Tag Archives: tantra

6. Ardra Nakshatra

Rudra wearing a tiger skin while holing a deer and a trishul

Ruled by Rahu. (6° 40’ – 20° 00’ Gemini.) Betelguese (Alpha Orionis).

Star of Sorrow. Power to make Gains Through Effort.  

Meaning: :Green, Fresh, “the Moist One,”

Main deity: Rudra, The Howler, the ruddy one, the Lord of Beasts

Main symbols: a Diamond, a Teardrop & a Human Head.

Associations: Ardent, Arduous,  

Secondary Deities: Typhon

Tree – incense: Long Pepper or Krishna Kamal Flower (karimaram)

Body parts: Top and Back of Head & Eyes

Sexual – creative animal: Female Dog 

Trimurti: Shiva/Dissolution

Gotra/Clan: Sage Pulahu

Gana/Race: Manushya/Human

Varna/Caste: Butcher

Motivation/Goal: Kama

Nature: Tiksha – Sharp/Dreadful

Activity: Balanced

Place: 

Guna: Tamasic

Element: Water

Tridosha: Vata

Sex/Gender: Female

Upward Facing

Direction: West (or south east)

Colour: Green

Animal: Female Dog

Classical References

Rulership: Murderers, animal catchers, liars, adulterers, thieves, rogues,creators of discord, cruel persons, charmers, sorcerers, those well versed in the art of raising goblins.

Hora Sara: The native with moon in Ardra will have a wavering mind, be a crafty speaker, and will steal other’s money. They will be “self-respected,”? will have few sons, be long lived, and will have royal money.

Jataka Parijata: Moon be in Ardra will cause them to be destitute, without wealth, fickle, and addicted to base actions. They will have a lot of physical strength. 

Sage Narada: One born in Arudra will be interested in rituals related to Tantra. They will be adventurous, skilful in trading, fierce and ungrateful.

Brihat Samhita: The asterism Ardra makes one perfidious, haughty, irascible, ungrateful, cruel and sinful.

Varahamihira: They will be ungrateful, wicked, violent and proudy.

Brihat Samhita: When Saturn transits Ardra, trouble befalls the people of the Parata and Ramatha countries, “oil mongers”, washermen and dyers as well as thieves.

Auspicious activities:

This is not a good day for suspicious activity. However, if you have any sharp dreadful activities on your to-do list, this is their day. All those things you’ve put off because they are distasteful or beneath you, perhaps even dehumanizing: today is the day to face all of that. Any kind of cutting or destructive actions will be in harmony with this transit. Killing animals or taking care of insect infestations. Any activity that gets us in touch with our animal instincts. If you’re into yoga you could highlight the animal named postures, roar like lions. It’s a good day to let chaos reign supreme. Practice left-hand tantra, become more aware of your body and your senses; let go of your mind. Do intense practice, dance like a wild-man, do mantra until you fall into a trance, practice visualization meditation. All forms of pranayama can be practiced here as well. Find ways to focus the destructive tendencies of this nakshatra on things that need to go, like bad habits, unhealthy friendships or jobs, clearing land, tearing things down… The Moon’s transit to Ardra is a good time to get into a bad situation. As you can see below, the 4th pada can be especially auspicious in an inauspicious way. 

Special Considerations

  • Pushkara Navamsha 16º40′ to 20º Gemini (Pisces Navamsha).

Qualities of Ardra

Destructive energy: This nakshatra is focused on tearing things down, endings, and losses of all kinds. Clearing away obstacles to progress. 

Sage Pulahu: Helped create the wildlife as well as many of the mythical beasts. Since his children were so poorly behaved, he adopted Agastya’s son, Drudhasya. He was an ardent worshiper of Shiva. When King Bharata renounced his kingdom he went to Sage Pulahu’s ashram for refuge.

Human: Ardra is all too human, capable of compassion but easily succumbs to the human condition and finds it difficult to rise up and consistently do what they know to be right. They are not completely selfish and will easily defend the weak. They often know what is right, they just don’t always follow it. 

Butcher: Harsh activities like, killing, cutting, working with flesh and blood, or with taboo functions of the human body.

Kama: They are motivated to fulfilll their hopes & desires; to enjoy life and love, making friends and social connections, and to indulge in the pleasures of life. Planets that have some natural social talent will do well here while the others will show their awkwardness for easy enjoyment. 

Tikshna / Daruna – Sharp / Hard: Maiming killing, hypnotizing, distracting. dreadful, ferocious, bitter. Skilled at acts of aggression, toture, cruelty, murder, punishment, mesmerising, tearing things apart, getting stabbed in the back, performing illegal activities, acts of war. Really hard training can be started or practiced when the moon is here: training dogs or breaking horses, doing really intense tantric sadhanas or more intense and difficult Hatha yoga practices meant to break our will or or perhaps kill something inside of ourselves. All kinds of incantation can be auspicious on these days: tantra, black magic, hypnotism, casting out demons (literal and metaphorical ones). more intense and difficult Hatha yoga practices. But also surgeries, or treatments like chemotherapy, initiating a difficult divorce or walking away from your kids, all these things that make up a really tough cookie. Ardra, Ashlesha, Jyeshta, Moola are all hard people with potentially sharp tongues. They often find themselves in tight places where they have to make really difficult choices, often life or death.  Mars and Saturn combining energy in one of these nakshatras can be very dangerous in transit as well as in someones personality.

Functions in a Balanced Way Here we find the balanced approach. 

Tamasic: Activities take part on the gross physical plane: dark, depressed, dull, inert activities that obscure reality and keep us in the dark. Some kind of gross suffering is usually felt here and there’s a lazy sort of laissez-faire sort of laziness of lethargy. The energy here typically pulls a person down as it represents neither change or purity. There is typically some suffering and darkness of mind experienced here. Tamasic has no nutrients and the prana is not moving; it’s stale or dead. Rajas – Tamas – Satvic

Water: heavy, cold, movable, fluid, moist, liquid, soft & hard, clear

  • Earth + Water = Cooperation
  • Water does not cooperate with Air and impedes Fire
  • Fire does not cooperate with Earth and impedes Water

Vata: Air + Ether = Cold, dry, light, moving, subtle, clear, hard, pervasive, rough

  • Flighty, spiritual, thin
  • Disturbed by bitter (Mars), astringent (Saturn), pungent (Sun). 
  • Pacified by sweet (Jupiter) & sour (Venus)
  • Air does not cooperate with Water and impedes Earth . 

Female: Like a teenage girl: Green, fresh, moist. Works well with feminine planets and females, but males with this placement will have a more difficult time. 

Urdhva Mukha – Facing Upward: All these things that cause us to look upwards: mountains, church spires, temples, trees, birds, high places, and tall buildings. The intention might also be in building upwards or climbing the corporate ladder, or just looking to the future with hope and optimism. This can also be a good day for climbing ladders, flying in airplanes, launching rockets or missiles or investing, and all other things that will move you up the social ladder. Sun, Moon & Jupiter generally do well in the upward facing nakshatras: Rohini, Ardra, Pusya, U.Phalguni, U.Asadha, Sravana, Dhanista, Satabisha, U.Bhadra.

West: Things in the westerly direction can be auspicious for this nakshatra. It also trains for strength when placed in the western quadrant of the kundali. 

Female Dog (pairs with Mula) 

The old phrase, “like a bitch in heat,” comes to mind: Ardra can be ardently passionate. And this goes for all Ardra natives. Of course this can be somewhat seasonal as well. 

She goes into heat 1 – 3 times per year beginning when she is about 6 months old (though this varies considerably by breed). In the proestrus stage, estrogen floods her body, her vulva swells and she releases a bloody vaginal discharge. She becomes increasingly restless, she plays “bow and show” submissive behavior toward males. As ovulation approaches, urination will increase along with licking the vulva; males will become even more attracted to her. She will stand to be sniffed by them but will crouch and growl if they try to mount her. As she moves to the estrus stage, courtship and mate selection will begin. It’s believed that she will be involved in some kind of selective process, but if there are no other males around she will take any that are offered to her. She typically selects a male from her pack or one she has known. However, during her first heat she will not let other pups from her litter sniff, lick or mount her unless he persists for more than 30 minutes. She won’t let unfamiliar males mount her. Typically a dominant female will mate with a dominant male, and the submissive ones will mate amongst themselves. 

Pre-mating behavior include seeking out males, barking & howling, restlessness and wandering off. By the time estrus begins she will have as many as eight males following her. Less time will be spent eating as she will be busy sniffing the male urine. If the males don’t seem interested she will eventually begin to rub up against them and eventually lift her tail and present her vulva to him, which typically gets their attention. While the male mounts, she will stand quietly with her tail to the side. Once the sperm is deposited she will try to get away from “the tie” by pulling or throwing the male off balance, twisting and turning and even rolling over (possibly due to clitoral stimulation). Excessive salivation is also common. If “the tie” doesn’t work she can get very sexually aggressive with the male. She may want to mate once or twice a day for 2 – 5 days. Since she can have multiple litters each year she is often either pregnant or caring for pups.

Gods & Symbols of Ardra

Rudra on parade in Varanasi for Shiva Rathri 2009.

Rudra: 

A fierce form of Shiva who is sometimes said to be the son of Bhumi (earth) & Svarga (heaven). He wears a garland of skulls, his body is covered in the ash from the cremation fires, and he wanders everywhere. He is often described as a powerful archer, a hunter, the lord of beast & storms. His name translates as the Howler. 

The vayus are his vehicle as he is like prana itself riding upon the forces of prana vayu (outward moving force), apana vayu (downward moving force), vyana vayu (spirals outward), samana vayu (spirals inward), udana vayu (upward rising force). And perhaps also naga, kurma, devdatta, krikalam dhananjaya. 

11 Rudras are often considered to relate with the five organs of action, the 5 organs of perception and the mind which controls the others. They can also refer to the 10 prana vayus plus the vital force of prana itself. The names of the 11 Rudra’s are: Nirriti, Shambu, Aparajita, Mrigravyadha, Kapardi, Dahana, Khara, Ahirabrodhya, Kapali, Pingala, Senani. 

