Friday, 12 April 2019

In the praise of Devī Annapūrņā



Contemplating upon His own essence, Paramayogī Śiva stopped at the pinnacle of all existence. There, existence itself was reduved to Śūnya or nothingness, that He reached after rejecting all matter, all mind, all drives and impulses as Māyā (illusion). In that void divested of all names and forms, all that He could experience was pure blemishless consciousness. It was all transcendent, unchanging, eternal; but was that the absolute perfection?
Where was the throbbing motion of life, the dynamism of creation, the intensity of joy and love? Śiva soon realised that His consciousnes, though pure and eternal, was but cold and inert as the silent peaks of Mount Kailāśa.

It was ‘A’ (), the first of all alphabets, which though without anything beyond itself, had no expansion or contraction. Though pure, it was far from being perfect or Pūrņa. It was now that Śiva longed for someone's company, someone’s intense embrace, someone to overwhelm His empty being with the warmth of love and fullness.
That One was eternally co-existent with Himself, His own heart whose presence He felt as His chest throbbed with the touch of Her Lotus Feet as She moved to manifest Herself. Inherently pulsating as the core substance of His very existence and also present externally, She made Herself felt only when Śiva decided to rise beyond the state of nothingness. As she smiled, he found himself in the tight embrace of his own 'self'; and with the intensification of '', reflected into itself and doubled into 'Ā’ (), He was already overpowered by the grandeur of Her omnipotent bliss of fullness which poured itself out as the mighty will to multiply (एकोहं बहुस्यामः).

With a begging bowl in his hand, He prayed, “By Thy Will, let me become many.”
Her overflowing fullness spread all around, prodded by its own nature to expand and contract.
Where was the void now?
What seemed to be a void till then now proved to be a grand storehouse of infinite potentials to be and become. In place of the vacant nothingness, now there was the full awareness of his complete being vested with a perfect 'I'-ness (पूर्णाहन्ता), by the grace of Hers who though transcended all, rejected nothing.
Every level of existence was filled with Her own pervasiveness and energy. All that was earlier rejected as Māyā, now reappeared as a living body of Truth. Even the experience of the grossest form of matter, Anna (food), was now an extention of this all encompassing perfection of Hers, who bore the name “Annapūrņā”.

May She, whose storehouse is inexhaustible, grace us today on the auspicious occassion of Annapūrņā Pūjā.

“annapūrņe sadāpūrņe śańkaraprāņavallabhe | jnānavairāgya siddhyarthańģ bhīkşāńģ dehi ca pārvatī ||”

Jaya Mā _/|\_

A Poem on Devī Annapūrņā


অন্নপূর্ণা উত্তরিল গাঙ্গিনীর তীরে। পার কর বলিয়া ডাকিল পাটুনীরে।।
औन्नोपूर्णा उत्तोरिलो गांगिनीर तीरे । पार कौरो बोलिया डाकिलो पाटुनिरे ।।
onnopurna uttorilo ganginir tire | par koro boliya dakilo patunire ||
Annapūrņa arrived on the banks of river Ganges; "ferry me across", She called thus the boatman.


সেই ঘাটে খেয়া দেয় ঈশ্বরী পাটুনী। ত্বরায় আনিল নৌকা বামাস্বর শুনি।।
शेइ घाटे खेया देय ईश्वोरी पाटुनी । त्वोराय आनिलो नौका बामाश्वोर शुनि ।।
sheyi ghate kheya dey ishwori patuni | tvoray anilo nouka bamasvor shuni ||
The boatman of The Goddess rowed towards that bank; he brought his boat upon hearing the woman's call.

ঈশ্বরীরে জিজ্ঞসিল ঈশ্বরী পাটুনী। একা দেখি কুলবধূ কে বট আপনি।।
ईश्वोरीरे जिज्ञाशिलो ईश्वोरी पाटुनी । ऐका देखि कुलोबोधु के बौटो आपोनि ।।
ishworire jigyashilo ishwori patuni | eka dekhi kulobodhu ke boto aponi ||
The boatman of The Goddess thus asked The Goddess (in disguise of a mortal); "All alone thou art, oh lady! Who art thou?"

পরিচয় না দিলে করিতে নারি পার। ভয় করি কি জানি কে দিবে ফেরফার।।
पोरिचोय ना दिले कोरिते नारि पार । भौय कोरि कि जानि के दिबे फेरफार ।।
porichoy na dile korite nari par | bhoy kori ki jani ke dibe ferfar ||
Without thy introduction I cannot ferry thou, oh woman; for who knows, someone might make false allegations!


ঈশ্বরীরে পরিচয় কহেন ঈশ্বরী। বুঝহ ঈশ্বরী আমি পরিচয় করি।। বিশেষণে সবিশেষ কহিবারে পারি। জানহ স্বামীর নাম নাহি ধরে নারী।।
ईश्वोरीरे पोरिचोय कौहेन ईश्वोरी । बुझोहो ईश्वोरी आमि पोरिचोय कोरि ।। बिशेषोणे शौबिशेष कोहिबारे पारि । जानोहो श्वामीर नाम नाहि धरे नारी ।।
ishworire porichoy kohen ishwori | bujhai ishwori ami porichoy kori || bisheshone shobishesh kohibare pari | janai shwamir nam nahi dhore nari ||
The Goddess thus introduces Herself to the boatman named 'Īśvarī'; "I am introducing Myself to you, Īśvarī! I will tell you about the speacial one by using adjectives; know this verily that a woman does not utter her husband's name."

পাটুনী বলিছে মাগো শুনো নিবেদন। সেঁউতী উপরে রাখো ও রাঙা চর।।
पाटुनी बोलिछे मागो शुनो निबेदोन । शेॅउती उपोरे राखो ओ रांगा चौरौन ।।
patuni bolichhe mago shuno nibedon | sheunti upore rakho o ranga choron ||
The boatman said "Oh Mother, please listen to my request! Step upon my boat with your reddish feet (died with lac or Alta).


পাটুনীর বাক্যে মাতা হাসিয়া অন্তরে। রাখিলা দুখানি পদ সেঁউতীর উপরে।।
पाटुनीर बाक्ये माता हाशिया औन्तोरे । राखिला दुखानि पौदो शेॅउतीर उपोरे ।।
patunir bakye mata hashiya ontore | rakhila dukhani podo sheuntir upore ||
Upon listening to the words of the boatman, Mother Goddess smiled within Herself; then She stepped upon the boat.


সেঁউতীতে পদ দেবী রাখিতে রাখিতে। সেঁউতী হলো সোনা দেখিতে দেখিতে।।
शेॅअतीते पौदो देबी राखिते राखिते । शेॅअती होलो शोना देखिते देखिते ।।
sheuntite podo debi rakhite rakhite | sheunti holo shona dekhite dekhite ||
Even as The Goddess stepped upon the boat, it turned into gold even as the boatman watched.


সোনার সেঁউতী দেখি পাটুনীর ভয়। এ ত মেয়ে মেয়ে নয় দেবতা নিশ্চয়।।
शोनार शेॅअती देखि पाटुनीर भौय । ए तो मेये मेये नौय देबोता निश्चौय ।।
shonar sheunti dekhi patunir bhoy | e to meye meye noy debota nishchoy ||
Upon seeing his boat turn into gold, the boatman got scared; he thought thus "This woman is not an ordinary one, but a deity for sure!"

