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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mahanirvana Tantra

Sri Yantra
Mahanirvana Tantra
Chapter 5 – The Formation of the Mantras, Placing of the Jar, and Purification of the Elements of Worship
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 realize them. Who can describe them? (1-2). In the Kula Tantras and Agamas I have, by the aid of but a small part of Thy mercies and with all My powers, described the Sadhana and Archana of Thy appearances; yet nowhere else is this very secret Sadhana revealed. It is by the grace of this (Sadhana), O Blessed One! that Thy mercy in Me is so great (3-4). Questioned by Thee I am no longer able to conceal it. For Thy pleasure, O Beloved! I shall speak of that which is dearer to Me than even life itself (5). To all sufferings it brings relief. It wards off all dangers. It gives Thee pleasure, and is the way by which Thou art most swiftly obtained (6). For men rendered wretched by the taint of the Kali Age, short-lived and unfit for strenuous effort, this is the greatest wealth (7). In this (sadhana) there is no need for a multiplicity of Nyasa, for fasting or other practices of self-restraint. It is simple and pleasurable, yet yields great fruit to the worshipper (8). Then first listen, O Devi! to the Mantroddhara of the Mantra, the mere hearing of which liberates man from future births while yet living (9).
By placing “Pranesha” on “Taijasa,” and adding to it “Bherunda” and the Vindu, the first Vija is formed. After this, proceed to the second (to). By placing “Sandhya” on “Rakta,” and adding to it “Vama-netra” and Vindu, the second Mantra is formed. Now listen, O Blessed One! to the formation of the third Mantra.
Prajapati is placed on Dipa, and to them is added Govinda and Vindu. It yields happiness to the worshippers: After making these three Mantras add the word Parameshvari in the vocative, and then the word for Vahni-kanta. Thus, O Blessed One! is the Mantra of ten letters formed. This Vidya of the Supreme Devi contains in itself all Mantras (11-13).
The most excellent worshipper should for the attainment of wealth and all his desires make Japa of each or all of the first three Vijas (14). By omitting the first three Devi the Vidya of ten letters become one of seven. By prefixing the Vija of Kama, or the Vagbhava, or the Tara, three Mantras of eight letters each are formed (15).
At the end of the Mantra of ten letters the word Kalika in the vocative should be uttered, and then the first three Vija, followed by the name of the Wife of Vahni (16). This Vidya is called Shodashi, and is concealed in all the Tantras. If it be prefixed by the Vija of Vadhu or by the Pranava, two Mantras of seventeen letters each are formed (17).
O Beloved! there are tens of millions upon tens of millions, nay an hundred millions, nay countless Mantras for Thy worship. I have here but shortly stated twelve of them (18). Whatsoever Mantras are set forth in the various Tantras, they are all Thine, since Thou art the Adya Prakriti (19). There is but one sadhana in the case of all these Mantras, and of that I shall speak for Thy pleasure and the benefit of humanity (20).
Without Kulachara, O Devi! the Shakti-Mantra is powerless to give success, and therefore the worshipper should worship the Shakti with Kulachara rites
O Adya! the five essential Elements in the worship of Shakti have been prescribed to be Wine, Meat, Fish, parched Grain, and the Union of man with woman (22). The worship of Shakti without these five elements is but the practice of evil magic. That Siddhi which is the object of sadhana is never attained thereby, and obstacles are encountered at every step (23). As seed sown on barren rocks does not germinate, so worship without these five elements is fruitless (24).
Without the prior performance of the morning rites a man is not qualified to perform the others. And therefore, O Devi! I shall first speak of those which are to be performed in the morning (25). In the second half of the last quarter of the night the disciple should rise from sleep. Having seated himself and shaken off drowsiness, let him meditate upon the image of his Guru:
As two-eyed and two-armed, situate in the white lotus of the head (26); clad in white raiment, engarlanded with white flowers, smeared with sandal paste. With one hand he makes the sign which dispels fear, and with the other that which bestows blessings. He is calm, and is the image of mercy. On his left his Shakti, holding in her hand a lotus, embraces him. He is smiling and gracious, the bestower of the fulfilment of the desires of his disciples (27-28).
O Kuleshvari! the disciple should, after having thus meditated upon his Teacher and worshipped him with the articles of mental worship, make Japa with the excellent Mantra, the Vagbhava-Vija. (29).
After doing Japa of the Mantra as best lies in his power, the wise disciple should, after placing the Japa in the right palm of his excellent Guru, bow before him, saying meanwhile the following (30):
I bow to thee, O Sad-guru,
Thou who destroyeth the bonds which hold us to this world,
Thou who bestoweth the vision of Wisdom,
Together with worldly enjoyment and final liberation,
Dispeller of ignorance,
Revealer of the Kula-dharmma,
Image in human form of the Supreme Brahman (31-32).
The disciple, having thus made obeisance to his Guru, should meditate upon his Ishta-devata, and worship Her as aforesaid, inwardly reciting the Mula-mantra meanwhile (33). Having done this to the best of his powers, he should place the Japa in the left palm of the Devi, and then make obeisance to his Ishta-devata with the following (34):
To thee I bow Who art one with, and the Supporter of, the Universe,
I bow to Thee again and yet again, the Adya Kalika, both Creatrix and Destructress (35).
Having thus made obeisance to the Devi, he should leave his house, placing his left foot first, and then make water, discharge his bowels, and cleanse his teeth (36). He then should go towards some water, and make his ablutions in the manner prescribed (37). First of all let him rinse his mouth, and then enter the water, and stand therein up to his navel. He should then cleanse his body by a single immersal only, and then, standing up and rubbing himself, rinse his mouth, saying the Mantra the while (38). That best of worshippers, the Kula-Sadhaka, should then sip a little water and say:
Atma-tattvaya Svaha
After that he should again sip water twice, followed in each case by the Mantras
Vidya-tattvaya Svaha.
Shiva-tattvaya Svaha, respectively. Lastly, he should rinse the upper lip twice (39).
Then, O Beloved! the wise disciple should draw on the water the Kula-yantra with the Mantra in its centre, and do Japa over it with the Mula-mantra twelve times (40). Then meditating on the Water as the Image of Fire, let him offer it thrice to the Sun in his joined palms. Sprinkling it thrice over his head, let him close the seven openings therein (41). Then for the pleasure of the Devi he should immerse himself thrice, leave the water, dry his body, and put on two pieces of clean cloth.
Tying up his hair whilst reciting the Gayatri, he should mark on his forehead with pure earth or ashes the tilaka and tri-pundra, with a Vindu over it (42). Let the worshipper then perform both the Vaidika and Tantrika forms of Sandhya in their respective order. Listen while I now describe to you the Tantrika Sandhya (4g).
After rinsing his mouth in the manner described, he should, O Blessed One! invoke into the water the Waters of the holy Rivers thus (45):
O Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Sarasvati, Narmmada,
Sindhu, Kaveri, come into this water (46).
The intelligent worshipper having invoked the sacred Rivers with this Mantra, and made the angkusha-mudra, should do Japa with the Mula-mantra twelve times (47). Let him then again utter the Mula-mantra, and with the middle and nameless fingers joined together throw drops of that water thrice upon the ground (48).
He should then sprinkle his head seven times with the water, and taking some in the palm of his left hand cover it up with his right (49). Then inwardly reciting the Vija of Ishana, Vayu, Varuna, Vahni, and Indra four times, the water should be transferred to the right palm (50). Seeing (in his mind’s eye) and meditating upon the water as Fire, the worshipper should draw it through the nose by Ida, expel it through Pingala (into his palm), and so wash away all inward impurity (51).
The worshipper should then three times dash the water (so expelled into his palm) against an (imaginary) adamant. Uttering the Astra-Mantra, let him then wash his hands (52). Then rinsing his mouth, oblation of water should be offered to the Sun with the following (53):
Ong Hring Hangsa
To Thee, O Sun, full of heat, shining, effulgent, I offer this oblation; Svaha (54).
Then let him meditate morning, midday, and evening upon the great Devi Gayatri, the Supreme Devi, as manifested in her three different forms and according to the three qualities (55).
In the morning meditate upon Her in Her Brahmi form, as a Maiden of ruddy hue, with a pure smile, with two hands, holding a gourd full of holy water, garlanded with crystal beads, clad in the skin of a black antelope, seated on a Swan (56). At midday meditate upon Her in Her Vaishnavi form, of the colour of pure gold, youthful, with full and rising breasts, situated in the Solar disc, with four hands holding the conch-shell, discus, mace, and lotus, seated on Garuda, garlanded with wild-flowers (57-58). In the evening the Yati should meditate upon Her as of a white colour, clad in white raiment, old and long past her youth, with three eyes, beneficent, propitious, seated on a Bull, holding in Her lotus-like hands a noose, a trident, a lance, and a skull (59-60).
Having thus meditated on the great Devi Gayatri, and offered water three times in the hollow of his joined hands, the worshipper should make Japa with the Gayatri either ten or a hundred times (61). Listen now, O Devi of the Devas! while I out of my love for Thee recite the Gayatri (62).
After the word “Adyayai” say “vidmahe,” and then “Parameshvaryyai dhimahi: tannah Kali prachodayat.” This is Thy Gayatri which destroys all great sins (63). The inward recitation of this Vidya thrice daily obtains the fruit of the performance of Sandhya. Water should then be offered to the Devas, Rishis, and the Pitris (64). First say the Pranava, and then the name of the Deva (the Rishi or the Pitri) in the accusative case, and after that the words “tarpayami namah.” When, however, oblation is offered to Shakti, the Maya Vija should be said in place of the Pranava, and in lieu of Namah the Mantra Svaha (65).
After uttering the Mula-mantra, say “Sarvva-bhuta-nivasinyai,” and then “Sarvva-svarupa” and “Sayudha” in the dative singular, as also “Savarana” and “Paratpara,” and then “Adyayai, Kalikayai, te, idam arghyam: Svaha” (66-67). (When the Mantra will be.)
Hring, Shring, Kring, to the Supreme Devi. O Supreme Devi, Thou Who dwelleth in all things and Whose image all things are, Who art surrounded by attendant deities, and Who bearest arms, Who art above even the most high to Thee, Who art the Adya Kalika, I offer this oblation: Svaha.
Having offered this arghya to the Mahadevi, the wise one should make Japa with the Mula-mantra with all his powers, and then place the Japa in the left hand of the Devi (68). Then let the Sadhaka bow to the Devi, take such water as is needed for his worship, bowing to the water whence he has drawn it, and proceed to the place of worship, earnestly meditating on and reciting hymns of praise to the Devi meanwhile. On his arrival there let him wash his hands and feet, and then make in front of the door the Samanyarghya (69-70). The wise one should draw a triangle, and outside it a circle, and outside the circle a square, and after worshipping the Adhara-shakti place the vessel on the figure (71).
Let him wash the vessel with the Weapon-Mantra, and while filling it with water let him say the Heart-Mantra. Then, throwing flowers and perfume into the water, let him invoke the holy Rivers into it (72). Worshipping Fire, Sun, and Moon in the water of the vessel, let him say the Maya Vija over it (73). The Dhenu and Yoni Mudras should then be shown. This is known as Samanyarghya. With the water and flowers of this oblation the Devata of the entrance to the place of worship should be worshipped (74), such as Ganesha, Kshetrapala, Vatuka, Yogini, Ganga, Yamuna, Lakshmi, and Vani (75). The wise one, lightly touching that part of the door-frame which is on his left, should then enter the place of worship with his left foot forward, meditating the while on the lotus-feet of the Devi (76). Then, after worship of the presiding Deva of the site, and of Brahma in the south-west corner, the place of worship should be cleansed with water taken from the common offering (77). Let the best of worshippers then with a steady gaze remove all celestial obstacles, and by the repetition of the Weapon-Mantra remove all obstacles in the Anta-riksha (78).
Striking the ground three times with his heel, let him drive away all earthly obstacles, and then fill the place of worship with the incense of burning sandal, fragrant aloe, musk, and camphor. He should then mark off a rectangular space as his seat, draw a triangle within it, and therein worship Kama-rupa with the
To Kama-rupa, Namah: (79-80).
Then for his seat spreading a mat over it, let him worship the Adhara-Shakti with the
Kling, Obeisance to the Adhara-Shakti of the lotus-seat (81).
The learned worshipper should then seat himself according to the “tied heroic” mode, with his face towards the East or the North, and should consecrate the Vijaya (81). (With the following)
Ong Hring. Ambrosia, that springeth from ambrosia, Thou that showereth ambrosia, draw ambrosia for me again and again. Bring Kalika within my control. Give siddhi; Svaha.
This is the Mantra for the consecration of Vijaya (83-84). Then inwardly reciting the Mula-mantra seven times over the Vijaya, show the Dhenu, the Yoni, the Avahani, and other Mudras (85).
Then satisfy the Guru who resides in the Lotus of a thousand petals by thrice offering the Vijaya with the Sangketa-Mudra, and the Devi in the heart by thrice offering the Vijaya with the same Mudra, and reciting the Mula-mantra (86). Then offer oblations to the mouth of the Kundali, with the Vijaya reciting the following
Aing (0 Devi Sarasvati), Thou Who art the Ruler of all the essences, do Thou inspire me, do Thou inspire me, and remain ever on the tip of my tongue; Svaha (87).
After drinking the Vijaya he should bow to the Guru, placing his folded palms over the left ear, then to Ganesha, placing his folded palms over his right ear, and lastly to the Eternal Adya Devi, by placing his folded palms in the middle of his forehead, and should the meanwhile meditate on the Devi. (88).
The wise worshipper should place the articles necessary for worship on his right, and scented water and other Kula articles on his left (89). Saying the Mula-mantra terminated by the Weapon-Mantra, let him take water from the common offering and sprinkle the articles of worship with it, and then enclose himself and the articles in a circle of water. After that, O Devi! let him by the Vahni Vija surround them with a wall of fire (90). Then for the purification of the palms of his hands he should take up a flower which has been dipped in sandal paste, rub it between the palms, reciting meanwhile the Mantra Phat, and throw it away (91).
Then in the following manner let him fence all the quarters so that no obstructions proceed from them. Join the first and second fingers of the right hand, and tap the palm of the left hand three times, each time after the first with greater force, thus making a loud sound, and then snap the fingers while uttering the weapon-Mantra (92). He should then proceed to perform the purification of the elements of his body. The excellent disciple should place his hands in his lap with the palms upwards, and fixing his mind on the Muladhara Chakra let him rouse Kundalini by uttering the Vija “Hung.” Having so roused Her, let him lead Her with Prithivi by means of the Hangsa Mantra to the Svadhishthana Chakra, and let him there dissolve each one of the elements of the body by means of another of such elements (93-94). Then let him dissolve Prithivi together with odour, as also the organ of smell, into water. Dissolve water and taste, as also the sense of taste itself, into Fire (95). Dissolve Fire and vision and form, and the sense of sight itself, into air (96).
Let air and touch, as also the sense of touch itself, be dissolved into ether. Dissolve ether and sound into the conscious Self and the Self into Mahat, Mahat itself into Prakriti, and Prakriti Herself into Brahman (97). Let the wise one, having thus dissolved (the twenty-four) tattvas, then think of an angry black man in the left side of the cavity of his abdomen of the size of his thumb with red beard and eyes, holding a sword and shield, with his head ever held low, the very image of all sins (98-99).
Then the foremost of disciples should, thinking of the purple Vayu Vija as on his left nostril, inhale through that nostril sixteen times. By this let him dry the sinful body (100). Next, meditating on the red Vija of Agni as being situate in the navel, the body with all its sinful inclinations should be burnt up by the fire born of the Vija, as also by sixty-four Kumbhakas (101). Then, thinking of the white Varuna Vija in his forehead, let him bathe (the body which has been so burnt) with the nectar-like water dropping from the Varuna Vija by thirty-two exhalations (102).
Having thus bathed the whole body from feet to head, let him consider that a Deva body has come into being (103). Then, thinking of the yellow Vija of the Earth as situate in the Muladhara circle, let him strengthen his body by that Vija and by a steadfast and winkless gaze (104). Placing his hand on his heart and uttering the
Ang, Hring, Krong, Hangsah, So’hang.
let him infuse into his body the life of the Devi (105).
O Ambika! having thus purified the elements (the disciple) with a mind well under control, and intent upon the nature of the Devi, should do Matrika-nyasa. The Rishi of Matrika is Brahma, and the verse is Gayatri, and Matrika is presiding Devi thereof; the consonants are its Seed, and the vowels its Shaktis, and Visarga is the End. In Lipi-nyasa, O Mahadevi! each letter should be separately pronounced as it is placed in the different parts of the body. Having similarly performed Rishi-nyasa, Kara-nyasa and Ang-ga-nyasa should be performed (106-108).
O Beauteous Face! the Mantras enjoined for Shad-ang-ga-nyasa are Ka-varga between Ang and Ang, Cha-varga between Ing and Ing, Ta-varga between Ung and Ung, Ta-varga between Eng and Aing, and Pa-varga between Ong and Aung, and the letters from Ya to Ksha between Vindu and Visarga respectively (109-110), and having placed the letters according to the rules of Nyasa, the Sadhaka should then meditate upon Sarasvati:
I seek refuge in the Devi of Speech, three-eyed, encircled with a white halo, whose face, hands, feet, middle body, and breast are composed of the fifty letters of the alphabet, on whose radiant forehead is the crescent moon, whose breasts are high and rounded, and who with one of her lotus hands makes Jnana-mudra, and with the other holds the rosary of Rudraksha beads, the jar of nectar, and learning (112).
Having thus meditated upon the Devi Matrika, place the letters in the six Chakras as follows: Ha and Kska in the Ajna Lotus, the sixteen vowels in the Vishuddha Lotus, the letters from Ka to Tha in the Anahata Lotus, the letters from Da to Pha in Manipura Lotus, the letters from Ba to La in the Svadhishthana Lotus, and in the Muladhara Lotus the letters Va to Sa. And having thus in his mind placed these letters of the alphabet, let the worshipper place them outwardly (113-115). Having placed them on the forehead, the face, eyes, ears, nose, cheeks, upper lip, teeth, head, hollow of the mouth, back, the hump of the back, navel, belly, heart, shoulders, (four) joints in the arms, end of the arms, heart, (four) joints of the legs, ends of legs, and on all parts from the heart to the two arms, from the heart to the two legs, from the heart to the mouth, and from the heart to the different parts as above indicated, Pranayama should be performed (116-118). Draw in the air by the left nostril whilst muttering the Maya Vija sixteen times, then fill up the body by Kumbhaka by stopping the passage of both the nostrils with the little, third finger, and thumb whilst making japa of the Vija sixty-four times, and, lastly, exhale the air through the right nostril whilst making japa of the Vija thirty-two times (119-120). The doing of this thrice through the right and left nostrils alternately is Pranayama.
After this has been done, Rishi-nyasa should be performed (121). The Revealers of the Mantra are Brahma and the Brahmarshis, the metre is of the Gayatri and other forms, and its presiding Devata is the Adya Kali (122). The Vija is the Vija of the Adya, its Shakti is the Maya Vija, and that which comes at the end is the Kamala Vija (123). Then the Mantra should be assigned to the head, mouth, heart, anus, the two feet, and all the parts of the body (123). The passing of the two hands three or seven times over the whole body from the feet to the head, and from the head to the feet, making japa meanwhile of the Mula-mantra, is called Vyapaka-nyasa, which yields the declared result (124).
O Beloved! by adding in succession the six long vowels to the first Vija of the Mula-mantra, six Vidya are formed. The wise worshipper should in Angga-kalpana utter in succession these or the Mula-mantra alone (125), and then say “to the two thumbs,” “to the two index fingers,” “to the two middle fingers,” “to the two ring fingers,” “to the two little fingers,” “to the front and back of the two palms,” concluding with Namah, Svaha, Vashat, Hung, Vaushat, and Phat in their order respectively (126).
When touching the heart say “Namah,” when touching the head “Svaha,” and when touching the crown lock thereon “Vashat.” Similarly, when touching the two upper portions of the arms, the three eyes and the two palms, utter the Mantras Hung and Vaushat and Phat respectively. In this manner nyasa of the six parts of the body should be practised, and then the Vira should proceed to Pithanyasa (127-128). Then let the Vira place in the lotus of the heart, the Adhara-shakti, the tortoise, Shesha serpent, Prithivi, the ocean of ambrosia, the Gem Island, the Parijata tree, the chamber of gems which fulfil all desires, the jewelled altar, and the lotus seat (129-130). Then he should place on the right shoulder, the left shoulder, the right hip, the left hip, respectively and in their order, Dharmma, Jnana, Aishvaryya, and Vairagya (131), and the excellent worshipper should place the negatives of these qualities on the mouth, the left side, the navel, and the right side respectively (132). Next let him place in the heart Ananda Kanda, Sun, Moon, Fire, the three qualities, adding to the first of their letters the sign Vindu, and the filaments and pericarp of the Lotus, and let him place in the petals of the lotus the eight Pitha Nayikas – Mangala, Vijaya, Bhadra, Jayanti, Aparajita, Nandini, Narasinghi, Vaishnavi, and in the tips of the petals of the lotus the eight Bhairavas – Asitanga, Chanda, Kapali, Krodha, Bhishana, Unmatta, Ruru, Sanghari (133-135).
Then the worshipper should, after forming his hands into the Kachchhapa Mudra, take two fragrant flowers, and, placing his hands on his heart, let him meditate upon the ever-existent Devi (136). The nature of meditation upon Thee, O Devi! is of two kinds, according as Thou art imagined formless or with a form. As formless Thou art ineffable and incomprehensible, imperceptible. Of Thee it cannot be said that Thou art either this or that, Thou art omnipresent, unobtainable, attainable only by Yogis through penances and acts of self-restraint (137-138). I will now speak of meditation upon Thee in corporeal form in order that the mind may learn concentration, that desires be speedily achieved, and that the power to meditate according to the subtle form may be aroused (139).
The form of the greatly lustrous Kalika, Mother of Kala Who devours all things, is imagined according to Her qualities and actions (140).
I adore the Adya Kalika Whose body is of the hue of the (dark) rain-cloud, upon Whose forehead the Moon gleams, the three-eyed One, clad in crimson raiment, Whose two hands are raised – the one to dispel fear, and the other to bestow blessing – Who is seated on a red lotus in full bloom, Her beautiful face radiant, watching Maha-Kala, Who, drunk with the delicious wine of the Madhuka flower, is dancing before Her (141).
After having meditated upon the Devi in this form, and placed a flower on his head, let the devotee with all devotion worship Her with the articles of mental worship (142). Let him offer the lotus of the heart for Her seat, the ambrosia trickling from the lotus of a thousand petals for the washing of Her feet, and his mind as arghya (143). Then let him offer the same ambrosia as water for rinsing of Her mouth and bathing of Her body, let him offer the essence of the ether to be raiment of the Devi, the essence of scent to be the perfumes, his own heart and vital air the essence of fire, and the ocean of nectar to be respectively the flowers, incense, light, and food offerings (of worship).
Let him offer the sound in the Anahata Chakra for the ringing of the bell, the essence of the air for the fan and fly-whisk, and the functions of the senses and the restlessness of the mind for the dance before the Devi (144-146). Let various kinds of flowers be offered for the attainment of the object of one’s desire: amaya, anahangkara, araga, amada, amoha, adambha, advesha, akshobha, amatsaryya, alobha, and thereafter the five flowers – namely, the most excellent flowers, ahingsa, indriya-nigraha, daya, kshama, and jnana. With these fifteen flowers, fifteen qualities of disposition, he should worship the Devi (147-149).
Then let him offer (to the Devi) the ocean of ambrosia, a mountain of meat and fried fish, a heap of parched food, grain cooked in milk with sugar and ghee, the Kula nectar, the Kula flower, and the water which has been used for the washing of the Shakti. Then, having sacrificed all lust and anger, the cause of all impediments, let him do japa (150-151).
The mala (rosary) prescribed consists of the letters of the alphabet, strung on Kundalini as the thread (152). After reciting the letters of the alphabet from A to La, with the Vindu superposed upon each, the Mula-mantra should be recited. This is known as Anuloma. Again, beginning with La and ending with A, let the sadhaka make japa of the Mantra. This is known as Viloma and Ksha-kara is called the Meru (153-154).

