Panchakshara is a Mahamantra which is composed of five letters, Namassivaya. A Mantra is that which removes all obstacles and miseries of one who reflects on it and bestows eternal bliss and immortality. Panchakshara is the best among seven crores of Mantras. There are seven Skandhas in Yajurveda. There is Rudradhyayi in the centre of the middle Skandha. In this Rudradhyayi there are one thousand Rudra Mantras. Namassivaya or the Siva Panchakshara Mantra shines in the centre of these one thousand Rudra Mantras.
Yajurveda is the head of Paramesvara, who is the Veda Purusha. Rudram which is in the middle is the face, Panchakshara is His eye, Siva which is in the centre of the ‘Namassivaya’ is the apple of the eye. He who does Japa of this Panchakshara is freed from births and deaths and attains eternal bliss. This is the emphatic declaration of the Vedas. This Panchakshara is the body of Lord Nataraja. This is the abode of Lord Siva. If you add ‘Om’ to the ‘Namassivaya’ in the beginning, then it becomes Shadakshara or six-lettered Mantra. ‘Om Namo Mahadevaya’ is the eight-lettered Mantra or Ashtakshara.
Panchakshara is of six kinds, viz., Sthula Panchakshara (Namassivaya), Sukshma Panchakshara (Sivaya Namah), Karana Panchakshara (Sivaya Siva), Mahakarana Panchakshara (Sivaya), Mahamanu or Mukti Panchakshara (Si).
‘Namah’ means ‘Prostration’. ‘Sivaya Namah’ means ‘Prostration unto Lord Siva’. The Jiva is the servant of Lord Siva from the Deha-Drishti. ‘Namah’ represents Jivatman. ‘Siva’ represents Paramatman. ‘Aya’ denotes ‘Aikyam’ or identity of Jivatman and Paramatman. Hence ‘Sivaya Namah’ is a Mahavakya, like ‘Tat Tvam Asi’ which signifies the identity between the individual and the supreme soul.
Pranava denotes the external form (husk) of the Lord (paddy) and Panchakshara, the internal Svarupa (rice). Pranava and Panchakshara are one. The five letters denote the five actions or Pancha Krityas of the Lord, viz., Srishti (creation), Sthiti (preservation), Samhara (destruction), Tirodhana (veiling) and Anugraha (blessing). They also denote the five elements and all creations through the combination of the five elements.
‘Na’ represents Tirodhana; ‘Ma’, the Mala or impurity; ‘Si’, Lord Siva; ‘Va’, the Arul Sakti; and ‘Ya’, the individual soul.
Take bath or wash your face, hands and feet. Wear Bhasma and Rudraksha Mala. Sit on Padmasana or Sukhasana, facing East or North, in a quiet place or room. Repeat silently the Panchakshara and meditate on the form of Lord Siva. Keep the image in the heart or space between the eyebrows.
If you practise meditation regularly, your heart will be purified. All Samskaras and sins will be burnt in toto. You will attain Siva-Yoga-Nishtha or Nirvikalpa Samadhi. You will attain the glorious Siva-Pada or Siva-Gati and become one with Lord Siva. You will enjoy the eternal bliss of Sivanandam and become immortal.
May Lord Siva bless you all!
SAGUNA MEDITATION: Saguna meditation is meditation on a form. An archer first aims at a gross, big object. Then he takes up a medium object. Finally, he shoots at very small and minute objects. Even so, one should take to Saguna meditation to start with, and when the mind is trained and disciplined well, he can have Nirakara, Nirguna meditation. Saguna meditation is meditation on a concrete object. Saguna meditation is peculiarly pleasing the Bhakta, who loves to gaze on the peculiar form of his Ishta. Saguna Upasana removes Vikshepa. For three or six months, practise Trataka on Siva’s picture.
Meditate on the mental picture of the Murti from half to two hours only in the Trikuti (space between the eyebrows). See and feel that the Lord is present in every object of the universe. When you meditate, mentally repeat the Mantra of the Devata, ‘Om Namah Sivaya’; think of the attributes of the Deity such as omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience. Feel that Sattvic qualities from the Ishtam flow towards you. Feel that you possess these Sattvic qualities. This is Sattvic or Suddha Bhavana. You will have Darsana of your Ishtam in one or two years, if you are sincere in your Sadhana. Follow this plan. This will help concentration. Move the mind on the various parts of the Murti, the picture or idol of Lord Siva, and meditate. Sit upon your usual Asana. Repeat His name and think of His attributes like bliss, radiance, love, etc., gazing at His picture all the while. Then enthrone Him in the lotus of your heart or between your eyebrows amidst a blazing light. Now mentally think of His lotus-feet, offering your devout salutations. Take the mind to the elephant-skin worn round the waist, then to the necklace of Rudraksha beads, adorning His chest, and the beautiful blue hue of His throat (Nilakantha), serene countenance, radiating the majestic aura of profound meditations, the indrawn half-closed meditative eyes, the mysterious third eye in the centre of the forehead. Next take the mind up to the matted locks, the cool crescent moon, and the sacred Ganga sprouting from the Jata. Rotate your mind on the trident (Trisula) in one hand, and then, the Damaru, in the other. Run your mind over the whole form till you complete all the details. Then fix your mind either on the face or upon the starting point (feet). Repeat the entire process again and again, as many times as you can. By constant practice, you will ultimately be established in meditation and have communion with Siva.
NIRGUNA MEDITATION: This is meditation on Lord Siva, in His all-pervasive, unmanifested aspect, as the Supreme Para Brahman. In this form of meditation, you meditate on Lord Siva as the Supreme Brahman without form, attributeless, eternal, infinite. Meditate on Him as the Suddha, Satchidananda, Vyapaka Atman; Nitya, Suddha, Siddha, Buddha, Mukta, eternally free Brahman; an unlimited Ocean of Pure Consciousness. Now, identify yourself with this transcendental Svarupa of Siva. Feel that you are Chaitanya, Akhanda, Paripurna, Ekarasa, Santa, Unchanging Existence.
Every atom, every molecule, every nerve, vein, artery, should powerfully vibrate with these ideas. Lip-repetition of ‘Sivoham’ will not produce much benefit. It should be through heart, head and soul. This feeling should be kept up continuously. Negate the body-idea while repeating Sivoham mentally. When you chant Sivoham feel:
| Infinity I am |
All light I am
All joy I am
All glory I am
All power I am
All knowledge I
All Ananda I am
| Sivoham Sivoham |
Meditate on the above ideas constantly. Constant effort with zeal and enthusiasm, is an indispensable requisite. Repeat mentally the above ideas incessantly. You will realise.
Lord Siva is worshipped in His Saguna aspect in the form of Sivalingam. Generally Sivabhaktas do Panchayatana Puja. In this Puja, Lord Siva, Ganesa, Parvati, Suryanarayana and Saligram are duly worshipped.
Get the Panchayatana Murtis on an auspicious day. Install them with great faith in your own house. Conduct special prayers, Archana, Puja, Abhisheka, and feeding of Brahmins, Mahatmas and the poor on a grand scale. Install the deity in a separate room. Worship the Lord daily with all sincerity and faith. You will have all wealth, peace of mind, attainment of Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha also. You will lead a prosperous life and enter the Immortal abode of Siva-Sayujya, on death.
Collect plenty of Bael or Bilva leaves for Lord Siva’s worship. Get ready Dhupa, Dipa, camphor, sandal-sticks, fresh water, plenty of flowers, food offerings to the Lord, a seat to sit upon, a bell, conch and other things required for the Puja before you begin the worship. Get up in the early morning before sunrise. Wash your face. Take bath. Wear silk dress separately kept for Puja purposes. Decorate the Puja room nicely. Enter the room chanting Lord’s names, glorifying Him, repeating Hymns in His praise and prostrating before the Lord. Wash your feet before entering the room. Sit in a comfortable posture and commence your worship. You have to first of all do Sankalpa for beginning the Puja in the prescribed method. You should then do Kalasa (water vessel), Sankha (conch), Atma (self) and Pitha (Lord’s seat) Puja in their order. You should then offer Shodasopachara Puja to the Lord and then repeat Mahamrityunjaya Mantra, Rudrapatha, Purushasukta, Gayatri, and do Abhisheka with pure water, milk, sugarcane juice, ghee and other articles according to your capacity or with pure water alone. Rudrabhisheka is highly beneficial. If you do Rudra Japa and Abhisheka, all your worries and agonies will disappear and you will attain the highest beatitude of human existence by the grace of Lord Visvanath. Rudra is a great purifier. There is invisible hidden power in Rudra and Purushasukta. There is a wonderful inspiration in the recitation of Rudra. Start the worship and realise its glory and splendour for yourself.
