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 Mantra 4


Ajna chakra is also called parama-hula and mukta-tri-veni, since it is from here
that the three nadis – Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna – go their separate ways. It
is a two-petalled lotus, situate between the two eyebrows. In this Chakra there
is no gross Tattva, but the subtle Tattva mind is here. Hakararddha, or half the
letter La, is also there. On its two petals are the red varnas "hang "and
In the pericarp is concealed the vija "ong." In the two petals and the pericarp
there are the three guna – sattva, rajas, and tamas. Within the triangular
mandala in the pericarp there is the lustrous (tejo-maya) linga in the form of
the pranava (pranavakriti), which is called Itara. Para-Shiva, in the form of
hangsa (hangsa-rupa) is also there with his Shakti – Siddha-Kali. In the three
corners of the triangle are Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshvara, respectively. In
this chakra there is the white Hakini-Shakti, with six heads and four hands, in
which are jñana-mudra, a skull, a drum (damaru), and a rosary.

Sahasrara Padma

Above the ajna-chakra there is another secret chakra, called manas-chakra. It is
a lotus of six petals, on which are shabda-jñana, sparsha-jñana, rupa-jñana,
aghrano-palabdhi, rasopabhoga, and svapna, or the faculties of hearing, touch,
sight, smell, taste, and sleep, or the absence of these. Above this, again,
there is another secret chakra, called Soma-chakra. It is a lotus of sixteen
petals, which are also called sixteen Kala. These Kala are called kripa (mercy),
mriduta (gentleness), dhairyya (patience, composure), vairagya (dispassion),
dhriti (constancy), sampat (prosperity), hasya (cheerfulness), romancha
(rapture, thrill), vinaya (sense of propriety, humility), dhyana (meditation),
susthirata (quietude, restfulness), gambhiryya (gravity), udyama (enterprise,
effort), akshobha (emotionlessness), audarya (magnanimity), and ekagrata

Above this last chakra is "the house without support" (niralamba-puri), where
yogis see the radiant Ishvara. Above this is the pranava shining like a flame,
and above pranava the white crescent Nada, and above this last the point Vindu.
There is then a white lotus of twelve petals with its head upwards, and over
this lotus there is the ocean of nectar (sudha-sagara), the island of gems
(mani-dvipa), the altar of gems (mani-pitha), the forked lightning-like lines a,
ka, tha, and therein Nada and Vindu. On Nada and Vindu, as an altar, there is
the Paramahangsa, and the latter serves as an altar for the feet of the Guru;
there the Guru of all should be meditated. The body of the Hangsa on which the
feet of the Guru rest is jñana-maya, the wings Agama and Nigama, the two feet
Shiva and Shakti, the beak Pranava, the eyes and throat Kama-Kala.
Close to the thousand-petalled lotus is the sixteenth digit of the moon, which
is called ama-kala, which is pure red and lustrous like lightning, as fine as a
fibre of the lotus, hanging downwards, receptacle of the lunar nectar. In it is
the crescent nirvana-kala, luminous as the Sun, and finer than the thousandth
part of a hair. This is the Ishta-devata of all. Near nirvana-kala is
parama-nirvana-Shakti, infinitely subtle, lustrous as the Sun, creatrix of
tattva-jnana. Above it are Vindu and Visarga-Shakti, root and abode of all

Sahasrara-padma – or thousand petalled lotus of all colours – hangs with its
head downwards from the brahma-randhra above all the chakra. This is the region
of the first cause (Brahma-loka), the cause of the six proceeding causes. It is
the great Sun both cosmically and individually, in whose effulgence Parama-Shiva
and Adya-Shakti reside. The power is the vachaka-Shakti or saguna-brahman,
holding potentially within itself, the gunas, powers, and planes. Parama-Shiva
is in the form of the Great Ether (paramakasha-rupi), the Supreme Spirit
(paramatma), the Sun of the darkness of ignorance. In each of the petals of the
lotus are placed all the letters of the alphabet; and whatever there is in the
lower chakra or in the universe (brahmanda) exist here in potential state
(avyakta-bhava). Shaivas call this place Shiva-sthana, Vaishnavas,
Parama-purusha, Shaktas, Devi-sthana, the Sankhya sages Prakriti-purusha-sthana.
Others call it by other names, such as Hari-hara-sthana. Shakti-sthana,
Parama-Brahma, Parama-hangsa, Parama-jyotih, Kula-sthana, and
Parama-Shiva-Akula. But whatever the name, all speak of the same.

