Sunday, December 28, 2008


Srividya is an ancient and influential school of Goddess-centered Shakta Tantrism. Centering on the goddess's three manifestations1.The beneficent deity Lalita Tripurasundari2. Her mantra; 3.and the yantra known as Sri Chakra. Srividya creates a systematic, esoteric discipline combining elements of the yogas of knowledge, of devotion, and of ritual.In the Shakta form of worship, Srividyopasana (i.e., the pursuit of enlightenment via Srividya) is considered the pinnacle of achievement. If the aspirant is initiated properly, it is the ultimate path, because it gives you the experience of union with the Universe, the Cosmos - or whatever name you prefer to call IT by. It is said you must, in past lives, have done thousands of years of sadhana of all the devatas such as Vishnu, Shiva, etc. to reach this point. It is said that one can obtain initiation into Srividya only if one is in his/her or his final birth - or is verily Shiva Himself.And within Srividyopasana there are stages of practice - from simple recitation of mantras to long and ritually complex mediations, all of which are followed progressively until suddenly you are THERE. In this context it is said that even if you are not really competent, some past meritorious karma can still you get initiated into Srividya, and you will become a yogabhrashta (an outcast in spiritual practice) – then in the next birth you will start where you stopped and will attain the union faster

There are many paths of sadhana within Srividya. Some are suitable for some and some are suitable for others. Which is right for a given aspirant depends not only on one's level of spiritual development, but also upon one's circumstances. Not everyone can cope with the rigorous rituals required by full-blown Srividyopasana, whether due to unfamiliarity with details, or lack of time and/or facilities. Not everyone can undertake daily austerities running into hours. The main practice of Srividya - worship of Sri Yantra - can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a full day, depending on how you do it. You have to go by your gut feeling to decide what's right for you.The two main types of pooja are srishti krama and samhara karma - or in English, the creation method and the dissolution method. In samhara karma, each Devi is worshiped and is absorbed into the next Devi, and it continues until we reach Lalita, in whom, by that time, all the Devis will be absorbed. In srishti karma, Lalita is worshipped first, and from her the next Devi is extracted, and from her the next one, and onward until all the Devis are in their rightful places

The full pooja takes hours, because at each point we pause and do smaller, detailed poojas. (What is pooja but an attempt at meditating on the form of Devi?) Hence the sages of yore created a recitation known as the Khadgamala Stotram. The Devi herself must have inspired the great Upasakas to create a capsule that contains everything so that for this time and clime it is THE upasana. All of the sadhana of Srividya can be achieved by the recitation of the Khadgamala. Hours of long ritual compressed to less than half an hour of intense meditation that will give you a ticket on the same plane as the great Srividya Upasakas. Says one experienced Srividya Upasaka, "Whatever your developmental stage, this is IT!" Even those who have not been initiated into Srividya can benefit from the Khadgamala.Sri.Amritananda Natha Saraswati himself describes it as follows: "The Khadgamala is the equation I=WORLD=BEYOND. Regular practice protects you, nourishes you, and takes you beyond. It fulfils all wishes, more than you desire, instantly. Therein lies its power. How should you practice Khadgamala? As you are reciting each name, a portion of Sri Chakra should spring up in your imagination. The power comes from intensifying concentration to visualize the form, hear the sound, feel the touch, taste, and smell of the divine perfume of the goddess manifesting that part of the ever youthful Goddess.The Goddess loves fun. She is deeply in love with You, making You HER Siva. So begin your journey to Goddess today, no matter how feebly. You can add power and depth as you move along.

All mantras cannot be recited by all people. The only people who are entitled to recite any mantra is a Sri Vidya Upasaka, for others the mantras are to be checked for compatibility. There are some mantras that are not compatible for some, so the person who gives should know what is compatible and what is not, that can be known only if you know all mantras or at least a large part as no one can really know ALL the mantras.

The advantage for a Sri Vidya Upasaka is that he knows quite a lot of mantras because he recites them all every day about 800+ mantras.A person doing Sri Vidya Upasana must be a Devi devotee, but not all devotee can do Sri Vidya Upasana. The Sri Vidya Upasaka can do Upasana of any devata. Only someone who is CHOSEN by Devi gets Sri Vidya. It is said you do not choose Sri Vidya but Sri Vidya chooses you. When you get it when you look back you will see how you have been guided slowly and surely to your guru

Some sadhakas may ask ?I am doing vigorous Tapas and meditation for the long time . With all that, my troubles and difficulties are multiplying. I have lost my job. I am starving now. What shall I do? Is this the Grace of the Lord? How can I continue my Sadhana when I have nothing to eat?like lot of incidence may occur when one starts upasana .why this happens ?When asked about the nature of Srividya, I was told that the mantra when properly received and done, will cause karma kshaya and papa kshaya(exhaustion of karmas and papas) at a dramatic rate, which is the reason for the above mentioned phenomenon.Same thing happens when doing sadhana with other mantras too, but not as rapid as it happens with Srividya

It is said one has to be verily Sankara himself or in one's last birth to get sri vidya. Since we are not Shankara, it has to be the last birth or when we get it, it becomes our last birth. So the karma kshaya or papa kshaya has to be faster than normal.

