The main purpose of creating this blog is to provide material and guidance to the students of Vedanga Jyotisha who are appearing for BA as well as MA level examinations of Kavi Kulaguru Kalidas Sanskrit University. I hope this effort will be welcomed by all the students of the Vedanga Jyotish and this effort will be useful to them. Dewavrat Buit dewavrat2000@yahoo.com

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Introduction to Mantra2

The Worlds (Loka)
This earth, which is the object of the physical senses and of the knowledge
based thereon, is but one of fourteen worlds or regions placed "above" and
"below" it, of which (as the sutra says) knowledge may be obtained by meditation
on the solar "nerve" (nada) sushumna in the merudanda. On this nadi six of the
upper worlds are threaded, the seventh and highest overhanging it in the
Sahasrara Padma, the thousand-petalled lotus. The sphere of earth (Bhurloka),
with its continents, their mountains and rivers, and with its oceans, is the
seventh or lowest of the upper worlds. Beneath it are the Hells and Nether
Worlds, the names of which are given below. Above the terrestrial sphere is
Bhuvarloka, or the atmospheric sphere known as the antariksha, extending "from
the earth to the sun," in which the Siddhas and other celestial beings
(devayoni) of the upper air dwell. "From the sun to the pole star" dhruva) is
svarloka, or the heavenly sphere. Heaven (svarga) is that which delights the
mind, as hell (naraka) is that which gives it pain. In the former is the abode
of the Deva and the blest.
These three spheres are the region of the consequences of work, and are termed
transitory as compared with the three highest spheres, and the fourth, which is
of a mixed character. When the jiva has received his reward he is reborn again
on earth. For it is not good action, but the knowledge of the atma which
procures Liberation (moksha). Above Svarloka is Maharloka, and above it the
three ascending regions known as the janarloka, tapoloka, and satyaloka, each
inhabited by various forms of celestial intelligence of higher and higher
degree. Below the earth (Bhuh) and above the nether worlds are the Hells
(commencing with Avichi), and of which, according to popular theology, there are
thirty-four, though it is elsewhere said there are as many hells as there are
offences for which particular punishments are meted out. Of these, six are known
as the great at hells. Hinduism, however, even when popular, knows nothing of a
hell of eternal torment. To it nothing is eternal but the Brahman. Issuing from
the Hells the jiva is again reborn to make its future. Below the Hells are the
seven nether worlds, Sutala, Vitala, Talatala, Mahatala, Rasatala, Atala, and
Patala, where, according to the Puranas, dwell the Naga serpent divinities,
brilliant with jewels, and where, too, the lovely daughters of the Daityas and
Danavas wander, fascinating even the most austere. Yet below Patala is the form
of Vishnu proceeding from the dark quality (tamogunah), known as the Sesha
serpent or Ananta, bearing the entire world as a diadem, attended by his Shakti
Varuni, his own embodied radiance.
Inhabitants of the Worlds
The worlds are inhabited by countless grades of beings, ranging from the highest
Devas (of whom there are many classes and degrees) to the lowest animal life.
The scale of beings runs from the shining manifestations of Spirit to those in
which it is so veiled that it would seem almost to have disappeared in its
material covering. There is but one Light, one Spirit, whose manifestations are
many. A flame enclosed in a clear glass loses but little of its brilliancy. If
we substitute for the glass, paper, or some other more opaque yet transparent
substance, the light is dimmer. A covering of metal may be so dense as to
exclude from sight the rays of light which yet burns within with an equal
brilliancy. As a fact, all such veiling forms are maya. They are none the less
true for those who live in and are themselves part of the mayik world. Deva, or
"heavenly and shining one" – for spirit is light and self-manifestation – is
applicable to those descending yet high manifestations of the Brahman, such as
the seven Shivas, including the Trinity (trimurtti), Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra.
Devi, again, is the title of the Supreme Mother Herself, and is again applied to
the manifold forms assumed by the one only Maya, such as Kali, Sarasvati,
Lakshmi, Gauri, Gayatri, Sandhya, and others. In the sense also in which it is
said, "Verily, in the beginning there was the Brahman. It created the Devas,"
the latter term also includes lofty intelligencies belonging to the created
world intermediate between Ishvara (Himself a Purusha) and man, who in the
person of the Brahmana is known as Earth-deva (bhudeva). These spirits are of
varying degrees. For there are no breaks in the creation which represents an
apparent descent of the Brahman in gradually lowered forms. Throughout these
forms play the divine currents of pravritti and nivritti, the latter drawing to
Itself that which the former has sent forth.
