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Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Imperishable Glory of Lord Kameshwara - The Primordial God of Desire


I bow to my divine brother, Lord Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles, the first worshipable benevolent god; I bow to my divine brother, devasena-pati viz. Skanda, the commander-in-chief who presides over the positive forces (devatas). I prostrate before my divine parents, viz. mother Saraswati who presides over the intellect and Brahma who creates masterpieces. I prostrate before my divine parents viz. mother Lakshmi who grants splendor, intelligence, goal (lakshyam) and achievements and Narayana, who is the divine protector and sustainer of all the worlds; I prostrate before my divine parents viz. mother Parvati, the one supreme Shakti behind everything and Mahadeva, the lord without whose wish, not even an eye blinks. I prostrate before the divine sages viz. Nara and Narayana, the eternal devotees of lord Shiva, who never encounter defeat and whose presence ensures the presence of Victory and Prosperity. I prostrate before the great sage Sri Veerabrahmendra, the author of ‘kālajnānaṁ’ which never errs.

I bow to my ancestral sages, viz. Vashishtha, Kaundinya and Maitra-Varuna (Agastya) and their respective consorts to bless this child of their lineage with supreme scriptural wisdom. Also, I prostrate before the legendary Kāvyakanṭha Gaṇapati Muni and Bhagawān Ramaṇa Maharṣī.

Finally, I prostrate before my kula-dēvatās viz. Sita and Rama who are the epitome of righteousness, and I bow to my brother Hanuman who happens to be of same Gothram as that of mine.

| Om śivāya guravē namaḥ |
| namaḥ tripurasundariyai |
| Om tat sat |


1.    Introduction

By the grace of Lord Shiva and my dearest mother Uma, whatever learnings I received from them, I have tried my best to document them in the form of this article. In this article, within the limits of my capabilities I have tried to reveal the subtlest secrets behind the cause of creation, and the creation process. It is pitiable that people commonly think “Kāma” means only “sexual desire”, hence tend to think “Kameshwara” as the “God of love and sex”, but in reality it is not so. The secret doctrine of Lord Kameshwara and Kameshwari is very esoteric and securely hidden; and I do not behold anyone who can understand their nature in the entirety. However, in the past, in the present (including me) and in future, whoever had tried, is trying, and would try; to grasp their nature, which is highly esoteric, cryptic and hidden in scriptures; had understood, is understanding, and would understand; only and only, by the mercy and grace of the divine couple viz. – Lord Kameshwara and Kameshwari! Without their grace (or without the grace of a Guru) it is impossible to understand about the matrika-swarupa of Shiva-Shakti even if one reads a billion scriptures; there is no doubt in that! The same is confirmed by Suta Samhita of Skanda Purana as stated below.  (Why I emphasized on matrika-swaupa would be clearer in later sections).

“mātr̥kā cha tridhā sthūlā sūkśhmā sūkśhmatarāpi cha |
gurūpadēśatō jnēyō nānyathā śāstrakōtibhiḥ ||” (sūta saṁhitā 1:5:9)
“Mātr̥kā-s are pronounced in three forms – in gross form (through vaikhari), in subtle form (through madhyama) and in even (more) subtler form (through pashyanti and para). Mātr̥kā-s should be learnt from the upadeśa of a guru, otherwise it is impossible to understand them even by studying a billion scriptures”.

Therefore, if I have been able to grasp even an iota of the nature of Lord Kameshwara and kameshwari, the credit solely belongs to them alone, who are my very own parents and I am just a seeker of their grace, an infant in their lap, and an instrument in their hands!

Well, in many of my past articles, I had referred to a verse from Rig Veda to cite how Soma (Shiva) and Aditi (Uma) mutually brought forth the universe. That verse is quoted below which says Soma places his seed upon the womb of Aditi and thereby creation occurs.

“arāvīdaṃśuḥ sacamāna ūrmiṇā devāvyaṃ manuṣe pinvatitvacam |
dadhāti gharbhamaditerupastha ā yena tokaṃ ca tanayaṃ ca dhāmahe ||” (RV 9:74:5)
“ The Soma-stalk hath roared, following with the wave: he swells with sap for man the skin which Gods enjoy. Upon the lap (womb) of Aditi he lays the germ, by means whereof we gain children and progeny”.

Even Bhagawad Gita states the same phenomenon and states that prakriti is the mother of the universe and Brahman (Purusha) is the seed giving father who casts his seed into the womb of Prakriti and thereby creation proceeds. The relevant references from Bhagawad Gita have been cited below.

“mama yōnir mahad braḥma tasmin garbhaṁ dadhāmy ahaṁ |
sambhavaḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ tatō bhavati bhārata ||” (BG 14:03)

“The mahat-Brahman (prakriti) is my womb; in that I place  the seed; from there, O Bharata, is the birth of all beings”.

“sarva-yoniṣu kauntēya mūrtayaḥ saṁbhavanti yaḥ |
tāsāṁ braḥma mahad yōnir ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā ||” (BG 14:04)

“Whatever forms are produced, O Kaunteya, in any womb, the Mahat-Braḥman (Prakriti) is their womb, I the seed giving father”.

Now, few questions arise! – In all these references – What do we mean by the seed (retas or bīja)? What do we mean by the womb (garbha), and source (yōnī)? What do we mean by implantation?

Well, the seed, the womb and the process of implantation – this triad is nothing to do with the normal course of reproduction (copulation) that we might interpret them as! The entire creation takes place by the exchange of bijākśarās (alphabets) between Shiva (Soma, Purusha, Brahman…) and Shakti (Aditi, Uma, Prakriti…). These aksharas are called as matrikas which we would discuss shortly. In whatever number of articles I had referred to the above quoted Rig Vedic verse (RV 9:74:5); I had simply quoted and went ahead with the contextual flow, without ever attempting to explain the hidden meanings behind that verse. The reason was – For the flow of those articles, it was sufficient to know the outward meanings of ‘seed, womb, implantation, and creation’ there (details were out of scope for the context) and secondly, it was simply impossible to explain the meanings as it was not easy to explain them in few sentences.

Their meanings are so deep that their explanations when provided and consolidated – that manifests in the form of a huge thesis and that is what this current article is! Therefore, hopefully it is clear why it was impossible to elaborate the inner meanings of that apparently simple looking Rig Vedic verse earlier, and why I am elaborating that now.

Not only that, in my article series on Bhagawad Gita where it has been analyzed and proved that Bhagawad Gita is entirely a song singing lord Shiva’s glories and Krishna was just the Acharya (hence Gitacharya); while analyzing a verse from Vibhuti Yoga (BG. 10:33) which says “aksharanam a-karo ’smi | (BG. 10.33)” which means, “among all the letters I am the letter A”, I had not elaborated the secret meaning in its entirety. The reason is again the same; that is – this small phrase ‘aksharanam a-karo ’smi’ is apparently very small and simple but it encompasses secrets of a gigantic magnitude. The real meaning of ‘a-kara’ is not usually found being elaborated by modern scholars as well as  ancient commentators on Gita; and most of them have given only some generic meaning to that phrase. I believe, only Shankara was capable of understanding the secrets of creation through alphabet properly, and he had encoded them secretly in Saundarya Lahari as well as Trishati Bhashya.  But as they say – ‘when you cannot understand the other person’s thoughts, he would look mad to you’ –  this is why those who cannot grasp the greatness of Saundarya Lahari, dismiss it calling it not a composition of Shankara (anyway, we’ll not touch this here since it is out of scope for this work).

However, that phrase of GIta (BG 10:33) when explained in its original meaning, manifests itself as a gigantic article and that article is nothing but the present work of mine!

Therefore, while on one hand this article is an independent work describing the glories of Kameshwara; on the other hand, this article is also a massive commentary on the following verses of Bhagawad Gita.

  • BG 10:33 (aksharanam a-karo ’smi)
  • BG 14:03 (mama yōnir mahad braḥma tasmin garbhaṁ dadhāmy ahaṁ)
  • BG 14:04 (tāsāṁ braḥma mahad yōnir ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā)


2.    Why Shiva is called Kameshwara and why Lalita is called Kameshwari?

Brahmanda Purana describes Lord Shiva as ‘Kameshwara’ and Lalita as ‘Kameshwari’. In Lalita Sahasranama Stotra the following references of lord Shiva’s name as Kameshwara are found.

  • Verse 52: “śiva kāmeśvara aṅgasthā” – she who sits on the lap of Kameswara (shiva)
  • Verse 77: “kāmeśvara mukha āloka kalpita śrīgaṇeśvarā” – she who created Ganesha by the mere look of the face of her Lord , Kameshwara
  • Verse 82: “kāmeśvara astra nirdagdha sabhaṇḍa asura śūnyakā” – she who destroyed Bandasura and his city called sunyaka by the Kameshwara arrow.
  • Verse 373: “kāmeśvara-prāṇanāḍī” – She who is the life source of Kameswara

Similarly, in Lalita Trishati, which is again another great hymn from Brahmanda Purana, we find the following references of lord Shiva’s name as Kameshwara.

  • Verse 243: “kāmeśvara manōhāra” – She who steals the mind of The god of Kama-i.e. Shiva
  • Verse 244: “kāmeśvara prāṇa nāḍī” – She who is the ultimate indicator of the soul of The god of Kama
  • Verse 245: “Kamesoth sanga vāsini” – She who sits on the left lap of The god of Kama
  • Verse 246: “kāmeśvara alingatāngī” – She who is being embraced by the god of Kama
  • Verse 247: “kāmeśvara sukha pradā” – She who gives pleasure to The god of Kama
  • Verse 248: “kāmeśvara pranayinī” – She who is the sweet heart of The god of Kama
  • Verse 249: “kāmeśvara vilāsinī” – She who makes devotees understand The god of Kama
  • Verse 250: “kāmeśvara tapa siddhi” – She who is the result of penance done by The god of Kama
  • Verse 251: “kāmeśvara mana priyā” – She who is most dear to the mind of The god of Kama
  • Verse 252: “kāmeśvara prāṇa nāthā” – She who is the ruler of the mind of The god of Kama
  • Verse 253: “kāmeśvara vimōhinī” – She who steals the mind of the god of Kama
  • Verse 254: “kāmeśvara braḥma vidyā” – She who is the ultimate science of reaching the truth as made known by the god of Kama 
  • Verse 255: “kāmeśvara grahēśwarī” – She who is the lord of the house of The god of Kama  i.e. the goddess of the entire universe
  • Verse 256: “kāmeśvara āhlādakarī” – She who makes The god of Kama  supremely happy
  • Verse 257: “kāmeśvara maheśwarī” – She who is the supreme goddess of the god of Kama 
  • Verse 258: “kāmeśvarī” – She who is consort of the god kāmeśvara

This has nothing to do with Lord Shiva’s act of burning the cupid God (Kamadeva) to ashes because for that act of his he gained names such as ‘smarārī’, and ‘kāmārī’ which all mean alike, ‘the killer or foe of Kama’. Then what for did Puranas call them as Kameshwara and Kameshwari?

In general the name ‘Kama’ is seen as the name of the god of cupid who is also called as ‘Manmadha’. The god of love viz. Manmadha is the deity who inspires passion (kama) in the hearts of all creatures and due to that desire (kama) this creation continues to expand through reproduction. For this reason he is called as ‘Kamadeva’, meaning, ‘the deity of desire’. It is ‘desire’ (kama) which creates offspring and hence is the basis of creation and sustenance.

Kamadeva came into existence as a son of Brahma and his birth is later than the universe. But as per Rig Veda’s nasadiya sukta the cause of the universe (hiranyagarbha) itself is ‘Kama’ as cited below.

“kāmastadaghre samavartatādhi manaso retaḥ prathamaṃ yadāsīt ||” (Rig Veda 10:129:4)
“Thereafter rose Desire (kāma) in the beginning, Desire, the primal seed (retaḥ) and germ of Spirit”.

What is that desire (kāma) which was the primal seed (retaḥ) and which became instrumental in the creation of the original egg (Hiranyagarbha) which contains all the universes? Who was that original god of desire whose desire (Kama) created the universe? 

It was that lord Shiva, who is beyond all attributes, and is the unborn supreme reality, who was the original Kama and because he is the ‘lord’ of the entire universe, he is ‘Ishwara’; hence it is he who is called as ‘kama ishwara’ or simply ‘kameshwara’. It was he who by resorting to his Shakti Lalita became instrumental in being the cause of the universe. Therefore Lalita being the consort of him she is called as ‘Kameshwari’.

How many times I had stressed about the oneness of Shiva and Shakti in all my works I myself cannot count. However, as usual, here also let me remind that there is no duality between Shiva and Shakti. Whatever is Shiva is Shakti and vice versa is also true. They are spoken differently by scriptures, but in reality they are one and the same – hence Ardhanarishvara! This is why even though this article is titled on Kameshwara and is intended to explain his nature, it becomes impossible for me to separate Kameshwari’s nature, because their natures are identical. Therefore, in every section of this article we would find both Kameshwara and Kameshwari running in parallel.

Vak that is found in Vedas in its original state is Para-vak and it is the one who is called Tripurasundari. Entire creation came out of the fourth part of lord Shiva’s Vak (Shiva is the Purusha) and that vak is the Vedas. Since Shiva and his vak are inseparable, Vedas say the fourth part of Purusha manifested as the world. Also, since the Purusha (Shiva) and Vak (Tripurasundari) are one and the same, Vak is also glorified as the cause of creation in Vedas and it is said that the fourth part of Vak is all this creation. Since this Purusha (Shiva) was the original Brahman whose desire created whole world, he is called as Kameshwara and for an identical reason when looked at Brahman as mother, it is Tripurasundari who created everything through her desire (remember again, they both are one and the same); hence she is called as Kameshwari.

We’ll unfold these secrets one by one now.

3.    Creation through Puruṣa (Rudra) and Parā-Vāk (Tripurasundarī)

We’ll discuss each of this in two sections. However, that is only for structuring the content, there is no difference between them.

3.1 Creation through Puruṣa

Yajurveda’s Taittiriya Aranyaka (10:24:1) states that Purusha is Rudra.

“puruśō vai rudraḥ ||” (Taittiriya Aranyaka 10:24:1)
“Lord Rudra is the Purusha”.

Also, Kaushitaki Brahmana of Rig Veda calls Lord Rudra as having arisen standing in his form of a thousand headed and thousand footed cosmic form.

“tata.udatiṣṭhat.sahasra.akṣaḥ.sahasra.pāt |” (Kaushitaki Brahmana 6:1:13)
“There arisen the overpowering figure having a thousand eyes (heads) and a thousand feet”.

This clearly says Rudra has a thousand heads and thousand limbs. Therefore it should be clear now that the Purusha of Vedas is Rudra (Shiva). This is evidence that Purusha Sukta is a hymn on Bhagawan Rudra. Purusha Suktam tells us that this entire creation is just a fourth part of Purusha (Shiva).

“tripādūrdhva udait puruṣaḥ pādo.asyehābhavat punaḥ |
tato viṣvaṃ vyakrāmat sāśanānaśane abhi ||” (RV 10:90:4)

“Three parts of his are beyond all this; all of this is but a part. Again and again, all that eats, and that eats not, appeared from this one part of His”.

Even Ekakshara Upanishad in its verse no. 3 clearly supports the same theory of Rig Veda and says that entire creation is from a fourth part of the supreme Purusha as follows.

“prāṇaḥ prasūtirbhuvanasya yōnirvyāptaṁ tvayā ēkapadēna viśvam ||” (Ekakshara Upanishad 3a)
“Thou art the Prana (Principle of life); Thou the manifestation (the manifested world); Thou the source of the world; by a quarter hast Thou pervaded this world”.

And the beauty of that Upanishad is that it shuts down all the possibilities of doubts such as “who that Purusha could be?” by revealing in the very first verse itself that the Supreme Purusha in discussion is Shiva the consort of Uma, and who is known through the means of Sushumna.

“ēkākśaraṁ tvakśarē’trāsti sōmē suṣumnāyā̃ cēha dṛḍhī sa ēkaḥ |
tvaṁ viśvabhūrbhūtapatiḥ purāṇaḥ parjanya ēkō bhuvanasya gōptā |” (Ekakshara Upanishad 1)

“Thou art the one Imperishable in the Imperishable, conjoint with Uma. As known by means of Susumna, here (on the empirical plane), the one firm (Principle art Thou). Thou art the ancient source of the world, the Lord of beings; Thou the Parjanya (the Principle of life-giving water), the Protector of the world”.

So far we are clear that from the fourth part of Bhagawan Rudra, emerged this entire creation. Now, let’s proceed further.

Rig Veda further says that at first Purusha created the Virāj (which is another name for Hiranyagarbha and in simple words is nothing but the great egg which contains all the worlds) and then within that great egg he entered and manifested himself into various forms – both mobile and immobile forms. That means, all the creation is Bhagawan Rudra alone.

“tasmād virāḷ ajāyata virājo adhi pūruṣaḥ |
sa jātoatyaricyata paścād bhūmimatho puraḥ ||” (RV 10:90:5)
“From him (i.e., Puruṣa) Virāj was born; again Puruṣa was born from Virāj. As soon as he was born he spread eastward and westward over the earth”.

In this connection, Ekakshara Upanishad states that Bhagawan Rudra who created this world, enered the world as its child. Here the garbha (womb) in this verse is indicative of both Brhamanda (Hiranya-garbha) as well as the pindanda (body). We’ll see both these connections one by one.

“tvaṁ viśvabhūryōnipāraḥ svagarbhē kumāra ēkō viśikhaḥ sudhanvā |” (Ekakshara Upanishad 3b)
“Thou art the world’s birth, the cause, the life supreme, and the child in the womb armed with the excellent bow and arrow”.

Now, in the above verse it is stated that Bhagawan Rudra is the child in the womb holding a bow and arrow. This is indicative of the creation of universe (at cosmic level) and is very well supported by Atharva Veda’s Vratya Suktam.

Vratya which means ascetic wanderer form, is another name by which Mahadeva is termed in Vedas. Yajurveda calls him as Vratya and also the lord of all such ascetics (vratyas) as follows.

“namō vrātēbhyō vrātapatibhyaśca vō namaḥ |” (Yajurveda IV:5:4:d)
“Homage to you in the form of Vratya, and to you, who are the lord of vratyas, homage!”

Atharva Veda has an entire hymn dedicated to Lord Shiva’s Vratya aspect and there it says that this Vratya created the world through prajapati (viraj) and then into that golden-egg (hiranyagarbha), this Vratya (Shiva) entered and was born within that. He appeared inside that hiranyagarbha (i.e., the universe) having a bow and arrow in his hands and was the first being to manifest within the universe (hence called as Eka-Vratya, i.e., the loner ascetic), and then became the sole lord of all others(Ishana) and was of dark and tawny complexion (Nilalohita) and was the greatest of all the gods (Mahadeva). These points are cited in below verses.

“vrā́tya āsīd ī́yamāna evá sá prajā́patiṃ sám airayat || sá prajā́patiḥ suvárṇam ātmánn apaśyat tát prā́janayat ||”(Atharva Veda 15:1:1)
“There was Vratya (Ascetic form of Lord shiva) . He roused Prajapati to action. Prajapati beheld gold in himself and engendered it”.

“téna prā́jāyata ||”(Atharva Veda 15:1:3)
“Through that he was born”.

“sò ‘vardhata sá mahā́n abhavat sá mahādevò ‘bhavat || sá devā́nām īśā́ṃ páry ait sá ī́śāno ‘bhavat || sá ekavrātyò ‘bhavat sá dhánur ā́datta tád evéndradhanúḥ || nī́lam asyodáraṃ lóhitaṃ pr̥ṣṭhám || nī́lenaivā́priyaṃ bhrā́tr̥vyaṃ prórṇoti lóhitena dviṣántaṃ vidhyatī́ti brahmavādíno vadanti ||”  (Atharva Veda 15:1:4-8)
“He grew, he became great, he became Mahadeva. He gained the lordship of the Gods. He became Ishana. He became Eka Vratya. He held a bow, even that Bow of Indra. His belly is dark-blue, his back is red (Nila-Lohita) . With dark-blue he envelops a detested rival, with red he pierces the man who hates him: so the theologians say”.

Therefore, from above verses from Vratya Suktam it is clear that the purport of Ekakshara Upanishad is to highlight the child who is within the womb holding bow and arrow is Mahadeva! That was however at the cosmic level, we have also discussed that even at the earthly level all beings including the foetus within the womb is none other than Mahadeva; for this part let’s see some evidences.

All gods and all creatures are the forms manifested from Rudra only within this universe (Prajapati / Hiranyagarbha). Atharva Veda’s Skambha Suktam makes this clear as follows.

“utáiṣāṃ pitótá vā putrá eṣām utáiṣāṃ jyeṣṭhá utá vā kaniṣṭháḥ |
éko ha devó mánasi práviṣṭaḥ prathamó jātáḥ sá u gárbhe antáḥ |” (Atharva Veda X:8:28)

“Either the sire or son of these, the eldest or the youngest child. As sole God dwelling in the mind, first born, he still is in the womb.”

Lord Rudra is all the female gods also. He is in fact all males, all females, old men, infants and everything that exists is Rudra alone. Svetaswatara Upanishad also confirms this fact as follows.

“tváṃ strī́ tváṃ púmān asi tváṃ kumārá utá vā kumārī́ |
tváṃ jīrṇó daṇḍéna vañcasi tváṃ jātó bhavasi viśvátomukhaḥ |” (Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:03)

“Thou art woman, Thou art man; Thou art a boy and maiden too. Thou as an old man totterest along on a staff; it is Thou alone who, when born, assumest diverse forms”.

In fact Rudra is all those born on earth and all those born in other worlds (gods, goddesses, sadhyas, pitris, demons, gandhervas, nagas etc. everything):

“namaḥ sōbhyāya ca pratisaryāya ca |” (Yajurveda IV:5:6:e)
“Salutations to him (Rudra) who is born in earth and to him who is born in other worlds”.

Finally, Rishi Svetaswatara declares that all that exists is the Purusha (i.e., Rudra) alone and all forms are his forms, all beings are he alone.

“yasmāt paraṁ nāparamasti kiñcidyasmānnaṇīyō na jyāyō’sti kaścit |
vṛkṣa iva stabdhō divi tiṣṭhatyēkastēnēdaṁ pūrṇaṁ puruṣēṇa sarvam ||” (Svetaswatara Upanishad 3:09)

“The whole universe is filled by the Purusha (Rudra), to whom there is nothing superior, from whom there is nothing different, than whom there is nothing either smaller or greater; who stands alone, motionless as a tree, established in His own glory”.

“sarvānana śirōgrīvaḥ sarvabhūtaguhāśayaḥ |
sarvavyāpī sa bhagavā̃stasmāt sarvagataḥ śivaḥ ||” (Svetaswatara Upanishad 3:11)

“All faces are His faces; all heads, His heads; all necks, His necks. He dwells in the hearts of all beings. He is the all— pervading Bhagavan. Therefore He is the omnipresent (lord) Shiva”.

Now, let’s see the same theory of creation as the fourth part of Purusha in terms of fourth part of Tripurasundari (vak).

3.2 Creation through Vāk

Till now, we have seen the creation theory with respect to Shiva; now as like as me, the Vedas too do not want us to see any difference between Shiva and Shakti. Therefore, here is the same Rig Veda highlighting the secret of creation through Vak (Tripurasudnari).

Before that let us revisit the Rig Veda verse (10:90:5) which says that Purusha created the Viraj. Viraj is another name of Hiranyagarbha and it is nothing but the great cosmic egg i.e., the universe within which all worlds exist.

“tasmād virāḷ ajāyata virājo adhi pūruṣaḥ ||” (Rig Veda 10:90:05)
“From him (Purusha) Virāj was born; again from Virāj Purusha was born”.

We need to understand that there is no “creation” in absolute sense; because if we admit that something is “created”, it has to be separate from the creator; and that would be a defect in Vedic philosophy and is simply impossible because everything is Brahman (Rudra) alone. So, the creator (Rudra), the created (Hiranyagarbha) and the act of creation (via Shakti or maya) all this triad is verily Rudra alone beyond doubt. This is why Taittiriya Aranyaka of Yajurveda clearly says that entire creation including the created worlds and beings everything is Rudra as stated below.

“viśvaṁ bhūtaṁ bhuvanaṁ citraṁ bahudhā jātaṁ jāyamānaṁ cayata sarvô hyēśā rudrastasmai rudrāya namô astu |” (Taittiriya Aranyaka 10:24:1)
“The whole universe, the created beings and whatever there is manifoldly and profusely created in the past and in the present in the form of the world, all that is indeed this Rudra. Salutations be to Rudra who is such”.

Therefore from the above understanding we infer that Viraj (the universe) which is created from Purusha (rudra) is verily a transformation (or projection) of Purusha alone. Thus it gives us the equation – Viraj is also Purusha. Now, interestingly, even the rishi Svetaswatara also identifies this same Purusha Rudra as being the creator of all the worlds (including heaven, and earth) and visualizes Purusha-Rudra’s ‘sahasraksha sahasrapat’ nature and expresses that same truth as ‘vishvatomukham, vishvatochakshu, vishvatobahu’  in the following words.

“viśvataścakṣuruta viśvatomukho viśvatobāhurutaviśvataspāt |
saṃ bāhubhyāṃ dhamati saṃ patatrairdyāvābhūmī janayan deva ekaḥ ||” (Svetasvatara Upanishad 3:03)
“That one god, having his eyes, his face, his arms, and his feet in every place, when producing heaven and earth, forges them together with his arms and his wings”.

Interestingly, this is not any adaptation, modification or any newly revealed verse. Svetaswatara rishi had imported this above verse directly without any modification, as-it-is, from Rig Veda (10:81:03), which is a Sukta on Vishwakarman! That means clearly, Svetaswatara rishi had identified this Purusha (Rudra) as the one who is called as Vishwakarman in Vedas. Therefore, now we got an equation as follows:

  • Viraj (Hiranyagarbha) is verily Purusha-Rudra
  • Purusha (Rudra) is called as Vishwakarman [because he is the creator (karta) of world ( vishwam)]

Now, let’s see the beauty of the oneness of Rudra and Para-Vak as encoded in Vedas.

