Kularnava = Kula + arnava = Family or Sakti + ocean. The first is purification of mind and thought (and body) and making them receptive for the descent of spirit. When it is pure, there is subject and object fusion. Upasana's main object is to remove Rajas and Tamas (motion, passion, and darkness) and replace it
with pure Sattva (virtue). Siva condemns in Agasamhita offering of flesh, blood, and wine to him; it is Asadagama (Asad + Agama = Evil Agama). In modern India, Asadagama is NOT generally accepted practice. Sakti is Kula because she has a family name and parents. Siva is Akula because he does not have parents (he is self-born).
Tantra is based on evidence which supercedes or collaborates perception, inference and Sastras. Evidence is compulsive and no one can dispute it; Siddhi (perfection) is that evidence. A Sadhaka following Sadhana attains Siddhi; therefore, belief in Tantra is not in dispute here. Sea is least affected when all waves become angry and take a retreat, so it is immaterial if all Sastras turn against Tantra. A herd of stampeding elephants turn tail at the moment they hear the thunderous roar of the king of beasts. Sastras run helter-skelter and dissipate, when the thunderclouds of Mantra and Tantra boom and roar. Pratyaksa, direct perception, is the power of Mantra, Tantra, and Devatas. Kulasastra is evidentiary and its axis is direct perception. When birds, bees, and animals need seeing as evidence, why should it be hard for man to disbelieve it? If seeing is believing, Tantric Yogis obtain direct vision of the world of Devas through their respective Mantras. Devi appears in the crematoriums to receive the Sadhakas, who lay their heads at the feet of Devi (Brahmamayi) to merge with Brahman. Tantra teaches that Krishna and Kali are the devatas staying awake in the Kali age. Parabrahman is covered on the outside by Maya as a seed (with two cotyledons) is covered by its sheath, and exists as Siva and Sakti who have many names: Maharudra, Mahavishnu, and Mahabrahma. Those who consider these forms as different from one another will not gain any liberation. It is One and has many names. "The Sadhaka, who meditates on Mahesvari (the Consort of Mahesvara, Siva) knows in his heart and mind that she is not different from Guru, Vishnu, Mahesvara, and Mantra, is without doubt.
Mahesvara Himself, though he be only a Jiva." The Sadhaka sees one Brahman in different beings; different activities; different feelings; the Holy Triad, Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesvara; the many devas, Dinesa, Ganesa, Vahini, Varuni, Kubera, and the Dikpalas; different efforts; masculine, feminine and neuter genders; Bael leaves and Tulsi leaves; the Divya, Vira and Pasu forms of worship; Hari, Hara, Kali, Bhairavi, and Sodasi; Buvanesvari, Chinnamasta, Annapurna, Bagalamukhi, Matangi, and Kamalatmika; and Sarasvati and Radhika. There is only One and names are many; that feeling of seeing unity in diversity makes a Sadhaka different from the rest. "All Sadhakas who follow different paths end in Thee who art one only Ocean of Unity just as the rivers end in the ocean." Vedas and Tantras agree on this Ultimate Principle of Unity. The five forms of worship constitute Tantra's five branches: Vaishnavas, Saivas, Saktas, Sauras, and Ganapatyas, the worshippers of Vishnu, Siva, Devi, Sun, and Ganapathy or Ganesa. The wrangling among the members sometimes creates problems, while they forget that Tantra is the source of Mantras of each sect. There is a pointed advice in Bhagavatam (11.3.46) to Vaishnavas: One should cut the knots of ego, and worship Kesava (Krishna) with Vedic and Tantric rites. Book eleven of Bhagavatam goes on further, saying that a Sadhaka should worship the Lord in the image of his choice. It further states that Lord (Krishna) wants his worship should be Vaidik, Tantric, and mixed or Puranik.
Desire nourishes Karma. Do the desire in and cut the attachment; karma does not bear any fruits. Give up associating with people who sow the seeds of karma;seek the holy. If smearing mud and ash is a sign of sanyasin, all poor folk who are caked with mud, ash, sand, and dirt in the villages must be liberated souls.
Animals live on leaves, roots and water; are they yogins? If one does not know the Supreme Truth, he is not a yogin. They hold discussion of sacred texts; they are like ladle which though immersed in food does not have a sense of taste. Asramas, and study of sastras, sciences and philosophy do not bring liberation, which comes from Supreme knowledge. Guru is the preceptor and he is the surrogate of Siva on earth. All knowledge on this earth is apara Vidya (not supreme knowledge); Brahman knowledge is Para Vidya (Supreme knowledge). "Mama" is mineness and keeps one in bondage; antithetical "Nirmama" guarantees release from Samsara. It is idle talk to engage in discussion of liberation, when the aspirant is still afflicted with desire, attachment, and gratification of the senses. When life and activities center around one's body, the spirit is waning. As long as there is mental exertion, ego, and body identification, there is no spiritual enlightenment. A Guru is essential to obtain Grace. As your body suffers from the triple maladies of body, life, and mind, take rest under the Tree of Moksa (liberation) whose flowers are Dharma, Jnana, True Knowledge, and Rta (universal Law), and whose fruit is Divine Bliss. Kula Dharma encompasses all the aforementioned entities and guarantees liberation. Sacrifices alone do not bring liberation to your doorstep. Watch out for pseudo-gurus with expensive tastes and lifestyles, massive wealth, and showy spiritual accoutrements. The pseudogurus proclaim knowledge of Brahman; some walk naked; if nakedness is a sign of spiritual attainment, all asses must be spiritual.
