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Shri Shoshika Devi
Thus she is the ultimate, unified Shakti; the Parameshvari, triple Tripura, the very self of Brahma, Vishnu and Isha; the being who is Jnana Shakti, Kriya Shakti and Iccha Shakti – Vamakeshvarimatam IV, 10-11
Shoshika is the goddess of the leftovers. At the end of puja, or ritual worship, the remains of the offerings are cast into a fire and dedicated to this aspect of Tripurasundari. The aspect of Lalita called Shoshika consumes everything that is left. She is worshipped in the north-east in a circular pit, enclosed within a square. Other guardians of the intermediate directions consume specific elements (upacharas) in the puja.
Chapter 20 of the Gandharva Tantra deals with her worship in detail. “Devi said: How is Parameshani Shoshika worshipped Shiva? What is the nature of this Mahadevi? Speak fully, Lord.
“Ishvara said: I now speak of the very secret Devi Shoshika Sundari, the foremost Ucchishta Devi, Matangi, the bestower of all success. Devi, the Vidya gives all prosperity and removes all defects. Weakness and misfortune disappear in one who comes to this knowledge. By depending on this Vidya, O Devi, one may destroy the fixed, the mobile, the artificial and the bodily [afflictions]. This Vidya is a Mahavidya, the destructress of all sin, giving heaven, liberation, dominion and good fortune. If poor, one gains wealth, if a fool one becomes knowledgeable. Listen! I declare the mantra of Mahadevi accordingly. Pronounce Ucchishta then Chandali then Sumukhi and Mahapishachini, afterwards saying Hrim then Thah Thah (Svaha). Mahadevi, this mantra is the giver of all success.
“Now I speak of her other mantra, very hard to get. Aim Hrim Shrim namo bhagavati Matangeshvari Sarvajanavashankari Svaha. This is the mantra giving all siddhi.
“Deveshi, in the case of this Devi there are no defects, obstructions or restraints. There is neither limb nyasa or hand nyasa nor attendants with this devata. He who is rooted in this mantra becomes the celestial tree. I speak to you of her dhyana accordingly. Sitting on a corpse, wearing red garments, adorned with red jewels, resplendent with red gunja berries. In the first flush of youth, with high, swelling breasts, carrying a skull bowl and scissors, the form of supreme light.
“Now I speak to you of her alluring manner of worship. Listen, Devi! Offer water for sipping and food immediately after. After giving bali using the root mantra, a sadhaka should then recite it many times. With the leavings he should do japa of she, the desired giver of success. Listen to what follows which gives results. Having done homa and oblation in the circle within a square with a bindu and a bhupura, the sadhaka should worship the mandala of the Devi using the root mantra.
“There he should invoke the Devi who is the permanent form of fire. He should worship and do homa using milk, with mustard seed and rice. By reciting it 1,000 times, he can subjugate a king. He should do homa using goat’s flesh with honey and ghee. After 1,000 recitations, they become the givers of success.” (Gandharva Tantra, XX. 1-25)
Artwork is © Jan Bailey, 1975-2021. Translations are © Mike Magee 1975-2021.Questions or comments to email@example.com