The Three Temperaments

The Tantras speak of three temperaments, dispositions, characters (bhava), or
classes of men – namely, the pashu-bhava (animal), vira-bhava (heroic), and
divya-bhava (deva-like or divine). These divisions are based on various
modifications of the guna (v. ante) as they manifest in man (jiva). It has been
pointed out that the analogous Gnostic classification of men as material,
psychical, and spiritual, correspond to the three guna of the Sankhya-darshana.
In the pashu the rajo-guna operates chiefy on tamas, producing such dark
characteristics as error (bhranti), drowsiness (tandra), and sloth (alasya). It
is however, an error to suppose that the pashu is as such a bad man; on the
contrary, a jiva of this class may prove superior to a jiva of the next. If the
former, who is greatly bound by matter, lacks enlightenment, the latter may
abuse the greater freedom he has won. There are also numerous kinds of pashu,
some more some less tamasik than others. Some there are at the lowest end of the
scale, which marks the first advance upon the higher forms of animal life.
Others approach and gradually merge into the vira class. The term pashu comes
from the root pash, "to bind." The pashu is, in fact, the man who is bound by
the bonds (pasha), of which the Kularnava Tantra enurnerates eight – namely,
pity (daya), ignorance and delusion (moha), fear (bhaya), shame (lajja), disgust
(ghrina), family (kula), custom (shila), and caste (varna). Other enumerations
are given of the afflictions which, according to some, are sixty-two, but all
such larger divisions are merely elaborations of the simpler enumerations. The
pashu is also the worldly man, in ignorance and bondage, as opposed to the yogi
and the tattva-jnani. Three divisions of pashsu are also spoken of – namely,
sakala, who are bound by the three pasha, called anu (want of knowledge or
erroneous knowledge of the self), bheda (the division also induced by maya of
the one self into many), and karmma (action and its product. These are the three
impurities (mala) called anava-mala, maya-mala, and Karmma-mala. Pratayakala are
those bound by the first and last, and Vijnana-kevala are those bound by
anava-mala only. He who frees himself of the remaining impurity of anu becomes
Shiva Himself. The Devi bears the pasha, and is the cause of them, but She, too,
is pashupasha-vimochini, Liberatrix of the pashu from his bondage.
What has been stated gives the root notion of the term pashu. Men of this class
are also described in Tantra by exterior traits, which are manifestations of the
interior disposition. So the Kubjika Tantra says: "Those who belong to
pashu-bhava .re simply pashu. A pashu does not touch a yantra, nor make japa of
mantra at night. He entertains doubt about sacrifices and Tantra; regards a
mantra as being merely letters only. He lacks faith in the guru, and thinks that
the image is but a block of stone. He distinguishes one Deva from another, and
worships without flesh and fish. He is always bathing, owing to his ignorance,
and talks ill of others. Such an one is called pashu, and he is the worst kind
of man." Similarly the Nitya Tantra describes the pashu as – "He who does not
worship at night, nor in the evening, nor in the latter part of the day; who
avoids sexual intercourse, except on the fifth day after the appearance of the
courses (ritu-kalang vina devi ramanang parivarjayet); who do not eat meat,
etc., even on the five auspicious days (parvvana)"; in short, those who,
following Vedachara, Vaishnavachara, and Shaivachara, are bound by the Vaidik
rules which govern all pashus.

In the case of vira-bhava, rajas more largely works on sattva, yet also largely
(though in lessening degrees, until the highest stage of divya-bhava is reached)
works independently towards the production of acts in which sorrow inheres.
There are several classes of vira.

The third, or highest, class of man is he of the divya-bhava (of which, again,
there are several degrees – some but a stage in advance of the highest form of
vira-bhava, others completely realizing the deva-nature), in which rajas operate
on sattva-guna to the confirmed preponderance of the latter.
The Nitya Tantra says that of the bhava the divya is the best, the vira the next
best, and the pashu the lowest; and that devata-bhava must be awakened through
vira-bhava. The Pichchhila Tantra says that the only difference between the vira
and divya men is that the former are very uddhata, by which is probably meant
excitable, through the greater prevalence of the independent working of the
rajo-guna in them than in the calmer sattvik temperament. It is obvious that
such statements must not be read with legal accuracy. There may be, in fact, a
considerable difference between a low type of vira and the highest type of
divya, though it seems to be true that this quality of uddhata which is referred
to is the cause of such differences, whether great or small.
The Kubjika Tantra describes the marks of the divya as he "who daily does
ablutions, sandhya; and wearing clean cloth, the tripundara mark in ashes, or
red sandal, and ornaments of rudraksha beads, performs japa and archchana. He
gives charity daily also. His faith is strong in Veda, Shastra, guru, and Deva.
He worships the Pitri and Deva, and performs all the daily rites. He has a great
knowledge of mantra. He avoids all food, except that which his guru offers him,
and all cruelty and other bad actions, regarding both friend and foe as one and
the same. He himself ever speaks the truth, and avoids the company of those who
decry the Devata. He worships thrice daily, and meditates upon his guru daily,
and, as a Bhairava, worships Parameshvari with divya-bhava. All Devas he regards
as beneficial. He bows down at the feet of women, regarding them as his guru
(strinang pada-talang drishtva guru-vad bhavayet sada). He worships the Devi at
night, and makes japa at night with his mouth full of pan, and makes obeisance
to the kula vriksha. He offers everything to the Supreme Devi. He regards this
universe as pervaded by stri (shakti), and as Devata. Shiva is in all men, and
the whole brahmanda is pervaded by Shiva-Shakti. He ever strives for the
attainment and maintenance of devata-bhava, and is himself of the nature of a

Here, again, the Tantra only seeks to give a general picture, the details of
which are not applicable to all men of the divya-bhava class. The passage shows
that it, or portions of it, refer to the ritual divya, for some of the practices
there referred to would not be performed by the avadkuta, who is above all
ritual acts, though he would also share (possibly in intenser degree) the
beliefs of divya men of all classes – that he and all else are but
manifestations of the universe-pervading Supreme Shakti.
According to the temperament of the sadhaka, so is the form of worship and
sadhana. In fact, the specific worship and sadhana of the other classes is
strictly prohibited by the Tantra to the pashu.