After Abhisheka, decorate the Lord nicely with sandal paste and flowers. Then do Archana repeating His names, ‘Om Sivaya Namah’, ‘Om Mahesvaraya Namah’, etc. Do daily 108 or 1008 Archanas if possible. After Archana, do Arati with different kinds of lights—single Arati, Triple Arati, Pancha Arati and Karpura Arati. Ring bells, cymbals, conch, etc., during Arati. Offer sacred Prasad or Naivedya to the Lord.
After Arati is over, sing the praises of the Lord like Mahimna Stotra, Panchakshara Stotra, etc., waving the Chamara. In the end repeat the prayers ‘Kayena vachah’, ‘Atma tvam Girija matih’, and ‘Kara-charana-kritam’. Offer everything to the Lord. Feel that you are a mere instrument in His hands. Do everything for obtaining the divine grace only. Develop Nimitta Bhava. Serve the Bhaktas. The Lord is much pleased with the service of His devotees. Distribute the Prasad among the Bhaktas in the end. Take the Prasad with great faith. The glory of Bhagavan’s Prasad is indescribable. Vibhuti is taken as Prasad and applied to the forehead.
When you advance in Saguna worship with external objects of worship, you can begin Manasa Puja. You will have Darsana of the Lord and final emancipation.
Have special Pujas on Mondays and Pradosha (thirteenth day of every fortnight—Trayodasi) days. These days and Sivaratri (in the month of February-March) are very sacred for Lord Siva. Celebrate the Sivaratri on a grand scale. Fast the whole day. Have Trikala Puja, special Abhisheka, Ekadasa-rudra-japa, Sahasrarchana, vigil in the night, study of hymns of Lord Siva, Sivapurana, hearing discourses on the Lilas of Lord Siva. After Puja on the next day, break your fast with Abhisheka water. Offer sacred food offerings and partake of the Divine Prasad. You will have great mental peace, and spiritual advancement. Never miss this opportunity. Daily worship is a sure remedy for all ills. You will never suffer from poverty. Take my word and begin the Puja right from this day onwards.
Manasa Puja is mental worship. Manasa Puja is more powerful and effective than the external worship with flowers, sandals, etc. You will have more concentration when you do Manasa Puja.
Mentally enthrone the Lord on a Simhasana, set with diamonds, pearls, emeralds, etc. Offer Him a seat. Offer Arghya, Madhuparka and various sorts of flowers, clothes, etc. Apply sandal paste to His forehead and body. Burn incense and Agarbatti (scented sticks). Wave lights. Burn camphor and do Arati. Offer various kinds of fruits, sweetmeats, Payasa, cocoanut and Mahanaivedyam. Do Shodasa-upachara or the sixteen kinds of offerings in worship.
Write down in a fine note book ‘Om Namah Sivaya’ for half an hour or more. You will have more concentration by taking recourse to this Sadhana. Write the Mantra in ink clearly. When you write the Mantra observe Mouna. You may write the Mantra in any language. Give up looking hither and thither. Repeat the Mantra mentally also when you write the Mantra. Write the whole Mantra at once. When the Mantra notebook is completed, keep it in a box in your meditation room. Be regular in your practice.
Keep a small notebook in your pocket and write Mantra when you get leisure in the office. Have three things in your pocket, viz., the Gita, Mantra notebook and a Japa Mala or rosary. You will be immensely benefited.
Japa and meditation of the sacred names of Lord Siva will free you from all sins and lead you to the attainment of Siva Jnanam or eternal bliss and immortality. Siva-nama is the very soul of all Mantras.
Lord Siva has manifested in the world in sixty different aspects. Vrishabharudha, Hari-hara, Nataraja, Bhairava, Dakshinamurti, Ardhanarisvara, Bhikshatana, Somasekharamurti, Urdhvanatana, Kalasamhara, Jalandhara, Surasamhara, Lingodbhava are His forms.
Siva means that which is eternally happy or auspicious, Parama-mangala. Om and Siva are one. Mandukya Upanishad says: ‘Santam Sivam Advaitam’. Even an outcaste can meditate on the name of Lord Siva.
Siva manifests in the Gayatri Mantra, Agni and in the Sun. When you repeat Gayatri and when you worship the Agni and the Sun, you should meditate on Lord Siva.
Japa of Panchakshara and meditation of Lord Siva should be particularly done in the Pradosha Kala or just before the sunset. The Pradosha on the thirteenth Tithi after a full moon or a new moon day, is known as the Mahapradosha. The Devas visit Siva temples for the worship of the Lord at this period. You can worship the Devas also if you visit temples during Mahapradosha. Devotees of Lord Siva observe full fast on Mahapradosha days.
A devotee of Lord Siva should apply Vibhuti to his forehead and body. He should wear a Rudrakshamala. He should worship the Sivalinga with leaves of the Bilva tree. He should do Japa and meditation of the Panchakshara ‘Om Namah Sivaya’. Lord Siva is propitiated by everyone of these actions. Vibhuti or Bhasma is very sacred. It is worn by Lord Siva Himself. The bead of a Rudrakshamala represents the third eye on the forehead of Lord Siva. Bilva leaves are regarded to be one of the five abodes of Lakshmi or the Goddess of wealth.
It is Siva only who causes bondage and Mukti for the Jivas. It is Siva who makes the Jivas realise their essential Divine Nature. Siva made Maya as the body, senses and the Universe and thrust the Jivas into the Maya. He created the idea of egoism, ‘I’-ness in them. He bound them in Karma and made them experience pleasure and pain according to the nature of their Karmas, virtuous actions or vicious deeds. This is the stage of bondage of the Jivas.
Gradually it is Siva only who releases them from the fetters of egoism, Karma and Maya and makes them shine as Siva. This is the state of Moksha or freedom. It is only through the grace of Lord Siva, they attain the state of final emancipation.
The Jivas have no independence, when they are under the influence of the three impurities, i.e., Anava, Karma and Maya. They are endowed with a little knowledge (Alpajnana).
The Jiva must first know his nature and his relationship with Lord Siva in order to attain His grace. Life or Prana is in the body. Lord Siva is within the Prana. He is the Prana of Pranas, and yet He is distinct from the Pranas and body. If there is no Prana in the body, the body becomes a corpse. It cannot perform any action. Siva is the support for this body, Prana and Jiva. The Jiva cannot do any action without Siva. It is Siva who illumines the intellect. Just as the eye cannot see without the light of the sun, although it is endowed with the power to see, so also the intellect cannot function without the light of Lord Siva.
The four Sadhanas, viz., Charya, Kriya, Yoga and Jnana are the four steps to attain Salvation. They are like the bud, flower, unripe fruit and ripe fruit.
Lord Siva gradually frees the individual souls from egoism, Karma and Maya. The Jivas gradually become disgusted with the sensual pleasures. They become balanced in pleasure and pain. Through the grace of the Lord they understand that Karma is the cause for births and deaths. They begin to do actions for the Lord, serve the devotees of the Lord and attain purity of mind. They understand that the soul or Siva is distinct from the body, senses and mind and is beyond the reach of mind and speech. They get initiation into the significance of ‘Om Namah Sivaya’, the Panchakshara Mantra and meditate on Siva.
They practise Siva Yoga. Their hearts melt. Seer, sight and seen vanish. All the activities of senses, mind and intellect cease. They bathe Lord Siva with the stream of Divine Love that is generated in their heart and offer their heart as flower unto the Lord.
They hear the sound ‘Chilambosai’ and march forward through the path of the sound and behold the vision of Nataraja in the Chidakasa and are immersed in the ocean of Sivananda. They become one with the Lord, just as camphor melts in the fire.
The popular belief is that the Siva Lingam represents the phallus or the virile organ, the emblem of the generative power or principle in nature. This is not only a serious mistake, but also a grave blunder. In the post-Vedic period, the Linga became symbolical of the generative power of the Lord Siva. Linga is the differentiating mark. It is certainly not the sex-mark. You will find in the Linga Purana: Pradhanam prakritir yadahur-lingamuttamam; Gandhavarnarasairhinam sabda-sparsadi-varjitam—The foremost Linga which is primary and is devoid of smell, colour, taste, hearing, touch, etc., is spoken of as Prakriti (Nature).
Linga means ‘mark’, in Sanskrit. It is a symbol which points to an inference. When you see a big flood in a river, you infer that there had been heavy rains the previous day. When you see smoke, you infer that there is fire. This vast world of countless forms is a Linga of the Omnipotent Lord. The Siva Linga is a symbol of Lord Siva. When you look at the Linga, your mind is at once elevated and you begin to think of the Lord.
Lord Siva is really formless. He has no form of his own and yet all forms are His forms. All forms are pervaded by Lord Siva. Every form is the form or Linga of Lord Siva.
There is a mysterious power or indescribable Sakti in the Linga, to induce concentration of the mind. Just as the mind is focussed easily in crystal-gazing, so also the mind attains one-pointedness, when it looks at the Linga. That is the reason why the ancient Rishis and the seers of India have prescribed Linga for being installed in the temples of Lord Siva.
