The Dasa Mahavidyas.... Part 1
The tantrik worship of these most powerful Vidyas must be practiced only under the guidence of a siddha Guru.
In Tantra, worship of Devi-Shakti is referred to as a Vidya. Of the hundreds of tantrik practices, the worship of the ten major Devis is called the Dasa Mahavidya. These major forms of the goddess are described in the Todala Tantra. They are Kali, Tara, Maha Tripura Sundari (or Shodasi-Sri Vidya),Bhuvaneshvari, Chinnamasta, Bhairavi, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, Matangi, and Kamala. These ten aspects of Shakti are the epitome of the entire creation.
Dhumavati, the widow form, is not allocated a consort.
There are several "levels" at which these Devis can be worshiped with the prescribed Mantra and Yantra. Like a simple worship of the yantra with the mantra recitation, as a remedial astrological measure, elaborate worship with all tantrak rituals for attaining various siddhis associated with these tantras and for spiritual salvation.
Successful sadhana of these Vidyas gives several boons to the practitioner. The Tantrik-Yogi who has control over his senses and positively inclined uses the boons to guide people and for the benefit of mankind. The ones whose
head starts spinning with success use them for the gratification of the senses, gather a bunch of disciples around them and become fake gurus.
Todala Tantra equates Vishnu's Ten incarnations with the Ten Mahavidyas as follows:
"Shri Devi said: Lord of Gods, Guru of the universe, tell me of the ten avatars.
Now I want to hear of this, tell me of their true nature. Paramesvara, reveal to me which avatar goes with which Devi.
"Shri Shiva said: Tara Devi is the blue form, Bagala is the tortoise incarnation, Dhumavati is the boar, Chinnamasta is Nrisimha, Bhuvaneshvari is Vamana, Matangi is the Rama form, Tripura is Jamadagni, Bhairavi is Balabhadra,
Mahalakshmi is Buddha, and Durga is the Kalki form. BhagavatÌ Kali is the Krishna murti."
The worship of these is also prescribed as an astrological remedy - for the 9 planets and the Lagna as follows:
Kali for Saturn, Tara for Jupiter, Maha Tripura Sundari (or Shodasi-Sri Vidya) for Mercury, Bhuvaneshvari for Moon, Chinnamasta for Rahu, Bhairavi for Lagna, Dhumavati for Ketu, Bagalamukhi for Mars, Matangi for Sun, and
Kamala for Venus.
Kali Seated on a corpse, greatly terrifying, laughing loudly, with fearful fangs, four arms holding a cleaver, a skull, and giving the mudras bestowing boons and dispelling fear, wearing a garland of skulls, her tongue rolling wildly, completely
naked (digambara - clad in the directions), thus one should meditate on Kali, dwelling in the centre of the cremation ground.
"Kreem Kreem Kreem Hum Hum Hreem Hreem Dakshine Kaalika Kreem Kreem Kreem Hum Hum Hreem Hreem Swaha"
It bestows the eight supernatural powers.
The Kali Tantra gives details of the puja of Kalika:-
"Now I speak of the ritual injunction which is the all-nectar-giver of the Devi.
Doing this, a person becomes like Bhairava.
"Firstly, I speak of yantra, the knowing of which conquers death. At first draw a triangle. Outside, draw another. Then draw three more triangles. "Draw a circle and then a beautiful lotus. Then draw another circle and then a bhupura with
four lines and four doors. This is how the cakra should be drawn.
"Worship the guru line, the six limbs, and the dikpalas (The eight, or according to some, ten guardians of the directions). Then the mantrin should place his head at the feet of the guru.
"O dearest one, after worshipping the pedestal, set down the offering. Place the mantra in the six limbs. Then, within the heart lotus, the ultimate Kala blossoms.
"Place her in the centre of the yantra by invoking her (via the breath). After meditating on the great goddess, dedicate the ritual offerings. Bow to Mahadevi and then worship the surrounding deities.
