With permission of our beloved master, Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath we are placing the excerpts of a discourse that he delivered on the topic of Saundarya Lahari Sadhana for the benefit of every seeker. Read on..
Saundarya Lahiri sadhana in Tantric system is a means to attain the highest spiritual experience i.e. pratyaksha darshanam of Devi in all her grandeur and glory. If you aspire for that kind of experience then you MUST be initiated in Tantric discipline. Once initiated as and when you become capable your Guru shall allow this sadhana and also tell you some secret keys of this. A Tantric practitioner is supposed to takes up ANY sadhana ONLY with the Guru’s permission.
But those of you who are not initiated should not get disheartened because you can equally benefit from it.. gain higher wisdom, material wealth, perfect health… great relationships and much more just by rendering the chanting of different verses to the Mother divine in prescribed manner. So.. Irrespective of your status of initiation or deeksha Your connecting with Shakti shall grant you all the resources, powers and toys needed for leading a comfortable and engaging life. I think that is what most of you have come for. (Smiles)
In fact this very first verse of Saundarya Lahiri can be said to be a Kalpa-Vriksha or wish-granting tree. It is oozing with power to fulfill ALL YOUR DESIRES FOR OBJECTS. Everyone who seeks fulfillment of one’s material desires can use this verse for obtaining divine mother’s grace. Within this verse there are concealed and coded vibrations of the panchakshari mantra i.e. Shiva’s Mantra and also the maha-mantra of SriVidya that is called Panchdasi Maha-Mantra -Vidya. Since none of you are yet inducted in these mantras I shall not be uttering the mantras. I hope soon all of you shall progress and become eligible for initiation into SriVidya..
SO… now let’s look at the first verse of this great mantra-stuti.. it is:
|| Sanudarya Lahiri – Verse 1 ||
As I told this shloka is a boon-granting, wish fulfilling energy… this energy or Shakti is contained in its specific sounds. It is chanted to remove the obstacles from our life. It is also used in getting the desired objects in our life. Like every other shloka of Saundarya Lahiri this shloka is also reverberating and overflowing with energy. So You shall need a Yantra to hold it. Some of you have already been introduced to the concept of Symbology and Mandalas by Ma Shakti Devpriya ji.. so you know what a Yantra does. This verse uses a specific Yantra. Most briefly explained…. Yantras and mandala have a mysterious quality that they can store the generated energies during the worship or practice and then they can also reflect it back to the worshiper. This reflected energy has a transforming effect on the practitioner. It is for THIS PURPOSE a mandala or Yantra is used otherwise your energies dissipate without creating any impact. OK?
Now I shall be drawing the mandala…
Have a look.
There are two yantras that can be used in your prayoga..
The most popular one is this… (draws a yantra)
Another Yantra I am drawing now… (draws another yantra)
This Yantra shall be made on an elevated platform. You can use a big round plate what we call thali for it. The material used in drawing this particular mandala is red coloured rice-flour.
Now let me first share the practices for those who are not initiated in Tattva Shakti Vigyaan. Take a beautiful photograph of Mother MahatripuraSundari. The picture should be such that you love and feel great to look at… Not just any picture. Get that framed and place it at your sadhana place. The day you place this picture at your puja place you shall be offering ‘Panchopachaara‘ to this divine mandala (picture) of Devi. Since that day every morning and evening you shall continue with this panchopachara for the days your chanting continues. Ideally you should continue offering panchopachara even after your prayoga is over. After all you have now invited and installed Mother – The creator and ruler of Cosmos at your place!
What is panchopachara? If you do not understand what is panchopachara then do not worry.
These are simple humanly offerings made to the object of reverence such as a Yantra, Idol or Mandala… believing them to be a living entity… rather more like a living being. So you offer water for bathing, offering fragrant sandal paste for anointing, offer vermilion or turmeric for smearing on devi’s forehead, offer flowers to show your respect, light up fragrance and a deepam. Finally you offer something to eat.. generally something sweet is offered followed by water offering. That is it!
The same ritual shall be followed with the Yantra you shall make everyday. Looks simple…?? It is!!! But you should remember it is a ritual mandated only to cultivate the required attitude of reverence and forge a connect with saguna swaroopa of Primordial Shakti in the form of Mother Goddess MahatripuraSundari. Therefore it can not be done mechanically… there should be this feeling of Shakti – The Mother Goddess being there in the Yantra to receive your offerings. In a nutshell the more you feel Devi’s personal presence in your rituals more effective and successful your Prayoga will be. Right?
Now listen to the exact sequence in which you shall be doing this chanting. Please keep in mind this method is for those who do not have ‘deeksha’. For dixits (initiated ones) I shall discuss after this..
- After taking bath wear clean clothes.
