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Saints of India - Sankaracharya 788-820 CE
Sankara took his birth in a Malabar Brahmin family (Nambudiri Illom) at Kalladi near Alwaye
presently on the Shoranur-Cochin Railway line. Sivaguru was his father's natal name; in due
course of time Sankara's father became an adept in Sanskrit and scriptures, married a Brahmin
girl, Arya Amba and failed to father a child. The couple prayed to Siva in the local temple, who
appeared before Arya Amba in her dream and offered a choice between a long-lived loafer and
dullard or a short-lived genius. Obviously Amba chose the latter. That was the child Sankara,
said to have been born to her; the father died when he was three years of age. At the tender age
of five, he received Gayatri initiation. There is no much mention about his father and he was
brought up by his mother, whose last days were the most harrowing for Sankara. His sojourn on
earth was a short 32 years; there are many versions and variations in his date of birth (his
appearance on earth). One pick is 788-820 CE. (C.E. Common era = Christian Era.) Sankara
makes a reference to Dravida (Dramila) Sisu (Dravidian child) who was assumed to be Sankara's
contemporary Tirugnana Sambandar. From that reference Professor Sundaram Pillai picked 788-
820 CE. This corresponds to the dates given by Prof. Macdonell and Prof. Max Muller. Sankara
was a quick study and a genius and became proficient in Sanskrit and sacred texts. He took up
Sannyasa at age eight. He found a Guru in Govinda Bhagavatpada on the banks of Narmada. As
all mothers, she wanted him to get married and bear grandchildren. He would not have it. There
is a story woven around his refusal to marry and his choice for Sannyasa (asceticism). The
mother and Sankara went to a local river for morning ablution. As fate would have it, Sankara
was dragged down the river by a croc. He wanted to die a Sannyasin and extracted a promise
from his mother to let him die a Sannyasin. The mother consented; the croc let loose the hold;
Sankara remained a Sannyasin (ascetic) since then. Some see a parallel between the croc in the
river and the croc of Samsara. He somehow disentangled himself from the croc of the river and
the croc of Samsara (life on earth--life, birth and rebirth).
He wandered far and wide and at last found his Guru in Govinda with whose help he became a
Sannyasi, an adept in Advaitam and a seed for the Sankaracharya lineage. Dasasloki was
Sankara's answer to Govindapada, when the latter posed the question to Sankara as to who he
was. Adapted from Dasasloki, English translation by S.N.Sastri.
1) I am neither the five elements, nor the organs, nor all of them put together. Self stands alone in
deep sleep. I remain alone as non-dual entity.
2) Appellations such as castes, stages of life, rules of behavior, and duties of castes, meditation,
concentration of mind or Yoga do not pertain to me. Body and mind being not-self and thus
removed, I am the auspicious self free from all adjuncts and attributes.
3) In deep sleep, there is no Pitha, Matha, Deva, worlds, Vedas, Yajna, Tirthas or Void, say the
Srutis. I am the auspicious self free from all attributes. Pitha = father. Matha = mother. Yajna =
sacrifice. Tirtha = holy place.
4) Sankhya, Saiva, Pancharatra, Jaina, Mimamsaka and the like are unsound (doctrines).
Mahavakya purports that Brahman is partless and whole; He is Pure. I am the auspicious self free
from all attributes.
Sankhya, Pancharatra, Jaina, Mimamsaka (believer in
Sankhya: Its philosophy regards the universe as consisting
of two eternal realities: Purusha and Prakriti It is therefore a
strongly dualist and enumerationist philosophy. The Purusha
is the centre of consciousness, whereas the Prakriti is the
source of all material existence. For more details go to
BG02, refer to comments on VerseBG2.12
Pancharatra: The central dogma of the Pāñcharātra religion
is that the deity manifests Himself in five-fold forms: Para,
Vyūha, Vibhava, Antaryamin, and Archa. These five aspects
are how the absolute, formless Transcendent One
(Parabrahman) is brought into living and loving touch with
the mundane world so that living beings can interact with the
divine. Pāñcarātra are Vaishnavite devotional texts
dedicated to a single deity Sriman Narayana who manifests
in different forms. God exists in his absolute form (Para), his
Vyuha forms (similar to the Catholic trinity), his incarnations
(as beings among mankind) and his existence in holy
images. For more details go to: vadakalai_tenkalai
Jainism: a dualistic religion founded in the 6th century B.C. as
a revolt against the then current Hinduism and emphasizing
the perfectibility of human nature and liberation of the soul,
esp. through asceticism and nonviolence toward all living
Mimamsa: Sanskrit word meaning "investigation" is the
name of an astika ("orthodox") school of Hindu philosophy
whose primary enquiry is into the nature of dharma based on
close hermaneutics of the Vedas. Its core tenets are
ritualism (orthopraxy), anti-asceticism and anti-mysticism.
The central aim of the school is elucidation of the nature of
dharma, understood as a set ritual obligations and
prerogatives to be performed properly. The nature of dharma
isn't accessible to reason or observation, and must be
inferred from the authority of the revelation contained in the
Vedas, which are considered eternal, authorless and
infallible. The West compares Mimamsa doctrine to similar
claims regarding Koran; of Judaism and the Pentateuch, and
that of fundamentalist Christian Sects concerning the
authenticity of the Bible. - from Harper's dictionary of
Hinduism and wikipedia.
The essence of monistic Hinduism
God and You (It, That, He, She) are One.
Mahavakya = The Mahavakyas are the four "Great Sayings"
of the Upanishads, the religious texts of Hinduism. Each of
the Mahavakyas belongs to one of the four Vedas and is
said to condense the essence of the entire Veda in one
These sayings encapsulate the central Truth of Hinduism.
The Mahavakyas are:
1. Prajnanam Brahma - "Consciousness is Brahman"
(Aitreya Upanishad 3.3 of the Rig Veda)
2. Ayam Atma Brahma - "This Self (Atman) is Brahman"
(Mandukya Upanishad1.2 of the Atharva-Veda)
3. Tat Tvam Asi - "Thou art That" (Chadogya Upanishad
6.8.7 of the Sama Veda)
4. Aham Brahmasmi - "I am Brahman" (
Brahadaranyaka Upanishad)1.4.10 of the Yajur Veda)
5) Brahman has no attributes such as upper or lower part, no interior or exterior, no east or west,
and no middle or diagonal part, because He pervades like space. It is one whole without parts. I
am the auspicious without parts.
6) Brahman is neither white, nor black, nor red, nor yellow, nor small, nor big, nor short nor long
nor knowable because it is of the nature of Jyoti. I am auspicious self free from all attributes.
Jyoti = Effulgence, Splendor.
7) There is neither guru, nor Sastras, nor student, nor teaching, nor you, nor I nor this world.
Knowledge of one‟s own nature does not permit variant views. I am auspicious self free from all
8) I am neither awake and Visva, nor dreaming and Taijasa, nor in deep sleep and Prajna; all
arise from ignorance. I am in Turiya State (the 4
state). I am the self free from all attributes.
Details of the below-mentioned entities are described in detail in BG12 (commentary on Verse
Visva = the name of the individual soul in waking state
Taijasa = the name of the individual soul in dream sleep state
Prajna = the name of the individual soul in deep sleep state.
Turiya = the fourth state
9) Atma, being the goal, is all-pervasive self-existent, and independent, while the whole
universe, apart from the Self, is unreal.
(Consider this as an explanation: A thought (world) without a thinker (Self = god) is impossible,
unreal and non-existent. In Hindu and Christian tradition, the thought and therefore a word
translates into object(s): Let there be Light; there was Light.) In Hindu tradition, God thinks the
'thinkable'; it becomes 'speakable'; the speakable becomes an object. That is why Sanskrit letters
and words are sacred. Yes, believe it or not; laugh if you must: God thought in Sanskrit, spoke in
Sanskrit, wrote in Sanskrit, produced objects (the universe) from Sanskrit words and
communicated in Sanskrit! It is the language of the gods and men; it is of divine origin.
10) Though it is not one, there cannot be a second different from it. It has neither Kevalatvam
nor Cakevalatvam; it is neither Sunyam nor Casunyam, since it is free of duality. How can one
characterize something that is the essence of Sarva-veda (all Vedas = sacred texts)?
Kevalatvam = Absoluteness
Sunyam = void.
He traveled to Benares and found an eager student and admirer in another South Indian
compatriot Padmapada. He distinguished himself among the Sanskrit scholars and pundits. He
wrote his commentaries on religious texts.
The legend says that on the banks of the Ganges river he had his first encounter with Siva who is
known for pranks on his devotees. A Chandala (person of low caste, born of a Brahmin mother
and a Sudra father) was walking along with a dog coming towards Sankara and his band of
disciples; the latter asked the Chandala to stay away from the path of Sankara. The Chandala
addressed Sankara, "O Guruji! Chandala and Brahmana are of the Supreme, whence this
difference?" (It is still a mystery as to how one can tell a Chandala apart from others. Is it by
physiognomy, behavior pattern, association, accouterments...? I understand the broom in his
hand was the sine qua non of Chandala. Krishna Bhagavan says in BG 5.18: 'A learned humble
Brahmin, a cow, an elephant, a dog, and even a dog-eater are seen with an equal eye by a
punditah (sage).' Here a dog-eater is generally considered a Chandala.
Another expansive version of the same incident gives the following narrative. Sankara himself
asked the Chandala to keep some distance from him. (In modern parlance: You, low life; stay
away from me, you cur; get the hell out of here; get lost, you scum; scram, don't even turn back.)
The Chandala spoke his mind: What is it that you want to keep away from, my Self or my body?
Our bodies are made of food; if you desire, I could keep my physical body away from your
physical body. The Self, that is pure awareness, is (shared by) you and me; thus we are one, and
one with One. How is it possible for the Omnipresent Pure Awareness go away from Itself?
Sankara fell at his feet like a stick with all his eight angas at prostration. (Eight Angas /
Sashtanga Namaskaram: Prostration with eight limbs touching the floor: two hands, two knees,
two shoulders, chest, and forehead.) Sankara thought that Lord Siva himself in the form of
Chandala was there to teach him a lesson. He composed 5 slokas, named Manisha Panchaka
The slokas ended with a refrain, 'manīşā mama--This is my conviction or thought." that
essentially said that anyone, be a Chandala or Brahmana, who was learned enough to look at
phenomena in the light of Advaita (Monism), was his guru. The great Indian tradition doesn't
exclude anybody from acquiring knowledge. He can rise to any height according to his ability
and depth of devotion. According to Chandogya Upanishad 5.24.4, if any one offers the
sacrificial remnant of his food to a Chandala, it is offered to the Universal Self (= Universal
Consciousness). Here the caste, the race, and all other discriminatory pettiness are given the
Manisha Panchaka: the Five Verses by Sankaracharya.
अननमयादननमयमथवा चै तनयमेव चै तनयात् ।
ु वाञछसि ककि ब
हि गचछ गचछे तत।।
O the best among the twice-born, What is it that you desire to stay away from, by asking me to
leave? Do you want me to move away my body made of food from your body made of food? Do
you want Consciousness move away from Consciousness?
(Our consciousness is the contracted version of the Universal Consciousness of Siva. Man has
ownership of the food-body to himself. Consciousness, which is the Universal Soul, pervades all
beings and is common to one and all. If one being hurts another being, he is hurting the
Universal Consciousness and thus himself. Lesson: Chandala brought out the Advaitic principle
that we are not the body but Consciousness. Sankara was shocked to hear such profound idea
coming from the mouth of a dog-eater.)
Sankara's extempore verses in reply to Chandala's challenge in Manisha Panchaka.
Verse1. True knowledge is realization that man is not an object but Pure Consciousness that
shines in all three states: wakefulness, dream sleep and deep sleep. The Pure Consciousness is
the Witness, the Indweller in all bodies from the Creator Brahma to an ant. The one who realizes
this knowledge is my Guru, whether he is a Chandala or a Brahmana. This is my conviction.
Lesson: ayam atma brahma = This Self is Brahman.
Verse 2. I am Brahman, the Pure Consciousness appearing as this universe. My Avidya
(ignorance/nescience) made of three Gunas (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) has dreamt all this up. He
who realizes this knowledge of the eternal, pure and supreme Brahman, is my Guru whether he
is a Chandala or a Brahmana. This is my conviction.
Sattva = virtue; Rajas = motion and passion; Tamas = darkness.
3. He who under the tutelage of his Guru has attained the realization that the whole universe is
subject to destruction, meditates on Brahman constantly with tranquil and pure mind, burns his
past and future sins in the fire of knowledge, and subjects himself and his body to Prarabdha
karma. This is my conviction.
Carpous (fruit-bearing) Karma is thought, word and deed; each one bears a fruit, sweet or sour in
this life or in the future births. Karma has a long arm that reaches you without remiss, has strong
memory and makes sure you enjoy the fruits of your Karma.
Prarabdha karma: set in motion; Sprouting; germinates and yields fruits (sweet and sour)
according to the seeds.
Arabdha Karma: begun, started, initiated, sprouting seed.
An-arabdha Karma: not begun, not sprouting, seed.
Sanchita: Accumulated; stored dormant seeds = Silos or storehouse.
Kriyamana Karma (Agami): coming; being made; actively made
Abraham Lincoln said,
"The past is the cause of the present, and the
present will be the cause of the future."
4. Animals, men and gods experience the pure consciousness as 'I.' The reflection (light) of the
Pure Consciousness on the insentient mind, senses and body make them appear sentient. Objects
come into perception because of this consciousness. The mind, the senses and the body conceal
the Self, though they receive light from it. They are like the clouds hiding the sun. The Yogi who
meditates on the Self is my Guru. This is my conviction.
5. The Self, being Brahman, is the eternal Ocean of Bliss. An infinitesimal fragment of that Bliss
nurtures Indra and other gods. The sage attains realization by meditating on the Self with tranquil
mind. He whose mind identifies with the Self is not only a knower of Brahman but Brahman
Itself. His feet, irrespective of whose they are, are fit for worship even by Indra himself. This is
Sankaracharya's (788-820 CE) male chauvinism and his change
of heart, mind and spirit.
Sankaracharya, propounder of Monistic theory and devotee of
Siva (Vishnu, Mother Goddess) was in Kasi. He was seized by
Saktas who argued on the greatness of Mother Goddess and Sakti.
Sankara beat them all by his arguments; Saktas were heart broken
because the arguments were apparently sound and came from the
mouth of Sankara, who was a realized soul and knower of
Brahmavidya (Brahman knowledge = God Realization). This
debate over the superiority of Siva over Sakti went on for days to
the delight of Saivites and to the consternation of Saktas; Sankara
won it every time.
He was once lying with his head towards the south and feet
towards the north in utter physical exhaustion on a narrow path.
He saw a girl come towards him asking him to move his legs, so
that she could pass him to fetch water from Ganges.
Sankara said, "O Mother, go on, jump over my legs if you want. I
am not moving. I am too tired to move my legs." (It is common
to address a female of any age as mother as a mark of respect.)
The girl refused to jump over his body or legs and said, " O
Brahmana, I cannot jump over a body of a Brahmana. Please
move your legs."
Sankara said, "You, silly ignorant girl. There is no harm in
jumping over me. Ignorance separates people as Brahmana,
Ksatriya, Vaisya and Sudra. Everyone and everything is Brahman
(God). Jump over me and you will not incur any sin. I am too
tired to move my legs."
The girl said, "I will move your tired legs and pass by."
Sankara retorted, " You do what you want."
The girl lifted his legs, and made enough room to pass by.
The girl came back to Sankara who asked for water to quench his
The girl said with a smile, " You are so near the water, go and get
Sankara, obviously irritated by the girl, said, "I told you many
times that I am too weak to get up."
The girl then rolled her eyes and uttered in a voice that shook the
sky: "Sankara, you ignored Sakti. You said Sakti did not exist,
didn't you?" (Sakti is the power of Siva, depicted as His consort.
Siva is Sava (dead) without Sakti. It is like a wallet without
Sankara was shaken by the tone and the meaning of the words. He
shut his eyes and opened them to find waves of light in her eyes
equal to a thousand suns and moons. He ran to hold her feet in
reverence and seek refuge. The Light and the girl disappeared.
Disappearance of the Light shattered him; his Brahmajnana was
shaken to its foundation; his pride was in tatters. He ran to the
temple of Annapurna, crying "Mother." His conviction about Siva
being superior to Sive ( Sakti) was fundamentally shaken. Siva is
Sava (dead) without Sakti (power). In modern parlance, 'Money
talks, BS walks.' Sankara sang hymns in honor of Mother
Goddess, Sakti. This was sport of Devi, and Sankara was an
important participant. If one sees Sakti in every one and
everything, she is within your reach.
An ideological adversary converts and becomes his disciple and successor. More light than
heat in Sankara's words.
During his tour, Sankara was demolishing the opponents of Monism with well-placed explosive
charges in the opponents well-structured arguments so much so they became converts to his
philosophy of thought. One such incident involved a husband-wife team of towering intellect,
disputatious abrasiveness and royal patronage, which obviously gave them a Big Ego. Real life
Mandana Misra was the worthy but older opponent and his wife Bharati served as the moderator.
She devised a simple objective measure of heat (fever) generated in a person during an
argument. The one who generated more heat than light would be the loser. The loser would
convert to the philosophy of the victor and his order of life. (I wish we settle our differences like
this.) She gave a flower garland one each for Sankara and Mandana. They wore their garlands
and started their arguments and disputations. In the mean time she went about doing her daily
chores. They fired salvos and counter-salvos at each other; there was light and heat; this went on
for eight days, until it reached a fever pitch. Mandana's hold on his tenets was climbing a
slippery slope; he began to cling to the tenets of Sankara and felt helplessly to side with
Sankara. Mandana's flowers showed signs of wilting, (external and objective) evidence that
Mandana (an incarnation of Brahma) generated more heat than light in his arguments and
disputations. Sankara's flower garland was as fresh as the flowers on the living stem indicating
that he kept his cool under fire, emitted more light than heat and saved the flowers from wilting.
Bharati declared Sankara the winner against her hope and wish. Mandana in the blink of an eye
shed his royal robe, donned the saffron robe of Sannyasin, became Sankara's disciple and later
his real life successor. His new name was Suresvara Acharya, appointed as the Acharya of the
Sringeri Matha later. Suresvara wrote many commentaries: Vartikas, Taitiriya, Brihadaranyaka
Bhasyas, commentary of Dakshinamurthy Stotra and Panchikarana, a book on the teachings of
Sankara( Naishkarmya Siddhi)....
Bharati though a fair moderator still had remnants of ego in her, did not accept Sankara's
Monism and clung to the tenets of rituals. She was the incarnation of Sarasvati, the goddess of
speech according to legend. They launched verbal salvos at each other; Sankara sent bruising
replies; her arguments were losing ground. As a married woman, she changed her tune and tactic
and thought she would demolish bachelor Sankara on the art of conjugal love. She said to
herself, "this time, I will get you good and supine." When Bharati introduced this new element,
Sankara asked for and received deferment. By that time, the local king Amaru shuffled off his
mortal coil leaving a bevy of inconsolable queens in the harem. Sankara saw the opportunity and
by his yogic power left his body, entered the body of dead Amaru to every one's surprise,
jumping from one chamber to the next like an Alpha Male, engaged in love-making of queens far
beyond the range, scope and practice of Kama Sutra so much so Sankara had more intimate
knowledge of the art of love than Bharati. Soon to the consternation of the royal household, the
erstwhile anabiotic king dropped dead for real from exhaustion of marathon love-making like the
bee on its nuptial flight; Sankara left Amaru's body, reentered his own body (under the watchful
eyes of his disciples), and was ready for argument with Bharati with his new facile confidence
and attitude, beat-you-in-your-own-game. She posed delicate and intimate questions; his
counterpoise was telling in its finesse. All her moves received instantaneous appropriate
reciprocal fitting counter moves from Sankara. She, a mistress (miester) in the art of love, found
Sankara an (verbal) acrobat, whose verbal pośe of balletic perfection left her breathless. She
accepted defeat, was impressed with Sankara's knowledge of the art of love but also the science
of love and joined her husband as Sankara's disciple. Even today, she is tall in her defeat in the
temple in Sringeri. Devout followers of Sankara and Saradamba (Bharati) believe that the debate
material of the type in Kamasutra, (Havelock Ellis, and Masters and Johnson) was invented,
appended and integrated into the story by overzealous followers and admirers to prove that
Sankara was an all-round expert in Tantric sex and Vaidic ways. After his victorious debate
tour, he went to Sringeri along with his disciple Mandana Misra to build a mutt and a temple.
There he heard that his mother was seriously ill and went to perform the last rites in Kalladi. He
helped his mother in deathbed to have visions of Siva's Ganas and Vishnu's messengers. The
local Nambhudiris forbade that a Sannyasi could do the funeral rites and forbade everyone
offering help to Sankara. Sankara carried the body to the backyard, created fire before him by his
yogic power and cremated her body. He left Kalladi for Sringeri and later east coast, reformed
the Saktas and Bhairavas, built Mutts in Puri and Kanchi and returned back to Sringeri. He was
back on his tour of the North, built Mutts in Dwaraka, went to Nepal and Kashmir, and later to
Badrikesh where he built a temple for Narayana. He lived for 32 years on this earth and shuffled
off his mortal coil, some say in a Himalayan cave, some say in Kanchi.
Pandit N. Bhashyacharya (of Madras) in his "Age of Sankaracharya" (Adyar Library, Madras,
1890 A.D., page 22) says "Lastly towards the end of his life he came to the south but had to
leave his body and this world at Kancheepuram at the early age of thirty-two:' Saligram
Srikanta Sastry of Sringeri has taken a copy of the 16th chapter of the ninth amsa of
"Sivarahasya" from the Manuscript Library in Mysore and has rendered it in Kannada. The
English translation of a sentence in the Kannada work is as follows: "Having come to Kanchi,
in his own ashrama, he (Sankara) absorbed his gross physical frame into the subtle one,
became pure, blissful citsvarupa and attained final Siddhi:'---
Sankara takes on the cosmological questions. Does anybody know why God (or whoever it is)
created these universes? What is His motive? The Vaishnavas say that Vishnu created this world
and beings as a sport and amusement. It is fun for God to play around with exploding
Supernovas, hot and dense neutron stars, collapsing White Dwarfs, dusty and gaseous EGG
Nebulae (EGG = Evaporating Gaseous Globule), planetary embryos, stellar nurseries where stars
are born, shooting stars with long tails, Kuiper Belts, errant Asteroids, ravenously hungry Black
Holes, magma-belching volcanoes.... Everyday is July 4th on a cosmic scale. Some say it is for
his own edification and glorification. Why do we have to suffer for His vanity, vainglory and
self-edification? Some call God's act His love for humanity and beings. Wars, famines, natural
disasters, genocides...are happening under His watch: Are they acts of love? Then what is love?
Sankara says the answer lies in Vedanta. It is Samsara--metempsychosis. Sankara believes that
we are like plants. When the plant dies, it leaves behind a seed, from which new plant grows and
the cycle repeats itself. Likewise, when man dies, he leaves behind Karma, a suitcase of his
thoughts, words and deeds (Subtle body). Karma has a long arm. You heard of death and taxes as
certainty. Karma is the third certainty that we don't think of. Karma's long arm reaches and
touches you over many future births. Your present life is the Karmic fruit from the seed you left
behind or planted in your previous birth. Every thought, word and deed (good and bad) bear seed
which grows as a plant, bear fruit, and leave a seed for future birth. The cycle goes on. How do
we get rid of this seed? We can roast it so that it cannot germinate. That is called Expiation by
Chariyai, Kriyai, Yogam, and Jnanam. Primer in Saiva Siddhanta. Once Karma comes to be a
Null Entity, there is no more birth. You are liberated; you live in heaven with God (Brahman).
According to Advaitic or Monistic philosophy, there is only one Reality, that is Brahman. This
universe and beings have no reality. We live under the cloud of MAyA or illusion. MAyA is like
a dream, which we know is not real when we wake up (to god realization). When we rise above
the clouds of Maya, the sunshine of Reality is on us. We all know we should not chase a dream,
a mirage or an illusion. Stop the chase. Stop chasing the world. Get off this world and come to
realization of the Great Self or Universal Consciousness.That means you have to withdraw your
senses from the objects of senses like the tortoise, which withdraws its organs under the shell.
Why should we do that? Tell me why? Mind may generate a thought, thought may generate a
word, and a word may generate a deed. Thought, word, and deed generate Karma, which
generates a seed. Karma is what you do with your hand (a synonym for Karma), acts that may be
good, bad or indifferent. They generate good Karma or bad Karma; these are acts that you do to
your self or that some one else do to you. They are called (Adhiatmika, Adhibhautica, and
Adhidaivika) Endogenous, Exogenous and Theogenous miseries: Internal in origin, like
diseases; External in origin like what others do to you; and Divine in origin or unknown in
origin, acts beyond your control. BG02 All these come under the term Anubhava, Experience,
which causes joy or misery. Misery is attending the School of Hard Knocks. This School
inculcates the knowledge that there is Spirit which is Reality. In western parlance, it puts the fear
of God in you. It tells you that you are not the master of the universe. You live under His reign.
You have no freedom to do what you will or want. Your freedom is restricted; the restrictions are
the five Kankucas. கலை, விதலை, ஆராகம, நியைி, காைம (KalA, Vidya, RAga, Niyati, and
KAlam = Learning, Knowledge, Desire, Order, and Time) are the five Kankucas (பஞச
கஞசகம) or the Five Jackets. How is that? Our knowledge is limited: you cannot be a doctor,
atomic scientist, rocket engineer, poet... in one person. So is the case with other restricting
Jackets. In association with the five jackets, and becoming eligible to consume the fruits of
Karma, the soul acquires the name of Purusha. There are five afflictions (பஞசகிலைசம):
(அவிசலச, ஆஙகாரம, அவா, ஆலச, லகாபம = Spiritual ignorance, Ego, Covetousness,
Desire, Anger). The School of Hard Knocks also makes one's impurities mature and fall
(elimination of impurities). Once that happens, spiritual Knowledge dawns on the aspirant and
takes him or her to the Reality of Brahman. Sankara tells that this world is a product of Maya or
illusion and attaining the Reality or Brahman is a process of elimination, and realizing the Truth.
