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These are some notes for patients who are booked to come to vaidyagrama for treatment in the coming months. Going through these notes before you arrive may help to prepare you better for your stay in vaidyagrama. The notes are classified under the following headings -
This note deals with everything to do with meditation / prayer / mantras / poojas.
MEDITATION / PRAYER / POOJAS / HOMAMS
Contact persons –
Extension number in vaidyagrama
+91 97860 17525
+91 90475 17525
+91 99437 17525
Meditation / prayers / poojas / homams are an integral part of the healing paradigm at Vaidyagrama.
Ayurveda views health as a state of complete physical, mental, social, spiritual and environmental well being. And Ayurveda specifically talks about the need for “daivavyapAzraya cikitsA” (or prayers, poojas etc.) to enable spiritual well being.
Thus at Vaidyagrama, we have daily prayers, monthly poojas and yearly homams all performed with a view to achieve all round well being of the entire community. You are invited to participate in all these prayers irrespective of caste, creed or religion. For what is important is spiritual well being; and while we at Vaidyagrama strive to achieve this inner peace through the prayers we know, you are free to choose any path to reach the same goal.
For all homams / poojas / prayers, it is good to be aware of the following –
- it is preferable to brush teeth, wash the face and feet with warm water, and wear fresh comfortable clothes before the homam (since you are a patient, you should not take a full bath as is the normal practice before any spiritual activity)
- please leave your footwear outside the prayer/homam space; you are however advised to wear socks in the homam space as your feet should not be exposed
- on the days of the menstrual cycle, our physicians advise total rest; hence this rest also includes not participating in any activity like prayer, satsang and homam which requires greater awareness and can also be quite tiring
- at the homam / prayer, choose a comfortable spot of your choice and then sit in meditative silence through the process; if you can sit cross legged on the floor (on a mat), that is preferable
- please try to avoid eating or drinking anything (except water) at the site of the homam / prayer; if you need to eat or drink tea, please do so outside this space
- at some homams, you may be invited to participate in the offerings; you may please follow instructions or watch the priest and perform accordingly
- at some homams, you may be invited to participate in preparing the flowers etc.; if you so desire, you are most welcome to do so
- at all times during a homam, please do take care not to come in contact with the priests who are performing the homam; it is safe to keep a respectable distance from them till the homam is over
- since a homam is a fire ritual, there will be smoke from the offerings made to the fire during the ritual; in case you are allergic to smoke and dust, it is best to keep a safe distance or even not enter the room during a homam
- you are welcome to give your birth details (primarily your name and the dominant star on the day of your birth) to Dr.Ramadas if you wish to have your name included in the process
- at the end of the homam, we will be giving a “dakshina” (token of gratitude) to the priest; if you so desire, you are also welcome to give an amount of your choice to the priest; this amount can be anything between Rs.11/- to Rs.1001/- (or between USD 1 to 20 or more)
- finally, if you would like to request for a special homam/pooja during your stay at vaidyagrama, please do speak with your physicians and it can certainly be arranged
Agnihotra is a healing fire ritual from the Vedas. It is a process of purifying the atmosphere through a specially prepared fire performed at sunrise and sunset daily. Anyone in any walk of life can do Agnihotra and heal the atmosphere in his/her own home. Thousands of people all over the world have experienced that Agnihotra reduces stress, leads to greater clarity of thought, improves overall health, gives one increased energy, and makes the mind more full of love. It is a great aid to drug and alcohol deaddiction. Agnihotra also nourishes plant life and neutralizes harmful radiation and pathogenic bacteria. It harmonizes the functioning of Prana (life energy) and can be used to purify water resources.
Please visit the internet to understand more about some scientific research done on agnihotra.
We perform the agnihotra every day morning and evening as a part of the prayer ritual. There is an exact time at which this homam should be performed every day, and it is done likewise in the activity hall. We invite you to participate in this ritual.
Dhanvantari Homam creates positive vibrations and shields you against health disorders. This powerful Homam catalyses the healing process.
is the chief deity of this Homam. He is the Divine Physician who is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He appeared during the Churning of the Cosmic Ocean of Milk with nectar to rejuvenate the Celestial beings.
When performing the Homam, 108 medicinal herbs are offered into the sacrificial fire.
At Vaidyagrama, we perform Dhanvantari Homam along with the Ganapathi Homam once in a month. The day and time will be informed to you by your physicians.
The Dhanvantari Mantra is as follows –
Om Namo Naaraayanaaya Om Namo Bhagavate Dhanvantaraye
Amrutakalashahastaaya Sree Vaasudevaaya Trailokyanaathaaya
Sarvaamaya Nivaaranaaya Mahaa Vishnave Svaahaa
Ganapati Homam is performed to beget happiness, prosperity and good health. Anyone, desirous of removing any obstacles in the healing process can pray to Lord Ganesa. Ganapati Homam can be performed to please Ketu (one of the navagrahas), and hence anyone who has ketu dasa or bhukti or wishes to appease ketu can participate in this homam.
