Sunday, September 02, 2007

On Different Forms of Worship by PVR Narasimha

From: Narasimha P.V.R. Rao <>
Date: Sep 2, 2007 11:05 AM
Subject: [vedic-wisdom] Re: Navagraha Homam/puja

Dear Sir,

I am replying to the lists because others may benefit too. But,
because you sent your question to me by private email, I am removing
your name from the mail quoted below to keep your privacy. I hope this
is ok with you.

> On the other hand, as has been well established, all forms are
> nothing but the same paramthman. Then what is one supposed
> to do. Can we with the understanding that each deity is essentially
> the same paramathman continue to worship the different deities.
> Should there be any difference in worshipping different forms or
> one form given that all are the same paramathman's form? It is
> here that the approach of astrology seems to be different where
> depending on dasa bukthi/ gochara an appropriate mantra/
> sadhana is suggested. Is it fine if the sadhana keeps changing
> over time?

Fantastic question. It is indeed the same Paramatman that expresses as
various objects of this universe, including various deities and
various other beings. Blessed is the one who can see one's Ishta
Devata in all objects of this universe and not let any so-called
"unpleasant" object take one's mind away from Paramatman.

But that is not easy. It is easy to look at various idols and various
names and say "all these different forms are the same Paramatman
only". But, when one confronts objects and situations that are quite
"unpleasant", it is difficult to keep that state of mind and say "this
too is Paramatman only". If one wants to see Paramatman in all
objects, one should not distinguish between pleasure and pain, success
and failure, praise and criticism etc. If one gets cancer or a
terrible disease, for example, and the body starts to pain badly, one
should be able to see Paramatman in that disease, pain and suffering
too. Of course, a great saint like Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was capable
of seeing Kaali in everything and even a terrible throat cancer did
not deter him or disturb his equanimity.

But, how many can be like that? If health, wealth, family happiness,
well-being of family members etc are very important to someone and one
cannot withstand certain "unpleasant" situations with respect to those
aspects, then one is not really ready to see the same Paramatman in
all. One is mired in duality/multiplicity then. The approach needed by
such a person is different from that needed by a great saint who can
be see the same Paramatman in all people, places, times, objects and
situations. Health or disease, wealth or poverty, pleasure or pain,
fame or censure, marital bliss or marital discord, praise or criticism
- such a Yogi sees no difference in all and sees the same Paramatman
in all. Such a Yogi looks at even the greatest suffering as a gift of
Krishna/Shiva and does not let it take one's mind off Paramatman. If
such focus, one-pointedness and equanimity of mind is present, then
there is no need to worship various forms. One can just focus on
Paramatman. Such a soul is close to moksha. Various shastras like
Jyotisha that deal with how the maayaa of this world works are
irrelevant to such a soul, as one is mostly beyond the grip of

But, one who sees pleasure and pain, wealth and poverty, health and
disease, fame and censure etc differently is is in the tight grip of
maayaa and hence shastras that shed light on how the maayaa works are
useful. Such a person may want to worship various forms (like grahas)
for specific purposes. This can remove from one's path obstacles like
diseases, suffering, pain etc and create a situation that is conducive
to doing sadhana to get a higher level of equanimity eventually and
loosen the grip of maayaa after a lot of effort.

Hinduism is full of teachings for people of various spiritual levels
and one should take what is applicable to oneself. A sadguru can be
helpful there.

> Your words always give so much of clarity and reflect very good
> knowledge and understanding of subtleties.

I am not saying this to sound humble, but I truly am merely a nimitta.
If a crow sits on a coconut tree and a coconut falls from the tree
just when the crow lands on the tree, one may think that the crow
actually broke the coconut. But it is a coincidence. This whole
universe is so full of coincidences and the Mother is the manager of
this whole show. When I write something, She is the cause and
manifestation of the desire inside me to write, the knowledge inside
me that drives the writing and my action of writing. She is also the
cause and manifestation of the desire inside the reader to understand
something from the written words, the action of reading and
understanding the written words and the knowledge that comes out in
the reader after reading. She does everything, through Her various
forms and manifestations. If somebody egoistically feels proud
thinking that *he* did something, even that veil of ego is Her
manifestation only. As one understands and unravels one level of Her
manifestation, She shows the next level.

Best regards,
Homam manual and audio:
Free Jyotish lessons (MP3):
Free Jyotish software (Windows):
Sri Jagannath Centre (SJC) website:

Homam/puja by PVR Narasimha

> ||Namah Shivaya||
> Dear Narsimha ji,
> Could you please enlighten me about his homam and how it can be
> auspicious.
> Many thanks
> Best wishes
> Sharat

From: Narasimha P.V.R. Rao <>
Date: Sep 1, 2007 2:35 PM
Subject: [vedic-wisdom] Re: Navagraha Homam/puja

Dear Sharat,

Graha means grasp/grip or one who grasps/grips. The nine grahas are the nine
celestial bodies that take our consciousness into their grip when the right
times comes (based on certain celestial formulas). They create environments
and situations in our life to create certain states of mind.

