Lalitopakhyana (Lalita Mahatmya)

by G.V. Tagare | 1958 | 103,924 words | ISBN-10: 8120838246 | ISBN-13: 9788120838246

This page describes the inner chamber of cintamani which is Chapter 36 of the Lalitopakhyana (or Lalita-Mahatmya), an important scripture within Shaktism embedded as the final part in the Brahmanda-Purana. It is presented in the form of a dialogue between sage Agastya and Hayagriva, which is incarnation of Vishnu and also includes the Lalita Sahasranama.

Chapter 36 - The Inner Chamber of Cintāmaṇi

Hayagrīva Said:—

1. (Defective Text) To the South-east of Cintāmaṇī mansion is Kundamānaka. It is a Yojana long, wide and high (with moat a Yojana broad around.)[1]

2. At the bidding of Lalitā, a sacred Cidvahni (fire of Cit i.e. knowledge and consciousness) blazes there. It is honoured and adored by hundreds of nectarine currents. It is the cause of the greatest prosperity.

3. Without fuel, the fire of consciousness blazes with great flames. It is kindled by means of Sudhā (Nectar). It has the lustre of tender shoots of Kaṅkolī—(a plant with aromatic berries.)

4. There the Hotrī (female priest) is the great goddess and the great Hotṛ (male priest) is Kāmeśvara. Both of them, the permanent Hotṛs, protect the entire Universe.

5. Lalitā functions without anyone superior to herself and without depending on anyone else. Urged by Lalitā and Śaṅkara, Kāma functions.

6-11a. To the South-West of the prominent mansion of Cintāmaṇi, in the lotus-grove, stands the excellent chariot Cakrarāja. It is very high. It has nine steps. It is set and beautified by all kinds of gems and jewels. Its length and breadth are four Yojanas each and its height is ten Yojanas. As we go up, its area becomes gradually reduced. The pole to which the horses are yoked is very thick and sparkling. The four Vedas are its great wheels. The four aims in life Virtue (Dharma), Wealth (Artha), Love (Kama), and Liberation (Mokṣa) are its great horses. It is adorned with chowries (in the form of serving (functioning) Tattvas (Principles). It is endowed with all characteristic features mentioned before. It is rendered splendid by the pearl-studded umbrella. In the course of the great battle with Bhaṇḍāsura, it had displayed its adventurous exploits. Thus the excellent chariot stands there sanctified by Śrīdevī’s seat.

11b-13. To the north-west of the mansion of Cintāmaṇi, in the lotus-grove itself at the border, is parked the leading chariot of Mantriṇī, namely Geyacakra.

To the north-east of the mansion of Cintāmaṇi, in the lotus-grove itself, stands the great chariot Kiricakra, the favourite chariot of Daṇḍanāthā. It should be known that like deities presiding over different parts of the body, these three chariots are on an equal footing in the whole of the sacred places of the series of Śrīpuras.

14. There is an ever-blazing sacred fire-pit in the South-East. If penance is performed here, it is as efficacious as the penance with the Gāyatrī Mantra. It bestows freedom from fear.

15-16. Behind that are the sun (named) Ghṛṇi, the temple of Oṃkāra, the deity Turīyagāyatrī (Fourth Gāyatrī) and Cakṣuṣmatī, O Sage—

Then the king of Gandharvas, Pariṣadrudra (Rudra of the Assembly) and goddess Tārāmbikā are stationed behind.

17. Lord Hari, expressible in the great Mantra of the three names, has resorted to the South-Eastern part of the leading mansion of Cintāmaṇi.

18. Mahāgaṇapati resorts to his abode to the North of it. Still further north is Śiva who is expressed by the Pañcākṣarīmantra (Mantra of five syllables viz. Śivāya namaḥ).

19. Mṛtyuñjayeśa who is expressed by the Mantra of three syllables (Tryambaka),[2] Sarasvatī who is called (by the name) Dhāraṇā, reside to the north of his abode.