Siva Linga speaks to you in the unmistakable language of silence: “I am one without a second, I am formless”. Pure, pious souls only can understand this language. A curious passionate, impure foreigner of little understanding or intelligence says sarcastically: “Oh, the Hindus worship the phallus or sex organ. They are ignorant people. They have no philosophy”. When a foreigner tries to learn Tamil or Hindustani language, he first tries to pick up some vulgar words. This is his curiosity nature. Even so, the curious foreigner tries to find out some defects in the worship of symbol. Linga is only the outward symbol of the formless being, Lord Siva, who is the indivisible, all-pervading, eternal, auspicious, ever-pure, immortal essence of this vast universe, who is the undying Soul seated in the chambers of your heart, who is your Indweller, innermost Self or Atman, and who is identical with the Supreme Brahman.
A Siva Linga consists of three parts, the lowest of which is the Brahma-Pitha, the middle one, the Vishnu-Pitha and the uppermost one, the Siva-Pitha.
Some are Svayambhu-lingas, some are Narmadesvaras. There are twelve Jyotirlingas and five Pancha Bhuta Lingas in India. The twelve Jyotir-lingas are: Kedarnath, Kasi Visvanath, Somanath, Baijnath, Ramesvar, Ghrusnesvar, Bhimasankar, Mahakala, Mallikarjuna, Amalesvar, Nagesvar and Tryambakesvar. The five Pancha Bhuta Lingas are: Kalahastisvar, Jambukesvar, Arunachalesvar, Ekambaresvar of Kanjivaram and Nataraja of Chidambaram. The temple of Lord Mahalinga at Tiruvidaimarudur known also as Madhyarjuna is regarded as the great Siva temple of South India.
Spatikalinga is also a symbol of Lord Siva. This is prescribed for Aradhana or worship of Lord Siva. It is made up of quartz. It has no colour of its own, but takes on the colour of the substances which come in contact with it. It represents the Nirguna Brahman or the attributeless Supreme Self or formless and attributeless Siva.
For a sincere devotee, the Linga is not a block of stone. It is all radiant Tejas or Chaitanya. The Linga talks to him, makes him shed profuse tears, produces horripilation and melting of heart, raises him above body-consciousness and helps to commune with the Lord and attain Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Lord Rama worshipped the Siva Linga at Ramesvar. Ravana, the learned scholar, worshipped the golden Linga. What a lot of mystic Sakti there should be in the Linga!
May you all attain the formless Siva through the worship of the Linga, the symbol of Lord Siva which helps concentration of mind and which serves as a prop for the mind to lean upon in the beginning for the neophytes!
The light of consciousness manifesting out of Sadasiva is, in reality, the Sivalinga. From Him all the moving and unmoving creations take their origin. He is the Linga or cause of everything. In Him, the whole world merges itself finally. The Siva Purana says: “Pitham Ambamayam Sarvam Sivalingascha Chinmayam.” The support or Pitham of all is Prakriti or Parvati, and Linga is Chinmaya Purusha, the effulgent light which is self-luminous. Union of Prakriti or Parvati, and Purusha or Sivalinga is the cause of the world. In Sanatkumara-samhita of the Siva Purana, Lord Siva says: “O Parvati, daughter of mountain, there is none dearer to Me than the man who worships Me in the Linga, knowing that Linga is the root-cause of everything and knowing the world to be Linga-maya or Chaitanya-maya.”
The Linga is like an egg. It represents the Brahmanda (cosmic egg). Whatever that is contained in the Brahmanda is in the Linga. The whole world is the form of Lord Siva. The world is a Linga. Linga also is the form of Lord Siva.
Linga signifies that the creation is effected by the union of Prakriti and Purusha. It means Laya, Jnana, Vyapya, Prakasa, Arathaprakasa, Samarthya and the symbol which denotes the above meaning. Linga means the place of dissolution for the world and all beings. It signifies also Satya, Jnana and Ananta—Truth, knowledge and Infinity. It indicates that Lord Siva is endowed with all-pervading and self-luminous nature. Linga is a symbol which makes us understand the various kinds of Artha which are indicated above. There are six Lingas, viz., Anda Linga, Pinda Linga, Sadasiva Linga, Atma Linga, Jnana Linga and Siva Linga. These Lingas are taken to mean the characteristics by which the Anda (the Universe), Pinda (the body), Sadasiva, etc., are to be recognised and understood.
The union of Linga with Yoni is a representation of the Eternal Union between the static and the dynamic aspects of the Absolute Reality. This represents the Eternal Spiritual Communion of the paternal and the maternal principles from which all the phenomenal diversities have originated. This is an eternal communion of the Changeless Being and the Dynamic Power or Sakti from which all changes flow.
Further, the lower sexual propensities in the aspirants are eradicated by this sublime conception. The spiritualisation and divinisation of Linga and Yoni, helps the aspirants to free themselves from sexual thoughts. All base thoughts gradually vanish by entertaining this lofty idea. All sexual relations in this world are spiritualised as the manifestations of the ultimate Creative Principle, of the eternal Self-enjoyment and Self-multiplication of Lord Siva in and through His Power or Sakti.
The union of Linga with Yoni symbolises the creation of this universe by Lord Siva in conjunction with His Sakti or Power.
The so-called educated men of the modern age have no spiritual insight and philosophical penetration. Hence, they criticise the union of Linga with Yoni as immoral and obscene, owing to their extreme ignorance and lack of enquiry, deep thinking and Satsanga or association with sages. This is highly deplorable and lamentable indeed! May Lord grant wisdom to these poor ignorant souls!
Tirumular’s Tirumantram is a poetical work, said to be composed in the course of three thousand years. It deals with the practical and theoretical aspects of Saiva religion and philosophy. The treatment of Pati (Lord Siva), Pasu (the individual soul) and Pasa (attachment) in the old method, is found in this book. The following is Tirumular’s exposition in his Tirumantram.
God alone is the Guru or the spiritual teacher. He shows Siva or Sat. Sat-Guru is Ambalam or Chidakasa Siva. You will have to search the Guru in your own heart. Knowledge, devotion, purity and Siddhis are obtained through the grace of the Guru. The grace descends in virtuous aspirants who have purity, dispassion, etc.
The thirsting aspirant should get help from Guru Param. Guru Param imparts spiritual instructions to the aspirant. Then Suddha Guru confers upon him Divine Grace. When the aspirant obtains the Divine Grace, he gets several powers, purity, the power to know the Mantras, higher Siddhis, etc. Then the Sat-Guru reveals himself in the Chidakasa, breaks the three bonds, viz., Anava (egoism), Karma (action) and Maya (illusion) and helps him to enter the illimitable domain of Moksha or supreme abode of eternal bliss. Siva Guru presents himself later on and manifests Sat, Asat and Sadasat. When the Jiva attains this final knowledge, he becomes Siva himself. The Guru who presents himself in the earlier and later stages, is Siva himself.
The devotee attains the grace of the Lord when he meditates on Him in the chambers of his heart, in the space between the two eyebrows and in the head. The holy feet of the Lord are highly eulogised. Tirumular says: “The holy feet of my Lord are Mantra, beauty and truth.”
Jneya or that which is to be known, is Siva Ananda which is a product of Siva and His grace, Sakti. The Jnata (knower) is the individual soul or Jiva. He knows Siva by abiding in Siva Ananda and obtains Jnana or knowledge.
Moksha is the attainment of Siva Ananda. He who attains Moksha will attain supreme knowledge of Siva. He who gets established in Siva Ananda will attain knowledge and Moksha (the final emancipation). The Jiva who knows Siva Ananda dwells for ever in it. He attains Siva and Sakti in Siva Ananda. He is endowed with true knowledge which is really union of Siva and Sakti. Lord Siva shows the path which leads on to Moksha, to the aspirant who is endowed with dispassion, non-attachment, renunciation, who praises Him always and performs regular worship.
The devotee of Lord Siva gets strength to resist the temptations of the world and of Indra, through his Tapas or austerity. He does not care at all for the celestial pleasures offered by Indra. He is quite contented with the supreme bliss attained through union with Lord Siva.
When the Sadhaka does rigorous austerities and practises concentration, he attains several powers. Indra and other Devas get terribly afraid that they will lose their position. Hence, they put several obstacles on his path and tempt him in a variety of ways by offering celestial car, damsels and various sorts of celestial pleasures. But the firm Sadhaka stands adamant. He never yields and marches direct to the goal, viz., Siva-Pada or the Immortal seat of eternal Bliss. He who yields gets a downfall. Visvamitra had a downfall.
Sage Tirumular says: “Abandon pride of learning. Introspect. Look within. You will be firmly established in Siva. Nothing will shake you. You will be freed from the trammels of births and deaths.”
Saiva Siddhanta teaches Advaita only. It is Siva Advaita.
