The Most Visited Articles in the Month of July  2012 in the Order as Listed Below.



Bhagavad-Gita: 18 Chapters in Sanskrit


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transliteration and word for word translation.

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Here are the links to the short stories.
http://www.myindiastories.com/BrahmanaBoyandDalitGirl.html http://www.myindiastories.com/IndianPythonandtheBoy.html
http://www.myindiastories.com/CalufaTheWarDog.html http://www.myindiastories.com/PolyandrousMathanam.html
http://www.myindiastories.com/SadhuAndHisPeregrinations.pdf http://www.myindiastories.com/SeerKing.html
http://www.myindiastories.com/TheKingAndTheCow.html http://www.myindiastories.com/EggDiamonds.html
http://www.myindiastories.com/LecherKing.html http://www.myindiastories.com/BangleSalesman.html
http://www.myindiastories.com/ThreeDaughters.html http://www.myindiastories.com/MargaraTheCat.pdf
http://www.myindiastories.com/FourBrothers.html http://www.myindiastories.com/DemolitionDerbyDebates.html
http://www.myindiastories.com/SankaraAndMaleChauvinism.html http://www.myindiastories.com/SadhuAndHisPeregrinations.pdf
http://www.myindiastories.com/TwoFriends.html http://www.myindiastories.com/TheKingandHisKleptomania.html


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 Sample Verse


अभयं सत्त्वसंशुद्धिर्ज्ञानयोगव्यवस्थितिः ।

दानं दमश्च यज्ञश्च स्वाध्यायस्तप आर्जवम् ॥१६- १॥

śrībhagavān uvāca: abhayaṁ sattvasaṁśuddhir jñānayogavyavasthitiḥ
dānaṁ damaś ca yajñaś ca svādhyāyas tapa ārjavam 16.1

śrībhagavān uvāca: abhayam1 sattva-saṁśuddhiḥ2 jñāna-yoga-vyavasthitiḥ3
dānam4 damaḥ5 ca6 yajñaḥ7 ca8 svādhyāyaḥ9 tapaḥ10 ārjavam10 16.1

śrībhagavān uvāca = Sri Bhagavan said: abhayam1 = fearlessness; sattva-saṁśuddhiḥ2 = purity of the mind; jñāna-yoga-vyavasthitiḥ3  = steadiness in Yoga of knowledge; dānam4 = charity; damaḥ5 = self-control [of organs]; ca6 = and; yajñaḥ7 = sacrifices; ca8 = and; svādhyāyaḥ9 = study of the scriptures; tapaḥ10 = austerity; ārjavam10 = rectitude... 16.1 continued.

16.1:  Sri Bhagavan said: Fearlessness, purity of mind, steadiness in yoga of knowledge, charity, self-control, sacrifice, study of scriptures, austerity, rectitude,  (continued)...



In mathematics zero has no value and is merely an empty formless (Nirakara) thing, indicative of infinity until it is joined to an integer. But when joined to the figure 1 it converts it into 10. Similarly when She who is formless Brahman is joined to Her own Prakrti, consisting of the three Gunas, spoken of in Sruti as 'the unborn one, red, black, and white,' then She assumes for the fruition of the Sadhaka's desires ten different forms (Dasamahavidya) whose variety is due to difference in the proportions of the three Gunas. There are the ten Mahavidyas who are Siva and Sakti (Sivasaktimayi). These ten forms are Kali and Tara, the Mahavidya, Sodasi, Bhuvanesvari, Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, Dhumavati, the Vidya, Bagala, the Siddhavidya Matangi, and Kamala. Some Tantras mention eighteen Mahavidya, but these are forms of the ten with slight variations. Of the ten Mahavidyas, Kali is Suddha-sattva-guna-pradhana, Nirvikara, Nirguna-brahma-svarupa-prakasika. It is this primordial form which alone directly gives Kaivalya.Kalikarpuradi Stotra. Translation by Arthur Avalon.

Explanation: Mother Goddess is a Formless Consciousness ( = 0) without a palpable or visible matter. She is also matter (= 1 = Prakrti). Zero (0) has no value until it is joined by an integer (1). Consciousness by itself has no value until matter joins it by giving the consciousness a form and a name to the dual entity. Matter has three Gunas or qualities: Sattva (of white color; virtue and goodness); Rajas ( = red; motion and passion); and Tamas (= black; darkness and lethargy). Example: Water is Sattva; Steam is Rajas; Ice cube is Tamas. The Goddess assumes ten forms, whose properties have varying proportions of the three qualities of matter. Example: Creation is Rajas; Preservation is Sattva; death or destruction is Tamas. Guna means strand, thread... We and matter are made of three strands, virtue, action, and darkness. Kali is one of the ten Mahavidyas (Great Knowledge) and her essential qualities are Pure Virtue (Suddha-sattva-guna-pradhana = Pure-Virtue-quality-essential);  Immutability (Nirvikara = Immutable, unchanged); brightness beyond attributes (Nirguna-brahma-svarupa-prakasika). Deities are of pure virtue, which humans (The Buddha, Jesus Christ) can strive for. She confers liberation or emancipation. In Srivaishnava tradition, the heaven is called Vaikuntam. The beings are Krishna, Sri, Bhu, Nila, Nityasuris, and the liberated souls (LS). LS were the earthly humans before liberation. We the people are made of Prakrti made of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Once we obtain liberation, we divest ourselves of Rajas and Tamas and retain only Sattva. We transform from Prakritic substance to A-prakritic substance of Pure Sattva (Suddha Sattva), of which the gods are made of.

You are consciousness and body; both coexist in you. Your consciousness has no form or name until the body with the name and form joins the consciousness. Your consciousness is the zero; it cannot walk, talk or tick by itself; it needs a body (1). Without consciousness, your body cannot talk or tick. Both are equally important. Your human consciousness has trickled down from Divine Consciousness, though human consciousness does not have the same wattage; Hers or His  is a zillion times more powerful than mine. You are one lighted candle; He or She is the sun. She can illuminate the whole universe. One lighted candle at high noon declares its ego and individuality, while His or Her Ego says, Aham (I am.). One's ego cannot match the EGO of the Goddess or God. That is why, the Hindu leaves his ego at the Flagpole (स्तम्भ = Stambha = Column, EGO, Pride, arrogance) in front of the temple, before he enters and faces the Great Ego of the Goddess.  Her Ego is the towering column at the temple; mine is a mere stub or nub.

As a demonstrative reminder, he breaks his ego in the form of coconut and presents the two halves of his broken ego to the deity.

The Vedic priests made sacrifices; they needed a sacrificial pit to light the logs or twigs for the fire sacrifice. The flame or fire rises and carries the oblations to the gods. The gods thrive on these oblations. Just like we have zip codes, these oblations have names and zip codes and thus the priests can send oblations to a particular god or goddess; the messenger or the postman is the fire god, who delivers these oblations to the particular god. When the priests sends oblations to Indra, Indra in return sends rains so the people can grow crops. The priests needed to measure the ground for the fire pit, which has precise measurements. That is when the priests invented the Zero, we so commonly use everywhere including the computers.


Mahavidya means great knowledge and refers to a female deity; there are ten such deities. Knowledge is transcendental and all that is known, unknown and yet to be known. What  Mantra is to a male god is Vidya to a goddess. Mantra or Vidya consists of one or more syllables with or without meaning, words, or phrases  representing (being) the sound-body of a deity; there are ten great Mantras or Vidyas. If your name is Joan Smith, the vocalized sound of your name or JS is your sound-body; you and the sound-body are one; that is the power of sound or sabda.  Pronunciation of Mantra is important. What if somebody mispronounces your name as John Smythe? Would you answer the caller? The vibrations of deity-specific Mantra, when chanted according to the rules of Tantra, bounce off Yantra , go to the specific deity, gather power, blessings and boons from the deity and come back to the Sadhaka (chanter of Mantra), suffuse him with divinity and confer on him supernatural powers.  Yantra = instrument, engine, apparatus, amulet with mystical diagram endowed with protective occult powers (Raksha Yantra). Yantra is a plate or paper on which geometric figures are drawn which concentrate the power of goddess. Yantra is the diagrammatic representation of a deity. Yantra can also be a three dimensional piece. Mantra (or Vidya), Tantra, and Yantra are complementary and necessary for supplicating the deity according to the rules of Tantra, bouncing the petition off Yantra, sending it on its way to the deity,  and receiving the rewards from the deity. 

The question comes up as to who devised these Mandalas (Yantras), the concentric configuration of geometric shapes.  Here is an explanation. The west is of the opinion that the Hindu mind (brain) is wired differently. Let us compare Joe Schmo with Go Schlo. When JS goes from A to B, he forgets A and knows and thinks of only B.  Not so with GS, who still remembers A and the present B and considers any other prospective point in the future. Both of them go to C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J,K,...Z  in a random or sequential manner and come back to A.  As JS goes from one point to the next point, he forgets the previous point and concentrates on the present one. But GS does not forget his previous point. If both of them take a random walk from point R to A to N to D to O to M, JS thinks only of his last point M; that is linear thinking. But GS thinks of RANDOM, as if he has persistence of memory. Hindu thinking is nonlinear, clustery, configurative, (progressive-conservative) according to Troy Wilson Organ. This persistence of memory is the basis for the concept of metempsychosis and making Mandalas. In modern terminology, it is connecting the dots. JS does not think his past life haunts him; GS thinks that his present life is a continuation of the past life. That is why GS keeps saying all day long, it is the past karma that haunts him at every turn- "I am led on the path of Karma; Karma, Karma has besieged me." When GS takes a walk right along the alphabets configured in a circular fashion, GS makes a Circle in the Mandala. If he walks on ABC, he makes a triangle. ABCD makes a square. Now you get the idea. This geometric thinking has to have a point of origin and point of return, which are one and the same in Bindu (the dot, the point, the seed). Bindu is that unique point from which all radiations connect all points in the compass, circle or Universe; that is global geometric thinking. That radiation from Bindu is the basis of Pravrtti, the evolution of the universe and beings. The return of all those radiations back to Bindu is the basis of Nvirrti, the involution of soul back to Bindu. GS knows where he had been, where he is and where he might go. That gave him the concept of the past, present, and future, as it pertains to today but also to previous births and possibly the future births. His goal is not to go on the path of metempsychosis but to go to the point of no return: Liberation.

Dhyāna of the formless (Nirākāra) and attributeless (Nirguṇa) is Suksma  Dhyāna. The latter again is of two kinds: (a) Bindudhyāna, (b) Sūnyadhāna,  The Bindu or Point has neither length nor height nor depth nor  breadth. It is however united with Māyā (Māyāyukta); It is from this  Bindu that Brahma, Visnu and Mahdvara and others originated. Meditation  on that which is undifferentiated (Aparicchinna), attributeless,  changeless, incomprehensible Sat Cit Ananda is Śūnya-Dhyāna. This is  beyond the scope of mind and speech. When by Yoga practice another  "sense" is awakened then Yogīs by Yoga-power experience the Bindu or  Sūnya, This is called Brahma-sāksātkāra (Tarkālaṁkāra). Woodroffe The Great Liberation  page 116.

The Bindu or Point has neither length nor height nor depth nor  breadth. This means that the concept of Singularity and Black hole was already present in India of past.--Krishnaraj


(Take the illiterate but intelligent Dabbawallas--lunchbox carriers--of Mumbai (Bombay) who operate pickup and delivery of lunchboxes on a color-coded system. The lunchboxes originate at disparate locations around Bombay, arrive at a central location (a railway station), undergo assortment and re-assortment depending on the color codes with no names on the lunch boxes and reach the office workers at their precise locations so that they can enjoy homemade meals. The process takes a reverse course and the lunchboxes come back home on the same color-coded system. It is no exaggeration to say that FEDEX or UPS system of collection and delivery mimics the practice of the century-old Dabbawallahs.)


ERODE Tamil Nadu India: Gangaram Lakshman Talekar, an unlettered person from Mumbai, delivered a lecture on management to professors and students in Erode on Friday, Jan 8, 2009 -- Hinduonnet.com

Speaking extempore in Hindi he said 3,500 people like him and another 1,500 with an average Standard VIII education had won Six Sigma certification for the company they are shareholders of the Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers’ Association.

The certification means an error margin of one in million and the association supplies tiffin boxes (meals) to office-goers in the metropolis.

He said the Association members, popularly Dabbawalas, could not afford to commit a mistake because a mistake meant a stomach went empty without food. Not only that a mistake had four consequences.

“The person for who the food was meant wastes time and money going to the nearest eatery and in the process invites his or her boss’ wrath and the food from home goes waste,” he said and added that that’s the reason the Dabbawalas had been successful in the business for over a century.

Five thousand of them deliver two lakh tiffin (200,000) boxes a day that too in time. And they return the tiffin boxes home, meaning there are four lakh (400,000) transactions a day. Not one mistake, though. Such is their precision and dedication to work that they did not have time for even Prince Charles, says Raghunath D. Medge, another Dabbawala.

“When the yuvaraj [prince] said he was interested to meet us, we welcomed him but made it clear that we could not afford to spare time to meet him because we had two lakh princes [customers] to take care of,” he said and added the former agreed and met them for 20 min at the Chathrapathi Shivaji Terminus railway station when they were working. He said the association has a turnover of $ 10 million and maintains a strict discipline, which is also a reason for success.

The success has been so well recognised that Mr. Medge says that Dabbawalas are also engaged in ‘vidya dhan’ (knowledge sharing) apart from ‘anna dhan' (something like Meals on Wheels).

Our success has taken us to various management institutions within and outside the country and has also brought many more to us.”

And in all humility the two Dabbawalas say they want to dedicate two of the Six Sigmas to the Mumbai suburban train service, another two to the bicycles they rely on for timely delivery and retain the rest.


November 6, 2021

Here is what Nestorian Bishop says (662AD). Source: Wikipedia.

The Indian place-system numerals spread to neighboring Persia, where they were picked up by the conquering Arabs. In 662, a Nestorian bishop living in what is now called Iraq said :

I will omit all discussion of the science of the Indians ... of their subtle discoveries in astronomy - discoveries that are more ingenious than those of the Greeks and the Babylonians - and of their valuable methods of calculation which surpass description. I wish only to say that this computation is done by means of nine signs. If those who believe that because they speak Greek they have arrived at the limits of science would read the Indian texts they would be convinced even if a little late in the day that there are others who know something of value.
Romans numerals,  two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine are double or multi-symbols. There was no concept of zero. See the table.
Most of the positional base 10 numeral systems in the world have originated from India, which first developed the concept of positional numerology. The Indian numeral system is commonly referred to in the West as the Hindu-Arabic numeral system, since it reached Europe through the Arabs. Roman numerals remained in common use until about the 14th century, when they were replaced by Hindu-Arabic numerals. The Roman numeral system is decimal but not directly positional and does not include a zero. The decimal Hindu-Arabic numeral system was invented in India around 500 CE. The system was revolutionary in that it included a zero and positional notation. It is considered an important milestone in the development of mathematics. One may distinguish between this positional system, which is identical throughout the family, and the precise glyphs used to write the numerals, which vary regionally. The glyphs most commonly used in conjunction with the Latin alphabet since Early Modern times are 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9.-Wikipedia.
Comparison of Hindu Sanskrit Numerals and Roman Numerals
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

Sri Chakra (Sriyantra) is a series of nine avaranas going from outside to inside (Avarana = Veil, enclosure, anything that protects, veils and defends: a wall).

 Siva addresses Parvati (His Spouse):

"'Welcome, O Beauty of the three worlds, welcome  is Thy question. This knowledge (which I am about to disclose)  is the secret of secrets, and I have not imparted it to  anyone till now. (But I shall now tell thee the grand secret.  Listen, then, with attention:)

"'Śrī-cakra (in the Sahasrāra) is the form of Parā-Śakti. In the middle of this Cakra is a place called Baindava, where She, who is above all Tattvas, rests united with  Her Lord Sadāśiva. O Supreme One, the whole Cosmos is a Śrī-cakra formed of the twenty-five Tattvas - 5 elements + 5 Tanmātras +10 Indriyas + Mind + Māya, Śuddhavidyā Maheśa, and Sadāśiva.

Just as it is in Sahasrāra, so cosmically, also, Baindava is above all Tattvas. Devī, the  cause of the creation, protection, and destruction, of the universe, rests there ever united with Sadāśiva, who as well  is above all Tattvas and ever-shining. Uncountable are the rays that issue forth from Her body; O good one, they  emanate in thousands, lakhs (1 lakh = 100,000) - nay, crores (1 crore = 10 million). But for this light there would be no light at all in the universe... 360 of  these rays illumine the world in the form of Fire, Sun, and Moon. These 360 rays are made up as follows : Agni (Fire)  118, Sun 106, Moon 136. O Śaṁkari, these three luminaries enlighten the macrocosm as well as the microcosm, and give  rise to the calculation of time - the Sun for the day, the Moon for the night, Agni (Fire) occupying a mean position  between the two.'

 "Hence they constitute (or are called) Kāla (time), and  the 360 days (rays) make a year. The Veda says: 'The  year itself is a form of the Lord. The Lord of time, the  Maker of the world, first created Marīci (rays), etc., the  Munis, the protectors of the world. Everything has come  to exist by the command of Parameśvarī.'  

"Diṇḍima takes a quite different view of this verse.  He interprets it as meaning that, having already described the Antaryāga (inner worship), the author recommends here  the worship of the Āvaraṇa-Devatās i.e.. Deities residing in each of the Cakras or centres without propitiating whom  it is impossible for the practitioner to lead the Kuṇḍalinī through these Cakras. He enumerates all the 360 Deities  and describes the mode of worshipping each of them.

 "There are other commentators who understand the 360 rays esoterically, and connect the same with the 360  days of the year, and also with the human body. Every commentator quotes the Taittirīyāraṇyaka, first chapter, to support his views. Thus it seems that Taittirīyāraṇyaka  contains much esoteric matter for the mystic to digest. The first chapter of the Āraṇyaka referred to is chanted in worshipping  the Sun. It is called Āruṇam because it treats of Aruṇā (red-coloured Devī)."  pages 146-147 The Serpent Power by Woodroffe.

Siva tells Parvathi the following about Sri-Chakra: Sri Chakra is Parasakti (Supreme Power). In the center of the Chakra is Baindava where Sadasiva abides united with Her. She is above all Tattvas. TATTVAS-36.  The whole Cosmos is represented in Sri Chakra made of 25 Tattvas (5 great elements + 5 Tanmatras + 10 Indriyas [5 motor and 5 sensory organs], + Mind + MAya + Suddha Vidya + Mahesa + Sadasiva). Devi is the creator, preserver and destroyer of the universe. She radiates innumerable rays. She is the Light of the Universe from which all lights are lit. If it is not for Her, there is no light. Among Her many rays 360 rays in the form of Fire (118 rays), Sun (106) and Moon (136) radiate from her. She is Light in all the luminaries and She is the light in the eye and the heart. Time comes from her luminaries; the sun for the day, the moon for the night and the Fire between the two. 360 (365) days make a year. No one can take Kundalini through all the Chakras without the help of 360 Avarana Devatas residing in the Sri Chakra. Worship each one of them according to the established ritual.

From outside to inside the Avaranas and the resident deities.

All of us and the universe take origin from Bindu (the point) in a centrifugal fashion called Pravrrti (evolution).  Remember that scientists of today say that the universe took origin from a point smaller than a grain of sand (the Big-Bang theory). Now it is our turn to subside back into Bindu by a process known as Nivrrti (involution, centripetal march). As we evolved, our soul took on matter (body) to live in this world. As we involute, we have to give up the body and take only the spirit back to Bindu. In this centripetal march, purification (leaving body and matter behind) takes place, because Bindu or goddess does not allow contamination with matter and invites only the pure pristine spirit of man.

Bindu = Seed, Semen, point, dot = விந்து (= vintu in Tamil; Bindu in Sanskrit); Seed is also known as வித்து (= vittu) in Tamil.

Here is how a Yogi makes a return (centripetal) journey to Bindu (Baindava) by subtracting all matter from his body and taking only his soul to Bindu, the goddess, the Essence or the Fountainhead.

The 43 triangles plus the central Bindu make the six Avaranas; 43 small triangles are created by the intersecting 5 Sakti down triangles and 4 up Siva triangles; peripheral to the aforementioned Avaranas there are three circular walkways; in all there are nine Avaranas. The two inner Avaranas constitute the two circular rows of lotus petals (Avaranas 2 and 3). Peripheral to the circle of lotus petals, there are three rows of walls. Female is represented by down triangle and male is represented by up triangle.






Goddess Tripurasundari (TPS--Three-city Beauty) the central deity (Bindu), sports three forms: Physical (Mudra), mental (Yantra) and cognitive (Mantra). To attain spiritual union with the deity by way of involution, one makes an inner journey centripetally from the peripheral physical world of wakefulness to Savikalpa Samadhi in the domain of Bindu; all these are achieved by mental journey layer by layer from the periphery of the Square wall of Sri Yantra, the domains of 16-petal lotus, 8-petal lotus, outer fourteen (blue) triangles, outer ten (red) triangles, inner ten (black) triangles, eight (green) triangles, the central (yellow) triangle and on to (red) Bindu. Each Avarana depicts one level of consciousness and or spiritual knowledge; there are deities at each Avarana with Tripurasundari (TPS) in one of her many forms. One has to be spiritually fit to make this journey from the mundane world of wakefulness to the world of Savikalpa Samadhi, when you become acutely aware of a distinction between you and Brahman (duality). When the Yogi goes deeper in his Samadhi, he attains Nirvikalpa Samadhi (lack of distinction between the yogi and the Brahman, becoming one with One). Let me give you examples as to how you become one with One (disappearance of duality). When you see an apple, in the mind's eye you become the apple and forget everything else. When you hear music you become the music. When you are in love you become one with your love.

Savikalpa Samadhi = சவிகல்ப சமாதி = சவிகற்ப சமாதி = Philosophic meditation in which sense of unity co-exists with the consciousness of the difference between the known, the knower and the knowledge.

There are two kinds of SamAdhi: Savikalpa SamAdhi, Nirvikalpa SamAdhi. Sa+vikalpa = Sa is a prefix and vikalpa means admission of distinction. Nir+Vikalpa = devoid of + distinction (absence of distinction)

samadhi [samaadhi]: advanced state of meditation; absorption in the Self; Oneness; the mind becoming identified with the object of meditation.

Savikalpa samadhi [suvikulp sumaadhi]: a state of concentration in which the distinction between the knower, knowledge and known is not yet lost.

nirvikalpa samadhi [nirvikulp sumaadhi]: the highest state of concentration, in which the soul loses all sense of being different from the universal Self, but a temporary state from which there is a return to ego-consciousness. See Apple, become apple. Meditate on Brahman, become Brahman.

As the mind of Sadhaka makes a journey from the outer enclosure to the innermost Bindu (the point), his body and mind become one with Sri Yantra; eventually body stays behind (body awareness is lost) and mind and spirit alone make the journey. The nine Avaranas  are compared to the nine apertures of the body: two ears, two eyes, two nostrils, one mouth, one genital and one anal opening.  (Of course, the females have one more separate opening above the vagina for urination--female urethra).  Sri Chakra (Yantra) destroys lust, anger, jealousy, hatred, and other inauspicious qualities and their consequences. You have to leave behind these inauspicious qualities before you merge with the Universal Consciousness. Sri Yantra is worshipped as if it is an idol or image.  Each Avarana is populated by Saktis whose numbers correspond to the number of petals or triangles.  There is one Yogini (attendant to TPS) and one form of TPS (Chakra Isvari)  in each Avarana. The petals and triangles represent qualities, organs, bodily functions, Nadis, transcendence of dualities, acquisition of spiritual knowledge.  The Yogi with the help of Saktis leaves the mundane world, the body, its attendant functions and qualities; the mind rises to a spiritual level ready for Samadhi. This spiritual experience parallels with the rise of Kundali through the Chakras. The aim is to attain union and become one with the deity (Bindu). When you think of apple, you become the apple. Your entire being becomes the body and essence of the apple. There is no cognitive difference between you and the apple. That is Samadhi.

Samadhi [Samaadhi]: advanced state of meditation; absorption in the Self; Oneness; the mind becoming identified with the object of meditation.

http://shivashakti.com/shrichak.htm gives details about Sri Chakra Nyasa.

        The yogi (or the priest) invites the deity into him  by meditation. Once he has the deity (divinization of his body) in him, he transfers the deity to the Yantra by Mantra, Pranapratistha, and Mudra.  Nyasa (digital pressure) is impressing of the body with fingers and mental appropriation or assignment of various parts of the body to the Deity. (By Nyasa, the Yogi seeks descent of the deity to the head, eyes, the limbs... and protect them. Consider it as divine protection. It is like the actress who insures her body, limbs, voice....) Consider it as a painless form of acupuncture without needles (Digipressure, digital pressure) that infuses divine power where the fingers apply pressure. Here you do not use Acus (needle as in ACU-PUNCTURE) but digits come in handy for application of touch and pressure. Digital application (Nyasa) is accompanied by chanting of Mantra, visualization of specific Devata and Bija (seed) Mantra. Sequential touching of the body parts in a geographic progression depends on the type of Nyasa.

Once Nyasa is complete, the worshipper transfers the divinity from inside him to the Yantra, which is known as Avahana (आवाहन = invitation). By Mudras (gestures), he infuses life into Yantra (Pranapratistha). Mudra is the language of the body, hands and fingers as a means of communication with the deity. The basic principle is not different from Sign Language for the hearing impaired. Once the worship is over, the deity is dismissed from Yantra (Visarjana or Udvasa) by Samhara Mudra (expressive gesture of dissolution). Visarjana = discharging, dismissal. Udvasa = leaving empty, uninhabited. The idea of invitation and dismissal of divinity with regards to Yantra sounds apparently ridiculous (on the surface) because goddess is everywhere and She does not need invitation or dismissal. Avahana and Visarjana are confirmation of her presence in all of us, Yantra and everywhere.

Here is one of the Mudras (sign language) used during worship. When the Sadhaka does the Matsya Mudra (Fish Pose), he invokes Brahman's bliss into the water, or wine in the case of Tantrics. The bliss in water will give him the bliss.


1. The first Avarana: Bhupura Avaranam (Earth-city enclosure), the three-layered four-sided walls with four passageways with these features or entities: Trailokya Mohanam = Three-world enchanter or beguiler; Yogini Prakata; Chakra Isvari (domain's mistress and controller) = Tripura; 28 Saktis (deified power). The Yogi is in an awake state, conscious of the world. Bhupura is the barrier between the world and the sanctum and its parts. In some Yantras, snakes guard the Bhupura. After physical purification, the votary wakes up the Devata (Goddess) in himself or herself and then invokes her in the Yantra (transfer of divinity from him to the Yantra) by the strength and chanting of Mantra. Avarana  Devatas preside over the Avaranas. A form of Siva, Vatukanatha resides in Bhupura. At Bhupura level, Tattva Suddhi (purification of building blocks of universe and body) takes place. Purity of body, elements and spirit assures easy journey. It involves 1) purification of pentads by uttering their names: first pentad, the five breaths, Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udana, and Samana; 2nd pentad, earth, water, fire, Air and Ether; 3rd pentad, Prakrti, Ahamkara (ego), Buddhi (intellect), mind, ears; 4th pentad, skin, eyes, tongue, nose, word; 5th pentad, hand, foot, anus, generative organ, and sound; 6th pentad, touch, taste, form, smell, ether; 7th pentad, air, fire, water, earth, soul. The Sadhaka declares that he is 1) Joythi (Light) and sinless and continues with 2) Tattva SvIkAra (appropriation or absorption of Tattvas; 3) Bindu SvIkAra (absorption of Bindu).  The idea of all this is that the elements are purified and absorbed; this is involution. When the yogi goes from matter to Spirit in the Central Bindu, he cannot go there with a material body. The matter dissolves or dies and the spirit rises. Siva's Consciousness works through Sakti in creating this world of souls, their consciousness and body and matter.  When the souls make a centripetal journey to Sakti, all these have to be absorbed or given up so that the Spirit alone goes to the central Bindu. Six parts of the body of Devi at the four corners of the Yantra square are worshipped with Mantras followed by worship of Gurus and Kula Gurus. Six parts of body of Devi = Sikha (tuft or knot of hair on top of head), head, heart, the three eyes and two sides of the palm.  Worship is offered to Indra and Dikpalas (guardians of directions, Indra, Agni, Yama, Yaksa, Varuna, VAyu, Kubera, Isana, Brahma and Ananta who carry weapons: Vajra, thunderbolt; Sakti, fire power of Vahini; Danda, staff; Khadga, sword; PAsa, noose; Ankusa, a hooked goad; GadA, mace; SUla, spear or trident; Padma, lotus flower; and Chakra, discus

Sadhaka = சாதகன் = One who practices or gets trained.

    VAmA-Brahma abides in the navel guarding the East; Jayestha-Vishnu in the heart guarding the North; Raudri-Mahesa in the head guarding the west and Ambika guarding the south. Ambika, Mother Goddess is Her own Sphurana (manifestation; throbbing or breaking; bursting forth; vibration). Her creative Sakti saw her own manifestation. The worshipper prays to these deities in East-North-West-South order.

    The fire god (Vaisvanara, the son of Visvanara, the benefactor of all men) is invoked and invited with mantra,  "come here, stay here, fix yourself, face me, be detained."  This is what the housewife says everyday, when she cooks your meals. Yes, microwave oven is included; microwave radiation is the new name for the Fire god. It is not new; we just discovered it and use it for cooking. The lady says the same thing to her lover, with fire burning in him.

This is followed by worshipping the eight forms of Vahini (fire god's other name). Vahini = bearer or carrier of oblations to gods.

The eight forms of Vahini (Fire): 1) JAta Veda = all-knowing; 2) Saptajihva = seven-tongued; 3) Vaisvanara = son of Visvanara; 4) Havya-VAhana = oblation carrier; 5) Asvodaraja  6) Kaumara Tejah = the fire from which Kumara or Kartikeya, son of Siva and Parvati was born; 7) Visvamukha = the mouth of devourer of the universe; 8) Deva Mukha = the Mouth of Deities to whom fire carries oblations.

Asvodaraja: Fire in the Mare's mouth. It is the Fire and smoke that emanate from the bowels of the earth. Fire in the Mare's mouth: A classic example of Fire in Mare's Mouth is the fire that burns in the coal mines in Centralia, Pennsylvania since 1962 along Route 61. It is still burning. Centralia is a ghost town now with fire, smoke, fumes and gases emanating from below in the abandoned coal mines, backyards, streets and houses. I am not sure whether the term Asvodaraja refers to another form of Fire, Valcano.

Fire and Fuel are anthropomorphized as the head of a person: the fuel is the ear; smoke is the nose; dim flame is the eye; the head is the glowing coal; the light flame is the tongue of fire. --Woodroffe. page 173, The Great Liberation.

After the invocation of Fire, the worshipper meditates on Ida, Pingala and Susumna Nadis and utters Gayatri mantra. Kundalini Power. GAYATRI.

By now, he has become one with the Fire and Devi. By making Samhara Mudra, he invokes the transfer of Devi from the Fire to his heart.  The fire oblation (Homa) is complete and the worshipper takes the ash from the cinders and puts it on his forehead.

Once the Fire Ceremony is over, Japa (muttering prayers) is done with the result, the Deity, the Guru and the Mantra become one and are realized as one.  Devata is the mantra and the Guru too; success is his or hers when one considers all three as one.  The worshipper shrines the Guru in his head, the Deity in his heart and Mula Mantra in the form of Tejas (Light and energy) on his tongue.  Now he attains the glory of all three.  He worships the rosary and  asks for success in Siddhi.  Japa and Pranayama (breath control) follow with offering of Japa to the Deity.  Then the Sadhaka makes circumambulation always keeping the Deity on his right hand side and making Atma Samarpanam (dedication of his self to the deity) by the symbolic offering of water (self) to the deity at her feet (Sixty to seventy percent of our body is made of water; thus water is the stand-in for the body for dedication.) This procedure is Vilomarghya (reversed offering of water) because water is usually offered at the head of the deity.  Before Atma Samarpanam, he utters mantra that declares the dedication of  his vital airs, mind, thought, word, and deed during waking hours, dream sleep, deep sleep done by hand, feet, stomach, generative organ to Brahman. He submits (dedicates) himself and what is his at the lotus feet of the deity. Om Tat Sat.  He supplicates, further declares his worshipful devotion and begs for forgiveness for any lapses in procedure and the trouble he caused to the deity. He bids farewell to the deity and performs Visarjana (dismissal) which reposes her in the eight-petal lotus in his heart, which is symbolized by taking the flower, smelling it and putting it on his heart. Now you know what the West does unknowingly by putting the flower on the left lapel of the jacket near the heart.  He offers Naivedya (food offerings) to Brahma, Vishnu, Siva and other deities and later his Guru, Guru's wife, and his wife to eat.  Still later, he and the family members consume the Suddhi--wine, meat, fish, grains.... Service and offering go down in a hierarchical fashion, spiritual seniors first, juniors last.  Imbibed wine amounts to five cups or just enough before the mind, sight or body is affected.  Just enough water is used to clean the hands. Lastly he applies the ash from the fire pit on his forehead. All this in the world is dross. When your burn the dross, you get ash. Ash as a symbol of nothingness brings home the point that all objects that give a feeling of I and Mine in the world eventually come to end and greed and possessiveness have no place in the world. Ash is the remains of the body and what remains after the body is the immortal soul. To be attached to the impermanent body and not the eternal soul is the paradox of mundane living.  Embodied soul is burdened with impurities (Malam = மலம்), though the liberated soul is pure. Ash is pure and has undergone test by fire; thus, all impurities should be rendered into ash. All matter (Panchabhutas) is perishable revealing the underlying eternal Parmatman. Siva smearing Himself with Ash is the reminder of impermanence of the five elements and the underlying eternality of Brahman, (who is the hypostasis of all that exists).

Yogini = a female being endowed with magical or yogic power, usually eight, sometimes 60, 64 or 65 in number. The Yoginis are of nine classes appearing in the nine Chakras of Sriyantra in the centripetal direction. They are PrakatA, GuptA, GuptatarA, Ati-GuptatAra, Kula-kaulA, NigarbhA, RahasyA, ParA-RahasyA, ParapararahasyA. The first in the outermost Avarana is called Trailokya Mohana; the last in the innermost avarana is SarvAnandaMaya (Sarva-Ananda-Maya = All-Bliss-Fullness). Maya = மயம்= nature, fullness, prevalence, pervasion.

The Devatas in the Avaranas from the outermost to the innermost are Tripura, Tripuresi, Tripurasundari, Tripuravasini, Tripurasri, Tripuramalini, Tripurasiddha, Tripuramba, and Mahatripurasundari. Tripurasundari alias all these names.

The Chakras in the same order are Trailoka Mohana, Sarvasaparipuraka, Sarvasamkshobana, Sarvasaubhagyaprada, Sarvarthasadhaka, Sarva Rakshakara; Sarva roghakara; Sarva siddhiprada, and Savanandamaya.

