Bhagavadgita Pages, Chapters 1 to 18

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 Kularnava Tantra

    Preface: (Author's view: Tantra is a psychosocial experiment on man in an attempt to morph him from Pasu to Vira to Divya (animal, Hero and virtuous god-like man). People are people and change does not come in a hurry. Man moves in three spheres of existence: animal, Hero and Divine; the state and nature is Bhava: Pasu Bhava, Vira Bhava and Divya Bhava. Pasu Bhava is the natural state where ingestion, digestion, evacuation, procreation, and excretion in the awake state, sleeping and dreaming are the basic functions. The divine man having been a Pasu earlier in life sees the transformational potential in other Pasus, who do not tolerate sudden changes in lifestyle.  So the Divine man--god-man--devises an instrument of codes, rules, regulations, and prescribed behavior, which will carry the Pasu through the heroic phase and eventually to Divya Bhava; all this (seamless) transition and transformation takes place without pain or resistance in the inclined. Most of the time, the aspirants remain in Pasu or Vira stages of life.

    Who wants to give up drinking wine suddenly and suffer delirium tremens? Who wants to give up eating meat suddenly?  The Divine man establishes certain rules and says that one can eat meat and drink wine on certain occasions and not other times. That is progress. Sex is a powerful force next to hunger. The Divine man recommends that it is alright to engage in sex in wedlock and and out of wedlock under strict rules. Out of wedlock encounters are permitted if the spouse is physically and or mentally incapable of such relationship.  Now the wild Pasu has a leash on him and his behavior. When the controlled behavior becomes a daily routine, a palpable and discernable transformation takes place in the life of Pasu; he is now a Vira (Hero). He is a soldier taking orders without questioning, doubt or dither. By nature, Vira is Rajasic or excitable (Uddhata), ready for action. He meditates, leads a life of rituals and seeks oneness with Brahman. He is ready for the next step: becoming a Divine man. He eats to live; he gives up eating meat or indulging in sex; his spirit rises and the flesh falls. He meditates, performs breath control and attains oneness with Brahman and enjoys the Ultimate Bliss of union with his deity. The next step beyond Divya Bhava is giving up the rituals and meditate on Para Brahman, a formless Brahman or Nirguna Brahman*.

At this juncture he becomes THAT. That Thou Art. THAT you are. There is no difference between Him or Her on one hand and the Yogi on the other hand. This is the central essence of Tantra of Transformation.


These phases of man parallels with gunas:  Tamas (ignorance and darkness), Rajas (motion and passion), and Sattva (virtue and goodness). All living creatures and for that matter inanimate objects have these qualities. Wind has motion; fire has passion; water has virtue. Each one of the objects has one major quality, either Tamas, Rajas or Sattva and two minor qualities. Let me explain it further. Water is mostly Sattvic; heat and motion in water are Rajas; stagnation is Tamas. Man is not any different. Animal-man is Tamas; Vira is Rajas; Divine man is Sattva. They have variable amounts of the other two gunas. Qualities or attributes also have these gunas. Honesty is Sattva; robbery is Rajas; murder is Tamas. When these three gunas are in equilibrium, there is no action; it is like the chemically inert gas or noble gas. There is a reason why they (helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, and radon) are called Noble Gases. The Yogi, having become Sattvic, transcends Sattva, which takes him to the sphere of god.

    Nirguna Brahman* = This is where the Hindu and Muslim see eye to eye: God is formless. Idols, which Muslim abhors and Hindu reveres are repository of Divine Sacrament. Objects for a Muslim cannot be a sacrament, though he does not discard the torn pages of Quran. Thus, he has respect for an object (shredded Koran) that represents God on earth. To the Hindu also, that shredded paper is sacred, though it is mere paper; it has the word of God. Muslim regards Kaba as sacred. Though the Muslim does not agree on the Hindu Idol Worship, he sees eye to eye with the Hindu on formless god and the sacred stone (Kaba for the Muslim and Salagrama for the Hindu).

    There is an interesting story about rationalist Vivekananda becoming a spiritualist and his success at converting a foreign-educated inveterate aniconic (an-iconic) fop to an idolist. Once Vivikananda went visiting with the (newly-minted) neo-phobic of Indian values and mores. He was led to a hall of frames where forefathers of the fop's ancestors graced the walls. No later than the host showed his father's portrait with great respect and obeisance, Vivekananda spat on it knowing full well that he was an iconoclast. The salivary splatter on the revered portrait drew inordinate anger from the host. Keeping his natural cool and composure, Vivekanada questioned its sanctity and whether his father lived in the portrait. The foreign-educated man, intelligent as he was, immediately realized that the idols are as sacred to the votaries as his father's portrait is sacred to him.

    There is another interesting Spit Story. Can a person spit on the Lingam, as the story pertains to a lingam? The short answer is Yes if it is done with devotion. Real-life Thinnan, a Siva Bhakta and a hunter by trade, had to travel a long distance to worship a Lingam. He had no vessel to carry water for the Abhisekham (ritual ablution) of the Lingam. (All gods like ablution and wearing jewels.) He carried the water meant for abhisekham in his mouth, which he spat on the Lingam; he then proceeded to offer his prayer and worship. The moral of the real-life story is that an act, apparently one of disrespect and irreverence, is religiously sanctioned under extenuating circumstances, where the intent is sincere.


1.a small, cubical building in the courtyard of the Great Mosque at Mecca containing a sacred black stone: regarded by Muslims as the House of God and the objective of their pilgrimages.

