The System of Indian Classical Music


Trika Yoga

- M M Balajinnatha Pandita

Kashmir Shaivism recognizes several systems of practice resulting in the liberation of a being. The Shaiva āgamas count the main paths of such practice in an order of higher merit as those of Vedācāra, Shaivācāra, Vāmācāra, Dakṣiṇācāra, Kaulācāra, Maatācāra and Trikācāra. Vedācāra is the practical path of realization of the truth as discussed in Vedic Upaniṣadas. It consists of Devayāna and Pitṛyāna courses of elevation. Shaivācāra is the practice of devotional worship of Shiva in the form of Liṅga or idol, assisted by the practice of Pātañjala Yoga. Vāmācāra is the typical Tantric method of sādhanā, conducted with the help of five makāras. Being very attractive and sweet to the senses and mind, it is named vāma, the beautiful. Dakṣiṇācāra consistes of Tantric sādhanā conducted under a puritanic discipline, without the use of wine etc. It is, virtually, the same path of practice known in the south as Samayācāra. Being opposed to Vāmācāra, it is called Dakṣiṇa. Kaulācāra also involves the use of five makāras, but, unlike Vāmācāra, it is not conducted and practiced, openly, publicly and shamelessly, without any hesitation, but practiced secretly, in closed-door compartments, called Kulachakras. The character of Matācāra is not known, clearly, at present. It must have been the practical path of sādhanā, taught in the eight monistic āgamas known as Matāṣṭaka. The highest path of practice is the Trikācāra, based on the three āgamas of the highest standard, named as Siddha Tantra, Mālinī Tantra and Nāmaka Tantra. The essence of such Tantras has been drawn by Abhinavagupta and presented to aspirants of the highest degree in the form of works like Tantrāloka, Tantrasāra, Parātriśikā vivaraṇa and Mālinīvijaya Vārtika. A Tantric text named Vjñānabhairava also deals with it. Trika has been discussed in Shivasūtra, Shivasūtra vārtika of Bhāskara and the Spandakārikā. Works on the Krama method of Shāktopāya also belong to the Trika system. Abhinavagupta gives Trika a much higher place than Kaula system. Trika consists of theoretical studies and practical Trikayoga, both, being conducted with an immensely devotional attitude towards Paramaśiva. Such knowledge and devotion help its yogic practice in impressing, deeply, the philosophy of theistic absolutism on, both the head and the heart of an aspirant and results, generally, in the attainment of liberation while the aspirant is yet living in a moral form (Jīvanmukti). A frequent practice in the intuitive realization of one’s divine nature, conducted with the help fo Trikayoga, results in the development of divine powers, while one is still living in flesh and blood and leads to absolute unity with Paramaśiva after the aspirant sheds off his mortal form.

Patatañjali starts with the lowest practice in Yoga and leads a practitioner, step by step, to the highest type of Samādhi. But Abhinavagupta starts with the highest type of Trikayoga and comes down, step by step, to its lower varieties. Acārya Amṛtavāgbhava used to say that one should not try to board a bullock cart, when an airplane may be available. He used to advise intelligent aspirants to try the highest type of Yoga, and to come down to a lower one, only when a person fails in grasping and practicing the highest one. The highest type of Trikayoga is known as Shāmbhavopāya. It is a practice in such a use of one’s strong will-power, which carries him directly to the highest step in the Turīya state. A practitioner of such Yoga feels, for the time being, that he is none other than the Almighty Paramaśiva, consisting of infinite and pure consciousness, vibrating outwardly such powers of His Godhead which appear in the form of the five divine activities of creation etc. Mind, withdrawn from its objective activities of thinking etc., the practitioner turns towards the self and is lost in the brilliant luster of pure consciousness. The exactly real nature of the self is then realized, intuitionally, without the help of any mental apparatus. Shāmbhava yoga is thus a practice in being the absolute and not in any type of mental becoming. Its practice transcends the activities of the whole mental apparatus. Mind, intellect and ego get dissolved, for the time being, in the practice of such intuitional realization of the self, by the self. A special psycho-physical posture, known as Shāmbhavī Mudrā, is helpful to a Yogin in the start of such practice. A practitioner has to be sufficiently careful and vigilant in its practice, so that he is not caught into sleepy states. If he falls into a state of dreamless sleep, his practice shall come down either to that of the Zen Yoga of Bodhidharma, or to the Nirbīja Samādhi of Patañjali. Such practices do not at all reveal to a Yogin his absolutely divine nature. Since a Yogin has neither to do anything, nor to do anything in its practice, but has to realize directly his pure, infinite and divine nature. Such Shāmbhava Yoga, in the aspect of its perfection, has been termed by Abhinavagupta as Anupāya Yoga of the Trika system. As has been said before, it was practiced by ancient sages. Lord Durvāsas taught it to Sri Kṛṣṇa. He discussed it in detail in the sixth chapter of his Bhagavadgītā. One highly esoteric item of such yoga practice has been described by Yājñavalkya in his smṛti. Its detailed aspect is discussed in a dialogue between him and Gārgī, and such such dialogue has been quoted by Saṅkarācārya in his commentary on Svetāśvatara Upaniṣad.

