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Jātaka Pārijata – Śloka 1. 13.

Jātaka Pārijata – Śloka 1. 13.

Translation and commentary by Branka Larsen, Guide & Guru Pt. Sanjay Rath. This article was originally published in The Jyotish Digest.

अथ मेषादीनां स्वरूपविशेषादिवर्णनम्।
atha meṣādīnāṁ svarūpaviśeṣādivarṇanam |

Śloka 1. 13.
ह्वस्वा गोऽजघटाः समा मृगयुक्चापान्त्यकर्कटकाः।
दीर्घा वृश्किककन्यकाहरितुला मेषादिपुंयोषितौ।
प्रागादिक्रियगोनृयुक्कटकभान्येतानि कोणान्विता-
न्याहुः क्रूरशुभौ चरस्थिरतरद्वन्द्वानि तानि क्रमात्॥ १३॥
hvasvā go’jaghaṭāḥ samā mṛgayukcāpāntyakarkaṭakāḥ |
dīrghā vṛśkikakanyakāharitulā meṣādipuṁyoṣitau |
prāgādikriyagonṛyukkaṭakabhānyetāni koṇānvitā-
nyāhuḥ krūraśubhau carasthirataradvandvāni tāni kramāt || 13||

Translation: Taurus, Aries, and Aquarius are short. Capricorn, Gemini, Sagittarius, Pisces, and Cancer are even and the long ones are Scorpio, Virgo, Leo, and Libra. Starting from Aries, signs are masculine and feminine. Starting from East, Aries and its trines, Taurus and its trines, Gemini and its trines, Cancer and its trines will represent four cardinal directions of the world. After that, signs can be differentiated as krūra (harsh) and śubha (auspicious); and also as movable, fixed and dual as their type of movement.

Commentary:

Length of the signs

Firstly, herein we have division based on length of the signs. This has to do with astronomical definition of Zodiac or Bha chakra. In reality, it is not perfect circle, it is an elliptic. Two signs before Aries, Aries and one sign after are short. Two sign before Libra, Libra and one sign after are long ones. Signs in between are of the even length. Exactly opposite point from the 00 of Libra is used for starting the Zodiac, and because of it the Aries is shortest one. Later we will see that the author also putting the Pisces in the category of short signs.

Also, this is very useful in depicting size of the person. For this we need to look Lagna, Lagna Lord, Moon sign and navaṁśa Lagna.

Table 1: Length of signs

Length Signs
Short Taurus, Aries, Aquarius, Pisces
Even Capricorn, Gemini, Sagittarius, and Cancer
Long Scorpio, Virgo, Leo, Libra

Sex of the signs

Starting from Aries, signs are masculine and feminine. So, Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius, and Aquarius are male signs and Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, and Pisces are female. The biggest utilization of this is related to the sex of a child in the Jātaka chart. There is one exception here: Gemini and Aquarius haven’t got enough strength to produce a male child, so in the matters connected to children, we will treat them as female signs. Also, Cancer and Pisces have the power to give a son, so in these matters, Cancer and Pisces will give male progeny.

Table 2. Sex of signs

Sex Signs
Male Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius and Aquarius
Female Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces

 Table 2a. Sex of signs: related to progeny

Sex Signs
Male Aries, Cancer , Leo, Libra, Sagittarius and Pisces
Female Taurus, Gemini , Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn and Aquarius

Directions

Directions related to signs are given in the chart. Directions are linked to the four goals or ayana in the chart. There are four ayanas: Dharma, Artha, Kama and Mokṣa. East is related to Dharma, South is related to Artha, West is related to Kama and North is related to Mokṣa. About four ayana, see 20th śloka of this chapter.

Table 3. Direction of the signs

Sign Direction Ayana
Aries, Leo, Sagittarius East Dharma
Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn South Artha
Gemini, Libra, Aquarius West Kama
Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces North Moksa

There is another division of signs based on direction.