Prasad is that which gives peace. During Kirtan, worship, Puja, Havan and Arati, Badam, Kismis, milk, sweets, fruits are offered to the Lord. Puja is done by Bael leaves, flowers, Tulsi, Vibhuti, and these are given as Prasad, from the Lord. They are charged with mysterious powers by the chanting of Mantras during Puja and Havan.
Prasad is a great purifier. Prasad is a panacea. Prasad is a spiritual elixir. Prasad is the Grace of the Lord. Prasad is an embodiment of Sakti. Prasad is divinity in manifestation. Many sincere aspirants get wonderful experiences from Prasad alone. Many incurable diseases are cured. Prasad energises, vivifies, invigorates and infuses devotion. It should be taken with great faith.
Live for a week in Brindavan, Pandharpur or Banares. You will realise the glory and miraculous effects of Prasad. Prasad bestows good health, long life, peace and prosperity on all. Glory to Prasad, the bestower of peace and bliss. Glory to the Lord of the Prasad. Giver of immortality and undying happiness.
Vibhuti is the Prasad of Lord Siva, to be applied on the forehead. A small portion can be taken in.
Kumkum is the Prasad of Sri Devi or Sakti, to be applied at the space between the eyebrows (Ajna or Bhrumadhya).
Tulsi is the Prasad of Lord Vishnu, Rama or Krishna, not to be taken in. Badam, Kismis, sweets, fruits, etc., are to be taken in.
All these Prasads are given on all important religious functions.
You will find a description of Oertel’s treatment in books on medicine, for certain cardiac affections (heart-troubles). The patient is asked to climb up hills slowly. So, the Kailasa trip, besides the spiritual benefit, removes many kinds of minor heart-troubles. The heart is invigorated and strengthened. The whole cardiac-vascular, nervous, pulmonary, alimentary, integumentary systems are thoroughly overhauled and purified. There is no necessity for Kuhne’s steam bath. You perspire profusely during the march. The whole body is filled with fresh, oxygenated blood. The gentle breeze blowing from the tall pine trees all over, surcharged with natural oil of pine, disinfects the lungs and a consumptive is cured of phthisis when he returns. The excessive fat is reduced. A Kailas trip is the best treatment for reduction of obesity in corpulent persons. Many kinds of stomach troubles, uric acid troubles and various sorts of skin diseases are cured. You will not get any disease for a period of 12 years, as you are charged with new electrons, new atoms, new cells, new molecules and new nuclei with renovated protoplasm. This is no Arthavada (glorification). You get two birds by throwing one stone. The Kailas trip brings spiritual blessings and good health. Hail! Hail to Sambhu, the Lord Siva who dwells in Kailas with His Sakti, Parvati, who gives Mukti to His devotees and who is known by the different names, Hara, Sadasiva, Mahadeva, Nataraja, Sankara, etc.
The goal of life is God-realisation which only can free us from the miseries of Samsara, the wheel of birth and death. The performance of the daily obligatory rites, Nitya-Naimittika Karmas, Yatras, etc., unselfishly, leads to the acquisition of virtue. This leads to the destruction of sin, which in turn results in the purification of the mind. This purification of the mind leads to the comprehension of the true nature of Samsara or relative existence, its false and worthless nature. From this results Vairagya (renunciation), which arouses a desire for liberation. From this desire results a vigilant search for its means. From it comes the renunciation of all actions. Thence, the practice of Yoga, which leads to a habitual tendency of the mind to settle in the Atman or Brahman. This results in the knowledge of the meaning of such Sruti passages as ‘Tat Tvam Asi’, which destroys the Avidya (ignorance), thus leading to the establishment in one’s own self. Thus you see that Yatra like Kailas trip is a Parampara Sadhana for God-realisation, as it causes Chitta Suddhi and Nididhyasana. Dhyana is a direct Sadhana. Householders who are shut up in the world amidst various sorts of cares and anxieties, find a great relief in a Yatra. Their minds get quite refreshed by a Yatra. Further, during the travel they come across Sadhus and Sannyasins. They can have good Satsanga. They can clear their doubts. They can get various sorts of help from them in spiritual Sadhana. That is the main object of Yatra.
Let me bring to your memory, once more, the last word of the Vedas, Upanishads—‘Tat Tvam Asi’, my dear readers. Om Tat Sat, Om Santi, Peace be unto all beings.
Parikrama is the devout perambulation or Pradakshina around a sacred and holy spot. This is either a mountain peak, a sacred Tirtha, a place of pilgrimage or an entire area regarded as holy and sanctified by tradition. This practice of making a circuit is ordinarily done at any time, and especially undertaken by devotees en masse at particular periods during the year.
When done on a smaller scale within a small ambit as round a Murti installed in a shrine, round the sacred Tulsi plant or Pipal tree, the perambulation is in common parlance termed ‘Pradakshina.’ A Parikrama also doubtless constitutes Pradakshina, but by convention, it is come to refer mainly to big circuit.
More difficult forms of Parikrama are in vogue. Additional measures involving greater physical exertion and strain are combined with Parikrama. Some lay themselves fully stretched upon the ground and roll along over the entire route. Some others proceed slowly prostrating full length at every three or ten steps; still others walk step by step, placing one foot in close proximity to the other and cover the whole distance of Parikrama; and others do the circuit themselves gyrating in a continuous Atma-Pradakshina. All these difficult features are adopted by devotees at times as special penance, or in accordance with some vow previously made, or as spontaneous expression of their zeal or fervour. Your mental attitude and motive will bestow on you the highest, maximum spiritual good.
Undaunted Yatris in the icy Himalayas do the difficult Parikrama of Mount Kailas and even longer circuit of Lake Manasasarovar. Other Yatris complete a round of entire Uttarakhand, in doing the Kedar-Badri-Yatra by going via one route and returning via another, after circling the Chardham.
Far off in the South, pious devotees make Pradakshina of the holy Arunachala at Tiruvannamalai. Rama Bhaktas and Krishna Premis go round Chitrakuta Parvata, Ayodhya, Brij, Brindavan, Govardhana and Badrinath.
The deep significance of Parikrama lies in the fact that the devotee considers not the physical aspect of the place, hill or Tirtha, but the spiritual power it symbolises and the Divine Presence that is manifested and felt through it. Through the Lord’s revelation in the tenth chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita, you will understand how much special places are saturated with the Divine Presence. By the fervent attitude of faith and veneration, you make yourself fully receptive to the inflow of the spiritual vibrations of the holy place. These powerful spiritual currents enter and purify all the sheaths, gross and subtle, destroying bad Vasanas and Samskaras. Tamas and Rajas are reduced. The concentrated influence of Sattva awakens the dormant spiritual tendencies. By Parikrama, the devotee drinks deep the Divine atmosphere pervading the place and comes out of this spiritual path steeped in Sattvic vibrations. This is the inner working and significance of doing Parikrama.
Being a great purifier, it is enjoined on all devotees as a method of penance or Tapascharya by wise tradition and convention. It is an act of great spiritual benefit and religious merit too. The devotee takes bath, wears clean clothes, smears Tilak or sacred ash and wears Tulsi or Rudraksha Mala and starts with God’s name on his lips. On the Parikrama route, you gain valuable Satsanga by meeting Sadhus and Sannyasins living there. Your sins are destroyed by taking bath in sacred rivers (on big Parikramas) or ponds and Kunds. You are elevated and blessed by Darsana of many holy shrines situated on the way. You develop patience and endurance putting up with various discomforts in the sun or rain or cold. Difficult Parikramas mean giving up many dear articles to which the mind is attached. You have your mind freed from all thoughts and you are absorbed in the one idea of the Divine presence. A devoutly conducted Parikrama constitutes in one single act a triple Sadhana elevating your body, mind and spirit. The spiritual vibrations of the holy places of pilgrimage and shrines purify your base Asuric Vrittis and fill you with Sattva and purity. You need not go in for Satsanga. Mahapurushas come to you of their own accord. They are always in search of real and sincere Sadhakas. Therefore, they also remain in holy places like Badri, Kedar, Kailas, Hardwar, Brindavan, Mathura, etc.
Blessed indeed are those who take part in Parikrama, because they will soon attain peace, bliss and immortality! Glory to Lord Rama, the Lord of Ayodhya! Glory to Krishna the Indweller of all hearts, whose special seat is Brindavan! Glory to Bhaktas! May their blessings be upon you all!
The tower of a temple represents Brahmarandhra. Balipitha represents the navel or Manipura Chakra. Nandi represents Ajna Chakra. Dhvajastambha represents Sushumna Nadi which runs from Muladhara to Brahmarandhra.
