I have been avoiding this issue as there is no sane way to speak about it which does not offend somebody. And being offended is a national pastime now. But it needs saying from a spiritual figure. Since none of the established gurus are doing it I am stepping up. So here goes. May Nataraja preserve me.

If you are a devout Hindu please do NOT say you are a bhakt of the Prime Minister. The word Bhakta is one of the greatest contributions of India’s spiritual culture. It represents an exalted consciousness and a path to mukti – liberation. It does NOT cover being an enthusiastic partisan of a politician. By using it in such a manner you have degraded and denigrated a great spiritual term.

You are NOT a bhakta. You are a partisan or a fan – which is the diminutive of fanatic. You are a chauvinist, after Nicholas Chauvin who adored Napoleon and refused to accept that Waterloo had taken place because – “The Emperor can never be defeated.” The word chauvinist has been ruined because the feminists overused it, but that crowd are all descendants of Bhasmasura so that is not surprising. Whatever they touch they befoul, but in the name of the Sanathana Dharma, why are you lending yourself to such besmirchment of bhakti? Without the spiritual effort needed, the requisite tapasya, you want the title for free?

One of the signature moves of the Breaking India forces is to demean and insult Hindu spiritual concepts as being nonsensiccal and trivial. In using the word bhakt in such a context you have handed them a crushing victory. You have fallen into a ditch they dug for you and the happiest people to see the use of this term will be the likes of Sagarika and her unspeakable husband, or the conversion agenda funded NGOS harridans like Trupti Deai and Teesta Setalvad. Evey sickularist and presstitute must be laughing their heads off every time they see this horrible usage in the mouths of their fiercest enemies.

Now this is not the same thing as picking up a insulting tag and wearing it as a badge of honor. When Hilary called Trump’s people Deplorable they reversed it in one day and made it a rallying cry. They took what was negative and made it a positive source of energy. When the word Bhakt is used in this careless unthinking manner you are taking a transcendental spiritual concept, a state of being that can liberate you, and dragging it through the mud and slime of party politics. That is unacceptable.

When this crowd began to chant “Har Har Modi” in the run up to 2014 it was to his eternal credit that he shut it down instantly. Quite apart from the trivialization of another spiritual chant there is a dangerous power in the phrase that would have devoured him. The chant is raised only in dire circumstances of war and actually it is ‘Hara Hara Mahadeva’ but it releases a certain sort of dangerous Power that is best left dormant unless the situation is critical. Fortunately he angrily instructed that such foolish demonstrations should cease and they did.

It is okay to be an admirer of somebody you think is a great man. When I saw him stand up to Vajpayee in 2002 who was mouthing liberal nonsense of ‘raj dharma’ I loved Modi instantly. I told everybody that this man was the future Prime Minister of India. This at a time when people doubted if he would get one year in the CM seat. Modi was the only success the Hindus had in the days of grahan that was the UPA calamity. So I get it, perhaps much more than most of you who clambered abroad the bandwagon only after his third term began. But your personal admiration does not trump the sanctity of sacred words or sacred concepts. So please stop this. Please cease describing yourselves as Modi bhakts. As Hindus you know better. You can and must do better.

Sarvam Shivamaym!

Sri Guru Rohit Arya is the founder of the Arya Yoga Sangha. He is a yogi of the Kundalini Patanjali streams  of Parampara and a Bhakta of Nataraja.


Ekapada Shiva – an unusual Yogic form


A Shiva with only one foot, replicating a Lingam shape, sometimes with Vishnu and Brahma emerging from him, the Ekapada Shiva is one of the most striking creations of the Yogic aspect of working with forms. It has a Tantric variant also, found in Shakti temples, where he is more Bhairava than Shiva, and which may provide a clue as to the sadhana aspects of such a rupa. For the Yogis used to create devatas in specific rupam for very precise reasons, to help in particular types of transformations of consciousness. It is perhaps not particularly co-incidental that this form of complete stillness is most widely seen in the same areas where Shiva is also known as the Nataraja, the Lord of the Dance.





I am not particularly concerned with the historical development of this rare form. The details can be found here.

My concern is why Shiva Nataraja would be depicted in such a manner. There had to be very good reasons indeed at a time when sectarian abuse of each others devatas was rampant and such a form was so easily open to  perjorative interpretations. Swami Vivekananda was the first modern Hindu to speak up against western psycho-sexual interpretations of the Lingam as a phallus alone – a process the West is still addicted to, ref Wendy Doniger.  He clearly stated that the lingam was the Yupa Stambha, the central pillar present in all yagnas, representative of the Axis Mundi, which in Yogic terms is the spine up which the kundalini travels. The energy body of a high level yogi automatically arranges itself into a lingam shape; it is incredibly stable as a side effect. Such forms are anthropomorphic representations of that yogic insight, rather like the mukha lingams, lingams with faces on them which would be a difficult task if they represented the phallus.




Another form of Shiva also has this lingam like shape and is associated with Brahma and Vishnu. That is the famous Pillar of Fire Shiva, Lingodbhava ,which is an interesting name in itself. The bhava is the sensation, the vibration, the perception, the feeling. The bhava of a lingam is shown in forms that devotion creates.  [while also taking the opportunity to put down the worshippers of Brahama and Vishnu- sectarianism was always a reality.} The Ekapada implies stillness lack of movement, rather like the forms of the Jain tirthankaras, who according to some schools, freeze into these still forms after final attainment, for even the smallest movement is karma and they are free of that taint! The area where the Ekapada is found, South India, Rajasthan Orissa were very much the catchment area of Jainsim too and the theological idea must have been well known to all of them.