2. one of several replicas of this building, sacred to pre-Islamic Arabs

As you notice, the black stone is sacred for the Muslim; so also the SAlagrama (Black fossil ammonite worshipped as a form of Vishnu, chiefly found in the river Gandak) and the idol for the Hindu. The pre-Islamic Arabs believed in spirits abiding in stones, sticks, trees, and springs. [Hindus believe in all of the above.] They had 360 deities at Kabah, among whom were three Goddesses, al-Lat (the highest), al-Uzzah (the powerful), and al-Manat* (the scissors-wielding cutter of the thread of life, akin to Durga, Kali or Tara of Hindus). Since Durga worship preceded al-Manat, It makes me wonder where the pre-Islamic Arabs got the idea of a goddess of destructive force. It appears as if the Hindu's belief in sacred stones (Saligrama, Kaba's Black stone-meteorite for Muslims) , sacred plants (Tulsi and Vilva for Hindus), rivers (Ganga for Hindus), and goddesses (Devi) was shared by pre-Islamic Arabs. Hindus did not give up those beliefs, because they believe that Brahman exists in all objects and beings. Brahman is stone, tree, river, animal, human, god, letters and everything else that is seen, heard, sensed, measured and transcending. If this universe is the creation of God (Allah), all those objects and beings are part of the body and Consciousness of God. When you see a painting , you call it by the painter's name, for example, Monet, because the painting is the body, consciousness and creation of Monet. Thus the object itself or the idol representing God is God Himself or Herself: that is the Hindu view.

al-Manat* (the scissors-wielding cutter. al-manat is the Tara of the Hindus and the Buddhists; Buddhist Tara is gentle, while Tantric Tara is Ugra (fierce, Ugra Tara). See the right upper hand holding a pair of scissors. http://www.kheper.net/topics/Tantra/Mahavidyas.html

For an interesting article on the interaction and interfaith worship go to link 


Krishna mentions (in Canto 11, Chapter and verse 14.8-17 ), "My deluding power clouds the mind of people who seek blessedness according to their karma and taste. Followers of Karma Mimamsa call it Dharma; poets call it fame; followers of Vatsyayana, the author of Kama Sutra, call it sexual enjoyment; some pin their hopes on Truth, control of senses and mind; others seek wealth and power as the ultimate bliss; some follow the path of renunciation; the hedonists follow their sensual leads. Some perform Yajna; some speak of bliss as austerity, vows, observances and self-abnegation. The rewards from these acts are limited and finite with attendant sorrow and grief and trivial pleasures. All these do not lead to Bliss. He, who thinks of Me only to the exclusion of everything else, does not seek gratification from anything else, has controlled his senses, and rejects acquisitiveness, is dearer to Me than Brahma, Siva, and My own Consort. I follow those devotee's footsteps in the hope of repaying them for their devotion.  They love all people without exception, have nothing to call their own, have their mind focused on me and spurn all desires."


 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; Siva is Akula (not Sakti); the one who merges with Sakti is Kulina.  Kula means family and as it applies to Goddess, Sakti (aggregate of all saktis or powers of the universe). Akula not being Sakti is the Supreme Witness and the Foremost among Gurus. When Kula and Akula merge, there is flow of Amrta (nectar).


    Tantra is based on evidence which supersedes 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 six forms of worship constitute Tantra's six branches: Vaishnavam, Saivam, Saktam, Sauram, Kaumaram, and Ganapatyam, the worshippers of Vishnu, Siva, Devi, Sun, Kumaran, 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.

Kularnava Tantra

    Kaulas are the followers of Kaula Doctrine which places equal weight and importance to Sakti and Siva, supreme confluence of the Dynamic and the Static. Kulacara teaches that all men, women, and things are manifestations of Brahman and so must be treated well. The compassionate Mother of the universe, Sakti Devi, asks Siva to pronounce ways and means of liberating countless millions of people from the clutches of Samsara and its attendant suffering.  Siva goes on to tell Parvati that Siva is the Real, the Parabrahman, the Knower, the Attributeless,  the Supreme Doer and Satchidananda.  The Jivas are like sparks crackling out of the Great Fire of Siva. All lives on this earth have many levels of sentience and realization from the immobile creation, to amoeba, worms, insects, birds, animals, men, gods and liberated beings. Man is considered as the most important for he is aware of his bonds and limitations, the need for liberation, and the means at his disposal for obtaining liberation. Man is endowed with will, knowledge, and action which he can use to obtain liberation. Man is placed between animals and gods on the evolutionary ladder in spiritual and physical terms. Tantras are of the opinion that man's soul carries a passport of having visited previously 840,000 living bodies of different forms ranging from ameoba to animals. Soul has taken a long journey to  arrive at the human body,  the most important of all bodies in the animal kingdom. This is the last stop before the soul ascends to the place of gods or even higher; that opportunity should not be wasted; any lapse will result in Samsara or even retrograde passage into animal bodies.  Animals do not have that maturity of soul, mind, intellect and sentience to attempt for liberation. Man is presented with a path of Dharma, Jnana, Dhyana and Yoga whose destination is Mukti, liberation. We are fallen beings from the exalted state of Pure Consciousness with several degrees of separation between our human consciousness and the Supreme Consciousness of Siva; every human soul is endowed with means to reach the ultimate goal of Pure Consciousness. Consciousness of a worm is not much to talk about; we have come a long way; now you see the degree of separation between worm and man; so is the degree of separation between man and Siva. Yogis cultivated their constrained soul to break out of the human mould and fly to newer heights of Superconsciousness. Time stops for nobody, not even for gods. Luxury of wealth and blossom of youth do not last for ever; limbs and eyes fail, the king and others take their share of wealth, the time passes by inexorably, you are wasting time thinking about transient things; it is time to move on to THAT which is eternal. Death imposes its exactitude; your soul is recycled again and again and put into another body, man, animal or plant. Karma keeps hounding you here and hereafter and enjoys vicariously putting the soul in the appropriate body, man or animal depending upon its merit. Stop the Karma, empty the bag of karma and bring it to a naught. A few seeds of karma are sown on the fertile soil of Samskara, actions and reactions, and tons of seeds are harvested. Expunge Karma. When you water the tree at the root, you gather the fruits of karma at the branches. 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. When Guru comes visiting with a disciple, all activities are directed to serve the Guru who is Brahman in human form. Between Guru and Brahman, Guru takes precedence. 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. Going to Liberation from the mundane world is Vrajantyante Nirāmayam, meaning going to where there is no ailment and pain-- (Woodroffe, The Great Liberation). 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 accouterments. The pseudo-gurus 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. Pasus have no idea of what SatChitAnanda is; sexual bliss is the universal experience that all Pasus can relate to; Tantrics mention that Transcendental Bliss is the exponential exponent and zillion times more intense than sexual bliss. Sexual bliss is the lowest denominator of bliss. Only when a Kaula knows what sexual bliss is, he will have an idea of the True Bliss, SatChitAnanda. It carries more weight, quality, and merit for liberation. 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 mental 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. Swami Satyananda Sarasvati mentions in his book Kundalin Tantra (page 104-107) about Vajroli Mudra, and Moola and Uddiyana bandhas and their ability to delay or even stop ejaculation. Retention of breath during sexual act delays ejaculation according to him. How long can a person hold his breath varies from person to person. One of the changes during the retention of breath is development of respiratory acidosis. Could that delay ejaculation? It needs investigation. An aspirant must seek a legitimate Guru to instruct him. Yogis recommend Vajorli Mudra, Mula and Uddiyana Bandhas for control of ejaculation.


