Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tantric Initiation( Diksha’s) : Different Stages


The meaning of the word Diksha is “Dwiate Dibyagyanam” which means rendering the True Divine knowledge and power, “Khyiate Paparashi” which means destroying the sins of the disciple. Without tantric initiation or Diksha no one can take part in tantric puja and rituals.

 There are different kinds of Diksha in Tantras which are detailed below:

01. Mantra Diksha – In this particular rituals the Sadguru gives the Ishtaa Mantra ie. Mantra of disciples’s choosen Deity, for example goddess Kali, Taara, Tripura etc. He should perform tantric tri-sandhya of the Ishtaa devi and perform the general worship during day time.

02. Shaktabhisekh Diksha – In this particular rituals the Sadguru gives the Avisekh ie. sprinkling of the wholy water on the disciple reciting mantras of Avisinchan from Uttara Tantra and giving the Guru Mantra, Shiva mantra and Ishtaa mantra along with Ishta Gayatri. He should perform Pratahakritya, Tantric tri-sandhya, Nitya-Pujan during day time and special worship on special occasions during night following with Patraa Sadan, Balidaan and Homam.

03. Purnabhisekh – It is the most important and essential initiation in tantric discipline. Here the rituals continues for 3 days, 5 days, 7 days & upto 9 days period. There are different rules and complicated rituals and kriyaas that are performed by Sadguru, Acharya and authorised tantric priests.

The Guru gives the Purnabhisekh from the Maha Kumbha (Kalash) by chanting different tantric mantras from Mahanirvaan Tantra, Uttara tantra and Nigamlata tantra according to his school and Guru parampara. The disciple gets the Guru Paduka Mantra, Dusharna Mantra, Ajapa Mantra, Brahma Mantra and Ishta Mantra. Beside this he also gets panchayatan mantra etc.

Through Purnabhisekh the disciple enters into the holy tradition of an “Avadhoot Parampara” and hence from then he gets recognised as a Sacred Avadhoot.

As an identity of an Avadhoot he gets the Holy “Gotra” and “Name” which is secret and followed by the sacred Avadhoot names of his Guru, Parama Guru, Parapar Guru, Parameshthi Guru which is also termed as Guru Pankti. 

This Guru Pankti gives the disciple his recognition as a truly Purnabhisikt Avadhoot. This Abhisekh entitles the disciples not only to perform Brihat (Detailed) Pratakritya, Tri- Sandhya, Nitya Puja, but also special worship during night with “Pancha Makar” formally known as “Chakra Pujan, Rahasya Pujan or Nisha Pujan.”

By the power of Purnabhisekh initiation the non brahmin disciple or female disciple gets the equivalent status with a brahmin disciple. Here the division of caste and sex dissolves and all becomes a part of the same “Avadhoot Parampara”.

04. Krama Diksha – Krama means gradual upliftment of the disciple through definite process. Here the mantra of Bhagabati Taara and Tripur Sundari is given along with other Mahavidyas. The disciple or the Sadhaka has to perform various Shamsan Sadhanas (sadhana over the crematorium ground) like Bilwa Mool (sadhana beneath a Bilwa/Bel Tree), Panchamundi Sadhanam, Shaba Sadhanam, Chita Sadhanam.

He has to also perform different Purashcharans like Tithi, Khanda, Maha Purashcharans etc at nisha ie. Night to energise Mantras of Ishtaa and various other Mahavidyas followed with Pujan, Homam, Tarpanam, Abhisinchanam, Kaula Bhojanam, Kumari Pujanam, Suhasini Pujanam. There is a separate rule for the Tripur Sundari Krama Diksha where Bala Trayakshari, Pancha Dashakshari and Maha Shoroshi mantras are given respectively by the SadGuru to the disciple.

05. Samrajya Diksha – Here the disciples get the Saptadoshi Mantra of Tripur Sundari in the Tripur Sundari Krama. 

06. Maha Medha Maha Samrajya Diksha – Here the disciple is given the ultimate Vidyaraggni mantra of Bhagavati Kalika along with other forms of Kalika like Addya Kali, Sidhaa Kali, Gujya Kali, Hansa Kali, Kama Kala Kali, Samsan Kali, Raksha Kali, Shyama Kali,Bhagavati Tara along with Ashta Tara and Neel Saraswati Vidya Raggni Mantra.

Also Maha Ashtodasakshari Mantra along with different mantras of Tripur Sundari, Paraprasad mantra, Ardhanariswar mantra, Panchasinghasan, Pancha Panchika, Shara Darshan, Shorosh Nitya and twelve mantras of Tripur Sundari of Twelve famous upasaks such as Agasta, Lopa mudra, Kuber, Manu, Manmatha, Chandra, Durbasha etc. Krama diksha of Chinnamasta is very essential for the upliftment of the true-seeker.

