Saudaryalahari and Sundara Kalpavriksha: 3

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Continuing his weekly discourse on Sri Sankarabhagavatpada's conception of the Supreme Bieng, Sri Bharatha Sharma said 'bhavana', visualisation, and internalisation alone can produce both understanding and the resultant power in the 'sadhaka'. Contemplation and 'mananam' make the absorption of the scriptures possible.

The 24th sloka brings out the glory of the Mother While Brahma, the creator Vishnu the protector and Rudra the destroyer obey Sada Shiva the everlasting one Sadaa Shiva himself obeys the commands issuing forth from the Bhrukuthi brow, of the Supreme Being.

The Adhyatmic concept here is that the Mother's brow is the 'prakaasa bindu' while Shiva's is 'vimarsa bindu'. The 'aajna chakra' in the middle of the Mother's brow is attained after breaking the 'rudra grandhi'. Shiva 'dhanurbhar ga' by Sri Rama is symbolic of 'rudragrandhi bedhana'. When this is accomplished the devotee attains 'Shiva Shakthi Saayujya'.

Kaala Spandana, the pulsation of time, issuing forth from the 'bhrukuti' accounts for birth growth and decay, Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra also face 'layam' extinction. Kaala is above all these and Sada Shiva is 'mahakaala', the obverse and reverse of the same coin.

The 25th sloka show hos 'sristhi, and 'laya' manifest in 'satwa' 'rajo' and 'tamo gunas' emanate from the Supreme Being. Brahma Vishnu and Rudra do obeisance at the 'paadha peetha' of the Mother. A flower offered to her is offered to all the three and also to Shiva.

Sloka 26th leads us to climax expounded in sloka 31 where 'sada shiva tatwam' is explained. In 'pralaya' the deluge everything is extinguished and wiped away but 'kaala' remains. Kaala is the unity of Shiva and Shakti. Everything is devoured by kaala and everything is merged in it. Just as a liquid remains even after dissolving various powers in it, when everything gets absorption, 'leena', in to it kaala remains. It is 'nityapravaha'.

For the 'sadhaka' the body itself is the temple of the Mother. He prays to Her in all, humility and devotion with the utmost piety; Let everything done by me be a worship; My speech 'mantrarchana', my movements 'pradakshina', the food that I ingest 'aahuthi' and my slumber 'samadhi'.

Everyone who drank 'amrutha', nectar, passed away while the one who drank 'garala' poison remains. The reason is that Shakti cannot be disunited from Shiva. The sheer power of mother's tatankas', ear studs, make Shiva Sada Shiva. Kaala is incapable of making the ear studs drop for they are none other than the sun and the moon. The mother remains ever auspicious. Shiva is rendered Sadaa Shiva by the 'paathivratya mahima' of the Mother.

16th May, 1986


In his discourse on Saundaryalahari. Sri Perala Bharatha Sharma said that vidya includes sphurana and its roopa envelops sruthi, mati and buddhi. Abhyasa practice; pratibha, spark; and vyutpatti erudition are the components of vidya. Vidya is to know. Sruthi relates to what is learnt through hearing mati relates to manana and buddhi relates to logical discrimination. Buddhi completes education.

The Supreme Mother is a lotus in a forest of lotuses. Her face is a lotus. Her eyes are lotus-like and Her mouth and everything about Her is a lotus.

The 28th sloka describes how the attendants of the mother suggest caution and pray to her to avoid stepping on the crowns of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahendra. The sadhaka prays : 'let those words protect', Commentators praise the sloka as one with the figure of speech of sub-limity-udattalankara.

The replendent poet in Sankarabhagavatpada speaks of Indra's crown with vivid detain suggestive of a subtle kind of humour. Indra is spoken of as one who killed the demon Jambha. The idea is that the crown studded with the rarest and purest of gams and made of hard gold may do harm to the soft lotus feet of the mother.

The inner significance of the sloka lies in the fact that were the Mother not merciful the crowns would be trampled into dust. The Mother is Kalli and it is Her grace that makes Brahma, Vishunu and Mahendra keep their respective crowas and positions. The sloka brings out the supremacy of kaala-time.

Poet Bhartuhari wrote ten stanzas on kaala mahima, Shiva and Shakti perform the cosmic dance and their movements cause the cycle of day and night. The time units ranging from a trice to an aeon are the paricharikas maid servants of the supreme Shiva-Shakthi unity, Bhartruhari conceives the earth as a chess board on which the Supreme Being plays with human beings and things as chessmen.

