Gudrun Bühnemann - Mandalas and Yantras in the Hindu Traditions

August 27, 2017 | Author: connectme27000 | Category: Mandala, Tantra, Mantra, Indian Religions, Religious Behaviour And Experience
Share Embed Donate

Short Description

Descripción: mandala...






G U D R U N BU H N EM A N N with contributions by H. Brunner, M.W. Mcister, A. Padoux, M. Rastelli and J. Torzsok

B R IL L L E ID E N • B O S T O N 2003

T his book is printed on acid-free paper.

L ib r a r y o f C o n g r e s s C a ta lo g in g -m -P u b lica tio n D a ta B iih n e m a n n , G u d r u n . M a n d a la s a n d Y a n lra s in th e H in d u tra d itio n s / G u d r u n B ith n e m a n n . p. cm . — (B rill’s In d o lo g ic a l lib ra ry ; v 18) In c lu d e s b ib lio g ra p h ic a l referen c es a n d in d ex . IS B N 9 0 -0 4 -1 2 9 0 2 -2 1. M a n d a la . 2. Y an tras. 3. H in d u sy m b o lism . I. T itle. II. Series. B L 2 0 1 5 .M 3 B 8 5 2 0 0 2 2 9 4 .5 ’3 7 ~ d c2 1 2002043732


0 9 2 5 -2 9 1 6 90 04 12902 2

© Copyright 2 0 0 3 by Koninklijke B rill NV, I A d en , T he .Netherlands

A ll rights reserved. Jsro part o f this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted m any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or othemrise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use is granted by Brill provided that the appropriate fees are paid directly to 7 he Copyright Clearance Center, 2 2 2 Rosewood Drive, Suite 9 ! 0 Danvers, M A 0 1 9 2 3 , USA. Pees are subject to change. P R IN T E D IN T il K NETHERLANDS


Notes on Contributors ................................................................... List o f I llu s tra tio n s.....................................................

v [\ jx

In tro d u c tio n ....................................................................... Gudrun Biilm em ann Mandala, Yantra and Cakra: Gudrun Buhnem ann


Some O b s e rv a tio n s ..........................


Mandalas and Yantras in Smarta R it u a l........................................... Gudrun Biilm em ann Part I. Selected Mandala-like Structures, M andalas and Yantras Part 11, Bhadramandalas


The Use o f Mandalas and Yantras in the Pancaratra Tradition ... M arion R astelli Mandala and Yantra in the Siddhanta School o f Saivism: Definitions, Description and Ritual U s e ...................................... H elene B runner Icons o f Inclusivism: Mandalas in Some Early Saiva T a n tr a s .... Judit Torzsok Mandalas in A bhinavagupta’s Tantraloka ........................... A n d re Padoux The Sricakra according to the First Chapter o f the Y o g im h rd a y a .................................................... A ndre Padoux


j 53




Vastupurusamandalas: Planning in the Image of Man ................ M ichael W. M e is ter


Bibliography and Abbreviations.........................................................

27 1

I n d e x ..........................................................................................................



H E L E N E B R U N N E R [-LACHAUX] was a m em b er o f the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (Section o f Oriental Studies), Pans, from 1963 to 1985, She retired in 1985, but continues working in hei field, that is Agamic (Saiddhantika) Saivism, as represented in mediaeval texts, A gam as or paddhatis. Her m ajor publications in­ clude an edition and French translation o f the Som asanibhupaddhati (four volumes, Pondichery: Institut Frangais d ’lndologie 1963-1998) and a French translation o f the kriyapada and caryapada o f the M rgendragama (Pondichery: Institut Frangais d ’lndologie, 1985). G U D R U N B U H N E M A N N is a Professor at the Departm ent o f L an­ guages and C ultures o f A sia o f the U niversity o f W isconsinM adison. Her m ajor publications include B u d h a -K a u sika ’s Ranraia ksa sto tia : A C ontribution to the S lu d y o f Sanskrit D evo tio n a l Poetry (Vienna: Institut fur Indologie, Universitat Wien, 1983); Puja: A S tu d y m Smarta R itual (Vienna: Institut fur Indologie, Universitat Wien, 1988); The W orship o f M ahaganapati according to the N ityotsava (Wichtrach: Institut fur Indologie, 1988); F orm s o f Ganesa: A S tu d y based on the Vidyarnavalantra (Wichtrach: Institut fur Indo­ logie, 1989); and The Iconography o f Hindu Tantric Deities. Volume I: The Pantheon o f the M antramahodadhi. Volume II: The Pantheons o f the Piapahcasara and the Saradatilaka (G roningen- Egbert Forsten 2000- 2001). ‘ ’ M I C H A E L W . MEISTER holds the W. Norman Brown Chair o f South Asian Studies at the University o f Pennsylvania. He has edited the Encyclopaedia o f Indian T em ple A rchitecture, D iscourses on Siva, M a kin g Things in South A sia , C o o m a ra s w a m y ’s E ssays in E arly Indian A rchitecture and E ssays in A rchitectural Theory, C ooking for the G ods and Ethnography and Personhood.

is Dirccteur de recherche honoraire at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Paris. His publications include Vac. The C oncept o f the W ord in S elected H indu Tantras (Albany,




N ew York: State University o f N ew York Press, 1990); L e coeur de la YoginJ. Yoginlhrdaya, avec le com m entaire DIpika d ’Am rtananda (Paris: De Boccard, 1994); and (with Lilian Silburn) Abhinavagupta. La lum iere sur les tantras, chapitres 1 a 5 du Tantraloka, traduits el com m entes (Paris: De Boccard, 1998). M A R IO N R A STELLI received her Ph.D. in Classical Indian Studies

(Indology) in 1998 from the University o f Vienna. She is presently a research fellow at the Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History o f Asia o f the Austrian A cadem y o f Sciences, Vienna. Her research focuses on the teachings and ritual o f Pancaratra. Her most im portant publications are: P hilosophisch-theologische G rundanschauungen der Jayakhyasaniliita. M il einer D arstellung des taglichen R itu a ls (Wien: V erlag der O sterreichischen A kadem ie der W issenschaften, 1999) and The R elig io u s Practice o f the Sadhaka A c co rd in g to the Jayakhyasam hita (Indo-lranian Journal 43, 2000: 319-395). JUDITTORZSOK is Lecturer (‘Martre de conferences’) in Sanskrit at the Universite Charles-de-Gaulle-Lille 3 (France). She completed her D.Phil. thesis in Oxford in 1999 on a Tantra entitled the Siddhayogesvarlmata, belonging to the tradition o f the Trika. Her research focuses on the early Saiva Tantric traditions. Since 2001 she has been contributing to the Hindu T antric D ictionary (Tantrikabhid h a n a k o s a ) and p a r tic ip a te s in the S k a n d a -P u ra n a p r o je c t (Groningen, the Netherlands).


Illustrations to “M andala, Yantra and Cakra: S o m e O bservations” b y Gudrun Biilm em ann: 1. A yantra for attraction (akarsanayantra), described in M antram ah o d ad h i 2 0 .8 4 c d -8 5 ; reproduced from the M a n tra m a h o d a d h i (edited by R. Prasada, Lucknow: Sm arahim sakadatta Press, 1872, appendix). The nam e D evadatta (to be replaced with the intended p erson’s name) appears in the centre o f the pericarp o f the lotus, and the krodhabija (that is, the syllable h u m ) in the four lotus petals. The yantra should be drawn on a leaf o f birch-bark using a mixture o f red sandalwood paste and one s own blood. After the puja the yantra is normally soaked in ghee. 2. A supporting mandala for the vardliani vessel in Tantric puja; reproduced from Buhnem ann 1988b, Illustration 36. 3. A ca. 17th-century yantra with the R am araksastotra inscribed on textile (33 x 34 cm); photograph by G. Buhnem ann. In 1979 this yantra was part o f the collection o f Sarabhai N aw ab (Ahmedabad). 4. A yantra assigned to stanza 55 o f the Saundaryalahari; repro­ duced from Saundaryalahari 1957: 87. The syllable ya m (w hich is usually the seed [blja] syllable o f the elem ent w ind) is inscribed thrice in the yantra. A ccording to the instructions (jjrayoga), the yantra should be draw n on a golden plate or on fish-bone. One should repeat the stanza 20,000 times a day for 45 days to secure freedom from bondage. 5. A yantra for subjugating o n e ’s master, described in D am o d ara’s Y an tracin tam an i 3 . 2 0 -2 6 (T urstig 1988: 2 1 ); re p ro d u c e d from Turstig 1988, appendix, yantra no. 3. The nam e D evadatta (to be re­ placed with the intended p e rso n ’s name) appears in the centre o f the pericarp o f the lotus prefixed by the syllables om srlm and suffixed by srlm om. O n the lotus petals the syllables srim and ksah alternate. The yantra should be draw n on a le a f o f birch-bark using yellow pigm ent. It should then be placed into a vessel and burnt, and its ashes consumed.



6. A pujayantra o f M ahaganapati, reproduced and adapted from Buhnemann 1988b, Illustration 40. The yantra features a downwardpointing triangle inside a hexagram, surrounded by an eight-petalled lotus and a square with four gates.

Illustrations to “M andalas and Yantras in Smarta R itu a l” b y Gudrun Buhnem ann: Part I. Selected M andala-like Structures, Mandalas and Yantras Following a com m on South Asian tradition o f depicting mandalalike structures, the east (and not the north) is shown on top o f the diagrams. 1. A diagram showing the deities o f the baliharanacakra, or baliharanamandala, reproduced from K ane 1968-1977, volum e 2: 747. W ith m inor variations, this diagram is found in a num ber o f con­ temporary texts, such as the Rgvedlyabrahmakarmasamuccaya. 2. A table showing the arrangement o f the five deities in (dom e­ stic) pancayatana shrines as prescribed by Bopadeva. 3. A m andala o f the heavenly bodies (grahadevatanvandala or navagrahamandala); a contemporary print reproduced from the ritual manual Rgvedlyabrahmakarmasamuccaya. 4. The (durga)saptasatlmahayantra; a contemporary print reprodu­ ced from the manual Rgvedlyabrahmakarmasamuccaya. 5. The rudraplthamahayantra; a contem porary print reproduced from the manual Rgvedlyabrahmakarmasamuccaya.

Part II, Bhadramandalas Table: Constituent Parts o f the Bhadramandalas. Black and White Prints o f Mandalas The black and white prints o f mandalas which are listed below are reproduced from the Bhadramartanda (BM) edition. The edition does not illustrate all mandalas described in the BM. In addition, some m andala draw ings are incom plete and have not been reproduced



here. Since the original numbers o f the illustrations as printed in the BM have been retained, some numbers are m issing.1 A com plete list o f m andalas described in the BM is provided in the appendix to the article. The diagrams use the following scheme to indicate colours other than black and white: one dot in the centre o f a square yellow; two dots - red; and three dots - green. 1. Sarvatobhadra, type 1 2. Sarvatobhadra, type 2 3. Sarvatobhadra, type 3 (= astadalamandala) 4. Sarvatobhadra, type 4 5. Ekalirigatobhadra laghugauritilaka 6 . Caturlingatobhadra brhadgauritilaka 7. Gaurltilaka 8 . Caturlingatobhadra, type 1 9. Caturlingatobhadra, type 2 10. Caturlingatobhadra, type 3 11. Caturlingatobhadra, type 4 12. Astalihgatobhadra, type 1 13. Astalihgatobhadra, type 2 14. Dvadasalihgatobhadra, type 1 15. Dvadasalihgatobhadra, type 2 16. Dvadasalihgatobhadra, type 3 17. Dvadasalihgatobhadra, type 4 ( hariharatmakadvadasalingatobhadra) 18. Dvadasalihgatobhadra, type 5 19. Dvadasalihgatobhadra, type 6 ( hariharatmakadvadasalinga tobhadra) 2 0 . Dvadasalihgatobhadra, type 7 (.hariharatmakadvadasalingatobhadra) 2 1 . Dvadasalihgatobhadra, type 8 (hanharatmaka/[hanhara]dvadasalihgatobhadra) 2 2 . Dvadasalingatobhadra, type 9 (latalihgalobhadra) 23. Dvadasalihgatobhadra, type 10 (lihgasvasdkabhadra) 26. Sodasalihgatobhadra, type 1 27. Sodasalihgatobhadra, type 2 ( sodasaUngodbhavahariharamandala) 28. Saptadasalingatobhadra, type 1 1T h e se arc the num b ers 2 4 - 2 5 , 36, 3 8 - 4 0 , 5 0-51 and 5 3 - 6 5 .



29. Saptadasaliiigatobhadra, type 2 30. Saptadasaliiigatobhadra, type 3 31. Caturvimsatilingatobhadra 32. AstavimSatiliiigatobhadra 33. Pancavimsatilingatobhadra, type 1 34. Pancavimsatilingatobhadra, type 2 35. Astottarasatalingatobhadra, type 2 37. Ekavimsottarasatalingatobhadra, type 1 41. Ekamudraramatobhadra 42. Caturmudraramalirigatobhadra (see also Colour Plate 7) 43. Astamudraramatobhadra, type 1 44. Astamudraramatobhadra, type 2 ( astam udraramalihgatobhadra) 45. Navamudraramatobhadra 46. Dvadasamudraramalingatobhadra 47. Trayodasamudrararnatobhadra 48. Laghusodasaramamudraramaiingatobhadra 49. Sodasamudraramatobhadra 52. Astottarasataramalingatobhadra 6 6 . Pancabhadra 67. Suryabhadra, type 1 (see also Colour Plate 10) 6 8 . Suryabhadra, type 2 69. Ganapatibhadra vighnamarda 70. Cakraravindamandala 71. Svastikamandala 72. Trayodasalirigasamudbhavamandala 73. Caturdasalingatobhadra 74. Vimsatilingatobhadra 75. Catvarimsallingatobhadra 76. Sastilihgatobhadra

Illustration to “The Use o f M andalas and Yantras in the Pahcaratra Tradition” b y M arion Rastelli: 1, Ca. 17th-century bronze statue o f the 16-armed SudarSanacakrapurusa in the Sri-Kalamekaperumal Temple, Tirumohur, M adu­ rai District; photo courtesy o f the Institut Franpais de Pondichery/ Ecole Frangaise d ’Extreme-Orient.



Illustration to “M andala and Yantra in the Siddhanta S c h o o l o f S a iv ism : D e fin itio n s, D e sc rip tio n and R itu a l U s e ” b y H e le n e Brunner: 1. The sarvatobhadramandala reconstructed according to Saradatilalca 3.106 131 ab and R aghavabhatta’s commentary.

Illustration to “Icons o f Inclusivism : M andalas in S o m e E arly Saiva Tantras” b y Judit Torzsok: 1. The outline and construction o f the srlmandala according to the Netratantra with an illustration o f some technical terms (see A p p e n ­ dix 1 for a description); drawing by Paul Coatalen. (In the illustration the bottom is the w estern direction, for the disciple would enter and see the m andala from the west, facing the auspicious eastern direction.)

Illustrations to “M andalas in A b h in a va g u p ta ’s T antraloka” b y A n d re Padoux: 1. Outline o f the m andala o f the three tridents and (seven) lotuses (tritrisulabjamandala) p rescrib ed by the T rik asa d b h a v a ta n tra ; see Tantraloka 31.10— 41 b; drawn by and reproduced w ith the kind p e r­ mission o f Stephanie Sanderson. 2. Outline o f the m andala o f the trident and lotuses ( Irisulabjamandala) prescribed by M alinivijayottaratantra 9.6-31 (= Tantraloka 31,62—85b); drawn by and reproduced with the kind perm ission o f Stephanie Sanderson. 3. The m andala throne and the three goddesses enthroned upon it, as v isualized along the axis o f internal sensation during internal worship; see T antraloka 15.295c-328b; draw n by and reproduced with the kind permission o f Stephanie Sanderson,



Illustrations to “The Sricakra according to the First Chapter o f the Yoginlhrdaya” b y A ndre Padoux: 1. The sricakra, reconstructed and drawn by Gerard lluet and re­ produced with his kind permission. 2. The bodily cakras according to the first chapter o f A m rtan a n d a ’s com m entary on the Y oginlhrdaya; adapted from Padoux 1994: 126.

Illustrations to “Vastupurusam andalas: Planning in the Im age o f M a n ” b y M ichael W. M eister: 1. The geometric construction o f a cardinally oriented square loca­ ting an altar as defined in 6 ulba-Sutra texts o f the third-fourth centuries B.C. 2. Vastupurusam andala o f 81 squares, as described in the BrhatSamhita (Apte/Supekar 1983: VPM-4). 3. Ground plans and constructing mandalas: A. B h aratesv ara tem ple, B hubaneshw ar, Orissa, ca. 6 0 0 -6 5 0 century A.D. The walls, in thickness, are h alf the breadth o f the sanctum. Entries project beyond the square m andala (karnavyasa system). B. Siva temple no. 2, Mahua, M adhya Pradesh, ca. 650-675 A.D. M easurem ents at the hoof-m oulding o f the vedlbandha demonstrate that projections on the walls directly express the inner space o f the sanctum and the central ‘place for B ra h m a n ’ ( brahmasthana) o f the vastumandala. C. M ah ad ev a tem ple, A m rol, M adhya Pradesh, ca. 700 A.D. Diagram to demonstrate extension o f the brahmasthana and sanctum to demarcate the central offsets o f the outer walls. D. Naktim ata temple, Bhavanipur, Rajasthan, ca. 875 A.D. In the ninth century, the m andala diagram is used in a different way, still dem arcating the central offsets, but pulling them within the c o n ­ structing grid (bhadravyasa system). 4. BrhadlSvara temple, Garigaikondacolapuram , Tainilnadu, ca. 1035 A.D. Plan with odd-numbered grid (after Pichard 1995: 47).



5. Khajuraho, M adhya Pradesh: A. V iSvanatha te m p le , 1002 A .D . A n e v e n -n u m b e re d grid surrounds the sanctum at the level o f the vedlbandha base m ouldings and extends from there. B. L aksm ana tem ple, socle and vedlbandha m ou ld in g s (after Kramrisch 1946: 259). C. K andariya M ahadeva tem ple, ca. 1 0 2 5 -1 0 5 0 A.D, An evennum bered grid extends from the sanctum , seem ing to overlap a parallel grid centred on the mandapa that shelters the worshipper. 6 . A. Tabari temple, Kharod, M adhya Pradesh, ca. seventh cen­ tury. P lan and e m b e d d e d octagon c o n s tru c te d u s in g an oddnumbered grid. B. Gargaj M ahadeva tem ple, Indor, M a d h y a Pradesh, ca. 750 A.D. Turned-square plan producing 12 bhadras: A -D are Siva and his family, 1-8 are the eight dikpalas (guardians o f the directions), 7. C om parison o f the constructing geom etry, and the continuing regulative function o f odd-num bered grids, in plans based on three and six turned squares: left, Gargaj M a h a d e v a tem p le, Indor, M adhya Pradesh, ca, 750 A.D.; right, U dayesvara M ahadeva temple, Udayapur, M adhya Pradesh, ca. 1081 A.D.

C olour Plates 1. A yantra o f G uhyakali from the ‘Book o f Pictures Containing Images and Y a n tra s ,5 preserved in the B harat K ala B havan, V a ra ­ nasi, no. 10054, dated 1764/65 A.D. 2. The baliharana o f the vaisvadeva rite perform ed by a Rg-Vedin; photographed by G. B uhnem ann in Pune, Maharastra. 3. A dom estic sivapahcayatana in Pune, M aharastra; photograph by G. Buhnemann. 4. A rudrapithamahayantra in w hich areca nuts re p re s e n tin g deities have been placed and w hich serves as a support for a vessel with the icon o f Rudra/Siva during the rudrayaga; Pune, M aharastra; photograph by G. Buhnemann. 5. A sarvatobhadra; a contem porary print reproduced from the manual Rgvedlyabrahmakarmasamuccaya.



6 . A ramalihgatobhadra with 26 ramamudras and 28 Jihgas; pain­ ting preserved in the S.R.C. M useum o f Indology, Jaipur; photograph by G. Buhnemann. 7. A caturmudraramalihgatobhadra with 4 ramainudrtK and 8 lihga s and a sarvatobhadra in the centre; painting from Rajasthan repro­ duced from Stadtner 1998: 350, no. 353, with the kind permission o f Robert Clark, Barcelona. This bhadra corresponds to the bhadra reproduced as Illustration 42 from the Bhadramartanda (see Illustra­ tions to “M andalas and Yantras in Smarta Ritual” [Part II. B hadra­ mandalas] by Gudrun Buhnemann). 8 . A ganesabhadra with five icons o f Ganesa reprinted from Ganeskos (edited by A. GadgTI, Pune: SrTram Book Agency, 1981 [in Marathi]): 477. 9. A ganesabhadra with 21 icons o f Ganesa; painting preserved in the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune, Maharastra. 10. A suryabhadra with 12 icons o f the sun; painting from R aja­ sthan reproduced from Stadtner 1998: 350, no. 352, with the kind permission o f Robert Clark, Barcelona. This bhadra corresponds to the bhadra reproduced as Illustration 67 from the Bhadram artanda (see Illustrations to “ M andalas and Yantras in Smarta Ritual” [Part II. Bhadramandalas] by Gudrun Buhnemann). 11. The construction o f a dvadasalihgatobhadra with a sarvato­ bhadra in the centre; photographed by G. B uhnem ann in Pune, Maharastra. 12. The invocation o f deities into areca nuts placed on a sarvato­ bhadra during a vratodyapana rite; photographed by G. Buhnemann in Pune, Maharastra. 13. A vessel o f plenty placed on a sarvatobhadra during a vratod­ yapana rite; photographed by G. Buhnemann in Pune, Maharastra. 14. The cakrabjam andala reproduced from the colour print in­ serted in the back o f volum e 1 o f P a d m a n a b h a n ’s edition o f the Padma-Samhita. 15. The navapadm aniandala reproduced from the colour print pre­ fixed to the foreword of the first edition o f the Jayakhya-Sam hita by K rishnam acharya (1931). Apte 1973: 505 points to the fact that the draw ing is not in accordance with the textual description in every detail. The nine lotuses should have the same size and should be adjacent to one another.


X V ll

16. The M m andala o f the N etratantra follow ing K s e m a ra ja ’s com m entary (see T o rz s o k ’s A ppendix 1 for a description); illustra­ tion by Paul Coatalen. (In Colour Plates 16-19 the bottom is the w estern direction, for the disciple would enter and see the m andala from the west, facing the auspicious eastern direction.) 17. An alternative structure o f the srunandala o f the N etratantra (see T o rz s o k ’s A ppendix 1 for a description); illustration by Paul Coatalen. 18. The mandala o f the nine lotuses (navanabham andaJa) a cco r­ ding to the Svacchandatantra and K s e m a ra ja ’s co m m e n ta ry (see T o r z s o k ’s A p p en d ix 2 for a d e scrip tio n ); illu stra tio n by Paul Coatalen. 19. A tentative reconstruction o f the trid en t m an d ala o f the SiddhayogeSvarimata (long recension) according to the T antraloka (see T o r z s o k ’s A p p e n d ix 3 for a d esc rip tio n ); illu stra tio n by Guillaume Coatalen.


Gudrun Buhnem ann General R em arks In recent years mandalas have attracted much interest am ong a wider public. The main focus o f such interest has been directed tow ard Tibetan mandalas, specimens o f which have been included in n u m e ­ rous publications. But mandalas are found across a w ide spectrum o f South Asian religious traditions, including those o f the Hindus and Jains. M andalas are also part o f East Asian Buddhist traditions. In South Asia, mandalas have been used mainly in occasional rites o f worship. In these rites deities are invoked into m andalas with the aid o f mantras. The construction o f a m andala is specially important in Tantric initiation ( dlksa) rites, In esoteric teaching, a m andala may be visualized as present in the practitioner’s body by correlating the cosmic symbolism o f the m andala with the practitioner’s body parts. M andala patterns have had other far-reaching influences. They have, for example, had an impact on ancient tow n-planning. The use o f mandalas is also documented in alchemy.' The South Asian tradition o f preparing and w orshipping mandalas and yantras continues up to the present. O n the level o f folk art the kohbar mandalas, which decorate the walls o f the nuptial cham ber in the M ithila region o f north B ihar (India) and N epal, are a good exam ple o f this, So are the auspicious floor designs prepared with rice flour or coloured pow ders and reg io n ally k n o w n as rahgoll, alpana, m u g g u lu or kolam , w hich have been influenced by m andala and yantra patterns. Y antras have been em ployed especially in rites o f magic. Their use has b een reco m m en d ed in astrology and, to som e extent, in A yur-Veda. T he yantra o f a deity is custom arily placed u n d er the d eity ’s statue at the tim e o f its installation in a tem ple. Patterns o f 1 For a detailed ex am in a tio n o f the use o f m antras, yan tras and m a n d a la s in A y u r ­ V eda and in alchem y, sec R o?u 1986a an d 1986b.



yantras, like those o f mandalas, have had widespread influence. In the citrabandha compositions in Sanskrit, for example, text can be arranged in yantra-like shapes.2 Like mandalas, yantras continue to be worshipped in South Asia. The sricakra or sriyantra, which is a configuration o f a ccntral point and sets o f triangles surrounded by lotus petals, circles and a square, is widely worshipped in contemporary India and Nepal. It is installed and w orshipped, am ong other places, in the Srngcri m atha, which claims to uphold Sam kara’s tradition. In Nepal, it decorates roofs o f shrines. The sricakra is now also sold as a pendant to be worn around the neck, and is printed on popular wall calendars. A numerical yantra, the visoyantra ,3 is currently worshipped in Ambaji, G ujarat.4 Popular books promote yantras for miscellaneous mundane purposes, including safe driving. C opper yantras from India can easily be purchased over the Internet for similar purposes. Patterns typical o f m andalas and yantras have inspired m odern Indian architecture, art and dance, The Mumbai-based contemporary architect Charles Correa has been guided by mandala designs in his layout o f buildings, such as the new State A ssem b ly (V idhan Bhavan) in Bhopal. Inspired by a navagrahamandala pattern, Correa designed the Jaw ah ar Kala K endra, a cultural centre in Jaipur. C orrea’s Surya Kund in Delhi is said to be based on a mandala plan featuring the sricakra in its centre.5 Inspired mainly by the sricakra, the 2 0 th -c en tu ry Indian artist N irad M a ju m d a r created his ink draw ing Yantra .h The contem porary dancer C handralekha acknow ­ 2 S o m e authorities do not rccognize these com positions as poetry. F or an e x h a u s ­ tive tre a tm e n t o f this topic, s e e R u d ra d e v T r i p a t h i ’s stu dy, S a m sk rt-sa h ity a m c m sa b d a la h k a r (Di111: SrllalbahaduraSastri K cndrlya S am skrt V idyapith, 1972 [in H in­ di]). . . 3 T h is yantra is rcp ro d u ccd in B u n c c 2001: 53, w ho labels it erro n eo u sly ‘A m ba M atta Y a n t r a ’ in stead o f ‘A m b a M ata Y a n t r a . ’ It is also k n o w n as bisonyantra ( P r a n a v a n a n d a < 1 9 7 7 > : 52), w h ile C h a w d h ri 1992: 53, 2 0 2 -2 1 1 c lassifies it as bccsiyanlra. 4 F o r c o n te m p o ra ry yantra w o rsh ip in G u jarat, see the d iscu ssio n in P a d m a ja 1985, 5 F o r pictures o f the V id h an B havan, see Khan 1987: 1 3 4 -1 3 9 ; for the J a w a h a r K ala K endra, see K han 1987: 142 -1 4 3 and for the Surya Kund, see Khan 1987: 105, 159. 6 N ira d M a j u m d a r ’s Y a n tra is rc p ro d u c c d in C h a k r a v o r ty S p iv ak 1999: 193, Figure 2. N u m e ro u s m odern m an d alas have been creatcd by both Asian and W estern artists: see, for ex a m p le , the oil pain tin g by the Nepali artist Sharda Man Shrestha ( r e p ro d u c e d in S ingh 2 000: 85, Plate X I) and the m a n d a la s b y the G e rm a n artist L ore B ert (reproduced in Singh 2000: 87, Plate XII).



ledges the influence o f the Saundaryalahari attributed to Sam kara on her dance piece ‘Yantra: Dance D ia g ra m s,’ a w o rk in w hich g e o ­ metrical figures are created by dancers. S o m e Problem s W hile a body o f literatu re is grow ing in w h ic h m a n d a la -lik e structures o f different cultures are com pared with one another and their use in therapy is explored, not m uch solid research has been done on mandalas in the Hindu traditions, and indeed no systematic study has as yet emerged. Descriptions o f mandalas in ancient texts are barely studied, and usually left untranslated. Descriptions o f them in popular books often appear to be confused, since m any authors apply the same terminology to what appear to be som ew hat sim ilar structures without differentiating between traditions. Psychoanalysts and psychologists endeavour to interpret the m andala by applying their own categories, T hese approaches are o f lim ited value for an understanding o f the structures and functions o f m an d alas in the context o f South Asian traditions. Since m andalas are not objects o f art p e r se but are em bedded in a ritual context, a purely art-historical approach to the subject will not do justice to them either. T hanks to advances in the study o f T antric texts over the past decades and the increased availability o f objects from South Asia, new m aterials have b e c o m e available w h ich put us in a b ette r position than previous scholars to carry out research on m andalas and yantras. But m useum s are usually not the places to look for m andalas and yantras, since the latter are ritual rath er than art objects, and so ex e c u te d by c ra fts m e n ra th e r th a n artists. An exception is the collection o f about 60 copper yantras from Bengal in the M useum fiir indische Kunst, Berlin. The private collection o f yantras and mandalas o f R obert Clark, Barcelona, is docum ented in Stadtner 1998. D rawings o f yantras are often found in South A sian m anuscripts and printed books dealing with magical and Tantric rituals, and in art catalogues as w e ll.7 The yantra designs found in these sources are

7 See, fo r e x a m p le , S o t h e b y ’s L o n d o n : C a ta lo g u e o f Islam ic, In d ian , T ib e ta n , N e p a le s e and S o u th -E a s t A s ia n D e c o r a tiv e and O t h e r W o r k s o f A rt, also A n t i ­ quities. D a y s o f Sale: M o n d a y , 16th F e b ru a ry 1981, 2 p m , T u e s d a y , 17th F e b ru a ry 1981, 10.30 am and 2 pm.



often repetitive. One problem is the authenticity o f mandala and yantra designs. Yantras are frequently executed on copperplates as ordered by a practitioner. They are copied from draw ings in manuscripts, sketchbooks (Nepal) or printed books. Their structures and the m antras inscribed in them often contain errors that go unnoticed due to the ignorance o f craftsmen, copyists and practi­ tioners. Pranavananda : 7 5 -7 9 examines nearly 200 tiricakras from various parts o f India and concludes that most o f them show major or m inor flaws in their designs or other irregularities, and so do not tally with the descriptions in ancient texts. According to this author (Pranavananda : 4, 109), certain changes were made to the structure o f the sricakra early on and these errors have been perpetuated blindly by tradition. Artists in popular tourist spots in Rajasthan and N epal paint m ostly for the tourist industry. They freely mix elements from different traditions and copy designs from books and m useum catalogues printed in the West. Their products often do not represent a continuation o f ancient traditions. During a recent visit to Bhaktapur in Nepal I interviewed a painter about the use o f the sarvatobhadras and lingatobhadras in his country. He had not seen these m andalas, and indeed eagerly pho to co p ied my diagrams. I w ould not be surprised if painted bhadramandalas, are soon being sold in the shops o f Bhaktapur as traditional Nepalese m andalas. C u sto m ers will then use them as wall decorations, although such mandalas were never intended to be hung on the wall but were traditionally prepared on the ground from powders or grains as supports for deities invoked into them. The Indigo Gallery in Kathmandu was already recently displaying a painted lingatobhadra which, along with another mandala, had been copied from M adhu K hanna’s book ‘Yantra: The Tantric Symbol o f Cosmic Unity.’ Previous Scholarship on H indu M andalas and Yantras A m ong the early studies o f m andalas and yantras the works o f H. Zim m er and P.H. Pott should be mentioned. Based on works by Sir J. W oodroffe (alias A. Avalon) (1865-1936) and his collaborators,8 H. Z im m er (1890-1943) published his influential book ‘Kunstform und Y oga im indischen K ultbild’ in 1926. The work contains two BF or rcccnt research on J. W o o d ro ffe and his learn o f collaborators, sec T a y lo r 2001: 203ff.



large sections, dealing w ith mandalas and yantras, w hich influenced C.G, Jung (1875-1961), the originator o f analytical psychology, in his interpretation o f the m an d ala .9 Z im m e r’s book, w h ich did not target an academic readership, endeavours to interpret m andalas and yantras based on both H indu and Buddhist texts and m onum ents. Z im m er argues that icons o f deities or ‘figurative sacred im a g e s ’ (pratim a) can be subsumed under the category yantra, and in fact are essentially and fu n ctio n a lly identical w ith yantras, cakras and mandalas (1984: 28-29). P.H. Pott’s ‘Y oga and Y antra’ (1946) takes a different approach. Even though he recurs to his predecessors J. W oodroffe and H, Zim m er, P o tt’s goal is to explain the function yantras have within the context o f Tantric Yoga. Like Zim m er, Pott refers to both B uddhist and H indu texts th roughout his work. A classic work is G. T u c c i’s ‘The Theory and Practice o f the Mandala, W ith S p ecia l R e fe re n c e to the M odern P s y c h o lo g y o f the S u b ­ c o n sc io u s,’ published in 1949 in Italian but translated into English only in 1961. The b o o k ’s main em phasis is on the sym bolism o f Buddhist m andalas, although the sricakra and H indu parallels are considered. Comparatively recent publications for a general readership include the book on yantras by M. K hanna entitled ‘Yantra: The Tantric Sym bol o f C osm ic U n ity ,’ published in 1979, and S.K.R. R a o ’s small w o rk ‘The Y a n tra s ,’ w hich ap p eared in 1988. R ao also authored a tw o -v o lu m e b o o k on m andalas entitled ‘M andalas in Temple W orship’ (1988-1990). In 1986 A. P adoux edited ‘M antras et diagram m es rituels dans l ’hindouism e,’ w hich is a collection o f scholarly articles on mantras, m an d alas and y a n tra s em p lo y e d in the H in d u tra d itio n s. The contributions are based on lectures presented at the co nference ‘L ’H indouism e—-textes, doctrines, pratiq u e s’ o f the research team no. 249 o f the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CN RS) organized by A. Padoux in Paris in June 1984. These lectures— some o f w hich have been abbreviated or thoroughly revised— are p u b li­ shed along with a sum m ary o f the discussion that follow ed their presentation. 10 9 C.G. J u n g ’s r e m a r k s and ob serv atio n s on the sy m b o lis m o f th e m a n d a la ap p e a r in se v e ra l sectio n s o f his C o lle c te d W orks; see, for e x a m p le , J un g 1950 a n d J u n g 1964. 10 P a d o u x ’s v o lu m e c o n ta in s th e f o llo w in g p a p e r s th a t sp e c if ic a lly f o c u s on m a n d a la s and yantras: ‘M an d a la e t y a n tra d a n s lc SivaTsme a g a m iq u e . D e fin itio n ,



Several authors have studied individual mandalas and yantras. Kramrisch 1946, volum e 1: 46-63 was the first scholar to analyze two main types o f the v a s tu p u r u s a m a n d a la a mandala employed in the construction o f buildings. She was followed by others,12 inclu­ ding A pte/Supekar 1983 and Apte 1986 and 1987. Apte also con­ ducts research on mandalas in the Pancaratra tradition. Apte 1973 focuses on m andalas described in the Jayakhya-Sam hita. In the introduction to his edition and translation o f the Pauskara-Samhita (Part 1, 1991), the same author analyzes one o f four sels o f mandalas described in this Samhita. This set comprises 25 mandalas, which Apte attempts to reconstruct.1'1 The well-known Sricakra, which is em ployed in the ritual worship o f Tripurasiindari, is the subject o f several publications.14 B u n ce’s recent volum e on yantras (2001) examines the relation­ ship between numbers and yantras, The book is based on secondary materials, with Johari 1986 as one major source.

d escrip tio n , u s a g e ’ (H. B ru n n e r) [the revised and e n larg ed version o f this article appears in this v o lu m e in English translation]; ‘Q u elq u cs rc m a rq u c s sur l ’usag e du m a n d ala ct du yantra dans la vallec de K athm andu, N e p a l’ (A. Vcrgati); ‘Panjara ct yantra: le d ia g ra m rn c de 1’im ag e s a c r c e ’ (B. Biiumcr); ‘Dc I’c ffic ic n c c p sy c h a g o g iq u c dcs m a n tr a s c i dcs yantras' (F, Clienet); ‘ La vision dc la divinitc d a n s les d ia g ra m m c s selon 1c v ish n o u ism c vaikhfm asa’ (G. Colas); ‘Lcs d ia g n im m c s co sm o g o niqucs scion le S vacehandatantra: Perspectives p h ilo s o p h iq u c s ’ (C. Conio); ‘M a n ­ tra et yantra cn m e d c c in e cl a lch im ic in d ie n n e s ’ (A. R o?u); ‘Lc SrT-cakra d a n s la S a u n d a r y a - L a h a r i ’ (T. M ichacl); ‘M a n d a la and A g a m ic Identity in the T rik a o f K a s h m ir ’ (A. Sanderson). 11 For an a ssessm en t o f K r a m r is c h ’s w ork on the vastupurusam andala, see Bafna 2000: 3 0 - 3 1 . • •• 12 See, for exam ple, Kulkarni 1979; see also the interpretation o f the vastupiirusam a n d a la given in D a n ic lo u 1977: 2 8 - 3 5 (2001: 3 9 - 4 1 ) . T h e re la tio n sh ip o f the vastupurusam andala to a rc h ite c tu re is the topic o f M c is tc r ’s co n trib u tio n to this volume. 13 A p t e ’s set o f re c o n stru c te d m an d alas is re p ro d u ced in c o lo u r in: Prakrti: T h e Integral V isio n ( V o lu m e 3: T h e A g a m ic T ra d itio n and the Arts, e d ite d by B, Biiumcr, N e w Delhi: D.K. Printw orld (P) Ltd., 1995): 193+, ‘ Illustrations P.P. Apte 1 .1 - 1 .2 5 ,’ H o w e v e r, d u e to an error, the plates arc a p p en d ed to a n o th er article by Apte included in this volum e. Black and white d raw ings o f the sam e set o f m a n d a la s arc in clu d ed in A p t c ’s edition and translation o f the P a u s k a ra -S a m h ita (P art 1), appendix, pp. i-x x i. 14 See, for ex a m p le , R ao 1 9 1 4 -1 9 1 6 , volu m e 1: 3 3 0 - 3 3 2 , Z im m e r (19 2 6 ) 1984: 1 5 8 -1 8 0 , Pott (19 4 6 ) 1966: 4 0 - 4 4 , B o lto n /M a c lc o d 1977, P ra n a v a n a n d a < 1 9 7 7 > , K u laich ev 1984, M ichacl 1986, F o n se c a 1986, K hanna 1986, K u la icliev /R am en d ic 1989, R a o 1990, B rooks 1992: 115-146, 189-199, Rao 1998 and W ilke 2003.



The Scope o f this B o o k My interest in mandalas goes back to a period in the 1980s w hen I conducted research in Pune, M aharastra. The plan to publish a book on mandalas and yantras in the Hindu traditions took shape over time as I observed the grow ing popular interest in T ib etan B u d d h ist mandalas. Unlike the many Tibetan mandalas which include pictorial representations o f multiple deities, m ost published m andalas in the Hindu traditions appear to be sim pler and m ore abstract in design. H ow ever, H indu m andalas, especially from N epal and Rajasthan, often include painted images o f deities.15 Com plex m andalas are also described in texts, and the practitioner is instructed to visualize multiple deities in the mandalas, although these deities may not be represented. This volum e reproduces several m andala designs, some o f which have been reconstructed from texts. Since texts often do not specify all details o f the mandalas, such reconstructions necessarily remain tentative. W ith the exception o f the gricakra, w h ich has attracted c o n ­ siderable interest, adequate attention has not been devoted to m an d a­ las and yantras in the Hindu traditions and their multiple uses. Unlike the approaches o f earlier books, w hich indiscrim inately deal w ith Buddhist and H indu m andalas and which often arrive at generalized conclusions, this book attempts to clarify im portant aspects o f m a n ­ dalas and yantras in specific Hindu traditions through investigations by specialists. In the present state o f research it is best to avoid generalizations and broad com parisons across traditions that rarely take into account existing differences, and often turn out on closer examination to be inaccurate. The com plex B uddhist m andalas for their part merit a separate study. N evertheless I hope that this book will indirectly contribute to a better understanding o f the m andala in other South Asian traditions, and will lay the foundation for future inquiries. T he essays in this book explore some aspects o f m andalas and yantras in the Smarta, Pancaratra, Saiva and &akta traditions. An essay on the vastupurusamandala and its relationship to architecture is also included. It would have been useful to have essays on the use 15 In Nepal, even the sricakra o ccasio n ally includes p a in ted im a g e s o f deities; see, for exam ple, Illustration 43 in K re ijg e r 1999: 1 1 0 -1 1 1 . F o r a 19 th -c e n tu ry m a n d a la fro m R ajasth an w ith icons o f goddesses, sec, for e x am p le, Pal 1997: 215, 337.



o f yantras in Indian medical systems, astrology or folk traditions, or on geographical space as a mandala. It was, however, not possible to find qualified authors who could write these essays within the given time frame. Thus this book is a contribution to the study o f an area o f South Asian culture which has hardly been researched, but it is not an exhaustive treatment. This would have been an unrealistic goal, given the extant mass of material on the topic. In secondary sources, mandalas (and yantras) have been described too uniform ly as aids to meditation or visualization.16 W hile they certainly function as meditational devices in some traditions (as, for instance, the sricakra frequently does), this use o f mandalas is but one aspect o f a larger picture. In this regard I I. Brunner’s paper in this volum e is significant, since she sets out to exam ine some popular notions about m andalas critically and to em phasize other uses o f m andalas in ritual. In architecture, the notion o f an ‘allgoverning m a n d a la ’ o f symbolically significant dim ensions which underlies all buildings is frequently met with in the literature, and has recently been challenged by Bafna 2000: 4 2 - 4 3 ,17 The first essay in this book is designed as an introduction to the topic. Referring to H. Brunner and others, I discuss the meanings o f m andala, yantra and cakra, and suggest distinctions am ong these terms. This is followed by a treatm ent o f different categories o f mandalas, yantras and cakras and their constituent parts. In the next essay, I focus on mandala-like structures and actual mandalas and yantras currently em ployed in the ritual practice in M aharastra. In its first part, I discuss mandala-like arrangem ents, such as the baljliaranacakra and pancayatana shrines, along with the navagrahamandala as an exam ple o f a mandala with a lotus design. A description o f two yantra structures follows. Together with the previous essay, this section is intended to introduce the reader to basic concepts and m andala designs in the Hindu traditions. The second part o f the essay focuses on a specific category o f mandala called bhadramandalas. These are square-shaped mandalas employed mainly in concluding ceremonies o f religious observances (vrata).

16 For a critical exam in atio n o f the claim that m an d alas in S hingon B u d d h ism arc aids or ‘s u p p o r ts ’ for visualization practiccs, see S h a r f 2 0 0 1. 17 See M. M e i s t c r ’s p a p e r in this v o lu m e for a critical a s s e s s m e n t o f B a f n a ’s position.



M arion R astelli’s essay focuses on the use o f m andalas and y a n ­ tras in the V aisnava Pancaratra tradition as based on original p as­ sages from the Samhitas, It describes the selection, purification and ritual acquisition o f the m andala site, guidelines and m aterials used for drawing mandalas, and the types o f m andalas found in the texts. She then discusses the multiple functions o f mandalas in Pancaratra rituals, The choice o f a m andala for a rite is guided by the desire to achieve specific results. It depends on the suitability o f a mandala for a certain rite and the main deity worshipped in it. The use o f m a n ­ dalas in initiations (diksa) is treated elaborately. Some details o f the ritual, such as the casting o f a flower onto a m andala by the blind­ folded initiand, have parallels in Buddhist Tantric initiation rituals.18 The deity is made to be present in a mandala by imposing the deity ’s mantras on the m andala structure. Tw o im portant m andalas in the Pancaratra tradition are the cakrabjamandala and the navapadm amandala. The Pancaratra Samhitas consider the m andala a represen­ tation o f the deity ’s body, and o f the universe as well. A ccording to some Sam hitas, em an cip atio n is only possible th ro u g h m andala worship. Rastelli further discusses the significance o f yantras in the Pan caratra tradition. She focuses esp ecially on the saudarsanayantra'9 which is considered so pow erful that the person w ho w ears it requires another yantra, the ‘yantra o f the w e a re r’ (dharakayantra), to keep its pow er in check. As in the case o f m andalas, the material from which yantras are made is considered essential for the efficacy o f the rite. D ifferent m aterials are believ ed to produce different results, (The texts o f the Saiva Siddhanta that Brunner exam ines em ­ phasize the varying efficacy o f the materials from w hich m andalas are constructed, from precious stones on downwards.) T h e three fo llo w in g essay s deal w ith aspects o f the Saiva traditions. Helene B ru n n er has been researching S aiv ag am as for more than thirty years. M ost o f her w ork is w ritten in French and therefore accessible to a more limited readership. F o r this volum e, her French paper, originally published in P a d o u x ’s edited volum e, ‘M antras et diagram m es rituels dans 1’h indouism e,’ (1986: 11-35), was translated into English by R. Prevereau, M .A ,, and com pletely T h is topic h as b e e n d ealt w ith rep e a te d ly ; fo r a d e s c rip tio n o f th e d i s c i p l e ’s e n tra n c e into the m a n d a la and his casting o f a flow er, see, for e x a m p le , W a y m a n 1974. 19 T h e saudarsanayantra a p p e a r s to b e identical w ith th e sudarsanayantra (se e section 2.3.3 o f the follow ing essay).



revised and enlarged, B runner’s essay is divided into two parts. The first part attempts to clarify the m eaning and use o f the term s m andala, yantra and cakra. Her classification o f different types o f m andalas based on their ritual application is o f special interest. (I have taken up B r u n n e r’s discussion o f the different types o f mandalas in the following essay [section 1.2], as has Torzsok in her own.) The second part describes the use o f mandalas in the ritual w orship o f Siva. B runner reconstructs the sarvatobhadramandaki described in chapter 3 o f the Saradatilaka, which is used in an initiation ( diksa) ritual, and analyzes its structure in detail. Finally, she discusses the signi ficance o f mandalas in the Siddhanta School. Judit Torzsok examines pre-1 Ith-century Saiva mandalas as icons which express a relationship between certain branches o f Saivism and betw een Saiva and non-Saiva groups. In the first part o f her paper she deals with the uses o f the terms mandala and cakra, a topic also taken up by Brunner. This leads into a discussion on how the circles (cakra) o f deities are present in a mandala. T orzsok then focuses on tw o kinds o f m andalas: mandalas used in initiations ( diksa) and mandalas (and yantras) for the acquisition o f supernatural powers ( siddhi). Giving examples from the Svacchandatantra, she shows how m andalas can visually represent doctrines o f other Saiva groups and teachings o f non-Saivas. Torzsok. specifies three major strategies (specialization, expansion and substitution) which are em ployed to ad ap t m andalas to a specific purpose, such as the acquisition o f supernatural pow ers, In the A ppendices, T orzsok attempts to reconstruct four mandalas from textual descriptions. The reconstruction o f two mandalas (see Colour Plates 18-19) is tentative and does not show the outer boundaries that are characteristic o f mandala designs. These boundaries are not specifically mentioned in the texts, but are likely to have been assumed. Andre P ad o u x ’s first essay in this volum e examines descriptions o f mandalas and their use in Abhinavagupta’s Tantraloka (early 11th century). Basing him self mainly on material from various sections o f the text, Padoux portrays the uses o f such mandalas as the tri$ulabjamandala and trilris u la bja ina n da hr in rites, including the different forms o f the initiation ( diksa) and the practitioner’s daily ritual w or­ ship, in which the mandala is visualized as being present in his body. Andre P adoux’s second essay deals with the sricakra as described in the first chapter o f the (most likely) 1'lth-century Yoginlhrdaya.



This chapter offers a description o f the ‘d e s c e n t’ (avatara) o f the sricakra as a cosm ic process and m anifestation o f divine power, which the practitioner visualizes and experiences in his body. The cakra is portrayed here as a cosm ic rather than a ritual diagram , whose contemplation has a visual/spatial as well as a phonic/mantric dim ension and leads to an identification o f the Y ogin w ith the supreme level o f the word (vac). M ichael W . M eister measured a large num ber o f ancient temples in the course o f extensive research in India. His drawings o f groundplans o f tem ples show h o w the vastupurusamandala was used in practice. M eister’s contribution to this volum e is concerned with the vastum andala as described in V araham ihira’s Brhat-Samhita and its application in temple architecture. This book contains only one bibliography, in order to avoid repetition o f references and to allow the interested reader to find relevant literature on mandalas, yantras and cakras in one place. The title o f this volum e contains the m uch-debated w ord Hindu, which has been the focus o f some controversy. I will not discuss the p ro b le m s asso ciated w ith this term h e r e .20 I h av e d ecid ed , for pragm atic reasons, to use it rather than choices such as ‘Brahm anical,’ a word which would indicate to some that the subject matter is c o n c e r n e d only w ith th e B ra h m in c o m m u n ity . T h e eq u a lly problematic terms Tantrism and Tantric21 are also used in this book for practical reasons and without further discussion. R em arks on the Transliteration It is difficult to avoid inconsistencies w hen transliterating words from different Indian languages. For the names o f m any places and temples, popular transliterations are already in circulation w hich may not conform to scholarly standards. I have in m any instances retained the popular transliteration o f such words in order to avoid burdening the reader with unusual spellings o f nam es. The transliteration o f words from Nevari poses its own problems, since there is often more than one current spelling o f a word. I am aware o f minor inconsisten-

211 For a d isc u ssio n o f the p ro b le m s a sso c ia te d w ith the term H in d u is m , see, for instance, Smith 1987. 21 P a d o u x 1987b, V e ra rd i 1994: 5 2 - 5 3 and U r b a n 1999, a m o n g o th e rs, h a v e discussed these p ro b lem atic terms.



cies in spellings o f words from Indian languages used by the diffe­ rent authors, and also their divergent treatment o f parentheses. It is difficult to avoid such inconsistencies without interfering loo much with the style of the individual contributions. A cknow lcdgcm en is M y research for the volum e extended over a prolonged period o f time. 1 would like to thank the University o f W isconsin-Madison and the Lumbini International Research Institute for support at different stages o f my research. I am indebted to Professor K.S. A rjunw adkar and Dr. R.P, Goswami for valuable suggestions on earlier drafts o f my chapters in this book. 1 am also grateful to G. M evissen, M .A., for some bibliographical references; to R.S. Green, M .A., M .W . Dennis, M.A., and S. W eier for help with computer-related issues; to T. Cowall and P. Radder o f E.J. Brill publishers for editorial support, and to Professor J. Bronkhorst for including this volume in B r ill’s Indological Library. I would like to express my thanks to P, Pierce, M .A ., for editing my contributions for style. Finally 1 thank R. Prevereau, M .A., for preparing the translation o f 11. B runner’s paper from the French.