Two other prominent types of Shāmbhava Yoga have been dealt with in works like Tantrāloka. These are termed as Mātṛkā and Malinī. The absolute consciousness is, in fact, bearing the whole show of phenomenal existence and all functions related to it within its spiritual luster of self-awareness, in the manner of multifarious reflections. That is the truth about phenomenal existence. In order to realize such truth, a Shivayogin, while practicing a superior variety of Shāmbhava Yoga, puts in action his strong power of will, and, as its result, finds his own pure self, consisted of pure and infinite consciousness, bearing the reflections of his own divine powers shining in the form of the whole phenomenal existence. Finding intuitionally his pure consciousness, made immensely beautiful and charming by such reflections, he becomes merged into a highly sweet variety of self-bliss. Enjoying his such divine and blissful nature, he feels that he has after all attained the final goal of life and the highest result of Yoga Sādhanā. Such a Yogin is to be adored as Paramaśiva Himself, living in physical form. This is a superior variety of Shāmbhava Yoga called the Mātṛkā Yoga. The word Mātṛkā denotes the Indian alphabet. The Yogin concerned discovers his pure self as Paramaśiva, shining in the form of ‘a’ sound termed as Anuttara. Then he discovers the sounds from ā to aḥ as identical with his divine powers. The created Tattvas, right from earth to Sadāśiva, shine as identical with consonant sounds from ka to ha or kṣa. Seeing intuitively his infinite and pure consciousness, made charmingly beautiful by the reflections of his divine powers shining in the forms of Tattvas and sounds, the Shāmbhava Yogin experiences the highest type of self-satisfaction. Such a Yogin attains Jīvanmukti or liberation while living in the world. He does not require any more effort in any theological practice. Living up to the complete exhaustion of his prārabdha karman, he devotes the remaining portion of his mortal life to writing books on Tantra, teaching curious students and initiating worthy disciples.

There is one more important variety of Shāmbhava Yoga in accordance with which a Shivayogin sees the alphabetical sounds, his divine powers and their reflections mixed together is an absolutely irregular order of succession, startig with the sound of ‘na’ and ending in the sound ‘pha’, with all other sounds, both consonants and vowels arranged in an irregular order. The Yogin has a revelation of the self bearing the alphabetical sounds, along with their reflections appearing as Tattvas, in a disturbed order and in doing so, experiences quickly the sweet taste of the direct recognition of his divine nature. Such Shāmbhava Yoga is known as Mālinī Yoga. Being closer to the exact situation of the phenomenon, it is quicker in delivering its results and yields both Bhukti and Mukti simultaneously. It has therefore enjoyed greater popularity among the Siddhas of Kashmir. Acārya Abhinavagupta has explained it in his commentary on Parātriśikā (known incorrectly as Parātriṃśikā). A few more types of Shāmbhava Yoga have been taught by Lord Bhairava in Vijñānabhairava, for instance, taking hold of the connecting link (consisting of pure consciousness) between any successive mental ideas; withdrawing one’s attention from all objective elements and discovering his real nature through an attentive vigilance towards his self-awareness shining in the heart; discovering one’s pure self awareness in between the states of waking and dreaming; and withdrawing one’s mind from constant momentary ideations. But only the above mentioned two varieties of Yoga have so far been discussed in such works.

As aspirant who may not be quick enough to practice any variety of Shāmbhava Yoga, can take up some variety of Shākta Yoga. Such Yoga consists of practices in mental contemplation of the truth about one’s self and all phenomena as discussed by expert Yogins in their philosophical works such as Shivadṛṣṭi, Iśvarapratyabhijñā, etc. Such contemplation is performed in several ways as Homa, Yāga, Vrata, Snāna etc., all of which are symbolic in character. For instance, the infinite consciousness is contemplated upon as an infinite, holy fire and all mental and physical phenomena are offered to it as oblations by means of mere contemplation and this is the Homa in Shāktopāya.

With average type of practitioners it becomes very difficult to practice the absorption of the whole phenomenal existence, which is wonderfully vast and multifarious in its character - into their fine and pure I-consciousness, by means of such contemplations. Shivānandanātha, the master of some northern center of Shaivism (Uttapīṭha), probably situated in Kashmir, discovered an easier type of Shāktopāya. He classified the whole existence into three categories of Pramātṛ, the knowing subject, Prameya, the object to be known and Pramāṇa, the means of knowing. Each of these three was to be further contemplated upon in four aspects of creation, preservation, absorption and that of its existence in the transcendental reality. The phenomenon was, thus, analyzed into 3 X 4 = 12 categories and the practice of Shāktopāya was taught to be conducted with respect to such twelve categories of the phenomenal existence, one by one in turn (krama). Such comparatively easier method of Shāktopāya became highly popular under the name Kramanaya. Such a practitioner had to arouse his creative energy named Kālī and absorb through her all the twelve categories of phenomenal existence. This Kramanaya came to be known as Kālīnaya and the twelve aspects of such energy came to be worshiped as twelve Kālīs, eulogized in the two Kramastotras of Siddhanātha and Abhinavagupta. This easier type of Shāktopāya has been discussed in detail in the fourth chapter of Tantrāloka as the first and the foremost variety of Shāktopāya.

Next in turn comes āṇavopāya, the means of liberation suited mostly for finite beings called aṇu. Its system has been classified into five types of contemplative practice termed as Dhyāna or Buddhi-Dhyāna, Uccāra, Karaṇa, Dhvani and Sthānakalpanā.

A Dhyānayogin has to contemplate the unity of pramātṛ, prameya and pramāṇa in his heart and has to visualize such unity as a brilliant fire of consciousness surrounded by the above mentioned twelve Kālīs as its flames moving to and fro. Then he has to contemplate that these divine powers named Kālīs, while coming into contact with outward objects through the outlets of senses and organs, conduct the activities of creation, preservation, absorption and unification with the Absolute with respect to such objects. A regular practice in constant repetition of such contemplative meditation makes the impression of divine powers conducting the divine activities so deep upon the practitioner that he realizes himself as none other than the Absolute, conducting such activities with respect to the whole phenomenal existence. That is the wonderful Dhyāna yoga of Kashmir Shaivism explained as such by Abhinavagupta and learnt as such by him from Sri Shambhunātha of Jālandharapīṭha at Kangra. Such Dhyāna-yoga is not found in any other Yoga system.

