ॐ यं रं लं वं अघोरय घोरतरय नमः
om yaṃ raṃ laṃ vaṃ aghoraya ghortaraya namaḥ
Aghora – A true treatise;
Philosophy of Aghora;
Aghora – Beginning Stages;
Aghora – Beginning Stages – Agni;
Aghora – Beginning Stages – Vayu;
Initiation into Aghora as a Disciple;
Kula-Akula-Cakra and understand the relevance of sanskrit;
Sadhanas for Mother Goddess Tara;
Mantra Siddhi On Tara Ritual;
Tara Ritual Blessing;
Tara Yantra & Benefits of Wearing the Yantra;
Tara Ma Mantra Variants;
Tara Trijada Ritual;
Tara Ma and Vedas;
Nyasa in Vedas and Tantra;
Neela Saraswathi Sadhana;
Tara Saptakshari (mantrantara);
Modes Of Worship;
Yakshini Sadhana Siddhi;
Vada Yakshini Sadhana;
Vada Yakshini Sadhana and Siddhi;
Madanamekhala Yakshi Sadhana;
Madanamekhala Yakshi Siddhi;
Vishala Yakshini Sadhana;
Vishala Yakshini Siddhi;
Bhadra Kali Sadhana;
Kali Sadhana Siddhi;
Kali Sadhana – Satwic and Madhyama Ways;
Ugra Prathinkara Sadhana;
Prathinkara Siddhi (Shanta);
Prathinkara Siddhi (Ugra);
Aghorarudra Sadhana Siddhi;
Cchinnamasta Sadhana Siddhi;
Dhoomavathi Sadhana Siddhi;
Jayestalakshmi Sadhana Siddhi;
Bagalamukhi Sadhana Siddhi and Prayoga;
Kubera Sadhana Siddhi;
Shulini Durga Sadhana;
Shulini Durga Siddhi and Prayoga;
Hanuman Sadhana Siddhi & Detailed Prayoga;
Relevance of Various deities;
The world of Projections;
Cosmos and Beyond;
Revisiting the Cremation ground;
Across The Worlds;
The Astral worlds;
“Death” of the Sthula;
Aghora – A true treatise
All the concepts in Vedas highly emphasize on purity and on the satvic to the farther extent on the rajasic style of worships. Example of satvic worship is any simple hawans for peace etc and examples of rajasic forms can be rites, ashwametha. But most people in kali yuga find it difficult to associate with satwa guna completely. Pure rajasic forms are also difficult to be found. So most of us stay between rajasic and tamasic characteristics hence most of the times people find it difficult to honor promises for a ritual at the deepest level and hence vedic rituals are not being performed as an anustana in its essential essence. Aghora is one of the faster and refined forms for the rajasic, tamasic forms of beings. But during ancient times, for a vedi to achieve rishihood, it’s said that he should have mastered Aghora too.
Aghora is the height is Vama Marga Tantra in its essence. But it also is a way of life in true sense. All the white sides (disciplines) presume maya as the reality and work towards realizing the uniqueness. But, Aghora from the start believes in leaving everything behind, totally without relationship with the mundane world.
So an Aghori perceives the world devoid of attachments. For him the world is also like his favorite dwelling place the smashan (cremation ground)…he considers the world as the smashan, the one which belongs to one who are already dead or the one who will be dead at a future period of time.
Most of the time when the word Aghori is mentioned most people identify it with a man who lives in filth and other related impurities in smashan. I do agree that some aghori’s deliberately convey that picture, but it’s not necessary to find the aghori in an unapproachable form. The major reason for aghoris to portray such a picture is to avoid unwanted conversations and disturbances.
The urge to converse always is a result of one being uncomfortable with oneself. As speech is an inferior form of communication which is subjective to the bodily existence, a person who is accustomed with fierce aghora discipline easily sacrifices it to achieve higher modes or methods of communication. In any white discipline, we always practice for enlightenment or advancement to newer spiritual level with moderation. Or in other words, we are patient. But an aghori embraces the darkness, sacrifices everything and extremely induces pain to burn of his karmic debts to return back to the source. Aghora practices are extreme in regard and hence only suited for people who have high temperaments.
Before moving into the nature of aghora rituals, I would love to attract the attention of the readers to the least celebrated Veda called Atharva Veda. There are two mantra samitha which can be seen associated with Atharva Veda. They are the Shaunka and Pippalada systems.
As the duty of the Atharvan was to protect the vedic rituals from any hindrances, these systems provide ways from charms to sorcery to witchcraft. It’s interesting that sage Shaunaka even has a text for Rigveda based Tantra called Shunaka Rikvidhana.
The relationship of Atharva with aghora basically is in the level of deities or in other words, they share a lot of common deities. Examples of common deities include Tara Ma, Mahakala, Bhairava, the ethereal beings like Yakshini etc. But the sadhana and the philosophy of aghora are more different and spiritually oriented.
Philosophy of Aghora
The philosophy of aghora as mentioned is more devoid of unreal worldly pleasures. The real heart of this philosophy is the true love for “Ma” – the cosmic shakthi. Aghori loves everything with the same intensity like his/her love for Ma. It is like unconditional love to all beings equally as he/she sees the world as the manifestation of the cosmic shakthi.
