Matrka Vilas - The Interplay of the Little Mothers

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Matrka Vilas - The Interplay of the Little Mothers
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After meeting with several unusual psychic experiences while he was hardly nineteen years old, Swami Jayramdas, even though born a French Christian Catholic, left for India and fully adopted the Indian spiritual culture - and latter even its nationality. He is in this way as much acquainted with the best of European education as with the finest of eastern spiritual traditions and knowledge. So, guided by his great vision and his strong will towards the realisation of God, he reached India via Africa and met his first Guru, Dhyanyogi Madhusudandasji, at Rishikesh in 1974. Followed five years of an intense Sadhana in the Banaskantha desert of North Gujarat where Guruji had his Ashram.

Two years later, answering the call of American disciples, Guruji left for the USA while Swamiji kept on praying and meditating and always deepening his Sadhana. He then left for France and England at Guruji' request and taught meditation there for several years. But he very much missed his country of adoption and went back for good to India in 1990, where he resumed his Sadhu way of life first at Kamali on the banks of the sacred Narmada river, second at Nikora, near Bharuch, where he established his little Ashram.

He was then inspired to take initiation into the Shri Vidya lore and got the blessings of Guruji to do so just before the passing away of his spiritual guide in 1994. He was then initiated by Dr. Ravindra Bhatt, a Shri Vidya master from Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He earnestly and methodically studied all the elements of Shri Vidya under the guidance of his second Guru and after ten long years received Purnabhishek Diksha (the most essential Shri Vidya initiation). He is now still living in his Ashram and carrying on doing his Sadhana with the same fervour and the same method as he was always used to.



It is rare to find genuine new books on deeper Yoga practices coming from true practitioners, particularly those born in the western world, but from India today as well. Most books are superficial, repetitive and designed for an introductory audience or for casual readers to quickly go through and be finished with. Matrka Vilas, on the other hand, is a profound spiritual teaching in the science of meditation and cosmic sound that has incredible depths and hidden dimensions for those who are willing to devote their lives to inner quest for an actual change of consciousness beyond the ego to the transcendent.

Matrka Vilas of Swami Jayramdas, is a welcome addition to the developing literature on Yoga Sddhand and covers many of its most important topics. The book opens up the field of yogic insight with precision, comprehensiveness and authenticity. One must appreciate the scope and depth of the labour of Swamiji on subtle topics of Mantras and meditation, which few have the capacity or are willing to make the effort to relate. The book is extremely well referenced in the authoritative Yoga traditions and lineages. It is replete with key Sanskrit terms necessary to explain inner spiritual experiences and their subtle variations. It contains extensive quotes from special and often rare Sanskrit texts and explicates them clearly and comprehensively. The book indicates the work of someone who is immersed in the tradition and is able to speak for it with his own voice.

Matrka Vilas reflects the ancient Yoga tradition going back to Adinath - Lord Siva as the original teacher of Yoga, particularly in his Daksinamurti or youthful form - who taught through silence and direct mind-to-mind transmission. It reflects a true scriptural Sadhand taught through an authentic Guru lineage. This orientation makes it very different than the teachings of fashionable teachers and writers of today, that emphasize pop psychology and physical techniques as if a Sadhak were a child needing therapy, and where showmanship is often more important than awakening any inner power of transformation. Matrkil Vilas is first of all a work on Mantra Yoga but which, through the language of Mantra, covers the essence of knowledge and devotion in Yoga and provides the foundation for many energetic Yoga practices. The book shows that without an inner understanding and experience of Mantra, one's understanding of Yoga remain limited.

Yoga in the traditional sense of the term is firmly rooted in Mantra perhaps more than any other practice. One can claim, as I have in my book Vedic Yoga: The Path of the Rishi, that Mantra is the root of all Yoga teachings, paths and approaches, which are but its expressions. Yoga is originally Mantra Yoga, using the inner sound current to connect us with a higher awareness.

Rishi Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras identifies Isvara, the Supreme Lord who is the Adi Guru or original teacher of Yoga, with Pranava and Om - that is with cosmic sound and Mantra. He speaks of isvara Pranidhdna or surrender to the Divine ruling power within us as one of the key methods of Yoga practice, and the most direct to take the aspirant to the yogic goal of Samadhi or unity consciousness. This Yoga Sutras emphasis on Mantra may not be surprising if one remembers that Patanjali was also well known as a grammarian. Sanskrit grammar itself was regarded as a form of Mantra Yoga, not just an academic concern, such as Bhartrihari taught. Unfortunately, modem commentators on the Yoga Sutras, particularly those from the West, have missed this obvious emphasis on " om " and Mantra, perhaps because of their lack of deep knowledge of Sanskrit and their over emphasis on Asana - that does not have such an importance in the text.

Yet, besides Patanjali Yoga, Mantra is also the foundation of all Tantric approaches to Yoga in Kundalini Yoga traditions that include Hatha Yoga and Siddha Yoga, Shaivism overall and particularly Kashmir Shaivism, such as the author examines in detail in his book. Any teachings that refer to Kundalini emphasize Mantra Yoga as Kundalini is made up of the sounds of the Sanskrit alphabet and is a force of Mantra at a subtle and cosmic level. The Goddess or Sakti Power is first of all Vak Sakti, or the power of the Divine Word that manifests through Mantra both in the cosmic mind and in our individual intelligence. Kundalini and the Cakras that her power opens are related to Mantric powers through which they vibrate and function. The Cakras are formations of the sound powers of the Sanskrit alphabet with each petal of each Cakra relating to one of these letters and its cosmic connections.

