Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar and Sri Vidya (8 of 8)

14 Sep

Kamalamba Navavarana kritis-Part two


Continued from page one.

While discussing the Navavarana kritis, I propose to restrict myself to those portions of the kritis that have reference to Sri Vidya and Sri Chakra. Most of such references occur in the Charanam segment of the kritis.

[ Note : The worship of Sri Yantra involves use of ten types of Mudras (Dasa-mudrani) – the gestures through the fingers – from Sarva-Samkshobhini to Sarva-Trikhanda . For a discussion on ; and, for the illustration of these Mudras, please click here.]

1.      First Avarana – Bhupura

Kamalaambaa Samrakshatu Maam– Ananda Bhairavi – Misra Chapu (Triputa)

[The avarana is Bhupura and the Chakra is Trailokyamohana chakra ‘enchants the three worlds’. The yogini is Prakata; Mudra is Sarva Somkshibhni; Siddhi is Anima; and the mental state of the aspirant is Jagrata. The presiding deity is Tripura. Her Vidya is Am Am Sauh.The gem is topaz. The time is 24 minutes and the Shaktis are 28 that include the ten starting with Anima, the eight Matruka Devis starting with Brahmya and Maheshwari;  and the ten Mudra Shaktis. 28 is the dominant number. This avarana corresponds to the feet of the mother goddess.]

Tripuraadi Chakreshvari Animaadi Siddhishvari Nitya Kaameshvari
Kshitipura Trailokyamohana Chakra Vartini Prakata Yogini
Suraripu Mahishaasuraadi Marddini Nigama Puraanaadi Samvedini
Tripureshi Guruguha Janani Tripura Bhanjana Ranjani
Madhuripu Sahodari Talodari Tripura Sundari Maheshvari

The Bhupura Chakra, the earth stretch, includes within its spacial scope the entire design even as the earth supports the entire existence . As he enters the first Avarana, Dikshitar submits his salutations to the Mother Goddess Kamalamba and prays for protection and guidance.

He address her as the magnificent transcendental beauty without a parallel in three worlds (Tripura Sundari); the conqueror of three levels of existence; the presiding deity of Tripura and other chakras (Tripuraadi Chakreshvari); Kameshwari; the empress of Trailokyamohana Chakra (Trailokyamohana Chakravartini) of Bhupura (Kshithipura). She is the presiding deity of the chakra (Tripureshi); mother of Guruguha; and the enchanting beauty of all the tree worlds (tripura Sundari).

He also submits his salutations to Anima and other Siddhi deities of the Avarana (Animaadi-Siddhishvari); the Nitya Devis; the Yogini of the Avarana (PrakataYogini); and Maheshwari and other Matruka Devis.

[The Eight Siddhis (Asta-siddhi) are: 1.Aimā: reducing one’s body to the size of an atom; 2.Mahimā: expanding one’s body to an infinitely large size; 3.Laghimā: becoming almost weightless; 4. Garima – power to become inordinately heavy; 5. Prāpti: ability to be anywhere at will; 6. Prākāmya: realizing whatever one desires; 7.Īśiva: supremacy over nature; and,8. Vaśiva: control of natural forces


The Nityas are the primary Devatas of the first Chakra. The Nitya Kameshwari is at the center. They are sixteen in number, 1. Kameshwari; 2.Bhagamalini; 3.Nityaklinna; 4.Bherunda; 5.Vanhivasini; 6. Maha-vajreswari; 7.Shivadooti (Roudri); 8.Twarita(Kshipra-prada) ; 9.Kulasundari; 10. Nitya;  11. Neelapataka; 12.Vijaya; 13 .Sarvamangala; 14.Jwalamalini; 15.Chidroopa (Chitra); and 16.Maha-nitya (Vichitra).

They are represented in the triple-girdle (Tri-vrtta), between the outermost enclosure (Bhupura) and the sixteen—petalled -lotus (Asta-dala-padma of the second enclosure), in the form of sixteen vowels, each of them inscribed on a petal, in an anti-clock sequence. They are worshipped during the brighter half of the month (Shukla-paksha), in a sequential order : Kameshvari on the first day; Bhagamalini on the second day; and, so on , till the fifteenth day . But, during the darker half of the month (Krishna-paksha) , the worship sequence is reversed , starting with Maha-nitya ( Vichitra). The full-moon or the New-moon represent the culmination of all the phases (Kalas) of the moon or of the Nityas. The sixteenth aspect of the moon (Shodashi) is looked upon as Maha-Tripura-Sundari (or Lalitha) , represented by the central point (Bindu) of the Sri Chakra. ]

Nityas of Sri Vidya

Thus, along with the prayers, he brings out the salient features of the Bhupura Chakra, the Earth principle. The name of Raga Anandabhiravi is suggested by the phrase Kamalaja-ananda Bodhasukhi. His signature also appears in Guruguha janani.

2, Second Avarana – Shodasha dala padma

Kamalambaam Bhajare Re Maanasa –Kalyani- Adi.

[The avarana is Shodasa Dala, and the Chakra is Sarva asha paripuraka chakra ‘fulfiller all desires and expectations’; the yogini is Gupta Yogini; Mudra is Sarva Vidravini; the Siddhi is Laghima; and the mental state is Swapna, The presiding deity is Tripureshi. Her vidya is Aim Klim Sauh. The gem is sapphire. The time is three hours. The Shaktis are the sixteen starting with Kamakarshini.16 is the dominant number. This avarana corresponds to the Savdhistana chakra of the mother goddess.]

Sarvaashaa Paripuraka Chakra Svaamineem Parama Shiva Kaamineem
Durvaasaarcchita Gupta Yogineem Dukha Dhvamsineem Hamsineem
Nirvaana Nija Sukha Pradaayineem Nityakalyaaneem Kaatyaayaneem
Sharvaaneem Madhupa Vijaya Venim Sad Guruguha Jananeem Niranjaneem
Garvita Bhandaasura Bhanjaneem Kaamaa Karshanyaadi Ranjaneem

Nirvishesha Chaitanya Roopineem Urvee Tatvaadi Svaroopineem

The sixteen petaled lotus(shodasha-dala-padma) called sarva-asha-paripuraka-chakra , the fulfiller of all desires , is the second enclosure. In the sixteen   petals , the sixteen vowels of Sanskrit alphabet is inscribed.These symbolize sixteen kalas or aspects or phases.This Avarana is about the self protection of the devotee (atma-raksha); and liberation from discontent by seeking identity with Shiva the ever complete and content.

He calls upon his mind to meditate on Kamalamba and cast aside attachments to illusory existence (kalpita maaya) .The craving Asha springs from discontent; and is quenched when discontent is eliminated. That is possible when devotee identifies himself with Shiva, ever complete and ever content.

He worships the presiding deity of Sarvasaparipuraka chakra, the fulfiller of all desires and expectations (Dukha Dhvamsineem); the beloved of Parama Shiva; the bestower of true and everlasting bliss (Nirvaana-Nija-Sukha-Pradaayineem). 

She is the manifestation of attribute_ less supreme spirit (Nirvishesha-Chaitanya-Roopineem). She is also the representation of the world and its principles (Urvee Tatvaadi Svaroopineem).

When he calls her “she who is worshipped by Durvasa (Durvaasaarcchita)”, he is referring to the Kaadi matha tradition to which he belonged. The sage Durvasa is one of the gurus of the Kaadi matha.

