanya Sankranti – Autumnal Equinox September 16
  • Sarva Pitru Amavasya & Adhik Maas September 17-18
  • Ashwin Adhik Purnima October 1
  • Tula Sankranti – Navaratri – 9 Nights of the Goddess October 17 – an overview of the season
  • Dusshera/ Ram Navami/ Vijaya Dashami October 25
  • Sharad / Ashwin Purnima October 30-31
  • The 5 days of Diwali – Kartika Amavasya November 13-17
  • Tulsi Viveha November 26
  • Tripurani / Kartika Purnima / Chandra Grahan Upachchaya November 30
  • Somavati Amavasya Surya Grahan Purnam December 14
  • Uttarayana – Winter Solstice December 21
  • Gita Jayanti December 25 (Christmas)
  • Margashirsha Purnima – both Dattatreya & Annapurna Jayanti-s Dec 29
  • Makara Sankranti January 14-15

Let’s see how the progresses and why it spills over from Winter Solstice and doesnt end there. Makara Sankranti is the Vedic re-birth of the Sun – the New Year.

Bhadrapada Purnima & beginning of Pitru Paksha – September 1 – a fortnight from full to new moon to honor your ancestors – Tharpanam & Shraddha Puja. then days get shorter til Solstice, so all this quarter of the year is a build up to that re-birth of the Sun.

Kanya Sankranti – Autumnal Equinox – September 16 – the Sun passes the Equator moving from the Northern to the Southern Hemisphere. The North Pole begins to tilt away from the Sun. Day and night are the same length. All twelve Sankrantis in the year are highly auspicious for Dan-Punya activities. Only certain time duration before or after each Sankranti moment is considered auspicious for Sankranti related activities. For Kanya Sankranti, the window of time 16 Ghatis after the Sankranti moment isconsidered Shubh or auspicious for all Daan-Punya activities.

Sarva Pitru Shraddh Amavasya – September 17 – if we don’t know the punya tithi of the ancestor or are not able to perform Shraddha on that date, doing so on this day is enough to appease all deceased souls in the family. Amavasya Shraddha is also known as Sarvapitra Moksha Amavasya.

Ashwin Adhik Purnima – October 1 – In 2020 Vedic calendar, there is an Adhik Maas – a 13th month from September 18, to October 16, 2020. Adhik Maas is something like a ‘leap-month’ every 3 years and so this year we had a 13th Month. The concept of Adhik Maaa is unique to Vedic calendars. We had one in 2020. This Adhik Maas was from September 18, to October 16, 2020 as per North Indian Calendar. This month is also known as Adhik Mahina, Ashwin Maas or Adhik Ashwin Mahina.

The Hindu calendar is lunar, based on the cycles of the Moon. A lunar month is 29.5 days. In contrast, a solar month, that is the Gregorian calendar which is now the world-wide business calendar, is 30 to 31 days with some fudging in February. The lunar year consists of 354 solar days and solar year consists of 365 days. That’s a difference of 11 days. So, as years pass, each lunar month starts earlier to the corresponding solar month. Vasishta Siddhanta, a treatise of Sage Vasishta, says that the Adhika Masa occurs after every 32 months, 16 days and 8 Ghadis. A Ghadi is 24 minutes. At that point, the difference between the two calendars becomes a full month or around 29 days. To get the two calendars to sync again, an extra month is added For a full reading on things we should and shouldn’t do during Adhik Maas – read HERE.

Tula Sankranti – Navaratri – 9 Nights of the Goddess October 17 – Navratri is a nine days festival dedicated to the Divine Mother Goddess Durga. Navratri is a Sanskrit word which literally means nine nights. During nine nights and ten days, Goddess Durga is worshipped in 9 forms, known as Navdurga. The tenth day is celebrated as Vijayadashami. On the first day of Navratri, Goddess Durga is Ghatasthapana when invoked into a Kailash with Vedic rituals and Mantras.

The festival begins with 3 nights invoking Goddess Sarasvati, followed by 3 nights invoking Goddess Lakshmi, Durga is worshipped on the last three days of Navratri and these three days are Durga Saptami, Durga Ashtami and Durga Navami.

Dusshera/ Ram Navami/ Vijaya Dashami – October 25 – victory of Lord Rama over Demon Ravana and also triumph of Goddess Durga over the Demon Mahishasura. Vijayadashami is also known as Dussehra or Dasara. In Nepal Dasara is celebrated as Dashain. On this day, all of the images (murti) we created of Mahadevi Durga and all puja items offered to Her are immersed in a Holy River (visarjan) so that after Her 9 nights visitation in our homes, She returns to the Spirit Realm.

