|my source for this image|
GV28 Acupuncture point
Located at the tip of the palatte in opposition to Jyestha's position at the back, this is the Medulla area Paramahansa Yogananda refers to (see below) as the place where the soul enters into a new birth, a new body literally. This acupuncture point connects the Governor General vessel (dumai meridian) of yin in yang with the Conception Vessel (renmai meridian) of yang in yin. Therefore the sages gave Bharani the dual association with death and birth (or more correctly rebirth). Bharani is that moment of the soul's passage through the dark tunnel (the mouth and then the birth cannel). It is a powerful threshold crossing space between the astral and physical worlds. I think it is Bhur loka, the life-between-life dimension and so is obviously connected to the sacral chakra, same as our exit point in hrit chakra (Magha), another connection point to Bhur loka in ordinary consciousness...
Sri Vasudeva's variations of the Taoist Microcosmic Orbit PracticeOne of the things Sri Vasudeva teaches is meditation for total wellbeing. To meditate for enlightenment going to the deepest self-awareness we can go is always an ultimate goal, but that doesn't mean neglecting the health of the body, mind, emotion and all the chakras. Moksha or liberation from ignorance brings us into greater contact with all our soul powers, it doesn't remove us from them.
A practice that explains a very basic meaning of Bharani is the Microcosmic Orbit...
"....with this breath you are actually following a meridian channel. It’s called Governing Meridian. From that perineum area going right up along the spine to the back of the neck to the centre of the eyebrows. And then if you put focus to the out-breath breathing down along the centreline of the body nourishing the body your are following the path of what we call the Functional Meridian, or Conception Meridian that nourishes the body. Put the tip of the tongue on the palette - that completes the energy circuit so now you’re following the route of the natural energy that is functioning even when you don’t put your attention there. That is the orbit. Now that you give your attention to it, you’re intensifying the energy..."
The deity is Yama, death, but also righteousness - but the power associated with this deity in Bharani is Apabharani shakti: the power to cleanse and remove impurities. This is exactly what happens when the Conception Vessel is engaged in a Microcosmic Orbit practice. For this wellness practice Sri Vasudeva teaches (and this is also a Kryia Yoga practice) that we breathe in going up the sushumna around the GV points at the medulla but we breathe down the Conception Vessel. The breathing up, especially when your Kundalini is awakened, takes the gross energies of the body and refines them, purifying them and then we use this purified energy to intermingle with the naturally autonomous prana of the subtle body in the gross body, to "intensify the energy". This is like super-boosting your entire system from the inside out. It's part of a holistic self-purification practice that cleans the nadis and chakras using meditation and engaging with Kundalini's inner urgings.
To explore this practice Sri Vasudeva has created an entire step-by-step 21-day Meditation for Total Wellbeing series of talks and meditations, now up on YouTube: link
In a very dynamic way you will feel the power of Bharani as a gateway or portal to connect the higher/deeper energies of your Higher Self with the gross energies of the physical body.
GV28 Medulla "The Mouth of God"This centre has profound importance and other meanings as well. The chakras are also portals to other dimensions. That's why they're called lokas. The GV28-Bharani point, like the GV16-Jyestha point on the other side, are associated with the subtle energy point linked to the medulla in the brain. Remember these are minor chakra points and they are connected with the brow chakra. The brow chakra connects us to all the chakras.
Paramahansa Yogananda writes:
"In man, the medulla is spoken of as 'the mouth of God' because it is the chief opening for the divine influx of cosmic vibratory life force, the 'word' that then flows 'out of the mouth of God' (the medulla) to the reservoir of life energy in the brain and the distributing centers in the spine."
The life force (prana or chi) exists in every living thing (actually in every "thing"). This is the primary access point for souls entering into the human experience, whether we are enlightened or not. Kundalini in Her supreme manifestation takes us to the crown chakra, to enlightenment, but She is also involved in keeping us alive, animated, guided. This is the life force that reiki practioners and other energy healers use, that astral component of everything that is "physical" is what I see as the blueprint for the physical, that which animates the physical, that which creates, sustains, and disolves the physical. In entering a new human body through "the mouth of God" (GV28) the soul leaves the life-between-life dimensions of the governor meridian and enters into the physical body through the conception vessel related to pregnancy and delivery of our new baby body through the mother's womb and yoni.
