FIRST ĀVARAṆA (First enclosure)
We now enter the first āvaraṇa (enclosure). We find three tiers of huge square walls, white, red and yellow in colour. All the three walls put together is known as “trilokyamohanacakra”, which is also known as bhūpura. Trilokya mohana means attracting three worlds. Three worlds can be explained both grossly and subtly. Grossly it means the three worlds referred in three vyāhṛti-s of Gāyatrī mantra, bhūr, bhuvar and svar loka-s. Subtly the three worlds are three states of consciousness, active, dream and deep sleep states. There are 28 goddesses in trilokyamohanacakra.
Presiding deity of this āvaraṇa is Tripurācakreśvarī; Aṇimāsiddhi is the siddhi devi, Sarvasaṁkṣobhiṇi mudra is the mudra śakti and Prakaṭayoginī is the yoginī. At the end of this āvaraṇa, all these śakti-s are worshipped. Lalitā Mahātripurasundarī Parā Bhṭṭārikā is also worshipped in each of the āvaraṇa-s. Each āvaraṇa has one specific mudra with which Parāśakti is worshipped and apart from the specific mudra, She is also worshipped with yoni mudra at the end of each āvaraṇa. As far as worshipping this prathamāvaraṇa (first enclosure) is concerned, first square which is protected by ten śakti-s is white in colour is to be worshipped with white flowers. Second wall or second square, which has eight śakti-s is to be worshipped with red flowers. Third and the last wall or square, which has ten śakti-s is to be worshipped with yellow flowers. Now we are going to have darśan of these twenty eight śakti-s. (During Śrī Cakra worship, the innermost triangle should be facing the practitioner.) Numbers indicated in the chart and numbers indicated in the narration correspond to the place of that particular śakti in the wall.
This wall has ten śakti-s, which includes aṣṭama siddhi-s (eight śakti-s representing supper human powers) and two other śakti-s (7 and 8). It is important to note that eight (1 to 8) of them are guarding the eight cardinals; out of which four of them guarding the four entrance gates and the other four guarding other four cardinals.
1. aṇimāsiddhi अणिमासिद्धि; 2. laghimāsiddhi लघिमासिद्धि; 3. mahimāsiddhi महिमासिद्धि;
4. īśitavasiddhi ईशितवसिद्धि; 5. vaśitasiddhi वशितसिद्धि; 6. prākāmyasiddhi प्राकाम्यसिद्धि;
7. bhuktisiddhi भुक्तिसिद्धि; 8. icchāsiddhi इच्छासिद्धि; 9. prāptisiddhi प्राप्तिसिद्धि;
10. sarvakāmasiddhi सर्वकामसिद्धि.
This wall is protected by eight śakti-s, who are commonly known as aṣṭamātṛ-s (eight mothers or aṣṭamātā-s. It is important to note that the first four of them (11, 12, 13 and 14) are guarding the four entrances of Śrī Cakra and the rest guarding the four corners (15, 16, 17 and 18) of Śrī Cakra.
11. brāhmīmātṛ ब्राह्मीमातृ; 12. māheśvarimātṛ माहेश्वरिमातृ; 13. kaumārīmātṛ कौमारीमातृ;
14. vaiṣṇavīmātṛ वैष्णवीमातृ; 15. vārāhīmātṛ वाराहीमातृ; 16. māhendrīmātṛ माहेन्द्रीमातृ;
17. cāmuṇḍāmātṛ चामुण्डामातृ; 18. mahālakṣmīmātṛ महालक्ष्मीमातृ.
This wall is protected by ten mudraśakti-s. During navāvaraṇa pūjā, at the end of each āvaraṇa,Parāśakti is worshipped through these ten finger gestures, known as ten mudra-s. This is also referred in Lalithā Sahasranāma 977, daśamudrā-samārādhyā. (Mudra-s are the configuration of fingers that represent the energy of the deity concerned. They are the secret signs of exchange between the practitioner and the deity and should never be used in public. Mudra-s are highly powerful.) The last of these mudras can be used only by those, who are initiated into Ṣoḍaśī mantra.
19. sarvasaṅkṣobhiṇī mudraśakti सर्वसङ्क्षोभिणी मुद्रशक्ति; 20. sarvavidrāviṇī mudraśakti सर्वविद्राविणी मुद्रशक्ति; 21. sarvākarṣiṇī mudraśakti सर्वाकर्षिणी मुद्रशक्ति; 22. sarvavaśaṅkarī mudraśakti सर्ववशङ्करी मुद्रशक्ति; 23. sarvonmādinī mudraśakti सर्वोन्मादिनी मुद्रशक्ति; 24. sarvamāhāṅkuśā mudraśakti सर्वमाहाङ्कुशा मुद्रशक्ति; 25. sarvakhecarī mudraśakti सर्वखेचरी मुद्रशक्ति; 26. sarvabīja mudraśakti सर्वबीज मुद्रशक्ति; 27. sarvayooni mudraśakti सर्वयोनि मुद्रशक्ति; (Lalitā Sahasranāma 982 is Yoni-mudrā (Śiva says to Pārvatī (Todala tantra II.25) “My dear, this yoni mudra removes all illness. Oh! Goddess, without elaborating I can just say that it destroys great diseases and Oh! Goddess, without exaggerating I can say that this mudra causes the realisation of the mantra, brings about direct perception of one ’s self and bestows on the practitioner the great liberation.”). 28. sarvatrikhaṇḍā mudraśakti सर्वत्रिखण्डा मुद्रशक्ति; (Lalitā Sahasranāma 983 is trikhaṇḍeśī. This mudra is used to invoke Her during rituals. Trikhanṇḍa mudra also means the union of various triads into single entity. For example, practitioner, his Guru and Devi or the knower, the known and the path of knowing are triads. Merger of triads into a single entity is the supreme knowledge that the practitioner has asked for in the previous nāma using yoni mudra. It is also said that this mudra refers to the three kūṭa-s of Pañcadaśī mantra. From the broader perspective, this mudra can be termed as the Brahma mudra. The extended pair of fingers point out to creation, sustenance and dissolution. During navāvaraṇa pūjā, only those who are initiated into Ṣoḍaśī alone can use this mudra).