Sharad / Ashwin Purnima October 30-31 – it is the only day in the year when the moon comes out with all 16 Kala-s. The human attributes are associated with each Kala and the combination of the 16 Kala-s creates the personality. Lord Krishna who was born with all 16 Kala-s and He was the complete incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Lord Rama was born with only 12 Kala-s. Sitting under this Moon, we pray for the blessings of a sweeter personality. Chandra, the Moon itself is worshipped on this day. Newly wed women, vow to do Purnimasi fasting for the year, beginning from Sharad Purnima.

The 5 days of Diwali / Deepavali – Kartika Amavasya November 13-17 – On the day before Diwali is Govatsa, cows are worshipped. Diwali is kicked off with Dhantrayodashi which is also known as Dhanteras and Kalichaudas, the first day of five days of Diwali festivities. On the day of Dhantrayodashi, Goddess Lakshmi came out of the ocean during the churning of the Milky Sea. She is worshipped along with Lord Kubera, the God of wealth, as well as the dark onset of Amavasya invoking Kali to bring it on, and thus is the day first day of Diwali. Naraka Chaturdashi is next, Lord Krishna’s wife defeated and beheaded Demon King Narakasura on this day. This is also called the Chhota Diwali. The centerpiece of Diwali is Lakshmi Puja on Amavasya, two days later is considered the most significant day of Diwali. Next is Govardan/Annakat Puja the day when Lord Krishna defeated God Indra but the highlight of this day is that is considered the Vedic Fiscal New Year. Bhaiya Dhooj is next, sisters pray for their brothers and thus Diwali ends with Vrshchika Sankranti.

Tulasi Vivaha – November 26 – Tulasi Vivah is the ceremonial marriage of the Tulsi plant (holy basil) to the Hindu god Vishnu or his Avatar Krishna. There are green and purple varieties of Tulsi known respectively as white and black for Ram and Krishna.

Tripurani / Kartika Purnima / Chandra Grahan Upachchaya – November 30 – The full moon during the month of Kartik, the holiest month among all lunar months. It is most auspicious to take a holy dip before sunrise in a holy river every day during the month of Kartik. The ritual of holy dip during Kartik month from Sharad Purnima to Kartik Purnima. This year we had a Partial Lunar Eclipse.

Somavati Amavasya Surya Grahan Purnam December 14 – a Total Solar Eclipse made this Purnima on the Monday New Moon of Shiva even more auspicious. The full moon on this day, Moon was blessed with Amrit and is considered to be the month of dedication.

Uttarayana – Winter Solstice December 21 – this begins the Northern course of the Sun. Marking the lengthening of days and the six months long auspicious period for Hindus known as Uttaarayan, this festival is observed according to the solar cycles, unlike other festivals which are observed according to lunar cycles and so therefore has been confused in the cultural practices with Makara Sankranti, which many thousands of years ago was on this same day.

Gita Jayanti December 25 (Christmas) – The Bhagavad Gita was invoked on this day. It is believed the Bhagavad Gita was revealed to Arjuna by Krishna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. The text is written in the third person, narrated by Sanjaya, the scribe of the blind King Dhritarashtra, who was blessed by his Guru, Veda Vyasa, with the power to remotely view the events taking place on the battlefield as they transpired.

Margashirsha Purnima – both Dattatreya & Annapurna Jayanti-s Dec 29 – In the Puranas, this month is referred as ‘Maasonam Margashirshoham’ implying that there is no month that is more propitious. On this day devotees take a ritual bath in the sacred rivers and worship Lord Vishnu. Dattatreya & Annapurna Jayanti-s are both celebrated this day. Lord Dattatreya is an avatar of the Trimurti (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva). Annapurna Devi is the Goddess of perfect whole foods, a form of Lakshmi, abundance.

Makara Sankranti January 14-15 – The time between Makar Sankranti and 40 Ghatis (roughly 16 hours for Indian locations if we consider 1 Ghati duration as 24 minutes) from the time of Makar Sankranti is considered good for auspicious work. This duration of forty Ghatis is known as Punya Kaal. Sankranti activities, like taking bath, offering Naivedhya (food offered to deity) to Lord Surya, offering charity or Dakshina, performing Shraddha rituals and breaking fast or Parana, should be done during Punya Kaal. If Makar Sankranti happens after Sunset then all Punya Kaal activities are postponed till next day Sunrise. Hence all Punya Kaal activities should be done in day time. This date in time no longer marks the lengthening of days and the six months long auspicious period for Hindus. Thousands of years ago, Uttaarayan occured at this cusp of Capricorn, however, this festival is observed according to the solar cycles, unlike other festivals which are observed according to lunar cycles. This festival has mistakenly been attributed to the movement of Nakshatras and the Moon when its significance is purely Solar. This has caused a great deal of confusion among the masses and the habit of celebrating on this day is a significant mistake made by those who do not understand the Shastras or the visible sky which tells otherwise, the day to celebrate and do the auspicious pujas is Uttarayaana.