At Vaidyagrama, we perform Ganapati Homam followed by the Dhanvantari Homam once in a month. It is performed by Sri. Damodaran Iyer. The day and time will be informed to you by your physicians.
The Ganapati Mantras include –
Om Sreem Hreem Kleem Glaum Gam Ganapataye Varavarada Sarvajanam Me Vashamaanaya Svaahaa
Om Ganaanaam Tva Ganapatim Havaamahe Kavim Kaveenaamupamashravastamam
Jyeshtharaajam brahmanaam brahmanaspata aa nah shrnvannootibhishida saadanam svaahaa
MANTRAS / PRAYER
We have morning and evening prayer sessions for almost an hour starting at 6.15 am / pm. The session has the following components –
- OM chanting
- Sahasranama (Vishnu in the morning; and Lalita in the evening)
- Mantra chanting
The mantras are given here. Please refer the section on Agnihotra to know more about it; please refer the section on Sahasranamas to know more about the Sahasranamas. You can also download the Lalita Sahasranama and Vishnu Sahasranama here.
The Vishnu Sahasranama, translating literally to "the thousand names of Vishnu", is a list of 1000 names of Vishnu, one of the main Gods in Hinduism. It is one of the most sacred and commonly chanted stotras in Hinduism. The Vishnu Sahasranama as found in the Shanti-Parva of the Mahabharata is the most popular version of the 1000 names of Vishnu. Another version exists in the Padma Purana and the Matsya Purana. Each name eulogizes one of His countless great attributes and also describes the entire concept of "life and living".
The Lalita Sahasranama is a sacred Hindu text for the devotees of the Goddess Lalita Devi or the Divine Mother, in the form her power, Shakti. Lalita is the Goddess of bliss, an epithet for Shiva's wife, Parvati. Etymologically, "Lalita" means "She Who Plays". It is one of the most complete stotras which can be recited for achievement of salvation. This stotra occurs in the Brahmanda Purana.
It is good to hear the two sahasranamas as well as the other mantras every day even if you are unable to chant or understand them; if you would like to read a copy of the sahasranamas, please click here for Lalita Sahasranama and Vishnu Sahasranama.
Sarpabali is the worship of Lord Nagaraja (King of snakes) to remove the bad effects of sarpa dosha, to help mitigate many disease conditions, and for the well being of all.
Sarpa dosha may be present due to harm done to snakes and other reptiles in some previous lifetime; it is recognized when all the grahas in one’s horoscope lie between Raahu and Ketu.
Turmeric powder, rice, milk, coconuts, fruits and flowers are the ingredients for a sarpabali. It is performed in the Kerala Tantric style.
At Vaidyagrama, we perform Sarpabali once in year normally in the month of January. It is performed by Pathirikunnathu Krishnakumar Namboodiri who belongs to a traditional Kerala family ordained to do this special pooja. For more information about Sarpa Dosha and Sarpa Bali, please click here.
The performance of Pancha Maha Yagnas is the foremost instruction given to attain the Chitta Shuddhi (purity of intellect) required for perceiving the infinite self. Of these, Devata Pooja and Archana is one of the most important duties elaborated by the Shastras.
Pooja is a systematic procedure that involves physical and mental discipline, requires inner and outer cleanliness and progresses from mere outer worship to awareness of the true Self. The details of Devata Pooja have been detailed in the Puranas and Agamas. By following the scriptural injunctions and by worshipping one's Ishta Devata (god of choice), one obtains the Lord's Anugraha (blessings) to live healthy and happy. Hence, the importance of outer worship or bahya pooja cannot be discarded as this is the path leading to internal bliss.
When one still remains within the boundaries of limited awareness, desha (space) and kala (time) are two important factors which influence the fruits of all the actions performed. Hence, the Shastras prescribe specific time or kala for every karma. Pooja can be done once, twice, thrice, six or eight times in a day. Ekakala pooja is done once during the early noon. Dwikala pooja is done twice in a day, once early in the morning and once during the dawn of night. Trikala pooja is done thrice a day – in the morning, noon and night. Panchakala pooja is done five times in a day – in the mid-night, pratyoosha (early in the morning when the first ray of the sun reaches the earth), morning, noon and night. Shatkala pooja is done six times in a day – during the mid-night, pratyoosha, morning, noon, evening and night. The Tantras also detail the procedure for ashtakala pooja which is done based on the flow of the nadi in the body of the upasaka
At Vaidyagrama, we perform a Trikala Pooja on the first of January every year. The pooja is performed under the guidance of Sri.Sankaran Namboodiri who has spent over 30 years in the temple town of Badrinath in the Himalayas.
Some other homams that are performed in Vaidyagrama periodically include –
Mrtyunjaya Homam helps to moderate the dangers in life due to serious ills. This Homam is dedicated to Lord Shiva to avoid untimely death. It is performed to get cure from chronic illness and lead a health life.