M A N D A L A , Y A N T R A A N D C A K R A : S O M E O B S E R V A T IO N S

Gudrun B uhnem ann 1 M andala 1.1 The Term Mandala In its most general use, the word mandala refers to something that is round or circular, such as a ring or circle, further, a region, terrestrial division, dom ain, assem bly or a g ro u p .1 The term is used in Kautily a’s Arthasastra, book 6 , in the sense o f a spatial configuration o f neighbouring states from the view point o f a king. In Tantric tra ­ ditions, the term mandala often refers to a space with a special struc­ ture that is enclosed and delimited by a circumferential line and into which a deity or deities are invited by means o f mantras. This space is often a circle, but m ay also appear as a square, a triangle or another shape.2 The various shapes and structures o f m andalas are based on the traditions o f the.different schools, ritual applications, the deities worshipped and the practitioner’s qualification and goal. M andalas themselves are prepared from various materials, including

1 F o r a d is c u s s io n o f the u n c e rta in e ty m o lo g y o f th e w ord m a n d a la , see M ayrh o fer 1 9 8 6 - 2 0 0 1 , v o lu m e 2: 294, A re lig io u s e ty m o lo g y o f the w o r d a p p e a rs in K ularnava-T antra 17.59:

m angalatvac ca dakinya yoginiganasarnsrayat / lalitatvac ca dcvesi m andalam parikirtitam l/ “ O m istress o f the gods, it is called m a n d a la be c a u se it is a u s p ic io u s (nrangalatva), b e c a u se it is the a b o d e o f the g ro u p o f Y o g in is o f the D akini, and b e c a u s e o f (its) beauty (lalitatvi i),” F o r an e t y m o l o g y o f th e w o r d m a n d a la , w h ic h d iv id e s t h e w o r d in to th e c o m p o n e n ts manda ( e x p lain ed as sara [essence]) and la (fro m th e v e rb a l ro o t la [to take]), see T an tra lo k a 37.21 w ith J a y a r a th a ’s c o m m e n ta ry , re fe rred to in P a d o u x , p. 227); B u d d h is t texts also divide the w o rd m a n d a la into these tw o c o m p o n e n ts , b u t different in te rp re ta tio n s are giv en to th e m ; cf. the d is c u s s io n s in W a y m a n 1999, L e ssin g /W a y m a n 1978: 270, note 1, T o g a n o o 1971: 1 5 0 -1 6 0 , R a m b e lli 1991: 9 - 1 3 and T rib e 1994: 127. 2 B runner, p. 157, note 5 and T o rzso k , p . 208 also refer to sem i-circu lar m a n d a la s and m andalas having the (triangular) shape o f a vulva ( y o n i ), am o n g others.




coloured powders, precious stones, fruits and leaves, and fragrant substances.3 It must be emphasized, however, that the mandala is not merely a physical structure with a specific design. A mandala is the place in which the practitioner beholds the deities who have been invoked into it and so have become an integral part o f the structure.4 M andalas figure among the places into which deities can be invoked. These include statues, vessels and lire.5 M andalas are required in occasional (not daily) rituals, such as festivals or religious observances (vrntii) and more im portantly Tantric initiation (diksa) rites, in which latter the viewing o f the m andala is an essential clem ent/' At the time o f initiation the m an ­ dala structure functions as a place in which the deities b ccom e visible to the initiate for the first time, thereby confirm ing the in itia te ’s new identity (Torzsok, pp. 183 -1 8 4 , 189, 190). T he m a n d a la stru c tu re can function as an im p o rtan t d e v ic e for representing the pantheon o f deities in a system or school, and expressing the hierarchy o f deities within the system. This hierarchy can even include deities o f o ther system s as pari o f a ‘low er rev elatio n ,’ and can indicate a cosmic order as well (Torzsok, p. 196). Further, mandalas, like yantras, are used in rituals leading to the attainment o f supernatura l powers ( siddhi).7 While most mandalas follow the common pattern o f a concentric arrangem ent o f deities in order to express a hierarchy, the trident m andala o f the Trika also features a vertical ascent. The m andala’s trident is seen as rising three-dimensionally from a central lotus, as if com ing out o f the m andala’s surface (Torzsok, p. 196). We do not know w hether three-dimensional m andalas were actually construc­ ted. Such m andalas are known from Buddhist texts and traditions. The V isnu-Sam hita (cf. Rastelli, p, 123) instructs the practitioner to make the lines o f a mandala in varying thicknesses, with the centre 3 F o r m a te r ia ls listed in th e P a n c a r a lr a SamhitFis, se e R astelli, p. 123; for m a n d a la s m ad e from fragrant substances (gandhainandalu), sec Padoux, p. 226. 4 See the discussion in T o rzso k , pp. 1 8 3 -1 8 4 for m ore details. 5 Rastelli, p. 126 discusscs the w o rsh ip o f the deity in four pla c e s ( catuhstlulna ) attested to in the y o u n g e r P ancaralra Sam hitas. T h e s e placcs arc a m andala, a vessel, fire and a statue. T o rzso k , p. 193, note 60, quoting the T antraloka, lists 11 sup p o rts o f external worship, including a rosary, m anuscript and mirror. 6 Cf. R a ste lli, pp. 13 0 f f ., T o rz s o k , pp. 185ff. and P a d o u x , pp. 227ff. for this aspect o f m andalas. 1 See T o rz so k , pp. 2 0 1 - 2 0 9 for a d escription o f such use o f m a n d a la s in early Saiva Tantras.



o f the m andala its m ost elevated part, w hich could be taken to presuppose the concept o f three-dim ensionality. Three-dim ensional yantras are not uncom m on in the Hindu traditions, and are described below in section 2 . 1. D ifferent theological interpretations have been applied to m a n ­ dalas, the structural parts and deities being correlated with doctrines o f different systems. Interpretations are extremely varied, and even one text may provide more than one interpretation o f the parts o f a mandala. Patterns exhibited by m andalas have had w idespread influence. M andala patterns o f cities have frequently been d escrib ed .8 H o w ­ ever, it often remains unclear w hat the connection betw een a m a n ­ dala and a city or tem ple really means, as B afna 2000: 26 notes. P roblem s arise w hen one attem pts to correlate m andala structures and actual building plans. Gutschow 1982: 179, 185 argues that con­ temporary drawings o f mandalas o f cities, such as the m andala o f the city o f B haktapur in Nepal, usually do not reflect ancient guidelines for tow n-planning b u t rather represent a specific interpretation o f existing urban conditions. A m andala pattern is thus projected onto the city by establishing connections betw een already existing b u il­ dings. These connections may not be immediately intelligible to the outside observer, and are indeed open to interpretation. The terms cakra and yantra are sometimes used as synonyms for mandala, and all three terms are often translated indiscriminately as ‘(mystical) d iag ram s.’ The fact that the geom etric designs o f m a n ­ dalas, yantras and cakras are similar contributes to confusion am ong the three. N ot only W estern authors confuse the terms, even later Sanskrit texts often use ‘m a n d a la ’ and ‘y a n tra ’ rather loosely as synonyms. Occasionally metrical considerations and constraints may have played a role in the choice o f a word, as when a text uses the word pura (‘c ity ’), for example, as a synonym for m a n d a la.9 O ther

s See, fo r e x am p le, G u ts c h o w /K o lv e r 1975, w h e re the a u th o rs describe the layout o f the city o f B h a k t a p u r in N e p a l; s e e also Z a n e n 1986: 1 4 8 - 1 5 0 , relatin g to th e N e v a r to w n S a n k h u , F o r a c ritical a p p ro a c h to a m a n d a l a as a c o n c e p t said to u n d e rlie to w n - p la n n in g , see R o y 1977, w h o d is c u s s e s the la y o u t o f J a ip u r, and T illotson 1987: 8 1 - 8 3 , w h o fo cu ses on the p alaces o f B u n d e lk h a n d . 9 F o r th e u s e o f the w o r d pura ( ‘c i t y ’) as a s y n o n y m f o r m a n d a l a , s e e th e d isc u ssio n a m o n g T. G o u d riaan , H. B r u n n e r and P. Filliozat r e p ro d u c e d in P a d o u x 1986: 32, and also Rastelli 2 0 0 0 b : 3 7 5 , n o te 57.



synonym s o f m andala found in the literature are yHgn,H) blmvana/ bhuvana, vesm an and, in a metaphoric sense, pitha." Various definitions o f the term m andala have been proposed. Kramrisch 1946, volum e 1: 11 defines ‘m andala’ as a yantra when she writes about the vastupurusamandala: “The Vastupurusamandala, the diagram o f the temple, is a Yantra....” Lieberl 1976: 168 does the same when she defines the word as the name “of a kind o f y a n tr a ”'2 Sim ilarly, R enou/F illiozat 1947-1953, volum e 1: 568 state that yantras in w hich a more or less decorated circle predom inates are called cakra or mandala. In addition, some authors assum e that yantras are the counterparts o f mandalas in the Hindu traditions. This erroneously implies that m andalas arc rarely part o f the H indu traditions and that yantras are not found in the Buddhist traditions. 13 Thus Tucci (1949) 1961: 46 states: “ in Hinduism, however, yantras, purely linear designs expressing the same principles, are usually substituted for m andalas ...;” 14 and Eliade 1969: 219 writes: “The simplest mandala is the yantra, employed by Hinduism....” Several scholars have attempted to establish semantic distinctions am ong the three terms m andala, yantra and c a k ra .15 One approach attempts to establish distinctions on the basis o f the structure and constituent parts o f these objects. Rao 1914-1916, volum e 1: 330 states that a cakra “ is defined in the Tantras as a figure consisting o f 10 Rastclli, p. 1 19, note 1, reports that the P auskara-S am hitn uses the w ord y fig a sy n o n y m o u sly w ith m andala. 11 F o r a dis cussion o f the term s b h a va m t/b h u viw a , vesm a n and p ith n a s s y n o n y m s for m an d ala, sec T orzsok, p. 182. 12 A s im ila r s ta te m e n t is f o u n d in B e r n ie r 1979: 120: “ E v e ry m a n d a l a is essentially a yantra...." 13 Bizot 1981 describes B u ddhist yantras in South-east Asia, especially C a m b o d ia and T h a ila n d . Y an tra are also d e sc rib e d in B u d d h ist S a n sk rit texts, such as the V im a la p ra b h a c o m m e n ta r y on the K alacakratantra, chapter 3 (V im a la p ra b h a tik a o f Kalkin S rlp u n d a rik a on Srilagh u k alacak ratan lraraja by £rimaiYju£riya&as, v o lu m e 2, edited b y V. D w iv cd i/S ,S , B ahulkar, Sarnath, Varanasi: C entral Institute o f H ig h er Tibetan Studies, 1994): 19, 15ff. 14 S ee also R en ou/Filliozat 1 9 4 7 -1 9 5 3 , volum e 1: 568 for a sim ilar statement, 15 T h e f o llo w in g sta te m e n t by H ocns (in G u p t a / H o c n s /G o u d r ia a n 1979: 113) illustrates the co n fu sio n s u rro u n d in g the term s m andala and yantra: “ In the existing literature y a n tr a and m a n d a la arc often c o n s id e re d to be s y n o n y m s . T h is is not correct, b e c a u sc yantra in general m e a n s an instrument, an im plem ent, T h e yantra is often th re e -d im e n sio n a l w h e re a s the m a n d ala a lw ay s is tw o -d im en sio n al. M an d ala and y a n tra often h a v e the s a m e g e o m etrical form s, but the yantra m ay also h a v e different forms..., T h e yantra is m ore w o rsh ip p ed than m editated upon. As far as the aim s arc c o n e e rn c d o n e can say that the yantra is m o re used for w o rld ly p u rp o se s than for liberation, w hereas the mandala is used for both purposes.”



angles and petal-like parts; that w hich consists o f angles alone is called a yantra,” It is unclear w hich text Rao cites here, but this state­ ment can be identified in a quotation in the com m entary Saubhagyabhaskara by B haskararaya (18th century) on the Lalitasahasranam a, p. 171, 4 - 7 . In this quotation the word angle (asra) is synonym ous with the Sanskrit w ord corner (k o n a ) as used in the terms triangle ( trikona) or hex ag ram (satkona). The expression 'petal-like p a rts ’ renders the Sanskrit word patra. The above distinction betw een cakra and yantra, how ever, appears to be purely theoretical and m ay be applicable only in a specific tradition. It does not account for the m any yantras w hich are com m only described as consisting o f petal­ like parts. Z im m er (1926) 1984: 2 8 - 2 9 translates the three terms cakra, m andala and yantra as ‘circle-shape’ designs (cakra), ‘rings h a p e d ’ designs (mandala) and linear figures (yantra). It is not explained, however, exactly w hat is meant by these terms and what the differences between the ‘circle-shaped’ and ‘ring-shaped’ designs would be. Gaeffke 1987: 155 notes that “ it has becom e customary to call the simpler designs for daily worship yantras, and to reserve the term mandala for the larger ones in public cerem onies w here the w hole cosm os has to be present.” A nother ap p ro ach attem pts to establish distinctions betw een m andalas, yantras and cakras on the basis o f the deities invoked into these objects. W o odroffe 1914, volume 2: 285, note 13 makes a very generalized statement, w hich is applicable only to few mandalas, when he asserts that the “ difference between a M andala and a Yantra is that the former is used in the case o f any Devata, whereas a Yantra is appropriate to a specific Devata only.” 16 The following formulation by Shankaranarayanan 1970: 9 is a variation o f W o o d ro ffe ’s statement, and is equally problem atic: “The M andala is used in the case o f any deity w hile the C hakra is specifically intended for a partic u la r d e ity .” S h an k aran ara y an an apparently replaced the word yantra in W o o d ro ffe ’s definition with the word cakra. Schneider 1988: 100 attempts to make a distinction betw een m andala and yantra on the basis o f the n u m b er o f deities invoked. He suggests that a m andala represents the m icrocosm and a c c o m m o d a te s a p a n th e o n o f deities w ho are p o sitio n e d in it according to rank. A yantra, on the other hand, is the dom ain o f a single deity, but may include that d e ity ’s retinue. This distinction 16 T h e sa m e, apparently w id esp rea d , d efin itio n a lso appears in Jhavery 1944: 7 1 , W o o d r o f fe 1956: 9 1 , note 2 and in K ane 1 9 6 8 - 1 9 7 7 , v o lu m e 5: 1135.



appears to be based on a statement by Pott (1946) 1966: 71, w ho describes “ a m andala as a co sm ic configuration in the centre o f w hich is an im age or sym bolic substitute o f a pro m in en t god surrounded by those o f a num ber o f deities o f lower rank ordered hierarchically both among themselves and in relation to the c h ie f figures, which configuration may be used as an aid to m editation and in ritual as a receptacle for the g o d s.” l ie adds thal a m andala is “distinguished from a yantra by a more graphic representat ion o f the deities or o f their symbols and by a richer elaboration o f the details.” This last statement by Pott also takes the structure o f mandalas and yantras into consideration and is somew hat more satisfactory than the definitions o f his predecessors. Yet another approach looks at the ritual use o f mandalas and y a n ­ tras. Thus Vergati 1986: 37, 4 4 -4 5 observes that mandalas are used in secret as well as public ceremonies o f the Hindus and Buddhists in N epal, w hereas the yantras, which always represent the goddess, have more restricted uses. It has also been noted that mandalas are usually objects for temporary ritual use. The deities are invoked into them and dismissed at the end o f the ritual, after which the mandala is dism antled. Yantras m ade o f perm anent materials into w hich a deity has been invoked are usually kept in the temple or shrine for continued worship (Sharma 1994: 423-424). It must be added, h o w ­ ever, that m any yantras are made for temporary use, like mandalas. Rastelli, p. 144 notes yet another feature that sets m andalas and yantras apart in the Pancaralra tradition. She states that mantras are already inscribed on yantras at the time o f manufacturing the yantra. The draw ing o f the lines o f the structure and the w riting o f the mantras are a single process, which may indicate that a yantra repre­ sents one integrated unit in which the deity is worshipped. Mandalas, however, are constructed first and the deities are invoked into them w ith m antras only later. It must be added, however, that later texts enjoin that yantras be first prepared and then infused with life in a special ritual, the pranapratistha, with the help o f mantras. It is not possible to sum m arize all attempts at defining ‘m an d ala,’ ‘y a n tra ’ and ‘cak ra’ in the literature. The use and functions o f these terms are com plex and it will be im possible to arrive at a universally valid definition. An in-depth study o f the use o f the terms in texts o f different religious systems and time periods would be required to



determine how the terms have been em ployed by different authors and how the use o f these terms has changed over time. 1.2 T ypes o f M andalas according to H. B runner H. B ru n n er’s contribution to this book describes uses o f the word mandala based on her study o f p re -13th-century Saiva manuals. Even th o u g h she confines h e r s e lf to an analysis o f the texts o f the Siddhanta School o f Saivism , her observations on the use o f the terms mandala, yantra and cakra appear to have a som ew hat w ider application. B runner takes the term mandala to signify a limited, not necessarily round, surface, and distinguishes four basic types o f mandalas: T y p e 1: L im ited surfaces w ithout a clear structure, w h ich are com m only em ployed as seats for divinities, m en or objects during ritual, such as m andalas o f cow-dung smeared on the ground. They can be called ‘seat-m andalas,’ Type 2: Limited surfaces with geometrical designs prepared from co lo u red po w d ers, w hich serve as su p p o rts for the regular or occasional worship o f deities. These mandalas are for tem porary use, being destroyed after the ritual. They are constructed in a ritual, with close adherence to directional orientation. C om m only three, four or five different colours are em ployed. T hese m andalas, often called ‘pow der m an d alas’ (rajom andala), may be large-sized and so allow for the priest to enter through the doors and move around in ‘streets.’ A ccording to Brunner, such m andalas are tem porarily constructed divine icons and can be called ‘im a g e -m a n d a la s ’ (the term is not used in any texts). Type 3: Limited surfaces divided into a certain num ber o f squares or units called padas, dom ains into which divine or dem onic pow ers are invoked to receive food offerings (ball). T h e ir co nstruction usually does not involve the use o f colours. The best know n m andala in this category is the vastum andala. B runner also includes in this categ o ry g e o m etric al figures div id ed into b o x e s am o n g w h ich objects are distributed. She refers to the mandalas in this category as ‘distributive diagram s.’ Type 4. The term mandala is also used to designate the symbolic shapes o f the five elem ents and the spheres/orbs o f the sun, m oon



and fire. The shapes o f the elements are visualized, for example, in the Tantric rite o f purification o f the elements ( bhutasuddhi) o f the perform er’s body. Since the shapes o f the elements and the spheres o f the sun, moon and fire are neither concrete material objects nor supports for w orship in the way that the previously discu ssed m andalas are, they do not really fit the present context and are therefore excluded from further discussion. Concerning B runner’s first category o f mandalas, I would like to add that in other traditions ‘seat-m andala’ appears to be more com m only used for ritual objects than for persons. The function o f these m andalas is to protect ritual objects placed on them. Such supports, made o f various materials, may feature simple geom etric patterns, and can be referred to as mandalas or ‘yantras for (establishing) a foundation’ (stbapanayantra) (see 2.2 . 1). T he nam e o f the second category, ‘ im a g e -m a n d a la ,’ may be som ew hat misleading, since it suggests the presence o f a pictorial representation o f the deity in the m andala— which is not intended. W hat is meant is that the entire mandala is the principal support for worship and is present as an image/icon for the duration o f the ritual. These m andalas are also called ‘pow der m an d alas’ (.rajomandala) (but they may also be made from other materials, such as grains) and can be characterized as supports into which deities axe invited in order to receive worship. B ru n n er’s classification o f types o f mandalas and their ritual use in the Saiva tradition is valuable. In all attempts at classification, however, we need to be aware o f the fact that in both texts and ritual practice the distinction am ong the types o f m andalas is not always that clear. A n y classification can therefore only be o f limited practical value, and is often applicable only within one particular system. 1.3 S o m e Structural E lem ents o f Mandalas M andalas display different shapes and patterns, and are made up o f various constituent parts, depending on the tradition they come from. In the follow ing I will describe two basic structural elem ents o f mandalas, the lotus design and square grid. In the next essay, I will provide concrete exam ples o f these structures from the Smarta tra-



dition o f M aharastra. G eom etric figures like the triangle and hex a­ gram, which occasionally also appear in mandalas, will be described in section 2.3 in connection with yantras. In the following I will look at m andala patterns o f different periods and traditions sim ultane­ ously, without attempting to treat the topic historically. 1.3.1 Lotus Designs Lotus designs appear com m only in Indian art as well as in mandalas and in yantras. The lotus is a co m m o n South A sian sym bol o f creation, purity, transcendence and the sphere o f the absolute, 17 but is especially know n as a symbol o f the female reproductive organ. It has also been connected with water symbolism since ancient times, as already indicated by a statement in Satapatha-Brahm ana 7 .4 .1.8 : “The lotus is the w aters.” Indeed, in descriptions o f the symbolic shapes (mandala) o f the elem ents ( bhuta)]S the lotus represents the element w ater.19 In m andalas and yantras o f lotus design, the central deity is positioned in the pericarp (karnika), and the em anations or subordi­ nate deities in the p e ta ls .20 A lotus design m ay have one ring or several concentric rings o f petals. T h e petals o f an eight-petalled lotus ideally point in the cardinal and intermediate directions, but we find numerous specimens in books and coins in w hich it is the spaces betw een two petals that are oriented to the points o f the compass. This orientation m ay be due to the ignorance o f the craftsm en who prepared the yantras. Bunce 2001: 28 explains that this latter orien­ tation signifies pow er and the feminine element, but I am doubtful w hether it is described in ancient texts. The eight-petalled lotus whose petals do the pointing is a shape w hich is well suited for positioning deities in their respective directions. This purpose is not served when two petals point in each o f the cardinal directions and none in the interm ediate directions. The relationship betw een direc­ tions and lotus petals is borne out by a statem ent in M aitrayaniya17 For a recent and detailed d is c u ss io n o f the s y m b o l is m o f the lotus, se e Garzilli 2 0 0 0 ; for the lotus m o tiv e in architecture, s e e G u ts c h o w 1997: 2 4 8 ff. 18 T h e s y m b o l i c sh a p e s o f the e l e m e n t s are c l a s s if ie d as m a n d a la s o f ty p e 4 in B runner’s a f o r e m e n t io n e d c la s s ific a t io n o f m andalas (s e e s e ctio n 1.2). 19 S e e , for e x a m p l e , S a ra d a tila ka 1 . 2 3 - 2 4 , w h e r e a lo t u s w ith a h a l f m o o n represents water. a) For a description o f the co n struction o f the various sh a p e s o f petals, se e B u n c e 2001:26.




U panisad 6.2 which identifies the lotus (of the heart) with space ( akasa), and its eight petals with the four cardinal and interm ediate directions. Eight-petal led lotus designs com m only appear in the centre o f Buddhist mandalas, such as in the mandalas o f the eight great B odhisattvas.21 They are also found on Nepalese coins o f the M alla p e rio d 22 and on Indian23 coins. An eight-pointed star24 can serve the same ritual function as the cight-petallcd lotus, but is less common. In addition to eight-petal led lotuses, lotuses with two, four, 10, 12, 16, 24, 32, 100, 1000 or more petals appear in mandalas and yantras. The num ber o f petals is mostly even, but yantras with an odd num ber o f petals (for exam ple, five) are also found, in which case their directional orientation may not be o f any obvious relevance. A special kind o f six-petalled lotus is the va/ra-lotus described in the K ubjikam ata-Tantra. This is an eight-pet a lied lotus from w hich two petals have been rem oved. Its shape resembles a vajra with three peaks on either side.25 Nepalese coins o f the Malla period also depict four-petalled,26 five-petalled27 and six-petalled2K lotuses. Som e texts prescribe that the lotus petals should have different shapes depending on the purpose o f the associated rite. Thus the petals may be curved along their edges, and with or without pointed tips, and so forth (Torzsok, p. 207). The lotus pattern is commonly found in current ritual practice, for example, in M aharastra. An eight-petal led (astudala) lotus, prepared from grains or coloured powders, frequently functions as a support for ritual vessels. Atop the vessel is ‘a dish filled (with grains)’ (purnapatra), especially uncooked rice, that serves as the scat o f the main deity o f the rite. In Nepal, lotus designs can also be found on stones 21 S e e , for e x a m p le, L eidy/Thurm an 1997: 2 6 - 2 8 . 72 S e e R h o d e s / G a b r i s c h / f della R o cc h c tta 1989, Plate 16, nos. 2 8 1 - 2 8 5 , 2 8 9 — 2 9 7 , P late 17, nos, 2 9 8 - 2 9 9 , 3 0 3 - 3 0 4 , 3 1 3 - 3 1 8 , 3 2 7 - 3 2 9 , 3 3 8 - 3 4 4 , Plate 18, nos. 3 4 5 - 3 4 6 , 3 6 1 , ctc. 23 S e e Sircar 1968, Plate xx iii, nos. 9 and 10 rev, 24 S e c R h o d e s / G a b r i s c h / t della R occhctta 1989, Plate 2 9 , no. 5 9 6 rev., Plate 30, no. 6 5 6 rev., Plate 3 3 , no. 8 2 5 rev., Plate 35, no, 9 3 6 rev,, Plate 36, no, 9 7 8 rev. 25 For a descrip tion and a draw in g o f the va/ra-lotus, s e e H c ilijg e r s -S c c le n 1994: 131-132. 26 S e e R h o d e s / G a b r is c h / t della R o cchctta 1989, Plate 23, nos, 4 5 0 rev., 4 5 9 - 4 6 5 obv., Plate 2 4 , nos. 4 6 6 - 4 6 7 obv. 27 S ee R h o d e s /G a b r is c h / t della Rocchctta 1989, Plate 2 2 , nos. 4 3 8 rev., 4 4 4 rev. 28 S e e R h o d e s / G a b r i s c h / f della R o cch ctta 1989, Plate 2 1 , no. 4 1 8 rev., Plate 2 2 , nos. 4 4 5 obv., 4 4 6 ob v., Plate 35, no. 95 3 rev.



near thresholds, on roads or in public places. T hese stones, w hich have been term ed 'lo tu s sto n e s’ by some authors (Auer/Gutschow 1974: 29, 32, 33, 124), serve special functions in the N evar religious tradition.29 A pattern o f nine lotuses arranged in groups o f three placed one above the other appears in several im portant mandalas. T hese in­ clude the Pancaratra navapadm am andala (see C olour Plate 15), the Saiva navanabhamandala (Colour Plate 18) and several versions o f the Buddhist vajradhatumandala,30 In the context o f specific mandalas and yantras, different inter­ pretations o f the lotus design and the lotus petals are given. The (most likely seventh-century) G anesapurvatapaniya-U panisad, sec­ tion 3 gives an interpretation o f the constituent parts o f a yantra o f Ganesa. The y an tra’s innermost ring of eight lotus petals is taken to represent the eight-syllabled gayatri; the adjacent ring o f 12 petals, the 12 Adityas and the vowels; and the following ring o f 16 petals, the purusa w ho consists o f 16 parts (kala), and the consonants, M isra 1959: 4 8 2 -4 8 3 interprets an unidentified Sakta yantra as represen­ ting the process o f creation, and takes the eight petals o f its lotus to signify the five elem ents, m a n a s, buddhi and ahamkara. Som e 29 W e k n o w o f se veral ty p e s o f s t o n e s with e n g ra v e d lo tus d e s ig n s . O n e type is d e s c r ib e d as a g u a rd ia n s to n e ( N e v a r i pikhalakhu, s o m e t i m e s c o n s id e r e d s y n o ­ n y m o u s w ith N ev a r i chetrapala) in front o f thresholds (G u t s c h o w /K o l v e r /S h r e s t h a carya 1987: 3 5 , 5 4 - 5 5 , 9 2 , 120 and K o lv er/S h resth a ca ry a 1994; 1 0 1 , 2 0 9 ) . A c c o r ­ d in g to T o f f in 1999: 4 2 , the pikhalakhu p rotective sto n e is c o n s id e r e d the a b o d e o f th e d e it y P i k h a l a k h u d y a h , w h o m b o th B u d d h i s t s and H i n d u s i d e n t i f y w ith K umara/S kanda. T h is stone reportedly h a s different fu n ctio n s in ritual: o ffe r in g s are d ep o sited on it; it r e c e iv e s w o rs h ip as part o f the m arriage c e r e m o n y , at w h i c h tim e it m a y b e sm ea r ed w ith c o w - d u n g ; or e ls e a diagram m a y b e drawn on it (T o f fin 1999: 4 3 ) . For a photograph o f o n e su ch stone, s e e G u ts c h o w / K o lv e r /S h r e s th a c a r y a 1987: 120, no. 121. A n o t h e r ty p e o f s t o n e is c a l l e d chvasa ( G u t s e h o w / K o l v e r / Shresthacarya 1987: 35 and K olver/Sh resth acarya 1994: 105). T h is is a d eifie d stone f o u n d at c r o s s r o a d s on w h i c h ritu ally im pure ( ucchista ) o b je c t s are d iscarded ( G u t s c h o w 1982: 105). T h e g ra n d m o th e r-g o d d es s (ajima) is propitiated there. For a photograph, s e e G u ts c h o w / K o lv e r /S h r e s t h a c a r y a 1987: 9 2 , no. 14. A third ty p e o f s to n e is c a l le d mandalVmamdah ( N e v a r i ) b e c a u s e o f its m a n d a la -lik e d e s ig n (G uts c h o w /K 5 1 v e r/S h re s th a ca r y a 1987: 6 5 , 120 and K o lv e r / S h r e s th a c a r y a 1994: 2 5 8 ). T h i s s t o n e m a y b e c o v e r e d w i t h b ra ss. F o r a p h o t o g r a p h , s e e G u t s c h o w / K olver/Sh resth acarya 1987: 120, no. 122. 30 S e e , for e x a m p le , the central part o f the 1 2 th-century vajradhatumandala from A l c h i , L ad akh ( L e i d y /T h u r m a n 1997: 4 0 , F ig u re 3 6 ) . T h e n i n e f o l d structure is already se e n in the m a n d a la o f the e i g h t great B o d h i s a tt v a s in C a v e 12 in Ello ra, Maharastra (late s e v en th to early eighth century) ( s e e F ig u re 21 in L e id v /T h u r m a n 1997:31).




Pancaratra texts identify the mandala with the deity ’s body and its constituent parts with the deity’s body parts. Thus the Satvata-Samhita (Rastelli, p. 139) takes the lotus to represent the d eity ’s intellect (dhi = buddhi). The Visnu-Samhita provides yet another interpreta­ tion o f the lotus, equating it with the deity’s heart, The central lotuses in mandalas or yantras often have triangles and h e x a g ra m s inscribed in their pericarps. In a tw o -d im e n s io n a l structure, the lotuses are usually surrounded by a square enclosure, often termed a seat or throne (plilui), adjacent to which may be a corridor or passage (vlthl) for circumambulation (prndnksina). In a three-dim ensional structure, the pitha would be the support o f the lotus and project beyond it. Between one and three concentric circles and a square (with often three nested lines) frequently surround the central lotus on the outside. These geometrical structures will be discussed separately in section 2.3 in the context o f yantras. In m andala designs, lotuses also appear in com bination with S iv a ’s trident(s).31 A central lotus in a mandala may be replaced by a wheel (cakra)?2 The deities are then assigned to the hub and the spokes o f the wheel. A wheel can also appear in com bination with a lotus design.33 1.3,2 The Square Grid A com m on structural device o f certain mandalas is the square grid, which may incorporate a lotus design (made o f squares) in its centre. E xam ples o f this structure are the bhadram andalas em ployed in Smarta ritual, which are analyzed in the next essay. The square grid is obtained by drawing a certain num ber o f vertical and horizontal base lines to form squares on a surface. The squares, called pada or kostha, are assembled into different shapes and parts by filling them with coloured powders or grains. The constituent parts o f the sarva31 S e e the mandala o f the trident and lotuses {triSulabjanm ndala) and the mandala o f the three tridents and ( s e v e n ) lo tus es ( tritri&UMyumandala) in Sanderson 1986 and P a do u x , pp, 2 2 5 f f . (w ith Illustrations 1 - 2 ) and the trident mandala reconstructed in T orzsok , A p p e n d ix 3 (with C o lo u r Plate 19). T h e trident o f the Trika has been inter­ preted as representing the universe (Torzsok, p. 195). 32 In d escrip tio ns o f m a nd a la -lik c structures, w o rd s d en o tin g parts o f a lo tus arc s o m e t i m e s treated as in tercha n g ea b le with w o r d s d e n o tin g parts o f a w h e e l; s e c Torzsok, p. 181. 33 For a c o m b in a tio n o f a lotus and a w h e e l in m andalas, se e, for e x a m p le , the cakrabjam andala ( bbadrakam andala) describ ed in Rastelli, p, 124 and the mandala o f Svacchandabhairava describ ed in Torzsok, pp. 2 0 1 - 2 0 3 .



tobhadra include (see Table, p. 87): a ‘w ell’ (vapi), an ‘offset’ design ( bhadra),34 a ‘c re e p e r’ ( valll), a ‘c h a in ’ (srhkhala) and a ‘crescent m o o n ’ ( khandendu), In the centre is usually a lotus w ith a pericarp (karnilca), and on the outside o f the m andala a square w ith three nested lines, coloured white, red and black. The three lines are identified with sattva, rajas and ta m a s 35 and coloured white, red and black respectively from the inside to the o u tsid e .36 In addition to these parts, the Hngatobhadras contain one or more phallic symbols ( linga) o f Siva, which are them selves called R udra or Siva. Some hngatobhadras contain additional parts, such as a corridor or passage ( vithi) for circum am bulation w hich surrounds a throne (pitha) and miniature creepers (laghuvallT) and miniature chains (laghusrnkhala). The characteristic elem ent o f the ra m a to b h a d ra s is the ‘s e a l’ o f Rama, which usually consists o f the inscribed words raja rama. The ganesa- and suryabhadras feature im ages o f G anesa and the sun respectively. 1.3.3 Other Designs The sarvatobhadra reconstructed by Brunner in this b o o k belongs to a different m andala tradition from the aforementioned sarvatobhadra, and consists o f different constituents. Structurally, the m andala represents a co m b in atio n o f the square grid seen in the bhadramandalas and a rounded lotus shape on a throne in the centre. The lotus consists o f the pericarp (karnika), filam ents (kesara), petals (patra, dala) and the tips o f the petals (dalagra). The throne (pitha) has four ‘feet’ (pada) and four ‘lim bs’ or ‘b o d ies’(gatra), that is, side parts in the form o f the bodies o f men and anim als (Brunner, pp. 1 6 7 -1 6 8 ). T h e re is a c o rrid o r or p a s sa g e ( v ith i) for c irc u m ­ am bulation (pradaksina) and an outer enclosure consisting o f entry and exit passages (dvara). In addition, we find parts called sobha and upasobha 37 and ‘c o r n e r s ’ (k o n a ). O th e r m andalas, such as the M In architectural te r m in o lo g y , the term bhadra d e s ig n a t e s an o f fs e t p ro jectio n c o m m o n to N orth Indian tem p le plans. 35 T h is interpretation is a lso g iv e n to m a nd a la s o f the Paiicaratra tradition ( s e e Rastelli, p. 139). •v’For the outer square as part o f yantras, se e se ctio n 2 .3 ,8 . 37 T h e s e term s are a ls o written sobha/upasobha in the Pauskara-S am hita (cf. R a stelli, p. 139). For an ex p la n a tio n o f th e se term s, s e e A p p e n d i x 2 to T o r z s o k ’s contribution. Brunner, p. 169 interprets sobha as a ‘d o o r ’ or ‘entrance p a v ilio n o f the first en clo su r e o f a p a la ce or t e m p l e ’ and upasobha as p o s s i b l y s ig n if y in g a ‘pavilion



tirimandala and the navanabliamandala reconslructed in Torzsok (sec her Appendices 1-2 and Colour Plates 16 and 18), feature additional constituent parts. These include door segments termed kantha (the upper part o f a door) and npakantha ((lie lower part o f a door). The upakantha is also called kapola in some texts. Different interpretations are given to the constituent parts o f these mandalas. The Srimandala reconstructed by Torzsok (see her A p p en ­ dix 1 and C olour Plates 16-17) is surrounded by a square with five nested lines coloured transparent, yellow, black, red and white from the inside to the outside. These five lines are identified with the five kala,s which constitute the Saiva universe. In the Pancaratra tradition the m andala is som etim es identified with the d e ity ’s body. Inter­ preting one o f these m andalas, the Satvata-Sam hita equates the sobhiis with the deity’s organs o f action (karana), the upaSobhas with the subtle elements ( tanmatra), and the corners and gates with the deity’s sense organs (cf. Rastelli, p. 139). In the Pancaratra tradition the mandala also becomes a representation o f the universe, when its constituent parts are equated with cosm ic principles and divine powers. T hus the V isnu-Sam hita, for example, identifies the five colours used in the mandala with the live elements (see Rastelli, p. 141). 1.4 The Question o f the Origin and Date o f Mandalas Several scholars have suggested that Tantric mandalas arc rooted in Vedic traditions. The layout o f Vedic altars is taken as indicative o f an early interest in geometric designs endowed with cosm ological symbolism (Gaefkc 1987: 153). The method of determining the lines o f the c o m p ass for the co n stru ctio n o f sacrificial altars, the consecration o f bricks on the surface o f a cayana altar by means o f m antras and the locating o f deities on those bricks arc essential features o f V edic rituals (Apte 1926: 2 - 3 ), and aspects o f these rituals recur in the practice o f constructing mandalas and invoking deities into their parts. The sacred space o f mandalas and yantras can be seen as a continuation o f the Vedic sacrificial site (Schneider

on top o f a s e c o n d a ry d o o r . ’ T h e translation ‘offset d e s i g n ’ for Aoblul and ‘recess d e s i g n ’ fo r u p a to b h fi is used by P.P. A p te in the in tro d u ctio n to his ed itio n and translation o f the P a u sk a ra -S a m h ita (Part I), p. xii, For d ra w in g s o f these parts, sec T o r z s o k ’s Illustration 1 and also Nikita 1991: 319.



1988: 100), and the square enclosure o f Tantric m andalas in parti­ cular as an analogue o f the sacred fire altar (Gupta 1988: 39—41). But the sim ilarities b etw e e n the tw o traditions appear to end here. Authors like Mitra 1958: 1 1238 are going too far w hen they assum e that patterns displayed by yantras and mandalas can be traced back to the S ulba-Sutras o f the V ed an g as (w hich p rescribe th e w ay to construct sacrificial altar diagrams), since the patterns displayed by Tantric m andalas are distinctly different. So are the m antras and the deities invoked into m andalas and the details o f the rites. The problem o f the sim ilarities and differences b e tw e e n V ed ic and Tantric traditions is com plex and needs to be explored in greater detail in a separate study. Such an investigation w ould have to trace the influences o f other traditions on mandalas as well. The oldest H indu m andalas m ay date back to before the sixth century A.D. A m ong the oldest mandalas that can be dated are two types o f vastupurusamandalas described in V a ra h a m ih ira ’s BrhatSamhita. This text is co m m only placed in the m iddle o f the sixth century. The tw o vastupurusamandalas are described in chapter 53, b u t w ere o b v io u s ly n o t c re a te d by V a r a h a m ih ira b u t rath er incorporated from older unidentified sources. Apte 1987: 141 notes that the first type o f vastupurusamandala is d e s c rib e d in the Pauskara-Sam hita o f the Pancaratra, w hich he dates to ca. 400 A.D. (Apte 1986: 3, 1999: 18) or at least 450 A.D. (Apte 1987), while M atsubara 1994: 34 assigns the Pauskara to 500 A .D . H ow ever, these early dates are highly speculative, th e u p p e r lim it for the com position o f the Pauskara-Sam hita being only the tenth century. M oreover, dating a Sam hita as a whole is problem atic, since these texts were constantly revised and reworked by redactors, Sanderson 2001: 38, note 50 states that he found evidence that the PauskaraSamhita (along with the Jayakhya-Sarnhita and the Satvata-Samhita) were influenced by Tantric Saiva systems. A t this time the com plex descriptions o f m andalas found in the Pauskara-S am hita cannot be dated with certainty. W e do not have clear evidence for establishing dates for the d e v e lo p m e n t o f y antras either. B ro o k s 1992: 34 considers the p o ssib ility that the m o s t fam o u s o f y an tras, the sricakra/M yantra, developed before the sixth century.

38 C h a tto p a d h y a y a 1 9 7 8 : 8 0 , too, s u g g e s t s a c o n n e c t i o n b e t w e e n yantras and sh apes o f sacrificial d iagram s used in the V e d ic tradition.




2 Ynntrn 2.1 General R em arks The word yantra designates an instrument, machine,'™ mechanical device or appliance (especially one used in warfare), and also a magic diagram. It is derived from the verbal root yum , ‘to control.

w For this m e a n in g o f ‘y a n tra ,’ se c, for e x a m p le , Bhag a v a dg ita 18,61. M e c h a ­ nical a p p lia n c e s and m a c h in e s ca lled yantras arc d escrib ed in chapter 31 o f the Sam a ra ng a n a -S utra d h a ra , a w ork on architecture a scribed to B hoja, w h ic h w a s studied b y R a ghavan 1956: 2 1 - 3 1 . S ee also the o v e r v ie w in Slink In 1967: 3 0 - 5 2 . For different a stro n o m ica l in struments called yantras for use in o b serv a to ries , se c V o lw a h s c n 2 0 0 1 : 40ff. M a y r h o f c r 1 9 8 6 - 2 0 0 1 , v o l u m e 2: 3 9 8 e x p la in s the w ord yantra as an instrument for fastening. Kramrisch 1946, v o lu m e I : I 1 1 2 , w h o apparently d o e s not differentiate b etw e en the terms mandala and yantra, d efin e s ‘yantra’ as fo llo w s: “ A Y antra is a g e o m e tr ic a l co n tr iv a n c e by w h ic h any a sp ec t o f the S u p r e m e Principle m ay b e bound (yantr, to bind; from the root ‘y a m ’) to any spot for the purpose o f w orship . It is an artifice in w h ic h the ground (b h um i) is co n v er ted into the ex te n t o f the m a n ifes ted u n iv e rse ,” For two r e lig io u s e t y m o l o g i e s o f the w ord yantra, s e e the fo llo w in g verses from tw o different chapters o f the Kulfirnava-Tantra. T h e first v er se d erives the word yantra from the verbal root y a m with the prefix in, m ea n in g ‘to restrain, prevent, t a m e .’

kam akrodhadidnsatthasarvndiihkliaiiiyantranfiS / ya n tra m ily ahur ctn sm in dcvn h prinfiti pujitah // 6.86 “ B e c a u s e it restrains all s u fferin g arisin g from the d efec ts (in the form) o f desire, anger and so forth th ey call it yantra. T h e g o d w h o is w orsh ip ped in it g r a c e s (the practitioner).”

ya m a b h u ta d isa rv e b h y o b h a y e b h y o 'p i kulcdvnri / trayatc satatam caiva ta s m a d y a n tm m iiiritam II 17.61 “O m istress o f the kula, b cca u se it protects a lw a y s from a b so lu te ly all dangers, such as Y a m a and (ev il) spirits (blnll;i), therefore il is called yantra." Purnananda’s &rilattvacintamani 17.2 explains the word yantra in a sim ilar way:

y a m a y a ty n kh iln m papain trayatc m ahato bhayat / sadh a ka m p u ja n a d dhyanal ta sm a d yantrah prakirtyato / / “ It su bd ues all e v il, it protects the practitioner from great danger w h e n w orsh ip p e d (and) v isu alized ( dhyiina ); therefore it is called yantra,” (The m a sc u lin e g en d er o f yantra here is rather unusual, but s e e a lso the citation, from the Kalivilasa-Tantra b elo w .) R a g h a v a b h a t t a ’s c o m m e n ta r y , pp. 5 1 9 , 6 - 7 on Saradatilaka 24.1 q u o t e s the f o llo w in g e t y m o lo g y o f the word yantra from an unsp ecified Samhita:

m a norathaksarany aim n iya n lrya n tc tapodhanah / “ In this the letters o f (= c o n v e y i n g ) desires are affixed. O a s c e tic s .” H e co n tin u es with a line reminiscent o f Kularnava-Tantra 6 .8 6 cited above: kainakrndh;1 didosan va (correct to °dosotthadi°) dirghadiihklm uiyantranat II

ya n tra m ily aliuh / Hi “T h e y call it yantra b cca u se it restrains p rolon ged suffering arisin g from d efec ts (in the form) o f desire, anger and so forth.”



A general characteristic o f yantras is that they are small in size. In contrast, mandalas vary in size and can be large enough to allow for priests or initiands to enter them through doors and to w alk around in them, for example, during an initiation (diksa). With the exception of yantras placed below temple statues at the time o f their consecration and yantras installed permanently for w orship in m athas or temples, and a few other eases,41 yantras are generally mobile, w hereas m an­ dalas are not. While mandalas can employ different colour schemes, the use o f colour is less com m on if not indeed irrelevant in the case o f most yantras. Texts may prescribe that the lines o f a yantra be traced with a specific colour, for example, with turm eric or blood, but the space inside a yantra is never filled with colours as it is in the case o f mandalas. And while pictorial representations o f deities can appear in mandalas, such images are generally not found in y antras.42 Like mandalas, yantras are believed to be effective only w hen w or­ shipped. However, some texts claim that the act o f merely view ing a mandala43 or draw ing or recollecting a yantra44 brings about b en e­ ficial results. How ever, according to K alivilasa-T antra 7 .9 c d -1 0 a b and 2 7 . 2 lab, w orship o f a deity in a yantra is n o t recom m ended in the present ka li era. Based on an analysis o f texts o f the Trika School o f Kashm ir, Brunner, p. 162 briefly defines a yantra as a linear representation on a specific surface, such as birch-bark. She adds that yantras alm ost inevitably have letters, seed (bija) syllables or mantras inscribed in them. Since m antras frequently em ploy verbs in the im perative to express an order, B ru n n er suggests the translation ‘co erciv e dia­ g ra m s ’ for yantras. Similarly, Rastelli, p. 142 concludes from her study o f the Pancaratra texts that yantras have inscribed mantras. A n o th er ety m o lo g y o f ‘y a n t r a ’ is found in K a liv ilasa-T an tra 33.1: b ijm iim k o n a vijn iiim m ya tn a ta s trayate ya ta h /

ten a yantra iti khyiita isananmkhanihsrtah // “B e c a u se it with effort protects the k n o w le d g e o f the angles/co rn ers ( o f the d ra w in g ) (reserv ed ) fo r the seed (syllables), w h ic h (k n o w le d g e ) c a m e forth f r o m ISana’s (that is, S iv a ’s) m o u th , therefore it is called y an tra,” (T h e form °srta h — th e text re a d s e r ro n e o u s ly °sm rtah— can b e e x p la in e d as an e x a m p le o f ease attraction; ° srta m is the cx p ected form.) 41 Sec Rastelli, p. 143 for y a n tra s d escrib ed in the A n ir u d d h a - S a m h ita , w h ic h are d raw n and then w o rsh ip p ed on a p latfo rm and are therefore n o t m obiie. 42 T h e sa u d a rfa n a ya n tra ( sec Rastelli, pp. 1 4 8 -1 5 0 ), w h ic h is a c o m b in a tio n o f a y antra an d a figure o f V isnu, is an exceptional case. 43 S ee the S u p ra b h e d a quoted in B ru n n er, p. 175, n o te 53. 44 S ec the description in Rastelli, p. 146.



Authors such as Kscmariija, : 3 5 - 3 9 c la s s i f i e s sricakras into the f o l lo w i n g three categories: 1) bhuprastara or bhukrama; 2) kunnaprastara or kurmaprstha and 3) mcrukrama, mcruprastara or meruprstha. A c c o r d i n g to this author, the first k ind is a M cakra w h o s e c o m p l e t e d e s i g n is en graved or e m b o s s e d . T h e sricakras o f the s e c o n d type all feature n ine triangles in a slig h tly e lev a ted p o sitio n. Such a cakra m a y a lso be p la cc d on the b a ck o f a tortoise (and h e n c e the n a m e kurmaprastara or kurmaprstha). T h e third ty p e o f sricakra has all its triangles raised like a mountain.



3 . yantras which are also callcd mandalas; they arc defined as sur­ faces on which ritual objects arc placcd. In the same book (Rao 1988: 19) the author introduces yet another threefold classification o f yantras: 1, 2, 3,

yantras for magical purposes, generally called protective yantras (raksayantra), yantras for actualizing divinities (dcvatayantra) and yantras that facilitate meditation (dhyanayantra).

The items in the first two categories in both lists arc identical, even if their sequence differs. The third type o f yantra in the first list will be discussed below. The third category in the second list appears to refer to certain Buddhist m andalas (Rao 1988: 27). Even though descriptive details are missing and the categories arc presented in a som ew h at unsystem atic way, R a o ’s classification is helpful, but clearly not sufficient. Rao has pointed the reader in the right direction by taking the ritual function o f yantras into consideration when attempting to classify them. Building on B runner’s and R a o ’s work as well as on the basis o f my study o f Tantric texts o f the later period, 1 would like to suggest the following tentative classification o f yantras as a guideline. This classification, according to the distinctive features and ritual use o f yantras, is not intended to be exhaustive and may not be applicable to all South Asian Tantric traditions. 1.



Yanlras which function as supports for ritual implements during a worship ritual, being referred to as ‘yantras for (establishing) a foundation’ (stlm panayanlm ), yantras employed in a practitioner’s regular Tantric worship o f a deity, often referred to as ‘yanlras (which arc supports) for w o r­ ship’ (pujayantra, pujadharayanira) and named for tlicir presiding deity, for exam p le, ‘y an tra for the w o rsh ip o f G a n a p a ti’ (,ganapa iipujayan tra), and yantras em ployed in optional dcsirc-oricntcd rites, which arc perform ed on special occasions. Yantras used in a special ritual for a certain deity arc included here as well as yantras which are prepared for specific magical rites, and which are often named for these rites, for exam ple, ‘yantra for attra ctio n ’ (akarsana-



yantra) (Illustration 1). A fter the ritual is com plete, the instruc­ tions may recommend that these yantras consecrated for magical purposes be made into amulets and worn on the body ( dharanayantra) in order to obtain the desired results, such as protection or the acquisition o f pow er and wealth. A m ong these yantras, the yantras for protection (raksayantra) figure prom inently in texts. In the category o f yantras for desire-oriented rites I also include magic (num ber) sq u a re s .47 T hese are d iag ram s w ith num bers inscribed, the sum o f which remains the same, regardless o f the direction in which one adds them up. T hese three categories are detailed below. 2.2.1 Type 1: Yantras for Establishing a Foundation These yantras feature simple geometric shapes, such as a triangle or a circle. They function as supports for ritual im plem ents, such as lamps or vessels, in special desire-oriented (ka m ya ) or m agical rites. Such supports also figure in the regular Tantric puja, in w hich they ap p ear to be referred to as m andalas (see Illustration 2 ).48 T heir function can be compared to that o f the ‘seat-m andalas’ in B ru n n er’s m a n d a la classificatio n (sectio n 1.2); h o w e v e r, B r u n n e r ’s ‘seatm andalas, ’ w hich are m ade o f cow -dung and similar materials, are without any clearly recognizable structure. 2.2.2 Type 2: Yantras Employed in Regular Worship Yantras o f this type usually feature com m on geom etric shapes, but generally do not have mantras inscribed, at least according to the later Tantric texts that I have studied. H ow ever, the deity and her/his em anations are invoked into the yantra with mantras. A few yantras have the names o f these em anations or surrounding deities inscribed fo llo w in g the expression ‘salutation t o ’ ( nam ah). R e g a rd le s s o f w h e th e r the m antras are only used to invoke the deity or w hether they are also inscribed in the yantra, they are o f utm ost im portance. It is for this reason that the K ularnava-T antra states that a yantra

47 F o r m agic (n u m b e r) squares, sec, for ex a m p le , the illustrations in A b b o tt 1932: 5 1 5 -5 2 1 and the discussion in C a m m a n n 1969. 4,1 T h e m a n d a la in Illustration 2 s e rv e s as a su p p o rt fo r the v a r d h in l'/ v a r d h a n i vessel in a T a n tric pujn.



consists o f the deity’s m a n t r a . Y a n l r a s employed in regular worship are often m ade o f durable materials, such as copper. In this category o f yantras 1 would also include the .sricukra, also called sriyantra. In addition to being worshipped in ritual, this cakra is also visualized and experienced in the practitioner’s body as a manifestation o f the cosmic proccss o f creation and resorption with spatial and mantric aspects, as Padoux explains in his contribution to this book. 2.2.3 Type 3: Yantras Employed in Optional Desire-Oriented Rites The third category o f yantras is required for the perform ance o f optional rites, such as specific magical rites, and they arc often made o f perishable materials, such as birch-bark or paper. T hese yantras are draw n, acco rd in g to the instructions, with special w ritin g materials and substances, such as animal or human blood or ashes from a cremation ground. Johari 1986: 63 reports that such yantras may be made from wheat flower, rice paste, beans or (grains of) rice.5" They may also be incised on more permanent materials, such as metal plates. D iscussions o f the various styluses used and the m aterials on which protective yantras can be written are com m only found in texts. The materials are considered extremely important for the success o f the ritual, and correspond to the nature o f the rite perform ed. Thus cruel rites require repulsive m aterials, and the yantra used in the rite o f liquidation (m firnnn) as described in M a h ld h a ra ’s 16th-century M antram ahodadhi 25,56ab and 25.59ab should be written on human bone with certain poisonous substances. General instructions for draw ing yanlras for different purposes, including reducing fever, keeping snakes away and countering the effects o f poison, can be found in various texts, such as chapter 24 o f L aksm anadesika’s Saradatilaka (10th-11th century), which is based

4,1 Cf. K u larn av a-T an tra 6.85ab and 6.87: y a n tra m m a n tra m a ya m p ro kta tn devata m antrarupini I 6.85ab sariram iv a jiv a s y a d ipasya sn ch a va t p riy c / sarvcslim api d c va n a m tatha ya n tra m pra tisth ita m // 6,87 Sec also the sim ilar quotation from the K au lav aliy a-T an tra in W o o d ro ffe 1956: 93, note 2: ya n tra m m a n tra m a ya m p ro k ta m m antratnnl d evalaiva h i I d ch a tm a n o r ya ttu l b hedo ya n tra d cva ta yn s tatha II s'T w o yantras m ade from beans, rice and coloured sto nes are repro d u ced in Plate 2 o f his book.



on chapter 34 o f the Prapancasara (ca. 10th century), and in chapter 2 0 o f the M antram ahodadhi. Y antras for m agical p u rp o ses (for exam ple, Illustration 5) are described in detail in D a m o d a ra ’s 17thcen tu ry Y antracintam ani, also know n as the K alpacintam ani. The ap p licatio n s include the six rites o f m agic (a b h ic a ra ), n am ely , a p p e a s e m e n t (ganti), s u b ju g a tio n ( vaslkarana), im m o b iliz a tio n (stanibhana), e n m ity ( vidvcsana), e r a d ic a tio n (uccatana) a n d liquidation (marana). Depending on their purpose, these yantras are n a m e d ‘y antras for s u b ju g a tio n ’ ( vagyakarayantra), ‘y a n tra s for attraction* (akarsanayantra) (Illustration 1), and so on. The use o f y antras in rites o f magic, which has been docum ented by previous sch o la rs,51 continues up to the present day and can be observed even in m odern Indian cities. Yantras featuring H anum at are sold in India for the safety o f o n e ’s vehicle (vahanasuraksayantra). O ther yantras are used for curing diseases at the recom m endation o f astrologers.52 Yantras used in magical rites may be ritually destroyed after their use, inserted into a statue o f a deity that will then undergo burial, or be crushed and eaten, tied to a tree or concealed in the intended p e rs o n ’s home, depending on the instructions. They may be enclosed in an am ulet container, such as a tube or a locket,53 sealed and then worn around the neck, on the head, in o n e ’s h ead g ear,54 in a tuft o f 51 See, fo r e x a m p le , the list o f y a n lra s p o p u la r in S o u th In d ia p u b l i s h e d in T h u rs to n 1912: 1 8 5 -1 8 7 and references in A bbott 1932, s.v. yantra. 52 See, for e x am p le, (he n u m e r o u s yantras in C h a w d h ri 1990, S h u b h a k a ra n 1992, B c c k m a n 1996 and K h u rra n a 2000, and the section on y a n tra s ( ‘ja n tr a ’) in D ietrich 1998:172-175. 3 F o r y antras preserved in container am ulets, see U n tra c h t 1997: 132. 51 A m u le ts h id d e n in hats, tu rb a n s and o th e r h e a d g e a r arc d o c u m e n t e d in U n ­ tra c h t 1997: 89. In his p o p u la r b o o k s on y an tras, C h a w d h r i (1 9 9 0 : 6, 1992: 10) re fe rs to a c a te g o ry o f yantra w h ic h is kept u nder o n e ’s cap or tu rb an or in o n e ’s pocket, He calls th e m 'ch h a ta r' (v e rn a c u lar form for chalra [u m b re lla ]) yantras. T h is c a t e g o r y has b e e n b o r r o w e d by B c c k m a n 1996: 52. C h a w d h r i (1 9 9 0 : 4 - 6 , 1992: 9 - 1 1 [cf. B e c k m a n 1996: 5 1 - 5 3 ] ) in clu d es ‘ c h h a ta r ’ y a n tr a s as c a te g o r y 6 in his fo llo w in g classification o f yantras, w h ic h is also su m m a riz e d in B u n c e 2001: xv: 1) ‘ sh a rir' (= sarira) y a n tra s - the y a n tra d e sig n s in th e c a k ra s o f th e h u m a n bod y ; 2) ‘ (lim nin' ( = dharana) yantras - yan tras w o rn on the body; 3) ’ a a sa n ' (= asana) y a n tr a s - y a n tr a s k ep t u n d e r o n e ’s se a t (a sa n a ) d u r in g w o rsh ip or u nder the foundation o f h ouses, te m p le s or a statue o f a deity; 4) ‘m a n d a l’ (= m a n d a la ) y a n tra s - y a n tra s fo rm e d by n in e in d iv id u a ls , o n e o f th e m seated in the centre and the others in the eig h t d ire c tio n s; th e p e rs o n in th e c e n tre p e rfo rm s the w o r s h ip o f th e 'ish a t' (= ista ) y a n tra ( th a t is, any p articu lar yantra), w hile the oth ers recite certain m antras; 5) ‘poo/7}’ (= pujfi) yanlras - yan tras installed in h o u s e s or te m p le s for w o rsh ip ;



hair, on the arm, under the armpit, on the wrist or a linger and so forth.55 A yantra which is to be inserted into a locket is first drawn on a piece o f paper or similar material and consecrated in a w orship ritual by a specialist. These lockets can be attached to the necks o f anim als, such as cows, for their protection. Yantras may also be attached to protective dolls hung near the entrance to a hom e or be placed above a door. Yantras employed in desire-oriented rites may be similar in design to the yantras for establishing a foundation (type 1), but they often have mantras inscribed. The mantras can be seed syllables (b ija ) combined with verbs in the second person singular imperative, such as ‘su b ju g a te ’ ( v a slk u ru ), w hich ask the deity to carry out the magical effects o f a rite on its recipient. The centre o f the yantra is frequently inscribed with the nam e o f the person to be influenced, termed the recipient or intended person (sftdhya). The place in which the p e rso n ’s nam e is to be written is often indicated by the nam e D evadatta. The re c ip ie n t’s nam e is either surrounded by, or its syllables are intertwined with, the syllables o f the mantra, Yantras may also contain longer mantras*’ or even w ell-know n hym ns (stotra, stud). The com position and ritual use o f hym ns or devotional poem s in praise o f deities has a long history in South Asia. Such hymns arc found in the Purana literature and the Tantras, and in independent collections attributed to sages or seers as well. To reinforce the efficacy o f hym n-recitation in bringing about the prom ised material benefits, the practice arose o f reciting hym ns a given num ber o f times. This practice is modelled on that o f repeating powerful mantras. In time, hymns came to be regarded as powerful magical formulas. W hereas the shorter m antras may be repeated millions o f times to achieve a particular result, hymns are recited at most hundreds or thousands o f times. Hymns em ployed for such purposes include hymns for protection. These hymns often include in their titles such terms as ‘arm o u r’ (kavaca), ‘protection’ (raksa), or ‘c a g e ’ (panjara). In these hymns the deity is asked to protect each 6) 'ch h a la r' (= chntra) yantras - sec above; and 7) ‘ cfarshan' (= d a ria n a ) y a n tra s - y a n tra s w h ic h the d e v o te e b e h o ld s in the m o rn in g for the sake o f auspiciousness. MRastelli, p. 146 also refers to yantras hidden betw een the breasts o f w om en. C o m p a r e the p ractice o f inscribing d lm ra im in m a n d a la -lik e stru c tu re s in a B u d d h ist contcxt, w h ich is d o c u m e n te d , for ex a m p le , in D rcge 1 9 9 9 -2 0 0 0 , F igures 1-9.



part o f the practitioner’s body. The different parts, from head to feet, are s y stem atically enu m erated . F or each p art o f the body, the practitioner addresses the deity using a different descriptive epithet, which is often connected with the respective body part. The d e ity ’s nam es are assigned to and ‘d e p o s ite d ’ on the bo d y parts o f the practitioner, and are believed to protect him like divine armour. As well as being recited, these hym ns can be arranged in the form o f yantras. For those w ho cannot themselves recite the hymn, a yantra w ith the hym n inscribed in it is thought to bring about the same beneficial effects as recitation. An e x a m p le o f a y an tra in this category is the ramaraksayantra, which represents in a graphic m ode the Ram araksastotra ascribed to B udhakausika. In my study o f the R am araksastotra 1 reproduce two yantras in w hich the R a m a ra k s a ­ stotra is inscribed (B uhnem ann 1983: 93 and 107). Another, yet u n ­ published ramaraksayantra is included here as Illustration 3. T he yantra consists o f a hexagram with a drawing o f R am a and different seed ( blja) syllables in the centre. The hexagram is surrounded by concentric circles and by squares, the first o f w hich has elaborate gate structures w hich open in the four card in al directions. The innerm ost square contains the text o f a version o f the R a m a ra k s a ­ stotra,57 In addition to yantras containing the text o f entire hym ns, there are also yantras w hich are associated w ith individual stanzas o f hym ns o f praise. W ell-known' exam ples are the yantras associated with the Saundaryalahari and the Bhaktam arastotra. T he S aundarya­ lahari is a hymn to the Tantric goddess Tripurasundari in 100 (som e­ times 103) stanzas, It is traditionally ascribed to Sam karacarya, iden­ tified with the Advaitin Samkara. The B haktam arastotra by the Jain poet M anaturiga is a hym n to the first Jina R sab h a in 44 stanzas according to the Svetam bara version, or 48 stanzas in the D igam bara version. Each verse o f the Saundaryalahari becam e associated with a specific seed (blja) syllable, w hich is inscribed in a yantra shape, such as a square, a hexagram , a triangle, a lotus, and so forth (for exam ple, Illustration 4), O nly one o f these yantras has the nam e o f the intended person (sadbya) o f the rite inscribed on it, and only one 57 D iffe re n t v ersions o f the h y m n are p re se n te d and d icu ssed in B u h n e m a n n 1983. T h e text in sc rib e d in the ra m a ra ksa ya n tra re p ro d u c e d in Illu stratio n 3 c o n ta in s an in tro d u c to ry s c c tio n w ith m is c e lla n e o u s v e rs e s and v e rs e s 2 - 1 5 (cf. B u h n e m a n n 1983: 2 6 - 2 7 ) o f the stotra, w h ic h latter r e q u e s t R a m a to p r o te c t the p r a c t i t i o n e r ’s b o d y parts.



yantra contains a verb in I he second person singular im perative. T hese yantras arc worshipped, and the seed syllables inscribed in them are recited a large num ber of limes, for the attainm ent o f desired, usually m undane, benefits, Kneh individual stanza o f the Bhaktamarastotra is associated with a mantra addressing not the Jina Rsabha but goddesses, Yaksas and gods, and each mantra is prefixed by seed syllables. The mantras often contain second person singular im perative verbs. In a similar fashion individual yantras are also associated with the 47 stanzas o f the Jain Kalyanamandiraslotra. The yantras associated with the stanzas o f these three hym ns w ere obviously created later, their connection with the stanzas not being evident from the text itself.511 The general instructions require that yantras be infused with life in the rite o f pranapratistha, which is also perform ed on statues o f deities. According to R aghavabhatta’s 15th-century com m entary on the S arad atila k a and texts such as the M a n tra m a h o d a d h i, the pranapratistha rite entails that certain mantras are inscribed in the yantras. T hese m antras can be seen in some yantras w hich are prepared on perm anent m aterials, such as metal plates. T he two ramaraksayantras reproduced in Buhnemann 1983: 93 and 107 also contain them. The mantras include the syllable hsauh, which repre­ sents the soul (jiva) o f the yantra; the syllables hamsah so 'ham (“ I am that goose”), which represent its life breath (pnina); the vowels i/i, w hich represent the y a n tra ’s eyes, and the syllables u/tJ, which represent its ears; and the seed syllables lam ram m ain ksa m vain y a m sam ham lirim am o f the ten directional guardians, beginning with Indra in the east, which represent the heart ( h relaya) o f the yantra. In addition to the p rrin a p ra tisth a m a n tru , the fo llo w in g yantragayatri, an im itation o f the w ell-k n o w n gayafri (sfiv i(ri) mantra, found in Rg-Vcda 3,62.10, is inscribed in circular form: yantra raja y a vidm ahe varapradaya dhim ahi / tan no yantrah pracodayat / / 5' 5K R e g a r d i n g the c o n n c c t i o n b e t w e e n the y a n lr a s and the s t a n z a s o f th e S a u n d a ry a la h a ri, A n a n ta k rsn a £astrl c o m m e n ts: “T h e r e se e m s lo be s o m e m ystical c o n n c c tio n b etw een cach sloka and its BIjakshara. But it is not intelligible; no r has any o f the P rayoga Karlas explained the s a m e ” (introduction lo his translation o f the Saundaryalahari, 1957: 13). SJ Cf. R a g h a v a b h a t t a ’s c o m m e n ta r y , p, 519, 3 3 - 3 4 on S ar.uiatilaka 24.2 . T h e y a n tra g a y a tri a p p e a rs w ith m inor variants in m any texts. B ra h m fm a n d a g iri’s 6 a k la nandatarangini, p. 257, 13-14 gives the following version: om yantranljaya vid m a h e m ahayantraya d h im a h i I



“ We know the king o f the yantra; we think o f the bestow er o f boons. Therefore may the yantra inspire us.” T e x ts such as B r a h m a n a n d a g ir i’s 16th -c en tu ry S a k ta n a n d a tarahgini, pp. 264, 6ff. also enjoin that certain purificatory rites ( samskara) be perform ed on yantras, ju st as they are perform ed to purify mantras. In this section I have suggested a classification o f yantras into three types: 1 yantras for establishing a foundation, functioning as supports for ritual implements; 2 yantras em ployed in regular Tantric worship; 3 yantras em ployed in optional desire-oriented rites. The three types o f yantras can be distinguished according to their ritual functions. The first and second types have similar geometric designs but usually no mantras inscribed. Yantras o f type 2 usually consist o f m ore com plex geom etric designs than type 1 yantras. B oth types differ in ritual function. The first type is used as a support for objects in rituals, w hile the second type is the m ain object o f w orship. Yantras o f type 1 are similar in function to the aforem entioned ‘seatm an d alas’ (see B ru n n er’s category 1 described in section 1.2) and are occasionally also referred to as m andalas (see 2.2.1). B ut they differ from B r u n n e r ’s ‘s e a t-m a n d a la s ’ o f c o w -d u n g and sim ilar materials w hich have no clearly recognizable structure. Yantras o f type 3 are u sed in d e s ire -o rie n te d m ag ical rites, u s u a lly have inscribed mantras and may have unusual designs. 2.3 S o m e C onstituent Parts o f Yantras Y antra and m andala designs com m only feature a triangle and/or a hexagram, inscribed in one or several lotuses (padm a) o f four, eight, 10, 12, 16, 100, 1000 or more petals ( dala). The lotus petals are often surrounded by one circle or three concentric circles (vrtta) and a square (caturasra) w ith som etim es three nested lines. In yantras o f the Saiva and §akt:a traditions the lines o f triangles or a square may be formed by tridents w hose prongs project beyond the lines o f these shapes (see Colour Plate 1). The m ain deity is w o rsh ip p ed in the centre o f the y an tra at a ‘p oint’ ( bindu) which may be visible or remain invisible/unmanifest, while his/her retinue is w orshipped in various parts o f the structure (see Illustration 6). T hese parts include the angles (asra) or co m ers tan n o yantrah p ra co d a ya t //