The second variety of āṇavayoga is known as Ucārayoga, practice of which is targeted towards the five functions of one’s life force. Such functions are known as Prāṇa, Apāna, Samāna, Udāna and Vyāna. The character of such functions is quite different from that, which has been assigned to them in Nyāya Shāstra. In accordance with Kashmir Shaivism, these are the five functions of the process and activity of living, going on in the four states of Jāgrat, Svapna, Suṣupti and Turyā. All types of activities of elimination, conducted through one’s body, senses, organs, mind, intellect etc., and the movements of respiration are taken in Trika system as Prāṇa and such types of assimilation. Such a function of animation in which both elimination and assimilation become one, as in Suṣupti, is termed as Samāna. There is a function of Prāṇa which is experienced as a movement of illumination, or rather revelation, going on through one’s spinal cord, reducing to ashes all mental ideation and proceeding ahead towards the self-evident pure consciousness, shining beyond all mental concepts. Such a function of Prāṇa is termed in Kashmir Shaivism as Udāna. It proceeds ahead and attains the position of all-pervading infinite and pure aspect of Prāṇa, known here as Vyāna. Such approach to the five Prāṇas is prevalent in Kashmir Shaivism alone. Most probably a portion of the fourth chapter of Bhagavadgītā may also have been aimed at such delineation of these five functions of Prāṇa and may have been based on the knowledge imparted to Sri Kṛṣṇa by sage Durvāsas.

The experience of such functions of Prāṇa result in the sweet taste of six varieties of self bliss, discovered only in the Trika system:

(i) Direct realization of the finite but pure I-consciousness results in the experience of Nijānanda
(ii) The revelation of its being free from the trinity of (a) finite subjecthood, (b) objecthood and (c) the means to know and to do, gives rise to another variety of self-bliss termed as Nirānanda
(iii) The reduction of Prāṇa and Apāna into their unitary form known as Samāna, gives rise to the self-bliss known as Parānanda
(iv) The full-fledged position of Sāmāna reveals the unity of all objective phenomena and such position yields a higher type of self-bliss called Brahmānanda
(v) The Udāna function of animation enlightens a still higher type of pure self-bliss called Mahānanda
(vi) Vyāna, revealing the infinite consciousness as the real essence and the eternal aspect of every thing, gives rise to Cidānanda

Beyond these six categories of the gradually higher types of Yogic bliss, lies the infinite and eternal self-bliss which is termed as Jagadānanda. It is that infinite bliss of the Absolute Reality, which is responsible for the manifestation of the five divine activities of creation etc. The experience of such categories of self-bliss is the result of Ucārayoga of the Trika system.

The third variety of āṇava yoga is known as Karaṇa Yoga. It consists of self-contemplation conducted with the help of meditation on certain nerve centers, nerve-complexes, physical positions (Mudrās) etc. It has not been clarified in detail by any author. Abhinavagupta says that Karaṇa is a highly secret doctrine and must therefore be learned directly from the Guru. In fact, the essence of all varieties of Yoga discussed earlier cannot be grasped or brought into practice even though delineated clearly. Therefore, there is no danger of their being misused. But the process of Karaṇa yoga, taking one’s gross body as the focus of meditation, can easily be grasped even by an unworthy practitioner, who may misuse it, as did the ancient demons like Tāraka, Hiraṇyakaśipu and Rāvaṇa. Therefore, it has been kept a secret.

Below Karaṇa is the position of Dhvani Yoga. It is nearly the same as the Surata (Surat Shabd) Yoga of the present day Radhasaomis and the ancient Kabir panthins. Shaivas however add the contemplation of unity with the Absolute to it. Another variety of this Yoga is known as Varṇa Yoga in which several types of hues are seen by pressing one’s eyelids. As Dhvani and Varṇa do not reveal one’s identity with the Absolute, these have not been discussed at length in the Tantrāloka.

The lowest category of Trika Yoga is termed as Sthāna Kalpanā, in which, time and space are made targets of contemplative meditation. The successively longer and longer units of time, even up to the long ones of universal creation and absorption, are contemplated upon as being contained in one breathing time of the Yogin. In the same way, all the regions of the outward existence in the universe are, gradually, seen through imagination as being contained in one’s own physical form. Such practices help in shaking off the bindings of time and space and in leading an aspirant to the revelation of his infiniteness. Both time and space are to be meditated upon in their three aspects of grossness, subtleness and fineness. Time is calculated through ideas. Ideas can be measured though words, syllables, and letters, called Pada, Mantra and Varṇa. Space can be measured through the conception of Bhuvanas, Tattvas and Kalās as the finer form of Tattvas. These are the paths of objective meditation, known as Shaḍadhva Yoga.

Rajarajeshvari Kali

Rajarajeshvari Kali

Edit: We took just less than even half of Kamakalakali Khadgamala for only the first Avarana and posted it here for the sake of an experiment. And it's amusing to see how many folks posted it elsewhere claiming it to be their original find, from rare manuscripts, "samshodhit' etc etc. :) If so, why not publish the entire 'correct' text if it's available with anyone of those sources instead of the incomplete text posted here? Those sincere and initiated into this mantra can email us and we will provide the entire lengthy text along with the six nyasas.