Sloka 30 is replete with meaning. The slokas are never rapetitive. Each takes us farther, deeper and higher. While the trampling of the Mother destroys everyone and everything, those who emerge from the radiance of the eight siddhis or powers (anima mahima, garima, leghima praapti prakamya, eesatwa and vasitwa) find even the pralayagni, the deluge of fire, a mere harati.

They become immortal and live everlastingly. They are the blessed ones who get identification with Her. For such even Shiva appears as one ordinary. They live for ever like those blessed poets Valmiki and Kalidasa in akshara roopa.

17th May, 1985


The Suprme Mother dissatisfied by the 6r Tantras propounded by shiva compelied him to enunciate the Supreme Tantra which would show the way for the realisation of all the “purushardhas” in a true metaphysical spirit.

Eaarlier, Shiva propounded the 64 Tantras and Saadhakas concentrated on them according to their wishes and attained certain “siddhis” according to their desires.

Each stopped at a stage quite unable to realise the metaphysical significance, having been satisfied with a mere limited achievement.

The Tantras are varied and some of them were found to be divorced from real welfare or happiness.

It is never the intention of the Divine that a Sadhaka should select and hold on to any one particular with the sole objective of gaining a narrow worldly end.

Some of the Tantras are misused by Vamacharas.

It is the fault of the individuals themselves. A kind of degeneration sets in. During the course of time, the 64 Tantras began to be embraced by human beings who are in a way “pasupathis”. The “indrias” are the 'pasus' and the “jeevi” within is 'pasupathi'. The 31 sloka shows us the enunciation of 'purusharthaka Saadhana Tantra'. The earlier 30 slokas are a kind of introduction proclaiming the essential unity of Shiva and Shakthi. They lead us to the heart of the matter in the 31 sloka where in the Mantra (hymn) the 'parikaraas' (instruments) and Bhava (intuitive internalisation) are set forth.

The “Indriyas” are the “pasus” and they require absolute restraint. Even sage Viswamitra who aspired to be a Brahmarshi could not restrain his “Indriyas” and as a result had to fface a fall.

“Manas” is Manmadha and Shiva alone can restrain Manmadha.

The 64 Tantras cast a spell on “Jeevas”. Human beings, not realising that “Akshila Purushardhika Ghatana” is the enduring goal, fell to Vamachara practices.

They took to “ Kaula Maarga” because of their their own ignorance.

“Samayachara”, the pure way of attaining siddhi, is enunciated by the five great seers : Vasista Suka, Sanaka, Sanadana and Santakumara. They showed the way of worshipping the Shodashi, Tripura Sundari, the Mother with the 16 kalas.

Kala means a 16th part of “Chandrakalaa Vidya”. It shows ways of realising the Supreme Mother.

Chandra Kalaamvidyashtaka propounds Sri Vidya.

The “ Subhaagama Panchaka” of the five great rishisi brings out Shiva's enunciation of the power and the glory of the Mother.

The 32nd sloka gives us the Tripura Sundari Mantra with 12 bijaksharas and three hreemkaras. This is the “Panchadasee Mantra”.

The Saadhaka has to be extremely pious and vigilant when he takes up the Upasana under the guidance of a Guru.

Among our scriptures, in the Ramayana, Hanuman, is the blessed one with Jnaana and selfless devotion.

He is the only who had the blessing of the Divine to carry both the Anguleeya and the Choodamani on the same day.

Thus explained Sri Perala Bharatha Sharma.

1st June, 1986

Continuation of Mr. Bharatha Sharma's weekly discourse on Sri Sankara's poetic composition: It is almost impossible for ordinary minds to conceive the grandeur of the Supreme Mother. She is everlasting and all pervassive. The great saadhakas worship Her with holy mantras wherein they install Shakthi and Lakshmi. They offer oblation of ghee in shivagni while praying to Her.

The 34th Sloka is particularly difficult in that it requires an imaginative perception to visualise the universal mother. For the saadhakas, however, this is easy. The Supreme Mother with the sun the moon as Her breasts becomes the body of Sambhu. Ananda Bhairava is beyond the kalavyooha. He is the navaatma. Ananda Bhairava and Mahabhiravi are both one and the same. They interchange with ease. While one is sesha, the other is seshi. The Supreme Mother, is Bhirava's body and Bhiravaj is Her body, thus making it impossible to tell one from the other in their everlasting unity.