Directions are of the crucial value for determining the place of living for a person as well as other similar questions. In this division, signs will show physical direction. Here Aries and Taurus are representing East, Pisces is Southeast, Aquarius and Capricorn are South, Sagittarius is Southwest, Libra and Scorpio are West, Virgo is Northwest, Leo and Cancer are North and finally Gemini is Northeast. In Vedic astrology, we use two different types of chakras related to direction. One is Dig chakra and another is Kala chakra. In Dig chakra, planets will give the most of their potential, and in the Kala chakra, they will show obstacles.

Table 4. Directions, signs, planets and devatas.

Direction Sign Planets in Dig chakra Planets in Kala chakra Digpala
East Taurus, Aries Sun Sun Indra
Southeast Pisces Venus Mars Agni
South Aquarius, Capricorn Mars Jupiter Yama
Southwest Sagittarius Rahu Budha Niritti
West Scorpio, Libra Saturn Venus Varuna
Northwest Virgo Moon Saturn Vayu
North Leo, Cancer Mercury Moon Kubera
Northeast Gemini Jupiter Rahu Ishana
Upwards   Ketu Ketu Ananta
Downward   Lagna Lagna Brahma

Krūra vs śubha

All odd signs are termed as krura or harsh signs. They are active by their nature. These are also known as fire (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius) and air (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius) signs. Fire signs are acting quickly and burning, while air signs are slow and persistent. All even signs are known as śubha or mild. They are earth (Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn) and water (Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces) signs. It shows that nature is very passive and calming.

Trikona

Here, the author is mentioning the trines of a certain sign. Trines or Trikona literary means three corners. For the first sign, a trine is a fifth and ninth sign, and in a similar manner, we can define trines for all signs. Trikonas are very important and they are showing the fruits that one begets in this world. For them, it is said that they are the seat of Śri Lakṣmi.

Trikonas will always be same tattva or primordial element. Word tattva is translated as a true principle, principle that causes creation to occur. There are five primary elements or tattvas. These are:

Tattva Element Deity State Planet Rāśi
Ākāśa Ether Viṣṇu Vacuum Jupiter In every sign, omnipresence
Agni Fire, Sūrya Energy Mars and Sun (and Ketu) Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Jala Water Devī Liquid Venus and Moon Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
Vāyu Air Śiva Gas Saturn (and Rahu) Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Pṛthivī  Earth Gaṇeśa Solid Mercury Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

Trines will be always the same tattva or the element and Kendra will always have all four manifested types. These elements come together with the gunas or quality of the Raśis.

Movement

There are three types of movement: movable or cara, fixed or sthira and dual or dvisvabhava. These three types are based on three Gunas or qualities, namely: Satva, Rajas and Tamas. Satva is quality of goodness, knowledge, sustenance. Rajas show creation of thing, movement and high level of energy inside. Tamas show ignorance, darkness. These three Gunas are represented by Tri Murti, i.e. Viṣṇu (omnipresent), Brahma (omniscience) and Śiva (omnipotent). They are helping us to overcome all three, because in Bhagavat Gita, it is said that we need to go beyond Gunas to get liberation (nistraiguṇyo bhavārjuna – be above the Gunas, O Arjuna. BG 2.45.).

Movement Sign Guna
Movable Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn Rajas
Fixed Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius Tamas
Dual Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces Satva

Movement of signs can be also used to determine distance from one place to another. Here movable signs will show traveling overseas, dual is indicating travel that is still between countries borders or traveling from one city to another, and fixed signs show staying in the same place. For example, if the lord of the 10th house from the Moon is placed in a movable sign, a person may need to travel far to find work. (To learn all about work, profession and karma bhava, check out Visti’s Rama course here).

– om tat sat –

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Marriage Delay and Denial – Part 1.

Marriage Delay and Denial – Part 1.

By Visti Larsen, Guide and Guru: Pt. Sanjay Rath

ABSTRACT

Whilst the Lagna or Rāśi (D-1) chart indicates the individual’s tendencies, ideals and views, the deciding factor for any event depends on the divisional charts. Herein, the Rāśi (D-1) chart can indicate the individuals wishes and experiences in relationships, but the Lord of the Navāmśa Lagna will be the final deciding factor in deciding when or whether a person will marry.