( ko n a ) of a triangle or hexagram, the points of intersection (saindhi) o f two t r i a n g l e s , t h e lotus petals (dala) and (he tips o f lotus petals ( dalagra). The most important surrounding deities or em anations are invoked into the parts o f the yantra closest lo the centre. One obvious advantage o f a yantra compared to an icon is that a yantra allows for the deities who surround the main deily in enclosures (iivarann, iivrti, literally ‘covering’ or ‘veil’) to be worshipped in it as well. The structural elements o f yantras vary, as do the interpretations given to these elem ents. Som e im portant constituent parts are described in the following, together with examples o f interpretations from texts. Most descriptions and interpretations o f the constituent parts o f yantras found in the literature concern the titiymUni or §ncakra, the most important and influential o f yantras.'’1 Preliminary studies o f the constituent parts o f yantras are found in the works by A. Danielou. The author’s ‘Hindu Polytheism ,’ 1964: 35 1 -3 5 4 contains an enlarged and revised version o f the scction on yantras printed in D anielou’s older French edition o f the book, ‘Le polytheisme hindou,’ 1960: 525-539. Danielou docs not indicate the sources o f his interpretations o f the yantra designs clearly, but it can be inferred that he draws on articles in H indi.1'2 In his later work on the Hindu temple (Danielou 1977: 26-28 [2001: 37-38]), the author takes up the discussion o f the constituent parts o f yantras once again. D an ie lo u ’s interpretations o f yantra constituents continue to be

U) Special term in o lo g y is used in c o n n e c tio n with (he Sricnkru. T h e three circles outside o f the ov erlap p in g triangles are referred to as throe girdles or belts ( valaya): a point o f intersection b e tw e e n tw o lines is called sum dhi\ a point o f intersection b etw een three lines is kn o w n as m a rm n n ( ‘vital p o i n t ’), and a point o f intersection b etw een a sa m d h i and m a rm n n is term ed g ranthi ( ‘k n o t ’); sec B h a s k a r a r a y a ’s S ctubandha, p. 31, 9 and U m a n a n d a n a th a ’s Nityotsava, p. 64, 4 -5. fil D e ta ile d n o te s on d iffe re n t i n te r p r e ta tio n s that have b e e n g iv e n to the c o n s titu e n ts o f the Grictikra and a critical ev a lu a tio n o f these in te r p r e ta tio n s arc provided b y Pran av an an d a < I9 7 7 > . “ D c v a ra j V i d y a v a c a s p a t i ’s article en titled ‘T a n tr a m e m yantra au r m a n t r a , ’ p rin ted in the m a g a z in e Kalyfin, p u b lish e d by the Gita Press ( G o ra k h p u r), Sakti ai'ika, 1934: 3 8 7 - 3 9 7 , is cited in D anielou 1964: 353. T h e original article does not indicate the so u rc e s on which D cvaraj V id y a v a c a s p a ti’s interpretations are based. D an ie lo u 1977: 26 (2001: 37) refers to an articic by Da bra 1, entitled ‘isriyantra ka s v a r u p ,’ printed in Sakti ankn, 1934, p. 5 9 2 - 6 0 9 . Danielou e rroneously refers to the author as ‘K alik a-p rasad a Dabriil’ and specifies the page n u m b e r as 591. H o w ev er, the a u th o r ’s n a m e is Lalitiiprasad Dabral and the article is fo und on pp. 5 9 2 - 6 0 9 . A s the title indicates, Dabriil’s in terpretation is c o n cern ed with the c o n stitu e n ts o f the sriyantra,



influential and are partially adopted and summ arized in Johari 1986: 52 and Bunce 2001: 27-29. 2.3.1 The Point (bindu) The point (b in d u ) is located in the centre o f the yantra and may be visible or rem ain invisible. It is often interpreted as the principle fro m w h ic h all form and c r e a tio n r a d ia te s (fo r e x a m p le , Shankaranarayanan 1970: 29). Verses 11-12 o f the first chapter o f the Y oginlhrdaya describe the point as “throbbing consciousness whose supreme nature is light and which is united with the flashing flow [ o f divine p o w er], the seat (baindavasana) w h ic h is the [birthjplace o f the flow made up o f the three m a trka s” (Padoux, p. 241). A ccording to D anielou 1964: 351, the point represents the elem ent ether. T he m ost likely seventh-century G anesapurvatapaniya-U panisad, section 3 equates the central point with the void o f space. 2.3.2 The Triangle (trikona, tryasra) The triangle is a com m on constituent o f yantras. It can be either downward-oriented or upward-oriented, and less frequently oriented toward the right or left sides.63 The dow nw ard-pointing or inverted triangle is know n as a symbol o f the female pubic triangle and the female sex-organ or w om b (yoni, bhaga)M The letter e is identified with it because o f its triangular shape (in certain Indian scripts).65 This triangle is known as a symbol o f the feminine in other cultures as well. In Buddhist Tantric texts the dow nw ard-pointing triangle is referred to as the dharm odayaldharm odaya, ‘the origin o f existents (dhanna).’*6 This triangle is visualized in sadhanm as the place in which everything originates. The dow nw ard-pointing triangle also symbolizes w ater/ ’7 This symbolic significance is know n from other “ B u n c e 2001: 28 co n sid ers triangles w h o s e apexes p o in t to the left or right sides as constituent parts o f yantras. M See, for ex a m p le , J a y a r a t h a ’s c o m m e n ta r y on T a n tra lo k a 3.94. Cf. also B u d ­ dhist texts quo ted in W a y m a n 1973: 172. 1,5 B. B h a tta c h a ry y a h a s d iscu sscd this issue in m o re detail in his fo r e w o r d to the s eco n d edition o f the J a y a k h y a - S a m h i t a (1967: 30 ) B e c a u s e o f its s h a p e th e e is called the ‘w o m b o f the w o r l d ’ (ja g a d y o n i) and is referred to as a trian g le (tryasra)cf. also ibid., Figure 1, p. 34+. ’ "l F o r so m e re m a rk s on the d h a rm odaya/dharm odayS, sec B a h u lk a r 1979. " See, for ex a m p le , the V astu su tra-U p an isad , cited in B a u m e r 1986: 56.



cultures as well, for which the downward-pointing apex suggests the direction o f falling rain. D a n id o u 1977: 26 (2001: 37) fu rth e r explains the downward-pointing triangle as a symbol o f Visnu. Tantric texts com m only describe the reverse triangle, that is, a triangle sitting on its base with its apex upwards, as the sym bolic shape o f the element fire,'lKThe apex o f the upward-pointing triangle indicates the direction o f the flame. In N epal, u p w a rd -p o in tin g equilateral or isosceles triangles cut into stone or metal are fre­ quen tly seen in shrines and tem ples. The tria n g u la r h o le 69 is considered a symbol o f the Nevar god o f music, dance and dram a, N asahdyah, who is sometim es identified with NarteSvara or N rtyanatha. In connection with the irlcakra, authors such as B haskararaya70 refer to the dow nw ard-pointing (a d h o m u kh a ) triangles as S akti triangles and the upw ard-pointing (urdhvum ukha) triangles as fire ( vahni) or Siva triangles. The inverted triangle is also ta k e n as representing prakrti; the upright triangle, purusa (D anielou 1964: 352). Both types o f triangles are intertwined in the hexagram (see 2.3.3). In yantras o f Kali, five triangles appear in the centre. In other traditions, triangles are represented with a protruding ‘gate’ on each side,71 These gates are identical in shape with the T-shaped gates o f the outer square o f yantras (see section 2.3.8). The triangle is naturally connected with the sym bolism o f the num ber three. Its three lines are usually interpreted as tripartite units (most com m only, metaphysical concepts). Thus Shankaranarayanan interprets the lines o f the central or primary (m u/a) triangle (w hen understood as the k a m a k a la n) in the gricakra as representing the pow ers (gakti) o f will (iccha), cognition (jnana) and activity (kriya) (1970: 37), following an interpretation already attested, for instance, in Jay arath a’s com m entary on Tantraloka 3,94. In another context Shankaranarayanan 1970: 38 interprets the lines o f the triangle as “ C f . s for e x a m p le , § a ra d a tila k a 1.23cd, w h e re a triangle with sv a stika s r e p r e ­ sents fire. m F o r m o r e in fo rm a tio n an d illu s tra tio n s o f the t r i a n g u la r n iisa h h o les, se e W e g n e r 1992: 126, F igure 1 an d K olver 1992a: 214, Illustration I. 711 Cf. B h a s k a r a r a y a ’s c o m m e n t a r y S e tu b a n d h a , p. 31, 2 - 3 (c o m p o s e d in 1741 A .D ,) o n N ity a so d a ^ik a rn a v a 1.31 (the text is c onsidered to be a part o f the Varna* kegvara-Tantra) and U m a n a n d a n a th a ’s Nityotsava (1745 A.D.), p, 64, 6. 71 Cf. the yantra o f C h in n a m a s ta described in K u b jik a-U p an isad 17.5. 72 F o r a re c e n t d iscu ssio n o f this te rm and possible translations, see W h ite 1998: 176ff.



representing the three g u n a s or the three states, w aking (jagrat), dream (svapna) and deep sleep ( s u su p ti) (1970: 38). The GaneSapurvatapaniya-U panisad, section 3 interprets the lines o f the central downward-pointing triangle in a yantra o f Ganesa as the three worlds and the three Vedas. D. C h atto p ad h y ay a 1973: 3 0 0 -3 0 1 asserts that not o nly the triangle inside o f yantras but the yantra in general represents the female reproductive organ w hen he writes: “A Tantrika, w h e n he really confides in you, will frankly confess that these diagram s are but representations o f the female organ.” In support o f this statement, he cites B handarkar 1965: 140, w ho m akes the follow ing rem ark about the ritual w orship (puja) o f the Sricakra: “ [The C akrapuja] consists in the worship o f a picture o f the female organ draw n in the centre o f another consisting o f a representation o f nine such organs, the w hole o f w hich forms the Sricakra.” In a som ew hat generalized statem ent D. C h atto p ad h y ay a 1973: 301 adds th at “th ere are in Tantrism various yantras... bearing different names... b u t the essen ­ tial feature in all o f them is the same. It consists in the representation o f the female organ either by the picture o f a lotus (padm a) or b y the diagram o f a triangle, usually by both.” This author is correct w hen he observes that both the triangle and the lotus are sym bols o f the female reproductive organ, and that both are im portant constituent elements o f yantras. But he goes too far w hen he takes every yantra as a representation o f the female organ. This claim has rightly been challenged by S. Chattopadhyaya 1978: 81, w h o em phasizes the fact that not all yantras contain triangles. 2.3.3 The Hexagram (satkona, sadara, tara73) T he hexagram consists o f two equilateral triangles w ith the same centre b u t pointing in opposite directions, u s u ally u p w a rd s and dow nw ards. The apexes o f the tw o triangles o f the h ex ag ram can also be oriented to the right and left sides.74 The triangles are show n either lying one on the other or intertw ined w ith one another. The dow nw ard-pointing and upw ard-pointing triangles (see also 2 .3 .2 ) sym bolize the sexual union o f the fem ale and m ale principles, o f 13 T h e w o rd ‘s ta r ’ (tara) ap p e a rs as a s y n o n y m for sa tk o n a in A h i r b u d h n y a - S a m hita 26,5 and P a ram eS v ara-S am h ita 23.29, as B e g le y 1973: 85 notes. 74 F o r tw o illu stra tio n s, see, fo r e x a m p le , E n c y c l o p a e d i a J u d a i c a ( N e w Y o rk : M a c m illa n C o m p a n y , 1971), v o lu m e 11: 69 0 , F igure 2; an d 69 3 , F ig u re 10.



Sakti and Siva, o f water and (Ire,75 In Buddhist Tantrism, the w o rd evam is thought to be represented by two intertwined trian g les, symbolizing the union o f ‘insight’ (pnijnii) and ‘m eans’ (upaya). T h e triangular shapes o f e and vn in certain Indian scripts lend them selves to such an interpretation.7'’ In descriptions o f the sym bolic shapes (mandala) o f the elem ents (bhuta), the hexagram represents th e element w in d .77 In the hexagram the deities are often worshipped at the points o f intersection o f the two triangles, while in the eight-petalled lotus they are worshipped in the petals, which ideally face in the cardinal and intermediate directions. Occasionally a six-pointed star7* or a sixpetalled lotus, such as the va/ra-lotus, can replace the hexagram in rituals (Heilijgers-Seelen 1994: 131). Like these objects, the hex a­ gram is equated with sextuple concepts and groups, T hus GaneSapurvatapaniya-Upanisad, section 3 interprets the hexagram in a y a n ­ tra o f Ganesa as representing the six worlds and seasons.'7q T he hexagram has been used for decorative purposes o r as a magical sign in m any civilizations around the world. It is also

75 In section 2,3.2 the sym bolism o f the tw o triangles is explained: the d o w n w a rd p o in tin g tria n g le s y m b o liz e s the fem ale p rin cip le and w ater, w h ile the u p w a r d p o in tin g tr ia n g le s y m b o liz e s the m ale p rin c ip le and fire. In a l c h e m y , the t w o t r ia n g le s o f th e h e x a g r a m also r e p re s e n t the union o f fire and w a te r. F o r th e sym bol ism o f the w a te r and fire triangles in the Tantric ngnihoirn ritual o f N ep al, see Witzcl 1992: 788, *’ Cf. S am p u ta-T an tra, c h ap ter 4 (= Elder 1978: 109 [text], 189 [translation]); cf, also W a y m a n 1973: 1 7 2 -1 7 3 , w h o discusses three m e a n in g s o f eva/ii, a n d K o lv e r 1992b. K o lv e r d is c u s s e s the s h a p e s o f the letters c a n d the va, w h ic h w e r e rem in isc e n t o f d o w n w a r d - p o in tin g and u p w a rd -p o in tin g triangles aro u n d the sixth c entury A.D., and w ere v isualized as intertw ined to form a h ex ag ram . T h e nasal o f eva m c o rre s p o n d s to the central p oint (b in d u ) inside the h e x a g ra m . W h e n V a jra y ogini is d e sc rib e d as situated ‘ in c r a m ’ this m e a n s that she is visu alized in sid e a h e x a g ra m . In addition, the syllabic vn is the seed syllable o f the w o rd vajra, w h ic h can signify the penis (E nglish 2002: 150). 77 T h e s y m b o lic s h a p e s o f the o th e r e le m e n ts are a c c o r d in g to § a r a d l t i l a k a 1.23 -2 4 : a square with th u n d erb o lts (vajra) - the earth elem ent; a lotus w ith a h a lf m o o n - w a te r; a trian g le with svastikas - fire; a circle w ith six dots, th a t is, a h ex ag ram - w ind; and a circle - ether, n F o r N e p a le s e c o in s o f the M alla period s h o w in g the s ix -p o in te d star, see R h o d e s /G a b ris c h /[‘ della R o cch ctta 1989, Plate 31, no, 724 rev., Plate 33, no. 8 2 6 rev. w F o r interpretations o f the sa tk o n a current in N epal, sec Joshi 1981 an d D e e p 1993: 9 8 - 1 0 0 . Joshi s u m m a r iz e s various interpretations w h ic h id entify th e h e x a ­ g ra m w ith w e l l - k n o w n g r o u p s o f six, such as the six s y s t e m s o f p h i l o s o p h y (dartiana).



known, for example, as M agen David, the ‘Shield o f D a v id ’ or as the ‘Seal o f Solom on.,so It appears on the inside o f Hindu yantras and is also seen in Buddhist mandalas o f V ajrav arah l/V ajray o g in i.81 The hexagram is a decorative m o tif in Islamic m onum ents o f N orth India, Its centre features a point ( bindu), a lotus or a dancing peacock (Nath 1975-1976: 7 4 -7 5 ).112 In Nepal, the hexagram is frequently represented and considered an a u sp ic io u s sym bol o f the goddess by b o th B u d d h is ts and H indus.85 It is sometimes found superimposed on the latticework o f window s o f temples or shrine room s.84 The point (bindu) in its centre often bears an image o f the deity w orshipped in the tem ple or shrine. The hexagram also appears in mediaeval coins o f India85 and, along w ith other geom etrical designs, on N ep alese coins o f the M alla period .86 Auer/G utschow 1974: 106 report that the hexagram is also called grlmandala in Nepal. It is considered a sym bol o f education, science and o f the goddess Sarasvatl, and therefore becam e the logo o f Tribhuvan University, colleges and other educational institutions. 811 F o r in fo rm atio n on the h e x a g ra m in m e d iaev al E u ro p e an d the N e a r E ast, see E n c y c l o p a e d i a J u d a ic a ( N e w Y o rk : M a c m i l l a n C o m p a n y , 1 9 7 1 ), v o l u m e 11: 6 8 7 -6 9 7 . F o r a 13th-century T ibetan m a n d a la dep ictin g the g o d d e s s V ajra v a rah l standing in side a h e x a g ra m , see B 6guin 1990: 173; o th e r e x a m p le s f r o m T ib e t are f o u n d in R h i e / T h u r m a n 1999: 118 and 44 0 , K o s s a k /S in g e r 1998: 97 an d L e id y / T h u r m a n 1997: 105. F o r a p h o to g ra p h o f a h e x a g r a m re p re s e n tin g V a jra y o g in i in T ibet, see Sto d d ard 1999, Figure 30, T h e question n e e d s to b e e x a m in e d w h e th e r the h e x a g ra m in m a n d a la s o f V a jra v arah l/V ajray o g in i indicates the m a n d a t e 's S aiv a origins. W h ile th e h e x a g ra m is c o m m o n ly f o u n d in H in d u m a n d a la s and y antras, w ith intersecting u p w a rd -p o in tin g and d o w n w a rd -p o in tin g triangles alread y ap p earin g in th e gncakra, in B u d d h is t tra d itio n s th ey a p p e a r e s p e c ia lly in m a n d a l a s o f V a jr a v a r a h i/V a jr a yogini, T h e n a m e V ajrav arah l itse lf indicates a B u d d h is t v ersion o f the B ra h m a n ic a l g o d d ess Varahi. n A c c o r d in g to N a th 1 9 7 5 - 1 9 7 6 : 78, th e h e x a g r a m is a ls o f o u n d in In d ia n tem p les, e s p ecially in R a ja sth a n , w h e re it is b e lie v e d to h a v e b e e n a s s o c ia te d w ith the w o rsh ip o f Siva and Sakti. “ B a n g d e l 1999: 4 6 4 w rites that : “ [ s p e c i f i c a l l y , th e d o u b le -tria n g le d ya n tra in th e T a n t r i c tr a d itio n is a u n iv e r s a l s y m b o l fo r th e g o d d e s s ’s g e n e r a t i v e a n d de stru c tiv e p o w e r s ...” and 1999: 540, note 118 that: “ [t]he y a n tr a s y m b o liz e s the se a t/p r e s e n c e o f the g o d d e s s ....” G u ts c h o w 1982: 97, P la te 105 a s s u m e s th a t the h e x a g ra m represents T ripurasundari. 84 F o r p h o to g ra p h s, see, fo r e x a m p le , B e rn ie r 1978: 259, P late 11 and G u ts c h o w / K o lv e r/S h resth acary a 1987: 203, no. 416. S5 See, for ex a m p le , S ircar 1968, P la te xxiii, no. 7 obv ., C o o m a r a s w a m y (1 9 2 7 ) 1985: 45 and Smith 1972, v o lu m e 1, Plate xxx, no. 14 rev. “ S ee R h o d e s / G a b r i s c h / f d e lla R o c c h e tta 1989, P la te 2 0 , nos. 3 8 2 - 3 8 4 rev., Plate 21, nos. 4 1 2 - 4 1 7 rev., etc. ’



It is found on the k in g ’s headgear and on N ep alese o rd e rs , decorations and medals. Bernier 1978: 252 assumes that this design has been borrowed from (he Islamic tradition o f North India, b u t Begley 1973: 84 considers it most likely that the hex ag ram w as already an important Tantric symbol before the Islamic h e x a g ra m becam e w idely circulated in India, More research would, b e necessary to trace the history o f this important motif. The hexagram is an im portant m o tif in the later Tantric iconography o f the Sudar^anacakra, V isnu's sudiirsnnn wheel, which often has a y an tralike structure inscribed on it."' This .structure consists o f a hexagram surrounded by one or more rings o f lotus petals. The personification o f V is n u ’s wheel, the Sudar^anacakrapurusa, is show n inside (or standing against) the structure/"* The reverse side of these icons often depicts Narasimha. If combined with a representation o f the Sudarsanacakra, this deity may be represented inside an upw ard-pointing triangle,^ 2.3,4 The Pentagram (punenkomt) The five-pointed star, the pentagram, pentacle or Star o f Solom on, is less com m only found in yantras. It is known as a sym bol also in o ther civilizations. The pentagram is a constituent part o f som e yantras o f Guhyakuli (see Colour Plate I), since the num ber five has special significance for the goddess Kali. It is again found on N epa­ lese coins o f the Malla period™ as well as being the logo o f som e educational institutions in modern Nepal. Daniclou 1977: 28 (2001: 38) equates the pentagram with 6 iva as ‘the destroyer o f love and lust’ (smarnhara). This interpretation is not compatible with another statem ent by the same author (Daniclou 1964: 353) according to w hich the pentagram signifies love and lust and the p o w e r o f disintegration.

117 D etails on the m u lti-a rm e d S u d a r.iin a icons can lie found in B e g le y 1973: 8 4 -9 2 . S ec B e g le y 1973: 90 (with Figure 70) for a ca. 17th-century b ronze statue o f the 16-arm cd S u d a rS a n a e a k ra p u ru s a in the S ri-K a ln m c k n p c ru m iil T e m p l e , T iru m o h u r , M a d u ra i D istrict. T h e d e ity is s ta n d in g ag ain st a h e x a g r a m w h i c h is surro u n d ed by rings o f eight, 16, 32 and 64 lotus petals, T hese lotuses arc su p p o rte d by an eight-petalled lotus (see also Illustration 1 in Rastelli \s contribution), w S ec B e g le y 1973: 8 8 - 8 9 and Figures 67 and 69,



2.3.5 The Octagon (astakona, astara) T he octagon appears less frequently as a constituent part o f yantras and can be formed in several ways. A com m on m ethod to obtain an octagon is to draw two crossed or intersecting squares, T h e tw o overlapping squares appear as a symbol in various c iv ilizatio n s .91 The symbolism of the octagon, like that o f the eight-petalled lotus, is connected with the eight directions. The octagon appears on Indian92 coins and on Mai la coins o f N e p a l.93 It also decorates a w indow in a religious building o f the T rip u resv ara tem ple c o m p lex in K a th ­ m andu .94 2.3.6 The Lotus T he s y m b o lism o f the lotus is discu ssed in se c tio n connection with mandalas.



2.3.7 The Circle O ne circle or three concentric circles frequently surround the inner structure o f yantras. According to Danielou 1964: 352, the y a n tra ’s o uter circle, given its revolving te n d en cy , ch ara c te riz e s m a n i­ festation, A m ong the sym bolic shapes (m a ndala) o f the elem ents ( bhuta), the circle represents ether.95 2.3.8 The Outer Square T he circle or circles in a yantra are usually surrounded b y an outer square which often consists o f three nested lines. The square, w hich also appears on the outer part o f m andalas, is called ‘earth h o u s e ’ ( bhugrha), ‘earth city’ or ‘earth citadel’ ( bhupura),% since the square >n See R h o d es/G ab risch /'l' d ella R o c c h c tta 1989, P la te 21, nos. 4 0 6 - 4 0 9 rev., Plate 28, nos. 5 6 6 - 5 6 7 obv. ,J1 See, fo r e x a m p le , E n c y c lo p a e d ia J u d a ic a ( N e w Y ork: M a c m i l l a n C o m p a n y , 1971), v o l u m e 11: 6 8 9 - 6 9 0 , F ig u r e 3, for this d e s ig n as u s e d in 1 3 th - c e n tu r y G erm an y . 92 See S irc a r 1968, Plate XIX, no. 11. ™Sec R h o d e s / G a b r i s c h / t d ella R o c c h c tta 1989, Plate 15, nos. 2 7 4 - 2 7 5 ; P late 20, nos. 3 9 1 - 3 9 2 , 396, Plate 21, no. 400, etc. Cf. P a u s S ] 10 .3 4 d —35b: “ 1 e x p lain to y o u [now ] the entire [g reat m a n d a la ], t h r o u g h w h ic h , i f it is m e re ly lo o k e d at, th e fe tte rs o f w o r l d l y e x i s t e n c e are d e s tro y e d .” (ta in ca k rtsn a m v a d a m i t e // y c n a sandrstam atrena b h a v a b a n d h a ksa yo b h a v c t /) Cf. further V is n u -S a n ih ita 10.64cd: “ I f a m a n d a la is m e re ly lo o k e d at, the ac c u m u la ted sins arc destro y ed .” (drstam atrc p ranasyanti m a n d a te p a pasancayah //) % A p te 1973: 504 and 1987: 131 e x p la in s u p a io b h iB as ‘re - e n tr a n ts or the in v e rte d c o u n te rp a rts o f the o ffse ts o c c u p y in g the sp a c e in b e t w e e n o ffs e ts and c o rn e rs o f the e n c l o s u r e s .’ F o r a b e tte r u n d e rs ta n d in g o f this e x p la n a tio n , cf. the d raw in g in Hikita 1991: 319. T h e d o h h a is the sp ace b e tw e e n the u p a so b h a s; cf. the d ra w in g in H ik ita 1991: 3 1 9 (here the fem inine fo rm s sobhii and upasobha are used). m Cf. note 44. T h e pitha is the part o f the m a n d a la w h ich su rro u n d s th e lotus(es); cf. F ig u re 1 in Apte 1973 and also N aradiya-S arphita 8.10c. Satvata-S am hita 1 l,32c-36:



A similar conception can be found in the Visnu-Samhita. In this text, the mandala’s constituent parts arc seen as parts o f the body on one hand, and as cosmic and divine powers on the other. Possibly, two texts that were originally different arc joined here as the two conceptions are com bi ned without a real inner co n ncc ti on . In addition, some principles ( tnltvn) and deities appear twice: “ He should consider the mandala as a human being (purusn). The lotus is its heart. [The m and ala ’s] centre is between the arms. The stalk o f the lotus is at the base o f the navel. The two back doors in the south and the north are to be known as the two feet. The stalk o f the lotus, which has nine holes, is the seat o f the kulns Vimala, etc.1*" Its root is the subtle Janardana in the form of a seed syllable ( bijarupa), since one should know that the root o f the lotus, w hi ch s u pp o rt s everything, is based on his greatness. The phonems a, etc. , 102 became the winds [of the body]. On the stalk arc the finger-nails.IM The knot ('Igranthi) is the ‘great o n e ’ (i.e., the intellect [huddhi]) consisting o f the [three] constituents [o f the primary matter]. The eight petals are then the various [modifications of] the intellect, dharma, adhanna, etc. Within the stalk is the endless ego principle that carries the subtle elements, the sense organs, and the elements. The lotus [of the g o d’s throne (asana) visualized upon the mandala] is the unevolved [primary matter]. Some [teach] that the circlcs o f sun, moon, and firel(M are the different phonems a, etc.,105 and others consider them krtv a iv a m am isandhaya sarvatm atvena dclm vat // 32 rajiim si vid d h i bhutani silapitadikani ca / lanm iitrany u p a io b h a n i sobhani karanani tu // 33 e v a m sarva n i k o m n i sa d vaninindriyani ca / bahiravaranam y a d vai sa ttva d ya m iritayam hi y a t 1/ 34 m anah suvitata vith i garvah p it h a w u d a h rta m l dhih p a d m a m tadadhisthata bijaim a cin m a ya h p um iin I I 35 am urta isvanid ciitra tisth u ty anandalaksanah / y a sy a sandarsanad cva Sasvad hhavah prasidati I I 36 (~ ISvara-Sam hita 11.161 c - 165). 101 T h e s e arc V i s n u ’s nine sa k tis, viz., V im ala, Utkarsini, J u an a, K riya, Y o g a, PrahvT, Satya, I£a, and A n u g rah a (V isnu-S am hita 6 .4 4 c -4 5 ). 1(12 Here, p h o n e m s im posed upon the m andala arc probably meant. 118 T h e finger-nails are identified with the thorns on the stalk, both o f w h ic h are called kantaka in Sanskrit. IIH T h e s e also b e lo n g to the throne (asana) that is v isu a liz e d upon the m an d ala. F o r the m ental visualization o f an ;isana upon the m an d ala, cf. also A h irb u d h n y a S am h ita 2 8 .1 7c—18. For the constituent parts o f the asana, cf. Rastelli 2002. 1115 T h e p h o n e m s arc c o n s id e re d as p arts o f the w o rld ly c re a tio n ; cf. V is n u Sam hita 9,53: “ [The universe] is to be know n as being pervaded by the first sound in



as born o f the eight saktis Viniala, etc. The lotus that is the great support o f the universe is in the centre o f the egg (? a n d a )m The Maya is in the egg-shell below the egg, Vidya is above it.107 He should consider the border ( prativarana) as the pericardium o f the heart-lotus. Out o f the [border], god Vairaja (i.e., Brahma) is taught as [being present] in the shape o f the rampart. In the yellow, white, red, black, and dark powders are the [five elements of] the earth, etc. The Vasus are on the tips o f the lotus’ petals; the Rudras and Adityas are the filaments, the Maruts are on the junctures o f the petals; the planets and stars are the powders. On the lines o f the petals’ upper [edges] and between [them] are the rivers and oceans. [Mount] M e m is in the pericarp, the munis are on the seed syllables. Visnu is in sun, moon and fire. (...) The thorns are Yaksa, etc., the hairs on the stalk are known as the Apsaras. The thread is Prajapati; the roots o f the leaves are the winds [of the body] such as prana, etc. The atm an, who is the lord o f the universe, who is Hari, who is known as having no parts ( niskala), [and] who abides in the s up re m e abode, is [present] in the centre o f the caki'amandala. He w h o has thus recognized that the god is present in the mandala leaves V i s n u ’s Maya behind and attains the supreme abode. He who worships or visualizes (pasyet) the god as present in the mandala, even if it is not prescribed directly, beholds the lord o f the gods forever. In the mandala, the one who has all forms is eternally near here [in this world]. Therefore, worship in the mandala is better than [worship in] auspicious places such as tlrthas, etc.” 1™ In both passages quoted the shape o f the nfida. V i s n u ’s s u p re m e abode is beyond the creation o f the p honem s, e t c . ” ( nadarupcna v ijn c y n in v y lip ta m a d ya ksa rcn a tu / va rn a d ika lp a n a tita m tad visnoh p aram am p a d a m ll) and Rastelli 1999: 125f. Here, the lotus arising fro m V i s n u ’s navel on w h ich B ra h m a sits and creates the w orld, is possibly meant. 1,17 M a y a an d V id y a are co n stitu e n ts o f the universe; cf, V is n u - S a m h ita 3.4 8 cd and 6,42ab. II#I V isn u -S am h ita 9 .5 8 c -7 6 b : partisan! m andalam vid ya t p a d m a m hrdayam asya tu I I 5% bahvantaragatam m a d h y a m n a b h im u lc ' bjanalakam / p a d c d v c p a scim a d va rc jn a ta v y e d a ksin o tta rc I I 59 pa d m a n a la m navaccbidram vim aladikalasrayaip / tasya m u la m bhavct s u k s m o bijarupo janardanah // 60 iidlm rabhutani sarvasya m a h in m i s v e vya va stb ita m / p a d m a m u la m v ija n iya d y a to ’ k nr ad a y o ’bhavan I 61 m arutah kantaka nale g ra n th ir g u n a m a y o m ahan / buddh ib b ed a dala n y astau dh a n n a d h a rm a d a ya s tatah // 62 nalantc ’b a m k rto 'n antas tanm atrendriyabhutabbrt7



here, the mandala is seen as the body o f the deity. Like any other body, it consists o f the tnttvus, of limbs, and of organs. However, the mandala also consists o f principles, and o f cosmic and divine powers that constitute the universe. Thus il is also a representation o f the universe. Again, the universe is a manifestation o f the deity.1"0 Thus, the mandala, even if it is not yet invested with mantras, is considered here as being a representation o f the deity."0 Ynntrns Like mandalas, yantras consist usually o f diagram-like drawings and mantr as made present in them. The re are, how eve r, es sential differences between mandalas and yantras. Yantras are generally drawn on mobile materials. For drawing and writing, powders are not used, but rather liquid substances; metal

p a d m o ' vya kta m akaradibhedn ' rkcn d va g n im a n d a la m 1/ 63 buddhigarvam anom iitra daksinadidalastakam / it y a n yc vim alaclyas(;isaktijam ciiparc vidul) // 64 a n d a m adhyagatam p a d m a m vttva syiiya ta n a m im lrn t/ m aya n d a d h a h kapalastha vidya cordhvam vyavasthita // 65 p u n ta ta m hrdabjasya ka lpayct prativiiranam I tadbahyatah purakaro vairajo (leva ucyutc II 66 p lta c c h a ru n a kfsn csu dyiim c ca ksm a d a ya h sthituh / va sa vo ' bjadalagrastha rtidradily;7,s! ca kcsarah II 67 m aruto dalasandhistha rcnavo grahatarakah / dakintaragrarckhasu saritah sag: was tat ha II68 m c ru s tu karnikantastlio bijesu m un a ya h sthitah / su ryen d va g n ig a to v isn u s(...) y a k sa d y iih kanlaka nalc rn m a n y apsarasah sm rtah 111 1 sutram prajapatih p atranm lc pranadivayavah / cakram andalam adhyastha alm a sarvcsvaro harih II 12 n iska la s tu sam akhyatah para m e v y o m n i sam sthitah I c v a m y o vctti d cv a m tain m andalantargatam tatlul // 73 sa hitva va isn a vim m a ya m apn u ya t param am p a d a m l a vid h a n c 'p i y o d cva n i m a n dalSntahsthitam y a jc t II 74 p a s y e d va tcna dcvcsa h sa ksa d drsto b h a ved d h n iv a m / m a n d a te ’ fra bhavcn n ity a m sa n n id h ya m sa rv a ru p im h 1115 tasm at tirth a d ip u n yeb h yo visista m m andate 'rca n a m / V isn u -S a m h ita 9 .6 9 d —7 1b is an insertion that docs not m ake sense with reg ard to the contents o f the passage. l,wAll constituent parts o f the universe are m anifestations o f the deity (cf. Rastelli 1999: 98f.); thus the universe is also his representation. 1111 T h e S a m h ita s teach sim ila r n o tio n s with regard to the te m p le ; cf. R astelli 2003.



yantras can also be engr ave d. Th u s ya nt ra s can be carried everywhere and also worn as amulets, When mandalas are prepared, a diagram is drawn and only then are the mantras made present upon it by imposition (nyasa). When preparing a yantra, drawing and writing of the mantras are done in a single process, and, as just mentioned, the mantras are written. This is not the case with mandalas. This is probably connected with the fact that in most cases yantras are not considered to be ju st places where the deity can be made present and worshipped as mandalas are, but are considered to be representations of the deity himself (see below pp. 144f.). Yantras are used mainly for worldly purposes (see be lo w pp. 146ff.).m The writing materials most commonly used for the preparation o f yantras are birch-bark ( bhurja) and cloth ( vastra, ka rp a ta )U2 Other materials mentioned in the texts are gold (sometimes embellished with jewels, corals, and pearls), silver, copp er and other metals, wood, and s t o n e . 113 Th e writing paint is prepared from rocana,UA saffron (ku n ku m a ), sandalwood (candana), talc (ghana), ca m p h or ( tusara), musk (kasturika), milk, agaru115 and d e w . 116 Th e writing utensil is a golden needle (h e m a su c i).in The yantras described in An ir uddha-Samhita 5 seem to be special cases. According to the prescription o f this text, the yantras should be prepared and w o r ­ shipped on a platform (vedi) in a pavilion (m andapa)."s These yan­ tras are, o f course, not mobile.

111 T h e s e d ifferences b e tw e e n m a n d a la s and yantras have e m e rg e d fro m m y study o f the P a n c aratra-S am h itas. F o r a list o f differen ces that v aries slig h tly fro m m ine, cf. B ru n n e r 1986: 19 (cf. B ru n n er, pp. 1 6 2 -1 6 3 ). T h e d ifferen ces n o te d b y B ru n n e r m a y also apply to Pancaratra, but 1 have not yet fo u n d ev id en ce fo r this in the texts. 112 J a y a k h y a -S a m h ita 2 6 .97b, 2 9 .9 6 b , 164a, P a d m a - S a m h ita , caryapada 2 5 .1 0 2 c 32.46b. ’ 113 P a d m a -S a m h ita , caryapada 32.92c, A h ir b u d h n y a -S a m h ita 2 6 ,3ab, 74cd, 85cd. 114 A c c o rd in g to A p te 1957 ( s .v . g o ro c a n a ), rocana is “a b rig h t y e llo w p i g m e n t p re p a re d from the urine o r bile o f a cow, o r f ound in the head o f a c o w .” 115 A q u ila r ia a g a llo ch a . P e r f u m e s , o i n t m e n t s , a n d oil a r e o b t a i n e d f r o m its fragrant w o o d (S y e d 1990: 31). 116 J a y a k h y a - S a m h i t a 2 6 .8 9 c , 97a, 106ab, 2 9 , 9 5 c - 9 6 a , 163cd, A h i r b u d h n y a S a m h ita 26,4ab, 7Sd, P a d m a -S a m h ita , caryapada 2 5 . 102d—103, 3 2 .4 5 - 4 6 a . 117A h irb u d h n y a -S a m h ita 26.4c, P a d m a -S a m h ita , caryapada 2 5 .1 03c, 32.45a. 118 See A n iru d d h a -S a m h ita 5.1 c—3 and 59.



According to the Ahirbudhnya-Samhita, the ya nt r a’s material is determined by the qualification (adhikara) o f its user.11'1 In addition, different materials lead to different results following the y a n t r a ’s worship. For example, a yantra made o f gold, jewels, corals, and pearls bestows sovereignty, or a yantra made o f bi rc h-bark and drawn with saffron and sandalwood, when worn on the head, effects the fulfilment o f all wishes.IJI As already mentioned, when a yantra is prepared, dr awing the diagram and writing (he mantras are done in a single process. Th e following is an exemplary prescription for the preparation o f a yantra that is used for paralyzing (stambhnna) divine beings: “ Furnished with rocana and saffron, he should write [the divine b e i n g ’s] na m e intertwined121 with the [m ukijim inlrn in the centre o f a [drawn] kaustubha that contains sixteen sixteenth parts (knla). Previously each sixteenth part has been provided with nectar,122 o sage. Above the sixteenth parts o f nectar he should place [the mulamantra], which resembles the m o o n ’s rays, resting on the viSvapyaya (= la). Outside o f the [mulaimmtra], he should draw an eight-petalled lotus with a pericarp. [Then] he should write the g o d ’s ;i/ig;i[jmi/7i'ras] on the petals just as in worship.” 12'1 The drawing and writing o f the yantra are seen as a unit. The drawing is not just a place for making the deity present by means o f mantras, but the y a n t r a ’s draw ing and writing as a unit is a representation o f the deity, The deity assumes the form o f the yantra. IWA h irb u d h n y a -S a m h ita 26.3. ™ A h irb u d h n y a -S a m h ita 26.74c~77. 121 T h e r e arc se v e ra l in te r p r e ta tio n s o f w hat vidarbha o r v id a rb b ita m e a n s . G e n e ra lly , it m e a n s that parts o f the nam e and o f the m antra, i.e., one or tw o s y lla ­ bles o f c a c h , are alternated. Cf. Padoux 1977 and 1 9 8 6-1992: 69 f. 122 Th a i is, the letter sii. E ach letter o f the Sanskrit alphabet has several n a m e s that arc used as co d cs in the description o f mantras; cf, Jayfikhya-Sarnhila 6 .3 2 c - 5 7 . 115 Ja y a k h y a -S a m h ita 2 6 .8 9 c -9 2 : ro c a n a k u n k u m a ir y u k io n u m am autravidarbhilam H 89 lik h c t ka u stu b h a m a d h y c tu k a la so d a ia sa m yn tc / cka ikii tu kala vipra pura y u k tiim rtcn a tu // 90 sam rtanam kala n a m ca y o ja y c c ca tathopari / v isv a p y a y a sth it am viipi candraratim isam aprabham I I 9 1 tadbahyc 'stadalam p a d m a m v ilik h c c ca sakarnikam / d c v y o 'n g a n i (cm. d ivyahgani) yatharc.jy.vp d a lesv abhyantarc lik h c t II 92 For o th e r e x a m p le s , sec Jayakhya-S am hitfi 2 6 .9 7 —i I lb, 2 9 .1 6 3 c —172, 3 2 . 6 6 - 7 9 b , S atv a ta -S a m h ita 17.3 3 3 c—35 9 b (translation in liik ita 1992: 1 9 3 -1 9 0 ; f o r a d ra w in g o f the y a n tra d c s c r ib c d in this p a ssa g e , see Hikita 1990: 170), P a d m a - S a m h ita , caryapada 2 5 . 1 0 4 - 1 07b, A n iru d d h a-S am h ita 5.



Thus, the installation (pratistha) o f the saudarsanayantra (wh ich is established and worshipped like a statue; see bel ow pp. 148ff.) is prescribed with the following words: “ Having established the god, [who is] the Lord having the shape o f a yantra, in the centre (...) ” 124 Further, the deity is described as ‘consisting o f all y an t r as ’ ( sarvaya n tra m a ya )!25 Thus, a yantra is a representation of the deity on one hand, and the deity encompasses all yantras on the other. Tw o other kinds o f mantric safeguards (raksa) that are described in the Ahir budhnya-Samhita are closely related to yantras. One is called jyo tirm a yl, ‘consisting o f light,’ and the other vanm ayl, ‘c o n ­ sisting o f language.’ Th e first is a wheel (cakra) whose constituent parts are repre­ sented by divine beings and their activities. The bra h m a n is c o n ­ sidered as being the wh ee l’s axle, the sakti as its hub, the saktP s five activities, viz., disappearance (tirobhava). creation, maintenance, destruction, and favour, as its spokes, the Vyuhas and Vyuhantaras as its felly, and the Vibhavas as flames outside the felly. It is obvious that this kind o f raksa can only be visualized mentally,126 Th e safeguard that consists o f language (v a n m a y l raksa) is a wheel (cakra) whose shape is formed by writing mantras instead o f drawing lines. The Ahirbudhnya-Samhita describes several forms o f this kind o f safeguard.127 N ow h er e in the Ahirbudhnya-Samhita’s text are these two kinds o f safeguards called yantra. The term yantra is mentioned in the title lines o f chapters 23 and 24 o f the Ahirbudhnya-Samhita and in two subtitles on p. 218 o f the first volume o f the Ahirbudhnya-Samhita’s edition,1211 but not in the body o f the text itself. Thus the two kinds o f raksa probably cannot be interpreted as yantras in the actual sense. However, these safeguards, which are very similar to yantras, can help to clarify the meaning o f yantra as representation o f the deity. Both the raksa ‘consisting o f lig h t’ and the one ‘co n sis ti ng o f l a n g u a g e ’ are direct representations o f the divine power, the first having divine beings as its constituent parts, the latter consisting 124 A h ir b u d h n y a -S a m h ita 47.21 cd: m a d h y c d eva in pratisthiipya yantrarupadharam p ra b h u m // 125 A h ir b u d h n y a -S a m h ita 4 7 .5 6 d and 65a. ]%A h irb u d h n y a -S a m h ita 2 1 ,4 -2 9 b . 127 A h irb u d h n y a -S a m h ita 2 2 -2 4 . I2fl A h i r b u d h n y a - S a m h i t a 23 is called vasudevadiyantranirupana, A h i r b u d h n y a Sam hita 24, yanlradcvatadhyiinanirupana.



merely o f mantras that arc manifestations o f the deity and his aspects. These raksiis are not places where the deity can be made present, but they are the deity’s presence itself The same is true o f yantras, which, in this aspect, are much more similar lo the two kinds o f raksiis just described than lo mandalas. However, seeing yantras as representations o f the deity is not the only notion found in Pfulcaratra Samhitas, According to the PadmaSamhita, after the preparation o f a yantra, the deity should be invited into it in order to worship him there.I2y Here, similar to a mandala, the yantra is treated as being a place for the deity’s worship. What purpose do yantras have and how are they used? It is often emphasized that mere visualization of a yantra or concentration upon it is enough to reach a certain goal; for example: “ Me who recollects it in danger, in a battle, or in a dispute has victory in his hands; here there should not be any doubt.” Or: “This yantra, o excellent sage, destroys all calamities. There is nothing that cannot be obtained by wearing, recollecting, [and] visualizing [it].” 1'10 Also the y a n t r a ’s mere drawing can have effect: “ Everything accrues to the people through its mere drawing.” 131 In general, however, worsh ipp ing it with offerings, oblations and ablutions is seen as the prerequisite for the e ffect o f a yantra.112 Yantras are frequently worn on the body as amulets, often bound with thread and/or covered with metal. Using them in this way, yantras are considered to protect and to have positive effects: “ He should wrap this yantra with a five-coloured thread [and] put it into a golden casket. [If] he puts [it] on [his] right arm o r a woman between [her] breasts he/she is liked forever, even a m o ng enemies. Th e sadhaka can easily cross female and male rivers or the oceans for many purposes by means o f its power, and he does not sink in the

12,1P a d m a -S a m h ita , caryapada 25 .1 07cd. 130 A h irb u d h n y a -S a m h ita 26.80: b h a ya g a m c ca sa m g ra m c vficlc va y a h sm a rc d idnm / vijayas iasya hastastho natra karya v ic a n m a ll and J a y a k h y a -S a m h ita 2 6 .1 04c—105b: ya n tro 'y a m munisardCila sarvopadravaniitianah II dhiiranat sm a ra n a d dhyanan nasti tad y a n na sa d h a yct / See also Jayakhya-S arnhita 26.93c, A h irb u d h n y a-S am h ita 2 5 . 17c, 131 A h irb u d h n y a -S a m h ita 25.2 led: ctallckhanam atrcna sarvam sam padyalo nrnam II 132 See J a y a k h y a - S a m h i t a 2fi’.93c, 2 7 .2 1 4 c , 2 8 .1 2 a , 2 9 .5 2 d , P a d m a - S a m h i t a , caryapada 32.1 15c—1 16c, A n iru d d h a-S am h ita 5.59. Cf. also Rastelli 2000b: 350f.



water. Fear o f beings o f the jungle or the forest is unknown [to him]. Inauspicious planets bestow favourable [things]. Manifold terrific and exceedingly frightening poisons do not trouble [him]. Weapons o f thieves, etc., do not enter the joints o f [his] body. (...) The demons wh o injure children, etc. ( balagrahadayah), leave the child and go far away if this yantra is present on its body, A pregnant wom an bears easily on account o f wearing [this yantra], A barren wo m an [and] a [woman] whose new-born children die will have children.” 133 Likewise, it is considered auspicious to have a yantra in o n e ’s house: “He who has placed a yantra in his house accomplishes everything.” IM The yantras’ protecting and auspicious effects are also used on other occasions. So, at a funeral, the dead body is put upon a yantra that is covered by a cloth.155 A pill (g u lika ) that has been prepared for the acquisition o f supernatural powers must be purified with incense in a casket upon which a yantra has been drawn (yantrasam puta).[ib Other than protection, a yantra may bestow anything one wishes as already indicated in the passage quoted above: elimination o f sorrow, diseases and obstacles, attainment o f children, friends,

133 Jayakhya-Sam hitsi 2 9 .1 72d—180b: tac!yantram p a rivcsta yct II 172 pancarahgcna sutrcna k sip c t ka n a ka sa m p u tc / dordandc d a k sin c ku ry a t stri va stanayugantarc I I 173 p riy a tv a m satatam y a ti va irisv apt ca sadhakah / nadfnadan sam udran va lilaya p a rik w g h a y c t II 174 ba hvartham tatprabhavac ca no m a jja tija k m ta rc I naranyavanajanam tu saka sa d v id y a te b h a ya m II 175 bhajanti sa n u ku la m ca viparitasthita grahah / na bad hate visarn g h o n u n a n cka m catibhisanam II 176 coradiSastrasam ghato gatrasandhisu no visct / (...) balagrahadayo du ra m ty a k tv a balain p ra ya n ti ca 11178 ya tre d a m tisthatc ya n tra m kirn tu taddchagam tu vai I lagnagarbhii ca ya n a n su kh a m su te ca dharanat II 179 b h a vct putravati vandhya m rtavatsatha p u tr in i I ( J a y a k h y a - S a m h ita 2 9 . 1 7 7 c -1 7 8 b is c orrupt.) Cf, also J a y a k h y a - S a m h ita 2 9 . 1 0 2 c 103, 3 2 . 8 1 - 8 4 , S a tv a ta - S a m h ita 17.352—357b. N o t o n ly y a n tra s can b e w o rn as am ulets. A m antra written on birch-bark or a p iccc o f cloth can also b e u se d as suchcf, Rastelli 2000b: 350. ’ 134 A h irb u d h n y a -S a m h ita 2 5 .1 8cd: ya n tra m y a sy a g rh c n ya sta m tasya sarvam p ra sid h ya ti 11 135Ja y a k h y a -S a m h ita 24.8cd. ™ Ja y a k h y a -S a m h ita 26.69ab,



consorts, kingship and wealth.1'17 Yantras arc considered to be so powerful that even antidotes against them could be necessary in the case o f an enemy using them against one. Such antidotes are presen­ ted in the Jayakhya-Samhita: the vanlhnm udnl and the jayam antra are successful in destroying the power of yantras.1111 A particular yantra is the smidar&inayantra, which is described in the Ahirbudhnya-Samhita and, based on the Ahirbudhnya-Samhita, also in the ParameSvara-Samhita.'w It not only contains linear dia­ grams and writings o f mantras, but also pictorial representations o f various deities.Mn Furthermore, the writing material, which should be solid such as nietal or stone, is covered with a yantra diagram not only on the obverse side but also, with a different drawing, on the 14! reverse. The saudarianayantra is used especially by kings and those w ho want to attain kingship. They should install it in a temple and wor shi p it daily in order to secure their kingship: “ Hear the peculiarity o f the protective prescript ion for kings, o Narada. He who desires kingship, he who is deprived o f kingship, or he w h o is o v e r p o w e r e d by [other] kings, having realized that the m o s t distinguished teacher who bestows the yantra o f SudarSana exceeds all, should worship this [teacher] with great wealth and then should worship the four-armed Narayana, the god, whose eyes are as large

157 E .g., J a y a k h y a - S a m h i t a 2 6 .1 0 4 c —105b, 1 1 0 c - 1 1 3 b , A h i r b u d h n y a - S a m h i t a 2 6 . 7 3 , 3 6 .2 6 c - 3 0 b . ' ' Lllt Jay a k h y a -S a m h ita 8.30a, 27.131 a. 111 T h e d escrip tio n o f the saudarianayantra in PFiram eivara-Sam hita 23 is based on that in the A h irb u d h n y a -S a m h ita . T h e P aram eS v ara-S am h ita e v e n refers e x p l i ­ citly to the A h i r b u d h n y a - S a m h i t a as its source. C o m p a r e Pilram cS v ara-S arn h ita 2 3 .2 c - 3 : “ In fo rm e r tim es in order to a p p ease the great sin of'cu ttin g B r a h m a ’s h ead N arayana taught, at the auspicious Badarika&rama, [the yantra] that re m o v e s all sins to S ankara, w h o was asking for it.” (p u n l n arayaiw noktam p iw y c b a d a rik te ra m c II 2 brahm anah Sirsavicchcdam ahapataka& lntayc / prcchatah ,i ankarasyatba sarvapapapan o d a n a m ll 3) with A hirbudhnya-S am hitii 2 5 .1 4 c~I 5: “ In o rder to a p p ease the great sin o f c u ttin g P i t a m a h a 's h e a d N a ra y a n a taught me [the yantra] that p a c ific s all a f f lic tio n s [and] k e e p s o f f all pain at the a u s p ic io u s B a d a r ik a S r a m a .” ( m a n i a naraya n en o kta ip p u n y c badarikatiramc II 14 p itanialiaiiira& hcdatm hapafaka& lntayc 1 sarvabadhapratiam anam sarvaduhkhaniviiranam II 15) Cf. also PFiramcSvara-Samhita 2 6 .4 3 a b c : “ (•••) a c c o rd in g to the rule, as A h irb u d h n y a has ta u g h t it at length to N arada, w h o has asked [for it] (...)” (p rcch a tc naradayaitad a h irb u d h n ycn a vistarat / y a th o p a d ista m v id h iv a t). m T h e m o s t im p o rtan t d eities on the saudar&inayantra are Sudar&ina, V i s n u ’s discus to w h o m the A h irbudhnya-S am hita is especially devoted, and N rsim ha. A h irb u d h n y a -S a m h ita 2 6 .5 - 7 2 , ParamcSvara-Samhilfi 23.1 6 -1 17b,



as a lotus, who is dark-coloured, who [wears] yellow garments, and w h o is adorned with all [kinds of7] ornaments according to the prescriptions as taught by the teacher. He should have an excellent ya nt ra made, which is made of gold, is decorated with jewels and corals, and furnished with all [kinds of] ornaments. Only with this in str u m en t docs he attain sound kingship. Having installed [this y an tr a], which bestows the attainment o f everything, he should worship it respectfully. Then he will obtain the earth with [its] seven divisions (sapiadvipam ) [and its] towns,” 1'12 In the Ahirbudhnya-Samhita, the temple (v im a n a ) for the saudarSanayanira and the prescriptions for wor ship to be performed there are not described in detail.M3 Howe ver , the author o f the y o u n g e r Parame£vara-Samhita, who strongly emph as izes temple w o r sh ip in general, has elaborated the descriptions o f the temple (prasada) or pavilion ( mandapa) that should be built for the saudarSanayantra’s worship, and also the pr es cr ip ti o ns for its wor shi p,14'1The yantra’s worship is very similar to the com mon daily ritual in a temple. This means that this yantra takes the position o f a place for the deity’s worship, similar to, e.g., a statue or a mandala.145 142 A h irb u d h n y a -S a m h ita 2 6 .8 2 -8 7 : nljnfim raksavidhnnc hi vitc sm n iriu i narada I ra jya rth i hrtarajyo va p a rib h u io ’thava nrpaih II 82 saudar& m asya yantrasya pradalaram g u ru m param t sa rv c b h y o h y a d h ika m m a tvi1 tarn abhyarcya m abildhanaih // 83 tato narayanam d cva m p u n d a rika ya tcksa n a m / syiim a la m pita va sa n a m sa rva b h a ra n a b h u sita m ll 84 aradhayce caturbahum a ciiryo kta vid h a n a ta h / tap ta ja m b u n a d a m a ya m m a n ivid ru m a citrita m // 85 sa rva la in ka ra sa m yu kta m ka ra ycd ya n tra m uttam am / eta! karanam atrcna rajyam a p n o ty ana m a ya m H 86 p ra tisth a p y a rc a y e d ctat sa d a ram sarva sid d h id a m / tato b h u m im a va p n o ti sa p ia d vip a m sapattanam II 87 Cf. also Param eS vara-S am hila 2 3 .8 c - 9 b : “ K ings w ho arc d isp o se d to p ro te c t [their] p e o p l e arc to p e r f o r m c o n tin u o u s ly th is w o rsh ip . O t h e r w i s e a lack o f f i r m n e s s a r is e s .” {prajiipalanaisilanam b hupiinam cla d arcanam II nairantarycna k a r ta v y a m a n yatha ja y a tc 'd h rtih I) 1-0 T h e tem p le is m entioned only in A h irb u d h n y a -S a m h ita 36.35c, 36c, an d 40c. 1+1 S e e Param eS vara-S am hila 2 3 . 12 - 18b for the te m p le and P ara m c £ v a ra-S arn h ita 2 5 - 2 6 for the ritual prescriptions. 145 T h e re is m u c h in scrip tio n al and literary e v id e n c e th at im a g e s o f S u d a r t a n a w e r e w o r s h i p p e d in P a n c a r a tr a te m p le s , o fte n in s p e c ia l s h rin e s. S e v e ra l su c h im a g e s h ave been p reserv ed (cf. B e g le y 1973: 68ff.). Illustration 1 s h o w s a b ro n z e im a g e o f SudarSana w ithin a yantra. T h is im ag e is d ated by B e g le y 1973: 90 to ab o u t the 17th century. A lth o u g h it d o c s not look cxactly like the saudarsanayantra



The saudarsanayantra is not the only yantra that is worshipped in a temple or pavilion. As already mentioned, yantras arc worshipped in a mandapa also according to the Aniruddha-Samhita. Here, however, they are drawn directly on a platform ( vedi) and not upon a mobile material.uu' According to the Parama-Samhita, a yantra is used in place o f a statue during the procession that is a part o f the consecration (pratistha). The yantra that represents Visnu is carried around the temple. After this, it is installed in the temple, and only then is the statue o f Visnu established.1'17 Finally, a particular yantra that is related to the saudarsanayantra should be mentioned. This is the dharakayantra, the ‘yantra o f the wearer,’ i.e., the wearer o f the saudarsanayantra. The power o f the saudarsanayantra is considered to be so great that a human being ca n n o t w e a r it wit ho ut addit io nal ly h av in g a dharakayantra: “ [Narada:] ‘Who wears this very wonderful divine ornament? If it is worn, 1 do not notice the power (takti) o f anything. Please remove [my] doubt [that has arisen] on account o f its excessive p o w e r . ’ Ahi rb ud h ny a: ‘Truly, no one can wear this [yantra] o f great splendour without [also wearing] the following, other yantra that is full o f power, o divine seer. Hear now its nature [and] energy, o best sage.’ The dharakayantra’s most exterior part is the square earth mandala with the seed syllable (blja) o f the earth on each corner and two Nagas on each side. Within the earth mandala is the fire m andala having the shape o f a hexagram with the fire seed described in the A hirbud h n y a-S am h itii, it gives an idea o f w h at it m a y h a v e lo oked like. ,mCf. p. 143. 147 Cf. P aram a-S arn h ita 19.62.—6 3 b : “ He should then prepare a yantra o f the great god and, after having asked for perm ission, have the initiated g u ard ian s o f the statue lift the yantra that is Hari on to a co m fo rta b le p alan q u in that is e n d o w e d w ith an arc h .” ( tato d cv a sy a m ahato ya n tra m cka m vidhaya ca / d ik sita ir m u rtip a ir ju s ta m s ib ik a m to ra n a n v ita m I ab h y a n u jn a m c;i y a c itv ii y a n tra m a ro p a y e d d h a rim I) Cf. P ara m a -S a m h ita 19.70cd for the y a n tra ’s a n d 19.72b for the s ta tu e ’s installation. 148 A h irb u d h n y a -S a m h ita 2 7 .2 c -5 b : [niiradah-] ctad atya d b h u ta m divyarp dhriyatc kcn a bhusanam // 2 na casya dharanc ia k d n i ka sya cit k a la y a m y aham / ntisa ktita yfisycm a m sa m sa ya m ch cttu m a rh a si// 3 ah irbudhnyah sa tya m na k c n a c id dhartum p aryatc ia n m a h a d y u ti! rte yantrantariid a sm n d dcvarsc sakti& llinah I I 4 irn u tasya m u nisrestha svarupam viryam adya v a il Cf. also A h irb u d h n y a -S a m h ita 2 7 .2 4 c -2 6 .



syllable. The round wind mandala with ils seed syllable149 is within it, and within the latter, a wheel with ten spokes. Two syllables each o f the saudarfanamantra and the narasimhamantra are written on nine spokes, and on the tenth spoke, the word hana, ‘kill.’ Obviously, this combination keeps the saudar$anayantra's power in check. An eightpetalled lotus with the mantra om and the names o f the desired object and the person the yantra is directed to ( sadhya) is in the centre o f the wheel.150 The penultimate item seems strange in the case o f the dharakayantra whose only purpose is the fitness for wear ing the saudarsanayantra. The person it is directed to can only be its wearer. T he example o f the dharakayantra shows how powerful yantras were considered to be, and that their power could get out o f control if they were not treated properly.

w F o r th e s h a p e s o f the e l e m e n t s ’ m a n d a la s , cf. also J a y a k h y a - S a m h i t a 10.26, 3 6 c - 3 8 a , and 4 3 c - 4 4 b and G u p la /H o c n s /G o u d ria a n 1979: 1 7 2 -1 7 4 . T h e bijas o f the e le m e n ts vary in th e d iffe re n t traditions. A c c o r d in g to the J a y a k h y a - S a m h ita , the e a r t h ’s bija is slam , the fire ’s s r iim , a n d th e w i n d ’s h y a m (J a y a k h y a -S a m h ita 10.17c—20b), cf. also G u p ta /H o c n s/G o u d ria a n ibid. 15,1A h irb u d h n y a -S a m h ila 2 7 .5 c—16.



