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Sri Matre Namaha

Maha-pashupataastagni-nirdagdhasura-sainika – The Eighty One name in Lalitha Sahasranamam.

Mahapasupatastragninirdagdhasurasainika

mahacca tatpasupatanca mahapasupatam, tasya astrasya agnin nirdagdha asurasya (=bhandasurasya) sainika yaya sa

She who burnt the soldiers of the demon (Bhanda) with the fire of astra called mahapasupata

Mahapasupatastragni = the highest mental modification connected with non-duality, which gradually increases according to devotion.

Asurasainika = the mental modifications connected with ignorance

She burnt up the army of daityas with the fire of the Mahapashupata Astra.

The mahapasupata mantra referred to here is different from the six syllable pasupata mantra. The former belongs to Sadasiva and the latter to the Isvara. Hence this mantra belongs to Sadasiva

She burnt the army of the demons with the astra called maha-pashupata. This astra produces fire that causes the destruction of the entire enemy camp. Linga purana says that pashupata is a rite that is divine and conducive to liberation from the clutches of bondage. This is a propitiation rite to Shiva. Shiva is worshiped in different forms such as Shiva, Mahadeva, Sadashiva, Pashupathi, Kameshwarar, etc and each form has a different meaning. Shiva is the lord of all the creations of the universe hence called as Pasupathi. Pasu refers to the living beings. Namas 271 and 272 describe the difference between Ishwara and Sadashiva As per ‘linga purana’ pashupatastra mantra is a six syllable mantra “Om Nama shivaya”.

In general Om is not taken into account in any of the mantras as all the mantras begin with Om. We have already seen that A+U+M constitute Om which indicates creation, sustenance and destruction, the three acts of God. That is why OM is a prefix to all the mantras. Nama Shivaya mantra is called pachaksharam (five syllables). In pashupastastra mantra Om is also taken into account and hence called six syllable mantra. This mantra is for Sadashiva. The five faces of Shiva have been discussed under the posting Sri Rudram in this blog. These weapons mean the progress of the mind from duality to non-duality. The progress of the mind depends upon practice. Enemy camp means ignorance arising out of duality. With persistent practice, duality gives way to non-duality.

Linga purana says that pashupata is a rite that is divine and conducive to liberation from the clutches of bondage. This is a propitiation rite to Shiva. Shiva is worshiped in different forms such as Shiva, Mahadeva, Sadashiva, Pashupathi, Kameshwarar, etc and each form has a different meaning. Shiva is the lord of all the creations of the universe hence called as Pasupathi. Pasu refers to the living beings. As per ‘linga purana’ pashupatastra mantra is a six syllable mantra “Om Nama shivaya”. In general Om is not taken into account in any of the mantras as all the mantras begin with Om. We have already seen that A+U+M constitute Om which indicates creation, sustenance and destruction, the three acts of God. That is why OM is a prefix to all the mantras. Nama Shivaya mantra is called pachaksharam (five syllables). In pashupastastra mantra Om is also taken into account and hence called six syllable mantra. This mantra is for Sadashiva. The Pashupatastra in Hindu mythology, is the irresistible and most destructive personal weapon of shiva discharged by the mind, the eyes, words, or a bow. Never to be used against lesser enemies or by lesser warriors, the Pashupata is capable of destroying creation and vanquishing all beings.The astras are transcendental, supernatural weapons created by the Lord, and presided over by a specific Deity. In order to summon or use an astra, one must have the required knowledge, i.e., the specific mantra that will arm, direct, and disarm the astra. The presiding deity, once properly invoked, endows the weapon, making it essentially impossible for foes to counter its potency through regular means.

As described in sastra, specific conditions existed involving the usage of various astras, and the violation of proper protocol could be fatal. Because of the power involved, the knowledge involving use of an astra was passed from guru to disciple by word of mouth alone, and only the most qualified students were made privy to the information. Certain astras had to be handed down directly from the presiding deity himself, as having knowledge of the mantras alone was insufficient.

The importance of astras is described in particular detail in the Ramayana and Mahabharata, which describes their use in epic battles. Various pastimes describe the use of astras by archers such as Rama, Arjuna, and Bhisma. They generally invoked the astras into arrows, although they could potentially be used with anything. For example, Ashwatthama invoked an astra using a blade of grass as his weapon. Other weapons are :indraastra ,Agneyastra ,Varunaastra, Nagaastra ,Nagapaasha ,Vayvayaastra ,Suryastra ,Vajra, Mohini, Twashtar, Sammohana/pramohana, parvataastra,Brahmaastra, Brahmasirsha, Narayanaastra, vaishanavaastra. As many of you know, Arjuna is one of the Pancha pandavas.

While doing Aranyavasa he was ordered by his elder brother, Dhrmaraja to do Tapasya. Indrakeela took rebirth by that time by name Indrakeeladri (Indrakeela hill). Arjuna went to Indrakeeladri and started doing Tapasya for Lord Indra. Pleased by his penance Indra appeared before him and gave Shiva mantra to Arjuna. He explained that Arjuna should get Pashupatastra (deadliest weapon) from Lord Shiva for the future needs. Arjuna started his Tapasya for Shiva. After some days, a very big and wild pig came to the area of his Tapasya and started destroying it. Arjuna was distracted.He started hunting it. But it was very big and escaped all his arrows. After a big trial Arjuna hunted the pig. But the pig had two arrows in it and a tribal king came to that pig to take away to his home. Arjuna told him that he hunted the pig. The tribal king laughed at him and told that the pig was hunted by him. They quarreled about their supremacy. And started throwing arrows at each other.

Even though Arjuna has Divyastras with him he couldn’t defeat the tribal king. Seeing all his weapons wasted in presence of the tribal king, frustrated Arjuna took his bow and hit the tribal man on the head with it. Suddenly the tribal man disappeared and Lord Shiva appeared in his place laughing at Arjuna. Arjuna felt very sad and shy. He prayed Shiva for forgiveness. Lord Shiva, pleased by his devotion and expertise in war, gave him Pashupatastra but ordered him that it should be used only in very very rare occasions. He reminded the frustration of Arjuna and told that a real hero should never get frustratied. He advised him to get control on his mind so that the weapons will be used for the benefit of the world.Such is the supremacy of the weapon that was carried by lalitha devi to kill bandasura.This reveals that the goddess is supported by Lord Shiva in her mission to slay Bandasura.This also implies once duty and in a family both the husband and wife should always have one common goal one should be of support to the other.Either cannot win without the support of the other.so this line implies the unity of shakthi and shiva in slayng evil and conquering goodness for the sake of goodness.

Previous Eightyth Name Karanguli-nakotpanna-narayana-dashaakrithi

Next Eighty Second Name Kameshwarastra-nirdhagdha-sabhandasura-shunyaka

Posted February 1, 2012 by UdayaBhaaskarBulusu

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