Steps in the making of the mahāprasāda of Jagannātha

  1. After ācamana,pādya and ācamana again,the naivedya is ritually purified before it can be offered to Śrīpuruṣottama. For the offering to Puruśottama only a small portion of the bhoga is taken out of all the earthen pots and placed in a metallic plate in front of the devatās of the ratnavedī. The steps of purification of the naivedya before it can be offered to the devatā are as follows.
  2. Vikṣaṇa(worshipper looks at the naivedya uttering the mūlamantra while placing the index and thumb finger of the right hand as a span on the forehead,while the rest forms a fist)
  3. Prokṣaṇa:With kuśa grass in the prokṣaṇī-pātra(vessel) he sprinkles the naivedya thrice with the asramantra(praṇava asurāntakacakrāya svāha,astrāya phaṭ)
  4. Abhirakṣaṇa:The cakramudrā is deployed and the mantra (praṇava) namaḥ sudarśanāya astrāya phaṭ is uttered,and the naivedya is protected
  5. Tālatraya and digbandhana
  6. Avaguṇṭhana:Performed with the appropriate mudrā.
  7. Pariśoṣaṇa:Using the vāyubīja yaṃ the impurities of the naivedya are dried up
  8. Dāhana:Using the agnibīja raṃ the defilement of human touch is burned up,thus making it fit to be offered
  9. Āplāvana:Using the bīja of the svādhiṣṭhāna cakra,the new nectarine naivedya is recreated now which is entirely different from the old naivedya
  10. Amṛtīkaraṇa:The naivedya is touched with the right hand of the worshipper,the mūlamantra recited 8 times and thus turned into amṛta. It is worshipped tulasī and candana.

Offering the naivedya to the devatā

The deity is requested to accept the naivedya with the following śloka:

devāsuramanuṣyāditṛpteḥ paramakāraṇam
nānāvidhamayaṃ/(var.idam) deva naivedyaṃ pratigṛhyatām

The mūlamatra is uttered with the devatā taking a few drops of water in the palm along with the words śrīkṛṣṇāya saṇgāya sarvātmane idaṃ naivedyam svāhā and water is sprinkled with kuśa grass.

The deity is requested to take the naivedya with the formula nivedayāmī bhagavate juṣanedaṃ havir hare and the tejas of the deity is imagined as entering into the mouth of the deity and a few drops is offered as āpośāna with the appropriate mantra(OṂ amṛtopastaraṇamasi svāhā)

After this the first five morsels of the naivedya is offered to the devatā just like it happens in the bhojana of any dvija jāti. (with the five set of mantras prānāya svāha,apānāya svāhā,vyānāya svāhā,udānāya svāha,samānāya svahā with praṇava prefixed).

The whole naivedya is then offered to the devatā with the naivedya mudrā/dravya mudrā with the mantra ṭhvauṃ namaḥ parāya avātmane aniruddhāya naivedyaṃ kalpayāmi.

The offered material to Jagannātha is next offered to Bhagavatī Vimalā as Her naivedya,and then only after that,it is known as Mahāprasāda.

All credit is to Gaya Charan Tripathi and his excellent work on Jagannātha:(Communication with God:The Daily Pūjā ceremony in the Jagannātha temple)

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

On Jagadguru Pītāmbara Siddhāntavāgīśa,the most famous exponent of the Kāmarūpa school of Dharmaśāstra

On Pītāmbara Siddhāntavāgīśa’s life:Gleanings from his own works

Pītāmbara Siddhāntavāgīśa,the most famous exponent of the Kāmarūpa school of Dharmaśāstra is,in the tradition of many Sanskrit authors,quite rectinent on his personal life. However he mentions the following details

  • Dāyakaumudī:He was born at a place in the Southern part of the Lauhitya(Brahmaputra)
  • He was in a large part taught by his father(the benedictory verse of the Śrāddhakaumudī)
  • He was a smārta devotee of Nārāyaṇa and pays obeisances to Śiva,Durgā and Sūrya also. This last bit can be gleaned from the Daśakarmakaumudī where the term ‘śrīvāsudevamārādhya…’ is used.
  • He mentions in the end of his Śuddhikaumudī that he accomplished this work in 1534 śakābda(1612 CE)
  • In the colophon to his Grahaṇakaumudī he mentions that he was patronized by Lakṣmīnārāyaṇa of Kāmarūpa.

