This is another series on Śri Cakra based on Bhāvanopaniṣad (bhāvana + upaniṣad). Bhāvana means imagination or formation of a concept in the mind. Like any other Upaniṣad, this Upaniṣad also does not deal with practices. It helps us to contemplate our body with Śri Cakra. There are thirty seven verses (some texts call these as sūtra-s) in Bhāvanopaniṣad and we will take up for discussion, each verse in detail.

1. śrīguruḥ sarvakāraṇabhūtā śaktiḥ | श्रीगुरुः सर्वकारणभूता शक्तिः।

First two verses talk about Guru. In Śrī Vidyā, the role of Guru is extremely important. There are multiple reasons for this. Śrī Vidyā is also known as Brahmaidyā, knowledge about Brahman. Knowledge about Brahman means Supreme Knowledge. Since Śrī Vidyā deals with liberation, it is also known as Brahmaidyā.

The first verse says that Guru is the cause for everything. His power is phenomenal with regard to the revelation of Divine Knowledge. He is the one, who can literally show Parāśakti. When the darkness of illusion is destroyed with the grace of Guru, one can realize the Self. How māyā can be annihilated to realize Parāśakti within, is revealed by Guru. He generally takes his disciple step by step to reach the ultimate goal of realization. Though there are several factors that determine Guru-disciple relationship, certain aspects are more important. First, a disciple has to approach a Guru with a request to accept him as his disciple. In the present day context, it is extremely important that a disciple should also make adequate enquiries about the Guru he is planning to approach and should satisfy himself about the quality and purity of the Guru. It is not at all advisable to move from one Guru to another Guru, unless the circumstances so warrant. A Guru invariably evaluates his disciple to know his spiritual, mental and physical status. If he is satisfied, Guru accepts him as his disciple. Next comes, initiation. It is said that without initiation, inherent māyā in a disciple is not annihilated. Kulārṇava Tantra speaks about seven types of initiations or dīkṣā-s and they are through rituals, through letters (mantra given in writing), working through energy body of the disciple and planting the seed of spirituality within his body, by touching the body of the disciple, verbal initiation (mantras), through looks (looking at the disciple) and mental initiation (working through the mind of the disciple). Except initiation through rituals, none of the other dīkṣā-s involve rituals. Some Gurus do small rituals, like saṁkalpa and the like. These are all very small procedures. Again, in ritualistic initiations, there are several types of procedures. Kulārṇava tantra explains this in detail. Out of the seven, initiation by touching the body of the disciple is considered as inferior in quality and initiations either through energy level or mind are considered as the highest. Particularly, transmission of energy is considered as the highest one. For this type of initiation, both Guru and the disciple should have capabilities. The most important factor during initiation is the awakening of the disciple’s dormant spiritual energy, which has to grow and bloom. Generally, a proper initiation makes a disciple to reach higher levels in about six months to one year, depending upon the disciple’s sincerity in sādhana. It is very important that Guru reviews his disciple’s progress and in case the progress is not up to the mark due to various reasons, Guru has to talk to his disciple to ensure that he advances in his spiritual pursuit without any difficulty.  Tantric way of initiation is to be ignored and not discussed here, as this has been grossly misunderstood nowadays.

Guru fixes auspicious date and time for initiation. Various factors are taken into account while fixing this time. Most important factors are tārabala, candrabala and eighth place in muhūrta should be vacant. At the time of initiation, Guru gives his disciple Mahāpādukā mantra.  Mahāpādukā is worshipping Śiva, who initiated Parāśakti during Kṛita yuga (3,893,114 years ago from 2013-14, spreading across four yuga-s). Following is the Mahāpādukā mantra.

ॐ ऐं ह्रीं श्रीं - ऐं क्लीं सौः - ऐं ग्लौं ह्स्ख्फ्रें हसक्षमलवरयूं ह्सौः सहक्षमलवयीं स्हौः श्रीविद्यानन्दनाथात्मक चर्यानन्दनाथ श्रीमहापदुकां पूजयामि तर्पयामि नमः ।

om aiṁ hrīṁ śrīṁ aiṁ klīṁ sauḥ aiṁ glauṁ hskhphreṁ hasakṣamalavarayūṁ hsauḥ sahakṣamalavayīṁ śauḥ śrīvidyānandanāthātmaka caryānandanātha śrīmahāpadukāṁ pūjayāmi (tarpayāmi)* namaḥ ।

 * tarpayāmi is used only during navāvaraṇa pūjā.

This is followed by the revelation of Guru pādukā mantras. There are three mantras, one for Parameṣṭhiguru (parameṣṭhi means superior), who is Guru’s Guru’s Guru. The next mantra is for Paramaguru (Guru’s Guru), a little lower than Parameṣṭhiguru and last one is for svaguru or Śrīguru (initiating Guru). At the time of entering into Śrī Vidyā lineage, dīkṣā nāma is given to the disciple. Thus, all the three Gurus will have their own dīkṣā nāma-s and they are worshipped only with dīkṣā nāma-s and not by their names. Dīkṣā name should not be revealed to others and is meant to pay respects to one’s Guru. Generally, all dīkṣā nāma-s end with ānandanātha, which is suffixed to his dīkṣā nāma comprising of three or four letters (this is a general rule and exceptions can be made). For example prākāśa, vimarśa  (प्राकाश, विमर्श Prākāśānandanātha, Vimarśānandanātha), etc. For women disciples dīkṣā nāma-s generally end with ambā (अम्बा). For example, Śukladevyaṁbā, Kāmeśvaryāṁbā (शुक्लदेव्यंबा, कामेश्वर्यांबा), etc. The lineage of Śrīguru is revealed to the disciple only at the time of initiation and not before.

