Bhakti Sandarbha 286 : Other Important Aspects of Arcana

This is the Gopala Yantra, which is a diagrammatic picture of the Yoga Peeth, in one version. This diagram does not show the avaranas. 
This description originates in the Tantra, but is followed in the Krama Dipika and Gopala Tapani Upanishad.


This lengthy anuccheda treats several subjects related to the arcana process. Again, in passing, several items are brought up that are of interest to me in my quest to get a full understanding of the Guru Principle and its manifestations



Anuccheda 286

Yoga-pīṭha, Bhūta-śuddhi, Mānasa-pūjā and Eligibility for Pujā

286.1 Yoga-pīṭha (the "sanctum sanctorum")

भूतादिपूजा तु तत्पूजाङ्गत्वे विहितापि न कर्तव्या, तदावरणदेवतात्वाभावात्। निषिद्धं च तत्रैव (प.पु. ६.२५३.९५) —

Although worship of the bhūtas, or ghosts, is prescribed as part of the worship of Bhagavān, a pure devotee should not worship them because they do not belong to the associates who form Bhagavān’s entourage. Furthermore, worship of the bhūtas has been forbidden in the same part of the Padma Purāṇa :

यक्षाणां च पिशाचानां मद्यमांसभुजां तथा।
दिवौकसां तु भजनं सुरापानसमं स्मृतम्॥ इति।

The worship of Yakṣas, Piśācas and other celestial beings who eat meat and drink wine, is understood as equal to drinking wine. (Uttara-khaṇḍa 253.95)

अत एवावश्यकपूज्यानामन्येषां तत्स्वीकृतैरपि मद्यादिभिः पूजा निषिद्धा, यथा सङ्कर्षणादीनाम्।

Therefore other gods whose worship is compulsory, should not be worshiped with forbidden articles, such as wine, even though these items may be acceptable to them, as in the case of Balarāma and other deities.

अथ पीठपूजायां येऽप्यधर्माद्या वर्तन्ते, गुणत्रयं च, तानि तु पाद्मोत्तरखण्डे स्पष्टान्यपि न सन्ति, तथा स्वायम्भुवागमेऽपि, तस्मान्नादरणीयानि।

Then again, irreligion and the three constituent guṇas of material nature—sattva, rajas and tamas—are included as part of the worship of Bhagavān’s sanctum sanctorum. Yet, the Padma Purāṇa and the Svāyambhuva Āgama make no mention of this. As such, these attributes are not to be given any credence within the scope of such worship.

केचित् तु नारदपञ्चरात्रदृष्ट्या तान्यन्यथैव व्याचक्षते, यथोक्तं तत्रैव—"अधर्माद्याद्यचतुष्कं तु अश्रेयसि नियोजनम्" इत्यधार्मिकादिषु तत्तदन्तर्यामिशक्तिरधर्माद्यमित्यर्थः।

Some, however, offer a different explanation of irreligion and similar attributes based on the Nārada-Pañcarātra, as stated there itself: “Irreligion, ignorance, absence of detachment and impotence—these four are used for inauspicious purposes.” According to this statement, irreligion, ignorance and similar characteristics are understood as potencies of the Indwelling Self operating in people who manifest these traits.

तथा पीठपूजायां भगवद्धामे श्रीगुरुपादुकापूजनमेवं सङ्गच्छते, यथा—य एव भगवान् अत्र व्यष्टिरूपतया भक्तावतारत्वेन श्रीगुरुरूपो वर्तते, स एव तत्र समष्टिरूपतया स्ववामप्रदेशे साक्षादवतारत्वेनापि तद्रूपो वर्तत इति।

In the sanctum sanctorum, it is appropriate that the shoes of the preceptor be worshiped on the left side of Bhagavān, for it is said the same Bhagavān, who descends as a devotee and thus exists in this world in His individual feature as the preceptor (vyaṣṭi-guru), also exists in Vaikuṇṭha in His collective feature as the totality of all gurus (samaṣṭi-guru). In this feature, He is situated on the left side of Bhagavān, although He Himself is a direct avatāra.

तथा—ये चात्र श्रीरामाद्युपासनायां मैन्दद्विविदादय आवरणदेवताः, ते तु तदीयनित्यधामगता नित्याः शुद्धाश्च ज्ञेयाः। यथाक्रूराघमर्षणे तेन श्रीप्रह्लादादयो दृष्टाः। य एव श्रीप्रह्लादः पृथ्वीदोहनेऽपि वत्सोऽभूत्, तदानीं तज्जन्माभावात्, चाक्षुषमन्वन्तर एव हिरण्यकशिपोर्जातत्वात्।

In the worship of Bhagavān Rāma, deities who form part of the outer circle, such as Mainda and Dvivida, should be understood as belonging to Bhagavān’s eternal abode, and as such, they are eternal and pure. As evidence of the fact that devotees form part of the eternal circle surrounding Bhagavān, we can cite the story of Akrūra’s vision. When he went to bathe in the Yamunā River in order to chant the agha-marṣaṇa mantra, he saw Prahlāda and others encircling Bhagavān. The same Prahlāda became a calf when King Pṛthu milked the earth, who had assumed the form of a cow. This shows that Prahlāda is an eternal associate of Bhagavān, who manifested momentarily for this specific purpose; otherwise Prahlāda had not yet taken birth, which was during the Svāyambhuva-manvantara. He was born of Hiraṇyakaśipu only in the Cākṣuṣa-manvantara.

अन्ये तु स्वस्वधाम्नि नित्यप्राकट्यस्यैव श्रीरामादेः प्रपञ्चप्राकाट्यावसरं प्राप्य तत्साहाय्यार्थं नित्यपार्षदमैन्दद्विविदादिशक्त्यावेशिनो जीवाः सुग्रीवादिभागवतद्वेषिबालिप्रभृतिसम्बन्धादुत्तरकाले भगवद्विद्वेषिनरकासुरादिसङ्गाच्च दुष्टभावा भवन्तीत्यवधेयम, प्रपञ्चलोकमिश्रत्वेनैव प्राकट्यसम्भवात्।

Other devotees, however, are living beings of this world, who are endowed with the power of Bhagavān’s eternal associates, such as Mainda and Dvivida, and who thus bear the same names. When Bhagavān Rāma and other avatāras, who are eternally manifest in their own abodes, appear in this world, these devotees are thus empowered to assist in their pastimes. However, due to association with those like Bāli, who was inimical to Bhagavān’s devotee, Sugrīva, and in a later millenium due to the association of those like Narakāsura, who was inimical to Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa, the Mainda and Dvivida who were empowered beings of this world, became corrupted. This sort of phenomenon occurs because Bhagavān's descent is made possible only by a mixture of Bhagavān’s eternal associates with people from the material world.

अथ श्रीकृष्णगोकुलोपासनायामपि यत् श्रीरुक्मिण्यादीनामावरणत्वं, तत् तु तच्छक्तिविशेषरूपाणां तासां विमलादीनामिवान्तर्धानगतत्वेनैव, न तु तत्तल्लीलागतप्राकट्येनेति ज्ञेयम्। अत एव ध्याने ता नोक्ताः।

In the worship of Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa in Gokula, Rukmiṇī and others like her are mentioned as surrounding associates of Bhagavān. It should be understood that such associates are present there as specific energies of Bhagavān who remain in an unmanifest state, like Vimalā and other energies, but do not become participants in His Gokula pastimes. Therefore, they are not described in the meditation on this pastime.