But let me tell you, I have observed that when one gets srividya and does upasana diligently normally and naturally you are thrust into greatness whether one realises it or not.
Surrender the difficulties to Devi and say (I mean TELL HER) .They are yours ,and see.......... what.... happens..............

Depending on the Samskara, capacity, tradition etc of the sadhaka, Tantra Shastra prescribes six ways of worship of the same Parabrahman. These are Shaiva, Vaishnava, Koumara, Ganapatya, Soura and Shakta. The most expansive of these is undoubtedly Shakta.The great Parabrahman is here known as Lalita, parA or ahamtA etc. The main upAsyA-s or deities worshipped are: Kali, Tara, Shodashi, Bhuvaneshwari, Chinnamasta, Bhairavi, Bagalamukhi, Matangi and Kamala with their respective Shiva-s or Mithunas being Mahakala, Akshobhya, Panchavaktra, Kameshwara, Tryambaka, Kabandha, Dakshinamurti, Maharudra, Matanga and Sadashiva or Mahavishnu. Dhumavathi is a widow without a Purusha Mithuna. Other than these Mahavidya Goddesses, Navadurgas, Kaamakhya and others in the fifty-one Shakti-Peethas, Mahalakshmi-Mahasaraswathi-Mahakali are all indeed forms of the same great mother Mahatripurasundari.

Each Vidya has its own Rishi, Nyasa, Devata, meditation form, mantra, Yantra, Aavarana, Sadhana, Kavacha, Hridaya, Sahasranama etc.

The various deities worshipped in Srichakra as tutelary deities to Mahatripurasundari.There is not a single God or Goddess that is not worshipped in the Srichakra as a part of Srividya. Srividya includes Pratimaa puja, Linga pooja, Yantra pooja, Saligrama puja, Nyasa, Kundalini yoga, Mudra paddhati, Shodasha Samskara, Homa, Bali, Kamakala Dhyana and what not?The great galaxy of Devi worshippers includes Devas and seers- among who are the celebrated are Manu, Chandra, Kubera, Manmatha, Lopamudra, Sage Agastya, Skanda, Dattatreya, Indra and sage Durvasa.Some texts also mention Nandikeshwara, Surya, Yama, Shankara and Vishnu as well. Each of them has propagated their own schools regarding the worship methodology and significance of Srichakra and also the pattern of Srividya Mahamantra.

1. Kaadi vidya - Kali krama or Samayamata or Kundalini yoga.

2. Haadi Vidya - Sundari krama or Hamsavidya or Kaulamata.

3. Saadi Vidya - Tara krama or Samavarodhini vidya or Mishra marga.

The two most prominent schools of Srividya are Kadi Vidya which traces back to Manmatha and Hadi Vidya, with Sri Lopamudra as its propagator. Sadi Vidya is also prevalent to a certain extent in some places in Andhra Pradesh. Among the three schools, the five Sandhyas are devoted to different divinities. Sadi Vidya, also called Mishra Vidya, mainly relies on concepts of Samayamata, though some beneficial practices and some deities are borrowed here from Hadi Krama. The Tantra followed here is mainly Chandrakalashtaka. In the Kadi School, also called Kali Krama, Kamakala Kali is worshipped in the morning, Bhuvaneshwari in the afternoon, Chamunda in the evening, Samayakubjika at night and Kadi Vidya at midnight. In the Hadi School, also called Sundari Krama, the divinities worshipped in these Sandhyas are respectively Adya kali, Tara, Chinnamasta, Bagala and Hadi Vidya. The scriptures do not recomment this worship for householders. The Tara Krama or Sadi Vidya invokes Dakshina Kali, Tara, Bala, Jnana Saraswati and Sadi Vidya in these Sandhyas. The Kadi School is Satvic, Hadi is Rajasic and Sadi is Tamas as described in Tantraraja.

As far as Srividya is concerned, the three traditions are Dakshinamurti - Hayagriva - Anandabhairava. Dattatreya Sampradaaya, if it may be called so, actually is a mixture of these three main Sampradayas and as such the Tantras do not recognize it as a primary tradition of Srividya. These Sampradayas are not contradictory to each other but instead are complimentary. The main differences are in the construction of Srichakra, Guru Mandala, Patra Sthapana in Srikrama etc.In the Hayagriva Sampradaya, the worship is conducted as per Dakshinachara. In the Ananda Bhairava Sampradaya, Kaula or Vamachara methods are followed.In the Dakshinamurti Sampradaya,worship is conducted according to Samayachara.

Written By Sri Guruji, Kamakodi Mandali

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