It is said in this Tantra and elsewhere that, in the Kali-yuga, divya and pashu
dispositions can scarcely be found. It may be thought difficult at first sight
to reconcile this (so far as the pasha is concerned) with other statements as to
the nature of these respective classes. The term pashu, in these and similar
passages, would appear to be used in a good sense as referring to a man who,
though tamasic, yet performs his functions with that obedience to nature which
is shown by the still more tamasic animal creation free from the disturbing
influences of rajas, which, if it may be the source of good, may also be, when
operating independently, the source of evil.

The Commentator explains the passage cited from the Tantra as meaning that the
conditions and character of the Kali-yuga are not such as to be productive of
pasha-bhava (apparently in the sense stated), or to allow of its achara (that
is, Vaidikachara). No one, he says, can fully perform the vedachara,
vaishnavachara, and shavachara rites, without which the Vaidik, Pauranik mantra,
and yajna are fruitless. No one now goes through the brahma-charya ashrama, or
adopts after the fiftieth year that called vana-prastha. Those whom the Veda
does not control cannot expect the fruit of Vaidik observances. On the contrary,
men have taken to drink, associate with the low, and are fallen; as are also
those men who associate with them. There can therefore be no pure pashu. Under
these circumstances the duties prescribed by the Vedas which are appropriate for
the pasha being incapable of performance, Shiva for the liberation of men of the
Kali Age has proclaimed the Agama. "Now, there is no other way." The explanation
thus given, therefore, appears to amount to this. The pure type of pashu for
whom vedachara was designed does not exist. For others who though pasha are not
purely so, the Tantra is the governing Shastra. This, however, does not mean
that all are now competent for virachara.

It is to be noted, however, that the Prana-toshini cites a passage purporting to
come from the Mahanirvana Tantra, which is apparently in direct opposition to
the foregoing:
Divya-vira-mayo bhavah kalau nasti kada-chana
Kevalang pasha-bhavena mantra-siddhirbhavennrinam.
"In the Kali Age there is no divya or vira-bhava. It is only by the pashu-bhava
that men may obtain mantra-siddhi."
This matter of the bhava prevalent in the Kali-yuga has been the subject of
considerable discussion and difference of opinion, and is only touched upon

Guru and Shishya

The Guru is the religious teacher and spiritual guide to whose direction
orthodox Hindus of all divisions of worshippers submit themselves. There is in
reality but one Guru. The ordinary human Guru is but the manifestation on the
phenomenal plane of the Adi-natha Maha-kala, the Supreme Guru abiding in
Kailasa. He it is who enters into and speaks with the voice of the earthly Guru
at the time of giving mantra. Guru is the root (mala) of diksha (imitation).
Diksha is the root of mantra. Mantra is the root of Devata; and Devata is the
root of siddhi. The Munda-mala Tantra says that mantra is born of Guru and
Devata of mantra, so that the Guru occupies the position of a grandfather to the

It is the Guru who initiates and helps, and the relationship between him and the
disciple (shishya) continues until the attainment of monistic siddhi. Manu says:
"Of him who gives natural birth and of him who gives knowledge of the Veda the
giver of sacred knowledge is the more venerable father. Since second or divine
birth insures life to the twice-born in this world and the next." The Shastra
is, indeed, full of the greatness of Guru. The Guru is not to be thought of as a
mere man. There is no difference between Guru, mantra, and Deva. Guru is father,
mother, and Brahman. Guru, it is said, can save from the wrath of Shiva, but
none can save from the wrath of the Guru. Attached to this greatness there is,
however, responsibility; for the sins of the disciple recoil upon him.
Three lines of Guru are worshipped: heavenly (divyangga) siddha (siddhangga),
and human (manavangga). The kala-guru are four in number, viz.: the Guru,
Parama-guru, Parapara-guru, Parameshti-guru; each of these being the guru of the
preceding one. According to the Tantra, woman with the necessary qualifications
may be a guru, and give initiation. Good qualities are required in the disciple,
and according to the Sara-sangraha a guru should examine and test the intending
disciple for a year. The qualifications of a good disciple are stated to be good
birth, purity of soul (shuddhatma), and capacity for enjoyment, combined with
desire for liberation (purushartha-parayanah). Those who are lewd (kamuka),
adulterous (para-daratura), constantly addicted to sin (sada papa-kriya),
ignorant, slothful, and devoid of religion, should be rejected.
The perfect sadhaka who is entitled to the knowledge of all Shastra is he who is
pure-minded, whose senses are controlled (jitendriyah), who is ever engaged in
doing good to all beings, free from false notions of dualism, attached to the
speaking of, taking shelter with, and living in the supreme unity of the
Brahman. So long as Shakti is not fully communicated (see next note) to the
shishya’s body from that of the guru, so long the conventional relation of guru
and shishya exists. A man is shishya only so long as he is sadhaka. When,
however, siddhi is attained, both Guru and Shishya are above this dualism. With
the attainment of pure monism, naturally this relation, as all others,