As you march forwards seeking Brahman, you come across a lot of things that declare, ' I am the
Truth; I am god; you have to go through me to reach the Lord.' It could be money, a good job, a
good wife, good children, good company, good life, good books, good Faustian knowledge, good
associates, good church, good temple, good priests, prophets, sages... the list is endless. A
spiritually perfected one analyses each one of these claimants and says with conviction, 'Neti
Neti' (Not this, Not this), and eventually finds God by acquiring Brahma Vidya (Knowledge of
Brahman = Realization of God) and says, "This is It."
= Worshipping God-in-form in a temple
Worshipping Šiva with rites and ceremonies
; Mental worship of Šiva
; Realization of God
as transcending form
Definition by Swami Sivananda.
The Doctrine of Self (AhamPratyaya) is the Doctrine of I-Consciousness: I am fat, I am thin, I
know, I remember, I did . Here is a false assumption on the part of the mind that it is the seer or
doer. Ahamdhi, Ahampratyaya, Ahamkriya and Ahamkara are the words used by Sankara to
explain, 'I am the seer, I am the doer and other acts that stress on 'I.' This puts the mind in front
of the Self (Atman, God); the latter is the real Knower or Doer. The Self is the subject and the
world is the object of knowledge. In fact the subject and object are one. You, the subject see an
apple and you become the apple; if you don't become the apple, you cannot see the apple; thus
the subject and object are one. If the apple is seen, the Self (atman) is seeing it; the 'I' should
know it is the Self that sees. It is not the body (eyes) that sees the apple but the spirit (atman, the
soul) underlying it. The apparent demarcation, separation and duality between subject and object
is a conventional notion born of ignorance, which is removed by knowledge*. This duality of
subject and object is relative reality (VyAvahArika), conditioned by MAyA and the mind.
When you take away MAyA and the mind, you go to the realm of Supreme Reality, Supreme
Truth, Essence (pAramArthika). When mental activity alone exists as in a dream, there is no
validity and thus it amounts to illusion. The mind perceives what is not there in a dream as real.
It is PratibhAsika (Illusory) or just appearance, apparition or phantom.
Knowledge* or Wisdom
Here Jnāna is mundane (Faustian) knowledge, and contains a little spiritual wisdom;
Vijnānam or wisdom has a specific reference to experiential knowledge of God. Jnāna is to know
that God exists and Vijnāna is directly experiencing god. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
(RKPH) asked a rhetorical question in the presence of his devotees, “What is Vijnāna?” He
(RKPH) answered that it is to know God in a special way. He added that knowing there is fire in
the wood is Jnāna or knowledge, and cooking rice on that fire, eating, and getting nourishment
from the cooked rice is Vijnāna. To know by inner experience that God exists is Jnāna, but to
“talk to him, to enjoy Him as a Child, a Parent, a Friend, a Master, the Universe, and all living
beings is Vijnāna.” (Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.) [There is Fire in the wood: that is why it is
Swami Vivekananda told a story on Knowledge. Once upon a time, a flock of sheep
adopted a lion cub. (You may say, 'Are you trying to pull wool over my eyes?') The
cub was eating grass (Really!); he was growing, and bleating like a sheep (No way!).
One day a lion on the prowl saw the lion cub grazing on grass and bleating like a
sheep (Come on, are you kidding!). The lion waited until the cub went to sleep.
Gingerly, the lion woke up the cub and asked him what he was doing with the sheep.
He rebuked him saying that he was a lion cub. The sheep-lion cub said, “No, I am not a lion. I
am a sheep.” The lion on the prowl took the sheep-lion cub to the lake and asked him to see his
face in the water-mirror. The sheep-lion cub could not believe his eyes and bleated out saying
that he looked like the visiting lion. The visiting lion roared and asked the cub to roar like him.
He tried and tried but could not emit a roar. He bleated (Is that right.). After a few bleats, the
sheep-lion cub roared (Now, I believe you.). He is not a sheep anymore. He is a lion (How nice.).
He arrived at Knowledge. Knowledge is to know that you are the soul and not the body. Logic
and reason is a preliminary tool for explanation of material knowledge, but an impediment and
an imperfect instrument for insight into the spiritual knowledge.
Explanation: The Lion is pAramArthika (The Absolute Reality). (You are really the Atman or
Soul.) The sheep-lion cub has always been a lion. You have always been a Soul. Only in its
mind, it was a sheep. That is false knowledge, which has to be removed. It is the cloud of MAyA
and the mind that obscured the vision of the sheep-lion and that is VyAvahArika (relative
reality). This is phenomenal reality. That is WYSIWYG relative reality. We see what we want to
see. We see a snake in a rope in the dark. That is relative reality or superimposition (of snake on
the rope). Once the truth or its identity was revealed the sheep-lion underwent realization that it
was a lion and not a sheep. In its mind, It is going from being a sheep to becoming a lion, which
is its true identity. It is going from ignorance to knowledge (spiritual).
Brahman (pAramArthika ) is the hypostasis of all that exists. If there is no Brahman, there is no
world (and no beings). Thus Brahman is the world. You, he, she, it and that are Brahman; they
are all one. That is Advaita (non-dual) or Monism. All that you see, hear and experience are
relative reality and phenomenal. I am Brahman (Aham Brahmasmi). existing in MAyA in the
realm of relative reality.
The west regards Samsara or Metempsychosis and Karma were invented by the ancient Hindu
mind to dispense reward or punishment to human beings when they escape the same in this life
for their good or bad deeds. Apart from rewards in heaven, punishment in hell, rebirth in
accordance to Karma with regards to heredity, ancestry and environment to enjoy the sweet and
sour fruits of Karma constitutes Samsara, life in the phenomenal world.
Exoteric Eschatology. According to Sankara, there are four types of people. 1) The Tamasic
people. The dark and dingy souls. When they die, they have a no-frills non-stop straight flight to
the Nether Regions and sustain punishment. After that they are paroled back to the earth so that
they are given a chance to expiate their sins as something less than humans: animals. The fall
from being a man, punishment, and rebirth as animal are expiation. 2) The Rajasic people. These
are the robotic people who go about doing their daily chores as automatons, perform rituals
according to injunctions of sacred texts, and fail to attain spiritual knowledge or know their god.
These are the everyday people we have on the world stage. When they die, they take the path of
the manes, go through several dark and dingy regions, and arrive at Lunar and Solar Mandalas or
spheres. (These areas are not related to the physical moon or sun.) Here they enjoy fun life on
account of their good deeds on earth; once their merit runs out, they are shunted back to earth. 3)
The Sattvic people. The bright and the good souls. These are the virtuous people who follow
scriptural injunctions and come to know the gods they worship. They take the Royal, rather the
Divine path of Devayana through bright regions, arrive at Brahmaloka, the world of Brahma the
Creator, enjoy the company of gods and Brahma, receive instructions on Samayoga Darsana and
complete knowledge of Nirguna Brahman, and attain Moksha or liberation. This, according to
Sankara is NOT Ultima Thule. The terms used to describe this state of attainment or liberation
are Apara Brahman, Hiranyagarbha, Apekshiki Mukti or relative liberation.
4) Paramukti is Supreme Liberation, absolute liberation, final liberation, or Ultima Thule
obtained after ParaVidyaJnana (Supreme Knowledge). The liberated soul becomes one with
Para Brahman (Supreme Brahman) with no difference or Bheda. The beauty about Paramukti is
that it can be obtained while living on earth; it is called Corporeal liberation or Jivan Mukti
(liberation while the soul abides in the body according to Monists). These liberated souls living
on earth do not have to take the path of Devayana. He has no obligations, no injunctions to
follow, no Karma to accumulate and only Prarabdha Karma to resolve before he shuffles off his
Ramanujacharya of Vishistadvaita philosophy does not believe in Jivan Mukti. He believes in
Videha Mukti, incorporeal liberation after death (attainment of emancipation after death).
Sankaracharya categorized the Hindu monks into ten orders (Dasnami- ten names): 1) Aranya,
2) Asrama, 3) Bharati, 4) Giri, 5) Parvata, 6) Puri, 7) Sarasvati, 8) Sagara, 9) Tirtha, 10) Vana.
The monks are called by the suffixal names as listed above (Dayananda Sarasvati). Some of
these names are defunct. These Monastic orders were distributed in India in the four cardinal
directions: North, South, East and West headquartered in Jyotirmath in Bhadrinath, Utter
Pradesh; Sringeri Math, Sringeri in Karnataka; Govardhana Math, Puri in Orissa; and Sarada
Math, Dvaraka in Gujarat. The heads (Mahants) are called Sankaracharyas after the peripatetic
founder Adhi Sankaracharya. All Dasanami monks carry a staff symbolizing the essential
monistic identity of Brahman and atman.
The genius of the Dasanami is it is not sectarian and not confined to Siva worship. They worship
Siva, Vishnu, Sakti, Ganapati, Surya and others and its secular credentials accept Moses, Jesus
Christ, Muhammad…. In Hinduism, the gods and goddesses belong to a henotheistic fraternity-
Sorority House. All members including foreigners (Moses, Jesus, Muhammad) can claim
individual supremacy with mutual accommodation and no rivalry among the divine members.
Simply put, the House is chock-full of Chiefs and no Indians. Where are the Indians? They are us
(We the people). The Hindus one day go to the temple of Lord Venkatesvara (Vishnu), the next
day go to the Shrine of Siva and the next day go to the temple of Goddess Durga, Meenakshi....
Hindu regards all of them supreme individually. Many Hindu temples are a henotheistic
Fraternity-Sorority House of Worship, wherein Gods and Goddesses of different sects appear in
their respective shrines under one roof and confer blessings to the worshippers. We the people go
around in a clockwise fashion (No anticlockwise circumambulation) visiting each shrine and
offering prayer, beat a circular clockwise path around each shrine and end up where you started.
The deities don't vie with each other for attention; they are there in the temple for your welfare.
Each temple has a central shrine by occupant of which the temple is usually named. The only
thing they expect from you is devotion.
The Sankaracharyas after the tradition of Adhi Sankara can be ardent devotees of Krishna, Sakti,
Mother Goddess.... Sringeri Matha has the distinction of having had a head of the monastery
without interruption from the time of Adhi Sankara. The predominant followers are the twice-
born Smarta Sect belonging to Brahmana, Ksatriya, and Vaishya Varnas, which offer worship in
the tradition of PancAyatana pUja (five Shrines worship) to Siva, Vishnu, Sakti, Ganesa, Surya
(and Skanda), who are all aspects of Sagunabrahman (manifest Brahman) originating from Para
Brahman (Supreme Brahman without attributes). Skanda worship is the 6
entity in the South.
Smarta derives its meaning from Smriti, sacred texts of human authorship, and its inspiration
from Adhi Sankara. Smartas believe in polytheistic Hindu pantheon and yet may choose One
above Other Deities. Rules, rituals and conduct as depicted in Sutras form the centerpiece of
their worship. Siva is the most worshipped among the five, whose principal devotees are the
Iyers and the Sastries of Brahmana caste.
Sringeri lineage boasts of celibates as the heads, while Dvaraka and Puri Mathas have had
householders assume leadership in old age. Jyotirmath has the unfortunate history of going
without a head for long periods.
Ramakrishna Math and Mission, Divine Life Society, and Chinmaya Mission claim inspiration
from Dasanami order of Sringeri in the South. The Self-Realization Fellowship and Yoga Vedic
Center are the other paramparas.
The Four Amnaya mathas. Modified. Credit: Sarada Peetham publications Sringeri
Mathas West North East South
Place Dvaraka Badariksrama Jagannatha Sringeri
Name Kalika Matha Jyotir Matha
Deties Siddhesvara Narayana Jagannatha
Sakti Badra Kali Purnagiri Vrsala Sarada
Sacred waters River Gomati River Alakananda Mahodadhi Tungabhadra
Acharya Sri Padmapada Sri Totaka Sri Hastamalaka Sri Suresvara
Veda Sama Atharvana Rg Yajur
Sampradaya Kitavala nandavala Bhogavala Bhuruvala
Titles Tirtha Asrma
Aranya Vana Sarasvati Puri**
** = Sarasvati, Puri, Bharati, Aranya, Tirtha, Giri, Asrma.
To honor Bharati, Sankara installed her in Saradamba temple as rock-carved Sriyantra and
sandalwood image of the goddess in the name of Saradamba by the banks of River Tunga.
Bharati being the incarnation of Sarasvati blessed Sankara and gave him a boon that she would
go to Sringeri where Sankara found his first monastery. In course of time a golden image of
Sarada was installed replacing the sandalwood image (in the 14th century). She sits on the Meru
of Sriyantra (Chakra Peetam) on a golden throne. She is Savitri, Gayatri and Sarasvati, all rolled
into one. She is Vagdevi (diety of Speech) and Brahmavidya (the anthropomorphic form of
Brahman knowledge). Dakshinamurthy is Her male form. She is Tripurasundari and her Yantra
is Sriyantra. She is the Sagunabrahman holding in her hands a jar of Amrta (Ambrosia), a book
depicting Supreme Knowledge, a rosary of beads depicting Aksaras or Bijas (Sanskrit letters; a
bead is a letter; a rosary is a word or string of words.), the origin of the universe, and Chinmudra
standing for the oneness of Jiva and Brahman. She is Brahmavidya. Sarada as she sits on
Sriyantra is called Lalita Raja Rajesvari. Sankara experienced a wave of Consciousness and
Bliss envelope him and so called her Chidananda. Sarada emphasizes the Chit (Universal
Consciousness) aspect while Lalita emphasizes the Ananda (Bliss, Beatitude) aspect. She rises,
transcends and encompasses the Trimurthis (Brahma, Vishnu and Siva) and their respective
Saktis (Sarasvati, Lakshmi and Isvari). She is Paramesvari lauded with daily Puja and recitation
of Lalita Sahasranamam. She is both Sakti and Saktiman and therefore the temple does not have
Saktiman, lingam or Siva.
Sankara, the towering intellect of all times, had disciples: Padmapada known for devotion,
Totaka for service, Hastamalaka for God-self-realization and Sureshvara for depth of knowledge.
The Guru encompassed the skills of all of them. Once Sanandana and Sankaracharya were on the
opposite banks of Ganges, when no boats were available. Upon invitation from Sankara to cross
the river, Sanandana with faith stepped into the Ganges River. At once the Ganges sprouted and
floated lotus blossoms to support the feet and weight of Sanandana, facilitating him to cross the
river to everyone's surprise. To memorialize this incident, he was called Padmapada (the Lotus
Another legend says that Padmapada, a great devotee of Narasimha assumed His form to tear
apart an attacker who came to decapitate Sankara as an offering to Bhairava. Padmapada was
wandering in the forest looking for Narasimha (man-lion incarnation of Vishnu) and came across
an experienced hunter who denied the existence of such a being. Padmapada insisted it existed
and the hunter started looking for it. When he could not find it in the allotted time he was ready
to sacrifice himself. Narasimha appeared out of nowhere and saved the hunter from the tragedy.
At once, the hunter cast a noose around the neck of the man-lion (Chimeric incarnation of
Vishnu) and took him to Padmapada. Narasimha told the enquiring Padmapada that he was
impressed by the devotion of the illiterate hunter and thus obliged him. Here is an instance where
Lord Narasimha let himself roped by an earthling. Krishna let Himself tied to a grinding stone-
wheel by Yasodha. Damodara (Daama + udara = rope [around] + belly) is one of many names
of Vishnu/Krishna. The Yadava mothers complained to Yasoda that child Krishna was getting
into mischief all the time and was disruptive of their work. To prevent him from leaving her
house, Yasoda ties a rope around his waist and anchors it to a grinding stone mortar. The sweet
gracious redemptory paradox is that Narasimha and Krishna cut the ropes of karma and give
their devotees Moksa. How can one tie Him down unless He willingly submits Himself to a
devout hunter or his loving earth-mother, Yasoda?
The following is condensed version of Kumbaya (Come by here; Come by Yuh).
"Kumbaya" (also spelled Kum Ba Yah) is a song claimed to have been composed by Reverend
Marvin V. Frey (1918-1992) in the 1930s in Portland, Oregon. In my opinion, there is no
religious accretion in this song. Kumbaya is the phrasal name of the Lord, condensed to give a
nice ring to it.
The Lord Kumbaya is the Lord of all religions, individually or collectively. What is in a name:
Brahman, Siva, Vishnu, Kumbaya....?
Get the complete lyrics from Wikipedia.
Kumbaya, my Lord, Kumbaya
Someone’s laughing, Lord, Kumbaya
Someone’s crying, Lord, Kumbaya
Someone’s praying, Lord, Kumbaya
Someone’s singing, Lord, Kumbaya
Hear me crying, Lord, Kum ba yah
Hear me singing, Lord, Kum ba yah
Hear me praying, Lord, Kum ba yah
Oh I need you, Lord, Kum ba yah
O Lord, Kumbaya
Kumbaya = Come by here = The Lord who
comes by. Here is the youtube Video-music
presentation. Cut and paste:
Totaka was a personal assistant (valet) to Sankaracharya attending to his daily physical needs,
thus drawing less respect for his intellectual endowment from the rest including Padmapada.
Once Totaka was washing clothes for Sankara in the Ganges River and Sankara waited for him
to return before he started teaching the students. Padmapada was impatient and told Sankara that
talking to Totaka was like talking to a wall and that he should start his lessons without him.
Sankara took offence and by his Yogic power transferred the knowledge of Sastras in a flash to
Totaka. (You thought flash memory is today's new thing.) Newly endowed with knowledge,
splendor and bliss, Totaka broke out in stanzas in Totaka meter to the surprise of all. He
composed Sruti SaraSamuddharana in Totaka meter.
Sribali, a village near Mookambika Temple in Kollur, Karnataka, India had a 7 year old 'village
idiot' in their midst. He was rich like Kubera, cute like a cupid, radiant like the sun, cool like the
moon and patient like the earth. And yet he was an idiot. Upanayanam (triple cord ceremony for
a Brahman boy) was performed. He had the autistic behavior like not talking, not making eye
contact, not studying and not playing with others. Other children would beat him up and he
would take it without complaints. The distressed parents took him to the visiting Sankaracharya
who asked him, "Who are you? Are you inert?." The boy blossomed out in never-before spoken
words, "I am not inert. Inertness becomes sentience in my presence. My nature is eternal infinite
Bliss free from hunger, thirst, grief, delusion, old age, and death and the six milestones in life,
birth, existence, growth, change, decay and destruction." Sanskrit words poured out in a gentle
stream from his mouth in 12 chaste verses describing the nature of the Self. He presented the
essence of the Self as if it were a gooseberry on the palm of the hand, which earned him the
nickname Hastamalaka. Hastamalaka or 'gooseberry on the palm' is an idiom meaning 'the fruit
or seed of the Myrobalan in the hand' as a symbol of something striking, unmistakable, palpable
and clear. Sankaracharya called the boy Acharya and his composition, Hastamalakiyam. Sankara
took upon himself the pleasant task of writing Bhasya (commentary) on his extempore verses.
The boy became Sankara's disciple. He determined that the seven year old was a realized soul
and that he was beyond Sagunabrahman stage of learning or writing books. He was a supernal
soul. Now here is the legend as to how he became what he was. A mother left a two year old boy
near a Yogi in yogic sleep asking him to look after the boy while she bathed in Ganges. The boy
crawled into the river, drowned and died. The mother took the dead boy to the awake Yogi in
great panic and upon seeing the distressed mother, he left his body and entered the body of the
baby. That is what a perfect Yogi can do. (You may say, 'No kidding!') That was the perfected
Yogi in the form of a village idiot, uttering the inimitable verses. [His apparently autistic
behavior is not from hypoxic brain damage from drowning in the Ganges River.] He had
Brahma Vidya and did not need any instructions. There are several real-life stories of this sort,
where children and adults with extraordinary abilities were put in institutions and branded as
autistic, insane and the like by adults and authorities of lesser intellect.
The gist of the 12 verses composed by the 7- year-old child prodigy, the boy from Sribala in
Karnataka, South India.
1. I am Atma, the eternal Consciousness. 2. Atman is non-dual and changeless. 3. Jiva
(Individual soul) is the reflection of the Self, the Universal Soul. 4. Mirror and reflection are
adjuncts to face. Likewise Atma stands alone. 5. Self is the eye of eye, mind of the mind and yet
different and inaccessible to the organs. 6. Self is self-luminous like the sun. 7. Self is the
fountainhead of human consciousness. 8. Self illumines all. Without it, there is no illumination.
9. The Self remains unchanged and untainted by the illumined intellects. 10. Avidya (ignorance)
is the cloud between self-luminous Self and the Jiva. 11. Self is pure like space untainted by
dualities. 12. Self is like a crystal with many refractions and colors. There is one moon and many
The sequential presentation of the verses are different between the one above and the one below.
More expansive version appears below: Source:
Question by Sankaracharya: „Who are you? Whose child are you? Whither are you bound?
What is your name? Whence have you come? Oh Child! I should like to hear your reply to
these questions.‟ Thus spoke Sri Shankaracharya to the boy, and Hastamalaka replied as
1. I am neither man, God, yaksha, Brahmin, kshatriya, vaisya, sudra, brahmachari,
householder, forest-dweller, nor sannyasi; But I am pure awareness alone.
2. Just as the sun causes all worldly movements, so do I – the ever-present, conscious Self –
cause the mind to be active and the senses to function. Again, just as the ether is all-pervading,
yet devoid of any specific qualities, so am I free from all qualities.
3. I am the conscious Self, ever-present and associated with everything in the same manner as
heat is always associated with fire, I am that eternal, undifferentiated, unshaken Consciousness,
on account of which the insentient mind and senses function, each in its own manner.
4. I am that conscious Self of whom the ego is not independent as the image in a mirror is not
independent of the object reflected.
5. I am the unqualified, conscious Self, existing even after the extinction of buddhi (intellect)
just as the object remains ever the same even after the removal of the reflecting mirror.
6. I am eternal Consciousness, dissociated from the mind and senses, I am the mind of the
mind, the eye of the eye, ear of the ear and so on. I am not cognizable by the mind and senses.
7. I am the eternal, single, conscious Self, reflected in various intellects, just as the sun is
reflected on the surface of various sheets of water.
8. I am the single, conscious Self, illumining all intellects, just as the sun simultaneously
illumines all eyes so that they perceive objects.
9. Only those eyes that are helped by the sun are capable of seeing objects, not others. The
source from which the sun derives its power is myself.
10. Just as the reflections of the sun on agitated waters seems to break up, but remains perfect
on a calm surface, so also am I, the conscious Self, unrecognizable in agitated intellects though I
clearly shine in those which are calm.
11. Just as a fool thinks that the sun is entirely lost when it is hidden by dense clouds, so do
people think that the ever-free Self is bound.
12. Just as the ether is all-pervading and unaffected by contact, so also does the ever-conscious
Self pervade everything without being affected in any way. I am that Self.
13. Just as a transparent crystal takes on the lines of its background, but is in no way changed
thereby, and just as the unchanging moon on being reflected on undulating surfaces appears
agitated, so is it with you, the all-pervading God.
15. The truth of the Supreme Self has been revealed as clearly as a gooseberry is seen on the
palm of the hand (Hastamalaka). Thus this work is named Hastamalaka Stotra. Hastamalaka the
wise youth, is acclaimed as great by all on this earth.
The story of Suresvara Acharya (AKA Mandana Misra) was mentioned earlier.
We always wonder as to how the Acharyas traveled in those days. Life must have been difficult
for Sankaracharya while traveling. Here is how Sringeri Guru Nrasimha Bharati traveled from
Sringeri to Ramesvaram on January 23, 1868.
Three Biradaris of
100 Brahmins 100 Sudras
83 troops 10 daggers 25 Pikes
2 elephants 2 Palanquins 50 cows
2 Tonjons 8 Umbrellas 25 muskets
6 Chamaras 20 swords 10 horses
Go to MAHAVIDYAS for more details on SriYantra.
Ignorance is the mire of humanity; the one who rescues us from Avidya or spiritual Ignorance
is Guru. Gu is Ignorance and Ru is light, the remover of ignorance-- the light that removes the
darkness of ignorance. The medium of removal is Supreme Spiritual knowledge; the mediator is
the Guru. He sheds light where there is darkness. Since Guru is the purveyor of spiritual
knowledge and the dispeller of spiritual darkness, he is second only to Brahman. There are
variations in the interpretation of Guru. Considered in its parts: g, r, u, the g has a function of
granting of Siddhis (supernatural powers); the r has the function of expunging the sins; the u
portrays the latent Unmanifest Energy of Vishnu.
Guru came into place when Mantras, Tantras, Yantras had to be committed to memory for
practice and posterity. The individual soul is full of spiritual ignorance (avidya); the
accomplished Guru is full of spiritual knowledge; they found a mutual fit which leads to Mukti
(liberation) of the individual soul. Guru knows the Pinda, the Rupa, and Rupa atitia (body, form
and what is beyond the form). Pinda refers to the embodied soul fed and sustained by Pinda,
food. The form is Saguna Brahman, the visible form of Brahman: Siva and Vishnu in images.
Rupa-Atita is what is beyond the form and refers to Parabrahman, the formless, the nameless and
the attributeless. Take Jesus Christ, the son of God; he is the visible form (Saguna Brahman,
Brahman with attributes); his Father, the God in heavens is the invisible formless God, Param
Brahman. The Pinda is you and me, who know we have a body but ignorant of the immanent
soul in us, which is an Amsa (fragment) of the Father.
Pinda-Rupa-Rupa atitia = body- Saguna Brahman-Para Brahman. Saguna Brahman: God
with form as in a picture, statue....; Para Brahman = God as Universal Soul or Supreme
Consciousness without form.
Here is the saying of Vivekananda on Brahman.
All this universe was in Brahman, and it was, as it were, projected out of Him, and has been
moving on to go back to the source from which it was projected, like the electricity which comes
out of the dynamo, completes the circuit, and returns to it. The same is the case with the soul.
Projected from Brahman, it passed through all sorts of vegetable and animal forms, and at last it
is in man, and man is the nearest approach to Brahman. To go back to Brahman from which we
have been projected is the great struggle of life. Whether people know it or not does not matter.
