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Tantric Practices and Timings

From: "Dayananda Bhagat" To: Subject: Tantric Practices and Timings Date: Tue, 15 Dec 2009 07:01:29 +0530 Baba "Prabhu, tumi a'sabe ja'ni a'ma'r maner madhuvane..." (P.S. 4301) Purport: O' Prabhu, You will come in my madhuvan*-- this feeling I have in my heart. My heart feels that we will see each other in my mental madhuvan. I am preparing and cleaning my mind for You with the help of shravan, manan, and niddhidhyasana, secretly so no one else will know. By Your grace I am go on practicing meditation on 8 and 9** cakras. Baba, in the temple of this body where You are keeping me, I always keep it clean, decorated, and I maintain it properly so that anytime You can come. I clean my body with the help of 16 points, asana, pranayama and by making it as You want. So that this body will be useful in Your love and in Your service. Baba on this earth only You and I are there-- everyone else has gotten lost into You. By Your grace when I feel close to You then this feeling comes in my mind that in this entire world only You and I are present, no one else.*** Baba, everything is within You and the things which You have created, that will be the medium to please You-- to do Your puja. This thing my conscience and proper intellect feels and says. Baba, please come in my mental madhuvan... *Madhuvan= Literally meaning "sweet forest"; That remote, isolated, garden filled with spring blossoms, sweet fragrance, with a gentle & fragrant breeze blowing, which is surrounded by flowers, where nobody is present except the devotee and the Lord, and there they sit in that very divinely intoxicated atmosphere and share the loving feeling of their heart in a very close, intimate, and loving way. **9 cakras= muladhara, svadisthan, manipur, anahata, vishuddha, lalana', ajina, sahasra'ra & Guru cakra. *** This is the state when mind reaches beyond the shuddhis.
Namaskar, Our AM is the spiritual path. Accordingly Baba gives huge emphasis on the importance of sadhana. Baba says, "Human life is for spiritual sadhana only. There is not, there cannot be, any other motive; there cannot be any other intention; there cannot be any other desideratum." (AV 23, p. 112)
Doing sadhana on the night of amavasya (nil moon) is one special way for gaining more and more momentum in the spiritual field. And amavasya is not only beneficial for avadhutas, but it is a very significant and useful night for everyone to practice sadhana. And this sadhana can be our standard sahaja sadhana, or kapalik, or vishesh, or any dharmic variety. But the central idea is thinking about Parama Purusa, chanting His name, and ideating on Him. This ideation on amavasya nights has more meaning. Usually in all 24hrs, anytime if one gets opportunity one should practice sadhana; that is good. But at the same time Baba says that the best time to do sadhana is midnight and up to 3 hours after that. Because during that time the pineal gland becomes active and more receptive to spiritual vibration. In short, the practice of sadhana can be intensified and very beneficial. This thing Baba has revealed in 1990 Diipavali discourse, which is printed in AV-24.
But figuring out when midnight is, that is not very easy to decide. By loose thinking people follow that 00 hrs is midnight. But now in this materialistic era, 00 hrs is tainted by the politics of various countries. So this makes it quite misleading for the purpose of deciding midnight. If we accept that political 00 hrs is midnight then to believe that will be dogmatic. To make it more clear then please read as follows. These days in any country it is not easy to decide what is 12am-3 am, or midnight. One main reason behind this is that in various countries, the time zones change or are drawn according to the political cause. Strictly speaking though, if you say midnight it should mean the central point between sunset and sunrise. But in most of the countries it is not like that. Rather, for their various mundane conveniences etc, the governments change the time.
Now the question becomes, when any government changes the time / time zone, then accordingly should our midnight or kapalik sadhana timing also get changed? Truly speaking, our spiritual practice and midnight etc have nothing to do with politics and political maneuvers. So it is the duty of tantrikas and sadhakas to decide and find out what is the central point of sunset and sunrise. And one should treat that very time as 12am / midnight. But in various countries for their political reasons or business interests, many countries change the clocks to meet their desired ends. In that way their clocks no longer represent the proper time. And in not 1 or 2 but in most countries it is like this. For example in the USA, the government changes the time by advancing the clock. This happens for more than half the year during the warmer months. Around April or so by the direction of the government the entire country pushes the clock ahead 1 hour. And it stays like that until Oct / Nov month. So that whole six month+ period the clock time is 1 hour off. So in USA, only winter time represents the correct time, in basic sense. And summer time is improper, always it is one hour ahead. To follow the proper time for sadhana during those summer months, then one must begin or start counting their "midnight" sadhana at 1am-- not any earlier than that.