    Vajroli Mudra is an invasive procedure which needs training as urologist needs training in using bougie in patient's urethra (urinary passage of male and female) to dilate the constricted areas. Paraplegic patients after proper training do pass lubricated flexible tubes into their urethra and the bladder by themselves without outside help in order to empty their bladders deprived of their function from paralysis. Bougie: a cylindrical instrument of variable flexibility used for calibrating and dilating constricted areas in tubular organs such as urethra. Swami Sivananda says that they are very few people who are experts in this invasive procedure. The idea is to develop the ability to draw fluids of increasing viscosity up one's urethra (as if one's penis is a straw to suck up fluids); the purpose is to prevent ejaculation; if ejaculation takes place, it is sucked up back again before it spills. The procedure as described by Swami Sivanada in his own words as follows.

Vajroli Mudra

This is an important Yogic Kriya in Hatha Yoga. You will have to work hard to get full success in this Kriya. There are very few people who are experts in this act. Yogic students draw water first through a silver-tube (catheter specially made) passed into the urethra 12 inches inside. After due practice they draw milk, then oil, honey, etc. They draw mercury in the end. Later on they can draw these liquids directly through the urethra without the help of the silver-tube. This Kriya is of immense use for keeping up perfect Brahmacharya. On the first day you should send the catheter inside the urethra for one inch only, the second day two inches, third day three inches, and so on. You must gradually practise till you are able to send 12 inches of the catheter inside. The way becomes clear and blowing. Raja Bhartrihari could do this Kriya very dexterously.

Even a drop of semen cannot come out of the Yogi who practises this Mudra. Even if it is discharged, he can draw it back through this Mudra. The Yogi, who draws his semen up and preserves it, conquers death. Good smell emanates from his body.

The late Trilingaswami of Varanasi was an expert in this Kriya. Sri Swami Kuvalayanandaji of Lonavala teaches this Mudra.

Some persons call the Mayurasana Vajroli Mudra. Again Vajroli Mudra is also known as Yoni Mudra. However, the description of Yoni Mudra is given separately.

The object of Vajroli Mudra is to be perfectly established in Brahmacharya (Sexual abstinence). When aspirants practise this Mudra, they unconsciously divert their mind to sexual centres and thereby they cannot get any success. When you see the description of this Mudra, you will clearly understand that strict Brahmacharya is absolutely necessary. For practising this there is no necessity at all for a woman or for any sexual intercourse. Since the Grihasthas have their wives and because they think that Vajroli Mudra is a device for birth-control, they have a keen desire to practise this Mudra. It is all mere foolishness and delusion. They have not understood the technique and object of this important Kriya.

Practice of Mula Bandha, Maha Bandha, Maha Mudra, Asanas, Pranayamas, etc., will naturally enable one to understand and to get success in the practice of Vajroli. This must be done under the direct guidance of a Guru.

    Here is a description of Mula and Uddiyana Bandhas, according to Swami Sivananda.

1. Mula Bandha

Press the Yoni with the left heel. Keep the right heel pressed at the space just above the organ of generation. Contract the anus and draw the Apana Vayu upwards. This is called Mula Bandha. The Apana Vayu which does the function of ejection of excreta has natural tendency to move downwards. (It is commonly held view that the wind is the propeller of all things in the body. The baby is pushed through the birth canal by the wind (Prasava Vayu.) Through the practice of Mula Bandha, the Apana Vayu (Down Wind) is made to move upwards by contracting the anus and by forcibly drawing it upwards. The Prana Vayu is united with the Apana and the united Prana-Apana Vayu is made to enter the Sushumna Nadi. Then the Yogi attains perfection in Yoga. Kundalini is awakened. The Yogi drinks the Nectar of Immortality. He enjoys Siva-pada in Sahasrara Chakra. He gets all divine Vibhutis and Aishvarya. When the Apana is united with Prana, Anahata sounds (mystical inner sounds) are heard very distinctly. Prana, Apana, Nada and Bindu unite and the Yogi reaches perfection in Yoga. This highest stage cannot be reached by the first attempt. One should practise this again and again for a long time.

The Siddhi in the practice of Pranayama is attained through the help of Bandhas and Mudras. The practice of Mula Bandha enables one to keep up perfect Brahmacharya, gives Dhatu-Pushti (nerve-vigour), relieves constipation and increases Jatharagni. During the practice of concentration, meditation, Pranayama and all other Yogic Kriyas, Mula Bandha can be combined.

