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When she, the ultimate Shakti, of her own will assumed the form of the universe, then the creation of the chakra revealed itself as a pulsating essence. From the void-like vowels with the visarga emerged the bindu, quivering and fully conscious. From this pulsating stream of supreme light emanated the ocean of the Cosmos, the very self of the three mothers – Yoginihridaya I, 6-11
This is Sir John Woodroffe’s (Arthur Avalon) introduction to a Sanskrit edition of the Kaulavalinirnaya in Sanskrit which is now out of print and out of copyright. Because it covers many topics relating to the Kaula tradition of tantra, it merits wider availability. The text, to the best of my knowledge, is not available in an English translation.
Introduction by Sir John Woodroffe
The author of this compilation is Jñānananda Paramahaṃsa about whom nothing else is known. His name so far as can be ascertained is not connected with any other book. The Kaulavaḷi is highly esteemed by Sādhakas of the Kaula Saṃpradāya. Kaulikārcandīpikā is another book of this type, but does not go into details as does this, though it deals with a few matters not touched upon by Jñānananda. Manuscripts of the Kaulavaḷi are very difficult to obtain, as Sādhakas are unwilling to part with it. R. M. Chattopadhyaya says that he had only one manuscript on which he based his publication of the text. Through the kind intervention of Professor Roy Chaudhuri, son of the late Svami Vimalananda, the loan has been obtained of a manuscript in the possession of a Kaula family of Murshidabad. The text now published is based on the Murshidabad manuscript though Chattopadhyaya’s text has been consulted and has been of use in spite of its deficiencies. The Editors have had further the advantage of being able to consult original texts from published and unpublished Tantras and have thus been enabled to give the correct reading in several places.
In the beginning of the first Chapter the author cites the names of the Tantras from which he has drawn his materials. They are almost all well-known though some of them are still unpublished. He says that he further consulted some compilations and teachings of the Great Gurus who taught Advaita. In the list given he speaks of two Kularnavas, one of which he calls Kulamrita Kularnava and of two Kali Tantras one of which he calls Samayakhya Kalitantra. The text of the book as it stands will not in some places be intelligible to the ordinary reader. In several places texts are cited in such a way as to be merely mnemonic aids for those who are already conversant with the subject. In some places again, where the uninitiate is likely to misunderstand and misinterpret the text, it has been put in Vyakulitakshara (Disordered verse) as has been done in the Tantraraja (Vols. VIII and XII of this series), in the introduction to which Tantra the key by which the text can be re-arranged is to be found.
There are some passages in the Nityashodashikarnava (Anandasrama Series) which are similarly disarranged. The same key will enable the reader to re-arrange the verses here. The disordered verses occur in Chapters IV, V, VIII.
The necessity for the compilation of books like this arose, it is said, from the fact that some of the Great Gurus came across disciples who could not be dealt with by the methods prescribed in other, older Tantras and felt the necessity of modifying the methods whereby their disciples were to be taught to do self-control. With all that been said in the book, there are repeated injunctions put in various ways to revere woman as the embodiment of the Supreme Devi on earth and to exercise restraint in the enjoyment of the pleasures of this life.
As has been said elsewhere Tantra Shastra seeks to lead the man to Liberation (Moksha) whilst on the path of Enjoyment (Pravritti). A very brief summary of the 21 Chapters of which the book is composed is given and in such summary the attention of the reader is called to what the book aims at rather than to the methods employed. The book is divided into 22 Chapters in Chattopadhyaya’s text though the material is almost identical.
The first Chapter which is drawn to some extent from the Kularnava speaks of the necessity of making the best use of one’s life on this earth as a man. He who seeks the attainment of Liberation should be devoted to the Tattva i.e., the Brahman. It contains a Dhyana of the Guru and the Mantra for his worship. It emphasises the teaching that the Guru should not be looked upon as a mere man, but as embodiment on earth of the Supreme Brahman, for a true Guru is the form in which the Brahman manifests Itself to the disciple. The names of the early Gurus of the Kaula school are given here. They are Prahladanandanath, Sanakanandanatha, Kumaranandanatha, Vashishthanandanatha, Krodhanandanatha, Sukhanandanatha, Jnananandanatha and Bodhanandanatha. Ritualistic observances, it is said, should be followed so long as the Self is not purified by the acquisition of Knowledge (Jnana). When this has been accomplished and the Sadhaka has succeeded in conquering hit senses and to use the language of the book in discarding his tongue and sexual organ (Jihvopasthaparityagi), then there is no necessity for ritualistic observances, for as has been said later on (Ch. XVII. v. 171) a time comes for the Sadhaka when the distinction between the worshipper and the object of worship disappears. (Pujyapujakabjedashcha mithyaiva paramarthatah.)
Chapter II describes how the Kaula Sadhaka should bathe and gives the Mantras and Mudras for this rite. The Mantra whereby permission is sought from Earth (Prithivi) to sit and do worship runs thus : “Oh Earth, by Thee are all things upheld. Thou Thyself art upheld by Vishnu. Do Thou support me. Do Thou purify this seat (asana) of mine.” The text proceeds to give rules as to how the Sadhaka should sit and proceed with the worship. It speaks of the necessity of the Sadhaka of having the assistance of his wife or Shakti; for the Sadhaka is Hara and his Shakti is Mahadevi. At verses 110 and 111, it is said, that either wine or Vijaya, that is hemp, should be used in this worship, but these should be purified. There are four classes of .Vijaya namely, Brahmani, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra, spoken of here and the four Mantras for the purification of the same. Rules relating to Bhutashuddhi by Pranayama, Nyasa and other practices are also given here. The necessity of placing the Jiva (life element) of the Devata in the body of the Sadhaka is also spoken of.
