Parā: the Trika Goddess

(Here we share some quotes from Trika Āgamas portraying some aspects of the worship of Parā Devī. The purpose in sharing this is purely inspirational, as no practice is recommended without guidance.)

“Listen to the best (practice of) conquering death, which takes away old age as well as death, now being explained briefly for everybody's sake, O Beloved One. (The practitioner) should visualize space as the basis of (all) the gross elements, and a white lotus within that, with eight petals and a pericarp. It should be like the clearest crystal and (white) as the abode of snow (the Himālaya). It is completely filled with nectar, it is divine, and its pericarp is the moon. (He should also imagine) a beautiful lotus on the earth with the same appearance. He is to sit on this lotus and he should install the mantras in the appropriate manner. Then he should imagine himself (as white) as snow, as clear crystal; then he should visualize the following. On the moon which has been placed on the pericarp of the air-lotus, he should visualize the goddess Parā with the form of the Cow of Plenty, who is like clear crystal, pouring the nectar of immortality everywhere, pouring out the divine nectar, which flows down from the place where the resonance of the mantra dies away. She is the Power of the God of Gods: Parā conveys the nectar of immortality. She pours out the best milk, perfect and pure. Then (the practitioner) should imagine (this nectar) flowing into his own body all over, entering inside him through the cranial aperture, and overflowing the receptacle of his heart. If one practices this meditation everyday and recites the best of mantras, he will conquer death after six months - this is the teaching of (our) doctrine).”

(Siddhayogeśvarīmāta Tantra, XI.3-12)

“The wise sādhaka, who is clean and is fasting, who has bathed and worshipped (Śiva), should place the net of Kalās (radiances) full of Parā Śakti in the moon on the second day of the bright fortnight in the month of Baisakha. The wise Sādhaka, staying in a place which is without support, who is attentively and peacefully identical with Śiva, should see the moon till she sets. Fully absorbed in the meditation of the moon, the Sādhaka should eat his food consisting of milk. A Yogin should do this practice daily till the full moon day comes. He should sleep all the night with the meditation on the Parā Śakti in the disc of the moon.

At midnight of the full moon day, the Yogin, when there is no noise and everybody is asleep, sees undoubtedly the Parā Devī, appearing like the innumerable rays of the moon, decorated with the garland, made of the stars, bearing white clothes, besmeared with the white paste of the sandalwood, full of the ornaments, made of pearls, beautiful, full of the new youth, pleasing from all sides of which nectar is flowing, seated on the seat of a lotus flower, slumbering under the yogic posture and staying in the disc of the moon.”

(Mālinīvijayottara Tantra, XXI.22-29)

“On the lotus one should meditate on the smiling Īśvara, full of knowledge, quite calm like a dead body, containing the body of crores of Kalāgni (highly effulgent) and the seat of all the worldly phenomenon. The sādhaka should concentrate his mind on the peaks of the Śakti Śūla which has come out of his (Īśvara’s) navel, the length of which is up to brahmarandhra, begun with the three skies. The aspirant should meditate on the three white lotuses of the Śakti, which are all-pervading and which have their place upon the peaks of Īśvara. The Sādhaka should concentrate his mind on Vidyā mūrti (Vidyā Tattva which represents Śakti), the Ātma tattva (which represents the nāra, individual soul) and Śiva tattva (the Supreme Principle) already placed on the peaks of the lotus.

The pupil, who is in the form of a Sādhaka, should think of the Parā Śakti in the middle part of the south and the North on the three peaks. Moreover, he should also concentrate his mind on the Parāpara Śakti of red color and possessing great strength. The Parāpara Śakti, on which a Sādhaka is advised to concentrate, is slightly dreadful but not dangerous. The Apara Śakti which is dangerous and contains black and brown color should be concentrated upon on the left peak of the lotus. The Sādhaka should always keep in view the Parā Śakti, representing will power (icchā śakti), destroyer of the difficulties and torments of those who come to it for their shelter, pleasing and which is in possession of crores of moons.

(...) The Sādhaka, after identifying himself with the forms of the Parā, Parāpara and Apara Śaktis, should repeat their Mantras ten times each and meditate on their forms which are like burning fire. (...) The Triśūla consists of the three Śūlas (peaks) which technically are Śāmbhava, Śākta and Āṇava.”

(Mālinīvijayottara Tantra, VIII.68-74, 79, 82)

“The source of the letters of the alphabet is the place of birth of all mantras. That source of the mantras is to be understood as of two kinds, external and internal. (The internal form) needs to be taken as more important and the bestower of siddhi. That is the final goal of the brilliant yogin proceeding along the path of yoga treating the world as a sheer dream. (The practitioner of this yoga) ought to take a stoppage in the midway for a moment. Here he sees the citśakti in its entirety, but just as a flash (of lightning).

The citśakti is the highest reality. This world is born of it. According to Siddhayogeśvarī view, that is the body of mantra. All mantras are embraced by that Force and that is why they become potent to bestow fruits of siddhis owing to slight variation in sound apart from what is to be rejected and what is to be accepted. The citśakti the yogin attains is also known as Śiva. By fixing his mind on the same, the yogin attains omniscience. It is at this stage that he comes across doubtlessly certain divine indications such as some change somewhere in his body.

(Malinīvijayottara Tantra, XVIII.35-41)


(by Ekabhumi Ellik)

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