20. The mansion of Mātṛkā whose body is constituted by the letters beginning with the letter ‘A’ and ending with the letter ‘KṢA’ is to the north of her, O suppressor of Vindhya mountain.

21. To the north is Sampadeśī as well as Kālasaṅkarṣaṇī. (Thereafter) is Śrīmahāśambhunāthā, the cause of the manifestation of the goddess.

22. The following deities have their mansions built consecutively to the North viz. Śrī, Parāmbā (the great Mother goddess), Viśadajyotsnā (of clear moonlight) and Nirmala-Vigrahā (of a body devoid of impurities).

23. The following four deities have their mansions successively to the north viz.—Bālā, Annapūrṇā, Hayārūḍhā and Śrīpādukā.

24. From the ground which is to the north-west of the majestic Cīntāmaṇi mansion in the great park of lotuses itself, there are other deities who have taken up their abodes.

25-27. Unmattabhairavī, Svapnavārāhikā, Tiraskaraṇikāmbā, then another deity and then the fifth one all these deities have taken up their abodes as before. They are endowed with great prosperity.

These two excellent deities viz. the great goddess Śrīpūrti and Śrīmahāpādukā have also taken up their abodes as before.

All these Vidyās (lores) explained by Lord Śaṅkara in the treatise, Ṣaḍāmnāyasāgara, do stay in the region of Mahāpadmāṭavī.

28. In this manner, there are great mansions of Śrīraśmimālā. They are made of jewels and gems. O ascetic, they have flags fluttering very much high above. The chambers are huge and lofty with stair-cases.

29. In the eastern gate of the Palatial Cintāmaṇi mansion, O quaffer of the ocean, on the right hand side is the great abode of Mantrināthā.

30-31. On the left hand side is the abode of Daṇḍanāthā, made of gems and jewels. It is to the east of the place of Arghya that the abodes of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśa are situated. They all illuminate the entire region of quarters by the rays of gems and jewels. All these deities are full of devotion to Lalitā. They perform Japas solely of Lalitā. They worship Śrī Devī thus.

32. The place of Arghya and the preparation of Arghya materials mentioned before are, it is remembered, the same in all the entrances beginning with the Southern one.

33. Now I shall describe in detail the abode of Cintāmaṇi. Listen, O great sage. It is situated in the centre of Śrīpaṭṭana and it extends to two Yojanas.

34-37. Its wall made of the philosopher’s stones extends to a Krośa (two miles). The projected coverings above are also made of Cintāmaṇi slabs. They are very tall in the form of peaks in different places. The walls of the mansion are four Yojanas in height. Its higher storeys and floors extend to twenty Yojanas (?) It becomes narrower as it rises up. It has three large crowns with which it appears very radiant. These crowns, O sage, are forms of Icchā (will), Kriyā (action) and Jñāna (knowledge). They are always brilliantly refulgent and are solely made of Cintāmaṇi stones.

38. Everything in the mansion of Cintāmaṇi is remembered as evolved out of Cintāmaṇi stones. It has four doorways each half a Krośa in width.

39-40. The width of the panels is a quarter Krośa, O Sage. Within the mansion of Cintāmaṇi in every doorway, the same (measurement) is mentioned. The form of Lalitā Devī is concealed (?).[3] It appears like the ocean of redness of Lalitā’s complexion which has the lustre of a thousand midday suns but cool like the Moon. O great sage, it extends frequently in the form of a current.

41. The Eastern doorway is glorified as being constituted by the Pūrvāmnāya (one of the Sacred Treatises). The Southern doorway is characterised by Dakṣiṇāmnāya scripture.

42. The Western doorway is characterised by Paścimāmnāya. The northern doorway is characterised by Uttarāmnāya scripture.

43. Within the royal abode there are sparkling gemset lamps with their handle fixed on the walls. They have the splendour of ten million suns. They are fixed in various places all round, brightening the whole of the interior of the Mansion.

44. In the splendid central area of the mansion of Cintāmaṇi in a part of the altar is the great and lofty Bindu Cakra (Circular spot).

