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10/1/2015

(1)LAKSHMITANTRA:Lakshmidoesnotenjoyasolid...YogiAnandaSaraswathi

LAKSHMITANTRA:LakshmidoesnotenjoyasolidplaceinTantraasopposedtotheMahavidyaGoddesses.
LakshmiisoftenapproachedasaformofKamala,oneoftheDasaMahavidyasandthemostimportantGoddessForms
inShaktaTantrism.ByShaktaTantrism,wemeanthevenerationofthetengreatDevathasandpracticingtherituals
associatedwiththem.
KAMALA:AswithalloftheMahavidyas,KamalaisanindependentformoftheGoddess:ItisShe,andnotHer
consort,whomeritsattentionandworship,VishnuisbarelyevermentionedinrelationtoKamala.Sheistheyoungest
oftheMahavidyas,buthangonaminute.byyoungest,onemeansthefirstformedoftheprimalMahavidya.
KamalasharesLakshmisattributes.SheisthemostbeautifulMahavidya.Shehasabeautifulgoldencomplexion.She
isbeingbathedbyfourlargeelephantswhopourjarsofnectaroverher.Inherfourhandssheholdstwolotusesand
makesthesignsofgrantingboonsandgivingassurance.Shewearsaresplendentcrownandasilkendress.Ipay
obeisancetoHerwhoisseatedonalotusinalotusposture."
HerbeejmantraissometimescalledtheYonibeej.Yoniisintheformofafemale'ssexorganandisinformofa
lotus.Itisthemostbasicfemaleprinciple.Kamalaaslotusgoddessalsorepresentsdevelopmentofthepersonby
maintainingthedharmaofkeepingthesevenchakrasopen.Sheupholdssadhana.Lotusrepresentschakra.So,Lotus
GoddessisadvancementGoddess.Thisiswhyshe,asShreeorLakshmi,iscalledShaktiofShiva.
PANCHARATRA:IntheTrinitypantheon,theconsortsplayalesserroletothespirituallyorientedmalehusbands.
TheyshinewiththecomingofShaktamofMotherGoddessworship.ShaivismswiftlyadoptedShaktamprinciplesand
recognizedFeminineenergytobeapartnertothatofthemale.PurushaandPrakritifounditsabsoluteplacein
ShaivismwithorwithouttheArdhanariconcept.IndeedShaivismthrivedandshinedwiththeclich,withoutShakti,
ShivaisShavaanddidnotjustpaylipservice.ThesouthernShaivaSiddhantisandSiddharperuamanshadtheShiva
ShaktiasessenceofShaiviteprinciples.Shaktifoundherwayintothe36ShivaTattvasasopposedtoVaishnavite
feminineprinciples.
InVaishnavism,itisthePancharatraschoolthathighlightsLakshmiassupremeandindependentdeity.Thisisakind
ofTantricsubsectofVaishnavismwhichdoesnotenjoymuchrecognitionamongthevariousVaishnavitefieldsof
thought.Notwithstanding,PancharatradidmusclestrengthtopropoundadecidedlyShaktaapproachtoLakshmi.It
elevatesLakshmitothestatusofSupremeDivinity.
InPancharatra,Mahavishnuremainsalmostentirelyinactive,relegatingthecreativeprocesstoLakshmi.Shealone
acts,andtheimpressionthroughoutthecosmogonyisthatSheactsindependentlyofVishnu.Thisisaclearadoptionof
theShaivitePurushaPrakritiprinciples.Practically,here,LakshmidominatestheentirePancharatratoachievethe
positionoftheSupremeDivinePrinciple.Sheisdeemedtobetheunderlyingrealityuponwhichallrests,thatwhich
pervadesallcreationwithvitality,willandconsciousness.
LAKSHMITANTRA:AmongnumerousPancarataAgamas,LakshmiTantraiswhollydedicatedtoLakshmi.Itisthe
exclusivetreatmentoftheShaktiofVishnuastheVaishnaviteMotherGoddess.ItcontainsrulesforLakshmitantric
sadhanaandinparticularthelefthandedTantrasthatrequiresafemalepartner.HighlightingtheroleofLakshmias
theMotherGoddess,thetextnotesthatLakshmibothcreatedandembodiestheentireUniverse(seenandunseen)out
ofamereonebillionthfractionofHerself:143.
So,LakshmiseemstoperformwhatParvatiperformsinShaivism.Sheperformsalloftheactsthattraditional
Hinduismattributestothegreatmalegods,Brahma,VishnuandShiva.InTantra50.65.67,Sheherselfpowerfully
proclaims"InherentinthePrincipleofExistence,whethermanifestedorunmanifested,Iamatalltimestheinciter,the
potentialinallthings.ImanifestMyselfastheCreation,IoccupymyselfwithactivitywhenCreationbegins
functioning,andIultimatelydissolveMyselfatthetimeofdestruction.IalonesendtheCreationforthandagain
destroyit.Iabsolvethesinsofthegood.AsMotherEarthtoallbeings,Ipardonthemalltheirsins.IamtheGiverof
Everything.IamthethinkingprocessitselfandIamcontainedinEverything."
BysuchclaimsintheLakshmiTantra,Mahavishnuispushedsecondplace.Heisnotevenanequalpartnerasopposed
totheArdhanariswacatch22lockinShaivism.HereitisLakshmi,andnotVishnu,whoisCcreator,Preserverand
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10/1/2015

