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The Sakta Upanisad-s
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The present work contains English Translations of Eight Sakta Upanisad-s with notes, mainly based on the Advaitic commentary of Upanisad-Brahmayogin, following the daksinacara or Samayacara approach, and ignoring the non-Vedic vama-marga. It is based on the coordinate status of sakti and Siva. The typical Sakta elements such as the Srividya-mantra, the concept of the Cakras (mystic centres) and the worship of the mystic diagram Sricakra have been given due recognition.

Dr. A. G. Krishna Warrier who translated and annotated the text was a well-known scholar, and an authority on Advaita. He was on the Adyar Library staff for a time.

 

introduction

With the translation here offered of the eight Sakta Upanisad-s published as No. 10 in the Adyar Library Series in 1925 and reprinted in 1950, the originalscheme of the first editor of the Minor Upanisad-s, 1 may be said to be nearing formal fulfillment. It was almost accidentally that the present translator came to be associated with this work. During the period 1953-55, when he was residing in the precincts of the Adyar Library as a research scholar working on 'The Concept of Mukti in Advaita Vedanta', he was entrusted with the work of translating with notes the Sakta Upanisad-s for publication in the Adyar Library Bulletin. After the lapse of a considerable length of time, it has been possible for the Adyar Library and Research Center to bring together in book from those occasional publications as also the translation which could not be published in the Bulletin, but have been got ready for inclusion in the book now being issued. To maintain uniformity and to facilitate understanding of the texts, brief notes have been provided for each of these translations. It is necessary to point out at the very outset that these translations and notes have been prepared mainly on the basis of the commentary of Sri Upanisad Brahma- yogin, the celebrated author of the comments on the 108 Upanisad-s, whose real name is Sri Ramacandrendra. In these circumstances it is but natural that the trans- lations and notes should betray an Advaitic bias. This, however, need not be regretted, for the character and aim of the original texts can easily be shown to be Advaitic.

The Sakta Upanisad-s along with those of the Saiva and Vaisnava schools of thought and worship are, in form, sectarian and appear to have been composed in relatively recent times with certain definite ends in view. 2 This surmise is strengthened by the- fact that there has never been a stable tradition regarding the identity of the works designated as ' Sakta Upanisad-s '. For instance, 'Farquhar" distinguishes. and describes a Kaula Upanisad that sets forth 'in terse prose the ethical code of the Kaulas'. Apart from the Kaula Upanisad, his list comprises the following works: two Tripuratapaniya Upanisad-s, the Tripura U.,

.Satcakra u., Bhauana U. and Devi U. From the fact that the Upanisad-s translated in the present volume contain only one Tripuratapani and none entitled Satcakra U., the extreme fluidity of the tradition concerning the number and character of the Sakta Upanisad-s becomes clear. The probable reason for this instability and indefiniteness may emerge, if we examine, however briefly, the question why these works came to be composed at all and what they have, in fact, achieved.

As distinct from the Kaula, or ' left-hand' school, a vaidika or samaya school of Saktaism came to be organ- ized at least as early as Laksmidhara, the erudite commentator of the Saundaryalahari.1+ The urgency with which the new sect of Sakta-s was organized may very well be appreciated from the climactic remarks Laksmidhara makes in his comment on verse 41 of the SL: atra bahu uaktavyam asti, tat tu avaidikamargatvat smaranarham api na bhavati.2 In sharp contrast to this dubious way of Mother-worship, the Vaidika-s developed a daksinacara or samayacara, of which, accord- ing to Laksmidhara, the founder was Adi Samkara himself. The salient features of this healthy style of Sakta worship may be indicated. Samaya is defined as the- Goddess Sakti herself who achieves a fivefold equality with Sambhu.1 According to this way of worship and' thought Sambhu, i.e. Siva is also designated Samaya for a corresponding reason; he, in his turn, achieves a fivefold equality with the Goddess. In other words, the samaya cult is based on the co-ordinate - status of Sakti and Siva. The equality referred to above covers the equality of abode or adhisthana; that of condition or avasthana; that of practice or anusthana; that of form or rapa; and that of name or naman. The concrete universe is pictured as the offspring of these universal parents:

ubhabhyam etabhyam udayavidhim uddisya dayaya,
sanathabhyam jajne janakajananimaj jagad idam.2
We need not expatiate here on the detailed demonstration of the doctrine of fivefold equality and may refer the curious reader to Laksmidhara's commentaryon verse 41 of the SL.

