Sri Tripura Mahimna Stotra is a composition of Rishi Durvasa, the prince of the sages. He was born to Atri Maharshi and Anasuya Devi and is known to be an incarnation of Lord Rudra. A lesser-known fact about him is his association with Srividya. He is one among the illustrious Acharyas of the great Vidya. Two of the many variations of Srividya are named after him as Durvasa Vidya and Krodha Bhatttaaraka Vidya. Also, Lalita Stavaratna, popularly known as Aryaa Dwishati, is a composition of this great sage. It is heard that the Navavarana Pooja manual used even today in Kanchi Sri Kamakshi Devi Mahasannidhaanam, called the Chintamani Kalpam, has been specially scriptured by Maharshi Durvasa. The present Stotra showcases his seamless devotion to Mahatripurasundari. This is a highly technical hymn from the view point of Tantra Shastra. It hints at the various technicalities of Tantra in general and Srividya in particular. I will try to translate the first few verses, without trying at any place to give out the mantra, Chakra and Pooja Samketas, which can only be learnt from a Guru.
In the first verse, Maharshi describes the auspicious form (Swaroopa) of Sridevi as the personification of the three Khandas or Kootas (parts) of Srividya.
Srimaatastripure Paraatparatare Devi Triloke mahaa
SaundaryaarNava Manthanodbhava sudhaa praachurya varnojwalam |
Udyadbhaanusahasranootanajapaapushpaprabham te vapuH
Swaante me sphuratu trikoNanilayam Jyotirmayam Vangmayam |
He SrimaataH - O divine mother of the cosmos;
Te vapuH - May your divine form;
Swaante Sphuratu - shine in my heart.
Now, how is this auspicious form of Sridevi?
Maharshi says: Udyadbhaanusahasranootanajapaapushpaprabham - It has the radiance and beauty of thousands of rising suns and fresh, tender Hibiscus flowers.
He also says: SaundaryaarNava Manthanodbhava sudhaa praachurya varnojwalam - Her divine radiance is like that of the nectar that is obtained by churning the ocean of beauty, formed by unifying the beauty in all the three worlds. Here he indicates that Sridevi's divine beauty excels all the materialistic, physical beauty that we see in this world as well in the Lokottara. She is the Supreme beauty of the Aatman or Parabrahman (Kameshwara) and beyond the reach of senses like the physical sight, which can only perceive the dualistic, impermanent beauty in this illusionary world. The latter beauty is more an aspect of Kamalaatmikaa, another Mahavidya aspect of Mahatripurasundari. Kamala is beauty manifest whereas Mahatripurasundari is beauty unmanifest. Now both the adjectives Japa Pushpa and Udyadbhaanu indicate the reddishness of Sridevi. Some ignorant Vaishnavas (they can surely not be called so since only one who has realized Sri Narayana as the effulgent self, can only be called a Vaishnava. Others are mere debating dualists) depict this to mean Sridevi as of Rajasic nature. But one has to carefully note that this refers to the brightness of Sridevi that is beyond rising and setting, like the Spiritual Sun invoked in the great formula of Gayatri (most often completely identified and erroneously confined to the physical Sun), for the vision of the witness can never be lost, because it is imperishable. It is the essential luster - Saatvika Tejas of Sridevi. It only indicates the loveliness or divine beauty of Mahatripurasundari as Kaamakalaa that reveals the essential nature in a red flash during meditation. The Kundalini, on awakening, flashes forth like the red lightening through Sushumna and blossoms into the peace-giving luster of divine beauty, compared to Japa Pushpa here.
The word 'Varna' also means caste. There are basically only three castes, as are the three Vedas, the three Gunas etc. The three castes represent the three qualities viz. Satwa, Rajas and Tamas, as suggested by the pet offerings made by the devotees who are quite established in their respective modes of worship. Milk, qualified butter and honey are the offerings prescribed for Satvic, Rajasic and Tamasic qualities of devotees belonging to different levels of consciousness. However, Bhagavan says in Gita, there are only three castes of devotees: Aarta - the distressed, Jignaasu - Seeker of wealth, Arthaarthi -Seeker of wealth. The fourth is beyond the three. The fourth kind is the Jnani who, while living in a body, is steady in the knowledge of self. He is truly an earnest devotee while the first three are noble seekers. Bhagavan says, 'All these are noble, but the man of wisdom is verily my own self. - Gita VII 16'. His offering to the spiritual deity is his spiritual ecstasy, the divine inebriety of constant awareness of the Supreme Self in contrast with the common wine that has its effect otherwise. The fourth is explained (in the context of the three Varnas being Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vysya) by some to mean Sudra, the fourth caste. Empirically it is either a mixture of the three or beyond. Sudra implies corrupted mixture of the three qualities in its negative aspect. On the positive side, Jivanmukta has risen above the taint of the three castes. He has truly surpassed the combined effect of the three Gunas. His offering to Sridevi is Soma or the spirituous Juice of Sacchidananda. He is the true devotee to the mother.
Mahatripurasundari is not the ordinary beauty of form. The highest beauty lies not in any object, though it is not apart from objects. The highest beauty is of perception, to hold infinity in the palm of our hands, and eternity in an hour. Sridevi represents the ultimate beauty of pure perception, which arises when we see the entire universe in ourselves, when we see all nature as a reflection of the reality of consciousness. She is thus the infinite beauty as seen from the spiritual eye of unity - the vision that all the universe is Brahman, that there is nothing but God above, below, within, without, to the north, south, past or present. This is not to perceive some distant creator in a heaven beyond, but the revelation of our own eternal and infinite self in every moment of perception. When the mind is permeated with such unlimited awareness, it finds a plenary delight in every thing we see. It finds perception to be joy, even if we are looking at the most ordinary things. Freed from the concepts of time and space, size, distance, and importance, each perception reveals the eternal presence and becomes a universe in itself; the mind thereby stops and enters the state of Samadhi, the natural state of Mahatripurasundari.
I would like to add a note on Samadhi. Ghatastava says: 'Sridevi endows her devotees with powers. These powers called Yoginis follow him just as a youthful woman of grace surrenders her attractive qualities to her lover, thinking:
1. I should make him the constant object of my eyes - This indicates Savitarka Samadhi, where Yogi experience deliberative concentration.
2. I should entwine my limbs to his - Merging the whole being of universal awareness in the Yogi - Nirvitarka Samadhi - i.e. Yogi experiences superdeliberative consciousness.
3. I should absorb him with my being - Merging the whole being of the Yogi into Sridevi - Savichaara Samadhi or reflective concentration.
4. I should resort to oneness with him - Merging of universal consciousness or Sridevi to be one with the Yogi - Nirvichara Samadhi or super-reflective concentration.