1. T h e I 6 'a r m e d Sudarsan acak rap u ru sa in the ^rT-Kalaniekapcrumal T em p le


Helene Brunner (Translated from the French by Raynald Prevereau) Introduction It is co m m o n to refer to the ritual use o f more or less co m pl ex drawings among the defining characteristics o f every denomination o f Tantrism. Generally, such drawings are called mandalas, but also yantras and cakras, with little consideration as to whether these terms are synonyms or not. This paper essentially aims at clarifying this terminology, and this will be done in the first part. In the second part, I will discuss the mandalas used in the cult o f Siva: analyzing a simple example, I will describe their general structure and indicate ho w exactly they are used in the rituals. It is first out o f personal interest that I began investigating the subject on which I here report my conclusions. Perplexed, undoub" T h is p a p e r is, broadly, a rem ake o f an article p u b lish ed in F ren ch s o m e fifteen years ag o (B ru n n er 1986). That article rcp ro d u ccd alm o st verb atim a lecture given in Paris in June 1984 on the occasion o f a c o n fe re n c e o rg a n iz e d by A. P a d o u x in the c o n te x t o f the r e s e a r c h te a m no. 2 4 9 o f th e C e n t r e n a tio n a l de la r e c h e r c h e sc ie n tif iq u e ( C N R S ) e n title d ‘L T l i n d o u i s m c — te x te s, d o c tr in e s , p r a t i q u e s . ’ T h e present paper is a coniplcte revision o f the p revious one. N o t only d id 1 e lim in a te the oral c h a r a c te r o f the p re s e n ta tio n , b u t 1 also m o d ifie d se v e ra l e x p r e s s i o n s th at se e m e d correct in 1984 but that p rogress in the study o f S aivism n o w sh o w s to be incxact. 1 also rew o rk ed som e long p a ssa g e s by introducing useful precisio n s, added m a n y references and inserted som e c o m m e n ts in part in spired by th e d iscu ssio n (not re p ro d u c e d here) that follow ed the lecture in Paris. It was, h o w e v e r, not p o ssib le fo r m e to ex ten d m y research . T h e re fo re , w o rk s on the su b jcct w h ic h a p p e a r e d a fte r 1986 arc not taken into consideration. N o te by G. B iihnem ann: In this articlc the author uses the te rm ‘c u l t ’ in the sense o f ‘sectarian a ffilia tio n ’ and lw o r s h i p 7 lritu a l,’ T h e w ord is not used in a d e ro g a to ry sense.


I IliLliN l.i D RU N N FR

ledly like many other scholars, by the coexislcnce o f three terms that modern authors rarely distinguish and often translate, in English, as well as in French, by the same word ‘diagram,’ I had developed the habit over the years o f taking note o f the ritual contexts in which those terms appeared. Soon enough, I realized that mediaeval authors did not use the terms so freely as we do and thought that it would be good if we imitated their precision instead o f creating confusion where it did not exist by using a single word in our translations (and I also accept this criticism). I was therefore pleased to seize the opportunity provided by a conference held on this theme in Paris in 1984 to expand my research and submit the result o f my reflections to the participants. Their reactions inspired some of the additions that I have made to the original French paper. I must insist at the outset on the fact that my research does not cover all Hindu schools, not even all Tantric sects. Rather, 1 limited m yse lf to the following texts: (1) the fundamental texts o f the Siddhanta School, 1 those that have co m e to be called S a i v a g a m a s or even sim pl y A g a m a s (Mulagamas and Upagamas), but could just as well be called Tantras since they often present themselves as such .2 1 looked at

1 W c must stop calling this school the ‘S outhern S c h o o l,’ for w h ile it is true that it is the South o f India that has kept its heritage alive, wc now k n o w that its m o s t ancicnl texts c o m e from the North (in clu d in g the p n d d h n ti o f S o m a ia m b lu i, see my introduction to S P 4 , pp. xliii-x lv ). Wc could call il the £>aiva-Siddhanta S chool, but since this te rm w as b o rro w e d from the Sanskrit School o f that d e n o m in a tio n by the Tam il S chool that follow ed it and p ro fo u n d ly m o d ifie d it, and since the n a m e has re m a in e d a ttach ed to the latter, wc should call il m ore precisely: ‘S n iv a -S id d h a n ta School o f Sanskrit e x p re s s io n ’ or sim ply ‘Sanskrit Saiva-Siddhfuita S c h o o l .’ T h a t is what I k eep repeating (see, for exam ple, B ru n n e r 1977: 114-1 15 an d 1992: 38, note 2). T his appellation is here shortened into ‘S id d h a n ta ’ for the sake o f sim plicity. 2 See, for exam p le, p. xix o f the introduction to m y translation o f M rg c n d ra g a m a , kriya p a d a and caryapfida, and m ore recently G o o d a l l ’s in troduction to his edition o f the Kiranavrtli, pp. x x x v i-x x x ix , It is useful lo note here that, a m o n g the T a n tra s o f the Sid d h an ta that have reached us, rare are the texts that date from before the ninth century. E x c e p t for the Kirana, the M rg en d ra and the M atarigaparam eSvara, th o s e that w e re p u b lish e d in India, including those ex cellen tly ed ite d by N.R . Bhatt and published by the Institut Frangais d ’Jndologic, b elong to a later period, even (hough so m e o f th e m b o r r o w the n a m e o f a w o rk p re v io u s ly k n o w n a n d cited. F o r the K a m ik a , sec the introduction to m y translation o f the M rg c n d r a g a m a cited ab o v e, pp. x ii-x v . I will, how ever, have to refer to such works, which in fact, with regard to the s u b j e c t h e r e u n d e r in v e s t i g a t i o n , m o st p r o b a b l y r e p e a t the t r a d i t i o n a l instructions.



all the ones that were at my disposal, namely about ten o f them, plus some preserved fragments of lost treatises; (2) some Saiva Tantras o f the Trika: Svacchanda (SvT), Netra (NT) and Malinivijaya; ( 3 ) a fair number o f handbooks (p a ddhati) o f the Siddhanta, the most important o f which being the Somasambhupaddhati (SP), called Kriyakandakramavall, written in K as hm ir in the 11th century, and o f which I have published a complete translation. The following handbooks, written in the South, depend more or less directly on this work: the Aghorasivacaryapaddhati, called Kriyakramadyotika, o f the 12th century; the yet unpub lished Jnanaratnavali, the Siddhantasekhara and the Siddhantasaravali, all three probably dating from the 13th century; and finally the Isanasivagurudevapaddhati, a later work which is nonetheless better known since it was edited early in the 20th century and reprinted in 1988; (4) some handbooks from the Trika School, such as the Tantraloka ( T A ) o f A b h i n a v a g u p t a an d the S a r a d a t i l a k a ( S T) o f Laksmanadesika. All these sources converge, so much so that the results o f my research do not only concern the Saivism o f the Siddhanta School, as the title o f this paper carefully suggests, but could probably apply to a w i d e r range o f traditions. It is not certain, h ow ev er , that my conclusions could, without further precautions, be extrapolated to all Tantric schools, for example, to Saktism or to Pancaratra, nor to all periods, for example, to the more recent Tantrism. Nonetheless, I should note that the n o n - sy no n ym y o f the terms mandala and yantra is accepted by the Sabdakalpadruma (s.v. yantra) which quotes the following passage from the Yo ginl tantra,3 where the possible supports for the cult of the goddess are discussed: lingastham p u ja yed devlm pustakastham tathaiva ca / m andalasthani nm ham ayam yantrastham pratim asu ca II jalastham va silastham va p u ja yef param esvarim /

3 T e x t dating fro m the 16th c e n tu ry (sec G o u d r ia a n in G o u d r i a a n / G u p t a 1981: 85-86).



I. Occurrence o f Ihc Three Terms in (he Ritual Texts A . Mandala Let us now look at the first point, which conccrns the occurrence o f the terms mandala, yantra and cakra in the ritual texts. I will begin with the one that is by far the most frequent in the standard rituals: ‘m a n d a l a ’— a term that wc spontaneously associate with those splendid drawings so characteristic o f Tibetan Buddhis m and o f which we have seen a large diffusion over the last decades. W he n and how do the Saiva texts use this w ord? W e must obviously set aside right from the start the rather banal meaning o f ‘circ le’ (construction circle or any other disk) as well as that o f ‘territory’ or ‘province,’ with which wc are not concerned here, at least not directly. 1 shall therefore consider only the specific ritual objects that the texts call ‘mandalas.’ All appear as limited surfaces, o f which I find three main types: First type: a limited surface deprived of structure. F or ex am pl e: the ‘c o w - d u n g m a n d a l a ’ enj oined on n u m er o u s occasions to serve either as the scat for a god (for exam pl e, Nalesvara, when he is called to preside over the dances performed by the Devadasis in front o f Siva), for a man (the disciple, before his initiation), or for a revered object (the cooking pot for the de it y ’s rice, when it is removed from the fire and placed on the ground).4 Such mandalas arc made by smearing a generally circular portion o f the ground with a semi-liquid paste made o f co w - d u n g or sandalwood. I will call them ‘seat-mandalas.> S eco n d type: a limited surface showing a drawing generally made o f the accumulation o f coloured powders, This is the most interesting type o f mandala, one that we must: most carefu ll y distin gu is h from those ot he r d r a w i n g s called ‘y a n t r a s , ’ be c a u s e they bear some rese m bl anc e. Here are its characteristics: • These mandalas serve as supports for the worship o f divinities. They have no other use. • The y are temporary, being destroyed once the cer emony for which they were built is completed. 4 Sec SP3, Index, p. 737, s.v. “ mandala (qiiclconque).”



They are constructed on a plane and purified area, and oriented. The drawing (made with strings and compass) is geometrical; it often shows a central symmetry (or, if one prefers, an axial symmetry, with reference lo an axis perpendicular to the plane and going through the centre);5 and it is entirely covered with coloured powders (three, four or five different colours)— hence the exact name of these objects: rajom andalas/ ’ • The ir dimensions are sometimes considerable since they vary, depending on the type or the text, from one to eight (according to the Mrgendra) 7 or even eighteen cubits (according to the Matarigaparamesvara), that is to say from ha lf a metre to about fou r or even nine metres. The officiant is there described entering and leaving through ‘d o or s, ’ mo ving around along ‘streets’— instructions that must be taken literally for the bigger structures. Le t us go over the first o f these characteristics; namely, that these mandalas serve as supports for worship. The way to perform this cult will be described in the second part o f this paper, but it will be good at this point to specify the nature o f the worship in question. Here the texts from the Siddhanta diverge from those o f the Trika. While the latter recommend doing all the cults, including the daily cults,8 on a mandala, the vast majority o f the texts o f the Siddhanta insist on using the mandala only for the occasional (naim ittika) rituals9— such 5 T h e sq u are m a n d a la , o f central sy m m e try , with, at its centre, an eig h t-p e ta lle d lotus, is by far the m ost c o m m o n m andala, at least in the norm al cult o f Siva. F o r the o th e r g o d s, the m a n d a la m a y tak e o th e r sh ap es. F o r e x a m p le , a c c o r d i n g to th e M r g e n d r a g a m a (kriyfipiida 8 .3 6 c - 3 7 b ) , the m a n d a la o f C a n d a is s e m i-c irc u la r, and th at o f the g o d d e sse s in voked to sed u ce w o m e n takes the form o f a vulva, an eye or an arc. T h e s h a p e and c o lo u r also vary a c c o rd in g to th e p u r p o s e o f t h e ritu al ( M rg e n d ra g a m a , kriyfipiida 8 .3 7c-38). u T h e re arc, as we will see, d ra w in g s that, by their aspect and th e ir use, partake o f th e n a tu re o f the m a n d a la , b u t th at arc not c o n s tr u c te d by the a c c u m u l a t i o n o f pow d ers. 7 S e e M r g e n d r a g a m a , kriyfip iid a 8.30 and M a t a n g a p a r a m c s v a r a g a m a , k riy a p a d a 1.26a. * Sec, fo r ex a m p le , S v T i , c h a p te r 2, introduction to v erse 155. It is the s a m e fo r the M r g e n d ra g a m a (see note 11). lJ A c c o rd in g to the V ed ic classification, w h ic h in fact d oes not ap p ly well at all to T a n tr ic rituals. T h e p r a tis th fi is g e n e r a l l y t a k e n as an e x a m p l e o f o c c a s i o n a l (n a im ittik a ) rites; but since it is p e rfo rm e d on the initiative o f a p e rs o n w h o w is h e s to a c q u ire m erit, it is s o m e tim e s classified a m o n g the op tio n al ( k a m y a ) rituals. T h e utsavas m ay be spoken o f as ‘o c c a s io n a l’ if one c o n sid e rs th eir perio d icity , b u t they sh o u ld be called ‘o p t io n a l’ on a c c o u n t o f their bein g p e r f o r m e d w ith a definite aim



as the diksa, the pratistha, the p:\vitraroham , the utsava— and the optional ( kam ya) cults, that is to say all the rites performed for a desire-oriented purpose.1" For the daily (nitya) cull o f Siva, even for the private one, they prefer the linga." It is therefore with regard to

in view. T h e p a v itr a r o h a n a (see S P 2 , section II) b e lo n g s lo the 1p r f i y a s c i t t a ' categ o ry , w h ic h is a sso ciated with the occasional rituals out o f c o n v e n tio n only. Finally, the d iksih are said to be ‘o cc a sio n a l’ only from the point o f view o f the g u ru p erfo rm in g the rite; those that are conferred upon the sadhakan to let th em a c q u ire siddhis should lo gically count a m o n g the k a m y a rituals. O n e should note that these long rituals (w h ich spread ov er several days, o f w hich the first days arc u sed for preparatory rites designated by the general term adhivasa) can be p erfo rm ed only by the acarya, if they are public rituals, or by the sadhaka, if th ey are private cults (on the sadh a ka , see B ru n n er 1975), and that il is only these high ra n k e d initiates w h o can tracc and use the rajomamlalas. 10 T h e only m andala described in the SardhatriAatikalottara (7. lab ) is p resen ted in the context o f the ka /v y a k a n n a n , and this show s, according to its co m m e n ta to r, that it c o n c c r n s o n ly the sadlm ka. T h e in te rp re ta tio n e x p re s s e d in this w o r k s e e m s unusual, how ever, Indeed, it must be noted that som e o f the d e sire -o rie n ted rituals that c o n ccrn a g ro u p o f people and not just one person, such as the purificatio n or p acifying (&lnti) rites, can be and usually are perform ed by the acarya. " W ith a few ex cep tio n s, for exam ple, the M rgendra, which d e sc rib e s the daily cult o f Siva on a s th a n d ila b e f o r e c o n s id e rin g the p o ssib ility o f using a lin g a ( M rg c n d ra g a m a, kriyapada 3 .5 4 c - 5 6 b ) . Il is the o p p o site e ls e w h e re , sec, for e x ­ ample, SP1, pp. 2 2 6 - 2 2 9 , verses 102-1 0 3 , w here SomaSambhu, after describ in g the cull on a linga, gives a list o f e q u ally acceptable supports (for Ihe private cult), but c oncludes: liiigc 'p y a tya n ta m uttam am . T h e later w o rk s take in g e n eral a m o re radical position. Q uoting the Purva-Kfiranagama, chapter 30, will suffice, In the first p a ssa g e ( 3 0 . 2 c - 3 b ) , that text lists the different su p p o rts for the p riv a te cult: the personal linga given by the g u m , the sthandila-, oneself; a tem porary (k sa n ik a ) linga\ a m a n d a la ; the w ater. Im m e d ia te ly a f te r w a r d s ( 3 0 . 3 c - 4 b ) , and in a s o m e w h a t d ifferen t list, it assig n s a v alu e to the cults p e rfo rm e d on these supports: the cult p e rfo rm e d on a m a n d a la is rated at 100; at 1000 if p e rfo rm e d on a sthandila-, at 10,000 on a k a u tu k a (p ro b ab ly a n arrow stripe o f cloth with draw in g s, later called pata), and at 10 billion on a linga. dalle ca guruna lingo sih a n d ilc sv a y a m a tm a n i / / k sa n ik c m a n d a te to y c 'p y iitm arthayajannm sm rtatn / im n d a lc tu Satam p u n y a m sth a n d ilc tu sahasnikam / / ayu la m k a u lu k c lingc k o lik o tig n n a m bhavct / ( 3 0 . 2 c —4b) T h e sa m e w ork takes up again the problem a little farther ( 3 0 ,7 - 8 ) , and establishes the fo llo w in g scries, listing the cults in an increasing o rder in term s o f their value: the m en tal cult; the cult on a m an d a la ; on a te m p o ra ry linga\ on a stripe o f cloth (w ith d ra w in g s ? pata)\ on a painted im age (? a b h a sa )\ on an im a g e in the ro u n d (bim ba); on a lin g a (w ith faces, to distinguish it from the next one); on a linga d eprived o f a n th ro p o m o rp h ic traits ( n iskala-tinga}. m anasan m a ndalam srcslhm n m andalat k sa n ik a m param / ksa n ik a t p h a la m u tk fsta m patam caiva (atah param / / p a ta d abhiisam utkrstam abhasat h im h a m ucyalc / b im b a d vai lin g a m utkrstam lingad vai n iska la m param / / (3 0 .7 - 8 )



th e occasional rituals, especially the diksa, that the Siddhanta texts give a description o f the mandala: some will describe only one, like th e Mrgen dra ( kriyapada 8.25c-53) and the Sardhatrisatikalottara (chapter 7), but in general several kinds o f mandalas are suggested for the officiant to choose from (see below), All these mandalas have a complex structure, are rather long to elaborate, and remain present for the complete duration o f the ritual for which they are used. When o n e considers using a mandala for the daily cult o f S i v a , 12 the mandala, which will have to be drawn each day, is o f course much simpler. It is limited to the eight-petalled lotus that occupies the centre o f the larger mandalas. According to the Suprabheda (kriya ­ pada 8 .8), it is drawn on a portion o f the ground previously smeared with cow-dung, while according to other texts it is drawn on a square platform made o f sand and grains named sthandila (thus the frequent confusion between sthandila and mandala). But there is neve r any mention o f coloured powders, The same instructions apply to the mandalas used in the daily cult o f the secondary divinities, such as Surya (see S P 1, p. 71, under [Id]). In all cases, this second type o f mandala corresponds to the following definition; it is a temporary divine image traced, with s o m e exceptions, by the accumulation o f coloured po wd er s and which must be beautiful to rejoice men and gods, I will call it the ‘image-mandala.’ Third type: a limited surface that is squared but has no drawing. W e also find under the name mandala some square surfaces suitably squared and in the boxes o f which the officiant (rapidly) invokes T h e idea, as wc can see, is to exalt the linga as the ideal support for the private cult. A s for the te m p le cull, the q u e stio n d oes not crop up: it can only ta k e a p e r m a n e n t im a g e as its support, that is to say a fixed lihga for &iva, a s c u lp te d im a g e for the goddess. 12 T h e r e arc c ir c u m s ta n c e s w h e n o n e h as to. T h a t is w h a t I s a n a S iv a g u r u d e v a e x p la in s (see TSanaSivagurudevapaddhati, k n y iip iid a 2 0 . 2 3 - 2 7 [= v o lu m e 3, p. 200, 6 - 1 5 ] ) : i f the adept is affectcd by a fa m ily im purity, he can n o t to u c h the linga, nor the fire; he m u st therefore have s o m e o n e else p e rform the public cult, w h ile m en tally re c itin g the m antras; then he m ust h im s e lf perform his daily cult ( c o m p u ls o ry ) on a m a n d a la , a lw a y s m e n ta lly reciting the m antras. O ne co u ld ask if th a t ru le can b e e x p la in e d b y the fact that, the m a n d ala bein g te m p o ra ry , n o im p u rity c o m in g fro m the o ffician t can im p in g e on it definitively, w h ile it w o u ld h a v e a lasting effect on the p e rm a n e n t linga; or if it can be ex p la in e d s im p ly by so m e essential inferiority o f the m a n d a la c o m p a r e d to the lihga: the sim p le m a n d a la u se d h e r e w o u l d be less p re c io u s than any linga, even the te m p o ra ry lihga that w o u ld be a llo w e d in the first hypothesis. See also note 55.


I IliL E N E B R U N N IiR

some divine or evil powers in order lo make them favourable to his cause with a food offering called bali. These halimandalas are found in many rituals, including the daily ritual. The best kn o wn o f these is certainly the one called vastum andala, where 45 gods and 8 demons are worshipped (and fed) before any construction, as well as a( some critical moments associated with a given site. The works o f Stella Kramrisch13 made it famous and loaded it with a symbolism that 1 for one have some difficulty seeing but on which 1 do not have to elaborate here. What I would like to emphasize, however, is that the term vastum nndala, which we use systematically, is rare in the texts with which I am most familiar.14 In the vast majority o f cases, these texts prefer the terms pada and p adavinyasn to refer to these squared surfaces and their construction; the same terms arc used when they describe the division o f any square area (the ground of a sacrificial pavilion, the site o f an agglomeration, etc.) in four concentric zones destined to serve as guides for the ulterior arrangement o f the site.15 In all these cases, we must take the term pada in the sense o f ‘d o m a i n ’ and understand padavinyasa as the attribution o f their respective domain to different entities. However, it will happen that the term mandala be used in this context, and that is why I refer to these squared surfaces as a third type o f mandala— the only one, in fact, for which the translation ‘diag ram ’ is appropriate. I will include in the same category some simple geometrical figures allowing for the distribution o f objects, for example, the square divided in nine boxes which, according to some texts, serve to fix (with the fall o f a flower) the name o f a Saiva initiate;1'’ or the

11 S ee K ram risch 1946, volu m e 1: 2 9 -9 7 . 14 It is not found in this contcxt in the following A gam as: the P iirva-K am ika, the Suprab h cd a, the Ajita and the Kirana no r is it fo und in the M a y a m a ta o r the BrhatS am hita. W c find the w o rd m a n d a la tw icc in the d escrip tio n o f the P u rv a -K a ra n a, oncc balim andala in the Saradiitilaka, once "m a n d a liid hnhyc" in a h a n d b o o k d e alin g with pratisthii, and tw icc the term vasttnnandaki (oncc abbreviated to m an d ala) in the Som aSam bhupaddhati (see SP4, pp. 46 and 386). 15 T h e n am e o f th ese four zones are, starting from the ccntral zone: briihm apada, daivikapada, m a tm s y a p a d a and paiSacapada. A fifth z o n e ca 1led nlksasapada is so m e tim e s added, see M ay am ata, volum e 1, p. 126, note 56 and Figure 9; and SP2, pp. 3 3 2 - 3 3 3 and Plates I and II. T h e te rm pada, w hile referring here to the entire zone, docs not lose the m eaning o f ‘unit b ox.' 16 See S u p rab h ed ag am a, caryapiida 4 . 1 2 - 15b. T h e ccntral box and the four boxes o f the principal directions arc those o f the five B rah m an s: the corncrs b e lo n g to four



s q u ar ed surfaces on which the p a h ca g a vya and other mixtures are p r e p a re d .17 We can call these mandalas ‘distributive diagrams.’ Fourth use o f the term: There is finally one last use o f the term, but it is totally heterogeneous with the preceding ones and does not correspond to a category o f objects that could be integrated into our classification. The mandalas o f which 1 am thinking are not, by the wa y, material objects used for concrete rituals. Even though we can d r a w them, they are mental objects that the imagination must create and which, under certain specific circumstances, serve as supports o f meditation. This is the case with the mandalas o f the five elements m ent io ned in the descriptions o f bhutasuddhi as well as the descrip­ tions o f the subtle body; this is also the case with the three mandalas o f the moon, the sun, and fire (to which a saktimandala is sometimes added) that appear at the upper end o f the throne o f Siva. The idea of cos mi c domain is there inseparable from that o f a geometric symbol, so that the inclusion o f these mandalas with the pr eceding ones be com es impossible and all attempts at a translation fail. W e therefore arrive at three well defined types o f mandalas: the seats, the divine images and the distributive diagrams.18 B. Yantra and Cakra I now resume my terminological exploration by looking at the terms yantra and cakra, on which I will not elaborate so much. But first, here are two preliminary remarks. The first one is negative: to my knowledge, the mandalas that I have ju st discussed, no matter the type, are never called yantras or cakras in the Agamas. I, however, found one exception: the Upao f the six ‘m e m b e r s ’ ( a ngas). T h e p o in t o f fall o f the f lo w e r d e t e r m i n e s the b e g in n in g o f the n am e o f the initiate, see SP3, p. 102. 17 See SP2, p. 320. 18 T h e distin ctio n s b etw een the th ree types o f m a n d a la s are certain ly n o t as clear as this p a p e r leads lo believe. In particu lar, a qu ick o u tlin e o f a lotus or any o th e r a d e q u a te d ra w in g can tra n sfo rm a ‘s c a t ’ into an ‘i m a g e ; ’ j u s t as a d r a w in g th at is a little c o m p le x , m ade, for e x a m p le , with hulled grains on a ra w grains b a c k g r o u n d , tra n sfo rm s a sthandila (see above) into s o m e th in g that co u ld be called a m andala. On the o th e r hand, it also h a p p e n s ( § T 3 . 1 7 c - 1 8 a ) that the v a s tu m a n d a la are c o v e re d w ith c o lo u re d p o w d e r s — a fact that b rin g s th e m c lo s e r to the s e c o n d c a te g o r y o f m a n d a l a s and co u ld c re a te c o n f u s i o n if w c fo rg et this e s s e n tia l d iffe r e n c e : th e vastum andalas do not serve as supports for the cult o f a m ain g o d — they are not even c o n n c c tc d to any particular form o f Hin duism .



game named Vatulasuddha describes in its third chapter, under the title cakrabhedapatala, what is, in fact, an imagc-mandala; it calls it cakra throughout the description, even once yantra. The explanation for this infringement is doubtlessly contained in the final lines o f that section, where it is said that the cakra can be drawn on a bark and kept as an amulet. The Sricakra represents a better known exception. My second remark will again contrast the texts o f the Siddhanta with those o f other schools; the terms yantra and cakra are rarely encountered in the Siddhanta (these terms do not appear in the lists o f appropriate supports for the cult of §iva), while they are frequent elsewhere. It is therefore from the Tantras o f the Trika, in particular the SvT and the NT, that I draw the characteristics o f these objects.19 1) Yanlras are drawings that differ in several ways from mandalas: • They serve only for the kam ya rituals, the desire-oriented rites, and therefore conccrn essentially the sadhaka. The cult based on yantras in fact only marks the first, stage o f their use. Indeed, the yantras are generally kept after the cult and worn as amulets; or buried for subsequent magic rituals; or eaten, after crushing the support and mixing the resulting powder with milk or honey. • They are traced on durable materials: birch-bark ( bburjatvac, bhurjapattra), copperplates, pieces of cloth, and now paper; they are therefore small and mobile. • The representations they carry arc linear.

1,1 O n the basis o f these sam e two T an tras and their co m m e n ta rie s by K scm araja, P ro fe s s o r A lex is S a n d e rso n c o m m e n te d , at (he c o n fe re n c e m e n tio n e d a b o v e (se c Pad o u x 1986: 33), that they confirm ed the distinction that ! m ade b e tw e e n m a n d a la and yantra: “ ...Y our prccisc distinction between yantra and m andala is c o n firm e d by K s c m a ra ja w h o defines the f o rm e r (in its m ore com plex form ) as a c o lle c tio n o f m a n tr a s w r itte n in a p a r tic u la r p attern (on N ’I'2 2 0 .5 9 c : yn n tra c a k ra m v iiis ta sam n ivc& ilikliito m a nlrasam uhah), w hile in its m ost basic form it is s im p ly a spell written on a p iece o f birch -b ark (b h u rja p a tra m ),..." And he c o n tin u e d with a very pertinent rem ark concerning the m ore subtle distinction betw een m andala and cakra: “ As for the s u b tler distinction b etw een m a in ta in and c a kra if the m a n d a la is the adharah (lo c u s) and th e cakra ( o f d eitie s/m a n tra s) the a d h c y a m (lo catcd ), then it w o u ld follow that it is only the former that one can ‘Iracc’ and that w h en one sp eak s o f the m a n d a la to includc the circle o f deities (dcvaiacakrnm ) or m a n tra s (m antracakram ) w o rsh ip p ed in it, then this is by extension of'the prim ary se n se .” W c find a n u m b e r o f d raw ings o f yantras in the h a n dbooks o f p o p u la r T a n lrism , in H indi, a b u n d a n tly d istrib u ted by Indian b o o k sto re s. O f m o re refin ed art, the d raw in g s o f the Balinese sorcerers (see the p o sth u m o u s book, l lo o y k a a s 1980) also have so m eth in g o f (he yantra.



The drawing is engraved (rare) or (more often) traced with a liquid— some ink— made from a variety o f often surprising substances, such as blood and the bile o f a corpse in some cases o f black magic. • The drawing is always completed with the inscription o f letters, of bljas, each o f which makes a divinity present, and o f mantras often containing imperative orders such as: “ Kill such and such!” , “ Heal such and such!” • Their layout and use are secret. T h e dominant idea o f the yantra is contained in its name, derived from the root yam: with a yantra, the sadhaka ‘constrains’ a divinity to carry out a certain action for h i m .20 Just as those other machines b ea r i ng the same name, the ritual yantra is first an ingenious instrument. T he N T keeps mentioning these yantras among the sovereign remedies (for example, N T i 19.198b) and am on g the w ea po ns o f magicians or sorcerers ( N T ] 18.88c). 2) The use o f the term cakra is much less precise. Apparently, it does not refer to a category o f objects different from the mandalas and the yantras. Sometimes, the idea o f ‘w h e e l ’ is obvious, as in the case o f the c a k r a o f t h irt y- tw o Saktis in cl u d ed in the m a n d a l a o f the Sv acchandatantra (9.16ab and 9.24). But the term often simply expresses the idea o f a ‘coll ectio n’ or a ‘m a s s : ’ the mass o f the divinities assembled on the same limited surface. Finally, cakra is frequently used as a synonym for yantra, though we cannot always tell if this practice is due to a lack o f rigour in the vocabulary or to a change o f perspective. In those cases, the author may be talking o f cakra to refer to the mass o f the divinities that are present, or to their configuration, while using the word yantra to refer to the use o f the object. But more research than what I was able to do w o u ld be necessary to arrive at a convincing conclusion on this point. Let us note, however, that the term mandala is never us ed in the designation o f these magic figures (will we call them ‘coercive

20 Sec an o th e r analysis o f the term in K u la rn a v a -T a n tra 6.86 cited in th e S ab d ak a lp a d ru m a (s.v, yantra) as c o m in g from another source:

kamakrodhadidosotthasarvaduhkhaniyantranat / yantram ity lilnir ctasmin dcvah prinati pujitah //



diagrams’?)— cxcept, o f course, for the construction circles or round elements o f the total yant ra, II.

D escription and Hit uni Use o f the Imngc-mnndnlns

A . Im portance I men tion ed earlier that the mandalas were quasi in di spensable elements in the occasional rituals. The chosen mandala is constructed on the altar { vedi) that stands in the centre o f the pavilion (m andapa, more exactly yagam andapa) where the ritual is taking place and it serves as the principal31 support for the worship o f &iva during the few days o f the ceremony. It is therefore present as a divine image, and only as a divine image; that explains why, though that would not be considered a good solution, the mandala can be substituted with a mobile lihga placed on a sthandila, B. Varieties There are tens o f well differentiated forms o f mandalas, each being de sig na ted with a specific term that so m et i m es e x p r e s s e s a characteristic o f the drawing, sometimes the virtue o f the object. The list found in ISanasivagurudevapaddhati, kriya p a d a 8. 3 1- 1 2 3 (= vol ume 3, pp. 77, 8 ~ 85, 6 ) comes down to seven terms: bhadra, sarvatobhadra, p a rva tika n ta , lataiihgodbhava, s v a stik a b ja d v a y a , svastikasarvatobhadra and cakrabja.22 But some other texts are more prolix, such as the ArnSumat, which gives twenty names or s o .23 21 ‘P r i n c i p a l ,’ sincc there arc other s u p p o rts on which &iva must be w o rs h ip p e d du rin g the c e rc m o n y that uses the m andala. In the m a n d a p a itself, aside fro m the g u ru and e v e n tu a lly the disciple, there are, firstly, a vase o f w a te r p la c e d on the n o rth -e a ste rn co rn er w h e re § iv a is in stalled as the g u ard ian o f the sa c rific c and, secondly, the fire (see SP2, pp. 58—80; pp. 8 6 - 8 8 and Plates I-1V). If the c e r c m o n y is o rg a n iz e d by a tem ple, the god o f the sanctuary n onetheless co n tin u e s to rcceivc his cult, so that the priests often feel the need to rem ind through a special ritual the essential identity o f all these apparently distinct Siva(s). 22 T h e list o f the R a u ra v a g a m a (kriyfipiida 2 5 .5 9 - 6 2 ) also counts seven term s, but is so m e w h a t different. T h ere, N.R. Bhatt gives in the notes the co n stru ctio n o f each o f these m andalas, as found in the hitherto unpublished Saivagam npaddhnti. 11 S ee Am&umat 4 3 . 4 0 - 4 7 , quo ted in R a u ra v a g a m a , v o lu m e I, p. 158, note 11. T h e S id d h a n ta sa ra v a li, verses 7 8 - 9 1 , d escrib es ten m an d alas: h it;ilih g n d b h a v a (in tw o s iz e s), n a vanabha, ananlavijaya, bhadra, p u n lk a ra (tw o sizes), latakaralinga, subhadra, iim iikanta and sv a stik a —plus a n o th er one used for the cult o f C anda; and



T h e s e numbers quickly multiply if we take into consideration all o f the possible variations on a same theme, so that we finally arrive at hundreds of di fferent mandalas. Some Agamas maintain that the choice o f the mandala to be used in a given ritual is not arbitrary but depends on the type o f ritual to b e performed (for example, diksa or pratistha). The selection is even m o re limited if we distinguish the private (atm artha) pratistha from the public (parartha) pratistha and, in the case o f the public pratistha, i f we take into account the nature o f the linga, which can be self­ m a n i f e s t (svayam bhuva), e s t a b l i s h e d b y the god s o r o t h e r supernatural beings (daivikadi), or established by men (m a n u s a ).24 Elsewh er e, we are asked to take into account the season or other contingencies o f that order25 or, if it is a diksa, the social class o f the initiate.26 But even if we accept all these restrictions (which not all texts do mention), the definitive choice theoretically remains quite vast, and in the end it is probably some traditions o f the schools that w e r e decisive, each master most probably mastering the construction o f only a small number o f these structures.27 C. D escription o f a Particular Mandala D estined for a D iksa I f 1 just;

spoke in the past tense, it is because the mandala tradition is not so alive in South India anymore.2* W e are left with the texts,

w e find a list o f e lev en in l& ina£ivagurudcvapaddhati, sa m a n y a p a d a 6 . 3 6 - 1 5 2 (= v o lu m e 1, pp. 51, 1 0 - 6 2 , 2). At the o p p o site end, the M a ta rig a p a ra m e s v a ra g a n ia (k riya p a d a 1 .2 6 -5 7 ) describes only tw o m an d alas for Siva and the K iran a (patala 20) o n ly one, as is the ease for the M r g c n d ra g a m a as m en tio n ed earlier. 24 See Am Sum at, loc. cit. 25 See, for ex a m p le , P u rv a -K a ra n ag a m a 110.15c—17:

m andaiam vedikordhve tu vasantadi ca sa d rtu // vasantc svastikabjam ca grtsm c tu sarvabhadrakam / pnlvrt ca bhadrain akhyatani lihgabjam svastikam ta th a // darady cva tu hematite parvatikantamandalam / padm asvastikam fikhyfitam sis ire tu viscsatah // 2,1 See the Saradatilaka, quoted in a S o u th -In d ian h a n d b o o k called D iksadarSa (p. 96, transcript no. 76 o f the Institut Frangais d ’ln d o lo g ie, P o n d ic h e rry ); the sta n z a is not found in the printed editions o f the Saradatilaka : vipratuup sarvatobhadram gauritila tirpasya tu / v a iiy a n fm tu latfilingam iD dranam sv a stik a m b h a vet / / 21 Financial considerations w ere also present, sec note 47. 28 M o s t o f the o ff ic ia n ts n o w use s o m e d r a w i n g s p r e p a r e d in a d v a n c e on c a rd b o a rd or cloth, w hich will seem a b e rra n t if w c think o f all those p a s s a g e s in the


which are rich in long and apparently very detailed descriptions, and should in principle suffice. But alas! Whoever takes with enthusiasm his ruler and pencil to translate these instructions into drawings will soon be disappointed: the descriptions, as long as they may be, are everything but clear. Therefore, all o f the attempts that I have seen o f constructing a mandala strictly 011 the basis o f textual indications have been disappointing: when they were not purely whimsical, the drawings that were proposed were often hypothetical and always incomplete, because a number o f constituting elements could not be identified,w I know the problem quite well for having wrestled with it when translating (he kriyapada o f the Mrgcndra.'1" I still have to situate correctly the thirty-two doors o f the big mandala that is described there, and until recently, more exactly until the conference in Paris that 1 mentioned earlier, a series o f technical terms found in that description remained mysterious to me. To most o f the problems left unanswered up to that point I found the key in a very clear text that I had ignored until then. It is the Saradalilaka o f Laksmanadesika (chapter 3) and its commentary by Raghavabhatta:11 The man­ dala that I could draw (sec Illustration I)” and on which I will

scriptures that explain the virtues o f the m an d alas through those o f the p o w d e rs o f w hich they arc com posed. w F or exam p le, the suiribjam andala o f which Gnoli gives the ‘essential s tru ctu re' in his tra n s la tio n o f the T a n lr a lo k a (1 9 7 2 , b e g in n in g o f p. 5 20) [note by G. Biihnem ann; In the version published in 1999 the diagram ap p ears on p. 614. For a diagram o f the m andala, cf, also Sanderson 1986: 171 and Illustration 2 in P a d o u x ’s f irs t p a p e r in th is b o o k ] ; a n d th e mahrinr.uidah g iv e n by N .R , B h a t t in M atarigaparam esvaragam a, volum e II, Figure 6. ■ “’ S ec M rg e n d ra g a m a , kriyapfida 8.47c—5 1. 31 T h is co m m en tato r, w ho w rote at the very end o f the 15th century, quotes m an y so urces, in p articular several h an d b o o k s from the Siddhanta School. ■ ,2 N o te by G. B iih n em an n : B r u n n e r 's rec o n stru c tio n o f the m a n d a la is a lm o s t identical with the sarvatobhadram andala reproduced in c o lo u r (but not an a ly z e d ) in D ak sh in a ra n ja n Shaslri 1940: 170 and 1963, opposite p. I and Banerji 1978: I76+. B oth o f these b o o k s re p ro d u c e the sa m e m an d ala draw ing. T his must be a p o p u la r d ra w in g since it also appears on the book co v er o f an Indian edition and translation o f the D ev im a h a lm y a (Devi M ah a lm y a m [G lory o f the D iv in e M other]. 700 M antras on Sri D urga, < S anskrit Text and> English Translation by Sw am i J a g a d isw a ra n a n d a, M adras: Sri R a m a k rish n a M ath, fifth im pression, 110 date). B r u n n e r ’s d raw in g can further be c o m p a r e d to the coloured print o f the sa rv a to b h a d ra in G h o s h a l Sastri 1983: 56+ and to a d ra w in g in m anuscript A 2 4 6/25 (labelled tilntrikakarm akanda) preserved in the National Archives, K athm andu, T h e sam e m anuscript also contains a s im p le r variant called la g h u sa rva to h h a d ra For a sim p ler sarvatobhadra/bhadraka, see the sketch in the appendix, p. i in A p t c ’s edition o f the Pauskara-S nm hita (P art 1) and the description o f the m andala in chapter 5 .2 1 - 2 8 o f the text. For a colour print



c om m en t is one o f the mandalas enjoined there for the diksa, the ‘thoroughly auspicious’ one (sarvatobhadra). 1 chose it not only bec aus e I had s uc cee de d in tracing it us in g only the textual instructions and the commentary (to tell the truth, this was not so difficult at all), but because its simple structure allowed me to show an immediate symbolism equally applicable to the other mandalas. The drawing starts with a squaring o f the initial square in 256 (16 x 16) boxes, indifferently called pada or kostha. These boxes are grouped in four zones, the exact dimensions o f which are given in padas in the text and reproduced in the legend that accompanies my drawing. 1) The central zone (A) is called ‘lotus’ (padma) because its space is fully occ up ied by an eight-petalled lotus, the full geome tr ica l description o f which is found in the text. Like all o f the lotuses appearing in the ma ndalas,” this one counts four parts; namely, starting from the centre: the pericarp (karnika); the stamen (kesara), covering the base o f the petals; the petals (patra, da7a), or rather the region where they are visible and knitted together; and the tips o f the petals ( d a la g ra ), not knitted to gether and who se form varies in accordance with the goal in view. 2) The next zone (B), the width o f a pada, is called pitha, a term that must be translated, as we will see, by ‘throne.’ This pitha is made o f four padas and four gatras, and it is the interpretation o f these terms that will give its meaning to the whole structure. Indeed, while pada evidently means ‘foot,’ the meaning o f gatra is far from obvious. I u n d e r s to o d it only w h e n I f o u n d a text (Siddhantasaravali, verse 76) that gives the colours o f these parts as follows, starting from the east: black and white; white and red; red and yellow; yellow and black. That reminded me o f the description o f the second section o f the throne o f Siva, the sim hasana which rests upo n the anantasana. That asana is similar to a low square table

o f the s a m e m a n d a la , see: Prakrti: T h e Integral V isio n . V o l u m e 3: T h e A g a m ic T rad itio n and th e Arts (edited b y B. B a u m e r, N e w D elhi: D.K. P rin tw o rld (P) Ltd ., 1995): 193+, ‘Illu stra tio n ’s P.P. A p te 1,1.’ 33 T h e b ig m a n d a la s, such as the one fo u n d in the M r g e n d r a (see n o te 30) or the m ahatnandala o f the Matariga, usually con tain m a n y lotuses: a central lotus fo r Siva, eig h t p erip h e ra l lotuses for the d iv in itie s o f th e first ‘c i r c l e ’ (m o s t o f the tim e the VidycSvaras), a n d s o m e tim e s still others.



whose four tegs (padas), situated at the corners, each take a different colour. It has on its sides four edgewise boards, n a m e d gatras (because they are imagined as the bodies o f men or animals), that are often referred to as bicolour because each half borrows its co lo ur from the leg to which it is attached.M We should therefore u n d e r ­ stand the pitha o f the mandala to correspond to the sim hasana o f the throne constructed for the cult o f 6 iva.'15 A full confirmation o f this parallelism is given in the Saradatilaka, since upon following its instructions to draw the mandala, wc find the padas and gatras appearing where wc would expect them to appear if we accepted the preceding hypothesis. It is worth noting that, if the pitha is equivalent to the sim hasana, it is the entire square that should be called this way, and not only the zone that projects beyond the lotus. And this is indeed what we find in many works. Now to come back to the lotus itself, one will understand that it is nothing other than the lotus in full bloom, with eight petals, that forms the upper part o f the throne o f Siva, the one generally called padmasana (see S P l , p. 154, note 1) on which the god is seated in order to be worshipped. We therefore arrive at a first conclusion: the central part o f the mandala (the lotus and its pitha) represents the throne o f Siva reduced to its two essential parts; not as it could materially be constructed, but as the practitioner mentally creates it during the cult lo project it on the material pedestal o f the image that he u s e s ,36 Exc ept for that— a better faithfulness to the ritual model— this central part is equivalent to the pedestal (pitha) o f the linga, in particular the lin g a o f a sanctuary. And since the plane projection o f the linga itself would superpose on the karnika, we can vt S e e S P l , p, 162, note 1, quoting A ghoraSivacaryapaddhati, n ity a k a rm a v id h i 35 (p, 88 o f the grantha edition), 3S In fact, to ju s tify the colours o f the g ;ltm o f the m andala, the c o m m e n ta to r o f the S id d h a n ta sa ra v a li (a certain A nantaS am bhu) q u o tes tw o lines a p p e a rin g in the p a d d h a ti o f A gh o raS iv a in the c o n te x t o f the a sa n a p u ja and w hich w c will find q u o ted , w ith the half-;ilo k a that fo llo w s th em , in S P l , p. 163, u n d e r [ 5 0 b ] . A lso , N ara y a n a k aM h a , w hile c o m m e n tin g on M rg c n d ra g a m a , kriyapada 8 . 3 4 - 3 5 , w h ic h discusses the ccntral lotus o f the m andala, refers, for another technical term, to a line o f the S vT tak en from the description o f the throne o f Siva. It is th erefo re certain that the S aiv a m a ste rs o f old w ere fully a w are o f the id e n tific a tio n at w h ic h I painfully arrived— that the p itha o f the lotus in a m andala represents the sim hasana. S e e the a sa n a p u ja in S P l , pp. 1 5 4 - 1 7 6 or S vT [ 2 . 5 5 e - 8 2 . T h e im a g in a ry throne, m ade o f mantras, must ov ersh ad o w the conerele pedestal, j u s t as the form o f SadaSiva that will be visualized will ov ersh ad o w the material linga.



even say that the lotus and the pitha o f our mandala are equivalent, from the point o f view o f the ritual, to the lihga o f a temple, provided with its pitha. 3) Zone (C) is the ‘street’ or i a n e ’ ( vithi) where the officiant moves around during his cult, It is therefore equivalent to the inside space within the garbhagrha o f a temple, where movement is possible. 4) Finally, zone (D) represents the enclosure, constituted here o f four kinds of elements: a) the doors (dvaras), that is to say the passages for entrance and exit; b) the Sobhas, which are not just any ‘embe ll ish me nt s’ (like 1 used to believe, and like some later co m m e n t a t o rs also suggested), but the m onu m ent al doors themselves ( dvarasobhas in architecture);37 c) the upasobhas, o f which I do not kn ow if there exists an architectural m odel;38 d) the ‘corners’ (konas), first called ‘w ea p o n s ,’39 and which in fact vaguely have the form o f a vajra. All in all, the mandala o f the Saradatilaka represents, very sche­ matically o f course, a minimal temple, with its unique enclosure. And, ju st as the architecture o f a temple can become complicated with the addition o f successive enclosures, so the m an da la can b e c o m e co m p l i c a t e d , the b ig g e r ones p r e s e n t i n g up to four enclosures (with two doors on each side, for a total o f 32) .40 In the end we get a kind o f citadel. 37 T h e dva ra 6 o b h a is the e n tra n c e pav ilio n o f the first e n c lo s u r e o f a p a la c e or tem ple, see A ch ary a 1946: 158, 243 and M a y a m a ta 2 4 . 2 - 2 2 (the w o r d is so m e tim e s abbreviated to sobha). * Since s o b h a is s o m e tim e s u s e d f o r dvarasobha, th e w o rd u p a so b h a p ro b a b ly refers to the p av ilio n s th at top the s eco n d ary doors (for the upadvaras, see M a y a m a ta 9 .5 8 - 5 9 b ) , w h ic h should b e called upadvarasobhas. 39 In 6 T 3 . 1 12a, w h ic h a n n o u n c e s th at the tw o m o s t external z o n e s o f p a d a s are re se rv e d f o r d v a r a s , sobhas, upasobhas and astras. C an w e in v o k e here the tridents often seen on the w alls o f te m ples, at the corners? * W e m u s t be c a re fu l not to p u sh the p a r a lle lis m to o far. In p a rtic u la r, the s u c c e s s iv e e n c lo s u re s o f a m a n d a la h o st th e c i r c l e s ’ d iv in itie s ( avaranadevadatas) that the ritual places around Siva, not those that, acco rd in g to o u r A g a m a s , resid e in the c n c lo s u rc s o f tem ples, A n y w a y , it is c lear that th e m a n d a la is not m a d e in the im age o f the te m p le (the o pposite w o u ld be m ore likely): there are s im p ly b e tw e e n the tw o a certain n u m b e r o f essential co rre sp o n d e n c es th at ha v e to b e kept in mind,



Such an assimilation is warranted by the usual appellations o f the mandalas that arc presented as ‘houses’ (bhnvanas) o f Siva; and, for the bigger ones, as towns or citadels (puma). II is confirmed also by the fact that many names given to particular mandalas are also the names o f some types o f towns. H is not likely, however, that we would have arrived at any result in trying lo interpret our man dal a and explain the technical terms that come up in its description if we had started from that observation, since we would not have thought o f trying to understand the central pari of the mandala via the ritual. As far as I am concerned, the work o f interpretation is not complete. However, a clarification o f the technical terms which have not yet been explained would essentially not modify the general vision o f the mandala that I was keen to present. D.

Construct ion o f the Mandala

I now leave the narrow context o f the Saradatilaka to present in a more general manner the ritual activity associated with mandalas. First, their construction. This must be done on the same day o f the ceremony that requires them41 and includes the following steps: 1.


The aa iry a must first purify the ground'12 (leveled and prepared beforehand) and locate appropriately the north-south and eastwest directions. He or his assistant carefully then traces the axes o f the future square, then its sides, and finally the chosen drawing, all o f this with the help o f simple instruments: a cord, white powder and a piece o f chalk. For the straight lines, one stretches between two fixed points the cord covered with powder and, pulling it up by its middle, immediately lets it go so that it hits the ground, leaving a tracc; for the circles, one improvises a compass with a cord o f the desired length and a piece o f chalk attached to one extremity, the other being held fixed. The drawing must be precise and respect scrupulously the given measurements.

41 So, for lhe big rituals, after the ndhivasit, sec S v T ] 3 .9 0 e - 9 1 b w ith c o m m e n ­ tary and 4 .3 4 - 3 5 ; or SP3, p. 228, note 155, 42 T h is instruction is not incom patible with the fact that the m a n d ala is g e n e ra lly traced on a v e d i: the vccli is m ade o f beaten earth and must un d erg o the sam e p u rifi­ cation proccss as any portion o f ihc ground destined to a ritual use,




The acarya then pours some coloured powders on the drawing, in sufficient quantity to form a notably thick layer. Each part o f the lotus and each o f the other elements o f the whole receives a particular colour, duly specified in the text that is followed. Finally, everything must be covered, even the lanes, according to some o f our texts.

