The sixteen names of Durgā and their explanations(from the 57th adhyaya of the Brahmavaivarta Purāṇa)

nārada uvāca

sarvākhyānaṃ ṣrutaṃ brahmaktratīva paramādbhūtam|
adhūnā śrotumicchāmi durgopākhyānamuttamam||
dūrgā nārāyañīśānā viṣṇumāyā śivā satī|
nityā satyā bhagavatī śarvāṇī sarvamaṇgalā||
ambikā vaiṣṇavī gaurī pārvatī ca sanātanī|
nāmāni kauthumoktāni sarveṣaṃ śubhadāni ca||

Nārada said:Oh Brāhmaṇa,I have listened to this astonishing story. Kindly tell me the story of Durgā that I want to listen from you. Her names as described in the Kauthuma śākhā(of the Sāmaveda) are Durgā,Nārāyaṇī,Īśānī,Viṣṇumāyā,Śivā,Satī,Nityā,Satyā,Bhagavatī,Śarvāṇī,Sarvamaṇgalā,Ambikā,Vaiṣṇavī,Gaurī,Pārvatī,Sanātanī and they bestow auspiciousness.

atha śoḍaśanāmnāṃ ca sarveṣāmīpsitaṃ varaṃ।
brūhi vedavidāṃ śreṣṭhaṃ vedoktaṃ sarvasampatam॥

O best of the ones learned in the vedas, please kindly state the meanings of the sixteen names which bestow welfare upon all and are mentioned in the veda.

kena vā pūjitā sadak dvitīye kena vā pūrā।
tṛtīye vā catūrthe vā kena sarvatra pūjitā॥

Who was the first to worship Her?After that, who was the second, third and fourth to worship Her?

nārāyaṇa uvāca

atha ṣoḍaśanāmnāṃ sa viṣṇuvedi cakāra saḥ।
jñātvā punaḥ pṛccasi tvaṃ kathayāmi yathāgamam॥

Nārāyaṇa said:Viṣṇu has already given the sixteen names in the vedas and you are well aware of them. In spite of that you are asking me the question again and I am now speaking what has been said in the śāstra.

durgo daitye mahāvighne bhavabandhe ca karmaṇi।
śoke duḥkhe ca narake yamadaṇḍe ca janmani॥
mahābhaye’tiroge cāpyāśabdo hantṛvācakaḥ।
etānhantyeva yā devī sā ḍurga parikīrtitā॥

The word ‘Durga’ stands for a daitya who was a great obstruction representing worldly bondage,karmas,sorrows,hells,yama’s rod, births,great dangers, disease and ‘a’ represents the killer of the same. Therefore the one who destroys them all is famed as ‘Durgā’.

yaśasā tejasā rūpairnārāyaṇasamā guṇaiḥ।
śaktirnārāyaṇasyeyaṃ ṭena nārāyaṇī smṛtā॥

In glory,lusture,beauty and qualities She is like Nārāyaṇa and She is His śakti. Hence She is called Nārāyaṇī.

īśānaḥ sarvasiddharthe cāśabdo dātṛvācakaḥ।
sarvasiddhipradātrī yā sā’pīśānā prakīrtitā॥

Īśāna is a word used for sarvasiddhi(all-accomplishment) and ‘ā’ stands for its giver. Therefore the one who bestows sarvasiddhi is called Īśānā.

sṛṣṭā māyā purā sṛṣṭau viṣṇunā paramātmanā।
mohitaṃ māyayā viśvaṃ viṣṇumāyā prakīrtitā॥

In times of yore,Viṣnu created māyā,by means of which the whole universe was deluded by Her. She is thus called Viṣnumāyā.