Deva, jiva and jara (inorganic matter) are, in their real, as opposed to their
phenomenal and illusory, being, the one Brahman, which appears thus to be other
than Itself through its connection with the upadhi or limiting conditions with
which ignorance (avidya) invests it. Therefore all beings which are the object
of worship are each of them but the Brahman seen through the veil of avidya.
Though the worshippers of Devas may not know it, their worship is in reality the
worship of the Brahman, and hence the Mahanirvana Tantra says that, "as all
streams flow to the ocean, so the worship given to any Deva is received by the
Brahman." On the other hand, those who, knowing this, worship the Devas, do so
as manifestations of the Brahman, and thus worship It mediately. The sun, the
most glorious symbol in the physical world, is the mayik vesture of Her who is
"clothed with the sun."
In the lower ranks of the celestial hierarchy are the Devayonis, some of whom
are mentioned in the opening verses of the first chapter of the text. The Devas
are of two classes: "unborn" (ajata) – that is, those which have not, and those
which have (sadhya) evolved from humanity as in the case of King Nahusha, who
became Indra. Opposed to the divine hosts are the Asura, Danava, Daitya,
Rakshasa, who, with other spirits, represent the tamasik or demonic element in
creation. All Devas, from the highest downwards, are subordinate to both time
and karma. So it is said, "Salutation to Karma, over which not even Vidhi
(Brahma) prevails" (Namastat karmmabhyovidhirapi na yebhyah prabhavati). The
rendering of the term "Deva" by "God" has led to a misapprehension of Hindu
thought. The use of the term "angel" may also mislead, for though the world of
Devas has in some respects analogy to the angelic choirs, the Christian
conception of these Beings, their origin and functions, does not include, but in
fact excludes, other ideas connoted by the Sanskrit term.
The pitris, or "Fathers," are a creation (according to some) separate from the
predecessors of humanity, and are, according to others, the lunar ancestry who
are addressed in prayer with the Devas. From Brahma, who is known as the
"Grandfather" Pita Maha of the human race, issued Marichi, Atri, and others, his
"mental sons": the Agnishvattvah, Saumnyah, Havishmantah, Ushmapah, and other
classes of Pitris, numbering, according to the Markandeya Purana, thirty-one.
Tarpanam, or oblation, is daily offered to these pitris. The term is also
applied to the human ancestors of the worshipper generally up to the seventh
generation to whom in shraddha (the obsequial rites) pinda and water are offered
with the mantra "svadha."
The Rishi are seers who know, and by their knowledge are the makers of shastra
and "see" all mantras. The word comes from the root rish Rishati-prapnoti
sarvvang mantrang jnanena pashyati sangsaraparangva, etc. The seven great Rishi
or saptarshi of the first manvantara are Marichi, Atri, Angiras, Pulaha, Kratu,
Pulastya, and Vashishtha. In other manvantara there are other sapta-rshi. In the
present manvantara the seven are Kashyapa Atri, Vashishtha, Vishvamitra,
Gautama, Jamadagni, Bharadvaja. To the Rishi the Vedas were revealed. Vyasa
taught the Rigveda so revealed to Paila, the Yajurveda to Vaishampayana, the
Samaveda to Jaimini, Atharvaveda to Samantu, and Itihasa and Purana to Suta. The
three chief classes of Rishi are the Brah-marshi, born of the mind of Brahma,
the Devarshi of lower rank, and Rajarshi or Kings who became Rishis through
their knowledge and austerities, such as Janaka, Ritaparna, etc. Thc Shrutarshi
are makers of Shastras, as Sushruta. The Kandarshi are of the Karmakanda, such
as Jaimini.
The Muni, who may be a Rishi, is a sage. Muni is so called on account of his
mananam (mananat muniruchyate). Mananam is that thought, investigation, and
discussion which marks the independent thinking mind. First there is shravanam
listening; then mananam, which is the thinking or understanding, discussion
upon, and testing of what is heard as opposed to the mere acceptance on trust of
the lower intelligence. There two are followed by nididhyasanam, which is
attention and profound meditation on the conclusions (siddhanta) drawn from what
is so heard and reasoned upon. As the Mahabharata says, "The Veda differ, and so
do the Smriti. No one is a muni who has no independent opinion of his own (nasau
muniryasya matang na bhinnam).