More relevant to our purpose is his remark that the followers of the samayacara eschew external worship whether it be of women or of Sricakra.3 What is deemed proper by the Samayin-s is the worship of the Parents of the universe in the sahasrara, 'the thousand- petalled lotus' above the ajnacakra or the mystic centre between the eyebrows. In other words, a highly contemplative and imaginative type of mysticism is the living creed of the followers of 'the right-hand' way of Sakta worship. A close examination of the Sakta Upanisad-s may disclose the fact that most of them came to be composed after the composition of the SL, nay, after even that of its commentary by Laksmidhara.1

With reference to the mantra, 'van me manasi ' used as santipatha in four of these Sakta Upanisad-s2 and 'bhadram karnebhih' in the remaining four,3 it may be concluded that these two groups may respectively be affiliated to the Rgveda and the Atharvaveda.4 The large number of quotations from the Vedic Samhita-s found scattered in the Sakta Upanisad-s tend to create the impression that these also belong to a hoary past. Yet the fact that in the short TU, apparently belonging to the Rgveda, not one of the verses cast in the Vedic mould can be traced to a Vedic source should make us circumspect. On the other hand, one notes that in TTU, the well-known Gayatri has been augment- ed by the addition of a new line, paro rajase 'savadom.1 Verses 3 and 4 in the same are quotations from RV, I. 99 and VII. 59. Verses 13 and 14 of the fourth section of this Upanisad are the same as RV, I. 22.20 and IV. 40. 5. Similarly in the DU, verses 4, 6 and 7 are identical with RV, X. 125. 1 (=AV, IV. 30. 1), RV, X. 125. 2 and AV, IV. 30. 6. Other quotations from the Samhita-s may be found in the BUand the SRU.

As regards the contents of the Sakta Upanisad-s it may be observed that they set forth the main doctrines of Advaita Vedanta in the colourful garb of the Sakta worship of the Vaidika type with accent on practice or anusthana. By way of contrast may be mentioned the opinion of the Kulacarin-s that the Vedacara is the lowest while, of course, the Kulacara is the highest.2 The goal of the Vaidika worshipper of Sakti is the attainment, as in Advaita, of the status of Brahman.3 The most decisive proof of the contention that the Sakta Upanisad-s are only Advaitic texts in disguise is furnished by their prevailing concept of Sakti. The declaration in the BU deserves to be quoted in full in this context: satyam ekam lalitakhyam vastu tad advitiyam akhandartham param brahma1 Differences are purely terminological: in the place of the word brahman are used words denoting Sakti or its divine embodi- ments like Mahatripurasundarl, Sarasvati, Laksmi, Sita, Durga, etc.

The impression thus created of the essentially Advaitic character of the Sakta Upanisad-s is strength- ened by the details given in some of them regarding maya and the jiva. In verses 52 and 53 of the SRU the well-known powers of concealment and projection associated with the Advaitic maya are mentioned, while verse 55 declares, in oft-quoted terms, that the status asjiva is a result of superimposition: asyajivatvam aropat. The equally quintessential Advaitic distinc- tion between the qualified Brahman and the Absolute, sagunabrahman and the nirgunabrahman, also finds due recognition in these Upanisad-s.2 In fact, so complete has been the assimilation of the Advaitic spirit by these Sakta Upanisad-s that even Gaudapada's rigid .ajativada 3 has been incorporated in one of them.4

Nevertheless, the typical Sakta elements such as the Srividyamantra, the concept of the cakra-s or mystic centres, and the worship of the mystic diagram or Sricakra have also been accorded due recognition in our texts. Even oblique references to the non-Vedic forms of Sakta worship may be detected in a few places, As a matter of fact, one of the most prominent characteristics of Sakta worship is the use of the mantra or the mystic formula styled Srividyii or adividya, or Tripurasundari-mantra. Two identical verses in TU and DU1 set forth in recondite manner the formula in question. For a detailed understanding of this mantra, reference may be made .to our translations of these passages and notes thereon as well as to the Varivasya- rahasya.2 Further, it may be pointed out that Laksmi- dhara's comment on verse 32 of the SL furnishes a comprehensive elucidation of this most sacred Sakta mantra. Its unique importance is attested also by the fact that in the TTU, verses 7 to 25 are devoted to its exposition.