Please refer to pages 121 to 122 in The Great Liberation by Sir John Woodroffe for the specific names of Yoginis (Saktis) in the petals in the Avaranas.



2. The second Avarana: Sodasa Dalam Avaranam (16 petal enclosure--the round of 16-petal lotus), Sarvasa ParipUrakam = fulfills all expectations; fulfills all desires.  Resident Yogini is Gupta Yogini; Yogi's consciousness is that of dream sleep state; Resident Chakra Isvari = Tripuresi; 16 saktis in 16 petals.  Count the petals anticlockwise from the east. Each resident Yogini has power and control over desire; buddhi (intellect); Ahamkara (ego); sound; touch; form, color and sight; taste; smell; mind... Controlling them is one step towards self-realization.  This 16-petal Avarana corresponds to Muladhara Chakra in Kundalini Yoga.

3. The third Avarana: Ashta Dalam avaranam (the eight petal lotus enclosure), Sarva Samkshopanam =  agitates all. Yogini is Gupta Tara Yogini; Chakra Isvari is Tripurasundari (TPS). Eight Saktis are in eight petals; His consciousness is compared to deep sleep. These eight petals stand for Indriyas or organs such as speech, hearing, smell, ambulation, prehension, excretion, evacuation, reproduction; concentration and their control, and also the abode of eight Matrikas (Mothers); the filaments contain eight Bhairavas.  Eight Saktis (Mothers, NAyakis) on eight petals, Mangala, Vijaya, Bhadra, Jayanti, Aparajita, Nandini, Narasimhi, and Kaumari are worshipped. At the tips of the petals, worship is offered to eight resident Bhairavas: Asitanga, Ruru, Chanda, Krodhonmatta, Bhayamkara, Kapali, Bhisana, and Samhara.

4. The fourth Avarana, Chaturdasaram (14) Avaranam, the fourteen blue triangles, Sarva Sowbhagya Dhayakanam = confers all auspiciousness, prosperity and good fortune. Resident Yogini is Sampradaya Yogini.   Chakra Isvari is Tripura VAsini. The Yogi is engaged in Isvara Vicharam: Enquiry, deliberation into Isvara. 14 Saktis are present in 14 triangles. The fourteen triangles stand for fourteen domains and fourteen Nadis (channels).  Yogis perform Kundalini Yoga and channel the prana (vital breath) through the Nadis for self-realization. This Avarana corresponds to Anahata Chakra. Kundalini Power

5. The fifth Avarana, the outer ten red triangles, Sarvartha Sadhakam = universal accomplishment. Yoginis reside here; Chakra Isvari is Tripura Sri; ten Saktis grant auspicious things to the Sadhaka; the Yogi attains GurUpa Sadhanam (perfection in the form of Guru). Visuddha Chakra in the throat area corresponds to fifth Avarana.

6. The sixth Avarana, the inner ten triangles, Antar Dasaram (Inner Ten),  Sarva Rakshakaram = universal refuge or protector; Nigarbha Yogini resides here; Mental mode is Upadesam (Spiritual instruction). Chakra Isvari is Tripura Malini with ten Saktis. The 6th Avarana is associated with digestive fire, evacuation and excretion and thus corresponds to Manipura Chakra. By the symbolic fire of purification, the Sadhaka attains further purification.

7. The seventh Avarana: The eight triangles pointing to 8 directions (Ashtakonam), Sarva Roga Haram (destroying of all maladies); Vak Devatas (Speech deities) reside here. Resident Yogini is Rahasya Yogini. The Yogi is in Mananam (Contemplation). The Chakra Isvari is Tripura Siddha. There are 8 Saktis.  This Avarana helps in overcoming diseases and transcending the dualities such as heat and cold, love and hate, pain and pleasure and ignorance and knowledge and corresponds to Svadhisthana Chakra between Muladhara and Manipura Chakras. More physical, spiritual and psychical purification is put in place.

8. The eighth Avarana: One yellow triangle pointing down; Triguna Saktis and weapons are here; This Avarana is Sarva Siddhipradham (granting of all perfection; giver of all siddhis); Resident Yogini is Rahasya Yogini. The Yogi is engaged in Nitidhyasanam (uninterrupted meditation). The Chakra Isvari is Tripuramba. There are three saktis. This central triangle pointing down depicts three goddesses, three lights of the Goddess, Kamesvari of the  Moon, Vajresvari of the Sun and Bhagamalini of the Fire and three functions of the Goddess, Iccha (desire), Jnana (knowledge), and Kriya (action). These three functions at cosmic level serves the Goddess to create, preserve, destroy, veil and grant bliss. At human level they are essential to engage in activities to receive spiritual knowledge for attaining Moksa, liberation. The 8th Avarana corresponds to Ajna Chakra.

9. The ninth Avarana: The dot, Bindu, Sarvanandhamayam (Sarva-Ananda-mayam = whole-bliss-fullness; Fullness of universal bliss), Sri Sri Devi resides here. Consciousness is Savikalpa Samadhi. The Chakra Isvari and the Sakti are MahaTripuraSundari (The Brahman).  The Bindu or dot (three dots in One Dot) is counted as an Avarana though it is not an enclosure, depicts Moon, Sun, and Fire; and Face and two breasts of the Goddess (Bindu Triya). Bindu is the creator, protector and destroyer (Srsti, Sthiti, and Laya); Bindu is that from which everything came, is protected and absorbed.  Bindu is the seed (Bija), origin or cause of Brahma (VAmA), Vishnu (Jayestha), and Mahesa (Raudri). Brahma-VAmA is Iccha (Will); Jayestha-Vishnu Jnana (Knowledge); Raudri-Mahesa Kriya (action). They are Prakrti (matter) in relation to the Goddess, who is Supreme Consciousness. It is Bindu that goads them into their respective action.

As the Sadhaka goes from the periphery to Bindu, he acquires powers, potencies or Siddhis. The Siddhis from outside to inside become more and more difficult to acquire.

   There are two kinds of SamAdhi: Savikalpa SamAdhi, Nirvikalpa SamAdhi. Sa+vikalpa = Sa is a prefix and vikalpa means admission of distinction. Nir+Vikalpa = devoid of + distinction (absence of distinction)

samadhi [samaadhi]: advanced state of meditation; absorption in the Self; Oneness; the mind becoming identified with the object of meditation.

Savikalpa samadhi [suvikulp sumaadhi]: a state of concentration in which the distinction between the knower, knowledge and known is not yet lost.

nirvikalpa samadhi [nirvikulp sumaadhi]: the highest state of concentration, in which the soul loses all sense of being different from the Universal Self, but a temporary state from which there is a return to ego-consciousness. See Apple, become Apple. Meditate on Brahman, become Brahman (= non-difference between subject and object).

            In Savikalpa SamAdhi (imperfect), there is an awareness of Triad: the contemplator1 (object) and the Contemplated2,  the Subject and the process3 (In Hinduism God or Goddess is always the subject, the votary is the object); in Nirvikalpa (perfect) SamAdhi, the distinction disappears. The yogi becomes one with the One, the Brahman, who is One-without-a-second. The second SamAdhi is deeper than the first; in the first, one gets to enjoy bliss or ecstasy knowing fully well there is a chasm between the yogi and the Brahman. The first phase can go into the second phase. In Savikalpa samAdhi, the consciousness of the yogi is aware of its proximity to the Brahman, the self-awareness (individuality) is still present, and the yogi experiences bliss and ecstasy.  In Nirvikalpa SamAdhi, the distinction between the yogi and the Brahman disappears, they become one (absorption of  the yogi into Brahman takes place) and the yogi experiences bliss and ecstasy.  Distracted mind, stray thoughts, “astringent, sharp (Kasaya) reminiscences,” (simply put,  an audiovisual tape running in the background of the mind), dreamless sleep, and Savikalpa samAdhi are the obstacles to Nirvikalpa samAdhi . Why is Savikalpa samAdhi an obstacle? This is so because the yogi is an enjoyer and wants to keep on enjoying the juice (rasa) of bliss. Still the mind has not crossed the subtle line, boundary, space or chasm between nearness and a total assimilation, union, absorption or merging. The assimilation is similar to the wave falling into the ocean and disappearing. This cessation of action and motion in Nirvikalpa Samadhi is called UprAma (उपराम = ceasing, stopping, desisting). (There are five modification of mind, Pramana, Viparyaya, Vikalpa, Nidra and Smrti. Pramana = Correct notion, correct knowledge, true conception, comprehension.  Viparyaya = inverted notion, perverse idea, misapprehension. Vikalpa: conceptualization. Nidra = sleep. Smrti = memory.)

The animals fit for sacrifice to the Deity are buffalo, deer, goat, hare, hog, iguana, porcupine, rhinoceros and tortoise. The rare animals of today are protected by law. Easily available common animals are sacrificed in the place of rare animals.  One selects wholesome animal without disease or handicap, sprinkles water on the chosen animal placed in front of the deity, performs Dhenu Mudra and renders it into Amrta (immortal food) fit for Deity's consumption. Pasu-Gayatri Mantra is chanted liberating its life as the beast. Mantra is chanted to infuse the power of Brahma and Vagisvari (Sarasvati) to the end of the cutting blade, Narayana and Lakshmi at the middle, and Mahesvara and Uma at the handle of the knife. The worshipper or his appropriate surrogate severs the head of the beast in one stroke. The warm blood is offered to Yoginis, and Vatuka who is the mind-born son of Devi and protects the devotees from all kinds of harm.  With a light placed on it, the worshipper offers the severed head to Devi. The Gayatri mantra releases the animal from beastly existence and puts it in a higher plane. The sacrifice pleases Devi, brings benefits to the worshipper and the animal. This is typical of Kaula worship of Devi.  Once the sacrifice is completed, Homa or fire sacrifice is performed.

Dhenu Mudra:



How & When: For performing this Mudra, Face both hands to each other and join the finger tips together, leaving the thumbs free as few inches apart. Now join the index finger of the right hand with the middle finger of the left hand and similarly index finger of the left hand with the middle finger of the right hand. Now join the ring finger of the left hand to the little finger of the right hand and vice a versa. When one points the fingers down in such a Mudra it looks like the udders of a cow and so is the name. One can perform this Mudra anytime of the day avoiding just after the meals. One must perform this Mudra at least for 5 minutes to start benefiting out of it and slowly increase the duration form 5 minutes to 45 minutes. If this seems to be not possible then one may do it in 3 sittings of 15 minutes each. One must perform this Mudra and its variations in Sukhasan, Vajrasana or Utkatasana (sitting on the toe tips on a chair position).

Vagisvari: is the Jnana Sakti that confers salvation. Kamaraja and Sakti are the Kriya (action) and Ichchha (Will) Saktis.


 The temple in the form of Sri Chakra or Yantra was designed by the founder of Devipuram, Dr. N. Prahalada Sastry (b. 1934), a former university professor and nuclear physicist who left a successful 23-year career with the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai to begin work on the Devipuram temple in 1983. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devipuram.

http://youtu.be/H9_gQm1TFGs        Quantum physics, Tantra and Free Will by Dr. Sastry.

Devi Kamakshi gave several visions to Guru Amritananda (Dr. Sastry) to construct the Sri Chakra Meru Temple in Devipuram. It is the only temple in the world in perfect Sri Chakra Meru form with life size idols of all the 108 Devees of Sri Chakra. Lord Shiva created 64 Yantras and 64 mantras of various deities to attain various objectives and siddhis. For His consort Devi, He created the Sri Yantra and the Shodasi Mantra which is the equivalent of all the 64 put together. That is why the Sri Yantra is called Yantra Raja and the Shodasi Mantra is called Mantra Raja. The Devi resides at the central bindu of Sri Yantra along with Lord Shiva. There are another 108 Devis in the 9 avaranas. All the 8 Lakshmis, Saraswati, the Nityas, the Yoginis and in fact every Devi controlling each and every aspect of our life and the world reside in the Sri Yantra. In 1994, during the inauguration of the a temple a bright ray of light from the sky blessed it.  http://www.astrojyoti.com/pujasatdevipuram.htm

The 108 Devees of the Sri Chakra represent the various aspects of our lives.

October 26, 2015

Amruthananda Saraswathi (81), popularly known as Devipuram Guruji, passed away on Saturday evening (October 10, 2015) at a private hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest.

A renowned nuclear scientist, Swami Amruthananda took to spirituality and constructed a ‘Sri Chakra Maha Meruvu’ at Devipuram, where he settled down after renouncing his profession.

He was instrumental in motivating and guiding the youth of the village in rendering service to the needy.

He is survived by his wife Annapurna and three daughters.

His body will be kept at the ashram to enable the devotees to pay their last respects. The final rites will be performed on Sunday.



Here is the youtube link on Srichakra and Khadgamala Goddesses in Devipuram


Here is a newspaper report on Devipuram.


In answer to a query by Sage Narada, Narayana says the following: Bhuta Suddhi is done by sprinkling water with Mantra (AstarAya Phat). Puja is continued.  Worship the seat where the Devi will be placed. Meditate on Devi. Offer a seat to Devi. Bathe the Devi with water of Panchamrita. Ritual ablution of Devi with 100 jars of sugarcane juice will release the person from taking birth again on earth. They receive benefits from Lakshmi and Sarasvati. Bathing Devi with grape juice with participation of friends and relatives guarantees a life in Devi-loka for as many years as there are atoms in the juice. Likewise Devi is given a bath with water scented with camphor, aloe, saffron, musk with the result all sins of one hundred births are expunged. Ritual bathing of Devi with milk assures the devotee to live in Milk Ocean (Ksira Samudra) for one Kalpa. Ritual bathing is symbolic and esoteric, meaning flow of liquid currents in your body keeping you in spiritual health. Liquid flow is life; stagnant liquid is death. If one writes the Mantra of Maya, Hrim Bhuvanesvaryai Namah with red sandal paste thrice on Vilva leaf and dedicates it to the feet of Devi, he will become Manu. Worshipping Devi with ten million spotless Vilva leaves becomes the Lord of the entire universe. The central meaning of all these rituals is that worshipping Mother Goddess is essential for prosperity, edification, spiritual health and eventual liberation.  Vishnu (Narayana) says that he attained Vishnuhood and became Vishnu because he worshipped Devi, the Mother Goddess with one hundred million of  Mallika and Malati flowers smeared with eight scents. Sri Mad Devi Bhagavatam, Book 11, Chapter18, V 1-40.  

Mantras or Vidyas awaken the superconsciousness, instill knowledge of the Self and help liberate the soul. Sri Vidya Mantra is a string of fifteen syllables without any meaning based on Sanskrit letters and sounds" ka, e, i, la, hrim, ha, sa, ka, ha, la, hrim, sa, ka, la, hrim.  (For the sake of illustration, here is what an English seed Mantra or Vidya looks and sounds like : k, e, l, h,s,h... or  Greek Mantra: alpha, beta, gamma, zeta...) On the other hand Gayatri Mantra carries meaning. Here it is:

Gayatri, the sacred mantra of 24 syllables, is recited by Brahmanas in their daily worship. All castes, classes, races, and followers of all religions can chant this Mantra. It has universal appeal and no religious or sectarian accretion. When Gayatri has not been sung for three generations in a Brahmana family, the family loses its privilege and caste status and ceases to be Brahmanas. They still retain the Brahmin status; it is one or several notches below the real entity. Vaidika (Sanctioned by Vedas) Gayatri is a seed mantra and the Vedas are ensconced in it. Vaidika Gayatri:  Om bhur-bhuvah-svah * tatsavitur varenyam * bhargo devasya dhīmahi * dhiyo yo nah prachodayāt Om , earth, atmosphere, and heaven, we meditate on the adorable glory of the radiant sun; may he inspire our intelligence—translation by Dr. Radhakrishnan.  Sandya (junctional [transitional time zones] prayer—sunrise, noon and sunset) is performed three times a day. Now let us read the translation of Gayatri Mantra by Woodroffe: "Om, let us contemplate upon the wonderful spirit of the Divine Creator of the terrestrial, atmospheric, and celestial regions. May he direct our minds (towards the acquisition of Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksa)."

    The presiding deity of Gayatri is Supreme Brahman, Devi, Vishnu, the Sun, or Saguna Brahman. It is suitable for all asramas

    Asrama = from verbal root sram, meaning spiritual exertion.  a monastery.  four ages of man for spiritual development: Brahmacharin, Grihasta, Vanaprastha, and Sannyasa: 1) the student, 2) the householder, 3) the forest dweller, 4) the recluse.

Seed Mantras without any meaning are the basis of Mantras with meaning; the latter incorporate the seed or seeds (Sanskrit alphabets) in body of Mantra words. A, P, P, L, E have no meaning, while APPLE has meaning and is something into which your can sink your teeth; yes, A has meaning, but you can't bite and savor it.

August 23, 2013 

In summary, all cosmic powers reside in and are derived from life in persons.
Kali is worshipped in Base chakra, Tara in pleasure of clitoris, Chandi in navel, Shyama in breasts, Chinnamasta in neck, Dhumavati in throat, Bagalamukhi in mouth, Varahi in Third eye, and Kamala in crown; these are the wheels of power residing in different parts of body. Lalita, the order of beauty is worshipped in all parts.
Modes of worship in all Vidyas – In Chakras called Samaya– In Yantra called Dakshina In bodies of Living persons called Kula Kundalini

By -Sri 
Amritananda Devipuram Guruji
 — with Amritananda Devipuram.  Photo and Table

Pradeep Kumar Yogi shared his photo and Table.


The following explains the origin of Mahavidyas. Jagadamba defies Siva.

Daksha, a secondary creator (Prajapati) born of sexual union between Brahma and Aditi, was one of the ten sons of Brahma.  Brahma’s first and only mind-born sons were averse to sexual reproduction and therefore Brahma out of frustration fathered Daksha, who willingly carried out his father’s legacy of sexual reproduction. Daksha means right and is cognate with Latin Dexter. Daksha, Vasistha, and Marici held a great sacrifice for which they invited all gods, demigods, celestials, gurus, munis and sages including Siva, Brahma, and Vishnu. When Daksha walked into the assembly hall, all except Siva rose and applauded Daksha, who was so offended by the sensed slight that he fumed and fulminated against disrespectful behavior of Siva, who was married to Daksha’s daughter Sati, also known as Dakshayini.  Brahma, Vishnu and Siva are hierarchically  superior to Daksha, but Daksha felt that he deserved respect from his son-in-law, Siva, who  wears russet hair, matted locks, a moon on his head and a snake around his neck. Daksha did not have a good opinion even before the sacrifice, because Siva looked poor by external appearance. There is a reason for it. Siva does not own anything, not even a house (He lives in the frigid Kailas in Himalayas, no heat to keep Him warm); He does not even have a family name (Akula--He is not Sakti; He is self-born according to Saivites) He is a Yogin and Vairagin, One who has no desires, possessions.  Who wants a son-in-law like that? One of his devotees, Sundarar, calls him Pitthan (பித்தன்), the mad One, out of deep love and devotion. Out of spite, Daksha called Siva names: spoiler; mental dwarf; a refuge of the refuse, destitute and poor; boorish demigod; monkey’s eyes; a kindred of Sudra unfit to learn Vedas; a crematorium-dweller; wearer of a garland of skulls and bones; sloven. Daksha regretted his decision for having given his daughter in marriage to Siva on the recommendation of his father, Brahma. Daksha washed his hands and mouth and proceeded to pile some more insults on Siva. Daksha performed  sacrifice to increase the material prosperity of the world. What is wrong with that? Find out later. Siva was a 'renouncer' and wanted no part in it.  Daksha left the assembly hall abruptly in a fury against the advice of Brahma and other gods. Daksha did not let Siva savor the oblations of the sacrifice. Nandisvara, Siva’s close associate was angry with Daksha for the egregious treatment of Siva. Nandisvara spoke to the assembly, saying that they who took part in the sacrifice were materialistic (Faustian devils), considered body superior to Soul, the repository of transcendental knowledge and therefore, would lose that sacred knowledge. He further said that since Daksha considered body superior to soul and celebrated sex life over spiritual life, he would soon acquire face of a goat. (Remember, the Rocky Mountain goats fight over females, who huddle together and watch the ramming heads with blithe bleating mirth.) They who have vidya-buddhi, avidyam, and karma-mayam (material knowledge, ignorance, and delusion of karma) would be castigated to a life of repeated births and rebirths. Nandisvara cursed all the deviant Dvija-kulayas (the twice-born Bahmanas) for their materialistic pursuits in performing the sacrifice, by saying Brahmanas of the genre – Vedas-for-sale, Vedas-for-livelihood—would be wandering beggars, glorifying wealth, creature comforts and satiation of senses.  Bhrgu Muni came on the stage and dished out counter-curses: Siva followers were heretics. Siva  left the assembly hall without uttering one word in protest. He is God. Why would He protest? Only the weak protest. Years passed without incident. Puffed with false airy pride, Daksha arranged another sacrifice; this time he did not invite Siva, which is against all canons of sacrifice—no sacrifice was and is complete without Siva. Daksha’s daughter, consort of Siva, heard the news over the celestial grapevine. She saw finely clothed celestials and their consorts whisk by in aerial cars on their way to Daksha’s sacrifice. Sati felt left out for she wanted to meet her mother, sisters and their consorts at the sacrifice, which was the place to be then. She pleaded with Siva for permission to attend the sacrifice. Siva tried to reason with her as follows: Daksha’s wickedness, lack of judgment, and failure to see the greatness of exalted Souls compromised and canceled his learning, austerity, wealth, beauty, youth, and pedigreed heritage. They (Siva and Sati) should not visit Daksha clouded by poor judgment, suspicious mind, and anger. He dissuaded and forbade her from attending the ceremony, for he foresaw death of Sati and Daksha, the latter inflicting indignity on Siva, the Supreme Being, the Lord of the Universe (Isvara = ஈஸ்வரன்).


Sati became very angry with Siva for refusing her permission to attend Daksha's sacrifice. Sati came to a conclusion that Siva being her husband was drunk with vanity and transformed herself into a terrible aspect of Sakti, Jagadamba with the idea of smashing the vanity and pride of Her husband, Siva. Her eyes were red blazing with fire of anger. Jagadamba thinks in her mind: I obtained Siva as my consort standing on my intrinsic virtue and after a long Tapas (austerities). On the stage of the universe, Siva plays my husband and my father Daksha plays Prajapati. Both are arrogant, vain and proud. I shall abandon both of them, retire and revert to My own state, Kaivalya (the fifth state in which mind comes to a standstill and becomes extinct, when the Self abides alone with its nature;  blissful state of splendid isolation; [wakefulness, dream sleep, deep sleep, Turiya are four states.] Turiya = 4th state, union of soul and Brahman, Nirvana, Loss of brain-mind consciousness, Oblivion to the outside word, ego operates in physical and not spiritual consciousness). I will make sure in my next birth as Parvati, Himavat's daughter,  that Mahesvara (Siva) in the name of Sambu begs to marry me. Thus thinking, Jagadamba, the daughter of Daksha and Consort of Siva-Mahesvara opened her eyes spewing fear and illusion which overpowered and deluded Siva. Her lips parted from the stillness of tranquility to the half-open derisive pouting anger; the eyes were aflame. (Closed [opposing] lips are symbolic of togetherness of Siva-Sakti, a conjoint seed; moving lips are symbolic of Mithuna (coition) as movement while chanting a mantra;  parted lips are symbolic of dissociation between Siva and Sakti.) Mahesvara became deluded, and was scorched by the flame of anger emanating from her eyes. Suddenly she bared her fang-like teeth, opened her flaming mouth and uttered a booming loud laugh which struck Siva like a thunderbolt rendering him paralytic. He could barely open his third eye from paralysis of fright and sound of laughter echoing in his head and saw the fiercest form of Jagadamba. Could she be really his loving consort, he wondered? When he cast his eyes on her, her golden complexion lost its luster, and became pitch-dark like collyrium (Anjana). There she appeared clad in space; her hair was unruly; her tongue was lolling out of her cavernous mouth; her four hands were flailing all over. Her countenance was etched in fright; she was fuming with fury; she was enveloped by lust; she was drenching in sweat; she wore a garland of skulls; her speech and laughter were like talking thunder; she wore a crown and a crescent moon on her. On seeing the Tejas (razzle-dazzle) of her appearance, Mahadeva's self-control was losing its hold on him, fright crept on him, and his feet wanted to take a flight. Daksha's daughter noticing the signs of fright and the impending flight, thundered reverberating peels of laughter and bellowed, "Do not Fear." Mahesvara's fright heightened in full throttle and his feet took flight in all ten directions in heaven. (Ten directions are N; NE; E; SE; S; SW; W; NW; Above and Below.) Suddenly Jagadamba became mellow with compassion for her husband. She assumed the form of ten Mahavidyas blocking his exit in ten directions; each form of Jagadamba was different but not any less frightful. Mahesvara ran hither and thither, trying to run away from the terrible Jagadamba. Whichever direction he ran, Jagadamba was standing in front of him blocking his exit; nimble Jagadamba simply outran Mahesvara. Knowing that He cannot outrun (his consort) Jagadamba, He sat down on earth in failure, frustration and exhaustion, and momentarily shut his three eyes, opened them soon and found Syama standing in front of him with face like a lotus blossom, with large turgid breasts, wide eyes, unkempt hair, four hands, and an effulgent black body bathed in ten million suns. She was facing south as heavenly Daksina. Mahesvara questioned her as to who she was and where His consort was. Syama = black, another name for Siva's consort.

    Devi answered: "My Lord Mahadeva, I am Sati, your consort. Don't you know me? Why do you look so confused."

Siva replied: " You look black and induce fear in me, unlike Sati (who is white). Who is this terrible being who stands in my way in all ten directions? You don't look like Daksa's daughter and my consort, Sati."

Sati-Syama in the form of Jagadamba replies: "I am subtle beyond speech and comprehension. I am Sati, your consort. I don't mean any harm to You. I was born a daughter of Daksa and performed penance to obtain You as my husband. (Actually, Sati was the adopted daughter of Daksa.) I have assumed this form to destroy Daksha's Yajna.  I was trying to block Your exit only out of love for You."

Siva said: "Forgive me, O Paramesvari. I said many unkind words to you. The great illusion blocked my vision. Tell me now who these ten fearful forms are."

Sati in the form of Jagadamba replied: "O Mahadeva consider yourself as the center; in front of you are Tara and Kali, the former above the latter; behind you are Bagala below Bhairavi; to your right is Chinnamasta; to your left is Bhuvanesvari; to the northeast is Shodasi; to the southeast is Dhumavati; to the south west is Kamala; to the northwest is Matangi."

All these forms destroy the fear of Samsara (birth and rebirth). These ten forms are the best among the 90 million manifestations of mine. Sadakhas worshipping my ten forms get Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksa and also powers of causing Marana, Ucchatana, Ksobana, Mohana, Dravana, Stambhana and Vidvesana. These Mahavidyas are to be kept secret. You reveal Agama Sastras from your mouth. Agama and Veda are the two arms by which I support this universe. Vaishnavas worship the ten Mahavidyas with their heart abiding in me. My intention is to destroy my father's Yajna with your permission; you should let me go to the sacrifice."  (Sati was upset with her father Daksa, because he did not invite her husband Siva and her for the Yajna. Yajna is not complete without the presence of Siva. Yajna is sacrifice and an essential element is the sacrificial fire (the divine Agni) into which oblations are poured, as everything that is offered in the divine Agni is believed to reach the Devas.--Wikipedia.).

[Artha (wealth), Dharma (Righteousness), Kama (desire), and Moksa (liberation)].

 Marana (death), Ucchatana (ruining an adversary), Ksobana (causing agitation), Mohana (causing confusion), Dravana (Putting to or instigating fight) , Stambhana (Immobilization and paralysis),and Vidvesana (Stirring up hatred)

The above appears to be a good strategy in war. Nobody could have written a better manual of stratagems.  Did Mahavidyas get credit for them?

Before her departure, she withdrew into her all ten forms out of which Ambika emerged. Another source tells that Tara merges with Kali and others simply vanish. Another source tells that Sati asks the Mahavidyas to attend to Siva in her absence, while she is away to Daksha's sacrifice. Students of Saktas (worshippers of or Sakti or Mother Goddess) point to the power and restraint Mahavidyas pose on Siva, thus, showing her to be a superior power. Saktas believe in Mother Goddess. Western analytical minds portray a picture of Sati as the victim of spousal and parental abuse and neglect, in that Daksha did not invite his daughter Sati for the sacrificial ceremony and Siva did not grant permission to His spouse Sati to go to the sacrifice. This is man analyzing and judging god and goddess.  This is superficial and proximate thinking on the part of some minds; the deeper meanings and the internecine feuds and disputes among gods to bring forth a moral lesson to man does not even register in their minds. Siva and Sakti are one and each needs the other to form one whole. Sakti is not sequacious; Siva without Sakti is sava (dead); Sakti (Power) without Siva has no Consciousness. Siva being the Yogi of yogis foresees death of Daksha and Sati, if Sati were to attend the sacrifice. There is no spousal neglect or abuse in prevention of death. Daksha was a lout among the celestials because he offered sacrifice for the rise of wealth over spirit, when the embodiment of spirit, Siva, was not invited and every sacrifice demands the presence of Siva and offering of holocaust (burnt offerings) to Siva. Daksha never liked his son-in-law, Siva,  because he was poor, smeared himself with ash, and wore animal skin and matted russet hair.

The view from the West,  Sep/29/2008

The West suggests that there is a twist in the Daksa' sacrifice. Daksa was the follower of Vedic religion. The Siva devotees at that time were the Pasupatas on the rise, who the West says were subversive and disruptive. The destruction of Daksa's sacrifice was symbolic of  growing importance of Saivism and Pasupatas, and the denigration of Vedic religion. According to legend, Rudra, a form of Siva created Pasupata Saivism when He destroyed Daksa's sacrifice. Pasupata sect opposed the Vedic Caste System and was supported by wise men. Pasupatas were the forerunners of Agamic Saivites. At human level, Lakulisa before the 6th Century was the founder of the Pasupata sect, which was mostly the sect of  ascetics and Yogis. The householders had only to utter Siva Mantra Namasivaya to adhere to the sect. The ascetic is naked except for a piece of  cloth covering his private parts. He was smeared with ash all over his body and did austerities among the five fires. He meditated in the temples. Once his guru declared he attained maturity, he was allowed to practice antinomian behavior, which included shouting obscenities, lewd gestures at women, idle prattling, pretend sleep, loud snoring on purpose and so on and so forth. The idea of this wild behavior was to victimize oneself by lewd or other behavior towards others and invite punitive response which eventually transferred good merits from the abuser to the ascetic perpetrator. Though the Pasupata ascetic was allowed to exhibit extravagant lewd gestures and his upright erect asset, he was to remain strictly a Brahmacharya without any private verbal or physical encounter with women. Most of the ascetics were of normal behavior though they were allowed by the Guru to practice such acts. Society and some Puranas were putting the breaks on this kind of behavior.



Here is a table depicting Siva's ten incarnations and their Saktis as told in Siva Purana. In this depiction, they portray a benign stance.

In this instance, Siva has ten forms and ten corresponding Saktis.


The ten Mahavidyas have each a function.  For painting and depiction of Mahavidyas go to link.


The universe pulsates with the energies of the ten objects of transcendental knowledge, the Maha-vidyas. The people of Mithila consider them the source of all that is to be known.

This description by Renu Rana (from exoticindia.com).

Divided into ten equal spaces, each space houses one of the goddesses. The first goddess is Kali, the consort of Siva. Terrifying in her appearance, she is seen dancing on the supine body of her husband. Tara is quite like Kali in appearance, wearing a tiger skin around her waist, a pair of scissors in her hands. As Chinnamasta, Kali feeds upon her own blood drenching the positive and negative aspects of herself. Next she appears as a sixteen year old young maiden, followed by Bhuwaneshvari. Bhairavi is brilliant like the rising sun, has three eyes, wears a jeweled crown and various ornaments and also hold a rosary and book in two hands. Dhumavati is ugly, holding a winnow basket in one hand. Bagalmukhi’s image is beautiful and she is associated with magical powers. Matangi is worshipped to gain magical or physical powers. Kamala is resplendent like the sun. She is none other than goddess Lakshmi.

The following is commentary from the author, Krishnaraj.

Mahavidyas represent the Total Woman in all aspects.

Western authors try very hard to establish a link and commonality among the Mahavidyas. They have many questions and concerns.  Why are they called Mothers, when they have not given birth to children? To a devout Hindu, all females including his spouse and daughter is a mother. How old are the Mahavidyas? They know Sodasi is sixteen years of age. Are they sisters? Do they represent different stages in the life cycle of a woman? Do they hold the portfolios of creation, maintenance, and or destruction. Are they personification of Gunas: Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas?  Yes, they found Sattva in Sarasvati, Rajas in Lakshmi and Tamas in Kali.  Since Sattva is white, Rajas red, and Tamas black, they tried to paint them with colors. Sattva is Virtue, Rajas is motion and passion and Tamas is darkness. They try to categorize them by virginity,  beauty, and terror. It appeared that most of them had all the qualities in different combinations. How could they be virgins if they declare themselves as the mother of all beings? That could be a question for them. (Think of Virgin Mary.) They tried to categorize them by qualities of ferocity and peace. It did not work out well.  Usually deities have mountains, streams, and rivers named after them; Mahavidyas have no such association; that was a disappointment. Though they are called Mothers, they are not fecund in the ordinary sense; yet they are ten in One who is the Mother of all beings.  Kali is addressed as Mother Goddess. Are they married? Yes, they have a weak connection with Siva, according to the western view. It worries a few that Kali and Tara have planted their feet on Siva. Tripura Sundari sits on a couch whose legs are Siva, Vishnu, Brahma and Rudra, whose mattress is Sadasiva, and whose pillow is Isana. How could TS treat the gods as furniture? Remember the human pyramid in Abhu Ghraib. Even Lakshmi in her capacity as a Mahavidya and Gajalakshmi stays far away from Vishnu and yet sits on a lotus flower flanked by showering elephants.


Their portfolios do not particularly address creation, maintenance and destruction, though in reality they (goddesses) are Nirguna Brahman. It appears that Mahavidyas shed their connection with Siva and Vishnu; it beguiles the curious west that such independence exists among the Mahavidyas. When they are with their consort they are either standing or sitting on Him. (Think of Virtus standing on evil man; KALI. Here some of Mahavidyas stand on their common consort Siva as a mark of defiance. You saw faded photos of a Maharaja or a British Civil Servant holding a rifle and keeping one foot on top of the tiger he killed with the rifle from a perch on a tree. I wished they dropped their rifle and fought with the tiger hand to paw.) Viparita Mithuna (reverse coition or female-superior position) is astonishing; that is for those who are not familiar with Kama Sutra or Biblical Lilith, who insisted on female superior position with Adam in their consortium.

