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Vedic Deities and Sadhana

Divisions of Universe Vedic Deities & Sadhana
10. Mitra - Varuna:

Mitra - Varuna (Cosmic Order in Nature):
- Upholds Cosmic Order (Rita)
(Dynamic form of the Virat-Rupa of the divine worshipped during sadhana)

11. Usha:

Usha (Dawn):
- Dawn
(First light of the divine removing the darkness of ignorance during sadhana)

The inner awakening of the sadhaka is compared to the dawn. The appearance of the Sun during dawn is heralded by Pushan, the messenger of the Sun. The Sun is the eye of the Cosmic Order. Our beings now gets attuned to the Cosmic Order of god.

12. Surya:

Surya (Sun):
- Eye of Cosmic Order
- Witnesses our acts
(Source of energy from cosmic plane during sadhana)

When the Sun appears during dawn, it sends its rays of knowledge to us. The inner illumination is the action of Savita (praised in the famous Gayatri mantra).

13. Savita:

Savita (Divine essence of Sun):
- Divine Effulgence
- Awakens our intellect
(Divine effulgence revealed during sadhana)

14. Pushan:

Pushan (Aspect of Sun): - Messenger of Sun
- Shows the right path
- Witness the worlds
(Showing the divine path during sadhana)

Sadhana is a long journey and there is a chance of getting astray anytime by egoistic thoughts, desires and distractions. brings the sadhaka back to the path by pointing towards the presence of the Sun.

15. Ashwins:

- Divine physicians
- Helps during distress
(Extending divine help in distress during sadhana)

During sadhana there are times of distress. The Ashwins help the sadhaka during these times.

16. Saraswati:

- Universal Wisdom
- Inspires us towards Truth
(Intelligence and wisdom revealed during sadhana)

Through the grace of Saraswati there is a dawn of wisdom within the sadhaka.

(Intermediate Space)
6. Indra:

Indra (Thunder & Lightning):
- Destroys obstructing forces
- Releases rain water
- Uncovers the sun
(Shraddha and heroic power build-up destroying impediments during sadhana)
(Brings the rain of grace during sadhana)
(Uncovers the sun of knowledge during sadhana)

#. Thunder and Lightning:
- Symbolism: In Vedic mythology Indra is associated with thunder and lightning. Indra holds a Vajra (Thunderbolt) which is compared with lightning. Indra is portrayed as a deva with heroic power who wages war against the enemies and removes the obstructive forces.

- Sadhana: The heroic aspect of Indra represents the build-up of Shraddha and inner power after prolonged sadhana. The power build-up is required to slay the inner enemies (lust and greed) who are very strong. Shraddha is the conviction about God developed within one's being after some aspect of God is realized within the depth of one's being. The power build-up is not a one-time display of strength through will-power. It is the accumulation of inner power after prolonged sadhana which has solidified as the character of the sadhaka. With this power the sadhaka finally overcomes the inner enemies.

#. Slaying of demon Vrtra:
- Symbolism: In Vedic mythology the serpent-demon Vrtra confines rain-water in the sky and prevents it from shedding on the earth. Indra wages war against Vrtra and releases the rain-water from the clouds. This also results in the appearance of the Sun over the sky.

- Sadhana: Vrtra symbolizes the obstructive forces within the being of the sadhaka. These obstructive forces will keep the consciousness of the sadhaka constricted, not allowing it to expand towards the divine. These forces are very strong and illusive. Their illusive nature is such that the sadhaka will not realize that he is in bondage. He will feel comfortable as he is and sadhana will appear as a disturbance in life. The sadhaka realizes his bondage when after prolonged sadhana the power of Indra gets developed within him. He then sees the strong forces to conquer (lust and greed) and external disturbances to overcome. The power of Indra fights against these inner enemies. In the Vedas the largest number of hymns are dedicated to Indra. This underlines the importance of the build-up of the strength of character during sadhana.

#. Releasing rain-water:
- Symbolism: In Vedic mythology Indra wages war against demon Vrtra and releases the rain-water from the clouds.

- Sadhana: The rain-water signifies the rain of grace. This grace is the outcome of inner expansion. Vrtra obstructed the rain-water of grace which was in the sky. The sky symbolizes the vastness of our soul. Vrtra obstructed the sky and kept the doors of the soul closed. Indra slayed Vrtra and opened the sky of the soul. Water signifies Rasa (literally juice). Once the door of the sky got opened Rasa started flowing from it. This fills the sadhaka with the rasa of devotion.

#. Appearance of the Sun in the sky:
- Symbolism: In Vedic mythology Indra wages war against demon Vrtra and releases the rain-water from the clouds. This clears the sky and the Sun appears over it.

- Sadhana: Appearance of the Sun symbolizes knowledge. The rays of the Sun symbolizes the rays of knowledge. Through the rain of grace the sadhaka is filled with the rasa of devotion. At the same time through the rays of Sun the sadhaka is filled with the light of knowledge. Pure bhakti and pure jnana are one.

