pancha kośas - five sheaths of illusion

காணப்பா வின்னமய மாகி நின்று
கலந்துநின்ற புராணமய கோச மாச்சே
ஊணப்பா விக்யான மயமு மாகி
உத்தமனே மனோமயமாங் கோச மாச்சு

பூணப்பா ஆனந்த மயமு மாகப்
பொங்கிற்றே யஞ்சுதிறை போதத் துக்குத்
தோணப்பா திறையஞ்சு மாயை மாயை
சொல்லுகிறேன் சூட்சத்தைப் பூட்டிப் பாரே

- சட்டைமுனி (Sattaimuni)

(five layers of illusion in the name of body, breath, mind, wisdom, bliss - keeps one from realizing and manifesting the true nature of self)

Taittiriya Upanishad opened up the concept of Pancha kośas (கவசம்), five sheaths of illusion (maya) surrounding the soul (Atman). These five layers keep us, the humans engaged in multiple manifests of illusion. Due to this most of us never gets to experience the soul-self. Leave the experience apart, most go to an extent of even denying the existence of soul. But even those who deny the soul can understand, experience and hence cannot deny the existence of these sheaths.

Annamaya kosha - Annam means food, hence refers to the physical body that is nourished from intake. As obvious as it is, the physical body is the first layer of our existence. The body as such is utterly useless, which we must have realized by now, watching how soon people want to dispose a corpse.

Pranamaya kosha - Pranan translates to life-sustaining-breath. Breath gives life and hence a value to the body. It is also called as energy layer of the body. It is analogous to electricity, without which the device (body) is futile.

Manomaya kosha - Manam is mind. Collection of memories, senses and thoughts form this third layer of illusion. This is the key layer that limits the human experiences to the three dimensional plane and totally entraps our complete belief system to not venture beyond this. The concept of individual self, ego is the notorious child of this layer of illusion.

Vijnanamaya kosha - Vijnanam (விஞ்ஞானம்) is wisdom. The knowledge of beyond, things that are not in the experience of a common man forms this fourth layer. A person has to completely tame the aforementioned three layers and bring all those three outer layers (body, breath and mind) to a complete stand-still to gain access and experience this fourth layer of wisdom. All the forms of worship, rituals, yoga, meditation, mantra, tantra are all our attempts to gain access to this layer. Vijñāna Bhairava Tantra lists down 112 such ways to access this Vijnanamaya kosha and even goes to an extent to affirm that these are only 112 ways and none other.

Anandamaya kosha - Anandam means bliss. Allegedly this is layer of enlightenment. No one has ever been able to express the experience of this layer in any human perceivable form.

Once a person successfully traverses through these five veils of illusion undeterred and identifies the self with the soul, he or she is one with the divine.

Kāma śāstra - Science of Desire

பயம் பசி பிணி
வாழ்வாதாரத்தை அசைத்து பார்க்கும்
(மூலாக்னி)

இம்மூன்றும் தணிந்த நிலையில்
பொருள் புகழ் காமம் கேட்கும்
(காமாக்னி)

இச்சிற்றின்பங்கள் சலித்த உயிர்
அறம் அறிவு ஆற்றல் தேடும்
(ஞானாக்னி)

Hunger, Health and Survival are the primal needs of a being. This is referred as மூலாக்னி (base fire). Until this fire is quenched, the intentions don't rise any further. 

Once extinguished and only after extinguished, we are driven by a second kind called காமாக்னி (fire of desire), which leads us to seek wealth, fame and sensual gratification. It takes a long time, often many lifetimes to attain a state of complacency with this kind. Sigmund Freud's theories of psychology is built on this.

Then a third kind called ஞானாக்னி (fire of wisdom) starts flickering. This is the drive to learn, hone intelligence, thirst for knowledge and yearning for wisdom.

Instantly, we starting jumping to conclude that these are stages of attainment, the third kind is noble, other kinds are to be suppressed... all such derivations hinder our understanding and evolution. These are not dead stages of attainment, but a flux.

Anything alive can only be a flux, ever changing, shrinking and expanding, stepping forward and backward, up and down. These 3 agnis (fires) are no different. We, the humans, cycle through these 3 agnis several times in a single day. How long one can sustain any of these fires depend on the maturity of the soul. Young souls hover around மூலாக்னி (base fire). Their quenching of base fire doesn't last longer. They might move on to the காமாக்னி (fire of desire) and at times to ஞானாக்னி (fire of wisdom), but will always and quickly come back to the base fire. Mature souls sustain the ஞானாக்னி (fire of wisdom) for a longer time, but they are still in the clutches of base fire and fire of desire, as long as they retain the human form.

In the current times, we are at the luxury of the base fire easily quenched with abundance of food, secure living and a choice of sound health. Hence, most of us have a high flame of desire and flickering fire of wisdom. Hence, our every day-to-day actions are driven towards one of these three;

1.) Sensual Gratification - Pleasing of the most commonly known five senses.
2.) Intellectual Gratification - Attaining more knowledge, ability and adeptness.
3.) Soul Gratification - Genuine attempt to connect and know the soul and the purpose.