Bible says that Adam had two wives, the first one, Lilith and the second one, Eve. Lilith in her wisdom thought that Adam and she are equal and thus refused to sleep with or serve 'under him' in their consortium. Adam insisted on male-superior position, which upset Lilith and so she flew away from Eden and consorted with demons, conceiving by the hundreds every day. (No wonder the demons of today are her progeny.) God could not persuade Lilith to come back to Adam and so made Eve from Adam's rib to be his second wife. (The west may demand to know whether Adam and Eve were siblings.)  Lilith was upset at being branded an ogre. Lilith morphed into a serpent and slithered into the Garden of Eden and tricked Eve into eating the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. From that moment on, humanity was going downhill. Hindus call this era, Kaliyuga. The erstwhile wise Biblical serpent of wisdom and rebirth was downgraded because of its trickery on Eve and Adam and thus on mankind. Adam, to begin with, was a strict fruitarian as the ancient Seers, Rishis and Ascetics of India, who picked and ate only fallen fruits. God created Adam from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, causing him to become a living soul. Hindus call it Prana, the breath or the vital airs that drive every organ in the body. God created Adam on October 20, 4004 BC at 9.00 AM; he lived for 930 years and died in the year 3074 BC.

The modern woman is well groomed, polished, painted, pampered, and powdered. Look at the Mahavidyas. Some of the Mahavidyas roam around in the cremation grounds; their hair is disheveled; they wear skulls for a garland; they run around naked; their fierce and gaunt appearance do not appeal to the west, though they confer boons to their devotees.  Some seem to have a perverse curiosity without understanding of the essence of the message.

    Among Tamil Alphabets, Siva is the consonant or body-letter, while Sakti is the vowel or life-letter; thus, Siva's body and Sakti's soul make Siva-Sakti. Without Siva-Sakti, there is no speech. The talk of supremacy of Sakti over Siva is on the tongue of everyday Tamil speech: "(If you can't do it), be like silent Siva (and let Sakti do the job)." சும்மா சிவனேன்னு இரு =  be inert like Siva. Siva is sava (dead) without Sakti; He is the inert foundation of a canvas on which Sakti paints (and also is) the picture of matter, life, support, growth, death and renewal; He is inert and She is dynamic. But there is no painting to look at without canvas.

They represent the state of the material world in all its starkly naked reality. Mantras "bring them to life;" when no Mantras are chanted, they become latent. Wherever Sadhaka goes, the Mahavidya follows him or her. Sadhakas receive Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksa from her (Righteousness, wealth, sensual pleasure and liberation).  She is Being, Consciousness and Bliss-Satchitananda. She brings to a Sadhaka, awareness, superconsciousness and eventual liberation.


Sattva is white; Rajas is red; Tamas is black

In Yogini-Tantra Devi says 'Now see my form (Rupa) which is Brahmananda (Brahma's Egg = the Universe) and supreme. Listen, this form is the supreme state (Paramadhama) in the form of Kali. There is no Brahman-form higher than this.' In Kamadhenu-Tantra Siva says 'In the void is Kali who grants Kaivalya'. Tara is Sattva-gunatmika  and Tattva-vidya-dayini; Sodasi (Maha-tripura-sundari), Bhuvanesvari and Chinnamasta are Rajah-pradhana and Sattva-gunatmika and hence they grant Gaunamukti in the form of Heaven (Svarga) Aisvarya and so forth. The forms of Dhumavati, Bagala, Matangi and Kamala are Tamah-pradhana and hence their Sadhana is done in Satkarma, such as causing death to others and so forth. In short all the ten forms of Mahadevi give Enjoyment and Liberation directly or indirectly.

The forms of the Mahavidya are divided into two groups namely the Kalikula and Srikula. So Niruttara-Tantra says that 'Kali, Tara, Raktakali, Bhuvana, Mardini, Triputa, Tvarita, Durga and Vidya Pratyangira belong to the Kalikula. And to the Srikula belong Sundari, Bhairavi, Bala, Bagala, Kamala, Dhumavati, Matangi, Vidya, Svapnavati and Mahavidya Madhumati. Of all the Siddhavidyas Daksina is, O my beloved, the Cause (Prakrti)'.

Kali-kula is for the worship of Jñanis in Divya and Virabhava, and Sri-kula is for the worship of Karmins in Divya, Vira and Pasu-Bhavas. The Tantra-Sastra gives an account of the Mantras, Yantras, mode of worship and so forth for all the ten or eighteen Mahavidyas. But almost all Tantrik writings hymn the greatness of, and give p. 30 the highest place to, Kalika the first Mahavidya for the others are but different forms of Brahmarupini Kalika. The Nigama-Kalpataru says 'Of all castes the Brahmana is the highest. Amongst all Sadhakas the Sakta is the highest. Of Saktas he is the chief who does Japa of the Kalimantra.' Picchila-Tantra also says 'of all the Mantras of the Devas that of Kalika is the best. Even the vilest can become Jivanmukta simply through this Mantra.' In Yogini-Tantra, Siva says 'This Vidya Kalika is Maha-Maha-Brahma Vidya, through whom even the worst may attain Nirvana. Even Brahma, Visnu, and Mahesvara are her worshippers. She who is Kali the supreme Vidya, is Tara also. The notion of a difference between them has given rise to various Mantras.' Again the Kamakhya-Tantra says 'Oh Paramesvari, seven lakhs of Mahavidyas remain hidden. Of them all Sodasi is said to be the most sublime. But Oh Devi, the Mother of the world, Kalika is the mother even of Her.' Niruttara-Tantra says 'Without knowledge of Sakti, Oh Devi, there is no nirvana. That Sakti is Daksina Kali who is the own form of all Vidyas (Sarvavidyarupini).' The Yamala again says 'As is Kali so is Tara and so are Chinna and Kulluka. Oh Devi, thou, who art the supreme Kalika, art also the Marti which is composed of these four. In the Vaidik system Sagnika (fire-maintaining) Brahmanas achieved their ends by the offering of oblations to the seven lolling tongues of fire named Kali, Karali, Manojava, Sulohita, Sudhumravarna, Sphulingini and Devi Visvaruci' (1st Saptaka, 2nd Khanda, 4th Sutra).   Kalikarpuradi Stotra. Translation Arthur Avalon.


1. Kali is the first Mahavidya, black as night. She is Time because everyone disappears into the blackness of Time, where they repose in the tender loving hands of Kali in peace, tranquility, and bliss. Man's phenomenal life comes to an end and god's eternal life comes to a pause. Kali, having killed a demon, continues on her unmitigated rampage with the Tejas (power, splendor) she received from all the gods. In order to diffuse this unspent, extravagant and redundant energy, Siva appears as an infant on the battleground and Kali stumbles on him. She takes pity, picks the infant and with motherly love and compassion, nurses infant Siva. (This is the Motherly aspect of Kali.) Yes, Siva is her husband  and also her son; don't let that bother you; there is no hanky-panky; that is divine unity in world of paradox. In some narratives, Siva appears on the battleground as himself;  finding her husband at her feet, Kali takes pity and her unspent bursting redundant energy dissipates. Kali is not only the Consort of Siva Himself , but as occasion demands, her son also. This is Siva playing different roles with His Consort to diffuse her superabundant energy and bring Her back to Her own self. Consider this situation.

When a tight-knit family dies in a car accident, earthquake, tsunami, or floods, they are reborn; the relationship with each other is reconfigured; father may become the son; mother may become the wife; this is all recycling of the soul according to the merit and demerits of the family members. They have no control over this new constellation in the relationship. It is the Karma that determines the new constellation. Consider this: In the west, the husband addresses his wife, babe. Is she really his baby? It is an expression on the part of the husband of his nurturing, protective and doting nature and attitude towards his wife. The wife nursing the husband is not unheard of in all cultures. I had the privilege to hear of such an incident in my practice. This was to relieve the engorged breasts, the wife admitted to me. Kali is the Mother of the universe, the protectress of her children and the destroyer of evil. The elements in this legend of Kali portray certain qualities in a person and the accompanying passions. Man is divine and demonic at the same time, two sides of one person. There are gods and men who are divine; there are demons and men who are demonic.  Kali goes by many names: Durga, Sati, Parvati, Uma, Bhavani.  She is the Supreme Truth, realizing which is the Supreme state. Kali is portrayed with Sava (dead) Siva, lotus (Brahma) and lion (Vishnu), indicating that she holds the portfolios of creation, maintenance, and destruction and offers Moksa (liberation) to her votaries. She is the Mother Goddess, the First Female of the Universe. She gave birth to Brahma, Siva and Vishnu and other gods. Later she gave birth to SivA (Rudrani--female), Brahmani, and Vaishnavi as their consorts. She is the Mother of all beings in the universe.



Breast milk son is permitted to be in the vicinity of breast milk siblings who the sisters nursed  before they were 2 years of age.

June 9, 2010

Lactating women in Saudi Arabia are given permission to offer breast milk to cognate and non-cognate males and acquaintances in order to induce mother-son feelings (Vatsalaya = वत्सलय  in Sanskrit) in the milk-imbibing recipient towards the milk donor and vice versa. Once this breast-milk-induced platonic relationship is established between the unrelated woman and man, they can be around each other, when that proximity occurs in social situations--driving the donor-woman. Breast milk can be pumped out and offered in a glass; the man can directly suckle at the breast of woman under mutual consent five times in order to establish the platonic relationship in good measure. It is not uncommon for the sisters to breast feed the nephews, so the daughters do not have to cover their faces in the vicinity of cousins later during adulthood. They are known as breast milk siblings.  Islam forbids sexual encounter between a woman and a man, who suckled at the breast of the woman. Concerned people wonder whether a hairy face suckling on the breast of a woman is an appealing proposition in the context of Fatwa.


According to Rg Veda, the newly married woman is blessed with long life with her husband and 10 children plus the 11th child being her own husband. The reason is that a woman loves her last offspring the most; that love she reserves for her husband, whom she should think of as the most loved and the last child. In Hindu thinking, a son is the facsimile of her husband.

It appears that Siva knew exactly when to express and project Kali's anger, when to extinguish it and when to execute the strategies that go with them. Kali just finished killing the demons. The demons are euphemism for bad qualities of the human race. Demons are the Tamasic (Dark) demons in our mind: Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada, Matsarya (desire, anger, greed, delusion, pride, and envy). Siva had to extinguish the superabundant energy of Kali.  Siva's Maya overpowered and deluded Kali and instilled in her a strong nurturing instinct. As Kali was wandering among the mutilated bodies and corpses, she was about to step on a crying baby; she stopped, picked him up and tenderly nursed him at her breast, exhibiting her maternal instinct. Here is an instance of the Lord playing the role of suckling baby to extinguish the unspent and redundant Tejas of Kali; suckling not only quenched his hunger pains, but also drew out her unspent wrath and Tejas (the collective power derived from male gods), which he stomached along with her milk. Here you may notice the blur between wife and mother in one woman. By draining and drenching the fire of wrath, the Lord (Siva) became the protector of men, god and Tirthas (holy places). He took eight forms as his manifestation as the Supreme intelligent Protector of Tirthas: Sarva for earth, Bhava for water, Rudra for fire, Ugra for air, Bhima for ether, Pasupati for Ksetrajna, Isana for sun, and Mahadeva for moon (according to Swami Sivananda). These eight forms are collectively called Murtayo'stau or Ashtamurti. See insert: Nursing Mother Goddess: exoticindia.com

A source says that Kali is associated with the waning tithis (digits) of the moon, while Sodasi is associated with the waxing digits of the moon. Amavasya (new moon) goes with Kali while Sodasi goes with Purnima (Full moon).  Full moon of Sodasi is full knowledge; Kali's new moon is transcendence of all knowledge; thus, Kali and Sodasi complement each other.

(In the movie "Loc Kargil" the Indian soldiers were invoking Kali and Durga while they were attacking the rock-fortified positions of the enemy soldiers. They were invoking the Tejas (Radiant Energy, power) of Kali and Durga to overpower and conquer...

Got to KALI for more details.

One source tells that Kali is anjana (black, collyrium); Tara is Nila (dark blue); Matangi is asita (black) or shyamanga; Sodasi and Bhuvanesvari are of  the color of rising sun (balarkakanti); Bhairavi is the color of a thousand rising suns; Chinnamasta is the color of a million suns; Dhumavati is of ashen color  (Vivarna); Bagalamuki is of yellow color (Pitavarna); Kamala is of the color of lightning (Saudaminisannibha); ShyamAngI is of dark green color;  If you think all races are represented in Mahavidyas, you are right.  Kali is primarily black, the Eve of all Eves.

The following is the panegyric hymns of Kali from Mahanirvana Tantra, adapted from Hymn to Kali (Woodroffe).

HRIM, O destroyer of time; SRIM the Terrific One; KRIM the beneficent one. You are the possessor of all arts. You are Kamala, Lakshmi Devi. You are Kalidarpaghni, destroyer of  the pride of Kali Age. You show kindness to Kapardisa, Siva with matted hair. You are KAlikA (devourer) of the one who devours (MahAkAla). You are effulgent as the fires of final dissolution. You are Kapardini, the spouse of one with matted hair. You are of fearful countenance though you are the ocean of nectar of compassion. You are a vessel of mercy without limits; you are reachable only by your mercy. You are tawny, you are fire, you are black. You augment the joy of the Lord of creation, Krishna (Krishna-ananda-vivardhini). You are KAlarAtri, the Night of darkness in form  of desire and yet you are KAma-pAsa-vimOcini, the liberator form the bonds of desire and passion. You are KAdambini, the One as dark as cumulus clouds. You are KalAdhArA, the wearer of the crescent moon. You are Kali-kalmasa-nAsinI, the destroyer of the sin in Kaliyuga. You are KumAri-PUjana-pritA, the pleased one of the worship of virgins (as is the custom in Bengal) and KumAri-Bhojana-ananda, the pleased one at the feasting of Virgins, and KumAri-rUpa-DhArinI, (the one of the form of a virgin). You wander in Kadamba forest, pleased with its flowers, having an abode thereof, wearing a garland of Kadamba flowers. You are youthful, of soft voice and sweetness as the cry of CakravAka bird. You like and look pleased with drinking Kadamba wine. Your cup is a skull and you wear a garland of bones. You like Lotus and its fragrance and sit on a Lotus, abiding in its center. You move like a swan. You are the destroyer of fear. Your abode is KAmarUpa (in Assam, where her genital organ fell when Vishnu used his discus to cut the dead body of Sati carried by Siva after he destroyed Daksa's Yagna). Mother Goddess has many forms in various ages always being the consort of Siva. Wherever the body parts fell, that place became the holy spot where a temple in honor of Sati [Parvati, Mother Goddess] was built.) You are KAma-pitha-vilAsini. You are as beautiful as a creeper; beauty is your ornament. You have a tender body and slender waist. You love purified wine and bless those devotees who worship you with the wine. You love the smell of musk and appear luminous with Tilaka on your forehead. You love everything and everybody associated with musk, camphor, and sandalwood.  You are pleased when worshipped with bija Mantra HUm. You are the embodiment of Kulachara. You show the path of Kulachara to Kaulikas. You are the queen of Kasi and destroyer of suffering. You give blessings and pleasure to the Lord of Kasi; you are the beloved of the Lord of Kasi. As you move, your toe-rings emanate sweet sounds, and your girdle bells tinkle. You live in the mountain of KAncana, mountain of gold (Mt Sumeru). You heart gladdens at the recitation of Mantra Klim. You are KAma-bija-svarUpini.  You are Kumatighni, mover of men in the right direction, KulI-nArti-nAsinI, the destroyer of the afflictions of Kaulikas. You are Kula-kAminI, Lady of Kaulas. You are the destroyer of the fear of death by your three bija Mantras, KRIM, HRIM, and SRIM. To Thee I make obeisance.

Hindu and Buddhist priests chanted sacred hymns and showered flowers and grains of rice over a 3-year-old girl who was appointed a living goddess in Nepal on Tuesday. The girl, Matani Shakya, left, received approval from the priests and President Ram Baran Yadav in a centuries-old tradition with deep ties to Nepal’s monarchy, which was abolished in May. The new Kumari, or living goddess, was carried from her parents’ home to an ancient palatial temple in Katmandu, the capital, where she will live until she reaches puberty and loses her divine status. A panel of judges conducted a series of ancient ceremonies to select the goddess from several girls ages 2 to 4 who were members of the goldsmith caste. ---Oct 8 2008 New York Times.

2. Tara, dark-blue in color, as her name implies is a savior and a star. Tara = savior, carrying  a cross; protector. She and Kali are depicted as standing on supine Sava Siva. (Sava = dead) with left foot planted on the body.  Standing on a corpse is symbolic of victory over disasters and calamities; it is like the hunter standing on the ferocious animal he killed (with a bait and a rifle, perched on a tree house. Real men don't do that). Tara is a compassionate mother to Siva. On the urging of gods and Vishnu, Siva drinks up the spreading destructive poison generated during the churning of the milk ocean for ambrosia. That night Siva drank the poison to save this world is called Sivaratri (the Night of Siva). He drinks it up and falls ill. Tara finds him unconscious, revives him and nurses him back to health with her breast milk which counteracts the poison. In Hinduism, the milk of the Goddess generally means divine knowledge-- food for the soul. Tara carries a pair of scissors in her hands, which means that she can sever all attachments. Siva without Sakti is dead (sava) like the wallet without money. Siva and Sakti are one integral unit. Four-armed Tara is pot-bellied and wears a tiger skin and long braids reaching the back of her knees. Tara and Kali are presented in the images as companions (consorts) of Siva at their feet and at their lap with suckling Siva. Her protuberant abdomen is symbolic of creation; her large turgid breasts nutrition, growth, and maintenance; her sword destruction of the universe.

Green Tara 

Tara (exoticindia.com)

     She holds a knife, a severed head, a sword, an oar, a pair of scissors, lotus and more in varying combinations. Another source tells She has three eyes, protuberant belly, and turgid breasts; is of blue complexion; and wears ornaments, snakes, a garland of skulls and a one-braid donut hair. Jata (hair rounded as doughnut), lashing tongue, terrible white teeth, tiger skin around her waist, and bone ornaments over her forehead are her other features. She sits on the chest of a corpse. In another form she carries a pair of scissors, sword, and a skull bowl; her habitat is cremation ground. Buddhist Tara is gentle, while Tantric Tara is Ugra (fierce, Ugra Tara). Tara and Kali share many of the same qualities and features so much so that it may be difficult to distinguish one from the other. She likes animal and human blood, particularly the latter and esp., from parts such as head, forehead, chest, or hands, some of which may indicate locations of Chakras (Kundalini spiritual centers or planes). Sadhana (spiritual perfection) is Lifeblood of a Sadhaka (spiritually perfected). Spiritual perfection is what she wants of a votary.

    Vamacara Tantrics are the usual votaries of Tara. Vamacara: Viras and Divyas (Heros and Virtuous or spiritual men) are permitted to practice Vamacara, the left-handed tantric rites, which involve Madya, wine; Mamsa, meat; Matsya, fish; Mudra, grain; and Maithuna, sexual union. (Go to Kularnava Tantra for more details.) Day time continence is practiced and nightly worship with Panchatattva (the Five Ms) is permitted. Vamacara practitioners regard the impurities, the forbidden and the auspiciousness of the Goddess equally; lower pleasures of animal passion are only preludes to higher Bliss of Brahman; it is sublimation, transformation and transmutation from the lower to the higher, from flesh to spirit, from the mundane to the metaphysical, and from the human to the divine. The Five Ms only serve as instruments to achieve that objective. It is a common Hindu saying that we are made of bone, blood, muscle, fat, skin, senses, and bowels and bladder containing feces, worms, and urine. No one would think of cutting off the bladder and bowels, the storehouses of excrements, because they hold impure objects. The universe of body is an agglomeration of the auspicious and the inauspicious, each having a necessary function. The universe of daily living is a blend of ugliness and beauty; the left-handed worship aims at transcending from the flesh to the spirit. Go to Kularnava Tantra for more details. Tara's habitat is cremation ground, the periphery of the society, indicating lack of refrainment, rejection of subservience to male dominance, rules and mores, show of power, might and gore. She is creative, destructive, purifying by fire, and transformative; she embodies the powers of Brahma, Vishnu, Siva in their acts. What is Sankarshana fire at dissolution for the Vaishnava sect is Tara's symbolic fire in the cremation ground for the Saktas; the former is cataclysmic and the latter is localized. The garland of skulls and the skirt of severed arms--hand is the doer of Karma--stand for the Sanskrit alphabets and destruction of Karma of her votaries. Why do heads represent Sanskrit alphabets? Head is where articulated speech or sound (Vaikhari speech) originates and is the seat of speech center, voice box, the tongue and the lips. Without the head, there is no spoken word or identity. The scissors and the sword cut the knots, bonds and Pasas (Bonds, impurities) of the soul-- which prevent Jnana (spiritual knowledge) from entering the soul-- taking the soul to higher consciousness and eventually to SatChitAnanda (Being, Consciousness and Bliss) and Moksa. Destruction (by the sword) leads to release and transformation to higher consciousness. The severed head is symbolic of severing the mind, ahamkara (ego), Avidya (ignorance), Kama (lust), Krodha (anger), Raga (passion), Dvesha (hatred). All these qualities abide in the head.  The very fact that man appears on earth means that his karma is not resolved. Severing the hands is severing the karma with eventual release of the soul and attaining of moksa. Thought, word and deed constitute Karma; hand is the doer of Karma and therefore is logo or the iconic representation of Karma; the skirt of severed hands around Kali's waist represents her ability to expunge Karma.



Siva-Sakti is the origin of consciousness and Prakriti Tattvas (building blocks) which are made of Gunas or qualities: Sattva, Rajas and Tamas (virtue, action, darkness). These qualities give limitation, form, structure, and function to consciousness. Siva's Consciousness finds limitation in a human form. We are all mini-Sivas or limited Sivas. He who remains in a dark room wants light in his room; he needs only a little light to see; he cannot and should not literally bring the sun into his room which will be incinerated by the sun; a sunroof allows sunlight to come in; that is limitation of sun as Siva's consciousness finds limitation in man. Here the roof is Tamas preventing the sunlight coming into the room; Sattva is the sunroof that allows the sunlight come into the room; Rajas is the shutter in the sunroof that can be opened and shut. When the shutter is closed, it is part of the roof.  Rajas gives direction or expression to Sattva or Tamas.  Sattva is light; Tamas is darkness and veiling; Rajas is activity.  The world of minerals is Tamas, total darkness and complete lack of consciousness; there is no light and intelligence; the world of vegetables has a little Sattva and the rest is Tamas; the world of animals has more Rajas, very little sattva and the rest is Tamas; the world of man has variable amount of Sattva and the rest is Tamas and Rajas.  Sattva in full measure in man is spirituality; as it rises Tamas attenuates proportionately.  Rajas is the engine that gives that motion, that spin to all the physical, chemical, biological, psychological processes appropriate to minerals, vegetables, animals, and man.

    Man is a pasu (animal) in comparison with Viras, Divyas, and gods. The Five Ms are allegorical of certain principles.  Panchatattva = Panchamakaara (Panchamakara) =  Pancha = five + (Makara* = Ms) = Five Ms:  Five essentials: Madya, wine; Mamsa, meat; Matsya, fish; Mudra, grain; and Maithuna, sexual union. Panchatattva practices are within the prescribed limitations and injunctions; ritual worship and ritual Maithuna are performed with one's own wife. If the sadhaka has no wife or if the wife is incompetent, he can take another woman for rituals. Drinking of wine is done only during rituals within prescribed limits. It is a sin to engage in extramarital relations and extra-ritual drinking. All these received bad publicity and reputation from some abuses. Latasadhana (worship with a woman) has its privileges and limitations; one, who does not follow the prescribed injunctions, believes in dualism, and is addicted to lust, is not fit candidate for Latasadhana; he goes to Raurava hell and suffer from painful excess of the fiery Tejas Tattva.

Makara* = M. Example Akara is for A; Ukara for U; Makara for M. Put together-- AUM. Alpha for A,  Beta for B and thus Makara for M.

Killing of man is sin; ritual killing of animals to fulfill the tenets of panchatattva is rising above duality which means cutting the duality of man's animal nature (pleasure and pain, love and hate) with the sword of knowledge. The wandering senses in the ocean of Samsara like the schools of fish should be brought under control and yoked to the self; that is eating of fish. The woman worthy of love and attention is no other than Sakti that resides (sleeps) in you. The pasu (the animal man) lets the woman (Deity) sleep in the Muladhara Chakra or pelvic floor, but the Vira and Divya awaken the deity in him and take her to higher planes (Ajna Chakra etc). The Bliss, one feels when Sakti (Kundalini) and Siva meet in the upper Chakra, is the bliss of Maithuna. All other unions are just animal acts. This is in essence the meaning of five Ms. There are three kinds of people: Pasus, Viras and Divyas.  Pasus are animals in human form; Viras (the hero) are the transitional beings (man-man) going from animal nature to a higher nature and enjoy Bhoga (pleasures) of the world. Divyas are god-men and spiritual beings.

    Tara's habitat is active cremation ground with smell of burning fires and flesh hanging thick in the air; Tara is actually the fire itself.  Fire is the purifier and thus, karma is burnt along with other malas (impurities) and ignorance. At her feet she has either Siva or ghost. Jackals scamper looking for raw or roasted flesh. Tara likes worship at midnight in the cremation grounds. She is Masana Bhairavi (Smasana in Sanskrit), the Terrible One of the cremation ground. If you see the diagram of the Mahavidyas, you will notice that Kali and Tara are the first and the second among the Mahavidyas.

    Tara straddles Hinduism and Buddhism. Students of religion say that Tara was the Goddess of worship for  Brahma, Vishnu, and Buddha and later to Vasistha.  Sage Vasistha performed Tapas for ten thousand years with no results. He went to Brahma who recommended meditating on and worshipping Tara. It is through her power that Brahma creates this world, Vishnu maintains it and Siva destroys it. She is the revealer of Vedas, shines like a thousand suns and is the light in everything that shines. As a Guru, Brahma initiates Vasistha into worship with Tara Mantra. He sat in one place in Kamakhaya, worshipped and meditated on Tara for one thousand years without any success.  Vasistha became angry and was about to curse Tara for her inattention to him. Great Rishis have immense power and their curse inflicts injury to the recipient, though the latter is a deity. The earth quaked, mountains shook, and gods were tremulous. Tara appeared before him and pointed to him that he was not worshipping her in the proper manner and with correct ritual. (One has to follow the rules and do the right thing to get anywhere.) Yoga and Tapas had no value in her worship. Buddha, the incarnate of Vishnu, knew her worship.  Incarnationcarn means flesh; being born in flesh. She said to Vasistha that he should worship her in the form of Cina-Tara (nothing to do with Sinatra; Cina-Tara = China + Tara). That is worshipping of  China Tara . The nearest area close to China was Tibet and so Vasistha went there from India to find out more about Cina-Tara worship. The Buddha initiated him in the worship of Tara and asked him to go back to India and meditate on Tara. Buddha's intuitive mystical vision knew the sacred site near the River Dwaraka. Vasistha sat down on five human skulls in that exact place and meditated and recited Tara Mantra three hundred thousand times. Tara, pleased with Vasistha, appeared before him and offered a boon; Vasistha in a state of bliss, asked her to reveal herself as Mother Goddess nursing infant Siva. As said by Buddha, the vision of Tara to Vasistha, came to pass.  Soon after this vision, she froze into a stone with the vision carved in granite; this is the centerpiece of Tarapitha Temple. The story does not end here. Vasistha had flashbacks of an episode that happened a long time ago. The following episode explains this further.

Mother Goddess nursing infant Siva:  Siva's consort nursing her husband Siva is the ordinary meaning that everybody thinks. What is milk for the body is knowledge for the soul. In this instance, suckling may mean that Siva is taking or imbibing the redundant unspent power from the Goddess who just returned from battle. There is another explanation. Let me give you a commonly held belief in Hinduism: incarnation.  Let us say that a whole family dies in Tsunami, earthquake, car accident, terrorist attack,  all members at the same time. According to Hindu belief son may become the husband of his mother at rebirth; the father may become the son; that sounds repulsive at first thought; it is the migration of the soul from body to body; memory of prior life is erased and forgotten mercifully.  Karma decides the relationship, environment, heredity and ancestry of the newborn.

    Daksa, father of Sati, conducted a great sacrifice to which he did not invite his daughter Sati and son-in-law, Siva. Sati invited herself to the sacrifice; Daksa did not pay any attention to his daughter. Because sacrificial offerings were not allotted to Rudra (Siva) which was compulsory according to the canons of sacrifice, Sati, Siva’s spouse flew into a rage and leveled criticism against the Brahmanas and Daksha (her father) as follows: Brahmanas and Daksa have more regard to wealth over Soul. They failed to recognize and praise the greatest Soul in the universe, Lord Siva. His two-syllable name SIVA, when uttered, erased the sins. Brahma wore the flowers that fell from the feet of Lord Siva. She told her father in the assembly hall that she was ashamed to own and wear the body born of Daksha (actually Sati was an adopted daughter of Daksa), who offended the most exalted Soul, Siva. She, then, went into Tapas (Tapas* = heat, deep meditation) to remove the body inherited from her father and the last impurities from her soul, commanded the air and fire to come to her limbs and removed consciousness from her body; her body went into flames subsequently--spontaneous combustion from the heat of Tapas. (There are proven reports of spontaneous combustion in humans and animals.) Unmindful of the self-immolation of Sati, Bhrgu Muni continued to pour oblations on the Sacrificial Fire, Daksinagni (Daksha’s fire), chanting Yajurveda which had the power of destroying the obstructers of the sacrifice; the opponents scattered in all directions from the force of the mantras.

Tapas*: Heat. Tapas has two polar meanings and opposites: 1) Heat of sexual desire 2) Heat from the practice of asceticism. Heat of sexual desire can ruin the heat of ascetic practice. KAma (Cupid of Hinduism) tries to wean Siva away from his deep Ascetic Tapas to a desire for Parvati, Siva's consort. Siva woke up in a fiery mood and reduced KAma to ashes for interfering with his Ascetic Tapas.  Tapas in man deepens Sraddha (faith), confers Jnana (Knowledge) and ensures peace of mind, all of which helps the Tapasvi to unite with Brahman.  The West is of the opinion that heat treatment, magico-religious power, shamanism, autothermy are of similar nature. The Tapasvis by virtue of their accomplishment become the residents of upper heaven (Tapaloka), where they live with the deities who by Tapas attained immunity from fire. --Harper's Dictionary of Hinduism.

The view from the West.


Sati: 'In Vedic times Sati, self-immolation of the wife after the death of her husband, was only a mimetic ceremony, in which the widow climbed on to the funeral pyre and lay beside her husband's body and was then led away either by a relative or friend, after which the pyre was set alight.' It is a sign of a widow's devotion to her dead husband. Sat is the origin of Sati and means 'real, true, virtuous'....The ceremony fell into disuse but later resumed in the 6th century along the Ganges River, Rajputana and Bengal for the widows of Ksatriyas (kings). Some tribals also practiced Sati. It was real in some and mimetic in certain cases. In Bengal the year 1817 witnessed 706 cases which were reported to the officials. In 1829, under the Governor-Generalship of Lord William Bentinck and chiefly the moral influence of Ram Mohan Roy , the custom was lawfully abolished. The West says that Krishna's eight wives committed self-immolation by embracing His body at the funeral pyre. The West compares and contrasts Sati with the Egyptian and Mesopotamian practice of entombment of the wife, slaves and possessions of Pharaoh, who had no say in the matter. The Indo-Germanic tribes committed immolation of the widow of a chieftain so that she would accompany her husband to Valhalla, the Hall of Odin into which the souls of heroes slain in battle  and others who have died bravely are received. Odin = the ruler of Aesir and Scandinavian god of war, poetry, knowledge, and wisdom; Germanic god Wotan, the chief god. Aesir = race of gods. One of the Indologists from the West suggests that the greed of the priest was the motivating force in the enforcement of self-immolation of the wife on the funeral pyre to obtain (usurp) the property of the widow. That inflammatory statement prompted the present-day priests to hold his feet to the fire on that issue and declared that the fire-breathing Indologist was full of hot air. The West further says that the conniving priests after confabulation and a evil sense of sabotage, altered the text in Rg Veda (X 18,7) from the original statement (AGRE = in front) which asked the grieving widow to rise from the pyre and go in front of it to an altered statement (AGNEH = into fire) that read that she should go into the fire. Indologists of the West  claim to have seen Sati in Bengal and elsewhere before the law prohibiting it was passed. We should thank the British for the law enforcing prohibition of Sati.    

Rg Veda (X 18,7) 7 Let these unwidowed dames with noble husbands adorn themselves with fragrant balm and unguent.
Decked with fair jewels, tearless, free from sorrow, first let the dames go up to where he lieth. English Translation by Griffith.

Siva picked up and carried Sati's burnt physical remains on his shoulders, wandered and danced madly all over the universe. His dance shook the earth and roiled the seas, sending tsunamis. This made gods very nervous. Vishnu decided to cut up the body of Sati with his discus and lighten the burden and Siva's anguish over the death of his beloved consort. He deployed his discus fifty one times to cut the body  into 51 parts (there are 51 alphabets in Sanskrit; Goddess is a body of 51 Sanskrit alphabets.).  Wherever the body parts fell, they became holy. The places became Sakti Pithas (sacred temples dedicated to Mother worship.) When Siva's burden was cast off, He retired to Kailas for meditation. Sati was reborn as Uma Parvati and married Siva. Sati's toes fell at Kalighat, Calcutta, where Mother Kali has her temple, built by a woman devotee in 1847. Sati's womb fell in Kanchi, Tamil Nadu and became the temple for Kamakshi, the consort of Siva. Mother Kali of four arms, whose "living image" made of black basalt, stands majestically and fiercely on prostrate Siva made of white marble. She is embellished with gold ornaments and pearl necklace. A garland of 51 human heads and a skirt made of severed human arms are part of her accouterment.  The lower left hand holds aloft a severed human head; the upper left hand holds a blood-smeared sword. The right upper hand offers blessings and boons and the right lower hand offers refuge and dispels fear. She has three eyes; the third eye is the eye of intrinsic wisdom, strikes terror to the wicked, and offers benign glances of love and affection to the  devotees. She is all rolled into One: creator, preserver, destroyer, Prakrti, Tattvas, sakti, and universal Mother, even to the gods. The third eye of Sati fell on earth at Tarapitha, which already had a temple for Ugra-Tara, which Vasistha saw before his recent vision.

    In Tibet, Vasistha had a vision of Buddha surrounded by a galaxy of frolicking sky-clad (naked) girls of heavenly beauty; they were drinking and intoxicated. A voice coming from the sky told him that that was the way to worship Tara, which would give immediate results. He rejected the idea of joining the nude girls for Tara's mercy and spiritual liberation. He went to The Buddha, the incarnate of Vishnu, for instructions. The Buddha instructed him on PANCHAMAKARAS, by which the aspirant can live in the midst (of forces) of virtue, motion and passion, and darkness and yet remain uncontaminated and unaffected by them. Good and bad, purity and impurity, beauty and ugliness, grace and horror, compassion and cruelty, heaven and hell are all variations of one theme, the Truth, the Goddess. Vasistha, having been instructed in Panchamakaras became an adept. Go to TANTRA for more information on Tantric worship.

