Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sayeds Adventures

Sayeds Adventures


Once upon a time, in the mysterious East, lived a man called Benezar who married a woman called Zemira. They were in love with each other and agreed on all things, except one. Zemira believed in magic, omens, premonitions and fairies. Benezar only believed in what he could see before his eyes. However, that did not mar their happiness at all, and this reached its height, when, one day, in the midst of thunderstorm, Zemira gave birth to a handsome baby boy.
When Benezar, who had anxiously awaited the arrival, was allowed to see the baby, he noticed a tiny whistle hanging from a thin silver thread round its neck.
"What's this?" he asked.
"It's a gift a fairy made to our son," replied Zemira. "It's a magic gift.
Take it,
" she went on, removing the whistle from the child's neck, "give it to our son when he is twenty."
"All right. But listen, what are we to call the child?" asked Benezar.
"Sayed," replied Zemira.
The years went by and Sayed grew healthy, strong and brave. He was eighteen years old when he decided to go on a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca. He told his father of his decision.
"Yes, I'm pleased you're going," said his father. "In fact, Sayed, take this as a lucky charm," and he gave him the fairy's gift.
"What is it?" Sayed asked.
"It's a whistle. Your mother, alas now dead, thought highly of it. Carry it with you always."
"I will father," said the young man, putting the whistle round his neck.
Not long after, the travellers with a hundred camels, many merchants and a host of guards, set out on the journey. Young Sayed was splendidly equipped and armed with a sword, spear, bow and arrows.
It was a long, long way to the holy city of Mecca. They travelled over plains, mountains and deserts. It was on a long stretch of desert that they were attacked by a large band of robbers.The4y were caught unaware, some tried to flee, but Sayed shouted:
"Flee? Where do you think you can flee to in the desert? Come on. Let's die fighting!" and he hurled himself against the attackers. At the height of the fighting, Sayed was attacked by a young robber,richly dressed and riding a white horse. The young man bravely faced the attacker and killed him with his sword. A soldier nearby shouted out,
"What have you done? You've killed Almansor. This is the end, let's run!"
Men ran in all directions. Now practically alone Sayed remembered the whistle round his neck. If it really was magic, it might be able to help him... he put it to his lips and blew hard... But nothing happened. Not so much as a whisper of sound.
In the meantime, the others had fled. Sayed was taken prisoner, bound and led before Sheik Selim, a very powerful man, the leader of several of the desert tribes and, unfortunately, the father of Almansor, the very man Sayed had killed. Selim, however, was not an unjust man. When he discovered that Sayed had taken Almansor's life in a fair fight, he refused to allow a hair of his head to be harmed. Indeed, he set him free and entrusted the young man to some travellers about to leave for far off Mecca, the holy city.
Sayed thus found himself once more on his travels. However, one night, friends of the dead Almansor captured him.
"Your master told you not to kill me," cried the young man.
"We're not going to kill you. All we going to do is tie you up and leave you here in the desert. Thirst and the sun, or the vultures or the jackals will do the rest. They, not us, will kill you!" And laughing cruelly, they rode away. Two whole days went by. Sayed was on the point of death, baked by the sun and with no water, when close by passed some travellers belonging to Kalum the merchant. They came to his aid and saved his life.
As he came back to his senses with the first sips of water, Sayed spoke:
"May Allah reward you, Sir, for saving my life. What is your name?"
"My name is Kalum," said the man, "but it won't be Allah who will reward me.
You are going to do that yourself. If I hadn't come along, you would have been dead by now. And you are going to work for me until you have repaid that debt.
What is your name?"
"Sayed," he answered.
"Well, Sayed, get up and come with me." The young man went along with Kalum and on the way discovered that he was a rich merchant from Baghdad, so that was the city in which he went to live. At that time, Baghdad was ruled by the famous Caliph, Harun-el-Rascid, wise, valiant and loved by all. Kalum owned a big bazaar in the city and it was there that Sayed was put to work doing all the humble jobs.
One day, a veiled woman came to the bazaar. Sayed was amazed when she said to him,
"You're Sayed, aren't you?"
"Yes," he replied in astonishment. "How did you knoe that?"
"Tell me, have you still got the whistle round you neck?"
"Of course!" exclaimed the young man. "You must be the fairy who gave it to my mother. But what is this whistle for? I've tried blowing it, but..." The woman interrupted him.
