The Open Door

Filling the Head with Mantra

Filling the Head with Mantra

by Vijnananath

When I meditate, I usually sit down, get comfortable, maybe follow my breath for a couple of minutes, and then turn straight inward and stay there for as long as I’m able. While such simplicity is generally best, it can still be helpful to have methods at hand for those times when you just can’t get your mind to turn inward, when your thoughts and emotions won’t slow down, or when you’re not able to devote your usual amount of time to ritual and meditation.

Your usual mantra may be used for this, if you have one. Both OM and OM Namah Sivaya are suitable. This practice “fills the head” with the chosen mantra, thus purifying the subtle channels of the head and concentrating awareness at the top of the central channel. This method may be used prior to meditation, or at any time during the day to focus the sensory apparatus inward. It is worth pondering the fact that the entire subtle energy system is recapitulated in the head, so the action of this practice impacts the entire system. As above, it may also be used in place of a full session of meditation or ritual puja if, for whatever reason, such is not possible. I recently made use of it several times daily while traveling.

Using the thumb of your right hand, count off repetitions of the chosen mantra on the three joints each of your little, ring, and middle fingers of the same hand, counting the tenth repetition on the thumb itself. Do this forward and backward for a total of 20 repetitions of the mantra while concentrating on the left eye. Repeat this process while concentrating on the right eye, then again on the mouth, again on the brow (including the mid-brain), and again on the space just above the crown of the head. Finally, repeat the mantra eight times in the Heart. This brings the total repetitions to 108, the number of a traditional japamala.

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Panchanan Mitra

Panchanan Mitra

Shri Pagala Baba – Sadhak Panchanan Mitra

My Guru, Shri Mahendranath had an Indian Guru who initiated him into the Hindu Sampradaya known as the Uttara Kaulas. I was very interested in his Guru, as it was communicated to me that he had great influence in the development of my Gurudev. Shri Mahendranath referred to this person as Pagala Baba. Pagala Baba who lived in Ranchi, India.

The name “Pagala Baba,” roughly translated as “mad father,” is akin to calling some sadhu or sannyasin “Joe” in the English language. It could be almost anyone. After some decades of poking around, I was contacted by a relative of the now deceased LT. COL. C. C. Bakshi, a military man who was also a disciple of “Pagala Baba” of Ranchi and who wrote several books. I purchased some of the LT. COL’s books for further research.

In LT. COL. Bakshi’s book entitled, “Album,” he printed a picture of “My Baba, My Guru.” Further reading of LT. COL. Bakshi’s writing revealed that another disciple of “Pagal Baba,” one M. D. Chhugani, had authored a book entitled “Baba of Mukteshwardham.” The photos in these books revealed the same individual and gave the precise location of the Ashram.

With this information, I was able, with the help of friends, to visit the Ashram in the month of “Pagal Baba’s” 50th Mahasamadhi anniversary. I was welcomed to stay in the ashram and allowed to meditate in front of the Samadhis of Pagal Baba and the Mothers. The experiences were highly revealing, but these details and more about the Ashram are for a future post.

As a result of this contact with the Ashram I was able to come in contact with the current Trustees of the Ashram who informed me that: Pagal Baba was born Panchanan Mitra, who was born into a royal family in the Joshor district—norail subdivision—Dhopadhoha village, his father’s name was Kalicharan Mitra. Sadhak Panchanan Mitra who is known as Pagal Baba was most recognized by the name of Dadu, people of all age groups called him “DADU.”

Under direct questioning, I was told by my Guru that he was still in psychic communication with Pagala Baba more than 20 years after Panchanan Mitra’s death (Mahasamadhi). Guruji also commented that Pagala Baba’s spiritual attainments and understanding through sadhana were second to none as he experienced it. High praise indeed.