While the idea of Sricakra is adumbrated in verse 9 of the first section and in the second section of TTU, the entire BhU symbolically identifies the human body with the Sricakra, thus investing the former with an aura of divinity. It is just another way of affirming- the truth that the human body is the temple of God.' The kindred idea of the satcakra-s is treated in these Upanisad-s, but not in exact accordance with the current tradition of the Sakta school. Instead of the' well-known six cakra-s OT centres along the susumna,part III of the SLU describes nine centres, the additional ones being the talucakra, brahmarandhracakra• and the akasacakra. It is not easy to discuss how or why this innovation came to be made.

Attention may also be drawn to the somewhat oblique manner in which certain objectionable rites associated with the vamacara have found mention in these uaidika Upanisad-s. Verses 11 and 12 of the TU refer to sakama rites involving the use of flesh, etc, The Advaitic commentator takes the trouble to point out that the way of worship alluded to is inferior and must therefore be eschewed at all costs.! The reference to the kumari puja in TTU, III. 15 seems to hark back to vamacara rituals; but here again the commentator presents a sublimated picture of the entire process. equating kauli with the Goddess manifest in the microcosm.2

On the whole, it seems right to conjecture that the Sakta Upanisad-s have been composed with the definite purpose of linking the Advaitic view of the universe with a colourful and heart-warming cere- monial, thus rescuing from evil repute a somewhat antique system of worship whose degradation had been brought . about, in course of time, by the admixture of certain unhealthy practices. This may explain' the omission of the Kaula Upanisad from the list of the Sakta Upanisad-s.3

I have great pleasure to record here my sense of obligation to the Adyar Library and Research Centre for issuing these translations in book form in the Adyar Library Series so as to form a companion volume to No. 10 of the Series. Thanks are also due to those who made suggestions for improvements on the first draft I had originally prepared. As already pointed out, the present translations have been based mainly on the commentary of Sri Upanisad Brahmayogin. In conformity with established practice, some additional words have been placed within square brackets to bring out the sense of the original texts. Perhaps, the hope is legitimate that the present translations and notes may help at least some readers to understand the original texts better. In any case, a volume such as this is called for to complete the plan which the authorities of the Adyar Library drew up when they undertook, more than fifty years ago, the publication of all available Upanisad-s,

 

