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Bhagavad-Gita: 18 Chapters in Sanskrit

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Veeraswamy Krishnaraj

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Kamakshi

According to Brahmanda Purana   

Kamakshi (Kāmākshi) temple at Kanchipuram (Kanchi) Tamil Nadu is a very famous temple. Kamakshi is one of the triad: Kanchi Kamakshi, Madurai Meenakshi and Kasi Visalakshi; all are saktis par excellence. Mahatripurasundari Rajarajeshvari is in Sthula (gross) form only in Kanchi Kamakshi temple which does not house Siva, her Consort, under one roof, exemplifying that Kamakshi is not just Sakti but a Siva-Sakti, a non-dual state of Brahman (Parabrahman). This is not the case with other Sakti Peethas. Kanchi is the navel of the world from which the Nadis emerge and spread to the rest of the body. Nadis are invisible non-anatomic channels through which Prana moves along with Kundali, who upon awakening is fire in Muladhara Chakra, sun in Anahata and moon in Sahasrara.

Kanchi is praised as one of the leading Siva Sthalas by Sekkizhar (7the century C.E) in Periya Puranam, verse 44: Empratti (Uma Devi, Kamakshi) who gave birth to the seven worlds, worshipped her consort Siva on the riverside of Kamba in Kanchi, performed inimitable Tapas and received the eulogies of Devas. Legend has it that Kamba River runs deep below Kanchi.

Sekkizar = Appar  = Tirunavukkarasar

எம்பிராட்டி இவ் ஏழ் உலகு ஈன்றவள்

தம்பிரானைத் தனித் தவத்தால் எய்திக்

கம்பை ஆற்றில் வழிபடு காஞ்சியென்று

உம்பர் போற்றும் பதியும் உடையது verse 44 Periyapuranam.

EmpirAtti gave birth to the seven worlds. She worshipped Her Spouse and performed inimitable austerities on the riverbank of Kamba, which runs in Kanchi, the object of eulogy by the celestials. Verse 44 Periyapuranam.

The object of birth on this earth is not just for Bhoga (enjoyment) but to attain Mukti. To be born a human is to be on the top of the animal kingdom having excelled them in previous births. One cannot attain Mukti (liberation) as an animal. There are five Mukti Sthalas (places).

1. Birth Mukti of Tiruvarur: It means that if your are born in Tiruvarur, you automatically attain Mukti (liberation).

2. Thought Mukti of Tiruvannamalai: If one thinks of Tiruvannamalai, one attains liberation.

3. Residence Mukti in Kanchi: If one lives in Kanchi, one attains liberation.

4. Death Mukti in KAsi: If one dies in Kasi or Benares, one attains Mukti.

5. Sight Mukti in Chidambaram: If one gets Dharsan (seeing) of the Dancing Siva in Chidambaram, one gets liberation.

Kanchipuram = Ka + anchi + puram = Brahma + worshipped + town. Brahma worshipped Vishnu in this town.  Ka is the eponym for Kanchi, Sarasvati, Kamakshi, Progenitor (Ka)

Ka = Who (is that god or goddess to whom we owe our existence or to whom we should offer sacrifice?)

        Kamakshi is a postmanteau (composite word) consisting of , and Aksi: Kā is Sarasvati; Mā is Lakshmi; Aksi is her two eyes; thus Kamakshi has Sarasvati and Lakshmi as her two eyes.  Sarasvati is the goddess of speech, learning, eloquence, and wisdom. Lakshmi is the goddess of auspicious sign, good fortune, prosperity, success and happiness.  Saras = lake or large mass of water, pond, tank. Vati is the one abounding in or connected with water. Lakshana, Lakshmi, Laksmana are cognate words indicating auspicious sign or mark. Some say that Sarasvati and Lakshmi are products of the eyes of Kamakshi.

    Kamakshi = KAma +Aksi = love + eyes = Eyes full of love.

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This piece is adapted  from Kumudam Bhakti Special December 2007

Once Parvati stealthily approached Siva from behind seated Siva and covered His eyes with Her palms. What happened was a disaster. The Sun, the Moon and the Fire are His eyes. Pitch darkness enveloped the world. The sins of all creatures including humans morphed into creeping blackness, which enveloped Parvati and turned her from golden to black complexion. Parvati out of nasty surprise, panic and grief let loose the hands covering the eyes of Siva. Parvati addressed Her Consort Siva, 'O My Lord, Isvara, My God, What happened to my effulgent golden body? What is the reason for this abominable transformation?'

Siva said, 'My dear Devi, This is just not mere blackness; this is a big bag of all the sins of Jivas.'

Author's Note: This episode is given as the cause of Anāśrita Śiva in Kashmir Saivism. Sakti blocks or isolates Siva temporarily from seeing the objects she creates in Her Capacity as Vimarsa. Siva is AHAM ('I'), before He creates the objects of the universe (Idam). Between Aham and Idam, there is a temporary gap or latent period, the point in time, Siva is called Anāśrita Śiva. Anāśrita = mfn. not supported, detached; disengaged, independent; non-inherent. Anāśraya = isolated.  Anāśrita Śiva is isolated from the universe of objects between the Sakti Tattva and Sadasiva Tattva. At the level of Sadasiva Tattva, there is nascent appearance of the world of objects, called Idam (That). TATTVAS-36

Parvati's panic heightened, steamed and scalded her further.

Parvati: 'How am I going to get rid of the Jivas' bag of sin?'

Siva: 'This is all for the good of everyone. Go to Bhadri and morph into a baby. KatyAyana Muni, not blessed with a child, will walk in on you. On seeing a tender baby, he will scoop you up, and raise you in his Asrama. In the meantime, the Muni will come to know who you are. On my instructions, he will provide you with Yoga Dandam, Prayer beads, tall light, vessels, fan, Chamaram, roasted seeds, parasol.... Take them to Kasi (Benares or Varnasi). By the time you arrive at Kasi, the people will be in the grip of famine. You will relieve their famine, earn the name Annapurna and live there for 12 years, after which You proceed south. As you tread on your southern path, a delightful period full of momentous events will unfold. Your Rudraksha Rosary will turn into Vilva Garland; Your parasol will turn into a NAgAparanam; Yoga Dandam will become TrisUla; Ganges water becomes milk; the fan morphs into a parakeet; Chamara transforms into young girls; the vessel will turn into a lamp; the roasted seeds will start germinating; that place is the Kanchi, you will come to know.

Under a mango tree in Kanchi, You will see a Linga; know that Linga is Me. You will offer Your worship to that Linga. Everyday, You will worship Me by performing ablution with milk and decorate me with the Nagaparanam, and Vilva garland. On either side of Lingam, station two girls as guardians; perch the parakeet on your hand; perform Tapas on Me from the middle of the Panchagni on a platform; at that time I will appear before you and marry you. That moment, Your black complexion will vanish; You will shine gloriously in Your usual golden complexion.

On the orders of Siva, Parvati went to BhadrikAsrama. She incarnated as the child of KAtyAyana Muni. She grew up in the Asramam, at appropriate time left for Kasi, offered relief from famine, and earned the name Annapurna.

She proceeded south and upon seeing the transformation of the accouterments, Parvati knew that the place was Kanchi. She went from tree to tree until she saw the mango tree. Finding a Lingam was the highlight of the southern trip by Parvati, who faithfully performed Tapas.

For all the Tapas she performed without fail it did not bring Siva to Her side. Triolka SanchAri, NAradA came along and Parvati was narrating her problem. Triolka SanchAri, NAradA = Narada, the traveler of the three worlds.

Narada: Don't worry about Your predicament. Let me give you Upadesam with PanchapAna Mantra, chanting which will bring fruition of Your desires.

