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Tantric Scriptures - The Mahanirvana Tantra
By Sir John Woodroffe (Arthur Avalon)
The mahanirvana Tantra is in the form of dialog between Lord Siva and his consort Parvati where the Mahadeva Himself explains the theory and practice of Tantra and various mantras to Her. It is one of the most important Tantrik texts. This text includes a detailed introduction by Sir John Woodroffe
Chapter 8 – The Dharmma and Customs of the Castes and Ashramas
AFTER hearing of the various forms of Dharmma, Bhavani, Mother of the worlds, Destructress of all worldly bonds, spoke again to Shankara (1).
Shri Devi said:
I have heard of the different Dharmma, which bring happiness in this world and the next, and bestow piety, wealth, fulfilment of desire, ward off danger, and are the cause of union with the Supreme (2). I wish now to hear of the castes and of the stages of life. Speak in Thy kindness, O Omnipresent One! of these, and of the mode of life which should be observed therein (3).
Shri Sadashiva said:
O Thou of auspicious Vows! in the Satya and other Ages there were four castes; in each of these were four stages of life, and the rules of conduct varied according to the caste and stages of life. In the Kali Age, however, there are five castes–namely, Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra, and Samanya. Each of these five castes, O Great Queen! have two stages of life. Listen, then, Adye! whilst I narrate to Thee their mode of life, rites, and duties (4-6). I have already spoken to Thee of the incapacity of men born in the Kali Age. Unused as they are to penance, and devoid of learning in the Vedas, short-lived, and incapable of strenuous effort, how can they endure bodily labour? (7).
O Beloved! there is in the Kali Age no Brahmacharya nor Vanaprastha. There are two stages only, Grihastha and Bhikshuka (8). O Auspicious One! In the Kali Age the householder should in all his acts be guided by the rules of the Agamas. He will never attain success by other ways (9). And, O Devi! at the stage of the mendicant the carrying of the staff is not permitted, since, O Thou of Divine Knowledge! both that and other practices are Vedic (10). In the Kali Age, O Gentle One! the adoption of the life of an Avadhuta, according to the Shaiva rites, is in the Kali Age equivalent to the entry into the life of a Sannyasin (11). When the Kali Age is in full sway, the Vipras and the other castes have equal right to enter into both these stages of life (12) The purificatory rites of all are to be according to the rules ordained by Shiva, though the particular practices of the Vipras and other castes vary (13).
A man becomes a householder the moment he is born. It is by Sangskara that he enters upon any of the other stages of life. For this reason, O Great Queen! One should first be a householder, following the rules of that mode of life (14). When, however, one is freed of worldly desires by the knowledge of the Real, it is then that one should abandon all and seek refuge in the life of an ascetic (15). In childhood one should acquire knowledge; in youth, wealth and wife. The wise man in middle age will devote himself to acts of religion, and in his old age he should retire from the world (16).
No one should retire from the world who has an old father or mother, a devoted and chaste wife, or young and helpless children (17). He who becomes an ascetic, leaving mothers, fathers, infant children, wives, agnates and cognates, is guilty of a great sin (18). He who becomes a mendicant without first satisfying the need of his own parents and relatives is guilty of the sins of killing his father and mother, a woman, and a Brahmana (19). The Brahmanas and men of other castes should perform their respective purificatory rites according to the ordinances laid down by Shiva. This is the rule in the Kali Age (20).
Shri Devi said:
O Omnipresent One! tell Me what is the rule of life for the householder and mendicant, and what are the purificatory rites for the Vipras and other castes (21).
Shri Sadashiva said:
The state of an householder is for all the descendants of Manu the first duty. I shall, therefore, first speak of it, and do Thou listen to Me, O Lady of the Kaulas (22). A householder should be devoted to the contemplation of Brahman and possessed of the knowledge of Brahman, and should consign whatever he does to Brahman (23). He should not tell an untruth, or practise deceit, and should ever be engaged in the worship of the Devatas and guests (24). Regarding his father and mother as two visible incarnate deities, he should ever and by every means in his power serve them (25). O Shiva! O Parvati! if the mother and father are pleased, Thou too art pleased. and the Supreme Being is propitious to him (26). O Primeval One! Thou art the Mother of the Worlds, and the Supreme Brahman is the Father; what better religious act can there be than that which pleases You both? (27). According to their requirements, one should offer seats, beds, clothes, drink, and food to mother and father. They should always be spoken to in a gentle voice, and their children’s demeanour should ever be agreeable to them. The good son who ever obeys the behests of his mother and father hallows the family (28-29). If one desires one’s own welfare, all arrogance, mockery, threats, and angry words should be avoided in the parents’ presence (30). The son who is obedient to his parents should, out of reverence to them, bow to them and stand up when he sees them, and should not take his seat without their permission (31). He who, intoxicated with the pride of learning or wealth, slights his parents, is beyond the pale of all Dharmma, and goes to a terrible Hell (32). Even if the vital breath were to reach his throat, the householder should not eat without first feeding his mother, father, son, wife, guest, and brother (33). The man who, to the deprivation of his elders and equals, fills his own belly is despised in this world, and goes to Hell in the next (34). The householder should cherish his wife, educate his children, and support his kinsmen and friends. This is the supreme eternal duty (35). The body is nourished by the mother. It originates from the father. The kinsmen, out of love, teach. The man, therefore, who forsakes them is indeed vile (36). For their sake should an hundred pains be undergone. With all one’s ability they should be pleased. This is the eternal duty (37). That man who in this world turns his mind to Brahman and adheres faithfully to the truth is above all a man of good deeds, and knows the Supreme, and is blest in all the worlds (38). The householder should never punish his wife, but should cherish her like a mother. If she is virtuous and devoted to her husband, he should never forsake her even in times of greatest misfortune (39). The wise man, whilst his own wife is living, should never with wicked intent touch another woman, otherwise he will go to hell (40). The wise man should not, when in a private place, live and sleep or lie down close to other men’s wives. He should avoid all improper speech and braggart boldness in their presence (41). By riches, clothes, love, respect, and pleasing words should one’s wife be satisfied. The husband should never do anything displeasing to her (42). The wise man should not send his wife to any festival, concourse of people, pilgrimage, or to another’s house, except she be attended by his son or an inmate of his own house (43).
O Maheshvari! that man whose wife is both faithful and happy is surely looked upon as if he had performed all Dharmma, and is truly Thy favourite also (44). A father should fondle and nurture his sons until their fourth year, and then until their sixteenth they should be taught learning and their duties (45). Up to their twentieth year they should be kept engaged in household duties, and thenceforward, considering them as equals, he should ever show affection towards them (46). In the same manner a daughter should be cherished and educated with great care, and then given away with money and jewels to a wise husband (47).
The householder should thus also cherish and protect his brothers and sisters and their children, his kinsmen, friends, and servants (48). He should also maintain his fellow-worshippers, fellow-villagers, and guests, whether ascetics or others (49). If the wealthy householder does not so act, then let him be known as a beast, a sinner, and one despised in the worlds (50). The householder should not be inordinately addicted to sleep, idling, care for the body, dressing his hair, eating or drinking, or attention to his clothes (51). He should be moderate as to food, sleep, speech, and sexual intercourse, and be sincere, humble, pure, free from sloth, and persevering (52). Chivalrous to his foes, modest before his friends, relatives, and elders, he should neither respect those who deserve censure nor slight those who are worthy of respect (53). Men should only be admitted to his trust and confidence after association with them and observation of their nature, inclination, conduct, and friendly character (54). Even an insignificant enemy should be feared, and one’s own power should be disclosed only at the proper time. But on no account should one deviate from the path of duty (55). A religious man should not speak of his own fame and prowess, of what has been told him in secret, nor of the good that he has done for others (56). A man of good name should not engage in any quarrel with an unworthy motive, nor when defeat is certain, nor with those who are superior or inferior to himself He should diligently earn knowledge, wealth, fame, and religious merit, and avoid all vicious habits, the company of the wicked, falsehood, and treachery (58). Ventures should be undertaken according to the circumstances and one’s condition in life, and actions should be done according to their season. Therefore, in everything that a man does he should first consider whether the circumstances and time are suitable (59). The householder should employ himself in the acquisition of what is necessary and in the protection of the same. He should be judicious, pious, good to his friends. He should be moderate in speech and laughter, in particular in the presence of those entitled to his reverence (60). He should hold his senses under control, be of cheerful disposition, think of what is good, be of firm resolve, attentive, far-sighted, and discriminating in the use of his senses (61).
The wise householder’s speech should be truthful, mild, agreeable, and salutary, yet pleasing, avoiding both self-praise and the disparagement of others (62). The man who has dedicated tanks, planted trees, built rest-houses on the roadside, or bridges, has conquered the three worlds (63). That man who is the happiness of his mother and father, to whom his friends are devoted, and whose fame is sung by men, he is the conqueror of the three worlds (64). He whose aim is truth, whose charity is ever for the poor, who has mastered lust and anger, by him are the three worlds conquered (65). He who covets not others’ wives or goods, who is free of deceit and envy, by him the three worlds are conquered (66). He who is not afraid in battle nor to go to war when there is need, and who dies in battle undertaken for a sacred cause, by him the three worlds are conquered (67). He whose soul is free from doubts, who is devoted to and a faithful follower of the ordinances of Shiva, and remains under My control, by him the three worlds are conquered (68). The wise man who in his conduct with his fellow-men looks with an equal eye upon friend and foe, by him are the three worlds conquered (69). O Devi! purity is of two kinds, external and internal. The dedication of oneself to Brahman is known as internal purity (70), and the cleansing of the impurities of the body by water or ashes, or any other matter which cleanses the body, is called external purity (71).
O Dearest One! the waters of Ganga, or of any other river, tank, pond, well, or pool, or of the celestial Ganga, are equally purifying (72). O Thou of auspicious Vows! the ashes from a place of sacrifice and cleansed earth are excellent, and the skin of an antelope and grass are as purifying as earth (73). O Auspicious One! what need is there to say more about purity and impurity? Whatever purifies the mind that the householder may do (74). Let there be external purification upon awakening from sleep, after sexual intercourse, making water, voiding the bowels, and at the close of a meal, and whenever dirt of any kind has been touched (75).
Sandhya, whether Vaidika or Tantrika should be performed thrice daily, and according as the worship changes so does its service (76). The worshippers of the Brahma-Mantra have performed their Sandhya when they have made japa of the Gayatri, realizing within themselves the identity of the Gayatri and Brahman (77). In the case of those who are not Brahma-worshippers, Vaidika Sandhya consists of the worship of and offering of oblations to the Sun and the recitation of the Gayatri (78).