07. Amnaya Diksha – Here the Guru gives the mantras of six schools or six amnaya ie. Purba (East), Dakshin (South), Paschim(West), Uttara(North), Urdhaa,(Above) Anuttara (infinite).

08. Purnodiksha – The ultimate of the Tantra is Salvation and here the Guru gives the Nirvaan Vidya of Goddess Kali in Kali Kuaml and Goddess Tripur Sundari in Sri Kulam

Seven Methods( Achars) In Tantra:

According to Kularnava Tantra there are seven achars in Tantra. These achars actually identifies different stages of Sadhaka and by completing each stages the Sadhaka should ascend towards ultimate salvation. Though the detailed knowledge can only be achieved under a revered Saad Guru, still we are trying to give a short brief.

1. Vedachar – In short in this particular discipline the sadhaka use to worship by engaging himself in strict vedic, smarta and puranic rituals. This is the beginning to start a regulated life.

2. Baishnavachar -- In short in this particular discipline the sadhaka starts the Baishnav Sadhana mainly by following vedic principles. He should strictly abide all rules and regulations as per sashtras and should worship wholeheartedly Lord Bishnu and should surrender all karma to Bishnu. At this stage he is not allowed to perform Japa at night.

3. Shaivachar -- In short in this particular discipline the sadhaka starts worshiping Lord Shiva by abiding Vedic discipline and should surrender his everything at the feet of the Lord Shiva. Simultaneously he should practice the Ashtang Yoga discipline which is important and supportive for the higher achars.

4. Dakshinachar – As per Kularnava “ Dakshinamurti Rishi practiced this Achar” hence it is termed as Dakshinachar. In this particular discipline also the sadhaka has to strictly abide by vedic rules and can perform Japa at night by taking “Vijaya” (Siddhi). In all the previuous Achars the Sadhaka has practiced about purification of physical body and internal Soul and at the same time his “Nistha” ie. Self Commitment was uplifted from finer to superior form but now to add with it he starts exploring the Kingdom of knowledge. Regular “Shastra Adhyan”, ie. Study of Shastras becomes an important part of his Sadhana.

5. Vamachar – It is a very sacred discipline which can only be mastered under the guidance of a revered Guru, as because this “Vidya” is “GURUMUKHI”. At Daytime worshipping Devi, abiding Brahmacharya discipline and night worshipping Devi in a reverse Achar ie. with “Pancha Mokar” is the significance of this sacred Achaar.

6. Sidhantachar – After mastering both paths of Sadhana, ie. Dakshinachar & Vamachar, ie the Reverse achaar, the sadhaka attains this stage. He has practiced, felt, observed both Dakshin & Vaam and finally arrived at the Self reconciliation point. He has mastered the art of true “Bhogascha Mokshacha”. He has enjoyed both “worldly pleasures” and “spiritual pleasures” upto the peak. From here his Sadhana towrds Divya path or path of enlightment begins.

7. Divyachar or Kaulachar –
“Anto Shakta Bohii Saibaa Sabhayang Baishnabaa Motaa
NanaBeshadharaa Kaula Bicharanti Mohitole.”
Shyama Rahasya

In the inner heart he is Shakta (worshipper of Shakti), outwardly he resembles as Shaiva (worshipper of Shiva), Society recognises as Param Baishnav, and like this in various forms and outlook a Kaula (Sadhaka) roams around the world freely.
This is the stage of a true Avdhoot or a Yogi. He is free from all goods and all odds, friends and enemies, sorrows and happiness, nothing in the earth can bother him nor he will depend on anything.

Kaulachar is not only a mere stage but it is a superior stage wherein one cannot enter just only by doing some sadhanas. It requires the punya samskaars from previous births, Grace of Kaul Guru and permission from the Almighty. Sri Bamakhyapa , Sadhak Ramprasad, Swami Nigomananda Saraswati, Sri Ramkrishna Paramhansa, Krishnanda Agombagish etc. are the true Kaula’s .

The discipline of Tantra actually teaches us the art of practicing both worldly pleasures and spirituality at the same time. It is only in this Tantric practices (Shakti Sadhanas) it is possible. No other disciplines can boldly utter “Bhogascha Mokshacha” , the two opposite characters, can be truly controlled simultaneously by the Original KAULA.

Thus it is rightly laid down in Kularnav Tantra :

“ Kaulachara Muram Kathita Yoginamapyagamya”

Kaul Marg is very difficult. To attain perfection in it is very difficult.

Characteristics of a True Disciple or Shisya :
 According to the Tantras like Mahanirvaan, Kularnava etc. a disciple should belong to a noble family, he should be educated academically and spiritually. He should be generous and should possess good moral character. He should have complete faith and devotion towards the master and Shastra. Regulated life according to the Vedic and Tantric discipline is very essential for a disciple to achieve the spiritual achievement.