Satapatha Brahmana clearly portrays the oneness of Vishwakarman (Rudra) and Vak (Tripurasundari) and says that Vishvakarma doubtless is Vak (speech) and by Vak everything here is created.

“viśvakarma ṛṣiriti | vāgvai viśvakarma ‘rṣirvācā hīdaṃ sarvaṃ kṛtaṃ
tasmādvāgviśvakarma ‘rṣiḥ |” (Śatapatha Braḥmaṇa 8:1:2:9)

“‘The Rishi Visvakarman,’–the Rishi Visvakarman (‘the all-worker’), doubtless, is Speech, for by speech everything here is done (i.e., created): hence the Rishi Visvakarman is speech”.

Vedas describe one lord (Shiva) in various names. Hence Vedas call viśvakarma as tvaṣṭā also. Here is another verse from Aitareya Brahmana which attests the oneness of tvaṣṭā (Shiva) and vāk (Shakti).

“vāg vai tvaṣṭā vāgdhīdaṁ sarvaṁ tāṣtīva |” (aitarēya braḥmaṇa 2:04)
“Tvaṣṭā is verily vāk (speech). vāk shapes (tāṣtī), as it were, the whole universe”.

Further, Atharva Veda clearly identifies Viraj as Vak and says that sages have esoterically called Vak as Viraj. This means, the visible universe (Viraj also called as Hiranyagarbha) is nothing but a product or transformation of Vak alone.

“yā́m āhúr vā́caṃ kaváyo virā́jam |” (Atharva vēda 9:2:05)
“she who is named Vāk and Virāj by sages”.

And further, Atharva Veda erases all doubts by directly voicing the same words which I have mentioned above. It says Viraj is speech (Vak), and thus, speech (Vak) is what is seen as Earth, Antariksha (mid air), and Prajapati (another name of Hiranyagarbha) and the lord of all gods.

“virā́ḍ vā́g virā́ṭ pr̥thivī́ virā́ḍ antárikṣaṃ virā́ṭ prajā́patiḥ |virā́ṇ mr̥tyúḥ sādhyā́nām adhirājó babhūva tásya bhūtáṃ bhávyaṃ váśe sá me bhūtáṃ bhávyaṃ váśe kr̥ṇotu ||” (Atharva vēda 9:10:24)
“Virāj is Speech, and Earth, and Air’s mid-region. He is Prajapati, and he is Mrityu. He is the Lord Imperial of the Sādhyas. He rules what is and what shall be hereafter. May he make me lord of what is and shall be”.

Further, attesting our above analysis as true, Rig Veda simply concludes that the Brahman (Purusha) and Vak are one and the same.

“yāvadbrahma viṣṭhitaṃ tāvatī vāk |” (Rig Veda 10:114:08)
“As far as the Braḥman extends, vāk extends till that place”.

Now, since that we have clearly understood the oneness of Purusha (Rudra) and Vak (Tripurasundari) we would see how Vak has created the world from the vaikhari aspect of the fourfold speech.

Rig Veda has a highly esoteric hymn called as ‘asya vAmIya sukta’ (Rig Veda 1:164); which is one of the most complex hymn containing divine secrets in very cryptic language – That sukta’s verse no. 45 talks about “catvāri vāk” (fourfold speech). It states that speech has fourfold division, three parts are hidden and only one part is what men speak of. The four divisions of speech are viz. – Parā, Paśyantī, Madhyamā and Vaikharī.

“catvāri vāk parimitā padāni tāni vidurbrāhmaṇā ye manīṣiṇaḥ |
ghuhā trīṇi nihitā neṅghayanti turīyaṃ vāco manuṣyā vadanti ||” (Rig Veda 1:164:45)

“Speech hath been measured out in four divisions; the Brahmans who have understanding know them. Three kept in close concealment cause no motion; of speech, men speak only the fourth division”.

Although, on the surface, this above verse is talking about the words spoken by men, but it has a dual meaning – when read at the level of pindanda (our body), it is talking about the four divisions of our speech and is saying that fourth part i.e., vaikari is what people speak; however, when read at the level of the cosmic egg, i.e., brahmanda (which is actually the meaning hidden in this rik), it is actually talking about the creation of the universe from the fourth part of the vak of lord Shiva. This fourth part of lord Shiva’s speech in its vaikhari aspect was breathed forth as Vedas and from those words of the Vedas sprouted this entire universe. Let me repeat and remind – there is no duality between Shiva and his speech (which is his Shakti).

This fourfold division of speech is directly related to the fourfold division of Purusha of Rig Veda (10:90) where in verse no. 4 it states that from the fourth part of Purusha (Rudra) everything got created as stated below.

“tripādūrdhva udait puruṣaḥ pādo.asyehābhavat punaḥ |
tato viṣvaṃ vyakrāmat sāśanānaśane abhi ||” (Rig Veda 10:90:4)

“Three parts of his are beyond all this; all of this is but a part. Again and again, all that eats, and that eats not, appeared from this one part of His”.

Now, in above cited Rig Vedic verse we see the word “pāda” being used to refer to the entity whose fourth part has created all the worlds. What is this “pāda” all about? Technically, “pāda” has various meanings as per the Sanskrit dictionary, like for instance – foot, quarter or division, quadrant, ray or beam of light, Poetical verse, ‘chapter of a book’ and “a verse or line (as the fourth part of a regular stanza)”. So, what meaning should we adopt for the word “pāda” in this context of creation theory from Purusha Sukta?

The answer is – When we look at creation through the perspective of Purusha, the fourfold state is taken as “pāda” (division or part); but since Purusha is identical with Vāk, when we see through the perspective of Vāk it could be interpreted as “pada” (word) which symbolizes the division (or unit) of speech. This is the reason this fourth part of Purusha is called as the fourth part of speech (vaikhari-Vak) which is the Vedas and from them all the creation manifests. This is evident from the below verse from Mahabharata.

“vēdaśabdēbhya ēvādau nirmimītē sa īśvaraḥ|
nāmadhēyāni carṣīṇā̃ yāśca vēdēṣu sṛṣṭayaḥ||” (MBH 12:232:26)

“Indeed, the Īśvara, in the beginning, created all things from the words of the Vedas. Truly, the names of the Rishis, and all else that has been created, occur in the Vedas”.

Therefore the word “Pāda (Part)” is esoterically same as “Pada (Word)” when creation is the subject. Now, at this juncture we have understood and established the oneness of Purusha-Rudra (also known as Vishwakarman, Tvastha) with Vāk (also known as Virāj), and hence we have seen that creation through Purusha is creation through Vāk. It’s the right moment to close this section and move on to the next section; however, I would like to additionally introduce another entity called ‘Prāna (Ātmān)’, here. This is to put more emphasis and to bring clarity that creation through ‘Prāna (Ātmān) is ‘Mātrikā-śr̥uṣti’ (creation through alphabet) as that is the concept we would see in detail in next sections. So, this is just a foreground being built towards a better understanding of the concept. 

(Let’s not worry about the jargons at this moment, because very shortly I am going to correlate Prāna with Vāk and then with Purusha (Rudra), whereby we would have a direct linkage between all the jargons – Vāk, Prāna and Rudra and oneness would be established).

Aitareya Aranyaka says Prāṇa is the “Rik” as shown below. Remember that here in all these references, Prāṇa means Ātmān (Brahman) and not the Prāṇas which spring from Ātmān.

“ēṣa vā r̥gēṣa hyēbhyaḥ sarvēbhyō bhūtēbhyō sa yadēbhyaḥ sarvēbhyō bhūtēbhyōrchata tasmādr̥ktasmādr̥gityāchakśata ētamēva santaṁ |” (Aitareya Aranyaka 2:2:2:07)
“He (Prâna) is a Rik (verse), for he did honour to all beings (by entering into them). Because he did honour to all beings, therefore there was the Rik verse. Therefore people call him who is really Prâna (breath), Rik”.

Now the Rik is identified as “Speech (vāk)” in Chandogya Upanishad verse cited below. This again proves the unity betwēn Prāṇa and Vak.

“yā vāk sa rk |” (Chandogya Upanishad I:III:04)
“That which is Speech (Vāk) even that is Rik”.

Aitareya Aranyaka says Prāṇa is the “Word” which is again identified as “Speech (vak)”. It uses the word “Prāṇa” and says that because Prāṇa entered into (pâdi) the creation, therefore he is called as ‘Pada’.

“eṣa vai padamēṣa hīmāni sarvāṇi bhūtāni pādi sa yadimāni sarvāṇi bhūtāni pādi tasmātpadaṁ tasmātpadamityāchakshata ētamēva santaṁ |” (Aitareya Aranyaka 2:2:2:09)
“He (Prāṇa) is a Pada (word), for he got into all these beings. Because he got (pâdi) into all these beings, therefore there was the Pada (word). Therefore people call him who is really Prâna (breath), Pada”.

Aitareya Aranyaka further clarifies that Pada (Word) which is nothing but Prāṇa, is verily the syllables (aksharas) of the alphabet. For that reason it is verily Prāṇa who is called as ‘akśara’ (alphabets).

“ēṣa vā aksharamēṣa hyēbhyaḥ sarvēbhyō bhūtēbhyaḥ ksharati na chainamatiksharanti sa yadēbhyaḥ sarvēbhyō bhūtēbhyaḥ ksharati na chainamatiksharanti tasmādaksharaṁ tasmādaksharamityāchakshata ētamēva santaṁ |” (Aitareya Aranyaka 2:2:2:10)
“He (Prāṇa) is an Akshara (syllable), for he pours out (ksharati) gifts to all these beings, and without him no one can pour out (atiksharati) gifts. Therefore there was the Akshara (syllable). Therefore people call him who is really Prâna (breath), Akshara”.

Now, Aitareya Aranyaka strikes right on the head of the nail and finally says that all Vedas, all sounds and all Riks are one and only Prāṇa (ātmā).

“tā vā ētāḥ sarvā r̥chaḥ sarvē vēdāḥ sarvē ghōṣā ēkaiva vyāhrutiḥ prāṇa ēva prāṇa r̥cha ityēva vidyāt |” (Aitareya Aranyaka 2:2:2:11)
“Thus all these Rik verses, all Vedas, all sounds are one word, viz. Prâna (breath). Let him know that Prâna is all Rik verses”.

This Prāṇa is another technical term used by Vedas to refer to Braḥman as like as the name Purusha and all these refer to Bhagawan Rudra alone. Just now, we have already seen in aforementioned verses, the correlation between words (pada), aksharas (alphabets), and riks (verses) with Prāṇa – that is – Prāṇa is nothing but Vāk (Speech). Now let’s see who this Prāṇa is!

In Brihadaranyaka Upanishad sages make enquiries to Yajnavalkya about the multiple gods and he answers them very aptly. Then finally the jury asks him who the one sole god is – who is called ‘Brahman’! – He answers it as – “Prāṇa” – as follows.

“katama eko deva iti | prā́ṇa iti, sa brahma, tyad ity ā́cakṣate |” (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad III:9:9)
“‘Which is the one god?’ ‘The Prāṇa (i.e., Ātmān) is the only God; it is Brahman, which is called Tyat (that)’”.

Here their discussion has converged from multiplicity of gods to one sole supreme lord where Yajnavalkya calls out that one God’s name as Prāṇa and calls it as Brahman (By the way, here also Prana is to be taken as the Atman and not as the Pranas which spring forth from Atman). This Prana is the Rudra from which the eleven Pranas (Rudras) spring forth and hence Rudras are called as the sons of Rudra. Therefore Rudra is the Atman (called here as Prana) from whom Rudras (Pranas) spring forth.

This is the reason when a question arose asking – who is the one sole god? – Yajnavalkya named him as Prana in this Upanishad. When the same topic arose in the mind of rishi Svetaswatara about – Who the one sole Supreme Lord is? – The answer which was revealed to him was pronounced by him, in ecstasy as, –  ‘Rudra!’

“eko hi rudrō na dvitīyāya tasthur ya imāṃl lokān īśata īśanībhiḥ |
pratyaṅ janāṃs tiṣṭhati sañcukocānta-kāle saṃsṛjya viśvā bhuvanāni gopāḥ |” (Svetasvatara Upanishad 3:02)

“Rudra is truly one; for the knowers of Brahman do not admit the existence of a second, He alone rules all the worlds by His powers. He dwells as the inner Self of every living being. After having created all the worlds, He, their Protector, takes them back into Himself at the end of time”.

So, from the above analysis, we infer that the Veda Purusha is Rudra who is called as Prana is identical with his Shakti called as Vak in Vedas; and he (or ‘she’ when seen as Vāk) has created this universe using the aksharas (alphabets) of the speech. The entire creation has manifested from the fourth part of his speech hence, this entire universe is composed of speech alone hence entire universe (virāj) is called as speech (vāk).

All this was just a background that I created just to ensure that the further sections of this article become easy to comprehend. Without this background it would not be easy to comprehend the secrets of “mātrikas” (aksharas) and “varṇamālā” (alphabets) which we would discuss shortly. So, with this firm understanding, let’s now look at the ‘akśaramālika’ forms of Kameshvara and Kameshvari before proceeding with the section related to the ‘mātrikā-sruśti (creation through speech)’ in detail.


4.    The varṇamālā form of Shiva and Shakti

In the entire Hinduism there are only two divine beings that have been hailed as possessing an “akśara” form meaning a form composed of alphabets of the “varṇamālā”. They are Bhagawan Shiva and mother Lalitambika (who is the non-dual consort of Shiva).

The term “akśara” has another meaning as – “that which doesn’t perish (kshara)”, and in that meaning this word has been commonly applied almost on all the godheads viz – Vishnu, Skanda, Ganesha, Surya, and even Ashini-Kumaras as well. But in the former meaning it has a special status, the status of being the original Supreme Being’s attributes; and scriptures have given that special status to only Shiva and Shakti!
Puranas have beautifully depicted Shiva and Shakti in their akśara form in numerous places. We’ll see here one by one, the depiction of lord Shiva’s ‘akśaramālā’ form and then we would see Shakti’s form of akśaras.

4.1 akśaramālā form of Lord Kameshwara

Shiva Purana has a discussion between Brahma and Narada where Brahma narrates to him an old story when first time Brahma and Vishnu had witnessed lord Shiva in his magnificent akśara-svarūpa! Here is the extract of the introductory-narration from the mouth of Brahma.

“ētasminnaṁ tarēnyachcha rūpamadbhutasundaraṁ |
dadarṣa cha mayāsārddhēbhagavānviṣvapālakaḥ ||
paṁchavaktradaṣabhujaṁgaurakarpūravanmunē |
nānākaṁti samāyuktaṁ nanābhūsaṇavibhūsitaṁ ||
mahōdāraṁ mahāvēryē mahāpurusalaṇaṁ |
taṁ dr̥stvāparamrūpaṁ kr̥tārthōbhūnmayāhariḥ ||” (śiva purāṇa 2:08:28-30)

“That moment the sustainer of the worlds viz. lord Vishnu started witnessing along with me (Brahma), a very beautiful and magnificent form (of lord Shiva). Hey Muni! He had five faces, ten hands, was as white in complexion as camphor, blazing with numerous types of auras, and decorated with various ornaments. He had an enormous belly, was blazing with splendour (veerya), and had all the characteristics of being a Supreme Purusha. Seeing such a form I and Hari became filled with gratitude”.

Then Brahma narrates further, how he and Hari had witnessed lord Shiva’s form composed of akśaras. These verses paint lord Shiva in such a detail that anyone can visualize that akśaramālā form of the lord right in one’s own mind! Lord Shiva and Shakti (both being one) are the actual Supreme Brahman because they assume a form and stay in Kailasha just for the sake of all of us, but otherwise they are the formless, limitless, Supreme Being devoid of attributes. Those who have understood their nature, have nothing else left to understand!

“athaḥ prasannō bhagavānmahēṣaḥ paramēṣvaraḥ |
divyaṁ ṣabdamayaṁ rūpamākhyāya prahasaṁsthitaḥ || 31
akārastasya mūrdhā hi lalātō dīrgha uchchayē |
ikārō dakṣiṇaṁ nētramīkārōvāmalōchanaṁ || 32
ukārō dakṣiṇaṁṣrōtramūkārō vāma uchchayatē |
r̥kārōkadṣiṇamtasya kapōlaṁparamēṣṭinaḥ |
vāmaṁ kapōlamr̥ūkārō lr̥ul̥r̥u nāsāputēubhē || 33
ēkārasṣchōṣṭhaūrdhvaṣchahyaikārastvadharōvibhō || 34
ōkārascha tathaukārō dantapanktidvayaṁ kramāṭ |
amastu tālunī tasyadēvadēvasya ṣūlinaḥ || 35
kādipanchākṣarāṇyasya pancha hastāṣchadakṣinē |
chādipanchākṣarāṇyēvaṁ pancha hastāstu vāmataḥ || 36
ṭādipanchākṣharaṁ pādāstādipanchākṣaraṁ tathā |
pakāra udaraṁ tasya phakāra pārṣva uchchyatē || 37
bakārōvāmapārṣvastu bhakāraḥskandhauchyatē |
makārōthr̥dayaṁ shaṁbhōrmahādēvasyayōginaḥ || 38
yakārādisakārāntā vibhōrvaisaptadhātavaḥ |
hakārōnābhirūpōhi kṣakārō ghr̥āṇauchyatē ||” (śiva purāṇa 2:08:31-39)

“Then that Maheshwara, who is also called Parameshwara being pleased displayed his illustrious form comprising of ṣabda (akṣara). His head was ‘akāra’, his forehead was the elongated ‘a’ syllable i.e., ‘ākāra’, his right eye was ‘e’, i.e., ‘ikāra’, and his left eye was the elongated ‘e’, syllable i.e., ‘īkāra’, the syllable ‘u (ukāra)’ was his right ear, and the elongated one ‘ū (ūkāra)’ was his left ear. The ‘r̥kāra’ was the right cheek of that paramēṣṭhī and ‘r̥ūkāra’ was his left cheek. The syllables ‘lr̥’ and ‘lr̥u’ were his two nostrils and ‘ēkāra’ and ‘aikāra’ were respectively the upper and lower lips. The syllables ‘ō’ and ‘au’ were seen as the upper and lower teeth respectively. The palate of that wielder of trident was seen as ‘aṁ’. The group of five syllables viz. ‘ka, kha, ga, gha, ṇga’ were his five right hands and the group of syllables starting with ‘cha’ (viz., ‘cha, chha, ja, jha, jna’ were his five left hands. The group of five syllables beginning with ‘ṭa’ (‘ṭa, Ṭa, da, ḍha, ṇa’) and the group beginning with ‘ta’ (‘ta, tha, da, dha, na’), were respectively his right and left fēt respectively. The syllable ‘pa’, was his belly and ‘pha’ is said to be his back. ‘ba’ is said to be his left back side and ‘bha’ is said to be his skanda. The heart of that Yogi, the great God is ‘ma’ syllable and the seven syllables ranging from ‘ya’ to ‘sa’ are the seven elements of that lord called as vibhu. His navel is the ‘ha-kāra’ and ‘kṣa’ syllable is his fragrance”.

Even Suta Samhita of Skanda Purana has a beautiful hymn on lord Shiva’s akśaramālā form. There that hymn is composed and sung by lord Vishnu. That hymn is a pretty detailed one and it sings the attributes of lord Shiva from “akāra” to “kshakāra” entirely. Keeping the length of that hymn in mind, I’ve cited only few verses from that hymn here just for gaining an overall understanding.

“maatrkaavapushe maatrumaanameyaadisaakshine |
maatrukaamantralabhyaaya mahase cha namo namah || 58
maatrukaadhaarabhootaya maatrkaamoolaroopine |
mahaamantraikavaachyaaya mahase brahmane namah ||59
dvidhaabhootamahaamantrasvaravyanjanaroopatah |
vaachyaayaapadaroopaaya padaaya mahase namah ||” (sūta saṁhita 4:29:58-60)

“Salutations to you whose body (form) is composed of matrkas (akara to kshkara alphabets). You are the witnesser of the triad (triputi) named ‘pramaata-pramana-prameya’. Through the matrka-mantras it is you who are obtained. You are great (58). You are alone the adhara (foundation) of even matrikas. Even the original form of matrikas (i.e., a-kara) is also you. It is you only who are denoted by pranava (omkara) etc., mahamantras. Salutations to you, who are the great Brahman (59). Existing in the two fold division of vowels and consonants, the mahamantras denote you alone. It is you alone who take up all the positions, but (in reality) you are devoid of them. Salutations to you who are such a great efficient lord (60)”.

The “akāra” to “kshakāra” – which is the set of all groups of alphabets, is called as “mātrikā”. All these alphabets are the parts of the body of Shiva. The way entire “rūpa prapaṇcha” (sum total of all forms in the world) is the form of Shiva, similarly, “nāma prapaṇcha” (sum total of all names in the world) belong to Shiva only because all names are composed of śabdas and all śabdas are composed of mātrikās. This is clearly called out in the below verses which are spoken of Vishnu.  Hence there is no doubt that all the names including – ‘nārāyaṇa’, and ‘viṣṇu’ – belong to Shiva and Shakti alone.

“ashtadhaa chaashtavargestu vibhaktaayaamalatmane |
asheShashabdabhootaaya tattadarthaaya vai namah ||61
shabdaavyayavihiinaaya shabdalabhyaaya saakshiNe |
sarvopaadhivihiinaaya svayambhaanaaya vai namah ||” (sūta saṁhita 4:29:61-62)

“Although you are nishkala you have made yourself appear in the eightfold form of eight sets of alphabets; you’ve assumed the form of all words and innumerable meanings (61). Although you are obtained through the help of words (śabda), yet you have no relation with śabdas (words) [means you are beyond the reach of words]. You are alone the one who shines with your own self effulgence, salutations to you who are such (62)”.

4.2 akśaramālā form of Goddess Kameshwari

Brahmanda Purana has two very important hymns which are much celebrated for encompassing the entire Vedantic and Yogic knowledge in cryptic manner within themselves. They are the hymns called ‘Lalita Sahasranama Stotra’ and ‘Lalita Trishati’. 

Out of these two the ‘Trishati’ is the most secret hymn and is not supposed to be given away to an unworthy devotee. Trishati means three-hundred names, where it is a matrix of twenty names per for fifteen ‘akśaras’, thus making them – three hundred.

“pṛthagvĩśati nāmāni kathitāni ghaṭōdbhava |
āhastya nāmnā̃ triśatī sarvasampūrti kāraṇī ||” (Lalita Trishati Introduction: 25)

“O pot-born sage, for each of the 15 akśara-s beginning with ka, there are 20 names describing them in this 300 names (trishati) which will bring fulfillment and completion to everything”.

These names look like simple names outwardly but they have the very secret ‘panchadasākśarī’ mantra which is also called as ‘panchadśī’ mantra. That mantra of fifteen syllables itself encompasses the form of Devi in terms of ‘akśaras’. The entire hymn is a praise of her from in the aspect of ‘akśaras’, hence it would not be practical to cite the entire set of three hundred verses. I’d therefore cite only the beginning few verses for references.

“kakāra rūpā kalyāṇī|” (Lalita Trishati 01a)
“Devi! You are represented by the alphabet ‘Ka’ (since you are identical with Shiva who is the creator of the universe in the form of ‘Ka’). You’re Kalyani (Being auspicious and bestower of the highest happiness of brahmananda)”.

“ēkārarūpā chaikākśarī |” (Lalita Trishati 02a)
“Devi! You are represented by the alphabet ‘ē’ (which stands for Shakti identical to Brahman). You’re mono-syllable (a-kāra which is the seed for all the ‘akśaras’ and represents the state of Brahman)”.

Similarly, the hymn Lalita Sahasranama Stotra depicts Lalita Tripurasundari as the one possessing the form of ‘akśaras’. It calls her as the one whose form is composed of ‘mātr̥kās’ as follows.

“mātr̥kā varṇarūpinī |” (lalitā sahasranāma stōtra: verse 116)
“(Lalita) whose form is of the form of varṇamāla i.e., alphabets from akara to kshakara”.

Lalita Sahasranama, after describing her physical appearance and acts such as killing of Bhandasura next it goes on to describing her subtle nature of her form which is composed of alphabets and says as follows.

Devi’s lotus like face represents the divine vāgbhava group which is a group of five syllables in the panchadśī mantra.

“śrīmadvāgbhava kūṭaika svarūpa mukhapaṅkajā ||”(lalitā sahasranāma stōtra: verse 34)
“She, whose lotus like face represents the divine Vagbhava group”.

From throat to the waist, she represents madhyakūṭa which is also called as kāmarājakūta which is a group of six syllables. Sri Bhaskararaya adds a note to this point and says that – “kāma, the desire to create universe resides in her heart”.

“kaṇṭhādhaḥ kaṭiparyanta madhyakūṭa svarūpiṇī ||” (lalitā sahasranāma stōtra: verse 35a)
“From throat to the waist, she represents madhyakūṭa”.

From waist downwards till feet she represents śaktikūta. This is a group of four syllables.

“śaktikūṭaika tāpanna kaṭyathobhāga dhāriṇī ||” (lalitā sahasranāma stōtra: verse 35b)
“From waist downwards till feet she represents śaktikūta”.

Now if we sum up the counts of the three sets of groups discussed above, which are- five, six, and four syllables respectively in each group, we get – fifteen syllabled mantra which is the very secret ‘panchadasākśarī’ mantra which is also called as ‘panchadśī’ mantra which is found encoded in Lalita Trishati. The same mantra Adi Shankara had also secretly encoded in his masterpiece hymn ‘Soundarya Lahari’ in stanza 32 – That stanza if read normally, it would not depict any mantra to us, but the syllables from each names when joined it becomes the great mantra of fifteen syllables.

Further, Suta Samhita also very clearly sings the glories of Devi in her matrika (alphabetic) form as follows. It says Matrika-Parameshwari is the mother of all the mantras.

