Siddhas who are familiar with the secrets of upāsanā of Bhagavatī Durgā, point out the presence of navārṇa in two places within the Durgā Saptaśatī.

The name Chāmunḍā is of great significance, as is evident by it’s central position occupied within the famous Navārṇa mantra.

यस्माच्चण्डं च मुण्डं च गृहीत्वा त्वमुपागता |
चामुण्डेति ततो लोके ख्याता देवि भविष्यति ||

The word ‘cāmuṇḍāyai’ is composed of nine letters - च्, म्, ण्, ड्, य् and आ, उ, आ, ऐ - and hence is nāvākṣarī in its own right. This very name is considered very powerful and a mantra in itself.

There is yet another powerhouse verse in Saptaśatī that is described as nāvārṇa by Siddhas of the yore:

शूलेन पाहि नो देवि पाहि खड्गेन चाम्बिके |
घण्टास्वनेन नः पाहि चापज्यानिःस्वनेन च ||

If one carefully observes, this verse contains the letter ‘na’ (न) nine times.

Advaita Vedanta and Kashmir Shaivism

- Nṛsiṃhacaraṇa Paṇḍā

Gauḍapāda holds that the world-appearance is due to the vibration of prāṇa or chitta or vijñāna. Shabdabrahman is a synonym of Prakṛti or Māyā. The concept of Vibration or Spanda is implied in this word. The world of diversity and multiplicity is produced as a result of the vibration of the Māyā śakti, the power of Brahman. The Upaniṣads use the term Sūtrātman for Brahman. The whole universe is the vibration of the single string (sūtra), the Self of which is Brahman. The Brahmasūtra traces the manifestation (vyakta) of the unmanifest (avyakta or Mayā) to the origination of prāṇa and its subsequent vibrations (kampana). Thus the Shaiva Doctrine of Vibration gets support from the Vedāntic scriptures.

But there are some salient points of differences between Kashmir Shaivism and the Vedāntic non-dualism. Brahman is Advaita Vedānta is motionless and actionless. According to the logic of Advaita Vedānta motion is an activity and any activity necessitates an expenditure of energy. If Brahman has activity, it cannot be permanent and unmodifiable. Hence, says Advaita Vedānta, Brahman, the Absolute Being, is devoid of becoming. Its power (Māyāśakti) which is indescribable (anivarcanīya) has attributes and activity. The three strings (sattva, rajas and tamas) produce the empirical universe. Vedānta holds that Māyāśakti vibrates whereas Brahman is completely unmoving (niḥspanda). In the process of the activity of Māyāśakti, there is a perpetual degradation (entropy) of energy. Hence, in order that the available energy of Māyāśakti is not rendered zero and the cosmic process is not brought to a stand-still condition, the world energy is recycled through the process of pralaya (dissolution). The totality of the manifest universe is dissolved in Māyā, to be manifested in the next cycle of emanation, maintenance and dissolution.

In the Shaiva view, a pulsation (spanda) consisting of two phases - a phase of expansion and another phase of contraction - is not a motion. Of course, it is not a motion in the sense of change of position, movement from position P1 to P2. But it cannot be denied that pulsation is a movement. Any movement needs expenditure of energy and pulsation (vibration) is not possible without expenditure of energy.

By “pulsation”, we refer to the cosmic cycles of emanation, sustenance and dissolution and also the perpetual pulsations with regard to the sustenance of the universe. The atoms, the molecules, the galaxies and the super-galaxies are all products of the pulsations of the second type. There is no loss of energy is any pulsation; there is, however, degradation of energy (conversion of utilizable to non-utilizable) in the second type. The existence and the activities of the universe necessarily involve degradation of energy. The degraded energy is reconverted to utilizable energy in the process of cosmic dissolution (pralaya). If considered from this point of view, the Doctrine of Vibration is free from any conceptual defect.

In Advaita Vedānta, Brahman is functionless and Māyā is active. This is however not the case in Kashmir Shaivism, in which Paramaśiva, the Universal Consciousness, is ever active. He is self-luminous light (Prakāśa); He is also the self-conscious and active agent. He is the Svātantrya śakti (the Absolute Freedom of the Divine), otherwise known as Vimarśa, appearing as the Power of Will (Iccāśakti), the Power of Action (Kriyāśakti) and the Power of Knowledge (Jñānaśakti).

