Under the divine guidance of Param Pujya Swamy Vijayananda, and blessings of Bhagavan Nityananda, we have tried to translate the summary of chapters from Devi Mahatme of Sri Chidanandavadhoota. This is the essential book for those in Dhyana marg since it unravels the Advaita Jnan hidden in Devi Mahatme, which takes us through the reality of our existence at all levels and helps one accentuate in Sadhana. Read, re-read, contemplate and meditate to absorb the Tattva.
Chapter 1 Summary
‘Yatha Brahmanda Thatha Pindanda’ (like how the macrocosm similar is the microcosm) – similarly whatever is there in Devi Purana is also there in body.This is the story of That Chicchakti, the Supreme entity who we love the most, listening to which one is forever detached from cycle of birth-death and attains liberation.
The story of Chicchakti who is Paramanand Swarup (form of supreme bliss), and Jnanaprakasha (radiance of wisdom).
Shivpura- Sthoola Sharir (Gross body) made of 25 Principles || Rajatadri-sattvaguna | stones shining like moon, rocks and boulders-small and large properties (wealthy possessions) | Canopies- Skin covering the body | Pond- merging of two bodies |stream-sweat,urine | Grass – body hair | Sludge- Mucus/phlegm | algae-marrow | wild elephant-forgetting | bison-Ashta mada (eight types of pride) | wild cow- sapta vyasana (seven type of addictions) |Ashram of Jnanis – Anandamaya Kosha (layer of bliss, one of the subtle bodies) | Rishi who does Brahma Dhyana -Sumana (virtuous mind), Subuddhi (right intellect), Suchitta (right consciousness) Nirahankari (egoless)| cat – vishayasakta mana (mind immersed in worldly pleasures) | rat- indriya (senses) | Saranga (large indian parakeet)-fickleness | Mongoose-Vairagyamana (dispassionate mind) | Serpent-Vikarmaya Mana (aberrated mind ) | Monitor lizard-sankalpamana (mind of strong will) | fox-deceitfulness | Pig- Vishva Jiva | Monkey-Mind | Fort of seven rounds (walls) – Seven Layered Skin | Fortified rampart-shoulders | hundreds of markets- One hundred small pulses | The three major markets- Ida, Pingala, Sushumna | Well- blood | Navaratna- Saptadhatu |vatavriksha (Banyan tree) – knowledge that is pure in essence.
Those in Samipya Pada (personal associates of God): Veerabhadra (Sukharupatma- form of blissful soul) Vinayaka (Ganapathi) leader of visual clusters | Shamanu- Jnanasiddha|Mukkala Bhringi – one who has Jnana (wisdom), Vairagya (renunciation), aparati (restraints/cessation) | Basava –Dharmasvarupa (epitome of dharma), the true sadhana for Brahmasvarupa sakshatkara (realization of the form of brahma) is Dharma. Since this itself is wisdom, the pure feeling that Jnanarupa Parabrahma is “I” itself is Jnana, that is Basava. As Lord Shiva is always in the pure state of feeling, Basava is His vehicle.
Nandisha- one who has the Paramanandanubhava (experience of Supreme Bliss), noble of all joys, who brings delight to the entire world through his Svarupa (through his form)! Just like The Bhagavad-gita was imparted to all humans in the pretext of a human, similarly this Purana is dedicated to all Mumukshus (those who are seeking liberation) in the pretext of Basava.Brahma- Brihat tamat vat Brahma (beyond time and space) | Ekamevadvitiyam Brahma (The one and Only, without a second)| SachiTsukatmakam Brahma (abode of true bliss)|Satyajnanamanatam Brahma | Shuddha Arivu (pure consciousness) is the Brahman, as proclaimed by many other Shrutis, it is complete like Mahakasha (infinite space) without any distinctions of self and others as such. It is a non-ego-like entity without the concept of ‘Aham Idam’ (I am This) and devoid of any emotions, it has many names such as Parashiva, Paramatma Shambulinga, Maheshwar.
Chichhakti: in this Parabrahma, once emerged the Samyag Jnana (the right knowledge) or Svarupa Jnapti (knowledge of self) as “chittoham” (I am the Consciousness) “Anandarupoham” (I am the form of bliss). And that is Chicchakti, which is the shakti (power) of Chitta (consciousness), the shakti of Chidroopa Parabrahma, the empirical knowledge of Brahman.