7. Maruts:

Maruts (Storm):
- Storm
- Companions of Indra
- Destroys obstructing forces
- Releases rain water
(Heroic power build-up destroying impediments sadhana)

The Maruts join Indra in destroying the obstructive forces.

- Storm: In external nature the storm with great gust of wind symbolises the Maruts.

- Removal of obstructive forces: The Maruts accompany Indra in destroying the obstructive forces and bringing the rain of grace.

8. Vayu:

Vayu (Wind):
- Wind
- Prana of the Purusha
(Prana-Shakti directed towards the divine in surrender during sadhana)

Vayu signifies prana or prana-vayu. By the action of Agni, Soma, Vishnu, Indra and Maruts the ego starts melting. Prana having been purified tries to connect with the greater existence of God.

- Wind: In external nature the wind symbolises the Vayu. The wind blowing down from the sky brings the message of the higher world. This corresponds to the Bhava which flows within the sadhaka when his / her inner being is purified.

- Bhava: Vayu symbolises the Bhava of the sadhaka, Wind can carry both the coolness of water and the heat of the Sun rays. Similarly Vayu can carry the Bhava of both devotion and knowledge.

9. Rudra:

Rudra (Thunder Storm):
- Breaks bondages
(Breaking of bondages during sadhana)

Rudra breaks the bondages within us. Bondage-breaking is always associated with great internal tumult. So Rudra is always seen as full of wrath. The sadhaka welcomes Rudra, but propitiates Rudra to ease the wrath and make it bearable.

About the sadhana:

The sadhana described here uses Vedic symbolism in devotional worship. The concepts of Vedic yagna and devas are used in this symbolism. The purpose of this sadhana is to bring about an inner transformation in the sadhaka. The inner transformation is of the nature of the development of inner purity and expansion; discovering the joy within the soul; discovering the delight within the creation; and feeling the presence of the divine essence underlying all creation.

The sadhana is depicted as the worship of the Cosmic Being. In Rig Veda two descriptions of Cosmic Being are - the Purusha (described in Purusha Sukta of RV 10.90) and the Devi (described in Devi or Vak Sukta of RV 10.125). The sadhaka can consider his Ishta Deva and Devi (in Virat Rupa) as the Cosmic Being, one representing the cosmic male principle and the other the cosmic female principle.

1. Agni:

Agni (Sacrificial Fire):
- Invokes devas
- Messenger of devas
- Bears oblations
(Will-power to start and continue sadhana)

Agni (Domestic Fire):
- Guardian of the house

#. Sacrificial fire:
- Symbolism: The Vedic yagna starts by kindling the sacrificial fire. The sacrificial fire is the external manifestation of Agni.

- Sadhana: Will-power and energy are the internal manifestation of Agni. Symbolically the sadhaka kindles the will-power of Agni within his heart. This will-power overcomes lethargy and enables the sadhaka to start the sadhana. The will-power also gives the power to continue the sadhana.

#. Offering Oblations:
- Symbolism: After kindling the sacrificial fire of the Vedic yagna, oblations are offered in the fire to invoke the devas. Agni is the messenger of the devas and the oblation-bearer. Agni is the priest of the sacrifice who invokes the devas.

- Sadhana: Symbolically, the sadhaka offers the oblations of his works to his Ishta devata in the sacrificial fire kindled within his heart. The sadhaka invokes his Ishta devata through these oblations. Offering oblations of work means remembering while working that the energy of work is coming from God and the "I" is an instrument in the hands of God. The oblation is offered with devotion feeling the presence of the Ishta devata within the heart. Later the attitude of offering matures to offering the self or ego at the Lotus Feet of God. This is surrender. Initially the sadhaka selects some specific works and performs those as oblations to God.

2. Soma:

Soma (Soma juice):
- Devas invited to drink
(Joy underlying existence)
(Joy within the soul during sadhana)

#. Soma juice:
- Symbolism: During the Vedic yagna Soma juice is prepared for offering it to the devas.

- Sadhana: The Soma juice symbolizes the joy underlying all existence. The Soma juice also symbolizes the joy within the soul. This is the Ananda (Bliss) perceived by the jnani. For a devotee the Soma juice is the joy of devotion.

#. Preparing Soma juice:
- Symbolism: For the Vedic yagna the Soma juice is prepared from the Soma plant. There is a particular process followed for pressing out the Soma juice and offering it to the devas.

- Sadhana: The sadhaka prepares the Soma juice of devotion within his heart. He presses out the Soma juice through japa, prayers and rememberance of God (and His Leelas). This is an important step and not completed in haste.

#. Offering Soma juice:
- Symbolism: After preparing the Soma juice the devas are invoked to partake it. The devas are invoked through sacrificial oblations and chanting of the Vedic mantras. The devas partake the Soma juice. After partaking the Soma juice the devas often get invigorated and carries on with their functions with more vigour.