CONTENTS
  INTRODUCTION v
  SANTIPATHA-S xv
I TRIPURATAPINI UPANISAD 1
  THE FIRST UPANISAD 1-13
  The real nature of Tripura, 1-The great Mantra of Tripura, 1-Creation of the world by the union of Siva and Sakti, 2-The accord of Vagbhavakuta with Gayatri, 3-The accord of Krmakuta with Gayatri, 5-The accord of Saktikuta with Gayatri, 7-The fruit of this knowledge, 8-The citations of the twelve Vidya-s such as that of Siva and Sakti, 8-The method of Meditating on the great Goddess of the three cities, 11  
  THE SECOND UPANISAD 13-21
  Question regarding Tripura Vidya, 13-Tripura Vidya, 13-The incantation of tripuresi, of the Atmasana form and of the form of sakti and Siva, 15-The incantation which abides in Tripura, 16-The natural order of Sricara, 17-The reverse order of Sricakra, 19-The worship o the great Tripura, the beautiful, in the Sricakra, 20-The fruit of worship, 21  
  THE THIRD UPANISAD 21-25
  The general definition of the mystic marks, 21-Definition of the mystic marks like the triangle, 21-Definition of the mystic mark of the five arrows, 22-The explanation of the nine seed-syllables, 22-The wheel of Kamakala, 23-The worship of the Lord of the field, 24-The worship of a maiden of noble descent, 24  
  THE FOURTH UPANISAD 25-28
  Advice about victory over death, 25-The explanation of words such as Tryambaka, 25-The Mantra for the vision of Bhagavati, 26  
  THE FIFTH UPANISAD 29-34
  Inquiry into Brahman without attributes, 29-description of the Supreme Self, 29-The control of the mind, 29-Vision of the Self without Adjuncts, 31-The vision of the Supreme Self, 33-The greatness of the wisdom of Sri Kamaraja, 33  
II TRIPURA UPANISAD 35
  The form of the Power of Consciousness, 35-A Prayer to the Power of Consciousness, 36-The nature of the Lord of Desires, 37-the fruit of Knowledge of the beautiful goddess whose love is Siva, 37-Exposition of the first incantation, 38-The fruits of primeval Wisdom gathered by men of detachment, 38-The fruit of knowledge of the Goddess, 38-Meditation prescribed for the less gifted, 39-Practice suited to the less qualified seekers and its result, 39-Attainment of Brahman by the worshipper, free from desires, 40  
III SARASVATIRAHASYOPANISAD 41
  The ten Sloka-s on Sarasvati that yield knowledge of Truth, 41-The Seer, etc. of the ten uerses, 41-The Seer, etc. of the Mantra, pra no devi, 42-The Seer, etc, of the Mantra: a no divah, 42-The Seer, etc, of the Mantra: pavaka nah, 43-The Seer, etc. of the Mantra: codayitri, 43-The Seer, etc. of the Mantra: maho arnah, 44-The Seer, etc. of the Mantra: catvari vak, 44-The Seer, etc, of the Mantra: yad vak, 45-The Seer, etc. of the Mantra: devim vacam, 45-The Seer, etc. of the Mantra: uta tvah, 46-The Seer, etc. of the Mantra: ambitame, 46Prayer addressed to the goddess, 47-The goddess is Brahman, Prakrti and Purusa, 48-The goddess is Isvara Due to Maya, 49-Maya's two powers of projection and concealment, 50-The nature of Jiva, 50-Difference disappears when concealment ceases to be, 50-Distinction between Brahman and Prakrti in the realm of objects, 51-Six kinds of concentration, 51-Realization of Truth without aspects, 52  
IV SAUBHAGYALAKSMI UPANISAD 54
  FIRST PART 54-59
  Inquiry into the Science of the Goddess of Prosperity, 54-Meditation on the Goddess of Prosperity, 54-The Seers, etc. of the hymn on Sri, 54-The wheel of the Goddess of Prosperity, 55-The Seer, etc. of the Mantra of the single syllable, 56-The wheel of the monosyllabic incantation, 57-Specific Mantra-s of Laksmi, 58  
  SECOND PART 59-63
  The path of knowledge for the most eligible aspirants, 59-The path of breath-control together with the gestures of the six faces, 59-Sundering of the three knots before the emergence of the sound, 60-The mode of the infinite Brahman, 61-The state of certitude, 62-The marks of concentration, 63  
  THIRD PART 64-66
  The basic wheel, 64-The wheel of Svadhisthana, 64-The wheel of the navel, 64-The wheel of the heart, 64-The wheel of the throat, 65-The wheel of the palate, 65-The wheel of the brow, 65-The wheel of the 'Brahman-orifice', 65-The wheel of space, 66-The fruit of studying this Upanisad, 66  
V BHAVANOPANISAD 67
VI BAHVRCOPANISAD 73
  The essence of the Power of Consciousness, 73-The Power of Consciousness is the Cause of everything, 73-Contemplation of the Power of Consciousness as word and sense, 74-The Power of consciousness is non-dual, 74-Contemplation of the Unity of the inner and supreme Consciousness, 75-Contemplation of the Power of Consciousness in the form of Ambika, etc., 76-Brahman alone is to be principally known, 76  
VII DEVI UPANISAD 77
  The Power of consciousness, as the Self of all, is Brahman, 77-The Power of Consciousness is the ground of all, 77-The gods glorify the Goddess, 78-The construction of the primeval science, or adividya, 80-The glory of the primeval science, 80-The monosyllabic Mantra of the Goddess of the World, 81-The nine-syllabled science of Maha-candi 81-The praise for repeating the science, 83  
VIII SITA-UPANISAD 85
  Sita as the first cause, 85-The literal sense of the word Sita, 85-The form of Sita manifest and unmanifest, 86-Sita is Brahman, 87-Sita is the triple power of desire, etc., 87-The power of desire is Sri, Bhumi and Nila, 88-Nila as the moon, 88-Nila as the sun, etc., 88-Nila as fire, 89-The power of desire as the Goddess Sri, 89-The power of desire as the goddess Bhu, 89-The power of desire as all, 90-The power of desire is Earth's support, 90-Of the power of action is born sound, 90-The enumeration of the Veda-s with their limbs, main and subordinate, and of the Vedic schools, 91-The sound alone through Vedic Science becomes Brahman, 93-The essential form of manifest Power, 93-The power of desire as the Power of Yoga, 94-The Power of desire as the Power of enjoyment, 94-The Power of desire as the Power of heroism, 95  

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The Sakta Upanisad-s

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About the Book

 

The present work contains English Translations of Eight Sakta Upanisad-s with notes, mainly based on the Advaitic commentary of Upanisad-Brahmayogin, following the daksinacara or Samayacara approach, and ignoring the non-Vedic vama-marga. It is based on the coordinate status of sakti and Siva. The typical Sakta elements such as the Srividya-mantra, the concept of the Cakras (mystic centres) and the worship of the mystic diagram Sricakra have been given due recognition.