তীরে উত্তরিলা তরী তারা উত্তরিলা। পূর্বমুখে সুখে গজগমনে চলিলা।।
तीरे उत्तोरिला तोरी तारा उत्तोरिला । पूर्बोमुखे शुखे गौजोगौमोने चोलिला ।।
tire uttorila tori tara uttorila | purbomukhe shukhe gojogomone cholila ||
From the bank the boat rowed Tārā Herself; towards east She rowed and went ahead with Her joyride.

সেঁউতী লইয়া বক্ষে চলিলা পাটুনী। পিছে দেখি তারে দেবী ফিরিয়া আপনি।।
शेॅअती लोइया बौक्क्खे चोलिला पाटुनी । पिछे देखि तारे देबी फिरिया आपोनि ।।
sheunti loiya bokshe cholila patuni | pichhe dekhi tare debi firiya aponi ||
The boatman sailed his boat in the middle of the river; he turned around to see The Goddess.

সেঁউতী লইয়া বক্ষে বহে জল। দিয়াছ যে পরিচয় সে বুঝিনু ছল।। হের দেখ সেঁউতীতে থুয়েছিলা পদ। কাঠের সেঁউতীতে মোর হইলা অষ্টাপদ।। ইহাতে বুঝিনু তুমি দেবতা নিশ্চয়। দয়ায় দিয়াছো দেখা দেহ পরিচয়।। তপ জপ জানি নাহি ধ্যান জ্ঞান আর। তবে দিয়াছো যে দেখা দয়া সে তোমার।। যে দয়া করিল মোর এভাগ্য উদয়। সেই দয়া হইতে মোরে দেহ পরিচয়।।
शेॅअती लोइया बौक्क्खे बौहे जौल । दियाछो जे पोरिचोय शे बुझिनु छौल ।। हेर दैखो  शेॅअतीते खुयेछिला पौदो । काठेर शेॅअतीते मोर होइला औष्ठापौदो ।। इहाते बुझिनु तुमि देबोता निस्चोय । दौयाय दियाछो दैखा देहो पोरिचोय ।। तौपो जौपो नाहि ध्यैन ज्ञैन आर । तौबे दियाछो ये दैखा दौया शै तोमार ।। ये दौया कोरिलो मोर एभाग्गो उदौय । शेइ दौया होइते मोरे देहो पोरिचोय ।।
sheunti loiya bokshe bohe jol | diyachho je porichoy she bujhinu chhol || her dekho sheuntitte khuyechhila podo | kather sheuntite mor hoila oshthapodo || ihate bujhinu tumi debota nishchoy | doyay diyachho dekha deho porichoy || top jop jani nahi dhyan gyan ar | tobe diyachho ye dekha doya she tomar || je doya korila mor ebhagyo udoy | shei doya hoite more deho porichoy ||
While sailing his boat in the river, the boatman spoke thus "Was the introduction thou gave me a lie? See, how my wooden boat has turned gold by the touch of thy feet; from which I know that thou art definitely a deity. Out of compassion when you have shown thyself, kindly give me your true introduction! I do not know austerities, chanting, meditation or knowledge; yet thou have shown thyself out of compassion. Thy same mercy with which thou have made me fortunate, with that mercy kindly introduce thyself!"


ছাড়াইতে নারী দেবী কহিলা হাসিয়া। কহিয়াছি সত্য কথা বুঝহ ভাবিয়া।।
छाड़ाइते नारी देबी कोहिलो हाशिया । कोहियाछि शौत्त्यो कौथा बुझोह भाबिया ।।
chharaite nari debi kohila hashiya | kohiyachhi shotyo kotha bujhoh bhabiya ||
By discarding Her disguise The Goddess spoke thus "I am telling you the truth, grasp it with understanding.”


আমি দেবী অন্নপূর্ণা প্রকাশ কাশীতে। চৈত্র মাসে মোর পূজা শুক্ল অষ্টমীতে।। কতদিন ছিনু হড়িহড়ের নিবাসে। ছাড়িলাম তার বাড়ি কন্দলের ত্রাসে।। ভবানন্দ মজিন্দার নিবাসে রহিব। বর মাগো মনোনীত যাহা চাহ দিব।।
आमि देबी औन्नोपूर्णा प्रोकाश काशीते । चोइत्रो माशे मोर पूजा शुक्लो औष्ठोमीते ।। कौतोदिन छिनु होरिहरेरो निबाशे । छाड़िलाम तार बाड़ि कन्दलेरो त्राशे ।। भौबानौन्दो मोजिन्दार निबाशे रोहिबो । बौर मागो मौनोनीतो जाहा चाहो दिबो ।।
ami debi onnopurna prokash kashite | choitro mashe mor puja shuklo oshthomite || kotodin chhinu horihorer nibashe | chharilam tar bari kondoler trashe || bhobanondo mojindar nibashe rohibo | bor mago mononito jaha chaho dibo ||
“I am Devī Annapūrņā who manifested in Kāśī (Varanasi), my worship is prevelent on the eighth day of the bright fortnight, in the month of Caitra. For many days I was living in Harihara's residence; but now I have abandoned them, leaving them in a pool of tears. I will now reside in the home of Bhavānanda Majindāra's (Mazumdar's) home. Ask me for a boon, whatever you desire, I will bestow.


প্রণমিয়া পাটুনী কহিছে জোড় হাতে। আমার সন্তান যেন থাকে দুধে ভাতে।।
प्रोणोमिया पाटुनी कोहिछे जोड़े हाते । आमार शौन्तान जैनो थाके दुधे भाते ।।
pronomiya patuni kohichhe jor hate | amar shontan jeno thake dudhe bhate ||
By saluting The Goddess with both palms joined, the boatman said "May my progeny face no shortage of milk and rice (i.e. always remain well fed)."


তথাস্থ বলিয়া দেবী দিলা বর দান। দুধে ভাতে থাকিবেক তোমার সন্তান।।
तौथास्तु बोलिया देबी दिला बौर दान । दुधे भाते थाकिबेक तोमार शौन्तान ।।
tothastu boliya debi dila bor dan | dudhe bhate thakibe tomar shontan ||
"So be it!" said the Goddess and granted boon thus "Your children will never fave shortage of food."

Photo Courtesy: TV Mahalaya (Facebook Page)

Annadamangal is a Bangla devotional poem that was composed by Raigunakar Bharatchadra in the year 1752. His patron, the Raja Krishnachandra Rai of Nadia is renowned for popularising Devī Annapūrņa's annual public worship in the form of an icon. Being a devout Śakta, the King bestowed the title "Raigunakar" upon Bharatchandra and requested him to compose a devotional poem in the praise of Devī.
As a result the poet composed Annada Mangalakavya, which has three sections- 1. Annada Mahatmya
2. Kalika Mangala
3. Annapurna Mangala
In the Mangalakavya genere of Bangla poetry, Annadamangal is not recognised as a distinct branch; since no poet other than Bharatchandra has composed any poem on the aforesaid topic.

Apart from that, no reliable manuscript of Annadamangal is available either. The manuscripts available are dated back to 1776-1829. The aforesaid poem became popular during 1816, and renowned acadamician Sri Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar published its two editions in 1847 & 1853 respectively. Later on many publishers published their own editions of Annadamangal by following Vidyasagar's editions. Among those who have preserved ancient manuscripts of this epic poetry, The British Museum (London), Bibliothèque nationale de France (Paris), The Asiatic Society and Bangiya Sahitya Parishad (Kolkata) are some notable names.