And in addition the US is broken up into 4 distinct time zones. Each zone differs by 1 hour-going from east to west. So by common look some people may be thinking that this is the most advanced way to do. But even then various discrepancies are there. For instance,. suppose you are in the state of Indiana, then the time is 12:00am midnight But then if you drive just a few minutes south into western Kentucky then the time is 11:00pm. By this way one can see that within the distance of just short drive, the time has changed 1 hour. And the border of each and every time zone has such inconsistencies. So such things are not to be followed by sadhakas. Because if are in Indiana and it is 12:30am then you will think that already you are half an hour late for sadhana. But if you drive just s few miles then you will say that no time was lost because suddenly it became 11:30pm in which case sadhana preparation is going on because it is still 30 minutes before midnight . So all this is just technical and political differences, nothing more. Because, just see, in the state of Alaska that in itself used to have 4 time zones and then they decided that was too difficult to deal with so it became just one time zone. So the sense is that even in materially developed lands these times zones are not at all perfect measurements of time. Next example: If you are in central Idaho and if you go 100 yards north into the panhandle of Idaho then in there is a 1 hr time difference. But it does not mean that if any avadhuta misses their sadhana and it became 3am and then they can cross the imaginary line and think that now I can do my sadhana. So those are some of the various points discrepancy of a country with multiple time zones. This I learned during my visit there.
In contrast here in the entire India there is only 1 time zone, but the country is large. If anyone is living in Tripura / Nagaland (far eastern India), then sunset happens by 6pm and then the person who is living in Dwaraka in Gujurat (western India), for them the sun will set by 8pm. Then in Tripura morning approaches by 4am and in Dwaraka it will come by 6am. So in Dwaraka after midnight one has 6 hours time up to dawn. And in Tripura only 4 hrs time is there until sunrise. So all around all sorts of discrepancies and odd timings are there.
But according to the calculation of tantrik system one should understand and find out what is central point of sunset and sunrise of that particular place. And one should treat that time as 12am or midnight. And from there one should count 12am to 3am. When Baba has emphasized the importance of 12am-3am, the first prahar, as the best for tantric sadhana. And we know that sadhana is related with spirituality, and is beyond the reach of country politics. So what way political leaders and map makers change their time let them do. But tantrikas should decide with their common sense about midnight and utilise that time. But those who are not thinking carefully they just blindly depend on the country / government time and ultimately they are loser. Because 12am is the critical time for tantrik sadhana when that 12am is just the centre of the night. But if according to the political maneuver the time is 1/2 hr, or 1 hr, or 2 hrs before or after, and if anyone treats that as 12am, then they will not be benefited. So these are some of the critical matters to think about with regards to timing and doing night sadhana. Because of all these reasons I talked with various respected Dadas and senior margiis and their various opinions I synthesized and wrote above. Please write your opinion, what is your thought.
Here I conclude with this following guideline of BABA where He is telling us to make use of this human life for sadhana, and that worldly things and worldly relations have no lasting value. So best is to put maximum effort into our spiritual practices. Baba says, "The worship of Brahma should be done scrupulously, or else you will later regret and bemoan the futility of your life with the last drop of your tears at your last hour. You should make your life worthwhile through your sa'dhana'. How much can your worldly friends and relations do for you? After your death your relatives may perhaps ask, "How much money has he left behind?" Your friends may go to the crematorium and indulge in flattering reminiscences about you. Your husband or wife may cry for you for about ten or twelve days and then regain their normal composure. Your lot will be only a profound sigh -- a record of the futility and frustration of your life. So do not waste your time lest you later have to repent." (SS-3) Brotherly, Dayananda Note 1: The sadhana of each and every Ananda Margii is Tantra sadhana. Everyone knows this truth. Those who are not aware they should not feel otherwise. Note 2: We should always live our life according to this following approach. Baba says, "The dharma of human beings is to do sadhana and become a mukta purusa (emancipated being)." (AMEP, p. 64) Note 3: There is a strict rule that kapalik sadhana should not be practiced in broad daylight or any other time than 12am-3am, in the middle of the night. And in Sanskrit that period is called as pratham prahar. One prahar means a 3 hour period of time. So by this way 12am to 3am is the first prahar, and then 3am-6am is the second prahar. Like that it goes on up to the 8th prahar. One of the very important discourses, the one on 18 Oct 1990 in Calcutta (AV-24), Baba says that the best time to do sadhana is during the first prahar, 12am-3 am. Note 4: It is common in the various sectors for Margiis, Dadas, Didis, etc to create fasting charts according to their local time zones. So just as we take the time to properly calculate the eka'dashii dates for our fasting charts according to where we live, similarly we have to properly calculate when true midnight occurs. That will be very beneficial for having a proper sadhana routine.
*********************************************** DRUM BEATING AND KIIRTAN
Baba says, "It is advisable to play some instrument during kiirtana. A mrdanga [a kind of drum] or some similar instrument should be used , but one should not play any heavy sounding instrument like a dhak [a large drum played with sticks], a dol [a loud drum] or a gong. The mind prefers to hear a sweet sound, like that of the mrdanga, than a harsh sound. Some time ago I mentioned that Bhola Mayra said that when the cawing of crows and the beating of drums stop, human ears get some relief. People do not like to hear such harsh, unpleasant sounds. The sound of the mrdanga may not be perfect, but it has one quality: it is very sweet. Thus, whenever a distracted mind hears the sweet music of a mrdanga, it returns to the proper place. A remarkable science lies in kiirtana." (AV-8, p. 13-14)

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