Dikshitar also refers to the Gupta Yogini, the yogini of this avarana; the sixteen, Shakthis starting with Kama-akarshini (Kaamaa-Karshanyaadi-Ranjaneem). They are also called Nithyas and named Kamakarshini (fascinating the desires), Budhyakarshini (fascinating the intellectetc. They relate to powers in the Five Elements, the ten senses of perception or Indriyas (being further divided into five organs of action and five sense organs) and the Mind.   

The phrase Nija-Sukha-Pradaayineem-Nitya-kalyaaneem refers to the sixteen Devis of this avarana, called Nitya Kala or Nitya Devis.

[The sixteen presiding deities (Nityas) in the second Avarana, all ending in the phrase Akarshini  (the one who attracts or draws forth) are – Kama-akarshini; Buddhi-akarshini, Ahamkara-akarshini; Chitta-akarshini, Dhairya-akarshini; Smrti-akarshini; Sharira-akarshini;  Shabda-akarshini, Sparsha-akarshini; Rupa-akarshini, Rasa-akarshini;, Gandha-akarshini; Nama-akarshin; Bija-akarshini, Atma -akarshini; and, Amrtita-akarshini .]

The Goddess Kamalamba, in this Kriti, is served by Lakshmi and Sarasvathi. This is said to have been inspired by the phrase “sacamara Rama Vani savya-dakshina sevita”, which appears in the Lalita-sahasranama. Sri Dikshitar, in his another Kriti in Nasamani Raga, commences  with the words “Shri Rama Sarasvati sevitam shri Lalitambam bhavaye”


The Raga mudra is in the phrase Nityakalyaneem; and , his signature is in Guruguha -jananeem.

3. Third Avarana –Ashta dala padma

Shree Kamalaambikayaa Kataakshitoham -: Shankarabharanam-Rupaka

 [The avarana is ashta dala; The Chakra is Sarvasamkshobana chakra ‘agitates all’. The Yogini is Guptatara; Mudra is Sarvakarshini; the Siddhi is Mahima; and the mental state is Shushupti. The Presiding deity is Tripura Sundari. Her vidya is Hrim Klim Sauh. The gem is cat’s eye. The time is day and night. The Shaktis are the eight starting with Ananga Kusuma. 8 is the dominant number. This avarana corresponds to the navel region of mother goddess.]

Ananga Kusumaadyashta Shaktyaakaarayaa
Arunavarna Samkshobhana Chakraakaarayaa
Anantakotyandanaayaka Shankara Naayikayaa
Ashta Vargaatmaka Gupta Tarayaa Varayaa
Anangaa Dyupaasitayaa Astadalaabjasthitayaa
Dhanur Baanadhara Karayaa Dayaa Sudhaa Saagarayaa

Eight petalled lotus (astha dala padma) called Sarva-samkhobhana-Chakra the agitator of all, is the third Avarana. Each petal has a consonant inscribed within it that begins with ‘Ka’  The petals represent eight divinities associated with erotic urges , independent of physical body (ananga).

The Avarana is about overcoming agitations (Samshkoba) and the formless erotic urges (ananga)that arise in mind .These refer to mental pleasures and agitations related to the modalities of mind such as rejection (repulsion or withdrawal), acceptance (attention or attachment) and indifference (detachment).

The eight petals of the Avarana Asta dala represent eight divinities associated with such erotic principles. Sri Dikshitar refers to them as Ananga-Kusumaadyashta-Shaktyaakaarayaa.

The eight Shakthis referred to as Ananga-kusuma are:

    1. Ananga-kusuma;
    2. Ananga-mekhala;
    3. Ananga-madana;
    4. Ananga madanatura;
    5. Ananga-rekha;
    6. Ananga-vegini;
    7. Ananga-amshuka; and
    8. Ananga-malini.

These Shakthis are described as Guptatara yogini-s.

Dikshitar obviously succeeded in gaining freedom from mental agitations and urges caused by these erotic principles.

Dikshitar is thrilled with divine ecstasy; I am blessed by the grace of mother Kamalamba (Shree Kamalaambikayaa Kataakshitoham); and I have realized that Absolute Brahman (Sacchidaananda Paripurna Brahmaasmi). 

He describes the Devi as the one seated on the red colored (Aruna Varna) Samkshobhana Chakra, amidst its eight petals (Anangaa-Dyupaasitayaa-Astadalaabjasthitayaa) having names starting with Ananga (Ananga Kusumaadyashta).

In the eight petals of the lotus, eight consonants such as ka, cha, ta and so on are inscribed (Ashta-Vargaatmaka). 

She holds in her hands the bow and arrows (Dhanur-Baanadhara-Karayaa). She is the ocean of mercy (Dayaa-Sudhaa-Saagarayaa).

Ananga has also a reference also to the cult of Cupid or Eros (Manmatha or Kamaraja) and its deities that have merged into the tradition of Sri Vidya. Dikshitar is referring to the school propagated by Kamaraja, the Kamaraja vidya or Kadi matha; and continued by the sage Agasthaya. Dikshitar belonged to this school.

He mentions the yogini of the Avarana, Gupta Tarayaa (Gupta Tarayaa Varayaa).

Raga mudra is hinted in Shankara Naayikayaa, the beloved of Shankara. His signature appears in the phrase Guruguha-tatrai-padayaa.

4. Fourth Avarana –chaturdasha trikona

 Kamalaambikaayai Kanakamshukaayai-Kambhoji -Khanda Ata

[The Avarana is chaturdasha trikona, a figure made of 14 triangles; the Chakra is Sarvasoubhagya dayaka chakra, ‘grants excellence’. The Yogini is Sampradaya Yogini; the Mudra is Sarva Shankari; the Siddhi is Ishitva. The mental state is Iswara Vichara. The presiding deity is Tripura Vasini. Her vidya is is Haim Hklim Hsauh. The gem is coral. The time is day and night . The Shaktis are the fourteen starting withSamkshobhini.14 is the dominant number. This avarana corresponds to the heart of mother goddess.]

Sakala Saubhaagya Daayakaambhoja Charanaayai
Samkshobhinyaadi Shaktiyuta Chaturthyaavaranaayai
Prakata Chaturddasha Bhuvana Bharanaayai
Prabala Guruguha Sampradaayaantah Karanaayai
Akalanka Rupa Varnaayai Aparnaayai Suparnaayai
Sukara Dhruta Chaapa Baanaayai Shobhanakara Manukonaayai
Sakunkumaadi Lepanaayai Charaacharaadi Kalpanaayai
Chikura Vijita Neelaghanaayai Chidaananda Purna Ghanaayai

Dikshitar worships the presiding deity of the fourth Avarana, playing on the words occurring in the title of the Chakra: sarva sowbhagya dayaka, the bestower of all prosperity and addresses the Mother as Sakala-Saubhaagya-Daaya-kaambhoja-Charanaayai, the goddess with lotus like feet and benefactor of all good things in life. He inserted the Raga mudra, in the phrase kaambhoja Charanaayai, worshiping her lotus feet.

This Chakra referred to as Sarva-saubhagyadayaka – that which grants all auspicious things in life – is also called Manukona, named after the fourteen Manus; and, it consists of fourteen triangles. The fourteen Shakthis (called as Sampradaya-Yoginis)  that are involved here are:  

    1. Sarva-samkshobini;
    2. Sarva-vidravini;
    3. Sarva-akarshini,
    4. Sarva-stambhini;
    5. Sarva-jhrambhini;
    6. Sarva-vashamkari;
    7. Sarva-ahladini;
    8. Sarva-sammohini;
    9. Sarva-ranjani;,
    10. Sarva-anmodinI,
    11. sarva-arthasadhaka;
    12.  Sarva-sampattipurani;
    13. Sarva-mantramayi; and
    14. Sarva-dvandvakshyamkari.