ऐं ह्रीं श्रीं क्रीं हूं ह्रीं कामकलाकालि दक्षणकालि भद्रकालि श्मशानकालि कालकालि गुह्यकालि धनकालि सिद्धिकालि चण्डकालि लक्ष्मि महालक्ष्मि अन्नपूर्णे वनदुर्गे अघोरे पद्मावति महिषमर्दिनि जयदुर्गे दुर्गे राजमातङ्गि उच्छिष्टमातङ्गि सुमुखि बगलामुखि धनलक्ष्मि सरस्वति भुवनेश्वरि नित्यक्लिन्ने भैरवि राज्यलक्ष्मि राजराजेश्वरि शूलिनि महाचण्डयोगीश्वरि सिद्धिलक्ष्मि राज्यसिद्धिलक्ष्मि त्रैलोक्यविजये वज्रप्रस्तारिणि कात्यायनि चण्डकपालेश्वरि स्वर्णकूटेश्वरि वार्तालि चण्डवार्तालि उग्रचण्डे रुद्रचण्डे प्रचण्डे चण्डनायिके चण्डवति चण्डिके ज्वालाकात्यायनि चैतन्यभैरवि मधुमति तुम्बुरेश्वरि उन्मत्तमहिषमर्दिनि रक्तचामुण्डेश्वरि त्रिपुरावागीश्वरि चण्डवारुणि दिगम्बरि कालरात्रि किरातेश्वरि वज्रकुब्जिके समयकुब्जिके कुब्जिके मोक्षकुब्जिके भोगकुब्जिके जयकुब्जिके सिद्धिकुब्जिके हृदयशिवदूति शिरःशिवदूति शिखाशिवदूति कवचशिवदूति नेत्रशिवदूति अस्त्रशिवदूति व्यापकशिवदूति कालसङ्कर्षिणि कुक्कुटि भ्रमराम्बिके धनदे सङ्कटादेवि महार्णवेश्वरि शबरि मोहिनि महामोहिनि मूकाम्बिके एकजटे नीलसरस्वति उग्रतारे छिन्नमस्ते पीताम्बरे त्रिकण्टकि संग्रामजगदुर्गे ब्रह्मानि माहेश्वरि कौमारि वैष्णवि नारसिंहि इन्द्राणि चामुण्डे चण्डघण्टे चण्डेश्वरि अनङ्गमाले हरसिद्धे फेत्कारि लवणेश्वरि नाकुलि वज्रवाराहि हयग्रीवेश्वरि परमहंसेश्वरि मोक्षलक्ष्मि ब्रह्मवादिनि शातकर्णि जातवेदसि महानीले विष्णुमाये गुह्येश्वरि अपराजिते बाभ्रवि डामरि चर्चिके अभये एकवीरे आवेशिनि करालिनि मायूरि इन्द्राक्षि घोणकि भीमादेवि चण्डखेचरि धूमावति तामसि जयन्ति एकानांशे नीललोहितेश्वरि त्रिकालवेदिनि कोरङ्गि रक्तदन्ति भूतभैरवि कुलकुट्टिनि कामाख्ये विश्वरूपे क्षेमङ्करि कुलेश्वरि कामाङ्कुशे हाटकेश्वरि शक्तिसौपर्णि महामारि मङ्गलचण्डि कोकामुखि ज्वालाकालि घोरनादकालि उग्रकालि वेतालकालि संहारकालि रौद्रकालि कृतान्तकालि चण्डकालि घनकालि घोरकालि सन्त्रासकालि प्रेतकालि प्रलयकालि विभूतिकालि जयकालि भोगकालि कल्पान्तकालि सन्तानकालि दुर्जयकालि वज्रकालि विद्याकालि शक्तिकालि कुलकालि मुण्डकालि धूम्रकालि आज्ञाकालि तिग्मकालि महारात्रिकालि सङ्ग्रामकालि शवकालि नग्नकालि रुधिरकालि भयङ्करकालि फेरुकालि करालकालि घोरघोरतरकालि सर्वशक्तिमयशरीरे सर्वमन्त्रमयविग्रहे कामकलागुह्यकालि श्रीकुलचक्रराजराजेश्वरेश्वरि नमस्ते नमस्ते नमस्ते फट् स्वाहा ||

aiṃ hrīṃ śrīṃ krīṃ hūṃ hrīṃ kāmakalākāli dakṣaṇakāli bhadrakāli śmaśānakāli kālakāli guhyakāli dhanakāli siddhikāli caṇḍakāli lakṣmi mahālakṣmi annapūrṇe vanadurge aghore padmāvati mahiṣamardini jayadurge durge rājamātaṅgi ucchiṣṭamātaṅgi sumukhi bagalāmukhi dhanalakṣmi sarasvati bhuvaneśvari ashvārūḍhe nityaklinne bhairavi rājyalakṣmi rājarājeśvari śūlini mahācaṇḍayogīśvari siddhilakṣmi rājyasiddhilakṣmi trailokyavijaye vajraprastāriṇi kātyāyani caṇḍakapāleśvari svarṇakūṭeśvari vārtāli caṇḍavārtāli ugracaṇḍe rudracaṇḍe pracaṇḍe caṇḍanāyike caṇḍavati caṇḍike jvālākātyāyani caitanyabhairavi madhumati tumbureśvari unmattamahiṣamardini raktacāmuṇḍeśvari tripurāvāgīśvari caṇḍavāruṇi digambari kālarātri kirāteśvari vajrakubjike samayakubjike kubjike mokṣakubjike bhogakubjike jayakubjike siddhikubjike hṛdayaśivadūti śiraḥśivadūti śikhāśivadūti kavacaśivadūti netraśivadūti astraśivadūti vyāpakaśivadūti kālasaṅkarṣiṇi kukkuṭi bhramarāmbike dhanade saṅkaṭādevi mahārṇaveśvari śabari mohini mahāmohini mūkāmbike ekajaṭe nīlasarasvati ugratāre chinnamaste pītāmbare trikaṇṭaki saṃgrāmajagadurge brahmāni māheśvari kaumāri vaiṣṇavi nārasiṃhi indrāṇi cāmuṇḍe caṇḍaghaṇṭe caṇḍeśvari anaṅgamāle harasiddhe phetkāri lavaṇeśvari nākuli vajravārāhi hayagrīveśvari paramahaṃseśvari mokṣalakṣmi brahmavādini śātakarṇi jātavedasi mahānīle viṣṇumāye guhyeśvari aparājite bābhravi ḍāmari carcike abhaye ekavīre āveśini karālini māyūri indrākṣi ghoṇaki bhīmādevi caṇḍakhecari dhūmāvati tāmasi jayanti ekānāṃśe nīlalohiteśvari trikālavedini koraṅgi raktadanti bhūtabhairavi kulakuṭṭini kāmākhye viśvarūpe kṣemaṅkari kuleśvari kāmāṅkuśe hāṭakeśvari śaktisauparṇi mahāmāri maṅgalacaṇḍi kokāmukhi jvālākāli ghoranādakāli ugrakāli vetālakāli saṃhārakāli raudrakāli kṛtāntakāli caṇḍakāli ghanakāli ghorakāli santrāsakāli pretakāli pralayakāli vibhūtikāli jayakāli bhogakāli kalpāntakāli santānakāli durjayakāli vajrakāli vidyākāli śaktikāli kulakāli muṇḍakāli dhūmrakāli ājñākāli tigmakāli mahārātrikāli saṅgrāmakāli śavakāli nagnakāli rudhirakāli bhayaṅkarakāli pherukāli karālakāli ghoraghoratarakāli sarvaśaktimayaśarīre sarvamantramayavigrahe kāmakalāguhyakāli śrīkulacakrarājarājeśvareśvari namaste namaste namaste phaṭ svāhā ||

'Secular-Liberals' of India!


