Friday, November 11, 2011


MAY 2010


Every Hindu Deity has three modes of expression or manifestation. These are: the Moorti, the Yantra and the Mantra. Moorti is the three dimensional form which is sculptured as icon. Yantra is a two dimensional geometric pattern which can be drawn. Mantra is the sound form or the thought form which can be chanted in contemplation. The deity is usually invoked with a Dhyaanasloka, in which the form of the deity which is dealt with greater details in the icon is called upon in the verse chanted in the beginning of meditation.

Indian iconography constituted Prathimaa, Yantra and Mantra. The Yantra was painted in bright colors. Sakta cults as well as Vajrayaana aspect of Buddhism made extensive use of colorful Mandalas (circles). In due course they became line drawings (kolam or Rangoli pattern) and as a rule they were inscribed in a metallic sheet or drawn on paper. The inner spaces of these diagrams were filled with appropriate seed syllable Mantras (Beeja Mantra) and consecrated for Taantric form of worship. The worship rituals would involve articulation of the relevant Mantras. In Vidyaa both Yantra and Mantra are employed for worship. Occasionally the stone or metallic icons are installed on such Yantras with the supposition that the icon would acquire greater power.

The Yantra and mantra form the Taantric form of worship. The sacred mantra when administered by a competent Guru and repeated with intense faith and devotion is capable of revealing the form of the deity by appropriate vibrations in the divine atmosphere that pervades everything including the body and mind of the devotee chanting the Mantra. Yantra is the geometric abode of the deity. When properly drawn and consecrated, it gets charged as it were binding the contemplated deity to the geometric figure. There are individual Yantras specific for each deity amongst which Srichakra of Sri Lalitaa is the most popular and in vogue. Srichakra is used for permanent worship either in the form of two dimensional engraved figure or in the form of three dimensional embossed figure of Meru.

The present discourse deals with the Tantric worship of Sri Lalitaa and Sri Baalaa Tripuri by Mantras and their significance. The Mantra is so called because the words contained in it help manana (chanting with devotion) which in turn protects (traanana) the individual who employs it for meditation. Srividyaa is Mantra form of Upaasana or meditation.

Vidyaa is an aspect Mother-goddess (Sridevi). The Tantric form of worship mentions ten Mother-goddesses who are identified with different sacred sound patterns and their symbolisms. They are Kaali, Taaraa, Shodasahi, Bhuvanesvari, Bhairavi, Chinna Mastaa, Dhoomavati, Maatangi, Kamalaa and Bagalamukhee. The first two of these are Mahaavidyaas. The next five are Vidyaas, the last three are Siddha Vidyaas. The first group of Vidyaas is meant for spiritually advanced devotees; the second group for most of the devotees; and the third is for devotees intent on acquiring power and influence.

The Third dealing with Shodashi is known as Srividya and is directed towards Mother-goddess Sri Lalitaa. This is called Shodasi because of the 16 syllables Mantra that is employed in worshipping her. Normally it is called Panchadasi (15 syllables) Mantra but with the addition of 'Sree' it becomes Shodasi or 16 Syllables.

This Vidyaa is a peculiar arrangement of syllables or letters consisting of vowels and consonants in three tiers which signifies thirty-six (in Panchadasi) or thirty-seven principles in Shodasi pattern. This is the verbal formation of the visual Srichakra. Mother-goddess signifies three powers that confirm the presence—the power of Cognition (Jnaana Sakti); the power of Action (Kriyaa Sakti); and the power of Intention (Icchaa Sakti). She symbolizes three fields, three types and three parts. Hence she is called Tripuraa. The geometric figure of triangle is symbolic of these.

Tripuraa trividhaa devee brahma-vishnav-eesaaroopinee | Jnaanasaktih kriyaasaktih icchaasaktyaatmikaa priye ||

There are several Mantras connected with Sri- Vidyaa. The two that are used in present day worship are:
  1. Kaadavidyaa—the Mantra commencing with Ka: ka ae ee la | hreem

    ha sa ka ha la | hreem

sa ka la | hreem\
This tradition has been promulgated by Eros (Kaama)—its teachers are Paramasiva, Durvaasa, Hayagrieva and Agastya.

  1. Haadividya—the Mantra commencing with Ha: ha sa ka la | hreem
    ha sa ka ha la | hreem
    sa ka la | hreem
The second tradition
goes to Lopaamudra, wife of Agastya and was prevalent in Kerala. Tradition 1) is earliest and considered more important.

[ The significance of various syllables in 1) above are as follows: Kaamah (Eros=ka; Yonih (source)=ae; Kamalaa (Goddess)=ee; Vajrapaani(Indra)=la; Guha (Skanda)=hreem; ha sa=saha; Maatarisvaa (air)=ka; Abhram (sky)=ha; Indra=la; again Guha=hreem; sakala=sa ka la; Maaya=hreem. Lalitaa Trisati is the main text of the Kaadi tradition, and is said to have been derived from Devayatharvaseersha of Atharva Veda]

The Mantras above are in three groups known as peaks or sections (Kootas or Khandas). The syllables in the Mantras are the same except the order is changed a little. The Kaadi version has seven letters ka, ae, ee, la, hreem, ha, sa, not counting the syllables that are repeated. The Haadi version has only five letters—ha, sa, ka, la, hreem. Ka, ae, ee, la | hreem underlines the benevolent (Saatvic) aspect of the Mother-goddess. Sa, ka, la, hreem | represents the dynamic action (raajasic) aspect of Mother-goddess. Ha, sa, ka, ha, la | hreem emphasizes ignorance oriented or malevolent (Taamasic) aspect of Mother goddess. Kadaa mantra which begins with ka and saatvic in nature is therefore given more importance.

The letter KA represents kaama, the cosmic urge to find satisfaction or denotes Brahma, the Creator. AE stands for the feminine aspect of Ka that is Kameswari or Lakshmi. The symbol AE in Sanskrit almost resembles a triangle and therefore stands for Mother-Goddess. The central point (bindu enclosed in a triangle in Srichakra) which signifies KA followed AE in Sanskrit symbolizes the union of Siva and Sakti, which is responsible for the creation, preservation and dissolution of the phenomenol world. The letter EE stands for Earth (Kshiti). The letter LA comes three times, signifying three worlds. The seed syllable (Beejaakshara) HREEM is sacred syllable like Om and represents Mother-Goddess herself.

The same seed syllable is repeated three times at the end of the first, second and third units. The employment of Hreem at the joints transforms them as the tie-word or knot (granthi). That is why they are called Brahmagranthi, Vishnugranthi and Rudraganthi (like the knots of the sacred thread with three knots worn during Upanayana ceremony). The three knots are representative of three cosmic powers: Agni (Fire); Soorya (Sun); and Chandra (Moon): "Trikhandam maatrikaachakram soma-soorya-analaatmakaam". Therefore these are sometimes called Somakhaanda, Sooryakhaanda and Agnikhaanda. They also symbolize the three Gods, Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver and Rudra the Destroyer; the three human values Dharma (life according to the Universal Divine Law), Artha-Kaama (wealth and pleasure) and Moksha (the final freedom from phenomenal involvement); the three Vedas—Rigveda, Yajurveda and Samaveda; the three important Chandas (meters)—Gaayatri, Trishtup and Jagati.

Each of these units has its own characteristic and collective syllable--Aim for the first; Kleem for the second; and Sauh for the third, the three together constitute the second-body of the Mother-Goddess. Hence Gayatri Mantra for Tripura-Sundari runs as follows:

"Aim Tripraa-devyai vidmahe | Kleem kaameswaryai cha dheemahi |
Sauh tannah klinna prachoedayaat ||

[Aim=the head of the Mother-Goddess; Kleem=her body from neck to waist; Sauh=her body below the waist].

There are many derivative deities from Srividyaa. Three deities are regarded as necessary adjuncts to Srichakra (tripuraa trividhaa devee). They help the devotee in his endeavor, while worshipping Yantra. These deities have their own Yantras. They also receive individual worship as independent divinities, although they are retinue spirits. The most important of them is called Baala Tripuraa Sundaree.

Baalaa Tripuraa Sundaree is presumed to be young maiden, Jagatritaaya-Mohini or as a girl of sixteen, Dhodasi, the mother Goddess in her juvenile condition. It is easier to approach Mother-Goddess through her young retinue Baalaa than to approach Srichakra directly. We are accustomed to pamper by Bhakti-worship dieities Baala Murugan (Kandan), Baala Ganesha, Baala Krishna, Vatapatrasaayee and others. Baalaa's Mantra of three syllables (Trayaaksharee), namely Aim, Kleem, and Sauh is widely employed in the worship of Mother-Goddess and the fifteen syllables Panchadasi is considered as an evolution of the three syllables. These three syllables work as units or Kootas. Combining them together with Panchadasi the full Mantra for Panchadasi runs as follows:
"Aim | ka ae ee la hreem | kleem, \ ha sa ka ha la hreem | Sauh | sa ka la hreem ||

The Gayatri Mantra of Sri Lalita of Srividyaa is:
"Aim Tripuraadevee vidmahe | Kleem Kaameswaree cha dheemahi | Sauh tannah klinnaa prachoedayaat"

Aim, the first syllable is the Vaagbhaava, the seed (Beeja) of the formula. It represents Desire (Icchaa); Kleem, the second syllable represents Knowledge (Jnaana); and Sauh represents Action (Kriyaa). Dakshinamoorti, (the cognition oriented form of Siva) is the sage (Rishi) who is the author of this Mantra. The meter (Chandas) used in this Mantra is Pankti. The deity of the Mantra Aim, Kleem, Sauh is Sri Baalaa. Every sacred Mantra has a Rishi, a meter and a Devataa(deity). The purpose of the Mantra is to attain literary skill and Jnaana (Knowledge), conquer the evil forces, avoid premature death and to obtain prosperity.

Baalaa is described as a form of Vishnu who took the form of the daughter of Lalitaambika according to Aaditya Puraana. She has the form exactly like her mother in all details and is evergreen being nine years old always. She is the source of all learning and wisdom.

The central triangle is the seat of Baalaa. This is feminine and inscribed with the Beejamantra (seed syllable Mantra) Aim. The bottom triangle is also feminine with the next syllable Kleem and to its right is masculine with the third syllable Suah. The Mantra of Baalaa is repeated in the same manner on the other triangles. The Yantra of Baalaa is a shortened form of Srichakra, consisting of nine triangles formed by comingling of three triangles (two of Sakti and One of Siva). It is a youth version of Sri-vidyaa. The nine corners (nava Yonis) representing nine triangles are enclosed within eight lotus petals. Of the nine triangles three are masculine and six are feminine. The three male triangles will have the male Mantra Suah. The six other triangles will have the other two feminine Mantras. The eight petals represent the eight Sakti Pithas: these are Kaamaroopa, Malaya, Kollagiri, Chauhaara, Kulaantaka, Jaalandhara, Oddiyaana and Koddha. These petals carry the Gayatri version of Mantra of Baalaa: "Kleem tripuraadevi vidmahe | Kaameswari Dheemahi | tannah klinnaa prachoedayaat ||"

The whole pattern is enclosed within a square on which another square is re-imposed so as to form an eight cornered geometric figure. These corners are guarded by eight divinities; Vetaala, Agni Jihvaa, Kalaantaka, Kaapaalin, Ekapaada, Bheemaroopa, Malaya and Haatakesvara. The Guardians of the eight directions, namely Ashta Dikpaalakas (Indra, Yama, Eesaana etc.), are also located on the cardinal points.

