What is the correct method of doing Namaskar to Saints?


Do’s: Correct method of doing Namaskar by placing the head on the Lotus feet of Saints

1. The portion of head, which should be placed at the feet :

We can imbibe maximum Chaitanya through the Brahmarandhra (the seventh chakra of the Kundalini system located in the crown of our head). Since it (Brahmarandhra) cannot be placed at a Saints’s feet, the part of head beginning above the forehead is to be placed at the feet of Saints. Due to this, maximum Chaitanya emanating from Their feet can enter into the one doing Namaskar.

2. The exact spot to place one’s head on a Saint’s feet:

The big toes of Saints emit maximum Chaitanya; hence we should place our head on the big toe, than on their foot. If we are in a position to touch both the toes, then place the head on the right big toe.

3. The position of hands when placing the head on a Saint’s feet:

a. Some interlock their hands behind their backs at the waist and do Namaskar. If we are in a position to touch both their toes, then we should place the hands one on each foot and the head should be placed on the big toe of the right foot. If we are in a position to touch one of Their toes, then place both the hands on it and keep the head on the big toe.

b. Some doNamaskar by placing hands on the ground. This is also wrong because if the hands are placed on the ground then the Chaitanya emanating from the Saint’s feet are absorbed by one and then returns to the earth through the hands of the one doing Namaskar. Thus the person does not benefit from it.

c. Some cross their hands and place them on the feet of Saints, that is, their right hand on the right foot of the Saint and their left hand on the left foot of the Saint while doingNamaskar. This is a crude imitation of the manner in which Christians place their crossed hands on their chest. Instead, our right hand should be placed on the left foot of the Saint and our left hand on the right foot of the Saint. This is convenient also. However, if a Guru has started some procedure in a particular sect, then the hands are to be placed in that manner only.

d. The hands are to be positioned in such a way that the palms are placed on the feet..

Don’ts: Incorrect methods of placing the head on a Saint’s feet and its effect

1. Some place their nose on a Saint’s feet. Due to this they receive less  Chaitanya emitting from the feet.

2. Some rub their nose on a Saint’s feet. This stops the flow of Chaitanya coming towards us.

3. Some do Namaskar by placing their forehead, nose and lips respectively on a Saint’s feet. Very little Chaitanya can be imbibed by doing this.

4. Some kiss a Saint’s feet. This is an imitation of Christians who kiss the hand of their priests. One can imbibe very little Chaitanya through the lips.

5. Some place their head first on one foot and then on the other. There is no need to do this as placing it on any one foot is convenient and adequate.

How to do Namaskar to the wooden footwear (paduka) of Saints?


Namaskar to the wooden footwear (paduka) of Saints

Namaskar to the wooden footwear (paduka) of Saints

‘The left paduka symbolises Lord Shiva and the right symbolises Divine Energy. The left paduka is the unmanifest saviour energy and the right is the unmanifest destroyer energy of the Supreme God. The saviour or destroyer energy of the Supreme God emanates from the ‘pegs’ of the paduka as per the need. When we do Namaskar by placing our head on the ‘pegs’ of the paduka, some may experience distress due to the inability to tolerate the manifest energy emitting from it. Hence, while doing Namaskar to the paduka, instead of the pegs, place the head on the foremost part i.e. the place where the Saints place their toes.’ 

Spiritual experiences upon paying Obeisance (Namaskar) by placing the head on a Saint’s feet

From the examples given here it will be clear how one gets spiritual experiences by doing Namaskar in the correct manner as described in the article above.

A. By placing the head at the feet of the Saint, the mind became thoughtless and I felt He belongs to us: Once,  I attended a Bhandara of the Saint(also addressed as Baba). When I met Him, I placed my head on His feet. At that time I suddenly lost my bearings – who am I or where am I etc. After  doing Namaskar we were taken to some other place to keep our luggage. I went to off load my luggage but realised that since I was in an altered state of consciousness I had forgotten all my bags at Baba’s place. In the very first meeting with Baba, I had started feeling as if He belonged to us and I belonged to Him. – Sadhak.

(The seeker benefited from purification of her ‘mental’ sheath through the help of Chaitanya emitted from the Saint’s feet. Creation of thoughts or wishes is the work of the ‘mental’ sheath. Due to purification of the mental sheath, the creation of thoughts or wishes ceased for some time. This means that the seeker attained the thoughtless state. – Editor)

B. The tiredness due to satseva (service unto God) vanished after placing the head at the feet of the Saint: In 1995 there were ‘Amrut Mahotsav’ celebrations of the Saint. In preparation for this celebration many months in advance, many seekers worked hard and stayed up late nights. While at that place, I had an opportunity to render satseva. While leaving from that place, we had an opportunity to visit the Saint. During those days I was running a high fever. While placing my head on Baba’s(the Saint) feet, I felt like sleeping there in that position. When I got up after doing Namaskar I felt very fresh and all my tiredness and fever vanished. – Sadhak.