Mahanirvana Tantra

Chapter 6 – Placing of the Shri-patra, Homa, Formation of the Chakra, and other Rites
As Thou hast kindness for Me, pray tell Me, O Lord! more particularly about the Pancha-tattvas and the other observances of which Thou hast spoken (1).
Shri Sadashiva said:
There are three kinds of wine which are excellent – namely, that which is made from molasses, rice, or the Madhuka flower. There are also various other kinds made from the juice of the palmyra and date tree, and known by various names according to their substance and place of production. They are all declared to be equally appropriate in the worship of the Devata (2).
Howsoever it may have been produced, and by whomsoever it is brought, the wine, when purified, gives to the worshipper all siddhi. There are no distinctions of caste in the taking of wine so sanctified (3). Meat, again, is of three kinds, that of animals of the waters, of the earth, and of the sky. From wheresoever it may be brought, and by whomsoever it may have been killed, it gives, without doubt, pleasure to the Devas (4). Let the desire of the disciple determine what should be offered to the Devas. Whatsoever he himself likes, the offering of that conduces to his well-being (5). Only male animals should be decapitated in sacrifice. It is the command of Shambhu that female animals should not be slain (6). There are three superior kinds of Fish – namely, Shala, Pathina and Rohita. Those which are without bones are of middle quality, whilst those which are full of bones are of inferior quality. The latter may, however, if well fried, be offered to the Devi (7-8).
There are also three kinds of parched food, superior, middle, and inferior. The excellent and pleasing kind is that made from Shali rice, white as a moonbeam, or from barley or wheat, and which has been fried in clarified butter. The middling variety is made of fried paddy. Other kinds of fried grain are inferior (9-10). Meat, fish, and parched food, fruits and roots, or anything else offered to the Devata along with wine, are called Shuddhi (11). O Devi! the offering of wine without Shuddhi, as also puja and tarpana (without Shuddhi), become fruitless, and the Devata is not propitiated (12). The drinking of wine without Shuddhi is like the swallowing of poison. The disciple is ever ailing, and lives for a short time and dies (13). O Great Devi! when the weakness of the Kali Age becomes great, one’s own Shakti or wife should alone be known as the fifth Tattva. This is devoid of all defects (14). O Beloved of My Life! in this (the last Tattva) I have spoken of Svayambhu and other kinds of flower. As substitutes for them, however, I enjoin red sandal paste (15). Neither the Tattvas nor flowers, leaves, and fruits should be offered to the Mahadevi unless purified. The man who offers them without purification goes to hell (16).
The Shri-patra should be placed in the company of one’s own virtuous Shakti; she should be sprinkled with the purified wine or water from the common offering (17). The Mantra for the sprinkling of the Shakti is –
Aing, Kling, Sauh. Salutation to Tripura; purify this Shakti, make her my Shakti; Svaha (18-19).
If she who is to be Shakti is not already initiated, then the Maya Vija should be whispered into her ear, and other Shaktis who are present should be worshipped and not enjoyed (20).
The worshipper should then, in the space between himself and the Yantra, draw a triangle with the Maya Vija in its centre, and outside the triangle and in the order here stated a circle, a hexagon, and a square (21). The excellent disciple should then worship in the four corners of the square the Pithas, Purna-shaila, Uddiyana, Jalandhara, and Kama-rupa, with the Mantras formed of their respective names, preceded by Vijas formed by the first letter of their respective names, and followed by Namah (22).
Then the six parts of the body should be worshipped in the six corners of the hexagon. Then worship the triangle, with the Mula-Mantra, and then the Shakti of the receptacle with the Maya Vija and Namah (23). Wash the receptacle with the Mantra Namah, and then place it (as in the case of the jar) on the Mandala, and worship in it the ten parts of Vahni with the first letters of their respective names as Vijas (24). These parts, which are ten in number – viz., Dhumra, Archih, Jvalini, Sukshma, Jvalini, Vishphulingini, Sushri, Surupa, Kapila,Havya-kavya-vaha – should be uttered in the Dative singular, and followed by the Mantra Namah (25-26).
Then worship the region of Vahni (in the adhara or receptacle) with the following:
Mang: Salutation to the region of Vahni with his ten qualities (27).
Then, taking the vessel of offering and purifying it with the Mantra Phat, place it on the receptacle, and, having so placed it, worship therein the twelve parts of the Sun with the Vijas, commencing with Ka-Bha to Tha-Da (28). These twelve parts are – Tapini, Tapini, Dhumra, Marichi, Jvalini, Ruchi, Sudhumra, Bhoga-da, Vishva, Bodhini, Dharini, Kshama (29). After this, worship the region of Sun in the vessel of offering with the following:
Ang: Salutation to the circle of Sun, with His twelve parts (30).
Then the worshipper should fill the cup of offering three-quarters full with wine taken from the jar, uttering the Matrika Vijas in the reverse order (31). Filling the rest of the cup with water taken from the special offering, let him worship with a well-controlled mind the sixteen digits of the Moon, saying as Vijas each of the sixteen vowels before each of the sixteen digits spoken in the dative singular, followed by the Mantra Namah (32).
The sixteen desire-granting digits of Moon are – Amrita, Pranada, Pusha, Tushti, Pushti, Rati, Dhriti, Shashini, Chandrika, Kanti, Jyotsna, Skri, Priti, Angada, Purna, and Purnamrita (33). As in the case of the other Devas mentioned, the disciple should then worship the region of the Moon with the following:
Ung: Salutation to the region of Moon with its sixteen digits (34).
Durva grass, sun-dried rice, red flowers, Varvara, leaf, and the Aparajita flower should be thrown into the vessel with the Mantra Hring, and the sacred waters should be invoked into it (35). Then, covering the wine and the vessel of offering with the Avagunthana Mudra, and uttering the Armour Vija, protect it with the Weapon-Vija, and converting it into ambrosia with the Dhenu-Mudra, cover it with the Matsya-Mudra (36). Making japa of the Mula-Mantra ten times, the Ishta-devata should be invoked and worshipped with flowers offered in the joined palms.
Then charge the wine with the following five Mantras, beginning with akhanda: (37)
O Kula-rupini! infuse into the essence of this excellent wine which produces full and unbroken bliss its thrill of joy (38).
Thou who art like the nectar which is in Ananga, and art the embodiment of Pure Knowledge, place into this liquid the ambrosia of Brahmananda (39).
O Thou, who art the very image of That! do Thou unite this arghya with the image or self of That, and having become the kulamrita, blossom in me (40).
Bring into this sacred vessel, which is full of wine, essence of ambrosia produced from the essence of all that is in this world, and containing all kinds of taste (41).
May this cup of self, which is filled with the nectar of self, Lord, be sacrificed in the Fire of the Supreme Self (42).
Having thus consecrated the wine with the Mantra, think of the union in it of Sadashiva and Bhagavati and wave lights and burning incense-sticks before it (43).
This is the consecration of the Shri-patra in Kaulika worship. Without such purification the disciple is guilty of sin, and the worship is fruitless (44). The wise one should then, according to the rules prescribed for the placing of the common offering, place between the jar and the Shri-patra the cups of the Guru, the cup of Enjoyment, the cup of the Shakti, the cups of the Yoginis of the Vira and of Sacrifice, and those for the washing of the feet and the rinsing of the mouth respectively, making nine cups in all (45-46).
Then, filling the cups three-quarters full of wine from the jar, a morsel of Shuddhi of the size of a pea should be placed in each of them (47). Then, holding the cup between the thumb and the fourth finger of the left hand, taking the morsel of Shuddhi in the right hand, making the Tattva-mudra, Tarpana should be done. This is the practice which has been enjoined (48). Taking an excellent drop of wine from the Shripatra and a piece of Shuddhi, Tarpana should be made to the Deva Ananda-Bhairava and the Devi Ananda-Bhairavi (49).
Then, with the wine in the cup of the Guru, offer oblations to the line of Gurus. in the first place to the worshipper’s own Guru seated together with his wife on the lotus of a thousand petals, and then to the Parama Guru, the Parapara Guru, the Parameshti Guru successively. In offering oblations to the four Gurus, the Vagbhava Vija should first be pronounced, followed in each case by the names of each of the four Gurus (50). Then, with wine from the cup of enjoyment, the worshipper should, in the lotus of his heart, offer oblations to the Adya-Kali. In this oblation Her own Vija should precede, and Svaha should follow Her name. This should be done thrice (51).
Next, with wine taken from the cup of the Shakti, oblation should be similarly offered to the Devata of the parts of Her body and their Avarana-Devatas (52). Then, with the wine in the cup of the Yogini, oblation should be offered to the Adya-Kalika, carrying all Her weapons and with all Her followers.
Then should follow the sacrifice to the Vatukas (53). The wise worshipper should draw on his left an ordinary rectangular figure, and after worshipping it, place therein food with wine, meat, and other things (54). With the Vijas of Vak, Maya, Kamala, and with the Mantra:
“Vang, Salutation to Vatuka,” he should be worshipped in the East of the rectangle, and then sacrifice should be offered to him (55).
Then, with the Mantra
“Yang to the Yogin is Svaha,”
sacrifice should be made to the Yoginis on the South (56), and then to Kshetra-pala on the West of the rectangle, with the Mantra
“To Kshetra-pala namah,”
preceded by the letter Ksha, to which in succession the six long vowels are added with the Vindu (57). Following this, sacrifice should be made to Gana-pati on the North, adding to Ga the six long vowels in succession with the Vindu thereon, followed by the name of Ganesha in the dative singular, and ending with Svaha. Lastly, sacrifice should be made inside the rectangle to all Bhutas, according to proper form (58-59).
Uttering “Hring, Shring, Sarvva-vighna-kridbhyah,” add “Sarvva-bhutebhyah,” and then “Hung Phat Svaha;” this is how the Mantra is formed (60). Then a sacrifice to Shiva should be made with the following:
Ong, O Dev! O Shiva, O Exalted One, Thou art the image of the final conflagration at the dissolution of things, deign to accept this sacrifice, and to reveal clearly to me the good and evil which is my destiny. To Shiva I bow.
This is the Mula-Mantra in the worship of Shiva.
Having said this, perform the sacrifice, saying, “This is Thy Vali. To Shiva, Namah. O Holy One! I have now described to Thee the mode of formation of the circle of worship (and the placing of the cup and other rites) (61-62). Then, making with the two hands the Kachchhapa-Mudra, let the worshipper take up with his hands a beautiful fiower scented with sandal, fragrant aloes, and musk, and, carrying it to the lotus of his heart, let him meditate therein (in the lotus) upon the most supreme Adya (63-64).
Then let him lead the Devi along the Sushumna Nadi, which is the highway of Brahman to the great Lotus of a thousand petals, and there make Her joyful. Then, bringing Her through his nostrils, let him place Her on the flower (her presence being communicated) as it were, by one light to another, and place the flower on the Yantra and with folded hands pray with all devotion to his Ishta-devata thus (65-66):
O Queen of the Devas! Thou who art easily attained by devotion. Remain here, I pray Thee, with all Thy following, the while I worship Thee (67).
Then, uttering the Vija Kring, say the following:
O Adya Devi Kalika! come here with all Thy following, come here (and then say), stay here, stay here (68); (and then say) place Thyself here, (and then say) be Thou detained here. Accept my worship (69).
Having thus invoked (the Devi) into the Yantra, the Vital Airs of the Devi should be infused therein by the following pratishtha Mantra (70):
Ang, Hring, Krong, Shring, Svaha; may the five Vital Airs of this Devata be here: Ang, Hring, Krong, Shring, Svaha (71). Her Jiva is here placed – Ang, Hring, Krong, Shring, Svaha – all senses – Ang, Hring, Krong, Shring, Svaha. Speech, mind, sight, smell, hearing, touch, and the Vital Airs of the Adya-Kali Devata, may they come here and stay happily here for ever. Svaha (72-74).
Having recited the above three times, and having in due form placed the Vital Airs (of the Devi) in the Yantra with the Lelihina-Mudra, with folded palms, he (the worshipper) should say (75):
O Adya Kali! hast Thou had a good journey, hast Thou had a good journey? O Parameshvari! mayest Thou be seated on this seat (76)?
Then, whilst repeating the primary Mantra, sprinkle thrice the water of the special oblation over the Devi, and then make Nyasa of the Devi with the six parts of Her body. This ceremony is called Sakalikarama or Sakalikriti. Then worship the Devi with all the sixteen offerings (77). These are: water for washing the feet, the water for the offering, water for rinsing the mouth and for Her bath, garments, jewels, perfume, flowers, incense-sticks, lights, food, water for washing the mouth, nectar, pan, water of oblation, and obeisance. In worship these sixteen offerings are needed (78-79).
Uttering the Adya Vija, and then saying “this water is for washing the feet of the (Adya). To the Devata Namah,” offer the water at the feet of the Devi. Similarly with the word Svaha, in place of Namah, the offering should be placed at the head of the Devi (80). Then the wise worshipper with Svadha should offer the water for rinsing the mouth to the mouth of the Devi, and then the worshipper should offer to the lotus-mouth of the Devi Madhu-parka with the Mantra Svadha. He should then offer water to rinse the mouth (a second time) with the Mantra “Vang Svadha” (81). Then the worshipper, saying:
Hring, Shring, Kring, Parameshvari, Svaha: I offer this water for bathing, this apparel, these jewels, to the Supreme Devi, the Primordial Kalika. Svaha,
make an offer of them to all parts of the body of the Devi (82).
Then the worshipper should, with the same Mantra, but ending with Namah, offer scent with his middle and third finger to the heart-lotus (of the Devi), and with the same Mantra, but ending with Vaushat, he should similarly offer to Her flowers (83). Having placed the burning incense and lighted lamp in front of Devi, and sprinkling them with water, they should be given away with the
Hring, Shring, Kring, Parameshvari, Svaha: This incense-stick and light I humbly offer to Adya-Kalika. Svaha.
After worship of the Bell with the
O Mother, Who produces the sound which proclaims triumph to Thee. Svaha,
he should ring it with his left hand, and, taking up the incense-stick with his right hand, he should wave it up to the nostrils of the Devi. Then, placing the incense-stick on Her left, he should raise and wave the light ten times up to and before the eyes of the Devi (84-86). Then, taking the Cup and the Shuddhi in his two hands, the worshipper should, whilst uttering the Mula-Mantra, offer them to the centre of the Yantra (87).
O Thou who hast brought to an end a crore of kalpas, take this excellent wine, as also the Shuddhi, and grant to me endless liberation (88).
Then, drawing a figure (in front of the Yantra), according to the rules of ordinary worship, place the plate with food thereon (89). Sprinkle the food (with the Mantra Phat) and veil it with the Avagunthana-Mudra (and the Mantra Hung), and then again protect it (by the Mantra Phat) (Saying Vang), and, exhibiting the Dhenu-Mudra over it, make it into the food of immortality. Then, after recitation of the Mula-Mantra seven times, it should be oftered to the Devi with the water taken from the vessel of offering (90).
The worshipper, after reciting the Mula-Mantra, should say: “This cooked food, with all other necessaries, I offer to the Adya-Kali, my Ishta-devi.” He should then say: “O Shiva! partake of this offering” (91). Then he should make the Devi eat the offering by means of the five Mudras called Prana, Apana, Samana, Vyana, and Udana (90).

