Why should one always do Namaskar to elders?

Meaning: When an elderly person arrives, the vital energy of the young person starts rising and when he gets up and does Namaskar, it returns to normal. – Manusmruti 2.120; Mahabharat, Udhyog, Chapter (Section) 38.1, Sr. no. 104, 64-65

Explanation: ‘As the sojourn of the elderly person is gradually towards the southern direction, that is, towards the region of Lord Yama (towards death), his body starts emitting raja and tama frequencies on a high scale. When such an elderly person comes in the vicinity of any younger individual, these frequencies start affecting the younger person. A subtle magnetic field is created between the two. Consequently, the vital energy of the younger person is pulled upward. This way the younger person can suffer due to sudden momentum to his vital energy. When this younger person doesNamaskar to the elderly person, some amount of the Central channel of his Kundalini system is activated and the Sattva component in it starts increasing. Consequently the raja and tama components in him are influenced by the Sattva component and the vital energy comes back to normal state. Hence on arrival of an elderly person, it is customary for the younger individuals to do Namaskar to them.’

Doing Namaskar to elders

Doing Namaskar to elders

When travelling, prior to the commencement of a journey and upon returning, why should one do Namaskar to elders in the family?

‘Namaskar to the elders in the family is one way of surrendering to the God principle in them. When an embodied soul bows in Namaskar to an elder by surrendering to the God principle in him, at that time a sense of compassion is created in his body. This compassion percolates right upto his subtle body. At that time, energy of his mind is activated and in turn activates the five vital energies, which are located at the seat of the Manipur chakra (situated in the Naval region). Transmission of these five vital energies all over the body then awakens the soul energy. With the strength of the soul energy, the Central channel gets activated and converts the expressed energy of spiritual emotion to the unexpressed energy of spiritual emotion. With the help of this unexpressed energy of spiritual emotion, the embodied soul, through the medium of elders, gains the required Deity’s principle from the Universe. For this purpose, while leaving the house on a journey, the embodied soul should do Namaskar to elders and with the strength of Sattva frequencies has to protect himself from distressing frequencies in the atmosphere. Similarly, returning from a journey, one should immediately do Namaskar to elders and awaken the God principle in them, which would disintegrate the raja-tama particles from the air around him, which might have been brought along.  

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What is correct method & science of doing Namaskar to God?


What is the correct way of paying doing Namaskar ?

A. ‘While paying obeisance to God, bring the palms together.
1. The fingers should be held loose (not straight and rigid) while joining the hands or palms.
2. The fingers should be kept close to each other without leaving any space between them.
3. The fingers should be kept away from the thumbs.
4. The inner portion of the palms should not touch each other and there should be some space between them.

Note: The stage of awakening of spiritual emotion (Bhav) is important to the seeker at the primary level. Hence, for awakening spiritual emotion (Bhav), he should keep space in between the joined hands, whereas a seeker who is at the advanced level should refrain from leaving such space in between the palms to awaken the unexpressed spiritual emotion (Bhav).

B. After joining the hands one should bow and bring the head forward.

C. While tilting the headforward, one should place the thumbs at the mid-brow region, i.e. at the point between the eyebrows and try to concentrate on the feet of the Deity.

D. After that, instead of bringing the folded hands down immediately, they should be placed on the mid-chest region for a minute in such way that the wrists touch the chest; then only  should the hands be brought down.

Underlying Science in this action

Subtle picture while offering Namaskar (1)

Subtle picture while offering Namaskar (1)

Subtle picture while offering Namaskar (2)

Subtle picture while offering Namaskar (2)

A. The fingers should not be stiff while bringing the palms together because this will lead to a decrease in Sattva component from the vital and mental sheaths and thus increase the raja component in them. By keeping the fingers relaxed, the subtlest Sattva component will get activated. With the strength of this energy, embodied souls are able to fight powerful distressing energies.

B. In the Namaskar posture, the joined fingers act as an antenna to assimilate the Chaitanya (Divine consciousness) or the Energy transmitted by a Deity. While joining the palms, the fingers must touch each other because leaving space between the fingers will result in accumulation of energy in that space. This energy will be immediately transmitted in various directions;  therefore the seeker’s body will lose the benefit of this potent energy.