Nothing is pure or impure for an aghori. Every thing around him is Ma in some form or other and he passionately embraces it.
The preliminary state of an aghori mind is to accept the fact of death during his life itself. For him as I said, everything around him is dead already or dying. The only sure event any animate and inanimate object can have is death. So when the death is accepted during life, the senses have no meaning. A dead man is neither hungry nor has any preferences of where to stay. But voluntary way of losing the body with hunger is also not acceptable for two reasons:
- As the body came into being without one’s consent and
- Aghori’s sole purpose of life is to return to the source and without emptying the karma he does not want to lose the medium to suffer.
So, now what’s the easy way? Use the preliminary logics from tantra and do extreme sadhana out of it.
Dear all, tantra relies on the purification on the five elements which composes the body. With the purification of the physical body, we can concentrate on increasing the subtle awareness and there by charging the sukshma sharira or subtle existence. This will result in access to the karana sharira, the causative body who is the accountant of all karmas and thereby births.
Aghori does not believe in rules. He just goes on the preparatory phase like the tantrics and then resolve to absolutely impossible ways of charging the sukshma sharira. Here the sadhanas are more or like a do or die scenario. If the adept who is in the aghora path makes a mistake, he can even lose his life.
Aghora – Beginning Stages
The basic notion of accepting Jagat Sat Brahman Sat will make the importance of the sthula sharira; physical body more prominent. Aghora also demands a few preliminary steps to be taken before entering into the sadhanas. Since the jagat or this world is also considered as a reality, the instrument which binds the human being, the body is to be made conducive for progress. For the same purpose the composition of the body is to be carefully understood. Just like everybody knows the body is made up of the five elements.
Each element should be purified. But most of the times, the matter that is overlooked is the much rooted ayurvedic concepts on tridoshas (vata, pitha, kabha). So a human being whose state of comfortable life in this world is decided by the balancing of the tri doshas; the nature of the sthula based on the doshas should be identified and balanced, then the person can enter into the purification of the five elements, the bhuta shuddhi.
The key aspect one should understand is every ritual whether it’s internal or external, vedic or tantrik is keen on emphasizing the five elements or even their purification. Even a small puja held in the households represents the five elements starting from the fire which is symbolically represented by a lamp to flowers which is the representation of ether.
As the preparatory step for aghora, one should first understand the key concept called prana. Prana alternatively called the vital force keeps the physical body functioning. The moment the flow of prana stops or the prana exits the realms of physical body, the state of death happens. Prana can be acquired from all the five elemental sources based on the stage of progress of the Sadhak. But for the beginner, the prana is being derived basically out of food.
The association of prana with food needs careful observation. If we fail to understand the implications we will still remain rooted to the limited level of existence than liberation.
The sources of prana which is primarily limited to food for the human being in the beginning of spiritual plan; should be carefully scrutinized. Although aghora as a system does not distinguish which food to eat, till a certain level of control is achieved over body metabolism, a vegetarian diet is to be adhered to.
Most of the texts recommend up to the level as to why a vegetarian diet is to be taken that too on to basic level of understanding but a generic interpretation do not prepare one self for any further levels. So analyze one self carefully. What are the natures of your emotional and physical behaviors? Example, can be are you rest less person? Do you tend to increase weight with limited consumption of food? Etc. A so called healthy person who cannot sit idle and whose mind is very fluctuating is a clear example of having a vata intensified stage. Based on the nature of the body, there are foods which can be consumed to balance the dosha. For example sweet foods help to control vata. Even the dietary timings can also be fixed to control a dosha.
There is plenty of literature available in print media for this as natural health, perfect health etc. but the essential understanding anyone should have is that, this is just preliminary requisite. Every vegetable or way of preparation affects the system. This topic looks like very health oriented, but I would love to say that proper identification of body type, arranging the food habits and live with the food habits for three months can be really helpful in making a good start. Lets make the physical body to the level at which we can work on; understanding the assimilation of food more effectively, understand the various types of fires that exist and then thereby accelerate across to more subtle levels.
Aghora – Beginning Stages – Agni
Before proceeding into further levels of aghora itself, we should understand the relevance of two important elements from all sides of philosophy. Those two elements are Agni and Vayu. Let’s begin with the element Agni.
Irrespective of the school of thought which the aspiring spiritual disciples belong to, Agni plays a major role. What is the major superior quality of Agni which makes it much decorated in all scriptures? Among the five elements only Agni can purify anything without getting impure itself. Take the aspect of water for example, when we clean with water; water gets impure within the process. So agni is supposed to be the only element to be used for purification in subtle levels.
According to vedic system, agni is classified as laukikagni and yajnaagni. Laukikagni is the fire we use for various household activities. This is also used in tantric fire worship of tantra shastra and also in which Rig Veda mantra samhita or Atharvana Veda samhita is used.
Now the yajnaagni is classified basically into smartha and sharutha agni’s.
All rituals which are performed as recommended by grihya sutras use smarta agni. Also smartha yagnas and samaskaras of daily nature (nitya karma), for fulfilling desires(kamya karmas), incidental worships( naimittic karma) are also done with this agni.