Dig-devata dwells in the ears, Vayu in the skin, Sun in the eyes, Varuna in the tongue, Asvins in the nose, Vishnu in the feet, Indra in the hands, Agni in the speech, Prajapati in the generative organ, Yama in the anus, Sutratman in the Prana, Hiranyagarbha in Antahkarana, Chandra in mind, Brahma in the intellect, Rudra in egoism, Siva in Chitta, Sarasvati in the end of the tongue, Parvati in Anahata Chakra, Lakshmi in Manipura Chakra, Ganesa in Muladhara and Satchidananda Brahman in Brahmarandhra at the crown of the head.
Satya, Ahimsa, Tapas, mercy, love, self-restraint, contentment, forgiveness, Jnana, equal vision, peace are the real flowers of Puja. All the Nadas are the waters for Abhisheka. The virtuous actions are the offering of incense. Vedanta is Pitambar. Jnana and Yoga are the Kundalas. Tapas and meditation are the lights. Japa is Chamara. Anahata is the music. Kirtan is umbrella. Pranayama is the fan.
Tattvas are the attendants of the Lord. Jnana-Sakti is the Devi. Agama is the commander. The eight Siddhis are the door-keepers of the Lord. Turiya is the Bhasma. Veda is the bull or Nandi. Kalyana Gunas represent the Trident in the hand. Panchakshara is the holy thread. Suddha Jiva is the ornament. The Vrittis are the Pujopakaranas. The Panchabhutas and the five Tanmatras are the Rudrakshamalas of Lord Siva. Tiger skin represents Ahankara.
Kriya-Sakti and virtuous actions are Dhupa or incense for the Lord. Chit-Sakti which produces knowledge is also Dhupa. Offering of the ego and the mind at the lotus-feet of the Lord is real Naivedya. Just as camphor melts and becomes one with the fire, so also the mind of a sage melts and the individual soul gets merged in the Supreme Soul. This is real Karpura Arati.
Some ignorant persons think that Rudra is a malevolent, terrific deity who causes destruction. They believe that Rudra is a God of punishment. It is not so. Rudra is the God who bestows prosperity and destroys suffering. He is a benevolent Deity who confers auspiciousness, offspring and cattle. He is the bringer or source of prosperity.
Siva or Rudra means He who removes sin or suffering. The names Bhava, Sarva, Pasupati, Ugra, Mahadeva, Isana and Asani are applied to Rudra. Pasupati means the Lord or Protector of cattle.
In the Vedas you will find prayers such as: “O Rudra! May we increase in offspring”. “Thou, O Rudra, art the most eminent of beings, the strongest of the strong, wielder of the thunderbolt; protect us, carry us happily across our calamity, drive away all evils”. “Remove from us whatever sins we have done.” Therefore, Rudra is not a terror-inspiring God, but a bestower of welfare or prosperity. He is the one great Lord of the Universe.
Rudra is the ideal of mendicants, because Rudra alone, of all the deities, is spoken of in the scriptures as the mendicant-God. He is mentioned as having, the ascetic water-pot in the Rigveda hymns.
You will find in the Svetasvatara Upanishad, chapter III: “There is one Rudra only who rules all the worlds by His powers. There is no one besides Him who can make Him the second. He is present inside the hearts of all beings. He creates all the worlds and maintains and finally withdraws them into Himself”.
Rudra represents here Para Brahman or the Supreme Self, the Infinite or the Absolute.
Rudra, after having created all objects, draws together or takes them all back into Himself at the end of time, i.e., during cosmic Pralaya or dissolution.
Rudra is the destructive aspect of Siva. There are eleven Rudras in the cosmic hierarchy. Esoterically, the Pranas (or the ten senses) and the mind represent the eleven Rudras. Sri Hanuman is a manifestation or aspect of Rudra only.
In Siva-Purana, Rudra is another name for Siva. Rudra is one who destroys the sins and removes the miseries of His devotees and confers on them wisdom and bliss. Rudra is the Antaryamin or indweller of all beings. He witnesses silently the actions and thoughts of men and dispenses the fruits of their actions.
“That one God, having His eyes, His face, His arms and feet in every place, when producing heaven and earth, forges them together with His arms and His wings”.
May Rudra, the creator and supporter of the gods, the great seer, the Lord of all, who created at first Hiranyagarbha, endow us with good thought (pure intellect).
“Rudra, with Thy form which is auspicious, which is not dreadful, and which manifests what is holy, with that all-blessed form, appear to us, O Dweller among the mountains”.
Haft Om! I praise the Effulgent State of Absolute Peace, belonging to Sri Maharudra, which is to be known through the Rudraksha Jabala Upanishad.
Bhusunda questioned Lord Kalagnirudra: What is the beginning of Rudraksha beads? What is the benefit of wearing them on the body?
Lord Kalagnirudra answered him thus: I closed my eyes for the sake of destroying the Tripura Asuras. From my eyes thus closed, drops of water fell on the earth. These drops of tears turned into Rudrakshas.
By the mere utterance of the name of ‘Rudraksha’, one acquires the benefit of giving ten cows in charity. By seeing and touching it, one attains double that benefit. I am unable to praise it any more.
I closed my eyes one thousand celestial years. Then from my eyelids, drops of water dropped down and attained the state of immobility for blessing the devoted persons.
This Rudraksha destroys the devotees’ sins that are committed both night and day, by wearing it.
By mere vision of the Rudraksha, the benefit will be say, a lac. But by wearing them, it will be a crore. Why, it will be equal to hundred crores.
But it will be a thousand lacs of crores and hundred lacs of crores times powerful when one does Japa with Rudraksha and wears it at all times.
Among Rudrakshas, one as big as Amalaka (myrobalan), is considered to be the best. One as big as the Badari fruit (Indian berry) is considered to be of the middle sort. But that as big as Chana (Bengal gram) is considered to be the worst of all. This is my idea about the size of Rudraksha beads.
The four kinds of people, Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras are born as merely a worthless burden on the earth. The real Brahmin is the white Rudraksha. The red is a Kshatriya. The yellow is a Vaisya. And the black is a Sudra.
Therefore, a Brahmin should wear white Rudrakshas, a Kshatriya the red, a Vaisya the yellow and a Sudra the black.
One should use those Rudraksha-beads which are nice, handsome, strong, big, auspicious and thorny. One should avoid those eaten by worms, broken, without thorns, and having sores.
The self-holed Rudraksha is of the best variety. But that which is holed by man’s attempt, is considered to be worse. Those best Rudrakshas should be strung in white thread. A worshipper of Siva should wear Rudraksha all over the body. He should wear one bead on the crest, three hundred round the head, thirty-six round the neck, sixteen round each arm, twelve round the chest and five hundred round the waist. He should wear a Yajnopavita consisting of one hundred and eight beads of Rudrakshas. He should wear two, three, five or seven Malas of Rudraksha round the neck.
A Siva-Bhakta should wear Rudrakshas round his crown, ear-ring, chain, round the ear, armlet, at all times, and specially round the stomach, irrespective of the fact whether he is sleeping, drinking, etc.
If the devotee wears three hundred beads, it is the worst, if he wears five hundred it will be medium, but one thousand will be the best of all.
The devotee, when wearing Rudrakshas on the head, should repeat his Ishta Mantra, and when wearing them round the neck, should repeat the Tat-Purusha Mantra and when wearing round the throat, should repeat the Aghora Mantra. The same Mantra (Aghora) should be recited when wearing round the chest also.
He should wear them round the arms with the Aghora Bija Mantra.
Then again Bhusunda asked Lord Kalagnirudra: What are the different forms and effects of Rudraksha beads? Please tell me about the secret of these blessed ones including their various faces, which is the means of getting rid of all evil.
Lord Kalagnirudra said: The bead with one face is of the form of the Supreme Truth. A disciplined one (controlling his senses) mingles himself with the one Eternal Truth, after wearing these Rudrakshas. (The following is a list of different faces of Rudrakshas and their effects).
Effect of wearing
Attainment of Eternity
Grace of Ardhanarisvara
Grace of Agni
Grace of Brahma
Destruction of homicide sin
Karttikeya or Ganesa
Attainment of Chitta-Suddhi and Jnana
Attainment of good health and wealth
Ashtamatras (Ashta Vasus) or Ganga
Grace of these Devatas and becoming truthful
Grace of Nava-Saktis or nine Powers
Attainment of Peace.
Increase of all kinds of wealth
Mahavishnu or 12 Adityas
Attainment of Moksha
Attainment of fulfilling desires and grace of Cupid
Destruction of all diseases
One who wears Rudrakshas, should not use intoxicants, meat, garlic, onions, carrots and all such prohibited things. By wearing Rudrakshas during eclipses, Vishusankranti (the end of Mina and beginning of Mesha Masa), new moon, full moon and other such auspicious days, one is freed of all sins.
The base of the Rudraksha bead is Brahma, its navel is Vishnu, its face is Rudra and its hole consists of all gods.
