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tavAdhAre mUle

By admin on Dec 28, 2008 | In Srividya, Darshana, Bhakti, Yoga

[The following post is based on a lecture given by Sri Harshaji in Bharatiya Vidya
Bhavan, published later in their journal. This is the first of a two part article but we
are unable to obtain the second part]
sadAshivasamArambhAM vyAsashankaramadhyamAm |
shankaranandaparyantAM vande guruparamparAm ||
[he bhagavati] O Mother!
tavAdhAre mUle- in thy mUlAdhAra Chakra having four petals;
manye (I) conceive;
navAtmAnam the great Lord Ananda Bhairava;
navarasamahAtANdavanaTam dancing (the great tANdava Nrtya) with all the nine
rasas or sentiments;
saha samayayA lAsyaparayA along with the great Goddess Sri samayAmbikA who
is dancing (the great dance of lAsya)
uadayavidhimuddishya etAbhyAM ubhAbhyAM dayayA sanAthAbhyAM They, who,
out of overflowing grace, have come together for the purpose of creation of the
idaM jagat janakajananImat jagne them I recognize as the parents of this created
The shAkta system prescribes a specific dhyAna mUrti of Shiva-Shakti mithuna in
every Chakra in the body. Such a mithuna is described for all the 108 major and
minor chakras in Tantras like Badabanala, Hamsa Maheshwara etc. In
Saundaryalahari, Srimadacharya Bhagavatpada deals with the forms associated
with the six major chakras mUlAdhAra, maNipUraka, swADhiShThana, anAhata,
vishuddhi and ajnA. The current verse, which forms the concluding verse of
Anandalahari, deals with aspect of Amba and Lord in mUlAdhAra chakra [located at
the base of the spine above akula sahasrAra and viShuva chakra] called mahA
naTeshwara and samayAmbikA. Different traditions refer to the divine couple
differently. The Hayagriva Sampradayins like to speak of them as Adi nAtha and
lAsyeshwari, the kaulas refer to them as Ananda Bhairavi and Ananda Bhairava as
Sri LakshmidharAchArya points out. But for most of us, it does not really matter how
we refer to them, though it is of scholastic interest to know why they are called so.
The divine couple is to be meditated in mUlAdhAra chakra as non-different from the
mahA shambhava mithuna, shrInavAtmeshwarI and shrInavAtmeshwara,
surrounded by fifty-six pArthiva [associated with earth or prthvI] rashmi-s or rays.

The uddhAra of the navakUTa vidyA of UrdhwAmnaya is also the intent of this verse,
which should be learnt directly from Sadguru.
lAsya and tANDava:
lAsya and tANDava are two aspects of dance which are described as below:
shR^i~ngArarasabhUyiShTaiH bhUribhavatara~NgitaiH
a~Ngairana~NgasarvaswaiH shobhAtishalashAlibhiH |
anvito nR^ittabhedo yaH tallAsyamiti kathyate ||
The form of dance enacted by women, predominantly expressing shri~NgAra rasa
(romance or love) which has rati as its sthyAyI bhAva, filled with ample quantities of
other sentiments, is called lAsya. The word lAsya originates from the root `las
lasati, meaning `to shine. The movements here are characterized by grace and
softness. lAsya is of two forms namely jarita and yauvaka. The form of dance
enacted by men is called tANdava. The movements here are characterized by
briskness and vigor. The form of dance detailed by sage Bharata lists charI, karaNa,
angahara and maNDala as its main components. Movement of a single leg is called
charI, movement of both legs is called karana and 4 to 9 karaNas constitute of a
angahara. A total of 108 karaNas and 32 angahara-s are defined in the nATya
shAstra (the scripture of dance). Lords tANDava is complete with all these elements
108 karaNas and 32 angahara-s. There are sixteen types of tANDava-s performed
by the Lord and these are discussed in various shaivagamas and purANa-s. They
include Ananda tANDava, rudra tANDava, gaurI tANDava, tripura tANDava, samhAra
tANDava, shakti tANdava, ardhanArI tANDava etc. Of these, the important one is
Ananda tANDava which signifies Anugraha, slowly transitioning into srShTi, which is
what is described by Srimadacharya in the current verse.
It should be noted that both creation and dissolution are described in our scriptures
as being performed by the divine couple in the form of a dance. Dance involves
movement or vibration or spanda. Where there is no such vibration, there is perfect
equilibrium, like a still lake before and after a series of ripples. This is the original
state attained before the commencement and after the culmination of the
seemingly eternal play of the divine couple.
The reason for their coming together is to create and this desire is born out of their
infinite compassion for the souls. To help all souls undergo redemption and achieve
their goal which is Shiva, the divine couple parents the world, providing an
opportunity to all souls to attain their final goal. However, it should be noted that
this act is their lIlA, a sport undertaken out of their own free will and not due to any
binding rule or compulsion. The same is said by Bhagavan bAdarAyaNa, lokavattu
lIlA kaivalyam. One may however think a little `extra and attribute this lIlA to the
extreme compassion of the divine couple, which is how we would like to approach

