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.

On the stotra of the eight names of Gaṇeśa by Viṣnu from the Brahmavaivarta Purāṇa

https://sanskritdocuments.org/doc_ganesha/gaNeshAShTakamviShNuBVP.html the text of the stotra is at the Sanskrit Dcouments website,I am translating it here.

Before Viṣṇu begins this stotra to Gaṇeśa,he affiliates these names of Vināyaka to the Sāmavedic tradition(putranāmāṣṭakaṃ stotraṃ sāmavedoktamīśvari)

He is known as Gaṇeśa,Ekadanta,Heramba,Vighnanāyaka,Lambodara,Śūrpakarṇa,Gajānana and Guhāgraja.

O Mother,beloved of Hara,do listen from me the meaning of these eight names which is the summary of the stotra and removes all obstructoions.

‘Ga’ stands for knowledge, ‘Na’ stands for mokṣa. The one who is the Lord of them both is Gaṇeṣa,I bow to Him.

‘Eka’ stands for principal,’danta’ stands for strength. The one who is the foremost of the strong persons is Ekadanta,and I bow to Him.

‘He’ stands for the poor,and ‘ramba’ stands for the protector,hence the one who is the protector of them(pālakaṃ dīnalokānaṃ) is Heramba.

‘Vighna’ stands for the dangers,and ‘nāyaka’ stands for its remover,hence He is known as vighnanāyaka and I adore Him.

The one who was endowed with a protruding belly because of the eating of the food provided by Viṣṇu and His own father is called lambodara,and I bow to Him.

The one’s whose ears are like winnowing baskets to remove obstructions,and bestows wealth and learning is known as Śūrpakarṇa,and I bow in reverence to Him.

The one on whose head was placed the prasādaṃ(consisting of flowers,hence a garland) of Viṣnu by the munis,I bow to the elephant-faced one known as Gaja-vaktra.

He was born earlier than Skanda,hence He is known as Guhāgraja,and I offer my obeisance to Him.

Oh Durgā,these eight verses consist of many śaktis and different meanings and is auspicious. Please look into the veda,O Putra(Viṣṇu is addressing devī here as putra),and nullify your anger.

The one who recites this stotra thrice a day(at each of the sandhyās) enjoys all worldly pleasures and becomes victorious in the universe like Garuḍa,the sun of Vinātā who is always victorious over serpents.

With the grace of Gaṇeśvara he attains all knowledge,the one desiring a son gets a son and one desiring a wife gets a virtuous wife. And the extremely dull person becomes a great poet and learns all vidyās.

Ramblings on @bronzeagemantis ‘ Bronze Age Mindset



The aweful and fierce guhyakAlI


I have read that book and some thoughts on it:The book has a rather pagan sense to it(and in some sense is both a critique of modernity and tries to invoke the sense of warriors who could have been ‘Gods’ punishment upon the masses’ or like Kalhana described Mihirakula:As a second Bhairava(in fierceness) on Earth. This is the type of a man of action,which he idolizes,one bounded by no rule,who in his actions in enemies is incredibly fierce and terrible(chaNDa) and through his very power,has the power to alter vidhAtR^i(fate itself) with a few ancient and a number of modern attempts at this. Few have had such power or blessings. He’s not a moralist exactly(to which quite a lot on our side might take a few smelling salts),though is not one who advocates any of the hedonisms or modern degeneracies. He’s primary a preacher of a gospel of power in its all conquering dimension and vitality as well. He also acknowledges the importance of ordinary civilized,healthy life and gives important suggestions for nationalist orgs(in the Western context of course) and about the sort of tenancious,right-thinking people needed to march through institutions like the Army(in the US context),Government agencies(that are enforcers),etc. Out of these in the book,I especially liked his insistence on friendship in a struggle for war and a higher cause,his point about families towards the end and demographics and about discipline,its value and life on the ascent.

A sandhyAvandana vidhi for all

682px-Sculpture_of_Surya_the_sun_god_dated_to_the_14th_century_from_Kannuru
[Image is of sUrya with His retinue and His seven horses and charioteer,sourced from Wikimedia Commons]

[This vidhi was shared to me by an upAsaka who wishes to remain private,just like the author of this blog]. And the advantage of this vidhi is that it can be performed by all regardless of initiation into vaidika gAyatrI or tAntrika or lack of it,or sex or caste,or birth.

