[Advaita-l] Digest of Paramacharya's Discourses on Soundaryalahari (DPDS-26)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 26 08:31:09 CDT 2003

FOR NEW READERS of this series, it may be worthwhile to go
back to  the Introduction  about the objective of this
Digest and the Note on the Organization (both at advaitin
Message No.18425; ambaa-L message no.5273; advaita-L
message No.14046; Sadhana_shakti message no.334). 
Let us recall that  the entire contents of the Digest are
from the Paramacharya’s ideas and words, including the
first person reference to himself,  except for my English
rendering. Wherever he uses specific English words himself,
I have drawn the attention of the reader to that fact.
Recall particularly that ‘our Acharya’ or ‘The Acharya’ in
the discourses, means ‘Adi Sankaracharya’.
V. Krishnamurthy
A Digest of Paramacharya’s Discourses on Soundaryalahari - 
(Digest of pp.887-892 of Deivathin Kural)

	Let those who have the capacity to go through the path of
Kundalini yoga go that way. For us,the easier bhakti path
which holds doggedly to The Mother is enough. What they can
get, She will give the same to us. Maybe She will take us
also to that path, after a certain stage and give us those
experiences. Maybe She will also tell some of them who have
gone through that difficult terrain, “Enough of this” and
bring them  back to stay quiet in a total  attitude of

	Right in the sloka (No.10) where it talks about the flow
of amrita in the nADis, let us see how the sloka winds up.
It does not wind up with the idea that the eternal flow of
nectar at the point where the prANa Shakti reaches the
head, brings the non-dual union of the jIva with the
Absolute; but it ends up by saying: “the Kundalini in the
form of that prANa Shakti descends through Chakra after
Chakra and winds itself up in the mUlAdhAra Chakra, where
it again goes to sleep”.
	It is the winding and whirling up that gave it the name of
‘Kundalini’. When a snake sleeps it winds and whirls up. In
fact all animals do it. They don’t stretch their limbs and
sleep. Some winding up will be there. But it is the snake
that winds up totally in the form of a kunDala (ear
ornament).The parAShakti whose power is infinite, exhibits
Herself in each of us only a fragment of a fragment. All
the remaining power of the parAShakti is the sleeping

	Well. Instead of continuing the talk of the flow of amrita
and the blissful sensation of it, I have now come down to
the talk of  the sleeping state of ambaal in us commonfolk.
What is the meaning of this kind of ending such a profound
discussion? Yes, there is a meaning. So long as the thought
that ‘I have done a great yoga-sAdhanA’ is there, even
great yogis will have to tumble down to the normal
ground-level state. And so, mark it,  even if one goes high
up to the kundalini yoga stage, the only key that will
unlock the door is the attitude of surrender which says:
‘It is not me; It is You, Oh Mother’!
	In the next sloka (# 11), the ShrI Chakram (also called
the Shri Yantram) is described. The very mention of ‘ShrI
VidyA pUjA’ implies the pUjA of ShrI Chakram. Every deity
has a yantram exclusively associated with it. But those who
do Shiva pUjA and or VishNu pUjA do not usually keep the
corresponding yantrams in the pUjA. Maybe in  temples under
the various altars of the deities the corresponding
yantrams would have been formally installed. But in
households where Shiva or VishNu pUja is done only the BANa
lingam or the SalagrAmam is kept, but not the yantram. In
the panchAyatana pUjA which includes worship of ambaaL one
keeps the stone called ‘svarNa-rekhA-ShilA’. But when you
worship ambaal alone, you don’t keep that ‘ShilA’. Only
ShrI Chakram is kept. In some places along with the
Chakram, an image with hands and feet may also be kept. 

	The regimen of worship for any deity has both ‘mantra’ and
‘yantra’ associated with it. A certain sequence of sounds,
repeated often and often gets the beatification of the
presence of that devatA (divinity) prescribed by it. Just
as each devatA has a physical form with limbs, so also each
devatA has a form in a stringed sequence of sounds. It is
called the sound-form, just as the recitation of mantras
aims at the mantra-form. 
In addition there is the yantra-form for each devatA. The
form has lines, triangles, enclosures, circular or
otherwise; these are not just geometrical figures. Each of
them has a meaning and significance. They have
extraordinary power. Each yantram is set to absorb and
bring into focus the paramAtmA in the form of that devatA.
In addition to the repeated mental recitation of the
mantra, one does pUja to the yantram also. Within the
triangles of the yantras and other enclosures, the
seed-syllables (bIja-aksharas) corresponding to the mantra
pertaining to the devata would be inscribed. The very
devatA that is the life of  an idol with arms and feet is
also considered to be brought alive  in the corresponding
yantram, In fact the yantram is even more comprehensive;
for it includes the native residence of the devatA and all
its accessory deities within itself. 

The Mother Goddess, whom we call ambaal, has many forms
like Meenakshi, durgA, Bhuvaneshvari, ShAradAmbikA etc.
Each of these has its own yantram. But it is very common
that even the worshippers of these forms do only the ShrI
Chakra pUjA, rather than the pUjA of the particular mUrti
(form). This is so not only in houses, but in temples also.
Famous durgA temples have only Shri Chakra installed
therein. Sringeri has ShAradAmbAl as the main mUrti;
however the yantra PujA is for ShrI Chakram. All this goes
to show the importance of the ShrI Chakram.
Lines, circles, squares, figures formed  by these – all
these configured into a Chakra along with a centre point
(madhya-bindu), is called a yantram. Only such a design has
the power to bring into focus the power of the particular
devatA – in fact it is an infinite power –and so may be
called (with a smile) a ‘Divine Design’. (This is
Paramacharya’s own word). These designs collect and absorb
divine energy and have the power to radiate that energy .

In the ShrI Chakra, the central portion is circular. There
are nine triangles there. They criss cross one another,
thus producing forty-three triangles. The central dot is
also considered to be one triangle. Together the triangles
number forty-four. These forty-four triangles are
classified into six AvaraNas. The straightforward meaning
of this word ‘AvaraNa’ is ‘what hides’.  Here it should be
taken to mean track, corridor, row, or prAkAra in Sanskrit.
If several people crowd around one individual, the latter
is naturally ‘hidden’. So they form an AvaraNam around him.
The central dot is also taken as one AvaraNam just as it is
taken also as a triangle. In fact around it the other
forty-three triangles constitute five AvaraNas.  Together
with it we talk of six AvaraNas. Outside of these six
AvaraNas annd forty-four triangles, there are three rounds
or corridors. They constitute three more AvaraNas and thus
we have nine AvaraNas in all. You would have heard of
Dikshidar’s ‘nava-AvaraNa’ compositions in music. The
ShAstras describe and enunciate who lives in what AvaraNa,
what is the principle involved, who is the adhi-devatA,
what kind of anugraha (Grace) they can bestow, what mudrA
is to be shown to them and so on.  The compositions of
Dikshidar go through all this in brief.

Out of the outermost three AvaraNas (rounds) of the total
nine, the two inner are made up of  lotus petals arranged
in two circles. The ninth AvaraNa is a  design looking 
like three compound walls; but now it is not a circular
structure but of square design. The whole thing is a unique
design with an infinite divine potential.

But beware. One has to be careful.  
To be Continued.
PraNAms to all advaitins and devotees of Mother Goddess


Prof. V. Krishnamurthy
My website on Science and Spirituality is http://www.geocities.com/profvk/
You can  access my book on Gems from the Ocean of Hindu Thought Vision and Practice,  and my father R. Visvanatha Sastri's manuscripts from the site.

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