Guru Gita

In Guru Gita, Shiva says to Parvati :
Just as the ocean is the king of waters, the Param Guru (Saat Guru) is the king of Gurus. (179)'

'A Param Guru is free from attachment, etc; peaceful, always contented in Himself, independent, and one who considers the status of Brahma and Vishnu like a blade of grass. (180)'
By whose mere Darshan, one attains calmness, cheerfulness, and peace and steadfastness, and peace of mind, such a one is Param Guru(Saat Guru) (183)
Family traditions, wealth, strength, shastras, relatives, brothers, - none of these are useful to you at the time of death. Saatguru is the only saviour. (188)' 

The Kularnava Tantra (XIV/65) states,

'It is very rare to find a Saatguru who can give Shaktipat and rare to find a disciple worthy of receiving it. One gets such a Guru only as a result of past meritorious actions.'

In the Upanishads, five signs of Saatguru (True Guru) are mentioned.
'In the presence of the Saatguru; Knowledge flourishes (Gyana raksha); Sorrow diminishes (Dukha kshaya); Joy wells up without any reason (Sukha aavirbhava); Abundance dawns (Samriddhi); All talents manifest (Sarva samvardhan).

Understanding Fifteen Thidi Nityas

The fifteen Nityas are the rays of the Supreme Adya Nitya or Maha Nitya, who is none other than Paraabhattaarikaa Mahatripurasundari. Though the fifteen Nityas resemble Maha Nitya, it is only this great Parashakti, who is ever united with Sri Kameshwara, the supreme Brahman.

Sri Parashakti becomes fivefold in the Bhutas, air, ether, fire, water and earth and by association of each of these with the three Gunas; there are the fifteen Nitya Shaktis who are rayed forth from her. They also represent the Tithis from Pratipat to Purnima or Amavasya. In Srichakra, they are located in the Moola triangle, five at each side of the triangle.

To obtain the grace of Sri Rajarajeshwari, the transcendent sixteenth Nitya, it is very much necessary to appease these fifteen deities. The Sadhaka of the fifteen Nityas becomes the abode of Siddhis and happiness. He is cheerful of mind, charitable, merciful, pleasing in appearance, forgiving, contented, free from all anxieties, wealthy and filled with the bliss of the self.

He is the possessor of various Siddhis like Khadga, Paduka, Anjana, Nidhi, Bila and control over Devas, demons, Yakshas, Vetalas, Chetakas, nine planets, five elements and so on. The sixteen vowels of the Matrika represent the sixteen Nitya Shaktis. The consonants, 36 in number (considering them severally and as a group), represent the 36 Tatvas.

The nine groups into which the letters are divided are the nine Nathas or the great Srividya gurus. The Nityas are identical with the universe, Srividya, Srichakra, Sri Lalita, Guru and the Self. The climax of the Nitya worship is in Para Homa, which marks the sudden revelation of Sri Maha Shodashi Nitya.
 Sri Kameshwari:

Kameshwari is the first Nitya and is the fulfiller of desires. She is lustrous red like ten million rising suns, wears a bright crown of red rubies and is adorned with throat ornaments, necklaces, waist chains and rings on her hands and feet. Her ornaments are set with gems. Her raiment is red. She is six-armed and three-eyes and carries the crescent of moon on her head. Her face is lit up with a soft smile and her eyes are merciful. She carries in her hands, a bow of sugarcane, arrows of flowers, noose and goad and a cup made of gems filled with nectar. She makes the gesture of granting boons.

Worship of Sri Kameshwari bestows one with happiness, wealth, family congeniality and mental peace, besides liberation of the soul. By destroying diseases, she protects the mankind with good health.

Her mantra is: OM kAmeshwaryai vidmahe nityaklinnAyai dhImahi tanno nityA prachodayaat.

 Sri Bhagamalini:

Sri Bhagamalini is beautiful and red, of smiling countenance, three-eyed, six-armed and seated on a lotus. She carries the night water lily, noose, and sugarcane bow in her left hands. In her right hands, she holds a lotus, goad and flowery arrows. She emits a crimson hue from her radiating body.

She gives her Sadhaka, the power to attract the three worlds. She also renders the strength required to win over enemies. In case of women, she protects the pregnant ladies for a safe delivery and prevents abortions and premature births. She grants fertility to couples.

Her mantra is: OM bhagamaalinyai vidmahe sarvavasha~Nkaryai dhiimahi tanno nityaa prachodayaat.

