© 1975-2022 All rights reserved. None of this material may be
As long as you are contaminated with notions of me or mine, the self will not be found for it lies beyond cognition and cannot be realised as “my” self – Tripurarahasya IX, 13
Gandharva Tantra is an important work of the school of Shri Vidya and follows Vamakeshvari Tantra in having a left slant. Parts of this work are translated into English elsewhere on this site. This introduction to the Sanskrit text was written by M.S.Kaul in 1944 and is out of copyright. The abstract is of such interest to students and devotees Shri Vidya that it is well worth reproducing here. To preserve mantras and the like, I have used the iTrans format for transcription. (MM)
Abstract of Gandharva Tantra
Unlike the Agamas, the Gandharva Tantra begins with the two stanzas, one of salutation to the Elephant-god and the other of benediction invoking the protection of the Goddess Kundalini. This fact in itself reveals that the Tantra must be more or less modern. The tradition regarding the appearance of the Tantra is that the rival sage Vishvamitra, being envious of the prophetic powers of Vasishtha, performs a difficult penance. Failing even thereby to obtain equality with Vasishtha he goes to the North and implores the help of Dattatreya who consoles him and reveals the Gandharva Tantra which he has heard from Nandikeshvara. The tantra is in the form of a dialogue between Shiva and Parvati.
It begins with the question from Parvati about Brahman, Yoga and the Body. Shiva defines the Brahman only. Thereupon Parvati thereupon enquires after some such secret lore as will enable the humanity to get release from the bondage of actions while enjoying the blessings of the earthly life. Shiva says that the Tantric lore is triune in nature as Tamasik, Rajasik, and Sattvik leading respectively to hell, heaven and emancipation. He advises that care should be taken to reject the first and informs that the subject matter of the Tantra is already revealed by Him to Krishna the son of Devaki and to Nandikeshvara. The former related it to Brahma and the latter to Pushpadanta and through him to Gandharvas. The sages received it from Brahma and Indra from Angiras and the king of the demons from Sukra. The result was that everyone became piously-minded including even Namuchi and other demons and the eternal foes of the latter, i.e. Indra and other gods lost their high positions. Brahma, pitying them went to Shiva and related the grievances of the Gods. Shiva, consequently revealed more or less the materialistic Shastras to deceive the demons. Among these are mentioned the Pashupata-Saiva, the Vaisheshika, the Nyaya, the Samkhya, the Charvakas, and the Bauddha. All the mantras also were polluted as it were with various defilements and the Tantras interpolated with doubtful passages.
In this Parvati requests Shiva to remove the doubts referred to in the first Patala regarding the Shakti lore. Shiva accedes to the request and relates the importance of the worship of Shakti as Turiya. She (Tripurasundari) is called Turiya (the fourth ) in-as-much as Kameshvari is the first. Bhagamalini the second and Vajreshvari the third. After this Shiva reveals the Mantra called Panchadasi Vidya. The same is of three parts. The first is called Vagbhava, as it imparts mystery over all forms of speech. It is read as ka e ii la hrii.m. The second goes by the name of Kamaraja and is composed of the six letters ha sa ka ha la hrii.m. The third is named Shaktibija consisting of the four letters sa ka la-hrii.m. Panchadasi in this form is known by the name of Kamaraja-vidya. The forms of the same respectively worshipped by Lopamudra, Shiva and Shakti are sa ka la hrii.m, ha sa ka ha la hrii.m, sa ka la hrii.m, ha sa ka ha la hrii.m, sa ka la hrii.m; sa ha ka la hrii.m, ha sa ka ha la hrii.m, sa ka la hrii.m.
Then comes the Shodashi which is read as hrii.m ka e ii la hrii.m ha sa ka ha la hrii.m sa ka la hrii.m. The second form of the same is called Chintamani read as shrii.m ka e ii la hrii.m ha sa ka ha la hrii.m sa ka la hrii.m. The same Shodashi when read as hrii.m shrii.m ka e ii la hrii.m ha sa ka ha la hrii.m sa ka la hrii.m is called Saptadashi. Rajarajeshvari is read as shrii.m hrii.m klii.m sauh o.m hrii.m shrii.m ka e ii la hrii.m ha sa ka ha la hrii.m sa ka la hrii.m shrii.m hrii.m o.m sauH ai.m klii.m hrii.m shrii.m.
In the third Patala Shiva reveals the Panchami Vidya which consists of five Kutas. It is so called because the whole world consists of the five elements –Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Sky represented by the five Kutas respectively presided over by the Shaktis of Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Isvara and Sadasiva. These are Kameshvari, Vajreshvari, Bhagamalini, Tripurasundari and Para. The Vidya is to be read as ka e ii la hrii.m, ha sa ka la hrii.m, ha ka ha la hrii.m, ka ha ya la hrii.m, ha ka la sa hrii.m. After this follows the description regarding the way in which the Sadhaka is to practise the Vidya and of the powers appearing as a result thereof. Ekadashaksari or the mantra of eleven letters comes last. It is read as ka la hrii.m, ka ha la hrii.m, sa ka la hrii.m.
In this Patala is given the Kavacha of Rajarajeshvari called Trailokyamohana. The sage of the Kavacha is Shiva, metre Virat, and the Goddess Mahatripurasundari. The Kavacha is said to have various kinds of efficacy which are detailed in the text. It is efficacious not only when practised but also when borne on different parts of the body after being written on a birchbark. The way of writing is that the names of the practitioner and the object of practice are written in the triangle of the Shrichakra, the Mulamantra coming at the top and around it the alphabet and around the alphabet the Kavacha.
In this Shiva describes the way in which the Shrichakra is to be drawn and the different deities are to receive their worship in the nine component parts of Shrichakra. The Shrichakra is to be drawn either on a metallic plate or the earth with red lead by the golden pen. Devi is said to have three forms, physical, mental and cognitive. The first is represented by Mudra, the second by Yantra and the third by Mantra. Mahatripura-Sundari as seated in the lap of Mahashiva is to be worshipped in the Binduchakra or the centre. The maidens forming the six limbs of Mahatripura-Sundari Sarvajna etc. as also the Datal Eternities are to receive their worship in the four sub-quarters, centre and the quarters. The fifteen Kalas or fifteen vowels are to be worshipped in the triangle, five in the right side and five in the left side and five in the base of the triangle. The Datal Eternities are to be worshipped through the medium of the lady.
Attendant Deities. The three rectangles otherwise called Trailokyamohana chakra are respectively presided over by Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Lord Buddha, and the 10 Yoginis, Anima etc. are to have their worship in the external rectangle; in the inner rectangle eight Mothers Brahmani to Mahalakshmi and in the innermost the Mudradevis Sanksobhini etc. All the Deities of the three rectangles referred to above go by the name of Prakatayoginis. In the sixteen-petalled lotus called Sarvashapuraka Chakra, Brahma and sixteen Guptayoginis Kamakarshanika etc. are to be worshipped. Eight Guptatara Yoginis and Shiva receive their worship in the eight-petalled lotus called Sarvasankshobhana. In the fourteen-sided figure called Sarvasaubhagyadayaka Chakra the sun-god and the Sampradayayoginis Sarvasankshobhini etc. get their worship. Kulakaula Yoginis and Narayana are worshipped in the outer decagon called Sarvarthasadhaka and in the inner decagon Nigarbha Yoginis. In the octagon called Sarvarogahara Chakra Rahasya Yogini Vasini etc. receive their worship. The Divinities of the weapons of Paramashiva and Mahatripura-sundari receive their worship outside the triangle. Kameshwari, Vajreshvari and Bhagamalini which are the three Shaktis respectively of Rudra, Visnu and Brahma are to be worshipped in the apex, left and right side of the triangle which is called Sarvasiddhiprada Chakra. These Shaktis are called Atirahasya Yoginis. In the centre of the triangle or the Bindu Chakra Paraparahasya Yogini Mahatripurasundari is to receive her worship. The worship of Mahatripurasundari is threefold, Para, Apara and Parapara. In the Apara the practitioner has to worship her as identical with the Kundalini in the body. In the Apara she is to receive her worship in Shrichakra with all the necessary articles of worship. The third form of worship includes both the inner and the outer aspects of the worship.
In the sixth Patala Shiva, in reply to the query made by Parvati regarding the third form of worship, gives in detail instructions for the guidance of the practitioner. These are that the practitioner should rise early in the morning, sit on the Padmasana, have the Pranayama exercise and meditate upon his Guru seated in the thousand-petalled lotus, dressed in white, having two eyes and two hands with Vara and Abhaya Mudras, with his wife sitting on the left thigh and having two hands one holding the white lotus and the other engaged in the tight embrace of her husband.
Mantra of the Guru is aim hrii.m shrii.m ha sa kha phrem, ha sa ksha ma la va ra yum, ha sa kha phrem, ha sa ksha ma la va ra im, hsauh and names of the Guru and his wife followed respectively by anandanatha padukam pujayami and ambapadukam pujayami. He should offer the objects of senses through the latter to his Guru, smell as perfume, sound as flower, touch as incense, form as lamp, flavour as Naivedya. After this comes the mention of Yoga which is defined as the unification of Jivatma and Paramatma and of the eight limbs of the Yoga and their detailed description. At the end is given the description of the centres of Kundalini in the body, i.e., Muladhara, Svadhishthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddha, Ajna and the thousand-petalled lotus above them, which in turn is followed by such instructions as those for bathing, application of collyrium to the eyes and the cleaning of teeth.