Following are the Guru pādukā mantras for Parameṣṭhiguru, Paramaguru and Śrīguru (one’s own Guru).

1. Parameṣṭhiguru:

ॐ ऐं ह्रीं श्रीं ऐं क्लीं सौः हंसः शिवः सोहं हंसः ह्ख्फ्रें हसक्षमलवरयूं ह्सौः सहक्षमलवरयीं स्हौः हंसः शिवः सोहं हंसः  स्वात्मारामपञ्चर विलीनतेजसे श्रीपरमेष्ठि गुरवे नमः  -----  (dīkṣā name of Parameṣṭhiguru) आनन्दनाथ श्रीपादुकां पूजयामि (तर्पयामि)नमः॥

om aiṁ hrīṁ śrīṁ aiṁ klīṁ sauḥ haṁsaḥ śivaḥ sohaṁ haṁsaḥ hkhphreṁ hasakṣamalavarayūṁ hsauḥ sahakṣamalavarayīṁ śauḥ haṁsaḥ śivaḥ sohaṁ haṁsaḥ svātmārāmapañcara vilīnatejase śrīparameṣṭhi gurave namaḥ  ----- (dīkṣā name of Parameṣṭhiguru) ānandanātha śrīpādukāṁ pūjayāmi (tarpayāmi) namaḥ ||

2. Paramaguru:

ॐ ऐं ह्रीं श्रीं ऐं क्लीं सौः सोहं हंसः शिवः ह्ख्फ्रें हसक्षमलवरयूं ह्सौः सहक्षमलवरयीं स्हौः  सोहं हंसः शिवः स्वच्छप्रकाश विमर्शहेतवे श्री परमगुरवे नमः  ----- (dīkṣā name of Paramaguru) आनन्दनाथ श्रीपादुकां पूजयामि तर्पयामि नमः॥

om aiṁ hrīṁ śrīṁ aiṁ klīṁ sauḥ sohaṁ haṁsaḥ śivaḥ hkhphreṁ hasakṣamalavarayūṁ hsauḥ sahakṣamalavarayīṁ śauḥ  sohaṁ haṁsaḥ śivaḥ svacchaprakāśa vimarśahetave śrī paramagurave namaḥ  ----- (dīkṣā name of Paramaguru) ānandanātha śrīpādukāṁ pūjayāmi (tarpayāmi) namaḥ ||

3. Śrīguru:

ॐ ऐं ह्रीं श्रीं ऐं क्लीं सौः हंसः शिवः सोहं ह्ख्फ्रें हसक्षमलवरयूं ह्सौः सहक्षमलवरयीं स्हौः  हंसः शिवः सोहं स्वरूप  निरूपण हेतवे श्रीगुरवे  नमः  ----- (dīkṣā name of Śrīguru) आनन्दनाथ श्रीपादुकां पूजयामि तर्पयामि नमः॥

om aiṁ hrīṁ śrīṁ aiṁ klīṁ sauḥ haṁsaḥ śivaḥ sohaṁ hkhphreṁ hasakṣamalavarayūṁ hsauḥ sahakṣamalavarayīṁ śauḥ   haṁsaḥ śivaḥ sohaṁ svarūpa  nirūpaṇa hetave śrīgurave  namaḥ  ----- (dīkṣā name of Śrīguru) ānandanātha śrīpādukāṁ pūjayāmi (tarpayāmi) namaḥ ||

Some Gurus give dīkṣā name on the day of initiation, while others give after the disciple attains a particular level. The decision of the Guru is final.

There are innumerable references to the Supremacy of Guru in various texts. The essence of all these texts goes like this. “Guru is the ultimate. He is treated on par with Śiva. Guru not only imparts the mantra, but also guides him in all the rituals and finally he begins to impart knowledge about Brahman (Brahmaidyā). He cites references from Upaniṣad-s and helps the disciple to move from Saguṇa Brahman worship to Nirguṇa Brahman contemplation, formless form of Brahman. He solidly stands with his disciple and ensures that the disciple puts every step forward with confidence and dedication. A true Guru is not satisfied till his disciple realizes the Self within (Self-realization).  Once the Guru is satisfied, he allows his disciple to go on his own and ensures that he also teaches to others in the same manner he was taught. Even if God curses a disciple, this curse can be removed by a Guru, but if Guru curses his disciple, this curse cannot be removed even by God.”

In Śrī Vidyā cult, Guru-disciple relationship is very important and hence Guru is worshiped very close to the inner triangle of Śri Cakra. There is a separate text called Śrī Gurugītā consisting of 274 verses. This Scripture explains in details the importance of Guru and how he is to be worshipped. 

Further reading:

Guru and mantra initiation

Distance Initiation

(to be continued)