There is certainly an aspect of asserting superiority over other sects in this Ekapada form. Or an attempt to assimilate them. Both processes could have gone on simultaneously. But the Tantric shrines where Bhairava is in Ekapada form shows that the process could flow the other way also. . We are told that it originates in the obscure Vedic deity Aja Ekapada which may be true. The yogic sandhana roots seem clear once we read that Aja Ekapada  – The unborn one footed – was almost always associated with Ahi Budhnya – the serpent of the ocean – so much so they were thought to be twin or the same god. This is formless consciousness associated with the creatrix serpent of the kundalini. So the roots are clear for those who know how to see it.




The single form Ekapada {Vishnu and Brahma  attached is also called Tripada} is almost always associated with attendants who are tapasvis, so it is a hard sadhana aspect of Yoga. The unusual rigidity and stillness of the form is also a clue, this is like shambhavi mudra practice, where everything is stilled, every sensation, every external and internal input is stopped, and the experience of inner akasha is allowed. Brahma and Vishnu, creating and ongoing aspects have to be stilled to experience the essence of consciousness that is Shiva. At least that is what arose in my understanding and my samyama on these things is usually pretty accurate. I do not urge this conclusion upon anybody, it is my insight. The yogis of South India used to create rupams all the time and the clues as to the purpose of so doing were always available for those who meditated upon them. I am reasonably sure I am on the right track here!



Sarvam Shivamayam!



Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath, being a writer, a corporate trainer, a mythologist and a vibrant speaker.  He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five European languages} the first book on Tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}. He was the Editor of The Leadership Review, and on the advisory panel of, the first spiritual portal in the country. Currently he is the Director of Pro-Factor, a leadership and change facilitation corporate training outfit. He has been an arts critic and socio-cultural commentator for over two decades. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga. He founded the Arya Yoga Sangha and leads multiple meditation circles each week.


The videos of his talks on various subjects can be found here


His blogs can be accessed here

Sri Aurobindo – the Brahmarishi of Evolutionary Spirituality

aurobindo by Jane

Sri Aurobindo was the most prolific writer-guru (68 published volumes of densely brilliant erudition) that India ever produced – until Rajneesh. And yet, curiously he said and wrote what he had to communicate in just six and a half years  – between August 1914 and January 1921 – and then never wrote a word and almost never spoke for the rest of his very long life. This sort of contradiction was characteristic of the bizarre spiritual drama that was Aurobindo’s life.

To begin with, nobody was less likely to end up as a guru, far less the first Indian guru with a great western following. When he was born in 1872, his England educated physician father had totally swallowed the Raj notion that India was a degenerate nation while Britain was the pinnacle of human glory.

The good doctor then attempted a project that curdles the blood even today to think about. He decided he was going to deracinate his son – he would make his son English to the point of caricature. He began with the name, and it was seven year old Ackroyd Ghose who was sent off England for schooling. The lad had been kept in a weird bubble of induced Englishness, his only language being English and with no notion that he was living in India amongst Indians. He sailed with specific instructions from the doting parent that he was not to make the acquaintance of any Indian or undergo any Indian influence”. He further added, in what would become on of life’s celebrated ironies, that ‘his son learns nothing about any religion whatsoever.’

Dr. Ghose was obviously ignorant of history, for the last time this experiment was tried in India, Prince Siddhartha ended up by becoming the Buddha! In the minds of his followers that is what became of Ackroyd too, the heat and pressure exerted merely becoming a cosmic process to provide the glittering diamond that is Aurobindo.

For a while it seemed that the doctor’s project was succeeding. Ackroyd ended up one of the 20th century’s most overeducated young men. He was the supernova of Forsters’ King’s College at Cambridge pocketing any academic prize he condescended to contest for. He relaxed by composing poetry – in English, Latin and Ancient Greek. Dante and Goethe and Cervantes were read in their original languages as well as any French writer worth the name. This formidable erudition once saved him from arrest as a dangerous revolutionary later in life in India. The old-school tie investigating officer was flabbergasted that this man was reading Homer and Virgil in the original – and to his mind such people could not be conspiring against British rule.

Young Ackroyd went in for the Indian Civil Service exam, then the height of Indian aspiration. However he refused to show up for the mandatory horse-riding test, the customary perch from where the sahibs administered India. It caused unprecedented consternation, and in later years, was seen for what it was – the first rejection of the West by an Indian who was still alien to his people.

The experimental parent died of shock on hearing the mistaken news that his son’s returning ship had sunk. Ackroyd landed in India and, free of parental shackles, set about acquiring Indian ness with the same superb efficiency he displayed in England. Bengali – his mother’s tongue, though never his mother tongue – was first and then Marathi, Hindi, Gujarathi (the languages of courts he served in as royal secretaries) followed. Sanskrit gave him the key to all of India’s religious, cultural and spiritual treasures – and it forever changed his ideas too. He got a job at the court of Baroda which was not onerous; it gave him ample time for spiritual practices. Through in all ways he began to practice up to five hours of pranayama a day! This had significant effects in activating many artistic aspects of his personality, which till then was limited to literature. He began to develop the first of many siddhis also but he was clear that the breaths alone would not suffice in his spiritual goals.