"The soul makes its entry into matter as a spark of omnipotent life and consciousness within the nucleus formed by the union of the sperm and ovum. As the body develops, this original 'seat of life' remains in the medulla oblongata. The medulla is therefore referred to as the gateway of life through which King Soul makes his triumphal entrance into the bodily kingdom. In this 'seat of life' is the first expression of the incarnate soul's fine perceptions, imprinted with the karmically designed pattern of the various phases of life to come. By the miraculous power of prana, or intelligent creative life force, guided by the faculties of the soul, the zygote develops through the embyonic and fetal stages into a human body."
The astrologer takes the first breath as the birth time for the calculation of the natal chart, while Sri Yukteswar, according to Paramahansa Yogananda says that the true birth time is the moment of conception.
Meaning of the name Bharani
In light of the above, the meanings associated with Bharani nakshatra now make perfect sense. The root word भर bhara means things like "burden, load, pressure, weight". This relates to the weight of our sins/attachments, and the weight of the gross dimension - the body and the dimension together. भर bhara also means "bestowing, carrying, granting, supporting". This relates to our body as a gift from Nature supporting us as the vehicle in our soul journey, also the mother and the mother's womb that carries us. Other meanings like war, heavy work, bulk, particular manner of beating a drum - all have to do with the challenges we have to meet in this earth-school, the lessons we have to learn, the karmic contracts, the trials/tasks that are all for our own purification and release from suffering if we work with them in the right way, in the way of wisdom. The word also means the sense of prize, booty - because whatever life situation we are placed in it is the one we earned from past life, from our choices made in the past.
There is an obviously relationship between भरणी bharaNI [femine form] and भरण bharaNa [masculine form]. Bharana means "maintaining", "bearing" and "wages" implying that we enter into a human experience of life in order to earn/deserve grace so that as a soul we can move into higher dimensions and greater self-mastery. It also means "the act of bearing carrying, nourishing" and that relates to the mother who bears our baby body we are entering into. From an enlightened point of view - the baby, the mother, the soul, the body, and the process of conception to birth is all one - everything is one. That's why all of these meanings apply.
The root ण Na means "no"while the नी nI in भरणी bharaNI means guiding, leader/guide, "into"/"within"/"down"/"back" and that speaks of the actual soul journey through various tunnels or channels or meridians or nadis including the passage through the mouth, and the passage out of the womb and into the "light" of gross dimension consciousness which is also a kind of "darkness" for the soul, because from that point on we start to forget our spiritual nature and spiritual origins. In this sense, birth is a kind of death, and death is a kind of birth, hence the appropriate deity assigned to this is "Yama" who is Lord of the Underworld, death. (Note that the Mayan equivalent is the cellular underworld because here literally the soul is stretching out from a point of light to fit every cell of the body like a glove.) The first human beings ever created according to the Vedic counterpart to Adam and Eve were Yama and Yami - so this connection with death-rebirth applies to the macrocosmic story as well as the microcosmic one. (More on Yama below).
Interestingly and aptly, भरणी bharaNI also means "loofah" - that hard sponge we use to scrub dead cells off our back before bathing. That too makes sense because the soul journey into the human experience is, from a reincarnation point of view, all about cleansing, purifying, and getting rid of that which no longer serves us - namely ego-attachment, attachment to anything that is "I" and not "we" consciousness, attachment to form, attachment to mind etc... When I google images for bhanyi I get a clay pot (I don't know Sanskrit so I have to experiment) and that's also a common symbol for the physical body, as a vessel to contain the soul.