Th e fingers used to pour the powders and the way in which to proceed depend on the goal in v i e w .43 The same principle applies to the materials used to get the three, four or five necessary colours. While some Agamas, such as the Kirana, have modest demands in this regard (cereal flour for white, minium or crushed cooked bricks for red, coal or burnt chaff for black, curcuma or ochre for yellow, crashed leaves for green),4'1 others, like the Mrgendra, accept these substances only in the case o f ordinary dlksas, adding that i f one wi shes for special pow er s or good fortune (and this m u s t be applicable to other rituals than the diksa for wh ic h this is said), precious materials must be used; namely, pearls, coral, gold and cat’s eye for white, red, yellow and black respectively; whereas some impure or harmful substances are well indicated for black m a g i c .45 Finally, some works offer different solutions (a good one, a middle one and an inferior one) according to the financial possibilities o f people;46 but we are then br o u g h t b a c k to the opi ni on o f the Mrgendra since it is agreed that in all these cases the one who wishes to get a precise favour from a divinity must not mind the expenses.47 See, for e x a m p le , TSanaSivagurudevapaddhati, k riya p a d a 8 .4 5 c - 4 7 b (= v o lu m e 3, p. 78, 1 6 -2 1 ) (em en d the first w o rd b h u k ty - to m u k ty -), 44 See K iran ag am a 2 0.15—17 b : y a v a g o d h u m a ja is cu rn a ii salitandulajais sitam / dhatusindurajam raktam m rd b h ih p a k v e sta k a ir b h a v e t/ / k rsn a m rajas tusair dagdhair angarair va su cu rn ita m / haridrasam bhavam p ita m g a iriko d b h a va m eva v a / / haritam curnitaih patrair haritais tat p ra k a lp a yet / 4i See M rg c n d ra g a m a , kriyapada 8.39—40. 46 F or e x am p le, S u p ra b h e d a g a m a , caryapada 3 . 6 1 c - 6 5 su c c e ssiv e ly p ro p o se s for white, red, black and yellow: a) pearls, rubies, sapphires, gold; b) shells, ja tilin g a (?), c ollyrium (krsnanjana), realgar (m anassila); c) ricc flour, cooked bricks, burnt cereals, curcum a. All o f this must o f course be crushed. 47 T h a t is w h y the p a s s a g e s th at e n jo in the u se o f p recio u s stones an d g o ld m u s t not be c o n sid e re d m erely as theoretical. To be sure, m o s t o f th e adepts, in o rd e r to m e e t w ith these textual injunctions, m u s t h ave b e e n satisfied w ith m ix in g , f o r each



These precisions provide us with a double teaching. The first is that the use o f mandalas was a standard practice for the desireoriented rituals. This is amply confirmed by a nu m b er o f o t h e r instructions concer ning (lie form o f the tips o f the petals, the thickness o f the lines, the number o f ‘circles’ o f divinities to be worshipped around Siva, etc. The insistence on these details could lead one to believe that despite the Agamic passages systematically associating the mandalas with occasional rituals, it is for the ka m ya rites that these multicoloured drawings were first conceived. But that does not assimilate the mandalas to the yantras. Contrary to the yantra, the mandala used in a kfunyn ritual certainly is not the direct instrument in the action to be performed: it is not a ma gi ci an ’s tool, but simply a means, for the sadlmku, to obtain the favour o f a chosen deity. By wor ship pin g it on a splendid and costly support, he improves his chances o f pleasing the deity and, as a consequence, o f obtaining the boons that he craves. The second teaching to get from these same passages is essential: our authors believed in the intrinsic virtue o f the materials used in the fabrication o f the powders. In general, they seem to consider as obvious the fact that precious substances bring good fortune,^ and harmful substances misfortune. In addition to that, some texts give a more precise teaching concerning the correspondence between the

colour, a pinch o f a p recious m aterial with a c h c a p c r one; but th ere m ust have b een others rich eno u g h to c o v e r at least a small, or even a big, m a n d ala w ith these co stly pow ders. W e must recall, w hen reading our texts, that there w as no lack o f m o n e y in M iddle A ge Indin, csp ccially a m o n g the kings or princes w ho, m o re often than not, w ere those w h o spon so red the im portant rituals. T hat is w h y 1 tend to b e lie v e that m a n d a la s m a d e o f p rc c io u s s to n e s w e r e a c tu ally c o n s tru c te d ; n o t f re q u e n tly o f c o u rs c , and th e y w e re p r o b a b ly not v e ry big, but I do not b e lie v e th a t th e ir descriptions arc purely theoretical. W e should also note that these m aterials w ere not lost for e v erybody; they b ecam e the property o f Ihe main officiant, like all the rest o f the m aterial used in the yiigam andapa (see SP4, p. 251, verse 72bc). T o think that s o m e ficiirya co uld h a v e p u sh ed their rich d iscip les to e n g a g e in such s u m p tu o u s ex p en ses is a step that we m ay or m ay not want to lake. N ote also that financial co n sid e ra tio n s a lread y play a role in the c h o ic e o f the m an d ala, the b ig g e r and m ore com p lex o nes requiring b ig g er quantities o f co lo u red p o w d e rs. Sec R a u ra v a g a m a , kriyftpuda 25.60(1 w h ic h , after d e sc rib in g se v e n m a n ­ dalas, ad d s that one will c h o o s e a m a n d a la a c c o r d in g to his o w n m e a n s (y a th a vibhavam ). 4* It must be noted here that each o f the precious stones p o sse sse s a given virtue, but that docs not seem to be the first reason for their use in the m andala.



colours, some deities and some fortunate effects;49 but these indica­ tions vary too much between the sources to speak o f a solid tradition and a real conviction. The only point on which everybody agrees is that these powders make the mandala powerful— an idea repeated over and over. E. W orship o f Siva on the M andala N o mantra is enjoined during the construction o f the mandala. Once completed, the mandala therefore is not yet a divine image— no more than a carved linga, before the pratistha ceremony. It will b ec o m e one wh en the cult will have br ought Siva and the p o w e r s that accompany him down on the mandala. That cult, again, is a cult o f Siva on the mandala, not a cult o f the mandala as such, despite the term mandalapuja sometimes used. It is performed like the lihgapuja, a cult o f Siva on a linga:50 • The stages o f the puja are the same, with the difference that, the support be in g te m p o ra ry , the invitation ( avahana) a n d the dismissal ( visarjana) o f the god must be u n de r st o o d in the strictest sense. It goes without saying that the ablutions are made mentally. • The mantras recited are also the same, m o s t especially the phonic seeds ( bijas) that are their essential part since, properly pronounced, they make present the divinities o f which they are

49 S e e , f o r e x a m p l e , th e p a s s a g e o f th e M a h a k a p i l a p a n c a r a t r a q u o t e d b y R a g h a v a b h a tta (p. 123, 1 7 -2 2 ) in his c o m m e n ta r y on S T 3.124. E a c h co lo u r— five, in that text— is co n n c c tc d w ith an ele m e n t, p la c e d u n d e r the influence o f a d ivinity and s u p p o s e d to bring a specific effect. T h ese effects, in reality, are all o f the sa m e order, that is to say the destruction o f d e m o n ic po w ers; the result is s im p ly that “the gods are h a p p y .” T h e p o s itio n o f the S u p ra b h e d a g a m a ( caryapada 3 . 5 6 c - 5 9 ) is d iffe re n t b u t n o t m u c h m o r e c o n v in c in g . T h a t text, e v e n th o u g h it s u g g e s ts five c o lo u r s for the m an d ala, only sp e a k s o f the sy m b o lis m o f the colours w hite, red and black , w h ic h it n a tu rally c o n n e c ts to the th re e g u n a s and th e th re e g o d d e s s e s (V arna, J y e s th a and R audrl). In a last p a ssa g e it says that th e y e llo w is a d d ed “ in o rd er to o btain the fruit from th e yaga." On the s y m b o lism o f c olours and their m ag ic use, se c G o u d ria a n 1978, c h ap ter 4. S) T h a t c u lt is d e s c r ib e d in all the T a n tr a s an d h a n d b o o k s . S e e th e n u m e r o u s references g iv e n b y N .R . B h a tt in his edition o f the Ajita, c h a p te r 20, note 1. A m o n g the texts q u o te d there, on ly the K irana, the M a ta h g a p a r a m e s v a r a and the M r g e n d r a are e a r lie r th an th e S o m a § a m b h u p a d d h a t i w h o s e d e s c r ip tio n ( S P l , s e c tio n HI), though concisc, is com plete, logical an d one o f the m o s t reliable o n e s w e have.



the sound body. The officiant imposes them (by mean s o f flowers) unto the mandala as he would do on a linga and its pedestal. The result is that the group o f divinities that inhabit the mandala when all the invocations are completed is identical to the group o f divinities who inhabit the sanctuary o f a temple (or what stands for it in a private cult) during the cult o f Siva. That these divinities be represented or not on the mandala by a parti­ cular symbol (lotus, svaslika, etc.) is o f no importance what so ­ ever. The meditations and visualizations are (hose involved in any cult; they have no special features that would link them to the particular structure o f the mandala. Moreover, the texts do not mention any mental ‘co ur sc, ’ leading, for example, from the periphery to the centre, as is enjoined in other traditions. There is indeed a motion, but it is on the whole a centrifugal one imposed by the normal enacting o f the puja. Starting from the central lotus, where the throne o f the god, then the god, arc successively worshipped, the cult progressively includes the peripheral deities by enlarging cach time the concerned circle (iivararui). The se remarks remain true in the case o f a diksa: though said to be indispensable, the mandala is treated like any other cult support, without any particular role; and it is used as it would be in the context o f another ritual, a pavitrarohana, for example. In other words, the Saiva diksa does not take advantage o f the particular form o f the mandala o f which it requires the construction.51

F. Virtues and S ym b o lism o f the Mandala If the Saiva mandalas are neither privileged means o f reintegration, nor direct instruments o f initiation, then what proper quality do they possess that makes them more appropriate for some rituals than other cult supports? I already mentioned the particular virtue attributed to the powders o f which they are made, and the incessantly repeated affirmation that, because o f them, the mandala is a powerful image. Another characteristic often advanced is its beauty, due to the brightness and 51 S o m e texts, su c h as the M rg e n d ra an d the S v T , su g g e st the u se o f th e b ig m a n d a la to fix th e n a m e o f the initiated disciple. But this ritual can be d o n e on a very sim p le ‘d is trib u tiv e ’ m andala, and it is certainly not for this p u rp o se th at the rajom andala is constructed.



the richness o f the colours used, The initiate w h o constructs the mandala is asked to make it “ as beautiful as possible.” Through the fineness and exactitude of the drawing, the precision o f the colouring and the good taste evinced in the confection of the ornaments that are left to his initiative, the officiant must strive to create a perfect image. Is it to rejoice men, as it is sometimes su ggested— or to charm the gods, as other texts would have it? 52 Probably both. Faced with a splendid mandala, men are happy and feel their love o f the gods growing,53 and the gods are better disposed toward men. We must admit that for cults that are performed in an open pavilion, exposed to the view, beauty and brightness o f the support are no negligible qualities. However, it seems that a statue or a richly draped lihga54 would be ju st as impressive to the spectators (and probably also to the gods and I tend to believe that, despite the importance given to aesthetics in the Ag am as , the choice o f a mandala as the support o f a cult is more dictated by faith in its intrinsic power than by the desire to create beauty.55 Or could there be more pertinent reasons? One would hope to find further justification for the eulogy of the man dal a throug h other considerations than the nature o f the pulverized materials and the brightness o f their colours, to dig out o f the arid texts the profound signification o f these objects that other traditions have loaded with so many virtues . W e naturally think o f the cosmic symbolism56 on wh ic h all the authors who discussed the question have insisted. And, certainly, we cannot deny that even the very simple mandala that I tried to analyze possesses one. But that same symbolism exists in the pair formed by 52 See TA 3 1 . 4 led . 53 T h e S u p r a b h e d a g a m a g o e s further: the m e re v is io n o f the m a n d a la c lean ses from all sins (caryapada 3.2); the soul is deliv ered fro m all the fetters that tu rn e d it into a p a i n (ca rya p a d a 3.41 ab). Such p a ssa g e s, w h ich o f co u rse m u s t n o t b e taken literally, at least sh o w the im p o rta n c e o f the v isio n o f th e m a n d a la — n e v e r e q u a te d , to m y k n o w le d g e , to the dartiana o f the g o d w h o inhabits it: the id e a is to see the e xterior form itself. 54 Just as the m andala, but con trary to the fixed linga o f the s a n ctu ary o f a tem p le, these m o b ile im ages can be seen by all. 55 W h y th e n is th e m a n d a la d is q u a l i f i e d f o r th e d a ily ritu al, at le a s t in the S id d h a n ta ? I can only see one logical reaso n for this: the fact that the m a n d a la s used fo r d a ily rituals are, as w e h a v e seen, n e c e s s a rily s im p le , p r o b a b ly d e p r iv e d o f c o l o u r e d p o w d e r s , an d th e r e f o r e s h a r e n o n e o f th e v ir tu e s a t t r i b u t e d to the rajom andalas. T h e question, h o w ev er, m erits further in vestigations. % On the s y m b o lism o f colours, see n o te 49.



a lihga and its pitha, in the temple, in the city; and it is not expressed here with any more precision or enthusiasm than there. We must be careful not to give in to our imagination or our desires and add to the texts that we have at our disposal; and these texts do not encourage us to do so. To my knowledge, they do not even make explicit the immediate symbolism that makes the mandala a miniature temple or even a city, though it is suggested by their vocabulary. They dwell even less on that cosmic symbolism with which we Westerners are so obsessed. It is not that they ignore it, but they leave it to the description o f the ritual as such to bring out the correspondences between the different parts o f the mandala and the cosmic realities, and it seems vain or even dangerous to want to add more. It is by orienting the research in that direction, that is, by analyzing closely the rituals that have mandalas as their support or pretext, that we must attempt to bring some precision to those symbolisms, instead o f desperately trying to make them come out o f the static structure o f these same objects. Conclusion I am afraid that many readers will be disappointed, or even shocked, by my stripping the ancient Saiva mandalas o f everything that the imagination, drawing from other sources, had superimposed on them. However, by bringing them back to what I consider their real status, that o f divine images, no more and no less charged with symbolism than the others, but characterized by the special power provided by the powders o f which they are made and by the power o f seduction that results from their beauty, I have not deprived the mandalas o f all signification. Rather to the contrary. However, I did separate them, much to my regret, from our mental model of the mandala, the one found in Tibetan Buddhism. I will not try to explain this troubling disparity between the two schools, but hope that future research will bring some light on this point. My purpose here was simply to bring out the testimony o f the Saiva texts on the nature and ritual function o f the mandala.



gatra (4 squares)

pada (3 squares)

dvara (6 squares) length unit

sobha (4 squares)

square unit (pada)

upasobha (4 squares) ko n a or astra (6 squares)

4 zones: A = main lotus (6 x 6 = 36 squares) B = pitha (1 unit wide: 28 squares) C = v ith i (2 units wide: 80 squares) D = dvaras + Sobhas + upasobhas + konas (112 squares) (The entire mandala consists o f 256 squares.) 1. T h e sarvatobhadram andala reconstructed a ccording to the Saradatilaka and R a g h a v a b h a tta ’s com m entary



Judit Torzsok Introduction This study is very much inspired by and indebted to A. Sanderson’s excellent article (Sanderson 1986) on the way in which various texts o f the Trika school o f Saivism encoded their superiority to other schools in their mandalas. It aims at examining some Saiva mandalas not examined by Sanderson, most o f which are not based on the trident image used in the Trika. I shall try to explore h ow these images represent the relationship o f certain branches o f Saivism with other Saivas as well as with non-Saivas and h ow these relationships are visually translated in the image o f the mandala. The discussion on mandalas as icons o f inclusivism is preceded by a short ter mi ­ nological investigation and a summary o f some problems concerning initiation mandalas. Most o f the texts considered here and consequently the mandalas they describe date from before the Kashmirian exegetes, i.e., before the 1Oth-1 1th century A.D. Occasional reference is m a d e to later texts such as the IsanaSivagurudevapaddhati. Although evidence has been brought together from various branches o f Saivism, there are a number o f demonstrably early Tantras that have been omitted from the discussion.1 Thus, this study does not present a synthesis o f all * I w o u ld lik e to thank Paul and G u illa u m e C o a ta len for h a v in g prepared the m andala illustrations, and I d ed ica te this e s s a y to them. I thank P r o f e s s o r A l e x i s Sand erson for a printout o f a draft articlc on m and alas he g a v e m e s o m e years ago, w h ic h I h a v e lost unfortunately and thus ca n n o t cite. 1 h a v e tried to a v o id t o p ic s I r e m em b e r he d is c u s s c s there in detail and h o p e not to h a v e p la g ia rize d a n y th in g u n c o n s c io u s ly . I thank P ro fes so r Gudrun B iih n e m a n n for d ra w in g m y attention to and correctin g a w kw a rd p oints in m y argum ent and style; 1 am f u ll y r e sp o n s ib le for w h a tev e r rem ains uncorrected, o f course. 1 From the d e m o n s tr a b ly early S idd ha n ta s, t w o important tex ts h a v e not b een in clu d ed in the d is c u s sio n , altho u g h they contain relev a nt in form ation : the S arva-



the material one could have access to, but is to be considered the su mmary o f a work in progress. This, to some extent arbitrary, choice o f sources means that whatever conclusion is drawn here is limited and needs to be tested on further evidence. Moreover, the discussion on mandalas as icons o f inclusivism focuses only on two texts teaching the worship o f Bhairava: the Svacchandatantra (SvT) and the Netratantra (NT). 1 Mandalas and Cakras The Sanskrit term mandala and its several meanings have been an a­ lyzed in detail in the Saiva context by Brunner 1986: 13-18 (cf. Brunner, pp. 156-161), and the word has been subjected to some analysis in almost everything that has been written on mandalas. Without reiterating the arguments and all the meanings here, there is one point which is perhaps not unnecessary to reconsider: the question o f the difference between the terms mandala and cakra. Both words have the general meaning o f circle, and thus by e x ­ tension they can both denote a circle o f deit ies or mantras (which are the same, since Tantric deities are mantras and spoken o f as such): devatacakra. That in this meaning the two words are interchangeable can be shown by a number o f passages, for instance, in the Siddhayogesvarimata,2 in which both terms arc used when the visualization of a circle o f Yoginis or mothers (m atr) is proscribed.1' But the inter­ changeability o f these terms is reflected in more than their use in the same context. Looking at the description o f the circles o f Yoginis in the same text, it is somewhat confusing for the reader that in the same passage, the central deity— usually a Bhairava— is described as placed on the pericarp o f a lotus or on the hub o f a wheel, and the surrounding deities are said to be on the petals o f a lotus or on the jnanottara, w h o s e full text is a v a ila b le o n ly in m a n u scr ip ts to w h i c h 1 h a v e no a cccss; and the Kirana, w h o s e on ly edition (D evakottai 1932) is a lso u navailable to m e at present. For the dating o f early Siddhantas, s e e G o o i l a ll ’s introduction to his e d itio n o f the Kiranavrtti, pp. x x x v if f . 1 have a lso om itted m a nd a la s o f t w o texts tea c h in g m ore cs o tc ric Y a m a la and g o d d e s s worship : the B r a h m a y a m a la and the Jayadrathayamala. T h e y teach several m andalas, s o m e o f w hich h a v e been d is c u s s e d in Sanderson 1986. M oreover, no Kaula sources are included, 2 T h e Sid d hayogeSvarrm ata is o n e o f the root-texts o f the K ash m irian Trika, w h ich I h a v e very tentatively dated to around the seven th century A .D . in T o r zs o k 1999a: vii. 3 S ee, for instance, verses 2 2 .2 3 and 2 8 , 4 0 for mandala and 21.1 for cakra,



spokes o f a wheel. The words describing the circle o f deities as a wheel or as a lotus are mixed up, showing that what matters here is simply a circular arrangement: the lotus terminology recalling a typi­ cal mandala with the lotus in its centre and the wheel terminology confirming that the same arrangement can be called a cakra.4 However, in spite o f this confusion o f lotuses and wheels only the w o r d man dal a is c o m m o n l y used w hen an actual dr aw i n g is described or referred to in a text, i.e., one following a rather precise outline and coloured with powders. This confirms what was stated by Sanderson in a discussion recorded in Padoux 1986: 33: the fact that mandala normally denotes the locus o f worship ( adhara) and the cakra [of deities or mantras] is what is located on it (adheya). Therefore, instructions to trace or draw (likh-) a diagram and to fill it with coloured powders are given for mandalas, but not for cakr as.5 This is not contradicted by the fact that the circle o f deities is so m et i m es called m a n d a l a as an alternative, for that ca n be considered a metaphoric usage as noted above. But the consistent use o f mandala and the lack o f the word cakra in contexts o f elaborate drawings show that the former does indeed denote the locus o f worship, at least in an early stratum of texts.6 There are nevertheless a few examples in which it seems that instruction is given to draw a cakra. However, in these cases the cakra is not the full circle o f deities, for what is enjoined is that one is to draw an actual wheel with a hub, spokes and a circumference. Such instruction is given, e.g., in S v T 2 9.16ff., prescribing that a wheel is to be drawn outside the central lotus o f the ma nd ala .7 Thus, this cakra is an equivalent image o f the lo tu s rather than that o f the J S e c , for e x a m p le , a d escrip tion starting w ith v e r s e 2 2 . 2 5 m e n tio n in g a lo tus

(padma) and fin ish in g w ith the w h e e l t er m in o lo g y in verses 2 8 - 3 1 . 5 A s noted in the sa m e d is c u ss io n by Sanderson, the t e r m in o lo g y o f the Srividya is a s p ecia l ca s e, and probably reflects a later and lo o s e r u s e « f the terms cakra and yantra. 6 T h is w a s q u e s tio n e d b y Brunner in the sa m e d is c u s s io n , referrin g to the S v T and the N T , w h ic h a l l e g e d ly u s e the w ord cakra for the d ra w in g itself. S in c e no r e f e r e n c e s are g i v e n there, and s in c e 1 m y s e l f h a v e not f o u n d a n y appropriate e x a m p le s — o n ly actual w h e e ls w hich are to be draw n inside a m andala or yantra and w h ic h are d is cu sse d b e lo w — it s e e m s doubtful w heth er such co n fu s io n o f cakra and m a n d a la is present in th e se texts. N e v e r t h e le s s , no firm c o n c l u s i o n can b e drawn until all th e se texts are ava ila b le in elec tr o n ic form to facilitate su ch t e r m in o lo g ic a l searches. 7 T h is p a s s a g e is m en tio n ed as an e x a m p l e fo r the m e a n in g ‘w h e e l ’ in Brunner 1986: 2 0 (cf. Brunner, p. 163).



mandala, and when its drawing is enjoined, it forms part o f a mandala, but does not replace it. A similar idea may underlie the combined lotus-wheel image described in the Isanasivagiirudevapaddhati, kriyapada 8.10 6-1 23, which calls it a mandala o f the wheel and the lotus (cakram bujamandala). The text is rather corrupt and appears to give several alternatives at the same time. However, it is clear from verse 109 that at least in one o f the versions, there is a lotus in the centre, and the lines drawn from the centre to the tips o f the petals and to where the petals are joined are to be lengthened further, outside the lotus, to form the spokes o f a w h e e l / Here again, one has to draw a wheel just as one is to draw a lotus, but the result, the whole o f the image, which includes the passageway outside it ( v lth i), the doors, etc., is called a mandala. Tha t the m an d al a is the wh ol e o f the draw ing itself is also confirmed by the synonyms used for it: b h a v a n a v e s m a n ,w and pura" — words denoting house or abode, i.e., the place where the deities reside.12 It appears that the mandala is also identified as the seat (pitha) o f the deity or deities, probably in the sense that it is the locus o f the deities,13 although this very word also denotes a central part o f the m andala .14 * N o t e that it is pointed out in verse 106 that in this c a s e there is no pitha in the s e n s e g iv e n in A p p e n d i x 1, i.e., the ccntral circular im a g e is not su rrounded b y a sq ua re-sha p ed scat. T h is is probably b c c a u s e the lotus is surrounded by the w h e e l itself, w h ich m a y be co n sid ered to rcplacc the scat. 9 M e n t io n e d in Brunner 1986: 25 (cf. Brunner, p. 170) w ithou t e x a m p le s ; s e e , e.g., S v T 2 5 ,34d. A sim ilar w ord, bhuvana is used in the NiS vasa, fol. 2 5 v 5 f f ., w h i c h I understand to be a varia Icctio for bhavana. 10 E.g., S v T 2 5.19. " S e e , for e x a m p le, S v T2 5 .19. 12 W h i le the first tw o w o r d s m ean a bode or r e s id e n c e in their first s e n s e , pura d e n o te s a to w n or city as its first m ea n ing . This m a y be the reason w h y Brunner 1986: 25 (cf. Brunner, p. 170) interprets the term to denote larger m a nd a la s (w ith o u t g i v in g e x a m p le s ) . H o w e v e r , as Brunner remarks, larger m a nd a la s do not s h o w any sp ecia l relation to city plans or a nything related to towns. Therefore, it s e e m s quite p o s s i b le that pura is used in the s e n s e ‘a b o d e ’ rather than ‘t o w n ’ in the c o n te x t o f m andalas, e s p e c ia l l y i f w e co n sid er that as the a b o v e e x a m p le s s h o w , the S v T u s e s pura as a s y n o n y m o f other d esig n a tio n s w ithout a n y apparent distinction. M o r eo v e r, S id d h a y o g e ^ v a rlm a ta 2 5 . 8 and Mrgcndra, k riy a p a d a 8 . 2 9 c use the term pura to d e n o te square m andala s o f 2, 3 or 4 hastas on each side, w h ic h arc d efin ite ly not o f extraordinary size. 13 T h is is h o w I understand the u se o f the word in a p p o sitio n to m a n d a la in a citation o f the S idd hayogeSvarlm ata g iv e n by Jayaratha a c / T A 3 1 .8 b . T h e S id d h a yogeS varim ata s e e m s to id entify p;7/iawith mandala in a m c t o n y m i c w a y . N o t e that



In short, the term cakra does not seem to be particularly vague and its use does not appear particularly inconsistent; it has primary and secondary as well as metaphoric meanings just as the term mandala. B u t as far as the terminology of mandalas as more complex images is concerned, I think it can be safely affirmed that mandala usually den ot es the whole o f a particular image onto whi ch deities are placed. Cakra either denotes an actual wheel as part of such drawings o r refers to the deities themselves. M o re o ve r, cakras are not neces saril y associated with yant ra s— small draw ing s on durable material including mantra syllables, used as charms— in particular. 15 T he y are only associated with yantras inasmuch as mantra-deities or rather their seed syllables (bija) can be incised in a circular design (cakra) on these charms. This short terminological investigation leads us to the question o f h o w these circles o f mantra-deities are present on a mandala. This subject, the visualization and placement o f mantra deities on the mandala, is usually treated as a topic distinct from the drawing o f the mandala, for indeed the mandala is only one o f the supports onto which deities can be projected and visualized. Moreover, the way in wh ich deities are to be seen or meditated upon does not depend on the support, but on the purpose of the ritual. Th e sa me deity or deities can be visualized as more frightful for rites to acquire lower supernatural powers and as milder for appeasement and the like.16 Even if the visualization o f deities can vary considerably for siddhis, there appears to be a standard visualization for initiation. And in the c o n te x t o f initiation, it sh ould be r e m e m b e r e d that w h a t the practitioner o f a ritual is supposed to see in a mandala is not only the geometric drawing, but the deities placed on it. Consequently, when texts emphasize how the initiate is impressed by seeing the mandala for the first time, especially at the time o f his preliminary initiation (sam ayadiksa), it is not the precision o f the drawing or the beauty o f the colours that produce this effect, but the fact that the initiate sees this p a s s a g e is not found in the short recension edited in T o r zs o k 1 9 9 9 a and T o r z so k

forthcoming. 14 S e c A p p e n d ix 1, Illustration 1 and Colour Plates 1 6 - 1 7 . 15 A s s u g g e s t e d b y a s u m m a r y in B r u n n e r 1 9 8 6 : 1 8 - 2 0 ( c f . B r u n n e r pp 161-164). ’ 16 S e e , e .g ., S id d h a y o g c sv a rim a ta 2 8 . 2 9 - 3 0 and 2 2 , 2 7 - 2 9 and 3 8 for the sattvika/ rajasa/tamasa v is u a liz a tio n s o f Y o g in is . S e e a lso various fo r m s o f B h a ira v a , a l o n g ­ s id e S v acch an dab hairava, such as Kotaraksa, ctc., in S v T 2 9.3ff. and form s o f SadaSiva in Mrgendra, kriyapada 3 . 4 Iff. and com m en tary. S e c a ls o Sand erson 1990: 68.



the deity or deities.17 This is clear from passages which do no t prescribe an elaborate and colourful mandala at the time o f this initiation, but one draw n up quickly with sa nd alw ood p as te (m andalaka).'K Such a simple mandala surely cannot impress the initiate by its exceptional beauty. Furthermore, Ksemaraja also explains ad SvT2 3.128 that when the blindfold o f a new initiate is removed and he sees the mandala, he is enlightened, and is thus able to see the d e it y .19 Th e text o f the Tantra itselF suggests the interpretation that the removal of the blindfold is symbolic, as if it was the removal o f the darkness o f ignorance. The Tantra also states that what the initiate sees are the deities.2” Ksemaraja goes on to say that since this is the first time the initiate sees the Lord af ter thousands o f births, he is very much surprised, looks at him again and again and falls on the ground. This shows that he can be possessed by Siva, for he has discarded the [false] perception o f identifying his self with the body and so forth [instead o f Siva].21 W h a t is imp orta nt in the above lines o f the Sv T and its commentary is not simply the fact that the deities are present in the mandala (which is quite obvious), but that for initiates they are visible there. Therefore the deities should be considered to form part o f the visual appearance o f the mandala once they are installed on it.22 Moreover, it must also be remembered that these deities are normally not represented by icons because they are too powerful and consequently too dangerous to be depicted.2'’ Thus, it is when they are installed on a mandala that their visual aspect seems to be the


T h i s a s p c c t i s w o r t h e m p h a s i z i n g , f o r B r u n n e r 1 9 8 6 : 3 0 ( c f . B r u n n e r , p.


t r i e s t o a r g u e t h a t it c o u l d b e t h e e x t e r n a l a p p e a r a n c e o f t h e m a n d a l a tha t m a k e s it sp ecia l. Is S e e , e . g . , S v T 2 3 . 9 0 .

|,J pragavastho yah pasuh sa idanim cva prabuddhah ... punah punar bhagavantam iksate. 21 ... m ukham udghiitya darsayct / vidyamanfraganaih sardham karanain sasadasivam / ajnanapatanirmuktah prabuddhah pasur iksa te/ dandavad dharanim gatva pranipatyapunah p u n a h / 21... at a cva janm asahasrapurvabhagavatsvarilpavalokanad vism ayavistah punah punar bhagavantam iksate I dandavadgamancna dehadipramatrtapahastanat srisivasamavc£anusaranc yogyatasya darsila. n S u c h a n i m a g e , i n c l u d i n g t h e d e i t i e s , i s r e c o n s t r u c t e d in S a n d e r s o n

1986: 187

( t h e d r a w i n g i s r e p r o d u c e d a s I l l u s t r a t i o n 3 in P a d o u x ’s fir s t c o n t r i b u t i o n t o t h i s book ). 25 T h i s p o i n t is d i s c u s s e d b r i e f l y b e l o w , in s u b s e c t i o n ii o f s c c t i o n 2 .



m o st prominent. It is there that each o f th em is represented in drawing by his or her distinct place such as a petal o f a lotus, which serves not only as a locus or support o f worship, but perhaps also as a crutch for those who perform the elaborate visualization. The moment o f seeing the mandala with the deities is considered so important that its mention can metaphorically refer to the whole ritual o f initiation.24 However, mandalas are not used exclusively at the time o f initiation, although for some— or p os sib ly eve n for most— initiates the ritual o f initiation may actually be the only time they see a m a n d a l a .25 As pointed out in a n u m b e r o f s tu d ie s ,26 mandalas are mentioned as optional supports for daily worship and they figure quite prominently in rites to acquire supernatural powers ( sid d h i). No special mandalas are prescribed for regular worship; the mandalas used in regular worship are just small-size reproductions o f initiation mandalas. In what follows, focus will be laid on initiation m an da la s and mandalas used for the acquisition o f supernatural powers. 2 Initiation M andalas and their R o le i. The Tw o Initiation M andalas It has been pointed out in various discussions27 that just as there are two major parts o f Saiva initiation,28 there are two different mandalas 24 S e e , e . g ., Paratrim£ika 19 and -la g hu v rtti ad loc. T h e tex t s a y s that e v e n w it h o u t s e e i n g the m a n d a la , o n e w h o k n o w s the d o ctrin e o f this text b e c o m e s in itiated. T h e s e e i n g o f the m a n d a la is thus co n sid e r e d the p rin cip a l e l e m e n t o f initiation, as the c o m m e n ta r y c o n fir m s, sa y in g that it in clu d es rites from the night spent at the p la ce o f w o rsh ip (adhivasana ) up to the fire ritual, i.e., initiation proper. T h e S iddhayogeSvarim ata has the c o lo p h o n samayamandala at the en d o f the ch apter d e sc rib in g the w h o le samaya rite, w h ic h a lso s u g g e s t s that the prin cip al e le m e n t o f the rite is co n sid ered to be the mandala itself. 25 T h is m a y be the ca s e o f s o m e o n e w h o aspires on ly for liberation and w h o d o e s not take the trouble to draw up a m andala for d aily w o r sh ip , w h i c h w a s p rob ably a rather laborious procedure (on this, se e Sanderson 1986: 170, n ote 3). A t s o m e point this w a s perhaps the m ost c o m m o n categ o ry o f initiates. 26 E .g ., Brunner 1986: 2 0 - 2 1 (cf. Brunner, pp. 1 6 4 - 1 6 5 ) and S a n d er so n 1986: 169-170. 27 S e e , for in s ta n c e, P a d o u x 1986: 3 4 , S a n d e r s o n 1 9 8 6 : 1 9 6 , n o te 12 8 and Brunner in S P 3 , pp. x x x - x l i i i . a In s o m e traditions, there is a ls o a third part b e t w e e n w h a t I call h ere the p r e lim in a r y in itiation {samayadiksa) and in itia tio n p ro p er (diksa). It is t e r m e d sp ecial prelim inary initiation ( vitesasamayadlksa ), and is fo un d in the S o m a s a m b h u -



drawn for these occasions. It seems that according to most ritual manuals, the first mandala, which is drawn for the pr eliminary initiation or sam ayadiksa, is not at all elaborate. It is made with ou t co lou re d p o w de r s, including only a basic outline, for w h i c h sandalwood paste is used. The details of this basic drawing usually dubbed as gandhamandala (‘scent m an d al a ’)29 or mandataka ( ‘small m andala’)31* are not given. However, one can often read detailed descriptions of what is called the powder mandala (rajom andala). This is a larger drawing filled with coloured powders, to be used for what is initiation proper, sometimes also called nirvanadiksa, for it bestows final liberation. While manuals seem to share their opinion on these two mandalas as given above, canonical texts differ on several points. Th e se differences concern not only the mandalas, but to some extent also the way in which the two initiation rituals are performed.31 The first or preliminary initiation— which is not always na m ed initiation32— consists mainly o f a symbolic rite o f entry into the Saiva community. It involves the seeing o f the mandala and ends with the ann ou nce m ent o f the rules (samaya) the neoph yte is to observe as a new member o f this community. This initiation can be termed preliminary initiation because it is a prerequisite to initiation proper, which follows after a night spent on the grounds o f worship together with the guru (adhivasa) ” Initiation proper is performed next day for those w ho can and want to receive it. It involves the rites o f purification, deification o f the body, etc., as well as a rite o f prognostication, which is based on paddhati as w e l l as in South Indian manuals, A s Brunner points out in S P 3 , p. x x x v , it s e e m s to be a 'rite batard’ containing elem en ts o f the diksa itself, 29 S e c , e .g ., T A 15.387. ’ 3(1S e e , e .g ., S v T 2 3.9 0 c. 31 It w o u l d require a separate study to d is c u s s all the d eta ils and p r o b l e m s co n cern in g the samayadiksa. T h erefore I shall on ly point out p rob lem s pertain in g to the use o f mandala s. For a m ore detailed d is c u s s io n , s e e Brunner in S P 3 , pp. x x x f f . and T o r zso k 1999b. 32 I h a v e s h o w n e l s e w h e r e that this rite is not c a llc d initiation ( diksii) in a con sid er a b le n um ber o f early texts in clu d in g the S v a y a m b h u v a su tr a sa m g r a h a , the B r a hm ayam ala, the SiddhayogeSvarTmata and the M alinivijaya. For details o f alter­ native ter m in o lo g y , se e T o r zso k 1999b. 33 A n im portant c x c c p t i o n is the VinaSikhatantra, w h i c h k n o w s o n ly o f o n e initiation, preced ed by the adhiviisa In this text, the rite o f entry u s in g the m andala is p erfo r m e d on the s a m e day as initiation proper, and the rules (samaya) are announced o n ly at the end o f the latter (v erse 49).



the n eo ph yt es ’ dreams and on the way in which their tooth twigs34 fall on the ground. Then another mandala is prepared and another variant o f the same kind o f rite o f entry is performed as the day before, but this time without being followed by the announcement o f the rules. It is then that the main part o f initiation is done. This is basically a rather complex ritual o f purification o f the ‘bound so u l’ and its detachment from lower levels o f existence. The rite involves fire offerings at the completion o f which the soul o f the initiand is joined to Siva. As even this br ie f su mmar y shows, there is a repetition with variants o f what appears to be essentially the sa me rite, wh o se culmination is the seeing o f the mandala. Most texts agree that there are tw o mandalas and two rites, the first o f which usually gives peop le the right to perform Saiva worship using the mantras o f the cult they are initiated into. However, the texts diverge on very significant details.35 Some texts36 prescribe that the first mandala should be the simple one drawn with sandalwood paste as mentioned above. W h e n the initiand is led to it blindfolded, he is to throw a flower or flowers there. He then sees the mandala, which has a profound effect on him. The mandala drawn up the following day is larger, m ore elaborate and decorated with coloured powders, etc. The same person or persons are led to it blindfolded, but this time they toss one flower on the dr aw in g each. The nam e o f the deity on w ho s e part o f the m an da l a the flower falls will form part o f the p e r s o n ’s initiatory name, thus suggesting that the initiate was chosen as it were by the deity who attracted his flower on the empowered diagram. Some other texts, which may prescribe a smaller mandala for the first rite, clearly envisage a colour mandala even for the first rite o f entry. This mandala is probably identical to the second man dal a except perha ps for its size. More ove r, the guru is instructed to perfo rm the name-giving as part o f the first rite, while noth in g particular is said about the second mandala.37 34 T h e s e arc t w ig s used for c l e a n in g o n e ’s teeth. 35 T h e VTnaSikha differs as pointed out a b o v e, k n o w in g on ly o n e m a nd a la rite. y' S uch as S v T , chapter 3. 37 T h e S id d h a y o g e S v a r im a ta , for in sta nce, p rescr ib e s a c o lo u r m a n d a la for the

samaya rite as 6 .1 3 s h o w s . B u t the se c o n d m and ala— although s e e m i n g l y elaborate, for it can b e d o u b le the s iz e o f the form er— is not d esc rib ed in detail; the reader is referred to a manual instead (8 .1 1 ).



There are yet other versions o f these twin-ritcs. They involve a sandalwood paste mandala in the first rite, which is nevertheless used for performing the name-giving.'™ 11 is tempting to argue'19 that the second version given above, which prescribes the use o f the colour mandala and the name-giving in the samaya rite, appears m or e functional40 and is perhaps the primary version. However, it may be more important to consider the fact that the first version o f the rites appears in the SvT, a text which is relatively old a m o n g the demonstrably early Tantras. W i t h o u t t ry in g to esta bli sh w hi ch or de r and m e t h o d o f performance o f the twin-rites is primary, it can be stated that the two rites re semble each other very muc h and thus may reflect; the doubling o f a ritual which was originally o n e ,41 Moreover, since there is an early Tantra, the VinaSikha, which knows only o f one combined initiation ending with the announcement o f sam ayas, it may represent a very early stage o f development, when even the samaya rite was not yet independent or separable.42 Judging from the stage represented by this text, il seems a possible development that first the mandala rite and initiation proper became separated, which was followed by the doubling o f the mandala rite. An additional ar gument for the theory o f doubling could be that as some later developments show, a further extension o f the preliminary initiation occurs43 unde r the name o f visesasamayadiksa. To this a new repe­ tition o f the mandala rite is added by AghoraSiva’s commentator, Nirmalamani, who prescribes it if too much time has el lapsed since

3,1 A s in S P 3 , pp. 37 and 103. w In T o r z s o k 1999b I tried to establish a p o ssib le ch ro n o lo g y and d e v e l o p m e n t o f this rite in various texts, but I am n o longer sure i f there is en o u g h j u stifica tio n for all m y h y p o th e ses. A n attempt at reconstruction has been m ade by Brunner in S P 3 , pp. x x x i - x x x i i i in a m o re general way, om itting details o f the mandala. 4(1 I.e., it s e e m s to be m o re appropriate to draw up an elaborate m andala for a rite w hich f o c u s e s on this instrument. Furthermore, it co u ld be argued that the s e e in g o f the u ncolourcd m andala in the S v T , w ith o u t the n a m e -g iv i n g ritual, appears to be odd. W h y sh o u ld o n e be im pressed by the s a n d a lw o o d paste mandala rather than by the c o lo u r e d m andala? What is the point here in c a s tin g flo w e r s on the d iagram i f the n a m e - g iv i n g is om itted? For a d isc u s sio n o f t h e se p ro b lem s, s e e Arraj 1988: 144ff. and Torzsok 1999b. 41 For this h y p o th e s is and argum ents in the ca se o f the Siddhanta, s e c Brunner in S P 3 , pp. x x x i - x x x i i i . 42 T h is co n firm s Brun ner’s h y p o th e sis in S P 3 , pp. xxxi. 43 T h is is the ca se, for e x a m p le , in the Som aS am b hu pad d hati and the A g h o r a 3ivapaddhati.



th e performance o f the samaya ritual/ '1 Thus, the samaya rite seems to be particularly liable to doubling and expansion. In spite o f these possibilities, it must be reiterated that no early Ta ntr a apart from the very brief Vinasikha seems to refer only to one m a n d a l a .45 If a redoubling took place at some point, we have no way o f knowing how exactly it happened and through what stages. This mean s that the role o f initiation m a n d a l a s can no t be determined in general by covering the descriptions and versions o f all early texts. However, a number o f significant points can be summarized concerning their nature and importance in this ritual.46 1.


It is the mandala— either in its simpler or its more colourful and elaborate version— and the ritual connected to it that usually determine the initiation names o f initiates and thus not only qualify them to use the mantras o f the cult, but also give them a new identity in their Saiva community. The initiate comes to be chosen as it were by one particular deity o f that tradition, who attracts the flower he casts on the mandala.47 A ft er the d is ci p le ’s blindfold is removed, the seeing o f the mandala— no matter which kind is used— with the deities on it is usually considered to have a profound effect on him, for this is

" S e c AghoraSivapaddhati 254. 45 It m ust a lso b e added that the VTnaSikha d o e s not m e n tio n the n a m e - g iv i n g itself, but the editor o f the text, T. Goudriaan, s u p p o se s that it w a s u nd erstood (cf. p. 139 and p. 16). 4,1 In w hat f o llo w s , I a s s u m e that the m ore elaborate m a n d a la is a larger and e x p a n d e d v e r s io n o f the c o l o u r le s s or sm a lle r one. T h is is s u g g e s t e d in all tex ts w h i c h d e s c r ib e on ly o n e o f th em . T o m y k n o w le d g e , the o n ly tex t a c c o r d in g to w h ic h the t w o m a nd a la s arc e x p lic it ly very different is the T A . But that e x c e p tio n a l c h o i c e is probably m otivated b y A b h in a v a g u p ta ’s intent to integrate v a rio u s le v e ls o f the Trik a in a hierarchy o f initiations. For m ore in fo rm a tio n on this to p ic , s e e Sand erson 1986: 196, 47 W h ile texts contradict ea ch other on w heth er the elaborate c o lo u r m and ala or th e s im p le r g a n d h a m a n d a la is u sed fo r this rite, o n e c o u ld p erh a p s fin d m o r e e v i d e n c e b y e x a m in in g initiation n a m es. From initiation n a m e s fo un d in in scriptions in D arasuram , it s e e m s that n a m e s o f the V idyeSvaras, aiigamantra s and mantras o f the throne w e r e used as w e ll as the brahmamantras (s e c S rin iv a sa n 1 9 8 7 , and the e v i d e n c e su m m a rize d in G o o d a ll 2 0 0 0 : 2 0 7 ) . T h e n a m e o f S o m a S a m b h u m a y s h o w that e v e n lokapiila s w er e perhaps in clu d ed in the initiation m and ala, w h ich w a s then pro b a bly a m o re ela bo ra te on e. But s in c e the a b o v e in scrip tion al e v i d e n c e c o m e s fro m the tradition o f the Siddhanta in the C o la co u n try o f the 12th centu ry , its t es tim o n y cannot be taken for what h a ppened in other reg io n s and periods.





his first contact with the deities o f his chosen s ch oo l.'18 In the daily rites which he is obliged to perform ever after the initiation, the disciple is in fact supposed to recreate this first sight o f the deities in visualizations.'19 The seeing of the deities in the course o f initiation is not the privilege o f some, but is experienced by all categories o f initiates. In a number o f texts, the name-giving is also performed for all candidates as part of the initiation. While there are Vedic parallels to initiation proper (diksa) as a whole, the central part o f the samaya rite perfor me d at the mandala has no such obvious Vedic predecessor.50

ii. The Initiation M andala as the Largest D etailed R epresentation o f E soteric D eities The paragraphs above do little more than summarize w h a t has already been analyzed in detail in Sanderson 1986 concerning the Trika, namely the fact that the mandala plays a particularly important role in creating and maintaining a new, Saiva and sectarian, identity o f the initiate. This identity is then repeatedly confirmed in the course o f the performance o f daily worship. This must be one o f the reasons w h y the m om en t o f seeing the mandala is considered so important. But in addition to this, there may be yet another reason. It is not mentioned or expressed explicitly, but is perhaps still an important factor here, at least as far as early texts and practices o f Bhairavatantras51 are concerned. The initiation mandala, in addition 4S Even i f o n ly the n a m e -g iv in g versio n is describ ed for the samaya rite, as in the Tantrasadbhava, for e x a m p le, it is m ade clear that the initiate is duly im pressed and fa lls on his knees. S e e 9 , 124d, w here the subjcct must be the initiate or the initiate w ith the guru. m For this p ro ce ss in the Trika, s e e Sanderson 1986: 1 6 9 - 1 7 0 . Sl Brun ner in SP3, pp. x x x v i draw s a parallel b e t w e e n the samayadiksa and the upanayana rather than b e t w e e n diksa proper and V e d i c rites. H o w e v e r , w h a t is sim ilar in the upanayana and in the samayadlksii is not the nature but the functio n o f the tw o rites, for both b e s t o w the qualific ation to study the scriptures. M o reo v er, il is o n l y th e visesasamayadiksa that cr ea tes a t w i c e -b o r n in the s a m e w a y as the upanayana d o e s , and this is not c o m m o n to all v e r s io n s o f the sam ayadlksii. M y point in draw ing a parallel b etw e en diksii proper and V ed ic rites is that fire ritual has o b v io u s V e d ic pred ecessors, w h ile the rile in v o lv in g the mandala is rather u niq u e to the Tantric context, 51 T h e term is used here for Tantras teachin g the w o rsh ip o f B h airava as w e l l as for Y a m a la ta n tr a s and Tantras te a c h in g g o d d e s s w o rs h ip . For d eta ils o f t h e s e



to being the paradigmatic image, is probably also the largest or one o f the largest images representing esoteric deities in detail which is u s e d in communal worship (in the sense that several people use it, b u t not at the same time). This point requires a brie f investigation into the question o f what objects were used for the wo rsh ip o f esoteric deities and how: the nature o f worship and what substrates it m a y require, the role and scope o f lihga worship, the question o f an th r o p o m o r p h i c images and what size various substrates were prescribed to have.52 M o st Bhairavatantric ritual prescriptions envisage that ritual is per formed in an abandoned place specially prepared for this purpose, and not in a permanent building with permanently installed images in it. This suggests that at least in the case o f some esoteric cults (in the Bhairavatantras and ‘abov e5) and at a relatively early period, near the composition o f the earliest Tantras, no permanent building or image w a s used to perform ritual.53 It must also be noted that the list o f supports for daily worship given by Abhinavagupta54 mostly includes va r io u s small objects as supports for visualization w h ic h do not actually depict the deities o f the cult. He mentions, for instance, a rosary, a mirror or a sword-blade as well as a private lihga. W he n im ag es are mentioned, they are small ones made o f painted clay (p erh aps what is meant is terra-cotta), deod ar w o o d or gold or images painted on a piece o f cloth or drawn on a skull. They are images o f small size for private worship, never larger ones mad e o f stone. More ov er , early Bhairavatantras do not no rm all y include r ef er enc es to rituals w hi ch e m p o w e r icons m ad e for c o m m o n worship (pratistha).55 ca te g o r ie s , s e e S a nd erso n 1988. For the fact that Tantras tea c h in g g o d d e s s w o rsh ip a l s o c a t e g o r iz e t h e m s e lv e s as Bhairavatantras in a broader se n se , s e e , e . g ., Sidd hayo g eS v a rim a ta 1,19d and 8 .4 cd , the latter p a ssa g e reading mahabbairavatantre ’sm in

s id d hnyng cs v a rim ate. 52 A n appropriate treatment o f the subject w o u ld require a m o n o g r a p h . T h erefo re, w h a t is presen ted b e l o w is o n ly a b r ie f su m m a r y o f a f e w p o in t s r e le v a n t to the presen t d is c u s s io n on m and alas in s o m e early S a iv a Tantras, w ith o u t a full p r e s e n ­ tation o f all the e v id e n c e . It is hoped that the study ‘Id ols and Other S u b str a te s o f W o rs h ip in the T rik a ’ annou nced in Sand erson 1 9 9 0 shall b e so o n available. 53 T h is h y p o t h e s is w o u l d o f co u rs e n eed further in v e stig a tio n and a full p r e s e n ­ tation o f the early s o u rc es on the subject. 54 S e e T A 2 6 . 3 2 f f . and Tantrasara 1 7 9 - 1 8 9 and the su m m a ry o f th e se p a s s a g e s in S a nd erso n 1986: 170. 55 T h e o n l y s u c h text I k n o w o f is th e u n e d it e d P ih g a la m a t a referred to in S a n d e r s o n 1 9 9 0 : 4 0 and citcd on the v is u a liz a tio n o f the d e it ie s o f the Trika. Its



It must be mentioned that in the demonstrably early sources o f the Siddhanta, even if the installation o f deities in permanent, durable images is co m m on ly discussed, these images were not used for public rites. They were used only by members o f the par ticular community (inatha) for individual worship. As Brunner observes in her study and translation o f the pratistha section o f the SomaSambhupaddhati (SP4, p. v), at the time o f the writing o f this manual, no public temple rites were per formed,56 What is envisaged by So m asambhu is that when a linga is established in a matha, for example, it is worshipped by several people one after the other.57 Private, portable (cala) lingas were also used in more esoteric cults, as mentioned above, even if the worship o f larger, sha red lingas, do es not seem to be m e n ti on ed in B h a i r a v a t a n t r a s , 5K Moreover, as Abhinavagupta writes in Tantraloka (TA) 27.2-3, these shared lingas— even if envisaged for Bhairavalantric wor ship— are not to be installed with secret, i.e., esotcric, mantras; for those mantra-deities possess their power in their esoteric nature and once N e p a l e s e m anuscrip t is reported to be dated A .D . 1 1 6 9 - 1 1 7 0 . T h e s a m e title o cc u r s in the list o f the Bhairava canon as citcd by Jayaratha from the Srik anthlya ad T A 1.17, but it is not citcd by A b h in a v a g u p ta or Jayaratha h im s elf. A lt h o u g h the text cla im s to b e part o f the Bhair ava canon as Goudriaan 1981: 4 6 p oints out, it m a in l y d eals w ith te m p le construction and installation o f lingas. G oudria an 1981: 4 6 a ls o o b s e r v e s that “ Sakta te n d e n c ie s arc alm ost c o m p le t e l y ab sen t” in this w ork, w h i c h w o u ld ex p la in w h y a Saiddhftntika author, Vidyakantlia II (pupil o f Ramakantha II), refers to it m a n y tim es in his Bha v a cu da m a n i (for details, s e c G o o d a l l ’s introductio n to his edition o f the Kiranavrtti, pp. x x v i - x x v i i ) . From the a b o v e citcd a c c o u n t s o f the co n ten ts o f this text, it s e e m s that o n ly its ch aptcr 5 on p ainting (and p o s s i b l y s o m e p a s s a g e s in its chaptcr 4 on ic o n s ) co u ld b e relevant in a B h a ir a v a la n tric co ntext. T h e s e p a s s a g e s sccn i to g iv e the ico no g ra ph y o f paintings m a d e on cloth, a substrate for private w o rsh ip m e n tio n e d by A bh in a v a g up ta in the a b o v e cita tio n s. T h e N T a lso g i v e s s o m e details in a f e w verses, w hich arc d is cu sse d b elo w . *’ O n c o f the f e w , relatively detailed, surviving p a s s a g e s about the in stallation o f linga s and sm a ll s iz e statu es is fo un d in the Mataiiga, kriyiipiida 1 3 - 1 4 , the o n l y lo n g er p a s s a g e pointed out in the a b o v e ed itio n as a parallel. For s o m e ad dition al texts in m anuscript form w h ic h also deal w ith the subjcct, sec, e .g ., N U v a sa ta n tra , G uhyasutra, chaptcr 2 and Sarvajnanottara su m m a rized in G oudriaan 1981: 3 6 , 39. S e e a lso t w o Pratisthatantras, (he MohaSurottara and the M ayasam graha d escrib ed in G o o d a l l ’s introduction to his editio n o f the Kiranavrtti, pp. x - x i and referred to as s ou rces o f S o m a S a m b h u ’s account in G o o d a ll 2 0 0 0 : 216. 57 T h is is a lso what A bh in avagup ta refers to in T A 2 7 . 5 3 - 5 4 . 5“ T h is lack o f interest in c o m m o n l y w o rsh ip ped large lingas m a y also b e related to the fact that B hairavatantras s e e m to f o c u s on the acq u isitio n o f supernatural p o w e r s , w h ic h requires private rituals in se c lu d e d p la c e s in m o st c a s e s , i.e., rites p erform ed ‘w ith o u t o n e ’s c o m p a n i o n s .’ T h e solitary p erform an ce o f these rituals is enjoined, e.g., in SiddhayogcSvarim ata 12,14, 13.11, 18.18 and 19.17.



installed, they would lose their real nature as well as their power. Therefore, stable or larger lihgas are to be installed with the mantras o f the Siddhanta, even if other deities can be in vo ked in th em temporarily. Furthermore, following the Sarvajnanottara, Abhinavagu p t a adds that secret mantras should be avoided especially in case o n e installs a so-called manifest ( vyaktarupin) image-—a wa rn ing w h i c h shows that what is to be avoided here is first o f all an anthropomorphic or figurative image.59 N e v e r th e l e s s , there w as one, u n d ou b te dl y ‘a n th r o p o m o r p h i c i m a g e ’ which was not excluded from communal esoteric worship a n d even recommended for certain days: the body o f the guru, that o f o th er Saivas and certain women. In the list o f 11 possible substrates o f external worship given in TA 6 .3,60 the last one, m u rti, a word that co ul d possibly refer to an icon in similar contexts, is glossed by the co m m e n ta t o r as “the body belonging to the guru or others” (m urtir gurvadisam bandhini). The long description o f what is called ‘The W o r s h i p o f E m b o d i m e n t s ’ (m urtiyaga) or ‘Th e W o r s h ip o f the C i r c l e ’ (cakrayaga), which makes this s om ew hat enigmatic gloss clearer, is then given in chapter 28.60ff. by Abhinavagupta: it is a rite in which the preceptor, various other practitioners, their wives

w T h e ex c e p t io n a l installation o f a B h a ir a v a g a m ic mantra in N T j 1 8 , 1 1 9 - 1 2 1 is d i s c u s s e d b y S a n d er so n 1990: 78, w h o understands the p a s s a g e o f the Tantra to p res cr ib e the installation o f an c c ty p c o f the es o teric mantra o f S v a cch a n d a b h a ir a v a in the ic o n . H e then argu es that A b h in a v a g u p ta in T A 2 7 . 8 in fa ct c o n to rts the in te n d ed m ea n in g o f the Tantra b y interpreting the p a ssa g e to refer to the in stallation o f a n o n - B h a ir a v a g a m ic mantra su ch as that o f Netranath a, so that the prescription s h o u ld c o n f o r m to the fu n da m en ta l rules o f pratistha. A lthou gh A b h in a v a g u p t a ’s interpretation d o e s se em forccd, it must be noted that the p a ss a g e o f the Tantra it s e l f r e fe r s b a ck (b y s a y in g pragvidhanatah) to s o m e p r e v io u s v e r s e s o n g en er a l ru les a b o ut pratistha. T h e s e v er se s, 1 8 . 1 0 4 c —109, p res cr ib e the in sta lla tio n o f the n o n ­ e s o t e r i c A m rteSa/N etran ath a a lo n e or w ith the a ls o n o n - e s o t e r ic g o d d e s s M a h a la k s m i. E v e n i f this is not e n o u g h to support A b h in a v a g u p t a ’s interpretation, it is s ig n ific a n t that installation is g en er a lly e n v is a g e d here u sin g n o n - e s o t e r ic mantras, in sp ite o f the general te n d e n c y o f the N T to m ix up v a rio u s A g a m i c p rescriptio n s (fo r w h ic h se e N T 2 1 3 . 4 5 - 4 6 ) . H) T h e s e substrates are a m andala, le v e le d ground, a v e s s e l, a rosary, a m anuscrip t [ o f 6 a iv a scripture], a lingo, a skull, a p ie c e o f cloth (n o details g iv e n ) , a clay/terra­ cotta im a g e (not d is cu ssc d in a n y detail, but m en tio n ed in 2 7 . 1 9 as c o lo u r e d [ citra ]), a mirror (or a n y m irror-like su rface, su ch as a s w o r d m e n tio n e d in 2 7 . 4 4 ) and a

murti: mandalam sthandilam piitram aksasutram sapustakam / lihgam turam patah pustam pratima m urtir cva ca //



and women of lower castes or prostitutes are propitiated by alcohol and offerings which include meat and fish/ ’1 Even when an apparently figurative image or an th r o p o m o r p h i c icon seems to be mentioned in a Bhairavatantra, such as a ‘Daksinam u r t i ’ in the SvT, commentators understand such references as denoting something which is different from an icon as an e m b o d i ­ m en t .62 As for the size o f images used, icons o f deities in the Sid dh an ta are described, e.g., in the Matahga, kriya p a d a , chapter 14 as be i n g between ten ahgulas, and one hast a (0.2-0.45 metre)/’1 The size o f a linga is said to be three hastas (1.35 metre) in the same text (13.9),64 which would be the size o f the smallest mandalas. The initiation mandala used by all the in it iands is thus the largest image (as envisaged in a number of Bhairavatantras) or one o f the largest images (if we consider shared lingas) a Tantrika may see and use, for its side usually measures at least three or four hastas (eight or nine is also recommended), that is at least 1.35—1.8 metres. But unlike the other communal or shared support o f a relatively large size, the linga, it contains a clear visual mapping o f the esoteric deities o f o n e ’s tradition. A m o n g objects used as supports for the wor shi p o f esoteric deities, por tab le images used for private w o r sh i p are small. Therefore, even if kept over a longer period o f time, they can be hidden from the uninitiated. Other supports such as a mirror or a sword are not easily recognizable as religious objects. But an image as large as an initiation mandala is not so easy to hide, and this is perhaps one o f the reasons why it has to be temporary: a m an da la drawn up for the occasion and effaced ritually after it has served its purpose.

N o t e that a ccording to A bh in a v a g up ta his sum m ary o f this yaga is b ased on the S id d h a y o g e S v a r im a ta . H o w e v e r , the short rc ce n s io n o f that text d o c s n o t c o n ta in a n y th in g on this particula r subject. For m o re in fo r m a tio n , s e e T o r z s o k 1 9 9 9 a : 229-230. S e c K scm araja ad S v T 2 3 . 1 2 9 , w h o rem arks on daksiniim m urtim : na tu pasavlm dcham ayim . H o w e v e r , it is not clear to m e what im age K scmaraja had in mind. fLl O n e hasta is the d istance b etw e en the tip o f o n e ’s m id d le finger and the e l b o w , I h a v e taken o n e hasta to be equal to at least 0,45 metre and rounded up the figures. M S o m a S a m b h u e n v i s a g e s lingas o f up to n in e hastas, but it is q u e s ti o n a b l e i f su ch large lingas w ere c o m m o n or i f they w ere in use at an earlier date as w ell.



3 T he Inclusion o f L o w e r Revelation in the M andala from the Vedas to the Siddhanta: The Case o f the Svacchandatantra T h e wa y in which the trident image o f the mandalas o f the Trika enc ode s the supremacy o f that school has been analyzed in detail by Sand erson 1 9 8 6 “ He points out firstly, how scriptural sources repre­ s ent the superiority o f their system by raising the throne o f their de ities higher, and secondly, how A b h i n a v a g u p t a ’s exegesis adds f u rt he r hierarchies by stretching what is implied in the scriptural s o u rc es o f the Trika and related schools. Thus, w he n the trident image, which includes the full cosmic hierarchy from earth up to the three goddesses on the tips o f the trident, is installed in the line of inn er sensation in regular worship, it reveals “the Tr ik a’s supremacy b y taking [the practitioner] through and beyond the mandala-thrones o f all other Saiva claimants to the worship and assimilation o f absolute power.” In the same article, reference is made to the ra nking o f the doctrines o f outsiders, i.e., non-Saivas, in scriptural sources as well as in the Kashmirian exegetical literature.66 In what follows, I shall take up this line o f inquiry with special reference to the SvT, which gives a particularly detailed account of its relation to other doctrines, in or der to illustrate the following two features o f its initiation mandala. 1.

Whi le the trident image o f the Trika creates its hierarchy and encodes its supremacy to others in a vertical ascent, the SvT as well as a n u m b e r o f other texts and their m a nd al as us e a concentric image and ar ran gem ent o f deities to express their domination:67 they place the supreme deity o f their system in the m id dl e o f the mandala, s u rro u n de d b y o th e r deities often representing other schools o f thought. This method o f concentric enco din g seems to be more c o m m o n than that o f the trident image o f the Trika, whose mandala is in fact quite exceptional in that it is to be seen as three-dimensional, building its central trident upon the usual concentric image o f other Tantras. For in the trident mandala, the central lotus is not the seat o f the

w For an illustration o f o n e o f the sev era l v e r s io n s o f the trident m a n d a la o f the Trika, s e e C o lo u r Plate 19. S e e Sanderson 1986: 172, e s p e c ia lly note 8. 67 T h is idea is also referred to brie fly in Sanderson 1986: 172,




principal deity but is the lotus of gnosis, from which the trident o f the three goddesses arises and is seen as coming out o f th e surface o f the mandala. The exam pl e o f the SvT also shows that the ma nd al a c a n visually represent and include not just other brandies of Saivism, but also non-Saiva doctrines or traditions in the form o f l o w e r revelation. In this respect, the SvT is a special case, because it seems to be the only Bhairavatantra to include a re latively de tai led di scu ss io n o f other, non-&aiva and early S a i v a (Pasupata, etc.), doctrines and to include them in its c o s m ic hierarchy.

T he SvT ranks the doctrines o f outsiders in its 11th c h a p t e r ( 11.6 8 ff.), which seems to have beco me som eth in g o f a lo c u s classicus on the subject later on, judging from the series o f citations given by Jayaratha ad TA 1.33.fiS In this passage o f the T a nt r a, schools o f thought are assigned various levels o f the universe or principles ( tattva), from intellect ( b u d d h i) to Sada£iva. The e q u i ­ valences with the tattvas are not explained in a fully systematic way, for while some tattvas are not assigned to any school,69 others are said to represent the level o f liberation or consciousness o f several schools at the same ti m e .70 In addition, there are also principles which are not tattvas but are nevertheless said to be the place o f certain schools.71 It should be noted that these inconsistencies m a y be due to the fact that it is not uncommon in early Tantras that the number o f ta ttv as fluctuates. Such fluctuations can be explained on the one hand as a result o f redactional cutting-and-pasting, on the other by the fact that it was perhaps not felt to be necessary to fix the number o f tattvas at an earl ier stage o f doctrinal development.72 m T h e c i t a t i o n s arc not i d e n ti fie d in the ed it io n . Jayaratha q u o t e s S v T 2 1 1.6 8 c —71 d. N o n e o f the f iv e c o v e r i n g s (kancuka) is m en tio n ed e x p lic it ly in the list, nor is the lev el o f pure k n o w le d g e (guddhavidya) a bove maya. 711 T w o sects, the M ausulas and the Karukas arc both g iv e n the 30th le v e l, that o f mayfr, and the level o f is vara also represents several sccts. 71 T h u s , the Jainas arc said to be e s ta b lis h e d in the three strands o f m a teria l e x i s te n c e ( guna ), w hich d o not form a tattva. H o w ev e r, guna is s o m e t im e s listed a s a tattva, such as in the Parakhya recorded in G o o d a l l ’s introduction to his ed itio n o f the Kiranavrtti, pp. liii. 71 For a detailed d is c u s s io n on the number o f tattvas in the Siddhanta and w hat they m a y im p ly , s e c G o o d a l l ’s in troductio n to his ed itio n o f the Kiranavrtti, pp. li-lv . ' '



In spite o f these inconsistencies, a n um ber o f elements o f the hi e r a rc h y are very clearly defined and some o f them correspond to o t h e r ranking systems. Thus, while Ksemaraja adopts a different hier arc hy in his Pratyabhijnahrdaya (ad sutra 8), he also assigns the level o f intellect ( buddhi) to the Buddhists. In the ranking o f the SvT, non-Brahminical schools are placed the lo w es t, below the 24th level, that o f material cause (prakrti): the Buddhis ts are made to reside in buddhi and the Jainas are at the level o f the three gunas o f sattva, rajas and tamas. N o w it could be said t ha t the gunas and material cause are at the same level, for the gunas are the three strands o f prakrti. However, in this passage, they seem to be treated as separate from and inferior to prakrti.73 It should also b e noted that in verse 68ab, buddhi itself is said to be produced from t h e three gunas, suggesting a direct relationship between these two principles and possibly between the schools placed at these levels.7'1 Th e 24th principle, prakrti, is assigned to ‘Promulgators o f the V e d a , ’ which is interpreted to allude to the Vedanta by Ksemaraja ad Joe.,75 but could just refer to anyone for w h o m the V ed a is the hig hes t revelation. The 25th principle, purusa, is the highest reality for the Samkhya, which seems quite natural.76 Above them, the 26th principle is the highest level for the Yoga. This is normally the level o f niya ti,11 causal determination, but in this passage, the SvT does n o t speak explicitly about any o f the five coverings, of which niyati is normally the first. This exposition is followed by the placement o f various schools of th e Saiva Atimarga, schools o f Paiupatas and Lakulas, in the cosmic hierarchy. First, the pasupata-vrata is equated with the 33rd level o f Isvara. Following Ksemaraja, this expression refers to the doctrine exp ou n de d by Lakullsa. Then the text returns to a lower level, the 30th. It is the level o f m a ya , which is the highest level for Mausulas 73 In the s a m e w a y , (he Kiranatantra also lists the gunas b e l o w prakrti, as reported in G o o d a l l ’s introduction to his edition o f the Kiranavrtti, pp. lv, 74 N o t e that B u d d h is t s c h o o l s arc d istin g u ish ed , but in fact all are p la c c d at the le v e l o f m a y a in T A 4 . 2 9 - 3 0 . K scm a ra ja puts the S a u g a t a s t o g e t h e r w ith the M lm a m s a k a s , N a iy a y ik a s and Carvakas at the le v el o f buddhi, w h i le the V ed a n tin s and M a d h y a m a k a s arc a b o v e them. 75 T h is can be inferred from the fact that he citcs the SvctaSvatara-Upanisad. 76 H o w e v e r , K s c m a r a ja u p g r a d e s t h e m to the l e v e l o f m aham aya in Pratyabhijnahrdaya.