Bharatchandra himself is said to have described his work as a neo-Mangalakavya; for even though Annadamangal follows the pattern of other Mangalakavyas, yet it introduces certain new elements like the narrative being in an urban setting instead of a rural one. The narratives have been reportedly inspired and adapted from classical Sanskrit works like Kāśī Khaņđa of Skanda Purāņa, Mārkaņđeya Purāņa, Bhāgavata Purāņa, Corapańcāśikā & Kşitīśavańģśāvalī Caritam etc., and also folklores popular in rural Bengal. The speciality of Annadamangal is the great use of meters and rhetorics adapted from classical Sanskrit literature by Bharatchandra, who was also a Sanskrit laureate.

Kaviguru Rabindranath Tagore once commented about Annadamangal thus:
“ রাজসভাকবি রায়গুণাকরের অন্নদামঙ্গল-গান রাজকণ্ঠের মণিমালার মতো, যেমন তাহার উজ্জ্বলতা তেমনি তাহার কারুকার্য। অসিতকুমার বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়ের মতে:“
"राजशौभाकोबि रायगुणाकोरेर औन्नोदामौंगोल-गान राजकौण्ठेर मोणिमालार मौतो, जैमोन ताहार उज्ज्वौलोता तैमोनि ताहार कारुकार्जो । ओशितकुमार बौनाध्ध्योपाध्ध्यायर मौतेः"
"rajshobhakobi raygunakarer onnodamongol-gan rajkonther monimalar moto, jemon tahar ujjwolota temni tahar karukarjyo; oshitkumar bondhyopadhyayer mote: |"
Annadamangal of court-poet Raigunakar is like the gem-set necklace of a monarch's throat, which is dazzling and also a piece of artistry at the same time; as per Asit Kumar Bandhyopadhyay.
Annadamangalkavya is considered the greatest Bangla poetry of eighteenth century, which was actually composed to glorify the Annapūrņā Pūjā performed by Raja Krishnachandra Rai, and to narrate the story of Krishnachandra's ancestor Bhavananda Majumdar's attainment of jurisdiction and the title "Raja" by Devī Annapūrņā's grace. The story goes on to narrate how Devī helped Bhavananda and how he obtained Nadia as jurisdiction and the title "Raja" by convincing the Mughal Emperor Jahangir to offer ritual worship to Devī Annapūrņā.

The Annada Mahatmya Khanda of Annadamangal narrates the stories of Satī, Pārvatī etc. Apart from that, the stories of a Vasu named Vadundhara and Kubera's son Nalakubera taking incarnations as Harihara and Bhavananda respectively are narrated. Thereafter the incidents of Devī's arrival in Harihara's residence, Her abandoning Harihara and arrival in Bhavananda's home have been described.
Kalika Mangala Khanda narrates the story of Bengal's Bardhaman's princess Vidyā and Tamil Nadu's Kanchipuram's prince Sundar's romance. Here Bhagavatī Kālikā has been eulogised.
In the Annapurna Mangala Khanda, the stories of Mansingh & Pratapaditya, amd Bhavananda Majumdar's becoming Raja of Nadia have been documented.

Annadamangal is considered unique in its own right due to its stark differences from the other works of Mangalakavya genere composed between 13th to 18th centuries. Unlike other Mangalakavyas, here Bhavananda has also been glorified along with the presiding deity, Devī Annapūrņā. From a laureate's point of view, the first Khanda named Annada Mahatmya is consodered to be the best.


With this, I extend my cordial best wishes of Basanti Durga Puja and Lalita Navaratri to all readers. Tommorow on the occassion of Annapūrņā Pūjā, I will publish my new painting and some new facts about Mahāvidyā Annapūrņā.

So stay tuned.

Jaya Mā _/|\_

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Quora Space

My @Quora post: Notice https://kulacharasaktism.quora.com/Notice-1?ch=99&share=303cb073&srid=TEvUk

Friday, 22 March 2019

Kāśī Viśvanātha’s Holi



On the occasion of Rańģbhari Ekādaśī when Mahādeva and Mātā Pārvatī remain busy playing Holi with their devotees on the streets of Varanasi, a different group of devotees get denied of this privilege. This group consists of Gaņas, ghosts and spirits.





Thus Lord Viśvanātha in order to play Holi with these devotees arrives at the world famous Maņikarņikā Mahāśmaśāna by ashes of recently burned funeral pyre. This auspicious Citābhasma is what remains after the human body is consigned to the five elements and is hence very dear to Mahākāla.





This is why Śaivas visit Maņikarņikā Mahāśmaśāna to play Holi in front of a blazing funeral pyre, substituting Ābīra with Citābhasma. By beholding this ethreal scene, it appears as if Śivagaņas themselves have descended on earth.

Hara Hara Mahādeva _/|\_

Thursday, 21 March 2019

In the praise of Śrī Rādhikā

The centrality of Rādhā in Gauďīya Vaişņava discourses is the influence of the Tańtras of Vişņukrāńtā region, particularly those that are Śrīvidyā centric. Renowned as the pinnacle of divine love and pure ecstatic passion, Rādhā is in fact an independent Vidyā within Kaula circles. This Tańtrika version of Rādhā has been greatly eulogised in Śāstras like Rādhā Tańtra and the Křşņayāmala Tańtra.



Established as the Hlādini Śakti of the Lord, Rādhā's centrality consists in Her being the force that transforms desire into pure love. Křşņa Himself being of the personification of the Kāmabīja, undergoes this metamorphosis only by virtue of His union with Her. This aspect of Rādhā has been dramatically eulogised in the following wonderful phrase from Śrīla Narottama Dāsa Țhākura’s poetry:
“śuka bale āmāra křşņa madanamohana | śārī bale āmāra rādhā vāme yatakşaņa naile śūdhui madana ||”“shuko bole aamaar krishno modonomohon | shaari bole aamaar raadhaa baame jotokhon noile shoodhui modon ||”"Śuka says, “' My Křşņa enchants even Madana (Kāmadeva).'” Śārī says, “'It is so as long as my Rādhā is by His left side; or else, He is merely Madana."’
The term “Madana” carries an implicit pun as in Bangla it also means 'a useless fellow'.
This is reminiscent of the opening montage of Saundarya Laharī of Śrī Ādi Śańkarācārya Bhāgavadpada, which goes as follows:
“śiva: śaktyā yukto yadi bhavati śakta: prabhavińtu na cedevańģ devo na khalu spańditumapi | atastvāmārādhyāńģ hariharavirińcyādibhirapi praņańtu stotuńģ va kathamakřtapuņya: prabhavati ||”Śiva, only becomes able to do creation in this world along with Śakti: for without Her even an inch He cannot move (like a corpse). So how can, one who does not do pious deeds or one who does not eulogise you, can become capable to worship you! Oh Goddess of mine, Who is propitiated by the Tridevas.
Hence, without Rāikiśorī, there is no existence of Śyāmarāya; for Křşņa is Śiva and Rādhā is Śaktī.



May Rādhā Křşņa grace us on the auspicious occassion of Dolpūrņimā, the celebration of their love.

Rādhe Rādhe _/|\_

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Śiva Pūjā Māhātmya

Portrait of Hara-Gaurī painted by me.