Initiation Diksha

Initiation is the giving of mantra by the guru. At the time of initiation the
guru must first establish the life of the guru in his own body; that is the
vital force (prana-shakti) of the Supreme Guru whose abode is in the
thousand-petalled lotus. As an image is the instrument (yantra) in which
divinity (devatva) inheres, so also is the body of guru. The day prior thereto
the guru should, according to Tantra, seat the intending candidate on a mat of
kusha grass. He then makes japa of a "sleep mantra" (supta-mantra) in his ear,
and ties his crown lock. The disciple, who should have fasted and observed
sexual continence, repeats the mantra thrice, prostrates himself at the feet of
the guru, and then retires to rest. Initiation, which follows, gives spiritual
knowledge and destroys sin. As one lamp is lit at the flame of another, so the
divine shanti, consisting of mantra, is communicated from the guru’s body to
that of the Shishya. Without daksha, japa of the mantra, puja, and other ritual
acts, are said to be useless. Certain mantra are also said to be forbidden to
shudra and women. A note, however, in the first Chalakshara Sutra, to the Lalita
would, however, show that even the shudra are not debarred the use even of the
Pranava, as is generally asserted. For, according to the Kalika Purana (when
dealing with svara or tone), whilst the udatta, an-udatta, and prachita are
appropriate to the first of these castes, the svara, called aukara, with
anusvara and nada, is appropriate to shudra, who may use the Pranava, either at
the beginning or end of mantra, but not, as the dvija may, at both places. The
mantra chosen for initiation should be suitable (anukala). Whether a mantra is
sva-kula or a-kula to the person about to be initiated is ascertained by the
kula-chakra, the zodiacal circle called rashichakra and other chakra which may
be found described in the Tantra-sara. Initiation by a woman is efficacious;
that by a mother is eight-fold so. Certain special forms of initiation, called
abhisheka, are described in the next note.


Abhisheka is of eight kinds, and the forms of abhisheka which follow the first
at later stages, mark greater and greater degrees of initiation. The first
shaktabhisheka is given on entrance into the path of sadhana. It is so called
because the guru then reveals to the shishya the preliminery mysteries of
shakti-tattva. By it the shishya is cleansed of all sinful or evil shakti or
proclivities, and acquires a wonderful new shakti. The next purnabhisheka is
given in the stage beyond dakshinachara, when the disciple has qualified himself
by purascharana and other practices to receive it. Here the real work of sadhana
begins. Asana, yama, etc., strengthen the disciple’s determina,tion (pratijna)
to persevere along the higher stages of sadhana. The third is the difficult
stage commenced by krama-dikshabhisheka, in which it is said the great
Vashishtha became involved, and in which the Rishi Vishvamitra acquired
brahma-jnana, and so became a Brahmana. The sacred thread is now worn round the
neck like a garland. The shishya, then undergoing various ordeals (pariksha),
receives samrajyabhisheka and maha-samrajyabhisheka, and at length arrives at
the most dificult of all stages introduced by yoga-dikshabhisheka. In previous
stages the sadhaka has performed the panchanga-puraschharana, and, with the
assistance of his guru (with whom he must constantly reside, and whose
instructions he must receive direct), he does the panchanga-yoga – that is, the
last five limbs of the ashtanga. He is thereafter qualified for
purna-dikshabhisheka, and, following that, maha-purna-diksha-bhisheka, sometimes
called viraja-grahanabhisheka. On the attainment of perfection in this last
grade, the sadhaka performs his own funeral rite (shraddha), makes purnahuti
with his sacred thread and crown lock. The relation of guru and shishya now
ceases. From this point he ascends by himself until he realizes the great
saying, So’ham ("I am He"). At this stage, which the Tantra calls jivan-mukta
(liberated whilst yet living), he is called parama-hangsa.


Sadhana is that which produces siddhi (q.v.). It is the means, or practice, by
which the desired end may be attained, and consists in the exercise and training
of the body and psychic faculties, upon the gradual perfection of which siddhi
follows; the nature and degree of which, again, depends upon the progress made
towards the realization of the atma, whose veiling vesture the body is. The
means employed are various, such as worship (puja), exterior or mental; shastric
learning; austerities (tapas); the pancha-tattva, mantra, and so forth. Sadhana
takes on a special character, according to the end sought. Thus, sadhana for
brahma-jñana, which consists in the acquisition of internal control (shama) over
buddhi, manas, and ahangkara; external control (dama) over the ten indriya,
discrimination between the transitory and the external, and renunciation both of
the world and heaven (svarga), is obviously different from that prescribed for,
say, the purposes of the lower magic. The sadhaka and sadhika are respectively
the man or woman who perform sadhana. They are, according to their physical,
mental, and moral qualities, divided into four classes – mridu, madhya,
adhimatraka, and the highest adhimatrama, who is qualified (adhikari) for all
forms of yoga. In a similar way the Kaula division of worshippers are divided
into the prakriti, or common Kaula following virachara, addicted to ritual
practice, and sadhana, with pancha-tattva; the madhyama-kaulika, or middling
Kaula, accomplishing the same sadhana, but with a mind more turned towards
meditation, knowledge, and samadhi; and the highest type of Kaula
(kaulikottama), who, having surpassed all ritualism, meditates upon the
Universal Self.