Dr. A. G. Krishna Warrier who translated and annotated the text was a well-known scholar, and an authority on Advaita. He was on the Adyar Library staff for a time.

 

introduction

With the translation here offered of the eight Sakta Upanisad-s published as No. 10 in the Adyar Library Series in 1925 and reprinted in 1950, the originalscheme of the first editor of the Minor Upanisad-s, 1 may be said to be nearing formal fulfillment. It was almost accidentally that the present translator came to be associated with this work. During the period 1953-55, when he was residing in the precincts of the Adyar Library as a research scholar working on 'The Concept of Mukti in Advaita Vedanta', he was entrusted with the work of translating with notes the Sakta Upanisad-s for publication in the Adyar Library Bulletin. After the lapse of a considerable length of time, it has been possible for the Adyar Library and Research Center to bring together in book from those occasional publications as also the translation which could not be published in the Bulletin, but have been got ready for inclusion in the book now being issued. To maintain uniformity and to facilitate understanding of the texts, brief notes have been provided for each of these translations. It is necessary to point out at the very outset that these translations and notes have been prepared mainly on the basis of the commentary of Sri Upanisad Brahma- yogin, the celebrated author of the comments on the 108 Upanisad-s, whose real name is Sri Ramacandrendra. In these circumstances it is but natural that the trans- lations and notes should betray an Advaitic bias. This, however, need not be regretted, for the character and aim of the original texts can easily be shown to be Advaitic.

The Sakta Upanisad-s along with those of the Saiva and Vaisnava schools of thought and worship are, in form, sectarian and appear to have been composed in relatively recent times with certain definite ends in view. 2 This surmise is strengthened by the- fact that there has never been a stable tradition regarding the identity of the works designated as ' Sakta Upanisad-s '. For instance, 'Farquhar" distinguishes. and describes a Kaula Upanisad that sets forth 'in terse prose the ethical code of the Kaulas'. Apart from the Kaula Upanisad, his list comprises the following works: two Tripuratapaniya Upanisad-s, the Tripura U.,

.Satcakra u., Bhauana U. and Devi U. From the fact that the Upanisad-s translated in the present volume contain only one Tripuratapani and none entitled Satcakra U., the extreme fluidity of the tradition concerning the number and character of the Sakta Upanisad-s becomes clear. The probable reason for this instability and indefiniteness may emerge, if we examine, however briefly, the question why these works came to be composed at all and what they have, in fact, achieved.

As distinct from the Kaula, or ' left-hand' school, a vaidika or samaya school of Saktaism came to be organ- ized at least as early as Laksmidhara, the erudite commentator of the Saundaryalahari.1+ The urgency with which the new sect of Sakta-s was organized may very well be appreciated from the climactic remarks Laksmidhara makes in his comment on verse 41 of the SL: atra bahu uaktavyam asti, tat tu avaidikamargatvat smaranarham api na bhavati.2 In sharp contrast to this dubious way of Mother-worship, the Vaidika-s developed a daksinacara or samayacara, of which, accord- ing to Laksmidhara, the founder was Adi Samkara himself. The salient features of this healthy style of Sakta worship may be indicated. Samaya is defined as the- Goddess Sakti herself who achieves a fivefold equality with Sambhu.1 According to this way of worship and' thought Sambhu, i.e. Siva is also designated Samaya for a corresponding reason; he, in his turn, achieves a fivefold equality with the Goddess. In other words, the samaya cult is based on the co-ordinate - status of Sakti and Siva. The equality referred to above covers the equality of abode or adhisthana; that of condition or avasthana; that of practice or anusthana; that of form or rapa; and that of name or naman. The concrete universe is pictured as the offspring of these universal parents:

ubhabhyam etabhyam udayavidhim uddisya dayaya,
sanathabhyam jajne janakajananimaj jagad idam.2
We need not expatiate here on the detailed demonstration of the doctrine of fivefold equality and may refer the curious reader to Laksmidhara's commentaryon verse 41 of the SL.