Sri Nityaklinna:

Sri Nityaklinna is red with red raiment and smeared with red sandal paste. Three eyes enhance the beauty of her eyes. On her forehead are beads of sweat shining like pearls. Above it is the half-moon. In her four hands, she holds noose, goad, drinking cup and the gesture of Abhaya. She is seated in the middle of a lotus, listless with desire. She is bedecked with ornaments studded with precious stones.

Couples who worship her will be very congenial. She fills love and affection in word and deed. Amba grants a feeling of unity in the family i.e. parents and their children will show mutual love and affinity. He who attains her Siddhi is said to become more beautiful than Manmatha.

Her mantra is: OM nityaklinnaayai vidmahe nityamadadravaayai dhiimahi tanno nityaa prachodayaat.

 Sri Bherunda:

Sri Bherunda has a body that shines as if made of molten gold. She has three eyes and her face is lit with a radiant smile. She is adorned with ornaments of celestial beauty, with earrings, necklace, armlets, waist-chain and rings on hands and feet. She carries the noose, goad, shield, sword, mace, thunderbolt and bow.

The very remembrance of her name frees one from the evil effects of the three kinds of poison: Sthavara (from trees and herbs), Jangama (from serpents and other animals) and Kritrima (artificially prepared). Chanting her mantra using a mala made of Abrus easily pleases her.

Her mantra is: OM bherunDaayai vidmahe viShaharaayai dhiimahi tanno ntiyaa prachodayaat.

 Sri Vajreshwari:

Sri Vajreshwari is seated at her ease on her Chakra consisting of a triangle, hexagon, lotuses and Mahapura, placed on a magnificent throne. This throne in turn is located on a golden boat flowing in an ocean of blood. She has four arms and three eyes. She is red, attained in red raiment, surrounded with red unguent and garlanded with red flowers. On her head is a diadem of lustrous rubies. In her hands, she carries noose, goad, sugarcane bow and arrows of pomegranate flowers.

She looks upon her Sadhaka with a cooling grace of mercy. She is the destruct tress of the dense Evils, boundless like the ocean. The Siddhi of her mantra grants freedom from Aviveka. On the physical plane, she destroys all evils and troubles faced by the Sadhaka.

Her mantra is: OM mahaavajreshwaryai vidmahe vajranityaayai dhiimahi tanno nityaa prachodayaat.

 Sri Shivaduti:

Sri Shivaduti has eight arms and is bright like the midday sun in summer. She is garbed in red raiment and wears different kinds of ornaments on different parts of her body. There are the nine great gems in her diadem.

Her face is filled with a gentle smile. She is surrounded by great Rishis who are busy singing her praise. In her left hands, she carries a horn, shield, mace and a cup made of gems. In her right hands, she holds sword, goad, axe and a lotus.

She is the destroyer of wickedness and is ever eager to grant the pleasing objects of desire to her Sadhakas and devotees. She annihilates injustice and unrighteousness. She fulfills all righteous desires – material and otherwise. She leads Sadhaka to the state of Shiva.

Her mantra is: OM shivaduutyai vidmahe Shiva~Nkaryai dhiimahi tanno nityaa prachodayaat.

 Sri Tvarita:

Sri Tvarita is the quickest to grant fruit to her Sadhaka compared to any other goddess. She is of auspicious form in the first flush of youth and of dark complexion. She has three eyes and four hands and her beautiful lotus-like face smiles gently. She is clad in new leaves.

She is adorned with eight fierce and great serpents. On her head is a crystal crown with a crest of peacock's feather. Her arms are adorned with bangles made of beautiful peacock's tail feathers. Strings of Gunja berries hand round her throat. Her breasts are smeared with red sandal paste.

She holds in her four hands, noose, goad and Mudras of Vara and Abhaya. She is seated on a golden throne, surrounded by lions and bears.

She grants education, health, wealth, physical radiance and long life. She protects from poisonous attacks and poverty. Her Sadhaka becomes capable of even enchanting the celestial nymphs.
 Sri Kulasundari:

Sri Kulasundari is propitious, supremely kind and blissful with twelve arms and six lotus-like faces which smile sweetly and with three eyes in each face. She is red, seated on a red lotus and is smeared with blood. Her raiment and ornaments are also red and is surrounded by Shaktis also red in color.

Her crown is bright with priceless gems and rubies, earrings, neck-chains, armlets, waist-chains and anklets heighten her own brightness. On her beauteous breasts are clusters of red gems. In her are all the words of the Vedas. In her right hands, she carries a rosary of coral beads, a lotus, a Kamandalu, a drinking cup made of gems, full of wealth, a citron and Vyakhya Mudra.

In her left hands are a book, red lotus, a golden pen, a garland of gems, a conch shell and vara Mudra. Devas and sages who sing her praises surround her.

