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Sri Sakthi Ashram

SRI VIDYA PARAMPARA


LESSON 3 WHO IS SRI VIDYA GODDESS & WHAT ARE THE SACRED SASTRAS

Written By Guruji Sakthi Priyananda Chairman / Founder Sri Sakthi Ashram Malaysia

Sri Sakthi Ashram

Who is Sri Vidya Goddess

Supreme Devi The one who rules this world. Everything in this world is contained in HER. All forms in the world are HER forms. This would be a pure Vedantic philosophy on which it goes to say that all living things are part of HER. She is All pervading in All actions. It is Devi Adi Parasakthi who performs the tasks of the Tri-Moorthy : Siva, Vishnu and Brahma. She is the 8 Siddhis, 7 Rishis, Lords of the 8 directions, 11 Rudras and many more. She is not only worshipped by men but also by the devas. She is present in everything we see. She is represented in plants, the animals, the birds, the sea, the sky and the holy river. Answering her child about herself , she says in various texts as follows : I am Manifest, Unmanifest and Transcendent Divinity, I am Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva As well as Saraswati, Laksmi and Parvati I am the Earth, The Sun and the Stars And I am the also the Moon I am all animal and birds, And I am the outcast as well, and the thief I am the low person of dreadful deeds, And the great person of excellent deeds I am Female. I am Male and I am euter In the Devis Supreme Cosmic Form, The Satyaloka is situated on the topmost of Her head; The Sun and Moon are her eyes; The quarters of the sky are Her ears;
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Sri Sakthi Ashram The Vedas are Her words; The Universe is Her heart; The Earth is Her loins; The space between earth and sky is Her navel; The constellations are Her Thighs; The Maharaloka is Her neck; The Janarloka is Her face; Indra and the Devas of the Svarloka are her arms; Sound is the organ of Her ears; Fire is within her Face; Day and ight are Her wings; The mountains are Her bones; The rivers are Her veins, And the trees are the hairs of Her body. Childhood, youth, and old age are Her finest modes; The two twilights are Her raiment; And the Moon is the mind of the Mother of the Universe. ~ Devi Bhagavata Purana, VII.33.1-21~ I travel with the Rudras and the Vasus, with the Adityas and All-Gods I wander. I hold aloft both Varuna and Mitra, Indra and Agni, and the Pair of Asvins. I cherish and sustain high-swelling Soma, and Tvastar I support, Pusan, and Bhaga. I load with wealth the zealous sacrificer who pours the juice and offers his oblation I am the Queen, the gatherer-up of treasures, most thoughtful, first of those who merit worship. Thus Gods have stablished me in many places with many homes to enter and abide in. Through me alone all eat the food that feeds them,-each man who sees, brewhes, hears the word outspoken. They know it not, but yet they dwell beside me. Hear, one and all, the truth as I declare it. I, verily, myself announce and utter the word that Gods and men alike shall welcome. I make the man I love exceeding mighty, make him a sage, a Rsi, and a Brahman. I bend the bow for Rudra that his arrow may strike and slay the hater of devotion. I rouse and order battle for the people, and I have penetrated Earth and Heaven. On the world's summit I bring forth the Father: my home is in the waters, in the ocean. Thence I extend o'er all existing creatures, and touch even yonder heaven with my forehead. I breathe a strong breath like the wind and tempest, the while I hold together all existence. Beyond this wide earth and beyond the heavens I have become so mighty in my grandeur. ~Devi suktha-Rigveda, mandala 1,suktha 125~
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Sri Sakthi Ashram Let my every word be a prayer to Thee, Every movement of my hands a ritual gesture to Thee, Every step I take a circumambulation of Thy image, Every morsel I eat a rite of sacrifice to Thee, Every time I lay down a prostration at Thy feet; Every act of personal pleasure and all else that I do, Let it all be a form of worshiping Thee." ~From Verse 27 of Shri Aadi Shankara's Saundaryalahari~ As Saktha , we need to understand that the creation that we are performing is caused by Sakthi. When one is endowed with that Shakti, anyone would be able to create the world. Vishnu, Shiva, Indra, Agni, Moon, Sun, Death, and all the other deities,sages ,saints are able to do their karmas only when they are united with their respective Shaktis. This earth, when united with Shakti, remains fixed and becomes capable to hold all beings inhabiting it. If it be devoid of this power, it cannot support even an atom." ~Devi Bhagavata Purana: 3.6~

Sacred Sastras
Generally Saktha accept all common scripture that is considered holy by all religions of Hindus. The vedas are the common holy scripture for the Hindus. In fact many scholars gave Hinduism the name Vaidika Dharma, one of its old names. Vedas, refer to the knowledge.

