A sandhyAvandana vidhi for all

[Image is of sUrya with His retinue and His seven horses and charioteer,sourced from Wikimedia Commons]

[This vidhi was shared to me by an upAsaka who wishes to remain private,just like the author of this blog]. And the advantage of this vidhi is that it can be performed by all regardless of initiation into vaidika gAyatrI or tAntrika or lack of it,or sex or caste,or birth.

Achamya(you do Achamana with achyutAya namaH,anantAya namaH,govindAya namaH) –

facing east, arghyapradAna[West at sunset]
gaNAdhipa surAdhyaksha chintAmani ganeShvara
siddhidAyaka vighnesha gR^ihAnArghyam namo’stute [This is a namaskAra to gaNesha]

gaNapataye namaH idamarghyam (3) [saying this mantra 3 times,offer arghya to ganesha three times]

rajjuvetra kasApANe kAshyape garuDAgraja
arka sutAruNa svAmin gR^ihAnArghyam namo’stute [This is a namaskAra to aruNa,sUrya’s charioteer]

aruNAya namaH idamarghyam (3)[saying this mantra 3 times,offer arghya to aruNa three times]

ehi sUrya sahasrAMSho tejorAse jagatpate
anukampaya mAm bhaktyA gR^ihAnArghyam namo’stute [namaskAra to sUrya bhagavAn]

sUryAya namaH idamarghyam (3)[saying this mantra 3 times,offer arghya to sUrya three times]

mitrAya namaH
ravaye namaH
sUryAya namaH
bhAnave namaH
khagAya namaH
pUshNe namaH
hiranyagarbhAya namaH
marIchaye namaH
AdityAya namaH
savitre namaH
arkAya namaH
bhAskarAya namaH (12 obeisances to sUrya with His names in the dative case)

kAmakrodhAdibhir mUDA pAtakam nu karomyaham
sarvapApakshayam kR^itvA raksha mAm dyumaNe prabho
AyurArogyam aishvaryam j~nAnam vittam prayachCha me
svargamapyapavargam cha jagadIshvara bhAskara

[Forgive whatever I have done from kAma and krodha,prabhu sUrya bhagavAn,and protect me from pApa. Please give me Ayuh,Arogya(health),Aishvarya(wealth),j~nAna,svarga and apavarga:Would refer to apavarga as mukti mArga here,jagadIshvara bhAskara(another name for sUrya)]


The vidhi and mantras in देवनागरी लिपि


Facing east,अर्घ्यप्रदान[West at sunset]

गणाधिप सुराध्यक्श चिन्तामनि गनेष्वर
सिद्धिदायक विघ्नेश गृहानार्घ्यम् नमो’स्तुते[This is a namaskAra to गणेश]

गणपतये नमः इदमर्घ्यम् (३) [saying this mantra 3 times,offer अर्घ्य to गणेश three times]

रज्जुवेत्र कसापाणे काश्यपे गरुडाग्रज
अर्क सुतारुण स्वामिन् गृहानार्घ्यम् नमो’स्तुते[[This is a namaskAra to अरुण,सूर्य’s charioteer]

अरुणाय नमः इदमर्घ्यम् (३)[saying this mantra 3 times,offer अर्घ्य to अरुण three times]

एहि सूर्य सहस्रांषो तेजोरासे जगत्पते
अनुकम्पय माम् भक्त्या गृहानार्घ्यम् नमो’स्तुते

सूर्याय नमः इदमर्घ्यम् (३)[saying this mantra 3 times,offer अर्घ्य to सूर्य three times]

मित्राय नमः
रवये नमः
सूर्याय नमः
भानवे नमः
खगाय नमः
पूश्णे नमः
हिरन्यगर्भाय नमः
मरीचये नमः
आदित्याय नमः
सवित्रे नमः
अर्काय नमः
भास्कराय नमः

(12 obeisances to सूर्य with His names in the dative case)

कामक्रोधादिभिर् मूडा पातकम् नु करोम्यहम्
सर्वपापक्शयम् कृत्वा रक्श माम् द्युमणे प्रभो
आयुरारोग्यम् ऐश्वर्यम् ज्ञानम् वित्तम् प्रयच्छ मे
स्वर्गमप्यपवर्गम् च जगदीश्वर भास्कर

[Forgive whatever I have done from kāma and krodha,prabhu Sūrya bhagavān,and protect me from pāpa. Please give me āyuḥ ārogya (health),āiśvarya(wealth),jñāna,svarga and apavarga:Would refer to apavarga as mukti mārga here,jagadīśvara bhāskara (another name for Sūrya)]


jagannAtha as puruShottama



This article is to be read in conjunction with the previous article on how the wooden God was initially considered as narasiMha.

In quite a few Sanskrit works on the temple,we find the Lord of Puri being referred to as puruShottama. One might ask,what is the origin behind this name and why this particular name has been linked with jagannAtha historically? I am summarizing GC Tripathi’s work here

Early sAtavata conception

The early sAtavata conception of this term is noted in the 15th chapter of the Gita embedded in the Mahabharata,where kR^iShNa is identified as puruShottama,as beyond the kShara and akShara puruSha,and having an identity with them. Also the shloka that goes “…atō.smi lōkē vēdē ca prathitaḥ puruṣōttamaḥ৷” is indicative of Krishna-Vishnu being identified with the puruSha concept even in vaidika terms. In ritual that is extant even today,the puruSha sukta is used for worshipping viShNu in pUjAs that require 16 upAchAras(each of the mantras of the sukta being used for a particular upAchAra). That the fact this ritual is old is attested in the Bombay recension of the Skanda Purana.

puruShottama as used in early literary records and epigraphy of the Jagannath temple