Mrtyunjaya literally means one who has conquered death. It is an epithet of Lord Shiva who is beyond the grasp of death. Death is the greatest fear that afflicts every human being and Lord Shiva grants freedom from the fear of death to those who surrender to him.
There are two beautiful incidents described in the Puranas about Lord Shiva's power over death. When Chandra or Soma, the moon god, was cursed by his father-in-law Daksha that he would suffer from gradual degeneration and die, Chandra is said to have worshipped Lord Shiva by chanting the Mrtyunjaya mantra and got relieved of the terrible curse. The lingam made by the moon god is today worshipped as the famous Somanatha Jyotirlinga.
The second instance is the story of how the young boy Markandeya fought Death by worshipping Shiva with great devotion. When Yama, the god of death, came at the destined hour to take Markandeya's soul away, the 16 year old boy remained clinging to the Shivalingam he worshipped and Yama's noose enveloped the Shivalingam also. At this, Lord Shiva appeared in his fierce form and chided Yama for trying to put his noose around him and his devotee Markandeya.
The Mrtyunjaya Homam is performed with offerings of Durva grass (known for its quality of purifying blood) and other herbs like Amrta, sesame, milk etc. The Mrtyunjaya Mantra is chanted while performing the homam. The mantra is a prayer to Lord Shiva which reads, "O Lord, release me from bondage (of death and rebirth) as effortlessly as a ripe pumpkin releases itself from its mother plant".
This homa is performed to cure chronic ailments, life threatening conditions, to overcome the evil effects of enemies, danger or fear of accidents, to attain a long and healthy life.
The Mrtyunjaya Mantra is as follows -
urvārukam iva bandhanān mṛtyor mukṣīya māmṛtāt
Navagraha Homam is performed to remove all the obstacles of life and to attain ‘Ayur, Arogya and Saukhyam’( longevity, health and happiness). Navagraha Homam is recommended for appeasement of Navagraha Doshas . Homa is performed after conducting Navagraha Pooja . Nine varieties of flowers, nine cereals (Nava Dhanya), nine clothes (of different colours), and nine types of Naivedyams (offerings) are used for Pooja. Each Graha is worshipped with a specified flower. For Homam nine types of Chamatas (twigs) are used.
The Sudarsana Chakra is the mighty weapon of Lord Narayana (Vishnu) and has many auspicious attributes associated with it. Most importantly, it has the attribute of "Pida Pradanam" which gives relief from pain and suffering to the seeker/performer. The Sudarsana Chakra also has the attribute of "Papa Nashanam", or the destruction of poorva karma or past life action.
The Chakra pervades both space and time. Also the Sudarsana Chakra is the abode of the Vyuha Murthis Sankarshana and Para Vasudeva (forms of Narayana in Vyuha) as seen from Swami Desikan's Sudarsana Ashtakam (Nija Para Vyuha Vaibhava). The Sudarsana is the mighty jwala at the center of the Kalanala and has the radiance of a 1000 suryas (suns) as can be seen from the Stotra of Ambarisha (Sahasraditya Sankasham Sahasra Vadanam Param Sahasradoh Sahasraram Prapadyeham Sudarsanam).
Thus, this is the dispeller of all forms of darkness (ego, ignorance, evil). Also, the mighty Jwala is the aspect of Jwala Narasimha who destroyed Hiranyakashipu and therefore, is resident in the Sudarsana Yantra. Thus, offering prayers to Sudarsana Chakra is equivalent to offering prayers to the entire Dashavataram. The Sudarsana Chakra grants Moksha (liberation) to anyone who surrenders to it as well as anyone who is killed by it (examples: Shishupala, the crocodile who held Gajendra in his clutches, Narakasura who were all liberated on account of being killed by the Chakra). Ambarisha is an example of one who surrendered to the Chakra and was thus constantly protected by the Chakra. At his request, the Chakra desisted its pursuit of Durvasa Maharishi.
The Sudarsana Chakra has healing characteristics. Therefore performance of the Sudarsana Homam gives relief from various ailments and even possession by the mighty Brahma Rakshasa.
In conclusion, the performance of the Sudarsana Homam grants the performer health, wealth and prosperity. If the performer seeks spiritual benefits, while performing the Homam, he gets it. If the person seeks material benefit, he is so blessed.
The Sudarsana Mantra is as follows -
Om KlEm KrishnAya GovindAya Gopijana Vallabhaya
ParAya Parama PurushAya ParamAtmane
Para Karma Mantra Yantra Tantra Oushada Astra ShastrAni Samhara Samhara
MrutyOr MOchaya MOchaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Maha Sudarsanaya DEpthrae
JwAla ParivruthAya Sarva Dikshobhana KarAya
Hum Phat Brahmane Paranjyotishe SwahAa
Some interesting links relating to prayer, mantras, rituals -
research findings on the ancient fire rituals can be viewed here