|Since olden days man has chosen specific shapes for building his houses of worship, such as pyramids, domes, columns, circles and other geometrical figures. They were believed to engender specific energies needed for their spiritual and occult practices. Domes were not only used by Indian and Celtic tribes for their sweat-lodge ceremonies, but also by Tibetan buddhists in their stupas (chapels), by Romans and by freemasons in their lodges. In India it is often used in the construction of secret underground chambers for high spiritual aspirants. Also many caves, used as a retreat by sadhus and monks, are naturally dome-shaped.
The round shape refers to the wide expansion of the sky as well as to the cherishing womb of the mother. The wideness invites one’s mind to reach out to a broadened vision of all-inclusiveness, the one-in-all consciousness, experiencing oneself as the entire universe. Expansion, exhalation.
The intimacy of the womb brings you back to the deepest inner silence, sheltered and nourished by the divine Mother, experiencing the entire universe as one’s self. Reabsorbtion, inhalation.
The dome-shape also has the property of protecting against external influences of any kind, thoughts, emotions, vibrations, sounds that afflict us continuously in every day life. It stills the mind, slows down the thought-process, eases emotions and brings you back to the inner still point. Besides shielding off the dome also amplifies the sadhana that is performed there, be it mantra, puja of meditation.
HIRANYAGARBHA, the golden womb
Om is the total utterance of the whole creation as one unit, as one exhalation of God. It is the first stirring, the first objective appearance of the eternally subjective, non-manifest infinity of the divine. That syllable is called the Word in all scriptures. Also the Bible says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God.” This first stirring expands into a complete and full creation. This entire creation, as well as every part of it, consists of three levels, three worlds. Om, bhur bhuvas suvah. This is the great mantra to be meditated upon at sunrise, the daily visible symbol of the moment of creation. Bhuh loka is the tangible reality called earth-plane, which exists in space and time. Bhuvah loka is the in-between world of force and mind, thought and feeling. Suvah loka is the heavenly world of pure consciousness, the causal plane. In a human being they are body, mind and soul. Universally speaking they are consciousness steering force and force enlivening matter.
A capsule of these three put together is called Hiranyagarbha. Hiranyagarbha is a unit of creation. Every universe, every planet, every living being and every cell of every living being is such a unit, is a Hiranyagarbha. Every Hiranyagarbha contains the totality, contains the divine in a specific manifestation. It is also called the golden egg, because it contains and it is alive. The chick in the egg is the I am-comsciousness. And the egg is golden because it is a manifestation of light, it is wealth and opulence. A Hiranyagarbha denotes a completed, as yet untainted creation, newly emerged out of the absolute. They all fit into each other and all have their specific task and place. As Hiranyagarbha every unit is still aware of that. Through Hiranyagarbha meditation one becomes conscious again of this beautiful mechanism. Slowly each one of our cells rediscovers its original vibration and we once again become aware of the divine plan.
SHRIYANTRA, praise to the Mother
The Shrichakra (Shriyantra) can be defined as a geometrical representation of this entire universe in 43 triangles. It is the srshtikrama (the creative impulse), the coming into being of this universe from a single point of pure consciousness called bindu, expanding outwards to form first a triangle and thenceforth the entire creation. Even before the bindu or beyond the beginning of creation, when all was pure, unmanifest Shiva-consciousness, eternally quiescent, there was the slightest, tiniest, undetectable stirring of cosmic force to gather itself into a point, so as to be able to manifest itself into this creation. That is the Mahaspanda, the primordial vibration, which became the causeless cause, the Adi (first), the Para (the beyond), the Shakti (great energy), the point where the beginnings of movement and dynamism were witnessed. Anything that gives birth, brings forth, is the Mother. This Mahaspanda worked itself up into the tangible, throbbing entity of the cosmos, filling the whole of creation with life-force, and thus becoming the Mother. That is why the first name of the 1000 names of Lalita, sung in praise of this Mahaspanda, describes her as Mother, ascribing femininity to this primordial dynamic movement in the otherwise quiescent, non-polar energy that it was before this first stirring took place in itself.