śive kalyāṇarūpā ca śivadā ca śivapriyā।
priye dātari cāśabdo śivā tena prakīrtitā॥

She’s beloved of Śiva and is the form of Śiva’s auspiciousness and giver of Śiva,hence She is called Śivā.

sadbuddhyadhiṣātṛdevī vidyamānā yuge yuge।
pativratā suśīlā ca sā satī parikīrtitā॥

Every Yuga after Yuga,She’s the presiding deity of sad-buddhi(right intelligence),She is a chaste lady and well-disposed,hence She is called Satī.

yathā nityo hi bhagavān nityā bhagavatī tathā।
svamāyayā tirobhūtā tatreśe prākṛte laye॥
ābrahmastambaparyantaṃ sarvaṃ mithyaiva kṛtrimam।
dūrgā satyasvarūpā sā prakṛtirbhagavānyathā॥
siddhaiśvaryādikaṃ sarvaṃ yasyāmasti yuge yuge।
saiddhādike bhago jñeyastena sā bhagavatī smṛtā॥

She is eternal like Viṣṇu,and merges into Him at the time of the dissolution of the universe. Everything from a straw to Brahmā is transient and artificial(in contrast). She is also of the nature of Satya(truth) like Viṣṇu. ‘Bhaga’ denotes all siddhi and aiśvarya(lordliness/wealth),and since She is of that nature,She is called ‘Bhagavatī’.

sarvānmokṣaṃ prāpayati janmamṛtyujarādikaṃ।
carācarāśca viśvasthāñcharvāṇī tena kīrtitā॥

She gives mokṣa to all and is the cause of birth, death and old age of all, hence She is called Śarvāṇī.

maṅgalaṃ mokṣavacanaṃ cāśabdo dātṛvācakaḥ।
sarvānmokṣānyā dadādi saivasyātsarvamaṅgalā॥

The word ‘Maṇgala’ means auspiciousness and ‘ā’ stands for its giver. Since she gives auspiciousness to all,She is called sarvamaṇgalā.

harṣe saṃpādi kalyāṇe maṅgalaṃ parikīrtitaṃ।
tāndadāti ca sarvebhyastena sā sarvamaṅgalā॥

The word ‘Maṇgala’ means pleasures and auspiciousness which She bestows upon all. Hence She is called Sarvamaṇgalā.

ambeti mātṛvacano vandane pūjate sadā।
pūjitā vanditā yātā jagatāṃ tena sā’mbikā॥

The word Ambā means mother and is used for worship and adoration. Hence,the Mother who is worshipped by all is called Ambikā.

viṣṇubhaktā viṣṇurūpā viṣṇoḥ śaktisvarūpiṇī।
sṛṣṭau ca viṣṇunā sraṣṭā vaiṣṇavī tena kīrtitā॥

The devotees of Viṣṇu call Her Vaiṣṇavī because She is the form and energy of Viṣṇu,and by Her is the whole universe is created.

gauraḥ pīte ca nirlipte pare brahmāṇi nirmale।
tasyātmanaḥ śaktiriyaṃ gaurī ṭena prakīrtitā॥
guruḥ śambhuśca sareveṣāṃ tasya śaktiḥ priyā sati।
guruḥ kṛṣṇaśca tanmāyā gaurī tena prakīrtitā॥
tithibhede parvabhede kalpabhede’nyabhedake।
khyātau teṣu ca vikhyātā pārvatī tena kīrtitā॥
mahotsavaviśeṣe ca parvatriti sukīrtitā।
tasyādhidevī yā sā ca pārvatī parikīrtitā॥
parvatasya sutā devī sāvirbhūtā ca parvate।
parvatādhiṣṭhātṛdevī pārvatī tena kīrtitā॥

She is golden complexioned, clad in yellow garments, unattached and spotless. Because She is the śakti of the Ātman She is called Gaurī. She’s is tithibheda,kalpabheda,and one who causes the bhedas between these tithes,kalpas and other bhedas. She is thus called Pārvatī. During special celebrations, the word pavan is used, and since She is the Goddess of all parvenus,She is called Pārvatī. She is also called Pārvatī because She is the daughter of the mountain, appeared over the (Himalaya) mountain, and is the Goddess of mountains.

sarvakAle sanA prokto vistR^ite cha tanIti cha|
sarvatra sarvakAle cha vidyamAnA sanAtanI||
arthaH ShoDashanAmnAM cha kIrtitashcha mahAmune|
yathAgamaM taM vedoktopAkhyAnaM cha nishAmaya||

The word ‘sanā’ is used for all times, and in expanded form,’tanī’ is added to it. Since She is present in all times and all places,She is called Sanātanī. O sage,I have explained the meanings of Her sixteen names. I am now narrating the stories of Her as told in the vedas. Listen to me!