Classical background

लग्नेशलग्नभागेशौ रिश्फरन्ध्रारिगौ यदि।
मारकेशयुतौ दृष्टौ जातोऽसौ निर्धनो नरः॥ ११॥
lagneśalagnabhāgeśau riśpharandhrārigau yadi |
mārakeśayutau dṛṣṭau jāto’sau nirdhano naraḥ || 11||
Bṛhat Parāśara Horā Śastra, Daridrayogādhyāyaḥ

Translation: Should the Lord of the Varga Lagna be joined or aspected by the sixth, eighth or twelfth lord, as well as the Māraka, the person will suffer poverty.

Commentary:What type of poverty is indicated? It cannot be monetary poverty as not all the vargas affect one’s bank balance. This must be a poverty of deprivation, wherein the deprivation depends on the indications of the Varga in question!

Tradition on Navāmśa Kendra

The tradition extends the examination of the Lagna to the four Kendra. This accepts the understanding that the Navāmśa depicts more than marriage alone, but several of life’s facets. This principle divides the four kendra, or quadrant-houses, in the Navāmśa (D-9), into the four pillars of Dharma (duty, health and intelligence), Artha (wealth and career), Kāma (enjoyments and relationships) and Mokṣa (freedom and spirituality). 

Should the Lord of Kāma-ayana be joined the sixth/eighth/twelfth lords in the D1, and further be joined the māraka of the Navāmśa-7H, the person will be deprived of marriage.

Commentary: Any affliction to the Lord of Kāma-Ayana will hinder marriage. The Dusthāna or their lords cause a vacuum causing either loss or deprivation, but this may not be permanent.

The Māraka adjoining such a vacuum would cause the loss or deprivation to be permanent!

Herein, we need to apply Parāśara’s designation of Māraka, and specifically with reference to the sign in the seventh house in the Navāmśa!

Sign Māraka Sign Māraka
Aries
Venus Libra Mars
Taurus
Jupiter, Moon & Mars Scorpio Venus
Gemini
Moon Sagittarius Saturn
Cancer
Mercury Capricorn Mars
Leo
Saturn Aquarius Sun, Mars and Jupiter
Virgo
Sun & Venus Pisces Mercury

Case study

Mary Cassatt, born 22nd May 1844, 23:54, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

In the given chart, we find Arudha Lagna placed in Libra. This promotes a career within entertainment or the arts. With lord Venus joined Mars in the sixth house, an even house, this promotes even more art, but also cause long bouts of celibacy or separation. Known for avoiding any such temptations, Mary was fully dedicated to her passion and her family.

Among planets, Saturn signifies those who follow Brahma or Brahma-acharya, and do not marry. Saturn is in the 1st house, aspecting both the Arudha Lagna (AL) and Upapada (UL) by graha dṛṣṭi (desire) showing a complete unwillingness to marry. Its retrogression makes this pronounced!

The Navāmśa houses Venus in the twelfth house which speaks against the opportunity to marry. The lord of the seventh house in Navāmśā (D-9) is Jupiter, which is placed in 3rd house in Māraṇa Kāraka Sthāna in the Rāśi (D-1) supporting a denial. The Māraka to Sagittarius (seventh house in D9) is Saturn and aspects Jupiter as well by graha dṛṣṭi to show the personal unwillingness to marry. Saturn has completely dominated the chart to hinder the person’s marriage and relationships. Notably, Saturn and Moon opposite each other show a rājayoga for fame and name beyond her lifetime!

…to be continued!!

Visti is a professional astrologer since 2004, accredited with the degrees of Jyotish Pandit, Jyotish Guru and Jaimini Scholar. He is a student of Pt. Sanjay Rath, from whom he received the responsibility as custodian of the Maharishi Jaimini Upadeśā Sutras. He teaches the courses of Parashara Jyotisha, Jaimini Sutras and further teaches through his online school, Rama Academy. You can learn more from Visti at www.rama-edu.com or book a consultation at: www.srigaruda.com.

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What Venus isn’t?

What Venus isn’t?

The topic of relationships in astrology and the whispers about Venus is forever present and actual. In fact, we can confidently say that the two topics, namely relationships (karaka Venus) and finances (karaka Mercury) are the driving forces to much of our lives.