One day Sanatkumara asked Kalagnirudra: “O Lord! Tell me the rules for wearing Rudrakshas”. At that time Nidagha, Jadabharata, Dattatreya, Katyayana, Bharadvaja, Kapila, Vasishtha, Pippalada, etc., came to Kalagnirudra. Then Lord Kalagnirudra asked them why they all had come in a group. They all answered that they came to hear the method of wearing Rudrakshas.
Kalagnirudra said: Those that are born out of Rudra’s Akshis (eyes) are called Rudrakshas. When these beads are even once touched by hand, one attains the glory of giving in charity two thousand cows at a time. When they are worn in ears, he gets the effect of giving out eleven thousand cows in charity. He also attains the state of the eleven Rudras. When the beads are worn on the head, one has the benefit of giving a crore of cows in charity. Of all these places, I am unable to tell you the benefit when worn in the ears.
Whoever studies this Rudraksha Jabala Upanishad, be he a boy or a youth, becomes great. He becomes the Guru of all and the teacher of all Mantras. Havan and Archana should be done with these Mantras (of the Upanishad).
That Brahmin who recites this Upanishad in the evening, destroys the sins committed during day time; who recites at noon, destroys the sins of six births; who recites in the morning and evening, destroys the sins of many births. He attains the same benefit of doing six thousand lacs of Gayatri Japa.
He becomes purified from all sins of killing a Brahmin, drinking toddy, stealing gold, approaching Guru’s wife, having intercourse with her, speaking with corrupted person, etc.
He gets the benefits of all pilgrimages and river-baths. He attains Siva-sayujya. He does not come back (to rebirth).
I am that Absolute Brahman only which, after being understood in its true aspect (as one with this Atman), entirely burns into ashes (Bhasma) the ignorance (illusion or Maya) of considering this universe to be existing (real) and separate from one’s own Self, through the destructive fire of (Supreme) Knowledge!
Once Bhusunda, a descendant of Jabali went to the Kailas Peak and prostrated before Lord Mahadeva Siva, who is the form of Omkara and who is beyond the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra.
Bhusunda worshipped Siva with great devotion again and again through fruits, flowers and leaves. Then he questioned Lord Siva: “Lord! Kindly impart to me the essential knowledge of all the Vedas, embodying the process and technique of using the Bhasma (sacred ash), because it is the only means for attaining Liberation. What is the Bhasma made of? Where should it be applied? What are the Mantras to be recited? Who are the persons fitted for this? What are the rules regarding it? Kindly instruct me, born from depressed class.”
The kind Lord Paramesvara said: At first the devotee after understanding the influence of the celestials at the prescribed time, should fetch some sacred and pure cow-dung early in the morning, keep it in the leaf of a Palasa-tree and then dry it with the Vedic Mantra ‘Tryambakam’ etc. (in the sun).
Then he should burn that dry cow-dung, placed in a convenient place, with any fire that is available, according to the rules laid down in the Grihya Sutras of his sect, and then pour Ahutis of seasamum and paddy together with ghee, with the Mantra ‘Somaya Svaha’. The number of Ahutis should be 1008, or if possible, 1 1/2 times this. The instruments for pouring ghee should be made of leaf; in that case man does not commit any sin.
Then, at the end, the devotee should offer the oblation of Sveshtakruta at the time of Purna-Ahuti, with the Mantra ‘Tryambakam’ etc. With the same Mantra Bali (an offering) should be placed in the eight directions (of the fire).
That Bhasma should be sprinkled with water by the Gayatri Mantra. Then that sacred ash should be placed in a gold, silver, copper or earthen vessel and sprinkled again with the Rudra Mantras. It should then be kept in a clean and decent place.
Then the devotee should honour the Brahmins with a grand feast.
Then only he will become purified. Then he should take the Bhasma from the vessel with the Pancha-Brahma-Mantras, ‘Manastoka’, ‘Sadyo Jatam’, etc., and with the idea that ‘fire is Bhasma, air is Bhasma, water is Bhasma, earth is Bhasma, ether is Bhasma, gods are Bhasma, Rishis are Bhasma, all this universe and existence are Bhasma; I prostrate to this sacred and purifying Bhasma which destroys all my sins.’
Thus, the devotee should keep a little Bhasma with the decent left hand saying, ‘Vamadevaya’ (this is to Vamadeva) sprinkling with the Mantra ‘Tryambakam’ etc., and cleaning it with the Mantra ‘Suddham suddhena’ etc. Then he should filter it nicely. Then he should apply it from head to foot, with the five Brahma-Mantras. With the first finger, middle finger and ring finger, he should apply the same to the middle of the head saying ‘to the head’ and ‘O Bhasma! Thou hast come from Agni!’
Places where Bhasma is to be applied
Mantra to be used
3. Right side of neck
10. Below right shoulder
11. Middle of right shoulder
12. Right side of chest
13. Back of right arm
14. Below left shoulder
15. Middle of left shoulder
16. Middle of left arm
17. Back of left arm
Namo Hantre etc.
19. All parts
The devotee should then prostrate to Siva with the Mantra ‘Somaya’ etc. He should wash the hands and drink that ash-water with the Mantra ‘Apah Punantu’ etc. The water should never be spilt down from any cause.
Thus, this practice of Bhasmadharana should be done in the morning, noon and evening. If he does not do this, he will become fallen. This very thing is the prescribed Dharma of all Brahmins. Without having Bhasmadharana in this fashion, he should never take any food, water or anything else. Accidentally if this practice is forgotten, that day, Gayatri should not be repeated. No Yajna should be done on that day; no Tarpana should be offered to gods, Rishis or Pitrus. This is the eternal Dharma that destroys all sins and gives the final state of Moksha.
This is the daily rite of Brahmins, Brahmacharins, Grihasthas, Vanaprasthas and Sannyasins. If this is overlooked even once, he should stand in water upto the neck, repeating Gayatri 108 times, and fast the whole day. If a Sannyasin does not wear Bhasma, even a single day, he should fast during the whole day and do 1000 Pranava Japa, for being purified once again. Otherwise, the Lord will throw these Sannyasins to dogs and wolves.
In case this kind of Bhasma is not available, any other Bhasma that may be at hand should be used with the prescribed Mantras. This kind of practice shall destroy any kind of sin that may be committed by man.
Then again Bhusunda asked Siva: What are the daily rites to be performed by a Brahmin, by neglecting which he will commit a sin? Who is to be then meditated upon? Who is to be remembered? How to meditate? Where to practice this? Please tell me in detail.
The Lord answered all in a nutshell: First of all the devotee should get up early in the morning before sunrise, and after finishing the purificatory actions, should take his bath. He should clean the body with the Rudra Suktas. Then he should wear a clean cloth. After this, he should meditate on the sun-god and apply Bhasma to all the prescribed parts of the body. He should then wear white Rudraksha, as prescribed. Some prescribe the following way of applying Bhasma:
No. of times (lines)
1 or 3
12 each side
Then the devotee should observe Sandhya with the Kusa grass in his hand. He should do Japa of either Siva-Shadakshara or Siva-Ashtakshara. ‘Om Namah Sivaya’ and ‘Om Namo Mahadevaya’ are the two Mantras. This is the highest truth and the greatest instruction. I myself am that Great Lord Siva, God of all gods, the Supreme Controller of all the universes. I am that Impersonal Brahman, I am Omkara, I am the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer of all. Through My terror only, all are working properly. I am this world and the five elements. I am the Highest Truth that exists, the Brahman of the Upanishads. This is the greatest Vidya.
I am the only giver of Moksha. Hence all people come to Me for final help. That is why I absorb into My Being those creatures who leave their Pranas at Banares which is standing at the top of My Trisula (trident). Therefore, everyone should perform penance at Banares only. Banares should not be neglected under any circumstance. Everybody should try to live at Banares as far as possible. No place is better than Banares.
Even at Banares, the most celebrated is the temple of Siva, where in the East, there is the place of Wealth, in the South, the place of Vichara, in the West, the place of Vairagya and in the North, the place of Jnana. There in the middle, I, the Eternal Spirit should be worshipped. That Linga at Banares, is not illumined by the sun, moon or the stars. That self-luminous Linga called ‘Visvesvara’ has its root in Pathala. That is Myself. I should be worshipped by one who wears the sacred Bhasma and Rudrakshas in the prescribed manner. I shall deliver him from all sins and sorrows.
By performing My Abhisheka, he attains My Sayujya state. Nothing exists other than Myself. I initiate all with the Taraka Mantra. Those who want Mukti should live at Banares. I will take care of them. I am the Lord of Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra. The most corrupt man or woman will attain Moksha, if he or she dies at Banares. Other sinners will be fried in burning pits of live coals after death. Therefore, everybody should try to live at Banares which is My Pranalinga Itself.
I praise that Supreme Truth which is Knowledge Absolute, which is to be known through the Vidya of the Tripura-Tapini-Upanishad.