While Makara Sankranti is celebrated as the New Year, Uttarayaana is the visible new birth of the Sun and Solstice of Winter marking a new cycle. And of course our New Year of January 1 is another example of marking a day in time which is actually moveable in the sky along with the very slow and mostly not recognized, procession of the Equinoxes.

: om tat sat :

༺༻ Blessings fom Amma Niradhara नर्मदे हर NARMADE HAR! ༺༻

SwAr Ashram community is experiencing unprecedented hardships due to the nationwide lockdown of India in March 2020, and with the particular difficulties of rural isolation. We are a charity based initiative with families depending on us and we have overhead of our own to contend with. We are reaching out to you, offering both free and paid courses including rare teachings online so that we can continue to communicate with the developed world & earn for our charities by sharing the Art & Science of Yoga with you.

༺༻

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Love and abundance of gratitude by the Grace of Maa Narmada & Devi Ahilyabai

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Love and abundance of gratitude by the Grace of Maa Narmada & Devi Ahilyabai

16 December, 2020

: week two :

TUNE IN MONDAY 21 December at 10:00am EST to PRACTICE a Solstice Intonation TOGETHER

see the FREE e-Prasads at the end of this article including a printable bookmark with the Bija Mantras

: Grief : Guts : Gratitude : Grace: the Grand Conjunction :

Last week I turned 60. While age alone is not a definitive marker of maturity, the Hindu Ashrama system of marking the stages of one’s life by its maturation process has been on my mind as i officially enter the Sannyas stage, the final stage of life, that i have already technically been living in for the past 19 years.

This, coinciding with a total Solar New Moon Eclipse and extraordinary Grand Conjunctions framing Winter Solstice.

PHOTO: Baneshwar Mahadev Mandir in the center of Narmada is a Cosmic Marker for the Center of the Galaxy on the Winter Solstice.

“The work of a mature person is to carry grief in one hand and gratitude in the other.  How much sorrow can i hold?  That’s how much gratitude i can give.  If i carry only grief, i will bend towards cynicism and despair.  If i have only gratitude, i will become saccharine and wont develop much compassion for the suffering of others. Grief keeps the heart fluid and soft, which helps make compassion possible.”

– francis ward weller

:Winter Solstice & the Sacred Fire:

“Agni” is Sanskrit for Sacred Fire. Within the roots of Yoga in Tantric & Vedic culture, Fire has two functions. The creative and the destructive. Together, these are the process of Transformation. Fire is familiar in its manifestation of flames, but did you know that Agni/Fire is an active element inside of all living beings/things? Agni ignites cellular metabolism and fuels mental, emotional and spiritual regeneration.

Fire is already inside of everything. We can not create Fire, we can only ignite it. Agni is the root of the word ignite. Fire is the Life Force Energy in all Life and in humans, is controlled by breath, but technically is not the breath. Prana, as this Living Fire is known in Sanskrit, is the electricity flowing along the Nadi pathways. Like water flowing through a River. However, just as water is also present in condensation in the atmosphere and within everything including solid matter, so is Prana, Sacred Living Fire, also present everywhere. It is just more easily directed by use of the Nadi passages that are the blueprint for the form of the Living Entity.

Harnessing and controlling this inner Fire is the innerYajnya that i teach alongside Agnihotra and innerEvolution Yoga. Svacchanda Tantram, Spanda Karikas, Soundarya Lahari and many more sacred texts support these processes.

Many people confuse Prana with breath or an Air element, but actually, Prana is Fire/Agni. Air, our breathing mechanism, is how we are able to control our Prana. There we get the meaning of Pranayama = Breath + Work. It is the work of tending that Sacred Fire that is our Life Force.

The raw elemental form of Sacred Fire which is regarded as a Deva (Deity/Light Being) is Agni and Sacred Fire that involves offerings/sacrifice is Yajnya. This Yajnya is Life itself and extends to the final rites of Death. inner Fire, branded here at SwAr Ashram as innerYajnya, burns off the baggage, creates new space filled with inspiration, passion, and new life to dormant, stagnant aspects of our Life. Agni is a formidable force of purification. It is the dissolution of old cells & old ideas that contribute to the sparks interest for the new.

:Sandhya Tandava – Connecting with the Cosmic Rhythm:

Among the Shastra illuminating our Consciousness about the larger-than-life Universe & its Cosmic Clockwork-Language is Svacchanda Tantram. (sva = self, independent + cchanda = control, pleasing, intention). One of the eight manifestations of Bhairava, the name literally means following one’s own will, acting at pleasure, independent, self-controlled, spontaneous, convenient, as per one’s own wishes. Sounds good. It is quite a long tome, a revered text of Kasmir Shaivism. 1000years ago commentary was written and its Teachings are considerably older, though is not of yet translated to English, or much studied in the West. The 5 part pluriform Atman, particularly the entrainment of the Atma-Jyoti (Light of the Soul) with the macrocosm, the Cosmic Clock of the Universe is what we will cover here today.