A lot of times there have been arguments regarding how much relevant is worship of Lord Śiva for those who are not Śaivas. There is no doubt that Śaivas worship Mahādeva as Parabrahman, as their Işțha. But, are Śâktas and Vaişņavas also supposed to worship Him?

The answer is yes. Śaivas, Vaişņavas, Śāktas, Sauras and Gāņapātyas- it is mandatory for everyone to worship Lord Śiva; for Mahādeva is the firt propagator of all Ācāras. Hence, one is supposed to worship Lord Śiva and pray for permission of worshiping one's Işțha & succeeding in it. The evidence for the same can be found in Lińgārcana Tańtra:
"śākto vā vaişņavo vāpi śaivo vā parameśvarī | ādau lińgańģ prapūjyātha bilvapatrairvarānane || paścādańyańģ maheśāni śivańģ prārthya prapūjaye | anyathā mutravat sarvvańģ śivapūjā vinā priye ||"
Be it a Śākta, be it a Vaişņava, be it a Śaiva; everyone is bound to worship Lińga with offering of Bilva leaves, oh Great Goddess having beautiful face! One should always worship other deities after having worshiped Śiva and seeking His permission. Otherwise, worship done without propitiating Śiva is no better than urine.
The meaning of the word "Lińga" has been explained in Skańda Purāņa as follows:
"ākāśańģ lińgamityāhū: přthivī tasya pīțhikā | ālaya: sarvvadevānāńģ layanāllińgamucyate ||"The sky is image of Lińga and earth of Pīțha. Lińga is the abode of all deities, who emmerge from it and gradually dissolve back into it.
Bāņalińga, Sfaťikalińga, Pāradalińga, Pāşāņalińga, Svarņalińga, Raupyalińga, Navaratnalińga, Maņimayalińga, Kāńģsyalińga etc are some of the Lińgas in which Lord Śiva is worshiped. Whatever type of Lińga one possesses, he/she should worship Maheśvara in it. Those who have no Lińga should prepare Pārthivalińga, while those who are unable to do that as well should worship Mahādeva in flower, one's own Brahamrańdhra, water, fire, idol or jar.
Therefore, those miscreants who claim that Sadāśiva cannot grant Mokşa and/or it is alright to ignore Śiva worship is a big fat liar; for no worship can be complete without worship of Lord Śiva.
Hara Hara Mahādeva _/|\_

Some Historical Facts about Kalighat

The Kalighat locality in the city of Kolkata is the spot where toes of Satī's right foot fell. The Śakti of this Śaktipīțha is Dakşiņā Kālī and the Bhairava is Nakuleśvara. Cūďāmaņi Tańtra describes Kalighat as following:
"nakuleśa: kālīghāțe dakşapādāńgulişu ca | sarvasiddhikarī devī kālikā tatra devatā ||"
At Kālīghāța Satī's beloved Śiva resides as Nakuleśvara Lińga and Brahmā Himself consecrated Brahmaśilā of Kālī. In Pīțhamālā of Nigamakalpa Kālīghāța is described as following:
"śrī mahādeva uvāca | '"māta: parātpare devī sarvajnānamayīśvarī | kşetrānāńģ kathyate devī kālīkşetrańģ viśeşata ||'"devyuvāca | '" dakşiņeśvaramārabhya yāvaccāvahulāpurī | dhanurākāra kşetrańcamojanadvaya sańkhyakańģ || tanmadhye trikoņākāra brahmāvişņuśivātmakańģ | madhye ca kālikā devī mahākālī prakīrtitā || nakuleśa: bhairavo yatra yatra gańgā virājitā | tatrakşetrańģ mahāpuņyańg devānāmapi durlabhańģ || kāśīkşetrańģ kālīkşetra mabhedopi maheśvara: | kīțopahi maraņemukti kińģ punarmānavādaya: || bhairavī bagalāvidyā mātańgīkamalā tathā | brāhmīmāheśvarī caņđīcāşțhaśaktī vasetsadā ||"'Mahādeva said:-"Oh Mother! Greater than the greatest, the goddess who is owner of all knowledge! Kindly enlighten me especially about the region renowned as 'Kālīkşetra', oh goddess!"Devī said:-"Starting from Dakşiņeśvara (Daksineswar) to Vahulāpurī (Behala), there is a region that spans for two Yojanas and is curved like a bow. Within this region there is a triangular area, in whose three vertices reside Brahmā, Vişņu & Śiva, and at the centre of which resides Kālikā Devī & is renowned as Mahākālī. Here Nakuleśvara is the Pīțhabhairava and Gańgā Herself is also present; only after many virtues one gets to reside in this region, which is inaccessable even to the deities. This Kālīkşetra is equal to Kāśīkşetra (Varanasi) and is a variant of the later; even insects that die here get liberated, what to speak of humans! Bhairavī, Bagalā, Vidyā, Mātańgī, Kamalātmikā, Brāhmī, Māheśvarī and Caņđī are the eight Śaktis who reside here always."
Bhavişya Purāņa's Brahmakhaņđa says the following:-
"govindapuraprānte ca kālī suradhunī tațe ||"
Kalighat is an ancient site of Śakti Sādhanā. In many pilgrimage guidebooks authored between 16th-18th century the opening montage has been a homage to Devī Kālikā of Kālighāța, and it is also believed that the Śaktipīțha also recieved patronage of the Sena dynasty of Bengal.



The feudal lords of the Sabarna Rou Choudhury family played a crucial role in construction of the current temple and consecration of the idol of Bhagavatī Kālikā, beginning with 1569 AD.
"lakşmīr ārādhya kālī yāhe sthirāmati | adūre baďiśā tathā karila vasati || yathākāle kālīghāțe kālikār sthiti | lakşmīnāthe kulabhāńge sævarņe mati || mānasińģhaguruputra kare anveşaņa | kālīghāțe pāye nāma lakşmīnārāyaņa ||"
The Sabarna Roy Choudhury family is well known to be one of the most influencial feudal clans of Bengal. In the year of 1570 on the day of Kojāgiri Lakşmī Pūjā was born Lakshmikanta, and was named so in honour of Devī Lakşmī. Lakshmikanta alias Lakshminarayan was son of Kamdev alias Jiya Gangopadhyay and his wife Padmavati Devi. It is said that being childless the couple came to Kalighat at the reccomendation of their relatives and performed Sādhanā for getting a son for three days & three nights. On the third night Padmavati observed a mass of light at the bottom of temple pond, and while bathing next day she saw the toes of Satī. A Divine voice directed Padmavati to bring temple's head priest Śrī Ātmārāmagiri Mahārāja, who brought Satī Ańga out of the pond. In the year of 1570 on the occasion of Āşāďa's Snānapūrņimā, Satī Ańga got consecrated on the seat of red cloth and hence began the daily worship of Satī as Bhagavatī Kālikā. Śrī Ātmārāma was impressed with the image of his disciples Jiya & Padmavati's Kuladevī Śrīmat Bhuvaneśvarī, and he also got to know about the location of the Brahmaśilā of Bhagavatī Kālikā, which was consecrated by Prajāpati Brahmā Himself. Then with the help of Jiya and Mahāyogi Brahmānańdagiri Mahārāja he carved out the three-eyed image of Devī, that we see today.