"It will be of no use to you until you are twenty. Then it will save your life. Now tell me, what can I do for you?"
"Help me to get home," Sayed replied. "I need lots of money for that,which I don't have."
"But you're brave and strong. You can earn it," said the woman, and she explained that, every week, tournaments were held in the city, and
Harun-el-Rascid, the Caliph, always watched them. The winners received rich prizes. The veiled woman had weapons, armour and horses and she lent these to Sayed. He took part in the tournaments and always beat the others, winning lots of prizes, as well as Caliph's admiration. Sayed, however, never revealed his name, but just mentioned that he was a horseman from distant Cairo.
Now it so happens that the Caliph, Harun-el-Rascid, liked to wander through the city at night, disguised as a beggar or merchant, to hear what folk had to say about him. Not to spy on them, but to try and put right any mistakes he might have made. Sometimes, he was accompanied by his chief minister. Well, one night, as Sayed was going home to Kalum's bazaar, he heard shouts and the sounds of struggle. Four men had attacked to others in a dark corner. The brave young man immediately came to the rescue by killing two of the attackers and chasing the others away. When it was all over, the two victims thanked Sayed and asked him,
"Brave youth, what's your name?"
"My name is Sayed," came the reply.
"I'm Kalum the merchant's shop assistant."
"Hmm," said one of the two men, "ypu seem to be more of a gentleman than a shop assistant. However, take this ring as a reward for what you did for me."
Then the other man spoke,
"And this bag of coins. You've saved my life and you deserve it. Goodbye!"
And away they went.
Sayed stood there with the ring and bag in his hand. With these he could now find a ship and go home.
Next day he said to Kalum,
"I'm leaving. I shan't be working for you any longer."
"And where are you going to?" asked Kalum.
"Home!" answered sayed.
"Home? But it's a costly journey, and with the wages I pay you..." Sayed smiled,
"Your pay certainly wouldn't take me far, but..." and he held out the bag,
"but this money will. Farewell!" However, wicked Kalum was not to be defeated.
He told the police Sayed had stolen a bag of gold. The young man was immediately arrested. The chief of police asked him,
"Who gave you this money?"
"A man I'd never seen before," was the honest reply. Sayed was judged a thief and sentenced to deportation to Thirsty Island, the home of the worst kind of criminals. On the ship the young man thought to himself, "Well, I left home two years ago, proud, rich and happy. Here i am today, twenty years old, in the midst of these convicts, condemned to live and die an innocent man in prison!"
During the night there was a terrible storm. Driven by the wind, the ship was flung about by the waves until it crashed onto some hidden rocks.
Only one man survived the disaster. It was Sayed. At the mercy of the waters, he groped for something to hold on to, but nothing came within his grasp, until he suddenly felt his fingers touch the whistle the fairy had given him. Desperately, he blew it... and a dolphin surfaced beside him, shaking its head as though to tell him to get onto its back. Sayed clambered up and there found safety. He remembered the fairy had told him that when he was twenty years old, the whistle would save his life! The dolphin carried the young man within sight of land.
"Thanks, friend!" called out Sayed as he slid down from the creature and swam ashore. What a surprise awaited him! There was a military camp, soldiers and war machines. Sayed was taken prisoner and brought before none other than Harun-el-Rascid himself. The soldiers who had seized him said,
"Sire, this man must be one of the convicts that survived the shipwreck."
"Is that so?" Harun-el-Rascid demanded gravely.
"Yes," replied sayed, "I did survive the shipwreck. But I'm not a convict."
And he explained how he had been reported to the police because of the bag of gold. 'It was given to me," he went on, "by one of two men I saved one night from being attacked by four robbers." Harun-el Rascid looked at the man sitting beside him and then said,
"Did the two men give you anything else?"
"Yes, they did, this ring," Sayed replied, showing the Caliph the ring which he kept round his neck with the whistle. Harun rose to his feet and exclaimed:
"Young man, the two men you helped were my chief minister and myself! Go free, but first tell me your name."
"Sayed, Sire."
"Sayed?" echoed the chief minister. "There's a man here in the camp called Benezar, who is searching for his son Sayed. It's my father!" cried the young man. And it was his father. They hugged each other in delight.
Since justice must be done in the world, evil Kalum was arrested and imprisoned as he deserved to be...