prathame pūjitā sā ca kṛṣṇena paramātmanā।
vṛndāvane ca sṛṣṭyādau goloke rāsamaṇḍale॥
madhukaiṭabhabhītena brahmaṇā sā dvitīyate।
tripurapraritenaiva tṛtiye ca tripurāriṇā॥
bhraṣṭaśriyā mahendreṇa śāpāhurvāsasaḥ purā।
caturthe pūjitā devī bhaktyā bhagavatī satī॥
tadā munīndraiḥ siddhendrairdevaiśca munipuṅgavaiḥ।
pūjitā sarvaviśveṣu samabhūtsarvataḥ sadā॥

In times of yore, at the beginning of creation and in the Rāsamaṇdala of Goloka in Vṛndāvana,Kṛṣṇa adored Her. Secondly,Brahmā adored Her to get relief from Madhu and Kaiṭabha. Thirdly,Śiva adored Her when He went to war with Tripura. Fourthly,Indra adored Her after He was cursed by Durvāsā,as a result of which He lost all riches and glory. Since then,She has been popularly adored by all the sages,siddhas,Gods and Ṛṣis everywhere.

The text after this then alludes to Suratha and Samādhi who adored the Goddess,and one attained the position of Sāvarṇi manu while Samādhi attained Goloka by Her grace.

jagannAtha as puruShottama

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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|

brahmA,viShNu and shiva’s praise of vinAyaka in the 13th chapter of the gaNesha purANa

Description of Ganesha when the devas praised Him(the core essential points)[in the 12th chapter]
koTisUrya pratIkAshaM tejorAshi puro mune|

raktAmbaraprabhAvAttu jirA sandhyArkamaNDalam|
kaTisutra prabhA jAlai jeta hemAdrishekharam||
kha~Nga kheTa dhanuH shakti shobhichAru chaturbhujam|
sunAsaM purNimAchandra jita kAnti mukhAmbujam|
aharnishA prabhAyuktaM padmachAru sulochanam|
anekasUrya shobhAjit mukuTa bhrAji mastakam||

The actual hymn

brahmAviShNumaheshvarA uchuH

ajaM nirvikalpaM nirAkAramekaM nirAlaMbamadvaitamAnandapUrNaM|
paraM nirguNaM nirvisheShaM nirIhaM paraMbrahma rUpaM gaNeshaM bhajem||
guNAtUtanAdyaM chidAnanda rUpaM|chidAbhAsakaM sarvagaM j~nAnagamyam|
munidhyeyamAkAsharUpam pareshaM| parabrahmarUpa gaNeshaM bhajem||
jagatkAraNam kAraNAj~nAnahInaM surAdiM sukhAdiM yugAdiM gaNesham|
jagadvyApinaM vishvavandyam sureshaM|parambrahmarUpaM gaNeshaM bhajem||
rajo yogato brahmarUpaM shrutij~na|sadAkArya saktaM(?)hadAchintyarUpaM|
jagatkArakaM sarvaM vidyAnidhAnaM| sadA “brahma” rUpaM gaNeshaM nataH smaH||
sadAsatvayogaM mudA krIDamAnaM|surArIn harantaM jagatpAlayantaM|
anekAvatAraM nijAj~nAnahAraM| sadA “viShNu” rUpaM gaNeshaM nataH smaH||
tamoyoginaM rudrarUpaM trinetraM |jagaddhArakaM tArakaM j~nAnahetuM|
anekAgamaiH svaMjanaM bodhayantam| sadA “shiva” rUpaM gaNeshaM natAH smaH||
namastoma hAraM janAj~nAna hAraM|trayovedasAraM parabhrahmapAraM|
munij~nAnakAraM vidUre vikAraM sadA “braghna” rUpaM gaNeshaM natAH smaH||
nijairauShadhai starpayaMtaM karaudhaiH|suraudhAn kalAbhiH sudhAstraviNAbhiH|dineshAMshu santApahAraM dvijeshaM|
shashA~NkaM svarUpaM gaNeshaM natAH smaH||
prakAsha svarUpaM namo vAyurUpaM vikArAdihetu kalAkAla bhUtam| aneka kriyAneka “shakti” svarUpam sadA “shakti” rUpaM gaNeshaM natAH smaH||
pradhAna svarUpaM mahattattvarUpaM dharAvArirUpaM digIshAdirUpaM|
asat sat svarUpaM jagad hetu bhUtam| sadA “vishva” rUpaM gaNeshaM natAH smaH||
tvadIye manaHsthApye daMdhriyugme|jano vighnasaMghAnna pIDAM labhet| lasat sUrya biMbe vishAle sthite’yaM| janodvAMtabAMdhA kathaMvAlabhet||
vayaM bhrAmitaH sarvathA’j~nAnayogA|dalabdhvA tavAMghri(dhri)? bahun varSha pugAn| idAnImavAptAstavaiva prasAdAt| prapannAn sadA pAhi vishvaMbharAdya||
brahmovAcha||
evaM stuto gaNeshastu saMstuShTobhun mahAnune|kR^ipayA parayo peto’bhi dhAtuM tAn prachakrame||
shrImad gaNesha uvAcha||
uadarthaM kleshitA yUyaM yadartha yadarthamiha chAgatAH|| prIto’ha manayA stutyA varaM matto vR^iNIta tam||kR^itaM cha mama yat stotra bhavadbhirbhAvitAtmabhiH|stotrarAjamiti khyAta bhaviShyati madAj~nayA||idaM yaH paThet praTarutthAya dhImAN|trisandhyaM sadA bhati yokto vishuddhaH saputrAM shriyaM sarvaM kAmAn labhet|parabrahmharUpo bhavedantakAle|