பஞ்சபாணம் paca-pānam The five arrows of KAma that induce amoristic and erotic thoughts and tendencies.

, n. < pacan +. The five flower arrows of Kāma, viz., tāmarai- malar, acōka-malar, mā-malar, mullai-malar, karung-kuvalai-malar; தாமரைமலர், அசோகமலர், மாமலர், முல்லைமலர், கருங்குவளைமலர் என்ற ஐவகை மன்மத பாணங்கள். பஞ்சபாண வஞ்சகன்செய் வஞ் சனையான் (பாரத. அருச்சுனன்றீர். 36).

Parvati according to Narada's instructions chanted the PanchapAna Mantra for a long time. That Fire of Tapas and amorosity reached Kailas and caused conflagration and venereal desire in Siva. Siva unable to withstand fire of passion immersed in Ganges to cool his sudden attack of amorosity with no amelioration.

Siva: 'O Ganga, Immersion in a river like you did not abate the fire of passion. You go to Parvati immediately and impede the effects of Mantra, which induces and ignites the fire of passion and desire in Me.'

Forthwith, Ganges started to go in inundation towards Parvati, who knowing the imminent flooding by Ganges ordered one of the Kali forms to stop the inundation (Pralaya). Kali in a fit of anger scooped up the entire floods of Ganges in a skull-vessel and thus earned the name Pralaya Panthini. Coming to know Ganga's defeat, Siva was boiling, bubbling, and fuming with anger. Another inundation came towards Parvati; it was no other than Siva Himself with a thousand faces in the form of sky-high wall of flood. Parvati upon seeing this all-consuming Deluge was in a state of panic, not because she was afraid for Herself, but because She was worried that the sand Lingam she was worshipping would dissolve and wash away in the flood. She clutched the Lingam in both hands and kept it close to her chest. That embrace, that touch, extinguished the fire enveloping Siva. That moment, Parvati's black color vanished with the return of Her Golden complexion. She knew the auspicious moment had arrived.  Siva appeared before Parvati and expressed His desire to marry her. The Siva Ganas and Maharishis, having seen the exquisite handsomeness and Grace of Siva, wanted to become the witness of Siva-Parvati marriage.

Siva without any delay called Vishnu and advised Him, 'Let things keep rolling for the marriage.'

Vishnu called the Devas and told them, 'Go to all the worlds and get all the necessary flowers and ceremonial clothes.'

Kanchipuram was decorated as if it was a city of gods. Accords to Vedas and Agamas, there was a celebration for a period of nine days. On the tenth day, Siva in the form of Ekambaranathar and Parvati in the form of Kamakshi were seated on the marriage platform. Sound of Musical instruments and Mantra chanting filled the hall and the heavens

ēkāmparam = ēkaāmra = ēka  +  āmra = one mango tree = A name for Conjeevaram, a city famous for its iva shrine under a mango tree. Ekambaranathar = The Lord of ēkāmparam.   ēka-āmra  is a Sanskrit word meaning "One Mango tree or Mango.

ēka = one. amra = [ mr ] m. mango-tree; n. mango (fruit).

Mahavishnu and Mahalakshmi were the principle participants in the ceremony. As Lakshmi poured the milk, Vishnu performed ritual ablution of Siva's feet. Later Vishnu placed Kamakshi's (Vishnu's sister) hand on Ekambaranathar's hand and poured water on them with chanting of Mantras. Musical instruments including, conch were sounded. Brahmanas chanted Mantras. Brahma kept the Homakundam alive with sacred fire. At the auspicious hour, Ekambaranathar, tied the sacred knot around the neck of Kamakshi. Devas, Munis, and celestials raised a celebratory note and blessed the newly-weds.

Sankara visualized the marriage in his mental eye as he remained in the Ekambaranathar's inner sanctum with eyes closed in meditation. He was experiencing ecstasy for some time and sang Sri SivaPanchakshara Stotra.

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Here is a version of  why Devi bears the name of Kamakshi and appeared in Ugra Kolam (உக்ர கோலம் = Angry mode)

Lord Siva was seated in yogic meditation. Kama came along to interrupt his meditation, but was destroyed by Siva. Siva, the destroyer, was in meditation for sometime, which resulted in the increase in the population of earth and a heavy burden on Mother Earth.  The gods sent Kama (god of love, cupid, Amos, Eros) to shoot flowery Harshana (one of the five erotic arrows) on Siva and interrupt, disturb, degrade and destroy his penance at the precise moment he woke up to receive his Divine Consort Parvati.  He (Kama)  by his magical power created an ambience of spring in the air, earth, and trees, conducive to love. Siva woke up from meditation, took one look at Parvati, and could not stop enjoying and articulating his appreciation of beautiful features of Parvati, who, in the privacy of Sivas presence, lay bare gracefully, sporting sidelong glances. Siva felt like two persons, one imbibing the beauty of Parvati and another, Yogi of all Yogis bent on control of the senses. He felt that if seeing is great pleasure, embracing must give even greater pleasure. Suddenly it dawned on him that he was stung by Kamas arrows and bitten by love. How could that happen to a Yogi of Yogis, who has complete control over senses?  Paramayogi Siva addressed Parvati in a loving manner and wondered aloud to her, how he became a victim to Kama and how that downfall is harmful to his excellent reputation as the Lord of Vairagya (detachment, desirelessness). He advised Parvati, in a spirit of platonic detachment, not to sit by his side on the couch, and looked around for he felt uncomfortable in being aroused. He felt that the Vairagin and Yogi (in him) were associating with a wife of someone else; such was the depth of his Vairagya.  Kama continued to shoot arrows at Siva with no effects. Siva's fiery and fulgurant anger was coming to surface. Suddenly there were flames and sparks shooting off from the third eye of Siva and incinerating Kama into ashes. That incident happened in Korukkai. One of Siva's Ganas (attendant of Siva) gathered the ashes of Kama and shaped it in the form of man. The Gana (Chitrasena) begged Siva to teach Bhanda (Ash-man or a heap of ash) mantras and confer half the power of Kama to the ash-made man. The Ash-man (Bhanda) is the creation of Chitrasena, the latter loved Bhanda, who obtained a boon from Siva that he would not be killed by anyone born of union between a male and a female. Since the Ash-man was dead Kama as the result of Siva's fury and reconstituted back to life at the request of Chitrasena, the Ash-man became a demon (Bhanda), who with his newfound strength and power defeated the gods who sought the help of Tripurasundari (TPS, the other name for Parvati or Kamakshi), who defeated the demon and restored the gods to their former status. (Bhasman or Sacred Ash is euphemious for the semen virile of Siva. Incineration brings all substances to their pristine primal state.) Rati, Kama's wife, came to Siva and begged him to give her husband back to her. Siva restored Kama not to the former physical state but to a mental image, a representation of true love and affection and since then Kama is also known by the epithet, Ananga (bodiless or without limbs).

More on Ash-man Bhanda, the former Cupid or god of love.

Lalita, Tripurasundari, Kamakshi, Parvati, Gauri, Uma, Sati... are all many names of Siva's spouse.

