Sri Matre Namaha
Samayantastha – The Ninety Seventh name in Lalitha Sahasranamam.
She who is within the mental worship of Shiva and Shakthi.
Samayah (= daharakasavakose cakram vibhavya tatra pujadikam) tadantah tisthati
She resides in the Samaya
The word samaya is explained as traditional custom of offering worship, etc, to a cakra imagined in the ether of the heart. This worship is counted as the supreme by all the yogis. Hence it is called samaya. This worship is describe in the five books ( 1.e., Tantra -pancaka) of Vasist, Suka, Sanaka, Sananda and sanatkumara. Hence, the term samaya is also frequently used for these five books
samam (-samyam) yanti samayah (=sivah), samaya (=siva) tayo ante (-svarupe) tisthati
SHe is every way is similar to Siva. Actually she is equal to Siva. This equality with Siva and Sakti is in five ways: 1) Equality of lotus (adhistana) i.e., both reside in the same cakra (viz., sricakra), 2 equality of functions (anusthana) like creation etc. (i.e., five functions), 3) equality of avasthana, i.e., dance, etc., 4) having the same names, i.e., Siva and Siva etc., and 5) equality of form (rupa) – Bhairava and Bhairavi both have red complexion
She is centre of samaya doctrine. Samaya means internal or mental worship, while kula means external worship. Mental worship is more powerful than external rituals. The internal worship has been emphasized by five great sages – Vasishtar, Sukar, Shankarar, Sanandanar and Sanathkumarar. They have prescribed procedures for internal worship and their writings are called ‘tantra-panchaka’ meaning five tantras. This nama underlines the equality between Shiva and Shakthi. This equality is classified under five heads. Shiva is called Samayaha and Shakth is called Samayaaha (addition of alphabet ‘a’) as per Sanskrit grammar.
The five fold equalities are
1. In terms of equality of place of worship such as worshipping both of them in Sri Chakra. In the bindu (the centre point of Sri Chakra) both of them are worshipped). In the kundalini chakras also they are worshiped – Shakthi uniting with Shiva at sahasrara. Sri Chakra worship is mostly external and kundalini chakra worship is always internal.
2. In terms of functions such as creation, sustenance and dissolution. Since there is equality between the two, their functions remain the same. They are called father and mother of the universe. They cannot be separated under any circumstances.
3. In terms of actions such as dancing. The significance of dancing by them will be dealt with in later namas. When a woman dances, it is called ‘nattiyam’ and when a man dances it is called ‘thandavam’. Shiva thandavam is well known.
4. In terms of names such as Bhairava and Bhairavi; Parameshwaran and Parameshwari; Rajarajeswaran and Rajarajehwari; Shiva and Shiva (Lalitha is called as Shiva in nama 998); Kameshwara and Kameshwari, etc. (When you say ‘Shiva Shiva’ it does not mean Shiva alone. As a matter of fact the second Shiva is pronounced as Shivaa with an extra ‘a’. Shivaa means auspiciousness. When you say ‘Shiva Shivaa’, it means both Shiva and Shakthi. This saying is equivalent to Shakthi Panchakshari (Hrim Namashivaya).
5. In terms of forms such as their complexion, their weaponries, etc. In terms of complexion both appear as red. We have already seen that Lalitha is red in complexion. Shiva is pure white like a ‘spatika’ (crystal). The specialty of spatika is that it gets reflected with the color of the properties nearby. Lalitha is red in colour and Shiva has the colour of the spatika or crystal. When Lalitha sits by the side of Shiva or on the lap of Shiva, his translucent crystal complexion also appears as red. The gods and goddesses who witness this scene compare this to the rising sun. This scene could also be interpreted as Shakthi more potent than Shiva as Shiva only reflects the colour of Shakthi. Both of them hold the same four weaponries. It is always ideal to worship both Shiva and Shakthi together. They should never be separated in worship as well as meditation. In worshipping Vishnu, Lakshmi should never be separated from Him. Lalitha sits on the left thigh of Shiva and Lakshmi is in the chest of Vishnu (Srivathsam). There is yet another form of Lakshmi sitting on the lap of Vishnu and this form is called Lakshminarayana.
