Significance of Karthik Surya Sadhana
You can also listen to the discourse (in Hindi) on Karthik Surya Sadhana here.
Beginning from Aries and ending with Pisces, there are twelve signs in the Zodiac. It takes the Sun twelve months to move through the entire Zodiac. This glorious planet is at its strongest in Aries and the weakest in Libra, representing the lunar months of Chaitra and Kartika respectively. In the Western system of astrology, the Sun enters into Libra exactly on the same day every year, Sep 23, that is not the case in the Vedic tradition, however, which relies heavily on lunar movements.
To calculate according to the Vedic calendar, you will consider the date when the Sun enters into Tula, Libra, in the month of Kartika.
See the sign of Libra, it’s when the sun is most weak. It’s time to balance the scales or tip them in your favor. It’s the perfect time to align your energy with the solar energy contained in absolutely everything around. (Plants, tree and all lifeforms thrive on the energy of the sun).
Almost an exact six months later, the sun moves into Aries, when, as I wrote earlier, it’s in its most strong position in the zodiac. Please see the image of Aries below:
Notice how the scale has not just tipped, it’s turned altogether. Though, one could say that the sign Aries is signifying the horns of the ram — the traditional sign for Aries, still, the image is right in front of you.
Seasons too undergo a major change in April and October in most parts of the world, hence an alignment of the sonic and solar energies can bring about profound and lasting changes in you.
A period of thirty days beginning the muhurta is very auspicious for accumulating and befriending the solar energy. Why? Because, in the world of sadhana, when a planet is debilitated, it is easier to build its energy. In mantra yoga, the practitioner develops a gradual and personal relationship with the deity of the mantra. Nothing like supporting the energy when it’s operating at a lower frequency. Every year the date changes and you can calculate the date using this vedic calendar.
Meditating on your manipura chakra, solar plexus, or your belly button in simple terms, the fiery color of the sun, for these thirty days is sure to balance your pitta (bile) at the physical level and your samana vayu, thermal energy at the psychic level. If you are initiated into a mantra, this will be the perfect month to further build its energy.
I am sharing with you a month-long Karthik Surya sadhana which has two parts (morning and night). On the very first day, you have to announce your resolve to the Universe, saying I so-and-so vow to chant one round of this mantra every morning and meditate for five minutes every night for the next thirty days. I am doing so for my spiritual growth. May the blessings of the universe and lineage (and your guru, if you have one) be with me.
1. Get up before sunrise. Even 20 min before sunrise will do.
2. Take a bath and wear fresh clothes. Ideally, red, but any color will do.
3. Sit on your asana, prayer mat, and take three sips of water to symbolize purification. (You can do the more elaborate steps of purification if you know them, but for now, this will do). Wash your hands with a few drops (once again, this is a symbolic gesture).
4. Keep a small pot of water next to you (not the one you just used in step-3), put a pinch of turmeric in it.
5. Chant the following mantra 108 times either using rudraksha beads or mentally.
Om hreeng ashva-tejasya adhovaani svahaa. ॐ ह्रीं अश्व-तेजस्य अधोवाणी स्वाहा । IAST: oṃ hrīṃ aśva-tejasya adhovāṇī svāhā ।
(In the mantra above, it’s not hreem but hreeng, ng in hreeng represents a soft nasal sound, like we say Ma. If you have any confusion around it, just say hreeng the way it’s written. Anyday, it’s better than saying hreem. The audio is as follows:)
I’ve now provided the Karthik Surya Sadhana mantra in Sanskrit. In the audio recording, I’ve spoken it slowly in the beginning and then at my normal pace.
6. Once done, you can wear the beads around your neck (or simply keep them at your altar, whatever is convenient for you) and pray for the well-being of everyone.
7. Now, the pot you used to take sips in the beginning, say the mantra (Om hreeng ashva-tejasya adhovaani svahaa), blow on it once and drink it.
8. The second pot of water (with turmeric in it), is best offered at a shivalingam in a Shiva temple. If there’s no Shiva temple near by, then look in the direction of the sunrise and offer (arghyam) the water on the ground or in the root of any plant. In case you are wondering, I do not encourage anyone to specially bring a shivalingam home for this sadhana alone. But, if you already have one at home, use that. Nothing like doing it on the consecrated shivalingam in the Shiva temple though.
9. Once done, you can eat your breakfast or get on with your day.
Sitting in your bed, just before going to sleep, meditate on your solar plexus for five minutes and chant the mantra. Imagine the concentration of the energy of the mantra on your solar plexus.
The Karthik Surya Sadhana will conclude on the 30th day in the morning when you offer water either at the shivalingam or in the direction of the sunrise. At least, on the last day, do your best to offer the water on a shivalingam in a Shiva temple.
1. Although I’m only recommending the Karthik Surya Sadhana to the people I’ve initiated, you are welcome to do it this sadhana even if you have never been initiated, follow some other guru, or don’t follow anyone. For those initiated by me (any level), it is one of the sadhanas that siddhas in our lineage practiced, so it comes with some inherent blessings. I’ve shared with you the simplest version.
2. Anyone over the age of 12 can do it, men, women (including menstruating women — mentioning it here in anticipation because I always get asked this question), girls, boys, old, young anyone at all.
3. Yes, you can travel if you have to.
4. A vegetarian diet is recommended but there are no hard-and-fast rules per se.
5. The pots can be of any metal. Best if they are copper but any metal will do. Don’t let the material of the pots stop you from doing this sadhana. You can even use stainless steel or ceramic for all I care.
6. If you miss any day, the sadhana is compromised. Thereafter, you can either abandon or resume; it’s entirely up to you.
7. On this blog, while I have enabled comments, I don’t take any questions. The support team is unable to answer or get these questions answered for you.
May Divine Grace be with you and you continue to do beautiful things with your blessed life.