Sensual Gratification easily trumps the other two when considering the collective time and effort being spent in. This  Sensual Gratification can again be subdivided into 5 categories based on the number of senses that gets pleased simultaneously. More the senses an act can please, the more desired it is.
1 sense - music, perfume, sugar, pillow, sunset.
2 senses - Television pleases the sense of hearing and sight at the same time. Some flowers are soft to touch and fragrant. 
3 senses - Food can please the sense of taste, smell along with the sense of touch. Sometime the sizzling food is thought to be pleasant to ears, but it happens independently, not in conjunction with pleasing other senses.
4 senses - Children - They can please the sense of sight, touch, hearing and smell at the same time. If not familiar, try assessing how these senses are pleased when you meet them after being parted for a while.
5 senses - One known thing to human that can please all these 5 senses simultaneously is a sexual intercourse.
Hence, copulation is the most desired amongst the sensual gratifications. The sad part is, it is not studied as much as it is desired. There are several ancient literature in the art of love-making from renowned sages. The oldest known one is from 3000 years ago (by Shvetaketu, 8 B.C.). Most famous one that survived is Kama Sutra (by Vātsyāyana, allegedly around 7 A.D.). Later more such literature were penned down like Ratirahasya (by Kokkaka, 13 A.D) and Anangaranga (by Kalyanamalla 16 A.D).  

After 16th century, ancient evolved eastern civilizations started falling down and the topic has been given a grey shade and tabooed. It might have been necessary during that time for what-so-ever reason harder for us to comprehend now. As a consequence, the knowledge kept dwindling to a point where majority of us don't even know the proper anatomy of the copulatory organs. It is a good place to start the learning from.


For Men, the external copulatory organs are penis, scrotum and testicles. For Woman, it is clitoris, urethra, vagina and labia. Orgasm is the climax of a copulatory act. It is often followed by ejaculation of biological fluids, சுக்கிலம் (sperm) for men and சுரோணிதம் (vaginal discharge) for woman. Mind is the main organ for both men and woman responsible for generation, flow and ejaculation of these fluids. Contrary to the common belief, orgasm and ejaculation are not the same. There is less than a second difference between these two. With some simple basic practices like Mūla Bandha, this time difference can be extended to 5 to 10 seconds and eventually ejaculation can be contained at will. This is how the tantric practitioners attain several orgasms without ejaculation.

There are several types of orgasms, especially for woman. The three main types are called clitoral orgasm, vaginal orgasm and g-spot orgasm. Clitoris is also called as female-penis as its functioning is pretty similar, except majority of it is hidden inside and only a spec protrudes out. May be due to that the simulation takes much longer for it to be fully erect. Labia plays a major role in erecting the clitoris. It is said that the clitoral orgasm can even be experienced till the last breath. menopause doesn't pause it. Vaginal orgasm is the most commonly known form of orgasm that occurs with vaginal penetration. Every woman in marital bliss can and should experience these two kinds of orgasms in their day to day life.

There is also a third kind of orgasm which is not readily available even if the woman intends. The existence of G-spot has always been an enigma, not only to men, but also to woman. Because, it is not something out there in open all the time. At the height of excitement, depending on the woman's involvement and the level of trust, a soft tissue of olive size slides down from the roof of vagina, it is called the G-spot. With just minimal simulation of this tissue, 20-200ml of a fluid squirts out of urethra. This is the G-spot orgasm, acclaimed as the highest form of orgasm. It is said that, it can be repeated upto 8 times in a single act of intercourse, before the woman dehydrates and curls back. This is not going to happen over-night. Centuries and lifetimes of suppression has made the women incapable of releasing the G-spot. Literally, as in meditation, the mind has to come to a complete halt for it to be released.  Hence, in ancient india, tantric practitioners are revered as saints and they were.

Unlike woman, orgasm for men can be explained much simpler. There is only one kind (exception: tantric yogis). With little practice, men can understand the difference between orgasm and ejaculation and practice several orgasms before ejaculation. For woman, the basic knowledge in handling the male copulatory organs involves two things. First, how to erect a penis. It is mostly mind driven and purely playing with five senses, hence touch is just one of the five tools. Secondly, how to pause his ejaculation. There are several ways. At the height of excitement, either the base of the penis can be pressed with a finger around it or by pulling the scrotum downwards.

These are just the elementary details. I urge the interested to venture in and learn kāma śāstra from the ancient scriptures, penned down by enlightened sages. 

At the expense of being called repetitive, I have to reiterate, all these ancient śāstras are bottomless abyss. If you embark on a journey to find the bottom, you'll be absolutely lost and become an annoyance to the people around you. So always keep a checkpoint on when and where to stop the research, act upon the learnings and move on.