  1. anargharAghava of murAri(circa 900s CE):puruShottama is described as being on the salt ocean and drawing patterns on the breasts of kamalA with paste of musk and His yAtrA.
  2. prabodhachandrodaya of kR^iShNamishra(was written between 1060-70CE) where the kShetra of puruShottama is referred to
  3. puruShottama mAhAtmya of the skanda purANa(1300s CE)
  4. mahApuruShavidyA(1600s CE?)
  5. Maihar inscription at a sarasvatI temple(middle of the 10th century)
  6. Dasgoba Copper plate grant of Rajarajadeva,recording the construction of the new temple of Jagannath Chodagangadeva.


puruShottama in tAntrika literature

Now that we have noted the earliest literary and epigraphical references to that term puruShottama,we should now turn to the tAntrika literature which has been influential in the usage of this term(and which has influenced the ritualism of the shrImandira) to understand what did the people in those eras mean when they said puruShottama(as already noticed in the anargharAghava,the deity is already alluded to as having an erotic component and is in play with lakShmI)

The aspects of puruShottama can be noted under the following headings in the shAradAtIlaka according to Tripathi

  1. puruShottama-trailokyamohana
  2. shrIkara-puruShottama
  3. kAma-puruShottama
  4. kR^iShNa gopijanavallabha

In later works like kramadIpikA of keshavabhaTTa(which has been influential on most of the existing pUjAvidhis of jagannAtha) and the gautamIya-tantra(one of the most influential Agamika texts on the worship of kR^iShNa) puruShottama is noted as puruShottama-bhuvanamohana  and puruShottama-trailokyamohana and invoked in the former in a highly erotic form with the yonI of lakShmI getting wet due to amorous excitement and the divine couple being surrounded by thousands of damsels of devas,nAgas etc intoxicated and languid due to the effect of love,and the gautamIyatantra’s description of the couple has shrI embracing Him tightly seducing Him with amorous gestures(sakAmalIlAya devam mohayantI). In these texts,it is puruShottama alone who is referred to as jagannAtha,which facilitated the name interchangeability. Whereas,in earlier texts like the shAradAtIlaka,trialokyamohanA whose link with kAma is obvious in His gAyatrI,and the dhyAna as elaborated by rAghavabhaTTa who notes that lakShmI embraces(dakShiNena Ali~Nganam) Him,and His eyes are enlarged and languid,due to the effect of liquor:And worshipping Him grants the 4 puruShArthas of life;in the later two texts,kR^iShNa becomes prominent and the puruShottama aspect becomes reduced to usages in special rites,while the jagannAtha epithet of puruShottama acquired more and more popularity amongst even literature in the vernacular and the masses.

The testimony of the skandapurANa’s puruShottama mAhAtmya

The puruShottama mAhAtmya refers to subhadrA as lakShmI at three incidents(two of which are being cited here),and interestingly,when referring to events cited as happening in the hoary past.

  1. The incident of puNDarIka and ambarISha;two mahApApIs who could visualize jagannAtha as being with lakShmI who is offering Him a betel-leaf(5th adhyaya). Later too SHe is described as shrI standing between viShNu and shesha
  2. The 19th adhyaya explicitly pleads for the identification of the female deity as shrI(lakShmI),and not any fraternal identity

The testimony of the mahApuruShavidyA

This mahApuruShavidyA(also called puruShottama mAhAtmya) is a text which,according to Tripathi has been composed by shAkta brAhmaNas of the Sasana villages near Puri,who are also with a great affinity towards the Jagannath cult sometime around the 1500s. In this text,the female deity is almost invariably identified as lakShmI even under the mere name of subhadrA

vAmA~NgarUpiNIM lakShmIM tasya dakShiNapArShvagam|
apashyad divyayA dR^iShTyA subhadrArUpadhAriNIM||

And She sports with Her lord like an ordinary human being in the cave of the nIlAchala mountain(nIlAchalaguhAmadhye naralIlAvihAravAn…)

The actual temple layout and aspects of ritual

  1. The garbhagR^iha has space for two(and only two) deities[implying that yes,balabhadra was added later,this is a matter that will be dealt with in a future article] representing puruShottama and lakShmI
  2. These two deities were represented by (kAma)-puruShottama and lakShmI
  3. In existing ritual at the shrImandira:the pIThashaktis of kAma-puruShottama reappear as the mates of bhUvaneshvarI(the current identity of the deity known as ‘subhadrA’). The artificial form of the names of these deities signify that these were originally meant for the worship of kAma-puruShottama and not bhuvaneshvarI initially,and were readapted into Her yantra here at a later date. Also when lakShmI is considered to be of golden complexion when She is in union with puruShottama in the shAradAtIlaka,the same bodily complexion of the deity identified as subhadrA today,the possibility of the female deity having being considered as the sister of viShNu is unlikely to have been the historical conception of the deity initially.
  4. The yantra for pUjA for jagannAtha Himself is a mixture of the yantras of trailokyamohana-puruShottama and shrIkR^iShNa gopijanavallabha in the sense that a sexagon is central,but an 8-petalled lotus is involved,rather than the standard 10 petalled lotus for shrIkR^iShNa.


namo gopIjanavallabhAya|

Funny memories

On seeing my friends sharing memories of their experiences and collective hazings we experienced in the  university exams of our MBBS in a secret group,two things particular come to my memory(though not of MBBS,but of internship)

  1. An anesthesia PGT giving advice to me over hours on how to seduce the nurses in their building etc for an hour and me nodding along(and having no way to say that I had no interest in women)
  2. The OBG PGTs (women of course) interrogating me for a couple of hours in the labour room over my whole life to find out any trace of a single girlfriend in my life in a certain February or March midnight.