The Lord assumed the form of destructive ferociousness and then He covered Himself all over the three worlds, Bhuh, Bhuvah and Svah. Then He had that power of the Adi-Sakti, i.e., the Adi-Sakti burst out from His heart. This is the Sakti called the Maya of Siva and She is understood by the fundamental syllable ‘Hrim’. The whole universe was then covered by this Sakti. Since She covered the three worlds or Tripuras, She has been styled as ‘Tripura’.
This Tripura Sakti has the following Vidya called Sri Vidya which can be derived from the following Vedic Mantras:.
tatsaviturvareõyaü bhargo devasya dhãmahi | dhiyo yo naþ
pracodayàt | paro rajase sàvadom |
jàtavedase sunavàma somamaràtãyato nidahàti vedaþ |
sanaþ parùadati durgàõi vi÷và nàveva sindhuü duritàtyagniþ ||
tryaübakaü yajàmahe sugandhiü puùñivardhanam |
årvàrukamiva bandhanànmçtyormukùãya mà.amçtàt ||
This Vidya consisting of one hundred letters is the Supreme Vidya in its entirety. This is Paramesvari, Tripura Herself.
Out of the above Mantras, the first four stanzas deal with the exposition of the glory of the Para-Brahman. The second set of stanzas deals with the Mahima of Sakti. The third set deals with the glory of Siva Himself.
In this Vidya, all the worlds, all the Vedas, all the Sastras, all the Puranas and all the Dharmas have been dealt with and this is the Effulgence that has come out of the combination of Siva and Sakti.
Now, we shall comment on the most important and the hidden meanings of these verses. Here the great word ‘Tat’ means Para-Brahman Itself, the Eternity. This is the symbol used for that Lord who is beyond all definitions and arguments. This Lord is the embodiment of Supreme Knowledge itself. That is, He wishes to be in the form of Knowledge Absolute. He alone is the great Lord Siva who is always desired by sages, Yogins, etc., in Yajnas. Therefore there is the creation of desire.
Thus, this Lord who is beyond the reach of all desires, still desires and is being desired. He creates the alphabetical list of language. Therefore, the Lord is called ‘Kama’ or desire. The letter representing Kama is called ‘Ka’. Therefore the word ‘Tat’ represents the letter ‘Ka’. This is the meaning of the word ‘Tat’.
‘Savituh’ comes from the Sanskrit root-word ‘Sunj Praniprasave’, which means the Generator or producer of all beings. He is the great Power. Power means Sakti. This great Sakti or Devi called Tripura, is embodied in the Mahakundali (Yantra). Thus, the fire-globe (of the sun) should be known by the intelligent. This Sakti or power of Trikona (triangular figure) bears out the letter called ‘E’. Therefore we should learn the word ‘E’ from the word ‘Savituh’.
‘Varenyam’ means that which is fit to be adored and worshipped, which is the imperishable and the praiseworthy. Therefore, it should be understood that the letter ‘E’ should be taken from the word ‘Varenyam’. ‘Bhargo’ and ‘Dhimahi’ will be now commented upon. The letter ‘Dha’ means Dharana or concentration. The Lord is always concentrated upon by the ‘Dhi’ or the intellect or Buddhi. ‘Bharga’ is the Lord Himself who can be understood only by reaching the fourth stage or Avastha and this is the Being that pervades all and all. The letter representing this fourth stage is called ‘I’ and this is the real meaning of the above-mentioned words of the Mantra. We shall now talk of the word ‘Mahi’. ‘Mahi’ means greatness, idleness, strength, stubbornness, and this applies to that element which possesses all these qualities. That is the earth which is represented by the letter ‘La’. This is the Supreme state. Thus, this Lakara shows the quality of the earth in its being the embodiment of all oceans, forests, mountains and the seven islands. Therefore the form of Devi called the earth, is termed ‘Mahi’.
Now about ‘Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat’. Para or the Supreme is the Imperishable Siva Himself, the Eternal Soul. The underlying meaning here is this: We should meditate on the immobile form of Lakara or Jyotirlinga or Lord Siva which is the most supreme thing that ever exists anywhere. Here, there is no desire for any Dhyana whatsoever. It is beyond all Dhyanas. Therefore, we are requesting the Lord to direct our minds to be established in that Nirvikalpa State where there is no thinking at all. This request should not be made through the mouth. It should be simply thought of in the mind.
Then ‘Paro Rajase Savadom’. After meditating on the form of the Supreme Truth, there will come out a big effulgence, pure and blissful, full of knowledge which is residing inside the heart. This is the essence of all speech and Knowledge. This is the true Sakti. And this is called the Panchakshara, since it is the creator of the Pancha Bhutas or the five elements. This should be understood correctly by the intelligent.
This is the Vidya giving all desires to the devotee. Thus, after understanding in its true aspect, this Vidya of thirtytwo letters, the devotee Should think of the letter called ‘Ha’ which is the form of Siva, who is the Imperishable, pure State. The letter derived out of the combination of the sun and the moon, that is, the combination of Siva and Sakti is ‘Ha’ and it is also named as ‘Hamsa’. This is the seed of Kama. Through this Vidya, we can know the Supreme Lord Siva.
This combination is also understood as being the merging of the Jivatma in the Supreme Paramatman. Thus ‘Ha’ means the Eternal Stage or the Final Emancipation.
This is the derivation of the Sri Vidya. One who knows this, attains the form of Rudra. He bursts open the residence of Vishnu and reaches the Para-Brahman.
Then about the second Mantra. This Mantra glorifies the Mahima of Tripura Devi.
By the word ‘Jata’ Lord Siva is meant. He who gave birth to the first letters of the ‘Varna-Matrika’ of the form of the ‘Bindurupa’ of Omkara in the very beginning is called ‘Jata’. Or else, it may also be said that because He desired at the very beginning the fulfilment of His Kama, when He was just born, He is called ‘Jata’. The Knowledge of Devi Tripura should be thus carefully analysed in the same manner by dissecting the Mantra into its different words (according to Mantra-Sastra). Then all kinds of ‘Raksha’ or defence can be had from this Mantra. The first thing that is to be understood here is that ‘Jata’ is the One Lord, the Effulgent Being. This should be taken as the foundation of all Vidyas pertaining to Tripura. Here, it should also be understood that the letter ‘Sa’ refers to the power of Sakti and the letter ‘Somam’ refers to the State of Siva. Whosoever knows this becomes famous and important.
Thus, this Vidya where Devi Tripura resides at all times should be taken to be the basis of all Vidyas and the devotee should always be studying this Vidya and reciting it. This Vidya is the embodiment of the Powers of Siva and Sakti. This Vidya is called the limb of Sri Tripuramba Herself. The same Vidya, when used for meditating purposes, is called ‘Sarvatodhira’.
The Sri Vidya Chakra of Tripura is the King of all Chakras. This gives one, anything that he wants and this can be worshipped by anybody, without restriction. This Chakra is the gateway to Moksha, and Yogins after bursting the Brahman through this Vidya, attain that permanent Bliss. This Chakra is the house of Tripuradevi.
Then about the Mrityunjaya Anushtup Mantra. ‘Tryambakam’ (Trayanam Ambakam) means the ‘Lord of the three’ worlds. ‘Trayanam’ means ‘of the three’ worlds. ‘Ambakam’ is the Lord of it. ‘Yajamahe’ means ‘Sevamahe’ or do service. Besides this, the word ‘Mahe’ means ‘Mrityunjaya’ or the destroyer of death. Therefore, the word ‘Yajamahe’ is very important here.
The word ‘Sugandhim’ means ‘to derive fame from all quarters’. And the word ‘Pushtivardhanam’ means ‘one who creates all the worlds, preserves all the worlds, pervades all the worlds and gives salvation to all the worlds’.
‘Urvarukam’ means ‘cucumber’. ‘Urvarukamiva Bandhanan Mrityormukshiya Mamritat’. A cucumber is tied with a rope. Similarly the human being and other creatures are tied by the bonds of Samsara. Here, it means to deliver the earthly beings from the Mayaic bond to the Eternal Bliss, just as a cucumber is delivered free from the creeper.
A person who wants to conquer death should repeat the Mantra ‘Mrityunjaya’. etc. One who wishes to become Rudra, should make use of the Mantra ‘Om Namah’. Then he will certainly derive the best benefit out of it.
Then there is another Mantra. ‘Tad Vishnoh Paramam Padam’, etc. Vishnu is one who pervades all the universe. His supreme state which is just like the sky is called ‘Paramam Padam’. ‘Surayah’ means scholars or those intelligent who have understood the Reality, i.e., Brahma, etc. That Supreme State of Vishnu is lying or residing in each and every being. By ‘residing’, we mean ‘Vasati.’ Therefore, He is called ‘Vasudeva’. The powerful twelve letters of Sri Vasudeva ‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya’, are everything. They are sufficient to absolve one from all sins. The knower of this Mantra reaches that Brahma-Purusha who is in the form of the embodiment of the three letters A, U and M.