In the universe, whatever we see of motion, or struggles in mineral or plants or animals is an
effort to come back to the centre and be at rest. There was an equilibrium, and that has been
destroyed; and all parts and atoms and molecules are struggling to find their lost equilibrium
again. In this struggle they are combining and re - forming, giving rise to all the wonderful
phenomena of nature. All struggles and competitions in animal life, plant life, and everywhere
else, all social struggles and wars are but expressions of that eternal struggle to get back to that
equilibrium. (Author's note: The effort to come back to the center is what I call the centripetal
force.) Christianity believes only humans have souls and other living things--animals, plants,
corals do not have soul. Thus it is Ok to eat them.
When Mantras, Tantras and Yantras were formulated, uttered, practiced and propagated, there
was a need for a Guru or teacher to hold the repository of knowledge in memory. They also
became the intermediaries between God and man, the Light and darkness. The Gurus brought the
Light of spiritual knowledge and removed the darkness that shrouded the soul. The First Guru in
this world is Siva and the First Pupil is Vishnu in the name of Matsyendra, the teacher of Yoga.
The path of Guru is Guru-Krupā-Yoga (Guru-compassion-Yoga), the Path of Guru's Grace.
Vivekananda is not thrilled about the hereditary predatory Gurudom in India: the father Guru
passing on the mantle to the son. Read what Vivekananda says about pseudo-Gurus and real
One more idea. There is a peculiar custom in Bengal, which they call Kula - guru, or hereditary
Guruship. "My father was your Guru, now I shall be your Guru. My father was the Guru of your
father, so shall I be yours." What is a Guru? Let us go back to the Shrutis --"He who knows the
secret of the Vedas", not bookworms, not grammarians, not Pandits in general, but he who
knows the meaning. [Sanskrit]--"An ass laden with a load of sandalwood knows only the weight
of the wood, but not its precious qualities"; so are these Pandits. We do not want such. What can
they teach if they have no realisation? When I was a boy here, in this city of Calcutta, I used to
go from place to place in search of religion, and everywhere I asked the lecturer after hearing
very big lectures, "Have you seen God?" The man was taken aback at the idea of seeing God;
and the only man who told me, "I have", was Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, and not only so, but he
said, "I will put you in the way of seeing Him too". The Guru is not a man who twists and
tortures texts. [Sanskrit]--"Different ways of throwing out words, different ways of explaining
texts of the scriptures, these are for the enjoyment of the learned, not for freedom." Shrotriya, he
who knows the secret of the Shrutis, Avrijina, the sinless, and Akamahata, unpierced by desire --
he who does not want to make money by teaching you -- he is the Shanta, the Sadhu, who comes
as the spring which brings the leaves and blossoms to various plants but does not ask anything
from the plant, for its very nature is to do good. It does good and there it is. Such is the Guru,
[Sanskrit]--"Who has himself crossed this terrible ocean of life, and without any idea of gain to
himself, helps others also to cross the ocean." This is the Guru, and mark that none else can be a
Guru, for [Sanskrit]--"Themselves steeped in darkness, but in the pride of their hearts, thinking
they know everything, the fools want to help others, and they go round and round in many
crooked ways, staggering to and fro, and thus like the blind leading the blind, both fall into the
ditch. Thus say the Vedas."
Hymns by Sankara to Guru
Isa, the Supreme Lord, having been pleased with Bhakti and Vaidika Lakshana of his votaries in
their very many previous births, incarnates out of compassion as Guru in a living and breathing
form, inculcates in them the knowledge of the ultimate Reality and helps them cross the ocean
of misery of this earthly existence.
Vaidika Laksana = Vedic marks = worship according to Vedic Scriptural injunctions.
Tirumanthiram Verse 139:
Illumination (of the soul) is to see the Holy Form of Guru, to chant Guru‟s Holy name, to hear
Guru‟s holy words, to reflect on the form of Guru.
Guru is the intermediary between God and man; He is the representative of God on this earth;
between God and Guru, Guru takes precedence.
Guru Verses by Sankara with terminal refrain.
Verse 1. One's Sariram (body) may be of great form, Kalatram (wife) beautiful, dhanam (wealth)
as big as Mount Meru;. If the mind is not attached to the Lotus feet of the Guru, of what avail are
Verse 2. Wife, wealth, sons, grandsons, home and relatives: all these you may have. If the mind
is not attached to the Lotus feet of the Guru, of what avail are they?
Verse 3. Satravidya (Scriptural knowledge) may be on one's lips; one may be Kavitvadi
(exponent of poetry); one may write good poetry and prose. If the mind is not attached to the
Lotus feet of the Guru, of what avail are they?
Verse 4. In foreign lands, I gain honor and fame; in my own country, I am blessed with wealth; I
am of inimitable good conduct. If the mind is not attached to the Lotus feet of the Guru, of what
avail are they?
Verse 5. Kings and emperors adore his feet; but if the mind is not attached to the Lotus feet of
the Guru, of what avail are they?
Verse 6. Virtue and generosity brought me fame and rewards from all over the world. If the mind
is not attached to the Lotus feet of the Guru, of what avail are they?
Verse 7. The mind does not dwell on Bhoga, Yoga, stallions and horses, the face of the beloved
and riches; If the mind is not attached to the Lotus feet of the Guru, of what avail are they?
Verse 8: My mind does not abide in neither the forest, nor the house, nor the future
accomplishments, nor the body, nor the precious. If the mind is not attached to the Lotus feet of
the Guru, of what avail are they?
Verse 9. Man of virtue who studies this Guru Astakam (Octad on Guru), and whose mind abides
in his sayings--whether he is Yati (ascetic), Bhupati (Lord of the world), Brahmachari (student),
or householder-- realizes his desired goal of union with Brahman.
Union with Brahman is the union of Pinda with Brahmanda. Pinda is food and thus our body
made of food and the microcosmic edition of Macrocosm that is Brahmanda (Brahma's egg or
Here are some of the sayings of Ramana Maharishi on Guru, rendered in prose form by me.
By the way he did not have a Guru for guidance. Extracts from The Garland of Guru's sayings.
The actual sequence of verses in numbers is given in the brackets.
1. They who want to escape despondency and yearn for final freedom, the lamp of Guru's
wisdom dispels the darkness of illusion of "I" and "mine" and shines as the very Self. (1)
2. I was reeling and writhing, mistaking the body for me; the gracious silent Guru took pity on
me and made me see that the inert body was prone to decay and the real me was the Imperishable
true Awareness. I bow and offer my head as the Guru's footrest (his twin feet crown my head).
3. Guru is an accomplished sage, who reveals with clarity and certitude the ultimate Truth,
which reconciles all the discordant creeds and doctrines. My head wears his feet as a crown. (3)
4. The service rendered to the Guru by the pupil (chosen by the Guru) should be respectful and
correct as a wife would do to her husband. (V304)
Sankara's Bhajagovindam, the Hymns of praise to Govinda, Verses 1-31
Sankara contributed twelve verses, Dvadasamanjarika Stotra (a bouquet of twelve blossoms of
hymns of praise). His fourteen disciples contributed one verse each, fourteen in all (Caturdasa
manjarika stotra). Majarika = cluster of blossoms or bouquet of flowers.
Verse 1. Moha mudgara: delusion hammer. (in everyday parlance, delusion buster)
Worship Govinda, worship Govinda, worship Govinda, O fool. When the Time comes for
departure, rules of grammar will not rescue you.
Moha: Darkness or delusion of the mind preventing the discernment of truth and leading men to
believe in the reality of worldly objects (and knowledge).
There is a story behind this verse. Sankara was walking along the Ganges River with a coterie of
fourteen disciples. Upon hearing a grammarian pundit reciting the rules of grammar, Acharya
went into a precipitous debunking (of utility) of grammar in his famous verses.
Rules of grammar refers to Pannini's book of grammar, which is euphemism for knowledge
of the material world, (which) we need to make a living. This knowledge is known as
Aparavidya as opposed to ParaVidya (Supreme knowledge or Brahma Vidya); only the latter
will help us attain liberation. When death comes calling, material knowledge will not come to
the rescue; doctors are at a loss; Yamaraja and his minions haul you away.
Govinda is one of many names of Krishna. Sankara defines the word Govinda as follows: 1.
The finder or searcher of cows (go = cow; vinda = finder); 2. the finder or knower of earth; 3. the
conferrer of speech; 4. the One revealed in Vedanta texts. Govinda by any other name is the
Hypostasis of all that exists; He is Reality; He is the Ultima Thule. Bhagavan Krishna likes to be
called by His favorite name, Govinda.
Bhaja is worship; the purpose is to attain moksa. Brahma Vidya is the ticket for liberation or
Moksa and includes the following. It can be achieved by Sravana, KIrtana, Smarana (Manana),
PAdasevana, Arcana, Vandana, DAsya, Sakhya, Atmanivedana, NidhidyAsana, Yoga and
SAdhana. (Some more added to indicate Saiva tradition.)
Sravana = hearing (the name and glory of the deity).
KIrtana = singing praise of the Lord.
Manana = thinking (about the deity).
pAdasevana = Serving (worshipping) the feet of the Lord.
Arcana = homage to the Lord
Vandana = showing reverential obeisance to God.
DAsya = servitude to God.
SAkhya = friendship towards or with God.
Satputra (virtuous son) or kriya marga = rituals; (samipya mukti)
SanmArga = path of knowledge
AtmanivEdana = self-gift or offering one's self to God, dedication of one's own self.
NididhyAsana = meditation, perceiving
Yoga = see below
Sadhana is of three kinds or any combination thereof: Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, and
Bhakti yoga. Go to Bhakti for details.
Here is another variation/corollary of paths in attaining to Siva (God) These four Tamil Saiva
saints are generally called Naalvar, the Foursome. Each one is known for his path.
Appar (rich peasant
Gnanamargam or path
path of the son
Sakhamargam or path
of companion or friend
Dasamargam or path of
Bhagavad Gita says the following in the words of Bhagavan Krishna.
Bhagavadgita C8.V5: At the time of death, he, who remembers Me when leaving the body, goes
to My being. Of this, there is no doubt.
There is story in the Puranas and Narayaneeyam about a Brahmana Ajamila with
evil ways. He left his legally wedded wife and associated with another women and had ten
children by her. He named one of his sons, Narayana, after the Lord. As Death‟s (Yama) ruthless
messengers came to grab him, Ajamila yelled out unknowingly (of its effect) for his son,
Narayana, which prompted the arrival of the messengers of Lord Narayana at his deathbed.
Yama‟s servants tied him up and were about to haul him to hell. But the emissaries of Lord
Narayana stopped them (Minions of Yama), who read out loud a rap sheet of evil deeds
perpetrated by Ajamila. The Lord‟s emissaries pointedly told the Yamas‟s messengers of the
utterance of the Lord‟s name Narayana by Ajamila at the time of death. That utterance has the
expiatory power, destroys all sins, and makes the utterer eligible for residence in Vaikuntha,
Lord‟s abode and heaven. Yama‟s servants went back to their master and told him about the
incident; subsequently, Yama ordered his servants to leave the devotees of Narayana alone and
never to approach them. This does not mean that there is no physical death for a devotee of
Vishnu. They all go to Vaikuntha after their physical death, avoiding altogether the torturous
subterranean world of Yama.
Gandhi, when he was shot by a lunatic Hindu fanatic, knew he was mortally injured and
uttered „Hey Ram.‟
Hindus utter the names of Ishta-devata, when they trip, sneeze, fall down, and yawn and
this is recommended in Bhagavatam 5.3.12. It is like saying 'God Bless,' when someone sneezes.
Verse 2. O fool, give up the thirst of avarice; rub out your desire; develop (invite) good thoughts
in your mind; whatever karma brings to you by way of wealth, accept it with grace in your mind.
Explanation: There is no objection in having wealth; but the insatiable thirst (trsna) for more
wealth should be curbed. Desire is the root of all misery; root out desire for a life of contentment.
If one removes one's desire for wealth, how is it that one could make a living in this world? Let
karma do its part and bring you the wealth you deserve on account of your past actions. Wealth
without greed is good. Live on whatever comes your way without coveting and what you get by
honest work. An Avadhuta is an extreme example of Vairagya (absence of worldly passions;
freedom from all desires.) He does not earn a living or ask for food. He waits until food comes to
him; This situation is compared to a python that waits for food to come to it. Avadhuta. Of
course, all cannot be avadhuttas; everything will come to a stop; each one of us is made
differently; we follow the path laid by Karma, Vasanas, and Samskaras. SamskAra = mental
impressions from former existence. VAsanA = smell that clings to the clothes; here it means the
subtle body is laden with Vasanas (residuals) of past karma. Vasanas cause Samskaras, life style
and behavior patterns that come natural to you and that which make you different from the rest
on account of the fact that the unseen hand of karmic Vasanas move you in such ways.
Verse 3. Having seen a woman with full breasts and a beautiful navel, don't go into a fit of
crushing infatuation. It is mere modification of flesh and fat; think it well in your mind, think it
Explanation: Sankara shows how to avoid bumps, potholes and puddles in your chosen path.
First the greed and now the pheromonal seizure can get you off the best-laid path. This advice
coming from Sankara, the Sannyasi, is applicable to Sadhakas who chose Brahmacharya. It
advises against extramarital or premarital flings for the householders. One exercises
discrimination in making choices. This is considering the two sides of a question or proposition
(paksa and pratipaksa).
Verse 4. A drop of water on a lotus leaf moves to and fro; likewise, know for sure, this
wonderful and yet up-and-down life is prone to diseases and seized by egoism; know that the
whole world of people is grief-stricken
Explanation: There is a particular stress on ego as an impediment. Yes it is. If two people
with ego face each other and try their wits against each other, there is tension, rivalry, enmity and
fight. It is I against you. One cannot approach God with this attitude. One has to submerge,
drown and destroy ego before one can approach God. Ego is compared to a coconut. When you
worship God you offer a coconut, not a whole one but two broken halves. The broken coconut is
symbolic of broken ego; that makes it easy to approach God and attain salvation. He is the Real
master of the Universe; one offers his ego as a sacrifice to God. U go, Ego.
Ramana Maharishi says:
Karma and MAyA both alike spring from, cling to and grow with ego, the first impurity.
When ego dies, the other two can by no means survive. -- Garland of Guru's sayings, passage
Verse 5. As long as you have wealth and are able to earn, your family is attached to you.
Later, when you live with a decrepit body, no one in the household utters a word to you. (05)
Verse 6. As long as breath dwells in the body, people in the house enquire about your welfare;
once the breath leaves the body, even the dear wife is afraid of the remains (lifeless body).
(Pavanah = air = prana = breath
Verse 7. As a boy one is absorbed in play; an adolescent, in girls; an old man, in worries. To the
Supreme Brahman no one is attached.
Man's progress in the world goes from infancy to a boy at play, to an adolescent in love and
lust, to a married man with family and worry and eventually results in death. At no moment he
thinks of the Supreme Brahman. The body and mind and senses are catered to, but the spirit is
neglected and happens to be the most important for salvation.
Katha Upanishad says in Chapter II verse 1 the following: The Self is not to be sought
through the senses. The Self pierced the openings of the senses outward. (The openings are: two
ears, two eyes, two nostrils, one mouth, one urinary and or genital, and one anus. The woman has
three openings, urinary, vaginal and anal in the perineum, while men have two openings, penile
and anal. Through these openings and motor functions, we communicate and stay in touch with
this world. There are five sensory organs for hearing, touching, seeing, tasting and smelling.
There are five motor organs for speech, prehension or grasping, ambulation or movement,
excretion and evacuation, and generation.) Therefore, one looks outward and not within oneself.
Some wise man, however, seeking life eternal, with his eyes turned inward, saw the self.
Adapted from Dr. Radhakrishnan's translation of Upanishads. Here Self means Brahman.
o your appropriate Dharma (duty) to wife, son, and others.
As two wooden sticks jostle in the ocean (of Samsāra or phenomenal world), meet each other for
a fleeting moment, and separate after that, even so is the contact between two family members.
One should not feel any particular and any undue passion towards them, for separation is a
certainty. Love and hate, joys and sorrows are like (spikes of) fever with its difficulties.
Yoga Tattva Upanishad (131b to 134a) states that upon rebirth a mother may become the wife;
the wife, the mother; father, the son; the son, the father. Thus, the egos of this world and people
wander in the womb of birth and death switching relationships back and forth. For an easier
understanding of this passage, think of death of the entire family in an accident, tsunami, cyclone
or some such thing and their subsequent births in different roles.
Verse 9. Through association with good and holy people (satsanga), there comes non-
attachment, which leads progressively to delusion-free state, tranquility, and Jivanmukti
(liberation while living).
The opposite of this (attachment plus all else) is explained in Bhagavad Gita 2.62-63.
BG 2.62: A person while thinking about the sense objects develops attachment to them. From
attachment develops desire (Kāmah). From desire develops anger. (You see a car of your
dreams, buy it, become attached to it, fall apart when it gets scratched, dented or vandalized and
develop anger. The same paradigm applies to people and objects.)
BG 2.63: From anger comes forth delusion (Sammohah); from delusion comes loss of memory;
from loss of memory comes loss of intuitive (discriminative) intelligence; and from loss of
intuitive intelligence, he falls.
Sammohah: delusion, bewilderment Buddhi-nāsāt: loss of intuitive intelligence
A succession of cascading events from unrestrained senses results in destruction. Buddhi, as said
earlier is the intuitive (discriminative) intelligence. Bhagavan infers that a person should keep the
horses (senses) in harness; He wants us to keep the senses under tight reins and under the control
of buddhi and sattvic mind.
Ramana Maharishi states the following on Satsang and Jivanmukti (association with the
virtuous, and liberation while living).
--The Garland of Guru's Sayings --
Sensible people shun
Of empty talkers who
are not content
Humbly to tread the
path of dharma
And uphold in practice
But proudly mouth
Those alone are truly
Who abide in the
are but base.
Hence gain new life
by dwelling in
The company of
those who live
In the purity of true
Free from all
what is the highest glory, what
The state of Jivanmukti, to be
Yearned for and striven for and
By the poor Jiva born to die
To know and be the Self, and so
To end the rampant ego which
Sprang from forgetfulness of one's
Verse 10. What good are lust and love in ripe old age? What is the use of a dry lake? Where are
the family and relatives when wealth is depleted? Where is Samsara when Tattva (Truth) is
RamanaMahaRishi talks about Samsara versus Tattva (Truth) in the following verses.
Samsara = worldly life.
Be not afraid of the base, trivial Samsara which, like dreams in sleep, appears in nescience.
A dark shadow caused by the mind's desires it cannot stand the true loving splendor of Pure
Awareness. --V 27.
What good are lust and love in ripe old age? Sankara would say at this moment in time: It is
beyond redemption even from Viagra!
Verse 11. Don't be arrogant on account of wealth, Jana (people or community), and youth; in a
wink, Time takes away all. Give them all up because all this is delusion. Having been convinced,
know, enter and merge with the Brahman.
Verse 12. Night and day, dusk and dawn, winter and spring come again and again. Time plays;
life is wasted and yet the wind of desire never releases (its grip).
Verse 13. Who is your wife? Why are you so worried about money? O babbling fool, don't you
have a restrainer (guide)? In the three worlds, Satsanga alone can serve as a boat to take you
across the ocean of Samsara.
Satsanga = association with (of) virtuous people. The three worlds are Earth, atmosphere
and heaven. Samsara is life on this earth, subject to death and rebirth in a cyclical fashion with
no liberation or Mukhti. Satsanga guarantees the end of Samsara and attainment of Mukhti.
Here is a view of Samsara from Swami Vivekananda.
"Samsara is the recurring round of birth and death literally, until the soul becomes free. The
alpha and omega of Vedanta philosophy is to give up the world, giving up the unreal and taking
the real. The bodies of the souls have been constantly dissolving and recurring. Every form, let
us say, beginning from the little worm and ending in man, is like one of the cars of the Chicago
Ferris Wheel which is in motion all the time, but the occupants change. A man goes into a car,
moves with the wheel, and comes out. The wheel goes on and on. A soul enters one form, resides
in it for a time, then leaves it and goes into another and quits that again for a third. Thus the
round goes on till it comes out of the wheel and becomes free."
Verse 14. (There goes) one with matted hair; (here comes) one with shaven head; (there sits)
yet another with plucked hair and saffron cloth; the fools sport various disguises. They all claim
to "see;" (What they "see" no one knows and neither he knows what he "sees.") In reality he
does not "see." All this Vesha (disguise) is to fill the belly.
Sannyasi's persona consists of shaved head or matted hair, yellow robes (pitambaram), a stick,
a bowl and a flag. This insignia of renunciation commands respect and earns a livelihood for the
pseudo-sannyasins. (The accouterments of the Real Sannyasi are the same. He eats to live and
does not know where his next meals comes from.) There is no halo around the former's
hollowness. His hollowness as opposed to His Holiness wanders around in search of food,
pretending to be a Sannyasi.
Matted hair, deerskin, and pious pretension do not make an ascetic. An ascetic in name and
epicure in practice, though he professes to know Brahman, is far away from Brahman.
Appearance does not make an ascetic, though he wanders naked and shameless; a donkey does
the same. Jackals, rodents and deer live in the forest, eat grass, and drink water: are they
ascetics? The frogs and fish take birth, eat and die in Ganga. Are they ascetics? –Garuda Purana,
A yogin, in a spirit of renunciation, gives up all activities including the performance of
sacrificial rites. It is not the external act of renunciation but the internal change that makes a
Verse 15. His body is old and fragile; head, gray; and jaws, toothless. He ambles with a
stick; and yet hasn't abandoned his bag (pindam = mass) of desires.
Verse 16. There is fire in the front and sun at the back; he sits with his chin between the knees
in the night. He receives alms in his (outstretched) palms and makes a home under the tree. And
yet the ropes of desire has tied him in knots.
Verse 17. One may go to River Ganga where it joins the sea or may observe Vratas (vows)
and distribute his wealth in charity. One who has no Knowledge (of Brahma Vidya) will attain
release in one hundred births, according to all doctrinal schools.
Three are mentioned for attaining the means towards liberation: pilgrimage to holy places,
observing religious vows and anniversaries, and charitable acts such as Anna Dhanam (feeding
the poor), keeping the temple clean, digging pond or tank near the temple, doctoring the poor,
building hospitals and schools for the poor. These by themselves do not guarantee liberation.
Brahma Vidya (Brahman knowledge) is the only way to obtain release.
River Ganga is holy to the Hindus. Streams, ponds, lakes, wells, peaks of mountains are
among the Tirthas (holy places). Tirtha means all these: water; sacred bathing-ghat; water used
in worshipping an idol and given to devotees; water used to washing the feet of great men, as
Gurus; temple festival; and sacred places worthy of pilgrimage. Visiting Tirthas goes a long way
releasing a soul from being born again in a body in this world of dualities (pleasure and pain).
The soul attains liberation and merges with Isvara or Brahman, the very source of the soul.
Pilgrimage is common to many of the world religions. Pilgrimage is only the means and not the
end. All these are adjuncts in obtaining release. The real that obtains release is knowledge of
Brahman and realization, which entail knowing in your heart and soul that you are not the body,
and you and Brahman are one. The first step to wards Brahman knowledge is to annihilate Anava
Malam (ego) along with Maya and Kanma malam. Primer in Saiva Siddhanta. In this world, we
celebrate birth, children, youth, beauty, marriage, valor, all related to the body. There is no
festival for the celebration of Spirit; if any have a remote resemblance, it is usually defiled by
The Amnayas (Doctrines) lead one to liberation-*. He who knows all the Amnayas is Siva
himself. Urdhavamnaya is the most exalted doctrine and Law of all doctrines: it is the musk
among fragrances, Kanchi among cities (it is like saying 'New York' among cities; Remember
Frank Sinatra's New York, New York), head among the limbs, Brahmana among castes, King
among men, Sanyasa among Asramas, swan among the birds, cow among the four-legged
animals, sandal-wood among trees, gold among metals, gem among precious stones, sweetness
among tastes, Asvamedha among sacrifices, Mount Meru among mountains, Ganga among
rivers, Kasi (the old Benares or Varnasi) among Tirthas (sacred places), Sun among the luminary
objects, and Vishnu among Gods. It has to come from the mouth of a Guru. The Mantra is
Hamsa. OM NAMASIVAYA MANTRA
Here is what Vivekananda says about visiting Tirthas.
It is in love that religion exists and not in ceremony, in the pure and sincere love in the heart.
Unless a man is pure in body and mind, his coming into a temple and worshipping Shiva is
useless. The prayers of those that are pure in mind and body will be answered by Shiva, and
those that are impure and yet try to teach religion to others will fail in the end. External worship
is only a symbol of internal worship; but internal worship and purity are the real things. Without
them, external worship would be of no avail. Therefore you must all try to remember this.
People have become so degraded in this Kali Yuga that they think they can do anything, and then
they can go to a holy place, and their sins will be forgiven. If a man goes with an impure mind
into a temple, he adds to the sins that he had already, and goes home a worse man than when he
left it. Tirtha (place of pilgrimage) is a place which is full of holy things and holy men. But if
holy people live in a certain place, and if there is no temple there, even that is a Tirtha. If unholy
people live in a place where there may be a hundred temples, the Tirtha has vanished from that
place. And it is most difficult to live in a Tirtha; for if sin is committed in any ordinary place it
can easily be removed, but sin committed in a Tirtha cannot be removed. This is the gist of all
worship -- to be pure and to do good to others.
Verse 18. Having home at the roots (foot/feet) of the trees near the temples, sleeping on the bare
earth, wrapped in a deerskin, renouncing all possessions and bhoga (enjoyments): (Tell me) who
won't be happy with this Vairagya (renunciation)?
He has no home that one can covet; he has no possession that one can steal; laying on bare
earth, he sleeps well; he eats a few mouthfuls a day just to allay his hunger; he wraps himself in
deerskin to ward off the elements. An ascetic eats only roots, leaves and fallen fruits. Why
shouldn't he be happy?