At this stage he met a Maharashtrian Brahmin  named Lele who he recognized had access to a deeper level of consciousness though he was certainly less intelligent and knowledgeable than the student. The instruction was breathtakingly simple. “ As you sit in meditation you will see thoughts trying to enter your mind. Prevent them from doing so and cast them out.” Aurobindo had a deep capacity to obey, which was what made him such a gigantic leader, and he followed what he thought were quixotic instructions without wavering. Within three days he was in deep Samadhi and his attainments were becoming magnificent. He experienced deep Vedantic non-dual states which aroused anxiety in the devotional Lele who felt they were diabolical states of consciousness. Aurobindo refused to degrade his Truth in such a manner and they had a falling out. He was never satisfied with the classical realizations of Yoga and pushed the bounds of Yoga in a manner that had not been done for two millennia. He ended up rejuvenating and raising Yoga, consciously evolving it to meet the new circumstances of the Yuga. This will be unpleasant music to most schools and teachers , but Aurobindo went so far ahead on the yogic path that most of the universe is still playing catch up. But this was still in the future. He had a long row to hoe as yet.

Far from being on the bottom of the heap, India was the only hope for a world gone mad, precisely because India was not like the rest of the world. The British philosopher, Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson would later write in his book On the Civilizations of the East that “The real antithesis is not between East and West, but between India and the rest of the world”. Ackroyd would accept that conclusion, but to him that was a mark of distinction, of honour. Meanwhile, the young Ackroyd had rechristened himself Aurobindo and began a political career that was characteristically brilliant and short-lived like all his other efforts.

Bande Mataram, Jugantar, his newspapers became colossal headaches for the Raj as his editorials were subversive to the point of genius, but sedition could never be proved. Incidentally these editorials served as a sort of blueprint for India’s freedom struggle. Social unity, the cause of the motherland, eradication of untouchability and discrimination against women, non-cooperation, the boycott of foreign goods, national schools to instill national values in education, democratic principles of government – they are all to be found there. His book ‘On Nationalism’, a collection of editorials also foreshadows the belief that social action without spiritual underpinnings is futile – an idea Gandhi used to great effect. Gandhi even offered Aurobindo the leadership of the Congress party and country if he forsook seclusion, but Aurobindo refused to meet Gandhi in a sensational snub that still embarrasses those who know and try to hush it up. Aurobindo’s mass popularity was such any time he so chose, he could have all India follow him in a freedom struggle. However he was on to bigger game.

India’s freedom was assured, or so his spiritual intuition told him. That thus became a side issue, albeit important. What of the freedom of all human souls? And was he, Aurobindo, going to turn away from this challenge for the easier task of freeing India?

The road to this staggering conclusion was paved by the British. Exasperated by this hornet, they shut him up in Alipur jail for a year to await trial. Aurobindo, always the demon of action, plunged wholesale into his Yoga practices and honing up on Indian scripture. In jail he ascended spiritual planes at a rapid clip – and was soon stuck. He had no data, no guides as to how to go forward. He stated that the spirit of  Swami Vivekananda came forward to help him, as there was nobody living who could guide him at his level of attainment. Aurobindo was refreshingly free of the display-humility so prized in India. He knew he was India’s genius, and that was that. (He did however highly esteem Ramakrishna and Vivekananda and never spoke disparagingly of anybody unless provoked) The Alipur jail experience confirmed him in his new vocation, as well as in his new opinion that he had made a grave error in fighting the West with its own tools, its own concepts and its own rules of engagement. In this new philosophy of evolutionary consciousness, even evolutionary Enlightenment that he named Integral Yoga, he discerned that India had a catalytic role to perform. From now on he would fight at a plane India was naturally preeminent – the spiritual.

He moved to the French territory of Pondicherry, like Plato unwilling to let the British sin a second time against philosophy. This was where the torrent of books was let loose, commentaries on every scripture possible, as well as the longest epic poem (and spiritual evolutionary handbook) in English, Savitri. He would begin comparing Valmiki and Vyasa – authors of the two great Indian epics, demonstrate some of the finest literary criticism possible and abruptly break off the project because it was all clear in his mind now and he did not need to put it in words. Incidentally Aurobindo broke the record of P.G. Wodehouse who had the largest writer’s vocabulary in the English language. The previous champion was Shakespeare. He also articulated what i consider to be the greatest sentence in the English language. “All life is Yoga.”
’nuff said.

419930_196670147131304_210116128_n Aurobindo was what was called an automatic writer in his day and what is called a channel today. He was in the grip of a higher force that relentlessly drove him on for up to 10 hours each day, and requiring no revisions at the end. He was demonstrating what it meant to be a seer once again, he saw rather than thought these things. Of his writings the only real way to comprehend their range and original brilliance is to go the texts themselves. They are masterful expositions of the life spiritual and the quality of English is dazzling in a euphemism loving, Net-contracted Esperanto world we live in. While in Pondicherry, he picked up the 4 major languages of South India – and the consequent access to the respective cultures, but this was all par for the course by then. In his writings he was seeking to synthesize all the spiritual ways before him; to be exact to find a ‘third position” synthesis between the thesis -antithesis of India-West.

The philosophy was primarily a Vedantic one, with generous dollops of Yogic practices and the byways of the Tantra, and hanging from a fundamental evolutionary theory which held that man as he now exists is but an ongoing process towards the attainment of the Superman with Super consciousness. He named this ‘Integral Yoga’.