After birth of Lakshmikanta, his mother Padmavati passed away soon and a grief-stricken Jiya too left him at Kalighat and went away to find peace. Later in his life Jiya became renowned as Varanasi's Kamadeva Brahmachārī.
Lakshmikanta was raised by his Guru Ātmārāmagiri and was a fluent speaker of five regional dialects. After defeating King Pratapaditya of Bengal and during his tenure as the governer of Jessore, Akbar's nephew Raja Mansingh came to know about Lakshmikanta's wisdom and his knowledge about administration & politics. Mansingh met Lakshmikanta at Kalighat & informed him that he is a disciple of Kamadeva Brahmachari and has come to pay Gurudakşiņā to Lakshmikanta. Impressed by Lakshmikanta's humble attitude, wisdom & presence of mind, Mansingh bestowed upon him the title of "Majumdar", which is equivalent to commissioner of present times. His jurisdiction consisted of Magura, Khaspur, Kalikata, Paikan, Anwarpur, Amirabad, Havelishahar and Hatiyagarh.
"jāyo sarvvaśāstravid pāņđitye asīma | tā dekhi mānasińģha kare bhakti anupama || tāi mānasińģha tāra atiśaya bhakta | tāra dīkşā śikşāya tritāpe anāsakta || gurura āśīşe śişya mānave sińģha | bhāratajayī hala ye rājā mānasińģha || ki kāje gurura toşa ińgite tā śuni | tava bhrātř anveşaņa kara yādumaņi || mānasińģha guruputra kare anveşaņa | kālīghāțe dekhā nāma lakşmīnārāyaņa || śişțha śāńta subuddhi tejiyāna ati | bālaka haleu vijna āćhila sumati ||"
Lakshmikanta Gangopadhyay alias Lakshmikanta Rai Choudhury and son Gaurikanta Rai Choudhury in the year of 1608 commissioned 595 Bighas (approx 197 acres) of land around the Śaktipīțha for daily worship of Devī. Later his descendent Keshavaram Rai Choudhury commissioned construction of the current temple around the mud hut that earlier served as the temple structure. However, the construction was started by Keshavaram's son Santosh Rai Choudhury, who unfortunately couldn't see the completion which was done in 1809 by his son Ramalal Rai Choudhury and nephew (brother's son) Rajivlochan Rai Choudhury. It took total eight years for the completion of the structure that we see today.



After a centutry of the construction of various Śakti temples of Bengal by Mansingh, some Kanungo of Murshidabad constructed the Shyamraya temple near Kalighat; though the current temple was constructed by the feudal lord of Bawali village Sri Udaynarayan Mondol in 1843.



In 1811 the gate and two rooms for cooking Devī's Bhog were constructed. In 1828 the Dolmancha of Shyamraya was constructed by Ramachandra Pal of Jorasanko. In 1880 Govindachandra Singh of Garia constructed pavilion for facilitating Pradakşiņā of Devī's temple.
During Lakshmikanta's time while digging of a commissioned well began, a pitch black stone was discovered which is none but Anādi Devādideva Mahādeva Himself. For protecting the shrine of Mahāmāyā Mātā Satī, He had been present there since time immemorial as Nakuleśvara Bhairava. The monks of Kalighat joyously celebrated the appearence of Śaktipīțha's Bhairava by building a temple out of cane, bamboo, straw and leaves. It was in 1854 when a Punjabi trader enroute to Varanasi in his dream recieved Devī's command to construct a permanent temple for Mahādeva, which is why one would notice that Nakuleswara temple's architectural style is not native to Bengal. Back then the Śaktipīțha was situated on the banks of river Ganges, which turned its course eventually away from Kalighat and now flows as Hugli. The former course of the river though is still their and is known as “Adi Ganga”, on the bank of which is situated Keoratal Mahasmashan, the nearest cremation ground (now turned into a crematorium).



It is worth to mention that Bengali poets who predate Śrī Brahmānańdagiri Mahārāja too have mentioned Kalighat in their works, notably "Manasāvijaya" of Sri Bipradas Piplai and "Caņđīmańgala" of Sri Mukundaram. Upapurāņas and Tańtras are full of referrences to Kalighat under the names "Kālīkşetra" or "Kālikāpīțha". Even in the pre-Śańkarācārya era during the reign of Buddhist Pala dynasty too recorded the site of Kālikāpīțha by the name "Kālīghāța". Abul Fazl in his Ain-i-Akbari too denotes Kalighat as "Kālīkoțā". In short, the name 'Kolkata' of the city has been derived from this region owned by Bhagavatī Kālikā.
Hence oh Children of The Immortal Bliss! Other than Tarapith you might also love to visit Kalighat. The nearest airport is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport. The city of Kolkata is also well connected to major Indian cities through railways, and trains from all over India to the stations Howrah, Sealdah, Chitpur (Kolkata), Shalimar and Satragachhi are available.

As stated in an earlier post, the climate of Bengal is pleasant now. Please come to Kolkata and seek blessings of Bhagavatī Kālikā.

Jaya Mā _/|\_

Why you should visit Tarapith

Among many Tańtra-centric places of pilgrimage in Birbhum district (West Bengal), Tarapith is the most renowned and is considered as a global hub of Śakti Sādhanā. Here Śakti has been worshiped as per Tańtrokta rituals since time immemorial since prehistoric times. The ancient Brahmaśilā of Tarapith is Svayambhu or self-manifested and appears like a mother breastfeeding Her child. Surrounding it, Devī Ugratārā, Vaśişțha Muni and Sādhaka Vāmākşepa, there are innumeral stories and controversies; so let us take a look at some facts about Tarapith:

One:
Tarapith does not feature in the list of 51 Śaktipīțhas drawn from Mahāpīțhanirņaya Tańtrā. However, general masses often believe that this is the spot where Satī's third eye fell; though there is no evidence for the same.


Two:
From the different lores popular about Tarapith, it becomes obvious that it is one of the most important centres of Śakti Sādhanā.


Three:
Tarapith is in reality a Siddhapīțha, where many Sādhakas have performed their Sādhanās since time immemorial and have become Siddhas. Hence the factor that makes it special is different from Śaktipīțhas.


Four:
Tārā worship is extremely popular in Kālikā Kula branch of Śāktism and Vajrāyaņa branch of Buddhism. From Tārā Rahasya and other Tārā-centric Tańtras, one can conclude that Tārā worship has been in practice since ancient times.


Five:
The Tārā temple of Tarapith is a marvel of indigenous Bengali architecture. From carvings to the dome, everything in the temple is of authentic Bengali style.


Six:
Devī Tārā's Brahmaśilā remains concealed by a silver mask, saree, garlands & necklaces, and this outer sheath is assumed to be the imagery of Bhagavatī Tārā.


Seven:
Tarapith is the place where Mahāřşi Vaśişțha became an adept of Mahāvidyā Tārā by propitiating Devī.


Eight:
Tarapith was popularised by Sādhaka Vāmākşepa alias Śrī Śrī Vāmācaraņa Cațțopādhyāya, who is considered one of the hughest authorities in matters regarding Tańtra. A major chapter of Bengal's Tańtra Sādhanā is centred on him.


Nine:
Tarapith's cremation ground is the place of worship for many Tāńtrikas. For accomplishment of various Smaśānakriyās mentioned in Tańtras, many Sādhakas come here across the globe.


Ten:
Tarapith town is located on the banks of river Dwarka of Birbhum, which flows northwards and symbolises the upward flow of Kulakuņđalinī.


Oh children of the Immortal Bliss, I have given you ten reasons to visit Tarapith. Now that the weather of West Bengal is pleasant, you might plan a trip to Tarapith to seek benedictions from Bhagavatī Tārā.