Then, we have got another powerful Mantra ‘Hamsa Suchishat’, etc. This is the great Mantra of the Sun-God. And the other Mantra which is to be known is ‘Gananam Tva’, etc. This is the Mantra of Ganapati. One who knows and repeats these Mantras that belong to Siva, Vishnu, Surya and Ganapati, will get the direct revelation of Devi Tripura.
In the Gayatri, there are four forms. In the morning, She is called Gayatri. In the noon, She is called Savitri. In the evening, She is called Sarasvati. She is always called Ajapa when She is having the fourth Pada with Her. This Devi is having the form of fifty alphabets from the letter ‘A’ to the letter ‘Ksha’. All the Sastras and the world are covered by the Devi in this form. Prostrations to Her again and again.
So, any devotee who worships Devi Tripura with these Mantras, becomes the true seer of the Reality. He then attains Moksha. This should be known correctly by everybody.
Now, we shall expound the Karmakanda of the Tripura-worship. This Sakti or the Adimaya directs the Supreme Brahman. That Brahman is Knowledge Absolute, and is termed Paramatman. This Supreme Being is the Hearer, Knower, Seer, Commander, Perceiver and the Supreme Purusha who resides in the Atman of all beings. This is to be known. There is no world, no non-world, no God, no non-God, no being, no non-being, no Brahmin and no non-Brahmin, at all. Thus shines the Nirvana called Para-Brahman.
The mind that is thinking of something, is called Baddha. That which does not think of anything is called Mukta. Then only this Brahman can be understood. Therefore, everybody should keep his mind free from thoughts of objects.
Until the mind is devoid of all thoughts, one should try to control the Pranas. This is the eternal knowledge. All other things are merely unnecessary scriptural descriptions. There is no difference between thinking and non-thinking in the Para-Brahman. All are same there. There is nothing to be thought of and there is nobody to think.
Thus finally, the devotee should understand gradually that Brahman is his own Self and then he will attain the Blissful Emancipation.
Now the Supreme Truth is revealed. There is no one who longs for liberation, there is no one who is liberated, there is no Vairagya, there is no Sadhana, there is no destruction.
There are two Brahmans, namely Sabda Brahman and Para Brahman. One who has mastered the Sabda Brahman, attain to the Para Brahman. After acquiring all the knowledge through books, the intelligent man should throw away those books, just like the husk thrown away by one who wants only the internal kernel of the grain.
Thus the Supreme Brahman-State is described. One who knows this Great Vidya should be worshipped by others. There is no doubt about it. This is the great Upanishad.
Now, at this moment, I take refuge in that Pure State of the Supreme Absolute which can be known by the Vidya, called the Rudra Hridaya Upanishad.
After prostrating before the celebrated form of Sri Mahadeva-Rudra in his heart, adoring the sacred Bhasma and Rudraksha and mentally reciting the great Mahavakya-Mantra, Tarasara, Sri Suka asked his father Sri Vyasa Maharshi, thus:
Who is the real God of gods? In whom are all these existences established? By worshipping whom, can I please the Devas in whole?
Hearing these words, Sri Veda Vyasa replied thus:
Rudra is the embodiment of all Devas. All devas are merely different manifestations of Sri Rudra Himself. On the right side of Rudra, there is the sun, then the four-headed Brahma, and then three Agnis (fires). On the left side, there exist Sri Umadevi, and also Vishnu and Soma (moon).
Uma Herself is the form of Vishnu. Vishnu Himself is the form of the moon. Therefore, those who worship Lord Vishnu, worship Siva Himself. And those who worship Siva, worship Lord Vishnu in reality. Those who envy and hate Sri Rudra, are actually hating Sri Vishnu. Those who decry Lord Siva, decry Vishnu Himself.
Rudra is the generator of the seed. Vishnu is the embryo of the seed. Siva Himself is Brahma and Brahma Himself is Agni. Rudra is full of Brahma and Vishnu. The whole world is full of Agni and Soma. The masculine gender is Lord Siva. The feminine gender is Sri Bhavani Devi. All the mobile and immobile creation of this universe, is filled up with Uma and Rudra. The Vyakta is Sri Uma, and the Avyakta is Lord Siva. The combination of Uma and Sankara is Vishnu.
Hence everybody should prostrate to Sri Maha Vishnu with great devotion. He is the Atman. He is the Paramatman. He is the Antaratman. Brahma is the Antaratman. Siva is the Paramatman. Vishnu is the Eternal Atman of all this universe. This whole creation of Svarga, Martya and Patala Lokas is a big tree. Vishnu is the top portion (branches) of this tree. Brahma is the stem. The root is Lord Siva.
The effect is Vishnu. The action is Brahma. The cause is Siva. For the benefit of the worlds. Rudra has taken these three forms.
Rudra is Dharma. Vishnu is the world. Brahma is Knowledge. Therefore, do Kirtan of His name, ‘Rudra’, ‘Rudra’. By singing like this, the hallowed name of this great Lord, all your sins will be destroyed.
Rudra is man. Uma is woman. Prostrations to Him and Her.
Rudra is Brahma. Uma is Sarasvati. Prostrations to Him and Her.
Rudra is Vishnu. Uma is Lakshmi. Prostrations to Him and Her.
Rudra is Sun. Uma is shadow. Prostrations to Him and Her.
Rudra is moon. Uma is star. Prostrations to Him and Her.
Rudra is day. Uma is night. Prostrations to Him and Her.
Rudra is Yajna. Uma is Vedi. Prostrations to Him and Her.
Rudra is Agni, Uma is Svaha. Prostrations to Him and Her.
Rudra is Veda. Uma is Sastra. Prostrations to Him and Her.
Rudra is tree. Uma is creeper. Prostrations to Him and Her.
Rudra is scent. Uma is flower. Prostrations to Him and Her.
Rudra is meaning. Uma is word. Prostrations to Him and Her.
Rudra is Linga. Uma is Pitha. Prostrations to Him and Her.
The devotee should worship Sri Rudra and Uma with these Mantras referred to above. O my son, Suka! With these hymns, you should meditate on the Eternal Para-Brahman, which is beyond the reach of the senses, which is pure Existence, knowledge and Bliss and which cannot be understood either by the speech or by the mind. After knowing this, there is nothing more to be known, because everything is the form of That, and there is nothing separate from That.
There are two Vidyas to be known. They are Para and Apara. Apara Vidya is the embodiment of the four Vedas and their six Angas. They do not deal with the Nature of the Atman. But the Para Vidya is called the Moksha-Sastra. It deals with that supreme philosophy of the Absolute Truth, ununderstandable, impersonal, Nirguna, Nirakara, without ears, without eyes, without hands, without feet, eternal, omnipresent, imperishable, and knowable by the intelligent daring sages.
From that Lord Siva who performs a terrible penance in the form of Supreme Jnana-Marga, this whole world is created which is the food of the mortals. This world is Maya. It seems to appear just like a dream. It is superimposed on the Lord just like a rope on a serpent. This is the eternal Truth. There is no creation in reality. All is absolute. All is Truth. Knowing this, one is liberated at once.
Only through Jnana, you can get rid of this Samsara. Only through Jnana, you can understand this existence and never through Karma. Understand this through the guidance of a Brahmanishtha-Srotriya Guru. The Guru will give the disciple all the necessary knowledge of Brahman, the Absolute. By cutting off the bondage of Ajnana or Avidya, one should take refuge in Lord Sadasiva. This is the real wisdom to be understood by an aspirant seeking after Truth.
The Pranava is the bow. The Atman is the arrow. The Para-Brahman is the target. Just like the arrow, the Atman will become one with Brahman.
But all these three, the bow, the arrow and the target are not different from that Sadasiva. There do not shine the bodies of the sun, moon or the stars. There does not blow the wind, there do not exist many Devatas. He, the One Lord only exists. He only, the Purity of purities, shines for ever and ever.
There are two birds in this body, the Jiva and the Paramatman. The Jiva eats the fruit of his Karmas, but the Paramatman is untouched by anything. The Paramatman is only the Sakshi. He does not do anything. He only assumes the form of the Jiva through His Maya, just as the Akasa inside a pot seems to be different from the Akasa outside and assumes the form of the pot. In reality all is Siva, Advaita, the One Absolute. There is no difference of whatever kind.
When all is understood to be One, Omkara, the Absolute, there is no sorrow, there is no Maya. Then the attainment of the Advaita-Paramananda is very easy. Think that you are the basis of all this universe, you are the One, Kevala, Sat-Chit-Ghana. All people cannot understand this Truth. Those devoid of Maya can know this secret. After knowing this, the Atman does not move towards any place at any time. It becomes one with the Absolute, just like Ghatakasa with Paramakasa. Just as Akasa does not move anywhere, similarly this Atman does not have any movement. It becomes one with OM.