More relevant to our purpose is his remark that the followers of the samayacara eschew external worship whether it be of women or of Sricakra.3 What is deemed proper by the Samayin-s is the worship of the Parents of the universe in the sahasrara, 'the thousand- petalled lotus' above the ajnacakra or the mystic centre between the eyebrows. In other words, a highly contemplative and imaginative type of mysticism is the living creed of the followers of 'the right-hand' way of Sakta worship. A close examination of the Sakta Upanisad-s may disclose the fact that most of them came to be composed after the composition of the SL, nay, after even that of its commentary by Laksmidhara.1

With reference to the mantra, 'van me manasi ' used as santipatha in four of these Sakta Upanisad-s2 and 'bhadram karnebhih' in the remaining four,3 it may be concluded that these two groups may respectively be affiliated to the Rgveda and the Atharvaveda.4 The large number of quotations from the Vedic Samhita-s found scattered in the Sakta Upanisad-s tend to create the impression that these also belong to a hoary past. Yet the fact that in the short TU, apparently belonging to the Rgveda, not one of the verses cast in the Vedic mould can be traced to a Vedic source should make us circumspect. On the other hand, one notes that in TTU, the well-known Gayatri has been augment- ed by the addition of a new line, paro rajase 'savadom.1 Verses 3 and 4 in the same are quotations from RV, I. 99 and VII. 59. Verses 13 and 14 of the fourth section of this Upanisad are the same as RV, I. 22.20 and IV. 40. 5. Similarly in the DU, verses 4, 6 and 7 are identical with RV, X. 125. 1 (=AV, IV. 30. 1), RV, X. 125. 2 and AV, IV. 30. 6. Other quotations from the Samhita-s may be found in the BUand the SRU.

As regards the contents of the Sakta Upanisad-s it may be observed that they set forth the main doctrines of Advaita Vedanta in the colourful garb of the Sakta worship of the Vaidika type with accent on practice or anusthana. By way of contrast may be mentioned the opinion of the Kulacarin-s that the Vedacara is the lowest while, of course, the Kulacara is the highest.2 The goal of the Vaidika worshipper of Sakti is the attainment, as in Advaita, of the status of Brahman.3 The most decisive proof of the contention that the Sakta Upanisad-s are only Advaitic texts in disguise is furnished by their prevailing concept of Sakti. The declaration in the BU deserves to be quoted in full in this context: satyam ekam lalitakhyam vastu tad advitiyam akhandartham param brahma1 Differences are purely terminological: in the place of the word brahman are used words denoting Sakti or its divine embodi- ments like Mahatripurasundarl, Sarasvati, Laksmi, Sita, Durga, etc.

The impression thus created of the essentially Advaitic character of the Sakta Upanisad-s is strength- ened by the details given in some of them regarding maya and the jiva. In verses 52 and 53 of the SRU the well-known powers of concealment and projection associated with the Advaitic maya are mentioned, while verse 55 declares, in oft-quoted terms, that the status asjiva is a result of superimposition: asyajivatvam aropat. The equally quintessential Advaitic distinc- tion between the qualified Brahman and the Absolute, sagunabrahman and the nirgunabrahman, also finds due recognition in these Upanisad-s.2 In fact, so complete has been the assimilation of the Advaitic spirit by these Sakta Upanisad-s that even Gaudapada's rigid .ajativada 3 has been incorporated in one of them.4

Nevertheless, the typical Sakta elements such as the Srividyamantra, the concept of the cakra-s or mystic centres, and the worship of the mystic diagram or Sricakra have also been accorded due recognition in our texts. Even oblique references to the non-Vedic forms of Sakta worship may be detected in a few places, As a matter of fact, one of the most prominent characteristics of Sakta worship is the use of the mantra or the mystic formula styled Srividyii or adividya, or Tripurasundari-mantra. Two identical verses in TU and DU1 set forth in recondite manner the formula in question. For a detailed understanding of this mantra, reference may be made .to our translations of these passages and notes thereon as well as to the Varivasya- rahasya.2 Further, it may be pointed out that Laksmi- dhara's comment on verse 32 of the SL furnishes a comprehensive elucidation of this most sacred Sakta mantra. Its unique importance is attested also by the fact that in the TTU, verses 7 to 25 are devoted to its exposition.

