Thursday, 10 October 2013

Brahmananda Purana Part 6

Today is the Sixth Night of The Divine Mother's Nine Nights -

Day 6 - The sixth form of mother Durga is known as Katyayani. The legend about her name runs as follows-

There was a great sage named Kata. His son was Katya. In his lineage Katyayana became a sage of worldwide repute. He practiced austere penance for several years in order to get the mother goddess propitiated. He cherished a keen desire in his heart to have the goddess in the form of his daughter. The mother was pleased to accede to his request.

After sometime when high-handedness of Mahisasura, the demon, crossed every limit, the trinity of Gods-Brahma, Visnu and Siva, got infuriated and they created a goddess by apportioning some part of their splendor, in order to destroy the demon. The sage Katyayana had the first privilege to worship her, so she was called Katyayani.

Another story tells that she did take birth as his daughter. She was born on the 14th dark of the month Asvina. Accepted the worship of Katyayana for three days-e.g. on 7th, 8th and 9th of the bright fortnight in the same month and killed the demon on Vijayadasami.

She is ever unfailing in granting the wishes of the devotees. The Braja damsels worshipped this very goddess with a desire to have Sri Krsna as their husband. She is an established presiding deity of Braja area. Her form is extremely divine and radiant. Her complexion is golden bright and radiant. She has to use arms. Her right upper hand is in a pose of allaying all fears and the lower one is in a pose of granting boon. In her left upper hand she holds a sword and a lotus flower adorns her lower left hand. Her vehicle is lion.

On sixth day of Navaratra it is her Katyayani form that is worshipped. That day the mind of the striver stays in Ajna Cakra. In the Yogic discipline Ajna Cakra is of greatest importance. His mind staying in Ajna Cakra the striver makes a complete surrender and offers himself to the goddess and then such a devotee very easily gets the direct vision of the mother Katyayani. All the four objects-Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksa are in easy reach of a Sadhaka who worships mother Katyayani with devotion and faith. Even though living on a mundane plane the devotee is equipped with an unearthly splendor and influence. He becomes immune from all diseases, sorrows and fears etc. There is no better and easier way than the worship of mother Katyayani for the destruction of sins accumulated in the previous lives. Her worshiper always remains in close company and becomes fit for the supreme abode.

Below is a part translation of one of my favourite sacred texts -

Brahmananda Purana - 6

Only Kutilaksha the commander in chief was left over to console Bhandasura. Bhanda along with Kutilaksha started towards the battlefield. 2185 akshohini army along with 40 commanders followed him.

A). He boarded a chariot named 'Aabhilamu'(=dreadful). It is dragged by 1000lions instead of horses.

B). His sword is named Yatana (= torture in hell).

Noticing this Lalita devi herself started moving in her Srichakra raja ratha towards the warfront. Behind her was Mantrini in the Geyachakra ratha followed by Potrini in kirichakraratha. Other shakti deities followed her in crores. In the usage of sastra's (mystic weapons) and pratyastra (corresponding neutralising weapons), none of them were drawn aback (LSN—Bhandasurendra nirmukta shastra pratyastra varshini)

Now Bandasura by his mystical powers regenerated Madhukaitabha, Raktabija and other old demons. Then Lalita devi made a violent frenzied laughter –Durga devi and other deities described in chandi saptashati were born and slayed these demons. Now Bhanda generated Somaka and other demons. Then Lalita devi generated the 10 incarnations of Vishnu from the finger tips of her hands (LSN – Karanguli nakhotpanna narayana dasakrutih). Sun was about to set. Lalita devi decided not to delay any more. She then discharged Narayana astra and Pashupata astra and destroyed the demons and their commanders who were all turned into ashes (Mahapashupatastragni nirdagdhasura sainyaka). Now Bhandasura was the only one left. Lalita devi discharged the Mahakameshawarastra and annihilated Bhandasura. Immediately his shunyaka town got burnt down. (Kameshwarastra nirdagdhasabhandasura sunyaka.

Gods proclaimed victory of Lalita devi on the drums and they showered flowers, lighted camphor blazes and shouted victory slogans.

Kama sanjeevanam (rebirth of kama). Brahma, Vishnu, Indra and other gods praised Lalita devi's grandeur (LSN—Brahmopendra mahendradi deva samstuta vaibhava). In that praise they proclaimed thus:

A.) Mother! Bhanda is dead but his friend Taraka is still alive to trouble us.

B.) To annihilate him Shiva must have a son

C.) We were trying for the same but in the mean while Manmadha (god of love) died and all these events happened

D.) Therefore kindly give rebirth to Manmadha and perform the marriage of Shiva and Parvathi.

Lalita devi smiled compassionately and looked at Kameshwara. From her looks Manmadha took rebirth .(Haranetragni sandagdha amasanjeevanaushadhih – meaning Lalita devi is the sacred herb sajeevini which gave rebirth to Manmadha who was destroyed by the fire from Shiva's eye). Rati and Manmadha prostrated to the mother goddess and praised her.