C. About the space to be maintained between the palms:

For a seeker at the primary level, it is advisable to leave space between the palms; it is not necessary for a seeker at an advanced level to leave space between the palms.

D. After joining the palms, bow a little. This posture puts pressure on the navel and activates the five vital energies situated there. Activation of these vital energies in the body makes it sensitive to accepting sattvik frequencies. This later awakens the ‘Atma shakti’  (i.e. soul energy of an embodied soul). And later, Bhav is awakened. This enables the body to accept in large measures the Chaitanya emitted by the Deity.

E. Touch the thumbs to the mid-brow region. (Please see images above.) This posture awakens the Bhav of surrender in an embodied soul, and  in turn activates the appropriate subtle frequencies of Deities from the Universe. They enter through the ’Adnya chakra’ (Sixth of the 7 chakras in the Kundalini) of the embodied soul and settle in the space parallel to it at the back interior of the head. In this space the openings to all the three channels converge; namely, the Moon, the Central and the Sun channels. Due to the movement of these subtler frequencies in this space, the Central Channel is activated. Consequently it facilitates the speedy transmission of these frequencies throughout the body, leading to purification of both the gross and subtle bodies at the same time.

F. After doing Namaskar, to completely imbibe the Chaitanya of the Deity (that has entered the hands by now), instead of bringing the folded hands down immediately, place them on the mid-chest region in such a way that the wrists touch the chest.

The ‘Anahat chakra’ is located at the centre of the chest. Akin to the Adnya chakra, the activity of the Anahat chakra is also to absorb the Sattva frequencies. By touching the wrists to the chest, the Anahat chakra is activated and it helps in absorbing more of the Sattva component.

Effect of this Posture

By doing Namaskar in this manner, the Deity’s Chaitanya is absorbed to a greater extent by the body, as compared to other methods of doing Namaskar. This gives maximum distress to negative energies. The negative energies that have manifested in a person are unable to touch their thumbs at the mid-brow region in Namaskar. (The negative energies are subtle. But at times they enter an individual’s body and manifest it. – Editor)’

Q. What is the reason for not wrapping a cloth around the neck while performing circumambulation, doing Namaskar, ritualistic worship, sacrificial fires, chanting and while visiting Guru and deities?

A. When a cloth is wrapped around the neck, it does not activate the Vishuddha chakra (in the throat region) and hence an individual gets less benefit of the Sattva component.

What is the meaning and the benefits of ‘Namaskar’?

There are various ways in which one can do Namaskar. The various mudras or positions and methods along with the intention with which one must do each form of Namaskar are discussed and explained in this series.

Origin and the meaning of the word ‘Namaskar’

The word ‘Namaskar’ is derived from the root ‘namaha’, which means paying obeisance (Namaskar) or salutation. 
 


From Science of Justice – ‘Namaha’ is a physical action expressing that ‘you are superior to me in all qualities and in every way’.

The main objective of doing Namaskar to someone is to derive spiritual as well as worldly benefits.

 

Worldly Benefits

By doing Namaskar to a deity or a Saint, unknowingly their virtues and capabilities are impressed upon our minds. Consequently we start emulating them, thus changing ourselves for the better.

 

Spiritual Benefits

Increase in humility and reduction of ego

While doing Namaskar, when one thinks, ‘You are superior to me; I am the subordinate. I do not know anything, you are omniscient’, only then does it help in reducing the ego and increasing humility.

Enhancement in the spiritual emotion of surrender and gratitude

While doing Namaskar when thoughts like ‘I do not know anything’, ‘You alone get everything done’, ‘Grant me a place at Your Holy Feet’ come to mind, only then does it help in increasing the spiritual emotion of surrender and gratitude.

Gaining the sattva component and faster spiritual progress

a. We receive the highest amount of sattva component from the posture (mudra) of Namaskar.
b. By  doing Namaskar) to Deities or Saints we receive subtle frequencies emitted by them, e.g. frequencies of sattva or Bliss.
c. By doing Namaskar to Deities or Saints we also receive their blessings in a subtle form. This helps in hastening spiritual progress.

Why is shankh blown before start of puja?