In the above is given the way in which the devotee of Mahatripurasundari is to purify his body and perform the Sandhya. Bathing is said to be of three kinds as also the Sandhya. The kinds are physical, mental and psychic consisting in the purification respectively of the body, the mind and soul. In the three kinds of Sandhyas done in the morning, mid-day and evening the devotee is to meditate upon Mahatripurasundari in three forms. The Gayatri of Mahatripurasundari is given as tripurasundari vidmahe kameshvari dhimahi tannah klinnam prachodayat. Each of these twenty-four letters is said to have a peculiar colour and shape. The muttering of the same results in having release from different kinds of sins. Agni etc. are the presiding deities of these twenty-four letters. Parashurama, Menanath, Agastya, Vasishtha and Dattatreya are declared to have freed themselves from heinous crimes such as matricide etc. Every important event in the life of a practitioner is to commence with the worship of Tripurasundari and at the end of the Sandhya he is to offer a handful of water mixed with red flowers and the powder of Sandalwood to the sun under the name of Martandabhairava with the Mantra hrii.m hamsah martandabhairavaya prakashashaktisahitaya idamarghyam namo namah.
The eighth chapter describes the sacrificial altar and the way in which the practitioner should, while entering it, bow to the presiding deities of the quarters and other deities such as Ganesha, Ksetrapala etc. and how he should make an offering to the Bhutas with the Mantra om hrii.m sarvavighnakrt sarvabhutebhyoh hum svaha, how he should remove all obstacles by muttering seven times Astra-mantra which reads as aim klii.m sauh astraya phat and how he should clean the sacrificial altar. Every article of worship is to be concealed till the invocation of the Devi The Devotee is instructed to use his discretion in selecting Asana because the fruit of worship varies with the material of which the Asana is made. Red blanket is specially advised for the worship of Tripura. It must measure two cubits in length and a cubit and a half in width. He has to sit also on it under the instructions of Asana. The posture peculiar to the worship of Tripura is Padmasana and the North is the quarter which the practitioner must face to secure success in the worship of Tripurasundari. The practitioner should take care that when worshipping he should have everything red, such as saffron ointment, red dress, red seat etc. and while following instructions regarding the use of the articles of worship and their places, he should have the Shrichakra drawn in red lead, placed on the Simhasana. Towards his left he should place a stand with a pot full of water on a rectangular diagram. The stand is to be identified with the orb of the fire, the pot with the solar orb and the water with the moon and these must as such be worshipped with the Kalas of the fire, the sun and the moon. Anandabhairava and Anandahhairavi are to receive their worship through the pot. Conch and other vessels are also to be placed in particular places. The purification of the five elements, constituting the body by removing the impurities attaching to them through the letters peculiar to the elements and by subsequent infusion of the energy of the Changeless Reality is to be attended to and performed as a preliminary to the worship. For this purification the practitioner is to deeply concentrate in the Bindu-chakra on the Turiya aspect of Mahatripurasundari. After this he has to protect himself against all sinister influences by Digbandhana with the Mantra om hrii.m hamsah so-aham svaha aim klii.m sauh tripurasundari mam raksha raksha.
In the ninth chapter is given the Matrikanyasa. In performing this the practitioner is first to wash his hand in a particular manner with the mantra am aam sauh. Then he has to pay his attention to Rishinyasa etc. Then comes the Matrikanyasa of which all details such as Rishi etc. and the six limbs etc. are given. Matrika is said to be of two kinds as Antarmatrika and Bahirmatrika. In case of the former letters of the alphabet are to be meditated upon in the six centres of the body Muladhara to Bhrumadhya. In the latter case letters of the Matrika preceded each by klii.m are to be meditated upon, vowels individually in the sixteen different parts of the head, five groups of letters, gutturals to labials in hands, feet, sides, back, navel, and belly, identifiable with the seven constituents of the body, skin, etc. vital soul, individual soul and supreme soul in heart, armpits, throat, shoulders, lower end of the heart, hands and feet, belly and face. Different poses of the hands are also to be used in performing this Nyasa. Towards the end various results obtainable from Matrika-nyasa are described.
In the 10th Patala the sixfold Nyasa of Shrividya as consisting of those of Ganesha, planets, constellations, Yoginis, signs of Zodiac and Pitha is described.
Ganesha Nyasa. In this the fiftyone Ganeshas, Vighneshvara to Ganesha with their Saktis are to be contemplated upon in the different parts of the body, forehead etc. assigning each letter of the alphabet to a couple as a.m vighneshvaraaya shriyai namo lalaaTe.
Planets (Graha) Nyasa. The planets Sun to comet occupy the places heart, middle of the eyebrow, eyes, heart, throat, navel, anus and the feet. Their letters are respectively vowels, semi-vowels, gutturals, palatals, linguals, dentals, labiaIs, aspirates and La & ksha.
Constellations (Nakshatra Nyasa)
Details regarding this are as given in the following table:-
Yogini Nyasa. The Nyasa of Yoginis is to be performed with the mantras in the following manner:-
The mantra of the first is a.m aa.m i.m I.m u.m U.m R^i.m R^I.m L^i.m L^I.m e.m ai.m o.m au.m a.m aH Daa.m Dii.m Damalavarayuu.m Daakinyai namo daakini tvagdhaatugate chatuSShaShTilakshakoTiyoginisvaamini sarvasattvavasha.mkai aaGYa.m me dehi mama vichche
The mantra of the second is ka.m kha.m ga.m gha.m ~Na.m cha.m Cha.m ja.m jha.m ~na.m Ta.m Tha.m raa.m rii.m ramalavarayuu.m raakinyai namo raakini asR^igdhaatugate dvaatri.mshallakshakoTiyoginisvaamini sarvasattvavasha.mkari aaGYaa.m me dehi mama vicche
The mantra of the third is Da.m Dha.m Na.m ta.m tha.m da.m dha.m na.m pa.m pha.m laa.m lii.m lamalavarayuu.m laakinyai namo laakini maa.msadhaatugate ShoDashalakshakoTiyoginisvaamini sarvasattvavasha.mkari aaGYaa.m me dehi mama vicche
The mantra of the fourth is ba.m bha.m ma.m ya.m, ra.m la.m kaa.m kii.m kamalavarayuu.m kaakinyai namaH medodhaatugate aShTalakshakoTiyoginisvaamini sarvasattvavasha.mkari aaGYaa.m me dehi mama vicche
The mantra of the fifth is va.m sha.m Sha.m sa.m shaa.m shii.m shamalavarayuu.m shaakinyai namaH shaakini asthidhaatugate chaturlakshakoTiyoginisvaamini sarvasattvavasha.mkari aaGYaa.m me dehi mama vicche
The mantra of the sixth is ha.m ksha.m haa.m hii.m hamalavarayuu.m haakinyai namo haakini majjaadhaatugate dvilakshakoTiyoginisvaamini sarvasattvavasha.mkari aaGYaa.m me dehi mama vicche
The mantra of the seventh is a.m aa.m i.m ii.m u.m uu.m R^i.m R^I.m L^i.m L^I.m e.m ai.m o.m au.m a.m aH ka.m kha.m ga.m gha.m ~Na.m cha.m Cha.m ja.m jha.m ~na.m Ta.m Tha.m Da.m Dha.m Na.m ta.m tha.m da.m dha.m na.m pa.m pha.m ba.m bha.m ma.m ya.m ra.m la.m va.m sha.m Sha.m sa.m ha.m ksha.m yaa.m yii.m yamalavarayuu.m yaakinyai namo yaakini shukradhaatugate dashakoTiyoginisvaamini sarvasattvavasha.mkari aaGYaa.m me dehi mama vicche
Rashi Nyasa: Like the two previous Nyasas the above Nyasa also is prescribed in the table as given below.
Pitha Nyasa. In this the practitioner has to identify the fiftyone Pithas Kamarupa etc. with the different parts of the body and in doing so the letters of the Matrika are to go along with the names of the pithas one with each with a Bindu at the top. The chapter ends with the spiritual powers that the practitioner of this Shodhanyasa gets.
In the 11th Patala are described first the Nyasa of (1) Asana, (2) Vasinyadivagdevata, (3) Mulanga, (4) Navayoni, (5) Chaturvyuha, (6) Tattvanyasa, (7) Mulavidya, and (8) Sammohana.
In the first, Asanas, i.e. Amritarnavasana, Potambujasana, Atmasana, Chakrasana, Sarvamantrasana, Sadhyasana, Sadhyasiddhasana, Paryankashaktipithasana, and Mahapretasana respectively presided over by Tripura, Tripureshvari, Tripurasundari, Tripuravasini, Tripurashri, Tripuramalini, Tripurasiddha, Tripuramba, and Mahatripurabhairavi are to be contemplated upon in feet, knees, thighs, hips, private part, Muladhara, navel, heart and cavity in the head. The Mantras to be used are: (1) a.m aa.m sauH tripuraamR^itaarNavaasanaaya namaH (2) ai.m klii.m sauH tripureshvariipotaa,nujaasanaaya namaH (3) hrii.m klii.m sauH tripurasundaryaatmaasanaaya namaH (4) ai.m hvlii.m hsauH tripuravaasiniichakraasanaaya namaH (5) hsai.m hsklii.m hssauH tripurashriisarvamantraasanaaya namaH (6) hrii.m klii.m ble.m tripuramaaliniisaadhyaasanaaya namaH (7) hrii.m shrii.m sauH shivamahaapretapadmaasanaaya namaH.