The Ash-man asked and obtained Mantra from Siva who congratulates him with epithet Bhand, Bhand (good, good); so the name Bhanda stuck with the Ash-man. Bhanda is the product of Siva's anger and later ash and much later with the power of mantra he built a city rivaling the City of gods ruled by Indra; Siva's Gana becomes a demon. It appears that Bhanda is the fusion product (a hybrid) of Siva's Gana and the ash of Kama.  Bhanda rules his kingdom for sixty thousand years. Bhanda attacks the city of gods, Indra and his army; immediately on the advice of Narada Muni Indra goes to TPS for help. The gods offer their own flesh and blood as sacrificial gift to TPS. The gods also perform a marriage of Siva with TPS, as an act of propitiation.  TPS sends the Saktis or the Matrakas (fighting mothers) to face the demon Bhanda, who ridicules the fighting females. From the bodies of TPS and Bhanda, many previously documented enemies are created to fight each other. When Bhanda creates Hirayankasippu, goddess TPS creates Prahalada to defeat him; in like manner, Bhanda's Ravana sustains defeat  at the hands of Rama created from the fingernail of TPS. Nama 80 of Lalita Sahasranama says ten avatars of Vishnu emerge from her fingernails to do the fighting against the Forces of Darkness. From the right thumb nail of the Divine Queen, the all-pervading Narayana emerges in the form of great Fish (Matsya). The ten Avatars, after the task is accomplished, stand before her with folded hands and pay obeisance to Lalita. Demon Mahisasura comes alive and Durga defeats him; at last TPS kills Bhanda. Here TPS is a self-born goddess and thus neutralizes and defeats the boon that Bhanda would not be defeated by a person born of union. Once the battle is over, gods and Rati, Kama's consort appear before TPS and beg her to bring Kama back to life from death caused by Siva. TPS obliges the gods and Rati who panegyrize her. This episode shows that all avatars of Vishnu are resident in her and she can produce them as the occasion demands, sitting in Her Nail Salon. Not only male gods are her avatars, but goddesses Bharati, Chandika, Gauri, Kali, and Kumari are her avatars too. Just a note about male chauvinism, given a short shrift. All religions including Hinduism glorify male gods. Only Saktas glorify goddess and say all male gods came forth from Mother Goddess. Science also favors the Sakta view that Eve came First before Adam. Woman came first before man.  Eve does the ribbing and says Adam came from her (Eve). Many millions of years ago, there was no male or female. All beings were sexless. A pair of somatic chromosomes underwent mutation or change and became a pair of  X chromosomes. That is the beginning of sex. Obviously XX are a female and XY are a male. Between the XX, one X underwent mutation and became a Y. It means that Eve came first and later came Adam. Male Chauvinism got a short shrift from a scientific point of view. Saktas knew something others missed.

Ka means Brahma; A means Siva; Ma means Mahavishnu; all three originate from Her eyes and thus She is KAMAKSHI. This is another variation of the origin of Her name.

Another variation of the story is depicted as follows. This piece is an adaptation from Tamil Kumudam Bhakti Special on Kamakshi in January 2009 issue.

The Goddess sports the moon on her coiffure; a crown on her head; Vara and Abhaya Mudras, crystal rosary and a book on Her hands. Homage offered just once to Devi, inculcates a virtuous mind to think of words of honey, milk, and raisins in praise of Her. Soundarya Lahari Verse 15 by Sankaracharya.

The devotees having seen Sankara emerge from Ekambaranathar temple, begged him to visit Kamakshi Amman Temple. Reason: Devi was in a Ugra Kolam (உக்ர கோலம் = Angry appearance or mode). No one had the courage to obtain Dharsan (தரிசனம்) of the goddess and were afraid that Her anger might afflict them and their progeny.

உக்ர = anger. கோலம் = Various poses of a deity in a temple. தரிசனம் = Vision of a deity; sight of a great personage

Acharya reassured them that he will intervene on their behalf and calm Her down. The reason why Kamakshi was angry was because people were practicing Avaidika religions and were mired in filth. (Here it means they were in the clutch of alien religions like Buddhism, Jainism....)

Before Sankara entered the temple sanctorum, there was a small mound of ash. Chitrasena, the chief of Ganas of Siva, fashioned the ash into human form. That ash was the physical remains of Manmatha, the god of love, who was incinerated by the third eye of Siva for interfering with Siva's meditation. Lo and behold!, the mound of ash took a life of its own. There was an Asura standing in the place of the ash. His name was Bhanda, the creation of Chitrasena, who developed a liking for the Asura. Chitrasena in a filial love taught him Mantras and asked him to perform austerities (Tapas = தபம்). Siva Peruman, the ocean of mercy, appeared before him and commanded him to ask for a boon. which he did that no one born of sexual union would be able to kill him. 'So be it', said munificent Siva.

Bhanda's Rajasa Guna took charge of him. He chased and chastised the Suras or the gods, who ran away from him and took refuge under Siva's lotus feet. Siva advised them to take refuge in Devi, enter a secret passage below His seat, go south to the very end, reach the mango tree, morph themselves into parakeets on the tree, and perform austerities until Kamakshi Devi made an appearance to rescue them. That subterranean passage led them to Kanchi, the future temple town of Kamakshi. The celestials in the form of parakeets worshipped Devi, who in her compassion and grace showed her Greatness to the celestials. That was when the world was about to undergo Pralaya, reabsorption or assimilation. The Devas alone were able to stay alive and well to witness the destruction of the world. Devi made Her appearance before the Devas.

At that time, Bhanda came to Kanchipuram in search of the Devas (male deities) for the express purpose of defeating and killing them. KAmAkshi stomped her one foot in the city of Kanchi, which in the manner of an earthquake made him fall and tumble down like a round rolling rock, upon which Devi Kamakshi killed him. Devas, on instructions from Kamakshi, dug a hole for his burial and erected victory stone, post or column (Jaya-stambham = ஜயஸ்தம்பம்) besides it as mark of Devi's victory over Bhanda. Near the hole (பிலம் = deep cavern, here the burial site). The gods erected a temple in Kanchi in Her honor by the hole. They dug a subterranean passage between the victory column and the hole. The rays of the sun (Gayatri = காயத்ரி) spread out the rays and its 24 letters came to be symbolized by the 24 columns of the hall. GAYATRI

 

Om bhūr-bhuvah-svah

Line one: Tat Savitur Vareniyam

Tat Sa vi tur Va re ni yam = 8 syllables

Second line: Bhargo Devasya Dhīmahi

 Bhar go De va sya Dhī ma hi = 8 syllables

Third line: Dhiyo yonah pracodayāt

Dhi yo yo nah pra co da yāt = 8 syllables

 

Om , earth, atmosphere, and heaven,

We adore That Light  (That Light Adore)

We meditate on the Divine Splendor (Splendor Divine Meditate)

May He (She) inspire our intelligence (Intelligence who our inspires).

 

The sanctum was shaped in the form of a triangle, wherein she abides. Gayatri Mantras' 24 syllables became the 24-pillar-Mandapam or Great Hall. Four Vedas became the four walls. Kamakshi abides in Sri Chakra Triangle and so the inner Sanctum was fashioned as a Triangle. In the Inner Sanctum Devi was seated on the OmKara seat (ஓம்காரபீடம் = seat in the shape of Om).

Devi, pleased with the gods, assumed the form of Sila (idol) or Archamurthy (அர்ச்சாமூர்த்தி= sanctified idol for worship). The Devas performed ritual ablutions of the statue with milk, coconut water, yogurt, honey, sandalwood paste, Kum-kum..., decorated her with fragrant flowers and offered worship with lights, incense, victuals.... Kamakshi Devi's heart and mind became cool and tranquil; She declared, I will stay in this Kamakoshta Gayatri Mandapam or Hall (காமகோஷ்ட காயத்ரி மண்டபம்)  confer Grace to one and all. She wanted to go out on the streets of Kanchi and shower Grace on all the people.

As promised by Sankaracharya, Devi gave up the angry countenance, took on the smiling benign physiognomy and became the Archa Murthy.

