On mantra chaitanya and dIkShA by Ma Anondomoyee

[Bengali below]

mantra chaitanya and dIkShA

Me:Maa,what is mantrachaitanya?

Ma:Let’s say,when I call you ‘baba’,you then immediately respond. There is a non-difference between the namer and named,that’s why when we call Him by the name He responds. If one attains sAkShAtkAra with his iShTa by the very repition of his mantra,then we say that person has made the mantra ‘chetana’

Me:  What is this sAkShAtkAra of the mantradevatA with the iShTa like?Does he see him as different from the iShTa or within the iShTa?

Ma: Even if the sAdhaka initially sees himself as seperate from his iShTa,when the tattvaprakAsha of the iShTa begins,within those tattvas of the iShTa,the sAdhaka sees himself. That’s why do they not say,one must become a deity to worship that deity. In worshipping the ideal,the sAdhaka becomes the ideal,and thus they become one.

Me:I heard when the sadguru gives dIkShA then he makes the mantra ‘alive'(chetana). You told just now that that mantra alone is chetana,on the ucchAraNa of which,the deity is seen/visible to the sAdhaka. But we see when we do mantrajapa,no devatA is seen. Does that mean that our mantras have not been given life/consciousness?

Ma: No,why?dIkShA is also of many types,there is one type of dIkShA when on dIkShA itself the disciple radically transforms. One this dIkShA his deha of the five bhUtas:This deha of bhUtas merges into the bhUtas and he gains svarUpa-sthiti. This is the supreme dIkShA.

The dIkShA we get from mahApuruShas or sadgurus,that is madhyama-dIkShA. Here the guru with His own shakti donates the mantra to the shishya. Through this the shishya slowly gains liberation from saMsAra and attains svarUpa sthiti. This process needs time. Some people say that the shishya gets liberated in three lifetimes. Even if the shishya cannot percieve it,the mantrashakti of the sadguru  is working. That’s why it is said,a shishya who is surrendered to a sadguru(sadguru’r Asrita shishya),whether he does anything or not,there is no obstacle to his upliftment/unnati. Though yes,if he does japa and tapasyA with that mantra he can get unnati(upliftment) very quickly.

Another type of dIkShA exists that is sAdhAraNa dIkShA,for example mantropadesha by a kulaguru or someone similar. The kulaguru (usually) does not have his own kShamatA(shakti/strength) that he can give alonw with the mantra,but even then from every mantra,they have their own shakti(strength). Because every mantra is siddha. Someone at some point of time in the existence of this universe did japa of this mantra and attained siddhi. So,the internal shakti of the mantra alone drives the shishya in this case. However,the gati of this is very slow.

Apart from this is there is the matter of multiple dIkShAs also. Like a guru gives a mantra, and from its japa the shishya becomes a little unnata(uplifted),and after that to uplift him even further,he gives the shishya another mantra. In this manner,before the supreme dIkShA,the shishya can get many mantradIkShAs. This kramadIkShA that causes this svataH-sphUraNa in the shishya in course of time,the first dIkShAguru can lift the shishya from one level to another as per what is the best for the shishya at that course of time. And it can also be the case that the guru reveals himself and gives repeated dIkShAs in a krama and uplifts the shishya.  Just because guru is not in a physical body,kramadIkShA does not face obstacles. Because guru is immortal. As per time and the necessity of the student(translator’s note:Deservingness too),he reveals Himself. Jai MA!!!

🌺 Sri Amulya Kumar Dasgupta 🌺

Source:This link by Avijit Chatterjee

মন্ত্রচৈতন্য ও দীক্ষা

আমি : মা, মন্ত্রচৈতন্য কাহকে বলে ?

মা : মন্ত্রচৈতন্য কেমন ? ধর, যেন আমি তোমাকে ‘ বাবা ‘ বলিয়া ডাকিলাম, তুমি অমনি উত্তর দিলে। নাম নামী অভেদ কিনা, তাই নাম ধরিয়া ডাক দিলে নামী সাড়া দেয়। মন্ত্র উচ্চারণ মাত্রই যদি মন্ত্রদেবতা বা ইষ্টের সহিত সাক্ষাৎকার হয় তবে সেই মন্ত্রকে চেতন মন্ত্র বলা যায়। ইহাই মন্ত্রচৈতন্য।

আমি : এই যে মন্ত্রদেবতা বা ইষ্ট সাক্ষাৎকারের কথা বলিলে ইহাই বা কেমন ? সাধক কি নিজকে ইষ্ট হইতে আলাদা দেখেন, না নিজকে ইষ্টের মধ্যে দেখেন ?

মা : প্রথম প্রথম সাধক নিজকে ইষ্ট হইতে আলাদা দেখিলেও মন্ত্রদেবতা বা ইষ্টের যখন তত্ত্ব প্রকাশ হইতে আরম্ভ হয় তখন সেই তত্ত্বের মধ্যে সাধক নিজেকেও দেখে। সেইজন্য বলা হয় না যে দেবতা হইয়া দেবতার পূজা করিতে হয় ? ইষ্টপূজা করিতে গিয়া সাধক তখন নিজেকেই পূজা করে। অর্থাৎ ইষ্ট আর সাধক তখন এক হইয়া যায়।

আমি : শুনিয়াছি সদগুরু যখন দীক্ষা দেন তখন তিনি মন্ত্রকে চেতন করিয়া দেন। চেতন মন্ত্রের অর্থ তুমি এই মাত্র বলিলে যে সেই মন্ত্রই চেতন যাহার উচ্চারণমাত্র দেবতার প্রকাশ হয়। কিন্তু আমরা দেখিতেছি যে আমরা মন্ত্র জপ করিয়া যাইতেছি কিন্তু কোন দেবতা ত প্রকাশিত হইতেছে না। তাহা হইলে কি আমরা বুঝিব যে আমাদের মন্ত্র চেতন করা হয় নাই ?