“mantrāṇāṁ mātr̥bhūtācha mātr̥kā paramēśvarī |” (sūta saṁhitā 4:4:18)
“The Mātr̥kā Paramēśvarī is the mother of all mantrās”.

She being of a single form, she assumes diverse forms of alphabets and with each letter she manifests various beings in the creation. Hence whatever exists as this universe in diverse forms and names, all are truly she alone!

“ēvaṁ lōkōpakārāya padaṁ bahuvidhaṁ bhavēt |” (sūta saṁhitā 4:4:27)
“The one single Matrika for the benefit of the worlds became many”.

So, with this analysis, it should be clear that Shiva and Shakti assume the form of varṇamāla and from the syllables in their vaikhari aspect they create the universe with all its mobile and immobile creation. Let’s discuss the creation aspect through mātrikās in detail.


5.    ‘Mātrikā-Sr̥uśti’ – Creation through Mātrikā-s (alphabets) in detail

The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad which is a part of Satapatha Brahmana of Yajur Veda tells us how the Vedas and other scriptures manifested. It says that Vedas (and all scriptures) have sprang forth from the mouth of the Supreme Being via his breath. Now, it doesn’t mean to say what it literally says. What it actually means is – from the Vak of the Supreme lord, manifested all these Vedas. In other words, it is the vaikhari Vak of the Supreme Being which pronounced the Vedas out. Vaikhari Vak works through the medium of breath, hence here the breath of the Parameshwara is said to be the origin of the Vedas.

“sa yathārdraidhāgner abhyāhitāt pṛthag dhūmā viniścaranty eva vā are ‘sya mahato bhūtasya niḥśvasitam etad yad ṛgvedo yajurvedaḥ sāmavedo ‘tharvāṅgirasa itihāsaḥ purāṇaṃ vidyā upaniṣadaḥ ślokāḥ sūtrāṇy anuvyākhyānāni vyākhyānani | asyaivaitāni niśvasitāni ||” (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 2:4:10)
“As clouds of smoke proceed by themselves out of a lighted fire kindled with damp fuel, thus, verily, O Maitreyî, has been breathed forth from this great Being what we have as Rig-veda, Yagur-veda, Sama-veda, Atharvâṅgirasas, Itihâsa (legends), Purâna (cosmogonies), Vidyâ (knowledge), the Upanishads, Slokas (verses), Sûtras (prose rules), Anuvyâkhyânas (glosses), Vyâkhyânas (commentaries). From him alone all these were breathed forth”.

The Mokshadharmanusasana Parva which is an upa-parva of Santi-Parva of Mahabharata, has a discourse by Vyasa about the creation of Universe. He clearly states that entire universe including its mobile and immobile creation takes its form and shape from the blue prints which are hidden in Vedas . Even the great rishis and their names pre-exist in Vedas and later on when they take birth, their names are assigned as per the blue-print present in Vedas.

“vēdaśabdēbhya ēvādau nirmimītē sa īśvaraḥ|
nāmadhēyāni carṣīṇā̃ yāśca vēdēṣu sṛṣṭayaḥ||” (MBH 12:232:26)

“Indeed, the Īśvara, in the beginning, created all things from the words of the Vedas. Truly, the names of the Rishis, and all else that has been created, occur in the Vedas”.

Vedas are nothing but a collection of mantras (also called as riks, yajus, samans etc., depending upon their groupings). All, these mantras are combination of matrikas (alphabets) alone. This is why the Para-Vak (the Tripurasundari) who is also called as Matrika-Devi, is said to be the mother of all the Veda Mantras in Suta Samhita.

“mantrāṇāṁ mātr̥bhūtācha mātr̥kā paramēśvarī |” (sūta saṁhitā 4:4:18)
“The Mātr̥kā Paramēśvarī is the mother of all mantrās”.

We have already seen the non-duality between Shiva (Prana) and Shakti (Vak) in previous sections. The same is being affirmed once more by Suta Samhita as follows. It says that as Shiva appears as two viz. Shiva and Shakti; similarly the Vakrupi Matrika Devi also appears in twofold form.

“yathā parataraḥ śambhurdvidhā śaktiśivātmanā |
tathaiva mātr̥kā dēvī dvidhābhūtā bhavētsvayaṁ ||” (sūta saṁhitā 4:4:21)

“As the Supreme Shiva appears in twofold form as Shiva and Shakti, in the same manner Matrika Devi also exists in twofold state”.

“ēkākārēṇa śaktēstu vāchakaśchētarēṇa tu |
śivasya vāchakaḥ sākśhādvidyēyaṁ padagāminī ||” (sūta saṁhitā 4:4:22)

“Through one form she denotes Shakti and through another one she denotes Shiva. Therefore, she who manifests through word (pada), the path to attain the paramapada is verily this vidya alone”.

Vedas are called as “śabda-braḥman” because they are the manifested form of the vaikhari aspect of Lord Shiva’s Vak and have manifested through his breath. And this vaikhari is the fourth part of Purusha, where his three parts are higher than the fourth one. This is why Shiva is the Turiya-Brahman and is higher than the “śabda-braḥman”.  However, through this Vedas alone we can know him, that is – Shiva created Vedas by transforming his Vak from apada (speechless state of silence) to pada (speech i.e., śabda-braḥman); and by using the knowledge contained in these Vedas, one transcends this state and reaches the apada state and attains oneness with the Turiya-Shiva. One who understands this division, transformation and reverse-transformation, verily understands the truth.

“apadaṁ padamāpannaṁ padaṁ chāpyapadaṁ bhavēt |
padāpadavibhāgaṁ cha yaḥ paśyati sa paśyati ||” (sūta saṁhitā 4:4:23)

“That shiva who is beyond the reach of speech, hence is called apadam (no-speech i.e., turIya), with the help of his own Shakti assumes the state of pada (word i.e., speech) and pada (word or speech) again leads us to that state of apada (Shiva beyond speech). One who understands this division of apada and pada he verily sees (i.e., he becomes brahman)”.

Originally the vāg-rūpī Tripurasundari remains in the unmanifest state of Brahman and there she has no distinction from Shiva. That state of Shiva (or Shakti) is the state of original mātrika viz. a-kāra; and then Shiva desires to become many and from that original letter “a” (akāra) expands other syllables. The same is mentioned in Aitareya Aranyaka of Rig Veda as cited below.

“yō vai tāṁ vāchaṁ vēda yasyā ēṣa vikāraḥ sa saṁprativit |
akārō vai sarvā vāk saiṣā sparśōṣmbhirvyajyamānā bahvī nānārūpā bhavati ||” (Aitareya Aranyaka 2:3:6:14)

“He who knows this speech of which this (the mahaduktha) is a development, he is clever. ‘A (akāra)’ is the whole of speech, and manifested through different kinds of contact (consonants) and of wind (sibilants), it becomes manifold and different”.

This is the actual meaning behind the phrase of Bhagawad Gita (BG 10:33) verse which says “aksharanam a-karo ’smi |” which means, “among all the letters I am the letter A”. The same is voiced by Suta Samhita about the Matrika-Devi (who is identical with Shiva) as follows.

[Well, the purport on BG 10:33 is not over with this revelation alone; here we have only discussed why akara is chosen among all the alphabets and the reason is clear that akara is the origin of all the alphabets. Now, the second part – that is – the Bhagawad Gita verse (BG 10:33) speaks about Lord Shiva alone, would be clear by the end of this article, when we see how from the vovels and consonants Shiva creates the entire universe.]

“ēvaṁ lōkōpakārāya padaṁ bahuvidhaṁ bhavēt |” (sūta saṁhitā 4:4:27)
“The one single Matrika for the benefit of the worlds became many”.

Now, let’s see how Matrika divides herself into manifold combinations. What we hear is the vaikhari part of supreme vak alone. This vaikhari alone produces the Vedas and creates all the mobile and immobile creation.

The monosyllable Matrika (akara) first divides herself into the vowels and assumes the form of sixteen vowels viz. – “a, ā, i, ī, u, ū, r̥, R̥, l̥,L̥, ē, ai, ō, au, aṁ, aḥ”. It then divides herself further into the five types of vargas viz. – “ka-group, cha-group, ṭa-group, ta-group, and pa-group” and further divides herself into twofold form as “antastha and ūṣma”.

“aṁśa ēkaḥ padasyāyamupakārāya dēhinām |
bhavētṣhōdaśadhā pūrvaṁ panchadhā cha dvidhā punaḥ ||” (sūta saṁhitā 4:4:25)

“The one part (i.e., vaikhari) of the maatrika’s does the favour of all transactions in the embodied beings. It first divides itself into sixteen types (i.e., sixteen vowels including short and long ones), and then divides itself into five types (i.e., the five vargas) and then divides into two-fold type (antastha and ūṣma)”.

Then Matrika Devi transforms herself from sixteen vovels to thirty-two based on nasal and non-nasal forms. Then the thirty three consonants manifest from her and finally she exists in the twofold form of – vowels and consonants.

“padasyāṁśōparaḥ pūrvō dvātriṁśadvēdamāpnuyāt |
trayastriṁśatpunarbhēdaṁ tathaiva dvividhaṁ bhavēt ||” (sūta saṁhitā 4:4:26)

“Matrika’s sixteen forms of vowels become thirty-two based on the division nasal (sānunāsika), and non-nasal (niranunāsika). Then it again becomes thirty three consonants, therefore it remains in two fold form viz. vowels and consonants”.

These Matrikas (letters) manifest as the Matrika Goddesses of Hinduism.  The seven primary vowels (excluding the long ones) viz. – “a, i, u, ē, ō, aṁ, aḥ” are the ones spoken as the Supreme “sapta matrika” i.e, seven mother goddesses viz. – “brāḥmī, vaiśnavī, māhēśvarī, kaumārī, indrānī, vārāhī, and nārasimhī”.

Scriptures also classify Matrikas into eight forms and call them as “ashta-matrikas” i.e, eight mother goddesses. These are the manifestations of the seven primary vowels (excluding the long ones) plus the samaṣṭhī (collection) of all the vowels grouped together (ach) viz. – “a, i, u, ē, ō, aṁ, aḥ” + “ach-group”. These eight divine goddesses then are named as – “brāḥmī, vaiśnavī, māhēśvarī, kaumārī, indrānī, vārāhī, nārasimhī and chāmuṇdā”.

These Eight matrikas are again said to group eightfold ways amongst them and thus from those combination get created the sixty-four methods of worship, sixty-four sciences, and sixty-four classes of “yōginī” goddesses. Thus states the Brahmanda Purana regarding these sixty-four entities.

“catuḥ ṣaṣṭyupacārāḍhyā catuḥ ṣaṣṭikalāmayī mahācatuḥ-ṣaṣṭikoṭi-yoginī-gaṇasevitā |” (Lalita Sahasranama Stotra: Verse 58)
“She who should be worshipped with sixty four offerings, She who has sixty four sciences, and She who is being worshipped by the sixty four kōti yōginīs in the nine different charkas”.

These are classified as follows:

  • catuḥ ṣaṣṭyupacārāḍhyā (8×8=64 upacharas) i.e., she manifests as sixty-four methods of worship – These sixty four plus another eight making a total of seventy two ceremonies (rituals) are enumerated by the legendary Shakta-Advaitin saint Bhaskararaya in his work titled, “varivasya rahasya” in the Puja related chapter.
  • catuḥ ṣaṣṭikalāmayī (8×8=64 Kalas) i.e., she manifests as sixty-four sciences – Bhaskararaya in his commentary on Lalita Sahasranama stotram enumerates all the sixty four sciences as follows: –  (1) The knowledge of the eighteen letters (lipi), (2) Power of writing, (3) Reading quickly (4) Knowledge of different languages (5) Composing verses in them (6) Gambling (7) to (14) The four Vedas and four auxillary Vedas and related texts, (15) to (26) twelve auxiliary sciences (27) Tantra (28) Purana (29) Smriti (30) Poetry (31) Rhetoric (32) Drama (33) to (38) The six – pacifying, controlling, attracting, enmity, ruinging by magical practices, and killing (39) to (45) The art of opposing the effects of motion, water, sight, fire, weapons, speech, and semen (46) to (49) Training Elephants, Horses, Chariots and men (50) to (53) The knowledge of divination by bodily marks (sāmudrika), gymnastics, cooking, and power over snakes (garudavidyā) (54) Suṣira (55) Ānaddha, (56) Ghana (57) Creating illusion (indrajāla) (58)dancing, (59) Singing, (60) alchemy, (61) Knowledge of gems, (62) Thieving (63) Knowledge of the pulse (64) Disappearance.
  • mahācatuḥ-ṣaṣṭikoṭi-yoginī-gaṇasevitā (8×8=64 goddesses) – The eight great mothers (mtarikas) like Brahmi etc., each has Eight shaktis like Akshobhya etc., who are the parts of them. Hence they are eight multipled by eight hence sixty four. Each group has further a billion of bands as their followers i.e., “gaṇas”. Each of these 64 kōti (class) of yōginīs thus become sixty-four koti (crore) yoginīs. They serve the supreme mother goddess Lalita Tripurasundari.

Further from the thirty-three consonants of the “varṇamālā” the Matrika Devi (Tripurasundari) creates the Thirty-Three gods viz. Eight Vasus, Eleven Rudras, Twelve Adityas, and Indra and Prajapati.

“sā virāttrayastriṁsadakṣara bhavati | trayastriṁśadvai dēvā |
aṣtau vasava ēkādaśa rudrā dvādaśādityaḥ prajāpatiścha vaṣatkāraścha ||” (Aitareya Brahmana 2:10:37)

“The Virāj is of thirty-three syllables; the gods are thirty-three – eight vasus, eleven rudras, twelve Adityas, Prajapati and vashatkāra (Indra)”.

Since vowels are superior to consonants, these Mātrikā-dēvīs (sapta or ashṭa mātrikās) which represent the vowels are superior to other gods created through consonants. This is metaphorically explained in the below verse from Aitareya Aranyaka which compares Vowels with ātmān and consonants with body.

“tadvā idaṁ br̥hatīsahasraṁ saṁpannaṁ tasya yāni vyanjanāni tachcharīraṁ yō ghōṣaḥ sa ātmā ya ūṣmāṇaḥ sa prāṇaḥ |” (Aitareya Aranyaka 2:2:4:01)
“This then becomes perfect as a thousand of Brihatî verses. Its vyanjanāni (consonants) form its body, its ghōṣaḥ (svaras i.e., vowels) the Soul, its sibilants the air of the breath”.

(Therefore the interpretation of Shankara-Bhashya on Bhagawad Gita verse (BG 9:25) by Vaishnavas is totally wrong. We’ll cover that in detail separately in Appendix (Section 9) of this article)

 Now, coming back to the point – Since all the other deities are the various manifestations of these Thirty-Three gods alone as per the below cited verse from Brihadaranyaka Upanishad; all the other deities are also created through a combination of Thirty-Three consonants only.

“sa hovāca — mahimāna evaiṣām ete | trayastriṃśat tv eva devā iti | katame te trayastriṃśad iti | aṣṭau vasava ekādaśa rudrā dvādaśādityāḥ ta ekatriṃśad aindraś caiva prajāpatiś ca trayastriṃśāv iti ||” (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 3:9:02)
“Yâgñavalkya replied: ‘They are only the various (further) manifestations of them, in reality there are only thirty-three gods’. He asked: ‘Who are those thirty-three?’ Yâgñavalkya replied: ‘The eight Vasus, the eleven Rudras, the twelve Âdityas. They make thirty-one, and Indra and Pragâpati make the thirty-three'”.

Similarly, the Pancha-Bhutas, Jnanendriyas, Karmendriyas, Tanmatras, and all the tatwas are the manifestation from the alphabets of the “varṇamālā” only. Sri Vidya tradition followers and mantra shastra experts would know the corresponding verses from scriptures. We’ll not discuss those details here since we are going to discuss the entire creation theory through “akśarās” in the below section using the secret messages of Maheshvara Sutras!


6.    NANDIKĒŚVARA KĀSIKĀ on Maheshvara Sutras

In order to understand Kameshwara Tatwam properly and appreciate it fully, it is mandatory to have the basic understanding of ‘akśaras’ (syllables) and also the knowledge of creation through ‘vāk’ first. For that reson, I had presented all the pre-requisite theories in previous sections itself. Now, since we are equipped with the necessary knowledge for proceeding with understanding the more complex subjects, let us now look at the fourteen Maheshvara Sutras and understand the secrets behind the creation of this universe using the explanation given in the commentaries done by Nandikēśwara and Upamanyu.

Nandikēśwara had written a wonderful commentary on the “Maheshwara Sutras” to explain the hidden secrets of creation of universe from those aphorisms. His commentary is known as ‘nandikēśvara kāsikā’, and the legendary sage Upamanyu wrote a magnificent commentary over the commentary (i.e., vārtika) of Nadikeshwara to elaborate what nandi had explained. Who other than the illustrious Upamanyu could grasp the finer secrets outlined by Nandikēśwara of the aphorisms of Śiva? Upamanyu’s commentary goes by the name of ‘tatwa vimarśinī’.

As per the ‘Nandikēśvara Kāsikā’ and its commentary ‘tatwa vimarśinī’, after the culmination of the dance, lord Natarāja, sounded his hand-drum (damaru) fourteen times in front of his great devotees who were all witnessing his dance with reverence. He sounded his drum to pass on esoteric sciences to the assembled sages in order to uplift them. Among them were Sanaka etc., four kumāras, Patanjalī, Vyāghrapāda, Pāṇinī, Nandikēśwara, and Vasiśtha.

Those aphorisms contained all the sciences and secrets within them. To some it revealed some science and to some other it revealed something else. While Pāṇinī understood the great rules of Sanskrit grammar, Patanjalī understood the same, and hence was later on he was able to write a commentary ‘mahābhāṣya’ on Pāṇinī’s ‘aṣtādhyāyī’ in order to simplify the complex subject to suit the common man’s understanding,. Similarly, Nandikēśwara grasped the great secrets of creation theory and great Advaitic secrets of Atman tatwam.

All the sages approached Nandikēśwara to understand the meanings of the fourteen aphorisms considering him as the most competent person to grasp the secrets revealed by Shiva. In response to the inquiry of those sages, Nandi wrote a commentary on the fourteen ‘Maheshwara Sutras’ titled, ‘nandikēśvara kāsikā’. The way Pāṇinī’s ashtadhyayi was too complex for the humans of kaliyuga to comprehend, hence Patanjalī had written a commentary ‘Mahābhāṣya’ to make them understandable to everyone; similarly, to elaborate the core concepts and explain them to everyone easily, Upamanyu had written a commentary over Nandikēśwara’s ‘Kāsikā’ which was named ‘tatwa vimarśinī’.

Nandikēśwara while explaining the sutras begins with setting the Introduction or the background in two verses and then starts explaining the fourteen maheshwara sutras. For the very first verse of the introductory passage written by Nandikēśwara the following ‘extracts’ are taken from the lengthy commentary of Upamanyu over the introductory verses of Kasika.

Note that Upamanyu has clearly called out in the introductory notes itself that the entire revelations are the secrets related to Shiva himself. This should clarify us that Shiva is the Supreme Being and not any Jiva (as maliciously explained by shiva-hating vaishnavas).

“sa svātmatattvaṁ vāgādyagōcharaṁ iti jnāpanāya ḍhakkāninādavyājēna sanakādīn uddhartukāmō’yaṁ navapanchavāraṁ chaturdaśavāraṁ svāntargataṁātmatatvaṁ prakatayituṁ tadvasānē ḍhakkāṁ nanāda |” (nandikēśwara kāśika Intro 01: tatvavimarśinī intro 01:e)
“Revealing the Supreme nature of the Atman that is himself, which is beyond the reach of speech etc., senses, with the desire to uplift Sanaka and others; by the means of sounding the hand-drum, he sounded it nine and five times i.e., fourteen times (at the end of his dance) to manifest the Supreme reality that is inherent in Him”.

“ahaṁ tadētat vitataninādōdbhūtavarṇātmakamādyamatirahasyaṁ śivasūtrajālaṁ śivasaṁbandhisūtrasamūhaṁ kalāṇarūpasūtrasamūhaṁ vā vimarśē vichārya sphuṭīkarōmītyarthaḥ | vimarśa iti chhāndasaṁ bōdhyaṁ |” (nandikēśwara kāśika intro 01:tatvavimarśinī intro 01:f-g)
“The first collection of Lord Shiva’s aphorisms, related to Shiva himself, which are deepest secrets which are auspicious, which are in the form of letters of the sound that emanated (form the hand-drum), I’ll explain clearly by pondering over them. The word ‘vimarsha’ has been used for the sake of metrical requirements”.

The Sutra-commentary by Nandikēśwara begins with verse no. 3 because the first two verses fall under the introductory notes.


6.1.    The Sutra-I: अ इ उ ण् (a i u ṇ) – nirguṇa Braḥman (a) uniting with his śakti (i) becomes the saguṇa Braḥman (u)

Nandikēśwara writes that ‘a-kāra’ denotes the Brahman (Śiva in his nirguṇa state). This akāra (a) is the prakāśa and the ikāra (i) denotes the vimarśa which is Śaktī. Thus, Śiva of the form of ‘a’ syllable unites with the ‘i’ syllable to generate the īśvara tatwa which is the ukāra (u).

“ākārō brahmarūpaḥ syānnirguṇassarvavastuṣu |
chitkalāṁ iṁ samāśritya jagadrūpa uṇ īśvaraḥ ||” (nandikēśvara kāśikā 03)

“The letter ‘a’ is the form of Brahman devoid of attributes dwelling in all objects, combined with the letter ‘i’ which is the consciousness, the letter ‘u’ is the ‘īśvara’ (lord) of the universe”.

Nandikēśwara further explains the significance of the syllable ‘a’.

“akāraḥ sarvavarṇāgryaḥ prakāśaḥ paramēśvaraḥ |
ādyamantyena saṁyōgāt ahamityēva jāyatē ||”  (nandikēśvara kāśikā 04)

“The syllable ‘a’, the first among all alphabets, is the effulgent supreme lord. From the combination of the first and last letters the word ‘aham’ is born”.

While doing commentary on the above verse of kasika Upamanyu elaborates it as follows. Upamanyu explains that all the akśarā-s (letters) of varṇamālā have originated from Supreme Shiva and the union of ‘a-kāra’ with ‘ha-kāra’ gives birth to ‘ahaṁ sphurṇa’.

“ādirantyēna sahētētyādirakāraḥ antyō hakāraḥ |
akārādi hakārāntāssarvē varṇā tataḥ paramśivaḥ samabhavannityarthaḥ ||” (tatvavimarśinī 03)

“The first letter ‘a’ is united with the last letter ‘ha’. All the letters from ‘a’ to ‘ha’ are born from the Supreme Shiva”.

Here we should not have any doubt about how all the syllables emerged from Supreme Shiva because we have already discussed how all the syllables are contained in ‘akāra’ and how they emerge into consonants and vowels from the one letter (akāra). Let me cite the Aitareya Aranyaka verse here for quick recollection of the point. Since Nandikēśwara has already mentioned that the Supreme Lord Shiva was in the beginning in the form of syllable ‘a’, it should be clear that for that reason Shiva is the source of all the other letters.

“yō vai tāṁ vāchaṁ vēda yasyā ēṣa vikāraḥ sa saṁprativit |
akārō vai sarvā vāk saiṣā sparśōṣmbhirvyajyamānā bahvī nānārūpā bhavati ||” (Aitareya Aranyaka 2:3:6:14)

“He who knows this speech of which this (the mahaduktha) is a development, he is clever. ‘A (akāra)’ is the whole of speech, and manifested through different kinds of contact (consonants) and of wind (sibilants), it becomes manifold and different”.

Here in below verse Nandi is explaining how creation emerged from the vāk (which is identical with Shiva) which was present earlier as parā consciousness and then transformed into vaikharī and from that vaikharī which is the fourth ‘pāda’ of Puruṣa Shiva entire creation emerged. We have already seen the same phenomenon from Vedas in the beginning of this article.

“sarvaṁ parātmakaṁ pūrvaṁ jṇaptimātramidaṁ jagat |
jṇaptērbabhūva paśyantī madhyamā vāk tataḥ smr̥tā ||
vaktrē viśuddhachakrākhyē vaikharī sā matā tataḥ |
sr̥śtyāvirbhāvamātrātmā madhyamāvat samāyutaṁ ||” (nandikēśvara kāśikā 05-06)

“In the beginning the entire universe was only in the form of parā consciousness. From that parā was born paśyantī and the vāk which originated from that was known as madhyamā (5). This vāk is known as vaikharī when it emerges from the face through the viśuddhi-chakra. By its origin and manifestation it is similar to madhyamā (6)”.

To the above verse of Kasika, Upamanyu elaborates how the parā undergoes changes and becomes vaikharī. I am not quoting entire commentary here. Only a relevant and important extract is being cited.

“… paśchāt vaktrē vaikharyākhyamavāpya vēdādirūpō bhavatītyarthaḥ ||” (tatvavimarśinī 05-06:a)
“…and later (the vāk) as vaikharī in the mouth and thus assumes the form of the vēdās”.

From above commentary it is evident that the vāk of shiva gets transformed into vēdās. In other words, vēdās are produced from the breath of Shiva! These vēdās which are nothing but the vaikharī vāk (the manifest sound) contain the seeds of creation. This means, entire universe is created from the vēdās i.e., from vāk. This is why Upamanyu further attests this with śruti pramāṇa and states the following in continuation to his above commentary.

śrutirapi “vāgēva viśvā bhuvanāni jajnē” iti | sūkṣhmā vāgēva viśvākārēṇa pariṇamatē vivartatē vētyarthaḥ |” (tatvavimarśinī 05-06:b)
“Śruti (Vēdās) also says, “It is only the speech which created the worlds”. It means that it is only the subtle aspect of speech which transforms itself in the form of this world”.

The complete śruti vākya is this – “vāgeva viśvā bhuvanāni jajñe vāgevedaṃ bubhuje vāguvāca’ityādau vācaḥ sārvātmyaṃ śrūyate |”. Even Sri Mandana Mishra in his celebrated work titled ‘braḥmasiddhi’ refers to the above sruti mantra.