The Five M's, known as Pancha Makaaras (Pancha Makaras)

The Five Ma's are the five words beginning with Sanskrit letter "Ma--."  These notorious five caused a lot of controversy: Madya (wine), Mamsa (meat), Matsya (Fish), Mudra (grains) and Mithuna (sexual union).  For the modern man, these five acts within the confines of marriage are normal. Actually, these acts are actively encouraged for one reason or another: mental and cardiac health (meat not recommended). On superficial examination, it appears that these five acts are sins of the flesh for the spiritually enlightened individuals in certain sections of India.  But in the west, this is the norm. Most of the epicures are 'guilty' of these five acts, if you call the acts guilt. In the ordinary sense, there is no law against these five acts and they are not prosecutable offenses. So what is the problem? Man is drawn to these five in a natural way. In Buddhist icons and sacred texts, depiction of Mithuna or sexual union carries an illustrative import: Enlightenment or Nirvana cannot be attained by wisdom or compassion (right action) alone, but by a combination of both. This union of (male) compassion and (female) wisdom produces Nirvana. If we are all products of compassion and wisdom, there will be no wars, conflicts or miseries.  See what Vaishnava Sacred Text Bhagavatam says on this topic.



Bhagavatam (Canto 11, Chapter 5, Verse 11- 13- 14) states the following: 11) man is naturally inclined towards enjoyment of sexual pleasure, flesh and wine. No rules enjoin them to indulge in them.  A certain check is provided over these tendencies (by the Sastra) by permitting sexual commerce with one's wedded wife, meat-eating at the end of  animal sacrifice, drinking of wine during SautrAmani sacrifice; the intention is to turn man away from them. 12) They do not understand the pure essence of their religion. Only the smelling of wine is sanctioned and animal sacrifice is allowed for the adoration of the deities and it is not permissible to kill them for meat. 13) Those who are ignorant of this Dharma and, though wicked and haughty, account themselves virtuous kill animals without any feeling of remorse or fear of punishment, and are devoured by those very animals in their next birth.  Translation from Sanskrit by C.L.Goswami Shastri.

Sexual indiscretion: Indra finds out the hard way the consequences of sexual indiscretion.

    Ahalya was the typical beautiful, devoted, faithful, and loyal wife of  Rishi (seer) Gautama, who as usual was performing  daily early morning rituals. Indra (married to Suci) the chief of gods and god of thunder and lightning secretly seduced Ahalya. The Rishi found out the infidelity of Indra and Ahalya, became angry, cursed his wife to become invisible and avenged Indra's infidelity by inflicting on him tattoos of female pudenda (genitalia); thus, he was the walking poster boy for infidelity in heavens. That kind of tattooing must have been very painful. Some report that the tattoos were a thousand eyes on his body (SahasrAksa). Another version states that the Rishi Gautama by his yogic knife emasculated him of his genitals (Vrsana -virility) and substituted it with that of the goat. (You wonder why goat. Among goats their is no fidelity. Goats are not Ms. Duck and Mr. Drake, bonded pair for life. Think of the Rocky Mountain Goats who ram their heads against each other in plain sight of the kids (kid-goats) and the does (the amused girl-goats) to earn the right to mate with as many nannies (does) as possible during the rutting season. Lucky for the he-goat, all nannies come into rutting season at the same time. Now you know who has the headache during the rutting season. That does not stop the ramrodding billy goat from scoring.)  Rama came along many years later and restored Ahalya to her normal self and brought about reconciliation of Ahalya and Gautama. Indra with pudendal tattoos paid for his indiscretion by suffering defeat in the hands of Demon Ravana, when his subjects (gods) did not come to his rescue. The West is of the belief that Markandeya Purana uses this myth to denigrate Indra and glorify Vishnu. This is one of the many episodes which illustrate the downfall of Indo-Aryan elemental gods and the ascent of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva and the Mother Goddess (Kali, Durga, Sarasvati and Lakshmi).

    Buddhist Tara is an young beautiful girl full of compassion, always at the ready to help the votary in peril. She appears out of the blue to save the votary, lead him out of dense forests, and rescue him at stormy seas, from impenetrable prisons and death by fiat. Votaries have been saved from the jaws of death, the very moment they think of her. Buddhist's Tara uses compassion and kindness while liberating the votaries; Hindu Tara uses shock and awe while taking them to Moksa. Buddhists adopted Tara from the Hindus and morphed her in such ways to fit their tenets.

    Hindu Tara is Nirguna Brahman, though her clinical appearance (Isvari) have attributes. As Isvari, she is the mistress of water (Jalesvari), earth, trees, flowers. She is easy of access to her devotees, who do not have to be initiated by a Guru; she is ready to confer boons and blessings without special prayer, mantra, or meditation. As she takes her votary from Avidya (ignorance) to Vidya (knowledge), she (Samsara-Tarini) takes him or her across the ocean or river of Samsara to the shores of enlightenment, liberation, bliss, and moksa. Tara = carrying across, saving. Thus, Tara carries an oar to save the votary lost in the ocean of Samsara. Tara of Tarapitha temple is a benign Goddess whom the devotees regard as loving indulgent Mother. She appears as nursing mother suckling baby Siva.

    Ugra Tara is different in that she appears with four arms, a garland of skulls, and a lolling tongue. Devotees offer goat sacrifices to her.


Rajarajeswari (Tripurasundari) Devi


Rajarajesvari: TPS and Sodasi are her other names. Credit: exoticindia.com

Tarasaktakam from The Nila Tantra

In praise of Tara

The bija of Tara is Hrim, Strim, Hum, Phat. She has many names: Nilasarasvati because she has the power of speech; Tara because she is a savior and giver of pleasure and liberation; Ugratara because she saves the devotee from calamities. According to her qualities she has different vidyas or mantras: Srim, Hrim, Hum, phat for granting wealth and beauty; Hrim, Hrim, Strim, Hum, Phat for granting all desires; Aim, Hrim, Srim, Hum, Phat for facilitating speech; Hrim, strim, Hum, Phat for granting liberation. Her Yantra is a circle with eight-petal lotus inside with down triangle in the center with Hum.


1. You are the grantor of wealth and prosperity to your devotees and I seek refuge  with you. Your hands hold a knife, a skull, a lotus and a sword; your three eyes are like fully blossomed lotuses. You have a smiling face while you stand on Siva with your right foot on his chest and left foot upon his thigh.

2. You are the presiding deity of speech. You are slender like a creeper, granting Yogam, Bhogam, and Siddhi and the facility to compose verse and prose. Your three eyes are like blue lotuses. You are the unrivalled ocean of kindness and compassion. I pray to you so that you shower me the nectar of wealth.

3. O Sharabha, you dispel my fears. O Proud Lady, You wear brilliant garments. The serpents coil around you and you wear tiger's skin. Tinkling bells grace your waist. You hold in your hands two freshly cut heads of demons dripping  blood. You wear a girdle of severed heads of demons as a garland. O formidable one, You are so beautiful.

4. O Devi Tara, You are difficult to attain; I take refuge in You. Your beauty speaks of love and charm. You are the Bindu and the Half moon (Chandra Bindu). Your substance is Hum and Phat. You are the Mantra itself and offer refuge for all. You have three forms: subtle, gross and Supreme. You are beyond the Vedas.

5. By serving your lotus feet, your devotees attain Sayujya Mukti. O Parameshvari, You are the consort of Brahma, Vishnu and the three-eyed One (Siva). The ignorant worship Devas, Indra and others who are themselves are caught in the wheel of Samsara. O Mother, your devotees who know you serve you at your feet.

Gnanamargam or path of knowledge Satputramargam or  path of the son Sakhamargam or path of companion Dasamargam or path of Servant
Sanmarga-Union-Sayujya Sarupa-Likeness-Sarupa Samipa-Nearness-Kriyamarga Saloka-Siva's world-Dasamarga
Mannickavasagar Sambandar Sundaramurthy Swamigal Appar (rich peasant family)

The paths to attain the Mother Goddess are four: the path of slave (Dasamarga), the path of companion or nearness (Samipa), the path of likeness (Sarupa) and the path of knowledge (Sayujya- union). The devotees will be born accordingly to progress of these four stages; Sayujya is the last step before union.

6. O Mother, The Devas who carry the dust of pollen from your Lotus Feet on their head gain victory over their enemies only because they rest in your lap. Their disdainful enemies with frivolous claims of bravery perish and die as they befit them.

7. The lesser divinities--Bhuta, Preta, Pisasa, Raksasa, Daitya, Danava, Yaksa and other creatures--take to their heels when they remember you and don't have the power to do any evil.

8. Siddhi is the gift to those who serve at your lotus feet. He is more eloquent than the Lord of speech and more beautiful than the god of love, Kama.  He can charm, mesmerize and paralyze the battle field elephants. He can stop the flow of water. He controls Siddha and prosperity.

The Pure and the self-controlled, reading these eight verse three times a day at morning, noon and evening, receives the power from the Mother Goddess to write beautifully in prose and poetry, become knowledgeable in Sastras, accumulate imperishable wealth, enjoy all bhogas of his choice, fame, beauty and wealth, earn the love of men and at the end attain liberation.


3. Sodasi (Shodasi) is a maiden of sixteen (years of age) and represents totality, youth, vigor, and perfection. She goes by other names, Rajarajesvari or Tripurasundari (TPS). Tri+Pura+Sundari = Three + City + Beauty. Three cities = the three realms of heaven, earth, and air or Sun, Moon, and Fire. (See the woodcarving above--credit: exoticindia.com.) Pradhana, the First Principle and the body of Siva became tripartite: the upper part, Brahma, the middle part Vishnu, and the lower part Rudra; thus, Siva is Tripura and his consort, TPS, is Tripurasundari. Siva is Tryambaka (Father of three, Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra. TPS is Vimarsa Sakti in whom all 36 Tattvas exist. Tattvas = building blocks of the universe.  TATTVAS-36.  Vimarsa Sakti is the Object of experience. Siva is Aham (I). TPS is Vimarsa (This or Idam). She is the Universe. When a King (Siva) looks at his own reflection in a mirror and says, "I am he who is thus reflected." Siva is looking at His own power (in the mirror or Sakti). He is the Perfect "I". AHAM is the union of A = Siva + Ha = Sakti. M is the terminator of the word.. Siva is Knowledge (Jnana Sakti) and Action (Kriya Sakti). He is Illumination (Prakasa). Siva is Sita or white Bindu or Moon; Sakti is Sona or red Bindu or Fire. They are the divine couple: KAmesvara and KAmesvari. The union of the couple is the Mixed or Misra Bindu or the Sun. All three Bindus are termed KAmakalA. Sun, Moon and Fire are Illumination and Bliss. They contain within them an endless mass of letters and Mantras. Thus they are the origin of letters and words of all languages. Misra Bindu has the creative aspect and is the origin of the manifested word (Vak) and its meaning (Artha). NAda Sakti comes forth in seed form from Misra or Mixed Bindu, which is the union of A and Ha. Maha-TPS (Great TPS) is diagrammatically represented by the three Bindus, three lines and triangular Yoni.  Her face is the First Bindu (Blue Dot) at the top of the diagram and the Sun. The lower two Bindus are her Breasts (Moon and Fire). The three lines are the folds below the breast, a mark of Divine Beauty. The Triangle is half of Ha (Sakti) and Yoni (Womb). That which issues out of her Yoni is NAda, the origin of all sounds. The word is Brahman and the Universe is Brahman. The lower two Bindus (Moon and Fire) are inseparable Prakasa and Vimarsa. He is Vak (word) and She is Artha (meaning). He is Mantra and She is Realization. When Sadhaka attains realization by Sadhana, Devata appears as Artha (meaning) of the Mantra (Vak or word). Thus Yogi meditates on Mother Maha-TPS who is MahAkalA and the aggregate of three Bindus. Vijnana-BhattArka says. "A Yogi by passing through various Mandalas in Sri Chakra containing the gross letters rises up to Ardhendu, Bindu, NAdAnta and to SUnya in BindurUpachakra and becomes Siva. The West says that this is the worship of Pudendum Muliebre. The down Triangle is the Womb of Divine Mother of the Universe, Maha TPS. This is the Locus of Secret play of Siva and Sakti as Moon and Fire; the product of this Combine is the Sun (Divine Energy), the origin of Name (NAma) and Forms (RUpa = Form = Meaning). Here Moon, Fire and Sun do not refer to the entities that we ordinarily associate with but to Siva, Sakti, and the word (the origin of the universe).

The sun reigns our soul and the moon our mind. Sun and Moon are Devatas; Rama descended from the Sun and Krishna the Moon. The waxing and waning moon affects the mind and the mood. Tripura Sundari sits on a couch whose legs are Siva, Vishnu, Brahma and Rudra. In Tantra literature, there are five Sivas: Sadasiva, Isa, Rudra, Vishnu, and Brahma; all of them are described as Mahapreta ("Five Great corpses") because they are all inert without Sakti. Siva is Sava (corpse, Sava Rupa); hence, Sakti Devi (TPS) is portrayed as standing on Sava-Siva. (Remember the Maharaja standing on the tiger he killed! The British took up the sport by aping the Maharaja.) The Five Great Corpses (pancha-maha-preta or Pancha Mahapreta) become inanimate objects upon which Devi (Sodasi) sits, reclines, presides, and merges as Consciousness. Siva is the couch; Sadasiva is the mattress; Isa is the pillow; Isa, Rudra, Hari (Vishnu), and Brahma are the four legs of the couch. Tripurasundari/Sodasi reclines majestically on the couch. (This picture shows that she is sitting on top of Siva on a couch whose legs are the four deities.)  In another portrayal, Devi is united with Paramasiva in the palace of Cintamani stone in the Jeweled island full of Kadamba trees surrounded by ocean of Ambrosia. (A source says that there are seven Sivas: Parasiva, Sambhu and the five Mahapretas.)

Kubjika Tantra states that the portfolios of creation, maintenance, and destruction are held by Brahmi, Vaishnavi and Rudrani, and their husbands are dead bodies.  In the West, man has the power; in the India, woman (goddess) has the power; god is the wielder of power; god without Sakti or power is dead for practical purposes.

Sankaracharya (788-720 CE) makes a reference to the gods who became the couch of Devi or Tripurasundari. in his poetical composition, Saundarya Lahari, Flood of Beauty.



 गतास्ते मञ्चत्वं द्रुहिण हरि रुद्ररेश्वर-बृत:


     त्वदीयानां भासां प्रतिफकन-रागारुणतया

                             शरीरी श्रृङ्गारो रस इव दृशां दोग्घि कुतुकम् ।।92।।            

92. Gatās te mañcatvam druhiṇa harirudr’ eshvara-bhṛitaḥ
 Śivaḥ svacchac-chāyā-ghaṭita-kapaṭa-pracchada-paṭaḥ .
 tvadīyānām bhāsām prati-phalana-rāg’āruṇatayā
 śarīrī śrṅgāro rasa iva dṛiśām dogdhi kutukam ||92||

92. Your surrogates Druhina, Hari and Rudra have assumed the shape of a cot (being its four legs to serve you), while Sadasiva white in color becoming the bed sheet appears red from the reflection of your color and presents Himself as the embodiment of love and joy to Your eyes.


Devi is a palette of contrasts. She is Avidya (nescience) because she obscures and binds; she is Vidya (knowledge) because she ends Samsara and gives liberation and moksa. She is Vasaka Sakti and Vakya Sakti; Vakya Sakti is Brahman without attributes (Parabrahman); she is the goal of Upasana; ordinary mortals except perfected Yogis cannot realize him.  Tantrics worship Vacaka Sakti, the clinical Brahman, Sabdabrahman, Saguna Isvara, Saguna Brahman, or god with form; She is the fruit and the nut. She is the essence and the fruit. She is the manifestation of Cit and Cit itself.

 Noose is attachment and Moon is the icon for it;  the goad is repulsion, the icon being the sun; Sugarcane bow is the mind. Noose is a centripetal force drawing man towards the Goddess; the goad is centrifugal force sending man on Pravrrti marga; mind is the seat of the senses which can send a person on Pravrrti if not controlled, and to Nivrrti if controlled. There are more threes below.  Pravrrti Marga is the embodiment of human soul and its appearance on earth to eat the fruits of Papam and Punyam (Sin and Merit).   Nivrrti Marga is to shed the three Malas (impurities) of the soul, experience Saktinipatam (descent of Grace into the human soul), and undergo Odukkam (merger) with the deity. In Christianity, the Holy Grail is God's Grace readily available to all but realized by the spiritually perfected ones. The Holy Grail is the Cup or Chalice used at the Last Supper. Grial in old French and Gradalis in Latin mean a dish.

Grail = Also called Holy Grail. a cup or chalice that in medieval legend was associated with unusual powers, esp. the regeneration of life and, later, Christian purity, and was much sought after by medieval knights: identified with the cup used at the Last Supper and given to Joseph of Arimathea.


Insert: TPS sitting on the couch with the foursome deities supporting it as legs. exoticindia.com

The Mahavidya Shodashi

 She is Tripura because her body is made of three Saktis: Brahmani, Vaisnavi, and Raudri. The three cities are a metaphor for Goddess with three qualities: Sattva, Raja and Tamas (virtue, motion and passion, lethargy). She is the transcendent beauty of three cities or three gunas or the three cities of the demons.  These triads are called Kūtas ( Kuta, peaks, summit, prominence) or peaks of Sri Vidya Mantra. Vidya of TPS consists of three syllables. Pancha-dash-akshari  (5 + 10 + syllables). Mantra is of three peaks (Kuta): Vagbhava-kuta, Kamaraja-kuta, Shakta-kuta. She is the Pervader of the three worlds: Heaven, earth and netherworld. She is the ruler of three bodies: Karana, Suksma and Sthula--causal, subtle and gross. TPS is the Self in the three states of consciousness of man: wakefulness, dream sleep, and deep sleep. She is also the Self in Turiya and Turiyatita in Yogis--my interpolation.

Chanting of the thousand-syllabled Mantra (Sahasraksari Vidya) accompanies worship of the deity and offering of fistful of flowers (Puspanjali); worship concludes with the Kadi Mantra Ka, Em, I, la, Hrim, Ka-Sa-Ka-Ha-La-Hrim, Sa-Ka-La-Hrim, (Aim, Klim, Sauh, Klim, Aim, Srim). The 1000-syllabled Mantra consists of power-epithets, Siddhis, Nityas and Kadi Mantra of Lalita. The Guru offers flowers to the disciple who offers them to the deity. Of all the Vidya mantras, Kadi Mantra (starting with K) and Hadi Mantra starting with H are the most efficacious.

Sankaracharya says the following in the 32nd verse in Saundarya Lahari.

Verse 32. Syllables ka, e, i, and la  with corresponding names Siva, Sakti, Käma, and Kshiti; syllables ha, sa, ka, ha, and la with corresponding names Ravi, Sitakirana, Smara, Hamsa and Sakra; and  syllables sa, ka, and la with corresponding names  Parä, Mära and Hari together with Hrllekha’s syllable Hrim appended to the end of each of the syllables of the three groups become your syllables and parts of Your name (Mantra), O Mother (Tripurasundari = three city beauty--TPS, Sodasi).

Hrim: H = Siva, R = Fire, I = Maha Maya, m = Mother of the universe and destroyer of misery.

    The chief deity in the Kadi tradition is Sri-Lalita-Maha-Tripura-Sundari (TPS) or Raja-Rajeswari, whose Mantra is Kamaraja Vidya.  TPS goes by several names: Lopamudra, Mahendri, Nandini, Lakshanavati, Kameshvari, Dakshina.

ka1 = Siva; e2 = Sakti; i3 = Kama; la4 = Ksiti, Hrim5 (Vaghbhavakuta)

ha6 = Ravi; sa7 = SItakirana (Moon) ; ka8 = smara (Cupid) ; ha9 = Hamsa (Swan) ; la10 = Sakra (Indra),  Hrim11 (Kamarajakuta)

sa12 = ParA;  ka13 = MAra (Cupid);  la14  = Hari,  Hrim15, Srim16.  (Saktikuta)

The sixteenth letter is given by Guru. The fifteen letter Mantra is Panc-dasAkshari; the sixteen letter mantra is SodasAkshari.  Lakshmidhara gives the 16th letter as Srim to be added to the third group. (sa12 = ParA;  ka13 = MAra (Cupid);  la14  = Hari,  Hrim15, Srim16 .  [Saktikuta]) Sri Vidya means a Vidya that has SRIM, Sri-bija or Srim as its seed or essence. The sixteen syllables are Sodasa Nityas or 16 KalAs, parts (or digits of the moon or inner force) of Devi.  The 16th part is Cit kalA or SAdAkhya kalA of which the other fifteen are derivatives. Cit kalA is TPS.  Variations in interpretation of Vidya mantra exists. Some call it a complete mantra by itself, without any need for Pranava Om or the terminal Srim. They argue that Sri Vidya Pranavas are Hrim, Srim, Aim, Klim, and Sauh. Lakshmidhara is the proponent of Kadi Vidya, meaning the Mantra starting with the letter Ka.  Hadi Mantra starts with Ha, whose proponents are the epicures.  KaivalyAsrama of Hadi persuasion proposes that in the Second Kuta, Siva stands for Ha, Sakti for Sa, KAma for Ka and Ksiti for la.  Other deities in the other Kutas are similar to those of Lakshmidhara, except that Srim is dropped.

Kadi Mantra lead to spiritual enlightenment; Hadi Mantra lead to earthly prosperity in this life and hereafter. That is why Kadi practitioners offer worship of Involution (Nivrrti) going from the perimeter of Sri Yantra to Bindu ( from the world of matter to Bindu, the point of Spirituality. The Hadi practitioners do the centrifugal worship from Bindu to the periphery of Sri Yantra in their desire to acquire material prosperity.

There are other interpretations as follows, advised by Kaivalyasrama.

Ha = Siva; Sa = Sakti; ka = KAma; la = Ksiti. Kaivalyasrama omits SRIM of Lakshmidhara.

Other names are Kali the destroyer of Time; KalyAni the speaker of kind words and giver of peace, happiness and liberation; KalAvati the knower of all arts, 64 in number; KamalA, the one who sits on lotus and is of the form of the Arts of Passion (KAma-KalA-RUpa).  She is KAlidharpaghni, the destroyer of the pride of Kali age. She is kAlikA, the devourer of Siva, MahA-KAla, the Great Time. She is KAla-mAtA, the Mother of Time. She is KarunAmrta-sAgarA, the Nectar of compassion. She is KrsnA, one of black complexion. She is KAla-rAtri, the night of dissolution. KAla-rAtris are her 12 Saktis seated on the twelve petals of AnAhata Padma (the lotus petals of heart chakra of Kundalini). She is KumArI-pUjana-prItA meaning She pleases the Saktas who perform worship of virgins. Girl eight of years of age is known as Gauri, another name for Parvati or TPS. She is KumArI, the Virgin; She is KumArI, the sport who creates this universe; She is KumArI, the destroyer of the ground (Ku) of Great Illusion; She is KumAri, the enjoyer and not an object of enjoyment; She is KumAri the Yogi, the enjoyer. She is Kadamba-vana-samcArA, the wanderer in the Kadamba forest. She is Kadamba-puspa-mAlinI, the wearer of Kadamba flowers (anthocephalus cadamba) in her locks above her ears. She is KadambarI-PriyA, the imbiber of wine made from Kadamba flowers.  She loves to imbibe wine laced with edible camphor. She loves Kaulikas, Her worshippers and grants them benefits. She lays out and reveals the path of KulAcAra to her devotees. She is the Queen of KAsi (Benares, the Holy City).  She is Kasta-hatrtrI, removing the triple miseries: Adhibautika, Adhiatmika and Adhidaivika, exogenous, endogenous and theogenous miseries--miseries from external sources, miseries from inside the body, miseries of divine origin. As she moves, her toe rings and tinkling bells of girdle resound in musical rhythms.

    Each epithet carries one or more meanings. She is Kameshvari because she exudes beauty, grace, and possesses exquisite body parts from the crown to the toes (which are described in some details). She is the epitome of love and sexual bliss. All this explains why it is called Kamaraja Mantra. She is the origin of the third Purusartha, Kama (love); the others are Artha, Dharma and Moksa (wealth, Duty, and liberation).

    TPS is invoked in three Kutas or peaks (Vāghbava, Kamaraja, and Sakti.

Vaghbhavakuta = speech-nature-peak.  Speech and Knowledge

Kamarajakuta = desire-king-peak. Will and Desire;

Saktikuta = power peak. Manifestation of Divine power.

Each peak corresponds to the three peaks of AUM. The Sadhaka of the three peaks gains upon perfection Siddhis or powers; thus, Vagbhava naturally gives the Sadhaka the power of speech; Kamaraja confers the Tejas (splendor, effulgence) equal to that of Indra, the king of gods; Sakti bestows the Saddhaka the magnetic dynamism of attraction of all beings of the three worlds. Such is the power bestowed upon the Sadhaka who chants and meditates on Sri Vidya and Sri Chakra.  The Mantra is Her body and the Yantra is the diagram of Her body. The Seed in Vidya is Hrim, which by itself is the body of Devi Bhuvanesvari; Hrim as part of SriVidya Mantra represents the state of consciousness and the intimate association with the state of the universe: r of Hrim is waking state, creation, Brahma, Fire, Rajas; i is dream sleep, maintenance, Vishnu, Moon, Sattva; m sound is deep sleep state, destruction, Rudra, Sun, Tamas. 

Three Upasana (worship) Mantras:
Kadi Mantra, Vaghbhavakuta:  ka e i la hrim
Hadi Mantra, Kamarajakuta: ha sa ka ha la hrim
Sadi Mantra, Saktikuta: sa ka la hrim

The SriVidya Mantra encompasses the following six individual or composite entities:


2) the Five Great Elements (Ether, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth) and thirty-six Tattvas (building blocks of the Universe--TATTVAS-36);

3) the identical nature of  individual atman or soul, the Guru and Siva as the three peaks in one unity;

4) the non-difference between Vidya Mantra, the planets, the Indriyas (motor and sensory organs) and their objects;

5) the world of matter and Spirit; the Kundalini Chakras of the body; and

6) SriVidya mantra, and all entities of the universe are partless.

Kadi Mantra): The Mantra begins with Ka. Kadi confers spiritual progress according to its proponents.

1. Ka, Em, I, la, Hrim = 5 syllables = Vagbhava, Vama Sakti, Brahma, Jnana Sakti and Eastern face.

2. Ha-Sa-Ka-Ha-La-Hrim = 6 syllables = Kamaraja, Jyesta Sakti, Vishnu, Ichcha Sakti and Southern face.

3. Sa-Ka-La-Hrim = 4 syllables = Sakti, Raudri Sakti, Rudra, Kriya Sakti and western face.

The 16th syllable  (secretive kamakala) is secret and is given to the qualified pupil by a bona-fide Guru.

The fourth part is hidden, a secret syllable and Sambhunatha, an aggregate of three saktis of knowledge, Will and Action (Jnana, Itcha, and Kriya), and the Northern Face or Amnaya.

Guru Lakshmidhara gives Srim (the secret syllable) as the last symbolic syllable attached to the 3rd string of SakadiMantra. Srim gives completeness or roundness to Srividya in that Vidya has the syllable Srim as its seed.

    Lalita Sahasranama says TPS is KLINKARI represented by Bija Mantra KLIM, also known as Kamaraja Bija. Hence KAma BIja is Klīm; when "Ka" and "La"  (K and L) are dropped the remaining "īm" is known as KAmakalA in Turiya state.  TPS or DEvi is the creator/creatrix of Klim Mantra or Klinkari; Siva is Klīmkāra and Sivakāma. One source tells that Ka is Krishna, La is TPS or Laita, "im" is Bliss.

Hadi Mantra (Lopamudra Mantra). The mantra begins with Ha. Hadi mantra confers prosperity now and hereafter.

Ha/Sa/Ka/La/Hrim = 5 syllables
Ha/Sa/Ka/Ha/La/Hrim = 6 syllables
Sa/Ka/La/Hrim = 4 syllables
15 syllables

The two are known as KaHadi Mantra. The devotees diverge in their worship of Sri Yantra; the Kadi line devotees worship Sri Yantra centripetally (from outside to the center); the Hadi devotees centrifugally.

The story behind Lopamudra

Lopamudra is named after a girl who was made out of the most beautiful parts of animals: the eyes of a deer, the gait of a lion. Lopa = loss (sustained by the animals.)  What the animals lose is gain for the most beautiful girl who is a living agglomerate of transplanted animal parts from myriad animals.

 Mudra = seal, stamp, finger position.

Agastya Muni put together the quintessence of all living beings and created the most beautiful girl and called her Lopamudra, whom he gave to King of Vidarbha as daughter, though the latter did penance for a son.  The king, pleased with getting a daughter, raised her with many maids to attend to her needs. Lopamudra grew up as a very beautiful girl. Agastya came to the King and asked for the hand of Lopamudra in marriage to him. At first the king was hesitant to marry his daughter to Agastya Muni, who wore bark and matted hair. Afraid that Agastya may curse him, he was suffering inside. Lopamudra broke the dilemma by coming to the King and asking him to give her in marriage to the Agastya Muni. This was a child marriage, which was not consummated. When she attained puberty, Lopamudra stood by the Muni and desired for a child. Knowing his habits and habitat, she demanded that she would accept union with him only if he wore flower garland and ornaments and he would give her divine ornaments. Penurious Agastiya sustained a shock hearing Lopamudra’s demands. He went to three kings, Srutarva, Bradhnasva, and Trasadasyu asking for money; all of them showed their empty treasury but willingly accompanied Agastya in search of money. The three kings and Agastya went to a noble Asura king of Ilavala, who gave him all the riches he needed and more.

The other peaks in the triad are as follows: Brahma, Vishnu and Siva; Sun, moon and fire. The Sri Vidya Mantra contains mystical artha (meaning), and is the Mantra of Tripurasundarai and is a string of fifteen syllables (Pancha-Dasa-Akshari Mantra with three peaks) without any apparent meaning based on Sanskrit letters and sounds" ka, e, i, la, hrim, ha, sa, ka, ha, la, hrim, sa, ka, la, hrim.    

    There are other triads too. By the Will of Pradhana (First Principle), the body of Siva has three parts: upper Brahma, middle Vishnu and lower Rudra, which are the three cities or bodies, thus Siva is Tripura and TPS is Tripurā. Sivalingam in Gudumallam temple in Andhra Pradesh has three parts: upper Siva, middle Parasurama with a head gear and lower Gandharva, the last being the transmuted Brahma (into Citrasena, the Gandharva) under a curse.  The physical appearance of this three-part Lingam corresponds to the erect phallus with retracted prepuce, the glans being Siva, the head gear being the retracted raised circular cuff of the prepuce of Parasurama and the proximal shaft being transmuted Brahma: my opinion). The Nadis she resides in are three: Susumna, Ida and Pingala--Central and subtle, left and right Nadis. Her Saktis are three: Iccha, Jnana and Kriya. Since She is many Triads, she is Tryimayi.

Notes from Hymns to Goddess Tripurasundari.

 She wanders in the Kadamba forest meaning that the Kadamba forest is synonymous with the universe. She is the wife of Tryambaka, the father of Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra. She is Ambika, meaning the Mother Goddess. As the cloud columns rains and quenches the thirst, TPS quenches the spiritual thirst of the Munis, the Silent Sages. The mountains rival Her callipygian hemispheres. Note: She has beautiful buttocks (Nitamba). Compare the poetic expression to the Grand Teton Mountains of Jackson Hole Wyoming which rival the shapely breasts. Celestial damsels are at attendance to serve her. She has the eyes of newly blossomed lotus. She is dark blue like sky peering through the dark nimbus clouds.

I seek refuge with TPS, the Consort of the three-eyed One. She, the large-eyed One, dwells and wanders in the Kadamba forest, holding a Golden Vina (stringed instrument), wearing a necklace of priceless gems. Her face beams with rouge from wine. She of Great Mercy bestows good fortune on Her votaries.

She abides in the Kadamba forest protecting us all.  Her weighty breasts, adorned with a garland of gems, rise like great mountains. Her cheeks show a flush from wine. She is like a dark cloud singing melodious songs and playing. Playing is the sport and avocation of Devas. Devi as such is Lalita and LilamAyi; creation and every act are Lila (play). She shows compassion to one and all.

TPS gives refuge that I seek. The Consort of the three-eyed One abides in the Kadamba forest. She sits in the golden circle and moves as Kundalini in the six Lotus Chakras. Her beauty is like that of the Jaba flower (China Rose or Scarlet Hibiscus). Her eyebrow sports the full moon.

I seek shelter from TPS, the daughter of Matanga; She speaks sweet words. Vina abuts Her breasts. Curling hair of Her locks beautifies Her head. The destroyer of the evil ones abides in the Lotus (Padma or Lakshmi); Her eyes are red with wine. She is the Enchanter of the enemy of god of love.

The god of love (Manmatha/Kamadeva --Cupid) shot flower arrows to induce love and passion for Parvati and disturbed Siva while he was in Yoga. Siva opened His third eye and burnt him down to ashes.

I take shelter with TPS, the Consort of the three-eyed One, who should be meditated upon in the very first blossom of Her nubile self which stained her blue skirt with drops of blood. (Menarchial event in the girl). She held the wine goblet and rolled her eyes with Her breasts held high and close together; Her dark hair was disheveled.

I worship the Universal Mother always served by celestials. The Consort of Indra braided Her hair; The Spouse of Brahma applied unguents and sandal paste; the Consort of Vishnu decorated her with beautiful jewels.

While I chanted, I saw the mother radiant like the scarlet Hibiscus; Her body was painted with saffron and sandal paste; She had musk on her hair, She sported smiling eyes; She donned ornaments, garments, and a garland. She holds an arrow, bow, noose, and a goad. She is Sarvamohini, the charmer of men, Devas and Daityas.

Sanskrit Tri (3) is cognate with three (3). Now you know if it is not for Sanskrit we won't know how to count! Besides the humor, the Zero was an invention of India which the middle-east borrowed and passed (it) on to the west and the rest. Sanskrit is the mother of languages. That is why Sanskrit and many of European languages come to be called Indo-European family of languages. The first written text in living letters in the world is Rg Veda. Genetically and linguistically speaking Indians and Europeans are called Indo-Europeans. Some Indians gloat that the Indians gave the math, the speech, the language and the genes to the Europeans. Since Europeans had less of sun exposure in their lands, their skin adapted to a lighter tone to absorb as much as possible of the little available sunshine to manufacture vitamin D.  As you know melanin pigment blocks the sun.  The Africans and Europeans have two variations of the same gene, Duffy gene. The Africans acquired the gene and dark color 1.5 million years ago to protect themselves from the scorching sun and prevent the sun's Ultra-violet rays from destroying the Folic Acid, deficiency of which produced newborn infants with spinal meningocele  (exposure of spinal nerves in the back from birth defects in spine and the skin). When the original Europeans black in color went to Europe, their Duffy gene mutated to adapt to existing deficient sun exposure thereby the melanin pigment-bearing melanosomes (pigment cells)  in the white skin became smaller in size and more dispersed (scattered) making them look white and admit more sun light. The white skin still has pigment cells. In the black skin the pigment cells are large and compacted together, thus giving a black skin, the tone and depth varying according to the size and compaction.  Just an example to illustrate this point: take a white person with freckles. Just imagine the freckles are the pigment-bearing cells under the skin, which they are.  That is European white color. Take the same person and throw in more and bigger freckles; wherever there are white spaces, fill them with freckles; now you have a white person who looks black or brown. This illustrates the size and compaction of melanosomes. The scientists say that sexual selection was responsible for the perpetuation of black or white color among the races.  Africans preferred blacker person to partner with and the whites preferred to partner with the whiter person, all this to have a healthy progeny. Here again there is another version of the same story.