our upAsya mUrtis for our own benefit and this is exactly what Acharya does in the
current verse.
Also, the significance of their dance is rooted deeply both in cause and effect. It is
their desire to procreate that resulted in them coming together for the cosmic dance
of creation, the activity of `dance itself signifying activity of creation in this case.
The result or effect of this dance/creation is the appearance of a world, which has
them as its parents. The dance continues further after the creation as now it is the
joyful dance of two parents who are celebrating the birth of a progeny.
Navarasa-s are the nine sentiments classically dealt in the various kAvyas in
Sanskrit literature. Rasyate AswAdyata iti rasaH that which is experienced,
relished or enjoyed is called rasa. Bharatas nATya shAstra lists only eight rasas. But
Uddhata, the celebrated commentator on the nATya shAstra, lists nine rasas or
navarasa-s. The navarasa-s are:
Sringara (love, romance or eroticism)
hAsya (humor)
karuNA (pathos)
raudra (terror)
vIra (heroism)
bhayAnaka (terror)
bhIbhatsa (disgust)
adbhuta (wonder)
shAnta (the state of equilibrium or peace)
Here is a beautiful Shloka from Sri Rama Karnamritam, which lists all the nine rasas, associating them with the different actions of Lord Sri Ramachandra:
sringAraM kShitinandinIviharaNe exhibiting Sringara rasa while with Smt sItA devi
vIraM dhanurbhanjane exhibiting vIra rasa while breaking Shiva dhanus and
narayaNa dhanUs
kAruNyaM balibhojane exhibiting karuNA rasa to kakAsura
adbhutarasaM sindhau giristhApane expressing adbhuta rasa looking at the bride
across the ocean