Devanagari below

कोटिसूर्य प्रतीकाशं तेजोराशि पुरो मुने।
….
रक्ताम्बरप्रभावात्तु जिरा सन्ध्यार्कमण्डलम्।
कटिसुत्र प्रभा जालै जेत हेमाद्रिशेखरम्॥
खङ्ग खेट धनुः शक्ति शोभिचारु चतुर्भुजम्।
सुनासं पुर्णिमाचन्द्र जित कान्ति मुखाम्बुजम्।
अहर्निशा प्रभायुक्तं पद्मचारु सुलोचनम्।
अनेकसूर्य शोभाजित् मुकुट भ्राजि मस्तकम्॥

ह्माविष्णुमहेश्वरा उचुः

अजं निर्विकल्पं निराकारमेकं निरालंबमद्वैतमानन्दपूर्णं।
परं निर्गुणं निर्विशेषं निरीहं परंब्रह्म रूपं गणेशं भजेम्॥
गुणातूतनाद्यं चिदानन्द रूपं।चिदाभासकं सर्वगं ज्ञानगम्यम्।
मुनिध्येयमाकाशरूपम् परेशं। परब्रह्मरूप गणेशं भजेम्॥
जगत्कारणम् कारणाज्ञानहीनं सुरादिं सुखादिं युगादिं गणेशम्।
जगद्व्यापिनं विश्ववन्द्यम् सुरेशं।परम्ब्रह्मरूपं गणेशं भजेम्॥
रजो योगतो ब्रह्मरूपं श्रुतिज्ञ।सदाकार्य सक्तं(?)हदाचिन्त्यरूपं।
जगत्कारकं सर्वं विद्यानिधानं। सदा “ब्रह्म” रूपं गणेशं नतः स्मः॥
सदासत्वयोगं मुदा क्रीडमानं।सुरारीन् हरन्तं जगत्पालयन्तं।
अनेकावतारं निजाज्ञानहारं। सदा “विष्णु” रूपं गणेशं नतः स्मः॥
तमोयोगिनं रुद्ररूपं त्रिनेत्रं ।जगद्धारकं तारकं ज्ञानहेतुं।
अनेकागमैः स्वंजनं बोधयन्तम्। सदा “शिव” रूपं गणेशं नताः स्मः॥
नमस्तोम हारं जनाज्ञान हारं।त्रयोवेदसारं परभ्रह्मपारं।
मुनिज्ञानकारं विदूरे विकारं सदा “ब्रघ्न” रूपं गणेशं नताः स्मः॥
निजैरौषधै स्तर्पयंतं करौधैः।सुरौधान् कलाभिः सुधास्त्रविणाभिः।दिनेशांशु सन्तापहारं द्विजेशं।
शशाङ्कं स्वरूपं गणेशं नताः स्मः॥
प्रकाश स्वरूपं नमो वायुरूपं विकारादिहेतु कलाकाल भूतम्। अनेक क्रियानेक “शक्ति” स्वरूपम् सदा “शक्ति” रूपं गणेशं नताः स्मः॥
प्रधान स्वरूपं महत्तत्त्वरूपं धरावारिरूपं दिगीशादिरूपं।
असत् सत् स्वरूपं जगद् हेतु भूतम्। सदा “विश्व” रूपं गणेशं नताः स्मः॥
त्वदीये मनःस्थाप्ये दंध्रियुग्मे।जनो विघ्नसंघान्न पीडां लभेत्। लसत् सूर्य बिंबे विशाले स्थिते’यं। जनोद्वांतबांधा कथंवालभेत्॥
वयं भ्रामितः सर्वथा’ज्ञानयोगा।दलब्ध्वा तवांघ्रि(ध्रि)? बहुन् वर्ष पुगान्। इदानीमवाप्तास्तवैव प्रसादात्। प्रपन्नान् सदा पाहि विश्वंभराद्य॥
ब्रह्मोवाच॥
एवं स्तुतो गणेशस्तु संस्तुष्टोभुन् महानुने।कृपया परयो पेतो’भि धातुं तान् प्रचक्रमे॥
श्रीमद् गणेश उवाच॥
उअदर्थं क्लेशिता यूयं यदर्थ यदर्थमिह चागताः॥ प्रीतो’ह मनया स्तुत्या वरं मत्तो वृणीत तम्॥कृतं च मम यत् स्तोत्र भवद्भिर्भावितात्मभिः।स्तोत्रराजमिति ख्यात भविष्यति मदाज्ञया॥इदं यः पठेत् प्रटरुत्थाय धीमाण्।त्रिसन्ध्यं सदा भति योक्तो विशुद्धः सपुत्रां श्रियं सर्वं कामान् लभेत्।परब्रह्म्हरूपो भवेदन्तकाले।