I wonder why 'liberal' imbeciles such as these, who claim that invasions of India by Christians and Muslims actually benefitted India - are not thrown in prison! Shri Rajiv Malhotra does give him a suitable rebut but this dolt deserves nothing less than a tight slap across his obnoxious face. Given a chance, I am sure 'secular' idiots like these will readily invite ISIS to invade Bharati. There is no hope for progress of India till her intelligentsia is comprised of such traitors. First the shameless kissing of Obama's rear, and now this?

Sharade Karunanidhe


Panchamari Yoga - The Elixir of Immortality

Kṛṣṇānanda āgamavāgīśa describes a prayoga, supposedly from Rudrayāmala, called the Pañcāmarī Yoga, which involves the use of five herbs referred to as five ‘amara vastu’ or five ingredients conferring immortality. Consumption of this mixture is said to grant one external purity, as well as correction of various impurities within the body. The deities represented by these five herbs are: Gaṇapati, Sarasvatī, Shiva, Yoginī and Viṣṇu. The mixture is termed as the ‘Elixir of Immortality’.

The five ingredients are:

1. Dūrvā - Cynodon dactylon
2. Vijayā- Cannabis sativa
3. Bilvapatra - Aegle marmelos
4. Nirguṇḍī or Sindhuvāra - Vitex negundo
5. Kṛṣna Tulasī - Ocimum tenuiflorum

Each of these are taken in equal parts, with the exception of Cannabis, which is used in double compared to the other herbs. Chūrṇa is made first individually from each of them while reciting the below mantras:

Dūrvā


OM tvaṃ dūrve.amarapūjye tvamamṛtasamudbhave |
amaraṃ mām sadā bhadre kuruṣva nṛharipriye ||

Vijayā


OM saṃvide brahmasaṃbhūte brahmaputri sadā.anaghe |
bhairavāṇāṃ ca tṛptyarthe pavitrā bhava sarvadā ||

Bilva


OM kāvyasiddhikarī devī bilvapatranivāsini |
amaratvaṃ sadā dehi śivatulyaṃ kuruṣva mām ||

Sindhuvāra


OM nirguṇḍi paramānande yogānāmadhidevate |
rakṣa māmamre devi bhāvasiddhiprade namaḥ ||

Kṛṣṇa Tulasī


OM viṣṇoḥ priye mahāmāye mahākālanivāriṇi |
māṃ sadā rakṣa tulasi māmekamamaraṃ kuru ||

All these are mixed together reciting the below mantra of Amṛteśvarī or Sudhādevī:

OM amṛte amṛtodbhave amṛtavarṣiṇi amṛtamākarṣayākarṣaya siddhiṃ dehi svāhā |

Then one performs namaskāra displaying Dhenu, Yoni and Matsya mudrās. One next energizes the mixture reciting Gurupādukā seven times followed by the iṣṭa mantra, or the mantra that is currently under puraścaraṇa. The elixir is consumed reciting the below mantra:

OM aiṃ vada vada vāgvādini mama jihvāgre sthirībhava sthīrībhava sarvasattvavaśaṅkari śatrukaṇṭhatriśūlini svāhā |

Nannu Brovu Lalita


Sharabheshvara

Sharabha-Nrisimha

दूर्वाश्यामं महोग्रं स्फुटजलदधरं सूर्यचन्द्राग्निनेत्रं
चक्रं वज्रं त्रिशूलं शरमुसलगदाशक्त्यभीतीर्वहन्तम् |
शङ्खं खेटं कपालं सधनुहलफणीत्रोटदानानि हस्तैः
सिंहारिं साळुवेशं नमतरिपुजनप्राणसंहारदक्षम् ||

dūrvāśyāmaṃ mahograṃ sphuṭajaladadharaṃ sūryacandrāgninetraṃ
cakraṃ vajraṃ triśūlaṃ śaramusalagadāśaktyabhītīrvahantam |
śaṅkhaṃ kheṭaṃ kapālaṃ sadhanuhalaphaṇītroṭadānāni hastaiḥ
siṃhāriṃ sāḻuveśaṃ namataripujanaprāṇasaṃhāradakṣam ||

While my iṣṭadaiva is Nṛsiṃha in his several forms, I have always had considerable amount of love and dedication for the related form of Sharabheśvara. Our Guru gave me the mantra of this form of Mahāśambhu as uttarāṅga of Mahāvidyā Vanadurgā. For many years, I had a mistaken notion that as an ardent upāsaka of Nṛsiṃha, it was obligatory not to show anything more than customary respect to Sāḻuveśa, restricting my communication with him to minimal japa on special occasions. At the same time however, I spent humongous time reciting the mantras of Shūlinī and Atharvaṇa Bhadrakālī.

But Parāmbā has her ways of correcting our mistaken notions. Out of nowhere, the image of Sharabheśvara constantly began to appear while reciting Mantrarāja and Sudarśana Nṛsiṃha mantras, which are part of our daily practice. I was horrified and almost felt it to be blasphemous to contemplate on Sharabha while reciting the mantra of his fabled ari, Nṛsiṃha. Over a period of time, the truth of a certain sameness in these two forms began to dawn upon me and several intricate aspects of their upāsanā was revealed.

