“Thy Tantra” (Soundarya Lahari)

Sloka 32 Srividya Panchadasaakshari Mantra

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.

 

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