The edition used here was the Nag Publishers edition.

Sauvage

On seeing that French movie,as a young closeted Indian gay man,I felt very much in his skin. His attempts for finding love from every john he finds are eerily reminiscient of my attempts to desparately search for someone permanent in the dating apps that are ever open. At this point,as someone who is not attractive,to be repeatedly objectified and treated like a sex toy to be used for other men’s pleasure while I desperately search for someone to settle and be permanently with:That pretty much mirrors the experience of the protagonist who grows ever haggard till his final experience with the pianist,and who then finally finds a stable man…I hope I can be like that some day at least. And sleep peacefully in someone’s arms. I’m just sick of people sloganeering about love on one hand and on the other hand treating my ilk as bodies to be used for one night and then dumped for the next fad of…whatever. No,no matter how much desi people meme about Grindr on Instagram,hoeing around is simply not conducive to ideal flourishing of me as a gay man,and the apps wear me out. I go here and do all this because I am desperate for someone and lonely for a stable companion. I don’t know,all that I can do is accept what that supreme dice player mahAkAla gives as my lot.

On the next stage of evolution of the deity of Puri : Jagannatha as Narasimha

Continuing from my previous post:A likely template for how puruShottama was historically worshipped(when He was the four-armed nIlamAdhava) can be found inserted in the Purushottama Mahatmya of the nArada purANa. The rite mainly centres on the deity of the aShTAkShari(8-syllabled) mantra of nArAyaNa,along with shrI,puShTi(as a~Ngas),vyUhas and avatAras invoked mostly in the kavacha and nyAsa and the worshipper considering himself as one with nArAyaNa,and then AvAhana,madhuparka,AchamanIya and other upAchAras until the sending off the deity with various paurANika mantras.

 

Now to the main part of this article:This article will now describe the evidences available from ritual and from other textual sources as to why the wooden deity of jagannAtha was originally narasiMha.

