Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Neel Saraswathi

Saraswati's different forms

 MahaSaraswati  is the presiding Goddess of the Final episode of Devi Mahatmya. Here she is a part of the trinity of MahaKali, MahaLakshmi and MahaSaraswati. She is depicted as eight armed.  MahaSaraswati destroyed Sumbha and other asuras. 

 MahaNeel Saraswati (Mahavidya Neel Saraswati)
  Mahaneel Saraswati, or NeelSaraswati, is another form of Mahavidya Tara  or UgraTara, or Ugrajataa. This form is mainly associated and has a mixture of the Mahaayana and the Vajraayana sects of Buddhism. Goddess Tara is said to be Vaak-siddhi-pradayini (bestower of the different mystic powers of speech).
 Matangi (Mahavidya)

  Matangi or Mahavidya has a dark emerald complexion and has three eyes, holding the veena, and is the another (Tantric) form of the Goddess Saraswati. The Goddess Meenakshi at Madurai is worshipped as Matangi.  

 Saraswati's mythological stories

 In the Rig-Veda (6,61,7), Saraswati is credited, in association with Indra, with killing the serpentine being Vritraasura, a demon which hoarded all of the earth's water and so represents drought, darkness, and chaos. She is often seen as equivalent to other Vedic goddesses such as Vak, Savitri, and Gayatri. Saraswati represents intelligence, consciousness, cosmic knowledge, creativity, education, enlightenment, music, the arts, and power. She is not only worshipped for secular knowledge, but for the true divine knowledge essential to achieve moksha. She is also referred to as Shonapunya, a Sanskrit word meaning ‘one purified of blood’. In some Puranas (like Skanda Purana) she is associated with Shiva and in some Tantras with Ganesha.
   According to Brahma Vaivarta Purana 2.6.13-95 Vishnu has three wives, who constantly quarrel with each other, so that eventually, he keeps only Lakshmi, giving Ganga to Shiva and Saraswati to Brahma.
Brahma created the universe with the help of Saraswati. Brahma was the guardian of the cosmos. He too needed Saraswati’s support to sustain the cosmos. Using her knowledge he instituted and maintained dharma, sacred laws that ensure stability and growth in society. Brahma also needed the help of Lakshmi, goddess of wealth, who gave him the wherewithal to ensure cosmic order. The question arose: who did Brahma need more? Lakshmi or Saraswati? Wealth or knowledge? The goddesses argued, “Knowledge does not fill an empty stomach.” Said Saraswati. “Wealth keeps man alive but gives no meaning to life.” Said  Saraswati. “I need both knowledge and wealth to sustain the cosmos. Without knowledge I cannot plan. Without wealth I cannot implement a plan. Wealth sustains life; the arts give value to life. Thus both Lakshmi and Saraswati are needed to live a full life. 

Neel Saraswathi

Neel Saraswathi

The advent of Saraswati Puja always reminds me of the popularity it has among the school and college going students since my early childhood. I was always eager to see the idols placed in decorative pendals with the odour of incense and brightness of flowers. It was like Devi Saraswati emerging with all whiteness among the fog to remind us of the purity she enjoys in our hearts.
With passage of time and closeness of my grandmother late Dr Nirmalprabha Bardoloi, I got attracted towards the indological research very deeply. Though I am a student of Biotechnology, I always feel inclined towards the deep, mysteries lying around us. Coming back to the topic, I am always fascinated by the different forms and shapes of the idols with numerous hues, colours, symbols to name a few. My grandmother, whom we used to call `Aimoni' is a new name having numerous literary, creative works in addition to three indological treatise on Devi, Shiva and Surya, of which I was the co- author of the last one. Though she is no more, she always told me to prepare materials for a book on Ganesha cult.

