“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own”.
I have intentionally started this post from a quote from the Holy Bible and not quoting from any Hindu scripture. I wanted to bring home the point that all the scriptures in the world are sprung from the same seed of Absolute Truth, That seed is Supreme Lord.
Sanatana Dharma also has a rich and diverse ritual that helps us in self-purification and connects with the Divine. One such wonderful ritual is the practice of Nyasa. If practiced with the right emotion and feeling, this simple ritual has the potential to bring profound self-transformation.
Understanding Kara Nyasa:
In Kara Nyasa (Nyasa done on the hand) the five fingers along with the palm and back of the hand are used to place the mantra.
The simple way to understand Kara Nyasa is to understand the power of a touch, how these days in touch phones, you touch a particular button and the particular function gets activated. The same idea has been devised by our ancestors and brilliant sages to activate particular tattva in our body.
- Kara Nyasa starts by placing the first seed syllable on the Thumb ending with aṅguṣṭābhyāṁ namaḥ. The thumb represents the Supreme Reality. This is like inviting the supreme reality to come and manifest within.
- We then place the second seed syllable on our index fingers by saying tarjranībhyāṁ namaḥ. The index fingers represent the individual soul or the Jiva. This is an intent to connect individual reality with supreme reality. We intend to merge our individual identity with the chosen deity.
- The next three seed syllables are placed on the middle fingers(madhyamābhyāṁ namaḥ), ring finger(anāmikābhyāṁ namaḥ), and little finger(kaniṣṭhikābyāṁ namaḥ) that represents sattva, rajas, and tamas. Here, we are requesting the chosen deity to come and remove the veil of these three gunas so that we can transcend them over time and understand the ultimate reality. We also request the deity to direct these three gunas in a way that helps a higher purpose or cause.
- The entire mantra is placed on the back of the hand and closed by touching the palm(karatala karapṛṣṭhābhyāṁ namaḥ). This is done to indicate the oneness of Supreme reality, individual soul, and three gunas. Lord is the substratum of all.
The secret of mastering the ritual is doing it with proper feeling and purity of heart. How many times do we act in a certain manner to express our love to someone dear to us? Similarly, if we approach these rituals with pure love with an intention to connect to the Supreme, they have the power to transform us.
P.S: Wherever possible, I have also mentioned the articles from which I have taken definitions or particular information to give the writers due credit. I am not claiming any of this knowledge to be mine. This is just an effort to collate the information from various sources so that we all can have a better understanding of this simple and potent ritual.
Glories to Swamiji 🙏🙏🙏
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