In the second, eight goddesses of speech are to be meditated upon as presiding deities of (1) Vowels, (2) Gutturals, (3) Palatals. (4) Linguals, (5) Dentals, (6) Labials, (7) Semi-vowels, and (8) Aspirates. Their names, seats and Kutas are (1) Vashini, cavity of the head, rbluu.m (2) Kameshvari, forehead, klhrii.m (3) Modini, middle or the eyebrows, nvlii.m (4) Vimala, throat yluu.m (5) Aruna, heart, jmrii.m (6)Jayini, navel, hasalavayuu.m (7)Sarveshvari, Linga, jhamarayuu.m (8) Kaulini, below the Linga, kshmrii.m
In the third, the six limbs, i. e. heart, head, tuft of hair on the head, armour, eyes and the weapons are to be located in the five fingers of the hands and their palm and back. While doing so the practitioner is to mutter in each case the mantras of Shrividya twice. The six poses of the hands are prescribed for these six limbs, the three fingers — middle, ring and index for Hridaya; two fingers — mid and index for Shiras; thumb for Shikha; ten fingers for Kavacha, the three above referred to for eyes and the two above mentioned for Astra.
In the fourth, Vashini etc. are to be meditated upon in the different parts of the body named in book and the muttering of all the three Kutas of Shrividya is to be done in each case.
In the fifth, the four forms of Mahatripurasundari, i. e. Kameshvari, Vajreshvari, Bhagamalini and Mahatripurasundari are to be contemplated upon below the Linga, in the heart, in the middle of the eyebrows and in the cavity in the head with the four famous centres of her worship and their priests. The mantras to be muttered are (1) ai.m agnichakre kaamagiripiiThe mitreshanaaathaatmake kaameshvariirudraatmashakti shriipaadukaayai namaH (2) klii.m suuryachakre jaalandharapiiThe ShaShThiishanaathaatmaka.m vajreshvariiviShNavaatmashakti shriipaadukaayai namaH (3) sauH somachakre puurNagiripiiThe uDDiishanaathaatmaka.m bhagamaaliniibrahmaatmashaktishriipaadukaayai namaH (4) turyabiija.m brahmachakre uduyaanapiiThe charyaanaathaatmake parabrahmaatmashaktishriipaadukaayai namaH
In the sixth, the three Tattvas Atma, Vidya and Shiva are to be located in the three parts of the body, viz. (1) from feet to the place below the Linga, (2) thence to heart, (3) from the heart to the middle of the eyebrows, uttering the following mantras:-
In the seventh, the three Kutas of Shrividya are to be located. in hands, etc. individually and the fourth bija is to have its place in the cavity in the head. The fifteen syllables of the Panchadasi are located in the cavity in the head, Muladhara, heart, eyes, ears, mouth, arms, back, knees and navel.
In the eighth, the practitioner is to consider himself as endowed with a body of mantras and meditate upon Shrividya in the mantra form. While this is being done, Yonimudra is to be placed in the cavity of the head, forehead, middle of the eyebrows, face and heart.
What has been described above relates to the external worship. As regards the internal, the practitioner is first to purify his mind and soul through pranayama which is said to be of the highest value in the spiritual domain. By Prana is meant the life breath and by Ayama the control thereof. Pranayama consists of the three functions — inhalation, exhalation and retention.
Awakening of Kundalini. While doing the pranayama referred to above, the practitioner is to mutter mentally either the whole mantra or its initial syllable. The Kundalini lying dormant in the Muladhara is to be contemplated upon as a thin red flame rising upwards when awakened with the help of Aumkara and piercing the six life centres in its upward march, till it reaches Shiva and becomes united with Him in bliss. Thence she comes down again through the same way to Muladhara. The Kundalini while moving up from Muladhara to the heart receives the name of vahnikuNDalinii being fiery, from heart to the throat suuryakuNDalinii being solar and from throat to head somakuNDAlinii being lunar. The three Kutas respectively get assimilated to her in the three places referred to above. In the Bindu, the fourth form of Kundalini as embracing all the Bijas and all forms of light is to be contemplated upon.
Meditation on Kundalini, which constitutes the inner worship, helps the practitioner to acquire freedom from all sins.
In the 12th Patala the mental offering of worship and the mental approach to and unification with Mahatripurasundari are at length described. In the first, the practitioner is to sit on the prescribed Asana keeping his body erect and with the hands full of red flowers placed near the heart, close the eyes and feeling as it were the august presence of Mahatripurasundari in the heart, offer worship to her with the mental 16 requisites of worship. The Yogis and sages have recourse to this worship only.
In the second, i.e., the Dhyanayoga, the practitioner has to select a solitary place and seat himself in a particular posture with all his mental operations brought under control. He should feel oneness with the Transcendental Self through absolute introspection. In order to rise to that plane of consciousness he has to immerge the different elements of which the world is composed in the causeless cause. The order in which these evolutes are absorbed from the following into the preceding is given as follows:–
The earth element merges in the water, water in the fire, fire in the air, air in the ether, ether in the mind, mind in the ego, ego in the manifest. the manifest matter in the unmanifest, and the unmanifest in the Supreme Self.
After the absorptive meditation is over, he has to think of evolution. In this he is to think of evolution of the world from the causeless cause through matter, ego, mind etc. down to the frog, Kalagnirudra, Adharashakti in the form of a crocodile and boar holding on the tooth the earth. There he has to think of the nectar-ocean, the coral island, the golden hill, the heavenly garden Kalpodyana and of streams and lakes. On the shore of the highest among the lakes he should imagine the existence of the desire-granting tree with a jewel-pavilion having four gates fitted with diamond doors and coral thresholds and other decorative parts. After having done so, he is to imagine the presence of one big lotus enclosed in another placed in the centre of the Simhasana arranged on a platform of jewels inside the pavilion described above. The outer lotus represents all the elements, its bulb the bliss, its stalk the consciousness, all the evolutes of Prakriti furnishing the thirtytwo leaves and the fifty letters furnishing the pericarp of the lotus. Inside the lotus he has to think of the sun, moon and fire one placed below another. In the fiery orb there stands the triangular mass of light borne by the five karanas. In the centre of this triangle stands the third lotus in which the practitioner is to think of the seven goddesses Tripura to Tripuramba. Of the last, beautiful description of each part of the body is given in detail in the text. While thinking so, the practitioner is to be at one with Mahatripurasundari.
In this stress is laid first of all on the actual realization of the unity between the worshipper and the worshipped. Everything else used in the worship receives sanctity by it. A devotee is enjoined to worship Shrividya both mentally as wtll as physically in case he happens to be rich enough. All vessels required for worship may be of copper. A devotee may, if he can, make five vessels from five jewels which are named as Garuda, Manikya, Vajra, Vaidurya and Nila. The Bijas of the five jewels are gluu.m sluu.m pluu.m mluu.m nluu.m The pot which is to contain Vishesarghya is to get a place in the ceremonious manner between Shrichakra and the worshipper on a diagram drawn on the earth. The diagram is to consist of a rectangle, a hexagon, a circle and a triangle, one enclosing the other. The mantra to. be used is ai.m klii.m sauH mahaatripurasundaryaa arghyapaatraasana.m saadhyaami.
The stand of the pot, the pot and the liquid poured into the pot represent the fire, the sun and the moon and hence the former are to receive the worship respectively of the Kalas of the latter. The liquid to be poured is to be one of the following: wine, milk, coconut-juice, sugar-cane juice, sugar, honey, ghee. Presence of the sacred waters is to be invoked in the pot from the solar orb with the Ankushamudra. Then the pot is to be covered over with the hands in the Matsyamudra. The jewels Manikya etc, are to be put into the liquid of the pot, the goddess of jewels being worshipped through the jewels. Her mantra is nine-syllabled as shrii.m hrii.m gluu.m sluu.m pluu.m mluu.m nluu.m hrii.m shrii.m
The Matrika is to be contemplated upon in the form of a triangle, vowels occupying the base, consonants ka to ta and tha to sa the arms and ha and ksha the centre. The three angles and the centre are to be identified with Kamarupa, Jalandhara, Purnagiri and Uddyana presided over by the four forms of Tripura. Ananda-bhairava described as ten-armed, five-faced and having ten emblems and Suradevi similarly formed in his lap are to be worshipped inside the pot. Amritikarana, Sakalikarana and Paramikarana are to be done afterwards with Dhenumudra and Mahamudra as also with Musalamudra, Yonimudra and Galinimudra. The mantras of these are (1) hasakshamalavarayuu.m aanandabhairavaaya vauShaT.h (2) sahakshamalavarayuu.m suraadevyai vauShaT.h
In the purification the verses to be mattered are (1) hamsaH etc, (2) pratidviShNu etc. (3) tryambaka.m yajaamahe etc. (4) tadviShNoH etc. (5) viShNoryoni etc. The mantra ai.m klii.m etc. is to be muttered ten times. The last items of purification are to be done with the help of the Sandipini Vidya ai.m vada vada etc. At the end, the practitioner is to offer libation to Shrividya from the liquid thus consecrated.
