Śrī Tārā Ṣoḍhā Nyāsaḥ (श्री तारा षोढा न्यासः)

Prologue:- In the tantric tradition of Śrī Tārā, She is associated primarily with Protection and is associated with the bestowal of immense power and knowledge, removal of all karmas, hardships and miseries.

Lord Śiva is the manifested Brahman (Super-consciousness), who is self-illuminating (prakāśa) and static. He expresses Himself through His power called Śakti, who is the dynamic super-consciousness and She reflects the aspects/light of Śiva and is therefore called vimarśa. Śiva and Śakti are not different, but appear as such, due to the cast of the virtual cosmic reality (māyā) that envelops the entire manifested Creation, which is the first act of Śakti as the Creator. The super-consciousness as Śiva cannot relate to Himself, without the reasoning, knowledge and other cognitive faculties, that are part of Śakti.

In the context of the Daśamahāvidyā-s, Śakti is represented in ten forms, with each form representing a path leading towards Her for attaining final emancipation, for all the individual consciousness - ātmas. During the stage of Creation, Śakti as Śrī Tārā Devi, devolves Herself from the Highest Super-consciousness state to other states of higher consciousness and energy, represented as forms of Śiva indicated in the Śrīkaṇṭha nyāsa, which is the first part of the six fold Ṣoḍhā nyāsa. The descent is further enumerated with the material states represented as heavenly bodies such as planets (grahas) influencing karmic actions upon the world. Further, the Divine Mother as Mahāmāyā, manifests the directional lords to impose the karmic barriers upon the Creation. The powers of Śakti, are also masked by Her lower states as Yogini-s, who influence the karmic results on the individual souls (jīvātma-s) or consciousness/awareness. Further, there are several forms of the Divine Mother Tārā influencing the astral bodies of all individuals and ultimately Her own presence in the world is marked by the various śakti pīṭhas.

All the powers of Śakti manifested as sound frequencies, are governed by mātṛkā-s, that are represented by the Sanskrit alphabet. The mātṛkā śaktis also allow for the act of Sustenance, Preservation, as well as Destruction, Annihilation and Resurrection, thereby carrying out all the tasks of the Divine Mother Śakti. The mātṛkā-s also represent each and every aspect of our daily lives and have the power within, to resolve all our issues and satisfy all our desires to the fullest extent.

All the seed bīja mantras in existence, are composed of various combinations of the mātṛkā-s. Digging deeper, In the context of the human body, the Sanskrit letters from ‘a’ (अ) to ‘aḥ’ (अः), indicating the aspects of Śiva, represent the head region. The aspects of Śakti are represented from the letters ‘ka’ (क) up to ‘va’ (व), representing the rest of the physical body. The letters ‘śa’ (श) to ‘kṣa’ (क्ष), represent the inner essence of the body. The letter ‘a’ represents Śiva and ‘va’ represents Śakti. In the human body, the kuṇḍalini ascends to facilitate ‘va’ to meet ‘a’ and this happens through the medium of the vindu(bindu), meaning the letter ‘’ṃ” (ं) or dot, also called Candravindu “m̐” (ँ), representing the fulfillment of all desires and removal of all misery. When the kuṇḍalini reaches the top (śikharam) of the head, the combination of ‘a’, ‘va’, ‘ṃ’ and ‘śi’ becomes ‘śivaṃ’ and the vimarśa (Śakti) aspect of it, is ‘kṣaṃ’, thus culminating the mātṛkā-s and the associated letters (akṣara-s). Noticably, the word ‘akṣara’, is also consisting of ‘a’, ‘ka’, ‘ṣa’ and ‘ra’. The latter is the energy or fire aspect in the body running in the blood.

The word nyāsa, means “to place”. The Tārā Ṣoḍhā nyāsa has been described by various tantras associated with Tārā as the wish-fulfilling, protection enhancing, misery alleviating and liberation-bestowing process, by itself. No further mantra or any other tantric rituals are required, if this is followed rigorously as a daily routine with proper understanding of the underlying concepts associated with each of the individual nyāsa.  Further, the Ṣoḍhā nyāsa-s are a pre-requisite for any and all Tārā mantras, for early fruition of Her mantras.