The third Chapter speaks of the rite of Antaryaga. Unless a man does this any outward Yaga or sacrificial rite that he may do becomes fruitless. Antaryaga may be done in different ways such as Kundaliniyoga or meditation by the Sadhaka in his heart on the Ocean of Nectar in the middle of which is the Island of Gems encircled by a beach of golden sand. All over the Island are Parijata trees and in its middle is a Kalpa tree which is composed of the 50 letters of the alphabet. At the foot of this tree is the excellent Temple of Light (Jyotirmandira) decked with Gems of various kinds. It is resplendent like the rising sun and is a hundred Yojanas in extent. Its light is diffused all over the universe. Surrounded by a wall of gold it has four entrances. Fly-whisks, flags and bells add to its beauty. There is a gentle breeze blowing over the island carrying with it the fragrance of flowers and incense. Inside the temple is an Altar of Gems, and over it an umbrella made of thread of gold. The Sadhaka should meditate there upon the Great Yantra resting on the altar and filled to overflowing with Nectar. Yantra here means a receptacle, containing nectar or wine.. The text proceeds to give an account of the different rites the Sadhaka must accomplish and the different articles of worship to be used. This. worship may be either mental (Manasa) or gross sthula according to the capacity of the worshipper. Verse 77 is identical with one quoted in Serpent Power which describes the mind of the Yogi as dissolved in the Great Void (Mahashunya). When he is able to do this, he is a king among Yogis. His inward light can then rest on the plane which is without support (Niralambapada) and he attains the highest form of Dhyana. The 85th and the following verses describe inward Homa. By this the Sadhaka realises his Oneness with the one impartite Atma. The four sides of the Chitkunda which is square in shape are Atma, Antaratma, Paramatma and Jnanatma. (See ritual chapters in the third edition of Shakti and Shakta). Three girdles which encircle the Kunda concentrically like three bangles add to its beauty. The Ardhamatra formed by three Bindus within the Chitkunda is the emblem of the Yoni which is the seat of Brahman Bliss. Into the Fire therein which is Consciousness (Samvid) and wherein is the Supreme Deva, the Sadhaka should with a steady mind offer oblations. He should first of all offer as oblation the letters of the alphabet so that for him there arises the Brahman which is beyond word (Nihshabda, soundless). All his acts and omissions, merits and sins, all his resolves and doubts, Dharma and Adharma, the Sadhaka should offer as oblation. The Mantras for these oblations are :–
(1) Into the Fire of Consciousness (Chaitanya) in the region of the navel which is kindled (Pradipita) by Knowledge (Jnana) I offer as oblation the impulses of the senses using the mind as sacrificial ladle: Svaha.
(2) I offer the functions of the senses (Aksha-vritti) as oblation into the Fire which is Atma and is fed by Dharma and Adharma like Ghee, using the mind as ladle whereof the path of Sushumna is the handle: Svaha.
(3) I offer Dharma and Adharma (i.e. all acts good and evil) as oblation into the all-pervading Fire which is fed by Kali. The two hands with which I hold the ladle are Prakasha and Akasha (= Vimarsha) and the ladle with which the offering is made is Unmani: Svaha.
It may be noted here that Unmani or mindless Consciousness is the stage when all restraint is removed from the Sadhaka who is then the guide unto himself or Svechchhachari. It corresponds with Siddhantachara spoken of in Chapter II. of the Kularnava Tantra. The meaning of the five Tattvas is given in Kularnava (Ch. V, verses 107 et seq).
Verses 45 etseq say that unless the purificatory rites are done, the Sadhaka incurs sin. If an animal is killed or wine is drunk for mere personal gratification and intercourse had with a woman against her will then the man so doing goes to the hell of everlasting lamentation.
The fifth Chapter speaks of the purification of the elements of worship. A portion of verse 102 is disordered. It says that no distinction of caste should be made when partaking of wine, (Madira) and in Maithuna. In verse 103, it is said, the Brahmana may use as substitutes (Anukalpa) of wine, honey or milk in a copper vessel or coconut water in a bell-metal vessel. The Kshatriya should use Goudi and the Vaishya Madhvi, and the Shudra may use any wine. The substitute for flesh is garlic or ginger and that for fish is thickened milk or any fruit or root roasted over fire. The substitute for Maithuna is the union of the flower of Aparajita (Clitoria Tornata) with Hayari (Nerium Odorum).
The sixth Chapter speaks of offering of Arghya. The utensils to be used are also mentioned. At verse 55, the three lines of Gurus (Divya, Siddha and Manava) have been referred to and the Mantras for the purification of the wine are also given. At verses 105-09 the process of Tattva-shuddhi is described. Verse 120 gives the Dhyana of Vatuka and this is followed by Vatuka Mantra. Verse 135 gives the Dhyana of the Yoginis and following this is the Mantra for their worship. Verse 140 gives the Dhyana of Kshetrapala.
The seventh Chapter deals with the rules of worship and says that before everything else the worshipper should do Pranayama and Nyasa and thereafter do worship of the Pitha or the place of worship. The fifth and the following verses describe the different Mudras which should :be shown as a part of worship. After describing the different articles necessary for worship it is said, at verse 24, that if a man cannot get them he may make the-offerings in his mind. Verse 127 speaks of three kinds of Japa viz., Vachika (uttered) Upangshu (muttered) and Manasa (mental) which last is the best. Verse 137 gives the Mantra for the purification of the rosary and the following verses give directions- as to how the Mantra should be said over the rosary. Verse 156 says that the merit of the Japa should be given to the Ishtadevata. At the end of the chapter drinking is classed as either Divya, Vira or Pashu. In the first drinking is the Sadhaka’s realisation of the presence of the Devi in himself. In the second, it is done with the prescribed rites. But the last which is blameworthy is the drinking of the mere animal i.e. drinking for mere animal gratification.