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Divine And Angelic Names Common Errors

Divine And Angelic Names Common Errors

It is useful to remember that most books, even sacred books, contain errors. As magicians we are taught to examine everything with a discriminating eye. So we should not be surprised to find mistakes that have crept into treasured magical grimoires -- mistakes that have also found their way into the teachings of the Golden Dawn.

One such example is the name" KHAMAEL":" the Archangel of Geburah, whose name means "the Severity of God". Khamael is the protector of the wronged -- the Avenging Angel who pursues those who break both human and universal laws. He is associated with Divine justice and severity. Khamael is sometimes called "The right hand of God" -- meeting out justice in order to restore a state of balance throughout the Tree of Life. He controls the aspects of burning and destroying in order to purify and preserve. William Grey erroneously stated that the root of this name was "khab", which meant to suffer, to feel pain or make war. However, the original Archangel of Mars was "SAMAEL" -- a name that MacGregor Mathers changed to "ZAMAEL "in order to avoid connotations with the Qliphotic Samael. When the Qabalists began to assign Archangels to the Sephiroth, someone attributed a list of Planetary Archangels to their corresponding Sephiroth, and the martial Samael was naturally assigned to Geburah. At some point this list was copied into Greek. In late Greek writing, the letter "Sigma" (the first letter in Samael) came to be drawn in the shape of a "C." Still later, when the Greek list was copied into Latin, the copist made the error of transliterating the Greek name of CAMAHL as "Camael" rather than "Samael." Even later, someone (perhaps a member of the Golden Dawn) back-transliterated Camael as "kaph mem aleph lamed" and thus was "KHAMAEL" born. And although it originated as an error in transliteration, it does help magicians destinguish between Samael, Archangel of Evil, Zamael, Archangel of Mars, and Khamael, Archangel of Geburah.

Other mistakes: The name of the Archangel of Venus, "ANAEL," has often been wrongly given as Hanael through confusion with Haniel, Archangel of Netzach. The name of the Archangel of Sagittarius," ADNAKHIEL", has been frequently misspelled as Advakhiel, through a scribal error mistaking Hebrew Nun for Vav. The same error also occurred in Renaissance Latin typesetting, where the "n" of Ad"n"achiel could easily be set upside-down as a "u", producing Ad"u"achiel. Finally, the correct name of the Angel of Elemental Fire is "ARIEL "("the Lion of God"), not Aral. An error in Agrippa was long perpetuated in the Golden Dawn manuscripts, in which the two names Ariel and Aral were swapped. This confusion was perpetuated because the four Rulers of the Elements have generally not been recognized as the names of Orders of Angels. "SERAPH, CHERUB, THARSIS," and "ARAL (EREL) "are simply the singular forms of Seraphim, Kerubim, Tarshishim, and Erelim.

There has also been a lot of confusion regarding the Divine Hebrew names that are to be painted on the Four Elemental Weapons of the Zelator Adeptus Minor. According to Wang's book "The Secret Temple", the names on the implements are: Earth Pentacle -- "Adonai ha-Aretz", Air Dagger -- "Shaddai E Chai", Water Cup -- "Elohim Tzabaoth", and Fire Wand -- "YHVH Tzabaoth". These are the Divine names given in the Outer Order Grade Ceremonies relating to the Sephiroth of Malkuth, Yesod, Hod, and Netzach, which also have elemental associations.