It was Rudra who shot Prajapati in the thigh with an arrow to keep him from catching his daughter who he was lusting after. It was Rudra who chopped off Brahma’s head for lying and Ganesha’s head for opposing him at the gates of his own home, 

“I bow to you Rudra, who is terrible, eminent, and extremely strong; who is the highest Lord. The one who is ever unborn and whole and has the brightness of a million suns. The one who holds a trident in his hand; the weapon that uproots the bondage of the three gunas: sattva, rajas, tamas. I bow to you, the husband of Bhavani devi, who can be attained by devotion.” (from the Rudrashtakam) 

Teardrop / Raindrop:

After Sati immolated herself and Shiva was raging around India with her body and crying, the tears that fell from his eyes for the Rudraksha trees. Tears cleans our anger, our sorrow and the plain in our hearts. Storms clean away what is dead and of no use while nourishing fresh growth.

Human head: 

The human head or a human skull has always been a symbol of our mortality. It’s also associated with the mind and the ego and silencing these two can be like copping-off our own head.The aghori baba of modern times are descendants of the Kapalikas (the “skull carriers”). Bhairava, the fierce form of shiva who chopped the heads off Brahman and Ganesha. Two separate stories have him separating Brahma from one of his heads. Once was for a conspiracy and lie shared with the Kataki flower about the limitations of lord Shiva, and the other time was to punish him for his sexual obsession with his own daughter. He famously took Ganesha’s head at their first meeting when Shiva returned from Kailasa to find the strange boy at the door of his own house guardian Shakti ma. Indra struck Trishras with his thunderbolt and had a wood cutter chop off his three heads. Samhara Kali holds a head in her left hand and wears a mala of human heads. Chinnamasta chops off her own head to feed her attendants. 

 

Diamond: 

Diamonds are very hard, sharp, cutting, & brilliant. Astrologically they are ruled over by Venus and they are said to help maintain relationship harmony, overcome weakness and control anger. Diamonds should only be purchased on Fridays when Venus is transiting Taurus, Libra or Pisces; never when Venus is in Virgo.

Early diamonds can only be cut with another diamond so it was very late before they were able to cut them into the beautiful specimens we see today. Despite their relative ugliness when uncut, they were determined to have magical properties. They are formed from an intense amount of heat and pressure and time. They used to believe that diamonds were formed from lightning striking stone. 

The demon Balasur defeated Indra and the gods, but due to a boon the gods were able to kill him tied to a stake as the sacrificial animal for their yajya. His arms became all the gems of the world and as the gods of so many realms fought over them, stole them and fled, the gems were scattered all over India. Indra was able to escape with the diamonds. Diamonds were set into the eyes of gods who were sculpted from stone.

Wearing a diamond brings relief from snakes, fire, poison, tigers and all kinds of enemies. A lovely refraction of light from a diamond blesses the wearer with wealth, food grain, and good children. Diamonds can even help a king conquer the world. But diamonds should not be worn by women as it will bring unhappiness and prevent them from having a son. 

The five favours are said to have come out of a diamond. Insanity could be prevented by folding a diamond loosely in the right hand. Holding it too tightly could cause seizures. Beneficial for stomach problems, depression, infections, memory loss, skin disease, & nightmares when placed in the appropriate location of the body. 

Health:

Top and back of the head

At the top and back of the brain are located the somatosensory cortex, the parietal lobe, and the occipital lobe. These areas of the brain have a lot to do with how we perceive the world and our place in it. 

    1. A) The Somatosensory Cortex processes all the bodily tactile sensations including touch, pressure, vibration, temperature, itches, tickles and pains. Three major functions are: 1) proprioception: awareness of position and movement of the body, 2) exteroception: awareness of things other than the body, and 3) interoception: sense of the internal state of the body. The Saiva yogi’s can see how this connects with the high state of awareness sought by these individuals. 
    2. B) The Parietal lobe gives you a sense of ‘me’. It figures out the messages you receive from the five senses of sight, touch, smell, hearing and taste. This part of the brain tells you what is part of the body and what is part of the outside world; not the body). It really conjures up the duality of gemini. The two main functions are to integrate sensory information to form our perception, and, by placing ourselves in the centre of a spatial coordinate system, to understand our place in the world. 

Damage to the parietal lobe may result in: “Gerstmann’s Syndrome,” right – left confusion, aphasia (difficulty writing), acalculia (difficulty with mathematics), anosognosia (deficient self awareness, they may not even be aware of a significant disability). More severe damage can cause Balint’s Syndrome where one is unable to control the gaze or integrate components of a visual scene. Damage on the left side affects verbal memory and the ability to recall strings of numbers. Damage on the right side can significantly alter a person’s personality. 

A couple simple tests for parietal lobe function are the Kimura Box test (apraxia) and the Two-point Discrimination test (somatosensory test: tests one ability to distinguish two separate points of touch on the skin. Should be able to distinguish 5mm apart)

  1. C) The Occipital Lobe interprets the information from our eyes and allows us to make sense out of it. Has some role in memory and basic conceptualization of the world around us. Facial recognition, familiarity of places and objects. When there is damage to the occipital lobe one may experience full or partial blindness, or some specific part of vision may be impaired (colour blindness, spatial relations ect). Anton’s Disease, they lose their vision without being aware of it and may not even accept proof if offered. Riddoch syndrome: they can only see moving objects. Stationary objects’ form and colour are not part of their perceptive field. Epilepsy relating to the occipital lobe usually involves occipital seizures, photosensitivity seizures. Flashes of light or a multiplicity of colour may trigger the seizure. 

Some less dramatic effects of occipital lobe damage are difficulty recognising everyday objects; trouble understanding basic colours, shapes, sizes; difficulty recognising familiar faces; difficulty balancing, moving or standing; changes in depth perception; difficulty detection moving objects; difficulty reading or writing due to trouble recognising the words. 

Dyslexia is partly related to both the parietal lobe is involved in word analysis and decoding, while the occipital lobe is related more to the ability to automatically access whole words and read skillfully and fluently. 

Tears: Three Types

    1. Basal tears: protein rich antibacterial tears that moisten and maintain the eye every time we blink. 
    2. Reflex tears: triggered by irritants (such as wind smoke or onions) to flush out the eye.
    3. Emotional tears: Accompanied by a release of endorphins and oxytocin which acts as a self soothing mechanism. The endorphins numb the body and the oxytocin gives us a feeling of calm, peace and security. Activates the parasympathetic nervous system, helping us to relax. Not only this, it also serves as a “cry for help” to rally others to our aid. It also seems likely that crying helps to remove toxins and stress hormones from the body that also aids in stress reduction. 

This kind of crying happens when we feel some kind of emotional overload and we are unable to cope: joy, sadness, surprise, hope, whatever it is is just too much for us to process. So we break down and ask the world for connection; to come and save us; have pity on us; to hug us and tell us everything is gonna be ok. It triggers short term human bonding and social connection. Like a rallying cry calling all the troops to band together. (Ardra represents the rallying cry while Mula is the troops bound together.) Tears often neutralize aggression.

After a big storm everything stays heavy and soggy for a while, it takes some time for the renewal to begin and flowers to bloom again. The endorphins numb the emotion and awareness becomes heightened and typically the oxytocin would kick in to help us feel the calm security of acceptance and connection. But for Ardra, acceptance doesn’t last, it’s like letting a friend sleep on the couch after they had a fight with the wife. You become a part of the family and they welcome you with open arms…. But after the third day or the third time in a month then it’s time to move on. 

Those who never cry (or never cry out for help) are more isolated, withdrawn while feeling less connected to the world around them. They also typically experience more negative aggressive feelings, like rage, anger and disgust, then people who cry. Saturn is known to give particularly difficult results in Arda. 

Other physical or mental distinctions related to Ardra

In more common language, we often find Ardra people get attacked by the wind in some way, something can come along and fry their nervous system at any time, they are prone to other windy diseases like coughs, colds, asthma, TB, allergies (aberrations to the immune system), skin sensitivities, addictions, compulsions, and phobias. They are prone to addiction, fighting, violence, domestic abuse and other conditions that are common for poor or marginalized people. They are known for their blood shot: hangover, lack of sleep, pink eye, ganja, trauma lines. 

Several hormones related to desire, addiction, anger, and release are represented in Ardra. Dopamine is a key hormone in addictive behaviour. Endorphins are often released when we are in pain, fear, or intense moments. Their job is to numb the pain and it feels great. Oxytocin is ultimately what we crave, the feeling of connection, safety, security, comfort and acceptance. Adrenaline and norepinephrine relate with the fight or flight reactions but also act to increase the release experienced by sexual pleasure as it peaks just before ejaculation. Many people associate it with the pineal gland. There is also a cranial nerve that runs from the nasal region to the septal nucleus of the brain which is involved with the release of testosterone and Estrogen. It is involved with desire, sexual appetite. 

Ardra are typically addicted to the rush of endorphins typically followed by a crash. Sex, intense exercise, extreme sports, risk taking, and the various addictions all have their associated risks and threaten different parts of the body. 

Stars of Ardra: 

The bow and arms of Orion

Betelgeuse: The abode of Lord Shiva (Orion is the form he took to avenge Brahma’s daughter. 

Known as a red giant. Brightest star in the constellation Orion (10th brightest in the whole sky) and the largest of all the known stars; relatively cool as well. Means “shoulder of the giant.” It’s in the middle part of the constellation Orion. Having been ejected from Orion it’s moving at a speed of 30 km/sec. This creates a “bow shock” over 4 lightyears wide. It rotates fairly slowly.

Sirius: The “Dog Star”

Brightest star in the constellation Canis Major, which the Greeks considered to be the dog or the hunter Orion. It marks the dog days of summer between July 3 and August 11 when the sun rises with Sirius. He brings oppressive heat, drought, dryness to the land and to men. 

Tree of Ardra

Long-pepper: Piper Longum – Pipli

A flowering vine that is somewhat hotter than black pepper. Native of India. Grows all across the hotter parts of Northern India.

According to Ayurveda, its properties are pungent, very hot, sweet, light & piercing. It’s antibacterial, diuretic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, anthelmintic, analgesic, carminative, expectorant, and thermogenic. It balances kapha and vata. It’s good for the respiratory system: chronic bronchitis, respiratory infections, asthma, cough and kapha complaints. It invigorates digestion and is used for stomach ache, constipation, diarrhea, cholera, chronic dysentery or worms, chronic malaria, and herpes. It slows blood clotting so not to be used in high amounts with bleeding disorders or two weeks before surgery. It has aphrodisiac and rejuvenating properties.