This was dynamite even from an Indian perspective. For one, he openly proclaimed that India had erred in divorcing matter from spirit, and the body got good press for the first time in almost a thousand years. Then he formulated the concept of a supreme Personal-Impersonal God, above and beyond the non-sensory realization of the Absolute or Brahman. This Super God, if you will, was the Purushottamma and he brought in his erudition and the Bhagavad-Gita to validate this Purushottamma. His Essays on the Gita provide further light on this topic as well as his commentaries on the Upanishads.

Then he sprang a further surprise by providing the most brilliant and consistent explanation as to why the Vedas are the supreme scriptures of Hinduism, even if nobody reads them! Rejecting all notions of the Vedas being nature-worshipping hymns by migrating hordes, he laid out The Secret of the Veda in the book of the same name. For the first time in 2000 years an accomplished and practicing mystic was revealing the inner working of a complex spiritual path. Naturally nobody believed him. The shift of ideas required would be too disconcerting and anyway, Western scholars said they were nature hymns, and that, as we all know, should be conclusive. It seems a bit thick that a practicing Spiritual Master is told he is wrong about his own verifiable experiences with his own scripture while academics and scholars know better, but the world is not a very sane place to begin with. Taken all together, Aurobindo’s writings are nothing short of a revolution in India’s philosophy.

404107_10151171868262239_833656121_n But Aurobindo tired of this because he had a new idea to follow. In part he was now free to follow this, because he had a partner to shoulder the burden of spiritual needs for the inevitable community that had sprung round them. This person was Mirra Richard, better known as the Mother, and it is inconceivable today to realize what havoc Aurobindo caused in India when he declared this Frenchwoman a Master and his equal partner in spiritual work. For Indians have always assumed, and most them still do assume, that a Western human can only be a disciple. Mastership is India’s monopoly, the key as to why the land is ‘superior’ to the West, even if miserable in almost everything else. And now a white person was being set up above all the innately spiritual Indians. A few of them never recovered from this depressing comedown and mutterings against the Mother and her Western ways was a constant.

Aurobindo felt free now to take on an ‘experiment’ that was either galactic effrontery or unthinkable bravery. He proposed, as a realized being, to consciously bring about the next transition, or the next stage in human evolution. To direct evolution consciously, even Aurobindo was aware that nobody had ever dared such a thing before. Nevertheless that was his goal now and he pursued it with no distractions and almost no other thought from November 24, 1926 to his death in 1950. He lived in his rooms, rarely visible to the public, speaking almost as little. Fasts for almost a month, sleep deprivation, endless pacing and reportedly endless writings – though these seem to have merged back into the cosmos once they cleared up whatever points he was exploring.

His disciples say that he made possible the descent of the Super consciousness. What is beyond doubt is that he created a new template, a new pathway in the morph genetic fields of spirituality because even today there are spiritual masters in both the West as well as India who say their only work is bringing light-energy to the world. Aurobindo’s ashram also began new trends in conservative India. This little talk I gave in April 2013, on the anniversary of his reaching Pondicherry touches a few interesting points about his myriad contributions.

Women could join, then families and finally schools which imparted the best education. This template too is copied faithfully. The Mother would go on to create Auroville – an attempt to create Utopia based on practical considerations.

 Meanwhile Aurobindo, was being visited by Aldous Huxley and the South American poet Gabriela Mistral nominated him for a Nobel Prize. That last would have been a curious triumph for Ackroyd but it never came to pass.

Aurobindo himself died in 1950. He is revered as a Big Brain, and enough pedestals have been put up to honor him and ensure that reverence circumvents the need to examine his revolutionary thought. Aurobindo, for all that he even wrote the ‘The Foundations of Indian Culture’, is too universal for Indian tastes, too intellectual and active for a bhakti-passive nation. As always he seemed to be ahead of his time. Perhaps another couple of hundred years and some more descent of Consciousness will do the trick.


    samadhi of sri aurobindo and mother

I wrote this in 1999! A few additions have been made. The sketch of Aurobindo is by my friend Jane Adams, artist on The Sacred India Tarot. It has been used all over the Net without attribution! This is the joint samadhi of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo.

 Sarvam Shivamayam!

Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath, being a writer, a corporate trainer, a mythologist and a vibrant speaker.  He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five European languages} the first book on Tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}. He was the Editor of The Leadership Review, and on the advisory panel of, the first spiritual portal in the country. Currently he is the Director of Pro-Factor, a leadership and change facilitation outfit. He has been an arts critic and socio-cultural commentator for over two decades. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga. He leads the Ka Sangha meditation group, as well as The Integral Space meditation circle each week.


Teaching the Sacred India Tarot Oct 6-7 2012

I held a workshop in understanding the Sacred India Tarot and how to use it, not only for readings but also as a spiritual process. The event was held on October 6 and 7, 2012 at the World Trade Center in Mumbai. We had 17 participants – all ladies – so the infusion of Shakti into the pack was dramatic and vast.

Shown above is an altar with the two grace cards of the deck created by my friend Poonam Ahuha who organized the entire event with her typical grace and class. I cannot thank her enough.

We had decks and posters of images from the pack available for sale both days. The Ganapati was a favorite, as was the meditating Shiva.

Day One: I had to declaim a bit as some participants were having their first experience with the Tarot and also, I think, my unique take on Indian culture and spirituality! As a group they were amazingly sincere in their desire to learn and evolve.

Day 1 continues.