केचित् तु रुक्मिण्यादिनामानि श्रीराधादिनामान्तरत्वेनैव मन्यन्ते।

Some consider the names of Rukmiṇī and others, mentioned in the description of Kṛṣṇa’s surrounding associates in Gokula, simply as alternate names for Rādhā and other associates of Bhagavān.

यथा ते शङ्खचक्रगदामुद्रादिधारणं श्रीकृष्णचरणचिह्नत्वेनैव स्वीकुर्वन्ति, यथा च द्वारान्तःपार्श्वयोर्गङ्गायमुनयोः पूज्यमानयोर्गङ्गा श्रीगोवर्धने प्रसिद्धा मानसगङ्गेति मन्यन्ते, तथा च, विष्वक्सेनादयो भद्रसेनादय इति।

Analogous to this is the fact that although Kṛṣṇa in Vraja does not adopt the conch, disk, club and other similar paraphernalia, devotees consider that Kṛṣṇa holds them as symbols on the soles of His feet. Similarly, the worshipful Gaṅgā and Yamunā are considered as the two inner sides of the doorway to the abode of Gokula, yet the Gaṅgā does not flow there. In this instance, the Gaṅgā is accepted as referring to Mānasī Gaṅgā [a famous lake situated at Govardhana]. In the same vein, Viṣvaksena and others, who are mentioned as associates of Bhagavān in Gokula inspite of being outside of this realm, are thought of as Bhadrasena and others situated within Gokula.

श्रीकृष्णपीठपूजायां श्वेतद्वीपक्षीरसमुद्रपूजा च गोलोकाख्यस्य तद्धाम्नोऽपि श्वेतद्वीपेतिनामत्वात्, कामधेनुकोटिनिःसृतदुग्धपूरविशेषस्य च तत्र स्थितत्वात्। यथोक्तं ब्रह्मसंहितायां तद्वर्णनान्ते (ब्र.सं. ५.६६) —

Another instance of the same thing is the worship of Śvetadvīpa ("the white island") and the ocean of milk, which surrounds it as part of the pīṭha-pujā of Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa, even though they are not situated in Vraja. In such worship Śvetadvīpa is taken simply as another name for Kṛṣṇa’s abode of Goloka, and the ocean of milk is situated there in the form of an abundance of milk flowing from the millions of kāma-dhenus, or wish-fulfilling cows. This is stated in the concluding portion of the description of Goloka found in the Brahma-saṁhitā:

स यत्र क्षीराब्धिः स्रवति सुरभीभ्यश्च सुमहान्
निमेषार्धाख्यो वा व्रजति न हि यत्रापि समयः।
भजे श्वेतद्वीपं तमहमिह गोलोकमिति यं
विदन्तस्ते सन्तः क्षितिविरलचाराः कतिपये॥ इति।

I worship Śvetadvīpa, where a vast ocean of milk flows from the surabhi cows, where time does not pass even for half a moment, and which is known as Goloka to a few saintly people, who are rare in this world. (B.Sam. 5.56)

एवमन्यत्रापि ज्ञेयम्। तथा सोमसूर्याग्निमण्डलान्यप्राकृतान्यतिशैत्यतापगुणपरित्यागेनैव वर्तन्ते। तत्र सर्वकल्याणगुणवस्तूनामेवाभिधानाय प्राकृतनिषेधात्। यथा नृसिंहतापन्याम् (नृ.ता.उ. ५.९)—

Instances of the same thing found elsewhere should be understood in the same way. Similarly, the sun, the moon and fire also exist in Gokula in their transcendent forms, devoid of their debilitating properties of excessive heat and cold. Because the objects in Gokula are not material, they are endowed with all-auspicious qualities, as stated in the Nṛsiṁha Tāpanī Upaniṣad:

"तद्वा, एतत् परमं धाम मन्त्रराजाध्यापकस्य, यत्र न दुःखादि, यत्र न सूर्यस्तपति, यत्र न वायुर्वाति, यत्र न चन्द्रमा भाति, न यत्र नक्षत्राणि भान्ति, यत्र नाग्निर्दहति, यत्र न मृत्युः प्रविशति, यत्र न दोषः" इत्यादि।

Bhagavān who presides over the king of mantras resides in that supreme abode, where there is no misery, where the sun does not shine, the wind does not blow, the moon does not glow, the stars do not shine, fire does not burn, death does not enter and where there are no defects.” (NTU, Pūrva 5.9)

तदेवं कर्ममिश्रत्वादिनिरसनप्रसङ्गसङ्गत्या तत्परिकरा व्याख्याताः।

Various associates of Bhagavān have thus been described in the context of dispelling versions of bhakti adulterated by karma, etc.


Commentary by Satyanarayana Dasa Babaji Maharaj

In the previous Anuccheda, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī described the worship of the surrounding gods, āvaraṇa-devatā. This is part of arcanam described in the Tantra literature such as Gautamīya Tantra, Śāradā-tilakam, Krama-dīpīkā, etc. Some of this can also be found in Hari-bhakti-vilāsa of Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī.


Sage Āvirhotra states that one should worship Bhagavān following the descriptions given in the Vedas and Tantra (11.3.47). It is especially recommended in Kaliyuga (11.5.31). Brahmā confirms this in his prayers to Viṣṇu (8.6.9). While instructing Uddhava, Śrī Kṛṣṇa also recommends worship mixed with the Tantra process ( 11.27.7, 11.27.49, 11.11.37, 11.27.26).


At present the word tantra has negative connotations associated with it. In India people usually think tantra means some kind of black magic, and in the West they take it to be related with super sex. But this is far from the truth. In India there have always been two systems of knowledge coming from two different sources called Nigama and Āgama. Nigama refers to the Vedas and Āgama to the Tantras. The first system is meant for those who belong to the Varṇāśrama classification of society and is primarily meant for the first three varṇasbrāhmaṇa, Kṣatriya, and Vaiśya. The second is applicable to all irrespective of whether they belong to Varṇāśrama or not. In the first, the eligibility to follow it comes through the ceremony of upanayana-saṁskāra. In the second it comes by the saṁskāra of dīkṣā.


The Vedas have three divisions of Karma, Upāsanā, and Jñāna Kāṇḍa. Karma-kāṇḍa recommends various types of yajñas such as agnihotra, darśa, paurṇamāsa, cāturmāsya and somaUpāśanā-kāṇḍa is related to bhakti and jñāna-kāṇḍa to philosophy. The subject of the upāsanā-kāṇḍa is explained in detail in the Āgama. Vedas speak of the worship of Agni and Soma, the Āgama of Śakti and Śaktimān. Āgama has the same authority as the smṛṭi-śāstra which includes purāṇas and itihāsas.