J 1That Y o g a must be then at the level o f niyati is a ls o co n fir m e d b y Jayaratha ad T A 1.33: tesam [i.e., patanjalanam ] pum stattvordhvavartiniyatitattvapraptir ukta.



and Karukas, who arc followers o f disciples o f LakulTSa, ac co rd in g to Ksemaraja. They are said lo identify this level with the deities KsemeSa and Brahmasvfunin respectively. It is then stated t h a t Vaimala and Pramana (or Pancartha) Pasupalas can rcacli up to the level o f Tsvara, identified with their highest deities, Teje sa a nd Dhruvesa. After this, §aivas— probably in the general sense meaning Saiddhantikas as well as those of other currents— arc mentioned and declared to be above the rest. Further in the same chapter, another passage discusses doctrines o f other schools, this lime without ranking them in an un ambi guous way. The categorization of other doctrines is based on their relation to dharmal adharma, detachment/lack o f dclachmcnt (vairagyafavairagya), knowledge/ignorance (jhana/ajhana) and powerfulness/lack o f power (aisvtuya! anai&varya), According to verse 186, these eight concepts m ake the wheel o f the samsara turn round incessantly as eight spokes. In this passage, non-^aiva and other &aiva schools are hierarchized in the following way. Verses 17 4- 179b describe trea­ tises o f logic (heiusasira) and declare them to be characterized by adharma, lack o f detachment, ignorance and lack o f power. It seems they receive the lowest grade here; for, as the SvT says: they are devoid o f knowledge, Yoga and deities, and arc useless for th e attainment o f any of the four goals o f men in life.7" After this, all the other schools are described mentioning at least one good point about their teachings. Mundane or common knowledge'— covering ag r i ­ culture, politics, etc., as Ksemaraja points out— is characterized by dharma, while the doctrines o f both the Pancaratrikas and the Vaidikas involve dharma as well as knowledge. Buddhist as well as Jaina doctrine is endowed with detachment, while the school o f Sa m kh y a possesses both detachment and knowledge. The bcst-placed o f the non-Saivas is again the doctrine o f Yoga, which is associated with kn o wl edg e, de tac hm ent and power at the same time. Th e only doctrine exhibiting all the good characteristics, and which thus goes beyond (ati-) the others, is the Saiva doctrine o f the Atimarga. For 78 T h is particularly lo w ranking o f the s c ic n c c o f lo g ic is not f o llo w e d b y the e x c g e t c s . Ksemaraja p la ce s the N y a y a in the sa m e group as the M lm a m s a and the B u d d h ists both in the Pratyabhijiiahrdaya and in Spandanirnaya ad 4 and 1 2 - 1 3 . In the latter work, h e p la cc s e v e n the S a m k h y a and the V edanta at the s a m e le v e l. It c o u l d be a r g u e d that Hetu£astra is not the s a m e as the s c h o o l o f N y a y a . N e v e r t h e le s s , in general statem ents o f the a b o v e kind, (hey m ay not be differentiated in a very precisc manner.



adherents o f the Atimarga, i.e., those who practice the Skull obser­ va nc e, and the Pasupatas (verse 184), there is no further creation, th ey are established in Isvara/DhruveSa. The ranking stops here, and no other Saivas are mentioned. Th is way o f ranking o f other doctrines reveals two important d i s t i n g u i s h i n g features o f the SvT. On e is that it includes all Brahmi nica l schools o f thoughts from the level o f prakrti upwards. N o w , it may be argued that the Pancaratrikas are omitted from the hierarchy o f levels. However, it is arguable that they are understood n ex t to the Vaidikas, which is demonstrated in two other passages. O n e is the verse referred to above, which states that the doctrine o f b o t h Vaidikas and Pancaratrikas is characterized by d h a rm a and knowledge. Another passage (5.44- 46) prescribes that one should not condemn Bhairava, his and other Sastras, the latter including the S am khy a, Yoga, Pancaratra and the Vedas, for they have all come forth from Siva h i m s e l f and bes tow li bera tion.79 The se passages s h o w that the Vaidikas, Pancaratrikas and the adherents o f the S am kh y a and Yoga are all consciously felt to be very closely related to Saiva doctrine, and consequently they are placed at the level o f p ra krti and ab o v e .80 Secondly, the SvT also gives a particularly detailed account o f h o w it sees itself in relation to the Atimarga. Judging from the n u m b e r o f Pasupata branches, they must have been flourishing or r eco gn ize d at the time o f the redaction o f this Tantra. It is also noteworthy that the SvT particularly insists on the superiority o f the A t i m a r g a , l e a v i n g the d o c t r i n e a b o u t the s u p e r i o r i t y o f Bhairavatantras vis-a-vis other Saivas implicit. It sees itself as the continuation o f the Atimarga rather than o f the Siddhanta.81 The whole issue o f ranking other doctrines according to the tattvas gains particular significance in connection with the worship o f the deities on the mandala. The drawing o f the mandala o f nine lotuses w K scm araja reports a reading fro m ‘old m a n u s c r ip ts ,’ w h i c h states in the last lin e that ev e ry th in g c o m e s forth from &iva and b e s t o w s the fruit o f [reaching] S i v a ’s abode. 80 A l t h o u g h doctrinal a ffin itie s rem ain im portant, o th e r tex ts d o n o t state this relatio nship so ex p licitly . 81 K semaraja ( c o m m e n t i n g on 1 1 .1 8 4 c ) s e e m s s o m e w h a t u n c o m f o r t a b l e w ith the f a c t that the ranking stops at the l e v e l o f the A tim arga. H e s u p p lie s an ad dition al sta tem ent to the effec t that i f fo llo w e r s o f the Atim arga are liberated, then h o w m u ch m o r e the S a ivas. He a lso understands the word ca in the s e n s e o f api in order to read this m ea n in g into the text.



(navanabha) for initiation is described in chapter 5 (from ver se 19), followed by an explanation conccrning (he deities to be w o r s h i p p e d on it (from 5.37c). The nine lotuses are arranged in a c o n c e n tr i c design in such a way that the lotus in the ccnlrc is su rrounded b y eight others, and each lotus has eight petals.112 On the pericarp o f the central lotus, one is to place and worship the supreme deity o f this system, Svacchandabhairava, surrounded by eight Bhairavas on the eight petals. The eight Bhairavas arc placed on the petals as ei ght mantra-syllablcs extracted from the nnviitmabija ,S1 In what follows (verse 40), the text points out that one should recognize these deities as standing for [the principles] from SadaSiva down to p r a k r ti and they are also wor shi pp ed on the pericarps o f the s u r r o u n d i n g lotuses.84 By including the principles from prakrti up to Sada^iva in the mandala as secondary deities, the Brahminical schools from the Ved ava di ns upwards are also implicitly included and their levels represented by Vidyaraja and the other Bhairavas.85 Thus, doctrinal inclusivism also appears implicitly in a cult im age in a fairly consistent way, since iion-Brahminical schools, t h e Buddhists and the Jainas represented by ta ttv a s below p r a k r t i , are left out o f the mandala and its deities. The S v T ’s example also illustrates the co m m o n way to express the superiority o f a tradition in a co n c e n ­ tric icon, in which the supreme deity o f the school is worshipped in the centre, surrounded by its ret inue o f deities (parivani) standing for lower levels o f the universe and lower revelation.Kf’

B For a re co n stru ctio n and illustration o f (his m andala, s e c A p p e n d i x 2 an d C o lo u r Plate 18. 10 S e e K s c m a r a j a ’s com rncnlary on hakiircna: It A for K apalisa, R A for S ik h ivtlhana, K S A for Krodharaja, M A for Vik arala, LA for Mnnmatha, V A for M e g h a nada, Y A for Somaraja and 0 for Vidyaraja. M T h e y s w a p p la c c s w ith S v a c e h a n d a as the text and (he c o m m e n t a r y c la r if y further on. *s W c d o not n ece s sa r ily need to f o llo w Kscmaraja here, w h o a s s ig n s the tattvas o f S adasiva, Isvara, vidyii, nvly;l kala, niyati, purusu and prakrti to the eight d eitie s, for the text it s e lf sim p ly s p e c ific s that they represent le v els from SadaSiva d o w n to prakrti. The aulhor(s) o f the Tantra m a y not have had an cxact distribution in m ind, just as the distribution o f tattvas to s c h o o ls is uneven. It is also to be rem arked that Kscmaraja (ad 5 .1 9 ) understands that the siz e o f (he mandala, w h ich m e a s u r e s 2 2 4 in ches on each side, s y m b o l iz e s the 2 2 4 bhuvana s or w o rld s o f (lie universe. T h is is an interesting idea, but again one that the Tantra itself d o c s not tcach. ^ The disadvan tage or im precision o f (his arrangement co m p a red to the h ierarchy e x p r e s s e d in the vertical arrangem ent o f the trident icon is that the su rr o u n d in g deities arc not arranged in a hierarchy in relation to each other: Vid yaraja sta n d in g



4 M andates bestow ing Supernatural Powers Al th o u gh initiation mandalas— whether they are used for the samaya rite or for the diksa— appear to be the basis and model o f mandalas u s e d for acquiring supernatural powers (siddhi) as well as for daily w o r s h i p , siddhim andalas87 seem to differ s o m e ti m e s from their m o d e l in several ways. The ways in which mandalas are transformed o r visualized differently for siddhi can be divided into three groups: i. Specialization Some mandalas become reduced in that an element and a deity is t aken out o f the more elaborate version and the deity is then worshipped separately for specific supernatural powers. ii. Expansion By contrast, some other mandalas are expanded with a set or sets o f other deities not necessarily present on the basic version, who s eem to increase the power o f the deity-circle without disturbing the hierarchy o f the central deities o f the cult. iii. Substitution Lastly, some mandalas are retained in their form as described for initiation except that the deities installed and worshipped on them are changed; thus the mandala as a drawing is considered some kind o f framework, i. Specialization A good example o f how a mandala is reduced, or rather, how one o f its deities is focused on for specific purposes can be found in the ninth chapter o f the SvT. The chapter starts with the description o f th e worship o f Sv acc handabhairava and h o w his man dal a o f one lotus and four doors is to be constructed (9.12ff.). The drawing o f the f o r p ra krti and V cd ic revelation has the sa m e position as S ik h iv a h a n a e m b o d y in g the level o f ISvara and the PaSupatas. 117T h e term s id d h im a n d a la is u se d in the c o lo p h o n o f the S id d h a y o g e s v a r im a ta , c h a p te r 25, w h ic h thus distinguishes b e tw e e n this m a n d a la and the trid e n t-b a se d one u s e d fo r the n a m e -g iv in g s a n ia y a n tc . H o w e v e r, the S id d h a y o g e s v a r im a ta s e e m s to e n v i s a g e this v e ry s id d h im a n d a la fo r diksa, j u d g i n g f r o m an a s id e in 2 5 .1 6 c d : d ik sa y a m sadh a n e h y a sm in n e v a m m a n a vika lp a n a . T his u s a g e m a y reflect th e v ie w o f th e S id d h a y o g e s v a rim a ta on the subject, n a m e ly that liberation is j u s t one o f the sid d h is (see 2 9 .8 - 1 1 ) . It sh o u ld also be no ted that the NiSvasa, on th e o th e r hand, u ses the te rm ‘m an d ala b esto w in g lib eratio n ’ (m u k tim a n d a la ) on fol. 2Qr4.



mandala begins with a single lotus, on whose pericarp Sv ac ch an d a is later to be installed with manlra-syllables and worshipped. This lotus is then surrounded by a wheel o f 32 spokes (9,16), on w h i c h the practitioner worships a set o f 32 goddesses, starling with A r u n a, The size o f this square mandala can vary. Verse 14 e n v i s a g e s mandalas o f one, two, four or eight hastas on each side; w h i l e the one with nine lotuses for initiation is prescribed as meas uring nine hastas on each side. This mandala o f Svacchanda is said to bestow all kinds o f s u p e r ­ natural powers, especially power over all the worlds. Some o f these worlds are well-known from Puranic cosmography; they include the various hells, underworlds (patala) and the seven lokas. Othe rs are identical with principles (tattva) o f the universe in the Saiva se nse from p ra kjii and p u r u sa up to Sadasiva and Sakti. The d i a g r a m translates into an image o f what is elsewhere insisted u p o n in doctrinal passages: the idea that the supreme deity u l t i m a t e l y controls the whole universe, even if lower levels are as sig ne d to other Bhairavas as their regents, and thus it is this supreme deity that is able to bestow full power upon the practitioner. However, the other eight Bhairavas o f the initiation ma nda la are not forgotten in the context o f siddhi, cither. But while the wo rsh ip o f Svacchanda is prescribed on a mandala as a support, the other Bhairavas are placed and worshipped on small charms written on pieces o f birch-bark (yantras or niksas'>). They are wo rshipped for the attainment o f much more specific goals than the control o f the whole universe. The first yantras described arc those o f the first and last Bhairava, Vidyaraja and KapalTsa, who can protect the practitioner from death. The ir mantras are to be incised in the centre o f a wheel, and the spokes are occupied by the 32 goddesses starting with Aruna, just as in the mandala o f Svacchanda above. The other yantras are based on the same model, with one Bhairava in the middle and the goddesses around him, except that in each case, some additional details are “ F o llo w in g verse 16, w hich states that the wheel is outside the lotus, K s e m a r a ja rem arks at verse 24 that there arc four goddesses in cach o f the eight d irectio n s, and th a t th e y arc o u ts id e the lotus. H o w e v e r, the text o f v erse 2 4 — c o n t r a r i l y to 16— su g g ests that the lotus and the wheel so m e h o w overlap, b c c a u sc it says th at the g o d d e sse s are on the petals and the spokes at the sam e time. w As the e x a m p le s below show , ruksu is not a lw a y s a p ro tectiv e a m u le t, d e s p ite its name.


20 3

g i ve n. These include instructions to incise the name o f the person w h o is to be protected, controlled or killed in the middle; or the a d d it io n o f other mantras to the whole yantra which envelope or in fl a m e it, or the use o f substances collected in the cremation ground ( 9 . 6 4 - 6 5 ) . Am ong the other Bhairavas, Sikhivahana is employed to c a u s e o n e ’s enemy to suffer; Krodharaja can kill someone or make h i m mad; Vikarala can frighten o n e ’s enemy; Ma nma tha is invoked f o r subjugation; M egh ana da to exile so meone and So m ar a ja to acquir e wealth. T h e resemblance between the mandala o f Svacchanda and the y an t r as o f the other Bhairavas shows that in spite o f the differences b e t w e e n mandalas and yantras, they are closely related, especially in t h e c o nt ex t o f siddhis. Just as Svacchanda represents the truest d o c t r i n e o f all Brahminical doctrines which are included in the in it iat io n mandala, so here, too, he stands for al l-e ncompassing p o w e r . Other Bhairavas are seen as specializing in more specific tasks. Th e initiation mandala o f the nine lotuses includes all these B h air av as as different levels o f reality, for its purpose is to bestow qualification upon the initiate who can subsequently employ any o f t h e s e Bhairavas for whatever goal he may want to. But for specific aims, he is to use only the Bhairava most appropriate for his purpose. J u d g in g from the construction o f these mandalas and yantras in the SvT, siddhi is viewed here as the specific application o f the power acquired in an all-inclusive way at the time o f initiation. ii. E xpansion This view o f the SvT is not shared unanimously by all Tantras. In a n u m b e r o f texts, the mandalas prescribed for siddhis contain several circles o f deities who are not necessarily present in the initiation m an dal a. Th e Mrgendr atantra, for instance, allows an initiation man dal a o f just the central group o f five deities or brahmamantras,90 T h is is referred to in kriya p a d a 8.44 as an option, a lth o u g h it is e m p h a s iz e d in th e p r e c e d in g verse that one should try and m a k e a m a n d a la w ith sev eral circ le s o f deities. V erses 8 .5 2 - 5 3 also su g g est that all the deities m a y not b e p re se n t inside the m a n d a la , w h ic h sh o u ld ideally include three circlcs o f d eities (avarana) aro u n d the central group. In ease o f these sm a lle r m a n d a la s, one can w o r s h ip th e o u te r circles on o rn a m e n ta l elem en ts, such as sv a stik a s, lotuses o r dots, o r o n e c a n j u s t w o rs h ip Siva on the fo ur-pctalled lotus. T h is last solution is interpreted by N a r a y a n a k a n th a to b e used in case o f lack o f time, place or material means.



but prescribes additional outer circlcs o f deities lo be worshipped f o r certain supernatural powers. For the acquisition of knowledge, it is sufficient to worship the Vidyesvaras around the central gr oup o f five brahmamantras. For ‘di vi ne’ supernatural powers one s h o u ld add the circle o f the GancSas. For ‘m i d d l e ’ siddhis— p r o ba bl y meaning attracting women and the like— the guardians o f directions should be further added outside the GaneSa circlc. For ‘l o w e r ’ powers— such as killing— all the gods should be there, e x te n d i n g o u t w ar d to the g u a r d i a n s ’ weapo ns on the pe ri ph ery o f t h e mandala.91 Moreover, according to kriyapada 8.46, in case the practi­ tioner has various aims o f different kinds, he is to worship the central deity surrounded by three or four outer circlcs o f deities on a saktimandala, which is endowed with an additional circle o f t h e mothers.92 These mothers are not present on any version o f the ini­ tiation mandala, yet they arc employed lor siddhis o f all kinds, in a n extension o f what is or could be the same as the initiation mandala.93 These prescriptions o f the M rgendra show that the outer circles o f deities in its mandala are responsible (or siddhis o f increasingly low kinds. However, they are not worshipped on their own for t h e se specific functions, but always remain in the outer circles o f t h e mandala whose centre is occupied by Siva in the form o f the five brahmamantras. This visual arrangement implies that various siddhis are not specific functions o f the central deities (as was the case in the SvT), but rather that the bestowing o f supernatural powers is seen as an extended function o f these deities, who do not bestow siddhis themselves, but delegate lower gods, lokapalas and the like, for these tasks.94

1,1 Cf. kriya p a d a 8.45. N o te that according to N a ra y a n a k an th a , in cacli c a s e o n ly one circlc is to be w o rs h ip p e d a ro u n d the ccntrc and not several circlcs e x t e n d i n g o u tw ard to the circlc inclu d in g those deities. T h e ccntrc w ith the live m a n tra -d e itie s and the g uardians, for instance, sh o u ld be w o rsh ip p ed for ‘m id d le ’ s id d h is, o m ittin g the V idyeSvaras and GancSvaras in betw een. H ow ever, the text o f the T a n tr a d o e s n o t su p p o rt this in te rp re ta tio n , for it u ses c o m p o u n d s such as p a tip rfin tn h a n d ganantah (qualifying yagah). '2 S ec also c o m m e n ta r y a d lo c: sa k tin a m m a lfn a m s a m h a n d h i y a n m a n d a la m fa fra.... a T h e addition o f fem ale deities for siddhis. is also a feature o f the S v T as s h o w n above, w hich positions the goddesses around the central Bhairavas. * It m ay be te m p tin g to speculate on the b asis o f this that the M r g e n d r a ’s a b o v e a rran g em en t reflects its dualistic position, w hile the S v T ’s w ay o f attributing p o w e r s c o rre s p o n d s to a n o n -d u a lis tic view. H o w ev er, it is u n lik ely that culls, e s p e c ia lly



iii. Substitution T h e third way o f changing the initiation mandala for s id d h i can be illustrated by two examples taken from the Siddhayogesvarimata. Chap ter 25 first describes the initiation mandala in a rather cursory way. Its side measures three or four hastas and it lias a 32-inch lotus w i t h eight petals in the middle— thus resembling the basic type reconstructed in Illustration 1 and Colour Plates 1 6- 17 (following the more detailed prescriptions o f the srimandala in the NT).95 After a br ief statement o f how the p lacement o f mantras is to be performed on the body, the text appears to shift subject to give details o f rites to a cqu ir e supernatural powers which are to be pe rfo rm ed in the cremation ground. The placement o f the mantras is followed by the filling o f the mandala outline with powders. Verse 34 specifies that white powder is to be produced from powderized human bones and red from blood. Then, the practitioner is to place a huma n skull on the pericarp o f the lotus and on the eight petals and should write the mantra o f Bhairava with his consort on the central skull with blood taken from his left arm. This Bhairava holds a trident in his right hand, on which the three principal goddesses o f the Trika, Para, Parapara and Apara, should be projected. On the remaining eight skulls the eight mantra-goddesses who form the retinue o f Parapara should be written, starting with Aghora. So far, this siddhim andala basically follows the arrangement o f deities pre scr ibe d in ch apt er 6 for the samaya rite; the three goddesses occupy the prongs of the trident and the group o f eight is ea rly ones, w ere b a se d on such p rin cip les. F o r the p r o b le m o f d u a lism an d n o n ­ dualism in scriptural sources, sec Sanderson 1992: 282ff. 95 T h e sa m e type o f m a n d a la is giv en in an o th e r T rik a text, the T a n tr a s a d b h a v a ( 9 . 1 0 4 f f ) , w h ich calls it the sarvatobhadra(ka). A lth o u g h the S i d d h a y o g e s v a rim a ta se e m s to ag ree w ith the T a n tra sa d b h fiv a on this m a tte r r a th e r th a n w ith a th ird s u rv iv in g T rik a text, the M alin lv ijay a (w hich gives a m a n d a la o f a trident an d the lo tuses), the su b se q u e n t verses on sid d h i s h o w that there is a trid e n t p re s e n t on the m a n d a la o f the S id d h a y o g e sv a rim a ta , too: but instead o f b e in g d ra w n on the g ro u n d in s id e th e m a n d a l a , it is d r a w n in b lo o d on a sk u ll p l a c e d in th e m id d le . N e v e r th e le s s , it m u s t be m e n tio n e d th at the text d o c s n o t g iv e an u n a m b i g u o u s a c c o u n t o f the m a n d a la s. T h is c h a p te r as well as ch ap ters 7 and 8 su g g e s t that the initiation m a n d a la ( diksamandalci) m a y well re s e m b le the T a n t r a s a d b h a v a ’s sa rva to ­ bhadra, w ith o u t the trident, even th o u g h c h a p te r 6 c learly p re s c rib e s the m a n d a la w ith th e trid e n t fo r th e sam aya rite. M o re o v e r, A b h i n a v a g u p t a ’s s u m m a r y o f the principal m a n d ala o f this text— on the basis o f w h ic h I h ave a tte m p te d to reconstruct the m a n d a la in C o lo u r Plate 19, but w h ic h is not in c lu d e d in the s u rv iv in g short re c e n sio n — u n am b ig u o u sly gives one with the trident,



placed on the petals o f the lotus. However, after g i v i n g the bijam an tras for the goddesses and promising the successful invo­ cation o f Yoginis, verses 5 3- 55 give a new set of eight goddesses one can equally worship with the same or other bijas on the diagram. Their names indicate that they arc probably recommended for lower siddhis such as killing,% The diagram itself becomes a frame wo rk which can accommodate various groups o f deities depending on the siddhi envisaged. A procedure similar to this seems to be at work in chapters 21 and 22 o f the same text. Chapter 21 describes, again very briefly, a wheel-diagram with 12 spokes, which appears to be r eco m m en d ed for wo rship in various months o f the year. Tw el ve Rudras o f different names are placed on the spokes, and a Bhairava, identified with o n e ’s self, performs the churning o f the nectar o f immortality in the middle. Subsequently, the text gives a summary in a few verses o f a samaya type ritual, in which this very whccl-diagram is e m ­ ployed to determine the gotra name o f the initiates (verses 20—21), implying that the wheel is used as the central image o f a mandala. The wheel is to be drawn red, with a mixture including blood. N o w a passage in the next chapter prescribes the visualization o f the same kind o f wheel as the one m ent io ned for the golra attribution. However, this time the wheel, whose basic colour is red and which is to be visualized in the middle o f an Ocean o f Blood, is mentally pro­ jected in the air. Instead o f 12 Rudras, 12 frightening Yoginis— or optionally six Yoginis accompanied by six Rudras as consorts97— are to be placed on the spokes. They churn amrtn from the Ocean of Blood and bestow success upon the practitioner. The wheel-diagram used for a golra name-giving initiatory rite and r e c o m m e n d e d for monthly worship is thus em p l o y e d as a f ram ew or k on which more fierce fill deities are installed to gain supernatural powers, just as the lotus mandala o f the main goddesses can also ac c o m m o d a t e goddesses associated with black magic (abhicara). A lthough the above examples are fairly representative o f the major ways in which the initiation mandala can be transformed to be sto w sid d h h , they are not exhaustive. T w o additional co m m o n * T h e first o f th em is callcd Ja m b h a n i and the last, P ram atham . T h is is h o w the c o n jun ctio n v ;lm a y be interpreted in verse 34, follow ed by the m ention o f th e tw o sets o f six in verse 35.



t y p e s o f procedure should be mentioned in this context: certain graphical differences which are associated with particular siddhis a nd the change o f materials with which the mandala is prepared. As for graphical changes, after describing the principal mandala, w h o s e base is square-shaped, the Nisvasatantra mentions briefly how to d r a w the outline o f circular ( vaiiula) mandalas, mandalas o f a semi-circular ( ardhacandra) type and triangular (trikona) ones. This is f oll o w e d by the sta te m en t that for rites o f pr op itiation or a p pe as em en t as well as for prosperity, one should use the square or c ir cu la r type; the semi-circle should be used for the m an da l a o f Ca nd e sa and the triangular type, for black magic.118 A different sort o f graphical change is prescribed for the worship o f various deities and for the acquisition o f siddhis in the Mrgendra, w h i c h draws the shape o f the petals o f the lotus in the man dal a di ffe re nt ly for different purposes.1” For supe rnatu ral po w er s in general (b huti), the petals should have curled-up tips; they should be e v e n for liberation ( m u k ti) 'no For the worship o f K am es v ar a and other deities bestowing good fortune, the petals are to have pointed tips, whil e if one worships the iokapalas, the grahas, the ganas, Ca ndeSa or Ganesa, the petals must be broad and cur ved at the e d g e s . 1111 The ganas are also given round-shaped petals in another verse. The worship o f the Vidyesvaras requires petals shaped like c o w ’s ears, and Gauri, the goddess o f speech (vak) and the Rudras are to be worshipped on lotuses whose petals look like the leaves o f the Asvattha tree. In th e s u b s e q u e n t v er se s, the M r g e n d r a g iv es y e t m o re alternatives, which concern the shape o f the mandala and its colour according to the deities or the purpose o f the worship. Thus, agreeing w i t h the NiSvasa, it p r es cr ib es a s e m i - c i r c u l a r m a n d a l a for worshipping Candesa, but it adds the worship o f the A m r ta v id y a s 102 to this category and specifies that the colour o f the diagram should


vartulam caturasram va siin tike p a u stik e tatha / ardhacandrani tu ca n d ese abhicarc triko n a ka m // fol, 26r3, ( T h e reading o f the m a n u sc rip t c a n d l e has b een e m e n d e d to candese.) v>See M rg en d ra, kriya p a d a 8 .3 1 -3 3 . I fo llo w N a r a y a n a k a n t h a ’s in te rp re ta tio n o f the v e rse , w h o u n d e r s ta n d s the s o m e w h a t en ig m atic sp h u ta m to m e a n a n im n o n n a ta g ra m sa m a n l. mi F o llo w in g N a r a y a n a k a n th a ’s interpretation o f the w o r d m antharagrakam . "“ T h e se are fe m a le m an tra-d eities b esto w in g im m ortality and the like.



be while. The mandala o f the Saubhagyavidyas111'1 is said to be red and vulva-shaped or bow-shaped. The description continues with further options for purposes o f well-being, for rain and for the worship o f the VidycSvaras. The materials used for (lie preparation of the mandala should also be different when used for liberation and when employed for lower supernatural powers (abhiciira) according to Ihc same passage o f the Mrgendra ( kriyapada 8.4Q):I,M the coloured powders are to be made from pearls, corals, gold and the like for liberation, but they are to be produced using substances from the cremation ground for the lower powers. However, if the same mandala is used for liberation as well as for the acquisition o f supernatural powers,"15 the Mrgendra instructs practitioners to make white powder from rice flour, red from red mineral from mountains— vermillion or red chalk according to the c o m m en ta to r — , yellow from yellow orpiment or t u rm e r ic 106 and black from burnt barley and the like. Since initiation mandalas used for several people should not be made for a specific s id d h i, this general type is probably what the text envisages for diksa. It must also be noted that a more esoteric text teaching goddess w or sh ip , the Si dd hayogeSvar imata, does not presc ribe i m p ur e substances for specific siddhis as obligatory. At the sa me time it allows these substances as alternatives for initiation as well. Thus, in 6 .12, the text gives the choice to the guru if lie wants to use ashes (probably meant to be collected in a cremation ground) or flour for the sam ayam andala, and in 8.8 it also gives alternatives without restriction for the making o f the thread to be used to prepare the outline o f the mandala: it can be made o f human hair (n a r a k e sa sam utthena, again probably obtained from corpses) or o f cotton and the like. On the other hand, even for rites to acquire supernatural powers, the instructions state that Hour or ricc-powder may be used, ,IB A c c o r d in g to N a r a y a n a k a n llia th e se arc m a n t r a - g o d d e s s e s b e s t o w i n g the pow ers o f subjugation and attraction, l(M It m a y be no ted that as the a b o v e p a s s a g e s sh o w , the M rg e n d ra a p p e a r s to m en tio n a n u m b e r oT details about m a n d a la s w hich do not c o n cern on ly initiation m a n d a la s , a lth o u g h the m ain subject o f the p assag e is indeed initiation m a n d a la s. T h e r e f o r e the d istin c tio n b e tw e e n n u i k t i and abhiciira m ay not refer to initiation m a n d a la s o f initiates with different purposes, but rather to sid d h im a n d a la . 105 T h is is w h at the c o m m e n ta ry suggest,'; at the beg in n in g o f the p assag e, saying

bh uktim uktivisayilnam yaga nam. I,lfi I again follow the c o m m e n ta to r on haridrakadinii: haridraharitalfidina.



a l t h o u g h pr e fe r e n c e is given to im pure s u b st an ce s , powderized human bones for white and blood for red.107



5 Substitution and Change:10* The W orship o f Visnu and the Inclusion o f the Buddha in the Netratantra T h e siddhim andalas e x a m in e d so far s h o w that th e p a n t h e o n worshipped on them can vary significantly and in several ways from the pantheon o f the initiation mandalas. However, in all these cases th e deities worshipped remain those taught in the Saiva systems: f orm s o f Siva or Bhairava, various Yoginis or groups o f deities form in g their retinue such as the lokapalas. It could be argued that for siddhis, the SvT employs Bhairavas who em body lower levels of t h e u n i v er se in the initiation mandala, and w h o c o n s e q u e n t l y represent lower, non-^aiva revelation: Vidyaraja w ho is employed to c o n q u e r death, for instance, stands for the level o f prakrti and by implication embodies the level attributed to Vedavadins. However, t he deity remains a Saiva mantra-deity with a visual appearance and n a m e o f a Bhairava, In this respect, the N T stands apart from other early texts in that for siddhis it prescribes the alternative worship o f deities who clearly belong to other systems, by substituting the central god o f the cult, M rt y u m j ay a/ N et r an at h a (as well as his consort), with non-Saiva deities. Aft er describing the drawing and decoration o f the mandala, the N T lists the deities to be worshipped in its centre, on the pericarp o f th e lotus. First, the principal deity o f the cult, M r t y u m j a y a is m ent io ned (18.62), who is to be worshipped with the goddess o f pro sperity, Sri, as his consort. Secondly, an alternative is given

]W S id d h a y o g e s v a r l m a t a 2 5 ,3 4 c d : sita m n r sa n k h a ja m c u rn a m ra k ta m ksa ta ja b h a v ita m . I h a v e c o n je c tu re d nrsa n kh a ja m fo r the r e a d in g o f the m a n u s c r i p t s trisankhajam . '™B y this subtitle 1 intend to e v o k e the principal a r g u m e n t in E iv in d G. K a h r s ’s u n p u b lis h e d dissertation entitled “ S ubstitution an d ch an g e: fo u n d a tio n s o f traditional Indian h e r m e n e u tic s ” (O slo, 1996). I h ave not got direct access to this w o rk , w h o s e m a in t h e s i s w a s s u m m a r iz e d b y the a u th o r in p e r s o n a l c o m m u n i c a t i o n s a n d in lectures at the U n iv ersity o f C a m b rid g e. T h e idea is also referred to briefly in K ah rs 1998: 2 7 8 , w h o states that “ c h a n g e is a c h ie v e d t h r o u g h s u b s titu tio n in th at n e w m e a n i n g m a y b e e n c o d e d into old te rm s by m e a n s o f a s u b s titu tio n a l m o d e l . ” In w h a t follow s, I h o p e to s h o w that substitution is app lied in the N T in a ritual context, n o t as a h e rm e n e u tic device, b u t as a m e th o d to in clu d e deities o f o th e r cults in its pan th eo n .



whereby Sridhara, that is Visnu, can be substituted for the principal deity. Visualizations o f Visnu ore described at the b e g in n in g o f chapter 13, in which a number o f Vaisnava forms arc listed whi ch include various incarnations such ;is the Man-lion (Narasimha), the Boar (Varaha) and the Dwarf (Vamana). But the list o f alternatives does not stop here, for the text continues by giving the visualization o f Surya, forms o f Rudra, Marihara, Ardhanarisvara, Brah ma , and finally the Buddha, who is said to specialize in granting liberation to women. The commentator, Kscmaraja, introduces this p a s s a g e 109 by say ing that the text en um er ate s various altern ative f o rm s o f Mrtyumjaya, They can all be worshipped on a mandala, too, which is first shown in the prescription according to which Surya is to be placed in the middle o f a lotus (verse 23), and later by the mention o f various loci o f worship in 28. These deities or— following K s e m a ­ raja— forms o f Mrtyumjaya can be visualized on the ground, in fire or water, on the top o f a mountain, or in any other place whi ch is pleasing to the mind and shall all bestow the desired success. This is further confirmed in another passage o f verses 3 7- 43 , which states that all kinds o f deities lead to success if they arc wor shi pp ed as prescribed. The text explicitly says that deities o f other Tantric traditions can be invoked as well as those o f the N y a y a , the Buddhists,110 the Yoga, Vedic deities, e t c . " 1 The list shows that the B u d d h a is not visualized and regarded as a m an i fe st at i o n o f Vijmu— which could also be the case— but is considered to be the Buddha o f the Buddhists and is invoked as such. W ha t is most striking in the inclusivism of the NT is that it does not stop at the level o f Vedic revelation and Brahminical darsanas, but includes the Buddhists, and that it allows the worship o f forms o f Visnu and the Buddha as principal deities. N o w the SvT also includes the visualization o f B ra h m in ica l deities w ho are not Saiva strictly speaking, and who represent lower levels o f the Saiva universe situated below forms o f Siva. An example for such inclusion can be seen in the description o f internal worship, in the course o f building up the Saiva universe internally. W he n visualizing the lotus o f gnosis (vidyapadnm ) on top o f the l(HCf. the c o m m e n ta ry before S v T 2 13.17. 1111T h e N T 2 uses the irregular or aisn form iirahata as docs the SvT. 111 T h e ‘e t c . ’ in the text is interpreted by K scm araja lo m ean Puranic deities. T h is m a y in cludc the w o rs h ip o f deities such as D u r g a - V in d h y a v a s in i m e n tio n e d s u b ­ sequently.



throne, which is nailed together by the four Vedas and the four aeons ( 2 ,6 4 c -6 5 b ), first a circle o f Saktis is described, w hich is to be placed on the petals with die goddess M anonm ani on the pericarp. T h is is follow ed by the p lacem en t o f th ree circles (m andalas/ m andalakas) on this lotus o f gnosis: the circle o f the sun on the petals, that o f the moon on the filaments and the circle o f fire on the p ericarp .112 T hen the visualizations o f th ree deities ( o f P u ra n ic a p p e a ra n c e ) as reg en ts o f th ese th re e circles or sp h e re s are prescribed: B rahm a, Visnu and Rudra placed on the outer, m iddle a n d in n e r c ircles o f the p e ta ls, fila m e n ts a n d th e p e ric a rp respectively. It is on top o f Rudra, still on the pericarp, that the la u g h in g S adasiv a /M ah ap reta is then to be p ro je c te d b efore the visualization and worship o f Svacchanda’s throne and o f Svacchanda himself. The difference betw een the place and role o f V isnu in the N T com p ared to the SvT is that on the one hand, the N T prescribes the w orship o f forms o f Visnu as the central deity, and on the other that it gives several alternative form s o f V isnu, w hich indicates its s o m e w h a t u n u su al interest for this deity in a S aiv a c o n te x t." 3 M o re o v e r, the a p p e a ra n c e o f the B u d d h a as cen tra l d eity is undoubtedly unique here. By prescribing the w orship o f these deities, the N T goes much further than the SvT in including other cults. This m a y be considered not only another elem ent sh o w in g the N T ’s relative lateness," 4 but also a feature that m ay reflect a different religious scene o f its tim e.115 112 A c c o r d i n g to K s e m a ra ja ( avataranika o f 2 . 7 2 c d - 7 3 a b ) , th e s e th re e c irc le s re p r e s e n t the in s tru m e n t, the ob jcct an d the su b je c t o f g n o sis ( mana, meya, matr ) r e s p e c tiv e ly as well as the three p o w e rs o f kn o w led g e, action and will (iccha, jm n a ,

kriya). 113 A lth o u g h V a isn a v a inflections o f Saiva deities m a y be often e n c o u n te re d , the N T ’s in terest in se v e ra l such fo rm s m a y be c o n s id e r e d u n u s u a l. F o r a V a i s n a v a v e r s io n o f K ali w o rsh ip , sec the e x a m p le fro m the J a y a d r a th a y a m a la te a c h in g the w o r s h ip o f K ali M adhave£vari w ith N a ra sim h a , given in S anderson 1988; 154. 114 T h a t the N T b e lo n g s to a re lativ ely later lay er o f the early, p re -lO th cen tu ry , scriptural so u rces has b e e n arg u ed on the b asis o f a m p le e v id e n c e in B r u n n e r 1974: 126ff., w h o also cites M ad h u su d a n K a u l ’s in troduction to the first edition. 115 R itu a l e c l e c t i c i s m a n d c h a n g i n g a ttitu d e s t o w a r d s s u c h p h e n o m e n a w e r e a n a ly z e d in a series o f p apers by P ro fe s s o r Phyllis G r a n o f f at the E c o le d es H a u te s E tu d e s en S c ie n c e s S o ciales (Paris) in A p ril-M a y 2 0 0 0 , e s p ecially in her first p a p e r en title d “ O th e r p e o p l e ’s rituals: ritual ecle c ticism in early m ed ie v a l r e l i g i o n s ” I am gratefu l to P ro fe s s o r G r a n o f f for g iv in g m e a v ersio n o f the final draft o f he r stu d y an d for d ra w in g m y atten tio n to the ritual e c le c tic is m o f the N T . In the m e a n t i m e p a rt o f this material has b een p u b lish e d ( G r a n o f f 2 0 0 0 and 2001).



W hat is perhaps less striking, but almost equally surprising; is the inclusion o f the ‘deity o f the N y a y a ’—-w hoever it is su p p o sed to b e .110 The inclusion o f the Nyaya is surprising bccau se th e SvT , which can probably be regarded as something of a reference w o rk for the N T ," 7 categorically rejects treatises o f logic (hctuM stra) and condemns them in a relatively long passage.Ilh At the same time, the NT can be said to follow a kind o f logic already established in other Tantras. For the substitution o f principal deities o f the cult with less central ones in mandalas em ployed for siddhi is a practice also seen in the example o f the non-syncretic Siddhayoge& varim ata. The NT applies the sam e p ro c e d u re o f substitution, except that it goes a step further and includes V aisnava and non-Brahminical deities or cult figures, who do not form part o f its basic pantheon. The substitution can be justified in the same w ay as the SvT justifies its recognition o f other scriptures: all scriptures as well as all deities and doctrines arc created by and identical with the supreme deity o f this Tantra."'' Conclusion Instead o f sum m arizing the m ajor points o f the above analysis o f in d u s iv is m or eclecticism — points which may well change in the light o f further evidence— I would like to mention tw o particular features o f the m andala as locus o f w orship that m ay have c o n ­ tributed to in d u siv ism or ritual eclecticism in B hairavatantras: the

K s c m a ra ja a d loc, interprets this rcfcrcncc to m ean that the s u p r e m e deity o f the N y a y a is one e n d o w e d w ith q u alities o f o m n is c ic n c c and the like, but w h o is ontological ly different from men, 117 F or the N T ’s relying on the SvT, see B runner 1974: 126IT. "* A s m e n tio n e d ab o v e , e v e n if N y a y a and HetuSastra (th e la tter p o s s i b l y m e a n in g any w o rk questioning the authority o f revelation) m ay not ex actly c o v e r the sa m e b ra n c h o f S aslra, it is un lik ely that th ey arc strictly d if f e r e n tia te d in th e s e scriptural p assages. T h e above m e n tio n e d passage about treatises o f logic is lo ng in that no other school o f thought is treated or criticized in such detail in the text. See S v T 11.167—179b on w h at it calls Hctu&islra, while all other traditions are dealt with in ve rse s 1 7 9 c - 185. IWS o m e th in g to this effect is stated in 1 3 .44-46. This p a ssa g e c o n firm s that the prin c ip a l d eity o f this cult is the soul o f all m an tras, an d th e re fo re th e re is no in frin g e m e n t o f th e rules p resc rib in g that rites o f d ifferen t s c h o o ls s h o u ld not be m ix e d up. K s e m a ra ja ’s c o m m e n ta ry a d loc. a dds a m ore strongly n o n -d u a listic inter­ pretation o f this statement.



c o s m ic sym bolism o f the mandala, and the fact that the draw ing itse lf is an empty framework. A lthough the initiation m andala may not depict the Saiva cosm os in a m ore explicit way than other supports o f w o rs h ip , 120 its c o n ­ centric or vertical image o f a hierarchy o f deities and other elements is often seen as representing a cosmic hierarchy, too, Thus, the image o f the m andala is identified with the cosmic hierarchy in scriptural s o u rces: the trident o f the Trika is u n d ersto o d to rep resen t the universe from earth to Siva, the deities o f the SvT represent levels fro m p ra kiti up to S iva-B hairava and the five outer lines draw n a ro u n d the m andala o f the N T stand for the five kalas w hich constitute the &aiva universe (see A ppendix 1). This identification is continued by Ksemaraja in his com m entary on the SvT, in w hich he states that the 224 inches o f the side o f the m andala represent the w o r ld s o f the Saiva u n iv erse. Since the m a n d a la is seen as representing the cosmic hierarchy, it includes lower revelation. Thus, at least for purposes o f siddhi, deities o f these lower revelations may be used effectively. They o f course do not fully deprive the central deities o f their im portance and place in the hierarchy: for example, em ploying the B uddha’s pow er is recommended m ainly for women. A second feature o f mandalas which may have contributed to the substitution and inclusion o f non-Saiva deities is that they do not actually depict the deities them selves.121 Although Tantric deities can be visualized for w orship, their identity lies first and forem ost in th e ir m antric form, as pointed out in S anderson 1990: 78. In a nu m b er o f texts, this means that they can be visualized in som ew hat 120 As B ru n n e r 1986: 30 (cf. B ru n n er, p, 175) points out. H o w e v e r, as I h a v e tried to a r g u e above, the m a n d a la is a spccial case c o m p a r e d to the lin g a or a te m p le in th at it g iv e s a m a p p in g o f the deities o f o n e ’s tradition. 121 I think th e re is a p ractical reaso n for this, a p a rt f r o m the d o c trin a l re a s o n s a lre a d y m en tio n e d . S in cc th e se m a n d a la s arc m o s tly m a d e o f c o lo u r e d p o w d e rs , it w o u ld require an ex tre m e ly !arge-sizc m a n d a la to b e able to depict d eities in detail on it. Such fig u rativ e im a g e s in co lo u re d p o w d e rs are m a d e e v e n to d a y in K erala. An e x a m p le is the K a ja m E luttu, w h ic h depicts B h a d ra k a ll before the p e r f o r m a n c e o f a M utiycttu. T h is sh o w s that even a single deity req u ires a ra th e r large diag ram . T h e co n stru ctio n o f such a d ia g ra m w o u ld be qu ite u npractical for rites such as the n a m e - g iv in g sa m a ya ritual. H o w e v e r, w h at is m is s in g on the S a iv a T a n tr ic im a g e can be a m p ly p ro v id e d by detailed v isu a liz a tio n , the re su lt o f w h ic h m a y n o t be as different from so m e T ib etan B u ddhist m an d alas as B r u n n e r 1986: 31 (cf. B ru n n e r, p. 176) claims. W ith o u t trying to d raw too m a n y parallels b e tw e e n th e s e tw o traditions, I w o u ld j u s t like to e m p h a s i z e a g a in th at th e S a i v a m a n d a l a is n o t s im p ly the d ra w in g itself, but the d raw in g and the visualization.



differing forms according to o n e ’s purpose, and thus the g o d d e s s Para, for instance, is given a rosary and a m anuscript as a t tr i­ b u tes— sim ilarly to the goddess o f speech, S a r a s v a tl122— w h e n visualized to obtain eloquence, but she is pictured as pouring out the nectar o f immortality to conquer death,121 Taken to the extrem e, this principle implies that any visualization can suit a m antra-deity, w ho may well take up the appearance o f the Buddha if needed. T h e m a n d a la is q u ite w e ll-a d a p te d for such radical c h a n g e s in visualization, for it does not depict the deities in their concrete forms. If one uses the geometrical framework o f the mandala, changing the deity ’s appearance in visualizations does not necessitate any change in the traditional mandala, draw n according to Saiva sc rip tu ra l prescriptions. In a final remark, it could be concluded that w hat renders the identity o f B hairavic m antra-deitics weak is in fact their p o w e r ­ fulness. It is because they arc too powerful and dangerous to b e depicted with their iconographic features (TA 27.23) on objects such as the m andala that their visualized images can be c h a n g e d or replaced by the images o f other deities; and it is this iconographic interchangeability that allows ritual inclusivism or eclecticism .124

122F o r this identification, see Sanderson 1990: 43. 123 S e e S i d d h a y o g e £ v a r i m a t a , c h a p t e r s 1 1 a n d 12.

124 It w o u ld req u ire an a lto g eth er sep arate p a p e r or m o n o g r a p h to e x p lo r e w h y such e c lecticism takes place in the N T in particular, w h ich e x h ib its a s o m e w h a t lax attitude tow ards m ix in g prescriptions o f different traditions (tanirasainkara in 13.46). In addition to an investigation into the c hanging religious sccn c o f d ifferen t p eriods, a rath er precise ch ro n o lo g y o f the scriptural sources w ould also be needed.



A p p en d ices A p p e n d ix 1: The Construction o f the Srimandala B e lo w is a b rie f description o f how a simple m andala is constructed, follow ing the prescription o f the N T with K sem araja’s com m entary. N o te th at w ith o u t the c o m m en tary it w ould be im p o ss ib le to reconstruct the mandala. Technical terms are given with illustrations so th at this sum m ary can serve as a basis for the reconstruction o f o th e r mandalas. Their descriptions seem to follow m ostly the same gen eral term inology with a few m inor differences. Som e o f these d ifferen ces will be pointed out below. W ays in which the cardinal d ir e c tio n s are d e te rm in e d on the g ro u n d , d e ta ils c o n c e rn in g m easurem ents, some problems pertaining to the actual draw ing w ith the help o f threads and the colouring with powders are not discussed here. H ow ever, it must be born in mind that these factors, too, form p a r t o f the process o f m andala construction, and are som etim es d e tailed in the m iddle o f the description o f the draw ing. A good ex am p le is the discussion o f how to establish the directions in SvT2 5.29ff. W h a t follow s concerns only the actual d raw in g and the colours applied according to N T 2 18.3Iff. A sim ilar m andala w as reconstructed in Brunner 1986 ( c f Brunner, p, 177) on the basis o f a later text, the Saradatilaka and R ag h a v ab h atta’s co m m en tary , but w ith o u t explanations o f all the technical terms. For the construction o f the srimandala, see Illustration 1, while the final result o f the con­ struction can be seen in C olour Plates 16 and 17 according to two versions. T he drawing o f the mandala starts with the construction o f a grid, in which the size and num ber o f the cells vary . The shape o f the grid is square ( caturasra) and its lines are always draw n along the northsouth and east-west axes. A cell is called a kostha or kosthaka, and the length o f one o f its sides is a bhaga. In the NT, the grid o f 324 cells has 18 bhagas on each side. There is an eight-petalled lotus in the middle occupying eight times eight cells. In m ost mandalas, the construction o f a lotus follows the w a y in w hich this central lotus is produced in the NT. First, four concentric circles are drawn in the middle o f the central square o f the lotus. T he first one has a radius o f one bhaga and is the circle o f the pericarp o f the lotus (karnika). The second circle has a radius o f two bhagas and

2 16


marks out where the fibres will end (kcsariigra). The third circle has a radius o f three bluigaa to show where the petals will be jo in e d to one another (dalasamdhi). The last circle has a radius o f four bhagas, to mark where the tips of the petals should end (dalagra). This is followed by the drawing o f the lines where the petals o f the lotus will meet. This means that first, one should draw eig h t lines from the centre in the cardinal and intermediate directions. T h e s e lines will intersect the outermost circle at the points where the tips o f the petals arc to be. Then one draws eight additional lines w h ic h must be in the middle o f those eight radii. This halving is done in the same way as at the establishing of the square o f the m andala. In this case it is done by halving the line which one could draw betw een tw o petal lips, starling with the lips o f the north-eastern and the northern petals. It is obvious from the description that since these latter lines represent the sides o f the petals, they will be visible from outside the circle o f the pcricarp up to the third (dalasam dhi) circle. It is also m entioned that the petals have three fibres each (draw n from th e pericarp up to the second circle). T he next step is the drawing o f the outlines o f the petals o utside the d alasam dhi(i.e., the third) circle. Ksemaraja says that one should draw two arcs with the help o f a thread, fixing the thread with the left hand in between the line in the middle of the petal (m adhyasutra) and the line on the side o f the petal (parSvasutra). Then one should d raw two arcs on both sides [of the petal] with the right hand, starting from the point where the petals should intersect (already established by the intersection o f the third circle and the parSvasutras). After the description o f the lotus, the text gives the colours for its various parts. It continues by stating that a white circle is to b e drawn, its thickness measuring one inch, around the lotus. This is the so-called ‘air-line’ ( v yo m a w kh a ). Outside this circle, a square should be made, with a yellow line which is one inch (ariguki) thick. T his is the inner part o f what is called the ‘seat’ (pitha), w hich is a square band occupying one bhaga outside the inner square. (The w idth is m entioned by K sem araja in his com m entary on 43cd.) T h e n this surrounding band is to be divided into the corners (kona) and the socalled ‘lim bs’ (gatraka). These limbs are formed here by leaving tw o bhagas on each side for the corners. Thus the ‘lim b s’ occupy four cells each, as K sem araja m akes it clear. He also gives a b r ie f definition o f the ‘lim bs:’ they are particular segments which should



fall in betw een corners, outside the ‘air-line’ (gatrakani konantaralaga avayavavisesa vyom arekhaya bahye karyani). Next, one should leave a band which is two bhagas w ide around th e ‘s e a t,’ This is the terrace or passage (v ith i). In K se m a ra ja ’s explanation the passage is the place to conduct the p u ja . O utside o f this is the area where the doors are to be drawn, on a surrounding tw o bhaga wide band. T he door has two parts, here called kantha and upakantha. The fo rm e r is the u p p er part, i.e., the part closer to the centre o f the m a n d a la . In this m andala it occupies four cells, as K se m a ra ja explains. He understands the prescription o f two cells in the text to apply on both sides. Colour Plate 16 reproduces the m andala accor­ ding to K sem araja’s interpretation, while Colour Plate 17 gives the b a sic structure w ith o u t the ornam ents and w ith o u t c o n sid e rin g K sem araja’s remark about the size o f the doors. The base or lower part o f the door is one cell w ider on each side here. K sem araja gives a definition o f both kantha and upakantha: ka n th a m dvarordhvagam a v a y a v a v is e s a m u p a k a n th a in kanthadhog a m avayavavisesam . N ote that in a num ber o f texts, this base is not called upakantha, but k a p o k i125 N ex t to the door, there is an ornamental part which has the shape o f the door turned upside d o w n .120 The smaller and outer part o f this elem ent is called the goblia and the wider upper part is the upasobha. A gain, their m easurem ents are based on K s e m a ra ja ’s com m entary, w h o h im s e lf mentions that some details are left out and understood to be supplied by the reader. Note that the sob h a and upasobha are c a lle d kapola and u p a k a p o la in the Isa n a s iv a g u ru d e v a p a d d h a ti (kriyapada 8.58), in which they are also defined as having the shape o f doors tu rn e d u pside dow n and being p laced n e x t to th e m ( tatparsvatas tadvipantavaktras tadvat kapolopakapolakah syuh). W hen the doors are ready, the text m entions that one is to draw three circles (inside the doors?), leaving out the w estern door, w hich faces the deity. This is not com m ented upon by K sem araja, but there is a b rie f mention o f a circle in the context o f the door in TA 31.83, in w hich the door is said to be circular optionally. In the context o f the NT, how ever, it seem s that the function o f these circles is to 125 Sec, e.g., S v l '2 5.34ff., M alinivijaya 9.3 la b and T A 31.39, 31.84cd. S ec K s cm araja on 44d: dvaraparsvayoh p a ra vrtta d va ra sa m n ivesa ka ren a “tatha so b h opa sobha k c " k ft rnyct.



close, cover or seal the doors, and this is probably the reason w hy the western door facing the deity has no circlc. For this idea, see, e.g., the Laksm lkaularnava quoted by Kscmaraja ad SvT2 5.35ab: dvaratrayam pidhatavyam pascimnm m pidlmpuyct. Nothing is said about the exact position or size o f these circlcs in the NT. This mandala, being that o f §ri, is decorated with conch shells and lotuses in the vithi ^ in the outer corners and outside. All colours are given in detail except those for the outer corners; and it is also not clear if the decorations in the vithi should be black or the vithi itself. Since all parts o f a mandala have to be covered w ith c o lo u re d pow der so that the ground should not be seen,127 it can be assum ed that the corners also had some colouring. I have applied w hite for the vithi as well as for the corners. The former is said to be always white in Isanasivagurudevapaddhati, kriyapada 8.73,12* and as b oth th e v ith i and the corners have the decorations o f conch shells and lotuses, 1 assume they are also o f the same colour. Consequently, the outlines o f the conch shells and lotuses are m ainly black, u n d e r­ standing that the N T refers to the outlines o f ornam ents w h en p re s ­ cribing the black colour and not to the vith i.m V erse 4 7 c d - 4 8 a b prescribes the draw ing o f five lines around the m andala, w h ich represent the five kalas, the lowest ( nirrti) being the outerm ost one. A ccording to Ksemaraja ad b e., they are white, red, black, yellow and transparent, starting from the outermost line.

127 See, e.g., a b r i e f aside in l6 a n a £ iv a g u ru d e v a p a d d h a li( k riy a p a d a 8,61b: ya th a b h u m ir na drsyatc. 128 T h is p a ssa g e states that the do o rs and the petals sh o u ld also be w h ite , w h ic h agrees w ith the NT, 129 It is also unlikely that it should refer to the o rn a m e n ts th e m se lv e s, for it w o u ld be very odd to require conch shells and lotuses to be black.


'1* 1

' i

' u p a i x

k a n . t k a . ! ' ' '

. , !




1. The outline and construction o f the srimandala according to the Netratantra



A p p e n d ix 2: The Navanabhamandala The m andala o f the nine lotuses (Colour Plate 18) has been re c o n ­ structed according to S vT2 5.19 34 and K sem araja’s c o m m e n ta ry thereon. The grid measures 224 x 224 ahgulaa and is divided into 7 x 7 large bhagas. Ksemaraja remarks that the number 224 reflects the num ber o f bluivam n. Mere again, the drawing starts at the centre, where one is to draw a lotus in the same way as described in the N T above in the central kostha. The di fference is that the scat o f the lotus here is the outline o f the ccntral kostha itsel f without the construction o f the gatrakas. The eight other lotuses arc constructed in the sam e way around the ccntral lotus, leaving one kostha in betw een them . The various parts o f the surrounding area, the sobha, upasobha, and kantha are all said to be h a lf the size o f the v ith i. K s e m a r a j a understands this to refer to the v ith i around the lotuses, w hich has been obtained by halving the space between the lotuses and the edges (see 3 3 c d - 3 4 and com m entary). The text itself must refer to the height o f these elements, while their varying widths arc given by Ksemaraja. The two parts o f the doors are termed here kantha (the thinner, i.e., inner part) and kapoJa (the wider part). The elem ents next to the door are termed upasobha (the wider or inner part next to the kantha) and sobha (the thinner or outer part being next to the kapola). A ccording to Ksemaraja, the height and the width o f the kantha is the same, measuring h a lf o f the vithi. This m eans it is a small square whose side is equal to the quarter o f the side o f a lotusseat. A lthough the size o f the kapola is not defined by the text, Ksemaraja— referring to other scriptural prescriptions— understands it to be o f the size o f h a lf a vithi by one vithi. This means it occupies twice the space o f the kantha as reconstructed in C olour Plate 18, V erse 34ab informs us that, there are eight doors, and K sem araja explains that they are in between the lotuses. Since the size and places o f the doors are determined, what is left between two doors on each side is the §obha with the upasobha. After constructing the sobhas and the upa£obhas o f the same size on each side o f each door, the remaining parts form the four corners. H ow ever, it is possible that in the text, kapola m eans w h at is added to the size o f the kantha outside the kantha. This is suggested by the name kapola, ‘cheek.’ In that case, what is outside the kantha measures three times the square o f the kantha. This would result in



s lig h tly different d o o r-s h a p e s, and the form s o f the sobhas, upasobhas and corners would also change. As for the colours, Ksemaraja points out that since they are not specified, one has to resort to other Agamas. On the colours, he cites th e Saiddhantika Parakhya, which has the same prescription for the lotuses as the NT, but adds that the space betw een lotus petals is green and the corners are red. The fibres are slightly different, having the colours white, yellow and red starting from inside. I have made the doors and the v ith i white, as in the case o f the N T ’s mandala, and the sobhas and upasobhas red and yellow. K sem araja mentions that the w estern door, facing the deity, should be left open or uncovered, b u t since the covering is not explicitly prescribed in any graphic form, I have not tried to supply it.