Ritual evidence

  1. In the navakalevara ceremony:The main deity to which the whole ceremony and pratiShThA is done to is nR^isiMha with profuse usage of the mighty anustubh in both its parts:pratiShThA and vanayAga.The vanayAga also features homas etc with not just the anustubh,but with the very long pAtAla nR^siMha(is this that famed sahasrAkShari of nR^isiMha)?,one of the longest AgAmika mantras I have seen. The mantras and nyAsas that specify the deity as jagannAtha,baladeva and subhadrA are added later and at the very end:Indicating their later characteristic in the ritual
  2. The original chalanti pratimA of jagannAtha is that post which is known as sudarshana these days. And it still performs this function on certain special occasions. There are two features that support the nR^isiMha identification.
    1. General iconology: sudarshana figures in general,on their reverse,have nR^isiMha inscribed(a specimen is linked herewith). Hence nR^isiMha could easily(and with the ambiguity of a post as a chalanti pratimA) be reinterpreted as sudarshana
    2. In the Puri temple, the chalanti pratimA of sudarshana Himself is nR^isiMha(implying a continuity with the identification of the earlier deity as nR^isiMha and by extension,the original wooden deity of jagannAtha).

Textual evidence

  1.  The puruShottama mAhAtmya of the skanda purANa notes that when brahmA consecrated the images with the mantrarAja,the wooden deities vanished and in their place appeared the furious narasiMha. brahmA then advises indradyumna to worship Him with the narasiMha anustubh. indradyumna then has a vision of yoga-narasiMha with lakShmI on His lap on 32-petalled lotus,with the serpent anantasesha(saMkarShaNa) forming the umbrella with His hoods.
  2. Older Odia sources in manuscript form by the deula-karanas of the Puri temple(one called the rAjabhoga is being referred to here) also corraborate a ritual practice of balabhadra being worshipped with the vAsudeva mantra(although presumably with the shaiva shrIkaNThAdi nyAsa,I’m not sure about this aspect),jagannAtha with the narasiMha anushtubh mantrarAja,and subhadrA with the bhuvaneshvarI ekAkSharI(single syllabled mantra). So this was the most likely practice before the second half of the 15th century in some circles(and presumably the ones who did the pUjA rituals of the Puri temple,if not the general public by that era),that jagannAtha was considered as narasiMha. By the time Gajapati Purushottamadeva(2nd half of 15th century) authored the gopAlArchanAvidhi,this manual treats jagannAtha as kR^iShNa gopijanavallabha,and no more as nR^isiMha.

 

Skanda at Kumarakottam

Skanda at Kumarakottam is in the form of brahma-shAstrR^i/brahma-shAstA [the chastizer/punisher of brahmA], for being unable to explain praNava properly, and took his post here. A higher resolution image of the mUla mUrti is posted below.  Apart from His usual attributes He bears a kamaNDalu and mAlA as well.

IMG_20190915_100306

kraunchAraye namaH|gA~NgeyAya namaH|vachadbhUve namaH|

Nuances on the origin of tArA(entirely) in Tibet (in general)

1. Tibetan tradition states that tArA herself was introduced into Tibet from Nepalese sources(the daughter of aMshuvarman),who got a sandalwood image of the devI when she married the first great Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo
2. Bauddha tradition mentions just those two forms as introduced by nAgArjuna from bhoTadesha:ekajaTA and possibly vajratArA(from the sAdhanAmAlA)
3. The 6-7th century aShTA~NgasaMgraha mentions tArA and mercury(nAgArjuna gets associated with rasAyana siddhis too in that tradition),but no mention of nAgArjuna.
4. ekajaTA,who is iconographically very similar to mahAchInakrama-tArA(and often identical) got incorporated into Astika sAdhanAs through the means of the pheTkariNI/pheTkarIya tanta which was quoted by AgAmavAgIsha in his bR^ihat tantrasAra,which popularised this form of tArA over other forms.(and these were the forms associated with the story of vasiShTha going over to mahAchIna and recieving the mantra from nArAyaNa in the form of buddha)

shukrAchArya’s gadyam to shiva (from the shiva purANa)

… Which was composed when he was trapped in His body. He was released through mahAdeva’s shukra.

