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Sri Vidya :

Vidya is the highest, ultimate and pure intelligence.Sri means auspiciousness or


eishwaryama.Thus Sri Vidya is the highest knowledge that gives all saubhagyama besides
moksha..It is also called Brahma Vidya,Maha vidya or Atma Vidya.It is the Vidya of great
mother Sri Mata.The mantras of female deity are also known as Vidya.
Ancient seers had been quarrying to which God shall we offer our oblations-kasmai devaya
havisha vidhema.There are gods and gods but at top are certain Godheads which correspond to
the Brahman of Upnishadas.The spiritual disciplines leading to them are Brahma Vidyas or
Maha Vidyas or Siddha Vidyas.The supreme is adored as Great Goddess.The Tantra clarifies
them as Dasha Mahavidyas-the ten great paths of knowledge.The third one in the order of these
Maha Vidyas is Sri Vidya,leading to Mahatripursundari the beauty par excellence in the triple
worlds. The great Goddess is also known as Lalita and Rajrajeshwari.
Being comprehensive in its scope and all embracing in nature the cult of Sri Vidya is said to be
the highest of all mantra sadhanas.It does utmost good to him who seeks divinity through it. If
one is determined to reach the Supreme goal by Her grace it is attained. Divine Mother grants
whatever the seeker chooses. It is advisable not to choose anything but to leave the choice to the
great Goddess. It is also said that by pursuing other lines of worship one aspires to get the eight
siddhis as the culmination but these are beginnings in the worship of Sri Vidya.In fact these
siddhis are posited on the outermost periphery of Sri Chakra which is not different from Sri
Vidya.
The Deity and Her various Names:
The Lalita Sahasranama begins with her first name as Sri mata , the divine mother, the
primordial mother not only of all the created beings in the universe but also of all God and
Goddesses. she is their mainstay and sustenance. Her next name is Sri maharajni ie.she is
presiding over the cosmos, the Supreme Lord.
The Kalika Purana says that everything about the Godess is three in number.The triangle( also
known as yoni which is the prime triangle in the Sri Chakra and is the source of all
manifestations ,her three lettered mantra (Bala mantra),her three forms, creation of the trinity. In
fact Brahman is three fold : Sat- Chit-Ananada.The life is three fold : physical, vital and
mental(annama,prana and manasa).The worlds are three. The states are three : waking, dream
and deep sleep(jagrata,swapna and sushupthi).The forces are three : will, knowledge and
action(iccha,jnana and kriya).Thus the Godess who subjects herself to a three fold division is
known as Tripursundari.
She is also known as Lalita who has vanquished Bhandasura-an asura created from the ashes of
Manmatha (who was reduced to ashes by Lord Siva when he disturbed His penance) as described
in Brahmanda Purana.
Three of her great personalities who lead the aspirant on the path of Sri Vidya are Bala,Mantrini
and Dandanatha.. Bala is a little girl ,daughter of the Divine Mother also known as Bala
Tripursundari shares all the characterstics of her mother. Her mantra consists of three seed
sounds. These three seed letters (bijaksharas) become amplified as three kutas of Panchdasi(15
lettered mantra).
Mantrini represents the knowledge aspect of the Divine mother. She is Matangi of Dash Maha
Vidyas.
Dandanatha denotes the strength aspect of the Divine mother.She destroys the hostile forces and
infuses strength in the worshipper. She corresponds to Baglamukhi of the Dash Maha vidyas.
The colour of the Goddess Lalitha is red like the light of a thousand rising suns and her garments
are red in colour.Red is the colour of desire, passion and love. Red is also the colour of dawn the
dispeller of darkness or Avidya.
Lalitha wields in her four hands the noose, the goad, the sugarcane bow and five flower arrows.
Love is the noose and wrath is the goad. The sugarcane bow is the mind and five arrows are five
tanmatras:sound,touch,form,relish and flavour.
SriChakra is Her abode in which the lines of creation emerge in the Bindu when she is seated on
a cot, the legs of which are Brahma,Vishnu,Rudra and Isana and the plank of which is
Sadasiva.She is not seated alone but with Kameshwara,thus two in one in eternal bliss.
The Mantra :
There are twelve pioneers of Sri Vidya on record who are the foremost worshippers having
founded a school of Sri Vidya.The Sri Vidya mantra in each case is different. They are
Manu,Chandra,Kubera,Lopamudra,Manmatha,Agastya,Nandikesa,Surya,Vishnu,Skanda,Siva
and Durvasha.It will be observed that the list comprises of men,siddha and gods. The vidya of
Manmatha is known as Kadi Vidya and of Agastya is known as Hadi vidya.. Kadi Vidya has
gained much currency and prominence.The three hundred names of Lalitha in Lalitha Trishathi
are arranged in the order of the letters of Kadi Vidya.
Kadi vidya consists of fifteen letters also known as Panchadasi. When a secret seed sound
(bijakshara) is added it becomes Shodashi(the sixteen lettered mantra).There is also Maha
Shodashi the twenty eight lettered mantra.
The Panchadasi mantra consists of three parts or kutas.The first is Vagbhava kuta,second is
Kamaraja kuta and the third is Shakti kuta.The three stages of the mantra represent the three
stages of manifestation.