However, the correct Divine Hebrew names of the Elements "for the Inner Order" are actually given in the consecration rituals of these same implements (see Regardie, "The Golden Dawn", 324). They are: Earth Pentacle -- "ADONAI," Air Dagger --" YHVH," Water Cup -- "EL", and Fire Wand --" ELOHIM". These are the Divine names intoned in the SIRP and they relate to the Sephiroth of Malkuth, Tiphareth, Chesed, and Geburah. They are also the Divine names that should be painted on the four elemental weapons of the Z.A.M. (Kathleen Raine's book "Yeats, The Tarot, and the Golden Dawn" shows a picture of William Bulter Yeats' Earth Pentacle inscribed with the Divine Name "Adonai" -- not Adonai ha-Aretz.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Shab E Barat Night Of Blessing Is Observed Today

Shab E Barat Night Of Blessing Is Observed Today
Every night and day has its own importance but some nights have supplementary importance like Shab-e-Barat, Lailatul Qadar, Shab-e-Miraj, Ashura and the two nights of Eids.Shab-e-Baraat, the night of blessing and praise of God, is observed 15 days before the start of the holy month of Ramzan.The Muslims believe that God showers infinite mercy and blessings upon human beings. The night is known as LAYLATUL BARA'AH OR LAYLATUN NISFE MIN SHABAN in the Arab world.This is the best night of prayer and worship of God to get His forgiveness for sins and blessing to achieve right goal in this world and hereafter. On this beautiful night, the Muslims spend the whole night to offer special prayers and recite the Quran. Mahafil-e-Milad, zikr and other religious rituals are held on this occasion. The people also visit the graves of their relatives and offer Fateha and special prayers to get God's blessings for the departed souls.Shab-e-Barat is the night when Allah arranges affairs of the next one year. He writes the fate of all His creations on this night for the coming year.

one speciality about this night is that it falls on the night of Shaaban 15 in which all births and deaths in universe are written in the 'LOH-E-MEHFOOZ' for the forthcoming year.

According to Hadith, Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) said,According to Hazrat Ayesha Siddiqa (RA), "Allah Almighty opens the doors of mercy and grace for the mankind and the door remains open the whole night till the Fajr prayers in which He exonerates those seeking forgiveness."

The houses, streets and especially mosques are decorated with colourful pennants and buntings whereas at night these are well-Illuminated with electric lights, candles. Special security arrangements have been made for peaceful observance of the Shab-e-Barat.



Sunday, March 8, 2015

Socrates Had A Student Named Plato Plato Had A Student Named Aristotle And Aristotle Had A Student Named Alexander The Great


The footbridge is constantly changing

I duly think it is time I visited the Akashic halls. I am overwhelmed at the amount of knowledge I want to understand and if my maths is still in tact, there does not seem to be the amount of years between here and there.

I already sleep the least I can so there are as many hours possible to engage in learning practices of the most ancient kind. The investigation once again into the Kabalah and to the body of Hermetic wisdom. I am extremely excited by this because for as long as I can remember I have been quoting hermetic wisdom and actually participating in meditations all of my own intuitive leading. To realise that I already had a huge knowledge basis that was vital to an easier understanding was a beautiful moment. I felt then that it was not a waste of time.

I had studied Anatomy and Physiology and I had studied everything to do with naturopathica. I attended the Maureen Wells School of Naturopathy. I enjoyed the herbal and the acupuncture and I loved everything I learned about the cell salts. Bach flower remedies are amazing and I was I suppose as per the norm for me, I did become a tad overwhelmed. I had always desired not to be a practising Naturopath but to attain the knowledge of one who intended to practice for a living. I wanted the knowledge for myself, my family and further for benefit of my friends.

Now I want to tie up the loose ends of this. I want all of this to fall into place. and because I am visualising this as I type this, then it will happen. It already has happened and this is my belief system to attain what is required here.

I need a miraculous injection of knowledge of such things as the great writers of antiquity. I want to understand why the Roman times had to be. I feel like my sisterhood and brotherhood has been robbed and for this reason I want to understand its place. Language is also on my menu of learning. I tasted Latin as a child and I never forgot what I had learned and I have built on this knowledge since but now I just want to understand so much more. I want to speak Latin and Spanish. I love the language and it is similar to Italian and French. I have learned a lot since I started researching early forms of numerals etc when this blog began.

