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Chapter CCXXII - The Garuda Vidya

Dhanvantari said:—Now I shall enumerate to you the Gārudam, as disclosed by Sumitra to Kashyapa. This Gārudi Vidyā tends to neutralise the effects of all kinds of poison. The five fundamental material principles of earth water, light (heat), air and ether are represented by the different letters of the alphabet as their symbols, which should be regarded as the presiding deities of the occult diagram to be meditated upon at the time of Dhyānam. The deities reside in these five fundamental material principles. The letters Sa, Ka, and Tha are symbolical of the energy of Shiva (ether). The rite of Nyāsa should be duly performed, and the Chaturvaktra Mantram should be psychically located by the votary inside the palms of his hands, in the soles of his feet, as well as in the cavities of his heart and ears. By meditating in this fashion a votary may achieve all kinds of success. First imagine a yellow coloured quadrangle as symbolical of the Earth, of which Indra is the presiding deity. At the centre of this quadrangle should be contemplated the ring of Varuna, at the centre of which is the mystic, translucent lotus upon which the half moon sheds its cool, turquoise-blue beams. Around this should be imagined as transcribed the triangular Mandalam of fire, crossed by a Svastika mark (cross) and burning with the effulgence of primordial fire. Around this should be imagined the circle of Vāyu, sable coloured like the inside of a cut bar of black antimony, and impressed with the mark of the occult Vindu (Bindu?). Encircling this ring of Vāyu should be imagined the Vyoma-Mandalam, dreadful in its infinite vastness, lying effulgent and motionless like the ocean of milk (Kshira), or like a sea of molten crystal. The celestial serpents Vāsuki and Shankhapāla should be imagined as residing in the quadrangle of the earth; Karkata and Padma-Nābha, in the ring of Varunā; Kalika, in the Mandalam of fire; and Takshaka and Mahāvjaka, in the ring of air. The material principles of earth, water, etc., should be imagined by the votary as located in his fingers, starting with the thumb and ending with the small finger, both in the usual and inverse order of enumeration. Likewise, the Jayā and Vijyayā Mantras should be located in the bone-joints, the Shiva-Shadanga Mantram in the cavity of the mouth; and the Hrid Mantra in the arms and the tuft of hair on the crown of the head, and the Vyāpakam in the phalanges of fingers. The rite of Bhutanyāsa should be performed with the Shivānga Mantras preceded by “Om” and followed by, “Namas.” This rule should be followed in respect of establishing and worshipping all forms of Mantra.

The first letters of the names of these celestial serpents are the Mantras respectively sacred to each of them, which being duly recited by a votary enables him to draw any of them to his side. The Mantras composed of the names of the five fundamental physical principles coupled with “Om” and “Namas” should be then recited, whereby the celestial Garuda would appear unto the votary in all his glory and prowess.

The votary shall again perform the rite of Karanyāsa with the help of the vowel letters, and the rite of Shāriranāysa thereafter. He shall contemplate his vital energy (Prāna) as an unflickering light steadily burning within his heart, and consuming the impurities of his organism, and the Vija Mantra as showering divine ambrosia wherewith his system is being saturated. Thus surcharging his system with the nectarine flow of the Vija Mantra, the votary shall contemplate his self as located in his brain; and the earth teeming with thousands of cities and abodes of men, and guarded by the Lokapālas (protectors of worlds) and shining with the effulgence of molten gold as located in his lower extremities. The principle of water, clear and smooth, he shall contemplate as occupying the region between his heart and navel, shining with a blue light, and occupying a space, twice as much as that of the earth. The Ravi Mandalam, the seat of heat and light, should be imagined as a triangle occupying the thoracic cavity and resting on an imaginary line across the umbilicus as its base, and extending from the sphere of Bhubanas (worlds) to Brahma. The Vāyu Mandalam, in which is ensconced the image of Self, as permeating the universal space and coloured (deep blue) like broken, black antimony. Over the crown of his head the votary shall contemplate the Divya Mandalam shining with the effulgence of clear, cut crystal, and permeating the boundless expanse of ether, and enshrouding, and enlivening all with divine ambrosia.