(The energy of Chaitanya emitted from the Saints’ feet helps in purification of the vital body, which leads to an increase in vital energy. Hence, the seeker’s tiredness was reduced and he felt energetic. – Editor)



How should a Husband and Wife do Namaskar together?


1. Spiritual significance of Marriage

Marriage means uniting two principles; i.e. the principles of Lord Shiva in the form of the husband and the principle of Goddess Parvati as His wife. Lord Shiva represents the Will for an action and Goddess Parvati represents Divine energy. For a successful completion of any action both aspects are required, i.e. the Will for the action and the energy to actually perform it. The Will in the form of Lord Shiva is unmanifest, but it comes alive when it is charged with Divine Energy, which manifests bringing the action to completion.

2. Why do Namaskar together to elders after marriage?

After marriage both the embodied souls enter the householders stage. It is very important to obtain the blessings of the elders jointly to perform various activities in life in this stage; when the couple is complementary to each other. Thus doing Namaskar together leads to the activation of frequencies of Lord Shiva and Divine Energy from the Universe, which also help in developing humility in the embodied souls. It results in the fulfilment of every deed in the householder stage and yields desired fruit, leading to a minimal give and take account being generated. That is why after marriage, a couple is required to perform every action together, complying with each other even in a deed like paying Obeisance (Namaskar). If a husband and wife have more than 50 percent spiritual level or spiritual emotion towards God then, their doing Namaskar together or individually or even mentally will bear the same fruit. That is why, instead of the actual deed, the actual spiritual emotion towards God while performing a deed has extraordinary importance. (Namaskar can be paid individually too, if the partner is not available. – Editor)

3. On which side of her husband should the wife be while doing Namaskar?

While performing any act the wife should stand to the right of her husband. The husband represents the ‘Moon’ channel. The wife is considered to be the other half of her husband and represents the ‘Sun’ channel. The Sun channel is symbolic of the manifest functional Divine Energy of the Adishakti, which is the provider of energy to any action. The Moon channel, indicative of the God principle, is symbolic of Lord Shiva who actually functions on the strength of the energy provided by the Adishakti. As the Divine Energy of Lord Shiva, the wife should stand to the right of her husband and support him in every action. In every ritual the wife without performing any actual act, provides him with the ‘Energy for Action’ of Goddess Durga which is required for a ritual, by placing four fingers of her right hand on his right arm. This is why the act performed by the host and his wife by virtue of being complimented by Lord Shiva and Divine Energy bear fruit in a short period.

4. Why should a married woman bow thrice to the elders?

A married woman symbolises the hidden energy of the unmanifest Adimaya in its unmanifest stage. She is the one who is a manifest form of Adishakti, one who achieves non-duality from the duality prevailing in the Maya (Great Illusion). When we perform any action thrice or pronounce anything thrice, God’s resolve becomes operational at the three levels of Will, Action and Knowledge. This results in the completion of a task. A married woman has the seed of Adimaya and Adishakti in a dormant stage. When she bows thrice, raja component gets activated and along with the manifestation of the spiritual emotion of humility within her, the Godliness in the elderly person is also activated. This Godliness provides her with manifest energy to perform a task. This energy in turn activates her ‘soul’ energy and provides momentum to her willful actions and with the strength of Adimaya, she takes her family to a higher level. Since her husband receives the benefit of raja component of Chaitanya emitting from her, he too can actually work in the form of Lord Shiva in the midst of Maya.’

Introduction: How to Offer an Arti

Introduction: How to Offer an Arti

Introduction: How to Offer an Arti

Various Saints and evolved devotees have composed devotional Artis (hymns in praise of the Lord) from approximately the twelfth century onwards. They are thereby making available a beautiful and easy medium to light the lamp of devotion in the hearts of worshippers and enable them to invoke and imbibe the grace and blessings of a Deity by offering Arti. Singing an Arti conceived with the resolve of Saints accomplishes these objectives, but only when it is sung from the heart and as per the science of Spirituality.

An act is done with the heart only when its importance is genuinely understood. Explaining the science or principles in such things helps in early imprinting of its importance on the mind. With this objective, the science of Spirituality explains the various acts to be performed while offering Arti. In worship it is very important to perform each act as per the science of Spirituality. Many are not aware of various facts; for example, while offering Arti to God, one can move the platter in a clock-wise circle from the anahat chakra (at the heart area) to the adnya chakra (mid-brow region) of the Deity or that one must perform circumambulation after Arti. If these facts are not known they will not be performed or will be performed incorrectly. In this special issue on Arti, one will understand how to perform all the actions pertaining to Arti as per the science of Spirituality. If every one tries to perform the Arti with intense yearning and as per the science of Spirituality, then it will lead to an increase in collective spiritual emotion which will further activate the Deity’s principle and everyone will benefit from it. Similarly, the atmosphere will get purified and become Sattva predominant.