For Devi's procession in Kanchi , the architect of Devas brought a palanquin made of pearls; Brahma a parasol of pearls; Vishnu a crown of rare gems; and Siva Sri-Chakra pendant. Devi led a triumphant procession around the city. Kamakshi spoke to Siva that night as follows. 'O Isvara! let there be regular ritual worship in Kanchi as the Devas performed today. As you gave me the Sri-Chakra pendant, let there be Sri Chakra in my shrine. Since I confer Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksa to my devotees, let the Chakra be named 'Kamakoti Pedam' (காமகோடி பீடம்  = Seat for fulfillment of millions of wishes).  Let me confer on them fulfillment of  millions of wishes. According to the wish of Devi, Siva established Kamakoti Sri Chakra Pedam. 

Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksa = Virtuous deed or conduct, Wealth, Love, and Liberation. These are known as Goals of man (the Four Purusharthas = man's objectives or goals)

Many eons passed by. Sri Chakra established by Siva was renovated by Durvasa Muni in Krita Yuga; Parasurama consecrated it in Treta Yuga; Daumya Maharishi celebrated Her in Dvapara Yuga. Who is the esteemed one to do Her honor in Kali Yuga? It is no other than Sankaracharya (788-820 CE) himself.

O Parasakti, You are Parabrahman. The knowers of Vedas call You the consort Sarasvati of Brahma, consort Mahalakshmi of Vishnu, and consort Parvati of Siva. You are the Mahamayai  reigning the universe and you are beyond all three, rare to attain, and all-pervasive.--Sankara.

Sankara did not like the devotees calling Kanchi Kamakshi as the angry Goddess. He ran past the Victory Column to the Inner Sanctum (Garbhagraham). Eyes of compassion: that is what Sankara saw in the appearance of Kamakshi. Sankara broke out in eulogy: O Padmasini, Saturbujai, Rajarajesvari, Sri Vidya, Paramesvari, Sakalakalavalli, KAlachakra, Sorupini, Tri-eyed Goddess, Mulasakti, Adhisakti, Atmasakti..

She is effulgent like the lotus flower, wears a crown (சந்திர சூடாமணி = chandra-sudamani = Moon Jewel in the crown), holds a noose, a goad, a Sugarcane bow , and a sheaf of arrows, has sun and the moon as the ear ornaments, sports nine-gem raiment and sacred Mangalyam (மங்கலியம் ) around Her neck and appears in a majestic form.

மங்கலியம் = Tāli, marriage badge. =  தாலி (TAli)= central piece of a neck ornament solemnly tied by the bridegroom around the bride's neck as marriage-badge. (All Hindu married women wear this as a sign of marriage around their neck; it is the equivalent of wedding ring.)

As the flowers were vying with each other to look beautiful on Her, Lakshmi and Sarasvati were using Chamaram (சாமரம் ) to fan her on either side. That is what Sankara saw in the Inner Sanctum.

சாமரம் = Chamaram = bushy tail of the yak, used as a fly-flapper for idols or as a royal insignia.

Sankara pleaded with Her. O Mother, People have declined because of the pursuit of Avaidik ways, which makes you sad and angry. Has not your anger from slaying Bhanda been ratcheting down? Has not the erection of Victory Column cool down your anger? That should be the case, O My Mother! Your anger: would it not incinerate Kanchi? Please don't.

VAidik = வைதிகம் = That which is sanctioned or enjoined by the Vēdas. Avaidik = not Vaidik = இலௌகிகம் = Ilaukikam = Worldly affairs, secular matters, opposite to வைதிகம்.

Sankaracharya felt that Kamakshi wants him to merge with her and she was angry that he did not show up earlier. Sankara shed rivers of tears at her feet. His eyes turned to Sri Chakra the Kamakoti Pedam and the ashta Devis (8 deities) surrounding it: Vasini, Kamesi, Modhini, Vimala, Aruna, Jayani, Sarasvati, and Kaulini, the Vac Devis who composed the Lalita Sahasranama. Because of that, Kamakshi ordered that Sri Chakra should be the object of worship to honor the Vac Devis.

The legend says that Sankara drew out anger from Kamakshi and reposed it in Sri Chakra. Sankara also drew out the eight Kalis, the companion deities and reposed them around Sri Chakra in the trench. Kamakshi that moment became Sorupi (Beautiful Goddess). All the assembled devotees were ecstatic to see Kamakshi transform into a benign Goddess with pleasing countenance and offered their worship. Sankara offered his worship to Arupa and Rupa Laksmi on the outer walls of the sanctum.

Sankaracharya eulogizes Kamakshi as follows: You are Padmasini residing in the lotus flower. You are Chaturbhuja, Rajarajesvari, Sri Vidya, Paramesvari, Sakalakalavalli, KAlachakra sorupini, Mulasakti, Adhisakti, Atmasakti.... Sankara pleaded with Kamakshi to shed the residual anger after killing Bhanda. Soon, she gave up her anger and became the epitomic goddess of peace and tranquility. Her smiling countenance was effulgent. The votaries raised joyous murmurs and immersed in the ambience of Her compassion and grace.  Sankara and the devotees worshipped ArupaLakshmi outside the left wall and RupaLakshmi on the outside of the right wall of Her shrine.

The votaries raised a question with Sankaracharya as to how ArupaLakshmi (formless Lakshmi) came about. One day Vishnu and Mahalakshmi were having a to and fro conversation, jousting and laughing. Their vis-a-vis conversation picked up heat and Mahalakshmi in a moment of carelessness and derision went beyond decorous speech. 'O my dear husband, once you took the form of Mohini (seductive goddess, gender transformation from Vishnu to Mohini to seduce the Asuras and recoup the Ambrosial Nectar of Eternal Life from them) and cast an amorous illusion on Siva. That was an act of Your Maya-Tantra and not Your beauty. Whatever it is, You are of the hue of dark nimbus clouds; You are really black. Who would ever bring herself to love You?  What a pity?'

Mohini casts an amorous illusion on Siva:  Siva upon seeing the divine curvaceous beauty, sinuous shapeliness, beguiling comportment, dancing eyebrows, tremulous eyes (like those of deer), flickering lips, pulsating radiance, diaphanous veils, seductive bearing, strutting peacock gait, shining moon-like nails...could not contain Himself.

Mahavishnu showed a flicker of change in His ever-contented countenance and ever-centered tranquility. He understood that She was expressing Her mind fully and thoughts in words. He retorted to Lakshmi, 'Why did You fall in love with pretentious black me after you emerged from the Milk Ocean and married Me?'  Having seen the sour countenance and heard the challenging words, She should have kept quiet. But incorrigible Fate does close in on Her. She ratcheted up her prosaic tempo and spilled more acrimonious words, ' O yes, you are churning up that story. The churning waves fell on my golden complexion and all turned golden. Even you turned golden, shiny and effulgent as if you have been painted with gold. That golden appearance of Yours beguiled me into marrying You.'

Mahalakshmi here talks about the churning of the Milk Ocean by gods and demons to scoop up the Nectar of Immortality. Lakshmi emerged from the ocean holding a lotus flower; Vishnu and Lakshmi fell in love with each other and got married. During the churning of the ocean, Vasuki the giant snake, used as a churning rope, emitted poison from its fore end and blackened Vishnu for good. Now you know why Vishnu looks black.

The perennially tranquil Vishnu showed signs of steaming anger, which turned His black complexion into a red one. Remember the black lobster turns red in the boiling water. He spoke thus, 'Mahalakshmi, You speak thus because you think you are a paragon of beauty. I am casting a curse on you right at this moment that you will lose your beauty this instant, become the epitome of ugliness and will be born and roil in the world of misery.'

