Bagalamukhi – The Great Stabiliser and Restorer of Order

The legend goes that Lord Vishnu called upon the Supreme Goddess Rajarajeshwari to bring under control a cataclysmic storm that would destroy the world. As well as the storm, all the celestials were behaving bizarrely – consumed with violence and aggression – that threatened the cosmic order.  The Goddess took the form of Bagalamukhi – […]

What enlightenment may be like / Goddess Chinnamasta

I’ve often wondered what “enlightenment” would be like. My idea has evolved over time, and may continue to do so. This striking image, encapsulates what I currently feel enlightment may be like. It is a somewhat shocking image of the state of moving into an enlightened state of consciousness beyond the mind/body complex. Experiencing the […]

Very simple Marjanam procedure for Purashcharan of Mantras of Shri Bagalamukhi

Items required: Petals of a yellow flower. Bagalamukhi Yantra Vessel of water Start the ritual in the same way as you would usually start your Mantra Japa session, honouring the Guru, Lord Ganesh, and meditating / contemplating upon Shri Bagalamukhi and carrying out Nyasas, Pancapuja etc. Say something to the effect of: “Oh Bagalamukhi, I […]

Very simple Tarpanam procedure for Purashcharana of Mantras of Shri Bagalamukhi

Get a vessel with 1-2 litres of water. Add some Gangajal, a little tumeric, honey, sugar, saffron and milk. Keep a second vessel to do the Tarpans into. Start the ritual in the same way as you would usually start your Mantra Japa session, honouring the Guru, Lord Ganesh, and meditating / contemplating upon Shri […]

Bagalamukhi: The Hypnotic Power of the Goddess (chapter from David Frawley book)

Below is a link to the chapter about Shri Bagalamukhi Devi from the book Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddesses by David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri). It is perhaps the best article in the English language for understanding Shri Bagalamukhi. Bagalamukhi: The Hypnotic Power of the Goddess (David Frawley, Tantric Yoga & the Wisdom Goddesses, 1994) […]

Shri Bagalamukhi Kavach

śrībhairavī uvāca (श्री भैरवी उवाच ) – śrutvā ca bagalā-pūjāṃ stotraṃ cāpi maheśvara । idānīṃ śrotum-icchāmi kavacaṃ vada me prabho ॥ 1 ॥ vairi-nāśakaraṃ divyaṃ sarvā-‘śubha-vināśanam । śubhadaṃ smaraṇāt-puṇyaṃ trāhi māṃ duḥkha-nāśanam ॥ 2 ॥ śrībhairava uvāca (श्रीभैरव उवाच) – kavacaṃ śṛṇu vakṣyāmi bhairavī prāṇa-vallabhe । paṭhitvā dhārayitvā tu trailaukye vijayī bhavet ॥ 3 ॥   viniyogaḥ (विनियोगः) – om̐ asya śrī-bagalāmukhī-kavacasya । nārada ṛṣiḥ । anuṣṭup chandaḥ । śrī-bagalāmukhī devatā । lam̐ bījaṃ । īm̐ […]

In search for scientific proof of reincarnation: Dr Ian Stevenson (1918-2007)

From the time in our childhood when we first learn about death, that most unsettling truth of life, the question and curiosity of the afterlife arises; what has happened to the person who has died? Does anything of that person survive in one form or another? A lot of people believe the truth to be […]

Friendship overcoming religious fanaticism – A true story from multicultural London

Nadia and Reena grew up in the East London borough of Newham, and were best friends who had known each other since the tender age of 6. Nadia was a Muslim and Reena was a Hindu. Growing up, and they often played at one another’s homes. Through their childhood, religion had never got in the […]

A Tale of Two Neighbours & the Mysteries of Karma

There once lived a great yogi named Gorakhnath, an enlightened soul, who had experienced all the great truths of life, death and the Divine. He lived a simple life, revelling in the unparalleled bliss that only enlightened soul’s experience, and had great compassion for all life forms. Although he did not seek a following, many […]

A more positive story

Some time back, I wrote about a few experiences where I got mocking reactions for expressing some visible signs of being a practising Hindu from a section of “modern Hindoos”, who are simply unaccustomed to see young Hindus actually striving to live out the Dharma, either because (a) they think that in the rat race of […]

The symbolism of the Churning of the Ocean

One of the most famous stories of Hinduism is that of the Great Churning of the Ocean by the Devas and Asuras (Gods and Demons) in the quest for the Nectar of Immortality. This tale has deeper dimensions, capturing insights into the nature of existence that the ancient Rishis (sages) discovered in deep meditation. All […]

Education system in Pre-British India (by Ram Swarup)

Ancient India was celebrated for its learning all over civilized Asia and Europe. Metatheses (ca. 302 BC) was struck by the depth of this learning during his mission to the court of Chandragupta. Fa-hien, the famous Chinese traveller (399-413 D) spent some years at the Paliputra and Tamralipti monasteries. He also spent two years in […]

The Somnath Temple

For sheer grandeur and exuberance – the Akshardham Swaminarayana Temple complex is the largest temple in the Indian state of Gujarat. However – for history, spiritual significance and emotional bonds that Hindus carry, Somnath is by far the most important temple in Gujarat, and indeed one of the most sacred sites in the whole of […]

Jnanadeva – (13th Century CE) – Biography of a great yogi

Jnanadeva (also written as Jnandev, Jnanesvar, Jñanadeva or Dnyāneshwar) was a Hindu saint of the Nath tradition, who lived in Maharasthra  in the 13th century during the rule of the Yadava King Ramadevarao, immediately prior to the Islamic invasions of that part of India which started in 1296. Ramadevarao provided a stable and secure government compared with […]

Hindu’s lack of activism compared with adherents of other faiths?

“…aggressive religions – they tend to overrun the Earth. Hinduism on the other hand is passive, and therein lies its danger.” (Sri Aurobindo, 1926) Throughout life it has often appeared to me that Hindus were passive. I don’t mean passive in terms of being non-violent (though that may also be the case), but passive in […]

Remembering Sister Nivedita (1867-1911)

Sister Nivedita (1867 – 1911) was a famous and inspirational social worker and educationalist in pre-independence India. She is considered to have played an important role in raising national consciousness in India, becoming a relatively early advocate of complete Independence of India from British rule which included supporting the activities of freedom fighters. She is […]

Parenting and the Karmic link between generations

When my son (who at the time of writing is 4 years old) was born, I felt connected with the vastness of eternity in a way that I had never felt before. Having a a child of your own is an amazing experience – seeing someone who looks like you playing, learning, being mischievous in […]

Is it OK to “leave justice to Karma”?

When someone harms you or someone to whom you have a sense of responsibility, getting suitable justice, or ensuring that the perpetrator is punished is not always easy. In Hinduism we have the concept of karma, so if justice is not easy to come by there is a temptation to feel that even if we […]

Satsang: what it really means

“The company of the great is very difficult, even inaccessible, but it is infallible.” (Narada Bhakti Sutras. 39) Literally speaking, “sat” means truth, and “sang” means to be associated with. Satsang in Hinduism usually refers to a gathering of spiritual aspirants, and participating is such gatherings is meant to lead to tremendously greater progress than […]

Debate outside of one’s comfort zone

Over time we tend to form social groups of people with similar views to ourselves. Those of us join organisation and associations will of course do so with people who we think are like-minded. As such, it is usually the case that the discussions we have on various subjects – both formal and informal – […]