Sri Matre Namaha
Kirichakra-ratharoodha-danda-natha-puraskrita – The Seventyth name in Lalitha Sahasranamam.
kirivat cakrani yasya tam rathamrudhaya dandanathaya puraskrta
kirivat cakrani yasya tam rathamrudhaya dandanathaya puraskrta
She is preceded by Dandanatha who rides her chariot carried by boars.
The word kiri means a boar. The wheels of chariot are of the dwarf of boar; or it may mean that the chariot is drawn by boars. Dandanatha is another name for Varahi. She is called Dandanatha because she always carries a staff (danda) in her hands.
Kirinam (=kirananam) cakrameva rathah tasyarohepi dandanthena (=yamena) puraskrta
Kiri means beam of light (rays) of creation, etc. Cakra means cycle (aggregate) of creation, preservation and destruction. The yogi mounts the chariot Kiricakra, i.e., the Cycle of Creation, Preservation and destruction; therefore he is beyond the scope (apuraskrta) or reach or touch Dandanatha (yama) Hence he is not subject to death or destruction.
Krichakra ratham is the chariot of Dhandanatha devi who is also called Varahi Devi. This devi is considered as very powerful. We have discussed about Varahi in nama 11. Kiri means varaham. Varaham means boar (pig). Her face is like a pig. Her chariot is also in the shape of a pig. She is called Dandanatha because she always carries a danda (staff) with her. Kiri means rays of light and light here means creation. Possibly this could mean that light is the beginning of creation. The holy Bible says (Genesis.I.3) “And God said, let there be light: There was light”. Chakra means the cycle of creation, sustenance and dissolution. A yogi sits on kiri chakra chariot, meaning that he undergoes the process of creation, sustenance and dissolution. But he is not subjected to death. How somebody can be beyond death? Death means the destruction of the physical body and not the atman.
A yogi is not concerned about his physical body. Why he is not concerned with his physical body? This is answered by Shiva Sutra which says that a yogi considers pleasure and pain is external not affecting his atma or Self. Only if he is associated with anthakkaranam (mind, intellect, desire and ego) he will feel the pain in the body. For him, his physical body is not an object worth considering. As he is free from the bodily afflictions, he feels that he is alone, fully connected to the Supreme Brahman. This was possible to him because he was able to identify his consciousness with the Supreme consciousness, which is called ‘the merger’ or ‘the union’ (union of Shakthi with Shiva). Varahi devi is said to be in our ajna chakra. This nama indicates the importance of our inner Self and our physical body has nothing to do with the atman. Though the physical body suffers on account of our karmas, the atman is eternally pure and the unification of our self consciousness with the universal consciousness leads to the liberation, a stage without birth and death. The namas 68, 69 and 70 talk about the chariots of Lalithambigai, Mantrini (Shyamala) and Varahi. Mantrini and Varahi occupy the next secondary position to Lalithambigai, the Supreme. Without worshipping these two and without their permission, nobody can go anywhere near Lalitha. Mantrini devi is the Chief of Her ministers.
The entire administration of the universe is under the control of Mantrini, which is confirmed in nama 786 ‘mantrini-nyasta-rajya-dhoohu’. Varahi is the chief of Her army. Varahi has the capacity to drive away the evil forces. If Varahi is worshiped on the 18th day of the month of ashada (July-August), it is believed that those who have difficulties in getting married will get their problems solved. These three chariots are always close to each other. As discussed earlier, the chariots mean our mind, possibly the stages of our mind. We will discuss more on this elsewhere in this series.
She who rides in the chariot with five stories and is served by goddess Varahi otherwise called Dhanda natha
Varahi is one of the saptha mathrukas (seven mothers) who aided the devi in her fight against Shumbha, Nishumbha and their armies. She is described to have human body with eight arms, head of a boar and also having three eyes.In the Sri Vidhya tradition, she is also called the Danda-natha (Lady Commander of the forces of the mother-goddess, symbolizing the might of Sri Vidya).