The fourteen triangles are inscribed with fourteen consonants beginning with ka and ending with dha. The fourteen corners represent fourteen powers of mother goddess.

The fourteen triangles (chaturdasha-trikona) of the chakra represent fourteen channels  of the vital forces in the body(naadis), corresponding with the fourteen divinities Sarva Samkshobhini and thirteen others.

Sri Dikshitar refers to these fourteen forces of the fourth avarana as Samkshobhinyaadi-Shaktiyuta Chaturthya-avaranaayai.

He adulates the Devi as manifest ruler (prakata-bharanayai) of the fourteen worlds (chaturdasha buvana). The fourteen worlds also represent the faculties :

the Mind (Manas), the Intellect (Buddhi), Being (Chitta), the Conscious Ego (Ahamkara) and the ten Indriyas.

This avarana corresponds to the heart of the mother goddess. Dikshitar addresses Kamalamba as the heart (antah karanaayai) of the great tradition (prabala-sampradaya) to which Dikshitar (Guruguha) belongs. He is referring to the tradition of the Kaadi matha of the Dakshinamurthy School of Sri Vidya.

He describes the mother as seated in fourteen triangle (manu-konayai), smeared with vermilion (sa-kunkumayai), holding in her beautiful hands (su_kara) arrows (baana-chaapa). 

She is the creator of movable and immovable existence (Charaacharaadi-Kalpanaayai).

 She is the embodiment of consciousness (chit) and bliss (ananda).

The symbolism of this Avarana is the one cherished by all, sarva-sowbhagya-dayaka; for it suggests the identity of Shiva with his Shakthis (Chidananda-purna-ghanaayai).


The Raga-mudra Kambhoji appears slightly altered as “Kambhoja” in the line Daya-kambhoja-caranayai .

5. Fifth Avarana –Bahir dasara

Shree Kamalaambikaayaah Param Nahire- Bhairavi -Misra Jhampa

[The Avarana is Bahirdasara; the Chakra is Sarvarthasadhakachakra, the ‘accomplisher of all’. The Yogini is Kulotteerna yogini; the Mudra is Sarvonmadini; and the Siddhi is Vashitva. The mental state is Guroopa Sadanam. The presiding deity is Tripura Shri. Her vidya is is Haim Hklim Hsauh. The gem is pearl. The time is lunar day. The Shaktis are the ten starting with Sarva Siddhi Prada.10 is the dominant number. This avarana corresponds to the neck of mother goddess.]

Shreekantha Vishnu Virinchaadi Janayitrayaah
Shivaatmaka Vishvakartryaah Kaarayitryaah

Shreekara Bahirdashaara Chakra Sthityaah
Sevita Bhairavi Bhaargavee Bhaaratyaah


Naadamaya Sukshmarupa Sarva Siddhipradaadi Dasha Shaktyaaraadhita Moorthe
Shrotraadi Dasha Karana-aatmaka Kula Kauli Kaadi Bahuvidhopaasita Keertthe
Abheda Nitya Shuddha Buddha Mukta Saccida Anandamaya Paramaadvaita Sphurtthe
Aadi Madhyaanta Rahitaaprameya Guruguha Modita Sarva Arttha Saadhaka Sphurtte
Mulaadi Navaadhaara Vyaavrtta Dashadhvani Bhedajhna Yogibrunda Samraksanyaa
Anaadi Maayaa Avidyaakaarya Kaarana Vinoda Karana Patutarakataaksa Viksanyaah.

This avarana which is in the form of a figure with ten corners is called Bahir dasara , the outer ten triangles; and represents ten vital currents  (pranas)  responsible for the various functions of body and mind. They are also the representations of ten incarnations of Vishnu meant to accomplish welfare of mankind. Hence the chakra is called Sarvartha-Sadhaka, the accomplisher of all objects.

Dikshitar addresses the Devi as the auspicious one (Shreekara) seated on the Bahirdasara Chakra, served by Bhairavi (Kaali), Bhargavee (Lakshmi) and Bharathi (Saraswathi).

The term Bhairavi is also the Raga-mudra, here. (Shreekara-Bahirdashaara-Chakra-Sthityaah-Sevita Bhairavi-Bhaargavee-Bhaaratyaah)

The Shakthis of the avarana are ten in number; and are named Sarva-Siddhiprada, Sarva Sampathprada, and Sarva-Priyankari and so on.

Dikshitar worships the ten manifestations of these shakthis (Sarva-Siddhipradaadi-Dasha Shaktya-araadhita-Moorthe); and describes them as the subtle forms of sounds in the body (Naadamaya Sukshmarupa).

The yoginis of the chakra are Kulotteerna-yoginis; and are also called Kuala yoginis.

Dikshitar worships the mother as being present in various forms (Bahu-vidho-pasthitha) such as the ten yoginis kula, Kaula and others (Dasha Karana-aatmaka-Kula-Kauli Kaadi).

The term Dasha-karana stands for the ten organs, consisting of the five sense organs (Jnanendriya-s) and the five organs of action (Karmendriya-s).

The ten Shakthis (Dasha Shakthi) referred to here as Kulotteerna Yoginis  (those who enhance the prosperity of the generations) are:

    1. Sarvasiddhiprada;
    2. Sarva-sampatprada;
    3. Sarva-priyamkari;
    4. Sarva-mangalakarini;
    5. Sarva-kamaprada;
    6. Sarva-duhkhavimocani;
    7. Mrtyu-prashamani;
    8. Sarva-vighnanivarini;  
    9. Sarva-sundari; and,  
    10. Sarva-saubhagyadayini.

He describes the fifth avarana Sarvartha Sadhaka, the accomplisher of all objects, in highly lyrical terms. He hails her as the ultimate good (Shiva) and the objective of the Tantra and Vedic rituals alike; and as the supreme non-dual non-differentiated ever pure enlightened free self, consciousness and bliss. She is the incomparable, non-dual being, without an end or beginning. She is loved in devotion by Guruguha; and is manifested in Sarvartha-Sadhaka-Chakra. She is the sublime inspiration.

(Abheda Nitya Shuddha Buddha Mukta Saccida Anandamaya Paramaadvaita Sphurtthe, Aadi Madhyaanta Rahitaaprameya Guruguha Modita Sarva Arttha Saadhaka Sphurtte).

She is also present as Naada, sound, in the nine vital centers such as Muladhara and other chakras. She protects yogis; dispels delusion and ignorance. The nine chakras referred to are :

Muladhara, Svadhistana, Manipura, anahata, Vishuddha and Ajna; together with Manasa chakra (mind centre) situated above Ajna, Soma chakra (lunar-centre) situated above Manasa-chakra; and Sahasra-padma, symbolically, located above the head.

The Sahasra is the seat of consciousness (Shiva).

 6. Sixth Avarana –Antar dasara

Kamalaambikaayaastava Bhaktoham- Punnaagavaraali -Thrisra Eka

[The Avarana is Antardasara; the Chakra is Sarvaraksakara chakra The gem is emerald. The time is Lunar Fortnight. The Shaktis are the ten starting with Sarvagnya.10 is the dominant number. This avarana corresponds to the middle of the eyebrows (bhrukuti) of the mother goddess.] ‘Protects all’. The Yogini is Nigarbha Yogini; the Mudra is Sarva mahankusha; and the Siddhi is Prakamya. The mental state is Upadesa. The presiding deity is Tripura Malini. Her vidya is is Hrim Klim Blem.