Day 2 second half. We had got to doing spreads – this is the Swastika spread created by yours truly! We had the inevitable debate that this is the ‘wrong way’. It is somewhat disconcerting to see how disconnected we have become from our own culture and spiritual practices that most Indians would feel the other anti-clockwise swastika is the ‘right’ one. We do our best to spread light one group at a time….

Looking up advanced meanings of the cards

I have very dramatic body language it would seem…

This looks intense but I think it was some sort of point about neatness in spread layouts as the sygil would be disrupted….

Some point being elucidated

Another Swastika spread…

It was a very high intense energy session, a veritable vortex. Jane Adams who illustrated the Sacred India Tarot says that “Readings, especially in a group, energise the deck tremendously” So much Shakti must have infused the deck. It was a real privilege for me to lead this event.

Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath. He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five languages} the first book on Tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}. He is  a corporate trainer, a mythologist and vibrant speaker as well as an arts critic and cultural commentator for two decades. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga

Rohit Arya on The Path of Opposition to attain Liberation

Yoga, being what the Japanese call sugoi – both awesome and weird at the same time – has explored all possible methods to reach God or attain liberation. The strangest however is to pick a fight with God and get him to kill you! Called the path of Vipareetha Karani – oppositional action – or the Krodha Marga – the Wrath Path –  it is a peculiar wrinkle in the yogic scroll. Yet it is also consistent with Yoga’s central thesis, all paths, all actions lead to liberation if performed with awareness.

The common examples for this strange path do not rouse confidence in being able to repeat such actions. For the teachers usually fall back upon mythology and cite the usual suspects – Jaya and Vijaya. These worthies were the doorkeepers of Vaikunta – Vishnu’s heaven – and one day they offended some Rishis, who are enlightened sages and also have very touchy temperaments judging by all the evidence! Jaya and Vijaya were cursed to be cast out of heaven and be born multiple times in the three worlds. Birth in such worlds means the accumulation of karma and possible devolution of the soul, forgetting God and the true nature of the Self – i.e. become like the rest of us – so this was serious. Upon consulting Vishnu as to the catastrophe which had visited them, He gave them a mitigating  offer. Many lifetimes as good souls devoted to Him, or 3 incarnations as terrible demons, who would be killed each time by Vishnu. Naturally they choose to become demons.

The late Aghori master, Vimalananda  had a theory that there is nothing so fortunate as being cursed by a Rishi. They are Powers who have evolved even beyond the gods, the devas, so being noticed by them, being acted upon by their Shakti, as in a curse, will always end up well for you. In the interim it may seem like a torrid time, but the conclusion proves you have rapidly evolved! This seems to hold good. Jaya and Vijaya kept incarnating as beings who literally ruled the Universe for a time overwhelming the gods! Such power, glory, wealth luxury and success had never been attained by living beings ever before or since. It is a little hard to feel sorry for them. These are aspirational stories at this point of the 21st.

The first round they incarnate as the Asura brothers Hirnayaksha and Hiranyakashipu and have to be taken out by Vishnu in his Varaha{Boar} and Narasimha{Man-Lion} avatars. They completely dominate the universe before their ends. The second round is as the Rakshasha brothers Ravana and Kumbhakarna and this time Rama has to finish them. As usual they rule the universe in unparalleled splendor before the end. The third time they do not get so much power, they are the somewhat nonentities of the Mahabharatha, Shishupala and Dantavakara, who are only unrelated humans under demonic spirit possession, but still rich and powerful Kings until Krishna puts them down.

Given that in each incarnation the Jaya persona tries to steal Vishnu’s spouse – Hiranyaksha spirits away Bhudevi the Earth goddess, Ravana steals Sita who is her incarnation, and not wanting a repeat Krishna runs away with Rukmini before she could be forcibly married to Shishupala – given this scenario, one wonders what the original sin was. Making eyes at the wife of the boss, who just happens to be the support of the Universe, the rishis seemed to know something. I am just saying. It is merely a theory, and more psychologically consistent. The Hiranyakahsipu/Kumbhakarna/Dantavakra who was Vijaya never had this trouble with desire for another man’s wife – in fact he was always famously happily married and after his stint as Prahalada’s father and being torn apart on the Lap of Narasimha, he spent the next incarnation basically in Yogic trance,{mistaken as sleep} as Kumbhakarna, and Dantavakra, we never know why or what, he is just quietly and efficiently killed by Krishna when he tries to assassinate him.

So these are not hopeful stories for mere mortals. Such a path may be apt for supernatural beings but how is it relevant to us? Ramakrishana was the first to say that the anger they had against Vishnu concentrated their awareness upon nothing but him. Even great devotees did not have such single minded unwavering focus upon God! To be remembered is what God wishes and he rewards that, though the nasty acts they performed have to be paid for with a violent death and collapse of their empires. The Sufis hold similar ideas, one famous poem beginning, “I shall learn devotion from Shaitan…” In their myths, God invited the angels to pay respect to Adam after creating him but Iblis or Shaitan, – Satan- refused to do so. The theologians hold it was his pride; he was a being of Fire, while Adam was merely of Earth, a denser, more trapped level of consciousness.

The Sufis say however that he was standing for a deeper principle out of his devotion – one should bow only before God! They even go to the extent of saying that he sustains himself in his exile with the memory of God’s banishing word – “GO!” These are deep waters indeed, but Goethe has his Mephistopheles present himself as,

Ein Teil von jener Kraft,
Die stets das Böse will und stets das Gute schafft.

Part of that power which would
Do evil constantly and constantly does good.