These four kinds of Samadhi are called Samprajnaata or Sabija or Bahirvastubija Samadhi, because there is some support or impression (Bija) still in the Yogi's mind. After this state, the Yogi proceeds to gain in internal undisturbed calm, or equipoise called the Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Also one may remember the four kinds of Moksha in this context:
Saalokya - Transfer to the world of the Lord
Saamipya - Close proximity to the Lord
Saarupya - Assimilation in Lord's semblance and
Saayujya - Absorption in Lord's essence
The form of Sridevi is also Jyotirmayam - It is the congregate of the lights of the Sun, Moon and Fire. These three are said to be the three eyes of Sridevi. They indicate the Kamaraja, Shakti and Vagbhava Kootas of Srividya respectively. These three exist in our own body i.e. in the microcosm. The Agni mandala extends from Mooladhara to Anahata. Surya Mandala extends from Anahata to Ajna and the Chandra mandala (not to be confused with Chit Chandramandala) from Ajna to Sahasrara. Sridevi resides in the Chicchandramandala, beyond these three regions of darkness, alternating darkness and light and light, in the region of Sahasrara, transcending the states of Jagrat, Swapna and Sushupti.
The three Kutas of Srividya also have to be meditated upon in their respective places as indicated. The three Mandalas also refer to Paraa, Aparaa and Paraaparaa, the forms of worship of Sridevi, adopted by Sadhakas according to their Samskaras and capabilities.
Her form is also Vangmayam - Since Sridevi is completely identical with Srividya (Be it Gayathri, Turiya Gayathri, Bala, Lopamudra, Panchadashi, Shodashi or Shatkoota Mahaavidya), she is also said to be of the form of the three forms of speech. These are:
1. Vaikhari - Audible speech. This refers to the coarse or literal level of speech. Most of the tambour minds stay on this level of audible speech and conventional meanings of words, which is the level of speech that relates to sensation.
2. Madhyama - We only enter Madhyama, which literally means the middle level, when we think deeply about something, when we ponder or wonder about things. Most artistic thinking comes from this level, which reveals the beauty of form and has a creative force.
3. Pashyanti - the third level, Pashyanti or the illumined word, occurs when we perceive the underlying cosmic truth or archetype behind the object or universe. We only reach this level through deep meditation or as an act of grace.
4. Paraa - The fourth level, Paraa, is the level of pure silence wherein meaning is so full and complete that is cannot be broken into words. This is the level of pure consciousness, the Divine Word of Silence: 'I am All'.
The power of speech must be brought down to the Mooladhaara Chakra to allow the power of the great mantra to awaken and allow the energy of consciousness to ascend upwards as Kundalini. To bring speech downward, the breath along with the sound current must be brought down to the corresponding centers of the subtle body.
In Vaikhari, the breath and the sound current, thought of as being nondifferent is centered in the throat. In Madhyama, it is centered in the heart. the power of the great mantra to awaken and allow the energy of consciousness to ascend upwards as Kundalini. To bring speech downward, the breath along with the sound current must be brought down to the corresponding centers of the subtle body. In Vaikhari, the breath and the sound current, thought of as being nondifferent is centered in the throat. In Madhyama, it is centered in the heart. In Pashyanti, its power is in the navel. In Paraa, it merges into Sushumnaa at the Root Chakra. There are three additional levels of speech, which correspond to the first three levels integrated into the fourth, making seven in all. Paraa-Pashyanti is the level in which transcendent speech or silence of the mind becomes expressed in profound thought.
Paraa-Vaikhari is when it is expressed in audible speech. This is the highest level of speech, which occurs when the human being utters the Divine Word in human language. This is the utterance of the seer or the Rishi, from which level the Vedas were spoken. The middle level, Madhyama is important as the central level, through which all other levels can be integrated. The middle level of speech in harmony with the supreme i.e. Para-Madhyama allows the full integration of knowledge and delight in the spiritual heart. The illumined level of speech allied with the supreme i.e. Para-Pashyanti, allows for the maximum development of wisdom.
Correspondence of the Dasha Mahavidyas with these forms of speech is as follows.
Kali is associated with Para-Madhyama, whereby the outer and inner are meditated together in the heart.
Tara is associated primarily with Manipura Chakra (also the tongue), which is the center of the illumined stage of speech called Pashyanti. Since Om rises from navel to Ajna, Taara Ma, who is nothing but Omkara, also moves from navel to Ajna.
Bhuvaneshwari resides in space all through the body and also in the Right heart Chakra. She is mainly associated with Para-Madhyama.
Bhairavi, like Tara also represents Vak or speech. But while Tara is illumined word, Bhairavi is the Supreme word, Paraa. She resides as Kundalini in Muladhara. The original, unarticulated flaming represented by Bhairavi takes the shape and a human appearance through Tara. Conversely, it can be said that the highest energization of speech as Tara becomes Bhairavi; the illumined word turns into the supreme light, generating tremendous heat in Muladhara, awakening the Kundalini Shakti.
Bagalamukhi represents complete silence, which is also the complete stillness of mind.
Chinamasta is resident in Ajna Chakra, away from the realms of physical sounds. She is of the nature of the effulgent light of Aatman. As lightening, she represents direct perception, pure seeing which cuts through everything and reveals the infinite beyond all forms. She is the power of self-vision which sacrifices all objects, including one's own body, to the reality of pure awareness. She represents Atma-Yagna. She may be associated with Para thus.
Dhoomavathi resides in the void, which is full of speech and also at the same time without any sounds at all. She indeed is Mahamaya.
Kamala is associated with Para-Pashyanti level of speech.
Matangi mainly represents Vaikhari speech. She governs the ideas that we put into words and thereby our thinking process. As such Matangi encompasses all levels of speech.
Mahatripurasundari resides in Sahasrara, called Nishyabda Desha. This is the realm of the formless, eternal Parabrahman, beyond all sensations, attributes and forms. She is the totality unmanifest. Now what more can we describe about Sridevi, who is beyond thoughts, words and perception.
Sudarshana, Aghora, Bhairava, Kshetrapala, Pratyangira, Mahamrityunjaya and Sharabha, these deities known as the Devata Saataka must be meditated around the body for protection. One may meditate on their forms and mantras, if duly initiated into the worship of these deities. Or else, one may pray and visualize deities with Naama mantra.
Mahaganapathi and Bhairavi in Moolaadhaara Brahma and Gayathri in Swadhishthaana. Some also meditate on Subrahmanya here.