தற்சார்பு - Self Reliance

"Self-reliance is the ability, commitment and effort to provide the necessities of life for self and reliant"

Essentials: Food and Rest.
1.) Food for nourishing the body.
2.) Shelter for preserving life when at Rest.

These are the quintessentials for a common man. When someone can provide these two for the self and reliant, they can be termed as self-reliant. This is at the very basic level. An animal, like a buffalo, seems content with these two. We don't know if it is really content, but it at-least seems so. As humans, we are driven to evolve and hence we need more.

3.) Medicine - We are naturally vulnerable to getting hurt and as long as it is within the threshold, we heal without any intervention. When it crosses the threshold or when the environment is unsuitable for recovery, treatment helps. The treatment can be with herbs, needles, chemicals, minerals, touch, chanting, placebo, intention, etc. All these are classified as medicines. The deeper the knowledge of a person in these, more reliant the person is in this aspect. Often, this aspect is what made someone respected beyond their life term.

4.) Art, Sport and Research - This is the food for our ever burning desire to evolve. When a curiosity sets in, there are two ways to tackle it. An intelligent evolved mind, can simulate it, experience it and get the curiosity quenched. An innocent mind, can only indulge in the object of curiosity to experience and realize. Art, Sport and Research provide the necessary opportunities for the same.

5.) Solitude - Irrespective of the social stature, solitude is forced upon every person from time to time. It is a boon or a curse, depending on how the person tackles the solitude. No form of any art, sport or research can provide the opportunities to evolve as much as the solitude. Every person who walked this earth and attained god-like stature in the society were those who leveraged the solitude to evolve beyond earthly limitations.

One can assess self and the reliant (often children) on these five aspects. With my limited knowledge, i've created 7 levels in each category. 1 being at bare minimum and 7 is an expert.
Food
1.) Can self-serve and eat from table or a buffet
2.) Can reheat cooked or preserved food
3.) Can cook basics like ready-to-cook, coffee, rice, flat-breads
4.) Can cook using different spices
5.) Can shop grocieries and cook
6.) Can grow basic vegetables, fruits, livestock, hunt, fish
7.) Can grow and harvest grains like rice, wheat
Rest (Shelter)
1.) Can fetch water and make contained fire in camps
2.) Can make a safe sleep zones in camping sites; install tents
3.) Can make safe sleep zones in core nature; forest, hills, plains, beaches
4.) Can build a dwelling units with wood, sticks, mud, stones, caves
5.) Can plan and build a basic home with kitchen
6.) Can build home and device basic defense mechanism like locks, hideouts, escape-routes
7.) Can plan and build a community with supplies, shared duties, maintain order
Medicine
1.) Can clean and medicate minor cuts and wounds
2.) Can preserve self during cold, fever and recover on their own
3.) Can make basic soups, teas to withstand cold/ache/fatigue symptoms
4.) Can relieve sprains and aches with self-physiotheraphy
5.) Can inject medicine, morphine, anesthetics
6.) Can stitch torn muscles and adminster blood transfusion
7.) Can operate on and fix organs
Art, Sport & Research (ASR)
1.) Admires any ASR
2.) Learning or learnt at-least one ASR with dedication
3.) Can perform an ASR better than an amateur
4.) Expert at an ASR
5.) Proven ASR expert in their region (school, community, street, county, state, country)
6.) One-of-a-kind; best amongst known in ASR
7.) Can Invent a new admirable form of ASR
Solitude
1.) Can sit quiet for 10 mins
2.) Can attempt sit quiet and just watch breath flow for an hour
3.) Can attempt no-speak and watch the mind-chatter for 24 hrs
4.) Strength to practice a controlled lent routine for an extended time like 11/2 moon cycle (45 days)
5.) Can learn time-proven art/sport/research/literature in-depth to perfection in total solitude
6.) Practices refined principles in the way of living; exhibits wisdom
7.) Exhibit spontaneous creativity; can device ideologies beneficial to present and future generations
Do not misunderstand this as, pursuance to quit the luxuries and adopt a minimalist living. No. As long as one realizes what is essential and what is dispensable, the madness of exchanging an essential for a dispensable will stop. This in itself is a revolutionary u-turn.

Where we stand in these 5 categories depend on the environment we grew in. Our guardians may not have realized the importance of self-reliance. We are in fortunate times where we can realize and act upon it. One of the most common regrets of people in the final days is, "what will our dependents do?".

Realizing this and empowering ourselves and dependents to be self-reliant is a commendable stance.

கர்ம வினை - chain of causation


पुनरपि जननं पुनरपि मरणं
पुनरपि जननीजठरे शयनम् - Adi Shankaracharya
(born again, dead again,
sleep in the mother’s womb, one more time!)

Karma - by definition has neither negative nor positive shade to it. It literally translates to "action". Every action triggers a chain of responses. This action-reaction(s) is commonly termed as law of causation. When this reaction is favorable, we classify the action as good karma. What is favorable keeps changing with time, place and surroundings. Igniting a log (action) expels heat (reaction). It is a pleasant reaction during sunset in Anchorage, but cringeworthy on a midday in Maui.