Some of the Ayurvedic formulas that use long pepper are: Kaas Har Churna, Digestion Support, Chandraprabha Vati, Kaishore Guggul, Mahashankh Vati

Agarwood / Eagle-wood: 

A fragrant, dark resinous wood prized for the aroma it gives off due to a mold that sometimes infects the heartwood of Aquilaria trees. The resin that builds up inside the tree dramatically increases in mass and density. Aquilaria trees are endangered; first grade agarwood is one of the most expensive raw materials in the world at $100 – $100 000/kg. Most aquilaria trees grow in North East India, Myanmar, and Cambodia.

The oil that is extracted is commonly known as Oud (or aguru) and is highly valued for its aphrodisiac properties as well as for its spiritual cultural value. It’s especially popular in Turkey and the Arab world these days. Oud oil can be distilled from agarwood using steam. 70kg of wood yields about 20ml of oil. 150 chemical compounds are found in it. 

The fragrance is “oriental-woody,” “very soft fruity floral,” the smoke has a hint of “sweet balsamic,” “shades of vanilla and musk,” and amber. Others describe it as the fat of the wood; a deep dark animalistic even manure-like odour, an “exhilarating and spiritually elevating” fragrance. Myths say that Oud is like a rebellious bachelor who begins flowering after he’s married. It’s said to be astringent & bitter. Writing material is still made of its bark in some places

The Vedas tell us that the eight sought after fragrances are: agarwood, turmeric, red and white sandalwood, saffron, camphor, cow spleen, musk (from the deers musk gland). 

Key Themes

Ardra people are hard, cutting, stormy, expansive, moist, wet, fresh, green living. They like to live in the jungle, the forest, surrounded by wilderness and wild animals; this could be the urban jungle. They won’t be comfortable with suburban life unless it gives them plenty of opportunity to walk on the wild side. They have very sharp animalistic instincts; all their senses are sharp; almost primitive. They will likely have strong tribal or group affiliations with Rahu characters: outcastes, criminals, shadowy, foreign and unusual people.

They like to be in nature, they often have pets or work with animals. Hunters, foragers, trappers, trainers, rodeo cowboys are often found with placements in Ardra. But any kind of job that offers field work: biologists, field engineers, weather experts, trekking guides, survivalists, storm chasers…. In the city it could make police officers (doing undercover or investigative work), social workers, medical response, or other humanistic work in areas where things can quickly get out of hand. They are often connected to the drug scene somehow. They like it when their animalistic instincts get triggered and seem to put themselves into some extreme and intense situations and they may be prone to addiction.. They might be adrenaline junkies, thrill seekers, provocateurs, who love to feel the rush of adrenaline and other intense hormones. 

Music and dance (especially trance or tribal) are usually important to Ardra people. They love instinctive physical body based behaviours; swaying, surging, gyrating, pulsating movement. They mesmerize others with seductive gestures and animal magnetism. They can draw people into walking the wild side. Their lifestyle typically keeps them very physically fit even if sometimes malnourished and they do not participate directly in any kind of exercise regime (though they often will). Their careers are often physically intensive and demand sharp instincts: manual labourers, dancers, acrobats, dare devils, always living on the edge. 

Ardra natives are often involved in things that are socially taboo. They tend to have a strong hunger for sex, drugs and rock’n’roll and will not hesitate to break the bounds of decency. They can be very provocative, wild, (self) destructive people: drug dealers, bartenders, cheats, thieves, or any kind of illicit sales or service. Poverty, rough living, and some kind of exploitation are common with this placement.

Tribalistic beliefs involving animal spirits like shamanism, tantra, Wicca, witchcraft or blood sacrifice can be practiced or taught here. Sex, drugs and alcohol can be used in a ritualistic way as well. They may practice some kind of touch healing, may administer drugs (or poisons) for healing purposes, such as homeopaths or allopaths, and they will often espouse some kind of tribal philosophy. They are sometimes found as teachers, instructors, counsellors or writers. As is common for all the Gemini placements, they often enjoy mental gymnastics, word games, card games, and strategy games. Ardra may also have an affinity for electricity, technology, science fiction and on-line gaming.

They are often not easy people to be around and they are known to be irritable, ungrateful troublemakers. They might be easily excited and easily carried away. They will take on any appearance to get what they want. They tend to lack sincerity; except intensity, their intensity is sincere. 

They need some kind of release. It’s imperative that they don’t try to restrain the beast. They need some outlet to lose themselves, to lose their mind. This nakshatra puts me in mind of the lady followers of Bacchus who would lose themselves in ecstasy, drink and dance. Not only that, but the whole thing was cloaked so that no man, no husband would know what they were up to. and since the ladies themselves were so inebriated, they could not themselves clearly remember what happened. Rahu’s ownership throws his dark smoky oily cloak over this person.

There is a sense not only of storms, but drafts, rough drafts, winds, that kind of unexpected windiness that seizes an epileptic. The chill you get walking through a cemetery at night or living on the cremation grounds. Ardra is the shiver that runs down your spine. He represents the loop-hole. He may allow his people to cheat death, but he will leave his mark mentally or physically. In a similar manner, they are likely to be “free-will” advocates who will in the end be forced to submit to a higher power (this also relates with them being represented by the female dog who might go out looking for it, but ultimately she has to submit). There can be a strong current or repentance, but this is likely to flow in circles rather than affecting any kind of meaningful change. They seek personal empowerment, but in some way God reminds them who is ultimately in control. 

Ardra can be deeply spiritual in a tribalistic way. Tantra is represented throughout, but aghori tantra, left hand path, sex tantra, black magic, dark devil worship, heterodox practices involving drugs, alcohol, sex, and other forbidden substances, ayahuasca, magic mushrooms, trance drumming or chanting, vision questing all come under the purview of Ardra. Many Ardra natives are left-handed or ambidextrous. 

Planetary Rulers of Ardra

Shiva baba living jungly near the Narmada River, India.

Rahu: Overreaching, inconsistent, fascination, excitable, taboo, shadowy, smoky, oily, polluted, rotten, illusions. Opportunistic, privilege seeker, imposters, those who intensify passion and desire, agents-provocateur, charlatans, masters of smoke and oil, overly ambitious, head without a body, insatiable desires, fears, phobias, serpents, grandparents, unusual, boundary breaking, Technology, outside the box, Deformity. Friend of Jupiter, Venus, Saturn.Enemy of Sun, Moon, Mars. 

Mercury/Gemini: Twins, neighbourly, chatty, communicative, informative, messaging, changeable, multi-tasking, adaptable, curious, youthful, quick, arms, weapons, hands, shoulders, upper chest, the way we reach out to the world, hobbies, efforts, mentality, younger siblings, groups, teams, associations, meetings, commerce, reports, scheduling, planning, short travels, the commute, the neighbourhood, advertising, announcements, hand crafts, instruction, training, trade guilds, collaborators in conversation, hearing, self narrative, courage, valour, appetite, media productions, technical training, tool use

Gemini + Rahu:  Ambitious gestures, overreach, unusual messages, taboo communications, smoky, commercial business, irregular signals, ambitious self narrative, false courage, cloudy, oily places on the edge of town, outsiders, gypsy caravans, tribal affiliations, gives ambitious communication, smoke signals, double meanings. Almost always adversarial to elite power structures. 

The Rahu Mercury combination makes them good  improv storytellers; they may relate to the truth underlying myths better than they do to the history of facts. They are masters of the mixed message, the innuendo, the double entendre. It suggests crossed wires somewhere bringing confusion: dyslexia, epilepsy, nervous disorder, learning disorder, vision problems, colour blindness, left-handedness.

Pada’s of Ardra

Pada 1 (Gemini + Rahu + Sagittarius): Puts me in mind of another roadside attraction. Broad, open-minded people, travellers, global vision, teachers, intellectuals. They cloak their wisdom in humour. They will often take a stand on principle or for the underdog. 

Sun: George Orwell (1), Clarence Thomas (1), Johnny Gottselig (1), Kris Kristofferson (1), Meryl Streep (1), Carol Hemingway (1), Jean-Paul Sartre (1), Korean War (1). Moon: George Orwell (1), Boy George (1), Turkey (1), Frank Costello (1), Bhimrao Ambedkar (1). Mars: Wayne Gretzky (1), Derek Chauvin (1), Cicero (1), Warren Buffet (1), India (1). Mercury: Princess Diana (1), Harrison Ford (1), Conor McGregor (1), Johnny Gottselig (1) (Hockey player/coach). Venus: Hiroshima (1), Brett Hull (1), Martin Sheen (1), Steven Crowder (1), Barack Obama (1), King Carl Gustaf XVI (1), Dave Toschi (1), Mick Foley (1). Jupiter: Mario Lemieux (1), Patrick Roy (1), J Edgar Hoover (1), Emmanuel Macron (1). Saturn: Dave Chappelle (1), Rose McGowan (1). Rahu: Edward Smyth-Osbourn (1), Diane Keaton (1), Sandra Bullock (1), Marcel Proust (1), 9/11 (1), Brett Hull (1), Pope Benedict XVI (1), Courtney Love (1). Ketu: Bruce Willis (1), Jen Child Tofino (1), Robert Redford (1), Buddy Holly (1)

Pada 2 (Gemini + Rahu + Capricorn): unpolished, proud, perfect speakers, slow, sad, bereft of gods and teachers. They are subtle, enjoyers, hate people and handsome.

They will take the law into their own hands some way. They will go rogue. They almost always have a side job. Their main career might just be a front for the side job: the bartender who sells drugs, the labourer who uses the bosses tools for side jobs. As social workers or nurses they might cut corners to clear the red tape so they can help their clients. They can also be vigilantes, They are typically good at cutting corners and finding the legal loopholes allowing them to work as lawyers or social workers who support taking the law into one’s own hands. They can be good at arranging music or choreographing dance. Life can be an uphill battle as luck does not often seem to be on their side. 

