Soundarya Lahari- explanations of some slokas

From The Ocean of Beauty – Soundarya Lahari of Sri Samkara Bhagavatpada

The votaries of the Sakti, the Kundalini, may be roughly divided into two classes:

 

  • The Samayin-s or those who believe in the sameness of the Sakti and Siva. – They believe in the rousing of the Kundalini, the grossest form of the Chit, and its being worked up in successive stages, by Upaasanaa, Tapas and Mantra-japa, through the six Chakraa-s which are the centres of energy, on to the thousand petelled lotus, wherein abide the Sat and the Chit, and where the unification of the Jivaatman with the Paramaatman is to be effected. This form is therefore exclusively

 

  • The Kaula-s or those who worship the Kundalini,i.e.the Sakti which resides in the Muulaadhaaraa, which is known as Kula-plexes. – They believe in worshipping the Kundalini, without even rousing her from sleep and are satisfied with the attainment and enjoyment of purely temporal objects, believing, at the same time, that with the rousing of the Kundalini, they attain liberation. This form is therefore mainly

 

Mension may also be made of some worshippers who, in addition to attaching due importance to the external forms of worship of the Kaula-s, try to raise highere by making Upaasanaa with Yantraas made of gold and other metals, awake the Kundalini and even work her up as far as the Anaahataa in the heart.

Sankara-bhagavatpaadhaa favours the Samaya.

 

Exerpts from ‘The Foreword’ by Sri Anna N Subramanian of Ramakarishna Students Home of the Ramakrishna Mission to the ‘Soundarya-Lahari of Sri Sankaracharya’ by Swami Tapasyananda  and published by The Ramakrishna Math, Chennai

 

The origin of Sakti worship can be traced to such Vedic texts as Sri-Suktam, Durga-Suktam, Bhu-Suktam, Bahvrcopanishad, Tripuropanishad, Bhaavanopanishad and other Devi Upanishads. In Sandhya Upasana, we think of Gayatri Devi in the solar orb and imagine that the Sun shines by Her effulgence and She is also the Truth which has kindled the light of reason in our minds. Her praise is sung thus in the Mantra, ‘Aayaatu Varadaa Devi’  :

 

“To those who adore Thee, O Mother, Thou grandest all boons. Thou are the origin of the Vedas and of all the worlds. Be pleased to shine in my heart and accept my adoration. Thou art effulgence. Thou art the light of the Devas and Thou art in everything and beyond everything. Bathe me in Thy Light and purify me.”

A little reflection will thus show that the daily Sandhya-vandana enjoined by the Vedas is primarily Sakti-worship.

 

  1. In the Mahabharata, there is reference to Sakti worship in many contexts.
    1. Before entering the Matsya kingdom for spending the last year of exile incognito, Dharmaputra prays to Durga.
    2. At the commencement of the battle of Kurukshetra, SriKrsna asks Arjuna to get down from the chariot and to pray to Durga, and Arjuna does so.

 

  1. In most of the Puranas, the importance of Sakti worship is alluded to:
    1. In the Srimad Bhagavatam, we see Rukmini worshipping at the shrine of Ambika before her marriage.
    2. The Brahmanda Purana contains Lalita Sahasranama and Trisati with detailed instructions regarding modes of Devi worship.
    3. Chandi or Devi Matamyam forms part of Markandeya Purana.
    4. Then we have the vast literature consisting of Agama, Rahasya, Samhita, Yamala, Arnava, and Tantra with their numerous commentaries which codify the method of Sakti-worship and explain its philosophy.
    5. Soundaryalaharai states that after Siva had filled the world with other Tantras, He gave out, at the request of the Devi, the Sri-Tantra which fulfils the objects covered by all the other Tantras, and this is known as the worship of Tripura or Sri-Vidya.

 

  1. We are told that Dattaatreya , seeing the Upasana of Tripura is considered the highest of all modes of worship and that its effects includes the benefits of other modes too, composed the Datta-Samhita of 18000 verses laying down the details of Tripura-worship. Sage Parasurama abridged it to 6000 Sutras. His pupil Sumedha abridged the same further in  the form of a dialogue between Datta and Rama, in his Parasurama Kalpa Sutra. In 1775, Umanandanatha,  a disciple of Baskararaya, composed the Nityotsava, clarifying the methods of worship according to the Sutra. Alater scholar, Rameswara Sastri, a disciple of Bhaskararaya, wrote a succinct gloss of the Sutra by name ‘Soubhagya Subhodaya’. Bhaskararaya himself exponded the methods and philosophy of Sakti-worship, in his book called the ‘Setu-bandha’ which is a xcommentary on the Nitya-sodasikarnava of Vamakesware Tantra and also in his Lalita-Sahasranama-Bhasya. These three works of Bhaskararaya are considered the PrasthanaThraya of Sri-Vidya.

 

  1. Other works on the Sakti-worship include the following:
    1. Adi Sankara’s Prapanchasara
    2. Adi Sankara’s Soundarya lahari
    3. Tirumoolar’s Thirumanthiram in Tamil
    4. Abhirami Andhaathi in Tamil
    5. Arthur Avalon’s books
    6. Writings of Sri Aurobindo
    7. Dasa-Maha-vidya by Kavyakanha Ganapathi Sastri, disciple of Sri Ramana Maharishi, on the worship of Kali, Tara, Sundari, Bhuvaneswari, Bairavi, Chinnamasta, Dhumavati, Bagala, Matangi, and Kamalatmika

 

  1. Numerous are the places of Sakti-worship: sakti is adored as
    1. Uma in the Himalayas
    2. Amba in Kashmir
    3. Visalakshi in Varanasi
    4. Gauri in Kanyaa Kubja
    5. Bhavani in Maharashtra
    6. Kali in Calcutta
    7. Bala in Kanyakumari
    8. Meenakshi, Mantrini or Shyamala in Madurai
    9. Akhilandeswari or Dandini in Jambukeswaram
    10. Kamakshi or MahaTripurasundari in Kanchipuram
    11. Sarada at Shringeri
    12. Chamundeswari in Mysore
    13. Bhavati in Kerala
    14. Bhadrakali or Ellaiamman in unpretentious temples of the South India
    15. Durga-Lakshmi-saraswati in the Navaraathri

 

In the Southern cult of Sri-Vidya, the Divine Mother is mostly worshipped  in her aspect as Lalita-Mahatripurasundari.

  1. Mantra, Yantra and tantra form the three corners of the triangle of Sri-Vidya. The worship of the Yantra, internal and external, and the practice of Kundalini Yoga and other Sadhanas constitute the Tantra or modus operandi.
  2. If Sakti-worship is done with understanding and appreciation and with love in the heart, then Mantra, Yantra, offerings, the procedure and paraphernalia of Puja are all transformed into forms and expressions of ChitSakti.
  3. The object is to effect the transformation of the materials and acts of ordinary experience into forms revealing the power and the bliss of the Divine Mother.
  4. The Soundaryalahari says that if the worshipper practises Atmarpanam, ordinary talk is converted into Japa, normal work with the hand becomes Mudra, walking becomes Pradakshina, eating becomes Homa, lying down Pranaama – in fact whatever action is naturally done is transformed into worship.

Sloka 1

Only when brought into union with the Sakti would Siva acquire the power of assuming the form of Pranava , the embodied form of Naadaa, etc. assuming the stages of Paraa, Pachyanti, etc. wherefrom originate the Svara-s, Varna-s, Pada-s, and Vaakya-s galore. If not, the Deva becomes utterly incapable of producing the Pranava, becoming dumbfounded.