Let me stress the Tantric view that sexual bliss is the cheap worldly substitute for transcendental Bliss. Sexual bliss (the bliss of pasus, animals, and humans in the lowest grade, wallowing in Malas or impurities) is only a way station to Satchidananda, the True Bliss of Transcendental nature. Vaidik rule states that Pasu can have sexual relations with his wife once a month from the 5th to the 15th day after periods and practice abstinence other times. Sexual relations are carried out with the utterance of Mantras and devotion. Tantra integrates Matter and Spirit, and eventually takes man from Matter to Spirit. Later in this chapter, you will read about Bhogi and Yogi, the Epicure and the Recluse. Tantric Sastras accept the fallen nature of human beings and teach them both the epicurean style of living under strict Tantric injunctions and prescriptions, and transcendental life style of SatChitAnanda, where Union with Brahman is the Highest Bliss.
From Tirumantiram about marital bliss
Pariyankam in Tamil means cot (Kattil). Pariyankam = Pari +Ankam = Pari for Sanskrit Sparsa meaning touch or love + part of body. Generally the latter means Phallus. According to Mular, Pariyanka Yogam deals with sexual matters in the context of Yoga. It is controlling breath for enhancement of sexual pleasures, delayed ejaculation, retention of vital fluids, prolongation of sexual acts, the role of Kechari Yoga in sexual practices, and finally learning and practicing abstinence for higher spiritual bliss. Pariyanka yogam claims that Sadasiva (Siva's form) taught Pariyanka yogam to slender-waisted Sakti. Devi's (Consort of Siva, Sakti) beauty and grace are known only to Siva. Neither the erudite four-mouthed Vedic Scholar, Brahma, nor the fivemouthed Victor (Siva) of Tripura, the demon, nor the six-mouthed Kartikeya, the son of Siva, nor the thousand-mouthed Ananta, the serpent King could describe her beauty. Siva drank of her beauty and grace but found words, five heads and five mouths inadequate to describe them. Puspadanta makes the following observation: If Sarasvati writes for timeless ages with the twigpen from Kalpa tree with ink-barrel the size of Black mountain contained in the ocean-pot on a writing surface the size of earth, she would not succeed in describing her gunas (virtues). (Author's note: Sarasvati, the purveyor-goddess of words, phrases, knowledge and wisdom, arts and sciences, and an adept in inversions, and eversions and palindromic somersaults such as “Madam, I'm Adam or Poor Dan is in a droop” would not be able to describe the beauty, grace and gunas of Devi.) There are two kinds of Sakti worshippers: Dakshinacara and Vamacara. Dakshinacara = Dakshina + caara = right-hand + doctrine or practice. They practice right-hand rituals. Vaamacara = Vaama +caara = left-hand, acting in the opposite (Viparita) way + practice, left-hand doctrines of the Tantras, the worship of Sakti of Siva or Female energy. Woodroffe believes that the Vamacaras are misunderstood bunch because of some abuses. (comment: This reminds me of the Words, Dexter, Sinister, and Gauche. Dexter is right side, so it is always right and virtuous with social grace. Sinister is left-handed and evil. Gauche is French for Left. Thus, it is associated with "awkward, clumsy, and undextrous." Left-hand use lacks dexterity and social and physical grace. It is the Awke of the Awkward, meaning left-handed or turned the other or wrong way. In India left is associated with evil, excrement, ordure or feces. Tamil word for it is Pee. Left hand is called Pee-k-Kai (Feces hand) and is used for posterior anal ablution after defecation, while one eats with right hand.
All auspicious activities must be done with right hand; You can salute, eat, receive, give, and also perform rituals with right hand. End of comment.) Doctrines of antinomian character were produced in the west and the east, according to Woodroffe. There are seven doctrines or Acaaras/Acaras: Veda, Vaishnava, Saiva,
Dakshina (all four belong to Pashavacara, the practice of Pasus or those close to animal nature), Vaama/ Vama, Siddhanta, and Kaulacara. Vedacara is the lowest and Kaulacara is the highest. Sexual bliss is Pravrtti marga (evolutionary, here animal living) of pasus. Sadhaka (accomplished one) moves from Pravrtti to Nivritti (involution) marga so that he enjoys SatChitAnanda (Being, Consciousness and Bliss) with Brahman. The quality of Bliss sublimates from animal to spiritual level; the measure of sexual Bliss pales in front of SatChitAnanda. Vedacara: He observes the injunctions of Vedas. He should not cohabit with his wife during menstrual periods. Meat and fish are prohibited on Parva days. Night worship of Deva is prohibited.
Vaishnavacara: He follows Niyama (Dos) and Vedacara. He should not kill or eat animals, and abstain from sexual intercourse in thought, word, and deed.