Siddhāntavāgīśa’s life:Gleanings from other sources

  • Bṛhatrājavaṃśāvalī states that Cilārāya the brother of Naranārāyaṇa brought Puruṣottama Vidyāvāgīśa(the author of the grammatical work Ratnamālā) and Pītāmbara from Gauḍa
  • He was also said to be a court poet of Naranārāyaṇa and probably served in the court of Balinārāyaṇa as well.
  • Maṇgaladair Buranji introduces him as the Dīkṣāguru of the king of Daraṇga,who donated a large amount of property in his province and his descendants still live there.
  • Nagendranath Vasu in his Social History of Kamarupa states that his kaumudīs were followed by the kings,citing the Bṛhatrājavaṃśāvalī,which noted that those who violated the rules and regulations of society as laid down for the various varṇas and āśramas of human society and life by Jagadguru Pītāmbara Siddhāntavāgīśa were punished by the king.

Works of Pītāmbara Siddhāntavāgīśa

He is traditionally said to have composed 18 kaumudīs(digests of smṛtiśāstra),which are listed popularly as;

  • Daṇḍakaumudī
  • Pretakaumudī
  • Vṛṣotsargakaumudī
  • Pramāṇakaumudī
  • Śrāddhakaumudī
  • Durgotsavakaumudī
  • Ekādaśīkaumudī
  • Śuddhikaumudī
  • Pratiṣṭhākaumudī
  • Saṃkalpakaumudī
  • Prāyaścittakaumudī
  • Tīrthakaumudī
  • Pañcadīkṣākaumudī
  • Sambandhakaumudī
  • Tithikaumudī
  • Dāyakaumudī
  • Ācārakaumudī

Hiramoni Goswami(on whose introduction this article is based) cites Taranath Goswami’s list as follows

  • Dāyakaumudī
  • Śrāddhakaumudī
  • Malamāsakaumudī
  • Nirṇayakaumudī
  • Sambandhakaumudī
  • Tattvakaumudī
  • Āhnikakaumudī
  • Vivādakaumudī
  • Aśaucakaumudī
  • Tithikaumudī
  • Pretakaumudī
  • Śuddhikaumudī
  • Pañcayajñakaumudī
  • Dīkṣakaumudī
  • Janmāṣṭamīkaumudī
  • Vṛṣotsargakaumudī
  • Saṃskārakaumudī

Hiramoni Goswami also cites Ghanakanta Sarma’s list of Pītāmbara Siddhāntavāgīśa’s kaumudīs which runs into 28

  • Dāyakaumudī
  • Śrāddhakaumudī
  • Malamāsakaumudī
  • Nirṇayakaumudī
  • Sambandhakaumudī
  • Tattvakaumudī
  • Āhnikakaumudī
  • Vivādakaumudī
  • Aśaucakaumudī
  • Tithikaumudī
  • Pretakaumudī
  • Śuddhikaumudī
  • Pañcayajñakaumudī
  • Vṛṣotsargakaumudī
  • Dīkṣākaumudī
  • Janmāṣṭamīkaumudī
  • Saṃkrāntikaumudī
  • Daśakarmakaumudī
  • Tīrthakaumudī
  • Pramāṇakaumudī
  • Patrakaumudī
  • Prāyaścittakaumudī
  • Jyotiṣkaumudī
  • Daṇḍakaumudī
  • Divyakaumudī
  • Sākṣyakaumudī
  • Vyavahārakaumudī
  • Kṛtyakaumudī

Some other works of his that are unpublished amongst digests are Grahaṇakaumudī,etc.(apparently the recently published Śivarātrikaumudī is a part of Durgotsavakaumudī:oral communication). He also is credited with writing commentaries on Vācaspati Miśra’s Dvaitanirṇaya(Dvaitanirṇayadīpikā) and on the tantric digest Śāradātīlaka(Guḍārthaprakāśikā). Very few of his works have been published in print.

Homosexuality,Gender activism,and the rest

This post has been prompted by the recent viral spate of news on gender ideological activism,which I will distinguish from homosexual men

The final trigger for this was this tweet

>Define what is the objectionable positions in LGBTQI ideology. Blog post or tweet series, please.