In Biṃbāmbikā Saṃpradāya, the unique aspect is the worship of Svacchanda Bhairava through a complex mantra which includes the mantrarāja of Nṛsiṃha. The recension of Aghora mantra typically used for this purpose by Kashmir Shaivities, on the other hand, is only used along with Mantrarāja for certain specific prayogas. The prayogas of Sharabha are widely used in this sampradāya with various combinations:

Sharabha Kālī: Sharabheśvara and Dakṣiṇā Kālī
Mahāśarabha: Sharabha, Shīlinī and Pratyaṅgirā
Ugraśarabha: Sharabha pañcāśat and Aghora
Sharabhasiṃha: Sharabha, Nṛsiṃha and Sudarśana
Sharabhāveśa: Sharabha and Vīrabhadra
Vaidyarāja: Sharabha pañcākṣara, Amṛtabhairava, Parā etc.

As per the instructions of ur Guru Chinmudrānandanātha, I spent considerable time practicing some of these combinations. Several years later, when I came into contact with Srī Pattu Shāstrigal (Parānandanātha of Guhānanda Maṇḍalī), a śiṣya of Yogānandanātha (the famed astrologer and upāsaka of Ucchiṣṭa Mahāgaṇapati, Srī Kuñcitapādayyar), and a praśiṣya of the incomparable Srī Chidānandanātha. Srī Shāstrigal was one of the most well-known upāsakas of Sharabheśvara in recent times and was a treasurehouse of information regarding every aspect of this upāsanā. He taught me some rare aspects of this form of Rudra, himself being very curious about my practices related to Nṛsiṃha.

Our Guru Srī Chinmudrānātha narrated an interesting experience. Somewhere during the turn of this century, he lived near Lodheshvara Mahādeva temple in Barabanki, at that time immersed in the worship of Parā Sundarī. A certain Aghori who also lived nearby tried to strike a conversation with our Guru, who being the eternal recluse, gave him a cold shoulder. Enraged, the Aghori performed a certain prayoga of his iṣṭa Hanumān, and decided to humiliate our Guru. The next day, when our Guru completed his oblations and was returning to his abode, a few monkeys jumped on him. While they could not get near him, they followed him to his abode and stood outside his door making screeching, menacing noises. Extremely annoyed, our Guru invoked a combined form of Sharabha and Shūlinī, took a few bananas and threw them at the monkeys. The monkeys initially refused to touch the bananas, but slowly were drawn to them and ate them. Within no time, they turned around and chased after the Aghori. The next day, the Aghori was seen leaving the town, horribly disfigured by the monkeys. No one ever saw monkeys in that region again!

It is time to invoke the grace of Mahāśarabha end of this month, on the auspicious occasion of Sharabhāṣṭamī, to rid oneself of enemies both external and internal.

Bhavani

Bhavani

उमा कामा चार्वङ्गी टङ्कधारिणी तारा पार्वती यक्षिणी श्रीशारिका-भगवती श्रीशारदा-भगवती श्रीमहाराज्ञी-भगवती श्रीज्वाला-भगवती व्रीडा-भगवती वैखरी-भगवती वितस्ता-भगवती गङ्गा-भगवती यमुना-भगवती कालिका-भगवती सिद्धिलक्ष्मी महालक्ष्मी महात्रिपिरसुन्दरी सहस्रनाम्नी देवी भवानी सपरिवारा सायुधा साङ्गा प्रीयताम् ||

umā kāmā cārvaṅgī ṭaṅkadhāriṇī tārā pārvatī yakṣiṇī śrīśārikā-bhagavatī śrīśāradā-bhagavatī śrīmahārājñī-bhagavatī śrījvālā-bhagavatī vrīḍā-bhagavatī vaikharī-bhagavatī vitastā-bhagavatī gaṅgā-bhagavatī yamunā-bhagavatī kālikā-bhagavatī siddhilakṣmī mahālakṣmī mahātripirasundarī sahasranāmnī devī bhavānī saparivārā sāyudhā sāṅgā prīyatām ||

Akhanda Mahayoga of Mahamahopadhyaya Gopinath Kaviraja

- Manoranjan Basu

What is Yoga? What is the secret of the great power which is universally attributed to it? What are the natural stages through which the life of a yogin must, of necessity pass, before it can attain to consummation and realize its community with the essence of the universal life and even to transcend it?

The dictionary meaning of the term ‘yoga’ is union, the state of togetherness; spiritually and especially from Advaita point of view it means the establishment of identity, at least communion between the individual self (jīvātmā) and the universal self (Paramātmā). Such a union necessarily presupposes a corresponding relation on the lower planes of existence, viz between the mind and the individual self, between the senses and the mind, and between the object and senses. It should be noted here that the individual cannot realize its eternal affinity with the universal and merge itself in it, unless it can get over the influence of the mind with which it falsely identifies itself. Even when mind ceases to be active by the suspension of the vṛttis and the distinctness as an entity vanishes altogether, the culminating perfection of Yoga does not manifest itself at that stage, for, with the individual left as separate from the universal and the supreme, the higher function of Yoga cannot be stated to have been fulfilled.

To quote the great savant Mahāmahopādhyāya Pandit Gopinath Kaviraj: “As soon as the artificial barrier raised between the higher and lower self is demolished, the pure self emerges as a radiant and eternally self-aware existence of joy in which the two aspects of its being appear as united in an eternal embrace and ineffable sweetness. This is Yoga in the truest sense of the term”. He further says: “Yoga is really the paramount power which leads us not only to a knowledge of the higher life, which is spiritual, but also to its practical realization by the self. It is exclusively in Yoga that one can find the key to solution of all the problems of life and mind as well as to the realization of the supreme end of existence”.

In the lowest stage of spiritual perfection, yoga may be described as withdrawal of senses from the external world and their convergence in the mind. The stage which finds its achievement in abstraction of the senses from their object is really the viewpoint of Haṭha Yoga proper. The perfection which is achieved in the first stage is the perfection of the body. It should be noted here that Yoga is not a matter of psycho-physical discipline, which in itself represents a fragment of the way to yoga proper.