The eighth Chapter describes the way the Sadhaka should partake of the five Tattvas. The third verse contains the Dhyana of the Devi Annapurna in which she is described as holding in her right hand a golden ladle filled with milk and cooked rice and in her left hand a jewelled cup. She is the colour of new gold, decked with all kinds of ornaments and distributing alms to all. Verse 35 says that the touch of even a Chandala if he is a true Kaulika purifies whatever he touches. Verse 45 speaks of Bhairavi-Chakra. As between those who are competent to sit in this Chakra, there is no distinction of caste so long the Chakra continues. It is only when the Chakra is dissolved that the worshippers revert each to his or her own caste. When seated in the Chakra, the worshipper should be conscious of the Vedic teaching that all is Brahman (Sarvam Brahma). The men in the Chakra are so many Shivas and the women therein are so many Devis. At verse 70, it is said, that a man who drinks like a Pashu as described at the’ end of the preceding chapter even if he be a Vira will certainly go to hell. At verse 74, it is said, that the man who has freed himself from the bond of Duality (Bhedapasha) may drink wine so that the sense of the Mantra might become patent to him and his mind may become steadied. It is a sin to drink for mere gratification. The Sadhaka who partakes of the five Tattvas to please the Devata incurs no sin and this is to be done only at the time of worship. Verse 86 says that the prohibition of drink by Manu and other law-givers applies only to unconsecrated wine. The Jnani who drinks after meditating on his Guru incurs no sin. It is only those who give way to blind sensual impulse who should do penance. To the man who seeks Liberation the ordinary prohibitions do not apply. Such a man seeks Shakti in wine and Shiva in flesh and is conscious of himself as Bhairava.
Sura Shaktih Shivo mamsam tadbhokta Bhairavah svayam.
The text proceeds to say that Bliss (Ananda) is Brahman and it is in the body, and because wine makes that Ananda manifest, the Yogis drink it. Fully conscious of this the seeker of Moksha purifies the Tattvas.
Evam vichintya matiman tattvashodanam acharet
Verse 99 gives the Mantra for worship of the first cup. The Mantra for its consecration runs thus :–“I adore this, the first cup of nectar held in my hand by the Trikhanda Mudra. It is suffused with the Nectar of the moon shining in the forehead of holy Bhairava. The Lord of Kshetra (Kshetrapala), Yoginis, the Ganas and Great Siddhas adore it. It is the ocean of Bliss and uplifts the Atma.” After this is partaken of, certain rites are to be done and the drinking itself is to be accomplished in the manner enjoined after obtaining the permission of the Guru. The rules laid down here, must be strictly followed otherwise, the Sadhaka is liable to fall. Verse 118 gives the Mantra for consecrating. the second cup and verses 120, 122 and 124 give the Mantras for the third, fourth and fifth cups, respectively. The ordinary house-holder Sadhaka is not permitted to exceed this. Verses 125 and 126 give the Mantras for consecrating the sixth and seventh cup respectively. The Mantra for the sixth cup speaks of the attainment of the Kingdom of Sayujya and the Sadhaka’s hope for release from ·re- birth, and the Mantra for the consecration of the seventh cup speaks of the Chaitanya with its four states of experience viz:, Jagrat, Svapna, Sushupti and Turiya. After this is drunk the Sādhakas forming the Chakra sing the following hymn :–
1. “I bow to the Sovereign Lord of the followers of Kula. He is the all-spreading Chintamani the impulse in the heart of all Sādhakas. What wonderful fruits based in Dharma does his worship done in manner enjoined (Vidhina) yield!
2. “I bow to Lord Vatuka of terrific power. He is raimented in red. His matted locks are of a flaming tawny colour. On his forehead is the crescent moon peeping through his curly hair. His is the colour of the young sun and of a mountain of gold.
3. “May Lord Vatuka remove all the endless obstacles for the Sādhakas!
May Kula observances rise supreme!
May the Sādhakas attain completion (Purnata)!
May Lord Vatuka drink the blood of the detractors!
May Kula Ganesha grant all desires of all the Kaulikas !
4. “May Dharma which brings happiness to all Lokas triumph ! May Adharma the root of all evil perish ! May the Nectar-like blessings of the Yoginis fall on the followers of Samaya and their curses on the enemies thereof !
5. May the Devis abiding in the different Chakras; those who are in the Nadis, those who are in the pores of the skin in the Dhatus (Skin, bone etc.,) who abide in the currents of exhaled and inhaled breath; May they be satisfied by feeding on the enemies (of Kula) !
6. “May all the many Devatas abiding in the body (Dehastha); the Elephant-headed Lords of Kshetra, the Bhairavas, the Yoginis, the Vatukas, the Yakshas, the Pitris, the Vetalas, the Chetakas; May all other creatures who move on earth, the sky, the celestial regions, the Bhutas, the Pishachas, the Grahas partake of the light-spreading drink and Charu, offered by the humble son of Kula !
7. “Sure as the word of Guru is true, sure as there are Shiva and Shakti, and the Devas and the Yoginis, sure as the Vedas as also Shakta Darshana are authority, sure as the behest of the Lord is infallible, and as Kaula Dharma is true: If the Supreme Devata grants it, I shall always triumph.
8. “May the world (of the thirty-six Tattvas) from Shiva to the Earth consisting of Brahma (down) to a blade of grass and Time from Final Conflagration, to when Shiva (began to function again for Creation) (Kalagnyadi-Shivantam), be pleased by this Yajna (of ours)!
9. “May Ganesha, of sixfold power (Dominion, strength etc.,) grant peace to the worshippers and the Protectors (of Kula); to those who have conquered their senses and to the great ascetics, to the country, to the kingdom, to Kula and to the King !
10, “May good be to all on Earth !
May the Bhutas (Elements) be for the good of others!
May all conflicts end in peace !
May all men be happy!
11. May the Kula-Yoginis rejoice !
May the sons of Kula rejoice!
May the teachers of Kula rejoice ! and also all such as protect Kula.