Vishnu is the Supreme Lord. He should engage in penance. Saivacara: Vedacara injunctions are applicable. No animal killing or eating is allowed. Siva is the Supreme Lord. Dakshinacara: It is named after Rishi Dakshinamurthi. It is a preparatory stage for Vira and Divya Bhavas. The devotee meditates on Isvari (Sakti) after using hemp (Vijaya). Mantra Japa is done nightly. Siddhi (perfection) is attained by using human-skull rosaries on certain occasions and places. Vamacara:
Viras and Divyas are permitted to practice Vamacara. Day time continence is practiced and nightly worship with Panchatattva is permitted. The practitioners are called Kaulas, who are of three kinds: inferior, middling and superior. Their dharma is Kuladharma. The inferior Kaula does rituals and follows Pancatattva. The middling does Pancatattva with meditation. The superior Kaula has no Vairagya (attachment) and practices love towards all, contentment, compassion and forgiveness. A low Kaula is defined as one who refuses to initiate a Chandala (born of Brahmana mother and Sudra father), Yavana (foreigners), or woman into Kaula Dharma (Kuladharma) out of disrespect or superiority feeling. All two footed beings from a Vipra (Brahmana) to low castes are eligible for initiation. Such a low Kaula is a degenerate and goes down. (Let me pass on this information from dictionary about Yavanas. They are the Greeks who came to India and later the term was applied to Muslims, Europeans or any foreigners.) Vipra is the inwardly stirred, the inspired, the sagacious, and the wise (among gods); the learned, singer, and poet among humans; priests among men; or a Brahmana, Vedic Scholar. Kaula = derived from Kula, family: here it means Sakti worshippers. Sakti is Kula; Siva is Akula: Siva does not have a family name and therefore he is Akula. Siva being the Supreme Lord is self-born and has no parents. Kula is the Sakti of Brahman and Akula is Brahman himself; he who knows Atma (the Greater Soul) as Kula-Akula is Kulina. Siva and Sakti is Kaula harmony. The followers are Kaulas. Sakti of Brahman becomes Gurusakti in a Guru and imparts its power to a stone, wood, or clay idol. Kaula Guru is in the forefront among Sakta, Saiva, Vaishnava, Saura and Ganaapatya Gurus, because Kaula Guru is good for Mantras of all sects, while the sectarian gurus are good in their own sectarian Mantras. Sectarian Guru should initiate an aspirant in his own sect only, while a Kaula Guru is competent to determine what is most suitable to an aspirant and initiate him in that particular Mantra. Kularnava Tantra pointedly says that a Sisya (pupil) goes to Raurava hell for abandoning Guru and Mantra, descends into poverty for abandoning Guru, and embraces death for abandoning Mantra. One should exercise Vicara (enquiry) in choosing the Guru and Mantra; once accepted, they should not be abandoned. If the descendant of the Guru family is not competent, one can choose another Guru. Tender or younger age of a Guru is no bar, because he is mature in Kaula wisdom or Sadhana Sastra.
Kuladharma is the essence of Agamas and Tantras; Siva, according to Kularnava Tantra, has extracted Kuladharma by churning the ocean of Agamas and Tantras. Kuladharma shines like a sun in front of a firefly. Yogi cannot enjoy Bhoga (mundane pleasures); Bhogi (Epicure) cannot succeed in Yoga. Kuladharma brings yoga and Bhoga together for a Kaula can benefit from both. For Kaula to have the benefit of both worlds (Yoga and Bhoga), he should control his senses and mind. It is said that Kaula is born (a natural) because he was a Kaula of spiritual knowledge, mature mind and controlled senses in his previous life.Kularnava Tantra deals with Kaula entities like wine and its many kinds; animal sacrifice; essential place of wine and meat in various forms of worship; fish-eating, sexual union; the nature of a good Kaula worshipper; purification of Kaula substances; lunar, solar and fiery Kalas arising from the vowels and consonants; Mantras and Yantras; worship of Vatuka, Sakti and others; 36 Tattvas; prohibition of excessive wine-drinking; Chakras and Bliss; Advaitic doctrine of Monism, Siva-is- jiva, Jiva-is-Siva; worship on special days; the rules of Kulachara (to be concealed); Paduka mantra and prohibition of discussion with atheists;
Guru and disciple, and their qualifications; prohibition of association with the lewd, the drunken and the stupid; the Lingas in body centers; the pasa (bonds) that bind the Pasus; Pranayama (breath control); Siddhi; spartan life habits and concentration on “THAT;” initiation into Rahasyapuja ( secret worship) by a Guru.