From advaita point of view the vision of an external world as other than the supreme self is, in fact, a magic show of illusive character devoid of all reality. It is the action of vāsanā on the sensory mechanism of organic existence which projects before it a world of illusion. The discipline of the first stage consists in the removal of this illusion. The control of Vayu, at which all the processes of Haṭha Yoga aim, end in securing a relative steadiness and therewith a comparative detachment from the world outside. This is an indispensable preliminary to the success of the mental culture towards which the discipline of the next higher stage is directed.

As soon as the common outer sense disappears what is left behind is a state of concentration. As this concentration matures and gathers strength, various degrees of ecstatic intuition manifest themselves, as a result of a continued process of meditation. The rise of prajñā is consequent on the attainment of samādhi of the mind. In the state of samādhi, the self behind the mind shines on as a silent witness. ‘It looks on as a transcendent observer towards the mind which having already been purged, now appears in the object concentrated’. Before achieving samādhi, the mind in a state of concentration experiences many super-normal things such as reading thoughts of other minds, sensing distant objects as if they were near, direct knowledge of the past and the future as well as that of the present and similar other things.

As the sādhaka advances further, he gains clarified intuition called Rtambhara Prajna by the help of which he gets vision of pure truth and is never touched by error. This intuition cannot originate so long as the objective is not perfected.
The next stage called Prāṇa Jyoti marks the fullest mastery of the elements and the senses, a mastery which affords him control over the forces of nature, creative, presentative and destructive. The conquest of the five primordial elements and ability to use them at will give rise in the mind to the eight great powers called aṣṭa siddhi, and also tends to produce a beautiful and durable body.

The highest siddhi of a Yogin, called Viśoka, which consists in omniscience and universal mastery remains yet to be achieved. When the mind realizes the greatest purity and steadiness, it comes under the fullest control of sādhaka, who’s then fixed in the knowledge of distinction between the mind and the self and becomes truly a master. Thus the supreme power of a man comes from a control of the mind.

The next stage marks the transcendence of even the supreme viśoka power. The sādhaka realizes that even this power - greatest though it is, in the state of outer consciousness (vyutthāna), is yet a foreign element and has to be eliminated. The acquisition of the supreme power is the first result of viveka khyāti and non-attachment to this power ending in the nirodha proper. After the supreme non-attachment, the next stage commences and continues so long as mind exists. This is Jīvanmukti proper from the point of Pātañjala school of Yoga. This is the final stage of Samprajñāta Samādhi. The Asamprajñāta stage comes when the light of mind disappears and the self alone shines.

The above discussion of Pātañjala system of Yoga is mainly from Advaita point of view which, according to Mahāmahopādhyāya Gopinath Kaviraja forms part of the sādhanā, or in other words may be said to be as preparatory ground on Akhaṇḍa Mahāyoga.

It should be noted here that Akhaṇḍa Mahāyoga is still an ideal state yet to be realized. It is meant for yogis who have not only transcended the spatio-temporal world leading to cidākaśa, but also piercing through sūrya maṇḍala experienced the grand presence (sanniveśa) of Shiva-Shakti in perfect unison. This is the region of rahasya, the penultimate source of all possible creativity. This is ineffable and beyond tattvas and no words can express it.

It should further be noted here that from the point of objective, yogis are boradly divided into two classes: khaṇḍa yogis and akhaṇḍa yogis. Khaṇḍa yogis are also of two types - Khaṇḍa and Mahākhaṇḍa. There is no qualitative difference between these two classes. They differ in so far as each of their respective competencies and achievements. The difference lies in the fact that the later while transcending the state of Mahābhāva becomes one and identical to the universal consciousness as power, called the great matrix of the universe, whereas Khaṇḍa yogis reach the state of Mahābhāva.

In the cidākāśa, the abode of all sādhakas, there are two paths - svabhāva and abhāva. The yogis always prefer the latter. In the present time, the great savant Mahāmahopādhyāya Gopinath Kaviraja by visualizing and following the principles of akhaṇḍa Mahāyoga sacrificed his life to find out a solution of that mysterious riddle called suffering humanity.
The essence of Akhaṇḍa Mahāyoga has been explained by Mahāmahopādhyāya Gopinath Kaviraja in the tāntrika technical terms and symbolic expressions for, ordinary terms and expressions are not adequate to explain the subtle spiritual experiences of the highest order of yogis. Akhaṇḍa Mahāyoga may be compared to the construction of a temple having six main systems of Indian Philosophy as its pillars, and Shākta, Shaiva, Bauddha and Vaiṣṇava are like its walls. Akhaṇḍa Mahāyoga is as if, the deity installed in the temple consecrated by the super-sensuous experiences of yoga.
There is no doubt that individual sādhanā or vyaṣṭi sādhanā is very essential. The ultimate goal of individual life is liberation. Later on, in the Tantras the thought of collective liberation took place. Spiritual preceptor could only initiate this and he could impart his spiritual knowledge and experience among his disciples. Consequently the true conception of Guru Maṇḍala came into practice. There are many Siddha Puruṣas who formed their siddha maṇḍalaS, such as the maṇḍala of Pañcamukha Gaṇādhīśvara, maṇḍala of Jñānaganja, and the Buddhist maṇḍalas of Maurya and Maitra. The Buddhist Siddhas are very popular. All these siddhas could not conquer death at their physical level but they could remain in their baindava and śākta deha and help their disciples belonging to a group.

The concept of Jñāna ganja is just like what we call Dhruvaloka, Goloka and Sukhavati. The first has come into being as a result of severe penances done by an individual sādhaka, and the second and third are associated with the names of Srī Kṛṣṇa and Amitābha Buddha respectively. Jñānaganja is established by the supersensuous experience of a very great Yogi. Srīmandira, Rājarājeśvarī Maṭha and Jñānaganja are in tune with the same yogic order - Srīmandira being at the top and Jñānaganja at the bottom. The earthly Jñānaganja is a secret place located on the top of the Himalayas towards the border line of Tibet. It is created by the intense penances of a Siddha Yogi for the good of the universe, as we have already mentioned. According to the yogic vision of Jñānaganja, there are three planes or states of spiritual experience. The first goes up to Mahābhāva as its objective and khaṇḍa yogis reach this state. The second stage is beyond mahābhāva and above sūrya maṇḍala. Mahākhaṇḍa yogis by completing their spiritual practice receive vibration from Jñānaganja directly. The third and the final stage is not yet fully drawn, it is still an ideal stage, yet to be realized.