In reality, Shakti is one, although Her manifestations are many. The Shaiva holds that the power (śakti) is non-different from the possessor of the power - śaktiśaktimatorabhedaḥ. There is no Shiva without Shakti nor is Shakti without Shiva. Like fire and heat, Shiva and Shakti are ever non-different. Prakāśa is the Shiva polarity and Vimarśa is the Shakti polarity of the undivided unity of the Universal Consciousness. In fact, Shakti vibrates, but the agency of the vibration is attributed to Paramaśiva Who is free from duality. Thus both in Advaita Vedānta and the Spanda philosophy, it is Shakti that vibrates. The details of the concepts of Māyā and Shakti in the two systems are not identical; there are subtle differences which are not insignificant. But, at least on the surface, the one common factor that needs emphasis here is that the active agent is Shakti, named as Vimarśa or Māyā. Even though the Pratyabhijñā and Spanda philosophy is monistic, the Spandaśakti (the Energy of Creative Pulsation) has been termed as śāṅkarī (of śaṅkara or Maheśvara) in Kṣemarāja’s propitiatory verses in his Spandanirṇaya. Vasugupta, in his Shivasūtra, has prayed to Shankara in the first verse and has used the term śāṅkaraṃ caitanyam for the same Svātantrya śakti. Thus, as Māyā is the power of Brahman, so also is Shakti, the power of Maheśvara.

There is both idealism and realism in Pratyabhijñā philosophy. Reality is Universal Consciousness. Without undergoing any change and affecting its undivided, unitary existence, it manifests as the world of diversity and multiplicity. It reflects on its own mirror. This is the doctrine of appearance (ābhāsavāda) in the Pratyabhijñā philosophy. But, in spite of this concept of ābhāsa (appearance), the world is real in this system.

Advaita Vedānta is absolute idealism. Brahman is Pure Consciousness and is the Reality. The world is an illusion; it is not real although not non-existent. A rope is mistaken, due to ignorance, as a snake. In this case, the rope is the substratum (adhiṣṭhāna) and the snake is the illusory appearance. And so is the world which is the illusory appearance of the substratum, Brahman. The whole cosmos is ever-changing. But all these changes are apparent only. Any change is not real since there is nothing other than Brahman that does not change. As gold takes forms of a ring, a necklace, a bangle and still remains as the same gold, the change being in the form and name (ṇāma rūpa) only without changes in the substance, so does Brahman appear as the manifold world of names and forms without undergoing any modification. This is the vivartavāda (doctrine of apparent change) of Advaita Vedānta. There is pratibimbavāda (doctrine of reflection) in Advaita Vedānta. According to this doctrine, the one Brahman (Self or Consciousness) is reflected on its power, Māyā and also on the empirical subtle bodies (liṅgaśarīras). The former reflected image is īśvara (god) and latter reflected images are the empirical selves (jīvas). Although the source of the reflected images (jīvas) is one Brahman only, each jīva is different from the others. One Sun is reflected on many water-reservoirs to appear as many Suns and so is Brahman.

If the fundamentality of the ābhāsavāda of Pratyabhijñā and the pratibimbavāda of Advaita Vedānta is considered at the exclusion of the minute details of the two systems, there seems to be more commonness and less distinctions. Realism, in its rigorous form, does not operate in the Spanda philosophy. Reality (the Universal Consciousness) is one and one only. Due to the vibration or pulsation of one of its bipoles, the world of diversity and multiplicity appears. As different musical tones are produced by the vibration of the string of the violin, so appears the manifold world as a result of the vibration of the Shakti of the Self. This is the essence of the Spanda philosophy. It does not stand the rigors of strict realism. Thus it is not much meaningful to say that Advaita Vedānta is illusionistic and Spanda philosophy is realistic. There has been much confusion over the use of the word “illusion”. Saaṅkarācārya does not deny the existence of the world. He recognizes the absolute existence of Brahman and refutes the absoluteness of the existence of the world. And so is Shaiva monism that recognizes Paramaśiva as the Absolute Universal Consciousness and the world with its phases of manifestation, sustenance and dissolution as the reflection of the Consciousness. Gauḍapāda contends that the prāṇaśakti vibrates. The Shaiva monism maintains that the spandaśakti vibrates. Except the difference in the philosophical jargons, basically the concept seems to be one and the same.

The tāṇḍava dance of Shiva is a symbolic expression of the creative pulsation (spanda). The beating of His drum (damaru) is the further confirmation of the doctrine of vibration. The image of Naṭarāja is a symbolic exhibition of the vigorous steps of the divine dance with the vibrating sounds of the drum. The cosmic creative pulsation comes into being as an external manifestation of the supernal creative joy (ānanda) of Paramaśiva. The ānanda wells up from the Universal Consciousness and vibrates rhythmically to be manifested as the universe.