Worship Generally

There are four different forms of worship corresponding with four states
(bhava). The realization that the jivatma and paramatma are one, that everything
is Brahman, and that nothing but the Brahman exists, is the highest state, or
brahma-bhava. Constant meditation by the yoga process upon the Devata in the
heart is the lower and middlemost (dhyana-bhava) japa (q.v.) and stava (hymns
and prayer) is still lower and the lowest of all is mere external worship (puja)
(q.v.). Puja-bhava is that which arises out of the dualistic notions of
worshipper and worshipped; the servant and the Lord. This dualism exists in
greater or less degree in all the states except the highest. But for him who,
having realized the advaita-tattva, knows that all is Brahman, there is neither
worshipper nor worshipped, neither yoga nor puja, nor dharana, dhyana, stava,
japa, vrata, or other ritual or process of sadhana.
In external worship there is worship either of an image (pratima), or of a
yantra (q.v.), which takes its place. The sadhaka should first worship inwardly
the mental image of the form assumed by the Devi, and then by the life-giving
(prana-pratishtha) ceremony infuse the image with Her life by the communication
to it of the light and energy (tejas) of the Brahman which is within him to the
image without, from which there bursts the lustre of Her whose substance is
consciousness itself (chaitanya-mayi). She exists as Shakti in stone or metal,
or elsewhere, but is there veiled and seemingly inert. Chaitanya (consciousness)
is aroused by the worshipper through the prana-pratishtha mantra.
Rites (karma) are of two kinds. Karma is either nitya nr naimittika. The first
is both daily and obligatory, and is done because so ordained. Such as the
sandhya (v. post), which in the case of Shudras is in the Tantrik form; and
daily puja (v. post) of the Ishta- and Kula-Devata (v. post); and for Brahmamas
the pancha-maha-yajna (v. post). The second or conditional karma is occasional
and voluntary, and is kamya when done to gain some particular end, such as yajna
for a particular object; tapas with the same end (for certain forms of tapas are
also nitya); and vrata (v. post).

The Shudra is precluded from the performance of Vaidik rites, or the reading of
the Vedas, or the recital of the Vaidik mantra. His worship is practically
limited to that of the Ishta-Devata and the Bana-linga-puja, with Tantrik and
Pauranik mantra and such vrata as consist in penance and charity. In other cases
the vrata is performed through a Brahmana. The Tantra makes no caste
distinctions as regards worship. All may read the Tantras, perform the Tantrik
worship, such as the sandhya (v. post), and recite the Tantrik mantra, such as
the Tantrik Gayatri. All castes, and even the lowest chandala, may be a member
of a chakra, or Tantrik circle of worship. In the chakra all its members partake
of food and drink together, and are deemed to be greater than Brahmanas; though
upon the break-up of the chakras the ordinary caste and social relations are
re-established. All are competent for the specially Tantrik worship, for, in the
words of the Gautamiya Tantra, the Tantra Shastra is for all castes and for all
women. The latter are also excluded under the present Vaidik system, though it
is said by Shankha Dharma-shastra-kara that the wife may, with the consent of
her husband, fast, take vows, perform homa and vrata, etc. According to the
Tantra, a woman may not only receive mantra, but may, as a Guru, initiate and
give it. She is worshipful as Guru, and as wife of Guru. The Devi is Herself
Guru of all Shastras and woman, as, indeed, all females who are Her embodiments
are, in a peculiar sense, Her earthly representatives.