She grants knowledge to her Sadhaka and makes him Sarvajna (all-knowing). She makes one equal to Hayagriva in scholarship. To obtain knowledge, wealth and annihilation of enemies, she should be respectively meditated upon as being crystal white, golden and smoky dark blue colors.

Her mantra is: OM kulasundaryai vidmahe kaameshwaryai dhiimahi tanno nityaa prachodayaat.

9 Sri Nitya:

Sri Nitya controls all moving bodies and by her, all Jivas dwell in their bodies. She is the Chaitanya in all. She is the deity who presides Dakini and the other Yoginis in the six Chakras in the body. Colored like the rising sun, she bears on her head a luminous crown.

Her face is lit by a soft smile. She is dressed in red raiment and adorned with red rubies. She has three eyes and twelve hands. With her right hands, she carries the noose, white lotus, sugarcane bow, shield, trident and the Mudra of vara.

She carries goad, book, flowery arrows, sword, skull and Abhaya Mudra in her left hand. Her Shaktis are countless and form a complete circle around her.

She grants Vaksiddhi to her Sadhaka by which he can give boons or curse others. He achieves khechari Siddhi by her grace. Besides she is also the granter of supreme physical strength.

Her mantra is: OM nityaa bhairavyai vidmahe nityaa nityaayai dhiimahi tanno nityaa prachodayaat.

10 Sri Nilapataka:

Sri Nilapataka is sapphire-blue in color with five faces and three-eyes in each, and ten hands. Her face is sweet and smiling. She is clad in red raiment and her hand is adorned with lustrous gems.

She is decked mostly with pearls. Clusters of gems are on various parts of her body. In her left hands, she carries the goad, the banner, and shield, a bow made of horn and makes vara Mudra. In her right hands, she carries the goad, the Shakti weapon, sword, and arrows and makes Abhaya Mudra.

She is seated on a lotus and surrounded by countless Shaktis resembling herself.

She grants victory in battle and success in trade. She also grants success in exams, interviews and court cases.

Her mantra is: OM niilapataakaayai vidmahe mahaanityaayai dhiimahi tanno nityaa prachodayaat.

11 Sri Vijaya:

Sri Vijaya Nitya has a body lustrous red like that of the rising sun. She has five smiling faces in each of which are three eyes and she has ten hands. Her raiment is yellow. She bears a brilliant crown and on her forehead a crescent moon.

She is decked with all kinds of ornaments. In her left hands, she carries conch, noose, shield, bow and white lily. In her right hands, she carries Chakra, goad, arrows and a citron fruit. When she is invoked for the purpose of victory over an enemy, she is terrific in appearance but in daily meditation, she is conceived in a benignant aspect.

She is seated on a lion and is surrounded by Shaktis seated on tigers.

A self-controlled Sadhaka who worships her in her Chakra becomes happy in every way. She also grants success in debates.

Her mantra is: OM vijayaadevyai vidmahe mahaanityaayai dhiimahi tanno nityaa prachodayaat.

12 Sri Sarvamangala:
Sri Sarvamangala is all-beneficent and grants khechari Siddhi to her Sadhaka. She is of golden complexion, decked with pearls and rubies and bears a ruby crown on her head. Her eyes, full of mercy, are the sun and the moon.

She is seated on a lotus. She holds a citron in her right hand and with her left hand, grants wealth and desires to her devotees by vara Mudra. She is surrounded by Shaktis, countless in number, who resemble herself. She is also surrounded by the Surya, Chandra and Agni Kala Devis.

Her Moola mantra undergoes 9216 variations. However, these secrets have to be learnt from a Guru.

She grants progress, both in the materialistic and spiritual worlds. She safeguards her devotees during journey.

Her mantra is: OM sarvama~Ngalaayai vidmahe chandraatmikaayai dhiimahi tanno nityaa prachodayaat.

13 Sri Jwalamalini:

Sri Jwalamalini Devi is lustrous like flaming fire and resplendent with her ruby crown. She has six faces and twelve arms and is decked with all kinds of adornment. She holds in her hands, the noose, goad, sword, shield, bow, arrows, mace, tortoise, spear and fire.

She also makes the gestures of vara and Abhaya. Her lotus-like faces, each of which has three eyes, are illumined by a sweet smile.

The Devi can be invoked in a boy and girl and can be made to answer relating to the past, present or future. Invoking her in sanctified water and consuming the same will rekindle the digestive fire.

She also grants Vedha, Akarshana, Santapa, Vashya and Avesha Siddhis. She destroys all enemies and gives unheard financial gains.

Her mantra is: OM jwaalaamaalinyai vidmahe mahaajwaalaayai dhiimahi tanno nityaa prachodayaat.

14 Sri Chitra:

Sri Chitra is lustrous like the rays of the rising sun, decked with jewels made of nine kinds of gems, which are also set in her crown. She has four arms and three eyes and is clothed with a wonderful silken garment of variegated color.