I came across a book on Ganesha written by an European author at Centre for Asiatic and Oriental studies, Kolkatta around spring of 2001. It was a small and concise book. There I saw an article on the relation between Ganesha and Matangi, the 9th great wisdom goddess of India. At that very moment, a thought struck my mind, the concept of Matangi and Saraswati, its relation with each other. Matangi was consort of Ganesha in that book, on the other hand, Saraswati was the consort of Brahma and yet outward expression of Matangi. Saraswati is one of the most popular goddesses in entire India with a living tradition of thousand years from the time of Vedas. In fact, one of our great rivers was Saraswati, that disappeared in the golden sands of time. According to Tantra, Kali, Tara, Bhairavi, Saraswati and Matangi resembles in many dimensions. Kali is also Neel Saraswati, Neel Saraswati is also Tara, Saraswati is also Matangi and Matangi is also Saraswati with a darker aspect of Kali.

Saraswati is revered as the Goddess of wisdom, knowledge, music and intellect. On the other hand, like Saraswati, Matangi also plays a vina and rules over music or audible sound in general, not just the spoken word. She is the manifest form of song. She is the vibratory sound, Nada, that flows in the subtle channels, Nadis down through our entire body and mind. Matangi is the form of Saraswati directed towards inner knowledge. She is her dark, mystic, ecstatic or wild form. In fact white lotus is accustomed with Saraswati and Dark blue lotus is close with Matangi. Lotus stands for wisdom in Indian tradition. Saraswati is often a Goddess of only ordinary learning, art and culture. Matangi rules over the beyond ordinary, which takes us across the limits of the conventional. Matangi is an outcast, as she is called Ucchista Chandali who goes against the norms of society, while Saraswati represents the knowledge and virtue of the sanskritised or classical classes which never depart from the propriety. Matangi allied with the transforming energy of Kali foms that portion of Saraswati, which intrigues our mind in finding a comprehensive relation between the fair and darker side. In fact the timing of Saraswati Puja marks the transformation of dark, colder side towards warmer, sunshine.
Though the Dhyana Mantra of Matangi describes about the relation of a daughter to sage Matanga, it actually literally means a thought or an opinion. She is the word as the embodiment of thought. She is the Goddess of the spoken word and of any outward articulation of inner knowledge, including all forms of art, music and dance. As earlier mentioned, Matangi is the last of the three Goddesses who relate to the divine word, the other two being Tara and Bhairavi. Neel Saraswati is the tantric buddhist form of Tara of deep learning and eloquence. Tara stands for illumined word, Bhairavi stands for unmanifest form of speech and Matangi for spoken word. Matangi can also represent the middle form of speech, which governs the ideas that we are putting into words and thereby our thinking process. The highest role of Matangi is that of Para-Vaikhari or the supreme words manifest through audible speech, the truly direct revelation of the highest knowledge in human speech from which all true scriptures and knowledge arises. As such Matangi encompasses all levels of speech.
In our local traditions, we always relate Saraswati to the throat and tongue, the speech, the word. When glancing through the pages of a book on Kundalini Tantra, I came across the Vishuddhi Chakra, the throat chakra of the seven important whorls in our cosmic or ethereal body. Vishuddhi chakra is known as the `purification center'. The Sanskrit word shuddhi means `to purify', and in this chakra the purifying and harmonising of all opposites takes place. Also called as `nectar and poison center', here the nectar which drips down from Bindu Visarga is said to be split into the pure form and the poison. The poison is discarded and the pure nectar then nourishes the body and mind. Like the Swan, which can differentiate the milk mixed with water, likewise this Chakra can differentiate the range of purity. Matangi resides in the throat chakra, the center of speech. Speech is the audible perception of the alphabets arranged in a certain manner. The sixteen petals of the Vishuddhi chakra has one Sanskrit vowel (A to Ah) in each petal. In the pericarp of this lotus is a circle which is white like the full moon, representing the element of akasha. Within this moon shape is a snow white elephant, also symbolic of the akasha element. By meditation on Vishuddhi chakra, the mind becomes pure like akasha. The elephant that resides in the Throat chakra resembles Ganesha with a special relation with Matangi, the darker side of Saraswati. Matangi also resides on the tip of the tounge, the place wherein speech is articulated and wherein we are able to taste the essences of things. Along with Ida, Pingala and Sushumna, there is a special nerve or channel of the subtle body called Saraswati that runs from the Third Eye to the tip of the tounge, which relates to her. This is the stream of inspiration from the mind to its expression through speech. The divinity, the creativity gets crystallized when Matangi flows through this channel as bliss or Sat chit ananda.