Forms of Achara

There are seven, or, as some say, nine, divisions of worshippers. The extra
divisions are bracketed in the following quotation. The Kularnava Tantra
mentions seven, which are given in their order of superiority, the first being
the lowest: Vedachara, Vaishnavachara, Shaivachara, Dakshinachara, Vamachara,
Siddhantachara (Aghorachara, Yogachara), and Kaulachara, the highest of all. The
achara is the way, custom, and practice of a particular class of sadhaka. They
are not, as sometimes supposed, different sects, but stages through which the
worshipper in this or other births has to pass before he reaches the supreme
stage of the Kaula. Vedachara, which consists in the daily practice of the
Vaidik rites, is the gross body (sthula-deha), which comprises within it all
other acharas, which are, as it were, its subtle bodies (sukshma-deha) of
various degrees. The worship is largely of an external and ritual character, the
object of which is to strengthen dharma. This is the path of action
(kriya-marga). In the second stage the worshipper passes from blind faith to an
understanding of the supreme protecting energy of the Brahman, towards which he
has feelings of devotion. This is the path of devotion (bhakti-marga), and the
aim at this stage is the union of it and faith previously acquired. With an
increasing determination to protect dharma and destroy a-dharma, the sadhaka
passes into Shaivachara, the warrior (kshatriya) stage, wherein to love and
mercy are added strenuous striving and the cultivation of power. There is union
of faith, devotion (bhakti), and inward determination (antar-laksha). Entrance
is made upon the path of knowledge (jnana-marga). Following this is
Dakshinachara, which in Tantra does not mean "right-hand worship," but
"favourable" – that is, that achara which is favourable to the accomplishment of
the higher sadhana, and whereof the Devi is the Dakshina Kalika. This stage
commences when the worshipper can make dhyana and dharana of the threefold
shakti of the Brahman (kriya, ichchha, jñana), and understands the mutual
connection (samanvaya) of the three guna until he receives purnabhisheka (q.v.).
At this stage the sadhaka is Shakta, and qualified for the worship of the
threefold shakti of Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshvara. He is fully initiated in the
Gayatri-mantra, and worships the Devi Gayatri, the Dakshina Kalika, or Adya
Shakti – the union of the three Shakti. This is the stage of individualistic
Brahmana-tattva, and its aim is the union of faith, devotion, and determination,
with a knowledge of the threefold energies. After this a change of great
importance occurs, marking, as it does, the entry upon the path of return
(nivritti). This it is which has led some to divide the achara into the two
broad divisions of Dakshinachara (including the first four) and Vamachara
(including the last three), it being said that men are born into Dakshinachara,
but are received by initiation into Vamachara. The latter term does not mean, as
is vulgarly supposed, "left-hand worship," but the worship in which woman (vama)
enters that is lata-sadhana. In this achara there is also worship of the Vama
Devi. Vija is here "adverse," in that the stage is adverse to pravritti, which
governed in varying degrees the preceding achara, and entry is here made upon
the path of nivritti, or return to the source whence the world sprung. Up to the
fourth stage the sadhaka followed pravrittimarga, the outgoing path which led
from the source, the path of worldly enjoyment, albeit curved by dharma. At
first unconsciously, and later consciously, sadhana sought to induce nivrittt,
which, however, can only fully appear after the exhaustion of the forces of the
outward current. In Vamachara, however, the sadhaka commences to directly
destroy pravritti, and with the help of the Guru (whose help throughout is in
this necessary) to cultivate nivritti. The method at this stage is to use the
force of pravritti in such a way as to render them self-destructive. The
passions which bind may be so employed as to act as forces whereby the
particular life of which they are the strongest manifestation is raised to the
universal life. Passion, which has hitherto run downwards and outwards to waste,
is directed inwards and upwards, and transformed to power. But it is not only
the lower physical desires of eating, drinking, and sexual intercourse which
must be subjugated. The sadhaka must at this stage commence to cut off all the
eight bonds (pasha) which mark the pashu which the Kularnava Tantra enumerates
as pity (daya), ignorance (moha), shame (lajja), family (kula), custom (shila),
and caste (varna). When Shri Krishna stole the clothes of the bathing Gopi, and
made them approach him naked, he removed the artificial coverings which are
imposed on man in the sangsara. The Gopi were eight, as are the bonds (pasha),
and the errors by which the jiva is misled are the clothes which Shri Krishna
stole. Freed of these, the jiva is liberated from all bonds arising from his
desires, family, and society. He then reaches the stage of Shiva (shivatva). It
is the aim of Vamachara to liberate from the bonds which bind men to the
sangsara, and to qualify the sadhaka for the highest grades of sadhana in which
the sattvika guna predominates. To the truly sattvik there is neither
attachment, fear, or disgust. That which has been commenced in these stages is
by degrees completed in those which follow – viz.: Siddhantachara, and according
to some, Aghorachara and Yogachara. The sadhaka becomes more and more freed from
the darkness of the sangsara, and is attached to nothing, hates nothing, and is
ashamed of nothing, having freed himself of the artificial bonds of family,
caste, and society. The sadhaka becomes, like Shiva himself, a dweller in the
cremation ground (smashana). He learns to reach the upper heights of sadhana and
the mysteries of yoga. He learns the movements of the different vayu in the
microcosm the Kshudra-brahmanda, the regulation of which controls the
inclinations and propensities (vritti). He learns also the truth which concern
the macrocosm (brahmanda). Here also the Guru teaches him the inner core of
Vedachara. Initiation by yoga-diksha fully qualifies him for yogachara. On
attainment of perfection in ashtanga-yoga, he is fit to enter the highest stage
of Kaulachara.

Kaula-dharma is in no wise sectarian, but, on the contrary, is the heart of all
sects. This is the true meaning of the phrase which, like many another touching
the Tantra, is misunderstood, and used to fix the kaula with hypocrisy –
antah-shaktah, vahih-shaivah sabhayang vaishnavahmatah nana – rupadharah kaulah
vicharanti mahitale (outwardly Shaivas; in gatherings, Vaishnavas; at heart,
Shaktas; under various forms the Kaulas wander on earth). A Kaula is one who has
passed through these and other stages, which have as their own inmost doctrine
(whether these worshippers know it or not) that of Kaulachara. It is indifferent
what the Kaula’s apparent sect may be. The form is nothing and everything. It is
nothing in the sense that it has no power to narrow the Kaula’s own inner life;
it is everything in the sense that knowledge may infuse its apparent limitations
with an universal meaning. So understood, form is never a bond. The Vishva-sara
Tantra, says of the Kaula that "for him there is neither rule of time; nor
place. His actions are unaffected either by the phases of the moon or the
position of the stars. The Kaula roams the earth in differing forms. At times
adhering to social rules (shishta), he at others appears, according to their
standard, to be fallen (bhrashta). At times, again, he seems to be as unearthly
as a ghost (bhuta or pishacha) To him no difference is there between mud and
sandal paste, his son and an enemy, home and the cremation ground."
At this stage the sadhaka attains to Brahma-jnana, which is the true gnosis in
its perfect form. On receiving mahapurna-daksha he performs his own funeral
rites and is dead to the sangsara. Seated alone in some quiet place, he remains
in constant samadhi, and attains its nir-vikalpa form. The Great Mother, the
Supreme Prakriti Maha-shakti, dwells in the heart of the sadhaka, which is now
the cremation ground wherein all passions have been burnt away. He becomes a
Parama-hangsa, who is liberated whilst yet living (javan-mukta).
It must not, however, be supposed that each of these stages must necessarily be
passed through by each jiva in a single life. On the contrary, they are
ordinarily traversed in the course of a multitude of births. The weaving of the
spiritual garment is recommenced where in a previous birth, it was dropped on
death. In the present life a sadhaka may commence at any stage. If he is born
into Kaulachara, and so is a Kaula in its fullest sense, it is because in
previous births he has by sadhana, in the preliminary stages, won his entrance
into it. Knowledge of Shakti is, as the Niruttara Tantra says, acquired after
many births; and, according to the Mahanirvana Tantra, it is by merit acquired
in previous births that the mind is inclined to Kaulachara.