Baalaa idols are seen with three eyes, adorned with Crescent Moon, youthful, vivacious, brilliant like the morning Sun (Aruna), wearing red clothes, seated upon a pink lotus and holding in her hands rosary and staff. She is also seen with hands carrying goad, noose, book and rosary as described in another Dhyaana Sloka.

Baalaas's Dhyana Sloka (hymn for meditation) incorporating the above descriptions runs as follows:

"Raktaambaraam chandrakalaavatamsaam samudyad-aadityanibhaam trinaetraam | Vidyaa-kshaamaa-laabha-yadaama-hastaam dhyaayaami baalaam arunaambuja-sthaanam ||
"Paasaankusau pustakamakshasootram karairdadhaanaa sakalaa maraarchya Raktaa trinetraa sasisekharaeyam dhyeyaakhilairyaa tripuraatra baalaa ||

Baalaa Mantra has several variants. These are:
  1. Hreem kleem h-sauh (3syllbles)
  2. Aim kleem sauh kleem aim
  3. Sreem kleem hreem aim kleem sauh hreem kleem sreem (9)
  4. Aim kleem sauh baalaa tripurae swaahaa (10)
  5. Aim kleem h-sauh baalaa tripure siddhim dehi namah (14)
  6. Hreem hreem hreem prodhatripure aarogyam-aisvaryam dehi swaahaa
  7. Hreem sreem kleem tripuraa madane sarvam subham saadhaya swaahaa
  8. Hreem sreem kleem paraapare tripure sarvepsitam saadhaya swaahaa

The second attendant deity is Mantrini (councilor to the Mother-Goddess), wisdom personified. She is also called Shyaamalaa (dark in complexion), as well as Maatangi in her capacity to function like the gateway to Mother–Goddess. Her mantra is: "Aim kleem sauh aum hreem sreem am || or "Hreem, sreem kleem aim" She holds Veenaa in one hand and a bowl of liquor (symbolic of liberating bliss born out of wisdom) in the other. She is also known as Sampatpradaa-Bhairavi, one who brings all prosperity.

The third divinity is Danda-Naathaa, Commander-in-chief of the Mother-Goddess. She represents the mighty power of the Mother-Goddess. She is also called Varaahee, as she is hog-faced like Koormaavataara of Vishnu. She destroys the evil forces that come in the way of devotees who are seeking shelter of Sri Vidyaa. Her Mantra is: "Aim glaum aim om namoe bhagavati vaartaali vaaraahi varaahamukhi" or "S-haim sa ka la hreem s-hrauh". She is depicted as eight armed and three eyed woman with a hog-face, seated under a Palmyra tree and a trusted lieutenant of Mother-Goddess (Devee-chitta-anusaarinee). She is recognized as devotee's strength in this form and so called Chaitanya-Bhairavi.

The Taantric form of worship is of three kinds. The best is what is followed by fire rituals and oblations with sanctified materials. The first kind of Lalitaa worship is very ritualistic and elaborate in the Taantric tradition. The second type is devoid of fire rituals done according to the place and time. The third, least meritorious is what is done only with flowers.

Dhyaana or meditation is also of two kinds: Contemplation on some form of Divinity (saroopa) or the contemplation on the Divinity without form (aroopa). The first one is easier for most of the people than the second one. Contemplation devoid of form is to focus attention on Divinity beyond speech and mind, all pervading and un-manifest and altogether indeterminate. This is accomplished only by the adepts of high order who go into a trance during meditation. This has the ability to achieve immediately the desired results and accomplish the goal. One can however start with the former and progress towards the formless form of meditation. Worship in both cases involves thoughts, feelings, concepts and imagery known as Maanasa Pooja (mental worship) and does not need materials or bodily actions. In this the Guru must be contemplated upon as if he is sitting before you and guiding you before the deity. When the Japa (meditation) is done, it is almost like a Yoga accomplishment. The important part is to contemplate on the identity of the Deity (Devataa) of the Mantra on the verbal form of the Mantra itself. (For an elaborate description of Japayoga please refer to my earlier discourse. on the subject).

Chanting of the Mantras with correct intonations is a great spiritual discipline. These Mantras are from ancient stages and are of divine origin for these sages were in constant touch with Brahman. Namaavalis (multiple description of the deity) and Slokas which we also employ with reverence during pooja (worship) help additionally. "Yastu vijnaanavaan bhavati samanaskah sadaa suchih | sa tu tatpadamaapnoeti yasmaat bhooyoe na jaayate" says Kathoepanishad—He who is endowed with discriminating intellect and has his mind purified by various disciplines and who remains always pure attains the highest goal from where he will not be reborn. He will be blessed with eternal peace and happiness.

We must offer our prayers through these sacred Mantras to Mother-Goddess, primordial energy. Through steady practice the habit would be formed. The holy vibrations of Mantras chanting during the Homas have immense purifying effect as you recently experienced during the annual day celebrations of the temple. Such participations will help us to tune with cosmic vibrations. It is also the means to feel the contact between our finite consciousness and the infinite consciousness. We must therefore strive hard to achieve this divine touch called Brahma-sparsam.

We often here these Mantras are sacred and secret. They are sacred because they originated from divine sages. These sages were the only Brahmanas during the Vedic period headed by Brahma for they were in constant touch with Brahman. These were kept away from humans and needed revelation with sincere approach and understanding. Therefore they remained secret to humans. These were revealed orally to those who approached these sages with reverence and faith. Thus it got transmitted to us. Now-a-days these are available in printed form and are wide spread through computer gurus. Often they lack proper explanation of these Mantras and they miss the Vedic vibration just as my discourse. Of course there are few which are very authentic and wellk explained. We have to choose the right one. But it is proper to get initiated to your choice Mantra from a learned Guru with proper tuning, full understanding of their meaning and significance for a proper divine approach. Otherwise they end up as literary pieces or alphabets or parrot chanting. Probably for migrants like us only alternative open is to actively and devotedly participate in the Homas and Yajnas conducted employing these mantras as well as special worships periodically conducted in Hindu Temples by learned and experienced priests and derive their benefits by regular meditational practice at homes with devotion and dedication. This could be followed by chanting Lalitaa sahasranaamam or Lalitaa Trisati and also chanting Lalitaa Namaavali in archana form of worship. The sacred mantra of the deity of personal choice could be meditated upon regularly everyday 28, 108, 300 or 1008 times as per convenience and as time permits.

This discourse for the Vedanta Class at Sri Ganesha Temple, Nashville, TN, has been prepared by suitably extracting, abridging and editing texts from the following publications which are gratefully acknowledged:

  1. Prof. S.K. Ramachandra Rao, Vidyaa-Kosa, Sri Satguru Publications, Delhi, India.
  2. Swami Devcarupananda, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Mumbai, India.
  3. Swami Harshananda, Sri ramkrishna Math, Mylapore, Chennai, India.
  4. S.K.Ramachandra Rao, Indian Temple Traditions, Kalpataru Research Academy, Sharada Peetham, Bangalore, India

(Description of Srichakra as  given by Wikipedia)
The Sri Yantra ("sacred instrument") or Sri Chakra ("sacred wheel") or Mahameru    is a yantra formed by nine interlocking triangles that surround and radiate out from the central (bindu) point, the junction point between the physical universe and its un-manifest source. It represents the goddess in her form of Shri Lalita or Tripura Sundari, "the beauty of the three worlds (Heaven, Earth, Netherworlds)". The worship of the Sri Chakra is central to the Shri Vidya system of Hindu worship. Four isosceles triangles with the apices upwards, representing  Shiva or the Masculine. Five isosceles triangles with the apices downward, symbolizing female embodiment Shakti. Thus the Sri Yantra also represents the union of Masculine and Feminine Divine. Because it is composed of nine triangles, it is known as the Navayoni Chakra. These nine triangles are of various sizes and intersect with one another. In the middle is the power point (bindu), visualizing the highest, the invisible, elusive center from which the entire figure and the cosmos expand. The triangles are enclosed by two rows of (8 and 16) petals, representing the lotus of creation and reproductive vital force. The broken lines of the outer frame denote the figure to be a sanctuary with four openings to the regions of the universe"
Together the nine triangles are interlaced in such a way as to form 43 smaller triangles in a web symbolic of the entire cosmos or a womb symbolic of creation. Together they express Advaita or non-duality. This is surrounded by a lotus of eight petals, a lotus of sixteen petals, and an earth square resembling a temple with four doors. The various deities residing in the nine layers of the Sri Yantra are described in the Devi Khadgamala Mantra.
The Shri Chakra is also known as the nav chakra because it can also be seen as having nine levels.   Each level corresponds to a mudra, a yogini, and a specific form of the deity Tripura Sundari along with her mantra. These levels starting from the outside or bottom layer are:
1.    Trailokya Mohan or Bhupar, a square of three lines with four portals
2.    Sarva Aasa Paripurak, a sixteen-petal lotus
3.    Sarva Sankshobahan, an eight-petal lotus
4.    Sarva Saubhagyadayak, composed of fourteen small triangles
5.    Sara Arthasadhak, composed of ten small triangles
6.    Sarva Rakshakar, composed of ten small triangles
7.    Sarva Rogahar, composed of eight small triangles
8.    Sarva Siddhiprada, composed of 1 small triangle
Sarva Anandamay, composed of a point or bindu
The Sri Chakra (called the Shri Yantra) is the symbol of Hindu tantra, which is based on the Hindu philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism. The Sri Yantra is the object of devotion in Sri Vidya.

Sri Chakra, popularly mistaken to be a symbol of Lakshmi, is actually a representation of Lalita Mahatripurasundari, an aspect of Parvati Devi.  Shri does not mean Wealth in this context. The term 'Shri' is used to denote the reverence to be given to this holy Yantra. The prefix 'Shri' denotes that the Yantra is auspicious, beneficent, salutary, benign and conducive to prosperity. The Shri Chakra is often referred as the Chakra Raja which means King of all Chakra which makes it a supreme instrument in the path of spiritual advancement.


Tameka nemim trivvritam shodasaanaam sataardhaaram vimsatipratyaarabhih |
Ashatakaih shadbhih viswaroopaikapaasam trimaarga bhedam dwinimittaikamoham  ||

They realized Him to be of a form of the wheel, having one rim, having three constituents. Having  sixteen ends, having fifty spokes, having twenty middle spokes, having six groups of eight each, having one bond of the cosmic form, having the difference of three paths, and having an illusion that is the cause of two.

This is called Brahma chakra. This is the earliest representation of Paramaatman described as a wheel. This should have inspired later Tantric followers to represent Sri Lalita (parvati) in Srichkra form in Kashmiri Kaula sampradaya. Some people mistake Srichakra as representing Lakshmi because of the word Sri. Sri here means auspicious. In a recent issue of Brahmavidya, the journal of the Adyar Library, Subhash Kak argues that the description of Sri Yantra is identical to the yantra described in the Śvetāśvatara Upanishad.

The one rim of the wheel is Prakriti, the three constituents are three Gunas, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. The sixteen modifications of matter are the sixteen ends. The fifty spokes are the fifty alphabets of Sanskrit and there are 12 months, five seasons, the two Ayanas (Dakhinaayana and Uttaraayana) and one Samvatsara making them  20 mid spokes. The six groups of eight are: I. Eight kinds of wealth—Animaa, Garimaa, Mahimaa, Laghimaa, Praapti, Praakaamyam, Eaastvam and Vasitvam (Hanuman possessed such qualities).  II. The eight directions such as East, West etc. III. The Eight Dikpalakas (Lords of Directions) such as Indra, Varuna and others. IV. The Eight forms of Prakriti (Nature) such as Prithavee, Aaapah, Analah, Vaayuh, Aaakaasah, Mind, Intellect and Ego. V. The Eight kinds of gods such as Brahma, Prajaapati, Devah, Gandharvah, Yakshaah, Raakshasaah, Pitarah and Pisaachaah. VI. Eight kinds of Gunas—Apahatapaapmaa, vijarah, vimrityuh, visokah, vijighatsu, Apipaasah, Satyasankalpah, Satyakaamah.  Or,  it may mean one’s eight characteristics—Compaasion, Non- jealousy , Auspiciousness etc.