While so, how dares one, who has acquired no merit, either to salute or to praise Thee (of the form of Pranava), O Goddess! that art worthy of being adored by

  1. Hari, Hara and Virincha – as the deities of the components of Pranava;
  2. Agni, Vaayu and Surya – as their Rishis:
  3. Gaayatri, Trishtub and Jagati – their meters:
  4. Rakta, Sukla and Krsna – as their colours;
  5. Jaagrat, Svapna and Susupti – their states;
  6. Bhumi, Antarika and Svarga – their seats;
  7. Udaatta, Anudaatta ands Svarita – their Svara-s;
  8. Rk, Yajus and Saman – their Veda-s;
  9. Gaarhapatya, Aahavaniya and Daksina – their Agni-s;
  • Praahna, Madhyaahna and Aparaahna – their Kaalaa-s;
  • Sattva, Rajas and Tamas – their Guna-s;
  • Srsti, Sthiti and Samhaara – their functions;

All these standing in the order appropriate to them.

Sloka 2

The worlds – both animate and inanimate:

  • Seven upper worlds: Bhuur, Bhuvar, Suvar, Mahar, Jana, Tapas, Satya.
  • Seven nether worlds: Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Rasaatala, Talaatala, Mahaatala, Paataala.

Sloka 7

The Devi carries in her left lower arm the sugarcane bow with a string of bees, in her lower right arm the five arrows of Kamala, Raktakairava, Kahlaara, Indeevara, and Sahakaara flowers; in her upper left arm the Paasa, noose, shining like coral, and in her upper right arm the Ankusaa, goad, shining  like the crescent. These weapons of the Devi are said to assume the Sthuula (gross), the Suuksma (Mantramaya) and the Para (Vaasanaamaya) forms.

Sloka 9

This stanza contains in a nutshell the quintessence of the sublimest truths of the Vedanta and the Yoga systems in harmonious combination, in relation to the worship of the Devi, as the Kundalini-Sakti of the Pindaanda (microcosm), and as the Tripurasundari of the Brahmanda (macrocosm). For a prpoper appreciation of the conception  of the External Verities according to the conceptionof the ancient Rishis of India and their bearing on the Cosmogeny of the microcosm and the macrocosm will be found useful.

 

An Eternal Verity may be defined as that which gives scope for functioning to all orders of creation, till their final dissolution. Some Tantra-s classify the Eternal Verities into three groups:

  1. Aatma Tattvas 2. Vidya Tattvas 3. Siva Tattvas

           

Aatma Tattvas: characterised by Jadathvaa i.e.

non-sentinence

            Vidya Tattvas: characterised by both Jadathvaa i.e.

non-sentinence and Prakaasakatva, the sentinence

Siva Tattvas: characterised by Prakaasakatva, the

 Sentinence pure and simple.

 

According to the Kalpa-sutra-s, twentyfour fall under the first group, seven under the second and five under the third. These may be arranged as shown hereunder with their characteristic properties:

 

Aatma tattvas

  1. Prithvi – Earth, possessed of solidity
  2. Ap – Water, possessed of fluidity
  3. Tejas – Fire, possessed of heat
  4. Vaayu – Air, of the character of perpetual motion
  5. Akaasaa – Ether, of the character of space
  6. Gandha Tanmaatraa – Smell, in the form of subtle Earth
  7. Rasa Tanmaatraa – Taste, in the form of subtle Water
  8. Rupa Tanmaatraa – Form, in the form of subtle Fire
  9. Sparsa Tanmaatraa – Touch, in the form of subtle Air
  10. Sabda Tanmaatraa – Sound, in the form of subtle Eather
  11. Srothra – the auditory sense that perceive sound
  12. Tvac – the tactile sense that perceives Touch
  13. Chaksus – the optic sense that perceives Form
  14. Jihva – the gustatory sense that perceives Taste
  15. Ghraana – the olfactory sense that perceives Smell
  16. Vaac – speech, the motor-organ of articulate expression.
  17. Paani – the hand, the motor-organ of grasping and leaving.
  18. Paada –the foot, the motor-organ of locomotion
  19. Paayu – the motor-organ of evacuation
  20. Upasthaa – the motor-organ of generation and carnal pleasure
  21. Manas – the Mind, the inner sense that is attained, when Rajas, the mobility of misery, preponderates over Sattva and Tamas, the rhythm of happiness and inertia of delusion, which is the root cause of all volition
  22. Buddhi – the Intellect, the inner sense which is attained, when rhythm preponderates over mobility and inertia, and as such, is at the root of all conviction
  23. Ahamkaaraa – the Egoism, the inner sense which is attained, when inertia preponderates over rhythm and mobility, and which is at the root of all fancy, converging towards the self
  24. Prakriti – otherwise known as the Chitta which is attained by the equiposed state of rhythm, mobility and inertia

 

 

Vidya Tattvas

 

  1. Purusha or the Jiva (of the microcosm) – which, though full in itself, commands only to a limited extent, the five powers detailed below
  2. Kalaa – the Kriya-sakti, the power to do all things, but to a limited extent, inherin in the Jiva
  3. Avidya – also called Vidya – the Jnaana-Sakkti, in a veiled form and thus limited in its operation, inherent in the Jiva
  4. Raagaa – the Icchaa-sakti, perpetual satisfaction, which operates only partially and is therefore limited in extent, inherent in the Jiva
  5. Chit-sakti — perpetually inherent in the Jiva, when limited but the operation of the six changes denoted by ‘exists’, ‘takes birth’,  ‘grows’, ‘ripens’, ‘wanes’, and ‘perishes’.
  6. Niyati – that which causes the Ananda-sakti, absolute independence, inherent in the Jiva
  7. Maayaa – the condition operating upon the Isvara, causing it to look upon the phenomenal world as ‘this’ , i.e., an entity separate from itself

 

Siva Tattvas

 

  1. Suddha Vidya – the condition operating upon the Sadaasiva, causing it to identify itself with the phenomenal world with the impression ‘I am this’
  2. Maheswara – that which is operated upon by the Maayaa
  3. Sadaasakti – that which is operated upon by the Sudhha Vidya
  4. Sakti – the desire which is but the impression of the world to be created
  5. Siva – the absolute non-differentiated existence, when conditioned by the Sakti.

 

Fifteen more are added to the number of Eternal Verities by some, by a process of further elaboration, thus making fifty-one in all, answering to the 51 letters of the Samskrt alphabet:

 

The seven Dhaatus, humours:

  1. Tvac – the external sheath of organs
  2. Asrj – blood
  3. Maamsa – flesh
  4. Medas – fat
  5. Asthi – bone
  6. Majjaa – marrow
  7. Suklaa – semen

 

The five vital airs:

  1. Praanaa
  2. Apaanaa
  3. Vyaanaa
  4. Udaanaa
  5. Samaanaa

 

The three gunaas:

  1. Rhythm (Sattva)
  2. Mobility (Raajasa)
  3. Inertia (Thaamasa)

 

The five Elements, the five Tanmaatraa-s, the five Organs of perception,  the five organs of motor action, the Mind, the Maayaa, the Sudhha-Vidyaa, the Maheswara and the Sadaasiva are the twentyfive Eternal Verities from the Vedic standpoint, while the others are capable of being included in the twentyfive.

 

In this stanza, the Devi of the macrocosm, in the form of her exact prototype, the Kundalini of the microcosm, is represented as having broken through the entire Kula path containing the six Chakra-s of psychic energy, indicative of the twenty-one Tattvaa-s, to reach her Lord in the Sahasraaraa, the habitat of the four remaining Tattvaa-s, there to divert herself in secrecy with her Lord.

