As The Image Brightens ~ A Book on Ashtamangal Meditation

An enriching guide to Ashtamangal – the eight sacred symbols – this book reveals each of the symbols, their qualities and what makes them powerful tools of meditation. Discover simple ways to enrich your life with joy and abundance.

 

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Specifications

88 pages, Hardbound | Dimensions: 10*10 | Design: Aditi Jain | Illustrations: Elise Collet Sovarito, Italy | Back cover photo: Srivatsa Shandilya, Bangalore | Author: Upadhyaya Praveen Rishi | Compilers: Naveen Galada & Dr. Pratibha Jain | Rs. 550

 

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Introduction

“You can choose joy instead of sorrow, success instead of failure, balance instead of imbalance, and transformation instead of stagnation.”
 
But is it possible to make such a choice? Yes, it is, says Gurudev Upadhyaya Praveen Rishiji! He has spent his life in search of this possibility. He has reflected upon the problems of life, meditated for months in isolation, and studied the ancient texts. And he has discovered the secret.
 
This book shares with you that secret treasure. A treasure of forms which can transform your life. These forms make up the Ashtamangal which means “eight auspicious objects.” Each of these objects represents certain qualities. For instance, the swastik is a symbol of balance. By meditating on the form of the swastik, you can bring about a balance in your thoughts and actions.
 
By reading this book, you will learn that instead of trying to change external situations, you can simply work on your inner body by charging it with the right forms and colours. As the inner body will change, your thoughts will change. As the thoughts change, your destiny will change. This is the basic premise of Ashtamangal Meditation.
 
Written in simple and lucid language, this book will appeal to laypersons and experts. It truly demystifies the science of the sacred symbols.
 

Contents

Contents of the book

Prologue

I. Internalizing the Sacred Treasure – by Gurudev p.10
II. My Guru – My Srivatsa – by Naveen Galada p.12
III. A Treasure Trove – by Pratibha Jain p.14
IV. The Namaskara Mantra p.17
 

Section 1 ~ Elements of Ashtamangal Meditation

1. Introduction p.19
2. The Sacred Forms p.20
3. The Sacred Colours p.21
4. The Power of Mangal p.22
 

Section 2 ~ Using Form and Colour to Infuse Mangal

5. How Form Therapy Works p.24
6. How Colour Therapy Works p.25
7. The Sources of Mangal p.27
8. How the Mangals work p.28
9. Cleansing with the Forgiveness Mantra p.29
 

Section 3 ~ The Two Foundational Mangals

10. Swastik – The Symbol of Balance p.32
11. Srivatsa – The Symbol of Transformation p.34
 

Section 4 ~ The Swastik-Srivatsa Meditation

12. Introduction & Guidelines p.37
13. Level 1 – Image and After-Image p.38
14. Level 2 – Nose Tip Gazing p.39
15. Level 3 – The Great Entry Point p.40
 

Section 5 ~ The Other Six Mangals

16. Kalash – The Symbol of Safety p.44
17. The Kalash Meditation p.46
18. Nandavarta – The Cycle of Joy p.48
19. The Nandavarta Meditation p.50
20. Matsyayugal – The Symbol of Movement p.52
21. The Matsyayugal Meditation p.54
22. Sampusht – The Symbol of Strength p.56
23. The Sampusht Meditation p.58
24. Bhadrasan – The Symbol of Stability p.60
25. The Bhadrasan Meditation p.62
26. Darpan – The Symbol of Clarity p.64
 

Section 6 ~ Intuition and Insights

27. Simple Meditations for Enhancing Life p.68
Meditate like a Lotus | Meditation for Good Sleep
Energizing Your Food| Sky Meditation
28. Building the Vision of Compassion p.70
29. Questions on Ashtamangal Meditation p.71
30. Questions on Body and Soul p.76
31. The Spiritual Science of Ashtamangal Meditation p.78
 

Epilogue

32. Afterword p.80
33. Becoming the Mirror – A poem p.81
 

Other Information

I. Gurudev’s Arham Vijja p.83
II. Other Publications p.84
III. Contact Details p.85
 

Author's Note

Internalizing the Sacred Treasure

Once when I was teaching a group of Jain sadhvis, one of them mentioned the Ashtamangal and asked me, “What is special about these eight objects and how can they enhance our life?” Her question triggered something within me. It beckoned to me and became my first step in this journey of the sacred symbols.

 

In the Jain Agamas, we find references to the eight auspicious objects. I began to search and research. During that time, I got the opportunity to spend a month in Jodhpur and it was here that I found eight references to the Ashtamangal in a library. In each of the references, the mangals were mentioned in the form of ‘sthapana mangal’, which means ‘consecrated objects’. This reiterated the fact that our tradition is always one of pragmatic possibilities.

 

Curiosity took me to the next step and I began with the swastik mangal.
When I first started meditating, I tried many ways to reach a meditative state. I tried auto-suggestion and to command myself. Gradually the realization dawned upon me that meditation is different from suggestion. I also began to realize that meditating upon auspicious images is a powerful tool to attain vairagya.
So, what is meditation? It is not reflection, it is not a thought, it is not even suggestion. It is uniting with the goal, which you see once you close your eyes. From the beginning, I had a clear intuition that in meditation one does not have to create, one only has to see. And to me, seeing the after-image became an important step.
When I came to the stage where I could see the bright after-image with my eyes closed, I started the Meditation classes. This was the year 2003. In the beginning, the experiments were done with the shlokas, and the results soon began to emerge.

