Arts in Healing

Dasha Maha Vidyas
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The " Dasa Maha Vidyas" or Ten Great Cosmic Powers is another section in the Yantra series. Each focuses on one aspect of the Divine Energy of Shakti. Meditating on any one of them will help activate that energy within us and take us further along the path of Self- Realization.
I am deeply grateful to S. Shankaranarayanan who has written "The Ten Great Cosmic Powers" and Dr. David Frawley, who has written " Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddesses".
It is these two books which inspired and guided me to work on this series, and I would like to add that working on each one was itself a meditative and insightful experience, bringing deeper knowledge and awareness.

Each painting of the Maha Vidyas has a description and meditation.
Click on the name of each yantra to read this: Dasha Maha Vidyas

Time is the great force of change and the rhythm of our life. Time, or ‘kala’, is birth and death, growth and decay, which is the essence of our existence. The Supreme Time-force or ‘shakti’ of kala is ‘Kali’. Kali is also the prana or life-force within us.
In order for the new to come into being, we have to let go of the old. So time is both creation and destruction. Kali helps us destroy the attachments in our life so that we gain mastery over time.

Kali is also Life and Death, which are movements in time. To worship Her, we must ‘die’ daily, that is, death of all our worries, ambitions, cares, anxieties, loves and hates. Before sleeping if we empty our minds of all this, we are ‘born’ again the next day, fresh and new. Kali is death of the separate self.
Kali also relates to the element of air, and the lightning force that is in the atmosphere. She is located in the heart chakra of the human body.
Kali is the ‘kriya-shakti’ or power of action, which is an essential part of the Time-force, and is the first of the Maha Vidyas.

Keep your mental focus all the time on each inhalation and exhalation as your eyes focus on the seed mantra ‘kreem’ in the centre. Repeating ‘Om Kreem’ in your mind with each inhalation and exhalation, let your eyes take in the entire yantra and feel the colours penetrate your entire being. Experience the feeling of endless time.

Tara is the second of the Maha vidyas. She is worshipped by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. The Chinese Buddhists worship her as Kwan Yin. In the Hindu tradition, She is ‘sabda shakti’ or power of Sound.
According to Tibetan Buddhist tradition Tara emanated from the tear of Avalokiteshvara. Once Avalokiteshvara liberated all beings from the lower realms and an instant later saw that the lower realms were again filled with suffering beings. Saddened, a tear fell from his eye and from it sprang Green Tara. Both Avalok-iteshvara and Tara embody the principle of compassion (one of the three main aspects of enlightened mind: compassion, wisdom and power). Kwan Yin is generally explained as a Chinese (feminine) equivalent of Avalokiteshvara, who manifested to help all those suffering on earth.

"Tara" means the one who crosses and helps others to cross the river. She is the Saviouress who helps us overcome our difficult situations and also helps us transcend them.
Tara is the feminine form of ‘Aum’. She also relates to the power of perception and knowledge.
Her location in the human body is the Manipura chakra or navel centre. As ‘Aum’ She is also in the Third Eye or Ajna chakra.

Let your eyes start focusing on the ‘Aum’ in the centre, and feel its energy enter you. Now start chanting ‘Aum’ slowly as your eyes move slowly around the yantra, absorbing the healing lavender colour, and let the water surrounding the yantra ‘wash’ over you.
Bring your gaze now to the triangle with rainbow colours, and visualize this entering you through your Third Eye chakra, filling it, and then move down into your navel chakra. Feel your navel chakra fill with all the rainbow colours. Continue chanting Aum and feeling the rainbow as long as you wish.

The third of the Maha Vidyas, Tripurasundari represents the ultimate beauty of pure perception which arises when we see all the Universe in ourselves.
"Tripura" means ‘three cities’, the three worlds of matter, energy and thought, which we experience through our three bodies- physical, astral and causal. Tripurasundari helps us delight in these experiences of the three worlds and transcend them.
She is also known and worshipped as Lalita, the deity of the Sri Chakra, and Rajarajeshwari, the Supreme ruler of the Universe. Her ‘command’ is based on Love. When we open ourselves to her command, we discover that beauty and bliss are the fundamental energy of existence, and play is the nature of all manifestation. When we experience this insight, we free ourselves from attachment and find happiness and delight in whatever life may bring us.
Sundari represents the moon as the visible image of Delight.
She resides in the Crown chakra in the body, the abode of immortal nectar. By her grace, the nectar descends through the Sushumna nadi, and pervades the whole body, an experience of bliss.
She has her own yantra, the Tripurasundari yantra, as well as the great Sri Yantra.