Below is an explaination of both the Akasha and Esoteric Cosmology, the later interesting me greatly and is what I have been learning about lately.


The akashic records are described as containing all knowledge of human experience and the history of the cosmos. They are metaphorically described as a library; other analogies commonly found in discourse on the subject include a "universal supercomputer" and the "Mind of God". People who describe the records assert that they are constantly updated automatically and that they can be accessed through astral projection or when someone is placed under deep hypnosis.


Esoteric cosmology is cosmology that is an intrinsic part of an esoteric or occult system of thought. Esoteric cosmology maps out the universe with planes of existence and consciousness according to a specific world view usually from a doctrine.

Esoteric cosmology almost always deals with at least some of the following themes: emanation, involution, spiritual evolution, epigenesis, planes of existence or higher worlds (and their emanation and the connections between them), hierarchies of spiritual beings, cosmic cycles (e.g., cosmic year, Yuga), yogic or spiritual disciplines and techniques of self-transformation, and references to mystical and altered states of consciousness.

Such cosmologies cover many of the same concerns also addressed by religious cosmology and philosophical cosmology, such as the origin, purpose, and destiny of the universe and of consciousness and the nature of existence. For this reason it is sometimes difficult to distinguish where religion or philosophy end and esotericism or occultism begins. However, esoteric cosmology is distinguished from religion in its more sophisticated construction and reliance on intellectual understanding rather than faith, and from philosophy in its emphasis on techniques of psycho-spiritual transformation.

Image by Mezza - Urunga footbridge at dawn

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

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Monday, February 2, 2015

Mantra The Power Of Chanting Mantras And Om Yoga Meditation

Mantra The Power Of Chanting Mantras And Om Yoga Meditation
Sound is a very powerful mind-expanding tool. In various spiritual traditions all around the world, people utilize the power of sound through the form of "mantras". A MANTRA is a syllable, word, or group of words used to bring about changes in consciousness by the agency of sounds and vibrations. The word "mantra" consists of the Sanskrit root "man" or "to think" and the suffix "tra", referring to tools or instruments. Thus, its literal meaning would be "instrument of thought."

A "mantra"'s effect, however, does not merely come from its corresponding conceptual meaning, but instead from its inherent potential to produce a specific mental or physical result. If you understand the relationship between vibration and consciousness, you will understand how "mantras" work. Vibration and consciousness are so intimately connected that there is a specific relationship existing between each kind of vibration and the particular aspect of consciousness it gives expression to. In other words, wherever there is a manifestation of consciousness, there is vibration associated with it whether we are able to trace it or not.

To better understand this relationship, let's take a look at how it is expressed at the lowest level of manifestation, i.e., in sensory perception. For example, each particular vibration of light with a definite wavelength produces its corresponding color, which we then perceive with our eyes. In music, each particular vibration of sound becomes evident in our consciousness through the form of musical notes, which we can then hear through our ears.

In principle, certain kinds of vibration can be matched with corresponding states or levels of consciousness. This simply means that if you want to reach a specific state of consciousness, you can do so by initiating a particular kind of vibration by chanting a "mantra". Remember that vibrations can influence matter and cause changes in matter as well, so aside from affecting us psychologically, "mantras" may also bring about positive physiological changes in us if used correctly.


"Mantras" originated from traditions of the Vedic period. This is the period during which the oldest sacred texts of the Indo-Aryans, called Vedas, were being composed (believed to be around the 2nd and 1st millennia BCE continuing up to the 6th century BCE). The Vedas were written in Sanskrit, one of the classical languages of India. As hymns, the "mantras" constitute the ritual section of the Vedas and are classified according to their meters:

* Gayatri - twenty-four syllables with nine subdivisions.
* Usnik - twenty-eight syllables with seven subdivisions.
* Prakrti - forty syllables with eight subdivisions.
* Brhati - thirty-six syllables with nine subdivisions.
* Tristup - forty-four syllables with ten subdivision.
* Jagati - forty-eight syllables with three subdivisions.
* Ajagati - fifty-two syllables.
* Sakvari - fifty-six syllables.
* Atisakvari - sixty syllables.
* Asti - sixty-four syllables.
* Dhrti - seventy-two syllables.
* Atidhrti - seventy-six syllables.

