DIWALI OF THE SPIRIT WORLD
THE 3 METALS
NIGHT OF BREATH
This night is known amongst other names as Dev Diwali. This is the Diwali of the spirit world. It is said to be a time when the goddesses and gods rejoice and pour forth blessings to us on earth.
We had our earthly Diwali on the last dark Moon, but now we come to the opposite pole of full Moon.
This ritual night is also known as Tripur Purnima, which translates as the night of the 3 worlds. The eternal Yogi Shiva, lives in the soul of every lover of unity and awakens to his true vision on this night.
Shiva comes into his power on this night as an alignment between the 3 worlds of the unconscious, ultra-conscience and the earth between come into alignment.
This alignment on the astral plane intersects with the 3 phases of breathing that are worshipped and investigated upon this ritual night.
The story tells us that the spirit world on this night becomes eclipsed by the 3 metals of Iron, gold and silver.
In the above picture we see Shiva with his bow which is known as Pinaka.
He is pictured taking aim at the 3 eclipsing cities of iron, gold and silver.
His bow reveals the 3 movements of breath:
>The drawing back of the arrow represents the inhalation.
>The focus and aim represents the pause between breaths.
>The release of the arrow is the exhalation.
>Iron represents the pause between breaths.
>Iron is the strongest terrestrial metal, linked to the planet Saturn, the master of Karmic storage.
>Gold represents the inhalation.
>Gold is linked to the consciousness of the earthly plane.
>Silver represents the exhalation.
>Silver is the metal of the ultra-terrestrial realms.
The Tantric Yogins work with the breath and recognise that the pause between the breaths is a doorway to the unconscious world.
On this night, we will worship and work with the connection between the 3 metals, the 3 worlds and the 3 phases of breathing.
When any or all of these 3 realms become eclipsed to whatever degree, then the sacred heart is also eclipsed.
Shiva is the soul, the eternal Tantric of union who stands and sits in honour of the sacred heart. With the secrets of breath, on this night, Shiva heals the eclipsed sacred heart in all the 3 worlds.
Like many Yogins have before, we will take the stance of Shiva the lover, and stand and sit for the sacred heart.
THE STORY OF TRIPURARI PURNIMA
Dev Diwali is the rejoicing in the spiritual world.
The awareness of Shiva to focus the arrow of vision upon the Karmas that blind the sacred heart are rejoiced upon this full Moon night.
These Karmas are revealed by the force of planetary currents upon the astral plane upon the night of Dev Diwali.
In the Tantric calendar, this is the second most important ritual night that is dedicated to Shiva. The main one being the Shivaratri, which translates as the night of Shiva.
Tripurari Purnima is the full Moon of Shiva in his form known as Tripurara.
Tripurantaka is the destructive healer of the three worlds. Tripurari (Triparuri are the three worlds) Shiva’s arrow-like vision heals the eclipsing of the 3 layers of the heart.
That is, the unconscious, the earthly conscious and the ultra-conscious.
Tripurara is a name of Shiva that means the lord who heals the Karmas of the three worlds.
Pura signifies a place or a city. These are the 3 cities that can obscure the sacred heart. We will go on to the story that tells us how these 3 cities were constructed around the sacred heart.
At first sight it is a rather fantastical tale of power hungry Yogis flying around spaceship-like worlds in the sky. But is a legend that has a teaching subtext that tells of the main 3 metals of the human psych/physical system and how they can karmically obscure the sacred heart. The story also points to movements upon the astral plane that occur cyclically. Let us slowly manoeuvre into the story.
The work of this ritual night is concerned with deconstructing the karmic imprints and personal illusions in our 3 worlds.
The marking upon the forehead of Shiva are the three lines that denote the healing of the three realms, we will take the seat and stance of the eternal Yogi Shiva. Shiva breaths in us all.
The three worlds that relate to this full Mooned night, are collectively called Trilokh when they are unobscured. Shiva is the soul in us all that longs to love. The destruction of Shiva is the healing of that which obscures the sacred heart. The three worlds are named thus in Yogic cosmology:
Svarga, is the spirit world,
Patala, is the underworld of the unconscious,
Bhumi, is the earth plane where the two worlds meet.
These worlds are symbolised by 3 terrestrial metals.
Patala is related to the strongest terrestrial metal of Iron,
Silver is the metal of the mysterious and unseen lunar world of Svarga,
Gold is twice as heavy as silver, it is the metal of the revealed world, illuminated by the golden sun in the daylight on the earthly plane of seen things, known in Tantra as the realm of Bhumi
THE 3 ASURA BROTHERS
The story goes that there were three Asura brothers. These three brothers wished to dominate creation. Collectively they are known as Tripasura, the three Asuras.
They had become so powerful by Yogic pursuits, and emulating the magical arts of Shiva himself.
Asura is often translated as Demon, this is not really an accurate term. Demon has many connotations that are foreign to the concept of Asura. Asuras are often great devotees of Shiva and worshipers of the mysteries, they are opposite to the Devas.
Perhaps Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita gives the best description when he says that Asuras are divided beings and Devas are unified beings.