Verse 19. One may perform Yoga, indulge in Bhoga (enjoyments) or enjoy a good Sanga (good
company) or solitude; he and he alone is happy, whose mind finds delight in Brahman.
Verse 20. He who has studied the Bhagavad Gita in part, who drank a drop of Ganga water, and
who worshipped Murari (Krishna, the killer of demon Mura) at least once, has not much to fear
Yama (Yama has nothing much to talk about him).
Yama, the god of death, hauls people at any time or place of his choosing through the gates of
death. He is always deferential to the devotees of Krishna (and Siva).
Here conquering death or not fearing Yama does not mean that the votary will not face
physical death; it means that the devotee has no fear of physical death once again because he gets
eternal release from rebirth on account of his merits in this birth and upon this present death.
Verse 21. To be born again, to die again and to lie in the womb are struggles in the world and
sea of Samsara, which is difficult to cross. O Murare, Take (me) to the other shore with your
Murare: Krishna the killer of Mura, an euphemism for ignorance.
saMsAra: going or wandering through, undergoing transmigration; course, passage, passing
through a succession of states, circuit of mundane existence, transmigration, metempsychosis,
the world, secular life, worldly illusion.
Life is a Sea of Samsara. The fetus floats in a sea of amniotic fluid. To be born again, to die
again and to lie in the womb are struggles in the world and sea of Samsara, which is difficult to
cross. The fetus drinks from the sea, piddles in the sea, drinks and piddles again and again.
Confined, crouched, and bent, it stays all by itself. Rounded up in a ball in its fetal position, with
its hands folded in front of the chest and legs bent at the hips, it winces, grimaces and emits
sounds no one hears. It wiggles and yawns from boredom. There is nothing to do but to grow. It
opens the eyes and sees cataracts all around. It hears the echoes of the sloshing sea. Muffled
sounds of the mother's heart and the cacophony of hoots, cackles, wails and sirens impinge on
the ears like distant thunders. It has come to recognize the melody of music and the voice of its
host. It wants to stretch but a stretch that will never come, until after extrusion. Occasional kicks
and thrusts, it can manage to deliver to its host in frustration.
Verse 22. The Yogi who wears clothes stitched together from rags on the roadside, treads a path
beyond punyam and apunyam (merit and demerit), and whose mind is yoked to yoga, rejoices (in
the vision of Brahman) like a child or madman.
Verse 23. Who are you? Who am I? Wherefrom did I come? Who is my mother; who, my
father? Think about them deeply and know that all experiences of the world are worthless
dreams and give up on them.
Verse Relinquishing desire, anger, greed, and delusion, he sees in the self: “He I am.” The fools
without self-knowledge remain captives in hell and get roasted.
Verse 27. One should sing the Bhagavad Gita and Sahasranamam. Always mediate on
Sripatirupam (the form of consort of Sri = Vishnu). The mind should be guided to the company
of virtuous people; the wealth should be given to the needy (the depressed, the afflicted).
Verse 28. One takes to carnal pleasures; alas, the body is afflicted with disease. Although in this
world, Maranam (death) is Saranam (refuge, the end), one does not give up the Paapa-aacaranam
Verse 29. Wealth is worthless; always reflect on it. There is no happiness coming from it; that
is the (stark) Truth. For the rich, even a son is a source of fear. Everywhere this is the destined
Verse 30. Perform Pranayama, Pratyahara, Nitya-anitya-viveka vicaram, and Japa and attain
Samadhi; do them certainly and with great care.
Pranayama = breath control; pratyahara = withdrawal of senses; Nitya-anitya-viveka vicaram =
eternal-non-eternal-discrimination-enquiry; Japa = muttering prayer; Samadhi = absorption of
the consciousness in a high spiritual and intellectual objective. TMTM03
Verse 31. Devote yourself to the lotus-feet of the Guru and attain Mukti (salvation) soon from
Samsara (rebirth and death). By controlling the Indriyas (senses) and the manas (mind), you will
see the deity residing in your heart.
Verse 32. O Bhakta of the Lotus Feet of the Guru, may you attain Mukti (salvation) free from
Samsara. By control of indriyas (senses) and manas (mind) you will experience the Lord abiding
in your heart.
Verse 33. The foolish grammarian immersed in rules (of grammar) was cured of his tunnel vision
and shown the light by the disciples of Sankara.
Verse 34. Worship Govinda, worship Govinda, worship Govinda, O fool; there is no means other
than chanting the name of the Lord to cross the ocean of life.
End of Bhajagovindam
Saundaryalahari by Sankara
Saundarya = beauty, loveliness, gracefulness, elegance
Lahari = Large wave, billow, surging wave
A surging wave of beauty, grace and elegance
There are one hundred Verses in this composition. Sakti is the Transcendental aspect of
Divine Mother who in the bodily aspect is known as Kundalini. She remains in Muladhara
Chakra in a static state. The Yogi awakens and takes Her to Sahasrara Chakra for union
with Siva. Sakti in Her diagrammatic representation is Sri Chakra. She is worshipped and
adored by Bija Mantras or indeclinable syllable seed Mantras (Verses 32-33). The
Transcendental Sakti stays in Muladhara in its corporeal aspect as Kundalini. The first 41
Verses describes raising Kundalini from static aspect in Muladhara Chakra to a dynamic
form going up the chakras to Sahasrara for union with Siva. Verses 42 to 100 describe the
beauty (of the body parts) of the anthropomorphic form of Sakti (Tripurasundari--TPS).
शिवः िक्था युको यदि भवशि िक: पभशविुु
न चेिे वु िे वो न खलु कु िलः सपशदििु -माशप।
पणनिुु सिोिुु वा कथ-मकृ िपुणयः पभवशि।। S
Śivaḥ Śaktyā yukto yadi bhavati Śakta prabhavitum
na ceda evam devo na khalu kuśalaḥ Spanditum api;
atas tvām ārādhyām hari-hara-viriñcādibhir api
praṇanatum stotum vā katham akṛta-puṇyaḥ prabhavati..
Verse 1. Siva, only when united with Sakti, gains the power to create; if not, Siva is unable to
move forward. Who except a punyavan can pay obeisance, prostrations, worship and praise to
you, who is worshipped by Hari, Hara and Virinci?
punyavan = he who has accumulated good karmic merits. This word is not in the verse.
Verse 2. Virinci (Brahma) gathers the fine dust from your lotus feet and creates all worlds;
Shouri (Vishnu) somehow carries out the support of the universe by a thousand heads
(Adisesha). Hara (Siva), having pulverized it observes this injunction by sprinkling and rubbing
the sacred ash all over his body at dissolution.
Sankara is not an Astronomer with a Ph.D. But here he mentions that the universe originated
from a cloud of cosmic dust. It gives us an idea that perfected souls knew about the origin of the
universe even before today's pundits with Ph.Ds.
Verse 3. For the spiritually ignorant, it (the dust) is the island city of the Sun. For the dull-head,
it is the flowing stream of honey from the bouquet of Kalpa blossoms of pure intelligence. For
the deprived, it is the necklace of Cintamani. For those drowning in the sea of births, it is the tusk
of Varaha (Lord Boar or Vishnu), the enemy of Mura.
For the devotee in ignorance of spiritual knowledge, you are the sunshine of knowledge. Your
pure intelligence pours forth to uplift the dimwit. For the indigent, your grace yields all wishes.
For those drowning in the sea of Samsara, you lift them as you
raised the globe of earth by your tusks from the abyss of deep
waters during Pralaya when you incarnated as Lord Boar.
Incarnation of Vishnu as Cosmic Boar to rescue the earth from
Hiranyaksha was a Daitya (titan) and terrorized the world
along with his brother Hiranyakasipu. Hiranya + aksha =
golden + eyed; Hiranya + kasipu = golden robed. The golden-
eyed demon was beating the ocean with a big cudgel and began
producing tsunamis. Varuna, the god of waters was so much
agitated by this that he went to Vishnu for help. Vishnu took
the form a Boar and saw the demon beating ocean waves into
big waves. Hiranyakasa saw Vishnu and took the earth, dove into the ocean and hid it in the
netherworld. Vishnu followed him, killed him and brought the earth back to its place.
Verse 4. The galaxy of gods offer protection from fear, and boons by empty mudras (Abhaya
Varado--hand gestures). You alone do not show by gesture bestowing of boons and protection
from fear. O refuge of the worlds, even your feet are skilful in protecting from fear and granting
fruits more than desired.
Here are examples of Varada and Abhaya Mudras. The deities (Lakshmi) hold the right anterior
hand in almost high-five position (Varada) and left anterior hand (Abhaya) pointing down. The
palms always face the worshipper in Abhaya Mudra. The left hand is actually pointing to the feet
of the deity, which means that if the votary takes refuge at the deity's feet, there is no fear.
Verse Hari, the giver of prosperity to bowing obeisant devotees, became a woman (one with
Sakti--sārūpyam) and stirred the passions of Hara, the enemy of the three cities of the demons.
Having bowed to you, Smara (Cupid) sports a body, the cynosure of Rathi‟s eyes, which are
capable of creating delusion and infatuation in great Munis.
The diagram below shows the paths to attain and merge with Siva: Chariya, Kriya, Sakha, and
Sanmarga and the equivalent relationship with Siva, Slokya, Samipya, Sarupya, and Sayujya.
The definitions are given below. In the above verse, Sankara says that Vishnu took the form of a
woman (sarupya) to merge with Sakti and attain liberation. Siva's eight forms. In this instance
Sakti rather than Siva is in the eminent position.
In this instance Sakti is the goal of the votaries, instead of Siva.
Vishnu in the form of Mohini stirred the passions of Hara (Siva). Go to Vishnu Weds Lakshmi
for more details.
KAmadeva Ananga, the bodiless form of Kama.
This excellent Madhubani painting has its canvas divided into upper and lower compartments. The upper one
portrays Lord Shiva engaged in deep and rigorous penance inside a tree-grove on a mountain range, obviously the
Himalayas. He is seated on lion skin. His third eye has been prominently portrayed on his forehead. On his right he
has his trident and drum nailed into ground and on his left he has his 'kamandala'. The 'Neelakantha' or the blue
throated Shiva has been portrayed as total blue. Black trees with green leaves are typical of Madhubani art. The
lower compartment depicts Rati and Kamadeva. Kamadeva has in his hands his bow and arrow ready to shoot. Two
flowering plants, one each on both sides, further symbolise Kamadeva and the season of spring when Kama is
stronger than ever else. In front of Kamadeva there emerges a heap of fire and coal like black ashes under it. It
depicts the prime theme, that is, Kamadeva reduced to ashes.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of ancient Indian
literature. Dr Daljeet is the chief curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi.
They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and culture. Credit: exoticindia.com
Lord Siva was seated in yogic meditation. Kama came along to disturb his meditation, but was
destroyed by Siva. Siva, the destroyer, was in meditation for sometime, which resulted in the
increase in the population of earth and a heavy burden on Mother Earth. The gods sent Kama
(god of love, cupid, Amos, Eros) to shoot flowery Harshana (one of the five erotic arrows) on
Siva and disturb his penance at the precise moment he woke up to receive his Divine Consort
Parvati. He (Kama) by his magical power created an ambience of spring in the air, earth, and
trees, conducive to love. Siva woke up from meditation, took one look at Parvati, and could not
stop enjoying and articulating his appreciation of the beautiful features of Parvati, who, in the
privacy of Siva‟s presence, lay bare gracefully, sporting sidelong glances at Siva. Siva felt like
two persons, one imbibing the beauty of Parvati and another, Yogi of all yogis bent on control of
the senses. He felt that if seeing is great pleasure, embracing must give even greater pleasure.
Suddenly it dawned on him that he was stung by Kama‟s arrows and bitten by love. How could
that happen to a Yogi of yogis, who has complete control over his senses? Paramayogi Siva
addressed Parvati in a loving manner and wondered aloud to her, how he became a victim to
Kama and how that downfall is harmful to his excellent reputation as the Lord of Vairagya
(detachment, renunciation, desirelessness). He advised Parvati, in a spirit of platonic detachment,
not to sit by his side on the couch, and looked around for he felt uncomfortable in being aroused.
He felt that the Vairagin and Yogi (in him) were associating with a wife of someone else; such
was the depth of his Vairagya. Kama continued to shoot arrows at Siva with no effects. Siva's
anger was coming to surface. A fire rising from the third eye of Siva incinerated Kama into
ashes. That incident happened in Korukkai. One of Siva's Ganas (attendant of Siva) gathered the
ashes of Kama and shaped it in the form of man. The Gana begged Siva to teach him a mantra
and confer half the power of Kama to the ash-made man. Since the Ash-man was dead Kama
and the result of Siva's fury, the Ash-man became a demon, who with his newfound strength
and power defeated the gods who sought the help of Tripurasundari, who defeated the demon
and restored the gods to their former status. (Bhasman or Sacred Ash is euphemism for the
semen virile of Siva. Incineration brings all substances to their pristine primal state.) Rati,
Kama's wife, came to Siva and begged him to give her husband back to her. Siva restored Kama
not to the physical state but to a mental image, a representation of true love and affection and
since then he is also known by the epithet, Ananga.
TPS = Tripurasundari
(The Ash-man asked and obtained Mantra from Siva who congratulates him with epithet Bhand,
Bhand (good, good); so the name Bhanda stuck with the Ash-man. Since Bhanda is the product
of Siva's anger and later ash and much later with the power of mantra he built a city rivaling the
City of gods ruled by Indra, Siva's Gana becomes a demon. It appears that Bhanda is the fusion
product of Siva's Gana and the ash of Kama. Bhanda rules his kingdom for sixty thousand years.
Bhanda attacks the city of gods, Indra and his army; immediately on the advice of Narada Muni,
Indra goes to TPS for help. The gods offer their own flesh and blood as sacrificial present to
TPS. The gods also perform a marriage of Siva with TPS, as an act of propitiation. TPS sends
the Saktis or the Matrakas (fighting mothers) to face the demon Bhanda, who ridicules the
fighting females. From the bodies of TPS and her enemy Bhanda, many previously documented
enemies are created to fight each other. When Bhanda creates Hiranyakasippu, TPS creates
Prahalada to defeat him; in like manner, Bhanda's Ravana sustains defeat at the hands of Rama
created from the fingernail of TPS. Nama 80 of Lalita Sahasranama says ten avatars of Vishnu
emerge from her fingernails to do the fighting against the Forces of Darkness. From the right
thumb nail of the Divine Queen, the all-pervading Narayana emerges in the form of great Fish
(Matsya). The ten Avatars, after the task is accomplished, stand before her with folded hands and
pay obeisance to Lalita (TPS). Demon Mahisasura comes alive and Durga defeats him; at last
TPS kills Bhanda. Once the battle is over, gods and Rati, Kama's consort appear before TPS and
beg her to bring Kama back to life from death caused by Siva. TPS obliges the gods and
panegyrizing Rati. This episode shows that all avatars of Vishnu are resident in her and she can
produce them as the occasion demands. Not only male gods are her avatars, but goddesses
Bharati, Chandika, Gauri, Kali, and Kumari are her avatars too.
KAma (Ananga) belongs to the race, Yaksa, jungle spirits, vegetal godlings, popular also in
Jaina mythology and Buddhist lore. Students of South Asian religion from the west are of the
belief that Yaksas were not Vedic in origin, thus suppressed and later integrated with Non-Aryan
gods like Siva. That is the story of Siva incinerating Kama, the Yaksa into ash: non-Aryan on
non-Aryan violence, similar to black on black violence. Hindu devotees don't believe in west's
opinion. Kubera is another Yaksa of great fame and immense wealth.
Verse She, the "I-ness," the destroyer of Pura, has slender waist with a girdle of tinkling and
jingling jeweled bells curved (bent forward) by the weight of her breasts resembling the frontal
bilobes of an elephant, and an autumnal moon face; and holds in her hands bow, arrows, noose
and goad. May she grant us her appearance.
Attributes of beauty: Indian poets and artists have a liking for woman with generous breasts,
sometimes compared to elephant's cranial lobes; conical breasts; slender waist that is compared
to a vine or sinuous thunderbolt; and an elaborate coiffure. The thigh is the silken-smooth stem
of partially stripped plantain tree; the face is the moon; the eyes are those of doe; the eyebrows
are the stringless bows; the eyelids are the petals of lotus flower; the bewildered eyes are the two
leaping fish; the teeth are jasmine buds; the breath is sweet which drives the honey bees wild; a
good bridge of the nose that rises and separates the eyes well; abundant hips sway at various
dynamic angles of flexion at spine; gait is that of an elephant and or a female swan, resembling
the swaying or sea-saw movement of hips (the Jiggle); the pre-menarchial girl sports lotus buds
and fish eyes; girl's hips sway like the tender tendril of windswept creeper; she also walks like a
baby elephant. (Remember the Grand Tetons of Grand Teton National Park: they are the frontal
bilobes of the elephant in the mind of Indian poet; the twin mountain peaks and the frontal
bilobes of an elephant appear as mammary mounds in the minds of the French and the Indian.
Devotional song of poet Umapati (1300 C.E.) describes in Kuncitanghristava that the mountain
peaks are the jutting breasts of Parvati/Gauri (golden pots), consort of Siva. That description may
have a bearing that Parvati was the daughter of mountain. Man and woman own parrot-beak
nose; Vishnu has neck like that of a conch shell; shoulders and waist are those of the lion and
bull. A woman's arms are compared to sinuous serpents and creepers.
Here is the youtube link on Srichakra and Khadgamala Goddesses in Devipuram
Here is a newspaper report on Devipuram.
Verse 8. A few fortunate ones adore you, the large wave of Consciousness-Bliss. You abide on
a couch, that is Parama Siva, which is one aspect of Siva, in a house made of gems in the midst
of a garden of Kadamba trees in the isle of gems (Mani dvipa = gem isle) ringed by a grove of
divine trees and surrounded by the ocean of nectar.
painting credit: exoticindia.com. Siva is the couch; Sadasiva is the mattress; Isa is the pillow;
Isa, Rudra, Hari (Vishnu), and Brahma are the four legs of the couch. Tripurasundari/Sodasi
reclines or sits majestically on the couch.
depicts the sound-body of TPS /Tripurasundari in a
diagram. Yantra or Chakra = instrument, engine,
apparatus, amulet with mystical diagram endowed
with protective occult powers.The vibrations of deity-
specific Mantra, when chanted according to the rules
of Tantra, bounce off Yantra or Sri Chakra, go to TPS
/Tirpurasundari (or the specific deity), gather power,
blessings and boons from the deity and return back to
the Sadhaka (chanter of Mantra) suffuse him with
divinity and confer on him supernatural powers.
four Shiva triangles (Srikanthas) pointing upwardsand and five Shakti triangles (Shiva-Yuvatis)
Yantra or Chakra is a plate or paper on which geometric figures are drawn which concentrate the
power of god. Chakra is the diagrammatic representation of a deity. Mantra (or Vidya), Tantra,
and Chakra are complementary and necessary for supplicating the deity according to the rules of
Tantra, bouncing the petition off Chakra , sending it on its way to the deity, and receiving the
rewards from the deity. Mantras or Vidyas awaken the superconsciousness, instills knowledge
of the Self and helps liberate the soul. Sri Vidya Mantra is a string of fifteen syllables without
any meaning based on Sanskrit letters and sounds" ka, e, i, la, hrim, ha, sa, ka, ha, la, hrim, sa,
ka, la, hrim.
The Mandala = Circle. Sri Chakra or Sri Yantra. There are nine triangles, five pointing down and
four pointing up. These intersecting nine primary triangles make forty-three secondary triangles.
All these triangles and other shapes are enclosed within a eight-petalled lotus (Vasudala), which
again is enclosed within a sixteen-petalled (Kalasra) lotus.
(The triangles, and two circles of lotuses are surrounded by Mekhalatraya, three circles (my
diagram shows only one circle.) Mekhalatraya is surrounded by a rectangular enclosure
(Bhupura) with gates at the cardinal points. The four Upturned triangles represent Siva; the five
downturns Sakti. The Siva triangles are known as Srikanthas and the Sakti triangles Siv-Yuvatis.
(Yuvati - young woman, maiden) The above triangles are the nine elements (Dhatus, see below).
The overlapping of the triangles represent Siva-Sakti merger out of which proceed the creation,
protection and dissolution. The five triangles of Sakti give rise to creation and four of Siva the
fire of dissolution.
The Bindu in the most central Triangle is the sine qua non of the union of Siva and Sakti or
Kāmaeshvari; thus, this triangle is known as Kāma Kala, the seat of Supracosmic desire to
create. Kamakala = Essence of Sexual desire Bindu is described as Sarva Ananda Maya Chakra ,
meaning Chakra replete with Bliss. Kamakala has three components or three subtype Bindus:
Red Bindu, White Bindu and Mixed Bindu. Red Bindu = Menstrual fluid; here it refers to the
ovum. White Bindu = semen. Mixed Bindu (Misra Bindu) = union of Siva and Sakti. Lalita
(Goddess) has two aspects: Varahi and Kurkulla. Varahi, the father form of the Goddess,
provides the semen and the four Dhatus (elements) known as four fires to the offspring.
Kurukulla, the mother form of the Goddess, supplies the ovum and five Dhatus (five saktis) to
the offspring. Consciousness enters the child through orgasm. The four fires and five Saktis
occupy the center of the Chakra. The four up triangles of Varahi having 12 angles represent the
12 sun kalas and 12 sidereal constellations. The five down triangles of Kurukulla having 15
angles represent 15 Moon Kalas (digits) in a fortnight or 15 lunar days. Since man is the
microcosm of the Macrocosm and Shri Yantra represents both, the newborn is Sri Yantra or a
seedling. Yantra's eight petal lotus and 16 petal lotus amounting to 24 petals show the flowering
of the plant.
There is a temple in the form of Sri Chakra or Yantra. The temple designed by the founder of
Devipuram is Dr. N. Prahalada Sastry (b. 1934), a former university professor and nuclear
physicist who left a successful 23-year career with the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in
Mumbai to begin work on the Devipuram temple in 1983.
Note: Sri Chakra-Srsti Chakra: Sri Chakra drawn according
to Samayacara sect, Siva triangles point down while five
Sakti triangle point up. Bindu is enclosed in a quadrangle.
Sri Chakra-Samhara Chakra according to Kaula sect has
five down Sakti triangles and four up Siva triangles with
the central Bindu enclosed in a triangle.
Though the anthropomorphic worship of TPS is less common, her Sri Chakra Puja is widely seen
in the temples. Minakshi of Madurai, Akilandesvari of Tiruchirappalli, Kanchi Kamakshi are
associated with Sri Chakra. Rajarajesvari (TPS) temple in Varnasi and Bangamaru in U.P. are
TPS temples among others in North India. Srividya Cult insists that Srividya Mantra and Yantra
are she, herself. She has three forms: Sthula (gross), Sukshma (subtle), and Para (Supreme form).
Sthula is the anthropomorphic form, the goddess in images, idols and icons. Sukshma form is
accessible only by Sadhakas, Para form is inaccessible to humans.
The three lines and gate of the outer wall of the above diagram. Yantra has human body laid out
within its contours. The three lines from outside to inside are the feet, knees and thighs. The
outer three concentric circles are the abdomen. (Author's note: The three layers: could mean the
three layers of abdominal wall, skin, fat and muscle?) The sixteen petal lotus is the lower half of
the trunk below the navel; the eight petal lotus to the umbilicus; the triangles to the upper body,
including the head. The center corresponds to Sahasrara Chakra with a thousand petals on the
Brahma Randhara, the anterior fontanel area.
Sri Chakra, Sri Yantra, Mandala are used interchangeably. Note: Mandala is generic geometric
form, while Yantra is deity-specific. Yantra Sri Chakra means, The Wheel Of Sri, the Mother
Goddess. Sri Chakra is Lalita TripuraSundari's creative manifestation.
She exists in three forms.
Her Icon Her Mantra Her Yantra
Mandalas are seen all over the world in disparate civilizations of yore; they were geometric
shapes: squares, lines, circles, spirals stood for the cosmos. The Indian Mandalas have been,
from time immemorial, gave meaning to every line, angle, circle, petal, square, gates. Indian and
other civilizations beyond the Indian shores and mountains also made association of a Deity or
goddess with those geometric shapes.
Verse 9. Having pierced the earth element in Muladhara Chakra, the water element in Manipura
Chakra, the fire element in Svadhisthana Chakra, the air element in Anahata Chakra, the Akasa
element in Visuddha Chakra, the mind element in Ajna Chakra between the eyebrows, passed
through all, and ascended through Kula path or Susumna Nadi, you sport secretly with your
consort in Sahasrara Chakra.
Go to Kundalini Power for details of the Chakras.
Verse 10. You infused (the Nadis of) the body with the nectar streaming from your feet, came
down from the radiant Nectarian lake of the Moon of Sahasrara Chakra, reached the Muladhara
Chakra (at the lower end of Susumna Nadi), assumed a serpentine form with three and half coils
and sleep in the Kulakunda (Muladhara Chakra) with a hole.
The deity referred to here is TPS in the form Kundalini in relation to Kundalini Yoga.
Saharara Chakra is the Domain of the Moon, the Radiant nectarian lake of the Moon and
contains Sri Chakra. Bindu, the centripetal center of Sri Chakra, is the place of union of Siva and
Sakti, which results in the flow of nectar from the feet of TPS. The nectar pervades all Nadis
throughout the entire body of the Yogi. A perfected Yogi can keep his perfect mind in Sahasrara
Chakra remaining in bliss as long as he wants. Lesser achievers have to come down to Anahata
or Muladhara Chakras, which indicates that their union with Siva and Sakti at Sahasrara Chakra
is reversible because they are still weighed down with desires, cares and worries of the mundane
world. Giants like Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, completely devoid of desires (Vairagya) can stay
in Turiya state for as long as they want. There are seven kinds of men, according to Kundalini
Yoga: Anal man, genital man, emotional man, thinking man, sattvic man, and intuitional man.
Chart: Pasu = Animal. Vira = Hero. Divya = divine.