For this Brahmachakra, Virartpurusha is a fastening bond for keeping this steady. This Viratpurusha is the prime tether. The three paths are Devayaana, Pitruyaana and Kshudrajantubhavana (the illusion of the Aatman in the body).

--Ananta Rangacharya, Svetavatara Upanishad, with the interpretation of Ranga Ramnuja.

Navaavaran Puja on  Purnima Days
We often hear about important Hindu worship and ritual  on Purnima Days Like Pradosham, Ekadasi  and Sivaratri. North American Hindu Panchangam prescribes   Navaavarana Poojaa on all Purnima days of Hindu calendar like Satyanarayana Vrata. This worship is popular with Saiva and Sakta traditions.    Every Purnima, or Full Moon, a special Navaavarana Puja or Homam is performed in all except Sri Vaishnava Temples.   Everyone who attends is offered the sacred “visesharghyam” a mix of auspicious items that is charged and energized with the divine energy of Sri Lalitambika Devi. But Chaitra Sukla Purnima is very important to Tamils who celebrate Panguni Uttiram on this day of Divine Weddings. This is usually celebrated in Hindu temples of America as a sectarian Vaishnava Festival directed to the Saint  Andal (Azhwar) whom they consider as an incarnation of Bhudevi, a consort of Lord Vishnu who is at the background, prominence being given to Sridevi (Lakshmi), Goddess of Wealth and worshiped  on many days!
Most people can appreciate the special beauty of the full moon.  According to Sri Vidya, there is a uniquely auspicious energy available to us on the full moon day, and so this day is especially good for worshiping Sri Lalita Maha Tripurasundari Devi. In particular, it is highly auspicious to perform Sri Chakra Puja.
In Temples,   either Navaavarana Sri Chakra Puja or Navaavarana Homam is performed on the full moon day. “Navaavarana” comes from the Sanskrit “Nava” plus “aavarana.” This is referring to nine enclosures, veils, or layers that are contained within the sacred Sri Chakra design.
Each aavarana contains a certain number of triangles, petals or lines that correspond to specific aspects of Divine Mother’s powers of love, wisdom and pure consciousness. As we proceed through each aavarana, we come closer to the central bindu, the source of bliss and divine consciousness. Please refer to my detailed discourses on the subject--Navaakshari and Tripura Sundari Homas and Sreechakra of Sri Lalita and Brahmachakra of Parabrahman.
In the puja, we worship a physical Sri Chakra, the Meru Chakra that has been installed in the main sanctum. For Navaavarana Homam, the nine levels of Divinity with their respective goddesses are invoked into the sacred homa fire, and appropriate offerings are made.
When Navaavarana Puja or Homam is performed on Purnima, the powerful energy of the full moon magnifies the energy of the mantras and yantras, generating the divine vibrations of Sri Lalita Devi. This is a uniquely nectar-like blessing from Divine Mother that can only be experienced, not described.
Significance of Worshipping a Sri Chakra
The Sri Chakra, or Sri Yantra, is a specific pattern of triangles, circles and petals that is described as the King of All Yantras. Sri Chakra worship is considered the highest worship of Devi, and because it contains all deities and all divine potencies within it, it brings every kind of blessing for physical and emotional health, wealth, harmony in one’s relationships, and true spiritual progress.
Though some may feel that physical puja is not helpful in advancing spirituality, it is expressly said by experts that “The exquisitely beautiful form of the Sri Devi in the form of Lalita can be experienced as appearing in the daharaakasa of the Sadhakasa during this [Sri Chakra] puja.”
It has also  been explained that “The significance of Navaavarana Puja is the removal of the nine aavaranas (veils) and attainment of the ecstatic experience of the inner consciousness”. This highest consciousness, which can be experienced within, is signified by the central dot, or bindu, within the Sri Chakra, where Divine Mother and Lord Siva exist in an eternally undifferentiated state of absolute oneness and pure bliss.
In truth, the worship of the Sri Chakra is both an art and a science designed by divinely inspired sages; its regular performance clears all obstacles, bestows all blessings, and carries us inexorably towards the highest goal of oneness with the supreme Goddess Sri Rajarajeswari Devi. Whether one performs the puja, witnesses it, or just takes the sacred visesharghyam, one is sure to receive the most loving and compassionate blessings of Sri Rajarajeswari Devi.