While the idea of Sricakra is adumbrated in verse 9 of the first section and in the second section of TTU, the entire BhU symbolically identifies the human body with the Sricakra, thus investing the former with an aura of divinity. It is just another way of affirming- the truth that the human body is the temple of God.' The kindred idea of the satcakra-s is treated in these Upanisad-s, but not in exact accordance with the current tradition of the Sakta school. Instead of the' well-known six cakra-s OT centres along the susumna,part III of the SLU describes nine centres, the additional ones being the talucakra, brahmarandhracakra• and the akasacakra. It is not easy to discuss how or why this innovation came to be made.

Attention may also be drawn to the somewhat oblique manner in which certain objectionable rites associated with the vamacara have found mention in these uaidika Upanisad-s. Verses 11 and 12 of the TU refer to sakama rites involving the use of flesh, etc, The Advaitic commentator takes the trouble to point out that the way of worship alluded to is inferior and must therefore be eschewed at all costs.! The reference to the kumari puja in TTU, III. 15 seems to hark back to vamacara rituals; but here again the commentator presents a sublimated picture of the entire process. equating kauli with the Goddess manifest in the microcosm.2

On the whole, it seems right to conjecture that the Sakta Upanisad-s have been composed with the definite purpose of linking the Advaitic view of the universe with a colourful and heart-warming cere- monial, thus rescuing from evil repute a somewhat antique system of worship whose degradation had been brought . about, in course of time, by the admixture of certain unhealthy practices. This may explain' the omission of the Kaula Upanisad from the list of the Sakta Upanisad-s.3

I have great pleasure to record here my sense of obligation to the Adyar Library and Research Centre for issuing these translations in book form in the Adyar Library Series so as to form a companion volume to No. 10 of the Series. Thanks are also due to those who made suggestions for improvements on the first draft I had originally prepared. As already pointed out, the present translations have been based mainly on the commentary of Sri Upanisad Brahmayogin. In conformity with established practice, some additional words have been placed within square brackets to bring out the sense of the original texts. Perhaps, the hope is legitimate that the present translations and notes may help at least some readers to understand the original texts better. In any case, a volume such as this is called for to complete the plan which the authorities of the Adyar Library drew up when they undertook, more than fifty years ago, the publication of all available Upanisad-s,

 