The text of the gadyam below:

oṁ namaste deveśāya surāsura namaskṛtāya bhūta bhavya mahādevāya harita piṅgala locanāya balāya buddhi rūpiṇe vaiyāghra vasanacchadāyāraṇeyāya trailokya prabhave īśvarāya harāya haritanetrāya yugāntakaraṇāyānalāya gaṇeśāya lokapālāya mahābhujāya mahāhastāya śūline mahādaṃṣṭriṇe kālāya maheśvarāya avyayāya kālarūpiṇe nīlagrīvāya mahodarāya gaṇādhyakṣāya sarvātmane sarvabhāvanāya sarvagāya mṛtyuhantre pariyātrasuvratāya brahmacāriṇe vedāntagāya tapontakāya paśupataye vyaṅgāya śūlapāṇaye vṛṣaketave haraye jaṭine śikhaṇḍine lakuṭine mahāyaśase bhuteśvarāya guhāvāsine vīṇāpaṇavatālavate amarāya darśanīyāya bālasūryanibhāya śmaśānavāsine bhagavate umāpataye arindamāya bhagasyākṣipātine pūṣṇordaśana nāśanāya krūrakartakāya pāśahastāya pralayakālāya ulkāmukhāyāgniketave munaye dīptāya viśāṃpataye unnayate janakāya caturthakāya loka sattamāya vāmadevāya vāgdākṣiṇyāya vāmato bhikṣave bhikṣurūpiṇe jaṭine svayaṃ jaṭilāya śakrahastapratistaṃbhakāya vasūnāṃstaṃbhāya kratave kratukarāya kālāya medhāvine madhukarāya calāya vānaspatyāya vājasaneti samāśramapūjitāya jagaddhātre jagadkartre puruṣāya śāśvatāya dhruvāya dharmādhyakṣāya trivartmane bhūtabhāvanāya trinetrāya bahu rūpāya sūryāyutasamaprabhāya devāya sarvatūryaninādine sarvabādhāvimocanāya bandhanāya sarvadhāriṇe dharṃmottamāya puṣpadantāyāpi bhāgāya mukhāya sarvaharāya hiraṇyaśravase dvāriṇe bhīmāya bhīmaparākramāya oṁ namo namaḥ

 

Credits to @pinakasena

Things I found interesting for various reasons in the shivapurANa in my casual study of it

vidyeshvarasaMhitA

  1. 13.54-55-j~nAna acquired through tapasyA was recommended in satyayuga,treta too tapasyA,sacrifice in the dvApara and mUrti-pUjA in kaliyuga
  2. 13.72-73 How to utilize one’s earned artha:Divide it into three parts,1/3rd for dharma(nitya,naimittika and kAmya karmas),1/3rd for vR^iddhi(increase wealth),1/3rd for bhoga(enjoy the wealth in pure/legitimate ways)
  3. 14.35 To ward off apamR^ityu,homa with gingelly seeds to rudra should be done on Saturdays
  4. 16.21 Propitiating vinAyaka is a way to have all of one’s wishes granted. Especially good days to begin His worship are Fridays,4th day of shuklapakSha of shrAvanamAsa+bhAdra+shatabhisha nakShatra in dhanurmAsa/worshipped continuously for 100 or 1000 days.
  5. 23:Glorification of shivanAma
  6. 24:Greatness of bhasma
  7. 25.43 A shivabhakta should refrain from meat,garlic,onion,red garlic,pork,liquors.
  8. 25.76 A 10-faced rudrAkSha is emblematic of janArdana(viShNu),and is worn by the mantra OM hrIM namaH

rudrasaMhitA

  1. 4.45 The name shiva blazing like a forest fire reduces mountains of heaps of great sins to ashes effortlessly
  2. 4.50-54 shiva’s names glorified
  3. 4.57 ekAntika bhakti to shiva and not any other else advised by nArAyaNa
  4. 6.20 IshvarashaktI—>pradhAna/prakR^iti/mAyA
  5. 21.8 She is 8 armed,face with splendour of 1000 moons,with 1000s of stars around Her face
  6. 6.33-38 Both shiva and viShNu have the ability to give mokSha
  7. 13th chapter:A shiva pUjA vidhi which has no restrictions as far as I could see(as none of the mantras are vaidika)
  8. 14.36:-Except champaka/ketaka,all other flowers can be used to worship mahAdeva.
  9. 29.48 The syllables ‘shi’ and ‘va’ said together even once casually dispel all sins.
  10. 33.11/12 mahAkAlI sets out with vIrabhadra to destroy dakSha’s yaj~na accompanied by 9 durgAs:kAlI,kAtyAyanI,IshAnI,chAmuNDA,muNDamAlinI,bhadrakAlI,bhadrA,tvaritA and vaiShNavI
  11. 33.31-32 The purANa notes that even those who depend on knowledge,eschewal of IshvarabhaktI is going to make them fall into naraka and remain there for hundreds of crores of kalpas. Those who solely depend on action are bound by its nooses,born in lives after lives and are finally scorched and tormented in hells.
  12. 36.66-Another instance of hariharAbheda
  13. 37.49:-vIrabhadra cuts off sarasvatI’s nose-tip
  14. 38.34:-An inteteresting dhyAna