As Varahi (hog-faced or the great consumer) she destroys evil forces that obstructs the devotees progress, paralyses the enemies and lead the devotees ultimately to Sri-Vidyas. She is classed as the fifth among the seven mother-like divinities (Saptmatrukas) and hence also called Panchami.With Kurukulla, she is accorded the parental status to Sri-Chakra (Lalitha Tripura-Sundari). While Kurukulla represents the full moon, Varahi (the devoured) represents the new-moon. And while Varahi represents the illumination (prakasa) aspects of the mother-goddess, Kurukulla is the deliberation (vimarsa) aspect.In another aspect, Varahi is also said to be one of the Yoginis, taking the form of a boar. She is said to lift up the earth with her tusks to confer benefits on all creatures. She is imagined as an eight-armed and three-eyed lady with a face of a hog, seated under a Palmyra tree, and functioning as a trusted attendant of the Goddess as her chief counselor.In this form she is known as Chaitanya-bhairavi (the devotee’s association of strength) She is being described as a fierce (Maha-Ghora) and as Commander of the forces, she moves about in a chariot drawn by boars. She is said to reside in the ocean of sugar-cane juice (ikshu), one of the four oceans that surrounds the mother goddess, holding her court in the island of nine-jewels, and facing the mother-goddess.
Sri Maha Varahi Devi, the boar faced sakthi, emerged out of the five flowery arrows of Sri Lalitha. She was made the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. There was a special charka (chariot) for her to ride- the kiri charka. The chariot was pulled by 1000 boars, and the charioteer was stambhini Devi. Her chariot had all the devatas of the devaloka, especially Sri Dhanvanatri- the God of physician and the Asvini duo – the physician of God’s (it is beautiful to note the strategy and compassion that medical care along with warfare was there). She also had different mounts for riding- The buffalo, the lion called simhaghosha, the black antelope with white chest. She was praised with 12 names on her march to war, which is found in the ritual manuals. During the war when Visukra engaged in magical warfare by throwing a vighna yantra, she along with Mantrini were not affected and prayed to Sri Lalitha to remove this obstacle. Again on the third day of battle, when the tarshAstra (weapon causing thirst) was discharged by vishanga, she commanded the Liquor sea (sudha sindu) in the form of a man, who was in her enclosure, to quench this thirst. On the successful completion, granted him a boon of usage in sacrifices. Finally she engaged with Vishanga (The enemy commander-in-chief) and pulled him with her plough and killed him with her pestle. Her kiri chakra was always moving in step with Sri Chakra and geya chakra (of Sri Syamala).
“Pathoruha pItagatAm pathotaramecakAm kuTiladamsTrAM kapillAkshI
trinayanAm ghanakuca kumbhAm pranata vAnchitavadanyAm
daksordhvatorarikatkaw muslamabhItim tantanyatavat
shamka khetahalavaran karair dhadahnAm smaraMI VARTaLim “
Her mantra has 112 syllables and is mediated in the Agnya chakra, along with her anga uapanga, pratyanga devatas and the Varahi gurupaduaka during the morning rasmi mala mantra recitation. We shall try to meditate on her while doing her dhyana.
Seated on a lotus. Meditate on a very thin stream of light from the muladhara touching the Agnya Chakra while repeating ‘Aim’ and a lotus blooming in the Agnya chakra while repeating ‘glaum’
Of the colour of rain bearing clouds- grey or black. Meditate on the form of the Devi seated on the lotus while repeating – ‘Aim namo bhagavati’. Here we can think of the devi wearing golden ornaments, since bhagavati means one who is with bhaga – i.e. aisvarya (richness) which is denoted a with golden ornaments.
Having curved tusks (teeth). Meditate on the curved tusks (teeth) while repeating ‘vArtAli vArtAli’. Since teeth are required for vArta- speech.
Having three red eyes. Since the eyes are meditated as sun moon and fire ( sOmasUryAgni locana) a big size is indicated here. Meditate while repeating ‘vArAhi vArAhi varAhamuki varAhamukhi’- since the varaha avatar – third avatar of Sri Vishnu lifted the world from the seas, a huge form is required for this. Hence a huge form with a boar face is meditated here.
daksordvadorarikatkaw muslamabhItim tantanyatavat shamka khetahalavaran karair dhadahnAm:
From the upper right hand meditate on the discus, sword, Pestle and gesture of removing fear. Similarly from the left upper hand the conch, shield, plough and the gesture of granting boons.