আমি : না, তা’ কেন ? দীক্ষাও অনেক রকমের হয়। এক রকম দীক্ষা আছে যেখানে দীক্ষা মাত্রই শিষ্যের আমূল পরিবর্ত্তন হইয়া যায়। এই দীক্ষা প্রাপ্তি মাত্র শিষ্যের যে পঞ্চভূতের দেহ আছে উহা পঞ্চভূতে মিশিয়া যায় এবং সে একেবারে স্বরূপে স্থিতিলাভ করে। ইহাকেই চরম দীক্ষা বলে।

মহাপুরুষ বা সদগুরু হইতে যে দীক্ষা হয় তাহাকে মধ্যম দীক্ষা বলা চলে। এখানে গুরু নিজ শক্তি মন্ত্রে দিয়া উহা শিষ্যকে দান করেন। ঐ দীক্ষার ফলে শিষ্য ধীরে ধীরে সংষ্কার মুক্ত হইয়া পরে স্বরূপে স্থিত হয়। এইরূপ সংষ্কার মুক্ত হইতে কিছু সময় লাগে। কেহ কেহ বলেন যে অন্ততঃ তিন জন্মের মধ্যে শিষ্য মুক্ত হয়। সদগুরুর এই মন্ত্রশক্তি শিষ্য উপলব্ধি করিতে না পারিলেও উহা কাজ করিতেছে। সেইজন্য বলা হয় যে সদগুরুর আশ্রিত শিষ্য কোন কাজ করুক বা না করুক তাহাতে তাহার উন্নতির কোন ব্যাঘাত হয় না। তবে মন্ত্র পাইয়া সে যদি জপ তপ করে তবে শীঘ্র শ্রীঘ্র উন্নতি উপলব্ধি করিতে পারে।

আর একরকম দীক্ষা আছে যাহাকে সাধারণ দীক্ষা বলা যাইতে পারে, যেমন কুলগুরুর দীক্ষা। এখানে কুলগুরুর ত এমন কোন ক্ষমতা নাই যে সে উহা মন্ত্রের সঙ্গে যোগ করিয়া দেবে, কিন্তু তবুও প্রত্যেক মন্ত্রের মন্ত্রেরই একটা নিজস্ব শক্তি আছে। কারণ প্রত্যেক মন্ত্রই সিদ্ধ। কোন না কোন সময়ে এই মন্ত্র জপ করিয়া কেহ না কেহ সিদ্ধ হইয়াছেন। কাজেই মন্ত্রের এই অন্তর্নিহিত শক্তি শিষ্যকে চালিত করিতে থাকে। তবে ইহার গতি খুব ধীর।

ইহা ছাড়া বার বার দীক্ষারও ব্যবস্থা আছে। যেমন গুরু এক মন্ত্র দিলেন, উহা জপ করিয়া শিষ্য একটু উন্নত হইলে পরে তাহাকে আরও উন্নত করিবার জন্য আবার অন্য মন্ত্র দিলেন। এইরূপ চরম দীক্ষা পাইবার পূর্বে বহুবার দীক্ষা হইতে পারে। এই যে ক্রম দীক্ষা ইহা শিষ্যের ভিতর কালক্রমে স্বতঃই স্ফুরিত হইতে পারে, অর্থাৎ গুরু যে প্রথম দীক্ষা দিলেন উহাই শিষ্যকে এক স্তর হইতে অন্য স্তরে লইয়া যাইতে যাহা দরকার তাহা সময় মত শিষ্যের মধ্যে ফুটাইয়া তুলিতে পারে। আবার এমনও হয় যে গুরু নিজে প্রকট হইয়া বার বার দীক্ষা দিয়া তাহাকে ক্রমোন্নতির পথে লইয়া যাইতে পারেন। গুরু দেহে নাই বলিয়া যে ক্রম দীক্ষার কোন ব্যাঘাত হয় তাহা নয়। কারণ গুরু কখনও মৃত হইতে পারে না। সময় মত এবং প্রয়োজন মত সর্ব্বদাই তিনি নিজেকে প্রকট করেন। জয় মা !!! ♥️♥️♥️

🌺 শ্রী অমূল্য কুমার দত্তগুপ্ত 🌺

 

A list of Pāśupata(More specifically,Lākula) ritual texts

 

512px-Lakulisa

Image from Wikimedia Commons

This is extracted from one of Alexis Sanderson’s articles

A lot of Pāśupata Śāstras existed(apart from the famous sutra) which had the suffix -pramāṇa. The Pramāṇas dealing with ritual were formulated by Musalendra based on the Hṛdayapramāṇa.They are:

(1)Purakalpapramāṇa
(2)Kanakapramāṇa
(3)Śālapramāṇa
(4)Niruttarapramāṇa
(5)Viśvapramāṇa
(6)Prapañcapramāṇa

The Hṛdayapramāṇa itself was a part of a set of ‘pramāṇa’śastras,and this second set was concerned with gnosis(and not ritual) and were deemed to be superior śāstras. They were:

(1)Pañcārtha pramāṇa
(2)Guhya pramāṇa
(3)Rudrāṅkuśa pramāṇa
(4)Hṛdaya pramāṇa
(5)Lakṣaṇa pramāṇa
(6)Vyūha pramāṇa
(7)Ākarṣa pramāṇa
(8)Ādarśa pramāṇa

This listing of Pāśupata śāstras is done by Kṣemarāja who notes the various Rudras who take on the names of these śāstras.

