- Shortest course. Good for those who cannot sleep at night. Recommended primarily for those who have minimal exposure to Indian thinking.
Om Gum Ganapataye Namah
Introduction to Ratri Suktam
The legacy left by the rishis who lived in the land called Bharat is for the entire world to discover and benefit. It is not restricted to a particular time period nor confined to a spatial area. The rishis in their wisdom have addressed every concern of the human mind. It is up to us to make full use of that legacy towards a life of peace no matter where we find ourselves. Unlike the present 'way of the west' the profound discoveries made by the rishi’s and their outpourings were spontaneous, not concocted or deliberate. Their declarations were in tune with the cosmic order or ritam.
We are all caught up in a world where there is an imbalanced emphasis on economic progress. To survive in this grand economic progress all units of society become sacrificial lambs. The consequences are being felt in many areas of man's life. While job specifications are clearly defined, family roles have been shattered. The bombardment caused by television, newspapers, and movies has stifled original thinking and resolving. Our individual world has certainly expanded to include thoughts from diverse cultures. Our activities however no longer follow in tune with the harmony of the spheres. Those that are berated as less intelligent than us such as animals and birds seem to maintain this harmony effortlessly. The Ratri suktam would like us to notice this fact. For example, an aggressive bird like the hawk has the sense to know when to repose. This sukta is advising us to address our deep concerns that lie hidden in our subconscious but which produce frustrations in daily life. Underneath all this hustle and bustle we harbour certain deep, underlying concerns that are carryovers of a hoary heritage. It is a heritage based on Sanatana Dharma - a life based on eternal values that have stood the test of time, a life whose various compartments fit well within the Cosmic Order. Those from cultures outside of India need to simply take a cursory glance at their own "pagan" heritage. Prior to the coming of organized religions, these cultures lived in perfect harmony with the universe. Today aboriginals and indigenous tribes left undisturbed by modern man continue to prove this truth. A total lack of understanding of the value of indigenous belief combined with arrogance and greed has resulted in massive eradication of valuable knowledge of the indigenous people.
The Ratri Suktam addresses one of these underlying concerns that is being manifested in the fear of night and the sense of protection for those loved ones who seem to have no choice or who tend to ignore or even abuse this part of the Divas or the Day. Our lifestyles no longer honour the sanctity of the Night-Divine. The biological clock of man, when tampered this way, pays a heavy price. Its ill effects will spread over generations to come. In the Ratri suktam, the she-wolf, the-wolf and the thief represent categories of beings that under the cover of night, infatuate, subdue and plunder respectively. Night is the arena of play for these Nisaacharaas. No one in their right mind would want to be their victims. It is the wise that understands the proper use of nighttime. The night is gathering our scattered energies, to maintain the togetherness of the family, for rest and introspection. A life lived in this manner alone brings in the Day, with a sunrise where all our faculties will be charged and ready to function.
The Rigvedic statements are all powerful mantras. At this hour of dire need, we shall resort to the wisdom of the Rishis. All worries seem to assume gigantic proportions at night. With a wish to assuage such fears and to strengthen the troubled minds of many a mother, father, husband, wife and offspring, this Ratri Suktam prayer is being made available to the community at large. We hope that when this is recited by the many at night, it becomes more effective as a collective offering that goes forth to protect those loved ones who are 'out at night'. This prayer is especially helpful to those who find it hard to sleep at night.
Memorizes this prayer after having understood the meaning and recite it at night before going to sleep. May we once again learn how to respect the powers of the Night in both her healing and her terrible forms.
May we address our common fears; invoke the Divinity of Night and work towards Sanatana Dharma within us and in the environment outside of us.
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