Many people live in the domain of the pelvis: deglutition and defecation, excretion and
procreation; in this there is no difference between animal and man; thus, he is called Animal-
man. This is the Tamasic man living in the dark recess of the pelvis (Muladhara and
Svadhisthana planes). He undergoes transformation into a Rajasic man with motion and passion,
still retaining his Tamas (darkness, sloth and sluggishness). The Rajasic man lives in the
abdomen around the navel (Manipura Chakra). His attitude and mental makeup are essentially
his borborygmi, belching, flatulence, aches and pains: abundance of motion and passion,
antisocial behavior. At the level of the heart (Anahata), he experiences a rise in Sattvic qualities
with proportional fall in Tamas and Rajas. The man's cognitive center in the pelvis and abdomen
rises to the heart level, when he looks around, wants to live in peace with others and develops
love for self and others. His Sattva Guna rises with proportional fall in Tamas and Rajas and
shows signs of Sattvic man; his cognitive apparatus is at the level of the throat, which helps him
to communicate with others in speech and deed in a civilized manner. This is where most of the
civilized world stops. Beyond and above this threshold are Ajna and Sahasrara Chakras, which
are reachable only by yogis. As man ascends from Muladhara to Sahasrara Chakras, there is a
progressive fall in the levels of Tamas and Rajas and rise in Sattva and in Sahasrara Chakra, he is
pure Sattva (with infinitesimal Rajas and Tamas), which is a divine state. To be active and live
in this phenomenal world man needs a tad of Rajas.
Vivekanada says: the Yogis claim that in an ordinary man the Sushumna is closed; its action is
not evident while that of the other two is carrying power to different parts of the body.
Verse 11. The four Srī-Kantas and five Siva-Yuvatis distinct from (the central) Sambhu (Bindu),
are the nine Mulaprakrtis; thus, this is your abode with forty-four angles, two lotuses, one with
eight petals and the second with sixteen petals, three circles and three lines.
Srī-Kantas = refers to the husband, Siva. Siva-Yuvatis: Yuvati = young woman. Sambhu =
Siva. See the diagram below for details. There are two cults: Samaya for Siva and the Kaulas
Sri Yantra: credit: exoticindia.com
The central Bindu, the union of Siva and Sakti is Sādākhya Kalā from which emerge all the
manifestations represented by the triangles which overlap to create forty-three angles at their
periphery and the forty-fourth Kona is the central Bindu. The nine triangles are called
Mulaprakrti, which according to Sankhya has 25 Tattvas, the centrifugal evolutional
manifestations of Siva and Sakti. BG02.
Sri Chakra is the transcendent, immanent and phenomenal existence of TPS in all lives and
matter. What is here is out there: it means that microcosm is a representation of the macrocosm.
The Yantra represents both macro- and microcosms.
Below is the Saiva view as a basis for TPS taking the role of the Mother of the Universe,
transcending Siva, Brahma and Vishnu. TPS takes on the role of Para- and Sagunabrahman.
Man is a microcosm of the macrocosm. Tattvas-36 chart shows the evolution of Pure
Consciousness from Atattva to the last element Earth. Siva is Pure Consciousness; in the
evolutionary model, there is a chasm between Siva and Sakti; Siva cannot be contaminated with
matter so much so that Siva-Niskala-Niskriya-Amanaska has to act through Sakti for the creation
of gods, man, beings, and matter. This chasm can be traversed back and forth only by the
privileged Sakti. Siva-Niskala-Niskriya-Amanaska is a transcendental entity while Paramesvara
or Paramesvari (TPS) is endowed with Maya, the origin of gods, man, beings, and matter. Saktas
are of the opinion that TPS is the Mother Goddess of the universe. TPS = Tri-Pura-Sundari =
The twenty-four categories (Tattvas = building blocks) BG02 BG13
Categories 1 to 5: Mahabhutas: Akasa, air, fire, water, and earth evolve sequentially
incorporating the accumulated quality (qualities) of the previous element. There are two
divisions in the gross (great) elements (Mahabhutas): Amurtta and Murtta, the formless and the
formed. Akasa and air are formless elements, while fire, water and earth formed. BG13
Categories 6 to 10: The five Tanmatras: Tanmatras namely sound, touch, color, taste, and
smell are the subtle, rudimentary and nonspecific particles from which the gross elements
originate. Let me explain what Tanmatra is. The invisible entity that travels from the flower to
your olfactory sense (nose) is Tanmatra, smell.
Categories 11 to 15: Five Sensory organs or organs of perception: These are sensory
Jnānendriyas. The five senses are vision, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching served by the
eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin.
Categories 16 to 20: Five motor organs: The "eater” or the enjoyer of the senses is bhoktar. The
sense organs are different from senses and the five objects of senses are motor functions: speech,
grasp, locomotion, excretion, and generation served by (Karmendriyāni) larynx, hands, feet,
rectum, and genitals. The doer of these is Kartar.
Categories 21 to 25: Mind, Māyā, Suddha Vidyā, Mahesvara, and Sadasiva. TATTVAS-36
describes 36 Tattvas, which incorporate the 25 Tattvas of Samkhya system. Go to BG02 for
variations of the same theme.
Verse12. O Daughter of the Snowy Mountain, the best of poets, Vrinchi (Brahma) try hard to
compare your inimitable beauty. Though Siva is difficult to attain by austerities, the heavenly
damsels in their eagerness to experience your beauty attain imaginative absorption into Siva.
If Your Glance (TPS) falls on ugly sapless men, whose amorous sporting is dead, he will be
pursued by hundreds of young women with flying loose hair, pitcher-like breasts laid bare by
slipping clothes, snapping girdles from excitement, and slipping silk garments (from lack of
support in the waist).
Your two lotus feet (Pādāmbuja yugam) from above the Chakras, radiate rays in the following
configuration: fifty-six in Muladhara of Earth element, fifty-two in Manipura of Water element,
sixty-two in Svadhisthana of Fire element, fifty-four in Anahata of Air element, seventy-two in
Visuddhi of Ether element, and sixty-four in Ajna of the Mind element Pati's nine archetypical
forms: Siva, Sakti, Nada, Bindu, Sadasiva, Mahesvara, Rudra-Siva, Vishnu and Brahmathe nine
centers, powers, Chakras or Conscious Powers are the nine Padmas or Lotuses: 1) Sahasrara, 2)
Nada, 3) Bindu, 4) Ajna, 5) Visuddha, 6) Anahata, 7) Manipura, 8) Svadhisthana, and 9)
Muladhara; Brahma's mind-born nine sons: Marici, Bhrgu, Angiras, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratau,
Daksa, Atri, and Vasistha; the Universe of nine substances (the insentient and the sentient), such
as earth, water, light, air, ether (Ākāsa), time, space, soul and mind; nine continents; nine
mountain ranges; Nine brothers marrying the nine daughters of the deity of Mount Meru:
Merudevi, Pratirupa, ugradamstri, Lata, Ramya, Syama, Nari, Bhadra, and Devaviti; Kudilai
(Kundalini) giving rise to Vaindavam, the nine gods, Kundalini, Kudilai, Tatparai, Vagesi,
Sadasiva, Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, and Mahesvara; nine states of the soul (TMTM01); nine
stages that a soul has to climb to attain Siva; nine Nidhis (Treasures usurped from Kubera) which
yield any desire instantly; nine holy rivers: Waters of Ganga, Yamuna, Sindhu, Godavari,
Sarasvati, Narmada, Kaveri, Sona, and Sonanadi. These 360 Rasmis or rays radiate from the six
plexuses of the chakras and divide into 72,000 Nadis "innervating" the whole body in order to
control and regulate it. All Nadis are non-anatomical mystic channels and one cannot
demonstrate them by dissection. Just like the sun radiates its rays to its planets providing light
and heat, TPS is the Mother Goddess or Mistress of the Universe, the epicenter of Cosmos,
providing support to the cosmos.
Verse 15. How can words infused with sweetness of honey, milk and grapes coming from
devotees who bowed to You just once, describe You, who is the autumnal moonlight, who is
pure, who wears the moon on the twisted locks and the crown granting the boon of protection
from fear and whose hands hold the book and the crystal beads?
Verse 15. is distinctly different from Verse 4 in that in Verse 15 She shows Vara-Abhaya
Mudra (boon-giving and fear-dispelling hands pose), while Verse 4 says, "You alone do not
show by gesture bestowing boons and protection from fear." Both are attributes of TPS.
Verse 16. You are the light of the morning sun to the lotus flowers, (which are) the mind of the
king of poets. Those men of peace worship You as the Crimson sun. The sagacious words of
Brahma's beloved Sarasvati are like waves of conjugal love and give pleasure to good people.
As the morning sun opens the lotus buds, TPS makes the minds of poets blossom out; their
words of love surge like waves as if they emanate from Sarasvati, the goddess of learning and the
arts. The morning sun just before dawn is crimson red which suffuses the vault of the sky on the
east. The charioteer of the sun is crimson red and thus is named Aruna. Crimson is also the color
of Sarasvati in Rajas mode, which is motion and passion and naturally accompanies love, passion
Sarasvati in her Sattvic mode is white and the "white" poetry that emerges, speaks of Jnanam
and Vairagya (Knowledge and dispassion).
Verse 17. O Mother, he who reflects on you, Vasini and others, the source of speech having the
luster of freshly-cut gem-stone, is the author of poetry and can become a great poet with wit
and words which are as sweetly fragrant as the lotus face of goddess of speech.
She addressed the galaxy of deities and said, her hymns, composed by Vasini and other
deities of speech for the well-being of the world, would bring them her favor, grace, and
fulfillment of their wishes. The premier Vag Devata in the singular is Sarasvati and in the
plural refers to eight devatas. Each Devata is doled out by TPS Aksharas (letters of
alphabet), of which they are in charge.
The presiding deities and their 51 letters of the alphabet. They are called collectively Vasini
Vasini Kamesvari Modini Vimala Aruna Jayini Sarvesvari Kaulini
#1Devata #2 Devata #3 Devata #4 Devata #5 Devata #6 Devata #7 Devata #8 Devata
of ca series
of ta series
of Pa series
ya, ra, la
sa, ha, La,
The Vag Devatas reside in the 7th Avarana in the centripetal direction. Avarana =
anything that conceals, veils, covers, surrounds; here it means that the Devatas reside in
the seventh layer of Sri Chakra.
Verse 18. How many celestial nymphs like Urvasi with eyes of the tremulous does of the
forest are attracted to him who meditates on you whose body’s luster suffuses the heaven
and the earth in crimson-red radiance of rising sun?
This verse says in effect that the votaries of TPS are attractive to nymphs of such
heavenly beauty like Urvasi, and yet, they having meditated on the divine beauty of TPS,
the Mother Goddess, find their attractiveness trivial.
Verse 19. O Haramahishi (Queen of Hara-Siva), he who regards a (woman’s) face in the
central Bindu, pair of breasts below it, Harādha still below that, and meditates on your
Manmathakalām will induce immediately agitation in any woman. This is very trivial and
easy for him. He deludes Triloki with sun and moon as her breasts.
Harādha = half of Hara (Siva) = Female reproductive organs
Manmathakalām = Manifested creative Will
Triloki Three worlds personified as woman.
Worship of a deity consists in part in meditating on the body parts first and then the
whole body and still later the void. This actually speaks of the excellence of the spiritual
mind and accomplishment of the votary.
A Sadaka should practice meditation and concentrate his mind on all body parts of his
Istadevata from the feet to the crown and from the crown to the feet; by doing this, he will
get vision of the whole body of the Devata in his mind. Once perfection in meditation and
concentration is attained, the Formless will replace the Deity with form. The gross image
evaporates and the subtle formless form (Ether) takes its place. Krishna says the following:
Seeing his family and objects day in and day out, man develops love for his wife, son and
objects. In like manner if man thinks of Me always, he will merge with Me.
Krishna talks to Uddhava as follows.
"When the Sadhaka concentrates his mind on My smiling face, there comes a time when
he, his mind and I become one and the Sadhaka loses the physical and spiritual delineation
between him and Me. The Murti in the mind evaporates; the Yogi brings Ether in its place
and rests it in Me, the Paramatman. The Yogi in Samadhi will see Me as Paramatma of all
Jivas. The Yogi forgets that he is different from Me; the "I" in him dissipates; he loses his
identity. This is incoporeal Upasana or Videha Kaivalya. Videha = incorporeal. Kaivalya =
detachment of the soul from matter, isolation, beatitude.
Verse 20. He, who establishes you in the heart, sees emanation of waves of effulgent rays
from your body parts as if they originate from an idol of moonstone, destroys the pride and
arrogance of serpents like the Lord of the birds (Garuda), cures by his look any fever and
comforts like the essence of nectar flowing from the Pure Nadi.
Kundali unites with Siva when the Yogi reaches Sahasrara Chakra; this union results in
the release and flow of Amrta, which suffuses all the Chakras and Nadis throughout the
body of the Yogi, resulting in Samadhi.
The serpent (Kundali goddess) sleeping in the Muladhara Chakra augments lust, when it
pierces other higher chakras lust transmutes into another quality special for that chakra.
Muladhara, Svadhistana, and Manipura Chakras are the repository of strength, power,
passion, motion, sexual tension, and other biological urges like eating, sleeping, defecation,
procreation, and excretion. Once these centers are activated and the Kundali goddess does
not rise above Manipura Chakra, the man is basically an animal. Swami Chinmoy is of the
opinion that a Sadhaka should open the Anahata Center (Heart) first before he pierces the
lower animalistic sensual centers. Residing in the pelvic and abdominal centers leads a
person astray and leaves him addicted to sex, aggression, violence, exertion of power over
the weak, the innocent and the vulnerable. Transformation of the animal-man to man-man
takes place in Anahata Chakra. What makes man different from animal is that he is
endowed with speech. Air is essential for speech and so Anahata is the domain of Vayu
Mandala (the sphere of air- Vāyu Tattva). Anahata Sound is heard here. This is where
Sattva (virtue, goodness, strength of character, courage, wisdom, magnanimity) resides.
The Yogi also acquires certain Siddhis by piercing this center.
By reaching Visuddha Chakra, man becomes Trikåla Jnani (knower of the past, the
present and the future).
Verse 21: Great men, free from impurities and illusion and seeing by a mind your aspect
slender like a streak of lightning, of the nature of the Sun and the Moon, sitting in the lotus
forest above the six lotuses and the (granthis), are full of Supreme Joy.
You are slender like lightning; You are of the nature of the Sun and the Moon; You are
seated in the lotus forest above the six lotuses and (the granthis); Seeing such aspects of
yours, waves of Supreme joy come to the mind of great men, free from impurities and
The lightning aspect of Sakti of Tripurasundari is her creative power. The lotus forest is
the Sahasrara Chakra above the six Lotuses or Chakras: Muladhara, Svadhistana,
Manipura, Anahata, Visuddha, and Ajna Chakras. She is the Fire in the Muladhara
Chakra, the Sun in the Anahata Chakra and the Moon in Ajna Chakra.
There are three Granthis (Junctional points, Knots, Junctions, hurdles): Brahma,
Vishnu and Rudra Granthis. Granthis are equated to the levels of consciousness. Brahma
Granthi of Muladhara (and Svadhistana and Manipura) Chakra is physical consciousness;
Vishnu Granthi of Anahata Chakra is the Sphere of the Sun and therefore of Light, the
beginning of Spiritual Consciousness; The Rudra Granthi of Ajna Chakra is the sphere of
the Moon, the center of Spiritual Consciousness. Above the Sahasrara Center, the inverted
thousand-petaled Chakra, is the Saadaakhya kalaa (Sadakhya kala), also known as Jyotir
Mandala, whose consciousness transcends the physical plane.
Granthis, hurdles in the ascent of Kundalini, are in the form of spiritual ignorance,
Maaya, and desire. Brahma Granthi manifests as attachment to physical objects, earthly
pleasures, inordinate selfishness (ego, Ahamkara) and exhibits the enslaving power of
Tamas, darkness, lethargy, ignorance. Its habitat is the pelvis, dominant in pelvic
functions. Vishnu Granthi at Anahata Chakra manifests motion and passion of Rajas Guna
in that the prospective Sadhaka is attached to family, friends and objects. Its habitat is the
heart, dominant in emotion. Rudra Granthi manifests clinging to newly-attained Siddhis,
other psychical dependencies, and a remnant of ego. Its habitat is Ajna Chakra, a point
above human consciousness and below transcendental Consciousness. This border crossing
is made more difficult because the neophyte Yogi wants to enjoy the newly-obtained
Siddhis (special powers) vicariously; In order to go further he has to give up his power and
desire to exercise his Siddhis, like reading thoughts of others and the rest. The special
powers are symptoms of higher Consciousness and should not be used for personal gain or
Verse 22: Even before a devotee finishes saying, "O Bhavani, bestow on me your slave,
your compassionate glance," You grant him at that very moment the state of oneness with
your feet, at which the bright diadems of Mukunda, Brahma, Indra offer oblations of light.
The very moment a devotee starts saying, O Bhavani..., TPS (does not wait for the
completion of his words and worship and) grants him grace and compassion; she knows
what her devotee wants and needs. Becoming one with Her feet is Sayujya Mukti.
There are four types of liberation: Salokya, Saannidya (Samipa), Saruupya, and Saayujya.
Liberation is the exclusive right of TPS and no other gods.
bhavāni tvam dāse mayi vitara dristim sakaruṉām
Iti stotum vāṅchan kathayati tvam iti yah;
Tadaiva tvam tasmai diśasi nija sāyujya padavīm
Mukunda brahma Indra sphuta makuda nīrājita padām
This verse gives emphasis on the Advaitic philosophy of Sankara: That Thou Art.
The fact that this form of yours with red complexion, three eyes, bent posture because of
breasts, a crown of hairdo with half moon in it makes me wonder that You, having
expropriated his left side of the body (once before) and not satisfied with it, stole the other
half of the body of Sambhu.
In this verse, there is good-humored jostling and finger-pointing, benign accusation of
Sakti stealing the right side of the body of Sambhu-Siva as evidenced by the presence of
breasts on both sides. Once before, Sakti appropriated the left side of the body of Sambhu
thus giving him the name Ardhanarisvara (ARDHANARISVARA); having not been
satisfied with partial appropriation, she usurped the remaining right side of his body.
Sankara presents evidence to that effect. The new body after complete appropriation is
crimson-red in color. Consider this: Under normal circumstances, Siva is white and Amba
is red. Sankara was wont to seeing a masculine chest with robust pectoral on the right side
of the body and a female physique on the left side; now it is replaced by Amba's breast;
thus the body is fully female. Her head sports half moon and three eyes, exclusive features
of Siva. This is further evidence of appropriation. This made her, Kamesvari with three
eyes and a crescent moon. Ardhanarisvara is half male and half female, a unified figure of
Father and Mother. Now the father figure vanished and the Mother took charge of the
whole body, thus projecting the overpowering image of Mother. in Vedas Siva is called the
chief of thieves, Taskarānam Pati; ironically Siva becomes the victim of theft by Amba,
who first stole the left side of his body and later the right side too. It is not hard now to
surmise that Amba is the thief of the chief of thieves. To top it off she stole his moon and
the third eye. That is the vision, Sankara had of Mother Goddess Amba. This is the KAula
doctrine of the Saktas. The Saktas
Humor aside, when the Mother Goddess assumes her dominant role, she takes on all the
qualities of the male Gods, who become her children. In further analysis, there is only one
Supreme Being and different people call It by different names.
Brahma begets the world; Hari protects; Rudra destroys; Isa withdraws all of them into his
own body and in turn involutes into the body of Sadasiva. Siva whose name is preceded by
Sada carries out your order obligingly by taking cues from the movement of your
Here is the hierarchy:
Mother Goddess is the controller of the Universe. Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra do her
bidding and carry out her orders: creation, maintenance, and destruction. When the
universe involutes, Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra and the universe involute into Mahesvara
(Isa), who in turn involutes into Sadasiva. They take their cues from the movement of her
eyebrows. She is the Mistress of the Universe and all others are her surrogates and
servants. This is known as Seshi-Sesa relationship in this context. Mahesvara creates in a
linear fashion Suddhavidya Tattva, Māya, Kāla, Niyati, Kalā, Vidya, Rāga, Purusa,
according to Saiva Siddhanta. According to Saktas, Mahesvara has nine facets: Kāla,
Kula, Nāma, Jnāna, Citta, Nāda, Bindu, Kalā, and Jiva. The color-coded items are
Worship of the three Devas (Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra) born of your three gunas (Sattva,
Rajas and Tamas), O SivE (Sakti), is worship at your feet. They stand near the gem-
pedestal supporting your feet with their hands joined in homage above their crowned
Verse 26. Brahma dissolves into five elements; Hari fades into cessation; KinAsa (Yama)
undergoes destruction. Kubera comes to his end. Indra and his retinue close their eyes. O
Sati, in this universal great destruction, your husband (Sadasiva) alone is sporting.
Whatever I do from the view of Atma Samarpanam to you are all synonymous with
worshipping you: my Japam, speech, all movements associated with Mudra during
worship, gait as circumambulation of the deity, food, various methods of sacrifice, sleep as
salutation, all activities.
Whatever I do is my dedication to Siva. My words are Mantras, eulogies and worship to
Siva. My speech is prayer to Siva. All my movements are Mudras during worship of Siva.
Every step I take is a ceremonious walk around Siva. Every bite I eat sustains my devotion
to you. Laying down is prostration and salutation at the feet of Siva. In fact all I do are
acts of worship to Siva.
More beautiful are these words on Siva by Sankara.
As related by
Shankaree of Om
Let my every word be a
prayer to Thee,
Every movement of my
hands a ritual gesture to
Every step I take a
circumambulation of Thy
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
Let it all be a form of
Prayers, NyAsa, daily chores, eating, sleeping, walking (circumambulation), sacrifice are
all acts of worship and dedication of soul, body and mind to Him. This is dedication of
body, mind, soul and their activities to Siva-Sakti by Jivan Muktas who live as
householders. Every act is dedication: the act and the fruit. The enjoyments coming from
the acts do not belong to the worshipper but to Sadasiva. The Sanyasins who do not
perform exoteric worship do meditation and worship with Sri Chakra, identical with
Sahasrara and six lower Chakras.
Verse 28. Even though, Nectar which having been eaten removes the fearful old age and
death, Brahma, Indra and all other denizens of heaven die. Sambhu having swallowed a
mouthful of poison is not subject to time. That is because of the greatness of Your earring.
The Adityas (gods) drank the nectar of immortality that came out of the Milk Ocean along
with Halahala poison, which was imbibed by Siva to save the world. The nectar does not
protect the gods from dying at dissolution, though they drank the nectar of immorality;
Sambhu-Siva does not die at all though he drank the poison, all because of the greatness of
the earring that Uma-Parvati wears. The universe and beings involute in Him at Kalpal
Dissolution. The earring of Uma-Parvati is a sign of eternality beyond and not subject to
Time and serves as the protector of Siva-Sambhu thereby not only saving Siva from death
but also preventing Her from becoming a widow. As the saying goes among Saivites, Siva is
Sava (dead) without Sakti.
Verse 29. When you Consort Bhava comes to your abode and you rise importunely to
honor and welcome Him, may the attendants’ words (of caution) triumph, “You avoid the
crown of Brahma in front of you; You will stumble on the hard crown of the destroyer of
Kaitabha (Vishnu), You avoid the crown of Jambha (Indra).” These gods are paying
Pranam (obeisance) to Siva.
O the Adored of all, O the Eternal One, The rays of Light emanating from your body such
as Anima and others are Your Self. He meditates on You constantly. To Him who is
absorbed into the three eyed One, the Great Fire of Dissolution is like (the burning of)
straw and performing the rite of Niranjanam . How wonderful it is!
Niranjanam is waving of light before the deity. The Great Fire of Dissolution, which
destroys the whole universe and beings, is compared to the fire of straw and Niranjanam
to Devi or Mother Goddess. The devotee of Mother Goddess is absorbed in and become one
with her by meditation and thus, is not burnt up in the universal conflagration. He is
immune from all calamities. The Great Fire of Dissolution is like the fire in the straw and
of no consequence to the votary of the Mother. Another explanation of the straw brings the
point that absorption into Siva is like straw.
Siddhas are the yogins who possess eight siddhis or supranormal powers, which radiate
from the feet of the Mother Goddess. Siddhas have attained liberation (jivanmukti) while
living. His body is secure from Time or death; he can choose his death at will at a time and
place of his choice. They are the gurus and spiritual preceptors. Among Sivas, Siva is the
Supreme Siddha; Siddhi is achieving a Siddha which doubles for the person having the
siddhi. The Supranormal powers are impediments to Samādhi, which is becoming one with
ONE. The siddhis are eight: Anima, Mahima, Gharima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakamya,
Isatva, Vashistva, (and Kāmarutattva.) Note some texts do not mention Gharima or
Major Siddhis which are possessed by Mother Goddess, Bhagavan, Bhagavati, Isvari or
Isvara and to a lesser degree by the Siddha.
1. Anima. (smallness): Supernatural power of becoming as small as an atom,
2. Mahima. (largeness): The supernatural power of increasing size at will
3. Gharima. The supernatural power of making one self heavy at will
4. Laghima. (lightness): The supernatural power of levitation
5. Prāptih. Supernatural power to obtain everything
6. Praakaamya. Capacity to accomplish anything desired
7. Isitva. Supremacy or superiority considered as a super natural power
8. Vashistva. The supernatural power of subduing all to one's own will
---Definitions as found in Tamil Lexicon, Madras University
Kāmarutattva (consummation of all desires)
Prapti is power to enter anywhere. It also means the
supernatural power of obtaining everything. This includes
Ability to touch the sun, the moon or the sky. The Siddha can
predict the future. He understands the language of birds and
beasts, and unknown kind. Prapti is defined as ability to
apprehend knowledge and perceptions perceived by the
individual soul in his senses, which are presided over by god or
gods. Once a Yogi or Siddha enters the body of another, he can
perceive and modulate the feelings and perceptions of the the
Prâkâmya is the ability to enjoy anything that is heard, seen,
touched, thought and more.
Isitva is introduction and diffusion of Sakti of His Maya into
every Jiva in the universe. It also means supreme domination.
Clairvoyance, Clairaudience, Divination, and Hyperacuity
to pain, taste, and smell are supranormal faculties, which are
an impediment to True Siddhi (Oneness with One) because
they generate Ahankāra, the I-ness, and the Mine-ness and
prevent total surrender to God. The eighth power indicates the
consummation of yogi's desire for God-realization and
subduction from Kāma or sexual desire. Go to the end of the
chapter for more details.
Pasupati deluded the world by giving 64 Tantras, the practice
of each of which confers (gives birth to) only one Siddhi. Upon
Your insistence, He revealed your own Tantra, Akhila
Purushartha as one discipline which is independent of all other
disciplines and comes down to earth (to help mankind).
Attaining proficiency in the practice of
Akhila + Purushartha: Whole or all + Objectives worthy of
human pursuit, four in number, Dharma, Artha, Kama, and
Syllables ka, e, i, and la with corresponding names Siva, Sakti,
Käma, and Kshiti; syllables ha, sa, ka, ha, and la with
corresponding names Ravi, Sitakirana, Smara, Hamsa and
Sakra; and syllables sa, ka, and la with corresponding names
Parä, Mära and Hari together with Hrllekha’s syllable Hrim
appended to the end of each of the syllables of the three groups
become your syllables and parts of Your name (Mantra), O
Mother (Tripurasundari = three city beauty--TPS, Sodasi).
She is Tripura because her body is made of three Saktis:
Brahmani, Vaisnavi, and Raudri. The three cities are a
metaphor for Goddess with three qualities: Sattva, Raja and
Tamas (virtue, motion and passion, lethargy or darkness). She
is the transcendent beauty of three cities or three gunas or the
three cities of the demons. These triads are called Kūtas (
Kuta, peaks, summit, prominence) or peaks of Sri Vidya
Mantra. Vidya (Mantra) of TPS consists of three syllables.
Pancha-dash-akshari (5 + 10 + syllables) Mantra is of three
peaks (Kuta): Vagbhava-kuta, Kamaraja-kuta, Shakta-kuta.
She is the Pervader of the three worlds: Heaven, earth and
netherworld. She is the ruler of three bodies: Karana, Suksma
and Sthula--causal, subtle and gross. TPS is the Self in the
three states of consciousness of man: wakefulness, dream sleep,
and deep sleep. She is also the Self in Turiya and Turiyatita in
Chanting of the thousand-syllabled Mantra (Sahasraksari
Vidya) accompanies worship of the deity and offering of fistful
of flowers (Puspanjali); worship concludes with the Kadi
Mantra Ka, Em, I, la, Hrim, ha-Sa-Ka-Ha-La-Hrim, Sa-Ka-
La-Hrim, (Aim, Klim, Sauh, Klim, Aim, Srim). The 1000-
syllabled Mantra consists of power-epithets, Siddhis, Nityas
and Kadi Mantra of Lalita. The Guru offers flowers to the
disciple who offers them to the deity. Of all the Vidya mantras,
Kadi Mantra (starting with K) and Hadi Mantra starting with
H are the most efficacious. Different texts have some
variations in the syllables.
1st Peak (Kuta) = ka, e, i, and la-- append Hrim = Ka, Em, I,
ha, sa, ka, ha, and la; append Hrim ha, sa, ka, ha, la, Hrim
sa, ka, and la ; append Hrim sa = ParA, ka = MAra, la = Hari,
Kadi Mantra (Kamaraja Mantra) The Mantra begins with
Ka. Kadi confers spiritual progress according to its
The fourth part is hidden, a secret syllable and Sambhunatha,
an aggregate of three saktis of knowledge, Will and Action
(Jnana, Itcha, and Kriya), and the Northern Face or Amnaya.
The 16th syllable (secretive kamakala) is secret and is given to
the qualified pupil by a bona-fide Guru.
Guru Lakshmidhara gives Srim as the last symbolic syllable
attached to the 3rd string of Mantra. Srim gives completeness
or roundness to Srividya in that Vidya has the syllable Srim as
Explanation and elaboration
TPS Kaivalyasrama omits SRIM of Lakshmidhara.
Kadi Mantra leads to spiritual enlightenment; Hadi Mantra
lead to earthly prosperity in this life and hereafter. That is why
Kadi practitioners offer worship of Involution (Nivrrti) going
from the perimeter of Sri Yantra to Bindu ( from the world of
matter to Bindu, the point of Spirituality. The Epicurean Hadi
practitioners do the centrifugal worship from Bindu to the
periphery of Sri Yantra in their desire to acquire material
Lalita Sahasranama says TPS is KLINKARI represented by
Bija Mantra KLIM, also known as Kamaraja Bija. Hence
KAma BIja is Klīm; when "Ka" and "La" are dropped, the
remaining "īm" is known as KAmakalA in Turiya state. TPS
or DEvi is the creator/creatrix of Klim Mantra or Klinkari;
Siva is KlīmkAra and SivakAma. One source tells that Ka is
Krishna, La is TPS or Laita, "im" is Bliss.
Hadi Mantra (Lopamudra Mantra). The mantra begins
with Ha. Hadi mantra confers prosperity now and
Ha/Sa/Ka/La/Hrim = 5 syllables
Ha/Sa/Ka/Ha/La/Hrim = 6 syllables
S/K/La/Hrim = 4 syllables
Kadi + Hadi = KaHadi Mantra.
The two are known as KaHadi Mantra. The devotees
diverge in their worship of Sri Yantra; the Kadi line devotees
worship Sri Yantra centripetally (from outside to the center);
the Hadi devotees centrifugally.
Pancha-dash-akshari (5 + 10 + syllables) Mantra with Srim
becomes Srividya and represents sixteen Kalās (parts--digits)
of Sodasa Nityas; Srim is Cit Kalā, which is the nucleus, the
seed, TPS herself, and Sādākhya Kalā (first Being, 1st
Consciousness). There are interpreters of Sirvidya (mantra)
who say that the Srim is redundant and without Srim it is a
complete Mantra by itself.
Smara, Yoni, and Lakshmi are the words with
syllables (klim, hrim, and srim) in the beginning
of Your mantra, by which, O Eternal One, the
esthetes of great enjoyment worship you with
Cintamani tied to the necklace by the thread,
pour in the fire of Siva hundreds of oblations of
fragrant streams of butter.
Cittākasa = cidAkAsa is interpreted as the Ether
Verse 34. You are the body of Siva-Sambhu, and have
the Sun and the Moon as your breasts. O Bhagavti!
I think Your Being is spotless Sambhu with nine
aspects. Therefore, this relationship of Sesha and
Seshi exists between you both, the ParAnanda and
ParA as reciprocal (and equivalent) principles.
ParAnanda = Anada Bhairava. ParA = Anada
You are Sambhu in Body and Being. Your are like the two
cotyledons wrapped in a sheath. Both of you are of equal status
as Sesi and Sesa (The Primary and the secondary). Sesi =
Principal, Chief matter, main point; Sesa = accessory,
remaining, what is left The two kinds of Kaula: PUrva and
Uttara. To PUrva Kaulas Both are equal. Sambhu has nine
Vyuhas or manifestations: kAla, Time; Kula, troop; nAma,
names; JnAna, knowledge; Citta, mind-buddhi-ahamkara
complex; nAda, sound; Bindu, the six adhara chakras; KalA,
the fifty letters of Sanskrit alphabet; and JIva, the soul in the
body. Both are equal in all nine aspects. In creation, Sakti is
the Sesi, ParA, the principal or the Primary and Siva is Sesa or
secondary; in dissolution Siva is the Sesi or Primary and Sakti
is Sesa or secondary. Thus in their own portfolio, each one
serves as the Primary with the other being the secondary.
You are the Mind (in Ajna Chakra between eyebrows on the
forehead). You are Vyoma (in Sky in Visuddha Chakra in the
throat). You are Air (in Anahata Chakra). You are the Fire (in
Svadhistana Chakra). You are water (in Manipura Chakra).
You are the earth (in Muladhara Chakra). Now that you
transformed yourself, there is nothing more. It is with the
intention to transform Yourself into the universe, You took the
form of Consciousness-Bliss, O Sakti, the Consort of Siva.
This verse touches on the Kundalini Chakras and the elements
associated with these Chakras as the creation of Sakti.
Sakti Devi has three forms: the gross, the subtle, and para
forms. The gross (sthula) form consists of anthropomorphic
features with hands and feet. The Suksma or subtle form is her
Mantra; her Para or Supreme form is her Real Form
(Svarupa). This Para form is Supreme Consciousness beyond
the grasp of human mind. Before creation and during Pralaya,
Siva and Sakti are one unitary entity, because everything is on
hold. That state is called Parasamvit (Supreme Consciousness
of Siva), where Siva Tattva and Sakti Tattva are in non-dual
state. When the urge to create comes along, a dual state arises:
Prakasa = Aham and Siva Consciousness and Vimarsa and
Sakti. Prakasa is infinite Light of Siva Consciousness and a
subject; Vimarsa is the reflection of Siva in Sakti and an
object. When Siva looks at His image in Sakti, He says Aham
(I). This is known as Aham Vimarsa ("I" reflection). He has
just become aware of Himself; His awareness is the integral,
all-comprehensive, all-inclusive universal Ego. When he says
Aham, it is the First reflection (Bimba). What comes after the
Bimba (First Reflection) is Pratibimba, which is none other
than the universe. That universe is the Idam (That). In
Parasamvit, Aham and Idam existed in a subtle latent
condition. Idam does not come along without Sakti, who
provides the Maya Sakti to create Idam. Aham is subject and
Idam is the object. Siva is pure Consciousness; He remains so
because it is the Bimba-derived Pratibimba that becomes the
universe; to endorse this purity, Maya severs Idam from
0-1-2: Parasamvit, Siva Tattva, and Sakti Tattva are non-dual
states. Prakasa = Aham and Siva; Vimarsa = Sakti. Parasamvit
= Supreme Consciousness of Siva.
3. Sadasiva Tattva = Grace, "This" (Idam) Consciousness is
4. Isvara or IsaTattva = Mahesvara, concealment. "I" (Aham)
is inward looking.
5. Suddha Vidya Tattvam = Aham and Idam = "I and This" of
equal emphasis. Creation, Preservation and dissolution.
Suddha Vidya = Pure Knowledge.
Purport: First there is Aham and Idam in the undifferentiated
state in Parasamvit. Later Aham becomes dominant from
creation by Maya Sakti; then equalization takes place; Aham
and Idam become equal; Maya comes along and severs the
Aham and Idam into two entities. Sakti-Maya-Prakrti becomes
the universe and beings. Now there is one Aham and many
Idams (beings and matter).
Here is another way of looking at Aham and Idam.
The Pure Consciousness (Parasamvit) undergoes
transformation and the result is the first product Sadakhya or
Sadasiva Tattva (Sadasiva). In a linear cascading fashion, this
transforms into the second product, Isvara Tattva (Isvara);
further transformation takes place resulting in the third
product, Suddha Vidya Tattva. Remember the transformation
does not diminish the original substance; it remains
withdrawn. When this transformation is taking place, Maya
severs the connection between the united Pure Consciousness
(Para-samvit) and the products and their derivatives
(downstream Tattvas). Where does this cutting Maya come
from; yes, it is from Sakti. Sadasiva Tattva emphasizes Idam,
"This." Isvara Tattva emphasizes the Aham, "I." Suddha
Vidya Tattva emphasizes both equally.
Sakti Devi like Siva Tattva has two forms: Prakasa and
Vimarsa. Prakasa form is Pure Consciousness. Vimarsa form
is the power latent in Pure Consciousness. Referring to Siva-
Sakti, Siva is Prakasa and Sakti is Vimarsa. In particular
reference to Devi, Prakasa is her Pure Consciousness and
Vimarsa is her Sakti or her ability to appear as many in a
world of multiplicity. Vimarsa is the stuff of Tattvas which
make this universe of matter and beings. She who is of red
color is the manifested one. Brahman and his multiplicity have
application in Prakasa and Vimarsa. Prakasa is the canvas and
Vimarsa is the painted objects; Prakasa is the hypostasis and
Vimarsa is the manifest multiplicity. Devi is Nishkala (no
parts) and Prakasa; Vimarsa is Sakala (many parts) and
manifest multiplicity. KAla, Bindu, and Nada have rolls to play
in Vimarsa aspect of Devi. Vimarsa makes demands of Devi's
Iccha, Jnana and Kriya for the projecting the manifest
Verse 36: I pay homage to Sambhu (Siva) who abides in His
Ajna Chakra, effulgent as millions of suns and moons together
and whose left side is the Supreme Consciousness in the form
of Devi (Ardhanarisvara--Androgynous Siva). Votary with
deep devotion attains the Self-conscious and Self-effulgent state
which is not in material plane, goes beyond the relams of the
light of the moon, sun and fire and is beyond the beyond.
This is the descritption of the Sadhaka of Samaya cult who
kindled the fire of Kundali and rises with her to Ajna Chakra.
Sahasrara Chakra at the level of midbrain is Jyotir mandala
(The Luminous Realm), above the reach of the moon, sun, and
fire, which illumines only the Ajna, Anahata, and
Svadhisthana Chakras respectively. The Moon in Sahasrara
Chakra is different and partless (Niskala) meaning it has no
tithis or digits, always a Full Moon and an eternal Spiritual
Light of Bliss-Consciousness. The resident deities adored and
worshipped in Ajna Chakra are Para Sambhunatha and Cit-
Verse 37. In Your Visuddha Chakra, I meditate on Pure
crystal-like Siva, the creator of Vyoman (Sky, heaven and
atmosphere) and Devi who is equal to Siva in every way. In the
Lunar splendor radiationg from both, devoid of darkness of
Ignorance, the universe is joyous like a Cakori (female
In the Hindu mythology the Cakori bird delights in and
imbibes the moonlight. As the Kundali comes to rest in
Vishuddha Chakra, the darkness of ignorance dissipates with
the descent of Light of Consciousness and Bliss. The adored
and worshipped deities here are Vyomanesvaran and
Vyomanesvari. Some Yogis beleive the resident deity is
Ardhanaaresvara or Sadasiva (form of Siva).
Verse 38. I worship the great pair of swans (Ham and Sa –
Siva and Sakti) which enjoy only the tasty sap of the full-
blown lotus of knowledge, which glide in Manasa Mind Lake
of great men, whose conversations are contained in the
eighteen systems of knowledge which separate virtue from
evil (as the swan separates the milk from water).
The full-blown lotus of knowledge, the blossoming of which is
proof of Kundalini arriving there, refers to the Anahata heart
Chakra. The eighteen disciplines of knowledge refer to
Atharvan, Ayurveda, Chandas, Danurveda, Dharmasastra,
Gandharva Veda, Jyotisha, Kalpa, Nirukta, Niti Sastra, Nyaya,
Purva, Rg, Saman, Siksa, Uttara Mimamsa, Vyakarana, and
Yajus. These are the sacred scriptures that separate the virtue
from evil. This separation is compared to the mythical ability
of the swan to separate the milk from water. Siva-Sakti
worshipped in Anahata Chakra are Hamsesvara and
Verse 39. O Genetrix, You abide in the fire element in your
Svadhisthana Chakra; I eulogize the Fire of Dissolution
(Rudra-Siva) and the Great Samayaa (Sakti). The angry looks
of Rudra incinerates the worlds; your compassionate looks
brings about the cooling affability.
Siva-Sakti (Samaya-Samayaa) worship in Svadhisthana
Chakra is touched upon in this verse. In the descending order
of Chakras, manipura Chakra and water element should have
been described in this verse. Sankara chose to describe the
Samaya-Samyaa worship and the Fire element. Verse 40
touches on manipura Chakra. Siva burns in Svadisthana
chakra and Sakti extinguishes it with the water element in
Manipura Chakra. Samvarta (The Great Fire at Deluge--
Rudra-Siva), known also as Kalagni figures in close proximity
with Janani (Genetrix, the creator, the Mother Goddess).
Samvarta destroys with his angry eyes and the Mother creates
with Her compassionate affable looks. The deities are
Samvartesvara and Samayamba.
Verse 40. Sakti as Lightning is the foe of darkness. With Her
flashing and shining jewels studded with many-colored gems
Sakti appears like a rainbow. I worship the incomparable dark
clouds which rain on the three worlds burnt by the fire of
dissolution, which has Manipura Chakra, as the sole place of
Manipura, Svadhisthana and Muladhara Chakras are whorls
of darkness, which dissipate from the Light of Sakti as
lightning rends the nimbus clouds with accompanying rains.
The deities of Manipura Chakra are Mahesvara and
Saudamani. What Rudra-Siva destroys by the look of angry
eyes, Mother counterbalances with the compassionate cool
Verse 41. In Muladhara Chakra, I meditate on Samayayaa
(Sakti--Samayaa) performimg Lasya dance and Nava Atman
(Siva-Rudra) with nine sentiments performing Maha Tandava
dance. In these twosome dances, the object is creation by the
Father, and Mother with compassion.
The nine sentiments of Rudra-Siva are sringāra, love; vīra,
heroism; bibhatsa, disgust; raudra, anger; hāsya, anger;
bhayānaka, terror; karuna, pity; adbhuta, wonder; sānta,
tranquility or contentment; vatsalya, paternal fondness.
Siva in the name of Adinatha and Sakti in the name of
Lasyesvari perform the Tandava (the masculine dance) and
Lasya, the female dance. The universe undergoes involution
when they stop the dance and then all the elements (Tattvas--
building blocks) come to repose in Siva-Sakti. When Siva-Sakti
begin their dance again at the end of dissolution, the elements
come back to build the universe of matter and beings under the
guidance of and contribution from Siva-Sakti. This dance
brings to life beings according to their karmic deeds, so that
the soul matures, sheds all the impurities (malas), and attains
Moksa. Siva directs Sakti to create the universe and beings ;
thus Siva-Sakti are the parents. The two-part unity is integral
with each other as in Ardhanaresvara (Androgynous Siva);
Siva is consciousness and Sakti is His power. Siva is Samaya
and Navātman. Sakti is Samayā (feminine form of Samaya).
Sama means equal. They are equal and similar (sama and
samtavam) in Adhisthāna, Avasthāna, Anusthāna, Rūpa, and
Nāma (abode, condition, action, form, and name). Verses 36-
41 talks about Ajna, Visuddha, Anahata, Manipura,
Svadhistana, and Muladhara Chakras from top down. This
reflects the subtle becoming the gross from the Ajna to
Muladhara Chakras: Mind, Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth.
Sabda or Sound; Bindu = the Chakras, BINDU; Kalā = the fifty
letters of Sanskrit alphabet; and Jiva = the individual soul.
Samayacharins call Goddess (The Saktas) as Samayaa, while
Kaulas call Siva as Navatman (Kularnava Tantra). Siva and
Sakti of Kaula sect in Muladhara Chakra are Ānanda
Bhairava and Ānandabhairavi and of Samayāchārins are
Samaya and Samayā. Swami Tapasyananda says that Sakti
worship is of three types: Samaya, Kaula and Misra.
Samaya worship is neither exoteric nor esoteric but internal
as in Kundalini Yoga. Those who cannot do Kundalini Yoga
perform mixed (misra) form of worship (both external and
internal). External worship is of two types: Esoteric worship
with rituals and exoteric worship. Chariya's
recommendations (idol worship) are external worship
(exoteric) suitable to the ordinary devotees, and not confined to
a chosen few. Kriya is worshipping of Siva with rites and
ceremonies (esoteric rituals and practices) recommended in
Agamas. Samaya worship is mental worship in the sky of the
mind and heart (Hrdayākāsa--the sky of the heart --spiritual
sky). Others worship Sri Chakra which contains all Chakras
within it and is Siva-Sakti in their bodily form. Adoration or
reverent homage of Sri Chakra is equal to worship of Siva-
Sakti in all Chakras.
O Daughter of Snow-clad mountain! He describes the twelve
suns in your golden crown as compact gems. He thinks the
crescent moon on your crown is the rainbow because it reflects
the many colors of the effulgence of the sun; but it is only the
bow of Indra.
Let the locks remove the darkness (of ignorance from us).
Your dense, soft and shiny locks resemble a cluster of full-
blown blue lotus flowers. I think these flowers from the garden
of enemy of Vala (Indra) dwell on your locks to obtain the
natural fragrance from your locks.
This is the praise of naturally fragrant locks of TPS. The
flowers soak up the fragrance from Her Locks. The flowers on
the locks of TPS came from the garden of Indra, the chief of
gods. The garden of Indra is Nandana. There are five celestial
trees: MandAra tree, PArijAta tree (flowering tree), the
SantAna or Samtanaka tree (promotes fertility among men),
the Kalpa tree (Wish-tree) and Harichandan tree (Fragrant
Sandalwood tree). PArijAta tree has flowers throughout all
seasons and the flowers carry all fragrances all the times.
Verse 44: The parting of hair. Let it confer Ksemam
(wellbeing) on us. The wave of your facial beauty overflows
along the midline parting your hair, having vermilion streak
along it, which appears like the rising sun corralled by mass of
hair (on either side), the latter acting as foes in the form of
Verses 45 to 100 will be depicted in a concise form describing
the beauty of TPS.
Verse 45: The beauty of Her Face, the curls of hair and the
Your face with natural curls of forelock looking like a
beautiful swarm of honeybees ridicules the beauty of lotus
flowers. Your smiling face and the brilliant teeth looking like
the beautiful fragrant filaments are the joy and cynosure of
honey-bee eyes of Siva, the destroyer of Cupid.
Verse 46: Forehead looking like two crescent moons back to
back. The forehead shining with lustrous beauty with two
crescent moons back to back one below the other forming the
full moon, attached to your crown and dripping nectar.
Verse 47: The eyebrows are the bow; the eyes are the string.
O Uma, You are the devoted destroyer of the Fear of the
world. I think Your slightly curved eyebrows form the bow of
the husband of Rati (Cupid); the beautiful honey bee-like eyes
form the string grasped by the fist of the left hand and forearm
which represent the bridge of the nose and the space between
Here the eyebrows form the bow; a row of bees form the
string; the flowers are the arrows. The intervening bridge of
the nose interrupts the string and the space between the
eyebrows interrupts the bow. Explanation of these two
intervening elements are in order. This is where the fist and
forearm come in. The fist grabbing the string from above
explains the interruption of the string. The forearm concealing
the middle of the bow from above explains the interruption of
the bow by the space between the eyebrows. Cupid is holding
the string (row of bees) from above and thus his forearm
conceals the middle of the bow (the space between the
Verse 48: Praise of eyes of TPS.
Your right being the Sun begets the day, while the left eye
being the moon creates the night. The third eye, slightly
blossomed golden Lotus, is the Sandhya, occurring in-between
day and night. ( The twilight occurs between night and
daybreak and day and night.)
This verse indicates that Devi is the creator of the sun, the
moon and twilight and the seasons, Yugas and Kalpas.
Verse 49: More on Devi's Eyes.
Your eyes are wide, auspicious and unvanquished by the blue
water Lillies; a repository of a stream of Grace and
Compassion; extreme sweetness without ostentation; long; and
confer protection (to the world). Surpassing irrefutably the
expanse of the many cities by their respective names, Your eyes
The cities are Avanti, Ayodhya, , Bhogavati, Dhara, Kalyani,
Madhura, Vijaya, and Visala.
There are eight glances of eyes of Devi: agitation, anger,
attraction, death, enchantment, infatuation, rejection and
Verse 50: The Third Eye.
Your two long eyes, like two bees, sport sidelong glances to the
ears, which are bent on drinking the honey from the bouquet
of flower-poems of nine poetic sentiments from the devotee-
poets. Seeing that, the third eye on your forehead is slightly red
The nine poetic sentiments (Navarasam) are Sringaram
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Verse 51. The Moods and the eyes of Mother
Your eyes melt with love upon seeing Siva; show loathness
towards other men, anger towards Ganga, wonder upon
hearing stories of Girisa (Siva) and fear on seeing the serpents
of Hara (Siva); are the producers of SaubhAgya (beauty,
grace) in lotuses; and smile at your friends. O Mother, let your
eyes show compassion on me.
The Mother's expressive eyes show all these sentiments all at
the same time. The expression is multivariate and appears to
change depending upon the the object of her eyes.
Verse 52. More on Mother's eyes
O Flower Bud, on the Family crest of Dhara Pathi (the Lord of
the mountains). Your long eyes with eye lashes looking like the
feathery arrows reach your ears, destroy the sentiment of
tranquility of the mind of Siva and look like the arrows of
Smara (Cupid) drawn up to the ear.
Verse 53. The three colors of Devi's Eyes: Red, white, Blue and
O beloved of Isana, Your three eyes have three separate colors
(Red, White and Blue) which in combination with collyrium
shine. They represent the three Gunas (Sattva, Rajas, and
Tamas) which you used to recreate the erstwhile Druhina, Hari
and Rudra (Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra) who ceased to exist.
The three colors, Red, White, and Blue represent Rajas,
Sattva, and Tamas Gunas which are the euphemistic colors of
Brahma , Vishnu, and Rudra based on their portfolios of
Creation, Preservation and Destruction. Devi is the Creator,
preserver and destroyer and the three gods are the surrogates
who carry out Her bidding. The three gods come and go but
Devi is eternal.
Verse 54. Three eyes of Mother are the three purifying
O Mother, Your heart is devoted to Pasupathi (Siva). Your
compassionate eyes, of the colors of red, white and black,
resemble the holy Rivers Sona, Ganga and Yamuna, whose
confluence you bring near us, it is certain, to purify us.
Rivers Sona (of red color), Ganga (of white waters) and
Yamuna (of dark [blue] waters) come to confluence to sanctify
Verse 55. Mother's eyes stay open to prevent dissolution of the
O daughter of the Royal Mountain, good men say that the
world’s annihilation and creation come from closing and
opening of your eyelids. To prevent his world, born from the
opening of your eyes, from dissolution, I think you do not shut
Verse 56. More eulogies of Mother's eyes.
O Aparna (Sakti), the female fish tremble and are afraid of
bad-mouthing by your eyes against them. The Goddess of
Beauty leaves the closed petals of blue water lily at daybreak
and comes back again at night to the open petals of the lily.