Mahanirvana Tantra

Chapter 7 – Hymn of Praise (Stotra), Amulet (Kavacha), and the description of the Kula-tattva
PARVATI was pleased at hearing the revelation of the auspicious Mantra of the Adya Kalika, which yields abundant blessings, is the only means of attaining to a knowledge of the Divine essence, and leads to liberation; as also at hearing of the morning rites, the rules relating to bathing, Sandhya, the purification of Bhang, the methods of external and internal Nyasa and worship, the sacrifice of animals, Homa, the formation of the circle of worship, and the partaking of the holy food. Bowing low with modesty, the Devi questioned Shankara (1-3).
Shri Devi said:
O Sadashiva! Lord, and Benefactor of the Universe, Thou hast in Thy mercy spoken of the mode of worship of the supreme Prakriti (4), which benefits all being, is the sole path both for enjoyment and final liberation, and which gives, in this Age, in particular, immediate success (5). My mind, immersed in the ocean of the nectar of Thy word, has no desire to rise therefrom, but craves for more and more (6). O Deva, in the directions Thou hast given relating to the worship of the great Devi, Thou hast but given a glimpse of the hymn of praise, and of the protective Mantra. Do Thou reveal them now (7).
Shri Sadashiva said:
Listen, then, O Devi, Who art the adored of the worlds,to this unsurpassed hymn, by the reciting of or listening to which one becomes the Lord of all the Siddhis (8), (a hymn) which allays evil fortune, increases happiness and prosperity, destroys untimely death, and removes all calamities (9), and is the cause of the happy approach to the gracious Adya Kalika. It is by the grace of this hymn,O Happy One, that I am Tripurari (10).
O Devi! the Rishi of this hymn is Sadashiva, its metre is Anushtup, its Devata is the Adya Kalika, and the object of its use is the attainment of Dharmma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha (11).
Hymn Entitled Adya-Kali-Svarupa.
Hring, O Destroyer of Time,
Shring, O Terrific One,
Kring, Thou Who art beneficent,
Possessor of all the Arts,
Thou art Kamala,
Destroyer of the pride of the Kali Age,
Who art kind to Him of the matted hair, (12)
Devourer of Him Who devours,
Mother of Time,
Thou Who art brilliant as the Fires of the final Dissolution,
Wife of Him of the matted hair,
O Thou of formidable countenance,
Ocean of the nectar of compassion, (13)
Vessel of Mercy,
Whose Mercy is without limit,
Who art attainable alone by Thy mercy,
Who art Fire,
Black of hue,
Thou Who increasest the joy of the Lord of Creation, (14)
Night of Darkness,
Image of Desire,
Yet Liberator from the bonds of desire,
Thou Who art (dark) as a bank of Clouds,
And bearest the crescent-moon,
Destructress of sin in the Kali Age, (15)
Thou Who art pleased by the worship of virgins,
Thou Who art the Refuge of the worshippers of virgins,
Who art pleased by the feasting of the virgins,
Who art the Image of the virgin, (16)
Thou Who wanderest in the kadamba forest,
Who art pleased with the flowers of the kadamba forest,
Who hast Thy abode in the kadamba forest,
Who wearest a garland of kadamba flowers, (17)
Thou Who art youthful,
Who hast a soft low voice,
Whose voice is sweet as the cry of a Chakravaka bird,
Who drinkest and art pleased with the kadambari wine, (18)
And Whose cup is a skull,
Who wearest a garland of bones,
Who art pleased with,
And Who art seated on the Lotus, (19)
Who abidest in the centre of the Lotus,
Whom the fragrance of the Lotus pleases,
Who movest with the swaying gait of a Hangsa,
Destroyer of fear,
Who assumest all forms at will,
Whose abode is at Kama-rupa, (20)
Who ever plays at the Kama-pitha,
O beautiful One,
O Creeper Which givest every desire,
Who art the Possessor of beautiful ornaments, (21)
Adorable as the Image of all tenderness,
Thou with a tender body,
And Who art slender of waist,
Who art pleased with the nectar of purified wine,
Giver of success to them whom purified wine rejoices, (22)
The own Deity of those who worship Thee when joyed with wine,
Who art gladdened by the worship of Thyself with purified wine,
Who art immersed in the ocean of purified wine,
Who art the Protectress of those who accomplish vrata with wine, (23)
Whom the fragrance of musk gladdens,
And Who art luminous with a tilaka-mark of musk,
Who art attached to those who worship Thee with musk,
Who lovest those who worship Thee with musk, (24)
Who art a Mother to those who burn musk as incense,
Who art fond of the musk-deer and art pleased to eat its musk,
Whom the scent of camphor gladdens,
Who art adorned with garlands of camphor,
And Whose body is smeared with camphor and sandal paste, (25)
Who art pleased with purified wine flavoured with Camphor,
Who drinkest purified wine flavoured with camphor,
Who art bathed in the ocean of camphor,
Whose abode is in the ocean of camphor, (26)
Who art pleased when worshipped with the Vija Hung,
Thou Who threatenest with the Vija Hung,
Embodiment of Kulachara,
Adored by Kaulikas,
Benefactress of the Kaulikas, (27)
Observant of Kulachara,
Joyous One, Revealer of the path of the Kaulikas,
Queen of Kashi,
Allayer of sufferings,
Giver of blessings to the Lord of Kashi,(28)
Giver of pleasure to the Lord of Kashi,
Beloved of the Lord of Kashi, (29)
Thou Whose toe-ring bells make sweet melody as Thou movest,
Whose girdle bells sweetly tinkle,
Who abidest in the mountain of gold,
Who art like a Moon-beam on the mountain of gold, (30)
Who art gladdened by the recitation of the Mantra Kling,
Who art the Kama Vija,
Destructress of all evil inclinations,
And of the afflictions of the Kaulikas,
Lady of the Kaulas, (31)
O Thou Who by the three Vijas, Kring, Hring, Shring, art the Destructress of the fear of Death.
(To Thee I make obeisance.)
These are proclaimed as the Hundred Names of Kalika (32), beginning with the letter Ka. They are all identical with the image of Kali (33). He who in worship recites these names with his mind fixed on Kalika, for him Mantra-siddhi is quickly obtained, and with him Kali is pleased (34). By the mere bidding of his Guru he acquires intelligence, knowledge, and becomes wealthy, famous, munificent, and compassionate (35). Such an one enjoys life happily in this world with his children and grandchildren with wealth and dominion (36). He who, on a new moon night, when it falls on Tuesday, worships the great Adya Kali, Mistress of the three worlds, with the five Ma-karas, and repeats Her hundred names, becomes suffused with the presence of the Devi, and for him there remains nothing in the three worlds which is beyond his powers (37-38).
He becomes in learning like Brihaspati himself, in wealth like Kuvera. His profundity is that of the ocean, and his strength that of the wind (39). He shines with the blinding brilliance of the Sun, yet pleases with the soft glamour of the Moon. In beauty he becomes like the God of Love, and reaches the hearts of women (40). He comes forth as conqueror everywhere by the grace of this hymn of praise. Singing this hymn, he attains all his desires (41). All these desires he shall attain by the grace of the gracious Adya, whether in battle, in seeking the favour of Kings, in wagers, or in disputes, and when his life be in danger (42), at the hands of robbers, amidst burning villages, lions, or tigers (43), in forests and lonely deserts, when imprisoned, threatened by Kings or adverse planets, in burning fever, in long sickness, when attacked by fearful disease (44), in the sickness of children caused by the influence of adverse planets, or when tormented by evil dreams, when fallen in boundless waters, and when he be in some storm-tossed ship (45).
O Devi! he who with firm devotion meditates upon the Parama Maya–image of the most excellent Kali–is without a doubt relieved of all dangers. For him there is never any fear, whether arising from sin or disease (46-47). For him there is ever victory, and defeat never. At the mere sight of him all dangers flee (48). He expounds all Scriptures, enjoys all good fortune, and becomes the leader in all matters of caste and duty,and the lord among his kinsmen (49). In his mouth Vani ever abides, and in his home Kamala. Men bow with respect at the mere mention of his name (50). The eight Siddhis, such as Anima and others, he looks upon as but mere bits of grass.
I have now recited the hymn of a hundred names, which is called “The Very Form of the Adya Kali” (51).
Purashcharana of this hymn, which is its repetition one hundred and eight times, yields all desired fruit (52). This hymn of praise of a hundred names, which is the Primeval Kali Herself, if read, or caused to be read, if heard, or caused to be heard, frees from all sins and leads to union with Brahman (53-54).
Shri Sadashiva said.
I have spoken of the great hymn of the Prakriti of the Supreme Brahman, hear now the protective Mantra of the sacred Adya Kalika (55). The name of the Mantra is “Conqueror of the three Worlds,” its Rishi is Shiva, the verse is Anushtup, and its Devata the Adya Kali (56).
Its Vija is the Maya Vija, its Shakti is Kama Vija, and its Kilaka is Kring. It should be used for the attainment of all desired objects (57).
The Protective Mantra
(Known As Trailokya-Vijaya)
Hring, may the Adya protect my head;
Shring, may Kali protect my face;
Kring, may the Supreme Shakti protect my heart;
May She Who is the Supreme of the Supreme protect my throat (58);
May Jagaddhatri protect my two eyes;
May Shankari protect my two ears;
May Mahamaya protect my power of smell;
May Sarvva-mangala protect my taste (58);
May Kaumari protect my teeth;
May Kamalalaya protect my cheeks;
May Kshama protect my upper and lower lips;
May Charu-hasini protect my chin (60);
May Kuleshani protect my neck;
May Kripa-mayi protect the nape of my neck;
May Bahu-da protect my two arms;
May Kaivalya-dayini protect my two hands; (61)
May Kapardini protect my shoulders;
May Trailokya-tarini protect my back;
May Aparna protect my two sides;
May Kamathasana protect my hips (62);
May Vishalakshi protect my navel;
May Prabha-vati protect my organ of generation;
May Kalyani protect my thighs;
May Parvati protect my feet;
May Jaya-durga protect my vital breaths,
And Sarvva-siddhi-da protect all parts of my body (63).
As to those parts as have not been mentioned in the Kavacha, and are unprotected, may the Eternal Primeval Kali protect all such (64).
I have now spoken to Thee of the wonderful heavenly Protective Mantra of the Adya Devi Kalika, which is known as the “Conqueror of the three Worlds” (65).
He who repeats it at his devotions with his mind fixed upon the Adya obtains all his desires, and She becomes propitious unto him (66). He quickly attains Mantra-siddhi. The lesser siddhis become, as it were, his slaves (67). He who is childless gets a son, he who desires wealth gains riches. The seeker of learning attains it, and whatsoever a man desires he attains the same (68).
The Purashcharana of this Protective Mantra is its repetition a thousand times, and this gives the desired fruit (69). If it be written on birch-bark, with the paste of sandal, fragrant aloe, musk, saffron, or red sandal, and encased in a golden ball, worn either on the right arm, round the neck, in the crown lock, or round the waist, then the Adya Kali becomes devoted to its wearer, and grants him whatsoever he may desire (70-71). Nowhere has he fear. In all places he is a conqueror. He becomes ready of speech, free from ailments, long-lived and strong, endowed with all power of endurance (72), and an adept in all learning. He knows the meaning of all Scriptures, has Kings under his control, and holds both pleasure and emancipation in the hollow of his hand (73).
For men affected with the taint of the Kali Age it is a most excellent Mantra for the attainment of final liberation (74).
Shri Devi said:
Thou hast, O Lord! in Thy kindness told me of the Hymn and Protective Mantra; I now desire to hear of the rules relating to Purashcharana (75).
Shri Sadashiva said:
The rules relating to Purashcharana in the worship of the Adya Kalika are the same as those relating to the Purashcharana in the worship with the Brahma-Mantra (76). For Sadhakas who are unable to do them completely, both Japa, Puja and Homa, and Purashcharana may be curtailed (77), since it is better to observe these rites on a small scale than not to observe them at all. Now listen, O Gentle One! the while I describe to Thee the shortened form of worship (78). Let the wise one rinse his mouth with the Mula-Mantra, and then perform Rishi-nyasa. Let him purify the palms of the hands, and proceed to Kara-nyasa and Anga-nyasa (79). Passing the hands all over the body, let him practise Pranayama, and then meditate, worship, and inwardly recite. This is the ceremonial for the shortened form of worship (80).
In this form of worship, in lieu of Homa and other rites, the Mantras may be recited four times the number prescribed in the case of each of them respectively (81). There is also another mode of performance. A person who, when the fourteenth day of the dark half of the month falls on a Tuesday or Saturday, worships Jaganmayi with the five elements of worship, and recites with fully attentive mind the Mantra ten thousand times at midnight and feasts believers in the Brahman has performed Purashcharana (82-83). From one Tuesday to another Tuesday the Mantra should every day be inwardly recited a thousand times. The Mantra thus recited eight thousand times is equal to the performance of Purashcharana (84-85).
In all Ages, O Devi! but particularly in the Kali Age, the Mantras of the Sacred Primeval Kalika are of great efficacy, and yield complete success (85-86). O Parvati! In the Kali Age, Kali in her various forms is ever watchful, but when the Kali Age is in full sway, then the form of Kali Herself is for the benefit of the world (87). In initiation into this Kalika Mantra there is no necessity to determine whether it be siddha or su-siddha, or the like, or favourable or inimical. If japa is made of it, which is both niyama and a-niyama, the Adya Devi is pleased (88). The mortal, by the grace of the glorious Adya, attains a knowledge of the divine essence, and, possessed of such knowledge, is, without a doubt, liberated even while living (89). Beloved, there is no need here for over-exertion or endurance or penances. The religious exercises of the worshippers of the Adya Kali are pleasant to accomplish (90). By the mere purification of the heart the worshipper attains all that he desires (91). So long, however, as the heart is not purified, so long must the worshipper practise the rites with devotion to Kula. (92)
The carrying out of the practices ordained produces purification of the heart. The Mantra should, however, first be received from the mouth of the Guru in the case of the Brahma-Mantra (93). O Great Queen! Purashkriya should be done after the performance of the necessary worship and of other prescribed rites. In the purified heart knowledge of Brahman grows. And when knowledge of Brahman is attained, there is neither that which should, nor that which should not, be done (94).
Shri Parvati said:
O Great Deva! what is Kula, and what is Kulachara? O Great Lord! what is the sign of each of the five elements of worship? I desire to hear the truth relating to these (95).
Shri Sadashiva said:
Thou hast asked well, O Lady of the Kulas. Thou art indeed the Benefactress of the worshippers. Listen! For Thy pleasure I shall accurately describe to Thee these things (96). The Kula are Jiva, Prakriti, space, time, ether, earth, water, fire, and air (97). O Primeval One! the realization that all this is one with Brahman is Kulachara, and produces Dharmma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha (98). Those whose sins are washed away by merits acquired in various previous births by penances, alms, and faithful observance of worship, it is they whose minds are inclined in Kaulika worship (99). When the intelligence realizes the essence of Kaulika worship, it becomes at once purified, and the mind inclines to the lotus-feet of the Primeval Kali (100). The excellent worshipper versed in Kaula doctrine who has received this most excellent Vidya by the service of a good spiritual teacher, if he remains firmly attached to Kaulika worship and to the worship with the five elements of the Primeval Kalika, the Patron Devi of Kula, will enjoy a multitude of blessings in this life, and attain final liberation at its close. (102)
The characteristic of the first element is that it is the great medicine for humanity, helping it to forget deep sorrows, and is the cause of joy (103). But, O Dearest One! the element which is not purified stupefies and bewilders, breeds disputes and diseases, and should be rejected by the Kaulas (104). Beasts bred in villages, in the air, or forest, which are nourishing, and increase intelligence, energy, and strength, are the second element (105). O Beautiful One! of the animals bred in water, that which is pleasing and of good taste, and increases the generative power of man, is the third element (106). The characteristics of the fourth element are that it is easily obtainable, grown in the earth, and is the root of the life of the three worlds (107). And, O Devi, the signs of the fifth element are that it is the cause of intense pleasure to all living things, is the origin of all creatures, and the root of the world which is without either beginning or end (108). Know, Dearest One! that the first element is fire, the second is air, the third is water, the fourth is the earth (109), and, O Beauteous Face! as to the fifth element, know it to be ether, the support of the Universe (110). O Sovereign Mistress of Kula, he who knows Kula, the five Kula-tattvas, and Kula worship, is liberated whilst yet living (111).
End of the Seventh Joyful Message, entitled “Hymn of Praise (Stotra), Amulet (Kavacha), and the description of the Kula-tattva.”