There are various names given for this agni as aupasana, griha etc. This is installed in the house during the marriage ceremony and is used for upasana. Everyone should keep this agni at least in the smallest form in house through out his life. Only a person who has smartha agni in his home can kindle shrauta agni or store shrauta agni in the house hold. Now about shrautaagni – ritualistically this agni is used for conducting all yagnas as recommended by the shrutis (vedic corpus).
This agni installation in the house is like the householder or the yajamana’s desire to attain the Dyu and Swar Lokas too. Hence it’s called expansive agni, or vaitharanikagni. Shrauta agni again have been classified into five basically named as panchagnis. The panchagani’s are garhapatya, dakshina, ahavaniya, sabhya and avasatya. Among these the first three form (tretagni) the primary ones and are extensively used for shrauta rituals.
The three forms of agni commonly used are
Garhapatya – symbolizes the grihapathi or the householder and the oblations to this helps him to conquer expanded prithvi loka. Since earth is circular, the fire pit used for doing the offering is also circular.
Dakshina – the oblations to this agni helps the householder to conquer dyu loka , the akasha . Hence it appears semicircular to view; the fire pit used for the rituals is semicircular in shape.
Ahavaniya – the oblations to this agni helps to conquer the swar loka. Here this agni is used for invoking various devas. Since the shape of the heaven is perceived as square (perfectly symmetrical) the square or rectangular fire pits are used for this rituals.
With this preliminary knowledge of the agni as per vedas, we should expand our familiarity towards the nature of yagnas too in the essential level. yagnas can be classified broadly into three
Paroksha yagna – this is the yagna that happens in nature. The celestial interplay of complex nature.
Antaryama yagna – this is the yagna which can be called internal sacrifice.
Pratyaksha yagna – this is the yagna which is more commonly seen as this is the outward ritual representation. It in limited sense; model on the paroksha yagna.
With these concepts as the foundation, lets move towards the other disciplines of tantra and even the latter yogas mentioned in bhagavat gita and the relevance of agni and sacrificial representations there.
Dear all, with the generic explanation of agni in vedic aspect; being briefly mentioned lets focus on the internal agni. There are two types of internal fire. One is bhuta agni and another one is jataragni.
Before defining the two agni’s lets understand the human body in the subtle level. The human body in the subtle level is divided basically into two levels – Bhauthika and Daivika. The first three chakras: mooladhara (earth), swadishtana (water) and manipurka (fire) are the chakras which make the ordinary human beings characteristics or in simple word the human beings themselves.
Jataragni is responsible for the all the digestive, sexual and other instinctive fires of bhauthika level of human body.
The main purpose of this agni is to absorb the prana from food in the stula or physical level and is always being centered at the manipuraka chakra. When the jataragni is strong it makes the bhuta agni dormant and will make the ego self identified with the body. Human beings acquire land, make houses, have kids, try to achieve worldly distinctions, differentiate among one self and also very materialistic when the jataragni is strong.
Tantra speaks extensively about the laukikagni (ritualistic fire used for external tantric rites) which is the jataragni in one form and hence never refrain or make people abstain from the world. This makes the strong emphasis on the concept of “Brahman sat Jagat sat “.
When we interpret it in Vedas, the yajnagni classification which is mentioned as the smarthagni is the jataragni itself in the internal level. All the grihya rites are done externally with the smarthagni. So the internal agni creates the will and the external representation makes the necessary performance of manifested levels of existence; the definitive samaskaras.
We will continue with deeper concepts and also the explanation of the presence and relevance of agni in various yogic disciplines. Dear all, now with the presence and relevance of agni being explained in the tantric and vedic levels and explaining its common existence in both realms, lets view on the various yogic disciplines.
All the yogic systems advocate on restraining of sense organs with yamas and niyamas. In this way, the fire created by the abstinence is the fire used for offerings. Based on the nature of the offerings this fire is again named suitably. A yogi at first control his senses, as senses are the receptors for the mind. Since yogas are based on achieving the enlightenment either by controlling mind or the vital breath (prana), the fire created also is named appropriately.
The yoga systems which emphasizes on the control of breathe like pranayama systems symbolically works on the varied version of antaryaga. But when the control is done by restricting and restraining the mind, the agni takes various names and forms. An adept starts his journey by offering his sense organs to this fire symbolically. Then he will kindle the agni for various other related activities of mind and perform the offerings.
This is also called yoga yagna. For example if the offering to this agni is jnana or knowledge of spiritual mileage, its called jnana yagna. The devour for the new knowledge levels to offer to the subtle fire, janana agni is also created in return. Similarly all yoga systems in Bhagavat Gita could be viewed. Generally the most important aspect of agni is to amplify the effect and the quality of the offerings. Hence it is used for subtle purification and also used for attaining purusharthas with external rituals.
With the brief explanation of agni and its associations with the various disciplines, lets move our focus on to the second element called vayu. Dear all, the interesting fact is the literature available on agni and its multilevel existence which is broad, sometimes makes people really perceive every aspect of it as distinct and mutually non interchangeable.