There were several queries received about Pūrṇadīkṣā and there is no one standard answer for them really. Every Guru Sampradāya has its own technicalities and peculiarities derived from different pramāṇa granthas.

In most South-Indian lineages (obviously of Srīvidyā), Paraśurāma Kalpasūtra is the primary pramāṇa but this work really does not get into the specifics in terms of which mantra is considered as conferring pūrṇadīkṣā. In practice, Mahāṣoḍaśī and Mahāpādukā are generally considered as constituting the Pūrṇābhiṣeka.

Things are slightly different in the case of Krama Dīkṣā where a lot more technicalities are discussed. This does not mean that the Dākṣiṇātya Sampradāya of Srīvidyā is not a Krama system - even there one progresses through different steps such as Mahāgaṇapati, Bālā, Shyāmalā, Vārāhī, Pañcadaśī, Shoḍaśī, Parā etc. However, in the complex and syncretistic Krama system of the east, each step is greatly delineated. In the case of Pūrṇadīkṣā, which is obtained for all three Mahāvidyās, is the starting point to higher initiations.

The pramāṇa clearly states:

पूर्णाभिषेकः सुन्दर्यां षोडश्यामेव कीर्तितः |
अभावे लघुषोडश्यां अक्षरत्रितयेऽपि च ||

In the case of Tripurasundarī, pūrṇadīkṣā is always accomplished through Shoḍaśī. When this is unavailable, one will have to use Laghuṣoḍaśī (adhama pakṣa) or Saubhāgya ṣoḍaśī (madhyama pakṣa). By this statement, it becomes evident that uttama pakṣa is clearly Mahāṣoḍaśī.

Elsewhere it is said:

राजराजेश्वरी विद्या पञ्चमी परसुन्दरी |
श्रीमहाषोडशी पूर्णा पूर्णदीक्षितपूर्तिदा ||

Pūrṇadīkṣā is attained through:

(a) Rājarājeśvarī (aṣṭādaśī)
(b) Pañcamī
(c) Parāṣoḍaśī
(d) Mahāṣoḍaśī

In the case of Dakśiṇā Kālī, the pūrṇadīkṣā is always through Kāmakalā Kālī of Uttarāmnāya:

तथा कामकला काली दक्षिणायामपि स्मृता |

That said, for every form of Kālī, the final dīkṣā is indeed through Guhyakālī who encompasses both Uttara and ūrdhvāmnāyas:

गुह्यकाली सैव विद्या तत्त्वानां नवकैर्युता |
सप्तप्रेतसमासीना महागुह्येश्वरी तथा ||

Generally, the dīkṣā is obtained through Rāmopāsitā and Bharatopāsitā forms, who is Daśavaktrā. Some advanced and fearless upāsakas also venture into shatavaktrā Guhyakālī but those are rare to find.

Again, there is no single standard answer here, one simply needs to follow the valid pramāṇa adopted by one’s lineage.


Yochana Kamalalochana

Ardhanarishvara Stotram


जय देव महादेव जयेश्वर महेश्वर |
जय सर्वगुणश्रेष्ठ जय सर्वसुराधिप ||
जय प्रकृतिकल्याणि जय प्रकृतिनायिके |
जय प्रकृतिदूराङ्गि जय प्रकृतिसुन्दरि ||
जयामोघमहामाय जयामोघमनोरथ |
जयामोघमहालील जयामोघमहाबल ||
जय विश्वजगन्मातर्जय विश्वजगन्मयि |
जय विश्वजगद्धात्रि जय विश्वजगत्सखि ||
जय शाश्वतिकैश्वर्य जय शाश्वतिकालय |
जय शाश्वतिकाकार जयशाश्वतिकानुग ||
जयात्मत्रयनिर्मात्रि जयात्मत्रयपालिनि |
जयात्मत्रयसंहर्त्रि जयात्मत्रयनायिके ||
जयावलोकनोत्कृष्टजगत्कारणबृंहण |
जयापेक्षाकटाक्षोत्थ हुतभुग्भुक्तमौक्तिक ||
जय देवाद्यविज्ञेयस्वात्मसूक्ष्मदृशोज्ज्वले |
जय स्थूलात्मशक्त्यंशव्याप्तविश्वचराचरे ||
जय नानैकविन्यस्तविश्वतत्त्वसमुच्चय |
जयासुरशिरोनिष्ठश्रेष्ठानुगकदम्बक ||
जयोपाश्रितसंरक्षा संविधानपटीयसी |
जयोन्मूलितसंसारविषवृक्षाङ्कुरोद्गमे ||
जय प्रादेशिकैश्वर्यवीर्यशौर्यविजृंभिणे |
जय विश्वबहिर्भूत निरस्तपरवैभव ||
जय प्रणीतपञ्चार्धप्रयोगपरमामृत |
जय पञ्चार्थविज्ञानसुखस्रोतःस्वरूपिणे ||
जयातिघोरसंसारमहारोगभिषग्वरे |
जयानादिमलाज्ञानतमःपटलचन्द्रिके ||
जय त्रिपुरकालाग्ने जय त्रिपुरभैरवि |
जय त्रिगुणनिर्मुक्ते जय त्रिगुणमर्दिनि ||
जय प्रमथसर्वज्ञ जय सर्वप्रबोधक |
जय प्रचुरदिव्याङ्ग जय प्रार्थितदायिनि ||