Like in the story of Adam and Eve, every being is enlightened in the beginning, garden of eden. One small action of eating the fruit from forbidden tree triggered the reaction of craving for sensual pleasure. Consequently, We react again and so on. All the cultures that stood the test of time, believe this chain of causation to be the reason for the repeated birth and death cycle. Also the reason for the changing seasons of joy and sorrow, pain and pleasure, good and evil within every individual.

Question; If everyone was enlightened, what triggered the first action and why? Answer to this is much debated for aeons, i don't think our pitching in is going to make any difference. Lets leave it for every individual to discover in their own. Whatever the reason is, it is indeed a cosmic play, like throwing a boomerang in sky. Boomerang can swing around and eventually ends up where it started. The distance it travels depends on the initial thrust and intermediate amplifications.

As long as one rejoices the flight, its best to keep flying. Hell and Heaven are the objectification of the reactions. All deeds will boost the flight, contrary to the beliefs that good deeds will take you to salvation. There is nothing called a good-deed, its just deed.

Once one realizes it is nothing but recurring patterns of same things in different shades and decide to roost, stop triggering any more actions. All the past actions and their reactions has to be endured without triggering more reactions, This is not an easy feat. Years and years of conditioning will provoke one to respond. Once it is all settled, it'll eventually lead one back into the paradise.

Ayurveda: Life Knowledge





மருந்தென வேண்டாவாம் யாக்கைக்கு அருந்தியது 
அற்றது போற்றி உணின். -திருவள்ளுவர்

(No medicine is necessary for them who eat after assuring that already eaten is fully digested)

Matter is made of 5 elements. Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. Earth under and Space above is persistent. Air, Fire and Water are the transient elements that causes the fluctuations in health. Ayurveda classified it as Vaatha (Air), Pitha (Fire) and Kapha (Water) Doshas (imbalances). Restoring this balance is the main motive of a real ayurvedic treatment. The symptom could be migraine or cancer, only the body can cure itself. Role of a real medicine (औषडि - herbs) is just to eliminate these hurdles (doshas).

Ideal Vatha, Pitha, Kapha ratio in a human body is 1:2:4. This is always a pursuit and all of us will have one of two doshas overpowering other. When this balance is shaken beyond threshold, it is called a dis-ease.

When Vatha (air) increases in a body, it results in involuntary movements, spasms like Parkinsons, epilepsy. When it decreases it results in seizure of movements like ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease. In general, vayu (air) related problems like gastic problems.

When Pitha (fire) is in excess; weight loss, malnutrition, fever, vomiting, diarrhea all such increased temperature related problems occur.

When Kapha (water) is in excess; weight gains, lethargy, mucous related diseases like sinus, cold, bronchitis, congestion occur commonly.

In general, Vatha prominent people prefer sweet tasting food, light-sleepers - don't prefer mid day naps. Pitha people body temperature are always few degrees warmer, easy to throw-up, mid-day nappers. Kapha people have thicker tongues, cooler body temperature, excess sweating, easy to catch cold. These doshas are not permanent identities. It changes with age, location and change in life-style. It is often seen in combination as vatha-pitta, vatha-kapha, but not pitha and kabha as they are mutually exclusive.

When any source blindly suggests eat this, avoid that, do this, don't be too soon to follow. Analyze at the root level, what change would it bring. A pitha prominent person doesn't need any more cardio routine and you'll see them naturally repel it. Kapha prominent person don't need the hydration routine commonly suggested.

Right Breathing (Air), Activities (Fire) and Intake (Water) can always stabilize the elemental balance in the body. There is no general blanket formula to know what is that right for your body. Every individual is unique and hence their breathing, activities and intake has to be so too. Healthy person can find what suits and not by trial-n-error. For others, investing time and learning more about it is the better alternative before seeking any expert advice.

swarodaya śāstra II - math of breathing

ஏற்றி இறக்கி இருகாலும் பூரிக்குங்
காற்றைப் பிடிக்கும் கணக்கறிவாரில்லை
காற்றைப் பிடிக்குங் கணக்கறிவாளர்க்குக்
கூற்றை உதைக்குங் குறியதுவாமே
(திருமூலர்)

காற்றைப் பிடிக்கும் கணக்கென்ன? 
(குரு மண்டலத்தின் அருளால் என் சிற்றறிவுக்கு எட்டிய பொழிப்புரை)

புவி சூரியனை சுற்ற ஒரு ஆண்டாக
சத்ய யுகத்தில் தொடங்கி
5184 சுழற்சிகள் சுழன்று
த்ரேத  யுகத்தில் 3888 சுழற்சிகள்
த்வாபர  யுகத்தில் 2592 சுழற்சிகள்
கலி  யுகத்தில் 1296 சுழற்சிகள்
மீண்டும் மேல் நோக்கி
கலி  யுகத்தில் 1296 சுழற்சிகள்
த்வாபர  யுகத்தில் 2592 சுழற்சிகள்
த்ரேத  யுகத்தில் 3888 சுழற்சிகள்
சத்ய யுகத்தில் 5184 சுழற்சிகள் சுழன்று
1 கல்பம் 25920 சுழற்சிக்கு பின் பூரணம்.