A pure smile illumines her face. She is all-bliss and ever existent. She grants all desires. In her four arms, she holds the noose, the goad, vara and Abhaya Mudras.

Chitra grants wealth and self-knowledge (Atmalabha) to her Sadhaka. Her Sadhaka is able to subjugate others to his won way of thinking. She showers her devotee with sudden riches like treasure-troves, lottery etc.

Her mantra is: OM vichitraayai vidmahe mahaanityaayai dhiimahi tanno nityaa prachodayaat.
for pictuture of 15 Nithyas please click the Link

Wednesday, November 2, 2011



To the practitioners of Tantra, the term refers to a shakti, a human female participant in the maithuna, or sexual rites; or even to the parched grain as one of the five ingredients used in the panca-tattva rite because of its physical resemblance to the yoni, the female genitalia.

Shaktis are called "mudras" because in the process of ritualistic and yogic coitus they have an effect similar to body and hand mudras. Mudras awaken dormant psycho-physical centers and purifies certain subtle channels allowing for the circulation of energies to take place; Mudras facilitates concentration, and are a powerful means of communing with the forces and divinities lying within man's inner nature; women have a great access to psychic energies; thus, the sexual yogic act, when properly conducted, does the same thing. Being highly respected, a woman proficient in the Tantric arts is referred to as a "mudra," or to be more specific, "Karma mudra," of which there are five kinds, categorized according to various psycho-physical characteristics.

In another sense, "closed electrical-circuits" of the subtle channels in the physical and etheric bodies are also known as "seals," or mudras.

In passing, we should mention that the large earrings worn by members of the Nathaa Order in India are likewise called "mudra."

The Kagyu sect of Vajrayana Buddhism uses the suffix "maha" meaning "great" in association with the term "mudra." Thus, the conjoined word mahamudra means "the Great Seal," or "the Great Symbol." In this context, the word refers to a state of direct realization and experience of the ultimate nature of the Mind or Reality where all dualities and sense of separateness from All that Is are transcended.

Putting aside complexities, the definition of mudra is simply "symbolic gesture."

Chogyam Trungpa in his book, "Mudra," defines the word as,

"a symbol in the wider sense of gesture or action. It is the inspiring color of phenomena. Also it is a symbol expressed with the hands to state for oneself and others the quality of different moments of meditation, such as touching the earth with the right hand as a witness to Buddha's freedom from emotional and mental frivolousness."

Yoga teachings in general explain that mudras denote the hand gestures and movements used in the performance of dances, rituals, rites, and while engaging in spiritual exercises such as meditation. Mudras symbolically express inner feelings and inner psychological states; they also generate various qualities such as fearlessness, power, charity, and peace in the practitioner and to on-lookers.

In another ancient text called Soma-Shambhu-Paddhati, a great number of these hand mudras are described. Perhaps the best known by yogic practitioners and students are abhaya-mudra, anjali-mudra, cin-mudra, dhyana-mudra, and jnana-mudra. Some of these mudras are known by other names, especially in other cultures and spiritual traditions.

It is this latter understanding of mudra that we shall be dealing with in this series of articles. To sum up, we present Nik Douglas' definition of "mudra" to be found in the glossary of his book, Sexual Secrets :

(Mudras are) "mystic hand gestures used to focus subtle energy, transmit teachings through symbols and confer psychic protection.

As an aid to Tantric meditation, mudra can also mean woman in her role as Yogini. The same term is sometimes used to refer to cereal grains used in Tantric rites. "

The Origin of Mudras

It is not quite known when or where systematized and stylized gestures originated. Almost all ancient cultures made use of hand signs in one form or another. Hand Signs were employed even in earliest times in religion, in the rhetoric art, in social intercourse, in builders' and trade guilds, etc. The operative Masons--the Comacines, the builders of Europe's finest cathedrals, and the hoary trade guild known as the Dionysiac Artificers--who were responsible for the construction of ancient buildings and structures--all made use of hand signs as a system of communication and protection of their conclaves or secret meetings against unauthorized entry.

In Hinduism, as well as Buddhism, hundreds of mudras were formed for yogic purposes, for ceremonies, drama, and dance. Most of these were symbolic in nature, others, however, had metaphysical virtues. There are literally hundreds of mudra-gestures formed by the ancient yogis and sages; however, they are all based on four basic hand positions: the open palm, the hollowed palm, the closed fist, and the hand with fingertips together.

In the Occident, the study of hand gestures in ritual and its spontaneous movements is called cheironomy. It particularly relates to gestures used in esoteric symbolism and certain forms or signs used in religious ritual.

