Title of the Chaṇḍī Pāṭhaḥ Question: Sometimes the Chandi Path is referred to as the The Devi Mahatmyam, and The Durga Saptasati. Why are there three names for the same scripture? Are there differences in the contents in a book with one of the other names? Swamiji says: The scripture became known by different names […]
Did you have a question on some of the finer points of the Chandi Path or Rudrashtadhyayi or any of scriptures available at our bookstore?
You may find that others have already asked the question before, and the answers have been compiled into the sections below. If you have a question that is not covered, then you can ask it on our yahoo chat forum.
~~OM~~ Message of the Guru Gita The repetitive message in the Bhagavad Gita is “Serve God, Serve God, Serve God!” In the Chandi Path the repetitive message is “Take one asan and chant the Chandi!” What is the repetitive message in the Guru Gita? Swamiji Says: “na guroradhikam | na guroradhikam | na guroradhikam |” […]
Uvach in Rudri Question: Some of the scriptures progress/teach through a conversation between a God/Goddess and a devotee or Rishi. Why is there no particular conversation in the Rudrastadhyayi? Swamiji Says: The Rudrastadhyayi is Vedic. The Puranic scriptures occur in story form, but the Vedas are hymns of praise. Purusha Suktam Question: Are there different […]
Benefits of Cosmic Puja
What are the benefits of the Cosmic Puja? What are the qualities that are developed, the wisdoms gained, etc.? When is this the appropriate primary puja?
These are from a few slides from our new class on the meaning and performance of the Cosmic Puja. I hope they will answer the question.
The Cosmic Puja is a Universal Prayer for Peace for all the beings of existence. It is a guided meditation, which teaches us to perceive events in life without attachment, to free ourselves from the bonds of karma, and cease to react to every stimulus. Through wisdom and discrimination, we design the circumstances we desire in life, and in this way we act with the greatest efficiency. All actions become perfect actions, and no longer are we required to return again and again to finish our incomplete work. This is the path of liberation. This is the purpose of the Cosmic Puja.
We meditate to surrender Too Much and Too Little, cut down Self Conceit and Self Deprecation, and surrender the Great Ego itself at the feet of the Divine Mother Goddess. Then we will be able to see that all of Existence is Being, Becoming, and Rest; desire, activity and wisdom. All of existence is in constant transformation caused by the Three Divine Couples: Brahma and Saraswati Creating, Vishnu and Laksmi Protecting, Shiva and Durga Transforming.
This is the Cosmic Puja, the worship of the Energies of the Eternal Existence and the Consciousness which perceives them; the three qualities in Constant Motion: coming into manifestation, having a time of play in the circumstances of life, and transforming again into something else. Without Too Much or Too Little, without Self Conceit or Self Deprecation, in the absence of the Great Ego, we can perceive without attachment the Dance of Nature and intuit the presence of God.
I pray primarily to Durga as the Kuladevata, However I also pray to Hanuman, Shiva, Vishnu and the rest of the family. I sometimes feel confused. How can I see them as a whole, please give me guidance?
Please read the Cosmic Puja. All the Gods and Goddesses are members of the one family of divinity. Be free. There is no conflict.
How does the worship of many forms of deity relate to the notion of having a chosen deity, or Ishta Devata? There seems to be two directions along which your altar can evolve. One is toward a cosmic altar that has many forms of deity. The other direction is toward an altar that has only one, chosen deity, one’s ishta devata.
It is called Ekadista or Vyasti as compared with Samasti. Both are ways of worshipping and of setting up the altar. Both are correct. In both ways we still worship all the other forms of divinity, but they are worshipped in the presence of flowers rather than murtis.
In the Bahya Matrikaa Nyasa. I am not sure what you mean when you say base, for example:
Om am namah R.1.4 base top of head,
Om pam namah L.1.4 base L.side,
Om bam Namah R.1.4 base belly, etc.
Could you please explain?
On each finger there are three spaces divided by the joints. The base refers to first space on each finger next to the palm of the hand.
I would like to know whether you actually do a homa in the section on Agni Prajvalitam?
No, visualize a circle of fire surrounding yourself and the deity. No other vibration can enter the circle. Then make the walls of the fire continually higher.
Where does Krishna fit in the cosmic family? And Ram?
They are both incarnations of Vishnu, and included in the Vishnu mantras.
Brahma is referred to as the Supreme Divinity and also as the Creative Capacity. Sometimes in transliteration the first is written Brahman, but apparently not always. How do I distinguish the two?
From the context.
In the Bhuta Suddhi, the bijas for the chakras are lam, vam, ram, yam, ham, and om. My question is are there also deities for the respective chakras? If so, what are they?
Please look at the table on page 97 of Cosmic Puja.
Do you offer puja materials on the Chandi Yantra as well as the idol of the deity?