hAsyaM shUpaNakhamukhe expressing humor looking at the face of shupanakha,

whose nose was severed by Saumitri
bhayamaghe expressing fear towards sinful activities (i.e. non-indulgence in sin)
bhIbhatsyamanyamukhe expressing disgust at the face of parastrI or anothers
raudram rAvaNamardane exhibiting raudra rasa while slaying dashAsya
munijane shANtaM exhibiting shAnta rasa while gracing sages
vapuH pAtu naH May that navarasa mUrti of Sri Ramachandra protect us!
The Shloka `shive shrngArArdrA from Saundaryalahari describes in a similar spirit,
the navarasa-s as expressed by Amba. In the current verse, it should be noted that
the dance enacted by Lord is complete with all the nine rasa-s. It has already been
explained that lAsya, though constituting of all rasa-s in ample quantities, is
dominated by Sringara rasa. In the case of Ananda tANdava as well, the
predominance of srngAra rasa becomes implicitly indicated as sringAra is said to be
rasa rAja [the king among the nine rasas] and by using the phrase navarasamahatANDavanaTa, Srimadacharya is hinting at this aspect of Ananda tANDava
dominated by Sringara rasa. As the hetu or reason for the Brahman, who is one,
appearing as many (Shiva and Shakti here) and coming together as a couple
enacting lAsya and tANDava, is procreation, it becomes evident that it is SrngAra
rasa that predominates over other rasas.
Sri Ananda Bhairava is called navAtmA as he is characterized by nine groups called
vyUhas. They are:
1. kAla vyUha the period signifying the summation of time, starting from the
twinkling of an eye (of Amba which signifies creation) till mahA praLaya (the great
dissolution brought about by mahA Bhairava)
2. kula vyUha group of things which have form and color, based on which they can
be grouped
3. nAma vyUha group of all objects/creatures identified with a name
4. jnAna vyUha or bhAga vyUha intelligence, which is of two forms savikalpa
(mixed and changing) and nirvikalpa (pure and unchanging) or of the forms
concrete and abstract
5. chitta vyUha consists of the group if five aspects related to mind-matter
namely, ahaMkAra, chitta, buddhi, mahat and manas (or unmana instead of mahat
according to some traditions)

6. nAda vyUha consists of rAga (desire), icChA (strong desire), krti (the mental
conception of the action which can fructify the desire) and prayatna (the actual
effort to accomplish the desire). These four respectively correspond to the four
stages of nAda: parA, pashyantI, madhyamA and vykhari.
7. bindu vyUha consists of the group of six kula chakras, from mUlAdhAra to ajnA
8. kalA vyUha the group of 50 letters of the Sanskrit alphabet
9. jIva vyUha the group of all jIvas, who are bhoktrus or enjoyers, not aware of
their identity with Brahman
As the Lord manifests in the form of these nine groups, he is called navAtman. As
Amba and Bhagavan exhibit sameness in various aspects (the concept of sAmya is
explained a little later), and are non-different in essence, all upAdhi-s of Shiva apply
equally to Amba and hence she is also of the form of these nine vyUha-s
(navAtmeshwarI). The concept of Srishthi according to the Kaulas is chiefly centered
around these nine vyUhas:
navAtmA bhairavo devaH bhuktimuktipradayakaH |
paranandaparA shaktiH chidrUpAnandabhairavI |
tayoryadA sAmarasyaM jagadutpadyate tadA ||
When Sri Bhairava and Sri Bhairavi unite in harmony with the desire to procreate,
the world comes into existence. Here, one needs to understand the concept of
sheShi (essential or the primary) and sheSha (accessory or secondary). Due to
equality of Shiva and Shakti (acceptable only to pUrva kaulas), the roles of sheSha
and sheShi keep rotating between the two. During creation Amba assumes
predominance over Shiva and vice versa during dissolution. The first aspect of this
is indicated by the first verse of Saundaryalahari (shivaH shaktyA yukto yadi bhavati
shaktaH prabhavitum). The second aspect where Amba attains subservience or
sheShatva is expressed in the name mahApralayasakShiNI and by Srimadacharya in
kalyANa vrShTi stava (kalpopasamhrtiShu kalpita tANdavasya .. sa sAkShiNI
vijayate tava mUrtirekA). This is one interpretation of the name navAtman.
Also, Mahadeva is said to manifest in eight forms: prthvI (earth), ap (water), tejo
(fire), vAyu (wind), AkAsha (sky), sUrya (sun), Chandra (moon) and yajamAna (jIva).
The original, resplendent form of the Lord, which is the basis for these eight forms
(mUlAdhiShThAna swarUpa) forms the ninth form. As Amba is ever united with the
Lord, these nine forms as equally applicable to her. Hence, both hold the titles
navAtmeshwara and navAtmeshwarI.
There is also a third interpretation. The six kula chakras along with the three
granthi-s or knots (brahma, viShNu and rudra granthis). As the Lord is the Atman
attained by transcending these nine, he is referred to as navAtman. Needless to
say, our lady comes to be called navAtmikA as well.