 

It was becoming clear that any object or consecration of an object is meaningful when it awakens the ‘bhaava’. If the name, form, object or consecration is devoid of bhaava, it has no meaning. Thus, these three become the path to reach the ‘bhaava’.

 

I don’t even consider worship as mediation. To worship the consecrated object is to create a block. To me, worshipping is creating a distance, feeling the distance and difference. What meditation does is a soulful union with the goal. This is the primary stage.

 

Many ask me, why should we meditate? Man’s mind is surrounded by myriad problems. To find a solution, one needs to correct the inner body and inner structure. Only then will life become joyous.

 

Knowledge can strengthen the mind but it cannot strengthen life. That can happen only with meditation. This reflection and analysis continued until I reached the largest problem of life, i.e., imbalance. If we do not learn to balance knowledge, action and other aspects of our life, it will collapse.

 

As I experimented further, I realized that balance is not enough. Transformation is also needed. It was then that I combined swastik and srivatsa. The sequence of the mangals was now decided. The results of meditation lie in its ease; it is like a natural flow. Meditation cannot be contrived.

 

We need to understand that man does not want concepts and philosophy. He wants a solution to his problems. Here, the process is an outcome of experimentation and results.

 

Ashtamangal Meditation is a complete science; it is a spiritual science. It is not based on any gods, goddesses, community or cult. Its results are not an outcome of faith or devotion, but of the process. Thus, anyone can undertake the Ashtamangal Meditation and find the natural path to joy.

 

I am grateful to those Meditators who had faith in this programme and offered their unconditional support. Step by step we moved forward. Today, this programme is implemented by trainers and teachers in a systematic way in person and online. This year we have conducted 72 hour shivirs; one of which was with a specially designed Mirror for meditation. The dedication and faith of the Meditators and organizers is a heartwarming feeling for me.

 

At the end of this long journey, a complete sadhana has been brought before all of you with which you can move from problems to solutions to self-actualization.

 

As with all else that I do, I now aspire for the test of these experiments and sadhanas through scientific procedure, so that it eventually leads to universal acceptance. This book is a tangible step in this journey. My blessings to one and all who have been a part of this joyous journey.

 

Upadhyaya Praveen Rishi
Jain Monk & Disciple of Acharya Anand Rishiji
Visionary of Anand Tirth & Arham Vijja

Sample Chapter

Chapter 16

 

Kalash – The Symbol of Safety
(Meditation for Protection from Loss)

 

THE SIGNIFICANCE

“Kalash” is the Sanskrit word for pot – usually made of metal or clay. The purpose of the Kalash is to protect things by storing them safely. In many traditions such as Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism, the Kalash is considered auspicious. Meditating on the symbol of the Kalash will protect you, keeping you safe from leakages and insecurities in life.
 

THE PROBLEM

Have you been blessed with a lot of happiness and friends but find that your friends don’t stay with you? Do you make a lot of money but find that your expenses are continually draining it away? Do you have a good understanding and knowledge of subjects, but find that you forget information quickly? Do you eat and rest well, yet get tired easily?
This invariably happens when there is a leak, through which, whatever you receive escapes. If this happens, no matter how much you get, it will never be enough. When there is a puncture in a tyre, no matter how much air you fill in it, it will deflate. When there is a leak and you are always losing something, you also begin to fear loss. Right now, most of us have the capacity to only store the negative things in our life.
We often store negative thoughts associated with situations when someone has hurt us, shouts at us, opposes us or prevents our progress. We choose not to forget these. However we often forget situations when someone has been kind to us, supported us through difficulties or has given us their blessings. The machine inside us is all upside down: we tend to store more negativity than positivity!
 

THE SOLUTION

If you were to stop for a minute and look around, you will notice that there are more flowers than thorns around you – the very design of nature is such, that it creates more happiness than sorrow. Even if 99% of the things in your life go right, you still tend to cling to the 1% that has gone wrong, and end up upsetting yourself.
By meditating on the Kalash, you create and nurture a positive, balanced space inside you. This space is now capable of storing the auspicious things that happen in your life. As you progress in the meditation, you will find a treasure of love and positive energy within you.
You can meditate on the Kalash to solve different problems. For example, if you have suffered business losses you could prevent further leakage; if you are pregnant and lose blood or fluids before delivery; if you have done well in something and want to store your gains; or if you find you are always tired due to a loss of energy.
When you hold your breath during the meditation, you protect your own body, your own breath, and your own energy. You turn yourself into a Kalash!
  

Chapter 17

The Kalash Meditation

There are five coloured Kalash cards. Each coloured card facilitates protection in a specific sphere of life.
• White – protects knowledge
• Red – protects emotions
• Yellow – protects our positive actions
• Green – protects our relationships
• Blue – protects our future plans
Most of the Ashtamangal Meditation is done with normal breathing. The Kalash Sadhana and Bhadrasan Sadhana, however, make use of a specific breathing technique as explained below.
(to be continued…)

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