Ashtchakra navadwara devanam puryodhya.
Tasyam hiranyayah koshah swargo jyotishavritah. Atharvaved 10 .2.31
The soul which has numerous strengths resides in the body which has eight vital spots and nine openings. In this body good souls always achieve their goals. The soul whose journey is towards God who is full of bliss is encompassed by the brilliance of the light of the Almighty.
In this mantra, attention has been drawn towards the human body. There are eight vital spots (chakras) in this body namely – (1) muladhar (anus) (2) swadhishthan (spot between the anus and the navel) (3) manipurak (navel) (4) surya (slightly above the navel in the liver) (5) anahat (heart) (6) vishudh (throat) (7) ajyan (centre of the eyebrows) and (8) sahasrasar (brain). There are nine openings namely two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, mouth, anus and urinary passage.
The human body is a divine creation of God. Out of all the living beings in the world, the creation of the human body is the best. On close examination it is clear that the soul cannot make the same amount of progress in any other body as it can do in the human body. Apart from human beings all other souls in this world are in bhog yoni, in other words they are receiving the results of the actions of their previous lives and cannot make any spiritual development towards their future lives. After receiving the fruits of their past deeds, and upon death, they are born again as ordinary human beings. Animals and birds etc fall into this category of living beings. The human body is the only one that is both bhog yoni as well as karm yoni. In this body, the human being receives the results of the previous lives while doing new deeds, the results of which go towards their future life. It is in this body that the human being develops intellectually, improves spiritually, and makes progress in this life as well as towards the future life. The soul cannot do such development in any other body. The human body is created in such a way that it can develop physically, intellectually, economically as well as spiritually. God has placed the head above the shoulders. He has placed the four sense organs which are the main instruments of knowledge, in the head. The brain has been set in the head. The soul has been placed here too. God has also given the power of speech through the mouth. He has given human beings this gift which He has not given to any other being. The gift of intellect is also a wonderful gift of God. Through its development human beings learn various types of knowledge. God has given human beings hands which He has not given to other beings. These hands are great organs of human progress. If human beings misuse these organs they can fall even below the level of animals. However if they use these for good purposes they can reach the peak of spiritual development. If a person wants to have his/her own downfall then he/she can be cheap as a handful of earth; if he/she wants to uplift oneself and progress, then this world seems too small for him/her.
The creation of the human body is a wonder and every part of the body is extremely valuable. The world’s greatest wealth or treasures cannot meet the value of anyone part of the body. If any part of the body goes bad, then an artificial replacement can be made but a natural part cannot be made. One only appreciates the value and importance of a part of the body when the part concerned goes bad or is lost.
This human body which is so great,has been provided as a resource to human beings. Vedic verses state that people should know God. In other words God realisation is the goal of life. But as a result of ignorance human beings have come to regard bodily nourishment, satisfaction of sense organs, acquisition of wealth, worldly love, living a grand life, acquisition of kingdom and living as families as being the ultimate goal. When one regards the body as everything then one spends all of one’s life looking after the body and satisfying the sense organs.
Is only nourishment of the body the goal of life? Human beings must keep the body fit through healthy food, exercise and self control, but only keeping the body healthy in this way is not the goal of life. Nourishment only, of the human body, which does not last for ever, cannot be the goal of life.
The happiness which is felt as a result of the meeting of desire for worldly pleasures and sense organs, is like nectar in the beginning but poison in the end. One who lives in a dirty environment does not feel the foul smell, however one who comes from a clean environment can experience the foul smell. The world is huge. It has endless space, endless air, endless heat and water particles, widespread earth, and countless living beings. But in this huge world human beings have their own little world. There are eight things in this small world. Everyone, apart from the few who have renounced earthly things, is bound by a circle. This circle is made up of the following eight items- good health, means to satisfy hunger, love between husband and wife, a house and money to meet the cost of living, sons and daughters, daughters in law and sons in law, and grand children. Human beings like to have healthy bodies. They want to collect food for their livelihood because without it life cannot exist. The love between husband and wife is also one of the wonders of this world. It is also important for one to have a house and some money to meet the needs of life. A family without children makes the family life too lonely. When the family has sons and daughters then there will also be sons and daughters in law. Thus a person’s world is just that. Is attachment to these eight things only, the goal of life? No, this also cannot be the final goal in life.
Life of a human being is spent in a fixed daily routine. He/she is occupied in the acquisition of food, clothing and shelter. His/her whole life passes away in the acquisition of these three things. The question arises whether nourishment of the body, wealth, grand living, the eight things of human life, bodily exercise, means of satisfying hunger and household duties, are useless? Should all these be given up? No, all these are not to be given up. These are very much part of this life and the world. If all these are given up then what is the purpose of this world? Let us not be preoccupied in simply gathering items of food and other consumables, nor should we be only busy in prayer and meditation. We should nourish our body, collect food items, do the duties of the household, but not forget to improve spiritually through prayer and meditation to God. Contrary to this if we are only preoccupied in looking after our body, satisfaction of our sense organs, acquisition of wealth and fame, and doing duties of the household, then we would be straying from the path of human goal. We would be satisfying only half the goal of human life.
God has given this sitar-like (a musical instrument) human body to us so that human beings may decorate it as well as sing with it, in other words nourish it as well as develop spiritually. One should not only look after the body. At a function the master of ceremonies gave a sitar player fifteen minutes to play and sing something on the sitar. The sitar player kept on tuning the sitar. The master of ceremonies warned him several times that time was running out and that he should sing something with the aid of the sitar. But the sitar player took all the fifteen minutes in tuning the sitar. He wasted the time allowed to sing. In the same way human beings spend all their time nourishing the body, finding the means of satisfying hunger and doing other household duties. They forget about meditation to God and spiritual development. It is a great pity that after having been given this wonderful body, human beings still do not strive for spiritual progress. The success of human life lies in doing all the duties necessary for human existence as well as doing good deeds for spiritual progress.