In our tradition we do not break our asana from the time we take the sankalpa. Therefore, all offerings are made on the main flower situated on the yantra so we have no need to stand up.
In the Bhutasparana section, we call upon friendly spirits to get rid of the bad ones, then we tell the bad ones to go away, then we tell those that have chosen to remain that Lord Narasinha will deal with them. Should we make material offerings to the good spirits to persuade them to help us, to the bad spirits to get rid off them? What of the really demonic powerful ones? Does Narasinha take care of them, or/and should Hanuman be invoked for protection? Does one do this everyday, or once a week, or only at the start of a retreat or major event like a yagya?
Traditionally we offer rice to the good spirits in the four directions. I personally find it too difficult to clean up so I offer flower petals on the altar. For the bad spirits, traditionally we offer black sesame for the bad spirits. Again I offer flower petals for these mantras too. For the demonic ones, invoke Hanuman or Devi (Chandi, Chapter 12). I perform the Bhutasparana every day as part of the Cosmic Puja.
I would like to know the internal significance of Prana Pratistha and Nyasa. Since one could just as easily invite the deity into our hearts and meditiate on her there, and feel her there, without necessarily going through all the pratisht and nyas mantras, I would like to know what exactly these mantras do, as they are considered vital to all tantric pujas. Do they have the overall effect of enhancing the potency of the Japa Mantra that follows? In other words, one could just do the Japa without Nyasa, but with Nyasa the Japa would be more powerful.
The easiest and most effective puja is to sit silently in contemplation of the Supreme Divinity within ourselves with only one mantra. But the mind is restless. It won’t sit still that easily. It wants to roam from the past to the future, and rarely observes the truth of the present. The rishis designed the pujas to guide the mind into that stillness. The Pratistha and nyasa viddhis allow the establishment of all the vibrations of existence into our being, and then the establishment of the DIvine Mother as the embodiment of all that energy.
Can I do Prana Pratistha myself, as no brahmin is around to perform it. And how would I proceed for murtis of Shiva, Ganesha, Krishna, and Lakshmi? What are the mantras and so on?
Use the mantras from the Prana Pratistha in the Cosmic Puja, and then add the bija mantras for each deity.
How do the different mantras of the Pratistha or Nyasa correspond to the different chakras and nadis(chakra petals)?
I stand by the explanation already published in our books. The correspondence begins at the Muladhara to the Ajna chakra.
Just as receiving initiation into a mantra makes it more potent for the sadhak, does one need therefore initiation into the pratishtha and nyasa mantras as well to enhance their effect?
Everything works better when we have an oral transmission of knowledge, and even better when we can do our sadhana in the presence of a pure example of someone who is practicing that sadhana. There are so many nuances in every action that cannot be explained in an email or even a book. But we must do the best that we can. When circumstances allow, we will come into that relationship which inspires us to actually adjust our life styles so that we can receive the teachings first hand. Until then we must follow the teachings to the best of our abilities, and maintain the sincerity to continue to progress.
Could you also please tell me whether in cosmic puja pran pratishta is mentioned twice is deliberate or should just be done once?
We make prana pratishtha many times during the puja:
On the deity
On the pot.
On the worshipper
On the yantra.
On the fire.
On the one hand, when you were talking about the pot and you said that there is energy outside and energy inside, seems like there is only one energy. And then you said each manifestation is a different energy. Could you explain this?
In the Cosmic Puja, puja naivedhya is initially addressed to the Goddess. At the end, the text shifts to addressing God. Is there any significance in this shift?
The Introduction (to the Cosmic Puja) talks about three levels in the altar. It also says that as we move up the altar the way we perceive the world changes. Could you give us some examples from your life about how this happened?
I am mesmerised by the idol of Durga (Chandi) Maa, the one on the front page of the cosmic puja book riding on the lion slaying Mahisasur. Is there an actual murti like that somewhere in a temple in India because I have this strange feeling that I have seen it somewhere.
She, this murti is prepared in different parts of Bengal every year. She is worshipped for the Navaratri and then dissolved again in the Ganga.
The Cosmic Altar has been described in the Vaikritikam Rahasyam (from the Chandi Path) as the best way to worship Her. Does this mean that we should position the deities in our homes in the manner described in the Rahasyam? Would you advise us to model our altars at home based on the Cosmic Altar?
It is an extremely sophisticated form of worship. Certainly we want to move in that direction, but don’t move so fast as to make our worship a burden.
All Gods and Goddesses are one Family
Many deities and one chosen deity
Bahya Matrika Nyasa
Brahma and Brahman
Where to make offerings
Prana Pratistha and Nyasas
Energy inside and putside the pot
Three levels in the altar
Cosmic Puja cover – Puja and Altar (Murtis)