I have been reading Ma Shakti Devpriya ji and you regularly without missing a post and I must say things you people say always has something extra and deeper than any other spiritual teacher active on the web. Though you vehemently discourage DIY approach but I can tell you till the time people like us don’t get time and opportunity to learn directly from you, YOUR wisdom does keep the thirst alive. Thank you both for your priceless help to thousands like me.
I have always wondered about the timings of certain special processes and meditations given for practice on specific times. I am especially referring to Poornimas and Amavasyas. Though I have read about it at many places that energies of full moon and no moon are very useful for spiritual processes but may I request you to say something more about it in your unique and enlightening way.
Your appreciation of our work only makes us bow down to lotus feet of our Gurus who made us do what you see us doing – making the light of wisdom reach where it is needed the most. Vandeham Gurormandalam!
Now to your question..
IS IT ONLY PHASES OF MOON THAT WORK
As per historians two different types of calendars have been used since early ages. They say Egyptians evolved a calendar based on Sun and Sumerians were the first to develop the Moon based calendar somewhat 3000 years ago. I don’t know why these very historians discard Hindu calendar that was probably devised not thousands but millions of years ago. You would be astonished to know that through the use principles given in a book, Surya Siddhaant you can even find out the day and tithi of the moment when first cycle of day & night came into existence.
My lauding the fact about the efficacy of Indian Lunar calendar and our system of measuring time is not about showing superiority of our system but only to emphasise the fact that Moon’s phases and its impact on human psyche and energies is much much more than that of the sun. It would get clearer only if you ever get interested in the Indian system of Astrology (which is purely based on the lunar calendar) and then you will be stunned to see how much the moon’s movement in the zodiac impact the human mind (psychological traits) rather than any other planet. So much so that Indian system prefers to give priority to Lunar Rashi than Solar Rasi or Sun Sign.
Fixed or slow moving parameters don’t bring about much changes because system adapts to them and thus whatever external (influencing) factors change quickly (speed wise) and strengthwise (quantitatively) shall impact us more. The moon is fastest moving celestial body in the sky (it is not about absolute movement but relatively.. as seen from earth) and closest too; Therefore moon’s impact on our mind is highest. Hence most of our religious rituals have been planned based on Moon’s movement.
MOVEMENT OF SUN IS NO LESS IMPORTANT
When we say we have certains festivals or religious ceremonies like Gurupoornima, Janmaashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Devotthaani Ekadasi, Mauni Amavasya, Ram Navami etc. etc. Is it only about moon’s movement? No! We are talking of tithi (lunar dates) here (we have lunar months also but not considering those to avoiding complexity). Now what is a tithi? :
The tithi is the time taken by the Moon in increasing its distance from the Sun by 12 degrees. The new Moon happens at that instant of time when the longitudes of Sun and Moon are equal on the zodiac (background of nakshatras). It is also called ‘amavasya’. The complete revolution of the Moon (approx 29.53 days) occupies 30 tithis in the span of 360 degrees. It is interesting to note; Since the motions of the Sun and Moon are not constant but always varying in speed, the length of all and individual tithis is not always same.
SUN AND SEASONS
But aren’t we discussing importance of Sun here? Yes! Movement of Sun in the zodiac is also important. It sets the tonality of physical environment on planet earth, that we refer to as ‘seasons‘. Further its movement in the zodiac (360 degrees span in the sky) passes through 12 signs or Rashis. The characteristic frequencies of Sun vary depending on which Rashi it is travelling through and therefore it’s impact on human is also considered. In fact most of western astrologers utilize this ‘transit of Sun’ through various rashis in defining the characteristics of any individual born in those times. They refer to it as ‘Sun Sign‘. While Sun Signs do reveal a lot of information about the individual but more precise and elaborate understanding can be gained only by considering the movement of Moon in the Zodiac (spanning over 27 nakshatras).
The Sun’s movement across the Zodiac brings about changes in seasons and thereby influences the prikriti & doshas in human body. It is for the same reason Indian system of Medicine (Ayurveda) prescribes lifestyle changes according to seasons including the list of ‘Eat & Eat-Not’. It has also been observed that people born in scorching summer find themselves pretty comfortable in the hot environment while feel the brunt of cold weather and vice-versa.