Contents


It is important to understand the arrangement of temple room and the importance of it from the view point of spiritual science. Also  the spiritual  significance of various elements in puja such as kalash, lamp, importance of ghee lamp, its effect on the worshipper, the difference between the straight and puffed wicks are given in the Vaidik Hindu Dharma. The science underlying the importance of copper must be also understood.

In this article we shall make you familiar with articles of puja namely, ‘bell (ghanta) and conch (shankh)’ from the standpoint of spiritual science.


1. Importance of conch (shankh) as per scriptures

First of all let us se the importance of shankh. According to our ancient scriptuires that is Puranas, the shankh was originated during the Churning of ocean by the Deities and Lord Vishnu held it in the form of weapon. As per a holy verse which is regularly chanted during the puja ritual it is mentioned that by the command of Lord Vishnu the deities Moon, Sun and Varun are stationed at the base of the shankh, the deity Prajapati on its surface and all the places of pilgrimage like Ganga and Saraswati in its front portion. Yet another speciality of shankh is that the vibrations emanating on blowing it destroys the disease causing germs in the atmosphere. That is the reason it has a important place in Ayurved and medicine.

Let us see a subtle drawing which explains us the importance of shankh.

In this subtle drawing we can see that the yellow coloured circles of chaitanya are being emitted from shankh in the atmosphere. The subtle blue coloured dots depicting devotion are projected like rays in straight line. The pink circles are formed of particles of bliss (anand) and they are constantly active.

The direction of the space within the shankh divides it into two types. When the space is towards your right when you hold the shankh with its tip facing in frontal direction and with the space facing upwards then it is right sided shankh and if the space faces to left then it is a left sided shankh. Generally a left sided shankh is preferred for the puja ritual. Now days so many Shanks of different shapes are available in the market. There are some figured works also on their surface. Thus one gets confused as to how a genuine shankh be identified? The simple test is that without blowing the shankh if you hear pleasant sound when you bring it near to your ear then it is a genuine one.

2. Blowing of shankh in puja ritual

The shankh is used in two ways in a puja ritual. One for blowing before the start of ritual and other for actual puja ritual. The shankh which is used for blowing should not be kept for puja.

Blowing of shankh has special significance in puja ritual. It has been mentioned in ‘Varaha Puran’ that one should not open the door of temple without first blowing the shankh. The left sided shankh is blown before the start of puja or performance of arti. There are three types of frequencies in the atmosphere namely sattva dominant, raja dominant and tama dominant. Among them the raja dominant and tama dominant frequencies generate distressing vibrations. The sattva dominant frequencies get attracted to the place of puja ritual but these frequencies are opposed by the raja and tama dominant frequencies so that they do not reach the place of puja and thus the flow of sattva frequencies is hindered.

When the shankh is blown before the start of puja energy is emitted from the shankh. This energy reduces the strength of distressing frequencies. Besides a protective armour of chaitanya (divine consciousness) is formed around the articles of puja.

There is another benefit too. That is when the shankh is blown the activated energy of Lord Vishnu in the universe gets attracted towards the place of worship which is not only beneficial to the person who is blowing the shankh but also to all those who hear it.

Just as the shankh is blown before the start of puja, it is also blown before an arti. The objective behind this being to sustain the deity’s chaitanya attracted to the place of puja ritual and the pure atmosphere generated because of the sattvik frequencies, for a long period.

2.1 Effect of energy emitted from blowing of shankh

Let us see how the energy is emitted from the blowing of shankh and what exactly happens with the help of a subtle drawing. Here we have to take into consideration the fact that while the vibrations of a subtle drawing are three dimensional we see them in the subtle drawing in a two dimensional form. For example the sphere will appear as a circle. Now let us look at the subtle drawing:

As soon as the shankh is blown the frequencies of divine energy (shakti) are emitted into atmosphere due to sound generated. These energy frequencies are seen in red colour. Along with these energy frequencies yellow circles of chaitanya are also projected in the atmosphere. You can also see the pink particles of Bliss being emitted in the atmosphere. This increases the proportion of shakti (energy), chaitanya and anand in the environment and that is why the negative energies get distressed and run away.