The seed syllable of Saraswati and Matangi is the same i.e. Aim. It is seed syllable of wisdom, learning, teaching and inner voice of the eternal guide. The meditational approaches of Matangi is quite familiar with the emergence of Saraswati, the goddess of alphabets, words and speech. Chanting of vowels from the Throat Chakra to the Root Chakra i.e. Mooladhara through all the alphabets is like the emergence of gross matters from pure essence, the akasha, the space nature of throat. The essence of purity is Saraswati, the consort of Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe. Though Throat Chakra is silvery white, its ruling deity is Sadashiva and Matangi, the darker side of Saraswati. The essence of deeper side in all the creatures, in all the gross matters of this universe.
The black and white sketches on a canvas always have an appealing side in the inquisitive eyes. It always have a deep impact on our life, our essence. Saraswati, the whiter part is itself the words and thoughts. Matangi, the darker side in her transcendent meaning is the silence of the self nature, which is the real essence and power behind all words and thoughts. Matangi is the next step of Sarswati, the speech and art energised towards transcendence, to obtain the ultimate goal, the bliss, the Sat Chit Ananda or verily called Nirvana. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Shri Jvalamukhi Devi

Shri Jvalamukhi Devi

I meditate in my heart on that beautiful jewel throne of bindu and nada, the circle of consciousness, in that cavity where a bright lightning-like colour competes with the effulgence of a pale red gem - Matrikabheda Tantra

Her name means 'Fiery Mouth', and while this is a synonym for a volcano, her name refers to her main cult site where a natural flame has burnt for time immemorial.
As Lalita represents the Waxing moon and Kali represents the Waning moon, this third goddess unites the two. Here, Kali represents moon, Lalita represents sun, but Jvalamukhi represents fire, and the primordial property of fire, which is to reduce all to ashes. Ashes are sacred to Shiva and to all sadhus. There is even an Upanishad which deals with the miraculous properties of ash -- the Brihad Jabala Upanishad.

It is this ash which is left after the body is consumed on the funeral pyre. The cremation ground is sacred in Natha symbolism. Further the ash produced by Jvalamukhi's fire is the ash of all material things at the end of time. It is also the ash left after sexual intercourse, and has sacred and healing properties. The dhooni is the sacred fire of the Naths and the sadhus. These fires were kept lit for so many years that there exist hills of ashes (bhasmagiri) all over India.

Just as Lalita and Kali have their own internal symbolism, their own mantras and their own yantras, so too with Jvalamukhi. The following extract is from the "Five Limbs of Jvalamukhi", a compilation including the worship details, yantra, mantras and 1,000 names of this goddess:

"Shri Bhairava said -- Listen Devi as I speak to you of Jvalamukhi, the essence of all, and her encompassing Devis, the knowledge which is hard to get, even for gods. Shri Devi said -- O Thou With Matted Locks! You are the Lord of All, Knower of all Shastras. From you lotus-like mouth I have heard many books and puja injunctions. O Natha, I pray You, speak to me of Jvalamukhi's great mantra, yantra, puja, and sadhana, her limbs and her practice.

"Shri Bhairava said -- Listen, O goddess Bhairaveshvari, to the mantra, yantra and limbs. I will speak of her rituals and sadhana. One should conceal and keep this very secret. There is one method to transcend this great universe, cruel and devoid of love O Maheshvari. This is by employing the mantra Hamsa.

"O Deveshi, this mantra was revealed by the eternal grace of Jvalamukhi. This mantra caused the creation of the Universe and the Maintenance of all that moves. (She said) "Day and night I create, I withdraw and I maintain. Whoever has obtained this mantra bestowing prosperity has attained the ultimate power of dominion. Jvalamukhi is the world mother, the very essence of the three gunas.

"By sattvas She creates the universe, by rajas She maintains, and by tamas She withdraws --therefore She is the self of the three gunas. She is the mother of the three worlds, the mother of the Devis. Listen attentively, Parameshvari, as I relate to you her mantra, yantra, meditation image, limbs and puja.