In the unbroken continuity of the cultural tradition of Yajnya (the Vedic and Tantric fire ritual having a foundation of Agnihotra which began over 14,000 years ago) we find the connection of our human microcosm to the external macrocosm at large. The Havan Vedi / Kund / fire altar represents the Vastu Purusha or Cosmic Soul – envisioned as a human body with the central fire as the heart and all of the planets and elements as its limbs. Fire is at the center of the altar and at the center of our collective journey. The fireball of our Solar Star is the axis on which our bio-sphere has been circling for over 4 and a half billion years.

The Winter Solstice in many cultures is in fact the New Year. It is the day the Year dies. Solstice means “Sun stands still”. In effect, Light is at its shortest and the Sun displays its weakest daily interval, before it changes course and begins to traverse the Uttarayana, the Northern course where the days become progressively longer and stronger. Solistices are a special Sandhya (sacred juncture) allowing us to sync our bodies with Cosmic rhythms. In the Shaiva and Shakta wisdom traditions, this Universe flows from their Sandhya Tandava, the Cosmic Dance (Tandava) of the sacred junctures of time (Sandhya). These dance moves create a rhythm from the quantum pulse, and influences our breath through the Lunar and planetary cycles and Solar seasons.

Just a few days ago, from SwAr Ashram Library rooftop mandap, darshan of Baneshwar, quiet sentinel over Narmada.

:Tending the Inner Fire—The Cosmic Flow:

Rtucharya (Sanskrit “rtam”, meaning “cosmic rhythm”) is the inherent wisdom of how to live in rhythm with the changing seasons of the solar year. Like our inhale and exhale, the Universes breathes (Spanda) and so, what we experience as a year is defined by planetary movements within and subject to that Spanda. Contemplate inspire & expire / inhale & exhale / puraka & rechaka as two major binary movements that connect us on Earth with the Solstices, the Sun standing still as the Kumbhaka (breath held on the inbreath) in the Summer Solstice and Sunyaka (breath held on the expiry of outbreath) on the Winter Solstice.

During the six-month Dakshinayana Cycle, at the Summer peak, the Sun’s energy wanes and the Moon’s energy waxes, as the lunar period bringing cooling energy back to the Earth towards the Winter Solstice and a natural time for going inward, reflection, and regeneration.

The Uttarayana Cycle that we are entering now, traverses Time from the peak darkness to the peak of Light, This auspicious Solar Cycle is when Nature grows from seed to fullness with the waxing light. It is the optimum time for creative manifestation.

The waxing and waning Lunar energy as well as the flow of the Solar day, mirrors this same cycle of fullness to release an ignition again and again on a microcosmic level in our microbiome.

:The Solstices & The Breath:

It is important to know as modern Yogi-s that Vinyasa (the brand) doesnt equate with the Tantra or original full context of the Vedic meaning of vinyasa. Tantra is a way of realizing and embodying the Cosmic Rhythm as the Vinyasa to evoke a sequence of consciousness entrained with the Univeral forces of nature. In Tantric practice, every breath is an experience of the waxing and waning, solar-lunar micro-cycle flowing from the sacred juncture within the heart. The oscillation from New Moon to Full Moon, from Winter to Summer Solstices & Equinoxes are the portals, the Cosmic re-set, whereas the vinyasa of our breath connects us with the Cosmic Rhythm.

photo from the same vantage point : in front of SwAr Ashram over 10 years ago.

The Winter Solstice is experienced in the body as the peak of the inhale, the pause of inheld breath or kumbhaka moment after which mantra is offered to the fire of the heart on the exhalation. This practice is known as Ucchara or Udgeeth – a prolonged intonation of the Pranva AUM or a Bija mantra offered with intention. The Winter Solstice experience in our body is a moment of great intensity, with focused intention (Sankalp) this is where we are able to transform the old into the new.

TUNE IN MONDAY 21 December at 10:00am EST AND WE WILL PRACTICE IT TOGETHER

The peak of the Winter Solstice is when the breath resides in the heart – the moment of internal fire offering, innerYajnya. We can ignite our inner heart’s fire (Sanskrit : Atma Jyotir, Light of the Soul) with gratitude, devotion and love.

Whatever offering is made at this sacred juncture, it is an extraordinary time to re-sync your body and soul to the increasing light – the re-birth of the Sun.

At this time, we are given a Cosmic boost with the support of the increasing light of the Sun in the next six months of the year.

For many world cultures, the Winter Solstice is the macro-cosmic New Year, the ritual marker to let go, honor and bring closure to the past year and ignite our deepest visions and intentions for the coming year. You can bring this closer to home with a living flame on your own home altar, fireplace, bonfire or fire ritual kund or (fire altar womb). Create a home-ritual honoring the Solar-Fire connection that connects to Solstice-New Year to your own Heart-Fire.

