Spring Renewal: Ready For Detox? by Rita Minassian


Cleansing our body inside out has become essential nowadays. The high level of pollution and the increased electro-magnetic activity in the atmosphere, hectic professional agendas and endless lists of preservatives in our food, contribute to increase the level of stress in our system. By stress, I don’t only mean high nervosity or anxiety but an imbalanced state that creates blocks and ultimately disease. Additional to a healthy lifestyle routine, anyone who has ever experienced a detox program agrees that helps to clear not only the body, getting rid of any excess weight, to restore and optimize our energy level, but clears the mind as well, bringing more focus and an overall sense of ultimate sense of well-being. Then our outlook on life changes drastically, a more positive approach of life is possible which is rule number 1 to prevent depression and an optimum healthy life.

But is this just a modern, trendy “must do” during intermediate seasons?… Certainly not. From ancient traditions spring detox has always been a universal concept.

Years ago, when I first experienced Ayurveda at Soukya Holistic Center in Karnataka-India, I ‘ve been told by my physician, world-renowned Ayurvedic Doctor Isaac Mathai, that the monsoon season usually starting  in May, is actually the best period for a Panchakarma: a complete 5 step mind-body detox program which ideally lasts for 7, 14, 21 or 28 days (the duration of a Moon cycle and a cell renewal cycle by the ways…). He explained that the rainfalls actually support the cleansing/detox provided to a patient according to their Dosha type (biological “moods”). I also believe that people feel more positive and refreshed inside out because of the negative ions generated by rainfalls.

Ghulum (bath attendant) providing a customer with 2 Ayurvedic procedures.

In Panchakarma, a combination of different techniques are used to remove stored toxins in the body which contribute to sap our immune system. Purgation is usually processed with clarified butter (ghee) to remove impurities from the colon or water for a nasya (instillation through nostrils). Blood letting is also used to renew the red blood cells in the body.

Specific massages, like daily Abhayangas (4 hand massage) bring back balance and harmony to the body and to the Chakra system. The Shirhodara (3rd eye cleansing and my favorite…) do wonder on quieting the mind, increases awareness and heal migraine and Parkinson. Goodbye anger, sadness, grudges or lingering guilt, they will all be swept out… It’s important to remember that while a imbalanced diet can obviously affect the body directly, negative thoughts are actually number 1 enemies to harmony and good health.

Meditation and yoga programs can be added to these medical techniques: a combination of postures (Asanas) with Mudras, breathing techniques (Pranayama) and Mantras, are powerful tools to unburden the body and mind.

It is interesting to mention that this period of spring cleaning corresponds as well to some religious and non religious practices found in different traditions. For example, according to the bible, spring is time for the Jewish community to get rid of all the “hametz” during the pre-Passover time: every single dust or crumb has to disappear from the house before the celebration of “Pessah”, liberation.

In Feng shui, spring is also an important time for a making up; what to keep, what to give, what to get rid of… In this ancient Chinese concept, old, useless items represent blockages for a fluent energy flow in the house, but also for the inner world (body system), and for the mind: any type of clutter, within the body and/ or in the environment has to be cleared to avoid disease.

Mother Earth, in her infinite abundance and generosity offers us everything to achieve this detox: plants, vegetables, essential oils, specific spices like curcuma and cinnamon among many others are on the top list of the “natural cleaning team” in Ayurvedic medicine. Aditionnal to the digestive system, a Panchakarma detox program will also support several other channels of elimination in our body: lungs, kidneys, skin, and lymphatic system, all your body will be thankful for this renewal. It goes without saying that a Panchakarma  has to be done by a physician specialized in Ayurveda.

Wether using ancient wisdom tools, planning a retreat in a traditional medicine clinic, or indulge yourself in a modern SPA resort, it’s time to find your ultimate place for detox and enjoy your rebirth!

Rita Minassian


AHAM (I AM) Is The Essence Of Mantras: By Sri Venkata Sriram

Edtior’s Note: The following post appeared in the Advaitin list on Yahoo Groups and is reprinted with the permission of the author, Sri Venkata Sriram. In this article Venkat-Ji speaks about the idea of AHAM as the essence of Mantras, Vedas, and Upanishads. AHAM translated from Sanskrit means, “ME” or “I AM” and refers to the principle of I-NESS that is inherent in the existence of all beings as it is their core. Sri Bhagavan Ramana’s teaching involving the Inquiry, “Who Am I?” is essentially a meditation on AHAM, which in the Advaitic approach leads to Self-Realization. I have made only minor edits in the original version. Please bring to my attention any errors and these will be corrected right away.