புவியின் ஆயுள் 100 கல்பங்கள்,
அதுவே 2592000 ஆண்டுகள்.

1 புவி சுழற்சி 360 புவன சுழற்சிகளாக
இப்புவனத்தின் ஆயுள் 933120000 நாட்கள்.

பூலோக வாசிகளின் ஆயுளும் 933120000 மூச்சு சுழற்சிகள்.
நிமிடம் 15 மூச்சு, ஒரு நாளைக்கு 21600 மூச்சு என,
விம்ஷத்தோரி என்னும் 120 ஆண்டுகள் பூரண ஆயுள்.
நிமிடம் 1 மூச்சு மிகினும் ஆயுளில் 71/2 ஆண்டுகள் குறையும்.
நிமிடம் 18 ஆக, 100 ஆண்டுகள் ஆயுள் நிர்ணயம்.

அமர்ந்தாசனத்தில் 12 அங்குல மூச்சு,
சுழுமுனைக்கும் நுரை-ஈரலுக்கும் ஓட,
நடக்கும் போது 18 அங்குல மூச்சு,
சுழுமுனைக்கும் இதயத்திற்கும்,
ஒடும்போது 24 அங்குல மூச்சு,
சுழுமுனைக்கும் நாபிக்கும்,
தூங்கும் போது 32 அங்குல மூச்சு,
சுழுமுனைக்கும் குதத்திற்கும்,
உணர்வு கிளர்ச்சியின் போது,
64 அங்குலம் வரை உடலெங்கும் பரவ,
மனிதனின் ஆயுள் சுவாசத்தின் சாசனம்.

வாசி யோக சித்தி பெற்ற மாணாக்கன்,
முஹூர்த்தமென்னும் 48 நிமிடத்திற்கு 1 முச்சு என,
நாள் 21600 மூச்சுக்கு பதிலாக,
30 மூச்சுகளே சுழற்றி,
மீதம் உள்ள ஆயுளை,
720 மடங்கு பெருக்கி,
பண்ணாயிரம் ஆண்டுகள் ஆயுள் நீட்டித்து
தவம் இயற்றும் வல்லபம் சித்தம்.

சித்தர் மண்டலம் அடைந்த பின்,
அவ்வொரு மூச்சும் அவசியமற்று போக,
ஜீவா சமாதியில் உடலை காத்து,
பிரகாய பிரவேசம் சித்தம்.

Translation:
(Disclaimer: This may not be understood without some background on yugas, yoga, prana. None of this can neither be proved nor disproved. Provided the reader has some bits and pieces of related information, this can help connect the pieces to a certain level)

What the math behind breathing?

A year being one rotation of earth around sun,
starting with satya yuga of 5184 years
treta yuga follows and lasts 3888 years
then dwapara yuga for 2592 years
kali yuga for 1296 years

then reversing the cycle,
One more kali yuga of 1296 years
dwapara yuga of 2592 years,
treta yuga of 3888 years
and satya yuga of 5184 years

All this constitute 1 kalpa, 25920 years.

100 kalpas is the earth lifetime, i.e., 2592000 years.
1 year being 360 earth rotation around its own axis,
earth lifetime is 933120000 rotations, i.e, days.

Human lifespan is also 933120000 rotations, i.e, breaths.
15 breaths a minute, translates to 21600 breaths a day,
denotes a vimshottari (120) years lifetime.
If the breath average increases even by 1 breath,
71/2 years is wiped out of lifespan.
18 breaths a minute is 100 years of living.

In a calm seated pose, breaths flows 12 inchs, between eyebrow-center and lungs
while walking, 18 inches, eyebrow-center to heart
running, 24 inches, eyebrow-center to navel
sleeping, 36 inches, eyebrow-center to perineum
emotional state, 64 inches, throughout the body.
Longer the length higher the frequency, when it is happening autonomously.

An attained yogi's breaths reduces to,
one breath every 48 minutes (முஹூர்த்தம்).
Hence, instead of 21600 breaths,
yogi breaths just 30 breaths.
Consequently, remaining lifetime,
increases 720 times.
This is the literal meaning of pranayama (extension of life force).
Such extension is done to meditate,
burn all the karmic records
in this lifetime and attain the state of perfect being, siddhahood.

Once attained, even that 1 breath becomes unnecessary.
Such beings preserve the body which is infinitely
circulating the breath and leave the shell at will to different realms.

swarodaya śāstra - science of breathing

swarodaya śāstra

We were breathing all our life and are going to do so for the rest. Since it is an autonomous process, we take it for granted. It gives to take some time understanding the underlying science of breathing.