Sun: WW I (2), Hermann Oberth (2). Moon: Pence (2), William of Cambridge (2), Almas (2), Kenny Rogers (2), Kurt Cobain (2). Mars: heavy drug or alcohol use. Aggressive use of arms and aggressive gestures that the purpose of which might not be clear. Provocateurs who seem to be acting against their own people. Sid Vicious (2), Sex Pistols (1), Brett Hull (2), Osama Bin Laden (2). Mercury: Natalie Portman (2). Venus: USA (2), Israel (2), Clarence Thomas (2), Edward Smyth-Osbourn (2) (NATO Commander), Natalie Partman (2), Dustin Hoffman (2), Elizabeth Hurley (2). Jupiter: Almas (2), Neil Armstrong (3), Jiddu Krishnamurti (2). Saturn: Eric Clapton (2), Tony Esposito (2), Mia Farrow (2). Rahu: Jawaharlal Nehru (2), Anne Hathaway (2), Nigel Farage (2), Tony Esposito (2). Ketu: Kris Kristofferson (2), Dave Chappelle (2), Cecil Edward Bingham (2) (WW I Commander), Rose McGowan (2), Arthus Schlesinger Jr (2), Steve Jobs (2), Denis Hopper (2), Anthony Kennedy (2)

Pada 3 (Gemini + Rahu + Aquarius): A vulgar nature but are well connected and often quite intelligent. They do well in technical fields, science, and research; working with electricity or similar systems. Regardless of how successful they might be they are still associated with the marginalized and labouring classes and will likely see many rises and falls in life as they can be unpredictable and often get in over their head. They tend to attract partners who are broad minded, creative and intelligent. The cheerful optimism they bring to Ardra’s life can be like a shining beacon of hope. Separations, break-ups and losses can be devastating. 

Sun: Princess Diana (3), Pamala Anderson (3), Joel Cran (3), Liv Tyler (3), Night of the Long Knives (3). Moon: Canada (3), Tom Waits (3), John D Rockefeller (3), Michael Jordan (3), Jian Ghomeshi (3), Stephen Wolfram (3) (mathematician), Sai Baba (3). Mars: William Burroughs (3), Shakespeare (3), John Calvin (3), Ingrid Bergman (3), Malcom X (3). Mercury: Steven Crowder (3), Trump (3), Angela Merkel (3), Paul Gauguin (3). Venus: Clint Eastwood (3), Napoleon Bonaparte (3), Josef Haller (3), Karl Wolff (3). Jupiter: Harrison Ford (3), USA (3), Jackie Robertson (3), Ramakrishna (3). Saturn: Michel Arth (3) (black magic child killer), Nikola Tesla (3), D.H. Lawrence (3), Lauren Haris (3) (Group of Seven Artist), Rajiv Gandhi (3), Bill Ayers (3) (Radical Communist). Rahu: Sai Baba (3), Hiroshima (3), Martin Heidegger (3). Ketu: Antonin Scalia (3), Adam Gorey (3), Al Capone (3), Stephanie Pierce (3), Valerie Solanas (3) (militant lesbian who killed Andy Warhol), Henry Ford II (3), Alice Bailey (3)

Pada 4 (Gemini + Rahu + Pisces): Pushkara Navamsha. Broad minded visionaries, intelligent, spiritual, seeking an independent path. Their talents go unrecognised by their own people so they find so foreign connections to help lift them up; otherwise they will spend their time alone and isolated. They retain a strong connection with the underdog and will go out of their way to support them against the odds.They have often been that underdog themselves. They are dreamers: their education is frequently disrupted, personal relationships bring much suffering. They could get involved with spirituality or healing work to help those less fortunate. Oftentimes they turn their attention to animals, street dogs, and the like.

Sun: Herman Hesse (4), Allysa Koch (4), Julian Assange (4), King Henry VIII (4), Canada (4). Moon: Willie Nelson (4), Dave Chappelle (4), Issac Newton (4). Mars: Mikhail Bakunin (4), Jean-Claude Van Damme (4), Jiddu Krishnamurti (4), Arther Schopenhauer (4), Robin Williams (4). Mercury: Boy George (4), Liv Tyler (4), Woody Harrelson (4). Venus: Jean-Paul Palomeros (4), Oonagh Shanley – Toffolo (4) (Princess Diana’s healer). Jupiter: Wyatt Earp (4), Marcel Proust (4), 9/11 (4), Rupert Murdoch (4), Angela Merkel (4), Ram Das (4), George Soros (4), William Shatner (4), Maidan Revolution Ukraine (4), Hannah Arendt (4) Robert Yeats (4) (Geologist working on earthquakes). Saturn: Robert Hand (4) (Astrologer), David Gilbert (4) (Radical Communist), Jacque Fresco (4) (Venus Project), Drew Barrymore (4) ,George Soros (4). Rahu: William of Cambridge (4), Michelle Obama (4), Brad Pitt (4), Calamity Jane (4), Thich That Hanh (4), Julius Caesar (4), Jeff Bezos (4), Otto Von Bismark (4), Michel Arth (4) (black magic child killer). Ketu: John F Kennedy (4) Shakespeare (4), Phil Donahue (4), Stephane Abrail (4)

Planets in Ardra

Ascendant in Ardra

Regardless of their level of beauty these natives will have the ability to fascinate others. There is usually something both unusual and magnetic about them. Like the bad boy in high school that all the girls are attracted to. They are capable of being sexy, or pretty or ordinary; they can take on whatever role they thing will get them what they want. But it’s usually going to be about what they want; they can’t stand to be controlled by others. The follow the law of the jungle wether it’s downtown, in the corporate office, or back in nature away from civilizations and domesticity, Relationship typically suffer since what the point if you don’t really want to settle down. There might be excessive focus on the details; every little detail, so it can be beneficial for them to have a broader minded partner; someone who can help them see a little bit of the world as well as the bigger picture generally. 

Elon Musk (1),Madonna (1), Sex Pistols (1), Sarah Bernhardt (1), Joe Louis (2), Adi Bachan (2), Mauric de Rothchilr (3), Tasmin (4), Albert Einstein (4), Claud Monet (4), Martin Poolsland (4), Hannah Arendt, Jack Anderson, Marie Antoinette,  James Blunt, Hugo Chavez, Tenzin Paljor Dirkhipa, Anupama Dubey,  Joseph Mangele,   Lee Harvey Oswald,  Ian Scriven, Steven Speilberg, Thomas Starzi, Quentin Tarantino,  Leo Tolstoy, Turkey,

[Special note that I still have much work to do in rectifying and confirming birth times. Ascendant signs, and even moon signs may vary. Under very special circumstances other planets might also change sign of nakshatra in the course of a day.]

Sun in Ardra

They draw everyone’s attention to their wild nature. They’re proud of it and express themselves in a unique or unusual way. Their father may have been isolated. They have this peculiar way of shining a light on everything that’s wrong with society. They might be accused of following conspiracy theories. The “official version” of events might differ from the truth. The Sun, representing ultimate truth, is immersed in the dark story clouds of Gemini where he makes things even more hot and steamy. And they like it this way, such climates, whether natural or artificial will trigger their creativity. Ardra will diminish and diffuse their light, they are truly diamonds in the rough. 

George Orwell (1), Clarence Thomas (1), Johnny Gottselig (1), Kris Kristofferson (1), Meryl Streep (1), Carol Hemingway (1), Jean-Paul Sartre (1), Korean War (1), WW I (2), Hermann Oberth (2), Elon Musk (2), Princess Diana (3), Pamala Anderson (3), Joel Cran (3), Liv Tyler (3), Night of the Long Knives (3), Herman Hesse (4), Allysa Koch (4), Julian Assange (4), King Henry VIII (4), Canada (4), Elie Anuttara, Dan Aykroyd (3), Pierre Paul Broca, Canada, Alysa Koch, George Orwell, Oxford, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Friedrich Serturner, Tanya, Catherine Thailand, Mike Tyson (3), Sunil Upaday, Abhishek Yadav

Moon in Ardra

They have a stormy life. Females can be particularly sensitive to hormonal changes which are also likely to be irregular. Hormone storms is an apt description. It’s likely their mother figure was unsettled and they experienced gaps in their care as children. They may feel somewhat undeserving and for this reason tend towards self sabotage to prove themselves correct. 

George Orwell (1), Kapil (1), Boy George (1), Fran Prashant (1), Fraser Roudbowl (1), Turkey (1), Frank Costello (1), Bhimrao Ambedkar (1), Pence (2), William of Cambridge (2), Almas (2), Kenny Rogers (2), Kurt Cobain (2), Canada (3), Tom Waits (3), John D Rockefeller (3), Michael Jordan (3), Jian Ghomeshi (3), Stephen Wolfram  (mathematician(3)), Sai Baba (3), Willie Nelson (4), Francisco de Goya (4), Dave Chappelle (4), Issac Newton (4), Anastasya Varanasi (2), Canada, Shiva Code, Heather Dunward, , JBS Haldane,  Dominic Monaghan,  Proclus, Henry David Thoreau, Turkey, 

Mars in Ardra 

They will move like a beast, they will use covert and unusual means to attack. They may disguise themselves to cross borders. They can be very aggressive and will stand up and fight for what they believe in. They usually know how to use a gun, but perhaps they have chosen fire juggling instead; and more broadly speaking they find an unusual use of fire and steel. This is not a great position for Mars though because Ardra is too humid; Mars and Sun both just add heat to the humidity. They might use their body to make smoke signals. Some of the hockey players on the list would use fake moves to outwit the defence. Their action might be at odds with their intent. Or perhaps what they are doing is not actually what it looks like. 

Wayne Gretzky (1), Derek Chauvin (1), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1), Cicero (1), Daven (1), Warren Buffet (1), India (1), Sid Vicious (2), Wim Hof (2), Sex Pistols (1), Brett Hull (2), Osama Bin Laden (2) William Burroughs (3), Shakespeare (3), John Calvin (3), Ingrid Bergman (3), Shawn Lethbridge (3), Woo (3), Shawna Wasmer Jones (3), Malcom X (3), Mikhail Bakunin (4), Larissa (4), Jean-Claude Van Damme (4), Jiddu Krishnamurti (4), Arther Schopenhauer (4), Robin Williams (4), Alexis Anderson,  Demi Montana Harrelson,  Manhattan,  VS Naipaul, Marie Pascal Orphee, Iana Tonkonog, Meghan Markel Duchess of Wales, Abhishek Yadav

Mercury in Ardra 

Communication about chaotic events, rogues, plots. There will be some kind of life narrative of things getting out of hand. Good position for surveillance and security, therapeutics dealing with post traumatic stress disorders or the ardent paparazzi. They will have really wild stories and take time to analyse and study unusual and violent events. They are usually good with their hands and may be able to perform some “slight of hand” tricks, card tricks, and other various circus or parlour games. 