Āgama or Tantra is of three types: Vaiṣṇava, Śaiva, and Śākta. The first one promotes the worship of Viṣṇu, the second of Śiva and the third one of ḍevī or Durgā. Vaiṣṇava Āgama is of three types, Pāñcarātra, Bhāgavata, and Vaikhānasa. The subject of Āgama is the mantroddhāra, dīkṣā-vidhi, bhūta-śuddhi, nyāsa, dhyāna, svādhyāya or japa, prayoga, caryā, and mandira-nirmāṇa. There are different ways to classify the subject matter of Tantra:

Tantra texts are divided into four sections: 
  1. Sāmānya-pāda
  2. Mantra-pāda
  3. Kriyā-pada, and 
  4. Yoga-pāda
According to a slightly different classification the four divisions are enumerated as 
  1. Jñāna – knowledge and its nature, 
  2. Yoga – the concentration of mind and the means of attaining the same, 
  3. Kriyā – the construction of temples and the consecration of mūrtis in them : and 
  4. Caryā – religious rites and social observances. (Introduction to Viṣṇu-saṁhitā, pp. 7-8)
The worship based on Vaikhānasa Āgama literature can still be witnessed in temples in South India such as the famous temple of Venkaṭeśvara Bālājī in Tirupati. The temples in Tamilnadu such as that of Śrī Raṅgam follow the Pāñcarātra system of worship. Temples in North India, especially in the Vṛndāvana area, follow the Bhāgavata system of worship. So Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī is here giving some essential knowledge for the interested sādhakas.


286.2 Bhūta-śuddhiḥ

अथ तेषां शुद्धभक्तानां भूतशुद्ध्यादिकं यथामति व्याख्यायते। तत्र भूतशुद्धिर्निजाभिलषितभगवत्सेवौपयिकतत्पार्षददेहभावनापर्यन्तैव तत्सेवैकपुरुषार्थिभिः कार्या निजानुकूल्यात्।

To the best of my ability I shall now explain the bhūta-śuddhiḥ, or "purification of the elements," as performed by pure devotees. Those whose only goal is to serve Bhagavān, should perform bhūta-śuddhiḥ up to the point of contemplating [their own] body as one of Bhagavān's eternal associates, which is the means for attainment of the specific service of Bhagavān that one cherishes. This type of bhūta-śuddhiḥ is recommended because it is favorable to one's devotion. 

एवं यत्र यत्रात्मनो निजाभीष्टदेवतारूपत्वेन चिन्तनं विधीयते, तत्र तत्रैव पार्षदत्वे ग्रहणं भाव्यम्, अहङ्ग्रहोपासनायाः शुद्धभक्तैर्द्विष्टत्वात्। ऐक्यं च तत्र साधारण्यप्रायमेव, तदीयचिच्छक्तिवृत्तिविशुद्धसत्त्वांशविग्रहत्वात् पार्षदानाम्।

According to this understanding, wherever it is recommended that one should think of oneself as identical with one's worshipful Bhagavān, one should rather envision oneself as an associate of Bhagavān, because pure devotees abhor ahaṅgrahopāsanā, or the worship of oneself as Bhagavān.

The oneness between Bhagavān and His eternal associates that this refers to, is in a general sense only, inasmuch as the associates of Bhagavān have bodies constituted of one aspect of viśuddha-sattva, or pure existence, which is a feature of Bhagavān’s internal potency known as cit-śakti. [In this respect there is oneness between Bhagavān and His associates, because Bhagavān’s form is also constituted of pure existence.]

अथ केशवादिन्यासादीनां यत्राधमाङ्गविषयत्वं, तत्र तन्मूर्तिं ध्यात्वा तत्तन्मन्त्रांश्च जप्त्वैव तत्तदङ्गस्पर्शमात्रं कुर्यात्, न तु तत्तन्मन्त्रदेवतास्तत्र तत्र न्यस्ता ध्यायेत्, भक्तानां तदनौचित्यात्।

In regard to the mental assignment of deities (nyāsa), such as Keśava, to the lower part of the body, one should meditate on the specific form of the deity, utter the mantra associated with that deity and then merely touch the appropriate area of the body. One should not think, however, that the deity of the mantra is installed in that particular limb of the body, because it is inappropriate for devotees.

अथ मुख्यं ध्यानं श्रीभगवद्धामगतमेव, हृदयकमलगतं तु योगिमतम्, "स्मरेद्वृन्दावने रम्ये" इत्याद्युक्तत्वात्। अत एव मानसपूजा च तत्रैव चिन्तनीया।

The meditation for yogīs is on Bhagavān situated on the lotus of the heart, whereas the principal meditation for devotees is on Bhagavān existing in His own abode, because it is written, “One should remember Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa in the beautiful land of Vṛndāvana.” Consequently, worship conducted internally through the mind specifically involves contemplation of service to Bhagavān in His own abode.

कामगायत्रीध्यानं च यत् सूर्यमण्डले श्रूयते, तत् तत्रैव चिन्त्यम्, "गोलोक एव निवसत्यखिलात्मभूतः" (ब्र.सं. ५.४८) इत्यत्र एवकारात्। तत्र श्रीवृन्दावननाथः साक्षान्न तिष्ठति, किन्तु तेजोमयप्रतिमाकारेणैवेति।

The meditation on Bhagavān offered for the kāma-gāyatrī mantra makes reference to Bhagavān situated within the orb of the sun. In this case also, one should meditate on Bhagavān situated in His own abode, because the Brahma-saṁhitā has emphatically stated that one should worship Him in Goloka alone: “Bhagavān, who is the Self of all living beings, resides exclusively in Goloka” (B.Sam. 5.37). The Bhagavān of Vṛndāvana does not live on the sun planet in His original form, but resides there only through an effulgent representational form.

अथ बहिरुपचारैरन्तःपूजायां वेण्वादिपूजा तदङ्गज्योतिर्विलीनाङ्गस्य स्वस्याङ्गे निविष्टस्य तस्य तन्मुखादावेव भाव्या, न तु स्वमुखादौ । तथा वेण्वादितद्भूषणमुद्रादर्शनं, स्वमुखादौ तथा वेण्वादि यत् क्रियते, तच्च तस्मै तदीयतत्तत्प्रियवस्तूनां दर्शनार्थमेव, न तु स्वस्यैवाङ्गे तानि भाव्यन्त इति पूर्वहेतोरेव ।

In regard to the worship of paraphernalia such as the flute, which form part of the process of internal worship through the offering of external objects, one should imagine the flute as being placed in Bhagavān’s mouth and not in one’s own, and so on. In this meditation, the devotee’s limbs are merged in the effulgence of Bhagavān and Bhagavān enters the limbs of the devotee.

The display of mudrās, or gestures, involving the use of Bhagavān’s ornaments, such as the flute, which is done by holding the flute to one's own mouth, should be done simply in the spirit of pleasing Bhagavān by showing Him the articles that are dear to Him. One should not imagine these articles, however, as placed on one’s own limbs, because that would constitute ahaṅgrahopāsanā, as discussed previously.

तथा मानसादिपूजायां भूतपूर्वतत्परिकरलीलासंवलितत्वमपि न कल्पनामयं, किन्तु यथार्थमेव। यतस्तस्य प्राकट्यसमये लीलास्तत्परिकराश्च ये प्रादुर्बभूवुः, ते तादृशाश्चाप्रकटमपि नित्यं तदीये धाम्नि सङ्ख्यातीता एव वर्तन्ते।

In worship conducted internally, one should meditate on Bhagavān accompanied by His associates and pastimes. And although such associates and pastimes appeared in the past, the meditation upon them is not imaginary, but real. This is so because all the pastimes and associates, which manifest during Bhagavān’s appearance in this world, eternally exist in unlimited variety in His own abode, beyond the vision of this world.