Thus it has become clear to us the importance of blowing shankh during puja ritual. The blowing of shankh makes the atmosphere  holy and pure and conducive for the spiritual practice (sadhana) of the individual. Thus it becomes easier for an individual to receive maximum sattvik frequencies emanating from the deities.

2.2 Correct method of blowing shankh

We have seen that because of blowing of shankh the frequencies consisting rajatama particles are destroyed and at the same time the saviour and destroyer principle of a deity is awakened. Now let us see the correct method of blowing the shankh.

First slightly raise your neck and bend it little backwards and keep the mind focused. Take a deep breath and start to blow with increasing intensity. One should keep in mind that blowing of shankh should be completed in one single breath. When the shankh is blown in this way Sushumna channel of the individual gets activated and it helps in keeping a correct balance of raja and sattva particles related to Tej and Vayu elements. This awakens the saviour and destroyer principle of adeity according to the need.

3. Shankhini

There is another type of shankh which is neither supposed to be blown nor kept in the puja ritual. It is called female shankh or shankhini. Its surface is rough and thorny. It does not emit pleasant sound. Let us now see why a female shankh or shankhini is not used for blowing as per the science of spirituality.

There are several crisscross circles on the inner surface of shankhani. When you blow through it these circles create obstruction in the interrupted flow of sound vibrations. The sound vibrations when generated rub against these circles thereby producing distressing frequencies. These new distressing frequencies further activate the distressing frequncies already present in the atmosphere. Both the vibrations from the shankhani and those from the negative energies present in the atmosphere get attracte towards the place of puja and make the surrounding atmosphere impure. That is the reason shankhani is not used in the usual puja ritual. However the worshippers following the Aghori Vidya (worship to accumulate black energy) use the shankhani for attracting negative energies at the start of their worship.

4. Ritualistic worship of shankh

During puja ritual the shankh is kept in a specific way. The pointed portion is directed toward the deity.

The frequencies of chaitanya and energy emanating from the images of deities get attracted to the pointed portion of shankh. You can also see the blue coloured Lord Krushna principle getting attracted towards shankh which is producing a armour of of Krushnatattva around shankh. The yellow coloured chaitanya is also attracted and spreads inside the shankh. The red coloured frequencies of energy are revolving in the space of shankh in a circular fashion. The frequencies of energy and chaitanya are emitted from the other end of shankh which purifies the atmosphere and thus benefits the worshipper.

When the shankh is kept with its pointed portion towards the deity then the house gets the energy emitted from  the other end in required amount. Now let us know about ritualistic worship of shankh.

A shankh is filled with water prior to actual puja of a deity and following the puja of kalash. Then it is ritualistically worsipped by offerings of sandalwood paste, flowers and Tulsi leaves. After the shankh puja the worshipper sprinkles the water filled in shankh on himself and the articles of puja. The water filled in shankh is considered as pure as water of Ganga river. It is also used for giving holy bath (abhishek) to the deities.

5. Important points to be noted while using a shankh

Now let us now see some useful points about shankh

  • Never use shankh meant for blowing in a puja ritual. They should be separate.
  • Never offer water to the deity by shankh used for blowing.
  • Do not keep two shankhs for worship in a temple room.
  • Never touch the Shiva pindi with shankh during a puja ritual.
  • Never use shankh for giving holy bath to deities Shiva and Sun.

6. The bell

In the ritual of puja deity principles are attracted at the place of worship or in the idol with the help of various methods. The deity principle is then received by the worshipper participating in the puja. The articles used in the puja ritual work as an important medium of attracting the deity principle. That is the reason these articles are worshipped first to activate the divinity in them. Bell is one such an important article.

The bell is used mainly at two places – One which we use in our temple room and the other we see in the temples. First of all let us understand about the bell we use in our temple room. Nowadays we come across articles of puja made up of various metals. They even have different artistic designs on them. As per the science of spirituality the bell should be made from either copper or brass. The carving of images of Garud or Nandi is allowed according to scriptures.

The Sound generated by the bell should be gentle and sweet. In a puja ritual the bell is used during such sub-rituals as waving Frankincense (dhoop) and Lamp as well as while performing arti for creating gentle sound. In a puja ritual what is the importance of sound and what happens on spiritual level can be understood by looking at a subtle drawing. The subtle drawing means a drawing which tells us about the subtle process which is going on at spiritual level about whatever we see with the gross eyes about an object or action.