Bhairavi circle
Except when in the Bhairavi-chakra or Tattva-chakra persons of all castes should marry in their caste according to the Brahma form, and should eat with their own caste people (151). O Great Queen! in these two circles, however, marriage in the Shaiva form is ordained, and as regards eating and drinking, no caste distinctions exist (152).
Shri Devi said:
What is the Bhairavi-chakra, and what is the Tattva-chakra? I desire to hear, and it kindly behoves Thee to speak of them (153).
Shri Sadashiva said:
O Devi! in the ordinances relating to Kula worship I have spoken of the formation of circles by the excellent worshippers at times of special worship (154). O Dear One! there is no rule relating to the Bhairavi-chakra. This auspicious circle may at any time be formed (155). I will now speak of the rites relating to this circle, which benefits the worshippers, and in which, if the Devi be worshipped, She speedily grants the prayers of Her votaries (156).
The Kulacharyya should spread an excellent mat in a beautiful place, and, after purifying it with the Kama and Astra Vijas, should seat himself upon it (157). Then the wise one should draw a square with a triangle in it with either vermilion or red sandal wood paste, or simply water (158). Then, taking a painted jar, and smearing it with curd and sun-dried rice, and placing a vermilion mark on it, let him put a branch or leaves and fruit upon it (159). Filling it with perfumed water whilst uttering the Pranava, the worshipper should place it on the Mandala, and exhibit before it lights and incense-sticks (160). The jar should then be worshipped with two fragrant flowers. Ishta-devata should be meditated upon as being in the jar. The ritual should be according to the shortened form (161). Listen, O Adored of the Immortals! whilst I speak to Thee of the peculiar features of this worship. There is no necessity of placing the wine-cups for the Guru and others 162). The worshipper should then take such of the elements of worship as he wishes, and place them in front of himself. Then, purifying them with the Weapon Mantra, let him gaze upon them with steadfast eyes (163).
Then, placing scent and flowers in the wine-jar, let him meditate upon the Ananda-Bhairava and Ananda-Bhairavi in it (164).
He should meditate upon the Blissful Devi as in first bloom of youth, with a body rosy as the first gleam of the rising Sun. The sweet nectar of Her smiles illumines Her face as beautiful as a full-blown lotus. Decked with jewels, clad in beauteous coloured raiment delighting in dance and song, She with the lotus of her hands makes the signs which confer blessings and dispel fears (165-166).
After thus meditating on Blissful Devi, let the worshipper thus meditate upon the Blissful Bhairava (167).
I meditate upon the Deva Who is white as camphor, Whose eyes are large and beautiful like lotuses, the lustre of Whose body is adorned with celestial raiments and jewels, Who holds in His left hand the cup of nectar, and in the right a ball of Shuddhi (168).
Having thus meditated upon Them both, and thinking of them in a state of union in the wine-jar, the worshipper should then worship Them therein. With Mantra, beginning with the Pranava and ending with Namah, the names of the Devata being placed between, and with perfume and flower, let him then sanctify the wine (169)
The Kula worshipper should sanctify the wine by repeating over it the Pashadi-trika-vija a hundred and eight times (170). When the Kali Age is in full sway, in the case of the householder whose mind is entirely engrossed with domestic desires, the three sweets should be substituted in the place of the first element of worship (wine) (171). Milk, sugar, and honey are the three sweets. They should be deemed to be the image of wine, and as such offered to the Deity (172). Those born in the Kali Age are by their nature weak in intellect, and their minds are distracted by lust. By reason of this they do not recognize the Shakti to be the image of the Deity (173). Therefore, O Parvati! for such as these let there be, in place of the last element of worship (sexual union), meditation upon the lotus-feet of the Devi and the inward recitation of their Ishta-mantra (174).
Therefore such of the elements of worship as have been obtained should be consecrated by the recitation over each of them of the same Mantra one hundred times (175). Let the worshipper, with closed eyes, meditate upon them as suffused by Brahman, then offer them to Kali, and, lastly, eat and drink the consecrated elements (176). O Gentle One! this is the Bhairavi-chakra, which is not revealed in the other Tantras. I have, however spoken before Thee of it. It is the essence of essences, and more excellent than the best (177). Parvati! In Bhairavi-chakra and Tattva-chakra the excellent worshipper should be wedded to his Shakti, according to the laws prescribed by Shiva (178). The Vira who without marriage worships by enjoyment of Shakti is, without doubt, guilty of the sin of going with another man’s wife (179). When the Bhairavi-chakra has been formed, the members thereof are like the best of the twice-born; but when the circle is broken, they revert again to their own respective castes (180). In this circle there is no distinction of caste nor impurity of food. The heroic worshippers in the circle are My image; there is no doubt of that (181). In the formation of the circle there is no rule as to time or place or question as to fitness. The necessary articles may be used by whomsoever they may have been brought (182). Food brought from a long distance, whether it be cooked or uncooked, whether brought by a Vira or a Pashu, becomes pure immediately it is brought within the circle (183).
While the circle is being formed, all dangers flee in confusion, awed by the Brahmanic lustre of its heroes (184). Upon the mere hearing that a Bhairavi circle has been formed at any place, fierce Pishachas, Guhyakas, Yakshas, and Vetalas depart afar off in fear (185). Into the circle come all the holy places, the great and holy places, and with reverence Indra and all the Immortals (186). Shiva! the place where a circle is formed is a great and holy place, more sacred than each and all the other holy places. Even the Thirty desire the excellent offerings made to Thee in this circle (187). Whatever the food be, whether cooked or uncooked, and whether brought by a Mlechchha, Chandala, Kirata, or Huna, it becomes pure as soon as it is placed in the hand of a Vira (188). By the seeing of the circle and of the worshippers therein, who are but images of Myself, men infected with the taint of the Kali Age are liberated from the bonds of the life of a Pashu (189). When, however the Kali Age is in full sway, the circle should not be concealed. The Vira should at all places and at all times practise Kula rites and make Kula worship (190).
In the circle all distinction of caste, frivolous talk, levity, garrulity, spitting, and breaking wind should be avoided (191). Such as are cruel, mischievous, Pashu, sinful, atheists, blasphemers of Kula doctrine, and calumniators of the Kula Scriptures, should not be allowed into the circle (192). Even the Vira who, induced by affection, fear, or attachment, admits a Pashu into the circle falls from his Kula duty, and goes to hell (193). All who have sought refuge in the Kula Dharmma, whether Brahmamas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, Shudras, or Samanyas, should ever be worshipped like Devas (194). He who, whilst in the circle, makes, from pride, distinctions of caste, descends to a terrible hell, even though he should have gone to the very end of the Vedanta (195). How within the circle can there be any fear of sin for Kaulas, who are good and pure of heart and who are manifestly the very image of Shiva? (196). Vipras and others who are followers of Shiva should, so long as they are within the circle, follow the ordinance of Shiva and the observances prescribed by Him (197).
Without the circle each should follow his own calling according to his caste and stage of life, and should discharge his duty as a man of the world (198). One Japa made by a devout man, when seated within the circle, bears the fruit attainable by the performance of a hundred Purashcharana and by Shavasana, Mundasana, and Chitasana (199). Who can describe the glory of the Bhairavi-chakra? Its formation, though but once only, frees of all sins (200). The man who for six months worships in such a circle will become a King: he who so worships for a year becomes the conqueror of death, and by the daily performance of such worship he attains to Nirvvana (201).
What is the need, O Kalika! of saying more? Know this for certain: that for the attainment of happiness in this or the next world there is only the Kula-dharmma, and no other (202). When the Kali Age is dominant and all religion is abandoned, even a Kaula merits hell by concealment of the Kula-dharmma (203).
I have spoken of the Bhairavi circle, which is the sole means of attaining enjoyment and final liberation. I will now speak to Thee, O Queen of the Kaulas! of the Tattva circle. Do Thou listen (204).
The Tattva circle is the king of all circles. It is also called the celestial circle. Only worshippers who have attained to a knowledge of Brahman may take part in it (205). Only those servants of the Brahman may take part in this circle who have attained to knowledge of Brahman, who are devoted to Brahman, pure of heart, tranquil, devoted to the good of all things, who are unaffected by the external world, who see no differences, but to whom all things are the same, who are merciful, faithful to their vows, and who have realized the Brahman (206-207).
O Knower of the Supreme Soul! only those who, possessing the knowledge of the Real, look upon this moving and motionless Existence as one with Brahman, such men are privileged to take part in this circle (208). They who regard everything in the Tattva circle as Brahman, they alone, O Devi, are qualified to take part therein (209). In the formation of this circle there is no necessity for placing the wine-jar, no lengthy ritual. It can be formed everywhere in a spirit of devotion to Brahman (210). O Dearest One! the worshipper of the Brahma-Mantra and a devout believer in Brahman should be the Lord of the circle, which he should form of other worshippers who know the Brahman (211). In a beautiful and clean place, pleasant to the worshippers, pure seats should be spread with beautiful carpets (212). There, O Shiva! the Lord of the circle should seat himself with the worshippers of Brahman, and have the elements of worship brought and placed in front of him (213). The Lord of the Circle should inwardly recite the Mantra, beginning with the Tara and ending with the Prana-vija, a hundred times, and then pronounce the following Mantra over the elements (214):
The act of offering is Brahman. The offering itself is Brahman. The Fire is Brahman. He by whom the offering is made is Brahman. By him who is absorbed in the worship of Brahman is unity with Brahman attained (215).
All the elements should be purified by the inward recitation of this Mantra seven or three times (216). Then, with the Brahma-Mantra, making an offering of the food and drink to the Supreme Soul, he should partake thereof with the other worshippers, knowers of the Brahman (217). O Great Queen! there is no distinction of caste in the Brahma circle, nor rule as to place or time or cup. The ignorant who, through want of care, make distinctions of birth or caste go upon the downward path (218-219). And therefore should those excellent worshippers, possessed of the knowledge that the Supreme Brahman pervades all things, perform the rites of the Tattva circle with every care for the attainment of religious merit, fulfilment of desire, wealth, and liberation (220).
Shri Devi said:
Lord! Thou hast spoken in full of the duties of the householder; it now behoves Thee kindly to speak of the duties appropriate to the ascetic life (221).
Shri Sadashiva said:
Devi! the stage of life of an Avadhuta is in the Kali Age called Sannyasa. Now listen while I tell thee what should be done (222).
When an adept in spiritual wisdom has acquired the knowledge of Brahman, and has ceased to care for the things of the world, he should seek refuge in the life of an ascetic (223). If, however, in order to adopt the life of a wandering mendicant, one abandons an old mother or father, infant children and a devoted wife, or helpless dependents, one goes to hell (224). All, whether Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra, or Samanya are equally entitled to take part in the purificatory ceremony of the Kula ascetic (225).
After the performance of all the duties of a householder, and after satisfying all dependents, one should go forth from his house indifferent, free from desires, with all his senses conquered (226). He who wishes thus to leave his house should call together his kinsmen and friends, his neighbours and men of his village, and lovingly ask of them their permission (227). Having obtained it, and made obeisance to his Ishta-devata, he should go round his village, and then without attachment set forth from his house (228). Liberated from the bonds of household life, and immersed in exceeding joy, he should approach a Kula ascetic of divine knowledge and pray to him as follows: (229)
“0 Supreme Brahman! all this life of mine has been spent in the discharge of household duties. Do Thou O Lord! be gracious to me in this my adoption of the life of an ascetic” (230).
The religious Preceptor should thereupon satisfy himself that the disciple’s duties as a householder have all been accomplished, and, on finding him to be meek and full of discernment, initiate him into the second stage (231). The disciple should then, with a well-controlled mind, make his ablutions and say his daily prayer, and then, with the object of being absolved from the threefold debt due to them, worship the Devas, the Rishis, and the Pitris (232).
By the Devas are meant Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra, with their followers; by the Rishis are meant Sanaka and others, as also the Devarshis and the Brahmarshis (233). Listen, whilst I now enumerate the ancestors which should be worshipped (234). The father, paternal grandfather, paternal great-grandfather, mother, the maternal grandfather, and others in the ascending line, and the maternal grandmother and others in the ascending line (235). Upon the dedication of oneself to the life of an ascetic, the Devas and Rishis should be worshipped in the East, the paternal ancestors in the South, the maternal ancestors in the West (236). Spreading two seats on each of these sides, beginning from the East, and invoking the Devas and others thereto, they should there be worshipped (237). Having worshipped them in proper form, pindas should be offered to each of them separately according to the rules relating thereto; And then, with folded palms, let the disciple thus supplicate the Devas and Ancestors (238):
O Fathers! O Mothers! O Devas! O Rishis! be you satisfied. Do you absolve me, about to enter upon the path of renunciation from all debts (239).
Having thus prayed to be free from all debts, bowing again and again, and being thus freed of all debts, he should perform his own funeral rites (240). The father and paternal grandfather and great-grandfather are one soul. In offering, therefore, the individual soul to the Supreme Soul, he who is wise should perform his own funeral rites (241). O Devi! sitting with his face to the North, and invoking the spirits of his ancestors upon the seats which he has prepared for them, he should, after doing them homage, offer the funeral cakes (242). In so offering he should spread kusha grass with its end towards the East, South, West, and towards the North for himself (243). After completion, according to the directions of the Guru, of the funeral rites, the seeker after emancipation should, in order to purify his heart inwardly, recite the following Mantra a hundred times (244):
Hring, let us worship the Three-eyed One whose fame is fragrant, the Augmenter of increase. May I, as the urvaruka is freed of its stalk, be liberated from death unto immortality (245).
Then the religious Preceptor should draw a figure on the altar of a shape in accordance with the divinity about to be worshipped and then place the jar on the altar and commence worship (246). Then the Guru, possessed of divine knowledge, should meditate upon the Supreme Spirit in the manner prescribed by Shambhu, and after worship place fire on the altar (247). The Guru should then offer unto the fire so sanctified the oblation according to the Sangkalpa, and then make his disciple perform the complete homa (248). He should first offer oblation with the Vyahritis, and then with the vital airs, prana, apana, samana, udana, vyana (249).
For the destruction of the false belief that the body, whether gross or subtle, is the Atma, the Tattva-Homa should be performed, uttering the following words:
Earth, water, fire, air, ether, (then) scent, taste, vision, touch, sound, (then) speech, hands, feet, anus and organ of generation, (then) ears, skin, eyes, tongue, and smell, (then) manas, buddhi, ahangkara, and chitta, (and lastly) all the functions of the senses and of life (250-253).
He should then say:
“May they be purified;” (adding) “May I be like unto the universal Chaitanya united with Hring. May I be like the Light beyond and above Rajo-guna, and may I be free of the taint of ignorance” (254).
Having consigned as oblations into the fire the twenty-four tattvas and the functions of the body, he who is now devoid of all action should consider his body as dead (255). Considering his body as dead and devoid of all function, and calling to mind the Supreme Brahman, let him take off his sacred thread (256). He, the possessor of divine knowledge, should take it from his shoulder, uttering the
Aing Kling Hangsa.
Holding it in his hand while he recites the three Vyahritis, ending with Svaha, let him throw it steeped in ghee into the fire (257). Having thus offered the sacred thread as an oblation to the fire, he should, whilst uttering the Kama Vija, cut off his crown-lock and take and place it in the ghee (258).
O Crown Lock! Daughter of Brahman! thou art an ascetic in the form of hair. I am now placing thee in the Purifying One. Depart, O Devi! I make obeisance to thee (259).
He should then, whilst uttering the Kama, Maya, Kurcha, and Astra Vijas, ending with the word Svaha, make the Homa sacrifice of that lock of hair in the well-sanctified fire (260). The Pitris, Devas, and Devarshis, as also all acts performed in the stages of life, reside in that lock and have it as their support (261).
Therefore the man who renounces the crown-lock and sacred thread after the performance of the oblation becomes one with Brahman (262). The twice-born enter the stage of an ascetic by renunciation of the crown-lock and sacred thread, and the Shudras and Samanyas by the renunciation of the crown-lock only (263). Then he whose crown-lock and sacred thread have been thus removed should make obeisance to the Guru, laying himself full length upon the ground. The Guru should then raise his disciple and say into his right ear: “0 wise one! thou art That.” “Think within thyself that I am He and He is I. Free from all attachments and sense of self, do thou go as thou pleasest as moved thereto by thy nature” (264-265). The Guru, full of the knowledge of the Divine essence, should then, after removal of the jar and the fire, bow to the disciple, recognizing in him his own very self (266), and say: “O Thou whose form is this Universe! I bow to Thee and to myself. Thou art ‘That’ and ‘That’ is Thou. Again I bow to thee.” (267).
The worshippers of the Brahma-Mantra, possessed of divine knowledge, who have conquered themselves, attain the stage of an ascetic by cutting off the crown-lock with their own Mantra (268). What need is there for those purified by divine knowledge of sacrificial or funeral rites or ritual worship? For they, acting as they please, are never guilty of any fault (269). The disciple, image of the absence of all contraries, desireless, and of tranquil mind, may, as he pleases, roam the earth, the visible image of Brahman (270). He will think of everything, from Brahma to a blade of grass, as the image of the existent one, and, oblivious of his own name and form, he will meditate upon the Supreme Soul in himself (271). Homeless, merciful, fearless, devoid of attachment claiming nothing as his own, devoid of egoism, the ascetic will move about the earth (272). He is free of all prohibitions. He shall not strive to attain what he has not, nor to protect what he has. He knows himself. He is equally unaffected by either joy or sorrow. He is calm, the conqueror of himself, and free from all desires (273).
His soul is untroubled even in sorrow, desireless even in prosperity. He is ever joyful, pure, calm, indifferent and unperturbed. He will hurt no living thing, but will be ever devoted to the good of all being. He is free from anger and fear, with his senses under contro1 and without desire. He strives not for the preservation of his body. He is not obsessed by any longing (274-275). He will be free from grief and resentment, equal to friend and foe, patient in the endurance of cold and heat, and to him both honour and disgrace are one and the same (276). He is the same in good or evil fortune, pleased with whatsoever, without effort, he may obtain. He is beyond the three attributes, of unconditioned mind free of covetousness, and (wealth) he will hoard not (277). He will be happy in the knowledge that, as the unreal universe exists dependent upon the Truth, so does the body depend upon the soul (278). He attains liberation by the realization that the soul is completely detached from the organs of sense, and is the witness of that which is done (279).
The ascetic should not accept any metal, and should avoid calumny, untruth, jealousy, all play with woman, and all discharge of seed (280). He should regard with an equal eye worms, men, and Devas. The religious mendicant should know that in everything he does, in that is Brahman (281). He should eat without making any distinction of place, time, person, or vessel, and whether from the hand of a Vipra or Chandala, or from any other person whatsoever (282). The ascetic, thouugh passing his time as he pleases, should study the Scriptures relating to the Soul and in meditation upon the nature of That (283). The corpse of an ascetic should on no account be cremated. It should be worshipped with scents and flowers, and then either buried or sunk into water (284). O Devi! the inclination of those men who have not attained union with the Supreme Soul and who ever seek after enjoyment, is by nature turned towards the path of action (285).
They remain attached to the practice of meditation, ritual worship, and recitation. Let them who are strong in their faith therein know that to be the best for them (286). It is on account of them that I have spoken of various rites for the purification of the heart, and have with the same object devised many names and forms (287). O Devi! without knowledge of the Brahman and the abandonment of all ritual worship, man cannot attain emancipation even though he performed countless such acts of worship (288). The householder should consider the Kula ascetic, possessed of divine knowledge, to be the visible Narayana in the form of man, and should worship Him as such (289). By the mere sight of one who has subdued his passions a man is freed of all his sins, and earns that merit which he obtains by journeying to places of pilgrimage, the giving of alms, and the performance of all vows, penances, and sacrifices (290)
End of the Eighth Joyful Message, entitled “The Dharmma and Customs of the Castes and Ashramas.”