 

Even as Paramasiva, in the absence of his conjunction with the Tripurasundari, is powerless, so also the Jiva, without the operation of the Kundalini, will be very much the same as a corpse.

 

The vital force, which is inherent in every limb, muscle, nerve-centre and other physiological organs and which causes the entire frame to function, is but one aspect of the Kundalini. It is the same vital force that is the root cause of the functioning of the entire phenomenal world and could be comprehended only by those rare mortals who have gained mastery over it.

 

It is upon this fundamental fact that the system of Yoga is based, as the Praanaayaamaa, or the control of this vital force forms the bedrock of that system. If only the secret of control of this vital force and the human mind (the psychic force), which is only a subtle variety of the vital force, should be mastered by any person, he may be said to have conquered the phenomenal world. No wonder the Yogin takes his stand upon the Praanaayaamaa and Manolayaa for the successful accomplishment of the state of Samaadhi, his goal.

 

It is with that end in view that the Yogin concentrates his mind, controls the vital force and projects them towards the Moolaadhaaraa, the first psychic centre of energy, which results in the rousing of the Kundalini, dormant with its form of three-and-a-half spirals coiled therein.

 

Those that are proficient in the Yoga Saastraa hold that this machine of the human frame, which is controlled by the Kundalini, contains sevety-two thousand Naadi-s, the main ones among them, e.g. the Sushumnaa, the Idaa, the Pingalaa, etc. having distinct functions connected with the respiratory system alloted to them, and the other important Naadi-s controlling the sensory and motor organs.

 

The psychic energy requisite to control the various organs is said to abide in the six Chakraa-s of the Sushumnaa path, provided with the three stages, known as the Rudra-, Vishnu-, and Brahma-granthis-s (knots); which are respectively the regions of Fire, the Sun and the Moon, each of them situated at the end of a pair of these Chakraa-s, in the order given above.

 

In the case of ordinary mortals, their vital energy is wasted through the Idaa and Pingalaa, but in the case of the initiated, it is reulated in such a way that the Praanaa, coursin g through the Idaa and Pingalaa, and also the Apaanaa, are made to conserve the purpose of rousing the Kundalini and sending her up to the Brahmarandhraa.

 

All impulses, psychic and organic, may be classified as volitional, cognitional and actional, corresponding to the Ichhaa-,  Jnaana-, and Kriyaa-saktis of the Devi. These, when pertaining to the body, are attributable to the Kundalini, while the corresponding cosmic impulses are attributable to the Tripurasundari.

 

Thou art diverting Thyself, in secrecy with Thy Lord, in the thousand-petalled lotus, having pierced through the Earth situated in Mulaadhaara, the Water in the Manipuraa, the Fire abiding in the Svaadhishtaana, the Air in the Heart (Anaahataa), the Ether above (the Visudhhi), and Manas between the eyebrows (Aajnaa) and thus broken through the entire Kula path.

 

Thou – in the form of Tripurasundari of the macrocosm and the Kundalini of the microcosm

 

Thy Lord – the Siva of the macrocosm and the Jiva of the microcosm, bereft of Maayaa, illusion

 

the thousand-petalled lotus – which is no other than the upper Srichakraa, the Bindu of which represents the Siva and the Jiva,bereft of Maayaa, as the case may be. This is the final resort, the Nirvaanaa of the accomplished seeker, lying beyond the Kula path, the Sushumnaa Maargaa, which contains the six Chakra-s mentioned in the stanza, in the ascendin g order of subtlety, with the three granthi-s in their appropriate places.  The Sahasraaraa is considered  to be the inner Srichakraa to be meditated upon with all the fifty-one letters of the Samskrt alphabet. The view is taken by some that the Bindu has its position in the Bindu of the Chakraa and the other fifty letters are to be arranged consecutively over the thousand petals, twenty times.

 

diverting Thyself, in secrecy with Thy Lord – Sudhha-Vidya in coalescence with Sadaasivaa is known as the Saadaakhyaa or the Paramaatman, which may be charecterised as the twnty-sixth Tattvaa, on the attainment of which is experienced Nirvaavaa or Jivanmukti.

 

having pierced through – having got beyond, after overcoming and absorbing in her own form. The ascent and the descent of the Kundalini constituting the Kundalini Yoga are said to form an Antaryaagaa.

 

the Earth situated in Mulaadhaara – But for the Muladhara, which partakes of the character of the Earth-element through its subtle form of Gandha-tanmaatraa, the body will become unstable with its equilibrium disturbed. This chakraa is no other than the Tri-kona of the Sri-chakraa. Piercing through this element would mean conquering it. The Yogin who does so is said to attain the power of penetration through massive stone walls, etc.

 

the Water in the Manipuraa – Manipura, the interior of which the Devi is said to fill with gems; hence the practice among the Samayin-s of the offering of jewels studded with various kinds of gems, while meditating on her in this seat. Although the Manipura is the third in the order of the Chakraas, it has been given the second place in the stanza to suit the order of the elements. This Chakraa represents water in its Rasa-tanmaatraa form. Conquest of this by the Yogin is said to confer on him the next higher power of mastery, such as floating, walking, etc. over water, The inner Dasaaraa of the Sri-chakraa is indicated by this.

 

the Fire abiding in the Svaadhishtaana —  where the Devi is said to take her stand in the form of Kundalini, of her own accord, making the knot of Rudhra-granthi thereon. The fore is in the form of Ruupa-tanmaatraa. The conquest of this by the Yogin is credited with the bestowal of the power of fire-walking,etc. The SAshta-kona of the Sri-chakraa is indicated by this.   

 

the Air in the Heart (Anaahataa) – the Air in the form of Sparsa-tanmaatraa. The heart signifies the Anaahata-chakraa of the heart-lotus. The word Anaahataa means the Naadaa, sound, produced without impact in the recess of the heart; hence ythe name of the Chakraa. The outer Dasaara of the Sri-chakraa is indicated by this. By the conquest of air, the Yogin is said to attain the fleetness of wind, buoyancy, etc.

 

the Ether – in the form of Sabda-tanmaatraa; above – i.e., above the heart, which is meant by the Chakra wich is as clear as the crystal, namely, the Visudhhi. The Chatur-dasaara of the Sri-ckakraa is indicated by this. By the conquest of this the Yogin attains the power of traversing the ethereal regions.

 

It may be noted here that Purnananda Swamin, the author of Satcakra-nirupana and other Taantrikaa-s are of the view the elements , Earth, Eater, Fire, Air and Ether have, as  their corresponding Chakraas , the Muladhra, the Svadishtana, the Manipoura, the Anahata and the Visudhhi, which is at variance with this stanza of Samkara-bhagavatpaadaa, the author of this work, who has the support of the Vismakeswara Tantra in his favour, as explained by Bhaskaracharya in his Sethubanda.

 

Manas between the eyebrows (Aajnaa) – Manas, which embraces  within itself the five senses of perception and the five senses of motor action, i.e., in all, the eleven Tattvaas. This refers to the Ajnaa-chakraa, so called because it is at this stage that a speck of knowledge about the Devi dawns. As she is bent upon breaking through the Brahma-granthi on the way to the Sahasraaraa, she remains there only for a trice, manifesting herslf in the form of a streak of lighting. The Chathush-kona i.e. the Bhugra of the Sri-chakraa is indicated by this. By conquering the mind, the Yogin is said to attain mystic powers, such as clairvoyance, clairaudience, telepathy etc.