For removing obstructions in material and spiritual aspects of life, we
propitiate grahas. If a graha is pleased with our propitiation, it will not
create situations that create a certain state of mind that may be a
hindrance to our material and spiritual progress. To propitiate grahas, one
can read their Veda mantras or kavachas or stotras.

Veda mantras are very powerful. But they work slowly (mainly because most
people do not know these days how to chant/experience them perfectly). Big
counts are needed. When you persist with a Veda mantra, it first removes the
obstacles caused by an aspect of Brahman represented by the deity of the
mantra and eventually creates a perfect understanding of that aspect of
Brahman. All Veda mantras are eventually for a perfect understanding of
various aspects of self only. Sun is the soul. Moon is the mind. Mars is the
energy/initiative/drive within. Mercury is the flexibility, ability to learn
and adapt. Jupiter is the wisdom, discretion and judgment within a person.
Venus is the spirit of being happy. Saturn is the spirit of working hard and
going through austerities. Rahu is the spirit of breaking the barriers,
innovating and reaching for the unknown. Ketu is the spirit of perfect
detachment with everything. Veda mantra of a graha, when chanted for a long
time, removes the obstacles thrown by that planet based on dasa and gochara
and eventually gives a perfect understanding of the aspect of self
represented by the planet (as mentioned above).

Kavachas of grahas, when chanted many times, create an unseen protective
shield around the person. Kavachas can be used for overcoming physical
ailments, health troubles, prayogas etc. Stotras are meant for pure bhakti
maarga. They praise various qualities of a graha. In addition, there are
various beeja mantras also.

* * *

According to Parasara Maharshi who taught "Brihat Paaraasara Horaa
Saastram", the greatest classic on Jyotisha, grahas are Vishnu's avataras.
They comprise of the energies of various incarnations of Vishnu.
Ramachandra's energy is Sun. Krishna's energy is Moon. Nrisimha's energy is
Mars. Buddha's energy is Mercury. Vaamana's energy is Jupiter. Parasu
Raama's energy is Venus. Koorma's energy is Saturn. Varaha's energy is Rahu.
Matsya's energy is Ketu.

* * *

Apart of doing japam with these graha mantras/kavachas/stotras, one can also
do a homam. Homam is always a better avenue than japam and others. In
navagraha homam, you invoke the nine grahas in fire and offer oblations with
their Veda mantras several times. It is also possible to do a homam for just
one graha.

* * *

One word about the efficacy of homam...

Seeing divinity in a solid form such as an idol is shown by earth (bhoo)
element. It is a sureshot way to achieve, but it is extremely slow and one
needs to be very patient. It is difficult to maintain focus for so many
lives in Kali yuga. One can lose one's way in the middle. Seeing divinity in
the water is shown by the water (jala) element. The water element is anyway
predominent in the human body and it is imperfect in Kali yuga. It is quite
tricky to achieve through sadhana shown by the water path in this age.
Seeing divinity in the air we breath is the sadhana form shown by air
(vaayu) element. It is fast, but the air we breath in so corrupt in this age
that this is a very risky path. Though many teach praanaayaama, hatha yoga,
raja yoga etc these days, this path is extremely risky. It is very difficult
to reach the end goal in this path in this age. The path of pure Vedanta,
shown by the aakaasa (ether/space) element may also not be appropriate for
most in this age.

Irrespective of the impurities in the food one eats, the water one drinks
and the air one breathes and irrespective of the impurities in various nadis
in one's system, the fire is always pure and it purifies everything that it
comes in touch with. That is why another name of fire is "paavaka"
(purifier). You just have to expose various parts of your system to fire.
Thus, the sadhana form shown by fire (agni) element is the safest and
quickest in this age for most people. It is quick and safe and purifies one
despite other distractions of Kali and helps one achieve the Ultimate

It is possible to get *some result* in every sadhana. But, if one wants to
make significant progress, homam is the best sadhana. No wonder rishis put a
lot of stress on agni kaaryam (fire ritual). These days, people - even those
who are born in Brahmin families - are afraid to do homam because they think
it is complicated and one may make mistakes. However, a homam done as a
personal sadhana for one's own progress is different from a yaagam that is
done for universal benefits. While the latter is far more elaborate and
strict, the former is much simpler. When performed on a regular basis, it
really purifies one's koshas and nadis.

Regularity is the key. If you eat a big bowl of almonds once every six
months, you will not get enough proteins for the six months from them. On
the other hand, if eat a few almonds *everyday*, that may be a good source
of proteins.

We eat a few times everyday, we drink water a few times everyday; and we
breath many times everyday (and all these activities are constantly pumping
in impurities into our system!). We should also do sadhana also on a regular

Whichever deity one wants to worship, one can worship the deity in fire for
faster results. This applies to Mahaganapathi, Chandi, Shiva, Lakshmi,
Narayana or Grahas.

Best regards,
Homam manual and audio:
Free Jyotish lessons (MP3):
Free Jyotish software (Windows):
Sri Jagannath Centre (SJC) website:

Brihaspati Gayatri, Vishwamitra/Gaathina Rishi Rig Veda 6.62.6