:Winter Solstice Tips for Igniting a Living Flame:

: register here for : Agnihotra FREE online tutorial :

  • Clean your living/working spaces.  Release the clutter, stagnant, or unfinished energy of the year by house-cleaning or minimally cleaning your altar entirely. Other suggestions are to open all windows and doors, chant, intone or sing, sage or incense the space.
  • Create a fresh altar space for the Winter Solstice-New Year with your own connection to a sacred fire in the form of a clay, brass or copper diya (oil lamp) or candle. Use a new one or thoroughly clean an old one. Consider creating your own candle with any ahimnsak, non-polluting substance like soya or hemp. Decorate it, Imbue it with scent and natural color. Tie your prayers wrapped around the candle.
  • Reflect in the days before the solstice on your dedication and prayers writing on a piece of paper your offerings for dissolution and plan to ignite them on the evening of Winter Solstice-New Year.
  • Unplug with only candlelight on the evening of the Winter Solstice.
  • Ignite your fire with your Sankalp, dedication of intention in your own personal authentic ritual way.
  • During Winter Solstice til the next full Moon 29 December, consider keeping a dedicated votive candle or oil lamp on your altar to light daily at the same time with your meditations.
  • Learn the foundational form of Vedic fire ceremony, Agnihotra, to attune yourself to circadian rhythms and to be able to offer mantra authenticly to a living flame. (If the links to get your own kit are not updated yet on my site message me here)
  • Learn the Ucchara/ Ugeeth Sadhana for connecting to innerYajnya, the inner fire altar.
  • Remember, tending our heart-fire promotes staying conscious and connected through all the cycles of our life. This is true even in the fertile shadow of darkness as we re-kindle the fires of renewal.

: register here for : Agnihotra FREE online tutorial :

As you ignite the Solstice-New Year, be open to consciously living the vinyasa of the over 800 million breaths, 365 sunrise and sunsets, 26 New and Full Moons and eight solar junctures that form a single Great Vinyasa of one year.  This Solstice is an extraordinary Teacher under the influence of Jupiter conjunct with Saturn closer than they have been in 800 years in the night sky. These 2 planets will appear as one as they are only 10 degrees from each other. Remember, this passage happens in approximately 20 year intervals with larger degrees of separation as the underlying rhythm of inner renewal on and around the Solstice marker, serving as a macro mirror for our inner fire.

: sharing a bit of my own trajectory:

I was born under the Jupiter-Saturn Conjunct with Mars. I am completing my third go-round of that intense triangulation. The illusion that i am self-sufficient, inherently know just what to do at all times, aloof and maybe a bit defensive started at a young age, out of necessity.  Nevertheless, although i do actually have needs of my own, I have a long-standing reputation as someone you can go to for a hand-up and it’s well-known that i serve and assist over 150 youth with their developing needs in rural India and have been here doing so going into the 14th year. 

distributing prasad after Agnihotra & Deepak Kumar Pareek’s bhajans at Baneshwar Mandir on the evening of Makara Sankranti 2019

A very few of my friends know just how vulnerable and at risk my personal situation really is and has been increasingly so over the last 20 years.  These Saturn, Mars, Jupiter triangulations occur just like that, approx every 20 years and this would be my 3rd go-round on that. With this time lasting the entire 20 years for me. This 2020 Christmas Conjunction is on a global scale affecting everyone variously as it relates to your own placement in astro-time. None of us are in this alone.

:Choose Your Words as They are Your Most Potent Manifesters:

Because i am responsible for so many families who are struggling and depend on the services i created and provide here, I’m going to interrupt this lesson to be blunt and reach out for help for the various charitable responsibilities i have here that are stuck in the mud of pandemic lockdown. Not just donations or financial help, but ALL sorts of help. I need to earn money for this Ashram by teaching online and am interested in partnering with other teachers on their own platforms or this online platform. You can sign up for an e-course today. You can view the classes on this site too.

To grow this platform, in particular, i am writing this to manifest a work-exchange /volunteer VA in marketing. Can anyone here offer Live Chat one on one coaching in online marketing for the very challenging specific limitations of this particular situation?  i can offer to teach Yoga from philosophy to Yoga Therapy online tailored to you.  Let’s talk.

For personal grown & development, i would love to start a Live Chat Online support circle – know i am not the only one dealing with traumatic circumstances that are in a holding pattern that we are not in a position to shift yet, but have to cope with. I am no stranger to trauma. I teach people Yogic techniques and therapies to self-regulate and get out of fear-paralysis. I practice these myself and am constantly self-testing new approaches. Maybe you want to know more about this Yoga Therapy?

This very week is the precise window of time to hone our verbiage to ask and visualize specifically what we need and then do the work to get it done. Ask, ask, ask again, be relentless. Saturn and Mars are here to hold you down and punch you. Jupiter is asking us to grow, learn new skills, seek out a Teacher, look for the hidden life lessons. For me, it has alot to do with getting more comfortable and skilled at asking for help outside my comfort zone of a handful of long-time friends. The ‘needs’ have grown expedentially this year and its time to do my song and dance in front of total strangers who could never guess what i have been through, what i have sacrificed, just to get this far and get knocked down again.