O Gentle One! In all daily prayers recitation shouldbe done one thousand and eight or a hundred and eight or ten times (79). O Devi! the Shudras and Samanyas may observe any of the rites proclaimed by the Agamas, and by these they attain that which they desire (80). The three times of performance (of Sandhya) are at sunrise, at noon, and at sunset (81).
Shri Devi said:
Thou hast Thyself said, O Lord! that when the Kali Age is in full sway for all castes, commencing with the Brahmamas, Tantrika rites are alone appropriate. Why, then, dost Thou restrict the Vipras to Vedic rites? It behoveth Thee to explain this fully to Me (82-83).
Shri Sadashiva said:
O Thou Who knowest the essence of all things, truly hast Thou spoken. In the Kali Age all observances bear the fruit of enjoyment and liberation when done according to the rites of the Tantras (84). The Brahma-Savitri, though known as Vaidika, should be called Tantrika also, and is appropriate in both observances (85). It is, therefore, O Devi! that I have said that when the Kali Age is in full sway, the twice-born shall alone be entitled to the Gayatri, but not the other Mantras (86). In the Kali Age the Savitri should be said by the Brahmanas, preceded by the Tara, and by the Kshatriyas and Vaishyas, preceded by the Kamala and Vagbhava Vijas respectively (87). In order, O Supreme Devi! That a distinction may be drawn between the twice-born and the Shudras, the daily duties are directed to be preceded by Vaidika Sandhya (88). Success, however, may also be attained by the mere following of the ordinances of Shambhu. This is verily true, and I repeat it is true and very true, and there is no doubt about it (89). O Adored of the Devas! even if the stated time for the saying of the daily prayer is past, all who desire emancipation and are not prevented by sickness or weakness should say, “Ong the Ever-existent Brahman” (90). The seat, clothes, vessels, bed, carriages, residence, and household furniture of the worshipper should be as clean as possible (91). At the close of the daily prayers the householder should keep himself occupied with household duties or the study of the Vedas; he should never remain idle (92). In holy places, on holy days, or when the Sun or Moon is in eclipse, he should do inward recitation, and give alms, and thus become the abode of all that is good (93).
In the Kali Age life is dependent on the food that is eaten, fasting is therefore not recommended, in lieu of it, the giving of alms is ordained (94). O Great Queen! in the Kali Age alms are efficacious in the accomplishment of all things. The proper objects of such alms are the poor devoted to meritorious acts (95). O Mother! the first days of the month, of the year, of the lunar half-months, the fourteenth day of the lunar half-month, the eighth day of the light half of the lunar month, the eleventh day of the lunar half-month, the new moon, one’s birthday, the anniversary of one’s father’s death, and days fixed as those of festivals, are holy days (96-97).
The River Ganges and all the great Rivers, the house of the religious Teacher, and the places of the Devas are holy places. But for those who, neglecting the study of the Veda, the service of mother and father, and the protection of their wife, go to places of pilgrimage, such holy places are changed to hell (98-99). For women there is no necessity to go on pilgrimage, to fast, or to do other like acts, nor is there any need to perform any devotion except that which consists in the service of their husband (100). For a woman her husband is a place of pilgrimage, the performance of penance, the giving of alms, the carrying out of vows, and her spiritual teacher. Therefore should a woman devote herself to the service of her husband with her whole self (101). She should ever by words and deeds of devotion act for the pleasure of her husband, and, remaining faithful to his behests, should please his relations and friends (102).
A woman whose husband is her vow should not look at him with hard eyes, or utter hard words before him. Not even in her thought should she do anything which is displeasing to her husband (103). She who by body, mind, and word, and by pleasant acts, ever pleases her husband, attains to the abode of Brahman (104). Remaining ever faithful to the wishes of her husband, she should not look upon the face of other men, or have converse with them, or uncover her body before them (105).
In childhood she should remain under the control of her parents, in her youth of her husband, and in her old age of the friends and relatives of her husband. She should never be independent (106).
A father should not marry his daughter if she does not know her duty to a husband and how to serve him, also the other rules of woman’s conduct (107).
Neither the flesh of human beings, nor the animals resembling them, nor the flesh of the cow, which is serviceable in various ways, nor the flesh of carnivorous animals, nor such meat as is tasteless, should be eaten (108). Auspicious One! fruits and roots of various kinds whether grown in villages or jungles, and all that is grown in the ground, may be eaten at pleasure (109).
Teaching and the performance of sacrifices are the proper duties of a Brahmana. But if he be incapable of these, he may earn his livelihood by following the profession of a Kshatriya or Vaishya (110). The proper occupation of a Rajanya is that of fighting and ruling. But if he be incapable of these, he may earn his livelihood by following the profession of a Vaishya or Shudra (111). If a Vaishya cannot trade, then for him the following of the profession of a Shudra involves no blame. For a Shudra, O Sovereign Queen! service is the prescribed means of livelihood (112). O Devi! members of the Samanya class may for their maintenance follow all occupations except such as are specially reserved for the Brahmana (113). The latter, void of hate and attachment, self-controlled, truthful, the conqueror of his senses, free of envy and all guile, should pursue his own avocations (114). He should ever be the same to, and the well-wisher of, all men, and teach his well-behaved pupils as if they were his own sons (115). He should ever avoid falsehood, detraction, and vicious habits, arrogance, friendship for low persons, the pursuit of low objects, and the use of language which gives offence (116). Where peace is possible, avoid war. Peace with honour is excellent. O Adorable Face! for the Rajanya it should be either death or victory in battle (117). A man of the kingly caste should not covet the wealth of his subjects, or levy excessive taxes, but, being faithful to his promises, he should ever in the observance of his duty protect his subjects as though they were his own children (118). In government, war, treaties, and other affairs of State the King should take the advice of his Ministers (119). War should be carried on in accordance with Dharmma. Rewards and punishments should be awarded justly and in accordance with the Shastras. The best treaty should be concluded which his power allows (120). By stratagem should the end desired be attained. By the same means should wars be conducted and treaties concluded. Victory, peace, and prosperity follow stratagem (121). He should ever avoid the company of the low, and be good to the learned. He should be of a calm disposition judicious of action in time of trouble, of good conduct and reasonable in his expenditure (122).
He should be an expert in the maintenance of his forts, well trained in the use of arms. He should ever ascertain the disposition of his army, and teach his soldiers military tactics (123). O Devi1 he should not in battle kill one who is stunned, who has surrendered his arms, or is a fugitive, nor those of his enemies whom he has capturedn nor their wives or children (124). Whatever is acquired either by victory or treaty should be distributed amongst the soldiers in shares according to merit (125).
The King should make known to himself the character and courage of each of his warriors, and if he would care for his interests he should not place a large army under the command of a single officer (126). He should not put his trust in any single person, nor place one man in charge of the administration, nor treat his inferiors as equals, nor be familiar with them (127). He should be very learned, yet not garrulous; full of knowledge, yet anxious to learn; full of honours, yet without arrogance. In awarding both reward and punishment he should be discriminating (128). The King should either himself or through his spies watch his subjects, kinsmen, and servants (129). A wise master should not either honour or degrade anyone in a fit of passion or arrogance and without due cause (130). Soldiers, commanders, ministers, wife, children, and servitors he should protect. If guilty, they should be punished according to their deserts (131). The King should protect, like a father, the insane, incapable, children and orphans, and those who are old and infirm (132). Know that agriculture and trade are the appropriate callings of the Vaishya. It is by agriculture and trade that man’s body is maintained (133). Therefore, O Devi! in agriculture and trade all negligence, vicious habits, laziness, untruth, and deceit should be avoided with the whole soul (134). Shiva! when both buyer and seller are agreed as to the object of sale and the price thereof, and mutual promises have been made, then the purchase becomes complete (135). O Dearest One! the sale or gift of property by one who is a lunatic, out of his senses, under age, a captive, or enfeebled by disease, is invalid (136). The purchase of things not seen is concluded by hearing the description thereof. If the article be found to differ from its description, then the purchase is set aside (137). The sale of an elephant, a camel, and a horse is effected by the description of the animal. The sale is, however, set aside if the animal does not answer its description (138). If in the purchase of elephants, camels, and horses a latent vice becomes patent within the course of a year from the date of sale, then the purchase is set aside, but not after the lapse of one year (139). O Devi of the Kulas! the human body is the receptacle of piety, wealth, desires, and final liberation. It should therefore never be the subject of purchase; and such a purchase is by reason of My commands invalid (140).
O Dear One! in the borrowing of barley, wheat, or paddy, the profit of the lender at the end of the year is laid down to be a fourth of the quantity lent, and in the case of the loan of metals one-eighth (141). In monetary transactions, agriculture, trade, and in all other transactions, men should ever carry out their undertakings. This is approved by the laws (142). A servant should be skilful, clean, wakeful, careful and alert, and possess his senses under control (143). He should, as he desires happiness in this and the next world, regard his master as if he were Vishnu Himself, his master’s wife; his own mother, and respect his master’s kinsmen and friends (144). He should know his master’s friends to be his friends, and his master’s enemies to be his enemies and should ever remain in respectful attendance upon his master, awaiting his orders (145). He should carefully conceal his master’s dishonour, the family dissensions, anything said in private or which would disgrace his master (146). He should not covet the wealth of his master, but remain ever devoted to his good. He should not make use of bad words or laugh or play in his masters presence (147). He should not, with lustful mind, even look at the maidservants in his master’s house, or lie down with them, or play with them in secret (148). He should not use his master’s bed, seat, carriages, clothes, vessels, shoes, jewels, or weapons (149). If guilty, he should beg the forgiveness of his master. He should not be forward, impertinent, or attempt to place himself on an equal footing with his master (150).
Except when in the Bhairavi-chakra or Tattva-chakra persons of all castes should marry in their caste according to the Brahma form, and should eat with their own caste people (151). O Great Queen! in these two circles, however, marriage in the Shaiva form is ordained, and as regards eating and drinking, no caste distinctions exist (152).
Shri Devi said:
What is the Bhairavi-chakra, and what is the Tattva-chakra? I desire to hear, and it kindly behoves Thee to speak of them (153).