Agni Purana (293.17-18a) states that a Guru should be pure, truthful, intelligent, competent, devoted, contemplating, and accomplished with knowledge of Tantra, and ability to direct, restrain, teach, and bless the disciple and practices penance. Verses 293.18b-19 of Agni Purana states that a disciple should be calm, clever, erudite, and celibate. He eats food fit for oblation; he should render service to his Guru; he should focus on his goal; he should behave like a son, practice modesty and pay the preceptor for his services. The use of wine and meat is not confined only to Tantrik ritual; it was common in the age of ahabharata and its mention is found in Puranas. Woodroffe makes an observation: "We believe that Sadhana ... (and rituals) of the Christians of Roman Catholic and Greek Churches is based on the groundwork of the Tantras." page 18, Principles of Tantra, Part two. Panchatattva = Panchamakaara = Five Ms: Five essentials: Madya, wine; Mamsa, meat; Matsya, fish; Mudra, grain; and Maithuna, sexual union. Panchatattva practices are within the prescribed limitations and injunctions; ritual worship and ritual Maithuna are performed with one's own wife. If the sadhaka has no wife or if the wife is incompetent, he can take another woman for rituals.
Drinking of wine is done only during rituals within prescribed limits. It is a sin to engage in extramarital relations and extra-ritual drinking. All these received bad reputation from some abuses. Latasadhana (worship with a woman) has its privileges and limitations; one, who does not follow the prescribed injunctions, believes in dualism, and is addicted to lust, is not fit candidate for Latasadhana; he goes to Raurava hell and suffer from painful excess of the fiery Tejas Tattva.
Some Tantric practitioners (the Pasus and others) use modifications of ritual in that milk or coconut water substitutes wine; adjoining flowers substitute aithuna; garlic, ginger, salt, sesamum, or wheat substitutes meat; brinjal (eggplant) or radish supplants fish; rice or wheat supplants Mudra. Pasus do not have an idea of the real import of Tantric rites and therefore use substitutes.
The Tantras recommend substitution of wine with milk, sugar and honey for the householder. The householder roiling in the ocean of Samsara in Kali Yuga, says Siva to Parvati, is wanting in intellect and driven by lust, and does not see Sakti in the Deity. He should engage in meditation and worship at the feet of Devi with the chanting of Mantra, which should be chanted with respect, devotion, faith, surrender, and seeing the Divine Image in the mind's eye.
Divyas, Viras, and Pashus (Pasus) according to Sakta Tantras: The Saktas believe in Sakti. People are divided into three classes according to their bhava (temperament): Sattva (virtue, veritas, and goodness), Rajas (motion and passion) and Tamas (sloth and slumber). Divyas are divine (sattva) people, Viras are heroic (Rajas) people and Pashus are (Tamas) animals (pashus). Saktas believe man is born a pasu; he can die a pasu, a Vira or a Divya. Being a Pasu is not bad; there is wide range of possibilities between a Pasu and a Vira; how close he is towards a Vira or Divya, a more enlightened man, makes the difference between stagnation in the mundane world and progress towards a higher Consciousness. Pasu is saddled with ignorance and matter. When food offering is made to the Devata by a Pasu, Devata eats the subtle part of the food and leaves the gross part of the food as Prasada (leavings or leftover food) for Pasu. Here Devata and Pasu are in a dual mode, two separate entities because Pasu is imperfect worshipper. Vira is a hero of Raja guna, motion and devotional passion. He feels that Devata and he are one (non-dual state) and therefore when he eats, it is the Devata who eats. Every act of the Vira is a spiritual act, including, eating, and sexual intercourse. Every act of his is an offering to the Devata. This is the basis of secret worship. Vira becomes one with the Mother Goddess, dissolves in her, and swirls in the ocean of Bliss of Devi. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa is of the opinion that Vira should put aside the sensual aspect of Sakti worship and concentrate on Mother-Child relationship (Vatsalya). Vira, because of his Rajas guna, may fall into the pit of sense pleasures and may not become a true Sadhaka. Mother Goddess is the creator of Pasus and pasas (bonds); she exercises Maya, Avidya and Vidya Saktis; the first two are binding and the last one is liberating. Avidya (ignorance) makes a person to mire in Rajas and Tamas; thus, the aspirant never leaves the world of senses, greed, passion, and lust. Vidya or wisdom being Sattvic (virtuous) inculcates love and devotion to goddess. A hero's (Vira) attitude is machismo which propels him towards sexual intercourse (with his wife), which is not the way to approach the Mother Goddess. Vatsalya should substitute machismo as he approaches Mother Goddess. Becoming one with Mother goddess is through surrender of body, mind and soul. How do we surrender the body to the Goddess? By Anga Nyasa. This is assigning various parts of the body to Mother Goddess (example, Kali) by placing the Sanskrit letters on the body. Since she is the origin of letters, Nada, Bindu, Tattvas, matter, forms and names, she owns the body with its parts and functions.
Katha Upanishad describes Mother Goddess as follows: She is Aditi, the Boundless. She is born as Prana (breath or life) from the Absolute genderless Brahman, the nameless, and the formless. She is the Devatamayi (Mother of gods) and the soul of all beings. She stands in the inner recesses of the heart. Verse 2.1.7 Siva was acting Devi's Guru and said wherever Vira or Divya lived, that was a sacred place (Tirtha). Vira though of a human body is a Devata and Siva Himself. Where Vira lives, there is no fear of three maladies: adhyatmika, adhibautika and adhidaivika. Adhyatmika are endogenous (internal) maladies of the mind and body. Adhibautika are maladies of exogenous (external) origin: elements, animals, and fellowman. Adhidaivika are "theogenous" maladies coming from Devas, demons, ghosts. Adhyatmika: Adhi = from; atma = self, inside. Adhyatmika : from self, inside; internal. AdhiBhautika = from elements. AdhiDaivika = from Devas or gods. Source: Lingapurana, Chapter 9, Verse 7-9. Viras and Divyas are allowed to practice Vamacara. Vira is a heroic Sadhaka who accepts the world as it is and does not avoid it. He learns as many secrets as possible from the mundane world; he gains wisdom and tries to move from a state of stale human consciousness to transcendental Consciousness.