Sri Mahavishnu and Kamalaambika in the navel. Tara Bhagavathi also is to be meditated upon in the navel chakra. Dhoomavathi resides in the void. Even then, she is to be meditated upon in the space between the navel and the heart, known as the region of Maya. Sri Parameshwara and Mahaa Durga in the heart. Mahadevi Kalika and Sri Bhuvaneshwari are to be meditated respectively in the left and right heart Chakras. One should mediate on Rajamatangi in the throat Chakra. I also meditate on Rajagopala in the throat. Bagalamukhi is meditated in Indra Nadi or on the upper palate. Chinnamasta is meditated upon in the Ajna Chakra. Sri Suryanarayana is also meditated upon here. In the Lalata Chakra, the forehead Chakra one should meditate on Sri Guru, Parama Guru and Parameshti Guru, as also on ones own Divyougha, Siddhougha and Manavougha Guru mandalas. Srividya initiates may meditate on Dakshinamurthy, Anandabhairava, Hayagriva. Some also meditate in a two fold Shatkona mandala on Yugacharyas like Charyanandanatha and also some gurus like Lopamudramba etc. One should meditate on Srividya Mahatripurasundari in the Sahasrara Chakra and also the Maha Paduka, as being non-different from the self. He should merge himself into Sridevi. One may also perform Antaryaga if taught by one's Guru. However, one who has not been initiated into Yoga and Tantra Shastra duly should refrain from using mantras (picked from books or elsewhere) in the above meditation. Complete success here comes only by the grace of Sridevi and the Gurumandala, which in turn can be accessed only through Sri Guru's grace.
Now, returning back to Vangmayam, I have tried to elaborate on Sabda srishti in a previous post. The details of how Srividya originates from Sridevi's Mooladhara and reaches out as Vaikhari to illumine the hearts of the lucky and the devoted has been explained beautifully in Saubhagya Sundari Kalpa, published by the Kaula Society - Chandi.
Maharshi further says, Trikonanilayam - Sridevi resides in the Moolatrikona or the central triangle of Srichakra. It also means the triangle in Muladhara chakra, identifying Sridevi with Kundalini. Here Sridevi is addressed as Tripura. She is the very cause of the various triads in the universe.
She is called Tripura since she is Turiya (the fourth or even Turiyatita) and she transcends the three. Some of these are:
The Gods: Brahma - Vishnu - Rudra OR
Agni - Vayu - Surya OR
Vasu - Rudra - Aditya
The three fires: Ahvaniyagni (sacrificial fire), Garhapatyagni (household fire) and Dakshinagni (crematory fire). These three fires, important in the life of a person from birth to death, indicate the play of Sridevi in one's entire life. In Yogic parlance these three refer respectively to heart, forehead and Head.
The three powers - Iccha (volition), Jnana (Knowledge) and Kriya (activity). These are indeed Brahmi, Vaishnavi and Raudri Shaktis. These three are the important powers of Sridevi to bring about the whole manifestation of the universe. All the three powers are active in everything and every atom of all beings.
The three vowel sounds: Udaata - Anudaatta - Svarit of Vedic chants.
Hrsva - Dirgha - Pluta of alphabetic vowels.
Akaara - Ukara - Makara - of Pranava Omkara
The three kutas of Srividya (Gayathri, Bala, Panchadashi or Shodashi).
The three lokas or fields of experience: BhuH - Earth, BhuvaH - Space and SvaH - Heaven.
The three Chakras: Muladhara - Anahata - Ajna.
Jnanis, the learned ones take these to be Pramaataa - Authority, Pramaana - Evidence and Prameya - Theorem.
The three Peethas: Jaalandhara - Kamarupa - Purna Giri.
The three holy concentration of Tirtha: Nasik - Push Kara - Prayaga.
The three spirits of the universe: Aum - Tat -Sat according to the Vedas.
Nara - Shiva - Shakti according to Tantra.
Jiva - Jagat - Ishwara according to Vedanta.
Ida - Sushumna - Pingala according to Kundalini Yoga.
Past - Present - Future
Hridaya - Vyoma - Brahmarandhra.
Further Sri Durvasa says, Paraatparatare - Sridevi is subtler than the most subtle and pervasive Tatwas. SrimaataH- Srimata is said to be the mother of even Lakshmi, the giver of riches. In other words she gives her devotees the highest wealth of salvation called Mokshashree. Here, adjectives like Triloke Mahaa etc indicate the Vagbhava Koota of Srividya. Udyadbhaanu etc indicate Kamarajakoota and Jyotirmaya etc indicates Shakti Koota. This shloka can be explained in various ways to derive mantras of Bala, Panchadashi and also the Maha Shodashi Shatkoota Vidya of Sri Rajarajeshwari. Any way, as I stress every now and then, these have to be received from Sri Guru and not otherwise.
To summarize, this Shloka gives out the qualities or attributes of Sridevi, who though is certainly is the attributeless Parabrahman, appears as Saguna Brahman to her less-evolved children, to further take them to her highest aspect of pure consciousness. We speak of consciousness time and again. A little understanding of this becomes necessary. Consciousness is the potency of all awareness as is Himself spoken by Sadashiva to Nandikeshwara eulogizing his divine consort Katyayani - 'Then the power of consciousness in an unknown way stayed encircling me and established itself as the luster of mind, the cause of the web of thought process'. In the Shakti Sutra, Consciousness is declared to be the sovereign power, ' By Her own will on the screen of Her own self She creates the picture of the Universe '. 'Nartaka Atma - Atman itself is the hero of the play of the universe - Shakti Sutra III. Utpaladeva says in his commentary to Pratyabhijnaa Hridaya, 'In this sleeping universe, it is one Lord Paramashiva (or Mahatripurasundari) who keeps awake always, to bring about world play'. It is, therefore the power of absolute freedom that is ever present in Brahmanda Purusha. 'I am the consciousness life energy in living beings', says Bhagavan in Gita X -22.
Now, coming back to qualities, the verse indicates that Sridevi is Swaparakasha, by saying she is Jyotirmayee i.e. self-luminous effulgence of which the Sun etc. are but specks, evanescent sparks of light. This is what is told in Katha Upanishad's well known Shloka, ' Tamevabhaantamanunbhaati sarvam'.