Soundarya Lahari 
Posted by The Editor | Jan 06, 2014 | 
va caraa pakeruha-bhava
ñci sañcinvan viracayati lokā-navikalam |
śauri kathamapi sahasrea śirasāṃ
sakud-yaina bhajati bhasitoddhūḷa navidhim|| 2 ||
avidyānā-manta-stimira-mihira dvīpanagarī
ḍānāṃ caitanya-stabaka makaranda śrutijharī |
āṇāṃ cintāmai guanikā janmajaladhau
ānāṃ daṃṣṭrā muraripu varāhasya bhavati|| 3 ||
tvadanya pāṇibhayā-mabhayavarado daivatagaa
ā naivāsi prakaita-varabhītyabhinayā |
āt trātu dātu phalamapi ca vāṃchāsamadhika
śaraye lokānāṃ tava hi caraṇāveva nipuau || 4 ||
haristvāmāradhya praata-jana-saubhāgya-jananīṃ
ā nārī bhūtvā puraripumapi kobha manayat |
pi tvāṃ natvā ratinayana-lehyena vapuṣā
īnāmapyanta prabhavati hi mohāya mahatām || 5 ||
dhanu paupa maurvī madhukaramayī pañca viśikhāḥ
sāmanto malayamaru-dāyodhana-ratha |
āpyeka sarva himagirisute kāmapi kpāṃ
āṅgātte labdhvā jagadida-manago vijayate || 6 ||
kvaatkāñcī-dāmā kari kalabha kumbha-stananatā
ṣīṇā madhye pariata śaraccandra-vadanā |
āṇān pāśa sṛṇimapi dadhānā karatalai
ā dāstāṃ na puramathitu rāho-puruikā || 7 ||
sudhāsindhormadhye suravia-pivāṭī-parivte
idvīpe nīpo-pavanavati cintāmai ghe |
śivakāre mañce paramaśiva-paryaka nilayām
bhajanti tv
āṃ dhanyāḥ katicana cidānanda-laharīm || 8 ||
mahīṃ mūlādhāre kamapi maipūre hutavaha
svadhiṣṭāne hdi maruta-mākāśa-mupari |
pi bhrūmadhye sakalamapi bhitvā kulapatha
āre padme sa harahasi patyā viharase || 9 ||
ñca sinñntī punarapi rasāmnāya-mahasa|
āpya svāṃ bhūmi bhujaganibha-madhyuṣṭa-valaya
ātmāna ktvā svapii kulakuṇḍe kuharii || 10 ||
caturbhi śrīkaṇṭhai śivayuvatibhi pañcabhipi
ābhi śambhornavabhirapi mūlapraktibhi |
sārdha tava śaraakoṇāḥ pariatāḥ || 11 ||
tvadīya saundarya tuhinagirikanye tulayitu
īndrāḥ kalpante kathamapi viriñci-prabhtaya |
ālokautsukyā-damaralalanā yānti manasā
prāpāmapi giriśa-sāyujya-padavīm || 12 ||
nara varṣīyāṃsa nayanavirasa narmasu jaa
āpāṅgāloke patita-manudhāvanti śataśa |
ṇībandhāḥ kucakalaśa-vistrista-sicayā
ṭāt truyatkāñyo vigalita-dukūlā yuvataya || 13 ||
kitau apañcāśad-dvisamadhika-pañcāśa-dudake
śe dvāṣaṣṭi-ścaturadhika-pañcāśa-danile |
divi dvi
a triṃśan manasi ca catuḥṣaṣṭiriti ye
ūkhā-steṣā-mapyupari tava pādāmbuja-yugam || 14 ||
śarajjyotsnā śuddhāṃ śaśiyuta-jaṭājūṭa-makuṭāṃ
āsa-trāṇa-sphaikaghuikā-pustaka-karām |
nna tvā natvā kathamiva satāṃ sannidadhate
ṣīra-drākṣā-madhurima-dhurīṇāḥ phaitaya || 15 ||
kavīndrāṇāṃ ceta kamalavana-bālātapa-ruci
bhajante ye santa
katicidaruṇāmeva bhavatīm |
ñci-preyasyā-staruatara-śrṛṅgara laharī-
īrābhi-rvāgbhi rvidadhati satāṃ rañjanamamī || 16 ||
savitrībhi-rvācāṃ caśi-mai śilā-bhaga rucibhi-
śinyadyābhi-stvāṃ saha janani sañcintayati ya |
sa kart
ā kāvyānāṃ bhavati mahatāṃ bhagirucibhi-
āgdevī-vadana-kamalāmoda madhurai || 17 ||
tanucchāyābhiste tarua-tarai-śrīsaraibhi-
sarvā-murvī-maruimani magnāṃ smarati ya |
bhavantyasya trasya-dvanahari
śyā vaśyāḥ kati kati na gīrvāṇa-gaikāḥ || 18 ||
mukha bindu ktvā kucayugamadha-stasya tadadho
ārdha dhyāyedyo haramahii te manmathakalām |
sa sadya
sakobha nayati vanitā ityatilaghu
īmapyāśu bhramayati ravīndu-stanayugām || 19 ||
kirantī-magebhya kiraa-nikurumbamtarasa
di tvā mādhatte himakaraśilā-mūrtimiva ya |
sa sarp
āṇāṃ darpa śamayati śakuntadhipa iva
ṣṭān dṛṣṭyā sukhayati sudhādhārasirayā || 20 ||
taillekhā-tanvīṃ tapana śaśi vaiśvānara mayīṃ
ṣṇṇāṃ aṇṇāmapyupari kamalānāṃ tava kalām |
āpadmātavyāṃ mdita-malamāyena manasā
ānta paśyanto dadhati paramāhlāda-laharīm || 21 ||
bhavāni tva dāse mayi vitara dṛṣṭi sakaruṇāṃ
iti stotu
vāñchan kathayati bhavāni tvamiti ya |
tadaiva tva
tasmai diśasi nijasāyujya-padavīṃ
mukunda-bramhendra sphu
a makua nīrājitapadām || 22 ||
tvayā htvā vāma vapu-raparitptena manasā
śarīrārdha śambho-raparamapi śake htamabhūt |
yadetat tvadr
ūpa sakalamaruṇābha trinayana
ābhyāmānamra kuila-śaśicūḍāla-makuam || 23 ||
jagatsūte dhātā hariravati rudra kapayate
tiraskurva-nnetat svamapi vapu-r
īśa-stirayati |
ā pūrva sarva tadida manughṇāti ca śiva-
āṅñā malambya kaacalitayo rbhrūlatikayo || 24 ||
trayāṇāṃ devānāṃ trigua-janitānāṃ tava śive
bhavet p
ūjā pūjā tava caraayo-ryā viracitā |
ā hi tvatpādodvahana-maipīṭhasya nikae
ā hyete-śaśvanmukulita karottasa-makuṭāḥ || 25 ||
viriñci pañcatva vrajati harirāpnoti virati
āśa kīnāśo bhajati dhanado yāti nidhanam |
ī māhendrī-vitatirapi samīlita-dṛśā
āsahāresmin viharati sati tvatpati rasau || 26 ||
japo jalpa śilpa sakalamapi mudrāviracanā
prādakiya-kramaa-maśanādyā huti-vidhi |
ṇāma saveśa sukhamakhila-mātmārpaa-dṛśā
ā paryāya-stava bhavatu yanme vilasitam || 27 ||
sudhāmapyāsvādya prati-bhaya-jaramtyu-hariṇīṃ
vipadyante vi
śve vidhi-śatamakhādyā diviada |
āla yat kvela kabalitavata kālakalanā
śambhostanmūla tava janani tāṭaka mahimā || 28 ||
kirīṭa vairiñca parihara pura kaiabhabhida
hore kohīre skalasi jahi jambhāri-makuam |
amreveteu prasabha-mupayātasya bhavana
āne tava parijanokti-rvijayate || 29 ||
evye nitye tvā mahamiti sadā bhāvayati ya |
āścarya tasya trinayana-samddhi tṛṇayato
āsavartāgni-rviracayati nīrājanavidhim || 30 ||
catu-aṣṭayā tantrai sakala matisandhāya bhuvana
sthitastattta-siddhi prasava paratantrai
paśupati |
ā dakhila-puruṣārthaika ghaanā-
te tantra kititala mavātītara-didam || 31 ||
śiva śakti kāma kiti-ratha ravi śītakiraa
smaro ha
sa śakra-stadanu ca parā-māra-haraya |
ī hllekhābhi-stisbhi-ravasāneu ghaitā
bhajante var
ṇāste tava janani nāmāvayavatām || 32 ||
smara yoni lakmīṃ tritaya-mida-mādau tava mano
āyaike nitye niravadhi-mahābhoga-rasikāḥ |
bhajanti tv
āṃ cintāmai-guanibaddhāka-valayāḥ
śivāgnau juhvanta surabhighta-dhārāhuti-śatai || 33 ||
śarīra tva śambho śaśi-mihira-vakoruha-yuga
ātmāna manye bhagavati navātmāna-managham |
śea śeṣītyaya-mubhaya-sādhāraatayā
sambandho vāṃ samarasa-parānanda-parayo || 34 ||
manastva vyoma tva marudasi marutsārathi-rasi
āpa-stva bhūmi-stvayi pariatāyāṃ na hi param |
tvameva sv
ātmāna parimayitu viśva vapuṣā
ānandākāra śivayuvati bhāvena bibhṛṣe || 35 ||
tavāṅñacakrastha tapana-śaśi koi-dyutidhara
śambhu vande parimilita-pārśva paracitā |
ārādhyan bhaktyā ravi śaśi śucīnā-maviaye
āloke loke nivasati hi bhāloka-bhuvane || 36 ||
viśuddhau te śuddhasphatika viśada vyoma-janaka
śiva seve devīmapi śivasamāna-vyavasitām |
kāntyā yāntyāḥ śaśikira-sārūpyasarae
ūtānta-rdhvāntā vilasati cakorīva jagatī || 37 ||
samunmīlat savitkamala-makarandaika-rasika
bhaje ha
sadvandva kimapi mahatāṃ mānasacaram |
ādatte doṣād gua-makhila-madbhya paya iva || 38 ||
tava svādhiṣṭhāne hutavaha-madhiṣṭhāya nirata
īḍe savarta janani mahatīṃ tāṃ ca samayām |
āloke lokān dahati mahasi krodha-kalite
ārdrā yā dṛṣṭi śiśira-mupacāra racayati || 39 ||
taitvanta śaktyā timira-paripanthi-sphuraayā
ā naratnābharaa-pariaddhendra-dhanuam |
śyāma megha kamapi maipūraika-śaraa
eve varanta-haramihira-tapta tribhuvanam || 40 ||
tavādhāre mūle saha samayayā lāsyaparayā
ātmāna manye navarasa-mahātāṇḍava-naam |
ābhyā metābhyā-mudaya-vidhi muddiśya dayayā
āthābhyāṃ jañe janaka jananīmat jagadidam || 41 ||
dvitīya bhāga saundarya laharī
gatai-rmāṇikyatva gaganamaibhi sāndraghaita
īṭa te haima himagirisute kītayati ya ||
sa n
īḍeyacchāyā-cchuraa-śakala candra-śakala
śaunāsīra kimiti na nibadhnāti dhiaṇām || 42 ||
dhunotu dhvānta na-stulita-dalitendīvara-vana
ślakṣṇa cikura nikurumba tava śive |
īya saurabhya sahaja-mupalabdhu sumanaso
vasantyasmin manye balamathana v
āṭī-viapinām || 43 ||
tanotu kema na-stava vadanasaundaryalaharī
īvāhasrota-sarairiva sīmantasarai|
ī- sindūra prabalakabarī-bhāra-timira
ṣāṃ bndai-rvandīktameva navīnārka keraam || 44 ||
arālai svābhāvyā-dalikalabha-saśrībhi ralakai
īta te vaktra parihasati pakeruharucim |
darasmere yasmin da
śanaruci kiñjalka-rucire
sugandhau m
ādyanti smaradahana caku-rmadhuliha || 45 ||
lalāṭa lāvaya dyuti vimala-mābhāti tava yat
īya tanmanye makuaghaita candraśakalam |
āsa-nyāsā dubhayamapi sambhūya ca mitha
ālepasyūti pariamati rākā-himakara || 46 ||
bhruvau bhugne kiñcidbhuvana-bhaya-bhagavyasanini
īye netrābhyāṃ madhukara-rucibhyāṃ dhtaguam |
dhanu rmanye savyetarakara g
hīta ratipate
ṣṭe muṣṭau ca sthagayate nigūḍhāntara-mume || 47 ||
aha sūte savya tava nayana-markātmakatayā
āmāṃ vāma te sjati rajanīnāyakatayā |
tīyā te dṛṣṭi-rdaradalita-hemāmbuja-ruci
ādhatte sandhyāṃ divasar-niśayo-rantaracarīm || 48 ||
viśālā kalyāṇī sphutaruci-rayodhyā kuvalayai
pādhārādhārā kimapi madhurā‌bhogavatikā |
ī dṛṣṭiste bahunagara-vistāra-vijayā
tattannāma-vyavaharaa-yogyāvijayate || 49 ||
kavīnāṃ sandarbha-stabaka-makarandaika-rasika
ṭāka-vyākepa-bhramarakalabhau karayugalam |
ñcntau dṛṣṭvā tava navarasāsvāda-taralau
ūyā-sasargā-dalikanayana kiñcidaruam || 50 ||
śive śagārārdrā taditarajane kutsanaparā
ṣā gagāyāṃ giriśacarite vismayavatī |
āhibhyo bhītā sarasiruha saubhāgya-jananī
īṣu smerā te mayi janani dṛṣṭi sakaruṇā || 51 ||
gate karṇābhyara garuta iva pakmāṇi dadhatī
āṃ bhettu-ścittapraśama-rasa-vidrāvaa phale |
ime netre gotr
ākarṇākṛṣṭa smaraśara-vilāsa kalayata|| 52 ||
vibhakta-traivarya vyatikarita-līlāñjanatayā
āti tvannetra tritaya mida-mīśānadayite |
sraṣṭu devān druhia hari-rudrānuparatān
satva vebhrat tama iti guṇānāṃ trayamiva || 53 ||
pavitrīkartu na paśupati-parādhīna-hdaye
āmitrai rnetrai-rarua-dhavala-śyāma rucibhi |
śoo gagā tapanatanayeti dhruvamum
āṇāṃ tīrthānā-mupanayasi sambheda-managham || 54 ||
nimeonmeṣābhyāṃ pralayamudaya yāti jagati
āhu santo dharaidhara-rājanyatanaye |
ṣājjāta jagadida-maśea pralayata
ātu śaṃṅke parihta-nimeṣā-stava dṛśa || 55 ||
tavāpare kare japanayana paiśunya cakitā
īyante toye niyata manimeṣāḥ śapharikāḥ |
ca śrī-rbaddhacchadapuakavāṭa kuvalaya
āti pratyūṣe niśi ca vighatayya praviśati|| 56 ||
dṛśā drāghīyasyā daradalita nīlotpala rucā
īyāṃsa dīna snapā kpayā māmapi śive |
āya dhanyo bhavati na ca te hāniriyatā
vane v
ā harmye vā samakara nipāto himakara || 57 ||
arāla te pālīyugala-magarājanyatanaye
na ke
ṣā-mādhatte kusumaśara kodaṇḍa-kutukam |
ścīno yatra śravaapatha-mullyya vilasan
āṅga vyāsago diśati śarasandhāna dhiaṇām || 58 ||
sphuradgaṇḍābhoga-pratiphalita tāṭṅka yugala
ścakra manye tava mukhamida manmatharatham |
āruhya druhya tyavaniratha markenducaraa
āvīro māra pramathapataye sajjitavate || 59 ||
sarasvatyāḥ sūktī-ramtalaharī kauśalaharīḥ
āḥ śarvāṇi śravaa-culukābhyā-maviralam |
āra-ślāghācalita-śirasa kuṇḍalagao
atkaraistārai prativacana-mācaṣṭa iva te || 60 ||
asau nāsāvaṃśa-stuhinagirivaṇśa-dhvajapai
īyo nedīya phalatu phala-masmākamucitam |
āḥ śiśirakara-niśvāsa-galita
ddhyā yattāsāṃ bahirapi ca muktāmaidhara || 61 ||
praktyā‌raktāyā-stava sudati dandacchadaruce
ye sadṛśya janayatu phala vidrumalatā |
na bimba
āmadhrārohu kathamiva vilajjeta kalayā || 62 ||
smitajyotsnājāla tava vadanacandrasya pibatāṃ
āṇā-māsī-datirasatayā cañcu-jaimā |
śītāṃśo-ramtalaharī māmlarucaya
ī svacchanda niśi niśi bhṛśa kāñji kadhiyā || 63 ||
aviśrānta patyurguagaa kathāmreanajapā
āpupacchāyā tava janani jihvā jayati sā |
āsīnāyāḥ sphaikadṛṣa-dacchacchavimayi
ā mūrti pariamati māṇikyavapuṣā || 64 ||
rae jitvā daityā napahta-śirastrai kavacibhi
ttai-ścaṇḍāṃśa-tripurahara-nirmālya-vimukhai |
śākhendropendrai śaśiviśada-karpūraśakalā
īyante mātastava vadanatāmbūla-kabalāḥ || 65 ||
vipañcyā gāyantī vividha-mapadāna paśupate-
ārabdhe vaktu calitaśirasā sādhuvacane |
āṃ vīṇāṃ vāṇīṃ niculayati colena nibhtam || 66 ||
karagrea spṛṣṭa tuhinagiriṇā vatsalatayā
śeno-dasta muhuradharapānākulatayā |
āhya śambhormukhamukuravnta girisute
kara brūma-stava cubukamopamyarahitam || 67 ||
bhujāśleṣānnitya puradamayitu kanakavatī
tava gr
īvā dhatte mukhakamalanāla-śriyamiyam |
śvetā kālā garu bahula-jambālamalinā
ṛṇālīlālitya vahati yadadho hāralatikā || 68 ||
gale rekhāstisro gati gamaka gītaika nipue
āha-vyānaddha-praguagua-sakhyā pratibhuva |
ājante nānāvidha-madhura-rāgākara-bhuvāṃ
āṇāṃ grāmāṇāṃ sthiti-niyama-sīmāna iva te || 69 ||
mṛṇālī-mdvīnāṃ tava bhujalatānāṃ catasṛṇāṃ
saundraya sarasijabhava stauti vadanai |
santrasyan prathama-mathanā dantakaripo
ṇāṃ śīrṣāṇāṃ sama-mabhayahastārpaa-dhiyā || 70 ||
nakhānā-mudyotai-rnavanalinarāga vihasatāṃ
āṇāṃ te kānti kathaya kathayāma kathamume |
ācidvā sāmya bhajatu kalayā hanta kamala
yadi kr
īḍallakmī-caraatala-lākṣārasa-caam || 71 ||
sama devi skanda dvipivadana pīta stanayuga
na kheda haratu satata prasnuta-mukham |
ālokyāśakākulita hdayo hāsajanaka
svakumbhau heramba
parimṛśati hastena jhaiti || 72 ||
amū te vakojā-vamtarasa-māṇikya kutupau
na sandehaspando nagapati pat
āke manasi na |
pibantau tau yasm
ā davidita vadhūsaga rasikau
ārāvadyāpi dviradavadana-krauñcdalanau || 73 ||
vahatyamba stmberama-danuja-kumbhapraktibhi
ārabdhāṃ muktāmaibhiramalāṃ hāralatikām |
ābhogo bimbādhara-rucibhi-ranta śabalitāṃ
āpa-vyāmiśrāṃ puradamayitu kīrtimiva te || 74 ||
tava stanya manye dharaidharakanye hdayata
pārāvāra parivahati sārasvatamiva |
āvatyā datta draviaśiśu-rāsvādya tava yat
īnāṃ prauhānā majani kamanīya kavayitā || 75 ||
harakrodha-jvālāvalibhi-ravalīḍhena vapuṣā
īre te nābhīsarasi ktasao manasija |
samuttasthau tasm
ā-dacalatanaye dhūmalatikā
āṃ jānīte tava janani romāvaliriti || 76 ||
yadetatkālindī-tanutara-taragākti śive
ṛśe madhye kiñcijjanani tava yadbhāti sudhiyām |
ā-danyonya kucakalaśayo-rantaragata
ūbhūta vyoma praviśadiva nābhi kuhariṇīm || 77 ||
sthiro gagā varta stanamukula-romāvali-latā
āvāla kuṇḍa kusumaśara tejo-hutabhuja |
īlāgāra kimapi tava nābhirgirisute
āra siddhe-rgiriśanayanānāṃ vijayate || 78 ||
nisarga-kṣīṇasya stanataa-bharea klamajuo
ūrte rnārītilaka śanakai-struyata iva |
te madhyasya truita tainī-tīra-taruṇā
āvasthā-sthemno bhavatu kuśala śailatanaye || 79 ||
kucau sadya svidya-ttaaghaita-kūrpāsabhidurau
antau-daurmūle kanakakalaśābhau kalayatā |
tava tr
ātu bhagādalamiti valagna tanubhuvā
ā naddhm devī trivali lavalīvallibhiriva || 80 ||
gurutva vistāra kitidharapati pārvati nijāt
ā-dācchidya tvayi haraa rūpea nidadhe |
ataste vist
īro gururayamaśeṣāṃ vasumatīṃ
āgbhāra sthagayati saghutva nayati ca || 81 ||
karīndrāṇāṃ śuṇḍān-kanakakadalī-kāṇḍapaalīṃ
ābhyāmūrubhyā-mubhayamapi nirjitya bhavati |
ttābhyāṃ patyu praatikahinābhyāṃ girisute
ñe jānubhyāṃ vibudha karikumbha dvayamasi || 82 ||
parājetu rudra dviguaśaragarbhau girisute
agau jaghe te viamaviśikho bāḍha-makta |
yadagre d
syante daśaśaraphalāḥ pādayugalī
āgracchanmāna sura mukua-śāṇaika-niśitāḥ || 83 ||
śrutīnāṃ mūrdhāno dadhati tava yau śekharatayā
āpyetau māta śerasi dayayā dehi caraau |
o pādya pātha paśupati jaṭājūṭa tainī
ākṣā-lakmī-rarua haricūḍāmai ruci || 84 ||
namo vāka brūmo nayana-ramaṇīyāya padayo
āsmai dvandvāya sphua-ruci rasālaktakavate |
ūyatyatyanta yadabhihananāya sphayate
śūnā-mīśāna pramadavana-kakelitarave || 85 ||
mṛṣā ktvā gotraskhalana-matha vailakyanamita
āṭe bhartāra caraakamale tāḍayati te |
ādanta śalya dahanakta munmūlitavatā
ākoikvāṇai kilikilita mīśāna ripuṇā || 86 ||
himānī hantavya himagirinivāsaika-caturau
śāyāṃ nidrāṇa niśi-caramabhāge ca viśadau |
lakmīpātra śriya-matishanto samayināṃ
tvatpādau janani jayata-ścitramiha kim || 87 ||
pada te kīrtīnāṃ prapadamapada devi vipadāṃ
nīta sadbhi kahina-kamahī-karpara-tulām |
vā bāhubhyā-mupayamanakāle purabhidā
ādāya nyasta dṛṣadi dayamānena manasā || 88 ||
nakhai-rnākastrīṇāṃ karakamala-sakoca-śaśibhi
ūṇāṃ divyānāṃ hasata iva te caṇḍi caraau |
āni svasthebhya kisalaya-karāgrea dadatāṃ
daridrebhyo bhadr
āṃ śriyamaniśa-mahnāya dadatau || 89 ||
dadāne dīnebhya śriyamaniśa-māśānusadṛśīṃ
saundarya prakara-makaranda vikirati |
āsmin mandāra-stabaka-subhage yātu carae
nimajjan majj
īva karaacaraa ṣṭcaraatām || 90 ||
padanyāsa-krīḍā paricaya-mivārabdhu-manasa
skhalantaste khela
bhavanakalahasā na jahati |
ṣāṃ śikṣāṃ subhagamai-mañjīra-raita-
ādācakṣāṇa caraakamala cārucarite || 91 ||
gatāste mañcatva druhia hari rudreśvara bhta
śiva svaccha-cchāyā-ghaita-kapaa-pracchadapaa |
īyānāṃ bhāsāṃ pratiphalana rāgāruatayā
śarīrī śṛṅgāro rasa iva dṛśāṃ dogdhi kutukam || 92 ||
arālā keśeu prakti saralā mandahasite
śirīṣābhā citte dṛṣadupalaśobhā kucatae |
ṛśa tanvī madhye pthu-rurasijāroha viaye
śambho-rjayati karuṇā kācidaruṇā || 93 ||
kalaka kastūrī rajanikara bimba jalamaya
ābhi karpūrai-rmarakatakaraṇḍa nibiitam |
atastvadbhogena pratidinamida
ūyo bhūyo nibiayati nūna tava kte || 94 ||
purārante-ranta puramasi tata-stvacaraayo
ā-maryādā taralakaraṇānā-masulabhā |
ā hyete nītāḥ śatamakhamukhāḥ siddhimatulāṃ
tava dv
āropānta sthitibhi-raimādyābhi-ramarāḥ || 95 ||
kalatra vaidhātra katikati bhajante na kavaya
śriyo devyāḥ ko vā na bhavati pati kairapi dhanai |
ādeva hitvā tava sati satīnā-macarame
ā-māsaga kuravaka-taro-rapyasulabha || 96 ||
girāmāhu-rdevīṃ druhiaghiṇī-māgamavido
patnīṃ padmāṃ harasahacarī-madritanayām |
īyā kāpi tva duradhigama-nissīma-mahimā
āmāyā viśva bhramayasi parabrahmamahii || 97 ||
kadā kāle māta kathaya kalitālaktakarasa
vidyārthī tava caraa-nirejanajalam |
tyā mūkānāmapi ca kavitā0kāraatayā
ā dhatte vāṇīmukhakamala-tāmbūla-rasatām || 98 ||
sarasvatyā lakmyā vidhi hari sapatno viharate
pativratya śithilapati ramyea vapuṣā |
jīvanneva kapita-paśupāśa-vyatikara
ānandābhikhya rasayati rasa tvadbhajanavān || 99 ||
pradīpa jvālābhi-rdivasakara-nīrājanavidhi
āsūte-ścandropala-jalalavai-raghyaracanā |
īyairambhobhi salila-nidhi-sauhityakaraa
īyābhi-rvāgbhi-stava janani vācāṃ stutiriyam || 100 ||
saundayalahari mukhyastotra savārtadāyakam |
āda sanklupta pahen muktau bhavennara ||
saundaryalahari stotra