He sheds the fear of the world, which is the quality of Pasu or animal; he tells himself that he is one with the Mother Goddess: Saham (She I am), and he is fearless. Go to OM-Namasivaya for details on Soham or Saham. He is not afraid of death for he knows he will rise again like the fallen autumn leaves that come back next spring. A parallel analogy is the Phoenix, the mythical Arabian avian beauty who reduces to ash on a funeral pyre, rises again from the ashes to live for another 500 years (and go through the cycle again and again): an icon of immortality, idealism or hope.
The reason for use of wine in this ritual is to release the Sakta from the inhibitory clutches of conscious behavior and get the Sakta to open his subconscious being and sub-surface consciousness to reach the inner recesses of his consciousness at various depths in an attempt to purify his mind and consciousness (Citta-Sodhana-Sadhana). It is akin to self psychotherapy with the aid of an external agent, wine, whose bouquet stimulates the Icchasakti (Will), whose taste stimulates Jnanasakti (knowledge), and whose absorption induces action (Kriyasakti). Killing an animal (for food) is sin, but killing for a higher purpose is meritorious. A fall from virtue and Ahimsa (nonviolence) done in the interest of Higher Truth in a proper manner, in a proper place, by proper means, and during proper occasions is actually a rise of the spirit. Worship, rituals, and ceremonies are the external acts with attendant inner consecration, love of god, devotion, and inner sacrifice; these events lead to awakening of Sadhaka's awareness of Siva and Sakti in his spiritual heart and end in his Satchitananda (Being, Consciousness, and Bliss).
His whole being is pervaded and possessed by Siva and Sakti, and Bhairava and Bhairavi; he sees oneness of all (advaitam). The night of Maya that shrouds Self and prevents his vision is suddenly lifted and Satchitananda is the result in the union of Jiva with Self. Wine releases him from all his inhibitions, distractions and external world and he makes a journey into his global nonsecular consciousness. With purity of mind and devotion to the tenets of Kaulachara, he is not the pasu satisfying his hunger with meat or his thirst with wine. He hungers for perfection and thirsts for Liberation. Wine is Sakti, meat is Siva, and the enjoyer is Bhairava-Siva himself. A Pasu becomes a Divya enjoying Brahmananda (Ananda or Bliss of Brahman). Purity of mind along with firm belief in the tenets, casting away of all doubts, fearlessness, brave of heart and spirit, and withdrawal from dualities are the conditions before one eats the meat or drinks the wine. Wine is not for inebriation and meat is not for nutrition; both are an offering to Siva who is the real enjoyer. Eating meat and drinking wine at other times are sin. What is Soma in Vedic rituals is wine in Tantric ritual. Drinking wine without invocation, worship, dedication, and sanctity of the enjoined ritual is in the manner of animal imbibing the wine. Inebriation is severely condemned and for the inebriated, it is a life of "no meditation, no tapas, no worship, no dharma, no activity of merit, no good, no Guru, no thought of self." His need for wine, woman and flesh is for bhoga (enjoyment) and not for Yoga (seeking liberation). The true Sadakha is one who awakens Kundalini and goes with her from Muladhara Chakra to Brahma Randhra (anterior fontanel area of the skull) at the top of the head; bliss, which the Sadhaka imbibes, streams forth from the union of Kundalini with pure Consciousness at Sahasrara Chakra and is considered as the true wine.
As said earlier, man is a pasu (animal) in comparison with Viras, Divyas, and gods. Killing is sin; killing of animals to fulfill the tenets of panchatattva is rising above duality which means cutting the duality of animal nature (pleasure and pain, love and hate) with the sword of knowledge. The wandering senses in the ocean of Samsara like the schools of fish should be brought under control and yoked to the self; that is eating of fish. The woman worthy of love and attention is no other than Sakti that resides (sleeps) in you. The pasu lets the woman (Deity) sleep in the Muladhara Chakra, but the Vira and Divya awaken the deity in him.
The Bliss, one feels when Sakti (Kundalini) and Siva meet in the upper Chakra, is the bliss of Maithuna. All other unions are just animal acts. This is in essence the meaning of five Ms. As said earlier, there are three kinds of people: Pasus, Viras and Divyas. Pasus are animals in human form; Viras (the heroic persons) are the transitory beings going from animal nature to a higher nature and enjoys Bhoga of the world. Divyas are spiritual beings.