The mother goddess blessed them and instructed:

A.) Manmadha! Now you need not fear

B.) Go once again and cast your magical arrow on Shiva

C.) Shiva will loose to you and will marry Parvathi

D.) With my blessings Shiva will do you no harm.

E.) From now on you can enter every ones body and cause aesthetic/ sensuous pleasures to them.

F.) Protect my devotees.

At the instructions of mother goddess Manmadha with his family went and cast his magic charm on Shiva. This time Shiva left renunciation and started searching vehemently for parvathi. Then Manmadha cast magical arrows on Parvati also. Shiva was very pleased with parvathi's penance. He appeared before her, granted a boon and married her. Kumaraswamy was born to Shiva and Parvathi. He became the commander of Gods army and annihilated Tarakasura. He then married Devasena devi, the daughter of Indra.

After helping all the gods Manmadha left to Sripura to serve goddess Lalita devi.

Sripura varnanam (description of Sripura ) 

What does Sripura mean? After the annihilation of Bhandasura, Trimurtis called upon the cosmic architect Viswakarma and the architect of demons Maya , and instructed them to construct 16 palaces in 16 kshetras (sacred places) for the residence of Lalita & Shiva Kameswara. Meru and other gigantic mountains (9) Jalasamudra and other oceans (7) – total 16 Kshetras. The palatial buildings of mother goddess located in these kshetras are called Sripura. Wherever a Sripura is located , its dimensions are like this.

1.) Mount Meru has 4 peaks One on the eastern side, one on north west, one on the south west. Each is 100 yojanas tall and 100 yojanas wide these are trimurtis worlds. In the center of these is the fourth, which is 400 yojanas tall and 400 yojanas wide.

2.) Sripura is on the Middle peak. Sripura has got metallic compound walls 7 in number they are square shaped. Each wall is separated from the next one by one a distance of 7 yojanas.1. Kalayasa (iron) wall – The perimeter of this wall is 16 thousand yojanas2. Kansya (bronze) wall—Between these two is the first chamber. Several trees and gardens are located here. Mahakali and Mahakala are the gate keepers here. Kalachakra is their throne.

3. Tamra (copper) wall – Here is a forest of Kalpavruksha (wish granting tree). This is also called as Kalpavatica. This is the second chamber. Vasanta (spring) is its protector .Madhusri and Madhavasri are his consorts.

4. Seesa (lead) wall – Here is a forest of santana trees (progeny granting). This is the third chamber Grishma (summer) is the ruler . Shukrasri and Shuchisri are his consorts.

5. Aarkuta (brass) wall – This is the fourth chamber. Here is a forest of Hari chandanavruksha (yellow fragrant sandal wood). The ruler is varsharutu (rainy season. Nabhasri and Nabhasyasri are his consorts.

6. Panchaloha (five metal) wall—In this fifth chamber is a garden of mandara trees(Calotropis gigantea).Sharadrutu is the protector. Ishasri and Urjasri are his consorts.

7. Raupya (silver) wall – Sixth chamber.Parijata tree forest .Hemantarutu is the protector. Sahasri and Sahasyasri are his consorts.

8. Hema (gold) wall – Seventh chamber. Kadamba forest. Sisira (winter) s the protector. Tavasri and Tavasyasri are his consorts. This is where Mantrini devi resides in a temple. She has one more quarter very close to that of Lalita devi in Mahapadmatavi( forest of lotuses). When she is on duty she stays in that quarter. In this seventh chamber near Mantrini's residence Matanga kanyas are constantly singing and dancing.

Matanga kanyaka charitra (story of Matanga kanya). In the olden days a sage named Matanga used to expand the creation byvirtue of the power of his penance.362. His son Matanga was a great saint and practitioner of penance. He was the friend of Himavanta. Once Himavanta started boasting saying that he was the father of Gauri devi. With that Matanga felt humiliated and started great penance for Mudrini devi(Mudrinidevi is none other than Mantrini devi who had received a ring from Lalita devi. She is also called Shyamala devi.

She was very happy with his penance and gave boon that she herself would be born as a daughter to him. A few days later Shyamala devi appeared in the dream of Siddhamati devi (consort of Matanga). Shyamala devi gave her a flower from the bunch decorating the formers ear. Very soon she had a female child who was named Laghushyama as she was born in a very short duration (Laghu = short, small). She was also called Matangi, Matanga Kanyaka. With her power she generated crores of virgins, who stay near Mantrini devi's house and keep singing her praises all the time.

The Compounds of precious stones: Inside the golden compound, there are eleven prakaras (compounds) one inside the other and inside them there are six more compounds described hereunder. All these compounds are perfect squares. Here also, the distance between one compound and the other is Seven yojanas. (yojana is a measurement of length of about nine miles).

1. Pushyaraga Prakara (The compound of Topaz) The area between the golden compound and this one is called Pushyaraga area. Here male and female Siddhas reside. Those who were born earlier in the race of Siddha and who obtained attainment (Siddhi) in their spiritual practices worshipping the Divine Mother, stay here as Siddhas and gladly continue to worship Her.