Shri Sadashiva said:
O Devi! in the ordinances relating to Kula worship I have spoken of the formation of circles by the excellent worshippers at times of special worship (154). O Dear One! there is no rule relating to the Bhairavi-chakra. This auspicious circle may at any time be formed (155). I will now speak of the rites relating to this circle, which benefits the worshippers, and in which, if the Devi be worshipped, She speedily grants the prayers of Her votaries (156).
The Kulacharyya should spread an excellent mat in a beautiful place, and, after purifying it with the Kama and Astra Vijas, should seat himself upon it (157). Then the wise one should draw a square with a triangle in it with either vermilion or red sandal wood paste, or simply water (158). Then, taking a painted jar, and smearing it with curd and sun-dried rice, and placing a vermilion mark on it, let him put a branch or leaves and fruit upon it (159). Filling it with perfumed water whilst uttering the Pranava, the worshipper should place it on the Mandala, and exhibit before it lights and incense-sticks (160). The jar should then be worshipped with two fragrant flowers. Ishta-devata should be meditated upon as being in the jar. The ritual should be according to the shortened form (161). Listen, O Adored of the Immortals! whilst I speak to Thee of the peculiar features of this worship. There is no necessity of placing the wine-cups for the Guru and others 162). The worshipper should then take such of the elements of worship as he wishes, and place them in front of himself. Then, purifying them with the Weapon Mantra, let him gaze upon them with steadfast eyes (163).
Then, placing scent and flowers in the wine-jar, let him meditate upon the Ananda-Bhairava and Ananda-Bhairavi in it (164).
He should meditate upon the Blissful Devi as in first bloom of youth, with a body rosy as the first gleam of the rising Sun. The sweet nectar of Her smiles illumines Her face as beautiful as a full-blown lotus. Decked with jewels, clad in beauteous coloured raiment delighting in dance and song, She with the lotus of her hands makes the signs which confer blessings and dispel fears (165-166).
After thus meditating on Blissful Devi, let the worshipper thus meditate upon the Blissful Bhairava (167).
I meditate upon the Deva Who is white as camphor, Whose eyes are large and beautiful like lotuses, the lustre of Whose body is adorned with celestial raiments and jewels, Who holds in His left hand the cup of nectar, and in the right a ball of Shuddhi (168).
Having thus meditated upon Them both, and thinking of them in a state of union in the wine-jar, the worshipper should then worship Them therein. With Mantra, beginning with the Pranava and ending with Namah, the names of the Devata being placed between, and with perfume and flower, let him then sanctify the wine (169)
The Kula worshipper should sanctify the wine by repeating over it the Pashadi-trika-vija a hundred and eight times (170). When the Kali Age is in full sway, in the case of the householder whose mind is entirely engrossed with domestic desires, the three sweets should be substituted in the place of the first element of worship (wine) (171). Milk, sugar, and honey are the three sweets. They should be deemed to be the image of wine, and as such offered to the Deity (172). Those born in the Kali Age are by their nature weak in intellect, and their minds are distracted by lust. By reason of this they do not recognize the Shakti to be the image of the Deity (173). Therefore, O Parvati! for such as these let there be, in place of the last element of worship (sexual union), meditation upon the lotus-feet of the Devi and the inward recitation of their Ishta-mantra (174).
Therefore such of the elements of worship as have been obtained should be consecrated by the recitation over each of them of the same Mantra one hundred times (175). Let the worshipper, with closed eyes, meditate upon them as suffused by Brahman, then offer them to Kali, and, lastly, eat and drink the consecrated elements (176). O Gentle One! this is the Bhairavi-chakra, which is not revealed in the other Tantras. I have, however spoken before Thee of it. It is the essence of essences, and more excellent than the best (177). Parvati! In Bhairavi-chakra and Tattva-chakra the excellent worshipper should be wedded to his Shakti, according to the laws prescribed by Shiva (178). The Vira who without marriage worships by enjoyment of Shakti is, without doubt, guilty of the sin of going with another man’s wife (179). When the Bhairavi-chakra has been formed, the members thereof are like the best of the twice-born; but when the circle is broken, they revert again to their own respective castes (180). In this circle there is no distinction of caste nor impurity of food. The heroic worshippers in the circle are My image; there is no doubt of that (181). In the formation of the circle there is no rule as to time or place or question as to fitness. The necessary articles may be used by whomsoever they may have been brought (182). Food brought from a long distance, whether it be cooked or uncooked, whether brought by a Vira or a Pashu, becomes pure immediately it is brought within the circle (183).
While the circle is being formed, all dangers flee in confusion, awed by the Brahmanic lustre of its heroes (184). Upon the mere hearing that a Bhairavi circle has been formed at any place, fierce Pishachas, Guhyakas, Yakshas, and Vetalas depart afar off in fear (185). Into the circle come all the holy places, the great and holy places, and with reverence Indra and all the Immortals (186). Shiva! the place where a circle is formed is a great and holy place, more sacred than each and all the other holy places. Even the Thirty desire the excellent offerings made to Thee in this circle (187). Whatever the food be, whether cooked or uncooked, and whether brought by a Mlechchha, Chandala, Kirata, or Huna, it becomes pure as soon as it is placed in the hand of a Vira (188). By the seeing of the circle and of the worshippers therein, who are but images of Myself, men infected with the taint of the Kali Age are liberated from the bonds of the life of a Pashu (189). When, however the Kali Age is in full sway, the circle should not be concealed. The Vira should at all places and at all times practise Kula rites and make Kula worship (190).
In the circle all distinction of caste, frivolous talk, levity, garrulity, spitting, and breaking wind should be avoided (191). Such as are cruel, mischievous, Pashu, sinful, atheists, blasphemers of Kula doctrine, and calumniators of the Kula Scriptures, should not be allowed into the circle (192). Even the Vira who, induced by affection, fear, or attachment, admits a Pashu into the circle falls from his Kula duty, and goes to hell (193). All who have sought refuge in the Kula Dharmma, whether Brahmamas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, Shudras, or Samanyas, should ever be worshipped like Devas (194). He who, whilst in the circle, makes, from pride, distinctions of caste, descends to a terrible hell, even though he should have gone to the very end of the Vedanta (195). How within the circle can there be any fear of sin for Kaulas, who are good and pure of heart and who are manifestly the very image of Shiva? (196). Vipras and others who are followers of Shiva should, so long as they are within the circle, follow the ordinance of Shiva and the observances prescribed by Him (197).
Without the circle each should follow his own calling according to his caste and stage of life, and should discharge his duty as a man of the world (198). One Japa made by a devout man, when seated within the circle, bears the fruit attainable by the performance of a hundred Purashcharana and by Shavasana, Mundasana, and Chitasana (199). Who can describe the glory of the Bhairavi-chakra? Its formation, though but once only, frees of all sins (200). The man who for six months worships in such a circle will become a King: he who so worships for a year becomes the conqueror of death, and by the daily performance of such worship he attains to Nirvvana (201).
What is the need, O Kalika! of saying more? Know this for certain: that for the attainment of happiness in this or the next world there is only the Kula-dharmma, and no other (202). When the Kali Age is dominant and all religion is abandoned, even a Kaula merits hell by concealment of the Kula-dharmma (203).
I have spoken of the Bhairavi circle, which is the sole means of attaining enjoyment and final liberation. I will now speak to Thee, O Queen of the Kaulas! of the Tattva circle. Do Thou listen (204).
The Tattva circle is the king of all circles. It is also called the celestial circle. Only worshippers who have attained to a knowledge of Brahman may take part in it (205). Only those servants of the Brahman may take part in this circle who have attained to knowledge of Brahman, who are devoted to Brahman, pure of heart, tranquil, devoted to the good of all things, who are unaffected by the external world, who see no differences, but to whom all things are the same, who are merciful, faithful to their vows, and who have realized the Brahman (206-207).
O Knower of the Supreme Soul! only those who, possessing the knowledge of the Real, look upon this moving and motionless Existence as one with Brahman, such men are privileged to take part in this circle (208). They who regard everything in the Tattva circle as Brahman, they alone, O Devi, are qualified to take part therein (209). In the formation of this circle there is no necessity for placing the wine-jar, no lengthy ritual. It can be formed everywhere in a spirit of devotion to Brahman (210). O Dearest One! the worshipper of the Brahma-Mantra and a devout believer in Brahman should be the Lord of the circle, which he should form of other worshippers who know the Brahman (211). In a beautiful and clean place, pleasant to the worshippers, pure seats should be spread with beautiful carpets (212). There, O Shiva! the Lord of the circle should seat himself with the worshippers of Brahman, and have the elements of worship brought and placed in front of him (213). The Lord of the Circle should inwardly recite the Mantra, beginning with the Tara and ending with the Prana-vija, a hundred times, and then pronounce the following Mantra over the elements (214):
The act of offering is Brahman. The offering itself is Brahman. The Fire is Brahman. He by whom the offering is made is Brahman. By him who is absorbed in the worship of Brahman is unity with Brahman attained (215).
All the elements should be purified by the inward recitation of this Mantra seven or three times (216). Then, with the Brahma-Mantra, making an offering of the food and drink to the Supreme Soul, he should partake thereof with the other worshippers, knowers of the Brahman (217). O Great Queen! there is no distinction of caste in the Brahma circle, nor rule as to place or time or cup. The ignorant who, through want of care, make distinctions of birth or caste go upon the downward path (218-219). And therefore should those excellent worshippers, possessed of the knowledge that the Supreme Brahman pervades all things, perform the rites of the Tattva circle with every care for the attainment of religious merit, fulfilment of desire, wealth, and liberation (220).
Shri Devi said:
Lord! Thou hast spoken in full of the duties of the householder; it now behoves Thee kindly to speak of the duties appropriate to the ascetic life (221).
Shri Sadashiva said:
Devi! the stage of life of an Avadhuta is in the Kali Age called Sannyasa. Now listen while I tell thee what should be done (222).
When an adept in spiritual wisdom has acquired the knowledge of Brahman, and has ceased to care for the things of the world, he should seek refuge in the life of an ascetic (223). If, however, in order to adopt the life of a wandering mendicant, one abandons an old mother or father, infant children and a devoted wife, or helpless dependents, one goes to hell (224). All, whether Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra, or Samanya are equally entitled to take part in the purificatory ceremony of the Kula ascetic (225).