According to Agamas, "The sun stands for evidence, the proof called Pramaana. Prameya is the moon standing for the object of knowledge or the thing to be proved. Pramaata is the Agni, fire, the subject of knowledge or the knower. Sridevi is beyond this three-fold process of life. She enlightens everything else. It is only wonderful to think of that Supreme Light. A thing of beauty is a joy forever right? The beauty aspect of Sridevi indicates Mother's Jagadanandaroopa, perfect inner as well as outer Joy of the Supreme Self. Transcendence alone is not perfection. It is with its immanent aspect that the Supreme is realized as the self. Prakasha alone becomes a separate unit where Vimarsha becomes absent. Vimarsha makes us realize the fullness of Joy both inside and outside. That is the infinite Joy of the Supreme self as expressed, on authority by Abhinavagupta in Tantraaloka. Sridevi's innate quality of Supreme bliss, which is self-evident and all embracing always, pervades all the three states of human life and beyond. She is thus called Turyaananda Shakti. All others live on a fraction of this bliss. This bliss is indeed Brahman – "Anando Brahma!". Ananda is also described as Paraa Kauliki Shakti, from who emerges this universe known as Kula. Kauliki Shakti of the preeminent Deity called Akula, is inseparable from Kula, the power of spreading (Visarga Shakti) into the universe. This union of the ever-embracing pose of the pair is called the power of Ananda with the grace of which, this entire universe emanates.
Emission of bliss is therefore the result of the union of the two, male and female, not from either only. Hence we say, Shiva is hidden in Shakti and Shakti is naturally evident in Shiva.
Since Sridevi is both Jyotirmayi and Vangmayi, she has the quality of Vishwaadhaaratwa, i.e she is the only basis for the entire world, (composed of light and sound) and all its activities. She pervades all the categories or Tatwas from earth to Shiva. All activity is interspersed with the three essential qualities of virtue, passions and ignorance i.e. Satwa, Rajas and Tamas. It is surprising to note from the experiences of self-realized souls like Adi Shankara, Ramakrishna Paramahansa (and Sri Chidanandanatha), which exactly match with the accounts expounded in the Shastras, that the infinite unity in its supreme luminosity, joy and support blossoms in the heart of a devotee who is blessed with this spiritual conception.
In the next Shloka, Maharshi praises Sridevi, who resides in the Muladhara Chakra and is the root cause for all knowledge and Mantras. He hints at the upward journey of Kundalini and invokes Sridevi in the central triangle in the pericarp of the thousand petalled lotus at the Sahasrara.
Aadikshaanta samasta varNa sumaNi prote vitaanaprabhe
Brahmaadi pratimaabhikeelita shadaadhaaraabja kakshonnate |
BrahmaaNDaabja mahaasane janani te moortim bhaje chinmayeem
Saushumnaayata peetapankaja mahaamadhya trikonasthitaam ||
He Janani – O Divine Mother of the trinity; Aadikshaanta samasta varna sumani prote – Maharshi says that the letters of the alphabet starting with `A' and ending with `Ksha' are like priceless gems which are studded into the roof, giving it a divine glow, as indicated in Vitaanaprabhe. Maharshi is indicating here that Srimata stays in a mansion, which has the great gems of Matrikas studded in its roof. Since Mantras are wish fulfilling, they may rightly be called Chintamani. Thus mother rightly resides in Chintamani Griharaja. He is actually referring to the Sahasrara Chakra here, which is the seat of all Matrika letters and is the mansion of Sridevi. Sahasrara is indeed like rooftop of the temple called body.
Brahmaadi pratimaabhi keelita shdaadhaaraabja kakshonnate – here reference is to the six charkas, which have the residence of Brahma and other deities, who are but images of Sridevi. These six charkas referred here are the Muladhara and other Chakras. Mother resides in a room or mansion much above or higher than any of these six lotuses, but where then? He says, "Brahmaandaabja Mahaasane" - She stays in the great throne or Simhaasana in the thousand petalled lotus at Brahmarandhra. She is also present in another place, "Saushumnaayata peeta pankaja mahaamadhya trikonasthitaa" – she stays in the yellow colored lotus, at the center of the triangle composed of a-ka-tha letters, coiled around the Linga which is of the form of Mahabindu, with three and a half coils. This is here form as Kundalini Shakti. Maharshi here indicates that Sridevi traverses the path from Muladhara to Sahasrara and back.
The Samayacharins however worship Sridevi in the thousand petalled lotus in the crown. Some texts like Shatchakra Nirupana however attribute red color to Muladhara Chakra. However, Saubhagya Ratnakara Kalpa and many other texts attribute yellow color to Muladhara. Thus here, the yellow color refers to Moolaadhaara. In the more popular convention, yellow refers to Manipooraka. Sridevi also suddenly appears in devotee's Manipura Chakra, all of a sudden due to Guru's grace in the form of Shaambhava Mahavedha. He need not bother about lower Chakras. But most have to begin the journey of evolution from Mooladhara. The thousand petalled lotus has Sushumna Nadi as its stem, with Muladhara Chakra as its root.
The letters of the alphabet are like beads in a mala, with the sushumna forming the string, which holds these beads together. This mala extends from root up to Ajna chakra. Traditional people use this mala called Aksha mala for Japam. Start from Muladhara, counting the letters a to ksha as beads, upto Ajna. Then back to Moolaadhaara, counting back in the reverse order up to a. This forms a total of 100. This not only adds the effect of Japa of Matrika Saraswathi, it also awakens Kundalini. This, when done with breath awareness along the Sushumna, induces extreme power. This gives siddhi very quickly. Now for the other eight counts (since Japa count is generally 108) one may refer Kali Tantra and other texts. This is indeed something that has to be explained only by a Guru to his disciple, and is held to be secretive. However, some Sadhakas of Uttamaadhikara might find this very useful. Anyway, Aparaadhe Gurupada Smriti eva SharaNam! May the divine mother forgive me!
By the practice of Bandhas, Kriyas and Pranayama, Kundalini, unable to bear the tremendous heat generated in the Muladhara (called Yogagni) awakens, zooms through the six lotuses, cutting across them and reaches the Sahasrara. From the Chandramandala there, then flows the divine nectar or Kulamrita, which moistens all the deities in the various Chakras through the Aksha Mala. Then the aksha mala looks like a divine garland of chosen flowers. This sight is not imaginary, and many great souls have confirmed it with their own experience. Kundalini then returns back to Muladhara, carrying with her, the ecstasy of her communion with Paramashiva. This important topic has been thoroughly discussed in the Shloka "SudhaadhaaraasaraiH " in Saundaryalahari as also in the fifth chapter of Tripurasarasarvasva.