My remark on this is that the very premise of queer activism and the question of LGBT liberation in India has completely imported and copied the trends of the Western world:Some of them are (I am summarizing them under the label of queer and gender ideology activism,as opposed to people who only believe homosexuality should be decriminalized):

1. A trend towards rebellion against the mainstream of society rather than wishing for any acceptance(this is signalled by political valences that tend to be anti-national). This tendency is glorified in Anglo academia by the American theorist Jasbir Puar(one of the fountainheads of such theories),who made her career lambasting gay men who remain satisified with the rest of the society after marriage or partnership rights have been granted to them. According to them: >Queer is … whatever is at odds with the normal, the legitimate, the dominant. In the view of this type influenced by this fount:It is not enough to have a particular sexuality to be in the movement and want to live a sane life with a loyal,single faithful man,but one must ever militate against the normative religion and traditions of the society to have cred in the ‘movement’. This example can be found in this article which takes a sympathetic view to having sex in public in parades,demanding that maximum freakishness and ‘nanga naach’ type of displays are good by the very virtue of them being an oppressed class and dragging in the topic of socio-economic backgrounds to get a figleaf of legitimacy for their theorizing. It is this view of celebrating all that should is intended to hurt and shock and rub in the faces of mainstream Hindu society that that group could include the case of Hadiya under the Queer ideology.

2. A trend of activism that has arisen in trans circles(related to the above),who have gained power in the Western LGBT movements and pushes out anyone else who speak against them as a transphobe,and as pathologizing transgenderism or related identities. While the various identities that don’t fit into male/female identity would be fitting into the broad ‘third gender’ category in traditional Indian views with their own communities,this particular strain of activism that has taken over insists that anyone can be anything they insist to be if they feel like it,violating all the conventions of it just out of pure narcissism. They take over the cases of effeminate boys,etc who do face genuine problems and bullying at school and use that to give a solution that is worse than the problem(this ideology). In the Western idiom,the only logically consistent position that does not do harm to trans people is one that is called transmedicalism,which notes that people who do not have dysphoria do not deserve to be called trans(which is dismissed by current crop of trans activists that say that dysphoria. They also have taken to unnecessary advocacy towards children,who are better served by supportive therapy which would include a wait and watch approach towards their condition(and these trend of activists have made even the topic of eventual desistance of initially dysphoric children taboo) and have slandered every other person who has been contrary to them as being transphobes. This transgenderism is a cult that listens to no reason and simply looks like it wants to recruit as many people into it,and they proceed to get super offended when people are not into them,to even academically complaining that normal people do not like them. Their cultic influence has gone to the extent of transwashing LGBT activism in the US.

Most ordinary gay men do not know about the above sort of views of the activists and in my experience,it takes quite a bit to wrap their head around the sort of views these people hold:They may or may not attend pride because for them it is a venue to meet other gay people and hang out. Unfortunately what happens as a consequence is brainwashing in the above set of ideologues because they for the first time find a set of people who are more accepting of their proclivities towards sex and relationships than the normal mainstream society and they get stuck there in those circles.

As to the views of this author on the views on the activisms and theories:

1. These Queer ideology theories are thinly veiled homophobia and slave morality at its core:These people are essentially slandering ordinary gay men and women and people who are effeminate etc that the more freakish and perverse one becomes,the better it is. (My quote on Queer Theory from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy by their own theorists sums it up perfectly well).
2. People who are effeminate,etc in school should be taught to stand up to those who bully them and should be supported by parents and should go through a ‘wait and watch’ approach,rather than be transed by ideologues who seem to want only a cult of them(by puberty blockers,etc). Traditional gendernoncofirming communities like kinnars,hijdas,etc should be protected as well. This post was not meant to attack them. As for the various ones in trans ideologies in the West,the unfashionable ‘transmedicalism’ or ‘trutrans’ is the only logically consistent and correct one.
3. Children should not be sexualized.
4. Consent alone should not be the sole morality of sex. It is necessary but not a sufficient condition of sex between two people. As this section from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy notes,going from an article by Seriol Morgan Dark Desires,some sexual acts which would fall under the purview of consent would be still immoral.

So cases like Armin Meiwes would not pass muster merely because his victim contested.

4. Gay people,Lesbian,genuinely trans people,hijras,etc should be left alone with each other and not harassed merely due to their sexuality or whom they interact with as romantic partners/sexual partners/companions. At the current stage,I do not have further views as such.