The golden Lakshmi  morphed into a black goddess with cast-iron color; her mood changed from golden to black. Mahalakshmi was in state of shock seeing the transformation; the grief from the change brought her back to her senses. She begged Vishnu for forgiveness and Prayachchitam (பிராயச்சித்தம் - Expiation of sin). Vishnu in His spousal kindness said, 'Go to Kanchi and worship Kamakshi. This is the dance I perform to let the world know Her greatness.' (Remember Kamakshi is the sister of Vishnu Paramatma.) Mahalakshmi came to Kanchi in Her formless form (அரூப லக்ஷ்மி) and performed austerities before Kamakshi. In this instance, formlessness is euphemism for blackness.  (This episode tells us that even gods and goddesses are not immune from the words and acts of transgression and Karma; everybody is subject to the aftermath of Karma; all without exception have to pay to repair and retire Karma by Prayachittam.)

Kamakshi gave Lakshmi Dharsan (தரிசனம் = Vision of a deity; sight of a great personage; audience). Kamakshi seeing formless black Lakshmi, addressed Her, O thou art Kamakshi with the color of collyrium.'  Addressing black Lakshmi as Kamakshi, She put Her at ease.  'O Mahalakshmi, thou shall remain an idol in the present form on my left side. My devotees will smear the red Kum-Kum (red powder worn by goddess worshippers) all over You, before they come to see me. Once they do this, your curse will lift, and you will become the Great Beauty You were once before. In that beautiful form you will come to reside by my right side. By touching and smearing You head to toe with Kum-Kum, My devotees will gain merits and You will remain on My left side as Black Lakshmi having realized the need for decorous behavior towards Your husband. You will confer on My devotees weal and welfare.' Lakshmi came as KrUra Lakshmi (Cruel or savage); but Kamakshi in Her generosity, called Her ArUpa Lakshmi (formless Lakshmi = அரூப இலக்குமி) instead of KrUpa Lakshmi (Black Lakshmi = குரூப இலக்குமி) and kept Her on Her left side. That is grace and generosity.  Thus Black Lakshmi ( ArUpa Lakshmi = அரூப இலக்குமி) on the left side became the most beautiful Lakshmi as before (சொரூப இலக்குமி) on the right side of Kamakshi. (Here Formless Lakshmi is euphemism for Black Lakshmi.)

Not knowing all these happenings, Mahavishnu came to Kanchi and Kamakshi temple to find out what happened to His consort. Vishnu was in a stealth mode and that is not uncommon for Vishnu Paramatma. He went from post to post  and pillar to pillar and hid behind them to see Lakshmi without being seen (by Her). Mahalakshmi saw Him at once, became rapturous,  without losing a moment recalled the repertoire of  saucy words and lovingly addressed Him, 'Come, You thief; come, You thief (வா கள்ளா, வா கள்ளா).' There was no greater moment for Lakshmi to see and invite her dear Consort in total forgiveness and love.

Thus the divine couple came together. Kamakshi was happy to see her brother, Vishnu and her sister-in-law, Lakshmi back together again. This story about Kamakshi is believed to have been told by Sankaracharya. End.

    Kanchi predates the Christian era by several centuries. The Pallavas (3rd to 9th Century) had Kanchi as the capital with territory from River Kaveri in the south to Krishna in the north with Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram) as their seaport.

For a portrait of Kamakshi, click on the link

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Crete/3739/GODS/

    The history behind the origin of Kamakshi temple. Another perspective.

(note: Siva has only one wife, but she has many names; likewise, Siva has many names. She as the wife of Siva is known as Bhavani; as the mother of the universe, Ambika or Jagan-Mata; as the terrible form Durga and Kali.

The other woman in his dalliance is his own wife, Parvati (with a different name). There is something here for every married man who wants a dalliance with the other woman. The spouses assume new names and have dalliance under the assumed names; that is putting spice in life; the marriage might last longer. Sumerian goddess Ki had several names.)

    Kamakshi is parasakti, Supreme Sakti or power. It (Kanchi) is one of the seats of power (Sakti Peetham); the others are in Madurai and Kasi. The Sanctum sanctorum faces Gayatri Mandapam which was once a grove of Champaka trees (Michelia champaca). The devas morphed into parrots, resided in the grove and worshipped Sri Devi (Kamakshi). She assumes a Padmasana stance holding a bow of sugarcane and arrows of flowers. Here she is known as Parabrahma Swarupini associated with five gods: Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Isa, and Sadasiva.

The legend says that Kamakshi appeared in her ethereal form in a pit or cave (Bilakasa swarupa) in front of  Manmatha, having been impressed by his penance. This pit is still there.  The entire temple complex is believed to be within the perimeter of Bilakasa. Bila = pit, cave. Kamakshi shrine, called Kamakottam () in Tamil and Kamakhostam in Sanskrit, has the Sri Chakra and the idol facing it. The worship is offered to Sri Chakra, established by Adi Sankaracharya. Sri Chakra (Yantra) is a round containing the Mantras. Sankaracharya, it is believed, morphed her from Ugra (rage, fury) form to Santi (peace, tranquility) form. The legend goes like this. Ugrasvarupini (Kali) slipped out of the temple at night and caused maelstrom and mayhem in the city. The people of Kanchi were very apprehensive at the destruction. Sankara prayed to Kamakshi and received assurance that she would not leave the temple and wander into the town without his express permission. The curfew worked and people were happy. This is one of the very few curfews imposed by man on goddess. The tradition continues even to this day in that Kamakshi receives permission from Sankara before she ventures out of the sanctum. Tirunavukkarasar, TirugnanaSambandar and Sundarar sang devotional songs on Kamakshi. Her Sakti radiates throughout the land from her sanctorum at Kanchi.

    The temple tank is called Pancha Ganga (Five [streams] of Ganga). Two of Siva's ganas went to fight the Asura, an associate of dead Bandasura.  The ganas killed the Asura by drinking his blood and then becoming intoxicated with arrogance, lost their divine qualities. Vishnu took pity on them and restored their previous status. The two ganas, having realized their mistake, received five torrential streams of Ganga waters from Siva's matted locks to wash them off their sins. The ganas serve as Dwarapalakas (gate keepers).

    Siva's first wife was Sati, who disowned her father, Daksha, because he did not much care for her husband and his son-in-law Siva, he performed Yajna without offering the first Prasada to Siva, he considered wealth above spirit, he did not invite his daughter to the Yajna and he did not pay any attention to Sati, when she showed up for the Yajna.  Sati declared to the assembled galaxy of gods, goddesses and Rsis that she was ashamed to own the body given to her by her father.  She performed Tapas and the internal heat generated by the Tapas consumed her life. Having heard the death of Sati, Siva, in a fit of anger, pulled his matted lock and flung it on the ground. From the fulgurant lock emerged a being, scraping the skies and heavens with a thousand arms, with three eyes shining like the sun, dark complexion like a rain clouds, fierce teeth, a garland of skulls, matted locks resembling ropes of fire, and a host of weapons at the ready. That was Virabhadra, a partial manifestation of Siva in his fierce form. He immediately sought and received his mission which is to annihilate Daksha and his sacrifice. Daksha met his death at the hands of Virabhadra. Siva picked up the body of Sati and wandered all over the universe. Vishnu seeing Siva in such condition sent his discus, which cut the dead body of Sati into 51 pieces, which fell all over Indian subcontinent.  Wherever the body parts fell, that ground became sacred. The womb of Sati fell in Kanchi, Tamil Nadu, which became the sacred site of temple (Sakti Peetha) for her in the form of Kamakshi. Fifty-one pieces are not an accidental number, but represent 51 Sanskrit alphabets; the body of the deity is made of Sanskrit alphabets which pervade the Chakras up and down the body.