Being of Rajas guna, Venus represents that aspect of us that is full of desire, attachment, restlessness and constant activity (ref. Bhagavad Gita). No matter what astrological path or school one follows, Venus is always said to be responsible for relationships.

But do we really understand which role Venus plays, in the arena of all the other predictive techniques, when it comes to relationships and marriage? How is it different than the 7th house, or 7th lord, or Upapada, Navamsha, Darakaraka, etc.?

Few facts about Venus:

  1. Venus is not our way of thinking when it comes to the marriage – that is our 7th house. 7th house is our brain when it comes to the relationship, it is us in the relationship, our ideas, and philosophy.
    The well-known saying “all is fair in love and war” and “it’s a thin line between love and hate” belongs to the 7th house as well. This house is also Maraka (killer), as well as the marriage house, and as such implies the role of ones partner as kavacha or protection (this becomes clearer when studying longevity combinations).

Different grahas cause grahana (eclipse) on the brain imparting certain conditions to the relationships. You can read about each planet in the 7th house in Bhrigu Sutras or in my teachers book Crux of Vedic Astrology, by Sanjay Rath. For more on marriage and relationships check out Visti´s course on sign Libra and Kalatra Sphuta – timing marriage and relationships.

2. Venus is not love! Before we talk about Venus on a graha level, Venus is of the Rajas guna or quality of desire, attachment, restlessness, the power of attraction; and Venus is of Jala tatwa or water element. So Venus is not love, Venus is an emotion (jala or water element) or attachment or infatuation with an expiration date rather than the “real love”. So which graha does represent real love?

3. Venus is not your spouse! Your spouse is your Upapada (the arudha of the 12th house), it is your 7th house in the Navamsha chart (first spouse anyhow). But it is karaka for a spouse in a man’s horoscope, whilst Guru is the same in the female horoscope. This explains how man vs. woman approach the relationship or look at it, but this is a topic for another day.  

So what is Venus?

Venus is a naisargika (natural) karaka (significator) for the relationships and marriage. As such it shows the hand of God, or our own karmas, when it comes to the relationships. Venus is like a God who decides if he will give or not.

Try this one out: see where is Venus placed from the 7th house to see you attitude towards partner(s), count back from Venus to the 7th house and you will know the reason for the same.

– Om tat sat –

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Why do we fast|Benefits of Fasting

Why do we fast|Benefits of Fasting

The topic of ‘Remedial Measures’ in Vedic Astrology is often neglected, and yet there is a hope that we as Jyotishas never forget to conclude any aspect of our practice, or a study, without learning about the remedies for the same. This is after-all our main purpose as astrologers, to shed light on the karmas in such a way that will improve on ones Gati, or path in life (12th house), and ease the suffering (if any) along the way. After all the fascinating predictions we may offer, we should always remember to offer the remedy and the solution for the problem.

Twelfth house & remedies

12th house of the Zodiac represents our opportunity for the remedies. This is the house that indicates our ancestors (progenitors) or rishis (sages) that came before us. What rishis are interested in is for us to repay our debts, that is, the debt of our creation, in a form of continuation of the lineage. This can be in the form of procreation (family lineage) or through the Shishyas or students (spiritual lineage).

Guna & Gati

Twelfth house specifically shows our Gati or direction in life, and with that also our Gunas or nature. Let’s start with the Gati. 12th house of the Kala Purusha as a body-part indicates feet. Gati as a direction in life is seen from the 12th house. From this concept comes the worship of Guru´s feet or Guru paduka, we bow down to the Gurus feet to get the blessing of the right path in life. On the other hand, Gauna-pada (Upapada) is an arudha calculated from the 12th house that shows the marriage which affects our nature or virtues (guṇa), hence the name gauna.

Note: Sage Parashara in his Jyotish classic dedicated an entire chapter on the topic of the Upapada!