45. The space in between the lofty wall of the mansion of Cintāmaṇi and Bindu is after leaving off a Krośa occupied by the wall cited to be three Krośas (in width).

46. In that section (extending to) three Krośas are their own rays of (Siddhis like) Aṇimā etc. If we reckon the entire length of the three Krośas in Hastas (Cubits) it is said to be consisting of twenty-four thousand Hastas.

47. From Bindu to the Piṭheśa, there are fourteen different (sections). In the portion thus differentiated, the number of Hastas is being mentioned by me.

48. The interior of the mansion of Cintāmaṇi,[4] O Sage, is twenty Hastas above the level of the ground of the lotus grove. The Aṇimā and other (Siddhis) abide there.

49. The extent of (the plot of the abodes of Aṇimā etc. is four Nalvās. Four hundred Kiṣkus make one Nalva. By the word Kiṣku it is a Hasta (cubit) that is mentioned.

50-54. In the space within are made the abodes of (Siddhis beginning with the East. They are Aṇimā, Mahimā, Laghimā, Garimā, Īśitva, Vaśitva, Prāhāmya and Mukti (Liberation), Icchā, Prāpti and Sarvakāmā—there are excellent Siddhis. (Or the Siddhis called the acquisition of whatever is desired and of all desirable things are excellent ones.) There are many Siddhis including eight Siddhis mentioned below and many others honoured by Yogins viz.—Rasasiddhi, Mokṣasiddhi, Balasiddhī, Khaḍgasiddhi, Añjanasiddhi, which is Pādukāsiddhi, Vāksiddhī, Lokasiddhi and Dehasiddhi thereafter.

All these serve Parameśvarī within that space. There are crores of Siddhis, O Sage, in that space between Aṇimā etc.

55. They are full of fresh youthful bloom. Their lotus-like faces beam with smiles (for ever). Their hands (palms) are like radiant Cintāmaṇi gems. They are always sixteen years in age. They have noble and highly exalted nature. They play about in their excitement due to inebriation.

56-57. Above the plot (of abodes) of Aṇimā etc. is the plot of abodes of (Divine Mothers like) Brāhmī etc. It is very beautiful. Its level is twenty Hastas above the previous level. Its extent is four Nalvas. There are stair-cases in all the four quarters. Listen to the Devīs stationed there.

58. They are eight: Brāhmī, Māheśvarī, Kaumārī, Vaiṣṇavī, Māhendrī, Vārāhī, Cāmuṇḍā and Mahālakṣmī. These have built their abodes here.

59. They are armed with different kinds of weapons. They have different Śaktis as their retinue. Beginning with the East, they have got their abodes built in a circle.

60-63. Then above it and on its exterior, O Pot-born Sage, the space is said to be Mudrāntaram. It is twently Hastas above the level of the previous plot. Its extent is four Nalvas. The following Mudrās have their abodes made there. They are ten[5]:—Saṃkṣobha, Drāvaṇa, Ākarṣa, Vaśya, Unmāda, Mahāṅkuśa, Khecarī, Bīja, Yoni and Trikhaṇḍa. These Mudrās are established in the quarters beginning with the East. They are extremely beautiful in their features. They are restless in their fresh bloom of youth. With their agreeable refulgence they fill the interior of the above. Thus, O tiger among sages, they serve Lalitā Parameśvarī.

64. These three Antaras constitute Cakra (Wheel) that fascinates the three worlds. Those who are Śaktis among these have been recounted with their names expressed.

65. The presiding deity of these is Tripura the leading deity of Cakra. The protectress deity of that Cakra is the Mudrā of the nature of Saṃkṣobhaṇa (Agitation).

66. Above the Antara of the Mudrās is mentioned the Antara of the Hityā-Kalās. It is twenty Hastas above the level of the previous Antara. Its extent is four Nalvas. The stair-case and steps are one above the other.