If one comes to know God in this life then this is good. But if one does not do so then this is a major disaster in the person’s life. The Vedas contain not only the knowledge of God but also about meditation and prayer to God. In this world it is not those who do not have wealth who are backward. On the contrary, those who do not pray and meditate are backward. A poet of Sanskrit has said it beautifully- some people say that those who do not have wealth are lagging behind. Some people say that those who do not have family members are lagging behind. Some say that those who do not have people behind them are lagging behind. Some say that those who do not have physical strength are backward. Maharishi Ved Vyas who knew God, says that those who do not meditate on God are backward.
Aum sahanavavatu sahanau bhunaktu sahaviryam karva vahai. Tejaswinavadhitamastu ma vidwisha vahai.
‘Aum saha navavatu’ - Oh tolerant God! Through your protection may we always praise your qualities, pray and meditate. May we regard you as our father, mother, friend, king, leader, helper, giver of happiness, lovable and the paramount teacher. May we never forget You, and never regard anyone else equal to or greater than You. Through your mercy may we love each other, protect each other, help each other and may we be very hard working. May we take care of each others suffering and protect the people of our nation from conflicts and untruth.
‘Saha nau bhunaktu’ - Oh God! May we being together with You receive the highest bliss. May we all achieve happiness for the benefit of all, so that we become the receivers of Your never ending bliss. May You not keep us away from such bliss for even a second.
‘Saha viryam karvavahai’ - Oh God! Through Your help and our effort may we achieve true knowledge.
‘Tejaswinavadhitamastu’ - Oh everlasting, full of knowledge God! By Your grace may our studies be full of beneficial knowledge so that we are most enlightened and with love and without any obstruction achieve happiness. May we all be noble people who are the followers of rules. May You have a lot of mercy on us so that we can free ourselves quickly from various hypocrisies, lies, non-Vedic beliefs and be one, so that hypocrisy which is the cause of all enmity is destroyed as soon as possible.
‘Ma vidwisha vahai’ - O Lord of all! Through Your mercy may there be no opposition and enmity amongst us, so that we have no hatred for each other. May we use our body, mind, wealth, and knowledge for the happiness of all.
‘Aum shantih shantih shantih’ - O God! There are three types of suffering in this world. Firstly, there is physical suffering such as sicknesses. Secondly, there is suffering caused by others such as enemies, snakes, thieves etc. Thirdly, there is suffering caused by fire, wind, excessive rain, excessive drought, extreme cold, extreme heat etc. O Merciful God! May you remove all these three types of suffering from us as soon as possible so that we meditate to You and live in complete bliss.
O Teacher of the whole world! Make me free from lies and wrongful deeds and put me on the path of truth and good deeds. O God! Lead me away from all the miseries and make me attain all the happiness. O Lord of all! May I possess good children, horses, cows, bullocks and other beneficial animals. Bless me with the best knowledge and wealth, which are the cause of all happiness. O Remover of sicknesses! May You free me from all the ailments and give me good health so that I can serve everyone.
O God! Please free me from evil deeds, evil greed and other evils and make me do good deeds. It is my loving and humble prayer that I should not do anything which is against You or Your orders. O Giver life! You are my life breath. Apart from You there is none else to help me.
O God! Just as Your kingdom is full of truth and justice so be ours. O God of Justice! Give us also the strength to follow the path of justice. O God, the follower of righteousness! Give us the strength to follow the path of righteousness also. Just as parents take care of their children, similarly may You take care of us.
Sa no bandhurjanita sa vidhata dhamani Veda bhuvanani vishwa. Yatra deva amritamana shanastritiye dhamannadhyai rayanta. Yajurved 32.10
God is the destroyer of our miseries, the helper and the supporter of the world and all of us. He is the father of all and helps us. The creator and the operator of the world is one God and none else. He has created many suns, moons earths etc. and is keeping them in operation. Who is that God? That God is the one after knowing whom, learned persons free themselves from all pains and achieve happiness.
Yato yatah samihase tato no abhayam kuru.
Shan nah kuru prajabhyam nah pashubhaya. Yaju. 36.22
O Merciful God! Always protect us from fear wherever it may come. Give us happiness through people and may the people always be happy as well. May the people not cause fear among each other and may we not fear animals either. Through Your mercy may we never receive any form of fear from anyone, so that we can live happily without fear and worship You.
Mitrasyaham chakshusha sarvani bhutani samikshe.
Mitrasya chakshusha samikshamahei. Yaju. 36.18
O Infinitely Powerful God! May I see all the living beings with a friendly eye and may the living beings also see me with a friendly eye. In other words may no one be my enemy and may I be no one’s enemy. Then only can be in relationships of brotherhood, feelings of friendliness, feelings of love, feelings of sympathy etc. grow and increase in the society.
Tejo asi tejo mai dhehi. Viryam asi viryam mai dhehi. Balam asi balam mai dhehi. Ojoasi ojo mai dhehi. Manyur asi manyum mai dhehi. Saho asi saho mai dhehi. Yajurved 19.9
O God! You are free from ignorance. You are full of true knowledge. With Your mercy may You establish the same in me, so that I do not lack knowledge and luster and be free from miseries and fear. God You are brave, make me brave also. You are powerful, make me powerful also. You are hard working, make me the same. You show anger on evil people, give me also similar anger so that I am able to do the same to the evil. You have a lot of patience, give me the power of forbearance also so that I can worship You and be forever happy.