SUN AND SAMKRAANTIS
Further, when Sun transits from one Zodiac Sign to next Sign this time is referred to as ‘Rashi Pravesh‘ or ‘Samkraanti’ or ‘Rashi Parva’ (parva means the joint or sandhi). In fact many of these samkraantis have been described by religious scriptures to be benefic and thus utilized for penance, austerity, charity and self-purification. For example the earth’s biggest congregation of humans i.e. Kumbh Festival of Prayagraj (aka Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, India) begins on Makar Samkraanti. Billions of people gather on banks of Ganges (River Gangaa) to offer their various oblations in this time. Similar congregation happens in the city of Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh, India) when Sun transits in to Leo Sign.
For the ordinary there are no visible (through human eyes) phases (change in size) of Sun. The mysterious 11 year ‘Sun Spot’ cycle does exist for the scientists to observe but this number 11 seem to have come directly from the Father of our own planetary system. Although the impact of this 11 year cycle on human psyche has not been studied as much but this number 11 is very much important in Lunar Calendar. Ekadashi which is 11th Lunar date is considered to be the most effective for engaging in purification processes.
DAILY PHASES OF SUN & SANDHYAA
It would be wrong to say that Sun does not have any phases. In fact Sun does pass through three phases every day. The rising Sun (Gentle and Growing in the East). The Noon Sun (Overhead, Fierce and Youthful) and The Setting Sun (Soft and diminishing in the West). Now Indian Sages knew that these phases of Sun can be utilized in self-empowerment, self-purification and self-discovery. That is the reason there is a provision of ‘Trikaala Sandhyaa’ in scriptures.
Trikaala Sandhya is three times worship to be offered to Sun in synchronization with the phases of Sun i.e. during the dawn, midday and dusk. Sadhakas initiated into the Gayatri Mantra are supposed to perform these rites everyday. These three Sandhyaas or worships are called Praatah Sandhayaa (morning worship), Maadhyamika Sandhyaa (noon worship) and Saayam Sandhyaa (evening worship), performed around sunrise, noon and sunset respectively.
It is believed that this regular Sun worship can open up the doors of the Sushumnaa Naadi thereby awakening the dormant Kundalini. Regular worship of Sun strengths a human being physically, intellect gets sharper and life becomes brighter and successful. Engaging the process of Sandhyaa helps synchronize the body, mind and swaras of the individual.
ECLIPSE – THE MOST POWERFUL SOLAR PHASE CHANGE
It happens not so often that Sun or Moon partly of fully disappear from Sky. While partial or full disappearance of Moon happens only on full Moon day, Sun meets the same fate only on some New Moon (also known as No Moon Day or Amaavasyaa). This rare (collectively maximum 7 Eclipses in total can happen during a year) event is known a Solar Eclipse. All Indian systems wherein Mantra and rituals are dominantly utilized for elevating the human consciousness; make use of this special time (that depends on the rare phase change of Sun) that is regarded extremely beneficial for engaging in Spiritual practices and attaining sure success. The powers that work through these times are so intense that if someone takes up one specific mantra chanting during this event, it is said in Tantric scriptures that it is treated as one complete anushthaanam. Certain mantras siddhis are possible only during the times of Solar & Lunar eclipses. Just for example siddhi of Ganapati Athrvasheersha is only possible by its chanting during Solar Eclipse.
All these above facts do hint at a crucial role movement of Sun in setting the tonality of energies on planet earth thereby affecting human psyche. In fact Sun CAN NOT be ignored in any case because even ‘Lunar Phase’ changes only due to relative movement between Sun and Moon.
DOMINANT DEITIES & ENERGIES OF A TITHI
Every lunar tithi (date) has specific energy associated with it. In fact these energies are so powerful during specific tithis that they are called the Lord of that particular tithi. It is to be kept in mind that if you take up any specific practice (having complete knowledge of other associated ritualistic sequences etc. to be followed) pertaining to the lord of that tithi it will endow most powerful and sure results upon you.