Shabda, or sound, which is of the Brahman, and as such the cause of the
Brahmanda, is the manifestation of the Chit-shakti Itself. The Vishva-sara
Tantra says that tha Para-brahman, as Shabda-brahman, whose substance is all
mantra, exists in the body of the jivatma. It is either unlettered (dhvani) or
lettered (varna). The former, which produces the latter, is the subtle aspect of
the jiva’s vital shakti. As the Prapancha-sara states, the brahmanda is pervaded
by shakti, consisting of dhvani, also called nada, prana, and the like. The
manifestation of the gross form (sthula) of shabda is not possible unless shabda
exists in a subtle (sukshma) form. Mantras are all aspects of the Brahman and
manifestations of Kula-kundalini. Philosophically shabda is the guna of akasha,
or ethereal space. It is not, however, produced by akasha, but manifests in it.
Shabda is itself the Brahman. In the same way, however, as in outer space, waves
of sound are produced by movements of air (vayu); so in the space within the
jiva’s body waves of sound are produced according to the movements of the vital
air (prana-vayu) and the process of inhalation and exhalation. Shabda first
appears at the muladhara, and that which is known to us as such is, in fact, the
shakti which gives life to the jiva. She it is who, in the muladhara, is the
cause of the sweet indistinct and murmuring dhvani, which sounds like the
humming of a black bee.
The extremely subtle aspect of sound which first appears in the Muladhara is
called para; less subtle when it has reached the heart, it is known as
pashyanti. When connected with buddhi it becomes more gross, and is called
madhyama. Lastly, in its fully gross form, it issues from the mouth as vaikhari.
As Kula-Kundalini, whose substance is all varna and dhvani, is but the
manifestation of, and Herself the Paramatma; so the substance of all mantra is
chit, notwithstanding their external manifestation, as sound, letters, or words;
in fact, the letters of the alphabet, which are known as akshara, are nothing
but the yantra of the akshara, or imperishable Brahman. This, however, is only
realized by the sadhaka when his shakti, generated by sadhana, is united with
the mantra-shakti.
It is the sthula or gross form of Kulakundalini, appearing in different aspects
as different Devata, which is the presiding Devata (adhishthatri) of all mantra,
though it is the subtle or sukshma form at which all sadhakas aim. When the
mantrashakti is awakened by sadhana the Presiding Devata appears, and when
perfect mantra-siddhi is acquired, the Devata, who is sachchidananda, is
revealed. The relations of varna, nada, vindu, vowel and consonant in a mantra,
indicate the appearance of Devata in different forms. Certain vibhuti, or
aspects, of the Devata are inherent in certain varna, but perfect Shakti does
not appear in any but a whole mantra. Any word or letter of the mantra cannot be
a mantra. Only that mantra in which the playful Devata has revealed any of Her
particular aspects can reveal that aspect, and is therefore called the
individual mantra of that one of Her particular aspects. The form of a
particular Devata, therefore, appears out of the particular mantra of which that
Devata is the adhishthatri Devata.
A mantra is composed of certain letters arranged in definite sequence of sounds
of which the letters are the representative signs. To produce the designed
effect mantra must be intoned in the proper way, according to svara (rhythm),
and varna (sound). Their textual source is to be found in Veda, Purana, and
Tantra. The latter is essentially the mantra-shastra, and so it is said of the
embodied shastra, that Tantra, which consists of mantra, is the paramatma, the
Vedas are the jivatma, Darshana (systems of philosophy) are the senses, Puranas
are the body, and Smriti are the limbs. Tantra is thus the shakti of
consciousness, consisting of mantra. A mantra is not the same thing as prayer or
self-dedication (atma-nivedana). Prayer is conveyed in what words the worshipper
chooses, and bears its meaning on its face. It is only ignorance of shastrik
principle which supposes that mantra is merely the name for the words in which
one expresses what one has to say to the Divinity. If it were, the sadhaka might
choose his own language without recourse to the eternal and determined sounds of
A mantra may, or may not, convey on its face its meaning. Vija (seed) mantra,
such as Aing, Kling, Hring, have no meaning, according to the ordinary use of
language. The initiate, however, knows that their meaning is the own form
(sva-rupa) of the particular Devata, whose mantra they are, and that they are
the dhvani which makes all letters sound and which exists in all which we say or
hear. Every mantra is, then, a form (rupa) of the Brahman. Though, therefore,
manifesting in the form and sound of the letters of the alphabet, Shastra says
that they go to Hell who think that the Guru is but a stone, and the mantra but
