Veda Dharma

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Vaikhanasa Agama ( Kumbha Dhyana Vidhanam)

In this post let us see the process of meditation on Vishnu to install His power in the sacred pot or Kumbha. The process is very generic in nature and constitutes of meditating upon the Lord with great concentration. There might be different variations of the same procedure but I will talk about the one mentioned by Sage Atri in his work Samurtarchanadhikarana.
The priest after purifying himself should wear 12 urdhwa pundras as mentioned by Kasyapa and should wear clean white clothes, apply sandalwood etc. He should sit facing the east or north and keep clean water from rivers ready for "Kumbha Pooja". The sacred pot should be made out of gold/silver/copper/mud. It should be of size of equal to 32 "prastha" and in the shape of "ripe bimba" fruit. It should be cleaned properly and then threads should be wound around the Kumbha, while appropriate mantras are recited. The pot should be filled with water from sacred rivers while reciting mantras and should be purified using kusa grass and gems, akshatas, flowers, fragrances should be put in the water. The pot should be decorated using a new cloth with sandalwood etc and kusa grass . The following seven ingredients are the most important ones and they signify the following:
1.Water - Meda
2.Gems - Asthi
3.Threads - Sira or veins
4.Coconut on top - Head
5.Red mud - Sonitam
6.Cloth - Skin
7.Fragrant dust - Flesh.

The above seven dhatus are very important and even if one is missing the Lord's presence is impossible. The kumbha should be placed on a heap of paddy in front of the Lord. Acharya should then recite the pranava in his heart and should also recite the atma and purusha suktas. He should meditate on the region of Varuna in the form of half moon in the water in Kumbha. After this he acharya should start reciting "Sahasra Sirsam" and start the process of meditation on the Lord as learnt from his acharya. He should become peaceful in mind and should sit in swastika asana. He should concentrate his vision on the top of the nose and should pranayama as much as he can do. Pranayama is of three types known as rechaka, puraka and kumbhaka. These are synonymous with exhalation,inhalation and holding of the breath. Pranayama should be done by the acarya so that he can bring his senses under control. Wherever the mind goes it should be brought back under control with effort.
Once the mind is controlled thus, the Supreme Lord who resides in the form a flame in the heart should be meditated upon. The Sruti speaks of Him as the eternal and the supreme soul. In meditation He is perceived as a thunderbolt in the sky. He is an embodiment of all jnana and doesnt have decay. He is of the form of Pranava and causes prosperity. Though He doesnt have a body, He fills the whole universe with His power. The supreme Lord who stays in all creatures can only be perceived with the light of Jnana. He is smaller than an atom but still bigger than the Universe. He is both Sat and Asat and cannot be perceived by senses. But still He can be understood through the path of devotion. The Lord is the source of all Vedas. Lord Vishnu is the target of all yagnas. Lord Hari is the truth enunciated in all dharmas. He is beginingless, master of all and support for all. The whole universe is created by Him and is filled with Him. Thus after controlling all the senses, the Lord Vishnu should be meditated with happiness.
The Lord should then be meditated as one in golden colour, with red eyes, with Yagnopaveetha and decorated with different ornaments and a shining crown. His chest shines with splendour of gem Kaustubha and a white patch of hair on His chest( known as Srivatsa) should be perceived. In His upper four hands He wears Sankha and Chakra. In His lower two hands He displays Abhaya/Varada and Kati mudras. The guru should thus carefully install the power of the Lord in the sacred pot through the above meditation.
"The Lord who resides in Nara(water) is known as Narayana. The Lord who fills the whole Viswa(universe) should be known as Vishnu. The Lord who enters all jivas/vastus is known as Vasudeva. " The Lord should be meditated upon thus with concentration. In His micro form He enters all jivas and in His macro form He resides with mother Lakshmi in Vaikuntha.
This is the way of Advaita Puja as told by the great sage Vikhanasa. The argument that the Lord's power need not be installed as He is all pervading. We need to make fire from firewood though fire is internally there in the firewood. The Lord can only be installed with devotion and concentrated meditation. The Lord can be meditated in the heart or in the image or in the water or in the disc of Sun and can be worshipped. It is important to invite Him with mantras and dhyana. The divine mother also should be similarly invited into the Kumbha and should be worshipped. The kumbha can then be taken into the main sanctum and the power can be transferred to the image of the Lord. Thus ends the process of Kumbha dhyanam.

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