विज्ञाप्यैवं विधैः सूक्तैः विश्वकर्मा चतुर्मुखः |
नमश्चकार रुद्राय रुद्राण्यै च मुहुर्मुहुः ||
इदं स्तोत्रवरं पुण्यं ब्रह्मणा समुदीरितम् |
अर्धनारीश्वरं नाम शिवयोर्हर्षवर्धनम् ||
य इदं कीर्तयेद्भक्त्या शुचिस्तद्गतमानसः |
महत्फलमवाप्नोति शिवयोः प्रीतिकारणात् ||
जननविनाशविहीनविग्रहाभ्याम् |
सततमहं प्रणतोऽस्मि शङ्कराभ्याम् ||

|| इति श्रीशैवे महापुराणे वायवीयसंहितायां पूर्वभागे त्रयोदशाध्याये अर्धनारीश्वर स्तोत्रम् ||

jaya deva mahādeva jayeśvara maheśvara |
jaya sarvaguṇaśreṣṭha jaya sarvasurādhipa ||
jaya prakṛtikalyāṇi jaya prakṛtināyike |
jaya prakṛtidūrāṅgi jaya prakṛtisundari ||
jayāmoghamahāmāya jayāmoghamanoratha |
jayāmoghamahālīla jayāmoghamahābala ||
jaya viśvajaganmātarjaya viśvajaganmayi |
jaya viśvajagaddhātri jaya viśvajagatsakhi ||
jaya śāśvatikaiśvarya jaya śāśvatikālaya |
jaya śāśvatikākāra jayaśāśvatikānuga ||
jayātmatrayanirmātri jayātmatrayapālini |
jayātmatrayasaṃhartri jayātmatrayanāyike ||
jayāvalokanotkṛṣṭajagatkāraṇabṛṃhaṇa |
jayāpekṣākaṭākṣottha hutabhugbhuktamauktika ||
jaya devādyavijñeyasvātmasūkṣmadṛśojjvale |
jaya sthūlātmaśaktyaṃśavyāptaviśvacarācare ||
jaya nānaikavinyastaviśvatattvasamuccaya |
jayāsuraśironiṣṭhaśreṣṭhānugakadambaka ||
jayopāśritasaṃrakṣā saṃvidhānapaṭīyasī |
jayonmūlitasaṃsāraviṣavṛkṣāṅkurodgame ||
jaya prādeśikaiśvaryavīryaśauryavijṛṃbhiṇe |
jaya viśvabahirbhūta nirastaparavaibhava ||
jaya praṇītapañcārdhaprayogaparamāmṛta |
jaya pañcārthavijñānasukhasrotaḥsvarūpiṇe ||
jayātighorasaṃsāramahārogabhiṣagvare |
jayānādimalājñānatamaḥpaṭalacandrike ||
jaya tripurakālāgne jaya tripurabhairavi |
jaya triguṇanirmukte jaya triguṇamardini ||
jaya pramathasarvajña jaya sarvaprabodhaka |
jaya pracuradivyāṅga jaya prārthitadāyini ||

vijñāpyaivaṃ vidhaiḥ sūktaiḥ viśvakarmā caturmukhaḥ |
namaścakāra rudrāya rudrāṇyai ca muhurmuhuḥ ||
idaṃ stotravaraṃ puṇyaṃ brahmaṇā samudīritam |
ardhanārīśvaraṃ nāma śivayorharṣavardhanam ||
ya idaṃ kīrtayedbhaktyā śucistadgatamānasaḥ |
mahatphalamavāpnoti śivayoḥ prītikāraṇāt ||
jananavināśavihīnavigrahābhyām |
satatamahaṃ praṇato.asmi śaṅkarābhyām ||

|| iti śrīśaive mahāpurāṇe vāyavīyasaṃhitāyāṃ pūrvabhāge trayodaśādhyāye ardhanārīśvara stotram ||

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?