Brahma means- Avyakta (unmanifested), Akriya (inert), Nirakara (formless), Niranjana (spotless) form of Shuddha Arivu (pure awareness).Shakti means- the embodiment of the Pure Awareness, manifested form with emotions. Parabrahma is devoid of actions. When he desires to originate the creation, he becomes active. That is when His energy is expressed in the female form. She is the Chicchakti, since Brahma derives Nityananda through this Shakti, Shakti becomes Ardhangini (wife) of Lord Shiva. Differences of genders are thereonly in the manifest form of creation, not in unmanifest form.
Differences in Shiv Shakti – Sugar- sweet| Flower- fragrance | breeze -air | water-tides | gold- ornaments , Similarly the differences in Shiv Shakti is only in name. Natural- special, unmanifest- manifest, inert- active, formless- with form, distinctions are only at this level not intrinsically. “Devatma Shaktim, Parashakti, Mayinanthu Maheshwaram ” from these and other Shrutis and Ardhanarisvara Leelas, She is seen as the half part of Lord Shiva or indifferent from Him. ‘No Shakti without Shiva, No shiva without Shakti’, like these words and its meaning, they are always together. As the flame is hiding in the fire, flame is indistinguishable from the fire. Similarly, since Jnanashakti is immanent in Brahma, there is no difference between Shakti and Brahma. Brahma is like melted ghee, formless and attribute less. Shaki is like the thick ghee, with all attributes. Like there is no difference in thick Ghee and melted ghee, there is no difference between Brahma and Shakti. Hence there are no differences between Shakti and Humans also.
This Chicchakti has alternate names such as Turiya Shakti, Sachidananda Rupa Shakti, Vimarsha Shakti, Parashakti, Shuddha Buddhi, Shuddha (Pure), Vidya Atmamaaya, Urdhvamaaya, Amba, Ambika, Uma, Chaitanya, Vishuddha Satva Suguna Brahma. The gross form of the same Shakti is Parvati.
Maya- After the rise of the Chicchakti called ‘aham ‘ (I am) there was dawning of the other realization called ‘Idam’ (this). The same is Maya (illusion). For its realization, it manifested as many Tattvas and embodied as pure-impure form, and came to be called as Maya or in a world that is different from the self, the jnana for realizing the differential wisdom in Advitiya Brahma or realizing the Brahma as the creation becomes Maya. Also the names and forms which don’t exist in reality yet are visible, are called Maya. It has alternate names such as adhomaya, mulavidya, jada maya, lajjavati. Since Maya is not Brahmasvarup (Cosmic Subtle form) but Drishyarup (visible, gross form), it becomes false and detestable.
Upadhi- Through which yoga (means), the reality of an object appears contrary, that yoga becomes upadhi for that object. Since through the yoga of Maya, the Advitiya Brahma appears to be divisible as Isha, Jiva, and the Jagat, Maya becomes upadhi for Brahma.
This Maya of satva, raja and tamo gunas, emerged as a forms of Vidya (knowledge) Avidya (Ignorance). Vidya is dominated by pure essence (principal), it appears to be one, Avidya is dominated by impure essence, it appears as many things.
Ishvara- Chicchakti that has Vidya becomes Ishvara. Since Vidya is bright and clear as a pure mirror, Ishwar has no forgetfulness of his form and personified with the highest qualities as Sarvajnatva, He is revered, and he is the lord of the world.
Jiva- Chicchakti comprised of Avidya becomes jiva. Since Avidya is like a mirror cladded with dust, the Jivis who have it in them suffer with low qualities without seeing their true form clearly.Creation of Srishti – a relative of Lord Shiva, Parasaktiyoga, though He is in Sachchidananda svarupa (in true bliss), during the creation of the world He himself became the creation with a divine volition to become many, as the water itself becomes the tides, thread itself becomes cloth and through His own will he dissolved the entire creation in Himself as vapors during the time of dissolution (parlay kal/ rest time) through His divine play.
After the creation of Srishti, like the Jiva gets three bodies, similarly Ishvara also got three bodies. The Gross form of the cosmos which is apparent outside is Viradroop. The subtle form is Hiranyagarbha. The Sarva snata Chaitanya (omnipotent consciousness), the basis for all the worlds and the self-radiant form which is referred as Swara is called Chicchakti.