Dr. Pritchard's list of selected genes also includes five that affect skin color. The selected versions of the genes occur solely in Europeans and are presumably responsible for pale skin. Anthropologists have generally assumed that the first modern humans to arrive in Europe some 45,000 years ago had the dark skin of their African origins, but soon acquired the paler skin needed to admit sunlight for vitamin D synthesis.  The African Adam and Eve take the ultimate credit for being the trunk and roots of the tree of human race.

Mark Twain said: India is, the cradle of the human race, the  birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the  grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most constructive materials in the history of  man are treasured up in India only.


To know about the story of 1 (the origin and dissemination of 0 and numbers) click on the link above.


The Indian numbers were a smash hit across the Islamic world before they were finally brought to Europe, where they met fierce resistance. It took 500 years for the battle between Roman and Indian numbers to play out, but by the 16th century, the Indian figures, now commonly called Arabic numerals (Read Indian numerals- my input), finally triumphed - perhaps because Florentine mathematician Fibonacci showed Christian merchants how useful Indian numerals could be, for instance, for calculating profits.

But the story doesn't end there. Within a hundred years, German mathematician Gottfried Leibniz invented a binary system, using the Adam and Eve of mathematics, One and Zero. Since then, as the language of computers, this two-digit binary system has come to dominate every part of modern life.

The story of the number one is the story of Western civilization. Terry Jones ("Monty Python's Flying Circus") goes on a humor-filled journey to recount the amazing tale behind the world's simplest number. Using computer graphics, "One" is brought to life, in all his various guises, in STORY OF 1, airing on PBS Wednesday, March 29, 2006, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET. One's story reveals how celebrated civilizations in history were achieved, where our modern numbers came from and how the invention of zero changed the world forever - and saved us from having to use Roman numerals today.


1. TPS is the Sri Vidya Mantra herself.

2. Mantra and the five elements are the same, elements being Earth, Water, Air, Fire, Ether. go to ETHER THE OPPRESSOR for details.

3. Mantra and  thirty six Tattvas are identical. Go to TATTVAS-36 for details.

4. Siva, Guru and atman (pure state) are identical.

5. Unity and identity among Mantra and planets, Indriyas (senses) and their objects, matter and spirit.

6. Mantras play a strong role in Kundalini Chakras. Go to Kundalini Power.

7. Mantra brings unity in all creations of the goddess.

8. Sri Vidya Mantra and Sri Yantra Chakra are the sound body of TPS and its representation in a diagram. Mantra is the sound element; Yantra is the visual element of TPS. See below for diagram.

she goes by other names: Kamesvari, Lalita, Rajarajesvari, Srividya. She is the third most important Mahavidya after Kali and Tara. She forms one of the Triune, Adi Mahavidyas (Primary and primordial Mahavidyas): Kali, Tara and Tripurasundari (TPS). While Kali is an amalgam of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas and the Supreme Reality, TPS is mostly Sattvic. Lalita Sahasranama hymns her praise very effusively. She glows like the rising sun; she sports arrows, a bow, a goad and a lasso.

        Lalita Sahasranama hymns her as Sri Mata (sacred Mother), Sri Maharajni (Great Empress). That she is the Supreme reality is expressed in the hymn 58 as Sri Panca Brahmasana Sthita (Sitting on the five: Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Isana and Sadasiva. Her Yantra is Sri Chakra or Sri Yantra and her mantra Sri Vidya. She is an important Goddess in Tamil Nadu and Kashmir for Sri Vidya Cult.

Tirumular of Tirumantiram describes her as follows:


திரிபுரை சுந்தரி அந்தரி சிந்துரப்
பரிபுரை நாரணி யாம்பல வன்னத்தி
இருள்புரை ஈசி மனோன்மனி என்ன
வருபல வாய்நிற்கும் மாமது தானே.

    Verse1046. She is Sundari, the Beautiful; Andari of the form of sky; Kum-Kumi of red color; Paripurai, Maintainer of the world; Narani, Tejas or power behind Narayana; Esi, the Sakti of Isan (Siva-Mahesvara); Manonmani, Sakti of Sadasiva, the grantor of Grace. Manon+ mani =  Mind + Jewel, name of Durga, Parvati. One Sakti of Tripurasundari manifests as many; She is one and her manifestations are many.  (Redness is a sign of Will and Desire of Devi; her forehead mark is red; Her seat is red; the Japa Pushpa (flower) is Hibiscus; garments are red;  in ritual red sandal is in use.)

Verse 1047

தானா அமைந்தஅம் முப்புரம் தன்னிடைத்
தானான மூவுரு ஓருருத் தன்மையுள்
தானான பொன்செம்மை வெண்ணிறத் தாள்கல்வி
தானான போகமும் முத்தியும் நல்குமே.

    Verse 1047. describes her of three cities-A-Ka-Tha Triangle (KAmakalA), three forms, three colors (red, gold and white), and three boons of knowledge, enjoyment and Moksa (Kalvi, Bhogam and Mukti)    

She is Tripure, who is the treasure of Kula and a red beauty. Tripure = three cities; three Bindus (three circles); three lines; three angles; three syllables; three lines of Bhupura of Sri Yantra; creator of three Devis (Vama, Jyestha, Raudri) and three Devatas (Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra); Iccha, Jnana and Kriya; three Kutas; three Bindus as the face and two breasts; Rajas, Sattva, and Tamas. Traipura Trikona (Triangle) in Muladhara is the Sthula aspect of the Suksma Sakti in Sahsrara.

Verse 1048:

நல்குந் திரிபுரை நாதநா தாந்தங்கள்
பல்கும் பரவிந்து பாரண்ட மானவை
நல்கும் பரைஅபி ராமி அகோசரி
புல்கும் அருளும்அப் போதந்தந் தாளுமே

    Verse 1048. Tripurai bestows Nada and Nadanta; She as Para Bindu becomes many and thus, the universe evolves. She is Parai, the Sakti of Para, the Supreme Siva; Abhirami of exceedingly incomparable beauty; and Agochari beyond cognizance and comprehension. She bestows Arul and Bodham (Grace and Spiritual Knowledge).

Siva and Sakti are one. Prapanchasara Tantra says Parabindu splits into two parts: the right side is Bindu (male, Purusa or Ham) and the left is Visarga (female, Prakrti or Sah. The union of Bindu and Visarga is Hamsah which is the universe.

Para Bindu is Siva Tattva  Synonyms are Sunyatisunya, Unmani with No KalAs (parts).   =   NishkalA Nirguna Brahman.   =    Siva Sakti, Parabindu, the abode of Siva, Kundali and Jiva merger in Sahasrara;   -  Parabindu, the supreme Nirvana sakti, Nirvanana KalA, AmA KalA (that digit of the moon from which nectar is derived) and the Fire of Nibodhika.  -  Nirguna Siva. Isvara of Sahasrara is not the creative aspect. Supreme Bindu is in Maha Vayu and Chandra Mandala. Bindu is void and Supreme Light, formless and decayless. Supreme Guru is Siva residing in Sahasrara  -  Sivasthana. SarvAtma Siva. Nirvana Sakti, the Sakti of Parabindu. The Mother of all three worlds. The knower of Sahasrara attains Jivan Mukti. Sri Chakra in SahasrAra in the form of ParA sakti in the middle of the Chakra, Baindava. She rests united with SadAsiva. She radiates myriad rays, 360 of which illumine the world in the form of Fire, Sun and Moon. Rays: Agni   =   118; Sun   =   106; Moon   =   136. They light up the macro- and microcosm. 360 rays make a year and KAla (Time). Siva is partless; He has no KalAs.

  Verse 1049:

தாளணி நூபுரம் செம்பட்டுத் தானுடை
வாரணி கொங்கை மலர்க்கன்னல் வாளிவில்
ஏரணி அங்குச பாசம் எழில்முடி
காரணி மாமணிக் குண்டலக் காதிக்கே

    Verse 1049. She wears anklets, a red silk sari, a diadem, and ruby ear-rings; her breasts are contained in corsets; she holds flower arrows, a sugarcane bow, and goad with noose.

    Comments: The five flower arrows are the five senses: sound, smell, sight, taste and touch. When the senses are controlled and extinguished, the flesh dies and the spirit rises. The sugarcane bow is the mind. If the mind is the seat of the senses,  it launches the senses. If the mind is controlled, the senses come under control with the rise of spirit. Noose draws the devotee to the Bindu by a process of Nivritti, involution and centripetal movement of the soul to wards the central Bindu. The goad represents the longing of the soul to worldly objects, a process known as Pravrrti, evolution of the soul and centrifugal movement of the soul from the center. Her ornaments, clothes and ample breasts (KAmakalA) indicate her auspiciousness, sexuality and independence.  Tantra says that she is three Bindus in one set as ·. The top one is Her face and the bottom two are Hari and Hara (Vishnu and Siva).

குண்டலக் காதி கொலைவிற் புருவத்தள்
கொண்ட அரத்த நிறமன்னு கோலத்தள்
கண்டிகை ஆரம் கதிர்முடி மாமதிச்
சண்டிகை நாற்றிசை தாங்கிநின் றாளே. 6 (ProjectMadurai)

    Verse 1050. She wears Kundals on Her ears. Her brows curve like the killer bows; her magnificent form is of ruddy complexion; she wears a necklace of Rudraksha beads, a garland of flowers and a crown where the crescent moon shines; thus, arrayed, Chandika stands supporting all four directions.

Verse 1051

நின்ற திரிபுரை நீளும் புராதனி
குன்றலில் மோகினி மாதிருக் கும்சிகை
நன்றறி கண்டிகை நாற்கால் கரீடணி
துன்றிய நற்சுத்த தாமரைச் சுத்தையே.

    Verse 1051. Tripurai is Puraatani, Parvati the ancient; She is Mohini whose beauty never wanes; She is Karidini whose magnetic attraction radiates in four directions; She is the purest of the pure sitting on a round of Lotus flowers. Ganga remains in her tresses. She sees the Truth.

    Verse 1052-1074. She is the repository of Bliss; She is atom within an atom; She is divine manifestation; She is the Supreme Intellect. There are no Amarars (celestials), who know her not; there is no Tapas without her; nothing gets done by the Five (Brahma, Vishnu, Isa, Mahesvara, and Sadasiva) if not for her; She is the only path to liberation. They, in the know, know She is Parasakti; She is Ananda; She is Formless; She is Param. Where there is Siva, there is Mahadevi; She is the Protector of life where there is a body in flesh (and blood); Where there is sky and space there she is and beyond too; She is all-pervasive and reigns over all. She is Parasakti and Masakti and in many ways she is a nurturing and protective Sakti. She supports and protects through aeons; She is the Supreme joyousness of Divinity. She grants Grace and is the hypostasis of the growing spiritual knowledge of the votary. She is the joy of my heart. The Parai, Paraparai with ten faces is the origin of matter and diverse life forms. She is Sakti and the goddesshead of Vid (Jnana or spiritual knowledge that liberates). She is the peacock who rules over my heart and the world. She is Manonmani and Mangali (auspicious); She entered my heart; we merged in spirit. She showed me Sivagati (Siva state); she made me shine in Siva Jnana; she redeemed me. She is the Cause of cause; she revealed herself to me; her glory and radiance filled the Dance hall at Thillai; she pervades all three worlds. She is the Paranjyoti, the Supreme Being and the Divine Light, holding the Book of Knowledge. She is the Mother with three eyes, chanting Vedas. I adore her with stotras (hymns of praise). Hold her feet on your head. She is the sister of Mal (Vishnu) who protects all. She destroys the evil doers. She is the Mother of the five gods. Her Mantra is "Hrim."

    There are protective mantras known as Trailokya-Vijaya.

Mantra The Protecting deity The protected body part
Hrim (MAya Bija) AdyA (Primordial) The head
Srim (Lakshmi Bija) KAli (the Black One) Face
Krim (KAlI Bija) Supreme Sakti Heart
ParAtparA (Supreme Brahman) Throat
JagaddhAtri (supporter of universe) Two eyes
SamkarI (Consort of Siva) Two ears
MahA-MAyA (veiler and revealer) power of smell
Sarva MangalA (Auspicious Deity) taste
KaumArI (Sakti of her Son, Kumara) teeth
KamalAlaya (Boarder in Lotus) cheeks
KsamA (Benevolence) upper and lower lips
CAru-HAsinI (Sweet smiler) chin
KulesAnI (Mistress of Kaulas) throat
KripA-mayI (The Mercy) nape of the neck
BAhu-dA (Arm strengthener) the two arms
Kaivalya DAyini (Emancipator) the two hands
KapardinI (knotted-hair deity shoulders
Trailokya TArinI (protector of 3 worlds) the back
AparnA (Leafless*) two sides
KamathAsanA (Sitter on Tortoise) hips
VisAlAkshI (Wide-eyed) navel
PrabhAvatI (the Radiant One) organ of generation
KalyAnI (auspicious One) thighs
PArvatI (mountain's daughter) feet
JayadurgA (Victorious Durga) vital breaths
SarvaSiddhida (Giver of all Siddhis) all parts of the body
if any part is not mentioned, may the Eternal KAli protect all of them.

    AparnA (Leafless*) = The One who eats NOT even a leaf before the Vrata or Austerities are complete. KamathAsanA (Sitter on Tortoise) = The world rests on a tortoise; it shows the power and virtue of patience.

Though the anthropomorphic worship of TPS is less common, her Sri Chakra Puja is widely seen in the temples. Minakshi of Madurai, Akilandesvari of Tiruchirappalli, Kanchi Kamakshi  are associated with Sri Chakra. Rajarajesvari (TPS) temple in Varnasi and Bangamaru in U.P. are TPS temples among others in North India. Srividya Cult insists that Srividya Mantra and Yantra are she, herself. She has three forms: Sthula (gross), Sukshma (subtle), and Para (Supreme form). Sthula is the anthropomorphic form, the goddess in images, idols and icons. Sukshma form is accessible only by Sadhakas, Para form is inaccessible to humans.

   The Chakra (wheel, circle, diagram--simplified)



Note: Sri Chakra-Srsti Chakra: When Sri Chakra is drawn according to Samayacara sect, Siva triangles point down while five Sakti triangles point up. Bindu is enclosed in a quadrangle which is the creation of the intersecting triangles. Sri Chakra-Samhara Chakra according to Kaula sect has five down Sakti triangles and four up Siva triangles with the central Bindu enclosed in a triangle.

The three lines and gate of the outer wall of the above diagram. Yantra has human body laid out within its contours. The three lines from outside to inside are the feet, knees and thighs. The outer three concentric circles are the abdomen. (Author's note: The three layers: could mean the three layers of abdominal wall, skin, fat and muscle?) The sixteen petal lotus is the lower half of the trunk below the navel; the eight petal lotus to the umbilicus; the triangles to the upper body, including the head. The center corresponds to Sahasrara Chakra with a thousand petals on the Brahma Randhara, the anterior fontanel area.

Sri Chakra, Sri Yantra, Mandala are used interchangeably. Note: Mandala is generic geometric form, while Yantra is deity-specific. Yantra  Sri Chakra means, The Wheel Of Sri, the Mother Goddess. Sri Chakra is Lalita TripuraSundari's creative manifestation.

She exists in three forms.

Sthula form (gross) Suksma form (Subtle) Para form Supreme)
Her Icon Her Mantra Her Yantra

Mandalas are seen all over the world in disparate civilizations of yore; they were geometric shapes: squares, lines, circles, spirals stood for the cosmos. The Indian Mandalas have been, from time immemorial, gave meaning to every line, angle, circle, petal, square, gates. Indian and other civilizations beyond the Indian shores and mountains also made association of a Deity or goddess with those geometric shapes.

Vastu Purusha Mandala

A basic Mandala has an outer square and many inner squares or spaces; it may contain a circle. The square is earth and the endless circle is heaven. Any object, structure, living being, or God(s) can be put inside a Mandala, once we know the proper place, each of the parts of the entity should be. Vastu Purusha  (Andha) was a demonic Titan who arose from the sweat of Siva. (Remember the TV commercial where tennis players rise from drops of water.) He caused tremendous amount of misery to the people of the world. He was so huge that no one god could bring him down individually. The gods joined together, jumped on him each pinning one part of the body of the tin cup Titan and put him in a square as depicted in the diagram. Depending upon the part of the body held by the gods and the respective area of the square, they had a claim to that part of the square. The big square was divided into little squares and each little square became the station (Pada) for one god. The outer squares are occupied by 32 deities. When they stuffed the bad demon in the square in a supine position, they placed his head on the northeast corner and feet in the southwest corner.  The top of the diagram here is the East instead of the North  we are used to.


Kasyapa married Diti and Aditi (sisters); Aditi gave birth to Adityas (all gods) and Diti to Daityas (demons).  The moral of the story is that human beings are half gods and half demons. Which half is dominant in a person determines his character. One of the Daityas, Andhaka, walked like a blind man, though he had two good eyes with perfect vision. Here the blindness refers not to physical causes but to spiritual blindness. Andhaka walked into the celestial garden in heaven and attempted to uproot and take the Parijata tree away. It is the India Coral tree (Erythrina indica). The tree originated from the causal milk ocean as the gods and demons churned it to obtain ambrosia. Indra, the god of thunder and lightning claimed the tree and planted it in his heaven.  His wife Saci, used the flowers to decorate her tresses.  Siva killed him and restored the tree. The flower and fruit had an excellent fragrance. It had a reputation to bring faded and forgotten memories of past lives back into the memory bank. Fragrance, scent, or odor sticks to the clothes; in like manner memories of past lives stick to the subtle body which some can recall.  Siva killing the demon is a metaphor for killing Avidya (spiritual darkness) and giving us spiritual wisdom. Andhaka's son Adi wanted to avenge the death of his father, transformed himself into a snake, gained entry into Siva's abode, impersonated Uma the consort of Siva by transformation, and yet could not deceive Siva, who instantly recognized and killed him with his Vajra (thundrbolt).

Another source tells that Siva asked goddess TrikalA and MAtrikAs to destroy Andhaka. They could not and so Siva asked Vishnu to destroy the demon. Vishnu in turn created from his power of Maya the goddess Suska-Revati who killed all his associates and Siva killed Andhaka with his trident.  When Siva was fighting Andhaka, a drop of sweat fell and morphed into a demon, VAstunara or VAstupurusa. His body was so huge it occupied and obstructed earth and heaven.  He was an uncontrollable hungry monster. No man or god could take and subdue him. The gods descended on him like a ton of bricks; each one held one part of the body which was then squeezed into a square. The gods became the deity of the parts of the body held by them.  Siva-Isa became the deity of head; Brahma, the body; Aditya, the left shoulder and hand; Soma the right shoulder and hand; Gagana elbow and right forearm; Varuna, right lower limb; Agni left knee, Yama left lower leg; and Pavana the feet.  A temple, a house or any structure has parts of the house honored in the deities' names and VAstunara receives homage. The dwelling has 81 squares; the temple 64 squares, each of which is again divided into 9 or 8 squares with the center reserved for the creator Brahma.  VAstopathi is the protector of the house and its foundation. Invoking him brings happiness and removal of disease.  Rudra is the VAstopathi. VAstusamana: To Assuage and propitiate  spirits, the permanent residents of the building site, the prospective home owner should perform rites, so that they do not exhibit any hostility. VAstuvidya is the science of architecture.

There is another variation of the story in that Krishna Himself uprooted and mounted the tree on Garuda to be flown to Dwaraka according to wish of Satyabhama, one of his wives.

Indra’s wife Saci loved it so much that she weaved its flowers into garlands and ornaments and wore them. Its fragrance was inimitable and spread through all the worlds. Satyabhama and Krishna went to the heaven of the gods to restore the earrings of Aditi, who eulogized and thanked Krishna. Indra took Krishna and Satyabhama for a tour of Nandana of heaven (heavenly gardens) and other gardens.  Kesava-Krishna saw the Parijata tree, the favorite of Sachi, the wife of Indra.  Parijata tree came out of the causal milk ocean; its bark was gold; its leaves were of copper color; the fragrant fruits in clusters hung delicately from the fruit-bearing stems. Satyabhama saw the tree and was bitten by desire to own it. She asked Krishna to transplant it to Dwaraka, so she could  wear its flowers on her tresses. The gardeners were upset to see Krishna uproot and put the tree on his vehicle Garuda for transportation to Dwaraka. Satyabhama was in no mood to give up a good fight. She sent a message to Sachi the wife of Indra to induce her husband Sakra (Indra) to prevent her husband from taking the tree.  As expected, Indra fell for the cunning draw for a fight and attacked Krishna with his army and his thunderbolt. Krishna saw the advancing army, blew His Conch, which was heard through all the worlds and sent shower after shower of arrows on the soldiers of Indra. The soldiers twanged their bows and discharged millions of arrows and weapons in response, which Krishna cut into pieces with his shaft.  Garuda, the ever-present aerial vehicle of Vishnu-Krishna located the noose of Indra and bit it into pieces. Yama, the god of death came rushing and threw his mace at the son of Satyabhama, who adroitly broke it into pieces. Agni, the fire god was fragmented into a billion sparks and thus was extinguished.  The whirling motion of the discus cut the sharp ends of the tridents of Rudras.  The Sadhyas, Visvas, Maruts, and Ghandarvas were blowing in the wind like wisps of cotton upon encountering the shafts of Krishna.  Garuda bruised the deities with its beak, wings, and talons. With all the weapons spent, Indra with his signature thunderbolt and Krishna with his inimitable discus Sudarsana faced each other. Indra launched his thunderbolt expecting to strike Krishna and sear his body with its high-voltage. Krishna caught it with his bare hands, arrested and sent it down into the earth.  Indra divested of his thunderbolt and his elephant stood there on the battlefield vulnerable to Krishna’s discus and witnessed Satyabhama, Krishna and other remaining celestials.  He immediately started to retreat. Krishna had no mind to use His discus on Indra without weapons. Satyabhama took pity at his defeat and offered to return the tree to Indra. Indra without hesitation said, “I am not ashamed to suffer defeat at the hands of Krishna, the creator, preserver and destroyer of the universe. You may have the tree as long as you wish.” Hari Krishna accepted the proposal and returned to Dwaraka with the tree. After Krishna’s death, the tree was restored to Indra.

Devotees worship Sri Chakra in their house and temples; when worshipped on birthdays, festival days, ashtami [(8th day following the the new moon (Prathama)] or Chathurdasi (14th day), it brings benefits.  The digits of the moon are 30, the number of days it takes for the moon to orbit the earth. Tithis vary in length. The waxing half is shiny and therefore it is Shukla half (bright fortnight); the waning half is Krishna (dark) fortnight. Shukla and Krishna eponyms precede the day of the digit--Shukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha (Paksha = side). The ninth day of white or bright fortnight is Shukla-Navami. The names of the tithis (digits) are 1. Prathama (new moon), 2. Dvitiya, 3. Tritiya, 4. Chaturthi, 5. Panchami, 6. Shashthi, 7. Saptami, 8. Ashtami, 9. Navami, 10. Dashami, 11. Ekadashi, 12. Dvadashi, 13. Trayodashi, 14. Chaturdashi, and lastly either 15. Purnima (full moon) or 15. Amavasya (new moon). The sixteen-petal lotus represents the 16 tithis  or digits of the moon on the bright and the dark side. The 16 Tithis are under the rule of 16 Nitya Devis or Sodasa Nityas (So + dasa = 6 plus 10): 1.Maha Tripura Sundari, 2.Kamesvari, 3.Bhagamalini, 4.Nityaklinna, 5.Bherunda, 6.Vanhivasini, 7.Maha Vajresvari, 8.Shivadooti (Roudri), 9.Twarita, 10.Kulasundari, 11.Nitya, 12.Neelapataka, 13.Vijaya, 14.Sarvamangala, 15.Jwalamalini and 16.Chidroopa (Chitra). Maha Tripura Sundari is Maha Sakti, the ruler of all and therefore is not visible to the eye.  Purnima Moon contains all Nityas conferring the splendor and brightness to the Moon. As the moon wanes, one Nitya leaves the moon for the sun and so on until all Nityas have left for the sun and the moon disappears completely on Amavasya, the new Moon day.  Amāvāsya = the day when the sun and the moon dwell together. The Nityas one by one return to the Moon and make it wax again and shine brighter and brighter. Krishna Paksa = dark side of the moon; waning moon; dark side does not mean the geographical dark side of the moon that is not seen by the human eye. The first one to leave the moon is Kamesvari and the last one Chitra; the first one to arrive at the moon is Chitra and the last one Kamesvari.

1.Maha Tripura Sundari, 2.Kamesvari, 3.Bhagamalini, 4.Nityaklinna, 5.Bherunda, 6.Vanhivasini, 7.Maha Vajresvari, 8.Shivadooti (Roudri), 9.Twarita, 10.Kulasundari, 11.Nitya, 12.Neelapataka, 13.Vijaya, 14.Sarvamangala, 15.Jwalamalini and 16.Chidroopa (Chitra). The Devis populate the most central triangle in the configuration depicted in the diagram.

The Devis leave the moon one by one for the sun resulting in waning of the moon. Krishna Paksa is the dark side of the moon; Devi #2 leaves first followed by the rest from #3 to #16. TPS stays in the moon for ever. On the Shukla Paksa bright side of the waxing moon after the new Moon, #2 comes first and the rest later.

Krishna 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Shukla 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2

       The rulers of the moon depicted above, their departure and arrival. 9.Twarita, the Nitya Devi is common and constant to both Shukla and Krishna Paksas at the 9th position. As you see, the first (2.Kamesvari) to come is the first one leaving for the sun. MahaTripurasundari is a constant resident goddess of the Moon: She is Number One. Since Twarita occupies a constant position on both sides at position 9, she wears a crown of Devi.

Kameswari to Chitra are the Nityas ruling the Krishna Paksha Tithis from Pratipada to Amavasya. In Shukla Paksha the order of the Nityas is reversed, i.e., Chitra to Kameswari. 

1.Maha Tripura Sundari, 2.Kamesvari, 3.Bhagamalini, 4.Nityaklinna, 5.Bherunda, 6.Vanhivasini, 7.Maha Vajresvari, 8.Shivadooti (Roudri), 9.Twarita, 10.Kulasundari, 11.Nitya, 12.Neelapataka, 13.Vijaya, 14.Sarvamangala, 15.Jwalamalini and 16.Chidroopa (Chitra). The Devis populate the most central triangle in the configuration depicted in the diagram.

Shukla Paksha = Bright side Krishna Paksha = dark side






The Mandala = Circle. Sri Chakra or Sri Yantra. There are nine triangles, five pointing down and four pointing up. These intersecting nine primary triangles make forty-three secondary triangles. All these triangles and other shapes are enclosed within a eight-petalled lotus, which again is enclosed within a sixteen-petalled lotus. (The triangles, and two circles of lotuses are surrounded by four circles (my diagram shows only one circle.) The four Upturned triangles represent Siva; the five downturns Sakti. The Siva triangles are known as Srikanthas and the Sakti triangles Siv-Yuvatis. (Yuvati - young woman, maiden) The above triangles are the nine elements (Dhatus, see below). The overlapping of the triangles represent Siva-Sakti merger out of which proceed the creation, protection and dissolution. The five triangles of Sakti give rise to creation and four of Siva the fire of dissolution.

The Bindu in the most central Triangle is the sine qua non of the union of Siva and Sakti or Kāmaeshvari; thus, this triangle is known as Kāma Kala, the seat of Supracosmic desire to create. Kamakala =  Essence of sexual desire.  Bindu is described as Sarva Ananda Maya Chakra , meaning Chakra replete with Bliss. Kamakala has three components or three subtype Bindus: Red Bindu, White Bindu and Mixed Bindu. Red Bindu = Menstrual fluid; here it refers to the ovum. White Bindu = semen. Mixed Bindu (Misra Bindu) = union of Siva and Sakti. Lalita (Goddess) has two aspects: Varahi and Kurkulla. Varahi, the father form of the Goddess, provides the semen and the four Dhatus (elements) known as four fires to the offspring. Kurukulla, the mother form of the Goddess, supplies the ovum and five Dhatus (five saktis) to the offspring. Consciousness enters the child through orgasm. The four fires and five Saktis occupy the center of the Chakra. The four up triangles of Varahi having 12 angles represent the 12 sun kalas and 12 sidereal constellations. The five down triangles of Kurukulla having 15 angles represent 15 Moon Kalas (digits) in a fortnight or 15 lunar days. Since man is the microcosm of the Macrocosm and Shri Yantra represents both, the newborn is Sri Yantra or a seedling. Yantra's eight petal lotus and 16 petal lotus amounting to 24 petals show the flowering of the plant.  




 In the primitive western thought when there was no concept of biology, man always thought that woman possessed a magical autonomous ability to give birth to a live infant without any contribution from the partner. Seminal ideas about human reproductive biology and man's contribution to fertilization came very much later, though the primitive man did not stop and think about the utility of his effusion. He deified the female for surviving every lunar blood loss. Parturition and surviving the monthly hemorrhage were reason enough to call her the Cosmic Being who also had more geometric features than he had. He drew in caves geometric forms to glorify the female.  Ancient Indians thought the coming together of red blood (Red Bindu) and vital fluid (White Bindu) formed the fetus. He drew diagrams (circle, square, circumference) in the deification of the Female which in India became the Mandalas glorifying the goddess. The Mandala specifically emphasizes the union of Siva and Sakti in triangles. The female pudendum and escutcheon are the inverted triangle --s --representing the Great Goddess, while the upright triangle--r- became the Purusa or God. The Red Bindu l occupies the true center of the overlapping triangles and the Mandala itself, thereby confirming the overwhelming exclusive right and privilege of the Goddess to bring forth beings and universe.  Science may offer some help here. The Y chromosome is the copy of X chromosome and underwent some changes and acquired some new genes to be called Y.  Thus the Famous X is the Origin of Y; Female is the origin of male. Eve first, Adam later. When the Y was in the process of transformation, the being was androgynous, half female and half male.  Goddess first, Androgyny second, and God later. Woman first, Androgyny second and man later. To put it in Hindu belief system: Kali first, Androgynous Ardhanarisvara (Siva-Sakti) second and Siva later. Androgyny (hermaphrodism)  occurs in modern times in human babies as an evolutionary leftover causing distress to the parents and patient. It is like the flower having stamen and pistil (female part) in the same inflorescence. There is one blue print, variations of which are seen in  living things. Another leftover evolutionary vestige  is the tail that some times some infants are born with.

    Here is what Swami Vivekanada (1863-1902) says about  the woman's progress or regress around the world.

"The ideal of womanhood centres in the Arian race of India, the most ancient in the world's history. In that race, men and women were priests, 'sabatimini [saha - dharmini],' or co - religionists, as the Vedas call them. There every family had its hearth or altar, on which, at the time of the wedding, the marriage fire was kindled, which was kept alive, until either spouse died, when the funeral pile was lighted from its spark. There man and wife together offered their sacrifices, and this idea was carried so far that a man could not even pray alone, because it was held that he was only half a being, for that reason no unmarried man could become a priest. The same held true in ancient Rome and Greece.

"But with the advent of a distinct and separate priest - class, the co - priesthood of the woman in all these nations steps back. First it was the Assyrian race, coming of Semitic blood, which proclaimed the doctrine that girls have no voice, and no right, even when married. The Persians drank deep of this Babylonian idea, and by them it was carried to Rome and to Greece, and everywhere woman degenerated.

"Another cause was instrumental in bringing this about -- the change in the system of marriage. The earliest system was a matriarchal one; that is, one in which the mother was the centre, and in which the girls acceded to her station. This led to the curious system of the Polianders [polyandrous], where five or six brothers often married one wife. Even the Vedas contain a trace of it in the provision, that when a man died without leaving any children, his widow was permitted to live with another man, until she became a mother; but the children she bore did not belong to their father, but to her dead husband. In later years the widow was allowed to marry again, which the modern idea forbids her to do.

    "But side by side with these excrescences a very intense idea of personal purity sprang up in the nation. On every page the Vedas preach personal purity. The laws in this respect were extremely strict. Every boy and girl was sent to the university, where they studied until their twentieth or thirtieth year; there the least impurity was punished almost cruelly. This idea of personal purity has imprinted itself deeply into the very heart of the race, amounting almost to a mania. The most conspicuous example of it is to be found in the capture of Chito [Chitor] by the Mohammedans. The men defended the town against tremendous odds; and when the women saw that defeat was inevitable they lit a monstrous fire on the market place, and when the enemy broke down the gates 74,500 women jumped on the huge funeral pile and perished in the flames. This noble example has been handed down in India to the present time, when every letter bears the words '74,500,' which means that any one who unlawfully reads the letter, thereby becomes guilty of a crime similar to the one which drove those noble women of Chito to their death.

    "The next period is that of the monks; it came with the advent of Buddhism, which taught that only the monks could reach the 'nirvana', something similar to the Christian heaven. The result was that all India became one huge monastery; there was but one object, one battle -- to remain pure. All the blame was cast onto women, and even the proverbs warned against them. 'What is the gate to hell?' was one of them, to which the answer was: 'Woman'. Another read: 'What is the chain which binds us all to dust? Woman'. Another one: 'Who is the blindest of the blind? He who is deceived by woman.'

    "The doctrine of prenatal influence is now slowly being recognized, and science as well as religion calls out: 'Keep yourself holy, and pure.' So deeply has this been recognized in India, that there we even speak of adultery in marriage, except when marriage is consummated in prayer. And I and every good Hindoo believe, that my mother was pure and holy, and hence I owe her everything that I am. That is the secret of the race -- chastity."

    The three Bindus are also known as Fire for Iccha or divine Will, Moon for Jnana or Knowledge, and Sun for Action or Kriya. Thus, Will, Knowledge, and Action are three essential elements in creation, maintenance and destruction. Moon is Siva Bindu, Sita (white) Bindu and Knowledge; Fire is Sakti Bindu and Sona (red) Bindu; Sun is Misra  (Mixed) Bindu, a mixture of the two resulting in Action. Sun, Moon and Fire = Ravi, Chandra and Agni. Sun is action; Moon is knowledge; Fire is Will.

    Sri Yantra has two forms: Bhuprastara, a flat two dimensional form and Meruprastara a pyramidal form.  They face either East or North. The Yantra is ready for worship only when it is consecrated and infused with Bija (root) and other Mantras. The worshipper or Pujarari should be an initiate.