Here Maharshi is praying to Sridevi, who takes a ride from Muladhara to Sahasrara, showers nectar and returns to Muladhara. Maharshi invokes in this shloka, the divine mother as Kundalini. How is she? She is Chitswaroopini, of the nature of pure consciousness. Now another technical point to be noted here is about Shadadhwas. The entire universe consists of Sabda (subjective) and Artha (objective) aspects. This is a proliferation of Swaatantrya Shakti or Paraa Vak, in six paths or courses known as Shadhaadhwa. Three of these are under Vaachaka (indicator) side and the other three are under the Vaachya (indicated) side. The triad on the Vaachaka side are known as Kaalaadhwa (of temporal order) and the triad on the Vaachya side are called Deshaadhwa (of spatial order). The three Adhwas of each of these two groups correspond to the emanation of Pashyanti, Madhyama and Vaikhari stages from Paraa, the supreme Divine Energy. They may be tabulated as follows:
Vaachakaadhwa (Subjective cycle of creation):
1. Varnaadhwa – the path of letters or alphabet.
2. Padaadhwa – consists of words and syllables.
3. Mantraadhwa – consists of Mantras and sentences.
Vaachaaydwa (Objective cycle of creation):
1. Kaalaadhwa - consists of the five boundaries of Tatwas namely Santaatita, Saanta, Vidya, Pratishta and Nivritti.
2. Tatwaadhwa – complete system of 36 tatwas as prescribed in Tantras and Agamas.
3. Bhuvanaadhwa – Combination of 118 worlds. The Tantras hold that the total number of worlds is 118, with each world having trillions of worlds in itself. The number thus ends up being infinite.
The science of Shadhadwas is referred to in both Shaiva and Shakta works, but is a particular characteristic of Shaambhava Darshana, in which Shaiva and Shakta Darshanas are synthesized. At the level of Paraa Vak, Sabda and Artha or the word and its meaning are in a state of indistinguishable unity. These begin to differentiate when manifestation begins to take place. It is to be noted carefully that the Sadhadhwa is meant for the process of dissolution to the state of Parashakti, for the purpose of realizing the Goddess through her grace, and not for treading, for that leads to duality, Samsara. They are the six methods of devotion, six methods to meditate upon Sridevi or Srichakra. These also refer to six Darshanas or deities. Kula Jnana, the knowledge of the Supreme Parashakti becomes clear to the pure-in-mind with mantras produced from Shaiva -Vaishnava - Durga – Surya – Ganapathi - Soma Darshanas. Thus having completed all the six kinds of worships of these six deities in the previous births, the devotee is able to assimilate the knowledge of Para Shakti, which makes him free from desire and doubt regarding the enjoinments and liberation. This has been confirmed by Bhagavan Hayagriva in the Lalitopakhyana, where he says: `Srividya is obtainable by a Sadhaka, who has worshipped all other deities in his previous births and is in his last birth, at the end of the Karmic cycle'.
Sadhadhwas are like knotty dense forests, which have to be crossed to attain freedom of the non-dual Supreme Self. These also correspond with the Six Yogic charkas. These are burnt to ashes by the rising of awakened Kundalini fire, which is said to be like Kalagni. [On classification of the universe into Lokas or fields of experience, Kalaagnirudra Bhuvana forms the bottom where the gigantic fire is burning always. Its flames are burning downwards by the command of Lord Shiva till the universal destruction takes place. Then, again, by His command the flames turn up to burn and dissolve the universe upto Tapoloka]. Bodha kundalini covers the Adhwas and Prana Kundalini pierces the Chakras. Kundalini is Chit Shakti, the life force or the power of consciousness, from which alone originate the currents of energy. The aim of Tantra is to control and regulate these currents to make them flow to sublimer channels by the Tantric Kundalini Yoga. The ego is the main obstruction in the flow of this Energy towards the right course, which leads to bliss, eternal beauty, peace and unsurpassable joy.
Kundalini expresses itself through the path of the Yogi nerve system. Kundalini is already half-awakened in every individual maintaining normal life in the body. The more it is awakened the more beauty, more joy and more life there is.
Prana Kundalini works at physical level, Nada Kundalini at mental level and Bodha or Jnana Kundalini at spiritual level. Kundalini is also classified on the basis of its place of residence:
1. Adhah Kundalini – it is the power of primordial existence, lying dormant at the Muladhara. It is the cosmic life that underlies all organic and inorganic matter.
2. Urdhwa Kundalini – it has the entrance at the Brahmarandhra. It is the place of union of Ida and Pingala at the Ajna Chakra between the two eyebrows.
3. Paraa Kundalini – it is the transcendent state of Paramashiva. In human it is recognized as Mount Kailasa in Sahasrara and beyond.
Also, Mechakaabha Tantra gives some other names to the six charkas and these are very meaningful, significant names. Nada Chakra at Muladhara, Maya Chakra at the navel, Yoga Chakra at the heart, Bhedana chakra at the Lambika or the palate (this chakra is frequently referred to by texts dealing with Lambika Yoga. Sri Vidyashankara Mahaswamigal of Sringeri Sarada Peetham is eternally absorbed in Lambika Yoga Samadhi to this day in the form of Chaturmurtishwara Shivalinga, above which a beautiful temple of Shiva has been constructed. This is called Vidya Shankara temple. The great Guru clears doubts of earnest devotees who meditate in this sacred place), Dipti Chakra at the Brow center and Shanta Chakra at Brahmarandhra.
The number six is very significant. It is most commonly mistaken to be Swadhishthana Chakra at most places. This however may indicate the inner course of Srichakra and should be understood from an efficient Guru who is much advanced in Saktha practices.
The Six-petalled lotus refers to the mystic physiology of Sushumna. In Muladhara, there is a triangle known as Shiva Trikona, together with another one known as Shakti Trikona. The two triangles join in such a way that their apexes are opposite each other. In Yogic parlance, the place in physical body is the Ajna Chakra. While Shiva and Shakti are separately triadic, their union is hexagonal. The union of Shiva Trikona, which is the Bindu and the Shakti Trikona, which is the Yoni, is called the Shatkona Mudra or the Shambhavi Mudra. Then there is a Kanda, which is a samputa of Shiva and Shakti. This is known as Omkara Peetham, the seat of Bija Mantra. Then there is also the Hrit Karnikaa also called Mukha Mudra, which is the center of the heart lotus. The yogis are advised to meditate on the above said Kanda as if it were the heart lotus. These have been called `lotuses' only in a figurative sense because they are endowed with the characteristics of expansion and contraction like a lotus. This Hrit Kamala is called Amrita Bija. This practice leads Yogis to Jagadaananda state.
According to the great saint Swami Lakshman Joo, advanced Yogis experience Kundalini in three states. The first is the tranquil state and remains limited to Muladhara. This state works in all created beings. When the kundalini gets awakened either by Pranayama or in the classical way of constant practice or uninterrupted feeling of the perfect ness of I – consciousness, it is called Adhah Kundalini. After this state, when Kundalini, like lightening gives a sudden and straight flash and rises through the path of Sushumnaa to Brahmarandhra, it is called Urdhwa Kundalini.