67-68. In that Hityā Kalāntara the deities beginning with Kāmākarṣaṇikā have made their abodes all round. They are of the nature of sixteen Kalās (digits) of the Moon. With their cool exudations of nectar, they propitiate the quarters all round. Listen attenively to their names from me, O Pot-born Sage.

69-73a. The Nityā Kāmākarṣaṇikā, Buddhyākarṣaṇikā, Nityā Rasākarṣaṇikā, Kalā Ganḍhākarṣaṇikā, Nityā Cittākarṣaṇikā, Kalā Dhairyākarṣaṇikā, Nityā Smṛtyākarṣaṇikā, Kalā Nāmākarṣaṇikā, Nityā Bījākarṣaṇikā, Kalā Arthākarṣaṇikā, Amṛtākarṣaṇī and Kalā Śarīrākarṣaṇī—These are Gupta (invisible) Yoginīs. Tripureśī the ruler of Tripura is Cakriṇī, is also called Sarvāśāpūrikā who is the presiding deity of the Cakra. The protectress in this Cakra is the Mudrā named Drāviṇikā.

73b-76. The plot of abodes above the Antara of the Nityākalās is exquisitely beautiful. It is twenty Hastas above the level of the previous Antara. It extends to four Nalvas. It is called Sarvasaṃkṣobhaṇa. It has staircase as before. There are eight very powerful Śaktis with their eyes reddened due to inebriation. They are haughty on account of their fresh youthfulness. They serve Parameśvarī.

The eight Śaktīs are—Kusumā, Mekhalā, Madanā, Madanāturā, Rekhā, Veginī, Aṅkuśā and Mālinī.

77-78. They have crores of attendant Śaktis beginning with Anaṅga Śakti. This Cakra is called Sarvasaṃkṣobhaṇa. The presiding deity thereof should be known as one with the name Sundarī. She is remembered as more concealed (Guptatarā). The protectress of that Cakra is remembered as the Mudrā Ākarṣaṇikā.

79. Twenty Hastas above the level of the Antara of Anaṅgaśakti, O Pot-born Sage, is the Antara of Saṃkṣobhiṇī and others. It extends to four Nalvas. It is the bestower of all good fortune and felicity.

80. Fourteen proud Śaktis, chief of whom is Sarvasaṃkṣobhiṇī, live there. Listen to their names from me.

81-85. They are:—Sarvasaṃkṣobhiṇī, Sarvavidrāviṇī, Sarvākarṣaṇī, Sarvāhlādanī, Sarvasammohinī, Sarvastambhava, Sarvajṛmbhiṇikā, Sarvavaśaṃkarī, Sarvarañjanā, Sarvonmādanī, Sarvārthasādhikā, Sarvasampattipūriṇī, Sarvamantramayī and Sarvadvandvakṣayaṃkarī. These are (collectively known as) Sampradāyākhyās residing in the city of Cakriṇī. The Mudrās called Sarvavaśyās are considered the protectresses in that Cakra. There are crores of Śaktis there proud of being their servants.

86-90. Twenty Hastas above the level of the Antara of Saṃkṣobhiṇī and others, O pot-born sage, is the mansion of Sarvasiddhipradā and others. It extends to four Nalvas and is called Viṣṭya (?) [Dhīṣṇya in N. 32-94].

The deities are—Sarvasiddhipradā, Sarva-sampat-pradā, Goddess Sarvapriyaṃkari, Sarvamaṅgalakāriṇī, goddess Sarvakāmapradā, Sarvaduḥkhavimocanī, Sarvamṛtyupraśaminī, Sarvavighnanivāriṇī Goddess Sarvāṅgasundarī and Sarvasaubhāgyadāyinī. These goddesses are raised upwards from amongst the Kalās. They are remembered by the names Yoginīs.

Śrī should be known as Cakriṇī (Presiding deity of the Cakra). The Cakra is conducive to the achievement of all objects. The Sarvonmādana Mudrās are the protectresses of the Cakra.