Dasha-kala-atmaka Vahni Svaroopa Prakaasha-antar-dashaara
Sarva Rakshaakara Chakreshvaryaah

Kachavarga Dvaya Maya Sarvajhnaadi
Dasha-shakti-sameta Malini Chakra-eshvaryaah
Tri-dashavim-shad-varna Garbhini Kundalinyaah
Dasha-mudraa Sama-araadhita Kaulinyaah
Dasharathaadinuta Guruguha Janaka Shiva Bodhinyaah
Dashakarana Vrutti Mareechi Nigarbha Yoginyaah Shree

The ten- sided figure (antar-dasara) called Sarva-raksha karaka (one that protects all) consisting ten triangles is the sixth avarana. The ten triangles represent the powers of the mother goddess who presides over ten vital fires (vanyaha). These represent  the ten specific fires within the body; they  being the fire of :

    1. purgation (Rechak);
    2.  digestion (Pachak);
    3. absorption (Shoshak);
    4.  burning (Dahak)
    5.  secretion of enzymes (Plavak); 
    6. acidification (Ksharak);
    7.  to take out or excrete (Uddharak);
    8. fires of pessimism and frustration (Kshobhak);
    9. fire of assimilation (Jrambhak); and
    10. fire of creating luster (Mohak).

The significance of this avarana is explained as protection from all obstacles. The devotee distances himself from all that hinders his spiritual progress; and he begins to develop the awareness he is Shiva (the consciousness).

Dikshitar describes the Antar-dasara-chakra , consisting the inner set of ten triangles , as endowed with ten aspects; and, glowing like fire (Dasha-kala-atmaka-Vahni-Svaroopa-Prakaasha-antar-dashaara) . 

These ten vital fires correspond to the ten divinities , also referred to as the Nigarbha yogini-s, are:

    1. Sarvajna;
    2. Sarva-shaktiprada;
    3. Sarva-aishvaryapradayini;
    4. Sarvajna-namayi,
    5. Sarva-vyadhivinashini;
    6. Sarva-dharasvarupa;
    7. Sarva-papahara;
    8. Sarva-anandamayi;
    9. Sarva-rakshasvarupini;, and,
    10. Sarve-psitaphalaprada 

These ten along with the presiding deity Tripura Malini, reside in the ten-cornered-figure Antar dasara (Sarvajhnaadi Dasha-shakti-sameta Malini Chakra-eshvaryaah).

Tripura Malini is the goddess of the Chakra Sarvarakshakara (Sarva-Rakshaakara-Chakreshvaryaah).

The ten triangles are inscribed with ten consonants beginning with letters of the Ka and Ca groups (Tridasha-adi-nuta Kachavarga Dvaya Maya). They, again, represent the powers of the mother goddess who presides over ten vital fires (vanyaha).

She is the goddess Kaulini, propitiated by ten Mudras . The ten Mudra-s are:

    1. Sarva-samkshobhini;
    2. Sarva-vidravini;
    3. Sarva-akarshini,
    4. Sarva-veshakari;
    5. Sarva-anmodini;
    6. Mahankusha;
    7. Khecari;
    8. Bija,
    9. Yoni and
    10. Tr-ikhanda

The mudras of the avarana are Mahakusha Mudra (Dasha-mudraa Samaaraadhita-Kaulinyaah).

Dikshitar also mentions the yogini of the chakra: Nigarbha yogini (Nigarbha-Yoginyaah). 

Dikshitar describes the Sri Chakra as containing in itself the fifty six alphabets and also being the very representation of Kundalini (Tri-dashavim-shad-varna Garbhini Kundalinyaah).

Sri Chakra  has several symbolisms. As per the Tantric ideology , the Sanskrit alphabet is regarded the vocal epitome of the universe; and each letter is transformed into energy when introduced into the chakra. It acquires the character of a “seed-syllable” , Bija-kshara, representing a divine aspect or a retinue divinity.

Here , the Tantra texts explain that the consonants are basically inert and depend on vowels (just as Shiva depends on Shakthi) to manifest in a meaningful form. It is only when the germinating power (bija) of the vowels is infused with consonants, the latter gain meaning. That is the reasons the vowels are Bija-aksharas. They transform ordinary letters into mother like condition (Matrka); that is, they impregnate ordinary letters with meaning and power. The consonants inscribed into Sri Chakra derive power since they are now in union with Shakthi.

Further, in Tantra, the articulate sound is the basic structure overwhich all our thoughts, emotions, aspirations and pleasures are woven as fabrics.

As regards Kundalini, it is basically a terminology of the Yoga school. In Tantra the term has an extended meaning. Tantra regards the creation as an expression of the universal energy (maha-kundalini); Its representation in the individual is the kundalini. That Kundalini is the basis for all his intentions, cognitions and actions. The awakening of Kundalini signals the spiritual progress. It is by means of its mediating power (mantra-shakthi) , the individual realizes the oneness of consciousness-energy.

Dikshitar therefore says that the vowels and consonants inscribed into the Sri Chakra as representations of energy and consciousness.

Dikshitar hides the Raga mudra (Punnagavarali)  in a delightful flight of phrases (Ati-madhuratara-vaanyaah-Sharvaanyaah-Kalyaanyah-Ramaniya-punnaaga-varaali-Vijita-Venyaah-Shree)  She whose braided hair excels the beauty of  lovely black bees swarming around the Punnaga tree.

The Charanam concludes with salutations to the Yogini of the chakra, the ten aspects of  Nigarbha Yogini, shining brightly like the rays of light (Dashakarana-Vrutti-Mareechi-Nigarbha-Yoginyaah-Shree)

Devi sri chakra

7. Seventh Avarana-Ashtara

Shree Kamalaambikaayaam Bhaktim Karomi- Sahana-Thrisra Triputa

[The avarana is asthakona; the Chakra is Sarvarogahara chakra ‘cures all ills’. the Yogini is Rahasya Yogini; The Mudra is sarva khechari; and the Siddhi is Bhukthi. The mental state is Manana. The presiding deity is Tripura Siddha. Her vidya is is Hrim Shrim Sauh. The gem is diamond (Vajra). The time is Lunar month. The Shaktis are the eight, starting with Vashini. 8 is the dominant number. This avarana corresponds to the forehead (lalata) of the mother goddess.]

Raakaachandra Vadanaayaam Raajiva-nayanaayaam
Paakaarinuta Charanaayaam Aakaashaadi Kiranaayaam Hrimkaara

Vipina-harinyaam Hrimkaara-Susharirinyaam
Hrimkaara Taru Manjaryaam Hrimkaareshvaryaam Gauryaam

Sharira-traya Vilakshana Sukhatara Svaatmaanu Bhoginyaam
Virinci Harishaana Harihaya Vedita Rahasyayoginyaam
Paraadi Vaagdevataa-rupa-vashinyaadi Vibhaaginyaam
Charaatmaka Sarva-roga-hara Niraamaya Raaja-yoginyaam
Karadhruta Vinaa Vaadinyaam Kamalaanagara Vinodinyaam

Eight-cornered figure (ashtara) called Sarva-roga-hara (the remover of all deceases) is the seventh avarana. In the eight triangles formed by this figure, eight divinities presiding over speech reside.They are known as deities of self expression (Vak-Devatha). These include four forms of speech : Para; Pashyanthi; Madhyama and Vaikhari.

These eight Shaktis also rule over basic urges and contradictions in life (dwandwa) such as  cold (water) and heat (fire); happiness (air) and sorrow( earth); as also the Desire(akasha-space) and the three Gunas  of  Sattva  (consciousness) , Rajas  (ego) and Tamas (mind).