The human being is called jiva – that is, the embodied Atma possessed by egoism
and of the notion that it directs the puryashtaka, namely, the five organs of
action (karmendriya), the five organs of perception (jnanendriya), the fourfold
antahkarana or mental self (Manas, Buddhi, Ahangkara, Chitta), the five vital
airs (Prana), the five elements, Kama (desire), Karma (action and its results),
and Avidya (illusion). When these false notions are destroyed, the embodiment is
destroyed, and the wearer of the mayik garment attains nirvana. When the jiva is
absorbed in Brahman, there is no longer any jiva remaining as such.
Ordinarily there are four chief divisions or castes (varna) of Hindu society –
viz.: Brahmana (priesthood; teaching); Kshattriya (warrior); Vaishya (merchant);
Shudra (servile) – said to have sprung respectively from the mouth, arm, thigh,
and foot of Brahma. A man of the first three classes becomes an investiture,
during the upanayana ceremony of the sacred thread, twice-born (dvija). It is
said that by birth one is shudra, by sangskara (upanayana), dvija (twice-born);
by study of the Vedas one attains the state of a vipra; and that he who has
knowledge of the Brahman is a Brahmana. The present Tantra, however, speaks of a
fifth or hybrid class (samanya), resulting from intermixture between the others.
It is a peculiarity of Tantra that its worship is largely free of Vaidik
exclusiveness, whether based on caste, sex, or otherwise. As the Gautamiya
Tantra says, "The Tantra is for all men, of whatever caste, and for all women"
(Sarvvavarnadhikaraschcha narinang yogya eva cha).
The four stages, conditions, or periods in the life of a Brahman are: First,
that of the chaste student, or brahmachari; second, the period of secular life
as a married householder, or grihastha; third, that of the recluse, or
vanaprastha, when there is retirement from the world; and lastly, that of the
beggar, or bhikshu, who begs his single daily meal, and meditates upon the
Supreme Spirit to which he is about to return. For the Kshattriya there are the
first three Ashramas; for the Vaishya, the first two; and for the Shudra, the
grihastha Ashrama only. This Tantra states that in the Kali age there are only
two Ashrama. The second garhasthya and the last bhikshuka or avadhuta. Neither
the conditions of life, nor the character, capacity, and powers of the people of
this age allow of the first and third. The two ashramas prescribed for the Kali
age are open to all castes indiscriminately.
There are, it is now commonly said, two main divisions of avadhuta – namely,
Shaivavadhuta and Brahmavadhuta – of each of which there are, again, three
divisions. Of the first class the divisions are firstly Shaivavadhuta, who is
apurna (imperfect). Though an ascetic, he is also a householder and like Shiva.
Hence his name. The second is the wandering stage of the Shaiva (or the
parivrajaka), who has now left the world, and passes his time doing puja, japa,
etc., visiting the tirtha and pitha, or places of pilgrimage. In this stage,
which, though higher, is still imperfect, the avadhuta is competent for ordinary
sadhana with a shakti. The third is the perfect stage of a Shaiva. Wearing only
the kaupina, he renounces all things and all rites, though within certain limits
he may practise some yoga, and is permitted to meet the request of a woman who
makes it of him. Of the second class the three divisions are, firstly, the
Brahma-vadhuta, who, like the Shaivavadhuta, is imperfect (apurna) and a
householder. He is not permitted, however, to have a Shaiva Shakti, and is
restricted to sviya-shakti. The second-class Brahma-parivrajaka is similar to
the Shaiva of the same class, except that ordinarily he is not permitted to have
anything to do with any woman, though he may, under the guidance of his Guru,
practise yoga accompanied by Shakti. The third or highest class – Hangsavadhuta
– is similar to the third Shaiva degree, except that he must under no
circumstances touch a woman or metals, nor may he practise any rites or keep any
Correspondence Between Macrocosm and Microcosm
The universe consists of a Mahabrahmanda, or grand Kosmos, and of numerous
Brihatbrahmanda, or macrocosms evolved from it. As is said by the Nirvana
Tantra, all which is in the first is in the second. In the latter are heavenly
bodies and beings, which are microcosms reflecting on a minor scale the greater
worlds which evolve them. "As above, so below." This mystical maxim of the West
is stated in the Vishvasara Tantra as follows: "What is here is elsewhere; what
is not here is nowhere" (yadihasti tadanyatra yannehasti natatkvachit). The
macrocosm has its meru, or vertebral column, extending from top to bottom. There
are fourteen regions descending from Satyaloka, the highest. These are the seven
upper and the seven nether worlds (vide ante). The meru of the human body is the
spinal column, and within it are the chakra, in which the worlds are said to
dwell. In the words of the Shaktananda-Tarangini, they are pindamadhyesthita.
