Yakshini Sadhana – Beware of Worshiping and Taming Yakshinis (Part IV.. Concluded)

Shivoham!

Last time I was talking about Jain-Teerthankaras and their shaashan-devis or yakshinis. In fact there are temples to verify this fact. Many caves and temples house the statues of jain teerthankars along with their shaashan devis. One such site is Khandgiri caves of Bhubaneshwar in Orissa. Here we have all 24 teerthankaras along

|| Udaygiri and Khandgiri Caves ||
|| Udaygiri and Khandgiri Caves ||

with their shaashan devis. In India itself at various other places you can find scattered evidences of this claim. Among the ancient idols mostly Padmaavati and Ambikaa are quite famous yakshinis.

About Padmaavati, as I talked earlier that she is shaashan devi of 23rd Teerthankara (PaarshvaNaatha). It is said in her previous incarnation she was a female snake (naagin). It happened so that a pair of snakes (male and female) was offered in a Naga-Yagya (a ritual wherein venomous snakes especially cobra are put in fire) which was being performed by a vedic scholar. But just as the snakes were put in the fire, paarshvanaath (who was wandering in the forest) reached the spot and he immediately interrupted and tried to rescue these snakes from fire. He did take them out of fire but it was bit too late and they had suffered enough burn injuries. This pair succumbed to the burn injuries and died in front of Paarshvanath ji while he kept chanting the ‘namokaara mantra’ out of his compassion for these snakes. The power of listening to Namokar mantra at the time of death was such that this pair of snake appeared as Yaksha and Yakshi upon death. These snakes became famous “Dharanendra and Padmaavati” the yaksh-yakshi pair.

Niraj has asked a question and i find it appropriate to answer him in this talk itself. His question is –

Dear AD,

I can relate to Kurukulla devi through lalitasahasranama wherein one of the names given to Lalita is ‘kurukulla kuleshwari’. She is also called as Ambika.

But why would we call the yakshinis in a tribute to the Absolute Shakti, the Consort of Shiva?

Is Lalitasahasranama flawed when it calls these names for Shakti Herself?

Niraj

Beloved Niraj, you have raised a valid doubt however you must know one Golden rule.. Absolute Shakti is all but all are not Absolute Shakti. It is Her degree of manifestation in that realm and she can be praised by that name also. For example if you go through the verses of Durga Saptshati and there you find shakti being called, kshama, kaanti, shaanti but also bhraanti (confusion) and then you might have a doubt about how confusion can be said to the roopa (form) of absolute shakti. So here too you will have to refer to the golden rule.. She is All but all is not She! I clearly remember once such a question was raised by some disciple in front of Shri Kaleshwaranand ji, an enlightened Master of Vama-Marga Tantra in our Holy Gurumandala and he clarified “Kaamaakhyaa (lalita) is in all but all are not Kaamaakhyaa (lalita).” Frankly that was an eye-opener for many. I believe, once you meditate on this answer you will get absolute clarity.

lalita-sahasranamaFurther if Lalitasahasranama mentions her as Kurukulla Kuleshwari and Ambika first of all there is no confusion about her being in Kurukulla or Ambika however if you see linguistically the contradiction will vanish. Kurukulla-kuleshwari means the one who is owner or presiding deity of kurukulla family of yakshinis and Ambika might be a reference to Her being a mother, because ambika means mother. Even Goddess Durga has been referred to Ambika in saptshati. However it is interesting to note that Lalita Sahasranama which was sung by Vaagdevwatas, Hayagreeva and Agastya finds mention of these Yakshis. It simply reaffirms that yakshinis are grouped in some hierarchy and suitable earth-bound powerful souls are elevated to this status in certain conditions of karma. Also it should be seen as an extension of maya-shakti for granting people what they desire out of their greed, lust and other insatiable drives. Lalita Sahasranama is not flawed. In fact it is just revealing the glory how Adya-Shakti operates on various levels through her mischievous commanders for those who don’t seek the ultimate.