    The intersecting primary Triangles form 43 secondary triangles, which are enclosed in the eight-petal lotus, the mystical lotus of creation. The triangles represent the Mulaprakrti (Root Matter), a product of union of five Sakti principles and four Siva principles. The central Bindu is considered the 44th Triangle.

    The perimeter square with Dvara (gates) has three lines. Outer line houses eight Lokpalas (world protectors). The middle line houses eight siddhis associated with senses. Inner line houses eight saktis ruling and controlling Anger, Delusion, Desire, Envy, Greed, Jealousy, Vice and Virtue. These eight are the Mothers or Matrikas. All these saktis, known as manifest saktis (Prakata Yoginis) are reined by Tripura Sundari, who looks like a crystal, wears pearls, and holds a book, a pot, and a lotus in her four arms.

Eight petal Lotus of Sri Chakra or Sri Yantra




Sixteen Petal Lotus: The Vidya is Aim Klim Sauh. The Sixteen Saktis in this sixteen petal florescence are hidden and fulfill the desires. Lalita TPS takes the name of Tripureshi. The 16 Yoginis of red color help exercise control over desires, senses, mind and body. Each one of them holds a goad, a pot of nectar, a noose and makes a benevolent stance. The Dhatu is Chyle, one of the first juices to appear in the intestines during digestive fire.

    The sixteen-petal lotus represents the sixteen kalas (digits) of the moon, described above. The Bindu, the triangles, the eight-petal lotus and the sixteen-petal lotus are all enclosed by three-layered concentric circles--mekhalatraya (Diagram shows only one circle.) mekhalatraya = mekhala + Triya = (belt, girdle) + (three). All these elements are  enclosed inside a square with four gates (Dvara) at four cardinal directions. During the centripetal journey that the Yogi takes from the periphery to the center to attain Sri, he effects a transition from human consciousness to transcendental consciousness. The gates represent that liminal interphase. The center of the Chakra is Bindu. (go to BINDU for more details. Mandala is an elaborate Yantra with more embedded pictorial elements. Below is the topographical presentation of Sri Chakra (Sri Yantra).

                    Bhuprastara, a flat two dimensional form and a Meruprastara, a pyramidal form



Saundaryalahari by Sankara--Verse 11.  The four Srī-Kantas and five Siva-Yuvatis distinct from (the central) Sambhu (Bindu), are the nine Mulaprakrtis; thus, this is your abode with forty-four angles,  two lotuses, one with eight petals and the second with sixteen petals, three circles and three lines.

    Srī-Kantas = refers to the husband, Siva. Siva-Yuvatis: Yuvati = young woman. Sambhu = Siva. See the diagram below for details. There are two cults: Samaya for Siva and the Kaulas for Sakti.


(Dhatu: layer, component part, element. Dhatus take on contextual meaning.  Human body has ingredients derived from Sakti and Siva. They are skin, blood, flesh, fat, and bone originating from Sakti, and semen, marrow, vital breath, and the individual soul originating from Siva.  Others say dhatus are alimentary juice, blood, flesh, fat, bone, marrow, and semen. In case of body parts, the dhatus are ear, nose, mouth, heart, and abdomen. In context of etiology of diseases and humors, the dhatus are wind, bile, and phlegm. Dhatus of earth or mountain are ore, mineral, metal, and red chalk. Five properties of elements are gandha, rasa, rupa, sparsa, and sabda (smell, taste, form, touch, and sound.)

    There are in all 43 triangles distributed over 5 layers from outside to inside: 14, 10, 10, 8, 1. There are a total of 64 shapes from outside to inside which include 14 red triangles, 4 white rectangles, 4 white triangles, and 2 white diamonds in the outermost two intersecting layers. Fourteen points or corners are created by the overlapping four Siva and five Sakti triangles and are the abodes of one deity in each corner. Each Kona or small triangle produced by the intersecting large Siva-Sakti triangles depicts union of Siva-Sakti. The central small triangle is the abode of Sakti or the Mother Goddess (Bindu) also known as Kāma Kala, the most creative platform. The triangles create points at three-line intersections, Marma: critical point, vital point, mortal spot. The Chinese call them Acupuncture points along the meridians, the pathways of qi, vital energy. Marma is a mortal point by manipulating which death can be caused. Marma is derived from mara, marana meaning death. Marma points are situated along the meridians:  the Mamsa (flesh), vessels and nerves (Sira), tendons (Sanyu), Asthi (bones), and Sandhi (joints). Massage, digital pressure, acupuncture, magnets, herbals are applied to these points for curative purposes. Vigorous finger strokes at critical points can cause paralysis, impotence and other unwelcome events according to practitioners of the art. What is Prana in India is Qi in china. The meridians are positive (Yang of China and Pingala of India) and negative (Yin of China and Ida of India). Marma point is most susceptible to injury when Prana or vital energy flows through it.  Ayurvedic practitioners are of the opinion that professional massage of the Marma points (107 in number) releases toxins from Marma and restores optimal health of body and mind by establishing normal energy flow.  Based on studies, allopathic medical doctors (M.D)  are skeptical about the claimed cures of  bronchial asthma. Patients do claim (and show) a certain glow in their skin and a halo of relaxation. MDs dispute claim of detoxification of the body by massaging of the Marma points. Toxins are eliminated from the body in so many ways: body gets rid of unwanted carbon dioxide by exhalation; toxins, drugs, metabolites, excess salt are eliminated by the kidneys in the urine; then there is the fecal elimination of waste products; liver detoxifies myriad substances. Claims of elimination of  cadmium, cholesterol, lead, mercury, nickel in significant curative amounts by the sweat glands are to be proven by science. Go to Kundalini Power for Ida and Pingala Nadis. The flow in negative meridians ascend on the body and the positive meridians descend. Just like a diurnal variation of cortisol production in the body, the Prana flow along the meridians have diurnal variation.

From outside to inside the shapes and their numbers in Sri Chakra: There are four layers of intersecting shapes and one red triangle in the hub or the center in Sri Chakra.

  Triangles White rectangles White triangles diamonds Total
The 1st layer 14 blue triangles 4 white rectangles 4 white triangles 2 diamonds total 24 shapes
2nd layer 10 red triangles 6 white rectangles 4 white triangles no diamonds 20 shapes
3rd layer 10 black triangles 6 white rectangles 2 white triangles no diamonds 16 shapes
4th layer 8 green triangles 3 white rectangles none none 11 shapes
Hub or center one yellow Triangle     none 1 shape
Totals 43  triangles 19 white rectangles 10 white triangles 2 diamonds Grand total 74 shapes.
Total plus Bindu  Bindu is 44th triangle        



 The fourteen outer triangles of the first layer formed by the intersecting nine triangles bestow good fortune. The Yoginis are hidden and the presiding deity is Tripura Vasini (the Dweller in Tripura). Her Vidya (Mantra) is Haim Hklim Hsau.

The ten triangles of the 2nd layer bestow all desired things to the Sadhaka. The Saktis are Kula Kaulas and the presiding deity is Tripura Sri. These two Yoginis are the 10 vital breaths.

The ten triangles of the 3rd layer is the chakra offering protection. The presiding deity is Tripura Malini and her Vidya is Hrim Klim Blem

 The eight triangles of the 4th inner layer is Chakra  curing all diseases. The Yoginis are the Rahasya (secret) Yoginis. The presiding deity is Tripura Siddha and her Vidya is Hrim Shrim Sauh.

    In Mandala the sign or icon of earth is a square, as the sign of dollar is $. It was of Hindu origin and the Buddhists adopted it for their meditative purpose. It is mostly symmetric containing geometric shapes. Mandala components are placed in such fashion that the eye of the beholder is drawn to the nucleus (Bindu) of the Mandala, which is the meditative locus of the Sadhaka. Bhupura is the four squares with the gates. The square stands for earth (Bhupura). It is marked by three lines; in the diagram there is only one line. Eight Lokpalas (world protectors) are present on the outermost line of the square. They are in charge of directions. Six Siddhi Saktis associated with the senses are on the middle line. Eight Saktis in charge of Anger, Desire, Delusion, Envy, Greed, Jealousy, Vice and Virtue are on the inner line. These Saktis collectively carry the name Prakata Yoginis (the Visible or Manifest Yoginis), who are under the control of TPS (TriPuraSundari). TPS here has four arms, wears pearls, and holds a lotus, a vessel and a book. Her Vidya (Mantra) is Am Am Sauh.

Outer line inhabitants

East SE South SW West NE North NE
Indra Agni / Fire god Yam Nirrti Varuna Vayu Soma Isana or Siva
yellow clothes red clothes black wears dark green blue light color pure white  
rides an elephant mount: ram holds a stick   mount: makara      

    Makara = a mythical animal resembling crocodile.

    Middle line inhabitants are Siddhi Saktis, wearing red garland, holding noose, and a goad and smeared with vermilion.

    The inner line inhabitants are Brahmi, Mahesvari, Kaumari, Varahi, Indrani, Camunda and Mahalakshmi. They all have their own special accouterments and weapons.

    Sapphire is the gem of the Mandala.

    Eight Petals: Each petal has its own Sakti- that of Speech, holding, Walking, Pleasure, Abandoning, Concentration and Detachment.


    Nada and Bindu are two saktis (power). Naada (Nada) is sound and Bindu is dot, or point. Nada and Bindu are the progenitors of Tattvas, the building blocks of the universe. Nada is Sakti and Bindu is Siva (Siva-Sakti); Nada is action and Bindu is static; Sakti is dynamic and Siva is static; Nada is white and Bindu is red. They represent the center of the universe from which everything proceeds.

    Bindu is enclosed in the first inverted triangle. It is like the nucleus of the cell enclosed by cellular walls with receptors (gates) and all activities of the cell proceeds from the (Bindu) nucleus. The centrifugal elements in the diagram are what the cosmos and the universe are made of. Going from the center to the periphery is evolution of the cosmos, universe, and beings. When man achieves Siddhi, he has taken a centripetal journey of involution to merge with Bindu. That is Moksa, liberation, nirvana. The triangles represent Sakti and Siva. Inverted triangle is female escutcheon and applies to the creative dynamism of Sakti. There are five inverted and four upright Tricona (Triangles). Tri = three. The word three came from Sanskrit tri. Now you know why inverted triangle is applied to female and upright triangle to male. The superimposition of polarized and charged triangles is symbolic of Siva-Sakti merger, interaction, projection, evolution. The triangles represent the triads mentioned elsewhere; some of the other triads are three Vedas, Rg, Yajur, and Sama Vedas; three points in Time, past, present, and future; three primary seasons, Spring, summer, and winter; three Thirthas (pilgrimage destinations) Prayag, Gaya and Kasi; three Padas (paths or feet) white, pure Samvit (consciousness), red, Parahamta (Supreme individuality), and black (Ravi, mixed white and red; white, red and black color of Devi; Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas Gunas; three Bindus (Bindu, Nada, and Bija); Iccha. Jnana, and Kriya; Sun, moon and fire; Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra.

    Lotus is a symbol of creation, cosmos, spiritual purity, perfection and fullness. Male gods guard the outer perimeter and goddesses inhabit the inner sanctorum.

Straight line is linear and does not yield a circumscription; when at least three lines come together in a Tricona (three angles, Triangle),  circumscription is created. Creation, preservation and destruction are three lines attached to one another at three angles; each departing line (at an angle) is drastically angular from the previous one. One line by itself is linear and endless and points to one attribute or function. There is no renewal in such configuration. Delineation and circumscription as in a triangle become necessary for activities, their description and scope.  Manifested Siva-Sakti is endowed with three qualities, Iccha, Jnana and Kriya (Will, Knowledge and Action; thus, there is circumscription that comes from the unmanifested form which is variously called: Niskala (no parts), Niskriya (no action), Asabda (no sound), Amanaska (no mind), Nirguna (no attributes), Attatva (beyond or lacking categories and parts). The three lines of tricona are Vama, Jyestha and Raudri saktis (left-handed, elder, fierce powers).

Tricona, constituting the least number of lines for a triangle,  provides for sprouting, growth, and withering and the repetition of the cycle. If you take the circle, they are millions, billions and zillions of straight lines, each one disposed at an angle from the previous one. The minute angular lines are attached and compacted so close together in a round circle that we don't notice the angles (and the angled lines look like a circle). The circle represents circumambulation around stupas and sanctorum. The circle is the zillion-angled repulsive force against the surrounding evil forces. It is keeps the sanctorum pure for the performance of ritual and liturgy. As said earlier the centrifugal evolutionary cascade from Bindu to Tattvas, matter and life proceed from the center. The Hindu temple is the living sanctified stone Mandala with its nuclear deity, peripheral deities, Prakarams for circumambulation and protective walls.

Diagram encompasses all divinities with their precise positions in regard to the nucleus (Bindu). The Mandala is a compact, intense, and charged microcosm embracing deities and their powers in action in the universe; it is the gathering place, the nucleus, of gods and universal forces (Rta). All the negative forces are kept out by the formidable forces, deities and walls. Each deity occupies a hierarchal position in relation to the nucleus or Bindu.

    Each petal represents a female deity. These attendant satellite deities form a circle around the central Siva-Sakti-Bindu complex enclosed in Sarva-Ananda-Maya-Chakra (plethora-Bliss-Fullness-wheel, Wheel full of massive bliss); they are the perfected ones. The distance from Bindu to the gates a deity is placed reflects the degree of Siddhi (spiritual perfection) of a particular entity. Naturally,  one at the gate is less spiritually awakened than the one seated on one of the eight petals. The Siddhas (the perfected ones) in the know can read the Yantra from the center to the periphery and vice versa. The outer walls and gates are made of three lines (diagram shows only one line); each line represents the feet, knees and thighs; thus, the Yantra is diagrammatic representation of human body. The circles symbolize the abdomen, the sixteen outer petals the lower part of the trunk above the abdomen, the inner eight petals the navel, the triangles the upper half of the trunk and the head, and the hub the thousand petals of the Sahasrara Chakra which has Brahma Randhra, the opening corresponding to the anterior fontanel. (Brahma Randhra is the entry and exit point of the soul. The Yantra, looking like a chip or circuit board, is alive when the central deity is invoked according to agamic rites. Ritual is like connecting the board (computer) to the power supply on the wall; the computer (deity) becomes alive.

As said earlier, centrifugal movement away from Bindu is Srstikrma, Pravrtti  (evolution, expansion, creation). Centripetal movement to Bindu is Nivrrti (involution, samhArakrama), destroying all Malas (impurities), acquiring spiritual knowledge and becoming one with Bindu. Kundalini Yoga teaches the Nivrrti path. Kundalini Power

The outer circle (four in number; only one is shown in the diagram) represents the motion of planetary revolution. It means Time without beginning, middle and end. The other inner circles represent the twenty-nine Matrikas (Mother Deities), sixteen Matrikas, and sixteen Nityas (or fifteen digits or Tithis of the waxing and waning moon, and the sixteenth is the Main Deity herself). The fifteen digits or Nityas are personified as her attendants (Nitya Devis).

On the petals are seated deities and divinities. One deity occupies each one of fourteen corners created by the nine superimposed triangles. TripuraSundari (TPS) is eternal though she manifests differently; her state is eternity. This is expressed by the Nityas or the digits of the moon. The moon remains the same but waxes or wanes through its digits or phases. Likewise, TPS remains the same though she sports different appearance with each digit or phase of the moon, acquires new name, Mantra, and Yantra with each phase of the moon. Thus she has 15 names and the rest through 15 phases of the moon and on the 16th day (Purnima, full moon) she is her Whole Self, TPS. Lalita TPS sports a garland of skulls on the 12th Nitya.

     Guru is essential in initiation. He teaches the initiate Mantra, Yantra, Tantra, Mudra, and Sadhana; external and internal purification, worship of Devatas, panchattatvas. The very fact that the initiate has come to this stage of spiritual advancement means that he has performed a goodly amount of Punyam (meritorious acts) in previous births. This qualifies him to receive Mantra (Srividya Mantra in case of Tripurasundari, TPS) instructions in a proper ritual. The Guru presents the initiate the specific Yantra of the goddess (Sri Chakra Yantra in case of TPS). Mantra is the sound-body or the soul of a god or goddess; Yantra depicts the sound-body in a diagram; just imagine Mantra is the computer code while Yantra is the computer electronic circuit board.

Mantra is the soul of Yantra; worship in Yantra pleases the Goddess. The vibrations from mantra gather on the surface of Yantra; gain momentum and bounce off; go to the specific god; receive his or her power, blessings, and grace; come back and deposit them on the chanter.  Yantra restrains, regulates, modulates, subdues, and sublimates all miseries born of desire, anger, hate, greed, love and other entities.  Worship without Yantra brings curse from the Deity. While worshipping the Deities, the deity-specific Mantra and Yantra with all the attendant rituals and paraphernalia (Tantra) should be brought into play, guaranteeing the proper respect and reverence to the deity; invoking one deity and worshipping another bring the wrath of both offended deities. The Inner power (Antahsakti) is brought to the full force in worship with all its rituals. All this is done under instructions from the Guru.

 Lord Siva was seated in yogic meditation. Kama came along to disturb his meditation, but was destroyed by Siva. Siva, the destroyer, was in meditation for sometime, which resulted in the increase in the population of earth and a heavy burden on Mother Earth.  The gods sent Kama (god of love, cupid, Amos, Eros) to shoot flowery Harshana (one of the five erotic arrows) on Siva and disturb his penance at the precise moment he woke up to receive his Divine Consort Parvati.  He (Kama)  by his magical power created an ambience of spring in the air, earth, and trees, conducive to love. Siva woke up from meditation, took one look at Parvati, and could not stop enjoying and articulating his appreciation of beautiful features of Parvati, who, in the privacy of Siva’s presence, lay bare gracefully, sporting sidelong glances. Siva felt like two persons, one imbibing the beauty of Parvati and another, Yogi of all yogis bent on control of the senses. He felt that if seeing is great pleasure, embracing must give even greater pleasure. Suddenly it dawned on him that he was stung by Kama’s arrows and bitten by love. How could that happen to a Yogi of yogis, who has complete control over senses?  Paramayogi Siva addressed Parvati in a loving manner and wondered aloud to her, how he became a victim to Kama and how that downfall is harmful to his excellent reputation as the Lord of Vairagya (detachment, desirelessness). He advised Parvati, in a spirit of platonic detachment, not to sit by his side on the couch, and looked around for he felt uncomfortable in being aroused. He felt that the Vairagin and Yogi (in him) was associating with a wife of someone else; such was the depth of his Vairagya.  Kama continued to shoot arrows at Siva with no effects. Siva's anger was coming to surface. A fire rising from the third eye of Siva incinerated Kama into ashes. That incident happened in Korukkai. One of Siva's Ganas (attendant of Siva) gathered the ashes of Kama and shaped it in the form of man. The Gana begged Siva to teach him a mantra and confer half the power of Kama to the ash-made man. Since the Ash-man was dead Kama and the result of Siva's fury, the Ash-man became a demon (Bhanda), who with his newfound strength and power defeated the gods who sought the help of Tripurasundari, who defeated the demon and restored the gods to their former status. (Bhasman or Sacred Ash is euphemious for the semen virile of Siva. Incineration brings all substances to their pristine primal state.) Rati, Kama's wife, came to Siva and begged him to give her husband back to her. Siva restored Kama not to the physical state but to a mental image, a representation of true love and affection and since then he is also known by the epithet, Ananga.

(The Ash-man asked and obtained Mantra from Siva who congratulates him with epithet Bhand, Bhand (good, good); so the name Bhanda stuck with the Ash-man. Since Bhanda is the product of Siva's anger and later ash and much later with the power of mantra he built a city rivaling the City of gods ruled by Indra, Siva's Gana becomes a demon. It appears that Bhanda is the fusion product of Siva's Gana and the ash of Kama.  Bhanda rules his kingdom for sixty thousand years. Bhanda attacks the city of gods, Indra and his army; immediately on the advice of Narada Muni Indra goes to TPS for help. The gods offer their own flesh and blood as sacrificial present to TPS. The gods also perform a marriage of Siva with TPS, as an act of propitiation.  TPS sends the Saktis or the Matrakas (fighting mothers) to face the demon Bhanda, who ridicules the fighting females. From the bodies of TPS and Bhanda, many previously documented enemies are created to fight each other. When Bhanda creates Hirayankasippu, TPS creates Prahalada to defeat him; in like manner, Bhanda's Ravana sustains defeat  at the hands of Rama created from the fingernail of TPS. Nama 80 of Lalita Sahasranama says ten avatars of Vishnu emerge from her fingernails to do the fighting against the Forces of Darkness. From the right thumb nail of the Divine Queen, the all-pervading Narayana emerges in the form of great Fish (Matsya). The ten Avatars, after the task is accomplished, stand before her with folded hands and pay obeisance to Lalita. Demon Mahisasura comes alive and Durga defeats him; at last TPS kills Bhanda. Once the battle is over, gods and Rati, Kama's consort appear before TPS and beg her to bring Kama back to life from death caused by Siva. TPS obliges the gods and Rati who panegyrize her. This episode shows that all avatars of Vishnu are resident in her and she can produce them as the occasion demands. Not only male gods are her avatars, but goddesses Bharati, Chandika, Gauri, Kali, and Kumari are her avatars too.

99) Sri Muladharaika-nilaya meaning that she dwells in Muladhara Chakra in the body.

Subsequent Lalitasahasranamas say that she is the resident goddess of all Chakras including Sahasrara Chakra.

214) Sri Maha Pataka Nasini, the destroyer of the Great sins. 

167) Papanasini, destroyer of evil deeds and karma.

199) Sri Sarva Sakti Mayi, the Mother of all Saktis.

252) Sri Paramananda: The Supreme Ultimate Bliss.

390) Sri Nirvana-sukha-dayini: Giver of the Bliss of emancipation

457) Sri Mata:  Mother.

555) Sri Kali-kalmasa-nasini:  Destroys sins in  Kaliyuga. Kalmasa = stain, dirt, darkness.

568) Sri Niyantri:  One who governs (by laws, rules and regulations).

572) Sri Para-Saktih:  The Spureme Power.

618) Sri Atma: The (Supreme) Soul.

808) Sri Paramanuh: The Infinitesimal particle; the infinite minuteness; (Anu = atom).

Sodasi confers on her devotees omniscient knowledge, word power, health, wealth, and resistance to poisons and sickness.

Her devotee becomes learned like Brhaspati, wealthy like Kubera, strong like a Wind, profound like Ocean, blindingly shiny like Sun, pleasingly and softly glamorous like Moon, beautiful like god of love, KAma touching the hearts of women, victorious by grace of hymns to Goddess... He comes out a winner in battle, seeking help from kings; disputes; confrontation with robbers, lions, and tigers; exposure to fires, angry kings, lonely deserts and raging waters; maladies of all kinds; and bad dreams.  AdyA-KAli protects him from fear of sin or disease.  He enjoys victory and never a defeat. All dangers scoot at his very sight.  He becomes the expounder of sacred texts, a man of fortune, a leader in caste and dharma (duty), and the lord among his kinsmen. The goddess of learning (VAni) resides on his fluent tongue and Goddess of wealth  (KamalA) resides in his house.  Mention of his name elicits instant bowing of the head from people. He attains Siddhis (eight powers) which to him are worthless like blades of grass.

    What are Siddhis?

Goddess gives Siddhis to her Votaries.

Siddhas are the yogins who possess eight siddhis or supranormal powers. Siddhas have attained liberation (jivanmukti) while living. His body is secure from Time or death; he can choose his death at will at a time and place of his choice. They are the gurus and spiritual preceptors. Among Sivas, Siva is the Supreme Siddha; Siddhi is achieving a siddha. The Supranormal powers are impediments to Samādhi, which is becoming one with ONE. The siddhis are eight: Anima, Mahima, Gharima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakamya, Isatva, Vashistva, (and Kāmarutattva.)  Note some texts do not mention Gharima or Kamarutattva.

Major Siddhis which are possessed by Mother Goddess, Bhagavan, Bhagavati, Isvari or Isvara and to a lesser degree by the Siddha.

All these Siddhis though impressive by ancient or modern standards are regarded as Kshudra Siddhis (Insignificant, small, lesser supranormal powers. The real and greater Siddhi is liberation from the round of births and rebirths.)


1.    Anima. (smallness):  Supernatural power of becoming as small as an atom, atomization

2.    Mahima. (largeness): The supernatural power of increasing size at will

3.    Gharima. The supernatural power of making one self heavy at will

4.    Laghima. (lightness): The supernatural power of levitation

5.    Prāptih. Supernatural power to obtain everything

6.    Praakaamya. Capacity to accomplish anything desired

7.    Isitva. Supremacy or superiority considered as a super natural power

8.    Vashistva. The supernatural power of subduing all to one's own will

                                ---Definitions as found in Tamil Lexicon, Madras University


    Kāmarutattva (consummation of all desires)


      Prapti is power to enter anywhere. It also means the supernatural power of obtaining everything. This includes Ability to touch the sun, the moon or the sky. The Siddha can predict the future. He understands the language of birds and beasts, and unknown kind. Prapti is defined as ability to apprehend knowledge and perceptions perceived by the individual soul in his senses, which are presided over by god or gods. Once a Yogi or Siddha enters the body of another, he can perceive and modulate the feelings and perceptions of the the host's senses.

    Prâkâmya is the ability to enjoy anything that is heard, seen, touched, thought and more.

    Isitva is introduction and diffusion of Sakti of His Maya into every Jiva in the universe.  It also means supreme domination.

Clairvoyance, Clairaudience, Divination, and Hyperacuity to pain, taste, and smell are supranormal faculties, which are an impediment to True Siddhi (Oneness with One) because they generate Ahankāra, the I-ness, and the Mine-ness and prevent total surrender to God. The eighth power indicates the consummation of yogi's desire for God-realization and subduction from Kāma or sexual desire. Go to the end of the chapter for more details.


A realized Yogi Ramana Maharishi makes the following observations on Siddhis.  The Siddhis are not natural to the Self. That which is not natural, but acquired, cannot be permanent, and is not worth striving for. They denote extended powers. All these Siddhis are related to body and not to Brahman. A man is possessed of limited powers, and is miserable; he wants to expand his powers so that he may be happy. But consider if it will be so; if with limited perceptions one is miserable, with extended perceptions the misery must increase proportionately.  Occult powers will not bring happiness to anyone, but will make him all the more miserable! He desires to display the Siddhis so that others may appreciate him. Without appreciation he will not be happy. If he finds another one with greater powers, he will be unhappy and jealous. The higher occultist may find another higher Siddha and so on until there will come one who will blow up everything in a trice. Such is the highest adept (Siddha) and He is God or the Self. --Talks with Ramana Maharishi, page 19.


In Tantra literature, there are five Sivas: Sadasiva, Isa, Rudra, Vishnu, and Brahma; all of them are described as "Five Great corpses" because they are all inert without Sakti. Siva is Sava (corpse, Sava Rupa); hence, Sakti Devi is portrayed as standing on Sava-Siva. The Five Great Corpses (pancha-maha-preta) become inanimate objects upon which Devi (Sodasi) sits, reclines, presides, and merges as Consciousness. Siva is the couch; Sadasiva is the mattress; Isa is the pillow; Isa, Rudra, Hari (Vishnu), and Brahma are the four legs of the couch. Tripurasundari/Sodasi reclines majestically on the couch. Sundari is united with Higher Siva, Paramasiva in Pranava, AUM. The Nada (Chandrabindu/ Nadabindu) over the Omkara is the couch, on which Paramasiva in his Bindu form is reclining. Chandrabindu is Nada and Bindu, Sakti and Siva in one unit. The erotic and sometimes morbid symbolism is illustrative of Sakti's (Sodasi) power. Shodasi = Sho + Dasi = 6 + 10 = 16. Sodasi is sweet, soft, and sixteen all the time. She is Lalita, sweet, soft and charming. Sixteen is the age and  prime of youth and from there on it is downhill in every sense. Even in a physiological and immunological sense, sixteen is the turning point for the worse. It takes sixteen days for the new moon to become a full moon; from there on it is down hill. Sundari is sweet sixteen all the time, the prime of everything imaginable.

Kali was once addressed as KALI (black) by Siva; Kali was upset, retired to Mount Sumeru, and became an ascetic vowing to change her black complexion to white. Narada, the talebearing Muni, went to Kali and told her that Siva was considering marriage to another woman and that she should immediately go to Siva. Is this not a benign mischief on the part of Narada Muni?  Kali by that time lost the pigment in her skin and became light-skinned, but did not know about it. When she went to Siva, she saw a wheat-complexioned woman in the mirror of the heart of Siva. She was upset, angry and jealous; Siva noticing her disposition asked her to look more closely. Kali found her own light-skinned image and realized her misperception. Siva calling her Tripurasundari said that she would remain sixteen for ever; that is how she became known by that epithet, Sodasi. Sodasi likes to sit sometimes on the lotus sprouting out of the navel of reclining Siva.    

    Association of sixteen with Sodasi may have several meanings.

    1. She is sixteen years of age.

    2. She has sixteen attributes.

    3. She is the sixteenth Tithi (phase or digit of the moon) meaning that she is the sixteenth digit and thus, beyond the fifteen digits of the waxing (Sukla Paksa) and waning moon (krsna paksa). The digits of the moon are the goddesses; Sodasi is above and beyond these goddesses.


Ashtakam = Octal hymn, that takes you to the eternal home.

Here is a string of pearls and gems from TPS Ashtakam by Samkara (Sankara)

Sam in Samkara means bliss, wellness, beloved. Kara = doer, causer, maker, producer, promoter.

    Ashtakam 1. I seek refuge in Tripurasundari who is in the middle of Kadamba forest. TPS roams the Kadamba forest. Kadamba = Cadamba indica. As the bank clouds quench the thirst, TPS quenches the spiritual thirst of a confluence of Munis. Her hips excel the swell of the  mountains; her eyes outshine the fresh lotus; her dark complexion vies with the nimbus, as the callipygian celestial damsels serve her. She is from the family of three-eyed Lord.

 Kadamba is an allegory for the Universe of beings and matter.

  Ashtakam 2. I seek refuge in Tripurasundari who is in the middle of Kadamba forest. Kadamba = Cadamba indica. She holds a lute, wears gems and a face that glows with ambrosia, grace, auspiciousness and mercy and wanders the woods with clear eyes. She is from the family of three-eyed Lord.

    Vina is the universe and Rta is its music and rhythm. The musicians are TPS and other gods. TPS orchestrates the musicians and the intricate music. Rta (Cosmic Law) brings order and meaning to what otherwise would be the chaos of creation, maintenance, and destruction. Likewise, TPS brings order to the universe. The stem of the Vina is the vertebral column, Merudanda, Axis Mundi, or Stambha. It stands for the spinal column and the Susumna Nadi that runs along the central spinal canal, piercing through the chakras on its way to Sahasrara Chakra.

    Siva is the stem, strings Uma, end-piece Lakshmi, shoulder Vishnu, gourd Brahma, and the middle Sarasvati. TPS orchestrates and coordinates all deities to create the music and rhythm of the universe.  She is the Primal Goddess out of whom emerged the gods and beings and the universe. She is the immanent Self in all beings including gods.

Mount Meru is the Axis Mundi of the universe; Spine is the Axis Mundi or Skambha of the universe of human body and so it is called Merudanda.  Meru + danda  = Meru + Pole. The jeweled Chakra in the human body is Manipura Chakra; he jewels dazzle; our sins frazzle with her grace.

    Varuni is nectar obtained from the Milk Ocean. Varuni in this context is that which exudes from the union of Siva and Sakti in Sahasrara Chakra after the successful ascent of Kundali and Yogi from Muladhara to Sahasrara Chakra. Kundalini Power. TPS is red from intoxication with the nectar.

    Some regard the nectar as the intoxicating liquor of Panchamakaras, the Five Ms: Madya, wine; Mamsa, meat; Matsya, fish; Mudra, grain; and Maithuna, sexual union. The right-handed (Vama) worshippers of Mother Goddess practice panchatattvas. Go to Kularnava Tantra.    

     If drinking wine leads to spiritual attainment, all drunkards would attain moksa. If meat-eating leads to sojourn in heaven, all carnivores are righteous claimants to heaven. If sexual intercourse with women is the ticket to liberation, all animals have a right to liberation. Tantrics are of the view that sacrificial killing of approved animals to please forefathers and gods is permitted. Killing and eating for nourishment and enjoyment is proscribed. True devotee's offer of meat and wine to Devi is Anananda (Bliss); they are dear to Devi; they are true Kaulikas. Bhairava inculcates in those who drink wine the knowledge of Kula principles. Wine lights up Atma enveloped in dark Maya. Drinking wine with the utterance of proper mantra and offering it to Guru guarantee a Kaulika not to drink his mother's milk again--no rebirth. A Kaulika enjoyer, who is a Vira, is Bhairava himself, while the meat he offers is Siva, and Wine is Sakti. If you notice some commonality between Tantrics and Catholics with regard to wine and meat (body of Christ), the catholic rituals are imports from Tantrics. The union of Siva and Sakti from such offering is liberation. Bliss is Brahman; it is present in the body, waiting to be expressed by wine; thus, Yogis imbibe it. Vira, the embodiment of Tantric virtue, untouched by polar opposites like pain and pleasure, possessed of Kula and Vaidik knowledge, imbibes wine which gives him Bliss and liberation.  Mother Kali is the goddess of the Tantrics and Saktas.

    Drinking of Soma is prescribed for Brahmanas, as wine is prescribed to Viras. Permitted user of wine, meat, fish, and sex should have thorough knowledge of Kula Sastra, before he uses them. The Sakti of Vira is alive and well, while that of Pasu is at sleep.

    TPS alone is capable of conferring both worldly goods and pleasures and moksa (liberation). Other deities can confer only the earthly bhoga or pleasures.  She is clear-eyed in the sense she is above dualities. She is a care-free wanderer without desires or dualities in the forest (universe) meaning that she is all-pervasive and immanent in all beings; she has no wants; she is full of grace.

  Ashtakam 3.  I seek shelter in Tripurasundari who is in the middle of Kadamba forest. By her Lila (play  activity) we make the portrait of the universe. She lives in the Kadamba forest with her garland adorning her mountainous breasts, her Grace flowing, her cheeks red from imbibing wine, her voice melodious and her body cloud-blue. She is from the family of three-eyed Lord.

     We are like a portrait. The mountains, people, beings and matter on the portrait do not exist without the substratum (hypostasis) of the Divine Being. Garland indicates her auspiciousness. Her humongous breasts stand for the everlasting nurture of the universe. Her Grace ensures liberation from Samsara.

    Grace of Guru (Gurukripa) in TPS worship

 Guru is essential in initiation. He teaches the initiate Mantra, Yantra, Mudra, and Sadhana; external and internal purification, worship of Devatas, panchattatvas. The very fact that the initiate has come to this stage of spiritual advancement means that he has performed a goodly amount of Punyam (meritorious acts) in previous births. This qualifies him to receive Mantra (Srividya Mantra in case of Tripurasundari, TPS) instructions in a proper ritual. The Guru presents the initiate the specific Yantra of the goddess (Sri Chakra Yantra in case of TPS). Mantra is the sound-body of a god or goddess; Yantra depicts the sound-body in a diagram; just imagine Mantra is the computer code while Yantra is the computer electronic circuit board.