12. “May the Sādhakas rejoice!”
May the detractors be terror-struck ! .
May ours be the state of well-being!
May. the Guru be always gracious !
13. “May the many Kotis of Kula-yoginis within and outside the
Kaulika-chakra, be gladdened, gracious, and grant boons by partaking of the excellent Nectar! ‘
14. “The wicked-minded; the fault-finding; those whose minds are bewildered by (what is to them) the dubious ways of Divya Achara; the Sādhakas who are fallen; the Kaulikas who having seen Krama worship calumniate its ways : May all these one and all perish, for such is the behest of Bhairava.
15. “May the enemies of the Sādhakas, and those who always calumniate the Amnayas, fall into the mouth of the Dakinis who ever delight in uncooked flesh.”
Verses 147 and 150 give the Mantra for the consecration of the eighth and the ninth cups. At verse 151, it is said, that when consecrating and partaking of the 10th cup Sadhaka should meditate on the Guru in the Sahasrara, on the Devi in the heart and have his Ishta Mantra at the tip of his tongue and think of his Oneness with Shiva (Shivo’hamity chintayan). This is followed by the Mantra for the consecration of the 11th cup. The Sadhaka should next consecrate the 11th cup the Mantra for which is given at verse 156. When he consecrates this Cup, he should realise the truth of the following: “I am not the doer nor do I make any one else do, nor am I the thing done. I am not the enjoyer nor do I make any one else enjoy nor am I-the object of enjoyment. I do not suffer pain, nor do I cause pain to others, nor am I pain itself. I am He. I am Chit manifest. I am Atma. Verses 171/75 give the Mantra of self-dedication. This is also given in the Mahanirvana Tantra (Ch. VI. verses 178/81.) and translated in A. Avalon’s Great Liberation pages 184/5. Verse 194 contains the direction for the consecration of the 12th cup. It said that the Sadhaka should make his body suffused with the spirit of the Mantra (Deham mantramayam vidhaya), adore. the Guru, purify the celestial shining Nectar in the Shripatra by Kulavidya, satisfy (Santarpya) the four Vidyapithas (Kamarupa, Purnashaila, Jalandhara and Uddiyana) and Shiva and Shakti.
Throughout these Mantras there is a threefold meaning, the gross (Sthula) which is actual drinking of wine, the subtle (Sukshma) the drinking of the Nectar which flows from the union of Kundalini with Shiva in the Sahasrara; and the third the transcendent (Para)whereby the Nectar of happiness, arising from the realisation of the union of Supreme Shiva and Shakti, is meant.
In the fifth Chapter of the Kularnava (Verses 105-13), speaking of the Tattvas in the highest sense, it is said, that the Wine which gladdens is that which flows from the Lotus of a thousand petals, the Flesh which the Sadhaka partakes of, is the sense of duality in ordinary man. By Fish is meant the aberration of the senses, and it is there said, that he who controls the senses has truly eaten fish. By Maithuna, it is said, we are to understand not the union between man and woman but the union of Kundalini with Para Shiva in the Sahasrara.
The ninth Chapter begins by saying that the worship of the Devi should be done in secret. The time auspicious for such worship is named, viz., the 8th, 14th, and 15th day of the dark half of the lunar month, the day of the full moon and the last day of the month. The 21st verse points out that the Deva is not to be sought on the mountain top or in the abode of Vishnu, but is in the heart of the devotee as Consciousness-Bliss (Chidananda). The following verses say that, wherever the devotion (Bhakti) of the devotee might be, there does the great Devi manifest Herself. In this chapter there is a quotation from the Kularnava of 30 Verses which does not occur in any of the texts published. These verses speak of Kamarupa and say that Kamarupa is of two kinds, the manifest .(Vyakta) and the .secret (Gupta). The first is the tract of triangular land extending eastward from the river Karatoya a distance of twenty Yojanas and-a hundred Yojanas in length. The land is green in colour. The secret Kamarupa is in every house (Grihe grihe). Kamarupa is the abode of the Devi (Devikshetra).The text says that worshipping the Devi in this secret Kamarupa brings greater merit than in the other. Verse 135 says that there is no necessity of ritualistic observances for the man who has had but a momentary Brahman experience.’ Verses 136/7 say that the highest state of man is the state of Being as it is in Itself in its own nature (Sahajavastha). The state of meditation and concentration is middling. Japa and Stuti is low and Homa and Japa is lower than the low. To meditate on the Tattva is the highest goal. To do Japa is middling, to be occupied with mere study of the Shastra is low, to be engrossed in worldly pursuits is lower than the low.
Uttama tattvachinta syaj japachinta tu madhyama
This is followed by a description of the man who knows the Supreme Tattva (Paratattavit). Such a man, it is said, is free from all desires, is always contented, views all alike and has subjugated his senses. Praise and blame are the same to him and he abides in his body like an exile in a foreign country. He seeks nothing, is free from all doubts and immersed in his own true Self. He lives like one decrepit, blind, deaf, sexless, mad and paralysed.
The tenth Chapter speaks of Achara or rules of conduct. It is here insisted that the Sadhaka should be very attentive to the directions of the Guru, of little moment though they may appear to be. The Verse 65 and the following verses say that the highest respect should be shown to women and nothing should be said in disparagement of any woman. In every woman the presence of the Supreme Mother should be realised. She should not be hurt even with a flower even if guilty of a hundred faults. It is said, in verse 61 that the Kaula should never say ill of anything and in disparagement of the Shastra. and teachings of other forms of faith. –‘Na ninded bratinam vipram vedanga samhitastatha.’
Verse 95 says that the Kaula conscious of the Shakti within himself should ordinarily behave like a Shaiva and when in association with an assembly he should conduct himself as a Vaishnava.
