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Kanchi Kshetra Darshanam

 

namastripurabhairavyai

There is a traditional way to have thec darshana of bhagavatI shrIvidyA parameshvarI at kAnchI. Although I was told not to reveal this procedure, I do not sense any such prohibition from Her.

One should always try to visit the three main shrines of shrI kAmAkshI, shrI ekAmreshvara and shrI varadarAja, in that order, which is the order of their appearance in kAnchI as also the order in which the latter two attained the grace of the Supreme parAshakti. Even before that, one should begin with the very first gaNapati shrine that was installed in kAnchI maNDala which is located right at the turn to kAmAkshI temple (it is called shamkhapANi gaNesha). The fifth most important temple would be the kumAra koShTha.

If time permits, one should visit the shrines of aShTabhuja nArAyaNa, vAmana/trivikrama (Ulagalandha Perumal), kailAsanAtha, dIpaprakAsha Perumal, pANDava dUta Perumal and kacChapeshvara. The Upanishad brahmendra Matham which hosts a rAma yantra as also agastyeshwara and hayagriveshwara lingas to celebrate the spot of upadesha of shrI lalitA sahasranAma and trishatI, are also of great significance. There is a peculiar shrine dedicated to chitragupta frequented generally by dvijetaras.

Before entering the mukhya dvAra of shrI kAmAkAshI temple, an upAsaka performs Achamana with tattvatraya, mAtrikA nyAsa and ShoDashAkSharI nyAsa. As soon as he enters the shrine, on the right, to the top, he worships the bhairava with kAlabhairava aShTAdashAkSharI. As he steps into the mukhya maNTapa, he recites the dharaNI varAha mantra thrice before placing his foot into the maNTapa. While he enters the mukhya prAkAra, he worships mahAgaNapati to the right with his mUla mantra and displays danta, pAsha, laDDukAdi sapta mudrAs. To the left, he worships nAga subrahmaNya with skanda dvAdashAkSharI and displays shakti, mayUrAdi ShaNmudrAs. He then proceeds to the shrine devoted to sha~Nkara bhagavatpAda and recites gurupAdukA traya, dakShiNAmUrti mantra and seeks anujna from dakShiNAmUrti, displaying sumukhAdi pancha mudrAs. He then proceeds to the shrine of durvAsA and worships Parameshwara by reciting Yuga Guru pAdukA and ratnAdi shaiva pAdukAs as also the aShTa pAshupata mantras. After seeking permission from the great Guru while displaying gokhurAdi pancha mudrAs, one has the darshana of shrIvidyA parameshvarI in gAyatrI maNTapam. Based on the time of the day, one recites yathA shakti bAlA, panchadashI or bhairavI vidyAs followed by mUla vidyA (mahAShoDashI, parAShoDashI etc.), displaying dasha mahAmudrAs. After seeing ambA's mangaLa nIrAjana, one contemplates on mahApAdukA and loses bheda buddhi for a while. One should then accept kunkuma prasAda and apply the same to arUpa lakShmI while contemplating on the forms of sthUla and sUkShma kAmakalA mantras. He should then worship heramba located within kAmakoShTha with his mUla mantra. The upAsaka should have punardarshana of shrIvidyA parameshvarI and worship Lords gaNDabheruNDa nR^isiMha and mAyAvAmana in her karNa tATa~Nkas by reciting their mantras and displaying vanamAlA, chakra, shamkhAdi dvAtrimshanmudrAs. He should then worship nArAyaNa (azhagar) with rAjagopAla mahAmantra and display veNvAdi sapta mudrAs. This is followed by visits to the shrines of rAjashyAmalA, mahAvArAhI and annapUrNA, while reciting their mUla mantras and displaying appropriate mudrAs such as vINA, shuka etc. One should then worship utsava kAmAkShI with parA mantra and contemplate on devI hR^idaya vidyA. Finally, one should worship shAstA with the mantra of kalyANa shAstr and display khaDga, pAsha, karavAla and other mudrAs. I heard from many elderly upAsakas that offering Palada Pradhaman to the Lord here was a practice in olden days but that does not seem to be existent any more. One can then sit in front of the Utsava mUrti and recite sahasranAma, trishatI, stavaratna, shakti mahimnaH and aryA shataka, based on the availability of time. It is also advisable to visit the shrine of kAlI (known as Adi kAmAkShI) and worship bhagavatI kAlI with three mantras, dakShiNA kAlI, kAmakalA kAlI and kAlasamkarShiNI displaying muNDa, kAlakarNyAdi mudrAs. This marks the closure of the journey.

While it has been stated mantravashyAstu devatAH, that does not apply to the sAmrAjnI of devatas. rahasya sahasranAma states bhaktipriyA and bhaktivashyA and any act devoid of bhakti cannot please paradevatA. One can refer to the works of madhusUdana sarasvatI to see how a brilliant mImAmsaka accounts for bhakti and its indispensability.