Visualize the lotus in the yantra as your Crown chakra, and bring your focus slowly to the central point. Keep your focus there, relaxing the whole body, and let your peripheral vision take in the rest of the yantra. Feel the ‘liquid’ cool light flowing into your body and filling you with bliss.

Bhuvaneshwari means ‘the Queen of the Universe’. Fourth in the list of the ‘Dasa Maha Vidyas’, Bhuvaneshwari stands for the concept of space.
Space has many levels of manifestation:
The space of the physical Universe and the space of the mind. Just as there are many layers of space in the Universe, there are many layers in the higher levels of the mind. In our body, the heart is where the infinite space of the Universe resides, and this is the seat of the Divine Mother, Bhuvaneshwari, who represents this Space.
By creating space, we release ourselves from stress and tension. Those seeking the supreme peace should invoke and worship the Goddess Bhuvaneshwari, who is the power of infinite ‘expansion’,peace and equanimity.
Her sound- body is ‘Hrim’, which is as powerful as ‘Aum’. ‘Hrim’ connects the space within the heart with the infinite, vast space of Consciousness.

Inhale deeply as you focus on the seed mantra ‘hrim’ in the centre, and feel your whole being expand. With each inhalation let your gaze move radially outwards, taking in the shining 6-pointed star, then the soft, eight-petaled pink lotus, and the colour blue, which gives a feeling of expanding space. Then, the glowing eight-petaled lotus and the yellow circle surrounding that. Feel yourself expanding into space as your vision takes in the blue and white ‘clouds’ around the yantra. Continue breathing deep, and experience this feeling of expansion.

Fifth among the Maha vidyas, She is one of the most powerful and also popular Goddesses, also known as Durga.
Bhairavi represents transforming heat, ‘Tapas’, and also Divine radiance, ‘Tejas’. Tapas is not just asceticism, it is a heightened aspiration that consumes all secondary interests and attachments. She is also the basic will power of life which we strive to master.
She is the ‘warrior’ Goddess, who with Her power of Divine speech and spiritual fire eliminates all obstacles to the unfoldment of true awareness, just as She destroyed the demon Mahishasura.
She dwells in the Muladhara or Root chakra, and is the same as Kundalini.

Focus on the centre of the yantra with Light radiating, and then let your gaze move toward the red eight-petaled lotus and fill your root chakra with that colour. Then allow your vision to take in the flame-like forms surrounding the yantra. ‘Inhale’ these flames and let them burn all the fears, doubts and negative ‘attachments’ inside you. Look at the golden circle surrounding the triangles, and visualize this encircling you and protecting you as you fearlessly move forward toward your goals.

The sixth of the Maha Vidyas, Chinnamasta is the Goddess who causes us to ‘cut off our own heads’, or, in other words, freeing ourselves from the limitations of the mind. She is the shakti or power of Indra- lightning, the electrical energy of transformation. This represents direct perception, cutting through everything and revealing the Infinite beyond all forms.
Chinamasta is also the Kundalini in her active role. Her activity is in the Sushumna nadi, where She traverses up and down and distributes this electrical energy through all the nadis throughout the body.
She is also Yoga Shakti, or power of Yoga in its most dramatic action.
One way of meditating on her is to see the light that makes the object visible, and not the object itself.

Look at the light in the centre of the yantra and keeping your focus there, take in the feeling of light cutting through the dark forms in the surrounding areas. Breathe in this light, and visualize it moving up and down your Sushumna nadi. Keeping this focus on the Sushumna nadi, let any thoughts drift into your mind. Sometimes you may get an unexpected resolution to a problem, or insight into something you were contemplating.

The seventh Mahavidya, Dhumavati represents the first and foremost state before creation. She contains within herself all potentials and shows the latent energies that dwell within us.
‘Dhuma’ means ‘smoke’, so Dhumavati means one who is composed of smoke. She obscures what is evident and known to reveal the hidden and the profound. She reveals all that is imperfect, the disappointments, sorrows, humiliation, defeat, loss and loneliness, and all the negative states in our ordinary existence in order that we may transcend it.
Learning from our negative experiences and treating them as lessons in wisdom, we honour Dhumavati.
When we stop focusing on the outer forms and notice the background space instead, we begin to see her.