Within the first Śrīkaṇṭha nyāsa, there are slight variations in the names of the Śiva aspects, attributed to the usage in various traditions. One can follow any of the names listed and obtain the same benefits. Combining the mātṛkā-s with the various aspects of Śiva in the nyāsa, helps us obtain the grace of various forces manifested in the Creation and understanding the deeper meaning of the mantras in all the six (ṣoḍhā) nyāsa-s, will surely accrue all the desired benefits to the devotee, if performed on a regular basis. They help dissipate or lessen the effects of our karma and eventually lead us to self-realization and further by Her grace, liberation itself.

The six (ṣoḍhā) nyāsa-s are Śrīkaṇṭha nyāsa covering various aspects of Lord Śiva with mātṛkā-s seen as devolved aspects of Śakti. The second is graha-mātṛkā nyāsa covering the various planets, sun, moon and the intersections of the earth’s orbit by the moon – the “shadow planets” known as the dragon’s head (rāhu) and dragon’s tail (ketu). Third in the order is the Lokapāla nyāsa consisting of the cardinal lords aspecting all the ten directions. Fourth is the Śivaśakti nyāsa, covering the cakras manifested in our body that are to be ascended by the mystical Kuṇḍalini. Fifth is the Tārā mātṛkā nyāsa spanning various attributes associated with the Divine Mother and finally the pīṭha-mātṛkā nyāsa covering eight power spots associated with the Divine Mother Śakti, whose worship bestows a solid footing on the path of achieving stupendous success in all our undertakings.

Tattva mudra is used in nyāsa-s. This is produced by touching the tips of the thumb with the ring finger on the right hand. At times, even the left hand is used when touching the parts of the right side of the body. There are four bīja-s that prominently figure in the Six part (ṣoḍhā) nyāsa-s. The below table deliberates upon the same, tracing the roots of the bīja-s themselves and the power associated with the association.









vyomavakra (h), kṣatajasya (r), dhūmrabhairavī (ī), nāda-bindu (m̐)

hrīm̐ ( ह्रीँ ) consists of h = Brahman/śiva, r = fire and drive within us, ī = energy and the source of all power that helps us ascend, m̐ = removal of all miseries and facilitator of self-realization and ultimate liberation.




ta indicates tāraka, repha (ra) indicates bhukti, ī indicates mahāmāyā, nādā or viśvamātrā, vindu for duḥkhahara.

trīm ( त्रीँ ) consists of t = saviour energy, r = Liberation (Mukti), i = Mahamaya (the Great Illusion) and the dot indicates overcoming unhappiness. Its objective is overcoming unhappiness.




sa indicates durgottāraṇa, ta indicates tāraka, repha (ra) indicates bhukti, ī indicates mahāmāyā, nādā or viśvamātrā, vindu for duḥkhahara.

Strīm ( स्त्रीँ ) consists of The bīja of Vadhu (bride), s = protection from crisis, t = saviour energy, r = Liberation (Mukti), ī = Mahamaya (the Great Illusion) and the dot indicates overcoming unhappiness. Its objective is overcoming unhappiness.




vyomāsya (h), kālarātri (u), nāda-bindu (m̐) 

hum̐ ( हुँ ) consists of h = Brahman/śiva, u = destruction of all fear and stillness within , m̐ = remove misery.

It is to be understood, that the essence of the macrocosm is also in the microcosm and that all the power is also manifested within our own selves and we have the ability to realize it and evolve our consciousness to higher states, to become one with the Divine Mother Śakti, who alone can lead us to the Divine Father Śiva, thus merging our individual consciousness in the ocean of the super-consciousness, which is the state of liberation and ultimate state of bliss. The act of performing the nyāsa-s is to achieve this very purpose!

Click Here for Part 2 : Rudra Nyasa

This article is written by Krishna Vallapareddy and can be Krishna@manblunder.com