Chapter 3 – Description of the Worship of the Supreme Brahman
SHRI DEVI said:
O Deva of the Devas, great Deva, Guru of Brihaspati himself, Thou Who discourseth of all Scriptures, Mantra, Sadhana, and hast spoken of the Supreme Brahman by the adoration of Whom mortals attain happiness and liberation, do Thou, O Lord! deign to instruct us in the way of service of the Supreme Soul and of the observances, Mantra, and meditation in His worship. It is my desire, O Lord! to hear the essential substance of all these from Thee (1-4).
Shri Sadashiva said:
Listen, then, O Beloved of My life! to the most secret and supreme Truth, the mystery whereof has nowhere yet been revealed (5).
Because of My affection for Thee I shall speak to Thee of that Supreme Brahman, Who is ever Existent, Intelligent, and Who is dearer to Me than life itself. O Maheshvari! the eternal, intelligent, infinite Brahman may be known in Its real Self or by Its external signs (5-6). That Which is changeless, existent only, and beyond both mind and speech, Which shines as the Truth amidst the illusion of the three worlds, is the Brahman according to Its real nature (7). That Brahman is known in samadhi-yoga by those who look upon all things alike, who are above all contraries, devoid of doubt, free of all illusion regarding body and soul (8). That same Brahman is known from His external signs, from Whom the whole universe has sprung, in Whom when so sprung It exists, and into Whom all things return (9). That which is known by intuition may also be perceived from these external signs. For those who would know Him through these external signs, for them sadhana is enjoined (10).
Attend to me, Thou, O dearest One! while I speak to Thee of such sadhana. And firstly, O Adye! I tell Thee of the Mantroddhara of the Supreme Brahman (11). Utter first the Pranava, then the words “existence” and “intelligence,” and after the word “One” say “Brahman.”
Ong Sachchidekam Brahma (12).
This is the Mantra. These words, when combined according to the rules of Sandhi, form a Mantra of seven letters. If the Pranava be omitted, it becomes a Mantra of six letters only (13). This is the most excellent of all the Mantras, and the one which immediately bestows Dharmma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha. In the use of this Mantra there is no need to consider whether it be efficacious or not, or friendly or inimical, for no such considerations affect it (14). Nor at initiation into this Mantra is it necessary to make calculations as to the phases of the Moon, the propitious junction of the stars, or as to the Signs of the Zodiac. Nor are there any rules as to whether the Mantra is suitable or not. Nor is there need of the ten Sangskara. This Mantra is in every way efficacious in initiation. There is no necessity for considering anything else (15). Should one have obtained, through merit acquired in previous births, an excellent Guru, from whose lips this Mantra is received, then life indeed becomes fruitful (16), and the worshipper receiving in his hands Dharmma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha, rejoices both in this world and the next (17).
He whose ears this great jewel of Mantra reaches is indeed blest, for he has attained the desired end, being virtuous and pious, and is as one who has bathed in a the sacred places, been initiated in all Yajnas, versed in all Scriptures, and honoured in all the worlds (18-19). Happy is the father and happy the mother of such a one – yea, and yet more than this, his family is hallowed and the gladdened spirits of the Pitris rejoice with th Devas, and in the excess of their joy sing (20): “In our family is born the most excellent of our race, one initiate in the Brahma-mantra. What need have we now of pinda offered at Gaya, or of shraddha, tarpana, pilgrimage at holy places (21); of what use are alms, japa, homa, or sadhana, since now we have obtained imperishable satisfaction?” (22)
Listen, O Devi! Adored of the world, whilst I tell You the very truth that for the worshippers of the Supreme Brahman there is no need for other religious observances (23). At the very moment of initiation into this Mantra the disciple is filled with Brahman, and for such an one, O Devi! what is there which is unattainable in all the three worlds? (24). Against him what can adverse planets or Vetala, Chetaka, Pishacha, Guhyaka, Bhuta, the Matrika, Dakini, and other spirits avail?
The very sight of him will drive them to flight with averted faces (25). Guarded by the Brahma-mantra, clad with the splendour of Brahman, he is as it were another Sun. What should he fear, then, from any planet? (26). They flee, frightened like elephants at the sight of a lion, and perish like moths in a flame (27). No sin can touch, and none but one as wicked as a suicide can harm, him, who is purified by truth, without blemish, a benefactor of all beings, a faithful believer in Brahman (28). The wicked and sinful who seek to harm him who is initiate in the knowledge of the Supreme Brahman do but harm themselves, for are they not indeed in essence inseparate from the ever-existent One? (29). For he is the holy sage and well-wisher, working for the happiness of all, and, O Devi! should it be possible to harm such an one who can go in peace? (31). For him, however, who has no knowledge of the meaning of nor of the awakening of the Mantra, it is fruitless, even though it were inwardly uttered ten million times (31).
Listen, then, O My Beloved! while I tell Thee of the meaning and awakening of Mantra. By the letter A is meant the Protector of the world; the letter U denotes its Destroyer; and M stands for its Creator (32). The meaning of Sat is Ever-existent; of Chit, Intelligence; and of Ekam, One without a second. Brahman is so called because He exists everywhere. Now, O Devi! I have given You the meaning of the Mantra, which grants the fulfilment of desires. The awakening of the Mantra is the knowledge of Him, Who is the pervading Devata of the Mantra, and such knowledge, O Supreme Devi! yields the fruit of worship to the worshipper (35). O Devi! the presiding Devata of the Mantra is the omnipresent, eternal, inscrutable, formless, passionless, and ineffable Brahman (36). When introduced by the Vija of Sarasvati, Maya, or Kamala, instead of the Mantra Om, it bestows various kinds of learning, siddhi, and prosperity in every quarter (37). The Mantra may be varied either by the prefixing or omitting of Om, or by the placing of it before each word or every two words of the Mantra (38). Sadashiva is the Rishi of this Mantra. The verse is called Anushtup, and its presiding Devata is the Supreme Brahman, Who is without attributeand Who abides in all things. It avails for the attainment of Dharmma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha.
Now listen, dear One, whilst I speak to You of Anga-nyasa and Kara-nyasa (39-40). O great and adorable Devi! the syllable Om, the words Sat, Chit, Ekam, Brahma, should be pronounced over the thumb, the threatening finger, the middle, nameless, and little fingers respectively, followed in each case by the words Namah, Svaha, Vashat, Hung, and Vaushat; and Ong Sachchidekam Brahma should be said over the palm and back of the hand, followed by the Mantra Phat (41, 42).
The worshipper disciple should in the like manner, with his mind well under control, perform Anga-nyasa in accordance with the rules thereof, commencing with the heart and ending with the hands (43).
After this, whilst reciting the Mantra Om or the Mula-mantra, Pranayama should be performed thus: He should close the left nostril with the middle of the fourth finger, and then inhale through the right nostril, meanwhile making japa of the Pranava or the Mula-mantra eight times. Then, closing the right nostril with the thumb and shutting also the mouth, make japa of the Mantra thirty-two times. After that gently exhale the breath through the right nostril, doing japa of the Mantra the while sixteen times.
In the same way perform these three acts with the left nostril, and then repeat the same process with the right nostril. O adored of the Devas! I have now told Thee of the method of Pranayama to be observed in the use of the Brahma-Mantra (44-48). The Sadhaka should then make meditation which accomplishes his desire (49).