After the performance of all the duties of a householder, and after satisfying all dependents, one should go forth from his house indifferent, free from desires, with all his senses conquered (226). He who wishes thus to leave his house should call together his kinsmen and friends, his neighbours and men of his village, and lovingly ask of them their permission (227). Having obtained it, and made obeisance to his Ishta-devata, he should go round his village, and then without attachment set forth from his house (228). Liberated from the bonds of household life, and immersed in exceeding joy, he should approach a Kula ascetic of divine knowledge and pray to him as follows: (229)
“0 Supreme Brahman! all this life of mine has been spent in the discharge of household duties. Do Thou O Lord! be gracious to me in this my adoption of the life of an ascetic” (230).
The religious Preceptor should thereupon satisfy himself that the disciple’s duties as a householder have all been accomplished, and, on finding him to be meek and full of discernment, initiate him into the second stage (231). The disciple should then, with a well-controlled mind, make his ablutions and say his daily prayer, and then, with the object of being absolved from the threefold debt due to them, worship the Devas, the Rishis, and the Pitris (232).
By the Devas are meant Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra, with their followers; by the Rishis are meant Sanaka and others, as also the Devarshis and the Brahmarshis (233). Listen, whilst I now enumerate the ancestors which should be worshipped (234). The father, paternal grandfather, paternal great-grandfather, mother, the maternal grandfather, and others in the ascending line, and the maternal grandmother and others in the ascending line (235). Upon the dedication of oneself to the life of an ascetic, the Devas and Rishis should be worshipped in the East, the paternal ancestors in the South, the maternal ancestors in the West (236). Spreading two seats on each of these sides, beginning from the East, and invoking the Devas and others thereto, they should there be worshipped (237). Having worshipped them in proper form, pindas should be offered to each of them separately according to the rules relating thereto; And then, with folded palms, let the disciple thus supplicate the Devas and Ancestors (238):
O Fathers! O Mothers! O Devas! O Rishis! be you satisfied. Do you absolve me, about to enter upon the path of renunciation from all debts (239).
Having thus prayed to be free from all debts, bowing again and again, and being thus freed of all debts, he should perform his own funeral rites (240). The father and paternal grandfather and great-grandfather are one soul. In offering, therefore, the individual soul to the Supreme Soul, he who is wise should perform his own funeral rites (241). O Devi! sitting with his face to the North, and invoking the spirits of his ancestors upon the seats which he has prepared for them, he should, after doing them homage, offer the funeral cakes (242). In so offering he should spread kusha grass with its end towards the East, South, West, and towards the North for himself (243). After completion, according to the directions of the Guru, of the funeral rites, the seeker after emancipation should, in order to purify his heart inwardly, recite the following Mantra a hundred times (244):
Hring, let us worship the Three-eyed One whose fame is fragrant, the Augmenter of increase. May I, as the urvaruka is freed of its stalk, be liberated from death unto immortality (245).
Then the religious Preceptor should draw a figure on the altar of a shape in accordance with the divinity about to be worshipped and then place the jar on the altar and commence worship (246). Then the Guru, possessed of divine knowledge, should meditate upon the Supreme Spirit in the manner prescribed by Shambhu, and after worship place fire on the altar (247). The Guru should then offer unto the fire so sanctified the oblation according to the Sangkalpa, and then make his disciple perform the complete homa (248). He should first offer oblation with the Vyahritis, and then with the vital airs, prana, apana, samana, udana, vyana (249).
For the destruction of the false belief that the body, whether gross or subtle, is the Atma, the Tattva-Homa should be performed, uttering the following words:
Earth, water, fire, air, ether, (then) scent, taste, vision, touch, sound, (then) speech, hands, feet, anus and organ of generation, (then) ears, skin, eyes, tongue, and smell, (then) manas, buddhi, ahangkara, and chitta, (and lastly) all the functions of the senses and of life (250-253).
He should then say:
“May they be purified;” (adding) “May I be like unto the universal Chaitanya united with Hring. May I be like the Light beyond and above Rajo-guna, and may I be free of the taint of ignorance” (254).
Having consigned as oblations into the fire the twenty-four tattvas and the functions of the body, he who is now devoid of all action should consider his body as dead (255). Considering his body as dead and devoid of all function, and calling to mind the Supreme Brahman, let him take off his sacred thread (256). He, the possessor of divine knowledge, should take it from his shoulder, uttering the
Aing Kling Hangsa.
Holding it in his hand while he recites the three Vyahritis, ending with Svaha, let him throw it steeped in ghee into the fire (257). Having thus offered the sacred thread as an oblation to the fire, he should, whilst uttering the Kama Vija, cut off his crown-lock and take and place it in the ghee (258).
O Crown Lock! Daughter of Brahman! thou art an ascetic in the form of hair. I am now placing thee in the Purifying One. Depart, O Devi! I make obeisance to thee (259).
He should then, whilst uttering the Kama, Maya, Kurcha, and Astra Vijas, ending with the word Svaha, make the Homa sacrifice of that lock of hair in the well-sanctified fire (260). The Pitris, Devas, and Devarshis, as also all acts performed in the stages of life, reside in that lock and have it as their support (261).
Therefore the man who renounces the crown-lock and sacred thread after the performance of the oblation becomes one with Brahman (262). The twice-born enter the stage of an ascetic by renunciation of the crown-lock and sacred thread, and the Shudras and Samanyas by the renunciation of the crown-lock only (263). Then he whose crown-lock and sacred thread have been thus removed should make obeisance to the Guru, laying himself full length upon the ground. The Guru should then raise his disciple and say into his right ear: “0 wise one! thou art That.” “Think within thyself that I am He and He is I. Free from all attachments and sense of self, do thou go as thou pleasest as moved thereto by thy nature” (264-265). The Guru, full of the knowledge of the Divine essence, should then, after removal of the jar and the fire, bow to the disciple, recognizing in him his own very self (266), and say: “O Thou whose form is this Universe! I bow to Thee and to myself. Thou art ‘That’ and ‘That’ is Thou. Again I bow to thee.” (267).
The worshippers of the Brahma-Mantra, possessed of divine knowledge, who have conquered themselves, attain the stage of an ascetic by cutting off the crown-lock with their own Mantra (268). What need is there for those purified by divine knowledge of sacrificial or funeral rites or ritual worship? For they, acting as they please, are never guilty of any fault (269). The disciple, image of the absence of all contraries, desireless, and of tranquil mind, may, as he pleases, roam the earth, the visible image of Brahman (270). He will think of everything, from Brahma to a blade of grass, as the image of the existent one, and, oblivious of his own name and form, he will meditate upon the Supreme Soul in himself (271). Homeless, merciful, fearless, devoid of attachment claiming nothing as his own, devoid of egoism, the ascetic will move about the earth (272). He is free of all prohibitions. He shall not strive to attain what he has not, nor to protect what he has. He knows himself. He is equally unaffected by either joy or sorrow. He is calm, the conqueror of himself, and free from all desires (273).
His soul is untroubled even in sorrow, desireless even in prosperity. He is ever joyful, pure, calm, indifferent and unperturbed. He will hurt no living thing, but will be ever devoted to the good of all being. He is free from anger and fear, with his senses under contro1 and without desire. He strives not for the preservation of his body. He is not obsessed by any longing (274-275). He will be free from grief and resentment, equal to friend and foe, patient in the endurance of cold and heat, and to him both honour and disgrace are one and the same (276). He is the same in good or evil fortune, pleased with whatsoever, without effort, he may obtain. He is beyond the three attributes, of unconditioned mind free of covetousness, and (wealth) he will hoard not (277). He will be happy in the knowledge that, as the unreal universe exists dependent upon the Truth, so does the body depend upon the soul (278). He attains liberation by the realization that the soul is completely detached from the organs of sense, and is the witness of that which is done (279).
The ascetic should not accept any metal, and should avoid calumny, untruth, jealousy, all play with woman, and all discharge of seed (280). He should regard with an equal eye worms, men, and Devas. The religious mendicant should know that in everything he does, in that is Brahman (281). He should eat without making any distinction of place, time, person, or vessel, and whether from the hand of a Vipra or Chandala, or from any other person whatsoever (282). The ascetic, thouugh passing his time as he pleases, should study the Scriptures relating to the Soul and in meditation upon the nature of That (283). The corpse of an ascetic should on no account be cremated. It should be worshipped with scents and flowers, and then either buried or sunk into water (284). O Devi! the inclination of those men who have not attained union with the Supreme Soul and who ever seek after enjoyment, is by nature turned towards the path of action (285).
They remain attached to the practice of meditation, ritual worship, and recitation. Let them who are strong in their faith therein know that to be the best for them (286). It is on account of them that I have spoken of various rites for the purification of the heart, and have with the same object devised many names and forms (287). O Devi! without knowledge of the Brahman and the abandonment of all ritual worship, man cannot attain emancipation even though he performed countless such acts of worship (288). The householder should consider the Kula ascetic, possessed of divine knowledge, to be the visible Narayana in the form of man, and should worship Him as such (289). By the mere sight of one who has subdued his passions a man is freed of all his sins, and earns that merit which he obtains by journeying to places of pilgrimage, the giving of alms, and the performance of all vows, penances, and sacrifices (290)
End of the Eighth Joyful Message, entitled “The Dharmma and Customs of the Castes and Ashramas.”
Chapter 9 – The Ten Kinds of Purificatory Rites (Sangskara)
THE Adorable Sadashiva said:
O Virtuous One! I have spoken to Thee of the custom and religious duties appropriate to the different castes and stages of life. Do thou now listen whilst I tell Thee of the purificatory rites of the different castes (1). Without such rites, O Devi! the body is not purified, and he who is not purified may not perform the ceremonies relating to the Devas and the Pitris (2). Therefore it is that men of every caste, commencing with the Vipras, who desire their welfare in this life and hereafter, should, in all things and with care, perform the purificatory rites which have been ordained for their respective castes (3).
The ten purificatory ceremonies are those relating to conception, pregnancy, and birth of the child; the giving of its name, its first view of the sun, its first eating of rice, tonsure, investiture, and marriage (4).
The Shudras and mixed castes have no sacred thread, and but nine purificatory ceremonies; for the twice-born classes there are ten (5). O Beautiful Lady! all observances, whether they be obligatory, occasional, or voluntary, should be performed according to the injunctions of Shambhu (6). O Dearest One! I have already, in My form of Brahma, spoken of the rules appropriate to the purificatory and other observances (7), and of the Mantras appropriate to the various purificatory and other observances, according to the differences in caste (8).