This site is devoted to presenting the ancient Self-Realization path of the Tradition of the Himalayan masters in simple, understandable and beneficial ways, while not compromising quality or depth. The goal of our sadhana or practices is the highest Joy that comes from the Realization in direct experience of the center of consciousness, the Self, the Atman or Purusha, which is one and the same with the Absolute Reality. This Self-Realization comes through Yoga meditation of the Yoga Sutras, the contemplative insight of Advaita Vedanta, and the intense devotion of Samaya Sri Vidya Tantra, the three of which complement one another like fingers on a hand. We employ the classical approaches of Raja, Jnana, Karma, and Bhakti Yoga, as well as Hatha, Kriya, Kundalini, Laya, Mantra, Nada, Siddha, and Tantra Yoga. Meditation, contemplation, mantra and prayer finally converge into a unified force directed towards the final stage, piercing the pearl of wisdom called bindu, leading to the Absolute.

The worship of Devi in Srichakra is regarded as the highest form  of the Devi worship. Originally Lord Shiva gave 64 Chakras and their Mantras to the world, to attain various spiritual and material benefits. For his consort Devi he gave the Shreechakra and the highly coveted and the most powerful Shodashakshari mantra, which is the equivalent of all the other 64 put together.

Shiva along with Shakti is engaged in the eternal dissolution and recreation of the universe. The Bindu in the center of the Shreechakra is the symbolic representation of the cosmic spiritual union of Shiva and Shakti. Apart from that the Shreechakra also embodies countless number of deities and represents the whole of creation. Hence by worshipping the Devi in Shreechakra one is actually worshipping the highest ultimate force in the Tantrik form.

The Meru is the three dimensions of the Sri Chakra. If we returned to the two dimension Sri Chakra, and imagine that the bindu in its center is the peak of a mountain. The imagine that the mountain is built up in tiers, each tier being one of the circles of triangles or lotus petals, with the outermost square representing ground level. Now, imagine a vertical spine down the center of the mountain, then at each point that the spine and a tier intersect, there is a chakra. The peak represents Mount Meru, abode of the Gods.

The Basics of Sri Yantra:
Before starting the worship it is advisable to know about the way the Sri Yantra is constructed, what all it represents, about the 9 Avaranas, the deities, their gunas and significance, so that your worship is more meaningful. The following are the authentic details as given in various Tantra & Mantra scriptures.

Five downward pointing triangles representing Devi intersect with four upward pointing triangles representing Siva, forming 43 triangles including the central triangle..
From the five Shakti triangles comes creation and from the four Shiva triangles comes the dissolution. The union of five Shaktis and four Fires causes the chakra of creation to evolve.

Varahi’s four fires are the 12 (4 x 3) sun Kalas, the 12 Zodiac constellations. Kurukulla’s five triangles are the 15 (5 x 3) Kalas of the moon, 15 lunar Tithis.  These nine triangles also represent the nine stages of growth of the human child in the womb.