Practice of meditation on the two spots is called Aadyantakoti Nibhaalana, explained in Paraatrishikaa. Aadikoti is called Bahirdwaadashaanta and Antakoti is called Antardwaadashaantia, which may respectively understood as Adhah and Urdhwa Kundalinis. Their union is the Shatkona Mudra, often referred to as Shatpatra Kamala. The yogi is advised to meditate on the locus of a point, which has neither beginning nor end, and expanding the fifteen vowels, resides in the heart lotus of Shiva, who is the sixteenth. The seventeenth Kalaa is the unwavering repose called Bindukalaa, where the movement of both Prana and Apana ceases. This is called Somaamsham. This is the main significance behind Tarpana of Mahasaptadashi Nitya, even beyond the Shodashi Nitya during the course of Nitya Kalaarchanam. The correspondence is to Turiyaatiitaa and Turiyaa. By practicing SomamaSham by viewing all objects of the world as nothing but the manifestation of the Paraa Bija Sauh (or the third Koota of Srividya, with or without the final Shodashi Kalaa, depending on one's qualification), one attains the Jagadaananda Dasha – the monistic state of sameness of the Supreme self, unconditional and unhindered. This is Supreme Bliss, Shaktipata of Shiva.
Very few advanced Yogis find repose, by a graceful knack, in the steadiness of breath, after a long and constant practice. Here we talk about the next alternative i.e. the Pranayama. This coveted experience of a Yogi is called Urdhwa Kumbhaka, flow of super consciousness. Just as churning curds results in a ball of butter, which keeps floating and simultaneously increasing in volume on the surface of the churned milk, so does refined intellect i.e. awareness of supreme consciousness float free from any malignancy of duality.
The two principal functions of the vital airs are exhalation and inhalation. Among human beings, some Yogis offer the act of inhalation into that of exhalation. There are still others, who offer inhalation into exhalation. [Now these esoterically refer to the 14th and 15th Kriyas of the Siddha tradition. Many Kriyabans are familiar with this I suppose. It is now known that Lahiri Mahasaya taught a total of 8 Kriyas to a chosen few among his vast number of Chelas. There are 72 Kriyas in all, with some knowing upto 25 Kriyas in the contemporary times. The final two of the 25 are the Samhara Kriya, (by which a Yogi may exit consciously via the Brahmarandhra) and Brahmamelana Kriya also known as Ananda Kriya, Maha Kriya, Samadhi Kriya, Kulaamrita Kriya, Niraalamba Kriya etc by different traditions.] These two paths refer to Devayaana or uttara maarga and Pitryaana or Dakshina maarga. But there is a superior path beyond these two. This is called the Bhairavi stage, which results in Kriyaa Shoonyata. I think this is too complicated to be discussed in this context and hence I will leave it at this.
Yaana means vehicle or chariot in Sanskrit. As a verb it means moving or riding. In Yogic parlance, it refers to entering the Sushumna. One may find entrance to the Royal path of Sushumnaa in different ways and by different means. Taking Devayaana way with the inferior means of Aanavopaaya, one has the predominance of Prana, egress and with Saktopaaya, one is influenced more with knowledge of the self. Taking Pitryaana way with the Inferior means of Aanavopaaya, one has the predominance of Apaana and in Saaktopaaya one finds it in action. But, the highest means is the Shambhavopaaya, where the devotee keeps constant touch with the Divine in the bipolar process of Prakasha and Vimarsha i.e. the predominance of Shiva and Shakti respectively. He ever moves in and as Divine.
To conclude, let me quote a small meditation from The Yoga Tatwa Upanishad, also mentioned in Dhyanabheda Tantra.
There are five elements, earth – water – fire- are- ether. For the body of five elements, there is a fivefold concentration. From feet to the knees is said to be the region of earth. It is square in shape, yellow in color and has the letter Lam. Carrying the breath with Lam along the region of the earth i.e. from the feet to the knees and contemplating Brahma with four faces and of golden color, one should meditate here.
The region of water is declared to extend from the knees to the anus. The meditation Yantra is semi-lunar in shape and white in color. The Bija mantra here is Vam. Carrying up the breath along the knees up to anus with the Bija, he should meditate upon lord Narayana, having four arms and crowned head, as being of the color of pure crystal, as dressed in orange clothes and as decay less.
From the anus to the heart is said to be the region of fire. Fire is triangular in shape, of red color, and has the Bija Ram. Raising the breath, made resplendent through the Bija Ram, along the region of fire, he should meditate on Rudra, who has three eyes, who grants all wishes, who is of the color of midday sun, who is smeared all over with holy ashes and who is of a pleased countenance. From the heart to the middle of the eyebrows is said to be the region of air.
Air is hexagonal in shape, black in color. It shines with the Bija Yam. Carrying the breath along the region of air, he should meditate on Ishwara, the omniscient, as possessing faces on all sides.
From the center of the brows to the top of the head is declared to be the region of ether. It is circular in shape, smoky in color, and shining with Bija Ham. Raising the breath along the region of the ether, he should meditate on Sadashiva in the following manner – as producing happiness, as of the shape of Bindu, as a shining pure crystal, as wearing a crescent moon on the forehead, as having five faces, ten hands and three eyes, as being of a pleasing countenance, as armed with all weapons, as adorned with all ornaments, as having Goddess Uma in one half of his body, as ready to grant favors and as the cause of all the causes.
One who devotedly pursues this great contemplation on the five elements, gets immeasurable knowledge, knows the past, present and future; has clairaudience, clairvoyance and can walk in the air. He sees the adepts (Siddhas, Rishis and other ascended masters) and the goddesses known as Yoginis. He obtains the power of Khechari. He who also contemplates on the hidden Banalinga (in the heart center) obtains Khechari, Bhuchari and all other Siddhis and becomes a Shivayogi.
In the next verse, Sri Durvasa praises the Vagbhava Bija, which is the essence of Baala Vidya which in turn in the subtlest essence of the entire universe of sounds. This Bija is not to be thought as different from Vaghbhava Koota, the first part of Srividya. Though Samketasara Vidya, Bala Vidya and Srividya have differences in the formation of the mantras, there is no difference in the deity invoked thereby. All these invoke the supreme mother Mahatripurasundari. He describes Sridevi as one unified Magna mater, being the essence of all the three above-mentioned Vidyas.
Vande Vaagbhavamaindavaatma sadrisham nedaadi vidyaa giro
BhaashaaH deshasamudbhavaaH pashugataaH Chandaamsi saptaswaraan |
Taalaan Panchamahaadhwaniin prakatayatyaatma prasaareNa yat
Tadbeejam pada vaakya maana Janakam Shree Maatrike te param ||
He Shri Maatrike - O divine mother who is of the form of the letters of the Alphabet i.e. Matrikas;
Tat te Vaagbhava beejam aham vande – I bow down to the great Vagbhava Bija, which is of the form of Vagbhava Koota, hidden in your Vidya. Since Srividya is the subtle form of Sridevi, without any difference between the two, Maharshi bows down to Srimata who is of the form of Vagbhava Bija. Now, how is this Vagbija?