- Sit facing east (for this particular prayoga) at the specified place. Preferably on a red woolen blanket (asani).
- Light up a deepam (vertical wick) of clarified butter (ghee). Preferably cow’s ghee should be used.
- Now make the perfect shaped Yantra on the elevated platform with red flour of rice (for that mix the powdered rice with red color)
- Invite Mother to assume her seat in this Yantra. Offer panchopachara to the Yantra with love and reverence. Keep the offerings little away from Yantra and take care while you make offerings especially water as if that gets sprinkled upon the Yantra it might distort its shape. A distorted or disfigured yantra should not be used in any circumstance.
- Visualize Devi accepting your offerings.
- Convey the object of your desire or the obstacle you want to win over to the mother.
- Now chanting of this first shloka begins.
I repeat the chanting for you..
9. You are supposed to chant this shloka minimum of 108 times. (You may use rosary beads to keep the count).
10. Once your chanting gets over make a prayer submitting your being to mother with folded hands. Request Devi to accept your energies and bhava and bless you with your desired object.. Thank her and request her to leave for her heavenly abode.
11. Sprinkle some water below your asana and offer namaskaram to king of gods Indra and pick up that water with your finger and rub it to your forehead.
Always remember that Shakti can not be manipulated forcefully and therefore even if you are provided with every tool for your prayoga or application you shall have to be humble and in the receiving mode.
Precautions you should take –
- Always take permission from your Guru. Share your intentions of doing the prayoga and request for permission.
- You MUST share the tithi (date and time) of your starting the prayoga in advance.
- No one should be physically present while Prayoga. Neither watching over of this process by anyone is allowed.
- If you are chanting only 108 times then this chanting should be done for 120 days. The ONLY other possible combination is 10×108 times per day for 12 consecutive days. I don’t think you will have that much time at your disposal. So.. my suggestion would be that you take up chanting of 108 times on a day.
- Best time for this sadhana is night however you can choose any convenient time but the rule is maintain that same timing everyday for four months.
- Keep everything you need during Prayoga within your reach. Once you get seated for chanting you should not leave the seat without completing the number of counts decided. In life-threatening situations around (or any such emergency) you can terminate your sadhana prematurely but then all your previous counts go in vain. For example if you started 10 days ago and on 11th day you had to terminate your prayoga prematurely without completing 108 (or 10×108) chants. All your counts so far become null and void. In that case you should give yourself a break and do not continue your sadhana. Start afresh, requesting for obstacle free passage through prayoga.
- Ensure deepam keeps lit up during entire chanting… till the end. If deepam is put off due to any reason your sadhana is said to be khandit.. or interrupted. The same rules apply here also.. means your sadhana done so far will become null and void.
- You completely abstain from sex and sexual stimulating material or activities during the entire period of sadhana. Keeping an attitude of reverence towards opposite sex is desirable.
- During this sadhana consumption of alcohol and meat etc is not allowed. Stay vegetarian.
- One of the most important precaution is to stay away from anger. But even if you get angry due to any reason you are not supposed to raise your voice in spat of anger. Such a behaviour creates havoc around you and also leaks your energies.
- Finally… You should not throw any articles like flower, burnt wick, dust or ashes of Dhoopam etc. that are used in Puja here and there indiscriminately. Never throw these things in dustbin. The best way is to dig a pit and bury those items (nirmaalya) there. Avoid disposing Nirmaalya in rivers/water bodies either as that causes water pollution.
At the end.. Let me clarify… Especially for those who are not initiated in Tantra or Tattva Shakti Vigyaan ‘Bhava’ or the attitude is extremely important. A childlike innocence and enthusiasm during chanting is the key. Like a child you should feel that you are secure in the assuring and protective company of the Divine Mother. You should know within that ‘She’ is your mother and she is listening to you. It is with this Bhava you should conduct your chanting and japa. … then… you shall reap the immediate benefits invariably. Of course absolutely correct pronunciation should be learnt and be maintained during the chanting!
Hope you all shall surrender your false ego at the lotus feet of the Beautiful Goddess of the Three Worlds and receive Her grace.”
Acharya ji further gave some more instructions on the subject –
“For the higher practitioners (Krama initiates) all of the above rituals are going to be completely different. These are more elaborate and would require more precision… because you will be given beeja mantras for these verses. So you shall require personal guidance on this sadhana. You already know that more than your own efforts Gurumandala’s blessings do the magic for you. Here in these rituals also you shall be invoking Gurumandala and carrying out protection rituals as the first few things. You shall be using the personal mantra (that is given during your ‘deeksha’) as well. For the rest of period (when you are not engaged in prayoga) practice of ‘samyama’ and ‘witnessing’ is the key for receiving grace of mother.
Jai Ambe Shri!“
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