Worship of Bhagavan (the Lord or God) is one of the two central themes of Sanatana dharma, the other being righteousness. It encompasses a wide variety of activities ranging from direct prayer to rituals to dance and drama. It involves invoking higher forces to assist in spiritual and material progress and is simultaneously both a science and an art. People perform worship to achieve some specific end or to integrate the body, the mind and the spirit in order to help the performer evolve into a higher being. Because there are so many varying types of worship and ways of worshiping the Lord, they are classified into different categories and types based on the cause of inspiration, approach to worship, and/or the method of worship.
Worship involves invoking the presence of the Divine and assumes that Bhagavan can be perceived in diverse ways and approaches. Bhagavan can be seen as personal or impersonal, human or not, etc. He can be approached with awe, reverence, joy, affection, or even love or friendship through puja, yagna, bhajan, or simply longing. Worship can be performed individually, as a family or group, and/or as a community. It can be performed at any time and in any place. There is no requirement of a certain time or place — however, certain times and places are considered more auspicious and conducive to such activities than others.
Worship is a token of affection towards divinity. The divine is the closest and the most private relative of man, and this is a way to express one’s gratitude to Bhagavan.
Just in the way a parent nurtures the child irrespective of whether the child says “thanks” or kisses the parent, Bhagavan still takes care of our evolution. But just the way a child spending a good amount of time in the parent’s lap every day never starves for anything, the devotee who sits in the lap of the divine consciousness never starves for anything. The parent is already there to take care of us, so there is no need to starve for anything as such. But all the difference is in knowing that the parent is there. The child who thinks he is not getting something he wants, and a child who thinks he gets everything from the parent, do not differ in their success – the parent causes their success in either case. They differ however, only in the quality of their happiness, their confidence, their craving for desires. One who rests his desires on Bhagavan alone has nothing to desire – because he knows he already has everything.
The act of worshiping Bhagavan in order to obtain something is like when a child cajoles his mother with kisses with the intent of getting something. The act for the child is enjoyable regardless of the purpose. While the bliss is not directly experienced, because the focus is on the object of desire, it still exists. Through a process of evolution the worshiper slowly moves his attention from the object of desire to the experience of love. Then the insignificance of the desire is realized; the worshiper recognizes that the happiness resulting from the object of desire is infinitesimal in comparison to the happiness in the mother’s love. And he then seeks to sit in the mother’s lap and does not seek anything else. This is what happens when one keeps worshiping – sakama (worship with desire) becomes nishkama (worship without desire) over time. One does not have to suppress desires, but one has to worship with sincerity even though seeking something.
Worship (Puja) of Bhagavaan is basically of two types ; Puja of the form of self and of the external form.
1) To perform Puja by seeing the Bhagavaan from one’s mental eye is Atma Linga Puja (Self form – Worship). This is termed as Dhyaana (Meditation), or as Tapas ( Tapa Alochane ) by constant thinking; as Mental worship and as Internal Worship.
2) On the other hand, to perform puja of external forms is known as Baahya Linga Puja. Idols, (Representative forms) sacrificial fire and Rekha Sketches/graphics are the main forms externally prescribed for worship. To (visualize) see and worship Paramaatma in these forms is known as Bahya Linga Puja / Bahiranga Puja.BhagavataPurana says as under:-
“Archadow hR^idaye va api yatha labdhopacharakaih dravyakshiti- aatmalingani nispadya prokshya chasanam”
This means: – Through the Idols (pratima) as external forms or using own self as the internal form, HE should be worshiped as per one’s capacity. These forms are mainly three types. They are Dravyalinga, Kshitilinga and Atmalinga. First two are meant for external worship.
The third one is for internal worship. Atmalinga is that form of God which is seen during the meditation in one’s mind ; This form of God is known as Vaasanaa Rupa (form of Mental Impression) as stated in the Shruti : Yadidamupaasate. `Materialistic form is known as Dravyalinga. This may be the idol made of either metal or stone or earth or wood. Even the Homagni ie fire used in Homa is a `Material form’. Plain floor or plane earth (Bhoomi) is called Kshitilinga. The floor decorated with Mandalas is called Sthandila. (Mandala are Sketches drawn using lines as prescribed). Acharya Madhwa’s Tantra-saara-sangraha attaches much significance for the worship in Kshitilinga.
Poojyashcha Bhagavan nityam chakraabjaadikamandale.