Let your eyes travel all around slowly, taking in the ‘smoky’ background. With each inhalation, slowly let your gaze move inwards, and take in the dark, eight-petaled lotus with its diffused glow at the base of each petal.
Now let your vision take in the shining yellow six-pointed star which has the swirls of smoke within. Let your eyes rest there for a while. Contemplate on your negative experiences in a detached manner, and let the golden message come through with the Grace of Dhumavati.

The eighth Maha Vidya, Bagalamukhi represents hypnotic power, the power to ‘stun’. She is the Goddess who stupefies the opponent and paralyses his speech. She is the paralysing power, the striking force. She induces sudden immobility or restraint. She also represents speech used as a weapon to destroy negativity.
In Yoga, asanas are postures of stillness the physical body attains through movement. The aim of asana is to give flexibility to the rigid human body by alternate arresting and releasing of the movement expressed by it. Bagalamukhi grants complete control over our movements and the capacity to stop them at will.
This 'stopping' helps in self-awareness. It helps us achieve ‘Mindfulness’ in all our daily activities.
One experiences the play of Bagalamukhi while practising Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga.

Start by gazing at the light in the centre of the yantra, the stillness there. Let your eyes move around the whole yantra, taking in the colours and balanced movement of forms. Bring your focus back to the stillness in the centre.
Absorb the colours and light as you focus on your breath.
You can keep this yantra in the room where you practice yogasanas. It will radiate energy helping your practice.

Matangi is the ninth among the Dasa Maha Vidyas. She is the Word as embodiment of thought. She is the Goddess of the spoken word as well as outward articulation of inner knowledge, including all forms of art, music and dance.
Matangi relates to Saraswati, the Goddess of wisdom and knowledge. She is the form of Saraswati directed towards inner knowledge. She represents the teachings of the guru, and the continuity of spiritual instruction in the world. By honouring her, we also honour the guru. Those seeking to teach others should seek the grace of Matangi.
She is the manifest form of song, and the vibratory sound, Nada, that flows in the subtle channels, ‘nadis’, down through our entire body and mind.
Matangi resides in the Throat chakra, the centre of speech. There is a special ‘nadi’ or channel that runs from the Third Eye to the tip of the tongue, which relates to Her. This is the stream of inspiration from the mind to its expression via speech.
Matangi represents the flow of Bliss through this channel, which is experienced by the creators of great literary, poetic and other artistic work, resulting in brilliant expressions of creativity.

Start by focusing on the seed mantra ‘Aim’ in the centre, and visualize its energy coming into your Throat chakra, and then moving into your Third Eye chakra. Let your eyes take in the surrounding forms very slowly, and absorb the green colour with each breath. Notice if you ‘hear’ any sounds or music. Let yourself hum whatever tune you hear.

The last of the Dasa Maha Vidyas, Kamalatmika is Beauty revealed in all its glory. ‘Kamala’ means ‘lotus’, and Kamalatmika represents the unfoldment of Divine Nature and its manifestation in the physical world.
Just as the lotus has its roots in mud and yet produces a beautiful flower, the beautiful soul emerges from the gross physical body. Kamala nourishes and supports us in the elevation of our soul through our spiritual as well as worldly goals. She brings to the devotee abundance of worldly wealth as well as love and bliss. She is also the force who helps us to see the beauty and Divine quality in every thing.
She is located in the heart chakra in the body.
Meditating on the rays of the Sun awakens the process of inner unfoldment which is Kamalatmika.

Focus on the seed mantra in the centre, and slowly let your gaze absorb the rays radiating from there, and take in also the lotuses and water element surrounding the yantra. Relax, and just keep a relaxed focus on the golden radiance for a while. Feel this golden radiance filling you with its abundance of light, love and beauty.

The Dasa Maha Vidya series:
Kali yantra
12" x 12
Watercolour on paper
Tara yantra
12" x 12
Watercolour on paper
Tripurasundari yantra
12" x 12
Watercolour on paper
Bhuvaneshwari yantra
12" x 12"
Watercolour on paper
Bhairavi yantra
12" x 12"
Watercolour on paper
Chinnamasta yantra
12" x 12"
Watercolour on paper
Dhumavati yantra
12" x 12"
Watercolour on paper
Kamalatmika yantra
Watercolour on paper
Matangi yantra
Watercolour on paper
Bagalamukhi yantra
11"x 14"
Watercolour on paper