 

The mystic powers explained above, as resukting from the mastery of these Chakraas, are really so many pitfalls to be avoided  by the practitioner, as they are likely to lead him astray from his final goal of Nirvaanaa.

 

These six Chakraas are but temporary stages or planes wherein the Kundalini rests awhile, avowedly for mastering them, while the Sahasraaraa is her permanent abode, whence the practioner should not lose sight of his final goal, Nirvaanaa, beguiled by the temptations offered by the psychic powers attainable at the lower centres, but should lead the Kundalini on to the Sahasraaraa, there to effect her union with her Lord. Up to the moment of such blending, the practitioner retains his individual consciousness and thereafter enters on the blissful state of Nirvaanaa as long as the Kundalini rests in the Sahasraaraa prior to her descent therefrom. The duration of her staty depends on the strength of practice and the previous experience of the practitioner.

 

broken through the entire path of Kula – and thus having transcended the tenty-one Tattvaa-s from Prithvi to Manas, and the six-chakraas, which when taken together, would form the lower Sri-chakraa.

 

Bija- Bhuta- Chakraa- part of Srichakraa

HamEther-Visudhhi-Chathurdasaara

YamAir-Anaahataa-Bhahirdasaara

Vam – Water – Manipura – Antardasaara

Ram – Fire – Svaadishthaana- Astakona

Lam – Earth – Mulaadhaaraa – Trikona

 

Sloka 10

 

Having in-filled the pathway of the Naadi-s with the streaming shower of nectar flowing from Thy pair of feet, having resumed Thine own position from out of the resplendent Lunar regions, and Thyself assuming the form of a serpent of three-and-a-half coils, sleepest Thou in the hollow of the Kulakundaa.

 

Sloka 30

O Goddess ! who art eternal and art served all around by the rays, Anima and others emanating from Thine own frame ! What is there to wonder at, if the Fire of the great Deluge should perform the ritual of offering lights before whosoever conceives Thee always ‘I am (Thou)’, treating the wealth of Tri-nayana as mere straw ?

 

Rays emanating from Thine own frame:  The Sri-chakraa of nine parts, in the form of Aavaranana-devataas-s as detailed below:

 

  1. The three quadrangles of the Bhugrha,
  • wherein abide the eight sidhhis: Animaa, Laghimaa, Mahimaa, Vasitva, Isaatva, Praakaamya, Prapti and Sarva-kaama-pradhaayini in the first quadrangle;
  • the eight Matrs (Mathaas) – Braahmii, Maaheswarii, Kaumaarii, Vaishnavii, Vaaraahee, Maahendrii, Chaamundaa and Mahalakshmi in the second quadrangle;
  • the ten Mudraa-s – in the third quadrangle:  Sarva-samkshobini, Sarva-vidraavini, Sarvaakarshini, Sarva-vasankari, Sarvonmaadini, Sarva-mahaankusaa, Sarva-kechari, Sarva-bijaa, Sarva-yoni, Sarva-thrikhandaa
  1. Sixteen Devata-s in the sixteen petalled lotus: Kaamaakarshini, Budhhyaakarshini, Ahamkaaraakarshini, Sabdaakarshini, Sparsaakarshini, Rupaakarshini, Rasaakarshini, Gandhaakarshini, Chittaakarshini, Dairyaakarshini, Smrtyaagarshini, Naamaakarshini, Bijaakarshini, Aatmaakarshini, Amrtaakarshini, Sareeraakarshini
  2. Eight Devata-s in the eight petalled lotus: Anaga-kusumaa, Ananga-mekalaa, Ananga-madanaa, Ananga-madanaaturaa, Ananga-rekaa, Ananga-veginee, Anangaankusaa, Ananga-maalinee
  3. Fourteen Devatas in the Chadurasaara: Sarva-samkshobini, Sarva-vidraavini, Sarva-akarshini, Sarvaahlaadini, Sarva-sammohani, Sarva-stambini, Sarva-jrmbhini, Sarva-vasamkari, Sarva-ranjani, Sarvonmaadini, Sarvaartha-saadhani, Sarva-sampattipurani, Sarva-mantramayi, Sarva-dvandakshayankari
  4. Ten Devata-s in the Bahir-dasaara: Sarva-sidhhipradhaa, Sarva-sampatpradhaa, Sarva-priyankari, Sarva-mangala kaarini, Sarva-kaamapradaa, Sarva-soubhaagyadaayini, Sarva-mruthyu-prasamani, Sarva-vigna-nivaarini, Sarvaanga-sundari, Sarva-dukha-vimochani
  5. Ten Devata-s in the Antar-dasaara: Sarvajnaa, Sarva-sakti, Sarvaisvaryapradaa, Sarva-jnaamayi, Sarva-vyaadhi-vinaasini, Sarvaadhaara-swarupa, Sarva-paapahara, Sarvaanandamayi, Sarva-rakshaa-svarupini, sarvepsita-phalaprada
  6. Eight Devatas in the Ashta-kona: Vasini, Kaamesi, Modini, Vimalaa, Arunaa, Jayini, Sarvesi, Kaulini
  7. Three Devatas in the tri-kona: Kaamesvari, Vajresi, Bhagamaalaa
  8. In the middle: Tripurasundari

 

Sloka 31

 

Sixtyfour Tantraa-s enumerated in the Vaamakeswara Tantraa, quoted by Lakshmiidhara and explained by him:

 

  1. Mahaamaayaa-sambara : having as its aim the deluding of the senses and the intellect.
  2. Yoginijaala-sambara: legerdemain, involving the agency of the Yogini-s, accomplished by resorting to the crematory and other ways of a repulsive nature and adopting questionable practices.
  3. Tattva-sambara: by causing the elements to appear as though mutually transforming themselves.

 

Eight Bairava Tantras are considered objectionable as they partake of Kaapaalikaa doctrines:

  1. Sidhha-bhairava
  2. Vatuka-bhairava
  3. Kankaala-bhairava
  4. Kaala-bhairava
  5. Kaalaagni-bhairava
  6. Yogini-bhairava
  7. Mahaa-bhairava
  8. Sakthi-bhairava.

 

Eight Tantras constituting the Bahurupaastaka wherein importance is attached to the eight Sakti-s. Even these are apprehensible,  as they stray far away from the Vedic path:

  1. Braahmi
  2. Maaheswari
  3. Kaumaari
  4. Vaishnavi
  5. Vaaraahi
  6. Maahendri
  7. Chaamundaa

 

Eight arts relating to Yaamala, otherwise known as Kaamasidhhaa, aiming at gratification of several desires, which not having the sanction of the Veda-s, are considered objectionable, so much so that even the sixtyfour Tantra-s are sometimes spoken of collectively as Yaamalaa:

  1. Brahma-yaamala
  2. Vishnu-yaamala
  3. Rudra-yaamala
  4. Lakshmi-yaamala
  5. Umaa-yaamala
  6. Skanda-yaamala
  7. Ganesa-yaamala
  8. Jayadratha-yaamala.

 

  1. Chandra jnaanaa – which expounds the sixteen Nityaa-s, however considered objectionable, as smacking of Kaapaalika tenets. There is also a Tantra of the same name, which has nothing to do with the sixty-four Tantraa-s herein mentioned.

 

  1. Maalini-vidya – wherewith the oceans could be crossed.

 

  1. Mahaa-sammohana – which brings on sleep in persons even during their waking state. As this involves the cutting of the toungue of a child to render the acquisition of such power possible, it is reprehensible.

 

  1. Vaama-justaa and
  2. Mahaa-deva – productive of awkward habits and tendencies, which may be characterised as Vaamaachaaraa, filthy conduct.