We pray at the holy feet of the Guru that may everyone understand and perform Arti in accordance with the science and experience an increased awakening of their spiritual emotion. – Editor

What is importance of offering Arti? Apt for the Kaliyug

What is importance of offering Arti? Apt for the Kaliyug

What is importance of offering Arti? Apt for the Kaliyug

In the Era of Strife, (Kaliyug), man doubts the very existence of God. In such a spiritual climate, offering Arti has been designed as an easy means for man to be able to realise God. Offering Arti means calling out to God with intense yearning. If a human being calls out to a Deity through the medium of the Arti then he is granted either a vision of God in the form of light or of the Deities’ form.

Deity is appeased

The hymns in an Arti which are in praise of the Deities, also entail an earnest prayer made unto God to win His grace. The Deities and God who bestows grace, are pleased with the praises and worship of the one who offers Arti.

Composers of the Arti

Most of the Artis have been composed by Saints and evolved devotees. An Arti contains both the resolve and blessings of the spiritually evolved. Thus, a seeker benefits at the material and spiritual level due to the benefit accrued through Their ‘Energy of Resolve’.

Activation of spiritual emotion

According to the Path of Devotion it is very essential that the follower develops devotion and spiritual emotion towards God sooner rather than later. In the primary stages it is difficult to develop spiritual emotion unto the formless, that is, the unmanifest principle of God. However, a seeker feels close to God with a form which has attributes and a human appearance. He is able to develop spiritual emotion unto Him faster. Arti is an easy medium of worship to the manifest form of God. The subtle form of the words sung in the Arti softly touch the idol or the picture of the Deity placed in front and return to those listening to or singing to it. This affects the worshippers subtle bodies. The words in the Arti transmit the Sattva component accompanying them to the subtle bodies of the worshippers. Consequently one who sings the Arti feels light. The spiritual emotion of the worshippers is awakened due to the activation of the sushumna nadi (central channel) by the words in the Arti .’

Strengthening of faith

As the seeker’s spiritual emotion for the Deity he worships is awakened during Arti, he gains a spiritual experience. This helps in further strengthening his faith in the Deity he worships.

Deity’s principle is more active during Arti

As the principle of the Deity is more functional during Arti, a seeker derives more benefit from the energy and Chaitanya (Divine consciousness) of the Deity. That is why our presence in the temple during the offering of Arti is more beneficial than our presence there at any other time.

Singing the Arti accompanied by Musical Instruments

A bell should be sounded melodiously in an even rhythm. Rhythmic accompaniment of musical instruments like the cymbals, harmonium and Tabla (an Indian drum) etc should be there. Accompaniment of these musical instruments enhances the bhav and makes the Arti more effective.

1. The bell

Pooja Bell

The bell used in ritualistic worship should be sounded only when singing the Arti. The sound of the bell should be melodiously and evenly maintained throughout the Arti. The frequencies of Deities in the Universe, attracted to the Arti move constantly towards the devotee because of the frequencies in the energy of the sound transmitted by the bell. Due to this energy, the Sattva predominant frequencies transmitted by Deities are converted into subtle waves. Since these vibrations are most subtle, their effect on the environment lasts longer. The energy created by the Arti is bound in these vibrations. Hence, the subtle sound of the Arti transmitted by these waves can be heard even after the Arti is over.

The following aspects of the Arti awaken bhav in the worshipper:

1. The shabdabrahma (the Brahma in the words), arising out of the singing of Arti
2. The aksharbrahma (the Brahma in the alphabets), woven in the shabdabrahma
3. The taalbrahma (the Brahma in the rhythm), hidden in the sound of cymbals
4. The naadbrahma (the Brahma in the sound) arising out of the bell.

Hence, during singing of an Arti, the embodied soul (or the worshipper) can derive highest level of spiritual experience. (Divine knowledge received through the medium of a seeker)

2. Cymbals

The sound created by the cymbals generates identical rhythmic subtle sound frequencies all over in the environment. These frequencies activate the Sushumnanadi in the body of the one singing an Arti or devotional songs. These subtle frequencies attract the principles of the Deities and their sattva component towards them and transmit them into the environment and to the embodied souls, through the sound. In this way, cymbals attract the ultra-subtle frequencies of Deities through its sound and transform them into subtle frequencies. The embodied soul is able to conveniently imbibe these frequencies. As cymbals function to a greater extent in the ‘saviour’ form, sounding them activates the sattvik bhav. (Divine knowledge received through the medium of a seeker)

Why Arti platter should be waved in a full circle?