Why Yama is associated with Bharani
Yama is not only the lord of death but also rules over purity, cleanliness, justice and integrity. In being born into a human body we are taking the first step as a yogi in learning to transcend mind. Don't you know that we are all yogis? Patanjalis in his Yoga Sutras writes that the first step the yogi has to take in order to sit in meditation with a quiet mind is to do his homework:
Sri Vasudeva teaches a lot about troubleshooting meditation or whatever spiritual practice we follow by living the teachings in everyday life. If we do not do our "homework" during the hours of the day when we are not sitting in a quiet space practicing meditation, then our meditation practice is going to suffer. The mind will be all over the place and extra hard to control. We will be accumulating bad karma, karma that will continue to challenge us instead of supporting and carrying us more easily into the higher states."The moral restraints and ethical values that we are taught by religion and spiritual teachers are for bringing more peace to the mind. Patanjali, the great teacher of Yoga, has Yama and Niyama, the do's and don'ts of moral life, as the foundation steps of meditation. Jesus, himself, in teaching his followers how to prayer stressed the importance of moral conduct. This is a powerful way of bringing the mind into a more peaceful state. You would notice that when you do the things you consider to be not right you do not feel comfortable within. The mind becomes disturbed. So if you want to have peace of mind in your meditation you need to do the things that you believe are morally right."(Sri Vasudeva, 2003, Satsang Message)
Morality is a subject worthy of contemplation. Sri Vasudeva gave a number of excellent workshops about this. There are all kinds of rules of conduct in our society as well as our own personal code of ethics. Then there is something called "Divine will" which is that higher consciousness we can learn to tap into that guides us from within and without in wise action. In our limited human consciousness we cannot see the big picture, and our idea of "right" may be someone else's idea of "wrong". So this whole morality thing is complicated. Nonetheless, we do have an intuitive sense, a conscience within us, that tells us what is right and wrong. All we can do is try our best, with noble intentions and be open to shifts in understanding that our view may expand to include a greater truth. Sri Vasudeva has said to me "I only see right, right, right!" meaning that the Divine is behind everything that happens. There is a greater purpose for everything. And this is why there is so much pain in this world. We learn from pain. Pain is a teacher, the greatest perhaps. It is when we suffer that we reach out to God the most. "Help me!" "Free me from suffering!" And the whole point is to be receptive to whatever guidance comes in whatever form it comes, and to always be a student. Even in self-mastery Sri Vasudeva loves learning new things. That is the best attitude to take.
One of the most wonderful gifts an awakened Kundalini has given me is the power of the Inner Guide to help me navigate through my intuitive insights to make wise choices in life. Before our intuition is awakened, we need dogma, we need religion, we need our parents and schools teaching us right and wrong. Even after, we need higher guidance from masters who are wiser. Even our astral guides have celestial guides and so do we. We move in this way from Kindergarten to University and then take it out into the world into practice. Wisdom, as Sri Vasudeva has taught, is intuition that takes us to enlightenment. It's the most marvellous definition I have ever heard.
"When you are connected in the inner space, the yamas and niyamas of Patanjali come naturally, you do it naturally – you do the right things, you say the right things, you keep the right company… "
(Sri Vasudeva, 2009, workshop in Cobourg, Canada)This is why in advanced meditation we tend to turn away from religions. It's because we have outgrown them. When the inner guide is functioning in that higher capacity, taking us deeper into our causal and spiritual being, and our ego is no longer interfering with the intuition so that it is wisdom and not self-serving ego, and when we are blessed to have a guide on the outside (or even in nonphysical forms) - then the yamas and niyamas come to us naturally. This is when Lord Yama bows to Shakti. I don't know if there is a mythological story or scriptural story to go with that, but I am sure this is how the story ends. The enlightend ones, the wise ones, have no fear of death anymore. They see all as a play, merry-go-round, a part of the Microcosmic Orbit with its orbits within orbits weaving in and out of dimensions from a space of self-mastery (the higher consciousness of the enlightened Witness), as when Krishna opened his mouth, his mother saw the entire universe...
|(Krishna opens his mouth and his mother sees the whole universe link)|