    She is Consciousness (Cit); she is the first and primordial cause and also the cause of dissolution. The second deity known as Suddhaparā manifests the Yoga Mudra with her right hand and carries a book on her left hand. Her body has the cumulative refulgence of snow, jasmine, moon and pearl. Suddhapara = Purity Supreme. The third deity is Parāparā (greater than the Greatest). Her effulgence is that of ten thousand rising suns. Her right hand sports a lotus, while left hand rests on the left thigh. A crown and moon adorn her head. The fourth one is Parā Arunā or Tripurā. She holds in her four arms a noose, a goad, a sugarcane and five arrows. The fifth one is Lalita manifesting as Kamakshi in Kanchi. Kamakshi is the object of worship by Sarasvati, Rama and Gauri who regard her as the primordial deity.

    Kasi and Kanchi are the two eyes of Mahesa. At Kanchi, Brahma performed severe penance asking for the descent of Sridevi, who graced him by her visit on her lotus seat holding a lotus flower, accompanied by Vishnu. Lakshmi (Sridevi) appeared in her full regalia of fine garments and jewels as Simhasanesvari (the reigning goddess of the lion throne). Her beauty matched her splendor. Known as goddess Adilakshmi (Primordial Lakshmi), she is resident in our hearts. She is also known as Tripura, the mother of Brahma, Vishnu and Isa. She appeared as Kamakshi in Kanchi, whom Brahma greeted with adoration. He addressed her as the Mother of the Universe, Tripurasundari, sister of Srinatha, Sri, the auspicious one, Consort of Sankara in the form of Kamesvara. She is the goddess of creation, maintenance, destruction, obscuration and Grace.

(Author's note: You may notice that Kamakshi is addressed one time as the consort of Siva, another time as the consort of Vishnu. There is no need for any confusion here. Mother Goddess manifests here as Mother and wife of the Triad and as a matter of fact the entire universe of beings. She is the Original Mother, the SUPREME DIVINE EVE; in this instance the MOTHER GODDESS did not have any parents; she was self-created. Parvati was the daughter of Himavat and Mena.  Parvati is one Manifestation of the Mother Goddess.  When she created Brahma, Vishnu and Isa, there were no females at all for their marriage. She created out of her body Brahmani, Vaishnavi and Mahesvari as the consorts of Brahma, Vishnu and Isa. How she (mother God) could have given birth to gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra-Siva without participation of Father God?

 Let me give you an idea of X and Y chromosomes; man is XY and woman is XX. Y is a newcomer and a derivative or descendant of X chromosome many millions of years ago. Man came from woman literally, figuratively, genetically and in any way you look at it.  So Y is a modified X or X-Degenerate; it is so modified now that it has some resemblance at the tips of the short arms.  Here is a more detailed information on X and Y.

Saktas believe that male descended from female and this is the learned view of the geneticists too. This information may fluster Adam because he believes that Eve came from him. Adam's donation to male of the species is the Y chromosome which is not as robust as it once was, and shrinking and wasting away.

 

Compare the robust size of X chromosome with its counterpart, a runt (the Y) lined up by its side. The Y is a loner; the Y rejects the advances of X to exchange genes except at the ends (PAR- PseudoAutosomal Region), when they do the dance of "give and take."  The Y has been an immigrant haven for new genes which serve no useful purpose. Over ages, the immigrant genes die off.  There is no new "real blood" coming into Y. Will Y waste away and come to a naught? The laconic Y is short, dense and wasting way; and  its hyperbole, haughtiness, and bombast do not match its size. They (sperm) march by millions to assault one ovum with hardy accouterment, loaded with nourishment, so a lonely sperm can enter the premises for companionship and progeny. All other prospective suitors die in battle, as one princely critter enters the once impregnable fortress and makes a mark with an X or Y. The little runt has a big ego; it has the ability to morph the primary default state of femaleness of the embryo into a male, if the critter carries the Y (SRY).  The critter says in effect, "I am the greatest; I punched a hole and broke through the formidable fortress; it is me who decides whether the progeny is male or not."  Genetically speaking, Y came into being from X about 300 million years ago.  Adam can draw little comfort from that notion.  Even worse, the X and Y were not sex chromosomes to begin with; they were autosomes before they became sexy. The future Y chromosome was a copy of X chromosome. Where is the male pride here? And a mere copy at that. What would Adam say to this? The scientists traced the X and the Y chromosome backwards and found them not sexy but very unsexy autosomes.  The X is a repository of thousands of genes, while the Y is the poor - but proud- owner of a few dozen.  A dozen or so of the genes shared by the X and Y look like fossils from which scientists reconstructed the evolutionary story of the X and the Y.  The fossil genes are neatly arranged at the tips of the X chromosome, which speaks of good housekeeping. The Y chromosome fossil genes in a typical fashion are strewn up and down the length of the Y chromosome; this may explain why bachelor's dormitory rooms are in disarray. It is an evolutionary curse. Normal chromosomes exchange genes, when they line up during sperm or egg formation, just like children exchange baseball cards. By doing this mutual reciprocal exchange, the pair knows that they belong to each other;  if they do not recombine, the two may go their own separate ways and take other forms. This exchange or recombination was suppressed in the distant past during evolution. The blame goes to Y because Y moved the genes by taking chunks of DNA and flipping them upside down: inversion.  Inversion event is the way Y frustrates X. The X chromosome DNA chunks are in good order. Now you can see why the house of Y is in disarray; moreover, Y likes it that way.  300 million years ago--give or take a few million years-- one of the the unsexy autosomal pair (the future sex chromosomes) underwent mutation and started sporting SRY gene--Sex-determining Region Y. The partner without the SRY gene became the X chromosome. The SRY gene is the switch that is turned on in male fetus bearing Y chromosome.

    Since 95% of Y  (NRY= Non-recombining Region of Y) does not recombine with the X (the genes are all turned upside down), it is isolated from X and starts accumulating  mutations. 98% of Y chromosome is junk and the male passes on the accumulated junk to his sons and along the male line. This is the true inheritance a man passes to his son. Scientists scavenge the garbage dump (study the junk) and identify paternity; junk has value; Y junkyard is research and commercial paradise: Y carries $ signs.

    Y Chromosome is known to invite and harbor immigrant genes from other chromosomes that favor maleness like fertility genes.

When Kali says that she is the origin of men, women and matter, who is going to refute that claim? Remember that the original Y is a copy of X. The male genes hijacked (took residence in)  the autosome which would become Y. That is why most of the hijackers are male: it is in the genes, stupid.  If you stay long enough in a place, you eventually own it. That is how the autosome became the Y chromosome, when the sex genes claimed ownership; there was a transfer of deed of ownership of the house to Y chromosome. The colonizers become the owners; now you get the drift. To begin with the new X and Y looked alike; they did their dance like all other autosomes and exchanged genes from each other. Then the Y became a loner and a lone ranger and stopped nuclear exchange with X except at the ends; simply put, Y is not talking much with X; this may the primordial beginning of marital discord between X and Y.  Y also has a lot of palindromes of enormous lengths which forwards and backwards read the same like MADAM. There are palindromes within palindromes which are compared to hall of mirrors. Y is proud of his mirrors esp., the ones on the ceiling. The Y  chromosome chants these palindromes like mantras, repeating them umpteen times.  One such palindrome is the infertility gene. Deletions in the gene during sperm formation leads to infertility. That is misspelling of mantra, which equally has deleterious effect in the world of Tantrics. Man uses the female as the copying machine for his X and Y chromosomes; that is the naked Truth and speaks ill of  Y.  (That is why the ancient seers of India called woman, Dhatri. A woman makes a facsimile of her husband in her son and so is called Dhātrī. As you see, ancient seers and sages of India thought about the physiology of pregnancy and Fax Machines too. BG10. )

The copying of a single man's Y and fathering many children are called Male Intrasexual Selection. Genghis Khan's and his male relatives' Y spread widely and wildly because of  conscripting large number of concubines on their victory march over a swath of land. Manchu and Mongol chromosomes left genetic imprints of large size in the populations of East Asia. This male Intrasexual Selection is not uncommon in the Middle East noted for harems in the past.