Q. On waving the Arti platter in front of a Deity Why should an Arti platter be waved in a full circle in front of the Deity?

A. When offering Arti, using a lamp with five wicks (also called pancharti), the platter containing this lit lamp should be waved in a full circle in front of the Deity. This results in a speedy circular movement of sattva frequencies emitted by the flame of the lamp. These sattva frequencies then get converted gradually into raja frequencies. They appear like ripples in the water. A suraksha kavach (protective armour) of these frequencies is formed around the embodied soul of the worshipper offering the Arti and is known as a ‘tarang kavach‘ (lit. ‘ripple armour’). The more the spiritual emotion of the worshipper offering the Arti, longer this armour lasts. As his sattva component is enhanced, he is able to absorb more Divine frequencies from the Universe. This increases his spiritual emotion and he perceives the reflection of his soul in the form of a blue spot of light (also known as Atmabindu) in front of him and a ripple of raja frequencies emanating from this Atmabindu.

Q. Why should the Arti platter be waved in a clockwise direction in front of the Deity?

A. As the earth moves in the clockwise direction, the frequencies in the environment do not offer any resistance to the movement of the lit lamp.

Q. Why should the Arti platter not be waved above the head of the Deity?

A. The Arti platter should not be waved above the head of the Deity, but should be moved from the Anahat to the Adnya Chakra of the Deity. Due to the influence of the raja frequencies emanating from the Arti, friction develops with the sattva particles in the serene frequencies related to the unmanifest Divine principle (emitted from the head of the Deity). As a result, they can disintegrate before being transmitted. That is why the Arti platter should not be waved above the head of the Deity. Thus, the high-speed frequencies emitted from the Adnya chakra and which are related to the attributes of the Deity get complemented by the raja frequencies emanating from the lamp of the Arti. This enables them to be transmitted effectively in the environment forming a protective armour around the worshippers and destroying the raja-tama in the environment.

Should we clap during an Arti?

Singing the Arti should be accompanied by clapping. For seekers in the primary stage clapping should be done softly to maintain a rhythm. For those in the advanced stage, instead of clapping, one should attempt to look inward and become introverted. When singing the Arti, in addition to the clapping, musical instruments should be played.

It is incorrect to clap on occasions other than during the singing of Artis, as it brings about a stance that does not enhance the purity element within. Nowadays people clap during a discourse of Saints, at spiritual meetings or at religious functions; this is prevalent, but incorrect. Bliss should never be expressed by clapping; because due to the mudra (posture) created by this, the Surya-nadi (Sun Channel) in the human body is activated. The Surya-nadi in the body is known as ‘tamogun-vardhini‘ (one which increases the Tamogun in us). The Moon channel in the body is known as ‘rajogun-vardhini‘ as activation of this channel increases the influence of raja component in the body. The Sushumnanadi (central channel) is known as ‘sattvagun-vardhini‘, as activation of this channel increases the influence of sattva component in the body. That is why the Sushumnanadi is beneficial for the practice of Spirituality. The mudra created while clapping causes the activation of the Surya-nadi in the body and there is an increase in the tama component in the body, thus reducing the proportion of sattva component. Hence clapping is against the tenets of Sanatan Dharma, which teaches us how to acquire the sattva component.

Even though clapping increases the tama component, how it is useful in aiding the Arti is explained ahead.

Why should a seeker in the primary stage clap while singing an Arti?

During singing of an Arti one should clap gently to maintain a rhythm. According to the science of Spirituality the reason for this is as follows: We appeal to the Deity via the medium of the Arti. The frequencies of sound generated by singing the Arti have the capacity to appease the Deity. When we restrict the sound of the Arti to a taal (rhythm) by clapping, the frequencies of sound created by the Arti become melodious. Thus we can activate the Deity and Its principle then begins to function. As the bhav of the devotee is awakened during the Arti, the sattva component in his body is already high. As his Sushumnanadi is activated at that time, the clapping does not have much effect on his body. (Divine knowledge received through the medium of a seeker)
When singing an Arti, besides clapping, musical instruments should be played, as it will help in awakening bhav in a seeker in the primary stage of spiritual practice. At this stage the seeker’s attitude is extroverted. But, as the goal of a seeker is to achieve introversion, to attain the next stage in his progress he should concentrate on becoming introverted rather than clapping or playing musical instruments during the Arti. Once introversion occurs, the seeker does not need to even utter the gross words in the Arti, as the Bliss he experiences is beyond words and is superior.