 

  1. Vaatulaa and
  2. Vaatulottara and
  3. Kaamika – incidentally expounding the rules relating to the procedure to be adopted for the several processes connected with erection of temples,etc. commencing from the withdrawal and ending with the establishment of powers,etc. but involving features not countenanced by the Veda-s.

 

  1. Hrbheda-tantraa – which, though aiming at bursting through the six lotuses from the Mulaadhaaraa onears to the thousand-petalled one, falls within the province of the Kaapaalika-Tantraa, as it has recourse to the adoption of Vaamaachaaraa.

 

  1. Tantra-bhedaa and
  2. Guhya-tantraa – which involve retaliatory processes, both overt and covert, aiming at the destruction of what has been achieved by other Tantraa-s and causation of severe pain to living beings, and as such are reprehensible.

 

  1. Kalaa-vaada – expounding the secrets relating to the digits of the Moon, such as are dealt with in Vaatsyaayanaa’s sexual science, though dealing with a very useful branch of knowledge, involves such objectionable features as the grasping and releasing of Kalaa-s, the power of influencing the ten parts, the induction of Chandhra-Kalaa-s and the countenancing of the wicked practice of alluring others’ wives, and are on that account reprehensible.

 

  1. Kalaasaara – which expounds the rules relating to the excellance of colour and as such, a Vaamaachaaraa.

 

  1. Kundikaamata – which deals with the attainment of marvellous powers by administering special pills.

 

  1. Matottara – which deals with deals with the conquest of quicksilver by special processes laying claim to alchemic and panaceal virtues.

 

  1. Vinaakhyaa – which deals with command over a Yakshini of that name, having influence over sexual virility.

 

  1. Trotala – dealing with magical tankards, collyria and sandals, the first credited with marvellous medicinal properties, the second with magical clairvoyant powers, and the third with mysterious powers of locomotion.

 

  1. Trotallotra – credited with the power of bringing the sixty-four thousand Yakshini-s face to face.

 

  1. Panchaamrtaa – dealing with the immortality ingering in the Pindaandaa, microcosm of the five elements, and the bestowal of such immortality on the votary of the Tantra. This is also of the Kaapaalikaa type.

 

  1. Rupabheda
  2. Bhudoddaamara
  3. Kulasaara
  4. Kuloddisa
  5. Kulachudaamani – all of which (47 to51) are credited with the power of bringing about death and are, as such, not recognised by the Veda-s.

 

  1. Sarva-jnaanottara
  2. Mahaakaali-mata
  3. Arunesa
  4. Modinisa
  5. Vikuntheswara – the five Tantras (52 to 56) which have to be iven up as they deal with the tenets of the Digambara-s.

 

  1. Purvaamnaaya
  2. Paschimaamnaaya
  3. Dakshinaamnaaya
  4. Uttaraamnaaya
  5. Niruttaraamnaaya
  6. Vimala
  7. Vimalottha and
  8. Devi-mata – which(57 to 64) have reference to the doctrines of the Ksapanaka-s and are such to be discarded.

 

Bhaskararaayaa treats certain multiple Tantras as one, and includes eitht Tantras not enumerated by Lakshmidara and also questions the view of Lakshmidhara in treating certain Tantraas as reprehensible as these hav e been recognised by Vaamakeswara Tantra and avers that as all the kalpasutras are like Saastraas which have the sanction of the Upanishads and Lakshmidhara’s view is either coloured or prejudiced.

 

However it may be added that Lakshmidhara’s defence that he pins his faith on a saying attributed to Iswara which he quotes to the effect that both the Misra and Kaula paths are to be discarded. He therefore holds that the Samaya-maarga alone should be followed by twice-born and that such is also the view of the Samkara-bhagavatpaada.

 

Sloka 32

O Mother ! Siva, Sakti, Kaama and Ksiti; and then Ravi, Siitakirana, Smara, Hamsa and Sakra; and thereafter, Paraa, Maara and Hari ; these (three sets of) syllables, when conjoined severally at their ends with the three Hrllekhaa-s become the components of Thy name.

The Tantra premised by the words ‘Thy Tantra’ in the previous stanza, as understood by Lakshmidhara, is further elaborated in this stanza, which may be termed as the coping stone of the Samayin-s’ arch of worship.

The Mantra itself, the Sodasaakshari, it is said, cannot be given out publicly, but should be imparted by the Guru to the devout pupil in secret. This may be inferred from the fact that the sixteenth syllable does not find a place in the description given in the stanza. Merely because the stanza makes mention of only fifteen syllables, it should not be understood that the Mantra indicated is Panchadasaakshari.

The sixteenth syllable is the fourth Khanda of the Mantra and, like the fourth Paada of the Gayatri, should be muttered only by adepts who are highly evolved spiritually, as only they could conceive with their mainds, the fourth Khanda, which is beyond the reach of speech and thought and transcends all the Tattva-s, being the essence of pure consciousness.

The stanza merely mentions fifteen conventional names indicative of syllables, which, whenconstrued in the proper way, would yield the following result:

Siva is ‘ka’; Sakti represents ‘e’; Kaama represents ‘i’; Ksiti represents ‘la’ – first Khanda;

 

Ravi is ‘ha’ ; Siitakirana is ‘sa’ ; Smara, ‘ka’ ; Hamsa, ‘ha’ and Sakra, ‘la’ – second Khanda;

 

Paraa is ‘sa’ ; Maara, ‘ka’; and Hari, ‘la’ – third Khanda;

 

When the Hrllekhaa, i.e., ‘hrim’ is added to each of the three Khanda-s, the result is the Panchadasaakshari-mantra.

 

  1. The chief component of the Mantra, namely the Ramaa-Bija, when added to the end, will convert the Panchadasaakshari into the Sodasaakshari, which is really implied by the stanza.
  2. These sixteen syllables are the sixteen Chandra-kalaa-s or the fifteen Tithi-s of the lunar fortnight, and the sixteenth designated the Chitkalaa, with Tripurasundari and other Nitya-s as their presiding deities.
  3. The first four syllables of the Sodasaakshari constitute the first Khanda, relating to Agni, representing Kriyaa-sakti, the Jagrat state, the Visva-vrtti and Tamo-guna.
  4. The next five syllables constitute the second Khanda, relating to Surya, representing Icchaa-sakti, the Svapna state, the Taijasa-vrtti and rajo-guna;
  5. The Hrllekhaa between the two represents the Rudra-granthi.
  6. The next three syllables constitute the third Khanda relating to Soma, representing  Jnaana-sakti, the Susupti state, the Prajna-vrtti and Sattva-guna;
  7. The Hrllekhaa between the second and the third Khanda-s represents the Vishnu-granthi.
  8. The fourth Khanda of one syllable, to be imparted by the Guru, known as Chandra-kalaa, is implied after the three aforesaid Khanda-s.
  9. The Hrllekhaa between the third and the fourth Khanda-s represents the Vishnu-granthi.

 

 

The influence of the Sun and the Moon over the human body and the part taken by them in helping the Yogin in the successful accomplishment of the Yoga may be summarized thus:

 

  1. The Sun and the Moon incessantly influence the Idaa- and Pingalaa-naadis day and night;

 

  1. The Moon through the Idaa in-fills all the seventy-two- thousand Naadi-s with his nectar.

 

  1. The Sun in his turn gathers up the same nectar.

 

  1. As and when the Sun and the Moon have their conjunction in the Aadhaara-chakra, there is the newmoon, during which the Kunalini has its sleep in the hollow of the Muulaadhaaraa, wherein is gathered the nectar flowing out of the lunar disc, melted in the presence of the rays of the Sun.

