The old location of Jālandhara Pītha

Amongst the 51 śākta pīthas,the four most important are Kāmarūpa,Oḍḍiyāna,Jālandhara and Pūrṇagiri. The medieval importance of this can be gauged by this śloka:

rūpātītaṃ tu kāmākhyāṃ rūpaṃ pūrṇagirirmahāna।
pādaṃ jālandharaākhyāṃ tu piṇḍaṃ oḍraṃ prakīrtitaṃ।।

(Here Oḍḍiyāna has been concieved to be at Oḍra after the complete loss of the mūla Oḍḍīyāna even in memory to āstika writers,but that is another point to be noted in a different article).

This post is going to discuss the location of the historical Jālandhara pītha as per old historical refernces and relevant śāstra.(Note:The modern Devi Talab Mandir where Tripuramalini is worshipped is not the historical Jālandhara,and such lists which list the devi as such have little idea of the actual pitha/give only generic names for the devī like Caṇḍī)

Historical and the relevant śāstrīya references to Jālandhara pītha that allow us to locate the devīpīṭha with a low degree of ambiguity

  • Kumārīkhaṇḍa of Manthānabhairavatantra:idṛg jālandharaṃ pīṭhaṃ jvālāvvā tatra viśrutā(There is the famed mother Jvālā at Jālandhara pītha)
  • Abu’l Fazl in his Ai’n-I-Akbari notes about Jālandhara,Kāmākhya,Śāradā and Tulijā Bhavānī as four main pīthas and describes Jālandhara being near Nagarkot and the prescence of natural flames being the object of worship there.
  • Kalhaṇa in the 3rd taraṇga of the Rajatarangini alludes to the same general area of Kangra/Trigarta as being called Jālandhara/Jālandharāyaṇa
  • The importance of this pīṭha to Buddhists and their descriptions of travels to it leave no ambiguity as to which is the actual temple being referred to as the Jālandhara pītha.

Eranshahr’s encounter with Christiantiy

Thoughts of a Niyogi

Christianity is certainly not the first thing that comes to ones mind when Iran is mentioned. But the cult has had a long history there, and the extent of Christian subversion in Pre-Islamic Iran is an understudied topic. From the faith of captured Roman soldiers and traitors to that of the King of Kings’ inner circle, it is an intriguing story that deserves to be told.

The Beginning

The earliest encounters between the Iranians and Christianity occurred during the Arsacid Parthian Empire. Christian lore speaks of the Magi bringing gifts to the newborn Jesus and according to the Book of Acts, the first group of converts to Christianity included some Persians. Christian accounts of this period speak of numerous missions sent to the east and it is likely that they had some success in converting the well established Jewish community in Arsacid held Mesopotamia. In the border cities between the…

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मेधादक्षिणामूर्तिमन्त्रविधिः(कुछ बात श्री गीर्वाणेन्द्रसरस्वती विरचित प्रपञ्चसारसारसंग्रह से)

जो बात प्रपञ्चसारसारसंग्रह से नहीं है,वो Green highlight से है और् परम्परा भेद् के कारण मे है।

ब्रह्मा ऋषिः(वा शुकब्रह्म)।गायत्री चन्दः।मेधा दक्षिणामूर्तिर्देवता।मेधा बीजम्।स्वाहा शक्तिः।(अथवा:मेधा बीजम्।प्रज्ञा शक्तिः।स्वाहा कीलकं।)शड्दीर्घ न्यास(आं इत्यादि)।…प्रज्ञापादरहितो वा मन्त्रः।

कृष्णाष्टमिरारभ्य कृष्णचतुर्दशीपर्यन्त चत्वारिंशत्सहस्रं जपेत्।आज्येन दशांश पुरश्चरणहोम।लक्षं वा जपेत्,विष्ण्वालये वा पश्चिमद्वारशिवालये वा।अस्मिन्पक्षे क्षीरप्लुतशुद्धतिलैराज्येन पायसान्नेन वा दशांशं पुरश्चरणाहोमः।

ये सब करने के लिए मेधा दक्षिणामूर्ति मंत्र उपदेश(द्वाविंशाक्षर अथवा चतुर्विंशाक्षर) आवश्यक है। बिना मंत्रोपदेश से उपरोक्त कार्य करणीय नही है।