2. Padmaraga Prakara (The compound of Ruby) Here celestials of the species called Caranas reside. Those who were born in Carana world and worshipped the Mother are reborn here, after attaining Her grace.

3. Gomedhika Prakara (The compound of Agate) In this arena, Kala Sankarshani devi resides. She is worshipped by the Yoginis and Bhairavas.

4. Vajra Prakara (The compound of diamonds) Apsaras and Gandharvas (divine dancers and singers) stay in this arena. They are ever engaged in the Japa (repetition) of the Divine Mother's names and stay here happily. The river Vajranadi flows in this place. The Goddess Vajreswari stays here. When the demon Bhanda swallowed the diamond weapon (Vajra Ayudha) of Indra, he could get back his weapon by worshipping the Mother here.

5. Vaidurya Prakara (The compound of Cat's eye) Those of the netherworld, who attained spiritual achievements by worshipping the Mother, stay in this arena. The emperor Bali also resides here.

6. Indraneela Prakara (The compound of Sapphire) Those people who were born on the earth stay in this area enjoying pleasures, after their worship of Lalita during their lifetime there. Soon after the effect of their punya (merit) is exhausted, they will be born again as human beings on the earth. By the effect of their previous pious deeds, they again worship the Mother and return once more to this pious place. Due to the blue colour of these precious stones, the dark effect of likes and dislikes persists in them. Hence they are born again and again. Those who can control their senses to merge in the ultimate state of salvation, i.e., in the Divine Mother. They do not have rebirth.

7. Mukta Prakara (The compound of pearls) Several rivers named Tamraparni, Mahaparni, Sadamukta, Sadodaka etc. flow in this area. The celestials who worshipped the Mother and chanted her Mantras stay here. The cities of the rulers of the eight sides exist here. (The eight sides are East, West, North, South, North-East, South-East, North-West and South-West).

8. Marakata Prakara (The compound of Emerald) The abode of the Goddess Dandanatha also called Varahi exists in this area. There is a garden of golden palm-trees here. The Goddess Unmattabhairavi, Svapnesvari, Tiraskarinidevi, Kirapadadevi reside in this area. When Goddess Dandanatha is on duty, she stays in a separate palace in the forest of Mahapadma (Big lotuses).

9. Vidruma Prakara (The compound of Coral) In this area, Brahma along with sages like Marica stays and worship the DivineMother.

10.Manikya Prakara (The compound of Gem) This area is also called the hall of gems i.e. Manikya Mantapa. Her Vishnu worships the Mother.

11. Navaratna Prakara (The compound of nine precious stones) In this area exists a huge hall with thousands of pillars. Here Siva along with his attendants constantly supervises the activities being done as per the orders of Lalita Devi.

12. Manomaya Prakara (The compound of mind) The entire area is a big well of Amruta (nectar). The Goddess Tara resides here. Along with her attendants, she rows a big boat and takes her devotees inside along with Her.

13. Buddhi Prakara (The compound of the intellect) The entire area is a big well of Bliss. The captain of the ship in this arena is the Goddess Varuni. She is also called as Sudha malini and Amruteswari.

14. Ahankara Prakara (The compound of Egoism) The entire area is a big well of criticism and nectar; The water of this well is nothing else than the nectar in the nerve Sushumna (The central nerve between Ida and Pingala nerves of one's backbone). The captain of the ship in this area is the Goddess Kurukulla.

15. Suryabimba Prakara (The compound of the Sun) Here brilliance comparable to the light of the rising Sun exists always. Plenty of flowers called Kuruvinda are abundant here. The Sun performed penance here and obtained brilliance. Martanda Bhairava stays here. He has a very luminous form. His three wives are Mahaprakasa Sakti, Cakshusmati Sakti and Chayada Sakti (The powers of great brilliance, eyesight and shade).

16. Candrabimba Prakasa (The compound of the Moon) Moonshine ever exists here. The Moon performed penance here and attained illumination. Somanatha, the Lord of the stars is the chief deity of this area.

17. Srungara Prakara (The compound of eroticism) This area is full of waters of eroticism. Here Manmatha, (Cupid-the god of love) does Japa of the Mother's sacred names, rowing in a boat. Only those who are of pure mind by nature can cross this area.

18. Cintamani Gruha (The abode of Gems) This is the great palace of Sri-chakra. It is called Mahapadmatavi also. Around the mansion, hundreds of thousands of lotus like palaces exist. To the east of this place, there is a large vessel with a diameter of one Yojana. This is called Arghya Patra (the vessel used to wash hands) b) At the south-east corner exists Cidagnikunda (The fire pit of knowledge). At the south-west exists Sricakra Ratha, the vehicle of Sricakra. At the north-west exists the Geya Cakra Ratha of the Goddess Mantrini. At the north-east exists the Kiri Cakra Ratha of the Goddess Dandini. In between the East and the south-east exists Mantrini gruha – the abode of the Goddess Mantrini. In between the East and the north-east exists Dandini gruha – the abode of the Goddess Dandini.

(to be continued tomorrow ... :)

Happy Navratris !!

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