The 3 metals represent the 3 energy channels of the spine. The Devic consciousness is a unification of all 3 metals of the psycho/physical spinal energy. The Asuric consciousness is the division between the metals, as the story highlights.
We could say that the Asuras are spirit beings who are overshadowed by unconscious shadows which lead them to destructive ways. The 3 cities that we will soon look at, represent the unconscious shadow worlds.
The three Asura brothers of this story were the Sons of the mighty Asura Taraka, who represents the destructive side of the sexual chakra. Taraka fathered 3 rapscallious sons named Vidyunmaali, Kamalaaksha, and Taarakaaksha.
The father had already met his fate at the hands of Shiva’s son.
The father was himself a powerful Yogi who had not completed his Yogic-austerity, but had prematurely gained power by a gamble. The gamble of premature power was given on condition that he could only be killed by Shiva’s son.
Knowing that Shiva was a Yogi, far out of reach of the world and family life, Tarakasur took the gamble of power.
Once drunk on his own power, he started to dominate unjustly with his newly acquired, seemingly unstoppable power.
Little did he know that Shakti was to entice the mighty renunciant Shiva and bear a child with him. And so Tarakasur met his fate as had been ordained.
Vidyunmaali. Kamalaaksha, and Taarakaaksha represent the hidden unresolved Karmas of the active masculine and receptive feminine.
They represent the Moon, the Sun and Shuni (the planet Saturn). Shuni is he who raises both active and receptive Karma. Saturn tells us… that which has not been seen but must be faced.
The story will soon reveal how each brother chose the respective metal of Moon, Sun and Saturn.
The brothers, although devotees of Shiva, bore a grudge in their hearts that their father had not been as great as Shiva and had met his demise on account of Shiva’s son.
The grudge that the brothers held against Shiva was to poison their hearts and cause their ruin.
The grudge they held represents the unresolved Karma with which they are synonymous.
THE 3 CITIES OF METALS
The Three brothers with their endless magical concentrations and Yogic austerities bore results after continued devotion.
So much so, that they won the favour of the creator. They were offered wishes for anything they so desired.
Now, the 3 yogic brothers were so highly jealous of Shiva – who lived in the unreachable mountainous realms in Yogic devotions – that they wanted to be more powerful than him. A spirit of competitive contempt gripped them, and so they wished for flying cities in the sky that would float above the abode of Shiva.
The three brothers believed that if they elevated themselves higher than the unfathomable heights of Shiva, then they would be greater than he.
The first brother asked for his flying city in the sky to be made of gold.
The second brother wished his flying city in the sky to be made of Silver.
The third brother wished for his flying city in the sky to be made of Iron.
The architect Mayasur was the one who built the cities in the sky for the 3 arrogant brothers. Mayasur was the great Architectural lord responsible for building the destructive entrapment of creation. It was Mayasur who built and gave his name to the legendary hall of mirrors known as Mayasabha.
The three brothers conspired to align the cities with the weight of all 3 metals ready to sonic boom with full force against Shiva.
It took them a whole year before they could manage to form an exact alignment.
When they finally did, they agreed to ram full blast onto the sacred mountain upon which Shiva eternally meditates.
They planned to smash the mountain to dust, and along with it, the great Shiva.
And so on the day in question, which falls upon Deva Diwali, there is an astral alignment of destructively Karmic spiritual forces.
In Tantric science the metal of the Moon is Silver, the metal of the Sun is Gold, and the metal of Saturn is Iron.
Saturn is the planet that raises the deep unconscious imprints and most hidden Karmas.
When Saturn merges with the Moon and the Sun, he reveals the hidden shadow sides of these two planets. These are the receptive Lunar and the active Solar shadows we are talking of. The unresolved active and receptive sides of our being are brought to the surface upon the spiritual plane on the night of Deva Diwali.
FASTER THAN TIME
At the moment of exact alignment after a year of trying to synchronise their flying cities of metal, the 3 brothers blasted the mountain of Shiva at lightning speed.
In terminal velocity they broke through space and time. Sound and vision barriers were torn and transgressed.
But the Tripasura (3 Asura brothers) had underestimated Shiva, the master of Yog!
In speed beyond light and thought, Shiva saw what was going on and summoned Vishvakarma who is the architect of the universe of the creative side of creation.
Shiva asked Vishvakarma for an arrow to be built that could destroy the 3 cities. It was done as the very thought was manifesting.
The arrow appeared as instantaneously as the speed of thought and Shiv took aim with his bow which is known as Pinakka. The arrow rained fiery flames and torrents of water upon the three cities and pierced the arrogant hearts of the three Yogis gone astray.
The cities rose and fell in flames as they bled melting metallic blood.
Shiva danced the dance of destruction known as the Tandav upon the smouldering remains, (the particular dance he danced was known as ‘the vision of the three worlds dance,). These are three distinct yogic dances that relate to Silver, Gold, and Iron. They were danced by Shiva upon the night of Dev Diwali, and make up the ritual practice of this night.
The blazing 3 worlds seemed to turn to dust, they then departed beyond the terrestrial hemisphere and disappeared.
From the ashes of the burned bodies of the brothers, Shiva drew three lines upon his forehead, one silver, one gold and one black.
