Samayachara Sri Vidya – a study Project Details
Shri Lalithambiga Trust is a charitable organization since 1997 established in India and dedicated towards self less service to the society and educating the youth into the path of yoga and self realization based on the auspicious wisdom known as Sri Vidya. The trust has established a meditation centre and thousands of people are trained in yoga and meditation every year. In view of bringing a resource material in the form of a text book for reference of the students and the true seekers Shri Lalithambiga Trust under the auspices of Dr.Sri Jagannatha Swami M.A.M.Phil.Ph.D., has undertaken a Project entitled as Samayachara Sri Vidya.
Sri Vidya is an ancient tradition practiced in India from time immemorial to attain the Ultimate Reality or Self Realization. It is the devotion and meditation of Mother Goddess Sri lalithambika,who is the form of auspicious wisdom, power and wealth, embodiment of love, compassion and prosperity. Sri Vidya begins with the external worship of the idol which has four dimensions of name, form, sound and meaning. Soon after it turns as the adoration of Maha Meru, a three dimensional model of the Universe and then traverse the two dimensional Sri Chakra veneration. Later on it results in one dimensional meditation as the merger of the male and female energies within. The eventual aim is to attain the dimensionless state. The path explained here is based on the Samayachara tradition of Sri Vidya and there are yet other branches like Kowlachara, Vamachara and Misrachara etc.,
Worship of Mother Goddess has been in practice in India since ancient times. Earth is often worshipped as Mother. Just as the mother feeds the child, Earth feeds mankind by yielding vegetables, fruits and cereals and so is a Mother herself. There are evidences of Mother Goddess Worship in the excavations in Mohenjadaro and Harappa, In the Rig Veda and Atharvana Veda, Mother Earth is called the Prithvi. The Vedic science was well aware of the fact that man is born of the earth and ultimately ends up one with it. The parents are worshipped as Gods as in the saying “Mathru Dhevo Bhava, Pithru Dhevo Bhava” . In fact, many traditions look up the language, religion, and country as Mother. From infancy the love of the mother takes deep roots in our minds. Often snakes are worshipped respectfully as Nagamma or Snake Goddesses. Even people look upon the pox as the manifestation of the Mother and treat the same with respect. Sri Vidya sees God as the one who performs five functions in that She creates, protects, destroys, and showers Her Grace.
History of Sri Vidya:
Historians say that the tradition of worshipping the Mother Goddess has been in existence even before the Vedic times. In Kenopanishad, the Goddess is worshipped as Uma. The Goddess Ushas is worshipped as the Goddess of Dawn. In the Rig Veda. The sister of the Goddess Ushas, is called Gayathri and She is supposed to be Goddess of the Night. The Goddess Athithi is worshipped as the Mother of the brave kings. The Goddess Vak is worshipped as the Goddess of speech She is wife of Brahma, the Creator. Many other Goddesses have been worshipped in the Vedic times. It is hence clear that worship of Female Goddesses have been in practice before, during and after the Vedic times. One part of the Rig Veda called Sri Sukhtham is in praise of the Goddess of Wealth and the other Vak sukhtham is in praise of the Goddess of Learning.
Kena Upanishad worships the Mother Goddess as Uma Haimavathi. Uma is another word that signifies the Primordial sound OHM or AUM, This mantra means nothing but Ultimate Knowledge. It can be said that Sri Vidya tradition of worship evolved from this Mantra. According to the Saktha religion, Brahman and Knowledge or Vidya are one and the same. Sri Vidya is the path to reach Brahman. Tripura Upanishad and Tripurathabini Upanishad advocate the worship of Mother Goddess. Tharaka Upanishad declares that the Pranava mantra or the Omkara mantra of AUM is the key mantra in Shakthi worship.
Bavanopanishad is an important work. It is part of the Atharvana Veda.advocated conducting worship through bhavanas, and the tradition of worshipping the Sri Chakra, making it part of the worship of the various Chakras in the human body.
Devikaupanishad consists of 81 slokas praising the Mother Goddess. Kowlaupanishad and Tharaka Upanishad speak of the greatness of the Mother. Soundarya Lahari composed by Sri Adi Shankara describes the beauty of the Goddess based on the knowledge of Sri Vidya . Of the rightist and leftist ways of upasna, Sri Adi Shankara did not advocate the Vamamarga or the leftist way of Upasna.
It is mentioned in the Valmiki Ramayana that Viswamitra taught the Sri Vidya Mantra to Rama and Lakshmana. The Sri Vidya Mantra is the Mother Mantra to all others.Sri Yantra and Maha Meru are the icons meditated in Sri Vidya and they are the symbols of Universal harmony and peace.
Some important texts of Sri Vidya are :
Vamakeshwara Tantra, Chatuhshatee,
Rudrayamala Tantra, Shubhagama Panchaka, Chandrakalashtaka Tantra, Tantraraja
Tantra, Srividyarnava, Jnanarnava, Tripurarnava, Tripurasarasarvasva,
Prapanchasara, Kularnava, Yogini Hridaya, Nithya shodashikarnava, Sanatkumara
Samhita, Daksinamurthy Samhita, Parashurarama Kalpasutras, Subhagodaya,
Srividyaratnasutras, Anandalahari, agamakalpadruma, Tantrachudamani,
Tripuurasarasamuchaya, trikandasarathabodhini, Dakshinamurthykalpa,
Paraapanchaashika, Shatchakranirupana, Sharadatilaka, Brihat shreekrama, Lalitha
Rahsya, Lalitopakhyana, Malamantras, Shaktanandatarangini, Shreekrama,
Shreemata, Shreetatwachintamani, Shreetatwanidhi (By the late Maharaja of
Mysore), Shreevidyaratnakara, Sanketapadddhati, Swacchandasamgraha,
Kamakalavilasa, Kalika purana and other Puranas, Varivaysa Rahasya,
Saubhagyabhaskaar, Saubhagyasetu, Saubhagyaratnakara, Kundalini kalpataru,
Devyupanishad (which are around 24 in number), Nrisimhatapini, Prayogasara,
Bhairavayamala, Matrikabheda, Rahsayagama, Deviyamala, Mahaniravana Tantra,
balavilasa Tantra, kulachudamani Tantra, todala Tantra , vishwasara Tantra,
parananda Tantra, kankalamalini, Malinivijayottara Tantra, Gandharva Tantra,
Gauthameeya Tantra, Lalita Tantra, sammohana Tantra, etc. to name a few.
Samayachara Sri Vidya – A Study Project will enumerate the entire hypothesis and will record all the possible facts as thesis. This project will be covering all the historical and philosophical perspectives of the ancient tradition of India.
This project will collect all the primary and secondary sources of Sri Vidya in Sanskrit and English. The chapters will be organized with analytical and critical discussions. A practical module of Sri Vidya in the light of Patanjali Yoga sutra will be tested and recorded with the experiences of the practitioners. This will remove all the doubts and confusions about this true path of self realization.
This project will be co-authored by a western scholar and the aim of involving a western scholar is to bring out a world view and cultural understanding.
The project will be done in English and also be translated in Hindi, Spanish, French, Polish and other possible world languages. This will be a contribution to the fields of linguistics, literature, history, philosophy and cultural studies.
The time duration is about 11 months from the date of commencement of the project.
The trust has allocated INR2.50 lakhs towards the completion of the project.