A brief review of:The Rise of Mahasena:The transformation of Skanda-Karttikeya in North India

Book in question: The Rise of Mahasena:The transformation of Skanda-Karttikeya in North India from the Kusana to Gupta Empires(Brill’s Indological Library) by Richard D Mann

The book in question is good regarding some early textual sources and also highlighing some of the grahas associated with Him,but I found it unsatisfactory in its explanation of why Skanda upāsanā has almost completely vanished from the North(claiming that ‘refining’ Him led to a loss of popularity and what not),while a more fuller picture of Him(presenting His tāttvic reality in the language of  siddhānta āgama rather than the older Kaumāra tantra as we see in Arunagirinathar’s hymns) long after that form of upAsanA was forgotten in the North. As @Ghorangirasa noted: Blaming a largely southern “refinement” for the loss of popularity in the north is ill-conceived. The book however makes one decent point:That he was subsumed into [Saiddhāntika] Śaiva mārga,though I would place this subsuming somewhat later. One can say that this subsuming has its beginnings in the Gupta era,nothing more than that.

That being said,Skanda and Vishnu are two deities whose mantramārga(not in terms of mantras standalone,but the full scale dīkṣā etc) have been subsumed into contexts distinct from their original context and the original tāntrika picture of these deities(talking of archaic Pāñcarātra for Vishnu and Kaumāra tantra for skanda) has faded/been co-opted into other sampradāyas(Śrīvaiṣṇava and saiddhāntika śaiva) and have become more ‘bhaktimārga pradhāna’,for lack of a better word.

OM agninandanāya namaḥ|

On IshvaralAbha and tyAga by bhairavadAsa GYAna bAbA,an upAsaka of tArA

EIf2PC8U0AAEAd9

OM kAlAya namaH| OM kAlapUjitAya namaH| OM kAlAtItAya namaH|

I am translating Pratip Adhikari’s facebook post where he posts this excerept from that upAsaka and translating as well as I can,with the aid of Rahul da,who greatly improved my translation.

শাস্ত্রীয় নিয়মানুসার মেনে চলা সৎ সাধুই একমাত্র
ধর্মের প্রাণ রক্ষক। কোনো কিছু কে রক্ষা করতে হলে, ত্যাগের প্রয়োজন:-তার প্রকৃত প্রমান সহ প্রত্যক্ষ হল ভারতবর্ষ।

“আত্মবিদ্যায় ভারতের বিদ্যা, তাই ভারত ত্যাগী”
–––ভৈরবদাস জ্ঞানানন্দ বাবা।

ত্যাগ না জানিলে, নিজের উদ্দেশ্য পথের লক্ষে যাওয়া যায় না। সব কিছু কে আঁকড়ে ধরে, ঈশ্বর কে পাওয়া কিন্তু দুর্গমময় হয়ে ওঠে। যদি সত্যেকে প্রতিষ্ঠা করতে হয় তবে নিজের প্রাণ কালগ্নিতে ঘৃতাহুতি দিতে হবে। যেমন পুরাণে, মুনি-ঋষিরা ধর্ম কে প্রতিষ্ঠা করতে, নিজেদের বুক চিরে রক্ত বের করে আহুতি দিতেন। আমরা ভারতীয় সন্তান:- আমরাই সারা বিশ্বের কাছে আদর্শ। অন্য কোনো দেশ আমাদের কাছে আদর্শ হতে পারে না। আমার দেশ আমাকে খাওয়ায়ে, তাই আমার ওপর দেশ কে নিয়ে মাতা মাতির দরকার নেই। আমার দেশ আমাকে কিছু বিশেষ জিনিস উপহার দিয়েছেন, ঠিক সেই কারণেই তার ঋণ শোধ করা অসম্ভব। নিজের মায়ের ঋণ শোধ করা যেমন অসম্ভব, তেমনি দেশের ঋণ শোধ করাও অসম্ভব। ভারত জননী জন্মভূমি।
নিজের বৈশিষ্ঠতা রক্ষার জন্য নিজেকে শান্ত না করিলে, পরবর্তীতে নিজের উদ্দেশ্য পথের অজানার সন্ধান পাওয়া যাবে না। এই দেশ আমাকে প্রচুর দিয়েছে, সেই তুলনায় আমি কি দিলাম?????

আমি কোনো ধর্মের প্রতি আগ্রহ নই, কারণ বর্তমান যুগে ধর্ম কাকে বলে, কি হয়, এর উত্তর কেউই জানেন না। বই পড়লে সাল, মাস,তিথি, নক্ষত্রের স্থান বিচার করা গেলেও একজন বিশিষ্ঠ মানুষের নাম এবং চরিত্র মনে ধরলেও, নিজের উদ্দেশ্য সফল হইবে না। জগৎকে মাতিয়ে রাখে মানুষ, তাই তার স্থান সবার উচ্চে। পূর্বে প্রকৃতি সম্মন্ধে মানুষ যাহা বর্ণনা করিয়াছে, সেই ভাবধারা আজ রীতি মত নষ্ট এবং বিলুপ্ত হইয়াছে। সবাই নিজের মতন ভাবতে শুরু করেছে তাই, জন্মদাতা ও জন্মদাত্রীর উপর কাহারো বিশ্বাস নাই।
ভারতই একমাত্র আধ্যাত্মিকতার প্রাণকেন্দ্র। ভারত এমন এক মা যে তার সমস্ত ধর্মের সন্তানদের আপন করে নিলেও তারা তার মা কে আপন করতে পারেনি।
ইহাকে দুঃখ বলিবো না, সবকিছুই কালের হাতে, আমরা তো নিমিত্ত মাত্র।
তিনি ইতিহাস গড়েন, আমরা কর্ম করি। আমার মত অনুযায়ী, নিত্য জীবনের এক অংশ আমরা জন্ম হইতেই, তার পায়ে সমর্পণ করেছি, তাই অনেক সময়, তিনিও আমাদের জীবনের এক ভাগে অবস্থান করেন।
আবার যাহারা পুরো পুরিই সমর্পিত তাহাদের দেহ-মন জুড়ে শুধু তিনিই থাকেন।
ধর্মের উল্লেখ বহু পূর্বেই আছে, তাই সৎ সাধুরা সমস্ত ধর্ম কে ধারণ করে, আত্মভোলা ভালোবাসায় ও নিত্য লীলার মধ্যেই মগ্ন হয়ে।

শুভমস্তু
জয় তারা।

The pious and pietistic who adhere to the writ of the Shastras, alone can be called the guardians of Dharma’s vitality. Preservation demands sacrifices and Bharatavarsha is a living testimony to that.