 Uddiyana Bandha

The Sanskrit word “Uddiyana” comes from the root ‘ut’ and ‘di’ which means to “fly up.” When this Bandha is practised the Prana flies up through the Sushumna Nadi. Hence the significant name.

Empty the lungs by a strong and forcible expiration. The lungs will become completely empty when you exhale forcibly through the mouth. Now contract and draw up the intestines above and below the navel towards the back, so that the abdomen rests against the back of the body high up in the thoracic cavity. This is Uddiyana Bandha. This is practised at the end of Kumbhaka (retention of breath) and beginning of the Rechaka (Exhalation). When you practise this Bandha, the diaphragm, the muscular portion between the thoracic cavity and abdomen, is raised up and the abdominal muscles are drawn backwards. If you bend your trunk forwards, you can easily do this exercise. Uddiyana Bandha is the first stage of Nauli Kriya. You should know Uddiyana Bandha if you want to practise Nauli Kriya. Nauli Kriya is generally done in a standing position. Uddiyana Bandha can be practised in a sitting or standing posture. When you do it while standing, keep your hands on the thigh as shown in the illustration.

This exercise helps a lot in keeping up Brahmacharya. It imparts beautiful health, strength, vigour and vitality to the practitioner. When it is combined with Nauli Kriya, it serves as a powerful gastro-intestinal tonic. These are the two potent weapons of the Yogin to combat against constipation, weak peristalsis of the intestines and other disorders of the alimentary canal. It is by these two Yogic Kriyas alone, that you can manipulate and massage all the abdominal muscles. For abdominal exercises nothing can compete with Uddiyana Bandha and Nauli. They stand unique and unrivalled amongst all systems of physical exercises. In chronic diseases of stomach and intestines, where drugs of all sorts have failed, Uddiyana and Nauli have effected a rapid, thorough and marvelous cure.

When you practise Pranayama, you can beautifully combine Mula Bandha, Jalandhara Bandha and Uddiyana Bandha. This is Bandha-Traya.

Uddiyana Bandha reduces fat in the belly. In cases where Marienbud reduction pills have failed to reduce fat, Uddiyana Bandha will work wonders. If fatty persons stop taking ghee and reduce the quantity of drinking water, they will be able to do Uddiyana. A trip to Kedar-Badri or Mount Kailas by foot will prepare fatty people for the practice of Uddiyana Bandha.

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 five-mouthed 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 twig-pen 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. There are seven paths, higher from the first to the seventh; they take man from matter to spirit to the transcendent.

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.  Union of Kula and Akula is Kaula; hence Devi is Kaulini. Kula and Akula are in Sahasrara Chakra. Kulācāra is the path of Kaulas. Siva and Sakti is Kaula harmony. The followers are Kaulas. There are two more higher paths: Siddhantacara and Kaulacara.   

Siddhantacara means perfect rule of action and the one who practices purity, quietism, and mental absorption in Durga.

 Kaulacara belonging to Kula or "family of worshippers" knows the Truth that reality is Siva and Sakti. He practices Panchamakara after initiation by a Guru. The ideal age for initiation is sixteen.

Siva explains what Kula is to Parvati: Kula is Prakrti, Jiva, Space, Time, Ether, Earth, Water, Fire, and Air. Looking upon all these as Brahman is KulAcAra.  Kaula way is an inclination of mind in people whose sins are expunged by merits in previous births by penance, alms, and faithful observances of worship--Woodroffe in The Great Liberation.  Kula is Brahman and Kundalini Sakti; Siva is Akula.

    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 Mahabharata 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 (Panchamakara) =  Pancha = five + Makara = Ms = 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 Maithuna; 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. Devi as the moon light soothes the burns sustained from the triple fires of misery: Adhibautika, Adhiatmika and Adhidaivika (exogenous, endogenous and Theogenous miseries.

Generally Prarabdha Karmic fruit comes in three flavors: Adhidaivika, Adiyatmika and Adhibautika (Theogenous, endogenous and exogenous).

Adhidaivika (Theogenous Misery) karmic fruit originates from God and determines the heredity, ancestry, and environment of the eater of the fruit. The birth may be of high, average or low status with its fruits; the souls after departure may enter heaven or hell for pleasure or pain. Vedas pronounce the word of God. The violator goes to hell and suffers; the complier goes to heaven and enjoys bliss. The Lord dispenses fruits according the merit or demerit of one's karma; that is the will of God. Suffering in hell abolishes sins. Another source tells that Theogenous misery happens at conception and embryonic stage, at birth, and at death.

Adhiatmika Karma (Endogenous Misery) brings fruits from one's own body by way of disease, suffering, misery, old age and others. Another source tells that the miseries come from self, other people, animals....

Theogenous and Endogenous Miseries are both mental and physical.

Mental Miseries are அழுக்காறு, அவா, வெகுளி, கவலை (Envy, Desire, Anger, and Anxiety).

Physical Miseries are பிணி, காயம் (Disease, Injury).

Adhibhautica Karma (Exogenous Misery) means that the miseries proceed from the five Great Elements: Rain, Wind, Earthquake, and Volcano.