There is much current discussion at an academic level about the greatness of the Sanskrit language and its scientific value and logical formulation, as in the computer world. Yet there has been little in this discussion that addresses traditional yogic knowledge about the meaning, application and worship of each letter of the Sanskrit alphabet in meditation practices. This internal yogic understanding of Mantra alone brings the Sanskrit letters alive in an artistic and mystical manner, rather than merely turning them into bits of data or information. It allows the letters to reveal themselves to us as the powers of higher consciousness and cosmic energy, through which all universal energies move.

Hindu devotional worship, on all levels of ritual and meditation relative to all deities - particularly Siva and Sakti - holds an important place for the worship and energization of the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet. It is the basis for the application of various Bija Mantras and longer Mantras, chants, hymns and prayers. The letters of the alphabet structure many Yoga concepts and practices, forming the foundation for the teachings and their internal application. The Sanskrit letters present a blueprint for the enfoldment of cosmic forces from the subtle body in the human being to the forces of the universe. It is not a question of an alphabet but of the key vibratory forces behind the universe itself.


The term Matrka used for these letters (Aksara) possesses a twofold meaning as "Mother" or as "means of measurement", both of which being related. The Mother represents the power or Sakti of the Divine Mother that brings all things into shape in this form based world, and which creates our basic form or measurement, in which we as human beings are a microcosm or replica of the macrocosm which is the entire universe. These Sanskrit letters are not just part of our human language as produced by our human brain, like any other human languages and dialects. They emulate and connect us with cosmic sound vibrations through which the universe is created, sustained and dissolved, and through which we can contact and merge back into the universal and transcendent awareness that is the supreme reality.



At the beginning of the modern era (approx. 1500 CE) and onwards, the search for understanding the intricacies of the cosmos, its process of creation and destruction along with the evolution, sustenance and dissolution of life resulted in the development of several scientific theories. The advancement of the post-industrial technology era brought about tools and methods for verifying them. As a result, modern science contains several independent theories and explanations but misses out on a single universal theory to understand the ultimate truth on creation and dissolution of the universe.

The ancient Indian sages first presented their understanding about the cosmos and the evolution of life in the Vedic texts dated between 3000-1000 BC. This was soon followed by Vedantic, Tantric and Pauranic scriptures which discussed in great details various paths to understand the ultimate truth. This knowledge is presented in a cryptic form within these ancient texts of Vedas and Upanishads which are said to be Apauruseya (descended from the Divine). The eternal yet abstract concept of a supreme power without a name or form is referred to as Brahman or Parasiva. Later the Tantras mention Sivasakti as the primal source of creation. Siva and Sakti are neither distinct nor separable, like two sides of a coin or like positive and negative energies. They are always in perfect harmony and unity. Siva is that static energy which is an immovable and eternal consciousness while Sakti is a dynamic, vibratory and all pervading energy. Hence worship of the one is inherently the worship of the other.

Kashmir Shaivism and Sri Vidya are two paths of worship with respectively Siva and Sakti as their primal deities. These two paths incorporate esoteric knowledge of natural, cosmic and spiritual sciences with a direct correlation to the right evolution and well-being of humans. Mental and physical well-being is a primary requirement for achieving overall happiness, which would eventually lead to liberation from all forms of sufferings. One may found varied paths or practices based only on faith or only on intellect to approach the Divine, but seldom may we find one based on both faith and intelligence. In reality, faith and intellect are opposites - faith may be blind while intellect (Buddhi), though open and farsighted, may be dry and over confident. A right balance between the two is necessary for real progress in spirituality. Kashmir Shaivism and Sri Vidya consist of a combination of faith and intellect, thus making the system composite, comprehensive and meticulous. These two paths of worship, considered as the mother of the Tantric scriptures, have contributed to develop an elaborate knowledge and have given practical methods of Sddhand for achieving the four goals of life. However, human wishes and desires are varied and limitless. Tantra has innovated and dealt with method to achieve large span of wishes, regulate them and help for the liberation of the soul.

Both Kashmir Shaivism and Sri Vidyd traditions consider that Siva is Prakasa - light, consciousness and masculine power, and Sakti is Vimarsa - awareness and feminine power. But while Kashmir Shaivism regards Siva as its prime deity, the Sri Vidya Upanisand path, considering Sakti as the creator and the ultimate cause of all creations, regards Her as its most essential deity and worships Her as the mother of all. This cosmic energy known as Brahmi Sakti, Para Sakti, Paramesvari or Lalita Mahatripurasundari is worshiped as the cause of the universe, including all physical, subtle and causal states in this universe. Eternally conjoined and in total harmony and unity with Siva, She is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient and possesses infinite power and attributes.

According to the scriptures, the way of the creative process is from Siva and Sakti Tattva down to the Earth element in three stages and thirty-six steps (Fattvas). This happens in the form of vibratory waves of varied frequencies condensing, contracting and intermingling in different orders and proportions to yield infinite forms and properties. So, every finite part of the creation is a minute form of this creative energy and is considered as the mother Sakti Herself. Vak (the word, Om), conceived as the essence of creation, manifests as the different vibrations of sound. Artha is its meaning, a vast spectrum of sounds with causal, subtle and physical manifestations. Any creation can be realised and expressed by the perception of hearing, sight, touch, taste and smell. But the first two, hearing and sight, are the main senses to express the names and the forms of creation. Other perceptions are only subordinate and inadequate for the expression of living beings. Thus, both hearing and sight are the essential tools used to express creation and to approach the Divine. The first stands for a subtle level of sound perception and the last for a physical level of light perception (the third, the causal level, is beyond these sound and light perceptions and expressions and has to be realized within our own consciousness).

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