In the Satya, Treta, and Dvapara Ages, the Mantras, O Kalika! were in their application preceded by the Pranava (9); but in the Kali Age, O Supreme Devi! the decree of Shangkara is that man do perform all rites with the aid of the same Mantras, but preceded by the Maya Vija (10). All Mantras in the Nigamas, Agamas, Tantras, Sanghitas and Vedas, have been spoken by Me. Their employment, however, varies according to the Ages (11). For the benefit of men of the Kali Age, men bereft of energy and dependent for existence on the food they eat, the Kula doctrine, O Auspicious One! is given (12).
I will now speak to Thee in brief of the purificatory and other rites, suitable for the weak men of the Kali Age, whose minds are incapable of continued effort (13). Kushandika precedes all auspicious ceremonies. I shall, therefore, O Adored of the Devas! speak firstly of it. Do Thou listen (14). In a clean and pleasant spot, free from husks and charcoal, let the wise one make a square, the sides of which are of one cubit’s length (15). Then draw in it three lines from the West to East (of the square). Let him then sprinkle water over them, uttering the Kurcha Vija the while. Then Fire should be brought to the accompaniment of the Vahni Vija (16). The Fire, when so brought, should be placed by the side of the square, the worshipper breathing the Vagbhava Vija (17). Then, taking up a piece of burning wood with the right hand from the Fire, he should put it aside as the share of the Rakshasas, saying:
Hring, Salutation to the raw-meat eaters: Svaha (18).
The worshipper, lifting up the consecrated Fire with both hands, should place it in front of him on the three lines (above mentioned), inwardly reciting the while the Maya Vija before the Vyahritis (19). Grass and wood should then be thrown upon the Fire to make it blaze, and two pieces of wood should be smeared with ghee and offered as an oblation to it. Thereafter Fire should be named according to the object of worship, and then meditated upon as follows (20):
Ruddily effulgent like the young Sun, with seven tongues and two crowned heads of matted hair, seated on a goat, whose weapon is Shakti. (21)
Having so meditated upon the Carrier of oblations, He should be thus invoked with joined palms (22).
Hring, come, O Carrier of Oblations to all the Immortals, come! Come with the Rishis and Thy followers, and protect the sacrifice. I make obeisance to Thee. Svaha (23).
Having thus invoked Him, the worshipper should say, “0 Fire! this is Thy seat,” and then worship him, the Seven-tongued, with appropriate offerings (24). The seven licking Tongues of Fire are: Kali, Karali, Mano-java, Sulohita, Su-dhumra-varna, Sphulingini, and Vishva-nirupini (25). Then, O Great Devi! the sides of the Fire should be thrice sprinkled with water from the hand, beginning from the East and ending at the North (26). Then the sides of the Fire, from the South to the North, should be thrice sprinkled with water, and following that the articles of sacrifice should be thrice sprinkled (27). Then spread kusha grass on the sides of the square, beginning with the East and ending with the North. The ends of the blades of grass on the North should be turned towards the North, and the rest of the grass should be placed with its ends towards the East (28). The worshipper should then proceed to the seat placed for Brahma, keeping the Fire on his right, and, picking up with his left thumb and little finger a blade of kusha grass from the seat of Brahma, should throw it along with the remaining blades of kusha grass on the South side of the fire, uttering the
“Hring, Destroy the abode of the enemy” (29-30).
(The performer of the sacrifice should then say to Brahma:) ” O Brahman, Lord of Sacrifices, be thou seated here. This seat is made for thee.” The Brahma, saying “I sit,” should then sit down, with his face turned towards the North (31). After worshipping Brahma with scent, flowers, and the other articles of worship, let him be supplicated thus (32):
O Lord of Sacrifices! protect the sacrifice.O Brihaspati! protect this sacrifice. Protect me also, the performer of this sacrifice.O Witness of all acts! I bow to Thee (33).
Brahma should then say, “I protect,” and if there is no person representing Brahma, then the performer of the sacrifice should, for the success of the sacrifice, make an image with darbha grass of the Vipra, and himself say this (34). The worshipper should then invoke Brahma, saying, “0 Brahman, come here, come here!” and, after doing honour to him by offering water for washing his feet and the like, let him supplicate him, saying, “So long as this sacrifice be not concluded, do Thou deign to remain here,” and then make obeisance to him (35). He should then sprinkle the space between the North-East corner of the fire and the seat of Brahma three times with water taken in his hand, and should thereafter sprinkle the fire also three times, and then, returning the way he went, take his own seat. Let him then spread on the North side of the square some darbha grass, with the ends of the blades towards the North (36-37). He should then place thereon the articles necessary for the sacrifice, such as the vessel (filled with water) for sprinkling, and the vesse1 containing ghee, sacrificial fuel, and kusha grass. He should also place the sacrificial ladle and spoon on the darbha grass, and purify them by sprinkling water over them, and then, regarding them with a celestial gaze, uttering the
Hrang Hring Hrung (38-39).
Then, with his right knee touching the ground, let him put ghee into the spoon with the ladle, and, with desire for his own well-being, Jet him offer three oblations, saying the
Hring to Vishnu. Svaha (4o).
Taking again ghee in the same way, and meditating upon Prajapati, oblations should be offered with ghee streaked across the fire from the corner of Agni to that of Vayu (41). Taking ghee again and meditating on Indra, let him offer oblations from the corner of Nairrita to that of Ishana (42). O Devi! oblations should thereafter be offered to the North, the South, and to the middle of the fire, to Agni, Soma, and to Agni and Soma together (43). Upon that three oblations should be offered, uttering the
Hring salutation to Agni,
Hring salutation to Soma,
Hring salutation to both Agni and Soma,
respectively. Having performed these (preliminary) rites, the wise one should proceed to that prescribed for the Homa sacrifice, which is to be performed (44). The offering of oblations (as above described), commencing with the three offerings made to Vishnu and ending with the offering to Agni and Soma, is called Dhara Homa (45).
When making any offering, both the Deva, to which the same is being made, and the thing offered should be mentioned, and upon the conclusion of the principal rite he should perform the Svishti-krit Homa (46). O Beautiful One! in the Kali Age there is no Prayashchitta Homa. The object thereof is attained by Svishti-krit and Vyahriti Homas (47). O Devi! (for Svishti-krit Homa.) ghee should be taken in manner above mentioned, and, whilst mentally reciting the name of Brahma, oblation should be offered with the following:
Hring, O Deva of the Devas! do Thou make faultless any shortcomings that there may be in this rite, and anything done needlessly, whether by negligence or mistake. Svaha (48-49).
Then oblation should be offered to Fire, thus:
Hring, O Fire! Thou art the Purificator of all things. Thou makest all sacrifices propitious, and art the Lord of all. Thou art the Witness of all sacrificial rites, and the Insurer of their success. Do Thou fulfil all my desires (50).
The sacrificing priest, having thus concluded the Svishti-krit Homa, should thus (pray to the Supreme Brahman):
O Supreme Brahman! O Omnipresent One! for the removal of the effects of whatsoever has been improperly done in this sacrifice, and for the success of the sacrifice, I am making this Vyahriti Homa.
Saying this, he should offer three oblations with the three
Hring Bhuh Svaha,
Hring Bhuvah Svaha,
Hring Svah Svaha.
Thereafter offering one more oblation with the
Hring Bhuh, Bhuvah, Svah Svaha,
the wise priest should, jointly with the giver of the sacrifice, offer the complete oblation (51-53). If the latter has performed the sacrifice without a priest, he should offer the oblation himself. This is the rule in Abhisheka and other observances (54). The Mantra for the complete oblation is –
Hring, O Lord of Sacrifice! may this Sacrifice of mine be complete. May all the Devatas of sacrifices be pleased and grant that which is desired. Svaha (55).
The wise one should then, with the giver of the sacrifice, stand up, and, with a well-controlled mind, offer oblations with fruit and pan leaves, uttering the while the aforesaid Mantra (56).
The learned one should, after offering the complete oblation, perform Shanti-karma. Taking water from the sprinkling vessel, he should with kusha grass sprinkle it over the heads of the persons present (57), reciting the
May the water be friendly to me, may water be like a medicament to me, may water preserve me always; water is Narayana Himself (58). Do thou, O water! grant me happiness and my earthly desires, and so forth.
Having said this, and sprinkled water over the heads of those present, throw a few drops on the ground, saying (59):
To those who are ever hostile to me, and to those to whom we are ever hostile, may water be their enemy and engulf them (60).
Sprinkling a few drops of water in the North-East corner to the accompaniment of the above-mentioned Mantra, the kusha grass should be put away, and supplication should be made to the Carrier of oblations as follows (61):
O Carrier of Oblations! do Thou grant unto me understanding, knowledge, strength, intelligence, wisdom, faith, fame, fortune, health, energy, and long life (62).
Having thus prayed to Fire, he should, O Shiva! be bidden to depart with the following (63):
Sacrifice! do thou depart to the Lord of Sacrifice.
Fire! do thou depart to the Sacrifice itself.
Lord of Sacrifice! do Thou depart to Thine own place and fulfil my desires (64).
Then saying, “Fire, forgive me,” the Fire should be moved to the South by pouring oblations of curd on the North of Fire (65). Then the worshipper should give a present to Brahma, and, after bowing to him respectfully, bid him go, and, with the ashes adhering to the ladle, the officiating priest should then make a mark on his own forehead and on that of the giver of the sacrifice, uttering the
Hring, Kling, do thou bring peace; mayest thou cause prosperity (66-67). By the grace of Indra, of Agni, of the Maruts, Brahma, the Vasus, the Rudras, and Praja-pati, may there be peace, may there be prosperity.
Whilst saying this Mantra, he should place a flower on his own head. Thereafter the giver of the sacrifice should, as his means allow, offer presents for the success of the sacrifice and for the Kushandika rite (68-69).
I have spoken to Thee, O Devi! of Kushandika, which is the groundwork of all auspicious ceremonies, and which all Kula worshippers should with care perform at the commencement thereof (70).