6.1 Effect of energy emitted from the bell

Let us now see how the energy is emitted from the bell and what exactly happens with the help of a subtle drawing.

The dome shaped body of the bell and the clapper when strike with each other create circles of chaitanya which are projected in the atmosphere. The sound generated simultaneously also emits frequencies of chaitanya predominant in Akash tattva (absolute ether element). We can see them in yellow colour. The stroke of clapper emits red coloured divine energy rays. The particles of divine energy which spread in the atmosphere and are of red colour are also seen here. The divine energy and chaitanya generated by the sound of bell drives away the negative energies.

During a puja ritual as mentioned in scriptures when we do puja of bell as an initial part of puja, the bell is gently rang and following holy verse is recited,

आगमार्थंतुदेवानां गमनार्थंतुराक्षसाम्‌ ।।

The purport being, ‘I am ringing this bell to invoke Deities and to drive away demons.’

7. Difference in sound vibrations of bell and shankh

Now you must have understood the importance of bell and ringing of bell. It must also have been clear that the purport of the holy verse and the knowledge obtained through the medium of subtle drawing match with each other.

One point is clear from the information we have got up till now that sound vibrations are created in every puja ritual with the help of two articles namely shankh and bell. Sound vibrations produced by shankh is called Shankhanad while that of bell is known as Ghantanad.

The common property of both of them is they purify the atmosphere. The only difference is that while the sound vibrations from bell purify the atmosphere in the downward direction while that emanating from shankh purify the frequencies active in the upward direction. Hence both of them are very important in a puja ritual.

Why ‘Namaskar’ and not a ‘hand shake’?

Why ‘Namaskar’ and not a ‘hand shake’?

While visiting places of worship and viewing the Deities or after meeting a elderly or a respected person our hands are automatically joined together in Namaskar. Namaskar is a sattva predominant impression on the Hindu mind, an action that maintains the rich heritage of Hindu culture. Namaskar is a simple and beautiful act of expression of divine qualities like devotion, love, respect and humility that endows one with Divine energy.

Nowadays, perhaps due to ignorance about the Science of Spirituality or the increasing influence of the western culture, many people shake hands.

Why is it not appropriate to shake hands?

Avoid a Hand Shake: It tranfers undesirable raja-tama components!

Avoid a Hand Shake: It tranfers undesirable raja-tama components!

In short, in a handshake, the raja-tama components in one person will get transferred to the other person, thereby lowering his sattvikta (Purity levels). While practicing Spirituality, our objective is to perform acts which increase our sattvikta.

If at all they do Namaskar by joining their palms, it is done just as a formality. As the act is not based on faith, the benefit derived from it is minimal. Along with faith it is essential that every religious act be correctly performed according to the Science of Spirituality, so that it gives complete benefit. In this series, as with the others,  along with information on various methods of doing Namaskar, the Science in them is also explained. Understanding the Science will help in strengthening faith in the act. Such an act correctly performed with faith, will yield corresponding benefits.

Mistakes made while doing Namaskar counter its benefit. Hence incorrect acts that need to be avoided while doing Namaskar are also mentioned in this series, with the scientific explanation. Similarly, guidance has been provided on who not to do Namaskar to. We make this prayer at the Lotus Feet of Sri Guru – ‘Let all imbibe the methods of doing Namaskar mentioned here and hand them on to the future generations.’ – Editor

Q. How does one do Namaskar to an individual of the same age group?

Doing Namaskar to each other

Doing Namaskar to each other

A. When meeting someone of the same age-groupdo Namaskar by joining the fingers and placing tips of the thumbs on the Anahat chakra (at the centre of the chest). This type of Namaskarincreases the spiritual emotion of humility in the embodied soul. Sattva frequencies from the universe are attracted by the fingers (which act as an antenna) and are then transmitted to the entire body through the thumbs which have awakened the Anahat chakra. This activates the soul energy of the embodied soul. In addition, by doing Namaskar in this manner to each other, frequencies of blessings are also transmitted.