Mahanirvana Tantra

Chapter 9 – The Ten Kinds of Purificatory Rites (Sangskara)
THE Adorable Sadashiva said:
O Virtuous One! I have spoken to Thee of the custom and religious duties appropriate to the different castes and stages of life. Do thou now listen whilst I tell Thee of the purificatory rites of the different castes (1). Without such rites, O Devi! the body is not purified, and he who is not purified may not perform the ceremonies relating to the Devas and the Pitris (2). Therefore it is that men of every caste, commencing with the Vipras, who desire their welfare in this life and hereafter, should, in all things and with care, perform the purificatory rites which have been ordained for their respective castes (3).
The ten purificatory ceremonies are those relating to conception, pregnancy, and birth of the child; the giving of its name, its first view of the sun, its first eating of rice, tonsure, investiture, and marriage (4).
The Shudras and mixed castes have no sacred thread, and but nine purificatory ceremonies; for the twice-born classes there are ten (5). O Beautiful Lady! all observances, whether they be obligatory, occasional, or voluntary, should be performed according to the injunctions of Shambhu (6). O Dearest One! I have already, in My form of Brahma, spoken of the rules appropriate to the purificatory and other observances (7), and of the Mantras appropriate to the various purificatory and other observances, according to the differences in caste (8).
In the Satya, Treta, and Dvapara Ages, the Mantras, O Kalika! were in their application preceded by the Pranava (9); but in the Kali Age, O Supreme Devi! the decree of Shangkara is that man do perform all rites with the aid of the same Mantras, but preceded by the Maya Vija (10). All Mantras in the Nigamas, Agamas, Tantras, Sanghitas and Vedas, have been spoken by Me. Their employment, however, varies according to the Ages (11). For the benefit of men of the Kali Age, men bereft of energy and dependent for existence on the food they eat, the Kula doctrine, O Auspicious One! is given (12).
I will now speak to Thee in brief of the purificatory and other rites, suitable for the weak men of the Kali Age, whose minds are incapable of continued effort (13). Kushandika precedes all auspicious ceremonies. I shall, therefore, O Adored of the Devas! speak firstly of it. Do Thou listen (14). In a clean and pleasant spot, free from husks and charcoal, let the wise one make a square, the sides of which are of one cubit’s length (15). Then draw in it three lines from the West to East (of the square). Let him then sprinkle water over them, uttering the Kurcha Vija the while. Then Fire should be brought to the accompaniment of the Vahni Vija (16). The Fire, when so brought, should be placed by the side of the square, the worshipper breathing the Vagbhava Vija (17). Then, taking up a piece of burning wood with the right hand from the Fire, he should put it aside as the share of the Rakshasas, saying:
Hring, Salutation to the raw-meat eaters: Svaha (18).
The worshipper, lifting up the consecrated Fire with both hands, should place it in front of him on the three lines (above mentioned), inwardly reciting the while the Maya Vija before the Vyahritis (19). Grass and wood should then be thrown upon the Fire to make it blaze, and two pieces of wood should be smeared with ghee and offered as an oblation to it. Thereafter Fire should be named according to the object of worship, and then meditated upon as follows (20):
Ruddily effulgent like the young Sun, with seven tongues and two crowned heads of matted hair, seated on a goat, whose weapon is Shakti. (21)
Having so meditated upon the Carrier of oblations, He should be thus invoked with joined palms (22).
Hring, come, O Carrier of Oblations to all the Immortals, come! Come with the Rishis and Thy followers, and protect the sacrifice. I make obeisance to Thee. Svaha (23).
Having thus invoked Him, the worshipper should say, “0 Fire! this is Thy seat,” and then worship him, the Seven-tongued, with appropriate offerings (24). The seven licking Tongues of Fire are: Kali, Karali, Mano-java, Sulohita, Su-dhumra-varna, Sphulingini, and Vishva-nirupini (25). Then, O Great Devi! the sides of the Fire should be thrice sprinkled with water from the hand, beginning from the East and ending at the North (26). Then the sides of the Fire, from the South to the North, should be thrice sprinkled with water, and following that the articles of sacrifice should be thrice sprinkled (27). Then spread kusha grass on the sides of the square, beginning with the East and ending with the North. The ends of the blades of grass on the North should be turned towards the North, and the rest of the grass should be placed with its ends towards the East (28). The worshipper should then proceed to the seat placed for Brahma, keeping the Fire on his right, and, picking up with his left thumb and little finger a blade of kusha grass from the seat of Brahma, should throw it along with the remaining blades of kusha grass on the South side of the fire, uttering the
“Hring, Destroy the abode of the enemy” (29-30).
(The performer of the sacrifice should then say to Brahma:) ” O Brahman, Lord of Sacrifices, be thou seated here. This seat is made for thee.” The Brahma, saying “I sit,” should then sit down, with his face turned towards the North (31). After worshipping Brahma with scent, flowers, and the other articles of worship, let him be supplicated thus (32):
O Lord of Sacrifices! protect the sacrifice.O Brihaspati! protect this sacrifice. Protect me also, the performer of this sacrifice.O Witness of all acts! I bow to Thee (33).
Brahma should then say, “I protect,” and if there is no person representing Brahma, then the performer of the sacrifice should, for the success of the sacrifice, make an image with darbha grass of the Vipra, and himself say this (34). The worshipper should then invoke Brahma, saying, “0 Brahman, come here, come here!” and, after doing honour to him by offering water for washing his feet and the like, let him supplicate him, saying, “So long as this sacrifice be not concluded, do Thou deign to remain here,” and then make obeisance to him (35). He should then sprinkle the space between the North-East corner of the fire and the seat of Brahma three times with water taken in his hand, and should thereafter sprinkle the fire also three times, and then, returning the way he went, take his own seat. Let him then spread on the North side of the square some darbha grass, with the ends of the blades towards the North (36-37). He should then place thereon the articles necessary for the sacrifice, such as the vessel (filled with water) for sprinkling, and the vesse1 containing ghee, sacrificial fuel, and kusha grass. He should also place the sacrificial ladle and spoon on the darbha grass, and purify them by sprinkling water over them, and then, regarding them with a celestial gaze, uttering the
Hrang Hring Hrung (38-39).
Then, with his right knee touching the ground, let him put ghee into the spoon with the ladle, and, with desire for his own well-being, Jet him offer three oblations, saying the
Hring to Vishnu. Svaha (4o).
Taking again ghee in the same way, and meditating upon Prajapati, oblations should be offered with ghee streaked across the fire from the corner of Agni to that of Vayu (41). Taking ghee again and meditating on Indra, let him offer oblations from the corner of Nairrita to that of Ishana (42). O Devi! oblations should thereafter be offered to the North, the South, and to the middle of the fire, to Agni, Soma, and to Agni and Soma together (43). Upon that three oblations should be offered, uttering the
Hring salutation to Agni,
Hring salutation to Soma,
Hring salutation to both Agni and Soma,
respectively. Having performed these (preliminary) rites, the wise one should proceed to that prescribed for the Homa sacrifice, which is to be performed (44). The offering of oblations (as above described), commencing with the three offerings made to Vishnu and ending with the offering to Agni and Soma, is called Dhara Homa (45).
When making any offering, both the Deva, to which the same is being made, and the thing offered should be mentioned, and upon the conclusion of the principal rite he should perform the Svishti-krit Homa (46). O Beautiful One! in the Kali Age there is no Prayashchitta Homa. The object thereof is attained by Svishti-krit and Vyahriti Homas (47). O Devi! (for Svishti-krit Homa.) ghee should be taken in manner above mentioned, and, whilst mentally reciting the name of Brahma, oblation should be offered with the following:
Hring, O Deva of the Devas! do Thou make faultless any shortcomings that there may be in this rite, and anything done needlessly, whether by negligence or mistake. Svaha (48-49).
Then oblation should be offered to Fire, thus:
Hring, O Fire! Thou art the Purificator of all things. Thou makest all sacrifices propitious, and art the Lord of all. Thou art the Witness of all sacrificial rites, and the Insurer of their success. Do Thou fulfil all my desires (50).
The sacrificing priest, having thus concluded the Svishti-krit Homa, should thus (pray to the Supreme Brahman):
O Supreme Brahman! O Omnipresent One! for the removal of the effects of whatsoever has been improperly done in this sacrifice, and for the success of the sacrifice, I am making this Vyahriti Homa.
Saying this, he should offer three oblations with the three
Hring Bhuh Svaha,
Hring Bhuvah Svaha,
Hring Svah Svaha.
Thereafter offering one more oblation with the
Hring Bhuh, Bhuvah, Svah Svaha,
the wise priest should, jointly with the giver of the sacrifice, offer the complete oblation (51-53). If the latter has performed the sacrifice without a priest, he should offer the oblation himself. This is the rule in Abhisheka and other observances (54). The Mantra for the complete oblation is –
Hring, O Lord of Sacrifice! may this Sacrifice of mine be complete. May all the Devatas of sacrifices be pleased and grant that which is desired. Svaha (55).
The wise one should then, with the giver of the sacrifice, stand up, and, with a well-controlled mind, offer oblations with fruit and pan leaves, uttering the while the aforesaid Mantra (56).
The learned one should, after offering the complete oblation, perform Shanti-karma. Taking water from the sprinkling vessel, he should with kusha grass sprinkle it over the heads of the persons present (57), reciting the
May the water be friendly to me, may water be like a medicament to me, may water preserve me always; water is Narayana Himself (58). Do thou, O water! grant me happiness and my earthly desires, and so forth.
Having said this, and sprinkled water over the heads of those present, throw a few drops on the ground, saying (59):
To those who are ever hostile to me, and to those to whom we are ever hostile, may water be their enemy and engulf them (60).
Sprinkling a few drops of water in the North-East corner to the accompaniment of the above-mentioned Mantra, the kusha grass should be put away, and supplication should be made to the Carrier of oblations as follows (61):
O Carrier of Oblations! do Thou grant unto me understanding, knowledge, strength, intelligence, wisdom, faith, fame, fortune, health, energy, and long life (62).
Having thus prayed to Fire, he should, O Shiva! be bidden to depart with the following (63):
Sacrifice! do thou depart to the Lord of Sacrifice.
Fire! do thou depart to the Sacrifice itself.
Lord of Sacrifice! do Thou depart to Thine own place and fulfil my desires (64).
Then saying, “Fire, forgive me,” the Fire should be moved to the South by pouring oblations of curd on the North of Fire (65). Then the worshipper should give a present to Brahma, and, after bowing to him respectfully, bid him go, and, with the ashes adhering to the ladle, the officiating priest should then make a mark on his own forehead and on that of the giver of the sacrifice, uttering the
Hring, Kling, do thou bring peace; mayest thou cause prosperity (66-67). By the grace of Indra, of Agni, of the Maruts, Brahma, the Vasus, the Rudras, and Praja-pati, may there be peace, may there be prosperity.
Whilst saying this Mantra, he should place a flower on his own head. Thereafter the giver of the sacrifice should, as his means allow, offer presents for the success of the sacrifice and for the Kushandika rite (68-69).
I have spoken to Thee, O Devi! of Kushandika, which is the groundwork of all auspicious ceremonies, and which all Kula worshippers should with care perform at the commencement thereof (70).
O Auspicious One! I will now speak to Thee of Charu-karma, in order to insure the ritual success in those families in which the cooking of charu is a traditional practice in the performance of all rites (71). The pot for cooking charu should be made of either copper or mud (72). In the first place, the articles should be consecrated according to the rules prescribed in Kushandika, and then the pot of charu should be placed in front of the worshipper (73). After careful examination to see that it is without holes and unbroken, a blade of kusha grass of the length of a pradesha should be put in the pot (74). The rice should be placed near the square and then, O Adored of the Devas! the names of such of the Devas as are to be worshipped in each particular ceremony should be uttered in the dative case, followed by the words “to please Thee,” and then “I take,” “I place it in the pot,” and “I put water into it,” and put four handfuls of rice in the name of each Deva. He should then take the rice, put it in the pot, and pour water over it (75-77). O Virtuous One! milk and sugar should be added thereto, as is done in cooking. The whole should then be well and carefully cooked over the consecrated fire (78). And when he is satisfied that it is well cooked and soft, the sacrificial ladle, filled with ghee, should be let into it (79). Thereafter placing the pot on kusha grass on the northern side of the Fire, and adding ghee to the charu three times, the pot should be covered with blades of kusha grass (80). Then, putting a little ghee into the sacrificial spoon, a little charu should be taken from the pot. With it Janu Homa is done (81). Then, after doing Dhara Homa, oblations should be made with the Mantras of the Devas, who are directed to be worshipped in the principal rite (82). Completing the principal Homa after performance of Svishti-krit Homa, expiatory Homa should be performed, and the rite thus completed (83). In the sacramental and consecratory ritual this is the method to be observed. In all auspicious ceremonies it should be followed for the complete success thereof (84).
Now,O Mahamaya! I will speak of Garbhadhana and other rites. I will speak of them in their order, beginning with Ritusangskara. Do Thou listen (85).
After performing his daily duties and purifying himself, (the priest) should worship the five deities–Brahma, Durga, Ganesha, the Grahas, and the Dikpalas (86). They should be worshipped in the jars on the East side of the square, and then the sixteen Matrikas–namely, Gauri and others–should be worshipped in their order (87). The sixteen Matrikas are Gauri, Padma, Shachi, Medha, Savitri, Vijaya, Jaya, Deva-sena, Svadha, Svaha, Shanti, Pushti, Dhriti, Kshama, the worshipper’s own tutelary Devata, and the family Devata (88).
May the Mothers that cause the joy of the Devas come and bring all success to weddings, vratas, and yajnas. May they come upon their respective carriers, and in all the fulness of their power, in their benign aspect, and add to the glory of this festival (89-90).
Having thus invoked the Mothers and worshipped them to the best of his powers, the priest should make five or seven marks with vermilion and sandal paste on the wall, at the height of his navel, and within the space of a pradesha (91).
The wise one should then, whilst breathing the three Vijas–Kling, Hring, and Shring–pour an unbroken stream of ghee from each of the said marks, and there worship the Deva Vasu (92). The wise man, having thus made the Vasu-dhara according to the directions which I have given, and having made the square and placed the Fire thereupon, and consecrated the articles requisite for Homa, should then cook the excellent charu (93). Charu which is cooked in this (Ritu-sangskara) is called Prajapatya, and the name of this Fire is Vayu. After concluding Dhara Homa, the rite of Ritu-sangs-kara should be begun (94). Three oblations of charu should be offered with the
Hring. salutation to Prajapati. Svaha.
The one oblation should be offered with the following (95):
May Vishnu grant the power to conceive. May Tvashta give the form. May Prajapati sprinkle it, and may Dhata give the power to bear (96).
This oblation should be made with either ghee or charu, or with ghee and charu, and should be offered meditating upon the Sun, Vishnu, and Prajapati (97).
May Sinibali give support to thy womb, may Sarasvati give support to thy womb, may the two Ashvins, who wear garlands of lotuses, give support to thy womb (98).
Meditating upon the Devis Sinibali and Sarasvati and the two Ashvins, excellent oblations should be offered with the above Mantra, followed by Svaha (99). Then oblation should be offered to the sanctified Fire, meditating upon Surya and Vishnu with the
Kling, String, Hring, Shring, Hung, grant conception to her, who desires a son: Svaha (100).
Then, in the name of Vishnu, oblations should be offered with the following:
As this extended Earth ever carries a full womb, do thou likewise carry for ten months until delivery. Svaha (101).
Meditating upon the Supreme Vishnu, let a little more ghee be thrown into the Fire with the following:
Vishnu! do Thou in Thy excellent form put into this woman an excellent son: Svaha (102).
And, uttering the following
Kling, Hring, Kling, Hring, String, Hring, Kling, Hring,
let the husband touch his wife’s head (103). Then the husband, surrounded by a few married women having sons, should place both hands on the head of his wife, and, after meditating on Vishnu, Durga, Vidhi and Surya, place three fruits on the cloth of her lap. Thereupon he should bring the ceremony to a close by making Svishti-krit oblations and expiatory rites (104-105). Or the wife and husband may be purified by worshipping Gauri and Shangkara in the evening, and by giving oblations to Sun (106).
I have now spoken of Ritu-sangskara. Now listen to that relating to Garbhadhana (107). On the same night, or on some night having a date of an even number, after the ceremony, the husband should enter the room with his wife, and, meditating on Prajapati, should touch his wife and say:
Hring, O Bed! be thou propitious for the begetting of a good offspring of us two (108-109).
He should then with the wife get on the bed, and there sit with his face towards the East or the North. Then, looking at his wife, let him embrace her with his left arm, and, placing his right hand over her head, let him make japa of the Mantra on the different parts of her body (as follows) (110): Let him make japa over the head of the Kama Vija a hundred times; over her chin of the Vagbhava Vija a hundred times; over the throat of the Rama Vija twenty times; and the same Vija a hundred times over each of her two breasts (111). He should then recite the Maya Vija ten times over her heart, and twenty-five times over her navel. Next let him place his hand on her member, and recite jointly the Kama and Vagbhava Vijas a hundred and eight times, and let him similarly recite the same Vijas over his own member a hundred and eight times; and then, saying the Vija “Hring,” let him part the lips of her member, and let him go into her with the object of begetting a child (112-113). The husband should, at the time of the spending of his seed, meditate on Brahma, and, discharging it below the navel into the Raktikanadi in the Chitkunda, he should at the same time recite the following (114, 115):
As the Earth is pregnant of Fire, as the Heaven is pregnant of Indra, as the Points of the compass are pregnant of the Air they contain, so do thou also become pregnant (by this my seed) (116).
If the wife then, or at a subsequent period, conceive, the householder, O Maheshvari! should perform in the third month after conception the Pungsavana rite (117). After the performance of his daily duties, the husband should worship the five Devas and the heavenly Mothers, Gauri and others, and should make the Vasu-dhara (118).
The wise one should then perform Briddhi Shraddha, and, as aforementioned, the ceremonies up to Dhara-Homa, and then proceed to the Pungsavana rites (119). The charu prepared for Pungsavana is called “Prajapatya,” and the fire is called Chandra (120). One grain of barley and two Masha beans should be put into curd made from cow’s milk, and this should be given to the wife to drink, and, whilst she is drinking it, she should be asked three times: “What is that thou art drinking,O gentle one?” (121). The wife should make answer: “Hring, I am drinking that which will cause me to bear a son.” In this manner the wife should drink three mouthfuls of the curd (122). The wife should then be led by women whose husbands and children are living to the place of sacrifice, and the husband should there seat her on his left and proceed to perform Charu-Homa (123).
Taking a little charu as aforementioned, and uttering the Maya Vija and the Kurcha Vija, he should offer it as oblation, with the following:
Do thou destroy, do thou destroy all these Bhutas, Pretas, Pishachas, and Vetalas, who are inimical to conception and destroyers of the child in the womb, and of the young. Do thou protect (the child in) the womb, do thou protect (the child in) the womb (124-125).
Whilst reciting the above Mantra, meditate upon Fire, as Raksko-ghna, and on Rudra and Prajapati, and then offer twelve oblations (126).
He should then offer five oblations with the
Hring, Salutation to Chandra. Svaha.
And then, touching his wife’s heart, breathe inwardly the Vijas Hring and Shring one hundred times (127). He should then perform Svishti-krit Homa and Prayash-chitta, and complete the ceremony. Panchamrita should be given in the fifth month of pregnancy 128). Sugar, honey, milk, ghee, and curd in equal quantities make Panchamrita. It is needful for the purification of the body (129). Breathing the Vijas Aing, Kling, Shring, Hring, Hung, and Lang, five times over each of the five ingredients, the husband, after mixing them together, should cause his wife to eat it (130). Then, in the sixth or eighth month, the Simantonnayana rite should be performed. It may, however, be performed any time before the child is born (131). The wise one should, after performing the rites as aforementioned, do Dhara-Homa, and sit with his wife on a seat, and offer three oblations to Vishnu, Surya, and Brahma, saying:
To Vishnu Svaha, to the Effulgent One Svaha, to Brahma Svaha (132).
Then, meditating on Chandra, let him offer seven oblations to Soma into Fire under his name of Shiva (133). Then, O Shiva! he should meditate upon the Ashwins, Vasava, Vishnu, Shiva, Durga, Prajapati and offer five oblations to each of them (134). The husband should after that take a gold comb, and comb back the hair on each side of the head and tie it up with the chignon (135). He should, whilst so combing the hair, meditate upon Shiva, Vishnu. and Brahma, and pronounce the Maya Vija (136) and the
O Wife! thou auspicious and fortunate one, thou of auspicious vows! do thou in the tenth month, by the grace of Vishva-karma, be safely delivered of a good child. May thou live long and happy. This comb, may it give thee strength and prosperity!
Saying this Mantra, the ceremony should be completed with Svishti-krit Homa and other rites (137-138). Immediately after the birth of the son the wise one should look upon his face and present him with a piece of gold, and then in another room perform Dhara Homa in the manner already described (139). He should then offer five oblations to Agni, Indra, Prajapati, the Vishva-devas, and Brahma (140).