O Auspicious One! I will now speak to Thee of Charu-karma, in order to insure the ritual success in those families in which the cooking of charu is a traditional practice in the performance of all rites (71). The pot for cooking charu should be made of either copper or mud (72). In the first place, the articles should be consecrated according to the rules prescribed in Kushandika, and then the pot of charu should be placed in front of the worshipper (73). After careful examination to see that it is without holes and unbroken, a blade of kusha grass of the length of a pradesha should be put in the pot (74). The rice should be placed near the square and then, O Adored of the Devas! the names of such of the Devas as are to be worshipped in each particular ceremony should be uttered in the dative case, followed by the words “to please Thee,” and then “I take,” “I place it in the pot,” and “I put water into it,” and put four handfuls of rice in the name of each Deva. He should then take the rice, put it in the pot, and pour water over it (75-77). O Virtuous One! milk and sugar should be added thereto, as is done in cooking. The whole should then be well and carefully cooked over the consecrated fire (78). And when he is satisfied that it is well cooked and soft, the sacrificial ladle, filled with ghee, should be let into it (79). Thereafter placing the pot on kusha grass on the northern side of the Fire, and adding ghee to the charu three times, the pot should be covered with blades of kusha grass (80). Then, putting a little ghee into the sacrificial spoon, a little charu should be taken from the pot. With it Janu Homa is done (81). Then, after doing Dhara Homa, oblations should be made with the Mantras of the Devas, who are directed to be worshipped in the principal rite (82). Completing the principal Homa after performance of Svishti-krit Homa, expiatory Homa should be performed, and the rite thus completed (83). In the sacramental and consecratory ritual this is the method to be observed. In all auspicious ceremonies it should be followed for the complete success thereof (84).
Now,O Mahamaya! I will speak of Garbhadhana and other rites. I will speak of them in their order, beginning with Ritusangskara. Do Thou listen (85).
After performing his daily duties and purifying himself, (the priest) should worship the five deities–Brahma, Durga, Ganesha, the Grahas, and the Dikpalas (86). They should be worshipped in the jars on the East side of the square, and then the sixteen Matrikas–namely, Gauri and others–should be worshipped in their order (87). The sixteen Matrikas are Gauri, Padma, Shachi, Medha, Savitri, Vijaya, Jaya, Deva-sena, Svadha, Svaha, Shanti, Pushti, Dhriti, Kshama, the worshipper’s own tutelary Devata, and the family Devata (88).
May the Mothers that cause the joy of the Devas come and bring all success to weddings, vratas, and yajnas. May they come upon their respective carriers, and in all the fulness of their power, in their benign aspect, and add to the glory of this festival (89-90).
Having thus invoked the Mothers and worshipped them to the best of his powers, the priest should make five or seven marks with vermilion and sandal paste on the wall, at the height of his navel, and within the space of a pradesha (91).
The wise one should then, whilst breathing the three Vijas–Kling, Hring, and Shring–pour an unbroken stream of ghee from each of the said marks, and there worship the Deva Vasu (92). The wise man, having thus made the Vasu-dhara according to the directions which I have given, and having made the square and placed the Fire thereupon, and consecrated the articles requisite for Homa, should then cook the excellent charu (93). Charu which is cooked in this (Ritu-sangskara) is called Prajapatya, and the name of this Fire is Vayu. After concluding Dhara Homa, the rite of Ritu-sangs-kara should be begun (94). Three oblations of charu should be offered with the
Hring. salutation to Prajapati. Svaha.
The one oblation should be offered with the following (95):
May Vishnu grant the power to conceive. May Tvashta give the form. May Prajapati sprinkle it, and may Dhata give the power to bear (96).
This oblation should be made with either ghee or charu, or with ghee and charu, and should be offered meditating upon the Sun, Vishnu, and Prajapati (97).
May Sinibali give support to thy womb, may Sarasvati give support to thy womb, may the two Ashvins, who wear garlands of lotuses, give support to thy womb (98).
Meditating upon the Devis Sinibali and Sarasvati and the two Ashvins, excellent oblations should be offered with the above Mantra, followed by Svaha (99). Then oblation should be offered to the sanctified Fire, meditating upon Surya and Vishnu with the
Kling, String, Hring, Shring, Hung, grant conception to her, who desires a son: Svaha (100).
Then, in the name of Vishnu, oblations should be offered with the following:
As this extended Earth ever carries a full womb, do thou likewise carry for ten months until delivery. Svaha (101).
Meditating upon the Supreme Vishnu, let a little more ghee be thrown into the Fire with the following:
Vishnu! do Thou in Thy excellent form put into this woman an excellent son: Svaha (102).
And, uttering the following
Kling, Hring, Kling, Hring, String, Hring, Kling, Hring,
let the husband touch his wife’s head (103). Then the husband, surrounded by a few married women having sons, should place both hands on the head of his wife, and, after meditating on Vishnu, Durga, Vidhi and Surya, place three fruits on the cloth of her lap. Thereupon he should bring the ceremony to a close by making Svishti-krit oblations and expiatory rites (104-105). Or the wife and husband may be purified by worshipping Gauri and Shangkara in the evening, and by giving oblations to Sun (106).
I have now spoken of Ritu-sangskara. Now listen to that relating to Garbhadhana (107). On the same night, or on some night having a date of an even number, after the ceremony, the husband should enter the room with his wife, and, meditating on Prajapati, should touch his wife and say:
Hring, O Bed! be thou propitious for the begetting of a good offspring of us two (108-109).
He should then with the wife get on the bed, and there sit with his face towards the East or the North. Then, looking at his wife, let him embrace her with his left arm, and, placing his right hand over her head, let him make japa of the Mantra on the different parts of her body (as follows) (110): Let him make japa over the head of the Kama Vija a hundred times; over her chin of the Vagbhava Vija a hundred times; over the throat of the Rama Vija twenty times; and the same Vija a hundred times over each of her two breasts (111). He should then recite the Maya Vija ten times over her heart, and twenty-five times over her navel. Next let him place his hand on her member, and recite jointly the Kama and Vagbhava Vijas a hundred and eight times, and let him similarly recite the same Vijas over his own member a hundred and eight times; and then, saying the Vija “Hring,” let him part the lips of her member, and let him go into her with the object of begetting a child (112-113). The husband should, at the time of the spending of his seed, meditate on Brahma, and, discharging it below the navel into the Raktikanadi in the Chitkunda, he should at the same time recite the following (114, 115):
As the Earth is pregnant of Fire, as the Heaven is pregnant of Indra, as the Points of the compass are pregnant of the Air they contain, so do thou also become pregnant (by this my seed) (116).
If the wife then, or at a subsequent period, conceive, the householder, O Maheshvari! should perform in the third month after conception the Pungsavana rite (117). After the performance of his daily duties, the husband should worship the five Devas and the heavenly Mothers, Gauri and others, and should make the Vasu-dhara (118).
The wise one should then perform Briddhi Shraddha, and, as aforementioned, the ceremonies up to Dhara-Homa, and then proceed to the Pungsavana rites (119). The charu prepared for Pungsavana is called “Prajapatya,” and the fire is called Chandra (120). One grain of barley and two Masha beans should be put into curd made from cow’s milk, and this should be given to the wife to drink, and, whilst she is drinking it, she should be asked three times: “What is that thou art drinking,O gentle one?” (121). The wife should make answer: “Hring, I am drinking that which will cause me to bear a son.” In this manner the wife should drink three mouthfuls of the curd (122). The wife should then be led by women whose husbands and children are living to the place of sacrifice, and the husband should there seat her on his left and proceed to perform Charu-Homa (123).
Taking a little charu as aforementioned, and uttering the Maya Vija and the Kurcha Vija, he should offer it as oblation, with the following:
Do thou destroy, do thou destroy all these Bhutas, Pretas, Pishachas, and Vetalas, who are inimical to conception and destroyers of the child in the womb, and of the young. Do thou protect (the child in) the womb, do thou protect (the child in) the womb (124-125).
Whilst reciting the above Mantra, meditate upon Fire, as Raksko-ghna, and on Rudra and Prajapati, and then offer twelve oblations (126).
He should then offer five oblations with the
Hring, Salutation to Chandra. Svaha.
And then, touching his wife’s heart, breathe inwardly the Vijas Hring and Shring one hundred times (127). He should then perform Svishti-krit Homa and Prayash-chitta, and complete the ceremony. Panchamrita should be given in the fifth month of pregnancy 128). Sugar, honey, milk, ghee, and curd in equal quantities make Panchamrita. It is needful for the purification of the body (129). Breathing the Vijas Aing, Kling, Shring, Hring, Hung, and Lang, five times over each of the five ingredients, the husband, after mixing them together, should cause his wife to eat it (130). Then, in the sixth or eighth month, the Simantonnayana rite should be performed. It may, however, be performed any time before the child is born (131). The wise one should, after performing the rites as aforementioned, do Dhara-Homa, and sit with his wife on a seat, and offer three oblations to Vishnu, Surya, and Brahma, saying:
To Vishnu Svaha, to the Effulgent One Svaha, to Brahma Svaha (132).
Then, meditating on Chandra, let him offer seven oblations to Soma into Fire under his name of Shiva (133). Then, O Shiva! he should meditate upon the Ashwins, Vasava, Vishnu, Shiva, Durga, Prajapati and offer five oblations to each of them (134). The husband should after that take a gold comb, and comb back the hair on each side of the head and tie it up with the chignon (135). He should, whilst so combing the hair, meditate upon Shiva, Vishnu. and Brahma, and pronounce the Maya Vija (136) and the
O Wife! thou auspicious and fortunate one, thou of auspicious vows! do thou in the tenth month, by the grace of Vishva-karma, be safely delivered of a good child. May thou live long and happy. This comb, may it give thee strength and prosperity!
Saying this Mantra, the ceremony should be completed with Svishti-krit Homa and other rites (137-138). Immediately after the birth of the son the wise one should look upon his face and present him with a piece of gold, and then in another room perform Dhara Homa in the manner already described (139). He should then offer five oblations to Agni, Indra, Prajapati, the Vishva-devas, and Brahma (140).
The father should thereafter mix equal quantities of honey and ghee in a bell-metal cup, and, breathing the Vagbhava Vija over it a hundred times, make the child swallow it (141). It should be put into the child’s mouth with the fourth finger of the right hand, with the following:
Child, may thy life, vitality, strength, and intelligence ever increase (142).
After performing this rite for the longevity of the child, the father should give him a secret name, by which at the time of the investiture with the sacred thread he should be called (143). The father should then finish the Jata-karma by the performance of the usual expiatory and other rites, and then the midwife should with firmness cut the umbilical cord (144). The period of uncleanliness commences only after the cord is cut; therefore all rites relating to the Devas and the Pitris should be performed before the cord is cut (145). If a daughter is born, all the acts as above indicated are to be performed, but the Mantras are not to be said. In the sixth or eighth month the boy should be given the name by which he is usually known (146). At the time of naming of the child the mother should, after bathing him and dressing him in two pieces of fine cloth, come to and place him by the side of her husband, with his face towards the East (147). The father should thereupon sprinkle the head of the child with water taken up upon blades of kusha grass and gold, saying at the time the following:
May Jahnavi, Yamuna, Reva, the holy Sarasvati, Narmada, Varada, Kunti, the Oceans and Tanks, Lakes–all these bathe thee for the attainment of Dharmma, Kama, and Artha (149).
