The lineage of kAli-kula as presented by arNa-siMha

paNDita arNa-siMha is today a poorly known teacher. From his two works the khachakrapa~nchaka stotra and mahAnaya prakAsha, we glean that he was once part of an illustrious kAli-kula lineage, which began with shivAnanda-nAtha-I who he calls j~nAna-netra or j~nAna-chakShu. He even suggests that the khachakrapa~nchaka’s mantrashAstra was first “brought down” by shivAnanda. He names a lineage of kAlikula teachers to which he belongs which appears to intersect with the lineage mentioned by jayaratha the commentator on abhinavagupta. arNasimHa’s lineage is:

          female teacher keyUravatI
                  /         \
 female teacher IshAnikA | prabodha
            nandaka      | jaiyaka
            sajjana      | pa~Nka
            someshvara   | nAga
                   \        /

After chakrabhAnu the kAli-kula tradition branched into two lineages which unified again under arNasimha.
khachakrapa~nchaka stotra is stotra full of power – good stotra-s are of different kinds. Some have good poetry and are easily followed by all sAdhakas, such as those attributed to sha~Nkara, some have deep mantra embeddings, and some are only for advanced users and convey rahasya-s of a tantric system to them. The KhPS is of the latter type and also conceals within it an immense mantra power. It is not easy to expound it but it needs to be “experienced” as a first person experience.
This is sensed right in the 2nd verse itself:
ekA devI parasarati parA vyomahaMkAra-ghoShA
chakraM raudraM gagana-sadR^ishaM rashmi-pu~njaM samagraM |
bhAShAtItaM vismaya-viShayaM devI-chakraM namAmi ||
The one goddess, the supreme, spreads the sound the ahaMkAra [*1] of space – the terrifying chakra [*2] which appears like the sky, the collection [of all things], the mass of rays. Whose form is like pure space, formidable with the light of the bliss of the unmanifest spot (or embryo) [*3]. I salute the chakra of the goddess whose sphere is wondrous and beyond language.
[1] The term ahaMkAra here should be understood in the sAMkhya sense as expounded in the bhR^igu smR^iti.
[2] It must be understood that the chakra referred to twice in this verse is multifunction in that it refers to the maNDala or yantra of bhAnavI-kaulinI and its projection in the form of the world with the sun coursing through the sky and the projection into consciousness.
[3] kalana often means a spot or the zygote in embryology. Both these meanings are woven together in this case –the bindu of the yantra as the spot and the unmanifest existence is likened to the zygote which represent the “unmanifest” form of the organism that will develop from it. It also represents the basic bIjamantra of the kula: khaphreM.
This is a succinct the description of bhAnavI-kaulinI the mistress of the khachakra. As we noted above the stotra itself uses the term “bhAShAtItaM” beyond language. Then starting with vinAyaka and his shakti the stotra outlines the complex maNDala of the devI with the hosts of yoginI-s in each circle.

~ by mAnasa-taraMgiNI on March 24, 2008.

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