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-

On ideal paths taken by androphilic men in dhArmika folds

(Warning:May by misogynist by a lot of standards)

Disclaimer:If a gay man can be a brahmacArin,all fine and good. More power to him.I’m just noting difficulties which may be purely mine. The ideal recipient of this would be a gay man who is interested in being dhArmika as far as possible.

brahmacharya is the avoidance of maithuna in the eight aspects as noted by a traditional verse:

smaraNaM kIrtanaM keliH prekSaNaM guhyabhASaNam|
saGkalpo’dhyavasAyazca kriyAnivRttireva ca||
etanmaithunamaSTAGgaM pravadanti manISiNaH|
viparItaM brahmacaryamevASTalakSaNam||

(recollection of women/sex,talking about it,dallying with the opposite sex,looking at the opposite sex lustfully,talking privately with the opposite sex,intention to have sex with someone,making a firm resolve to actually do it,and actually having sex are the eight phases/forms of sexual intercourse.The negation of these is eightfold brahmacharya).

The problem for men who are homosexual is that in normal life ‘prekSaNaM’ with men is inevitably going to happen.(even in a traditional society,forget modern sexualized ones). And keeping them with women is not going to be a solution for reasons obvious to any man. (Amongst other things,modern gay culture,a huge part of it which is drag is about obviously exaggerated femininity,and more femininity is not what gay men need). And even in forbidding ‘kIrtanaM’…well. It’s all fine and dandy for ordinary well meaning people to say it. They basically have to isolate themselves and stay mostly alone if their ‘brahmacharya’ is going to be of any success. One is One may quote the maithunAM puMsi verse of bhagavAn manu,but other smRtis(nArada,etc) and medical literature of that mileu does note that their puMsatvam is defective,and hence one can wonder….

Of course brahmacharyam(and dedicating oneself to Hari or Hara in this way) is ideal,but in case one cannot adhere to that ideal

A possible solution-an impiety minimizing solution-(even if they are not brahmacArins or perfect brahmachArins) could be appropriated from a description of how the best courteseans spend their gains. Such men could spend their gains(which they are more likely to have because they do not support a family) on themselves rather than on hedonistic consumerism/drag sort of stuff that seems to be popular these days. They are described in the kAma sutra(in the 5th chapter of its sixth part) as “Building temples, tanks, and gardens; giving a thousand cows to different Brahmans; carrying on the worship of the Gods, and celebrating festivals in their honour; and lastly, performing such vows as may be within their means.”(Burton translation). Things like this(done yathAshakti),observing vratas like ekAdashi and pradosha,and dedicating oneself as much as possible to nArAyaNa or rudra:That is one way with which one could be better than usual. And also striving to be with one single person(if you really feel the need for companionship) as much as possible as one’s partner/friend.

And of course,the end of these dAnas,vratas,personal devotions and sAdhanAs(if one is carrying them out) are not mere avoidance of puNya and pApa,it is to attain that state beyond that(and also accompanying things like refining the buddhi towards withdrawing ones senses from their objects)

Well,maybe I was too hamhanded,I don’t know what else could be a solution.

Related:Bharat Gupt on homoeroticism.

Also: Satyanarayana Dasa Babaji on homoeroticism

We can further investigate śāstra to understand the purpose of male and female union. According to dharma-śāstra, the primary purpose is for procreation and not sexual enjoyment. That of course is the ideal and certainly not the observed reality. Dharma-śāstra set the standard knowing well that people in general are not at this prescribed level. Indeed, if they were, there would be no need to set the standard. In the varṇāśrama system, a brahmacāri, vānaprastha and sannyāsī were forbidden to have any sexual relationship. Sexual relation was only allowed in the gṛhastha āśrama, and the purpose of marriage, as clearly stated, was to produce a child. For this reason, in the smṛtis it is said that when the wife has taken bath after her menstrual period and approaches the husband for union, the husband should not refuse her. Otherwise he incurs sin. There are stories in the Purāṇās about a man uniting with a woman even outside of marriage only for procreation, for example Parāśara and Satyavatī, Vyāsa and Ambikā and Ambālikā.

To me it appears that the disapproval of kāma without dharma in the śāstra is about heterosexuals and not about non-heterosexuals. Why do I think so? Because the kind of sex that is abnormal for heterosexuals is normal for non-heterosexuals and if they are forbidden to engage in sex that is normal to them, then they have to repress it. However, śāstra is not in favor of repression, as Kṛṣṇa says, “All living beings follow their acquired nature. What can repression accomplish?” (Gītā 3.33) He also calls a person hypocrite who controls the senses externally but dwells on sense pleasure within the mind (3.6). Those who are born with a non-heterosexual disposition cannot overcome it by repression. Just as heterosexuals are allowed to marry and engage in sex as per śāstra, there should be a provision for the third group, tṛtīya prakṛti.

Since the past cannot be recreated,I am merely describing an ideal that is possible to follow in our current times.