“AtmavidyA is the vidyA of bhArata,that is why bhArata is tyAgI”

If one does not know tyAga,one’s aim cannot be kept in focus on the path. Trying to attain Ishvara while gripping on to everything of this world is very difficult. If truth(satya) is to be established,then one has to give his life as an offering of ghee in the fire of time(kAlAgni). Like we see in the purANas,munis and R^ishis for the establishment of dharma would give their own blood as Ahutis tearing their chests open(translator’s note:this is probably metaphorical as to indicate the extent they went to). We are the sons of bhArata,and we are the ideals for the world. We cannot take other deshas as our ideals. Our desha has given us some gifts,(which are of such a nature) that the debts (to this desha) can never be paid back adequately. As impossible it is to pay back mAtR^i-R^iNa(the debts owed to one’s mother),similarly it’s impossible to pay back the R^iNas we owe to bhArata. bhArata is jananI and janmabhUmI.

If one does not have a calm/cool mind in the urge to keep up his vaishShTa(specialness),later on one will get lost in darkness in search of his aim. This desha has given me a lot,in comparison to that,what have I given?

I am not particularly inclined towards dharma since it is rather difficult to define it today. The astrological knowledge of years, months, days and constellation, remembering a distinguished figure and his life too, don’t help succeeed in the purpose. Man is as the centre of the world’s activity and hence commands the highest position in it.The stream of thoughts that flowed into the human minds of yore to conceptualize Nature is lost irreversibly. Now everyone has their own petty fantastical opinions that keep both the father and the mother in oblivion.

This land of Bharata alone is the seat of spirituality. Like a mother, she sheltered all religion even if a number of them didn’t except her as their own. I will not say that it is a sorry event. Everything is in Time’s(kAla) hands and we are merely his tools.He is the author of destiny while we are merely His tools.

In my opinion, we who are born in this segment of the eternal cylce of life and death offer only a fraction of it to Her and hence we find Her only in one segment of it. Meanwhile ,those who have submitted their entire selves to Her, not leaving behind either the body or the mind ,find Her to be the sole existence(all that exists). Dharma has been known since the times of yore and that is why the dedicated men of piety adopt all dharmas and engage themselves with the eternal divine sport.

shubham astu|(may there be auspiciousness) Jay Tara!

The greatness of the name of Durga (as uttered in the rudrayAmala tantra and muNDamAlA tantra mainly)

Copied from here,since I wanted to give the post a more permanent home.

 

jagaddhAtrI_shAntipur

shivovAcha :

durgA nAma japo yasya kim tasya kathayAmi te /
aham panchananaH kAnte tajjapA deva suvrate//

shiva said to pArvati

O devI, how could I narrate the glory of the name ‘durgA’?
It is because of the recitation of durgA nAma ( durgA’s name) that I am called pa~nchAnana.

dhanI putri tathA nyAni chira~njIvI bhaved bhuvi /
pratyaham yo japed bhaktyA shatam ashtottaram shuciH//

One who recites the name of durgA 108 times every day, is blessed with prosperity, offspring, wisdom and longevity.

aShTottaram sahasram tu yo japed bhakti samyutAH/
pratyaham parameshAnI tasya puNya phalam shR^iNu//
dhanArthi dhanamApnoti j~nAnArtthI j~nAnameva cha/
rogArto muchyatE rogAt baddho muchyate bandhanAt//
bhIto bhayAt muchyate pApAn muchyate pAtakI/
putrArthi labhate putram devI satyam na saMshayaH//

One who recites the name of durgA 1008 times daily with great reverence will be blessed with whatever he asks for. Those who in dire need for financial aid will be blessed with all round prosperity, one who longs for wisdom will be blessed with nyAnA sampat, the one who suffers from ailments shall be relieved from their ailments,One who is desirous of progeny will be blessed with putra lAbha and the one who is in fear is relieved from his fears. One who has been imprisoned will be set free, if he repents and recites the name of durga 1008 times daily with faith and devotion. All the sins are absolved by reciting durgA nAma.

evam satyam vijAnIhi samartha sarva karmasu/
Ayutam yo japet bhaktyA pratyAham paramEshwarI//
nigrahAnugrahe shaktA sa bhavEd kalpapAdapA/
tasya krodhe bhaven mR^ityu prasAde paripUrnatA//

If one recites Her name 10,000 times, he is blessed with the ability to bless and curse and will be a living wish fulfilling tree (kalpataru). In his anger there is death and in his pleasantness there is fulfillment.

mAsi mAsi cha yo lakshaM japam kuryAd varAnanE/
na tasya graha pIdA tasya kadachid api shAnkarI//
nachaishwaryam kshayam yati nacha sarpa bhayam bhavet/
nagni chaura bhayam vApi charanye jale bhayam//
parvatArhane napi simham vyAgra bhayam tathA/
bhUta preta pishAchAnAm bhayam nApi bhavet kvachit//
na cha vairi bhayam kAnte napi dushta bhayam bhavet/
paraloke bhavet swargIm satyam vai vIra vandite//
chandra sUrya samudbhUtvA vashet kalpAyutam divi/
vAjapeya sahasrasya yat phalam syAd varAnane//
tatphalam samAvApnotI durgA nAma japAt priye/
na durgam nAma sadR^isham nAmAstI jagati tale//
tasmAt sarva prayatnena smartavyam sAdhakottamaiH/
yasyA smarana mAtrena palayante mahApada//