In occultism, each hand gesture has certain significance as well as embodying a certain force.
Ritual gestures were an important part of religious ceremonies in most ancient cultures. They were said to have the power to call upon the gods, to unfold powers, and to affect the surroundings in various ways.

Power in the Hands

The ancient Egyptians regarded the hand poses of their god-incarnate pharaohs as highly potent, even if it is just a pictorial representation. While depicting these pharaohs in murals or while forming statues of them, artists were careful not to misrepresent the mudras assumed by their sovereign for fear that it would evoke an unwanted force.

Power in the Hands

The hands when used systematically in mudra exercises result in a wealth of benefit for the practitioner. Not only does it improve one's health, they also generate the energies that would empower one to live a dignified life as a child of God. Specific hand gestures assist the unfoldment of one's divine potentials, or inner divinity lying dormant within one's being.

Mudras facilitate the awareness of our inner nature, the reality of Spirit, the oneness of the Cosmos. It arouses the spiritual heart to expand and express itself with effulgent radiance. Through love, selfless love, unconditional love, divine love, it is possible to conquer all things. It is with love that we approach God, not through fear; fear will never take us to the divine throne. To express love is the beginning of wisdom.

By practicing hand gestures we eventually find ourselves communicating with Nature, for some of her esoteric languages are signs and symbols. Mudras generate structured magnetic fields with forms that resemble computer fractuals and images. Abstract forms reach the higher planes of life where angelic forces reside. T

hus, by performing mudras we may eventually find ourselves socializing with cherubim and seraphim.

According to scientists we use about 10% of our brain potential. Mudra practices may change all that, for the energies that it awakens clears all of the vessels--physical and non-physical--of obstructions and blockages that prevent the brain from being nourished and developed.

New synapses between neurons are formed when the brain receives a good supply of chi or prana. An increase in I.Q., a strong memory retention, improved learning ability, and mental alertness, are some of the results of cleared energy channels. When empowered the brain forms new connections with the etheric brain.

These connections resemble and function as miniature sutratma, which is the link between the lower quaternary of the microcosm and the higher components that we normally refer to as "the Spirit" of man. The more links between the etheric and physical brain, the more powerful and intelligent the brain becomes.

Mudras awaken the power of the hands to act therapeutically and magically. The psychic centers in the palms and fingertips are activated to their optimal level by the consistent application of mudras. This eventually facilitates the free outflow and influx of cosmic forces that may be utilized for various occult purposes.

With such power, even a mere touch may mesmerize, enchant, fascinate, or quicken the "dead." Hands with such power would definitely be an asset not only to the metaphysical practitioner but also to those involved in social and business affairs.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Srividya, its concept and its two paths

Srividya is called Chandrakala Vidya or Kundalini Vidya. That is the Science of Srividya is related to the waxing of the Moon. Just as the Moon that is physically present in the sky, the same moon is reflected in the Sahasrara Chakra of the individual. Concept of Time (Kaala) is the product of Kameswara and Kameswari. 

The 15 days of the Lunar Fortnight symbolically represent the 15 bija mantras of Panchadashakshari Mantra of Tripurasundari. These 15 days of lunar fortnight are presided by a corresponding Devi that are called Tithi Nitya Devatas. They are mentioned in Devi Khadgamala.

These 15 days are the same for Bright Lunar Fortnight (Sukla Paksha) and Dark Lunar Fortnight (Krishna Paksha). The 15 Devatas in Bright Lunar Fortnight recur in the Dark Lunar Fortnight for the corresponding day which iscalled Tithi. Apart from these 15 dieties, there is one more Devi which is the 16th Devi among these Tithi Nitya Devatas. This 16th Devi is called Shodasi. This Shodasi shines with 16 dimensions on Pournami (the 15th day of Bright Lunar Fortnight) and the same Shodasi shines with 1 dimension on Amavaasya (the 15th day of Dark Lunar Fortnight).

The concept of Time is expressed in terms of 1 year in Veda. 1 year is expressed in terms of 12 months. And 12months are expressed in terms of 360 days. Each month is represented with 2 fortnights of Moon (Bright and Dark). Hence, the entire concept of time in the form of 1 year is presided by these 16 tithi nitya devatas.

These 360 days are the 360 degrees of Time. These 360 days or 360 degrees are the 360 Rashmis or Rays that the emanations from Lalitha Tripurasundari. And hence, the Time which consists of 360 degrees in the form of 360 emanations of Devi is in control of Lalitha.

It is to be noted that all these 360 emanations start at Muladhara Chakra and culminate at Ajna Chakra. So, the Lalitha Tripurasundari which is of the form of Kameswara and Kameswari sporting at Sahasrara Chakra is untouched by the time which stops at Ajna Chakra.