Nirlepakatva (untaintedness) – As the Bayalu (shunya/ nothingness) has pervaded the inside and outside of the cosmos and yet is untainted, similarly the Chicchakti (the pure awareness, formless) which is pervaded in countless cosmos yet is untainted by the deformities of the cosmos, hence it is called as Chidbayalu (infinite space of consciousness). Like the milk transforms into curd, it is not the impact of deformity that the shakti became universe. As the water becomes tides, and the gold becomes ornaments, the Devi became Jagadroopa (took form of the world), this is unchanging wholeness. Though this wholeness, through her imagination, manifested as many forms, without getting tainted by it she remains pure. Like the spider She manifests the world that was dissolved in her and again dissolves it in her self and becomes Brahmaabhinna (Indifferent from Brahma).
Rajarajeshvari- Raja means the great lord, since she is the leader of Trimurties who cause the creation, preservation and dissolution, all the Kings of Kings and all living beings, shakti has the name Rajarajeshvari. One who has knowledge of everything without the need of external light of wisdom, one who illuminates all the objects being formless, that self- illuminating awareness is called Rajarajeshvari.
Brahma- one who has Rajas Gun both inside and outside is the originator of the creation. Vishnu – one who has Satva Gun on the outside and inside is the Lord of the generative states of creation. Rudra – one who has Satva Gun inside and Tamo Gun outside, who dissolves the creation.
Goddess Darshan- After the construction of huge houses in the field, like how the space is experienced inside the home, the Goddess entered into the heart of everyone in the form of soul after creating the Srishti. There are many Shrutis enunciating that Brahma is the soul of all of us. Despite this, the trimurtis, without realizing the nature of the Goddess (the Awareness) inside them, meaning, they forgetting their own nature are searching her outside. Those who are Bahirmukhis (outward) does not know their own form. It is visible only to Antarmukhis (those who go inward). The darshan of the Self is the Darshan of Devi.
Nabhovachana – (ashariri mahavakya- the greatest verse from the bodiless) – Mahavakyas from Shruti- Verse from Shruti is that ‘first behold the place where God is seen, then behold the form of God’. Tapa – a sadhana for understanding the nature of God (energy) through the concentration of mind.Devi is not of the form that could be beheld by eyes, not the body to hold her in hands, like how the sugar is immanent in sugarcane, and ghee is immanent in milk, though she is all pervaded invisibly in the universe apart from activities, will she be attained if she is sought after without the Bhaktirup kriya (devotion and its adjoint rituals). Though the Sun is ubiquitous, he appears exclusively in the form of sunlight, similarly though the goddess is ubiquitous, she appears especially in the heart of the devotees, “Tilamadhye yathatailam kshiramadhye yatha ghrutam pushpamadhye yatha gandho bhava madhye tatha shive” (like the oil is latent in seed, ghee is latent in milk, fragrance is latent in flower, Shiva resides in the very emotion). Like how one’s reflection is not visible clearly in rippled water or muddy water, and is clearly visible in clean water, similarly God is not visible in impure emotions, but in the pure emotion, that is, in the pure mind, He is clearly visible.
Brahma (God) is the one in pure emotion- ‘Jagrut swapna sushuptyadi prapancham yatprakashate tadbrahmamityuchyate’ ‘Yena sarva midambhati tadbrahmetyavadharayeth’. Like this shruti, the awareness through which we understand the wakefulness and other states and all the transactions that occur in those states, that Nirvikalpa Arivu (transconceptual awareness) is Brahma, the same is present in all the bodies as Atma.
The soul of the one who is aware is Brahma. ‘Swatma Brahma iti Sarva Vedantanam Sunishtitarthah’ (Our soul is the very Brahma is the definitive opinion of all the Shrutis).
The Soul residing in the body- like the coconut is within the skin, husk and the shell, and the rice within the hull, husk and bran, the awareness within the three bodies called shtoola (gross), sukshma (subtle) and karana (causal) which is aware of all the transactions of these bodies in its formlessness is the real form of humans or real nature of life. It is the form of Sacchidananda. This itself becomes the soul, Chicchakti and Brahma. If this is conceived as the light of the crystal, lightening and moonlight and the image of the Goddess in the photo is instilled in the heart (of the mind) and with all the reverence contemplated on, the same will be manifested outside in form after some long time of such dedicated worship.
Jnana (Knowledge) is symbolically referred to as Jyothi(light) because knowledge leads to the understanding of names and forms of things, as Jyothi illuminates the object. Those who are unaware of this essence merely worship the lamp.
Nishta (Faithfulness) – The last state of the steady mind, no matter how many hardships come across, even if one is to die, they will not give up on life unless they have darshan of God, only to those with faith, meaning as much the intensity of desire to see God deepens, He gives the darshan.
Nityananda Dhyana Mandir Bevinkoppa