On right view,Buddhist-coloured deities and Hindu practice

Ths is a novice’s attempt to answer about why the practice of some deities:tArA,chinnamastA(to a small extent vajrayoginI too),vilAsinI also is soiterologically relevant:

[Edit:Please do not take this as some word of shAstra or AchAryavAkya or something,I am not any guru,I am just thinking my thoughts out loud after asking my question and trying to process what I got]

An example of animus Buddhists displayed to Hindu systems can be seen about. This ritual consumption of brahmin flesh(a huge NO in any Hindu system that will ever exist) stems from two sources:(1)A kApAlika background is suggestible,as noted by the offering of brahmapuShpa to gain power as recorded by the author(I am not saying that that system existed in toto like that at Adi Shankara’s time but it transmits some relevant information about a cult with similar practices) and (2)actual dvesha for brAhmaNas,the gurus and systemizers of a lot of the native systems in the first place from where they took our mantras from:Hence these deities under the influence of the Bauddha transmitters took on Bauddha dresses in various aspects(like Rishi,etc)

With deities worshipped by such people,how is it that our people gain mukti?Taking leads from this article suggested by the author of the Kamakotimandali blog suggests that without a proper understanding of the tattvic scheme,such Bauddha upAsakas in the 36 tattva scheme would attain at best Buddhi tattva,mahAdevIing the chintAmaNI she is, granting the sAdhakas according to their view. Or worse,worldly siddhi mainly only more often.

Another thing is that in Hindu views,the deity with the same iconography is interpreted differently. An example is here where the image which is considered that of Arya achala is interpreted as that of krodharAja rudra trampling some demonic yakSha. Sometimes the descriptions in the Astika version are superficially different(sarvasiddhi and sarvabuddhi rather than sarvabuddhaDAkinI).

So the transmissions which have come back to Hindus with that Buddhist dress have in key,a different understanding than the Buddhists of what they are worshipping+when they got back the tranmissions from those who achieved only siddhi,their correct understanding put them on higher states of AdhyAtma than the Bauddhas they got it from.(albeit coloured by the ‘shunya’ type of language they inherited)[because they could understand the tattvas better and the devI granted them a place in those higher tattvas]. Another core difference is a practical respect in terms of ritual to brahmins(in the bhojana anga of the Hindu method of attaining siddhi in mantras).

Addendum by @TheRajarshi:

1. The necromancy practices are still prevalent even among H Kapalika-s (few are there still) but neither done in public nor publicized.
2. The actual consumption is mostly a tokenism in ritual setting to gain powers. 3. The mention of “brahmin” is because brahmins were the ones who had the tapa-shakti, other Vs did not. Same way even today in H viracara when taking a kapalapatra one cannot take random one…. else there is no Shakti in it, and becomes useless. Specific type of kapalas are useful. Guru decides basd on nature of sadhaka/na. Same logic baudhas were using. A kapala of a an individual who was a good yogi/sadhaka is highly prized. Or a chandala for certain rituals.
3.The icons of baudha deities trampling on H (IMO) was result of assimilation + abhicara practices which each group was doing on the other. But by time of Kalacakra tantra the Baudhas had come full circle and accepted H deities without any modification/distortion – post-Islam.
4. Coming to practical upasana Vajrayanists also produced terrific siddhas (not lower level at all if one knows how to judge the level of a siddhi) as did Hindus.

Determination in daily mantrasādhanā

ihāsane śuṣyatu me śarīraṃ tvagasthimāṃsaṃ pralayaṃ ca yātu।
aprāpya bodhiṃ bahukalpadurlabhāṃ naivāsanāt kāyamataścaliṣyate॥

[Let my body dry up on this very seat,let the bones,skin and flesh perish,but without attaining the rare state of Buddhahood,never shall I leave this seat]
(From the Buddhacharita)

This can be taken in its Astika version as:
ihāsane śuṣyatu me śarīraṃ tvagasthimāṃsaṃ pralayaṃ ca yātu।
aprāpya siddhiṃ bahukalpadurlabhāṃ naivāsanāt kāyamataścaliṣyate॥

Here the Buddhahood conception is replaced by siddhi.