The evolution of time and cosmos has happened with the help of this 16th dimension which is called Shodasi. The Shiva with the help of this 16th Dimension or Shodasi creates the rest of the Tithi Nitya Devatas ie., from 1 day of Lunar Fortnight to 15th day of Lunar Fortnight.

So, the concept of time in the form of 30 days and 12 months are the product of Shiva with this 16th dimension concept called Shodasi. This Shodasi is called Nitya or Dhruva or Sada. IfPanchadashakshari Mantra of Srividya represents the 15 dimensions of the Moon then Shodashakshari Mantra represent this 16th Dimension of the Moon. This Shodasi of 16 dimensions is ever united with Shiva.

The image of the moon at the crown of Shiva is this 16th Dimension of Shodasi that we see in the pictures of Shiva. The Mantra of this 16th Dimension is SRIM Bija. This is suffixed to the Panchadashakshari mantra and that becomes Shodashakshari. And hence, Shiva is called 17th Dimension because He holds back all the 16
Dimensions of the Moon.

Sri Jnaneshwar Maharaj, a great shaktha of Natha School, in his work "Amritanubhava" addresses the Shiva with 17 Dimensions.

Now, the entire cosmos is the product of Matrika in the form of 16 vowels and 34 consonants. These 16 tithi nitya devatas or deities that I mentioned above represent the 16 vowels from A to Aha (visarga). `A' vowel is Shiva and its combines with the 16th Dimension called Shodasi and gives rise to rest of the vowels and consonants.

They are 50 in number and thus they are called Shaktha Pitas (Refer Lalitha Sahasraranama "Panchashat Peetasupini). These 50 letters are presided by respective Dieties called Yoginis. These 50 yoginis in the form of 50 letters represent the garland of rosary having 50 beads in the hands of Mother. These 50 letters represent the garland of 50 skulls that adorn the breast of Kali.


Now the followers of Samayachara School worship this 16th Dimension in the form of Shodasi at the Sahasrara Chakra. Their mode of worship is purely internal. They invoke the 15 bija mantras corresponding to 15 Dieties of the Fortnight. Receive the nectar or ambrosia from these 15 dieties and perform the abhisheka or worship to the 16th dimension which is called Shodasi. So, the abhisheka with the nectar is performed to the 16th Dimension called Shodasi with the help of the 15 bija mantras.

But on the Amaavasya or the 15th day of Dark Lunar Fortnight, only 16th dimension shines forth in the form of Nitya Devata. So, they cannot invoke the rest of the deities and ask for the nectar for the performance of abhisheka ritual.

Moreover, the IDA and PINGALA nerves that are the subtle nervous centres called Nadis are in union with each at the Mooladhara Chakra (remember IDA and PINGALA are the SUN and MOON that come in one line during the New Moon Day of Dark Fortnight).

Hence, SAMAYACHARIS donot worship the Devi on New Moon Day because there is no Ambrosia or Nectar for them to perform the ritual to Shodasi (this is purely internal worship at Sahasrara). The Tantra or the Mode of Worship adopted by them is called Dakshinachara Path.
But the KAULACHARIS worship the Great Kali during the 15th day of Dark Fortnight ie., Amaavasya. They worship the Kali at Muladhara Chakra when the Ida and Pingala Nervers or Nadi are in communion in perfect union.

Their Plane of Divine consciousness during the union of Ida and Pingala is symbolically represented as Graveyard because their body consciousness is Zero ie., Dead to the External World. Then the worship starts for them which is called "Kula Ritual". The tantra adopted by these is called Vamachara.

Whatever the path the aspirant follows, there are certain basic requisites for the Sadhana to be successful. The Goddess of Srividya is the Mother of Beauty and Bliss, the Mother of Love and Grace.

One who follows the path of Srividya should be a worshipper of beauty and grace. He should reject ugliness in all its forms. He should not only shun the outer ugliness but also ugliness in thought, word and deed.

power of Vishnu is called Sri, the auspicious one. She is the beautiful one. She gives both bhoga and moksha. If you go with desire to Her, She will blend your spiritual progress with material glitter which is imitation jewellery. She shows Herself and Her true riches to the one who is dispassionate, and approaches Her with divine oneness.

When the Sri beeja is added at the end of Panchadasi, it becomes what is known as laghu shodasi. She is ever radiant and charming like a sixteen year old girl.

Tripura Sundari is an ocean of knowledge. She cannot be exhausted even if one were to write a million volumes about Her. The best thing to do is then do Her upâsana as She directs it.

The best form of upasana is to seek the source of knowledge as an observer; by not running away from bondages; by not being attached to the results of actions, but by acting out of divine will. This is the triple combination of bhakti, jnana, and karma margâs.

We will continue Tripura Sundari upâsana in Her own words: The more you know, the more you love, the more you experience OM.