The 14th Patala deals with the worshipping of Kameshvari. In it the practitioner is to offer the Asana on the Kamapitha to Kameshvari invoking the presence of Adharashakti and others upto Kameshvara who serve as her seat. Kameshvara is to be contemplated upon as four-armed, seated on the white lotus and holding in the left hand trident and bow and in the right white lotus and Bijapura. Then Kameshvari is to be contemplated upon as being seated in the lap of Kameshvara in response to the invocation with the mantra ai.m hrii.m sauH mahaatripurasundaryamR^itachaitanyamuurtim kalpayaami. The rites of removing the sinister influences and Digbandhana come after this. The vitalizing of the idol is to be conducted by the Sadhaka, after holding the breath and realizing through contemplation the presence of Mahatripurasundari in the heart, by conceptualizing the vitality in the handful of flowers after it comes out through the nostrils with the Bija ya.m
Trikhanda and Avahani Mudras, which are described in the text, should be used as also the Avahanividya hrsaim hsklii.m hssrauH invoking the presence of Mahatripurasundari in the idol.
This being over, the practitioner has to address his prayers to Mahatripurasundari for firm stay, for being eye to eye and mind to mind with the practitioner, for success in completion, for being invisible to the undeserving, for being blissful and finally for being merciful using the Mudras, such as are prescribed for these acts.
After these preliminary rituals, comes the offering of three handfuls of flowers and three libations of the consecrated liquid with the mantras (1) ai.m klii.m sauH mahaatripurasundarii shriipaadukaa.m puujayaami (2) ai.m klii.m sauH mahaatripurasundarii shriipaadukaa.m tarpayaami.
Exhibition of the nine Mudras Samksobhini to Yoni follows the offering of the following prayer to the Goddess:-
“O Goddess: May you be kind to me, may you accept my worship as I, though poor physically as well as in material resources, offer it in a devotional spirit.”
After the exhibition of the Mudras, the Sadhaka is to present the seven items of offerings using namaH svadhaa vauShaT wherever necessary.
Tarpana is to be done with the Tattva Mudra in which the thumb and the index fingers of the left hand are to be joined. At the end, come Japa and offer of the sacrifice, ointment, collyrium, mirror and umbrella.
The 15th chapter describes the things to be offered in worship. These are Asana, Padya, Arghya, Achamana, Madhuparka, Snana, Vastra, Bhushana, Gandha, Anjana, Pushpa, Dhupa, Dipa, and Naivedya.
Asana or the seat. It is to be either of gold or silver or cloth or jewels or flowers or wood. Among the cloths red blanket is preferable.
Padya means water for footwash. Cold water mixed with sandal-wood paste and Agaru is to be offered either in a pot of gold or silver or in a conch.
Arghya for the head. This is to consist of white mustard beans, sesamum, milk, red sandal and red flowers mixed in water. This is to be offered in a conch like other articles with a particular mantra given in the text.
Achamana or water for sipping. This is to be pure and scented with camphor and Agaru and offered in the same pot as is prescribed for Padya.
Madhuparka. This consists of curd, ghee, water, honey, sugar and sugar-cane juice or of cocoanut-juice, sugar, curd and ghee in equal proportions and honey in a larger quantity and offered in a bronze or silver pot.
Snana. Water mixed with camphor, Agaru, musk, Gorochana, saffron, cocoanut-juice, honey, sugarcane-juice, sugar, five products of cow, particular herbs called Sarvausadhi, is to be offered in a jug or conch for bath.
Vastra. A pair of cloths figured and silken is to be presented for dress.
Bhushana. Sixteen kinds of ornaments detailed in the text all made of gold and set with jewels are to serve as Bhushana.
Gandha. Five kinds of perfumery obtainable from certain fragrant substances by powdering, friction, burning, pressing, and from muskdeer are also to be offered.
Anjana. This is collyrium for application to the eyes. It is to be made of lampblack collected in a golden pot from a burning lamp having ghee or oil and scented with camphor.
Pushpa. Flowers to be offered are to be fresh. Certain species such as Bakula, Kesara etc. are declared dear to Tripura. Garlands also made of these flowers please her very much.
Dhupa, or the incense. It is to be offered in a pot and consists of sixteen substances, Patra to Agara given in the text.
Dipa. Lamps preferably of ghee with a wick of cotton are offered for illumination. These should be of gold or silver or earth or iron and placed on stands of similar material with the shape of a tree.
Naivedya, or food. It comes last and is to be presented and placed either on the right or on the left or in front, lamps coming always either on the right or in front, incense on the left or in front, scents, flowers and ornaments always in front.16th Chapter
Sixteenth Patala is devoted to the description of the offering, such as, drink and food and of the way and varieties of salutation. Among the first comes wine. This is to be distilled in the following manner:-
Well filtered sugarcane-juice should be allowed to grow stale for some time. Mango juice and honey should be mixed with it as also juices of jujuba, rose-apple fruit, dates, cocoanut, wine and intoxicative powders such as of Mohini, Jati, Datura, Jatiphala, mace, cardamom, black and long pepper, dry ginger and Triphala. The same should be scented with camphor and kept in a gold or silver or glass vessel and mixed with sugar and allowed to remain corked, being covered over with red cloth for seven nights. When at the end it becomes thus prepared and ready for use, it should be scented again with sandal paste, Aguru and camphor. This kind of wine is reserved for the more or less abstemious people and for those otherwise-minded a common species of the same is prescribed. Its use is admissible only in a strictly ceremonious way.
The four kinds of food detailed as chewable. suckable, lickable and drinkable come after drink. Every variety of solid food is to be offered when properly cooked and spiced. Every sweet fruit also is to be offered in cups of gold or silver and food in dishes or gold, silver, copper or stone or even in lotus leaves. The mantra to be muttered in this offering is mahaatripurasundari vaivedya.m gR^ihaaNa. After offering the perfumed water for sipping come the offerings to five lifebreaths Prana etc., with the five fingers. Offering of dessert comes last except Namaskara. The latter is said to be of three varieties as physical, lingual and mental. The physical again is of three kinds as that in which hands are folded and placed on the head and as that in which the head only touches the earth. The Lingual also is of three kinds. First is that in which self-composed prayers are offered the second in which prayers from the Puranas, Vedas or the Tantras are offered and the third in which prayers composed by others are offered. The mental also has three kinds according as the mind thinks well, ill or indifferent.
Pradakshina or circumambulation is included in the bowing. The former is of six varieties as triangular, hexagonal, semi-circular, circular, staff-like with eight limbs and the terrific. Moving from the south to the north-west, thence to the north-east and again thence to the south goes by the name of Trikona. That from the middle of the south to the north-west, thence to the north-east and thence to the middle of the south and again from the south-east to the south-west, thence to the middle of north, and thence to the south-east, goes by the name of Shatkona.
Moving from the middle of the south to the north-west and thence turning round and going to the middle of the south, goes by the name of Ardhachandra. Moving with the right hand extended and the head bent from the middle point in front of the Deity, around from the right is called Pradaksina.
Rising from one’s own seat, going back several steps and then prostrating on the earth is called Danda.
Bowing in which the earth is touched with chin, mouth, nose, jaws, eyes, ears, and cavity in head goes by the name of Ashtanga. Touching the earth with the skull goes by the name of Ugra.
In the 17th Patala worship, in the nine component parts of Shrichakra, of the attendant deities classified under nine categories technically called Prakatayoginis etc., is given along with the description of the Mudras and their use. In the first part called Trailokyamohana represented by the three rectangles the worship is to be conducted from the right unlike other parts in which the left side is to be adhered to. In the external rectangle Buddha as the great Lord of Yoginis is to be worshipped with the Mantra bu.m buddhaaya namaH along with the ten psychic powers Anima. etc. The first four powers occupy the quarters beginning with west, second four the sub-quarters beginning with the north-west and the last two come below and above. The mantra to be used in the worship of a psychic power is hrii.m shrii.m and the name of the psychic power and shriipaadukaa.m puujayaami. In the inner rectangle the eight mothers Brahmani etc. and the eight Bhairavas Asitanga etc. are to be adored. In the innermost rectangle the Mudra Devis Sarvasanksobhini etc. receive their worship. For the description of Sarvasanksobhini Mudra see the text. The Bija of the Mudra is draa.m.
In the second part, i.e. sixteen-petalled lotus bearing the name of Sarvashapuraka sixteen datal eternities, and Brahma receive their worship. The Mantra of Brahma and the Bija of Dravini Mudra to be shown here are respectively o.m brahmaNe namaH and drii.m.
In the third part, i.e. eight-petalled lotus called Sarvasanksobhana, Shiva and Uma, the eight Guptatara Yoginis Anangakusuma etc. are adored. Mantras of Shiva and Uma, eight Guptatara Yoginis and the Bija of the Mudra are klii.m shivaaya namaH, hrii.m umaayai namaH, Gutturals, Palatals, linguals, dentals, labials, semi-vowels, aspirates, La ksha and klii.m.