A p p e n d ix 3: The Trident Man (hi In For the construction o f the trident mandala in the Siddhayogesvarimata, I have followed TA 31.155 with commentary as far as 1 have been able to. The outline is to he made on a square o f three hastas on each side, to which a surrounding hand o f 12 angulas is added for the doors. The square o f three hastas on each side is divided into nine large cells, one square hasta each, and these are further divided into 6 x 6 , i.e., 36 small cells each, so that each small cell m easures four angulas on each side. The lotus in the middle, sim ilar lo the one described in Appendix 1, measures one hasta on each side. The trident is drawn in the large cell in the middle, i.e., leaving three small bhagas untouched b elo w .1111 On both sides, tw o h a l f circles are to be drawn downwards, in the neighbouring two bhaga s. This implies that the radius o f the smaller half-circles is h a lf a bhaga, and the radius o f the larger half-circles is one bhaga. The sm aller half-circles continue in small arcs o f quartcr-circles above. The tip o f the m iddle prong should end h a lf a hasta inside the large kostha above the kostha o f the central lotus, i.e., half a hasta below the door. The tips o f the two other prongs should fall on the side-lines o f the large kosthas, i.e., on the lengthened side-lines o f the square o f the central lotus. I have made these tips by lengthening the lines that could be drawn between the centre point o f the m andala and the points where the two small arcs end. The two points w here these lines intersect the side-lines o f the large kostha arc the tips o f the side-prongs. However, the exact drawing o f the tips o f the prongs are left to the reader’s decision to some extent. In addition to problems concerning the formation o f the prongs o f the trident, I have also had problems in interpreting the way in which the staff is to be drawn. As for its length, it readies down as far as the edge o f the outer sq u are.111 It is said to be three hastas long counting from the tip o f the middle prong, if I understand the text correctly. This means that the distance between the top o f the trident and the bottom end o f the staff is three hastas, which is indeed the case if the staff reaches down to the edge o f the outer square. Its thickness is two angulas, which is probably to be applied on each

130Jayaratha states: tatra m a d h y u d adhastanam bhagatrayain lyaktva. 131 See Ja y a ra th a ’s statem ent: parivarjilabahyadvrida& lngiilaiitani.



side, i.e., its full thickness is four angulas .132 T he s ta ff should not co v er the lotus, o f course. It is not mentioned that the bottom end o f the staff has got the thick ring called am alasaraka as in the MalinTv ija y a ’s version o f the mandala, nor that the staff is pointed below. H ow ever, it is unlikely that the staff ended abruptly at the bottom, a n d one is p ro b ab ly to draw the poin ted tip as w ell as the am alasaraka. I have done so, assigning one bhaga to the pointed tip as well as to the amalasaraka. T he lotuses on the tips o f the trident m easure h a lf a hasta, i.e., th e ir radius is h a lf o f the radius o f the central lotus. la y a ra th a m entions that the doors and the rest are to be fashioned as before. T he last uncertainty concerns the central seat or pitha, which is not m entioned, but which I have supplied, for to my know ledge there are no occurrences o f a central lotus without a pitha around it. 1 have ch osen the seat to be one bhaga thick, w hich w ould b e a standard m easu rem en t, sim ilar to the m easurem ent o f the p ith a in the N T , w hich is described in Appendix 1, I have not draw n the small stick­ like e lem en t under the central prong called g a n d ik a , w h ic h is prescribed for the M alinivijaya’s trident in 31.67cd-68ab. The colours are set out in verses 147ff. The colours for the central lotus are the same as in the NT. I have also followed the N T w hen colo u rin g the doors and their surroundings. The pitha is coloured again as in the N T , for its prescription is the sam e as that o f the M alinlvijayottara in TA 3 1 .80-81. I have followed verse 31.82 for the colouring o f the trident, w hich is to be red, while its staff is black and the amalasaraka is yellow. However, the v ith i is prescribed red in verse 149 following the lost. Trisirobhairava. For the lotuses on the tips o f the prongs, there may be two possibilities. One is that they are the same colours as the central lotus. The other is that their colours agree with the colours prescribed in the T risirobhairava: red, redblack/brow n and w hite for Parapara, A para and Para respectively, i.e., on the right, left and in the c e n tre ,133 1 have follow ed the T risirobhairava concerning the colours o f the small lotuses, but I 0 2 1 interpret the text to p rescrib e that the tw o vertical lines w h ic h fo rm the s ta f f are to be m ark ed out on three points: in the lower, m id d le and upper part. T h e n these po in ts arc p ro b a b ly to be con n ected in one single line on each side, b u t 1 am not sure if this interpretation is correct. 131 S e e T A 31.118. T h e three colours basically agree w ith the c o lo u rs o f the three g o d d e s s e s in the S id d h ay o g cS v arim ata; sec also S a n d e rso n 1990: 5 1 - 5 3 . L e f t and right are to be s w a p p e d in the draw ing, see S id d h a y o g e sv a rlm a ta 6.24.



have not followed its prescript ions concerning the forms o f th e s e lotuses. For the Trisirobhairava envisages the three small lo tu se s with different numbers o f petals. There is an alternative interpretation o f the description o f the trident, which is equally possible. This interpretation w ould c h a n g e the shape o f the upper part o f the trident, which w ould s o m e w h a t resemble the reconstruction in Sanderson 1986: 171, except that it w ould be much broader than the central lotus and that the s id e prongs w ould be curved, If this interpretation is fo llo w e d , the thickness o f the upper part o f the trident is not determ ined at all in the text., therefore I have followed the first alternative,

M A N D A L A S IN A B H I N A V A G U P T A ’ S T A N T R A L O K A ’

Andre Padoux In the T antraloka (TA), ‘L ight on the T a n tra s ,’ the vast treatise A b h inavagupta com posed during the first years o f the 1 1th century, w h e r e he expounds his own interpretation o f the notions and practices o f the non-dualist Saiva system o f the Trika, mandalas are m entioned a num ber o f times. However, while the whole o f chapter 31 in this work is devoted to these ritual diagrams, no general view is given there o f the theory and practice o f the m andalas. It is only th r o u g h his descriptions o f how m andalas are m ade use o f in different rituals, and especially in the initiation (diksa) ritual, that A b h inavagupta’s conception o f the nature o f these devices appears. C h a p te r 31 (163 slokas), on the nature o f m an d alas (.m andalasvarupam ), does not describe their nature, merely how to draw them. It consists alm ost entirely o f quotations from earlier T antras. It describes five different types o f mandalas, four o f w hich are m ade o f tridents and lotuses (sulabjamandala), while one includes a svastika. T h e descriptions are those o f four different Tantras, three o f w hich have not com e down to us: the Trikasadbhava (also called T a n tra­ sadbhava), the D evyayam alatantra, and the T risirobhairavatantra. T h e fourth d escription is taken from c h ap ter 9 ( 6 - 3 0 ) o f the M alinivijaya, the Tantra on which according to A bhinavagupta the teach in g o f the TA is based; this text is still e x ta n t.1 W hile the descriptions o f the Trikasadbhava and the M alin iv ijay a are clear e n o ugh, those draw n from the two other T antras are d ifficult to u n derstand (even with the help o f J ay arath a’s com m entary). O nly tw o forms o f the Sulabjamandala can therefore be draw n w ith any

* T h e E n g lish o f this p a p e r has b een ch c c k e d by M rs B a r b a r a B r a y w h o s e kin d h e lp I w ish (oncc m ore) to a c k n o w le d g e very gratefully. 1 S e c B ib lio g r a p h y . “T h e r e is n o th in g h e re ,” say s A b h i n a v a g u p t a in the first c h a p t e r o f the TA (1.17) “ that is not c learly said, o r im p lie d b y th e g o d s in the v e n e ra b le M alinlfvijayottaratantrn].”



certainty.2 The m ethod for draw ing the mandalas given in these Tantras is the usual one, that is, to draw (heir lines with a pow dered string on a pure, consecrated and oriented square surface, divided usually into small square sections. Coloured powders may be added once the pattern is drawn, so as to make it more beautiful, w hich is something the deities like (9.41-42): “one who knows how to do this is a real m aster o f the Trika,” says sloka 5 1. There arc also mandalas m ade o f perfum ed substances, called g a n d h a m a n d a la , and less frequently used. W hat strikes one when looking at these diagrams is that they do not co nform to the pattern generally considered as norm al for mandalas, which are usually centred geometrical structures which the user is to contem plate— and/or to use for his w orship— by going m entally from their outward portion to their middle point; that is, ontologically, from an outer lower plane to the higher central plane o f the deity: it is a centripetal move. Here the mandalas are o f a different type. On a square ground the main element is S iv a’s trident ( sula or trisula), whose staff goes vertically from the lower part o f the m andala to its centre, where it expands in the form o f a lotus, above w hich its three prongs rise. On the tips o f each o f these is a full blow n lotus— this is the trisuklbjam andala, the m andala o f the trident and lotuses described in the M alinlvijaya. Or else it may consist o f a vertical trident blossoming, in the centre o f the diagram, into a lotus from which emerge on top and on the sides three lotustopped tridents, thus forming the tritrisulabjamandala, the m andala o f the three tridents and [seven] lotuses (see Illustration I ):1 The mental m o v e m e n t o f the user thus appears as an ascending one, or as centrifugal: the m andala does not draw the user who m editates it to its centre, but appears to invite (and induce) a fusion through ascent to a higher level, or absorption into the shimmering lum inousness o f a ra d ia tin g divine surface (a m a n d a la b ein g alw ays the r e c e p ­ tacle— the adhara— o f mantras/deities who are by nature luminous). W hile these mandalas are different in their pattern, their ritual (and 2 T h is w as done by S tep h a n ie S anderson for P ro fesso r A lexis S a n d e r s o n ’s 1986 article ‘ M a n d a la and A g a m ic Identity in the T rik a o f K a s h m i r .’ T h is very eru d ite p a p e r is to date the on ly th o ro u g h study o f the subject: the present b r i e f s u rv e y is very largely indebted to it. Mrs S a n d e r s o n ’s d ra w in g s arc rcp ro d u c c d here w ith her p e rm issio n (see Illustrations 1-3). 3 T h e r e s e e m s also to be a four trid en ts and [eight] lotuses m a n d a la ( c a lu s tr isulabjam andala).



m e d ita tio n a l) role is not: different from that o f other diagram s: they a r e structures on which to focus o n e’s attention, in which to perceive t h e p re se n c e o f the deity or deities, in which to w orship them and f in a ll y unite with them: the aim is the sam e even if the mental and r it u a l course is different. This role o f mandala as a m eans o f fusion w i t h the godhead is underscored by A bhinavagupta w h o — for the m a n d a la s described in the TA — goes as far as to identify the mandala a n d the supreme deity in TA 37.21 where he says: “ because the term m a n d a [forms the word] mandala this word expresses the essence, it m e a n s S iva” (m andalam saram uktam hi m andasrutya sivahvayam ). A s Jayaratha explains, the mandala gives (la d —because o f la) the e s s e n c e w hich designates Siva: m andalam id m andam siva h v a ya m lailtyarthah. T h e T A prescribes the use o f m andalas in various rituals. T he m a n d a la is mentioned in TA 6 .2 -4 as one o f the sthanas, the ‘p la c e s’ o n o r w ith w hich rites are perform ed or mental concentration is p r a c tic e d (the case in this chapter being the transcending o f time). F o r the T A as for all other T antras, the m andala is the ritually d e lim ite d and consecrated surface w here deities and supernatural e n titie s are installed by their mantras and on w hich rites are to be p erfo rm ed . If, however, a mandala is to be used in various rituals and in ritual worship (puja), its more important use, in this treatise, is in initiation (diksa) rites. Its role is so essential to initiation that seeing th e m an d ala may mean being initiated. T A 4.49 and 13.152 quote th u s from slo ka 18 o f the Paratrimsika: adrstam andalo ’p i “even if h e has not seen the m andala,” which can be understood as m eaning ‘e v e n if he is not initiated.5 In this case, however, as A bhinavagupta e x p la in s in his com m entary o f the Paratrim sika, the w ord m ay be g iv e n several interpretations: it can be taken as referring to the system o f bodily cakras or wheels o f pow er w here deities reside; or to the secret ritual meeting o f Tantric initiates and Yoginis (m ela ka), w h e r e the participants usually form a circle; or to the trisuiabjam andala seen during w orship or initiation, or p erceiv ed in o n e ’s b o d y (as we shall see below). These interpretations all refer to cases w h e r e the adept experiences mental cum bodily identification w ith th e deity or its radiating power. Since only an initiated (male) person can perform rites, we shall look at the role o f the m andala first in initiation (diksa), then the

2 28


occasional obligatory (.naim ittika) and the regular obligatory (nitya) ritual worship. C h a p te r 15 o f the TA describes in its latter part (436ff.) the samayadiksa, the first degree o f initiation, by which one becom es a sam ayin, an initiate who abides by the rules (samaya) o f the sect but cannot perform rites. The procedure is a comparatively simple one. For this, the sacrificial surface, the sthandila, is prepared by placing mantras on it and worshipping them, installing powers and offerings in vases, and then tracing a trisiilabjam andala, a m andala o f one trident and lotuses (described in TA 3 1 .62-85, see Illustration 2), w hich in this case is a gandhamandala (15.387),4 not traced w ith coloured powders but with perfumed substances, The initiating guru is to w orship on it the three goddesses o f the Trika “alone or with their consorts, or a mantradevatH’ (388), which he has installed there by their mantras. He must then blindfold the initiand with a cloth on which mantras have been placed and lead him to the m andala, make him fall on his knees and cast flowers on the mandala, after w hich the cloth is sw iftly rem oved: “The initiand, suddenly seeing the sacrificial area illuminated by the supernatural pow er o f the mantras (m antraprabhavoJlasite sthale), is possessed by them and identifies w i t h t h e m ” ( ta d a vesa va sa c c c h isy a s ta n m a y a tv a m p r a p y a te ) (15.451b^452a). “As a lover perceives directly the virtues o f his beloved, in the same w ay [the initiand], made perfect by the descent o f divine grace (saktipatasam skrtah), experiences the presence o f the m antras (m antrasannidhi)” (452). This direct luminous and purifying vision o f a mantra pantheon5 enclosed in the mandala is only the first step in the initiation ritual, but it can be seen as the basic one since this initial em pow erm ent o f the initiate will not only m ake him a m e m b e r o f the sect, but will also induce a p erm a n e n t state o f id en tificatio n w ith the deities o f the m andala, a state that will henceforth form the basis o f his initiatic spiritual life. Though one o f the terms used here to denote the condition o f the initiand is avesa, possession, he does not appear to be expected to fall in trance— as is the case in the K aula initiation described in chapter 29, w here the

4 A g a n d h a m a n d a la is_also used in the w o rs h ip o f the g u r u w h ic h ta k e s p lace b e fo re the sa m a ya d iksa (TA 15.387). 5 T a n tric p a n th e o n s arc as m uch (or perh ap s m o re ) stru ctu red g ro u p s o f m a n tra s as g ro u p s o f deities.



m a n t r a s are so powerful that the initiate, m erely by seeing them , is p o s s e s s e d and falls unconscious on the ground. T h e next step in the Saiva initiation is that o f the putrakadiksa, ( a l s o nam ed viSesadiksa, special initiation, or nirvanadlksa, libera­ t i n g initiation) which transforms the sam ayin into a ‘[spiritual] s o n ’ o f h is guru. It is exam ined in chapter 16 o f the T A , w hose d e s ­ c r i p t i o n (based on the teaching o f the M a lin iv ija y a and other T a n tr a s ) is more detailed than the preceding one. The ritual begins w i t h the drawing o f a (ritrisulabjanMiidala: “ W hen the m aster wishes t o p ro m o te a sam ayin to the slate o f putraka, o f sadhaka, or o f m aster ( d e s ik a ), he must first perform the preliminary purification, then, the n e x t day, draw the m andala in the same w ay as for the com posed s a c rific e ( sam udayikayageY' and elsew here” (1—2a). The use here o f t h i s m o re com plex m andalic structure, w h e re m o re deities are in stalled , m ay be taken as showing that this initiation is o f a higher o r d e r than the first one. Once the mandala is drawn, the triad o f the T r ik a suprem e goddesses, Para, Parapara and Apara, are to be placed ( b y th e ir m antras) on the prongs o f the three tridents and be fully w o r s h ip p e d (purnam sam pujitam ). T hen, the m an d ala (w h ich is a p p a re n tly not made with powders) must be cleaned with a perfum ed c lo th (7b). After which the master, having bathed, worships, in front o f th e m an d ala, the deities o f the external retinue, then, on its ‘d o o r s , ’ the deities o f the doors ( dvaradevata), then, going from the n o r th - e a s t to the south-east, he w orships G anesa and o ther gods “ d o w n to the ksetrapaias” ( 8 - 9 ) . W e m ay note here that such p r e s c r ip tio n s as these show that the m a n d a la is a ra th e r large structure. The guru is now to worship with flowers, incense and other o f fe r in g s the deities installed in the m an d ala, starting w ith the adharasakti, at the base o f the trident, and up to Siva at the tip o f the trid e n ts , the ritual being perform ed on each o f the three tridents. P a ra , Parapara and Apara with their accom p an y in g B hairavas are th u s w orshipped on the lotuses w hich are on the tips o f the three trid en ts, then the transcendent goddess M atrsadbhava— w ho is also P a r a — in the cen tral lotus w h e re she a b id e s a c c o m p a n ie d by B h a ir a v a s a d b h a v a . Para, the su p rem e divine p o w e r, b e in g thus ce n trally placed on all the tridents, is conceived as p erv ad in g the T h i s re fe rs to the m a n d a la used in the so -c a lle d in n e r s a c r if ic e d e s c r ib e d in c h a p t e r 15 ( 2 9 5 b —365) o f the TA . T h is ritual is called c o m p o s e d , o r c o m p le x , since it b r i n g s to g e th e r several different elem ents.



m andala, w hich “ is entirely full o f her presence” (susam purnas tadadhisthanamatratab— 16). Several deities present in the m an d ala are now to be worshipped. Several other rites follow, meant to infuse in the initiand the pow er o f the goddesses o f the mandala7 and bring him to enter the path o f non-duality. A practice is also d escrib ed ( 2 3 -2 6 ) by w hich the initiating master, penetrating then leaving m entally (through a pranayama practice) the deity present in the m andala, experiences an identification o f his self with it (m a n d a latm aikyanusandhana), to use Jayaratha’s expression (volume 10, p. 10). T hus pervaded with the p ow er o f the m andala,8 that is, th e pow er o f the mantras placed in this diagram, he will be all the m ore able to transmit this transforming power to the initiand, leading him from the low er condition o f a sam ayin (or sam ayadiksita) to the higher one o f putraka (or to the state o f sadhaka, if he is a bubhuksu, one who seeks pow er or supernatural rewards through the m astery o f a mantra). M andalas are also used in other forms o f initiation described in the TA. A mandala is used, for instance, in the funeral rite ( antyesp), a kind o f initiation rite, where it is to be drawn in the house o f the dead person (2 4 .1 0 -1 2 ) before the funeral rites are perform ed. It is used, too, in the initiation o f somebody w ho is absent (whether aw ay or dead), briefly d escrib ed in ch ap ter 2 1 . In this case, a fte r prelim inary purifications o f the ritual place, o f the rice used in the ritual, o f the disciple and o f the mandala, the latter is used to bring a b o u t th e p r e s e n c e o f th e m a n tra s and to s a tis fy th e m (m antrasam nidhisam trpti), since these are the powers that are to be p ro p itia te d to initiate the disciple who is absent: as J a y a ra th a com m ents, the m andala protects the disciple even if it is not seen by him. It is useful in spite o f the fact that it is only one am ong eleven elements used to perform that initiation (21.13-15), the ritual having to be performed as richly as possible so as to satisfy fully the powers invoked in the m andala. This m andala is the trilrisuiabjaim ndala, which, A bhinavagupta says (21.19-20), is so powerful that sim ply by seeing it, without even propitiating the mantras placed on it, [the disciple] becom es a sam ayin (m antraniandale anahute ’p i drstam sat

1 S a n d e rs o n 1986: 197 s h o w s h o w A b h in a v a g u p ta s u p e r im p o s e s on the T r ik a d eities o f the m a n d a la the fo u rfo ld s e q u e n c e o f the K ra m a tradition and e v e n the s y ste m o f the tw elve Kalis. * T A 1 7.1-3 un d erlin es the identification o f the initiating guru and the m andala.



sam ayitvasadhanani)— this sentence, however, is probably not to be t a k e n literally. The likeness o f the missing person used in the rite, as w e l l as the mantras, must be luminous ( akrtir dlptarupa ya m antras ta d va i). After the mandala has been drawn and the deity worshipped, a d d s the TA (22b-24), the guru must make with kusa grass and cowd u n g an image o f the disciple he is to initiate, in which he will instil t h a t d is c ip le ’s mind (citta) so as to liberate him from his fetters b e f o r e the rest o f the ritual is performed. T h e sam e m andala is used for the initiation described in chapter 2 9 , w h ich is that o f the Kaula Trika. This initiation is different from t h e o n e given to ordinary disciples. It is given by the K aula guru to a f e w chosen disciples only— one in a hundred thousand, according to T A 29 .1 8 7 — that is, those who are able to perform rites (the K aula sacrifice, kulayaga)9 where a feminine partner ( dutl) plays a role and w h e r e the o fferings in clu d e m eat and liquor, and also sexual secretions.'" Such rites are in contradiction to the generally admitted r u le s o f purity the Trika adept is supposed to respect in his outer s o c ia l behavior. It is therefore to be kept secret. This is repeated s e v e ra l tim es in this chapter by A bhinavagupta, w h o states before d e s c rib in g the part o f the ritual where the m andala is used (29.169): “ th is c a n n o t be described clearly by me because it is secret” (na p a th y a te rahasyatvat spastaih sabdair m a ya ). T h e p a s sa g e w hich f o llo w s (1 7 0 -1 7 4 ) is indeed quite obscure. I have not been able to r e n d e r it very clearly in spite o f the help extended to me by Professor A le x is S anderson whom I consulted on the subject. As Jayaratha e x p la in s in his com m entary on a preceding sloka (p. 114), A b h in a ­ v a g u p ta refers here im plicitly to the doctrine that the teachings o f B h a ir a v a have four foundations, nam ely mantra, vidya, m udra and m a n d a la ," the case here b ein g that o f the m a n d a la , w h ic h is identified with the body o f the perform er o f the rite. In the section o f c h a p te r 29 (slo ka s 166—177), concerning the secret practice w ith a duti, the divinized body o f the Y ogin is the substrate on and w ith v K u l a y a g a , a c c o rd in g to a c o m m o n u se o f the te rm y a g a in s u c h tex ts, m e a n s a ls o th e p an th eo n o f the Kula. 10 It is the o ffe rin g (a r g h y a , argha) c alled ku n d a g o la o r k u n d a g o la k a w h i c h i n ­ c l u d e s the sexual secretio n s p ro d u c e d d u rin g the ritual by the a d ep t and his fe m in in e partn er. " M a n tra s (or v id y is , w h ic h are fe m in in e m a n tra s) are p h o n ic f o r m s o f the deity. M u d r a s , in A b h i n a v a g u p ta ’s v iew (see T A , chapter 32) b rin g a b o u t the identification o f t h e p e r f o r m e r w ith th e deity w h ic h is m a d e p r e s e n t b y a ris in g fro m th e im a g e (p ra tib im b a ) th u s p roduced. O n this see P a d o u x 1990: 6 6 - 7 5 .



w hich the ritual is performed. The passage we are concerned w ith runs as follows: “As ail have [a body], so have the god and the goddess [that is, the Yogin and his duti], This [body o f theirs] is the supreme wheel ( tac cakram paramam) by which the goddess and the pantheon (yaga) are m ade present (170). The body is indeed the suprem e icon (deha eva param lirigam), made o f all the tattvas. Auspicious, it is the highest place o f worship for it is occupied by the wheel o f all the deities (171). It is this [body] which is the suprem e m andala, m ade o f the three tridents, the [seven] lotuses, w heels or voids (kha).12 There and nowhere else m ust the w heel o f deities be c o n sta n tly w o rsh ip p e d , e x tern ally and internally ( 1 7 2 ) . 13 [The perform er] should first concentrate mentally on the mantra o f each [deity] (svasvam antraparam arsapurvam ), then touch [himself] with the richly blissful fluids that are produced from [the b o d y ,14 this being done] following the order o f emission and that o f resorption (srstisam haravidhina) (1 7 3 ).15 By these contacts, the field o f o n e ’s consciousness is aw akened and, becoming the m aster o f that [field], one reaches the highest dom ain (paramam dharnan), having satisfied all the deities [which animate his senses and body] (174). [Then the Yogin] should gratify these [deities] in [his body] with all the heartravishing substances and by concentrating on each o f their [mantras], following for this the procedure laid dow n for the auxiliary w orship ( anuyagoktavidhina)” (175). A bhinavagupta then sings the praises o f the m andala-body: “In the divine abode o f the body (dehadevasadane), I w orship you together, o my god and goddess, night and day, with the blissful nectar that fills the vase o f offering o f the heart, w ith the unm ediated flowers o f the spirit which spread their native natural fragrance, and by sprinkling over the world, bearer o f all, with the pure essence o f my wondering ecstasy (Gamath-ti'rasa)” The use o f m andalas is prescribed not only for initiations but also for the perform ance o f other rituals. For instance, for the w orship o f the new ly consecrated master, the gurupuja, w hich is to be per-

12 Ja y a ra th a glosses k h a b y vyo m a n which m e a n s space, void. W h ic h void is this? I do n o t know . 13 T hat is, by m a k in g offerings (m eat, liquor, sexual flu id s) to the deities on the m an d ala, and by c o n su m in g them. 14 Th is refers to the kundagolaka, see note 10. 15 T h a t is to say, b e g in n in g with the h ig h e st deity at the c ro w n o f the h e a d and p ro g re s s in g d o w n w a r d , o r b e g in n in g w ith the o u te rm o st deities o f the m a n d a la , at the feet, and p ro g re ssin g upwards.



f o r m e d at th e end o f the initiation or consecration (abhiseka) ritual, t h e g u r u is to be seated on a seat ‘o f gold, etc .’ ( h a im a d ik a sa n a m ), p l a c e d on a mandala on which a svastika is drawn (TA 2 8.425-426). W h a t is the pattern o f this svastikam andala is not specified there, but i t is p ro b a b ly the pattern described in chapter 31, 132-154. Slokas 1 4 7 —154 o f that chapter give precise details o f the aspects and c o l o u r s o f th e lotus petals and svastikas o f the m andala, w hich m ust n o t o n ly be brightly coloured but also adorned with precious stones. T h e p assag e ends: “ the sanctuary o f the god o f gods who satisfies all d e s i r e s m u st be outwardly all red and shining (jvalaruna).” T hat the m a n d a l a should be bright, shining, is often said, but it is difficult to g a u g e h ow ‘b rig h t’ these diagrams really were. To be sure, they were b r i g h t l y co lo u red , adorned with flowers, p erh ap s also gold and p r e c i o u s stones, but often the ‘b rightness’ or even the fulguration m e n t i o n e d in the texts is that o f the mantras placed in the m andala, n o t th a t o f the diagram itself: a brightness, therefore, w hich was p r o b a b l y m entally perceived (shall we say im agined?) rather than a c tu a lly seen. A n o th er, more interesting use o f the mandala, perceived as present i n th e body o f the adept, is described in the 15th chapter o f the TA. T h e r e , the m andala is not identified with the body. It is felt to rise w i t h i n it and then to o v erg ro w it, thus b rin g in g ab o u t a total s u rp a s s in g o f bodily existence and consciousness. This takes place d u r in g the first part o f the daily ritual w orship o f the Saiva adept, w h o , b e fo re perform ing the external phase (bahya) o f the w orship, t h e p u ja , is to place mentally in his body the pantheon o f the m andala a n d to identify h im self mentally with it: as the saying goes, n adevo d e v a m arcayet: the officiant cannot worship a deity if he is not first f o rm a lly deified. Here, how ever, the deification is o f a very parti­ c u l a r and especially intense sort since the adept is expected to trans­ c e n d m entally his identity and limited consciousness by realizing it t o b e identical w ith the non-in d iv id u al d iv in e c o n s c io u sn e s s, a p r o c e s s that will fuse him with the unlim ited pow er o f the suprem e g o d h e a d . T h ro u g h this practice, to quote A lexis S an d erso n , the p e r f o r m e r “ ritually internalizes a m etap h y sica l o n to lo g y .” 16 T h e d i a g r a m w h ic h is u s e d to this end is th e trisulabjamandala (Illustration 2), to be visualized by the adept as present in his body, lfi S a n d e r s o n 1986: 172; pp. 1 7 2 - 1 8 2 o f th is s t u d y d e s c r i b e a n d e x p l a i n t h o r o u g h l y the process and m e a n in g o f this ritual m ental w orship.



with all the cosmic entities and deities present in it. The procedure is as follows: first, controlling his vital breaths, the adept fuses his prana and apana breaths in the samana breath, which is then burnt by the ascending udana breath blazing up from below his navel along the susum na up to the d vadasanta (or urdhvakundalini), the subtle cen tre d e e m e d to be p laced tw elve fin g e r-sp a c e s a b o v e the brahmarandhra, therefore above his body. This awakening and rising o f the kundalini is the p relim in ary condition for the in tern a l installation o f the m andala and for the worship o f its deities. In this Y o g ic state o f trance, w hich cuts him o ff en tire ly from th e surrounding world, the adept is to visualize the iris id a bjama n da 1a as present in his body (see Illustration 3). Four fingers below his navel, he places m entally the sw elling at the base o f the trid e n t and worships it as being the adharasakti, the pow er w hich supports the cosmos which he feels as present within him. Then he imagines (and worships as an ascending m ovement toward the deity) the s ta ff o f the trident which he sees mentally as rising in his body above the navel along the vertical axis o f the susum na up to the subtle centre o f the palate ( talu) through the 25 tattvas constituting the world, from the earth-tattva to those o f purusa and the kancukas, which are tiered along it. Thus all the constituents o f the manifest, impure (asuddha) world are present in the adept, constituting the throne o f the Trika deities. A bove the palate, he visualizes the ‘k n o t’ (granthi) o f the trident, identified with the m aya-tattva, then he visualizes its ‘plinth’ ( catuskika) together with the suddha-vidya-tattva, the first level o f the pure universe (suddhadhvan) w hich begins there and extends above m aya up to Siva. On this plinth he imagines an eight-petalled ‘lotus o f gn o sis’ (vidyapadm a) as the Isvara-tattva. In the centre o f that lotus the adept now mentally installs Sadasiva (the 34th tattva), v isu alizin g him as a blazing corpse (the so -called M ah ap reta), em aciated because he is void o f the cosmos, gazing upw ard tow ard the light o f the absolute and laughing b o istero u sly (attahasa).17 S a d asiv a m ust be w o rsh ip p ed as m ad e up o f tw o and a h a l f syllables'8 and as do m in atin g everything, T h e ad e p t is no w to visualize the three prongs o f the trident rising up through his cranial aperture (on the phonic level o f nadanta) from Sadasiva’s navel and 17 T h is m a d laughter is a characteristic trait o f fearso m e T a n tric deities. It is also to be used by adepts during certain rituals. T h e practicc goes back to the PaSupatas. ts A s no ted before, deities are m antras— or m antras deities.



g o in g up to the dvadasanta. These prongs are deem ed to go through t h e su b tle levels o f resonance and co n scio u sn ess n a m e d sakti, v y a p in l and sam ana,19 On the tips o f the three prongs o f the trident ( o n the level o f the dvadasanta and on that o f unmana, the tra n s­ m e n ta l plane), he visualizes three white lotuses. On these he first en th ro n e s the mantras o f three Bhairavas, conceived o f as lying on th e lotuses, and then, seated on the B hairavas, the three suprem e goddesses o f the Trika: first, on the central prong, Para, the supreme, w h ite , luminous, benevolent, pouring amrta; then, on her left, P ara­ p a r a , the interm ediate, red and w rathful; and on h e r o th er side, A p a ra , the lower, dark-red, furious, terrifying. The three goddesses are garlanded with skulls, hold the skull-staff, etc. N ow , the adept, se e in g these goddesses m entally, m ust w orship them together w ith th e ir retinues, offering them (since this is a purely m ental process) th e transcendental consciousness he has o f the fact that the universe is an expansion o f the divine pow er and that his ow n consciousness is totally fused into this divine, om nipresent reality. To perform this Y o g ic practice o f the m andala is thus to experience the identity o f th e s e lf and o f the absolute. All the fantasm agory visualized in this w a y leads the Y ogin to feel dissolved into the transcendental void o f th e absolute whilst being also inhabited in his body by the cosm os a n d its presiding deities. It is an interesting, but strange, process. I f w e c o n sid e r that this Y ogic, visionary trance-like state o f bodily consciousness is to be experienced every day by the Saiva adept, we m a y well w o n d er w hat psychological condition is thus induced in him , w hat kind o f perception o f the world he lives with. Can one feel fu sed with the absolute after having filled o n e ’s m ind with such a fantastic scenery and still behave ‘norm ally’? O f course, these ritual practices m ay have been perform ed m erely in im agination w ithout an y real inner participation o f the Yogin, They m ay even have been lim ited to the mere recitation o f the mantras evoking the tattvas and th e deities (m antraprayoga). But w h at i f they w ere really e x p e ­ rienced? W hat if the Kaula adept, practising the ritual at least once every day, carried always in him this scenery? This is an interesting question— but not one to be answered here.

19 O n the s u b tle le vels o f e n u n c ia tio n ( uccara ) o f a bijamantra , fro m bindu to unmana, see P a d o u x 1990a: 4 0 4 - 4 1 1 . H e re as in o th e r cases the p la n e s (kala) o f p h o n i c u tte r a n c e ( uccara ) arc tak en as a su b tle p r o lo n g a tio n o f th e le v e ls o f the c o s m o s (tattvas).



1. Outline of the mandala o f the three tridents and (seven) lotuses (tritriiulabjamandala) prescribed by the Trikasadbhavatantra

M A N D A L A S I N A B H I N A V A G U P T A ’S T A N T R A L O K A


2 . Outline o f the mandala of the trident and lotuses (trisulabjamandala) prescribed by the Mali nlvij ayottaratantra






R a e k h a ra b lm ir a v a

B lia in iv a s a d b h iiv a

!\T;i v;Uni a b b a fra v a

U nm ana

3 7 ...........

S am anS

S i v a t a t l v a m (36)

Vyapinl SaktitaUvam (35)

Sakti Sad asivatattvam ( 3 4 ) . . . . I S v a r a l a t t v a m ( 3 3 ) .............

S u d dh a v id ylla tlv a m (3 2)....................£

MSyfilatlvam (31) ................................

S adasiva M a h a p re ta , . . L o tu s of G nosis .................................. P lin th {calti$kikd)


K n o t (granlhih) of b a n n e r

6-3 0

1- 5

3. V isualization o f the m andala throne o f the three goddesses o f the Trika


Andre Padoux T h e sricakra— the m andalic form o f the goddess TripurasundarT, sy m b o lic o f her cosm ic activity— is too well kn o w n to need d e s ­ cribing here. It is indeed so well known that ritual diagrams are often believ ed to be all o f the same type— i.e., centred m andalic cosm ic sy m b o ls— though, as Helene Brunner explained in her article, this is not at all the case. The mandalas o f the Tantraloka, also described in this book, are likewise o f a different type. C osm ic diagram s o f the sam e sort as the Sricakra are to be found in the K ubjikam atatantra, chapters 14-16, where they are to be visualized in the body, but not, ap p aren tly , to be m aterially draw n and used for w o r s h ip .1 T his resem b lan ce may be due to the links existing b etw een the ancient K ubjika tradition and the som ew hat more recent Srlvidya, 2 to w hich th e Y o g in lh rd a y a (Y H ) b e lo n g s — it bein g , to g e th e r w ith the V a m a k esv arim ata/N ity aso d asik arn av a, one o f its tw o basic texts. T he description o f the sricakra in the first patala o f the YH is w orth m e n tio n in g because, rather surprisingly, it does not say how the diag ram looks and how to draw it,3 but describes its apparition, its ‘d e s c e n t’ ( cakravatara), as a divine c o sm ic process, an outw ard c o sm ic m anifestation o f the pow er o f the g o d head w hich is to be m editated, visualized, and even bodily experienced b y the adept. The sricakra is show n here as a diagram m atic cosm ic vision rather than ‘ T h e E n g lish o f this paper h as been-— as u su al— k in d ly c h e c k e d b y M rs B a rb a ra B r a y to w h o m I am as a lw a y s very grateful. 1 S ee H eilijgcrs-S eelen 1994. 2 T h is tradition is also called T ripuradarSana o r S a u b h a g y a s a m p r a d a y a . T h e n a m e S r l v i d y a (w h ic h is also the n a m e o f its mulamantra) is e s p e c i a l l y u s e d f o r the m o d e m , ved an tized , form o f the tradition. O n th e links b e tw e e n the K u b jik a and the T r ip u r a traditions, see D y c z k o w s k i 1988. 3 T h is is on ly briefly m e n tio n e d in th e third c h a p te r ( 3 . 9 5 - 9 7 ) , w h e r e the cu lt o f th e g o d d e s s an d o f h e r re tin u e o f d eitie s— th e sricakrapuja, w h i c h is also to be p e r f o r m e d — is d escribed in so m e detail.



as a ritual diagram. The theological, metaphysical bias o f the Y H ’s descrip tio n is em p h asized by the earliest o f the th ree k n o w n com m entaries o f the YH: the DIpika o f Am rtananda (13th or 14th cen tu ry ), w h o s e th o u g h t w as very m uch in flu e n c e d by the K a sh m iria n n o n -d u a lis t P raty a b h ijn a system , th o u g h he w as probably from South India. The YH itself is in all likelihood a w ork from Kashmir, and may date from the 1 1th century.'1 The srlcakra, as is well known, is m ade up o f a central triangle with a dot (bindu) in the m iddle, surrounded by four concentric series o f triangles, themselves encircled by two concentric rows o f lotus petals w hich in turn are encom passed by a threefold circle en clo sed in a sq u are gro u n d form ing the o u ter p o rtio n (see Illustration 1): nine parts altogether, each o f which is called a cakra. T hese nine constitutive parts o f the srlca kra are regarded as an expansion o f the divine pow er o f the goddess, wherein abide all her different energies and all the deities emanating from her and forming her retinue. (These supernatural entities embody and relay her power, infiasing the srlcakra with it and therefore somehow constituting it.5) The srlcakra as show n here is thus not a mere outline, nor a m ere consecrated area, but a cosm ic event and reality, to be m editated, realized, interiorized by the adept through the practice o f bhavana; that is, by creative identifying meditation, a practice the fundamental importance o f w hich in this context must be emphasized: the cosmic event, the expansion and unfolding o f power o f the cakravatara is to be so intensely visualized, imagined, and felt to unfold in the cosmos as well as in the adept’s mind a n d body, that he identifies with it. A n interesting aspect o f the Y H ’s approach to the srlcakra is that its th ree ch ap ters are called sam keta, the first one b e in g the cakrasamketa. The u se o f this term , w h ich m eans a g re e m e n t, a p p o in tm e n t, m ee tin g , u n d erlin e s the fact th at w h at is bein g described there is not a mere diagram, but the diagram m atic aspect and result o f the meeting, the union o f the goddess Tripurasundari

4 See P ad o u x 1994: 4 2 ff. T h e YH m a y have b een influenced b y the Pratyabhijna. s K a sh m iria n S aiv a authors, such, for in stance, as K sem araja, tend to distin g u ish b e t w e e n y an tra, c o n c e iv e d o f as a pattern o f m a n tra s/d e itie s, and m a n d a l a as the actual, v is ib le stru c tu re . T h is , as s u g g e s te d b y S a n d e r s o n in his c o m m e n t s on B r u n n e r ’s c o n trib u tio n to P ad o u x 1986: 33, w o u ld h a v e as a c o n s e q u e n c e that it is only the structure that one can ‘tr a c e ,’ that is the m an d ala, and that (I q u o te) “w h e n one speaks o f the mandala to include the circle o f deities (devatacakram) or m an tras ( mantracakram ) w o rsh ip p e d in it, then this is by extension o f the prim ary sense,”



a n d o f her consort, &iva/Bhairava, the com m on united presence o f t h e s e tw o aspects o f the supreme godhead in the sricakra bringing a b o u t its apparition and endowing it with their unlim ited glory and pow er. A fte r eight introductory stanzas, the first chapter begins: “ W hen s h e , th e supreme power, [becoming] by her own free will em bodied a s all that exists ( visvarupinl), perceives her own throbbing radiance ( sphuratta), the cakra is then being produced .” 6 It is a cosmic event: t h e g o d d ess is taking on her cosmic fo rm .7 The YH then describes t h e developm ent and play o f the divine energies o f the goddess, from t h e bindu in the centre to the outer square delim iting the sricakra. T h e bindu is said to issue from the initial, void ( sunya) phonem e a, w h i c h is the absolute. It is described (slokas 11-12), not as a m ere d o t, n o r as the place in w hich to visualize the goddess, b u t as “ th ro b b in g consciousness whose supreme nature is light and w hich is u n i t e d with the flashing flow [of divine p o w er],” bein g “the seat ( baindavasana) which is the [birth]place o f the flow m ade up o f the th re e m atrkas.” It thus assum es the form o f the ‘threefold m atrka w h ic h is to say the three planes o f the word, pasyanti, m adhyam a and v a ikh a rl which appear together with the inner triangle o f the sricakra. T h e n appears the cakra o f eight triangles know n as n a va yo n i because it is considered as being made up o f the central triangle plus the eight th a t surround it, nine in all, and because it is the origin, the y o n i from w h i c h the follow ing cakras are born. It is d escrib ed as a huge c o m p a c t mass o f consciousness and bliss (cidanandaghanam m ahat), ab so lu tely pure, transcending time and space: a cosmic vision, not a m e r e outline. Then, by an inner process o f tra n sfo rm a tio n and interaction, the other constituting cakras o f the sricakra appear, each d e s c rib e d as luminous, in each o f w hich goddesses or m antras and p h o n e m e s are deem ed to abide (and are to be im agined as present), e a c h also associated with tattvas down to the level o f the earth tattva, o n the outer square. The cakras correspond, too, to the divisions o f th e cosm os called kala, from the santyatltakala, the highest, in the centre, to the nivrttikala, that o f the earth, in the square part. This is to be expected since the sricakra as it appears or unfolds is an image h

yadii sfi parama saktih svccchaya visvarupini / sphurattam atmanah pasyct tadii cakrasya sambhavah U

1 In the n o n -d u a listic vision o f Sa iv ism , the co sm ic m a n ife s ta tio n (srsti), th o u g h ‘e m i t t e d , ’ r e s u lts f r o m an a c t o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f th e g o d h e a d a n d r e m a i n s o n to lo g ic a lly w ithin it.



o f the cosmos in statu nascendi, extending from the godhead to this world. The ‘descending5 cosmic structure o f the srlcakra appears also in the fact that its nine cakras are regarded as forms or creations o f the powers (sakti) o f Siva and from this point o f view are considered as divided into three groups, deemed respectively to correspond to the powers o f will (iccha), knowledge (jnana) and activity ( kriya) o f the deity ,8 “The cakra,” concludes sloka 24, “ is thus threefold. It is an aspect o f k a m a k a la 9 and is in reality and essence expansion (prasaraparamarthatah).'n A fter this first cosmogonic phase, this cosmic vision, the adept must now (slokas 25—36) turn to a different sort o f mental exercise. He is to ‘m ed itate’ (bhavayet), that is, visualize the nine portions o f the srlcakra, from the outer square to the central bindu, as present in nine centres (here called padnia) o f his Yogic ‘subtle’ b o d y . 10 These nine centres are to be visualized with their shapes, colours and residing deities as tiered along the susum na, from the akulapadm a,1' situated at its base, where he mentally places the outer square (called the trailokyamohanacakra), to the ajna, between the eyebrows, where he im agines the central bindu. The m o v em en t is therefore now centripetal: the adept not only feels identified with the srlcakra and imagines or perceives it in himself; he also follows mentally, linked with his Y ogic im aginary inner structure or ‘b o d y ,’ an ascending m ovem ent towards the centre o f the srlcakra and thus to the suprem e goddess. The m ovem ent does not, however, stop in this centre but takes on a different and more subtle (niskala) form, for the adept is n ow to m editate the kalas, the subtle phonic ‘p a rts ’— the subtle

8 T h e s e a re — in this o rd er o f d e c re a s in g status— the three p o w e rs or e n e rg ie s o f S iva through w hich he m an ifests the universe. 9 T o say that the srlcakra is kamakala is to say that it is m ad e u p o f the c o m b in e d presence o f Siva (kama) and Sakti (kala ). 10 T h e p attern o f centres (cakra or granthi) and canals (nadf) w h ich the Y o g in is to visualize as p re se n t in his bo d y and w h ere the prana or the m antras flow , is often c a lle d the ‘s u b tle b o d y , ’ b e c a u s e it is a v isio n a ry , n o t an a n a to m ic a lly e x is tin g structure. B u t this is w ro n g becau se ‘subtle b o d y ’ is a translation o f suksm adcha (or suksmasarlra), the t r a n s m ig r a tin g p o rtio n , m a d e o f tattvas, o f the h u m a n b e in g : s o m e th in g quite different. " T h is centre is sp e c ific to the Y H (or to the T rip u r a tradition). S in c e there are nine co n stitu tin g cakras in the srlcakra, to be visualized in the b o d ily centres, these m u s t o f n e c e s s ity be n in e in n u m b e r. A b o v e the a k u la p a d m a th e r e is th u s a kulapadm a, a lam bikapadm a (on the uvula) bein g a d d e d b e tw e e n the visuddha and the a/na (see Illustration 2),



fo rm s o f phonic energy, that is,— o f the bljamantra h rh n ,'2 starting w ith the bindu (the anusvara following the m o f the mantra). He m ust v isu a liz e and meditate all the other kalas: ardhacandra, nirodhini, nada, nadanta, sakti, vyapini, samana and un m a n a13 o f the uccara o f b rim , to w hich is added in fine the so-called m ahabindu, w hich “ transcends space, time and form:” an utterly transcendent aspect o f th e p h o n ic vibration. In this m ental practice th e adept, h a v in g m ed itated and visualized each o f the nine parts o f the sricakra as p re se n t in each o f his bodily centres, is now to perceive the central b in d u not as the centre o f the sricakra but as the first phonic kala o f h rlm , thus shifting from a spatial type o f m editation to a m ore subtle, p h onic one. This meditation is in fact not purely phonic since all the kalas have a visual aspect or symbol w hich is also to be evoked: these aspects are described in slokas 27—34, w hich also m ention the le n g th o f tim e during w hich they are to be m e n ta lly ‘u tt e r e d ’ ( uccaranakala). These fractions o f time are so m inute (ranging from l/ 4 t h to l/256th o f a m atra'4) that they cannot possibly correspond to an y actual utterance. T h e y rather suggest the uccara"s g ro w in g d eg ree o f subtleness. They express or correspond to a progression o f th e Y ogin towards a total transcending o f all empirical reality either o f form or o f sound/word. The adept is indeed finally to reach the tra n s c e n d e n t plane o f w hat is called m ahabindu, w h ere he is to m e d ita te and fuse with (to quote A m rtananda) “the suprem e Siva, su p rem e light, the pow er o f suprem e awareness that is the suprem e g o d d ess M ahatripurasundari.” It is therefore a totally non-m aterial (n iska la ), m y stical e x p e rie n c e o f the s u p re m e g o d h e a d . T his tra n s itio n from a d iag ram m a tic, spatial or visual d im e n sio n o f m editative practice to a phonic, m antric one, with the attainm ent o f the suprem e plane o f the deity, is expressed in sloka 36, w hich is as fo llo w s : “ W h en this s u p re m e e n erg y (param a kala) sees th e effulgence o f the self (atm anah sphuranam ), she assum es the aspect o f Ambika: the supreme word (para vak) is being uttered.” 15 T he notion that the meditation o f a m andala should lead the adept to see or participate in the pow er o f a deity is not u n com m on. The T h e T r ip u r a / S r i v i d y a tra d itio n has b o th a p a r tic u la r c a k ra an d a p a r tic u la r m an tra, the 15 p h o n e m e s grividya, the three parts o f w h ic h al l en d w ith the bija hrirn. 13 O n the kalas o f hrhn, om , etc., sec P ad o u x 1990a: 4 0 2 - 4 1 1 . A matra or ‘m o r a ’ is, in Sanskrit, the duratio n o f a short vowel.


atmanah sphuranam p a syed yada sa parama kala / am bikarupam apanna para vak sam udtiita It



notion that it should bring about an identification (sam arasya, says the com m entary) with the supreme plane o f vac is less frequent; this is perhaps a further proof o f the Saiva Kashmirian origin o f the YH, Arnbika, being the suprem e m other and suprem e level o f the word, is the source o f the cosmos. The sadhaka having m entally attained this level is now (slo k tB 3 7 -4 9 ) to im agine again the suprem e g o d d e s s ’s intent on m anifesting the universe w ith all it contains, a cosmic process conceived, however, as developing along the pattern o f the srlcakra. To quote slokas 3 7 -4 0 , “ W hen she is about to manifest the universe which [she holds within herself] as a germ, assuming an oblique aspect, [she becomes] Varna because she vomits the universe ( visvasya vamanat). Then, as the energy o f will (icchasakti), she has the visionary [word] (pasyantf) as her body. W hen she is the pow er o f cognition (jhanasakti), she is Jyestha, and the interm ediate w ord ( m adhyam a vak) is then uttered. W hen the m aintaining o f the universe prevails, her figure spreads out into a straight line. Then, in the state o f resorption she takes on the shape o f the bindu. W hen the reverse process takes place, her body becom es [shaped like] a srngataka.'6 She is then the p o w e r o f activ ity (kriya sa kd ): she is Raudri, the corporeal [word] (vaikhari), appearing as the universe.” W hat the adept is to realize here is the first creative m ovem ent o f the suprem e goddess m anifesting the inner triangle, together w ith four form s o f energy and four divine form s o f herself, w hile retaining all this within herself—hence the fourth goddess, Raudri, and the return to the inner bindu. In or around this central triangle other entities are now to appear, w ho like the preceding ones are to be conceived o f both as existing in the cosmos and as abiding in the Srlcakra. First (slokas 4 1 -4 3 ) are produced the four plthas, the sacred seats o f the goddess, Kam arupa, Purnagiri, Jalandhara and Qdyana, described here not as abiding in the central triangle (called the sarvasiddhim ayacakra) but as being in the Y ogic im aginary body (in the m uladhara, the heart, the bhrum adhya and the brahmarandhra) o f the adept: the process, as we have already noted, is inseparably cosmic, diagrammatic and Yogic, these three aspects being both imagined, visualized (the colours and shapes o f the plthas are described) and bodily experienced. T h e srngataka is th e trapa bispinosa , the w a t c r - c h e s t n u t , w h o s e fru it is triangular in shape. T h e word srngataka is therefore used to m ean a triangle.



T h e n four different lingas ( svayam bhu, bana, itara and para) are im a g in e d as being eacli in one o f the four plthas, each being o f a d iffe re n t colour and aspect,17 and each associated w ith different sets o f Sanskrit phonemes, so that the whole pow er o f vac in the form o f th e Sanskrit alphabet abides in them (41-44). All these elements, the m a trka , the plthas and the lingas, are described as being ‘expressed’ ( v a cya ) by (that is, as produced by) the mantra o f the goddess, the srividyo, which is taken as being fourfold (that is, the mantra as a w h o le plus its three parts), and are considered as corresponding to th e five conditions or states o f co nsciousness ( avastha), jagrat, svapna, susupti, turya and turyatita. The adept thus has a vision o f th e srlcakra in its cosmic diversity and power. This is expressed by slo ka 50: “ [This] universe w hich has com e forth as th e cosm ic o utline born from her own will is consciousness, the [visible] form o f th e self, uncreated bliss and b e a u ty ,” 18 Then the goddess herself, s u p re m e consciousness, is to be visualized in the centre o f the srlcakra em bracing her consort K am esvara, 19 both holding the goad and the noose “ made up o f the energy o f will” (icchasaktim aya), the b o w and the arrow “which are energy o f action” ( kriyasaktim aya), so th at the two, male and female, aspects o f the supreme deity are seen as present in the diagram which they pervade and animate, as they do the cosmos, by their united pow er and will. To quote sloka 55: “ Such is the suprem e splendour, the srlcakra as her cosmic bo d y ( vapuh), su rrounded by the dazzling waves o f her m ultitudinous p o w e r,”20 a vision which fills the adept with wonder and awe. H av in g thus visualized the M cakra in its co sm ic aspect o v e r­ flow ing with the glory o f the goddess, the adept is now to visualize and understand the role o f another group o f pow ers or deities resi­ ding in this diagram, the M udras, w hich are ten in nu m b er (slokas 17 A S aiv a lih g a is not n e c e s s a rily o f a m o re or less p h allic shape. H ere, fo r in s ta n c e , the itaralinga is said to be ro u n d like a kadam ba flow er. T h e b e st lihga is often said to be a turn, an incised skull. As for the four lihgas listed here, they are the usual fo u r types o f sivalihgas.


svccchaviSvam ayollckhakhacitam visvarupakam / caitanyam atmano rupam nisarganandasundaram //

19 T rip u r a s u n d a r i w ith B h a ira v a as h e r c o n so rt is also c o n c e iv e d as K amesvari w ith K a m e s v a ra , these latter bein g in fact the b a sic d eities o f th e D a k s i n a m n a y a ( P a d o u x 1994: 38). On K am eS v ari, see, for in s ta n c e , B ii h n e m a n n 2 0 0 0 - 2 0 0 1 , v o lu m e I: 131.


cvam rupam param tejah sncakravapusii sthitam / tadlyasaktinikarasphuradurmisamavrtam //



56-71). Though this is another phase in the vision and practice o f the sricakra by the adept, it is not described by the YH as something he is to do, but as a development taking place in the supreme conscious­ ness, in the goddess, who now takes on the aspects o f these ten goddesses, the M udras, who incarnate and express ten different phases o f her cosm ic activity and power. To quote slokas 56—57: “W hen [the goddess] becom es lum inously aware o f the universe [appearing] on the screen o f her own consciousness ( cidatm abhittau prakasam arsane), being fully possessed by the will to act, she acts by her own free will. [Such is] the pow er o f activity which, because it gladdens the universe and causes it to flow, is called m udra.” The last sentence o f this stanza explains the name mudra: these deities are so called because they gladden (m odanat [V m ud]) and cause to flow (rodanat [V ru]), hence mud-ra. The first M udra is said to pervade ( vyapaka) the whole sricakra. The nine others abide each in one o f the constituting cakras o f the diagram, going from the outer square to the centre: the m ovem ent is centripetal because these deities, born from the play o f the powers o f the goddess, incarnate or symbolize nine stages o f the return o f the cosm os to its unm anifest source. The adept, therefore, visualizing them and identifying som ehow with each o f them, realizes that “this is how the play o f the g o d h ead ’s energy o f activity (k r iy a ), whose nature is pure consciousness, is identical with the sricakra” (k iiy a caitanyarupatvad evam cakram ayam sthitam — sloka 71). But w hat the adept must first and foremost always intensely meditate (sarvada bhavayet) is the supreme luminous pow er (param tejas) w hich is the w illpow er (iccha) o f the godhead— his attention is to be focused on the suprem e, on the source o f all that exists. The YH m erely d e s ­ cribes these M udras as luminous deities to be visualized as they are described, and quotes their cosmic functions. W hat is prescribed here is therefore only one more perception and realization o f the presence and play (here tending tow ard the resorption o f the cosm os [samhara]) o f the goddess in and as her cakra: the practice by the adept remains a purely mental, meditative one. It is, however, w orth noting that in his com m entary on these stanzas A m rtananda describes the mudras as hand gestures the adept is to display so as to identify with the role o f each o f the M udras, so that these mudras, in practice, are at the sam e time deities to be visualized and w orshipped and handgestures— an act o f mental and bodily participation and identification

t h e


r i c a k r a


o f th e adept with the deities: this aspect o f the practice o f the sricakra s h o u l d not be overlooked. T h e chapter ends by prescribing two other ways o f perceiving the srica kra in meditation, first by considering it as divided into three p o r tio n s each comprised o f three cakras, going from the centre to the o u t e r part, and then as consisting o f its nine cakras, going from the o u t e r part to the centre. The adept thus follows the process first o f e m a n a tio n then o f resorption. T h e chapter concludes (slokas 85-86): “This is w here the great g o d d e s s M ahatripurasundari is to be w orshipped. [Such is] in its a b s o l u t e fullness the great cakra, g iver o f eternal y o u th and im m o rta lity . Thus has been said, o suprem e goddess, the practice ( s a m k e ta ) o f the great cakra o f the goddess Tripura, b esto w er o f lib e ra tio n while still in life.” T o conclude, we may note that this chapter, w hich at first sight l o o k s rather disorderly, is in fact rationally constructed, em anation a n d resorption succeeding each other and every successive m om ent i n c r e a s in g the aw aren ess o f and identification w ith the co sm ic d y n a m is m o f the sricakra. First is expounded the succession o f the d iff e r e n t parts o f the sricakra (8- 21), then the play o f energies that m a n if e s t the cosmos (22-24): this is an outw ard tending m o vem ent m a n ife s tin g the world. A fter which, the bhavana o f the kalas o f hrim ( 2 5 —36) and eventually the M udras (56ff.) turn the attention o f the a d e p t tow ards resorption, towards the centre o f the diagram that is, t o w a r d s liberation. T h e description o f all the deities and entities p re s e n t in the sricakra also manifests its p o w er o f creation and o f re so rp tio n . The adept, by visualizing and m editatively identifying w ith this cosmic play, progresses towards liberation. As an active c o s m ic symbol (or as a display o f the goddess’s creative and salvific a c tio n and power), the sricakra appears very efficacious. W e m a y finally note that the origin o f the sricakra rem ain s sh ro u d e d in mystery. This ritual diagram is to be found in the older tex ts o f the Traipuradarsana (which is the less ancient o f the K aula traditions), but where does it com e from and when did it appear? W e d o n o t know. The source is probably to be looked for in the older K u b jik a tradition, though this is not certain.21 A South Indian origin, 21 M a r k D y c z k o w s k i ( p e rs o n a l c o m m u n i c a t i o n ) b e lie v e s th a t s o m e a s p e c ts at le a st o f this c ak ra c o m e fro m the S rita n tra sa d b h a v a , a long (a b o u t 5 0 0 0 stan zas) and y e t u n e d ite d text w h ich he is currently studying.