By using the verse samayA, Srimadacharya establishes clearly that the current
verse is equally applicable to both established schools of shAkta philosophy
samaya and kaula. The word samayA in this verse is indicative of the interpretation
according to the school of samayAchAra and the word navAtman is indicative of the
interpretation of the same based on the tenets of kaulAchAra. We shall restrict our
discussion to the Samaya School here. Both Amba and Lord have the name samayA
and samayaH as the word `sama signifies equality or sameness. As Amba and
Bhagavan are similar/same/equal in five different ways, they are referred to as
Samayeshwari and Samayeshwara. In fact, the very school of samayAchAra is based
on this concept of samayatva. Some other Tantras define various AchAras like
vedAchAra, vaishnavAchAra, shaivachAra, dakShiNAchAra, vamAchAra,
siddhAntachAra and kaulAchAra. Some interpret samayAchAra as identical with
dakShiNAchAra, which is a misinterpretation. samayAchAra is blatantly different
from dakShiNAChAra in various ways, the prime similarity between the two AchAras
being sruti prAmANya (acceptable to Sruti and smrti). There are five schools of
samayAchAra elaborated by Shuka, Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatkumara and Vasistha
in their respective samhitA-s, together referred to shubhAgama panchaka. Also, the
dakShiNAchAra elaborated in the above list from mahAnirvANa is a further division
within the leftist path, not related to actual dakShiNAchAra, elaborated in Agama,
Smrti, purANa, samhitA-s of hayagrIva and daksHiNAmUrti etc. The above list of
AchAras from mahAnirvANa should be treated as arthavAda and as applicable only
to those qualified/suited for taking the leftist path. Coming back to samayachAra,
the worship of kAmeshwara and kameshwari who exhibit the following sAmyas,
forms the basic tenet of this shAkta school:
1. adhiShThAna sAmya the identity of abode
Both Amba and Kameshwara reside in the six chakras, in mahA kailAsa, in the
chintAmaNi Grha on mahA meru and in the hearts of the pious. This establishes
adhiShThAna sAmya.
2. avasthAna sAmya the identity of state, condition or position
Both Amba and Kameshwara, in the case of the current verse, occupy the position
of dancers. Also, both hold the position as the Supreme emperors of the universe.
This establishes avasthAna sAmya.
3. anuShThana sAmya the identity of function or occupation
In the current verse, both Amba and Kameshwara come together with the same
purpose or function creation of the world. Also, at various stages, they indulge in
other functions like sthiti, samhAra, tirodhAna and anugraha. This establishes
anuShThAna sAmya.

4. rUpa sAmya the identity of form

Both are of red (aruNa varNa) complexion [the hAdi school prescribes a different
dhyAna of Kameshwara but what should be considered here is the Dhyana of
kAmakameshwarI mithuna, described as `japAkusumasankAshau' etc.]. Both sport
the same AyudhAs [pAsha, amkusha, dhanuH and bANa]. This establishes rUpa
5. nAma sAmya the identity of name
Both Amba and Kameshwara have same/similar names such as shiva/shivA,
samaya/samayA etc. This establishes nAma sAmya.
These five kinds of sAmya can be seen in each of the six chakras. However, the
crest of the experience of this sAmya panchaka is possible only in Saharara, the
seat of total union of Shiva and Shakti or jIva and Brahman. This is the primary
reason why a Samayacharin worships Amba and Shiva only in Sahasrara and not in
any other inferior chakras unlike his other counterparts. The thousand-petalled lotus
called Sahasrara forms the Bindu or the central point of the Srichakra visualized by
a Samayacharin. The lunar disc in the Sahasrara (this is the chicchandra maNDala
free from waxing and waning) is conceived as chaturashra or the quadrilateral in
the Srichakra, which its central Bindu representing the tattva called sAdAkhya,
transcending the 25 tattvas of Samaya Mata (shiva, shakti etc). It is this
transcendental Tattva representing complete harmony of shiva and shakti that is the
central focus of adoration in samayAchAra. As there is no external worship of any
form, there are no separate mantras or procedures prescribed for
ShoDashopachAra-s, Avahana etc. Samayachara is prescribed only for
uttamadhikari-s, those with superior qualifications. For the rest of the traivarNika-s,
dakShiNachAra is the prescribed path, where the contemplation of the sAmya is
through bhAvanA, mantra, nyAsa and other tools. Thus, it would not be incorrect to
assume dakShiNAchAra to be the initial or preparatory stage of samayAchara, in the
case of mandAdhikari-s.
The chief observance of a samayacharin is the contemplation on the following four
identities or tAdAtmya-s:
1. Identity between the six chakras in the body with the six chakras of Srichakra
2. Identity between the Sahasrara Chandramandala and the Chaturashra hosting
the central maha bindu in Srichakra
3. Identity between Shiva and Bindu
4. Identity between Srichakra and Srividya Mahamantra
Some schools of samayAchAra prescribe a separate set of six identities. The three
primary constituents in this set are:

1. nAda [parA, pashyantI, madhyamA, vaikharI]

2. bindu [the six kula chakras]
3. kalA [50 or 360 in number]
All the three correspond to the various components of the Srichakra. That Supreme
Tattva which transcends nAda, bindu and kalA is represented by the bindu of
Srichakra, also representing Shiva-shaktyaikya swarUpiNI or Amba. The identities of
these, taken two at a time, between one another and with Srichakra and Srividya,
result in six permutations which constitute of the six-fold identity.
The dIkshA imparted by Saduguru to an adhikAri shishya, who has already achieved
the required state of purity, is called shAmbhava mahA vedha. This is detailed in
Sanaka Samhita. The disciple initially approaches a guru (on Ashwayuja shukla
pratipat), surrenders totally to his lotus-feet and begs for instruction. He is given the
panchadashI or shoDashI mantra which is chanted according to the prescribed rules,
knowing correctly details such as rishi, chandas, nyAsa etc. The mantra is repeated
in the fashion of shuShka japa (dry or lacking bhAvanA), mainly to attain further
purification. Here, shuShka japa means conditioning oneself through japa to become
similar to a dry tree, which will immediately burst into flames of the knowledge of
the self, when touched by Sadguru. On the auspicious day of mahAnavami, the
disciple approaches guru during the night (some interpret this as associated with
vAmAchAra or kaulAchAra where most activities are nocturnal and raise doubts. But
this is nonsensical. Mahanavami is that part of the night when aShTami and navami
merge into each other, which necessarily occurs during night. Importance here is to
this muhUrtA signifying entrance of kuNDalinI shakti into suShumnA and of closure
of navarandhras with complete Urdhwa retaH sthiti) and prostrates himself at the
lotus feet of Sadguru. The Guru places his hand on the Shishya, imparting six types
of dIkSha, gives him the upadesha of Srividya mahamantra with its secret meaning,
the method of Kundalini Yoga and ShaTchakropAsti, and the method of
ShadvidhaikyAnusandhAna. Due to the power of mahAvedha, the aspirant enters a
meditative state contemplating on the six-fold identity. This results in the dissolution
of his mind into mahA bindu or sAdakhya tattva, resulting in the realization of the
resplendent Self. This is the approach of the school of samayAchAra.
While understanding these technical nuances, one should not forget another
important hint given by SrimadAchArya, infinite compassion of Amba and Bhagavan
and their role as the doting parents. For those lacking the adhikAra for perceiving
them in the ShaTchakras as described above, the path shown by AchArya is of
Bhakti, of worshipping them as parents filled with love and compassion for their
offspring, which will result in them gracing even an incompetent aspirant by
granting competency to undertake the said practices.
kAraNaparachidrUpAyai namaH
namo namaste shiva kAmakoTi