Three types of Vrata

Even though the topic of remedies is vast, based on the 12th house we can ascertain three main Vratas or vows/penances. These are 1) fasting, 2) brahmacharya and 3) Mauna-vrata. All three Vratas are seen from the 12th house but from different reference points. I.e. fasting which is also the main focus of this article is a vow to abstain from eating. It is to be seen from the 12th house from the Lagna as it is a physical penance, hence in Vedic Astrology, we prescribe fasting as a remedy based on the 12th house from the Lagna.

Concept of Upapada fast

As mentioned previously, marriage and kids are the domain of the rishis. But what do we do when there is a problem of getting married or when there are issues in the married life itself? One of the main tools (but certainly not the only one!) in remedying all aspects of the married life is known as Upapada-fasting. Upapada-vrata is to be performed on the day of the lord of the Upapada in one’s horoscope.

  • How does it work? By fasting, we ensure that we are repaying our debts to the rishis, or burning our karmas, and are improving on our gunas. For those not married, it can help to encourage marriage and for those already in the marriage, it can improve on the quality of the married life.

  • When do we fast? Fast is to be done on the day of the lord of the Upapada. These are Sunday for the Leo UL, Monday for Cancer UL, and Tuesday for Aries or Scorpio UL, Wednesday for Gemini or Virgo UL, and so on.

  • Are there any exceptions? Yes, there are exceptions to this. If Upapada happens to be in the 2nd house in one’s horoscope this is not advisable. The 2nd house is our source of sustenance and Vishnu-sthana and such activity would be considered as a-Vishnu or against Vishnu. In such cases, we advise tithi fast based on the Upapada lord. Ex. if Upapada in the 2nd house and 2nd the lord is placed in the 11th house one should perform Ekadashi vrata or fasting on the 11th Tithi called Ekadaśī. The Tithis of fasting are from the 4th tithi, corresponding to the 4th house until the 15th Tithi corresponding to the 3rd house. Fasting is never performed on the day or tithi of the lord of the 2nd house!
  • Other exemption’s arise if you have health problems; one should always take this into account and use common sense. Generally Vata type people or those lighter in weight should be careful with any type of fasting as it can further aggravate Vata in the body.

  • How do we fast? Fasting means no eating, so no food is allowed, the water of fresh pressed juice is allowed. Fasting is done with the Sun as Sakshi or a witness and is done from sunrise to sunset.

Conclusion: Twelfth house of the Zodiac shows one’s Guna & Gati in life. Upapada (otherwise known as Gauna pada) is our marriage, shows that person with whom we share our life and gunas. Fasting on the day of the Upapada lord can improve our married life or prospects for the same, by burning our karmas and repaying our debts to our ancestors (rishis).

– om tat sat –

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Predict with transits by Visti Larsen

Predict with transits by Visti Larsen

Predict with transits is part 1. of a four-part audio lecture performed by Visti Larsen covering the topic of the most important planetary transits, and their significance as taught in the Vedic tradition.

This lecture starts with the basics, what are the transits? Transits are the planetary movements and Visti compares them to world dashas (periods) and sub-dashas (sub-periods). Those planetary positions show the circumstance of the world that can affect individuals. In this, the slow-moving planets, namely Saturn, Jupiter and the nodes(Rahu and Ketu), can be seen as a maha dashas (main periods). Whilst the fast-moving planets can be seen as a antardasha (sub-periods) being that they should be judged under the scope of the maha dasha (main period).

How do the planetary transits influence us? The first part is understanding negation vs. reinforcement of the events. Negation being the effect of  Saturn’s transit, and generally the transit of slow-moving malefics (Saturn and the nodes), whilst reinforcement being the effect of the Jupiter’s transit. For example, Saturn’s transit highlights our sins and weaknesses in those areas of life that he is transiting over or aspecting. This is the root cause of the two most well-known transits of Saturn, namely Sade Sati and Kantak Shani.

