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The Mantra Mahodadhi of Mahidhara

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The Mantra Mahodadhi of Mahidhara
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Among the medieval works on Tantra, this work in sanskrit holds a place of great importance for its comprehension and authority. The author, who describes himself as an anchorite who did austerity in Varanasi, prepared this book in twenty -five 'Tarangas' more as a compilation of relevant material for the sadhakas than as an independent work. It is encyclopedic in nature; it is verlly an ocean (as the title suggests) of mantras. Now in Tantrik sadhana, the mantras are of great significance, for they are sufficient means of visualizing the gods. Indeed the mantras are the "body" of the gods. There is thus a correspondence between the mantra (formulation), murti (Visualization), and tantra (actualization). This correspondence is the theme of this work. Is the theme of this work. Exceedingly valuable for the spiritual practitioners and extremely popular among them in the North as well as in the South, there was till now no translation of this work into English. Great was its need. Sri Satguru Publication of Delhi has therefore to be congratulated work available for making this monumental work available to the English- Knowing folk. All the 3,300 verses of this work (completed in 1589 A.D.) have been literally rendered into easy English with the help of the author's own commentary called Nauka. The board of Scholars who have completed this arduous undertaking have done a fine job, and richly deserve our praise. They have filled a lacuna that was keenly felt.

There is also an excellent introduction to the art and science of Tantra, as well as an analysis of the contents. There are, at the end of the work, illustrations of Yantras, which are reproduction of the same drawings as were reproductions of the same drawings as were in the lithography copy of the book. It is a very useful publication and will be an addition to the Tantra literature.

S. K. Ramachandra Rao, The Astrological Magazine, Vol. 74. No.10.

 

Introduction

It has often been wondered why man alone out of the well-known 8.4 million species of living beings representing the creations of the Almighty, should be subjected to hundreds of aliments, physical, mental, economic, communal, and spiritual. All other living organisms are born and die; but the states of living death, i.e. sickness, mental tension, worries about thousands of problems etc., etc. are the prerogatives of man and a few of his pets, the domestic cows, goats, dogs cats etc which require the services of the veterinary surgeon. The animals, birds etc. that roam about unfettered are never seen lying ill and disabled. Nature heals them whenever they get hurt and they resume their activities.

Artificial and Unnatural Modes of Living

The types of illness man suffers are solely because he lives an artificial life. Adhering strictly to the nature, he can prevent all these ailments. He is slave to his tongue. He mixes condiments and spoils the natural nutritive value of the products of nature - the intake. He takes food too often even when he is not hungry. Indigestion is the cause of thousands of ailments. Inability to control the other sense organs causes untold sufferings. Lethargy, blunder, unlimited hardships to him. To cure natural laws bring about unlimited hardships to him. To cure himself of certain illnesses man takes to drugs and potions, which cause other troubles in their wake. All the medicines in the world put together cannot sustain the health of man, if he breaks natural laws. The punishment for the infringement of natural laws is immediate. There is no way of escape.

As for mental tentions, disappointments, worries, greed, anger jealousies, frights etc. the pathology as well as remedies remain the same, Return to Nature. If we think about our own selves, if we wish to suppress other's interests to gain our own, we are bound to suffer. Adjustment to the matter of mitingating the mental sufferings that we undergo. Too much of readiness to criticise others and find fault with them should be avoided. Sympathy and friendship, loving service rendered to others, all these enable our minds to be hundreds of others, all these enable our minds to be calm and free from tensions. Keeping the mental equilibrium, we can escape the ill effects of loss of wealth and worries due to our own negligence than to the non-co-operation of others. Communal or social ills also can be remedied by starting from the individual. Finally spiritual troubles and sufferings. These also must be tackled at the level of the individual. All our sacred literature aim at the reformation of the society. If all the individuals become all right, the society too naturally becomes all right.

Thus we find that man is faced all sorts of problems. Our ancient sages have confronted all these problems and found out some means to remedy them. The extensive Ayurvedic literature deals with physical illnesses and the ways and means of curing them. The economic and social problems are dealt with in our Niti and Dharma Sastra literature. The mental, intellectual and spiritual problems are dealt with in our Tantra and Mantra literature with which we are now concerned immediately.

That India has an extensive sacred literature covering all the aspects such as religious, philosophical, ontological, epistemological, logical, metaphysical etc. etc. is too well know to be mentioned here. We shall make a general survey of Tantra and Mantra literature.

 

Tarangas
1 Bhutasuddhi (Purification of the elements), Pranpratistha (Instilling of vital airs), the Matrka Nyasa(fixing, depositing), Purascarya (preliminary observances), Homa (offering of the fire), Tarpana (libation) etc. 1-13
2 The various Mantras of Ganesa have been explained 32-53
3 The Mantras of Kali, the deities entitled Kali and of Sumukhi are explained 54-66
4 The Mantras of Goddess Tara Ekajata, etc. 67-89
5 Different Mantras of Goddess Tara Ekajata, Nila Sarasvati 90-106
6 The Mantras of Goddess Chinnamasta, Sabri, Svayamvara, Madhumati, Pramoda and Bandi Devi 107-122
7 The Mantras of Vatayaksini, Varahi, Jyestha, Karnapisacini, Matangi, Banesi, Madanesvari 123-140
8 The Mantras of Goddess Bala and Syama and her various aspects have been explained 141-169
9 The Mantras of Annapurnesvari, and her aspects Mohana Gauri, Jyesthalaksmi and Pratyangira, destroyer of enemies have been explained 170-196
10 The Mantras of Bagalamukhi and the two Varahis 197-215
11 The Mantra of Sri Vidya with various Mudras and Nyasas has been explained 216-247
12 The Avarana deities of Sri Vidya have been explained 248-285
13 The Mantras of Hanuman has been explained 286-304
14 The Mantras of Visnu, Narasimha, Gopala and Garuda 305-325
15 The Mantras of Sun god, Kuja, Brhaspati, Sukra and Vyasa 326-345
16 The Mantras of Mahamrtyarjuna, Rudra and Kubera, have been explained 346-372
17 The Mantras of Kartaviryarjuna, Dattatreya, Jahnavi, Manikarni have been explained 373-395
18 The mantras of Kalaratri and the nine syllabled Mantras of Candika have been explained 396-431
19 The Mantras of Kukkuta, Sastr, the procedure regarding the worship of Parthivesvara, Yama and Citragupta and Asuri Vidya 432-456
20 The various of Yantras and Svarnakarsanabhairava have been explained 457-478
21 The Procedure of Adoration beginning with ablution and ending with Antaryaga have been explained 479-507
22 Arghya Puspanjali, etc. and ending with offering of flowers and other varieties and other verites have been explained 508-535
23 The worship with Damanas flowers and Pavitras has been explained 536-549
24 Verification and Purification of Mantras Sodhana have been explained 550-569
25 The Six types of Rites Santi, Vasya, Stambhana, Deesa, Uccatana and Marana have been explained. 570-594
General Notes and Clarification 595-670
Yantras 671-709
Index 710-720

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