O Waters! thou art the Pranava, and thou givest all happiness. Do thou therefore provide for us food in (this) world, and do thou also enable us to see the Supreme and Beautiful (Para-brahman). Water! thou art not different from the Pranava. Grant that we may enjoy in this world thy most beneficent essence. Your wishes arise of themselves spontaneously like those of mothers. Water! thou art the very form of Pranava. We go to enjoy to our fill that essence of thine by which thou satisfieth (this Universe). May thou bring us enjoyment therein (150-152).
The wise one should sprinkle water over the child, with the three preceding Mantras, and then, as aforesaid, consecrate the fire and perform the rites leading up to Dhara Homa in the manner already described, and then should offer five oblations (153). He should make the oblation to Agni, then to Vasava, then to Prajapati, then to the Vishva-Devas, and then to Yahni under his name of Parthiva (154).
Then, taking the son in his lap, the prudent father should speak into his right ear an auspicious name–one that is short, and that can easily be pronounced (155). After whispering the name three times into the son’s ear, he should inform the Brahmanas who are present of it, and then conclude the ceremony with Svishtikrit Homa and the other concluding rites (156).
For a daughter there is no Nishkramana, nor is Vriddhi Shraddha necessary. The wise man performs the naming, the giving of the first rice, and tonsure of a daughter without any Mantra (157).
In the fourth or sixth month after birth the Nishkramana Sangskara ceremony of the son should be performed (158).
After performing his daily duties, the father should, after bathing, worship Ganesha, and then bathe and adorn his son with clothes and jewels, and, placing him in front of himself, pronounce the following (159):
Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Durga, Ganesha, Bhaskara, Indra, Vayu, Kuvera, Varuna, Agni, and Brihaspati, may They always be propitious to this child, and may They always protect him throughout his going forth from the house (160).
Having said this, he should take the child in his arms, and, preceded by vocal and instrumental music, and surrounded by his rejoicing kinsmen, take the son out of the house (161). Going a little distance, he should show the Sun to the child, with the following (162):
Ong, yonder is the Eye (of Heaven) who excels even Shukra in his effulgence, who is beneficent even to the Devas. May we see him a hundred years. May we live a hundred years (163).
Having shown the Sun to his child, the father should return to his own house, and, after making offering to the Sun, feast his kinsmen (164). O Shiva! in the sixth or eighth month either the father’s brother or the father himself should give the first rice to the child (165). After worshipping the Devas and purifying fire as aforementioned, and duly performing the ceremonies leading to Dhara Homa, the father should make five oblations to Fire, under his name of Shuchi, to each of the following Devas: He should make the oblations first to Agni, next to Vasava, after him to Prajapati, then to the Vishva-devas, and then the fifth ahuti to Brahma (166-168). He should then meditate upon the Devi Annada, and, after giving Her five oblations in Fire, place the son, adorned with clothes and jewels, in his lap, and give him payasa, either in the same or in another room (169). The payasa should be put into the child’s mouth five times, uttering the Mantras for making oblations to the five vital airs; and after that a little rice and curry should be put into the child’s mouth (170). The ceremony should be brought to a close by the blowing of conches and horns and other music, and by performing the concluding expiatory rite.
I have done speaking of the rice-eating ceremony. I shall now speak of the tonsure ceremony. Do Thou listen (171).
In the third or fifth year, according to the custom in the family, the tonsure of the boy should be performed for the success of the sacramental rites of the boy (172). The wise father should, after concluding the preliminary rites leading up to Dhara Homa, place on the north side of the Fire, called Satya, a mud platter filled with cow-dung, tila-seeds, and wheat, also a little lukewarm water and a keen-edged razor (173-174).
The father should place the son on his mother’s lap, the mother sitting on her husband’s left, and, after breathing the Varuna Vija ten times over the water, rub the hair of the boy’s head with lukewarm water. He should then tie the hair with two blades of kusha grass into a knot, uttering meanwhile the Maya Vija (175-176). Then, saying the Maya and Lakshmi Vijas three times, he should cut off the knot with the steel razor and place it in the hands of the child’s mother (177). The boy’s mother should then take it with both hands and place it in the platter containing the cow-dung, and the father should then say to the barber: “Barber, do thou at thine ease proceed with the shaving of the boy’s hair, Svaha.” Then, looking at the barber, he should make three oblations to Prajapati, into Vahni, under his name of Satya (178-179). After the boy has been shaved by the barber he should be bathed and adorned with clothes and jewels, and placed near the fire on the left of his mother, and the father should, after performance of Svishti-krit Homa and the expiatory rites, offer the complete oblation (180-181). Then, uttering the following:
Hring, O Child! may the omnipresent Creator of the Universe grant thee well-being,
he should pierce the ears of the boy with gold or silver needles (182). He should then sprinkle the child with water, uttering the
O Water! thou art, etc. (aforementioned);
and, after performing Shanti Karma and other rites, and making presents, bring the ceremony to a close (183). The sacramental rites from Garbhadhana to Chudakarana are common to all castes. But for Shudras and Samanyas they must be performed without Mantras (184).
In the case of the birth of a daughter all castes are to perform the rites without Mantras. In the case of a daughter there is no Nishkramana (185).
I will now speak of the Sacred Thread Ceremony of the twice-born classes, by which the twice-born become qualified for performing rites relating to the Devas and Pitris (186).
In the eighth year from conception, or the eighth year after birth, the boy should be invested with the sacred thread. After the sixteenth year the son should not be invested, and one so invested is disqualified for all rites (187).
The learned man should, after finishing his daily duties, worship the five Devas, as also the Matrikas, Gauri, and others, and make the Vasudhara (188). He should thereafter perform Briddhi Shraddha for the satisfaction of the Devas and Pitris, and perform the rites, ending with Dhara Homa, as directed in the performance of Kushandika (189).
The boy should be given a little to eat; then his head, with the exception of the crown lock, should be shaved, and after that he should be well bathed and decked with jewels and silken clothes (190).
The boy should then be taken to the Chhaya-mandapa, near Fire, under his name of Samudbhava, and there made to sit on a clean seat to the left (of his father or Guru) (191). The Guru should say: “My son, dost thou adopt Brahma-charyya?” The disciple should say respectfully: “I do adopt it” (192). The Preceptor should then with a cheerful mind give two pieces of Kashaya cloth for the long life and strength of mind of the gentle boy (193). Then when the boy has put on the Kashaya cloth, he should, without speaking, give him a knotted girdle made of three strings of munja or kusha grass (194). On that the boy should say, “Hring, may this auspicious girdle prove propitious”; and, saying this, and putting it round his waist, let him sit in silence before the Guru (195).
This sacrificial thread is very sacred; Brihaspati of old wore it. Do thou wear this excellent white sacrificial thread which contributes to prolong life. May it be for thee strength and courage (196).
With this Mantra the boy should be given a sacrificial thread made of the skin of the black buck, as also a staff made of bamboo, or a branch of Khadira, Palasha, or Kshira trees (197). When the boy has put the sacred thread round his neck and holds the staff in his hand, the Guru should three times recite the
“O Water! thou art,” etc. (aforementioned),
preceded and followed by Hring, and should sprinkle the boy with water taken with kusha grass, and fill the joined palms of the latter with water (198). After the boy has offered the water to Suryya, the Guru should show the boy the Sun, and recite the
“Yonder is the Sun,” etc. (aforementioned) (199).
After the boy has viewed the Sun, the Guru should address him as follows: “My Son! place thy mind on my observances. I bestow upon thee my disposition. Do thou follow the observances with an undivided mind. May my word contribute to thy well-being” (200). After saying this, the Guru, touching the boy’s heart, should ask, “My Son! what is thy name?” and the boy should make reply: ” . . . Sharmma, I bow to thee” (201). And to the question of the Guru, “Whose Brahma-chari art thou?” the disciple will reverently answer: “I am thy Brahma-chari” (202). The Guru should thereupon say: “Thou art the Brahma-chari of Indra, and Fire is thy Guru.” Saying this, the good Guru should consign him to the protection of the Devas (203). “My Son! I give thee to Prajapati, to Savitri, to Varuna, to Prithivi, to the Vishva-devas, and to all the Devas. May they all ever protect thee” (204).
The boy should thereafter go round the sacrificial fire and the preceptor, keeping both upon his right, and then resume his own seat (205). The Guru, O Beloved! should then, with his disciple touching him, offer five oblations to Five Devas (206)–namely, Prajapati, Shukra, Vishnu, Brahma, and Shiva (207). When the oblations are offered into Fire, under his name of Samud-bhava, the names of each of the Devas should be pronounced in the dative, preceded by Hring and followed by Svaha. Where there is no Mantra mentioned, this method is to be followed in all cases (208). After this, oblation should be offered to Durga, Mahalakshmi, Sundari, Bhuvaneshvari, Indra, and the other nine regents of the quarters, and Bhaskara and the eight planets (209). The name of each of these should be mentioned whilst the offering of oblations is made. The wise Guru should then cover the boy with cloth, and ask him, who is desirous of attaining Brahma-charyya: “What is the ashrama thou desirest, my son! and what is thy heart’s desire?” (210). The disciple should thereupon hold the feet of the Preceptor, and, with a reverent mind, say: “First instruct me in Divine Knowledge, and then in that of the householder” (211).
O Shiva! when the disciple in this manner has thus beseeched his Guru, the latter should three times whisper into his disciple’s right ear the Pranava, which contains all the Mantras in itself, and should also utter the three Vyahritis, as also the Savitri (212). Sadashiva is its Rishi, the verse is Trishtup, the presiding Deva is Savitri, and its object is the attainment of final liberation (213). The Gayatri Mantra is:
Ong, let us contemplate the wonderful Spirit of the Divine Creator. May He direct our understanding, Ong.
The Guru should then explain the meaning of the Gayatri (214-215). By the Tara, which contains the letters–i.e., A, U, and M–the Paresh is meant. He Who is the Protector, Destroyer, and Creator. He is the Deva Who is above Prakriti (106).