91-96. Twenty Hastas above the level of the Antara of Sarvasiddhi and others, O Pot-born Sage, is the Antara of Sarvajñā and others. It extends to four Nalvas. The Cakra is divine and big; it is remembered as Sarvarakṣākara (Protective of everyone).

Sarvajñā. and others are recounted (below). They are Sarvajñā, Sarvaśakti, Sarvaiśvaryapradāyinī, the goddess Sarvajñānamayī, Sarvavyādhivināśīnī, Sarvadhārāsvarūpā, Sarvapāpaharī, the goddess Sarvānandamayī, Sarvarakṣkāsvarūpiṇī and Sarvepsitapradā.

These leading Yoginīs are devoid of arrogance. Mālinī is mentioned as the presiding deity of the Cakra and the Mudrā is Sarvamahāṅkuśā.

Thus a few Cakras have been described in the mansion of Cintāmaṇi upto the Antara of Sarvajñā and others. Listen to the others also, O Sage.

Notes on this chapter:

VV. 1-32 of this chapter state the position or distribution of places to various deities in Lalitā’s paraphernalia. The following are their location :

(1)    South-East—cidvahni : Fed with nectar. The Priestess and the Priest—Lalitā and her consort (vv. 1-15)
(2)    South-west in the Lotus-grove—chariot Cakrarāja (vv. 6-10)
(3)    North-west of the mansion—Geya Cakra-ratha.
(4)    North-East—Kirī-Cakra of Daṇḍanāthā (vv.11-13)
(5)    Palaces of Viṣṇu, Gaṇapati etc. are detailed in vv. 14-32.

The break-up of Topics and their consistent inclusion under specific chapters is not properly followed in this edition. Hence the distribution of the places of residence and their cakras are half-done here and the same topic continues in chapter 37.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

If the reading Khātaka (N) for Cātaka be accepted.

[2]:

The mantra of three syllables: Oṃ Jūṃ Saḥ

[3]:

For pihitā in this text N.32.42 reads Piṇḍitāḥ. It means: “The oceans of redness (of the complexion) of goddess Lalitā were (as if solidified and) enmassed there”.

[4]:

In vv. 48 to 96 the places of different deities according to their importance are fixed and their residences at a higher altitude accordingly. The deities within a particular Antara form a group—a cakra with a presiding deity (cakriṇī) and a protecting deity—generally a Mudrā. The cakra is given a designation. The ladder-like hierarchical positions of all deities are not completed here.

Some cakras follow in the next chapter:

Name of Cakra: Sarvajña
Presiding Deity: Mālinī, 10 Yoginīs like Sarvajñā
Protectress—Sarva-mahāṅkuśā
(w. 81-96)

Name of Cakra: Sarvasiddhipraḍa
Presiding Deity Śrī-Cakriṇī, Mudrā, Antara of Yoginīs like Sarvasiddhipradā
Protectress
Sarvonmādana
(vv.86-90)

Antara of Saṃkṣobhiṇī
ProtectressMudrā Sarva-Vaśyā, 14 Śaktis under Saṃkṣobhiṇī
(vv.79-85)

A cakra: Sarva-Saṃkṣobhaṇa
Presiding Deity: Sundarī, 8 Powerful Śaktis like Kusumā
ProtectressMudrā Ākarṣaṇikā
(vv.74-78)

A cakra under Sarvāśāpūrikā
Presiding Deity: Sarvāśāpūrikā,
Protectress—Mudrā Drāviṇikā
(v.73)

A cakra under Tripurā
Presiding deity: Tripureśī,
ProtectressSaṃkṣobhiṇī
(v. 65)

Abodes of Mātṛ-devatās like Bhūmi etc.
(vv.50.59)

Abodes of Siddhis 20 Hastas above the level of the Ground of the Lotus-grove
(vv. 48-55)

[5]:

Although the Mudrās are female deities, they are translated here as if of a masculine gender implying ‘the capacity to do the particular job like saṃkṣobha ‘Agitation’ etc. done by that Mudrā viz. Saṃkṣobhiṇī, though noted here as Saṃkṣobha.

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