One who recites her name 100,000 (in a month), will not be troubled by malefic planets, his wealth never diminishes, there will no fear for snakes, fire, thieves, enemies,forest or water. While mountaineering there will be no fear/ trouble of tigers, lions, demons or evil entities. He will be ever blissful and will attain the highest abode of the dEvAs (heaven) in his afterlife. He shall remain in heaven as long as the sun and moon exist. To him accrues the benefit of 1000 vAjapEya yagnAs. There is no name that can be compared to the greatness of durgA nAma in the whole universe. Difficulties and sufferings disappears the moment one remembers Her divine name.

(rudrayAmalam) [From the rudra yAmala]

The image in this blog is the one of the beautiful Jagaddhatri Durga of the Brahmachari family of Shantipur.

More sources(from the page: দুর্গালোকনিবাসিনী শ্রীমদদুর্গতিনাশিনী মহামহিষাসুরমর্দিনী দেবীমা): In here,it is said in shAstra that for one who does japa of durgA nAma:his shiva comes with His shUla,viShNu with His chakra,indra with His vajra,etc. And it is a name of great power/shakti. Brahma gained the power of creation by this name,shiva reached His high state by smaraNa(remembrance) of this name,and this name is the secret of all the strength of the respective deities in their fields. One who remembers this name at the end gains sAyujya mukti with devI even if he was a great sinner his whole life.

Then from here it cites a shloka

daityanAshArthabachano dakAraH parikIrtitaH|
ukAro vighnanAshasya vAchako vedasammata||
repho rogaghnavachano gashcha pApaghnavAchakaH|
bhayshatrughnavachanashchAkAraH parikIrtitaH||

In the name of ‘durgA’, ‘da’ kAra is daityanAshaka, ‘u’kAra is vighnanAshaka,’ga’kAra is pApanAshaka,’A’kAra is shatrunAshaka. The one who destroys daityas,vighnas(difficulties),sins and enemies is durgA. The page then goes into a brief discussion of daiva and asuri sampat(those qualities) and which Durga destroys in the sAdhaka. Someone else noted that this shloka is from the brahmavaivarta purANa.

This page then cites that famous dvAtriMshannAmAvalI of durgA(litany of 32 names of durgA). I am translating mostly the instructions for special usage of this nAmAvali(written in Bengali in that FB page).

The person who reads this nAmamAlA,he certainly attains freedom fro all fears. Anyone under attack of foes etc gets freed from pATha of these names. There is no doubt about this.  If a king becomes angry and gives the death penalty/harsh punishment or if a man is surrounded by enemies in battle or near any dangerous animal,if this hymn is recited 108 times,he is delivered from all fears. In times of danger,this upaya is second to none in dispelling fears.  No harm comes to the man who studies this nAma mAlA. This should not be given to non-devotees or rogues. If one is in grave danger, pAThath of this nAma mAlA should be recited 1000,10,000 or 100,000 by oneself or through a brAhmaNa relieves one from all dangers. Offering oblations in purified agni with white til(seasamum) mixed with honey vanquishes all difficulties.  The purashcharaNa saMkhyA(count for purashcharaNa) is 30,000. After purashcharaNa if one recites this,one attains siddhi(success) in all his endeavours. [This is apparently from the Geeta Press edition of saptashati apparently,translated into Bengali by the page admin].

The page also cites shlokas from the muNDamAlA tantra

shRRiNu devI ! varArohe mamaiba nischitaM vachaH |
vinA durgA-parij~nAnAda biphalaM pUjanaM japaH ||
durgA hi paramo mantra durgA hi paramo japaH |
durgA hi paramaM tIrthaM durgA hi paramA kriyA |
durgA hi paramA bhaktidurgA murttimahItale ||
buddhi nidrA kShudhA ChAyA shaktistRRiShNA tathA kShamA |
dayA tuShTishcha puShTishcha shAntirlakShIrmatishcha yA ||
kriyA sarvA bariShThA cha vaidikI tAntrikI cha yA |
etat sarvaM hi durgA hi durgAbhinnaM na tajjapaH ||
bhajed durgApada-dvandaM smared durgAmaharnisham |
prajaped ! devi !durgeti mantraM parama-kAraNaM ||

[sadAshiva said to umA]:Oh boon giver!Oh devI! Listen to be infallible words. Without the knowledge of durgA one’s pUjA and japa bear no fruits. ‘durgA’ is the supreme mantra,’durgA’ is the supreme japa. ‘durgA’ is the supreme tIrtha and the supreme kriyA. She is also the nature of supre bhakti and the nature of the highest mukti on this earth. buddhi,nidrA,kShudA,chAyA,shakti,tR^iShNA,kShamA,dayA,puShTi,shAnti,lakShmI and matI:All of them are verily durgA. All the supreme vaidika and tAntrika kriyAs:They are verily durgA and nondifferent from Her. Japa of ‘durgA’ is also non different from them. Worship the feet of durgA and always continuously remember durgA day and night. Oh devI! Do japa of the mantra ‘durgA’,the supreme cause!