––Mephistopheles, lines 1335–6.

So the Vipareetha Karani seems to be an intuitive understanding of mystics.

The incomparable Ramana also spoke about this ‘God wants your attention’ trope. He began by saying that it is very dangerous to curse or abuse or wish ill upon anybody, but especially spiritual people. If you abuse an enlightened man then any negative residual karma within him attaches itself to you, delighted to have a chance to manifest, instead of withering away! If you wish to gripe and grumble and be harsh then do so with God – he only wants you to be aware of him and the sheer intensity of your communication will be taken note of, not your childish behavior! This is hugely hopeful. It also indicates the unique relationship Hindus have with their gods, you can love them and also abuse them. Fear is practically nonexistent. Tantra has an incredible saying in it – “To worship a God you must become a God.” You must raise your internal energies and consciousness until it vibrates at the exact frequency of the energy being called a deva. Then you are transformed by en-theos, the god within. Of course, self -delusion is a danger. So is derailment because power has come into your hands. But as these stories show, the universe has a mechanism to fix that, it is called Karma. Every living thing in the universe is subject; there is no injustice in the end.

Jaggi Vasudev is a great proponent of ‘Intensity’ and he says it is understandable that for most people being angry is their highest experience of Intensity. Many yogis deliberately cultivate this fiery side of their nature, it transforms the inner systems and leads to liberation. So the point of the Vipareetha Karanai is not to become a cosmic gangster, but to Intensify oneself until the Universe has no choice but to give you what you want. The so-called wrath path, the Krodha Marga is therefore one of Consistent Intensity. Great rishis have terrible tempers as a byproduct of their intensity, but their fundamental nature is compassion. The Golden brothers, {Hiranya means golden}, did spectacular penance, actually Tapasya which means “to raise the internal heat” tapasya  described as being beyond the capabilities of the gods, unprecedented. So too with Ravana and Kumbhakarna.

Ravana is probably the most accomplished person in all mythology; he wrote books on medicine, music and dance, invented the Rudra Veena, was a full Master of Vedic lore, and also wrote the Shiva Tandava Strotram, which may be the most popular devotional hymn ever written for Shiva and is a masterpiece of Yoga, being basically a necklace of bija mantra initiations. The best conclusion to puja for Shiva is supposed to be the recital of the Shiva Tandava Strotram. It is only in India that such things are possible!

Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath. He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five languages} the first book on Tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}. He has also written A Gathering of Gods. He is  a corporate trainer, a mythologist and vibrant speaker as well as an arts critic and cultural commentator. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga

Asking God for things and Manifesting in the light of Matthew 7

‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:’

I love the Bible. It is an astonishing book, being both a spiritual and literary classic. Perhaps there are about six or seven books which are both. I am a Hindu – Integral Yoga – but I love the Bible. You can get absorbed in the language – the King James version only for me, thank you very much –  and the sheer power that flows from it. Yes there are appalling passages in it, but almost all old scriptures suffer from the flaws of their human transmitters. Who cares about the rubbish? When you are a Yogi, your internal energy knows what is enduring truth and what are specific cultural limitations of a previous time.

I am trying at present to manifest a few things so i was looking up the techniques to get off the rust. In one of those by now normal co-incidences I first stumble upon words of The Mother, Mira Alfassa, shakti of Sri Aurobindo, and she stated categorically that you can ask anything you want! There is no question of appropriateness or shame, you want something you ask for it. The Divine may delay, or in some cases refuse, for your spiritual good but there was no sin in asking. Indeed unless you asked, it could not flow towards you! That was the occult rule.

Then I read Paramahamsa Yogananda saying we are all children of the Divine Mother and Father and we have the full right to ask for anything we want! He went to the extent of saying we should harass God as a child does its parents, for we have the right to do so. Again, the advice was to ask with full Power and Intent.  Now this sounded very familiar, this insistence on asking to accomplish, so I dug out my Bible and began flipping thru Matthew and sure enough there in Chapter 7: 7-11 is a comprehensive toolkit on the process of manifestation.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

There you have it, the full process. There is nothing about ‘deserving’ in there, in fact Jesus knows full well most of us do not – ‘being evil’ – but God will give if you ask Him.

This is just about the most fantastic thing ever.

He is saying this after seemingly excluding people –

6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

But that is a yogic perspective. Some aspects of power and spirit are to be communicated only when people are ready. As I am fond of saying{according to my students}, “There are no secrets in Yoga but there is appropriateness.” To get what you desire however comes with no strings on the part of the Divine – you just have to ask. Jesus is a great favorite amongst Yogis for he is spiritual kin to them

29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Yogis care only about personal experience and ability, not theology. If the books match their experience – they usually do – well and good. If not too bad for the books. Yoga is practically unique in all spiritual traditions in acknowledging evolution, of techniques, of Consciousness and it never puts a full stop to possibility. The living words of a Master take precedence over books.

So I am going to make a nuisance of myself asking!

Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath. He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five languages} the first book on Tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}. He has also written A Gathering of Gods. He is  a corporate trainer, a mythologist and vibrant speaker as well as an arts critic and cultural commentator. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga









Sacred India Tarot#Creating the Judgment Card

Jane and I were surprised to realize we went into this with hardly any explanatory context or content and just one visual reference. The Pralaya – Cosmic Dissolution – is a staple of Hindu mythology and yoga but very curiously it is hardly ever represented. That makes this piece of art by Jane very rare and special indeed. The more I look back on this project the more I feel like a Hollow Bamboo – something vast had to manifest into the world and it flowed thru me! i didn’t have the slightest clue! This post also has a Yogic perspective on what pralaya means which I believe has not been articulated before until it flowed thru Yours Truly.  Jane’s inclusion of the Hrim bija mantra was a superb piece of insight.