Achamya(you do Achamana with achyutAya namaH,anantAya namaH,govindAya namaH) –

facing east, arghyapradAna[West at sunset]
gaNAdhipa surAdhyaksha chintAmani ganeShvara
siddhidAyaka vighnesha gR^ihAnArghyam namo’stute [This is a namaskAra to gaNesha]

gaNapataye namaH idamarghyam (3) [saying this mantra 3 times,offer arghya to ganesha three times]

rajjuvetra kasApANe kAshyape garuDAgraja
arka sutAruNa svAmin gR^ihAnArghyam namo’stute [This is a namaskAra to aruNa,sUrya’s charioteer]

aruNAya namaH idamarghyam (3)[saying this mantra 3 times,offer arghya to aruNa three times]

ehi sUrya sahasrAMSho tejorAse jagatpate
anukampaya mAm bhaktyA gR^ihAnArghyam namo’stute [namaskAra to sUrya bhagavAn]

sUryAya namaH idamarghyam (3)[saying this mantra 3 times,offer arghya to sUrya three times]

mitrAya namaH
ravaye namaH
sUryAya namaH
bhAnave namaH
khagAya namaH
pUshNe namaH
hiranyagarbhAya namaH
marIchaye namaH
AdityAya namaH
savitre namaH
arkAya namaH
bhAskarAya namaH (12 obeisances to sUrya with His names in the dative case)

kAmakrodhAdibhir mUDA pAtakam nu karomyaham
sarvapApakshayam kR^itvA raksha mAm dyumaNe prabho
AyurArogyam aishvaryam j~nAnam vittam prayachCha me
svargamapyapavargam cha jagadIshvara bhAskara

[Forgive whatever I have done from kAma and krodha,prabhu sUrya bhagavAn,and protect me from pApa. Please give me Ayuh,Arogya(health),Aishvarya(wealth),j~nAna,svarga and apavarga:Would refer to apavarga as mukti mArga here,jagadIshvara bhAskara(another name for sUrya)]

prAsya

The vidhi and mantras in देवनागरी लिपि

आचम्य

Facing east,अर्घ्यप्रदान[West at sunset]

गणाधिप सुराध्यक्श चिन्तामनि गनेष्वर
सिद्धिदायक विघ्नेश गृहानार्घ्यम् नमो’स्तुते[This is a namaskAra to गणेश]

गणपतये नमः इदमर्घ्यम् (३) [saying this mantra 3 times,offer अर्घ्य to गणेश three times]

रज्जुवेत्र कसापाणे काश्यपे गरुडाग्रज
अर्क सुतारुण स्वामिन् गृहानार्घ्यम् नमो’स्तुते[[This is a namaskAra to अरुण,सूर्य’s charioteer]

अरुणाय नमः इदमर्घ्यम् (३)[saying this mantra 3 times,offer अर्घ्य to अरुण three times]

एहि सूर्य सहस्रांषो तेजोरासे जगत्पते
अनुकम्पय माम् भक्त्या गृहानार्घ्यम् नमो’स्तुते

सूर्याय नमः इदमर्घ्यम् (३)[saying this mantra 3 times,offer अर्घ्य to सूर्य three times]

मित्राय नमः
रवये नमः
सूर्याय नमः
भानवे नमः
खगाय नमः
पूश्णे नमः
हिरन्यगर्भाय नमः
मरीचये नमः
आदित्याय नमः
सवित्रे नमः
अर्काय नमः
भास्कराय नमः

(12 obeisances to सूर्य with His names in the dative case)

कामक्रोधादिभिर् मूडा पातकम् नु करोम्यहम्
सर्वपापक्शयम् कृत्वा रक्श माम् द्युमणे प्रभो
आयुरारोग्यम् ऐश्वर्यम् ज्ञानम् वित्तम् प्रयच्छ मे
स्वर्गमप्यपवर्गम् च जगदीश्वर भास्कर

[Forgive whatever I have done from kāma and krodha,prabhu Sūrya bhagavān,and protect me from pāpa. Please give me āyuḥ ārogya (health),āiśvarya(wealth),jñāna,svarga and apavarga:Would refer to apavarga as mukti mārga here,jagadīśvara bhāskara (another name for Sūrya)]

प्रास्य

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|

A practical note on purascharaNa(cited from kulArNava tantra and muNDamAlA tantra)

yad yad a~Ngam vihiyeta tatsaMkhyAdviguNo japaH|
kuryAd dvitrichatuHpa~nchasaMkhyaM vA sAdhakaH priye||
kurvita chA~Ngasiddhyartham tadashaktau sa bhaktitaH|
tachcheda~Ngam vihiyeta mantri neShTam avApnuyAt||

-kulArNavatantra,pa~nchadasha ullAsa (15th chapter,Kularnava tantra)

In Devanagari:

यद् यद् अङ्गम् विहियेत तत्संख्याद्विगुणो जपः।
कुर्याद् द्वित्रिचतुःपञ्चसंख्यं वा साधकः प्रिये॥
कुर्वित चाङ्गसिद्ध्यर्थम् तदशक्तौ स भक्तितः।
तच्चेदङ्गम् विहियेत मन्त्रि नेष्टम् अवाप्नुयात्॥