Lords of various tithis starting from Pratipadaa (1st lunar date of a month) are :
Pratipadaa – Fire (Agni)
Dwiteeyaa – Creator (Brahmaa)
Triteeyaa – Benefic form of Shakti (Gauri)
Chaturthi – Shakti’s power of grace and wisdom aspect (Ganesh)
Panchami – Serpent power or unmanifest Kundalini (Naaga)
Shashthi – Fierce force of Shakti (Kaartikeya)
Saptami – Forces of Light, Fire and Prana (Sun)
Ashtami – The destroyer of ignorance (Shiva)
Navami – Valiant, Fierce, Protector and Grace giving force (Durgaa)
Dashmi – The forces of Prana, Air and time (Yama)
Ekaadashi – The Gods who keep the cosmic play in order & mind (Vishwedavaa)
Dwaadashi – The force behind the Keeper Gods (Vishnu)
Trayodashi – The Power of desiring or Sexual attraction (Kaamadeva)
Chaturdashi – The benefic, wisdom granting, saviour divine consciousness (Shiva)
Poornimaa – The God of Emotion and Mind (Moon)
Amaavasyaa – The ancestors and (Siddhas & Pitras)
The reason why most of people are able to attain ‘self-realization’ or feel elevation in their consciousness during Poornima is because it is the day when energies of Moon, the significator of mind are dominant. If a practitioner approaches his inner world with humility, sense of reverence, surrender and utmost patience the Mind will give way and your inner truth is revealed. Further in case of Amaavasya (new moon or no moon day) a practitioner gets strongest support from his/her Gurumandala and these compassionate Siddhas help the practitioner in his/her inward journey.
Although every tithi is capable of giving you a unique experience of its own depending on its energy tonality but there are many more aspects of this ‘Tattvic Matrix‘ spread in ‘Kaala-Niyati kanchuka’ not everything can be covered here. Some teachers (like our Tantra Gurudev Shri Anta Dev Maharaj ji) prefer using the Yogini and Nakshatra energies rather than phases of moon or tithi.
DAY (VAAR) OF THE TITHI (LUNAR DATE) SETS THE TONE
Another mostly ignored but most relevant aspect of a tithi is on which ‘Day of the week’ it falls. Because every day of the week is loaded with a particular type of Tattvic Energy. It is for the same reason when Amaavasya becomes Somawati (Monday being on that tithi) or Bhaumavati (when it falls on a Tuesday) its tonality changes completely. In fact every day of the week is dominant in one or more Tattvas thus impacting the psyche of a practitioner differently. Roughly every planet is dominant ins certain Tattva. Just for the sake of curiosity –
Prithvi tattva (Earth Element) is ruled by Mercury. Jala tattva (Water Element) is ruled by Venus and Moon also has almost similar nature. Agni tattva (Fire Element) is ruled by Mars. Sun also has the same nature albeit there are some basic difference between the Fires of both the planets. Vaayu tattva (Air Element) is ruled by Saturn and Aakaasha tattva (Ether Element) is ruled by Jupiter. A renowned guru of modern times claims to have built a giant cylindrical object out of solidified mercury that is carefully programmed to radiate different kinds of Tattvic energies on different days of the week! I don’t wish to comment on his statements but it is surprising that his own declarations about the kind of tattvic energies that are radiated on a day are not the ones that prevail on that particular day. Now it is up to you to believe or reject such claims. (smiles) Anyways I have a clear view about this and it is ; To know the type of Spiritual work you intend to do and Tattvic energies that will support it is an extremely complicated process behind which there are principles of whole Science of Tattvas working and therefore don’t wait for the auspicious time instead use every possible time window on all days for meditation.
If someone is highly praising one particular date; Lets say Amavasya or Poornima, then it is only rooted in incomplete understanding of the Cosmic Energy Principles because overall Tattvic energy of a time is dependent on innumerable variables in which Phases of Moon play just one part..
We wish it could have been so simple but it is not. It is not only in terms of Gravitational pull of Moon on earth that some date (be it poornima or amavasya) can yield best results in the meditation or any spiritual processes rather it is truly cumbersome, almost never-ending mathematical calculation if you wish to arrive at the most suitable ‘energy frame’ for any particular ritual or practice. So it is better to use every possible opportunity for spiritual growth. Keep jumping all the time to not miss any opportunity. In higher practices of Tattva Shakti Vigyaan we allow the practitioners to use the energies of every full moon and new moon.
Nevertheless, accomplished Masters and Siddhas intuitively know the best times for approaching a particular type of meditation, spiritual practice or connecting processes.. therefore, for choosing the best time for your particular Sadhana you must follow your Guru; his words are to be taken as final. Don’t believe in what others… are saying about it.
Enough for today..
-Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath
Ach. Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath is master of SriVidya, Yoga and Tantra. He, along with his beloved consort Ma Shakti Devpriya initiates interested seekers in Tattva Shakti Vigyaan, Kriya, Yoga, Tantra, Swara & Yantra Vigyaan. To know more about upcoming workshops visit www.shaktimultiversity.com To get assistance on which practice or workshop to choose, email us at: email@example.com To join LIVE Shiva Sutra discourses by Acharya Shri Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath ji please register on: www.shaktimultiversity.com