Further addenda from shivarahasya,mArkANDeya purANa,umAyAmala and pichChilA tantra

shivarahasye-
gAynti Ye girisutAn~ncha vilokayntidha‍yAynti vAmaladhiyshcha shivAM smaranti|
gaurimumAM bhagavatIM jagadekadevIMtehapi prAyAnti paramaM padamindumauleH||1
Ye tAM smaranti nigaDairapi vandhapAda va‍yAghrAhi chauranRRipa vahnibhayeShu durgA|
teShAM na ki~nchidapi shatrubhayM nRRiNAM sYAt,vandhAsta muktimupalabha‍ya sukhaM ramante||2
ye manAgapi sarvvANIM smaranti sharanaiShiNaH|
duShpArApArasaMsArasAgare na patanti te||3
shamAyAlaM jalaM vahnestamasasobhAskarodayH|
shAntaiYa kalevaraughasa‍ya devInAmAnukIrttanaM||4
nAmochchAranamAtrena yasa‍yAH kShInAghasa~nchayaH|
bhavata‍YavAptikala‍yANaH kAstAM nArAdhayechChivAM||5

mArkaN.Deya purAne-
durgA smRRitA harasi bhItimasheShajantoH|
svasthaiH smRRitA matimatIva shubhAnandadAsi||1

bhaviShyapurAne –
svapaMstiShThan vajraMshchApi vilapana bhojane rataH|
smarate satataM durgA sohapimucha‍yeta vandhanAt||1
durgAnAmAni saMkIrtta‍ya tasa‍Yaloka mahIyte||2
sarvvAvasthAM gatovApi yuktovA sarvvapAtakaiH|
durgAM dRRiShTvA naraH sohapi prAyAti paramaM padaM||3
durgAyAdarshanaM puNyaM darshanAdabhivandanaM|
vandanAt sparshanaM shreShThaM sparshanAdapi pUjanaM||4

pichChila tantre pUrvvakhan.De tR^itiya paTalaH-
na durgAnAma-sadRRishaM nAmAsti jagatItale|
yasya smaranamAtrena pAlAynta mahApadaH||
tArinI sundarI kAlI dUrgA(jayadUrgA) cha bhairavI tathA|
bhuvaneshI mahAlakShIstAsAM dUrgeti nAma vai||
dUrgAnAma mahAmantraH sarvvomantrottamottamaH|
rAjAdibhayamApanne durgA parAgatiH|
mahApademahAtrAse mahAdAridrasa~NkaTe|
lakShasaMkha‍YAjapenaiva palAynte mahApadaH||

umAYAmala(devI YAmala)gauri khaNDe-
durgAnAmajapAt pApaM sarvvaM YAti hi tatkShanAt|
vedAsvAgamatantraShu purAneShu sunishchitam||
viShNunAmasahasrebha‍yo ha‍YadhikaM parameshvarI|
durgAnAma samAkha‍YAtaM chaturvvedavidaM matam||
harinAmnaHparaH nAsti vaiShNavAnAmidaM smRRitam|
tAdRRishA~ncha matej~neyAM durgAnAma tato’dhikam||
shauchAchAravihinopi saMsmaret parameshvarIm|
sa eva paramaMsthAnaM kathitaM vIravandite||

Another from the Brahmavaivarta Purana,53rd adhyaya of the prakR^iti khaNDa

durgo daitye mahAvighne bhavabandhe cha karmaNi|
shoke duHkhe cha narake yamadaNDe cha janmani|
mahAbhaye’tirogechApyAshabdohambhRRi vAchakaH
etAn hantyeba yA devI sA durgA parikIrttitA|

OM shrI viShNu-bhaginyai namaH|

The tradition of the simian (ape-faced) appearance of nandi,His identity with shiva and His incarnation of hanumAn

768px-Lord_Hanuman_statue

Image of hanumAn from Coimbatore(source:Wikimedia Commons)

This is from the eight chapter of the kedAra khaNDa of the mAheshvara khaNDa of the skanda purANa,the verses are noted as below(Nag Publishers edition)

shloka 59:
shailAdo hi mahAtejA gaNashreShTha purAtanaH|
buddhimAnniti nipuNo mahAbala parAkrami||

Here he is one who is aged(purAtanaH),of great splendour(mahAteja),the chief of the gaNas(gaNashreShTha),intelligent,powerful and valorous.

shloka 66:

tadA brahmAdayo devAH R^iShayashcha vipashchitaH|
praNamya nanindaM prAhuH kasmAttvaM vAnarAnanaH||

Then brahmA and the other deities and the sages bowed to nandin and asked him why he had the face of an ape

shloka 76-77:

shivena datta sArupyaM na gR^ihitaM mayA tadA||
yAchitaM cha mayA shambhorvadanaM vAnarasya cha|

Where nandin recounted that as the son of the sage Shilada,he refused sArupya-mukti and requested the face of an ape,and this wish was granted.

shloka 93(recording viShNu’s instructions to the devas):

he devAH shruyatAM vAkyaM prastAvasadR^ishaM mahat|
shailAdiM cha puraskR^itya sarvaM yuyaM tvarAnvitAH||
avatArAnprakurvantu vAnarIM tanumAshritAH||

Here he instructs the devas,with shailAdi(nandin) as their head to take the bodies of vAnaras.

shloka 97-99:

vAlI chendrAMshasaMbhUtaH sugrIvoMshumataH sutaH|
tathA brahmAMshasambhUto jAmbavAnR^ikShaku~njaraH||
shIlAdatanayo nandi shivasyAnucharaH priyaH|
yo vai chaikAdasho rudro hanumAn sa mahAkapiH|
avatIrNa sahAyArthaM viShNoramitatejasaH||

vAli incarnated as a portion of indra,sugriva incarnated as the son of the sun(aMshumAn is a name of sUrya in the Aditya hR^idaya),the leading bear jAmbavAn was born as an aMsha(portion) of brahmA,and the son of shIladA,the rudragaNa nandin,the fond attendant(anucharaH) of shiva,the great monkey hanumAn,the 11th rudra incarnated to give aid to the splendorous viShNu.