Correspondence:  Rohit’s Notes – November 2002: 

“This card is going to be tough to depict, as India has no equivalent of the Judgment Day concept.  We also have no cultural imagery of opening graves and trumpets. 

“The best I can think about, is Pralaya the dissolution of the universe, with the Kalki avatar of Vishnu to provide the hopeful impetus for the future, once the upheaval is over.  We need a feel and look of a world in turmoil by water and fire, with one peaceful corner, the South, because that is where Kalki will emerge from. 

“Kalki can be shown as a man with Vishnu’s face holding a sword and riding a white horse.  The feel of Albrecht Durer’s Four Horsement of the Apocalypse is ideal, if it can be managed.”

Visual reference:  Durer’s drawing of the Apocalypse


We cannot find in the archive, any of our correspondence about this card, or writings from Rohit.  So here is his essay on Pralaya in the book accompanying the deck:

The Dwara reveals:  The Judgment is, strictly speaking, Judgment Day – Armageddon, where the forces of decay and evil are routed by the aroused ranks of the spiritual.  In Indian mythogy, the event is called Pralaya, the dissolution.  Vishnu takes his tenth and most powerful avatar, that of Kalki, to preside over this most significant of battles.

This time we live in, is deemed the worst age of man, the dark Kali Yuga.  When it ends, a long time in the future as prophesied, human civilization and culture will have come to a breaking point.  The whole enterprise will either go under in a cataclysm of greed and violence, or Kalki will lead the forces of good to a defensive strike in the cause of the right, and the light.  Where we stand at that pivotal stage in destiny, depends upon our Karmic inclination.  There will be no time to choose when we see Kalki thundering in upon his white horse.  The choice has to be made right now;  in every action we take, in every temptation resisted or pandered to;  in every decent thought we value and stand fast by, rejecting the seductive pull of the comfortable compromise.

For Pralaya takes place more often than people suspect.

According to the sect of the Pashupatas, Siva himself causes Pralaya occasionally to give the poor souls tied to the wheel of Karma, some much needed rest and recuperation!  When the universe manifests again, they revert to their previous Karmic state, and the cycle begins anew.  The endless turning of the Wheel of Fire, with most people merrily creating fresh Karma to bind themselves further to it – even a just God would feel compassion at this harrowing and demoralizing spectacle.

But Pralaya, in a psychological sense, takes place whenever a person is about to achieve the full awakening into Pure Consciousness.  Like the attack of Mara the foe of consciousness, the collective lower aspects of the psyche (described superbly by Eckhart Tolle as the pain-body) launch a final struggle to survive.  The seeker feels he is on a threshold of significance;  just one more determined push, and he could attain.  But first, he must fight a wounded polar bear to cross the threshold!

If you try to individually repress or suppress the eruptions that occur, you are lost.  For memories, desires and habits rise in tsunamis of desperation, as the pain-body battles to survive.

The only solution is to take up the keen sword of Viveka – the faculty of wise discrimination, wielded by Kalki, and sever one’s ego-mind from habitual identification with such muck.  The blast of the Archangel Gabriel’s horn that arouses the quick and the dead, the call to awaken to a new self, a rejuvenation of hope and energy and purpose, is accomplished here by the bija mantra HREEM! – shown pulsating at the base of the chaos.  This is the final stage of the spiritual journey before complete attainment.

As always, consciousness wins the day by refusing to accept anything other than Itself as the underlying principle of value that pervades existence.

The Light in this card, is rebirth of the psyche and personality.  New perspectives, new visions, new values … Value judgments are abandoned, they are correctly seen to be cluttering up life and preventing the blooming of the new.

The Advaita sage Ramesh Balsekar has a pertinent remark about such times:  “Our prayer should be one of gratitude.  We should thank God for our suffering knowing it could have been much worse, like the suffering of millions below the poverty line.”

This is a significant stage of life, a genuine rite of passage;  and nothing that is valuable comes without trouble.

Builders of the Adytum: Tarot Key 20 – a four-dimensional image. The gestures of the woman, child and man, form an L,V,X – meaning Lux or Light.

Jane’s Notes – September 2012

Rohit used a “wounded polar bear” analogy:  in the western deck, the scene is of the arctic, with massed icebergs across the water.  In Kabbalah, the ice is a symbol of frozen water and frozen fire – the inexhaustible potential before it melts and moves into manifestation.  Indeed, the ice is a reservoir, holding the ancient waters as well as the new.

Climate change is suggested:  but the image is multi dimensioned, and holds a layered depth of meaning.

When alpine ice melts and the waters pour down the mountain on a warm morning, there is a tremendous sound and rush and rain, an everywhere AUM:  a let-down reflex.  On the Tree of Life, tarot key 20 is placed on the Mother-Fire-Letter SHIN, (Hod-Malkuth path) which from the sky, touches the root.   It suggests the Promethean gift of fire:  which transforms consciousness.  To this path also belongs the innate song, the sound of the universe, of Siva’s drum, of dancers around the sacred fire.

The Archangel announces God’s Word, which takes root in each sensitive womb or uplifted soul.