The eight Shakthis that are involved here are collectively known as Rahasya Yoginis are:

    1.  Vashini;
    2. Kameshi;
    3. Medini;
    4. Vimala;
    5. Aruna;
    6. Jayini;
    7. Sarveshi; and
    8. Kaulini

The significance of this enclosure is its power to eradicate the most basic of diseases viz. involvement with impure, fleeting existence laden with stress. The blessed state is attained when the distinctions between the subject, the object and transactions between them are dissolved.

Hrim is the Bija-mantra (seed-syllable) of this chakra. In the context of Sri Vidya, hrim is a particularly sacred syllable; it represents the mother goddess herself. Dikshitar worships the mother as the very embodiment of hrim (Hrimkaara-Susharirinyaam Hrimkaara-Taru-Manjaryaam). She is Gauri; she is the presiding deity of hrim (Hrimkaare-shvaryaam-Gauryaam).

Dikshitar refers to his tradition (Kadi-matha) by invoking the name of one of its gurus Hayagreeva (Harihaya-Vedita). He also refers to the Yogini of the chakra Rahasya Yogini (Rahasya-yoginyaam); and to the letters of the Pa group inscribed in the eight triangles, representing eight Shakthis (Vasini and others) presiding over the aspect of speech (Paraadi-Vaagdevataa-rupa-vashinyaadi Vibhaa-ginyaam).

Dikshitar refers to the basic nature of the chakra Sarvarogahara chakra ‘cures all ills’ and calls the mother the Raja Yogini, who cures all kinds of illness ( Charaatmaka-Sarva-roga-hara Niraamaya Raaja-yoginyaam).

The Raga mudra (Sahana) is in the phrase Harishaana; while the composer’s signature is in  Guruguha-vara-prasaadinyaam.

 8. Eight Avarana –Trikona

Kamalaambike Avaava-Ghanta-Adi

[The Avarana is Trikona; the Chakra is Sarvasiddhiprada chakra, ‘grants all attainments’. the Yogini is Athi Rahasya Yogini; the Mudra is Sarva Beeja; and the Siddhi is Iccha. The mental state is Nitidhyasana. The presiding deity is Tripuraamba. Her vidya is is Hsraim Hsrklim Hsrsauh.. The gem is Gomaya .The time is a ritu- two months. The Shaktis are the three: Kameshwari, Vajreshwari and Bhagamalini. (4+3=7) is the dominant number. This avarana corresponds to the top of the head (masthka) of the mother goddess]

Lokapaalini Kapaalini Shoolini Lokajanani Bhagamaalini Shakrudaa
Aalokaya Maam Sarva Siddhipradaayike Tripuraambike Baalaambike


Santapta Hema Sannibha Dehe Sadaa-akhandaika-rasa-pravaahe
Santa-apahara Trikona-gehe Sa-kaameshvari Shakti-samuhe
Santatam Mukti Ghantaamani Ghosaayamaana Kavaata-dvaare
Ananta Guruguha Vidite – Karaahnguli Nakhodaya Vishnu Dashaavataare –
Antahkaraneksu Kaarmuka – Shabdaadi Pancha Tanmaatra Vishikhaatyanta
Raagapaasha Dvesa-ankusha Dharakare Atirahasya Yoginipare

The primary triangle with its apex downward (East) and colored white (Sattva) surrounding immediately around the central point , Bindu , is the eighth avarana. It is called Sarva Siddhi-prada-chakra, the one that bestows all accomplishment.

This triangle does not intersect with other triangles; and stands independent. It is Kama Kala. It is feminine in its aspect; and represents three fundamental manifestations of the mother goddess: Kameshwari (symbolizing-moon-creation); Vajreshwari (symbolizing-sun-preservation); and Bhagamalini (symbolizing – fire – dissolution).

The three angles of the triangle also represent three forms of speech : Pashyanthi, Madhyama and Vaikhari. The triangle is therefore the speech aspect Vak-Bhava.

It also represents the three powers of Iccha (will) , Jnana (knowledge) and Kriya (activity). The three corners of the triangle stand for three peaks(kuta) of the fifteen-lettered mantra; or as three dimensions of all existence. The triangle itself is regarded the abode of the mother goddess (kama-kala).

Dikshitar in divine ecstasy sings the glory of the Mother, the protector of worlds adorned with garland of skulls and holding a trident. She is Bhagamalini, symbolizing fire representing Rudra’s power of dissolution. She is also Tripurambika; the presiding deity of the avarana. She is Balamba. She is the ruler of the Sarva-siddhi-prada chakra :

Lokapaalini-Kapaalini-Shoolini-Lokajanani-Bhagamaalini-Shakrudaa-Aalokaya-Maam-Sarva Siddhi-pradaayike Tripura-ambike Baala-ambike 

She whose body is glowing like molten gold (Santapta-Hema-Sannibha-Dehe); She who is the eternal undifferentiated unique bliss (Sadaa-akhandaika-rasa-pravaahe ); She who resides in the enchanting Trikona chakra (Santa-apahara-Trikona-gehe); and delighting in the company of Kameshwari (symbolizing moon – creation) and host of  other friends (Sa-kaameshvari Shakti-samuhe).

The eight cornered figure that surrounds the Trikona, suggests five basic elements of phenomenal existence (tanmatras: earth, water, fire, air and space), symbolized by five arrows of flowers (pancha bana) which is also the symbol of Kama; passion (raga) symbolized by the noose (pasha); aversion (dwesha) symbolized by the goad (ankusha); and mind (manas) symbolized by sugarcane stalk (ikshu danda); all of which are held by the deity, in the company of the yogini of the avarana , Athi Rahasya Yogini.

Dikshitar puts the entire thing, beautifully, in just two compact lines:

Antahkaraneksu Kaarmuka – Shabdaadi Pancha Tanmaatra Vishikhaatyanta
Raagapaasha Dvesa-ankusha Dharakare Atirahasya Yoginipare.

The Raga mudra is in Mukti Ghantaamani Ghosaayamaana; while the composer’s mudra is in Ananta Guruguha Vidite.

Tripurasundari (1)

9. Ninth Avarana-Bindu

Kamalaambaa Jayati-Ahiri-Rupaka

[The avarana is the Bindu and the Chakra is Sarvanandamaya chakra, ‘ replete with bliss’. The yogini is parathi para Rahasya; the Mudra is sarva yoni; and the Siddhi is Prapthi. The mental state is Savikalpa Samadhi. The presiding deity is her Transcendent Majesty Lalita Maheshwari Mahatripurasundari. Her vidya is Kamaraja vidya : ka e i la hrim ha sa ka ha la hrim sa ka la hrim, plus a secret 16th syllable. The gem is ruby. The time is year. The Shakti is Maha Tripura Sundari the personification of Brahman. This avarana corresponds to Brahma_randra on the top of the head of the mother goddess.]


Shri Kamalaambaa Jayati Ambaa Shri Kamalaambaa Jayati Jagadaambaa

Shri Kamalaambaa Jayati Shringaara Rasa Kadambaa Madambaa

Shri Kamalaambaa Jayati Chidbimbaa Pratibimbendu Bimbaa

Shri Kamalaambaa Jayati Shreepura Bindu Madhyastha

Chintaamani Mandirastha Shivaakaara Manchasthita Shivakaameshaankasthaa


Sukara-ananaadya-arccita Mahaa-tripura
Sundarim Raajaraajeshvareem
Shreekara Sarva-ananda-maya Chakra-vaasinim Suvaasinim Chintayeham
Divaakara Sheetakirana Paavakaadi Vikaasakarayaa
Bheekara Taapa-traya-adi Bhedana Dhurinatarayaa
Paakaripu Pramukhaadi Praarthita-Sukalebarayaa
Praakatya Paraaparayaa Paalitodayaakarayaa


Shrimaatre Namaste Chinmaatre Sevita Ramaa Harisha Vidhaatre
Vaamaadi Shaktipujita Paradevataayaah Sakalam Jaatam
Kaamaadi Dvaadashabhir-upaasita Kaadi Haadi Saadi Mantra-rupinyaah
Premaaspada Shiva Guruguha Jananyaam Pritiyukta Macchittam Vilayatu
Brahmamaya Prakaashini Naamaroopa Vimarshini Kaamakalaa Pradarshini Saamarasya Nidarshini

This Kriti employs all eight Vibhaktis. The Pallavi is in the nominative case; the first three lines of the Anu-pallavi are in the accusative case; and, the rest of the Anu-pallavi is in the instrumental case.