"Worship Kali, Kapalini, Kulla, Kurukulla, Virodhini, Vipracitta in the six angles. Then Ugra, Ugraprabha, Dipta in the middle. Then Nila, Ghana and Balaka in the inner angle. Then Matra, Mudra and Mita within this triangle, and then the
very dusky one holding the sword, adorned with human skulls, with her left hand showing the threatening mudra and having a pure smile.
"Worship the eight mothers Brahmi, Narayani, Maheshvari, Chamunda, Kaumari, Aparajita, Varahi and Narasimhi.
"In equal shares, give these devis animal sacrifice and worship them, smearing them with scent and offering incense and flame. After doing the puja, worship using the root mantra.
"Give food and so forth to the Devi again and again. The sadhaka should offer flame ten times. So also he should offer flower with mantra according to the rules of ritual.
"After meditating on Devi, recite the mantra 1,008 times. The fruit of reciting, which is light, place in the hands of the Devi.
"Then, placing the flower on the head, do prostration. With supreme devotion, then rub out (the yantra)."
Tara is described as seated in the pratyalidha asana, on the heart of a corpse,supreme, laughing horribly, holding cleaver, blue lotus, dagger and bowl, uttering the mantra Hum, coloured blue, her hair braided with serpents, the Ugratara. She bestows all supernatural powers.
Her mantra is given in Mantra Mahodadhi as:
Om Hreem Streem Hum Phat
If Om is removed it becomes the Ekajata Mantra.
If Om & Phat both are removed it becomes Nila Saraswati Mantra
3. SRI CHAKRA PUJA
"Om Aim Hreem Shreem Sri Lalita Tripurasundari Padukam Poojayami Namah"
Chakra pooja or Yantra pooja is the worship of a deity in a diagrammatic form.
This type of worship exists in a lot of the other parts of the world also.
The worship of Devi in Shreechakra is regarded as the highest form of the Devi worship. Originally Lord Shiva gave 64 Chakras and their Mantras to the world, to attain various spiritual and material benefits. For his consort Devi he gave the Shreechakra and the highly coveted and the most powerful Shodashakshari mantra, which is the equivalent of all the other 64 put together.
It is said that in the beginning God, who was one, wanted to become many and enjoy himself. As the first step to creation he created Devi - the total cosmic Female force. For the male part, out of his left he created Shiva, out of his middle he created Brahma and out of his right he created Vishnu. That is why many regard the Devi as more powerful than the Trinities and hence She is called Parashakti or Paradevi - Para meaning beyond . Brahma created the universe. Vishnu controls and runs the universe. Shiva along with Shakti is engaged in the eternal dissolution and recreation of the universe. The Bindu in the center of the Shreechakra is the symbolic representation of the cosmic spiritual union of Shiva and Shakti. Apart from that the Shreechakra also embodies countless number of deities and represents the whole of creation.
Hence by worshipping the Devi in Shreechakra one is actually worshipping thehighest ultimate force in the Tantrik form.
The Shodashakshari mantra is one of the most guarded secretes of tantra.
Usually the Guru gives it to a highly deserving and tested disciple. Very few get it. Even in the Mantra Shastra, where all other mantras are openly and clearly given, the Shodashakshari Mantra is not directly given. Several hints about the mantra are given and you are asked to get the mantra if you are capable and deserving. The opening versus of the mantra shastra chapter on Shreechakra says, "Your head can be given, your soul can be given but the Shodashakshari
Mantra of the Devi can not be given". Various books and websites on Shreechakra have published what the
publishers thought is the Shodashakshari Mantra. Let me make it clear that those who know it will never publish it and those who publish it do not know it. I cannot give it to my wife or child. So don’t waste your full moon nights chanting
those long mantras.
However, Shreechakra can also be worshipped by other Devi mantras. There are several traditions of the worshipping the Shreechakra. I am giving here a very simple and still very effective pooja of Shreechakra. It is known as the Shreechakra Navavarana pooja as per the Khadgamala Vidhi. For all round spiritual and material benefits it is a highly effective pooja. Any one can perform it.
The Basics of Sri Yantra: Before starting the worship it is advisable to know about the way the Sri Yantra is constructed, what all it represents, about the 9 Avaranas, the deities, their gunas and significance, so that your worship is more meaningful. The following are the authentic details as given in various Tantra & Mantra scriptures.