Antahshaktah bahih shaivah sabhayang vaishnava matah
He is thus to be all things to all men, adjusting himself to them and their capacities, which the catholic nature of his own doctrine permits, for it includes theirs. This passage has led to the charge of preaching hypocrisy. It may not be out of place here to give an account as described in the unpublished writings of a Bengali Vaishnava poet as to how the great Vaishnava teacher Chaitanyadeva solved a dispute between three sections of his followers as to when the love between Radha and Krishna originated. The great teacher addressed the leader of the most powerful, because clamorous, of the three sections, and asked as to what he and his party considered was the time. The reply was that it must have been when the youthful Krishna was playing the flute under the Kadamba tree on the banks of the river Jumna where Radha was going with her pitcher for water. Chaitanya seeing the simplicity of these people, said that there was nothing wrong in what they, believed and there was nothing to fight about. These people were highly pleased and went away. The great teacher next spoke to the leader of another party who replied that his people were not satisfied with the reply given to the other party who had left, for the loves of Devas and Devis, he said, are not like that of man and woman and according to them it was when they were babies, that this love arose. The teacher said that there was nothing wrong in this view and if they adhered to the truth without going into disputation with anybody they would attain their goal. These then went away, but still there remained just a few who when questioned by Shri Chaitanya said that the love of Radha and Krishna preceded creation. Their love was, when there was neither Brindivana nor the Kadamba tree. They also asked for an answer. The reply was that as they were on the path which is beyond words, they could have the solution only by Sadhana and they were instructed accordingly. Shri Chaitanya thus adapted his teachings to the capacity of his hearers.
The eleventh Chapter speaks of the three Temperaments (Bhavas), namely, Divya, Vira and Pashu. In the beginning of the chapter it is said, as there are three Bhavas so are there three classes of Gurus and three classes of Mantras and three classes of Devatas. The first of these Bhavas is the highest and the two others come after it in their order. The Sadhaka should worship according to his competency or Adhikara. The Pashu is not competent to worship in the same way as the. Vira or the Divya, may. If he does so he harms himself and gains no benefit. The Sarvollasa, an unpublished compilation by the great Siddha of the name of Sarvananda, divides the Pashu and the Vira, each, again into three classes. A Pashu is either a mere Pashu i.e. is not conscious of anything higher than the ‘animal life he lives. The Sabhava Pashu is one in whom there has arisen a consciousness as yet not very defined of a higher sphere. In the Vibhava Pashu this consciousness has become definite and there is an impulse in him towards the higher life. When his efforts to rise higher are beginning to be successful, he becomes a Vira and then passes through the next two stages of Sabhava and Vibhava and ultimately becomes a Divya. There are thus seven stages which a man passes in the path of development and these correspond with the seven Acharas previously spoken of and dealt with at some length in Chapter II of the Kularnava. The Vishvasara Tantra, as quoted by Svami Nigamananda in his book, Tantrik Guru, gives greater detail than even the Kularnava. Nigamananda ends this with a verse from the Vishvasara which says; that he who knows the seven Acharas included in the three Bhavas knows all things and is liberated though living.
Bhavatrayagatan Devi saptacharanshcha vetti yah
The Kularnava (Chapter XII v, 6o) makes mention of six classes of Gurus viz., Preraka, Suchaka, Vachaka, Darshaka, Shikshaka and Bodhaka. In this book (Ch. X, 66) the names ,are slightly different and they are Sevaka, Preraka, Vachaka, Darshaka, Shikshaka and Mokshaka. The Sevaka being the Guru of the mere Pashu. The Divya is a man for whom there is no Guru for he has reached the stage when he is then one with the Guru. Verses 168/9 say that the Divya and the Vira should avoid the scriptures of the Pashus as they would another man’s wife, Later on, it is said that the Kaula should not listen to Dharma from the mouth of a Pashu and he is degraded if he follows the ways of Pashu. All this does not mean that the Pashu is to be despised, for even the Pashu can raise himself in the manner indicated and as an illustration, it is said, (verses 196/200) that different cows eat different kinds of food, but all yield milk and that milk after going through different stages become ghee with which oblations are offered to Devas.
The Twelfth Chapter speaks of the rosary, how it is to be made and purified and so forth. There are also rules regarding the Puraschcharana. Verses 158/65 give a hymn to the Devi, in which after adoring Her as Brahmi, Maheshi and so forth, it is said, “Oh Devi! Thou art the measure and Thou measurest. Thou art beyond measure and measurer. One Thou art in many forms. Thou art in the form of the Universe. Obeisance to Thee.” In verse 216, it is said, that the worship of Kali, Tara and Unmukhi is specially of help in the Kali Age. It is noteworthy that all these three forms are black and in the Shrimadbhagavata which is a Vaishnava scripture of great authority it is said, (X. 8. 30) that Vishnu incarnated in other colours in previous Ages, but in the present Kali Age, He is black of hue. (Krishnatam gatah).
The Thirteenth Chapter speaks of Homa. It is necessary to have the ground where the Homa is to be performed carefully examined by an expert in Vastuvidya (Science for ascertaining the ‘character of the ground). The Kunda into which the offerings are to be made, varies according to the purpose for which the rite is to be performed. It may be square, triangular, lotus-shaped and so forth. The dimensions also vary. The directions as regards all these matters are given in this chapter. Though there is no mention made here of Sukshma (Subtle) and Para (Transcendent) Homa the rules laid down for the performance of the Sthula Homa in this chapter as also other parts of the book clearly show that the object for doing Sthula Homa is for the Sadhaka to ultimately realise the necessity of the other two Homas. The Tantraraja has, however, fully dealt with these two higher forms of Homa.