The universe is thus a bindu and everything was inherently existing in its unmanifest seedform, ready to burst out into physical existence. The order in which this bursting forth took place is represented by the Shrichakra. There are many levels wherein the creation was expressed. From the most subtle to gradually grosser levels, finally into the grossest physical level of manifestation which we know as this world. And the whole world is pervaded by this lifeforce, which we call dynamic energy.
She animates the created world and makes it move, without it the world would be dead and lifeless. That is why this dynamic energy is shown standing on top of a prostrate Shiva, who would be inanimate, unconscious of His own being consciousness, unless He is pervaded by this great dynamic force. This force is very subtle, and can only be found by discerning eyes.
In the Devikavacam, Camunda is said to be Shavavahana. She is using a dead body as vehicle, meaning that She is the sole life-energy. Wherever there is life She is present as that life. If She gets separated from any particle of this universe it ceases to exist. To recognise, realise and know Her as the physical world and also as the essence pervading the whole of the created physical world, realising that She is everything, that there is nothing else but She, is the ultimate goal of all sadhanas. She declared in the Devimahatmya: “Know that you are She, know there to be no difference between the two of us and you shall have realised yourself, your SELF.” This realisation of the SELF as not being separate from the self is the Shrichakraradhana (the worship of the Shriyantra).
She is finally to be realised within one’s self and so She is secret, knowable only to one who has internalised completely. She was praised, immortalised, eternalised, eulogised endlessly by the Vedas, by the Shastras, by the Rishis, and She still remains loftly unattainable, unknown, unapproachable, and ununderstandable, untill one has internalised all one’s senses, one’s mind, one’s power of discrimination, one’s ego and one’s consciousness. And then one finally sees Her in all of Her splendour, in all of Her radiance, in all of Her magnificence and knows that He is She.
PARADLINGAM, a pure blessing
Open to the general public is the paradeswar mandir, with the 1500 kg Shivalingam, made of solidified mercury. Shiva is pure consciousness, the eternal witness. Out of Him the whole creation comes forth as Himself, but He is never involved in His own creation. He is eternally stable, non-moving. And this state of utter stability is represented by the lingam. There are various kinds of Shivalingams, for example the 12 self-emanated Jyotirlingams, Crystallingams, Banalingams… and very rarely we come across a Paradlingam.
Parad as a substance emanates a vibration which stabilises the mind. Shastra compares mercury with the mind: in its liquid form it is as unstable and moveable as our thoughts. It takes as much expertise, knowledge and mastership to still them as to solidify mercury. So we could say that a paradlingam is stabilised stability, pure consciousness shining forth through a stilled mind. Darshan of this Paradlingam is a pure blessing.
A DIVINE COMBINATION
The Hiranyagarbha temple complex is an unprecedented combination and representation of forcefields, putting the Shriyantra literally on top of the Shivalingam. Shastra says that She is seated on the kot (bed, asana), whose legs are Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra and Ishwara, whose plank is Sadashiva with the hamsaha (breath) as Her pillow. Pancapretasanasina indicates that these Pancabrahmana would be preta or dead of She were not seated on them. These Pancabrahmana are the five faces of Shiva. They represent His emanating, sustaining, withdrawing, lording over and blessing capacity. Unless She is sitting on top of Shiva, He (consciousness itself) is incapable of performing any of these actions. She is the letter i. If we take the word Shiva and we omit the letter I, what remains is Shava, meaning corpse. In Sanskrit the letter I is drawn as it were standing on top of the letter a.
In this temple complex the Shriyantra is placed in the centrepoint of the dome-shaped Hiranyagarbha meditation hall. The hall representing the whole of creation, she thus is placed in the centre of the universe, in and as the bindu, where She is the first creative impulse.
The secret of Shiva-worship is Shakti. Many Shaiva worship Shiva outwardly to become qualified for Shakti-worship, the highest and most precious. That’s why the Shriyantra is not open to the general public.
SWAMI NARADANANDA INVITES SADHAKAS
Swami Naradananda invites all true sadhakas of India and abroad at the Siddha Ashram to use the Hiranyagarbha-temple complex. Every sadhaka will receive personal assistance and guidance from swamiji. Appointment in advance is necessary. All sadhakas or groups of sadhakas will be allotted a specific time for their practices in the meditation hall.