असुरास्तु न तत्र चेतना, किन्तु यन्त्रमयतत्प्रतिमानिभा ज्ञेयाः। "एवं विहारैः" (भा. १०.१४.६१) इत्यादौ, "निलायनैः सेतुबन्धैर्मर्कटप्लवनादिभिः" (भा. १०.१४.६१) इतिवत् तत्तल्लीलानां नानाप्रकाशैः कौतुकेनानुक्रियमाणत्वात्। श्रीभगवत्सन्दर्भादौ हि तथा सन्यायं दर्शितमस्ति।

The asuras, or demons, however, who participated in Bhagavān’s pastimes in this world, are not present as conscious entities in Bhagavān’s abode. Rather, they exist in their replica forms like robots. In the Bhagavat Sandarbha (Anuccheda 47) and elsewhere, it was logically shown that Kṛṣṇa and His friends regularly enact the pastimes of His various avatāras [including the battles with various demons] in a spirit of pure enjoyment, as expressed by Śrī Śuka:

Thus, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma passed their childhood in Vraja performing childlike pastimes, such as hide-and-seek, building bridges [in imitation of Bhagavān Rāma] and jumping like monkeys [who crossed the ocean to assist Rāma in His battle against the demon, Rāvaṇa]. (SB 10.14.61)

अथ मानसपूजामाहात्म्यं, यथा नारदपञ्चरात्रे श्रीनारायणवाक्यम्—"अयं यो मानसो योगो जराव्याधिभयापहः" इत्यादौ—

Now we will discuss the significance of internal worship conducted through the mind, as referred to by Sṛī Nārāyaṇa in the Nārada-Pañcarātra: "This is the yoga of the mind, which removes old age, disease and fear."

यश्चैतत् परया भक्त्या सकृत् कुर्यान् महामते।
क्रमोदितेन विधिना तस्य तुष्याम्यहं मुने॥ इति।

And in this statement as well:

O enlightened sage, Nārada, I delight in that person who even once engages in this transcendent devotion in accordance with the recommended order and procedure.

एषा क्वचित् स्वतन्त्रापि भवति, मनोमय्या मूर्तेरष्टमतया स्वातन्त्र्येण विधानात्—"अर्चादौ हृदये वापि यथोपलब्धोपचारकैः" (भा. ११.३.५०) इत्याविर्होत्रवचनेन वाशब्दात्।

Internal worship is sometimes taken up independent of any other process, because the deity conceived within the mind has been ordained as one of the eight distinct forms of the deity. Furthermore, by use of the word vā, “or,” in the following statement, the sage Āvirhotra has certified internal worship as a viable option:

One should worship Bhagavān with available articles either in the external form of the deity or within the heart. (SB 11.3.50)


Commentary by Satyanarayana Dasa Babaji Maharaj


Bhūta-śuddhi, purification of the elements that constitute the material body, is done before one begins the worship. The deity is beyond the guṇas of prakṛti while our bodies are made of the guṇas. To worship one must have the same nature as the deity, devo bhūtvā devaṁ yajeta, or one who is not divine should not worship a deity, nādevo devam arcayet. There is an elaborate procedure of bhūta-śuddhi. But on the path of pure bhakti Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmi advises that a practitioner should think of onself as having a requisite spiritual body for service. Such a deliberation is favorable for attaining the ultimate perfection on one’s path because ultimately one wants to be an associate of Bhagavān and serve Him with devotion. In this regard one can contemplate the following prayer of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu: 


nāhaṁ vipro na ca narapatir nāpi vaiśyo na śūdraḥ
nāhaṁ varṇī na gṛhapati na vanastho yatir vā
kintu prodyan-nikhila-pūrṇāmṛṭābdher
gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ

I am not a brāhmaṇa, nor am I a kṣatriya; I am not a vaiśya, nor a śūdraI am not a brahmacārī, nor a householder, not a retired man nor ascetic monk am I. But since Lord Kṛṣṇa, the lover of the gopis, and the overflowing ocean of nectar
is the only source of supreme and immortal joy, I claim to be a servant to the servant to the servant of His lotus feet. (Pad. 74, CC 2.13.80)

There are also instructions of identifying oneself with one’s worshipable deity. This is called ahaṁgrahopāsanā and is forbidden on the path of pure bhakti.

Nyāsa is another part of bhūta-śuddhi. It is of various types such as aṅga-nyāsakara-nyāsa, mātṛkā-nyāsa, keśavādi-nyāsaNyāsa means placement. It signifies places certain deities or seed mantras on one’s own body by the chanting of appropriate mantras and meditation. Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī forbids placing a deity on the lower part of the body. The navel is the center of body and anything below the navel is considered base and impure. Therefore, instead of actually placing the deity on the lower part of the body one should just think of the deity, chant the corresponding mantra, and touch the particular lower part of body with one’s right hand.

As far as meditation on Bhagavān is concerned it should be done thinking of Bhagavān in His abode and not in one’s heart or in the orb of Sun. Meditation in the heart is for the yogīs and in the sun’s orb is for karma-yogīs. For bhaktas, Bhagavān is a person residing in His abode. The heart is too constricted a place for Him and the sun is uninhabitable.

Mudrās are symbols made with one’s hands which represent certain articles or convey some intention of the worshiper. Mudrās are shown to the deity for His pleasure. They are called mudrā because they bring happiness to deity. There are many mudrās but for Kṛṣṇa five are recommended, Veṇu, Vanamālā, Śrīvatsa, Kaustubha, and Bilva.

Mudrās are stamped on the body by using hot metal branding irons. It is recommended that this be done on śayana or dvādaśīMudrās are also shown to the deity to invite Him, to take seat, to accept bhoga and so on. Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī recommends that the mudrās that are special ornaments of Bhagavān such as Veṇu or Vanamālā should not be put on one’s own mouth or neck respectively, but should only be shown to the deity for His pleasure. The reason for this is that if they are put on one’s own body it will become a part of ahaṅgrahopāsanā which is forbidden. The use of mudrās should be learned from one’s guru. One should follow one’s sampradāya (HBV 4.301). 


Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī while commenting upon Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.296 writes that a devotee following rāgānugā bhakti should not engage in ahaṅgrahopāsanā, show mudrās, do nyāsa, meditate on Dvārakā or worship Rukmiṇi even if they are prescribed in the Āgama-śāstra as part of arcanā-bhakti.



286.3 Loci of worship

अथ पूजास्थानानि विचार्यन्ते। तानि च विविधानि। तत्र शालग्रामादिकं तत्तद्भगवदाकाराधिष्ठानमिति चिन्त्यम्, आकारवैलक्षण्यात्, "शालग्रामशिला यत्र तत्र सन्निहितो हरिः" इत्याद्युक्तेः।

Now we will discuss the places of worship, which are numerous. Śālagrāma [the sacred stone that embodies the presence of Bhagavān Viṣṇu], is to be conceived as the seat of Bhagavān's form [not the form in itself], because the form of Śālagrāma is different from that of Bhagavān, and because it is said: “Bhagavān Hari is present wherever the Śālagrāma stone is found.”

