[Advaita-l] Digest of Paramacharya's Discourses on Soundaryalahari (DPDS-27)
profvk at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 29 06:48:05 CDT 2003
Recall the Note about the organization of the Digest,
from DPDS 26 or the earlier ones.
A Digest of Paramacharyas Discourses on Soundaryalahari -
(Digest of pages 892-898, Deivathin Kural (in Tamil),
Vol.6, 4th imprn)
A yantra means that every bit of it whether a line or a
circle or an angle, has to be of the right size and
proportioin as prescribed. It cannot err even a little this
way or that way. Just as a mantra, with a wrong
incantation, produces contrary effects, so also a small
mistake in the design of the yantra can cause havoc. In the
Shri yantra again, if the apex of the central triangle
faces west instead of east, as it should, results can just
be the opposite. So when you sit opposite to it for the
worship, the apex should be on the side nearer to you and
not on the farther side.
One has to be really more careful with the pUja of a
yantram than that of an idol (vigraha), in terms of the
ritualistic dos and donts.
In modern times many have turned over to Shri Cakra pUjA in
their homes, a few merely for the pride of it, another few
because it is the fashion, and yet another few out of
ignorance. But the injunctions are not being followed
properly. Consequently, loss of peace is on the increase.
It is not enough to just wish for great observances. We
should be able to observe the shastraic injunctions
correctly. We should be able to perform exactly as was
demonstrated to us and passed on to us by our elders. Only
then we will reap the right benefits. Certainly Shri Chakra
has been eulogised in the Shastras to the sky. But the
very same ShAstras have also prescribed a certain regimen
for such pUjA. By taking the attitude I will do my
personalized pUjA in my own way not only will you miss the
promised or expected results, but actually it will turn out
to be counter-productive.
A yantra is not just the residing seat of a devatA; it is
the devatA itself. It is not just a representation, or a
copy. It is not a substitute for the devatA. It is the
devatA itself. It is the presentation of the devatA and not
a re-presentation. More so in the case of ambaal. For, Her
Divine Presence is very special in Her yantra. It is
because of this that ambaal-pUjA is mostly done to Her
yantra than to Her most beautiful physical form.
[At this point, Ra Ganapathi, (the Boswell of
Paramacharya), adds the following note:
Usually we talk greatly of the name and form of
But generally, in the case of feminine deities,
the name takes a lesser role. And in the case of ShrI
the name is not there at all. Only the seed syllables are
Again, though the devatA of Shri Vidya, namely
is as shown by her name itself of very beautiful form,
instead of the worship of her form
there is more worship of the yantram only. Why is this so?
This question was asked of the Paramacharya .
He expressed concurrence with the above statement
and joined in expressing his own astonishment that this is
But he did not choose to give any explanation.]
In addition to the two natural locations for Her, namely,
the Ocean of Nectar and the Meru peak, one should add Her
yantram as another place of Her permanent residence.
No, no, I just committed two errors. The ShrI chakra is not
just Her residence. The ShrI Chakra is Herself ! This was
the first error. The second one is that the Shri Chakra is
not like the Ocean of Nectar or the Meru peak where She is
said to reside. Even in those two places, She resides only
in the ShriChakra, though now magnified million times.
When She is in the Meru peak, the AvaraNas are piled up
peak upon peak in a three-dimensional manner. It will be in
the form of an upright cone. Such a three dimensional
configuration of ShrI Chakra is called Meru-prastAram.
People call it just Meru colloquially. When the Chakra is
two dimensional it is said to be bhU-prastAram. A mixture
of the two, where the beginning AvaraNas rise higher and
higher, but later the latter AvaraNas are all in the same
plane, is called ardha-Meru (ardha means semi). A
pUrNa-Meru is that which has all the AvaraNas in the
Meru-prastara style. In our Mutt at Kanchipuram and in
Tiruvidaimarudur MukAmbal sannadhi, what you find is
pUrNa-Meru. In Mangadu it is ardha-meru. In the Kamakoshtam
at Kanchipuram it is bhU-prastAram.
The ShrI Chakra, ShrI VidyA, ShrI MatA, ShrI puram all
pertain to the devI, the Mother Goddess,
LalitA-tripurasundari. The prefix ShrI is the prefix
usually given for respect and has no extra connotation of
Lakshmi, the Goddess of Prosperity and Wealth. The Chakras
and the mantras associated with other devatAs are
distinguished by by their name itself carrying the name of
the devatA as in, Shiva-chakram, Sudarshana-yantram,
ShhaDakshhara-chakram, etc. Only in the case of
LalitA-tripurasundari, the chakram, the yantram are known
as The Chakram, The Yantram, The Mantram.
The ShrI Chakram depicts the advaitic identity of Shiva and
Shakti. That is why the two kinds of chakras of Shiva and
Shakti are intertwined. The (four) triangles with the apex
upward are known as Shiva cakras and the (five) triangles
with apex downward are known as Shakti chakras. The angles
at which these interesect, the lotus petals on the outer
corridors, the circular lines, the square design at the
outermost, all have specific prescriptions; these are
given in Shloka 11.
All this is not to be read or studied like reading fiction
or for acadmeic interest. They have to be seriously learnt
straight from a Guru. They have to be preserved as such. I
did not want to omit them completely and therefore I just
touched upon these. But dont take them lightly !
To be Continued.
Thus spake the Paramacharya.
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.
More information about the Advaita-l mailing list