The first line of the Charanam is in the dative case, and, it also incorporates the vocative (in the word Cinmatre). The consecutive lines are in ablative, genitive and locative cases.  The last two lines, meant to be sung in the Madhyama-kala, are again in the nominative case, in order to return to the main Pallavi line.

The Raga Mudra (Ahiri) is slightly altered as “Ahari”; and, it occurs in the phrase Ramahari.


The ninth enclosure is the Bindu. It is called Sarvananda-maya chakra , the supremely blissful one.  It is independent of the intersecting triangles. This, in a temple, would be the sanctum sanctorum, with all the other circles or enclosures representing various parts of the temple as you move inwards.

It is this Bindu that is in reality the Sri Chakra; it represents the mother goddess Maha Tripura Sundari, Lalitha or Rajarajeshwari herself; and everything else is a manifestation of her aspects.

The goddess is nothing other than the devotees own self. The self here refers to individual consciousness (buddhi) which is beyond the body-mind complex. It is filled with all bliss (sarvananda maya). This constant, abundant bliss is the expression of the union of Shiva (consciousness) and Shakthi (power of deliberation Vimarsha). It is the very basis of existence.

The significance of this avarana is the complete harmony (samarasya) of principles of pure consciousness (Shiva) and the principle of energy as deliberation (vimarsha shakthi). It signifies a state of non-duality, where all tendencies of approach and withdrawal become nonexistent, dissolve in a state in which the devotee ultimately rests. Bliss, in Tantra, is explained as resting in oneself (Svarupa pratishta).

Dikshitar bursts forth into a fountain of divine ecstasy and sings the glory and the celebration of the Supreme Mother Goddess in highly lyrical and sublime poetry. The krithi is also rich in Sri Vidya lore.

He describes the Mother as the very personification of the Bindu, the pure consciousness at the centre of Sri Chakra (Chidbimbaa Pratibimbendu Bimbaa); and as one who resides as the Bindu, in a mansion of ruby (Chintaamani Mandirastha), at the heart of the Sri Chakra (Shreepura Bindu Madhyastha).

Here the expression bimbendu, refers to the moon and the point.

As per the Tantric ideology the mother goddess is the moon; and the fifteen phases of the moon are her individualized aspects, kalas. She resides in the lunar orb.

The phrase Chintamani mandira-sthitha carries with it an elaborate background.

The Devi’s mansion is visualized as situated in a great garden (mahodyana) rich with many species of trees such as Santana, Kalpaka, Hari-chandana, Parijatha, Bilva etc. The garden is enclosed by four ramparts made of nine gems.

The central hall of her mansion (prasada) is made of coral (manikya mantapa). Inside this vast enclosure are three tanks (vapika) of immortality (amrita), of biiss (ananda) and of deliberation (vimarsha). There is also a grove of lotus flowers (padmatavi). Amidst all these is the magnificent mansion of the “wish granting jewel” (Chintamani-mandira). The mother goddess resides (sthitha) in this enchanting mansion.

At the entrance of this mansion (Kavaata-dvaare), the bejeweled bells (Ghantaamani) constantly (Santatam) ring and announce loudly the message of salvation (Mukti-Ghantaamani Ghosaaya-maana).

The line “Shivaakaara-Manchasthita Shiva-kaamesha-ankasthaa” ordinarily means that the goddess is sitting on the cot in embrace of Shiva.

But, in Sri Vidya, the imagery of the cot on which the mother goddess rests has a symbolic significance. The Mother Goddess is imagined to be seated at the Bindu (in her mansion) on a cot (mancha).

The four corners of the Bhupura represent the four legs of the cot. The four legs are the four principles of the phenomenal world: emanation (shristi-Brahma); preservation (sthithi-Vishnu); dissolution (upasamhara-Rudra);  and  withdrawal of the entire creation into a very subtle form (Ishvara).

The plank (phalakha), which rests on the four legs of the cot is Shiva; he represents the principle of reception, retention of the withdrawn phenomena. Such dichotomy of existence is preserved (anugraha) until the time for re-emanation arrives.

This principle is Sadashiva-tattva (the ever auspicious but inert principle of pure consciousness) ; corpse-like , hence also called Sadashiva-preta .  The Mother Goddess rests on this plank, the principle, of Shiva.

The Mother Lalitha is surrounded by nine guardian spirits (nava-shakthi) :

    1. vibhuthi (splendor), 
    2. unnathi (upliftment) ,
    3. Kaanthi (lustre) ,
    4. hrsti (satisfaction),
    5.  kirti (celebrity) ,
    6. shanthi (courtesy) ,
    7. vyushti (prosperity) ,
    8. utkrshta (excellence)  and
    9.  riddhi  (supremacy or accomplishment).


Lalitha parameshwari

In Tantra, the female is the predominant aspect and the male is subordinate to her. The plank of the cot is male; and the female rests on that. The cot is inert, and the Devi is dynamic. Yet, the male provides the female a field to function; and the two cannot be separated. Sri Chakra demonstrates this principle.

It is explained further, Shiva and Shakthi should not be viewed as mere male or female principles. They are indeed neither male nor female; nor even neuter. They represent the unity of consciousness and energy the very basis and the essence of all Universe.

Lalitha tripura sundari

[The seat of Lalitha or Maha Tripurasundari is Yoga pitha, in the form of red lotus, impressed with the Sri Chakra design, symbolizing the very heart of the devotee. The symbolism of this appears to be that Mother goddess worshipped in Sri Chakra is indeed the universe in all its aspects; and the devotee has to identify this principle in his body; and again his body too is Sri Chakra and the universe in miniature.]

The presiding deity of the avarana is Maha Tripura Sundari and her chakra is Sarvanandamaya chakra. Dikshitar meditates on the chakra and the presiding deity worshipped by Varahi and other attendant deties, the Yoginis (Sukara-ananaadya-arccitaMahaatripura –Sundarim Rajaraajeshvareem).

Sri Dikshitar mentions the Sun (Divaakara), the moon (Sheetakirana) and the fire (Paavaka) as the expansion (Vikaasa) and manifestation of the presiding deity.

Here, he is referring to the view that the central point, the Bindu, is actually composed of three dots or drops (Bindu traya) representing three fires (vanhi): Moon (soma); Sun (surya); and Fire (Agni).

The Bindu expanding into three three is an act of swelling (ucchuna); and is the immediate unfolding of the Sri Chakra.

Sri Dikshitar then sings the glory and the powers of the mother worshipped by Lakshmi, Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma and other divinities.

In the line “Kaamaadi – Dvaadashabhir-upaasita Kaadi – Haadi- Saadi – Mantra-rupinyaah”, Dikshitar is recalling the twelve gurus and the traditions of the Sri Vidya. The Sri Vidya tradition which centres on the worship of Sri Chakra considers the following twelve gods and sages as its gurus:

Manu, Chandra, Kubera, Lopamudra, Kama (Manmatha), Agasthya, Nandisha, Surya, Vishnu, Skanda, Shiva and Durvasa.