तत्र च स्वेष्टाकारस्यैव भगवतोऽधिष्ठानं सुष्ठु सिद्धिकरम्, तस्मिन्नेवायत्नतस्तदीयप्राकट्यात्, "मूर्त्याभिमतयात्मनः" (भा. ११.३.४९) इत्युक्तेः।

In this matter, to meditate on the seat of Bhagavān [i.e. Śālagrāma] as the place of manifestation of one’s specific cherished form of Bhagavān is highly efficacious, because in that receptacle alone Bhagavān manifests the appropriate form without any effort [on the part of the sādhaka. This is in accordance with this statement: “One should worship Bhagavān in the form to which one is attracted.” (SB 11.3.48)

श्रीकृष्णादीनां तु मथुरादिक्षेत्रं महाधिष्ठानम्, "मथुरा भगवान् यत्र नित्यं सन्निहितो हरिः" (भा. १.१०.२८) इत्याद्युक्तेः, तथा तत्तन्मन्त्रध्येयवैभवत्वेन मथुरावृन्दावनादीनां श्रीगोपालतापन्यादौ प्रख्यातत्वात्। मथुरादिक्षेत्राण्येवान्यत्राधिष्ठाने ध्यानेन प्रकाश्य तेषु भगवांश्चिन्त्यते।

In contrast, however, Mathurā and other holy places that are the abodes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and His other avatāras, are supreme seats of worship for the respective avatāra, as understood from statements such as this: “Bhagavān Hari is eternally present in Mathurā.” (SB 10.1.28) Another reason why these abodes are considered supreme is because in the Gopāla-tāpani and other literature, Mathurā, Vṛndāvana and other places have been described as part of the Divinity to be meditated upon through the mantras that embody His and other forms. Even where there are other adhiṣṭhāna [like Śālagrāma], one should manifest the holy land of Mathurā or other abodes through meditation and contemplate one’s cherished form of Bhagavān as residing in those places.

अथ श्रीमत्प्रतिमायां तु तदाकारकरूपतयैव चिन्तयन्ति, आकारैक्यात्, "शिलाबुद्धिः कृता किं वा प्रतिमायां हरेर्मया" इति भावनान्तरे दोषश्रवणाच्च।

In contrast to the form of Śālagrāma, the deity forms of Bhagavān are considered as non-different from Bhagavān’s own form, because these forms are identical in appearance. Furthermore, to think of the deity as different from Bhagavān’s own form is offensive, as understood from this lament of Andha Muni [whose son was accidentally killed by Mahārāja Daśaratha]: “Or have I at any time considered the deity of Bhagavān Hari to be made of stone [as a result of which this calamity has come upon me]?”

एवमेव श्रीभगवता "चलाचलेति द्विविधा प्रतिष्ठा जीवमन्दिरम्" (भा. ११.२७.१३) इत्युक्तम्। प्रतिष्ठा प्रतिमा जीवस्य जीवयितुः परमात्मनो मम मन्दिरं मदङ्गप्रत्यङ्गैरेकाकारतास्पदमित्यर्थः।

Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa has also pointed out the oneness of Bhagavān and the deity in these words: "The deity, which is the abode of the Self of all living beings, is of two types—moving and stationary." (SB 11.27.13) In this verse the word pratiṣṭhā refers to the deity form. In the compound jīva-mandiram, “the abode of living beings,” the word jīva refers to the Supreme Self, who gives life to living beings; and the word mandiram, “abode,” refers to the deity, the seat of manifestation of Bhagavān’s form, identical with His own limbs and organs.

यद्वा, प्रतिष्ठालक्षणेन कर्मणा पूर्वोक्ता प्रतिमा मम तदास्पदं भवतीत्यर्थः।

Alternatively, pratiṣṭhā may refer to the ritual by which the above-mentioned deity becomes a manifestation non-different from Bhagavān’s own limbs and organs.

तथा च श्रीहयशीर्षपञ्चरात्रे श्रीमूर्तिप्रतिष्ठाप्रसङ्गे, "विष्णो सन्निहितो भव" इति सान्निध्यकरणमन्त्रविशेषानन्तरं मन्त्रान्तरम्—

In the Hayaśīrṣa Pañcarātra, we find this mantra, invoking Bhagavān’s presence in the deity: “O Bhagavān Viṣṇu, please be present in this deity.” Immediately following this, we find another mantra [indicating the basis of the non-distinction between the form of the deity and that of Bhagavān]:

यच्च ते परमं तत्त्वं यच्च ज्ञानमयं वपुः।
तत् सर्वमेकतो लीनमस्मिन् देहे विबुध्यताम्॥ इति।

O Bhagavān, whatever may be Your supreme truth and Your form of pure awareness, let it all be fully merged in this image. May this form now awaken.

अथवा जीवमन्दिरं सर्वजीवानां परमाश्रयः साक्षाद्भगवान् एव प्रतिष्ठेत्यर्थः। परमोपासकाश्च साक्षात् परमेश्वरत्वेनैव तां पश्यन्ति। भेदस्फूर्तेर्भक्तिविच्छेदकत्वात् तथैव ह्युचितम्। इत्थमेवोक्तं भगवता (भा. ११.२७.३२) —

The compound jīva-mandiram can also mean, “the supreme shelter of all living beings.” In this case, the verse would mean that the Supreme Bhagavān Himself is the pratiṣṭhā, or the deity form. Those who are advanced in worship directly perceive the deity as Bhagavān, and this is fully appropriate, because if they make any distinction between the two, their devotion is curtailed. The oneness of Bhagavān and the deity is indicated in this statement of Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa:

वस्त्रोपवीताभरणपत्रस्रग्गन्धलेपनैः।
अलङ्कुर्वीत सप्रेम मद्भक्तो मां यथोचितम्॥

My devotee should lovingly decorate Me with clothes, a sacred thread, ornaments, leaves, a garland and sandalwood paste, as is proper. (SB 11.27.32)

इत्यत्र मामिति सप्रेमेति च। अत एव विष्णुधर्मे तामधिकृत्य अम्बरीषं प्रति श्रीविष्णुवाक्यम्—

In this verse the pronoun “Me,” indicates that the deity is one with Bhagavān. The adverb sa-prema, “with love,” also implies the same [otherwise if the deity were nothing more than a representational image, it would be sufficient to worship it according to scriptural injunctions without love]. Consequently, in the Viṣṇu-dharma Purāṇa, Bhagavān Viṣṇu makes this statement to King Ambarīṣa in reference to the deity:

तस्यां चित्तं समावेश्य त्यज चान्यान् व्यपाश्रयान्।
पूजिता सैव ते भक्त्या ध्याता चैवोपकारिणी॥
गच्छंस्तिष्ठन् स्वपन् भुञ्जंस्तामेवाग्रे च पृष्ठतः।
उपर्यधस्तथा पार्श्वे चिन्तयंस्तामथात्मनः॥ इत्यादि।

Fully absorbing your consciousness into the deity, you should abandon all other distractions. When you worship and meditate upon the deity with devotion, the deity will bring about your welfare. Consequently, while walking, standing, dreaming and eating, you should think of the deity as situated in front of you, behind, above, below and to your side.