  1. Sade Sati is a 7,5 year period in one’s life occurring at the time of Saturn’s transit over the natives Moon sign as well as 12th and 2nd from it. This transit is generally a feared period even thou it is not always negative nor is it of the same quality all throughout this given period. Saturn transiting over the 12th from the Moons sign can affect one’s relationships and family; over the Moons sign itself, ones health and in 2nd house ones carrier and finances. Notably, Visti points out that the negative connotations of this transit do not show themselves viz-a-viz the Moon’s position in the Rāśi (D-1) chart, but instead that of its Navāmśa (D-9) position.
  2. Kantak Shani, popularly known as a thorn in the leg (kantaka means a thorn), is Saturns transit over 10th house or Saturns aspect on the 10th house (here we talk about the graha-dṛṣṭi or planetary aspects). This period can hamper one’s karma yoga. As there are different aspects to karma yoga so are the different focal points to judge this transit from. Therefore, Saturns aspect on the 10th from the Lagna can show ones mistakes or weaknesses in decision-making with regards to work/karma; 10th house from the Arudha Lagna can show a negative trend in the society that can influence your karma yoga, and 10th house from the Moon can indicate lack of motivation and drive when interacting with others for the purpose of karma yoga.

You can read more about Kantak Shani here.

How do we judge these transits and their influcences on us? Well, a very good starting point is to see these main transits with regards to the self indicators, namely Lagna and the Moon. Of which, Moon and its extension – Arudha Lagna, are really our connection to the society and world. This is why Moon and the arudhas are very important in the transits.

Visti’s subsequent lectures will cover the effects of eclipses and other planetary transits. To stay updated, consider subscribing to Visti’s YouTube channel.

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The month of Pisces – the domain of God

The month of Pisces – the domain of God

There is a wealth of knowledge coming from observing time, which reminds me of the poem On Time by Khalil Gibran, and his words

 But if in your thought you must measure time into seasons, let each season encircle all the other seasons,
And let today embrace the past with remembrance and the future with longing.

Meena Sankranti is the time of the year when the Sun enters Meena rashi, or the sign Pisces. As per Jātaka pārijata – śloka 9, sign Pisces is depicted as two fishes, moving in the opposite direction, with their heads joining the other’s tail.

The symbol of the rāśi is important for the study of Astrology as the symbols are not picked randomly. For example, the sign Pisces is described as two fishes eating each other’s tails. They are moving in circles, and they depict the natural twelfth house, which is the house of emancipation, liberty/freedom and in the negative represents bondage, imprisonment, and closed institutions.

If you want to learn more about signs, consider Visti´s webinar series covering this topic.

The sign Pisces is said to represent the beginning of creation and this is why Rishis (Sages) have their domain here. Rishis are the holders of all the knowledge, they are our connection to God as well as our opportunity for liberation. Aquarius is the 12th sign therefrom that indicates the loss of this connection, loss of liberation and is the guarantee of the rebirth. This is symbolized with the beginning of the sign Pisces with the fish swimming downwards (indicates rebirth) while the second half of the sign has the fish moving upwards that indicates the upward movement towards moksha.

It is during this month that the Brahmins worship Jagatprasuti or Maha Lakshmi trough the Śrī Kamalātmika sadhana as she is the one who is giving birth to the whole Universe. This is the divine connection which is preceeding the birth, where the actual beginning of life is in the Aries, the next sign. As this is the time for prayer and performing remedies, Sun in the sign of Pisces (and Sagittarius) is considered inauspicious in a marriage muhurta and is preferred for prayers.

In a mundane way, our creation is coming from the D12 divisional chart (Dvadashamsha chart) that is dedicated to our immediate ancestors or parents. This gives us clarity in understanding the importance of one’s parents as through our bloodline there is a direct link to the ancestors, and finally Rishis. D24 chart (12+12=24) or Siddhamsa links to all the Rishis and the knowledge they give, for which reason it is also called Vedavahvamsha. In the Parashara scheme of divisional charts these further link to the D60 (12+12+12+12=60) or Shastyamsha chart that deals with the karmas that have led to this life.

As the 12th house represents our opportunity for the remedies, some of the means to remedy our karmas are the practices of meditation, fasting, the importance of one’s faith and dharma (the other lordship of Jupiter). And finally, as Jupiter is the lord of the sign Pisces, spiritual practices always start by remembering our Guru. In many spiritual traditions, this is done with the prayer called Guru Vandahana.

You can find the prayer on my Guruji´s website here.

– om tat sat –

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