And about siddhi(from the text mantrayogasaṃhitā)

samādhirlayayogasya mahālaya itīritaḥ।
haṭhasya ca mahābodho yathāyogaparāyaṇaiḥ।
tathaiva mantrayogasya mahābhāvaḥ prakīrtitaḥ॥
dhyānādhikāraḥ samprokto yāvadvai tripuṭīsthitiḥ।
vilīnāyāṃ ca tasyāṃ vai mahābhāvasamudbhavaḥ॥
mantrasiddhyā devatāyāṃ vidhāya manaso layam।
tripuṭīnāśato yogī samādhimadhigacchati।
mano mantrastathā devo jñāyate prathamaṃ pṛthak।
tataḥ parasparaṃ tattajjñāne linaṃ prajāyate॥
dhyeya-dhyātṛ-dhyāna-rūpatripuṭīvilayo bhavet।
imāmavasthāṃ saṃprāpya sādhakeṣu prajāpate।
romodugasamastabdhā ca tathā”nandāśruvarṣaṇam॥
krameṇa ca manolīne samādhiḥ kila jāyate।
samādhinā bhavantyāśu kṛtyak^ityā hi sādhakāḥ।
mahābhāvopalabdhirhi mantrayoge’ntimaṃ phalam॥

And from the devīgītā:
yāvan manolayaṃ yāti devyāṃ samvidiṃ parvata।
tāvanadiṣṭamanuṃ mantrī japahomaiḥ samabhyaset॥

[The sādhaka must do japa and homa until manolaya has occured].

[The above post is inspired by a point Sri Mahendranath Gupta made in a book on him written by Swami Nityatmananda].

Āvaraṇas of Jagannātha as Kṛṣṇa in the Puri Śrīmandira

There are seven āvaraṇas(surrounding ‘layers’ of deities) around the main Jagannātha deity in the Puri temple. They are:

  1. The four playmates of Kṛṣṇa
  2. Aṅgas of mantra
  3. Eight wives of Kṛṣṇa
  4. Parents,brother,sister of Kṛṣṇa,gopas and gopīs
  5. Five Kalpavṛkṣas
  6. Certain bhaktas of Kṛṣṇa
  7. 10 dikpālas

First āvaraṇa:Contains Dāmā,Sudāmā,Vasudāmā and Kiṅkiṇi(similar to Kṛṣna,adolescent,carrying flute and ball)
Second āvaraṇa:Contains the āṇgas conjoined with the corresponding parts of the main mantra(arcakāya svāhā, kṛṣṇāya hṛdayāya namaḥ, govindāya śirase svāhā…ultimately 9 members in this circle. The dhyānas of the pallavas are given in the Nīlādrīmahodaya(eg:svāhā is red-complexion,dressed in red and having a crown on head and two lotuses in hands,namaḥ being white complexioned,three eyed and basically like the common form of Bhuvaneśvarī in appearance otherwise)
Third āvaraṇa:Rukmiṇī,Satyabhāmā,Naganjitā,Sunandā,Mitravindā,Sulakṣaṇā,Jāmbavatī,Suśīlā(lotus and chowrie in their hands)
Fourth āvaraṇa:Vāsudeva,Devakī,Nanda,Yaśodā(the fathers with jñānamudrā and abhayamudrā,the mothers having a varadamudrā and a pot full of pāyasa),Balabhadra(halamusaladhārin,with quivering eyes under the effect of alcohol),Subhadrā(varābhaya,like hot gold or dark green),gopas and gopīs with flutes,cane sticks,horns,etc
Fifth āvaraṇa:The kalpavṛkṣas Mandāra,Santāna,Pārijāta,Kalpadruma,Haricandana(the last one is placed in the centre under which Kṛṣna is)
Sixth āvaraṇa:nityabhaktas:Nārada,Parvata,Uddhava,Akrūra,Niṣaṭha,Dāruka,Viṣvaksena,Vainateya(Garuḍa)
Seventh āvaraṇa:Indra,agni,Yama,Nairṛta,Varuṇa,Vāyu,Kubera,Īśāna,Ananta,Brahman