Sri Matre Namaha
Kulantastha – The Ninety Third name in Lalitha Sahasranamam.
kaulamasti asyah iti kaulini
She who belongs to kula.
She who is the unification of the principles of Shiva and Shakthi
The word kaula is explained as kulasyedam. According to this, the word kula means the lotus as the muladhara
Or the word may mean Sivasakti samarasyam = the inseparable connection of Siva and Sakti. The word akula means the lotus as the sahasrara. Because union of Siva and Sakti is kaula. The Devi is called Kaulini.
She is the core of kaula worship. Kaula worship is a tantric worship under shaktha method (methods of worshipping Shakthi is called shaktha worship). Since she is the centre of this worship she is called kaulini. As she is worshiped in every place (omnipresence), she is called as kaulini (as per triad). Tantra sastras define Shakthi as kula and Shiva as akula. The union of Shiva and Shakthi is called as ‘kaula’ and she is called kaulini. This union takes place in the sahasrara. There is a reference in some tantra texts to one more thousand petal-lotus, just below the thousand petal -lotus, the sahasrara. In the centre of the second sahasrara Kula devi is worshiped and in the petals kulashakthis are worshiped. Kaulini also means this kula devi. One of the vak-devis, the authors of this sahasranamam is known as Kaulini. The external worship of chakras, possibly meaning the Sri Chakra is also called koulini. The result of the union of Shiva and shakthi is called ‘kaula’ hence Shakthi is called kaulini.
The unification of shiva and sakthi is of five kinds: equality of place,equality of state,equality of origination,equality of forms,equality of names.The tradition has associated to these principles a form, respectively that of a masculine deity and that of a feminine one. Accordingly, Shiva represents the constitutive elements of the universe, while Shakti is the dynamic potency, which makes these elements come to life and act. From a metaphysical point of view, the divine couple Shiva-Shakti corresponds to two essential aspects of the One: the masculine principle, which represents the abiding aspect of God, and the feminine principle, which represents Its Energy, the Force which acts in the manifested world, life itself considered at a cosmic level.
Tantra symbolizes this aspect by comparing the couple Shiva and Shakti with a seed of grain (CHANAKA). Such a seed is made up of two halves so closely linked that they seem one, and one single cover covers them. Symbolically, the two halves represent Shiva and Shakti, the cover represents Maya (the cosmic illusion). When the cover is on, the two halves are separated, but the cover goes off when the seed is about to germinate, unifying thus the two halves in one. there is another view to this:
The philosophy of Sakthism is a kind of nondualism, ‘advaitha’ and the highest reality is termed assiva-Shakthi.Shiva is static consciousness; Shakthi is dynamicconsciousness-Chidroopini. Shiva is pure awareness, which is the basis ofall existance. Through his shakthi, he effects themanifestation of the universe.He is the sole cause of theuniverse. The ultimate reality is non-dual and is of thenature of pure consciousness.
The universe of forms andnames are all real in sense, that they are aspectsofthe ultimat reality. it is the movement of God, thespanda(of shiva-shakthi) that brings about the distinctionof shabda(word),artha(object) and pratyaya(cognition). These are the three asects of god’s primalenergy.It is the causal impetus of the divine that makesthem emerge out of itself. Th world of sounds, things and thoughts is the self manifestation of the nondual spirit. Reality Parashiva is trancendent.It is beyond the levels of matters,life and mind. It isnishkala(without parts),Nishkriya(without activity) and beyond the reach of word and mind. The same reality as the cause of world-process is called Parameshwara, the supreme lord. From him arise the five categories of purecreation;and then are the course of finitasation consisting in the emergence of the thirty one categories composing impure creation.
The five categories (Tatwas) of pure (suddha) creation are: 1. Shiva tatwa 2. Sakthi tatwa 3.Sadashiva or sadakhya tatwa. 4. Ishwara tatwa 4. suddhavidya tatwa.Shiva tatwa which is the first, processing the order of world evolution, and is Chit, with it’s important aspect of power as consciousness.Shakthi tatwa, a co-ordinate of the first tatwa manifests as the aspect of ananda.Sadashiva tatwa issat,the stage where the experience of ‘being’ begins, It is the power of Ichha(will) that is predominant.In ishwara tatwa, the power of knowledge plays an important role(Jnana). In suddha vidya tatwa, the power of kriya or action dominates. These five stages of experience represent the gradual differentiation in the pure experience , which serves as the basis of evolution of the pluralistic universe.
At first there is only the distinctionless experience. Into this is introduced the condition of distinction by shakthi. In the sadashiva tatwa, the experince of form, “i am this” arises with the emphasis on”I”. In ishwara tatwa the emphasis is on “This – Thisam I”. In order that the universe of minds and objects may emerge, there should be a balance between “I”and “This”. This is what is obtaines at the stage of suddha vidya tatwa. Here in the experience “Iam this”,the two get equalized. It is in such an experience that there is activity and movement of thought.these five tatwas called suddhA TATWAS DEAL WITH PURE CREATION. REST OF THE THIRTY ONE CATEGORIES WHICH COMMENCE WITH MAYA BEGIN THE ACTUAL CREATION. Maya is the first of the thirty one categories of impure creation and is the power of obscuration or “tirodhana”.It obscures the infinite spirit and makes possible the rise of plurality of souls and things. Again,the limitless experience begins to be limited as regards the experience and the experienced. the “I” and the”this”.The next five categories called kanchukas -constrictors constitutes the ways in which the limitation isbrought about. Kala is temporal limitation. Niyati is restricted in regard to space.
Raga is attachment to particular things. Vidya is limited knowledge. kalaa is limited agency. The soul enveloped in these kanchukas arises as purusha which is the seventh category. The eigth is prakriti which is the corresponding limitation on the objective side. The other categories followthe pattern of evolution as in the sankhya schme.Buddhi-intellect,ahamkara-egoity or indviduation , manas- mind. come intomanifestation in sequence. From ahamkara are evolved(besidesmanas), the five organs of sense-Jnanendriyas, the five organs of action-karmendriyas,and the five essences of elements-tanmatras. Out of the last five emerge the five gross elements which are ether,air,fire,water and earth.This is the evolution of the world of things-arthaprapancha.There is a similar evolution of the world of sounda-sabda prapancha. Here too the line of evolution is from the subtle to the gross. Corresponding to the fivecategories of pure creation, there are five stages of emnation of sound. first is Paraa which is supreme andsubtle. The second is Pashyanti which is less subtle but still undifferentiated. The third is Madhyamaa which isgosser and differentiated, but not yet articulate.Articulate sound is called vaikhari which is of two forms,subtle and gross. It is from vaikhari that all lettersvarna-syllables…pada-words….and vakyas-sentences are manifested. Paraawhichresides in shiva tatwa represents the first movement of sabda.This is also called nada tatwa. Pashyanti stands forshakthi tatwa which is known as bindu tatwa.
Nada are the complements of the ultimate potency of creation. From these arise what are known as the tribindu which is the rootof all mantras.Lalitha sahasranama speaks of lalitambika as not shakthi(all the rest of the mahavidyas are identifiable with shakthi tatwa) but as shivashaktyaikyaroopini…Shiva-shakthi-one and as tureeyaatita..tatwaateeta…….thisoneness is very much evident in the srividya mantra whichconsists of shiva,shakthi and shiva-shakthi-combinationletters. Also this oneness is evident in Srichakra.Hence the tantras glorify only this mantra as the brahmavidya and as both mantra as well asvidya.