That is the knowledge heard by the sages in their spiritual domain and passed across as it is as mantras. Mantras are the words of super-power, that produce grand effects when chanted. Vedas have four parts that is Samhita, Braahmanaa, Aaranyaka & Upanishad. The Samhitas are the core part of Vedas. They are full of mantras. Braahmanaas help in the application and the interpretation of the Vedic Samhitas. Aranyakas and Upanishads are the philosophical part. The essence of the Upanishads is brought out in Brahma Sutra composed by Veda Vyaasa, the one who organized and categorised the Vedas into Rig, Yajur, Saama, Atharva. In the Rig Veda (the earliest known text- the first book of Knowledge) specifically in the tenth chapter, which includes the Sri Sukta describing Devis glory, appears to be a late supplement to
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Sri Sakthi Ashram the Rig Veda differing both in language and in subject. Khilaratri Sukta mentions the Goddesses Mahalaxmi ,Mahasaraswati and Mahakali . Yajur Veda (the second book of Knowledge) also has many parts mentioning about the goddess especially in Taittirya aranakyas. In Sama Veda (Kena Upanishad) dated 7th Century BC tells of how the goddess was recognized and even worshipped by other Gods. Puranas were written during the Gupta Period beginning 320 AD. She now evolved into two main forms of Mahisasura Mardini and Uma in Markandya Purana , Vamana Purana , Devi Bhagavatha Purana , Siva Purana , Skanda Purana , and Mahatyama Purana. In one of Sri Adhi Sankaras contribution to Saktha texts , Saundarya Lahari is an unparalleled masterpiece. Sankara proves here, the supremacy of Devi, over even the holy Trinity. Tradition has it that Sankara received from Lord Siva in Kailas the Saundarya Lahari along with five Sphatika Lingas. The first part of Saundarya Lahari (1-41 verses) is called "Ananda Lahari". It describes most comprehensively the forms of Devi, the Divine Mother. She is an incarnation of compassion and forgiveness. This part offers a complete picture of the Kundalini discipline. The spiritual power in an individual lies torpid, coiled like a serpent asleep, and completely motionless. It has to be woken up and taken step by step to the stage of pure consciousness. Though this part is full of technical details of a complicated subject, it is in the form of beautiful poetry. The second part containing 59 verses is a wonderful description of the physical frame of the Goddess from head to foot. It concludes with a prayer for the grace of Devi. Tripura Rahasya is another important scared text of Saktha religion. Here the Secret of the Supreme Goddess is a dialogue of instruction given to the seeker Parasurama by his guru, Dattatreya. The story unfolds through the medium of tales which delight and amuse, but they also open the door to the cave of wisdom and invite entry to all, regardless of religious affiliation. The work was thus written by Haritaayana and is also called after his name Haritaayana Samhita. It is said to consist of 12,000 slokaas in three sections - The Maahaatmya Khanda (Section on the Greatness of Sri Devi), Jnaana Khanda (Section on Supreme Wisdom), and Charyaa Khanda (Section on Conduct). Of these the first consists of 6,687 slokaas; the second of 2,163 slokaas; and the third is not traceable. The section on Greatness contains the prelude to the work and later treats mostly of the manifestations of the Supreme Being as Durga, Kaali, Lakshmi, Sarasvati, Lalita, Kumaari, etc. and their exploits and found in Brahmaanda Puraana, Maarkandeya Puraana and Lakshmi Tantra. Its contents mostly cover the ground of Durga Saptasati and of Lalita Upaakhaayana. Sri Vidya doctine which is the worship of the Supreme Being as Goddess has a very holy tradition traced to the Vedas. There are two principal divisions, known as "Kaatividyaa" and "Haatividyaa" former was practised by Indra, Chandra, Manu, Kubeera, etc.; it is the simpler of the two and also more common. The other was practised by Lopaamudra and approved of the
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Sri Sakthi Ashram wise. Sri Tripura Rahasya, otherwise Haritaayana Samhitaa, begins with "OM Namaha" ("Salutations to Aum") and ends with "Shri Tripuraiva Hrim" ("Tripura is only Hrim"). Aum is well known as the sacred syllable signifying the Highest Being in the abstract; so also "Hrim" is the sacred symbol of the same as the Goddess. The contents of the book are thus enclosed by these two symbols - the most sacred in the Vedas and the work is equally sanctified. Devi Gita , This is an excerpt from a much larger work, the the Srimad Devi Bhagavatam. This self-contained text describes an incarnation of the Devi, the Goddess. She discourses on her nature, and how she wants to be worshipped, particularly with Yogic practices, meditation and rituals.

In many part of the world , Saivites and Vaisnavites underestimate the influence of Saktha texts in overall Hindu hard manuscript. It would be a wrong impresion to believe that Saktha religion is without sacred texts. All procedure relating to rituals , mantras , yoga and other discipline has been extensively elaborated in these texts mentioned above. There are also endless Puranas and other supporting texts about Sakthism on which not to be discussed here as it is not the intention of author to emphasis on the ritual and ceremonial aspect of the religion which is stipulated quite detail in Puranas, which again would require a book of its own. Perhaps no religious literature has raised so much significance in evaluation as the Saktha texts known as Tantras. In summary , the practical side of the Saktha cult of the Goddess, lays special emphasis upon: mantras (prayers and formulae) bijas (syllables of esoteric significance) yantras (diagrams) mudras (special positions of the fingers), and nyasas (feeling the deities in different parts of the body).