    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 sevenfold path of liberation:

    A Sadhaka follows Karma1 (Kriya), Bhakti2, and Jnana3, Dakshina4, Vama5, Siddhanta6, and Kaula7: the first three Margas (paths) are for the Pasus; the fourth and the fifth are for the Viras; the sixth and the seventh are for the Divyas. Karma or Kriya is Vedic ritual, the lowest path for men of mud. The second higher path is the Bhakti path of the Vaishnavas of higher achievement. The third is the Saiva path of knowledge. The fourth path is Dakhshina where the first three margas are syncretized, synchronized and synthesized to an optimal entity in such way that the transient fruits are conserved.  The four paths are called Pravritti for they take the Sadaka outwards and forwards in a centrifugal manner away from the Source, the Pure Consciousness. Now, in the Vama (reverse) Marga, the Sadaka has a chance to take a reverse direction and head towards Pure Consciousness. The followers of the fourth and fifth paths are called Viras. The Vira looks at all His creations, both Spirit and Matter, as meaningful and turns from Pravrtti to Nivrrti (cessation and involution). He is Vira (hero) because he fights against Avidya (ignorance) and takes the road less traversed. As the Vira makes progress, treading the path of Siddhanta6, he becomes a Divya, who knows the nature of Spirit and Matter; Spirit pervades his whole being as he recedes from Matter; he draws closer to Pure Consciousness. The Sadhaka is on the Kaula path, the least known and the most secret path. Kaula doctrine is the essence churned by Siva Himself from the ocean of the Vedas and Agamas with the churning pole of Jnana; all paths leading to Pure Consciousness (Siva) end in Kaula; as the footprint of the elephant subsumes the footprint of all animals, Kaula doctrine consumes and absorbs all Nivrtti doctrines.

    The seeds sprout, grow and live as trees; the birds, bees, and beasts live and mate; but only the Kaula following the doctrines of Kula lives in meaningful ways. For pasus, days come and go; pasus eat, live, mate, and wallow in fear; bellows breathe in and breathe out, but that is not life.

If drinking wine is liberation, all drunkards should attain perfection; if eating meat leads to higher regions, all meat eaters would be meritorious; if cohabitation with woman opens the gates for liberation, all creatures with natural mating instincts would enter the gates of liberation. It is not the Kula Marga at fault, but those who abuse it and lack the proper spirit. You may wear a snake on your neck, hold the tiger by its neck, (put your head in lion's mouth, jump a canyon on a motorbike--Author's insert), and walk on the sharp edge of a sword; but following Kula Marga is more difficult. Casual drinking of wine for pleasure, eating of flesh for enjoyment and nutrition, cohabitation for conquest, which do not fall within the prescribed injunctions of Kula Dharma, are sins.


    Pasu (individual soul, cow or animal) is one who is afflicted with Paasam (pasam) which is a bond or a noose; he is tethered to a post of Samsara by ropes of three malas or impurities; philosophically, it is an obstruction to obtaining release or liberation. Saiva Siddhanta lists three tethers or malas, Karma, Maya and Anava.  Kularnava Tantra enumerates eight bonds: Bhaya (fear), Daya (pity), Ghrina (contempt, disgust), Kula (family), Lajja (shame, embarrassment), Moha (delusion), Shīla (nature, conduct), and Varna (caste or race); this is only a short list, a larger list basically expands on this eight-braid bond; they are like ropes within braided ropes. Pasu is a man of the world full of ignorance and darkness (Pravritti marga), not wont to the ways of Tattva Jnani or Yogi, who pursues Nivrrti marga.  


The import of Panchatattva or the five Ms.

    As said earlier, Kaulachara involves the use of Madya (wine), Mamsa (meat), Matsya (fish), Mudra (grain), and Maithuna (union). There are specific prescriptive details about the vessels, their metal, dimensions, uses and occasions; grains, kinds, mixing proportions, ways of cooking;  and making of different kinds of wines from different ingredients and secret formulas. Take the meat: domesticated animals raised in villages such as goat and sheep; animals of air, birds; animals of forest, deer; animals of water, fish and that which grows from the earth, grains are the accepted ones for ritual consumption.


These are the essential elements of Kulacara as told by Siva to Parvati, his consort, the Sovereign Mistress of Kula. The Kaula who knows Kula, the five Kula Tattvas (principles), and Kula worship is emancipated, while living (Jivan-Mukthi = liberation while still living).


Entities and their reference to the Mahabhutas or Great Elements. Value and utility
First element: Wine, also called Fire.

Now you know the origin of the word Fire Water.

Its medicinal value; cause of happiness (remember "happy hour"); drowns sorrows.
Second Element: Village animals: goat and sheep; air animals: birds; forest animals: deer. (2nd element is Air.) nourishing, increases intelligence, provides energy and strength.
Third element: animal of water, fish. (3rd element is Water.) is of good taste and augments generative power of man.
Fourth element: sprouting out of earth: grain. (4th element is Earth.) easily grown and abundant; root of life of the three worlds.
Fifth element: sexual intercourse. the 5th element is Ether cause of intense pleasure; tool for procreation of all air-breathing creatures; the root of the world without beginning or end.


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.


meat is Siva*: Comment from the author with quotations from Bible:

Gospel of St. JOHN: Jesus Christ says, 6.48I am the bread of life. 49Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50This is the bread which cometh down out of heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51I am the living bread which came down out of heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: yea and the bread which I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.

6.52The Jews therefore strove one with another, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53Jesus therefore said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye have not life in yourselves. 54He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life: and I will raise him up at the last day. 55For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in me, and I in him. 57As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father; so he that eateth me, he also shall live because of me. 58This is the bread which came down out of heaven: not as the fathers ate, and died; he that eateth this bread shall live for ever. 59These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.

Here eating flesh and drinking blood of Jesus Christ is not something physical. It is spiritual nourishment coming from Jesus Christ. He is the Son of the Father. His words are his flesh and blood; they come from the Father through him to his disciples. Following them confers eternity. He who follows his words abides in him and Jesus Christ in turn abides in his Father and follower. According to Ramanuja, the universe and the Jivas (souls) form the body of God, as the individual body forms the body of individual soul or Jiva. End of comment

    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.