"In the Agamas the fixed rule is to commence with the mantra. This I now declare, Mahadevi. One should not reveal it, except to sincere seekers. At first pronounce Om, then Hrim Shrim Jvalamukhi mama sarvashatrun bhakshaya bhakshaya Hum Phat Svaha. This is the mantra of Jvalamukhi, and gives power over time, whatsoever is desired, wiping out (sins such as) killing brahmins or a guru or a woman, or eating what should not be eaten, or having sexual intercourse with those with whom it is evil, such as one's mother or one's children. This mantra is the washer-away of all this, O Devi, this is true, without doubt.

"Now listen, Deveshi, to the unfolding of the highest of the high of yantras. One should carefully conceal this bestower of enjoyment and liberation. At first one should make a hexangle consisting of interlacing triangles. In the centre one should draw a triangle, and in its centre should place the bindu, the abode of Shiva. In the central triangle and bindu is the great temple of Jvalamukhi. In the upper triangle is the Sundari Temple, it is said. In the lower triangle is the Dakshina Kalika Temple. Then one should draw a circle, and draw eight petals, outside of this drawing 16 petals. Outside this one should draw 10 petals. Outside of this one should draw three circles, and then an earth-square.

"This yantra of Jvalamukhi is like the creation of the qualities of the three worlds. One should not give it to the pupil of another, or to a bad person, or else one incurs the sin of killing a brahmin. Now listen to the layanga, Deveshi, worshipped by Brahma and Vishnu. O Deveshi, whosoever has this King of Yantras has whatever he desires.

"In the four doors one should worship the four protectors of the doors -- Ganesha, Dharmaraja, Vasuki and Nrisimhi. In the east is Gananatha, in the south Dharmaraja, in the west Vasuki, and in the north one should worship Narasimha.

"Then one should worship in the 16 petals the 16 Jvalas (Flames). By doing this in an anticlockwise direction, O Devi, one may gain various magical results. (They are) 1) Varuni 2) Vatyali 3) Varahi 4) Kulasundari 5) Kuvari 6) Kulika 7) Kunthi 8) Kutsita 9) Kutila 10) Kuhu 11) Kunti 12) Kumbeshvari 13) Kunti 14) Kuchari 15) Karuni 16) Kriti. These are the 16 Jvalas.

"Then in the eight petal lotus one should worship the eight maidens 1) Maya 2) Mohini 3) Bala 4) Bhagarupini 5) Bhagavasa 6) Bhirunda 7) Mridani 8) Baindaveshvari. These renowned maidens one should worship in the Chakra of the eight petals.

"Then one should worship the 10 givers of happiness of Jvalamukhi, O Parvati. If one does so in an anti-clockwise manner one gains success in the sadhana most certainly. 1) Brahmi 2) Shambhavi 3) Durga 4) Varahi 5) Kulakamini 6) Narasimhi 7) Kaumari 8) Matangi 9) Bhadra-Kalika 10) Ugratara. These renowned Devis are the 10 Kalas of Jvala.

"True sadhakas should worship in these 10 petals and then in the triangle above should worship Tripurasundari. In the triangle below one should worship Dakshina Kalika. In the centre one should worship Devi Jvalamukhi (with her attendants) Jvalini, Jatini, Jata and Jalandhari. Thus the layanga has been spoken to you.

Jvalamukhi avarana yantra
[The numbers in the yantra, above, correspond to the following attendants or avarana deities:

Central Figure
1. Jvalamukhi 2. Tripurasundari 3. Kalika 4. Jati 5. Jatini 6. Jvalini. 7. Jalandhari
Eight Petals
8. Brahmi 9. Ugratara 10. Bhadrakali 11. Matangi 12. Kaumari 13. Narasimhi 14. Kulakamini 15. Varahi 16. Durga 17. Shambhavi

Ten Petals

18. Maya 19. Baindaveshvari 20. Mridani 21. Bhirunda 22. Bhagavasa 23. Bhagarupini 24. Bala 25. Mohini

Sixteen Petals

26. Varuni 27. Kriti 28. Karuni 29. Kucari 30. Kunta 31. Kumbheshvari 32. Kunti 33. Kuhu 34. Kutila 35. Kutsita 36. Kunthi 37. Kulika 38. Kuvari 39. Kulasundari 40. Varahi 41. Vatyali