Before Sadhaka gets ready for worship of the Divine Mother, fivefold purification is essential: the inner and outer purification of oneself, purification of the place of worship, purification of paraphernalia, purification of Mantras, and purification of the Deity. Inner and outer purification involves following of the eight point formula (Ashtanga yogam), bathing, purification of the elements. The place of worship is kept in immaculate cleanliness attended with use of incense, camphor, flowers and lights. The deity and all related objects are sprinkled with sanctified water accompanied by chanting of Mantras. Once purification is done, Mandalas are drawn, various objects are put in place, and Mantras and Gurus are invoked. Once this is all done, the Divine Mother is invited to take a seat, grace the ceremony and accept worship and offerings. The Divine Mother is without form or attributes. The Agama says that Brahman is Pure Consciousness and makes itself available for worship in its (manifest) Saguna Brahman form. Nirguna Brahman is formless and Saguna Brahman takes many forms, any one of which is worthy of worship according to the desire (liking) or Ishta of the devotee.
There are three levels of Gurus: Divyaugha, Siddhaugha, and Manavaugha (Divine order, Perfected order, and human order). Divyaugha: Adinatha and his Sakti, Sadasiva and his consort, Isvara and his consort, Rudra and his consort, Vishnu and his consort, and Brahma and his consort form the divine order; in this order there is a hierarchy from top down. They are the greatest of all Gurus and revealers of Agamas, Tantras, Vedas and all sacred texts; besides, they are in charge of creation, maintenance, destruction, veiling and Grace. Siddhaugha: Eleven Siddhas, the perfected ones, inclusive of the mind-born sons of Brahma form this group: Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatana, Sanatkumara, Sanatsujata, Ribhukshaja, Dattatreya, Raivataka, Vamadeva, Vyasa and Suka. The lesser gods (under this classification) form the Maanavaugha order: Baskara, Madhava, Mahendra, Mahesa, Narasimha, and Vishnu. Others name human Gurus like Maha Guru in this order. A note of caution: a lesser god (Vishnu) under this classification is the supreme God of Vishnava sect. In Tantra worship, the Divine mother is the Supreme Goddess.
It is said that the "milk in the body of the cow" has no value, unless it is collected and distributed to people to obtain nourishment from it. In like manner, the Divine is present in the body of everyone; Grace of the Divine mother is the nourishment of the soul and is expressed by rituals, invocation, and worship. The Sakti of the Deity is invoked and concentrated in the image, which becomes the living Goddess. Unless this concentration of Sakti is invested in the Living Goddess, the fruits are not obtainable from worship. This is where the ritual plays a significant role. Mantra is the sound-body of a god or goddess; Yantra depicts the sound-body in a diagram. Mantra = (Man = is to think or meditate + Tra = is to protect.) Yantra = instrument, engine, apparatus, amulet with mystical diagram endowed with protective occult powers. Yantra is a drawing (or painting) on paper, hide, gold, silver, crystal, bone, or Saligrama. Mantra is the soul of Yantra; worship in Yantra pleases the Goddess. The vibrations from mantra gather on the surface of yantra, gain momentum and bounce off, go to the specific god, receive his or her power, blessings, and grace, come back and deposit them on the chanter. Yantra restrains, regulates, modulates, subdues, and sublimates all miseries born of desire, anger, hate, greed, love and other entities. Worship without Yantra brings curse from the Deity. While worshipping the Deities, the deity-specific Mantra and Yantra with all the attendant rituals and paraphernalia (Tantra) should be brought into play, guaranteeing the proper respect and reverence to the deity; invoking one deity and worshipping another bring the wrath of both offended deities. The Inner power (Antahsakti) is brought to the full force in worship with all its rituals. All this is done under instructions from the Guru.
Meditation is the means and of two kinds: meditation of Isvara and meditation of Brahman. Isvara has attributes, while Brahman has no attributes. Isvara has form; Brahman has no from. Since Isvara has form, he has body parts and the Sadhaka worships on his body parts; the Sadhaka, who is not an advanced Yogi, needs props and mental images of God to focus his attention and perform meditation. Advanced Yogi mediates on Formless Siva without Gunas, body parts, and attributes; the result is that he becomes one with Siva like water poured in water, butter in butter, and milk in milk. When he attains the state of perfection (Samadhi), his breath is at a standstill, he is rigid like a stone, he has no awareness of his immediate environment, and he looks dead. His senses are dead: he cannot hear, he cannot see, he cannot feel the touch, he knows neither pain nor pleasure, and his mind has taken leave of him. This is the same state as Parabrahman. Once the Yogi reaches Parabrahman stage, he gives up all rites and rituals, all Vedas and Upanishads. It is like not needing a hand fan when the breeze is blowing from the sea.