अत एव तत्पूजायामावाहनादिकमित्थं व्याख्यातमागमे—

आवाहनं चादरेण सम्मुखीकरणं प्रभोः। भक्त्या निवेशनं तस्य संस्थापनमुदाहृतम्॥
तवास्मीति तदीयत्वदर्शनं सन्निधापनम्। क्रियासमाप्तिपर्यन्तस्थापनं सन्निबोधनम्॥
सकलीकरणं प्रोक्तं तत्सर्वाङ्गप्रकाशनम्॥ इति।

Therefore in regard to deity worship, activities such as invoking Bhagavān’s presence in the deity are described in the following way in the Āgama:

To respectfully draw the attention of Bhagavān is known as āvāhanam. To seat Bhagavān with devotion is called saṁsthāpanam. To demonstrate that one belongs to Bhagavān by declaring, “I am Yours,” is called sannidhāpanam. To preserve the deity until the worship is over is called sannirodhanam, and to exhibit all the limbs of Bhagavān is called sakalīkaraṇam.


Commentary by Satyanarayana Dasa Babaji Maharaj

Worship is of two types: external and internal or mānasa-pūjā. Along with external worship one can also do the internal worship. The internal is done within the mind without any external articles. Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī says that the internal is related to the unmanifest or aprakaṭa-līlā of Bhagavān. There is no substantive difference between the prakaṭa and aprakaṭa except that in the latter there are no active asuras. They exist as paintings, dolls or robots. The internal pūjā can be done without the external also. This is especially suitable for renounced sādhakas. But if one has the capability, one should not give up the external and engage only in internal. 

Śrī Kṛṣṇa informs Uddhava (11.27.12) that manomayī (imagined in mind) is one of the eight types of deity forms. Mānasī pūjā is also recommended by sage Āvirhotra to King Nimi (11.3.50). In this verse the word hṛdaye means heart or mind and refers to worship in the mind. In Durgama-saṅgamanī commentary on Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.82) Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī refers to a story from Brahma-vaivarta Purāṇa about a poor brāhmaṇa who attained Vaikuṇṭha by virtue of his mānasa-pūjā. In external arcanam there are strict rules for purity of the worshiper, of articles and the act of worship. There are good chances of not being able to meet all the requirements because of the limitations of the physical body, the environment and social conditions. But such possibilities do not exist in mānasa-pūjā.

Next Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī discusses the places of worship. Śrī Kṛṣṇa describes them as follows: “The Sun, a brāhmaṇa, a cow, a Vaiṣṇava, sky, air, water, earth, one’s body, and all living beings are places of My worship, O dear one” (11.11.42). In the next three verses he explains how the worship has to be done in these various objects. This will be discussed in Anuccheda 295.

There is a difference between a deity form and the śālagrāma silā or stone. The first is non-different in form from Bhagavān and the second is that in which Bhagavān is worshiped by imagining His form in it. Śālagrāma is a black stone taken from the Gaṇḍakī River in Nepal. The stones in this river naturally have different shapes and markings. Sometimes they have round marks that look like cakras. Depending upon the shape or number of cakras, a Śālagrāma is recognized as the seat of a particular form of Bhagavān such as Kūrma, Varāha or Nṛsiṁha. Śālagrāma worship was very common among Hindus in the past. Temples for them were built by kings or wealthy people. Common devout Hindus had Śālagrāma in their houses. Unlike a deity, a Śālagrāma does not need any installation ceremony to begin its worship (HBV 5.438).

The holy places like Mathurā and Vṛndāvana are also the places where Kṛṣṇa is worshiped, especially in mānasa-pūjā. The devotees do not meditate on Bhagavān in their heart but in the abode of Bhagavān. Even if one does not live in a holy place one can imagine oneself to be residing there. This is the recommendation of Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī while commenting on Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.294). Pure devotees worship the deity of Bhagavān as non-different from Bhagavān. Vṛndāvana is a town of Kṛṣṇa temples for the past few hundred years and there are various stories related with prominent deities having a personal relation with their worshipers. Some details of deity worship are given in Bhāgavata Purāṇa, chapter 27 of the Eleventh Canto. 





286.4 Eligibility for receiving charity

अत्र शूद्रादिपूजितार्चापूजानिषेधवचनमवैष्णवशूद्रादिपरमेव—

Statements that forbid the worship of a deity that has already been worshiped by a śūdra are applicable only to a śūdra who is not a Vaiṣṇava, because it is said:

न शूद्रा भगवद्भक्तास्ते तु भागवता नराः ।
सर्ववर्णेषु ते शूद्रा ये न भक्ता जनार्दने॥ इत्युक्तेः।

Devotees of Bhagavān are not śūdras; rather, they are known as bhāgavatas, or those who belong to Bhagavān. On the other hand, those who are not devotees of Janārdana are śūdras, regardless of what caste they belong to.

अथ सप्तमे "पात्रम्" (भा. ७.१४.३४) इत्यादौ श्रीनारदोक्तौ अधिष्ठानविचारे श्रीमदर्चातोऽपि यः पूरुषमात्रातिशयस्तत्रापि ज्ञानिनः, स च कैवल्यकामो भक्त्याश्रयः।

In the seventh canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, in the statements of Śrī Nārada beginning from verse 7.14.34, there is a discussion about varying degrees of fitness to receive worship. From Nārada’s statements it is understood that adoration of human beings in general is superior even to the worship of the deity [because Bhagavān is present within the hearts of all living beings].

तस्मिन् प्रकरणे "ज्ञाननिष्ठाय देयानि" (भा. ७.१५.१) इत्युपसंहारे ज्ञानिन एव दानपात्रत्वेन परमोत्कर्षोक्तेः।

Superior to this is the worship of a jñānī, or one situated in awareness, which here refers to one who takes shelter of bhakti desiring liberation. This section ends with this statement: “One should offer gifts to a person who is fixed in awareness.” (SB 7.15.2) From this it is concluded that a jñānī is the most worthy recipient of charity.

अन्यत्र तु, "न मे भक्तश्चतुर्वेदी", "नायं सुखापो भगवान्" (१०.९.२१) इत्यादौ, "मुक्तानामपि सिद्धानाम्" (भा. ६.१४.४) इत्यादौ च भक्तस्यैव ततोऽप्युत्कर्षः, किमुत तदुपास्यायाः श्रीमदर्चायाः।

Elsewhere, however, Bhagavān states: “One who knows the four Vedas but is not devoted to Me is not dear to me. But My devotee is dear to Me even if he is a dog-eater. Such a devotee of Mine is fit to receive and offer charity, and he is as worthy of worship as I am.” We also find these verses, expressing the same idea:

This son of a gopī, Kṛṣṇa, is easily attainable in this world by those who are saturated with devotion to Him. Yet He is not so easily attainable by those at the level of bodily awareness, by the jñānīs, who are awakened, or by those who are situated in the self. (SB 10.9.21)

And:

O great sage, among millions of liberated and perfected beings, one devotee of Bhagavān Nārāyaṇa who is fully peaceful is exceedingly rare. (SB 6.14.5)

अत एव तामुद्दिश्योक्तं—"नानुव्रजति यो मोहात्" (भा. ६.१४.४) इत्यादि। तथापि पात्रमित्यादीनामर्थोऽपि क्रमेण दर्श्यते—

From all these statements, it is clear that a devotee’s fitness to receive adoration exceeds even that of a jñānī, so what to speak of the deity, who is the object of worship for the devotee. Therefore with respect to jñānīs, we also find statements such as this:

If one does not follow Bhagavān when His deity is taken out in procession, thinking out of delusion that the deity is not Bhagavān, then even if his karma has been burnt by the fire of knowledge, he becomes a brahma-rākṣasa, or the malefic ghost of a brāhmaṇa.