-कुलार्णवतन्त्र,पञ्चदश उल्लास

If one limb of a five limbed purashcharaNa is lacking,one does japa dviguNa(twice),triguNa(thrice),chaturguNA or 5 times to make up for it. [Apparently according to Buhnemann,a text called PA;perhaps is it the purashcharyArNava? states that the number of times one has to repeate this substitute japa depends on the varNa of the person doing the purashcharaNa,like brAhmaNas doing 2x,and the others in increasing orders:I’m not able to check for myself the original text of the purashcaryArNava].

Anyway,these are the range of rules the tantra has stated,what suits the individual sAdhaka is best learned from his guru who can clarify(and is the ultimate authority).

So,if one had the homa saMkhyA 10,000:He would have to do at least 20,000 japa to make up for the missed limb(a~Nga) of the purashcharaNa.

Practically,the author has seen mostly people recommending 2x or 4x to make up for the a~Ngas that could not be done(like homa,tarpana,etc).

Another note from muNDamAlA tantra(5h paTala):

nyunAdhikam na japtavyAmAsamAptaM sadA japet|

Also

rAtrisheshe japenna cha|

yastha yAvAn japaH proktastaddashAMshAmanukramAt|
tattaddravyairjapasyAnte homaM kuryAd dine dine||
homasya cha dashAMshena tarpaNaM proktameva cha|
tarpaNasya dashAMshena shiromArjanamiShyate||
taddashAMshena viprendrAn kurvIta kulakanyakAH|
saMbhojayet prItiyuktairdravyairnAnAvidhairapi||
homAdyAshakto deveshi!kuryAchya dviguNaM japam|
yadi pUjAdyAshaktaH syAd dravyAlAbhena sundarI|
kevalaM japamAtreNa purashcharyA vidhIyate||

Translation of the above relevant points that I cited:One should not do more or less japa every day till the very end. One should not do japa at the end of rAtri. One should do successive dashAMshas of homa,tarpaNa,mArjana,and brAhmaNabhojana. If one is incapable of homa,etc,he should do 2x the japa. If he is incapable of pUjA etc a~Ngas due to lack of dravyas,by japa alone he can complete the whole purashcharaNa.
Swami Sacchidananda Saraswati in his Purascharanapradipa states: অশক্তকল্পে:কেবল জপে জপেই যে কোন সাধক পুরশ্চরণ হইতে পারে। এমন কি ব্রাহ্মণভোজন অঙ্গের অন্যকল্পেও জপদ্বারাই তাহা সিদ্ধ হইতে পারিবে। যথা:-(and then quotes the last shloka I had cited here).

Personal note(I am no AchArya):pratyakSha brAhmaNabhojana is still the best option even if one has substituted all the other a~Ngas with japa for the reason it falls in the same category as kumAribhojana:Both of these remove all the doshas that might have been committed in the process of the mantrasAdhanA. And of course,the brAhmaNas should be vedaj~na or should be doing upAsanA of the same mantra as the sAdhaka is doing/be dIkShita in that same mantra.

(note on 11th May 2021):Another note from reading the Purascharanapradipa again in the section on brAhmaNa bhojana :যদিও ‘আচার্য্যমতে’ বিপ্রভোজনের অনুকল্পরূপে জপ করিবার আদেশ আছে,তথাপি ব্রাহ্মণভোজন-রূপ পুরশ্চরণ-অঙ্গের অনুকল্প জপে বাধা দিবার কারণ এই যে,ইহাদ্বারা জপাদি অন্যান্য সকল অঙ্গেই যদি কোন প্রকার হানি বা অজ্ঞাতে তাহাতে কোনরূপ অসম্পূর্ণতা হইয়া থাকে,সে সকল ব্রাহ্মণভোজন দ্বারাই পূর্ণ হইয়া থাকে।  (Even despite from ‘AchAryamata’ there is a provision of anukalpa of virabhojana,still an obstruction is given to this provision because if there is any hAni or incompleteness due to unknown fault in the purashcharaNa,all that can be rectified by brAhmaNabhojana itself.

The sculptor of Ma Bhavatarini of Dakshineshwar : Nabin Bhaskar

Translating Ranadeb Mukherjee’s post

The one whom Thakur Sri Ramakrishna called ‘Ma’,the one for whom without giving water,he would not take anything in his mouth:That same image of Ma Bhavatarini was made by the sculptor Nabin Bhaskar of Dainhat at Katwa . At the wish of Rani Rashmoni in 1855 he made the image of Bhavatarini Kali. For the time of a month he went to Kolkata,subsisted on haviShyAnna,followed AchAra and when he finished the work(of sculpting),then the image was not proportionate to the garbhagriha. She then ordered him to make another mUrti of Ma Bhavatarini again and told him to make that mUrti larger than the previous one.