Let me clear one more doubt here itself before you raise it.. and I feel it would be a question “Why people should suffer in dark realms for asking material abundance and other worldly things from these lower or ancillary shaktis? Why should innocent humans not be pardoned by adi-shakti who is operating through them?” The answer is very simple – When you wish to acquire ‘material’ it is your desire to cling on to it, to use it. Think of a businessman who converts all his accumulations in Gold and buries it in his backyard.  What will be his state of mind? Undoubtedly he will constantly worry and stay alert of that buried gold all the time. Do everything possible to protect it, keep it a secret thing so that no other person knows it, no one steals it. And after crossing this bodily life in all probabilities he will start ‘guarding’ the buried treasure. If it is possible he would ‘want’ to come back in the same house again in his next birth. Now, in this case who is responsible for the suffering of this ‘jeeva’ after he leaves the body? Divine mother can not and should not be thought of playing any prank here. Man has been granted highest order of ‘Buddhi’ and Viveka and that is the biggest mercy of divine mother. Mother is extremely patient with his children.. take as much time as you can afford, take as many lives to learn as many as you want to.. she will generously give you (sooner or later) what you desire.

Niraj, Yet another doubt you might raise I foresee and that would be “Acharya, don’t you repeatedly say about the Mother divine..  bhuktim-cha-muktim dadaati nityam (she takes care of material needs and also grants the salvation)?” Yes, It is said that way but remember both (material needs and salvation) are granted by Her when we have that surrendering attitude of ‘Yathaa-Yogyam-Tatha-Kuru (Do as you please, Do what you find good for me)‘. Mother knows what her child should be given.. what is the capacity, what is eligibility and what is the right time… even if the ‘right time’ is not ‘this lifetime’, we do not refute rather accept it with reverence and grace as her gift. I say.. Wrong are those who think something is their birthright! I ask to them How do you think you deserve it? (smiles)

Ordinary man sees God in the King, Emperors and highly placed politicians. Forget ordinary, so called extraordinary people with great philosophical mind and highest degree of literary caliber become the victim of such misplaced reverence (remember when, by whom and for whom present Indian National Anthem jan-gan-man-adhinayak was written?) It is the same psychological blindness which makes people praise landlords, bosses, PMs, CMs and Presidents like gods. The same misplaced emotion you should blame for glorifying these Yakshinis by certain worshipers of theirs. In fact their devotees (they are everywhere in buddhism, jainism, greek, hindu forbidden-tantra practitioners and even in the west where most of these practices are done in the name of wicca and winna albeit westerners have altogether different nomenclature for such entities) and appeasers did see them as wish-fulfilling deities hence sang about them ‘whatever they could imagine and was possible’. For example see this verse in the praise of Padmavati by jain-munis :

|| Ambika - The Yakshi ||
|| Ambika – The Yakshi ||

तारा त्वं सुगतागमे, भगवती गौरीति शेवागमे 

वज्रा कौलिकशासने, जिनमते पद्मावती विश्रुता|
गायत्री श्रुतिशालिनी प्रक्रितिरित्युक्तासि सांख्यागमे 
मातर्भारति! कि प्रभूतभणितैर्व्याप्तं समस्त त्वया || पद्मावती-स्तोत्र, 20 ||

 

In fact in this literary creation of jain-muni the glory of padmaawati, tara and vajra is sung. Muni is equating her with ved-gayatri, bhaarati and bhavaani. Yet these beauties called yakshinis should not colored in that divine hue. The truth is that these yakshinis are mostly limited to their individual geographical boundaries on this earth. They rule in their respective piece of land (kingdom) and their powers start diminishing when invoked beyond their kingdom because in another place some other yakshini is worshiped (thus becomes powerful) and rules that geographical region. Medieval period practices of Bhakti, Sadhana, Tantra, Mantra and Gyaan etc. are definitely influenced (or at least find mention of) by these entities.

|| Are you ready to be eaten up ? ||
|| Are you ready to be eaten up ? ||

There are umpteen number of books are available in the field of tantra & mantra.  However when you look at these rituals, sadhana or practices you will understand these are more like appeasement of or barter with these powers where in you offer them something (which is dear to them), chant their praise and if everything goes well she will appear to grant you wish/serve you. However the words of different Enlightened Tantra Masters/Gurus about these sadhana or practices are unequivocally the same and that is “One should stay away from these practices for one’s spiritual benefits because these powers sooner or later overpower the practitioner and make him/her fall.” It actually doesn’t matter how much higher realm a Yakshini belongs to.. such as Padmavati, Ambika and Kurukulla etc. belong to higher category of Yakshinis FYI)