(भा. ७.१४.३४-३५)

Nonetheless, we will disclose the meaning of the verses in this section in order, beginning from 7.14.34. [This section of verses, which concludes with verse 7.15.2, is presented in Anuccheda’s 286-294.] Nārada’s opening statement is given here:

पात्रं त्वत्र निरुक्तं वै कविभिः पात्रवित्तमैः।
हरिरेवैक उर्वीश यन्मयं वै चराचरम्॥
देवर्ष्यर्हत्सु वै सत्सु तत्र ब्रह्मात्मजादिषु।
राजन् यदग्रपूजायां मतः पात्रतयाच्युतः॥

तत्र राजसूये॥

O King, the sages who can ascertain the suitability of a candidate to receive honor have decided that Bhagavān Hari alone is the most appropriate candidate, because the entire cosmos of moving and stationary bodies is simply a manifestation of His being. Although the gods, the sages, the mystics and the sons of Brahmā were present in your assembly, Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa was chosen as the best candidate to be honored first. (SB 7.14.34-35)

In this verse, the pronoun tatra, “there,” refers to the rājasūya sacrifice of King Yudhiṣṭhira [in which Kṛṣṇa was chosen to receive the first worship].


Commentary by Satyanarayana Dasa Babaji Maharaj

After explaining the process of worship Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī refers to sage Nārada’s teaching about the hierarchy of people eligible (pātra) to receive charity. Śrī Nārada concludes that Kṛṣṇa is the supreme pātra (7.14.34). The word hari in this verse, referring to Kṛṣṇa, means His deity form. A similar hierarchy is presented by Kapila to His mother Devahūti (3.29.27).



DISCLAIMER: All the posts related to Bhakti Sandarbha are not the final product. This version will be refined by other readers and editors, including Babaji himself. Please do not use this material without reference to this disclaimer. This material is copyrighted by the Jiva Institute.

Bhakti Sandarbha 285 : The Gods Named in Āvaraṇa-pūjā are Bhagavān's Associates
Bhakti Sandarbha 284 : The Difference Between Mantra and Name
Bhakti Sandarbha 283 : Pāda-sevā (Concluded) and Arcanam
Bhakti Sandarbha 280-282 : Service to Bhagavān (Pāda-sevanam)
Bhakti Sandarbha 275-279 : Smaranam
Bhakti Sandarbha 273-274 : Conclusion of Kirtan Section
Bhakti Sandarbha 270-272 : Kīrtana in the Kaliyuga
Bhakti Sandarbha 266-269 : Rupa, Guna and Lila Kirtan, Glories of Kirtan
Bhakti Sandarbha 265 : Offenses to the Holy Name
Bhakti Sandarbha 263-264 : Kirtan of the Holy Name


Comments

1 of 2 said…
See Chapter 15 of the Shiva Purana (N.B.* Verses 4, 12, 21, 22, 23, 24, 31 & 32).

Chapter 15, The Shiva Purana (English Translation by Prof. J. L. Shastri).

ISBN: 9788120803398

Subrahmaṇya said:—

1. Henceforth I shall explain, O good-faced lady, the mode of creation for the set of four, Maheśa etc. from Sadāśiva.

2. Sadāśiva the lord of ether is the composite. The set of four, Maheśa etc. is the individualistic form.

3. Maheśa is a thousandth part of Sadāśiva. It has the form of Puruṣa for its face. It is the lord of wind too.

4. He is associated with Māyā Śakti on his left. He is Saguṇa having much activity. The set of four Īśvara etc. is his own Vyaṣṭi.

5. This set of four comprising Īśvara, Viśveśvara, Parameśvara and Sarveśvara is the excellent Tirobhāvacakra.

6. Tirobhāva is twofold. One concerns Rudra, the other the individual souls in view of their physical bodies.

7. The latter remains till equality in activity is achieved. When this is achieved, there remains only the lord of the form of blessing.

8. There all the Īśvaras who are glorified as the deities, are identical with the great Brahman itself, free from alternatives and ailments.

9. The Tirobhāva Cakra consists of the Śāntikalā. This excellent region is presided over by Maheśvara.

10. This region is attainable by those who serve Maheśa etc. It yields Sālokya liberation to the devotees of Maheśvara.

11. The image Rudra is born of a thousandth part of Maheśvara. He has Aghora for his face. He is the lord of the principle of fire.

12. He is associated with Gaurīśakti on his left. He is the cause of dissolution of the universe; of him alone is the Vyaṣṭi born—the set of four, Śiva etc.

13. This set of four consists of Śiva, Hara, Mṛda and Bhava. This wheel of dissolution, O sage, is wonderful and divine.

14-16. Dissolution has been classified into three. The first Nitya is the daily slumber of living beings. The second is the conditioned dissolution of Brahmā. The third is the final dissolution. The three have been indicated by the Vedic texts. O excellent sage, the dissolution has been classified into three by the illustrious Rudra for the maturing of the activities of individual souls and for their rest. The souls released from their recurring births are ultimately placed in the great Ātman itself.

17. Thus I have mentioned the three activities of Rudra in respect of dissolution. The five activities of the lord in respect of creation shall also be explained to you.

18. O sage, the deities Bhava etc. are identical with the great Brahman, being the cause of bliss.

19. This wheel of dissolution has Vidyārūpa Kalā. This healthy region is presided over by Rudra himself.

20 This region is attainable by those who desire the propitiation of Rudras. O sage, it yields the Sāyujya of Rudras gradually through Sālokya.

21. Viṣṇu was born from a thousandth part of Rudra. In the form of Vāmadeva wheel he is the presiding deity of the principle of water.

22. He is associated with Lakṣmī Śakti on the left. He is the protector of all. He has four arms. He has eyes as splendid as the lotus. He is dark-complexioned and bears the characteristics of Śaṅkha etc.

23. Of him alone is the set of lour Vāsudevas in the Vyaṣṭi form. It bestows liberation on the devotees of Viṣṇu engaged in worship through meditation.

24. This set of four consists of Vāsudeva, Aniruddha, Saṃkarṣaṇa and Pradyumna. This excellent wheel of sustenance is well known.

25. Sustenance means the protection of the existing universe along with its creator until the completion of the pleasures of the souls, the reapers of the fruit.

2 of 2 said…

26. Protection is the activity of Viṣṇu. In the sustenance also the lord has five activities, viz; creation etc,

27. The deities of whom Pradyumna is the chief are absolute and without distress. They cause bliss to liberated souls.

28. O Brahmin, this wheel of sustenance which is permanent is presided over by Viṣṇu. It is the highest abode.

29. This region is attainable by those who serve the lotus-feet of Viṣṇu. This wheel yields Sālokya etc. to the devotees of Viṣṇu.