Princess Diana (1), Phineas P Gage (1), Kuntidevi (1), Thomas Clarence (1), Harrison Ford (1), Conor McGregor (1), Johnny Gottselig (Hockey player/coach (1)), Wilber Cohen (1), Peter I of Russia (2), Natalie Portman (2), Tom Hanks (2), Shaun Lethbridge (2), Steven Crowder (3), Trump (3), Angela Merkel (3), Paul Gauguin (3), Rembrandt (3), Boy George (4), Liv Tyler (4), Woody Harrelson (4), Alice Bailey (4), Jian Ghomeshi (4), Henry David Thoreau, Count Zeppelin, 

Jupiter in Ardra

Will experience a lot of intense moments. Allows us to surrender to the forces that are beyond our control. Guru and teacher figures may have a tribal background or come from a marginalized community. Children may run wild or have some Ardra type debilitation; the same goes for a woman’s husband. It can be a good placement for a busy executive with lots of different meetings, appointments. Strange signals seem to be permissive. This is very much Brahma checking out his own daughter. They will likely change their beliefs several times in their life and their principles will be inconsistently applied. 

Mario Lemieux (1), Patrick Roy (1), Eliana Trinaistic (1), J Edgar Hoover (1), Emmanuel Macron (1), Almas (2), Neil Armstrong (2), Shakiyamaan (2), Jiddu Krishnamurti (2), Harrison Ford (3), USA (3), Jackie Robertson (3), Ramakrishna (3), Fran Prashant (3), Wyatt Earp (4), Marcel Proust (4), 9/11 (4), Rupert Murdoch (4), Angela Merkel (4), Ram Das (4), George Soros (4), William Shatner (4), Maidan Revolution Ukraine (4), Hannah Arendt (4) Robert Yeats (Geologist working on earthquakes (4)), Mike Tyson (4), Shiv Code, Lisa Edelstein, Leon Festinger, Robert H Goddard, Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Emma Watson, 

Venus in Ardra

They all love the image of the lone wolf. They have a love for the unusual. They are often a one man show, or perhaps they merely project such an image: tough and wild. They usually value the wilderness and wild animals and seek some kind of compromise with it. They might love hunting, tracking and they might like to role play with their partners. Or maybe it’s just them who like to play the “wild-man” role. Men will often have a wife on the wildside, and both sexes may seek dangerous methods to gain pleasure. They might get off on adrenaline to such a degree as to seem suicidal. They will choose to dissent or stand alone based on their values. . 

Hiroshima (1), Brett Hull (1), Martin Sheen (1), Steven Crowder (1), Barack Obama (1), King Carl Gustaf XVI (1), Dave Toschi (1), Mick Foley (1), USA (2), Israel (2), Thomas Clarence (2), Edward Smyth-Osbourn (2) (NATO Commander), Natalie Portman (2), Dustin Hoffman (2), Elizabeth Hurley (2), Sara Nares (2), Bob Saget (2), Clint Eastwood (3), Donna Holliday (3), Napoleon Bonaparte (3), Josef Haller (3), Karl Wolff (3), Jean-Paul Palomeros (4), Oonagh Shanley – Toffolo (Princess Diana’s healer(4)), Dan Aykroyd (4), Lance Alworth, Ghat Astrologer,, Hulk Hogan, Sonny Liston, V.S. Naipaul, Oxford, Komilla Sutton, 

Saturn in Ardra

Not good for the eldest brother. Some kind of obsessive compulsive behaviour is common. This can be a pretty brutal placement. This Saturn can give a feeling of responsibility for animals or animalistic behaviour and wilderness. It suggests dementia in old age, possibly a mad scientist figure. They may be afraid of boogie men waiting to jump out from every shadow. They will likely belong to some kind of extremist group, somewhat dangerous fringe group, forbidden sex organizations, religious cult, black magic, militia, or gang, They will work closely with the wildlife wether human or animal. The wild animal inside of themselves may be repressed or held back (though Mars, Rahu or Ketu influence can release it with explosive, toxic, or deadly results. You could say that they take it upon themselves to be Rudra in defense of the innocent, of course such a role also involves the 12 years of penance that Rudra Aghore Bhairava had to complete. 

Chanting, dancing and smoking the opium pipe is the highlight of celebration with the Naga tribes.

When Ketu influences Saturn in Ardra, he brings in a sense of randomness and an apathy for the jungle. They can be good at mantra or repetition that brings trance. They typically practice and train the same movements over and over again. They can be good at meditation and spend much time alone. They are more akin to a survivalist than a yogi but they might be very good at using the body. They will typically use hard work and effort to get what they want, but what they want might not be possible so they have to keep up the pressure and resort to cruelty or deceit. This is very much the lone wolf whose responsibility and commitments might never be known; a ghost. 

On the other hand, it’s a combination that, in an otherwise “civilized chart,” can cause a person to suddenly get lost in the wilderness, take a wrong turn downtown and end up in the wrong neighbourhood, or perhaps they have a whole period of life where they had taken a wrong turn. Likewise, wildlife might just show up at the door, criminals might come out of nowhere. There may be fear of the dark. 

Saturn Ardra 1st house (Saturn rules 8th & 9th):

They are associated with some kind of social revolution. They represent the underrepresented and seek change for the masses. They espouse innovative revolutionary theories. These people are often tall, dark and mysterious. They may not maintain their health or appearance. DH Lawrence became known as the “Savage Pilgrim” in the later part of life. They tend to make a lot of enemies and experience persecution. They are themselves the underdog; the whipping boy. They are hard workers capable of enduring hardship. They are usually working class or farm labourers. Jacques Fresco also has this placement. Although both of these fellows had to face great hardship in life, Mercury’s strong placement in both cases kept them from the obscurity one would expect from such difficult circumstances. Fresco’s exchange between Mercury and Saturn has given him the wisdom of numbers in order to come up with an economic theory to help those less fortunate. 

Saturn in Ardra 3rd house (Saturn rules 10th & 11th):

We can usually see third house placements fairly clearly in a person since it relates to their personal narrative. They are usually a wild child, shameless mentality and will sink to any depth to get what they want. They might engineer a killer storm or some kind or commotion that quickly gets out of hand. There can be an autistic effect with this placement, somewhat antisocial or stunted in their ability to deal with the public. Their communication often comes across as harsh, cruel and out of place. Working and hobbies involving technology, communications, media, electricity, messaging, signalling. Nerve damage in the upper spine affecting the arms cannot be ruled out here either. They could be a butcher, someone working with dangerous implements. This position has a negative effect on the elder brother who may get caught up in some kind of storm and killed and the native with this placement may live feeling some guilt for the event. One’s own achievements are likely to be attributed to another (though one might also kick up a storm over this. Might be known for their cold stormy mentality, especially when they don’t get what they want. 

Saturn in Ardra 6th house (Saturn rules 1st & 2nd):

Close connections with pets and animals. In service to those who have no mind either from drugs or mental illness. With ketu they can get into some really dirty service to the least fortunate without being attached to it. They are no virtue signaller in this topic, they get in there and do the work without attachment to the outcome. 

Saturn in Ardra 8th (Saturn rules 3rd & 4th)

This is more difficult for us to see because of the secretive nature of the 8th house it’s unlikely to be talked about or acknowledged; however we can usually intuit it. This placement can bring a a lot of guilt about sex as they seek to restrain their urge for guilty pleasures. Sex might also accompany some kind of chaos. They have a lot of fear of the unknown. They often have some belief in black magic and can easily be fooled by sorcerers and witches. They will face many hard storms. One of the parents, caretakers or elders is likely to be brutal and there is a good opportunity for a gangland or junky lifestyle. If this 8th house, Saturn gets an aspect from Mars or Rahu, they could become criminally dangerous. Ketu randomised everything so god only knows what these folks get into, it could be intense, or they might merely be accident prone or randomly self destructive. On the other hand, they might be completely incapable of understanding their own responsibility and inherently incapable of fulfilling their commitments. 

Saturn in Ardra 10th house (Saturn rules 5th & 6th):

Leader of thieves or criminals. May work in the wilderness hunting, fishing, training, providing unusual, taboo or criminal services. They typically spend a lot of their time alone in isolation for their work and way of life. They can be especially libertarian and Rahu influence can easily lead to criminality as they take the law into their own hands. 

Patricia Varanasi (1), Dave Chappelle (1), Rose McGowan (1), Eric Clapton (2), Jitendra Hassija (2), Tony Esposito (2), Mia Farrow (2), Michel Arth (3) (black magic child killer), Nikola Tesla (3), D.H. Lawrence (3), Lauren Haris (3) (Group of Seven Artist), Rajiv Gandhi (3), Bill Ayers (Radical Communist (3)), Pattabhi Jois (4), Robert Hand (4) (Astrologer), David Gilbert (Radical Communist(4)), Jacque Fresco (4) (Venus Project), Drew Barrymore (4) ,George Soros (4), Satoshi Nakamoto (4), Bhairava Anuttara, Clair Bruere, Chris Chalifoux, Carvello Creighton, Amber Frey,  Bob Marley,  

Rahu in Ardra

Masters of disguise. The most unusual or exotic pets, weapons or arms. Will likely often have some strange curiosity or cutting edge technology at hand (all the better if it’s a little bit dangerous or unpredictable). A unique walking stick may be seen. Ketu is likely to be in Mula oblivious to the chaos that might be caused around them or the broader effects of their actions. They can be especially selfish without thinking beyond the needs of their own kind, their group of tribal affiliation. However , they are likely to be let down by this group at certain intervals. They may put these Ardra outcasts on a pedestal only to have their illusions shattered. 