It is said; each of the twelve gurus propagated a school with regard to the worship and significance of Sri Chakra. Of these, only two schools have survived to this day; one is the school started by Manmatha (also called Kamaraja) known as Kadi-matha. The Kadi tradition was continued by sage Agasthya.

The other school is Hadi-matha started by Lopamudra wife of the Sage Agastya. There is also an obscure third school called Sadi-matha.

Dikshitar belonged to the Kadi Matha School, started by Kamaraja.

Let my loving mind (chittam) be dissolved (vilayatu) in her, whose beloved (prema) is Shiva, and who is the mother (jananyaam) of Guruguha.

In the line “Brahmamaya-Prakaashini-Naamaroopa-VimarshiniDikshtar touches upon the core concepts of Sri Vidya.

Shiva as consciousness is illumination (prakasha); and the Kameshwari as the energy to unfold the creation, to evolve, is the deliberation (vimarsha).

The two principles are undistinguished, united and in perfect harmony at the time of dissolution (pralaya).

They however appear distinct at the time of creation (shristi) and preservation (sthithi).

The twin aspects of illumination (prakasha) and evolution (vimarsha) are the basis of the expanding universe. The relation between the two is analogues to that of lamp and its light. The rays of lamp spread in all directions and is responsible for life and its evolution.

Shiva is absolute consciousness (Brahmamaya-Prakaashini) and vimarsha the energy flows into the world of names and forms (Naamaroopa-Vimarshini).

These two principles come together again at the time of withdrawal or dissolution.

The phrase “Kaamakalaa-Pradarshini “ is again a reference to the concepts of Sri Vidya. The triangular formation of three dots or drops (Bindu traya) at the centre of Sri Chakra is rich in symbolism. The triangle is named Kama Kala.

One of the interpretations is that the top dot is shiva and the bottom dots are Shakthi (energy) and nada (sound). Here, Kama is the union of Shiva (kameshvara) and Shakthi (Kameshvari): and the concrete manifestation of the two is Kala. This is also referred to as Nada-bindu-kala.

The other interpretation is that the top dot stands for Kama (primordial desire to evolve) and the bottom two dots represent the manifestation and eventual withdrawal.

The concluding phrase “Saamarasya Nidarshini” suggests the complete harmony (samarasya) of the principle of pure consciousness (Prakasha, Shiva) and the principle of energy, as evolution or expansion (Vimarsha, Shakthi). It signifies (nidarshini) a state of non-duality, a state in which the devotee ultimately rests (Svarupa pratishta).

Please check here for a rendering of the Kamalamba-Navavarana-Kritis

Sri Dikshitar concludes in his auspicious Mangala kriti (Sri Kamalambike-Sri Raga) in deep devotion, fulfillment and celebration of the Mother’s transcendent powers and glory- Shri Kamalambike Shive Lalite mam pahi – Oh Kamalambika, gracious and auspicious one, protect me.

[ Note : The worship of Sri Yantra involves use of ten types of Mudras (Dasa-mudrani) – the gestures through the fingers – from Sarva-Samkshobhini to Sarva-Trikhanda . For a discussion on ; and, for the illustration of these Mudras, please click here.]

Sri Rajarajeshwari by Shilpi Sri Siddalaing aSwamy


Painting of Sri Rajarajeshwrai by Shilpi Siddanthi Shri Siddalainga Swamy of Mysore

Other pictures are from Internet


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14 responses to “Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar and Sri Vidya (8 of 8)

  1. soniabellani

    September 14, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Reblogged this on My Blog.

    • sreenivasaraos

      September 18, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      Dear soniabellani , Thank you . Regards

  2. sreenivasaraos

    September 15, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Thanks soniabellani

  3. sreenivasaraos

    March 20, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    so much of mysticsm is embodied in our
    musical lore is amazing

    are there any contemporary upaskas of these?
    or are they to be relegated to antiquity..?

    if you can give the three dimensional picture of the meru
    i will be very obliged…..


    • sreenivasaraos

      March 20, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      dear shri sampath,

      thank you for a quick response.

      sri vidya is practiced actively even today. there is sizeable following, both by individuals at home, the sanyasis and by temples. the temples in sringeri, kanchi, kollur and other places happen to be centers of study too.

      surprisingly, a number of scholars from universities have produced research papers. since you are an engineer by training and by profession i think you would be able to understand and appreciate these papers that deal with the mathematical and engineering aspects of sri chakra.

      Click to access rao.pdf

      Click to access kulaichev%20math.pdf

      Click to access gerard%20huet.pdf

      as regards the meru view of the sri chakra, sorry i do not know how to post a picture in the comments frame. please try this link, instead for some pictures.

      by the way, was that post readable? or was it too heavy with jargons? i wish i could make it simpler, but there is no way of avoiding the technical terms.

      dikshitar’s compositions, especially the navavarana are rich in mystic symbolism. the lyrics and music are of course sublime and grand.

      i hope the liks work.


  4. sreenivasaraos

    March 20, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Dear balgowri, Thank you for the Note. The question you raised is about Sri Lalitha or Sri Rajarajeshwari seated in the ninth avarana on a cot (mancha which in the words of Sri Dikshitar is “Shivaakaara Manchasthita Shivakaameshaankasthaa a cot in the shape of Shiva. Since I am unable to explain the significance of the imagery and also post the supporting pictures as reply in the Sulekha Note, I am posting it as a comment on this page . Please click here. Please also check Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar and Sri Vidya (5 0f 7)

    The imagery of the Mother in her ninth avarana is beautifully pictured by Sri Mutthusawmi Dikshitar in his Kamalaambaa Jayati-Ahiri-Rupaka, the ninth krithi of his magnificent Kamalamba-navavarana –maalika. Please read the explanation of the Krithi on Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar and Sri Vidya (7 of 7) – part two. I had also explained the garden (mahodyana) bountiful with trees and flowers and her thousand pillared mansion (sahasra –rathna –sthamba –mantapa). As regards her throne the following was the explanation:

    The line “Shivaakaara Manchasthita Shivakaameshaankasthaa” ordinarily means that the goddess is sitting on the cot in embrace of Shiva. But, in Sri Vidya, the imagery of the cot on which the mother goddess rests has a symbolic significance. The Mother Goddess is imagined to be seated at the Bindu (in her mansion) on a cot (mancha). The four corners of the Bhupura represent the four legs of the cot. The four legs are the four principles of the phenomenal world: emanation (shristi Brahma); preservation (sthithi Vishnu); dissolution (upasamhara Rudra); and withdrawal of the entire creation into a very subtle form (Ishvara).The plank (phalakha), which rests on the four legs of the cot is Shiva; he represents the principle of reception, retention of the withdrawn phenomena. Such dichotomy of existence is preserved (anugraha) until the time for re-emanation arrives. This principle is Sadashiva tattva (the ever auspicious but inert principle of pure consciousness); corpse-like, hence also called Sadashiva-preta. The Mother Goddess rests on this plank, the principle, of Shiva. The Mother Lalitha is surrounded by nine guardian spirits (nava-shakthi ) : vibhuthi (splendor),unnathi (upliftment) , Kaanthi (luster) , hrsti (satisfaction ), kirti (celebrity) , shanthi ( courtesy ) , vyushti ( prosperity ) ,utkrshta (excellence ) and riddhi (supremacy or accomplishment )

    In Tantra, the female is the predominant aspect and the male is subordinate to her. The plank of the cot is male; and the female rests on that. The cot is inert, and the Devi is dynamic. Yet, the male provides the female a field to function; and the two cannot be separated. Sri Chakra demonstrates this principle.