    Yoga: Every human being has the capacity to outgrow his environment and constraints to become a Yogi. Yogi's aim is to attain Brahman knowledge, SatChitAnanda, and Jivan Mukta. Brahman knowledge is the knowledge of the Self; SatChitAnada is the ultimate bliss; Jivan Mukta is liberation while alive. 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.

Guru-Pupil relationship: Comment: There are some elements in this table that may appear contradictory to the egalitarian philosophy of the Kaula doctrine. There may be some repetitions because the list comes from different sources. I am listing them as they appear in Kularnava Tantra and other texts. End of comment. The Guru is not permitted to take the following pupils:

The wicked

The immoral

The ugly

Disciple of another


The Impotent

The pseudo-pundit

The deformed

The lame

The blind

The deaf

The unwashed

The diseased

obscene language


deformed limbs

Movement disorder

Abnormal gait

speech defect

Funny looks


drowsy and droopy



the timid


lack of external devotion

Tall talk

dry skin




improper wealth

Wife abuser

prohibited acts

omits enjoined acts

does not keep secrets

trouble maker








no loyalty


not trusting


No enthusiasm

criminal behavior






lacks sense of truth




blames others



pretend to possess knowledge like a Brahmana



jealous of one's good qualities


lacks compassion


Passion wicked mind bad reputation lack of humility lack of knowledge
lack of wisdom dullness of intellect neglecting Vaidik duty  neglect of Acara of his caste irreverent
impatient wrathful adulterous evil mind and thought paucity of devotion
weak mind Untruth cursed by a Brahmana demerit on mother's side PAsanda (impersonator of and orthodox Hindu.)
Imbecile conceited deformity excommunicated foul-mouthed
sloven, inappropriate dress dysarthria phlegmatic drowsy, lazy lacking loyalty
hyperbole lack of empathy lacks will lazy delegator of work ill-gotten wealth
marriage outside injunction Sastric violator divulges secrets mischief monger placid plotter
detractor treachery rebellious six-sinner* one-eyed
cruel slanderer speaks ill of people misjudging people bore

    Six sins: firebug1, poisoner2, bearer of arms with intent to injure3, stealer of wealth4, land5, and others' wives6.

The qualities of an ideal Sisya


makes a bow sits by his side leaves with permission tries to please the Guru obeys him
never tells a lie never talks idly devoid of anger devoid of lust devoid of greed
devoid of disgrace no loud laughter devoid of flattery devoid of fickleness straightforwardness
devoid of remorse no commerce with Guru worship obeisance respect



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. There is no distinction in these pairs: Istadevata and Mantra; Mantra and Guru; Guru and Atma. Worship, devotion, and obeisance to Guru according to one's own ideas will not bear fruit; one must follow Sastric injunctions. Guru's seat, wife, possessions, bed, clothes, ornaments, footwear, and all other belongings are worthy of worship; they and guru are identical. One should bear a cheerful disposition an express joy in the presence of the Guru.

    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.

The Sastras mention that the testing of both the Guru and Sisya are essential. Depending on the caste of the Sisya, he stays with the Guru in the latter's house for one to four years. The Guru puts him through the wringer in such ways that he comes to know of the pupil's body, mind, speech, devotion, character and compatibility.  One year is the minimum necessary for a Guru to evaluate his pupil of Brahmana lineage; two years for Ksatriya; three years for Vaisya; four years for Sudra. A greedy or timorous Guru invites the wrath and curse of Devata; initiation performed by him has no value. Mutual testing of Guru and Sisya as to their fitnmess by each other is a dynamic process. If it does not stand the test of the Sastras, both are reduced to the state of Pisaca (a dirty spirit).


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.

    There is another classification of Diksa (initiation): ritual, letter, Kala, touch, speech, sight and thought.

    Diksa has yet another classification: 1) Samaya Diksa, when the Guru allows the disciple to help him with the religious ceremony. (Sama = religion.) 2) Putrika Diksa, when, in the likeness of father to a son, the Guru orders the disciple to conduct the ritual. 3) Sadhika Diksa, when the Guru initiates him in Sadhana. 4) Vedhaka Diksa: (Vedhaka = transmutation, change) when the Guru effects some imperceptible changes in Sadhaka. 5) Purna Acharya Diksa, when the Guru invests in the disciple the full powers of a Guru. 6) Nirvana, when the disciple is mature and perfect to attain absorption (laya) into the Self through Sadhana.

    Diksa is performed with a jar, sacred fire place, and a vessel for the purification of the body.

    Varnamayi Diksa involves placement of Sanskrit letters on the body of the disciple and the Guru. Remember that Sanskrit letters form the Bija Mantra and that Kali wears a garland of Sanskrit letters represented by the skulls around her neck. Varna = Sanskrit letters. This sort of initiation shatters all bonds.

    Kala Diksa is based on the tattvas involved in Pravrtti and Nivrtti, evolution and involution of the soul. Nivrtti Kala is between the feet and the knees, Pratistha Kala from the knees to navel, Vidya Kala from the navel to the neck, Santi Kala from the neck to the forehead, and Santyatita from the forehead to the top of the head. This progress from the feet to the head depicts the withdrawal or involution of the soul to a higher consciousness; the Sadhaka is born at the end of the journey amongst Yogins and Viras; all pasas (bonds) are destroyed. (Note that the five elements are associated with anatomical body: Earth from feet to knees, Water from knees to navel, Fire from navel to throat, Air from throat to forehead and Ether from forehead to crown. The idea is that we are made of matter and Spirit, are firmly planted on earth, portray matter at the foot level and Spirit at the crown level. For us to involute into the Spirit we should ascend these elements from foot to the crown. When a priest or Sadhaka attains perfection, a rope representing his body and matter is burnt and he is now a pure Spirit. This is Santi-atita [Quietism] or Nirvana, absolute extinction of all desires and passions and attainment of perfect beatitude.)