Further, the continuation of Upamanyu’s commentary on the same verse mentions the following where Upamanyu quotes another shruti reference and establishes the fact that the entire creation has emerged from Vāk alone.

“śrutyantaramapi “vācaiva viṣvaṁ bahurūpaṁ nibaddhaṁ tadētadēkaṁ pravibhajyōpabhunktē” iti |” (tatvavimarśinī 05-06:c)
”In another śruti passage it has been said: ‘The world with its multiple forms is composed of speech only, and having divided, one part of it is being experienced”.

This statement of Upamanyu is exactly same as what is “implied” in an indirect way in the below verse from Rig Veda. We have already discussed this in detail in the beginning of this article, however, for the quick recollection citing the ‘catvāri vāk’ verse here.

“catvāri vāk parimitā padāni tāni vidurbrāhmaṇā ye manīṣiṇaḥ |
ghuhā trīṇi nihitā neṅghayanti turīyaṃ vāco manuṣyā vadanti ||” (Rig Veda 1:164:45)

“Speech hath been measured out in four divisions; the Brahmans who have understanding know them. Three kept in close concealment cause no motion; of speech, men speak only the fourth division”.

Vedas are mantras i.e., śabda-braḥman, in other words, Vedas are nothing but vaikharī-vāk of lord Shiva. Therefore what Vedas contain is all vāk alone. Hence to say – creation proceeds from Vedas and creation proceeds from vāk – both these statements are one and the same in meaning.

For this reason Mokshadharmanusasana upa-parva from Santi-Parva of Mahabharata, has a discourse by Vyasa about the creation of Universe. He clearly states that entire universe including its mobile and immobile creation takes its form and shape from the blue prints which are hidden in Vedas. Even the great rishis and their names pre-exist in Vedas and later on when they take birth, their names are assigned as per the blue-print present in Vedas.

Mahabharata says that Ishvara (i.e, Shiva as we have already analyzed), created all the things from the words of Vedas. And we already know that Vedas are his words, i.e., his vāk!

“vēdaśabdēbhya ēvādau nirmimītē sa īśvaraḥ|
nāmadhēyāni carṣīṇā̃ yāśca vēdēṣu sṛṣṭayaḥ||” (MBH 12:232:26)

“Indeed, the Īśvara, in the beginning, created all things from the words of the Vedas. Truly, the names of the Rishis, and all else that has been created, occur in the Vedas”.

Below verse gives more clarity on the same subject and agrees with what we have analysed earlier.

“anādinidhanā vidyā vāgutsṛṣṭā svayambhuvā|
ādau vēdamayī divyā yataḥ sarvāḥ pravṛttayaḥ||” (MBH 12:232:24)

“At the outset the Self-born caused those excellent Vedic sounds, that are embodiments of knowledge and that have neither beginning nor end to (spring up and) flow on (from preceptor to disciple). From those sounds have sprung all kinds of actions”.

Every thing proceeds from Vedas even the names of all beings too, because ‘rūpa-prapancha’ as well as ‘nāma-prapancha’ both are Shiva’s forms alone as we have seen in earlier sections.

“ṛṣīṇā̃ nāmadhēyāni yāśca vēdēṣu sṛṣṭayaḥ|
nānārūpaṁ ca bhūtānā̃ karmaṇā̃ ca pravartanam||” (MBH 12:232:25)

“The names of the Rishis, all things that have been created, the varieties of form seen in existent things, and the course of actions, have their origin in the Vedas”.

What can we say more? The below verse sums up all the things that we can thing of – as emerging from the vāk of Shiva – which we call Vedas!

“śarvaryantē sujātānāmanyēbhyō vidadhātyajaḥ|
nāmabhēdatapaḥkarmayajñākhyā lōkasiddhayaḥ|
ātmasiddhistu vēdēṣu prōcyatē daśabhiḥ kramaiḥ||” (MBH 12:232:27)

“Upon the expiration of his night (i.e., at the dawn of his day), the uncreate Brahman creates, from prototypes that existed before, all things which are, of course, well-made by Him. In the Vedas hath been indicated the topic of the Soul’s Emancipation, along with the ten means constituted by study of the Vedas, adoption of the domestic mode of life, penances, observance of duties common to all the modes of life, sacrifices, performance of all such acts as lead to pure fame, meditation which is of three kinds, and that kind of emancipation which is called success (Siddhi) attainable in this life”.

Now, Nandikēśvara explains about the “seed (rētas)” of “desire (kāma)”.

“akāraṁ sannidhīkr̥tya jagatāṁ kāraṇatvataḥ |
ikārassarvavarṇānāṁ śaktitvāt kāraṇaṁ mataṁ ||7
jagatsraṣtumabhūdvānchchā yadā hyāsīttadābhavat |
kāmabījamiti prāhurmunayō vēdapāragaḥ ||” (nandikēśvara kāśikā 07-08)

“Due to the nearness of the syllable ‘i’ (ikāra) with that of the syllable ‘a’ (akāra), the syllable ‘i’ is the cause of the universe and due to its prospective nature, it is the cause of all the alphabets in the varṇamāla (7). When there arose desire to create the universe, then the world became (i.e., came into existence). The seers who were learned in Vedas called it ‘kāmabīja’ (the seed of desire) (8)”.

The above verses by Nandikēśvara clarifies the meaning of the below verses from Rig Veda. The ‘’kāmabīja’ which Soma (Shiva) lays in the womb (garbha) of Aditi is not any semen as outwardly it sounds like; but that seed is the seed letter ‘a’ which unites with Shakti’s seed letter ‘I’ and thus produces all other alphabets. From the various combinations of the alphabets in the ‘varṇamāla’ creation happens.

“arāvīdaṃśuḥ sacamāna ūrmiṇā devāvyaṃ manuṣe pinvatitvacam
dadhāti gharbhamaditerupastha ā yena tokaṃ ca tanayaṃ ca dhāmahe ” (Rig Veda 9:74:5)

“ The Soma-stalk hath roared, following with the wave: he swells with sap for man the skin which Gods enjoy. Upon the lap (womb) of Aditi he lays the germ, by means whereof we gain children and progeny”.

“kāmastadaghre samavartatādhi manaso retaḥ prathamaṃ yadāsīt |
sato bandhumasati niravindan hṛdi pratīṣyākavayo manīṣā ||” (Rig Veda 10:129:04)

“Thereafter rose Desire (kāma) in the beginning, Desire (kāma), the primal seed (retaḥ) and germ of Spirit. Sages who searched with their heart’s thought discovered the existent’s kinship in the non-existent”.

With this let’s now proceed with the next verse of Maheshvara Sutras.


6.2.    The Sutra-II: ऋ ऌ क् (ṛ ḷ k) – Defect free Vedantic concept of creation by Śiva

Elaborating the esoteric meaning of the second sūtra Nandikēśvara says that the Lord is denoted by ‘r̥ l̥ k’ and resorting to his māyā he created the world. Here we need to note that the three syllables viz., ‘r̥ l̥ k’ are said to denote the lord alone, and as we would see in the commentary by Upamanyu they are separately described as denoting the lord, māyā and the world. There is no discrepancy here, because in reality as per Vedanta there is no creation. The creator (r̥), the created (k) and the medium of creation (l̥) – this triad is ultimately the Lord alone.

‘r̥l̥k’ sarvēśvarō māyāṁ manōvr̥ttimadarśayat |
tāmēva vyaktimāśritya jagadrūpamnajījanat ||” (nandikēśvara kāśikā 10)

“The lord denoted by ‘r̥l̥k’ displayed māyā in the form of his mental function and by resorting to her person; he gave birth to the form of the universe”.

Upamanyu in the very first statement (of his commentary on the above verse) itself, erases all the doubts regarding any questions related to defects in Advaita as stated below.

“nanu sarvavēdāntēśu paramēśvara eka iti niśchitatvāt māyāṁ īṁ chitkalāṁ samāśritya jagadrūpōbhūdityuktē advaitahāniḥ syādityāśankāyāmāha – r̥l̥giti ||” (tatvavimarśinī 10)
“If a doubt arises that there would be a defect in the concept of non-duality, when we accept that the Paramēśvara who is described as the only one in Vedanta appeared as one world by depending on the syllable ‘i’ (ikāra), which is the chitkala, it is answered ‘r̥l̥k'”.

He then elaborates which syllable denotes whom and gives a clear picture of the sutra.


“r̥ paramēśvaraḥ l̥ māyākhyāṁ manōvr̥ttiṁ k adarśayat | tāmēvāśritya svēchchayā jagajjanayāmāsētyarthaḥ ||” (tatvavimarśinī 10)
“The lord denoted by ‘r̥-kāra’, his mental tendency called māyā which is denoted by ‘l̥-kāra’, projected (the world) denoted by ‘k-kāra’. By resorting only to her (i.e., māyā) He produced this universe at his will”.

Upamanyu further cites passages from Vedas and mentions that the ‘r̥taṁ’ and ‘satyaṁ’ as stated in Taittiriya Aranyaka (10.23.1) (Mahanarayanopanishad section) denote the lord Shiva alone.

“r̥ paramēśvara ityatra ‘r̥taṁ satyaṁ paraṁ brahma puruṣaṁ kr̥ṣṇapiṇgalaṁ’ iti śrutiḥ pramāṇaṁ | r̥taṁ tatpadārthaṁ paraṁ brahma satyamityarthaḥ | śrutyanaramapi ‘sōkāmayat bahu syāṁ prajāyēya’ iti ||” (tatvavimarśinī 10)
“The Vedic verse (from Taittiriya Aranyaka 10.23.1 which is a part of mahanarayanopanishat), ‘The Supreme-Being is of Black and Red colour denoting r̥ta and satya’ is the evidence for the syllable ‘r̥’ symbolizing the lord. That is, the word r̥ta symbolizes that Supreme Brahman, which is real. Another Vedic verse (from Taittiriya Upa. 2:6:1) also mentions, ‘He desired, ‘Let me multiply into many beings””.

Therefore from this section we learn that there is no duality. Only the lord Shiva alone shines and his consort Maya is non-different from him, and even the entire creation is HE alone. This puts a full stop on all notions of existence of anything / anyone apart from Shiva.


6.3.    The Sutra-III: ए ओ ङ् (e o ṅ) – Creator becomes the Created – Pravēśa Śruti explained – Advaita Firmly Established

Further to the previous section, here also the unity between Maya and Shiva is ascertained. Also, in a bit more detail Upamanyu establishes the clarity over the meanings of creator, created and the medium of creation. Clearly, on one hand it confirms Advaita Vedanta’s authority and on the other hand, it proves there is nothing except Shiva that exists.

“ēōṅ māyēśvarātmaikyavijnānaṁ sarvavastuṣu |
sākśhitvātsarvabhūtānāṁ sa ēka iti niśchitaṁ ||” (nandikēśvara kāśikā 13)

“The syllables ‘ē ōṅ’ denote the knowledge of the unity of the māyā and īśvara. Since He is the witness of all the beings, it is decided that he is One”.

“nanu janayāmāsētyuktē janyajanakabhāvē advaitahāniḥ syāt ityāśankāyāṁ “tat sr̥ṣṭvā | tadēvānuprāviśat | tadanupraviśya |” iti śrutimāśrityāh ‘ēōṅ’ māyēśvarātmaikyēti | janyajanakatvaṁ cha svasyaiva tattadrūpēṇa vivartanāditi nādvaitahāniḥ |” (tatvavimarśinī 13)
“If it is said that ‘He created’, then there would arise the aspects of creator and created; which would lead to defect in the concept of non-dualism. Then it is explained as ‘Having created that, he entered into that thing. Having entered it…” It is said, resorting to the Sruti passage (of taittiriiya upanisad 2:6:1) that ‘ē ōṅ’ symbolizes the union of māyā and īśvara. There is no conflict in the concept of Advaita here, since it is transformation of one’s own self – in the form of ‘created’ and the ‘creator’.”

6.4.    The Sutra-IV: ऐ औ च् (ai au c) – Creation of Thirteen tatwas, fourteen worlds and fourteen chakras

The one non-dual Shiva who is the in-dweller of everything and who pervades and encompasses everything (īśāvāsyamidaṁ sarvaṁ as the īśopanśad states), created the fourteen worlds, fourteen chakras from himself. That is, he himself became all that. It also explains the tatwas (principles) ranging from Shiva to prakriti as being created through the thirteen vowels of the varṇamālā. This again means entire creation is composed of varṇamālā (alphabets).

Nandikesvara explains the aphorism as how the Brahman (shiva) expanded himself into the universe as follows.

“ai auc brahmasvarūpassan jagatsvāntargataṁ tataḥ |
icchayā vistāraṁ kartumāvirāsīt kr̥pānidhiḥ ||” (nandikēśvara kāśikā 14)

“‘ai auc’ being the Brahman encompassing the entire universe within himself, being kind wanted to expand the universe and manifested himself”.

Upamanyu elaborates the above explanation of Nandikesvara and explains how parameshvara became the cause of the universe

“svātmabhūtasya parameśvarasya jagatkāraṇatvaṁ kathāmityāśankāyāmāḥ – ai au jiti |” (tatvavimarśinī 14)
“In the case of doubt as to how can the in-dwelling Paramēśvara be the cause of the universe, it is said – “ai auc””.

He further explains how the thirteen tattwas from Siva to Prakriti are the manifestation of thirteen vowels of Sanskrit viz. – a, ā, i, ī, u, ū, ṛ, ṟ, ḷ, e, ai, o, au.

“…evaṁ tattvasamudāyānāṁ trayōdaśavarṇāt śivādiprakr̥tyantānāmudbhavaḥ | prakr̥tipuruśavivēkamuttaratra kathayiṣyati |” (tatvavimarśinī 14)
“…In this way the group of tattvā-s (principles) from Śiva upto Prakrti emerged from the thirteen syllables (thirteen vowels of saṁskr̥taṁ) “. The differentiating knowledge of prakriti and puruśa would be described later (in subsequent sūtra-s)”

Further he explains how the fourteen vowels (including aṁ, and aḥ in the list of short (hrasva) and long (dIrgha) vowels) which are – a, ā, i, ī, u, ū, r̥, l̥, ē, ai, ō, au, aṁ, aḥ; created the fourteen worlds in braḥmānḍa (universe) and fourteen chakras in pinḍānda (body).

“…atra hrasvadīrghaprabhēdāt chaturdaśasvarāṇāmēva saṁkīrtanaṁ chaturdaśabhuvanachaturdaśachakrachaturdaśaprākāraṇāmiti niṣkarṣaḥ |” (tatvavimarśinī 14)
“…Here through the distinction of short and long vowels only fourteen sūtras (aphorisms) are described; this firmly symbolizes fourteen worlds, fourteen chakras, and fourteen enclosures (of śrichakra). 

This aphorism thus establishes the following two facts:

  1. From Shiva emerged the thirteen principles (tattwas) as the form of the thirteen vowels
  2. From Shiva appeared the fourteen worlds and fourteen chakras as the form of fourteen vowels (including aṁ, and aḥ)


6.5.    The Sutra-V: ह य व र ट् (ha ya va ra ṭ) – Creation of the five gross elements (pancha bhuta)

Nandikēśwara states that the entire set of the five principal elements called as ‘pancha-bhutas’, were manifested from Maheshvara and emphasizes the point that Maheshwara indeed is in the form of all the five elements.

“bhūtapanchakamētasmāt hayavaraṇ mahēśvarāt |
vyōmavāyavyambuvahnyākhyahūtānyāsītsa ēva hi ||” (nandikēśvara kāśikā 15)

“From Mahēśvara through the syllables – ha, ya, va, ra, and ṭ, the pancha-bhutas (i.e., five elements) manifested which are vyoma (space), vayu (air), ambu (water), vahni (fire) etc. He (Mahēśvara) is verily these elements”.

In the below verse he elaborates how from which syllable which element (bhuta) manifested.

“hakārād vyōmasaṁjnasścha yakārād vāyuruchyatē |
rakārādvahni stōyaṁ tu vakārāditi śaivarāt ||” (nandikēśvara kāśikā 16)

“In terms of śaiva jargon, Ether is denoted by the syllable ‘ha’, Air through the syllable ‘ya’, Fire through ‘ra’, and Water through ‘va'”.

Here Upamanyu’s commentary mentions a good observation. He first creates a doubt in our minds by saying that in this aphorism five elements have been told to manifest from Shiva but only four have been mentioned. And immediately he removes our doubt by clarifying that the next aphorism discusses about the fifth bhuta (element) viz. Earth (bhumi) as follows.

“atrāsmin sūtrē bhūtapanchakamāsīdityuktaṁ | tatrākāśādi bhūtachatuṣtayamēvōktaṁ | na pr̥thvītyākānkśāyāṁ yadādhārasvarūpaṁ samastakāraṇamiti sūtrāntarēṇāvōchit – ādhārēti |” (tatvavimarśinī 17a)
“Here in this aphorism is stated, “the set of five principle elements were there”. However, there only four have been discussed, it had been explained through another (next) aphorism starting with the word ‘ādhāra’, that the Earth in the form of a foundation is the cause for everything”.

It is Bhagawan Rudra who exists in the form of all elements of nature and entire creation is also he himself. This is evident from the Sri Rudram verse cited below.

“yō rudrō agnau yō apsu ya ōṣadhiṣu |
yō rudrō viśva bhuvanāvivēśa tasmai rudrāya namō astu |” (Yajurveda 5:5:9:i)

“The Rudra in the fire, in the waters, in the plants, the Rudra that hath entered all beings, to that Rudra be homage”

This section of ‘kāsikā’ which talks about the creation of Pancha Bhutas by Shiva is also clearly described in Vedas. Satapatha Brahmana as well as Kaushitaki Brahmana give the details. Here I am quoting from Satapatha Brahmana.

It is Mahadeva who exists not only in the form of pancha bhutas alone, but additionally three more entities viz., – Indra, Moon and Sun representing – ego, mind and intellect! These are the eight forms of Shiva famed as “astamūrti”. Here we would see references for the four elements discussed in this section and the evidence for Earth we would discuss in next section where it makes more sense to cite.

Agni manifested from Lord Rudra:

“tamabravīdrudro ‘sīti | tadyadasya tannāmākarodagnistadrūpamabhavadagniva rudro
yadarodīttasmādrudraḥ so ‘bravījjyāyānvā ato ‘smi dhehyeva me nāmeti |” (Shatapatha Brahmana 6:1:3:10)
“He said to him, ‘Thou art Rudra.’ And because he gave him that name, Agni became suchlike (or, that form), for Rudra is Agni: because he cried (rud) therefore he is Rudra. He said, ‘Surely, I am mightier than that: give me yet a name!’”

Waters manifested from Lord Rudra:

“tamabravītsarvo ‘sīti | tadyadasya tannāmākarodāpastadrūpamabhavannāpo vai sarvo
‘dbhyo hīdaṃ sarvaṃ jāyate so ‘bravījjyāyānvā ato ‘smi dhehyeva me nāmeti |” (Shatapatha Brahmana 6:1:3:11)

“He said to him, ‘Thou art Sarva.’ And because he gave him that name, the waters became suchlike, for Sarva is the waters, inasmuch as from the water everything (sarva) here is produced. He said, ‘Surely, I am mightier than that: give me yet a name!’”

Vayu (Air) manifested from Lord Rudra:

“tamabravīdugro ‘sīti | tadyadasya tannāmākarodvāyustadrūpambhavadvāyurvā
ugrastasmādyadā balavadvāyugro vātotyāhuḥ so ‘bravījjyāyānvā ato ‘smi dhehyeva me
nāmeti |” (Shatapatha Brahmana 6:1:3:13)

“He said to him, ‘Thou art Ugra.’ And because he gave him that name, Vâyu (the wind) became suchlike, for Ugra is Vâyu: hence when it blows strongly, they say ‘Ugra is blowing.’ He said, ‘Surely, I am mightier than that: give me yet a name!’”

Parjanya (the cloud which represents Sky) manifested from Lord Rudra:

“tamabravīdbhavo ‘sīti | tadyadasya tannāmākarotparjanyastadrūpamabhavatparjanyo
vai bhavaḥ parjanyāddhīdaṃ sarvam bhavati so ‘bravījjyāyānvā ato ‘smi dhehyeva me
nāmeti |” (Shatapatha Brahmana 6:1:3:15)

“He said to him, ‘Thou art Bhava.’ And because he gave him that name, ‘Parganya’ became suchlike; for Bhava is Parganya, since everything here comes (bhavati) from the cloud (read ‘Sky’). He said, ‘Surely, I am mightier than that: give me yet a name!’”

After creating those forms Bhagawan Rudra entered into them one by one and then disappeared from his original form. All were seeing only these manifestations of the Supreme Being.

“’agniriti so ‘yaṃ kumāro rūpāṇyanuprāviśanna vā agniṃ kumāramiva paśyantyetānyevāsya rūpāṇi
paśyantyetāni hi rūpāṇyanuprāviśat |” (Shatapatha Brahmana 6:1:3:19)

“That boy entered into the forms one after another; for one never sees him as a mere boy (kumâra), but one sees those forms of his, for he assumed those forms one after another”.


6.6.    The Sutra-VI: ल ण् (la ṇ) – Creation of the pancha bhuta continued

Nandikēśwara explaining the 6th Sutra states how Earth is the foundation of creation.

“ādhārabhūtaṁ bhūtānāmannādīnāṁ cha kāraṇaṁ |
annādrētastatō jīvaḥ kāraṇatvāt laṇ īritaṁ ||” (nandikēśvara kāśikā 17)
“Being the foundation of all elements, it is the cause of food; from food semen (gets created) and from that the individual self (jīvaḥ) (takes birth). Because of its nature of being the cause, it is said, ‘laṇ'”.

Upamanyu in his commentary elaborates and details how Earth is not only the basis for creation of creatures but also acts as the basis for sustenance.

“bhūtānāṁ prāṇijātānāṁ udbhijja-jarāyujāṇḍajādīnāṁ pradhānakāraṇatvāt ādhārabhūtaṁ pr̥thvī punaśchānnapānādīnāṁ kāraṇaṁ | ‘annadrēta’ iti nyāyāt ētēṣāṁ kāraṇatvāt pratyēkatvēna laṇityudīritamityarthaḥ |” (tatvavimarśinī 17b)
“The Earth is the foundation and primordial cause of all the creatures viz. plants (udbhijja i.e., earth born), insects (sweat born), womb born (jarāyujaṁ), and egg-born (anḍajaṁ) and is also the cause for food and water etc. As per the statement ‘the semen is from the food’ and also being the cause behind all these it is said ‘laṇ’ denotes (all creatures) individually”.

Satapatha Brahmana also states that Earth is a manifestation of Bhagawan Rudra alone.

Plants (represents Earth) manifested from Lord Rudra:

“tamabravītpaśupatirasīti | tadyadasya tannāmākarodoṣadhayastadrūpamabhavannoṣadhayo vai paśupatistasmādyadā paśava oṣadhīrlabhante ‘tha patīyanti so ‘bravījjyāyānvā ato ‘smi dhehyeva me nāmeti |” (Shatapatha Brahmana 6:1:3:12)
“He said to him, ‘Thou art Pasupati.’ And because he gave him that name, the plants became suchlike, for Pasupati is the plants: hence when cattle (pasu) get plants, then they play the master (patîy). He said, ‘Surely, I am mightier than that: give me yet a name!’”

6.7.    The Sutra-VII: ञ म ङ ण न म् (ña ma ṅa ṇa na m) – Creation of tanmātrā-s

Nandikeśvara decodes the seventh Maheśvara Sūtra and explains the secrets of manifestation of tanmātra-s from the varṇamāla form of the Supreme Shiva.

“śabdasparśau rūparasagandhāścha ñamaṅaṇanaṁ |
vyōmādīnāṁ guṇā hyētē jānīyāt sarvavastuṣū ||” (nandikēśvara kāśikā 18)

“Sound, Touch, Form, taste, and smell are the ‘ña ma ṅa ṇa na m’; one should know these as the qualities of the elements Ether, etc., in all objects.


6.8.    The Sutra-VIII, IX:  झ भ ञ् (jha bha ñ) + घ ढ ध ष् (gha ḍha dha ṣ) – Creation of karmēndriyā-s (Motor organs)

Nandikeśvara explains the eighth and ninth aphorisms of Maheśvara and clarifies how the motor organs get manifested from the seed letters of varṇamālā.

“vākpāṇī cha jhabhaññāsīdvirādrūpaṁ chidātmanaḥ |
sarvajantuṣu vijnēyaṁ sthāvarādau na vidyatē || 19
vargāṇāṁ turyavarṇā yē karmēndriya gaṇā hi tē |
ghaḍhadhaṣ sarvabhūtānāṁ pādapāyū upasthakaḥ ||” (nandikēśvara kāśikā 19-20)

“‘jhabhajñ’ is the speech and hands of the virāt form (cosmic form), the self, of the nature of consciousness; it is to be known as existing in all beings except the immobile creation (since they come under the category of anātmā, at transactional or relative order of reality) (19). Those syllables which are the fourth letters in their respective collections (i.e, the letters gha, dha, ḍha, ṣha are the fourth letters of ka, ṭa, ta and sa groups of alphabets) manifest as the motor organs. gha-ḍha-dhaṣ are the feet, anus, and the reproductive organ of all creatures (20)”.

To those verses, Upamanyu’s commentary emphasizes that all these manifest from Śiva as follows.

“chidrūpasya śivasya prāṇijātasya cha jhakārabhakārau sthāvarādiṣu vinā virādrūpaṁ vijnēyamityarthaḥ | atha kramaprāptaṁ pādādikamāha – ghaḍhadhaśiti | paramārthataḥ paramaśivasakāśāt imē karmēndriyagaṇāḥ sarvajantūnāṁ pādapāyūpasthā ghaḍhadhavarṇāḥ jātā ityarthaḥ |” (tatvavimarśinī 19-20)
“The syllables ‘jha-kāra’ and ‘bha-kāra’ are to be known as the cosmic form (virādrūpa) of Śiva, the consciousness embodied manifest in all the beings except the immobile (anātmān type in relative sense). Then the author explains in sequence the foot etc. organs as ‘gha-ḍha-dha’. These motor organs viz. feet, anus, and the reproductory organ of all the beings represented by the syllables ‘gha-ḍha-dha’ are in fact born out of lord Śiva”.