The Todala Tantra

This Hindu tantra is a brief but often quoted work of ten patalas or chapters. It is referred to, for example, in the Matrikabhedatantra. It also contains the daily pujas of Tara, Kali and Shiva, as well as information about yoga.
Patala one deals with the ten Mahavidyas, a subject which is returned to in chapter 10 of this tantra.
These major forms of the goddess are described in the Todala Tantra as Kali, Tara, Sundari, Bhuvaneshvari, Cchinnamasta, Bhairavi, Dhumavati, Bagala, Matangi, and Kamala. According to Alain Danielou’s Hindu Polytheism, these ten aspects of Shakti are the epitome of the entire creation. Chapter 10 also outlines their consorts, although Dhumavati, the widow form, is not allocated a consort. At the close of the chapter comes the essential tantrik view that Shiva, as the witness is not involved in creation, maintenance or withdrawal.
Many tantras, particularly those associated with Bengal, speak of ten major aspects of the goddess, the Mahavidyas. Vidya means knowledge but in the tradition this word is synonymous with both a Devi and her mantra form. Mantra is divinity in its purest form as sound, yantra is divinity represented as diagram and the dhyana, or meditation form, is considered to be the grossest representation. But these forms are given as ways of concentrating the mind easily.
The Mahavidyas are, in order, Kali, Tara, Sodashi (Tripurasundari), Bhuvaneshvari, Cchinnamasta, Bhairavi, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, Matangi and Kamala. Each, except Dhumavati, who is a widow, has her own form of Shiva.
1. 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.
2. Tara – Akshobhya. Seated in the pratyalidha asana, seated 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.
3. Sodashi.
4. Bhuvaneshvari. Like the red rays of the rising sun, with the moon as her diadem, and with three eyes, a smiling face, bestowing boons, holding a goad, a noose and dispelling fears, thus I hymn Bhuvaneshi.
5. Cchinnamasta.
6. Bhairavi. Her head garlanded with flowers, she resembling the red rays of 1,000 rising suns, smeared with red, holding milk, book, dispelling fears and giving boons with her four hands, large three eyes, beautiful face with a slow smile, wearing white gems, I worship Bhairava.
7. Dhumavati. The colour of smoke, wearing smoky clothes, holding a winnowing basket, dishevelled clothes, deceitful, always trembling, with slant eyes, inspiring fear, terrifying.
8. Bagalamukhi. Three eyes, wearing yellow clothes and gems, moon as her diadem, wearing champaka blossoms, with one hand holding the tongue of an enemy and with the left hand spiking him, thus should you meditate on the paralyser of the three worlds.
9. Matangi. Dusky, beautiful browed, her three eyes like lotuses, seated on a jewelled lion-throne, surrounded by gods and others serving her, holding in her four lotus-like hands a noose and a sword, a shield and a goad, thus I remember Matangi, the giver of results, the Modini.
10. Kamala. With a smiling face, her beautiful lily-white hands hold two lotuses, and show the mudras of giving and dispelling fear. She is bathed in nectar by four white elephants and stands upon a beautiful lotus.
“Shri Devi said: Lord of the world, lord of all knowledge, tell of the worship of the mahadevas in the three worlds. On the right hand side of each are various forms. Mahadeva, speak of each one separately.
“Shri Shiva said: Listen, beautiful one to Kalika’s Bhairava. On Dakshina’s right, worship Mahakala, with whom Dakshina is always in love union. Worship Akshobya on the right of Tara. Devi, the kalakuta poison produced by the churning of the ocean caused great agitation to all the gods and their consorts.
“Because he destroyed the agitation caused by the deadly yellow poison, he is known as Akshobya. Thus Tarini, the Mahamaya, always delights in her consort.
“On the right hand side of Mahatripurasundari, worship Shiva in his five-faced form with three eyes in each of the faces, O lady of the gods. She always delights in sexual union with her consort, O Mahadevi. For this reason, she is known as the famous Pancami. On the right side of Shrimad Bhuvaneshvari, who in the heavens, on earth, and in the underworlds is known as the Adya, worship Tryambaka. She makes love with Tryambaka in these places, it is said. He and his Shakti are mentioned and worshipped in all tantras. On Bhairavi’s right side is Dakshinamurti. By supreme efforts, one should certainly worship that five faced one.
“On Cchinnamasta’s right side, worship Shiva-Kabandha. By worshipping him, one becomes lord of all siddhi. The Mahavidya Dhumavati is a widow. Seated on the right of Bagala is the Maharudra, with one face, who dissolves the universe. On Matangi’s right side is Shiva Matanga, similar to Dakshinamurti, the form of cosmic bliss. He who worships Sadashiva, the Vishnu form, on Kamala’s right side becomes perfect, there is no doubt about this.
“On Annapurna’s right hand side, worship Brahma, the giver of great liberation, the god with ten faces, the Maheshvara. On the right side of Durga, worship Narada. The letter Na causes creation, the letter Da maintenance, while the letter Ra causes dissolution. So he is known as the famour Narada. Worship the Rishi who “gave birth” to the other vidyas on their right hand side.” (Todala, chapter one)
Shiva, in the second chapter, tells Shakti of yoga and describes the body as resembling a tree. There is no difference between the macrocosm or the microcosm. The supreme mantra is hamsa, equivalent to 21,600 breaths in a day. The letter Ha is Shiva while the letter Sa is Shakti. According to ancient texts, breath is time. An individual inhales once every four seconds and exhales once every four seconds. One is a solar breath and one a lunar breath.
In chapter three, the different forms and mantras of Kali are described, along with the sandhya (twilight) mantras of both Kali and Tara. These are the four tantrik twilights of dawn, midday, sunset and midnight, when the currents of pranayama change direction and the sadhaka can do his or her puja knowing he is close to the in-betweenness which is the essence of tantra. Kali’s daily rites are detailed.
The fourth chapter deals with Tara’s puja, giving a beautiful meditational image of her as situated in the centre of a lovely island, seated on a lion throne under a jewelled pavilion. Chapter five turns to Shambhunatha (Shiva). In this yuga, sadhakas should not worship his form known as Nilakantha, an aspect of Shiva. At the churning of the milk ocean, at the beginning of time, Shiva swallowed the poison which stained his throat a deep blue. It is unclear, however, why this tantra prohibits his worship. One should never worship Shakti unless Shiva is first worshipped, preferably with a clay linga.
In chapter six, Shiva gives the vasana or inner meaning of Kali and Tara mantras Krim and Strim. The different letters of the mantras are placed on separate parts of the human body. The seventh chapter speaks of yoga and of the seven islands and of their locations in the body. Kamarupa is in the muladhara cakra. Other sacred centres are also situated in the body.
The 51 letters of the alphabet are the sacred pithas within the body, each associated with one of the parts of the Devi which fell to earth when sliced by the discus of Vishnu.
Chapter eight continues the previous topic. The body is permeated with millions of nadis and the elements have their place there too. In chapter nine, Shiva speaks of the Sundari mantra.
Even though Shiva has already spoken of it in the Nitya Tantra, Shakti asks him to reveal its true meaning. Shiva says that 21,600 is the head of the letters of the alphabet and the true rosary in the thousand petalled lotus. Details of the rosary follow. Using tantrik methods, sadhakas can be both liberated and enjoy.
The last chapter equates Vishnu’s ten incarnations with the ten Mahavidyas. Durga is the Kalki, the last of the avatars of Vishnu. He is yet to come, and when he does he will be born in Shambhala. He will ride a white horse and hold a sword which blazes like fire, bringing back to the planet harmony, according to the Agni and other Puranas. Kali’s consort is Krishna.
“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, Cchinnamasta 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.” (Todala, chapter 10)

Kankalamalini Tantra

The word kankalamalini means garlanded in bones, or skeletons, a constant theme of texts related to the goddess Kali. This work therefore falls into the Kalikula category of tantrik texts. The edition used for this abstract was published by Kalyana Mandir Prakashan in 2033 Samvat (1973 c.e.).
The Kankamalinitantra is a relatively short work of only five patalas (chapters). Like many tantras, each is of uneven length. Chapter five is probably longer than the previous four chapters put together. In the colophon at the end of each chapter, the tantra is ascribed to the Dakshinamnaya, or southern tantrik current. Mantras are given below using the iTrans format to preserve their correct form and pronunciation (see Tantrik Texts for more information on iTrans).
Chapter One
The first chapter opens with Bhairavi asking Bhairava to tell her about the letters of the alphabet. He says that the letters A to Ksha form the absolute as sound (Shabdabrahma), and then proceeds to enumerate the female shaktis associated with these letters. Bhairava says that the letters A to Ksha consist of Shiva and Shakti, and without knowledge of their true meaning, it is not possible to be successful practising the Vama path. The letters are made up of the three gunas. This chapter, shorter than the others, then discusses the major bija or seed mantras, including OM, shrii.m (Lakshmi bija), krii.m, klii.m, hrii.m , hu.m, huu.m, hrau.m, ai.m, krau.m, svaahaa, drii.m and duu.m, prii.m, Tha.m Tha.m and sphrii.m.
Chapter Two
Bhairavi addresses Bhairava as Nilakantha (the blue throated) Mahadeva and asks him to explain to her the meaning of yoni mudra and the three tattvas. He says that yoni mudra is very secret and should not be revealed. It is the very form of the absolute, representing the chaitanya or consciousness of mantra and bestows liberation. By grace of the yoni mudra, Bhairava says he was able to conquer death. Semen, blood and their conjunction are the temple of Manmatha (the god of love). The yoni bija mantra should be recited 108 times and the yoni itself is the true form of the supreme absolute. The yoni should be encircled with three threads, which are the ida, the pingala and the sushumna. The yoni of Devi is the primordial (Adya) form of Prakriti (nature). It is Kundalini and Mahakundalini, says Shiva.
Bhairava then speaks of the nadis or channels of energy in the body. There are 3.5 koti (a koti is 10 million) nadis, but the three nadis mentioned above are the chief, and represent the moon, the sun and fire. Bhairava then goes on to describe the six well known chakras through which runs the thread of the sushumna or central nadi in the spine. Details are given of the Dakinis, the gods and goddesses, and the bijas of each of these chakras, with very similar details to those published by Sir John Woodroffe in The Serpent Power. Above the Ajna chakra, says Bhairava, is a lotus of 1,000 petals, which is the place of the seventeenth kala.
Kundali Shakti is the form of mantra, dwelling in the muladhara chakra and rising through the Chitrini to the Brahmanda or 1,000 petal lotus, is the rosary of letters, says Bhairava.
There then follows a Yoni kavacha which is of some interest. Ishvara says that by holding it and reading it, it causes all shaktis to give boons.
The rishi of the kavacha is Sadashiva, the metre for it to be pronounced in is Gayatri, the devata is the Eternal Yoni form, while it gives the four aims of mankind.
OM ma.m maa.m mi.m mii.m mu.m muu.m me.m mai.m mo.m mau.m maH mama shiro raxantu svaahaa .
OM ma.m maa.m mi.m mii.m mu.m muu.m me.m mai.m mo.m mau.m maH OM maa.m OM aakuuTaa.m mama raxantu svaahaa ma.m maa.m .
OM ma.m maa.m mi.m mii.m mu.m muu.m me.m mai.m mo.m mau.m maH hR^idayaadi daxa bahu.m raxantu .
OM ma.m maa.m mi.m mii.m mu.m muu.m me.m mai.m mo.m mau.m maH hR^idayaadi vaama bahu.m raxantu .
OM ma.m maa.m mi.m mii.m mu.m muu.m me.m mai.m mo.m mau.m maH daxa paada.m raxantu mama .
OM ma.m maa.m mi.m mii.m mu.m muu.m me.m mai.m mo.m mau.m maH vaama paada.m raxantu mama sadaa svaahaa svaahaa .
OM ma.m maa.m mi.m mii.m mu.m muu.m me.m mai.m mo.m mau.m maH hR^idaadiSu naasaa.m raxantu svaahaa .
OM ma.m maa.m mi.m mii.m mu.m muu.m me.m mai.m mo.m mau.m maH upastha.m raxantu mama sadaa svaahaa .
OM ma.m maa.m mi.m mii.m mu.m muu.m me.m mai.m mo.m mau.m maH ida.m hi yoni kavacha.m rahasya.m paramaad.hbhuta.m .
The kavacha should be recited in the Muladhara, before the eternal yoni. It gives equality with the sun and the moon, and through the grace of Devi causes success in the yoni mudra. The text says it should be recited with one’s own woman or with another woman, following which there should be intercourse. This is an example of tantrik code. The “other woman”, according to tantrik insiders, is one’s wife or woman, while one’s own woman here refers to the Devi within. From this point of view, sex with one’s own woman is adultery. On the other hand, this tantra may well be speaking literally.
The kavacha, continues Ishvara, should be written on bhurja leaf (birch) and written with svayambhu flowers (menstrual blood), and semen, and with other scents such as gorochana. It should be placed inside a gold ball and worn on the body. Reciting the kavacha 108 times gives success in whatever is desired. The chapter closes with the mantra namo yonyai namo yonyai kuNDalinyai namo namaH.
Chapter Three
This chapter returns to comparatively more sedate matters, including guru puja, the guru mantra and a guru gita (song).
Ishvara says the two syllables of the word guru represent that which is without qualities and the supreme absolute, respectively. This mantra, he says, is the mahamantra, and should be concealed.
He follows by giving a dhyana of the guru, situated in the 1,000 petal lotus. He is seated in the virasana, with his two hands showing the mudras dispelling fear and giving boons. On his left thigh sits his shakti, whose face shows compassion. She wears red clothes and jewels.
The guru and his shakti should be worshipped with mental offerings (upachara). After reciting the mantra of the shakti, the kavacha of the guru should then be read. This kavacha differs from that given in the Matrikabhedatantra. Wearing the kavacha on different parts of the body washes away demerit in the same way as the Ganges river washes it away. The chapter closes with a brief song (gita) extolling the virtues of the guru.
Chapter Four
This chapter centres around the worship of Mahakali. Parvati asks Shiva to give the Kali mantra, and describe her puja.
Ishvara (Shiva) says that the mantra of Mahakali bestows every type of success. All the gods and rishis achieved what they did through her worship. It gives both liberation and enjoyment and bestows liberation through enjoyment, when heard from the mouth of the guru.
Shiva gives the mantras of Mahakali and and says her one syllable mantra is the gives siddhi in the Kali age. He then gives a three syllable mantra of Dakshina Kalika, followed by other three syllable mantras producing different results.
Conventional rules in the worship of Mahakali are suspended, says Shiva. There is no rule as to time, as to the woman who is the shakti, or to defects of the mantra. Similarly, one need not pay attention to bodily defects. The sadhana may be done during the day or at night, and the recitation (japa) of the mantra may be done anywhere.
By pleasure one gains liberation, Shiva says. He says: “This is true, true, true and again true, I say.”
Puja is of three types, he says: daily, every so often, and according to desire (kamya). Here he says he will speak of the daily puja of Mahakali. Bhairava is the rishi, Ushnik is the metre, and the devata is Mahakali, who gives the four aims of mankind.
Without five fold purification, any puja undertaken is black magic (abhichara). Those five purifications are of the atma, bath, the materials, the mantra and the devata. Following the placing of the materials, one should bow to the gurus on the left and to Ganapati on the right, and should then perform bhutashuddhi, the purification of the elements. (This is a meditation in which the different elements within a sadhaka are purified. There is a complete explanation and translation of this process in Woodroffe’s edition of the Mahanirvanatantra).
Different nyasas are then performed, and the text follows with a meditation image of Mahakali.
One should meditate on Adya Mahakali as being in a celestial spot, on the central peak of the Himalaya range, under a jewelled pavilion which is the great pitha, her lotus feet served by Narada and the best of saints, worshipped by Bhairava. She is the colour of sapphire, with two large high breasts, wears variegated colour clothes, and has four arms and three eyes.
The text then follows with a description of her inner meditation, where she has limbs the colour of thunderclouds, dishevelled clothing, three eyes and is seated on Shiva’s corpse. She is ornamented with a chain of skulls. In her left upper hand she holds a man’s severed head, and with the lower hand holds a cleaver. She has dishevelled hair.
Shiva then gives a further dhyana of Mahakali, where she has a fierce, fanged mouth, is completely naked, and has three eyes. She sits in virasana on Mahakala and makes a terrifying noise, wears a garland of skulls (mundamala) and has streams of blood pouring over her full breasts. She sways backwards and forwards, as if intoxicated. In her left hands she holds a cleaver and a severed head, and in her right shows the mudras giving boons and dispelling fear. She has a terrifying face and her tongue rolls wildly. She has earrings made up of a bird’s wing and an arrow. She is served by terrifying, roaring jackals in the cremation ground and by Bhairavas making fearful laughing noises, and who dance over men’s skeletons, making their victory cries.
Whew. The text then follows with a description of Kali’s fifteen attendants, the Kalinityas. This leads up to the left-hand worship with the panchatattva or panchamakara. Shiva says whoever does Kula puja without wine or flesh loses the merit of 1,000 good incarnations. “Without wine, there is no mantra, there is no mantra except with wine,” Shiva says. After performing the rite of the five makaras (see virasadhana, elsewhere on this site), one should bow again to Mahakali before doing the dismissal and cleansing rites.
Chapter Five
This chapter is concerned with purashcharana, the rites to be performed by an initiated tantrika to make a mantra successful.
Elsewhere on this site, we have described the elaborate rules, stretching over several days, which a sadhaka has to undertake. But the Kankalamalini, in a similar matter to the Devirahasya and the Brihadnilatantra seems to suspend these rules.
Parvati is told by Ishvara that in the Kali Yuga, folk are short lived and unable to perform rites in the way they were able to do in previous times. He says that for this worship there is no bad time, no special day or night, no need to do the puja on “great nights”, such as the eighth or fourteenth of a dark fortnight, nor is there a necessity for worship at the twilights (sandhya).
There are no rules about directions, places, recitation of mantra, time to do the worship. “Here, svecchacharya (doing the rite according to will) is the rule for the mahamantra in sadhana,” Ishvara says.
Performing worship in the Kali Yuga in this fashion brings siddhi in six months, according to the text. Shiva says: “Devi, in the Kali Yuga, there are no tirthas (bathing spots), no vows to undertake, no homa, no bath, and no twilight worship (sandhya). ” Those rites belong to the previous eras of the Saya, Dvapara and Treta Yugas, he says.
However, purashcharana is still necessary, he adds, and proceeds to give the rite suitable for tantriks during the Kali Yuga. There then follows a lengthy rite which includes the giving of substances including ghee, milk, and sugar, and the recitation of many mantras, the performance of many nyasas. The importance of the rudraksha rosary is stressed at great length. The sadhaka should smear himself with ash, and put three lines on his forehead as well as a tilak.
Rules are given about the use of the Gayatri mantra, and towards the end of chapter five, there is a lengthy discourse on the Devis of the bodily dhatus, such as Dakini, Lakini, Rakini and so forth, along with their bija mantras and their various meditation images. These Devis are situated in the different chakras.