The fourteenth Chapter speaks of Purashcharana in the cremation ground. The second verse of this chapter says that besides the Shaktas, this is practised by Vaishnavas, Ganapatyas, Shaivas and the Sādhakas of other Mantras also. At verse 76, it is said, that it is the man of great strength, intelligence and courage, who is pure, free from guile. kind-hearted and devoted to the good of others who is competent to do Shava-sadhana. The corpse (Shava) should be (verses 87/9a) in a good state of preservation and that of a healthy man who was young, brave and good to look at and died in the battlefield facing the enemy; killed by a spear or sword, lightning, drowning or at the hands of the executioner. The Sadhaka should never kill for the purpose of his Sadhana. The body of a suicide, and an infant, an old man, a woman, a twice-born, a man who died of any chronic disease, a leper as well as a corpse more than seven days old should be rejected. The corpse of a Chandala is the best for the purpose. The proper place for the Sadhana is a deserted house, the bank of a river, the hill top, the foot of a Bilva tree, a cremation ground or any lonely or wooded place adjoining it. The corpse. is put face downward and on its back the prescribed Yantra is drawn and the Sadhaka sits either as a man. rides a horse or in any other posture prescribed. By this Sadhana Siddhi is obtained quickly. It is said of Sarvananda, that he attained Siddhi by Shavasadhana and in this he was assisted by an old Chandala servant of his family. Whilst practising this rite the Sadhaka should protect himself in every way and follow the injunctions to the minutest detail.
The fifteenth Chapter speaks of Kumari Puja. The worship of Virgins (Kumaris) is productive of great merit and it is said, (verse 7) that the Devi and Shiva Himself are Kumaris (virgins) and that all Devas and Devis abide in the Kumari. By worship of the Kumaris all Devas such as Brahma, Vishnu and others are pleased. Verses 25/29 give sixteen names of the Kumaris according to their respective ages varying from one to sixteen years. This is followed by the rules regarding the worship of the Maithunas (Couples). In this nine young girls of different ages along with the same number of boys are worshipped. At verse 104 the honour due to women is adverted upon and it is here said that all women are parts of the Devi (Pradhana). No one who forgets this can ever attain Siddhi in any Mantra. At verse 129, the different names of Tripurasundari are given and this is followed by the names of various Yoginis who are attendant on Tripurasundari. Verse 141 etseq. contains a hymn wherein are the names of worshippers of Shrividya. They include all the Devas, the great Siddhas, the different Incarnations, the Devis, the Sages, the great teachers and leaders, Warriors, Mountains and Oceans, great Forces of Nature and so forth. Among these occurs the name of Buddha. The names are as follows :–Manu, Chandra, Kubera, Manmatha, Lopamudra (wife of the great sage Agastya Muni), Nandi, Shakra (Indra), Sunda (a great chief), Shiva, Krodha-bhattaraka, Panchami (Varahi), Surya, Durvasi, Vyasa, Vashishtha, Parashara (four great sages), Aurva, Vahni, Yama, Nairrita, Varuna, Vayu, Vishnu, Svayambhu, Bhairava, Aniruddha, Bharadvaja, Dakshinamurti, Ganapa, Kulapa, Vani, Ganga, Sarasvati, Dhatri, Shesha, Pramatta, Unmatta, Kulabhairava, Kshetrapala, Hanuman, Daksha, Garuda, Prahlada, Shukadeva, Rama, Ravana, Kashyapa, Kumbhakarna, Yamadagni, Bhrigu, Brihaspati, Yatdushreshtha (Krishna), Dattatreya, Yudhishthira, Arjuna, Bhimasena and Dronacharya, Brisha kapi, Kunti, Sita, Rukmini, Satyabhama, Draupadi, Urvashi, Tilottama, Pushpadanta, Mahabuddha, Vana, Kala, Mandara, Kailasa, Kshirasindhu, Udadhi, Himavan, Narada, Bhishma, Karna, Meru, Aruna, Janaka and Kautsa. They are spoken of also as Brahma-Sādhakas. This is followed by rules of worship for Sādhakas in different states of Illumination (Ullasa). In the eighth Chapter of the Kularnava these different states of Illumination have been dealt with.
A passage in the Kularnava says that the Sādhakas and Sadhikas in the excess of their Ullasa dance with jars of wine on their heads. By Ullasa here is meant Illumination or unfolding of the mind of Yogi. The Wine in jars on their heads is the Nectar which flows from the union of the “Brahman widow” (Vidhava brahmani Kundalini) with Para-Shiva in the Lotus of thousand petals. Misunderstanding as to Maithuna in its higher form is common. (See M M. H. P. Shastri’s catalogue of Nepal Manuscripts. Vol. II). Thus a Buddhistic Tantra named Candamaharoshana (mentioned by Jnanananda at the beginning of this book as one of the many consulted by him) speaks of the union of Buddha Vajrasattva with Vajradhatvishvari. Buddha Vajrasattva speaks of himself as one who has got no material existence (Nishprapanchasvarupa) and has discarded all desire (Sarvasamkalpavarjita) and the persons to whom he speaks are Vajrapani, by which is meant the sense of hearing in the united body of the two, viz Vajrasattva and Vajradhatvishvari, Svetachala (white mountain) by which is meant the sense of smell perception and so on. The book is revealed by Vajrapani. The commentator says that the Union between the Vajrasattva, by which is meant the destroyer of all pain arising out of attachment (Rata) and the like, and Vajradhatvishvari, by which is meant Bodhichitta which is concealed and restrained and is worshipped by Prajna (Wisdom), is beyond the apprehension of the vulgar (Ayancha viharah prakritajanasya atyantang guptam bhavati). The cataloguer’s observations as to the place of utterance of this Tantra is a case in point.