In the context of Akhaṇḍa Mahāyoga, a distinction is made between a sādhaka and a yogi - a yogi is necessarily a sādhaka but a sādhaka can never be a yogi. A sādhaka never questions the existing order of things, he tries to find out the innermost essence of the universe otherwise called self by realizing which he can go beyond the cycle of karman and rebirth. He is more concerned to be free from his own individual maladies of life. But the attitude of a yogi both ordinary and darpi is diametrically opposite to a sādhaka. The yogi starts from an universal attitude of eradicating sufferings of others and finds peace in disinterested service to suffering humanity. He tries to change for the better the existing order of the universe by making mahāpralaya to happen quicker through the control of the perennial source of creation related to Mahākāla. Akhaṇḍa Mahāyoga while covering different types of yoga such as yogas between jīvātmā and paramātmā, lokas and beyond lokas, self and mahāśakti and finally between paraśiva and parāśakti, goes beyond them. Mahāmahopādhyāya Gopinath Kaviraja was essentially a practicing yogi of a high order and a great synthesizer of different systems of yoga. He was truly a Shākta Tāntrika and he did not believe in the principle of withdrawal from the world affairs.

Akhaṇḍa Mahāyoga is not a speculative philosophy. It is not based on spiritual samskāras, but is a real experience of truth. One cannot realize this through the lower intellect. According to Achārya Gopinath Kaviraja, Akhaṇḍa Mahāyoga can be realized through divine intuition (divyabodha). There are two approaches of yoga, individual or vyaṣṭi approach and collective or samaṣṭi approach. Yoga means union or mutation in all levels of consciousness (chaitanya), to transcend time and space or to become one with Supreme or to identify with saccidānanda or to become free from prakṛti. This is khaṇḍayoga and it is possible for a sādhaka to accomplish it through self-efforts. Akhaṇḍa Mahāyoga is not merely union between jīvātmā and paramātmā but it is an eternal unity of total humanity (samaṣṭi jīva) with the Absolute in time and space of the universe. This is not for individual liberation or Siddhi but for the descent of Mahāśakti for divine illumination in this physical world.

In the traditional Kuṇḍalinī Yoga, the path of ṣaṭcakra is followed. By piercing through these chakras, the sādhaka reaches the thousand-petalled lotus called Sahasrāra and the unfoldment is complete. This is the first way of awakening Kuṇḍalinī śakti. The other way way is that of a Guru, who has acquired icchā, jñāna and kriyā śakti and he takes his disciple upto sahasrāra. In this case the disciple need not put forth his self efforts to go up to the desired end. There is a third kind in which the spiritual preceptor initiates the disciple and blesses him through touch on his head, immediately the disciple feels the upward current (spanda) and moves towards the lotus (śatadala), the center of sahasrāra. A great yogi who has achieved complete grace of Mahāśakti finds all centers of the above chakras transformed into lotus, he is called Karuṇa Puṇḍarīka.

Akhaṇḍa Mahāyoga starts from the śatabheda kriyā and it takes the path of sahasrāra. There are some spiritual adepts who could reach upto the dala (petals), they are called Rudras, and those who could reach the center of the lotus are characterized as Shiva-yogins. Generally a yogi who achieves such a position is tuned with the ultimate reality and he is immuned from any downfall from his spiritual height, for nirodhikā śakti supports him all through.

In the ascending order of yoga there is samanā level and finally there is unmanā stage. There are certain special grades of yogis who could reach this unmanā stage. If any yogi is blessed with the grace of the Divine Mother or Guru, he obtains śākta body and achieves Mahāśakti. When a yogi is not satisfied with his individual attainment, he receives special grace from the Divine Mother. He is bestowed with the realization of collective body (samaṣṭi śarīra bodha). Navamuṇdi āsana installed by Swami Viśuddhānanda Paramahamsa, the spiritual preceptor of Mahāmahopādhyāya Gopinath Kaviraja, is the base of Akhaṇḍa Mahāyoga. At this level guru śakti, iṣṭa śakti and svarūpa śakti all meet together. Here the sādhaka’s inner urge for humanity is felt. He is not ready to accept anything individual, on the contrary he surrenders everything belonging to him at the feet of Mahāśakti. He identifies himself with samaṣṭi jīvabhāva.

The mystic experience gained through such a state may be explained in a symbolic way. A triangle is conceived there as having sat, chit, ānanda as its three sides with mahāśakti in the center. The purpose of the triangle is to meet samaṣṭi jīva bindu. There is a downward triangle contending aspiration, urge and firm faith. When it gets the touch of Mahāśakti, it moves upward (ūrdhvamukha). Thus by the drawing influence of Mahāśakti when both the triangles meet together in the center of time, that is called divine descent. One should keep in mind that this action takes place in the central bindu within the circle. This is Guru Maṇḍala in the center of kāla where the whole universe gets transformed. This Guru Maṇḍala is just like a lotus and this consists of dynamic eternal Mahāprakāśa.

To practice Akhaṇḍa Mahāyoga, kṛpāśūnya kriyā is necessary. The spiritual adept must have to concentrate all his energies towards only one great resolve (mahāsaṅkalpa), that is the divine illumination in the earth consciousness. Mahāśakti herslef embraces the adept and becomes very active in him. Divine Mother completes her ekamukhī, dvimukhī and sarvamukhī kriyā and gives him premasvarūpa darśana. As a result, sahaja kriyā starts functioning in him. When triple śaktis such as premakumārī svarūpa, mahāśakti and svātmasvarūpā śakti unite together, the action of total transformation of the world, the aim of Akhaṇḍa Mahāyoga starts to get it realized in the earth consciousness. The total transformation of the world is, as a matter of necessity, inevitable and that would take place in mahāniśā through the Divine Mother’s grace to humanity.