    Touching the disciple by the Guru is Sparsa or tactile initiation; Initiation with a Mantra is Vac Diksa or verbal initiation; Initiation by gaze is drg Diksa or sight initiation; initiation by combination of touch, sight and speech is Sambhavi Diksa.

    Diksa erases the caste differences: the Sudra is no more a Sudra; the Brahmana is no more a Brahmana. Diksa also erases the past and to think of the past of a person after Diksa is sin itself; it is like thinking of Linga as stone. As Linga made of earth, iron, jewel, stone and wood become sanctified; so also all classes of people are purified after Diksa. He who has been initiated can dispense with tapas, injunctions, vratas, pilgrimages and rituals involving the body. He who prays without initiation is like a seed sown on a rock. Sastra states that seniority of a person in Kaula hierarchy goes according to when a particular person is initiated. If a Sudra is initiated first and a Brahmana is initiated later, the Sudra is senior to the Brahmana. Washing the feet of the Guru washes away all the sins. Sudras are not allowed to study Vedas. Woman should get permission from her father, husband or son depending upon her status.



 Dīksâ, Diksa or Diksai is initiation of a disciple into the mysteries of Saiva religion; it consists of three stages: Samaya-diksai, Viceta-diksai, and nirvana-diksai (initiatory rites, second or middle step in initiation, which gives the disciple special privilege of making Puja to Siva, and Third and last step, which helps the disciple free himself from the bonds of existence and attain emancipation--Tamil Lexicon). As fire destroys cotton and reduces it into ashes, Diksai reduces all Malas into ashes and obtains liberation. Mantras destroy prarabdha karma and guarantees no rebirth, as fire roasts seeds and renders them unproductive.  The earth Guru, on behalf of Siva, transfers all the five elements and the soul on to the rope, equal to the height of the disciple. Now the parts (kalas, elements) are marked in color on the rope. Next day, the Guru, separates the symbolic constituent parts of the rope and casts them in the order in which Nivrtti takes place. Nivrtti Marga is involution backwards (upwards) to Siva Consciousness of the Jiva from its last Tattva, Earth; the latter Tattva gets reabsorbed into the former one until all 35 Tattvas are reabsorbed into Siva Tattva. See TATTVAS-36 for details. Earth is reabsorbed into Water which is reabsorbed into Fire and so on through all 35 Tattvas, kalas or parts. This is known as Saanti-y-atiita. The fire of Yoga destroys all kalais or Tattvas until the state of Sivahood is reached by the soul; the matter gradually perishes in fire as spirit evolves. The elements and matter burn in effigy of rope. Saanti-y-atiita / Santiyatita = Santi + Atita = Quietism + edge, limit = Quietism, be-all and end-all. That is Nirvana. Once the disciple goes through these rituals, the disciple becomes a Guru. Consecration of Guru is known as Acarya-abhiseka.

    Diksa is the essential element in the liberation of the soul, because Diksa, causing destruction of Anava Mala,  by the grace of Siva brings about liberation.

Purascarna:  Japa is the most important element for a Kaula to obtain Artha (wealth), Dharma (Righteousness), Kama (desire), and Moksa (liberation). Sandhya Japa at transitional time zones (morning, noon and evening), Tarpana (libation), Homa (burnt offering), and feeding of the Brahmanas are called Purasharana. Japa is done only with the Mantra obtained from a Guru. Other Mantras obtained from other sources are undesirable. The seat for Mantra Japa should be made of cotton, wool, or skin of lion, tiger or deer. House, cow shed, temple, banks of a river, foot of trunk of a Bilva tree, garden, sea coast are the suitable places. Padma Asana, Pranayama, inhalation, retention and exhalation and Dhyana are recommended.  A rosary with proper knowledge of its usage is advised. Silent japa with complete enunciation of words is regarded as the best. Mantra should begin and end in Pranava (Om). Knowing the meaning of Mantra is essential because not knowing does not guarantee fruits. Siva and Sakti is the object of worship. External movements such as yawning, spitting, groping own body parts, wearing headwear, nakedness, unruly hair, crowded place should be avoided.

    Bilva is Bel tree (Aegle marmelos), sacred to Siva and Saktas; Amulets are made from it and unripe fruits are used in herbal medicine. Bilva is never used as firewood for fear of evoking Siva's displeasure and wrath.


    Siva addresses Devi, "O Mother of three worlds. A human being comes to life after passing through 800,000 births in lower creatures. Thus to be born a human is a rare event. If anyone  fails to worship and praise you, it is like climbing up to the top of the staircase and falling back down. Likewise a human having ascended thus far falls, there is no liberation for him. Man always speaks of My son, My wife, My wealth, My friend not knowing that death comes along and rends him like a tiger. He should do today the work of tomorrow that guarantees liberation. The god of Death sends an army of diseases headed by Old Age. Death skewers him with a spit of thirst (desire), bastes him with worldly longings (Vishaya = poison) and roasts him in the fire of attachment and dislike (Abhinivesa and Dvesha). Death is the ruler of all from the fetus to an old man. Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesvara, Devas and all beings march towards inexorable death. All beings should do what it it takes to obtain liberation. This transient body is a bubble (in the sea of Samsara) in the visible world of Jivas. Sovereignty over the whole universe is worthless like a blade of grass in comparison to half a second of human existence. Our karma takes us to places we know not, after death. Even Devas endeavor to take birth in Bharatvarsha (India) and give up all heavenly pleasures, since they consider human body as precious. On must take refuge at the feet of his Guru and seek to serve him as his servant so that he gets his mercy.