On a physical level, lungs are the pumps that expand inhaling the air from outside, filter and circulate it through the blood and exhale the remaining air out.

A healthy human body temperature is 37*C (98.6*F). Irrespective of the surrounding, the body tries to remain in this temperature. Breath is one of the major tools the body uses to maintain the optimum temperature.

At any given time, this inhalation happens through either left, right or both nostrils. When we are breathing through left, the body is cooling down. Through right, it is heating up. When the body is at optimum temperature and several other variables are ideal and also when breath transitions between left to right and vice versa, breath flows through both the nostrils.

Left breath demands rest, tamo guna (intert, dark, cold, silence, moon nature). This is the ideal time to sleep, rest, do some simple tasks that doesn't demand much physical or mental effort. When someone goes to bed and their breath is already flowing through left nostril, they fall asleep immediately.

Right breath demands activity, rajo guna (passion, light, heat, sound, sun nature). Best suited for physically and mentally demanding tasks. This right breath is the reason, some of our workout sessions are effortlessly intensive and when sluggish, unmotivated in gym, check your breath, it'll be through the left nostril.

Balanced breath through both nostrils is the sattva guna, i.e., transition state, neither dark nor light, neither hot nor cold, both sun and moon influence are at its minimum, if not absolutely nil. During this time, it won't be easy to make a decision, hence it is also considered time of confusion and not ideal to do prominent tasks involving business, relationship and authority. On the other hand, this is the best time to be introspective and meditative, a conscious sleep becomes naturally possible.

Breath is the thread that stitches body and mind. Every emotion changes the amplitude, frequency and the depth it travels in the body.

While amplitude is directly proportional to amount of air inhaled and frequency can be seen as number of breaths per second. The depth of the breath is the not a common knowledge.

The breath of relief is the deepest breath possible as the inhaled air hits the mooladhara (perineum), the base of the spine. When we eat something sweet (இனிப்பு), it triggers this deep breath as well.

A feeling of passion like lust, deep desire thrusts the vital breath to hit the swadishtana (reproductive region). The taste of astringent (துவர்ப்பு) triggers it as well.

When we taste sourness (புளிப்பு) or go through the emotion of love, care and compassion vital breath hits manipura (navel region).

Breath makes a u-turn at the anahata (heart region) during the taste of bitterness (கசப்பு) and the emotion of anger.

Fear and salt (உப்பு) makes the vital breath not to go past the vishuddhi (throat region).

spicy hot (காரம்) and emotion of sadness makes vital breath stay above the trunk. The air circulates around the ajna (center of the eyebrows) region.

To ensure the breath vitalizes all these 6 regions (ஆறு படை வீடு), food with all 6 six tastes (அருண்சுவை) was insisted in older civilizations. These 6 regions contain very prominent endocrine glands (நாளமில்லா சுரபி) and as long as they are taken care, they take good care of the whole body. Hence, a person who goes through and exerts all these emotions spontaneously are very healthy physically and psychologically.

Yoga practitioners, sportsmen, adventurers, children, happy people knowingly or unknowingly keep these 6 regions well ventilated and supplied with abundant blood filled with necessary minerals.

Disturbance in the breath flow pattern has been a reliable indicator of existing and approaching health concerns and impact on living standards. To know this, the base pattern has to be established for the individual. In general, cold days begin (at sunrise) with left nostril dominant and hot days with right. Moon, Mercury Saturn are cool planets while Sun, Mars and Venus are hot. Jupiter is cool in waxing phase and hot in waning phase. In an healthy body, the breathing pattern aligns with the horas ruled by these planets, i.e., during moon hora, left nostril is dominant, mars hora right and so on. When it not so, it is an indicator of either present or approaching illness or anxiety. The length of the disturbance denotes the severity of the impact.

This is a much deeper subject and like all the shastras, if your embark on journey to attain mastery over it, it would be an endless pursuit. In current times, neither people have patience not time in knowing about these horas and observing the breath pattern. Hence, a simple technique. When you wake up, check which nostril is dominant, say left, then rub the face with the left palm on the left side to get more blood flow and take your first step out of bed with left leg. The happenings of the day will fall in your favor.

Pradoṣam - Transition from Light to Darkness


Pradoṣa(m) means Transition from Light to Darkness. You read it right, it is from the transient (light) to eternal (darkness). Light always needs an external source, darkness doesn't center on any source, it is prevalent all over by default. This transition from light to dark is happening all the time at various levels in and around us.

In a day, during sunset it is pradoṣa kalam.

In a week, saturday sunset is pradoṣa time.

In a month, sunset of the 13th waning lunar day (trayodashi) of waning phase (தேய்பிறை) is pradoṣa kaal. This is what is commonly referred as pradoṣa and special rituals are performed during sunset (the daily Pradoṣa time) on this day. When the weekly pradoṣa (saturday) coincides with this (சனி ப்ரதோஷம்), it gains more significance.