 

  1. Hence its sleeping state is represented to be during the dark fortnight.

 

  1. When the Yogin controls the passage of the Sun and the Moon along with the vital air through the Naadi-s, by performing Kumbhaka, the Sun and the Moon being deprived of their functions of in-filling and gathering the nectar, the Amrta-kunda in the Muulaadhaaraa gets dried up by the fire induced by the vital air, the Kundalini becomes famished and is roused from sleep, as it were, with the Phuutkaara of the snake, bursts through the three granti-s and bites the disc of the Moon in the thousand-petalled lotus.

 

  1. The shower of nectar flowing from the Moon drenches the lunar region of the Aajna-chakra, and the whole body gets filled with nectar from the shower.

 

  1. Hence the fifteen Kalaa-s of the Moon in the Aajna-chakra then become Nitya-s, perpetually shining.

 

  1. These Kalaa-s then reach and pervade the Visuddhi-chakra. The lunar disc in the middle of the thousand-petalled lotus is the Baindava-sthaana.

 

  • That Kalaa of the character of pure consciousness is said to be of the form of Bliss. That alone is the Tipurasundari.

 

  • Hence follows the secret of the Yogin’s successful accomplishment of rousing the Kundalini only in the bright half of the lunar month.

 

  • All the Tithis-s of the bright half are therefore known as Full Moon, while the Tithis-s of the dark half inhere in the New Moon.

 

  • Hence the Muulaadhaaraa is the region which is pitch dark. The Svaadhishthaanaa being subject to the influence of the Sun and the Moon is a region of darkness and light mixed together, while the Manipura, though essentially belonging to the region of Fire, is a region of darkness and light mixed together, owing to the reflection in the water there of the rays of the Sun. The Anaahataa is the region of brightness. Hence till Anaahataa is reached, the regions of the Chakra-s are either dark or of a mixed nature.

 

  • The Visuddhi lies in the region of the Moon. The Aajnaa, being the seat of the Moon, is the region of nectar. As in these two regions, there is the admixture of the Sun’s rays, there is no moonlight.

 

  • The thousand-petalled lotus, on the other hand, is a region of Moonlight alone. The Moon there being possessed of the Nitya-kalaa is perpetual, without waxing and waning.

 

  1. The disc of that Moon is the Sri-chakraa, while its Kalaa is the Saadaakhyaa.
  2. The Tri-kona is the Muulaadhaaraa.
  3. The eight-spoked Chakra is the Svaadhishtaanaa.
  4. The inner ten-spoked chakra is the Manipura.
  5. The outer ten-spoked Chakra is the Anaahataa.
  6. The fourteen spoked one is the Visuddhi.
  7. The four triangles of Siva constitute the Aajnaa-chakraa.
  8. The Bindusthaanaa in the quadrilateral is the thousand-petalled lotus.
  9. The Moon of the Aajnaa has fifteen Kalaa-s and contains the reflection of the sixteenth.
  10. In the disc of the Moon of the form of Sri-chakra, there is only one Kalaa and that is the Paramakalaa.
  11. The Anusvaara-s of the Panchadasaakshari indicate the Bindu and by implication the Naadaa thereof.
  12. Thus the Sri-chakraa of the character of the Naadaa, Bindu and Kalaa is also made up of three Khanda-s.
  13. The Saadaakhyaa which is the same as the Sri-vidyaa lies beyond the Naadaa, Bindu and Kalaa.

 

The fifty Kalaa-s inhere in the Sixteen Nitya-s as follows:

 

  1. The sixteen vowels, the sixteen consonants from ‘ka’ to ‘ta’, the sixteen consonants from ‘tha’ to ‘sa’, these inhere in the sixteen Nityaa-s in triads.
  2. The Akaasa-bija ‘ha’ inheres in the Akaasa of the Bindu, while ‘ksa’ which is composed of ‘ka’ and ‘sa’ inheres in the Nityaa-s corresponding to its components.

 

 

The sixteen Nityaa-s being of the form of the sixteen syllables, the sixteen syllables being of the form of the fifty Maatrkaa-s, the fifty Maatrkaa-s being of the form of the Sun, the Moon and the Fire, which in turn form the three granti-s, thus the four kinds of harmonious relations become patent.

 

Similarly the Chakraa-s and the Mantraa-s harmonise thus: The three Hrim-s and the Sri-bija inhere in the form of the Bindu of the Tri-kona, which represents the four Siva-chakraa-s. The letters comprised in the Pratyaahaaraa-s, Kalaa and Aksa inhere in the Sri-chakra as follows:

  1. The four semi-vowels and the four sibilants in the Ashta-kona.
  2. The twnty letters from ‘ka’ to ‘ma’ the nasals excepted, in the two dasaaraas.
  3. The nasal consonants through the Anusvaara, the Anusvaaraa and the Visargaa, in the Bindu.
  4. And the remaining 14 vowels in the Chaturdasaaraa.

 

The names of the sixteen Kalaa-s, the deities that preside over them, and the Tattvaa-s represented by them respectively , as gathered from the Veda-s, are :

 

Kalaa                             Deity                             Tattvaa

Darsaa,                          Tripurasundari                       Sivaa

Drstaa,                           Kaameswari                            Sakti

Darsataa,                       Bhagamaalini                         Maayaa

Visvaruupaa,                 Nityaklinnaa                 SuddhaVidhyaa

Sudarsanaa,                  Bherundaa                    Jala

Aapyaayamaanaa,        Vahnivaasini                           Tejas

Pyaayamaanaa,   Mahaavidyeswari                   Vaayu

Apyaayaa,            Sivaduuti                                Manas

Suunrtaa,             Tvaritaa                                   Prthvi

Iraa,                      Kulasundari                            Aakaasaa

Apuuryamaanaa,          Nityaa                                     Vidyaa

Puuryamaanaa,   Nilapataakaa                          Maheswaraa

Puuryanti,            Vijaya                                      Para-tattva

Puurnaa,                       Sarvamangala                        Aatma-tattva

Paurnamaasi,                Jvaalaamaalinikaa        Sadaasiva-tattvaa

Chitkalaa                       Chitkalaa                       Saadaakhya-tattva

 

The Devataa influencing the entire group is Kaama-devaa while Kaameswari presides over them all.

Sloka 35

From the accompanying table, it will be seen that the Devi, who transcends all, manifests herself as the six Deva-s with their six abodes represented by the six Tattva-s which have as theri centres, the six Chakraa-s from a combination of which the entire Universe is made.          The Devi, notwithstanding her gross and subtle transformations, remains the Chit transcending all Tattvaa-s in combination with the Bliss of the Paramaatman:

 

Tattvaa-s —- Lokaa-s—-Devaa-s—-Chakraa-s

—————- Satya —– Paraasakti —- Sahasraara

Manas      — Tapas —- Siva —- Aajnaa

Aakaasaa —  Jana – Sadhaasiva — Visudhhi

Vaayu —   Mahar — Maheswara — Anaahataa

Tejas —  Suvar — Rudra –– Svaadhishthaana

Ap —– Bhuvar —- Vishnu — Manipura

Prthivi —  Bhur — Brahman —Mulaadhaaraa

 

Accoding to the Uttarakaula doctrine, the Paraasakti, which is the Pradhaana, is the creator of the Universe. The Devi being the Pradhaana, there is no need for her subservience to any other Tattva.

