A conversation with someone as well-read as Dr. Rendell is always a pleasure. He had an interesting query about shrIpUrti vidyA. He had obviously read about it but had not seen its practical use, especially of the kAdi shrIpUrti vidyA. The more popular hAdi pUrti vidyA is used variously by kAdi upAsakas in pAdukA, nyAsa, suvAsinI pUjA, arghya saMskAra and so on. This probably led to his incorrect conclusion that the kAdi pUrti vidyA was simply an altered form of its hAdi counterpart without any shAstra pramANa. The popular pramANa for pUrti vidyA occurs in the kalpasUtra of bhArgava rAma:
pa~nchamaikAdashabIjavarjA shrIreva shrUpUrtividyA brahmakoTare yaShTavyA |
The sUtra here describes the way to modify the shrIvidyA (i.e. the mUlavidyA) to obtain the formula for pUrti vidyA. And the mUla vidyA is described elsewhere in the same scripture as below:
mAdanashaktibindumAlinIvAsavamAyAghoShadoShAkarakandarpa gaganamaghavadbhuvanabhR^igupuShpabANabhUmAyeti seyaM tasyA mahAvidyA ||
This is a clear indication of kAdi vidyA, thus forming the pramANa for kAdi pUrti vidyA. While some obscure commentaries try to interpret the above sUtra as indulging in hAdi vidyoddhAra, as lopAmudrA mahAvidyA is separately revealed thus in the same scripture:
shivashaktikAmakShitimAyAravIndusmarahaMsapurandarabhuvanA parAmanmathavAsava bhauvanAshcha shivAdividyA svasvarUpavimarshinI |
But the formation of hAdi pUrti vidyA need not be negated here as the sUtra says elsewhere:
tadrashminihatakashmalajAlaH kAdiM vA hAdiM vA mUlavidyAM manasA dashamAvartya |
But the grouping of kAdi vidyA under shrIpanchaka or mUla vidyA panchaka instead of hAdi vidyA clearly indicates either that the choice here is based on the supposed greater merit of kAdi vidyA or simply that the kalpasUtra is a kAdi para shAstra. While most scriptures and shAstrajnas secularly declare the non-difference between kAdi and hAdi vidyAs, there is always a voice asserting the supremacy of kAdi over hAdi, be it the revelation of the vidyA in tripurA and devyupaniShads, the nirdesha in shrIsUkta, or the order of revelation by Acharya bhagavatpAda in saundaryalaharI shAstra. A subtle acceptance of the dominance of kAdi over hAdi comes from bhAskararAya. It is worth pondering if popularity of kAdi among practitioners is the only cause for this slight edge that it evidently has over hAdi vidyA.
Coming back to the topic, sampradAya never has a doubt regarding kAdi pUrti vidyA. Teachers right from umAnandanAtha till nIlakaNTha mahAdeva joshi have clearly documented the kAdi version of pUrti vidyA. As for the popular use, many belonging to bhAskararAya’s lineage (yes, everyone does lately!) are taught to use kAdi panchadashI and kAdi pUrti vidyA as anga vidyAs of mahAShoDashI juring japa. kAdi pUrti vidyA forms the core of the esoteric parA ShoDashI mahAmantra where the importance of both mAyA (of panchadashI) and ramA (of ShoDashI) is replaced by the visarga shakti of the devI hR^idaya vidyA. The Asana or the maNDala for the bindu named parA is formed by the kAdi pUrti vidyA and this symbolism is practically utilized in Urdhva kAmakalA dhyAna of the parA ShoDashI krama. puNyAnanda briefly describes this version of kAmakalA dhyAna, somewhat different from the more popular version described in the verse: mikhaM binduM kR^itvA. Also, the dIpana vidyA for parAShoDashI is indeed kAdi pUrti vidyA and this observation is of significance when the formula for obtaining dIpana vidyAs for various mantras is examined in the light of agastya sUtra. A certain kalpa, dealing with general kAdi vidhi, prescribes kAdi pUrti vidyA for tIrtha nirmAlya svIkAra, without quoting the appropriate pramANa.
Also, some lineages in Gujrat and Rajasthan use kAdi pUrti vidyA in the pAdukA mantra instead of the hAdi version. A certain gentleman from Baroda who approached us a few years ago for uDDAmareshvara tantra explained of the practice in his lineage to use kAdi vidyA in the day through dakShiNAchAra and hAdi in the night through kaulAchAra. Based on his practice, the pAdukA underwent modifications as well. While we are taught the worship of five devatAs like kAmakalA kAlI, bagaLA, ChinnamastA etc, based on kAdi, hAdi or sAdi krama, the practice revealed by this gentleman seems to represent a relatively lost tradition.
yasmin viruddhagatayo hyanishaM patanti
vidyAdayo vividhashaktaya AnupUrvyAt |
AnandamAtramavikAramahaM prapadye ||
lakShmInR^isiMha mama dehi karAvalambam