Surrounding the 43 triangles formed by the intersection of the nine triangles is the 16 petals circle. Surrounding the 16 petal circle is an 8 petal circle. After that the 3 lines and at the outermost part of the Sriyantra there are 3 lines called the Bhupura.  The 43 triangles constitute the six inner sections called Avaranas, the two circles of petals are two more avaranas and the Bhupura of 3 lines is the last Avarana.

These 9 Avaranas of the Sri Yantra have various presiding Devis. They are the Devi’s Parivar (retinue) of total 108. In the Srichakra pooja they are systematically worshipped one by one with their names and mantras. The presiding Deity of Srichakra, Devi, is Known as Lalita Tripura Sundari. The form of Devi Kamakshi of Kancheepuram is the closest resemblance of the Devi as described in the scriptures.

The Meru Chakra or Sri Chakra is a three-dimensional Shri Yantra, the embodiment of Sri Lakshmi (abundance) and Tripura Sundari (beauty).  It is the yantra of Sri Vidya, sacred knowledge of the Goddess. It can also be seen as the unification of Masculine Divine and Feminine Divine:  Shiva and Shakti, Lakshmi and Narayana, Purusha and Prakriti. It can be effectively used for correcting defects of the north (direction of health, fortune, career, and money) and northeast (energetically the most sacred and important area of any building). When placed in the northeast, it improves the spatial energies of the whole house. Defects in the northeast and north are the most serious, so the Meru Chakra is a valuable corrective tool of Vedic yantra technology. Even if your home or office has been built according to Vastu, the Gold Meru Chakra is a great energetic blessing that enhances the flow of vibrant energy of health and abundance.
Srichakra:  Role Of Srichakra In Devi Worship 
(Excerpted from ‘Saundarya Lahiri of Sri Sankaracharya’ )

In Hindu devotional practice, three kinds of external symbols are used for worship of the Supreme Being, who is actually formless and nameless. The most external is that of divine images cast in human form, with paraphernalia symbolising supra-human divinity.

The most subtle is that of the mantras or divine names with certain sounds. A mantra is divine power clothed in sound. Between these two come the yantras or chakras , representing the deity in geometrical diagrams. Worshippers of Shakti consider the Srichakra the holiest and most significant of divine symbols.

The Srichakra is conceived as Shiva-Shakti in the macrocosmic as well as microcosmic aspects, as the cosmos and as the individual. The diagram consists of a series of nine triangles superimposed around a small central circle, Bindu, forming 43 konas or triangular projections. In the centre is the Bindu , representing Shiva-Shakti in union in the causal state from which all other parts of the diagram representing the cosmos are evolved.

The Bindu is in a central triangle with apex downwards – alternatively, it is below the base of the central triangle with its apex upwards, depending on whether it is a samhara-chakra or srishti-chakra. Enclosing it and super- imposed on one another are the four Shiva triangles with apex upwards and five Shakti triangles inclusive of the central one, with apex downwards. These are surrounded by two circles of lotuses, one with eight petals and the other, with 16. Outside these, there are three circles around and a rectangular enclosure of three lines for the whole figure, with four entrances on the four sides.

In the Bindu, Shakti i s represented as Maha-Tripura-Sundari, the great mother. The Bindu contains the potentiality of the universe within itself. It is spoken of as three to indicate the three stresses when the unified non-dual Shiva- Shakti becomes separated into the two aspects: prakasa, the aham or I-consciousness, and vimarsa, the idam or this-consciousness.

These three stresses are technically called Nada, Kala and Bindu. Bindu is the potential universe ready to separate into various categories. All these three stresses, mudras of Shiva-Shakti together, is represented by the central red line with an imaginary line across it to represent the polarity in that supreme category as Shiva-Shakti.

The Bindu , the creative Shakti , is the Mahatripurasundari , the ‘pride of Shiva’ or Shiva as prakasa – luminosity or consciousness – who realises Himself through Her, the vimarsa shakti.

The rest of the Srichakra represents the whole of the cosmos, Brahmananda , as evolved from the Bindu, standing for Tripurasundari or creative cosmic power… Just as Tripurasundari the Divine Mother is Shakti , depicted as the consort of Shiva, the Supreme Being, the Kundalini is the segment of that cosmic power as the Shakti of the Jiva, which is an amsa or particle of the Supreme Shiva embodied as the individual (microcosm). It is this Shakti that evolves in the individual the counterparts of all the 25 cosmic categories…

As the Supreme Will, Shakti is described as Consciousness-Bliss. The Saundarya Lahiri describes the universe in its subtle and gross forms as the trans- formation of Shakti. Though undergoing actual trans- formation into all these elements in their gross macro-cosmic aspect as the universe and in their subtle micro-cosmic aspect as the six chakras in the body, Shakti is not lost in the effects – she retains her identity as the Supreme Will or Consciousness-Bliss.
Meru and Sri Chakra
There are nine chakras in the Sri Chakra. These nine Chakras have each a distinct form and a distinct name. Proceeding from the outermost to the inner, let us describe the Chakras.

The outermost is a square Chaturasra of three lines, the lines one inside the other, opening out in the middle of each side as four portals. This is known as the Bhupura, the earth-stretch. This is the ground-plane if Sri Chakra is considered as graded elevations, Meru.

Through the portals in the Bhupura one enters the precincts. Immediately inside the square are three concentric circles which serve as three girdles trivalaya.

The space between the sides of the square and the circumference of the outermost circle, between Bhupura and Trivalya, is known as Trailokya Mohana Chakra, the Enchanter of the Triple World.

Inside the 3 girdles are:
1. Sarvasa Paripuraka Chakra – 16 Petals – Fulfiller of all Desires;
2. Sarva Sanksobhana Chakra – 8 Petals – Agitator of all;
3. Sarva Saubhagyadayaka Chakra – 14 Triangles [Chaturdasa Kona] – Giver of all Auspiciousness;
4. Sarvartha Sadhaka Chakra – 10 Triangles [Outer Dasara] – Accomplisher of all Purposes;
5. Sarva Raksakara Chakra – 10 Triangles [Inner Dasara] – Giver of all Protection;
6. Sarva Rogahara Chakra – 8 Triangles [Ashta Kona] – Remover of all Diseases;
7. Sarva Siddhiprada Chakra – Inverted Primary Triangle – Giver of all accomplishments and
8. Sarvanandamaya Chakra – Bindu – Full of all Bliss.
Sri Chakra Mahameru 5.5 ft height at Om Sri Skandasramam, Chennai
In Hindu mythology Goddess Shakti is personified as the Sri Chakra Poorna Maha Meru.
At Chennai Om Sri Skandasramam, the four deities face the 4 cardinal directions and
in front of them, at the centre, is installed the Sri Chakra Poorna Maha Meru in
Panchaloka and is 5 ½ feet in height. It is believed that all the devathas have emerged
from the Meru and that Goddess Shakti herself resides in the form of Shrividya at
the Bindu (top of the Meru). This gopuram represents the Tamilnadu type of architecture.
All the gopurams are installed according to the Veda Sastra.

2D Srichakra Yantra

1st Avarana the outer square with three lines and 4 gates is brown. The outer line is white (though the colour of the 10 deities here is like molten gold), the middle line is orange red like the rising sun and the inner line is yellow like the colour of butter.
2nd Avarana the 16 petal lotus is pink like lotus flower.
3rd Avarana the 8 petal lotus is red – the colour of Bandhuka flowers.
4th Avarana the 14 cornered triangle is colour green like the colour of glow worms.
5th Avarana the outer 10 corners triangle is red like Japakusuma flowers.
6th Avarana the inner 10 corners triangle is colour blue (though the deities here have the lusture of 1000 rising suns).
7th Avarana the 8 corners triangle is colour red like Dadini flowers.
8.The innermosst triangle is white.
9.The Bindu the central point is red like Sindoor.

Tripurasundari Maha Mantra:  “Om Aim Klim Sauh”
SriChakra can be kept in a house as a holy article, without any worship in the same way one would keep a picture of a Deity or Mother Mary. (Mother worship is in vogue amongst the Christians as well. The whole Christian world looks upon Virgin Mary as the Mother of God-Lord Christ. As such some denominations of Christians worship Kanya Kumari, since they believe Kanya-Kumari to be the Virgin Mary )

It could be worshiped once a year, periodically, or on special occasions like Navaratri or daily or when ever one likes.

Sunday in conjunction with Pusya Star, one’s own Guru’s birthday, the day of one’s own birthday, Astami (the 8th day of the bright half or\f the moon), or the 14th day of the bright half of the lunar month. Friday in conjunction  with full moon day is very special.

Sri Chakra can be drawn on paper with pen and ink, or on the floor or plank, bark, or coloured flour to turmeric, kumkum, ashes of yajna and consigned to the river or sea, after the puja is done.

SriChakra can be drawn on gold, silver, copper leaf or plate. One drawn on a plate made of five metals are considered very powerful. The metals are gold, silver, copper, brass, and tin.

SriChakra can be used to meditate on its own or with other deities.

SriChakra drawn on a plate, foil or disc or gold, silver, copper or any other material can be worn on a person as talisman.

Sri Chakra is to be always kept flat to the ground and not upright or slanting, except when used as a talisman or as an ear-ring or a ring. It should never be used as a wall hanging. There a lots of commercial houses selling the SriChakra as wall hangings, do not buy them.

SriChakra is the most calm, harmless, genteel and non aggressive of all the yantras. In fact a SriChakra is helpful where there are fierce elements disturbing the peace or creating bad effects, in order to reduce the effect.

One should approach the Divine Mother without any reservations. One need not express one’s want, difficulties, complaints, problems to her for she knows your needs better and will give you what you need and at the same time she will also protect you.

Om ! Gods ! With ears let us hear what is good;
Adorable ones ! With eyes let us see what is good.
With steady limbs, with bodies, praising,
Let us enjoy the life allotted by the gods.
May Indra, of wide renown, grant us well-being;
May Pusan, and all-gods, grant us well-being.
May Tarksya, of unhampered movement, grant us well-being.
May Brihaspati grant us well-being.
Om ! Peace ! Peace ! Peace !