 

Sloka 38

 

The eighteen Vidyaa-s are : (1) Siksaa (2) Kalpa (3) Vyaakarana (4) Nirukta (5) Jyotisa (6) Chandas (7) Rc (8) Yajus (9) Saaman (10) Atharvan (11) Purva- and Uttara-Mimaamsa (12) Nyaaya (13) Puraana (14) Dharmasaastra (15) Aayurveda (16) Dhanurveda (17) Gaandharva (18) Niti-Saastra.

 

Sloka 42

The twelve Aadithyaas are : (1) Dhaatr (2) Mitra (3) Aryaman (4)Rudra (5) Varuna (6) Surya (7) Bhaga (8) Vivasvat (9) Pusan (10) Savitr (11) Tvastr (12) Vishnu

Sloka 75

Who is referred to as Dravida-sisu ?

  1. Lakshmidhara, Kaivalyaasrama and others maintain that the reference is to the Samkara-Bhagaavatpada himself. The story according to Kaivalyaasrama is: Samkara’s father who was a pious devotee of the Devi, would never fail to visit the local temple every day and after bathing the Devi with milk and doing Puja, was in the habit of returning home with a small quantity of Nirmaalya milk with which the little child was fed every day. When he had to be temporarily absent from his village, he left instructions with his wife that the Puja should be performed by her as usual during his absence. She was carrying out her husband’s mandate, but as she had to keep aloof during her menstrual period, she directed her child, the infant Samkara, to go to the temple and perform Puja in her stead. The child, in his simplicity, was under the impression that the milk was intended to be drunkby the Devi and felt surprised that the Devi would not partake of it. When at the importunity of the child, the Devi drank all the milk, he burst into tears and called upon her to return to him the usual quantity intended for his use. The Devi, out of compassion, suckled the child, whereupon it burst into rhapsodies of praise and returned home singing songs which automatically came out of his mouth. Just then, the child’s father returned from his journey and greeted him with inexpressible joy. The Devi soon appeared to the father in a dream and prophesied a remarkable career for the child blessed by her breast-feeding.

 

  1. Another account is given in the Malayalam edition of Soundaryalahari by Kantiyur Mahadeva Sastrin, in his commentary on the forty-first stanza,i.e., the last of the Anandalahari He sys that the entire work was by a Siddha of the name of Dravida-sisu, who had it inscribed on the slope of Mount Kailasa and when Samkara-Bhagavatpada paid a visit to the Mount as a pilgrim and was reading the work, the Devi called the attention of the Siddha thereto and commanded him to wipe off the work as it contained profound secrets not to be revealed to mortals. Even before the Siddha carried out the said command, Samkara was able to commit to memory forty-one stanzas at random out of the hundred. Before he could memorize the rest, the entire work had been cleanly wiped out by the Siddha. On his return home, Samkara wrote out from memory the forty-one stanzas, which now farm the first part of the work and composed the other stanzas requisite to make up the one hundred. The difference in style and theme between the two parts is given as a reason for credence being attached to this story of the authorship of the work.

 

  1. Sri Jnanasambandha, a native os Sirkazhi, was when 3 years old, he was taken to the temple by his father Sivapaadahrudaya, who went to bathe in the water tank and left the child on the ghat. The child, in unfamiliar circumstance, soon began to cry calling out “Mother !, Fathar !’ . Touched by this, Lord Siva of the temple asked his pouse to take the child and feed him with her milk. The child was soon appeased and stood there with milk flowing out of his mouth. On noticing this, the father asked the chiled as to who had suckled him. Whereupon the child burst into a song in praise of Siva and became later in life one of the recognised bards of Tamil hymns (the others being Appar, Sundarar and Manikyavaasagar).

 

  1. Sri Jnaanasambandha is said to have flourished about twelve centuries ago and was hence possibly a contemporary of Samkara-Bhagavatpada. (or a possibility that Samkara’s period is after the period of Gnanasambandhar, after he and his works have become popular – ngs)

 

  1. The fact that Samkaracharya would not have given such a high testimonial to himself as indicated by the last line of the stanza, but would probably have couched a reference to his capacity as a poet in much milder language, militates against the position taken by Lakshmidhara and others.

 

Sloka 99

Piercing through the Six Chakra-s

 

Lakshmidhara, taking this stanza as the penultimate one of the work, says that this stanza indicates the worshipper’s piercing through the six Chakra-s in order to reach the Sahasraaraa.  In substantiation of this view, he proceeds thus:

 

  1. The Jivanmukta continues to function in the body out of sheer Vaasanaa, even after the removal of ignorance, even as the potter’s wheel continues to whirl after the pot has been brought into shape completely.

 

  1. The Bhajana indicated in the last line is of two kinds. (a) by the worshipping of the six Chakra-s and (b) by Dhaaranaa. As regards the former, the first two Chakra-s , being in a region of darkness, are unworthy of being worshipped. The other five Chakra-s , including the Sahasraaraa, alone are to be taken into account.

 

  1. Worshippers of the Manipura attain the liberation known as Saarsti , which consists in raising a city by the side of the Devi’s city and abiding there, ever engaged in her service.

 

  1. Worshippers of the Anaahataa attain the liberation of the Saalokyaa Salokyaa is residence in Devi’s city.

 

  1. Worshippers of the Visuddhi attain the liberation of the Saameepyaa Saameepyaa consists in ministering to the comforts of the Devi.

 

  1. Worshippers of the Aajnaa attain the liberation of the Saarupyaa Saarupyaa consists in attaining similarity of form with the Devi, which, however, being distinct and separate, is not Saayujyaa.

 

  1. The aforesaid four types of liberation are known as Gauna or accessory, for the reason that external torments alone are warded off in these types.

 

  1. Worshippers of the Sahasraaraa alone have the privilege of attaining liberation of the Saayujyaa type, wherein even internal torments vanish, and which is therefore the ideal type of perpetual liberation referred to in the last line of the stanza.

 

  1. After getting over all sorts of difficulties, the votary renders himself fit for attaining Saayujyaa. When Saayujyaa is reached, he merges into the conjoint forms of Siva and sakti. This is Kaivalya.

 

 

 

The six Chakra-s  of the body and their identity with the six Chakra-s of the SriChakraa have already been dealt with : (they are reproduced below once again by NGS)

=========== (from explanation to stanza 9)

Thou art diverting Thyself, in secrecy with Thy Lord, in the thousand-petalled lotus, having pierced through the Earth situated in Mulaadhaara, the Water in the Manipuraa, the Fire abiding in the Svaadhishtaana, the Air in the Heart (Anaahataa), the Ether above (the Visudhhi), and Manas between the eyebrows (Aajnaa) and thus broken through the entire Kula path.

 

Thou – in the form of Tripurasundari of the macrocosm and the Kundalini of the microcosm

 

Thy Lord – the Siva of the macrocosm and the Jiva of the microcosm, bereft of Maayaa, illusion

 

the thousand-petalled lotus – which is no other than the upper Srichakraa, the Bindu of which represents the Siva and the Jiva,bereft of Maayaa, as the case may be. This is the final resort, the Nirvaanaa of the accomplished seeker, lying beyond the Kula path, the Sushumnaa Maargaa, which contains the six Chakra-s mentioned in the stanza, in the ascendin g order of subtlety, with the three granthi-s in their appropriate places.  The Sahasraaraa is considered  to be the inner Srichakraa to be meditated upon with all the fifty-one letters of the Samskrt alphabet. The view is taken by some that the Bindu has its position in the Bindu of the Chakraa and the other fifty letters are to be arranged consecutively over the thousand petals, twenty times.