Nabin Bhaskar made two images of Bhavatarini Kali. One is in Dakshineshwar and another in some house in Goa Bagan at Kolkata. His family claims that Rani Rashmoni donated an image to someone she knew. Nabin Bhaskar’s fame was such that the Rajas in Bengal presidency came to to Dainhat. Nabin Bhaskar got his raw material from Bihar. For procuring ‘kosthi pathor'(black stone) he purchased a hill in Jamalpur. At Nabin’s good fame,apart from the Burdwan Royal family,he was also commisioned by the royal families of Cossimbazar,Natore,Puntia,Rangpur,Dinajpur,Jemo,Muktagacha,Mymensingh,Manipur,Lalgarh to sculpt their grihadevatas. It is said that the Maharani of Dinajpur was so spellbound at Nabin Bhaskar’s skill that she gifted him a golden chisel.

Bhaskar took his craft to new heights on his sculpting the image of Dakshineshwar. His best creation is the creation of the murti of Yogadya at Kshirgram. Even today in his house broken images can be found that are in a state of neglect. Still,a very beautiful 10 inch idol of Kali has been closely kept in his successor Nimai Bhaskar’s possession. Along with this Kali Murti  he keeps a dazzling statue of ‘shwet pathor’. This is the last creation of Nabin. Today his workshop is broken and filled with weeds,and the naach-mahal is also dilapidated .His  ancestral dwelling has but one room, even it is mired in household disputes. This generation has but forgetten such a fabulous sculptor.

Nabin Bhaskar’s house is now in a state of decay,swallowed up by time. His descendants no longer carry the illustrious legacy of his sculpting. His left over creations are also slowly going to ruin, due to lack of care.  Due to the lack of anyone to look after that place,that family house at Dainhat is now like a dump. Some valuable works of that sculptor are still in that house.

Book Review:Fighting Proud:The Untold Story of the Gay Men Who Served in Two World Wars

Okay,this is going to be less a review and more of an outpouring of my personal feelings on my reading that book.

This book by Stephen Bourne is a book that deals with a sample of the materials available;gay men who served in the World Wars despite the difficulties faced by them due to a society prejudiced against them. I found the values of bravery,sacrifice,heroism and over all that,despite official bigotry from time to time;even the most outrageously camp/effeminate types were accomodated in roles as entertainers even if not directly in fighting. And the ones who were in the frontlines;their values of sacrifice,and the permanent relationships they could form(this was relatively successful over time,surprisingly) despite how formally society looked down upon them but unofficially tolerated them-because they were men of virtue beyond just liking men-IMO are ideals to look upto even after all these days and emaluate.

On worldly usages of Krishna mantras as seen in the 3rd rAtra of the Narada Pancharatra

The 3rd rAtra of the Narada Pancharatra(of the Krishna centred stream) gives various Krishna mantras and their dhyAnas and kAmya usages

  1. 18 and 20 akShara:smR^iti medhA mati balam labdhvA sa kavi vAgbhavet+mukundacharaNa lAbha
  2. bAlagopAla(11 akShara)[seated on yashodA]:gaining one’s desireSh
  3. puntanA-nAshaka(30 akShara):Relief from afflictions like bhUtas,bAlagrahas,loss of memory
  4. shakaTAri dhyAna[as the one who upturned shakaTAsura’s cart]:For vighnanAshana
  5. bAlagopAla(another dhyAna):For AyuH and Arogya
  6. puruShottama(10 akShara):For long life
  7. Krishna(30 akShara):For long life
  8. Poison eradicating mantras and dhyAnas:As dancer on kAliya’s heads
  9. govardhananAtha dhyAna+gopIkrIDA in yamunA dhyAna: For controlling rain
  10. kR^iShNa as the saviour of sandIpani muni’s sons:apamR^ityu nAsha
  11. putralAbha is also referred to
  12. A dhyAna regarding the vanquishing of enemies [Him emitting fire from His mouth,mounted from Gaurda,and also being referred to as the vanquisher of Rukmi]
  13. Krishna as pulling Kamsa from his throne:Destruction of enemies(even those who have taken amR^ita)
  14. Krishna as pArthasArathi on ratha with hand in vyAkhyAna mudrA/vishvarUpa dhyAna:For dharmavR^iddhi/explaining all shAstras respectively.

All the above are to be learned by sadguru to be effective,and I apologize if I have been misleading or anything wrong has been done.

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.