Sequence of events, worship and prayer

    External purification

    Internal purification

    Sanctification by Mantra "acupressure"

    Sanctification by deifying body parts

    Pujari, the surrogate of Goddess (or Siva)

    Consecration of sacraments, vessels and worship site

    Water for ritual ablution of feet of the deity

    Water for Acamana (Sipping while uttering certain mantras a little water three times from the palm of the right hand.)

        Worshipping the conch with flowers   

    Offering Panchagavya (five products of the cow: milk, yogurt, butter, urine and cow dung.)

    Worship of pots and water, bull, door,

    Worship of Ganesa, the dispenser and remover of obstacles, and other gods.

    Bathing of the Goddess, (TPS, Linga or Ishta-devata)


āćamana as described by Monier Monier-Williams (12 November 1819 – 11 April 1899)

The first act of the Morning Sandhyā Service, and, as stated before, the usual preliminary to all Hindu religious rites, is sipping water (āćamana); two or three mouthfuls being swallowed for internal ablution. The water is taken up in the hollowed palm of the Right hand or poured from a spoon into the palm, and is supposed to cleanse body and soul in its downward course. This is done two or three times at the commencement of the Morning Sandhyā ^. During the process of sipping, the twenty-four principal names of the god Vishnu are invoked, thus: 'Glory to Keśava, to Nārāyaṇa, to Mādhava, to Govinda, to Vishnu,' etc.

Notes October 10, 2014.



    For all the world's creature including man, the first Guru is mother. Mother Goddess TPS is the Mother of all Gurus. Go to The Saktas.

  Ashtakam 4. I seek shelter in Tripurasundari who is in the middle of Kadamba forest, seated on a golden dais. She abides in six lotus flowers and is constant lightning to the unwavering Siddhas. She taunts the China Rose (Hibiscus) (with her complexion), wearing the cloudless moon as Cudamani (jewel in a diadem). She is from the family of three-eyed Lord.

    For information on Six lotus flowers go to Kundalini Power.

Lightning is the manifestation of TPS when the Yogi in meditation shuts the world off and delves deep into the transcendental world. When he ascends to Ajna Chakra, he receives the lightning from TPS. Siva and Sakti manifest themselves as Cloud and Lightning (Meghesvara and Saudamini) in Manipura Chakra.  Lightnings are the ways Kundali communicates with the Siddhas.

    TPS has red complexion; redness is Rajas (motion and passion). China Rose is sacred to TPS, as Ketaki for Siva and Tulasi for Vishnu. 

Ashtakam 5. I Seek shelter in Sage Matanga’s daughter whose Vina adorns her bosom, who has curly tresses, abides in the Lotus, and disdains the evil-minded, whose eyes look red from nectar, who enchants Cupid’s enemy, Siva, and whose speech is mellifluous.

Ashtakam 6. I seek refuge in Mahatripurasundari who holds the first flower of Smara (Manmatha / Cupid), wears a blue shawl / Saree with red polka dots, and holds a vessel of wine, whose eyes are languid and tipsy, whose close-set breasts are heavy and high, and whose hair droops gracefully and who is of black complexion.

smara prathama pushpinim = Smara's first flower: The first flower is said to be an euphemism for the onset of menarche, indicating her eternal blossom of youth.  Smara = Manmatha, the god of love.

The eyes looking languid and tipsy are a sign of internal bliss-SatChitAnanda.

Her hair drooping gracefully is a sign of her relaxed and yet Supreme status among gods, men and matter.

Ashtakam 7. During meditation I remember Ambika wearing vermilion and Kasturi Tilakam, sporting a soft smile, holding arrows, bow, noose and goad, beguiling all people, wearing a red saree and radiating with Japa flower.

Ashtakam 8. I revere the Bhuvanāmbika who rules the world, who has the celestials do her hair, Brahma’s consort to apply unguents and sandal paste, Mukunda Ramani (Vishnu’s consort) to doll her up with jewels and wives of Suras (gods) to do her bid as maids.

Devi Tripura is Brahma, Vishnu and Isa, while Siva is Sambhu, Sadasiva, Isana, Rudra, Vishnu and Brahma.   


Bhuvanesvari is Mistress of the world. Bhu = world. Isvara = Lord; Isvari = Mistress / Lady. She is Rajarajesvari (Queen of queens), the ruler of the universe. She is the embodied form of the totality of transcendent knowledge (Para Vidya--Supreme knowledge), part of  which makes the Vedas. Tantrics say that Bhuvanesvari becomes a manifest goddess after creation and thus controls the phenomenal world in all its aspects. She is a beautiful goddess in every respect so much so Siva acquired a third eye to imbibe her beauty. Bhuvanesvari is the centerpiece of phenomenal world; she causes creation, maintenance and destruction; all activities and oscillations of the world, including love and hate, happiness and misery, joy and suffering and other myriad emotions are her play activity. Bhuvanesvari is the nourisher of the universe; appropriately, she is endowed with generous engorged breasts which are in a perpetual state of spontaneous letdown; she sports an effulgent full moon on her forehead; she holds a fruit on one hand, is light-complexioned, smiles pleasingly, and confers Raksha (protection) with one of her four hands. She is also gold, red and blue which stand for three gunas. (A variation in theme: Since Sattva is white, Rajas red, and Tamas black, they tried to paint her with colors.) She is also portrayed as having twenty hands wielding an assortment of weapons (bow and arrows, scissors, sword, spear, club, disc, trident, noose, and mace), holding conch and garland, and displaying a protective boon-giving fear-not (Abhaya Mudra) pose. In another pose, she holds a red lotus and a jewel box with her two hands. They represent vigor and wealth. Her face lights up in smile and radiates peace and amity. She is bright-red in complexion; lends color to the lightning; shines like a thousand suns; wears a crescent moon on her head and a nose ring; holds a snake, noose and goad; sits naked on a red lotus in a pond full of lotus flowers; sports three eyes; wears pearls of many hues; and confers Grace by Abhaya Mudra pose. Her Bija (Seed) Mantra is hrim (Crescent moon is symbolic of renewal, replenishment, growth and vitality.) Bija Mantras are seed letters (of Sanskrit language) which are the visual forms of Primeval Sound. If pen (written word) is mightier than a sword, Primeval Sound is mightier than visual sound (Pasyanti) and written word. Go to Sabda or Sound for more details.  Bija mantra is usually a single-character Mantra; there are exceptions like Hreem/hrīm, a compound. Primeval Sounds apparently have no meaning, so is the case with Bija mantra sounds; they possess mystic meaning. Since Sound (Nada) is the source of the universe, the Maha-Bhutas (gross elements) have Bijas.

    Bhuvanesvari, before her earthly appearance, was an unmanifest energy and power. Sodasi was the only goddess then. The sun appeared in the sky under Sodasi's watch and the Rishis offered Soma sacrifice to the sun which created the three worlds (Bhuvanas). Bhuvanesvari became a manifest goddess and ruled over the three worlds: Bhūh, Bhuvah, and Svah (the earth or physical plane, atmosphere or astral plane, and heaven or celestial plane). Since she is the ruler of Bhuh, she became Bhuvanesvari, who is no other than Sodasi herself. She is the fourth in line in importance: Kali, Tara, Sodasi and Bhuvanesvari (BVS). BVS is Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether, Prakrti, sun, moon and their creator. Since she is the controller of the five gross elements (Mahabhutas), she is Pradhana and Prapancesvari.  The manifested world evolves from out of BVS as the spider issues forth the web from its body. She is the fire which crackles with sparks as souls coming out of the fire in BVS. The spider, the web, and the sparks are analogies used by Ramanuja in explaining Brahman, earth and souls. Supplement.

Bhuvanesvari: Exoticindia.com

BVS, the origin of Tanmatras, gross elements, sensory organs and motor organs.

Five gross elements (pancha Bhutas).

Five Tanmatras.

Janendriyas, five sensory, five motor

Ether, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth


Note their colors.

Sound, Vision, Taste, Smell and Touch.

Ears, Eyes, Tongue, Nose, and Skin.

hearing, vision, tasting, smelling, feeling touch.)

Larynx, hands, feet, anus and genitals (speech, grasp, ambulation, evacuation, procreation.)

Bija Mantra for Ether is HAM, Air YAM, Fire RAM, Water VAM, and Earth LAM.
Salutations to Bhuvanesvari in the form of sound, Ether, hearing and ear; Fire, Vision, and eyes; Water, taste and tongue; Earth, smell and nose; Air, touch and skin. According to this table, Sound is the first manifestation in the universe; all things sequentially evolved from sound, from which other Tanmatras came about; sequentially and subsequently Tanmatras gave rise to gross elements, appropriate sensory organs (ear, eyes, tongue, nose, and skin and motor organs*.   BVS is thus the indwelling deity in all these entities.

Motor organs* are larynx, hands, feet, anus and genitals and their functions are speech, grasp, locomotion, evacuation and reproduction. All these above elements in the table emerge from her and dissolve in her during pralaya (end of cosmic cycle). She is the creator, sustainer and destroyer. She is the Mother of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. The female version of the Triad is Sarasvati, Lakshmi and Kali (for creation, maintenance and destruction).

    Matter (Prakrti) consists of 24 elements made of unevolved Primordial Prakrti (Pradhana), intellect (Mahat), ego, Pada (five subtle elements or Tanmatras), Matra (five organs of action, Karmendriyas, or motor organs), Varna (five organs of knowledge, Janendriyas, or sensory organs), five gross elements (Yauvana, Mahabhutas) and the mind. Pradhana is the womb (Bhuvanesvari, BVS) from which other elements take their origin.

    BVS is sound itself and thus, the origin of seed sounds, Mantras and Vidyas, (Sanskrit) letters, words, phrases, sentences and speech. Her Bija Mantra (Vidya) is hreem: a combination of four elements, ha, ra, i (ee), m.  Swami Vishnu Devananda says that ha stands for Siva, ra for Prakrti, i (ee) for Mahamaya and m (Bindu) for dispeller of sorrow and Nada for the Mother of the Universe.

The Sanskrit alphabets proceed or take their birth from these sound elements. She is Sabdabrahman, Brahman of sounds and also Kundalini Devi. From hreem proceeds the universe of sounds and letters, the deities, the universe, humans, animals, plants, matter, forces of nature.

    Yantras of all deities share many common features. The layout is the same with internal variations: the gates, the square, the circles, the lotus petals, the peripheral deities. The basic Yantra consists of a central anchor (Bindu), one or more triangles, rectangle, pentagon, hexagon and or spiral,  letters on the lotus petals of different colors with their respective petal deities, one or more circles, square, gates, a Bija Mantra (as in the case of Kundalini Chakras).


BVS Yantra

The center is the imaginary Bindu or the seed Mantra of BVS, hreem. (The diagram is blank  in the center.) The inverted triangle is BVS and the upright triangle is Siva; together they appear as a six-pointed star. There are the eight- and sixteen-petalled lotuses enclosed by a square and four gates. Bindu is the union of Siva and Sakti, the overlapping triangles. This union of Siva and Sakti creates three pairs of Saktis: Iccha and Vama Saktis; Jnana and Jyestha Saktis; Kriya and Raudra Saktis. They represent Iccha, Jnana and Kriya Saktis, which are used by BVS to create, maintain and destroy the universe. The fourth pair is Ambika and Santa Saktis.  Iccha = Will; Vama = left handed; Jnana = Knowledge; Jyestha = elder; Kriya = action; Raura = destruction; Ambika = good woman, wife of Siva; Santa = composure; Sakti = power.  These powers are called Mahapithas, sacred places around the country: Kamarupa, Jalandhra, Purnagiri, and Uddiyana. Eight goddesses occupy the inner eight petals; four goddesses stand at the pericarp of the inner lotus. One divine pair stand guard at each one of the six apices of the triangle. Eight forms of Rati are present on the eight tips of the petals. There are again eight saktis present in the spaces between petals. Each one of the sixteen outer petals has a resident deity. Four deities guard the gates; likewise four deities guard four corners of the square. The inner parts of the Yantra are generally female domain and the perimeter is generally the domain of the male gods. The central Bindu-Siva-Sakti is surrounded by all these deities. The Sadhaka worships all these deities in Yantra. 

    She uses noose to laso the wayward votary and goad to discipline the devotee and destroy evil so that the votary attains spiritual enlightenment. Another source tells that she uses the noose and goad to control his Indriyas (sensory and motor organs), take him along the path of devotion and knowledge and give him Grace. Noose and goad are the instruments of inculcating Dharma in a devotee.

    A plethora of auspicious adjectives describes her face, hair, lips, nose, throat, breasts, waist, thighs, buttocks, navel, and arms. Siva sprouted his third eye just to imbibe her beauty in full measure. The beautiful features are an affirmation of the world. Tantra is of the opinion that liberation can be obtained both by bhoga (enjoyment) and yoga. Worshipping her brings health, wealth, vigor, power and control over enemies and friends, word power (Vac Sakti), and intentional prophesy (Vac Siddhi).    

Bhuvanesvari's physical beauty is described to illustrate her inner beauty in Hymns to the Goddess Bhuvanesvari by Sir John Woodroffe.

You are of beauteous face, outlined by the weighty hanging hair. Your body is moist with the nectar flowing from Sahasrarapadma. You sport rounded breasts and slender waist; holding a rosary, a Kalasa (pitcher), and a book in your three hands, your fourth hand makes Jnanamudra. You are Lakshmi rivaling the luster of molten gold. You hold two lotuses in two hands and with the other two hands you grant boons and dispel fear (Vara and Abhayamudra). O Bhavani, I worship your body from ankle to knee, which  the bull-bannered one (Siva) gazes with great love and as if not satiated by looking with two eyes made for himself a third eye. I recall to my mind your two thighs which humble the pride of the trunk of an elephant and surpass the plantain-tree in thickness and tenderness. O Mother, Youth fashioned those thighs, which support the weight of your hips. Your great breasts and big hips seem to have absorbed the waist with the downy fine hair of your youth clothing your body. O Devi, Let me not forget your navel, a secure inviolate pool granted to you by your blossoming youth filled with the liquid beauty. Your lotus-like breasts smeared with sandal paste bears ash telling the embrace of Siva. Your breasts remind me of the frontal bilobes of the elephant in musth rising from the waters flicked with foam. (It is common to compare breasts to the two protuberances of the frontal bone of the elephant. Consider the Great Tetons Nationa Park.) O Mother, your two arms are beauteous with water dripping from your body. Again and again I look upon your shapely neck, which has stolen the beauty of a well-formed shell  and adorns a pleasing necklace and other jewels. Yet I am not satiated. I oft recall to my mind your face with large round eyes and noble brow, radiant cheeks and smile, the high straight nose and lips red like a Bimba fruit.  Whoever contemplates on your wealth of hair lit by the crescent moon and resembling a swarm of bees hovering over fragrant flowers is free from all shackles and will never be born again in this world. The mortal who reads these sweet hymns from his heart attains all wealth in the form of Lakshmi at whose feet crowned kings fall prostrate.

Chinnamasta is Cut Head. Chinna + Masta = Cut + Head. She is Tantric form of Durga with a severed head, fifth in line of Mahavidyas. The western students regard Chinnamasta as an adopted goddess from Buddhist faith and Tantrics inducted her in (the gallery) Hall of Mahavidyas, though they were afraid to alter her Buddhist Mantra for fear of reaping the wrath of Chinnamasta. Buddhists call Chinnamasta, Chinna-Munda. Munda = head. Chinnamasta and Dhumavati along with other bevy of goddesses are regarded by the west as sinister goddesses bent on Abhicaara; thus, they are worshipped in Abhicaara rites for the express purpose of harming the enemies. Abhicaara = employment of  spells  for malevolent purposes. (In the movie "Loc Kargil" the soldiers were invoking Kali, Krishna and Durga while they were attacking the rock-fortified positions of the enemy soldiers. They failed to invoke Chinnamasta; no Abhicaara rites were performed.) Some experts call Chinnamasta by other epithets: Vidya and Tara.





Chinnamasta is portrayed against the background of mountains, rivers, verdure, flowers, thunderclouds, and  lightning. All look pleasant and appealing except the thunder and lightening and the central figure who holds her own severed head dripping blood on her left hand; three streams of blood are spouting out of the severed neck, the right and the left stream going into the mouths of two females and the central stream going into the mouth of the severed head; scimitar is held by the right hand. Indophobes (and Indophiles) have a field dayChinnamasta spouting diagnostic opinions ranging from psychosis, personality disorder, displaced anger, dissociation, destructive impulse behavior, self-mutilation.  Everyone including some big names "oralized and analized" the perturbing points in the portrait; none had the qualification of the insider.  The one thing that they lacked was the wisdom evinced by the Tantrics who were in the thick of it. After studying the sanguine opinions of pseudo-pundits of all hues and nations on this subject of sanguine nature, I came to the conclusion that the Tantrics in the know had the best explanation. Insert: Chinnamasta; credit exoticindia.com

The goddess of red hibiscus complexion with the severed head is Chinnamasta; she holds a scimitar on the right hand and her own severed head on the left hand; the severed head with three eyes and body are living units. Three streams emanate from the severed neck, two streams go into mouths of two goddesses, Varnini on her right side and Dakini on her left side and one stream falls into the mouth of the severed head. Naked Varnini of Raja Guna is white in color with cascading black hair, holds an upright sword on her left hand and a skull-bowl on her right hand, moves her right foot forward in a walking stance so as to receive the right stream into her mouth.  Naked Dakini of Tamas Guna with cascading black hair holds the sword on her right hand, the skull-bowl on her left hand and moves with the left foot forward so as to catch the left stream into her mouth. Chinnamasta is sitting (standing) on a pair of lovers engaged in Viparita Mithuna (reverse coition), involving supine Manmatha and prone Rati, who were stretched out on a open blossom of lotus flower floating in a body of water (the older version of waterbed). In the background are the mountains...What do all these disparate elements of a portrait mean?


Chinnamasta is associated with Kundalini Chakras; there is reference to that in her hymnal names: Susumnasvarabhasini, Sahasradalamadhyastha and Sahasradalavarttini.

Susumnasvarabhasini = She who understands Susumna Nadi sound.

Sahasradalamadhyastha  = One who is in the middle of a thousand-petalled lotus.

Sahasradalavarttini = She who abides in the thousand-petalled lotus.

John 6.53-57, 62,63


J6:53  Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
J6:54  He who eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
J6:55  For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
J6:56  He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him.
J6:57  As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father; so he who eats me, shall live by me.
J6:62  What and if you shall see the Son of man ascending where he was before?
J6:63  It is the Spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak to you, are spirit and life.

The New Oxford Annotated Bible offers the following explanation.

53. The separation of the blood from the flesh emphasizes the reality of Jesus' death. 54: To eat and drink is to believe, to appropriate, assimilate and ABIDE by Christ. 62-63: The ascension by which Jesus will be taken away as regards the flesh will indicate that he has been speaking of spiritual realities and not the actual eating of his flesh.


Go to Kundalini Power for more details.

Manmatha and Rati are the archetypical lovers, living a life of indulgence in Muladhara and Svadhisthana planes, which is not condemned by Tantrics. They have dominant oral, anal and genital traits--deglutition, defecation, excretion,  recreation and reproduction. Chinnamasta walks on them on this private moment and stands on them, which is rather discomforting to the lovers. The flesh is put on notice; the flash of lightning sword severs the head and the spirit rises. The headquarters has all the sensory and motor organs (needed for a successful sexual encounter), such as the brain, the motivator and the ultimate enjoyer; nose, the purveyor of delicate aromas; mouth and tongue and hands and fingers for creative osculation and tactile pleasures;  ears for subtle sounds of music; and eyes, the imbiber of visual delights. The head of senses has to come off for the spirit to rise. Standing or sitting  on Kama and Rati in Viparita Mithuna (Reverse Coition), Chinnamasta demonstrates that she has overcome the sexual urges; self-decapitation (of sense organs) with streams of blood points to fearlessness, feeding and nurturing and sacrifice to her  devotees. (Consider this statement: "Be sure you distinguish (discern) the Body (bread) and Blood (wine) of Christ from the other food at the meal. Treat it reverently, do not just gulp it down.") Her hymnal names, Yogini, Yoganirata, and Madanatura, indicate that she is a female Yogi, a disciplined and controlled practitioner of Yoga, and the one who cannot be conquered by Love god. Her nudity is a sign of truthfulness because Truth when clothed is no longer Truth. One who has the courage to stand decapitation for sacrifice, Truth, devotion, and in war is a hero with discipline and self-control; he is the battle-ready hero, a true devotee of Chinnamasta.

    Some point out that willing participation of Siva and Chinnamasta in Viparita Mithuna, portray an image of Tantric worship where the dominant pivotal performer is the female; there is no suppression or degradation of sexual desire or energy. As further proof of glorification of Tantric sexual practice, Chinnamasta's Mantra incorporates in it the common seed Syllable (Seed Mantra) of the Great Lovers, Krishna and Kama: klīm. Chinnamasta's Mantra is "Srīm hrīm klīm aim Vajravairocaniye hum hum phat svāhā". This Mantra, some say, attracts and holds woman in their sway. (Last time, I chanted this Mantra, my spouse slapped me on the face hoping it will snap me out of my possession and pervasion with a spirit!) Her hymnal names point to her sexual energy, enjoyment and desire: Kāmarūpa (her form is desire), Ratirāgavivrddhini (Rati = sexual enjoyment) + (Rāga = passion) + (Vivrddhini = enhancer).

Other explanations.

Chinnamasta is an object lesson for the amorous couple. The three streams are the Nadis: the lateral ones are the Ida and Pingala (left and right) Nadis; the central one is the Susumna Nadi. Head is cortex and brain, the seat of desires. Susumna Nadi rises through the brain which receives nourishment from central stream of blood. Spirit (Kundalini goddess) rises to the top of the head via the roof of the mouth; severed head represents severed mind-Amanaska, a state of paucity of mental function, conducive to higher states of consciousness, whose destination is Atattva or Parasiva (absolute Reality). The Nadis break through the Grantha (knot) in the Chakras and lift the head, the seat of human consciousness, off. Chinnamasta represents Susumna Nadi, Varnini Pingala Nadi, and Dakini Ida Nadi. Kundalini Power

Chinnamasta is in a state of Amanaska devoid of all human foibles, distractions, and senses but not dead; the proof is she is sitting or standing; the nourishing Susumna Nadi in the form of blood is keeping the head alive. This is called Kapaala moksa--liberation by the skull. The confluence of Bindu and Nada (Light and Sound / Lightning and thunder, Siva and Sakti, Seed and ovum / Sveta Bindu and Sona Bindu) creates a cascade of Tattvas which result in matter and life; what Chinnamasta does on the cosmic scale, the recumbent couple do it on a smaller microcosmic scale. The amorous couple are on the physical plane, while Chinnamasta is on the spiritual plane; Prana has risen from the genital triangle to Ajna Chakra and beyond through Susumna Nadi to Sahasrara Chakra where the union of Siva and Sakti produces nectar which suffuses throughout the body.  In the amorous couple, the flesh is rising and the spirit is sinking.

The trodden lovers living in Muladhara and Svadhisthana planes can control their senses to reach Brahmarandhra with the grace of Chinnamasta who lives in Ajna Chakra.

The transformation of the Spirit, Pure Consciousness, or Paramatma (Supreme Atma or Soul) through a  cascade of Tattvas from Spirit through knowledge to lesser consciousness to matter is depicted as an evolutionary process and the Tattvas measure the distance between matter and individual soul on one side and Pure Consciousness on the other end. In this instance, the human consciousness ascends to Parasiva or Atattva: an instance of involution. Chinnamasta facilitates that ascent from the prurient world to a world of Pure transcendental Consciousness and Bliss.

Chinnamasta, as Tara, was adopted from Buddhist Tantrics who called her Vajra Yogini.  There are a few stories associated with Chinnamasta. 

Parvati went to Mandakini River for bathing with two attendants, Jaya and Vijaya. When she finished bathing, the attendants asked her for food for which she said that they had to wait until they reached home. They kept persisting in their request and she, the merciful goddess, cut her own head and the attendants on either side along with the severed head drank from the three streams coming out of her headless body. They all came back home satisfied in their hunger. Since then Parvati was known as Chinnamasta. The attendants were hungry for spiritual food, which can only be given by Chinnamasta.

This was told by Siva himself. When Siva and Parvati were in Viparita Mithuna (Reverse coition or Parvati in superior position); this act was called Mahavrata (Great Religious vow). At the end of emission, Parvati became very fierce and emanated two saktis from her body, Dakini and Varnini. One day Parvati/Chandika and her two attendants went to Pasubhadra River. At noon, the attendants became hungry and Parvati/Chandika cut her head and fed them and her own head with the streaming blood from her headless body. Once the feeding was over, she put her head back on the body and headed back home. Siva noticed pallor on Parvati/Chandika and thought that she was injured by someone. He became very angry which made a part of him arise as Krodha Bhairava (Krodha = anger; Bhairava = terror). That day was designated as Viraratri, the day Chinnamasta was born.

Dakini and Varnini are interchangeable names for Jaya and Vijaya.

In the above two episodes, some wonder why Chinnamasta did not nurse to satiate the hungry attendants as Kali nursed Siva when she found him on the battlefield. Instead she gave them her lifeblood.

Another version tells that she (Pracandachandika) was engaged in war with the demons at the request of gods. Once she won over them, she continued to be in rage and so cut her head off and drank her own blood. Here some experts feel that her rage was so huge that she cut her head off to throttle down the rage.

Another story tells that Chinnamasta drank the demon's portion of Amrta (nectar, ambrosia) churned out of milk ocean by the two groups of gods and demons. The demons demanded Amrta and she cut her head off to deprive the demons of their portion of Amrta. This enabled the gods to remain dominant. Here the some experts feel that she wanted the gods to succeed and the demons to fail. The act of self-beheading is an act of sacrifice.

All these to some experts mean that they are acts of destruction and regeneration.

Chinnamasta, according to Buddhists, was Chinnamunda in Tantric Buddhism. Chinna = severed + Munda = shaven head.  A similar story of self-decapitation appears in their writings. Interpreters of Buddhist and Hindu writings say that decapitation is symbolic and not actual. It means a spiritual awakening and ascent beyond the head of senses. It is variously described as symbolic of enlightenment, rising of Kundalini Sakti, compassion for the companions, nourishing of the fellow human beings, advancement of peace, fearlessness. Severing the head and walking around with the severed head in hand without actually dying is a magical and spiritual ability, according to Buddhist interpreters. Severing of the head is also symbolic of excising of ego from one's psyche, which is a preliminary step before Nirvana or Mukti. Head is the seat of human (false, not spiritual) consciousness, which is several notches below superconsciousness and spiritual consciousness. There is only One who can claim the distinction of "I" and that is goddess (god). People who go around calling themselves "I" come into conflict with the Supreme "I." There can be no two "I-s" in front of the Supreme; the arrogance of human "I" challenges the authority of the goddess.  Anava Mala which falsely regards the soul as different from the Supreme soul and identifies with the body is a recalcitrant obstruction to obtaining liberation. Symbolic severing the head and the egotistic "I" are the first step towards merging with the goddess. Once merging takes place, all merged souls are a homogeneous mass; there is no individuality in that mass; there is no ego in that.

    Worship of Chinnamasta follows the same rituals as that of other Mahavidyas; the Mantra and the Yantra are different and special to Chinnamasta, who confers many boons to her devotees: health; wealth; freedom from fear; ability to influence family, friends, women, enemies, and rulers; and liberation. Chinnamasta's hymns mostly talks about the following aspects: fierceness, anger, rage, sanguivorous guzzling,  dispensation of death by sight, deification of fear and terror, human flesh eating binges. The most notable temple of Chinnamasta is part of the Durga temple in Ramnagar adjoining Varnasi, worshipped by Tantrics. Chinnamasta appears in white marble sitting on a couple in Viparita Mithua and flanked by two women. She wears a garland of skulls, and holds her severed head in her left hand and the sword on her right hand. She is worshipped by left-handed Tantric worshippers (Vamachara Vira). Go to Kularnava Tantra for more details.

Bhairavi is the sixth Mahavidya and the icon of death, whose power is irresistible and unavoidable, and which is a continuous process in the phenomenal world. Bhairavi is in charge of Nitya Laya (Pralaya or dissolution), which means decay and death of individual entities on a daily basis. There are other types of Layas: Naimittika, Prakritika and Atyantika. Sanksrit Laya and Greek-English Lysis carry the same meaning: loosening, dissolution. The whole universe comes to an end in Naimittika (periodic) Kalpal (eonian) dissolution, when all life and matter are incinerated; it corresponds to sleep-wake cycle of Brahma; sleep is dissolution and awakening is life.  Prakritika Laya  is the involution of matter (as opposed to evolution) into primordial substance from which it came. Saiva Siddhantists believe that matter and life originated from Bindu, Nada, Siva and Sakti which originated from Param.  Atyantika Laya is the emancipation and liberation (Moksa) of the individual soul. On account of her power over the life of individual, Bhairavi means Terror.  Bhairavi is the destructive force, red-colored with her breasts smeared with blood. She is a goddess of great effulgence equal to a thousand rising suns. Her favorite color is red, esp., red silk. She holds a book and a rosary by her two hands and the other two hands dispense protection and boons. She wears a garland of severed heads, moon on her head, and many jewels. She has three lotus-like eyes. In her depiction with ten hands she carries an assortment of weapons and accouterment: bow and arrows,  noose and goad, sword and club, drum and trident, and book and rosary. A dead body (Savāsana) serves as her seat.

She wears a moon on her head and holds a pot of ambrosia. When Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva are worshipped, she is there with them accepting worship. She is half of Siva in that She is part of Ardhanarisvara. She is Kundalini, Narayani, Gauri, and Sarasvati. She confers blessings to her devotees and accordingly she is named as follows: Sakala siddhi Bhairavi (Giver of all perfections), Caitanya Bairavi (Giver of awakened consciousness), Kamesvari Bhairvi (Giver of sexual desires and pleasures), Bhayavidhvamsini Bhairavi (dispeller of fears), Annapurnesvari Bhairavi (giver of food), Bhuvanesvari Bhairavi (creator and preserver).

    As goddess of destruction, she (Bhairavi) comes in the form of fire at the end of Mahayuga and consumes the whole universe.    

Dhumavati is smoke-colored. Dhuuma = smoke; Vati = cover. The story goes that Parvati, the consort of Siva, was very hungry and asked for food from Siva to which Siva did not pay any attention. Repeated requests for nourishment  went unheeded and therefore, Parvati swallowed Siva satisfying her hunger, exhaling smoke and at the same time widowing herself. Siva persuaded Dhumavati to regurgitate him from her stomach which she did. Since she exhaled smoke, Siva called her Dhumavati. Siva contains the world in him; Parvati swallows him; in effect She is on the top of the food chain; she is the Mother Goddess of the universe. (Note: Different sources use Parvati, Sati, Dhumavati interchangeably.) Her regurgitation of Siva is somewhat like giving birth to Siva and thus she is the Mother of Siva and possibly of Brahma and Vishnu. Alakshmi or Jayestha the elder sister of Lakshmi and personification of Misfortune is associated with Dhumavati.

Another source says that Sati was the origin of Dhumavati. Sati generated extreme internal heat at Daksha's sacrifice so much so the heat consumed her and smoke emanated from her charred body. The acrid spiraling smoke transformed into Dhumavati and thus the basis for the name and her qualities.

She looks widowed, tall, withered, old, ugly, and angry with  funny ears, a long sickle-nose, dry pendulous longitudinal breasts, bad hair, fearsome eyes, absent teeth, trembling hands, forlorn glance. She eats and drinks constantly.  She is wrapped in dirty white rags. Engulfing Siva is assertion of her independence, even at the expense of widowhood, inauspiciousness, ill luck, and avoidance by others. She sits on a chariot with the flag decorated by a crow, a scavenger and portent of death; her favorite habitat is cremation ground where carrion crows visit. She looks like a crow and acts like a crow.  She eats Tamasic foods such as meat and imbibes wine and blood. She wears clothes of the corpses. Mahavidyas are bold and beautiful; ugly and audacious; giving and rapacious; auspicious and inauspicious; kind and terrorizing; hungry and thirsty for blood, wine and meat; and attractive and repulsive. All these indicate the vagaries of life, which are not always to one's liking.  She likes to eat meat that sizzles and smokes. Smoke is her iconic sine qua non. Where there is smoke there is Dhumavati. They give siddhis and liberation to their votaries. Her votaries practice the forbidden five, Panchamakaras also called five M-s. The Saktas.  At first it appears as living at the edge of society; at the end it is liberating.

Insert: Dhumavati; credit: exoticindia.com Dhumavati - The Widow Goddess

    Dhumavati understandably likes widows, widowers and single people. She has a peppery disposition and likes people of that ilk. Where Sati's body part fell from the shoulder of Siva, that became the holy ground, Pitha; a temple was built on that site in Dhumavati's honor in Varnasi by the famous Sage Dhurvasa, who was known to become irascible and lay curses on flimsy grounds and in the style of Dhumavati a sloppy dresser. Some regard Dhumavati as Smasana Kali (Cremation ground Kali).  Recluses, Tantrics, widows, widowers, single people and loners (but not lonely people) are her preferred client votaries; married people are not invited and should not visit her. But the majority of worshippers are married people with children. To the local worshippers, she is a boon giver. Paintings depicting her show profuse ornamentation, elegant clothes, shapely breasts, peacock mount, intricate braiding of her hair, and various armaments. insert: credit exoticindia.com

Another source says that Dhumavati was created by Durga for the express purpose of defeating Sumbha and Nisumbha Daityas. Remember she exhales smoke. She does not inhale smoke and yet exhales smoke. (She is the only one who has the right to say, "I did not inhale and yet exhale smoke.") The acrid smoke that she exhaled was used as tear gas or poisonous gas to kill the demons. That was not bad breath, but a truly Killer Breath. (You thought gassing people is a modern concept.!)

Another source says that she has the complexion of dark nimbus clouds, that gather at the time of Pralaya (dissolution). Her face, accented by frown, is wrinkles galore; her nose, eyes and neck take after the crow. She carries a broom, a fan, a club and a flame. Her hair is a mess; her clothes simple, and her appearance old.

    She is an amalgam of Nirrti, Jyestha and Alakshmi, worthy of running away from. All are inauspicious goddesses.

Bhagavatam 8.13.5:  Here is the story of Nirrti . Brahma’s creative energy was showing on his body and mind. Narada popped out from the lap, Daksa trotted out of his thumb, Vasistha spiraled out of his breath, Bhrgu crawled out of his skin, Kratu muscled his way out of his hand, Pulaha sprouted out of his navel, Pulastya wriggled out of his ear, Angira gushed out of his mouth, Atri brimmed over the eyelid, Marici dawned out of his mind, Dharma burst out of his right breast, Adharma scratched his way out of his back, the god of love (Kāma) blossomed out of his heart, Anger bounced off his brow, Greed gyrated on his upper lip, the goddess of Speech (Vak) vaulted out his of mouth with the aid of a pole of nimble wit, the oceans rained down from his phallus, Nirrti plunked out of his anus, and the sage Kardama stepped out of his shadow. Dharma was Lord Narāyana Himself. Thus, Brahma's creations came out of his body and mind.