(God should be worshipped in Chakrabja and the like every day).This Mandala worship has some more important aspects. If this Mandala is drawn on the plain floor it is Kshitilinga. Alternatively, if drawn carved or etched on stone or metal it is Dravyalinga.If, on the other hand, it is drawn imaginary on the canvas of our own self’ using mind as finger or visualized on the screen of our mind, then it becomes Atmalinga. Thus, the Chakrabja Mandala worship encompasses all the types of worship. viz. Pujas in Dravyalinga, Kshitilinga & Atmalinga. ie. both external form and internal form of Puja. This greatness of Chakraabja Mandala Puja is depicted in the second part of the above Tantra-saara-sangraha Shloka as reproduced below.
Achale hridaye vaa api chale vaa kevalasthale. – (1-44)
Let us explain this analytically as below.
1 a) Achale Hridaye – One method is to worship HIM in the heart of (at of the centre of) the Chakrabja engraved in the firmly static immovable stone (shila). This type comes under the category of Dravya Linga Puja.b) Chale api vaa hridaye – To Engrave or draw the Chakrabja over the surface of a movable material like a sheet of a metal or wooden plank etc, and worship the Bhagavaan in it.This is another way that also falls under the category of Dravya Linga Puja. But the category mentioned at
(a) is Achala Dravya Linga (immovable) and that at
(b) here is Chala (movable) Dravya Linga.
2. Kevalsthale vaa – To draw the Chakrabja Mandala simply over a sacred place (sthala / sthandila) using specified powders (Rangoli/Churna) and worship The Bhagavan there. This falls under the Kshiti Linga Puja category.
Thus, the above three ( 1 (a), (b) & 2) are Bahya Linga Puja varieties.
Similarly there are three varieties [ 3 (a), 3 (b), & 3 (c)] in the Atmaling Puja.
3. (a) Achale hridaye – Chakrabja Mandala is drawn mentally on the canvas of one’s own mind and held firmly there to meditate upon the Bhagavan in it. This is meditation / dhyana.
3. (b) Chale api vaa – When it becomes not possible to hold constantly or steadily the Chakrabja Mandala figure in the mind due to the volatality or wavering nature of mind, repeat again & again visualising Chakrabja figure there and go on recollecting it while continuing meditation. This process is known as DhaaraNa which means holding, preserving or retaining the memory (of the Bhagavan).
3. (c) Kevalasthale vaa – In case the above two mental situations / conditions / status become not possible to achieve, this third method can be tried. Over the plain floor before / in front of you, draw Chakrabja lines using your mental fingers (by imagination) and memorise the Bhagavan there.
(It can be noticed here that the half line Achale … alone gives the idea of all the six varieties (3+3) of Bahya and Atama linga puja in total).
A Shloka appearing in Bhagavata Purana (11-11-14) indicates the above details in its meaning by proper interpretation. In HIS own words, Bhagavan (Shri Krishna) enumerates the following eleven places / forms for HIS Puja.
“Suryognih brahmno gavo vaishnavah kham marujjalam
Bhuratma sarvabhutani bhadra pujapadani me”.
1) Surya (the sun),
2. Homagni (sacrificial fire),
3. Brahma Jnani (Brahmana – One who has Knowledge of God),
4. Gow (Cow)
5. Vishnu Bhakta (devotee of Vishnu),
6. Hrudayakasha (soul or one’s heart),
7. Mukhya Prana (supreme of Vayus),
8. Jalam (water)
9. Bhumi (the earth),
10. Atma (ownbody)
11. Sarva Bhutani (all creatures)
Previously refered Shloka from Tantrasara Sangraha (1.44) also hidingly keeps and hints at all the above within its scope. Let us see how we can get at them.
1) Achale hridaye – Sun is the immovable symbol of God. In him the worship of Surya Narayana who is the real addressed Para Devata of Gayatri Mantra, as stated at
Sooryamandalamadhyaga…. dhyeyah sadaasavitr mandalamadhya….
2) Chale api vaa hridaye – In the moving objects such as the sacrificial fire, the person who knows Brahma, the cow, the devotee of Vishnu, the water & the body. Worship of Bhagavan in these six forms is one of the methods.
3) Worshiping HIM in one’s heart / soul or one’s mind. This puja can be again of two varieties.
i) When the Bhagavan’s form could be held constantly within one’s mind / heart or soul it is Dhyaana (meditation).
And ii) When it could not be held steadily in the mind but has to be recollected, revisualised intermittently, it is called DhaaraNa. –
Khandasmrutih dhaarana syaat akhanda dhyaanamuchyate.