6.9.    The Sutra-X: ज ब ग ड द श् (ja ba ga ḍa da ś) – Creation of jnānēndriyā-s (Sense organs)

In the tenth aphorism Nandikeśvara explains how the sense organs get manifested from the seed letters of varṇamālā.

“śrōtratvaṅnayana ghrāṇajihvādīndriyapañchakaṁ |
sarvēṣāmapi jantūnāmīritaṁ jabagaḍadaś || (nandikēśvara kāśikā 21)
“The syllables ‘ja-ba-ga-ḍa-daś’ is said to be the five sense organs viz. Ears, Skin, Eyes, Nose, and Tongue- of all the beings”.

To that Upamanyiu explains that the sense organs are created from the middle letters of each of the groups of the vargā-s of varṇamālā (i.e., ja, bha, ga, ḍa, da are the middle letters of cha-group, pa-group, ka-group, ṭa-group, ta-group respectively).

“”varṇānāṁ madhyavarṇōtthōjnānēndriyagaṇaḥ smr̥taḥ |” iti vacanaśāsanāt jabagaḍavarṇasaṁbhavō jnānēndriyagaṇaḥ iti sarvatra sarvēṣāṁ prāṇijātānāmētē varṇāḥ jnānēndriyāṇāṁ janakā iti vā vijnēyamityarthaḥ |” (tatvavimarśinī 21)
“As it is instructed through the statement that “the group of sense organs is born of the middle syllables of the vargas, it is empirical that the group of sense organs is produced by the syllables “ja, bha, ga, ḍa, daś”; it is to be noted that these syllables are the originators of the sense organs of all”.


6.10.    The Sutra-XI: ख फ छ ठ थ च ट त व् (kha pha cha ṭha tha ca ṭa ta v) – Creation of Mind, Intellect, Ego, and Vital-Airs

Here in the Eleventh aphorism, Nandikeśvara explains the emergence of five prāṇā-s, Mind (manas), Intellect (buddhi) and Ego (ahaṁkāra) as follows.

prāṇādi pañchakaṁ chaiva manōbuddhirahaṁkr̥tiḥ |
babhūva karaṇatvēna khaphachaṭhathacaṭatav ||” (nandikēśvara kāśikā 22)

“‘kha, pha, chha, ṭha, tha, ca, ṭa, tav’ became instrumental in the evolution of the set of five airs (prāṇā etc.) and mind, intellect and ego”.

“vargadvitīyavarṇōtthāḥ prāṇādyāḥ pañcha vāyavaḥ |
madhyavargatrayājjātā antaḥkaraṇavr̥ttayaḥ ||” (nandikēśvara kāśikā 23)
“The five airs beginning with prāṇā arise out of the second syllables in each group and the internal organs emerge from the first syllables of the three interim groups (such as ca, ṭa and ta)”.

Actually there is only one Prana which divides itself in multiple ways. And based on the classification, they are sometimes said to be five pranas, sometimes as seven pranas, sometimes nine, sometimes as ten, sometimes as eleven, twelve, and thirteen also. There are references in Upanishads for all these various counts. They are not contradictory rather; these differences in counts are due to differences in classification.

Pranas are the children of Atman. Pranas are called as Rudras in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (III:9:04), and Rig Veda clarifies that rudras (also called as Maruts) are the children of Bhagawan Rudra (Shiva). This implies, Rudra is the Atman (Brahman) from whom Pranas emerge out.

“jyeṣṭhāso akaniṣṭhāsa ete sam bhrātaro vāvṛdhuḥ saubhaghāya |
yuvā pitā svapā rudra eṣāṃ sudughā pṛśniḥ sudinā marudbhyaḥ ||” (Rig Veda 5:60:5)

“As brothers, no one being the eldest or the youngest, they have grown up together to happiness. Young is their clever father Rudra, flowing with plenty milk is Prisni (their mother), always kind to the Maruts”.

[Note: – The immediate next verse of this hymn identifies Maruts with Rudras, so there should be no confusion with the identities between Maruts and Rudras]

Further Satapatha Brahmana details out that Indra (representing Ego), Moon (representing manas) and Sun (representing Intellect) are all the manifestations of Bhagawan Rudra alone as cited below.

Asani (Lightening which represents Indra who represents Ego) manifested from Lord Rudra:

“tamabravīdaśanirasīti | tadyadasya tannāmākarodvidyuttadrūpamabhavadvidyudvā
aśanistasmādyaṃ vidyuddhantyaśanirabadhīdityāhuḥ so ‘bravījjyāyānvā ato ‘smi
dhehyeva me nāmeti |” (Shatapatha Brahmana 6:1:3:14)

“He said to him, ‘Thou art Asani.’ And because he gave him that name, the lightning became suchlike, for Asani is the lightning: hence they say of him whom the lightning strikes, ‘Asani has smitten him.’ He said, ‘Surely, I am mightier than that: give me yet a name!’”

Note that here Asani means ‘lightening’ but it actually means Indra. Here in Shatapatha Brahmana it is not explicit but the inner meaning is the same. In Kaushitaki Brahmana (6:3:41) it is clearly mentioned that Asani is Indra. Vedas are not as literal as they sound sometimes, and hence we need to understand the implied meaning in such circumstances.

Moon (manas or Mind) manifested from Lord Rudra:

“tamabravīnmahāndevo ‘sīti | tadyadasya tannāmākaroccandramāstadrūpamabhavatprajāpatirvai candramāḥ prajāpatirvai mahāndevaḥ so ‘bravījjyāyānvā ato ‘smi dhehyeva me nāmeti |” (Shatapatha Brahmana 6:1:3:16)
“He said to him, ‘Thou art Mahân Devah (the Great God).’ And because he gave him that name, the moon became suchlike, for the moon is Pragâpati, and Pragâpati is the Great God. He said, ‘Surely, I am mightier than that: give me yet a name!’”

Sun (Intellect) manifested from Lord Rudra:

“tamabravīdīśāno ‘sīti | tadyadasya tannāmākarodādityastadrūpamabhavadādityo vā
īśāna ādityo hyasya sarvasyeṣṭe so ‘bravīdetāvānvā asmi mā metaḥ paro nāma dhā iti |” (Shatapatha Brahmana 6:1:3:17)

“He said to him, ‘Thou art Îsâna (the Ruler).’ And because he gave him that name, the Sun (Aditya) became suchlike, for Îsâna is the Sun, since the Sun rules over this All. He said, ‘So great indeed I am: give me no other name after that!’”

And then Rudra entered one after another these forms and remained in this forms.

“’agniriti so ‘yaṃ kumāro rūpāṇyanuprāviśanna vā agniṃ kumāramiva paśyantyetānyevāsya rūpāṇi
paśyantyetāni hi rūpāṇyanuprāviśat |” (Shatapatha Brahmana 6:1:3:19)

“That boy entered into the forms one after another; for one never sees him as a mere boy (kumâra), but one sees those forms of his, for he assumed those forms one after another”.

So, this section also concludes that the Pranas, Mind, Intellect, and Ego are all the manifestations of Bhagawan Shiva alone.


6.11.    The Sutra-XII: क प य् (ka pa y) – Manifestation of Puruṣa (jīva) and Prakritī (matter)

Here in the Twelfth aphorism, Nandikeśvara explains the emergence of individual self (Puruṣa i.e., jīva) and the matter (Prakr̥ti) as follows.

“prakr̥tiṁ puruṣaṁ chaiva sarvēṣāmēva sammataṁ |
saṁbhūtamiti vijnēyaṁ kapābhyāmiti niśchitaṁ ||” (nandikēśvara kāśikā 24)

“It is to be learnt that the view asserting the Prakr̥ti and Puruṣa (individual self) as born of ‘ka’ and ‘pa’ is accepted by all”.

Individual self is verily Shiva alone acting under the blanket of ignorance and eating the fruits of karmas. There is however no difference between the individual self and Shiva. We have the following references to denote the identity of individual self with Shiva.

“dēhō dēvālayah prōktaḥ sa jīvaḥ kēvalaḥ śivaḥ |
tyajēdaj~nānanirmālyan sōhaṁbhāvēna pūjayēt |” (Maitreyi Upanishad II:1)

“The body is said to be the temple; the individual Self (Jiva) is Shiva alone. One should discard the faded flowers in the form of spiritual ignorance and worship God (with the conviction) ‘He and I are one’.

“namō ataryāya chaladyāya cha |”(Yajurveda  IV:5:8:o)
“Salutations to Him (Rudra) who is born again and again in Samsara and who tastes the fruits of Karmas in the form of Jiva”.

“pashupatirahaṁkārāviṣṭaḥ  saṁsārī jīvaḥ sa ēva pashuḥ |” (Jabali Upanishad 1.2)
“Jeeva (being) is nothing but Shiva (the Lord of all beings – Pasupathi) himself who is acting the role of egoism”.

Even Kaivalyopanishad tells us the same. After the three citadels of ignorance get destroyed by the knowledge (arrow of Shiva), Jiva realizes that he is Shiva and is unbound, limitless, and of sat-chit-ananda swarupa.


6.12.    The Sutra-XIII: श ष स र् (śa ṣa sa r) – Emergence of qualities viz. sattva, rajas, tamō guṇā-s

The Thirteenth aphorism explains the creation of the three qualities viz. Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. They originate from the varṇamālā form of Lord Shiva and again that Mahādēva alone employs himself in his various tasks by wearing those qualities on himself. Entire dynamics of creation which are supported by these three gunas are the play of Mahādēva!

“sattvarajastama iti guṇānāṁ tritayaṁ purā |
samāśritya mahādēvaḥ śaṣasarkrīdati prabhuḥ ||” (nandikēśvara kāśikā 25)
“Having resorted long ago, to the three qualities viz. Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, which evolved from ‘śa, ṣa, and sar’, Lord Mahādēva plays”.

“śakārādrajasō bhūtiḥ ṣakārāttamasō bhavaḥ |
sakārātsattvasaṁbhūtiriti triguṇasaṁbhavaḥ ||” (nandikēśvara kāśikā 26)

“The evolution of the three qualities is thus – Rajas arises from ‘śa’; Tamas originates from ‘ṣa’; and Sattva is born of ‘sa'”.


6.13.    The Sutra-XIV: ह ल् (ha l) – Represents the Supreme Soul i.e, Shiva

“tattvātītaḥ paraḥ sākśhī sarvānugrahavigrahaḥ |
ahamātmā parō hal syāditi śambhustirōdadhē ||” (nandikēśvara kāśikā 27)

“The Lord Śambhu disappeared stating, “Transcending the principles, I am the Supreme, I am the Witness, I am the Embodiment of Grace, and I am the Supreme Soul represented by the term ‘hal'”.

Upamanyu elaborates this verse as follows. He says that Shiva is beyond all these tatwas and is the Supreme Brahman. Despite being the originator of all the elements of the universe, he is untouched by them, he is above and beyond them.

“spaṣtaṁ | sarvatattvajanakaḥ svayaṁ tattvātīta iti jnāpanārthamētatsūtraṁ chakārētyāḥ tattvātīta iti |” (tatvavimarśinī 27a)
“It is clear! To emphasize the fact that despite being the originator of all the tattvas (principles), He (Shiva) is beyond them! He has composed this aphorism (which is explained) through tattvātīta, etc.”.

“sarvānugrahavigrahaḥ sākśī tattvātītaḥ hal syāt iti ḍhakkāninādavyājēna sarvēṣāṁ janānāṁ tattvamupadiśan tirōdadhē ityarthaḥ | hakāraḥ śivavarṇaḥ syāditi śaivāgamasmr̥tiḥ |” (tatvavimarśinī 27b)
“Imparting the Supreme knowledge to all that, He is the embodiment of abundant Grace, the Witness, the one who has transcended the principles and is ‘hal’ (the Supreme lord), under the pretext of the sound of the hand-drum, He disappeared! The texts on śaivāgama describe ‘ha’ as the syllable of ‘Śiva'”.

This final aphorism’s meaning should shut the mouths of all those anti-shiva schools of thought which maliciously (and purposely) call Shiva as a demi-god or a jiva!

A Jiva cannot create tattvas, a Jiva cannot create universe, a Jiva cannot manifest five elements, vital airs, and mind, intellect and ego, and a jiva cannot transcend all the tattvas and be called as the Supreme Being. But here the words of Shiva as decoded by Nandi and Upamanyu, unanimously state the supremacy of lord Shiva and say that he is the Brahman, the Atman, the originator of all tattvas but one who transcends all of them and is the Supreme Lord of all!


7.    Kama Sukta – Atharvana Veda IX:II – An Analysis


All the various seers (r̥ṣīs) of Vedas had uniformly realized the one fact that – all the Vedic hymns are actually the hymns for Rudra alone. They realized that it is Bhagawan Rudra alone who adorns various aspects for various tasks of the universe. This is why they passed those Vedic hymns to us by stating the “dēvatā (deity)” of the hymns under different names. For ignorant people, they look as hymns to different gods, but one who has discerning  eyes, would be able to understand the “r̥ṣī-hr̥daya” i.e., the heart of the seer.

Those seers know that it is Bhagawan Rudra alone whose various attributes are sung in Vedas. For instance –

Because his “desire” created the universe, he is the primordial god of desire, hence he is lord “Kāma”.

  • Because he is the Anger that keeps a control over the administration of the universe, he is lord “Manyu”.
  • Because all the created beings (including all the gods) are created by him and all of them are his “paśus”, and he is the sole lord of all, he is called “Paśupati”.
  • Because he is the one who exists as the fire in three planes – viz. – beyond the universe as the infinite fire of consciousness, within the universe he exists as the three-fold types of fires (grāhapatyā etc.) as a carrier of the sacrificial libations to the recepients; and within the microcosm (bodies of Jivas) as the gastric fire (vaisvānara) – Hence he is the one who is called as “Agni”.
  • Because he pervades everything as their lifeforce, he is the “Prana”, and so on so forth…

Everything is Bhagawan Rudra and all names point at one or other of his various attributes, or at his tasks. This is why the hymn “Kāma-Sūkta” is also addressed to Bhagawan Rudra in his aspect of the primordial god of desire. Although this hymn does not name ‘Rudra’ directly anywhere, yet, there are umpteen no. of clearcut indications from which we would know the reality. These hidden aspects have been brought out in my commentary. 

Now, let’s proceed with the analysis of the hymn.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 1

“sapatnahánam r̥ṣabháṃ ghr̥téna kā́maṃ śikṣāmi havíṣā́jyena
nīcáiḥ sapátnān máma padaya tvám abhíṣṭuto mahatā́ vīryèṇa |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:1)

“To the bull that slays the enemy, to Kâma, do I render tribute with ghee, oblation, and (sacrificial) melted butter. Do thou, since thou hast been extolled, hurl down my enemies by thy great might!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Here the hymn is praising Kāma calling him as the slayer of enemies and then offers sacrificial oblations to him and then seeks his protection and asks him to slay down our (the requester’s) enemies.

As this entire hymn is praise to Rudra under his name ‘Kāma’ because he is the primordial desire that resulted in manifestation of this entire universe; here the hymn is praising Rudra’s attribute of slaying the enemies. This is very much the same as what Yajurveda’s Sri-Rudram hails him as! Rudram says:

“namō hantrē ca |” (Yajurveda IV:5:8:f)
“Salutations to the slayer of enemy”.

The way Yajurveda propitiates Rudra by saluting his various attributes in Rudram and pleases him and then once he is found to be pleased, it seeks various boons in Chamakam. The same method of eulogy can be seen in this verse of ‘Kāma-sūkta’. Relate this sukta’s verse with the below verse from Sri Rudram to understand the sameness in euology and the request being placed by the singer of the hymn.

“stuhi śrutaṁ gartasadaṁ yuvānaṁ mṛgaṁ na bhīmamupahatnumugram |
mṛḍā jaritrē rudrastavānō anyantē asmannivapantu sēnāḥ ||” (Yajurveda IV:5:10:h)

“Praise the famous youth, mounted on the chariot seat, Dread and destructive like a fierce wild beast; Being praised, O Rudra, be merciful to the singer; Let thy missiles smite down (our enemies who are) another than us”.

With this verse being clear to us, let’s proceed to analyse the next one.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 2

“yán me mánaso ná priyáṃ cákṣuṣo yán me bábhasti nā́bhinándati
tád duṣvápnyaṃ práti muñcāmi sapátne kā́maṃ stutvód aháṃ bhideyam |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:2)

“The evil dream which is offensive to my mind and eye, which harasses and does not please me, that (dream) do I let loose upon my enemy. Having praised Kâma may I prevail!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

This verse is also in the same tune as that of the verse no.1. Hence it doesn’t need to be analyzed separately. Please refer to commentary on the Kāma-sūkta verse no. 1.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 3

“duṣvápnyaṃ kāma duritáṃ ca kamāprajástām asvagátām ávartim
ugrá ī́śānaḥ práti muñca tásmin yó asmábhyam aṃhūraṇā́ cíkitsāt |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:3)

“Evil dreams, O Kâma, and misfortune, O Kâma, childlessness, ill-health, and trouble, do thou O ugrá O ī́śānaḥ , let loose upon him that designs evil against us!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

This verse is again a great testimony to the fact that this hymn is addressed to Bhagawan Rudra who is being called as Kāma because he is the primordial god of desire. Notice the names with which this hymn is calling Bhagawan Kāma. It addresses him as ‘ugrá and ‘ī́śānaḥ’. These are the direct names of Bhagawan Rudra only.

Rig Veda clearly says Rudra as

“īśānādasya bhuvanasya |” (Rig Veda 2:33:9)
“[O Rudra thou art] Ishana i.e., Lord of all the worlds”.

Taittariya Aranyaka of Yajurveda says:

“īśānaḥ sarvavidyānāmīśvaraḥ sarvabhūtānām |
braḥmādhipatirbraḥmaṇō’dhipatirbraḥmā śivō mē astu sadāśivōṁ ||” (Taittariya Aranyaka 10:21:1)

“May the Supreme who is the ruler of all knowledge, ishana, controller of all created beings, the preserver of the Vedas and the one overlord of Hiranyagarbha, be benign to me. That Sadasiva described thus and denoted by Pranava(OM)”.

Kauṣītakī Brāḥmaṇa clearly says that Bhagawan Rudra’s names are ‘īśāna’ and ‘ugra’ as cited below.

“sa.vai.tvam.ity.abravīd.īśāna.eva.iti |” (Kauṣītakī Brāḥmaṇa 6:3:29)
“Prajapathi said to Rudra ‘Thou art īśāna'”.

“sa.vai.tvam.ity.abravīd.ugra.eva.deva.iti |” (Kauṣītakī Brāḥmaṇa 6:2:37)
“Prajapathi said to Rudra ‘Thou art ugra'”.

With this analysis it is pretty clear how beautifully Atharva Veda has recognized the Kāmēśvara aspect of Bhagawan Rudra. Let’s proceed with next verse now.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 4

“nudásva kāma prá ṇudasva kāmā́vartiṃ yantu máma yé sapátnāḥ
téṣāṃ nuttā́nām adhamā́ támāṃsy ágne vā́stūni nír daha tvám |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:4)

“Drive them away, O Kâma, thrust them away, O Kâma; may they that are my enemies fall into trouble! When they have been driven into the nethermost darkness, do thou, O Agni, burn up their dwelling- places!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Here the eulogy regarding driving troubles of ourselves into the court of our enemies is almost same as already seen in verse no.1 of Kāma-sūkta. However let’s note here carefully one thing – this verse addresses Lord Kāma as ‘Agni’. This is again a name with which Vedas “actually” call Bhagawan Rudra. Let’s see the references now.

“tadvā agnaya iti kriyate | agnirvai sa devastasyaitāni nāmāni śarva iti yathā prācyā
ācakṣate bhava iti yathā bāhīkāḥ paśūnām patī rudro ‘gniriti tānyasyāśāntānyevetarāṇi nāmānyagnirityeva śāntatamaṃ tasmādagnaya iti kriyate sviṣṭakṛta iti |” (Shatapatha Brahmana 1:7:3:8)

“That (offering) then is certainly made to ‘Agni,’ for, indeed, Agni is that god;–his are these names: Sarva, as the eastern people call him; Bhava, as the Bâhîkas (call him); Pasûnâm pati (‘lord of beasts,’ Pasupati), Rudra, Agni . The name Agni, doubtless, is the most auspicious (sânta), and the other names of his are violent: hence it is offered to (him under the name of) ‘Agni,’ and to (him as) the Svishtakrit”.

Further Yajurveda in multipl places makes the below statement. eI’m just quoting one reference for evidence.

“rudro vā ēṣa yad agnis |” (Yajurveda V:5:7)
“He who is called as Agni is verily Rudra”.

So, it is clear here once again that Kāma-sūkta is praising Bhagawan Rudra as Agni.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 5

“sā́ te kāma duhitā́ dhenúr ucyate yā́m āhúr vā́caṃ kaváyo virā́jam
táyā sapátnān pári vr̥ṅgdhi yé máma páry enān prāṇáḥ paśávo jī́vanaṃ vr̥ṇaktu |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:5)

“That milch-cow, O Kâma, whom the sages call Vâk Virâg (ruling, or resplendent speech), is said to be thy daughter; by her drive away my enemies; breath, cattle, and life shall give them a wide birth!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

The fourth pāda (part) of Veda Purusha Rudra manifests as the world, which is nothing but the fourth part of his Vâk. This fourth division of Vāk which emanates from Rudra is called as ‘vaikharī-vāk’. The other three stages of vāk remain hidden inside. Although Vāk and Purusha-Rudra are identical and she is his consort, since a part of her takes birth from Rudra – here this hymn named it as the ‘daughter’ of Kāma (Rudra).

Vāk is called as milch-cow here because she pours her milk (of divine knowledge) to the one who understands the esoteric secrets of her divine nature.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 6

“kā́masyéndrasya váruṇasya rā́jño víṣṇor bálena savitúḥ savéna
agnér hotréṇa prá ṇude sapátnāṃ chambī́va nā́vam udakéṣu dhī́raḥ |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:6)

“With the strength of Kâma, Indra, king Varuna, and Vishnu, with the impelling force (savena) of Savitar, with the priestly power of Agni, do I drive forth the enemies, as a skilled steersman a boat”.

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

As like as Sri Rudram hymn in its Chamakam section prays to various deities such as – Indira, Agni, Vishnu, Saraswati etc., this verse is also invoking Indra, Varuna, Savitar, and Agni alongside Kāma for the same request of driving away of the enemies of the singer.

Even though Sri Rudram names so many gods apparently invoking them for seeking various boons, people do not understand that all those names are the names of Bhagawan Rudra. It is Bhagawan Rudra who in several of his functions assumes various names and forms. For the sake of administration of world, he assumes the form and name as Indra. For protecting the universe he becomes the all-pervading Vishnu. As the presiding deity of waters and rains he becomes Varuna. As the god illuminating the universe with light and heat he becomes Savitar (Sun). As the fire within the body as well as the threefold types of fire (grāhapatyāgni etc.) he assumes the name and form of Agni.

Vedic seers who knew the ultimate truth that every thing is bhagawan Rudra alone [as voiced by Taittiriya Aranyaka (10:24:1) of Yajurveda in the words as – “sarvo vai rudrastasmai rudraya namo astu” which means, “All this is verily Rudra. To Rudra we offer our salutations” they revealed the hymns in various names, but addressing the same divinity – that is – Bhagawan Mahadeva! Let’s see how Rudra is all these gods.

Indra is none other than Rudra as stated by Kauṣītakī Brāḥmaṇa.

“sa.vai.tvam.ity.abravīd.aśanir.eva.iti yad.aśanir.indras.tena |” (Kauṣītakī Brāḥmaṇa 6:3:41)
“Prajapathi said to Rudra ‘Thou art Asani’ ; for Asani is Indra”.

Further Atharva Veda in a hymn dedicated to Rudra under his names as ‘Bhava and Sarva’ it directly says that Rudra is the one who slayed vritra. Usually we hear Indra as the slayer of Vritra, but that is all due to ignorance of the fact that entire set of Vedas sing the glories of Bhagawan Rudra alone under various names.

“sahasrākṣáu vr̥trahánā huveháṃ dūrégavyūtī stuvánn emy ugráu |” (Atharva Veda IV: 28:3)
“[O Bhava, O Sarva, Thou] the thousand-eyed slayer of Vritra, I invoke you, still praising you the strong (ugra), of wide dominion”.

We already know Agni is the auspicious name by which Vedas call Rudra. With that knowledge, let’s look at the below verse which says it is Agni (Rudra) who is in the form of Vishnu.

“tvamaghna indro vṛṣabhaḥ satāmasi tvaṃ viṣṇururughāyo namasyaḥ
tvaṃ brahmā rayivid brahmaṇas pate tvaṃ vidhartaḥsacase purandhyā ” (RV 2.1.3)

“Hero of Heroes, Agni! Thou art Indra, thou art Viṣṇu of the Mighty Stride, adorable: Thou, Brahmaṇaspati, the Brahman finding wealth: thou, O Sustainer, with thy wisdom tendest us”.

Let’s see a verse from Rig Veda addressed to Sun God (Savitar). Savitar’s rays have filled the three worlds as it says.

“ūrdhvaṃ ketuṃ savitā devo aśrej jyotir viśvasmai bhuvanāya kṛṇvan |
āprā dyāvāpṛthivī antarikṣaṃ vi sūryo raśmibhiś cekitānaḥ |” (RV 4:14:2)
“Producing light for all the world of creatures, God Savitar hath raised aloft his banner. Making his presence known by sunbeams, Sūrya hath filled the firmament and earth and heaven”.