CONTENTS
  INTRODUCTION v
  SANTIPATHA-S xv
I TRIPURATAPINI UPANISAD 1
  THE FIRST UPANISAD 1-13
  The real nature of Tripura, 1-The great Mantra of Tripura, 1-Creation of the world by the union of Siva and Sakti, 2-The accord of Vagbhavakuta with Gayatri, 3-The accord of Krmakuta with Gayatri, 5-The accord of Saktikuta with Gayatri, 7-The fruit of this knowledge, 8-The citations of the twelve Vidya-s such as that of Siva and Sakti, 8-The method of Meditating on the great Goddess of the three cities, 11  
  THE SECOND UPANISAD 13-21
  Question regarding Tripura Vidya, 13-Tripura Vidya, 13-The incantation of tripuresi, of the Atmasana form and of the form of sakti and Siva, 15-The incantation which abides in Tripura, 16-The natural order of Sricara, 17-The reverse order of Sricakra, 19-The worship o the great Tripura, the beautiful, in the Sricakra, 20-The fruit of worship, 21  
  THE THIRD UPANISAD 21-25
  The general definition of the mystic marks, 21-Definition of the mystic marks like the triangle, 21-Definition of the mystic mark of the five arrows, 22-The explanation of the nine seed-syllables, 22-The wheel of Kamakala, 23-The worship of the Lord of the field, 24-The worship of a maiden of noble descent, 24  
  THE FOURTH UPANISAD 25-28
  Advice about victory over death, 25-The explanation of words such as Tryambaka, 25-The Mantra for the vision of Bhagavati, 26  
  THE FIFTH UPANISAD 29-34
  Inquiry into Brahman without attributes, 29-description of the Supreme Self, 29-The control of the mind, 29-Vision of the Self without Adjuncts, 31-The vision of the Supreme Self, 33-The greatness of the wisdom of Sri Kamaraja, 33  
II TRIPURA UPANISAD 35
  The form of the Power of Consciousness, 35-A Prayer to the Power of Consciousness, 36-The nature of the Lord of Desires, 37-the fruit of Knowledge of the beautiful goddess whose love is Siva, 37-Exposition of the first incantation, 38-The fruits of primeval Wisdom gathered by men of detachment, 38-The fruit of knowledge of the Goddess, 38-Meditation prescribed for the less gifted, 39-Practice suited to the less qualified seekers and its result, 39-Attainment of Brahman by the worshipper, free from desires, 40  
III SARASVATIRAHASYOPANISAD 41
  The ten Sloka-s on Sarasvati that yield knowledge of Truth, 41-The Seer, etc. of the ten uerses, 41-The Seer, etc. of the Mantra, pra no devi, 42-The Seer, etc, of the Mantra: a no divah, 42-The Seer, etc, of the Mantra: pavaka nah, 43-The Seer, etc. of the Mantra: codayitri, 43-The Seer, etc. of the Mantra: maho arnah, 44-The Seer, etc. of the Mantra: catvari vak, 44-The Seer, etc, of the Mantra: yad vak, 45-The Seer, etc. of the Mantra: devim vacam, 45-The Seer, etc. of the Mantra: uta tvah, 46-The Seer, etc. of the Mantra: ambitame, 46Prayer addressed to the goddess, 47-The goddess is Brahman, Prakrti and Purusa, 48-The goddess is Isvara Due to Maya, 49-Maya's two powers of projection and concealment, 50-The nature of Jiva, 50-Difference disappears when concealment ceases to be, 50-Distinction between Brahman and Prakrti in the realm of objects, 51-Six kinds of concentration, 51-Realization of Truth without aspects, 52  
IV SAUBHAGYALAKSMI UPANISAD 54
  FIRST PART 54-59
  Inquiry into the Science of the Goddess of Prosperity, 54-Meditation on the Goddess of Prosperity, 54-The Seers, etc. of the hymn on Sri, 54-The wheel of the Goddess of Prosperity, 55-The Seer, etc. of the Mantra of the single syllable, 56-The wheel of the monosyllabic incantation, 57-Specific Mantra-s of Laksmi, 58  
  SECOND PART 59-63
  The path of knowledge for the most eligible aspirants, 59-The path of breath-control together with the gestures of the six faces, 59-Sundering of the three knots before the emergence of the sound, 60-The mode of the infinite Brahman, 61-The state of certitude, 62-The marks of concentration, 63  
  THIRD PART 64-66
  The basic wheel, 64-The wheel of Svadhisthana, 64-The wheel of the navel, 64-The wheel of the heart, 64-The wheel of the throat, 65-The wheel of the palate, 65-The wheel of the brow, 65-The wheel of the 'Brahman-orifice', 65-The wheel of space, 66-The fruit of studying this Upanisad, 66  
V BHAVANOPANISAD 67
VI BAHVRCOPANISAD 73
  The essence of the Power of Consciousness, 73-The Power of Consciousness is the Cause of everything, 73-Contemplation of the Power of Consciousness as word and sense, 74-The Power of consciousness is non-dual, 74-Contemplation of the Unity of the inner and supreme Consciousness, 75-Contemplation of the Power of Consciousness in the form of Ambika, etc., 76-Brahman alone is to be principally known, 76  
VII DEVI UPANISAD 77
  The Power of consciousness, as the Self of all, is Brahman, 77-The Power of Consciousness is the ground of all, 77-The gods glorify the Goddess, 78-The construction of the primeval science, or adividya, 80-The glory of the primeval science, 80-The monosyllabic Mantra of the Goddess of the World, 81-The nine-syllabled science of Maha-candi 81-The praise for repeating the science, 83  
VIII SITA-UPANISAD 85
  Sita as the first cause, 85-The literal sense of the word Sita, 85-The form of Sita manifest and unmanifest, 86-Sita is Brahman, 87-Sita is the triple power of desire, etc., 87-The power of desire is Sri, Bhumi and Nila, 88-Nila as the moon, 88-Nila as the sun, etc., 88-Nila as fire, 89-The power of desire as the Goddess Sri, 89-The power of desire as the goddess Bhu, 89-The power of desire as all, 90-The power of desire is Earth's support, 90-Of the power of action is born sound, 90-The enumeration of the Veda-s with their limbs, main and subordinate, and of the Vedic schools, 91-The sound alone through Vedic Science becomes Brahman, 93-The essential form of manifest Power, 93-The power of desire as the Power of Yoga, 94-The Power of desire as the Power of enjoyment, 94-The Power of desire as the Power of heroism, 95  

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