In the fourth i.e. fourteen sided figure called Sarvasaubhagyadayaka the sun-god, the Sampradaya-yoginis Sarvasankshobhini etc. and the Mudra called Sarvavashakari come in. The Bija of the Mudra is bluu.m
In the fifth, i. e. external decagon called Sarvarthasadhaka Vishnu (as Hrishikesha), Kulakaula-yoginis and Sarvonmadakari Mudra find thir worship. The mantra of Vishnu and the Bija of the Mudra are klii.m hR^ishiikeshaaya namaH and saH
In the sixth part i.e. inner decagon called Sarvarakshakara, Vishnu (Trailokyamohana), Nigarbhayoginis, Sarvajna etc. and the Mahankusha Mudra receive their worship. The Bija of Vishnu and the Mudra are klii.m and kro.m
In the seventh part i.e. octagon called Sarvarogahara, Rahasya-yogints Vashini etc. receive their worship. The Mudra to be exhibited is khechari of which the Bija is hasakhaphre.m
In the eighth part i.e. the triangle called Sarvasiddhiprada Kameshvari, Vajreshvari and Bhagamalini, the three shaktis respectively of Rudra, Vishnu and Brahma are to be worshiped in the apex, left and right sides of the triangle. These Shaktis are called Atirahasya-yoginis. Mudra to be exhibited there is Bija-mudra ,of which the Bija is hsauH
In the ninth part i.e. centre of the triangle called Sarvanandamaya Parapara-rahasya-yogini i.e. Tripura-bhairavi is to be worshipped along with Mokshasiddhi and the lion the vehicle of the Goddess. The Mudra to be shown is Yoni-mudra of which the Bija is ai.m
The deity-in-chief is to be worshippod in all the eight previous parts under different names–Tripura, Tripureshvari, Triparasundari, Tripura-vasini, Tripurashri, Tripuramalini, Tripurasiddha and Tripuramba.
For the description of the Mudras see the text.
The 18th chapter gives a detailed description of Japa. It is said to consist in the repeated muttering of certain syllables. Meditation on and muttering of the Mantra are prescribed to be successive, both being necessary for acquiring psychic powers. The rosary meant for Japa is to be considered as consisting of the letters of the alphabet in both the orders, successive and reverse as also of their eight groups. It therefore contains 108 beads. In the absence of the rosary a devotee is to keep an account of his muttering by using finger-joints. Top and mid-joints of the index fingers are to be avoided. The rosary made of crystal etc. before being used for Japa is to be placed either in front or on the left hand and then to be sanctified with proper worship after being besprinklcd with water. The mantra of Mala is ai.m maa.m maale mahaamaale sarvashaktisvaruupiNi chaturvargastvayi nyastastasvmaat.h me siddhidaa bhava
After being so purified in the said manner, it is to be held in the right hand with the mantra glau.m avighna.m kuru maale tvam.h Care is to be taken in rotating it in a cautious manner, so that it may not slip down from the hand. The rosary along with Yantra, mantra and mudra is strictly prohibited from being shown to any body. The Index finger is not used at all in the rotation of the rosary. The five fingers, thumb to the little finger are to be used in the Japa respectively meant for emancipation, destruction of the enemies, earning of wealth, pacification and attraction. Virasana is helpful to Japa. Japa is of three kinds loud, low and mental, the loud being inferior to the low, and the latter to the mental. It is to be done neither too quickly nor too slowly. The mind at the time of Japa should be entirely withdrawn from the sense-objects. Unlike a hymn, Japa is always to be mental in the case of Shrividya. The minimum number of times that Japa is to be done comes to 108, the middle to a thousand and the maximum to ten thousand. Rules to be observed in Japa are that the practitioner is lightly-dressed, must not have his hands wrapped up with cloth and must have his head naked and free from cares, be neither angry nor hasty, neither diseased nor hungry. He must above all have his mind concentrated.
Japa at the end is dedicated to Shrividya. Pranava (Omkara) as forming the essence of the Vedas is to precede and follow. Japa is always to be accompanied by Homa (sacrifice). Offerings in the Homa should be equal to the 10th part of the mutterings of Japa. In case a practitioner be not in a position to do Homa he is advised to mutter the Mulamantra twice the number of the offerings of Homa. Worship offered to the Deity with the various prescribed articles helps the practitioner to get desirable objects determined in each case by the former. The latter are described at length in the text. The nine Mudras are to be exhibited at the beginning and the end of worship.
The following things lead to success in worship:-
Solitude, Spiritual purity, abundant purity of the worshipping material, presence of sweet-smelling substances, mental fortitude, affablehess of manners, nobility of disposition, beautiful dress, devotional tone etc.
In the 19th chapter worship and offerings to Vatuka, Yoginis, Kshetrapala and Ganesha are described. The latter are to be located in the four diagrams drawn in north-east, south-east, southwest and north-west of the seat of Shrichakra. Offerings are to consist of various edible (kind of meat), fish, sugar, curd, milk and flour.
Vatuka is to be meditated upon as dwarfish, lotus-eyed, gold-yellow and four-armed bearing in the hands mace, conch, lotus and disc. The mantras of worship and offering to Vatuka with the left hand thumb and ring-finger are blo.m baTukaaya nama ehyehi deviiputra baTukanaatha kapilajaTaabhaarabhaasvara trinetra jvaalaamukha sarvavighnaan.h naashaya naashaya sarvopachaarasahita.m bali.m gR^hNa gR^hNa svaahaa
Yoginis. These are of optional bodily form, gold-yellow, wearing the garland of skeletons, dressed in red and bearing in arms linga, noose, skull and goad. Mantra of offering with the left hand thumb, mid-finger and ring-finger is yaa.m yoginibhyaH sarvavarNa.myoginibhyo hu.m phaT.h svaahaa
Kshetrapala. He is described as collyrium-black and bearing sword. skull, trident and small hand-drum. Mantra of the offering with the left-hand fisted and having the index-finger stretched is kshaa.m kshii.m kshuu.m kshai.m kshau.m kshaH kshetrapaala dhuupadiipaadisahita.m bali.m gR^hNa gR^hNa svaahaa
Ganesha. He is described as elephant-headed, four-armed, naked, big bellled, holding noose, goad and skull-bowl filled with wine, with shakti in the lap. Mantra of the offering with the left hand fisted having the mid finger raised up is gaa.m gii.m guu.m gaNapataye varavarada sarvajana.m me vashamaanaya bali.m gR^hNa gR^hNa svaahaa
After making offerings to various kinds of beings the practitioner is to offer himself with the mantra itaHpuurva etc. and the prayers imploring the goddess to accept the offerings overlooking the errors of commission and omission. Towards the end of the chapter it is described how the practitioner has first to immerge the attendant deities in the goddess and then the goddess herself with the help of Pranayama withdrawn from the outside world in the lotus of his own heart. Shoshika, the goddess that is entitled to the Nirmalya receives the practitioner’s attention at the end.
In this Shoshika is described at length. Her Mantra is given in two forms as follows (a) uchChiShTa etc. (b) ai.m hrii.m etc. She is described as seated on a corpse, dressed in red, bearing in two arms skull-bowl and scissors. The practitioner of her mantra is to make offerings to her and soon after taking food and without washing his body mutter her mantra. Her Homa and Tarpana are to be performed in a rectangle drawn on the ground with curd, white mustard and rice. By offering various kinds of meat in the fire in her name the practitioner acquires certain desired objects. These are detailed in the text.
In the above the last rites of worship are described. The practitioner is first of all advised to offer Nirmalya to Ucchistamatangi or Soshika taking care that no drop falls down on the earth. The water in the conch is to be held in the left hand and after sanctifying the same with mutterings of the mantra the body is to be besprinkled with the same water through the right hand. Washings of the feet of the goddess are to be drunk and the remainder is to be used in rubbing the head and the rest of the body. Arghya is offered to the Sun-god with his mantra for completing the ceremony. In this the knees of the worshipper are to touch the ground and the mind to be concentrated. Salutation to and seeing of the sun are to begin and end the ceremony. The place where the vessels have been arranged should be duly washed with the water and the washing should be thrown into the water or near the root of a tree. After offering the food to the preceptor and his wife or in their absence to the girls, the remaining part of the same should be eaten by thedevotee. Such a food is considered as Amrita. Sipping water before and after is necessary as also reciting the following prayer:- shivo daataa shivo bhoktaa etc.
Ladies and Brahmins are to be fed each time the worship is performed. Offering of food to the preceptor, girls, Brahmins and Cow helps to remove the sin of errors committed in worshipping. In doing Japa the concentration of the mind is to be aimed at by believing in and feeling identity with Shrividya either as transcendent or as immanent.
This chapter describes the duties of a Sadhaka. These are:- (1) Realization of the Supreme Reality as identical with the individual soul. Anything offered with this conviction receives sacredness. (2) The worship of Tripura. It is to be done either as Nitya or as Naimittika or as Kamya. By the first is meant that which is done everyday and omission of which is sinful. By the second is meant that which is done occasionally with a definite end in view and failure in the performance of which is artended with the evil consequences. The last denotes that kind of worship which is done avowedly to gain some object. In rendering all these kinds of worships it is to be kept in view that nothing is done contrary to the popular usage. Worship in all its forms if done without any desire to gain this or that object is viewed as Sattvika. (3) Performance of the acts that are prescribed for him by the Shruti and Smriti such as service to the parents and entertainment of friends and relations, maintenance of protection of the dependents; preservation of peace and order with a view to honouring the righteous and punishing the wicked. (4) Meditation upon Tripura Sundari and Tripura Bhairava four times a day in the morning, mid-day, evening and midnight.
This describes the importance of worshipping the girls, their prescribed ages and the way in which they are to be worshipped. Maidens also are mentioned in this chapter to receive the worship of the practitioner as representing the eight mothers Brahmi etc.
It describes the importance and fruit of offering worship to the girls and the Prayaschitta or penance, that is to be done by the devotee when he misses performance of daily worship. It lays stress on the daily worship as compared with the occasional or purposeful and instructs that on the 14th, 8th or 15th days of the bright half of the month as also on the 14th day of the dark half falling on Tuesday, Yajna or sacrifice should be offered to Tripura. Yajna is considered as a body in which meditation, worship, muttering of the mantra and Homa constitute the four hands, devotion head, faith heart, skill in action eyes, knowledge of the Atman the Soul and Nyasas the remaining parts of the body. Such a 14th day of the dark half of the month on which Tuesday and the constellation Tishya fall simultaneously is the most sacred day for the devotee of Tripura.
This chapter is devoted to the description of the sacred spots in India and the merits that a devotee gains by offering worship in these places. The sacred places are river banks, caves, mountain tops, sources of water, confluences of rivers, forests, gardens, mountain feet, Tulasi groves, cow-sheds, root of the Ashvattha or Amalaki, temple of Shiva, sea shore of ocean, solitary places and those where the preceptor lives or which help in the concentration of the mind, the cities of Benares and Dwarika, the Vindhya mountain, Aryavarta, Brahmavarta, Prayaga, Pushkara, the river Karatoya, Nandikunda etc. It also tells that the devotee is not held back from worship by the consideration of impurity arising from death or birth and that he should offer worship mentally in times of such a calamity.
It deals with Diksha or initiation. It is necessary for the practitioner of mantras because it imparts right knowledge and removes sins. Before having been done by man to man initiation was started by the holy line of nine divine teachers, viz. Prakasha, Vimarsha, Ananda, Jnana, Satya, Purna, Svabhava, Pratibha, Subhaga, the first three living eternally in heaven, the middle three partly in heaven and partly on earth and the last three only on earth. These receive their worship between Vimala and Jayani in Shrichakra. Qualifications are laid down of both the initiator and the initiate. The former among other things must have all good qualities = be free from vanity, greedless, healthy, pure, speaking truth and knowing sacred laws of the Tantras. The latter must be orthodox, merciful, attached to the teacher, considerate and greedless. He should avoid all acts of indecency, especially when in the presence of the teach and should have as much faith in him as in his own God or Mantra and be respectful towards him. The months which are prescribed for initiation are given in the following order of importance:-
Assoon, Katak, Baishakh, Phagan, Maghar, Chet, Har and Magh. Days of the lunar reckoning and the week days prescribed for the said purpose are 15th, 5th, 2nd, 7th, and 13th and 10th and Sunday, Thursday, Friday, Monday and Wednesday.
The initiation is said to be of three kinds that of mantras, that of Shakti and that of Shiva. The first involves the use of mantras, worship, postures, meditation and concentration etc. The second has a reference to that in which the initiator infuses his own spiritual power in the initiate. The third is that in which a spiritualist par excellence sanctifies the person with no regard to qualifications merely by his glance to the extent that the Reality becomes visible to him.
The end of the chapter explains the details of initiation such as selection and preparation of a place for initiation, making offering to Vastupala together with the Vedic recitation and blessing of the learned Brahmins, sowing of seeds, and rendering worship to the Dikpalas with a view to invoking their help in performing initiation, purification of the place, Shrichakra and the disciple with Panchagavya, performing Homa and disclosing the mantra called Svapnamanava, i. e. hili hili shuulapaaNaye svaahaa to the disciple and putting him to sleep afterwards, The disciple is instructed to carefully remember the dreams good or bad he has seen in sleep. The good dreams are those in which the objects seen are a girl, an umbrella, a chariot a lamp, a palace, a river, saffron etc. Bad dreams on the other hand, involve reference to an ass, a crow, ditch etc. The preceptor has to make a hundred offering with the Astra mantra in case the initiate sees bad dreams.
This also is devoted to the description of initiation. The seeker after initiation is to approach the initiator with the request for initiation after having duly done worship to gods and the manes. Initiator is to enter the pavilion raised for the purpose and instal a water-pot of gold or silver or copper on the Shrichakra drawn on the earth. The water-pot is to be filled with fragrant substances and certain herbs and varieties of earth, and wrapped with a couple of cloths. The same is to be placed on a stand. The stand, the water-pot and the water respectively representing the Fire, the Sun and the Moon are to receive worship through their Kalas. The candidate for initiation is asked after this to fill his hands with flowers and throw them so as to see whether their throw is in the auspicious direction or otherwise. In the latter case the initiator is to ward off the evil by performing a Homa. After performing worship to the attendant deities of Tripurasundari sacrificial food is to be prepared of which a part is to be offered to her and the rest to the fire, care being taken that the fire is ablaze. The candidate is to have his face covered with a cloth and then be besprinkled with the water from Vishesharghya and the initiator is to request the goddess to be kind to the candidate and inspire him with her devotion. After this he has to receive instruction from the initiator as to the line of action he should follow in future. The initiator should imagine that the fetters of sins binding the body of the candidate have been burnt down with the fire of Kundalini rising from the Muladhara to the Brahmarandhra and also enter his body through the Yogic power and unite his soul with his own. After having him seated on a diagram of the alphabet the onitiator should bathe him with the water of the water-pot, muttering the three Bijas of the Mulamantra and then dress him and oint him with sandal-wood and other pastes. He should also instruct the candidate to perform the Matrika-nyasa and the Mantra-nyasa at the end of which his face is to be unveiled and he sees things required for the worship and takes food, while muttering the mantras of the Tattvas with the Mudra of morsels. Then the initiator acquaints him with the mantras of the Guru and Bala and the mantra of the candidate’s choice or all mantras at once. In doing the latter the initiator keeps his foot on the head of the candidate. He also gives him a new name of initiation consisting of two or three syllables with the word aanandanaatha coming at the end. Having thus brought him up to the same footing with himself in the spiritual sphere, the initiator should embrace him and smell him on the head. In order to keep his own spiritual power intact the teacher should also perform the Japa of the Mulamantra one thousand and eight times. The cadidate should offer due and costly presents so that his preceptor may be satisfied.
In this are given the instructions regarding Purashcharana which is necessary for obtaining success in the mantra. Purushcharana means performance of the Japa of a mantra either one thousand and eight times or fifty thousand times. This is necessary to remove the obstacles due to lack of faith, scepticism and the demerits of the previous lives. This may be done either by the disciple or by the preceptor or by some worthy Brahmin in some sacred place either on the 14th or the 8th or the 15th day of the dark half of the month. The practitioner is to keep a fast for the previous day and perform worship to Brahmins or teachers, Ganesha, mother deities and manes. The Japa is to be done in a suitable place which is to be selected carefully by testing the same with the help of the diagram called Kurmachakra consisting of nine sections in which the alphabet or the Matrika is arranged in a prescribed manner.
The rosary to be used is to consist of the beads of pearl, crystal etc. Beads may number a hundred, fifty or twentyeight. One of them which stands for the Meru should be the biggest, the rest being gradually smaller in size and each bead should have a knot. The holy articles of food, such as, curd, milk, Ghee etc. should be taken and those of the opposed character should be avoided. The practitioner should also observe sleeping on the earth, celibacy, silence, absence of envy, three daily baths, avoidance of mean acts, daily worship, daily charity, praising of the deity, occasional worship, reliance on the teacher and the deity and avoid the company of and eating with women, Sudra, outcast, etc., lying, cheating, deceitful talk, hearing the music and seeing a dance etc. Japa should not be done when the doer is without a Pavitra in the hand, naked, with the head covered, without a seat, asleep, going or standing in the street, dark places or talking. It should not be continued on seeing, talking to and hearing an outcast, sneezing, discharging the wind and yawning. Everyday such an amount of Japa should be done from the morning till midday as has been fixed per day.
There should not be a pause of even one day in the period of Purashcharana. At the end of Japa the offering should be made to the extent of its 10th part in the purifying fire. Tarpana, Marjana and the feeding of the Brahmins should be done respectively to the extent of the 10th part of the Homa, 10th part of the Tarpana and 10th part of the Marjana.
The five acts of a sacred bath, purging of the sins, offering water to the Sun, sipping of water and Pranayama come after the above. The large scale worship is to be conducted at the end to complete the Parashcharan.
There is yet another way of performing the same. According to this the Sadhaka is to keep a fast previous to the day on which a Solar or Lunar eclipse fails and stand in the river navel-deep and mutter the mantra during the time of the eclipse, and after having done so perform Homa etc.
In the above the practitioner is instructed to mutter the mantra of Devi with his wife at the time of midnight, because anything done of religious merit at this time has got far greater significance than if done at others. Performance of Japa nine-hundred thousand times of Devi is calculated to qualify the practitioner for approach to her.
This is to be done in the following manner:-
Three hundred thousand times when the practitioner has to concentrate his mind upon Kundalini in the Muladhara centre coiling herself round a phallic mass of light called Svayambhu. Again three hundred thousand times in the heart with the mind fixed on Kundalini with the Linga as above called Bana. Lastly the same number of times in the head with attention fixed on Kundalini with. the Linga called Itara.
Mind loses its separate entity and becomes one with the object of meditation when Japa is performed a crore times. The serpent power lying dormant is to be awakened and raised from centre to centre in the body of the Sadhaka and these centres number nine and are located in the Muladhara, Linga, navel, heart, throat, middle of the eyebrows and so on. The practitioner is advised farther to see that the mautra when muttered is not subjected to the impurity, attendant on birth and death. Each breath before its beginning and termination is said to have this pollution. Immunity from such impurity is obtained by that practitioner who knows the meaning of the mantra, the life of the mantra and the Yonimudra.
The meaning of the mantra of Devi Tripurasundari is said to be sixfold, i.e. literal meaning, traditional meaning, inner meaning, Kaulika meaning, occult meaning and real meaning.
According to the literal meaning, the mantra is to be understood as implying the union of Shiva and Shakti because the constituent syllables of the same represent either Shiva or Shakti. Hence the first part of the mantra called Vagbhava, i.e. ha sa ka la hrii.m represents Vama Shakti, Brahma, Goddess of wisdom, volition and Purvbamnaya, the second called Kamaraja, i.e. ha sa ka ha la hrii.m, Jyeshta Shakti, Vishnu, Goddess of earth, cognition and Dakshinamanya, and the third called Shakti, i e. sa ka la hrii.m, Raudri Shakti, Rudra, action and Pachimnaya. The syllable at the end of all these parts represents Ambika Shanti, Shambhu, Santa, all the three aspects volition etc. and Uttaramnaya.
All these parts are further viewed as representatives of the three acts of creation, sustenance and destruction. In this way in the Vagbhava with reference to the creation as beginning, ha denotes Brahma, sa Goddess of wisdom; with reference to the same as continuing (considered as sustenance) ka denotes Vishnu, la Goddess of earth; with reference again to the same as ending, ha denotes Rudrani and ra Rudra and the syllable ii denotes Shiva Shakti and their combination (Anakhya). In the Kamaraja ha and sa represent continuity as beginning, ka & la continuity as continuous, ha continuity as ending and ii as Anakhya. Addition of ha in this part indicates that it refers to the stage of continuity. In the Shakti, sa as abbreviation of ha sa denotes destruction as beginning, ka la destruction as continuity, ha destruction as ending and ii the same as before.
According to the Sampradayartha ha denotes sky ka air ra fire sa water and la earth, giving birth respectively to sky etc. The goddess of the mantra is to be meditated upon as identical with the whole unvierse. The fifteen syllables of the mantra respectively represent also the 15 qualities of the elements, i.e. one of the sky, two of the air, three of the fire, four of the water and five of the earth.
The mantra when analyzed into its constituents including both vowels and consonants resolves itself into the 37 parts as five vowels (four a + one ii) and six consonants ha sa ka la ha ra in the first part, as six vowels (five a + one ii) and seven consonants ha sa ka ha la ha ra in the second part, as four vowels (three a + one ii) and five consonants sa ka la ha ra in the third part, as three Bindus at the end of these parts and as a whole. These 37 constituents represent the 36 categories both individually and collectively. The six haï¿½s in the mantra represent the sound as effect (fivefold) and as cause. The three iiï¿½s and the Bindu at their end stand for the four forms of touch, three raï¿½s represent three aspects of form, two saï¿½s represent two kinds of water, gross and subtle and the third. Sa stands for the connection between water and nectar. Three laï¿½s represent the earth as existing in the three worlds, three kaï¿½s also represent three classes of cognisers ï¿½ Ashuddha, Shuddha and Mishr, 12 aï¿½s represent Jiva as such, Jiva as breath, Jiva as spirit, three Bindus, purusha, Raga, Vidya, Kala, Niyati, Kala, Maya, Shuddhavidya, Ishvara and Sadashiva and three Nadas, Shanti, Shakti and Shambhu.
According to the inner meaning, the mantra reminds of the identity between Shiva, the teacher and the disciple.
According to the Kaulika meaning it reminds of the identity between the mantra, the diagram, the deity, the teacher and the disciple. Identity between the mantra and the diagram is thus established:-
Three laï¿½s = three rectangles, three saï¿½s = three circles enclosing the two lotuses, thrice three parts of hrii.m, i.e. ha ra ii = nine triangles, three haï¿½s = one 14 sided figure and two decagons, three kaï¿½s = the centre.
Identity between the diagram and the deity is shown as below:-
One hundred and eleven deities that are worshippod in the different parts of the diagram attend upon the Devi and hence she is the main deity of the chakra. She is also manifest in the form of the planets counting nine as she constitutes the essence of the moon, the sun and the fire, volition cognition and action, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.
She appears in the form of constellations representing sense organs (5) active organs (5) sense and action objects (10) mind, wisdom, ego, chitta, matter, qualities, and spirit.
The six Yoginis Dakini to Hakini as presiding deities of the six constituents of the body skin etc. and the eight mothers Brahmi etc. as presiding over vowels, gutturals, palatals, linguals, dentals, labials, semi-vowels and aspirates are mere representations of the Devi. As one with the ten vital currents, limited soul and supreme soul she appears as twelve signs of the zodiac.
The above forms of Ganesha are also traceable from the mantra. The three parts of the mantra respectively represent Vaikhari, Madhyama, and Pashyanti as presiding over the three groups of sixteen letters each (tha to sa, ka to ta, a to aH). Hence Devi the deity of the mantra stands as the mistress of all the forms of speech.
As the mantra has three parts, three Bindus and three Nadas, it reminds of her planetary form. Again as it possesses three parts having five letters (ha ra ii Bindu and Nada) at the end of each in addition to the remaining letters numbering 12 she is to be considered as one with constellations. As the six letters suggestive of Shakti, i. e. three hrii.m and three laï¿½s represent Yoginis she assumes their form. Similarly all the letters of the mantra excepting the three ending hrii.m counting 12 stand for the 12 signs of zodiac and hence she appears in the form of Rashis also.
The identity between the teacher and the taught
This can be acquired and realized just as that between the Deity and her body either as a mantra or as chakra, which has been described above.
According to the occult meaning the mantra reminds the practitioner again and again to be attentive to the idea of identity between his self and Kundalini which wakes up in the Muladhara and rises from there to the lunar seat in the head.
According to the real meaning the Sadhaka has to merge himself in the Transcendental Self.
The three parts of the incantation of Devi known by the terms Vagbhava, Kamaraja and Shakti together with the Hamsa-mantra are described in this chapter. ha and sa of ha.msa are said to be representative of the vital breath and the soul, existence and intelligence, Shiva and Shakti. This mantra is called Ajapa because it is not to be muttered but to be meditated upon so much so that the practitioner is to realize his unity with the Transcendental Self. Of the Matrika or the Sanskrit alphabet, vowels constitute the breath and Bindu and Visarga consciousness. Every incantation becomes lifeless, as it were, if not possessing Bindu, Visarga, ha, sa and ii. shrii.m hrii.m ha.msaH ai.m klii.m soha.m hrii.m shrii.m is supposed to vitalize every mantra as do Bodhini and Dipini. Meditation on Kundalini in the form of a flame, if accompanied by the three Kutas above referred to, leads the practitioner to acquire respectively extraordinary wisdom, power of charming and immunity from the effects of poison.
The meaning of Kamakala and what it stands for and other details regarding the same are given at the end of the chapter.
This chapter gives the details regarding the Homa or sacrifice. These are offerings to be made, formation of the Kunda and the diagram, sacrificial pots, the incantations meant to invoke the fire etc. Particular objects obtainable from making particular offerings are also fully mentioned together with the measure and weight of the latter at the end of the chapter.
How a particular ring is to be prepared and how the same is to be worn by the worshipper of Devi are mentioned in this chapter. The ring like the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, is to be considered as identical with the Sun, Moon and Fire. Hence the same is to be made up of gold, silver and copper as representing Sun, Moon and Fire. The metals named above are to be in the ratio of 12, 16 and 10. The ring is to be washed with the five products of cow and five Amritas on a bright Tuesday. The alphabet should be written in the form of a lotus and the nine pots full of perfume, water and jewels should occupy the place of the eight leaves and the centre of the lotus. In the central pot should be placed the ring the three parts whereof should be worshipped as Moon. Sun and Fire with the three Bijas of Devi and with the three groups of letters, 16 vowels, 24 consonants ka to bha and ten other consonants ya to ksha.
Nyasa of Sammohini and Matrika comes after this. The goddess of the latter is to be meditated upon as three-eyed, moon-white and wearing the emblems rosary, goad, arrows, noose, two lotuses, bow and book. After offering the worship with flowers, lamps etc., together with that of attendant deities and muttering the mantra a thousand times, the ring should be put in hand. The Sampata Homa also should be done after this. The disciple who is to wear the ring should be bathed with the water of the nine pots above referred to when placed on the lotus of the Matrika. When thus qualified, he is to wear the same on the index finger. It may be made of nine jewels which are sacred to the nine planets which represent the nine classes into which the Sanskrit alphabet is divided.