1. The holy Teacher is the Power (Para-Sakti) that is the cause of all.
2. Of that Power the body with its nine orifices is the form.
3. It is the holy Wheel in the guise of the nine wheels.
4. The Power of the Boar is paternal: Kurukulla, the deity of sacrifice, is maternal.
5. The (four) human Ends are the oceans (purusharthas - dharma, artha, kama and moksha).
6- 7. The body with the seven constituents (Chile, blood, flesh, fat, bone, marrow and semen) like the skin and the hair is the island of the nine gems.
8. Resolutions are the wish-granting trees; energy (of the mind) is the garden of the trees of plenty.
9. The six seasons are the tastes, namely sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, astringent and saltish, which are apprehended by the tongue.
10. Knowledge is the material for worship; the object of knowledge is the oblation; the knower is the sacrificer. The meditation on the identity of the three, knowledge, its object, and the knower, is the worship rendered to the holy Wheel.
11. Destiny and sentiments like love are (the miraculous attainments like) atomicity, etc. Lust, anger, greed, delusion, elation, envy, merit, demerit – these constitute the eight powers of Brahma, etc. (Brahma, Maheshvari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Raudri, Charmamunda and Kalasamkarsini).
12. The nine abodes (muladhara etc.,) are the powers of the mystic gestures.
13. The earth, water, fire, air, ether, ear, skin, eye, tongue, nose, speech, feet, hands, the organs of evacuation and generation and the modification of mind are the sixteen powers such as the pull of lust, etc.
14. Speech, grasp, motion, evacuation, generation, and the attitudes of rejection, acceptance and apathy are the eight (entities) such as the flower of love, etc.
15. Alambusa, kuhu, visvodara, varana, hastijihva, yasovati, payasvini, gandhari, pusa, sankhini, sarasvati, ida, pingala and susumna – these fourteen arteries are the fourteen powers such as the all-exciting, etc.
16. The five vital breaths and the five minor breaths are the ten divinities of the outer spokes, (styled) Sarvasiddhiprada, etc.
17. The digestive fire becomes fivefold through distinctions based on its association with this pre-eminent breath. (They are) what ejects, what cooks, what dries, what burns and what inundates.
18. Owing to the prominence of the minor breath, these (fires) in the human body come to be styled as the corroder, the ejector, the agitator, the yawner and the deluder. They promote the digestion of the fivefold food: eaten, chewed, sucked, licked and imbibed.
19. The ten aspects of Fire are the ten divinities of the inner spokes, Sarvajna, etc.
20. The qualities of cold, heat, pleasure, pain, desire, sattva, rajas and tamas are the eight powers, vasini, etc.
21. The five, rudimentary sound, etc., are the flowery shafts.
22. Mind is the bow made of sugarcane.
23. Attachment is the cord (that binds).
24. Aversion is the hook.
25. The unmanifest, the Great, and the principle of Egoism are the divinities of the inner triangle: Kameshvari, Vajreshvari and Bhagamalini.
26. Absolute awareness, verily, is Kameshvara.
27. The supreme divinity, Lalita, is one’s own blissful Self.
28. Of all this the distinctive apprehension is the red glow.
29. Perfection (ensues from) exclusive concentration of the mind.
30. In the performance of meditation consist (various acts of) respectful service.
31. The act of oblation is the merger in the Self of distinctions like I, Thou, Existence, non-Existence, the sense of duty and its negation, and the obligation worship.
32. Assuagement is the thought of identity of (all) objects of imagination.
33. The view of time’s transformation into the fifteen days (of the half lunar month) points to the fifteen eternal (divinities).
34. Thus meditating for three instants, or two, or even for a single instant, one becomes liberated while living; one is styled the Siva-Yogin.
35. Meditations on the inner wheel have been discussed (here) following the tenets of Saktaism.
36. Whoso knows thus is a student of the Atharvasiras.

Om ! Gods ! With ears let us hear what is good;
Adorable ones ! With eyes let us see what is good.
With steady limbs, with bodies, praising,
Let us enjoy the life allotted by the gods.
May Indra, of wide renown, grant us well-being;
May Pusan, and all-gods, grant us well-being.
May Tarksya, of unhampered movement, grant us well-being.
May Brihaspati grant us well-being.
Om ! Peace ! Peace ! Peace !

Here ends the Bhavanopanishad, included in the Atharva-Veda.


The Great Goddess Lalita And The Sri Chakra
Subhash Kak, Swarajya.

The deity of the Sri Chakra is known to us from the Brahmaṇḍa Puraṇa as Lalita Tripurasundari, the playful transcendent beauty of the three cities.
The Sri Chakra is an iconic representation of the deepest intuitions of the Vedas. It represents both the recursive structure of reality and also expresses the fact that Nature and Consciousness are inter-penetrating .
The great Goddess Lalita, also known as Tripurasundari, Maharajni and Rajarajesvari amongst other names, is the presiding deity of the most esoteric yogic practices associated with the Sri Chakra (also called Sri Yantra) that are collectively called Sri Vidya.
According to the Vedic view, reality, which is unitary at the transcendental level, is projected into experience that is characterized by duality and paradox. We thus have duality associated with body and consciousness, being and becoming, greed and altruism, fate and freedom. The gods bridge such duality in the field of imagination and also collectively in society (Kak, 2002): Vishnu is the deity of Moral Law (DHARMA), whereas Shiva is Universal Consciousness. Conversely, the projection into processes of time and change is through the agency of the Goddess. Consciousness (Purusha) and nature (Prakrti) are opposite sides of the same coin.
The mystery of reality may be seen through the perspectives of language (because at its deepest level it embodies structures of consciousness) and logic (Nyaya), physical categories (Vaiseshika), creation at the personal or the psychological level (Sankhya), synthesis of experience ( Yoga), analysis of tradition (Mimamsa), and cosmology (Vedanta). These are the six darshanas of Indian philosophy. More particularly, sages have argued that the yogic journey into the deepest point of our being, a practice that is popularly called ‘Tantra’, is the quickest way to understanding.
As our ordinary conception of who we are is determined by name and form (Namarupa), this journey requires challenging our most basic beliefs related to our personal and social selves. One needs to travel to the deepest layers of our being wherein spring our desires, some of which are primal and others that are shaped by culture and experience. Since name and form belong to the realm of time and change, this path is that of the Goddess. The path of the Goddess is quick, but it is filled with danger since it involves deconstructing one’s self and then arriving at a new synthesis. This path has been popular with warriors, intellectuals and aesthetes and its practitioners include India’s greatest philosophers.
We explore first the question of the antiquity of the Sri Chakra by showing that it figures in a very early text, the Svetashvatara Upanishad (SU). The deity of the Sri Chakra is known to us from the Brahmaṇḍa Puraṇa as Lalita Tripurasundari, the playful transcendent beauty of the three cities. The meaning of the Chakra and its nine circuits will be explained.
Svetashvatara’s Yantra
The sage Svetashvatara, who belonged to the late Vedic period, asks in his Upanishad whether time (Kala) or nature (Svabhava), or necessity (Niyati) or chance (Yadṛccha), or Puruṣha is the primary cause of this reality. He answers in a riddle that goes:
tamekanemi trivṛtaṃ ṣoḍaSantaṃ Satardharaṃ viṃSatipratyarabhiḥ aṣṭakaiḥ ṣaḍbhirviSvarupaikapaSaṃ trimargabhedaṃ dvinimittaikamoham .1.4
Who (like a wheel) has one felly with three tires, sixteen ends, fifty spokes, twenty counter-spokes, six sets of eight, one universal rope, with three paths and illusion arising from two views. SU 1.4
This looks like the description of a Yantra, but we don’t have enough information on how to proceed to draw it. An interpretation of these numbers as different categories of Sankhya was provided by Sankara (788-820) although he did not specifically address its graphical design.
We argue that this describes the Sri Chakra. This might appear surprising at first because the Svetashvatara Upanishad extols Rudra-Shiva and the Sri Chakra is associated with the Goddess. But since Shiva does reside at the innermost point (Bindu) of the Chakra along with the Goddess, it is not inconsistent with the focus of the Svetashvatara Upanishad. Furthermore, SU 4.9 proclaims: mayaṃ tu prakṛti vidyanmayinaṃ tu maheSvaram, consider Nature to be magical (Maya) and the Great Lord (Mahesvara) to be the one who has cast the spell (Mayin). The Goddess is another name by which Nature is known, therefore the mystery of the Lord in the launching of the Universe can only be known through the Goddess. The identification of the Sri Chakra in SU goes against the scholarly view that the Sri Chakra is a post-major-Upanishadic innovation, and, if accepted, this calls for a revision of the history of the development of Tantra.
The Bindu or dot in the innermost triangle of the Sri Chakra represents the potential of the non-dual Shiva-Shakti. When this potential separates into PrakaSa (the Aham or I-consciousness, Shiva) and Vimarsa (the idam or this-consciousness, Shakti) it is embodied into Nada, Kala and Bindu. Nada is the primal, unexpressed sound (interpreted by human ear as Oṃkara) and Kala is the “Kama Kala,” the desire to create, which the Vedas tell us is the desire “May I be many” (Chandogya Upanishad. Bindu, as the potential universe ready to separate into various categories is Mahatripurasundari. Shiva as Prakasa (luminosity or consciousness) has realized himself as “I am”, through her, the Vimarsa Shakti (nature as the reflector).
It must be stated that within the Yogic tradition, it has always been believed that Tantra is a part of the Vedas itself. In the Devi Sukta (Rigveda 10.125), the Goddess describes herself as supreme. In the Sri Sukta of the Ṛigvedic hymns (appendices), the goddess Sri is associated with prosperity, wealth, and fortune, and she is spoken of as deriving joy from trumpeting elephants. The Sri Sukta, addressed to Jatavedas of Fire, was invoked at the fire ritual. In Kauṭilya’s Arthashastra (14.117.1) there is reference to the goddess being invoked for the protection of a fort. In the Bṛhadaraṇyaka Upanishad 7.4 there is a reference to the goddess Vac.
The Vedic triads, together with the dyadic male and female components, enlarge through expansion (Prapancha) so the universe is a projection (Vimarsa) of the Absolute’s self-illumination (Prakasa).
The supreme deity in the form of Shakti (Parashakti), Sri as the great goddess (Mahadevi) is one of the aspects of Lalita Tripurasundari.  Lalita Tripurasundari has three manifestations: Sthula, or descriptive as image; Sukṣma, or subtle as mantra; and para, or transcendent as Yantra or Chakra. Lalita Tripurasundari is also called Rajarajeshwari or just Sridevi. Those who see the three representations as interrelated are called the followers of the Kaula tradition, as has been the case with the Kashmiris.
In the South, the Tirumantiram (Srimantra in Sanskrit) of the seventh century siddha Tirumular knows Srividya. In the Lalitasahasranama, Lalita is described in terms similar to those of Durga. Lalita is worshiped as the Srividya mantra and as the Sri Yantra.
The Srividya mantra is known in three forms: kadi (starting with ka), hadi (starting with ha), and sadi associated with Sri Manmatha, Lopamudra, and Durvasa respectively. The mantra is divided into three parts, which represent three sections (kuṭa or khaṇḍa) of the image of the Goddess: Vagbhavakuṭa, Kamarajakuṭa, and Shaktikuṭa.
The kadividya of Sri Manmatha: ka e i la hrim (vagbhavakuṭa) ha sa ka ha la hrim (kamarajakuṭa) sa ka la hrim (Shaktikuṭa).
The hadividya of Lopamudra: ha sa ka la hrim (vagbhavakuṭa) ha sa ja ha la hrim (kamarajakuṭa) sa ka la hrim (Shaktikuṭa)
The sadividya of Durvasa: sa e i la hrim (vagbhavakuṭa) sa ha ka ha la hrim (kamarajakuṭa) sa ka la hrim (Shaktikuṭa)
The 18th century scholar Bhaskaraya maintained that the Srividya mantra is meant in Rigveda 5.47.4 where it is said: chatvara iṃ bibharti kṣhemayantaḥ, “that with four iṃs confers benefit”. The kadi mantra (panchadaSakṣari) has four long i vowels. According to some, the 16-syllable mantra (ṣoḍaSakṣari) is obtained by adding the seed-syllable (bijakṣara) Sriṃ to the 15-syllable mantra.
The Sri Vidya mantra is viewed as 37 syllables, representing the 36 tattvas of reality of Saivism and the 37th transcendent Parashiva state. These are divided into 11 for the Vagbhavakuṭa, 15 for the Kamarajakuṭa, and 11 for the Shaktikuṭa.

