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Sunday, January 31, 2010

THE ASHTA PASHA-Some information on tantra.


As per Tantraa philosophy there are eight bondages/chains which bind soul to the Maya. These bondages are Ghrina (Hate), Lajjaa (Shame), Bhaya (Fear, shankaa(Doubt), Jugupsaa(censure/reproach), Kula (caste), Jaati(creed) and Sheela (Modesty). Any consciousness which is bound by these 8 bondages is called Jiva (Individual soul) and the consciousness who is free from all these chains is called Sadashiva (Universal consciousness - Free soul/God).
In Chapter 8 of Durga Saptshati, when Demons Chanda and Munda died, Shumbha the demon king becomes angry and ordered his army to start attacking. He cries ," O demons, I order all armies of Asuras alongwith 86 Udyudhas, 84 Kambus, 50 Kotiviryas, 100 Dhomras, Kalakas, Dauhrids, Mauryas and Kalkeya demons to march for war.
Here Durga Saptshati reveals a great secret of Tantraa and that of Universe and Maya. Demon shumbha which represents our EGO names 8 types of demons to win over Good. These 8 types of demons in fact, signify the Ashtapasha which bind a person to Maya.
These 8 bondages have been reflected as 8 demon types in Saptshati and when Jiva invokes Mother Shakti, SHE fights these demons in us and breaks the bondages created by these Asuras and makes us free …a Sadashiva !!
The Chief demon Shumbha (depicting our Ego) is dependent on 8 demons to win the war and he would cease to be powerful when his army is killed. similarly Ego will cease to be once these 8 bondages are removed. Now let us look into details what these chains are.

1- Hatered : Hate is depicted by demon Udayudha. when Shumbha says 86 Udayudhas be ready, it tells us about the 86 types of hatered which aid our Ego and keeps us away from divinity. Hatered is a double edged sword. It not only forces us not to love someone it also nourishes our Ego telling it that it is better than the subject being hated. Ego can hate in 86 ways thus there are 86 Udayudha demons. Ten organs and Four Antakarnas, these fourteen generate hate towards four types of living beings (trees, reptiles/insects, animals and humans). Thus ego has total 56 types of hatered in waking state. In dream state, organs are missing hence 4 antahkarnas generate this hate for 4 types of living beings….and in dreamless state ego hates ten organs and 4 anthakarans thus all total making 86 types of hatered. These demons keep the ego satisfied and powerful. Mother shakti when evoked, kills these 86 hates and frees our Ego from one bondage called Hatered.
2- Lajjaa (Shame) : This bondage has been depicted by Kambu demons. Kambu is also a word for Conch signifying the animal who hides behind the hard shell to protect himself from others. Here Shame or hiding oneself from one's weakness and keeping away from others to save one's self-respect. This is also a sort of bondage on the soul. Soul hides itself beind 6 bodies and ten organs and four antahkarnas, hence making its number as 84. Here durga saptashati very bravely declares that these demons too are manifestations of Mother only when it sings (in 5th chapter)
Yaa Devi sarva Bhuteshu Lajjaa rupen sansthhitaa
Namastasaye namastasaye namstasaye namoh namah
(The Mother who manifests in all jiva as Lajja please accept my respects)

But to liberate ourselves into universal consciousness, this bondage has to be removed.

3- Bhaya (Fear ) : This third bondage is depicted by demon Kautivirya. Fear of death, feal of losing respect or nears and dears keeps the ego busy in Maya and hinders its way towards greater awareness. Durga Saptashati says Kautivirya is numbered 50. Ten organs and 5 koshas of body (Pls see my post 5 bodies of the soul in Saadhnaa club) are the place where fear is generated thus making the number 50 of Kautivirya demons.

4 - Shankaa (Doubt) : this fourth bondage is shown as Dhaumra demon. all the doubts arise due to distorted or false knowledge. Our 10 organs and 10 mahabhutas (earth, water, air, fire, ether - 5 in gross and 5 in subtle plane) are their solace hence Shumbha calls for 100 dhaumra demons to win the war.
Doubt keeps the ego busy thus keeping it entangled in Maya.
5- Jugupsa (censure/reproach): When due to false knowledge we see others as different from us, we censure others to prove us right. This too is treated as fifth bondage of the Soul. they are also of 100 types as in above para.
6- kula (caste): Dauhadri demon denotes proud of being related to one's birth. Even after listening to Brahma Gyana many times, this bondage of birth pride does not leave us. Only Mother's kindness can kill this demon and free us from this chain. they are also of 100 types.
7 - Jaati (creed): Demon Kalkeya denotes it. Due to false knowledge, Jiva is proud of his body being special (e.g. human body, white or black) This bondage is very powerful and no theroetical knowledge of God can remove this. Human souls is re-born again and again mainly due to this bondage. They are also of 100 types
8- sheela (Modesty). This bondage is denoted by demon Maurya. The modesty means Nature of Jiva, an idea Jiva makes about himself and the universe during the course of his many births. This bondage is also called Rudra-Granthi. Even after attaining the higher stages of spirituality, one is not free from this bondage and only removal of this bondage one is established into Advaita (union with god). An example of shri Ramakrishna paramhansa will further explain this bondage. When Guru Totapuri met paramhansa to teach him about Advaita, and asked him to sit in samadhi, shri Paramhansa saw Mother Kali only. then guru Totapuri ordered paramhansa to take an imaginary sword and cut the throat of Mother Kali…Paramhansa was so fond of Mother kali that he could not do it many times and finally when he did that, he was lost into Nirvikalpa samadhi a state of highest consciousness. So removal of this bondage is not easy. Only god or a god-sent guru can remove this final Bondage from Jiva.
without removing these 8 bondages, Jiva can not know his real self. People may try to do many types of sadhna, but these sadhnas sometimes further strengthen the bondages. We have to remember one thing there that Moksha and bondages both are in fact imaginary. Getting out of bondages, one would find that there was nothing called Moksha or bondage and one was already free.
then what is the way out to get ourselves free from these pashas? It is not easy to get rid of these Pashas. In B.Geeta Bhagwan Krishna says :-
Vishaya vinivartantey nirahaarasya dehina (The abstemious embodied self, of course, keeps off sensible objects, but not necessarily the relish for them.)
Is it easy to remove these 8 chains (divided into 720 types) so easily? What is the way out then? YES there is one way. complete surrender to the Mother. If we, like Paramhansa present our whole being to the Mother, we will see that these demons come forward and present themselves to the Mother for sacrifice on the altar of our Yajna of Bhakti and liberate our soul towards greater truths.
To begin with, we have first to leave our cunningness, selfishness and our false pride and surrender unconditionally to the Mother and request her to break our chains. Mother will not listen to our request if we first not purify ourselves . Lord Rama says in Ramcharitmanas.
Nirmal guni jan so mohi pawa
Mohi kapat chhal chhidra na bhava
pious and purifed souls reach me
Because I do not like cunningness, selfishness and pride

So let us begin today on the eve of Durga Ashtami with no prejudice…with no pride and with complete surrender…
Aum Krin Kalikaye namah

Hari Aum