In a year, Maha Shivaratri, 13th night from full-moon in the lunar month of Phalguni/Magha/மாசி by the end of winter. Usually occurs in february, it is day before no moon day. Again, when the weekly pradoṣam of saturday coincides with this (சனி மஹாப்ரதோஷம்), it gains more significance.

Within the day, every time the dominant breath shifts from right to left nostril, it is a pradosha time for that individual. During all saturday, monday and thursdays-of-waxing-phase-of-moon (வளர் பிறை), the left nostril will be naturally dominant in a healthy person. Hence, when a monthly pradoṣa happens on monday or saturday, it is given more significance.

Within every breath cycle, begin of the exhalation cycle is the pradoṣa time. With sealed lips, try to generate any sound while exhaling, it unanimously ends up as "om" (ૐ). This sound is considered the most sacred of all universal sounds (நாத ப்ரம்ம).

We've seen the 6 levels of pradoṣam happening here, this is the time scale experientially perceivable to the common human mind. This kind of conjunction keeps happening in many micro and macro levels as well.

So, every exhalation, everytime the dominant breath just shifts to left nostril, everyday sunset, every saturday (if coincides), the 13th night from full-moon day, maha sivaratri day (தேய்பிறை மாசி பிரதோஷம்) are the most significant times to be meditative.

What to do during pradoṣam?

In east, pradoṣam is translated to time-to-burn-sins. So people go to sacred places and do the form of worship they are aware of. In the name of worship, a vast majority follow what some of the enlightened beings used to do. Though they might be doing the same, they are not actually doing the same. It is analogous to a musical genius playing a violin, and an amateur attempting to impersonate the genius. The music produced is not the same. To generate the similar (though and better if not the same) soulful music, the amateur has to rise to the level of genius. Once risen, there is no need to impersonate and any music produced is divine. Same applies to the worship.

For seasoned meditators,there is not much to be said here, they might be spontaneously getting into meditative states during these times.

Practitioners, can choose these times to practice meditation (or) dharana, pranayama bascially everything that leads towards meditation. Depending on the expertise level, state of mind, situation, determination, ability, the practitioner can choose to meditate for a nādī (24 minutes), muhūrta (48 minutes), hōra (~1 hour), 1 yāma (~3 hours).

Art lovers can choose these times to indulge in giving form to their creativity. This is their meditation.

Devotees, I mean adherent ones who are soulfully surrendered to the object-of-devotion can recite their prayers during these hours. Their chances of getting to the higher spiritual state is highly likely during these times.

Tantric practitioners choose this time for their form of worship.

When?

(once a year) People who are very busy with worldly affairs and can only do a bare minimum for spiritual evolution can attempt their form of worship on the maha sivaratri night. the day before no-moon day in the month of february.

(once a month) Others who can afford a little more time can do it during sunset on the pradoṣam of the waning-moon (தேய்பிறை பிரதோஷம்), i.e, the day before no-moon day.

(once a fortnight) sunset of every 13rd night from both no moon and full moon day.

(once a week) every Saturday during sunset

(once a day) everyday during sunset.

(once every few hours) every time breaths shifts from right to left nostril.

(all the time) every exhalation.

Pūjā - Purpose of Ceremonies

Athithi Devo Bavo (guests are equivalent to god).

Living is a continuous process of cell generation and cell decay. When any one of these stop, it is not healthy anymore.

When the cell generation impedes, it is decomposition.
When the cell decay impedes, it is cancer.

When a cell decay, replenishes the cells in other beings, this is called creation.

A musician burns few cells and creates pleasant tones. When a receptive person is pleased with this music, his/her cell lifetime increases 2x to 10x. As mentioned by one of the wise sages, Tirumular, extending the lifetime of a single cell, is equivalent to saving a life. Demise of a single cell with unpleasantness is equivalent to killing a life.

There is also an uncommon phenomenon where both cell generation and decay stops. In east, it is called as Jeeva samadhi (self-preserved being). Yoganandha's body exhibited this phenomenon in Los Angeles (USA), but this is quite common in himalayas and several hills in south india.

The purpose of the Pūjā (ceremonies) is to direct the energies towards creation. Rituals are devised to accomplish this by blocking certain virtues in people, referred as shatripus (6 virtues). This is not just a philosophical innuendo. Physically, the cells in the body decay at faster pace when the breath rate increases. All of these virtues demand increased oxygen and faster blood flow, killing a lot more cells without any physical exhaustion.

Godliness is being devoid of these six menial obstacles (shatripus);
1. Kama(m)  - Desire ( often referred to lust, but also includes desire for wealth and fame)
2. Krodha(m) - Wrath (outbursts of anger, destruction)
3. Lobha(m) - Greed (resulting in hoarding, manipulating resources, over-consumption)
4. Moha(m) - Delusion (resulting in traits like attachment)
5. Mada(m) - Arrogance (resulting in traits like pride)
6. Matsarya(m) - Cunningness (resulting in traits like envy)

This is similar to seven-sins discussed in western countries, except that they branch out the Lobha (Greed) and call Gluttony as yet another sin.