First the rite of Bhutanyāsa should be performed, after that, the one in respect of the celestial serpents, by reciting the Vijas commencing with the letters “La” and coupled with the nasal sign of Vindu, to which the Vijas, sacred to Shiva, should be moreover appended. After this, the votary should meditate upon the Mandalam described before. The intelligent one should meditate upon the Mandalas respectively colored as aforesaid at the time of practising this incantation. The feet, pinions, and bills of Garuda should be contemplated as ornamented with rings of black snakes. This figure of Tārksha (Garuda) should be invariably meditated upon in cases of poisoning with any animal or vegetable poison. The figures of malignant spirits, planets, Dākinies, Yakshas, and Rakshas should the votary likewise imagine as located in his limbs, ornamented with black serpents, by an act of Nyāsa. Twofold is the rite of Nyāsa in this incantation; one is in respect of the fundamental material principles and the other is in respect of the serpents. Having thus contemplated the principles of soul etc., in due succession, the votary should commence practising the charm. First the three fundamental principles of Tritattvas should be contemplated, and after that the, principle of bliss should be meditated upon as located above them. The rite of Deha-nyāsa should be performed by the votary, both in the usual and inverse order, in his limbs, as well as in the imaginary figures of the deities meditated upon. The bulb, stem, etc., of the occult lotus, as well as the principles of virtue and wisdom should be worshipped by reciting the Vijas composed of the final letters of the different Vargas appended with the second vowel. The Mantra “Kshaum” should be imagined as located in the polens of the occult lotus. The groups of letters, which are called Aka, Cha, Ta, Tha, Pa, Ya and Sa Vargas, should be imagined as impressed on the eastern petals of this mystic flower, the vowels should be likewise imagined as impressed on the polens of the lotus, two in each, wherein the gods Isha etc., should be worshipped. The goddesses Vāmā etc., should be considered as the energies of the Rudras worshipped in these polens, after which the votary shall invoke thé three fundamental material principles (Tritattvas). The principle of ether he should psychically invoke and locate within his head. He should worship the principle of earth in the western petal of the lotus; the principle of water, in its northern leaf; the principle of fire (Tejas), in its southern leaf and the principle of air, in its eastern one. The Tanmātras (essential material principles) and Mahābhutas (gross matter) should be worshipped outside the occult diagram.

This procedure should be adapted in all rites of Nitya and Naimittika worship. The votary should contemplate his Self as an expanse of beautifully tinted light, pervading all through the universe—its creator, preserver and destroyer—and laving the infinite expanse of ether with its own ambrosial energy. Likewise, he should meditate upon Bhairava in the company of the Siddhas and the celestial Garuda in all acts of incantation—the moon-crested Bhairava, who is possessed of ten arms and four faces and three eyes, burning with a kind of lurid effulgence, with his diabolical teeth exposed in a dreadful grimace and a weird light emanating from his flame-coloured eyes. For the destruction of snakes he should contemplate the image of Garuda, dreadful to look at, the tips of his mighty pinions touching the ends of the welkin, the regions of Patala located in his feet, the seven celestial regions lying ensconced in his bosom, the entire universe nestling round his neck, and all the Rudras, from the first to Isha, who is the last in the list of that class of deities, as located within his head, Garuda, who is but another manifestation of Shiva, is the lord of the universe, the greatest of all the great divinities. His body is made of the energy of the Mantras (mystic formulas); and the votary shall contemplate him in all acts of incantation as effulgent like the fire of universal dissolution and bent on devouring the poisonous snakes. He, whom the votary may contemplate in his mind after performing the rite of Nyasa as above described, shall come under his control and influence. By performing this Nyāsa, a votary becomes himself a Garuda. Ghosts, demons, monsters, Pishāchas and the different kinds of fever such as, quotodian ague, etc., fly the presence of him who practises this incantation. Dhanvantari said this Gārudi Vidyā which was first promulgated by Garuda himself to the holy Kashyapa; now hear me discourse on that which was disclosed by Maheshvara to the goddess Gauri.

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