There are many levels of consciousness: Sahajavastha (natural oneness with the Real); dharana, concentration; Dyana, meditation, Stuti, praise or adulation of the Lord; Japa, muttering prayer; homa, oblation with fire; and Puja, worship. In Puja, the superconsciousness of the yogi gradually gets diluted and comes down to mere human consciousness at the last level. Brahman knowledge is superior and the highest, Japa is in the middle, study of sastras (sacred texts) is lower, daily mundane living is the lowest. From the lowest to the highest, a billion pujas equal a stotra (adulation), a billion of which equals a Japa, a billion of which equals a dhyana, a billion of which equals a layah (Laya). Laya = absorption, oneness with One. Contentment is the highest fruit; Inner pursuit is higher than Puja; Self is higher than god; Dhyana is higher than mantra. Higher worship is free from ritual; higher Japa means silence; higher Dhyana is cessation of thought; the Supreme fruit is absence of desire. Yogins have outgrown the rituals. Siva is Jiva and Jiva is Siva. Bonds (pasa) define Jiva and Jiva without bonds is Sadasiva. Jiva is like the rice with husk which is karma. Karma envelops Jiva. When Jiva sheds its envelope of Karma, it is Sadasiva. Tantra sastras say that Karmic sheath separates man from Mother Goddess; once the karma is removed, man is similar to Mother Goddess.
The Supreme God reveals himself according to the spiritual development of the individual: He manifests himself in the sacrificial fire for the Brahmanas, in the spiritual heart for the Jnani (thinker), in the images to the spiritually unawakened, and everywhere to the knower of the Self. The Yogi, the knower of Brahman knowledge, chose to be lame not running after the illusions of the world, blind not seeing the sights and distractions of the world; deaf not hearing the din of the world; impotent, not acting, and eschewing grihastya (life of householder); and dull, completely unmindful of the world.
The Kula-yogi spends his time at the feet of guru and leads a contented life knowing he and the Supreme are one. He lives in this world but is not of this world.
For Kaula, neither perdition nor heaven, neither merit nor demerit, and neither acceptance nor rejection contaminates him. The Kaula Yogi considers all equal - from a pauper to a king. The Kaula Yogi leads a very nondescript life. He does not shine like the sun, the moon and the stars. He appears in the eyes of others as inebriated, dull-witted, dumb, and stupid. The Kaula Yogi behaves like a boor and ignoramus, speaks with an uncivil tongue, and appears squalid. This behavior keeps the fawning crowd away from him. His behavior and appearance subject him to ridicule, avoidance, laughter, abuse, and disgust. His path is the Supreme path. The earth that elephants tread becomes path.
The Kaulas are free from jealousy, anger, pomposity, desire, ego, clutches of the senses and unsteadiness. Siva is the originator of Kula dharma. He who follows Kula Dharma is dear to Siva. Having been well-versed in Kula dharma in the past life, the Kula dharma Guru has become perfected in the present life to serve the Kaula and Siva. Siva says to Parvathi that he lives where the Kula Guru lives, a Kaula should be befriended and Pasu should be avoided. The sight of Kula is liberating and uplifting. People desire for a Kaulika born in their family. The gods, Yogis, Yoginis and others worship a Kaula Guru. Gift to anyone other than to a Kaula Guru is a waste like water poured into a broken clay pot, seeds sown on a rock, clarified butter poured on a dead fire. A Kulayogin should be worshipped with flowers, sandal paste, and Mudras. One should give up action that bears fruits. Action to maintain the body is the only action that is allowed; they are devoid of any contamination. Once Brahman knowledge is obtained, all actions done by the Kulayogin have no effect; it is like the water running off the lotus leaf (it does not stick).
Worship: The life of a Kaula is centered on worship or Puja. Worship is done daily, fortnightly, and monthly; rituals for these vary. Religious festivals and Guru's birthday demand specific rituals. The following conventions are observed in the practice of Panchatattva. The practitioner or Kaulika should bow his head to the woman, the object of worship, as long as she is more than one year of age. The Deity should be called upon to enter the girl or woman who should be worshipped with devotion and reverence without any taint; he should elevate his consciousness to the level of the god. Mantra is the sound-body of a god;
Yantra depicts the sound-body in a diagram. No god is pleased to be present without the use of Yantra in worship. When goddess is invoked Lord Siva is by her side always. Before the worship, the Kaula should take a bath and desist from idle talk. He should sit in a prescribed manner on an empty stomach and not have anyone, not qualified (Pasu) to participate in the ritual, because a pasu still has in him the dominant qualities of an animal. A true Kaula fully immersed in the sanctity of the ritual, performs Japa, meditation, encomium of the Lord, and prostration at the feet of the Lord and the woman. They engage in religious
discussions. But the ignorant, who perform the ritual in utter disregard of the spirit, are engaged in laughter, fun, frolic, fear, anger, disdain, aimless loitering, fault-finding, and sex. Ego, unnecessary talking, pointless arguments, disrespect for the sanctity of the place of worship, fear, and anger have no place in the sanctum. A guru, though of any age, should be respected. A mantra given by the Guru should be kept secret. Since woman is born in the lineage of Divine Mother, all womanhood and womankind should be respected and they should not be punished even in a token manner for faults and transgressions. Their best qualities should be praised. Safeguard the sanctity of Kula Dharma as one would protect gold and corn from thieves. On the inside, be a worshipper of Divine Mother; on the outside, be the worshipper of Siva; among people, behave like a Vaishnava. Vedas and Sastras are like woman standing in the open to delight
oglers; Kaula Sastra is like a bride of a noble family. The essence of Kula dharma lies in capturing the truths of life; it does not rest in rituals, ablutions, Mantras, and study of sacred texts. Guard the imparted Mantra given by the Guru and engage in no sins because the sins of the pupil will haunt the Guru.