One can get rid of these in themselves with self-realization and effort (sadhana). But there is no direct way to impart it on others. Pleasing the five outward senses is an attempt to trigger the godliness in them.

1.) Fragnance (Dhupam): Incense sticks are lighted to ensure the sense  of smell is pleased. When the pleasant smell from a naturally occurring substance is spread, it makes the person either meditative or compassionate, based on their nature. In general, this bereaves Kama (desire, மண்-பொன்-பெண்-புகழ் ஆசை). In yogic terms, it pleases the moladhara and swadistana chakras.

2.) Food (Naivedyam):  The sense of taste is pleased with good food. Sattvic food is served, which predominantly wanes the Lobha (Greed) nature of a person. Manipura chakra is pleased.

3.) Dress Code (Vastram): We adopt a certain dress code naturally, this is to obtain the right sense of touch. Materials that are still close to nature like cotton, wool, silk that are neither over-processed nor synthesized,  diminishes the Moha (Delusion) nature in a person. Anahata chakra is pleased here.

Often a lot of fragrant flowers are used to please the sense of sight, smell and touch.

4.) Portraits and Statues (Vigraham): The portraits and statues of gods are depicted as accomplished and super evolved beings to please our sense of sight and at the same time it destroys the Mada (Arrogance) in us. The songs, stories and enactment on the extraordinary achievements (parakramas) of divine beings are exhibited to constantly keep a check on our arrogance.  This relates to Vishudhu chakra.

5.) Music (Mantram): Incantations, certain musical instruments and vocals are to please sense of hearing and at the same time dissolve the Matsarya (Cunningness) nature in us. Matsarya is the result of the mind, mantras are life-forming sound energies, which are repeated to bore the mind to stillness. Agna Chakra is the immediate benefactor of this.

Krodha (Wrath) needs all these 5 senses to be in pleased state to stay dormant. When any one sense is disturbed, it erupts.

When all these 6 virtues are dissolved, it is called the dissolution of ego. This is not a permanent attainment, but an experience like joy, sorrow, fear and anger. Everyone can get the glimpse of it, get to experience it in momentary lapses. The wiser ones keep extending the duration of the experience every time. When someone is undergoing this experience, they are in par with what is commonly perceived as god.

Call it celebration, get-together, party, wedding, baby shower, house warming, ceremonies, ritual, Pūjā and also going to religious places of worship, all this is done to defer these shatripus in us. If the ritual successfully deter these obstacles, it is the rise of godliness, at least for that time being, and the verse Athithi Devo Bavo is indeed a prophecy fulfilled.

Education (கல்வி)


கல்வி -> அறிவு -> ஒழுக்கம் -> அன்பு -> அருள் (நிபந்தனை அற்ற அன்பு) -> துறவு (பற்று அற்ற நிலை) -> வீடு (இறையடி)
- (வள்ளுவன்)

Education -> Intelligence -> Discipline -> Love -> Compassion -> Spirituality 
கல்வி பயன் (வள்ளுவன் வாக்கு)
கல்வி அறிவாக வேண்டும்
அறிவு ஒழுக்கமாக வேண்டும்
ஒழுக்கம் அன்பாக வேண்டும்
அன்பு அருளாக வேண்டும்
அருள் துறவாக வேண்டும்
துறவு வீடாக வேண்டும்

1.) இங்கு "அருள்" என்றால் "நிபந்தனை அற்ற அன்பு" என்று பொருள்
2.) இங்கு "துறவு" என்றால் "பற்று அற்ற நிலை" என்று பொருள்
3.) இங்கு "வீடு" என்றால் "இறையடி" என்று பொருள்

Purpose of Education (Thiruvalluvar)
Education should lead to intelligence,
Intelligence to discipline,
Discipline to love,
Love to compassion,
Compassion to spirituality,
Spirituality to our ultimate destiny.

1.) "compassion" is "unconditional love towards everyone"
2.) "spirituality" means "impartial attitude towards everything and everyone"
3.) "destination" is same as where we hailed from, i.e., the origin of the soul

In the current times, We often try to derive "happiness", rather sensual gratification from any form of education.

i.e., Expectation: Education -> Ability -> Earning -> Wealth -> Happiness 

It is highly influenced by the circumstances of the individual. When my parents were trying to get me educated, they had this joy oriented attitude towards education. They were neither fortunate nor wealthy enough to chew such words of enlightened beings. According to them, they got me what they thought was right and they were satisfied. Period.

Its up to you and your circumstances to decide why are you educating your children. Whatever it is, be honest with yourself and your children. Preaching the ideals, but living for inferior expectations is hypocrisy and will only lead to more regrets.