The word “Viveka”, wise discrimination, highlights the precision with which all Karmic forces and expressions are balanced, in the cosmic Law.  This is not visible as precision, until we take a step back from our situation and perceive the pattern unfolding around and from it!   Nowhere and in no way are we apart from the Law, except in daydream.   The Judgment weighs, measures through innumerable locations and lifetimes in time and space, the balance:  the trans-formation.   This Tarot Key is ruled by Pluto.

The Archangel’s trumpet sound, addressed to each and every inmost child, changes the particles within.  That same sound blew down the walls of Jericho.  The Karmic tapestry moves from every direction, wave-train across wave, like the waters of the sea in any place.  No linear perspective can adequately comprehend it.


Arcanum 20 – from Jane’s Hermetic deck.  The letter SHIN is a three-pronged flame


Here is something I wrote last week: ON RECONCILIATION.  I earmarked it as Arcanum-20 material.

In the vessel cleaving the sea, the Maggidim in their breath of life, see things silently in full, and let them pass – my valve, the floating gate of my private reconciliations.

Join the community of the watchers and the guardians.   Join hands with the circle – the hands are there every instant.   Stop and remember this and join hands, during the day.   All of us made our personal reconciliations which qualify.   You and I know what these are, and how difficult they were, and still are, sometimes.   We ensphere, we breathe the globe.   We seem to be few, but the soul’s mansions are immense.   Only the tip of the iceberg shows.   The tip of the iceberg is drama and dazzling formations.  The bulk of the berg is vast sub-surface cliff, and it moves peacefully in the sculpting sea:  consciousness, the secret and eternal flow of events.   Sea ice.  See Ice.   See-I-see.

The bulk of the world is far more than the sum of the parts of the tinkling skittles on top.   With the media skittles is a gambling game of statistics.   The skittles they are very little, and their bones are very brittle… like icicles.

Silence … the current and the sense-ship of ever steaming onward, through, with, receive, open endedly … be loved.  This is far deeper than technology.

This isn’t about the Titanic.  The titanic was a party going on unaware, its centenary grabbed the media this year.  There is a titanic partying among hedons, but there is an “end of term awareness” also, which the early twentieth century did not have.  In the early twentieth century, war was still a glorious solution, and soldiers had not lost their ignorance.

History spirals but does not repeat.  The awareness is uncomfortable.   But the atmosphere is changed.

Sacred India Tarot 20 – Pralaya, The Judgment

I felt nervous about current global armaggedons when I painted this card.  It looks like a gigantic clean-up, flushing out every Karmic poison.  Pralaya resonates with Archangels Michael and Gabriel, and the Krishna archetype who reveals the Dharma when humanity is in crisis.  His features and figure here, are those of Vishnu, the Sacred India Tarot Magician.   Krishna, Buddha and others, are avatars of Vishnu the Sustainer.

At first, everything is unbearably polarized.  The Day of Judgment takes place at any time, and on any local scale:  a time of conscious decision, shift, a shifting.  On the one hand there is clarity;  on the other, a demonic agony and disorder is rife.

This painting is positively charged with the seed mantra HRIM, unifying male and female principles.  It is also the primal vibration of the goddess Bhuvaneshwari, Womb of the Universe.

Card 20 includes the Last Trumpet – suggesting to me the Sound which brought our universe into being – the vibration of mantra, bells and sacred dance – primordial rhythm.  This Sound is unifying.

We need to find our own sound/vibration/silence within ourselves, to prevail against chaotic disturbances of mind and media persuasion.

And so, as well as the HRIM mantra, the heart of the Sri Chakra Yantra is born from the night sky, and represents Self responsibility.  Each inmost child of God is ultimately response-able to what he or she will become, in the full picture:  the intimate fusion of our conscious modes, sub-consciously.

The card attempts to portray an emerging Law of equilibrium.  The picture is polarized;  we select our alignment, and thus create our home;  for we live in an era of parallel universes.


The Symbols

from an illustrated manuscript, Nepal c.1760

Siva Shakti Yantra – the heart of the Sri Chakra lattice:  two descending triangles (fem) over one ascending (masc)

“Emergence of the universe from the cosmic waters.  The interlocked triangles symbolize the male and female principles evolving from the primal chaos of elements into the micro-vision of the cosmic man.”

(From The Tantric Way by Ajit Mukerjee)

HRIM seed mantra

“HRIM (pronounced Hreem) is the prime mantra of the Great Goddess and ruler of the worlds, and holds all her creative and healing powers.  HRIM governs over the cosmic magnetic energy and the power of the soul and causal body.  It awakens us at a soul or heart level, connecting us to Divine forces of love and attraction.  HRIM is the mantra of the Divine Maya that destroys the worldly maya.  It has a solar quality to it, but more of a dawn like effect.  It is charming and alluring, yet purifying.  Through it we can control the illusion power of our own minds.

“In Vedic terms, HRIM is a mantra of the Sun, particularly in terms of illumination.  It increases out aspiration and receptivitiy to Divine light, wisdom and truth.  It opens the lotus of the heart to the inner Sun of consciousness.  It is a mantra of the region of heaven or the consciousness space in which all the worlds exist.”

Extract from “Bija Seed Mantras/Mantras – the Power of Sound in Vedic Astrology” copyright Jyotish Ratnaaker


Jane Adams

My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.


Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath. He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five languages} the first book on tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}. He has also written A Gathering of Gods. He is  a corporate trainer, a mythologist and vibrant speaker as well as an arts critic and cultural commentator. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga