Aghora – Beginning Stages – Vayu
The external representation of vayu is the vyana (all pervading vayu) which forms prana itself for the universe. As per the tantric concept of microcosm and macrocosm, the representation of the world with all its elements is just an extended existence of the inward form. The essential nature of vayu is that it interacts with the beings in a different level compared to agni. Even agni is kindled in presence of vayu and hence the mutual existence can be comprehended.
So all external rituals as per vedic systems enrich the vayu and purifies it, with which it enables the much healthier existence of sthula sharira or physical body and also the astral body in subtler levels. But just like agni, vayu also has different manifestation based on its functions. If we evaluate the roles of agni and vayu in the deeper level it is agni that facilitates assimilation and vayu that facilitates sustenance. Without mutual existence life will not thrive in limited levels. When the time vayu is existing in environment, it performs major activities in totality. But once it becomes confined to a body like human body there are five types of vayus like the five types of agni’s.
The five types of vayus are prana, apana, samana, udana and vyana.
The function of prana is absorption of essential elements and hence it exist in the thoracic region till the diaphram. Apana powers the activities like urinary excretory and reproductive activities and hence reside in the lower abdomen. Samana exists between diaphragm and lower abdomen.
The throat and facial expression are performed by udana. Vyana exits through out the body as all pervading base.
Dear all, with the five vayus being explained, we will now look closely to the two major vayus which are vital for the spiritual progress in any disciplines. They are prana and apana. For kindling the mystic fire or the real fire, the role of vayu is known to all beyond explanation. Hence the prana and apana are the vayus responsible for the sustenance of bhuta agni and jataragni respectively.
When prana is strong the bhuta agni; the spiritual fire will dominate the jataragni, the digestive fire. Now in normal human beings, whose prana is not so strong, prana and apana are doing their respective jobs of absorption and elimination and will both intensify the digestive fire only at the seat of fire, manipuraka chakra.
Now the yogi in which ever discipline he/she is will start bhuta shuddi as the discipline specifies. He will enter into prana route with pranayama and discipline his lifestyle. Now when he starts this process, prana starts intensifying making the bhuta agni more prominent. But this will be a small beginning. Still the jataragni is fully active with the apana facilitating its sustenance. Thus during the process of bhuta shuddi, this state of bhuta agni; kindled and kept ready for further enhancement, is achieved.
Now the biggest question of yogi is how to enhance the bhuta agni over jataragni. Many disciplines from yoga to tantra provide ways and means to achieve this, but essentially what happens is one truth i.e., the flow of apana is reversed. When apana is reversed, the attachment of jataragni and apana is affected and without the vayu present the agni cannot sustain. Apana, when its flow gets reversed meet the prana and bhuta agni at manipuraka chakra. On this transformation, the yogi moves from state of adhibhautika to adhidaivika. When the flow of apana is fully reversed which requires tremendous sadhanas which ever discipline followed, the kundalini will start rising from the mooladhara.
With all the aspects of vayu being discussed under the purview of tantra, the focus is on to the other disciplines. The view of vayu as per the Upanishads also requires special mention. As per the various upanishads like Maitri, Chandogya, the prana is mentioned as inbreath, the apana as outbreath, the samana as middle breath and udana is upbreath. Or in other words, prana is inhalation, apana is exhalation, samana is the duration between prana and apana and udana the extension samana. The natural question about the role of vyana can be explained as samana is the higher form of vyana and in between them is the synthesis of udana.
Now which is the most important vayu for a yogi? The most preliminary texts of yoga to even intermediate texts glorify the role of the vayu: prana. But prana and the exercises to regulate and distribute prana come just as the preliminary steps.
When the prana is balanced with apana, the sushmna awakens and now the most important vayu becomes samana which is the vayu responsible for sushumna breathing. The explanation to this statement is based on the relationship of prana to Ida, apana to Pingala. The moment Ida and Pingala are balanced, Sushmna gets activated.
Suspending of prana and apana to perfection, in the relams of samana, the mid section of the body will force the exit or rising of it through the central canal of Sushmna.
As per Chandogya Upanishad, the soul and senses is supported in prana, the prana (when its balanced with apana by altering the flow) is supported on apana, the apana in turn is supported by the all pervading vyana and vyana supported by its extention to higher realms, the samana.
Now, we will look into the upapranas based on five movements and the relevance of prana based on prasna and Brihadaranyaka Upanishads.
With the clearer understanding of each vayus and the relevance let’s look into prana with much more detail. Prana has five sub classifications based on its movements.
- Koorma – which makes the eyes blink.
- Krikara – that which generates hunger, thirst, the coughing and sneezing Devadatta – that which causes sleep and yawning.
- Naga – that causes hiccups and belching Dhananjaya – that linger soon after death.
According to Prashnoupanishad (3.3), prana is born for the self itself. Like the shadow to a man’s body, it remains with the self and at death the magnetic force that makes the body together binding, which is prana itself leaves and makes the body deteriorates.
Now if any one gains complete control over prana and its associations along with the other elements, he/she can create his own body from nowhere( like sages and rishi’s do) and also can switch between absolute sukshma+karana state to sukshma+karana+stula sharira(ordinary living being) free at will.
Since the karana sharira and sukshma manifests to the visual level of sthula, the necessary information required for correctly reproducing the body at will is stored there and can be accessed once you have complete control over these proceedings. Aghora has very powerful sadhanas for achieving this level and also for projections.
The thread of togetherness, prana is being highlighted in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad also with similar meanings. According to this Upanishad, the prana is the thread on which this world and the whole beings are held together, when an individual dies, the limbs are loosened for the binding thread.
Initiation into Aghora as a Disciple
Dear all, the topics which we have discussed so far are preliminaries pertaining to bhuta shuddi. Although there are practices to do to achieve this, the secrecy of tantric doctrine has to be maintained. But the further topics here will be a little bit more elaborate, but still be devoid of intricate details pertaining to practices.
The initiation ceremony happens in aghora only after the bhuta shuddi. The ceremony happens in a cremation ground on a special day based on the strength of the lunar energy. Eclipses are also considered as an auspicious day, but instead of selecting a random day, the presence of the various planets (jyothish) as per the prasna or the astrological positions of planets in kundali.
The temperament for learning aghora is determined by the positions of various planets prior to even making a disciple embark on bhuta shuddi. So now it’s all about when the ritual should be conducted. On the predetermined day, between midnight and three in the morning, the aspirant and the aghori reach the cremation ground. The first step is to protect the aspirant from any responses from ethereal beings when invoked by the aghori. So he makes the necessary protection enchantments and then draws a kilana (the bounded space) inside with the disciple sits.
As you all know, the root of aghora sadhanas is on the cosmic force, the goddess in the “ugra” (cogent and potent) form. Various people call these manifestations as tara, bagalamukhi, chinna masta etc.
Depends on the aghori, he/she will invoke the goddess basically with a shava (corpse) sadhana. This sadhana needs a new corpse preferably of a man or woman of young age, died of non natural causes. The corpse has to be naked and positioned and has to be filled in its mouth with various elements (details will not be mentioned) and then the aghori sits on it in a particular direction, wearing the yantra of the goddess he worships and will invoke the goddess with the mantra. The offering to the goddess is meat and liquor which denotes the elements of air and fire respectively.
Depending on the reach of the aghori, the goddess manifests from any form – beast to non visual realms. There are specific indications to understand the success of the sadhana. After all, the aspiring disciple is just a spectator to this event. On successful completion of the sadhana, with the power invoked of the goddess in the essential elemental form of fire and air and subtle levels, the aghori gives the disciple a mantra, and infuses it to the various realm (realms purified by bhuta shuddi). This happens in presence of the funeral pyre of the corpse used for shava sadhana.
The disciple receives the mantra and then an yantra for worship and will commit to a few oaths. This is one of the most common ways of initiation. The disciple will be asked the next morning after his sleep about any dreams and the aghori will interpret the dreams and thus determine whether the subtle level infusion of the mantra was successful or not and there by the initiation.
The initiated disciple has more tests to face than any one who is in any other discipline. The twofold approach of aghora is:
- Rituals with the master and mastering them and
- Develop and identify the powers of a mantra sharira and mantrika mandala.
The rituals of various natures are done along with the guru. The first stage of rituals is to control over the lower ethereal beings. There are classifications of these ethereal beings based on the ages and the level the spirits existence. For the proper understanding of this realm, the guru has to guide you through the various sadhanas as per Atharvana Veda to achieve the results and understanding.
The internal mantra sharira is recognized by the help of one seed syllable the guru bestows upon the disciple. One such seed on perfection open doors to the infinite realms of understanding. It is like entry-pass to the whole different universe.
There are a lot many people who asked me a question why Sanskrit is called language of Gods. For that to be explained correctly we need to go to the deeper levels of understanding of our existence which will be outlined soon. As I mentioned earlier, we have outlined a lot many generic outlooks on purifying the agni and vayu. These were processes which will give you both the physical and subtle level shuddhi. But only cleaning the deeper levels will not result in complete progress.
Just like the metal which is purified in fire in presence of air, the body is now ready to be energized and finally invoke the manifestations and also one’s own divinity. The process of invoking the external manifestations includes external rituals which has specific mantras, yantras and tantras required. My humble plan is to outline the sadhanas of various forms of goddesses like:
- Tara, Chinna-masta, Bagalamukhi, Varthali, Prathyangira (Atharvana Bhadrakali)
- The Yakshini, Kinnari, Gandarva, Apsara sadhanas
- The shaiva sadhanas except Mahakala sadhana and
- The sadhanas for various lower level ethereal beings like Karnapishhachini.
The whole rituals right from the nyasas and the mantras for it also along with the various upachara and acharas will be mentioned. Also how the yantras to be drawn and the articles to be offered to the fire will also be mentioned. But I will remove one seed syllable and one detail from the entire sadhana, so that the reader here cannot practice it. This whole document is for understanding not for practices.
All these sadhanas will connect the cosmic existence of the manifestations and also the internal existence of the manifestations in subtle realms. But the internal realms have to be strengthened and properly perceived before one attempting the sadhanas alone. I thought of giving an index to the external sadhanas before proceeding with mantra sharira. The next topic will be on mantra sharira.
The awareness of the existence of a mantra sharira can be achieved from various literatures. But to have one of your own requires constant and rigorous practice. Let’s be back to the original question of the divinity of Sanskrit. Let’s take our attention to the various chakras in the subtle body.
Most literature speaks of the basic beeja mantras for the chakras as LAM, VAM, RAM, YAM, HAM, and OM in the order from mooladhara to agna respectively. But when we carefully analyze the various petals we can find that there are inscriptions of various letters in it too.
The various letters associated with various chakras and numbers of petals are as follows:
- Mooladhara – 4 – vam, sham, ssham, sam
- Swadhistana – 6 – bam, bham, mam, yam, ram, lam
- Manipuraka – 10 – pham, dam, dham, nam, tam, tham, ddam, dham, nam, pam
- Anahatha – 12 – kam, kham, gam, gham, ngam, cham, chham, jam, jham, nyam, tam, tham
- Vishuddhi – 16 – am, aam, im, eem, um, oom, rim, reem, lrim, lreem, em, aim, om, aum, am, ah
- Agna – 2 – ham, ksham.
Now you can find that the letters of the alphabets are present even with certain repetitions in the main centers. The repetitions of letters are just for establishing the progressive connection of one energy center to another energy center.
Let’s take individual letters. Every letter has a bindu and a physical representation. This bindu adds energy to the ordinary letter. Based on the nature of the underlying letter, the nature of the deity representing the beeja also varies.
For eg let’s take the agna chakra, it has two petals with inscriptions of ham on the left petal and ksham on the right petal. The beeja for cosmic akasha and the shakti together here into oneness. Thus every chakra with the sanskrit syllables with bindu can be interpreted and used for various purposes in accordance with the respective deities.
Now let’s look on the Kula- Akula -Cakra and the interpretation of Sanskrit and mantra sharira in next topic.
Kula-Akula-Cakra and understand the relevance of sanskrit
Now let’s look into the Kula-Akula-Cakra and understand the relevance of Sanskrit. A lot of people here may disagree on making the secret doctrines public. But I feel same alike of what is mentioned in Mahanirvana tantra; in kali yuga, tantra should be discussed and disclosed openly for people. But still the success depends on finding a competent guru. So I will still remove a few minor details which will make the reader just a person who is aware of this and not a sadhak.
Kula-Akula-Cakra categories syllables based on the five elements. The categories are wind (air), fire, earth, water and ether. The syllables are respectively allotted to the various categories and respective intonations.
The Kula-Akula-Cakra is as follows:
- Wind – a, a( strong pronounce) , e , ka , ca, ta ( stress on t) , ta , pa , ya , sa ( stress on s)
- Fire – i , i ( strong pronounce ), ai , kha , cha , tha ( stress on t) , tha , pha , ra , ksa ( not a strict letter in Sanskrit , but serves as a substitute for anusvara )
- Earth – u, u (strong pronounce) , o , ga , ja , da ( stress on t d) , da , ba , la , la( gap filler to that left as an omission of visarga)
- Water – r (strong pronounce) , r ( double emphasis) , au , gha, jha, dha ( stress on d) , dha , bha , va , sa
- Ether – I (strong pronounce) , I ( emphasis and strong pronounce) , am ( stress on m) , na ( stress on n), na , na (emphasis on n) , na, ma , sa ( mild on s), ha
Every disciple based on the nature of him/her is given a syllable and hence it becomes his/her practice to maximize the effect with the deity and understand the subtle relevance of the other beejas. Just like all aghoris, we consider Kula as mild and not so fast and not superior and also less intense than aghora. Let them believe they are superior forgetting the fact that nothing is superior or inferior in the eyes of the lord.
Every disciple is given a beeja mantra based on his or her tenacity and temperament by the guru. Every beeja has a deity, a tatwa like fire, earth, water etc and also a mandala (space). Every element in the pancha bhuta is related and are ordered based on the level of existence, so gaining control over the various elements and the respective siddhis and overpowering them in essential self is the next step.
Now the recital of mantra will activate a specific nadi. In every mantric discipline, we recite a mantra after the necessary pranayama. For each mantra we do an anustana. Such like three anustanas form a purushacharana. With the purushacharana and the necessary percentages (which I do not want to mention) will be done as marjara, tarpana and homa. After this, the person will obtain the siddhi. So what’s the mantrika mandala?
Mantrika mandala is the space thus one create with the nadi’s activated and controlled and use one’s body to habitat the respective energy. This energy can be released for various purposes or amplify it using various sadhanas. This is the base for the tricks which people do in black magic. But our goal is higher; we are here to realize our self in aghora. Now the specific mantra on proper initiation and proper practice will make the person completely aware of the tatwa.
Most master gives a mantra for a satvic mind pertaining to akasha mandala. For a rajasic mind, it’s good to give an agni mandala mantra and for a tamasic mind a water mandala mantra. Since earth is so stable, people wont try to control it directly as it make time of years to lifetimes.
The beauty of gaining control over the higher mandala like akasha is that, the aspirant with a little effort can control the other lower elements like fire and water. since the akasha mandala is attached to the agna chakra and the syllable OM is attributed to it, i would like to tell that , this is the prime reason why OM is the most widely used mantra in our times.
Purifying thus the subtle levels of existence and energizing to the threshold will decide the success of external sadhanas. The rise of mantrika mandala will eventually make the various chakras accessible to the adept. Most of the “softer paths” always recommend the chakras and thereby kundalini activated slowly.
But when an aghori increases his mantrika mandala to a certain level he focuses that energy so intense to the various energy centers and make them activated. This comes with tremendous bodily responses. There can be loss of appetite for days, cannot withstand the body heat etc. But as I mentioned earlier, aghora is about do or die doctrine. But this is always the last stage for any discipline.
Now let’s discuss on the external sadhanas a little bit as an introduction. Aghora sadhanas are basically routed to Athavana Veda and tantric sects. But it is refined and more focused on non material aspects. Just like a normal tantric ritual in essential self or a abhicarini in the realms of Atharvana Veda, the results obtained are used for ascent higher in terms of material realms. aghori’s do not believe in perfections or siddhi’s, for them it is just a road block to progress. So transmute such material a gain into spiritual gains is what aghori’s do when they perform external rituals.
When I am outlining the concept of each sadhana, I will mention separately what a normal tantirc or vedi will demand or bestowed upon with (basically kamya rites) and what an aghori asks for or command for as the blessing.
So all that matters here is what an aghori demands and what a tantric demands?