Guptasadhana Tantra

A mantra is, like everything else, Shakti. But the mere utterance of a mantra without more is a mere movement of the lips.
This tantra is likely quite old. It is quoted as a source in the Matrikabhedatantra, which may possibly date from the 13th century c.e. The edition used for this abstract is No. 311 in the Chowkhamba Haridas Sanskrit series. The work is unabashedly of a Kaula slant, briefly exposed in twelve short patalas (chapters).
Chapter One
Set on the pleasant peak of Kailash mountain, Devi first says that she has heard of the greatness of the path of the Kulas, but now wants to hear more. Shiva says that as he is her slave, and out of love, he will tell her what she requests. Kulachara, he says, is great knowledge and should be concealed, particularly from those of the pashu (herdlike) disposition, in the same way that Devi would hide her sexual organs from others. Kulachara, he says, is the essence of the vedas, the puranas and other shastras, and is very difficult to obtain. Even if he had tens upon tens of millions of mouths, he would be unable to describe the magnificence of the path of Kula. Shakti, he says, is the root of the entire universe, pervading all, and she is the cause of knowledge arising in a sadhaka. Knowing Shakti brings happiness in this world and causes a sadhaka to dissolve in the body of Shakti in the next. Next, Shiva says that the Kulashakti should be worshipped with the five makaras, and describes suitable shaktis for this worship as a dancer, a Kapalini, a whore, a washing girl, a girl who cuts hair, a Brahmani, a Shudrani, a Bhopala maiden and a flower-girl. These are the nine tantrik Kulashaktis.
Chapter Two
Parvati says she wants to know about sadhana, and breaks into a eulogy of the guru. She says the guru is Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra and is the refuge. Guru is sacred bathing places (tirtha), guru is tapas, guru is fire, guru is the sun and consists of the whole universe. She asks by which mantra and in which ways the guru should be served and worshipped. She asks what his meditation image is. Shiva says that women, because of their emotional nature, should not have secrets revealed to them. Nevertheless, out of love for her, he will tell her of the meditation image and the nature of the guru. It should not be revealed to pashus, he warns. He says that just as Kula represents Shakti, so Akula represents Shiva. A person who is dissolved in Shakti is called a Kulina. This is a reference to the idea that Shiva is the witness, inert, a corpse, and it is Shakti, Kula, who creates, maintains and destroys the universe. The guru is the Kula circle, and one should bow to the guru seated in the centre of a great lotus which has the colour of an autumnal moon. He has a face like the full moon, and wears celestial clothes, and is scented with heavenly perfumes. He is united with the greatly alluring Suradevi, on his left, and his hands show the mudras giving boons and dispelling fear. He is marked with every auspicious sign, and is situated in the great 1,000 petal lotus on the head. Shri Parvati then asks to hear more. She wants to know about the meditation image of the guru’s shakti. Shiva replies that she is like the red lotus, wearing beautiful red clothes, she has a slender waist, and is adorned with red jewels and a red diadem. She resembles the brightness of the autumn moon, wears beautiful shining earrings, and sits on the left of her own lord (natha). She shows the signs giving boons and dispelling fear and holds a lotus in one of her hands.
Chapter Three
Parvati asks Ishvara, whom she addresses as the giver of liberation, the lord of breath and Mahadeva, about preparatory acts (purashcharana) sadhakas must undertake. As in the Kankalamalinitantra, Shiva says that the way to accomplish sadhana of the great mantra is through one’s own will, here described as sveshtachara rather than svecchacharya. The usual defects and rules applying to whether worship is during the day or night do not apply. At morning, and at midday the sadhaka should recite the mantra and having performed puja should once more recite the mantra at the evening twilight. In the evening, the sadhaka is to offer food and other offerings according to his will. After doing so, the best of sadhakas should also recite the mantra at the dead of night. Together with his own shakti, he should recite the mantra. Joined with his shakti, the mantra gives siddhi, and not otherwise, Shiva says. There is no siddhi without a Kulashakti, even in thousands of millions of years. After worshipping the Kumari, a sadhaka should give her offerings of food and the like and recite the mantra 108 times. After doing so, one should give dakshina (gift) to the guru, such as gold and clothes. Unless the guru is satisfied, success in the mantra cannot be obtained. Success means that one becomes like Bhairava or Shiva himself.
Chapter Four
This chapter deals with the shakti and her characteristics. Shankara says that she may be one’s own shakti or another’s. She should be youthful and intelligent, and should be free of shame (lajja) and disgust (ghrna). After using the five elements according to the rule, the sadhaka should recite the mantraplacing it 100 times on the head, 100 times on the forehead, 100 times where the hair is parted in the centre (sinduramandala or simanta), 100 times on the mouth, 100 times on the throat, 100 times in the region of the heart, 100 times for each of her breasts, 100 times for the navel, and 100 times at the yoni. After doing so, the sadhaka should think of himself as one with Shiva, and using the Shiva mantra should worship his own lingam. Chewing tambula (pan), and with bliss or excitement in his heart, he should place his lingam in the yoni of shakti. He should offer his atma, together with dharma and adharma, and everything else in his nature as a sacrificer offers to fire in the susumna nadi using a mantra ending with Svaha. Then, while still joined with his shakti, he should utter the mantra 100 or 1,000 times. The full sacrifice, which here implies orgasm, he should then offer using the prakashakasha mantra, again ending with Svaha. The semen which flows from this orgasm should then be offered to the Devi. It may be noted here that this whole process, though couched in explicitly sexual terms, can also refer to the bliss when Kundalini rises through the sushumna nadi and the chakras. Whoever worships according to the previous method, says Shiva, becomes free from illness, wealthy, and equal to the god of love Kama himself. His enemies are all destroyed, and he becomes successful on earth, gaining all dominion, and equal to Shiva himself.
Chapter Five
After all this excitement, Parvati wants to know about preparatory acts, and how many times the mantra given to the disciple by the guru should be recited in the months after initiation. Shiva says that during the first month, the mantra should be recited 600,000 times, in month two 1,200,000 times, and in the third month 1,600,000 times. In months four and five, the number is 3,000,000 times for each. In month six, the mantra has to be recited 3,600,000 times, and in the seventh month, 4,200,000 times. In the eighth month, japa is 4,400,000 times, and in month nine 4,500,000 (or could be 5,400,000) times. Month ten needs recitation 6,000,000 times, while month 11 the number creeps up to 6,500,000 times. By the time the last month of the year is reached, the mantra has to be recited 10,000,000 times. Shiva says that only be reciting the mantra this many times, does it become successful. As well as worshipping the shakti in the manner described in chapter four, a sadhaka must also worship the Kumaris, or virgins, feeding them and so forth. The Kulachudamanitantra goes into some detail about this process. Shiva says here that without shakti, he has the form of a corpse, while when he is joined with the devi, he is Shivo-ham.
Chapter Six
The goddess says she wants to know about the Dakshina form of Kalika, who she describes as the giver of siddhi, and very hard to get knowledge of in the three worlds. Shiva says he will reveal this information, which, he says is also spoken of in the Kalitantra and in Yamala. He says that knowing the essence of Dakshina Kali liberates an individual from the ocean of being and says that Bhairava is the rishi who revealed the mantra, it should be pronounced in the Ushnik metre. He gives the linchpin (kilaka), shakti and other details and says that the application of the mantra is the four ends or aims of all human beings, dharma, artha, kama and moksha. He tells the Devi that he has already given the complete mantra in the Kalitantra. Devi then responds by asking about different elements in puja including meditation, the place of worship the different asanas (positions, seats) called Alidha and Pratyalidha, the cremation ground, and the nights when she should be worshipped. He answers that a candidate should be an adhikari, that is competent or entitled to worship Kalika, and should do the daily puja dedicated to his or her guru, or the guru’s son or the guru’s shakti. Without this, the fruit of a sadhaka’s puja is taken by the rakshas and the yakshas. The guru and his or her family are to be offered the fruit of the puja and satisfied in every way. The Alidha and Pratyalidha postures are the form of Kali as the destroyer and deluder of the universe, the form of Kali as fire itself, and so situated in the cremation ground. By performing these according to the injunctions of the guru, one obtains the four aims of mankind. One should do the puja, by implication in the cremation ground, at night at a time which appears to be in the second ghatika (a ghatika =24 minutes) after midnight. On a great night of Kali, one should perform puja at midnight, using the five bhavas, here meaning the five makaras, as part of vira sadhana. Worshipping at different times, and in the different velas, gives different results. Those of the divine and heroic dispositions (bhavas), should worship using the five tattvas, at midnight, to achieve the highest results and become free from time.

Devi Rahasyam

Devirahasya Tantra
There are many compilations or tantrik digests, discussing a variety of topics a sadhaka or sadhvini needs to know. Below is a summary of the contents of the Devirahasya, which will give an idea of the scope of this type of work. There is little philosophy here; practically the entire contents of the work deals with mantra, yantra, puja and sadhana of the different gods and goddesses discussed.
Rahasya means secret and the work does cover most of the topics a practitioner would need to know. These include purashcarana, which is the preparatory work before puja proper can start. This is very arduous, involving the recitation of mantra and a ritual which spans many hours. The Devirahasya, however, introduces some short-cuts for the Kaula initiate.
The panchangas (five limbs) in this work give essential puja information for a sadhaka or sadhvini and give intriguing insights into various aspects of devata worshipped by the Hindu tantrikas. (An example, translated on this site, is the Bala Panchanga.)
Chapter 1
This deals with the characteristics of guru and pupil, with the planetary positions and times of initiation, and with the attendant disqualifications on both pupils and gurus. It also deals with the sequence of initiation, the purification of the disciple, and the initiation of shaktis.
Chapter 2
The different mantras of the Devis are given. The Devis mentioned are Bala (an aspect of Tripurasundari as a young girl), Panchadashi and Sodasi (Tripurasundari), Tripura, Vidyarajni (Queen of Vidya), Bhadrakali, Matangi, Bhuvaneshvari, Ugratara, Chinnamasta, Sumukhi (Pretty Face), Sarasvati, Annapurna (Full of Food), Mahalaksmi, Sarika(Small Bodied), Sarada(Autumnal), Indraksi(Indra’s eyes), Bagalamukhi, Mahaturi(The Transcendent Fourth), Maharajni(Great Queen), Jvalamukhi (Fire-Mouth), Bhida, Kalaratri (Night of Time), Bhavani, Vajrayogini, Dhumravarahi(Smoky Varahi Devi), Siddhalakshmi, Kulavagisvari, Padmavati, Kubjika (Crooked One), Gauri (Fair One), Khecari, Nilasarasvati, Parasakti.
Chapter 3
Gives the different Saiva mantras such as: Mrtyunjaya (Siva as Conqueror of Death), Amrtesvara, Vatukabhairava (Siva in His aspect as a terrifying boy), Mahesvara, Shiva, Sadasiva, Rudra, Mahadeva, Karala(Formidable One), Vikarala, Nilakantha, Sarva, Pasupati (Lord of Beasts), Mrda, Pinaki, Girisa, Bhima, Mahaganapati, Kumara, Krodhanesa, Isa, Kapalisa, Krurabhairava (Cruel Bhairava), Samharabhairava (Dissolution Bhairava), Isvara, Bharga, Rurubhairava, Kalagnibhairava, Sadyojata (instantly arising — a name of Siva as penis), Aghora, Mahakala and Kamesvara.
Chapter 4
The different mantras of Visnu are here given. These are the Laksmi-Narayana mantra, and the mantras of Radhakrsna, Visnu, Laksmi-Nrsimha, Laksmi-Varaha, Bhargava, Sita-Rama, Janardana, Visvaksena and Laksmi-Vasudeva;
Chapter 5
The different Utkelana (laying open) of the mantras given above are given. These are mantras which themselves open the mantras up to use.
Chapter 6
Gives the vitalising mantras of the Devatas described in chapters 2,3 and 4.
Chapter 7
In this chapter the mantras used for reminding any curses that may have become attached to the mantras in chapters 2, 3 and 4 are given.
Chapter 8
The method of reciting mantras is here described. The guru puja mantra is given.
Chapter 9
Deals with the method of putting together the mantras already described in chapters 2,3 and 4.
Chapter 10
Purascarana, or the performance of acts by which a given mantra may be made efficacious, is described in this chapter. This is performed by reciting it 400,000, 200,000 or 100,000 times. It should be performed under a fig tree, in the wilderness, in the cremation ground, in a desert, at crossroads, and should be started at midnight or midday. Purascarana should be done under auspicious astrological configurations after having worshipped one’ s own guru. A yantra is described which should be used in its application. The sadhaka has to fill four pots at the cardinal points. At the end of the chapter alternative methods of doing this necessary act are described. These are through sexual intercourse with an initiated sakti, by reciting the mantra during the birth of a child of the in-group, on a dead body in a cremation ground, during the time the Sun takes to rise and set, in a solar or in a lunar eclipse.
Chapter 11
Continues the topic of the previous chapter, and describes the homa which should be done.
Chapter 12
Describes in code form the unfolding of the different yantras of the Devatas described in chapters 2,3 and 4.
Chapter 13
This chapter describes how an amulet (kavacha) may be made of the yantra of one’s own Istadevata, bound into a ball, and carried upon the person. This amulet is said to give miraculous results. The yantra should be drawn upon birch-bark using 8 different kinds of scent. These are described as svayambhu, kundagola, Rocana, Aguru, camphor, musk, honey, and that arising from Malaya (i.e. sandal). The first two are well-known in the tantras as arising from various Kula women at the menstruation time. The others have similar significance in the left handed and Kaula tantras. Various methods of purification are given in the text, and it is declared that the 1,000 names of the particular Devata should be written around the yantra.
Chapter 14
Gives details of the Rishis or seers of the various mantras.
Chapter 15
The sadhana of the cremation ground. begins to be described. This chapter contains only 13 verses but there is an extensive commentary provided.
Chapter 16
Continues the topic. The different Bhairavas of the elements have to be worshipped. Mahakala-bhairava is the Seer of the mantra, Ushnik is the metre, Sri Smasana is the Devata, Hrim is the bija, Hum is the sakti and Krim is the kilaka. The application of the mantra is in the attainment of the four aims of mankind.
Chapter 17
Purification of the rosary formed from human skulls is discussed here.
Chapter 18
In this chapter rosary and yantra purification is dealt with. The nature of the five products of the cow and the Yantresvari mantra are also discussed.
Chapter 19
The origin of wine is the subject of this chapter. Nine vessels which form the receptacles in which wine is kept are discussed. The presiding Devatas of these are Sadasiva, Isvara, Rudra, Visnu, Paramesti, Indra, Guru,(Jupiter), Sukra (Venus) and the Sun and the Moon taken together.

Then comes the Shodashi which is read as hrii.m ka e ii la hrii.m ha sa ka ha la hrii.m sa ka la hrii.m. The second form of the same is called Chintamani read as shrii.m ka e ii la hrii.m ha sa ka ha la hrii.m sa ka la hrii.m. The same Shodashi when read as hrii.m shrii.m ka e ii la hrii.m ha sa ka ha la hrii.m sa ka la hrii.m is called Saptadashi. Rajarajeshvari is read as shrii.m hrii.m klii.m sauh o.m hrii.m shrii.m ka e ii la hrii.m ha sa ka ha la hrii.m sa ka la hrii.m shrii.m hrii.m o.m sauH ai.m klii.m hrii.m shrii.m.