The letters of the Sanskrit alphabet are the elements from which all "mantras" of Sanskrit origin were derived. It is said that each letter serves as a vehicle of a basic eternal power. When these letters are assembled to form a "mantra", they contribute their specific influence to the total effect that becomes the objective of the "mantra".

To give an analogy, just think about how individual chemical elements contribute their specific properties to the compounds that are derived from them. Water, for example, contains both of the chemical properties of oxygen and hydrogen.

There are 53 letters of the Vedic Sanskrit alphabet, and therefore, there are 53 basic elemental powers that are available for producing all kinds of effects. Through the agency of "mantras", these basic elemental powers can be used in various permutations and combinations.


"Mantras" can be performed through writing, speaking, whispering, uninterrupted inner repetition, or singing. The "mantras" that are sung are called "bhajans" and "shlokas". "Bhajans" are devotional songs or hymns while "shlokas" (or "slokas") are also songs but these are the ones derived from verses in the texts like the Vedas, Upanishads, and Puranas. "Mantras" connected with various deities give particular results and sometimes cause the development of siddhis (spiritual power).


"Mantras" are said to provide numerous benefits for anyone who chooses to recite them. Some of those benefits include the following:

* A "mantra" gives your mind a place of refuge, an oasis in which your mind can rest.
* The incoming streams of negative thoughts, emotions, and desires from the unconscious mind attenuate or become weaker.
* "Mantras" lead you in the direction of deeper meditations, and subtler spiritual experiences.
* "Mantras" help stimulate the 7 chakras.
* Reciting a "mantra" helps you see that the challenges of daily life are not nearly as disturbing.
* Continuous practice of "mantra" purifies the mind and removes karma.


It is commonly believed that a person must first be given permission or some sort of power coming from the guru must be transmitted through initiation before he or she can start using "mantras". The only explanation I have why this could be true is that, in the past, spiritual teachings were guarded secrets and can only be known once it is handed down from guru to disciple. Three reasons come to mind regarding the confidentiality: first, to make sure that aspiring students can get the correct info regarding the methods and the needed support in case of spiritual emergencies; second, to avoid alteration, distortion, and misrepresentation of the teachings; and third, to protect the teachings from individuals with malicious intent.

Additionally, back in those days, the primary method of communicating religious and philosophical doctrines was through verbal transmission, and since most people in ancient times didn't have any kind of access to documents that contained all the theories and techniques of the various schools, they really did not have much choice but to become members. Of course, the right of entry must first be granted by none other than the guru.

I have nothing against this belief, so I'm neither saying that this is true nor false. It's obviously better to work under the guidance of an enlightened master, but you are always free to find out for yourself if any claim is true by doing your own research and experiments. After all, many of the great enlightened ones that lived throughout the centuries did their own research and experiments, so that should give you an idea. Furthermore, if it isn't quite obvious, we are living in the information age - seek and you shall find. Remember, gurus only show you the door; you're still the one who needs to walk through it.


Japa means repeating or remembering the "mantra". In most forms of japa, "mantras" are repeated using a string of beads known as a japa mala. Some people prefer to recite "mantras" mentally without the use of any beads or devices, and that's ok. After long use of a "mantra", you may reach a certain state called ajapa-japa.

Ajapa-japa means constant awareness. In this state, the "mantra repeats itself" in the mind. The letter A in front of the word japa means "without." Thus, ajapa-japa is the practice of japa without the mental effort normally needed to repeat the "mantra".