How to reach:
The nearest railway station is Rampurhat, where you can reach by taking a train from Howrah station as per your convenience. Thereafter a 9.7 km drive will bring you to your destination, where accomodations as per your budget are available. Apart from that, you may also opt for a 221 km drive from Kolkata itself, which is the nearest international airport.

Jaya Tārā _/|\_

The Pańcamakāra Controversy



The most controversial aspect of Tańtra is the use of Pańcamakāra and its involvment of wine & congress, which the mainstream cannot even think of as tools of one's spiritual persuits. So let us discuss a little bit to broaden our horizons.

Madya (wine), Māńsa (meat), Matsya (fish), Mudrā (parched grain) & Maithuna (congress) - these Pańcatatvas are named with alphabet 'ma' (m) and hence are known as Pańcamakāras as well. Fried rice, pooris, fried grams etc are served as accompaniments of wine and are better known as "Mudrā". The meat procured from an animal sacrificed during ritual worship is bonafide meat and hence consumable as Prasāda of Bhagavatī Kālikā.
We see that while no question is raised about bonafide Māńsa, Matsya & Mudrā, people seem to be incapable of digesting Madya & Maithuna as valid offerings; especially since these two Makāras are synonnymous with sense-gratification. Kaulas say, those who do not know essence of Śāstras properly condemn Pańcatatvas for no valid reason; because in Tańtras Pańcamakāras have threefold forms- gross, subtle & casual, which become one when purified with appropriate Mańtras. Forget consuming, without this form of purification no Sādhaka ever touches any of the five Tatvas; for this arrangement of Pańcatatvas is only for those Sādhakas who have control over their senses.

Another name for Pańcamakāra Sādhanā is Dūtiyāga, which has been elaborated in Jnānārņava Tańtra as following:

"If mere consumption Pańcamakāras would have elevated anyone to the position of a Siddha, then a lot of drunkards and sex-addicts would have been renowned as Siddhas."

Kulārņava Tańtra says the following:

"If drinking wine could give someone Siddhis, then wine-monger drunkards would have been Siddhas. If eating meat & fish could give Siddhis, then who wouldn't have been attracted to this path! If the fifth Makāra (congress) was a medium of gaining Siddhis, then every living entity would have attained liberation long ago. Without the command of Guru Pańcamakāras are never to be consumed, for Kaulācāra is even more dangerous than embracing a tiger, walking upon the edge of a razor or playing with venomous snakes. Kaula philosophy is not contradictory to Vedas, for one who has conquered his senses is entitled to all seven Ācāras; on the other hand one who adopts Dūtiyāga without gaining mastery over senses meets his downfall soon."

The following is the verdict of Tripurārņava Tańtra:

"One who resorts to Vāmācāra without subduing senses does not become a Siddha even after many births."

Kulārņava Tańtra states the following:

"Those wine and other Tatvas which can intoxicate even the deities of heaven, one who remains stoic after consuming them and continues Mańtrajapa is the true Kaula. Subduing lust & other vices too is a limb of Kulācāra, and the Yoga of Pańcamakāras can truly elevate a Kaula Sādhaka to the position of Sadāśiva Himself. Thus, it is mandatory to learn the secrets of Pańcatatvas from one's Guru and the prescribed Śāstras; or else one causes his own downfall."

The Sādhaka who is witness of the three Lińgas present in Suşumnā nerve and the six Cakras, should travel time and again from Mūlādhāra to Brahmarańdhra and must dwell in the great lotus groove of Sahasrāra. There he should relish the nectar produced from the union of Kulakuņđalinī & Paramaśiva and must feel ecstatic. The Sādhaka should view wine arranged for external worship thus and transform liquor into ambrosia. The Sādhaka capable of doing this is entitled to consume Madya Tatva.
The Sādhaka should be capable of sacrificing the beast of duality with the sword of non-duality and also of controlling his eleven senses which are whimsical like fishes. The Sādhaka who is capable of doing so, can dissolve both into Paramaśiva and view meat & fish arranged for external worship as such is entitled to consume Māńsa & Matsya Tatvas.
A Śakti/Vāmāńgī/Bhairavī/Sādhanasańginī/Ardhāńginī (consort) of a Sādhaka is parched grain personified. While Śakti of a Paśvācārī is inert, Śakti of a Vīrācārī and/or Divyācārī is awakened. The Sādhaka whose Śakti is awakened and views parched grain arranged for external worship as such is entitled to Mudrā Tatva.
The Sādhaka and his Śakti should visualise themselves as Paramaśiva amd Parāśakti, and their congress as union of Puruşa and Prakřti; the Sādhaka and the Śakti who do so are entitled to Maithuna Tatva.
This is how the gross, subtle and casual forms of Pańcamakāras become one in Kaulācāra.

Jaya Mā _/|\_

The importance of surrender



For a Sādhaka it is a must to have faith of a child.

Mother says "there's a monster in the closet" amd the child believes.
"Nothing to be scared of, my mother is there to save me." thinks the child.
We too should have no fears, for we are the children of The Immortal Bliss; who demands not simply surrender, but total surrender. Only then She takes our responsibility.

One should not forsake The Supreme, or else one is bound the get entangled in Māyā. Hence one should hold Divine Mother's finger with one hand while performing worldly tasks with the other; and at the end one should hold Her with both hands.
For She is someone very close to us, but we fools are unable to see Her due to blindfold of Avidyā. But once the blindfold is taken off, we become capable of seeing Her; and a mere vision of Her dispells all doubts.

Jaya Mā _/|\_

Durgā - An Etymological Point of View



The meaning of word "Durgā" is 'invincible', for She who is beyond comprehension is invinvible in true spirit; until and unless She does not want, no one can know Her.

"daityanāśārthavacano dakāra: parikīrtita: | ukāro vighnanāśasya vācako vedasammata || refo rogaghnavacano gaśca pāpaghnavācaka: | bhayaśatrughnavacanaścākāra: parikīrtita: ||"Alphabet 'da' denotes annihilation of demons, 'u'-kāra denotes destruction of obstacles, 'refa' destroys afflictions, 'ga' destroys sins and 'ā'-kāra vanquishes foes; hence She who is destructrix of the fear of demons, obstacles, afflictions and foes is known as 'Durgā'.
"durgańģ nāśayati yā nityańģ sā durgā vā prakīrtitā |"She who slew a demon named Durga is renowned by the name Durgā.

She who manifested from the combined forces of all deities Herself is the source of all forces. Compassion of bestowing benedictions to worshipers and cruelity to deliver fatal blow upon enemies- these two qualities blend perfectly in Bhagavatī Durgā.
Devī's Vāhana lion is symbol of Rajoguņa, that seeks shelter in Satva in order to fight demonic forces. The animalistic base instincts within all humans tempt us to tread upon wicked path; but through extersion and Sādhana-Bhajana when a human being evolves, at that time The Divine manifests into that person. Such person seeks refuge under the right foot of Devī Durgā, and the lion is symbol of this surrender.
The demon under Devī's left foot is the exact opposite of what the lion symbolises. The divine and the demonic forces are always at odds; be it external, be it internal, the war is always on.
Pride, conceit, arrogance & ignorance are demonic traits; while courage, affection, truthfulness, simplicity, sacrifice, non-violence, peacefulness, honesty, contentment, patience & forgiveness are divine traits. The demon symbolises all the demonic traits and his presence under Devī's right foot symbolises his attempt to return to the correct path.
In case of a Sādhaka the demon symbolises Avidyā, which is overpowered by Devī who represents Brahmavidyā and hence She paves the path of liberation. In case of general masses the demon is symbol of their sorrows, problems, fears and dangers; and The Divime Mother who redeems them of these is Durgā.