- Sadhana: After preparing the Soma juice of devotion within his heart, the sadhaka offers it to his Ishta devata. The preparation of Soma juice and offering it to God completes the cycle of outpouring of devotion. This purifies the heart of the sadhaka.

3. Brahmanaspati:

- Invokes devas through prayers
(Yearning behind prayers during sadhana)

#. Prayers:
- Symbolism: During the Vedic yagna, Vedic mantras are recited to invoke the devas. The devas are often invoked to partake the Soma juice. The Vedic mantras embodied prayers. The devas are invoked to bestow boons, both material and spiritual. Brahmanaspati is the power behind the prayers which invoke the devas.

- Sadhana: The sadhaka invokes his Ishta devata through prayers. The sadhaka glorifies his Ishta devata by reciting stotras and prays to Him for devotion and knowledge. While praying, the sadhaka feels an yearning for God within his heart. This yearning is the main ingredient of the Soma juice of devotion. God partakes this yearning like partaking Soma juice. This yearning forms the connection with God within the heart.

4. Dyava - Prithivi:

Dyava - Prithivi (Nature):
- Dwelling place
(Virat-Rupa of the divine worshipped during sadhana)

#. Nature:
- Symbolism: The Vedas divide the universe into three divisions - Dyau (Heaven or the Celestial region), Antariksha (Intermediate Space between Earth and Heaven or the Atmospheric region) and Prithivi (Earth or the Terrestrial region). This is often termed together as Dyava - Prithivi. Divine forces or devas permeate the Dyava - Prithivi. The external Nature is the visible manifestation of this.

- Sadhana: Nature has a vastness in which human soul often tends to lose itself. There is silence and peace in this vastness which permeate the core of human beings. Standing in this vastness the human soul feels the presence of a vaster life inside. The sadhaka meditates on the Virat rupa of his Ishta devata amidst this vastness of Nature. He tries to become one with this vastness and transcend his ego. This expands the heart of the sadhaka.

5. Vishnu:

- Takes strides across the worlds
(Inner expansion during sadhana)

#. Strides across the worlds:
- Symbolism: In the Vedas, Vishnu is described as taking strides across the three worlds. By taking strides across the worlds Vishnu bears the Dharma.

- Sadhana: Taking strides across the three worlds represent inner expansion. Normally the human soul is attached to the gross things of the world. It needs to detach itself inwardly and expand towards the divine consciousness. This is Atman's longing for the Paramatman. Vishnu is the power which brings about this inner expansion. Meditating on the Virat rupa of his Ishta devata (as Consciousness) behind Nature, the sadhaka tries to expand his heart towards the divine. The sadhaka takes up service activities to feel the same divine presence in others. This expands the devotion in the heart of the sadhaka towards the world. This represents the symbolism of Vishnu bearing the Dharma.

Vedic Vision of Nature:
  1. Introduction
  2. Meditation on Dyauh Shanti Mantra:
    Meditation on the underlying Peace pervading the three divisions of the Universe.
  3. Meditation on Ambhasyapare Mantra:
    Meditation on the underlying Divinity pervading the vast Universe.
  4. Meditation on Satyam-Brhad-Rtam Mantra:
    Meditation on how the Earth is sustained by Truth, Cosmic Order and Penance.
  5. Meditation on Yaa-Arnnave-Adhi Mantra:
    Meditation on the Divine heart of Mother Earth.
  6. Meditation on Vishvambhara Vasudhani Mantra:
    Meditation on the all-encompassing Qualities of Mother Earth.
  7. Meditation on Yam Rakshanti Asvapna Mantra:
    Meditation on the all-giving nature of Mother Earth protected by divine forces.
  8. Meditation on Giriyas-Te Parvata Mantra:
    Meditation on the Joy spread by the Hills, Snow-clad Mountains and Forests of Mother Earth.
  9. Meditation on Vaishvanaram Bibhrati Mantra:
    Meditation on Mother Earth who holds the Universal Fire within her.
  10. Meditation on Yasyam Aapah Paricarah Mantra:
    Meditation on Mother Earth in whom Water flows day and night from all sides unceasingly.
  11. Meditation on Yasyam Vedim Parigrhnanti Mantra:
    Meditation on Mother Earth as a great sacrificial altar in which we offer our activities.
- Author: greenmesg

Bharatavarsha - The Land of Gods and Sages:

1. Stotras
2. Scriptures
3. Pilgrimages
4. Festivals
5. Saints: Ramakrishna - Vivekananda - Ramana
6. Sadhana
7. Sanskrit
8. Nature

Meditation on Earth - The Vedic way: >>

Om, May there be Peace in Heaven,
May there be Peace in the Sky,
May there be Peace in the Earth,

(Shanti Mantra of Upanishad)

Preserve Nature,
And Nature will preserve Us,
Simplify Life,
And help Nature thrive,
Plant Trees,
And make our planet Green.

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Green Message: The Evergreen Messages of Spirituality, Sanskrit and Nature

Last updated on Feb-2019

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