 

 

The backdrop to puruShottama:shrI nIlamAdhava [A very brief note]

[I am summarizing HV Stietencorn’s work over here]. I am also assuming that the readers are familiar with the legends and lore surrounding indradyumna and puri

The indradyumna legends,like a lot of other ones of our plays and purANas is a stellar example of telescoping of multiple rulers into the activity of a single figure. Here,the activities of three rulers are telescoped into this indrdadyumna period:

  • A conqueror who builds a temple(yayAti I)
  • Settles down with his ministers in coastal Odisha(yayAti II)
  • Decay of the temple of puruShottama/nIlamAdhava(late somavaMshi period)
  • A [new] conqueror comes,finds this tradition decayed and builds a new temple for puruShottama(anantavarman choDagA~Ngadeva)

About this first temple(build between 949-959CE),we now discuss on the possibilities of the mUrti installed,which are:

  • A shilAmaya(sculpted in stone) image of nIlamAdhava standing(mostly) alone
  • A shIlAmaya image of kamalA-puruShottama(also occasionally called nIlamAdhava)
  • A dAru-rUpi(wooden) vigraha of puruShottama alone
  • A dAru-rUpi vigraha of puruShottama and shrI
  • A dAru-rUpi vigraha of puruShottama,balabhadra and subhadrA

It is found that the deities described as dAru-rUpi start appearing in literary descriptions around ga~NgA period from the 1200s onwards(passages in the skAnda and brahma purANa,tantrayAmala and mAdaLA pA~njI),which leaves us with the first two as possibilities. And out of the first two,it is the first image which is the image most likely to have been established in the first puruShottama temple of Puri,as it is the image of this type which is noted in literary sources(and plastic evidence of such images carved in bluish-black muguni stone also exist). This original nIlamAdhava is described in the brahma purANa thus

pItavastram chaturbAhuM sha~NkhachakragadAdharaM||
vanamAlAvR^itoraskaM padmapattrAyetekShaNam|
shrIvatsoraHsamAyuktam mukuTA~Ngadashobhitam||

He’s also described in the padma purANa as 4 armed,with attendants,but without any brother or sister.

An example of such an image,as in the general template above has been given from that same work to illustrate of a template to concieve of the original nIlamAdhava in the first temple to puruShottama at Puri.

shrIchakrapANaye namaH|

Dhyānas of the Aṣṭabhairavas as written according to the Rūpadhyānaratnāvalī(based on the Śrītattvanidhi)

Śrīnāgacandreśvarāya namaḥ |

The dhyānas of the aṣṭabhairavas are as follows(have also included vaṭubhairava as a sort of appendix) [I have transcribed them to the best of my ability of hearing,so kindly forgive me for any mistakes in the paṭha]

Asitānga bhairava dhyāna

sapānapātram khaḍgam ca sākṣamālākamaṇdalum||
trinetram varadam śantam kumāram ca digambaram|
brahmāṇīśaktisahitam haṃsāruḍham subhuṣaṇam||
nīlavarṇam kṛpāmūrtimasitāṇgam bhajāmyaham|

Rurubhairava dhyāna

ṭaṅkam kṛṣṇmṛgamcaiva khaḍgam pātram tathaiva ca|
trinetram varadam śāntam kumāramca digambaram||
māheśvaryā ca sahitam vṛṣārūḍham smitānanam|
śuddhāsphaṭikaśaṇkāsam namāmi rurubhairavam||

Caṇḍabhairava dhyāna

dhanurbānadharañcaiva khaḍgapātrena saṃyutam|
trinetram varadam śantam kumāram ca digambaram||
kaumāriśaktisahitam śikhivāhana bhūṣaṇam|
gauravarṇadharam devam vande’ham caṇḍabhairavam||

Krodhabhairava dhyāna

śubhacakradharam devam pānapātra gadādharam|
trinetram varadam śantam kumāram ca digambaram||
vaisṇavīśaktisahitam tārkṣyavāhana saṃyutam|
nīlavarṇamalaṃkāram vande’ham krodhabhairavam||

Unmattabhairava dhyāna

khaḍgañcamusalam caivā kheṭakam ca kapālakam|
trinetram varadam śantam kumāram ca digambaram||
hemavarṇadharam devam aśvavāhana saṃyutam|
vārāhiśaktisahitam vande’conmattabhairavam||

Kapālabhairava dhyāna

[could not understand?]vajrāyudhamcaiva khaḍgam vai pānapātrakam|
trinetram varadam śantam kumāram ca digambaram||
indrāṇīśaktisahitam gajavāhanasaṃyutam|
padmaragaprabham devam kapālam bhairavam bhaje||

Bhīṣaṇabhairava dhyāna

śulam ca mudgaraṃcaivakāpālam khaḍgahastakam|
trinetram varadam śantam kumāram ca digambaram||
cāmuṇḍāśaktisahitam harivāhana saṃyutam|
raktavarṇadharam devam vande bhīṣaṇabhairavam||

Saṃhārabhairava dhyāna

śūlam ḍamarukam caiva śaṇkham cakram gadādharam|
khaḍgaṃ pātram ca khaṭvāṇgam pāśāṇkuśadharam tatha||
daśabāhum trinetram ca sarparājopavītīnam|
digambaram kumāram ca śvānavāhanasaṃyutam||
daṃṣṭrakarālavadanāmaṣṭaiśvaryaphalapradam|
caṇḍikāśaktisahitam dhyāyet saṃhārabhairavam||

Śrī Vaṭubhairava dhyāna

vikīrṇalohitajaṭam trinetram raktavigraham|
śulam kapālam pāśañca ḍamaram dadhataṃ karaiḥ||
nānārupaiḥ piśacaiśca nānārupagaṇairvṛtam|
śvanārūḍham ca nirvāṇam vaṭukaṃ bhairavam bhaje||

 

 

On Adi sha~Nkara’s theism

Ghora: My conclusion (in short):

1. shaMkara had no qualms with either shiva or viSNu being kAryabrahman or a saguNa symbol of the Atman he held as the highest reality. He was not your tear-jerking bhakta so favoured by the sectarian devotees of this or that deity. He didn’t particularly care about this issue. In the entire analysis I have restricted myself to quoting works which are unanimously held to be authored by him. No stotras, not even his independent works. His BSB, BGB & UpBs(brahmasutrabhAShya,bhagavadgItAbhAShya, upaniShad bhAShyas) That’s all

2. He may not have been comfortable with the existing, dominant shaiva sects of his time (pAshupatam or caturbhagini worship). In this light, please do not that there is an extremely famous bauddha mantra which invoked protection against various “dangerous” beings, including the caturbhaginis.