42. Vasuki 43. Narasimha 44. Ganesha 45. Dharmaraja 46. Dhadisha Mudra 47. Lavanasa Mudra 48. Sudhasa Mudra 49. Kshirasa Mudra 50. Three Pitha Asana 51. Rudra's Lotus Asana 52. Corpse Asana 53. Lotus Asana 54. Dispelling Fear 55. Giving Boons 56. Arrow 57. Lotus ]
"Now, Mahesvari, listen to the meditation images. Having meditated on Mahadevi in this manner, O Devi, a mantrin becomes the equal of Bhairava. Seated on a volcanic mountain, three eyed, seated on a triple pedestal, wearing flaming clothes and gems, beautiful of face, in the centre of a six-fold chakra, giving boons, holding an arrow and a lotus and dispelling fear, the form of awake-awareness, the cause of light in everything, (in this way) I bow to Jvalamukhi!

"With large swelling breasts, her face resembling the rising of a crescent moon, holding in her left hand a blossoming lotus-seed rosary, with her right hand dispelling fear, her beautiful body marked with three lines, seated in the centre of a triangle in an 11 petalled lotus, thus I remember Jvalamukhi.

"Like a particle of the rising moon, with a moon kala as her crest gem, with three beautiful eyes, seated in the centre of a 12 petal lotus seat, swaying with wine-intoxication, her body marked with three lines, surrounded by Jvala and the other Kula Maidens, (thus) I bow to Jvalamukhi, her transcendent majesty, mother of the three worlds. The three meditation images with their tantra and mantra have thus been declared."

Her mantra. This is one of those vidyas (a vidya is a female mantra) which has some direct meaning. The translation is Om Hrim Shrim O Jvalamukhi, Consume! Consume my Enemies! Hum Phat Svaha.

The gayatri. The gayatri is a mantra pronounced at the four twilights of dawn, midday, sunset and midnight. Each tantriki god or goddess has her or his own version. Jvalamukhi's is Om Jvalarupinyai Vidmahe Jagadbhakshinyai Dhimahi Tanno Jvale Prachodayat. This means: Om Let us be aware of the fiery form, let us meditate on the consumer of the world, may that fire direct our thoughts. To contrast the gayatris of Lalita and Kali: Om Let us be aware of Kalika, let us meditate on the dweller in the cremation ground, may that terrifying form direct our thoughts. Om Let us be aware of Tripura, let us meditate on the lady of sexuality, may that wet one direct our thoughts.

Her yantra. This is illustrated above. Firstly we have to consider that her attendants are Sundari and Kalika, in the top and bottom triangles of the hexagram. The four attendants are in the other angles. The Devi herself is in the bindu of the yantra, as usual. The petals are to be understood as follows: There are 27 Jvalas or flames. These are the maidens in the inner circle of 10 petals and the outer circle of 16 petals. Jvalamukhi herself is the 27th. The circle of eight petals contains the eight Kula maidens. (See Kulachudamani Ch 3).

Dharmaraja is the god of death (Yama). Vasuki is the king of the nagas or serpents. Nrisimha is an avatar of Vishnu. In the intermediate points are four mudras, and the Devi's four weapons which are arrow, lotus, dispelling fear and giving boons.

The four attendants of Jvalamukhi in four angles of the hexagram are Jati and Jatini -- terms denoting the hairstyle of the sadhu or sadhvini (female sadhu). These are similar to dreadlocks. Jvalini means the flaming one. Jalandhari is the goddess at the sacred centre called Jalandhara.

The attendants of the goddess are worshipped from the outside of the circle to the centre. The order is as follows: Ganesh, Dharmaraja, Vasuki, Narasimha. The 16 Jvalas. The eight Kula maidens. The 10 Jvalas. Tripurasundari. Dakshina Kalika. Shri Jvalamukhi Devi in sexual union with Mahadeva-Bhairava in the centre. The four mudras. The four weapons. The four pithas or bases of this Devi.