I can see the blessings in my life of course, and you can experience that blessing by joining innerCircle e-Satsang & e-Library or enrolling in an online course.

That’s Indu in the pink tshirt attending and assisting me in one of the Girl’s Yoga Camps for health, safety & feminine hygiene, near the beginning of entering university for Judicial Law.

:SEVA FOR THE COMMUNITY I SERVE:

I know that ‘I’ am not ‘my life’. I know that all of this is temporal, and not even real.  But tell that to 108 girls who cant go to school because my funds for her menstrual pads has run out. Tell that to the girl whose Judicial Law Degree we have been supporting for 5 years and who just graduated #4 in her class that we now can not pay for the Judicial Bar entry fees. in that case, her parents will marry this brilliant girl off to a life far below her potential. i am personally collecting funds for these 2 causes because i simply have no other choice with all other options disabled.

If you are so kind, please note on the paypal: Indu’s fees or Menstrual Care so that i know where to direct to your intentions. Separate replies to donations detailing these will be sent shortly.

Mars, Jupiter, Saturn have been triangulated most of this ‘enlightening’ year, joined frequently by Pluto and Uranus just to make things more weird and wild. this started in March and coming to a head this month. all the cute baby Christmas scenes aside, Jesus didnt have an easy simple life. Being the Light in a dark chaotic world tends to bring up alot of jealous enemies and general opposition from those who benefit from the world as it is.  Sidenote: Mars= antagonism, opposition. Jupiter: the Guru. Saturn = patience, oppression, often triggering fear/trauma. Jupiter is the teacher surrounded by these hard lessons. Jesus being a great Yogi: perhaps called ‘Maharajji’ a moniker for Gurus, yet a political nod when Hindus were oppressed in India by Moghuls and later Brits – translated as ‘King of the Jews’ – one of the many hints to his teachings as Upanishadic in nature due to the influence of his times in India. revolutionary to the status quo, liberating to the odd lot of misfits he hung out with.

I’m wrestling with my own ‘square pegs/ round holes’ over here and, it ain’t a pretty puzzle. So, if you’re not up for the holiday cheer, I feel ya. Planets, politics, pandemic, heavy stuff. If doing the inner-work is the party that you just got invited to, show up! That is precisely what Life is.”

– niradhara amma

In part, i am writing this to let y’all know you’re not alone.  Hit me up anytime for a chat.

As a yogi/healer I know what to do. The ancient technologies of Yoga, Pranayama, Agnihotra, Meditation, Mantra, Reiki, TFT-EFT, EMDR, Sound Therapy, Gratitude journaling, and of course ‘work’ – actual menial mundane work such as household chores or the job that gives you a paycheck, its all ‘chop wood/ carry water. What’s any of this without friends? I am here for you. I am your friend and i am truly humbled and grateful that we can be here for each other..

This too shall pass and, by grace of God and Guru, go I – and so do You!

Blessings, Grace & Metta

Rev. Amma Niradhara Mari : सुश्री अम्मा निराधारा मरी 

FREE e-courses and more , scroll below week one.

free courses and more – scroll below week one

:week one: trajectories of Light:

10 December, 2020 (published late due to tech issues)

sunset on Narmada over Baneshwar Mandir – original from which the header was made.

The trajectory of Light temporarily suspended this Somavar Amavasya Eclipse is a potent message delivered by a choreography of Cosmic Time. Sanskrit calls it Surya Chandra Grahan. A Total Solar Eclipse where the Sun is eclipsed by the New Moon. There seems to be a hole in our Solar Luminary. Where there is a vacuum the Universe fills it. The soul interprets this as a gift – a space opening up for something new. The ego sees only a loss. Sudden change. Have faith that there is a trajectory larger than this moment. It was set in motion long ago and will continue on its path. How it affects you depends on your chosen perspective. (photo: passage of sun setting over Baneshwar Mandir in the middle of Narmada River – view from SwAr Ashram on 11 December 2020)

The passage of time is marked by the passage of Light. The Universe is our Cosmic clock – etching trails in deep space – the Sacred Geometry of Time. Quantum physics agrees with Advaita. Time exists to those who observe it.

AUM Purnamadah Purnamidam Purnaat Purnamudacyate
Purnasya Purna-maadaaya Purnamevaa-vashisyate AUM Shantih

– ishavaysa upanishad, shanti invocation

When Chandra, the Moon is Full, it is Purnam. It looks perfect, whole and complete. Yet even when it is New, the Moon is still there, always present, perfect, whole and complete. We just do not see it from our current perspective, which is always changing.