In the above verse – ‘sūryo raśmi’ literally means – ‘rays of the sun’. But this verse has an esoteric meaning in reality. There the rays of the sun mean the all pervading Atman (Soul) which creates life on earth (as creatures), mid-air (as aerial creatures, divine beings in intermediary regions and microbial lives) and the heaven (as gods). This concept has been stated in a very direct manner in another verse of Rig Veda addressing Surya as follows.

“āprā dyāvāpṛthivī antarikṣaṃ sūrya ātmā jaghatastasthuṣaśca |” (RV 1:115:1)
“Surya (the sun), the soul (Atman) of all movable and immovable things, pervades the heaven, earth, and the intermediate regions”.

But here Vedas as usual speak in a very indirect manner. Here while praising Sun as doing all these tasks, Vedas actually address their prayers to Rudra only since it is Lord Rudra who pervades the three regions viz. Earth, Atmosphere and Sky. Rudra pervades as the indwelling Atman in all the mobile and immobile creation. He is the lord of entire Jagat. The following verses clarify that the ‘Surya’ and ‘Savitar’ of above verses actually is ‘Shiva’.

“bhavó divó bhavá īśe pr̥thivyā́ bhavá ā́ papra urv àntárikṣam |
tásyai námo yatamásyāṃ diśī̀táḥ |” (Atharva Veda 4:28:27)

“Bhava rules the sky, Bhava rules the earth; Bhava has filled the broad: atmosphere. Reverence be to him in whatever direction from here (he abides)!”

So, from above verse we learn that in every direction Bhava abides (dwells). Bhava dwells in the three regions filling them and remains as the sole ruler of everything thereon. Atharva Veda further supports this point and extends it saying:

“táva cátasraḥ pradíśas táva dyáus táva pr̥thivī́ távedám ugrorv àntárikṣam
távedáṃ sárvam ātmanvád yát prāṇát pr̥thivī́m ánu ” (Atharva Veda 4:28:10)
“Thine, O strong god (ugra), are the four regions, thine, the sky, thine, the earth, and thine this broad atmosphere; thine is this all that has a spirit and has breath upon the earth”.

Now, we are left with the god of waters, Varuna. The element as well as the presiding deity of the element both remains same. Therefore, here we can see that waters (hence varuna) are Bhagawan Rudra’s form only.

“tamabravītsarvo ‘sīti | tadyadasya tannāmākarodāpastadrūpamabhavannāpo vai sarvo
‘dbhyo hīdaṃ sarvaṃ jāyate |” (Sathapatha Brahmana VI:1:3:11)

“‘Thou art Sarva.’ And because he gave him that name, the waters became suchlike, for Sarva is the waters, in as much as from the water everything (sarva) here is produced.”

So, we can now conclude this section with the understanding that this hymn is addressing Bhagawan Rudra under his various names viz., Agni, Indra, Varuna, Vishnu, Savitar and Kama.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 7

“ádhyakṣo vājī́ máma kā́ma ugráḥ kr̥ṇótu máhyam asapatnám evá
víśve devā́ máma nātháṃ bhavantu sárve devā́ hávam ā́ yantu ma imám |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:7)
“My sturdy guardian, ugráḥ Kâma, shall procure for me full freedom from enmity! May the gods collectively be my refuge, may all the gods respond to this, my invocation!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Here once again this verse is addressing ugra-kāma which is another epithet to call Rudra as evident from below verse from Kauṣītakī Brāḥmaṇa.

“sa.vai.tvam.ity.abravīd.ugra.eva.deva.iti |” (Kauṣītakī Brāḥmaṇa 6:2:37)
“Prajapathi said to Rudra ‘Thou art ugra'”.

All the gods are the manifestations of Rudra alone.  Svetaswatara Upanishad clarifies this as follows.

“yō dēvānā̃ prabhavaścōdbhavaśca viśvādhipō rudrō maharṣiḥ |
hiraṇyagarbhaṁ janayāmāsa pūrvaṁ sa nō buddhyā śubhayā saṁyunaktu ||” (Svetasvatara Upanishad 3:04)

“He, the omniscient seer Rudra, the creator of the gods and the bestower of their powers, the support of the universe, He who, in the beginning, gave birth to Hiranyagarbha—may He endow us with clear intellect!””

Therefore, this verse is in no way trying to invoke any “other” god in literal sense; it is invoking Bhagawan Rudra in all his aspects to protect the singer and to punish his enemies.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 8

“idám ā́jyaṃ ghr̥távaj juṣāṇā́ḥ kā́majyeṣṭhā ihá mādayadhvam
kr̥ṇvánto máhyam asapatnám evá |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:8)

“Taking pleasure in this (sacrificial) melted butter, and ghee do ye, (O gods), of whom Kâma is the highest, be joyful in this place, procuring for me full freedom from enmity”.

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Here in this verse, it is said that among all the gods, Lord Kāma is the highest. This is again a direct euology to Rudra as stated in below verse from Rig Veda.

“yaḥ śukra iva sūryo hiraṇyamiva rocate śreṣṭho devānāṃ vasuḥ ” (Rig Veda 1:43:5)
“He (Rudra) shines in splendour like the Sun, refulgent as bright gold is he, The excellent, the best among all the Gods“.


Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 9

“indrāgnī́ kāma saráthaṃ hí bhūtvā́ nīcáiḥ sapátnān máma pādayāthaḥ
téṣāṃ pannā́nām adhamā́ támāṃsy ágne vā́stūny anunírdaha tvám |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:9)
“O Indra and Agni, and Kâma, having formed an alliance, do ye hurl down my enemies; when they have fallen into the nethermost darkness, do thou, O Agni, burn up after them their dwelling places!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Here also we have the prayer being addressed to Rudra’s various aspects viz. – Indra, and Agni. There’s no learning in just skipping this verse just like that. So, let’s interpret this verse in terms of Vēdanta and try to learn something from this verse.

The enemies being perceived here are the enemies arising out of samsāra such as – ṣadūrma (janma, vr̥ddhi, duḥkha, vyādhi, jarā, mr̥tyu), kāma, krōdha, lōbha, mōha, dvēṣa, mada, mātsarya – All these are the enemies of the Jīva and prevent him from attaining liberation. All these take their birth from ajnāna which is due to avidyā. This avidyā-rūpi demon is “Vr̥itrā”. Unless Vr̥itrā is slayed, with the thunder of knowledge; wisdom and detachment cannot arise, thereby preventing liberation. Indra is the one who kills Vr̥itrā, and in reality it is Bhagawan Rudra (as Dakśhiṇāmūrti) who is the original Indra who strikes avidyā-rūpi demon i.e., “Vr̥itrā” with his weapon of knowledge (viz. vajra) and slays him.

The dwelling places of him could be thought of as the three-citadels among which the ‘kāraṇadēha (causal-body)’ is the most deadly one. In the form of Agni (at the Tip of the arrow), Shiva burns the three citadels. Since the causal-body (one of the citadel) which is made up of ignorance and which is the root-cause for rebirth of the Jiva, gets destroyed along with the other two; the Jiva is totally freed up from samsaara and he gains liberation. Without burning up the dwelling places of ‘Vr̥itrā’ there are chances of slippage for the Jiva even if he is a jnānī, if he fails to the test of my mother Mahāmāyā! She tests even the jnānī as well as the Trinity also! There is none who can pass her test unless one is firmly devoted to her or her consort – Shiva, the Supreme Being. Best example for this is Nahūṣā, who was equivalent to Indra in his merits and knowledge; but his feet slipped due to a slight test of the time and he landed up in the darkness of nether world. His wits were so shrouded with darkness that he rided a palanquin carried by Sapta-Rishis and kicked Agastya with his foot.

So, it’s not just important to kill the Vr̥itrā but it is also important to permanently burn down all the dwelling places of the seeds of samsāra, so that they don’t sprout up by any chance. Hence Agni is being prayed to burn up their dwelling places. Outwardly, it is a prayer to multiple deities but actually it is all a prayer to Bhagawan Rudra in his various powers viz. Indra and Agni. And this incident could be related with “Tripura-saṁhāra”.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 10

“jahí tvám kāma máma yé sapátnā andhā́ támāṃsy áva pādayainān
nírindriyā arasā́ḥ santu sárve mā́ té jīviṣuḥ katamác canā́haḥ |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:10)
“Slay thou, O Kâma, those that are my enemies, hurl them down into blind darkness. Devoid of vigour, Without sap let them all be; they shall not live a single day!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Nothing much to explain here! It’s self explanatory and already we have analyzed similar verses before. Anyway, for a greater understanding this verse can be understood in the light of the “asaṁga śāstra” detailed in the Bhagawad Gita (BG 15:03 and BG 15:04), having cut asunder the roots of the saṁsāra-vr̥kṣa with the strong axe of detachment, that goal should be sought from where having gone none returns again praying “I  seek refuge in that Primeval Purusha from whom has come forth this cosmic  process”.


Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 11

“ávadhīt kā́mo máma yé sapátnā urúṃ lokám akaran máhyam edhatúm
máhyaṃ namantāṃ pradíśaś cátasro máhyaṃ ṣáḍ urvī́r ghr̥tám ā́ vahantu |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:11)
“Kâma has slain those that are my enemies, a broad space has he furnished me to thrive in. May the four directions of space bow down to me, and the six broad (regions) carry ghee to me!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Actually, this entire hymn which talks about enemies can be analyzed in terms of the blockers in the supreme path of internal awakening via. Kundalini. But to keep things simple I have not ventured into meditating or analyzing the same in that sense. However, the entire process of awakeing through the path of sushumna is an inward sacrifice (antar-yāga), where when all the enemies (blockers including the granthīs) get killed by the grace of Rudra and the fire of Kundalini present in the sacrificial altar called ‘mūlādhāra’ rises upwards, the yōgī gains supreme wisdom; and divine milk called as sōma (amr̥taṁ) flows from sahasrāra dowawards. That is the havis (libations) in the form of ghee in that sacrifice which flows down through the six regions (chakras) into the altar (at ‘mūlādhāra’). That state where sōma and agni meet is ‘agni-somātmakaṁ-jagat’ where jagat is entirely present within sushumna. 

That path of analyzing this hymn would be like creating too much of complexities, hence would exit from this verse just by stating two verses from Uma Sahasram hymn where such concepts of dripping soma (via sahasrara downwards filling the six regions) for the agni stationed in the mooladhara is mentioned.

yuktavīkṣaṇakareṇa nipīḍya |
śambhusundari sunomi dhinomi
tvāṁ pradīptakulakuṇḍaniśāntām ||“ (umā sahasraṁ 31. 18)
“Oh Mother of immortal form! Divine Consort of Lord Shankara! I squeeze the soma juice by the hand, in the form of yogic vision and offer the same to you, who are seated in the blazing altar (yajnakunda) viz., the Muladhara Chakra”.

“āpīnaṁ bhavati sahasrapatrakañjaṁ
vatso’syāḥ paṭutaramūlakuṇḍavahniḥ |
dogdhā”tmā daharasaroruhopaviṣṭo
maunaṁ syātsurasurabhestanūṣu dohaḥ ||“ (umā sahasraṁ 18.16)
“Sahasrara is the udder of Kamadhenu, the celestial cow; Kundalini, the brightly blazing mulagni is the calf; consciousness seated in the heart-space daharakasha, is the cow-herd. Absolutely peaceful silence bereft of all worldly attractions is the act of milking”.

“dogdhryāste bhagavati dohanena labdhaṁ
vatsāgniprathamanipānasadravāyāḥ |
dugdhaṁ svādvamṛtamayaṁ pibanmamātmā
santṛpto na bhavati durbharo’sya kukṣiḥ ||” (umā sahasraṁ 18.17)
“Milk, which is like ambrosia, got from you the Kamadhenu, who is induced to give more by the calf in the form of mulagni, is not enough to fill my huge belly (The sadhaka aspires for more and more for raising his awareness higher and higher is the suggestion)”.


Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 12

“té ‘dharā́ñcaḥ prá plavantāṃ chinnā́ náur iva bándhanāt
ná sā́yakapraṇuttānāṃ púnar asti nivártanam |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:12)

“They (the enemies) shall float down like a boat cut loose from its moorings! There is no returning again for those who have been struck by our missiles”.

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

There is no returning of samsāra once cut asunder by the weapon of Rudra! The message here is that once the spiritual aspirant is liberated by the grace of Kāma (Rudra) he doesn’t return back to the vicious cycle of births and deaths.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 13

“agnír yáva índro yávaḥ sómo yávaḥ
yavayā́vāno devā́ yavayantv enam |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:13)
“Agni is a defence, Indra a defence, Soma a defence. May the gods, who by their defence ward off (the enemy), ward him off!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Here we have another new term ‘sōma’; other names have already been analyzed as pointing towards Rudra alone. This sōma is also not new. It is the very own name of Bhagawan Rudra. Sōma means “He who is with Uma”. In this connection, Sri Rudram says:

“namaḥ sōmāya cha rudrāya cha |” (Yajurveda IV:5:8:a)
“Homage, to the one who is with Uma; to the one who relieves one of the miseries of samsaara”.

Here this verse is seeking defence against enemies from Bhagawan Rudra only by hailing him in his names as Indra, Agni and Soma.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 14

“ásarvavīraś caratu práṇutto dvéṣyo mitrā́nāṃ parivargyàḥ svā́nām
utá pr̥thivyā́m áva syanti vidyúta ugró vo deváḥ prá mr̥ṇat sapátnān |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:14)

“With his men reduced, driven out, the hated (enemy) shall go, shunned by his own friends! And down upon the earth do the lightnings alight; may that god ugra crush your enemies!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

We have already analysed a similar verse before where we have proved that Ugra is Bhagawan Rudra.


Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 15

“cyutā́ ceyáṃ br̥haty ácyutā ca vidyúd bibharti stanayitnū́ṃś ca sárvān
udyánn ādityó dráviṇena téjasā nīcáiḥ sapátnān nudatāṃ me sáhasvān |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:15)
“This mighty lightning supports both – moveable (falliable) and immoveable (infalliable) things, as well as all thunders. May the rising sun by his resources and his majesty hurl down my enemies, lie the mighty one!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

It is Bhagawan Rudra who exists in the “Sūryamaṇḍala”. For the sake of granting his vision to everyone alike, he displays himself everyday in the form of sun.

“asau yōsvasarpati nīlagrīvō vilōhitaḥ |
utainaṁ gōpā adṛśannadṛśannudahāryaḥ ||
utainaṁ viśvā bhūtāni sa dṛṣṭō mṛḍayāti naḥ ||” (Yajurveda IV:5:1:h)

“He who rises in the form of the copper-colored sun, Blue-necked and ruddy, Him the cowherds have seen, Have seen the bearers of water, and him all creatures; May be, seen, be gentle unto us”.

Therefore this verse is again found to pray to Rudra in the form of the rising sun.


Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 16

“yát te kāma śárma trivárūtham udbhú bráhma várma vítatam anativyādhyàṃ kr̥tám
téna sapátnān pári vr̥ṅgdhi yé máma páry enān prāṇáḥ paśávo jī́vanaṃ vr̥ṇaktu |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:16)

“With that triple-armoured powerful covering of thine, O Kâma, with the charm that has been made into an Invulnerate armour spread (over thee), with that do thou drive away those who are my enemies; may breath, cattle, and life give them a wide berth!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Skipping this verse as it is a direct reference to Kāma, which is the name of Rudra.

Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 17

“yéna devā́ ásurān prā́ṇudanta yénéndro dásyūn adhamáṃ támo ninā́ya
téna tváṃ kāma máma yé sapátnās tā́n asmā́l lokā́t prá ṇudasva dūrám |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:17)
“With the weapon with which the god drove forth the Asuras, with which Indra led the Dasyus to the nethermost darkness, with that do thou, O Kâma, drive forth far away from this world those who are my enemies!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

In the form of Indra it is Rudra who wields the thunderbolt (vajra). In fact Rudra carries thunderbolt in his hands. It is he who is sung under the epithet ‘Indra’ in Vedas. Hence the weapon that is being requested in this verse to be used against the enemies is verily the weapon of Rudra as attested in below verse from Rig Veda.

“śreṣṭho jātasya rudra śriyāsi tavastamastavasāṃ vajrabāho |
parṣi ṇaḥ pāramaṃhasaḥ svasti viśvā abhītī rapaso yuyodhi ||” (Rig Veda 2:33:03)

“In beauty thou art the most beautiful of all that exists, O Rudra, the strongest of the strong, thou wielder of the thunderbolt! Carry us happily to the other shore of our anguish, and ward off all assaults of mischief”.


Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 18

“yáthā devā́ ásurān prā́ṇudanta yáthéndro dásyūn adhamáṃ támo babādhé
táthā tváṃ kāma máma yé sapátnās tā́n asmā́l lokā́t prá ṇudasva dūrám |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:18)
“As the gods drove forth the Asuras, as Indra, forced the demons into the nethermost darkness, thus do thou, O Kâma, drive forth far away from this world those who are my enemies!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

A similar verse we have analysed earlier, hence commentary on it here.


Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 19

“kā́mo jajñe prathamó náinaṃ devā́ āpuḥ pitáro ná mártyāḥ
tátas tvám asi jyā́yān viśváhā mahā́ṃs tásmai te kāma náma ít kr̥nomi |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:19)
Kâma was born at first; him neither the gods, nor the Fathers, nor men have equalled. To these art thou superior, and ever great; to thee, O Kâma, do I verily offer reverence”.

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Lord Kāmēśvarā created this world and then first entered into that. Then within that world he assumed diverse forms of mobile and immobile creation. He was the first person to exist within the universe (of course he is always the one who exists even when there is no universe). This is why he is hailed with the words as ‘(pūrvaja) ancient’, ‘(jyēṣṭha) senior most’ etc., words in Yajurveda.

Atharva Veda has an entire hymn dedicated to Lord Shiva’s Vratya aspect and there it says that this Vratya created the world through prajapati (viraj) and then into that golden-egg (hiranyagarbha), this Vratya (Shiva) entered and was born within that. He was the first being to manifest within the universe (hence called as Eka-Vratya, i.e., the loner ascetic), and then became the sole lord of all others (Ishana) and was of dark and tawny complexion (Nilalohita) and was the greatest of all the gods (Mahadeva). These points are cited in below verses.

“vrā́tya āsīd ī́yamāna evá sá prajā́patiṃ sám airayat || sá prajā́patiḥ suvárṇam ātmánn apaśyat tát prā́janayat ||”(Atharva Veda 15:1:1)
“There was Vratya (Ascetic form of Lord shiva) . He roused Prajapati to action. Prajapati beheld gold in himself and engendered it”.

“téna prā́jāyata ||”(Atharva Veda 15:1:3)
“Through that he was born”.

“sò ‘vardhata sá mahā́n abhavat sá mahādevò ‘bhavat || sá devā́nām īśā́ṃ páry ait sá ī́śāno ‘bhavat || sá ekavrātyò ‘bhavat sá dhánur ā́datta tád evéndradhanúḥ || nī́lam asyodáraṃ lóhitaṃ pr̥ṣṭhám || nī́lenaivā́priyaṃ bhrā́tr̥vyaṃ prórṇoti lóhitena dviṣántaṃ vidhyatī́ti brahmavādíno vadanti ||”  (Atharva Veda 15:1:4-8)
“He grew, he became great, he became Mahadeva. He gained the lordship of the Gods. He became Ishana. He became Eka Vratya. He held a bow, even that Bow of Indra. His belly is dark-blue, his back is red (Nila-Lohita) . With dark-blue he envelops a detested rival, with red he pierces the man who hates him: so the theologians say”.

For the very same reason Yajurveda in its celebrated hymn Sri rudram prays to Rudra as follows.

“namō jyēṣṭāya cha kaniṣṭāya cha |” (Yajurveda IV:5:6:a)
“Homage to the oldest, and to the youngest”.

“namō pūrvajāya cha aparajāya cha |” (Yajurveda IV:5:6:b)
“Homage to the ancient born, and to the later born”.

Therefore this verse is verily a praise to lord Rudra’s seniority, sung under the name – Kāma!


Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 20

“yā́vatī dyā́vāpr̥thivī́ varimṇā́ yā́vad ā́paḥ siṣyadúr yā́vad agníḥ
tátas tvám asi jyā́yān viśváhā mahā́ṃs tásmai te kāma náma ít kr̥ṇomi |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:20)
“O Kâma, You are greater than all. You are higher than Heaven and wider than the Earth. You are farther than the waters have swept and hotter than fire. To that Kâma, do I verily offer reverence”.

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Lord Rudra is the highest of all the gods. He is verily the Brahman. Only for the sake of all of us (including the gods) to remain easily accessible, he stationed himself within this universe at kailasha. Delluded fools consider him as a demi-god; however those who know his true nature, bow their heads to that highest of the high, that greatest being viz. Bhagawan Rudra!

Svetaswatara Upanishad says thus:

“tamīśvarāṇā̃ paramaṁ mahēśvaraṁ | taṁ dēvatānā̃ paramaṁ ca daivatama |
patĩ patīnā̃ paramaṁ parastād | vidāma dēvaṁ bhuvanēśamīḍyama ||” (Svetaswatara Upanishad VI:07)
“May we realize Him – the transcendent and adorable master of the universe – who is the supreme lord over all the lords, the supreme God above all the gods, and the supreme ruler over all the rulers”.

Bhagawan Rudra is infinite being nirguna Brahman in reality. He is the infinite agni-linga which is called Skambha (means Stambha) in Vedas. His ends cannot be located by any means because he is infinite. Therefore surely, he is higher than heaven, and lower than the earth sicne heaven, earth and the intermediate regions are build upon the Skambha (Shiva) and are just a small part of his limitless self. Hence the Atharva Veda says entire universe (comprising of heaven, earth and mid-most regions) are just a part of Shiva’s Agni-linga!

“yátra skambháḥ prajanáyan purāṇáṃ vyávartayat
ékaṃ tád áṅgaṃ skambhásya purāṇám anusáṃviduḥ |” (Atharva Veda X:7:26)

“Where Skambha generating gave the Ancient World its shape and form, They recognized that single part of Skambha as the Ancient World”.

This is enough to understand the limitless nature of the highest being i.e., Bhagawan Kāma (Rudra).


Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 21

“yā́vatīr díśaḥ pradíśo víṣūcīr yā́vatīr ā́śā abhicákṣaṇā diváḥ
tátas tvám asi jyā́yān viśváhā mahā́ṃs tásmai te kāma náma ít kr̥ṇomi |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:21)
“Great as are the directions (of space) and the intermediate direction on either side, great as are the regions and the vistas of the sky; to these art thou superior, To that Kâma, do I verily offer reverence”.

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

All these attributes get covered in the Skambha Sukta verse quoted in the previous verse (See my commentary on Kāma sūkta verse 21). Rudra in his infinite Agni-Linga aspect encompasses everything but doesn’t get encompassed by anything. He is superior to everything!


Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 22

“yā́vatīr bhŕ̥ṅgā jatvàḥ kurū́ravo yā́vatīr vághā vr̥kṣasarpyò babhūvúḥ
tátas tvám asi jyā́yān viśváhā mahā́ṃs tásmai te kāma náma ít kr̥ṇomi |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:22)
“As many bees, bats, kurûru-worms, as many vaghas and tree-serpents as there are; to these art thou superior . To that Kâma, do I verily offer reverence!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

All these attributes get covered in the Skambha Sukta verse quoted in the commentary on Kāma sūkta verse 21. Hence not repeating here.


Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 23

“jyā́yān nimiṣató ‘si tíṣṭhato jyā́yānt samudrā́d asi kāma manyo
tátas tvám asi jyā́yān viśváhā mahā́ṃs tásmai te kāma náma ít kr̥nomi |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:23)
“Superior art thou to all that winks (lives), superior to all that stands still (is not alive), superior to the ocean art thou, O Kâma Manyu! To these art thou superior . To that Kâma, do I verily offer reverence”.

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Here the singer is praising Kāma saying he is superior to all sentient (mobile) and insentient (immobile) beings. And here Kāma is addressed as “Manyu”.

Atharva Veda in the Skanbha Sukta clearly calls out that all the mobile and immobile creation is upheld by Skambha (Agni-Linga form of Bhagawan Rudra). Therefore he is certainly superior to all these!

“yád éjati pátati yác ca tíṣṭhati prāṇád áprāṇan nimiṣác ca yád bhúvat |
tád dādhāra pr̥thivī́ṃ viśvárūpaṃ tát saṃbhū́ya bhavaty ékam evá |” (Atharva Veda X:8:11)

“That which hath power of motion, that which flies, or stands, which breathes or breathes not, which, existing, shuts the eye. Wearing all forms that entity upholds the earth, and in its close consistence still is only one”.

Now, “Manyu” is again a very famous name of Bhagawan Rudra alone. Rudra’s wrath is called ‘Manyu’; and in the form of anger (Manyu) it is Rudra who exists. The very opening verse of Sri Rudram prays to Rudra in his Manyu (anger) aspect and requests him to calm down.

“namastē rudra manyava utōta iṣavē nama |” (Yajurveda IV:5:1:a)
“Homage to thy wrath, O Rudra!”.

Therefore here also it is ascertained that this verse to Kāma under the name of Manyu is for Rudra.


Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 24

“ná vái vā́taś caná kā́mam āpnoti nā́gníḥ sū́ryo nótá candrámāḥ
tátas tvám asi jyā́yān viśváhā mahā́ṃs tásmai te kāma náma ít kr̥ṇomi |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:24)
“O Kama, You are greater than all. You are faster than the wind, hotter than the Sun and greater than the Moon. You are farther than the waters have swept and hotter than fire. O Love, You are greater than all. Kâma, do I verily offer reverence”.

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Strictly speaking, win may not have speed, fire may not have heat, sun may not have luminosity, and moon may not be cool. All these experiences that we perceive with all these entities is because of the presence of Lord Shiva as our Atman.When we are alive, we dread to hold fire because our Atman tells us it is hot and it would burn our hand. A dead body doesn’t scream and run away when it is set ablaze! Similarly, the Atman tells us that the sun is shining and makes us feel the brightness. A corpse cannot see light even if you flash a torch on its eyes. Therefore, all the “experiences” that we feel are due to the presence of Bhagawan Shiva as our inner self.