Pańcamakāra Māhātmya

There exist lots of confusions regarding Pańcamakāras and on many occassions they have been cleared as well. This confusion and the subsequent criticism is healthy though, for the use of Pańcamakāras would have gone extinct otherwise.



In the years of yore, different offerings have been dedicated to different deities; in worship of Sūrya, Gaņapati, Vişņu and Śiva only leaves, flowers, fruits & water etc. are offered; but why is it so that worship of Śakti requires Pańcamakāras as offerings?



The answer of this lies in the likes and dislikes of Bhagavatī Kālikā; She dislikes those simple offerings by which the other dieties can be propitiated. Her favorite offerings are the Pańcatatvas or Pańcamakāras- Mada (wine), Māńsa (meat), Matsya (fish), Mudrā (parched grain) and Maithuna (congress).

"madyańģ māńģsańģ tathā matsya: mudrā maithunameva ca | etairmāmarccayedbhaktyā tasya tuşțhāsmi sarvadā ||"Those who propitiate me devotedly with the Pańcatatvas, I remain appeased with them.

Wine is Vişņu, meat is Brahmā, fish is Rudra, parched grain is Īśvara while Sadāśiva is congress; the Pańcamakāras are named thus.



From Prāņavāyu manifested wine, from Apānavāyu meat, from Samānavāyu fish, from Udānavāyu parched grain and from Vyānavāyu congress were manifested for worship of Kālī. These five articles are very dear to Kālī and those Sādhakas who propitiate Her with Pańcamakāras not only achieves Caturvargas (Dharma, Artha Kāma & Mokşa), but also becomes a Jīvanamukta and at the end dissolves back into Kālī i.e. attains Nirvāņa.

This is the glory of Pańcamakāras as per Śrī Kailāśa Tańtra.

Jaya Mā _/|\_

In the praise of Ādyā Kālī



Before creation when nothing and no one existed, at that time only formless Devī was present; therefore Śāstras address Her as Ādyā (primordial) Kālī. Subsequently from Her all deities and entities manifested and the creation took place. Tańtras declare that one who is Brahman is also Śakti; the same Supreme Spirit when formless and inactive is known as Brahman, and when active is known as Brahmaśakti. Hence when certain people mistake Śakti to be distinct from Brahman and incapable of being active without Brahman, they are speaking what is contrary to Śāstras. For fire and fire's heat are one and same.
He who devours all entities is known as Mahākāla; but She who devours even Mahākāla Himself is known as Parāśakti Ādyā Kālī.

When nothing will exist after the great dissolution, at that time Devī alone will remain; hence She is the essence of the whole world and all Śāstras.
This is the reason because of which the Sādhakas of Kālī are Jīvanamuktas or those who have appeased Mahākāla by submitting themselves to The Lotus Feet of Kālī. He therefore does not fear death.
Death is inevitable and is bound to take place some time or other time. But unlike ordinary people who suffer the Karmafalas of their Karmas and take another birth, Kaulas offer their Karmas to Kālī and hence She destroys all those Karmas and redeems Kaulas from Karmafalas. She who is Kālī of Śāktas is Śiva of Śaivas & Křşņa of Vaişņavas; the only difference is in the vision that beholds Her. In whatever the mirror of consciousness wants to see Her, She appears in that form.

"kālaniyańtrāt Kālī tatvajnānapradāyinī"Kālī is controller of Kāla and bestower of Tatvajnāna to Her Sādhakas.

"kalau kālī kalau kālī kalau kālī nānyadeva kaliyuge."Kālī is the only one worth of worship in Kaliyuga, no one else. There is no one other than Kālī who can bestow Mokşa.
In the corrupt age of Kaliyuga, Kālī is the most active and responsive deity. She devours even that Mahākāla who devourse Tridevas and the whole world during Mahāpralaya. Hence there is no one greater than Her, since everything and everyone dissolve into Her.

Jaya Mā _/|\_

Distinction between Nīlasarasvatī and Mahāsarasvatī



Many people mistake the four-armed form of Sarasvatī to be Nīlasarasvatī; but in reality Nīlasarasvatī is none other than the second Mahāvidyā Tārā. Hence before Vasańta Pańcamī, to establish that Nīlasarasvatī is not related to Sarasvatī, I am providing evidences from Tārā Tańtra:

"dakşagřhe yotpannā satī nāmneti kīrtitā | kaivalyadāyinī yatsmāt tasmādekajațā smřtă || tārakatvāt sadā tārā līlayā vākapradā yata: | nīlasarasvatī proktā ugratadvugratārìņī || ugrāpattāriņī yasmādugratārā prakīrtitā ||"She who incarnated as Satī in Dakşa's household is verily that Ekajațā, the bestower of emancipation. She is Tārā because She is redeemer of all beings. She is granter of Vākśakti and hence Nīlasarasvatī. Apart from that She is of fierce contenance and hence Ugratārā; She redeems from fierce dangers and hence Her renowned as Ugratārā. “ādyā caikajațā proktā dvitiyā cogratārakā | třtīyā nīlasarsvatīsyādbhogamokşapradā matā ||”Ādyāśakti as the three forms of Tārinī is known as Ekajațā, Ugratārā and Nīlasarasvatī. “ādyākalpe muktakeśī rudrastatrajațā svayam | asmāccaikajațā proktā mańtraścāsyā nirūpyate ||”Ādyādevī is Muktakeśī (Kālī), and Rudra Himself becomes Her matted locks; therefore She is also renowned as Ekajațā. “kālarātridine prāpteniśāyāńģ madhyabhāgake | ugrapattāranārthańtu ugratārā svayam kalā ||”On the nights of Kālarātrī during midnight, Ugratārā manifests to redeem Her worshipers from great dangers. “meropaścimakūletu colanākhyohřdā mahān | tatrajagye svayańģ devī mātā nīlasarasvatī || tatra japyańtu prajapańģstriyugańģ samavartata | mahordhvavaktrāni: sřtya tejorāśirdhinirgata: || hřde cole nipatyaiva nīlavarņābhavattadā ||”To the west of Mt. Meru there exists a pool known as Colana, from where Nīlasarasvatī manifested. On the banks of this pool Devī performed Japasādhanā for three long Yugas. The splendor of Devī's uppermost face fell into the pool and hence Tārā became blue in complexion.

The Dhyānas and Krama of both Nīlasarasvatī & four-armed Sarasvatī are distinct, and therefore they are two distinct Goddesses.
Jaya Mā _/|\_

A brief description of the Vedic & Tantric modes of Hindu way of worship



According to Śrī Viśvasāra Tańtra there are seven Ācāras or customs of Hindu way of worship, which are categorised under three Bhāvas or modes. These are given as follows:


“वैदिकं वैष्णवं शैवं दक्षिणं पाशवं स्मृतम् |सिद्धान्त वामे वीरे तु दिव्यं सत्कौलमुच्यते ||”Translation:-Vaidika, Vaişņava, Śaiva & Dakşiņa are categorised under Paśubhāva; Siddhāńta & Vāma under Vīrabhāva; and Kaulācāra under Divyabhāva.