Worship without following Sastric injunctions is not worship. Idol or image worship augments one's Mana-Sthiram (mental steadiness). It is false to assume that once mental steadiness is acquired image worship is no longer necessary. Image worship is SAkAra upAsana.  Sakara = image, having a form; Upasana = worship. Siddhi springs from faith, which makes the earth, stone and wood bear fruits. It is the faith that makes the images come alive with divinity though they are unconscious images and or  idols made of wood, stone, and others like Yantra. Sri Sankaracharya, the exponent of Monism and Nirguna Brahman, strongly recommends image or idol worship. "In the worship of the corporeal, the incorporeal is revealed."

    The following explanation is offered in the difficulty of a critic in understanding  and promoting image worship. Worship by its nature is Mūrti-pūja or Puttali-pūja (worship of image) with rites and rituals according to corporeal worshippers.  Murti = Image, Idol, Form.  Puttala = small statue, effigy, idol. Puja = worship. The image worshipper and the critic are not cast in the same mold. What the critic sees and hears: he does not understand. That is like looking at the sweet-shop, knowing the color, shape, and quantity and trying to guess whether a particular item is hot or cold, sweet, sour and or hot without having tasted each one of the items at least once.  The Puttalikas (image worshippers) argue what would the critic know about something he has not experienced. The knowledgeable taster could not even begin to describe the gross and the subtle differences among the items to the one who has never tasted any of them; words fail them. How is it possible to describe the taste of an orange, apple, banana, grapes, dates, melon to a person who sees but never tasted any of them in his life? You have to taste them before you know their taste.

Idols and images are of eight kinds: stone, wood, iron (other metals also), pastes (of clay, sandalwood, Turmeric), precious stones and jewels, other material, paint (-ed image on fans, walls), and mental.  The Sadhaka performs a mental worship of the deity with the mental articles and then performs the worship of the physical deity with physical articles. Physical worship without the initial mental worship has no merit. KarmakhAnda gives the prescriptive details of upAsana. Devotion (Bhakti) and Mantra give Form to the Formless who transcends forms. The Devata at large (omnipresent) is compared to a cow and the image or idol to the papilla of the udder, meaning that the all-pervading Devata manifests in the physical form of the idol. Let me elaborate it further. The cow is the all-pervading being with blood circulation; the milk is secreted into the udder from the blood of the cow; the milk flows from the papilla. The essence of the cow shows at the papilla, while the essence of the all-pervasive Devata shows in the idol, from where the essence of the Devata flows.

    Let us assume for the moment that the moon and goddess are analogous. The moon's reflection on the still surface waters of the river is full, unbroken and wholesome; likewise, the reflection of the goddess in the still waters of the spiritual heart remains intact. Agitated waters of the river and spiritual heart shows a thousand fragments of the moon, though the heavenly moon itself remains intact. One can shatter the reflection into a thousand pieces by striking at the surface water, though the Moon remains intact. Thus the  iconoclast and broken hearts have not really broken the Devata but only its reflection. The rays of the moon are visible only when it strikes a reflecting surface; they are not seen between the moon and the reflecting surface. This goes to show that the idols do carry the consciousness of Devata when they are infused with devotion and Mantra according to Sastric principles. Tranquil hearts and minds show the reflection of Devata.  Agitating the reflecting surface breaks the reflection and does not break the moon; breaking the idol or agitation of mind does not shatter the goddess.  So the idol breakers (iconoclasts or disbelievers) and shattered hearts and minds have to understand that their acts do not affect the Devata. Here idol breaker is an euphemism for the faithless and those who do not believe in idol worship; this includes those who believe in the exclusive worship of the Formless within the Hindu and Tantric fold.


By devotion, Mantra and Yantra according to Sastras, the Sadhaka infuses life into the idol or image (PrAna-PratisthA  = Breath +dwell), which is essential for the worship to be effective. This ensures Bhoga and Moksa in Sadhaka. Devotion, Mantra and Yantra please the goddess and procure the rewards. What is oil for the lamp and body for the soul, so is Yantra for Devi and for all Devas.


Krishna talks to Uddhava as follows.

"When the Sadhaka concentrates his mind on My smiling face, there comes a time when he, his mind and I become one and the Sadhaka loses the physical and spiritual delineation between him and Me. The Murti in the mind evaporates; the Yogi brings Ether in its place and rests it in Me, the Paramatman. The Yogi in Samadhi will see Me as Paramatma of all Jivas. The Yogi forgets that he is different from Me; the "I"  in him dissipates; he loses his identity. This is incoporeal Upasana or Videha Kaivalya. Videha = incorporeal. Kaivalya = detachment of the soul from matter, isolation, beatitude.

    A Sadaka should practice meditation and concentrate his mind on all body parts of his Istadevata from the feet to the crown and from the crown to the feet; by doing this, he will get vision of the whole body of the Devata in his mind. Once perfection in meditation and concentration is attained, the Formless will replace the Deity with form. The gross image evaporates and the subtle formless form (Ether) takes its place. Krishna says the following: Seeing his family and objects day in and day out, man develops love for his wife, son and objects. In like manner if man thinks of Me always, he will merge with Me. 

Here are some of Krishna's sayings in Bhagavad-Gita.

6.14: With serene mind and fearless, firmly resolved in celibacy, with subdued mind, the yogi should sit concentrating his mind upon Me and only Me as the Supreme goal.

6.47: Of all yogis, he, who abides in me, thinks of me within his inner self in full faith, and worships me, is considered by Me the most accomplished of all yogis.  

7.17: Of these, the Jnāni (the wise one), who is always in union with Me and whose devotion is single-minded is the best. I am very dear to that Jnāni, and he is very dear to Me. 

9.32: O son of Partha, those who take refuge in Me, though they born of women with wombs of sin, Vaisyas, and also Sudras, attain the supreme goal.

11.54: But by devotion rendered to Me exclusively, O Arjuna, I make it possible for you to know, see, and in fact to enter into (Me), O Parantapa.   



to be continued