Guru: Guru is god on earth; therefore, worship him, fall at his feet, worship at his feet, and cherish his Sandal (Paduka), which is the source of all knowledge and gives more benefit than that derived from rituals, gifts, sacrifices, Tirthas, and Mantra Japas. When Kaula is in distress remembrance of Paduka offers protection from danger and distress. Cast your eyes in the direction of the Paduka of your Guru, and pay your obeisance. Between Paduka and Mantra, Paduka is higher; between Guru and god, Guru is higher. There is no initiation higher than that of the Sakta; there is no merit higher than the Kula worship. Dhyana, Puja, Mantra, and liberation have at their roots Guru's form, feet, word, and grace respectively. All maladies of daily living such as fear, grief, greed, delusion and others dissolve, when you take refuge at the feet of the Guru. A pleased Guru destroys all sins. Gods like Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesa grant grace to the person who pleases his Guru. One should treat one's Guru as Siva; treat Vishnu and Mahesa as his parents, treat Guru and his wife as his parents in the form Narayana and Lakshmi, Brahma and Sarasvati, Siva and Girija. Serve the Guru without reserve; there is no need for long pilgrimages and mortification of the flesh by tapas.
Sruti says that liberation and attaining to Brahma, Vishnu, and Isan (Siva) starts with devotion to the Guru. Treat the Guru with utmost respect all the time. Do not visit the king, the Deity and the Guru with empty hands. Always offer what you can in the form of flower, fruit, and other affordable puja articles.
The disciple taken by the Guru shall be pure both externally and internally with compassion, love, belief in God, and sattvic in behavior. Siva takes the form of Guru; to serve and worship Guru is to serve and worship Siva. Siva does not incarnate like Krishna; he is all-pervasive and is not visible to the eyes; he does not have a permanent form but assumes the form of Guru, who is no other than Siva without the third eye, Vishnu without four arms, and Brahma without his four faces. Guru possesses Brahman knowledge, is adept in Kundalini Yoga, knows the Truth born of Pure Consciousness of Siva, knows the present, the past, and the future, yantra, Tantra, Mantra, and Mudra, the tenets of Sakta and Sambhu, the states of human consciousness, Turiya, and the fourfold speech (Para, Pasyanti, Madhyama and Vaikari). In Kaulaka tradition, there are six kinds of Gurus: Preraka, the impeller who instills interest in initiation into Kaula tradition;
Sucaka, the indicator, who points to Sadhana as the means to liberation; Vacaka, the speaker who explains the tenets of Kaula dharma; Darsaka, the shower who by his example shows the performance of rites and rituals; Siksaka, the instructor who gives instructions in Sadhana; Bodhaka, Spiritual teacher who enlightens the pupil on spiritual knowledge. The Bhodaka plays the central role because his teachings form the nucleus to the contributions made by other teachers; thus spiritual knowledge facilitated by ancillary methods of impelling, indicating, showing, and instructing attains fruition. One has to pick and choose a Guru; one may end up like a bee that goes from flower to flower accumulating honey; this search for a good guru actually helps a sadhaka achieve wider knowledge. If the Guru-Sisya relationship is agreeable to both the Guru and the Sadhaka, they should act in each other's interest: the Guru takes care of the spiritual needs of the Sadhaka and the Sadhaka treats the Guru like god on earth.
Initiation: Initiation is essential for liberation and cannot come without a Guru who comes in the lineage of Guru Parampara. After proper evaluation over a period of more than one year, the Guru offers a Mantra to the pupil. It is also the privilege of the disciple to test the Guru on matters of Japa, Stotra, Dhyana, Homa, and Puja. Once he finds the capacity of the Guru to communicate the knowledge to him, he accepts him as a Guru. Guru transmits Sakti and knowledge to the disciple. The disciples are of three kinds: Adiyoga, Madhyayoga, and Antayoga.
Adiyoga has devotion and interest in the beginning but they wane quickly. The Madhyayoga has no knowledge in the beginning but his devotion in the middle carries him through. The Antiyoga has no devotion at the beginning, acquires devotion in the middle and matures at the end. He is the best Jnanin among the three disciples. Upadesa, spiritual instruction, is of three kinds: Karma, Dharma, and Jnana. The path of karma is the longest route of slow pace. It is like the ant which takes a long journey up the tree to reach the fruit. The path of Dharma is many hops and jumps of a monkey from one branch to the next to reach the fruit.
The path of Jnana is a straight flight to the fruit as a bird would do. Diksa, Initiation and teaching, is of three kinds: Sparsa, by touch; Draksanjana, by sight; and Manasa, by thought. Sparsa initiation is compared to the loving tender nourishing and caring of the chicks in the warmth of the wings by the mother bird. The act of visual initiation and instruction is compared to the nourishing of the fry (baby fish) by sight by the ever vigilant mother fish. The act of thought initiation and teaching is compared to the nourishing of the baby tortoises by the mother by thinking about them. Grace comes to the disciple proportional to the presence of Sakti in him. Where there is no sakti (in him), there is no liberation.
Posted by : Jaideep Ojha