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Understanding Ushas: The Divine Dawn


By Yogi Baba Prem


For many, the Hindu concept of deity is somewhat foreign and rather strange. We are subconsciously drawn to these very forms of Divinity within nature itself. For example, the Sun is appreciated by everyone from the farmer to the ‘sun worshiper’ on the beach. It is through understanding this outer sun that serves as a reminder and awakener of one’s inner sun, which represents one’s, soul. The worship of the outer sun is merely a metaphor for the worship of the inner sun, or more correctly the ego realizing the soul (Atman). Within yoga, this commonly begins with ‘sun salutations’ or bowing to the sun. This is a form of yogic sun worship and is especially useful as a first step for realizing one’s inner sun or connecting with the soul’s energies. But the journey towards realization of the soul (inner sun) begins with another one of nature’s metaphors, the dawn.
Just as the sun rises each day in the eastern sky, it can serve as a physical reminder of our true essence; the sun’s pending arrival is preceded by the dawn. It is the dawn that awakens the daytime creatures of nature and initiates the daily activities of living. But the dawn also represents one’s spiritual awakening as well. The Sanskrit and Vedic name for the dawn is Ushas or Usha.
As the dawn, Ushas represents an awakening to the growing or increasing light within one's yoga practice. The importance of Ushas is clearly illustrated by her association with light, as light is a key spiritual principle in most of the world’s major religions. Ushas representing the beginning of light, the dawn, and the period before sunrise is an important spiritual principle that has its place of prominence within spirituality as a whole.
Inner meaning of Ushas
The root to Ushas comes from the word 'vas'. Vas literally means to shine. Ushas being the dawn represents our dawning or spiritual awakening; the shining light of spiritual awakening. This marks the beginning of a greater inward journey towards spiritual realization. In reality, we experience Ushas on a variety of levels, and not just the spiritual level; as the journey of life is a repetitive awakening to new facts and realizations. In other words, one may experience the dawn (awakening), numerous times in their life. So Ushas is not just the beginning of one journey, she marks the beginning of a variety of journeys and steps on one’s spiritual path. In reality, we all experience Ushas on a regular basis; as she is the subtle spiritual essence whenever we awaken to a fact or knowledge.
More importantly, Ushas represents our awakening to the reality of our true nature. She can also constitute a form of divine inspiration; it would be correct to recognize Ushas as an awakening of one’s aspiration. She can also represent illumination, and as such represents the end of the night. Night can be a metaphor for ignorance (avidya) or is commonly interpreted as such though there are other interpretations as well.  Ushas is not just the beginning of our realization of light; it is also a reminder that this light (truth) is powerful and strong. She is not the weak feminine force commonly portrayed in some patriarchal systems; rather she is a vibrant force, a Shakti (power), which is itself manifesting and unfolding throughout the cosmos.
The spiritual dawn is fundamental to human existence, and for obtaining the goal of moksha (liberation). Each of us has within ourselves the desire to know the truth, though often there is conflict over the aspiration to know the truth and the egos motivation to control everything. Initially, Ushas is the awakening to our personal desire to seek out the truth. It eventually evolves into a constant state of truth. It is auspicious to invoke the light of dawn, as we begin the path each day, even with a mantra such as Om Ushase Namah.-- (portions of this article are taken from Yogic Secrets of the Vedas by Yogi Baba Prem).
A profound tool for strengthening one’s awakening to the light is to chant the names of Ushas. Yogi Baba Prem has compiled and organized two groupings of the names of Ushas. Compiling the names of deities has become more of a rarity in our current age, but until this time there has not existed a known list of names for chanting and honoring Ushas; as she has remained mysterious and relatively unknown outside of India. She is one of the Vedic deities that is most profoundly active within our life. Therefore, the names are an opportunity to deepen one's relationship with Ushas, and ultimately deepening one’s own awareness of Divinity.
Yogi Baba Prem would like you to have the opportunity to learn and chant these sacred names. There is a total of two groupings of names. The first grouping is now being made available to the public. This program is taught in two online lectures. The first lecture teaches the names, and the second lecture teaches more about the meaning of the names and includes some stories about the names of Ushas.

The chanting of sacred names is traditionally believed to have a profound effect on the mind and body. Over time, these names will have an effect on the astral (energetic) body, and it is traditionally believed that chanting sacred names will elevate one's consciousness and aid in moving toward greater realization.

For the first time, this program is being made available as two video lectures.  The first video teaches the initial grouping for the names of Ushas.  The second lecture examines the meaning of some of the names and provides additional insight into their meaning and relevance in each of our lives.  The cost of both lectures is an investment of $80.00 (U.S. currency).  Once your order is processed you will receive a link to watch the first video.  We suggest you watch it several times over the next week if possible.  Then the following week, you will receive a link for the 2nd lecture.    

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Yogi Baba Prem would like to acknowledge the following for their assistance, comments and feedback with this important project for humanity:  Mahavatar Babaji for changes in the order of names, support and guidance.   Special thanks to Durgadas in New Zealand for contributing names, comments and tremendous positive support.  To the caretakers of the sacred names, who were the first to work with the names of Ushas.   Thanks to Sri Pandit Vamadeva Shastri for his support in compiling the names of a variety of deities.  Thanks to Durga for her assistance in editing this article as well.  To Ushas, the Divine awakening of consciousness, it is she who permeates and precedes the arrival of light for the entire world.  May all be touched and awakened by Ushas.


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Yogi Baba Prem

  • Yogi Baba Prem has two books published in India, and has written numerous other books published by Universal Yoga. 
  • His articles have appeared in several traditional magazines and a variety of e-magazines.