The sixteenth Chapter speaks of the initiation of Shakti. The Shakti may be either Parakiya or Svakiya. Before any Shakti can participate in these rites, she must be initiated. The Shakti competent for initiation is one who is conversant with the rituals of Kulapuja. At verse 140 etseq., it is said that the Sadhaka at a certain stage of his development is able to subjugate any woman. A passage like this occurs in the Nityashodashikarnava which is a part of the Vamakeshvara Tantra. Powers like this are said to come to the Sadhaka on his way towards Liberation, but if Mumukshu .he should avoid these temptations. The Shakta Sadhaka seeks the love of the great Mother of the Universe and these difficulties which he encounters he has got to guard himself against. The Kularnava Tantra says that the path of Kula is as dangerous .as it is to embrace the neck of a ferocious tiger or to play with a poisonous snake or to walk along the sharp edge of a naked sword. The Parashurama Kalpasutra (X. 68) says that in the first five stages of the Sadhana viz. Arambha (Beginning), Taruna (Youthful), Yauvan (Adolescence), Praudha (Mature) and Praudhanta (Maturity-end), corresponding with Vividhisha, Vicharana, Tanumanasa, Sattvapatti and Asamshakti of Vedanta, the Sadhaka should observe the rules of Samayachara, i.e. he must be under the guidance-of .his Guru and be strictly observant of the social laws. It is only when he reaches the sixth stage or mindlessness (Unmani) that all restrictions are removed from him. These five stages. are the five Acharas spoken of in Kularnava (Chapter II), viz., Veda, the stage in which the Sadhaka qualifies himself by outward cleanliness; Vaishnava, which is the stage of devotion (Bhakti); Shaiva, which is the stage of Jnana; Dakshina in which the Sidhaka strengthens the gains made in preceding three stages, and Vama, when with the arising of Vairagya he become Mumukshu. This is the state of Asamshakti in Vedanta which means the stage of detachment. The only divergence between the Vedantic and Agamic stages is that in the agama, Bhakti precedes Jnana, i.e.. the Sadhaka acquires Jnana by Bhakti, whereas in the Vedanta, Jnana precedes Bhakti. The sixth stage in Agama is Unmani and in Vedanta it is Padartharthabhavini and the seventh i.e., Kaula which in Vedanta is Turiya. According to the Bhavachudamani the first four Acharas, Veda to Dakshina are in Pashubhava, Vama and Unmani are in Vira and Kaula is Divya. The Vishvasara after having spoken of the seven Acharas and three Bhavas, says there are two Acharas, Dakshina and Vama. Kaula is possibly considered beyond all Achara. According to it all the first four Acharas, Veda to Dakshina are in Pashubhava and Vama and Siddhanta in Virabhava.
Chapter XVII says that it is only when Kundalini is awakened that Mantra practice is successful. Kundalini abides in the Muladhara making a soft indistinct sound. By constantly leading her up to the Brahmarandhra and back again the mind itself becomes dissolved (Manolaya). It is by doing Yoni Mudra that Kundalini can be awakened and led up. This process is described in Serpent Power. All defects in the Mantra are cured by the doing of Yoni Mudra. Different directions are given as to how the defects in a Mantra can be cured. At verses 30 etseq. directions are given as to how a Shakti should be purified by initiation. This is followed by a description of the passage of Kundalini through the four Pithas viz., Kamarupa, Jalandhara, Purnagiri and Uddiyana. At verse 50 directions are given as to how the Sadhaka should pray for the boon for which he. has been doing Sadhana. Verse 70 gives the Mantra of Mahishamardini. Verses 100 etseq. say that a good Shakti is she whose conduct in life is in accord with the teachings of Advaita. She should be devoted to the Guru, firm in her resolve and always be ready to do good. Her devotion (Bhakti) should be prompted by Sattva Guna. She should be free from malice, be guileless and kind to all, skilful, dignified and helpful to the Sadhaka; she should be beautiful and young, noble with faith deeply rooted. A graceful woman like this adorned with fine clothes and ornaments and the like is alone competent to be a Duti. It is considered only right that the Sadhaka should employ, a beautiful and young woman to mediate between himself and his Ishta Devata as a Duti or emissary. Verses 118/24 give the Mantra of Bhagamalini. As given in the Murshidabad manuscript as well in Chattopadhyaya’s book it is defective, but taking the two together as also with the help of the Tantraraja (Vol. VIII and XII of this series) it has been possible to give the correct Mantra. At verse 150 etseq. there is an attack against orthodox rigours; thus beef is forbidden yet people do not realise that when they drink the milk of the. cow they drink her blood; referring to the rule that widows should not eat anything which has come in contact with fish or any kind of animal food, it is said that the water, the widow drinks was full of fish before it was taken from the tank or river. The text goes on to say that there are people who regard semen and menstrual fluid with disgust (Vicharayet), but they forget that the body by .which they hope to attain Liberation is composed of these two forms of matter, that the narrow, bone and. tendons have come from the father and the skin, flesh and blood from the mother. It further says that there is no reason for man’s disgust for excreta or urine, for these are nothing but food or drink which has undergone some change and contains living creatures and the Brahman substance is not absent therefrom. The purity that man ought to cultivate is that of the mind. All things are pure. It is one’s mentality (Vasana) which is evil.
Pavitram sakalang chaiva vasana kutsita bhavet.
Therefore, should the man of intelligence purify himself by reasoning (Vicharya). There is in reality no distinction between the worshipper and the worshipped. The Sadhaka should by the path of Jnana, therefore, purify himself and by a correct course of reasoning (Sat-tarkena) know that ALL is Brahman. At verse 252, it is said, that it is only the initiate who has learned the ritual from the Guru, who is competent to perform any rite. Anything learned from books only, will not merely be without any benefit but will bring the curse of the Devata on the would-be ritualist.