The Sri Chakra and Lalita Tripurasundari
The three cities in the name of Lalita Tripurasundari are that of the body, the mind, and the spirit, or that of will (Iccha), knowledge (Jnana) and action (Kriya). They may also be seen as the knower, the means of knowledge, and the object of knowledge; the three gunas of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas; Agni (fire), Surya (sun) and Chandra (moon); Sṛṣṭi (creation), Sthiti (preservation) and Laya (dissolution); intellect, feelings, and sensation; subject (mata), instrument (mana), and object (meya) of all things; waking (jagrat), dreaming (svapna) and dreamless sleep (suṣupti) states; as Atma (individual self), Antaratma (inner being) and Paramatma (supreme self) and also as past, present and future.
Her five triangles represent the Pancha bhutas (five elements). She holds five flowery arrows, noose, goad and bow. The noose is attachment, the goad is revulsion, the bow is the mind and the flowery arrows are the five sense objects. Their union is harmony or samarasa.
Sankara (788-820) spoke of the Sri Chakra in the Saundaryalahari (SL) (Subramaniam, 1977). In SL11, the Sri Chakra is described in terms of its four Srikaṇṭha (upward pointing) and five Shivayuvati (downward pointing) triangles, which create its 43 triangles. If we look Sri Chakra’s structure as consisting of three basic triangles, then within each triangle are lower hierarchical levels of two other triangles, of alternating polarity. The 42 outer triangles are arranged in four circles around the middle triangle, with counts of 8, 10, 10, and 14 in the four arrays. The Sri Chakra is also associated with the Chakras of the yogi’s body. According to SL 14:
Fifty-six for earth (Muladhara); for water fifty-two (maṇi-puraka), sixty-two for fire (Svadhiṣṭhana); for air fifty-four (Anahata), seventy -two for ether (Visuddhi); for mind sixty-four (Ajna Chakra) are the rays; even beyond these are your twin feet.
The six Chakras are classified in granthis (knots) of two. The lowest two chakras correspond to 108 rays, the middle two to 116, and highest two to 136 rays. I have argued elsewhere that this provides an explanation for the layout of the great Shiva temple at Prambanan in Indonesia (Kak, 2010)
The Sri Chakra embodies the tripartite division of the cosmos into earth, atmosphere, and the sun, which is mirrored in the individual by the body, the breath, and the inner lamp of consciousness; it also represents the three parts of the body: neck to head, neck to navel, and navel to the bottom of the trunk. It is within the wheel of time (kalaChakra), and it is both the human body (microcosm) and the universe (macrocosm). Its middle 43 triangles are surrounded by a circle of eight petals that, in turn, is surrounded by a 16-petalled circle. At the outermost are three lines, which are called the bhupura. They are also categorised into nine circuits or Avaraṇas, where the bhupura is the outermost avaraṇa. These nine avaraṇas have 108 presiding Devis. In the Sri Chakra puja they are systematically worshipped one by one with their names and mantras. The nine circuits symbolically indicate the successive phases in the process of becoming.
The nine chakras are compared in the Tripura Upanishad to the nine yogas, namely the eight familiar ones of Patanjali and the additional one of sahaja.
The Sri Chakra
Lalita Tripurasundari’s three Shaktis, which are shown in the three corners of the inner triangle, are Bhagamalini, Vajresi, and Kamesvari, who are associated with Brahma, Viṣṇu, and Rudra. The central bindu is where the Goddess is united with Shiva, the Universal Consciousness.
Chakra puja or Yantra puja is the worship of the deity. Devi, the cosmic female force, is the first step of creation. The counterpoint male principle has three emanations: Rudra from the left, Brahma from the middle, and Viṣṇu from the right. At the centre of the Sri Yantra is Kamakala, which has three bindus. One is red, one is white and one is mixed. The red bindu is Kurukulla, the female form; the white bindu is Varahi the male form; and the mixed bindu is the union of Shiva and Shakti

Looking at the Sri Chakra from outside in within the circular part of the Yantra, we thus have one felly with three tires, 16 ends of the petals in the outer circle, and a total of 50 (eight petals and 42 triangles outside of the central one) “spokes”, with 20 triangles in the middle two circuits that may be termed “counter-spokes”, a total of six circuits of petals and triangles have either eight or more than eight members, the universal rope is the Bhupura, the three paths are the paths ruled by Tamas, Rajas, and Sattva embodied by the three goddesses in the innermost triangle.
The Sri Chakra maps the inner sky as one goes from outside to inside; it is also located in the body in terms of the six Chakras. The count of 50 of the Sri Chakra is mapped to 50 petals of the Chakras as one goes from the base (muladhara) to the ajna Chakra. The specific number of lotuses is 4, 6, 10, 12, 16, and 2. The Sahasrara Chakra’s 1,000 petals parallel the infinity associated with the innermost triangle of the Sri Chakra.
Inside the square are three concentric circles, girdles (mekhala . The space between the square and three girdles is the Trailokyamohana Chakra, or the Chakra that enchants the three worlds; at this stage the adept sees himself as his social self completely immersed in the magic of life.
Next are two concentric rings of 16 and eight lotus petals respectively. The first of these is Sarva Saparipuraka Chakra, which is the Chakra that fulfils all desires; the second is the Sarvasankṣobhaṇa Chakra, indicating dissolution of apartness and duality.
The fourth Chakra, consisting of the fourteen triangles forming the outer rim of the complex interlocking of triangles, is the Sarvasaubhagyadayaka, giver of good fortune, which leads one to spiritual insight and success.
The next two Chakras are each constructed of ten triangles. Called Sarvarthasadhaka, making all means effective, and Sarvarakṣakara, protecting the unifying thread in all experience, they indicate stages when inner realisation begins to strengthen. The seventh Chakra, consisting of eight triangles, is the Sarvarogahara, removing all attachment to duality, at which the sadhaka is near deep transformation.
An inverted triangle is the eighth Chakra of Sarvasiddhaprada , that provides all powers and validation. The last Chakra, the bindu, is Sarvaanandamaya, full of bliss. It is the heart of one’s self in which one witnesses the union of one’s own nature and spirit, Shakti and Shiva.
The Sri Yantra and its worship encompass the deepest secrets of Vedic knowledge. Not only does it represent the inner cosmos, which has the framework of infinity and recursion across scale and time and a mirroring of the outer and the inner, the ritual associated with it is the heart of yajna.
The Chakra is a representation of Devi in many forms: Lalita, Katyayani, Kameshwari, Kamakṣi, Durga, Caṇḍi, Kali, Amba, and so on, that is reality (Sat), mind (Chit) and bliss (Ananda). As Mahavidyas, Devi has the forms Kali, Tara, Tripurasundari, Bhuvaneshwari, Chinnamasta, Bhairavi, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, Matangi, and Kamala (Lakshmi).
 The Sri Yantra ritual infuses the yantra with mantra that represents the union of space and sound. Its closed, concentric circuits (maṇḍalas) correspond to the nine planes of consciousness of the sadhaka. Each plane is a stage on the ascent of one’s being toward the inner self.
The vowels and consonants of Sanskrit are inscribed in the vertices of the Sri Yantra (Abhinavagupta, 2005). In each of the nine circuits (Avaraṇas) specific deities are invoked. The deities are like veils concealing the deeper essence. After the sadhaka has invoked all the devatas in the prescribed manner, he obtains an insight in which all the deities of the plane are fused to become the presiding deity of the circuit.
The Nine Avaranas
The Bhupura is the first (outermost) avaraṇa of the Sri Chakra. These lines have 10, 8, and 10 devis respectively. They include the eight Matrika Shaktis, which are the psychological forces that spring out of ego. The second Avaraṇa has 16 petals in which reside 16 devis that rule over different aspects of physical well being. The third Avaraṇa is the eight petal circle with eight devis who represent various actions as well as non-action. The first three Avaranas represent sṛṣṭi, or extension of creation

The fourth avaraṇa is the outer set of 14 blue triangles, which represent the 14 worlds and the 14 main nadis in the human body; the fifth avaraṇa consists of 10 red triangles; the sixth has the inner 10 red triangles; these three avaraṇas represent sthiti, or preservation. The seventh is the inner eight green triangles; the eighth is the inner triangle. The three corners of this triangle are: Kameshwari, the Rudra Shakti or Parvati; Vajresi is the Vishnu Shakti, Laksmi; and Bhagamalini is the Brahma Shakti, or Sarasvati . The ninth avarana is the bindu, which is the cosmic union of Shiva and Shakti. The deity, Maha Tripurasundari, is the personification of Para Brahman. These three avaraṇas represent samhara, or absorption.
Do the nine sheaths stand up to scientific scrutiny? Modern neuroscience has not yet reached a level where the sheaths covering the innermost sense of self can be examined in the laboratory (Kak, 2004). But it does speak of centers that mediate different aspects of selfhood. The nine sheaths, in the Sri Chakra, are a consequence of the interplay between the realities of various kinds of triads that were mentioned before. To that extent, the nine sheaths are a reasonable way of representing the inner space of our being which is validated by the experience of the sages.
The Devi Mahatmya presents an account of what Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati do to bring about the transformation of Prakṛti from Tamas to Rajas, from Rajas to Sattva and from Sattva to Supreme Vijaya, which is mastery in the absolute. The Navaratri is a form of Sri Chakra puja where the nine nights represent the nine avaraṇas. The first three days are a worship of Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati; on the subsequent days, their exploits are celebrated. The completion of the sadhana is the marriage of Shiva and Parvati. The process is like overcoming the demonic materiality of one’s own self that is represented elsewhere by Ravana. This victory is celebrated on the tenth day (Vijayadashami) as that of Durga over Mahishasura.
In Kashmir, the goddess Sarika Devi subsumes in herself all the nine avaranas, which is why she is shown with nine sets of arms.
We have seen much overlap between the numbers described in the Svetashvatara Upanishad and those of the Sri Yantra. In our opinion the case for the two yantras being the same is compelling. The conception of the Goddess as the Supreme power out of which all the Gods emerged, encountered in the Durga Saptasati, existed at the time of the Svetashvatara Upanishad for it is also proclaimed in the Devi Sukta of the Rigveda (10.125). Furthermore, we have evidence of yantric structures in India that go back to about 2000 BC (Kak, 2005) as well as representations of the Goddess killing the buffalo demon from the Harappan period, so we are speaking here of a very ancient tradition.
The Sri Chakra is an iconic representation of the deepest intuitions of the Vedas. It represents both the recursive structure of reality and also expresses the fact that Nature and Consciousness are interpenetrating (Kak, 2007). It is relatively easy for the conditioned mind to question names and forms (Namarupa) as compared to turn the gaze of one’s inner mind on one’s consciousness. The Sri Chakra looks at reality through the lens of beauty and felt experience. By helping one penetrate the various coverings of one’s mind, it takes the seeker to Shiva, the fixed point of one’s self.
Abhinavagupta, 2005. ParatriSika Vivaraṇa. Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi. S. Kak, 2002. The Gods Within. Munshiram Manoharlal, New Delhi.
S. Kak, 2004. The Architecture of Knowledge. CRC/Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi.
S. Kak, 2005. Early Indian architecture and art. Migration and Diffusion – An International Journal, vol. 6, Number 23, pp. 6-27.
S. Kak, 2007. The Prajna Sutras: Aphorisms of Intuition. DK Publishers, New Delhi. S. Kak, 2010. Space and order in Prambanan. OSU.
V.K. Subramaniam, 1977. Saundaryalahari. Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi.According to the Vedic view, reality, which is unitary at the transcendental level, is projected into experience that is characterized by duality and paradox.
Top of Form

He who is Brahman, He is Shakti and also the Divine Mother. Without acknowledging Shakti, no one can understand what Brahman is. Brahman can become manifest only through Shakti.

What is fire? It is something that has the power to burn. Fire would become useless if it could not burn. As fire and its power to burn are no different, so Brahman and Shakti are the same.
When we describe them, they seem to be two different things, but in reality they are one. The One has become many; that is the manifestation of His power.
How is it possible to realize Brahman without taking refuge in Shakti? The words that are used to call on Him, the sound that is used to worship Him — those are all functions of Shakti. You have originated from Shakti, and you move and walk by means of Her power.
--Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa