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Lalitā’s Paradise Island
The following is from a text called Nityotsava by a disciple of a 17th century Kaula devotee of Lalitā called Bhaskararaya.
Aiṃ Hrīṃ Śrīṃ hail to the sea of nectar; island of Gems; garden of Various Trees; Aeon Tree garden; Santana garden; Hari Chandana garden; Mandara garden; Parijata garden; Kadamba garden; Enclosing wall of Topaz; Enclosing wall of Ruby; enclosing wall of Gomeda gem; enclosing wall of Diamond; Enclosing wall of the Vaidurya gem.
Aiṃ Hrīṃ Śrīṃ Hail to the Enclosing Wall of Sapphire; Enclosing Wall of Pearl; Enclosing wall of Emerald; Enclosing wall of Coral; Jewelled Pavilion; Pavilion Adorned with 1000 Bunches of Flowers; nectar Lake; Bliss Lake; Mirror Lake; Shining sun; Shining moon; Great Beautiful Gate; Great Forest of Lotuses; Palace made of Wish Fulfilling gem.
Aiṃ Hrīṃ Śrīṃ Hail to the Eastern Face Door; Southern Face Door; Western Face Door; Northern Face Door; Circle of Jewelled Lamps; Great Lion Throne Made of Gems; Brahma Couch Foot; Viṣṇu Couch Foot; Rudra Couch Foot; Iśvara Couch Foot; Sadaśiva Couch Foot; Haṃsa Mattress; Pillow on the Haṃsa Mattress; Mattress strewn with safflower; the great canopy; Aiṃ Hrīṃ Śrīṃ hail to the great curtain.
One should worship using these 44 temple mantras, employing flowers and rice. – from Nityotsava, translated in Lalitā Magic, Sothis Weirdglow 1983.
There is a beautiful island, scented by fragrant breezes, with a multitude of gardens, lakes and bowers and there Śrī Śrī Lalitā Devī resides. Before you enter through the great curtain you must pass through four gates, to the east, south, west and north of Her lion throne. Her canopy is also a hidden gate. This symbolism has some similarities to Śiva with his five faces. The scheme is set out in full below for the lovers of intricacy. (Drawing by Mark Bostel. Click to enlarge.)
East of the Lion Throne
1) Bālā. Her mantra is Aiṃ Klīṃ Sauh. She dwells in the centre of a forest of trees with bright orange-coloured blossoms (Kadambas), in the centre of a jewelled pavilion, below a great Aeon Tree (kalpadruma), seated on a jewelled throne, a priceless gem as Her diadem, at Her feet a jewelled pot, with jewels as necklace, effulgent bracelets, holding a book and dispelling fear with Her left hand, with Her right holding a rosary,
2) Sampatprada Bhairavī. Mantra: Hsraim Hasakalarim Hsraum. She is as bright as 1000 rising suns, charming, wearing red linen garments, with a garland of flowers on her head, her breasts smeared with red unguent, carrying a china rose, a hook, dispelling fear and granting boons, with three eyes, a face full of love-play, the Moon as her diadem, smiling slowly.
3) Caitanya Bhairavī. Mantra: Shaim Sa Ka La Hrīṃ Shrauh. Like 1000 rising suns, adorned with various Jewels, crescent moon as diadem, wearing red clothes, carrying noose and goad, bestowing boons and dispelling fear, she is adorned with skulls, has massive round swelling firm breasts.
4) Caitanya Bhairavī (b). Mantra: Shaim Sa Ka La Hrīṃ Nityaklinne Madadrave Sauh. She carries noose and goad, and a skull, she is red, garlanded with skulls, seated on a throne made of five corpses.
5) Kāmeśvarī Bhairavī. Mantra: Ha Sa Kha Phrem Ba Sa Ka La Rim Ha Saum. She is bright as 1000 rising suns, the Moon is her diadem, she has three eyes, beautiful gems, red clothes, garland of bloody heads, carries a trident, a ḍamaru, a sword, a shield, a bow and arrow, a noose and a goad.
South of the Lion Throne
1) Aghora Bhairavī. Mantra: Aghore Aim Ghore Hrīṃ Sarvatah Sarvasarvebhya Ghoraghoratare Śrīm Namaste astu Rudrarupebhyah Klīṃ Sauh. She is reddish, like 1000 suns, the Moon is bound in her hair, she wears various gems, has pearls as a diadem, wears a blossoming red line of skulls, has three beautiful eyes, with large swelling breasts, wearing red clothes, young, wanton, holds a book and dispels fear in her two left hands, and in her right holds a rosary and bestows boons. She is seated on a great corpse.
2) Māhabhairavī. Mantra: Ha Sraim Ha Sa Ka La Hrīṃ Ha Srau. Description as (1) above.
3) Lalitābhairavī. Mantra: Hrīṃ Klīṃ Hsrauṃ. She is like 1000 rising suns, with flaming rubies as her diadem, red pearl earrings, limbs smeared with red unguent, bedecked with beautiful red flowers, wears red clothes, holds noose, goad, book and rosary. She is the Kumārī form.
4) Kāmeśī Bhairavī. Mantra: Klīṃ. She is effulgent as the china rose. She carries bow and arrows and is adorned with precious gems.
5) Raktanetra Bhairavī. Mantra: Saim Sa Ka La Rim Sauh. She has a flaming ruby coloured diadem, red pearl earrings, her limbs all smeared with red paste, a garland of beautiful red flowers, red clothes, holds a noose, goad, book and rosary, is wanton, youthful, without shame, has beautiful rising large breasts, beautiful buttocks and lovely slender waist.
West of the Lion Throne
1) Satkuta Bhairavī. Mantra: Ha Sa Ka La Ra Daim Ha Sa Ka La Ra Dim Ha Sa Ka La Ra Dauh. She is as brilliant as the sun at dawn, resembling the China Rose, wearing a garland of skulls, at her feet is a gold vessel, she has large swelling breasts, holds a noose, goad, book and rosary. Sits on a corpse.
2) Nitya Bhairavī. Mantra: Da Ra La Ka Sa Haim Da Ra La Ka Sa Him Da Ra La Ka Sa Hauh. Seated on 5 skulls, wears a garland of skulls, as effulgent as the sun. Adorned with gems, holds a noose and goad and dispels fear and grants boons.
3) Mrita Samjivani. Mantra: Hrīṃ Hamsah Samjivani Jum Jivah Pranagranthim Kuru Kuru Kuru Kuru Svaha. No description given.
4) Mrityunjayapara. Mantra: Vada Vada Vagvadini Ha Saim Klinne Kledini Mahakshobham Kuru Kuru Hasaim Om Moksha Kuru Kuru Ha Sauh. Dwelling in the centre of the Kadamba Forest, she holds a book in her left hand, and in her right a rosary. She is as white as dazzling jasmine.
5) Vajra Prastarini. Mantra: Hrīṃ Klinne Aim Krom Nitya Madadrave Hrīṃ. She is in the centre of the Kadamba Forest, red, with a beautiful crescent Moon (Moon Kala) as her diadem, very red, with three beautiful eyes, upon a great yantra in the centre of a crimson sea, holds pomegranate, arrow, noose, goad, bow, skull. She is smeared with red.
North of the Lion Throne
1) Bhuvaneshvari Bhairavī. Mantra: Hasraim Ha Sa Ka La Hrīṃ Hrasaum. She is as brilliant as a China Rose, like a pomegranate flower, with a crescent moon as her diadem, three eyes, red clothes, various beautiful gems, large rising swelling breasts, seated on a corpse, with a garland of skulls, holds a noose and goad and grants boons and dispels fear.
2) Kamaleshvari Bhairavī. Mantra: Sahraim Sahakalahrim Sahraum. Description as (1) above.
3) Siddha Kaulesha Bhairavī. Mantra: Hasraim Hasrim Hasrauh. She is a Kumari, effulgent as 1000 rising suns, with three eyes, Moon as her diadem, slender waisted, large buttocks, wearing large Jewels, adorned with red, wanton, youthful, proud, large high swelling breasts, wears a garland of skulls, beautifully bejewelled, holds a book and dispels fear with her left hands, in her right she holds a rosary and grants boons. She sits on a corpse.
4) Damara Bhairavī. Mantra: Hashaim Haklim Hasauh. Like a Bandhuka flower, seated on 5 skulls, the Moon is the peak of her beautifully gemmed diadem, wears a garland of skulls, has three eyes, red clothes, large rising swelling breasts, holds book, rosary, gives boons, dispels fears.
5) Kamini Bhairavī. Mantra: Hasaim Ha Sa Klīṃ Hasauh. She wears red jewels and ornaments. Holds a noose, a goad, grants boons and dispels fears, sits on a corpse, she is garlanded with skulls.
Great Upper Direction
1) Sundarī. Mantra: Haim Ha Ka La Hrīṃ Hasauh
2) Sundarī. Mantra: A Ha Saim Ah A Sim A Hasauh
3) Sundarī. Mantra: Aim Ha Sa E Ha Sa Ha Shaim Ha Ha Ha Ka La Hrīṃ Ha Ha Ha Harauh
4) Sundarī. Mantra: Ka La Sa Sa Sa Sa Haim Ka La Ha Ha Sa Sa Sa Ha Haim Ka La Ha Ha Sa Sa Sa Hrīṃ
5) Sundarī. Mantra: Ha Sa La Ksha Sa Ha Sa Hauh Sa Ha Ha Sa La Kshah Saim Ha Sa Ha Sa La Ksha Ha Sim
This concludes the description of the Red Yoginis who dwell in the five directions around Devī Lalitā in Her palace of gems. The bīja mantras, of tongue twisting perplexity have an inner logic related to the root mantra.
The Śrī Vidyā Ratna Sutras shows that Devī Lalitā outrays thousands upon millions of rays which are each Devis of a certain colour. The 15 goddesses above are important in the overall scheme, and mentioned in such works as Dakshinamurti Samhita and Jnanarnava Tantra — both important tantras of the Śrī Vidyā path.
A few of the mantras are Sanskrit words interspersed with bījas — for example South three — Speak! Speak! Giver of Speech! Hasaim. Moisten! O Moistener! Cause Great Agitation. Cause Great Agitation! Hasrim. Om Give, Give Liberation! Hasauh.
Artwork is © Jan Bailey, 1975-2022. Translations are © Mike Magee 1975-2022.Questions or comments to email@example.com