4) Hridaye (Repeat the Hridaye Word again) :- This indicates the Bhagavat Puja in Mukhya Prana, the Supreme Vayu who is the closest to and most intimately loved by the Bhagavan. This mode of worship is of the highest order and of the highest liking to God. This is why all the worships should start with saying –
Mukhya Prana is both static (immovable) and dynamic (movable) form of Bhagavan. This is hinted at Achale hridaye vaa api chale… Commanding force for the moving air (wind) in the space is one form of Mukhya Prana. This is moving form, Bhuta Vayu.
The other form of Mukhya Prana is that which controls Prana Vayu, Apanavayu etc, in our body. This is immovable form Prana Vayu.
5) Achale chale api vaa – Pooja of the Bhagavan residing in the souls / hearts of the moving & static antimated beings.
6) Kevalasthale – God’s worship in mere earth / ground. This is ‘Sthandial or mandala aradhanam’
Yadavendra in his commentary for this part of shloka of Bhagavata ( Sthandile mantra hridayaih) has said Sthandile bhuvi kritamandale means a mandala drawn on a prepared piece of ground for the purpose of worship.
Veera Raghava of Ramanuja siddhaanta also endorses this by saying –
“Bhooshabdena chakrabjadimandala samskrito desho vivakshitah.
The Shiva manasa pooja by Sri Adi Shankaracharya is a unique stotra. It in in the form of a prayer by a devotee who imagines in his mind all the offerings and rituals prescribed in a pooja and offers them to lord Shiva with faith and devotion. This stotra is an eye opener to those who are fanatic about rituals as it clearly shows that faith and intentions are more important!
Ratnaih kalpitamaasanam himajalaih snaanam cha divyaambaram
Naanaaratnavibhuushhitam mrigamadaamodaankitam chandanam.
Jaatiichampakabilvapatrarachitam pushhpam cha dhuupam tathaa
Deepam deva dayaanidhe pashupate hritkalpitam grihyataam.h .. 1
I have imagined a throne of precious stones for you, cool water for you to bathe in, divine robes adorned with many jewels, sandalwood paste mixed with musk to anoint your body, jasmine and champaka flowers and bilva leaves, rare incense, and a shining flame. Accept all these which I have imagined in my heart for you, o merciful God.
Sauvarne navaratnakhandarachite paatre ghritam paayasam
Bhakshyam pajnchavidham payodadhiyutam rambhaaphalam paanakam.
Shaakaanaamayutam jalam ruchikaram karpuurakhandojjvalam
Taambuulam manasaa mayaa virachitam bhaktyaa prabho sviikuru .. 2
Sweet rice in a golden bowl inlaid with the nine jewels, the five kinds of food made from milk and curd, bananas, vegetables, sweet water scented with camphor, and betel leaves – I have prepared all these in my mind with devotion. O lord, please accept them.
Chhatram chaamarayoryugam vyajanakam chaadarshakam nirmalam
Veenaabherimridangakaahalakalaa giitam cha nrityam tathaa .
Saashhtaangam pranatih stutirbahuvidhaa hyetatsamastam mayaa
Sankalpena samarpitam tava vibho puujaam grihaana prabho .. 3
A canopy, two yak-tail whisks, a fan and a spotless mirror, a viinaa, kettledrums, a mridangA and a great drum, songs and dancing, full prostrations, and many kinds of hymns – all this I offer you in my imagination. O almighty lord, accept this as my worship of you.
Aatmaa tvam girijaa matih sahacharaah praanaah shariiram griham
Poojaa te vishhayopabhogarachanaa nidraa samaadhisthitih .
Sajnchaarah padayoh pradakshinavidhih stotraani sarvaa giro
Yadyatkarma karomi tattadakhilam shambho tavaaraadhanam.h .. 4
You are my self; Paarvatii is my reason. My five praanaas are your attendants, my body is your house, and all the pleasures of my senses are objects to use for your worship. My sleep is your state of samaadhii. Wherever I walk I am walking around you, everything I say is in praise of you, everything I do is in devotion to you, o benevolent lord!
Karacharana kritam vaakkaayajam karmajam vaa .
Shravananayanajam vaa maanasam vaaparaadham.
Vihitamavihitam vaa sarvametatkshamasva .
Jaya jaya karunaabdhe shriimahaadevashambho .. 5
Whatever sins i have committed with my hands, feet, voice, body, actions, ears, eyes, or mind, whether prohibited by the scriptures or not, please forgive them all. Hail! Hail! O ocean of compassion! O great god! O benevolent lord! .. 5