It is Mahadeva whose light shines the sun, it is he whose healing properties drip through moon, it is he whose heat makes Agni hot, it is he whose speed agitates and moves the wind. Without him all these entities have no value and would lose their properties.

It is for this reason that Kenopanishad in the third chapter teaches us about the original being who is the cause behind all causes, the eye behind all eyes, the doer behind all the instruments. Agni, vayu, varuna etc;, gods thought they achieved victory by their might; but they couldn’t even burn, blow and wash away (respectively) a simple grass blade! That was because everything functions by the will of Rudra (the Brahman).

For the sake of giving an example let me cite an example from Yajurveda here to show how by the grace of Rudra the sun regained its lustre.

The Aditya who is the sun actually shines under the grace of Lord Rudra as mentioned in Yajurveda. Rudra himself is present as sun as well as moon also. But once Sun didn’t shine, all the gods prayed to Soma-Rudra (the doctor aspect of Rudra, which in later texts called as vaidyanatha), and he gave brightness to him. Soma (aspect) is Amruta hence he gives life to any dying person. Hence he is the healer. But it is lord Rudra who is the supreme light which illuminates everything. Hence the Sun started shining again when Rudra imparted brightness to him.

“asavadityo na vy arocata tasmai devah prayascittim aichan tasma etam |
somaraudram carum nir avapan tenaivasmin rucam adadhus |” (Yajurveda 2:2:10)

“Yonder sun did not shine, the gods sought an atonement for him, for him they offered this oblation to Soma and Rudra: verily thereby they bestowed brightness upon him. If he desires to become resplendent, he should offer for him this oblation to Soma and Rudra; verily he has recourse to Soma and Rudra with their own portion; verily they bestow upon him splendour; he becomes resplendent”.

Rudra alone is the supreme effulgent Atman whose light illuminates everything.

“yo vai rudraH sa bhagavAnyachcha tejastasmai vai namonamaH |” (Atharvasiras Upanishad 2:19)
“He who is Rudra, he alone is god. He is the Supreme Light and we salute him again and again”.


Kāma-Sūkta Verse no. 25

“yā́s te śivā́s tanvàḥ kāma bhadrā́ yā́bhiḥ satyáṃ bhávati yád vr̥ṇiṣé
tā́bhiṣ ṭvám asmā́m̐ abhisáṃviśasvānyátra pāpī́r ápa veśayā dhíyaḥ |” (Atharva Veda IX:2:25)
“With those auspicious (śivā́h) and gracious forms of thine, O Kâma, through which what thou wilst becometh real with these do thou enter into us, and elsewhere send the evil thoughts!”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

This is a direct evidence to see a direct correlation and conclude that Kāma is verily Rudra and Kāma-Sūkta is verily a Rudra-Sūkta!

Rudra is truly nirguna Brahman, however for the sake of the devotees as well as for the sake of administration, he assumes diverse forms – Some of the forms are auspicious and some are highly terrible. Even Mahabharata tells us that Rudra has both ghōra and aghōra forms. The Vedic rishis have therefore always wanted to face Rudra’s auspicious forms. Therefore, in all the Vedic hymns addressed to Rudra, the seer seeks the the benign forms and requests Rudra to keep his terrible forms away.

The above verse of Kāma sūkta is also not doing anything new. It is the same prayer addressed under the name of Kāma which is addressed in Sri Rudram of Yajurveda as quoted below. When we compare both these we would see the same message coming!

“yā tē rudra śivā tanūraghōrāpāpakāśinī |
tayā nastanuvā śantamayā giriśantābhicākaśīhi  ||” (Yajurveda IV:5:1:c)

“That body of thine, O Rudra, which is kindly, Not dread, with auspicious look, With that body, most potent to heal, O haunter of the mountains, do thou look on us”.

This is the concluding verse of the hymn called Kāma sūkta which is a hymn addressed to Bhagawan Shiva who is the primordial desire (Kāma) which was instrumental in the creation of the universe.


8.    Nāsadīya Sūkta – Rig Veda (10:129) – An Analysis


“nāsadīya-sūkta” is a wonderful hymn which keeps everyone puzzled. Even the scientists of all the countries remain interested to dig deeper into its details. This is the hymn which is contemplated upon even by physicists who try to find details about subatomic particles (such as boson)

For the ease in relating the connecting verses, I’ve split this commentary into parts such that  – in the first part we would discuss the first four verses combined together and in the subsequent parts we would discuss the remaining three verses independently. 

Translation of the first four verses has been adapted from Griffith’s translation; and the last three verses have been translated referring to the Hindi translation of Indian author because that made more sense to my mind.

nāsadīya-sūkta – Verses 1 to 4

The first four verses are cited below.

“nāsadāsīn no sadāsīt tadānīṃ nāsīd rajo no vyomāparo yat |
kimāvarīvaḥ kuha kasya śarmannambhaḥ kimāsīd ghahanaṃ ghabhīram ||1
na mṛtyurāsīdamṛtaṃ na tarhi na rātryā ahna āsītpraketaḥ |
ānīdavātaṃ svadhayā tadekaṃ tasmāddhānyan na paraḥ kiṃ canāsa ||2
tama āsīt tamasā ghūḷamaghre.apraketaṃ salilaṃ sarvamāidam |
tuchyenābhvapihitaṃ yadāsīt tapasastanmahinājāyataikam ||3
kāmastadaghre samavartatādhi manaso retaḥ prathamaṃ yadāsīt |
sato bandhumasati niravindan hṛdi pratīṣyākavayo manīṣā ||”4 (Rig Veda 10:129:1-4)

“Then was neither non-existent nor existent: there was no realm of air, no sky beyond it. What covered in, and where? And what gave shelter? Was water there, unfathomed depth of water? Death was not then, nor was there aught immortal: no sign was there, the day’s and night’s divider. That One Thing, breathless, breathed by its own nature: apart from it was nothing whatsoever. Darkness there was: at first concealed in darkness this All was indiscriminated chaos. All that existed then was void and form less: by the great power of warmth was born that Unit. Thereafter rose kāma (Desire) in the beginning, kāma, the primal seed (retaḥ) and germ of Spirit. Sages who searched with their heart’s thought discovered the existent’s kinship in the non-existent”.

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

The word ‘asat’ is very cryptic and its menaing has always to be understood as per the context. For example – Here this hymn says there was neither ‘sat’ nor ‘asat’; however Taittiriya Upanishad states “asadvā idṁ agrē āsīt | tatō vai sad jāyatā |”, which means, “There was ‘asat’ in the beginning, from which ‘sat’ manifested”.

Well, they look contradictory but that is not the case. “asat” has multiple meanings –

  • asat – meaning “non-existence”: In this context this applies to such things which cannot be practically said to exist e.g., Son of a barren woman (assuming she was barren right from her puberty). In this case there is no possibility of her having a son (Unless some medical miracles are done such as test tube babies or surrogate mothering etc.). Therefore here asat implies – non-existence
  • asat – meaning, “neither existence nor non-existence”: In this context asat means “mithyā”; i.e., things which apparently exist but in reality they do not. For instance – in my dream I might be a Superhero protecting this world and who could fly; but before the dream and after waking up, the ground reality remains that I am a normal person who cannot fly. This is “mithyā”.
  • asat – meaning, “non existence of Saguna forms”: When “sat” is taken to refer to “saguna” form then “asat” means, total unmanifest state. In Taittiriya verse the term ‘asat’ indicates the unmanifest state of Brahman from which the manifested (sat) emerged;

Therefore in this nāsadīya-sūkta, “na asat āsīt nō sad āsīt” refers to the “neither existence nor non-existence” clause hence the total phrase means “mithya”.  So, let’s discuss the hymn now.

In the beginning neither there was “jagat” nor there any “saguna” form. Only the Kāmēśvarā existed in his unmanifest state of attributeless Braḥman! He, Shiva, needs to be called as ‘Kāmēśvarā’ in this context, because he was the one who desired to become many and that desire (Kāma) gave shape to him, and he manifested as many (mobile and immobile).

As already seen in Nandikēśvara Kāśikā analysis, in the beginning when there was nothing, there existed Shiva in the form of “a-kāra” which represents the state of Pure Conciousness. From it emerged all the alphabets. Prakāśarūpī Kāmēśvara denoted by “a” united with his Vimarśarūpī Śaktī, Kāmēśvarī denoted by “i” and created this world using their Mātrikā forms. The combination of “a” and “i” is called as the “kāmabīja” as stated in below verse. And this is what is meant by the “seed (retas)” that is described in nāsadīya-sūkta verse 4 cited above.

“akāraṁ sannidhīkr̥tya jagatāṁ kāraṇatvataḥ |
ikārassarvavarṇānāṁ śaktitvāt kāraṇaṁ mataṁ ||7
jagatsraṣtumabhūdvānchchā yadā hyāsīttadābhavat |
kāmabījamiti prāhurmunayō vēdapāragaḥ ||” (nandikēśvara kāśikā 07-08)
“Due to the nearness of the syllable ‘i’ (ikāra) with that of the syllable ‘a’ (akāra), the syllable ‘i’ is the cause of the universe and due to its prospective nature, it is the cause of all the alphabets in the varṇamāla (7). When there arose desire to create the universe, then the world became (i.e., came into existence). The seers who were learned in Vedas called it ‘kāmabīja’ (the seed of desire) (8)”.

Interestingly, Shiva Purana, has a conversation between Nārada and Brahmā; where the former enquires the latter about the story of Lord Shiva right from how he manifested to how he married Parvati and so on. Brahmā tells him that after the great dissolution, for a long time there was nothing – only lord Shiva existed in his unmanifest state, and then he “desired” to create – Due to that desire he assumed his transcendental form as ‘Sadashiva’ and alongwith his Shakti he created this entire universe. The interesting aspect of that discourse is that it exactly says whatever is said in, nāsadīya-sūkta! This is a strong evidence that Veda-Vyasa never treated Shiva as any demi-god, rather Shiva was (and always is) the Supreme Brahman described in Upanishads! Let’s see Shiva Purana verses now.

Shiva Purana describes the origin theory as follows.

“brahmā unāca |
yaccrutvā sarvalôkānā̃ sarvapāpakṣayô bhavēta |
tadahaṁ tē pravakṣyāmi śivatatvamanāmayaṁ ||” (Śiva Purāṇa 2:06:2)

“[Brahma Said:] That (history), hearing about which, in this world, every sin gets destroyed, that salubrious shiva-tatwam I would narrate to you”.

It says, in the beginning when there was nothing, neither existence, nor non-existence, only one entity existed whom sages contemplate in their heart. Note down how closely the below narration matches with the first three verses of the “nāsadīya-sūkta”.

“mahāpralayakālē ca naṣṭē sthāvarajangamē |
āsīttamômayaṁ sarvamanarkagrahatārakaṁ ||4
acandramanahôrātramanagnyanilabhūjalaṁ |
apradhānaṁ viyaccūnyama nyatējôvivarjitaṁ ||5
adruṣṭatvādirahitaṁ śabdasparśasamujjhitaṁ |
avyaktagandharūpaṁ ca rasatyaktamadiṅmukhaṁ ||6
itthaṁ satyaṁ dhatamasē sūcibhēdhyē nirantarē |
tatsadbhrahyēti yacchrutvā sadēkaṁ pratipadyatē ||7
itīdruśaṁ yadā nāsīdyattatsadasadātmakaṁ |
yôginỗ tarhitākāśē yatpaśyanti nirantaraṁ ||” (Śiva Purāṇa 2:06:4-8)

“When the time of Mahapralaya (great dissolution) commenced, all the mobile and immobile creation got destroyed, when there was darkness all over because of the absence of planets, constellations, stars, and sun. When there was neither moon, nor day, nor night, nor fire, nor wind, nor earth, nor water, and nether was pradhana and Sky nor any other luminary. There was neither sound, nor touch nor any dear substance, smell, rupa, taste, directions etc., everything were concealed. In that very dense darkness there existed He the Brahman denoted by ‘Sat’ (satbrahman). When in that way there was neither ‘sat (existence)’ nor ‘asat (non-existence)’ that state which Sages always contemplate inside the Akasa (sky) within their heart”.

Then it further describes the nature of the Shiva who existed in his unmanifest form as follows.

“abhidhattē sa cakitaṁ yadastīti śrutiḥ punaḥ |
satyaṁ jñānaṁanantaṁ ca parānandamparammahaḥ ||11
apramēyamanādhāramavikāramanākruti |
nirguṇaṁ yôgigamyañcasarvavyāpyēkakārakaṁ ||” (Śiva Purāṇa 2:06:11-12)

“Even Shruti (Vedas) in amazement about him calls him to be of the nature of existence, knowledge, limitlessness, supreme bliss and Supreme being. He is unfathomable, without support, changeless, and formless, can be seen only through the eye of yoga, and is all pervasive and undivided form”.

Then it says that there arose a desire in him, the desire to become many as follows.This verse is same as the fourth verse of “nāsadīya-sūkta” – the wordings are different but implied meaning is same. Here “ichcha” is used instead of “kāma” to refer to “desire”.

“yasyētthaṁ saṁvikalpantē sañjñāsañjñôkttiḥ sma vai |
kiyatā caiva kālēna dvitīyēccābhavatkila ||” (Śiva Purāṇa 2:06:14)

“That (Shiva) who is denoted by these many choices of names, in what duration desire arose in him to become many?”

Then, Brahma narrates how Shiva from his Nirguna form assumed a Saguna form (Eshwara). Well, we have already seen in previous sections that the form of Eshwara (called Sadashiva) is seen as composed of akśarās.

“amūrtē yatparākhyaṁ vai tasya mūrtissadāśivaḥ |
arvācīnāḥ parācīnā īśvaraṁ taṁ jagurbudhāḥ ||” (Śiva Purāṇa 2:06:18)

“That para-tatwam which is formless, when it assumes form, he becomes Sadashiva. His form is turned outwards and turned towards [i.e., his faces are turned everywhere which again means he is omniscient]. It is he whom sages call as Ishvara”.

Even Suta Samhita explains the same “nāsadīya sūkta” story about “kāma (desire)” of Shiva as being instrumental behind creation as follows. Only the technical terms vary in all these narrations – such as – Shiva Purana uses “ichcha” word in place of kāma, Suta Samhita uses “sa ēkśhat” – however all these words of Sanskrit are synonymous to kāma and all mean “desire” alike.

“ātmasaṁjnaḥ śivaḥ śuddha ēka ēvādvayaḥ sadā |
agrē sarvamidaṁ dēvā āsīttanmātramāstikāḥ ||2
tatō nānyanmiṣat kiṁchitsa punaḥ kālapākataḥ |
praṇināṁ karmasaṁskārātsvaśaktigatasattvataḥ |
sa ēkśhat jagatsarvaṁ nu sr̥ujā iti śaṁkaraḥ ||3
sa punaḥ sakalānētāṁllōkānātmīyaśaktitaḥ |
yathāpūrvaṁ kramēṇaiva surā asr̥ujat prabhuḥ ||”4 (sūta saṁhitā 4:2:2:2-4)
“Before this entire visible world came into existence, there existed the pure, non-dual, loner, Shiva of the name of Atman (2). Apart from him there was no other mobile or immobile entity that existed. Based on time all the causal-seeds of karmas of all the jivas which remained absorbed in his Maya-Shakti, from them that Shankara (with the thought of creating the world), desired, “Let me create this world!”(3). That lord with the aid of his Shakti, had projected this world as it was in the previous cycle (4)”.

Further Svetaswatara Upanishad narrates the same story and says that when there was neither existence, nor non-existence; there was Shiva alone. This again points towards Bhagawan Shiva being the sole object revealed in nāsadīya-sūkta.

“yadātamas tan na divā na rātrir na san na cāsac chiva eva kevalaḥ |
tad akṣaraṃ tat savitur vareṇyaṃ prajñā ca tasmāt prasṛtā purāṇī ||” (Svetaswatara Upanishad 4:18)

“When there is complete absence of the darkness of ignorance, then what is experienced is neither day nor night; neither existence nor non-existence; only one pure Siva (the blessed) alone is there; that is indestructible; that is adorable light of even Savitri; – and the ancient wisdom proceeded thence”.

Even Mahabharata calls out Kama as identical to Rudra as mentioned in below verse.

“sanātanō hi saṅkalpaḥ kāma ityabhidhīyatē |
rudrasya tējaḥ praskannamagnau nipatitaṁ ca yat ||” (MBH 13:85:11)

“Will is eternal. That Will is known by the name of Kama and is identical with Rudra’s seed a portion of which fell into the blazing form of Agni”.

Therefore, with the above analysis, and also together with the Nandikēśvara’s explanation of Maheshvara Sutras, which we have seen in previous section – it is clear beyond doubt that Nāsadīya Sūkta is verily a hymn which talks about creation from Bhagawan Shiva alone!


nāsadīya-sūkta – Verse 5

“tiraścīno vitato raśmireṣāmadhaḥ svidāsī.a.a.at |
retodhāāsan mahimāna āsan svadhā avastāt prayatiḥ parastāt ||” (Rig Veda 10:129:5)
“Then the light of (causal elements) as rays extended in all the directions, even downward and even in upward directions. In that light are visible the jivas bearing their vasanas and karmas, as well as the liberated ones. Svadha prakriti remains below and Parameshvara’s effort remains above”.

Commentary with reasoning & Analysis:

Creation is cyclic in nature, and the karmās and vāsanās of the Jivas are registered (in the cosmic mind, Hiranyagarbha). From that register, in every new cycle they are re-projected till the Jivas gain knowledge and attain kaivalya mukti. Till the time the kāraṇa-dēha (causal body) which is a product of avidyā (ignorance) remains alive, Jivas keep coming to life in every new creation. This is also evident from the below verse of Suta Samhita.

“ātmasaṁjnaḥ śivaḥ śuddha ēka ēvādvayaḥ sadā |
agrē sarvamidaṁ dēvā āsīttanmātramāstikāḥ ||2
tatō nānyanmiṣat kiṁchitsa punaḥ kālapākataḥ |
praṇināṁ karmasaṁskārātsvaśaktigatasattvataḥ |
sa ēkśhat jagatsarvaṁ nu sr̥ujā iti śaṁkaraḥ ||3
sa punaḥ sakalānētāṁllōkānātmīyaśaktitaḥ |
yathāpūrvaṁ kramēṇaiva surā asr̥ujat prabhuḥ ||”4 (sūta saṁhitā 4:2:2:2-4)

“Before this entire visible world came into existence, there existed the pure, non-dual, loner, Shiva of the name of Atman (2). Apart from him there was no other mobile or immobile entity that existed. Based on time all the causal-seeds of karmas of all the jivas which remained absorbed in his Maya-Shakti, from them that Shankara (with the thought of creating the world), desired, “Let me create this world!”(3). That lord with the aid of his Shakti, had projected this world as it was in the previous cycle (4)”.

Shiva creates the world with the aid of his Shakti. Before creation Shiva remains in unmanifest state. When desire arises in him, his Shakti agitates him for creation. Therefore he becomes Active and is called as ‘Eshwara’. Shiva remaining active for the effort of creation is referred as “prayatiḥ parastāt” in this verse, where “prayatiḥ” refers to “effort”, and “parastāt” refers to “above”.

Shiva cannot create anything without the help of his Prakriti. When Shiva is the Prakāśa, he needs his consort i.e., Vimarśa to unite for the task of creation. This phenomenon has already been discussed in “nandikēśvara kāśikā” earlier – Citing the relevant verse here for quick reference.

“ākārō brahmarūpaḥ syānnirguṇassarvavastuṣu |
chitkalāṁ iṁ samāśritya jagadrūpa uṇ īśvaraḥ ||” (nandikēśvara kāśikā 03)

“The letter ‘a’ is the form of Brahman devoid of attributes dwelling in all objects, combined with the letter ‘i’ which is the consciousness, the letter ‘u’ is the ‘īśvara’ (lord) of the universe”.

Even the same has been stated in Bhagawad Gita as follows.

“ajo ’pi sann avyayatma bhutanam isvaro ’pi san |
prakritim svam adhisthaya sambhavamy atma-mayaya ||” (BG. 4.6)

“Though (I am) unborn and of essence that knoweth no deterioration, though (I am) the lord of all creatures, still, relying on my own nature (prakriti) I take birth by my own (powers) of Maya”.

When he creates the universe (golden-egg) he enters within that and manifests himself into various forms including the Jivas from the previous creation whose karmas were left to be burnt. He spreads his forms in all the directions. This is inferred as the ‘rays’ extending in all directions in the current verse of this sūkta.

“tasmād virāḷ ajāyata virājo adhi pūruṣaḥ |
sa jātoatyaricyata paścād bhūmimatho puraḥ ||” (Rig Veda 10:90:5)

“From him Virāj was born; again Puruṣa from Virāj was born. As soon as he was born he spread eastward and westward over the earth”.

The same is explained in Svetaswatara Upanishad as follows.

“tváṃ strī́ tváṃ púmān asi tváṃ kumārá utá vā kumārī́ |
tváṃ jīrṇó daṇḍéna vañcasi tváṃ jātó bhavasi viśvátomukhaḥ |” (Svetasvatara Upanishad IV:3)

“Thou art woman, Thou art man; Thou art youth and maiden too. Thou as an old man totterest along on a staff; it is Thou alone who, when born, assumest diverse forms”.


nāsadīya-sūkta – Verse 6

“ko addhā veda ka iha pra vocat kuta ājātā kuta iyaṃvisṛṣṭiḥ |
arvāgh devā asya visarjanenāthā ko veda yataābabhūva ||” (Rig Veda 10:129:6)
“[He] The Prajapati-Parameshvara (denoted by ‘Ka’) verily knows, and in this matter, the auspicious lord alone tells us from where this creation has come and from whom this originated. The Gods are later than this world’s production – Who knows then whence it first came into being?”

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

It is lord Shiva alone who exist when all others vanish in time. From him again they take their form and shape. Really, no one exists who can know the secrets of creation better than lord Shiva. How does the lord tell us about the creation? The answer is – through the medium of Vedas which he breathed forth and bestowed upon Brahma and Vishnu at the beginning of creation. Vedas are the words of Shiva. From Shruti alone we gain all the secrets of the creation. All other gods, who understand Vedas, repeat the message of the Vedas but there exists none other than Shiva and Shakti who witnessed the creation firsthand. Still, when the words of Vedas too do not clarify the hidden secrets about creation or about the primordial being; they always resort to Bhagawan Rudra to know about his true nature from his own mouth. We’ll see evidences for this below. This is a testimony to the fact that the original Supreme Being viz., – Mahadeva alone knows the creation secrets in their true meaning. All other gods including Indra, Vishnu and Brahma are later than the creation; hence they too have their own doubts (however great they might have been in knowledge).

Therefore, all the gods, instead of wandering anywhere, directly resort to Kailasha and enquire Shiva about his true nature as follows.

“oṃ dēvā ha vai svargaṁ lōkamāyaṁstē rudramapṛcchan ‘kō bhavān? iti’ ||” (Atharvasiras Upanishad 01)
“Om! Once upon a time the Devas resorted to the world of Bliss (Kailasa); and the Devas addressed Rudra thus, “who are you?”

In reply to their sincere inquiry, Bhagawan Rudra narrates about his true nature of being the primordial Supreme Being.

“sō’bravīdahamēkaḥ prathamamāsaṁ vartāmi ca bhaviśyāmi ca nānyaḥ kaścinmattō vyatirikta iti ||” (Atharvasiras Upanishad 02)
“He replied: “I alone was in the beginning; I am now; and will be in the future. There is none but me””.

Then Bhagawan Rudra narrates about his nature and says he is Brahman. The same phenomenon we see in Shiva Gita which is a discourse by lord Shiva to Sri Rama and is present in Padma Purana. There Sri Rama enquires Shiva about his true form and how he creates the universe. The answer is exactly similar to what we have seen in Atharvasiras Upanishad above. Shiva tells Rama that in ancient times once Brahma and other gods wanted to know about Shiva’s nature and waited upon him on the mountain. Shiva playfully stole their existing knowledge also. They enquired, “Who are you?”, and then Shiva told him what he is!

“śrībhagavānuvāca ||
sādhu pṛṣṭaṁ mahābhāga durajñaēyamamarairapi|
tatpravakṣyāmi tē bhaktyā brahmacaryēṇa suvrata [4]
pāraṁ yāsyasyanāyāsādyēna saṁsāranīradhēḥ |
dṛśyantē pañcabhūtāni yē ca lōkāścaturdaśa [5]
samudrāḥ saritō dēvā rākṣasā ṛṣayastathā |
dṛśyantē yāni cānyāni sthāvarāṇi carāṇi ca [6]
gandharvāḥ pramathā nāgāḥ sarvē tē madvibhūtayaḥ |
purā brahmādayō dēvā draṣṭukāmā mamākṛtim [7] ||” (Padma purāṇa:śiva gīta:vibhūti yōga: 4-7)
“Sri Bhagavan said: O Rama! Very wisely, you have asked a very significant question indeed! The answer to this is not known to the very Gods. Therefore I would detail out to you that secret information, Listen carefully! All these visible five elements, fourteen worlds, seven oceans, seven mountains, all gods, demons, sages, entire mobile and immobile creation, gandhervas, Pramadhas, Nagas, everything has manifested from my portion only. At first Brahma and other deities desired to know my true form”.

“mandaraṁ prayayuḥ sarvē mama priyataraṁ girima |
stutvā prāñjalayō dēvā mā̃ tadā purataḥ sthitāḥ [8]
tāndṛṣṭvātha mayā dēvāna līlākulitacētasaḥ |
tēṣāmapahṛtaṁ jñaānaṁ brahmādīnā̃ divaukasāma [9]
atha tē’pahṛtajñaānā māmāhuḥ kō bhavāniti |
athābruvamahaṁ dēvānahamēva purātanaḥ [10] ||” (Padma purāṇa:śiva gīta:vibhūti yōga: 8-10)
“They assembled near the mandara mountain which is my favorite mountain. After assembling there, they stood near with folded hands and sang hymns in my praise. Knowing their desire, out of playful mood i had stolen away their knowledge. Then when I appeared, they under ths stupor of ignorance, questioned me “Who are you?” In that context i addressed them and said: O gods! I’m the Adi-Anadi-Purusha (oldest primordial being)”.