Gandharva Tantra

Gandharva Tantra is an important work of the school of Shri Vidya and follows Vamakeshvari Tantra. This introduction to the Sanskrit text was written by M.S.Kaul in 1944 and is out of copyright.
Abstract of Gandharva Tantra
Unlike the Agamas, the Gandharva Tantra begins with the two stanzas, one of salutation to the Elephant-god and the other of benediction invoking the protection of the Goddess Kundalini. This fact in itself reveals that the Tantra must be more or less modern. The tradition regarding the appearance of the Tantra is that the rival sage Vishvamitra, being envious of the prophetic powers of Vasishtha, performs a difficult penance. Failing even thereby to obtain equality with Vasishtha he goes to the North and implores the help of Dattatreya who consoles him and reveals the Gandharva Tantra which he has heard from Nandikeshvara. The tantra is in the form of a dialogue between Shiva and Parvati.
1st Chapter
It begins with the question from Parvati about Brahman, Yoga and the Body. Shiva defines the Brahman only. Thereupon Parvati thereupon enquires after some such secret lore as will enable the humanity to get release from the bondage of actions while enjoying the blessings of the earthly life. Shiva says that the Tantric lore is triune in nature as Tamasik, Rajasik, and Sattvik leading respectively to hell, heaven and emancipation. He advises that care should be taken to reject the first and informs that the subject matter of the Tantra is already revealed by Him to Krishna the son of Devaki and to Nandikeshvara. The former related it to Brahma and the latter to Pushpadanta and through him to Gandharvas. The sages received it from Brahma and Indra from Angiras and the king of the demons from Sukra. The result was that everyone became piously-minded including even Namuchi and other demons and the eternal foes of the latter, i.e. Indra and other gods lost their high positions. Brahma, pitying them went to Shiva and related the grievances of the Gods. Shiva, consequently revealed more or less the materialistic Shastras to deceive the demons. Among these are mentioned the Pashupata-Saiva, the Vaisheshika, the Nyaya, the Samkhya, the Charvakas, and the Bauddha. All the mantras also were polluted as it were with various defilements and the Tantras interpolated with doubtful passages.
2nd Chapter
In this Parvati requests Shiva to remove the doubts referred to in the first Patala regarding the Shakti lore. Shiva accedes to the request and relates the importance of the worship of Shakti as Turiya. She (Tripurasundari) is called Turiya (the fourth ) in-as-much as Kameshvari is the first. Bhagamalini the second and Vajreshvari the third. After this Shiva reveals the Mantra called Panchadasi Vidya. The same is of three parts. The first is called Vagbhava, as it imparts mystery over all forms of speech. It is read as ka e ii la hrii.m. The second goes by the name of Kamaraja and is composed of the six letters ha sa ka ha la hrii.m. The third is named Shaktibija consisting of the four letters sa ka la-hrii.m. Panchadasi in this form is known by the name of Kamaraja-vidya. The forms of the same respectively worshipped by Lopamudra, Shiva and Shakti are sa ka la hrii.m, ha sa ka ha la hrii.m, sa ka la hrii.m, ha sa ka ha la hrii.m, sa ka la hrii.m; sa ha ka la hrii.m, ha sa ka ha la hrii.m, sa ka la hrii.m.
Then comes the Shodashi which is read as hrii.m ka e ii la hrii.m ha sa ka ha la hrii.m sa ka la hrii.m. The second form of the same is called Chintamani read as shrii.m ka e ii la hrii.m ha sa ka ha la hrii.m sa ka la hrii.m. The same Shodashi when read as hrii.m shrii.m ka e ii la hrii.m ha sa ka ha la hrii.m sa ka la hrii.m is called Saptadashi. Rajarajeshvari is read as shrii.m hrii.m klii.m sauh o.m hrii.m shrii.m ka e ii la hrii.m ha sa ka ha la hrii.m sa ka la hrii.m shrii.m hrii.m o.m sauH ai.m klii.m hrii.m shrii.m.
3rd Chapter
In the third Patala Shiva reveals the Panchami Vidya which consists of five Kutas. It is so called because the whole world consists of the five elements –Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Sky represented by the five Kutas respectively presided over by the Shaktis of Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Isvara and Sadasiva. These are Kameshvari, Vajreshvari, Bhagamalini, Tripurasundari and Para. The Vidya is to be read as ka e ii la hrii.m, ha sa ka la hrii.m, ha ka ha la hrii.m, ka ha ya la hrii.m, ha ka la sa hrii.m. After this follows the description regarding the way in which the Sadhaka is to practise the Vidya and of the powers appearing as a result thereof. Ekadashaksari or the mantra of eleven letters comes last. It is read as ka la hrii.m, ka ha la hrii.m, sa ka la hrii.m.
4th Chapter
In this Patala is given the Kavacha of Rajarajeshvari called Trailokyamohana. The sage of the Kavacha is Shiva, metre Virat, and the Goddess Mahatripurasundari. The Kavacha is said to have various kinds of efficacy which are detailed in the text. It is efficacious not only when practised but also when borne on different parts of the body after being written on a birchbark. The way of writing is that the names of the practitioner and the object of practice are written in the triangle of the Shrichakra, the Mulamantra coming at the top and around it the alphabet and around the alphabet the Kavacha.
5th Chapter
In this Shiva describes the way in which the Shrichakra is to be drawn and the different deities are to receive their worship in the nine component parts of Shrichakra. The Shrichakra is to be drawn either on a metallic plate or the earth with red lead by the golden pen. Devi is said to have three forms, physical, mental and cognitive. The first is represented by Mudra, the second by Yantra and the third by Mantra. Mahatripura-Sundari as seated in the lap of Mahashiva is to be worshipped in the Binduchakra or the centre. The maidens forming the six limbs of Mahatripura-Sundari Sarvajna etc. as also the Datal Eternities are to receive their worship in the four sub-quarters, centre and the quarters. The fifteen Kalas or fifteen vowels are to be worshipped in the triangle, five in the right side and five in the left side and five in the base of the triangle. The Datal Eternities are to be worshipped through the medium of the lady.
Attendant Deities. The three rectangles otherwise called Trailokyamohana chakra are respectively presided over by Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Lord Buddha, and the 10 Yoginis, Anima etc. are to have their worship in the external rectangle; in the inner rectangle eight Mothers Brahmani to Mahalakshmi and in the innermost the Mudradevis Sanksobhini etc. All the Deities of the three rectangles referred to above go by the name of Prakatayoginis. In the sixteen-petalled lotus called Sarvashapuraka Chakra, Brahma and sixteen Guptayoginis Kamakarshanika etc. are to be worshipped. Eight Guptatara Yoginis and Shiva receive their worship in the eight-petalled lotus called Sarvasankshobhana. In the fourteen-sided figure called Sarvasaubhagyadayaka Chakra the sun-god and the Sampradayayoginis Sarvasankshobhini etc. get their worship. Kulakaula Yoginis and Narayana are worshipped in the outer decagon called Sarvarthasadhaka and in the inner decagon Nigarbha Yoginis. In the octagon called Sarvarogahara Chakra Rahasya Yogini Vasini etc. receive their worship. The Divinities of the weapons of Paramashiva and Mahatripura-sundari receive their worship outside the triangle. Kameshwari, Vajreshvari and Bhagamalini which are the three Shaktis respectively of Rudra, Visnu and Brahma are to be worshipped in the apex, left and right side of the triangle which is called Sarvasiddhiprada Chakra. These Shaktis are called Atirahasya Yoginis. In the centre of the triangle or the Bindu Chakra Paraparahasya Yogini Mahatripurasundari is to receive her worship. The worship of Mahatripurasundari is threefold, Para, Apara and Parapara. In the Apara the practitioner has to worship her as identical with the Kundalini in the body. In the Apara she is to receive her worship in Shrichakra with all the necessary articles of worship. The third form of worship includes both the inner and the outer aspects of the worship.
6th Chapter
In the sixth Patala Shiva, in reply to the query made by Parvati regarding the third form of worship, gives in detail instructions for the guidance of the practitioner. These are that the practitioner should rise early in the morning, sit on the Padmasana, have the Pranayama exercise and meditate upon his Guru seated in the thousand-petalled lotus, dressed in white, having two eyes and two hands with Vara and Abhaya Mudras, with his wife sitting on the left thigh and having two hands one holding the white lotus and the other engaged in the tight embrace of her husband.
Mantra of the Guru is aim hrii.m shrii.m ha sa kha phrem, ha sa ksha ma la va ra yum, ha sa kha phrem, ha sa ksha ma la va ra im, hsauh and names of the Guru and his wife followed respectively by anandanatha padukam pujayami and ambapadukam pujayami. He should offer the objects of senses through the latter to his Guru, smell as perfume, sound as flower, touch as incense, form as lamp, flavour as Naivedya. After this comes the mention of Yoga which is defined as the unification of Jivatma and Paramatma and of the eight limbs of the Yoga and their detailed description. At the end is given the description of the centres of Kundalini in the body, i.e., Muladhara, Svadhishthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddha, Ajna and the thousand-petalled lotus above them, which in turn is followed by such instructions as those for bathing, application of collyrium to the eyes and the cleaning of teeth.
7th Chapter
In the above is given the way in which the devotee of Mahatripurasundari is to purify his body and perform the Sandhya. Bathing is said to be of three kinds as also the Sandhya. The kinds are physical, mental and psychic consisting in the purification respectively of the body, the mind and soul. In the three kinds of Sandhyas done in the morning, mid-day and evening the devotee is to meditate upon Mahatripurasundari in three forms. The Gayatri of Mahatripurasundari is given as tripurasundari vidmahe kameshvari dhimahi tannah klinnam prachodayat. Each of these twenty-four letters is said to have a peculiar colour and shape. The muttering of the same results in having release from different kinds of sins. Agni etc. are the presiding deities of these twenty-four letters. Parashurama, Menanath, Agastya, Vasishtha and Dattatreya are declared to have freed themselves from heinous crimes such as matricide etc. Every important event in the life of a practitioner is to commence with the worship of Tripurasundari and at the end of the Sandhya he is to offer a handful of water mixed with red flowers and the powder of Sandalwood to the sun under the name of Martandabhairava with the Mantra hrii.m hamsah martandabhairavaya prakashashaktisahitaya idamarghyam namo namah.

Dakshinamurti Samhita

Abstract of Dakshinamurti Samhita
Dear One, Tripura is the ultimate, primordial Shakti, the light of manifestation. She, the pile of letters of the alphabet, gave birth to the three worlds. At dissolution, She is the abode of all tattvas, still remaining Herself – Vamakeshvaratantra
This work is a comprehensive digest on the subject of Shri Vidya, from the Kaula point of view. It largely skips the philosophical implications of the cult and concentrates on the ritualistic aspects. Yet the work is of interest because it seems to represent a different branch of the tradition. For example, the mantras (properly, vidyas) of the Devi’s 15 Nityas or eternities differ from those encountered in other texts including Tantrarajatantra, Vamakeshvara, the Kalpa Sutras, &c.
The different patalas (chapters) are of widely varying lengths, some consisting of only a few shlokas (verses), while others go into considerable detail.
Chapter one begins with praise of Tripura in her five lion seat form. Shri Devi questions Ishvara about the different amnayas, identified with the four directions and the upper face. Shiva describes the different forms of Shri Vidya and gives the vidya and dhyana (meditation images) of Lakshmi in her one syllable form. Chapter two describes Mahalakshmi puja, together with the vidya, dhyana, and purashcharana (preparatory acts) of the goddess. In the third chapter, Shiva describes the worship of the three Shakti form of Mahalakshmi.
Samrajya Lakshmi is the subject of the fourth chapter. After describing her form, Shiva gives her vidya and the different avarana or attendants in her yantra.
In chapter five, Ishvara speaks of Shri Kosha Vidya. A sadhaka who masters this vidya is never reborn. She is the supreme light, without any attributes whatsoever, the very self of creation, maintenance and dissolution.
Chapter six extends the subject of the Paranishkala Devata (supreme goddess with no parts). She is the supreme form of Parabrahma, wears white clothes, white gems and is smeared with white paste. She shows the mudra of knowledge and is served by hosts of yogis.
The seventh chapter deals with the Ajapa or unpronounced mantra. According to the Kaulas, a human being breathes 21,600 times during the day. Half are Sun breaths and half are Moon breaths. This is called the Ajapa because it is pronounced spontaneously, as a person breathes, and is called the Hamsa mantra. A sadhaka can meditate on different chakras in the human body, assigning sections of these breaths there.
Chapter eight speaks of Matrika, the goddess as the letters of the alphabet, starting with A first and Ksha last. Ishvara gives the mandala to create for her worship and gives a dhyana of the goddess.
The next patala, chapter nine, begins to describe Bala Tripurasundari in her form as a young pubescent woman. She sits on a beautiful jewelled lion seat in the midst of the kadamba forest. The text gives details of her yantra, and other ritualistic accessories. This is a much longer chapter than the previous eight. Chapters 10 and 11 deal with the lion seat in the four quarters.
In chapter 12, Shiva describes the Kama Bija, personified by Kameshvari. She is as effulgent as a china rose, holds a bow and arrows, and is adorned with various beautiful jewels which delude the whole three worlds.
Chapter 13 describes Rakta Netra worship. She has the form of Lalita, with rounded high buttocks (nitambini), a slender waist, a peaceful face and beautiful eyes. She is young and beautiful with swelling, high firm breasts.
In chapter 15 the devatas associated with the southern amnaya are briefly described. Then Shiva, in the next chapter, describes those of the western amnaya.
Chapter 16 describes the Mritasamjivini Devi, a female form of Mrityunjaya. The next, patala 17, describes Vajreshi.
In chapter 18, Shiva speaks of the Tripureshi Bhairavi vidya. This is Lalita as a woman in whom menstruation has ceased.
Chapter 19 gives more details about the western amnaya, while chapter 20 continues the topic by dealing with the northern (uttara) amnaya. Bhairavi is situated here.
Chaitanya Bhairavi is the subject of chapter 21, while Kuta Bhairavi forms the subject matter in chapter 22. The form of the goddess known as Nitya Bhairavi is the topic of chapter 23, while another fierce aspect of Tripurasundari, Aghora Bhairavi (Damareshi) forms the subject matter of chapter 24. Devi Sampat Bhairavi in the subject of chapter 25.
In chapter 26 Shiva tells Devi about Panchasundari. This is Lalita in her form as the five elements of space, fire, air, earth and water. Chapter 27 deals with Parijateshvari, while chapter 28 covers Pancha Baneshi, or the goddess in her form as the five arrows. Pancha Kameshvari is the topic of chapter 29, while Kalpalata Vidya is described in chapter 30. Chapter 31 deals of Annapurna, or the Devi full of food. She is described as a Siddha Vidya, giving endless food to her devotees.
In chapter 32 we learn of Matangi Ratna Devi. Details of her puja, her dhyana, her avarana devatas and her vidya are described. Chapter 33 covers Bhuvaneshvari, and the same subject is continued in 34 and in chapter 35 at some length. Chapter 36 speaks of the Ghatargala Yantra.
Varahi (also known as Panchami) is the subject of chapter 37. Her yantra can be inscribed on silver, gold or copper. Alternatively, it may be drawn on birch bark (bhurja), using substances including kumkum, aguru, sandal, rochana, or turmeric and water. She is as bright as a blue lotus, wears a garland of skulls, and is adorned with nine jewels.
In the 38th chapter, tarpana (oblation) is described at some length, together with some prayogas, the nature of the pot to be used in the worship and other details. This chapter deals with the six magical acts (shatkarma).
The 39th, brief chapter, speaks of the Pancharatra Agama, known as the Vishnu Agama. It gives a dhyana of the Lakshmi. In chapter 40, Ishvara starts to speak of Kameshvari Nitya. The next chapters, up to and including chapter 53, speak of the other Nityas. As noted elsewhere, these have different mantras and vidyas to those spoken of in the Tantrarajatantra.
Chapter 54 gives an explanation of the 15 Nityas (16, if Lalita is included). There follows an interesting correlation between the states of waking, dream and deep sleep with the three gunas. The fourth state (Turya), is described as the ultimate Kala, free from existence and non-existence, beyond the three gunas. These are the 16 Kalas but beyond this is a 17th Kala which is the Absolute itself. The text correlates the letters of the Shri Vidya mantra with the Nityas and with that which is beyond them. It relates the three sections of the Shri Vidya with the three worlds and with the Mahapitha formed from the Sanskrit letters A-Ka-Tha. In the centre of the universe (prapancha) is Tripura, who is of the nature of the absolute.
In chapter 55, Devi asks how one should perform the daily puja of the goddess. Shiva gives details here which are similar to those in other Shri Vidya tantras and in Subhagodaya. In chapter 56, Shiva says that the supreme goddess is in the form of compassion, bears the universe (Jagadhatri), and is in the form of sound as Nada and Bindu. She is also beyond these. Various mantras of Shri Vidya exist, including those first pronounced by Kubera and Lopamudra. She enumerates the other vidyas of Shri Vidya pronounced by other rishis.
Towards the end of this chapter, Ishvara Shiva sings of the greatness of Lalita and describes the Turya or fourth technique, by remembering which, an individual becomes one with the Brahman or Mahapada. He says: “One’s self (svayam) is Brahma, one’s self is Vishnu, one’s self is Rudra, there is no doubt about it.” One who pronounces the vidya even once surpasses thousands of millions of Ashvamedhas (horse sacrifices), acts of homa, sacrifices, pilgrimages to holy places like Kashi, bathing in sacred rivers and the rest. He adds that even if he had millions of tongues, it would be impossible to speak of the greatness of Shrividya. After obtaining it from the guru, it washes away the most heinous of sins.
In chapter 57, he continues the subject of the worship of Shri Vidya and describes a great nyasa in which she is identified with the letters of the alphabet, the Ganeshas, the planets, the sidereal constellations (nakshatras), the solar constellations (rashis), the yoginis and the sacred sites. The full nyasa is published on this site. As an aside, tantrik astrology differs from Western astrology in that the signs of the zodiac are aligned with the stars of the constellations, rather than beginning at the Spring Equinox.
Chapter 58 discusses the important subject of Kamakala. The three bindus are to be meditated on in Tripura’s forehead and two breasts, while the Ha-Ardha kala is in her yoni, below. One should meditate on being one with the Devi. Then follows a lengthy meditation on Lalita, similar to the one in Vamakeshvara Tantra.
In chapter 59, Shiva speaks of the famous Shri Yantra and describes the Shaktis or attendants worshipped in the different nine mandalas, together with how they should be visualised. The chapter concludes with the nine different forms of Lalita in each of these mandalas.
The 60th chapter speaks of how the sadhika or sadhaka should end her or his puja, with worship of Shoshika and the rest. In chapter 61, he speaks of the different fruits of reciting mantra (japa) and of homa (fire worship) in a number of differently shaped kundas or fire pits. These produce different results according to the wish of she or he who does puja, and demand different types of fruit, flowers, and scents, depending on the object of the homa.
In chapter 62, Ishvara speaks of the Suvasini, of her characteristics, and of the sadhana to attract her. A circle is to be drawn and everything therein should be red. She should be given flower, fruit, scented water, food, clothes and jewels. The appropriate mudras should be displayed to her. Other rites are given which result in the acquisition of marvellous siddhis or powers. At the end of the chapter, the five Kamas are described. By worshipping the Kamas, an individual may “delude the world” and attract 64 kotis of yoginis to the chakra.
In chapter 63, the important subject of the sexual worship of Shaktis is discussed. Shiva describes the vira sadhana and says that once semen is emitted using this rite, it should be offered to the Shakti. Sacred substances include semen, menstrual blood and urine, the text says. If a person worships in this manner without being properly initiated, the text warns, it is the equivalent of slaying a Brahmin, and he or she ends up in the different hells available in the Hindu tradition. You cannot adopt this method by reading it from a book, it continues.
In chapter 64, the subject of creating a pavitra is alluded to, together with the ritual method for consecrating it. The last, 65th chapter, speaks, in some detail, of a rite of subjugation.

Kulachudanani Tantra

Kulachudamani Tantra is a nigama, meaning that instead of Devi asking questions answered by Lord Shiva (agama), he asks questions answered by Devi, the goddess. In this tantra the cult goddess is Mahishamardini, a Devi with some similarities to Durga.
In seven short chapters, Devi expounds the essence of her worship, sometimes in beautiful and nearly always in colourful language. But the uncanny side of Kaula and Kali worship is dwelt on in great detail, with references to siddhi, including a mysterious process where the tantrik adept leaves his body at night, apparently so he can engage in sexual intercourse with Shaktis.
These uncanny elements may well have code meanings and be intended to throw the unwary off the scent. See, for example, the Jnana Karika, which gives an entirely different slant to crossroads, Kula trees, Kula wine and the like.
Animal sacrifice also appears to have a place in this tantra, as well as gruesome magical matters, including using the bones of a dead black cat to make a magical powder. Please don’t try this at home.
To read the abstract of the text provided in Sir John Woodroffe’s Tantrik Text series (here) you would have little idea of this.
When, under the pseudonym of Arthur Avalon, he produced this series, at the beginning of the 20th century, the fact that an Englishman and a High Court judge would interest himself in even orthodox Hinduism no doubt caused eyebrows to rise and lips to be pursed amongst his peers.
As well as including that introduction, we also here provide our translation, first published in Azoth magazine in the early 1980s.
Although far from being completely happy with this rendition, it does give a flavour of the content which you would be unlikely to get if you relied just on the Tantrik Texts abstract. Chapter seven remains to be translated.
The siddhis – or magical powers – play a large part in this text. The main tantriki rites are called the six acts (shatkarma) of pacifying, subjugating, paralysing, obstructing, driving away, and death-dealing. But the Kulachudamani includes others such as Parapurapraveshana, which is the power of reviving a corpse; Anjana, which lets a sËdhaka see through solid walls; Khadga which gives invulnerability to swords; Khecari, which gives the power of flying and Paduka siddhi, magical sandals which take you great distances, rather like seven league boots.
Certainly, the importance of having a suitable Shakti forms the essence of the instructions Devi gives to Shiva. We see this emphasis over and over again, throughout the tantra.
Devi here takes the form of Mahishamardini, more popularly known as Durga, who destroyed the two arch-demons Sumbha and Nisumbha in an epic battle between the goddess and the throng of demons. It was at this time, according to legend, that Durga created Kali, by emanating her out of her third eye.
We learn more of Durga’s legends and myths from the Kalikapurana, an influential source in Kaula tantra. The Devi, Mahamaya, appeared as Bhadra Kali – identical with Mahishamardini – according to the same text, in order to slay the demon Mahisha. He had fallen into a deep sleep on a mountain and had a terrible dream in which Bhadra Kali cut asunder his head with her sword and drank his blood.
The demon started to worship Bhadra Kali and when Mahamaya appeared to him again in a later age to slaughter him again, she asked a boon of her. Devi replied that he could have his boon, and he asked her for the favour that he would never leave the service of her feet again. Devi replied that his boon was granted. “When you have been killed by me in the fight, O demon Mahisha, you shall never leave my feet, there is no doubt about it. In every place where worship of me takes place, there (will be worship) of you; as regards your body, O Danava, it is to be worshipped and meditated upon at the same time.” (Kalikapurana, ch.62, 107-108. There is now a complete English translation of this purana — see Bibliography for details.)