Y says to X, "I am not going to take this nonsense coming from you anymore.  Your womb, your womb is the cause of your hysteria (hyster = uterus), raving and ranting." X without missing a beat says, "Aren't we testy today like everyday. Listen, you goofball; I had enough with you; put up or shut up. Be a YY and never see the light of day."

Females are diploid (XX) and put together in a balanced way, while males are haploid (XY) and unbalanced.

The hubris of Y took new dimensions. Only Y could testify in the court because Y has the testis. The X for lack of testis, though a reliable map reader, observer, and witness could not testify. Thanks, things have changed.

Sumeria, one goddess and many names: Sumerian god and goddess An (Anu) and Ki (Antu) emerged from the primeval and causal sea. (Think of goddess Lakshmi emerging from the causal Milk Ocean with a lotus flower.) Ki has several names: Ninhursag, queen of the mountains; Ninmah, the exalted Lady; Nintu, the parturient Lady; Nammu, the goddess of watery abyss of the primeval sea; Aruru. An and Ki are the progenitors of all gods, plants, animals.... Ki appears in many generations under various names.)

    Because of her, the sun god shines, the fire god burns and the wind god blows.  Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Isvara and Sadasiva meditate on her. This is an allusion to the panchakrityas (Primer in Saiva Siddhanta), the five functions of the Lord. The Vedas are her vital airs; the five elements are her glances; the entire universe is her smile. Twenty-five Tattvas (TATTVAS-36) and the five sheaths of Maya are selfsame with her.

(Annamaya Kosa = food sheath; Pranamaya Kosa = vital airs (breath); Manonmaya Kosa = Mind sheath; Vijnanamaya Kosa = intellectual sheath; Ananadamaya Kosa = Bliss sheath.)

    Siva, Sakti, Isvara, Sadasiva are her external manifestations. The Guru, the Mantra, the deity and the fivefold airs are her diffusions. She is Pure Consciousness (Cit).

    Fivefold airs: prāna, Samāna Prāna, Apāna Prāna, Udāna Prāna, and Vyāna Prāna. Go to  BG04 for details on Vital airs.

    She is all Bliss and the innermost soul of all souls. All philosophical systems (Darsanas) are her limbs. She embodies all religions and observances. She is the essence of each and every object in the universe.

    Thus ends the eulogy of Brahma in Brahmanda Purana. He offers his obeisance to the Mother Goddess. Brahma pleaded with her to remain in Kanchi; she readily agreed and said, "so be it." She also asked Vishnu and Mahadeva to remain in the temple complex. Siva (Isana, Kamesvara) manifested himself and took his place on the right side of Sri Tripura (Kamakshi).

    Kamakshi opened her third eye in the forehead and there emerged a very young girl very effulgent and white in complexion. She appeared in the best of vesture and shone as an inimitable beauty and a repository of love and romance. That was Paramesvari in her self-effulgent glory. In the presence of the assembled deities and Rsis, marriage of the primal man and woman took place. Mahesvara married Gauri (Parmamesvari), who glanced Brahma with her right eye and Hari with her left eye; in that instance, the goddess of speech (Ka, Kamala) and the goddess of wealth (Ma or Laksmi) appeared in the presence of Kamakshi. Brahma and Vishnu bowed their heads to Kamakshi and said, "Hail to Kamakshi." The embodied forms of Ganga and Yamuna materialized there and paid homage to Kamakshi. Thirty and half million deities extended their service to Kamakshi, who directed Sarasvati to enter into Brahma, which she did by going into Brahma through his mouth. Thus, Brahma became the repository of Vedas and Vedangas. Tripurasundari (Kamakshi, Mahalakshmi--yes it is her other name) ordered Ramāh (Lakshmi) to take residence on the chest of Vishnu. Ramah and Vishnu bowed their heads to Tripurasundari with respect and requested her to offer them the status of protective deities in the name of Padma and Acyuta (Lakshmi and Vishnu).

    Brahma requested Tripurasundari (Kamakshi) that the marriage of Mahagauri and Mahesa (Kamakshi and Siva) should become the yearly celebratory event for the betterment of the world and the opportunity for the celestials to serve her.  She uttered her resounding assent by saying, "So be it."

    Brahma installed her as the deity in the temple. The goddess instructed Brahma to install, and worship Vishnu and Siva in the temple.  Kamakshi deluded the triad (Brahma, Vishnu and Siva) into thinking they are the gods of creation, maintenance, and annihilation, not knowing that they do not act without her consent. Brahmanda Purana (39.120-39.118) states that Siva-Mahesvara always thought, "I am THAT alone" under the delusion imposed by her Maya; Siva took the form of Sava (corpse) under the weight of Maya.

    Sadasiva comes to his worth because of her blessing; Sadasiva though immanent soul in all and Sat-Chit-Ananda, his action, inaction and modification cannot happen without the express consent of Kamakshi. Isvara is the Lord of Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra and Sadasiva is the origin of all four (V120).

    Maha-tripura Sundari (Kamakshi) gave grace and forgiveness to Siva and Parvati. Siva ordered Bhairava to cut off one of the five heads of Brahma for arrogating the right of superiority over Siva and Vishnu in creation, maintenance and destruction. This resulted in sin of Brahmahatya, which Kamashi expunged with grace and forgiveness. Thus Bhairava was free from the sin of committing murder by slicing off one head of Brahma.

    Parvati once in play mood covered the eyes of Siva which resulted in primeval darkness; suspension of rites to Devas and manes, Sandhya worship, penances by Rsis, and death and renewal among beings; and overburdening of the earth. Siva made her atone her sin by performing penance in Kasi, later seek forgiveness from Kamakshi of Kanchi and propitiate Siva for expunging sins. Siva was lonely sitting and meditating under Ekamra tree in Kanchi. Kamakshi blessed Parvati and Siva and united them. In this instance, she appears as Ambika to Parvati in jeweled elegance. Parvati circumambulated and fell at her feet with all eight limbs in supplication. Ashtanga namaskaram = eight parts of the body from head to foot touch the ground in utter humility and reverence to the deity. Parvati looked around and found Jaya and Vijaya, her two attendants; all joined together in exultation for having seen Kamakshi.

    Kamakshi in the form of Srividya went to Siva meditating under a mango tree and bemoaning his separation from Gauri (Parvati). Kamakshi appeared to Siva and asked him to seek Gauri on the banks of the river; Siva and Gauri went to Kailasa seated on a bull.

     A humorous episode happened when the gods, sages like Narada, rsis, and yogins like Sanaka gathered in the presence of Brahma with five faces, Siva with five faces and dark-colored Vishnu. Vishnu was easy to spot; most of them could not tell Brahma from Siva. As they were talking to one another about who is who between Brahma and Siva, Siva suddenly disappeared.    