shatarudrasaMhitA

  1. 9.15 ‘He who repeats mahAdeva’s names is freed from the bondage of the body he has acquired’
  2. 9.34 ‘Even after committing a great sin if a person remembers Hin who is the AdhAra and support of the worlds,his sins are quelled’
  3.  16:-The tale of the kenopanishad retold for suggesting shivaparatvam(as yakSheshvara)
  4. 17th chapter:-A late interpolation(it knows of a text tantrasAra+a non-shaiva appearance on a predominantly distinctly smArta shaiva text,featuring mahAvidyAs)

koTirudrasaMhitA

  1.  7th chapter:R^iShikA the chaste brahmin widow asks for two things:That She be forever devoted at rudra’s feet+to stay permanently at the spot of Her penance

9th chapter:How a woman attains good by uttering shivanAma unwittingly.

umAsaMhitA

  1. 20.47-54(Particularly 50,51 and 52nd shlokas of this adhyaya):Those who repeat the names of shiva need not be afraid of hell or yama. The two syllables of ‘shiva’ constitute the packet of food required for paralokagamana.It is the means of mokSha free from worries and the abode of all merits. It is only the nAma of shiva that subdues and quells the ocean of karmans.
  2. 42nd chapter contains a praise of shiva nAMa as well,and some other details.

kaliAsasaMhitA

  1. 11th chapter(shloka 22-37):vAmadeva’s stuti to skanda,beloved of gajavalli
  2. 13.62:shiva utters the praNava to those who die in kAshi and they get liberated
  3. 32nd chapter is a kinda a pAshupatayoga sort of chapter.It specifically calls its rite the nAmAShTakayoga(and explains the names involved).It’s also aware of the siddhAnta(mentions kAmikAgAma by name).
  4. Chapter 34-35:An account of the prince of shivabhaktas amongst the R^ishis upamanyu. upamanyu is the son of the sage vyAghrapAda. upamanyu at the end prays for devotion and always being near umAdhava.
  5.  Part 2 of the kailAsa saMhitA: Chapter 2,the kenopanishadic tale is repeated
  6.  Part 2:Chapter 11.27-37:Description of features of shivabhaktas
  7.  Part 2: Chapter 11.53-54 Speaking on the imporatance of concentrating the mind on mahAdeva by any means
  8.  Part 2: Chapter 12.37 A person who is steady in the japa of the pa~nchAkShara is released from sins whether he be a shudra,a person of a low birth,a fool or a learned man.
  9. Part 2:Chapter 13:Greatness of the pa~nchAkSharI
  10.  Part 2:Chapter 14.62-74 was what I noted as highly interesting.
  11.  Part 2:Chapter 25.63: O kR^iShNa,a low born,base or a fool if he resorts to shiva is worthy of being worshipped by devas and asuras.
  12.  Part 2:Chapter 43:A dhyAna of agnideva.Three feet,seven hands,4 horns,two heads,3 eyes per head,with matted hair,moon on crest,tawny as honey,with red garments,holding sruc,sruva,club,fan,vessel of ghee

Personal note:The most complete dhyAna of agni I have seen is this one

sapta hastaH chatuH shrR^i~NgaH sapta jihvo dvi shlrShakaH|
tripAt.h prasanna vadanaH sukhAsInaH shuchi smitaH||
svAhAM tu daxiNe pArshve devIM vAme svadhAM tathA |
bibhrat.h daxiNa hastaistu shaktimannaM sruchaM sruvaM ||
tAmaraM vyajanaM vAmaiH ghR A itapAtraM cha dhArayan.h|
meShArDho jaTAbaddho gauravarNo mahau jasaH ||
dhrUmra dhvajo lohitAxaH saptArchiH sarvakAmadaH ||
AtmAbhimukhamAsInaH evaM rUpo hutAshanaH II

 

-iti shivaM-