Various rites. The most important rite in her worship is a puja in which the 21,600 breaths are situated on the body of the worshipper. Each section is identified with the seven chakras. In the four petals is Ganapati and 600 breaths. In the six petals is Brahma and 6,000 breaths. In the 10 petals is Vishnu and 6,000 breaths. In the 12 petals is Rudra and 6,000 breaths. In the 16 petals is the embodied being and 1,000 breaths. In the two petals is the Paramatma and 1,000 breaths. In the 1,000 petal lotus are the two lotus feet of the Guru and 1000 breaths.

After this rite one is to resolve to pronounce the mantra Hamsa, which is called Ajapajapa, a word which means the non-recited mantra which is recited -- referring to the Ha Sa or sun moon breaths that every man and every woman makes 21,600 times a day.

We quote again from the "Five Limbs": Om, of this Shri Ajapajapa Gayatri mantra Hamsa is the Seer, Avyakta Gayatri is the Metre, Shri Paramatma Paramahamsa is the Devata, Ham is the Seed, Sah is the Shakti, So-aham is the Linchpin. The application is liberation from the sadhana of the unrecited mantra. Om Aim Hrim Shrim. Hail to the Rishi Hamsa on the head. (4) Hail to Avyakta Gayatri the Metre on the mouth. (4) Hail to the Devata Shri Paramahamsa in the heart. (4) Hail to the Seed Ham in the genitals. (4) Hail to the Shakti Sah on the feet. (4) Hail to the Heavenly Fragrance So-aham on the navel.

21,600. This number, divided by 27, is equivalent to the 27 lunar mansions (nakshatras) of Hindu astrology. Hamsa has the literal meaning of swan, and is said to be the vehicle of Brahma. But Brahma's true vehicle is Hamsa as 21600. A paramahamsa is an individual above (parama) Hamsa, that is to say one in whom sun and moon have ceased to revolve, a liberated being, free from time.

The 36 Tattvas. These tattvas are the cause of much confusion and are often viewed as if they were an emanationary system. This seems quite incorrect. The first two tattvas are Shiva and Shakti. These two are inseparable. Surrounding them are the three Shaktis of the supreme called Iccha, Jnana and Kriya. It is these three who give rise to all triangles, that is to say to all creation. It is this multitude of Shaktis which collectively is Maya. Maya is limitation through delusion. This delusion is caused by the number of possibilities. Maya Tattva is said to wear five kanchukas or bodices. Two of these are parallels of Shiva and Shakti -- limitation in respect of space and time. These two primordial restrictions give rise to three others, which themselves are reflections of Iccha, Jnana and Kriya. The first is limited desire, the second limited knowledge and the third limited activity.

An individual deluded by Maya consists of Shiva and Shakti under the terms purusha and prakriti. Purusha is the embodied Shiva, prakriti the embodied Shakti. Being deluded by Maya, the three primordial Shaktis of Iccha, Jnana and Kriya take the form of ego (ahankar), intelligence (buddhi) and memory or Association (manas). Incarnated in the five elements of space, fire, air, earth and water, the embodied being has five powers to sense, five powers to act, and five Impressions. These together make the 36 tattvas. It is the delusion of Maya which prevents an individual from realising her or his oneness with Shiva-Shakti and the three primordial Shaktis of Iccha, Jnana and Kriya.

Shri Kurukulla Devi

Shri Kurukulla Devi

Thou art the Adya Parama Shakti. Thou art all power. It is by thy power that we, the trinity, are powerful in the acts of creation, preservation and destruction. Endless and of varied colour and form are thy appearances, and various are the strenuous efforts whereby the worshippers may realise them - Mahanirvanatantra V, 2 (Woodroffe edition)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sri Sarabeswara

Overcome difficulties, both natural and man-made
Are you oppressed by superiors in profession?
Are you threatened by blackmailers and miscreants?
Are you ill-treated by the family members?
Then, worship Lord Sarabeswara, who will come to your rescue readily.