Aindavaatma Sadrisham yat – it resembles the lunar disc. Here Maharshi is indicating the lunar disc or Chicchandramandala in Sahasrara and not the Chandra Mandala that extends from Ajna to Sahasrara. The deity to be meditated in this Mandala is Mahaa Bhagamalini.
Svaatma Prasaarena prabhaavena idam sarvam shabda jaalam prakatayati - by the virtue of its innate quality of brilliance and luster, it spreads itself as a nectarine flow in the entire universe, causing the appearance of entire world, which is made up of infinite sounds. By the virtue of its nectarine flow, it gives rise to all possible sounds and music, and hence the entire universe, whose evolution of sound or Shabdamayee Srishti has been dealt with before.
Rig Veda and the other three Vedas with their infinite number of Shaakhaas or branches and sub-branches, various languages in various countries like Sanskrit, Prakrit, Paishaachi etc., the various sounds made by various kinds of animals, numerous Chandas or meters like Anushthubh, Gayathri etc, Shadja, Rishabha, Gandhara and the other musical notes or Swarasthaanas, Dhruva and other Taalas or rythms, sounds of musical instruments like Bheri, Dhakka etc, all these are due to the nectarine flow of Sridevi's grace, which flows as the effect of the immensely powerful Vagbhava Bija. This supreme Bija is also responsible for Pada – Word, Vakya – Sentences and Maana or Proofs. Now, Pada indicates Shabdashastra, the science of sounds. Vakya indivates Purva and Uttara Meemaamsaa. Maana indicates those Shastras, which use proofs like Pratyaksha - Anumaana etc, like Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya and Vaisesika Shastras.
Nyaayikas use four kinds of proofs and Mimamsakas use six kinds of proofs. Thus, Sridevi, as Vagbija or Vagbhava Bija is the cause of all sounds and thereby all worldly and spiritual Vidyas. It is no wonder that she grants mastery in all these to her devotees. It is said in Nandyaavarta that Hayagriva, an incarnation of Sri Narayana and Sri Saraswathi drink the water that washes Sridevi's feet, for gaining mastery in all subjects. It is her very grace that made Sri Shankaracharya Sarvajna or all knowing.
Here, Sridevi's physical form referred is that of Haimavathi. In the previous verse we spoke of Kundalini. Here, the supreme Brahmavidya, who indeed is the goal of each of the above-mentioned Shastras and scriptures, is invoked. Uma or Hymavathi is the Supreme Brahmavidya, who reveals the ultimate knowledge of the self in Hridguha called dvaadashaanta. It is the most sacred point wherefrom the first throb of creational power begins in Her natural state of joy and beauty. It remains always hidden as if in a cavern, called Hridguha, that mysterious place of Sridevi where the supreme shines through abandoning egress and ingress of breathing life.
Thus praising Sridevi as the form of the first Bija of Samketa Sara Vidya (or Bala vidya or even Srividya), he further praises the efficacy of this unsurpassable Bija, as being capable of granting great poetic capabilities and scholarship.
Trailokya Sphuta mantra tantra mahimaam naapnoti Shashwat vinaa
Yadbeejam Vyavahaara jaalamakhilam naastyeva maatastava |
Tajjaapya smarana prasakta sumatiH sarvajnataam praapyataH
Shabdabrahma nivaasa bhootavadano indraadibhiH spardhate ||
He maatah – O mother mine; Tava yat bijam vinaa akhilam
vyavahaara jaalam naastyeva – without the power of your Vagbhava Bija, no day to day worldly transactions become possible. Since it is the source of all sounds and also the world, which is a composition of sounds, without it, nothing becomes possible.
Trailokya Sphuta manta tantra Mahimaam naapnoti Shashwat vinaa – without the power of Vag Bija, all the Mantras, Tantras and the eighteen Vidyas, which shine brilliantly in the three worlds, become effect less. It is said in PrasuptaBhujagotthaapana Stotra, that all mantras arise from the nails of the feet of Sridevi and from the devotee's heart, find their way back to Sridevi's lotus feet. However, Srividya which is reputed to be the subtlest essence of all the seven crores of mantras has its origin from Sridevi's Muladhara as Paraa vak and flows out as Vaikhari. The entire creation of the world is hidden right here. Sri Durvasa says here that all the Vidyas and mantras gain their prescribed effects only due to the power of Vagbhava Bija.
Tajjaapya Smarana Prasakta sumatiH – one, who chants this Bija and meditates on its true import, becomes a Sumati i.e. his mind or intellect blossoms. He attains complete purity of mind. Thus, purification and the resulting stillness of minds are effects of chanting Vagbhava Bija.
Further, Sarvagnataam praapya – Such a devotee also becomes Sarvagna or all knowing. Now, only Ishwara is all knowing. Therefore the devotee also becomes one with the supreme Brahman, who alone is all knowing. Shabda Brahma nivaasa Bhoota vadanaH IndraadibhiH spardhate – having himself become the face of Shabda Brahman, competes with even the immortals like Indra and others.
Shabda Brahman is the source of energy for all living creatures and the source of all forms of knowledge. The devotee becomes one or realizes the self as this Supreme Chaitanya. It has been wonderfully expounded in Nityaashodashikaarnava, a part of Vamakeshwara Shastra, as to what this Bija does to the sincere devotee who, having received it duly from Sri Guru according to the rites of Kulachara, chants it regularly with a complete understanding of its meaning, constantly contemplating over it. The devotee is envied the by Sun, reputed of being the only great luminary, the object of meditation, and the stimulator of all actions, finds a match in sadhaka. It also means that the fame of the devotee spreads far and wide like sunrays. He is also envied by Garuda, who has the power of carrying the weight of the all-pervading Narayana and is the remover of poison. It means that the devotee is not only protected from all the different kinds of poisons like Sthira – Kritrima – Shankaa and other Vishas and Upavishas, but also obtains the power of curing the effect of poison by his mere sight. This Prayoga has been detailed by Srimadacharya in saundaryalahari's Shloka, "KiranteemangebhyaH".
The Sadhaka also attains the power to achieve his desires at lightening speed. He is envied by the moon, which satisfies all gods, nourishes all plants, and causes pleasure in every one. That is the devotee becomes pleasing to one and all and his presence is felt as nectarine by people around him. Manmatha or the God of love also envies him, since the Sadhaka attains a glorious form, attracting and agitating the minds of beautiful damsels in all the three worlds.