(1)LAKSHMITANTRA:Lakshmidoesnotenjoyasolid...YogiAnandaSaraswathi

Destroyer.LakshmiTantra50.131.132:SheisthesoleobjectofdevotionandmeditationSheisthedispenserof
graceSheisthebestowerofliberation.
LAJJAGAURI:Lakshmi,traditionallyistheProviderGoddess,withorwithouthertantricclaimsandbasis.So,in
needingatantricparallel,LakhmiseemstoretainHerfundamentalassociationwithfertility,abundanceandwell
being,notinHerownrightsbutinthelikesofLajjaGauri,thesapoflifethatvitalizesallCreation,the
consciousnessthatunderliestheentiremanifestworld.HereagainTantricLakshmiisdependentexternallyontheother
MahaVidyaMothersorothersanddoesnotclaimthesapofconsciousnessashers.(LajjaGauriwaspostedearlier)
SupremeMotherGoddessDeviinHervariousAditimanifestationsisalsoknownasMahaShakti,ParaShakti,Adya
Shakti,LajjaGauri,Matangi,Renuka,soonsoforth.Shedepictsfeminineenergyinthemostcomplexwayinthe
Hindupantheon.ThosegiventoShaktam,accommodatetheprinciplesinharmonywithoutrecoursetocomparative
analysis.
ThepreservingroleofLakshmiisplayedbyLajjaGauri.Sheisthemysterious,lotusheadedGoddess,whoisalways
portrayedwithlegsopenedtoexposehervulva.Herlegsareraisedinamannersuggestingeitherbirthingpostureor
sexualreceptivity.Forallthecryingoutloud,forherclaimstobetheCreatorGoddess,Lakshmiseemstoberelying
onLajjaGaurivulvasymbolism,morethantheYonibeejofKamala.
TheprevalenceoflefthandpracticeswithinLakshmiTantraisonlyproofoflefthandpracticesinShaktam.Thereis
noclearproofthat,otherthanstandardShaktaagama,VaishnaivismcameupwiththeirownTantricleft.
CommentatorsofShaktamsuchasBhaskararaya,thecommentatororLalithashasranamam,NagesaBhatta,
commentatorofDurgasaptasatiandAppayaDiksita,commentatorofCandrakalastutimentionShaktaagamabeing
incorporatedinLakshmiTantra.
ButtheTrinitysupremacycompetitioncrossesovertotheconsorts.VaishnavitePancaratraandLakshmiTantrawould
claimthatShaiviteShaktiandHerassertions,Durga,BhadrakaliandYogamayaaremerelynamesforMahalakshmi,
whoisVishnusdynamicpower.ItdoesnotstopthereforitisfromMahalakshmithatBrahma,VishnuandShiva
apparentlyemanate.Theseclaimsareleftforindividualconsumptionandjudgment.
ThereisverylittlementionofritualsintheLakshmiTantraexceptforiconographyintheformofdhyanaforVyuhas,
Lakshmisretinue.ThelatercommentatorswouldhaveitthatLakshmiTantraconcernsitselfwiththeindividual
adept,whodesirestobereleasedfromthemiseriesofworldlyexistence.Thisisachievedbypracticingyogicsadhana,
worshipofGodandmeditationvisualizingHimasthepersonificationofamantraaccompaniesbytherepetitionofthat
mantrawhichenablesdivinegrace.
LakshmiTantraadoptstheusualfourdivisionsofJnana,Kriya,YogaandCarya.TheKriyasectionissaidtobe
omittedaltogether.Kriyaherementionstheritesforinstallingprivateimageandworship.Caryahasbeenreducedtoa
minumumandtheJnanapreoccupiesalmosttheentiretreatise.Yogapadagivesabriefdescriptionofaradhana,the
ritualworshipofGod.
Inall,LakshmiTantrasetsouttoestablishthesupremacyofLakshmiandherranking.Itdoesnotfollowany
particularphilosophicalsystemandgivesanimpressionofacombinationofborrowedideas,mainlyShaktam,ina
hurry.ItborrowssubstantiallyfromtheBhagavadGita,evendirectquotesandfromtheDeviMahatmyaofthe
MarkandeyaPurana.Intryingthismarriageofideas,LakshmiTantrarevealstraitsofTantricTaraandMahayana
BuddhismonlytoprovethatitisparasiticonvariousexternalsourcesratherthanbeingaVaishnaviteTantrarecipefor
practitioners.
HaraHaraMahadeva
(draftGoddessLakshmi)

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(1)LAKSHMITANTRA:Lakshmidoesnotenjoyasolid...YogiAnandaSaraswathi

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