Broadly there are 3 categories of manifestation by Adya Shakti.. Here the energies are truly benevolent and divine, perfectly uncontaminated (mahakali, mahalaxmi, mahasaraswati) and there are few other parallel manifestations of highest order (e.g. dash mahavidya/durga) which are well documented by Tantra Masters in ancient Tantric literature. These manifestations of Adi-Shakti are all alike. These are different personified aspects of the adi-shakti and only these are to be worshiped, pleased and prayed by wise sadhakas. Well the secret is even these Shaktis are capable of granting what you want.. but I won’t engage in detailing the processes here. I shall only hint that this universe is managed moment to moment by the energy currents only and thus if we obtain the grace of highest of these currents we are not only gifted with what we desire but also rendered closest to Shiva!

Shivoham!

Blessings from Masters..

– Acharya Agyaatadarshan

About Sacred Tattva

7 comments on “Yakshini Sadhana – Beware of Worshiping and Taming Yakshinis (Part IV.. Concluded)

  1. Dear AD,

    I thank you for the clarification. You anticipated a few other questions and obviated the need for further queries.

    As I move ahead, I have found my intellectual curiosity slowly melting away. Things just feel right to me. On occasions, I try to do more sadhana and which helps me get answers from within – I have come to realize that sadhana is the answer to all questions – not the intellectual curiosity which is just absorbed at a superficial level.

    I feel this is a profound change in attitude, knowing every answer lies somewhere within the sadhana. So you and Ma get less questions from me these days!

    Pranam,
    Niraj

  2. Very well compiled information . The yakshi yantra is practised in Kerala .from your article it seems that it’s left over from ancient Jain culture in Kerala. – Mohan Divakaran

  3. Very nice thought to contemplate-Kaamaakhyaa is in all but all are not Kaamaakhyaa.
    I have heard Kaamaakhyaa to be one of the Shakti peeth in Assam. This question may be out of context – Are Shakti peeth all over India, where it is believed that different parts of the body of parvati fell according to mythology, is the aadi shakti you pray to?

    1. Beloved Sujatha,

      These 51 Shakti peethas are shrines having different aspects of aadi-shakti. I can conveniently say that any of these peethas are direct and true representation of that aadi-shakti but it is not so easy to comprehend because from a different standpoint each one of these aspect is hierarchical as well. When an enlightened one says kaamaakhyaa is in all but all are not in kamaamakhyaa means that very aspect of shakti is best represented as Yoni (now whatever one can associate it with.. may be femininity, fertility, creation, destination and resting place for lingam, bliss, enchantment, origin of life) and the same very aspects or virtues are available in every other shakti for no shakti can be without yoni. It may sound like a riddle for the uninitiated.. like Durga another higher aspect bears these symbols of Yoni, Lingam and Naaga on her forehead as well.. Now can you make any thing out of it? Probably not… and it is not expected also (smiles)

      Start the journey and it is only through the grace of Guru, Shakti reveals itself to the sadhika/sadhaka.

      Shivoham!
      – Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath

  4. Dear Acharya ji,

    Kurukulla, Kulla etc… are not yakshinis – they are yoginis who are invoked while we do the pooja of Sri or Kali yantra. They are considered as highly advanced sadhikas of divine mother and her helpers. As such if what you are saying about them is true, then worshipping nityas in the yantra should also be wrong.

    Thanks!

    1. Dear Shiva,

      Master says “There is no need to debate on whether Yoginis and Yakshinis are the same or different because experiencing them through your sadhana only can remove the doubt. While Nitya worship during chakra pujan is well accepted rite yet separate worship of Yoginis is mostly avoided. It is because the servers of the main deity are subdued and in-service when the worshiper is invoking them in the presence of main deity. That is why when tantric practitioner uses ‘sarvato-bhadra yantra’ for offering the highest seat to the main deity and makes a separate Yantra for 64 Yoginis where they are given their dues only under the controlling presence of Mahakali, Mahalaxmi and Mahasaraswati – to whom they serve.”

      Shivoham!

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