Chapter XVIII speaks of the signs by which the Sadhaka can know that his Sadhana is about to be successful. To such a man the sweet smell of flowers and incense come from nowhere. Men and women treat him with respect. He dreams that he is riding a bull, a horse, or an elephant or is surrounded by a number of highborn women or he sees Kings. In his dreams he sees flags, beautiful images or blood or it may be that he is smearing himself with blood or wine. There are other symptoms also too numerous to repeat here. At verse 26, it is said, that if in his dream he sees a black soldier, dreams that he has been cohabiting with another man’s wife, or that the country is in a state of revolution, then he should know that his Sadhana is not to end in success. There are some other symptoms also given here. At verses 55 etseq., it is said, that Tara grants fruit quickly if worshipped according to the Chinakrama; that Tripura grants Enjoyment and Liberation if worshipped in the manner enjoined by the Guru, that the worship of Kalika according to Mahachinakrama leads to success, that all the great Shrividyas and Bhairavis approve of Gupta Sadhana worship. At the end of the chapter is given the Paduka Mantra. This Mantra is for the worship of the feet of the Guru as well as of the Ishta Devata. It ends with the words Shri Padukang pujayami Namah (I worship the feet: Obeisance).
Chapter XIX speaks of Shatkarma or six magic rituals, viz:, Shanti, Vashya, Stambhana, Vidvesha, Uchchatana, and Marana. The time for doing all these rites and proper and appropriate Asanas and Mudras are also given here. This chapter is followed by another in Chattopadhyaya’s book which is absent from the manuscript on which the present publication is based. The text is very corrupt and does not seem to form a part of the Kaulavali. The subjects dealt with there are parapura- praveshana, and Anjanasiddhi. The first means acquisition of power by which a man is able to enter into a dead body and revive it by his own life and Anjanasiddhi means the acquisition of power whereby a person is able to see through any solid substance. Both these matters have been dealt with in the Tantraraja fully. As given in Chattopadhyaya’s book the Mantras are imperfect, the essential details are wanting and a good many of the verses are imperfect as they stand. This chapter is, therefore, left out as apart from its being redundant it is full of defects and does not contain any useful particulars.
Chapter XX deals with Lukavidya and Khadga Siddhi, Phetkarini Siddhi and Khechari Siddhi. The first means power whereby the Sadhaka can disappear or conceal himself at pleasure, the second, the power whereby the Sadhaka can arrest the sword or attack of the enemy, the third, whereby he can control the Devi in her jackal form and the fourth whereby he is able to move across the firmament. The chapter also shortly treats of the worship of Kali under the heading Kalikakalpa.
Chapter XXI speaks of the ways of the Avadhuta. It describes how they should sit and an account is given as to how they raise Kundalini to the Sahasrara, how they control the Airs in their body and so forth. At the end of this chapter a number of verses have been quoted from the Tripurasarasamuchchaya. They are very much like the verses in Shatchakranirupana and in fact some of the verses seem to have been adopted by Punyananda, the author of the latter book with some modifications, from the Tripurasarasamuchchaya. The author of this book is Nagabhatta and it is said that Nagabhatta is the same person as Durgasingha, the author of Kalapavyakarana. In the Tripurasarasamuchchaya as also in this chapter of the Kaulavali the Shaktis, Dakini and others are placed in a different order from that in the Shatchakranirupana. They are also described, as in the Saubhagyaratnakara, as presiding Divinities of the different Dhatus such as Tvak, Asthi and so on.
After the verses quoted from the Tripurasarasamuchchaya the text goes on to state that by repeated practice of the excellent Yoni Mudra, the Sadhaka is able to cure the defects of all Mantras and he attains Siddhi in whatever he seeks and ultimately attains Liberation. Even the ordinary letters of the alphabet become effective as Mantra when uttered by him. No sin can touch him. By Yoni Mudra he is able to gain mastery over his breath, he can cheat Death (Kalabanchanam). He reaches a state of Yoga by this practice.
The text proceeds to say that ordinarily the breath of a human being goes out a distance of 8 to 12 fingers’ breadth from his nostril. When fasting the distance is reduced by half the distance. During coition the distance becomes trebled and after food it is doubled. If the out-going breath exceeds this distance then it means that the man will die. The Sadhaka should always, therefore, be careful to regulate his breath.
When the Avadhuta goes begging for his food, he asks for alms so that he could offer same to Kundali. He is always in a blissful state, conscious of his oneness with Bhairava and Shiva. It is very difficult for any one to know his true nature. When alone he is like one mad, dumb, or paraIysed and when in the society of men he, sometimes behaves like a good man, sometimes like a wicked one; and on occasions he behaves like a demon. (Kvachit shishtah kvachit brashah kvachit bhutapishachamat). But the Yogi is always pure whatever he may do and by his touch everything becomes pure. Detached from his body immersed in Jnana (Jnanapara) the Yogi plays with his senses which are (dangerous for others) like snakes (Indriyapannaga). Wherever he may be when he sees any flowers, scents, articles of food and the like he mentally offers same to Mahadevi. There is for him no other worship, no vows and the like, as he is conscious that he is always complete in himself'(Purna), that he is Bhairava and Nityananda, the imperishable ‘I’ (Aham avyayah), free from all duality (Niranjana), changeless (Nirvikara), who knows the meaning of the Shastra and Mantra and who conscious of his greatness and that no one can excel him, is ever in .a blissful mood and ever does good to all. The chapter ends with a verse which literally means :–“On the left (Vama) is the woman skilled in the art of dalliance and on the right (Dakshina), the drinking cup, in the front is hog’s flesh cooked hot with chillies. On the shoulder is the well-tuned Vina with its melodious music. Kuladharma which contains the teachings of the great Guru is deep of meaning and difficult of attainment even by Yogis.” The esoteric meaning of the first part of this, however, is said to be that below (Vama) in the Muladhara is the woman Kundalini and above (Dakshina) is the receptacle wherefrom flows the Nectar produced by the union of Kundalini with Para-Shiva. The hot hog’s flesh is human existence, hot with its passions and prejudices. It is to be. noted that here the distinction is emphasized between the Self (Atma) and its Body (Deha).
Artwork is © Jan Bailey, 1975-2022. Translations are © Mike Magee 1975-2022.Questions or comments to email@example.com