There a Total Solar Eclipse on December 14th in the sidereal Vedic sign of Scorpio, Jyeshtha Nakshatra, (Saggitarius in Tropical western astrology). Total Solar Eclipses occur on New Moons. In Vedic Astrology, Solar Eclipses are super-charged New Moons. There are seemingly conflicting things happening at these times, but for those who see the bigger picture, its all part of a perfectly choreographed Divine Dance. Shiva Nataraja and Kali Tandeva tango-ing in the deep space of our psyches.

Surya Chandra Grahan December 14, 2020 India

Eclipses are a cosmic re-set, a portal to new opportunities. We should not, however, just carelessly leave our doors open without observation & intention. We often forget, that in order to grasp something new, we have to let go of something that no longer serves us. Maybe you are already experiencing confusion, frustration, or challenges in that area of life. You are already feeling the vacuum of letting go. Where there is a vacuum, the Universe fills it. The soul interprets ‘letting go’ as transformation, a change, a gift, making space for something new – and the ego interprets it as loss. It is up to you to choose how you experience it.

There are several things going on here: for one, the Dark Moon, but this day also marks the last Solar Eclipse of the year, and we have the Sun and Moon in a difficult Jyeshtha/Moola Gandanta. We also have an accumulation of 5 planets in Scorpio, being directly effected by this Eclipse.

Eclipse season illuminates our growth edges. They evoke raw emotions at high speed within us. They outline issues we need to witness and heal. Our trajectories become defined – what we are releasing or making peace with as it is.

The temporary loss of sunlight, the eclipsing of the sun by the dark moon, can stir up ominous feelings and even felt traumatic to our ancient ancestors since the beginning of time. Today even when the power goes out for a few minutes, the loss of dependable light that we grow to expect can make the heart skip a beat. With eyesight lessened, the other senses go on high alert. Like a person who is literally blind, we are capable of accomplishing heightened states of sensory awareness and even develop a stronger sixth sense. Eclipse season shows us what hidden resources we can depend on when the routine shifts or all else fails. What do you reach for when all other reliable resources have disappeared?

We spend a lot of time convincing ourselves that we have control over life. Eclipses remind us how vulnerable we are and how valuable our alternate resources and reserves of resilience to adaptation is to our human survival in this fragile ecosystem. This of course is the theme of 2020 entirely.

Total Solar Eclipses are visually exciting as well as astrologically important. The light of the strongest power source in our solar system is temporarily obscured by the Moon. It’s a good time to remember, the Moon has no light of its own, it is a mirror for the Sun, and during total Solar Eclipses, the Moon is always in the New or Dark Phase. Contrast. In astrology, these luminaries are place-markers of influence in our life. We like for them to be in plain sight where their light can be seen unobstructed.

Eclipses are not like that – this eclipse is especially not.

In Jyeshtra/Scorpio, this eclipse speaks to our belief systems. It asks us to make meaning out of the events in our lives. This eclipse is not about getting what we want, or manifesting with the New Moon. It is about accepting the non-negotiable realities of our lives and realizing that there may be a liberation hidden in that. Ruled by Jupiter, the Guru influence, this eclipse speaks in part of a spiritually impactful closure, wrap up, or resolve.

Jupiter, the Guru or Spiritual influence, has faced enormous struggles in 2020, being on course with the harbinger of hard times, Shani (Saturn), and having made three conjuncts with Pluto. All 3 of these conjunctions accurately coincided with global spikes of Covid-19. In these passages of the planets, Jupiter is in its detriment, resources are withheld. Jupiter has had to dig in and get its hands dirty to bring about results. Pure prayer and belief are simply not enough when trapped in this triad of Planets. So we travail.

On a global scale, we had the chance to get clearer on what the necessities are over this past year. Connection and community with a strong reliable network of essential services. We’ve learned to work with a shoestring budget, stripped down to the bare-bones and we will not – and should not forget. The opportunity to improve our national and international social constructs is in our hands now that we have witnessed and experienced its shortcomings.

The second of 2 eclipses (the first having happened on November 30th this year) is an official End Game of eclipse season and celebrated by Jupiter’s transit ending through Shani / Saturn as well as Makar Rashi (Capricorn).

On December 16th, Saturn re-enters Aquarius – the Kumbh Rashi. Shifts or transits for Shani (Saturn) are never simple. Happening days before The Great Conjunction – on the Sankranti of Winter Solstice (December 21) – is the conjunction of Guru and Shani (Jupiter and Saturn) in Kumbh Rashi, it is putting a stake in the ground, a boundary, marking a dividing line for what’s next.

We are being asked to be critical of the structures we are bound by and the ways in which our systems impact us as a global community. We are called to build a better mousetrap or do away with the trappings altogether.

In addition, with both luminaries in Jyeshtha / Mula Gandanta, the border traverses a Water and Fire sign. Gandantas are Spiritual Knots that tend to bind and unravel when we not are not really prepared. The elemental surprises of Fire meeting Water can range from boiling hot to extinguishing of flames.