While meditating on the uppermost right hand with the discus repeat ‘andhe andhini namah’- since anadhana means blindness, a great light by the discus- the chakra- causes temporary blindness, so one can turn this sense organ inside. On uppermost left hand with the conch repeat ‘rundhe rundhini namah’- rundhana is to cut, a great sound while blowing the conch will cut our mind thoughts, so we cannot be disturbed by the outside world. In the next pair of hands meditate on the sword and shield, repeat ‘jambhe jambhini namah’- since the sword cuts (our ego) and the shield protects us from any onslaught.
In the next pair of hands meditate on the pestle and plough, repeat ‘mohe mohini namah’- This body is likened to a field, (Gita says ‘idam sarIram kaunteya kshetram ityabidhIyate’) and our past karmas are like seeds. Hence sowing and reaping like a corn the karmas are multiplied. For this a good body is required and plough represent the act of sowing and reaping the past (prarabhda) karmas. The husk in the seed is the ‘kartrutva buddhi’ – sense of the ego, that ‘I’ do the acts. Removal of the husk by the pestle, which is offering them to our upasya devata, the seed does not germinate (agamika karmas). In the next pair of hands meditate on the gestures of dispelling fears and granting boons, repeat ‘stambhe stambhini namah’- sthambhana is fixing in one spot. Resting the mind on the one Brahman is the dispelling of fear (dvitIyat vai bhayam bahvati) which is the greatest boon. These are the subtle five arrows of Sri Lalitha from which Varahi Devi has come forth.
ghanakuca kumbhAm pranata vAnchitavadaanyAm
Having pot like breasts and giving all boons to her devotees. The breasts are likened to the seen world (see kamakala dhyanam). Varahi is said to have ‘nigrahAnugraha kshamah’ by Sri Parasurama- Having great skill and destroying enemies. Meditate on this while repeating ‘sarva dusta….Thah Thah’. pradusTa are enemies who have a mask, behave like friends. Immobilising the speech, mind, eyes, mouth, movement and tongue is indicative of withdrawal from the world and immersing in the self. The four ‘Thah’ Tha is prakruti tattva and ah is visarga the world which issued form the prakruti, this is indicative of the four states of the individual the waking, sleeping, deep sleep and ever consciousness. Devi Varahi will slowly take us from the first state to the fourth state, which is the best of boons.
Thus I remember (meditate) on Sri Varahi. Uninterrupted awareness is Devi Varahi personified so this is mediated while repeating ‘hum’ removal of other thoughts and ‘astrAya phaT’ is the arrow which goes straight to the mark, which is the atma saksatkara.
The twelve names are:
pancami: The fifth devi, she is the fifth of the eight matruka devis, also she is the power behind sadasiva the fifth karanesvara as his anugraha sakthi
daNdanAtha: Commander in chief of the armed forces of Sri Lalita
sanketa: secret coded, being in the army has secret codes
samayesvari: Lord of the path where there are rules and restrictions, samaya is the path of ullasa from Arambha to the fourth state prauda, wherein the aspirant has to follow rules and regulations.
Samayasanketa- secret code in the Pooja path, since Pooja is the sadhana and battle personified we have to understand the meaning and the philosophy behind every act in the Pooja, she confers on us this understanding.
varAhi: the divine power behind the varaha avatar of Sri Vishnu , who lifted the world from the sea, hence a huge form is indicated here
potriNi: boar faced. Since boar has an ability to float and swim in waters, she has the ability to keep her devotees afloat and steer them in the world.
sivA: Ever auspicious . Since devi is ever pure awareness she is ever auspicious
vArtAli: Lord of speech. As seen above the varaha avatar used the tusks to lift the world, having big tusks are indicated here. Philosophically they indicate the Vedas which are the sure means for being lifted up.
mahAsena: Having great army. The body with flesh, bones, blood are her armies, so maintaining this body in good condition which is the boon of this devi is indicated here.
Agnya cakersvari: Lord of the agyna cakra (mid eyebrow). All individual effort will be up the sadhaka to raise the kundalini up to agnya cakra , here the agnya – the order of the devi is required to move further to the sahsarara, which is the grace of the divine mother through the Sri Guru.
arighni: ari is the enemy and ghna is to kill , so this is the remover of the enemies. Ari also means the cakra, which is indicative of time (kala cakra) ghna is to kill. So she is above time (kala) the next tatva is niyati ( rule) so she is upholder of rules (see nama iv)
This line gives us an insight into Shri Maha varahi .