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3 Who are the Sri Vidya Gurus mentioned by Bhaskararaya?

mythology history shaktism brahmanda-purana sri-vidya

Sri Vidya is a Shakta sect which believes that the goddess Lalita Tripurasundari
is supreme. Now one of the most important texts of the Sri Vidya sect is the
Lalita Sahasranamam, found in the Lalita Mahatmya of the Brahmanda Purana,
so the 18th century Sri Vidya philosopher Bhaskararaya wrote a commentary on
it. In this excerpt of his commentary, Bhaskararaya discusses a verse in the
Lalita Mahatmya which says that Lalita Tripurasundari was worshipped by gods,
humans and Siddhas:

"87. There were also a multitude of Devas, a multitude of men, and a

multitude of Siddhas ; and Devi Lalità allowed herself to be seen by them all."

"A multitude of Devas (Divyaugha)" the holy Brahmarşis, Visvāmitra, etc. The
Siddhas are Sanaka, Narada and other Yogins. The Rudrayamala, says, “Devi
was attended by many crores of rulers of Quarters, by many crores of Moons,
Suns and Vasus, by many crores of Yogins such as Sanaka, and by many
Saptarisis and by many Naradas." Or, the word "Ogha" (multitude) of Devas,
men, and Siddhas, may mean the different assemblies of Gurus. For there are
seven Gurus of Gurus (Parama-Gurus) headed by Paraprakasanandanatha,
eight Parapara-Gurus headed by Gaganānandanatha, and four Apara-Gurus
headed by Bhoganandanatha. These three assemblies of Gurus are indicated
by the words "Devas", "men", and "Siddhas" respectively. The above
explanation follows the view of the followers of Kamaraja, but according to
the School of Lopā nedrã, and according to the divisions of Viclydis, as
described in the Jnanarnava etc., there are many groups of Gurus headed
respectively by Misranandanātha, and others. The gradations among the
Gurus can only be learned through the instructions of a Guru.

My question is, who are the Paramagurus, Parapara Gurus, and Aparagurus
referred to by Bhaskararaya? Their names are listed in full in chapter 3 of of the
Nityotsava, a work by Bhaskaraya's shishya Umanandanatha, as described in this
web page:

A large section on the different gurus in the Shri Vidya tradition follows this
section, and, as in the Ganapati section of Nityotsava, these are divided into
celestial, siddha and mortal gurus, both for the vidya (mantra) that begins
with Ka (Kadi) and for that which begins with Ha (Hadi).

The celestial gurus in the Kadi group are listed as Paraprakashandanatha,

Parashivanandanatha, Parashaktyamba, Kauleshvaranandanatha,
Shukladevyamba, Kuleshvaranandanatha and Kameshvaryamba. The siddha
aughas are Bhoganandanatha, Chinnanandanatha, Samayanandanatha and
Sahajanandanatha. The manava augha consists of Gaganandanatha,
Vishvananandanatha, Vimalanandanatha, Madanandanatha,
Bhuvananandanatha, Lilanandanatha, Svatmanandanatha and
Priyanandanatha. At the close of this lengthy section, mantras are given for
other, unknown gurus.

But who are these figures? Presumably they must be ancient, since
Bhaskararaya thinks the Brahmanda Purana is referring to them. Are they
referred to in Hindu scripture, or in the works of earlier Sri Vidya philosophers, or
what? Does anyone know their stories or when they lived?

share improve this question

Keshav Srinivasan ♦ asked

55.6k ● 11 ● 128 ● 400 Apr 12 '17 at 4:55

do you have any onliine translation of nityotsava? – Rakesh Joshi Apr 12 '17 at 7:33

@RakeshJoshi No, I have it in Sanskrit but not in English. –  Keshav Srinivasan ♦ Apr
12 '17 at 7:51

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2 Answers order by votes

Few months ago i bought the book NityAshodasikArnava which is
2 widely considered as a part of the most authoritative text for Sri Vidya
Sadhana called Sri VAmAkeswara Tantram.

The introduction of the book gives the Guru Paramapara of Sri Vidya
from Krita to Kali Yuga as follows:

Divyaugha (Divine line of Gurus):

In Satyayuga first Guru was Adiguru or Parama Shiva. His name was
Sri CharyAnAtha. His disciple was his own vimarshini Shakti who is
not different from Shiva himself.

Her disciple in TretAyuga is Guru Sri OdyAn Natha Deva. His disciple
in DwApara Yuga was Guru Sri Shastha Natha Deva. His disciple in
Kali Yuga was Guru Sri Sri Mitresanatha Deva. His disciples were
Agstya and Lopamudra.

Different opinion- There are 5 divyauga pangti which ends with Sri
Mitresanatha Deva.

Siddhaugha (Siddha line of Gurus):

Agastya and LopamudrA's disciple was KankAltApas. His disciple
DharmAchArya. His disciple was Muktakesini Or Muktakesi. Her
disciple was DeepakAcharya.

Manavaugha (Human line of Gurus):

DeepakAchArya's disciple was his own son Jishnudeva. His disciple
was Tejodeva. His disciple was Manojadeva. His disciple was
KalyAndeva. His disciple was Ratnadeva. His disciple was
VAsudevamahAmuni. And, his disciple was SivAnandamahAyogi.

These are the 8 Manavauga pangtis.

Different opinion- Upto VAsudevamahamuni 7 Manavaugas.

IMO , this is the most we can know from Scriptures about the Guru
Parampara of Sri VidyA.

share improve this answer

Rickross answered
38.2k ● 2 ● 52 ● 147 May 24 '17 at 5:34

May 24 '17 at 5:39

1 This doesn't answer my question at all; I want to know about the specific gurus
named by Bhaskararaya and Umanandanatha. –  Keshav Srinivasan ♦ May 24 '17 at
1 Your Q itself is absurd and unanswerable. You read some random excerpt and found
some Gurus' names and then ask "Who are the these Gurus?" Does not make it a
sensible Q Do u even know if those are their Janmanamas or Dikshanamas? As i told
in the answer this is the most that can be known about the paramapara from the
scriptures – Rickross May 24 '17 at 6:47

1 I don't think it's absurd at all; Bhaskararaya thinks that the Brahmanda Purana is
referring to these people, so that makes them important figures. In any case,
regardless of whether you think my question is absurd, the point is that you're not
answering it. I'm trying to find out who these specific people are and your answer
doesn't address that at all. –  Keshav Srinivasan ♦ May 24 '17 at 8:07

1 If Bhaskararaya is mentioning about them from some Purana then that's ur answer
itself..If u question further Who are those Gurus? Then that's obviously does not
make any sense.. and as i said it can't be answered from scriptures..
@KeshavSrinivasan – Rickross May 24 '17 at 8:12

1 To be clear, the Brahmanda Purana doesn't mention the names, but Bhaskararaya is
saying that the verse in question is referencing these people. So presumably
Bhaskararaya got this list of names from some other source. If you can find some
scripture or Sri Vidya work from before the time of Bhaskararaya that has this list of
people, that would be a valid answer. –  Keshav Srinivasan ♦ May 24 '17 at 8:17

show 2 more comments

The guru paramparA of Sri Vidya consists of broadly 3 sections or
1 "ogha" which literally means "flock" or "groups".

First is the Divyaugha (divine or celestial beings including gods and


Second is Siddhaugha (extra ordinary beings including rishis, saints)

Third is mAnavaugha (human beings from which human paramparA


Divyougha include Sri Kameshwara and Kameshwari , Dakshinamurti ,

Ananda Bhairava etc.

Siddhaugha gurus include rishis like Sri Agastya, Sri Durvasa, Sri
LopAmudra etc.

When the ‘Prakasa’ swarupa of Sat-chit-ananda alongwith his own Sakti

“Vimarsa” does the samkalpa “May I become many” ie., “Bahusyaam
Prajayeeya….”, the first throb or spandana becomes “Charyanatha” who
is non-different from Para Siva. Charyanatha is the Adi-guru of this
Haadi Tradition in Krita Yuga. This vimarsa sakti is Mahakameswari.
Charyanatha hands down this vidya to Kameswari. At the Bindu sthana
sports the Adi Guru Charyanatha alongwith Kameswari. They are in the
Saamarasya Bhava / Non-differential State with one another.

In Kaliyuga, Mitreshanatha handed down this vidya to Lopamudra.

Lopamudra teaches this vidya to Agastya. Given below the
guruparampara from Lopamudra and Agastya till the recent guru.





Muktakesini (One of the greatest Yoginis of Kaliyuga)

Dipakanathacharya (Srividya upasaka at the court of the king Bhoja and

commentator on Nityasodasikarnava)







LalitA sahasranama is not the first text which talk of the gurus. Nor is
the nityotsava is the first scripture to talk of these. These ogha-traya
are mentioned in the most ancient texts of Sri VidyA like "parashurama
kalpasutra" from which nityotsava is written in order to facilitate the
nitya karma and poojas on parvAs.
share improve this answer

Rakesh Joshi answered

9,034 ● 2 ● 10 ● 49 Apr 12 '17 at 11:52

I'm not asking where the Oghas are mentioned, I'm asking where the specific names
listed by Bhaskararaya and Umanandanatha are mentioned. Also, the Parashurama
Kalpa Sutra is a very recent text; there are no references to it before a few hundred
years ago. –  Keshav Srinivasan ♦ Apr 12 '17 at 15:59

@KeshavSrinivasan if puranas are authored by vyasa and LS commentary is few

centuries back how can you say that PKS is not older to these? Nityotsava and many
other sri vidya texts are based on PKS only. – Rakesh Joshi Apr 12 '17 at 17:40

The Parashurama Kalpa Sutras are certainly older than Bhaskararaya's Lalita
Sahasranama Bhashya, but they're not older than the Lalita Sahasranama itself. In
any case, do you know any works older than Bhaskararaya's Lalita Sahasranama
Bhashya that mention the names listed by Bhaskararaya and Umanandanatha?
–  Keshav Srinivasan ♦ Apr 12 '17 at 18:20

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