Shankara envies him since the Sadhaka, like Shiva becomes all knowing and capable of burning evil by a mere glance.
Agni or Fire God envies him since the devotee shines with a brilliant radiance and consumes all knowledge that is offered to him.
Vishnu also envies him since he becomes the lord of Lakshmi, i.e. the master of all riches, rises above Vishnu Maya which ties us down to Samsara and becomes capable of uttering curses and boons i.e. Nigrahaanugraha Shakta.
If one could achieve all this, chanting a single syllable of Sridevi's Mahamantra, one can imagine the effect of chanting the entire Vidya. Now Sri Durvasa sings the glory of Kundalini, who is present as the Maatraa above the Vagbhava Bija in the next verse.
Maatraayatra viraajatetevishadaa taam ashtadaa matrikaam
Shaktim kundalinim chaturvidhatanum yastatwavinmanyate |
Ko vidyaakhila janma karma duritaranyam prabodhaagninaa
Bhasmeekritya vikalpajaalamakhilam maataH padam te vrajet ||
He maataH – O auspicious mother! atra yaa maatraa ati vishadaa viraajate – he is here invoking the letter that is expansively present in the beginning of Vagbhava bija. Now, the Bija Aim is formed by a + I + a + bindu = aim. The first letter here is thus `A', the first of all alphabets. As the Sruti says, "Akaaro vai sarvaa vaak", this A kaara or letter A is the basis and origin of all other Maatrika letters. Since the entire universe is Shabdamayee and Varnamayee i.e. composed of sounds and letters, the letters is like the main seed, from which the Varnamayee universe sprouts and grows.
Taam maatraam – that letter, Ashtadha – this letter also transforms into the categories of letters namely, A – Ka – Cha – Ta – ta –Pa – Ya – Sha, each of this group, presided over by the eight Vagdevis, Vashini, Kameshwari, Modini, Vimala, Aruna, Jayini, Sarveshwari and Kaulini respectively. Maatrikaam – so this single letter transforms into the entire alphabet and hence is referred to as Matrika Saraswathi, the personification of the entire Varnamaalaa. Maharshi calls the letter, which is nothing but a form of Sridevi as `Shaktim`, meaning to say this supreme power is what is responsible for the fivefold activities in the universe.
This five-fold glory of Paraamba is as follows:
1. Srishti –Act of creation.
2. Sthiti – Act of protecting the manifestation.
3. Samhara – Act of withdrawal of the manifestation.
4. Tirodhaana or Vilaya – Veiling of the self.
5. Anugraha – Grace or self-revelation.
Each of these are also accomplished by the individual soul Jiva.
1. Whatever appears through the successive functioning of -the deities or perceptual functions is Aabhaasana or Srishti.
2. Relishing the experience till it is maintained b the deity of preservation is called Raktee or Sthiti.
3. Knowledge of withdrawal of an object at the time of Vimarsha represents Samhara.
4. When withdrawal of the experience of manifoldness generates various impressions or Samskaras of doubt, inwardly it becomes the germ of Samsara and is bound to spring forth into existence again. This concealment of the real nature of self is Vilaya or Beejaavasthaapana.
5. When all doubt and any other experience of the time are burnt to sameness with the fire of consciousness, the Yogi enters the state of Grace and the true self is revealed to him. This is Anugraha or Vilaapana by Hatha Paaka.
By the process of Hatha Paaka, Yogi enters the state of Grace. This is a persis tent process of reducing completely the world of experience to oneness with the real essence of the experiment. This device is called Alamgraasa or Swaatmasaatkaranam – bringing the object of experience to sameness with the self, when no Samskaras or germ of Samsara as separate from consciousness is allowed to remain.
Maharshi further says, Chaturvidha tanum Kundalinieem – this A Kara that is present in the Vagbhava Bija is called Kundalini. (I will not elaborate more on this, more on this can be known through the commentaries on Varivasya Rahasya and Kaamakalaavilaasa). Now this Kundalini is said to have four forms:
Agni Kundalini in Muladhara
Surya Kundalini at the heart
Soma Kundalini at Ajnaa Chakra and at the triangle in the base of Sushumnaa
At the root chakra as Samashti Kundalini.
The Agni kundalini is only a part of this Samashti Kundalini. The Sanskrit way of writing Aim resembles a triangle. This triangle indeed is the Trikona in Muladhara, in which Sridevi resides as the great Kundalini represented by `A' kaara.
Tatwavit yaH manyate – a devotee who receives this Bija, held in a very high regard by all philosophers and self-realized souls, from his Acharya, Sah – such a fortunate sadhaka, Avidyaakhila Janma Karma Duritaaranyam – he is freed from the jungle of Avidya, which is solely responsible for cycles of life and death, various fruitful actions and evils. What is not Paraa Vidya is Avidya. This Vidya is the superior knowledge of spirituality that becomes the cause of liberation for a sincere seeker of truth. "Then there is the higher knowledge by which is realized the immutable", says the Mundaka Upanishad. This is known as Suddha Vidya as it makes one recognize perennial Supreme Self. Sri Maheshwaranandanatha explains this in Mahartha Manjari, "The knower is that Atman and the course of the world is of objective nature. Where the two flow in one stream, that indeed is knowledge without impurity". Pratyabhijnaa Hridaya also says, "When I-ness of intellect is in opposition with This-ness, it is Sadvidyaa".
Also in Shiva Sutra, "With this Suddha Vidya, pure knowledge concentration on the self is accomplished". The special name given to Paraa Vidya in Saakta lore is "Saubhagyasundari", the beauty of fortunateness that secures the favor and firm devotion of Shiva and Shakti towards each other. This plainly refers to the incomparable Maha Shodashi Mahavidya. No other Mantra, other than Gayathri and its subtler forms (Panchadashi and Shodashi) are permitted to be called Vidya. Others are mere Mantras. This indeed is the only one qualified to be called Paraa Vidya or Brahma Vidya.
The summary is that the devotee is freed from the forest of Janma, Karma and Durita, all due to Avidya or Duality. Akhilam Vikalpa Jaalam – there are so many Vaasanaas resulting due to Karmas or actions committed. These lead to severe agitation of the mind or Manovikshobha. By chanting Vagbhava Bija in the prescribed way, Prabodhaagni Naa Bhasmeekritya – these are all burnt down to ashes by that great fire of knowledge that materializes in the intellect of the sadhaka due to the realization of the true form of this great Bija as his own Self and as Sridevi. Te Padam Vrajet – he then attains eternal bliss by attaining the lotus feet of Sridevi.
The feet of Paraa Shakti always represent the powers of knowledge and action, as the activity of consciousness is universal throughout. This connotes that "the nature of Reality is awareness which has absolute freedom of knowledge and activity".