The eyes are compared to female fish darting about in the
waters and among the water lilies of the pond. The fish are
afraid and jealous of the fissures of the long eyes reaching the
ears carrying tattletales about the fish. Sankara says that the
long eyes where the outer canthus (outer corner) of the eyes
reach the ears for the express purpose of telling tales to the
Verse 57. Shine a beam of compassion on the devotee from Her
O SivA (Sakti), by the far-sighted look of your eye, which is
like a slightly open blue Lotus bathing me with compassion, the
poor one becomes blessed, which is no loss to you, considering
the Moon (light) falls on the forest and the palace.
The devotee (Sankara) addresses Mother Goddess as if he is
far off, wretched, and wanting of Her compassion. She, of far
sight, showers rays of compassion on a distant miserable
devotee as a moon showers its beams on wilderness of forest
(spiritual paucity) and the palace (of plethora of spirit).
Verse 58. Praise of the ridge between the eyes and the ears.
O Daughter of the Royal Mountain, who would not notice the
Cupid’s bow with flower arrow on seeing the arched ridges
between the ears and the eyes. The side-long glances going past
the ridges and reaching Your ears give the impression of a
fixed arrow (to the bow-string).
Verse 59. Face of Devi as the four-wheeled chariot of
Manmatha: two earrings and two virtual wheels from the
reflection of the earrings on the temples of Devi.
I think Your face with the reflection on your cheeks of the pair
of earrings is the the four-wheeled Ratham (chariot) of
Manmatha. The great warrior Mara (Manmatha) having
seated on the chariot of Your face attacks the Lord of
Pramathas armed with the Earth-Chariot with sun and moon
as its two wheels.
Manmatha is Cupid and Pramathas are the attendants of Siva.
Devi's face is so shiny it reflects the earrings on her face. Her
face is the chariot with two earring-wheels and two virtual
wheels from reflection. Siva's Chariot is the universe with sun
and moon as its two wheels with a host of attendants.
Verse 60. Devi's speech excels the wave of nectar.
O Sarvani (Devi-Sakti), Sarasvati, imbibing Your beautiful
speech, excelling the wave of nectar, by the cup of her ears
continuously, replies in praise of its poetical charm by nodding
of her head and jingling of her earrings.
Verse 61. Devi's Bamboo-like nose full of pearls.
O Flag of the House of Snowy Mountain, let your bamboo-like
nose grant us the desired fruit. The innards of the bamboo are
chock-full of pearls. From that abundance, one pearl, extruded
by the cool exhalation of the left nostril, turned out to be the
external nose ornament.
Verse 62. Devi's red lips and the Bimba fruit
62: O One with beautiful teeth. I speak of a simile to Your
beautiful red lips. Let the Coral Creeper bear fruit. Bimba
fruit out of its desire to serve as a comparison of the red color
of Your lips ended up in shame because reflection of Devi’s red
lips gave the fruit its color.
Verse 63. Chakora birds drink the splendor of the smile of the
moon of Devi's face.
63: The Cakora birds drinking the splendor of the smile of the
Moon of Your face became dull in the beak from satiation.
They, on their own accord, wanting the taste of sour taste,
drank to excess every night the wave of nectar, thinking it to be
Cakora Birds (mystical bird, Skylark) drink the nectar that
flows from moonlight for sustenance. In like manner, Acharya
drinks the rays (radiant smile) of the Moon of the face of Devi.
Pretending to drink sour Kanji ( ), which is rice-water,
fights satiation with moon-light, so that one can keep on
imbibing the moon-light
It also means gruel made of grains or cereal.
Sankaracharya addresses SivA (Sakti) and says in verse 57,
'the splendor of the Blue Lotus Eyes of Devi bathes him with
compassion, as the splendor of moonlight bathes both the
forest and the palace. Forest is euphemism for a jungle without
spirit. Palace is a place chock-full of spirit.'
saroja-bhramara jena cakora-candrika tena
pati-brata stri-lokera pati
anyatra na cale mana jena daridrera dhana
As a bumblebee yearns for lotus flowers, a cakora bird yearns
for moonlight, a chaste wife yearns for her husband, and a
pauper yearns for money, a devotee yearns to attain love for
the Divine Couple.
Verse 64. The tongue of Devi is of Hibiscus color.
64. O Mother, The hibiscus-colored tongue of yours constantly
utters the many stories of your husband and thus becomes
victorious. Seated on the tip of Your tongue is Sarasvati who
changes from the brilliant crystal form to Ruby form.
65. Mother likes to chew Tambula.
O Mother, after vanquishing the Daityas in battle, and
rejecting the remnants of offerings of Siva as the share of
Chanda after destruction of the three cities, Vishaka, Indra,
and Upendra came to You, shorn of helmets but retaining the
armor, to receive from you and chew to dissolve the rolls of
Tambula with Moon-white fragments of camphor.
is a delightful postprandial chew or mouth freshener made of betel-
leaf, a daub of lime, catechu spread on the leaf, and a generous pinch each of
areca nut, cardamom, cinnamon and a tad of edible camphor sprinkled on the
daub; the whole thing is deftly packaged inside the leaf and fastened with a
clove. It is ready for chewing, and stimulates salivation and flow of gastric juices.
The ingredients leave the tongue and spit fiery red; one can swallow the juice;
some prefer against city ordinance to spit the juice on the sidewalk creating red
Rorschach inkblots (read spit-blots). You can go to Jackson Heights, Queens,
New York or Oak tree Road in Iselin, NJ to witness these Rorschach fiery red
blots made fresh on the sidewalks by the chewing public. It is the leading cause
of sub-mucous fibrosis and oral cancer in India. If you wonder what those black
ovals and circles about the size of dimes, nickels and quarters are on famous
sidewalks in New York City, it is the blackened chewing gum. On fifth avenue
NY, you will see in front of famous stores a scraper scrapping the black bubble
gum residues left by the gum-chewing public on the sidewalk.
a test for revealing the underlying personality structure of an
individual by the use of a standard series of 10 inkblot designs
to which the subject responds by telling what image or emotion
each design evokes.
If you are a fan of Clint Eastwood, you probably remember the
classic western movie The Outlaw Josey Wales, where Clint
Eastwood portraying a farmer spits his succulent tobacco juice
on obnoxious living salesman stuffed in a white garb, dying
bad dudes, pesky critters, surly dogs, and stinging scorpions
with an attitude of supreme contempt, enduring insolence,
fearlessness, annoyance, devil-what-may... His famous saying
in the picture is, "Are you going to pull those pistols or whistle
Dixie?" If you want to see Clint Eastwood spitting Tobacco
Juice copy and paste:
Verse 66.The sweetness of Devi's voice outdoes the tones of
66. Devi, while nodding Her head in approbation and
appreciation of the Sarasvati’s singing and playing on the Vina
extolling the many glories of Pasupati (Siva), spoke; the
sweetness of Your voice drowned the low tones of the strings of
the Vina so much so that Vani puts it in its case and hides it out
Vina = stringed instrument. Vani = Sarasvati.
67. Devi's Chin is eulogized.
67. O Daughter of the Mountain, Your chin is touched by
Himavan with fatherly affection, while Girisa (Siva) raised it
again and again with the intent to kiss. It is fit for being held
by Sambhu’s hand, which becomes the handle of the mirror of
Your face. In what way we can speak of Your chin which is
68. Mother's neck is praised.
Your neck appears in horripilation from the embrace of the
arms of Siva, the destroyer of three cities and looks like stalk of
the lotus- face. The row of naturally white pearls worn below
appears soiled by copious black sandal paste and looks like the
Lotus root laden and soiled by mud.
The poet-devotee Sanakara sees the neck's downy hairs stand
on end, and the white pearls smeared with sandal paste applied
over the chest and neck.
69. Mother's neck: the three lines.
Gale rekhaas tisro gati-gamaka-giitaika nipuNe
trayaaNaaM graamaaNaaM sthiti-niyama-siimaana iva te --
69. O Mistress of the musical modes, Gati, Gamaka and Gita
are the three lines in your neck, which are reminder of the
many-stranded thread tied at your wedding (by Your
Consort), and also originate the three sweet musical notes.
The three musical notes are Sadja, Madhyama and Ghandara
svarams. These three Ragas show themselves on the neck as
three lines; the neck is the locus of larynx which articulates the
There are 22 Srutis. They originate 7 Svara-s called SA, RI,
GA, MA, PA, DHA, NI in that order, which are the
abbreviations of Sadja, Rsabha, Gandhara, Madhyama,
Pancama, Dhaivata, and Nisada, which are the cries of
peacock, Cataka bird, goat, Kraunca bird, Cuckoo, frog, and
There are two Svar-s: Suddha (Pure) and Vikrta (modified or
transformed). SA, RI, GA, MA, PA, DHA, AND NI are the
Suddha Svara-s. Please refer to technical musical book for
Gati, Gamaka and Gita:
gamaka - a shake or oscillation of a note, also known as bending
the pitch. It is a deliberate decoration of wavering of a note to add
grace and beauty. There are over 10 types of gamaka, listed here
gati - the gait, or the number of subdivisions or swaras per beat.
There are 5 types: tishra, catushra, kanDa, mishra, and sankeerna.
It may also take 11, 8, etc. and is formed by taking the beat and
multiplying by the number (ex: aadi taaLa in catushra gati is 8 times
4 = 32 beats). Not to be confused with naDai or jaati
geetam - an abhyaasa musical form or "song" considered the
simplest musical form, created by Purandara Daasa in order to
introduce taaLas in combination with lyrics. Geetams have no
absolutely defined divisions of pallavi, anupallavi or caraNam
though these may be observed in many cases. Geetams last 10-12
aavartnams from beginning to end with no break. They often have
no sangatis, with each swara taking one syllable. Some geetams
have sancaarams in mandrastaayi poorvaangam and taara staayi
uttaraangam. Topics are usually on God. There are 3 types of
geetams: sancaari or samanya, lakshana, and suladi.
madhyamam - ma, the 4th note, equivalent to fa in the Western do
re mi system. There are two types of ma, shuddha madhyamam and
70. Mṝṇālī-mṝdvīnām tava bhuja-latānām catasṛṇām
caturbhiḥ saundaryam sarasija-bhavaḥ stauti vadanaiḥ .
nakhebhyaḥ samtrasyan prathama-mathanādandhaka-ripoś
caturṇām śīrṣāṇām samamabhaya-hastārapaṇadhiyā .. 70
70. The lotus-born Brahma afraid of the nails of Siva which
caused the destruction of the enemy Andhaka and sliced one of
his heads, eulogizes with the remaining four heads your
beautiful lotus stalk creeper-like hands so that he can ask
simultaneously for refuge from fear, and protection of his
remaining four heads from Your four hands.
Andhaka meaning Blind, the demon was the son of Kasyapa
and Diti and the epitome of spiritual blindness. Though he had
good seeing eyes, he walked as if he was blind. During his
attempt to steal the PArijAta tree (the Coral Tree) from
Svarga, Siva killed him. Parijata tree is one of the five trees
that emerged from the churned Milk Ocean. It gives off a scent
that pervades the worlds. Saci, Indra's wife wears the famed
flowers from the tree. Andhaka was caught red-handed
stealing the tree and killed. While Krishna and Satyabhama
were visiting Svarga, Satyabhama took a liking for the tree and
Krishna uprooted and mounted the tree on Garuda, his
Vahana. Krishna and Indra fought over the tree. Indra lost the
battle and Krishna let him live. Indra as a token of
appreciation offered to lease the tree for the duration of the life
of Krishna in Dwaraka with the stipulation that the tree would
be returned upon his earthly demise. The tree was returned to
the rightful owner after Krishna's death. The leaves are
trifoliate forming the Holy Triad: the left leaflet is Siva, the
right Brahma and the middle Vishnu.
71. Devi's hands praised
Nakhānām uddyotair nava-nalina-rāgam vihasatām
karāṇām te kāntim kathaya kathayāmaḥ katham Ume .
kayācid vā sāmyam bhajatu kalayā hanta kamalam
yadi krīḍal lakṣmī-caraṇa tala lākṣā-rasa-caṇam. 71..
71. O Goddess Uma, Tell us how we can describe the effulgence
of your hands, lit up by the radiant nails, which excel the
redness of the newly-blossomed lotus. Somehow these flowers
can obtain some semblance to your nails, when their redness
gets augmentation by contact with lac on the sole of the feet of
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amū te vakśojāv amṛitarasa-māṇikya-kutupau
na samdeha-spando nagapatipatāke manasi naḥ;
pibantau tau yasmād avidita vadhū saṅga-rasikau
kumārāv adyāpi dvirada vadana krauñca-dalanau ..
73. O the flag of the King of Mountains. We don't have one iota
of doubt in our mind that your two breasts are Ruby-Jars
filled with nectar. Having imbibed (from the Ruby-jars), the
young boys, elephant-faced one and the Krauncha-piercing
Kartikeya are to this day inexperienced in union with women.
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samārabdhām muktā-maṇibhir amalām hāra-
kucābhogo bimb’ādhara-rucibhir antaḥ śabalitām
pratāpa vyāmishrām pura-damayituḥ kīrtim iva te ..
74. O Mother, On your breasts lie a necklace of pure pearls
obtained from the head of Gajasura, which (the pearls) reflect
in many colors your bimba-like red lips, are red inside and are
like the fame mixed with valor of the destroyer of three cities.
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tava stanyam manye dharaṇi-dhara-kanye
payaḥ pārāvāraḥ parivahati sārasvata iva;
dayāvatyā dattam dramila-śiśur āsvādya tava yat
kavīnām prauḍhānāmajani kamanīyaḥ kavayitā--
75. O Daughter of the mountain, I think Your breast milk is
the ocean of milk which flows in the nature of Sarasvati.
Having imbibed it, which is full of compassion, the Dramila
Child became the charming poet among the mighty ones.
Many commentators consider Tirujñānasambandhar (Tiru-
jñāna-sambandhar) as the Dramila child that Sankara is
Thirgnanasambandar (TS) was a great Tamil saint-
poet(643C.E. to 659A.D). When he was three years of age, his
father left him on the steps of the temple tank for a ceremonial
dip in the water. The child panicked and cried when he saw his
father dip into the water and not come up. Soon Siva and
Parvati appeared to him and Siva asked Parvati to give him
the expressed milk from her breast for the crying child in a
golden cup. The child stopped crying upon imbibing the milk;
when the father came up to him and upon seeing a milk
mustache on the child, he asked the child to show the person
who gave the milk. He even wielded a stick in a threatening
manner; in answer to his father's question he broke out in
poem and recited a song at the tender age of three saying that
the Milkman was wearing a rolled palmyra leaf ear ornament,
was riding a bull, was wearing ashes on his body and a young
moon on his locks, stole his heart... This song was interpreted
in many ways. The milk that he imbibed was fortified with
Sivagnanam or Siva's wisdom or gnosis. To the author (me), it
appears that gnanam is cognate with gnosis. The ear ornament
that the child saw was usually worn by Uma indicating that the
child saw vision of Ardhanarisvara and the left ear of Uma.
Ardhanarisvara is the Mother-Father figure --Ammai-Appan.
TS was regarded as the son of Siva.
A commentator takes issue with others who call DRAMILA as
DRAVIDA. He says that there was nothing like Dravida,
Dravidian, Dravida country. Dramila is the name of Bharata-
khAnda. He further states that Dramila got corrupted to
Dravida and later to DrAvida.
Most of the children (1-7 yrs of age) operate on Muladhara
plane. They are worried about their immediate needs like
eating, playing, sleeping, excretion, evacuation, possessing. It is
not so with Sambandhar.
There are exceptional children: child prodigies in music,
painting, arts, sciences, religion. These exceptional children
operate at Ajna level. Thiru-Gnana-Sambandhar (643 C.E.-
659 C.E.) was a child-saint-poet-prophet and sang devotional
songs at a tender age of three in praise of Siva and Parvati in
seviyan vidai-yerioor thoo-ven-mathi-soodi-k
Kaadudaiya-sudalai-p-podi-poosi en ullam Kavar kalvan
Edudaiya-malaraan munai-nal panintheththa arul-seitha
peedudaiya Brahmapuram meviya pemmaan ivan anre.
He, with an ear that has a rolled palm leaf (as an ear
ornament), the Rider of bull (Nandi), the Wearer of pure white
moon (in his locks),
The Wearer of hot ashes of cremation grounds, the Stealer of
my heart, mind and soul (Ullam),
The One who bestowed grace on adoring Brahma seated on
many-petalled lotus on a day in the past,
He, the Great God, abides in Brahmapuram of great fame.
You may wonder how a three year old can compose poetry.
Here is an example of what I watched on TV.
updated 11:31 a.m. ET, Mon., March. 10, 2008
Elizabeth Barrett is to all appearances your standard 17-
month-old girl, complete with wisps of gossamer hair so blond
it’s almost white and the unsteady gait that is the definition of
a toddler. As her parents and two other adults talk earnestly
around her, she paws through a couple of large-format
children’s books on a table, blissfully unaware of the
conversation around her.
Then TODAY’s Ann Curry holds up a sheet of paper with the
word “HAPPY” printed in big, block letters and asks
Elizabeth to read it. She read it and identified many other
Verses 76- 83: The verses are becoming a little racy. Let us give
it a rest and resume later.
Verse 84. Mother's feet are praised.
84. O Mother, Your Feet form the head of the Vedas and their
ornament. The Ganga River in the matted locks of Siva is the
water-offering at your feet; the red lac of your feet offers the
luster to the crown of Vishnu. May You out of compassion rest
Your Feet on my head too.
85. More praise of Mother's feet
We say Namas (Salutations) to Your Feet, which are a delight
to the eyes, which are painted by the brilliant lac, which kick
the the Ashoka trees of Your pleasure garden, and by which,
the jealous Isana of Pasus desires to be kicked.
Here Pasus are the individual souls and Isana is Pasupathi or
the Lord of the souls. Barren Ashoka trees bear flowers, when
they are kicked by auspicious Devi. Siva, the consort of Siva,
jealous of Ashoka trees, wants similar treatment from Devi in
86. Devi's Feet and Anklet are praised.
86. After calling You teasingly by wrong Gotram, Your
husband hung His head in shame, at which moment Your two
lotus feet touched His forehead. The enemy of Isana, having
been burnt by the third eye of Siva and harboring the thorn of
hostility inside him had it removed by jingling Your anklets,
that made (onomatopoeic) sounds like kili kili.
Siva called Parvati, Ganga in a teasingly playful benign mood.
Parvati and Ganga are His wives. In the fertile mind of
Sankara, Siva calls Parvati, Ganga; realizing His mistake, He
hangs His head low; Parvati as a reflex action kicks the head of
Siva on the forehead at or near the third eye, which once upon
a time incinerated the god of Love for awakening Him from
Tapas and inducing the ambience of love for Parvati. KAma or
Cupid has a festering anger towards Siva for reducing him to
ashes. Cupid upon hearing the jingle of the anklets (kili kili)
and seeing Parvati kick Him on the culpable third eye, breaks
out and jumps for joy for extracting his vengeance on Siva. Kili
kili is onomatopoeic sound of the anklets of Parvati.
The View from the West.
Pārvatī (Daughter of Parvata, the personification of
Himalayas, and consort of Siva). The West is of the opinion
that there were many goddesses and minor ones in the Hindu
religious landscape, who later were absorbed into One Great
Goddess Devi who has all the Saktis of all goddesses in Her.
Parvati is Sakti Jagatmata, the World Mother and Prakrti.
Her other names are Uma, Gauri, Syama, Candi, Bhairavi,
Durga, Kali, Ambika. The West draws comparison with
Egyptian goddess Isis who was identified with every goddess in
Egypt. The Sumerian Mother-goddess was called the Lady of
the Mountain. Goddesses in various cultures have some
association with mountains, because a woman's frontals look
like twin peaks of the mountain.
The story of Gotra and the Y Chromosome.
Parvati is Kula or Sakti and Siva is Akula. Gotra has other
near synonyms: Santati, AnvanAya (lineage, Janana (race),
Kula or SantAna (family) and Abhijana (descent). A man
usually marries within his caste (JAti); in the South India, it is
common that the man marries maternal uncle's daughter or
older sister's daughter. There is Sapinda, the kinship through
six generations in an ascending and descending line , or
through a man's father. Sapinda is prohibited relationship as
Gotra means "Cow-pen or Cow-shed" and is of two kinds -
Vaidika and Laukika. Vaidika is according to the Vedic
prescription and the Laukika is "mundane, worldly,
common". In ancient times the extended family members
shared one cowshed and therefore that name stuck. Gotra is a
family tree whose root can be traced to a common ancestor.
Since it is exogamous and patrilineal, it is based on the Y
chromosome. The females claim the Gotra of father, and of
husband after marriage. A man can not marry a woman of the
same Gotra. But a male can marry a woman of the same
Gotra at least seven degrees removed from his father. The
Vaidika Gotra members trace their lineage from high priests
and renowned Rishis, namely Bharadvaja, Gautama,
Jamadagni, Visvamitra, Kasyapa, Atri, Vasistha (SaptaRishis)
and more (Atharvan, Angiras, Bhrgu). Strictly speaking only
Brahmanas can claim a Gotra. The Ksatriyas and others can
not claim any such medallion or pendant, simply because they
are not cognate to the original Brahmana Rishis and for that
reason they are categorized in the laukika (mundane) variety.
(Since the whole of India was sanskritized, other castes also
adopted the Gotra.) There were exceptions: Visvamitra and
Vasistha, both Ksatriyas by birth performed tapas ( austerity)
and were accepted as Brahmanas. Mundane Gotra members
are defined as non-cognate followers of a succession of
disciples of the original Priests and Rishis. There is no genetic
or Y chromosome connection here between the mundane Gotra
members and the original Progenitors listed above. Y
chromosome is transferred intact from father to son. The only
way to resolve the dispute is to perform DNA analysis of Y
Chromosome in males, and Mitochondrial DNA of all people
and find out the common denominator or tree structure in
Vaidika and Laukika Brahmins, Ksatriyas, Vaisyas, and
Sudras. Additional benefit would be finding any strays among
other castes who belong to Brahmana caste and strays who are
Non-Brahmins among Brahmana caste by the strength of DNA
analysis. It is a known finding that Brahmins by and large
belong to Eurasian genetic pool and are closer to Europeans
than to ancient aboriginal people of India. Ramanuja took in
his fold a lot of Jains, Buddhists and non-Brahmins;
genetically there is a mingling between the Brahmins of yore
and the neo-Brahmins of post-Ramanuja period. The
Brahmins are not as pure as one would think. There are
apparent whites in USA who have sickle cell trait or even
disease, though they have all the conventional features of white
people. That means they have black heritage in them. Does it
all mean anything? Claim of superiority by race, color or caste
is for the weak, who has no other flotation device in this sea of
Samsara; he or she clutches on the straw of race, color or caste
to claim superiority in a roiling sea, where intellect, prudence,
patience, tolerance, compassion, sense of justice, sympathy,
and empathy are the flotation devices. Bigotry, arrogance, false
sense of superiority, and inhumanity are the dead weights that
sink the soul, body, and mind into the abyss of darkness.
87. Two beautiful feet.
O Mother, The lotus of your two feet are beautiful, manifest
well on the snowy peaks at night and daybreak, bestows wealth
to the Samayas, sleeps at night, and offers abode to Lakshmi,
while the common lotus perishes in the snow. What is so
wondrous about the triumph of Yours?
88. Devi's forefoot praised.
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padaṁ te kīrtīnāṁ prapadamapadaṁ devi vipadāṁ
kathaṁ nītam sadbhiḥ kaṭhina-kamaṭhī-
kathaṁ vā bāhubhyām upayamana-kāle purabhidā
yadādāya nyastaṁ dṛṣadi daya-mānena manasā ..
88. O Devi, How was it decided by the poets that Your forefoot,
the abode of fame, amicability and auspiciousness is equal to
the tortoise shell? How was it possible for Purabhida to take
Your foot by His two arms and place it on the hard millstone
with a compassionate mind?
The forefoot is compared to the hard tortoise shell. What made
the poets compare the forefoot of woman to the tortoise shell?
Devi's feet are soft, tender and compassionate and the
comparison of Her feet to tortoise shell is ununderstandable.
Siva places Devi's forefoot with love and tenderness on the
hard rock as part of the marriage ceremony, which is practiced
even to this day. How could Siva put such a soft tender foot of
Devi on a hard piece of rock?
Purabida is Siva the destroyer of three cities.
89. Devi's feet a source of wealth for the poor.
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Nakhair nāka-strīNām kara-kamala-samkoca
tarūṇām divyānāM hasata iva te caṇḍi caraṇau;
phalāni svaḥ-sthebhyaḥ kisalaya-karāgreṇa
daridrebhyo bhadrām shriyam aniśam ahnāya
dadatau || 89 ||
89. Your feet with moon-like nails make the celestial maidens
close their lotus-like hands, give the poor wealth always
instantly and laugh at the Kalpaka trees whose tender shoots
give fruits only to the celestials by the tips of their hands.
Devi's toe nails are so brilliant and moon-like that the celestial
maidens do not want to show their nails and so close the palms.
Kalpaka trees in heavens fulfills all the desires of the celestials
only and not the people on earth.
90. Sankara's desire to seek bliss at the feet of Devi.
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dadāne dīnebhyaḥ śriyam aniśam āśānusadṛiśīm
amandam saundarya-prakara-makarandam vikirati
tavāsmin mandāra-stabaka-subhage yātu caraṇe
nimajjan majjīvaḥ karaṇa-caraṇaḥ śaṭ-caraṇatām.
Your feet are a bouquet of Mandara flowers of beauty
dripping honey and give wealth incessantly to the poor
according to their desire. May my life with the six organs
become the six-footed honey-bee swooping down on to your
91. Devi's gait
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Padanyāsa krīḍā paricayam iva-arabdhumanasaḥ
skhalantas te khelam bhavana kalahamsā na jahati
atas teṣām sikṣām subhaga-maṇi mañjīra-raṇitac-
chalād ācakṣāṇam caraṇa kamalam cārucarite ..
91. O Goddess of beautiful life, the resident swans trip, yet do
not give up pursuing You without remiss, and observe Your
gait (watch you do the walk) , as if it is a sport. Your lotus feet
under the pretext of jingling of the gem anklets give
instructions and teach them (the fine art of beautiful gait).