30. Brahmā was born of a thousandth part of Viṣṇu.

He has the face of Sadyojāta and is the presiding deity of the principle of earth.

31. He is accompanied by the goddess of speech on his left. He is the creator and lord of the universe. He has four faces. He is red in complexion and his form is possessed of Rajas attribute.

32. Hiraṇyagarbha, Virāṭ, Puruṣa and Kāla, the four constitute his personal form.

33. O Brahmin, this wheel of creation is the cause of Brahma’s sons and other sages. It bestows desires and happiness to the devotee.

34-35. Those who have the knowledge of creation know this to be the function of Brahman. Creation is the process of re-unification of the soul with the body previously annihilated—the body which along with the means, ancillaries and results comes out of Prakṛti for gradual enjoyment. It is pleasing as long as it holds good.

36. O sage, in the creation of the universe there are five functions of the lord. The present time etc. are the deities there.

37. This wheel of creation is in the form of turning round. This charming region is presided over by Brahman.

38. This region is attainable by those who have dedicated their minds to Brahmā. This indeed bestows Sālokya and other liberations on the devotees of Brahmā.

39. Even in regard to the set of four wheels the Praṇava indicates Maheśa etc.

40. O sage, this wheel of universe is glorified by the Śrutis. The Vedas eulogise it as the wheel with five spokes.

41. Although the wheel of the universe with its five constituents: creation etc. has five spokes, it develops and increases by Śiva’s energy.

42. It is called a “wheel” because it moves round and round with incessant dissolution and recreation like the whirling fire-brand.

43-44. Because of the immensity of creation it is called Pṛthu, the resultant of the Śakti of lord Śiva of immense splendour and of golden features. The wheel is dependent on golden splendour and is surrounded by water encompassed by fire.

45. Fire is surrounded by wind; wind by ether; ether by the primordial element and that by intellect.

46. Intellect is encompassed by the unmanifest. O sage, the universe is thus explained by the learned preceptors.

47. Such are the seven sheaths which protect the universe. The expanse of water is ten times more massive than the wheel.

48. The world above is ten times more than the one below. O leading sage, the universe shall be known thus by those who desire to know that.

49. It is by accepting this sense that the Śruti says “In the middle of water”. Of course the earth rotates as the wheel.

50. That Śiva alone accompanied by Śakti performs incessant sports through blessing, disappearance, dissolution, sustenance and creation.

51. O sage, of what avail is much talk? I shall tell you the essence. Śiva endowed with Śakti is all this. It is definite conclusion.

Anonymous said…

Bhūtaśuddhi (भूतशुद्धि, “elemental purification”) refers to a ritual, following kumbhābhiṣeka, that completes the transference of Śiva as deity manifest in the image, according to the Mānasāra (मानसार) chapter 70.—“Accordingly, the image is adorned with clothes, ornaments and flowers, and anointed with sandal paste. Incense and lamp are waved before it amidst music, song and dance. The Sthapati (स्थपति) “Master Builder” then “places” the mātṛkākṣaras on his body from head to heart and all other letters (the consonants and half-vowels) from feet ta the upper limit (heart), and also the thirty-eight kalās, here to mean “signs of esoteric significance”, on his limbs. By placing the syllables on his body, the sthapati conducts the rite of bhūtaśuddhi, purification of elements, that in turn purifies and prepares him for worship.”

The ritual is following by śivārcana.

Source: McGill: The architectural theory of the Mānasāra

Śivārcana (शिवार्चन).—In the ritualistic process of śivārcana, Lord Siva is invoked and installed on a mystic pedestal known as śivāsana which itself is constituted of five asanas known as anantāsana, siṃhāsana, yogāsana, padmāsana and vimalāsana. Each āsana, with an attributed form represents a gross element

1. Anantāsana (form: triangle, element: Earth)
2. Siṃhāsana (form: square, element: Water)
3. Yogāsana (form: octagonal, element: Fire)
4. Padmāsana (form: circle, element: Air)
5. Vimalāsana (form: hexagon, element: Space )

Bassically, each asana is composed of a tattva or a group of tattvas and on the whole śivāsana is nothing but a mystic pedestal composed of thirty-six principles (tattvas). The pīṭha part of śivaliṅga is to be indentified wih śivāsana.

Source: IGNCA: Āgamic Treatment Of Mahābhūtas In Relation To Maṇḍalas And Arts
Anonymous said…

To learn about the “five elements” Jagadananda Das, read Verses 1–37, Chapter XLVIII (48) of the Haṭhatatvakaumudī (of Sundaradeva).

Haṭhatatvakaumudī ISBN 10: 819016175X / ISBN 13: 9788190161756

Notes

Verse 13 (of Chapter 48) advises one to also consult the Siddhānta-Śekhara (of Śrīpati) on the Five Elements.
Anonymous said…

Most importantly, to learn how to practice Bhūtaśuddhi (भूतशुद्धि, “elemental purification”) Jagadananda Das, see Chapter X (10), verses 34 & 35 of the same Haṭhatatvakaumudī (of Sundaradeva).
Anonymous said…

The Haṭhatatvakaumudī (of Sundaradeva) is a good 'practical' guide to the important aspects of अर्चन (arcana) “honouring”.

If you wish a copy of this text to be sent to you at the Jiva Institute, you have only to ask.
Anonymous said…

In regard to:

“Most importantly, to learn how to practice Bhūtaśuddhi (भूतशुद्धि, “elemental purification”) Jagadananda Das, see Chapter X (10), verses 34 & 35 of the same Haṭhatatvakaumudī (of Sundaradeva).”

See pages 150, 180, 293, 317, 319, 320 and most especially page 272 of your copy of David Gordon White’s ‘The Alchemical Body.’
Anonymous said…


atha bhūtaśuddhikumbhakaḥ

ruddhvā ghoṇāyugam kuryād yugapadyadi ṣaṭkramāt |
bhūtaśudhiriti prokta ādināthena śambhunā ‖ 34 ‖

iti bhūtaśuddhikumbhakaḥ ‖

Bhūtaśuddhi (भूतशुद्धि, “elemental purification) verse 34 of the same Haṭhatatvakaumudī (of Sundaradeva).
Anonymous said…

One will not find this in books Jagadananda Das:

The Five Yogic Energies symbolised by the Elements

Earth = Śiva Lingam (the mountain of energy held aloft above skull).

Fire = śāmbhavi Mudra (Energy of the yogic fire).

Water = abhiṣeka (Energy of the yogic anointing).

Air = śaktiḥ (the ecstatic energy generated by the yogic breath).

Aether = samādhi (the disembodied [as pure energy] yogic flight to the hiraṇya-garbhá).
Anonymous said…

N.B.* For Air the yogi will also perceive flickering lights in the sky at dawn and at dusk, for Water the yogi will also feel energy generated by the physical movement of water (which causes a rise of kundalini), especially where a river forks or drops; and for Earth the yogi will also feel strong energies at different geological places (which also causes a rise of kundalini).

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