Gaṇapati as Brahman who humbles Vāyu Agni and other Gods and shows a Viśvarūpa form

This section is taken from the Gaṇeśa Purāṇa,11th chapter of the Krīḍā khaṇḍa. The relevant one is being posted here

इन्द्र उवाच:

न दृष्टो’स्य गुणोत्कर्षस्तावन्मान्यो भवेत्कथम्।
क उवाच:

ततो दिदेश वायुं स नयैनं व्योममण्डलम्।
तस्याज्ञानुपदं वायुर्युगान्तसदृशो ववौ।
आन्दोलयन्सर्वलोकं भ्रामयन् कुधरान्भृशम्॥
अकालप्रलयः किं नु प्रारब्धो लोकनाशनः।
इत्येवं भृशसंविग्ना ऋषयश्च चकम्पिरे॥
भग्ने वायौ तु संप्राह शुम्भाणं पाकशासनः।
दहैनं त्वं बटुं शीघ्रं द्रष्टव्या शक्तिरद्य ते।
तदाज्ञां शिरसा गुह्यं जगाम तमुषर्बुधः।
निर्दहन्निव त्रींल्लोकान्प्रलयानलसन्निभः॥
भस्मीकर्तुं दुमान्सर्वान्शोषयन्सर्वसागरान्।
तं दहन्तं जनान्सर्वान्दृष्ट्वा कश्यपनन्दनः।
तत्क्षणादगिलद्रोगी भेषजं गुटुकामिव।
गिलिते तादृशे वह्नौ क्रोधसंरक्तलोचनः॥
सहस्रलोचनो लोकां’लोकयत्सर्वलोचनैः।
तावद्ददर्श तं तत्र सहस्राधिकलोचनम्॥
असंख्यशीर्षमुकुटमनन्तश्रोत्रसंयुतम्।
अनन्तहस्तचरणमनन्तोदारविक्रमम्॥
शशिसूर्याग्निनयनं शिरस व्यापनभस्तलम्।
सप्तपातालचरणम् सप्तलोकैकमस्तकम्॥
असंख्यसूर्यसंकाशमसंख्येन्द्रसुसेवितम्।
असंक्श्यकेशसंयुक्तं नानाब्रह्माण्डरोमकम्॥
आमूलाग्राद्यथा वृक्षे भवन्त्यौदुम्बराणि वै।
औदुम्बरे वा मशकाः संख्यातीता भवन्ति हि॥
तथैवैकैकरोमाञ्चं संख्यातीताण्डसंयुतम्।
पस्यंस्तत्रवैकतरं भ्रान्तःशक्रो विवेश ह॥
पश्यन्ति स्म स तन्मध्ये त्रैलोक्यं सचराचरम्।
अरण्यकदलीकोशपत्रे पत्रे यथा फलम्॥
असंख्यातं जगत्तत्र पश्यति स्म शचीपतिः।
बभ्राम भ्रान्तचित्तो’सौ नालभन्निर्गमं ततः॥

indra uvāca:

na dṛṣṭo’sya guṇotkarṣastāvanmānyo bhavetkatham।
ka uvāca:

tato dideśa vāyuṃ sa nayainaṃ vyomamaṇḍalam।
tasyājñānupadaṃ vāyuryugāntasadṛśo vavau।
āndolayansarvalokaṃ bhrāmayan kudharānbhṛśam॥
akālapralayaḥ kiṃ nu prārabdho lokanāśanaḥ।
ityevaṃ bhṛśasaṃvignā ṛṣayaśca cakampire॥
bhagne vāyau tu saṃprāha śumbhāṇaṃ pākaśāsanaḥ।
dahainaṃ tvaṃ baṭuṃ śīghraṃ draṣṭavyā śaktiradya te।
tadājñāṃ śirasā guhyaṃ jagāma tamuṣarbudhaḥ।
nirdahanniva trīṃllokānpralayānalasannibhaḥ॥
bhasmīkartuṃ dumānsarvānśoṣayansarvasāgarān।
taṃ dahantaṃ janānsarvāndṛṣṭvā kaśyapanandanaḥ।
tatkṣaṇādagiladrogī bheṣajaṃ guṭukāmiva।
gilite tādṛśe vahnau krodhasaṃraktalocanaḥ॥
sahasralocano lokāṃ’lokayatsarvalocanaiḥ।
tāvaddadarśa taṃ tatra sahasrādhikalocanam॥
asaṃkhyaśīrṣamukuṭamanantaśrotrasaṃyutam।
anantahastacaraṇamanantodāravikramam॥
śaśisūryāgninayanaṃ śirasa vyāpanabhastalam।
saptapātālacaraṇam saptalokaikamastakam॥
asaṃkhyasūryasaṃkāśamasaṃkhyendrasusevitam।
asaṃkśyakeśasaṃyuktaṃ nānābrahmāṇḍaromakam॥
āmūlāgrādyathā vṛkṣe bhavantyaudumbarāṇi vai।
audumbare vā maśakāḥ saṃkhyātītā bhavanti hi॥
tathaivaikaikaromāñcaṃ saṃkhyātītāṇḍasaṃyutam।
pasyaṃstatravaikataraṃ bhrāntaḥśakro viveśa ha॥
paśyanti sma sa tanmadhye trailokyaṃ sacarācaram।
araṇyakadalīkośapatre patre yathā phalam॥
asaṃkhyātaṃ jagattatra paśyati sma śacīpatiḥ।
babhrāma bhrāntacitto’sau nālabhannirgamaṃ tataḥ॥

Basically there are two things happening in this section of this text(I am summarizing):

(1)Indra ordering Vayu and Agni to fetch him,and them displaying all their power and failing to move the boy like Vināyaka(not a single hair of Him moves,and Agni himself gets swallowed like a pill). He then himself goes out with His thousand eyes shining like fire to Vināyaka. This part echoes the 3rd and 4th khaṇḍa of the Kena Upaniṣad.

(2)A ‘universal vision’ of the great Vināyaka,who is brahmasvarūpa. He has more than a thousand eyes,uncountable ears and crowns,eyes of suns,moons and fiire and His hairs filling space,feet being the seven netherworlds,looking like uncountable suns,attended upon by uncountable Indras,and his bodily hairs were several brahmāṇdas…and Indra entered one of them saw the moving and unmoving beings in one of those brahmāṇdas and his mind started wandering and could not find his way out,and then he bowed to Vināyaka.

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)

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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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.

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)