Edward Smyth-Osbourn (1), Patrica Varanasi (1), Diane Keaton (1), Sandra Bullock (1), Marcel Proust (1), 9/11 (1), Brett Hull (1), John MIlton (1), Pope Benedict XVI (1), Courtney Love (1), Jawaharlal Nehru (2), Anne Hathaway (2), Nigel Farage (2), Tony Esposito (2), Sai Baba (3), Hiroshima (3), Martin Heidegger (3), William of Cambridge (4), Michelle Obama (4), Brad Pitt (4), Calamity Jane (4), Joshua Jones (4), Thich That Hanh (4), Julius Caesar (4), Jeff Bezos (4), Otto Von Bismark (4), Michel Arth (black magic child killer (4)), Johann Sebastian Bach, James Boswell, Nicolas Cage, Russell Crow, Janik Das Narmada, Mandika Devi, J.B.S. Haldane,  Ibram X Kendi, Lali, Heidi Loeppky, Maa, Don McLean, Michelle Obama, Sidney Poitier, Rebecca, Zameen

Ketu in Ardra

Impropriety knows no limits. They take it for granted that life is a wild jungle and they will certainly have some ghosts in the closet. In some ways Ardra is like the junk drawer; the only thing that holds Ardra folk together is that they don’t belong anywhere else.Since Rahu and Ketu always work together there is a good chance that Rahu will be stealing the show with the chaotic consequences while the Ardra instigator along with all the details are buried in the myst. It’s hard to know who these people really are because of all the inconsistencies in their story. And a wild tale it is certain to be. You could say that they can grow numb to the lying, cheating and backbiting that goes on all around them. 

Bruce Willis (1), Chelsea (1), Jen Child Tofino (1), Robert Redford (1), Buddy Holly (1), Kris Kristofferson (2), Dave Chappelle (2), Cecil Edward Bingham (WW I Commander(2)), Rose McGowan (2), Arthus Schlesinger Jr (2), Steve Jobs (2), Denis Hopper (2), Anthony Kennedy (2), Antonin Scalia (3), Adam Gorey (3), Al Capone (3), Stephanie Pierce (3), Valerie Solanas (militant lesbian who killed Andy Warhol(3)), Henry Ford II (3), Alice Bailey (3), John F Kennedy (4) Shakespeare (4), Phil Donahue (4), Stephane Abrail (4), Dan Aykroyd (4), Christine Texas, Pierre Paul Broca, Claire Bruere, Kevin Costner, Dhairya, King Louis XIV of France, Indra Gandhi, Larry Page, Nicolas Sarkozy,

Out of Bounds

Boundary issues are everywhere. How we define our boundaries is one thing; how we defend them is quite another. In this modern age we are seeking to break the boundaries that keep us from living in space. In this world, we find all kind of political turmoil over national boundaries, border disputes, and of course Trump’s Wall. The movement of people displaced by violence has the whole world questioning their cultural boundaries.

Those of us on a spiritual path (a healing path) also have to face this question of boundaries as we work with our students and teachers; and most importantly, with ourselves. Every social interaction faces this question of boundaries.

We typically think of strong boundaries as way to keep people from getting in, but they keep us from getting out. The boundary we put up defines the relationship we have with the other.

As Yogis we are often coached to look in the space between two things. We often call this space “the relationship,” but we could just as easily call it the boundary. I have my boundaries and you have your boundaries; the type and quality of relationship we have depends on how open or closed our boundaries are, as well as on how we approach or cross each other boundaries and the behaviour we exhibit once someone lets us in.

When we speak of boundaries in the healing community we typically use words and phrases like “surrender,” “let go,” “let yourself be vulnerable,” “be open to what the universe has to give;” in other words: “drop all your boundaries!”

From the other side we are told that we are boundless, we should forget everything we think we know and just follow our heart. There is often the assumption that acting like an idiot is acceptable if we are following our hearts (or “living in the moment” as we say). Since it was the divine voice of God commanded, go forth and act like an idiot, we expect to be absolved of personal responsibility.

Modern Tantra is especially vocal about dropping boundaries and the beauty of living spontaneously. It’s also known to be very dangerous since the mix of openness and spontaneity on one persons part is an opportunity for the other to conquer new territory unimpeded and later say that is way given to me them.

This is how the CIA and George Soros “make democracy” and spheres of influence and ultimately destroy countries, cultures and peoples lives. Even when they are preaching peace, love and belonging they are really only looking out for themselves.

It’s not so different from the toxic addictions that seem to alleviate our suffering but really only cast us more deeply into it.

We hear similar stories of toxic healers, Yogis and others who use their position and their skill to drop peoples boundaries so that they can manipulate them for their own benefit.

Manipulation is an ugly word, but it’s not the problem. We stay alive thru this manipulation. Just think of the baby screaming to make momma change the diaper or give some food. That’s emotional manipulation at its finest. The problem is when one acts for their own benefit without consideration or concern for how it will truly affect the other.

Manipulation is just an ugly way of talking about the diplomacy and negotiation that is on going between people and our numerous light bodies; each with their own boundaries and border controls. These boundaries maybe undergoing subtle changes moment to moment; person to person. Mostly we don’t notice this going on, it all happens fairly naturally and most people respect each other’s boundaries. But of course it’s not a perfect world.

Most of us are still fighting battles with this world, blaming others, pointing always at the other as a source of our misery when it’s our personal patterns, habits, mental narratives, and expectations that are the root causes of our suffering. All of these little things build up and define our boundaries.

Boundaries in themselves are not bad. Healthy boundaries actually empower us; it’s the unhealthy, unconscious, unrealistic boundaries that cause problems in our lives that leads us to seek healing.

Almost every human what’s more from life somehow. We want to expand our boundaries to include more land (more material prosperity), as well as our emotional boundaries to feel more vividly this life, and spiritual boundaries to feel more connected to the universe.

The key to such expansion is awareness. First we have to be aware of who we are. This will take us towards our innermost core. It’s a journey that takes us thru the fields of numerous personal identities. As we stare out the train window we see so many selves passing by: I am this, I am that, this I am, I am until we get to that “I” without a second.

After we have merged with the ultimate (or gone as deep as we can) we come back to a personal identity which has been reborn from a spiritual seed. Every breath cycle is an opportunity to realize such merger with the absolute followed by the rebirth of the individual.

Both sides of this coin represent truth, beauty and an expression of the divine. This is why Tantra says that liberation (moksha) is not a separate matter from enjoyment. Our enjoyment should be liberating in itself and liberation itself should be enjoyable. This does not mean decadent. It means that we want all parts of our universal self to enjoy equally. It means that nothing is isolated.

This is where boundaries get tricky. If the truth is that I am one with the universe; completely unbound then any harm at all that I cause to any part of nature will cause direct harm to myself. This is a spiritual truth suggest a greater degree of personal responsibility rather than the sort of careless way we treat objects and that are easily replaceable.

Such a grand sense of spiritual wonder actually suggest that we respect the boundaries between ourselves and the other to an even greater degree, as a way of respecting ourselves.

When we objectify our external experience, we typically see ourselves in this same way. We typically find some version of the conflicted mental narrative that sets man against nature. This boundary is an illusion and sows the seeds of war, pollution and toxicity. This war has been unleashed against the women of society as much as against Mother Nature herself.

Part 2

Truth and reality represent a similar energy applies to different experiences. You could say that both are representative of the absolute. Truth is The expression of transcendental experience and reality is an expression of immanent experience.

To experience transcendence we must realize ourselves as without boundaries. To experience reality we must realize the individual experience that necessarily occurs within the boundaries of time and space; the individual soul, the human body and the body of nature.

We need to know ourselves both ways: we are timeless, but we have also chosen to experience time by thru various limitations.

Being aware of different ways that we perceive time will help us to understand our limitations and who we are in this life and what is our path.

The linear experience of time allows us to logically understand our life: where we came from and where we are going. This allows us to make sense of our experience, and set expectations. When our expectations are too high we find much disappointment; when they are too low, we sabotage our own growth. We should work hard to find the balance in this so that what happens in the future in pretty much what we expect. This sort of time we experience in short duration. Today I have one story about who I am and tomorrow that story has changed, even just a little bit. The experience of time on this level is not absolute truth, but it should be more or less in accord with reality. This works thru our short term. This is one way of knowing the self.

We also experience time thru timeless emotional impressions. This is just the opposite of the mundane stories we are constantly changing and revising and telling ourselves in order to understand reality. These emotional impression have a very strong influence on our linear understanding of ourselves but the impression is often from a different time, maybe a different life-time. Mostly we recognize this thru our subtle gestures we make with our body (the way we hold ourselves) as well as thru the emotional boundaries and defensive (or offensive) strategies that shapes the story of who we are (linear time).

This is where much most deep transformative healing arts work. We seek to tap into that timeless side of ourselves to find the impressions affecting our present life that are holding us back or are simply inappropriate in some way. Typically it’s merely an inappropriate response to some particular subject. Physically we feel it as allergy; emotionally we feel it as trauma. In either case, the reaction is disproportionate with action; the trigger.

This kind of healing is very delicate since to access this memory with awareness and direct intention we need to drop all our guards despite the feeling of impending threat. We need to do this in a safe environment where there is no actual threat. One needs to follow a deep sense of trust and have that trust reinforced.

Just talking or thinking about a traumatic memory will take us into the past, and despite being no actual stimulus being present the nervous system along with the endocrine system will react to trigger some kind of inappropriate stress response (which brings all of our resources to defend against an enemy from another time).

Talking about these traumas and sharing stories, understanding it all as a part of our story is necessary, but as things fade into the past, we also have to be open to changing the story of who we are. It’s not that we lie, but for simple understanding a single traumatic event is lumped into a broader time frame in life thru which we faced learned from the trauma.

When fire burns us it does no good to try to put our every fire. We learn to place certain boundaries between fire and ourselves so that we can still enjoy the warmth and light of fire without getting burnt.

Many people actually find their life paths thru their traumas by turning them into wisdom. This is transformation; turning poison into nectar.

We also experience time thru change. This is where we measure time and our boundaries are measured by resources: life force, energy levels, moods, physical form, the seasons and all these thing we can see changing from day to day; year to year. We might even measure this time by how for we’ve walked or how much we’ve completed. If we are following our life path, we are typically comfortable here as we focus and meditate thru our work. If we love what we won’t actually think of the time here; we will only see time when we look back at the change or are considering some future actions.

A very important concept of time actually combines our awareness of change with a kind of timelessness that we cannot imagine. When we recognize that we are connected to a whole lineage of universal archetypes going back to some unimaginable beginning of time and stretching into some unimaginable future. Here, we find ourselves repeating the the same archetypical patters expressing themselves in a new time and place. Though this sense of time is eternal here, we are capable of making a plan to change the future. This is where we understand ourselves in our connection with the whole. This is our dharma, our truth, our path in life; that path we have be on since the beginning of time; our universal purpose and how we employ that in society.