There are other variants of the story where Shiva only gazed upon the cities and they dissolved. Some of the versions of the story tell of other quite charming details. For example, the great snake Vasuki that Shiva wears as a necklace, was the bowstring, and the war chariot on which he rode for the task of shooting at the 3 cities was Bhumi, the earth Goddess, the chariot had the Moon and the Sun as its wheels, and Vishnu the deity of the heart was the arrow.
Tripurantaka became Shiva’s name after he destroyed the 3 cities and the Tripasura (the three Asura brothers).
Tripurara also became Shiva’s name, meaning ‘the lord of the three worlds’.
The forehead markings of Shiva bear significance to this.
The mountainous home of Shiva is referred to as the solid seat of Shiva, Shivasan.
The story reveals how all of us walk in the balance of our mountain, which can be stirred up, or threatened by the solar and lunar expressions of unconsciousness.
After marking his forehead victoriously, yet without vanity or display, Shiva returned to his Samadhi but was ever very attentive.
At the exact time each year, by planetary alignment upon the astral plane, the three cities in the sky boomerang back – like an echo etched in the fabric of time and space – they return and attempt to bombard the sacred mountain meditation once again. The yogic power of the three brothers combined had etched itself into the ethers for infinity.
Shiva takes a whole year to breath one single breath, and between each breath he is vigilant to cast the arrow and blast the cities back into outer orbit.
The pause between each inhale and exhale is a place of vigilance and concentration where Shiva remains aware of the shadow of the three metal cities of gold, silver and iron.
That is, the underworld Karmas of the feminine and masculine that Shuni (Saturn) dredges up from the unconscious receptive and active poles.
The lunar and solar poles of Silver and Gold are raised once a year on this junction.
An opportunity is afforded to see into the hidden stories encoded in the inner and outer constellations that we are living unconsciously between the feminine and the masculine.
Upon this yearly junction the Sun and Moon are positioned in such a way that they are pushed by Saturn to raise the Karmas latent in the masculine solar (gold) and feminine lunar (silver).
Remember that in Yogic science, Saturn is the planet that rules the deepest Karmas that dwell in both the physical and astral body.
To the Tantrics, Saturn is the king of the planets, known for his ability to cast shadowy unconscious darkness upon all and sundry.
Dev Diwali is the rejoicing in the spiritual world of the awareness of Shiva to cast the arrow of aware vision upon the blind Karmas of our solar and lunar nature. These Karmas are revealed by the force of planetary currents upon the astral plane once a year on Deva Diwali.
A GUPT PUJA
The planets are physical and affect us physically, but the planets also have realities in the astral world. This night of Dev Diwali, it is to be remembered, is based upon movements of the inner astral universe. It is after all the Diwali of the spirit world.
Tantra recognises several unorthodox Gupt Pujas (hidden ritual days), these are in some ways mirrors of earthly planetary events. The Gupt ritual days are times of very subtle inner work. More subtle techniques are applied on the Gupt ritual days.
Gupt rituals are times when more detailed and subtle techniques are practiced, as planets on the astral plane work from the inside out as opposed to the outside in.
Dev Diwali is a secret and inner Diwali that can not be taken for granted. If we do nothing to attempt to look at the Karmas that are pushing us into actions both passive and active, then there is no rejoicing and the Inner Dev Diwali is nothing we would know as experience.
Spiritual lamps take much care, huffs and gusts of impulses and cheap escapist moves can extinguish magic flames in an instant.
In the Tantric pantheon of sacred healing practices, every Moon phase has its corresponding practices and Mudras.
Shiva’s bow (Dhanusha) is named Pinakka, it represents his breath.
This bow represents the slowly drawn breath, the pause between the breath and is the shot of the arrow.
The in-breath is the gold, the out-breath is the silver and the pause between the breaths is Iron, where the latent Karmas that live unseen are found. When the pause between the breaths is discovered, then the secrets of Pranayam open up sun and moon in our inner microcosm of body and soul.
The backbend in Yog is the essential of melting, it is independent of strength or force but requires a solid foundation from which to fall with gravity. The secret of opening the back bend is in the discovery of the pause between the breaths.
Deep Karmas are melted both physically and psychically in the back bend. Back bend is Bolo, the soft one. Bolo is a name of Shiva.
When we are over-active and living by the solar principle over the Moon, the relationships to the feminine fall into imbalance. The pause between the breaths can appear as an empty and lonely place, but this is a place to be ventured into if we are to know and heal the secrets of latent Karma. Our magical secrets are symbolised by the mountainous home of Shiva.
This night’s ritual is very much about discovering the pauses between the breaths,
that which we move away from and towards.
That which we move towards hangs together in absolute relation to what we move away from.
That which we do not want to see, conditions that which we see.
The Yogin investigates Shakti/Shiva and that which connects and repelled them from each other. We could say, Woman & Man, Mother & father, Moon & Sun, the Night & Day, Egg & Seed.
Shiva’s bow shoots the sacred arrow of water and fire, this is silver and gold, this is the Moon and the Sun, this is the female dark (Rajas) blood, and the male white (Bindu) seed.