upAsana of the 11/12 vilAsinI-s

One of the (apparently) extinct and distinct branches of the kula system is the kula of the vilAsinI devI-s. Few modern upAsaka-s appear to be aware of it; in part this might be due to the extreme secrecy observed in the kula circles in imparting this system. It is closely allied with shrI-kula: kaula bAlA upAsana in some ways and regular kameshvarI in others (note the mention in the LSS). Once it might have had a pan-Indian (or at least widespread distribution) distribution with centers in Kashmir-Himalayan zone, Bengal and the drAviDa country. The vilAsinI kula was also transmitted to the nAstIka-s whole-scale and incorporated with little change (retaining the description of the devI-s and also the consort bhairava without even an attempt at altering the shaiva iconography).

The first lineage of vilAsinI upAsana is that of virUpa. She is invoked in the middle of her chakra either as: 1) two-handed holding a kulisha and a lotus 2) two handed with a kapAla and a vajra. She is red in color like that of dawn and has three eyes, two of which are half-closed expressing the supreme bliss of the shR^ingAra rasa and bordered by pretty eyelashes and brows. Her midriff is lean and well-proportioned with three pretty folds (trivaliH). Her form is that of a passionate maid the prime of her youth. She may also be worshiped in conjunction with aghora-bhairava, whom she embraces by entwining her arms around him, even as he, the knower of her bewitching thighs, hugs her ample breasts. She turns away from the crescent moon on his head. Her secret mantra incorporates the vagbhava, mAyA and manmatha bIja-s.

She is surrounded by the band of 10 vilAsinI-s associated with the 5 mahAbhUta bIja-s:
pR^ithivi bIja: 1) pAtanI – chakra and kapAla; 2) lochanA – kartari and khaTvA~Nga; both are yellow in color.
jala bIja: 3)mAraNI- kulisha and kapAla; 4)mAmakI – kartari and khaTvA~Nga; both are black in color
agni bIja: 5) AkarshaNI – lotus and kapAla; 6)pANDAravAsinI – kartari and khaTvA~Nga; both are red in color, but the later wears white clothing.
vAyu bIja: 7) narteshvarI – khaDga and kapAla; 8) tArA – kartari and khaTvA~Nga; both are green in color.
AkAsha bIja: 9) padmajvAlinI – 4 hands, a~Nkusha, brahmA’s head, kapAla and daNdAyudha, grey in color; trimukhI- 3 heads, kartari and pAsha, grey, red and white color.

The second lineage of vilAsinI is that of the siddha shabhara vidyAnandanatha from the cave near shrIshailaM. This is the mahAshri~NgAra-vilAsinI or guhyavilAsinI. He himself was initiated into this kaula practice by the siddha karuNAnandanAtha. mahAshri~NgAra-vilAsinI is always invoked in conjunction with her bhairava consort narteshvara, who is two armed holding the pinAka and the pAshupata missile and bright red in color. He is conceived as eternally young and the epitome of male handsomeness, wearing a bright pearl necklace. His eyes are half-closed in the bliss of chidAnanda arising from maithuna with his kulA~NganA. guhyavilAsinI is invoked in a highly erotic form with two arms holding a kartari and a pAsha, wearing a pearl necklace and a~NganA-priya flowers as decoration. She is in a tight embrace with her husband and trembling in the intoxication of shR^i~NgAra-bhoga with her face lit up by bewitching smiles. They are thus conceived as residing on the pinnacle of the beautiful mountain of chittavishrAma. She is invoked by the secret mantra of 5 syllables which are like the pa~ncha-tanmAtra sAyaka of kameshvarI. One who performs her sAdhana and attains siddhi of her mantra is able to perform ShaTkarma-s and also attains a~njana-siddhi, guTikAsiddhi and strI-vashikaraNaM. It is also the sure-shot path to the experience of samAdhi with which the object and subject distinction dissolves into a condition of bliss. vilAsinI and narteshvara are surrounded in their maNdala by two AvaraNa. In the first of them resides the highly erotic vidyAdharI. She has 3 heads and carries a kapAla from which she drinks wine and a khaTvA~Nga. She is brilliant red in color and clothed in only a garland of nAgakesha flowers and bears long thick flowing untied tresses, with her youthful body excited with erotic pleasure. Her secret mantra is similar to that of Chinnamasta. In the next AvaraNa are invoked the 10 vilAsinI-s as in the first vidhi of vilAsinI.

The deshika performing the mahAshri~NgAra-vilAsinI prayoga chooses a beautiful secluded house, garden or mountain and retires there with his initiated kulA~NganA on an aShTamI night. After having a bath and perfuming themselves they invoke rambhA and tilottamA to confer dIkSha for the sAdhana on them. Then, he and his dUtI invoke the devatA-s of the AvaraNa and prepare themselves for maithuna by performing the navapuShpI. Then the kulA~NganA unifies her identity with vilAsinI and the deshika with narteshvara. Having done so, they both invoke the mUla mantra and see the blazing mayukha-s emanating from the mantra and melting the whole universe into a uniform sea of blood in the middle of which the deshika and his kulA~NganA are unified with the bhairava and the devI. Then they begin the special cyclic japa of the vilAsinI mUla mantra: the 5 blazing bIja-s of the mantra are conceived as emerging from the yoni of the dUtI and entering the li~Nga of the deshika and passing through his body they emanate through his nose. Then they are taken in by the dUtI through her nostrils and passing through her body again emerge from her yoni. This cyclical japa is continued for 500 times, followed by the reciprocal deployment of the vajroli mudra by both the dUtI and the deshika. At the conclusion of this they experience the merger of their selves and experience the universe whirling around them and melting into a liquid gold. The unified dUtI and deshika experience total oneness of the universe and see it dissolve into the vyoman. The vyoman itself dissolves into the pure chit and there only the experience of samAdhi.

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