Rajya – a draft

Notwithstanding the opinions of the author on the divinity of Rāmacandra as an avatāra of Nārāyaṇa or his opinions on the status of the Bāla and Uttara Kāṇḍas(since I will stick to tradition here),this is still a good piece.

The Heterodoxian

The foremost selling points of democracy and universal suffrage are that it provides for stable, just governance, freedom of the populace, equal rights, equal power and thereby peaceful power transition, along with a platform to resolve differences through bipartisanship rather than through open conflict.

The US perhaps comes closest to India among all democracies in terms of population and diversity. They ended up being so polarized within a hundred years of its founding that it resulted in the nation splitting up and the two sides going to war with each other. Disagreement was resolved through conquest. Within a few decades of implementing universal suffrage and the loss of a common binding cause (the Cold War), the US again became severely polarized – the most it has been since the Civil War era according to Jonathan Haidt’s data. Worse, the two sides seem intent on demonizing the other side rather…

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The Lord of Arasavalli,a painting

The deity

…A painting in the maṇṭapa (of Sri Sūryanārāyaṇa)

The image in question: The deities in here are(spelt in Harvard-Kyoto conventions)

  • Sūryanārāyaṇa
  • Piṅgala,Daṇḍin(Citragupta,Yamarāja)
  • Mahāśvetā(between Sūryanārāyaṇa’s feet)
  • Uṣā and Pratyuṣā(the two archer Goddesses at the side,also called the Māricī-s)
  • Surya’s charioteer Aruṇa
  • The seven horses
  • Brahmā and Śiva at the sides (the central Aditya being implicitly identified with Viṣṇu)

More can be noted here for those interested in an introduction https://manasataramgini.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/a-note-on-the-pantheon-of-the-indian-saura-tradition/

A friend’s remarks on Sanskrit being taught at schools-its current state,with my remarks from personal experience at the end

School Sanskrit curriculum was not a shot of encouragement but an inoculation against ever being interested Sanskrit.

Vapid, uncool content. Completely unnatural language teaching methodology. Not even a viva voce requirement.

Leaves the student with zero skills, no feeling that this could have any juice in today’s world, and no interest and, if anything, disdain after getting away with an easy score.

Pseudo ‘Sanskrit’ subject was merely a way for the Nehruvian Ganga-Jamni tehzeeb walas to cheat the 3 language formula system – the same tehzeeb gang who opposed the proposal for Sanskrit as national link language and voted for Hindi. Most other Indians had to actually learn another Indian language (Hindi) as part of the 3 language formula, but these guys cheated and got away with a high scoring zero-skills cop out.

Those tehzeeb walas choose Urdu via Bollywood to give them cultural juice in today’s world.

From personal experience,having learned Sanskrit from classes VI to X(including both the classes),you basically get the level of a sloppy version of just only the vākya vyavahāra book of the first level(as taught by Sri Vempati Kutumba Shastri) and that itself will get you more than 90% in the Sanskrit CBSE exam of class X. And that too will get lost/eroded to nothing within a year of non practice. This is the state of Sanskrit teaching as I have seen and experienced it. If you want people to actually like and respect Sanskrit at schools,the methodology must change a lot.

On reading gay stuff into mileus where such concepts did not exist

https://crevicesinmysoul.wordpress.com/2018/02/11/the-gay-angle-in-padmaavat/

 

This is not to say men who were attracted to men did not exist. They have existed since at least the dawn of agriculture in humankind. The definition of gay=attracted to men(and a community that defined itself like that) arose in only the 1920s-1930s Anglo-European world. Before that,there were people attracted to men in the US who would fuck straight men(or as the slang went, ‘trade’). Then people who had feminine mannerisms,and dressed such. Men who fucked other men. None of them came under that modern ‘gay’ label(as defining oneself/having an identity based on the sex one is attracted to). I am basing this on my reading of Foucault and George Chancey’s Gay New York:Gender,Urban Culture and the making of the Gay male world 1890-1940.

Secondly,I would find it grossly wrong to elevate a engendered in a situation like that-Would you endorse buying someone as your property,cutting off his balls and using him as your toy for sexual satisfaction?That’s essentially how the relationship began. There are better gay icons/icons with ambiguous sexuality in the past to look forward to,like Walt Whitman,etc.

The devī of the 15th śloka of the Saundaryalaharī

Inspired from here https://manasataramgini.wordpress.com/2008/07/26/trikas-para-devi-in-saundaryalahari/

 

This very same devī is mentioned in the Kashmirian Pañcastavī thus(from the 7th or 8th śloka of its first canto,Laghustavī)

वामे पुस्तकधारिणीमऽभयदां साक्षस्रजं दक्षिणे
भक्तेभ्यो वरदानपेशलकरां कर्पूरकुन्दोज्ज्वलां।
उज्जृम्भामुजपक्त्रकान्तनयन स्निग्ध प्रभा लोकिनीं
ये त्वामऽम्ब न शीलयन्ति मनसा तेशां कवित्वं कृतः॥