Nirrti  is Calamity personified as the goddess of death and is the wife of Adharma, Unrighteousness. Bhagavatam states that Nirrti and Adharma had three sons, Bhaya and Maha-Bhaya and Myrtyu:  Bhaya is fear himself; Mahabhaya, great Fear; and Mrityu, death incarnate. Another version states that Nirrti is a daughter of Adharma and Himsa, unrighteousness and violence (or injury) and mother of Bhaya and Naraka (Fear and Hell). As you see, all the basic emotions are personified.

The following is a summary from Lingpurana, Chapter 36.

Jayestha (deity of misfortune, Aka Alakshmi) came out of the milk ocean when the Devas and Asuras churned it for Ambrosia. She was married to a sage Duhsaha who wandered around the world with her. (Her sister Lakshmi, who came out of the milk ocean with a lotus in her hand married the most auspicious Lord of the universe, Sri Vishnu.) Whenever there was a celebration of Vishnu and Siva with sacrificial fires and smoke, loud chanting of Vedic Mantras by people smeared with ash, Jayestha went into a panic attack and ran aimlessly.  Both of them retired to the forest. (From medical point of view she had hyperacusis , extreme sensitivity to sounds. This is a classic case of migraine.) Once Markandeya came along and Sage Duhsaha gave him an earful of his  predicament with his wife. Markandeya knew her reputation from all his travels. He told Duhsaha  that Jayestha was inauspicious, Akirti (ill repute), and Atula (unbalanced) and that she should not enter places where Vishnu and Siva are worshipped. He continued. Avoid places where people smeared with ash assemble to chant and worship Siva.  Avoid all places of worship.  Go to places where husband and wife fight; enter households where Vishnu and Siva are hated; enter homes of Brahmins who are deluded and wicked and do not chant the name of Krishna, Siva, Sarva and Paramesthin. Enter wicked houses where parents do not feed their children. Enter the home of a housewife who can never keep a secret. Enter the home where Dakini and Kali in the form of ghosts are the family deities. Enter the home of a Buddhist where a statue of Buddha is kept. Enter the home of heretics, knaves, dullards, and atheists. Enter the home of those with dirty faces and feet, bad teeth, and dirty clothes. Enter the homes of  gluttons, drunken slovens, gamblers, flesh eaters, and  wife cheaters. Sage Markandeya gave many more of the recommended visits to inauspicious places and left Duhsaha, who dutifully visited all of the above places.  One day, Duhsaha entered the Nether word promising that he would come back for her once he found a household; that was a long time ago. In desperation, Jayestha went to Vishnu and asked for support. Vishnu told her that all those people who criticize Siva, Vishnu and other gods would be her support.

Festival of Divali (festival of lights) is a hard time for Alakshmi. People make a lot of noises to make Alakshmi unwelcome in their midst. The lights and din frighten her-- a classic case of migraine; blaming her for that is lack of consideration.  Daitya king Bali comes on his periodic visit to earth from the underworld along with ghosts, goblins, evils spirits and Alakshmi. An effigy of Alakshmi is mutilated and an image of Lakshmi is installed in its place to mark the victory of good luck and auspiciousness over the bad luck, darkness and inauspiciousness.


Bagala  means 'deceitful'; the cranes are regarded as the most deceitful of birds. She has a crane head, is of yellow complexion and a purveyor of illusion; she holds a club by one hand and a Demon's tongue by the other hand.  Demon Madan obtained Varam (boon) of Vakya Siddhi, by which thought was his weapon and all he said came true; he abused his power causing harm to gods, who sought  the help of Bagala Mukhi (Crane Face). Bagalamukhi pulled his tongue and muted him;  before killing him, she obliged him by acquiescing to let him be on her side during worship. By tongue traction, she exercises her control over other's speech. Another source tells that Bagala creates illusions in the battlefield, delusions in the mind of the enemies, and paralysis of their muscles so that they make grievous errors and perish. She exercises control over the planets. Her devotees seek magical powers from her to paralyze and immobilize their enemies just by Mantras and rituals. She is goddess of Vak or speech; thus, she has control over speech. By holding the tongue of Madan, she was able to silence him from casting evil spells and curses on gods and his enemies.     How did she gain her yellow complexion? During Krta Yuga, there was a devastating storm and the universe was at the brink of total destruction. Many living creatures died from the storm and turbulent waves jostled against Vishnu lying on the bed of Snake (Sesa). He went up to Haridra (Turmeric pond) and performed austerities to alleviate the problem. Yellow color of the turmeric is a favorite color of Lord Vishnu. Tripura Sundari, to whom he addressed his prayers, appeared in front of him in a blinding effulgence of a million suns. Suddenly an yellow-colored goddess (Pitambara Devi, Bagalamukhi) emerged from Tripura Sundari, took a dip in the pond and calmed down the storm. She of yellow complexion made an appearance to Vishnu by the Turmeric lake, she goes by the name of Pitambara Devi. Pitambara = yellow clothes; Pitambaran = male who wears yellow clothes. Pitambara Devi= Goddess wearing yellow clothes. Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva are TPS's sons; whenever they have any problem that needs heavy lifting (heavy-duty power), they always sought help of Mother Goddess, TPS.  In this instance, Vishnu himself sought her help.    insert: Bagalamukhi: exoticindia.com

Another sources tells that Parvati swallows Siva whole, when he repeatedly ignores her asking for food. This is like the swallowing of whole fish by the crane; thus, she is called Crane Face (Bagala Mukhi).  She confers Siddhis to her devotees, who can paralyze their enemies, make them deaf and dumb, turn them from prosperity to poverty, reduce their intelligence to idiocy level, draw others like magnets, bring about death by wish, counter the movements of planets in their favor or in the enemy's disfavor, and become wealthy. There are special rituals and rites to bring about these effects. The West is of the opinion that  Bagalamukhi was village goddess (GrAmadevata) and later became identified with Durga. The West portrays her as a personification of 'cruelty, black magic, poison and all destructive desires'.

Bagalamukhi Devi

Credit:  Bagalamukhi: exoticindia.com

    One portrait shows Bagalamukhi sitting on a supine corpse laid out on a chair and pulling the tongue of the demon. She wears a diadem, a nose ring, a garland, and a sari; rests her right foot on a lotus flower, and her bent left foot ankle on her right lower thigh; pulls the tongue by her left hand and holds aloft a club by the raised right hand. It is somewhat like the hunter who kills the man-eating tiger, sits or stands on it with a rifle on hand; it is victory over evil. That was in the days of British Raj. The experts on Bagalamukhi say that the goddess defeated the demon to restore the cosmic order. The corpse stands for many things: evil, ignorance, passions, static Siva, and the eternal immutable bliss of Siva; in order for the spirit to rise, the flesh has to die. Thus, corpse is an icon of both evil and bliss.  When all Tattvas involute into Siva, there is death of the flesh, liberation of the spirit, involution or merging of the spirit into Siva (Odukkam).

    Sava Sadhaka is a rite performed by a Vira (hero class tantric) with a corpse, imitating goddess Bagalamukhi. A corpse is rented, given a good wash, doused with fragrant water with the chanting of Mantras, smeared with sandal paste, offered flowers, paid respects and obeisance, and praised as the Lord of the Kulas and the form of Ananda Bhairava. He makes a sankalpa (intention and desire) and sits with his feet astride the corpse as he would do riding on a horse. This is followed by many acts: tying the hair of the corpse in a knot, tying the feet  of the corpse together, breath control, meditation on his Guru, and chanting of the Mantra of his deity. During the foregoing acts, he mounts and dismounts the corpse a few times as the ritual demands. A Pisaci (Devil, goblin; spirit of malevolent character) resides in the heart of the corpse, appears in front of him in invisible form, whispers in his ear and answers questions. To qualify for this privilege, the Vira should be an accomplished Sadhaka, who can look into his past, present and future with the help of Pisaci.

    Many unexpected things come alive when the Sadhaka performs the ritual acts. The female corpse, if that is the case, may try to get up and the Sadhaka has to push her down to the ground. It growls, yells and shouts.  Sometimes the corpse may come alive and try to swallow the Sadhaka, who has to be alert to this possibility and stop it by biting its tongue. Some portraits depict Bagalamukhi sitting astride the corpse to control its spirit by her magical powers.

    Kali, Tara, Chinnamasta, and Bagalamukhi sit on the corpses in their portraits. The Sadhakas also emulate the goddesses in Sava Sadhaka. The main purpose of Tantric rites is to transform the consciousness from a human dimension to expanded consciousness (superconsciousness). Normal everyday habitats do not serve in elevating this consciousness to superhuman levels. Aspirants, as in all religions, seek quiet places (away from hustle and bustle of daily living) like caves, forests, mountains, river banks, burial or cremation grounds. In the burial grounds ("as quiet as the graveyards"), the spirit of the corpse is in no man's land; its destination is not yet in sight, it may go to any one of the Mandalas or domains. In the mean time, the spirit hangs around in the cremation ground, the transitional or liminal zone between the world and other Mandalas. The aspirant feels that the cremation ground is the perfect habitat or liminal zone wherein he can transform his consciousness from human dimension to a transcendent level, which is far removed from the world of senses and panchamakaras. The vira practices Panchamakaras with an objective of giving them up for a more enduring Bliss. It is like a physician who heals the sick so well that there are no more sick patients and the doctor has to give up his practice. Harder he tries to heal the sick, nearer is his extinction. That extinction is liberation, Nirvana or Mukti.


Cojugate embrace versus conjugal embrace

The pleasures of sweet vengeance

Siva and Parvati as Chandalas

    Matangi (Maatamgi) is one of the ten Mahavidyas who are various manifestations of goddess Parvati or Kali. Matangaka was the name of the chief of Chandalas. Chandalas are one of the lowest among the castes, according to lore. In a game of impersonation, "fool me, fool me not," Siva impersonated a traveling jewelry salesman, sold some ornaments to His Consort Parvati while she was visiting with her father, and suggested that she could pay him by sexual favors. Parvati without missing a beat said, "Yes, but not now." She had the intuitive divine vision that the traveling salesman was her husband in disguise. Siva went on his way and sat down on the banks of Manas Lake for meditation and worship. Parvati assumed the appearance of a nubile outcaste (Chandala) girl with a shapely body accentuated by a red dress, and beautiful and beguiling eyes, and danced in front of Lord Siva jiggling her moon-like breasts. Siva's ravenous eyes imbibed Parvati's beauty in motion and He gently asked her who she was. Parvati in the sweetness of youthful voice replied with the utmost bashfulness, "Swami, I am a Chandala girl. I came to do penance."  Siva is the Yogi of Yogins. Who else is more fit to teach penance? Siva gently took her lotus hand and pressed it tenderly against his lotus petal-soft lips. Then he proceeded to make love to the captive but willing Parvati, whose identity was unknown to Siva. While they were in the conjugate embrace in Siva's mind and conjugal embrace in Parvati's mind, Parvati morphed Siva into a Chandala (in embrace with a Chandalini). Siva in a flash realized that Matangi (Chandala girl) was no other than his dear wife.

    Parvati reaped her sweet vengeance, laid open utter lowness of her action and sexual submission, and begged Siva to accept her in his heart as "Ucchista Chandalini." Ucchista = rejected (once used commodity), remnants of food in the mouth after eating, that are spit out of the mouth; food sticking in the mouth and hands after eating, therefore impure; remainder of sacrificial food; left over crumbs. This is the Divine Grace of Parvati; Siva does all the proscribed acts and the victim begs for forgiveness or acceptance. Explanation follows later. Siva accepted to honor her supplication. She is thus called Matangi (a woman from a degraded mountain tribe or hunter-gatherers, who became Sudras from neglecting all prescribed rites; mlecchas.)

    Parvati and Siva in their role as Chandala and Chadalini (low mixed castes worse than dogs according to definition) have moved out of their orbit and entered the world of the loneliest, the least, and the last, the refuse of the society. The Varna system is based on purity and pollution: Brahmins originate from the mouth of the Lord, Ksatriyas the hands, Vaisyas the thighs and Sudras the feet. Siva makes conscious contact with polluting things, such as corpse, crematorium  and the rest. The question of interracial marriage also is illustrated here. God Siva consciously enters into a liaison with a Chandala girl, the lowest of a different race. When Siva has sex with a Chandala girl (Parvati in disguise), he morphs into a Chandala; this transformation, according to some, speaks of the Vira who seeks transformative spiritual experience while having sex with a low-caste woman, when his wife is incompetent for any reason.

Here pollution belongs to a very broad category: pollution with regards to race, caste, food, habits, marriage, association, cohabitation, education. Matangi lives among the polluted people and near the garbage dumps, marked by identifying marker stones according to a Nepalese source.

    Matangi's association with impure filthy leftovers takes us to another myth that she actually likes to receive Ucchista from the unkempt and the unwashed; goddess admires them for not rinsing the mouth and the hands after eating, when they offer leftover food to the goddess against the established rules of worship.  She likes to eat fish, meat, cooked rice and milk. Eye-rolling black Matangi is inebriated and slouches around in aimless circles. All these indicate that devotion rises above filth and purity. One can offer left-over food to the goddess against all ritual injunctions and yet be very devoted.

    Once upon a time, Parvati invited her sister-in-law Kauri Bai to her house. Kauri refused to visit Parvati saying that she disliked her brother's bad habit of visiting the cremation grounds, associating with ghosts and goblins, smearing himself with ash and drinking intoxicants. She remembered Siva leaving crematorium ash, dust, and grime in his footprints on the newly cleaned floors of their house before his marriage to Parvati. Having heard an earful of complaints about Siva, Parvati laid a curse that Kauri Bai would be born in a Dalit Community in Varanasi  and live in the midst of dirt, grime and garbage. The reborn Kauri, knowing her curse,  went to her brother Siva and received a boon that pilgrims to Varanasi would stop in and pay her homage at her shrine near the dump before the pilgrimage is considered complete. That is Matangi, the pollution-loving goddess.

Food is goddess; goddess is food.

    Vishnu and Lakshmi, upon invitation from Siva and Parvati,  brought some food,  upon which they all dined. A few morsels of food fell on the floor; from the droppings arose an young girl with auspicious qualities. She begged to eat the leftover food (Ucchista); the divine couples gave her the leftovers as Prasada (boiled rice offered to an idol; food leftover after eaten by a deity). Siva addressed her as follows: "whoever worships you with your Mantra, their prayers and activities will bear fruits. They will get what they want and defeat their enemies." That is the origin of Ucchista Matangi.

    She sits on a corpse; her ornaments and clothes are red; She is sixteen and well endowed; She holds a skull and a sword in her two hands; she loves ucchista (left-over offerings). Her complexion is blue; a full moon adorns her forehead; She has three eyes and sits on a jeweled throne. In her presentation as a four-armed goddess, she holds a club, a goad, a noose, and a sword. Other times she is portrayed differently. She sits on an alter with a smiling face and green complexion. She wears a garland of Kadamba flowers, long hair, and a moon on her forehead. She shines and glows in her face from the incipient perspiration. She is fully decked out in ornaments in the ears, waist, and wrists. She is the repository of 64 arts and two flanking parrots enhance the ambience.  Kadamba = Anthocephalus cadamba.

    Ucchista is a no-no according to Hindu tradition and worship. The living tradition to the present day is that Hindus eat in their own micro environment,  involving their own caste people whenever it is possible or when they are not traveling. Even among Brahmins, there is restrictive family, group or community eating; one sect may not mix with the other or eat each other's food. During secular gatherings, each group may segregate into little conclaves. Matangi breaks all traditions and loves to eat polluted food from polluted people. She rose above all pettiness and differences in caste, creed, race or profession; to her purity and pollution are variables of the same Brahman. She is (liberated from conventionality and) liberating.   


Kamala (exoticindia.com)

Kamala is lotus flower. She is the most auspicious welcome goddess among the Mahavidyas, of whom she is the tenth, the last but not the least. She looks very much like Lakshmi; she is Lakshmi with a difference: there is no Vishnu beside her. She is of golden complexion with four hands seated on a lotus flower and bathed with holy water poured from pitchers by elephants. She is the icon of wealth, fertility, and prosperity. Two lotus flowers and Mudras of refuge, protection and boons grace her four hands. Lotus flower is always her seat or standing platform and lotus posture is her trademark. (She is all smiles all the time because she is the consort of the most auspicious of all gods. When she came out of the milk ocean, she had the fortune of choosing from among many suitors as her consort Vishnu, who was delighted at that prospect. But here as one of Mahavidyas she stands alone.) She is effulgent and radiates like the sun and wears a moon on her forehead. She wears more jewels than any of the other goddesses. She wears a crown. She stoops ever so little from the weight of her large round firm breasts. The moon on her forehead, the Kastuba gem and the necklace vie together for attention from her three lotuslike eyes, which illuminate her smiling face.  She is the last manifestation of the Mahavidyas, though she has more devotees throughout India. Kamala is Sri and Lakshmi. The first and the Last, Kali and Kamala are the most widely known and worshipped goddesses among Mahavidyas.

    The lotus is microcosmic icon of the whole universe. The following explains why it is so. Brahma, the creator performed penance for a hundred divine years with his mind focused on the Lord Nārāyana, the creator of Brahma. Brahma was sitting on the lotus flower sprouting from the navel of Lord Nārāyana in the cosmic ocean  buffeted by winds, whose force and tenacity did not die down but actually augmented many times since the dissolution of the universe. Brahma was looking around to locate the origin of the stem. As he looked around, he developed four faces, eight eyes, which were as beautiful as the lotus petals.  To find the origin of the stem, he bored through the stem of the flower to no avail. Exhausted and disappointed, he came to the corolla and sat on it for a hundred divine years. His penance paid off at last; the Lord of lords relented; and with his inner eye, he saw the Lord of the lords, Lord Nārāyana Himself seated on Adisesha (bed of coiled snake) in the causal ocean. Nārāyana revealed His wonderful form. His powers increased as his penance ended and were so great that he drew the wind and the water into his body. The wind and the water are the two vital elements in the life of a being and Brahma had a plentiful supply of them in Him. The Lotus seat started rising by the buoyancy provided by the swallowed air and touched the worlds up above, which were destroyed in the previous kalpa. The corolla grew and grew until it covered the whole universe. All the ingredients for dissemination of beings were in place in that one giant lotus flower. He entered the whorl and divided the lotus flower into three parts namely Bhūh, Bhuvah, and Svah (the earth, atmosphere, and heaven) and later into fourteen parts. Now all the planetary systems were in place. These three worlds are the regions where the jivas (the embodied souls) reside. The complex structure of the lotus flower beautifully represents the complexity of universe. Lotus is a sign of fertility, power, life, and dominion. The roots, mud, slime, grime and stem of the lotus flower are under the surface water; the leaf floats in the water and yet water rolls off its surface. The slimy mud represents the building blocks of the material world; its roots are anchored in humble mud (matter); the stem grows through the water seeking the sun (spiritual knowledge). The leaf represents freedom from attachment because water easily rolls off its surface.  The beginnings are rooted in humble mud but when it blossoms the sun of spiritual knowledge kisses it : that is transcendence. The flanking elephants represent royal or divine power and fertility. She is the icon of wealth. Sri or Lakshmi is known as Cancala meaning that she "moves to and fro or unsteady. " This is because as long as Lakshmi is with somebody, he is prosperous; once she leaves, he is poor. 

    She is the power or Sakti behind Vishnu; she creates, maintains and destroys the world with one billionth of her sakti. She is the most important mediator between Vishnu and his devotees. Go to file Supplement and read section 5: Brahman according to Ramanuja.

Lakshmi or Sri's equal status with Lord Vishnu is discussed in Vishnu Purana, chapter eight. He is meaning and she is speech; she is understanding and she is intellect; he is the creator and she is the creation; he is the sun and she is the radiance; he is the moon and she is the light; he is the ocean and she is the shore; he is the lamp and she is the light; he is the tree and she is the vine; and he is the Male and she is the Female.

Nammalvar says that Sri (lakshmi), Lord's consort,  removes the karma and facilitates attainment of moksa at the feet of Vishnu / Narayana.   The Tenkalais believe that Sri is very high up in the ontological status, but separate and unequal to Vishnu, simply because she is a finite soul. But Vadakalais believe that Sri is an integral part of Vishnu and infinite and therefore enjoys equal status.  All the alvars and the followers agree that  Vishnu has become tender, understanding, loving, auspicious, creative, life-sustaining and  is in a constant state of bliss because of Sri.  Sri is regarded as a facilitator and mediator between man and God, Vishnu.

From Tantrasara hymns to Lakshmi (Laksmistotram)

O DEvi KamalA, You are the beloved of Vishnu, Devi of prosperity and beauty and adored by the three worlds. As you are a constant with Vishnu, please be constant with me. Whoever worships Lakshmi and reads these twelve names, Isvari, KAmala, Lakshmi, CalA, BhUti, HaripriyA, PadmA, PadmAlayA, Sampat, Uchaih, Sri, PadmadhArinI  will have a family with wife and children blessed by Lakshmi.

Isvari = the feminine form of Isvara; Kamala = She appears with and from Lotus. Cala = the fickle one, because wealth and prosperity do not stay constant with anyone. Bhuti = prosperity. Haripriya = belowed of Hari-Vishnu. Padma = lotus. Padmalaya = She whose abode is Lotus. SAmpat = wealth. Uchaih = The exalted One. Sri = beauty and prosperity. Padmadharini = One who holds lotus in her hands.


1) Kali is Night of dissolution.
2) Tara is the compassionate Goddess and Savior.
3) Shodashi is the beautiful Goddess who is sixteen years of age all the time.
4) Bhuvaneshvari is the Creator of the World.
5) Chinnamasta is the Goddess who severs her own Head.
6) Bhairavi is the Goddess of catabolism, aging, death and decay.
7) Dhumawati is the Goddess who is ugly, eats Siva and becomes a widow. (Reminds me of sexual cannibalism of praying mantis.)
8) Bagalamukhi is the Goddess who pulls the tongue of evil prophesier.
9) Matangi is the Goddess who loves slovenly worship (and a glutton for leftover food).
10) Kamala is the Goddess of wealth, fertility, power and prosperity.



Worshipping one of the Mahavidyas confers the following auspicious things, boons and mystical abilities.

Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksa (Righteousness, Wealth, Family life, and liberation.)

Marana: Maarana: a magical ceremony having for its object the destruction of an enemy.

Ucchatana: Ucchaatana: Causing a person to quit his occupation by means of magical incantation.

 Ksobana: Agitation in the enemy

Mohana: Stupefaction, perplexing.

Dravana: Setting the enemy on flight

Sthambana: Causing Paralysis

Vidvesana.: Causing hate, inducing hate.

Siva answered to Sati: "You are Sakti, Who am I to stop you from going? Do as you please."

Tara figures both in Hindu and Buddhist lore. Lakshmi, one of the Mahavidyas, is the resident goddess of Manipura Chakra. Widespread worship of Kali, Tara, Tripura Sundari and Lakshmi are seen among sects; temples for Kali and Lakshmi are widespread.

Notes on Sati

Against the advice of Siva, Sati left Siva's Kailas and went to Daksha’s sacrifice. Daksha and his followers, except her sisters and mother, did not come near Sati to receive, greet and hug her.  Not received and addressed by her father Daksha, she refused to take the exalted seat or accept presents offered by her mother and sisters. Because sacrificial offerings were not allotted to Rudra (Siva) which was compulsory according to the canons of sacrifice, Sati, Siva’s spouse flew into a rage and leveled criticism against the Brahmanas and Daksha (her father) as follows: Brahmanas and Daksa have more regard to wealth over Soul. They failed to recognize and praise the greatest Soul of the universe, Lord Siva. His two-syllable name SIVA, when uttered, erased the sins. Brahma wore the flowers that fell from the feet of Lord Siva. She told her father in the assembly hall that she was ashamed to own and wear the body born of Daksha, who offended the most exalted Soul, Siva. She, then, went into deep meditation to remove the body inherited from her father and the last impurities from her soul, commanded the air and fire to come to her limbs and removed consciousness from her body; her body went into flames subsequently--spontaneous combustion from the heat of Tapas. Some critics say that she immolated herself by jumping into the sacrificial fire. Unmindful of the self-immolation of Sati, Bhrgu Muni continued to pour oblations on the Sacrificial Fire, Daksinagni (Daksha’s fire), chanting Yajurveda which had the power of destroying the obstructers of the sacrifice; the opponents scattered in all directions from the force of the mantras.

Narada, the omniscient Muni, told Lord Siva about Daksha’s insult of Sati and Siva, self-immolation of his consort, Sati, and the routing of his attendants by Bhrgu Muni. Siva’s rage at this personal loss knew no bounds. (Another version says Nandi and not Narada was the bearer of bad news to Siva. Nandi is the bull mount of Siva. The West says that Nandi the white bull was given as a gift to Siva the son-in-law by Daksha. Siva and Sati ride the bull to go from here to there. It is even now a custom that the father-in-law gives a car as a gift to his son-in-law so that his daughter and the bridegroom go in style from here to there. How do you think I got my first car? yes, you guessed it right.) He pulled one of his beautiful locks, jumped up on his feet, laughed like thunder and flung the lock on the ground; it was like fearsome fulguration of lighting and thunder. From that dashed lock, rose a gigantic being whose form scraped the skies with a thousand arms, with three eyes shining like a sun, dark complexion like a rain cloud, fierce teeth, a garland of skulls, matted locks resembling ropes of fire, and a host of weapons at the ready. That was Virabhadra, a part manifestation of Siva in his fierce form. He immediately sought and received his mission which is to annihilate Daksha and his sacrifice. After circumambulating Siva, Virabhadra (also known as Bhairava) left like a thunder, hoisting his trident, and with Siva’s ganas at tow, he ran towards Daksha. (Puranas say that two forces emerged from Siva's lock: Virabhadra and Bhadrakali; the latter was Sati Herself. Mahabharta says that Virabhadra emerged from the mouth of Siva to destroy Daksa's sacrifice. A terrible monster emerged from each of the hair pores of Vidrabhadra. It is said that Siva followed Virabhadra to claim the body of Sati and took the body over his shoulder.) He was so powerful that even Death could not defy him. Dust rose from the earth, the ankle bells of the ganas jingled, and the army was on the march. Daksha’s Brahmanas, their wives and other attendees saw a great cloud of dust obscuring the sky, and wondered what it was and where it was coming from. There was no wind, there were no hanging clouds, it is not from stampede of cows, and it is not from gang of thieves. What else could it be?  Is it the end of the world? Daksha’s wife had foreboding of danger because of her husband’s evil act and his (their) innocent daughter Sati’s death by self-immolation. Could it be Rudra-Siva in rage? She had vision of Rudra: matted hair, his long arms flailing with terrible weapons, his trident, his thunderous roar and laughter, his screwed eyebrows, his horrible teeth. The attendees showed signs of panic and imminent doom: their eyelids twitched, their faces contorted, they turned pale from fright, they wobbled, and they murmured. What is this world coming to? Suddenly out of nowhere, waddling dwarfs appeared and ran amok in their midst knocking them off their feet. They never saw an army of dwarfs in their life. Is this for real? This must be a bad dream, they thought. The dwarfs came in all shades and colors, mostly red-brown and yellow. They had alligator faces and abdomens to match. They surrounded the whole sacrificial arena and raised a ruckus frightening the attendees. Some of them started knocking down the pillars supporting the eastern and western parts of the sacrificial hall. Some of them waddled off and destroyed the quarters housing the sacrificer, priests, and their wives.  Assembly hall, kitchen, and utensils also suffered destruction. They passed urine dousing the sacrificial fires and later destroyed the barricades around the sacrificial pit. The priests and the Devas were molested, and their wives were threatened. Bhrigu Muni, who spoke ill of Siva and his followers, was bound by Maniman; Virabhadra tied down Daksha. The priests and the Devas took off in different directions.  Bhrgu Muni was caught by Virabhadra unawares and before he knew what happened, his mustache and beard which he was so proud of, and stroked in bravado during the ceremony, were yanked out his face and were hanging dripping blood from the hands of Virabhadra. To add to humiliation, they were displayed in public.  Bhaga was next in line for Virabhadra’s fury. Bhaga turned his eye towards Daksha and winked, when he was slandering Lord Siva. An act of avenge by Virabhadra: He knocked Bhaga down and gouged out his eyes.  Pusa had his teeth knocked out in one sweep by Virabhadra for smiling and showing his teeth to Daksha while the latter was slandering Siva.  Virabhadra had no match to offer any resistance; he was the manifestation of Siva and his fury; none can resist his onslaught. He proceeded to dress Daksha. Daksha was on the ground in a trice with the foot of Virabhadra planted on his chest. Virabhadra with one swing of the sword cut his head, which was still clinging to the body and neck; he waited for a moment, and thought how the animals were sacrificed; a second swing completed the job. Immediately, the head rolled off and was tossed into the sacrificial fire. Brahma foresaw this tragedy and did not attend the sacrifice.

The Devas and other attendees went to Siva in Kailas and propitiated him. Siva was praised by gods and had a plan for the slain and mutilated beings. Mortals cannot fathom the mysterious ways of God. A goat’s head was attached to the body of Daksha (a case of transplantation from another species) who woke up as if he was in slumber and guess what, he bleated. It appears that Lord Siva dispensed condign punishment to Daksa. Bhaga, whose eyes were gouged out, was allowed to look at his share of the sacrificial offerings through the eyes of Mitra. Bhrgu Muni had the beard and mustache of a goat attached to his avulsed face! All damages were ameliorated one way or another. Daksha was at last free from his malice towards Siva.  

In Tantric literature, the exploits of Krishna, Rama, Narasimha, Gopala and other personages are attributed to the Sakti of the respective entities; thus, Sakti is operating principle in Gods and Goddesses, and Mother Goddess takes her due credit for the Saktis of all gods, including her consort Siva.

Mahavidyas correspond to Vishnu Avatars.

Kali = Krishna; Chinnamasta =Narasimha; Kamala = Vishnu; (Bharavi =Rudra); Tara = Rama; Chinnamasta = Matsya; (Matangi = Brahma); Dhumavati = Varaha; (Sodasi = Siva); (Bhuvanesvari = formless Brahman); Bhuvanesvari = Varaha; 

As you may notice, there is quite a confusion here in that all ten avatars are not listed and Siva, Brahma, and Rudra, who are not avatars of Vishnu, figure in this group.

Sati took the form of Jagadamba and Mahavidyas, causing delusion in Siva. Other sources tell that Mahavidyas are forms emanating from Parvati, Kali, Durga and Sataksi, who are all the different names of the consort of Siva.

Mahavidyas dispense the good and the bad and also moksa (liberation) to their votaries; some of them confer powers of  dispensing death (maranam) on others by wish, and injury (Ucchatanam) to enemies by willing, causing immobilization and paralysis (Tampanam in Tamil, Stambana in Sanskrit) by wishing, controlling other's speech, staying young, causing instant old age in others, and attracting others to one's side. Brahma and Vishnu, the creator and protector, use Mahavidyas as their two arms in performing magical deeds.

Devi Bhagavata Purana tells that Demon Durgama usurped the kingdom, wealth and freedom of the gods who sought and obtained the help of Mahadevi (Great Goddess). Devi upon seeing the misery of gods and men shed tears from her zillion eyes. Thus, she came to be known as Sadakshi (one with one hundred eyes). War broke out between the Devi and the demon and his army. Devi created Mahavidyas from her own body and defeated the demon and his army.

Some regard that Sati took the form of Mahavidyas to coerce Siva into sending her to Daksha's sacrifice. This assumption goes against what Sati herself says to Siva.

Sati in the form of Jagadamba replies: "I am subtle beyond speech and comprehension. I am Sati, your consort. I don't mean any harm to you. I was born a daughter of Daksa and performed penance to obtain you as my husband. I have assumed this form to destroy Daksha's yajna.  I was trying to block your exit only out of love for you."

Another source says that Mahavidyas are the manifestations of Parvati; at that time Siva was living with Parvati's parents, Himavat and Mena in the Himalayas. For some reason or other, he wanted to leave father-in-law's house. Parvati prevented him to stay, when he attempted to leave the house. She assumed the forms of ten Mahavidyas and blocked his exit at each of the ten-door house. Some regard this as an allegory to the ten gates of the body: two nostrils, two eyes, two ears, one mouth, one anus and one male genital, one female genital and Brahma Randhra, the area that corresponds to anterior fontanel. Blocking the exit of Siva is allegorical of control of the senses.

Mahavidya means great knowledge and by extension Mahavidyas possess great knowledge. Blocking of Siva at the exits indicates that Siva gains great knowledge from Mahavidyas, whichever way he turned, because they are omnipresent, and omniscient. No matter where Siva goes, Sati, Parvati, or Kali is there in one of her ten forms. It is impossible for Siva or anyone to go where the Mother Goddess had not been; she pervades the whole cosmos; she is the repository of knowledge.

It appears that a votary, a group, or a sect has a chosen Goddess, Sati, Parvati, Kali, or Durga.  Each sect takes that particular Goddess as the one Primary Goddess who becomes ten Mahavidyas. Another sect considers Durga as the putative progenitor Goddess of the ten Mahavidyas. The primary progenitor Goddess is always the consort of Siva, one goddess with many aliases depending upon circumstances.

One source tells that Mahavidyas have wide array of powers; Rama's killing of Taraka, Hanuman's defeat of demon, Krishna's  killing of Kamsa,  Rama's killing of Ravana, and Indra's killing of Vrata are all the handiwork of Mahavidyas employed by the respective gods. Hanuman persuaded Mahavidya to teach him the art and magic of changing his body size at will; thus, he, becoming downsize and minute, entered the Asuri (female demon) through her mouth into her innards and grew in size until she exploded.


    A devotee addresses the Mother (Jagadamba) as follows: O beauteous Mother of the color of dark clouds laden with water. O Mother of Mercy, the shower of Mercy from your three eyed-spring washes away the three sorrows of the three worlds. Show yourself to the errant children; lift them to your bosom by your lotus hands which bestow blessing and Grace and dispel fear. (Vara Mudra and Abhaya Mudra). O Mother, You grant us all desires; You are the highest of all desires (Paramartha Svarupini). You are all to Siva, the most precious to His heart.

Sri Yantra with Yantras of the Ten Mahavidyas

Center: Sri Yantra; the Yantras of Mahavidyas. exoticindia.com

Trichakra Darsanam

Tiruvèrkādu SrīKarumāri Amman, Māṅgadu SrīKāmākshi Amman and Kunaththūr SrīKāthyāyani Amman are the three Sakti Temples within 12 KM distance in one line offering Darśana for the benefit of votaries in 12 constellations of Zodiac. Agasthiyar has elaborated on their habiliments of Grace in his writings.





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