Once you have selected your own personal "mantra" or once one has been assigned to you by your teacher, here is what you should do:

* Repeat the syllables of the "mantra" in your mind. You allow the inner sound to come at whatever speed feels comfortable to the mind. japa malas are usually made of 108 beads, so if you are performing japa, you are supposed to repeat the "mantra" 108 times. The number of days that you should perform japa may also vary, so some research is needed on the "mantra" you are using.
* With practice, the "mantra" will start to repeat itself automatically. This is like hearing a particular song so many times that it just plays inside your head even if you don't want it to. "Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah! Rom-mah-rom-mum-mah! GaGa-oo-la-la!" You know, something like that.
* Progressively, your attention will be drawn into the "mantra". Instead of doing it on purpose, it will be more like noticing it when it is already happening.
* Soon, the feeling of the "mantra" will be there, even when the sound or remembering of the syllables is not there. This is what they call "remembrance of the feeling" of the "mantra". For example, sometimes Buddhists will say, "Om muni muni maha muniye sakyamuni swaha" where the word "sakyamuni" is another name for the historical Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama). During the remembering of the words, there may be two things: the words and the feeling of the Buddha's presence. When the syllables of the words fade away, the feeling may still be there.
* As your practice advances, a constant awareness/consciousness of the "mantra" follows, which is subtler than both the syllables and any surface level meaning or definition. This constant awareness is the meaning of ajapa-japa of the "mantra".


In the various schools of Yoga, "OM" (or Aum) is the highest form of "mantra" and considered the primeval and most sacred of words. According to the Upanishads, all words are said to be but various forms of the one sound, "OM", which is the sound symbol for the ultimate reality. "OM" is also called "Pranava", "Omkara", and "Ekakshara".

Across the span of many generations, "OM" has been the "mantra" generally used as the heart of a person's "sadhana" or "spiritual practice." It is even distinctively recommended to renunciates and young monks in India. Various spiritual masters have also claimed that "Brahman" (God) and "OM" are one, and that the unbounded and eternal consciousness of "Brahman" is inherent in the syllable "OM". Since "Atman" (the true Self) and "Brahman" are fundamentally identical, those who want to experience the consciousness of "Brahman" and have their union with "Brahman" restored may do so by practicing the recitation of the "OM mantra".

In the Bhagavad Gita (8:12-13), Krishna states:

"If a person having controlled the senses from all sides, fixing the mind in the heart and situated in yoga, utters the one syllable Om and thus leaves his body thinking of Me shall attain the Supreme abode (salvation) without fail."

Swami Krishnananda, a Hindu saint and prominent philosopher in the Advaita Vedanta tradition, wrote in his commentary on the Upanishads the following:

"In the beginning, Om is supposed to have been the first vibratory sound that emanated as the seed of creation. Om is Pranava. It is a "Bija-Mantra" for all the other "mantras", whether Vaidika or Tantrika. In the recitation of Om we comprehend not merely all meaning but also all language. All verbal implication as well as objective reference is included in Om. Om is both Nama and Rupa, name as well as form. It is not merely a sound, though it is also a sound, and a very important aspect of Om that you have to bear in mind is that Om is not merely a chant or a recitation, a word or a part of human language but it is something more than all this. It is something which exists by its own right, something which is usually called "Vastu Tantra", as distinguished from "Purusha Tantra"; - that which exists not because it has a reference to anything else but because it is something by itself. We do not create Om by a chanting of it, but we only produce a vibration sympathetic with the vibration that is already there by its own right and which is called Om. Om is a cosmic vibration. It is not a chant made by us, created by us or initiated by us. Why do we chant Om? To establish a connection between ourselves and that which exists by its own right and which manifests itself as a sound-vibration in the form of Om."

Although the "OM mantra" may have been initially discovered in the ancient scriptures of the Hindu traditions, it is also used by Buddhists and Jains in their spiritual practices. Tibetan Buddhists are probably the most predominant adherents in the practice of OM chanting. However, the chanting of OM is not mentioned even once in the Pali Canon, the oldest known teachings attributed to the Buddha, or in the Visuddhimagga, an ancient commentary by Buddhaghosa on the Pali Canon. It's probably also worth mentioning that there is the belief among some people that the word "Amen", the affirmation used in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam shares its roots with OM, or "Aum" to be more exact, but there's no evidence that validates this claim.