Then the discourse what Padma Purana narrates in Shiva Gita is exactly similar to what Atharvasiras Upanishad narrates. Therefore, from this we can understand that when the very gods have doubt regarding the primordial being, and when they desire to know the secrets of creation, they resort to the one and only god – Bhagawan Rudra!

nāsadīya-sūkta – Verse 7

iyaṃ visṛṣṭiryata ābabhūva yadi vā dadhe yadi vā na |
yo asyādhyakṣaḥ parame vyoman so aṅgha veda yadi vā naveda ||” (Rig Veda 10:129:7)
“From whom this varegated creation originated or in whom it is contained or not contained.
Whose eye controls this world in highest heaven, he verily knows it, if (someone else says he knows) perhaps he knows not”.

Commentary with Reasoning & Analysis:

Vedas may be interpreted in various ways by other narrators. Only Shiva and Shakti are capable of revealing the creation secrets in the right sense. This is why however great may be the knowledge of other gods; their knowledge is still limited when it comes to knowing the Supreme Shiva in his true form and knowing about the way the creation takes place. As seen in the commentary in the previous verse, when the very gods have doubts, they always approach Mahadeva to listen to his words.

This is why creation secrets are best known to that Shiva who is seated in “sahasrāra” which is otherwise called as “paramē vyōman” and witnesses this world through the aperture in the head which is the divine eye; he alone knows the secrets of creation in their right meaning. If some other gods say, they know it truly – then – they know not!

In fact, all knowledge proceeds from Shiva as stated in below verse from Taittiriya Aranyaka.

“iśānaḥ sarvavidyānāṁ īśvaraḥ sarvabhūtānāṁ | braḥmādhipatirbraḥmanō’dhipatirbraḥmā shivō mē astu sadāśivōṁ ||” (Taittariya Aranyaka 10:21:1)
“May the Supreme who is the ruler of all knowledge, ishana, controller of all created beings, the preserver of the Vedas and the one overlord of Hiranyagarbha, be benign to me. That Sadasiva described thus and denoted by Pranava (OM)”.

So, the true import of all knowledge remains only with Shiva. Only and only, by his grace others may be able to know the Vedas to whatever extent Shiva wants them to know. Difference in knowledge levels and the capacity to comprehend varies based on the “adhikāra-bhēda (variations in eligibility)”. This is why after explaining at length about many superior attributes of Mahadeva, Veda Vyasa admits that is it impossible for him to recite about all the attributes of Bhagawan Mahadeva, even if he continually narrates about him for a thousand years!

“vēdāḥ sāṅgōpaniṣadaḥ purāṇādhyātmaniścayāḥ|
yadatra paramaṁ guhyaṁ sa vai dēvō mahēśvaraḥ|
īdṛśaśca mahādēvō bhūyā̃śca bhagavānajaḥ||107
na hi sarvē mayā śakyā vaktũ bhagavatō guṇāḥ|
api varṣasahasrēṇa satataṁ pāṇḍunandana||” (MBH 7:202:107-108)

“Whatever is highly mysterious in the several branches of the Vedas, in the Upanishads, in the Puranas, and in those sciences that deal with the soul, is that God, viz., Maheswara, Mahadeva is even such. That God is, again, without birth. All the attributes of that God are not capable of being enumerated by me even if, O son of Pandu, I were to recite them continually for a thousand years”.

This is why the all knowledgeable son of Ganga who had mastered all śāstrās from the best of the best preceptors viz. Br̥haspatī, Vaśiṣtha, Śukrāchārya and Parṣurāma; expressed his inability to explain the nature of Mahadeva when enquired by Yudhishthira. 

“bhīśma uvāca | aśkthōhaṁ guṇāna vaktũ mahādēvasya dhīmata | yō hi sarva gathō na ca sarvatra druśyatē | brahmā viśṇu surēśāṇā̃ sṛśṭā ca prabhurēva ca | brahmādaya pisācānta yaṁ hi dēvā upāsatē | prakṛtīnā̃ paratvēna purusaḥasya ca yaḥ paraḥ | cinthyatē yō yōgavidbhi ṛśībhiḥ tatva darśibhiḥ | akśaraṁ para braḥma asaca sadasaca ya | prakṛtĩ purusaḥã caiva kśōbhayitvā tsvatējasā | brahmanā masṛjata tasmāda dēva dēva prajāpati | |” (MBH 13:14:3-6)
“BhIshma said.’I am quite incompetent to recite the virtues of Mahadeva of highest intelligence. He pervades all things in the universe and yet is not seen anywhere.  He is the one who created Brahma, Vishnu and other devas, He is their master. All the deities, from Brahma to the Pisachas, adore and worship him. He transcends both Prakriti (Pradhana) and Purusha, he is being meditated upon by great sages who know the truth. He is indestructible and Supreme Brahman. He is both existent and non-existent.  Agitating both Prakriti and Purusha by means of His energy, He created therefrom the universal lord of creatures, viz., Brahmā”.

Likewise, even though in Shiva Purana lord Shiva bestows Vedas to Brahma and also to Vishnu (I.e., as the first guru of them, he teaches Vedas to both Brahma and Vishnu), Vishnu is the one who understood about Shiva to a larger extent than Brahma. However, Shiva cannot be understood totally by them. This is expressed by Brahma himself as stated below.

“śivatatvaṁ mayānaiva viṣṇunāpi yathārthataḥ |
jñātañca paramaṁ rūpamadbhutaṁ ca parēṇa ca ||” (Śiva purāṇa 2:06:3)

“Neither the principle of Shiva nor his supreme wonderful forms have been understood by me or by Vishnu in its entirety”.

Then in ‘kUrma purANa’ lord Shiva himself says that even great sages do not comprehend mahAdeva and umA entirely, only viShNu and umA knows him as quoted in below verse. This is not a contradiction with above verse from Shiva purANa. We need to understand them by correlating with each other. What this means is – Neither gods nor great sages truly know the supreme nature of Shiva and Uma. Not even Brahma and Vishnu know truly. However, compared to all other gods (including Brahma) Vishnu knows Shiva to a larger extent. So, to the extent Shiva is knowable for us, till that extent only viShNu knows him, so viShNu is the ideal one to seek knowledge about shiva.

“na me viduḥ paraṃ tattvaṃ devyāścha na maharṣayaḥ ||159b
eko ‘yaṃ veda viśvātmā bhavānī viṣṇureva ca |
ahaṃ hi niṣkriyaḥ śāntaḥ kevalo niṣparigrahaḥ ||” (kūrma purāṇa 1:15:159b-160)
“Not even the great sages know the supreme reality of mine as well as of devi umA. This soul of the universe viz. viShNu and bhavAnI alone know me. I am the unattached, peaceful, absolute, and devoid of attractions”.

[The same is stated by Bhishma in Mahabharata as, “Only Narayana, O son, that bearer of the discus and the mace, can comprehend Mahadeva”. (MBH 14: SECTION XIV)]

This is because Narayana’s austerities, his balanced mind and his devotion (towards Maheshwara) was superior to that of Brahma’s hence he gained closest proximity to Mahadeva. Hence in this universe after Uma, and Nandi, if at all anyone understands Mahadeva to the greatest extent – that is – Narayana! Hence he is to be chosen as the Guru to reach to Shiva!

Before ending this section let me mention here that, I do not claim that I am capable of understanding Shiva and Shakti completely. However, whatever little I have understood, analyzed and explained in this thesis, is all surely due to the grace of Mahadeva and Uma; and whatever gaps exist in my understanding, they all are purely mine. I’m always a seeker of their grace and will always be!


9.    [APPENDIX] Are Sapta Matrikas worthy of worshipping?

Well, this section is an off-topic and nowhere related to our mainstream article, however since there is a huge misconception alive in the world surrounding Matrika goddesses; it would be good to analyze and refute such false notions.

There is a great misconception in the vaishnavite circles regarding the commentary of Adi Shankara on the twenty-fifth verse of chapter nine of Bhagawad Gita (BG 9:25). That misconception has raised so many controversies as Vaishnavites who naturally remain abhorrent to Shiva and Shakti; were seen misinterpreting Shankara’s words and using them as evidence to say, “Hey! Look, Shankara has himself called the Matrika goddesses and Lord Ganesha as unworthy of worship”. Let’s see the Gita verse and Shankara Bhashya extract and then find out what truth is and what is false!

Bhagawad Gita’s chapter nine verse no. twenty-five states as follows.

“yānti dēvavratā dēvān pitr̥nyānti pitr̥vratāḥ |
bhūtāni yānti bhūtējyā yānti madyājinōpi māṁ ||” (BG 9:25)
“Worshipers of Gods go to the Gods; to the Pitris go the worshipers of pitris; to the Bhutas go the worshipers of the Bhutas; My worshipers come to Myself”.

On that verse Sri Adi Shankaracharya while doing bhasya (commentary) mentioned who the “bhūta-gaṇās” are! Note that Gita doesn’t take their names, it was Shankara who attempted to give clarity with examples. But unfortunately, he wasn’t aware that the Vaishnavites could distort the meaning to such an extent, otherwise he would have clarified there itself.

Shankara wrote the phrase “bhūtāni vināyakamātṛgaṇacaturbhaginyādīni …|”, which means, “The Bhutas are the Vinayakas, The hosts of Matrikas, the four Bhaginis and the like”.

Here Vaishnavites extracted singular names from that compound word and said something like, “Vinayaka (means lord Ganesha) and Matrikas (Sapta matrikas) are not worthy of worship, hence Ganapatya and Shakta paths are unvedic as per Shankara”.

However, the truth is – the words are not singular, but they need to be split as plural words. In Sanskrit Grammar the Sandhi (joining) rules for two words are something like this:

  • a + a = ā
  • a + ā = ā
  • ā + ā = ā

Therefore the phrase, “vināyakamātṛgaṇa” should be split as “vināyakāḥ (Vinayakas) + mātṛgaṇāḥ (matrikas)”

Vinayakas are some ganas (bhuta ganas or Rudra ganas or Grahas) which are present in the army of lord Veerabhadra. Padma Purana clearly says the same as follows

“gaṇakōtiḥ samādśtāgrahāvaināyakāstathā |
bhūtaprētāpiśāchāśchadakśayajnavināśinē ||” (Padma Purana 01:05:67)

“Billions of hosts of bhuta grahas such as Vinayakas; and evil spirits, pretas and vampires marched ahead for accomplishing the destruction of Daksha’s sacrifice”.

Mahabharata’s Shanti Parva has a Shiva Sahasranama stuti by Daksha. This chapter has a mention of vinAyakas. Although it is not found in BORI critical edition and is considered as an interpolation yet, the point I want to make here is not about authenticity but rather about the translation. Kisari Mohan Ganguly (the translator) has translated this chapter into English and he doesn’t make any erroneous statement of equating Vinayakas to Ganesha. He correctly translates that word as “Plural” (vinAyakA-s) and not singular “vinAyaka”. Kisari Mohan Ganguly (KMG) translation reads, “Neither Rakshasas, nor Pisachas, nor ghosts, nor Vinayakas, create disturbances in his house where this hymn is recited”. (MBH Shanti parva Section CCLXXXV)

These Vinayaka (or Vinayakas for plural) are Grahas or Ganas and they participated in Daksha Yagya vidhvansa along with Veerabhadra when Sati immolated herself. There is no question of Vinayaka (Ganesha) Being referred there since Ganesha manifested after Sati came back as Parvati. Therefore it is evident that Shankara in his Gita Bhashya never meant to downplay lord Ganesha who is hailed as the Supreme Being in Ganapati Atharvashirsha Upanishad!

Now coming to Matrikaganas – These could be interpreted and explained in two ways –

(1). Matrikaganas may be considered as the attendants (ganas) of the Sapta or Astha matrikas. And these attendant female deities are lower order goddesses and hence they cannot grant Moksha, hence they shouldn’t be worshiped if the goal is liberation.

(2). Matrikaganas are the group of the Seven or Eight Matrikas – Here there is a chance of misinterpreting Sapta Matrikas as unworthy of worshiping. However this is not the truth. Because Mahabharata clarifies that there are many duplicate Matrikas also who are possessed of evil spirits and act like devils. They snatch away foetuses and kill children and do many such atrocities on children. Such mothers are “mothers” only for the name sake. These are the mothers who Shankara asks us not to worship. Let’s see references from Mahabharata Vana Parva and see how cruel Grahas are these ladies.

Seven ladies by names – “Kaki, Halima, Malini, Vrinhila, Arya, Palala and Vaimitra” approach Skanda and ask him to give them a boon of becoming great mothers of the entire world. Skanda gives them boon however he says they would be divided into Siva (Good) and Asiva (bad) mothers.

“agnirbhūtvā tataścainaṁ chāgavaktrō bahuprajaḥ|
ramayāmāsa śailasthaḥ bālaḥ krīḍanakairiva||
śivāścaivāśivāścaiva punaḥ punarudāradhīḥ|
tataḥ saṅkalpya putratvē skandaṁ mātṛgaṇō’gamat||9
kākī ca halimā caiva mālinī bṛ̃hatā tathā|
āryā palālā vaimitrā saptaitāḥ śiśumātaraḥ||” (MBH 3:228:9-10)

“The daughters begotten by the Fire-god, Tapa, went over to Skanda, who said to them, ‘What can I do for you?’ Those girls replied, ‘Do us this favour; by thy blessing, may we become the good and respected mothers of the entire world!’ He replied, ‘Be it so.’ And that liberal-minded being repeated again and again, ‘Ye shall be divided into Siva and Asiva.’ And the mothers then departed, having first established Skanda’s sonship, Kaki, Halima, Malini, Vrinhila, Arya, Palala and Vaimitra, these were the seven mothers of Sisu”.

Further another set of ladies approach Skanda with the same request of getting regarded as the world’s mothers. They even ask Skanda to place them in the place of the original Matrikas (Brahmi, kaumari vaishnavi…etc.,) to which Skanda refuses saying that it is impossible.

“mātara ūcuḥ | yāstu tā mātaraḥ pūrvaṁ lōkasyāsya prakalpitāḥ|
asmākaṁ tu bhavētsthānaṁ tāsā̃ caiva na tadbhavēt|| 17
bhavēma pūjyā lōkasya na tāḥ pūjyāḥ surarṣabha|
asmatprajā[prajā’smākaṁ] hṛtāstābhistvatkṛtē tāḥ prayaccha naḥ||” (MBH 3:230:17-18)

“The mothers replied, ‘The ladies (Brahmi, Maheswari, etc.,) were fixed as mothers of the world since bygone ages. We desire, O great god, that they be dispossessed of that dignity, and ourselves installed in their place, and that we, instead of them, be worshipped by the world. Do thou now restore to us those of our progeny, of whom we have been deprived, by them on thy account.'”

“skanda uvāca | vṛttāḥ prajā na tāḥ śakyā bhavatībhirniṣēvitum|
anyā̃ vaḥ kā̃ prayacchāmi prajā̃ yā̃ manasēcchatha||” (MBH 3:230:19)

“Skanda replied, ‘Ye shall not recover those that have been once given away, but I can give you other offspring if ye like”.

Then these mothers seek boon of eating up the newborn babies. Here actually the word “mother” is an irony and only for name sake they are mothers. Skanda feels pained hearing such a request, but grants half their wish saying till a child attains sixteen years of age they may be able to torment them after that age they should protect them.

“mātara ūcuḥ | icchāma tāsā̃ mātṝṇā̃ prajā bhōktũ prayaccha naḥ|
tvayā saha pṛthagbhūtā yē ca tāsāmathēśvarāḥ||” (MBH 3:230:20)

“The mothers replied, ‘We desire that living with thee and assuming different shapes we be able to eat up the progeny of those mothers and their guardians. Do thou grant us this favour.'”

“skanda uvāca | prajā vō dadmi kaṣṭaṁ tu bhavatībhirudāhṛtam|
parirakṣata bhadraṁ vaḥ prajāḥ sādhu namaskṛtāḥ||” (MBH 3:230:21)

“Skanda said, ‘I can grant you progeny, but this topic on which ye have just now dilated is a very painful one. May ye be prosperous! All honour to you, ladies, do ye vouchsafe to them your protecting care.'”

“mātara uvāca | parirakṣāma bhadraṁ tē prajāḥ skanda yathēcchasi|
tvayā nō rōcatē skanda sahavāsaściraṁ prabhō||” (MBH 3:230:22)

“The mothers replied, ‘We shall protect them, O Skanda, as thou desirest. Mayst thou be prosperous! But, O mighty being, we desire to live with thee always.'”

“skanda uvāca | yāvatṣōḍaśa varṣāṇi bhavanti taruṇāḥ prajāḥ|
prabādhata manuṣyāṇā̃ tāvadrūpaiḥ pṛthagvidhaiḥ||23
ahaṁ ca vaḥ pradāsyāmi raudramātmānamavyayam|
paramaṁ tēna sahitāḥ sukhaṁ vatsyatha pūjitāḥ||” (MBH 3:230:23-24)

“Skanda replied, ‘So long as children of the human kind do not attain the youthful state in the sixteenth year of their age, ye shall afflict them with your various forms, and I too shall confer on you a fierce inexhaustible spirit. And with that ye shall live happily, worshipped by all.'”

And then further that chapter has a huge narration of the atrocities these so called mothers do on children below sixteen years of age. These mothers are not the Supreme Matrikas but these are other celestial goddesses, however they have their evil side which they exercise on the foetuses and children to kill them.

Here is a summary of what they do:

  • “vinatā tu mahāraudrā kathyatē śakunigrahaḥ || (MBH 3:230:27)” which means, “’Vinata’ is called as “terrific Sakuni graha (spirit of Evil)”.
  • “pūtanā̃ rākṣasī̃ prāhustaṁ vidyātpūtanāgraham| kaṣṭā dāruṇarūpēṇa ghōrarūpā niśācarī||28 piśācī dāruṇākārā kathyatē śītapūtanā|garbhānsā mānuṣīṇā̃ tu haratē ghōradarśanā|| (MBH 3:230:28-29)”which means, “She who is known as Putana Rakshasi by the learned is the graha called Putana; that fierce and terrible looking Rakshasa of a hideous appearance is also called the pisacha, Shita Putana. That fierce-looking spirit is the cause of abortion in women”. 
  • “aditĩ rēvatī̃ prāhurgrahastasyāstu raivataḥ| sō’pi bālānmahāghōrō bādhatē vai mahāgrahaḥ|| (MBH 3:230:30)”, which means, “Aditi is also known by the name of Revati; her evil spirit is called Raivata, and that terrible graha also afflicts children”.
  • “daityānā̃ yā ditirmātā tāmāhurmukhamaṇḍitā[kā]m| atyarthaṁ śiśumā̃sēna samprahṛṣṭā durāsadā|| (MBH 3:230:31)”which means, “Diti, the mother of the Daityas (Asuras), is also called Muhkamandika, and that terrible creature is very fond of the flesh of little children”.
  • gavā̃ mātā tu yā prājñaiḥ kathyatē surabhirnṛpa | śakunistāmathāruhya saha bhuṅktē śiśūnbhuvi|| (MBH 3:230:34)”which means, “And, O king, Surabhi who is called the mother of bovine kind by the wise is best ridden by the evil spirit Sakuni, who in company with her, devours children on this earth”.
  • “saramā nāma yā mātā śunā̃ dēvī janādhipa | sāpi garbhānsamādattē mānuṣīṇā̃ sadaiva hi|| (MBH 3:230:35), which means, “And Sarama, the mother of dogs, also habitually kills human beings while still in the womb”.
  • imē tvaṣṭādaśānyē vai grahā mā̃samadhupriyāḥ | dvipañcarātraṁ tiṣṭhanti satataṁ sūtikāgrahē || (MBH 3:230:37)”, which means, “These eighteen evil spirits fond of meat and wine, and others of the same kind, invariably take up their abode in the lying-in-room for ten days”.
  • “kadrūḥ sūkṣmavapurbhūtvā garbhiṇī̃ praviśatyatha | bhuṅktē sā tatra taṁ garbhaṁ sā tu nāgaṁ prasūyatē|| (MBH 3:230:38)which means, “Kadru introduces herself in a subtle form into the body of a pregnant woman and there she causes the destruction of the foetus, and thmother is made to give birth to a Naga (serpent)”.
  • gandharvāṇā̃ tu yā mātā sā garbhaṁ gṛhya gacchati | tatō vilīnagarbhā sā mānuṣī bhuvi dṛśyatē || (MBH 3:230:39)”which means, “And that mother of the Gandharvas takes away the foetus, and for this reason, conception in woman turns out to be abortive”.
  • yā janitrī tvapsarasā̃ garbhamāstē pragṛhya sā | upanaṣṭaṁ tatō garbhaṁ kathayanti manīṣiṇaḥ || (MBH 3:230:40)”which means, “The mother of the Apsaras removes the foetus from the womb, and for this reason such conceptions are said to be stationary by the learned”.

Mahabharata tells us the benefits that one reaps by worshiping them with reverence. These mothers are pleased by the worship of Skanda and with other offerings to them.

“tēṣā̃ praśamanaṁ kāryaṁ snānaṁ dhūpamathāñjanam|
balikarmōpahārāśca skandasyējyāviśēṣataḥ||45
ēvamabhyarcitāḥ sarvē prayacchanti śubhaṁ nṛṇām|
āyurvīryaṁ ca rājēndra samyakpūjānamaskṛtāḥ||” (MBH 3:230:45-46)

“They are propitiated with burnt offerings, ablutions, unguents, sacrifices and other offerings, and particularly by the worship of Skanda. And, when they are honoured and worshipped with due reverence, they bestow on men whatever is good for them, as also valour and long life”.

That explains how many (so called) Mothers have got appointed in this world now; and even though they bestow good on their worshiper, they being possessed of evil spirits, it is not advisable to worship them for wisdom and liberation. Still then whosoever worships such Bhuta Grahas attain to them for sure, but they would not attain liberation.

This was the message from Shankara’s pen which was unfortunately (and may be in all likelihood, purposely) misinterpreted by vaishnavas. With this we have put all false understandings of Shankara Bhashya to rest.



From the extensive research and analysis done in this article, we conclude the following:

Bhagawad Gita verse BG 10:33 (aksharanam a-karo ’smi), which means, “among all the alphabets I am “a-kara”, encompasses the entire theory of creation in it and it is the syllable of Shiva and hence Bhagawad Gita’s this verse is talking about lord Shiva alone.

Bhagawad Gita verse BG 14:03 (mama yōnir mahad braḥma tasmin garbhaṁ dadhāmy ahaṁ) and also BG 14:04 (tāsāṁ braḥma mahad yōnir ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā) talk outwardly about womb and the process of impregnation, but we have seen that the entire process works with the exchange of mātrikās (alphabets) and is totally a process that revolves around Shiva and Shakti. Therefore this verse of Bhagawad Gita is again a glorification of Shiva-tatwam alone

Bhagawan Rudra is the Purusha of Vedas and his consort Tripurasundari is the one described as the Vāk in Vedas. It is from their union in their fourth quadrant of Vāk aspect (vaikharī), that they breathe forth Vedas (speech) and from that Vaikharī speech creation takes its form and shape.

We have seen this analysis in terms of:

Vedic evidences (Section 3), and found that Rudra (Purusha, or Prana or Visvakarma, or Twashta) is identical with Vak and it is from them that creation proceeded through the union of their Mātrikā-Swarūpa (i.e., varṇamālā).

Evidences from Puranas (Section 4), and found that Puranas attest the same truth and explain creation through Mātrikās of the varṇamālā.

Evidences from Puranas and Mahabharata (Section 5), and found that Mahabharata says creation proceeds from Vedas (speech) and that’s what Puranas have also stated.

Evidences from “nandikēśvara kāśikā” (Section 6) which is a commentary on ‘Mahēśvara Sūtras’ – hence it is as authentic as “Pāṇiṇī’s Aṣṭhādhyāyī” (since both have their origin in the 14 aphorisms of Mahēśvara). Moreover, it is totally in agreement with what Vedas say about creation and is in agreement with Advaita Vedanta theory; hence this is a valid Pramāṇa.

Additionally, based on the extensive research and analysis done, we all are clear about who the original Lord Kāma is, and by any good means it was not possible for us to not understand that the Kāma Sūkta is a hymn to Bhagawān Rudra (Shiva); yet, for additional emphasis and for bringing more clarity, I have presented my commentary alongside and established that Kāma-Sūkta is a hymn to Bhagawan Rudra alone.

We have seen that Nāsadīya-Sūkta is verily a hymn describing about the creation from Lord Shiva alone and the Supreme Being whom it refers as the one present prior to creation, who was breathing without wind – is doubtlessly Bhagawan Shiva in his ‘nirguṇa’ aspect. We have seen two Puranas and Upanishad establishing this fact in addition to what our analysis has concluded.

As a side note in the Appendix (Section 9) we have refuted the wrong understanding of śankara-bhāṣya on Mātrikās and Vināyakās.

With this, we have come to the “end” of this article only, but this marks the “beginning” of a new understanding of the divine secrets behind creation!

“O my dear father Kāmēśvarā and my dearest mother Kāmēśvarī! Whatever you have taught me, I might or might not have succeeded in reproducing on paper without any loss of knowledge; still then, I being your infact, and my mind being small, I believe, you would accept this write-up from the pen of your child, with all your love and care. I offer this massive commentary on Bhagawad Gita verses (BG 10:33, BG 14:03, and BG 14:04) along with the commentaries on Nandikēśvarā-Kāśikā, Kāma-Sūkta, and Nāsadīya-Sūkta; to your lotus feet”.

|| ētat sarvaṁ śrī lalitā-kāmēśvara parabraḥmārpaṇamastu ||

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