Satya has been said to be in the sahasrara, and Tapah, Janah, Mahah, Svah,
Bhuvah, Bhuh in the ajna, vishuddha, anahata, manipura, svadishthana, and
muladhara lotuses respectively. Below muladhara and in the joints, sides, anus,
and organs of generation are the nether worlds. The bones near the spinal column
are the kula-parvata. Such are the correspondences as to earth. Then as to
water. The nadi are the rivers. The seven substances of the body (dhatu) are the
seven islands. Sweat, tears, and the like are the oceans. Fire exists in the
muladhara, sushumna, navel, and elsewhere. As the worlds are supported by the
pravahana and other vayu ("airs"), so is the body supported by the ten vayu
prana, etc. There is the same akasha (ether) in both. The witness within is the
purusha without, for the personal soul of the microcosm corresponds to the
cosmic soul (hiranyagarbha) in the macrocosm.
The Ages
The passage of time within a maha-yoga influences for the worse man and the
world in which he lives. This passage is marked by the four ages (yuga), called
Satya, Treta, Dvapara, and Kali-yuga, the last being that in which it is
generally supposed the world now is. The yuga is a fraction of a kalpa, or day
of Brahma of 4,320,000 human years. The kalpa is divided into fourteen
manvantara, which are again subdivided into seventy-one maha.-yuga; the length
of each of which is 4,320,000 human years. The maha-yuga (great age) is itself
composed of four yuga (ages) – (a) Satya, (b) Treta, (c) Dvapara, (d) Kali.
Official science teaches that man appeared on the earth in an imperfect state,
from which he has since been gradually, though continually, raising himself.
Such teaching is, however, in conflict with the traditions of all peoples – Jew,
Babylonian, Egyptian, Hindu, Greek, Roman, and Christian – which speak of an age
when man was both innocent and happy. From this state of primal perfection he
fell, continuing his descent until such time as the great Avatara, Christ and
others, descended to save his race and enable it to regain the righteous path.
The Garden of Eden is the emblem of the paradisiacal body of man. There man was
one with Nature. He was himself paradise, a privileged enclosure in a garden of
delight – gan be Eden. Et eruditus est Moyse omni sapientia Ægyptiorum. The
Satya Yuga is, according to Hindu belief, the Golden Age of righteousness, free
of sin, marked by longevity, physical strength, beauty, and stature. "There were
giants in those days" whose moral, mental, and physical strength enabled them to
undergo long brahmacharyya (continence) and tapas (austerities). Longevity
permitted lengthy spiritual exercises. Life then depended on the marrow, and
lasted a lakh of years, men dying when they willed. Their stature was 21 cubits.
To this age belong the Avatara or incarnations of Vishnu, Matsya, Kurma, Varaha,
Nri-singha, and Vamana. Its duration is computed to be 4,800 Divine years,
which, when multiplied by 360 (a year of the Devas being equal to 360 human
years) are the equivalent of 1,728,000 of the years of man. (b) The second age,
or Treta (three-fourth) Yuga, is that in which righteousness (dharmma) decreased
by one-fourth. The duration was 3,600 Divine years, or 1,296,000 human years.
Longevity, strength, and stature decreased. Life was in the bone, and lasted
10,000 years. Man’s stature was 14 cubits. Of sin there appeared one-quarter,
and of virtue there remained three-quarters. Men were still attached to pious
and charitable acts, penances, sacrifice, and pilgrimage, of which the chief was
that to Naimisharanya. In this period appeared the avatars of Vishnu as
Parashurama and Rama. (c) The third, or Dvapara (one-half) Yuga, is that in
which righteousness decreased by one-half, and the duration of which was 2,400
Divine, or 864,000 human, years. A further decrease in longevity and strength,
and increase of weakness and disease, mark this age. Life which lasted 1,000
years was centred in the blood. Stature was 7 cubits. Sin and virtue were of
equal force. Men became restless, and, though eager to acquire knowledge, were
deceitful, and followed both good and useful pursuits. The principal place of
pilgrimage was Kurukshetra. To this age belongs (according to Vyasa,
Anushtubhacharya and Jiya-deva) the avatara of Vishnu as Bala-rama, the elder
brother of Krishna, who, according to other accounts, takes his place. In the
sandhya, or intervening period of 1,000 years between this and the next yuga the
Tantra was revealed, as it will be revealed at the dawn of every Kali-yuga. (d)
Kali-yuga is the alleged present age, in which righteousness exists to the
extent of one-fourth only, the duration of which is 1,200 Divine,or 432,000
human, years. According to some, this age commenced in 3120 B.C. on the date of
Vishnu’s return to heaven after the eighth incarnation. This is the periodwhich,
according to the Puranas and Tantras, is characterized by the prevalence of
viciousness, weakness, disease, and the general decline of all that is good.