The present day world is affected by natural calamities like earthquake, tsunami, floods, cyclone and lightning, besides man-made afflictions causing Ozone-belt depletion, Nuclear Holocaust, Abichara Prayoga, accidents, etc. The worship of Sri Sarabeswara, the most powerful manifestation of Lord Shiva, is very essential to combat these evils and to save the mankind from such catastropies. It is but curious to note that Lord Rudra, true to his name, took the avatar of Sri Sarabeswara to control the anger of Sri Narasimha (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu) , when the latter did not get appeased, even after annihilating the demon King Hiranya Kasipu.

Sri Sarabeswara in Vedas and ancient worksThe advent of Sri Sarabeswara has been vividly mentioned in Atharva Veda, Linga Purana, Skanda Purana and Brahmanda Purana. Special mention is also made in Rigveda and Thaitriya as well, at the Uttara bhaga of Sri Lalitha Sahasranama.

"Paayaanno Deva: Sarabasthva Payaath
Sathaarirogath Vipinorakaapyam
Vaiswanaro Kugari Ritchakebya:
Prethebyo Bhoothebyo Rusha: Krudanthan" ||
(Atharva Veda)

The Veda mantras affirm that all our sins are wiped off by chanting the powerful mantra of Sri Sarabha. Sage Veda Vyasa in his Linga Purana (96th Chapter) categorically says that those who worship Sri Sarabeswara, will get rid of all the afflictions caused by bad dreams, chronic ailments, poisonous bites, besides the great disasters caused by earthquake, floods, cyclone, thunder, lightning and such bad conglomerations.

"Sarva Vigna Prasamanam, Sarva Vyadi Vinasanam
Arichakra Prasamanam, Sarva Dukka Vinasanam,
Atraanyothpada Bookamba thaavagni Paamasu Vrishtisu
Thatho duswapna Samanam, Sarvabhootha Nivaranam,
Vishagraha Kshayakaram Puthra powthraadhi Vardhanam,
Thathraksha Daaranam Kuryaath Jangamaangey Varaananey"|| Linga Purana - 96

Avatar of Lord Sarabeswara: According to the Puranas, Hiranya Kasipu, the demon king, due to augmented audacity and ego, proclaimed himself as 'God' and entreated everybody to worship him. His pious and upright son Sri Prahlada refuted his father's action, by saying that only Lord Vishnu (Narayana) is the protector of the universe who is an all pervader. Out of rage and being exasperated by his son's continued disobedience, one day Hiranya hit one of the pillars in his palace with his mace, to find out whether Lord Narayana was hiding there, as believed by his son. To make his devotee's words come true, Lord Narayana appeared from inside the broken pillar, in the form of Narasimha, a man with a Lion's head, who killed the demon King in an encounter. Unfortunately His anger and fierceness did not subside, even after annihilation of the demon and the three worlds trembled in fear. All the Devas headed by Lord Brahma appealed to Lord Shiva to appease the anger of Lord Narasimha. The compassionate Lord Shiva sent His lieutenant Agora Veerabhadra to do the job, but it went in vain. The 'rajoguna' caused by tasting the blood of the demon did not let Lord Narasimha to calm down. Veerabhadra unable to subdue Sri Narasimha, prayed to Lord Shiva to intervene. There appeared the most terrible form of a combination of man, bird and animal. It was a queer combination of man with Saraba (Bird) and Yaali (animal), celebratedly known and worshipped by the name Sri Sarabeswara, being the Thirtieth avatar of Lord Shiva amongst His Sixty four incarnations.

Sri Sarabeswara, sporting two huge wings, (representing Soolini Durga and Prathyankira Devi), eight legs, the nose of an eagle, four arms carrying fire, serpent, a deer and the ankus, with fingers having sharp nails looking very fierce and turbulent, came flying and comforted Sri Narasimha with his two wings to calm down. But the fiery energy stored in the latter came out in the form of a bird called 'Kandaberunda' and started to fight with Sri Sarabha and this divine encounter continued for eighteen days. Lord Sarabeswara decided to conclude this 'sport'. By His will, Goddess Prathyankira Devi came out of one of his wings, took a huge physical form, gulped the 'Kandaberunda'bird and brought its end. Sri Narasimha realising his erroneous action, praised Lord Sarabeswara with beautiful epithets, which later became the Ashtothra (108 Names) of the victorious Lord. Lord Shiva then revealed to all the Devas that "to annihilate the Asura, Lord Narasimha came, and to appease Lord Narasimha, I have come as Sarabeswara. Be aware that we are both one and the same like water and water, milk and milk, ghee and ghee, both inseparable and to be worshipped as one".