Five downward pointing triangles representing Devi intersect with four upward pointing triangles representing Siva, forming 43 triangles including the central triangle..
From the five Shakti triangles comes creation and from the four Shiva triangles comes the dissolution. The union of five Shaktis and four Fires causes the chakra of creation to evolve.
At the centre of the bindu of the Shri Yantra is Kamakala, which has three bindus. One is red, one is white and one is mixed. The red bindu is Kurukulla the Female form, the white bindu is Varahi the Male form, and the mixed bindu is the union of Shiva & Shakti - the individual as the potential Shri Cakra.
Varahi, the father-form, gives four dhatus to the child and Kurukulla, the mother-form, gives five dhatus to the child. Theses represent the nine dhatus of the human body.
Varahi's four fires are the 12 (4 x 3) sun Kalas, the 12 Zodiac constellations.
Kurukulla's five triangles are the 15 (5 x 3) Kalas of the moon, 15 lunar Tithis.
These nine triangles also represent the nine stages of growth of the human child in the womb.
Surrounding the 43 triangles formed by the intersection of the nine triangles is the 16 petals circle. Surrounding the 16 petal circle is an 8 petal circle. After that the 3 lines and at the outermost part of the Sriyantra there are 3 lines
called the Bhupura.
The 43 triangles constitute the six inner sections called Avaranas, the two circles of petals are two more avaranas and the Bhupura of 3 lines is the last Avarana.
These 9 Avaranas of the Sri Yantra have various presiding Devis. They are the Devi's Parivar (retinue) of total 108. In the Srichakra pooja they are systematically worshipped one by one with their names and mantras. The presiding Deity of Srichakra, Devi, is Known as Lalita Tripura Sundari. The form of Devi Kamakshi of Kancheepuram is the closest resemblance of the Devi as described in the scriptures.
Lalita means The One Who Plays. All creation, manifestation and dissolution is considered to be a play of Devi. Tri-Pura means the three worlds and Sundari means beauty. She is the transcendent beauty of the three worlds.
Tripura also signifies:- She is the ruler of the the three gunas of Satva, Rajas and Tamas; and sun, moon and fire - the zodiac and the planets, and therefore Time itself;
She is also "tripura" as Will (Iccha), Knowledge (Jnana) and Action (Kriya). She is also "tripura" as intellect, feelings & physical sensation; and She is triple as the three states of the soul - awakening, dreaming and -sleeping states. Her five triangles also represent the Pancha Tatwas and the Pancha Bhootas. This is what the verse in Lalita Sahasranama means by -"Panchami pancha bhuteshi pancha sankhyopacharini ". It is difficult to say what She is not.
Lalita holds five flowery arrows, noose, goad and bow. The noose represents attachment, the goad represents repulsion, the sugarcane bow represents the mind and the flowery arrows are the five sense objects.
The Nava Avaranas (Nine Corridors) of the Sri Yantra
Sri Chakra worship is one of the most guarded secrets of tantra and the Sri Yantra is the most guarder Yantra.
"Nairutaicha Ganeshanaam Sooryam Vayuvya eevacha
Eeshane Vishnu Agneye Shivamchaiva prapoojayet"
The top left hand side corner of the Shreechakra is gaurded by Lord Ganesha.
The top right hand side corner is guarded by Lord Surya. The bottom right side corner is guarded by Lord Vishnu and at the bottom left corner of the Shreechakra is guarded by Lord Shiva.
After that the eight primordial directions are guarded by the eight Lokapalas.
Indra guards the East, Agni guards the South East, Yama guards the South, Nirriti guards the South West, Varuna guards the West, Vayu guards the North East, Soma guards the North and Ishana guards the North East.
As if this is not enough, each of the first eight Avaranas are guarded by eight Bhairavas and eight Bhairavis! What is more these 64 pairs of Bhairavas & Bhairavis are assisted by 10 million yoginis each - total 640 million (64 crores).
This is what the verse in Lalita Sahasranama says --"Maha chatu-shshashtikoti yogini ganasevita .."
Yes. Reaching Her is a bit difficult!