Humanlife, which lasts at most 120, or, as some say, 100, years,is dependent on
food. Stature is 3½ cubits. The chief pilgrimage is now to the Ganges. In this
age has appeared the Buddha Avatara. The last, or Kalki Avatara,the Destroyer of
sin, has yet to come. It is He who will destroy iniquity and restore the age of
righteousness.The Kalki Purana speaks of Him as One whose body is blue like that
of the rain-charged cloud, who with sword in hand rides, as does the rider of
the Apocalypse, a white horse swift as the wind, the Cherisher of the people,
Destroyer of the race of the Kali-yuga, the Source of true religion. And
Jayadeva, in his Ode to the Incarnations,addresses Him thus: "For the
destruction of all the impure thou drawest thy cimeter like a blazing comet. O
how tremendous! Oh, Keshava, assuming the body of Kalki! Be victorious. O Hari,
Lord of the Universe!" With the Satya-yuga a new maha-yaga will commence, and
the ages will continue to revolve with their rising and descending races until
the close of the kalpa or day of Brahma.. Then a night of dissolution (pralaya)
of equal duration follows, the Lord reposing in yoga-nidra (yoga sleep in
pralaya) on the Serpent Shesha, the Endless One, till day break, when the
universe is created anew and the next kalpa follows.
The Scriptures of the Ages
Each of these Ages has its appropriate Shastra or Scripture, designed to meet
the characteristics and needs of the men who live in them The Hindu Shastra are
classed into: (1) Shruti, which commonly includes the four Veda. (Rik, Yajuh,
Sama, Atharva, and the Upanishads), the doctrine of which is philosophically
exposed in the Vedanta-Darshana. (2) Smriti, such as the Dharma-Shastra of Manu
and other works on family and social duty prescribing for pavritti-dhamia, as
the Upanishads had revealed the nivritti-dharma. (3) The Puranas, of which,
according to the Brahma-vaivartta Purana, there were originally four lakhs, and
of which eighteen are now regarded as the principal. (4) The Tantra.
For each of these ages a suitable Shastra is given. The Veda is the root of all
Shastra (mula-shastra). All others are based on it. The Tantra is spoken of as a
fifth Veda. Kulluka-Bhatta, the celebrated Commentator on Manu, says that Shruti
is of two kinds, Vaidik and Tantrik (vaidiki-tantriiki chaiva dvi-vidha
shrutih-kirttita). The various Shastras, however, are different presentments of
shruti appropriate to the humanity of the age for which they are given. Thus the
Tantra is that presentment of shruti which is modelled as regards its ritual to
meet the characteristics and infirmities of the Kali-yuga. As men have no longer
the capacity, longevity, and moral strength necessary for the application of the
Vaidika Karma-kanda, the Tantra prescribes a special sadhana or means or
practice of its own, for the attainment of that which is the ultimate and common
end of all Shastra. The Kularnava Tantra says that in the Satya or Krita age the
Shastra is Shruti (in the sense of the Veda and Upanishads); in Treta-yuga,
Smriti (in the sense of the Dharma-Shastra and Shruti-jivika, etc.); in Dvapara
Yuga the Purana; and in the last or Kali-yuga the Tantra, which should now be
followed by all orthodox Hindu worshippers. The Maha-nirvana and other Tantras
and Tantrik works lay down the same rule. The Tantra is also said to contain the
very core of the Veda to which, it is described to bear the relation of the
Paramatma to the Jivatma. In a similar way, Kaulachara is the central informing
life of the gross body called vedachara, each of the achara which follow it up
to kaulachara being more and more subtle sheaths.
The Human Body
The human body is Brahma-para, the city of Brahman. Ishvara Himself enters into
the universe as jiva. Wherefore the maha-vakya "That thou art" means that the
ego (which is regarded as jiva only from the standpoint of an upadhi) is


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