"Yatha Jaley Jalam, Kshiptham, Ksheeram, Ksheeray Kruthang Kruthey|
Yekayeva Thatha Vishnu: Shiva Leetho Nachanyatha"||

Lord Brahma, out of gratitude for saving the universe from the anger of Sri Narasimha, worshipped Lord Sarabeswara with "Sri Sarabeswara Ashtothra". At the very appearance of Lord Sarabeswara glittering like thousand Suns, the rage of Narasimha subsided and the entire universe heaved with relief. Let Sri Sarabeswara protect us for ever, from any disaster.

Gayatri Mantra of Sri Sarabeswara: "Saluvesaya Vidmahey Pakshi rajaya Deemahi Tanno Sarabha: Prachodayath" ||

Sri Durga, the consort of Sri Sarabeswara:

Sri Durga, the Supreme warrior Goddess, out of all the 64 manifestations of Lord Shiva, specially liked and adored the form of Sri Sarabeswara and became His consort. Durga Sahasranama, bears ample testimony to this fact. Being Herself a great warrior, no wonder, She liked the most valiant Sri Sarabeswara - the greatest of all the warriors, who subdued the invincible Lord Narasimha.

Sarabeswara Temples in South India:

Between the towns of Kumbakonam and Mayiladuturai, at a place called Thirubhuvanam, Lord Sarabeswara is being worshipped as 'Kampakeswara' attributed to be the places where Brahma worshipped him. There are also other places of worship for Sri Sarabeswara at Gangai Konda Cholapuram, Dharapuram, Karaikkudi, Thiruvannamalai, Chidambaram etc., In the vicinity of Chennai, Sri Sarabeswara is worshipped at Denupureswarar Temple (at Madambakkam near Tambaram), at Trisoolam Temple (Near Meenambakkam) and also at Kurungaleeswarar Temple at Koyambedu.

Lord Sarabeswara as Saviour: As already mentioned, the worship of Sri Sarabeswara is the most efficacious and timely one, among the Hindu Gods. Those who are suffering due to oppression from superiors in their profession, those who are ill-treated by elders and affluent relatives in their family, those who are threatened by blackmailers and miscreants to collect booty, and last but not the least, those who want to overcome difficulties both natural and man-made, should worship the most compassionate and valiant Sri Sarabeswara. He will come to their rescue readily.

Neela Kantaya Rudraya Sivaya Sasimousiney,
Bavaya Bava Nathaya Pakshirajaya theynamaha:|
Gangadaraya Sambaya Paramananda Thejasey,
Sarvesvaraya Santhaya Sarabaya Namo Namaha: ||

"Salutation to Lord Shiva, the most compassionate One, who radiates kindness and bliss all over. He appears with a blue-coloured neck, carrying river Ganga and the crescent Moon on His head. He removes all our sins and re-births, as the supreme Lord of the Universe. He is also known by various other names like Neelakanta, Rudra. Bavanatha, Gangadara, Sambava, Sarveswara etc. He came as the monarch of all the birds as "Pakshiraja", whom we adore as "Sri Sarabeswara", to protect us from the evils

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Five Limbs (Panchanga) of Bala

The Five Limbs (Panchanga) of Bala

Listen, Virachamunda, to the characteristics of jiva. It is supreme, whole, eternal, consisting of nothing, stainless. It is the ultimate atomic particle, the Natha, it is supreme Shiva, all pervading, it is above all, it is Hamsa, the soul of Shakti. It is the mind, the breath, the buddhi and the chitta, residing in the inspiration and expiration of the breath of all living beings. - Kaulajnananirnaya, VI, 4-6.

Bala Tripurasundari Shakti Sadhana