Sri Kamakoti Mandali  
shrImAtre namaH  
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13. Siddha and a Vijnani


Acharya then left the city of Mahishmati and proceeded eastward, lost in deep thought. This was no wonder, as Ubhayabharati had placed him in a difficult position. As Acharya and his disciples walked along, they were surprised to hear loud wailing and weeping. They then saw a kingly figure lying down, the monarch had evidently had a sudden death a few moments before. It was a pathetic sight and it caused the Acharya to make sympathetic enquiries. The information gathered from the waiting company was that the King Amaraka came to the woods on a hunting expedition and had met with a sudden death.

Tragic as the king's death was, Acharya saw in it an opportunity rare to come by. He was delighted beyond measure at this coincidence and took Padmapada into confidence and said, " Look Padmapada, here is a golden chance for me, I shall immediately enter the king's body. Please find me a lonely cave as quickly as you can".

Padmapada and others went about and were soon able to find a big cave in the woods. Acharya went to this cave and told his disciples, " This place is quite safe and secluded. By my Yogic power of Parakaya Pravesha (which literally means entering another's body), I shall now enter into the king's body. Guard this seemingly dead body of mine inside this cave very carefully. After a month, I shall re-enter this body and be my old self again".

In the system of Yoga as expounded by Patanjali, there is of course mention of yogic attainments like travel in air, assuming many physical forms simultaneously (Kaayavyooha), and also entering another's body. Perfected Yogis are masters of natural laws. The Vajroli perfection enables one to enter another body at will. There are also accounts of how the great Siddha Matsyendranatha entered the body of a dead king, having entrusted his own body to his disciple Gorakhanatha. References are also seen in Mahabharata on Parakaya Pravesha. In Saundaryalahari, in the Prayoga section of one of the verses, the fruit of chanting a particular verse is said to be the Siddhi of Parakaya Pravesha. The associated Mantra and Yantra are also detailed in the Tantras.

Acharya then entered the cave and asserted his yogic powers. With the help of the astounding possibilities of his yogic attainments, he soon detached himself from his exterior physical frame, contained himself in the Linga Sharira or the subtle body and let his finer encasement enter the king's dead corporeal frame. The king's men and wives were extremely happy at this happening and returned with the king to their city. Acharya whilst residing in the king's body called in scholars versed in the science of erotics and made a thorough study of the writings on sex by sage Vatsyayana and pursued all the commentaries on them to gain complete mastery over the subject. By having intimate relation with the queens, he also perfected in the practicalities of the science of Kamakala. It was then possible for the mastermind of the Acharya to produce an authoritative book on erotics in which all the questions of Ubhayabharati were more than answered. Padmapada came in disguise and had an interview with king Amaraka and got the book from him with which he returned to the cave.

It was nearing the completion of a month. By then, a minister of the king noticed subtle changes in the king's behavior. He suspected that the king's body was now an abode for some higher soul. He then sent a search party around the place to look for anything uncommon. They came back to report him of a cave in which a few monks preserved carefully, the dead body of a young Sanyasi. The minister at once could see things in place. He thought for a while and then understood that some day the monk would return to hi original body and the king would be dead again. This would leave the country open to attack from enemies. So, he immediately ordered his men to forcible burn the body of the Sanyasi, that was being looked after by monks in the cave. Padmapada and others were held by king's men the body of the Acharya was ignited. The Acharya, who was in the body of the king immediately knew of this mishap and quickly returned back to his original frame. However, his right hand was already burnt by then. He immediately sang out a hymn in praise of Lord Lakshmi Nrisimha, famously known as the Karavalambana Stotra.

At once, the burning hand was rescued and the king's men were subdued by the unimaginably powerful grace of the Lord, who was quick to shower his love on this Prahlada-like devotee. The Acharya then thanked the Father of the universe and returned to the city of Mahishmati to confront Ubhayabharati.

Some others feel that this famous hymn of incomparable beauty and sense, was composed by Acharya during the episode of Ugrabhairava.

Mandana was eagerly awaiting Acharya's return since he had already taken to the discipleship of the Acharya mentally. Mandana was unique among the Acharya's disciples. Others had approached the Guru in the traditional way, with homage and reverence and had begged for and received his mercy. Mandana alone had fought his way to Guru's grace. He gave a very warm welcome to Acharya and showed him the highest of honors. The Acharya greeted Ubhayabharati and said, " Mother Bharati, here is the promised book, please accept this as the answer to all your queries".

Ubhayabharati went through the book very carefully from beginning to end and was greatly pleased with its excellence. She told the Acharya, " Great one, now your victory is complete indeed. My husband will now become your disciple and a monk. And I shall return to my eternal abode of Satyaloka, ending my incarnation as Ubhayabharati".

The Acharya knew full well the cause of Ubhayabharati's advent on earth, the way of her birth and her life on earth. Coming to know of her resolve to go back to her eternal abode, he bowed before her and praised her glories and said, " Adored mother Bharati, you have descended to earth to impart divine knowledge to all the universe. I know that you are none other than Devi Saraswati. If you depart from the earth now, all knowledge will disappear from the world. Therefore be pleased to stay on in this mortal frame for some time yet and propagate the knowledge of Brahman. I cherish to establish a Math or monastery at Sringeri. Be pleased to abide there and impart knowledge to all. I adore and worship you. Be gracious and grant my prayer".

It is said that as soon as Mandana was declared to be defeated completely, Ubhayabharati decided to return to her abode immediately. Acharya, who was a mantra Siddha and the knower of all mantras and Tantras, tied her down with the extremely powerful Aranya Durga mantra and then requested her as above. All Gods and Goddesses are surely tied down by mantra and Bhakti.

Bhagavati Sarada who now revealed her glorious form to the Acharya said, " O great monk, remaining in my divine body I shall fulfill your wish. You may install a Srichakra there at Sringeri and I shall remain luminously enshrined in that symbol ".

Then, in the presence of all, Ubhayabharati Devi gave up her body by passing into Yogic absorption. Mandana performed the last rites for his departed wife in the proper way. Then Acharya initiated him into monk-hood in the appropriate manner. He gave up the name Mandana, replete with associations of learning and scholarly disputation, and took on a new name Sureshwaracharya. This was indeed an epithet of Brahma, whose part-incarnation Mandana was. Acharya helped him attain the highest vision of truth by instructing him on the implication of the Grand utterance. That Thou Art, the supreme awareness of the reality was implanted in the disciple's consciousness by a masterly discourse from the Guru.

This discourse, studded with profound wisdom has been put in a booklet named Tatwopadesha, teaching of the truth.

Mandana realized what a blessed soul he was and how his life had had its fulfillment as a result of his taking refuge at the holy feet of Acharya. He composed a hymn on the Acharya in which he said, “Supreme master and compassionate soul, please forgive my impertinence. Not knowing your glory quite well, I entered into a debate with you. As a result of the many good deeds done by me in my past births, I have obtained this refuge at Thy lotus feet, and my human birth has been blessed. You are my redeemer and savior. You have graciously liberated me from the bondage of relative existence. It is not possible for this humble self to estimate and express your glory and mercy".

Gratified by the deep devotion and by the complete self-surrender of Mandana, Acharya laid his hand of grace on Mandana's head and blessed him.