letters of the alphabet.
From manana, or thinking, arises the real understanding of the monistic truth,
that the substance of the Brahman and the brahmanda are one and the same. Man-
of mantra comes from the first syllable of manana, and -tra from trana, or
liberation from the bondage of the sangsara or phenomenal world. By the
combination of man- and -tra, that is called mantra which calls forth
(amantrana), the chatur-varga (vide post), or four aims of sentient being.
Whilst, therefore, mere prayer often ends in nothing but physical sound, mantra
is a potent compelling force, a word of power (the fruit of which is
mantra-siddhi), and is thus effective to produce the chatur-varga, advaitic
perception, and mukti. Thus it is said that siddhi is the certain result of japa
(q.v.). By Mantra the sought for (sadhya) Devata, is attained and compelled. By
siddhi in mantra is opened the vision of the three worlds. Though the purpose of
worship (puja), reading (patha), hymn (stava), sacrifice (homa), dhyana,
dharana, and samadhi (vide post), and that of the diksha-mantra are the same,
yet the latter is far more powerful, and this for the reason that, in the first,
the sadhaka’s sadhana-shakti only operates, whilst in the case of mantra that
sadhana-shakti works, in conjunction with mantra-shakti, which has the
revelation and force of fire, and than which nothing is more powerful. The
special mantra which is received at initiation (diksha) is the vija, or seed
mantra, sown in the field of the sadhaka’s heart, and the Tantrik sandhya,
nyasa, puja, and the like are the stem and branches upon which hymns of praise
(stuti) and prayer and homage (vandana) are the leaves and flower, and the
kavacha, consisting of mantra, the fruit.
Mantra are solar (saura) and lunar (saumya), and are masculine, feminine, or
neuter. The solar are masculine and lunar feminine. The masculine and neuter
forms are called mantra. The feminine mantra is known as vidya. The neuter
mantra, such as the Pauranik-mantra, ending with namah, are said to lack the
force and vitality of the others. The masculine and feminine mantra end
differently. Thus, Hung, Phat, are masculine terminations, and "thang," or
svaha, are feminine ones.
The Nitya Tantra gives various names to mantra. according to the number of their
syllables, a one-syllabled mantra being called pinda, a three-syllabled one
kartari, a mantra with four to nine syllables vija, with ten to twenty syllables
mantra, and mantra with more than twenty syllables mala. Commonly, however, the
term vija is applied to monosyllabic mantra. The Tantrik mantras called vija
(seed) are so named because they are the seed of the fruit, which is siddhi, and
because they are the very quintessence of mantra. They are short, unetymological
vocables, such as Hring, Shring, Kring, Hung, Aing, Phat, etc., which will be
found throughout the text. Each Devata has His or Her vija. The primary mantra
of a Devata is known as the root mantra (mula-mantra). It is also said that the
word mula denotes the subtle body of the Devata called Kama-kala. The utterance
of a mantra without knowledge of its meaning or of the mantra method is a mere
movement of the lips and nothing more. The mantra sleeps. There are various
processes preliminary to, and involved in, its right utterance, which processes
again consist of mantra, such as, purification of the mouth (mukha-shodhana),
purification of the tongue (jihva-shodhana), and of the mantra
(ashaucha-bhanga), kulluka, nirvvana, setu, nidra-bhanga, awakening of mantra,
mantra-chaitanya, or giving of life or vitality to the mantra.
Mantrarthabhavana, forming of mental image of the Divinity. There are also ten
sangskara of the mantra. Dipani is seven japa of the vija, preceded and followed
by one. Where hring is employed instead of Ong it is prana-yoga. Yoni-mudra is
meditation on the Guru in the head and on the Ishta-devata in the heart, and
then on the Yoni-rupa Bhagavati from the head to the muladhara, and from the
muladhara to the head, making japa of the yoni vija (eng) ten times. The mantra
itself is Devata. The worshipper awakens and vitalizes it by chit-shakti,
putting away all thought of the letter, piercing the six Chakra, and
contemplating the Spotless One. The shakti of the mantra is the vachaka-shakti,
or the means by which the vachya-shakti or object of the mantra is attained. The
mantra lives by the energy of the former. The saguna-shanti is awakened by
sadhana and worshipped, and She it is who opens the portals whereby the
vachya-shakti is reached. Thus the Mother in Her saguna form is the presiding
deity (adhishthatri Devata) of the Gayatri-mantra. As the nirguna (formless)
One, She is its vachya-shakti. Both are in reality one and the same; but the
jiva, by the laws of his nature and its three guna, must first meditate on the
gross (sthula) form before he can realize the subtle (sukshma) form, which is
his liberator.


Post a Comment

<< Home