This Deva is the Spirit of the three worlds, containing in Himself the three qualities. By the three Vyahritis, therefore, the all-pervading Brahman is expressed (217). He Who is expressed by the Pranava and the Vyahritis is also known by the Savitri. Let us meditate upon the sublime, all-pervading eternal Truth, the great immanent and lustrous energy, adored by the self-controlled; Savita, effulgent and omnipresent One, Whose manifested form the world is, the Creator. May Bharga, Who witnesseth all, and is the Lord of all, direct and engage our mind, intelligence, and senses towards those acts, which lead to the attainment of Dharmma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha (218-220).
O Devi! the excellent Guru, having thus instructed the disciple, and explained to him the Divine Wisdom, should direct him in the duties of a householder (221). “My Son! do thou now discard the garments of a Brahma-chari, and honour the Devas and Pitris according to the way revealed by Shambhu” (222). Thy body is sanctified by the instructions thou hast received in Divine Wisdom. Do thou, now that thou hast reached the stage of a householder, engage thyself in thy duties appropriate to that mode of life (223). Put on two sacred threads, two good pieces of cloth, jewels, shoes, umbrella, fragrant garland, and paste (224). The disciple should then take off his Kashaya cloth and his sacred thread of black-buck skin and his girdle, and give them and his staff, begging-bowl, and also what has been received by him in the shape of customary alms, to his Guru.
He should then put on two sacred threads and two fine cloths, and wear a garland of fragrant fiowers, and perfume himself, and thereafter sit in silence near the Guru, who should address him as follows (225-227):
“Conquer the senses, be truthful and devoted to the acquisition of Divine Knowledge and the study of the Vedas, and discharge the duties of a householder according to the rules prescribed in the Dharmma Shastras” (228).
Having thus instructed the disciple, the Guru should make him offer three oblations into Fire in the name of Samudbhava with the
Hring, Earth, Firmament, and Heaven, Ong.
He should then himself perform Svishti-krit Homa, and then, O Gentle One! he should bring the investiture ceremony to a close by offering the complete oblation (229-230).
Beloved! all ceremonies, from the Jivaseka to Upana-yana ceremonies, are performed by the father alone. The ceremony relating to marriage may be performed either by the father or by the bridegroom himself (231). The pious man should on the day of marriage perform his ablutions and finish his daily duties, and should then worship the five Devas and the Divine Mothers, Gauri and others, and making the Vasu-dhara do Briddhi Shraddha (232). At night the betrothed bridegroom, preceded by vocal and musical instrumental music, should be brought to the chhaya-mandapa and seated on an excellent seat (233). The bridegroom should sit facing the East, and the giver of the bride should face the west, and the latter, after rinsing his mouth, should, with the assisting Brahmanas, say the words “Svasti” and “Riddhi” (234).
The giver of the bride should ask after the bridegroom’s welfare, and ask also his permission to honour him, and upon receiving his answer should honour him by the offer of water for his feet and the like (235), and saying, “I give this to you,” let him give the bridegroom the gifts. The water should be given at the feet and the oblation at the head (236). Articles for the rinsing of the mouth should be offered at the mouth, and then scents, garlands, two pieces of good cloth, beautiful ornaments and gems, and a sacred thread should be given to the bridegroom (237), The giver should make madhu-parka by mixing together curd, ghee, and honey in a bell-metal cup, and place it in the hand of the bridegroom with the words, “I give you” (238). The bridegroom, after taking it, should place the cup in his left hand, and, dipping the thumb and ring fingers of his right hand into the madhu-parka, should smell it five times, reciting meanwhile the Pranahuti Mantra, and then place the cup on his north. Having offered the madhu-parka, the bridegroom should be made to rinse his mouth (239-240).
The giver of the daughter should then, holding durva and akshata, touch the right knee of the bridegroom with his hand, and then, first meditating on Vishnu and saying “Tat Sat,” he should mention the name of the month, the paksha, and tithi, and then the names of the gotra and pravara of the bridegroom and his ancestors one by one, from the great-grandfather, beginning with the last, and ending with the father. The bridegroom’s name should be in the objective, and the names of the others in the possessive case. Then follow the bride’s name and the names of her ancestors, their gotras, etc.; and he should then say: “I honour thee with the object of giving her to thee in Brahma marriage” (241-244).
The bridegroom should then say: “I am honoured.” The giver upon this should say, “Perform the ordained marriage rites,” and the bridegroom should then say: “I do it to the best of my knowledge” (245). The bride, adorned with beautiful clothes and jewels, and covered with another piece of cloth, should then be brought and placed in front of the bridegroom (246). The giver of the bride should once again show his respect to the bridegroom by the present of clothes and ornaments, and join the right hand of the bridegroom with that of the bride (247). He should place in their joined hands five gems or a fruit and a pan-leaf, and, having saluted the bride, should consign her to his hands (248). At the time of consigning the bride the giver should, as before, mention his name twice in the nominative case, and should state his wish, and should also mention the names of the three ancestors of the bridegroom, with their gotras, all in the possessive case, as before.
He should then mention the name of the bridegroom in the dative singular, and then the names of the three ancestors of the bride, with their gotras, etc., in the possessive case. At the time of mentioning the bride’s name in the objective singular he should say after that, “The honoured, adorned, clothed, and Prajapati-devataka,” and saying, “to thee I give,” he should give away the bride. The bridegroom should, saying “Svasti,” agree to take her as his wife (249-251). Let the giver then say, “In Dharmma, in Artha, in Kama, thou should be with thy wife;” and the bridegroom should reply, saying, “So I shall,” and then recite the praise of Kama (252).
It is Kama who gives and Kama who accepts. It is Kama who has taken the Kamini for the satisfaction of Kama. Prompted by Kama, I take thee. May both our kamas be fulfilled (353).
The giver should then, addressing the son-in-law and the daughter, say: “May, by the grace of Prajapati, the desires of you both be accomplished. May you two fare well. Do you two together perform the religious observances” (254). Then both the bride and bridegroom, to the accompaniment of music and blowing of conch-shells, should be covered with the cloth, so that they may have their first auspicious glance at one another (255).
Then gold and jewels, according to the giver’s means, should be offered to the son-in-law as presents. The giver should then think to himself that the ceremony has been faultlessly done (256). The bridegroom either, on the same night or the day following, should establish fire, according to the rules of Kushandika (257).
The fire that is made in this Kushandika is called Yojaka, and the charu which is cooked is called Prajapatya. After performing Dhara Homa in the fire, the bridegroom should offer five oblations (258). The oblation should, after meditation upon Shiva, Durga, Brahma, Vishnu, and the Carrier of Thunder, be made to them one after the other singly in the sanctified fire (259). Taking both his wife’s hands, the husband should say: “I take thy hands, O fortunate one! Do thou be devoted to the Guru and the Devatas, and duly perform thy household duties according to the religious precepts” (260). The wife should then, with ghee given by the husband, and fried paddy given by her brother, make four oblations in the name of Prajapati (261). The husband should then rise from his seat with his wife and go round the Fire with her and offer oblations to Durga and Shiva, Rama and Vishnu, Brahmi and Brahma, three times to each couple (262).
Then, without reciting any Mantra, the bride should step on a stone, and, standing thereon, the bride should take seven steps. If the Kushamdika ceremony is performed at night, the bride and bridegroom, surrounded by the ladies present, should gaze upon the stars Dhruva and Arundhati (263). Returning to their seats and seated thereon, the bridegroom should bring the ceremony to a close by performing Svishti-krit Homa and offering complete oblations (264). The Brahma marriage, according to kula-dharmma, in order to be faultless, should take place with a girl of the same caste as the husband, but she should not be of the same gotra, nor should she be a sapinda (265). The wife married according to Brahma rites is the mistress of the house, and without her permission another wife should not be married according to those rites (266). O Kuleshvari! if the children of the Brahma wife are living or any of her descendants be living, then the children of the Shaiva wife shall not inherit (267).
O Parameshvari! the Shaiva wife and her children are entitled to food and clothing from the heir of her Shaiva husband in proportion to the property of the latter (268). Shaiva marriage celebrated in the Chakra is of two kinds. One kind is terminated with the Chakra and the other is lifelong (269). At the time of the formation of the Chakra the Vira, surrounded by his friends, relatives, and fellow-worshippers, should, with a well-controlled mind, by mutual consent, perform the marriage ceremony (270). He should first of all submit their wishes, saying to the Bhairavis and Viras there assembled, “Approve our marriage according to Shaiva form” (271). The Vira should, after obtaining their permission, bow to the Supreme Kalika, repeating the Mantra of seven letters (Kalika Mantra) one hundred and eight times (272).
O Shiva! he should then say to the woman: “Dost thou love me as thy husband with a guileless heart?” (273).
O Queen of the Devas! the Kaula woman should then honour her beloved with scents, flowers, and coloured rice, and with a faithful heart place her own hands on his (274). The Lord of the Chakra should then sprinkle them with the following Mantra, and the Kaulas, seated in the Chakra, should approve and say: “It is well” (275)
May Raja-rajeshvari, Kali, Tarini, Bhuvaneshvari, Bagala, Kamala, Nitya, Bhairavi, ever protect thee both (276).
The Lord of the Chakra should sprinkle them twelve times with wine or water of oblation, reciting the above Mantra. The two should then bow to him, and he should upon that let them hear the Vijas of Vagbhava and Rama (277). There is no restriction of caste or age in Shaiva marriage. By the command of Shambhu, any woman who is not a sapinda, and has not already a husband, may be married (278).
The wife married for the purposes of Chakra in the Shaiva form should, in the case of the Vira who desires offspring, be released on the dissolution of the Chakra only after the appearance of her menses. The offspring of the Shaiva marriage is of the same caste as the mother if it be an Anuloma marriage, and a Samanya if the marriage is Viloma (279-281). These mixed castes should, at the time of their fathers’ shraddha and other ceremonies, give presents of edibles to, and feast the Kaulas only (282).
Eating and sexual union, O Devi! are desired by, and natural to, men, and their use is regulated for their benefit in the ordinances of Shiva (283). Therefore, O Mahe-shani! he who follows the ordinances of Shiva undoubtedly acquires Dharmma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha (284).
End of the Ninth Joyful Message, entitled “The Ten Kinds of Purificatory Rites (Sangskara).”
(My humble salutations to Swamyjis , Philosophic Scholars, Knowledge seekers for the collection)