There are various methods in practicing the "OM mantra" and the resulting differences are probably due to the techniques applied in each tradition. The following is a basic application of the "OM mantra" in meditation:

* Find a comfortable and quite place and sit upright using the full or half lotus position. You can place one hand on top of the other or you can place each of them on your knees or thighs.
* Close your eyes and gently concentrate on an imaginary point in the middle of your forehead just above the eyebrows. Do not strain your eyes. This position is called the "shambhavi mudra" and is intended to stimulate the ajna chakra (the sixth primary chakra in the eyebrow region) to produce a heightened state of consciousness.
* Close your mouth and relax the jaw muscles so that the upper and lower teeth are not touching one another. Breathe in and out naturally through the nose. Breathing should be neither too hard nor too soft. The aim is to keep the mind steady in concentration. If you deliberately control your breath, you will eventually get tired and this will break your concentration.
* Start chanting the syllable OM mentally in a single tone as you inhale. Make sure that the length of the intonation matches the amount of time it takes you to breathe air in. Do not hold your breath. As you release the air, make sure the intonation of the syllable OM also matches its length. If your breathing is short and abrupt, it will seem like you are chanting in a hurry, but that's just normal. Your breathing and intonation will naturally get longer as your body begins to relax during the practice.
* Practice this procedure regularly each day starting from 10-15 minutes, but make sure to gradually increase the time as your schedule permits. Every time you practice, concentrate on your chanting of the "OM mantra" with your breathing. Various kinds of thoughts and sensations will naturally arise during your practice. Just allow them to happen without becoming attached to them. As soon as you realize that you are immersed in a certain thought, bring your attention back immediately to your breathing and the "OM mantra".
* Once the practice becomes a habit and you get to an advanced stage, you might start to experience unusual phenomena normally associated with meditative practice: your breathing and chanting might become very subtle sometimes even to the point of disappearing, you may become strongly aware of various sensations and streams of energy might even flow at different parts of your body, visions of different kinds may appear in your mind's eye, so on and so forth. Just remember that the aim of this meditation is the attainment of peace of mind. Attachment to these experiences defeats the purpose of your practice.

Do take note that techniques used in spiritual practices can become quite dangerous if done incorrectly. And without the conceptual framework provided by the philosophical schools that originated them, it would be difficult to make sense of the effects they may have on one's consciousness. You may call these philosophical schools "religion" or whatever, but remember that if scientists find it necessary to have a good grasp of their theories first before applying their methods, the same principle applies to spiritual seekers.

To give an analogy on the effects of spiritual practice, just imagine downloading a file onto your computer and using a specific program to execute that file. The file is the experience you gain from your practice, while the program is the collection of concepts stored in your own mind. Without a corresponding program installed in your computer, it would be impossible to open the file, much less read its contents. Similarly, certain techniques may produce experiences that could be hard for us to explain and integrate into our awareness unless we are familiar with the ideas they are related to. Thus, the best thing to do to be safe is to study carefully. Be safe on your journey.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Pagans Greet Summer Solstice At Stonehenge

Pagans Greet Summer Solstice At Stonehenge
I really need to get over my fear of flying because I really would love to visit Stonehenge, just once, before I die.

There, of course, was a beautiful celebration Summer Solstice this year again at Stonehenge.

"Pagans and partygoers drummed, danced or gyrated in hula hoops to stay awake through the night, as more than 35,000 people greeted the summer solstice Sunday at the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge.

Despite fears of trouble because of the record-sized crowd, police said the annual party at the mysterious monument was mostly peaceful.

"It's the most magical place on the planet," said antique salesman Frank Somers, 43, dressed in the robes of his Druid faith.

"Inside when you touch the stones you feel a warmth like you're touching a tree, not a stone. There's a genuine love, you feel called to it," he said."

I keep telling myself, one day I'll walk on that sacred ground, one day...

Read more and see more photos


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