The religious customs that stress upon observence of celibacy for making mind and body capable of performing Śaktipūjā, and either use substitutes of Pańcamakāras or abstain from their use totally are categorised under Paśubhāva.
Here the word "Paśu" does not mean an animal, but a Jīva bound by the Pāśa (noose) of desires. A Paśvācārī is someone who has not yet overcome his Jaivika tendencies and his sole refuge is Lord Śiva as Paśupatinātha. Such Sādhaka is one who has not yet experienced the esoteric aspects of Śakti Sādhanā.

Vāmācāra & Siddhāńtācāra are categorised under Vīrabhāva, because a Sādhaka who after undergoing the stage of a Paśu becomes entitled to the rarest form of Śakti Sādhanā is known as a Vīra.
Here the word "Vīra" does not mean physical strength but rather refers to the act of a Paśvācārī to conquer his Jaivika tendencies bravely. Rudrayāmala says 



"vīrabhāvam mahābhāvam sarvabhāvottamottamam".

Divyabhāva is that Sātvika state in which the Sādhaka becomes a Siddha and attains Brahmajnāna. Here there is no restriction of rites & rituals and hence without using any Pańcamakāra literally, the Sādhaka can offer them spiritually. In Divyabhāva Dīkşā & worship are mental and Yoga is of Kulakuņđalinī.
This state of Tańtra Sādhanā, in which Jīva realises his Śivatva at last; hence the following has been said in Rudrayāmala:
आदौ भावं पशे: कृत्वा पश्चात् कूर्यादावश्यकम् |
वीरभावं महाभावं सर्वोभावोत्तमोत्तमम् ||
तत्पश्चादति दिव्यभावं महाफलं ||
वीरभावं महाभावं सर्वोभावोत्तमोत्तमम् ||तत्पश्चादति दिव्यभावं महाफलं ||

Like Divya is best of all Bhāvas, likewise Kaula is best of all Ācāras and the evidence of it can be seen below in Kulārņava Tańtra:
“सर्वेव्यश्चोत्तमा वेदावेदेभ्यो वैष्णवं परं |
वैष्णवदुत्तमं शैवं शैवाद्दक्षिणमुत्तमं ||दक्षिणादुत्तमं वामं वामाथः सिद्धान्तमुत्तमं |सिद्धान्तादुत्तमं कौलं कौलाथः परतरं न हि ||”Translation:Vedācāra is the most excellent; but better than Vedācāra is the Vaişņavācāra. Better than Vaişņavācāra is Śaivācāra. Better than Śaivācāra is Dakşiņācāra. Better than Dakşiņācāra is Vāmācāra. Better than Vāmācāra is Siddhāńtācāra. Better than Siddhāńtācāra is Kaulācāra. And there is nothing superior to Kaulācāra.

Here is in very brief the descriptions of these seven acharas:

Vedācāra
In this Ācāra the Sādhaka performs Sakāma Pūjā of the Işțha by following the methods prescribed in Vedas and other Vedamūlaka Śāstras like Smřtis & Purāņas.

Vaişņavācāra
In this Ācāra the devotee follows the rules laid down in the Vedācāra and worships Lord Vişņu. He offers all his karmas to Vişņu and envisions Him in everything. Here the Sādhaka has to follow some rather strict purity-impurity rules.

Śaivācāra
In this Ācāra the devotee follows the Vedācāra rules to worship Śiva-Śakti. Here the devotee sees Lord Śiva in everything.

Dakşiņācāra
The propunder of this Ācāra is Dakşiņamūrti because of which it is so called. This Ācāra is the first introductor of Vīra & Divyabhāvas, where by following the rules of Vedācāra the Sādhaka worships Parameśvarī.

Vāmācāra
The propunder of this Ācāra is Bhairava as Vāmadeva because of which it is so called. The meaning of "Vāma" is "Śreşța" or the best; hence the path followed by the best Sādhakas is "Vāmācāra". Apart from that, Vāma also means "Viparīta" or the opposite. In traditional doctrines Nivřtti or renouncing Pańcamakāras is believed to be the path to Mokşa. The path which believes in just the opposite doctrine i.e., Mokşa can be achieved by indulging in Pravřttis or by embracing Pańcamakāras as per the ordinances set by Tańtras is called Vāmācāra.

Siddhāńtācāra
In this stage the Sādhaka tries to arrive at a conclusion by making a comparative analysis of Bhoga (enjoyment) & Tyāga (renunciation) which is why it is called Siddhāńtācāra. Here the Sādhaka performs Sādhanā as per Vāmācāra but here more importanace is laid on Ańtaryoga or inner Yajna, as a part of which Bahiryoga or external worship is also conducted. Here the Sādhaka always contemplates on Nityaśuddha Ātman or the self. The Sādhaka of this Ācāra has already seen both the Dakşina (Nivřtti) and Vāma (Pravřtti) paths. Upon reaching this stage the Sādhaka's mind becomes more calm and stable and he nears the Kaulajnana.


Kulācāra
This the highest path in Tańtra Sādhanā and is defined by Kulārņava Tańtra as follows:


“अकुलं शिव इत्युक्तं कुलं शक्ति प्रकीर्तिता |
कुलाकुलनुसंधानान्निपुनः कौलिकः प्रिये ||”Translation:-Śiva is Akula, Śakti is Kula; and the one who is adept in investigating the relation between Kula and Akula (i.e between Śiva & Śakti) is a Kaula.

In Mahānirvana Tańtra it is stated that Jīva, Prakřti Tattva, Dik, Kāla, Ākāśa, Vāyu, Teja, Āpa and Kşti are called Kula; the Ācāra that teaches us to have Nirvikalpa Buddhi or a state of monistic non-duality in the Kula is Kulācāra or Kaulācāra. It is the provider of Brahmavidyā and giver of both Bhoga & Mokşa.
Oh children of The Immortal Bliss! With this enumeration of the customs and modes of the Hindu way of worship, you must ponder over your stand in the broad spectrum of Hinduism. It will help you to think, plan your next course of action, act and attain your destination.




May all of us attain The Lotus Feet of Bhagavatī Kālikā.

Jaya Mā _/|\_

A Māyāvādī’s ode to Mahāmāyā


In Vedas, the word "Māyā" can be translated as 'falsehood', 'attachment', 'delusion', 'ignorance' and 'nescience'; but the same is not the case with Tańtras.


'মা' শব্দে শূন্যরূপাশ্চ 'যা' দেবী সর্বভূতেষু |"


The word "Māyā" comes from the conjunction of "" which means 'void' and "" which denotes Brahman. In other words, She who is void & yet complete, She who is both Brahman as well as Brahmaśakti, She who is both Puruşa as well as Prakřti, and She who is both Sadcidānańdamayi as well as Triguņātmikā; She is the one denoted by the word "Māyā".

This Māyā is the one who concieved Tridevas & other deities and is their sole refuge. She is delusion of the ignorant and wisdom of the enlightened. She is the cause of duality and also the teacher of non-duality. She is Aparā to Jīvas and Mahāvidyā & Mahāmāyā to Śrī Křşņa. She is Mahākāla's Līlāśakti Yogamāyā and void of Buddhists. She is "Mā" and She is "Yā". She is Mahātripurasuńdarī of Śrī Kula and Mahākālī of Kālikā Kula. She is all dualities and yet non-dual.

Hence, no one can understand what She is.

Jaya Mā _/|\_