This chapter deals with the invocation of the presence of Devi. It is said to be possible in three ways in the diagram, in the image and in the disciple. The disciple should make an image either of a jewel or of gold or of silver and have Devi invoked in it. The image should be taken out every month and worship conducted through it with the 64 articles of the same. The diagram should be washed with the five products of a cow placed in an altar on a conch. After this he should do either items of worship and having washed the same diagram with different juices and waters and put the same on a golden seat. Then Devi is to be invoked and the diagram retouched and electrified with the mantra aa.m hrii.m etc. Then is the worship to be done with the necessary articles. Recitation of the hymns completes the worship.
In this the reader finds the details given about the worship of Devi as done by the follower of Kulachara. Among many other things, he has to observe that he does not keep fasts, does not see a naked lady or one with visible breasts, that he avoids anything painful to women, that he eats modestly so as to keep healthy, that when sacrificing an animal he gets it beheaded by someone else while reciting the mantra udbudyasva etc. He is further directed not to be too much given to hunting, nor to indulge in the gambling but to strictly watch the conduct of women at home. He alone is to make use of the liquor who is not adversely affected by it but who on the other hand is uniform in treatment to all beings, is equally affected by honour or dishonour, by friend or foe, by stone or gold and who speaks smilingly and with steady eyes. The best sign of success in worship is afforded by detachment, thirst for release, renunciation, control over everything, the practising of the eight-limbed Yoga, avoidance of enjoyment, mercy towards all beings, acquisition of omniscience etc.
The worship of Devi through the medium of a lady forms the subject-matter of this chapter. This is strictly to be done in privacy and at night. In laying stress on the use of the necessary material for this sort of worship instances are quoted of Vishnu, Indra, Pushpadanta, Dattatreya and Balarama. Various powers are said to be obtainable from this worship. But the worshipper is to do every function with the help of his wife.
In this chapter the follower of Kulachara is instructed to have his wife initiated like himself by his own teacher who is to treat her as his own daughter. The Kula worship is to be celebrated on the 8th and 14th day of each half of the month through a diagram drawn on an earthen pot with red lead. The diagram is to consist of a hexagon inside a lotus. The image of Devi is to be drawn with the same material in the middle of the hexagon. The name of the person to be hypnotized is to occupy the cheeks of the image. The mantra of Devi ai.m klii.m sauH comes before and after. The Kamabija, i.e. klii.m, should be prominent in the other parts of the image. The muttering of the Vasantasundari mantra klii.m hrii.m ai.m niilasubhage hili hili vicche svaahaa comes after this. Then he has to electrify the image with the spiritual power and after having done the same perform the actual worship. The spiritual counterpart of the above is also detailed in this. The practitioner has to place himself in an even seat in a pure solitary place with the nervous system fully purified. He has to purify the latter with the Pranayamic exercises and be in the Sundari-mudra in which eyes are fixed on the nose-tip or the inner soul, or the middle of the eyebrows and the teeth, lips and tongue are to be closed with the serpent force drawn up from the Muladhara. He has to melt the nectar in the thousand-petalled lotus in the head and with the nectar shower so obtained he is to worship Devi in the heart-lotus. Invocation of Devi is to be done through inhalation and retention of the breath. The same nectar is to be offered for the washing of the feet, Arghya and sipping. Thirtysix component principles of the world are to serve the purpose of perfume. The flowers to be offered are non-violence, abstention from theft, commiseration, forgetfulness, sense-control, presence of mind, absence of envy, hatred and attachment, and truthfulness. Air serves the purpose of incense, light of lamp, Sun of mirrer, Moon of umbrella, happiness of ornaments, sky of chamara and heart-throbbing of bell. The nectar above referred to is the drink but not the liquor. By the Sundari or the matchless beauty is meant the subtle flame which occupies the central place of the Nada which ultimately is the essence of the fire, the air, the sky, the water and the earth. The practitioner of the worship has to merge the products of the five different elements in the elements themselves, lights in the light and the mind in the Brahman. In the pit of Kundalini he is to enkindle the spiritual fire and make into it the offering of all desires, whether definite or indefinite, merit and demerit, with the incantation given in the book at pages 320-321.
This chapter relates how the things which have heen rejected by the followers of the Vedas can be used by a Tantrik worshipper in a particular manner so as to gain success in worship. It is said that there is absolutely nothing pure and nothing impure. It is the way of using it that causes its purity or impurity. What is really needed is the fixing of mind on the Brahman. It is variously described as Prakriti by Samkhyas, as Avidya by the Vedantins, as Mahavidya by Shaivas and as Mahamaya by Tantriks. Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshvara adore Mahamaya. Brahma by worshipping her obtained Savitri representative of the will-power as his consort and Vishnu Lakshmi representing the cognitive power. She is said to have two forms gross and subtle. The gross form is visible in females and the subtle in the Kundalini. It is therefore, commanded that the females should not be subjected to any cold treatment such as beating etc. Worship of the subtle form is conducted through the Kundalini Yoga.
In this Shiva says that the Devi feels satisfied not so much with the mental worship as with the physical. In accounting for the same it is said how she was once praised by Brahma and how she being pleased conferred on the Trinity, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, their respective powers — creation, sustenance and destruction and how she was born first as Sati and then as Parvati and how she advised Shiva to marry her as a Vira and how he praised her expressing that all his eight forms were really her own manifestations and at the end how she appeared before Shiva in the form of the Universe.
The reader is here to see for himself how much the Tantra has borrowed from the Durga-saptashati and the Bhagvadgita.
This chapter sets forth that spirit and matter are the two eternal principles. The former is represented by the male sex and the latter by the female. The latter, therefore, is endowed with the Gunas (qualities). From this view-point the question of purity and impurity attaching to the things of the world is said to be conventional for taking it for granted that the world consists of the five elements, we have to see how the same earth can be considered to give rise to the cast distinction such as, Brahmin etc, or to the distinction either as divine or as human etc. He is held to be a Brahmin who feels really that the soul is different from the body and is one with the Brahman as Supreme Bliss.
The Vedantic description of the Brahman and of the bodies of the soul, gross, subtle and causal is put in the mouth of the Devi.
In this Shiva and Parvati change positions. Shiva becomes the questioner and Parvati the replier. The latter states how the world consists of the two elements Shiva and Shakti and how their simultaneous existence is essential and how she is to be worshipped through incantation, image etc. When physical worship is to be conducted the Linga is advised to be worshipped alongside. The way of worship associated with the Kulachara is fully detailed towards the end.
In the above explanation of the Anuttara or the Transcendental Self comes first. It is defined as the unification between Sat and Chit, Prakasha and Vimarsha, Shiva and Shakti (being and knowing). The Bija of the Devi given here points to the same thing so far as its connotation is concerned. All the incantations are said to lead when practised to the same stage in the long run, though at first they may be helpful to the practitioner ‘s approach to Shiva or the Devi. The practitioner has to bear in mind that the objective world is in nature one with the subjective. The Transcendental Self manifests itself trebly, first as Bindu, then as Nada and lastly as Bija. The Shaivistic doctrine regarding the cosmic evolution and that of the Sanskrit alphabet is described in elucidation of the Anuttara much in the same way as Abhinava Gupta and Kshemaraja have done.
The verse frequently quoted by the writers on Shaivism comes at the end and means an individual soul out on gaining oneness with the supreme reality as supreme bliss energises to merge the objectivity in the subjectivity.
This closes the book and deals with the description of the physiological and spiritual phenomena as known to the experts in the Tantrika lore. It is given in the form of question and replies. Devi asks the following questions:
1. Whence does the speech originate and wherein does it disappear? 2. Who feels appetite and thirst and who sleeps and wakes up? 3. Who sins and is bound and who emancipated? 4. How is the etheric side of the soul to be accounted for in the body? 5. How does the soul assume the physical body? 6. Who is the soul? 7. How does the soul see? 8. How does it become Sakala (bound) and how Nishkala (released)? 9. How does it get sustenance and what accounts for its physical appearance and · disappearance?
1. Speech comes from and merges in the mind through the instrumentality of Avyakkta and the vital breath. 2. Vital breath feels desire for food and drink and bodily fire enjoys them. Wind (Vital breath) causes sleep and waking. 3. Mind is responsible for sins and bondage. When the soul being under control ceases to function, it becames free. 4. The soul has three sides, aerial, astral and etheric as breathing, digesting and speaking. 5. The soul appears in the physical form under the influence of matter as Sattva, Rajas and Tamas and it is centered in the tip of the nose and heart. It lives as embodied so long as the heart and the head continue to function. 6. The supreme reality is the soul. 7. It sees through the body. 8. It becomes Sakala when It comes under the influence of Prakriti and Nishkala when it realizes its unity with the Trancendental Self. 9. It gets sustenance through its actions and appears and disappears through the presence or otherwise of limitations caused by action. It rises and falls like a ball in the scale of life.
In explaining the above replies Shiva makes a reference to the doctrine of the Upanishads as revealed to Sanatkumara the son of Vishnu.
The last lines of the chapter like those of the Upanishads. describe the merit of reciting the Tantra.
Artwork is © Jan Bailey, 1975-2022. Translations are © Mike Magee 1975-2022.Questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org