AHAM (I AM) Is The Essence Of Mantras

It is to be noted that *who am I* is not a *intellectual* enquiry to be pursued.  It is the upasana of *Aham* which is the upasana of Vak – the Great Goddess of Speech which is described in Vedas as Vak / Tripurasundari.

According to legend, the 14 Maheshwara Sutras were revealed to Panini, Vyaghrapada, Upamanyu and other sages by Shiva. Panini then composed his grammar called Ashtadhyayi which is based on the 14 Sutras that were revealed during the Cosmic Dance of Shiva. They are also called the Maheshvara Sutras. At the end of the Shiva’s Cosmic Dance, he sounded his Damaruka 14 times. And from these 14 Sounds of Damaruka, evolved 14 Sutras. These 14 sutras encompass the phonetics of the Sanskrit language.

The first 4 sutras cover all the vowels.  They are :

1) a i u n
2) r l k
3) e o n
4) ai au ch.

Omit the last letter of the 4 sutras and they are a, i, u, r, l, e, o, ai, au. The entire 16 vowels from A to AHA have emanated from these letters.

The Last 10 sutras include all the consonants. They are :

5) h y v r t
6) l n
7) n m n n n m
8.) jh bh n
9) gh dh dh s
10) j b g d d s
11) kh ph ch th th ca t t v
12) k p y
13) s s s r;
14. h l.

Omit the last letter of these 10 sutras, they become entire 34 consonants ie., from K to HA. The SRICHAKRA is constructed keeping in view these entire set of 14 sutras.  Ashtadhyayi divides these 14 formulae into 43 letters which become the 43 Angles of Sriyantra.

The entire Matrikas (letters) ie., 16 vowels and 34 consonants have evolved from these 14 Maheshwara Sutras.

The 16 Vowels and 34 Consonants have become 50 Matrikas of Letters.. They are the Saktha Pitas of Sridevi.  Every Matrika has a distinct Power and Seat of Origin in our Body. These Matrikas are presided by a distinct and corresponding Devis that govern that particular seat of origin (Pita) in our Body. These Cosmic Powers that preside over each Matrika is invoked during the Antarmatrika and Bahir Matrika Nyasas.

It is to be noted that the Kamakala Akshara is derived from these 14 sutras. This *AHAM* is the essence of all the Mantras, Vedas, Upanishads as these fall in between A (WHICH IS 1ST VOWEL) AND H (WHICH IS THE LAST CONSONANT). From the first sutra, A is taken and from the last Sutra H is taken. Bindu is added and it becomes AHAM.

This is the AHAM swarupa or the I-NESS of Maheswara which is of the form of CHIT. It is from this AHAM of the Siva, the entire Cosmos in the form of Matrikas have evolved. This AHAM is the KAMAKALA. The entire vowels and consonants fall in between this A and H.

The Tantric script encodes this principle of AHAM and depicts as a INVERTED TRIANGLE which is a representation of Triputi or Triad in the form of External Object perceived, Knowledge or Perception, Observer or Perceiver otherwise called Jnatr-Jnana-Jneya.

Veda & Tantra paves the way for the piercing of this Triad which is called TRIPUTI-BHEDANA. And the methodology employed is *AHAMGRAHOPASANA* through Sagunopasana.

When Vashishta Ganapati Muni pleaded for guidance in sadhana, Bhagavan Ramana asked the Muni to enquire into the Source of the Panchakshari Mantra (NAMA SIVAYA) which is invariably collection of 5 letters in the form of Speech.

The root of all mantras in the form of Speech is *A-HA-Bindu*.  A is the 1st vowel; Ha is the Last Consonant; M-the Bindu; which is AHAM. This is what is the essence of VAK Sukta in Rg Veda which starts with *Aham rudrebhir vasubhischarami……….*.

Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi wants us to catch hold of this AHAM as it is the source of Speech and which shines in the cave of our heart. (vide ref: Ramana Gita).

The speech has 4 stages of evolution whose order of evolution is : 1) Para 2) Pashyanti 3) madhyama 4) Vaikhari.  Vaikhari is the Articular Sound what we hear.  The source of this Articulate Sound is Para which originates from Heart Cave where throbs our consciousness in the form of *AHAM* (hridaya kuhara madhye aham aham iti sphurantam…).  It is this throb or Antah sphurana, Bhagavan urges us to realise.  It is this *Aham throb* or *Antah-sphurana* which is *Brahma*.  Hence, Bhagavan Ramana says in ECSTASY *Aham* *Brahma* *Asmi*.

It is verily this *I* which shines in the heart cave as *Aham* which Bhagavn says is Brahman.

Now, what does Acharya Sankara say about the Upasana of *Aham*, let us see.