    [The seat of Lalitha or Maha Tripurasundari is Yoga pitha, in the form of red lotus, impressed with the Sri Chakra design, symbolizing the very heart of the devotee. The symbolism of this appears to be that Mother goddess worshipped in Sri Chakra is indeed the universe in all its aspects; and the devotee has to identify this principle in his body; and again his body too is Sri Chakra and the universe in miniature.]

    Shilpi Sri Siddalingaswamy of Mysore has most superbly captured the image of the mother in his following painting which adorns the walls of the Durbar Hall of the Mysore palace.

    There are also other versions of the Mother seated in Bindu at the centre of Sri Chakra. Here the imagery suggests the unity of pure consciousness (Kameshwara) with primordial deliberation (Lalitha).The Dhyana sloka reads as under

    Balarka koti bham trakshyam baalendu mukutojvalaam

    Pashankusheshu kodanda panchabaanala sathkaram II

    Mani mangala sutrena vilasatkambukam dharaam

    Sarvashrungara veshadyaam sarvabharana bhushitaam II

    Pancha brahmaasane seenaam pancha pranava rupineem

    Sachamara maavaanee sevitham japathmikam II

    Namami sathatham deveem sarva saubhagya dayineem II

    The ninth enclosure (navavarana) of Sri Chakra the Bindu or the thousand petaled –lotus centre (sahasrara or dvadasanta –bindu is named Sarvananda-maya. This is at the jewel island (mani-dvipa) in the midst of Sudha-sindu. [Please check this page foe explanations of the garden, kalpa-vriksha and the mansion : Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar and Sri Vidya (7 of 7) – part two ) At the centre is the mancha called Pancha-brahmasana with four Brahmas as its legs .Sri Lalitha is seated on the mancha in the lap of Kameshwara adorned with splendid ornaments and surrounded by her Shakthis. She is four-armed, carrying in her hands sugarcane-bow, flower-arrows, noose and goad. A beautiful smile dances on her lotus –like radiant countenance; her eyes glow with loving compassion. Her garments are silken and her talk is sweet like that of parrots and cuckoos. Her slender feet are brilliant and rosy. The other divinities Lakshmi and Saraswathi stand on her either side waving fly-whisks (chamara). Seated at her feet are gods Brahma, Indra and others. She is both transcendental and immanent (para-apara); she is the nature of pure consciousness (chinmayee); she is indeed Brahman. She is both with form (saakara) and without form (nirakara).She is the supreme Shakthi (Para Shakthi).

    Please see the following illustrations. I trust these explanations would be of help in your art-endeavor . Please let me know if I can be of any assistance. Please keep talking. Regards

  5. sreenivasaraos

    March 20, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Dear balgowri ,Thank you for asking. The following Dhyana sloka of Sri Rajarajeshwari could loosely be translated as : Radiant as millions of beams of the rising sun ; with a splendors crown adorned with crescent moon ;holding pasha, ankusha, a long bow and five arrows; her beautiful neck bejeweled with auspicious string of beads ; fully bedecked and richly decorated with various ornaments; seated on the panchasana ( a seat having five attributes) , surrounded by shakthis and being the very personification of five forms of Pranava ( * ); served by attendants waving the chamara (fly-whisk) and being the very essence of the mantras; I ever submit my salutations to such a Devi the one who bestows all auspicious blessings in life.

    (*) There are many explanations: One of that could refer to the five aspects of the universe: creation (shristi); preservation (sthithi), dissolution (laya), withdrawal (nirodha) and retention (anugraha). And, just to mention the other, it could mean the five basic-letters of the Kadi School: ka, ye, I, la and hrim. It is said; ka stands for Kameshwara the principle that governs our intensions and desires. Ye stands for the feminine counterpart of the first, she is Lakshmi or Kameshwari. The alphabet Ye when written in Sanskrit suggests a triangle and represents the Mother principle the source of all existence. I stands for Vishnu (iyathe vyapnothi). The fourth letter la stands for earth (kshithi) the phenomenal existence. And the seed (bija) syllable hrim is regarded the crown of the mantra representing the Mother goddess herself. It is a composite sound combining ha (akasha, space), ra (teja, fire) and the terminal sound Im represents Manmatha. They three together symbolize sattva, rajas and tamas.

    There are other interpretations too.

    I fear it is bit too complicated and confusing. Let’s leave it at that .Go ahead with your art creation.

    Balarka koti bham trakshyam baalendu mukutojvalaam

    Pashankusheshu kodanda panchabaanala sathkaram II

    Mani mangala sutrena vilasatkambukam dharaam

    Sarvashrungara veshadyaam sarvabharana bhushitaam II

    Pancha brahmaasane senaam pancha pranava rupineem

    Sachamara maavaanee sevitham japathmikam II

    Namami sathatham deveem sarva saubhagya dayineem II


  6. sreenivasaraos

    March 20, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    Dear Balgowri, Thank you for the Note and the link. The opening painting of Krishna with the Gopis is truly delightful; the figures, expressions, colors and details have come out wonderfully well. You are great. It is amazing; even as a school girl you could draw Madonna, with her infant son, with such ease and grace. The accompanying write up too was good. It said something of you and the picture. The Kalki-copy delicately done at your early stage too looks good.

    The explanations for the ornamentation, the expressions and the eyes of Meera were interesting. The richly ornamented Sri Venkateshwara looks gorgeous. It is good you depicted him with open eyes and a smile on face. When it comes to deities, you could perhaps say a few words about their attributes, ayudhas and expression you chose o give.

    Since you are well versed in principles and practice of Tanjore School of painting, you could perhaps consider posting a short series on the history of the School (in brief) with emphasis on its approach to depiction of gods, volumes, colors and ornamentation. Some tend to regard Tanjore School as centered on portraiture; but, lacking in movement and fluidity. I do not know. You could, perhaps, speak about some of these, if not on the techniques, as such.

    Please also consider posting your creations and blogs on Sulekha where many gifted artists display their talents through words, images and sounds. There is much appreciation here for ‘Indian-interests’.

    Please keep talking. I trust you work on Sri Rajarajeshwari is progressing well.

    Greetings for the upcoming Deepavali.

    Warm Regards

    • sreenivasaraos

      June 26, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      Dear Balagowri

      How are Maa.

      I saw this painting of Sri Kameshwara in Tanjore style.
      I thought of you I an sending this to .
      Hope you would like it.
      Please keep talking

  7. Dr.Padmaja Suresh

    July 5, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    sri yantra and bharatantyam- prayoga [tanjore quartet had initiation from Dikshitar and gave the margam]. Any hints on this?Body-mind of dancer is the yantra

    • sreenivasaraos

      July 5, 2015 at 3:57 pm

      Dear Dr. Padmaja Suresh,

      Dr. Raghavan and others do not seem to have mentioned about Sri Dikshitar initiating the Tanjore Brothers into Sri Vidya Upasana. I am not sure; and will have to check.

      As regards Natya and Shilpa and their approach to the structure of the human body, please read the following article at:

      It would help if you could kindly articulate comments / remarks a bit more.

      Thanks for the visit and comments.


  8. spirit secret

    July 3, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    I have read through your article and I was satisfied with the good information that you have contributed to your article! Thanks a lot for that beneficial article!
    mutable signs

    • sreenivasaraos

      July 4, 2018 at 1:19 am

      Dear SS
      Thanks for the visit ; and, for the appreciation
      Please do read the articles on other subjects too


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