 

diverting Thyself, in secrecy with Thy Lord – Sudhha-Vidya in coalescence with Sadaasivaa is known as the Saadaakhyaa or the Paramaatman, which may be charecterised as the twnty-sixth Tattvaa, on the attainment of which is experienced Nirvaavaa or Jivanmukti.

 

having pierced through – having got beyond, after overcoming and absorbing in her own form. The ascent and the descent of the Kundalini constituting the Kundalini Yoga are said to form an Antaryaagaa.

 

the Earth situated in Mulaadhaara – But for the Muladhara, which partakes of the character of the Earth-element through its subtle form of Gandha-tanmaatraa, the body will become unstable with its equilibrium disturbed. This chakraa is no other than the Tri-kona of the Sri-chakraa. Piercing through this element would mean conquering it. The Yogin who does so is said to attain the power of penetration through massive stone walls, etc.

 

the Water in the Manipuraa – Manipura, the interior of which the Devi is said to fill with gems; hence the practice among the Samayin-s of the offering of jewels studded with various kinds of gems, while meditating on her in this seat. Although the Manipura is the third in the order of the Chakraas, it has been given the second place in the stanza to suit the order of the elements. This Chakraa represents water in its Rasa-tanmaatraa form. Conquest of this by the Yogin is said to confer on him the next higher power of mastery, such as floating, walking, etc. over water, The inner Dasaaraa of the Sri-chakraa is indicated by this.

 

the Fire abiding in the Svaadhishtaana —  where the Devi is said to take her stand in the form of Kundalini, of her own accord, making the knot of Rudhra-granthi thereon. The fore is in the form of Ruupa-tanmaatraa. The conquest of this by the Yogin is credited with the bestowal of the power of fire-walking,etc. The SAshta-kona of the Sri-chakraa is indicated by this.   

 

the Air in the Heart (Anaahataa) – the Air in the form of Sparsa-tanmaatraa. The heart signifies the Anaahata-chakraa of the heart-lotus. The word Anaahataa means the Naadaa, sound, produced without impact in the recess of the heart; hence ythe name of the Chakraa. The outer Dasaara of the Sri-chakraa is indicated by this. By the conquest of air, the Yogin is said to attain the fleetness of wind, buoyancy, etc.

 

the Ether – in the form of Sabda-tanmaatraa; above – i.e., above the heart, which is meant by the Chakra wich is as clear as the crystal, namely, the Visudhhi. The Chatur-dasaara of the Sri-ckakraa is indicated by this. By the conquest of this the Yogin attains the power of traversing the ethereal regions.

 

It may be noted here that Purnananda Swamin, the author of Satcakra-nirupana and other Taantrikaa-s are of the view the elements , Earth, Eater, Fire, Air and Ether have, as  their corresponding Chakraas , the Muladhra, the Svadishtana, the Manipoura, the Anahata and the Visudhhi, which is at variance with this stanza of Samkara-bhagavatpaadaa, the author of this work, who has the support of the Vismakeswara Tantra in his favour, as explained by Bhaskaracharya in his Sethubanda.

 

Manas between the eyebrows (Aajnaa) – Manas, which embraces  within itself the five senses of perception and the five senses of motor action, i.e., in all, the eleven Tattvaas. This refers to the Ajnaa-chakraa, so called because it is at this stage that a speck of knowledge about the Devi dawns. As she is bent upon breaking through the Brahma-granthi on the way to the Sahasraaraa, she remains there only for a trice, manifesting herslf in the form of a streak of lighting. The Chathush-kona i.e. the Bhugra of the Sri-chakraa is indicated by this. By conquering the mind, the Yogin is said to attain mystic powers, such as clairvoyance, clairaudience, telepathy etc.

 

The mystic powers explained above, as resukting from the mastery of these Chakraas, are really so many pitfalls to be avoided  by the practitioner, as they are likely to lead him astray from his final goal of Nirvaanaa.

 

These six Chakraas are but temporary stages or planes wherein the Kundalini rests awhile, avowedly for mastering them, while the Sahasraaraa is her permanent abode, whence the practioner should not lose sight of his final goal, Nirvaanaa, beguiled by the temptations offered by the psychic powers attainable at the lower centres, but should lead the Kundalini on to the Sahasraaraa, there to effect her union with her Lord. Up to the moment of such blending, the practitioner retains his individual consciousness and thereafter enters on the blissful state of Nirvaanaa as long as the Kundalini rests in the Sahasraaraa prior to her descent therefrom. The duration of her staty depends on the strength of practice and the previous experience of the practitioner.

 

broken through the entire path of Kula – and thus having transcended the tenty-one Tattvaa-s from Prithvi to Manas, and the six-chakraas, which when taken together, would form the lower Sri-chakraa.

 

Bija- Bhuta- Chakraa- part of Srichakraa

HamEther-Visudhhi-Chathurdasaara

YamAir-Anaahataa-Bhahirdasaara

Vam – Water – Manipura – Antardasaara

Ram – Fire – Svaadishthaana- Astakona

Lam – Earth – Mulaadhaaraa – Trikona

 

The same and thus having transcended the tenty-one Tattvaa-s from Prithvi to Manas, and the six-chakraas, which when taken together, would form the lower Sri-chakraa.

============= 

The same also establishes the identity of the Naadaa with the Bindu. The Naadaa is the SriChakra.

 

The Bindu, as will be shown presently, is the group of six lotuses:

  1. The Mulaadshaaraa is of four petals. Its pericarp is the Tri-kona.
  2. The Swaadhisthaanaa  is of six petals. Its pericarp is the Ashta-kona.
  3. The Manipura is of ten petals. Its pericarp is the
  4. The Anaahataa  is of twelve petals. Its pericarp is the
  5. The Visuddhi  is of sixteen petals. Its pericarp is the Dasa-kona.
  6. The Aajnaa  is of two petals. Its pericarp is of two phases: the Astadhalapadma  is of one phase and the Shodasadhalapadma of the other phase.

 

Of the three circles,

 

  1. One is of the character of the Rudra-granthi at the end of the Swaadhisthaanaa,
  2. Another is of the character of the Vishnu-granthi at the end of the Anaahataa,
  3. And another is of the charater of the Brahma-granthi at the end of the Aajnaa ckakra.

 

Above these, the three quadrilaterals with the four doors have flights of steps at bthe four doors. This Bhu-grha is the pericarp of the Sahasaradhalapadma. There are a thousand petals to this lotus. The  Baindava-sthaanaa is in the middle of the pericarp with the four doors.

 

In this manner, the identity of the Sri-chakra with the Kamalas serving as palaces for the Devi may be sen. This identity, known as that of the Naadaa and the Bindu, should be preserved as a profound secret and has to be divulged only by the Guru for the benefit of the disciple.

 

The inhering of the fifty Kalaa-s in the six Chakraa-s:

(from explanation to stanza 2)

 

When meditaing upon the six chakras, the 50 letters are to be visualised :

  1. Mulaadhaaraa: 4 letters from va to sa to be visualised as resting on the 4 petals of this Chakra.
  2. Svaadhishthaaaa: 6 letters from ba to la to be visualised as resting on the 6 petals of this Chakra.
  3. Manipuraa: 10 letters from da to pha to be visualised as resting on the 10 petals of this Chakra.
  4. Anaahataa: 12 letters from ka to tha to be visualised as resting on the 12 petals of this Chakra.
  5. Visuddhi: 16 letters from a to visarga to be visualised as resting on the 16 petals of this Chakra.
  6. Aajnaa: 2 letters ha to ksa to be visualised as resting on the 2 petals of this Chakra.

 

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