Acharya Sankara gives us a wonderful hymn for meditation, contemplation and reflection which is called *Dakshinamurthy Stotram* (DS).  Acharya has divided the entire hymn into 3 principles  : Jiva, Jagat & Ishwara. Later, he gives a clue for the Upasana which is quite *mandatory*  for those who are into the upasana of  the *aham* principle. What exactly is this *aham*, is wonderfully given in the sloka *bAlyAdiShvapi…….AHAM iti antahsphurantam sadA….* of DS.

Now, how should we enquire into the root of this *aham* or *I-ness*? Acharya has hinted in the subsequent sloka and the type of upasana to be undertaken. It is the *ahamgrahopasana* along with Sagunopasana which is suggested here.  When this upasana reaches the state of culmination, it is the realisation in *ECSTASY* that this *aham* or *antah-sphuraNa* is Brahman which is the essence of Mahavakya *aham brahmasmi*.

Mahavakyas are the *GREAT UTTERANCES IN ECSTASY* by our vedic seers.

Even in deep reflection and sadhana, when the upasaka reaches the highest pinnacle of spiritual illumination, both the terms *aham* and *brahma* drops off and what remains is ASMI.  And this state is wonderfully explained in the Rg veda in  the *Hymn of Creation or *Nasadiya Sukta*.


Acharya Sankara also hints in his Sutra Bhashya about the sagunopasana..  He says:

“apratyAkhyAyaina kAryaprapancham, PARINAMAPRAKRRIYAM CHA shrayati SAGUNESHuPASANESHUP AYOKSHYA te iti”.

Also, in the 1st adhyaya for the sutra “tad adhInatvA darthavat”, Acharya Sankara explains the principle of Sakti to be the upAdana kAraNa for paramEshwara in the Creation. Acharya Sankara emphatically says that it is the Parinamavada to be adopted to achieve the Sagunopasana Siddhi and not for kArya-prapancha (jagat) siddhi.

Acharya Sankara in his sutra bhashya says that parinamavada (theory of transformaton) can be adopted for the purpose of saguna upasana which is the upasana of maya-sabala brahman where the substratum is Brahman only. When the upasana is ripe, and upon the dawn of right knowledge, the “reality” which the “ignorant” people perceive WOULD BECOME an “illusion”.

So, what i conclude is that Bhagavan Ramana’s Teaching is not new and is not an *Intellectual Enquiry*. It is verily the *Veda Vidya* handed down to us. Bhagavan embodies in himself the *Spirit of Vedic Seer*.  Bhagavan’s teaching is the upasana of Vak.

Bhagavan was verily the form of Dakshinamurthy who taught the Upasana of Vak in the form of *Silence*. It is this *silence* which is called Para-vak. It is this Para-Vak which sports in the deep chasms of our heart as *I* or *Aham*.

The vedas and Tantra declare this Para-Vak as Tripurasundari – which is the Great Triangle in Sriyantra and the substratum of this Para-Vak is the Absolute Principle in the Form of Shiva which is depicted as Circle or Bindu in Sriyantra.

Sriyantra is the diagrammatic representation of AHAM and Srividya is the Upasana of Vak in the form of *Ahamgrahopasana*.  Hence, to evolve a method for this *ahamgrahopasana*, Srividya Tantra came into being.

It is interesting to note that Bhagavan Ramana himself did the prana pratishta of Sriyantra at the samadhi of His mother.

tamai shri gurumurtaye namah idam shri dakshinamurthaye.

with regards,

The Sun, The Moon, and Mantra: By Linda Callanan

Yoga and Vedic Astrology share the same philosophical roots, which are believed to date back at least 10,000 years. Originally, one could not study or work with Vedic Astrology unless he was also a practitioner of yoga. The sharing of these two disciplines has left us with a system that contains large amounts of planetary knowledge as well as techniques that help to harmonize the planetary energies.

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Using Mantras with Kundalini: By Michael Hortling


omOver 20 years ago, the kundalini-shakti erupted within myself. Since I didn’t have a clue about what had happened to me and I experienced some quite unpleasant side-effects of this awakening, I had to start looking for remedies in order to ease some of the discomfort. This has been a more or less ongoing process ever since and although I can’t say that all problems have disappeared, some interesting insights and experiences have been gained and that alone has made the journey very worthwhile.

The effects on the psyche, and on one’s ideas about oneself and life in general, that come about by an active kundalini are far reaching indeed, but this transformation seems to have a price attached to it. In my case I’ve been plagued by a variety of symptoms ranging from physical health problems to bouts of anxiety and depression. As a result, I’ve been led to closely observe and attempt to harmonize the innermost workings and mechanics of my mind and body using a variety of techniques and methods such as tai-chi, hatha-yoga and various types of meditation.

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