While aligning with the fresh start of The Great Conjunction, Shani is returning to the place it was at when the lockdowns (classic Saturnalia) began. Hopefully this is a point of resolution, but recent experiences call for cautious optimism. Shani Sade is a whole other topic for another day.

The Winter Solstice and the Great Conjunction both occur on December 21st, making it real potent passage to set your intentions with clarity and passion for the year ahead.

To wrap it up, when we have an Eclipse in Jyeshtha / Scorpio we are dealing with not only the Solar luminary overshadowed and darkened, but also with the hidden energies of the Nakshatra sign itself. When you think of a Scorpio Moon, (oh my!) There is a passive-aggressive tendency. Some things are visible to the eye, some things lurk in shadow. Things must be sensed because they are rarely clearly seen. This brings up uncertainties and insecurities to the surface. Scorpio is full of secrets and its mysteries as well as opportunities for going inside and working on our own selves regardless of the outer currents.

During this Eclipse energy you may experience a sharp drop in energy, melancholy, defeat, self-doubt and depressive thoughts. This is not a time to put yourself out there in any way shape or form. Take care of your immune system. Stay low. Recognize the Light that’s always within you, even when dimmed to barely anything. Relate to the New Moon which appears absent but is actually still there, just hidden in shadow, still perfect and complete, just out of our sight.

Lets end with a story. Indra is the King of the Gods. He controls lightning and produces rain, he keeps order and offers protection. Indra also has a great sense of ego, pride and is quite self-centered. There are many stories about Indra being put in his place – brought “down to Earth”. We find two of these stories in Jyeshtha Nakshatra and in Krittika Nakshatra.

Indra: disgrace v compassion

The Yogi’s Curse

One day Indra took on the appearance of the Yogi Gautama because he lusted after Gautama’s wife. When Gautama realized what was happening and came home to find Indra having intercourse with his wife, he cursed Indra to be covered with 1000 vaginas. Indra was so devastated he rushed to the Goddess Lakshmi to remove the curse, but Lakshmi told him that not even she could remove the curse of a powerful Yogi. She was however able to lessen the curse so Indra was covered in 1000 eyes in place of the vaginas.

Three symbols are connected to this Nakshatra, an earring, a talisman, and an umbrella.

One day Indra brought torrential rainfalls down on the village where Krishna lived, because the inhabitants had a big ceremonial feast but instead of making sacrificing to Indra as they normally had, offered their sacrifice to the animals and plants and people that sustained them every day. Indra had his ego bruised and got incredibly angry of course. The villagers were terribly scared of the storm Indra brought upon them and begged Krishna for help, so Krishna lifted up the nearby Mount Govardhana, placed it on the tip of his finger and held it there, using the mountain as an umbrella protecting the village from the rain.

Here are some suggestions you can do during this New Moon in Jyeshtha Nakshatra to keep your auto-immunity and your spirits high:

  • Practice Yoga to centre the mind and engage your inner senses and for auto-immune support. Include subtle and active forms of Yoga/ Pranayama/ Meditation.
  • Engage in your spiritual practice, mantra is especially great at this time. It’s like an inner retreat from mundane activities and thoughts.
  • Eat light or even take a day of fasting if it comes easy enough to you. Lighten the load of your system during the eclipse, especially since the eclipse naturally falls in the 8th house of digestion. Vedic wisdom advises to fast on all New Moons, particularly Eclipses and on Monday (Somavar).
  • Do mundane chores, cleaning, organizing, laundry, menial things that don’t require much thinking.
  • Look out for friends and loved ones around you.
  • Reach out if you need help or someone to talk things over with.
  • Meditation can be helpful but it may not be enough.
  • A few Shastra that touch on eclipses, sankranti and the cycles within us: Yoga Darshana Upanishad, Spanda Karikas, Soundarya Lahari, Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra.

Consider initiating enrollment in one of Niradhara Amma’s e-courses at SwAr Ashram, designed to illuminate the secrets of Sanskrit Mantra is most auspicious before this New Moon.

: om tat sat :

༺༻ Blessings fom Amma Niradhara नर्मदे हर NARMADE HAR! ༺༻

SwAr Ashram is experiencing unprecedented hardships due to the nationwide lockdown of India and the particular difficulties of rural isolation. We are a charity based initiative with families depending on us and we have overhead of our own to contend with. We are reaching out to you, offering both free and paid courses including rare teachings online so that we can continue to communicate with the developed world & earn for our charities by sharing the Art & Science of Yoga with you.

༺༻

This is your exclusive invitation as a part of our Ashram Community to be among the first to launch our zoom e-satsang page. warning: it may have bugs the first week or 2. if that happens we will revert within 5 minutes to the semi-private FB page.

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Love and abundance of gratitude by the Grace of Maa Narmada & Devi Ahilyabai

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Love and abundance of gratitude by the Grace of Maa Narmada & Devi Ahilyabai

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