Mahabhiravi is navatmika and the nine vyuhas are kaala, kula, naama, jnana, chitta naada bindu, kalaa, and jeeva. Ananda Bhirava inheres in him-the nine vyoohas. Ananda Bhirava is paraananda and Mahabhiravi is para. The two are in unision and when one destroys and the other creates.

The Supreme Mother is the beloved of Shiva. She is the essence of five elements in the shat chakras. She is the manastatwa in agni chakra, the aakasa tatwa in visudchi chakra the udaka tatwa in manipura chakra and the pridhwi tatwa in mooladhara chakra. The five elements are Her manifestations and nothing can exist independent of Her.

The elements undergo evolution in Her and she evolves Her-self to be the body of Shiva. She becomes Shivayuvathi so that creation goes on without coming to an end. She is the chaitanya swaroopa and she is chidaananda.

Chit is jnaana, the Supreme Mother, and ananda is shiva. The yogic experience is one of chidaananda where jnana and aananda become indivisible and make each other blissfully co-existent.

Adi Sankara's musical composition is a crystallisation of the blissful experience of Shivashkthitatwa in words. The legend goes that in Kasmir a grihini asked the seer what he meant by Shivoham and that led to the composition of Saundaryalhari.

Mr. Bharatha Sharma said that Teelugu devotional poet Pothana also understood the Shivatatwa which is none other than Shakti tatwa when he prayed to the one who is beyond the universe and the darkness beyond.

27th June, 1986


Shiva-Shakthi unity produces pulsations or waves of time and that is in itself Saundaryalahari. In his weekly discourse on Sri Sankara's paean of the Supreme Effulgence. Sri Bharatha Sarma said that matter and energy join to make evolution possible. Sri Sankara communicated his divine experience. The powers of expression that the seer was blessed with were the fruit of the great yogi's saadhana.

The 39th sloka ia a prayer to the Supreme Mother. In Her swadhistana chakra there is fire of both Samvarta and samvarthini. But for Her controlling this fire, all the three lokas would have been reduced to ashes.

Sri Sankara describes the chakras in the order of the five elements in thse verses. The elemental fire is different from the fire of Shiva (samvartangi) which is inherent in Her and held in control by Her grace. Surya and agni create water through clouds. The saadhaka prays to the one who holds semvartagni under firm control. The angry glance of the samvarta can burn and destroy but the samvarthini fire of the Supreme Mother makes it cool and ineffably salutary to living beings. In ordinary patience we may construe His glance as fire and Hers as the cool moonlight.

Sri Bharatha Sharma explained that only the Supreme Mother has the capacity to resurrect the burnt Manmadha and make his effect all pervasive over the animate creation.

In the Holy Ramayana, the fire of the pangs of separation was taken by Hanuman from Sri Rama which Seeta Devi cools down. The fire of the divine emissary's tail does not singe it nor does it damage the demons around Her because of Her grace.

The principle of Shiva is in fire but the principles of earth, the pridhwitatwa, is in the Devi. The manipoora chakra can be interpreted as symbol of mani-a rainbow and its hues.

In the rainbow there is a hue of particular quality of neela which is a symbol of both Sri Rama and Parama Shiva. It is there in the peacock feather adorning the diadem of Sri Krishna too.

The saadhka prays to the Supreme Mother saying that he would worship Her power which could cool down the anger of Hara the fire capable of burning the three lokas. It is the cloud and the rain that emanates from it which are the symbols of the grace of the Supreme Mother; the cloud has in it the flash of lightning which is capable of rending the darkness around.

Sri Vidya commentators saw how that lord found a way of sending a message to the divine mother Sita Devi. Sri Rama lives in the forest during the exile for no other place can contain and withstand the fire inside Him. Lakshmana is the one who know the symbols. He is Lakshmi Vardhana. The fact that he never had a wink of sleep for 14 long years is proof that he was by the side of the lord in the shape of time, kaala swaroopa.

It is he who goes on reminding us that Sri Rama is the paramatma. Hanuman is a combination of the agni tatwa and vayu tatwa. The mani in the minipoora chakra contains in it the hues of the rainbow which are none of her than the splendid colours in the most precious stones.

The grace of the Supreme Mother alone is capable of turning Shiva's fire into life sustaining moonlight which is the object of the sadhaka's worship.

16th July 1986


More by :  Dr. Rama Rao Vadapalli V.B.

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