This is where we need meditation, silence, deep relaxation and contemplation because nobody can tell us who we are or what is our purpose; we can only feel it and know it for ourselves.

This bring me to the final concept it time. Present time; just being here and now. For this we have to be capable of dropping all other concepts of time. We have to have great trust in God in nature. No thought of the past or the future perfectly at peace until some spontaneous activity is provoked. To reach this state we have to know who we are, what our purpose is and have the necessary skills and health to complete our destiny.

We are beings bound by time. By understanding our place in time and how each concept of time binds is in a different way forming different relationships with each other we can then begin a focused course in self realization that will allow us to empower us with healthy boundaries rather than victimizing us they our subconscious patterns.

Prana: The Most Essential Quality

What is Prana Vayu?

hanuman, bhima, madhva

Prana is life force or vital essence. Vayu is air and movement. Pranavayu is the movement of vital energy. Western Yogis have been talking about prana for many years already and it’s a relatively common term now. Modern Sanskrit scholars now tell us that we may have misunderstood the meaning of this word (see Wallis or Dyczkowski for confirmation).

Yoga teachers will commonly cue student to “inhale the prana” and “to visualize prana coming down into the body to give it energy. Ayurveda has followed with this classification of prana being a downward movement connected with the inhalation. Prana vayu is actually a bit of an awkward arrangement of terms since anything with prana moves and anything that moves has prana. This means we can refer to all five movements of the prana vayus as movements of ‘prana;’ we can also drop the use of prana and just call these movements the vayus.

What modern scholars tell us is that the word ‘prana’ actually refers to the upward outward movement of our exhalation rather than the downward inward movement of our inhalations. The implications of this research is just starting get filtered down to us ordinary yogi and even very respected Ayurveda Institutes have still not taken the time to consider their own teachings and understanding of this topic.

I have written elsewhere about the ignorance of the colonial mindset so I won’t talk about it here. Most ordinary yogis in the west are so far removed from the yogic scriptures that such finely tuned understanding of the terms they use is of little importance. The larger institutes and colleges are typically more concerned with reputation and profits they have little incentive to seek after the truth. It almost seem to be a kind of “little mans syndrome” of academia. Only the the great scholars care about such things and nobody listens to them since we can find the (wrong) definition of of prana anywhere on google.

IMG_0012

So, getting back to exhalation which is connected with prana vayu. When we exhale, our vital force goes out thru our breath and the five senses to illuminate the world much like the Sun as it follows it’s daytime course thru the heavens. It’s rises with the beginning of our exhalation and moves thru the sky (of consciousness) until setting in the 12 finger space above the crown of the head to give way to the movement of the moon which rises full when the sun sets. This is where the exhalation has ended. As we inhale to passively and graciously receive the gift of life one nitya (goddess) leaves the Moon and enters into our bodies to nourish us and give life to the soul (the Sun) thru the body until she is herself drained of life, dark and dry as the Sun gains exaltation begins to penetrate the cold darkness of death with heat of life and the illumination of consciousness.

This is also the meaning of pranayama (prana + ayama): the life force which defeats death bringing life to the sense, allowing them to move. Prana brings movement and warmth to whatever is inert, cold and dead. (I have also seen the opposite interpretation (prana + yama) suggesting that we do the breathing practices in order to still the breath, slow all the vital functions, an ultimately ride the breath to the heavens leaving the duality of earthly existence behind. Of course we continue on with our life, but without attachment, free of the limitations of the three gunas and they individual vital breath. One moves instead in perfect harmony with the universal flow of consciousness.

Kal Bhairava takes over for Yama in Varanasi.

When we exhale prana, that life force which was given to us by god, reaches out to the world through our senses to colour and flavour the objects with whatever flavour we might crave; whatever we have inside of ourselves at the moment reaches out to the world to create a counterpart. When we inhale and bring back all of that sensory material we generally forget that we have just created it, so we react. We forget that we always get back whatever we give. As long as we have forgotten this fundamental rule we will suffer from our karma; once we learn it, life becomes a spontaneous play whatever might be your circumstances.

840d4-dsc_1097-version2-2009-12-20at11-44-44

“The vital breath is essentially a state of consciousness which manifests as the movement of two breaths; prana and apana (exhale and inhale).” This is a major theme of Tantra: that one thing appears to be two separate things; or, as is the case in waking life, as a multiplicity of distinct objects. As we look at things more and more closely and understand them for their subtleties rather than accepting them at face value, they begin to merge together as though they were never separate. As it says in the Stanzas on Vibration:

“Whatever else may exist apart from you, if subjected to sound reflection, simply disappears like the fables palace of celestial musicians and you alone, changeless remain….” Stanza 10 goes on to say that , “then the soul realizes that his true nature (dharma) is universal agency and perceiving subjectivity, and so he knows and does whatever he desires.” ~Stanzas on Vibration~

In yoga we often talk about the body, mind and soul. We can think of this as three worlds or three layer of our being. The vayus live in the intermediate region of our highest intelligence but they move between the heaven and earth; the soul and the body; the subject and the object. Vayu is Air and Ether, which allows it pervade and move between all 36 tattva.

11TH_Rudra_Shiva_Hanuman

The prana vayus are known as the vehicle of Rudra, an ancient name for lord Shiva that means “the Howler.” Rudra is known as the “Lord of Beasts.” He is often associated with the 11 Mahurts which signifies his rulership of the mind and the 10 indriyas (5 sensory and 5 motor functions).

There are 5 Prana-vayu (movements of essential vital force), the sacred spaces associated with them. I have described them both in Tantric terms as well as in terms of Ayurveda

  1. Prana: Represented by the Sun. Prana is moving when we exhale; this is a movement upward & outward from the body, when the vital force of the senses reach out to their object. This is the expression of our life force to penetrate the world and forever leaving our mark up it (which will come back to us again thru the 5 fold cycle of the vayus). Prana also represent what we give to the world. Many people who belong to traditional cultures will begin a deep breath with an exhalation whereas modern people are much more likely to inhale straight away when told to take a deep breath. In the later Tantras, this movement became associated with the pingala channel of the nadi system. In yoga Prana is the life force we have inside of our self that will allow us to do things; but the lesson of yoga is to conserve your prana, store it, withhold it by withdraying the sense. (I’ll write more about this later.)

  2. Apaana: Represented by the Moon. Apana vayu is the inward & downward movement which first comes to us thru the crown of our head in the form of grace or shaktipat as we receive the gift of life. In Ayurveda it’s the downward movement that aids elimination. and moved down the body Ayurveda they say move downward and outward. Like for the elimination of bodily waste. In later Tantras this became associated with the Ida channel of the nadis system.

  3. Samaana: According to Ayurveda it moves inwards spinning towards a centre point like meditation. In the waking and dream state, prana-apana is active, however in states of deep-sleep samaana balances the inhalation and exhalation. They call it the equinox; “the equalising breath.”

  4. Udaana: The Ascending breath. This is the central channel; the shushumna. This is the upwards rising force. According to Ayurveda, it also moves outwards like speech.

  5. Vyaana: expansion in all directions radiating from the navel outward in all directions. Often considered as the nadis energy system similar to the meridians of Chinese Medicine.

What is the most essential quality?

The first story

The Trio Brahma vishnu mahesh cute picturesOnce upon a time all of the organs and functions of the body got into a debate about who was most essential. Many were praising the the way the skeletal system gave shape and standing to the body, or how the blood carried nutrients to maintain the body, others marveled the how the heart pumped blood and how the lung found it’s own way to pump air, then pranavayu came along and everyone silent, for they knew that without the warmth of prana and the movement of the vayus that all life would stop. The hearth would not beat, the blood would pool and go stagnant, and the breath stops; the body becomes cold and inert.

The second story

Once upon a time, the Gods entered into a timeless argument over who was most powerful and essential for the functioning of life and this universe. Shiva happened to be moving about rather than sitting peacefully upon the peak of Mount Kailash. Something always seemed to be happening whenever Shiva was moving about. When Shiva came across this childish argument he sought to quell it by simply pointing out that none were as powerful as him and they should all just go home and forget this pettiness. Of course some of the big gods who were standing around took offense to this; namely Brahma, the creator, and Vishnu, the preserver. To their protests, Shiva merely revealed his true form as a mystical shaft (lingam) of light and said, “see if you can find where I end.”

shiva1The two who remained standing there laughed at the challenge and quickly set off in opposite directions to find those loose ends, finish off the argument, and, for once, make Shiva look live the fool; because after all, everything has to come to an end. But after eons searching thru the vastness of Shiva’s light they finally decided to meet back in Kashi where it all began. When they got there, Vishnu immediately fell to his feet to offer his most respectful pranam to Shiva. But Brahma, who, despite his capacity for creation, has no eye for consequences, lied and said that he had found an end. It was just over the horizon not so far and it had only taken so long to return because he had decided to rest there for a while and fell asleep.

Almost nothing enrages Shiva like arrogance and upon this insult all of his his most fearsome aspects rose to the surface and with an upsurge of impulse he chopped of one of Brahma’s five heads. The greatest crimes in India are those that go against pure knowledge and wisdom; they call this killing a Brahmin. Even the Gods are subject to karma so this fierce form of Shiva, whom they call Bhairava, took up the skull and walked the four corners of India for the next 12 years. This is the version of Shiva most emulated by modern Naga babas and Aghore: naked, fearsome to behold, covered in the ashes of the funeral pyre where he makes his bed. Every part of his external image brings fear and revulsion. But if we take the time to get to know a true aghore we will get to know and over come our own fears. For that’s the social role of the Aghore, to show us that this is the worst it can get; this is our greatest fear; but actually, it’s not so bad.

Aghore
Aghore

After 12 years of wandering like this, Bharava returned to Kashi, and not far from the train station washed himself in a small pond. All of his impurities (malas) dropped away along with the skull which had been his companion for 12 years. He once again brought balance to the three gunas within himself, overcoming their excess and deficiencies freeing himself from the wheel of time and the cycle of cause and effect. In short, even the most fearsome evil was able to overcome the inner turmoil of self and social recrimination and realize himself as that same light of the universe that is in all things without distinction of good or bad or any of the other opposites.

Head Chopping in Hinduism

Ravan tapasya
Ravana offering his own head to Shiva.

