The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words

This page describes Kriya-Yoga: Meditation on the Forms of Radha and Krishna which is chapter 28 of the English translation of the Skanda Purana, the largest of the eighteen Mahapuranas, preserving the ancient Indian society and Hindu traditions in an encyclopedic format, detailling on topics such as dharma (virtous lifestyle), cosmogony (creation of the universe), mythology (itihasa), genealogy (vamsha) etc. This is the twenty-eighth chapter of the Vasudeva-mahatmya of the Vaishnava-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 28 - Kriyā-Yoga: Meditation on the Forms of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Note: The actual procedure of the worship of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa is described in this chapter.

Śrī Nārāyaṇa said:

1. After sipping water and practising breath-control (with Oṃ bhūr etc.) and then with a composed mind, one should pay obeisance to one’s desired deities, and proclaim the time (tithi etc.) and place (of worship).

2. After taking the solemn vow (the formal Saṅkalpa), “I shall perform the worship of Vāsudeva for the accomplishment of Ekānta Dharma,” one should then perform the procedural Nyāsa (i.e. assignment of the various parts of the body to deities accompanied with prayers or Mantras and corresponding gesticulations).

3. In Nyāsa, the following are the Mantras:

  1. The Twelve-syllabled Mantra (oṃ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya),
  2. the Viṣṇu Gāyatri,[1]
  3. the eight-syllabled Nārāyaṇa Mantra (oṃ namo nārāyaṇāya)
  4. and the six-syllabled Viṣṇu Mantra (oṃ viṣṇave namaḥ).

4. These are prescribed for twice-born castes. For others three are given here:

  1. The eight-syllabled Vāsudeva Mantra (oṃ vāsudevāya namaḥ).
  2. The five-syllabled Hari Mantra (haraye namaḥ).
  3. The six-syllabled Keśava Mantra (keśavāya namaḥ).

These are approved for Nyāsa as well as for Homa (oblations to fire).

5. Just as one performs Nyāsa on various parts of his own body (uttering specific mantras), the same way all the Nyāsas should be performed on the various parts of the idol of Śrī Viṣṇu while uttering the specified Mantras. Then one should wipe off the idol with a clean cloth.

6. Placing the pitcher (of water) to one’s left side and invoking all the Tīrthas (sacred places, rivers) there, one should worship it with the articles of worship such as sandal-paste, flowers etc.

7. After sprinkling the articles of worship and one’s own person with the water from the (worshipped) pitcher and after worshipping the conch and the bell, one should perform the purification of the bhūtas (i.e. elements constituting the body).

8. After burning the (internal) sinful body with internal fire and wind, one remaining stable (in one’s posture), should reflect upon the identity of one’s pure self with Brahman.

9. Then performing breath-control, one should, with concentrated mind, meditate upon Lord Rādhākṛṣṇa of the form of imperishable Brahman in one’s heart.

10. The lotus (i.e. the Yogic plexus) at the navel is in a drooping position like the flower of Kadalī (plantain tree). Reflecting upon the vital wind called Apāna, one should bring about its union with the vital wind called Prāṇa.

11. After bringing it in the hollow stalk of the lotus (the internal paṃ through which life breath proceeds upwards, the path of Kuṇḍalinī?), one should pull in the upward direction that ‘lotus’ along with that (breath). Making a loud sound it goes to the ‘heart’ (known as hṛtkamala). It fully blossoms there shiningly expanding in the cavity of the heart.

12. In the mass of light (permeating that ‘sky’) one should meditate upon quiescent Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Lord of Rādhikā who is the most beautiful and outstanding, by his surpassing superior refulgence.

13-27. One should meditate upon that divine personality constituted of cit (the animating principle), as being in the sitting or standing posture. (He should be contemplated as) a lad (below the age of fifteen), beautiful like ten million gods of love (their accumulated beauty); characterised by divine limbs full of suitable beauty; his body, pure and charming like the autumnal moon; his pair of arms long and lovely; his lotus-feet with reddish, tender soles and beautiful toes; the prominent, red, resplendent brilliance of his nails having put to shame the moon (the crescent of the moon); with a beautiful pair of feet wearing tinkling anklets and Haṃsakas (swan-foot-shaped foot ornament) with well-rounded pair of calves; beautiful with symmetrical knees and thighs; with beautiful waist, the yellow garment over which is tied with a girdle of excellent jewels; with the three folds (of skin on the upper part of the belly) hidden between his bulging belly and the deep navel, having a broad and high (well-developed) chest beautified by the circular line of hair of Śrīvatsa; adorned with ornaments like the lolling bunch of flowers and pearl-necklaces of twenty-four strings (Gucchārdha) and of a hundred strings (Devacchanda) and others; wearing a gold sacred ṃread and various kinds of garlands of fragrant flowers; adorned with bracelets on the wrists having the beauty of bloomed red lotus; having many (lit. more than one) rings set with excellent gems, illuminating the tiny joints of his fingers; playing upon a sweet-sounding flute fascinating the minds of all; having broad shoulders with concealed collar-bones; shining with armlets round his mighty arms; wearing a garland of sylvan flowers with the humming sound of hovering black-bees (madly) desirous of its fragrance; with the refulgent Kaustubha gem in the ornament round his neck, which was like a conch; with a shapely chin and shining with lips red like the Biṃbī fruit; with a full-moon-like face beaming with a slight white smile; having an excellent beautiful nose shapely like sesamum flower; having crocodile-shaped ear-rings illuminating his symmetrical ears; adorned with ear-ornaments like a bunch of variegated flowers shining above his ears; the beauty of whose cheeks is enhanced by the moon-ligḥt-like lustre of even-shaped tiny teeth; whose eyes are beautiful with reddish comers and longish like the petals of a lotus; his forehead broad and high and eyebrows (curved) like the bow of the god of love; with hair on the head curly, fine, black, glossy and hence attractive (to the mind); who is wearing on his head a crown richly set with excellent jewels of various kinds; looking at his delighted people (devotees) with affectionate glance and with love.

28-33a. One should meditate upon Kṛṣṇa of the above description and contemplate Rādhā on his left side—Rādhā with two hands, complexion fair like gold, wearing a clean garment of reddish-yellow colour; with refulgent ornaments, (ear-rings) set with excellent jewels adorn

ing her symmetrical ears; having a nose like (the beak of) a parrot; young in age (below fifteen years); with eyes like the young one of a deer; with plump, protruding thick breasts; with a slender waist and big buttocks; adorned with a girdle set with jewels; beautified with various heavenly (or brilliant) ornaments; with her face like a full-blown lotus, beaming with smile; whose excellent hands are shining by gem-set rings, armlets and bangles etc. (all set with jewels); whose lotus-feet are adorned with tingling anklets and Haṃsūkas (an ornament for the ankles shaped like a goose’s foot); on whose broad forehead are shining a Tilaka mark of saffron and an ornament of the forehead; with lips (red) like a Bimba fruit; with excellent cheeks; with her braids of hair decorated with jasmine flowers; gazing with love at the Lord; holding a lotus in her hand.

33b. After having meditated upon Rādhikā of the above description, one should worship the Lord along with her.

Footnotes and references:


nārāyāṇāya vidmahe, vāsudevāya dhīmahi /
tanno viṣṇuḥ pracodayāt //

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