2 48


too, has been suggested by some, but this theory has so far not been conclusively proved. W hatever its origin, the srlcakra, w hich we have ju s t seen as it is shown in a chapter o f an ancient text, is still very much in use (in ritual and meditation) in India today: not only in the South Indian ‘de-tantricized’ Srlvidya but also in the centre and the north o f the sub-continent.22 It therefore deserves some attention .

22 T h e m o s t c o m p lete study o f the srlcakrapujfns that o f M ad h u K h a n n a (1986) in an u n fo rtu n a te ly as y e t u n p u b lish ed O x fo rd thesis. Available, p recisc and co m p le te is S a n j u k t a G u p t a ’s d e s c r ip tio n o f th e c u lt in G u p t a / H o c n s / G o u d r i a a n 1979: 139-157.


T H E S R iC A K R A

L T - ..:....::::::

111 .... ■:...i 1, T h e srlcakra



mahabindu unm and


ajila (bindu) bhrumadhya

la m b ik a




k a n th a


anahata hrdaya (heart)

manipuraka nabhi (navel)

svadhisthana sakta m u la d h a ra

kulapadma visa ka n d a

a k id a p a d m a

2 . T h e bodily cakras according to A m r ta n a n d a ’s c o m m e n ta ry on the Y o g im h rd a y a


Michael W. Meisler D ia g ra m s for planning and meditation permeate South Asia, as tools f o r praxis, practical and religious. Psychedelic or pragm atic, they r e m a in utilitarian at their core. They do not constitute a single reality, b u t h a v e a history that makes o f each a palim psest. By the sixth c e n tu ry A.D., these layers had been com bined to provide a tool, both religious and practical, for the constitution o f a shelter for deities and w o rsh ip p e rs — the tem ple— as a new form o f Hindu w orship began. T h is paper explores evidence found by recent scholarship in built m o n u m e n ts for the application o f such diagrams to the construction, validation, proportioning, and designing o f such shelters for the first e arly centuries o f their use. Indus Valley cities, with their gridded street plans dating from the th ird to second millennium B.C., have been cited as early exam ples o f the city as ‘pivot o f the four q u a rte rs ’ (W h eatley 1971) even th o u g h their rhomboidal layouts and orientation only approxim ate a cardinal grid. They should perhaps remain in the pre-history o f South A sia n urban planning (Kenoyer 1998). T he mystic cosm ogony o f the A tharva-V eda, on the other hand, f ro m early in the first m illennium B.C., does pro v id e us w ith a p a r a d ig m for cosm ic planning in South Asia. In b o o k 15 o f the A tharva-V eda, cosmic speculation and the body o f m an were m ade into a form al hom ology, as well as being described as i f a th re e ­ d im en sio n al m a n d a la .1 T h e re a vratya ascetic ‘b e lo n g in g to an un o rth o d o x o rd er’2 is described as confronting his ow n divinity as

1 W h itn e y 1905: 7 6 9 c o m m e n ts that the C u lik a - U p a n is a d “ r e c k o n s the vratya as o n e a m o n g the m a n y form s in w h ich B ra h m a n is cele b ra ted in A V ., m e n tio n in g in t h e s a m e v e rs e w ith vratya ( c e le b r a te d in A V . x v .) also th e b rahm acarin a n d the s k a m b h a and the palita." 2 H e e s t c r m a n 1962: 36, on the o t h e r han d , c o n c l u d c d th at th e vrafyas w e r e “ a u th e n tic V cdic A ryan ... p r e d e c e s s o r s ] o f the d ik sita.”




‘Ekavratya, the sole V ratya’ (Kramrisch 1981: 472, 486). In Stella K ram risch’s retelling, “ [t]he transfiguration o f the Vratya has three phases: the birth o f the god, the vision o f that god, and the building o f his m o n u m en t” (Kram risch 1981: 89). She describes the ‘Sole V r a ty a ’ as “ a choreographed m onum ent o f deity built up by the words o f hym ns,” having “ a mandala for a pattern” (Kramrisch 1981: 95, 93): “He moves out on his vehicle, the mind, first toward the east, then toward the south, toward the west, and finally toward the north.... [He] incorporates into his presence the four directions o f the extended universe” (Kramrisch 1981: 93). K ram risch saw this vision o f the vratya ascetic—-already in the second millennium B.C.— as a forecast o f her dictum that the Hindu tem ple o f a much later period could be described as a ‘m onum ent o f m an ife statio n ’ (Kram risch 1946: passim), characterizing w hat the vratya saw as the “ lord o f the space-tim e universe, h im s e lf the central pillar o f a four-sided p y ram id ” (K ram risch 1981: 96). Yet such a ‘v is io n ’ did not then constitute architecture nor represent a developed practice. O f several versions o f the origin o f the uni verse in the Vedas, “the sim plest is that the creator built the universe with tim ber, as a carpenter builds a house” (Encyclopaedia Britannica on-line; B row n 1942, 1965). Indeed the rituals surrounding the m aking o f V edic shelters provide a vocabulary for wood and reed construction (Renou 1998) and suggest the presence o f a cosm ography (B odew itz 1979) by h a v in g central and cardinal orientations, but do not define a ‘generative to o l’ (Bafna 2000: 45) for architecture, as may mandalas o f a later period. In the building o f altars (Staal 1984), bricks were laid to form an orthogonal frame, and altered to m ake a variety o f shapes to suit different ritual purposes. Perhaps the grid o f later m andalas has one source in the piled bricks o f such sacrificial surfaces. W e have few texts to suggest this. W e do, however, have quite early texts, SulbaSutras (D atta 1932), o f ca. the third-fourth centuries B.C., that provide the geom etric construction, using cords to draw circles, needed to locate the square and cardinal orientation essential for the plot o f a sacrificial altar (Apte 1926; Bag 1971) (Illustration 1). These geom etric m anuals scrupulously avoid interpretation, yet we know that their function was in part to assure that an altar w ould


2 53

c o n fo rm as a homologue to an oriented and therefore square universe (Ivlenon 1932: 94—95), It is in fact only in the time o f V a ra h a m ih ira ’s B rhat-Sam hita, w r itte n in the sixth century A.D., that the use o f som ething like a vastupurusam andala to plan cities and buildings was first designated, in his chapter 53 ‘On A rch itectu re.’3 A distinction m ust be m ade b e tw e e n a diagram as a ritual tool or a ‘con stru ctio n al d e v ic e ’ ( M o s te lle r 1988) for architecture; V a ra h a m ih ira , h o w e v e r, had c o m p ile d in this text m any earlier layers o f know ledge as well as contem poraneous practice, as he had also assem bled rival systems o f a s tro n o m y in his SOryasiddhanta.4 As he intro d u ce d his p ro je ct (53.1), “ [t]o gratify clever astrologers, I now proceed to com pose a w o r k on the art o f building, such as it has been transmitted from the C re a to r to our days, through an unbroken series o f sages.” He first invokes a Vedic description o f the original act o f sacrifice (53.2-3): “ T h e re was ... some Being obstructing ... both worlds ... [who] was su b d u ed by the host o f gods and hurled do wn. O f the several parts o f his body, each is subjected to the particular deity by w hich it was attacked. It is that Being o f immortal substance, w ho ... was destined to b e the dw elling-house personified [the vastupurusa].”5 H e then g o es on for a num ber o f verses (5 3 .4 -4 1 ) to describe a variety o f h o u se structures, their class linkage, orientation, storeys, balconies, etc., as i f this architecture were an elaboration o f the v ern acu lar shelters o f Vedic India (Renou 1998). O n ly at 53.42 does he introduce the d ivision o f the plan into squares to fit the rite o f sacrifice and the placem ent o f deities from the older m yth (Illustration 2): “ In order to divide (the ground-plan o f a house) into eighty-one squares, draw ten lines from east to west, and ten others from north to south.”6 He discusses the placem ent o f 45 deities over the body o f the vastupurusa for 13 verses (5 3 .4 2 -

3 1 refer to K e r n ’s translation throughout. 4 K r a m r i s c h 1946: 79 c o m m e n t s th at th e “ s y m b o l i s m o f t h e V a s t u p u r u s a ­ m a n d a l a ” w as “ a residue o f trad itio n s still k n o w n and p ra c tic e d th o u g h n o lo n g e r re a liz e d in all their im port.” 5 K ra m r is c h 1946: 73, 78 m a k e s the im p o rta n t d istinction th at “ V a s tu p u r u s a as s u p p o r t o f the build in g ... is d e sc rib e d as lying with his fa c e d o w n ... w h e re a s A gni P ra ja p a ti o f the V ed ic altar lies f a c in g u p w a rd s ” His h e a d sh o u ld lie to the n o r th ­ east, '' H e does not describ e the location o f the sq u are re q u ire d b y the g e o m e try o f the Sulba-S utras.




54),7 then introduces an alternative practical m andala for c o n ­ struction: “One may also, should one prefer it, divide the area into sixty-four compartments” (53.55). F or the rem ain d er o f this chapter (5 3 .5 7 -1 2 5 ) V arah am ih ira discusses vulnerable crossings (m arm an), displacem ent o f pillars, and a range o f magical associations and consequences still part o f traditional wood architectural practice today (Libersat 1988), w ith the significant dictum that “ [t]hc householder ... should carefully preserve Brahm an, who is stationed in the centre o f the dw elling, from injury ...” (53.66).8 I take this time to lay out V araham ihira’s order o f presentation b ecause it is he who first puts together vastu (building), purusa ( ‘m a n ,’ but as a trace of sacrifice), and mandala (diagram), sum m ing up m any centuries o f speculation on the rituals o f building (53.98): “At a period indicated by the astrologer, let the householder go to a piece o f ground which has been ploughed, abounds with seed grow n up, has served as a resting-place of cows, or has got the approval o f the B rahm ans.” He gives us a sense o f the range o f caste patrons (53.100): “Then— touching his head, if he be a Brahman; the breast, if a Kshatriya; the thigh, if a Vaigya; the foot, if a Sudra— let him draw a line, the first act when a house is to be built ...” and o f the im portant role o f a proficient “ holder o f the m easuring line,” the architect or Sutradhara (53.110): “ By the measuring line snapping asunder may be predicted death; by the plug drooping its top, great sickness; by the h o use-ow ner and architect falling short in th e ir m em ory, death.” Kern, V arah am ih ira’s translator, accused him o f having “the habit o f un-critically copying his authorities” (1872: 292, note 1), and yet he is not m erely sum m ing up a m illen n iu m o f building, but m arking a m ajor transition. A new practice o f stone construction to make temples to shelter images o f deities was ju st beginning (M eister 1986) and the utility o f the vastupurusamandala was about to be given a new life (Meister 1979).

7 A l t e r n a t i v e a r r a n g e m e n t s o f d e i t i e s do e x is t in o t h e r an d l a te r te x ts ( A p tc /S u p e k a r 1983). K ram risch 1946: 1 9 -9 8 best synthesizes the m ultiple layers o f sig n ific a n c e laid o v e r the m a n d a la by a variety o f so u rces: sacrificial, z o d ia c a l, c h ro n o m e tric , astro n o m ic , m y th o lo g ic a l, etc., a p a lim p s e s t or m o s a ic , at b e st, not ever a w h o le fabric. * P a n c a r a tr a d ia g r a m s u sed for w o rsh ip sig n ific a n tly e x c h a n g e V iSvarupa for B ra h m a n (A pte 1987: 143).



B efore w riting o f tem ples explicitly, h o w ev er, V a ra h a m ih ira provided two chapters (54-55) ‘on the exploration o f w ater-springs’ and ‘culture o f tre e s ,’ things essential to the e sta b lish m en t o f a sacred landscape. Then, in a chapter (56: 1-31) with only 31 verses, he provided a brief ‘description o f various tem ples,’ which he begins (56.1): “Having made great water reservoirs and laid out gardens, let one build a temple, to heighten o n e ’s reputation and m erit.” “The gods used to haunt those spots w hich by nature or artifice are furnished with water and pleasure-gardens” (56.3), he writes, then describes these in loving detail (56.4-8). He com m ents that the soils he had indicated “w hen treating o f house-building ... are likew ise recom m ended to persons o f the different classes, w hen they w ish to erect tem ples” (56.9), and then, in a significant verse, he specifies (56.10): “Let the area o f a temple always be divided into sixty-four squares, while it is highly com m endable to place the m iddle door in one o f the four cardinal points.” 9 It is this dictum that seem s to define a new m illennium o f vastupurusam andalas, to be u sed in practice (Illustration 3) as well as ritual. M ost rem arkable to me, at the time o f V arah am ih ira’s writing in the sixth century, is how few stone temples—-and how experimental th e ir a r c h ite c tu re — had by then b e e n b u ilt ( M e is te r 1981a). V araham ihira was on the forward cusp o f a new, even ‘m o d e rn ,’ architecture meant to shelter newly manifest images (Meister 1990). T he rem ainder o f V arah am ih ira’s chapter is a listing o f ‘twenty kinds o f shrines’ (56.17), w ith varied plans, storeys, turrets, and dorm er w indow s that probably existed not in stone but in w o o d .10 As he casually concluded (56.31): “H erew ith are the characteristics o f tem ples described in com pendious form.... O f the volum inous works by M anu, etc., have I, in writing this chapter, only taken notice in as m uch as I rem em bered.” T he distinction betw een a proportional system , w hich the ritual vastupurusamandala is for the universe, and a constructional device, such as V araham ihira stipulates for the temple, was drawn some time ago (Panofsky 1955).n “ The notion that m agical diagram s called 9 B afn a 2000: 38 is not correct in stating that V a r a h a m ih ir a ’s c h a p te r on te m p le s “ does not e v e n m en tio n the d ia g ra m s.” 10 At least one e n g in e e r ( P r a m a r 1985) h as a tte m p te d to a n a ly z e an d ap p ly a m a n d a la designed for w o o d e n structures to the b u ild in g o f stone te m ples. 11 P a n o fsk y d istin g u ish es b e tw e e n a th eo ry o f p ro p o rtio n s and a p ractical system o f construction.




m a n d a la s,” according to one recent analysis (Bafna 2000: 26), “underlie most traditional Hindu [I would prefer Indie] architectural production has becom e well entrenched within current thought.... [F]ew scholars have attem pted to describe the precise m anner in which the mandala could have acted as a generative diagram .” Stella Kramrisch, whose T h e Hindu T e m p le’ (1946) had collected a w ide body o f references to the Sastric texts on the building o f temples that f o llo w e d V a r a h a m i h i r a ’s, had in fact c o n c lu d e d th a t “th e V astum andala is the m etaphysical plan o f the temple primarily; its c o s m o lo g ic a l and m agical im p licatio n s are d e riv e d from it” (Kramrisch 1946: 37, note 40). The attempt at the literal mapping o f the vastupurusamandala onto buildings by m odern architects, both Western (Volwahsen 1969: 44) and Indian (Kagal 1986; Correa 1996), or the recent resurgence o f ‘Shilpa S h astrin s’ orienting houses as an Indian astrological e q u i­ valent o f Chinese fe n g shui (for example, Rao 1995), however, are no test to the use o f vastum andalas as a constructional tool in the past (M eister 1997). Bafna 2000: 31 has put it another way: “ [W ]hat co n n ectio n could be posited w ithin diagram s associated w ith a m arg in a l religious cult [he is referring to T antrism ] and those associated with a practical profession [architecture]?” Yet it is preci­ sely about the division o f the plan that Varahamihira is m ost explicit and practical (53.42): “ [D]raw ten lines from east to west, and ten others from north to south.” He is w riting about a constructional device related to a proportioning system. K ram risch h e rs e lf was unsure how such a device m ight have w o rk e d (K ram risch 1946: 58): “T he V a s tu m a n d a la is a p r o g ­ nostication, a forecast and ‘tonic’ o f the contents that will be built up in the tem ple; it is in a literal sense, its program m e. This does not imply an identity o f the actual plan o f the temple, with the m andala.” W hile she found some relationship between the simplified 16-square grid in the M atsya-Purana (Kramrisch 1946: 228), “here, it seems to have been suggested by the simplicity o f the shrine; its plain, thick w alls, w ith o u t buttresses, b elong to small structural tem ples in central India o f the Gupta A ge ...,” o f later tem ples she had little doubt: “W h en the great temples w ere built, after the ninth century and w hich still stand, the drawing o f the V astupurusam andala had b ecom e an architectural rite without necessarily coinciding with the laying out o f the ground plan o f the Prasada.” Her conclusion was



n o t so different from one scholar’s recent attempt to com pare square T a n tr ic painted m andalas to the elaborated ground plan o f a tem ple in Orissa, “ [i]f we were to accept that the mandala was typically used a s a design tool, then actual built examples m ust show evidence o f p la n n in g based on the m andala” (Bafna 2000: 38). It is, o f course, this sort o f evidence, collected in the field, that has g r a d u a lly been accum ulating over the past h a lf century (M eiste r 1979, 1985; Pichard 1995; Thakur 1996).12 Buildings have perhaps p ro v e d more reliable than texts as historical docum ents recording the m eth o d o lo g ies that built them (M eister 1989). This is in part because o f the multiple uses over time to which the vastupurusam andala was p u t — ritual, astrological, m editational, devotional, but also c o n ­ structional.13 Referring to the Pauskara-Samhita, Apte 1987: 129 com m ents that “M andala worship, in those days was not a part o f the tem ple ritual o n ly , but often m aintained its independent existence like the sacri­ ficial institution (Yajna). And for that ritual ... a special pandal used to be erected on a chosen site— may be on a m ountain or in a forest o r by the side o f a herm itage or on the bank o f a river or inside te m p le p rem ises” (Pauskara-S am hita 2 ,4 -5 ). This is not so m uch different from the shelter set up for the ritual painting o f dhulicitra in K e ra la — a form o f ‘ bhaum ika citra’ or ‘earth p a in tin g ’ (Jones 1981: 71): “ [T]he ceremonial draw ing in pow ders m ay also be perform ed a t night in an appropriate space within the precincts o f a Mambutiri B rah m an a household or in a palace o f a Sam anta or K shatriya ruling fam ily. T he designated area ... is traditionally covered b y a canopy co n s tru c te d o f four slim areca logs, w rapped in n e w u n b le a c h e d clo th , supported by pillars o f the sam e wood, sim ilarly w rapped, w h ic h form the boundaries o f the sacred draw ing.” The image o f the g o d d e s s or an o th er deity is b uilt up in co lo u red p o w d ers, th en destroyed through ecstatic dance. A sm all but significant side current o f stone tem ple architecture th a t m ay reflect such te m p o ra ry p a n d a ls are the th in -w a lle d niandapika shrines set up as funereal m em o rials in C entral India

12 S e e also, h ow ever, m y cautionary review (M e is te r 1999). 13 A recen t r e v ie w (B a fn a 200 0 : 4 7 ) is co rre c t to c o n c lu d e th at w e m u s t “ lo o k u p o n the V a s tu p u r u s a m a n d a la as an idea th a t h as b e e n c o n s ta n tly re d e f in e d and e x p l o i t e d th ro u g h h i s to r y ” b u t his c a v e a t th at “ w h a t w e h a v e m a d e o f it n o w is m e r e ly a recently co n stru cted u n d e rsta n d in g ” m ay best be applied to him self.




from the sixth to tenth centuries A.D. (M eister 1978).14 These stand in sharp contrast to the thick-walled “temples ... o f the G upta age” (K ram risch 1946: 228), their inner sancta only twice in width the thickness o f their walls. Those, at the very beginning o f the stone tradition, measured their inner sacred space by the dem ands o f the m andala, not their walls by the efficiencies o f stone (Illustration 3 A). Actual physical yantras or metal mandala plaques are buried in the foundation o f structures as tools to sanctify the building. As the label to tw o such metal plaques recently on display in the A m erican M u se u m o f N atural H istory, N ew Y ork, put it (H u y ler 1999), “Yantra are specific m andala created to attract Divine Energy o f a deity into a sacred space. M ade o f metal or stone, yantra are buried beneath a tem ple’s inner sanctum during construction.” Such yantras are also draw n at significant points o f the plan in late O rissan p ra c tic e ( B o n e r 1975), but should not be co n fu sed w ith the vastupurusamandala as a w hole.15 To look for the application o f the vastupurusamandala introduced by V araham ihira as a constructional tool or planning device in the sixth century, it is necessary to m easure standing tem ples. Bafna 2000: 4 1 - 4 2 is m ista k e n in c la im in g “ a tro u b lin g lack o f corroborating evidence from surviving built structures.” T here have been both ‘detailed studies o f individual p la n s ’ as well as w hat he calls ‘c o m p arativ e m orp h o lo g ical s tu d ie s ’ that go w ell beyond im p o sin g a ‘co n strain in g o rth o g o n a lity ’ (M eiste r 1982, 1983a; T hakur 1990). F ro m m y ow n ex p erien ce, how ever, certain p ro c e d u re s are im p o rtan t (M eiste r 1979, 1999). The square G upta tem p les o f K r a m r is c h ’s reference— Sanchi 17, T igaw a, N ach n a, even Deogarh— use thick m asonry walls to surround an inner sanctum ca. h a lf the width o f the whole (M eister/D haky/D eva 1988). Early seventhcentury shrines in Orissa (Illustration 3 A) with developed latina nagara superstructures and a cross-plan with closed doorw ays on

14 A n inscription o n the s e v e n th -c e n tu ry m a n d a p ik S shrine at M a h u a refers to a ‘stone m a n d a p ik a ’ set up in h o n o u r o f a local ru ler’s d eceased parents. 15 “T h e sq u are grid w ould then sim ply be an in stru m en t— a y a n tra — u sed fo r the d e p ic tio n o f the vastu d e itie s ” (B a fn a 200 0 : 45). B a f n a ’s re fe re n c e to “y a n tr a s e m b e d d e d w ithin the traditional d raw in g s o f tem p le p la n s,” h o w ev er, begs the issue that no such d raw ings survive before the m odern period.



th re e w a lls,16 precisely fit a constructing grid o f 64 squares w hen m easu red at the root o f their wall m ouldings (the khura h o o f o f the vedibandha)— that is, w here the m andala co u ld be draw n on the sto n e foundation that formed the floor level o f the sanctum. T hese shrines well fit V arah am ih ira’s dictum to let “the area o f a tem ple a lw ays be divided into sixty-four squares” and “to place the m iddle d oor in one o f the four cardinal points” (56.10), In m y own fieldw ork (M eister 1979) I first b egan to m easure te m p le plans thinking they would only confirm K ram risch ’s intuition th a t the vastum andalas specified by V araham ihira and by later texts “ h a d b e c o m e an a rch itectu ral rite ,” as te m p le s b e c a m e m ore e lab o rate after the ninth century, “w ithout necessarily coinciding w ith the laying out o f the ground p lan ” (K ram risch 1946: 228). H o w ev er, directly m easuring the m ouldings o f a group o f seventha n d eighth-century temples in M adhya Pradesh— in particular the s eventh-century nagara tem ple at M ah u a— first gave me evidence th at architects o f this region and in this period w ere using a new p ro c e d u re (Illustration 3 B). Standing above two levels o f a stone foundation, the sanctum walls o f this Siva tem ple m easured ca. 556 cm from corner to corner (ca. 114 cm for karna and bhadra piers; 57 cm for intermediate pratirathas) at the khura h o o f o f th e vedibandha m ouldings, which was the floor level o f the sanctum. The inner space o f the sanctum measured ca. 228 cm in width. T h e se m e a s u re m e n ts em b o d y a n ew p a ra d ig m for b oth the c o n c e p t and c o n s tru c tio n o f the m u ltip ly in g w all offsets that distinguish nagara tem ples in this period (Illustration 3 C). Central bhadras on the outer walls project the m easure o f the brahmasthana, flanking pratiratha offsets mark the dimensions o f the inner sanctum. Such a system 1 found also rigorously applied to other tem ples in the G w alior region (M eister 1979). Such a use o f the m andala was new, practical, and expanded the m a n d a la ’s m eaning to the temple, as a physical expression o f its plan.17 As a test o f the ‘constraining orthogonality,’ as B afna 2000: 41 p u t it, I also m easured and analyzed rectan g u lar tem ples in this region and century, as w ell as those beginning to ex perim ent w ith lf’ K ra m r is c h 1946: 271 interprets sadasra to be this type: “ [T ]h e g r o u n d p lan ... has six faces, for each o f its th ree sides has a central b u ttress w h ic h is set o f f from the w all....” 17 S in h a 2 0 0 0 has e x te n d e d this an aly sis o f the ‘ bhadra c lu s te r’ to vesara te m p le s in the D eccan.



octagonal and turned-square plans (M eister 1982, 1983a, 1983b, 1984), In both cases, the m andala continued to control the w idth o f walls, location o f corners, and to project sanctum and brahm asthana dimensions through the walls as measured offsets (Illustration 6). N o t all tem ples across all o f India yield sim ilar results, but increasingly regional understandings and m isunderstandings o f this system o f planning becom e clearer, as m ore tem ples have been adequately m easured and analyzed (M eister 1985; Pichard 1995; Thakur 1996), In South India, for example, use o f an odd-numbered grid, centring the sanctum on a square, made rings o f expansion possible (Illustration 4), In the north, separate sacred spaces might overlap (Illustration 5). Bafna 2000: 41 confuses the role o f measure and proportion in his conclusion that such variation makes o f the vastumandala “ not so m uch a constructional aid as a tool for the designer, one that was used to control the proportions o f the design rather than its m easure.” M easure in the Indian context was relative, determined by the height or hand o f the donor, architect, or image; p ro p o rtio n was the ‘constructional a id ’ (Meister 1985). H e also, it seem s to me, is w rong to c o n c lu d e th at “ the Vastupurusamandala c a n n o t be rotated w ith o u t lo sin g all its sig n ifican ce” (B afna 2000: 41). R otating plans su p erim p o se one turned square on the other, moving toward the circle (Illustration 7) that constitutes a m an d ala’s pre-existent form (and which surrounds the s q u are gated p alaces in the p a in te d m an d alas o f B a f n a ’s article).18 K ram risch 1946: 62, while pointing out that “earlier texts ... do not record circular V astus” reported that “Utpala, the tenth century co m m en tato r o f the ‘Brhat S a m h ita ’ describes in detail the c o n ­ struction o f circular sites.... This appears a developm ent around the principal Vastu, which is and must remain square....” She also cited A gni-Purana 93.40: “ In. the m iddle o f the six sided, three sided, and circular plan, should be the square.” Referring to Vastuvidya 7.6 and 10.15, she also observed (Kram risch 1946: 62, note 105): “ as the months advance the Vastupurusa moves ... The spatial order o f the 8 directions simultaneously denotes a temporal order; the Vastu is the tim e piece,... T his ro ta tin g V astu is called C a ra v a s tu and is K ra m risc h 1946: 41 rem arked that the “ square s y m b o l o f the ex te n d e d w o rld in its o rder has pre c e d e n cc over the circle o f time, the second o rn a m e n t.”



d is tin g u is h e d from the Sthira-vastu, w h o se p o sitio n is fixed.... T e m p le s are meant to last and are always built [i.e., founded] on the Sthiravastu.” Experim ents with em bedded octagons— from the octagonal stone te m p le at M undesvari and brick tem ples in D aksina K osala o f the s e v e n th cen tu ry (M e iste r 1981b, 1984) to the g re a t m israka su p e rs tru c tu r e o f the C h o la te m p le at G a h g a ik o n d a c o la p u ra m (Pichard 1995)— might suggest that architects at an early period also th o u g h t in such terms o f their temples (and their construction). M y own w ork for a period o f tim e focused on m easu rin g and analyzing m onum ents that could provide test cases for the limits o f m an d ala planning. I had thought that the application o f the grid o f th e m andala and its significance to the proportioning o f tem ples in th e seventh and eighth centuries could not explain the variations found in the ninth and tenth. W hat 1 discovered, however, in Central In d ia w as a shift in construction o f the tem ple that p reserv ed the relatio n o f bhadra and pratirathas to san ctu m and brahmasthana w hile pulling the bulk o f the tem ple w ithin the grid (Illustration 3 D ) ,19 This bhadravyasa m easure allowed the fabric o f the tem ple to be reduced, proportions in the wall to be m ore balanced, and new plans to em erge (M eister 1979, 1985). That the grid o f the m andala could continue to have a practical utility, even in com plex and huge te m p le s o f th e 11th c e n tu ry , as at K h a ju r a h o , w as s ta rtlin g (Illustration 5).20 N o longer fixed at the foundation as in earlier shrines (Illustration 3), yet still governing the walls enclosing the inner sanctum, the continuing presence o f these proportions in the fabric o f these stone m onum ents is perhaps our strongest surviving e v id e n c e for the “ notion o f a geom etrical device w ith sym bolic d im ensions u n derlying all architectural p ro d u c tio n ” (B afna 2000: 42).21 I think Bafna 2000: 43 is right that “ [p]ractically speaking, a grid is a cum bersom e and com plicated tool for the laying out o f plans; it

19 B afn a 2000: 41 m ista k e n ly attributes this ch a n g e to the sev en th c en tu ry in stead o f the ninth. 20 “ M e i s t e r ’s a r g u m e n t is s o p h i s t i c a t e d a n d p u r s u a s i v e : th e g rid is o n ly a r e g u la tiv e tool an d the very act o f e m b e d d in g it is auspicious.... B u t in f o rm u la tin g th is idea, he se e m s to h a v e m o v e d a g o o d deal a w a y fro m the strict orien tatio n and h ie ra rc h y o f the V astupurusam andala" (B afna 2000: 41). 21 B a f n a , h o w e v e r , r e s o lv e s that th e “ idea o f th e g o v e r n i n g m a n d a l a ” ... “ is m e re ly a recently constructed u n d e rs ta n d in g ” (B afn a 2000: 42, 47).



is extremely susceptible o f errors unless checked by diagonals,” yet find his altern ativ e— “ the centerline system ... still used ... to com pute the proportion o f statues”— an odd choice (see M osteller 1991). From the time o f the Sulba-Sutras, the geometry and tools for laying out a plan were known. If the Sutradhara was controller o f the cord— “ let him draw a line, the first act ...” as Varahamihira 53.100 had put it— he also controlled the geom etry that the use o f the com pass m ade possible (Illustrations 1, 7). Such geom etric c o n ­ struction gives precision; a grid establishes proportion; reference to the vastupurusamandala maintains ritual authority. B afn a 2000: 39, 41, how ever, calls such c o n stru c tio n “ an alternative ‘peg -an d -strin g ’ geom etry” and com m ents that “ [t]here are no indications within the literature on the history o f Indian m athematics, or within vastusastra texts, that there were two separate techniques o f geometrical constructions prevalent at any tim e.” Yet the constructive geom etry prevalent from the tim e o f the SulbaSutras m ust itse lf be seen as the source both o f the m a n d a la ’s ‘con strain in g o rth o g o n a lity ,’ in B a fn a ’s terms, and o f a certain freedom from it. B afna 2000: 41 adm its, “ som e silpa manuals specifically record peg-and-string operations to ensure a precisely oriented construction o f the square perim eter o f the Vastupurusa­ mandala itself.” M y analysis o f temples with turned-square plans (M eister 1982, 1983b, 1984, 1989) beginning w ith the rem arkable m id-eighthce n tu ry G argaj M ah ad ev a tem ple at Indor in M adhya P radesh (Illu stratio n 6 B), can d em o n strate both the c o n tin u in g ‘o rth o ­ gonality’ o f tem ple planning and its freedom from constraint. Bafna 2 0 0 0 : 41 refers to ‘stellate’ plans with a ‘nonorthogonal profile,’ yet the angled buttresses o f these tem ples must be observed as right­ a n g le d co rn ers o f tu rn e d sq u a re s22 (that is, as o rth o g o n a lity unconstrained). T h e g ro u n d plan o f the G argaj M ah ad ev a tem ple at Indor combines what Kramrisch 1946: 62, using Vastuvidya, has identified as sthiravastu and caravastu, marking the tem ple’s functions as both cosm ogram and chronogram . On the walls o f the tem ple at Indor, Siva and his family mark fixed cardinal directions; eight dikpalas, 22 P re v io u s sch o lars have often not o b se rv e d this. W illis 1997: 60, fo r e x am p le, d e s c rib e s In d o r as h a v in g a “ stellate s h a p e ” w ith “ sq u are and a c u tc p r o j e c t i o n s ” while his plans sh o w obtuse corners rather than right-angled ones.



g u a rd ia n s o f the quarters, stand on the intermediate rotating bhadras, fa c in g sub-cardinal points (Illustration 6 B).23 T h a t architects— from the seventh century in D aksina K osala to 1 1 th- to 13th-century K arnataka, M aharashtra, and 16th-century R a j a s t h a n — took the g re a t tro u b le to b u ild s u c h c o m p le x ly constructed turned-square monuments in brick and stone (Illustration 7) m ust be the best evidence for “ some special symbolism associated w ith the com position.”2,1 It cannot be in doubt that the constructional m e c h a n is m m ak in g possible such co m p o sitio n s w as the sim ple g e o m e t r y o f the S u lb a -S u tr a s —-not the grid itself, w h ic h is c o n se q u e n t— that had located sacred ground for so m any centuries. P erh ap s that is w hat the vastupurusam andala hid. B a f n a ’s com m ents t h a t “ bu ild in g s can both pro v id e a structure for an em b ed d ed m an d ala, and also serve to hide it” (Bafna 2001: 46) is valid, but I w o u ld reverse his conclusion.25 It is the building that acts in place o f th e grid, beco m in g the mandala. As K ram risch, citing the M ahab h a ra ta , had pointed out for the palaces o f the th ree w orlds the te m p le mimics, “ [t]hey revolved, each on its own level; they were p art o f a revolving universe” (Kramrisch 1981: 414).

23 T h is g e o m e try , as w ith all p ra sa d a s, is interrupted by t h e p ra g g rlv a e n tra n c e to th e interior sanctum . 24 B a fn a 200 0 ; 4 4 , h o w ev er, calls this “ p ro b le m a tic .” 25 “T h e grid acts in p la c e o f t h e b u ild in g , r a th e r th an se rv in g a s the b a sis o f i f ' (B a fn a 2 000: 44).





2. V a s tu p u ru s a m a n d a la o f 81 squares, as d e sc rib e d in the B rh a t-S a m h ita



3. G ro u n d p lan s and constructing m andalas: A. B haratesvara temple, B h u b an esh w ar, O rissa; B. Siva te m p le no. 2, M a h u a , M a d h y a Pradesh; C. M a h a d e v a tem ple, A m rol, M a d h y a Pradesh; D. N a k tim a ta tem ple, Bhavanipur, Rajasthan


4. BrhadTsvara tem ple, G a n g a ik 5 n d a c o ja p u ra m , T a m iln a d u



5. Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh: A. Visvanatha temple; B. Laksmana temple, socle and vedibandha mouldings; C. Kandariya Mahadeva temple



6. A. Sabari tem ple, Kharod, M a d h y a P radesh; B. Gargaj, M a h a d e v a tem ple, Indor, M a d h y a Prad esh



7. C o m p a riso n o f the use o f constructing g e o m e try and o d d -n u m b e re d grids in plans b a s e d on three and six turned squares





I . A yantra o f G uhyakali

2. T h e haliharcm a o f the vaisvadeva rite

3. A dom estic siva p a n ca ya ta n a

4. A rudrapithamahayantra

5. A sa rv a to b h a d ra

6. A ram aU ngatobhadra w ith 26 rd m am udras and 28 lin g a s

1. A ca tu rm u d ra ra m a lin g a to b h a d ra with 4 ra m a m u d ra s and 8 I in g a s an d a sa rva to b h a d ra in the centre

8. A g a n e sa b h a d ra w ith five icons o f G anesa

9. A ganesabhadra with 21 ic o n s o f G a n e s a

10. A su ry a h h a d ra w ith 12 icons o f th e sun

The construction o f a d va d a sa lin g a to b h a d ra w ith a sa rv a to b h a d ra in the ccntr

12. T h e invocation o f dcitic.s into arcca nuts placcd on a sa rva to b h a d ra

A vessel o f plenty placed on a sa rv a to b h a d ra


(*) 14. T h e cakrabjaniaiulala according lo die Pad m a-S am h ila


•tip ^ M 'funrftgrftrqprait 15, T h e navapadm aD iaiuiala according to the Ja y a k h y a -S a m h ita

16. T h e s n m a n d a la o( the N etralanlra follow ing K scm araja’s co m m e n ta ry

17, An alternative structure o f the s n m a n d a la o f the N etratan tra

18. T h e m an d ala o f the nine lotuses (n a va n a b h a m a n d a la ) according lo the S v a c ch an d atan tra and K s e m a r a ja ’s c o m m en tary

19. A tentative reconstruction o f the trident m a n d a la o f the SiddhayogesvarTm ata (long recen sio n ) a c c o rd in g to the T an tralo k a


Texts and Translations A g h o ra S iv a c a ry ap a d d h a ti. A ghoraS iviicaryapaddhati (= K r iy a k r a m a d y o tik a ) , w ith C o m m e n ta r y ( Pmbhii) b y N ir m a la m a n i. E d ited by R a m aS astrin and A m b a la v a n a jn a n a s a m b a iid h a p a r a ^ a k tis v a m in . C i d a m b a r a m , 1927 (in g ra n th a c h a r a c ­ ters). A jitagam a. Edition criliquc par N.R . Bhatt. 3 volum es. Po n d ich ery : Institut Frangais, 1964-1991. A th a rv a -V e d a A th a rv a -V e d a Sarhhita. T ran slated w ith a Critical an d E x e g e tic a l C o m m e n ta r y b y W .D , W hitney, revised an d bro u g h t nearer to co m p le tio n and ed ite d b y C.R. L an m an . 2 volumes. C am bridge, M assachusetts; H arvard U niversity, 1905. A n iru d d h a -S a m h ita . Srec A n iru d h a S am h ita, o n e o f D i v y a s a m h ita in P a n c h a ra tra. E d ite d by A. Srccnivasa Iyengar. M ysore, 1956. A h irb u d h n y a -S a m h itii. A h ir b u d h n y a - S a m h ita o f the P a n c a r a tr a g a m a . E d i t e d by M .D . R a m a n u ja c h a ry a u n d e r the S u p erv isio n o f F.O . S c h ra d e r. R e v is e d by V. K rish n am ach ary a. 2 volum es. Madras; T h e A d y a r L ib rary and R e se a rc h Centre, 1916, 1966 (second edition), 1986 (reprint). AR. A n a n d a ra m a y an a S n v a lm i k i m a h a m u n i k r t a ^ a t a k o t i r a m a c a r i t a n t a r g a t a m a n a n d a r a m a y a n a m ... R am a te ja p a n d e y e n a k rta y a jy o ts n a b h id h a y a b h a s a tik a y a tikitam . E d ite d b y Y.K.. DvivedT. Varanasi: P anditapustakalaya, 1977 (second edition). TSanaSivagurudevapaddhati. T h e is a n a s iv a g u ru d e v a p a d d h a ti b y is a n a S iv a g u ru d e v a m isra. Edited by T. G a n a p a ti Sastri. 4 volu m es. T riv a n d ru m : T r iv a n d r u m U n i­ versity Press, 1920-1925, Delhi: B haratiya V id y a P rakashan, 1988 (reprint). ISvara-Sam hita. T^varasamhita p ra tiv a d ib h a y a n k ara n a n ta c a ty a is sam Sodhita. Kanci: SudarSanamudraksaraSala, 1923. R g - V e d a . D ie H y m n c n dcs R ig v e d a . H c r a u s g e g e b e n von Th. A u fre c h t. 2 parts. W iesb ad en : Otto H arrassow itz, 1968 (fourth reprint). R g v e d iy a b r a h m a k a r m a s a m u c c a y a . Atha rg v c d ly a b r a h m a k a r m a s a m u c c a y a h . E d ite d by GaneS Sastri 6cndye. P une: S.P, B a rv c ParaSuram , 1979. K aly an am an d irasto tra. See B h aktam arastotra. K alivilasa-T antra. K alivilasa Tantra. Edited by Parvati C h a ra n a T arkatirtha. L on d o n : L u z a c & Co., 1917. K iranavrtti. B h a tta ra m a k a n th a v ira c ita kiranavrttih, B h a tta R a m a k a n t h a ’s C o m m e n ­ tary on the K iranatantra. V o lu m e I: C h a p te rs 1-6: critical e d itio n and a n n o ta te d translation < b y > D. Goodall. P ondichery: Institut Frangais de P o n d ic h e ry , 1998.

1 1 regret that so m e b ib lio g ra p h ic a l entries p e rta in in g to B r u n n e r ’s c o n trib u tio n re m a in incom plete. 1 w a s u n a b le to ad d o r c o n firm n a m e s o f s o m e e d ito rs a n d /o r p ublishers q u o te d in her contribution since the b o o k s w e re not acc e ssib le to me. T h e tran sliteratio n sy stem from S outh Indian la n g u a g e s in the r e f e r e n c e s to B r u n n e r ’s articlc follow s the sy stem she has u sed in h er earlier publications.



K iranagam a. Kiranatantra. Edited by T.R. PancapageSaSivacarya and K.M. SubrahmanyaSastrT. Devakottai: S iv agam asiddhantaparipalanasarigha, 1932 (in g ra n t ha charactcrs). K u b jik a-U p an isad . T h e K ubjika U panisad. E dited with a translation, introduction, notes and ap p cn d iccs by T. G o u d riaan and .I.A. S choterm an. Groningen: Egbert Forsten, 1994, K u la rn a v a -T a n tra . K u la rn a v a ta n tra . In tro d u ctio n A. A v a lo n (S ir J. W o o d ro ffe ), R e a d in g s M.P. P andit, S a n sk rit T e x t T a r a n a t h a V id y a ra tn a . D elhi: M otilal B anarsidass, 1965 (reprint). G a n e s a ta p a n iy a -U p a n is a d . Die G a n c S a tap an iy a-U p an isad . Teil 1: T e x t und Obersctzung. Teil 2: A ntncrkungen. Inauguraldissertation vorgelcgt von U. B crgm ann (unpublished doctoral dissertation, subm itted to M arburg University in 1965). C a tu rv a rg a c in ta m a n i II. C h a tu rv a rg a C h in ta m a n i by H em ad ri. V o lu m e II: VrataK h an d a. 2 parts. Part I. E d ited by B h a ra ta c a n d ra S irom ani. P art II. E d ite d by B h a ra ta c a n d ra S irom ani, YajneSvara B hattacaryya and K a m a k h y a n a th a T arkaratna. Calcutta: GaneSa Press, 1978-1879. Ja y a k h y a -S a m h ita . Jay a k h y a sa m h ita . Critical Edition with an Introduction in S a n s ­ krit, Indices etc. by E. Krishnam acharya. Baroda: Oriental Institute, 1931. T a n tra sa d b h a v a. A draft edition o f selected passages p repared by J. T o rz so k based on tw o m anuscripts from the National Archives, K ath m an d u (5-1985 and 5-445). T an trasara o f A b h in av ag u p ta. Edited with notes b y M u k u n d a R am Sastri, B om bay: N irnaya S a g a r Press, 1918. TA. T antraloka (by A bhinavagupta) T h e T a n tra lo k a o f A b h in a v a G u p ta, with c o m m e n ta ry b y R a ja n a k a Jayaratha. Edited by M u k u n d R am Shastri. 12 volumes. A llah ab ad /B o m b ay : V c n k a tc sh v a r S team Press c t a l . , 1918-1938. G noli, R. 1999. A b h in av ag u p ta: L uce dei tantra, T an tralo k a, a cura di R. Gnoli. Milano: Adelphi. [C o m p le te ly revised version o f the earlier translation o f the T a n tra lo k a w hich w a s p u b lis h e d as: G noli, R.: L u c e dellc S acre Scritturc (T an tralo k a). T orino: U nione tipograflco-editrice torinense, 1972.] Silburn, L . f and A. P ad o u x 1998. A b h in av ag u p ta: La L u m ie rc sur les T antras, chapitres I a 5 du Tantraloka. Traduits ct com m entes. Paris: D e Boccard. D ev im a h a tm y a . Devi M a h a tm y a m (G lory o f the D ivine M other). 700 M antras on Sri D u rg a. < S a n s k rit Text a n d > E nglish T ra n sla tio n by S w am i J a g a d isw a ra n a n d a. Madras: Sri R am akrishna Math, no date (fifth im pression). N aradlya-S am hita. NaradTya Sam hita. Edited by R.P. C h audhary. Tirupati: K endriya Sanskrit V idyapcetha, 1971. Nityasoda& ikarnava. ( V a m a k e S v a rata n tra n ta rg a ta h ) nity aso d aS ik arn av ah . Srib h ask a ra ra y o n n itas etu b an d h ak h y av y ak h y asah itah . Edited by K.V . A bh y am k ar. Pune: A n an d asram a, 1973. N ityotsava. N ity o tsav a o f U m a n a n d a n a th a [Supplem ent to ParaSuram a-kalpa-sutra], E d ite d b y A . M a h a d e v a Sastri. R e v is e d and e n la rg e d by T r iv ik r a m a T irtha, B aroda: Oriental Institute, 1977. N is v a s a . N iS v asatattv asam h ita. M a n u s c rip t 1-227, p re se rv e d in the N ational A r ­ chives, K a th m a n d u (see G oudriaan 1981: 3 3 -3 5 ). NT. N etratantra N T j . T h e N ctra T antram , with c o m m e n ta ry (U dd y o ta) by K shem araja. Edited by M ad h u su d an Kaul. 2 volum es. B om bay: T a tv a-V iv ech ak a Press, 1 9 2 6-1939. N T 2 - N etratan tram with the c o m m e n ta ry ‘U d d y o ta ’ o f K scm araja. Edited by V. Dw ivedi. Delhi: Parim al Publications, 1985.



P a ra m a -S a m h ita . P a ra m a s a m h ita f o f the P aiicharatra], E d ite d and tr a n s la te d into English with an intro d u ctio n by S. K ris h n a s w a m i A iy a n g a r. B a ro d a : O rie n ta l Institute, 1940, P aratrim S ik a and laghuvrtti. La P a ra trim S ik a la g h u v rtti d c A b h i n a v a g u p t a . T e x te traduit ct annote par A. Padoux. Paris: D c B occard, 1975. P a d m a -S a m h ita . P ad m a S am hita. C ritically ed ite d by S. P a d m a n a b h a n . 2 volum es. M adras: Pancaratra Parisodhana Parisad, 1 9 7 4 -1 9 8 2 . P a r a m e S v a r a - S a m h ita . Sri P a ra m e S v a ra S a m h ita S ri G o v i n d a c a r y a i h s a m s k r ta , a nckavidha dar^adibhih sam yojita ca. Srirangam : K o d a n d a ra m a r S annidhi, 1953. PuraScaryarnava. P uraS caryam ava o f His M ajesty Shri Pratap Sinh Sah D e v K in g o f N e p a l. E d ited by M. Jha. D elhi: C h a u k h a m b a S a n s k r it P r a t i s h t h a n , 1985 (reprint). P u rv a -K a ra n a g a m a . S rim a t-P u rv a k a ra n a g a m a m . M ad ras (Q intatripettai): ^ i v a f i a N a potayantragalai, 1922 ( ka liyu g a 5023) (in grantha characters). P au sS . P auskara-Sam hita P a u s S ] . Sree Poushkara Samhita. O n e o f th e T h re e G e m s in P an ch aratra, E d ited by S a m p a th k u m a r a R a m a n u ja M uni. B a n g a lo re : A. S r in iv a s a A i y a n g a r a n d M .C. T hirum alachariar, 1934. PausS2- Pauskara Samhita. Critically edited b y P.P. Apte. < P art l.> Tirupati: R ashtriya Sanskrit V idyapcctha, 1991. P raty a b h ijn a h rd a y a o f K sem araja. Edited by J.C. Chatterji. Srinagar: A rch aeo lo g ical and Research D epartm ent, 191 1. B rh at-S am h ita V a ra h a n iih ira ’s Brhat Sam hita with English T ranslation, E x h a u stiv e N o te s and L ite ra ry C o m m e n t s b y M. R a m a k ris h n a B hat. 2 parts. D elhi: M o tila l B a n a r sidass, 1981-1982. T h e B rhat-Sanhita; or, C o m p le te S y ste m o f N atural A stro lo g y o f V arah a-m ih ira. T ranslated from Sanskrit into E nglish by H. Kern. Journal o f the R oyal A siatic S o c ic ty o f G reat Britain and Ireland, new series, 4. 1870: 4 3 0 - 4 7 9 ; 5. 1871: 4 5 - 9 0 , 2 3 1 - 2 8 8 ; 6. 1872: 3 6 - 9 1 , 2 7 9 - 3 3 8 ; 7. 1875: 8 1 -1 3 4 . B M . B h a d ra m a rta n d a A th a b r h a j j y o t i s a r n a v a n t a r g a t e sa sth e m i s r a s k a n d h e b h a d r a m a r t a n d a k h y a h sa p ta d a io ’d h y a y a h prarab h y ate. B o m b a y : SriverikateSvar Press, 1933 (seco n d edition; first printed at A u ran g ab ad in 1883 and at B o m b a y in 1902). B r a h m a y a m a la . M an u scrip t 3 -3 7 0 , p reserv ed in the N atio n al A rc h iv e s, K a th m a n d u (see G oudrtaan 1981: 4 2 - 4 4 ) . B h a k ta m a r a s to tr a . C a m a k ti m a n g a lm a y a a d b h u ta - n a v a s m a r a n a m . S r iv a r d d h a m a n b h a k t a m a r a , n a v a s m a r a n a m , k a ly a n a r n a n g a l a s to tr a m . E d ite d b y G h a s lla ljl M a h a ra j/M a d a n la lji M a h a ra j/S .D . G o m a n th . K arnkaroli: Sri H in d K a n u n P r i n ­ ting Press, 1943/1944 (third edition). B h a rg av a-T an tra. B harg av a T antra. E d ited by R.P. C h au d h ary . A llah ab ad : R ash triy a Sanskrit Sansthan, 1981. M a ta iig a p a r a m e S v a r a g a m a . M a ta h g a p a r a m e ^ v a r a g a m a , a v e c le c o m m e n t a i r e de B h a tta R a m a k a n th a . E dition c ritiq u e p a r N .R . B hatt. 2 v o lu m e s . P o n d ic h e ry : Institut Frangais d ’ lndologie, 1 9 7 7 -1 9 8 2 . M a n u -S m rti. M a n u s m rti W ith the S a n s k rit C o m m e n t a r y M an v a rth a m u k ta v alT o f K u llu k a B h atta. E d ite d by J.L. Shastri. D elhi: M otilal B a n a rsid a ss, 1983, 1990 (reprint). M a n t r a m a h o d a d h i . M a n t r a m a h o d a d h i h s a tik a h , B o m b a y : S r i v e n k a t e ^ v a r S te a m Press, 1910, 1962 (re-edited), 1983 (reprint).



M ayam ata. M a y a m a ta , traitc sanskrit d ’architecturc. Edition critiquc, traduction ct n o tes par B. D a g c n s . 2 v o lu m e s. P o n d ic h c ry ; institut F rangais d ’ In dologie, 1 970-1976. [English version: M ayam atam : treatise on housing, architecture and iconography. S anskrit text edited and translated by B. Dagcns. 2 volum es. N e w Delhi: Indira G a n d h i N atio n al C e n tre for the A rts and M otilal B a n a rs id a s s P u b lish e rs Pvt. Ltd., 1994.] M alinivijaya/M alinivijayottara M a lin lv ija y a . Sri M a lin lv ija y o tta ra T a n tra m . < E d itc d > by M a d h u s u d a n ECaul. B o m b a y : T a tv a-V iv ech ak a Press, 1922. M a lin lv ija y o tta r a . E l e c tr o n ic tex t p r e p a r e d by S. V a s u d e v a , c o n ta in in g his u n p u b lish e d critical edition o f chapters 1-4, 7 and 1 1—17.z M r g c n d ra g a m a M r g c n d ra g a m a (E dition o f kriyapada and caryapiida). M rg cn d rag am a ( K riyapada e t C aryapada) avee le co m m e n ta irc dc B h atta-N aray an ak an fh a. Edition critique p a r N . R . Bhatt. Po n d ich ery : Institut Frangais d ’lndologic, 1962. M r g c n d r a g a m a ( T r a n s l a t i o n o f k r iy a p a d a and ca rya p iid a ). M r g c n d r a g a m a . Section d cs Rites et Section du C o m p o rtc m c n t, avee la vrtti de B h atta n a ra y an a kantha. T rad u ctio n , Introduction ct N otes par H. B runner. Po n d ich ery : Institut Frangais d ’lndologie, 1985. Y antraeintam ani. Y antracintam anih o f D am odara. Critically edited by H.-G. Turstig. Stuttgart: Steiner Vcrlag, 1988. YH. Y o ginlhrdaya. See P ad o u x 1994. R a u r a v a g a m a . E d itio n c ritiq u e p ar N.R. Bhatt. 3 v o lu m e s. P o n d ic h c ry : Institut Frangais d ’lndologie, 1961-1988. L ak sm i-T an tra L a k s m i-T a n tra . A P a n caratra A g a m a . E dited w ith Sanskrit G lo ss and Introduc­ tion by V. K rish n a m a c h a ry a. M adras: T h e A dynr L ibrary and R esearch C entre, 1959, 1975 (reprint). L a k s m i T antra. A Pan caratra Text. T ran slatio n and N o te s by S. G u p ta. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1972. L a lita s a h a s ra n a m a . L a lita s a h a s r a n a m a ( o f the s e c o n d part o f B r a h m a n d a p u r a n a .) W ith the C o m m e n t a r y S a u b h a g y a - B h a s k a r a o f B h a s k a ra ra y a, E d ite d by W.L. S'astri Pans'ilcar. B o m b a y : N irnaya Sagar Press, 1927 (third edition). V isv a m itra -S a m h ita . ViSvamitra S am hita. Critically ed ited by U. S h a n k a ra Bhatta. T irupati: K cn d riy a Sanskrit V idyapcetha, 1970. V is n u -S a rn h ita . T h e V isn u S a m h ita . E d ite d by M .M . G a n a p a ti Sastri. W ith an E la b o ra te Introduction by N.P. Unni. Delhi: N a g P ublishers, 1991 (rev ised and en larg ed edition; first edition 1925). V isvaksena-S anihita. V isvaksena Samhita. Critically edited by L.N . Bhatta. Tirupati: K e n d riy a Sanskrit V idyapeetha, 1972. V ina£ikha. T h e V lna^ikhatantra. A Saiva T antra o f the L eft Current. Edited with an in troduction and a translation by T. Goudriaan. Delhi: Motilal B anarsidass, 1985. V r a t o d y a p a n a k a u m u d l . A th a c itta p a v a n a k u l a b d h i s a m b h a v a - g h a r c - i t y u p a n a m a k a b a llalasu nsun u -S am karaviracita v ra to dy apanak aum u dip raram b h ah . B om bay: Jn an ad arp an Press, no date. S ab d ak alp ad ru m a. See Deva, Raja R adha Kanta 1961.

2 j. T o rz s o k w o u ld like to e x p r e s s h er th a n k s to S. V a s u d e v a fo r m a k in g this electronic text available to her.



Saktan an d ataran g in T . B r a h m a n a n d a g i r i ’s S a k a t a n a n d t a r a n g i n i . T e x t w ith H in d i Translation by R.K. Rai. Varanasi: Pracliya Prakashan, 1993. S a n tisa ra . Atlia S a n tisa ra p ra ram b h a h < d in a k a r a b h a tta k r ta h > . M u m b a i: V .V . G o d bolc, 1861. ST. Saradatilaka Saradatilakam o f Sri Lak£m anadc£ikcndra [s/'c/] w ith Padarthjidarsa C o m m e n ta r y by Srim ad R aghava Bhatta. Edited by M. Jha Bkashi. V aran asi: C h a u k h a m b h a Sanskrit Sansthan, 1986 (third edition). Sritattvacintam ani. P u r n a n a n d a ’s Sritattvacintam ani. C ritically E d ited fro m O riginal M an u scrip ts (C h ap ters I—XV111) w ith an original c o m m e n ta r y b y B h u v a n m o h a n S a n k h y a tirth a and (C h a p te rs X I X - X X V I ) w ith N o te s by C h i n t a m a n i B h a tta ch a ry a . In tro d u c tio n by P ra b o d h c h a n d r a B ag ch i. D e lh i M o tila l B a n a r s i d a s s , 1994 (reprint). S r lp r a S n a - S a m h ita . § r ip r a £ n a S a m h ita . E d ite d by S. P a d m a n a b h a n w i t h t h e F o rew ord o f V. Raghavan. Tirupati: K cndriya Sanskrit V id y a p e e th a , 1969. S a n a tk u m a ra -S a m h ita . S a n a tk u m a ra -S a m h ita o f the P a n c a r a tr a g a m a . E d ite d by V. K rish n am ach ary a. M adras: T h e A d y a r L ibrary and R esearch C entre, 1969. Satvata-S am hita S a tv ata-S am h ita. W ith C o m m e n ta r y b y A la sin g a B h atta. E d ite d by V .V . D w i vedi. Varanasi: S am p u rn a n a n d Sanskrit V ishv av id y alay a, 1982. H ikita, H. 1990. S attv ata S am h ita: A n A n n o ta te d T ra n s la tio n , C h a p te r 17 (1). Sdlo-shu ken k y u kiyfi 21: 190-137. Hikita, H, 1991. S attvata S am h ita: A n A n n o ta te d T ra n s la tio n , C h a p t e r 1 0 - 1 1 . A ich ig ak u in daig ak u zen ken k y u jo kiyo 18 -1 9 : 3 4 0 - 2 9 4 . Hikita, H. 1992. Sattvata S am h ita: A n A n n o ta te d T r a n s la tio n , C h a p t e r 17 (2). S5t6-shu kenkyu kiy5 23: 214—168. S a tv ata-S am h ita-B h asy a. See Satvata-Sam hita. S a r d h a tr i£ a tik a lo tta ra g a m a . S a r d h a triS a tik a lo tta ra g a rn a a v e c le e o m m e n t a i r e de B h a tta R a m a k a n t h a . E d itio n c ritiq u e p a r N .R . B h a tt. P o n d i c h c r y : I n s titu t Fran^ais d ’lndologie, 1979. SiddhayogeSvarim ata. See T o rz so k 1999a and T o rz s o k forthcom ing. Sid dhantaSckhara. U b h ay av c d a n ti-v iS v a n ath a k rta h siddhantaS ekharah. E d ite d b y S. Som ayajin. M ysore: T a n d a v a m u rti M udranalaya, 1971. S i d d h a n ta s a ra v a li (w ith A n a n ta S a m b h u ’s c o m m e n ta ry ). S id d h a n ta s a r a v a li o f T r ilocan aS iv acary a w ith c o m m e n ta r y o f A n a n ta S iv a c a ry a. E d ite d by A .A . R a m a n a t h a n et al. 6 p a rts . G o v e r n m e n t O r ie n ta l M a n u s c r i p t s L i b r a r y B u l l e t i n (M a d r a s ) 17.1: 2 9 - 6 8 ; 17.2: 1 -4 8 ; 18.2: 1 - 6 4 ; 19.1: 5 3 - 8 4 ; 19.2: 1 -4 8 ; 2 0.2: 4 9 - 7 1 . 1965-1972. S u p r a b h e d a g a m a . (N o e d ito r a c c r e d ite d .) M a d r a s ((^intatripettai): QMvanaNapotayantra
View more...


Copyright ©2017 KUPDF Inc.