In Kashi, whenever Shiva takes this fierce form and starts chopping off heads they call him Bhairava and have given him a rather bureaucratic job of welcoming and signing in all the pilgrims to give them access to the spiritual vision necessary “to cross the river that is so hard to cross.” You could say that he does this by metaphorically chopping off their heads. This head chopping metaphor is a relatively common one in Hinduism. Shiva chopped Ganesh’s head in Ujjain. They have built their own Bhairava temple there to commemorate the great event. Of course it was a little bloody and gruesome, but due to that Ganesha received blessings from all of the gods and was given guardianship over the directions. Kali is also famous for her necklace (mala) of heads. Ravana, the main antagonist of the Ramayana was given his great powers by Shiva when he cut off his own head in offering to Shiva. My teacher once told me that “only Ravana can cut off his own head and get away with it.” Due to his great power of penance his head grew back every time. Ravana was actually said to have ten heads due to the vastness of his knowledge and wisdom. All of this suggests that a jnana yogi needs to acquire, by penance and blessing, knowledge which faces in all ten directions.

kali maIn Jyotish we also have the story of Rahu and Ketu, the north and south nodes. This all happened in the very beginning when the gods and demons (the bureaucrats and bohemians) figured out that they had to work together to retrieve the elixir of immortality by churning the ocean of milk; pretty much all the divine being had to help in some way. In their greed to get the amrit, they didn’t think much about the side effects which was the creation of the physical universe and it’s cycles. Laxmi and Kamadenu came from this churning as did some great toxins that Shiva was able to swallow to save everyone. When the amrit arose and they were getting ready to pass it around a beautiful dancing girl appeared, seductive and scantily dressed. This was a ploy by the gods who knew the demons could be easily distracted by their senses. From the start, they never intended to share the amrit with the demons from. Swarbhanu was watching and saw all of this happening so he disguised himself as one of the gods and lined up with them for the amrit while the rest of the demons were being pushed to the back of the line. But just as Swarbhanu was taking a drink Sun and the Moon alerted Vishnu who swiftly cut off his head, but it was too late, the amrit had made it down his throat and both halves of him were immortal. The called the head Rahu and the body Ketu and gave them an abode in the starry heavens with the planets. The continue their vendetta against Sun and Moon whom they’ve never forgiven. At the time of the eclipse they get their chance to exact revenge thru various methods of disruption. Rahu brings intense desire while Ketu brings an almost equal intensity to his ambivalence. While Rahu brings our focus to the material world an ensures that the wheel of karma keeps turning; Ketu cuts us from our material ambitions allowing us to surrender to what is.

IMG_1488

The Ground of Yoga: Why is yoga different from everything else we do?

What is the ground of Yoga? What is it that makes yoga unique and special setting it apart from all the other activities we perform on the course of the day or throughout our lives?

According to Patanjali, Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.

yoga cittavrtti nirodaha

Thru tradition we are advises to ground ourselves in our practice in a similar way.

Om shree ganesha namaha

Any kind of spiritual exercise begins with supplication to Ganesha, famous as the remover of obstacles, and our mind being the biggest obstacle to spiritual realization. The little rat (rodent) he uses as a vehicle is always chewing like the mind. You’ll also see his image or some symbol relating to him at the entrance ways of temples and some homes.

 

A fairly famous way of opening into a spiritual practice like yoga and meditation goes like this:

Om shree ganesha namaha

Om aparvitro pavitrova sharva vashtang

gato o piva yashmaret pundari

kaksham asavantra suchii

Om madhai namaha

Om keshai namaha

Om Rishikeshai namaha

Om pundari kakshan punatu x 3

Om apsarpantu te bhuta, ye bhuta bhuvi sanshitas

ye bhuta vignakartarste nashyantu

Shiva jnana

Om namaha shivaya

After supplicating Ganesha, it goes on to purify the body internally and externally thru supplication to Vishnu the great preserver and operator of the three gunas within the main trinity of gods at the level of Ishwara. After the purification rights (pundari kakshan punatu), we insist that ghosts, latent desires (apsar) and mental impressions of the past be banished from disturbing us from our practice. This will happen by reaching the level of Shiva knowledge (Shivajnana); universal consciousness. So from this we want to practice from a ground of Shiva consciousness.

As we continue our contemplation of the earth tattva, we have to remember that Shiva descended as far as earth and then stopped. He could have descended further, he can do as he likes, thus they say, he likes earth the best. Shiva descends to the most impure gross dense point of earth before making the ascension back thru the tattva.

In this regards, I think of all these people who ask about past lives and such things. If we consider the tattva of tantra, the individual soul exists below the maya tattva, so even our soul is subject to time and the rest, which allows for linear progression and thus past lives. Time, of course takes on a different dimension relative to the birth and death of that soul so when we think about past lives we need to consider that that soul too will make a complete cycle from purity to impurity to purity once again. Such a realization might be the Sankya ideal of kaivalaya for the duality is still there, but Tantra advises to press on beyond the knots, otherwise known as the universal womb, that separate us from from the supreme consciousness, which is the realization of the non-difference between the universal and the individual: moksha; liberation in this life. Patanjali’s yoga cittavrttinirodha is both the the definition of yoga and the means to stopping the fluctuations. We stop (nirodha) the fluctuations (vrtti) of the mind (chitta) by bringing them together in union (yoga). You could say that the project of yoga is to harmonize the mental fluctuations; the cittavrtti.

Going back to the original question of this article, what makes yoga unique. Yoga shares many similarities to creative projects like dance and the arts which also seek a kind of harmony between the artist and the mythical spirits which moves his hand to draw of feet to dance. But there is a subtle. Of course, one could make arguments for dancers at the highest levels reaching a kind of samadhi; but this says little stress, tension and competition that mark the a climb. The truth is that dance very typically has numerous undesirable side effects related to vata and pitta excess and diminished kapha. This is the exact opposite of what yoga is trying to do: cool, calm, lubricate and nourish the body and ultimately the universe. Harmony is something we seek on all levels, but only when we act for something far greater than ourselves or our limited sphere of perception to we strive for yogic perfection: balanced body, balanced mind, balanced spirit.

Sankya will take you to a firm notion of duality, while Vedanta will soften that sense of duality with the Brahman, but will maintain some sense of maya, while Buddhism is said to take you to the void, Tantra is said to carry us beyond the void to the very source of the arising, sustenance, falling away of every mental impression, experience, and the whole universe. I suppose you could say that dance will allow one to harmonize with some few others, Sankya will aid in harmonizing with most others, but only Tantra seeks harmony with the entire universe.

Freedom

I found predictive astrology while I was searching for freedom. As I came to better understand the limits to my freedom it just made sense that astrology would work. I was fortunate to have Sanjay close to give a demonstration and then, of course, to guide and teach me this fascinating science. There is nothing mystical about astrology except this view by even the most rational western scientists that it is indeed mystical. Science is observation and hypothesis for the purpose of prediction; astrology is no different. This is also how I came to astrology: I made a hypothesis that it should work, I tested this with Sanjay’s astrological knowledge, and now I am also capable of using astrological calculations myself for prediction – anyone who took the time to learn Astrology could too.

But astrology only shows how we are limited; it does not shoe us how be free. In regards to the tattva (the elements of existence), astrology represents the lower thirty one from kala to earth. This represents all of manifest existence within the realm of duality. In modern terms, this would include everything that is ruled by the natural laws of physics, biology, chemistry, mathematics and the rest. All this change and diversity we experience is a result of these natural laws.

According to materialist philosophy, this is all there is. And regarding most orthodox spiritual paths which take the tattva into account, this divisioin represents the separation of God and Man; spirit and matter.

Tantra takes us further. And truth be told, even the Upanishades take us deeper though it’s rarely discussed. Beyond the tattvas of material existence are the tattvas which connect us to divinity. But we should be clear that the lower tattva are not in any way disconnected from the divine. ALL OF THIS is the Brahman. “I am Shiva; I am all of this.” Nothing is really separate from the Brahmin. All of this matter, all of this activity that we carry out is all the activity of Brahmin.

The duality is not a true duality, but only apparent duality. It seems to be that way because the limited body provides a limited perspective, but if we take the time we can learn to view the world in a more expansive, holistic, inclusive way. (It might be more correct to say that we can unlearn this world of division that we have become so accustomed to).

What does Tantra teach?

I often refer to Tantra as the Science of Freedom. This is not a hedonistic sort of freedom as practiced by the neo-tantrics (India has it’s own version of materialistic hedonism called Charvak). The freedom we can gain thru Tantra is directly related to the level of personal responsibility we are prepared to take.

The only value that is really taught in Tantra is a deep love and respect for material existence. If we consider that everything arises from within, this becomes a quest for self love; the world is merely a reflection of what we have inside.

That we are Shiva and this world is merely Shiva’s play is a fairly famous concept. But this universal Shiva nature that is dancing creation, maintenance, and destruction is not dancing in this world but upon the stage of our inner selves. It’s not others who are watching the play but our own senses who are the spectators. This is clearly stated in the Siva Sutras.

Why is Tantra the science of freedom? Because it empowers us to take command of our lives and follow what is in our hearts rather than merely reacting to what the world throws at us. We can either be bound by material existence, or we can be set free by it. This may be the only real choice we ever face. Every moment the choice must be made again. Are we free humans capable of directing our own fate, or are we bound pashus (no different from a draft animal yoked to the plough)?

To be empowered thru Tantra does not make one the slave master profiting from the ignorance of others. Love is never greedy and selfish; love is giving and accepting. If Tantra could be measured, we would be advised to look at how much one is capable of giving rather than the modern measure of success which is accumulation.

As we begin to discover some kind of spiritual truth, the only fitting response is worship of that great Lord from whose body the entire universe arises, is sustained and then falls away. Only by grace will our own Shiva nature will be revealed.

So, we can be bound like a draft animal or we can be lord of the universe. If we wish to be lord of the universe we only have to give up the farm; give up everything we have in this life to worship and we will achieve the whole world.

Shiva is free; just as we are free. There is no bargain going on. Shiva is not bound by any agreement; Shiva is not bound by anything. This means that there is no one thing that can be done to coerce his grace to fall upon us. Shiva reveals and conceals out of freedom of the will. He needs no reason to reveal and he needs no reason to conceal.

This is the great play of Lord Shiva.

Om namah shivaya