    Brahma and Vishnu argued with each other; Vishnu said that Brahma and Rudra were his sons, while Brahma claimed that Vishnu and Rudra-Siva were his sons. Thus they came under the pernicious influence of Maya. Siva appeared as the fiery column of fire in front of them measuring up and down the sky, earth and subterranean world. Neither could see the ends of the fiery column. Vishnu was quick in realizing that it was Mahesāna-Siva-Rudra, and kept silent. The five-faced Brahma talked disparagingly about Vishnu, Siva and Uma, when the latter two appeared in the middle of a splendorous wheel above Brahma's heads. Siva was angry. Vishnu and Siva the destroyer of Tripura created a being Bhairava, a personified anger and destruction. Bhairava instinctively sliced off one of the heads of Brahma with his nail. All the assembled luminaries disappeared in haste. Bhairava could not shake off the skull of Brahma from his nail, and carried it wherever he went. Bhairava thus carried a burden of killing a Brahmana and wandered all over the country visiting holy places to remove the sin. He was very dejected and came to be known by his eponymous moniker Kapāli, the holder of the skull. He lost his splendor and lived by begging for alms. He worshipped Sri, took ritual dips in the holy waters (Panchatirtha) and stayed in Kanchi. He gradually became pure and by yogic practice became one with Sri. Sri Devi appeared before him as Mahasimhasanesvari (goddess of the great throne), liberated him from his sin and disappeared.  Still the skull was attached to his nail; he was very desperate. Sri appeared before him again and asked him to dip in a lake for washing away the sin of Brahmahatya.  He thought it was all Maya and on further prompting he took a dip in the lake but  stood up in Ganga River. Another Maya of Sri: he thought. He wandered around the City of Kasi, the modern Banares or Varnasi on the banks of River Ganga looking to receive alms. She saw a woman having the same appearance of Sri Devata of Kanchi. She gave him alms in the form of a ball of refulgence and immediately disappeared. Sooner than she vanished, the skull fell off his nail. He eulogized Sri Devi-Kamakshi for erasing his sin of Brahmahatya and separating the skull of Brahma from his nail. Since Bhairava had the skull (Kapāla) stuck to his nail, he goes by the name Kapalesvara.

    King Dasaratha and Queen Kausalya did not have any children; Dasaratha prayed to Kamakshi, who came to him in a vision and advised him to go to Kanchi and take a bath in River Kampa. He went to Kanchi and followed the instructions. Kamakshi appeared in front of the king and said that he would have four sons by three wives: Rama born of Kausalya, Bharata of Kaikeyi and Lakshmana and Satrughna of Sumitra.

    Another version says earth-bound Ravana had plans to usurp the heavens from Indira; Hari (Vishnu) promised the gods that he would be born on earth as the four sons of Dasaratha and destroy Ravana. At that very moment, Dasaratha performed a sacrifice to get progeny; out of the flames emerged a refulgent figure holding a golden bowl with Payasam, drinking which would yield progeny. Dasaratha's three wives drank the Payasam; Kusalya drank half; Kaikeyi half of the half; Sumitra the other half of the half plus the remnants in the golden bowl. Kausalya bore Rama; Kaikeyi, Bharata; Sumitra Lakshmana and Satrughna. 

    By propitiation of Kamakshi and worshipping of her Yantra (Sri Chakra), Brahma became the progenitor of the cosmic egg and the universe; Vishnu and Isana received their respective portfolios. Sri Chakra = Sri Yantra. Kamakshi goes by names such as Tripurāmbika, Sri Devi, Sivaa (yes), Mahalakshmi, Paramesani (the Supreme Goddess), Paramesvari (the Highest Deity). The Mantra is sixteen-syllabled SriVidya.  Srim = 16 syllabled Mantra.  Homa = fire offerings. Purascarana should be performed.  Siva is male; Sivaa is female and Sakti.

    Purascarana, preparatory or introductory rite. Pur = preceding.  Purascarana means repeating the name of the deity while performing Homa (fire offering). Daily service includes Sandyavandhanam (worship) at morning, noon, and evening. This also includes Japa, Tarpana (Libations of water to gods, Rsis and manes), Homa and feeding of Brahmanas. In Homa and Tarpana, the word Svaha is uttered, while in Nyasa rites Namah is used.

    Svaha (Sanskrit) = Su + ah = good, excellent , virtuous + to speak) = Hail = So be it, May blessing descend on you.

    Namah = Bowing salutation, obeisance, reverence.

    Kamakshi is the purveyor of Karma and doles out rewards and punishments according to the merit or demerit of one's acts.

    She is the primeval and primary repository of Sakti; She is Sakti herself. Nothing moves without her consent from Brahma to a blade of grass. The first incarnation of her Sakti is Tripura. She is Mahalakshmi. She created three eggs: each egg contained a Deva and his Sakti. From the first egg emerged Purushottama and Ambika; the second, Virinca and Sri; the third,  Siva and goddess of speech.  She doled out their respective portfolios to Brahma, Vishnu and Siva, who stay in Brahmaloka, Vaikuntha, and Kailasa meditating on Mahalakshmi (Tripura, Kamakshi).

    The Tejas (radiance) of Brahma and Vishnu comes from the radiant eye of the Chidambaram Temple's Chit Sabha and the cosmic dance of Lord Nataraja. His consort Sivakama Sundari is the repository of Jnana Sakti (Supreme knowledge). The Chidambara Mahatmya legend passed from Nandikeswara to Sanatkumara to Sage Vyasa to Sage Suta. Hearing the legend releases the soul from all bonds and facilitates Sayujya, union with Siva (Siva's eight forms).

  Siva revealed the greatness of Chidambara Mahatmyam to Nandikeswara. Some students believe that Nandi is the theriomorphic (bull) form of Siva from the time Siva was known as Pasupati, the Lord of animals (and also of individual souls).  Because of Nandi's devotion, Tapas, and virtue, Siva made him the Chief of Siva Ganas (attendants).  Nandi eulogized Siva  and begged him to narrate the greatness of Chidambara Mahatmyam (CM).

Siva narrates the greatness of CM   

    CM is sacred and includes the Chidambara Rahasyam, the Secret of Siva's form. Thinking of Chidambaram expunges all the sins and its auspiciousness rivals and exceeds that of Kailasa, my Himalayan abode. The devotees living Chidambaram cross the sea of Samsara of birth and rebirth and attain liberation at my feet; such is its greatness.

    Brahma, Vishnu, Ganesa, Deities, Sages, Rsis, and Jnanis eulogize and worship Chidambaram which gives happiness and removes sins. It cuts asunder the bondage of Maya and releases the devotees from Samsara. The Sages and Risis attain their siddhis at Chidambaram, which is one of my permanent abodes. It shines with my Tejas. The Lord continues his narration.  I perform the Ananada Tandava with Bhavani on my side for the Yogis who understand and embrace Siva Tattva; the universal Mother confers grace and exudes happiness and beauty. My Ananda Tandava is the source of love, happiness, joy, reverence, and admiration to all the witnesses including Vighnesvara, Brahma, Vishnu, Indra, Mahalakshmi, Vyaghrapada (Tiger-Foot)-- LORD OF DANCE -- Sage Patanjali, Adi Sesha, 3000 sages, and Hiranya Varman. Grace is unattainable for him who does not witness my Ananada Tandava. Those who are aware of Siva Loka and Siva Moksa have no use for or desire to go to Svarga loka to enjoy celestial life. Siva Sayujyam is a permanent release from Samsara.

    Siva continues his talk to Nandikesvara. By my continuous dance, I confer Atmananda (Supreme Bliss) to my devotees, while my consort Chitsakti watches me dance. Those who make offerings of money and Homa (fire offering), chant Mantras and make charitable contributions, though small and insignificant, I bestow on them great merit and grace. Chidambaram is known for its rectangular Siva Ganga tank, where I perform my Ananda Tandava. Ritual dipping in the tank brings auspiciousness and increases devotion to me. The god of death, Yama, has a lot of respect for the one who takes repeated dips in the tank. Darsan awaits a devotee who dips in the tank. The devotee who chants Panchakshara 1008 times is absolved of all sins and attains my rupam (sarupam = Siva's form). Siva gives the list of auspicious days good for bathing in Siva Ganga.