3. shaMkara was most likely not exposed to the mild siddhAnta form (I have issues with his dating but this is a different story)
Me: Why do you think so about (3)?

Ghora: Forgot to send u the main portion: Here are all the facts abt shaMkara’s theism:

1. shaMkara had a very dry conception of “brahman”, whom he clearly distinguishes from viSNu by the use of an interesting simile in the BSB.

2. There is the high possibility that he quotes a mantra from the kaivalyopaniSat at the start of his aitareyopaniSadbhASya. As you know, the kaivalyopaniSat is unabashedly shaiva In orientation.

3. He definitely quotes the shvetashvataropaniSat in his BSB; which you also know that gives a valid basis for shiva being parabrahman.

4. In his bhASya on kenopaniSat, where umA haimavatI “schools” indra & others, how does he gloss on the shruti’s description of umA devI—“bahushobhamAnAm umAM haimavatIm”. That gloss itself is very telling.

There are two bhASyas on kena. But still, both are telling. In one, he simply says that she is rudrapatnI who is brahmavidyA herself. In the other, he says that she is ever in contact with the sarvajña īśvara.

5. It is true that while he rejects all systems “outside” the veda: yoga, sAMkhyA, pāśupata & pāñcarātra, his treatment of pāñcarātra seems to be the kindest, where he says that he does not condemn their rituals but only their faulty metaphysics.

6. In his gItAbhASya, he gives vinAyakas, saptamAtRkas & caturbhaginis as examples of bhUtas. He doesn’t say that one shouldn’t worship them but he gives bhUtas as an example of tAmasika worship. Now points 5 & 6 have been milked for all it is worth by SVs without appreciating the context or appreciating the weight of points 1-4.

Me : Yes

Ghora: 3 is because the siddhAnta was far from well-known in the 600s/700s (I’m inclined to date earlier tbf)…Even around the 600s (appar), it was still a fledgling movement with pAshupatas possibly still being the dominant group
Ghora: The four main maThas were built in places in eras when the siddhAnta simply was not present there….

His dwelling in kAnchi & kAshmIra are generally considered hagiographic excesses

My own note: The simile in question from the brahmasutrabhAShya is ईदृशं चात्र ब्रह्मण उपास्यत्वं यतः प्रतीकेषु तत्दृष्ट्याध्यारोपणं प्रतिमादिषु इव विष्ण्वादीनाम्।(īdṛśaṃ cātra brahmaṇa upāsyatvaṃ yataḥ pratīkeṣu tatdṛṣṭyādhyāropaṇaṃ pratimādiṣu iva viṣṇvādīnām। For those who can’t read devanAgarI).

On mAnasika pUjA

https://twitter.com/Better_Not_Shar/status/1133063165472755719

mAnasika pUjA is not a substitute for the external rituals. Are we yogis that we can ignore/shut out all sensory inputs from our various indriyas and surroundings and do the pUjA in our current states just mAnasika?An example of how all the senses were directed towards nArAyaNa is the example of mahArAja ambarISha given in the link.(Using the ISKCON translation because I am lazy)

sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor
vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇānuvarṇane
karau harer mandira-mārjanādiṣu
śrutiṁ cakārācyuta-sat-kathodaye
mukunda-liṅgālaya-darśane dṛśau
tad-bhṛtya-gātra-sparśe ‘ṅga-saṅgamam
ghrāṇaṁ ca tat-pāda-saroja-saurabhe
śrīmat-tulasyā rasanāṁ tad-arpite
pādau hareḥ kṣetra-padānusarpaṇe
śiro hṛṣīkeśa-padābhivandane
kāmaṁ ca dāsye na tu kāma-kāmyayā
yathottamaśloka-janāśrayā ratiḥ

Mahārāja Ambarīṣa always engaged his mind in meditating upon the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, his words in describing the glories of the Lord, his hands in cleansing the Lord’s temple, and his ears in hearing the words spoken by Kṛṣṇa or about Kṛṣṇa. He engaged his eyes in seeing the Deity of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa’s temples and Kṛṣṇa’s places like Mathurā and Vṛndāvana, he engaged his sense of touch in touching the bodies of the Lord’s devotees, he engaged his sense of smell in smelling the fragrance of tulasī offered to the Lord, and he engaged his tongue in tasting the Lord’s prasāda. He engaged his legs in walking to the holy places and temples of the Lord, his head in bowing down before the Lord, and all his desires in serving the Lord, twenty-four hours a day. Indeed, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa never desired anything for his own sense gratification. He engaged all his senses in devotional service, in various engagements related to the Lord. This is the way to increase attachment for the Lord and be completely free from all material desires.

 

All these to keep one’s mind while doing the ritual of pUjA,japa,etc to establish the prescence of the devatA in the mind. Are those who claim mAnasika pUjA can be done merely due to lack of effort in shuchi/correct dravya/ityAdi yogins /have reached that quality of being absorbed in your devatA all your time?If yes,I have no objections.