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92. Gatās te mañcatvam druhiṇa harirudr’ eshvara-
tvadīyānām bhāsām prati-phalana-rāg’āruṇatayā
śarīrī śrṅgāro rasa iva dṛiśām dogdhi kutukam .. 92
92. Your surrogates Druhina, Hari and Rudra have assumed
the shape of a cot (being its four legs to serve you), while
Sadasiva white in color becoming the bed sheet appears red
from the reflection of your color and presents Himself as the
embodiment of love and joy to Your eyes.
Druhina = Brahma, Hari = Vishnu, Rudra = Siva. Sadasiva is
the 3rd Sakti in the Suddha Tattvas. They all serve Devi.
Tripura Sundari (Devi) sits
on a couch whose legs are
Siva, Vishnu, Brahma and
Rudra. In Tantra literature,
there are five Sivas:
Sadasiva, Isa, Rudra,
Vishnu, and Brahma; all of
them are described as
Mahapreta ("Five Great
corpses") because they are
all inert without Sakti. Siva
is Sava (corpse, Sava Rupa);
hence, Sakti Devi (TPS) is
portrayed as standing on
Sava-Siva. (Remember the
Maharaja standing on the
tiger he killed! The British
took up the sport by aping
the Maharaja.) The Five
Great Corpses (pancha-
maha-preta or Pancha Mahapreta) become inanimate objects
upon which Devi (Sodasi) sits, reclines, presides, and merges as
Consciousness. Siva is the couch; Sadasiva is the mattress or
bed sheet; Isa is the pillow; Isa, Rudra, Hari (Vishnu), and
Brahma are the four legs of the couch. Tripurasundari/Sodasi
reclines majestically on the couch. (This picture shows that she
is sitting on top of Siva on a couch whose legs are the four
deities.) In another portrayal, Devi is united with Paramasiva
in the palace of Cintamani stone in the Jeweled island full of
Kadamba trees surrounded by ocean of Ambrosia. (A source
says that there are seven Sivas: Parasiva, Sambhu and the five
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Arālā keśeṣu prakṛiti saralā manda-hasite
śirīṣābhā citte dṛṣad upala śobhā kuca-taṭe .
bhṛisham tanvī madhye pṛithur urasija aroha viṣaye
jagat trātum śambhor jayati karṇā kācid aruṇā. 93
93. The incomparable compassion of Sambhu, Aruna to
safeguard the world excels in curliness of locks, natural candid
smile, Sirisa flower-soft mind, gem-hard slope of breasts,
extremely slender waist, and generous wide bosom and hips.
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kalaṅkaḥ kastūrī rajani kara bimbam jalamayam
kalābhiḥ karpūrair marakatakaraṇḍam nibiḍitam.
atas tvadbhogena pratidinamidam riktakuharam
vidhirbhūyo bhūyo nibiḍayati nūnaṁ tava kṛite --94
The stain on the face of the moon is musk; the orb of the moon
is an emerald vessel with water and fragments of camphor. As
the vessel is emptied by Your use, Brahma replenishes it
everyday again and again for You (with the digits of the
The moon is the Vanity Chest for Devi to keep toilet articles,
which as they are used are replenished by Brahma. The
fragments of camphor in the watery moon are the digits of the
moon. As Devi uses the camphor (digits), Brahma keeps
replenishing the Vanity Chest. Waning moon is exhausting the
vanity chest by Devi and waxing is replenishing the chest by
A source says that Kali is associated with the waning tithis
(digits) of the moon, while Sodasi is associated with the waxing
digits of the moon. Amavasya (new moon) goes with Kali while
Sodasi goes with Purnima (Full moon). Full moon of Sodasi is
full knowledge; Kali's new moon is transcendence of all
knowledge; thus, Kali and Sodasi complement each other.
(Kali and Sodasi are names of Devi.)
It is Kadi Mantra or Vidya because the first letter is K or Ka;
Hadi Mantra starts with Ha or H. The fifteen syllables refer to
the 15 digits of the moon. The 16th syllable is Goddess Herself.
The names of the tithis (digits) are 1. Prathama (new moon), 2.
Dvitiya, 3. Tritiya, 4. Chaturthi, 5. Panchami, 6. Shashthi, 7.
Saptami, 8. Ashtami, 9. Navami, 10. Dashami, 11. Ekadashi,
12. Dvadashi, 13. Trayodashi, 14. Chaturdashi, and lastly
either 15. Purnima (full moon) or 15. Amavasya (new moon).
The sixteen-petal lotus represents the 16 tithis or digits of the
moon on the bright and the dark side. AmAvAsyA = (amA =
together + Vas = to dwell) = The night of the new moon when
the sun and the moon dwell together.
The 16 Tithis are under the rule of 16 Nitya Devis or Sodasa
Nityas (So + dasa = 6 plus 10): 1.Maha Tripura Sundari,
2.Kamesvari, 3.Bhagamalini, 4.Nityaklinna, 5.Bherunda,
6.Vanhivasini, 7.Maha Vajresvari, 8.Shivadooti (Roudri),
9.Twarita, 10.Kulasundari, 11.Nitya, 12.Neelapataka,
13.Vijaya, 14.Sarvamangala, 15.Jwalamalini and 16.Chidroopa
(Chitra). Maha Tripura Sundari (Devi) is Maha Sakti, the
ruler of all and therefore is not visible to the eye. Purnima
Moon contains all Nityas conferring the splendor and
brightness to the Moon. As the moon wanes, one Nitya leaves
the moon for the sun and so on until all Nityas have left for the
sun and the moon disappears completely on Amavasya, the
new Moon day. Amāvāsya = the day when the sun and the
moon dwell together. The Nityas one by one return to the
Moon and make it wax again and shine brighter and brighter.
Krishna Paksa = dark side of the moon; waning moon; dark
side does not mean the geographical dark side of the moon that
is not seen by the human eye. The first one to leave the moon is
Kamesvari and the last one Chitra; the first one to arrive at the
moon is Chitra and the last one Kamesvari. Nitya = the
Go to Comments on Verse 32 for details on Kadi and Hadi
Kadi Mantra (Kamaraja Mantra)
Chanting of the thousand-syllabled Mantra (Sahasraksari
Vidya) accompanies worship of the deity and offering of fistful
of flowers (Puspanjali); worship concludes with the Kadi
Mantra Ka, Em, I, la, Hrim; Ka-Sa-Ka-Ha-La-Hrim; Sa-Ka-
La-Hrim, (Aim, Klim, Sauh, Klim, Aim, Srim). The 1000-
syllabled Mantra consists of power-epithets, Siddhis, Nityas
and Kadi Mantra of Lalita. The Guru offers flowers to the
disciple who offers them to the deity. Of all the Vidya mantras,
Kadi Mantra (starting with K) and Hadi Mantra starting with
H are the most efficacious.
Body parts of Mother Goddess and the corresponding Kutas
Vak Kuta From the crown to the neck
KAma Kuta From the neck to the hips
Sakti Kuta From the hips to the toes
Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra are born from the letter A U M.
Hari and Hara
Meditate in Citkala, and Bindus of TPS
95. Sanctity of Devi's Feet.
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purārāte-rantaḥ-puram asi tatas tvac-caraṇayoḥ
saparyā-maryādā tarala-karaṇānām asulabhā .
tathā hy’ete nītaāḥ śatamakha-mukhāḥ siddhim
tava dvār’opānta sthitibhir aṇim’ādābhir amarāḥ ..
95. You abide in the inner quarters of the Destroyer of three
cities; worshiping you at Your Feet in nearness to You is not
easy for the ones with unsteady libidinous mind. All celestials
with Satamakha (Indra) as their head attain inimitable
superhuman Siddhis like anima, which serve as gatekeepers
(and keep them away from your inner quarters).
Only very close relatives are allowed into the inner living
quarters. In like manner, only very Pure Devotees are allowed
to worship at the feet of Devi in proximity to her, meaning
perfected Yogis only attain Sahasrara Chakra. Celestials and
their head have superhuman Siddhis like Anima, Mahima and
the rest, which serve as gatekeepers preventing them to
worship at the feet of Devi in close proximity. The Siddhis (the
psychic powers) are not a license or an admission ticket into
inner quarters. They are not equal to the Devotees of Devi.
Indra and other gods come and go; Devi remains for ever.
96. Supreme Chastity of Devi.
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kalatram vaidhātram kati kati bhajante na kavayaḥ
śriyo devyāh ko vā na bhavati patiḥ kairapi
mahādevam hitvā tava sati satīnām acarame
kucābhyāmm āsaṇgaḥ kuravaka-taror apy
asulabhaḥ -- 96
Don't many poets serve the wife of Vidhata (Brahma)? Who
does not become the the Lord of the goddess of wealth with
some kind of wealth? O Sati, the First among Chaste Women,
except Mahadeva, no one, not even the Kurvaka tree, enjoyed
embrace of your breasts.
Kurvaka Tree (Henna Tree, BimbijAla tree) blossoms out in
florid exuberance only upon embrace of a beautiful women.
The poet brings out the supreme chastity of Parvati by saying
that not even the Kurvaka tree experienced an embrace from
Parvati. Sankara contrasts Sati's Chastity with that of
Sarasvati and Lakshmi by saying anyone can become the Lord
of Learning or Wealth. The implication is that learning and
wealth have many suitors and husbands.
97. Devi is All.
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girām āhur devīm druhiṇa-gṛihiṇīm āgamavido
hareḥ patnīm padmām harasahacārīm adri-
turīyā kāpi tvam duradhigama-niḥsīma-mahimā
mahāmāyā vishvam bhramayasi parabrahma
O Parabrahma Mahisi, The knowers of Agamas call
you goddess of speech (Sarasvati), the wife of Hari,
and the wife of Hara, the daughter of the mountain.
You are the Fourth One, the Mahamaya, the one
who makes the universe revolve, and the
98. Sankara pleads with Devi to inculcate facile poetry in
किा काले मािः कथय कशलि् आलिालककरसु
शपबेयु शवदाथी िव चरण-शनणे जन-जलम्
पकृ ्या मूकानामशप च कशविा-कारणिया
यिा धते वाणी-मुख-कमल-िामबू ल-रसिाम्
kadā kāle mātaḥ kathaya kalit’ ālaktaka-rasam
pibeyam vidyārthī tava caraṇa-nirṇejana-jalam;
prakṛtyā mūkānām api ca kavitā-kāraṇatayā
yadā dhatte vāṇī-mukha-kamala-tāmbūla-rasatām-- 98
O Mother, tell me at what time I, the seeker of knowledge,
will imbibe the lac-laced red ablution water of your feet,
which being the cause of poetry even in a naturally dumb
person, is similar to betel leaf and areca nut juice of the lotus
face Vani? When will it be granted (the boon so that poetry
flows out of my mouth like lac-laced red water)?
98. Sankara pleads with Devi to inculcate facile
poetry in him.
किा काले मािः कथय कशलि् आलिालककरसु
शपबे यु शवदाथी िव चरण-शनणे जन-जलम्
पकृ ्या मू कानामशप च कशविा-कारणिया
यिा धते वाणी-मु ख-कमल-िामबू ल-रसिाम्
kadā kāle mātaḥ kathaya kalit’ ālaktaka-rasam
pibeyam vidyārthī tava caraṇa-nirṇejana-jalam;
prakṛtyā mūkānām api ca kavitā-kāraṇatayā
yadā dhatte vāṇī-mukha-kamala-tāmbūla-rasatām--
O Mother, tell me at what time I, the seeker of
knowledge, will imbibe the lac-laced red ablution
water of your feet, which being the cause of poetry
even in a naturally dumb person, is similar to betel
leaf and areca nut juice of the lotus face Vani?
When will it be granted (the boon so that poetry
flows out of my mouth like lac-laced red water)?
There are several legends associated with this
verse. One legend says that a dumb devotee
became a great poet just by drinking the lac-laced
red ablution water of Devi's feet at the temple.
Sankara is purported to have concocted a special
Prasada-Tirtham (KashAya Tirtham) made of
Water, Cardamom, Ginger, Jaggari, Lavangam,
Pepper, and Tippali.
The famous Mookambika (Mūkāmbikā) Temple is on the
banks of the river Sauparnika in Kollur, about 135 Kms from
Mangalore and 80 Kms from Udupi, in the valley of
Kodachadri peak of Western Ghats in south India. The temple
is dedicated to Mookambika in the form of Jyotir-Linga
incorporating both Shiva and Sakthi. The Linga is famed in
having a golden streak (Suvarna Rekha) across its face
vertically, the left part larger than the right representing the
inseparability of Siva and Sakti. Goddess Parvati, Lakshmi
and Saravati form the larger left side and Siva, Vishnu and
Brahma form the right side. (Think of Ardhanarisvara.) The
Panchaloha image (five-element metal) of the Goddess on Sri
Chakra is stated to have been consecrated by Adi
Sankaracharya during his visit to this place. The Lingam with
golden streak is in front of the idol of Devi, the Mother
Goddess, who assumes the Padmasana pose with three eyes
and four arms, two posterior hands holding Discus and Conch
and the anterior hands granting Abhaya and Varada Mudras.
In the shrine near the main image are those of Mahakali and
Sarasvati. Sankara sat on a stone slab for meditation in the
temple. That slab called Sankara Peetha is still there . There is
room near the sanctum enshrining the Sankara Simhasanam
which is regarded as the very spot where he meditated and had
a vision of Mūkāmbikā, who is regarded as a manifestation of
Sakti, Sarasvathi and Mahalakshmi.
The Hindu Newspaper reports the following:
The Mookambika Temple was established by
Shankaracharya. Legend has it that a "Jyotiralinga"
appeared here when sage Kola-Maharishi was
doing penance. When Shanakaracharya learnt
about that, he went to Kollur and worshipped
Adishakti. The goddess appeared before him and
ordered him to get her statue installed beside the
Shankaracharya then had the statue sculpted in the
form in which he had seen the goddess. He also
ordained that prayers should be offered daily to the
goddess. The architecture of the temple dates back
to the times of Keladi Nayakas, a fact testified by
There was once an Asura (Demon) known as Kaumasura who,
on the strength of a boon from Siva, was oppressing the Suras
(gods), who went into hiding. Guru Sukracharya, the
Preceptor, the High Priest and Martial Arts Guru of the
Demons foretold the future that the Demon king would be a
victim of death by a woman. Kaumasura prayed to Siva.
Before he could articulate and ask for a boon, Vagdevi
(goddess of speech, Sarasvati) renders him speechless. (He was
rendered incapable of spoken, written and sign language.)
Because of his lack of expression and communication, he could
not get his boon from Siva and was called Mookasura (Dumb
Asura). Kola Rishi appealed to Sarasvati for help. She put
together the power of all gods and created a Supreme Power in
the form of a female deity, who brought down the Demon once
for all and granted him salvation. From that day the goddess
was called Mookambika granting boons to Her devotees.
Sridevi abides here in Padmasana pose. Sanakaracharya had
vision of Mookambika and installed the deity in Kollur. He
installed Sri Chakra with Mookambika sitting on top of it. In
front of the Srichakra-Mookambika idol sits a Lingam with
Kali (Parvati) and Sarasvati flanking Mookambika.
In the temple, Sankara had a vision of Devi and thus
earned a special sanctum for himself. India-born
Muslim ruler Tippu Sultan (1750-1799) paid a visit
and offered Salam to Devi during Pradosha (evening)
Puja and in his honor Pradosha Puja (aka Salam
Mangalarthi) is conducted to this day. Muslims visit
the temple on a particular day for Devi Darshana.
Many families with hearing-, speech-, and vision-
impaired children visit, make vow and pray to Devi at
the temple for correction of the defects.
Verse 99. Jivan Mukti: Liberation while living on earth.
सरसव्या लकमया शवशध-हरर-सपतो शवहरिे
रिेः पाशिव्यमु शिशथलयशि रमयेण वपु षा ।
शचरु जीवन् एव कशपि-पिु -पाि-वशिकरः
परानदिाशभखयु रसयशि रसु ्वदजनवान् 99.
99.sarasvatyā lakşmyā vidhi-hari-sapatno viharate
rateḥ pātivratyam śithilayati ramyeṇa vapuşā;
ciram jīvann eva kşapita-paśu-pāśa-vyatikaraḥ
parā’nand’ābhikhyam rasayati rasam tvad bhajanavān .. 99.
Your worshipper sports with Sarasvati and Lakshmi and invites
jealousy of their consorts, Vidhi (Brahma) and Hari (Vishnu).
With a beautiful body, your worshipper diminishes the chastity of
Rati. By eternal life and shattering the bonds of spiritual ignorance
of the soul, he enjoys the Supreme Bliss. 99
Verse 99. Jivan Mukti: Liberation while living on
सरसव्या लकमया शवशध-हरर-सपतो शवहरिे
रिे ः पाशिव्यमु शिशथलयशि रमये ण वपु षा ।
शचरु जीवन् एव कशपि-पिु -पाि-वशिकरः
परानदिाभिखयं रसयति रसं तवदजनवान् 99.
99.sarasvatyā lakşmyā vidhi-hari-sapatno viharate
rateḥ pātivratyam śithilayati ramyeṇa vapuşā;
ciram jīvann eva kşapita-paśu-pāśa-vyatikaraḥ
parā’nand’ābhikhyam rasayati rasam tvad
bhajanavān .. 99.
The worshipper of you sports with Sarasvati and
Lakshmi and invites jealousy of their consorts, Vidhi
(Brahma) and Hari (Vishnu). With a beautiful body,
your worshipper diminishes the chastity of Rati. By
eternal life and shattering the bonds of spiritual
ignorance of the soul, he enjoys the Supreme Bliss.
Comment: Sporting with Sarasvati is becoming a
learned man in sacred texts. Sporting with Lakshmi
is enjoying wealth. Both acts invite jealousy from
their respective consorts. Inviting attention from Rati
married to KAma the god of love, the worshipper of
Devi with a beautiful body diminishes Rati's chastity.
100. The universe and All are Hers
सुधासूिे -शदरोपल-जललवै -ररयय रचना।
सवकीयै रमभोशभः सशलल-शनशध-सौशह्यकरणु
्विीयाशभ-वायवाशभभ-सिव जनशन वाचाु सिुशिररयम् ।।100।।
sudhā-sūteś candropala-jala-lavair arghya-racanā .
svakīyair ambhobhiḥ salila-nidhi-sauhitya-karaṇam
tvadīyābhir vāgbhis tava janani vācām stutir-iyam. 100
100. O Creator and Sculptor of words, the words of this
hymn of praise are your words. It is like oblation of the flame
of a lamp to the sun, the oblation of water from the
moonstone to the moon, and the oblation of his own waters
to the ocean.
100. O Creator and Sculptor of words, the words of
this hymn of praise are your words. It is like oblation
of the flame of a lamp to the sun, the oblation of
water from the moonstone to the moon, and the
oblation of his own waters to the ocean.
Sivanandalahari. Condensed presentation.
1. Dedication to the devotees of Siva and Sakti.
2. Sambhu the grantor of happiness.
3. Siva, known by the three Vedas, is the first, the foremost and
the destroyer of three cities.
4. I seek the Lotus-like feet of Siva, who though close to the
Holy Triad, is difficult of access.
5. I am a total ignoramus . Please protect me and shower
mercy on me.
6.Waste no time on empty talk which does not save you from
death. Worship the feet of Sambhu.
7. Let my mind, speech, hands, ears, and eyes dwell on you. No
book can match them.
8. Other gods are unlike Sambhu. Shell is not silver. Glass is
not gem, water and flour are not milk, and mirage is not water.
Worship only Sambhu.
9. Look not for a flower in the deep dark lake, perilous forest,
and tall mountains. Offer the flower of your own mind to the
God whose consort is Uma.
8. Other gods are unlike Sambhu. Shell is not silver. Glass is
not gem, water and flour are not milk, mirage is not water.
Worship only Sambhu.
9. Look not for a flower in the deep dark lake, perilous forest,
and tall mountains. Offer the flower of your own mind to the
God whose consort is Uma
10. Meditate on His lotus feet with waves of Supreme Bliss,
whatever your form is: god, man, animal, bird, insect or worm.
11. Keep His Lotus Heart in your hold and become His, to
carry the load of life whether you are a Brahmacharin, family
man, recluse with matted hair or whatever else.
12. If your mind rests on the feet of Sambhu, it is Yoga and you
are Yogi, whether you live in the cave, house, forest, mountain,
water or fire.
13. This world is too fast for meditation. I am too poor, blind
and foolish to deserve your mercy. Who else is there in these
three worlds to give me refuge?
14. The poor me is your relation. Forgive my sins. The refuge
has to come from you to a relation like me.
15. O Lord, You show no interest in me. You have not wiped
clean the letters of fate written on my head, which renders me
incapable of meditation on You. I am brimming with vile
desires. You keep telling me that you cannot change the script
on my head and yet you sliced off the head of the Creator
Brahma by mere fingernails of yours.
16. Under your protection are the remaining four heads of
Brahma, who scribed the penury on my head. Your tender
glance and goodness to the poor grant me protection.
17. Your feet are concealed by heads of the galaxy of gods
offering worship to You. O Swamy, how could I see Your feet
though You are all-pervasive and compassionate and I am full
18. You are the only one who can grant the Supreme Fruit
(liberation) to man. Vishnu, your principal appointee in divine
position, worships you constantly. O Siva, considering your
kindness and my desire, when will your look of compassion
grant me protection?
19. The cycle of life in this world full of evil desire lands one at
the door of the abode of harm and pain of the evil master. Why
do you not erase my fatigue? Tell me who gets its (life's) favor?
20. My mind saunters through the woods of Moha (delusion),
dances on the bosom of damsels, and meanders on the
branches of desire at will on all sides. O Kapali, O Bhiksu,
bind my erratic monkey-like heart with (the tie of) devotion. O
Siva, O Vibhu, render my mind servile to you.
21. O Smarari, (I have) come with Sakti to the heart, the tent
of spotless white cloth, the firm pole tied by the rope of
steadiness and motion and the lotus-shaped beauty, which is
placed on the path of Sanmarga and worshipped by Siva
Ganas. O Swami, O Vibhu, may you be triumphant.
Comment: Smarari is Siva the enemy of Cupid because he
ruined the meditation of Siva. Sanmarga is the path of Virtue.
Ganas are the attendants of Siva. This verse talks about the
Anahata Chakra (Heart Lotus) of Kundalini Yoga. The ties are
the Nadis. The Nadis are steady and exhibit motion and
pulsation in the sense that Prana runs through them. Naturally
the heart is lotus-shaped. It is on the ascendant pathway of the
Yogi and Kundalini, as they ascend to Vishuddha and Ajna
Chakras and onto Sahasrara Lotus.
22. My mind through avarice, bent on stealing another’s
wealth, enters the home of the wealthy, O Taskarapati (the
Lord of thieves). How would I ever put up with this mind, the
stealer of heart, O Sankara who grants happiness? O Vibhu
(the all-pervasive One), make my mind servile to You and
bestow compassion on this Niraparadhi (the innocent one).
23. O Vibhu, I worship You. Be the grantor of happiness to me.
Confer on me the Vibhitvam or Vishnutvam (the portfolio of
Brahma or Vishnu) as the fruit of my worship. I would fly like
a bird or dig deep into the earth as an animal in order to see
You again. How will I bear this sorrow, O Sankara, the
grantor of happiness.
This verse is a reference to the appearance of Siva in the form
of Fiery Lingam whose ends span the bowels of the earth and
the vault of the sky. Brahma and Vishnu were arguing with
each other as to the superiority of one over the other. That is
when Siva appeared as the Fiery Lingam to prove the point
that He is unfathomable and superior to both. Vishnu assumed
the form a Boar and dug deep into the earth to find the lower
end of the Lingam, while Brahma assumed the form of a swan
and flew up to find the upper end of the Lingam. Both failed to
find the ends and accepted defeat and supremacy of Siva.
24. When will I be living with Your Ganas in the Kailasa
mountains in the gem-studded golden mansion of Yours with
my palms together in salutation above my head before You,
Sambhu? O Vibhu, O Paramasiva, I cry in bliss and spend the
Kalpa of Brahma as if it is a moment, O swami who stays with
LORD SIVA AND HIS
WORSHIP By SRI SWAMI
One will develop love and devotion
for Lord Siva if he is freed from
Kiriyai, Yoga and Jnana are the
four Sadhanas or steps to kill
egoism and attain Lord Siva.
Chariyai: The worship of the all-
pervading, eternal Supreme Being
through external forms, is called
Chariyai. The requisite initiation
for this, is Samaya Diksha.
Erecting temples, cleaning them,
making garlands of flowers,
singing Lord’s praises, burning
lamps in the temples, making
flower gardens constitute
Tamil Lexicon: Chariyai =
சரயை: (Šaiva.) First of the
four-fold means of attaining
salvation, which consists in
worshipping God-in-form in a
Kiriyai is to perform Puja,
Archanas. The worship of the
cosmic form of the Eternal Ruler
of the universe externally and
internally, is called Kiriyai. For
Kiriyai and Yoga, the requisite
initiation is called Visesha Diksha.
Tamil Lexicon: கிரயை:1. Act,
action, deed; சசயயக. 2.
(Šaiva.) Second of the four-fold
means of attaining salvation,
which consists in worshipping Šiva
with rites and ceremonies
prescribed in the Āgamas.
Yoga is restraint of the senses and
contemplation on the internal
light. The internal worship of Him
as formless, is called Yoga. For
Kiriyai and Yoga, the requisite
initiation is called Visesha Diksha.
Tamil Lexicon: Yogam =
யைோகம = Path of yoga which
consists in the mental worship of
Šiva in His subtler Form.
Jnana is to understand the true
significance of Pati, Pasu, Pasa and
to become one with Siva by
constant meditation on Him after
removing the three Malas, viz.,
Anava (egoism), Karma (action)
and Maya (illusion). The direct
realisation of Lord Siva through
Jnana Guru, is called Jnana. The
initiation that leads to it, is called
Tamil Lexicon: Jnanam =
ஞோனம. Path of wisdom which
consists in the realization of God
as transcending form.
Sivanandalahari (1-100 Verses)
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